RavensInsider Wednesday Night Chat Transcript

Wednesday's chat with RavensInsider's Aaron Wilson was well attended and informative as is the norm. Here is the transcript sanitised for your own protection. Actually, little is removed: references to American Idol, people holding conversations with themselves and the usual suspects complaining about their internet connection. <br><br> RI chats are held every two weeks. Once camp begins, chats will be on a weekly basis. Watch this space and the message boards for chat announcements.<br>

aaronwilson Hi, everyone. Sorry I was running late. Filing a story on Jamal Lewis' hearing.
Crowdog89 Hi Aaron
aaronwilson I'm ready for any questions now.
drkraven HI
darb72 If it's not good news, don't print it. Thanks.
drkraven Jamal's hearing good or bad?
aaronwilson Well, I'm committed to writing all news, good, bad or indifferent.
darb72 That's why you're the best
BMoreInJungle You sure get that with the Ravens, Aaron
aaronwilson Jamal's hearing was inconclusive except FBI agents did attempt to implicate him in their federal drug conspiracy investigation by playing several audio and videotapes.
aaronwilson They appear to have a stronger case than initially revealed at his arraignment.
drkraven that stinks
Crowdog89 Dang
BMoreInJungle Is it true that they only know the person as Jamal, not Jamal Lewis?
aaronwilson Still, the case hinges heavily on the informant and her credibility. She has an extensive criminal background and the lawyers have alleged that this is a case of simple entrapment. No trial date has been set and we'll find out much more later.
adminsteve So no chance of it affecting the season then?
darb72 It's still going to be hanging over the team I would imagine, unless it gets thrown out soon.
aaronwilson Yes, according to the tapes played today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Keep in mind that Jamal's lawyers did gain access to the tapes they were seeking. I think he'll still be available for the season, but obviously he'll go to court eventually and the government will have a better case than they initially revealed.
aaronwilson I don't believe this case will be thrown out at this point. It looks like it will go to trial.
drkraven 2005 I hope
darb72 We could always sign Eddie George after June 1st.
aaronwilson That said, his co-defendant, Angelo ""Pero"" Jackson,"" appears to be in much more trouble than Lewis.
BMoreInJungle QB's, what are the chances of resigning Dilfer if he's released after June 1?
aaronwilson I would say, to paraphrase an old Ozzie Newsome quote about Jeff Blake: ""That ship has sailed."" They have moved on, so has Trent Dilfer.
darb72 Has Fassel been in Baltimore helping Boller, or will he be coming in at a later date?
drkraven How close is Kordell to signing?
aaronwilson I filed a story quoting Kordell Stewart's agent, Leigh Steinberg, today as saying that he's prepared to wait for Baltimore and all signs point toward him signing after June 1 with Baltimore.
aaronwilson Fassel has been in Baltimore a lot. He has an executive apartment, but maintains a primary residence in the New York metro area.
aaronwilson As for Kordell Stewart, he never had an offer. They have an understanding, though.
aaronwilson He's prepared to be the backup if Baltimore gives him the nod.
BMoreInJungle Who do you think the Ravens are waiting for, especially if Gannon stays in Oakland and Johnson in Tampa?
aaronwilson Based on Kerry Collins and Rich Gannon duking it out for the Raiders starting job, both the Gannon and the Brad Johnson options appear negated.
aaronwilson I think they would like a shot ideally at Brad Johnson, but would settle for Kordell Stewart. They preferred Kerry Collins, but were aware that they probably couldn't get him.
aaronwilson They are trying to get the best possible quarterback. Tim Couch would be nice.
darb72 for what?
aaronwilson However, he's in limbo now under contract with Cleveland but at an impasse in talks with the Green Bay Packers.
BMoreInJungle Cleveland said they may not release him 6/1
aaronwilson Exactly, Tim Couch remains a Brown for now.
aaronwilson And possibly the foreseeable future.
darb72 You said Tim Couch would be nice. I was wondering what for. Humor is hard to convey in a chat room, darn it all.
aaronwilson Oh, ok, now I get it. Tim Couch is younger than Kordell Stewart, might have a little less of a tendency to be inconsistent. Kind of the backup who might not screw up as much as Kordell potentially would.
