Transcript of Tuesday's RavensInsiders chat.

Tuesday's subsribers-only chat with Aaron Wilson was a great success. Subjects included the recent minicamp, Jamal Lewis, Plaxico Burress, Abney or Brightful, and much more.<br><br> Here it is with only the <i>really</i> stupid bits removed. Join us in our next subscriber chat TBA.<br>

aaronwilson Ready for any questions, fire away.
darb72 How are Boller and the receivers looking
aaronwilson They are spending a lot of time working on adding some precision and timing to a dormant passing game. I think all of the extra work should pay nice dividends. Just don't expect a major transformation of a run-oriented football team.
darb72 The rookies haven't reported yet have they?
POPSinPA Is there any news on Jamal's situation?
aaronwilson There was a minicamp a few weeks ago. The team reconvenes for a four-day passing game May 17.
adminsteve Is that the whole squad?
aaronwilson No, this is the discovery period of pretrial proceedings. There's a lot of wrangling on Jamal Lewis' representation's part to obtain all of the evidence they can to bolster their case at trial. No court date has been announced yet.
aaronwilson The passing camp is a voluntary workout. Attendance is expected to be quite high, though, from skill position athletes.
darb72 One would think after three years, the prosecutors would have a court date set.
Vagrant What position is Dwan Edwards expected to play? I heard something about him going to LE and Weaver moving to RE?
aaronwilson The Jamal Lewis case to address the pace of what you said about the prosecutor isn't that unusual considering this charge comes from an investigation that included more high-profile cases that were previously adjudicated.
L3w1S What are the Ravens chances of still getting Dennis Northcutt? Will the Browns cut him on June 1st?
aaronwilson Dwan Edwards will play right end primarily, but he can act as a swing player, capable of lining up all over the line in their primary 3-4 set. He can also play defensive tackle in a 4-3.
darb72 Are the Ravens really doing Yoga? I think it can help with some of the problems we've faced.
aaronwilson They aren't really interested in Dennis Northcutt at this point.
aaronwilson Especially not by trade.
dabruise Aaron, Have you been privy to any of the minicamp sessions how are the kids looking?
aaronwilson They are working on yoga techniques and kick boxing. It supposedly is great for flexibility and conditioning.
aaronwilson The rookies, particularly Dwan Edwards, Devard Darling, Rod Green and Josh Harris were impressive. Keep an eye out for undrafted rookie defensive tackle Matt Zielinski, cornerback Marcell Allmond and running back/return specialist B.J. Sams.
L3w1S I was disappointed when the Ravens didn't go after any Free Agent CB's. I really wanted to get Mario Edwards after seeing Tom Knight leaving us and going to Tampa. Will they go after a nickel CB on June 1st? Anyone they have in mind?
dabruise Allmond is intriguing. Sorry I meant Dud. Milk Dud!!
Vagrant Aaron Ray Lewis is surely aware of the ""Madden curse."" Did it affect his decision to be on the cover and what are his thoughts on it?
aaronwilson They are likely to look at some nickel backs. However, right now it would be Corey Fuller and Ray Walls.
aaronwilson Obviously, it didn't affect his decision. I don't think he worries about things like that.
dabruise How about the Gentle Giant. I forget his name. Darb's Fatty.
aaronwilson Who are you talking about?
darb72 The Guard from Auburn.
dabruise Help me Darb
aaronwilson Monreko Crittenden.
dabruise That's him
aaronwilson All 6-foot-4, 358 pounds of him.
Vagrant God bless you Aaron.
aaronwilson Big guy, hard to tell much about linemen until they actually get dirty.
L3w1S How is Clearance Moore doing? Do you think he will be the Ravens 4th WR?
aaronwilson Clarence Moore did well at minicamp. He's a long strider, but he's faster than he looks and leaps quite well. Gigantic wingspan.
dabruise Aaron, I see Ray Walls as a potential impact player. Coaches expectations?
Vagrant Hey guys btw. I work at a casino in Dubuque, IA. Robert Gallery was in last night.
aaronwilson He has a legitimate shot at earning that spot, but don't forget about Randy Hymes.
Vagrant He played roulette.
aaronwilson Ray Walls is one of the fastest defensive backs to ever play for the Ravens, including Chris McAlister. They like his potential although he's kind of undersized and inexperienced.
dabruise Speaking of receivers, Who's #1 TT or KJ?
aaronwilson This team doesn't really have a designated No. 1 wideout. However, Travis Taylor will move to split end and Kevin Johnson will line up at flanker. Traditionally, the split end is the top wideout. However, the Ravens just tend to go with the hot, er lukewarm, hand. Todd Heap is the top downfield target regardless and will remain so.
