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October 24, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Baltimore Ravens will be absolutely bad without their LB Ray Lewis?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

Welcome to the chat everyone. As far as the Ravens being absolutely bad without Ray Lewis, I wouldn't go that far. The combination of losing Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb will obviously hurt the Ravens. But this team can still get to the playoffs without them.

Kyle (Nap Town)

Josh Gordon an up-and-coming star in the NFL?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

Check out the AFC North blog in about an hour and you will get my answer. Yes, now back to the chat after that commercial interruption.

eric buffalo [via mobile]

Hey Jamison. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit here but it seems to me that demarcus vandyke has gotten at least 2 holding calls on returns in every game this year. Why is he still employed by the Steelers ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

For one reason: he's very fast. But I agree with you. He's a penalty magnet, which continues to hurt the Steelers in field position on special teams.

Ben (Tucson)

With Haslam as owner, will the Browns actually "try" to sign a marquee free agent?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

That's the impression I get. If you saw the camera shots of him during the game, he is emotionally invested in this team. It was like watching a fan react. He doesn't seem like an owner who will keep having all of this unused salary-cap room.

Jackie (Lebanon Va)

Do you see the Bengals going out & getting a wr to help out Aj Green?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Not this year. They had a chance to do so in March and April. It looks like the Bengals are high on two draft picks, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. They will want to see them develop before spending on a FA wide receiver. Bengals have gotten burned in doing that in the past.

Antwan JAMISON!! (Cincinnati, OH)

Do you foresee the Ravens coming back strong after their dreadful performance on Sunday?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

Their two games after the bye are at Cleveland and home against Oakland. If the Ravens don't bounce back in those games, then it will be time to worry.

Aut44Short (Florida)

Hello JH, please tell me that I won't have to see much of Rey Maualuga on my team much longer.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

Sure, Maualuga has not looked good this year but they don't have another option on this team this year. He's a free agent at the end of the season, and I don't see the Bengals bringing him back. Vontaze Burfict has shown enough at OLB to convince the Bengals that he can be effective as the MLB.

Joel McBurney (Austintown, Ohio)

I you had to make an educated guess, of these four players from the Steelers, who do you think will be back next year? Troy, Harrison, Keisel, and Hampton.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

Very good question. I think I may steal that for a poll later this year. My pick would be Troy Polamalu. He's banged up with a calf injury, but I think he still has some years left in the tank when he can get healthy. I also think Keisel will be back as well. His salary next season is only $2.8 million. He's a free agent in 2014.

RaveninDenver (....Denver.)

What will the Ravens need to do mentally, to fix the problems they seem to be having? Is it Dean Pees scheme? Is Suggs just going to need to take over the heart and soul aspect from Ray to get the guys fired up? I'm still scratching my head as to how they fall so far in one offseason defensively.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

I'm not going to blame this on Pees. The Ravens have been so good on defense because they've been able to reload through the draft. Look at the players who have been drafted and haven't lived up to expectations: Kindle, Cody, Kruger, Jimmy Smith and Art Jones. This front seven doesn't have the same talent as in years past. That's the problem.

Brian (Greensboro)

I always feel this way, not just because of the 3 losses in a row. Isn't it about time for a new coach in Cincinnati? I understand Mike Brown will still be the owner and that alone causes problems, but Marvin has had 10 years and 2 totally different teams. He cant motivate and he cant get them past mediocracy.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

It's tough to criticize Lewis when you look at what the Bengals did before him. Cincinnati had six straight losing seasons from 1997 to 2002, including four years when the Bengals failed to win more than four games. In nine seasons with Lewis, the Bengals have gone to the playoffs three times, winning two division titles, and have had three losing seasons.

Justin (Minneapolis)

Does the Ravens OC hate Ray Rice? Dude is arguably the best back alive, he should get atleast 20 carries a game

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

For some reason, the Ravens wait until the second half of the year to give the ball to Rice. It's like they have to wait for the criticism before realizing Rice should be the centerpiece of the offense.

