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August 7, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

Thanks for joining the chat today. I had a great two days at Browns training camp and I'm back at AFC North headquarters. Let's get started ...

Matt (Canton, Oh) [via mobile]

Besides a difference in coaching strategy, what do you see out of Rob Chudzinski that you didn't see out of Shurmur? From anything to how he's running camp to relationships with players?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

The biggest change that stood out to me was the pace of camp. There seems to be a faster tempo and more urgency. On offense, the Browns are getting out of the huddle faster. On defense, they're running to the ball quicker.

LeAnne (Washington)

Antonio Brown over 90 catches this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

I would take the under. He's never had 70 catches in any season. I understand that he'll get more passes thrown his way considering Mike Wallace is gone and Heath Miller is hurt. But I believe a lot of the passes that would go to Miller will now go to the running backs.

Matt (Oklahoma City, OK) [via mobile]

Follower of the blog all the way out here in OKC! Anyway, besides the risk of injury, what other things concern you about Jordan Cameron as the starter? I've seen far too much optimism for a 4th rounder that has seen limited action on the field.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:09 PM)

I believe Cameron has a chance for a breakout season, but I'm not entirely sold on him. He's very athletic, which will help in the red zone. I have a question whether he's physical enough for that position. I was surprised that the Browns didn't do more at tight end this offseason.

Shane (Somerville, OH)

I enjoyed your blog on what you gathered from the first episode of Hard Knocks with the Cincinnati Bengals. I felt you missed one key item that Jay Gruden told some of the players. Correct me if I'm wrong but he told them he expects the Bengals in the superbowl this year. Pretty bold statement if you ask me. Your thoughts.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

Thanks for bringing that up. I had that in my notes and it didn't make it to the blog post. It was a good statement by Gruden to the team. He basically said the Bengals whispered about the Super Bowl two years ago and put it on their t-shirt last year. Now, it's expected. That's right on point. This is the mentality the Bengals need to have. You can't talk about it. You have to expect it and go do it.


Jason - how much do you think B Pierce will cut into R Rice's workload this year? Rice doesn't get injured and is an elite back.. one would think Pierce should only see 5 carriers or less per game right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

I'm not one who is jumping on Pierce's bandwagon just yet. Rice is still the best option at running back. I can see a year or two down the road where there's talk of Pierce taking over. Right now, I see Pierce as a runner who can pound out yards against a defense that has been softened up by Rice and the running game. As far as carries, Pierce got between eight and nine carries starting in November last year. I envision that being the workload for him this year.

TJ (Columbus)

Hey Jamison. What was the most promising/concerning observation you had at the Browns camp the last couple of days?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:15 PM)

Promising: Pass rush. Concerning: Drops by receivers.

Mark g [via mobile]

What are your thoughts on Trent Richardson possibly leading the league in rushing attempts,, and would that be bad for Brandon weedon,or do u think that plays into plan with Weedons arm strength ,,,, run run run,,, deep pass

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

Not sure If Richardson will lead the league in rushing attempts. It looks like he'll be among the top five if he gets over 300 carries. That would not be bad for Weeden. You need to establish the run to set up the play-action passes. If you can get the safety and linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage, it will open up more things downfield in the passing game.

Shane (Somerville, OH)

What's the extent damage to slot reciever Andrew Hawkins ankle injury? The Cincinnati Bengals website has compared the injury to Kyle Cook's injury last year. Will Hawkins miss all of preseason or more going into the regular season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised if Hawkins' injury lasts into the regular season. It's a shame because he's worked so hard to get to this point in his career. Hawkins is a very underrated slot receiver. Every time I watch practices or games, he finds a way to get open.

Nick (Cincy)

Dre Kirkpatrick will overtake Terence Newman for the #2 CB spot by Week ___?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

If Kirkpatrick does become a starter, it won't happen until midseason at the earliest.

JohnStyz (Some Where in the Swamps of Jersey)

How is the Steelers' O-Line holding up in camp against the D

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:20 PM)

I will be at Steelers camp next week. I will be able to answer that question better then.

James (England)

Who will have the best defense in the division this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Bengals. The front four can dominate and the depth at cornerback is a major plus. The only concern for me is consistency at linebacker.

Roger (OH)

JJ his name is Jamison bro.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

I'm sure he is a strikingly handsome fellow. That's one of the prerequisites.

chris [via mobile]

Any injury setbacks for the Steelers OL? Is Adams fully participating?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

Adams has been working at left tackle for the past four or five practices. It's an amazing story for a lineman who was stabbed two months ago to now be protecting Roethlisberger's blind side. Marcus Gilbert is lining up at right tackle.

