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January 25, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:00 PM)

Thank you everyone for stopping by for this week's chat. It feels a little strange because this is the first time I'm chatting and there's no AFC North teams playing this weekend. But there are a lot of questions to be answered. Let's kick it off ...

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear JamisonWill there be training camp in Westminster next year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

No Ravens training camp at Westminster's McDaniel College. Camp will be held at the Ravens facility, which is closed to the public. The team will hold a few public practices, likely at M&T Bank Stadium. But nothing has been announced. But it won't be like the past when over 100,000 attended Ravens practices each summer.

Paul (Baltimore)

Who has a better Defense, Ravens or Giants? Reason I ask is the mighty Ravens held Tom terrific to 23 points and the Giants who 105.7 stated that they "snuck into the playoffs" held them to 20 without some key starters?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

Paul: It's easy to make any argument by looking at one game or one common opponent. You have to look at a series of games or an entire season. The Ravens defense ranked No. 3 in the NFL, and the Giants finished No. 27. Who do you think has the better defense? I think you know the answer.

Cloud1902 (Ohio)

JH I'm a big fan! I was just wondering what are the chances the Browns resign Phil Dawson or at least Franchise Tag him. He has been a staple for the Browns.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Cloud: If it was me, I would place the franchise tag on Dawson. But most assume the Browns consider $4 million (the expected cost of the tag for kickers) would be too much for a kicker. If Dawson hits free agency, he's gone. He's already moved his family to Texas. If the Browns don't use the tag, they'll be searching for another kicker.

Logan (The Ohio Valley)

Will the Steelers get a contract extension for WR Mike Wallace. He is a RFA, and the Steelers have showed a capacity for letting their top WR's walk (Holmes, Burress). Also we have a more than capable WR core (Brown, Sanders, Cotch, Heath). His contract will need to be significant to keep him, and he would certainly bring a 1st round pick if traded, but is it worth loosing one of the best play making WR's in the league?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

Logan: Wallace isn't going anywhere. The smart move would be to try to sign him to a long-term deal now. His price tag will only go up. And, if the Steelers can't get him signed to a new deal, they won't let him hit free agency after next season. Pittsburgh will use the tag on him. You don't let receivers like Mike Wallace walk away.

Pete (Cincinnati)

Jamison, love your work. What do you think the Bengals should do at #17 and #21. Would be thrilled if DeCastro was around but not looking good.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Pete: I really do like Stanford guard David DeCastro. I would consider it a no-brainer for the Bengals to take him there. After hitting on A.J. Green and Andy Dalton last year, the Bengals would be lucky to get DeCastro because he is a safe pick and he fills a big need. But DeCastro might not be there at No. 17. Dallas could take him at No. 14.

John (Baltimore)

At age 34 (next September), with seemingly constant neck injuries and a $7.2 million cap number, do you think Newsome and the Ravens would consider parting ways with Ed Reed?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

John: If Ed Reed wants to play, the Ravens will do whatever it takes to keep him. They might approach him about restructuring. But Ozzie Newsome won't part with Reed.

Brad (Berkeley, CA)

Hey JH. Thanks for a great season of AFCN coverage. If the Steelers stay in house, I assume Randy Fichtner is probably getting looked at, but would they consider Scottie Montgomery given the development of our WRs? If they were to go with someone outside the organization, any thoughts as to who they should (not necessarily will) look at?

Pat Kelly (Pittsburgh)

JH, what do your sources say about the next Steelers offensive coordinator? Local news has Sean Kugler and Randy Fichtner as being on the short list of heir apparents. did Kirby Wilson's house fire cost him this promotion opportunity?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

Brad & Pat: My thinking is the Steelers will promote QB coach Randy Fichtner. All indications point to the Steelers promoting from within for offensive coordinator. Wilson would have been at the top of the list, but there's no timetable on his return after the injuries suffered at the house fire. And, according to Post-Gazette, OL coach Sean Kugler told a Pittsburgh radio station that he doesn't have any interest in the coordinator job.

Frank Bullitt (NY)

Will the Ravens finally get rid of Cam Cameron this off-season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Frank: That's still being discussed. I'm not sure if Cameron and Flacco can co-exist long term.

