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May 9, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks for joining our chat for today. Let's try to hit as many questions as possible.

Ben Housewright (Gray,TN)

What do you think about the way that Roger Goodell adresses concussions i think he needs to let the players hit and if the HB lead with their head or something its their fault. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

The NFL has a couple of issues on this front. With all of the concussion lawsuits, the league has to make sure it is showing a commitment to player safety. Also, concussions not only take players off the field but they can hurt them long term. That's why the NFL and its owners want to take very precaution to protect their investment in players. That's why there are rules and discipline.

cp (reno)

Matt Roth and Brandon Johnson are both visiting the Steelers...depth or can either be rotation guys?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

Roth could be used in a rotation if he can get past his concussions. He is a decent pass rusher. As far as Johnson, he's primarily there for depth. He was a special teams captain for the Bengals last year.

Kurtis, TX [via mobile]

Did Baltimore overvalue Jacoby Jones? 2 year for 7 million seems a bit pricy for a teams 3rd reciever and mediocre punt returner. I thought there were other positional needs the team should have addressed 1st

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

Haven't seen the contract, but that number could be inflated. It might represent a max value if certain incentives are met. Jones was scheduled to make $3 million this season, so a contract averaging $3.5 million is high but not outrageous.

Kris (Missouri) [via mobile]

How devastating is Suggs loss? Ray n Ed Reed only have how many more shots at a title?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

When Suggs got hurt, most talked about how the Ravens would miss him in the pass rush. But Suggs was a really good run defender as well. I think people are underestimating his absence when it comes to stopping running backs.

Brian (Philadelphia)

Assuming the Bengals follow up last season with a successful 2012 season, who do you think would be more likely to leave for a head coaching position: defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer or offensive coordinator Jay Gruden?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

I saw Gruden. He has the name recognition plus he has the advantage of having developed a young QB on his resume. Whatever team is looking for a head coach is probably in a position to take a QB in the first round. That's why Gruden would be more enticing.

Jay (Baltimore)

A few weeks ago you said the Ravens were more Super Bowl ready than the Giants................that appears to be a biased opinion. The game is all about passing and getting to the QB and having a clutch QB.......Giants have a better QB, the best tandem of WRs and a Super pass Rush..........With those three advantages how can you say Ravens are better equipped for a Super Bowl run with a straight face?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

Provide the link where I said the Ravens were more Super Bowl ready than the Giants. I would like to see it.

Jordan (Raleigh)

What are Mike Wallace's options? Sign or sit out? Can he be dealt? Can teams even make trades at this point in the offseason?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Wallace can sit out as long as he wants if he doesn't sign the tender. He is technically not under contract until he signs it. Wallace has until June 15 to sign it or the Steelers can reduce his RFA tender after that point. The Steelers can deal him because they own his rights. My feeling is Wallace skips all of the offseason workouts and shows up at training camp.

Pete (Cincy)

Jamison keep up the good work. I am still not understanding why the Bengals moved from #21 in the draft. DeCastro is/was supposedly the best G prospect since Hutchinson, so why did they move back?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

The Bengals had Kevin Zeitler rated higher than DeCastro. From what I hear, the Bengals would have selected Zeitler at No. 21 if they didn't trade back. We'll see up close whether Zeitler or DeCastro will become the better guard.

Dan (Pittsburgh)

Hi Jamison and thanks for your work.Do you have any insight about the 2rd Draft Pick, Mike Adams, of the Steelers? Ed Bouchet says he isn't strong enough to play LT at the moment but Tunch Ilkin thinks he just needs to work on his technique...! Thx for your answer

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

A lot depends on whether Adams shows he is strong enough to handle the position. The Steelers are in a good position where they can start Willie Colon at right tackle if Adams isn't ready or move him to guard if Adams is going to be the left tackle. This will all take care of itself in training camp.

Brad (Berkeley, CA)

Hey JH. Our best query or two huh? Ok here goes. Pouncey was the first Steelers rookie to start 13 or more games in like 30 years (he started all 16, I know). Will DeCastro be the only Steelers rookie this year to do the same?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

DeCastro is battling two players who were originally undrafted rookies, Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster. It would be a major surprise if DeCastro doesn't start from the first day of camp.

Andy in Hagerstown (Hagerstown Maryland)

Hey Jamison! I've seen in the Baltimore Sun that Wally Williams retired offensive lineman had a similar injury back in 1997 and returned to play with the Ravens for the last 10 games of that season. I understand the demands of the position are different. But is it that unrealistic to perhaps expect a 75% Suggs in November?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

As long as Suggs is correct that it's only a partial tear, he has a shot at coming back by November. I still would be surprised if Suggs comes back as an every-down player this year. I see him being a pass-rush specialist (like he was as a rookie in 2003) to help ease him back from the injury.

g_patrick15 (Atlanta)

If Casey Hampton starts the season on the PUP list, does Ziggy Hood slide over with Heyward taking the spot on the end? It's very unlikely that Alameda Ta'amu steps in immediately, he'll need a few seasons grooming. What's your take?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

As the Steelers' defensive line coach reminded everyone after Ta'amu was drafted, don't forget about Steve McLendon, last year's backup.

