Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:00 PM)
Thanks for joining the chat today. I apologize for moving it for a second week in a row. It's my 40th birthday tomorrow, so I needed to switch the chat to today. Now, let's start the chat.
Do you think the Ravens will make the playoffs?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:02 PM)
While some will accuse me of drinking the purple Kool-Aid, I still believe the Ravens are a playoff team. There's no question that the loss of Dennis Pitta (hip) for the season hurts the Ravens. But this isn't like 2001, when the Ravens lost running back Jamal Lewis. The defense will be better than last year, especially against the run, and the Ravens will still be able to run the ball with Rice, Pierce and Leach.
Brad (Baltimore) [via mobile]
In your guess how do you see the Ravens WR depth chart unfolding? 1 - 2- 3- 4-
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:03 PM)
My projection is this: Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss, Jacoby Jones, Deonte Thompson and either David Reed or LaQuan Williams for that last spot (which is really a special teams spot). I feel Doss compliments Smith more than Jones. Plus, Jones can be the full-time returner if he's the No. 3 receiver like last year.
Ricky Snow (Cincinnati)
What are the odds that George Iloka actually starts opposite Reggie Nelson this year for the Bengals?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:05 PM)
My pecking order for the Bengals' strong safety spot is Shawn Williams, Taylor Mays and George Iloka. I like Iloka and the Bengals do as well. His style of play is better suited for free safety. Williams is smart and has good instincts. He could start as a rookie.
Mark g [via mobile]
If Brandon weeden turns out to be a top 15 QB,,,Will the browns have a legit chance at a wild card run.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:07 PM)
That's a pretty big 'if.' Going on that premise, the Browns would be a .500 team. That's the best-case scenario for Cleveland this year. The Browns lack depth, and injuries will hurt them more than other teams. They also are still vulnerable against the run. I feel they should have upgraded more at TE, ILB, CB, FS and FB. So, it's not all Weeden's fault if the Browns have another losing season.
Ari (State College, PA)
Hey Hensley, I think you're one of the few people online who know what they're talking in regards to the Steelers so here goes. Due to injuries last year, many players under-performed based on the lack of talent around them. If the whole team manages to stay healthy for the year, which players do you see really bouncing back and having Pro Bowl level seasons?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:10 PM)
The one player that the Steelers have to keep healthy is Ben Roethlisberger. To limit the hits on Big Ben, the Steelers need to keep both offensive tackles (Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams) healthy. On defense, the key player is Troy Polamalu. While the Steelers can limit teams as far as yards without Polamalu, he is critical to Pittsburgh generating turnovers.
Luke Carlisle, PA [via mobile]
Any news or updates on the Sean Spence front?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:12 PM)
Spence is on the PUP list and can't practice in training camp. It's going to be a long road back from that devastating knee injury. But Spence has tested it out cutting and has gained some of his speed back.
Kevin (Baltimore, MD)
Hey JH, How involved do you think Kyle Juszczyk will be in the Ravens passing offense?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:13 PM)
Remember Juszcyk was more of an H-back than a pure fullback coming out of Harvard. He'll be in a better position to make an impact in the passing game than the ground one. It's going to take some time for him to become an NFL lead blocker.
Kyle (Cincinnati Ohio)
Do you think the bengals will get a contract extension done with geno atkins befor the season starts?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:15 PM)
I talked to Geno at training camp yesterday. He really didn't want to talk about his contract. My guess is the Bengals don't get anything done with him before the season. The Bengals have some leverage with the franchise tag next year. Cincinnati, though, has to find a way to get this deal done. The Bengals can't let him walk after the 2014 season.
Michael (Canton, OH)
Living in Canton and all the festivities that have been happening, I've been wondering if any player from the Bengals will join Anthony Munoz in the Hall of Fame?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:17 PM)
As long as the Bengals can figure out a way to keep him there long term, A.J. Green will be a Hall of Fame receiver if he continues on this path. He is clearly the best player on the Bengals' team. But he's only in his third season. There's a lot of football to be played by Green.
Browns Fan (Living in Cincy)
I am very curious who you think will be lining up at CB across from Joe Haden and who will lining up at the other saftey position next to Ward? Thanks.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:18 PM)
I'm pretty confident in saying Tashaun Gipson will be the free safety lining up next to T.J. Ward. The cornerback position is more up in the air. The Browns want rookie third-round pick Leon McFadden to win the job. But, if the season began today, the Browns would start Chris Owens.
