Saturday, June 19, 2010
Walker's weekend mailbag
By James Walker
With all the AFC North minicamps in the books, let's see what’s in the weekend mailbag.
Brandon Crawford from Sykesville, Md., writes: Now that the Baltimore Ravens have signed safety Ken Hamlin, what does this mean for Dawan Landry?
James Walker: Good question, Brandon. Hamlin is more of a free safety than a strong safety, so I'm not 100-percent sure if the signing impacts Landry directly. But the Ravens have always had the motto of putting the best 11 players on the field. So it is possible Hamlin could beat out Landry, but Hamlin would have to do it playing out of his natural position.
Andy from Santiago, Chile, wants to know the probability of a holdout for Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick Jermaine Gresham.
Walker: I think it's too early to worry, Andy. Cincinnati does have a history of rookie contract disputes, but I don't get the same vibes from the team that I did last year. Every media outlet, including the AFC North blog, easily predicted a long holdout for Andre Smith because of his recent business decisions, the team, and the type of money that was involved. Most of those factors aren’t in play this year. So I don’t anticipate any type of long holdout in Cincinnati this year. At most, it could possibly be a few days.
Alan from Milwaukee wants to know what I think of Rod Woodson as an NFL coach.
Walker: Woodson was in Cincinnati this week, and I think it would be a natural fit for him. Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't done this earlier. Woodson was one of the smartest and most gifted players in NFL history. He was the complete package as a football player and could have thrived in any era. He would be great sharing all that knowledge with today’s players if chooses to go that route.
Nakaz from Hawaii writes: Do the Pittsburgh Steelers look for another RB to back up Rashard Mendenhall before the season starts?
Walker: The Steelers are fine with what they have. Mewelde Moore did his job last year when his number was called, and Pittsburgh may have a nice find in rookie Jonathan Dwyer. I haven’t seen enough of him just yet (especially without contact). But Dwyer has good size and may be able to move the pile, which would help the offense.
Bryan from Atlanta writes: How come no chat this week?
Walker: On Tuesday I was at Bengals minicamp writing and watching two practices. I couldn't fit it in. But the division chat will return this upcoming Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Kovacs from Santa Monica, Calif., writes: Have the Cleveland Browns started to close the talent gap in the AFC North?
Walker: That's too much of an open-ended question, Kovacs. The Browns made some steps to get better but not to the point where I think they can climb to the top of the AFC North. I saw Cleveland in minicamp last week and wasn’t all that impressed. I'm still picking the Browns fourth, the Steelers third, and I haven't decided yet between Cincinnati and Baltimore.
I'm going to try something different this week. We get a lot of comments in our division inbox with readers venting about various things. So I decided to try this new feature at the end of the weekend mailbag called the "complaint department."
Brad Eagan from West Mifflin, Pa., writes: Come on, James. There are way too many things about the Browns and not enough about the other three teams in the division. I know that you are located in Cleveland, but this is the AFC North Blog, not the Cleveland Browns Blog. Other than the plethora of Browns topics, you do great work.
Jeff from Baltimore writes: Could you please vary your content a little more, James? I get tired of seeing multiple posts about the Steelers every single day when my Ravens haven't gotten a solo article in over a week. It's the AFCN blog, not the Pittsburgh Steelers blog.
Ben Wiford from Danville, Ohio, writes: Hey J-Walk always love hearing you when you are on 97.1 in the afternoons. But you really shouldn't waste your time talking about the Clowns! Just talk more about my Bengals.
Ron from Fort Washington, Md., writes: I just read the AFC NORTH blog and it focused on the Bengals. I thought I was going to read about my RAVENS!!!
R. Lewis from Berkeley, Calif., writes: I really, really enjoy your blog. BUT can we just quit with the "will the Steelers make the playoffs if Ben Roethlisberger is out six games" stuff? Enough, man. You know that it will be only four games, because Ben WILL stay out of trouble. Okay, so four games. Do you REALLY think they'll lose more than two? You always make it sound like they're in so much trouble, but they're not. They'll go 11-5 and make the playoffs.
RJ from Virginia Beach, Va., writes: Vince Young had better get in trouble with the commish. If he doesn't, that means Roger Goodell is handing out his "justice" unevenly. I'm still waiting for Sean Peyton to be disciplined for his alleged misconduct. Ben's case has set a precedent that you don't need to be arrested or charged with a crime to be disciplined. That needs to be applied to the entire league, not just household names like “Big Ben.”
Richard from Fairfax, Va., writes: James, it was like a Christmas morning present to hear cornerback Frank Walker is trying out with a different team. You made my day. Hopefully the Houston Texans sign him.
MWyche2 via Twitter writes: Tell Chad Ochocinco, C'mon son!!!!
Remember to send all your mailbag questions -- and now AFC North complaints -- to our division inbox.