L3w1S Rumor has it that Plaxico is going to leave Pittsburgh. Do you think the Ravens will get him?
darb72 Our TE is the best down field target we have. That saddens me.
aaronwilson I think they would take a look at him based on his track record against Baltimore. However, Burress is going to play for Pittsburgh this season. He won't become available until after next season. Yes, he's in the doghouse for missing minicamp but that can be temporary.
dabruise Is Abney our return guy?
aaronwilson He'll eventually show up. Also, his mother died last year and it was Mother's Day. That was part of the problem, but he's mainly unhappy about his contract.
aaronwilson Not yet.
aaronwilson He has to earn that status. Don't count out Lamont Brightful.
dabruise How was he in camp?
aaronwilson Brian Billick told me that Abney has to be able to contribute as a backup wideout to supplant Brightful.
darb72 We've been counting out Brightful for two years now Aaron. Of course, we've been wrong before.
aaronwilson He seemed fine. He's quick and has recovered from his foot injury.
aaronwilson I'm not defending Brightful. Just saying that it's not over yet.
aaronwilson They are going to stage a camp battle for this job.
aaronwilson As they should.
aaronwilson Brightful has experience and speed.
dabruise As we'll love
adminsteve Little has changed with regards to Jamal's issues. Is the team still confident that he will get off. And what are their contingencies at RB?
dabruise Can you talk at all about Zeus's off-season workouts?
L3w1S Will you please tell Billick to keep Demps at safety and Baxter at CB. The team plays well with them at those positions. lol
aaronwilson They remain confident in Atlanta legal mind extraordinaire Ed Garland, who successfully defended Ray Lewis.
aaronwilson It's likely that Jamal's case won't be fast tracked. That said, he would be available for the season and unlikely to be on the federal docket until next year.
dabruise Re: Zeus, I heard he was hitting it pretty hard.
adminsteve OK
aaronwilson Orlando Brown appears to be in great shape. Saw him a few weeks ago. He's very excited about the season.
aaronwilson Glad to be back.
aaronwilson They would start Musa Smith, Steve, if Jamal was unavailable with Chester Taylor acting in relief.
adminsteve Have you been following NFL Europe Aaron
adminsteve Especially Ravens
aaronwilson Yes, I keep up with it, but don't study it too intensively. I'm aware of what the NFL thinks about this league. It's not the great panacea for any team's roster needs.
aaronwilson I have some updates if you're interested in anyone in particular.
darb72 Since the 49ers are having a bit of cap trouble, do you think the Ravens could trade their second round pick next year for Justin Smiley. I refuse to surrender hope.
aaronwilson We could post weekly statistics if you like.
jt21146 Aaron which of the Raven rookies do you think will have the most impact this season
darb72 Pashos has looked decent the three games I've gotten to see. He has solid technique in pass blocking, and he's a grater in the run game
aaronwilson I doubt they would do that. They obtained Brian Rimpf to be a backup guard, also Damion Cook is likely to be one of the top interior reserves along with Casey Rabach. They will have to make a decision on whether to keep Bennie Anderson, who's set to become an unrestricted free agent next winter.
aaronwilson Dwan Edwards and Derek Abney.
jt21146 Will Abney be an asset as a receiver or just a return man?
darb72 Let's have a vote on if we should keep Bennie or not. Aaron can tell the coaches our decision.
aaronwilson He did finish third all-time in Southeastern Conference career receptions. However, he doesn't fit the Brian Billick profile for size at wide receiver. He'll be a return specialist.
adminsteve I'm sure they'll take our advice.
Vagrant Considering Bennie started last year I say we should keep him. No matter how bad 1 player may be, the whole line benefits from having the same guys.
aaronwilson I think they'll make up their own mind, but they are aware of public sentiment. You would be surprised how closely they monitor press coverage and fan feedback. They care about stuff like that.
