Q: Someone asked what the rookie sack record was during our chat tonight (4/30). EB was right, it was held by Kearse. He had 14.5 sacks in 1999. Suggs will have to have quite the year to surpass that number, but with our defense I don't think that goal is unattainable.
Aaron Wilson: Yep, Kearse was selected as the Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and I actually covered that season. He's an outstanding athlete as a former safety and linebacker at Florida. Suggs will have to get off to a fast start and he'll be in somewhat of a race to get to the quarterback with Boulware, too. That said, he looks like a strong candidate for decent stats in his rookie season. Remember he doesn't turn 21 until October. He's really young for the NFL. He did have 10 sacks as a 17-year-old freshman in the Pac-10 Conference, so fast starts aren't unusual for Suggs.
Q: Will Marcus Robinson be given a chance to be the go to receiver in our offense? Why would he be the 3rd receiver in mini camp? When healthy, he's by far the best receiver on our team.
Aaron Wilson: If he's the best wideout, he'll play a lot. I think the reason he's behind the others is they're established with money invested in them and healthier in recent years. It's a long summer. He'll get his chance.
Q: Aaron, do you see the Ravens trying to bring in another CB
before training camp? I see very little depth there, especially when you
consider the 3rd guy (Knight) is coming off an injury that kept him out all of
last year. A few weeks back, you mentioned in one of the chats that they were
putting out feelers to Emmanuel McDaniel, or vice versa (I forget which,
exactly). Could he be someone the Ravens look into signing?
Aaron Wilson: I think they will stand pat. They think they have enough nickel back candidates presently. Yes, Knight is prone to injuries, but if he falters they could get by with combination of Baxter and Fuller. So far, these undrafted rookies haven't shown me much at all.
Emmanuel McDaniel would fit in well, but I don't think his agent has been able to drum up much interest yet.
Earnest: There are many thoughts pertaining to our draft and the
quality of it. I am interested in what you think concerning it. Who do you think
are the most significant additions?
ChrisQ: Obviously Suggs is the immediate answer to that. The rest are question marks that will hopefully turn into exclamation points. I know the QB gets all the glory and all the blame, but in our case, it probably carries some weight.
MoCoRavens: Suggs & Boller are the coup of the draft. I believe we will look back at these two picks in a few years and see that this was a truly amazing first round. I am excited about Jarrett Johnson. He is a Raven type player, using great motor and heart. I think he will end up starting on the other side of Weaver, and add even more of a pass rush which should be vastly improved over last year. Although I wasn't sure about the Trent Smith pick, I think he could add some problems for defenses at the goal line if we used a 2 tight end set.
Earnest: Excellent thoughts......I have a good feeling about Suggs and Boller. I have seen their eyes and the way that they can change gears mentally. I was speaking to one of our prolific players and he believes that the two backfield additions might be the two most impacting....he is on the other side so you know that he will place the most impact on the offensive side....if you know what i mean
Q: Have any of the insiders heard anything to suggest that Farrior might have an expanded role this year? Is there a possibility that he could be used as a rush end? With the exception of the few games when Bell played on two legs, I thought he was playing as well as any of our linebackers. If Gildon's production continues to slide and Foote adds some bulk and disciplines his lane assignments, I wonder if Farrior could move outside like he did with the Jets. I think he played weakside in New York but playing off blocks seemed to be a strength for him and he could probably play over the tight end.
Jim Wexell: In the new nickel that was used Monday, Farrior and Bell were the ILBs, the two OLBs (Porter, Haggans) played DE and Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton played DTs. Gildon had the day off, as did Polamalu (hamstring strain) and Hartings (knee). Kimo and Maddox also had the day off, but there was no explanation given.
Q: Dang - Polo's hurt already? & Hartings knee - is that a leftover
from last year's injury? Or is this just camp stuff (i.e. if a guy has a scab on
his elbow he gets to sit out) & nothing to worry about? I'm probably gettin' all
worked up over nuthin'... (I hope!!!)
Jim Wexell: Polamalu downplayed his injury, but it's the second consecutive practice he's missed. Early last week, he sat down for an interview with an icebag strapped to his hammy and he sat down gingerly. Hartings was on the field in gym clothes. I assume it's no big deal and that they're very cautious right now and ready to rest these guys in a heartbeat. And remember, these practices are voluntary. Cowher wasn't even there today, and that wasn't a first during these sessions. That makes me go hmmmm morseo than the injuries do.
Q: I was wondering what you take what might happen with the Steelers.... OT a position that still bothers me a tad even though I think Marvel will do well at LT, but depth bothers me a bit. Is Page or Brockymeyer a choice? RT will be manned by Ross or Fordham which dosen't bother me because both guys are battlers.... WR: Will Colbert reach out and grab Crowell?
Jim Wexell: Tackles and cornerbacks are the most difficult positions
to fill off the scrap heap. Fair? I think he's damaged goods. So is Crowell.
Yes, they definitely need a WR. If they really are a passing team, they're sure
paper thin at that position. Only three guys and Mays, who has shown he can get
deep but hasn't shown any toughness over the middle. Again, I see them adding a
WR and that's about it.
Dale Lolley: Crowell is an outside guy. If anything, they need a slot guy or they will have to move Ward inside when they go four wide.
Q: I was wondering if anyone thinks all this shifting around of
Kendrell Bell to get him in on third downs might be counter productive to his
growth as a linebacker in this league. From my point of view he might have been
well suited to do some cover type things this year had they let him go through
some growing pains instead of him to be superman on every play of every game.
What are the organizations long term goals / plans for bell? Do they plan on
making his shift to end on third downs permanent? If so, how might this affect
his career down the lines?
Also, is there any word on how Jason Gildon is looking coming into the voluntary camps this season? He didn't have his greatest year last year and although some of this can be attributed to schemes I have also re-watched some tapes where he does a lot back turning and getting overpowered on running and passing plays alike.... Just hoping he was hungry over the offseason.
Jim Wexell: Good question about Bell, but don't confuse our (the
media) hyperbole in the race to cover the dime defense remedies this off-season
with what's really going on during the rest of the practices. They've only used
him over there one day, and as Kendrell told me the coverage drops have been the
point of emphasis for him this spring. They are training him to become a
full-time, all-around linebacker, but they must also find a way to get him on
the field on third down. I don't think the little time he's spending at DE is
hurting him, but then again I've become a fan of his and want to see him play
anywhwere on third down.
As for Gildon, he's always in such good shape that I haven't even really checked him out (man, that sounds bad). Remember, they're not hitting, so it's a little difficult to tell you how a linebacker's doing at minicamp.
Dale Lolley: This is where you say he's covering his space well.