Browns - Ravens Chat Transcript

If you're ready for enough Browns-Ravens background to choke a horse, click this story. Aaron Wilson and Lane Adkins answer questions about the Ravens and Browns as those respective teams get ready for Sunday's rematch.

AaronWilson Good evening, everyone. Ready for your questions.
Crowdog89 Are you ready to do some playoff coverage? Is the fact that the Ravens are even in the playoff hunt at this point in the season the result of good play or lousy teams ?
AaronWilson Possibly, both factors are evenly important. Because the Ravens are inexperienced and haven't fully established themselves as contenders, they tend to surprise people. In reality, this is a talented franchise with a bright future regardless of whether they run the table and earn the AFC North Division crown this seaosn or not.
AaronWilson They have played some good competition along the way, too.
Crowdog89 I think Billick should get coach of the year.
AaronWilson Possibly, so. He should at least deserve some heavy consideration.
Adminsteve We have been talking on the boards about who the MVP of the Ravens should be this year. It seems to be an easy guess but I'm interested in who you think warrants the accolade.
AaronWilson I would award the honor to Jamal Lewis despite his seven fumbles because he has consistently represented the Ravens' chief offensive threat as a runner and a receiver. Hands down, it's Jamal on offense ahead of terrific tight end Todd Heap, Ed Reed on defense ahead of Edgerton Hartwell and Matt Stover ahead of Lamont Brightful on special teams.
AaronWilson Next question please.
Adminsteve That seems to be the opinion of most.
Adminsteve I agree with it although i think Heap is one heck of a player.
AaronWilson Definitely, Todd's progression has been even faster than the Ravens could have hoped for after Shannon Sharpe's departure back to the Denver Broncos. Behind him, John Jones and Terry Jones are competent as well.
Crowdog89 What do you envision the Ravens to do offensively vs the Browns this week? Also is Chester Taylor going to be returning kicks again?
AaronWilson They will try to establish Jamal Lewis and attack the Browns downfield with Travis Taylor and Todd Heap. Look for some play-action passes, a bit of the Browns' own medicine. Chester Taylor and Lamont Brightful are both in the Ravens' plans, according to special teams coach Gary Zauner.
Adminsteve Flynn is questionable according to the official site. Do you think he will play Sunday?
Adminsteve Crystal Ball I know...
AaronWilson Yes, he will play. They have to list any injuries because of the NFL rules for absolute fairness for the gamblers.
Adminsteve I know you get asked these every week but as a reporter with Inside info, how is Redman and his back.
AaronWilson Chris Redman told me today he had an MRI performed on his back yesterday and his disc is still herniated. He said his back flared up again last week and his flexibility isn't where it is supposed to be. He seemed understandably glum about the situation.
Adminsteve I would be glum to say the least.
Crowdog89 OFF-Topic...What did you think of The Junction Boys? That sucks about Redman, but nothing that was unexpected from me.
AaronWilson Junction Boys was alright except for the lack of established actors besides Tom Berenger. Buy the book by Jim Dent. It's far superior to the celluloid version.
AaronWilson It's an extremely descriptive read, definitely old-school, rock em sock em football.
Adminsteve Aaron, TT stepped it up last week big time I thought. Was he given a sit down talking to?
AaronWilson Probably not. The Ravens have made things crystal clear to Travis Taylor. He's expected to produce. If he doesn't, he faces consequences down the road, probably the loss of his job when the receiving personnel improves. Travis was productive and spectacular at times. Let's see if he can keep it up.
Adminsteve I like Stover although lately he has taken some flack. It looks like Billick feels the same way. Is he staying?
AaronWilson Matt Stover is preparing for a career beyond football, possibly in radio or television. He wants to be back and the Ravens are unlikely to have any better alternatives except for his short kickoffs. By the way, Stover told me that happened because he was told all season to prepare for no kickoff duties.
Adminsteve Well, I've spoken to him and he is quite eloquent for a football player LOL
Crowdog89 Going along with Steves question, I noticed TT in the slot a lot during the Texans game. Do you think that helped him see the ball better or get a different look or feel?
AaronWilson It helps to move any receiver around, but it's primarily because of the double-tight end sets and the benching of Ron Johnson more than any type of strategy meant to isolate Travis Taylor against safeties. It's more of a pleasant side effect than anything else.
