OWINGS MILLS -- Here's a transcript of our VIP subscriber web chat following the Baltimore Ravens' latest minicamp.
Subscribers, please keep reading for further details.
6,0What is Flynn thinking by not showing up. Does he not care that his job is in jeopardy?
I think Mike Flynn is a veteran who while obviously feeling the heat from Chris Chester is aware that he knows the offense and doesn't gain that much from a non-competitive voluntary minicamp.
August is what Mike Flynn should be concerned about and the preseason games. Minicamp isn't nearly as big a deal to the coaching staff.
I will tell you I interviewed Chris Chester today and the guy is much bigger. He put on about 10 pounds of muscle.
6,0Who of the main players have shown besides McNair?
He told me he expects to compete with Flynn for the job and was very respectful of Flynn as a veteran, but he expects to be in the mix for a starting assignment.
6,0Those 10 pounds of muscle might just be the ticket to win the job. We need to be stronger in the middle.
Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Mark Clayton, Willis McGahee, Dawan Landry, Bart Scott, Gary Stills, B.J. Sams, Dan Cody, Justin Green, Keydrick Vincent, Adam Terry, Kyle Boller, Devard Darling, Clarence Moore, Demetrius Williams, P.J. Daniels, Musa Smith.
6,0What did Chester have to say?
Daniel Wilcox, Quinn Sypniewski, Brian Rimpf, Evan Oglesby, David Pittman, Dennis Haley, Justin Bannan, Matt Stover, Sam Koch and Matt Katula
6,0I read that BJ is moving well, with this week's developments, do you think he's almost a lock to start at returner?
Chester just said he has retained all of his speed and expects his physical attributes to be a major plus in his bid for the job.
anything unusual strike you relative to previous years
I think they're going to compete. Obviously, Yamon Figurs' health, bigger contract he'll sign, Sams' free agent status, past legal
problems are going to hurt his cause. Figurs has to prove it on the field, though.
I thought it was a very normal, basic voluntary minicamp.
6,0Is Mc NAir looking as good as He says he is?
Willis McGahee looked sharp as did Steve McNair. His arm seemed liver than the end of the season. Steve has lost some weight and
is much leaner now.
6,0I heard Clayton on the radio today singing Smith's praises. How does Smith look?
His throws were very crisp, lot of good balls thrown today. He's thinner than I've seen him in years.
was Terry lining up as an RT, if so how does his footwork look?
Musa Smith seems like he's running with good body lean and his neck is completely healed from offseason surgery.
Adam Terry did line up at right tackle, and his footwork seemed fine. Keep in mind it was mostly seven on seven work, so most of his work was confined to blocking drills and hitting the sled.
The workouts were in shorts and are non-contact.
6,0Sorry, Troy Smith
Oh, he was very complimentary of Troy Smith. McNair is very high on this kid, especially his willingness to learn and ask questions.
I thought Troy Smith had a good day.
How about Pittman - still fighting the doghouse blues?
Kyle Boller has bulked up in his upper body, bigger shoulders, up to 230 pounds, up from 220.
Not the 25 pounds of muscle one of our posters claimed he had gotten up to, but he's bigger for what that's worth.
Pittman had the best practice I've ever witnessed from him, very good footwork, all over the receivers. He was tight in coverage and more intense than last year. I think the light may have clicked on. I think he got the message from the coaching staff about his work habits from last year.
Evan Oglesby struggled and was burnt twice by Mark Clayton, drawing an admonition from secondary coach Dennis Thurman.
6,0Any of the UDFAs look particularly good?
Donnie Johnson is pretty good, Edgar Jones, Cullen Finnerty, Joe Martin
this is a huge assumption, but if you think that pittman keeps up the type of practice your describing, do you think he could be a #2 when rolle leaves/retires?
I think it's a long ways from that, but that would be a best-case scenario obviously.
Any signs that Rick Neuheisel is going to be allowed to open up the offense?
Impossible to tell from today, lot of short passes still.
A few clues about vertical stuff.
They aren't going to show much of the game plan in May.
6,0Re Clayton burning Oglesby: how much of that was Clayton being good vs. Oglesby being not so good?
They are trying to get Willis McGahee up to speed on their version of the West Coast offense. Not a lot of heavy installment right now, using the basics.
