Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:00 PM)
Thanks for joining the chat today. Sorry it got bumped to Thursday. I was out watching the Ravens practice yesterday. Let's not waste any time and kick off the chat.
Sean (New York)
Hey Jamison. Sean here again (Ravens fan) back with a couple questions. Are the Ravens really not going to sign Justin Tucker? What happened to a little competition for Billy? Also, all of the analysts during the AFC North special on ESPN had the Steelers finishing third. Can you really see this happening? Are the Bengals the Ravens biggest division threat? Thanks.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
Justin Tucker wasn't at OTAs yesterday, so I'm assuming he wasn't signed. He was on a tryout basis during rookie minicamp. Honestly, an undrafted kicker wasn't going to be real competition for Cundiff. If the Ravens really wanted to do so, they would've signed Neil Rackers when he was available. As for the Steelers, it's difficult for me to think they would finish any season in third place with a healthy Roethlisberger. He's the key to any season for Pittsburgh.
Greg (Williamsport, PA)
Do believe the Steelers will go back to a run-first team under Haley or use Big Ben like he should be used and throw the ball?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:03 PM)
Haley's system revolves around the talent on the team. The Steelers have the personnel to throw the ball. I don't see them being a run-first team. But I don't see them ignoring the run as much as Arians did in the past.
With all of the love being poured on the Bengals for their great offseason, do you see them being this year's 2011 Eagles?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
I don't think of them being the 2011 Eagles. The Bengals had a good offseason but they're far from the Dream Team hype. The biggest fear for the Bengals is to turn into the 2010 Bengals. That's the team that followed up a playoff season with a four-win season.
TheTooSmooth (Las Vegas, NV)
I'mmm baaack. What's going on Mr. Hensley? Where do you see the Steelers' offensive line ranking among the league this season? Are Mike Adams and DeCastro the answer we Steeler fans have been looking for? Or will we once again be having an injured Big Ben halfway through the season?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:06 PM)
Where the Steelers rank will depend on Mike Adams, the second-round pick out of Ohio State. If he can start immediately as a rookie, the Steelers will have one of the best young lines in the league. If he doesn't have the strength to play right away, the Steelers' current contingency plan isn't great. Right now, the top backup is Jonathan Scott. Of course, the Steelers could look to re-sign Max Starks again.
Justin Gottschalk (Newark, Ohio)
With the line shake up in Pittsburgh I have two questions. I love the additions that Pittsburgh made in the draft, but in my opinion it is slightly unrealistic to think the line is going to show major improvement until late in the season, would you agree? Also, with little film on Colon and none with him at guard, do you know if he will be effective pulling to open up the counter play?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
I agree that the line will probably be better in the second half of the season than the first. But I don't think it will be a disaster early in the season. As far as Colon, it is really hard to say what he brings to the guard position. Some think that's his natural position. I hope to see this up close when I go to Steelers minicamp next month.
Andrew (Cleveland, OH)
I know you explained why the dream scenario for the Browns is 8-8, but is there no way we can have a 9-7 or better? I know we have a hard schedule, but schedules are based on prior years' success. Lots of teams fate change over the course of two years, why not the Browns?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
I went over the scenarios and I just don't see one where the Browns get a winning record. The schedule is just too tough. I know teams change from year to year, I just don't see the Browns winning more than three games in the division. The same goes against the NFC East, where I have Cleveland losing three times. I also feel that games against San Diego and Denver are losses as well. That adds up to eight losses right there.
Jesse (Erie, PA)
any chance three AFC north teams making the playofs again im all for being the best division.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
It was quite an accomplishment for the division to get three teams to the playoffs last year. It doesn't happen very often. I think the realistic number is two playoff teams. The AFC North was helped last year by playing two bad divisions in the AFC South and NFC West. It will be tougher this year.
Brad (Berkeley, CA)
Hey JH. With the revamped OL, do you think Haley will give more attention to TEs in the passing game?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
The Steelers need to look at Heath Miller more in the red zone. I think he gets ignored there too much. Also, remember the Steelers signed Leonard Pope, who is a favorite of Haley.