Mitch (Seville, OH)

At 1-6, the Browns just don't have any hope for playoffs this year. What should we look forward to the rest of the season? Doesn't seem likely Shurmur will be around, so what should be look for this team to do week in and week out?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

I never really believed the Browns were going to make a playoff run this year. I've said since the draft that this season is about figuring out whether Brandon Weeden is a franchise quarterback. I don't think the Browns have that answer yet, but Weeden has looked promising.

D-Bo (st. pete, fl)

Thats the best game I've seen CB Keenan Lewis play to date.. he deflected passes and defended the run well. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

I've never been a big Keenan Lewis fan. But he has played better as the season has progressed. The Steelers have a history of not drafting a cornerback in the first round (was Chad Scott the last one?) but that needs to change. In this age, you need a playmaking cornerback and the Steelers don't have one. They have solid ones, though.

AlphaDonkey (Tampa, FL)

If all of the Steelers running backs are healthy this week, do you think Jonathan Dwyer has performed well enough to get some playing time?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Dwyer has been up and down, and it was that way when I saw him in training camp. If everyone is healthy, Steelers should play Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall early. Then, stick with the hot hand. You let the players decide who is going to get the ball by their performance.

Mark (Cincinnati)

Does the Sunday night game against Cincinnati give the Steelers hope that their offensive line might be an asset for a few good years, especially once DeCastro gets healthy?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

Remember when the Steelers showed they could run the ball against Philly and then couldn't do it again in Tennessee. In the NFL, you can't get excited about one game or one quarter. It's about consistency. Until Steelers can string a couple of games like this, it would too quick to make a judgment.

Ravens Snack (Richmond, VA)

Prior to this week's game, I had the Ravens getting housed in Houston, and looking out at the rest of the year finishing 11-5. Am I seeing the world via purple tinted glasses, or am I being realistic?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

I think 10 wins will take down the AFC North this season. The Ravens can get to seven if they take care of business at Cleveland and against Oakland after the bye.

Michael (NC)

The Browns have talent. A few accidental or dumb errors, that many "good" teams also do, have cost them wins. i.e. botched hold last Sunday, Gordon's dropped pass in sun, etc. When will this team get over the hump of making these mistakes and finishing games off? Thanks!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

Good teams find ways to win games they shouldn't. Bad teams find ways to lose games they should win. A lot of it goes back to mindset. It's tough for a team like the Browns, who have no history of winning recently, to get that across to players.

Frank the Tank (Boston)

I'm pretty tired of reading the things I've read about the Ravens on the internet. Yes, they got crushed in Houston by a team that I think deep down we all knew was really the best team in the AFC before the game (and if you didn't, you clearly haven't noticed how close all of the Ravens games have been this year). Yes, Joe Flacco was abysmal. I do not recall seeing him play that poorly ever. Yes, Pittsburgh beat the Bengals and seems to be on the rise. Yes, the Ravens have a difficult 2nd half schedule. But can everyone calm down? The Ravens are still 5-2, it's just a loss. There were going to be some growing pains with Ray Lewis and especially Webb going down. Generally, I'm not the biggest fan of Harbaugh's post-game chatter (it tends to be more or less coach babble), but I like what he said about this game: It's important to react, not overreact. For the record, no part of me believes they're going to go incredibly deep in the playoffs or anything, but I think calling for their total demise is a bit premature.Do you think the world is overreacting? Or am I just too much of a homer to believe the Ravens are done?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

As I said earlier, no one should panic over a 30-point loss at Houston. The Texans were embarrassed after losing at home on national television to the Packers. The Ravens, who were without key players, were caught in a perfect storm. But if they struggle against the Browns and Raiders, then it's time to be concerned.

Chris (Ohio)

Vontaze Burfict looks good. I was at the Bengals-Steelers game and he is the lone Bengals defender that actually stood out. He was in on so many tackles and around the ball on nearly every play. How long until the Bengals move Maualuga back to an outside position and bring Burfict to the middle?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

That's a good question. If they were going to do a lineup switch, they should do it during this bye. But I see Marvin Lewis sticking with the status quo. The Bengals have lost three straight, but the wheels haven't come off just yet. He will wait to see if the Bengals can turn the season around before drastic changes are made.

browns1658 (akron)

Shurmur was out coached by Arians on Sunday as much as i hate to say it. I think Shurmurs fate is sealed now after seeing Haslams reaction on tv to the 4 and 1 call. Does Holmgren have a shot at coaching this team if hes serious about coaching?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

I thought Shurmur's fate was sealed before that game. And I don't see Holmgren taking the coaching job here. It has to be elsewhere. Could Dallas be a destination for him?