BMoreInJungle How did Boller really look in passing camp?
BMoreInJungle I assume you saw him first hand
aaronwilson Much better than last year, improved mechanics, lighter touch on short passes. Still, needs to avoid missed reads and react faster to blitzes.
aaronwilson Will Demps caught him off-guard a few times.
BMoreInJungle Is this the year I get warm fuzzies watching Kyle like I did in '76 watching Bert Jones?
darb72 How has Josh Harris looked, if he's even been throwing?
aaronwilson Well, I don't know if I would put him in the same sentence as a former Baltimore icon. However, Boller has a lot of good qualities. He has potential, but potential can get coaches fired. He has to have an excellent quantum leap of improvement for the Ravens to advance further in the postseason.
aaronwilson Josh Harris is a really impressive rookie. Good size, good arm, good mobility. He seems poised and intelligent. Nice draft pick.
BMoreInJungle Sticking with Josh Harris, for those of us who haven't seen him does he remind you of anyone?
aaronwilson He reminds me a little bit of a smaller Daunte Culpepper.
darb72 Are the Ravens willing to go into the season with him as a backup if nothing better comes along as a free agent
aaronwilson With less arm strength.
aaronwilson No, they won't do that. They would settle for someone like Damon Huard or Ray Lucas before they would do that to a rookie.
BMoreInJungle Any DB stand out in passing camp?
BMODADDY Ya Huard 1/2 mill and Ray do the do
HDDream <- would take Damon Huard over Kordell Stewart in a heartbeat
aaronwilson They didn't play so well without the starters present. However, Ray Walls caught my eyes a few times. Chad Williams was his normal self, around the football a lot.
darb72 When do the offensive linemen report to camp?
HDDream Sorry, if it's been asked, but how did the draft choices look in the mini-camp?
aaronwilson Veterans camp, but they were present last time at passing camp, working with Jim Colletto and Rex Ryan.
BMoreInJungle Tony Pashos from what I've read from people on the board didn't seem to have a good season in Europe are the Ravens concerned?
aaronwilson Quick impressions: Dwan Edwards (big, mobile, hustles, plays with a motor); Devard Darling (sculpted, quick, didn't drop passes); Rod Green (excellent athlete, a rep guy, though), Josh Harris (above-average quarterback prospect, lot of skills), Derek Abney (in running to supplant Lamont Brightful, extremely quick, adept as a return specialist).
aaronwilson I don't think they have much of an investment in Tony Pashos and are aware that it takes a while for offensive linemen to develop. I don't think it's a major area of concern.
darb72 Pashos is a good run blocker, but there are questions about his pass protection abilities.
darb72 From what I've read.
BMoreInJungle Out of all the Rookie Free Agents post draft, any chance of one or more sticking on the active roster?
aaronwilson Of course, there are questions. The guy is somewhat oversized and not very nimble. He's an aggressive player. Nothing has changed since he was drafted.
aaronwilson Long shots at best. I would give Marcell Allmond or Matt Zielinski the best opportunities if there are injuries at their respective positions, corner and defensive line. Unlikely any of these guys do better than practice squad.
BMoreInJungle Seems like the ones they signed were either very smart or gym (weight room) rats
HDDream If I was an agent for an undrafted free agent, the Ravens would have been one of the last teams I would have looked at
darb72 Have any of the coaches commented on Brendan Darby?
BMoreInJungle Peter Boulware how is he healing, are the Ravens concerned he may not be 100%% by Training Camp?
aaronwilson No, nothing at all about Darby.
aaronwilson Boulware might not be available until training camp, likely limited initially after off-season knee surgery.
HDDream How long before Edwards takes over for Douglas as the starter?
POPSinPA This may have been asked since I'm kind of late, but just in case it hasn't. Are we interested at all in Dilfer?
aaronwilson We talked about this earlier. To paraphrase Ozzie Newsome: ""That ship has sailed.""
aaronwilson I think it will take Edwards a while to supplant Douglas.
