VIP subscriber chat transcript

OWINGS MILLS -- Here's a transcript of our subscriber-only postdraft chat:

6,0What's BJ's new court date?
May 15 in Towson district court, a DUI trial, his second. Received a probation before judgment on the first case. 6,0Is he looking at a 4 or 8 game suspension (if convicted)?
Possibly a two-game suspension. Remember, he didn't technically plead guilty on the first one. I think his situation isn't as bad as Jared Allen, who got a four-game suspension recently from Roger Goodell. Allen had actually gotten jail time.
Four games tops, possibly one or two games if convicted.
Maybe even a one-game deal plus a fine.
I know Goodell is tough, but he's already begun to make his point. Plus, some of these cases predate his change in the conduct policy. It would seem a tad retroacive and unfair in my opinion.
should those games be at the beginning of the season?
Yes, unless he appeals and is allowed to play during his appeal.
He seems to be out of continuances. He has changed lawyers twice already.
The new counsel argument only works so many times.
so should we be expecting figurs to be returning kicks the first couple games?
6,0I was thinking that the 1st offense got him into the league's substance abuse program and a 2nd offense would mean 4 games.
Remember, he has to be convicted. I've seen players get quite the benefit of the doubt in court, including Chris McAlister a few years back on an identical charge.
So Who is going to be the return guy this year Sams Figurs Ross Yamon???
If suspended or unhealthy, then I think Sams would be out and Yamon Figurs, Mr. Fastest Rookie in the League, will be in. He might be in anyway. He's a third-round draft pick.
6,0CMac also "beat" a weed charge, if I remember correctly.
But I thought the new NFL conduct policy said they did NOT have to be convicted.. The first offense thing has never really been defined. I've been told he's not necessarily in the program to someone else saying he has aftercare requirements as part of his PBJ and has violated them. Not sure what the truth is on that one. C-Mac has beaten marijuana possession, DUI and airport rage charges. He's the Teflon Don.
I know it says that, but his charges were picked up prior to the league enacting its new expanded policy.
6,0Maybe BJ should hire C-Mac's lawyers.
Or Rays
I don't put B.J. Sams in the same category as, say, Pacman Jones or Chris Henry. He's a young guy from the deep south who needs to learn how to stay out of trouble in the big city.
6,0What is the story on BJ's Legg ? some posterrs reported that he is still limping
Yes, he's still limping. Not expected to be back until training camp. He's working hard, trying to get back.
do you think that if figurs runs one back in his limited time, that bj would get the boot?
I think that they wouldn't cut him necessarily unless it becomes clear that he can't recover quickly enough to compete for his job. If that's the case and Figurs is thriving, I predict an injury settlement for Sams.
6,0could you fill us in a little on the QB picks and the outlook on them?
does finnerty have any chance of making the roster over smith and olson? or for that fact, does olson even have an outside chance anymore?
The deal with Troy Smith is that they had him rated fairly highly, but they aren't anointing him as the quarterback of the future. They're giving him a chance to be third-string this year. If that goes well, then he could be Steve McNair's backup the following year. I think he has a strong arm and a lot of ability, but his lack of height and locking onto primary reads are concerns. I am somewhat skeptical, but open-minded.
Let's see how he does against linebackers and safeties who are faster than him.
I think the Cullen Finnerty agreement in principle is intriguing. Three national titles, 92 touchdowns, nearly 10,000 passing yards. I know it was Division II, but he's bigger than Troy Smith at 6-2, 224 and faster, 4.62 speed. Doesn't seem like your typical camp arm.
6,0Sounds like Olsen is the odd man out, unless the Ravens plan to put him on the PS again.
Yes, it doesn't look good for Drew Olson. Honestly, he was pretty bad last year. Limited size and arm strength. Also very inaccurate. His intangibles and smarts are what gets him by, just barely.
Nice kid, though.
And he's doing a good job in NFL Europe.