Michael Vannoy (Canton, Ohio)
With the Bengals going with the running back by committee route, does that mean Green-Ellis will have fewer touches than Benson last year and Scott more than his previous year? Let us not forget how wonderful Leonard is as a 3rd down back. He came up huge for us quite a few times last year. What, if any, will his role be?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
I still believe BJGE will get as many or close to the same number of snaps as Benson. The Bengals will spread the carries around, but they won't take them away from BJGE if he is being productive. When it comes to the red zone, BJGE won't be coming off the field.
Rich (Bellevue, WA)
Seriously? Jonathan Scott is the top backup at left tackle? After the way he stunk up the field last year? With Essex coming in in the best shape he's ever been in? Essex, Starks, or someone-else will be the top backup, not Scott, and I'll back up that opinion with cash, if you're a wagering man.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
If Scott isn't the top backup right now, why are the Steelers paying him $2.2 million in 2012?
Considering the Bengals upgraded their running game and have weapons like Green, Gresham, Shipley, Jones, and Sanu do you think Andy Dalton will be able to avoid the sophomore slump?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
The only way the Dalton suffers a slump is if no one steps up as the No. 2 wide receiver. The strongest part of Dalton's game was anticipation. He threw the ball before the receivers made their break. That shows me that the learning curve is shorter for him than other quarterbacks going into their second season.
shazor (Findlay, OH)
jamison i think you can be a little hard on the browns sometimes, i am not saying that they are elite but i certainly think they have enough solid pieces in place to be better than at least one of the 31 other nfl teams 3 years from now, do you honestly believe that the browns will be the worst team in the nfl 3 years from now? (and please do not give some politically correct answer about how it is a QB driven league and weeden not being proven yet because he is a rookie, i would like some depth behind this reasoning)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
The NFL Future Poll was compiled by Dilfer, Kiper, Williamson and Horton. I merely commented on it. Don't blame all negative Browns blogs on me.
In that 2015 prediction scenario had BJGE fumbled yet? ;)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:23 PM)
He will never fumble. Ever. Even after he retires, you won't be able to slap car keys out of his hands.
Mark Ravenwood (Allentown)
Any chance of Little developing hands in the offseason? Weeden is really going to need him.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
In defense of Little, he didn't play football in 2010 because of NCAA rules violation. So, maybe after a full season, he'll catch the ball a little better.
Brett (Columbus, OH)
How can you justify making DeCastro one of the top 5 linemen in the division? Is it based on potential? Because based on actual play, he has never taken a snap in this division. Alex Mack was much more deserving of that spot. Why omit him?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
If you read the top of the blog, it's about projection. Doing a top 5 ranking based solely off last year is pretty boring.
Ray (Upstate, NY)
Whats up J-moH? You've touched on it before, but I wanted to know how good the Ravens Corners could potentially be... also, Can you see the Bengals hitting a "sophomore slump" this season with all the hype and success they had last year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
The Ravens corners can be really good. When I watched practice yesterday, Jimmy Smith looks really smooth. I still think he will be the team's best corner by the end of the year. Lardarius Webb was outstanding last year and the challenge will be to keep playing at that level. Webb is good but he's no Joe Haden.
WYOsteelers (Casper, WY)
Colon has never played OG so nobody knows how he will do BUT do you see Rainey being used like a McCluster was in KC? I know Brown will not be used in ST at all now. Also, what backs miss the cut for Pittsburgh? Baron, Clay, or Dwyer? thanks
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
As soon as the Steelers drafted Rainey, I thought that was the first pick that was influenced by Haley. He was there in KC when the Chiefs drafted McCluster. I see them as similar types of players. As far as the backs go, I see Dwyer being the top bakup. Clay and Baron will fight for the No. 3 job. Baron could easily be stored on practice squad.
Jamison, do you think that strong offseason performances from the Ravens' back-up runningbacks will hinder a long-term deal for Ray Rice, since he will seem less valuable?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Not at all. The Ravens know the value of Ray Rice. They just don't want to pay him Chris Johnson-type money. That's the holdup in talks.
do you think with the new o.c. the offense will sputter , or excel
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
Steelers will excel with Haley. I see the same type of production from when Haley was OC in Zona.