Corey (Fantasy Land)

Even though you will answer this question 12 times...what time frame are we looking at for Polamalu to return?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

Calf injuries are difficult to predict a timetable. And if you rush back, you re-injure it -- just like what happened when he tried to come back against Philadelphia. My guess would be toward the end of November.

DarthYinzer (AFCN Blogs)

Can the Steelers be fined for wearing those hideous throwback jerseys? It HAS to cause an unfair advantage as those who are not laughing so hard they can't breathe, are violently ill from vertigo.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

I agree that these uniforms are unsightly. But fans were wearing them at training camp at St. Vincent College. There are some people that like them. I don't know why, but there are a few.

Phat1963 (Cincinnati)

Good afternoon Jamison. Stepping aside from any Marvin on the hot seat conversation (which is always hot button topic in Cincy) how would grade the Coordinators, Gruden and Zimmer, 7 games into the season for the Bengals. There are always injuries for every team and coaches are not on the field missing assignments or tackles, etc..... So I get that. What grade would you give them at this point.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Gruden has dropped from an A-plus last month to a B-minus now. I would put Zimmer in the C-plus range. The Bengals offense is hurt by the lack of a true No. 2 receiver and injuries on the offensive line. The defense is limited with the age of the cornerbacks and the injury to first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick.

Kyle (Nap Town)

Better red head QB this year Weeden or Dalton?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Dalton in September. Weeden in October. November? Let's wait and see.

BengalBacker (Columbus, OH)

Do you think the Bengals go after another TE next year? Gresham is not living up to his draft position.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Gresham hasn't lived up to his draft position, but he's not awful either. He is going to set career marks this year. You would hope for the touchdowns to be higher for Gresham at this point.

Tom (Columbus)

What's the latest on Trent Richardson? I heard a report from Werder that he may be shut down til week 10 while I have seen another rpeort that he is expected to practice today.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

The news today is that he's practicing. They will evaluate him from that and determine his status. I get the feeling that the Browns thought they rushed him back last game. It wouldn't surprise me if the Browns sat him for a couple of weeks.

Frank (New Orleans)

Rashard Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract. Could Jonathan Dwyer performance over final 10 games push Mendenhall out of town?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

I still think Steelers need to consider drafting a running back. Dwyer is too inconsistent and there are questions about his work ethic. Mendenhall isn't a strong inside runner. Time to get a fresh start at that position.

George (Baltimore)

How convinced are the Ravens that they want Joe Flacco back? His play peaked back in 2010 and has steadily regressed since. They must know what he is by now and will they settle for what is a mediocre QB or do they try and find a real difference maker at the position?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

It's taken them this long to find a legitimate starting quarterback. Don't forget that Flacco would've taken them to the Super Bowl last season if Lee Evans makes that catch. The Ravens are either signing Flacco to a new contract at the end of the season or putting the franchise tag on him. They will not let him go.

Josh (Cincinnati, OH)

After the bye is it worth starting Kirkpatrick over Newman? Don't see the Bengals doing much to change scheme on either side of the ball during the bye. It'd be nice if they traded for Chris Ivory..something...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

Kirkpatrick has to show he can play first before you start penciling him into the starting lineup.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Even Jimmy Haslam could see the Browns had more talent on the field than the Colts, yet still lost. Doesn't bode well for Shurmur, does it? As if he needs more reasons to tell Banner to start looking for a coach.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:43 PM)

Once again, I don't think the Colts game determined Shurmur's fate. It was decided before this game.

Kyle (Nap Town)

Any other news about Trent Richardson's rib injury (more specifics)? You could tell Trent was off this past Sunday.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

I thought Shurmur made the right move in sitting Richardson. He didn't look like himself. He made the wrong decision in abandoning the run. Hardesty needed more carries.