Bodman34 (Ada,OH Home of the Wilson Football Factory)

Is there any reason the Browns shouldn't take a look at Terrell Owens and offer a minimum salary with Incentives ? Would be an Instant upgrade at reciever and if it didn't work out not much invested.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Have you seen the effect of T.O. on the other teams he played for? Not happening.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Is John Harbaugh on the hot seat if Baltimore misses the playoffs? And will Joe Flacco be gone too?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:20 PM)

Are you not aware that the Ravens and Flacco have made the playoffs for the past four seasons? If you think they would be on the hot seat after missing the playoffs for one year, you have crazy expectations.

Nick W (Harrison, OH)

Nothing like a chat to take a break from my Accounting exam thanks JH!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Glad I could help. I'm guessing there are no questions about the salary cap on the exam.

Anthony (Cleveland)

If the Bengals expect Leon Hall to be healthy by at least the 2nd or 3rd game, do you see the Bengals still putting him on the PUP to not rush him?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

If Hall would be ready by the second game, there is no way they would put him on PUP. The team will have a better gauge of where he's at during training camp.

Nick W (Harrison, OH)

What do you think of Dunlaps remarks about being the starting LDE? i dont think he can beat Geathers but could he flop to RDE on running downs to compete with Johnson?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

I just like the idea of getting Dunlap on the field more. He's a major talent. You just don't want to wear him down to the point where he isn't as effective as a pass rusher. That's where he is going to make his living.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

I don't think Haley is going to radically change things. The difference is he won't totally ignore the run. He will also tweak some things like route combinations and protection schemes. The bottom line is you keep the ball in the hands of Roethlisberger for the most part. He's the guy who is going to make things happen.

mford151 (Reynoldsville Pa)

H&H haven't missed in the first two rounds yet. How do you think they did this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Richardson and Schwartz are major upgrades at running back and right tackle. The big question mark is quarterback Brandon Weeden. If he isn't a franchise quarterback, that's a big black mark on this draft.

Dillion (Ohio)

Should the browns sign T.O to help show the younger reciver on the team how to catch the ball and he can catch the ball

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Again, has anyone else except me seen the negative effect of TO on teams?

Mike (Cleveland)

If the browns go 2-14 with Brandon Weenden at QB do you think they look to start over at QB again? Or are the Browns stuck with him for the future.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

That would be hard to do. Bailing on a first-round quarterback after one season rarely happens. You saw how Jacksonville stuck with Gabbert after he struggled. You have to give a first-round pick at least a couple of seasons because of the investment. It's different with Colt McCoy because he was a third-rounder.

Aaron (Bloomington IL)

With Pittsburgh upgrading its O-Line there appears to be few weaknesses remaining from the 3 teams pushing for the AFC North title. Which unit from Pit, Cincy and Baltimore do you see as having the greatest weakness this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

Steelers: Cornerback. Bengals: Wide receiver. Baltimore: Left guard and outside linebacker (Suggs' absence).

Aaron (Bloomington IL)

Why is everyone so concerned with Pittsburgh needing outside linebackers? We have 2 pro bowl starters and Worilds and Carter backing them up, which the coaching staff has been comfortable enough with them, why arent the fans and media?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Worilds didn't show much as a pass rusher and Carter is still an unknown at this point. That's why the Steelers had Matt Roth in for a visit today.

Terrell Owens (The Poor House (Next to the Popcorn Stand))

Jamison, are there any teams in the AFC North that could use my services? Or are all my bridges to the NFL burned? Could use some cash these days - hardly have enough to get my popcorn ready...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

If a few fans on this chat were GMs, you would have been signed already in Cleveland.

Nick (Syracuse)

More valuable to his team: Suggs or James Harrison?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

Both are NFL Defensive Players of the Year. I think both are equally as valuable. What helps the Steelers is they have LaMarr Woodley. The Ravens don't have anyone of his caliber to pick up the slack.

Rich (Bellevue, WA)

So you're not sanguine on the Steelers' young up-and-coming cornerbacks? The Pittsburgh powers-that-be seem pretty confident in them, from everything I've been hearing...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

They could play well. But none of the candidates have had to be a full-time starter. That's why it's a question mark.