JimA (Baltimore)

Chuck Pagano is my personal favorite in a line of outstanding Ravens defensive coordinators because his combination of pre-game preparation and in-game flexibility/adjustments. I know he's interviewing with the Colts, and that he will eventually be offered a head coach position somewhere, what are the chances it happens next season vs. 2 or 3 years from now?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

JimA: If Pagano keeps the Ravens in the top 5 in defense for the next couple of seasons, he will have a good shot at becoming a head coach. It happened to past Ravens defensive coordinators: Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan and Rex Ryan. Other defensive coaches on the Ravens staff (Mike Singletary and Jack Del Rio) have also gone onto head coaching positions. So, the pedigree is there.

Bobby (Baltimore)

JH you posted an article on Monday about the epic Ravens choke on Sunday, and I have been thinking about it ever since. Do you think that, perhaps, it was a bit of an overreaction or do you think that the Ravens rep is really becoming one of being playoff chokers in the Harbaugh era? If it is the latter how long do you think it will be until Bisciotti gives up on Harbaugh? The last thing we need is to turn into the Philadelphia Eagles of the AFC.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Bobby: Not an overreaction. Last year at Pittsburgh, the Ravens couldn't hold a 21-7 halftime lead and turned the ball over three times in the third quarter. Last Sunday in New England, the Ravens failed to hold onto a winning touchdown pass and missed a game-tying kick in the final 30 seconds. Teams start to gain bad reputations from this.

Anthony (Cleveland)

How hard is it for a tackle to start playing guard. It seems the Bengals have a bit of depth at tackle, and no quality guards. I'd like to see Anthony Collins get more playing time there.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

Anthony: If the Bengals aren't able to draft a top-notch guard (DeCastro), Collins is definitely in the mix to move to guard. They do have to get him more playing time. But he isn't better than tackles Andrew Whitworth or Andre Smith.

Kevin Francis (Japan)

With the season over for the AFC North, do u think the ravens will have another chance to sweap the division or is there a grude being held this time around?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Kevin: The Ravens swept the division last season but it was the first time they did that in their 16-year existence. So, it's not going to happen often. It will be difficult for them to do against the likes of Bengals and Steelers. The Ravens will definitely contend for another AFC North title, but there's also a good chance that they could finish third in the division, too. The AFC North could be a tougher division next year, which is scary to say.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Sorry about your Rats...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Michael: You must have the wrong person. I don't have any pest problems at my house. But thanks for the concern.

omarlittle4 (Dayton, Ohio)

When does free agency period start this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

omarlittle: It will happen in March. The NFL hasn't announced an exact date. I thought I heard March 13 floating around, though.

Debbie (Piney Flats, Tn)

If the Steelers get healthy this offseason, do you think they will be good in 2012?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Debbie: There will be changes with the Steelers. Hampton, Farrior, Aaron Smith and others could all be gone. But Pittsburgh has good depth. If the Steelers stay healthy, they will be right there with the Ravens and Bengals in the AFC North race.

mexsteeler (nyc)

Do you think that Hines Ward will play football next year and will he play on another team if the Steelers release him?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

mexsteeler: It's really up to whether the Steelers want him back. Ward has made it clear that he'll take a pay cut from his $4 salary. My gut says right now that Ward will be playing in Arizona next season.

They'll never catch (the real scanster)

Hey JH, if Cam Cameron does get the axe this off-season, who are the likely candidates to replace him? Is there anyone promising in-house, or are we looking for a Hue Jackson type hire?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

Scanster: The only in-house candidate that I could see is the WR coach Hostler, who was a coordinator in San Francisco. It didn't work out well there, though. So, you could be looking at Hue Jackson. Harbaugh also has a connection to Brad Childress but that would speculation at this point.

Jack (Rochester )

What do you think the Ravens should do with their kicking situation. Should they keep Cundiff, draft someone or get a Kicker through FA?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

Jack: The knee jerk reaction is to get rid of Cundiff. But he was a Pro Bowl kicker in 2010, so you have to see if he can bounce back. But the Ravens have to bring in competition after he missed that 32-yarder in New England (which was his 10th miss on the road this season).

Sal (NJ)

Jamison, who is going to have the better D next year Steelers or Baltimore?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Sal: It depends on how Ziggy Hood, Steve McLendon and Cameron Heyward do as starters.

Brian (PA )

Hello JH! How are you today? Given Mike Holmgren's history of finding franchise QBs through non-traditional means (Brett Farve, Matt Hasselbeck) how much will the Browns be in the hunt for Matt Flynn when free agency starts? And is he less risky than spending a 1st round pick? Thanks!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

Brian: The Browns should be interested in Matt Flynn. But Holmgren said that the Browns are more likely to draft a quarterback than sign one in free agency. If you really want to bring in someone who can compete with McCoy right away, you need to draft a quarterback in the first round (and no later than the second).

