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OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with NFL expert Adam Caplan and Ravens Insider publisher Aaron Wilson. Subscribers, please keep reading for further details.

aaronwilson Adam, what do you make of Lionel Vital going to the Falcons?

Hi Adam, what candidates might the Ravens look at for TE

adamcaplan AA: He's well-respected so not a surprise at all and he'll get more responsibility with the Falcons

And why did Haynos not try out with the Ravens

Went to Minnie I think

aaronwilson Haynos signed with the Green Bay Packers. Obviously, he felt like that was a better opportunity for him in terms of their scheme.

adamcaplan BG: there's really no veterans out there to sign they do need a blocking TE


thanks Which of the rookie RBs this year do you expect to have the best chance for success this year

adamcaplan BLI: Matt Forte, McFadden

Anyone on the team who can move to TE? aaronwilson They have added Scott Kuhn (Louisville) and Joe Reitz (Western Michigan, former basketball center) as undrafted rookie free agents. Kuhn is 6-6, 255. Reitz is 6-7, 270, hasn't played football since his high school days in Indiana.

adamcaplan then Ray Rice

Rice ranked third!

adamcaplan What you will see is two-TE sets with one of them being a OT teams do that in their heavy set

aaronwilson They missed out on Craig Stevens. Had him on the phone when the Titans drafted him, so they took Tom Zbikowski at that spot in the third round.

Is Cousins capable of stepping in as the RT right away or does Yanda remain a better option

adamcaplan BL: he can but Yanda seems set there We will miss Sypniewski

aaronwilson Sypniewski is definitely out for the season, too. Torn anterior cruciate ligament, as we reported the day it happened.

adamcaplan NE: He did ok last year too bad and Heap can't be trusted he never should have played that game at SF

Adam, does Ray get a big contract... The consensus is no

adamcaplan he set himself back after that

adamcaplan NE: I can't see why they would sign him to be big deal considering his injury history and age

Right adamcaplan I talked to Flacco's agent yesterday, he may actually get the ball rolling a little with the team soon

aaronwilson Adam, what do you make of the Jonathan Ogden situation? He has told several friends and former teammates that he plans to retire. He has yet to officially do, along with Steve McNair. I'm thinking they are just delaying for June 1 considerations. Also, Ogden may just want to be sure his toe doesn't improve. I really think he means it and is done. I've heard he isn't even training in case he changes his mind.

adamcaplan he may talk to them to get initial talks started in a few days

No holdouts then

aaronwilson Joe Linta is a dealmaker, not a holdout artist.


adamcaplan AA: McNair isn't in a hurry, the team could put him on their retired list to get cap relief.

aaronwilson Actually, their whole draft class got them a favorable draw as far as signability with the agents.

adamcaplan just as the Packers already have

adamcaplan Only holdout for Linta was Kyle Brady in 1995

adamcaplan and even then it was only for a few days

adamcaplan my bet would be Flacco signs in June

Gosselin of the DMN rated all the drafts in our division as a C except Steelers. Do you concur?

adamcaplan Linta's last first rounder, Kamerion Wimbley, signed in June two years ago

adamcaplan NE: I never grade drafts

adamcaplan makes no sense


adamcaplan Have to wait three years

Did the Ravens draft any players that will start this year?

adamcaplan How could someone say Flacco is a reach? he hasn't played yet


adamcaplan if he plays poorly then you can say they reached

Assuming we will try to pick up a veteran TE, what TE's are even out there to be had?

adamcaplan the ones who say they reached haven't seen him play that's been commonplace

adamcaplan CH: None, that's what said earlier.

adamcaplan Check my best available free agents on offense report tomorrow


adamcaplan it will be linked off of the front page somewhere

aaronwilson I agree. If he succeeds, it doesn't matter what people say about the value chart in the trade with the Texans.

How big of a rebuilding year do you see this as for the Ravens? Are we in the hunt realistically at all.

aaronwilson Adam, what do you think about Jim Leonhard as a safety/special-teams guy?

adamcaplan NE: If the CBs hold up,they could be 9-7. I just don't trust Boller or Troy Smith

adamcaplan that's going to be the issue all season


That good!

adamcaplan if you don't have a QB you can't win running game was good and should be good again

adamcaplan AA: Leonard is a smart player, started some before he got hurt last season and can return punts and plays specials was surprised BUF didn't tender him

Specials is something we have alot of since Harbaugh came

heard alot of

adamcaplan NE: Harbaugh is one of the best in that area

What is your take on Zbikowski - special teamer only o

aaronwilson Seems like a tough kid, hard worker. I guess they didn't want to pay $927,000 for a scrappy 5-8, 185-pounder. Good athlete, though. Won the Wisconsin campus slam dunk contest and had 21 career interceptions. Academic All-American and two-time All Big-Ten Conference selection.

