Thanks for joining the chat for today. I'm sitting at Steelers headquarters and just came from the locker room after speaking with Polamalu, Woodley and rookie Le'Veon Bell. Let's start the chat ...
Hey Jamison, have you seen/heard anything about the Ravens new fullback in respect of his ability to open holes? Everyone calls out his pass catching but... Wasn't too worried about the WR inexperience on the assumption that it will take them a few games to adapt to the pace, and they could rely on Rice/Pearce/Leach in the mean time. I guess Caldwell will earn his money perhaps with a bit more trickery!
There's no hitting in OTAs, so it's hard to judge any blocking. My guess is the Ravens will use a lot more two TE, one-back formations.
JH, Do you think Bengals have a realistic shot at signing Geno long-term? Do they need to free up money by extending M. Johnson first?
Atkins has to be the priority. The Bengals have the cap room to get it done, but they have a history of not overpaying players even when they have the room. And Atkins has to make the decision on whether he can make more money in free agency. If Atkins becomes a UFA, the Bengals would have to franchise him to keep him around for another year. Atkins is signed through the 2013 season.
Did the browns really make the right choice in Mingo? He's coming in as a backup when we still have a struggling secondary. I heard he's not doing too bad but I can't help but think that Xavier Rhodes or Dee Milliner would've been a better value/impact pick.
Browns made the right move in terms of their philosophy. They wanted to focus on getting more pressure on the quarterback. It will take some time for Mingo to develop into an every-down linebacker because he was a college DE. But he should make an immediate impact getting to the QB.
People think the Steelers are gonna have a down year this year, but I think they can make the playoffs. What's your opinion?
The key to the Steelers season is staying healthy. There is a big dropoff at a lot of positions from starter to backup. As always, the Steelers have to limit the hits on Ben Roethlisberger.
When the Browns new coaching staff was first announced, it seemed like an offensive player with a lot of potential to develop in the new system was Jordan Cameron. How is the team preparing to use Tight Ends in their new pass-heavy scheme?
Based on the history of Norv Turner (Antonio Gates) and Rob Chudzinski (Kellen Winslow), the Browns will use the TE a lot this season. A big year for Cameron to establish himself.
How did Taylor Mays look?
He ran with the second team. Mays is the type of player who will show up more when the pads come on and there's contact allowed.
Each year I have seen the Steelers opted for the pass than running the football. With drafting Bell, are the Steelers going to run the ball this year like Steeler teams in the past or are we going to hope Big Ben can survive another season without any run support?
The Steelers want to run the ball. If they didn't, they would have taken a running back later in the draft. By picking Bell in the second round, it tells me that the Steelers want to establish the ground game. I will have a column on my thoughts on the Steelers' running game later this month.
Acquisition of Bess got a consistent receiver, veteran leadership and possibly they knew the Gordon suspension was coming so they needed help?
If Gordon's failed test came around February, which is when Gordon said he took the cold meds, the Browns had to be aware of it during the draft. While the Browns needed to upgrade at receiver, the trade for Bess had to be a reaction to the upcoming suspension, in my opinion.
I know the over 30 doesn't fit the browns free agency idea, however leach is the best full back in the league and we have the money and the need. You would expect at least some interest you'd think?
Sounds like Leach is going to take his run-blocking talents to South Beach.
With only the 2013 season in mind what QB's would you pick to lead your team ahead of Big Ben?
I would say Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Hey Jameson... hows the ravens WR corps looking in training camp?
Will hopefully tell you something after I see mandatory camp Thursday.
auto update please
I believe it's on.
Any chance that Gio Bernard starts the season at RB? BJGE is so un-dynamic...
Don't see a true competition until next year. Bengals will give Bernard eight to 10 touches a game as a rookie.
Jh....what do you think the Steelers defense need to do to generate more turnovers? Is ziggy hood better suited at d-tackle
Put more pressure on the QB and good things happen for a defense.
Hey jh, you threw me a curveball w/ the tuesday chat last week. What were your 1st impressions of the bengals now that you saw a little bit of them?
Physically imposing team on defense. Dalton has been working on his fundamentals this offseason. Getting rid of the ball quick and was very accurate Tuesday. It was a bad day for TE Jermaine Gresham, who looked lost at times.
Do you think the ravens have time to find a no.2 receiver via free agency or is there a viable starter on our current roster?
I get the feeling Jacoby Jones is going to be the No. 2 receiver. He's getting paid $4 million this year. That's a lot for a guy if he's only a returner. So, I believe the Ravens saw him as a receiver when they picked up a $1 million roster bonus in March.