Adminsteve Should do well on TV
AaronWilson Matt is a nice guy, a family man above all else.
Adminsteve Yup. Nice chap.
Crowdog89 They probably weren't expecting Jenkins to falter due to injury either.
AaronWilson No, they weren't. He's still around by the way. He has potential and might be around next year, too.
Adminsteve Slightly OT - What's your take on 'that team directly south' in Landover.
AaronWilson The Redskins are in shambles. Steve Spurrier needs to commit to a running attack, unlikely propostion I know, leave Marvin Lewis alone on defense, settle on a quarterback, find some better receivers and stop fooling around with these former Florida Gators.
ArtBtz Yeah, why Blake when Redman's healthy again? Is this playing games with Redman's head?
Adminsteve Here we go.
AaronWilson Redman isn't healthy. He told me he had an MRI yesterday because his back flared up again. His disc is still herniated.
ArtBtz So, who comes in when... er... if Blake gets hurt?
AaronWilson Anthony Wright in all likelihood. Chris Redman is the backup in name only. He still can't touch his toes.
ArtBtz Scott Mitchell had that problem too, for a different reason.
Guest20 what is the deal with Casey it looked like he got pushed around a lot
AaronWilson Casey Rabach graded out decently according to line coach Jim Colletto on his 35-40 snaps.
Sephy Can't forget Seth Payne is also very good
AaronWilson He's a tad light for an offensive guard, but has above-average weight room strength and quickness.
AaronWilson Colletto said Payne and Gary Walker pretty much had their way, but the pass blocking was effective. No sacks, first time since the first Browns encounter.
Guest20 do you see him replacing Mike at center next year
AaronWilson Possibly, but the Ravens have the salary cap room to continue this way for now. Replacing Flynn, although he's a limited athlete, is probably another season away. This team, needs all of its productive veterans at this point.
ArtBtz How many times do you figure Lewis gets the ball against the Browns?
AaronWilson I would anticipate 18-22 carries for Jamal Lewis unless Jeff Blake and he regress to turning the ball over.
Sephy I hope we see a good share of tosses against the Browns, Jamal burned them on the toss before
Sephy use that speed and power
AaronWilson The toss sweep isn't exactly the old Green Bay Packers' rendition, but it works well, especially behind left tackle Jonathan Ogden and left guard Edwin Mulitalo.
Sephy hey Art: who backs up Courtney?
ArtBtz It's a rotation: Tyrone Rogers, Mark Word, and a little bit of Chad Scott.
AaronWilson Next question, please.
Guest20 do you think C Mac ankle is up to the test this week
AaronWilson Chris said his ankle hasn't felt this good in weeks. I believe he's regained a lot of his mobility. However, he still struggles against double moves and fade patterns. Expect the Ravens' secondary to allow at least one passing touchdown to Tim Couch.
Crowdog89 ouch
ArtBtz Ra
Adminsteve Hmmph!
ArtBtz That means seven points for us. No way the Ravens score more than three.
Adminsteve Three TDs Art.
ArtBtz LOL
AaronWilson We'll see. The Ravens manage to manufacture drives with their defense and special teams with solid effectiveness.
ArtBtz What's McAllister's contract status?
AaronWilson Chris McAlister is an unrestricted free agent. The Ravens have already begun preliminary, informal discussions with his representative. They said they want to re-sign him and Edwin Mulitalo. Chris and Edwin both said they want to back, too. Chris could command a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $10-$12 million.
Guest20 who starts next to Reed this week
AaronWilson Anthony Mitchell said he's still taking repetitions with the first defensive huddle.
TheFanatic Randy Hymes getting the start in place of ron Johnson again
AaronWilson Yes, Randy Hymes will start. Newcomer Milton Wynn showed me the playbook today and several plays where he runs with the first unit. He said he'll play purely at Z opposite Travis Taylor at Z. He'll be involved in some three wide sets, too, on third downs.
ArtBtz Are the Ravens going to franchise anyone?
AaronWilson No, the Ravens have an aversion to the franchise tag because of an unpleasant experience years ago with former offensive lineman Wally Williams.
Crowdog89 What is the confidence level in the Ravens locker room and with the coaches?
