Hello from Latrobe, Pa., home of Steelers training camp. So, James Harrison is in Pittsburgh where he'll get his knee examined and Issac Redman is headed for an MRI tomorrow morning. You can say it's been a real slow first day for me here! It looks like you have a lot of questions, and I hope I can give you some answers.
Which of the Bengals rookies will make the biggest impact this year?
Kevin Zeitler on offense and Devon Still on defense.
so with the awkward exit, will carson palmer still retire a bengal
Not a chance. He will retire and play golf.
J.H...how's it feel to step foot in Steeler country, honestly!
Honestly, it's the first time this summer when it's felt like training camp. I'm not a fan of holding camp at the team's facility. St. Vincent College is a great place. Sorry it took me so long to make it up here.
Should i be concerned about james harrison's knee? I know he's in great shape, but he is 34 years old...
There should be legitimate concern for any injury that a 34-year-old has. The injuries are starting to pile up from the back to the knee. He's such an explosive player that this knee injury, however minor, could affect him.
Would the Bengals consider looking into Steinbach?
Steinbach signed with Miami. Unlike Chad Johnson, he's still on the team.
Can you tell us what NFL team you root for and as far as the fighting in the AFCN chat rooms we like to settle it with a hard core double ladder death match.:)
Growing up in Baltimore, I rooted for the Colts. When the Colts left, I really didn't latch onto a team. I hated that the Redskins was shoved down Baltimore's throats. Now, as a reporter, I root for good games and storylines. That really makes my job so much fun.
What's ur take on the new browns d-lineman they claimed off waivers yesterday I heard he was wanted by a lot of teams, if so good why was he cut from Chicago?
My take is the Browns needed any defensive lineman after Taylor and Paxson went down. He obviously is better than a guy on the street because so many teams put in claims for him. But you're right. He was cut for a reason.
With the running back injuries, are the stillers looking into bringing anyone new in?
They could look at Cedric Benson. Oh wait ... never mind.
If Wallace is back and gets a semi-grip on the new playbook by week 1...can we expect a pair and/or even trio of 1,000 receivers coming out of Pittsburgh?
Two 1,000-yard receivers, just like last year, would be viewed as a success. Don't get greedy.
The injuries are piling up. Harrison needs his knee scoped and Redman needs an MRI on his groin. Any updates on these two injuries? What's your opinion on their backups if they are unavailable?
From what I hear, the Steelers want Harrison to get a scope asap if that's the course of action. On Redman, it sounds like the MRI could be precautionary. Of course, this is what I hear. Take it for what it's worth.
Why in the world is Coach Harbaugh so quick to lean towards naming Cundiff as placekicker when Tucker is obviously outperforming him in camp? What happened to best man wins?
Going with an undrafted rookie kicker would take a lot of moxie.
Jamison, I was just wondering what your take on the Bengals' WR battle is. Do you Shipley making this team at all? It would tough to lose him when he was so good his rookie year. Could they possibly trade him instead? Also, after one game, it seems that the coaches favor Binns over Tate. Thoughts on the outcome?
Shipley looks like a long shot right now. I see Binns ahead of Tate right now.
The Steelers rarely change coaching staff members; I feel good about Todd Haley coming in but am a little worried to see how the system looks. Do you think the Steelers will be able to improve their red zone TD efficiency? in the past they have been burned by settling for FGs instead of scoring TD's.
To score in the red zone, you have to either run the ball behind a physical offensive line or get creative because of the smaller space. I think Haley will try to run the ball at times and come up with some creative routes to get guys open. I predict the Steelers will finish in the top 10 in scoring.
Do you think the Steelers defense will be able to force more turnovers this year?
Honestly, not to be funny, but the Steelers couldn't force much less. It really boils down to a consistent pass rush and cornerbacks who can make plays. Ike Taylor has said he's worked on improving his hands.
Now that the first week of Preseason is over what team impressed you the most in their debut?
None. All of the AFC North teams looked flawed. But that's to be expected in the preseason opener. If it's the preseason finale, it's time to get worried.
You put up a poll about who is the best CB in the division but you never said who you think is. So do it here. Who do you think is the best CB in the AFCN and why?
I don't influence the poll. I usually put my take when I post results on Friday.
Which team will win the most games within the AFCN?
Won't say what team yet. But I do think 10 wins could take the division this year because the schedules are tough across the board.
Are the steelers really going to miss James Harrison if he is not there in week1?
Not having your No. 1 or No. 2 pass rusher (based on where you rank Harrison and Woodley) is not good when going against Peyton Manning.
Ryan Grant to Pitt?
He would certainly be on the list if the Steelers had to look at free agents.
Do you think the Browns will get rid of McCoy? I believe he can be a solid backup.
I agree with you Cloud. The best option is to keep him. But you get the feeling that the Browns will eventually move him. I see a younger, cheaper backup in McCoy. Never really high on Wallace. But, if the Browns could get a fifth-rounder for McCoy, it would be hard to argue against the Browns making that move.
Will Dunlap be back vs Ravens week 1?