Vagrant So does that mean they check the boards?
adminsteve Like Drew :-0
aaronwilson Yes, a few people do look at the boards.
darb72 Please tell me nobody has told Cyclops what I've said about him. I'm to young and pretty to die.
aaronwilson Plus, some people e-mail the team, too.
jt21146 Has Boller been working a lot in OM with receivers? What are your impressions of KJ so far?
aaronwilson Kyle Boller has generated a lot of positive feedback for his time with the receivers. It's been productive apparently, but none of these preseason impressions matter. It's all about what happens when the bullets are real.
dabruise Sorry I was out for a bit. We'll do that later Vagrant. So AW, You do think Abney is the Man?!
aaronwilson Kevin Johnson isn't a Pro Bowl caliber player. However, he's an ultra confident, productive athlete who can upgrade this passing game.
aaronwilson Derek Abney is a really intriguing seventh-round draft pick. Good drafting.
jt21146 Who do you see the Ravens getting after June 1? A safety or Wr?
aaronwilson I think they're more inclined toward obtaining a safety.
dabruise Aaron, Darb and I have this running Zeus thing. I think I'm ahead, but did I hear you correctly that they'll decide before the season on Bennie?
aaronwilson Donovan Darius remains a possibility. However, Detroit has shown the most interest thus far. There's always the possibility he'll remain with Jacksonville. He has signed his franchise tender, too.
jt21146 Any names for safety?
aaronwilson No, all I said was they have a decision to make next winter.
L3w1S Is Demps starting at Safety this year?
aaronwilson He's set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
dabruise Got it.
darb72 As he should be. He played very well for the Ravens last season
dabruise Darn!
aaronwilson At this point, yes. They don't seem inclined to move Gary Baxter, but there will likely be at least some experimentation and situational substitution.
L3w1S Why is everyone wanting a Safety when you have Demps? A cheap player who is really underrated
aaronwilson It would help matters if Marcell Almond is the diamond in the rough the team hopes he is.
jt21146 I heard Cook is taking snaps at center. Does that mean Rabach is shifting to guard?
Vagrant Is AD fully recovered from when his arm fell off and made me puke?
dabruise As I said earlier, he's intriguing. He came from a good system and may have been underutilized
aaronwilson Demps is undersized, occasionally out of position. Prone to some mental mistakes when he gambles. Ed Reed needs someone steady next to him to allow him to freelance and attack the football.
aaronwilson Casey Rabach already plays offensive guard. He was All Big 10 Conference at both spots at Wisconsin and has played both spots capably in the NFL.
darb72 Reed had six INT's last season, and two blocked punts I can remember off the top of my head. He attacks the football just fine.
dabruise I agree on Demps, but what about Gerome Sapp?
aaronwilson Adalius Thomas' elbow has recovered. He won't be an issue.
jt21146 oh right, sorry
aaronwilson Gerome Sapp was their top second-day choice last year. Johnnie Lynn will give him a long look in training camp. He's promising.
aaronwilson I'm not criticizing Ed Reed. He's a great football player. I'm talking about leaving Ed freed up to do what he does best: make plays.
aaronwilson Ed Reed is one of the Ravens' top assets as an organization. He can't be undervalued.
dabruise Lots of talk on the board about Edge as possible trade bait. Your opinion please.
jt21146 Which of the rookie WR will have the biggest impact and who looked good in minicamp?
darb72 Do the Ravens need any help in scouting offensive linemen. I'll volunteer.
aaronwilson I think Devard Darling has the highest probability of immediate contribution. He looked better than many past Ravens rookie draft picks at that position. He has a lot of potential and played in a fairly sophisticated college scheme.
dabruise Opinion on Edge signing AW?
jt21146 How about WR?...I would help there
aaronwilson I think they feel comfortable with their scouting department, but you never can tell. Write a report on a college player or pro prospect and mail it to them. You never know.
aaronwilson Ed Hartwell will likely get some conversation about a contract extension toward the end of the season with possibility of a pre-free agency re-signing.
darb72 If I write one on Zeus, I'm signing it DaBruise
aaronwilson They want to make what happened this year with core veterans a trend for the future.
dabruise Speaking of Darling AW, you and I had an exchange about him many months ago. Not to gloat, but IIRC you didn't think many teams, Ravens Inc. were interested
jt21146 How do you summarize a ""Ravens kind of player?""
aaronwilson I wrote that based on more wideouts lasting longer in the draft.
mkg02 what is the probability of getting McAlister signed to a long term contract this year? Also, when can they start negotiations again?
aaronwilson As must of us thought would happen. It turned out obviously much differently, but it's difficult to forecast until weeks before the draft.
darb72 Think that's something Bruise, the Insiders draft people had Smiley ranked as the 34th based guard. I was right, they weren't
aaronwilson Ravens ideal type: tough, athletic, productive, smart enough to contribute quickly at least on special teams.
jt21146 Aaron, what do you see our record as for 2004 and post season outlook?
dabruise Like the edge news. Darb you're being a distraction. Stop it or you'll have to stand in the corner.
dabruise Gloat, Gloat
aaronwilson They can begin negotiations with Chris McAlister without penalty after July 15 and there's a legit shot at getting him signed just maybe not before the season. They have a lot of ground to make up and he wants a lot of money.