POPSinPA Thanx. :(
BMoreInJungle Baxter CB or Safety and will Dale Carter make an impact to this Defense?
aaronwilson Gary Baxter will likely play cornerback once he recovers from hernia surgery.
aaronwilson Dale Carter is limited to nickel or dime duty, if he stays clean and makes the team.
HDDream Any chance they sign Baxter or Hartwell to an extension before the season ends?
BMoreInJungle Throw CMac into that question as well
aaronwilson More of a chance that they do a deal with Ed Hartwell before the season ends. I think Gary Baxter would get a nice offer before free agency begins a la Mike Flynn this year.
POPSinPA Any word on Jamal's hearing today?
aaronwilson Chris' agent, Mitch Frankel, said the plan is the same: to try to work out a long-term deal after July 15.
HDDream Where have I heard that one before
aaronwilson Yes, filed an article on Jamal Lewis' hearing. It was somewhat damaging, but not overwhelmingly so. They appear to have somewhat of a case, stronger than revealed before.
aaronwilson Not a slam-dunk, though.
drkraven Are the Ravens sold on Musa?
aaronwilson I would say he'll play under the franchise tag this fall.
aaronwilson They are even more assured of his ability than ever before.
darb72 How does Clarence Moore look?
aaronwilson Tall, long strider, kinda raw, slim, needs to gain some weight.
darb72 I asked for it.
HDDream Aaron, you've covered the Titans and Jaguars, right? How is covering the Ravens beat different?
Crowdog89 Who do you think will make the final cut at wide out? Also how many do you think the Ravens will keep on the final roster? 5 or 6?
aaronwilson Yes, those are the previous teams I covered. The Ravens are more accessible, more newsy. They tend to keep you hopping more than those teams when it comes to off-field stuff in terms of contracts and legal situations. Not complaining, though. Cooperative team that's helpful to reporters. Keeps me busy.
HDDream in terms of legal situations, lol
BMoreInJungle Has there been any visible changes from the Modell regime to Bisciotti's?
aaronwilson Not really other than Dick Cass' entrance as president and David Modell's exit. It has been business as usual. We all miss Art's jokes, though.
aaronwilson He made for good copy.
adminsteve Isn't Art around? I thought he had an office?
aaronwilson Art has an office but hasn't felt so great. He has been down in Florida resting.
Billick2Canton Aaron, Any thoughts on who may be available June1st ,that could help the Ravens, possibly someone they're hoping will be out there, besides a qb?
aaronwilson Donovan Darius would be nice.
Crowdog89 Aaron, How many wide outs do you think make the final cut? Also who do you think makes it?
aaronwilson Four to five. Best bet: Kevin Johnson, Travis Taylor, Randy Hymes, Devard Darling, Kareem Kelly or Derek Abney
BMoreInJungle You mentioned Brightful on NST last week, does he make this team?
aaronwilson I think it will be a fight to the finish. Don't count this guy out yet.
darb72 I like that list. Good mix of speed and size
aaronwilson Think about Clarence Moore on the practice squad.
HDDream or IR
darb72 He'll be claimed of of waivers I'm willing to bet. HD is right, IR is the way to go, since we need him to bulk up a bit.
Billick2Canton Aaron, do you think Musa will be getting more reps this year to lighten the load some on Jamal. He's a beast but so was Earl Campbell.
drkraven Is Wright going on IR?
aaronwilson I think Musa Smith will play a lot more than last year if he remains healthy.
BMoreInJungle Is Musa that good?
Crowdog89 I'd like to see him in more than garbage time...
aaronwilson Anthony Wright is likely to begin the season on physically unable to perform list, then after six weeks practice for three if he can, then activated, IRed or cut. Most likely resolution: IR.
aaronwilson Musa Smith can play football. He's got a bright future in Baltimore.
BMoreInJungle Chester will be relegated to 3rd Down back?
BMoreInJungle Does he make the team?
aaronwilson Likely so, although he could play some with the base offense.
darb72 Have the two fullbacks been working out in the passing camp, and how are they looking.