Andy in Hagerstown (Hagerstown Maryland)

Before the start of the season do you believe the Ravens make a move to bolster their pass rush? Do you believe it would be via trade or a cut veteran?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

Ravens are known for picking up players late in training camp or just before the season. I never count them out in that respect.

KingKev (VA)

If Colt McCoy went out onto a field today with no pads, warmed up for 15 minutes, then heaved the ball as far as he possible could, could he throw it over 45 yards?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

I would hope any NFL quarterback could do that. But there's more to arm strength than the ability to chuck it deep. You have to put zip on the intermediate routes, as well.

Al (Wausau, WI)

I have, Jamison. I'm glad my Vikings have not even looked at T.O., despite their WR situation. I think the Browns should follow suit!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

I'm glad someone sees it my way.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Does Vontaze Burfinct have a shot at sticking with the Bengals? Or is he just a camp casualty?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

Bengals didn't take an inside linebacker in the draft. He has a very good shot.

Corey (D.C.)

What kind of an impact do you think Weeden will have on Greg Little?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

He should put the ball in a better spot to help Little get yards after the catch.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Can you ban people who think the Browns should sign TO?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

Only Goodell has the power to ban people in football. Sorry.

Rich (Bellevue, WA)

There's been a lot of gnashing of teeth about the Mike Wallace situation. What are the odds that actually he's just going to sit out the off-season stuff simply because he can-- if he's not under contract yet he can't be required to attend, so why should he bother?-- but then he'll come in to camp and his long-term contract demands actually won't be so unreasonable? I.e. the hold-out talk is not really evidence of a serious problem?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:43 PM)

I still think Wallace signs a long-term deal with the Steelers at some point. The holdout has no bearing.

Kevin (Ohio)

Will the Holmgrem era last in Cleveland if he doesnt show improvement this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:44 PM)

The M.O. in the NFL is you fire the coordinators before the coach and you fire the coach before the GM. Holmgren is safe at this point.

Nick (Syracuse)

Hey Jamison in the middle of my AP History test. What year was the War of 1812?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:44 PM)

Isn't that the last year the Bengals had consecutive winning seasons?

SoupNazi-FL (Florida)

Why is no one talking about Baron Batch at RB for the Steelers? He was lighting it up last preseason before getting hurt. Do you think he will be a factor this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

I see Redman having more of an impact. Batch has to beat out Dwyer and Clay for a backup job. I also like Rainey as an all-purpose back.

jmo (Brooklyn, NY)

As a Browns fan- I do NOT want Terrell Owens to play in CLE.

Aaron (DC)

Did the Browns drop the ball by not trying to get Jacoby Jones? Would he have even entertained an offer from Cleveland?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

Browns are looking for younger receivers.

Rich (Bellevue, WA)

As a Steelers fan, I think people who think the Browns should sign TO need to be encouraged, not banned. ;)

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

Point taken. Ha.

Nick (Syracuse)

"Ravens don't have anyone of [Suggs'] caliber to pick up his slack." Hello?!?! Lewis, Hightower?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

In the pass rush was the point.

Wayne (Florida)

Seems like there's a lot of people with no faith in Upshaw. He hasn't proven anything on the NFL level, but the system/position he is in is almost exactly what he did at Alabama, and he did it better than anyone else on the college level. It seems as though Ozzie and Co. don't want him to feel pressured to live up to Suggs Rep but they know he has what it takes to be a game changer, why do you think the media doesn't feel the same way?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

I've seen a lot of positive reports with Upshaw. He was the steal of the second round.

mMatt (ffresno )

Do you think the steelers will sign coach tomlin to an extension?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

They would be crazy not to do so.

Michael (Cincinnati)

H&H drafted Montario Hardesty in the 2nd round

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

I still think Hardesty can be a productive back if he stayed healthy. He's not in the same league as Richardson, but he's not a bust yet.

Craig (Baltimore, MD)

If Weeden starts from day one for the Browns, is there any way Colt becomes the starter(barring a Weeden injury) again this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:51 PM)

It would take a really bad slump for Weeden to get pulled for an extended period.

Scott (Dallas)

No Jamison, 1812 is the last time the Browns won a championship.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:52 PM)

Ouch. No love for the Ohio teams today.

Anthony (Cleveland)

Do you see Scott getting more carries by the end of the year, and the Law Firm just taking the short yardage and goal line touches?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:53 PM)

The better question is whether Green-Ellis will be an every-down back. I see him having a more expanded role than a limited one.

Nick (Syracuse)

Actually, Jamison and Scott (Dallas), 1812 was the last time that Ben Roethlisberger started a game at 100%. #IWIN

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:54 PM)

Thanks for all the great questions. This was quite a chat today. I will see everyone next week. Have a great rest of the week.