Michael (Cincinnati)

Logan, are you serious?

Steve B. (Columbus Oh.)

Do you expect the Browns to move up and Draft RG3?I realize this would be a Popular move with most Browns fans but I see it differently. They have so many other glaring needs and I feel until they start filling some of them they are just going to keep wasting picks on QBs and ruining every one of them.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

Steve: I don't see the Browns moving up. I see them staying at No. 4 or dropping back. You hear rumblings that the Browns really like RG3. I'm not sold at this point. He still has a lot of hurdles to jump before the draft in April.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Why are your chats only a half hour long? Are the ESPN honchos afraid to turn you loose?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

In the past, the questions tailed off after a half hour. I will answer when there are good questions to answer. We're at 38 minutes and counting ...

Nick (Denver)

Jamison... look into your crystal ball - what does the future of Ray Rice look like? Do the Ravens franchise him? Sign him long term? He is a fantastic player, but I'm not sure how smart it is to pay huge bucks to a running back. Look at recent Super Bowl teams... none of them have a "feature back" like Rice, they all have committees.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

Nick: I believe the Ravens will franchise him. Of course, if they have enough cap room, they should sign Rice to a long-term deal and franchise Grubbs.

Tony (Columbus, OH)

Who is a likely candidate to take the OC position in Cleveland?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

Tony: You get the sense that the Browns' first choice is Mike Sherman. But unfortunately for the Browns, it looks like he is the leading candidate for the head coaching job in Tampa.

D-Bo (st. pete, fl)

Hey Jamison, with A.smith and Hoke at the end of their careers and Hampton in his mid 30's could you see the Steelers going DLine again in the 1st Rd, even though the obvious pick would be a OLineman

JoeCool (College Park)

Will ESPN give you a vote in Power Rankings next season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

D-Bo: Steelers have to address either offensive or defensive line in the first round. You can see they really put a great value on the defensive line. Look at the high picks they've spend on there.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

Joe Cool: Not sure. Hasn't been discussed. Many bloggers don't have a vote.

D-Bo (st. pete, fl)

Your thought s on Mendenhall? He will be a FA after next season and might not even be ready by week 1... with the stable of RB's Pittsburgh has (Redman, Dwyer, Clay, Moore) will they pay him BIG $$$ or release him?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:43 PM)

D-Bo: My guess is that Mendenhall will start the season on PUP. His fate will be evaluated after that.

Jake (Baltimore)

Is Sergio Kindle in the Ravens plans for next year, or pretty considered a bust at this point?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:44 PM)

Jake: Not a bust. But certainly a disappointment. They really wanted Kindle ready to replace Jarret Johnson, who is a FA now. Obviously, that plan has changed.

shazor (Findlay, OH)

hey jamison, we all know the browns need a QB and a WR, but which of these positions is a more important need for the browns, RT, DE, FS?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

I would say (in order): DE, RT and FS. They really need someone on the opposite side of Sheard.

Omar (Dayton)

Jamison, Zimmer or Coyle ? Who is my d coordinator in 2012?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

Zimmer. Coyle will be DC in Miami.

Steve B. (Columbus Oh.)

I personally believe the Browns should give McCoy 1 more year, Maybe use thier 2 first rounders this year on another reciever and an Offensive linemen and see if that helps. Your Thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:46 PM)

McCoy is a fallback option at this point.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Jamison, is Andre Smith starting to become the fine offensive lineman the Bengals drafted him to be? Do you think he has put his past problems in the rearview mirror?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:46 PM)

Al: Smith was one of the most improved players in the division. He still has work to do. This season will show whether the past problems are behind him.

Anthony (Cleveland)

With Mike Brown's history, dont you think that he will wait for Jerome Simpson not to get signed after all this trouble, then he can just sign him cheap?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

Anthony: That is a possibility. I just see Simpson going elsewhere.

Ray (DC)

45 minute chat so far, Hensley is a beast!

John (Cincinnati)

JH with the Bengals struggling with secondary depth could you see them making a free agency move for someone like Brent Grimes or Courtland Finnegan? and use their two draft picks on a guard or RB like Lamar Miller from Miami?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

John: Marvin Lewis loves taking CBs in the first round. They need someone young to eventually replace Clements.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

Thank you all for participating in the chat. I will be at the Super Bowl next week, so we'll see if we need to adjust the chat. Appreciate all the great questions. Have a great week.