- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's see what's in our AFC North inbox this week.
James Walker: That's a tough question, Ken, because Reed would make for a great coach and he does have some interest in the field. But I think staying with the Ravens would be a little too close to his heart--at least right away. Let's say his safeties blow an assignment. How could a great player like Reed, who is only 31, not get the itch the following week to sign a one-year deal with Baltimore and show his players how it's done? I don't think Reed wants to create that type of situation for himself or the team. If Reed decides to go into coaching at some point, my guess is it would start at the collegiate level.
Todd from Westerville, Ohio, writes: I was just wondering with the issues the Cleveland Browns have at QB, do you think there would be any interest in trying to land Ravens quarterback Troy Smith?
Walker: Todd, Smith would love to come home to Cleveland, but I don't see that happening. The Browns have 11 draft picks, and I get the sense new president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert covet them very much. Plus, I don't see Smith's skills fitting into the type of precision offense Cleveland wants to run.
John from Cincinnati wants to know why the word "czar" is the new catchphrase in the NFL.
Walker: The term "czar" by definition means a person of absolute power. In the cases of Mike Holmgren in Cleveland and Bill Parcells with the Miami Dolphins, it fits the description because they have final say in everything.
Eddie Kilroy from Kent, Ohio, writes: I've been reading several mock drafts, and it seems everybody is set on the Browns taking a quarterback with the No. 7 pick in the draft (usually Sam Bradford). Wouldn't it make more sense to try to upgrade the trenches or find help in the secondary?
Walker: Not everyone, Eddie. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has the Browns taking Florida cornerback Joe Haden. Mock drafts are fun to talk about, but I wouldn't get too worked up about it in January. A lot will change in the next three months. Of any team in the AFC North, I think the Browns are in the best situation to take the best available player, regardless of position.
Mike from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, writes: Bryan Bulaga=Robert Gallery?
Walker: That's pretty funny, Mike. But it's way too early to start making those comparisons. Yes, similar to Gallery, Bulaga is a highly rated offensive tackle from the University of Iowa. But that doesn't automatically mean Bulaga is going to be a bust in the NFL.
Ron Coffey from Cincinnati wants an update on Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom.
Walker: Odom is still working to get back from an Achilles injury, Ron. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com recently caught up with Odom. He was on pace to have a monster season. So if Odom comes back healthy, he will be a good addition to an already solid defense.
Gallas from West Jefferson, Ohio, writes: Just for Nostradamus purposes, I think it's Cincinnati and Cleveland No. 1 and No. 2 next year, quote me.
Walker: You've been quoted. But I'm warning you, Gallas, we hold everyone accountable in the AFC North blog.
Gabby from Baltimore writes: Hey James, please answer! Could the Ravens sign any free agents this year: Restricted and unrestricted?
Walker: Yes, Gabby, the Ravens will be able to sign both types of free agents. But there are complicated restrictions with Baltimore, because it was one of the final eight teams to advance to the divisional round before an uncapped year. Earlier this week, we provided a full explanation from the NFL on the Ravens' outlook in free agency.