6,0Clevelands PS?
Should be interesting to see how much that will help his cause.
do you think that whooever makes #3 QB this season will get more PT than olson did last year in the preseason?
Hmmm, sure, why not. They watch the Ravens' castoffs closely. I should say they absolutely covet them, Jamal Lewis, John Jones, Dave Zastudil...
he barely got any snaps
I think Troy Smith should make the second half of those exhibition games much more interesting. With McNair in his second year, it's less important for him to play many series in the preseason outside of the first quarter.
how big is mcgahee's part gonna be in the ravens offense this year? how many touches do you think we're talkin? 15-20?
For the latecomers, we're going to have a premium transcript to catch everybody up. Lot of B.J. Sams questions at the beginning. Other than that, shouldn't be any big overlap.
aaron, you mentioned that Chester will be given oppty to batle Flynn, has Chester stayed in town working out or are your comments based more on Flynn's play?
I think we're talking a 22 to 25 carry back. He's very durable since his knee injury for the most part. Ozzie Newsome acknowledged Sunday when I asked him that the entire offseason focus has been on improving the 25th-ranked running game in the league from last year. That really held back a potential Super Bowl contending football team.
6,0Besides Finnerty, do any of the UDFAs look intriging?
Aaron, I've heard rumors that we are basically going to abandon the use for the FB to make way for another receiver, have you heard any truth to this?
Chris Chester is in town, working hard. He lives in the Westminster area and is a weight room regular. I know that he has potential to unseat Flynn, but I'm not saying they will necessarily inser three new starters all at once. This transition might happen in phases. Don't be surprised if it's a slow process of getting these new guys into the starters' huddle.
Edgar Jones, Southeast Missouri State DE, Division II All-American, dozen sacks last year, is a good football player. So is the Hampton cornerback, Calvin Bannister. Very fast, 4.42, 39 1/2 inch vertical leap. Very undersized, though, at 5-7, 179.
are there any major workout warriors that should be accredited for such during this offseason?
I don't think they will abandon the I-formation, not with Le'Ron McClain here. Justin Green, Dwan Edwards, Brian Rimpf, Chris Chester, Bart Scott are always at the training complex working extremely hard.
6,0Dwan? How's he looking? Will he ever see the field?
do you think mcclain will get the starting job immediately over green?
I just got here. Did anyone ask Aaron his opinion on the UDFA's? The two kickers look really promising on paper
I think he'll play more as a rotation guy this year. I don't think he'll ever be a starter here, but he's a nice role player at this point. Obviously, less than they had hoped for when they picked him in the second round.
I think they will make him earn the job, but he'll have more blocking pop than Green which will make the difference. Good hands for a big guy, too. Has some H-back potential.
would you anticipate that with McGahee and hopefully Grubbs and/or Chester in the starting line-up that the running game would change - meaning more pulls, traps and screens?
The kickers, Carney and Wilhoit, are promising. Strong legs, potential kickoff specialists.
the way they commented during the post draft press conference and stuff, the made yanda come off as really raw and a extreme of a project to you think he will be? is there an outside chance he could be starting by the end of the season at RT?
6,0Rocky: we just started talking about the UDFAs. Finnerty (QB), Jones (DE) and Bannister (CB) are 'interesting'
I think they plan to attack the perimeter more as Ozzie alluded to on Sunday. It's about getting downhill and picking up the first downs.
The San Diego State middle linebacker is a tough guy. A little undersized for middle linebacker at 6-1, 225, but tough. 109 tackles last year.
The Mississippi State nose guard had a high second-day grade, but bombed his workout at Pro Day: 5.37 at 298 pounds. I think the Notre Dame DE is a shaky acquisition at best: 6-7, 270, but only 10 tackles last year in 10 games. The TE from ND was a part-time starter for three years.
The small-school guys seem better, even the Northeastern tight end, Ballantine, that got kicked out of Maine for violating team rules. He's supposed to be very good.
