VIP subscriber chat transcript

OWINGS MILLS -- Here's the latest on the happenings and rumor mill at One Winning Drive from our VIP subscriber chat:

Hey just out of curiosity, did Ray Lewis or the organization have any comment on Kevin Millar doing the Ray dance?

I doubt if they cared.

Just wonder if they thought it was funny, I'm sure they wouldn't be angry

Aaron, is the organization that confident in Samari Rolles ability that they didn't draft any CBs?

So how is Mini-camp looking? any stand outs yet?

alright... so nfl.com and espn and everyone made a big deal about how mcnabb reacted to kolb being drafted, did boller have anything to say about smith being drafted? or has he accepted the fact hes likely out the door by the end of the year

They are banking on him surviving one more year. Honestly, they have no one behind him that can play on a full-time basis. I suspect he was hurt most of the year after injuring his foot against Oakland, but obviously he's declining and has lost a step. This is a calculated gamble.

Does the organization have any stock in Pittman? Has it ever been revealed why he never suited up?

The minicamps are hard to judge, but I thought Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda were impressive along with La'Ron McClain.

We haven't seen Kyle Boller in a few weeks. I doubt he cared. I think he knows he's out of here anyway and will act accordingly.

They would like to see David Pittman turn it around, but he's in the doghouse after showing zero intensity and pain threshold and work ethic last year. It was really disappointing to see for a third-round draft pick.

has steve mcnair reacted at all to the press about getting smith? i doubt hes in town, but regardless...apparently he was pimping him pre-draft on the radio.

6,0I think it would be his choice to leave, he does put up with lots of crap from fans, press etc.

We haven't seen Steve McNair, but I know he likes Troy Smith and has mentored him a little. They've known each other for three years and Troy Smith actually got in trouble for working Steve's camp when he was supposed to be on campus one year.

I've never understood why a guy like Boller got so much crap from the press when guys like Leftwich, Carr, Harrington, or other rookie quarterbacks got a free pass. I'm not sure that you could say those guys get a free pass. In their markets, they are targets for ridicule. Especially when Harrington was in Detroit.

6,0Detroit? ain't that where Betis is from?

harringtons a blunder... carr, you could always blame on the line, which is something that we had throughout boller's career except 2005

It just seems like Boller for this generation was the Ryan Leaf of his time. Boller was so hyped up and handled improperly. It's hard to fathom why they did it the way they did with no plan.

Yes, Bettis is from the Eight Mile!

I think he wasn't nearly as bad as Leaf, certainly much better behaved.

And a more productive, respectable quarterback.

Right, but he gets stuck w/ith that type of stigma. I agree Boller seems like a good kid.

yeah its funny how i just read an article about boller pre-draft (pre-2003-draft), and it was funny to read people like worshiping his feet.

Definitely, a nice guy.

I know. The campus newspaper at Cal dubbed him "Jesus in Cleats" as a freshman. Hard to live up to that kind of hyperbole.

6,0I think Boller just got thrown in the deep end without letting him get his feet wet enough first

What can we expect to see from Ross? Has he played himself off the team?

Pretty much, plus he never read the entire field at Cal, a fatal flaw.

All the Jeff Tedford quarterbacks are coached that way and all of them struggle in the NFL.

At least Dilfer got a SB ring. haha.

I think he's a non-factor now that Yamon Figurs is here.

True about Dilfer, at least he understood his limitations and played within the system.

yeah, it was right after the combine when he clocked between 4.59-4.61, and they were saying how amazing it would be to have a QB in boller that could run too, 2 years later he trips himself in open field and fumbles it but away from boller bashing...

Good point.

Does Finnerty have any shot of making the team? Or is this just a matter of making life easy for Steve in Camp

I think he's just a camp arm, he struggled to time his throws and target a spot during camp and got yelled at by Brian Billick. He just kept calling him quarterback, didn't even use his real name.

I remember hearing somewhere 2 seasons ago that there was a race on the offense and Boller beat everyone. Doubt it's true though.

I don't know. I don't think he's faster than Mark Clayton, Todd Heap or the other receivers or Jamal Lewis.

Has there been any word about possibly opening the offense a little more this season?

yeah, so hes pretty much got the offensive line down, hes a monster

Pretty athlwtic, though, even though that's irrelevant with his lack of awareness and understanding of the game.

I think Rick Neuheisel wants to. Let's see if Brian Billick allows his creative input to flow.

I'd love to see the Clayton end around/reverse go bye bye. They can burn that page, no play on our offense gets me to cuss more than that one i dont understand why that never ever ever works for us

It has always been a loser, dating back to Travis Taylor attempting to run it. I think it's telegraphed and the receivers just aren't fast enough to run it properly. Let's see Yamon Figurs get a try. At least he's fast.

It seemed like all last year, in the first half of the game McNair had a bad tendancy to throw at his receiver's feet, was this due to not getting into camp and getting his timing down, or just a age/arm strength factor

so do you think that atwan barnes has any outside chance to get a starting spot by the end of the season? apprently hes much more athletic than johnson, and a natural pass rusher, has he shown any upside in coverage?

I think it's timing plus age and arm strength and unfamiliarity. A bad recipe combination obviously.

I think Antwan Barnes judging from what I saw at minicamp has a long way to go at learning to play in reverse. Probably a situational rusher/special teams guy for now, but he has starting potential down the road.

6,0heck even with all that He still got us to the play-Offs

He's definitely athletic, 4.45 speed, 31 reps of 225 pounds.