HDDream Speaking of the backs, any chance they'll start to use them more in the passing game?
aaronwilson Of course, he'll make the team. Nothing has changed regarding the backs' status.
aaronwilson Jim Fassel has advised Brian Billick to throw to the backs more to increase the completion percentage.
BMoreInJungle Any June 1st release's for the Ravens? How is our CAP?
Crowdog89 How is Fassel and Boller working out?
aaronwilson So far pretty good. They seem to work well together.
HDDream Assuming he can play, I'd love to see Jamal get about 40 less rushing attempts and about 20 more receptions
aaronwilson You are roughly $4 million to $5 million underneath the cap. You shouldn't have to cut anyone for financial reasons.
Crowdog89 Besides helping out the QB's...do you think the addition of Fassel will help out the offense in general?
HDDream Any chance they look to sign another CB in case Fuller is unable to play? They can't really count on Carter to be the No. 3
aaronwilson He'll want to involve the tight ends more. That's a priority, too.
aaronwilson Fuller hasn't been assigned a court date yet. If he gets one, he could gain continuances to stay out of court until after the season. If they want him around, he can be available.
BMoreInJungle Kerry Collins signed with Oakland over the Ravens, why? Money? Chance to Start?
BMoreInJungle Were the Ravens in the game?
Crowdog89 and money
aaronwilson You have it right exactly. Those were opportunities in short supply in Baltimore. The Ravens thought it was a long shot to start with.
aaronwilson They gave it a try.
HDDream I just hope someone comes up and scoops Kordell Stewart away...I can dream, right?
drkraven Will Suggs court date stand?
Crowdog89 Who would you like to see as back-up qb Aaron?
aaronwilson His own agent said there's no competition. The closest he came was Buffalo with Mike Mularkey, but it didn't happen.
darb72 You know, for some reason I've always thought Kordell and San Francisco was a great match. Not sure why.
aaronwilson Suggs is entitled to several continuances.
Billick2Canton Stupid question of the Night Aaron.....It really looked like Kyle was staring down receivers not looking safeties off, has he been working on that aspect of his game? Heap really seemed to take some vicious hits last year because of this..
aaronwilson I have no stake or preference. I think Damon Huard would make sense, but Kordell Stewart has a better chance.
adminsteve Billick yelled at Aaron for that question last year
Billick2Canton hehe
aaronwilson Kyle is trying to look off his primary read some, but don't expect that to go away completely.
MisplacedChief Damon Huard is visiting the Chiefs right now, but Vermeil is playing his cards pretty close regarding picking up a 3rd QB
HDDream Do they view Anderson as a long term fit at RG? Or will they try and sign someone or draft someone after the season and let Anderson walk in free agency?
aaronwilson I know that Huard was pitched to Baltimore, but they declined.
Billick2Canton Favre is the master at looking off safeties IMO
aaronwilson I think Anderson needs a strong season to stay in Baltimore.
darb72 Well, we can kiss Anderson goodbye.
BMoreInJungle How do the Ravens Get the TE more involved, Heap had about 20 more Catches than TTaylor, but only 60 more yards. Both had 3 TD's
HDDream I think Huard makes a lot of sense, not a great QB, but more consistent than Stewart which is what I think you need from a backup
aaronwilson They need to stop playing Todd Heap at wide receiver. It's not his best position. That was part of the problem last year.
BMoreInJungle Trent Smith still limping?
aaronwilson How about some of the newcomers asking a few?
aaronwilson Yes, Trent Smith is limping and the leg he broke atrophied noticeably.
Heeeaaap Who's the main target for 2nd string QB, free agent wise?
HDDream Besides Boller, who do you see as a candidate for a break-out season?
aaronwilson Kordell Stewart at this point if all things remain the same in terms of quarterbacks' destinations, current employers, etc..
aaronwilson Terrell Suggs.
MisplacedChief Are the Ravens looking at any other Place Kickers or will they go into the season with the same group they had last year?
aaronwilson They are all set with specialists.