Jeff (Columbus, Ohio)
Jamison,While you were at Bengals camp earlier this week, how did the offensive line look? To me, the o-line is the only thing that could hold back the offense from progressing this year, particularly after the o-line fell apart last December and January. What do you think?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:20 PM)
To be honest, it was hard to analyze the Bengals' offensive line when I was there. LT Andrew Whitworth and LG Clint Boling didn't practice either day I was out there. And RT Andre Smith was held out one day. This line, though, has the potential to be good. The weakest spot is at center, where Kyle Cook is trying to beat out Trevor Robinson for that spot.
Lewis (Piqua, Ohio.)
Hi Jamison, What were your first look impression's of Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard ?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:21 PM)
Eifert has a lot of size and has good hands. Bernard has a good burst. Both have made plays in this camp.
Justin (Syracuse, NY)
If it were up to you, who would you have the Bengals starting safety opposite Reggie Nelson be?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:22 PM)
Shawn Williams, rookie third-round pick. He is the most talented candidate. The biggest drawback is his inexperience.
Greg (Williamsport, PA)
Any updates on Heath Miller? When do you expect him back this year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:24 PM)
Miller told the team's website that he can run and make cuts, but he gave no timetable on his return from ACL surgery. If the Steelers believe he can play in October, they will take him off PUP. If they see him out for a longer period, the Steelers will keep him on PUP, which sidelines him for at least the first six weeks.
Marc Schenker (Ft. Lauderdale)
Regarding the Ravens' wide out situation, if Jocoby Jones starts at end, do you think David Reed could get the kickoff return chores? Thanks.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:25 PM)
I get the feeling that Deonte Thompson will get a crack as a returner if Jacoby Jones is the No. 2 receiver.
Casey K. (OHIO)
Out of Dion Lewis, Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson, and Chris Ogbonnaya who do you see coming out of camp as Trent Richardson's backup and who do you think gets left off of the team?
Charles (Columbus, OH)
Jamison, look into your crystall ball for me. Is Barkevious Mingo be a boom or bust in Cleveland?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:28 PM)
Hardesty, if he's healthy. And, as Browns fans know, there's no guarantee that this will happen.
ronnie d (rochester,ny)
You always hate on the browns like do you do your homework on them or not they were 5-11 last year and lost 7 games by 7 pts or less and we started a lot of rookies this year we added good players and a great draft pick I think you need to wake up and quit being a homer to cincy pitt and the ravens your the worst blogger ever and always are negative bout clev pretty much your clueless
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:29 PM)
Thank goodness I'm a homer and not a grammar teacher.
Frank (Beyrut, Lebanon)
who will back up NGATA? cody or williams?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:30 PM)
I would go with Brandon Williams, but coaches tell me that he has to improve his footwork. I have been underwhelmed by Cody for a while.
Art (Newark, DE)
How do you think the Dolphins are gonna play this year due to all the offseason moves they made?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:31 PM)
Sleeper playoff team.
True or False: Bengals will finish the season with a Top 10 Offense and a Top 10 Defense.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:32 PM)
False to the offense part and true on the defense. I wouldn't be surprised if Bengals finished with No. 1 defense. Like their depth at defensive line and cornerback.
Charles (Columbus, OH)
You posted my question, but there was no response for Mingo.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:32 PM)
Sorry about that. There was a blip in the chat. I believe Mingo will be a very effective pass rusher. I still have questions on whether he will hold up against the run.
Hey Jamison. Over or Under 15 rushing TD's for T-Rich this year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:33 PM)
Slightly under, which is not bad at all.
Wes (Williamsport, PA)
I'm predicting that the Steelers go 12-4 and win the division.Think that's realistic? Where do you have the Steelers finishing?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:35 PM)
I don't have them at 12-4, that's for sure. Ben Roethlisberger has to remain healthy and play at a high level for that to happen. I'm just skeptical about the Steelers' depth.
Kevin (Beltsville, MD)
Season predictions on records for the AFC north?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:36 PM)
Will save that when it gets closer to the regular season.
Charles (Columbus, OH)
What is your prediction for Vontaze Burfict's sophomore NFL seasoN? Will he self destruct, or continue to progress, and produce, for Marvin Lewis on defense?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:38 PM)
Burfict will be the same as last year. I don't see him really growing as a player until the Bengals put him at MLB, which is his more natural position. I spoke with him at the end of practice yesterday, and he still has a chip on his shoulder.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (3:39 PM)
Thanks for the questions. I travel to Cleveland to see the Browns on Monday and Tuesday. The chat will remain on Wednesday next week. Hope you have a great rest of the week.