Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Baltimore Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley stops by to chat and answer all of your Ravens questions.
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 and son.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
Thanks for joining today's chat. In case you missed it, the Ravens cut safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Marcus Spears. I also asked Ray Rice today about the alleged spitting incident with Browns DT Phil Taylor and he said it wasn't intentional. Let's get to the questions.
Jim B. (Taneytown, MD)
Keep up the great work JH. Since the trade deadline has come and gone and the Ravens failed to make an improvement to their shaky WR core, do you foresee the Ravens and Cardinals working out a deal for Larry Fitzgerald like they did for Anquan Boldin a few years back?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:06 PM)
Jim B.: The Ravens really don't have the cap room to get a wide receiver of that caliber. If there is going to be a big deal for a WR, it's going to be extending Torrey Smith. He's entering the final year of his contract in 2014. The Ravens are going to have to add another WR next season, though. I don't see them bringing back Jacoby Jones. So, they will add someone to the mix of Smith, Marlon Brown, Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson. Just don't expect a big name.
Brad (Lynchburg, VA)
JH, What to do with Tyrod? Last week you gave a pretty resounding 'no' on getting him on the field. At the end of the season do the ravens look to get rid of him and look for another back up or hold on to him?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
Brad: Tyrod is an adequate backup quarterback who gives you a different skill set to get you through a couple of games if Flacco ever gets hurt. But Flacco hasn't missed a game, so the Ravens haven't had to invest in a proven backup. The Ravens aren't going to put him on the field, especially after giving Flacco that big contract. Baltimore really doesn't have to make a decision on him anytime soon. He's signed through 2014.
Kyle (Pittsburgh, Pa)
Do you expect the Ravens to get a Wr or stick it out with talent they have now
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:09 PM)
They'll stay with what they have. The Ravens like the potential of Brown and are getting some production out of Doss. WR isn't a position of strength. But it has potential to grow and become better.
why not bring jacoby back? no sal cap room? and what are the chances of extending Daryl smith?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:11 PM)
Jones isn't a Harbaugh-type guy. He lost some points when he was involved in that party bus incident. Plus, the emergence of Tandon Doss as a punt returner and receiver hurts Jones. Doss is cheaper and giving the same amount of production. The Ravens can use the cap room on another position.
John (Columbus, Ohio)
JamisonCan you give us an update on John Simon's development? How is he being viewed now and into the future.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
The Ravens are hoping he develops into a core special teams player. He is tied for second with three special teams tackles. Harbaugh likes his toughness, but he didn't win over too many people with that dumb penalty a couple of weeks ago.
What happened yesterday?!?! What happened before the trade deadline that precluded the Ravens from acquiring a WR??
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
The only WR that would fit under the Ravens' cap was Kenny Britt and he came with a lot of baggage. The Ravens obviously felt that renting him for nine games wasn't worth a fourth or fifth-round pick. Hard to blame them.
Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)
When am I going to play again?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
My guess is late November (perhaps after Steelers game) or early December.
Arthur Jones (Baltimore)
Franchise tag for me? Or is it going to Monroe?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
I will have to check again, but the Ravens may not have the cap room to use the tag. I expect the Ravens to let Jones go (his play has priced himself out of coming back) and sign Monroe to a long-term deal.
JMO! Thoughts on how the bye helped Rice with his hip - should we expect less hesitation at the line, or will the fear of getting de-cleated in the backfield continue? How much does the bye help guys like Yanda and Osemele?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
Harbaugh emphasized that the team is as healthy as it's been all season. All 53 guys are expected to practice. Rice said today that he felt like he turned the corner in the Steelers game and felt a week of not getting hit really helped him. Like you pointed out, the health of the offensive line is the more important storyline. If the line struggles, the Ravens are going to struggle.
Gabe A. (Columbus, OH)
Hey JH going off of what Jim said, where do you think the Ravens go with the first pick in the draft? Clearly they need another receiving option, but they also might need to address offensive line if they can't bring Oher and Monroe back. Or do you foresee them going in a different direction?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
In no particular order: RT, TE (if Pitta isn't' re-signed) and DL.
Any chance the Ravens go after a veteran receiver like Manningham to replace Jones this offseason?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
It depends on how cheap he will come to the Ravens.
If Jones leaves does that mean Brandon Williams takes his spot or does Ngata move to Jones' spot and Williams moves to nose tackle?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
All of that is speculation at this point. Jones is still on the team for nine games in this season.
Juan Castillo (Baltimore)
How long am I in Baltimore for?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:20 PM)
This is the first year of a three-year deal. So, I doubt Castillo is going anywhere next year.