AaronWilson They are cautiously optimistic and enjoying the playoff atmosphere. A lot of the young players told me they feel a little extra pressure because they don't want to let the veterans and the coaching staff down. There's playoff money at stake.
ArtBtz Hey Frost... Aaron Wilson is here already if you have any questions about the Rats.
ArtBtz Er... Ravens.
Frost hehe.
TheFanatic Has Hymes showed any improvement in his routes
AaronWilson Hymes is a pretty raw prospect, but he runs well and has outstanding size and large hands. The former Grambling quarterback can palm a football helmet.
TheFanatic Dude could use some end zone dance improvement as well......might want to start by scoring a TD himself before dancing!1
Crowdog89 LOL that WAS embarrassing!
AaronWilson Trust me, Chester Taylor has been chastised and teased quite often this week. He received no style points in the press box, either.
Guest20 are we going to see Chester in more on 3rd downs
AaronWilson Chester Taylor is very much in Matt Cavanaugh's game plan. They are sticking with the hot hands. Right now, that means the personnel that touched the football against the Texans. They will stay away from people who drop the football like Ron Johnson. Jamal Lewis will be counted on heavily.
ArtBtz Is it true that Billick is building this game up like it's the Game of the Century? That's what we're hearing up here.
AaronWilson Brian Billick is hyping the game and the rivalry with the Browns up to a high degree. He wants to build a significant home-field advantage, beseeching fans to show up early and cheer loudly to try to disrupt the Browns' audibles.
ArtBtz Please, please disrupt Tim's audibles. I cringe whenever I see Couch audible.
TheFanatic Bahahahahahahah
Frost Yikes. :)
ArtBtz Four audibles that I saw last Sunday... none of them worked. Manning, on the other hand, was a bit more successful.
TheFanatic Any vibes coming out of the stains...eerrr...Browns camp regarding nervousness regarding this game
ArtBtz Nervousness? No. Still a lot of irritation within the team at the collapse in the second half last week.
Frost Hmm. I'm kinda curious how Redman could even be a backup with a herniated disc
AaronWilson He's listed as the backup, I believe, for his pride, and for warmup purposes.
Guest20 speaking of Matt Cavanaugh do you think he will be here next year
AaronWilson Matt Cavanaugh has called some better game plans lately with all of these double tight end packages and splitting Todd Heap out wide of late. Using Jamal Lewis in the passing game was a good idea, too. He's underrated. He's no genius, but he's definitely a competent offensive coach. Remember every play is cleared first through Brian Billick.
ArtBtz The Ravens have nineteen rooks on the team. Any signs the team might start hitting the wall?
AaronWilson Free safety Will Demps' play dropped off for a while, so the team replaced him with Anthony Mitchell a few weeks ago.
FunkyDawg What's the strength of your D without Ray Lewis: Stopping the run or the pass?
AaronWilson The run defense is still the Ravens' most dominant theme on defense. Edgerton Hartwell and Bernardo Harris are solid replacements for Lewis as inside linebackers.
Sephy 22 picks
Guest20 what about James Trapp; I think he only signed a 1 year contract but I would like to have him back. He is a special teams monster
FunkyDawg Who will the Ratbirds errr Ravens designate as ""franchise"" player in the offseason?
AaronWilson They are unlikely to use the designation based on an ugly experience years ago with former offensive lineman Wally Williams.
ArtBtz Hmmm... All I remember this year is Northcutt scoring touchdowns.
Lane Hi Aaron, how's it going tonight?
ArtBtz Alright! We've got Aaron and Lane here to answer questions until the next Internet burp.
AaronWilson Hi, Lane. Thanks for having me as a guest.
AaronWilson How's it going down in Cleveland?
Lane All is well in the land of inconsistency
howldawg arron where is all of that billick offence
AaronWilson Brian Billick, the so-called compu coach and offensive genius, is happy to score any points at all with the majority of them manufactured at least in part by the defense and special teams.
Frost hehe. alright - is there any noise about changing the defensive scheme and/or staff?
Frost or - are the defensive troubles an issue of players not performing up to potential?
Lane Regarding the Browns defense, they do not have the 'right' talent for the scheme and they have a terrible time getting into the correct defense
redright Lane--Should the Browns and Ravens swap defensive co-ordinators for the week? Seems they both will have new jobs soon.
