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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Chat: Who should Steelers fans root for?

By Jamison Hensley

Some highlights from today's AFC North chat ...

Chris (Baltimore): How is the NFL promoting player safety when Tom Brady gets fined $10,000 for an intentional kick to another player ... and Frank Gore is fined more for a "sock malfunction"?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I understand that the fine looks ridiculous in comparison. But most expected Brady not to be fined. So, this is a small victory.

Joel (Bawlmer, Hon): What has been the bigger surprise in the Ravens' Super Bowl run (I know I can't believe it either): The new look offensive line or the play of the defensive?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Offensive line, by far. The Ravens defense had been playing well for the last eight to nine weeks. I never expected the offensive line to allow just four sacks in three playoff games. Unreal.

dan (lynchburg va): What is your take on the future of Cary Williams with the Ravens? I believe you have said before Jimmy Smith is on the cusp of being a "bust", does that help Williams chances of staying with the team or are Ravens comfortable with the talent they already have?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Don't really see the Ravens going after Cary Williams because another team will probably pay more for him. The Ravens' four corners next year will be Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham, Chykie Brown and Jimmy Smith.

Gio Frenda (York, Pa): Will the Bengals draft a receiver or pick one up in free agency?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Bengals feel comfortable at wide receiver with A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Andrew Hawkins and Marvin Jones. I don't consider wide receiver a pressing need.

D-Bo (st pete, fl): What do you think of the LB Brian Rolle signing in Pittsburgh? Larry Foote is still a question mark to return, Sean Spence is still unproven and Sylvestor and Brandon Johnson hardly see the field.. could Rolle actually make the 53-man roster, maybe as a backup.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Stevenson Sylvester is the guy that has to step up. Not sure if you can count on Spence as a starter next season until you see what he looks like on the practice field. Those are the guys you should focus on, not Rolle.

Brandon (Newark, OH): Mike Brown just hired me as the Bengals GM. My game plan is to re-sign Michael Johnson and Andre Smith. I will also sign the best wide receiver to hit free agency. Then I will use all of our draft picks on safetys, corners and Linebackers. Sound good to you?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I think Bengals will sign either Johnson or Smith and put the franchise tag on the other. Not sure about your plans for WR as I explained earlier. You need to draft a safety, OLB and a running back with speed.

Ryan (London, ON): Who is your odds of favorite to be the Browns starting QB next season, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Mallett, Alex Smith or Colt McCoy?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Good question. I could see Alex Smith coming here because of the connection with Norv Turner. But I'm putting my money on Weeden. Full disclosure: I'm not putting a lot of money on him.

Caleb (Cleveland ): What grade do you give the Browns for hiring Lombardi, Chudzinski, Turner, and Horton?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): B-minus. I like the Turner and Horton hires. Chudzinski has a chance to be good, and I like the fact that he isn't calling plays. But the Browns find themselves in the same position with an inexperienced head coach with an inexperienced team. I'm still trying to figure out why the Browns went with Lombardi.

Michel (Timonium, Maryland): Hey Jamison! Who do you think the Steelers fans will root for in the Super Bowl? Sure, the Ravens are their bitter rivals, but if the 49ers win, the black and gold faithful will no longer be able to boast about having sole posession of the most Super Bowl victories. Hmmm, that would make an excellent poll (hint hint).

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I know the Steelers fans don't want the Niners to tie their Super Bowl titles, but the other team is the Ravens. This is the nastiest rivalry in the NFL. There's too much bad blood between the Steelers and Ravens. It's like Army rooting for Navy. It's like Duke rooting for North Carolina. I just can't see Steelers fans waving the Terrible Towel for the Ravens. Ever.