We'll see, tough team to make.
We've reported about 17 agreements in principle over the past few days. In case you hadn't heard, no local guys.
Sam Hollenbach is a Redskin and I think Stan White Jr is going to Cincinnati if I'm not mistaken.
Next question, please.
6,0signing local guys is a tough proposition. The fans get bummed when the time comes to cut them.
I was wondering what would happen if Finnerty outplayed Smith in the camps I know, like Chisom Opara. The Gilman crowd was heartbroken.
yanda has been described as a prospect, do you think he has an outside chance at starting at RT this year?
by the end of the year that is or do you think hes too small to play T
If he's legitimately better than him, I think they would go with the better player. He's not a first-round pick. He's the final pick of the fifth round, but I think he'll show enough potential to stick around for at least a few years.
6,0Aaron did you manage to get ANY rest from Sat AM 'till Monday????? Thanks for all the postings to keep us up to date
I know Eric DeCosta has been saying that, but I think it will be hard for Yanda to play immediately at RT given the edge in experience and size owned by Adam Terry. You can't teach Yanda's mean streak, though. He's one tough pig farmer.
I think he can play tackle, but he's a little short at 6-3, five inches shorter than Terry.
That video clip of the hit Yanda made on that defender was awesome.
I had some down time Monday.
Frankly, the UDFA reporting isn't as hard as some other stories. The sports information departments and agents are very helpful about publicizing these verbal agreements.
After this rookie minicamp, I will likely relax a little.
But do you think that Terry will convert to R tackle. Reports on his earlier efforts were not too comforting
if terry ends up playing RT all season and does an adequate job, do you think that when ogden retires they will draft a new LT, or will they move terry back to the left side...i read that they dont wanna move terry around a lot and want to find him a sure spot
I think Terry will do better this time a RT and then eventually get back to his natural LT spot when J.O. retires.
we going till 9?
Aaron, are you concerned about the reports that Yamon Figurs is too slightly built for the NFL
Plenty of time for all your questions.
Hey Aaron thanks for all the hardwork with keeping us informed quick ?
Yeah this isn't Cleveland where they are more concerned with signing Cleveland born players than good players Do you see any of our young CBs from last year actually taking the starting job from rolle in his age?
Sorry for being late. Do the Ravens feel comfortable with their DB's since they did not draft one.
Do you think the Ravens will sign a FA or two now that the draft is over or are they going to stand pat with the draft picks they got
I talked to a friend of mine who used to cover the Ravens for the York paper and he covered Figurs for the past two seasons for the Wichita paper. He told me that Figurs has really small and shaky hands and doesn't always play to his stopwatch speed. Basically, he said this guy is no receiver, just a kick returner. We'll see. I'm sure there will be a few deep routes in the playbook for him, at least to stretch the defense.
I heard he had academic problems and didn't play for a year out of high school, then went to junior college at Garden City. He will be a 24-year-old rookie. It shocked people at KSU that he went this high in the draft, but the Ravens really liked him. They are pretty good at evaluating players, especially Frank Gansz with special-teams guys, so I'm going to trust their opinion.
Are they worried about BJ's injury
Do you mean undrafted guys, DMason, or veterans? If it's rookies, they've got about 17 contracts lined up to be signed tomorrow if the guys pass the physicals.
Sorry about that...I meant Veterans Not unduly, I think they are tired of the off-field problems and acknowledging that they are unlikely to make a financial commitment to him long-term when he's an unrestricted free agent after this season. The injury complicated his sitaution and didn't help his chances obviously.
6,0and we will have HEAP'S mother feed him some Chunky Soup to beef him up a little...I hear Todd (and Momma) were up in 6,0Canada filming commercials
I think they want to be careful about signing too many veterans. The more you sign, the less compensatory picks you get back.