Lane Sure, but Nolan is on the way up and Foge is definitely riding off into the sunset
AaronWilson Mike Noland said today he's happy to stay for a few more years. He has done a terrific job with a suspect list of candidates except for Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Chris McAlister and Ed Reed.
AaronWilson Despite a lack of credentials, the defense has been up to par.
ArtBtz Is Billick finally taking the rap for the Ravens endless offensive problems or has everyone focused on Cavanaugh?
AaronWilson As for Billick, he hasn't bathed himself in accountability exactly, but he hasn't completely shirked responsibility. He's frustrated with the lack of competent personnel available for his offensive packages.
TheFanatic Maybe the Browns would be interested in one Marvin Lewis....dude should be available in about two weeks!! :-)
ArtBtz We're tracking it Fanatic, because Lewis would probably steal Robiskie from the Browns staff.
Lane Marvin Lewis will have an address in either detroit or Cincy in 2003
howldawg cinci ha ha ha ha
Crowdog89 Take Cincy please Marvin!
Lane Robiskie is a done deal when Lewis FINALLY gets that deserved opportunity
AaronWilson Marvin Lewis might also have designs on signing Donnie Henderson, the Ravens secondary coach, as his defensive coordinator. That is, if Lewis can interview well enough to convince an owner to hand him the keys to the castle. Reportedly, Marvin doesn't make the best first impression even though his credentials and character are solid.
Lane Mike Brown is entitled to one smart move every decade, hiring Lewis would take care of this decade
ArtBtz That's what they've said here, too, Aaron. He doesn't come in prepared enough for interviews is what they've said.
Lane Also, Lewis does come off a bit brash and somewhat defensive of his track record
AaronWilson He doesn't exactly give off the image of polished and prepared like the Bills' Gregg Williams did in his job interview with Ralph Wilson.
BryanK Is Jamal Lewis a must-start fantasy player this week?
Lane I would start him
AaronWilson Jamal Lewis will carry the football at least 18-22 times based on his past track record against the Browns.
Guest65 Will he hold onto the ball?
AaronWilson Who knows? He has fumbled seven times, lost all seven, and has 13 in a two-year career.
AaronWilson Jamal's defense is rather indefensible to the fumbling issue. He said every back fumbles. Well, Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton didn't fumble very often.
ArtBtz How has the protection been for Blake, Aaron?
AaronWilson Better of late. Last week, no sacks, first time that's happened since the first encounter with the Browns.
FunkyDawg Lane, are our Browns players totally deflated or are they ready to PLAY?
Lane I spoke with a couple players within the last 24 hours, they are ready to play and are tired of blowing very good opportunities
BryanK Aaron, do you think the Ravens think they can win the last 2 games and take the division?
AaronWilson They believe they can beat the Browns. The Steelers have an intimidation factor over the Ravens, and with good reason, they've dominated Baltimore in all three phases of play and have out-coached the Ravens, too, in the last two meetings.
BryanK If the Browns beat them, do you think they will throw in the towel in week 17?
FunkyDawg In other words aaron, the Steelers win the division?
AaronWilson In my opinion, yes. The Steelers are the best football team in the division bar none. It might annoy the Browns and Ravens' supporters to hear that, but it's likely the brutal truth. I think all of this buildup and a trip to Pittsburgh will be for naught. At least the Ravens might learn what it takes to be a playoff team through the experience.
AaronWilson Yeah, growing up is painful sometimes. Just ask Tim Couch.
ArtBtz Lane, do you think between Policy's remarks and subtle finger-pointing at coaches, that we're starting to get into a little bit of chaos now?
Lane Yes, his comments are actually some of the subtle thoughts that we have eluded to recently in the chats.
ArtBtz Will the Browns throw up their arms if things start badly, in other words?
Lane They will only let up if the leadership bails and I do not expect that out of a Davis team
BrownsFEVA chaos started in game one didn't it?
ArtBtz Heh. Good point Feva
Lane What Policy did was actually come out and really take a significant stance on this organization and its direction
Guest65 Pitt did lose to Houston they are not invincible
AaronWilson No, they're not. That's not what I mean at all. They just have the superior squad, on paper, and, most of the time, in production.
ArtBtz I actually like the Ravens chances against Pittsburgh.... the Steelers have a short week after facing the tough Bucs.