Vagrant How much is a lot? Estimate
aaronwilson Crystal ball absent tonight, but here's a shot: 11-5, division champion repeat, reach the divisional round at least. Not a Super Bowl year in my opinion.
darb72 Just a little less than what Bailey signed for, if I'm not mistaken. Both are pro-bowl CB's, but Bailey has done it every year.
dabruise Does C-Mac want top CB $$$s?
aaronwilson A lot means $12 to $15 million, or more if it's a split-tier bonus.
aaronwilson He wants a lot of cash guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus.
dabruise Is Jamal in FLA like last year?
aaronwilson Yes, he was actually in Miami Beach days before his indictment.
darb72 Why don't we just make it a roster bonus this year when we have a lot of cap room. That should lower his cap hit over the contract.
dabruise Could be another monster year. Do you think they'll still use Chester as a change of pace or go more to Smith to keep pounding?
jt21146 How much of an impact will Fassel really have this year? Can he really make a difference?
aaronwilson It's likely to be a legitimate contract for Chris McAlister. They don't play a lot of games like some teams with roster bonuses.
aaronwilson That's a Redskins trademark.
jt21146 Thanks
aaronwilson Chester Taylor will remain the change of pace back. Musa Smith is a pounder.
aaronwilson Fassel could be a really key ingredient to offensive improvement/innovation. He's a smart man.
dabruise Is he working with Boller now?
aaronwilson Plus, most importantly, Jim Fassel has Brian Billick's ear and full respect.
Vagrant So that means maybe Billick will listen when someone tells him to fire Cavs?
jt21146 Hopefully Cav can listen and learn
dabruise Good Q Vagrant!
aaronwilson He spends a lot of time working with all of the quarterbacks.
aaronwilson Right now, he's out of town.
aaronwilson Next week, the entire coaching staff will be there to work with Kyle Boller and the rest of the offense and skill defensive players.
Vagrant Cavs is out of town? Is there a class at the zoo teaching monkeys how to coach? He wants to attend? Or did you mean Billick is out of town?
dabruise A little off topic. We had a Fassel family member on the board giving us a head's up on his son. What happened there?
aaronwilson The coaches, including Billick, are attending a symposium in Orlando, Fla., this week.
jt21146 How is Hymes progressing? Will he contribute this yr?
aaronwilson Jim Fassel's son decided to remain at New Mexico Highlands this year. He interviewed.
dabruise Why?
dabruise Was it pressure?
aaronwilson Instead, the Ravens hired Jedd Fisch, formerly of the Houston Texans and the University of Florida for quality control. Smart young coach, good with computers.
darb72 Aaron, do you think we'll see any spread formations this upcoming season?
aaronwilson The younger Fassel will likely wind up on his father's staff one day once Jim Fassel gets another head-coaching job.
dabruise Yeah we called him Robocoach part deux.
aaronwilson Randy Hymes is progressing well. Remember, though, it's the year after an ACL tear that athletes regain their full capabilities.
dabruise Can he stay around that long? (Hymes)
aaronwilson It wasn't pressure so much as the commitment he had just made to staff members at the school, even though it was 0-10 last year, and the recruits he had convinced to try to build the program with him.
aaronwilson There's pressure at every level, especially when your father is a high-profile coach.
dabruise Good Man (Fassel jr.)
aaronwilson I think Hymes has a future with the Ravens. He needs to have an outstanding training camp, though. The coaching staff was really disappointed that he didn't get the chance to realize his potential last season. They love his upside and attitude.
darb72 No kidding, living in Alabama, it does me some good to see that some coaches actually care about their programs and promises to athletes
jt21146 I read that Ray will add 10-15 lbs this yr? Why the change & how will that help or hurt?
dabruise Personal Q AW, Are you staying around or entertaining FA offers elsewhere?
aaronwilson Ray Lewis is training to try to protect his shoulders as much as possible. A lot of weight-room work is possible this year because his shoulders aren't coming off a major surgery. This year, he had his thumb operated on.
