Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley stops by to chat.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:00 PM)
Thank you for stopping by for our chat. I'm at Owings Mills, Md., covering the Ravens today as they prepare for the divisional playoff game. So, let's kick this off ...
Rocket .charm city md [via mobile]
What do u think your chances of the ravens winning the afc of the four remaining teams?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:01 PM)
I think the chances are very good. Actually, I wrote an entire column today on how everything is set up for the Ravens to reach the Super Bowl http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/40169/time-is-now-for-ravens-super-bowl-run
I was hoping to not have to worry about the draft so soon! It seems pretty obvious that the Steelers need help interior lines and Corners. That being said do you see any of the young corners in the rotation or is this still a need?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
CP: Corner is always a need. But I think the Steelers will address both sides of the line first. That's a big draft need.
How much of an impact do you see Andre Johnson having against the Ravens?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
Caroline: How the Ravens cover Andre Johnson will be the second-biggest key to the game as far as defense. Stopping the run is first. The priority is to not allow Johnson to get behind the defense, especially off play action.
Brad (Berkeley, CA)
You are probably getting a ton of offseason questions now, so I'll try and ask something similar from a different angle.What do you think will be the biggest story in the AFCN for the offseason?1. Browns choosing RG3, Richardson, or Blackmon2. Steelers moves to get under the cap3. Ravens resigning Rice and extending Flacco4. Bengals and who they take with their two first rounders
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:07 PM)
Biggest storyline will be for each team ...Browns: Do they draft RG3?Bengals: What do they do at running back (Benson is probably gone)?Ravens: Do they tag Rice or sign him to new deal?Steelers: How do you address the offensive and defensive lines?
Andrew Kasemeyer (Ellicott City)
I'm tired of cam cameron and his "prevent offense," if the Ravens don't make it to the Superbowl I think he should be gone. Additionally if Flacco doesn't step up I think we should start looking elsewhere for a new QB...What do you think?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
Andrew: Flacco isn't going anywhere, no matter what happens in the playoffs. The Ravens offense finished No. 15 despite 11 games against top-10 defenses. But if the offense struggles again in the playoffs, Cameron could be in trouble.
Ravens fans love Ed Reed and Ray Lewis for their past. But are they aware the perception (and reality) is that fans are starting to second-guess their current effectiveness?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:09 PM)
Scott: They are quite aware that they're not playing at the same high level that's expected of them. But Reed is playing with a shoulder injury, and I'm still not sold that Lewis is fully back from a toe injury. It's trouble to be the same playmaker when you're older and not healthy.
What are the Steelers Execs saying about Hines' future
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:11 PM)
Jay: They haven't said anything. But it doesn't take a front office member to know that Ward will have to take a pay cut to return. He makes $4 million next year. And that doesn't guarantee that the Steelers will want him back. They are set at wide receiver with young talent like Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Mike (Northern VA)
Was Ed Reed telling about his injury a bluff of sorts? I can't imagine a Vet like him would expose a weakness like that - even if it was obvious he was playing hurt - if it really was a major worry. Is it possible he is feeling fine at this point and is maybe playing mind games with the media/Texans?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
Mike: Suggs would play games like that. Reed was talking honestly. He isn't bluffing. You can tell by how he has struggled with tackling that he isn't completely healthy.
solomon grundy (the swamp)
What has happened to James Harrison and Lamar Woodley in big games? Virtually no pressure in the super Bowl and none this past Sunday.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
Woodley has been a monster in playoff games and Harrison had a 100-yard TD return in the Super Bowl against Arizona. No player is going to have an amazing performance in every playoff game. Woodley and Harrison are still playmakers.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Jamison, do you feel the Ravens' defense is well-positioned to pressure T.J. Yates into turnovers? Do you feel this is the key for the Ravens to have success over the Texans?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
The key is stopping Arian Foster and Ben Tate. You can't let the Texans establish the run. If the Ravens can get Houston into third-and-long, that will give the Ravens the perfect opportunity to attack Yates and force turnovers. But I expect the Ravens to mix pressure and coverage on Yates all game.
Jamison-Weird having you not writing for the Sun but I'm happy for your new job. What do you think Flacco has to do / how far does his team have to go before he gets national acceptance as a franchise qb?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
ben: Some think Flacco has to get to the Super Bowl in order to validate himself. The problem is, the Ravens can get to the Super Bowl without having to rely on him. I think the Ravens can run Ray Rice and beat the Texans and Patriots. So, Flacco might not have many opportunities to put up big numbers that people want.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
No word on Zimmer yet. He would be a great hire, but I'm not sure if he's going to get that head coaching job this year. If he would go, look for defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle to take over. The Bengals denied him permission to interview for the Eagles DC job last year. That's a sign that the Bengals have plans for him.
Nick (Dayton OH)
Jamison, any word on Mike Zimmer ? If he leaves who will be calling the Def for the Bengals?
Do you think the ghost of Tim Couch is still scaring the Browns from drafting a QB in the first round?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
Brian: No. Different regime. But Holmgren and Heckert know that there is huge pressure when you draft a quarterback in the first round. When they don't pan out, that could mean the end for the decision-makers, too.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
How well will Rice do against the tough Texans defense? Thanks!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:23 PM)
Stuart: I would be shocked if Rice didn't get over 100 total yards. Look for some screen passes to him to take advantage of the Texans pass rush bearing down on Flacco.
Jamison: Would it be wise for the Bengals to trade up for future star trent richardson? Or should they keep their picks and draft a rb later like miller or polk?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
Peter: I've never been a fan of drafting a RB in the first round.
Historically, the Browns haven't had the most luck with free agents. It's tough to get players to want to come to Cleveland. Do you see the Browns making a splash this year with their cap space, or will it be another year of purely building through the draft?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:26 PM)
Aaron: It really depends on who is out there on the free-agent market. There might be some interesting cap cuts, too. The Browns need to be active in free agency.
Do you see Woodley being 100% next year or will this injury be a nagging one??
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
Cricket: A full year should be enough time for the hamstring injury to get better. I don't see any problems with Woodley bouncing back.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
Thank you all for a great chat. Hope you enjoy the games this weekend.