What role do you see Jordan Cameron playing this year for the Browns!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:33 PM)
A backup one. Evan Moore is the TE to watch.
So Who do you think will have the top defense in our division and how many of us will be in the top 10 this year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
Steelers and two. Not going to say which two, though.
Dave (Toledo, OH)
Not to jynx any team, but which potential AFCN player injury would have the biggest impact on this season's final rankings?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:36 PM)
Steelers: Roethlisberger. Ravens: Flacco. Bengals: A.J. Green. Browns: Trent Richardson.
Time to put on your 3-year projection hat, Mr. Hensley. In 3 years, the starting left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens will be:Kelichi Osemele, Jah Reid, Michael Oher, or player to be named later. Please don't say Michael Oher. No need to take a serviceable/good RT and turn him into a crappy LT.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:37 PM)
Unless the Ravens draft someone, it will be Oher. Reid would project to be a RT. Osemele will stay at guard. Reid played some right tackle at practice yesterday. Sorry for the bad news.
Do anyone know the RB order for the Browns?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
Richardson, Hardesty and either Brandon Jackson or Chris Ogbonnaya at No. 3.
How is the Ravens' 3rd String WR competition going? I am not sold on Jacoby and have been hearing good things about Tandon Doss and I am interested in Tommy Streeter. Any insight?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:39 PM)
It will be Jones barring some major changes in training camp and preseason. For some reason, the Ravens aren't ready to put Doss in games. Streeter looked lost in the practice I watched.
Josh Curtis (Idaho)
Why was Alex Mack overlooked on your lineman ranking? Pouncey is talented, no doubt to that. But Mack has yet to miss a snap in his career, where Pouncey has been plagued by injury. Consistency must count for something right?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:41 PM)
Pouncey is the more talented. Mack is the tougher one. The No. 5 spot came down between Mack and DeCastro. I like DeCastro's upside, so I went with him. It's just an opinion, not fact.
Chuck E Boy (SF Bay Area)
3 teams from the same division a rarity? I though it had never happened before last year. Anyway... for a real question... who of the not-last-years-starts of the DL/LB corps does you gut tell you is going to have the biggest impact/showing this year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:42 PM)
The NFC East did it twice. In 2006 and 2007.
shazor (Findlay, OH)
you certainly didnt disagree with dilfer and the rest of those clowns, and for one dilfer has had it out for cleveland since he failed there a few years back, every analysis he gives of them always puts them in a negative light
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:44 PM)
It's difficult to put Browns in a positive light with 107 losses since rejoining the NFL. Win games and coverage becomes more positive. Pretty simple.
what makes you think Rice is better than Foster and deserves more money than him?i heard you say Rice has better stats over the past 3 years but Arian Foster wasnt a starter in 09.over the past 2 years Foster clearly outperformed Rice,especially in this years playoffs when we needed Rice the most so why should we give him more money than Foster got?also,what makes you think The Law Firm is an upgrade over Benson?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:45 PM)
Add up Rice's total yards for the past two seasons and compare it to Foster. Then get back to me.
Jimmy Vermillion (Spangler)
I liked when James Walker did the AFC North Chats better -- Not a big fan of your style Jamison my boy
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:46 PM)
JW still has a weekly chat. I suggest you check it out. And I did see your later post that says you're kidding.
Shazor the Bengals used to be treated the same way...They stated winning and got more respect...you have to earn it....and we still have to prove we can do it in consecutive years....JH what % chance you give the Bengals of winning their first playoff game in forever 89?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:48 PM)
Well put, Nate. As far as percentage, I say 50 percent. I would like to say higher, but as you pointed out, the Bengals have flopped after good seasons. I do like the talent on the team.
Jim Brown (Cleveland)
Do you agree with me that Trent Richardson is just an ordinary running back?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:50 PM)
Sorry Jim. I know you are a great running back but you're a little off on your analysis of the position. Richardson will be a really good back. Of course, we'll see who is right in a couple of years.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:51 PM)
Thanks for the great chat. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!