adamcaplan coverage as well He wasn't drafted so he could have gotten the low tender guess he didn't show up well enough on tape and they aren't deep at safety--Buffalo

aaronwilson Anything new on potential developments for Lito Sheppard, Jeremy Shockey, Chad Johnson and Anquan Boldin?

adamcaplan AA: All expected to stay with their teams

aaronwilson Thanks

Chad not going?

adamcaplan as I noted back at the owners meetings, and it looks like I was right, Sheppard wanted a new deal and that held up other teams trading for him

Good Q Nemo - why didn't the Bungles jump all over the Wash offer

Is some team really going to try out Chris Henry?

adamcaplan they will let him scream and won't let him out

aaronwilson Any word on who wants Henry?

adamcaplan CH: There's a sucker born every minute

adamcaplan he can run deep for his size

Who was the sleeper in the Ravens draft? Do you see someone who will surprise us mightily

And who was a mistake

If that is not asking too much

adamcaplan Probably Zbikowski as the sleeper too early to say on mistake

I like Zbib a lot

adamcaplan NE: Really good Senior Bowl week that helped him

Tough football player..and boxer

Great motor

aaronwilson Anything new on labor unrest as well as Gene Upshaw being under fire? I guess the uprising was quelled in Hawaii.

adamcaplan AA: The owners are almost certain to opt out

adamcaplan that doesn't mean there still will be no settlement though before 2010

How did so many teams pass on

Mendenhall? Steelers got a steal.

aaronwilson Have you planned your camp tour? Are you coming to Westminster with Sirius?

adamcaplan NE: Some of his interviews apparently didn't go that well Had nothing to do with on the field

adamcaplan AA: I usually do that in mid-June or so

adamcaplan I will go to Eagles/NYG/NYJ for sure adamcaplan BAL is less than 2 hours now

for me so that one probably as well

We have steamed crabs...

No Gino's steaks though

Adam, would Ryan have preferred to be drafted by Balt

adamcaplan NE: Not a Gino's fan

adamcaplan BL: Ryan was #1 on their board

Okay, I am

adamcaplan then Flacco

adamcaplan then Henne

aaronwilson Friday is Joe Flacco's first NFL practice. Realistically, how do you think he'll do initially as he adjusts to the NFL. Obviously, it's not a live situation or that important. Just wondering how you think he'll assimilate.

sorry, I meant do you know who was #1 on Ryans board

aaronwilson Tony Luke's?

adamcaplan I'm sure Ryan didn't care, he cared about how high he went, more $.

adamcaplan AA: Yes, best by far 2 mins from stadium area Was there last week after an appearance on CSN Philly.

aaronwilson I saw him on Bobby Flay's show. He made this cheesesteak that looked awesome with broccoli rabe.

adamcaplan AA: It will take some time, he really needs to sit for a season to adjust to the speed of the NFL game.

adamcaplan He's smart and athletic but the concern is that he only started two years and he needs to be under center more blitz recognition is probably one of the biggest issues from a playing standpoint

Cameron said he had goo footwork for a big guy

adamcaplan NE: Yes, I saw that up close he moves well for his size I love the reports about his footwork being bad

aaronwilson Adam, do you think Ray Rice will make an impact as a rookie?

adamcaplan again, you have people who either haven't seen him play or don't understand what they are looking at.

Funny how tall guys footwork is not like shorter guys.

adamcaplan AA: Yes, solid change of pace back

Cameron was enthralled

adamcaplan he will offer them more speed at RB

He also explodes from behind the line. I saw that when MD played Rutgers

Gave us fits

adamcaplan Getting Rice gives them a different look on third downs/passing situations something they didn't have previously and both could be in the game at the same time Rice can be flanked out wide in certain formations

Right....two back set

Eagles will do that with Westbrook and Lorenzo Booker some

And looked great doing it

Is your sense that we won't see Chester starting at C

They might have to start him there

aaronwilson I think they are just exploring their possibilities. It all hinges on Marshal Yanda and finding a replacement for him. Oniel Cousins has some upside and they're going to look at him. The idea is to get their best five on the field.

moving Yanda is something they'd like to do, but then who's gonna play RT?

aaronwilson I wrote a front page article on Jason Brown that details some of their options.

I read it...informative as always that was the basis for the Q - seems like they are trying all options

good artcle

aaronwilson Yanda played right guard and center at the last minicamp with Mike Kracalik playing right tackle, Jason Brown playing center and Ben Grubbs at left guard and Jared Gaither at left tackle. Their choices will increase once Adam Terry is fully recovered from ankle surgery. how is grubbs looking, in shape?

aaronwilson Terry has bulked up to 337 pounds.

they HAVE to try all their options...Ogdenb is leaving a huge hole for them to fill


aaronwilson Grubbs is in pretty decent shape. I thought he would have gotten a little more ripped up. He's solid.


aaronwilson By the way, Ogden has told several friends he's retiring.