Bryan (Denver)

If Big Ben and the O-Line stay healthy, do you see the Steelers winning the division?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

That's a major part of the equation. The other part is getting sacks and generating turnovers on defense. The Steelers had the top-ranked defense as far as yards allowed, but they didn't have a game-changing defense. That would have to change, and all of that goes back to Troy Polamalu staying healthy.

merrick (cincy, ohio)

hbo series hard knocks seemed to portray james harrison as a slight distraction or even a burden to the mentality and ambiance of the team, you even said yourself in the review that he was depicted as the true anti hero, do you think this will blossom into the locker room distractions that Cincinnati has been able to avoid these past few years

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

To be honest, when I was in Cincinnati, the players seemed to love James Harrison. Yeah, he's grumpy, rude and not really likable. But players look up to him for what's he has done in the league and the tone he sets in practice. I know for a fact that it's taken the coaches some time to get used to Harrison's antics. But I don't see this becoming a distraction.

merrick (cincy, ohio)

more yards law firm or bernard?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis will lead Bengals in rushing this year, unless there is an injury. Bernard will start to get more significant carries next year.

slava (brooklyn, ny)

who is the raven's go-to receiver? Do you think Jacoby can be more consistent in the receiving game to complement Smith?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Jacoby Jones is the starter right now. I think Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson have a good shot of unseating him this preseason. I feel Doss is a better complement to Smith than Jones.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

Richardson or Bell the better rusher?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:31 PM)

Richardson is the better runner. Bell, though, is the best runner on the Steelers.

JohnStyz (Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey)

E. Sanders Re-signed or History?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

If Sanders' agent is right about the amount of interest in Sanders this offseason, he'll be history. Because of their cap situation, the Steelers won't be able to match if another team truly wants him. Next man up would be Markus Wheaton.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

Has the AFC North drawn the most preseason fans at 68,000?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

NFC North had over 100,000 for open practices last Saturday. But I believe the Packers accounted for half of that. Those crazy Cheeseheads.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

Dick LeBeau's last preseason?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Haven't we been saying that for the past four preseasons?

mexsteeler (Brooklyn)

Jamison, I always appreciate your opinion. Who gets the 5th receiver spot for the Steelers?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

The top four are: Brown, Sanders, Wheaton and Cotchery. Burress has the most experience left, but you usually want a special teams player as the No. 5 WR. David Gilreath seems to fit that role better.

Rexx (Baltimore) [via mobile]

The Ravens have totally revamped the defense. What do you think will be the strengths and weaknesses of that defense? Can the Ravens defense improve over last year's disappointing taking?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

Strength: Run defense. The Ravens are committed to making that a strength after last season. Weakness: Deep coverage. I'm not saying this because I've seen anything in practice that suggest this. But quarterbacks were hesitant to throw deep when Ed Reed was playing centerfield. With a rookie (Matt Elam) and Huff back there now, it wouldn't surprise me if teams tested the Ravens more downfield.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

Todd Haley's first year was rocky. How is Norv Turner doing in Cleveland so far in his first year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

There is definitely a learning curve. Norv was yelling a lot when I was out there for camp. Browns offense is a work in progress at this point.

Hanley Ramirez (Cincinnati)

Assuming the Bengals stay healthy, if Dalton doesn't take "the next step" this season should the Bengals consider a new direction at QB?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

Marvin Lewis and Jay Gruden really believe in Dalton. They have been extremely supportive of him and his future in Cincinnati. That being said, there will be a lot of pressure to bring in a veteran QB to compete with Dalton next year if he fails to take that next step or struggles once again in the playoffs.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

JH, planking is meant to build your core and abs.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:43 PM)

Thank you for letting me know. With an 11-month-old child, I haven't been able to plank much lately. I'm very jealous of Dalton.

Alex (OH)

How impressive has Eifert been?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

In my two days at Bengals camp, he was very impressive. He has great size and good hands. Eifert has really picked up the offense and that is impressive considering the Bengals are moving him around at different positions.

merrick (cincy, ohio)

more catches antonio brown or aj green?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

A.J. Green. No question. Green should catch over 100 this year.

Noah (Peoria, IL)

How crucial is a healthy Cortez Allen for the Steelers?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:46 PM)

Do you want Curtis Brown or William Gay starting at corner? That's why it is so critical for Allen to stay healthy.

Andy (Milwaukee)

Who is Bengals starting RB in week 1?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

BJGE. Bengals coaches don't even think this is a question.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

With you thinking more receptions to the RBs andsupposedly his hands being one of Bell's best traits, how many catches do you see for the big guy...over/under at 49.5?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

Even before seeing this question, I would have projected Bell to have around 50 catches if he's the starter from Week 1.

Matt (Baltimore)

Do you think Markus Wheaton will push for the number 3WR on Steelers this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

Cotchery will likely have the No. 3 receiver job to start the season. But I would expect Wheaton to take over that role at some point in the season.

LeAnne (Washington)

So expect big things from bell this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:52 PM)

I do expect big things from him. He has a good chance to lead all rookies in rushing this year. Montee Ball will also get a lot of carries in Denver, and Eddie Lacy will have some opportunities in Green Bay, although there is a lot of talk about his weight and injuries.

Mike (CT)

Will Leon McFadden crack the starting lineup sometimes this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:53 PM)

I see him splitting time with Chris Owens throughout the year. He may not be officially a starter for the entire year.

Joseph (Indy) [via mobile]

You' ve said that Jarvis Jones's spinal stenosis could lead to a shortened career. if it does, will the nature of the injury give forewarning and sideline him every once in a while, or will it just hit him all at once in a few years

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:55 PM)

Take a look at the career of Chargers offensive tackle Marcus McNeill, who had stenosis. He was a Pro Bowl lineman his first two years in the NFL. Then, he was out of the league after six years.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:56 PM)

Thanks for all of the great questions. I'll have observations on all of the AFC North preseason games this week and the Browns' Camp Confidential file will run Friday. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. Take care.