Robbie (Louisville, KY)
What have the Ravens done to strengthen special teams that Harbaugh keeps iterating needs to be done?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
The Ravens signed two young special teams players -- Omar Brown and Brynden Trawick -- to replace Huff and Spears. Also, the return of Jameel McClain means Bynes gets more reps on special teams. All of those moves should help.
is this sunday game the most crucial of the season for the ravens? a lost there and i cant see them making a run
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
I'm addressing the 'must-win' theme in a blog post Thursday. Yes, the dreaded teaser.
Brad (Lynchburg, VA)
Spears was let go because he was hurt and Williams was showing he was better, but did Harbaugh make an example of Huff's poor play or was he just unloading someone who wasn't working up to their contract?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
When you cut two recognizable names, it sends a message that everyone needs to pick up their games. You're right about Spears. He was hurt because he was never in great shape. Plus, Brandon Williams was outplaying him. As far as Huff goes, he wasn't showing any intensity on special teams. He was a liability.
Matt C (Odenton, MD)
What are you thoughts on the Cleveland matchup? Does the O-Line get handled by Phil Taylor again? Do Campbel and Gordon light up this defense?Or do the Ravens come out with a new fire and mentality?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
Yes, first Browns question! I almost forgot the Ravens were playing the Browns. The Ravens are going to have double coverage on Gordon the whole game. There's been a priority on limiting big plays, and Gordon is one of the best big-play wide receivers in the game right now. As far as the Ravens offense goes, I believe they're going to test the Browns' run defense. Baltimore knows it can't get in third-and-longs. If there are too many third-and-longs, the Ravens know they won't be able to handle to Browns' pass rush. The Ravens really respect Cleveland's ability to pressure the QB.
Peter (New Orleans)
Jeez, have we already given up on the season that we're already asking so many questions about the draft? I want to know if you see the Ravens making the playoffs for a sixth straight year. Or at least finishing with a winning record and ahead of the Steelers and Browns.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
I don't see the Ravens catching the Bengals. I expect them to split with Cincy and finish in second place. But look at the wild-card race. The Ravens are one game behind the Chargers. They have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs when you look at the teams they're competing against (Jets, Dolphins, Browns and Titans).
Always like to pick your brain so I'll go for one more - what are the chances Ngata stays with the Ravens? Between increasing minor injuries, declining performance and his cap hit will they say goobye to the Chicken Man?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
Once again, I'll have to check this but I believe the Ravens would take a massive cap hit if they released Ngata next offseason. They might try to get Ngata to take a pay cut. But I don't see the Ravens cutting him in 2014.
Does Tandon Doss have a chance to be a starter in the future?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
I believe so. The reason I say that is the Ravens are showing signs of becoming an offense that goes three-wide instead of using a fullback. It wouldn't shock me if the Ravens rely on Torrey Smith, Marlon Brown and Tandon Doss (in the slot) as their top three next season.
So much has been said about the way Castillo has changed the O-Line blocking schemes. Why is Harbaugh bringing in guys to change things that obviously worked (last years playoff run dominance) and allow it to continue 8 weeks of being absolutely awful?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:33 PM)
Juan Castillo is one of the most respected line coaches in the league. I know it's hard to see that right now. I thought it was a great move this offseason. The problem is, when players don't have success, it's tough to get them to buy into a new system. That's the challenge right now.
Ray W. (Binghamton, NY)
Hey JH! Moving forward, what does the o-line plan to do to help improve the running game and their protection of Flacco? I vaguely remember K.O. saying before the season that he and Yanda were the best Guard tandem in the NFL but there have been way too many penalties and missed assignments.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:35 PM)
When I watch Yanda and KO, I question whether they're fully healthy. Yanda had offseason shoulder surgery, and KO is dealing with a back issue that will require surgery at the end of the year. They have the potential to be a great guard tandem. But they're far from it so far this year.
Gabe A (Columbus, OH)
One more question for you JH. Do you see the Ravens attempting more deep passes in the second half of the season? Obviously Flacco hasn't had much success thus far this season with the deep ball, even though it's his strength. Do you think we will start to see the receivers get open, the line block better, and Flacco unload deep?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
The Ravens are going to take more shots downfield, especially with Jacoby Jones back in the lineup. What the Ravens have to do is get defenses to respect the ground game. Because defenses can stop the Ravens from running with seven in the box, they can play both of their safeties deep. You can't force the deep pass. But that's clearly one of Flacco's strengths. It stood out in the Super Bowl run.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:39 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions. Let's do this again next week. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week and Sunday's game. Remember it's a 4:25PM kickoff for the Ravens at Browns.