Saturday, July 27, 2013
Chat Rewind: Where does A.J. Green rank?
By Jamison Hensley
For the full transcript of the AFC North weekly chat, you can click right here. For those who just want some highlights, you can simply continue reading:
Sebastian (Baltimore): How do you think the Ravens will do after all the departures?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The Ravens still have to be considered a playoff team. The only major hole is at the No. 2 wide receiver spot. The Ravens defense has a chance to be better than last year, and the offense could be stronger if Joe Flacco picks up where he left off in the Super Bowl.
Shawn N (Beaverton, Oregon): Why are people afraid to say the Ravens will be better this year, at least on defense, when it is so obvious that they will be? It's not like the defense was very good last year anyway. I'm confused. BEWARE: Answering this question honestly will make people call you a homer!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I don't think people are afraid to say it. I've heard that assessment a lot among reporters in Baltimore. And, honestly, it's not that much of a stretch to say the Ravens will be better on defense. Baltimore ranked 17th last season. The key to the Ravens being significantly better is the health of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Chris Canty and Lardarius Webb. If all can be close to full strength, the Ravens will be a top-10 defense once again. You don't have to be a homer to see that.
Martin (NY): Prediction: AJ Green will finish as the ____ ranked WR this season.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Third-ranked. Behind Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Green is the most talented wide receiver in the AFC. The Bengals have good young talent at the No. 2 spot. But just think of Green's production if the Bengals had someone more established who could draw more attention away from Green.
Chilly Willy (Spring Valley, OH.): After free agency and the draft, I believe the Bengals will have the top defense in the NFL. There should be no problem with the defense breaking the NFL sack record of (71) or (72) held by the '84 Bears. That is only like 4.5 sacks per game, which should be no problem for my Bengals defense. Do you agree?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I feel that the Bengals have a good shot to be the best defense in the NFL this year. I like the fact that they don't have to blitz to generate a pass rush. I'm going to be more conservative on the sack total. It wouldn't surprise me if the Bengals came close to getting 60 this year.
Rich (New Jersey): Norv Turner predicting Trent Richardson, Browns running back, will get 300 plus carriers this year. Only five players passed that total in 2012. Is this a good idea, bad idea and what does it do to the passing game for the Cleveland Browns?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): It would be a mistake to limit Richardson's touches. Take Adrian Peterson for example. He's had over 300 carries in three of his six NFL seasons, and he's going strong. You're doing the defense a favor if you take the ball out of Richardson's hands.
Vince (Camden, NJ): If an ownership change were to happen in the Browns organization, do you think the current Joe Banner-led staff would leave town with Haslam or maybe a different name bankrolling the same operation?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Less than a year after Jimmy Haslam took over as owner, he changed the head coach and the decision-makers. That's what the new owner will do as well. You can't fault owners. They paid a hefty sum to own the team and they have the right to put the people that they trust at the top positions.
James (North Carolina): The Steelers usually don't miss on first- or second-round picks. But do you think this is make or break season for defensive linemen Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I believe the Steelers would agree that Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward haven't progressed as well as they would've liked. That being said, both are in the Steelers' future plans. I expect the Steelers to re-sign Hood and move Heyward into Brett Keisel's spot next year.
Brian (Dover, DE): JH, How healthy does Troy Polamalu look at this point?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): When I spoke with Polamalu last month (it was at minicamps, where I'm not allowed to watch practice), he said he's healthy now but that's not what is important. The key is being healthy throughout the regular season.