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October 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks for joining the chat today. Let's get started with the questions ...

pj (midlo)

Disappointing loss to GB with all their injuries during the game. While I am a proponent of balance in the offense, does the Raven running game seem too predictable in where they run and how they run. Never any deception or unusual formations etc. just no imagination

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

I would like to see the Ravens use more three or four wide receiver formations and take Vonta Leach off the field. I know that doesn't sound like a good solution for the running game. But the Packers spread out the Ravens and were able to get some big yards on the ground because it forces the defense to use more nickel defense.

David (MD) [via mobile]

Can anybody in this division catch the Bengals???

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:04 PM)

The Bengals just have a one-game lead, right? Or did I miss something? The Ravens, Browns and Steelers would be in a bad spot if the Broncos played in the AFC North.

Bob (Tallahassee)

How would you grade Josh Bynes play this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

I would give him a 'C.' There are times when he does make plays. But other times, he overruns plays and looks lost in coverage. The Ravens were banking on Arthur Brown being the starter, not Bynes.

Ryan (Hanover, PA)

The blocking was awful on Sunday but Rice had a few chances to make guys miss in space and wasn't able to do so. How worried should Ravens fans be about him?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

There should be some concern. I agree with you that the blocking has been poor. But Rice doesn't have any explosion. Running backs typically start losing speed at the age of 30. But Rice is 26 and is his second year of a five-year contract.

Raven (Out of Nest)

Any update on Jameel McClain? Is he cleared to play is he not cleared to play? If he is cleared to play did he practice this week and what impact do you see him making on his return?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

Jameel McClain is practicing as I type. You can check out my post on the Raven team page for the entire update.

Kevin (Baltimore)

Do you buy John Harbaugh's statements than Ryan Jenson will be a back-up "developmental tackle" or do you think he'll get a chance to challenge for the center position?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

It's going to be a challenge for a rookie like Jensen to get up to speed quickly after missing most of training camp and the first five weeks of practice in the regular season. But there has to be a reason why the Ravens didn't put him on IR. Looks like they want to keep their options open.

Emil [via mobile]

What are the chances the ravens fire Juan Castillo after this season if they keep producing this way?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

Harbaugh and Juan Castillo are good friends. It's going to take one bad year for the Ravens to make a move with him. You have to wonder if there are too many opinions being expressed in the offensive game plan sessions.

mike tampa [via mobile]

Bringing in Monroe didn't do much to sure up the o-line. What needs to change to make the line as successful as it was in last years playoff run?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Better communication in pass protection and better push coming off the ball in the running game.

Isaac (Cleveland, OH)

besides the run game, what is one thing your keeping an eye on this sunday for the ravens to come out with their 4th straight win at Heinz field?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

More turnovers from the defense. I wouldn't be surprised if Lardarius Webb gets an interception Sunday.

SugarFoote #52 (Denver Colorado)

I'm a faithful Ravens fan living in Broncos Country for well over a decade. I love the Ravens Football Team. I also like John Haubaugh as coach. That is until recently. In my opinion, it seems that John has become a lot more arrogant lately defending poor decisions. It's okay to be arrogant, but it's in poor character when you try defend utterly bad coaching decisions. John had two more poor decisions this past Sunday that ended up costing the packers game. The decision to go 4th and 1 at the 4 was sheer stupidity! It defies the odds that a professional football coach should always know and be aware of. The Ravens have demonstrated a miserable runing game attempting three unsuccessful runs for a total of three yards. Harbaugh decides to run it again? In this instance, there was no decision to be made. You kick the field goal to tie the game at this point. Then to top it off, he makes an "agressive" play call with 12 seconds the end of the 2nd quarter on your own 35 yard line that led to a fumble and a gift of another three points to the Packers. What about being aggressive the previous 29 minutes and 48 seconds prior to that bad call? These are situations you don't have to be a professional football coach to know what the only right call is. Yeah Jim, you can make all the excuses you want to the media, but they still amount to piss poor coaching calls, resulting in a loss, period. Offensively, the play calling is boringly lackluster and is completely void of any meaningful thought or creativity. The result is a steady diet of continous three and outs time and time again. For coaches that alledegely spend so many hours around the facility designing and practicing plays, compared with the play calling we've wittnessed the first six weeks of this season is the best they can collectively come up with? What a joke!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

Noted.