TK (Philly)

Alright Jamison...I'm 0-7 over the past couple months on your chat..... let's break the streak here and now broski.....2 Browns Questions: Is Phil Taylor coming back this year?? Where the heck has Greg Little been this year?... before last week he only had 12 more receptions that I did

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

Congrats on breaking the streak. As far as Taylor, he is scheduled to practice today. That means the three-week practice window has started. The Browns have three weeks to determine whether to add him to the active roster or end his season. All indications point to him coming back, but likely not this week. As far as Little, the problem has always been his hands. He can make plays, but when he drops passes, he loses the confidence of the quarterback. Would you throw to him after the amount of drops he's had?

Chris (Shaw AFB)

Hey JH, with the new Cleveland ownership, do you this team getting blown up and starting all over from scratch?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

I see the front office getting blown up.

Matt (Charlotte, NC)

Do you agree that Brandon Weeden may finally be the answer at QB for the Browns?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

That question needs to be asked at the end of the season. Not right now. He has been on the upswing though.

dooommeeeedd (New York)

What's wrong with the Ravens' O line? Is it technique? Personnel? Coaching? It seems like a combination currently. How do you think they go about improving the unit?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

Oher is overrated. Birk is old. And the Ravens don't have a legitimate answer at left guard (Harewood and Williams are below-average options). On a positive note, Yanda is one of the NFL's best and Osemele has shown promise.

Frank (Landover)

How much longer do the Ravens fool themselves into think that Joe Flacco is a difference maker at the position?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

Did you watch Flacco the last two times he played at Pittsburgh or the AFC championship game?

Justin (Canton, Ohio)

How much do we have to pay John Gruden to come in and coach the Browns?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:51 PM)

Jon Gruden looks awfully comfortable in the TV booth.

James (Denver)

Will the ravens be able to beat the broncos later this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:52 PM)

Ravens have struggled mightily against Peyton Manning over the years.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Shurmur's fate is sealed, was sealed, and never was in doubt once the sale was announced. 0-5 start was brutal to watch.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:52 PM)


Billy (Saint Louis)

Can you see the Bengals turning it around coming out of this bye week?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:53 PM)

How they fare against the Manning brothers at home will determine how far they'll go this season.

Brian (Dover, DE)

Why aren't the Steelers stretching the field more with Brown & Wallace?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:54 PM)

Roethlisberger is only completing 27 percent of his throws beyond 21 yards. That's among the league worst. So, he hasn't shown Haley that it's the right thing to do.

Eric (New York)

Great blog!Now that Pinkston is out for the season who will the Browns go with at LG? This is a pretty big blow to our O-Line that doesn't have much depth.Thanks,Eric

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:55 PM)

Thanks Eric. John Greco is the next man up for the Browns. He's an average backup at best. This is a tough blow for the Browns and Pinkston, who had been doing a good job. The Browns, though, could use more athleticism at the guard spot.

Matt (Charlotte, NC)

Which is the worse idea, putting a dome on the Browns stadium or changing their uniforms?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:56 PM)

Can I vote for both?

Robert (Las Vegas)

What are the chances Heckert is ousted with Holmgren? These have been a couple competent drafts and we hit on players in the 1st round for a change, why wouldnt they keep Heckert?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:58 PM)

I would keep Heckert. He has a vision for what this team should look like. But the writing is on the wall that Haslam wants to overhaul the front office and coaching staff.

KPM (Balto)

The Ravens struggled at home with the Browns the first game and with the Chiefs what makes you think this will be any different?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (3:00 PM)

From covering the NFL for years, teams tend to be motivated after getting embarrassed and after getting a bye. Both factors apply to the Ravens.

Brian (Dover, DE)

How much have Wallace's drops hurt his stock?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (3:02 PM)

It didn't help him. But teams pay a lot of money for fast wide receivers. Wallace will get a good deal if he hits the free-agent market.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (3:03 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today. I'm sorry I can't get to all of them. Let's do this again next week at the same time. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week.