Lane The Browns are their own worst enemy..........that includes the players prep and the utilization of the players in the scheme
Guest182 Ozzie Newsome's judgement of talent is clearly to superior to that of the Browns organization. This gives the Ravens a huge edge over the Browns.
AaronWilson Lane, do the Browns think Courtney Brown is ""soft"" as Warren Sapp rudely asserted earlier this year. Is he too nice, or just too injury-prone, or a combination of both? What's his problem? He killed people at Penn State.
Lane Brown does not have that aggressive streak to him, the injuries have taken some of hs confidence away and he also does not have a LaVar Arrington to help take some of the pressure and attention on the field off of him
Lane Courtney rarely speaks to the media
Dev21 Lane, what's the Browns' cap sitution supposed to be like for next year?
Adminsteve Lane - Dev is our Capmaster :) Capmaster DEV
Lane They are over, but I do not have the numbers at hand
ArtBtz I read that it's about $4.2 million right now.
Lane There will be a purging of some salary this off-season, starting at LB and OL
ArtBtz Say goodbye to Mr. Wohlabaugh and Mr. Rudd
Dev21 Thanks for the info guys.
Lane I actually have a lesser number, but close
Lane Talking with Jamir, he believes he will be here and the browns would be foolish to let him go
Lane Miller provides some sorely missed leadership
Guest182 The Browns can cut only so many players.
Lane and they will Guest182
ArtBtz Thanks Aaron...
Dev21 Peace Aaron.
Lane 'Nite Aaron and thanks!
AaronWilson Goodnight, we'll have to do this again soon.
Dev21 Lane, what positions do you see as the most important to address for the Browns in the off-season.
Lane OG, S, cover corner
Guest182 Lane - will Kelly Holcomb get a fair chance to win the qb job next year?
Lane I really doubt that Holcomb gets his shot early in 2003, but I can see it happen at some point
Guest65 When is he up for free agency
Lane He signed a deal that cover a couple more years
newdawg Do you see Couch being relieved?
Lane If he continues his path of inconsistency, yes
redright Art/Lane...Do we have anyone on the Offensive line that has played better this year than Wohlabaugh? He is still the best player on the Offensive line and needs to be replaced with an improvement. IMO this is the problem with our ofense. Your thouhts?
ArtBtz I think Verba has had a better year than Wohlabaugh, arguably Tucker as well.
ArtBtz I really think the weakness is in the middle of the line.
Lane Verba and Tucker have played better than Wohlabaugh.....His 4 mil salary in 2003 is 4 mil reasons to let him go and get Fowler going
Guest182 Policy's ""I hope so comments"" regarding Couch were very interesting, you think?
Lane Yes, Policy does not say anything that doesn't have a purpose behind it
BryanK Who will our left tackle be next year?
Lane Bryant McKinnie
ArtBtz Ra!
Lane Ross Verba at LG
ArtBtz Double Ra!
Lane Fowler at C
Lane Mitchell at RG
Lane Tucker at RT
Lane That would work for me
FunkyDawg No stud OL will be let go that easily. I do wish for McKinnie though.
Lane Actually, there are still grumblings that something is happening with McKinnie. Minnesota gave him everything he wanted after a lengthy holdout as well as a very trade friendly deal to the playter and the team
newdawg Lane, the story saying the browns are $4 mill over the cap for 2003, is it accurate?
Lane On the salary cap.........4 million I understand is in the ballpark
redright Wouldn't you allow that the qb sneaks have been because of good play by W.? He shows up every week. Needs to be replaced but the whole line needs....?
ArtBtz Any chance that Wohlie or Rudd will restructure?
newdawg Lane, the story saying the browns are $4 mill over the cap for 2003, is it accurate?
redright Your never liked more than on your way out the door. McKinnie--- could be trade talk.
Lane Does he come here..........Nobody knows, but the option was explored
ArtBtz If the Browns and Vikings made a ""handshake deal"", wouldn't that break about 23,292 NFL rules?
Lane Yes, IF there was a deal
Guest182 I also keep hearing rumors about Orlando Pace. That he can be a free agent and can't be franchised. You hear anything?
Lane I hadn't heard that he can't be franchised, but in training camp we were told that they intend on him being in StL for a long time
ArtBtz I talked to some Rams reporters last week, and they were positive he was staying in St. Louis.