Was Gordon enrolled as a rookie in the substance abuse program or has he actually failed twice?
NFL won't comment on that. The league just issues suspensions and the reason why.
It sounds like JMJ may no longer be in the Browns plans? I would have thought he could be a fit as an OLB in a 3-4, but I guess I was wrong. Any specific reasons why not?Thanks,Eric
Per Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, James-Michael Johnson has had trouble picking up the defense. Would be quick to give up on a fourth-rounder so soon.
Any chance anyone in AFCN or league wide gives TO a shot this year or is he done for good.
I don't see TO returning to the AFC North.
Piggybacking off of your response to the Leach question...if the Ravesn go more 2TE 1 RB sets, does that pretty much quash the idea of using Pitta at WR?
Not necessarily. You can still split out two WRs out wide and move Pitta in the slot.
It has been reported that the Steelers brass let CB K. Lewis go because they believe CB C. Allen is better. Do you agree?
Cortez Allen is also cheaper. That was a big factor, as well.
Do you think Deonte Thompson can produce in game situations for The Ravens bc I hear good things about him in camp
I see Thompson more in a returner role for the Ravens this year, especially if Jacoby Jones is the No. 2 WR.
Which running back do you feel will emerge as the starter in Pittsburgh, based off minicamps and OTA's?
Le'Veon Bell is the most talented back the Steelers have right now.
Hey JH, thanks for the camp updates. After seeing the Bengals, who do you see being their top 5 pass catchers and is Eifert a better TE than Gresham? Gresham seems to disappear when he's really needed. Thanks.
I still feel Gresham will end up with more catches, but I think Eifert will have more big plays. Top five pass catchers: A.J. Green (big surprise), Sanu, Hawkins, Gresham, Bernard or Eifert.
If you could say that the teams success hinges on one player besides the QB who in each AFC North team would you say that is?
Browns: Trent Richardson. Bengals: A.J. Green. Ravens: Torrey Smith. Steelers: Le'Veon Bell.
Do you believe this will be the final year for both Kiesel and Clark?
Unfortunately, I do. Both are really good guys. But I think the Steelers will go younger at both spots, perhaps Shamarko Thomas and Cameron Heyward.
Does Troy Polamalu think his calf injury has healed?
Yes he does. He say today that he feels in good shape.
Ceiling for the Browns defense statistically? Top 10?
I don't see Browns in top 10. More around the 15-16 mark. Too many holes at ILB, CB and FS.
Will the Bengals cut Brandon Tate? Please tell me yes
Depends on if someone can beat him out as a returner.
If the bengals finally get over the hump this year and make a run in the playoffs will this be the last year Zimmer and Gruden are in Cincy?
Gruden is the hotter candidate, but Zimmer should be the one who teams need to look at.
Is this the last year for Ziggy Hood?
I see the Steelers re-signing him. Next year it could be Hood, McLendon and Cameron Heyward.
Hey Jamison, You haven't mentioned Marvin Jones much lately, does he have a realistic chance to be the #2 guy?
He is definitely in the mix. Jones didn't stand out to me yesterday. I remember Sanu more from Tuesday's practice.
You can beat brandon tate out for a returners job. What about C. Hamilton & gio
Gio was fielding punts. The Bengals sent Cobi Hamilton deep a couple of times on second-team offense.
Any thoughts on Paul Brown being rated #6... He basically invented the pro game, founded two franchises, won like nobody else and every coaching tree comes off of his...
I would have had Paul Brown in top 3, and definitely ahead of Shula. You could make the case for Brown at No. 1.
Have you ever slapped your attorney on the behind?
Only when out of sight of the judge. Got to be smart about such things.
Who will win the stanley cup?
I stop watching hockey when my Canadiens are eliminated. In other words, I haven't watched the Stanley Cup finals in a long time.
Hey Jamison. I know John Harbaugh told the president that he plans to be back to the White House, but does the release of Leach tip the Ravens hand a little bit that it might not be this year? Leach is the best at his position, and at his price he seems like a good asset for a contender. With only 1 year left on his contract, by letting him go, do you think the Ravens are building for the future?
Leach was phased out of the offense more and more after Caldwell took over. The Ravens are going more pass-oriented this year. That made Leach more of a liability.
When do pads start showing up in practices?
Training camp. Late July.
What are your odds that Worilds starts?
He probably will start because of the Steelers' hesitancy to start rookies. I would go with Jarvis Jones, though.
Thanks for all of the great questions. I believe I'm off next week. So I will chat with you at the end of the month. Have a great rest of the week.