Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 19, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:01 PM)

Welcome to the weekly chat. I'm here for a half-hour. Please tip the waitresses. Let's get started.

Tom (DC)

do you think that TRich's criticisms of the CLE game plan (getting away from the run) will affect his usage this weekend @ Den? I'd guess no, but thought I'd ask. Also... is he still not 100% with that rib/chest injury? he doesn't seem like the same player out there. thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

I believe the rib injury is affecting him more than he wants to say. But Richardson certainly looked strong carrying half of the Redskins defense into the end zone. Browns can't abandon the run so easily. It will be tough sledding against a Broncos defense that shut down Ray Rice.

Toby (DC)

Any doubt that if the Steelers offense can get going (especially the running game) and they make the playoffs that they will be a team to be reckoned with?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

Have you watched the Steelers the past five weeks?

Jasson Henderson (Dayton, OH)

In your opinion, with the changes coming to the Cleveland Browns, how likely will the new coach keep Dick Jauron, based on what he has built, with what he had to use? The defense has had it's moments, but I cannot help but think that with the missing pieces on defense (i.e. LB, CB, FS) that the Browns "D" is on the cusp of being perennially a force to be dealt with, like PITT, and BAL. Thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

I believe Jauron has the best chance to be the lone survivor. He's done a great job of developing a young defense.

Kyle (Cincinnati Ohio)

Do you think we will see any contract extensions for the cincinnati bengals befor the season is over ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

No.

Jason (Pittsburgh)

JH can you defend your pick of Baltimore last week with any relevance besides that you are a Baltimore homer?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

I picked the Ravens to finish third in the division and I was wrong there. Wait, that wasn't a homer pick. Now, what was your point again?

Jesse (Erie, PA)

Ziggy Hood isn't a draft bust in my opinion but everyone says he is your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

Hood is close to being a bust. Teams run right at him all the time. It's like teams see a bulls-eye on him.

Ravenous128 (Columbia, MD)

Jamison - the Ravens appear to be inching towards putting Bryant McKinnie back in the starting lineup. Is it time to admit that Michael Oher simply isn't a LT? And if so, what becomes of Osemele?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

How do you say they're inching toward that? It's Week 16 and he hasn't been used significantly at all. At this point, I wonder why he's even on the team. Ravens seem against using him at all.

Carlos (Hobbs, NM)

Chances Ray Lewis comes back next year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Unless the Ravens win the Super Bowl (which is not great odds at this point), I see Ray Lewis coming back. But Ravens have to reduce his snaps next year.

Zach (Ohio)

The Bengals passing game seemed to be at it's best with Sanu as the #2 receiver. Since he's been out they have struggled, did he make that much of a difference or are they just struggling in general? Thanks.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

I agree with you that Sanu was becoming a valuable member of the passing game. But Bengals should be getting more out of a trio that includes Green, Gresham and Andrew Hawkins. Dalton regressed the past couple of games.

Jeff (Germany)

Why does Brandon Tate continue get opportunities to return kicks for the Bengals?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

Not sure. Pacman seems to make more plays back there.

Chad (Orlando, FL)

Why do the Steelers want to have contract talks with Mendenhall? He had two carries and two fumbles in his last game. He was never a great runner and the injury made it worse. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

Have no clue. My full reaction: http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/61371/what-are-steelers-thinking-with-mendenhall

Jeff (ABQ)

Thanks for the chat Jamison! Honestly, are all the AFCNorth coaches attending the same conference? Perhaps not the Bengals, but the rest seem to be vastly under utilizing their running backs?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

It does seem to be a bad trend. I would have to agree with you on that. The only team that has a valid reason to rely on the pass more is the Steelers.

Alex (Ohio)

Who are your top 3 candidates for the Brown's coaching job? And the winner is?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

I'm putting the early money on Josh McDaniels. As they say, where there is smoke ...

Gary (Orlando)

Over/Under: 2 turnovers for Dalton this Sunday

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Under. Once again, have you seen the Steelers defense this year? They don't allow many yards but they don't force turnovers.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Does Caldwell have a legit shot at being the OC, or just keeping the seat warm for a Reid or Norval tye if possible?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Reid and Norv aren't coming to the Ravens to be an offensive coordinator. Pipe dream.

Jeff (ABQ)

Honestly, I'm a Mendy fan but short of homer. If he gets healthy, can he still be a workhorse back for the Steelers?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

I would draft a running back before turning back to Mendenhall next season.

Joe (Baltimore)

Good job with the blog Jamison. What do you think is a bigger concern for the Ravens going into the playoffs and the future beyond this season...The need to improve their offensive line and pass protection, or the need to improve their depleted linebackers?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

Is there an "all of the above" option? If I had to choose, rebuilding that defense is the top priority. They've missed on some high picks on defense that will force them to address those needs again.

Mark (Allentown)

I could see Banner making a play for Reid, though I'm not sure I'd want him anymore.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

Reid isn't coming to Cleveland. Why don't you think Banner is in Philly right now?

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear JamisonCould you see the Raves bringing back Cam Cameron?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

Yes, right after they name Billick as head coach again.

carter (baton rouge)

does cleveland go for a quarterback in the draft or will they stick with weeden regarding his age

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

None of the quarterbacks in the draft are an upgrade over Weeden.

