OWINGS MILLS -- Our latest installment of questions and answers from One Winning Drive:
Aaron tell us all about the newly signed rookies
Latest news on Barnes? Is it a deal or not?
any talks with grubbs yet so we can have a 1st rounder in camp on time
Aaron why do you think the Ravens only signed Yanda to a 3 year contract?
Marshal Yanda signed a three-year deal with base salaries of $285,000, $370,000 and $460,000 with a signing bonus slightly higher than $640,750.
Wouldn't Figurs is better suited for Kick Off duties leaving Sams to Punt Returns; afterall Sams as ice running through his veins.
Meanwhile, Antwan Barnes has agreed in principle, meaning he hasn't signed his deal formally yet, with the same base salaries and a signing bonus of $287,000.
It will get signed very soon, no worries.
Yanda projects as a swing tackle and a backup guard because of his versatility. Barnes could emerge as a situational pass rusher on third downs and a special-teams force.
They haven't gotten very far with Ben Grubbs' talks yet, but it's still early.
I think they only signed three-year deals because that's what the Ravens typically have been doing with rookie deals below the first round. They can find out in three years plus a fourth restricted free agent year if they want to keep a player long-term or not.
Does everyone think that Trevor Pryce will lose the weight he needs to before training campo?
I would say Figurs is more adept at catching kickoffs right now, but I doubt they will wind up splitting the duties at this point. They're going to compete and we'll see what happens.
One reason Trevor Pryce looked much heavier than usual, besides gaining a few pounds, was wearing a tighter jersey. He wore No. 8, his college number, and it's meant for quarterbacks. It really hugged his midsection. :)
How is Koch looking is going to be the one doing Kickoffs saving Stovers leg for just Field Goals.
By the way, rotoworld.com stole the contract information without attribution. I didn't include the signing bonus for Barnes intentionally, putting it up on the club level. That was the only thing they didn't heist. I have e-mailed the administrators over there about ripping off scout.com and you guys.
Special teams coordinator Frank Gansz said that he's going to give Sam Koch a long look at being the kickoff guy. His quadriceps is fully healed. Ideally, they would like to preserve Matt Stover's leg strictly for field goals.
How Johnthan Ogden toe doing? Is it going to be a factor this season?
What's Willis up to? Has he been up in Baltimore much?
Wouldn't say that we need Willis to catch about 400 yards and run about 1200 yards for him to be effective. In our new offense we don't need a 2000 yard back anymore? What do you think?
I think he's going to be in some pain, but I believe he'll be able to tough it out and have at least one more outstanding season. Remember, it didn't require surgery because the tendon didn't detach from the bone.
However, he did require a pain killer to make it through the Colts game. I could see J.O. having to grit his teeth a lot this fall, but I'm sure he'll do what he has to do to play.
Willis McGahee has alternated his training between Florida and Baltimore since minicamp ended, primarily spending his time in South Florida at the University of Miami.
I think the Ravens would be satisfied with those numbers, not thrilled, but satisfied.
thanks - curious since we always seem to get to lack of T depth, what if any free agents might be out there
At what point in the season will Chester take over at Center do you think? I can see Mike Flynn taking the demotion better than vincent because he would be a better back-up especially with his knowledge of our system
I haven't been up to speed lately been working and out of town..whats our RT situation looking like, basically Adam Terry's spot to lose? And how do you think he'll handle it
It's really slim pickings. Basically, they are banking on surviving at tackle without an injury and hoping
that Marshal Yanda could play in a pinch. I don't have much confidence in journeyman Steve Edwards as an
emergency replacement, I have even less confidence in Mike Kracalik, who's basically a human turnstile.
I've talked with several people involved in the offensive line and they could foresee Mike Flynn holding onto his job for a little while, no projections, but eventually your interior line will be left guard Jason
Brown, center Chris Chester and right guard Ben Grubbs. Could be a nice athletic young corps to grow together, just worry about the growing pains.
It's Adam Terry's job by default with Tony Pashos gone, and I think he'll do fine in pass protection, but I have issues with how he'll hold up against big bull rushers and with moving aggressive run-stoppers off the line of scrimmage because of his 6-foot-8 stature and lack of ideal lower body strength and intensity.
