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

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:01 PM)

Hello everyone. Thank you for stopping by to chat. I will try to get to as many questions as possible in our half hour together.

Andre (Tallahassee, FL)

Assuming Haley bolts Pittsburgh for a HC position, do the Steelers have any in house candidates to replace him, or will they go after a Norv Turner or other fired HC if the timing is right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

I don't see Haley going anywhere. If he does, look for running backs coach Kirby Wilson to become OC. He was expected to get the job before he suffered severe burns in a house fire last January.

Oscar (York, PA)

What is the main hurdle preventing the Bengals from winning in the post season? They should have won that game Saturday.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

In both playoff losses, Bengals couldn't stop Arian Foster and Andy Dalton couldn't convert third downs. Bad combination.

khyri (charlotte)

Will the Browns be a serious contender in the Afc North in 2013 ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

I can tell you that if you can tell me who is coaching them this year.

Auto44Short (Eglin)

If we lose Zimmer are we DOOOOMMMEEED?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

Nooooo. Bengals have a lot of talent on defense. Zimmer has played a big part, but this group can still be very good. You can keep continuity if you promote from within.

Steve (San Diego)

Can you please explain why Mike Zimmer is not getting any love for a head-coaching gig? is it his personality?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

He has an interview in Cleveland today and should get an interview with the Chargers. He's a straight shooter, which can be a turnoff for corporate owners.

Ballin Baller (Bmore)

We need to retain Kruger, with 15MM in cap space, can we do it?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

All of that cap space will get eaten up if Ravens put tag on Flacco. Kruger has really improved his stock this year and in the playoffs (2.5 sacks). Ravens like to retain their own, but they won't overpay for Kruger.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Baltimore Ravens will play in Super Bowl XLVII since this is the last time ever that you will see Ray Lewis?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Odds are really against them to get past Peyton and Brady.

cp (reno)

So according to the Pitt-Tribune...Ziggy had a hell of a year..Is it effort or ability with him and Heyward?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

I'll have to look back at my notes on Ziggy. But I remember teams running right at him a lot of the time. I've always placed him in first-round disappointment (not bust).

Steven (Columbus, Ohio)

Who are the Browns going to hire??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

I would hire Zimmer, but I am a few billion short of becoming an owner.

Bradley (NYC)

Hi Jamison - everyone's talking (looking at you, Ashley Fox) like Pats/Broncos is a forgone conclusion for the AFC title game. In your opinion, who does the Raven's game hinge on to play spoiler? Flacco? Rice? Jim Caldwell?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

The Ravens have won their last 16 games when Flacco plays four quarters and doesn't throw an interception.

Pete (Olney, MD)

If the Ravens cut Boldin (7.5 mil) and McClain (3), couldn't they afford Kruger and Ellerbe?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

Are we talking about the same Boldin who carried the offense in Sunday's playoff game?

Allen (Work)

Do you think Marc Trestman could turn around Weeden since he has familiarity with him and could tailor his offense to suit Weeden?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

I like Trestman as a OC more than a HC.

Michael [via mobile]

Can you imagine the weekly news conferences with Zimmer? Spit toons lining the podium...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

It would certainly be a change of pace over Shurmur. Actually, anything would be a change of pace from Shurmur's pressers.

BK (Baltimore)

Last I checked, Denver was favored by 10. Are the Ravens really that doomed, or are people being a little too quick to write them off?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:13 PM)

The Ravens are underdogs because they're playing on a short week, have lost nine straight to Peyton Manning and lost by 17 points three weeks ago. I know Ravens are healthier now, but those are three facts working against Baltimore.

prnitz (Delaware)

The story about Bill Cowher making a comeback is burning up the ESPN server with the amount of interest/comments. One favorite theme is Cowher to Cleveland. Any insight on whether thats even a remote possibility?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

I don't see Cowher coaching in Cleveland or anywhere this season or next. It will be a couple of years before he surfaces again.

Tony (Columbus)

For the Browns: Zimmer HC, Trestman OC and retain Jauron (and his 4-3) as DC, thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

That would be a solid and experienced staff.

James (DC)

Were'nt the "Odds against Baltimore" when they won the superbowl in 2000?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

They were seven-point favorites over the Giants in the Super Bowl. So, no.

Matt (Toledo, OH)

As a believer in the new Browns ownership I'm disappointed in the search this year for a head coach. Do you believe that it is new ownership or lack of truly qualified head coaching candidates?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

My take on the search was the Browns wanted to make a big splash with Chip Kelly. What hurt them was making sure they had a solid backup plan. When Bill O'Brien stayed at Penn State and Doug Marrone went to the Bills, it was a strikeout for the Browns. They can still get a qualified coach but obviously he will be their third or fourth choice, depending on your perspective.