The former. Clayton is a first-round draft pick. Oglesby is an undrafted journeyman. The difference showed today.
Clayton is great at selling routes.
Do you think we'll carry 4 young corners again or narrow it down to 2 or 3?
And there's no pass rush. Hard combination for Oglesby.
I think they'll keep the guys that were here last year. No reason not to right now.
They need them all.
6,0How did Cody look?
Very mobile, very tall, big, moved around well. Looked decent in coverage, but it's not his forte.
He's more of a full-contact drills type.
I hear you but the roster is going to be tight this year. Do you think they'll keep a strong performing saftey with the initial DJ over one of these guys if he continues to impress?
By the way, Jarret Johnson is in very good shape, looked like he was down to 265.
They need at least four safeties, so Donnie Johnson or Bobby Blackmire are going to get a long look behind Ed Reed, Dawan Landry
and Gerome Sapp.
Safety isn't as big a priority on this team because of the strength of the two starters.
They need more depth at cornerback.
Do they keep both BJ Sams and Figurs or try to deal BJ for a pick?
I think it's premature to say, but there are definite scenarios where they might want to keep Sams around for a little while. What if Figurs can't take a hit or drops kicks and punts?
What if they let Sams prove he's healthy and productive and then trade him?
how does leron mcclain size up against ovie mughelli? as far as speed getting out of the backfield and blocking ability
Or keep Sams for a while until Figurs is ready.
Yeah and they're both pretty frail. If each plays half a season, we should have a good return game in the playoffs.
6,0the last one makes the most sense to me
McClain is bigger, not as fast, probably a little bit stronger, not as well-defined in terms of musculature. Good hands like Ovie and blocking ability I'll gauge when I see him hit an NFL linebacker.
what ravens do you think will hold their last season on this team? i know theres a couple like mason, boller, and rolle, who else?
6,0did they run any sets with Clayton and DWill at the same time?
I think those three guys are obviously in that category. Also, Jonathan Ogden, maybe Mike Flynn.
They did run a three-wide set where Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams were both lined up wide right.
Complete to Williams on a sideline route.
6,0It's going to be hard to cover those two at once, I think
was heap there today?
Yes, Todd Heap was there.
Caught a bunch of passes.
does he look like hes in good shape? hes pretty much a constant comfort zone for us so hes not the topic of discussion
Todd is always in great shape. No offseason surgeries, either.
Same for Steve McNair.
thats what i expected, hes so awesome to have on this team cause you can always rely on his brute work ethic
6,0Are you hearing any scuttlebutt on our AFC North rivals? For example, will the Browns be a threat this year?
do you think that sams will get any suspension even after being found not guilty? i could be wrong, but i thought that you can still be suspended for being arrested even if your not convicted
Todd Heap is extremely reliable. I wouldn't worry about him. Maybe long-term because of his reckless abandon on the field.
I think that B.J. Sams is safe at this point. Yes, you can be suspended, but he's low profile. Remember, commissioner Roger Goodell is looking for names to set an example. B.J. Sams is a good football player, but he flies under the radar screen.
6,0Maybe not so under the radar. Sams' acquittal was front page news on ESPN.com
thats probably because its the ever-so-slow offseason
speaking of afc rivals, do you think anything comes out of the Faneca threats or will he play business as usual, love to see him in a different division
6,0yeah, and an ACQUITTAL
I wrote that story.
I'm the Baltimore Associated Press' silent correspondent.
Just like I wrote the Steve McNair story today at minicamp that's on the AP wire.
When Dave Ginsburg, the Baltimore AP sports editor is on another assignment like this week with the Preakness Stakes, I fill in for him.
It's one of my side gigs.
you are quite the man, aaron lol
Like Sports Illustrated. I do all of the Ravens stuff for SI Players, like the pop culture grid.
6,0That's pretty awesome and explains why the style seemed so familiar.
I think Alan Faneca is done after this year.
They'll let him walk. Principle is important to the Steelers and the Rooneys, while good guys, can be tight with a buck.
Any NFL story on a guy getting in trouble makes the front page of ESPN.com.
6,0Any more rumors on Henderson coming back?
No rumors about Donnie Henderson coming back at this point.