Raven (Out of Nest)

Coming in to the season Huff was heralded the better pass coverage safety of the group. Any chance that he sees some more time since both safeties seemed to suffer in pass coverage late week?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

I don't see Huff getting much playing time on defense unless there is an injury. The Ravens are going to stick with Matt Elam because he's the future and has to learn. They like Ihedigbo's physical nature and will keep him moving forward, which is his strength. Huff didn't get one snap on defense Sunday.

Mike Baltimore [via mobile]

It appears the Ravens never make it look easy in the regular season but still make the playoffs. Should this year be any different or should we start to worry about not making the playoffs?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Ask me after the Pittsburgh game.

Cheston Harrington (Mt. Washington)

Do you see Ozzie making another move for a TE or WR?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Don't see it. Ravens gave up two draft picks for Monroe. I don't think they will want to give up more picks to rent a TE or WR.

Peter (New Orleans)

Now that we have a relatively healthy receiving corps, how do we get the most out of it?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:20 PM)

Don't want to repeat myself, but I would like to see the Ravens spread out teams more with Torrey Smith, Marlon Brown, Jacoby Jones and maybe even Deonte Thompson. They're playing better than the Ravens' tight ends and fullback Vonta Leach. Harbaugh has always stressed that you play your best 11 players. In my opinion, the best 11 include more receivers.

Kevin (Baltimore)

Any chance the ravens can keep d. smith, arthur jones, pitta, and monroe?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

Yes to Daryl Smith, Dennis Pitta and Eugene Monroe. It looks like Arthur Jones is playing his way out of of Baltimore. The Ravens' cap situation won't allow them to pay what other teams will be willing to spend on him.

Ryan (Clemson)

Does Josh Bynes have a future at inside linebacker next to Arthur Brown?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

I like Bynes more as a special teams player.

Z (baltimore)

Your answer to mike makes it sound like going 3-4 on sunday is a death sentence, but looking at the schedule if we lose to pitt and then win the next two after the bye we would still be in good shape to make a run at the playoffs right? 5-4 with 3-1 in division with the AFC North playing poorly

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

DIdn't mean to insinuate that it's a must win. But you would feel differently about the Ravens if they won in Pittsburgh, compared to a loss.

Jon (New Jersey)

Any chance the ravens use Bryant Mckinnie in the TE position a little to help Ray Rice and Pierce get the power running game going? I feel that they still have the talent but need a few good runs to get their confidence back.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

That's an outside-the-box idea. Don't think it would happen. Rick Wagner has been the Ravens' extra linemen when they go big on the offensive line. If they did use McKinnie there, he would be the biggest TE for the Ravens since Eric Green!

Z (baltimore)

thanks for picking my question Jamison, keep up the great coverage. Miss seeing you in the Sun, but glad you are back to hometown coverage

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Appreciate it. Thanks for following the blog.

Matthew (London)

Expecting a big game from Torrey Sunday?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

I expected a big game from Torrey Smith against the Packers. So you're probably asking the wrong guy. The Ravens will take some shots deep against the Steelers, and Smith is the team's best downfield threat. It would be a mistake to ignore Smith for a second straight week.

Ryan (Hanover, PA)

I can't understand how bad the Oline is playing. It's the same group from last year with an upgrade at LT. It must be Gino right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:34 PM)

Osemele hasn't played as well as last season. Oher has been average at best. And Yanda has made uncharacteristic penalties. So, yes, Gradkowski hasn't played well. But it would be unfair to single him out as the biggest problem on the offensive line.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Thanks for all of the great questions. I appreciate you stopping by for the chat and your loyal readership to the blog. Talk to you next week during the bye. Take care and enjoy the rest of the week.