I think Gerome Sapp might be one of the last ones. Ozzie Newsome said he would like to pick up tight ends and safeties. So far, they've got two rookie TEs coming in, no safeties yet that I've heard about, though.
Aaron, hats off to you on a well deserved vacation. what are you thoughts on Mcnair this season? His arm looked completely dead at times last year and I wasn't sureif it was a function of havinf to throw more in camp and preseason or age related. He has never been a strong arm QB but looked at times like 25 yd passes were tough to make.
I remember you talking about them signing the FB Shelton from Buffalo but I don't think they need him now that they drafted Mcclain from Alabama. I think that guy will be an instant starter
Yeah, Todd said he's not worried about any jinxes.
I think McNair threw too much last year after too long a layoff after being locked out of the Titans. Theoretically, he should be fresher and not need to take as many reps this year to get up to speed. But, yes, he's declining in arm strength. Has been for about four years now.
You're right about Daimon Shelton. That's over with. Plus, the guy is 34 years old. 6,0Does the FO really think McNair has two years left in him or is that just PR? I think McClain has a good shot to start right away, too. Bruising lead blocker, but needs to work on his conditioning and speed. Little slow at 4.92 and weak in the bench press. More of a functionally strong guy. Quicker than he is fast. Tough and gritty, hard-hitting. Can't teach that.
What do you think will happen to Jason Green now that we have McClain? Depth? I think it's mostly wishful thinking, but it could work out if they block as well as the did last year. That's an iffy proposition, though.
Hey Aaron which of the Raven FAs next year do you don't see coming back and which Veterans on the current roster do you see getting cut after the 2007 season?
Do you think Darling or Moore are gone
I think Justin Green will be a backup and a special-teams guy if he gets beaten out. If the roster numbers don't work, sure, he could be on the chopping block. Nothing is guaranteed to him.
I think B.J. Sams won't be back next year. I think they will do what they have to do to re-sign Terrell Suggs. Jason Brown will be a key restricted free agent they might want to look at as a potential contract extension candidate. It's been broached already by his agent.
I think Darling and Moore aren't necessary, but I would never count them out. 6,0I think they have a picture of Billick in a compromising position
I think Clarence Moore is worth keeping around moreso than Darling. Neither is all that valuable at this point. The statistics say it all, as does the Clarence Moore poor effort on the Steve McNair lob in the end zone to Champ Bailey against Denver.
Ha ha, maybe.
Darling looked pretty good in one of the preseason game last year. Really good, athletic plays. What happened?
Are they looking for safety depth I think he's really raw in terms of fundamentals and understanding of the game. I hate to say this but when you don't grow up with the game, more of a track guy who grew up in the Bahamas, it hurts your production in my opinion.
He regressed obviously.
They would like to find a veteran, but they're hard to find.
At least they re-signed Gerome Sapp for backup duty and special teams.
6,0Hard to find at a price we can afford?
i know your a ravens specialist aaron, but do you think that all these big signings that the pats are doing will dig them into cap trouble in the future? or are they being exceptionally smart about it?
There just aren't many out there on the market. It's not a huge priority for them. I think they will watch the waiver wire for veterans during training camp to see who gets cut in late August.
They don't spend all the way up to the cap even with these exorbitant deals. its just hard to believe that a star-studded team like that can make that many big name signings and such and stay clean in the cap
The Patriots obviously are gearing up for a Super Bowl run.
6,0Think this is Bellicheks swan song?
They were $26 million under the cap when free agency began, the cap figures with the proration of signing bonuses means they still have money to burn for their rookie pool, etc..
I just don't know how the Pats do it. All this activity and they STILL have two first-rounders next year.
I heard a rumor some where that Belichek wants one last run before retiring
Not sure, I've given up trying to figure out "Dr. Doom," an old nickname for Bill he picked up during his gloomy days as the NY Giants defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells.
