OWINGS MILLS -- Here's the latest information emanating out of the Baltimore Ravens' training complex at One Winning Drive:
Thanks for being here.
6,0Good evening, Aaron
I'm ready for any and all questions.
Ready when you are.
6,0EVERYTHING we've heard coming out of the camps has been totally positive. What's the dirt? Seriously, it can't all be giggles.
Evening Aaron. I agree with Birdfan, seems awfully optimistic this year
Well, here's a few issues that could be regarded as negatives although I wouldn't overreact to them:
1. Trevor Pryce is overweight, gained about 15 to 20 pounds, a lot in his gut, but I'm sure he'll melt it off by August. He still looked incredibly quick. 2. Mike Kracalik is a disaster as a backup left tackle. They need Jonathan Ogden's toe to heal up fast.
4. Evan Oglesby and Ronnie Prude get picked on regularly, as does Corey Ivy by the tight ends. 5. Dan Cody's is an uncertain issue, again. 6. Yamon Figurs keeps trying to catch the ball with his chest.
Other than that, everything is great. You asked for a few negatives, there they are.
Next question, please.
6,0Thanks, Aaron, I couldn't believe life was totally perfect out there.
I was no math major in regards to JO but if he saw the Dr in Jan and the verdict was 4-6 months, doesn't that mean he should mostly healed now?
6,0Has any of the new guys impressed Billick enough that He knows their name yet ?
Well, the injury was Dec. 17, but he took a painkilling shot to play in the playoff game. That would put him on a different time table. Keep in mind the doctor might have been saying four to six months after he examined him. The doctor is a foot and toe specialist who's the general orthopedist for the Carolina Panthers, Robert Anderson, M.D.
He has talked about Troy Smith and Ben Grubbs a lot. Keep in mind Brian just does that with rookies as a gentle hazing ritual. He has been high on Marshal Yanda, Yamon Figurs and Le'Ron McClain, too.
Next question, please.
6,0You're the Answer Man.
By the way, we have a new Trevor Pryce feature up on the front page along with a notebook.
Ha ha, I guess so.
By the way, I found out what was wrong with linebacker Dennis Haley: emergency appendectomy recently. He's back on the field as
In other news, Paris Hilton is out of jail and on house arrest. Should her lawyer consult with Steve McNair's people?
6,0Geez..maybe they could put some NFL players on House arrest to keep them out of trouble (like the whole Bengals team)
His info seemingly has been correct though
LoL, what do you think we do about the back-up T position?
6,0I like the idea of putting the Bengals ALL under house arrest. But, my question is, can they replace players that are suspended or do the suspended players count against the 53 man roster?
Pray that Marshal Yanda can be an effective backup and that Jonathan Ogden and Adam Terry play all 16 games for every snap. Mike
Kracalik is incapable of dealing with any kind of speed rusher.
I worry about Yanda's lack of height and wingspan.
The suspended players are on a reserve-suspended designation that doesn't count against the 53-man active roster. Their roster
spot can be filled by others.
Can we really assume that Demetrius Williams is legit? The years of ineptitude at that position are starting to seem like a bad dream.
Your reports have been flattering of him so far
I think the drought is finally over. It's not a mirage. Demetrius Williams and Mark Clayton are the virtual oasis.
He's a really good football player. I've got nothing bad to say about him.
About either of those guys.
6,0Is the defense starting to hang on to some of the interception or are they still doing pushups?
They've caught a few interceptions lately.
More surehanded than usual for this time of year. Remember, they led the league in interceptions last season and touchdown returns.
Ok the inevitable Troy Smith question. Have you seen anything in the last 3 days that gives you any more hope for him than you had
before this week?
No Daunte Culpepper questions yet? I'm shocked.
Should we have Culpepper questions? :D
I thought Troy Smith seemed calmer than the first couple of voluntary camps. He's not throwing the fotball nearly as hard.
6,0I heard on the radio tonight that D-Will is absolutely killing the CBs, that they just can't cover him. Is that even close to true?
I'm sure there's something you would be curious about when it comes to Culpepper.
6,0I'll bite, is Ozzie talking about it?
I just assume Culpepper is not even on the Ravens' radar
It really is true. They are absolutely befuddled by Williams and the way he sells routes, varies his speed and finishes them off with acceleration and decisiveness.
6,0Thanks, Aaron, I think a dream just came true with that news.
I heard they didn't like him last year because of injuries and they remain unconvinced that he's going to be healthy again. He would be a splashy distraction for a team that's primed for another playoff run. He has quite the locker room lawyer reputation, too. I don't think it's a good fit at this time.
Daunte Culpepper has health issues and leadership and character issues. I think he would be quite a risk.
6,0But will it hold when it gets to contact drills
Was this 3 days for installing a lot of new plays and packages, or was it more to knock off rust and look at the newbies?
or some combination of all that stuff
I think the national reporters that are speculating about linking him to Baltimore are merely doing paint by numbers journalism. Just because Kyle Boller has one foot out the door and Steve McNair is getting up in years doesn't make Daunte Culpepper the answer. My money's on Detroit, Jacksonville, St. Louis or Atlanta.