Phat1963 (Cincinnati)

Seriously, Jamison? That's the best you got? :D... A friendly jab. You were pretty tough on the Bengals after a TNF victory on the road at Philly. But on to my question: For the game Sunday, in your opinion, what is the one most important key to victory against the Steelers?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

On offense, establish the run. On defense, get pressure on Roethlisberger.

Mark (Allentown)

Happy Holidays Jamison, It was nice to see some mid-season life from the Browns and I do understand it did not come against premium opponents. That said, what do you see as their top 3 needs? I would say #1 is a CB to go with Haden, #2 a Pass rusher (LB or DE, but probably a LB), and #3 a stud guard on the OL.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

I would go in the same order, although I wouldn't mind flip-flopping CB and pass rusher.

rich (lorain, ohio)

i'm just curious why you've always gone out your way to praise joe flacco while always criticizing andy dalton. their numbers over the past 2 years are virtually identical, and that's with dalton only being in his a rookie and 2nd year player. don't use the excuse of how much flacco has won in the past. everyone knows it was the defense that carried them.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

I've gone out of my way to praise Flacco? Go back and look at the QB grades every week. My guess is Dalton has received higher grades than Flacco. And if that still doesn't convince you, read my Sunday column on Flacco and the Ravens. Does anyone really read my blogs? I'm starting to wonder.

Joe(columbus) [via mobile]

So should the browns go after a receiver this offseason?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:20 PM)

Only receiver that would start on other teams is Josh Gordon. So, yes, Cleveland needs more receivers.

Jimi (Columbus, OH)

I noticed that Sanu isn't listed on the injured reserve list anymore for the Bengals. Do you have any insight on whether he is healthy and probable for Sunday? I believe that Sanu takes some pressure off of A.J. Green and will be a big factor against a bruised Steelers team. I think Sanu will grow into one of the best second-look receivers in the league. Do you agree?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Not sure where you're looking, but the official release that the Bengals send me (and the last one was yesterday) has Sanu on IR. He's done for the year.

Bengal Fans (Everywhere)

Seriously Hensley? Why do you slam the Bengals after a 21pt Thurs night road win, but not the Steelers for their effort against SD or the Ravens earlier this year vs Chiefs?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

Do you just look at the final score or watch games? Because I watch games. I saw 11 penalties, six sacks, two fumbles by Dalton and a returner fielding a punt at the 1-yard line. And I did slam the Steelers after losing to the Chargers. I wasn't at the Ravens-Chiefs game, so no column after that one. Once again, does anyone read my blogs? Or do you forget them after one day?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Very nice of you. Don't mind being called out. Just have some valid facts to back it up.

Rob (San Antonio)

Jamison, you have gone out of your way to praise Troy Reed. Do you think he will be back to 100% next year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Actually, I'm more of a fan of T.J. Clark now.

Michael [via mobile]

Who did Dimitri Patterson tick off to get quietly released at 4:55 pm the day after the 14th game of the year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Team not happy about him sitting out seven games with a high ankle sprain.

Ravenin (Denver)

Jamison, Merry Christmas bud... thanks for taking our constant abuse. Your A, OK in my book bud.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Happy Holidays to you as well.

Michael ( Philly/Cleveland)

Hey, Jamison,Do you think we will see Colt get a chance to play some real game time minutes before the end of the season? How long can you give a guy a chance to thorw INT and INT and not sit him. At least for a qt...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

This season is about seeing what Weeden can do. Makes no sense to play Colt. He had his chance last season.

Andacanofpanasan (Cleveland)

You seem to favor Ravenous128 in chat. Is he your son?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

Honestly, never noticed. I try to pick most coherent questions. Guess he has those most weeks.

Dan (PA)

Big Ben vs. Haley no good?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

I thought Big Ben's comments Sunday were blown way out of proportion.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Can you paint a scenario on Sunday where the Browns knock off the Broncos?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Sheard knocks Peyton Manning out of the game on the first play.

Nick (Morgantown, WV)

Guess you were right about the 10 win win the AFC North thing.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

You know what they say about those blind squirrels.

Nick (Morgantown, WV)

Are there any scenarios in which the Steelers can win the ACF North?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Ravens lose last two games and Steelers win last two games. That was on the blog two days ago.

Mark (Massillon, OH)

Do you think there is any chance either Josh Cribbs or Phil Dawson stay with the Browns next year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

My feeling is both are gone. But we'll have to see how the offseason plays out. I've been surprised before. The Browns know they have a younger and cheaper returner with Benjamin.

Chad (Orlando, FL)

Do you think the injuries to the Steelers cornerbacks will make them lose this weekend against the Bengals?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

It depends on if Dalton can get the ball to Green deep. That has to be a major concern for the Steelers.

Alex (OH)

What was up with the Bengals OL in their last game? What a bad performance.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Bengals lost a lot of one-on-one matchups. Andre Smith was really awful. I'm not sure who will be my right tackle on the all-division team.

Alex (Pittsburgh)

Do you think Weeden would have been more consistent this year with a different system/coach?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

I get the feeling that Weeden thinks so.

Zack (Ohio)

My guess is that you will be in Pittsburgh the final two games?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

All I know right now is I'm at Pittsburgh this week. The last week is either Browns@Steelers or Ravens@Bengals.

Auto44Short (Florida)

If you had to choose for next year... Dalton or Flacco??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

Let's see if Dalton can beat Flacco first.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

Thanks for all of the good questions. Hope everyone enjoys the games this week and has a Happy Holiday.