dabruise Even though they duped you on TO, Your still my favorite sports journalist and I'm hard to please.
aaronwilson My free-agent prospects? Wow, never thought of it that way. Flattering. I'm signed on for my current duties with the Carroll County Times, Insiders and WNST and FOX whenever I'm invited. Why, do you know something I don't? Am I on the market?
dabruise Should be.
darb72 I don't pay attention to any sport other than the NFL, but Aaron is the best I've read/seen
aaronwilson Thanks. Keep in mind I'm skeptical, understandably so, about bold moves from this organization. Courting Terrell Owens was out of character and it didn't work.
aaronwilson Again, thanks.
dabruise I'd like to find you guys a better radio gig. I quit listening to NST and miss your show.
aaronwilson They're on the Internet, streaming audio.
dabruise Sure didn't work. Do you think they felt like they had egg on their faces?
darb72 what's that site address Aaron. I doubt I could pick up your station in my truck
dabruise Not on the 8-track anyway.
aaronwilson Yes, it was fairly embarrassing for the organization. They felt misled by the NFL management council. They had every right to be mad. However, this group doesn't like to make excuses. It's for losers.
jt21146 Will Cowher get the ax this year?
darb72 You would think the giant gun rack would help pick up the signal, but it doesn't
darb72 Thanks Aaron, I'll have to give it a listen sometime
aaronwilson I think Bill Cowher will survive although his star is more than a little tarnished. They miss draft guru Tom Donahoe sorely.
jt21146 Aaron, who is your favorite player & why?
darb72 The Bengals are the team I'm worried about now. Two solid drafts in a row, and Lewis knows how to get the best out of his team
dabruise You're becoming more and more my favorite on every one of your posts. What until this transcript is posted. It's gloat city.
aaronwilson I don't have favorites. I have people I respect more than others.
dabruise Who would that be?
aaronwilson Cincinnati is a definite factor in this division. I wouldn't count them out.
aaronwilson Let me think about it and get back to you.
dabruise Where do the coaches think they'll use Green?
jt21146 Will Jamal come near 2,000 yards again?
aaronwilson Special teams and as a situational pass rusher.
darb72 Has Terry Jones Jr. been working with Boller? He looks like he could be a solid starter for a lot of teams.
dabruise Things seem to be pretty crowded at DE/OLB
aaronwilson Probably not, not if the passing game improves.
aaronwilson I would say 1,500 yards would be an outstanding encore.
aaronwilson Terry Jones is a really good second tight end, definitely. He's on the same page with Kyle Boller and demonstrated that in games last season.
jt21146 I agree
dabruise Crowded at TE too.
darb72 I'm rather hoping for Super Bowl MVP out of him this year. Given our history with the Atlanta judicial system
dabruise What's the latest on the new facility?
jt21146 good question
aaronwilson Set for October completion, possible move-in date Oct. 17, bye week. Should be a really comfortable place for the team to work in.
dabruise Vagrant's interviewing for a asst coaching gig tomorrow. Any tips?
jt21146 Is Singletary a good coach? Is Bennie Thompson still with us?
dabruise Hey guys, we really do appreciate you and what you do for us no-lifers.
aaronwilson Dress for success, look the principal in the eye and have a plan. What type of contribution do you want to make? Be goal-oriented. Ask questions. Ask them what they're looking for and tell them that you can deliver that and more. Remember, people want to know how much you care, especially when dealing with youth, before they want to hear how much you know about football. Impress that upon them and you will make a great impression.
jt21146 Thanks Aaron
Vagrant Thanks.
dabruise That is AW and Steve.
dabruise I don't give whit about Darb!
aaronwilson Mike Singletary is making good progress. Remember, he had never coached before last season other than his son's youth team. Former Pro Bowl special teams ace Bennie Thompson remains the team's assistant special teams coach under special teams coordinator Gary Zauner.
aaronwilson One more?
dabruise Who's winning the SB this year?
L3w1S How is Terrell Suggs doing
jt21146 Is Billick a good joke teller?
aaronwilson New England.
dabruise Thanks again guys.
aaronwilson Suggs had his court date postponed for assault charge in Arizona until Sept. 9.
aaronwilson Will likely be continued until after the season.
adminsteve OK fellas. I'll type this up tonight and it should be up tomorrow.
aaronwilson Billick's sense of comedic timing is quite above-average.
adminsteve Thanks a lot Aaron. We'll do this again in a couple of weeks.
aaronwilson Thanks for all the excellent questions. Good night.

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