6,0But Dante COULD charter a boat on the Bay. :-)
Oh yeah, Williams can play in traffic and take a hit. Remember, the second Pittsburgh game last year?
They were trying to install stuff, get their feet wet on the two-minute drill today and do some red-zone work.
Daunte would be lots of fun on the Chesapeake, of course. Great point.
6,0Culpepper would be an expensive gamble..costs to much for an injured bench warmer
I really doubt it will happen, but you never know.
A lot of national reporters are chasing this story. Not much else going on right now.
Ok that leads up to my next question.
Was the offensive line pulling and trapping any at all?
Not as much as I thought they would. Still waiting for a few more screen passes. The 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers they are not.
Or the 1990s St. Louis Rams.
Or the 1980s' Washington Redskins.
That Counter Trey play used to work great.
With Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby leading the blocking.
How does Landry look?
Very good, looking pretty mobile in pass coverage, more sure of himself heading into his second year as a starter.
other than depth at T and DB, what concerns do you have and where have you been pleasantly surprised?
6,0Is Boller at camp? Seeing much field time?
Besides the nickel back and offensive tackle situation, there is really no proven option for a fouth receiver.
I have been pleasantly surprised by how aggressive Antwan Barnes is and the confidence and athleticism he's displaying.
The Corey Ivy article today said that the Ravens feel they are set at defensive back, that's why they didn't draft any CB's or safeties. How deep are we really? You said the two undrafted FA's might have a shot at making it.
Not to say we haven't had plenty of success with undrafted FA's.
They are fooling themselves in my opinion. For whatever reason, they are taking a gamble that these guys will improve. In my opinion, they are all role players who might improve marginally but aren't on the verge of any real breakthrough. There's nothing wrong with any of those guys, but they are all limited in some way. No complete players among the backup group.
I think any injury to Chris McAlister or Samari Rolle would be crippling.
Right, Bobby Blackshire or Donnie Johnson have a good chance based on numbers and their size. They have to prove themselves in
training camp obviously, but they picked the right team to try to make.
Not sold on Pittman either?
No reason to be at all. Now, he's down with a strained hamstring that has kept him out for weeks. Same thing happened last year
during training camp.
He's got to toughen up and get healthy.
Funny thing is I thought he was starting to get it and he practiced well when the minicamps started in May. Then, he got hurt and hasn't been heard from ever since.
6,0Is Rolle all healed up?
Yes, he seems to be okay now.
Not as fast as he was two years ago, but not as slow as last year after the foot injury, either.
do you buy the company line on Rolle - meaning he was a victim of not receiving help when he should have last year
I started to ask that earlier as well
Oh no way. He was a victim of a lack of confidence more so than Ed Reed's alleged misdeeds.
Reed wasn't helpful to Rolle's cause at all times, but sometimes it's every man for himself on a football field. You've got to be able to cover your man and area.
Reed could be a lot more accountable when it's his fault, but it's not as if he was sabotaging Rolle, either.
Communication needed to be a lot better obviously.
How many years does Trevor Pryce have left on his contract and how long do you think he'll actually play?
He's entering the second year of a five-year, $25 million contract that included $10 million in guaranteed money. I give him at least two more years, maybe three tops.
He's still really good.
I know Ray has lost a step but seems like ever since his injury in 02 (?), he has never been the same in terms of his tackling
sureness, do you think its physical, mental or am I just wrong?
Surprised me last year after a sluggish training camp. I think Trevor is one of those guys who saves himself for the regular season, which is smart.
Ray Lewis isn't as explosive or physical as he used to be. I chalk that mostly up to weakening shoulders and smaller legs than he used to have.
He looks smaller in his lower body and back, not as thick as before.
He's much more reluctant to take on players that are bigger than him or equally big, too.
Avoids taking on blocks.
I'm not sold on the "window" thing. I think we have just as many up and coming new stars as we do old ones. Of course nobody will be
Ray Lewis, but as long as we solve the QB dilemna, I think the window stays open. Thoughts?
The one thing that hurts my theory is Rex leaving though :(
6,0How is the locker room attitude? Are the guys pysched?
Interesting theory. I think they are beginning to prepare for the eventual departures of Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, etc.., but could have been a tad more proactive a few years ago. If they can find an adequate replacement for Steve McNair soon enough and upgrade the running game markedly, this can remain a viable contender.
Rex Ryan is a great coach, but players play.
The locker room chemistry is the best I've seen in years.
Nobody seems to be unhappy at this point, even guys who are in danger of being benched because of young players' arrivals.
If you guys don't have anything else, that's cool. We can wrap early if you want to.
I'd just like to say thanks for the Superbowl tickets that were given to everyone that showed up tonight. Too bad for all those other guys:D
Thank you guys.
Put that in the transcript!
Cya and thanks
zaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.