6,0It might be His TRY at a Swan song, but since we are going to win the Super Bowl this year he will be out of luck
Scott Pioli, former Ravens personnel executive, is pretty smart. By the way, he's married to Parcells' daughter.
do you think theres an outside chance that the ravens stick with boller as the QB of the future? I wouldn't rule it out if, say, McNair got hurt and Boller played lights out, but it's a farfetched scenario. The handwriting is on the wall. He's out of here, leaving here a multi-millionaire with a bright future as a backup elsewhere.
6,0I would love to see Boller do well, just not against us!!
how football savy is troy smith? like is he really football smart? it would be hard not to be with his accomplishments, but do you think that he will pick of the offense well?
I think Troy Smith is pretty smart, has played in a good system against elite competition. I think he's smart enough to figure it out quickly.
They might need to tailor some plays to suit him, some rollouts and bootlegs. He's not your classic pocket passer, more of a rhythm West Coast guy really.
LOL Boller will end up playing for the Clowns
Throws really well on the move.
after next year
I may be a wimp, but I'm kinda nervous about playing the Brownies this year. I think Jamal is going to be all fired out and ready to lay the wood to us.
and if by chance boller leaves after this season, do you think that smith would then be annoited the QB of the future? or do you think he'll have to really earn a majority of accomplishments on his own up until he becomes starter
Wouldn't shock me. Let's see who's running things in the brickyard in Cleveland by then. They had better starting winning or Randy Lerner is going to clean house.
6,0I feel bad for the subscribers who can't make these evening chats. Maybe you could do a daytime chat one day soon, even though I 6,0wouldn't be able to join that one.
6,0No Brady Quinn nis their savior
I think they would keep their options open and see how he looks as the backup before they make any grand pronouncements about his future here.
We'll do a premium transcript minus my admittedly mean shots at another board. Quinn does not impress me. He did not seem very accurate.

I think Brady Quinn is a tad overrated, but he didn't deserve to fall quite that far. Good player, obviously he has something to prove.
Maybe it will turn out that Miami's pick was not so crazy after all!
do you think he was worth the 2nd this year and 1st next year?
As a Notre Dame fan I was SICK this Saturday haha
6,0Thats the one I cant figure out
I have issues with Ted Ginn, too. Very one-dimensional in terms of route-running. In the NFL, the cornerbacks aren't slouches.
I think Phil Savage was desperate. As Bruce Cunningham told me once, 'Desperation is a stinky cologne." :)
6,0The Ginn pick was definitely a strange one.
haha nice one
It was really weird, same GM that traded his whole draft under Mike Ditka for Ricky Williams.
6,0Bruce cracks me up. Tell him 'hi' for me.
Is there even any remote chance of Boller being here next year in any capacity? Have the Ravens had any contact from anyone about a trade?
Maybe the Dolphins think Dante is closer to be ready then last year
He's a funny guy, I'll tell him you said hello.
No trade inquiries. I think he's gone after this year.
Good. Just alone on the fact that all the debate will be over
I think Daunte could still wind up getting cut if the Trent Green deal ever goes through. Should have happened already, if the Chiefs GM Carl Peterson wasn't so stubborn.
Couple more questions, guys.
who plays faster? vince young or troy smith?
Vince Young, definitely.
ing CArl over values everyone
Bigger, faster and stronger.
6,0Think they are doing to Green what the Titians did to McNair?
King Carl is a piece of work.
Very big ego, one of the biggest in the NFL.
I think it's been more cordial, but it's dragging on too long.
King Carl always expects too good a deal in a trade.
I rerad that him and Poulan Are jerks? Yeah, pretty much.
I know its early but we are your thoughts on our division - Pitt especially looks tough to gauge
Control freaks with big egos and huge tempers. Definitely that's their hard-earned reputation.
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland.
6,0Sounds like a job for me
Anything else, guys?
6,Im good
Thanks a lot for giving us your time, Aaron
6,0I love your thinking on the division, Aaron. Thanks for chatting with us.
6,0Thanks Aaron

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