HDDream The Chiefs must be the only team in the league with an older kicker than the Ravens, lol
MisplacedChief Lots of people were VERY upset we didn't draft Kaeding.
Heeeaaap Is the organization anxious to succeed knowing that there are many veterans on the team that may not have many years left together?
aaronwilson Yes, they are aware privately that the window will only be open so long.
TTroj52 What are the Ravens going to do in the future if Jamal is found guilty?
HDDream How strong a hold does Morrow have on a roster spot? Or, how will they keep three fullbacks on the roster like last year?
darb72 I thought Morrow was let go.
aaronwilson Musa Smith and Chester Taylor would share the job initially while Smith grew into the featured role.
TTroj52 thanks
MisplacedChief Are there any WRs the Ravens are seriously looking at after 01 June?
aaronwilson Harold Morrow has a role as wedge-buster again.
aaronwilson They are unlikely to make many moves after June 1.
aaronwilson Beyond quarterback
MisplacedChief <--- thinks the pickings are going to be pretty slim this 01 June.
HDDream they usually are MCF
aaronwilson About 10 more minutes guys and then I have to get some sleep.
aaronwilson Long day. lol.
darb72 Misplaced Chief <-----------Is probably right.
POPSinPA Who was the hot receiver in passing camp?
MisplacedChief If AD winds up playing more time at LB (if Boulware can't go as much, if at all) do the Ravens see using him as a gunner this year also?
aaronwilson Devard Darling, hands down.
TTroj52 Do you see Devard playing in the slot this coming season?
aaronwilson Adalius Thomas is still the gunner. That won't change. It's his best opportunity to make the Pro Bowl and he realizes that. He'll remain in that role.
HDDream They were all probably hot, considering it's 89 degrees out
POPSinPA lol
Crowdog89 Aaron, have you seen the thread on the board where we (board members) are sending stuff to Iraq to one of our members who is in the USMC over there?
aaronwilson I think Devard Darling will back up both positions although he's best-suited to split end.
darb72 Nobody in Baltimore gets to complain about the heat.
Crowdog89 That would be an excellent human interest story....bug in ear
aaronwilson Yes, I did see that and think it's commendable.
Crowdog89 thanks
aaronwilson As far as Kevin Johnson, he looked good, too, just wasn't a surprise to see that consistency from him.
MisplacedChief Not a question, but I must say, I'm looking forward to the Chiefs/Ravens rematch this year.
mikejack5 hey, I'm late here, but how has Devard Darling looked?
TTroj52 Does Javin Hunter have a shot at making the team this year?
darb72 Hopefully we can avoid throwing three pics to the TE streaking down the field.
aaronwilson He really excelled in passing camp and rookie camp. Sharp routes, soft hands.
mikejack5 how much of an impact can he make this year??
aaronwilson I think Javin Hunter faces long odds.
HDDream Do you know how many of the Ravens' draft choices graduated?
aaronwilson Mike, who are you referring to?
mikejack5 Darling
Cleric_BlackDave I've heard some names that I didn't expect have been returning punts and kick. Who's the leading candidate to take that role?
aaronwilson No, I don't know much about their academic status other than Brian Rimpf, an Academic All-American from East Carolina, my alma mater, who has graduated and taken master's level courses.
MisplacedChief There was a WR everyone was high on before he got hurt in Training Camp last year (Hymes?). How is he looking in the mini-camps so far?
mikejack5 Is it true that Ray is up to 260 this off-season as Preston reported??
aaronwilson Devard Darling can help a lot this year if he makes a smooth transition to contact work.
BMODADDY Ray will be faster than ever this season- bet?
aaronwilson Derek Abney, Lamont Brightful, Kareem Kelly and B.J. Sams are the top candidates for return duty.
darb72 Aaron, are the Ravens looking at moving Rimpf to guard?
HDDream I think Kelly has a real shot at that job
aaronwilson Hymes is about 85 percent.
darb72 And how has he looked
MisplacedChief <--- is a little concerned he knows this much about the Ravens....
aaronwilson Ray Lewis looks about 10 pounds bigger than last year to me when he played at roughly 245. I don't think he's 260 yet. That might actually cost Ray some speed if he does get that big.