Lane After they start chopping some salary, they will be in the FA market. I am waitng for some solid salary numbers
Lane Rudd and Wholly exceed the 4 million number........for starters
Lane Not really, those are the big two at the present time......Don't expect to see Couch or Brown released anytime soon
BryanK Can we expect to see more of Fowler the last 2 weeks?
Frost What is the story with Fowler? I had always understood that third round was a reach for a center - does he perform like a third rounder?
Lane I don't believe so. They realize they made a mistake in playing him at G and C......they are now completely focusing his time and attention at C
Lane The organization has a stong belief that Fowler is going to be aplayer in this league
Guest119 What will it take to get Courtney more effective on pash rush?
ArtBtz Amphetamines
ArtBtz (Sorry)
Frost Ephedra ;-)
RDawg99 A Tail Wind
Lane Line him up opposite of nobody
Guest182 The scary and very disappointing thing about the team this year is how poor the defense has been. Butch spent lots of $ and brought in 3 big free agents and the defense has floundered. Doesn't make Davis look like any kind of defensive genius.
BryanK Is Robert Griffith in danger of being cut? I think he's been rather disappointing.
Lane Lang has been average, nothing special, much the same player as he was in Wash, holmes got off to a slow start and won't be here more than a couple years, Griffith hasn't been the factor that they expected
redright Lane, if Rudd is gone and Wholly restructures, does that put pressure on O'hara? Assumes Fowler is the center for the future and I'm not seeing a lot of O'hara.
Lane Mitchell is going to get a very long look at RG
Frost How's Gonzales doing? Is he still even on the roster?
Lane Gonzalez plays on special teams and in the kicking game. He works are LT and RT in practice
howldawg thank you lane finally someone that admits lang is nothing special
RDawg99 Who is the FA Lineman over in Pittsburgh...Ive heard some rumblings there?
ArtBtz Gandy?
newdawg wayne gandy.
Lane I was told that Gandy himself did not put that out there, but wouldn't confirm if Gandy indeed wanted to come here
newdawg Lane, what is YOUR opinion on courtney brown's ineffective play? could some undisclosed injury may be having an affect?
Lane He has suffered with some neck problems, arm problems, and a sore knee. I believe that Brown has overworked his body and lost his explosiveness and flexibility
Frost Overworked - accumulated microtrauma overworked?
Frost or a more permanent condition?
Lane Pumped too much iron
Lane Much like Ruben Sierra in baseball, the guy got so huge, he lost his flexibility and turned an All-Pro career into dirt
Frost Any chance of us drafting a franchise tackle this year?
Lane Not too sure Frost
Guest182 Is Foge gone after this year?
Lane I wouldn't be suyrprised to see fazio depart after the season
newdawg why was morgan the 4th option on the last play?
Lane Because someone on the offensive side of the ball went freakin brain dead, how can you not utilize a receiver of that physical stature
Guest182 Lane - could KJ be gone next year?
ArtBtz Good question, 182
RDawg99 TC...1 more year??
Lane Yes on TC
Frost Is the D-line as bad as it looks, or is just a matter of transitioning?
Lane No, the DT's are being pushed around and the LB and S don't support the run well
BryanK Why can't we stop the run?
Lane Out of position, in wrong defense, personnel, and scheme
Guest182 Off the record are any of the players losing confidence in Couch?
Lane Yes, but I won't say whom
BryanK Could Couch have run it in on 4th down?
Lane No, linebackers were there as well as a DL'man dropped back
ravenfan13 were going to beat the browns i hope
Lane Browns over Ravens, Sunday
Guest182 Lane - can we take that to the bank?
newdawg we are not a playoff team yet.
Lane Yes, I take the Browns in this one, away from home, looks like a winner
newdawg there are not any outstanding players on this team.
Lane No, the Browns are not a playoff team
ravenfan13 browns couldn't beat carolina come on
Lane No, the Browns beat themselves
Chas playoff talent, maybe - playoff moxy no way
Lane This team isn't too far away
Frost Couch is fine. well, okay anyway I still think couch is fine :)
Lane Couch is far from the sole reason that this team is inconsistent, his play is magnified
Lane We'll guys, I have to run.....its been real and lest do it again soon
BryanK Thanks, Lane.
ArtBtz Thanks Lane...

The OBR Top Stories