Thanks for joining the chat today. Sorry about having to reschedule it from our normal Wednesday time. But I was attending Ravens practice. For the first-timers, I will be your host for the next half hour. Let's get to some questions ...
Hi Jamison, I hope your summer is going well. Do you see Ravens using Pitta more and running more and more importantly can the Ravens really be successful running with their OL and RBs they have?
I do see Dennis Pitta making a big impact. It's no secret that Gary Kubiak's offense is very tight end friendly. I believe the Ravens' leader in catches this season will either be Pitta or Steve Smith. As far as running the ball, the Ravens are quietly optimistic about their offensive line. Coach John Harbaugh loves the left side of Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele. Jeremy Zuttah is an upgrade at center. There will be more running lanes for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce this year. It all starts up front.
Any word on picking up a veteran CB? Asante Samuel maybe?
Don't see the Ravens picking up a cornerback until the final major cutdown. The available corners, like Samuel, are either aging or coming off injury. I expect the Ravens to stick with the group they have and evaluate them. Then, if there is still a hole, they can sign someone let go after the final preseason game.
Can ravens offense succeede with kubiaks zone offensive style
The Ravens offensive line is an athletic group. This zone-blocking scheme is a little bit different than the one ran last year. Kubiak has run this system with a great deal of success in the past. He also has the guys to teach it all offseason and in training camp.
Which 2 start at ILB in week 1?
Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosley. Take it to the bank. Wait, does anyone say that anymore?
With the most talented WR corps in years, do you still see the Ravens running a 2 TE offensive set for most of the 1st and 2nd down situations this year??
I do because that's the history of Gary Kubiak's offense. For that reason, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens carried four tight ends this year. At this point, Owen Daniels (as a No. 2 TE) is more proven that Marlon Brown or Jacoby Jones (the No. 3 WRs).
Do you think accuracy can be taught? I say because i'm worried about Joe Flacco's accuracy in the WCO
Good question. I don't think accuracy can be taught. The Ravens learned that the hard way with Kyle Boller. This is a different offense for Flacco, but it's one that he can succeed in. It's more of a rhythm-based passing game that's built on timing. Flacco has a chance to be around a 63-64 percent passer if he finds a comfort level.
Why hasn't Omar Brown been given a chance to show what he can do based off of preseason showings the last two seasons?
Obviously, the coaching staff sees something that tells them that Omar Brown isn't the answer at safety. The Ravens wouldn't have used a third-round pick on Terrence Brooks or signed Darian Stewart to a $1.6 million contract this offseason if Brown could play.
Jamison, How have the UFA Cornerbacks looked, so far? Has anyone stood out? If the Ravens carry 6 CB's, is it possible that one of them could make the active roster?
Sammy Seamster has looked solid, but Avery Patterson has struggled. Seamster has the size and speed that teams want at cornerback. It's extremely early to draw too many conclusions, though.
Hi Jamison, I believe you, and everyone else have commented on Ryan Jensen's status/progress at RT. What about Rick Wagner, how has he looked, so far? Also, what does Wagner/Jensen/Hurst have to show to prevent the Ravens from making the FA call?
Wagner looks bigger. It's just tough to evaluate offensive linemen in offseason practices. They're wearing shorts and can't hit. You can get a better feel for where linemen are once training camp starts.
Do you predict Flacco bouncing back this upcoming season and quieting his critics?
Flacco will look much better if the Ravens can protect him and run the ball. A lot of Flacco's success has come off play action. But the Ravens couldn't sell that because they failed to establish a ground game. Based on his history, he should finish with 24-25 TDs and around 10 ints.
With all this talk of Ryan Jensen switching to offensive tackle, does that mean that James Hurst is struggling? Or could the Ravens possibly keep Wagner, Jensen and Hurst on the 53-man roster? Thanks!
No. The reason the Ravens moved Jensen to tackle is to give him a better opportunity to get on the field. He's not going to beat out either guard, Marshal Yanda or Kelechi Osemele.
Do you see Marlon Brown having a bigger impact on the offense this year, or more of a reduced role?
He'll have less snaps because of the addition of Steve Smith. Where Marlon Brown will be needed the most is in the red zone.
Vegas & many national pundits see the Ravens as a 3rd place, 8-8 team. Your thoughts.
I'm on record with the Ravens going 10-6. They have the look of an 8-8 team but their win total will get inflated by playing the AFC South and NFC South. Of course, this prediction can change once I see the team in training camp and preseason.
What is your take on how good the Ravens defense will be this year?
Should be top 10. The Ravens need to get better in the fourth quarter to be a really good defense.