TTroj52 I know this has probably been asked already but what's up with the Kordell situation?
aaronwilson They drafted him with the idea that he's better suited to play inside.
aaronwilson He has been solid, nothing to write home about.
mikejack5 Will Demps vs. Gerome Sapp, who gets the starting safety spot??
Cleric_BlackDave so will there be competition between Bennie and Rimpf, or is Rimpf a project
aaronwilson Kordell Stewart is prepared to wait for Baltimore. He's interested. They're interested. No offer yet. Waiting game commences.
aaronwilson Ideally, Gerome Sapp, quicker and larger. Demps' savvy and experience hard to overcome.
HDDream translation- we really hope that somehow Brad Johnson gets released but if he doesn't, we'll sign you
Heeeaaap Will Dale Carter be strictly nickel back or play some CB?
aaronwilson Rimpf is no immediate threat to Anderson.
darb72 Plus, we all love Demps, the little safety that could.
aaronwilson Exactly
mikejack5 what the heck is up with Rabach man?? I remember reading how this guy was a steal and would eventually develop into our starting guard
aaronwilson Last few questions, guys. I have to get some rest.
mikejack5 he can't even beat out Anderson??
MisplacedChief Dale Carter is usually good for 1 INT and 2 PIs in big games.
aaronwilson Casey Rabach doesn't have the ideal size they want as an interior lineman.
aaronwilson They shouldn't have drafted him if they didn't want that type of lineman. He would fit in well with the Broncos.
mikejack5 exactly
Cleric_BlackDave yeah i think we've definitely developed a line profile for big run blocking
HDDream yep, he was a bad fit from the beginning
aaronwilson That's what Jim Colletto seems to want.
Cleric_BlackDave he doesn't fit in
TTroj52 Will we see more 3 and 4 wide on passing plays this season?
darb72 So Rabach can pass block? Got ya.
Heeeaaap ""The Ravens are moving closer to signing (gulp) QB Kordell Stewart (and Jim Fassel will be given a box of crayons and a stack of construction paper as he prepares a playbook for the team's new No. 2 quarterback).""
aaronwilson Probably less or the same.
Heeeaaap off of profootballtalk.com
aaronwilson They want to use two backs, two tight ends and two wideouts. Their Tiger formation.
mikejack5 great
aaronwilson And U look as much as possible.
mikejack5 great
BMODADDY Daddy wants to know how Cavanaugh is accepting Fassel?
darb72 Does it really need a name if that's all they ever use. Couldn't Boller just go in the huddle and say ""Same play, other side""?
aaronwilson Cavanaugh isn't threatened. He has handled Fassel's addition well.
Cleric_BlackDave how is Trent Smith
aaronwilson I guess he could. Why not?
MisplacedChief Besides the usual AFC North games, which games seem to be the more interesting match-ups for the Ravens (realizing we haven't even hit training camp yet).
Cleric_BlackDave I heard that his rehab is still a little lagging
aaronwilson Trent Smith is still limping, broken leg has atrophied.
aaronwilson Ravens-Eagles. Ravens-Chiefs. Ravens-Redskins. Ravens-Patriots.
Crowdog89 Ravens Cowboys
aaronwilson I think Trent could make some strides between now and September. Don't count him out yet.
HDDream How much more interesting would that Eagles game be if it was here instead of Philly?
MisplacedChief Do you guys play Indy?
mikejack5 Aaron, what can we expect out of Suggs
TTroj52 Do you think Clarence Moore will be used in the red zone situations?
mikejack5 is he a legitimate DPOY candidate??
adminsteve Yes we play Indy
HDDream yes, Christmas week iirc MCF
drkraven In Indy
HDDream on the road
aaronwilson It would be better if it was here. The Ravens play at Indianapolis, another good game, Suggs' sack totals in the teens, Moore is a practice squad guy likely.
aaronwilson Thanks for all the great questions. Gotta get some sleep. We'll do it again soon.

Ravens Insider Top Stories