Do you think the Ravens are targeting any free agent prospects for next season; or is next years draft class deep? Although picking 32nd most good tackles will be gone!
At this point, he's a much more advanced pass blocker than run blocker.
It's a really good draft next year and you're right there aren't ever really any great tackles left that late in the round.
I think they will target Terrell Suggs as their top free agent if they don't get him signed between now and next March.
They would likely franchise him if they are unable to sign him to a long-term deal. If they sign him, it's going to be at least $20 million in guaranteed money with a total worth of the deal of about $40 million or so.
what about the new uniforms? Do you know anything?
We haven't talked about special team too much - do you think Koch will be more consistent and what steps do we take to improve KO coverage
I'm not sure that's happening, it's been really quiet about that. Maybe Mark Clayton was talking about Madden the video game or just the fabric material.
I think the kickoff coverage could be better with a shot in the arm from athletic youngsters like Antwan Barnes and Prescott Burgess.
Do you think Figurs can improve his catching skills well enough to be another option as a receiver. I think someone said he had small hands?
He does have small hands and he uses his body to cradle the football way too often, a big no-no. I think he could be better than Clarence Moore or Devard Darling long-term, but I'm not sure that he's more polished than them at this point, in fact I know he isn't. But nobody on the team can run like him.
He might be the fastest guy in the AFC North.
Do you expect any penalty from the NFL? More spefically Roger Goodell in regards to McNair's DUI trouble?
Aaron you aare worrying me about Figurs - better than Darling and Moore isn't exactly a vote of confidence
No, I've been told that Steve McNair has nothing to worry about in that regard. It's a closed case in all respects.
how about Sams?
I'm just telling you his hands are inconsistent, but his speed is awesome.
I don't think Sams is going to have any trouble. There was an NFL security guy in court that day and he told me that an acquittal closes the case for Sams, too.
A conviction would have likely triggered a two to four-game suspension.
Do you think McNair is going to have 4,000 yards passing this season. He has 3,000 with Billick only taking over for part of the season
Plus, they would have already punished Sams by this point. They don't like to do this at the last minute to teams so their depth charts aren't torn asunder.
we know there isnt any word yet on dan cody or else it would be headline news on ravens websites
etc...but what are the odds of cody's season being ended based on the injury
I think 3,500 is more like it. Remember, they're still going to run the football a lot.
I would say it's 50-50 for Dan Cody in terms of odds on this year. Even if the knee is healing without
surgery, he's prone to another injury with his history since entering the league. It's a shame, but he's more
susceptible at this point to re-injury.
Next question, please.
speaking of expectations, fans like to speculate all over the spectrum of what mcgahee will be
doing...some say 1800 yrds, others say 800 yrds... whats your's and the raven's outlook on this upcoming season
Maybe our running problems aren't as bad because if I remember correctly Jamal was under
utilized before Billick took over. What do you think? I just thoughts Jamals number would have been better. Not
saying Jamal was great or anything
The Ravens really don't do statistical projections like reporters and fans do, but they hope for a
certain amount of productivity like 150 yards of total offense per game. That's a good benchmark.
I would say 1,200 to 1,350 yards is a safe bet.
I think that Jamal Lewis' explosiveness had diminished and his vision wasn't as good as it used to
be. He used to frustrate the linemen by not running where the holes were.
It was time for everyone to move on, but they will miss him in some respects. He's a lot more
powerful than McGahee.
any chance we will see Smith out there as a Slash like player
ive never focused on mcgahees abilities...have you heard anything from other reporters from buffalo
about his abilities to hit holes fast etc?
What about Mclain has he beaten up Justin Green for the job?
Aaron what do you think about the competition we have at the different positions? Wouldn't you
say that is our biggest asset right now?
Troy Smith really doesn't have those qualities. He's not very fast, about a 4.72. He's strictly a
The reporters in Buffalo say he's fairly elusive when properly motivated, not that improvisational after
the catch, though. Good inside runner, above average vision, has a nose for the end zone.