Hi Jamison, when you see one unit consistently getting the better of the other at training camp (like the Ravens defense beating the offense), do you think that is a better indication that the defense will be good or the offense will be bad?
I think it's an indication that the Ravens have a learning curve on offense. The offense is in its first few weeks with Gary Kubiak, and the defense is in its third year with Dean Pees.
Which Raven has impressed you the most during this past weeks OTAs? And how have the draft picks and UDFA looking?
Kelechi Osemele and Steve Smith on offense. Arthur Brown and Timmy Jernigan on defense.
I'm a Bucs fan and my wife is a Ravens fan. We are driving down to the Bucs/Ravens game in Tampa this year. Will my wife be disappointed she drove all that way just to watch the Ravens lose? I think so!
My colleague in Tampa, Pat Yasinskas, says the Bucs could surprise some people this year and contend for a playoff spot. Tampa has a very good defense but I'm not sold at quarterback. For that reason, I think your wife will be disappointed.
What do you feel is the Ravens biggest priority that needs to be addressed moving forward?
Third cornerback. Not sure of Chykie Brown or Asa Jackson. I will say Brown has been very aggressive so far in offseason practices.
how many people get cut in camp?
The Ravens have 90 players on the roster and need to get down to 53 by the start of the season. So, 37 players won't be there when the Ravens line up against Cincy. It could be more if the Ravens sign anyone cut from another team.
Steve Smith has a rep for being one of the toughest guys pound-for-pound in the league...have you observed anything in OTAs where he's gotten chippy, or has he just been fitting in?
Steve Smith is an intense player. He doesn't run anything at half speed. The way Smith practices is going to make the Ravens' CBs even better.
I don't mean this as a criticism more as a curiosity. Having to write 2-3 articles a day all year around, how much if any do these chats give you ideas on articles to write?
One of the reasons I enjoy these chats is because the interaction does lead to some ideas for the blog. I try to make this space a place where fans go for information and insight. So, I want to write on topics that interest them. Good question.
I know a lot was made about Ray and Ed leaving last year and the void in "leadership". Something I saw that was concerning was a lack of excitement and enthusiasm when big stops were made on D. (although in the 4th quarter there weren't many made) I can think of a few different instances when someone made a 3rd down stop and no one rushed over to jump on them or hit them, everyone just kind of got up and walked off the field. Struck me as odd after seeing the fiery Ravens' D for so many years.
This is a major reason why the Ravens drafted someone like C.J. Mosley. Not only was he among the most talented defensive players in the draft, but he brings leadership qualities. The Ravens are looking for the next wave of young players to become the foundation going forward.
See any surprise cuts this year?
Here is my 53-man roster projection: http://espn.go.com/blog/baltimore-ravens/post/_/id/10033/ravens-53-man-projection-ota-edition.Not sure if there are any surprise cuts there.
more intense smith sr or #52?
Let's call it a tie. Both bring (or brought) a much-needed fire to their side of the ball.
Do you agree with Webb about how good Elam is doing? Do you expect him to be the leader of our safeties?
Elam is becoming more vocal on the field. One of his goals is to become the quarterback of the secondary. Webb and cornerback Jimmy Smith have both praised him for it. The Ravens do need someone to step into that role, and Elam has been impressive so far.
You mentioned being impressed with Arthur Brown in the OTAs. Do you have a more positive outlook for his sophomore campaign? Seems like people were a bit down on him and the Ravens did draft high at his position?
Arthur Brown is really, really fast. My biggest concern with him is his size. He didn't bulk up as much I expected. Inside linebackers need that strength to get off blockers.
Do you think Reed will be picked up by anyone, Ravens perhaps?
Not happening with Ravens. And I'm not sure what team will call on Reed after watching last year's tape.
Do you see any chance of a Cj Mosley Arthur Brown dual. If Arthur developed into a complete linebacker we could have a 49ers type combo we would play real fast
The Ravens expect Mosley and Brown to be their inside linebacker combo at some point. But I expect Daryl Smith to start the season alongside Mosley.
Most likely Pro Bowler on offense and defense, just a guess?
Yanda and Suggs.
So Hensley?.are you like, the most overpaid blogger/chatter currently at espn :?
I am. But that's only because I fought so hard to get my contract guaranteed for injury.
Who do you see as an alternative for Jacoby as a return guy this year?
The Ravens had Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson and Asa Jackson returning kicks during offseason workouts.
With a Rice suspension likely to start the year, are Pierce and Forsett gonna split carries or have a 60/40 split in Pierce's favor??
If health, Pierce would be the primary ball carrier. Forsett is more of a change of pace, third-down back.
Thanks for all of the great questions. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Talk to you next week at our regular day and time on Wednesday.