I would doubt it, which is a shame. Dunlap was having a monster camp.
With the unfortunate injury to David Johnson, who will the team look towards to fill his spot?
First up is Will Johnson.
I've heard nothing about Christian Thompson, the Ravens 4th Round pick, recently. Is he showing anything?
I've been to about six Ravens practices and he has never stood out.
Does the play of Travis Benjamin make Josh Cribbs expendable?
I haven't seen Benjamin display the same skills as a returner as Cribbs. Not saying Benjamin isn't a strong returner. I just haven't seen it yet. So, Cribbs isn't expendable.
Are questions first come first serve or are they answered as they pop up?
For the most part, yes.
How does the Steelers OL look? Reent injuries remind me too much of last year.
Practice starts at 3. But based on the preseason game, the line is a work in progress. Starting Ramon Foster at right tackle seems desperate to me.
I was worried seeing three Bengal starters go down in the first five minutes vs the Jets. What do you make of this?
Really bad luck. Of the three, they need Dunlap the most.
who do you think is the most feared player in the AFC North?
Harrison. And the person who says anything different is lying.
Who do you think will be the starters on the ravens O-line?
By the end of the season: LT McKinnie, LG Osemele, C Birk, RG Yanda, RT Oher.
If Richardson stays healthy, can you see him rushing for more than 1,000 yards?
He'd better. Gaining 1,000 yards isn't really anything special. The better barometer is 1,500 yards.
JH, There is no way the steelers are going to finish top 10 in scoring. How do you figure that when Big Jen is busted up, no O-Line, new offensive system and their number one WR isnt even in camp????
A good offensive coordinator who has Roethlisberger, Wallace, Brown and Miller should get the Steelers to that level.
It looks like the pass rush specialists for all the AFCN teams has some sort of injury. In your opinion which team has the best pass rush to start the season?
Bengals, especially if Dunlap only misses one game. That front four gets pressure without much blitz help.
Will the Fullback really be a staple of Todd Haley's offense? We've been deprived of real fullbacks for years.
FB will be used. Not sure if it will be a staple. Haley wants offense to be versatile.
What is the chance that Tucker starts in front of Cundiff?
At the start of camp, I would say the chances were very slim. Now, I say he has a fair shot, not a great one.
Are you attending the Monday night football opener, Ravens vs. Bengals? And if so, if I send you a Bengals shirt will you wear it? I triple dog dare you.
Depends on when my wife gives birth. If the baby is born on kickoff weekend, I will be watching from home. Family first.
How many receptions for Green?
He'll have more than anyone else in the division.
Given the Bengals have a lot of talent at wide receiver, do you see them trading someone perhaps with a low draft pick in order to help shore up guard now that Wharton is out for the year?
Don't see it. Bengals will go with Clint Boling at LG.
Do you think KO will be the starting LG week 1?
Not sure if he'll start in Week 1. I think they go with the veteran Bobbie WIlliams. I expect KO to be there at the end, though.
How would you rate David DeCastro's first preseason game?
Very good. I thought he was the Steelers' best starting lineman of the night.
Best hair. You or Troy Polamalu?
Mine. It's not even a fair fight.
A couple of weeks ago you said the steelers team looks like the best team in the AFC North, you still think so? I know you say all teams in the afc north are flawed but in reality all teams are right now.
I need to assess the injury situation by the end of the preseason. Everyone is going down with an injury when I visit camps.
Who is the better Rainey, Chris or Bobby?
Chris. No contest.
JH, how do you see the division panning out this year as far as records and placements? Care to give a prediction?
I was told not to speak to The Prophet. Sorry.
JH, will you marry me?
My pregnant wife might not like that.
Clint Boling a capable starter for Wharton at LG?
The coaches say Boling has improved a lot since last season. I will go with that assessment until I see him for an extended period.
What is the timetable for Dunlap's return to action?
He'll be cutting it close for Week 1. My guess is he'll be listed as questionable.
Who wins out? Vontaze Burfict or Roderick Muclkeroy? or both make the team
Burfict is on the team.
Will Torey Smith really be as good as the Raven's fans on this blog think he will be??
I say he'll be the No. 1 receiver for the Ravens this year. Flacco likes him a lot.
Is Ziggy Hood going to have a break out season? If no, who will?
I get the feeling that Ziggy will always be solid, not spectacular.
After week 1 of the preseason - How many teams from the AFCN make the playoffs?
How quickly can Mike Wallace assimilate to the new offense? Could he be at full speed within a few weeks of showing up to practice?
I asked Haley and he sidestepped the question. In my estimation, he should report to the Steelers the day after the second preseason game.
Who was a worse owner, Art Modell or Mike Brown?
I know Art personally, so I'm biased.
To date, who is your favorite interview in the AFCN?
By team ... Steelers: Keisel. Ravens: Suggs. Bengals: Howard. Browns: Thomas.
Sorry I have to cut this chat a little short. This was one of the best since I took over as AFC North blogger. Thanks for the questions. I am going to try to post another blog before heading to practice. Goodbye from Latrobe.