Le'Ron McClain and Justin Green have only begun to compete. Remember, Green is coming off a knee
injury and wasn't 100 percent at minicamp. Also, you can't decide on a fullback until you see them hit the
linebackers with real bullets flying.
who do you project will be our nickle and dime backs this year?
Is Samari Rolle healthy? I see him bouncing back. What do you think?
I think the competition is better than usual, but keep in mind they aren't really competing at right guard. They just gave Chris Chester the job for now.
Corey Ivy and Ronnie Prude.
still no pittmann you think?
Is Pittman showing more maturity these days? Wasn't he injured?
Samari Rolle is finally healthy, I think he will play better than last year, but it's obvious he needs
consistent help over the top from Ed Reed. That means he needs to be disciplined and not freelance as much as
he did last year. Rolle is more vulnerable than he was in the past.
Pittman is a disappointment. Often criticized internally. He was showing positive signs, and then he
hurt his hamstring. He has a lot to prove.
To the coaching staff, teammates and fans.
6,0f the rookies who do you think will be the next to be signed?
Who is our Nose tackle? I thought Ngata was supposed to be?
I would say it would probably be a later-round guy, although Prescott Burgess' agent said he hasn't
talked to the Ravens in five weeks and was told to wait for an offer this month.
Kelly Gregg is the nose guard. Haloti Ngata is a three-technique defensive tackle.
I haven't heard much about Yamon Figurs or Troy Smith's contract talks. Eventually, all of them will sign and show up.
Remember, these guys need to sign to get a signing bonus and some spending cash beyond their agent's credit card. lol
Next question, please.
Why do you think the league made the ravens open on the road instead of at home; considering what a good season we had last year
So who is your personal pick out of the rookies that you think will do the best?
I don't think it was a punitive measure. It might have just been the way they wanted to time the
number of home games to include those home games against the Colts and Patriots in December. I wouldn't be
alarmed by it, but it's no fun to have to travel to the opener. It was scorching last year in Tampa Bay.
Hmmm, my sleepers remain Antwan Barnes and Le'Ron McClain.
I could see Barnes in a definite third-down role and I won't be surprised if McClain beats out Green
for the starting job.
Is Mike Smith even in the teams thoughts anymore?
He's coming off shoulder surgery and he needs to get and stay healthy to remain in the running for
backup middle linebacker duty. Prescott Burgess is really promising. BR>
Big frame, above-average mobility.
IS it still Clayton Mason or do you see Williams beating out Mason
Not quite as filled out as Ed Hartwell, but he could wind up as a real thumper as an inside linebacker.
Have the Ravens talked about when they plan on wearing their black uniforms?
I think it's still Clayton Mason, but Williams is gaining fast. I won't be surprised if Mason isn't here
oops I mean sing
and I hate that song
They haven't said anything about the black uniforms yet.
Are the Ravens interested in any Supplemental Guys
I think they have some interest in Jared Gaither, but are unlikely to risk anything higher than a fourth or fifth-rounder to get him. I've heard the Falcons and Jaguars are pretty interested in Gaither and might use a
pick on him.
I think the Ravens should consider drafting Paul Oliver and get an influx of talent at corner.
I doubt that they will do so. They say they're satisfied with their backup corners, but I don't see how they could truly be.
It's an undistinguished group.
How are you feeling about the opener at Cincy?
I like that Henry is not playing
I think it will be a challenge, but I like the Ravens' chances better with Chris Henry out. I will say the Ravens could use some good weather. They don't seem to perform well in the rain at all over the past year or
Do you think the rest of the league realizes how much beter we have gotten on Offense? We have to earn it every year.
I don't think they're scared of the Ravens' offense, but I think they will respect their passing game more than they did a year ago. That kind of attention could hurt the Ravens if Willis McGahee doesn't meet expectataions. He really needs to deliver.
There's a lot of pressure on him to perform.
Are we going to see sweeps and traps?
I think he will perform well. I think the change of scenery and better offensive line will pay dividends
Yes, more sweeps and traps with a quicker-hitting, shiftier back.