Ruskin (Grand Forks, ND) [via mobile]

The best way to beat Peyton is to keep the ball out of his hands. Aren't the Ravens set-up, quite well, for that, having Ray Rice and Vonta Leach, not to mention the emergence of Bernard Pierce? With those three, and weapons available to throw quite a few screens, why aren't people giving the Ravens more of a chance?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Ravens need to convert third downs to keep drives alive. Hard to do that when Flacco is facing pressure from Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Nick (Syracuse)

Do you think Ed Reed will return next year? If he's thinking of returning, do you think he'll retire if he gets a ring this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

My initial assessment is that there is a better chance that Reed will be playing elsewhere next season than returning to the Ravens. That could change over the next month or so. But that's my first impression of the situation knowing the Ravens and Reed.

Ryan (Boston)

Hey Jamison. Love the blog, keep up the good work. What direction do you see the Ravens heading in resigning all their unrestricted free agents this year. I feel like holding onto Ellerbe and Kruger has to be a priority...your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

Ellerbe can be re-signed cheaper and he is a big need with Ray Lewis retiring. Kruger might get some bigger than expected money.

Dan (Cincinnati,OH)

Should the Bengals draft a RB within their first 3 picks ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

There is a need for speed.

Chris (roanoke, virginia)

Some mock drafts have the Browns drafting a 3-4 defense player for defensive end? Good idea?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

Any lineman drafted by the Browns needs to rush the passer.

Mark (Houston)

Do you think Gruden leaves Cincy this year if offered a HC job?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Not at all. I believe Gruden will only go for the right job.

Suburban Rhythm (Pittsburgh)

What will the market for Keenan Lewis look like? He was solid in his first year as a starter, but would many team really pay him as a #1?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

Corners tend to make ridiculous money. I remember when the Ravens spent millions on Domonique Foxworth when he was a glorified nickel back. There is always a great demand for CBs.

Squall (Balamb Garden)

The Ravens can beat the Broncos if they hold them under __ points. Fill in the blank.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

20 points. Ravens are 9-0 this season when holding teams at 20 or fewer points.

Mark (Houston)

Who is the more important free agent for the Bengals: Andre Smith or Michael Johnson (or other)?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

Bengals have enough cap room to keep both. And they should keep both.

Chris L (New Jersey)

Do the Steelers keep Mike Wallace considering his many dropped passes and his inconsistency?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:27 PM)

The bigger question is whether he fits the Steelers' style of offense now.

Nathan Jamison (Dayton,OH)

Do you think Marvin Lewis will be offered an extension for making it to the playoffs two years in a row?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Marvin likes to work on two-year contracts. He just got an extension last year. So, you'll probably hear contract talk again this time next year.

Brandon (Columbus)

Calling the Browns search a strikeout because they didn't hire Marrone or O'Brien seems like a bit of hyperbole. Marrone did okay at Syracuse but isn't a slam dunk. Yes, O'Brien inherited a tough situation and had a decent season but the Big 10 was horrible this year. I would have been intrigued by Kelly but he runs a gimmicky system and has been unable to beat the big dogs in bowl games. I'd rather have Roman, Shannahan, Calhoun or Zimmer than Marrone or O'Brien.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Then why didn't they interview those guys before O'Brien and Marrone? Obviously they were higher on the Browns' list. That's why I referred to them striking out.

Jenny (Virginia)

Jamison, the Bengals O-line seemed to get props earlier in the season but didn?t look worthy in their last few games. The downturn seemed to coincide with Kyle Cook?s return from injury and the loss of Pressly. Is Robinson really the better option?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

Robinson wasn't great but seemed to play better than Cook, who looked awful in letting JJ Watt run around him. The center spot is by far the weakest on the line. If Bengals can fix that spot, this is a very, very good offensive line.

dave k (BMORE)

Do you think that Tyrod Taylor given the 1st offensive team could move the ball better than Flacco has this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

Did you see the regular-season finale? Taylor is just a little better than Joe Webb.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

If you were offered the choice between Dalton and Ponder as a franchise QB, who would you take and is it close?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

Both have something to prove. I would take Dalton at this point, but scouts around the league still believe Ponder will develop into a better QB.

D-Bo (st. pete, fl)

Hey Jamison - Which of the following players do you believe WILL be back in a Steelers uniform next season: Harrison, Foote, K.Lewis, Wallace, Mendenhall, Starks, Foster

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Good question. Harrison will have to take a pay cut to stay. Of the remaining group, I would say K.Lewis and Foster. There has been talk that the Steelers will try to keep Mendenhall but I just don't get it.

mike (Cleveland)

So because the Browns felt that Kelly wasn't 100% to leave the Ducks, the Browns failed??? Seems to me if they did it exactly the right way. Left and rebooted

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

After Kelly stood up the Browns on Saturday, the Browns got the message that he wasn't interested. But if you want to take this as a positive, go right ahead.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

Thanks for all of the great questions. Talk to you next week at the same time. Have a great rest of the week.