AT is fine in pass blocking, just needs some fire

I'm back...excellent article Aaron. It is the state of the Ravens in capsule

aaronwilson Adam is more reliable than Gaither.

i think terry is ready ro step up no wthat he is looking behind #75

What is all the hub bub over JO, you have told us countless times he is retiring plus he wasn't himself last year anyway

aaronwilson The thing with Adam is confidence and people believing in him and encouraging him. For a big guy, he can be a tad self-conscious. He's one of those people who needs a pat on the back more than a kick in the butt, in my opinion.

amazing that tough guys like JO and Lambert can be felled by something like that Turf toe hurts like He!!

aaronwilson People just want to try to poach a JO retirement story. When he does hang up his cleats, it will be so anticlimactic.

damn straight

Every step is excruciating

aaronwilson Not much to the Ray Lewis story, either. They haven't even gotten into real talks, all preliminary.

So, guys, Adam says 9-7 this year. Is that doable?

What is the Ray Lewis story - contract?

aaronwilson I doubt it. 8-8.


aaronwilson Yes, supposedly Ray is wanting Peyton Manning money.

could be..remember, the NFL changes so much year-to-year that it's hard to predict anything

I thought that was just a rumor

ask the Giants

so do I, and the chances aren't looking too good for me either

Bye, Ray Ray... We can't afford you, man

aaronwilson His agent is kind of a joke and will want to make a big splash. He stole Ray from his previous agents, but has never made a commission since Ray hasn't had a restructure in all that time or a new signing bonus.

don't assume the report is accurate, guys...and really don't form opinions based on it

That sheds a lot of light AA

So his agent wants to use Ray to get himself a nice payday?



shocked, tsiz?

yes and no

Yes, and of course Ray could use the payday, too.

he sure could

I think any veteran HAS to give this HC one year to see what he pull off!

aaronwilson Lot of overhead in terms of family, kids, lifestyle for No. 52.

very true

Harbaugh could be something special if all we have heard is true

Any chance Rex Ryan is still the DC next year?

aaronwilson I think Rex gets a job this time. Maybe Cincinnati.

aaronwilson Gaither is your most talented LT candidate. His maturity and strength are questionable, though.

In all honesty, do you think he will be our starting LT day 1?

I know. He handled Long like nobody's business. He is amazing when he is motivated'

aaronwilson Depends on Terry's ankle. He handled Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs easily, too.

He ate Long for lunch against UVA

HYH, what are you looking for at minicamp?

I was watching a few preseason games this past year and he held his own against top DEs

Jevon Kearse, Trent Cole, Jon Abraham

He needs a brain transplant T

eagles and falcons were the only two I caught highlights on

he needs a fire

He needs a motive

Fire will get you motivated to use that brain :-p

He hated being trashed as unworthy of Long...the great Howie's kid

It was great to see

His best games were against the toughest guys. He slept against pedestrians

Any questions, guys?

Are we looking to bring in any Dlineman post June 1st?

What does HYH think about camp

aaronwilson I think they're just going to look at increasing Antwan Barnes' role. He's up to 255 pounds and hasn't lost any speed.

A beast

aaronwilson Bruce must be busy at FOX-45, prepping for tonight's newscast.

We have mini camp this weekend, and then Rookie camp at the end of May, anything else until training camp?

The only hands in the dirt DE that I know of is Robert Mathis

Can Flacco learn it all at the pace he needs too...If so, I am impressed

Isn't he 255 too?

aaronwilson Couple more camps left. Besides those two.

aaronwilson Flacco is a smart kid. Don't rule him out.

aaronwilson Yes, Barnes is 255.

i was talking about Mathis

Cameron was in awe discussing Flacco

but Mathis is listed as 245

I heard it

We need a TE badly

That is a concern

aaronwilson It's a problem area, yes.

Going on only clips and hearing people who followed Delaware, it seems like Flacco might be much better suited to start early than Boller was. Do you feel that way too?


He seems a lot calmer

I still object to starting a rookie QB day 1

Doesn't clog in behind the line like Kyle

aaronwilson Flacco is much smarter and better prepared than Kyle was as a rookie.

I'd like to see what he can do in preseason

Before we jump to any conclussions about him starting for us opening day

I still can't understand why Bolleer didn't do the sports psychology route,

That idea just scares me

I hesitate starting a rook too now that I lived through the Boller experiment. I must admit I started a Start Boller Now thread that got huge after preseason that year :(

I recall that lol

aaronwilson I think they will be hesitant to start him immediately.

He needs to come in late in games either behind or ahead at about game 7

For one quarter

aaronwilson Yes, that has been reiterated to him that he has a solid chance to start.

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