They did retain Vic Fangio as a special assistant.
Donnie is getting paid by the Lions still. He's likely to get an interview for DC if Rex Ryan leaves.
Donnie's agent is Tony Agnone, out of Hunt Valley, who repped Michael McCrary. Has a great relationship with the Ravens.
Do you know if any Ravens are attending the Preakness this weekend?
do you think that dan cody will be a LB? or will he eventually move to DE considering hes a pass rushing specialist with the size to
I don't know that for certain, but I think Kyle Boller always attends the Preakness Stakes. He has been to the Kentucky Derby a few
times, too. I think he likes the ponies and the social scene. Can't blame him.
A lot of the Ravens usually attend the Preakness.
Dan Cody told me he prefers to play down defensive end with his hand in the dirt. He's getting nearly big enough to do so. He's still a hybrid, but his skill set and size lend themselves better to being a 4-3 defensive end.
Sorry I'm late...dinner ran long. I'll try not to be repetitive. Aaron: who do you think will be our nickel this year and how do you think our depth at corner really is? Are the young kids really ready to step into a larger role if need be?
do you consider suggs to be a 3-4 LB in this defense? because hes about the same size as suggs, if not a little bigger
gotta run but thanks Aaron- most informative as always
Corey Ivy will likely be the nickel in tandem with Ronnie Prude and Evan Oglesby.
I think the depth at corner isn't as good as they think it is. Best-case scenario for them is David Pittman blossoming. He has all the physical tools to be a good nickel.
I think Suggs is really a 4-3 end the way they used him most of the time last year. The 3-4 sets weren't run as liberally as they did in the past.
Thanks, see ya.
6,0Sorry I have to leave, but thanks, Aaron. Don't forget us little guys when you're rich and famous.
A lot of concerns about David Pittman have been brought up..would you say he's just young and immature or is he more of
a head-case, genuinely bad person from what you know and have seen?
I think it's more of a young, immature deal. He's not a head case or a bad guy, just young and out of his element. He's a country kid from a small town, small school, didn't quite realize what standard it took to be in the NFL as a rookie. He's coming around.
As a person, he has outstanding character and no off-field blemishes.
Who do you think will be a surprise performer this year if anyone? Along the lines of say an Ovie.
As far as a surprise, I'm going to say Dan Cody staying healthy and contributing as a situational rusher would be a surprise in my book.
That's good to hear, hopefully he gets it all together..I know he has the potential be very good for us. This kind of a random question, but are there any surprise leaders on this team..besides the likes of Ray, Reed, and McNair is there someone else who's clearly a vocal leader?
I think Bart Scott is clearly a vocal leader and could emerge as even more important as a locker room force with Adalius Thomas' departure.
In your opinion what will have the bigger impact: Loss of AD or addition of McGahee...obvioulsy its hard to measure but if
you could give it your best guess..
Addition of McGahee will be more important. AD leaving won't hur the defense nearly as much as you think. Most of his sacks were unblocked ones where others cleared the way. He's an athletic finesse player who thrived in the system, very versatile, very good, but not irreplaceable.
Do you think this years offense will be Billick's & Neuhiesal or just Billick's with Neuhiesal getting a cute promotion and more money?
I think Bart Scott's expanded role on third downs and others producing more like Suggs and Pryce should make up for his loss. Jarret Johnson will do very well against the run. They just need to get him off the field most of the time on third downs.
That's good to hear.
They can afford to take a half-step back on defense. The running game needed a big shot in the arm.
do you think he will do well in the patriots defensive system? theyre probably the one other team i would pick out in the league to
have a good defense because of a good system and solid players... or do you think he'll get exposed as a product of our system?
Billick's offense with him listening and accepting some input from Neuheisel, but Billick will always have the final say.
It won't be strictly a cosmetic promotion.
I think he'll do very well in New England.
He'll be the exception to the rule about ex-Ravens defensive guys who go elsewhere.
Remember Duane Starks, Kim Herring, etc..
Very quiet after leaving this system.
Alright one more for me...I'm just trying to think of things that you haven't been asked so far... Which team is better on paper 06 Ravens or 07 Ravens?
I hope he stays quiet in Cin
I would say 2007 Ravens with Ben Grubbs' addition along with Willis McGahee.