By the way, Dan Cody is huge. Put on a lot of muscle. Told me he's healthier than ever.

who do you think they are more optimistic on (ignore health issues)...if they had to play someone right now, would it be cody or barnes?

Cody is going to be more of a defensive end this year, probably will back up Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce.

because both, according to you and the fishwrap, are pretty much only situational pass rushers

Has there been ANY rumblings of Troy Smith being drafted as our possible QB of the future, or just drafted out of pure curiosity?

Barnes is likely to be groomed behind Jarret Johnson.

I think they are taking a long look at him, but they are noncommittal about his future as far as being groomed behind McNair to start. It's way too early to project.

6,0Aaron..is your wife going to let you take a computer on Vacation with you? (or will she ring your neck) as far as athleticism, who has more upside, mike smith or prescott burgess?

I think Burgess, nearly as quick and probably faster in a straight line. Much taller and thicker.

Has their been any word on Willis? Is he still in the area?

yeah, i would love nothing more than to be a reporter for the ravens, and talk to the players and staff, but i dont know if i could handle the hours...therefore im going for the possibility in photography

Nice

Good luck with that.

I haven't seen Willis. He was at the draft day fan event and I understand he signed a ton of autographs.

thanks

6,0Since Willis was in Buf which is our closest team I saw a few interviews of him not to talkative, sometimes seemed a little sullen, gets kinda grumpy sometimes when they lose

speaking of how willis thinks about himself a lot or w.e.... remember how willis got a lot of crap for calling himself the best RB in the league? well who heard dwayne jarrett calling himself the best WR in the draft, even over calvin johnson

I think as long as he's getting paid and getting the ball and winning he'll be okay. By the way, his locker is right next to Ed Reed.

did they place willis next to reed? or did he choose that?

I didn't hear he said that. That's ridiculous. He's not even as good as Bobby Meacham or Steve Smith or Gonzalez.

I think that was at their request.

whos locker is ray's next to?

Steve McNair, Chris McAlister, Terrell Suggs, Dan Cody all in that corner along with Samari Rolle close by and Bart Scott.

does ray spend much time at the ravens facility?

We don't see much of Ray honestly.

Have you ever gotten any type of feedback from Ray in regards to being the next Baltimore icon? Is it something he dislikes, or does he feed off the love from the town

yeah, thats what i expected about ray, i just have this feeling that hes pretty detached from everything since he takes himself so seriously and such, ive heard lots of interviews with people like bart scott and theyre talkin about the great factors of this defense, and they always forget ray's name (not ALL the time), but as if hes not like good friends with anyone, im sure im exagerrating that though, but you get my point

I think he loves being the center of attention and representing Baltimore. It's very important to him to be in tune with the city, at least most years it is.

as long as hes not a lockerroom cancer, i wouldnt be upset

He's not a cancer.

6,0Who do you think will be starting on special teams as kick returner?

Yamon Figurs.

are we referring to during regular season?

Yes

like you think its a lock? you answered pretty darn quickly

Barring him being a total wimp as far as contact Or B.J. Sams not getting suspended or being ready at training camp to hold onto his job, but the handwriting seems to be on the wall.

DeCosta already said he expects Figurs to start.

speaknig of yamon, do you think we'll have injury problems with them? at a stickly 175 lbs, and assuming he doesnt make it to the endzone every time he gets a kick, hes gonna take some hits

I think he's at risk, but you can't hurt what you can't hit.

right, gotcha

What do you think the offensive line will look like come opening day?

just to touch on the subject of ray, you should forward to barnes to do that dance he does on youtube when he makes a big play haha... is he more humble? or would you think he would be loud like reed and ray and sizzle

Jonathan Ogden, Jason Brown, Mike Flynn, Ben Grubbs and Adam Terry.

Argh.. Flynn is still going to be our center when he is 60 years old

I saw that. I thought it was funny. I met Barnes and I think he's a good guy. Very humble, very close to his mother and aunt and high school coach. He comes from a very tough upbringing in a bad Miami neighborhood. Overcame a lot to get to the NFL.

why do you think that we moved up by trading 3 picks to get yanda...when hes too short to be a RT most likely, and we already have 3 very promising interior linemen? to have more than solid depth? or whats the plan with him?

Remember, what I predicted about the offensive line changes happening in phases? He might be the last survivor.

ahh, shows good for his character at least... but i love to watch sizzle and ray and reed act out, its like the wwf when ray comes out of the tunnel

i throw bart scotts in that mix as well

They were really enamored of Yanda's toughness. Being short at right tackle doesn't offend them. Remember, Leon Searcy. They're about the same height exactly.

True, true. Do you think that the lack of sacks last year was due to McNair or due to the line playing better?

6,0Isn't BJ's court date like next week? A little bit of both honestly, plus they weren't as bad they looked when Boller was the quarterback due to his lack of pocket awareness.

May 15, yes.

3,0Any recent word from Ogden? I know he wasn't 100% before the draft.

Nothing new, just progressing and supposedly on target for training camp.

6,0Sounds like the trainers are going to have their hands full getting last years casualties but in shape

3,0do you expect him at any of the OTAs?

I think Ogden will attend at least two full-team camps, including the mandatory one on June 5.

Any other questions, guys? 3,0How do the vets view the upcoming season? Are they feeling positive? I know Bart Scott is very excited, as is Jason Brown, Dan Cody and a few others I've talked to. They think it's Super Bowl or bust.

Make sure you guys post your questions on the VIP club level. I check for new questions several times per day. Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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