aaronwilson I was surprised he was willing to play tight end, but he didn't really have any choice in the matter.
csteuber If Xavier wants to have a shot to make any team he will have to try other positions. Marcus Vick went through the same thing when he came out.
aaronwilson Chris, what do you think about Joe Flacco's readiness to play this year?
csteuber I really like Hale. He was on my All-Sleeper Offensive Team. He's going to battle for playing time this year. He's a very good lineman who has great value. I think he's going to be a right tackle. I think Cousins is versatile enough to play inside or outside. I think he's better suited to play guard, but they could line him up outside.
csteuber Honestly, I wouldn't let Flacco behind center this season, unless the Ravens are 3 - 9. I think you have to groom him and allow him to learn the system. I think he has a nice future, but you have to be patient.
aaronwilson They were disappointed when Mike Jenkins and Brandon Flowers were unavailable. csteuber I think Fabian Washington has a lot of talent and maybe a change of scenary will help him. Ray Rice is going to be a very good player. I just worry about the amount of carries he had at Rutgers. I think Rice is an above average blocker; he's steady.
aaronwilson Chris, what was your grade like on Michigan lineman Adam Kraus?
aaronwilson And Louisville tight end Scott Kuhn.
csteuber Kraus is a good player, not great, but he was solid at Michigan. He's a hard worker; very limited athletically. csteuber Kuhn is another hard working guy. He backed up Gary Barnidge at Louisville. I think he's a fringe guy who will have to continue his development as a blocker to make the team.
aaronwilson Have you heard much about former Cardinals player Lonnie Young, a scout that Arizona fired today and is coming to Baltimore to join the scouting department?
aaronwilson Guys, let's get your questions in to Chris now. Thanks.
csteuber I know of Young, but I couldn't tell you much about the guys track record.
aaronwilson I don't know, but there was a shift in power with Steve Keim promoted. He may not have wanted Young. Two other scouts were dismissed, so it was a general shakeup. This happens a lot after the draft.
csteuber There's always a shake up with scouts.
csteuber I think Jameel McClain is a guy who fits well with the Ravens... he's versatile enough to play LB or DE.
csteuber Tavares Gooden had a really good year for Miami last year on a bad Hurricanes team. He has a lot of potential and he really showed his potential last year. Prior to last season he struggled. He's a bit inconsistent, but on a defense that has Ray Lewis, another Miami player, I think Gooden will develop nicely in the Ravens system.
aaronwilson By the way, Lonnie Young was the Cardinals' Northeast area scout and lives in New York. He was a former Cardinals safety and played in the NFL for 12 years.
aaronwilson Funny, though.
aaronwilson I used to love that game.
aaronwilson Chris, what are you hearing about the 2009 class as far as cornerbacks and wide receivers?
csteuber Well, the 2009 class has potential and again it depends on which juniors declare. Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis are the best senior CBs; Aaron Kelly and Brian Robiskie are the best senior WRs.
aaronwilson Chris, what do you think about Allen Patrick?
csteuber Patrick is a scat back. He showed a lot of potential at Oklahoma, but injuries have been a problem for him. He's quick and elusive, but he has to stay on the field.
csteuber Heyward-Bay is a junior. He's a very good receiver; nice quickness and hands. I think he has to develop a little more, but in my first 2009 mock draft I had him going 21st overall.
aaronwilson Chris, any buzz about these Illinois kids as far as NFL potential. Seems like Ron Zook is really recruiting well, espcially these D.C. kids.
aaronwilson I know, but Zook is a closer, too.
csteuber the kids that are currently at illinois?
aaronwilson Yes, currently at Illinois.
aaronwilson Like Benn.
csteuber Vontae Davis is a stud. He's the younger brother of Vernon Davis, TE with the Niners. Benn is a sophomore... But Davis is for real.
aaronwilson Xavier Lee looked fairly natural at tight end. Reitz is very raw, has a lot to learn, but is a great athlete. Kuhn has a broken left thumb, will likely need surgery to have a pin inserted.
aaronwilson Guys, let Chris answer the defensive end question and then we'll discuss the minicamp. Thank you Chris for doing the chat. Much appreciated.
aaronwilson Well, Jared Gaither was always going to be a candidate to start because of his size and talent. Why would that surprise you? I know there are some maturity issues, but that's not going to keep him off the field.
aaronwilson I don't think they're bringing in any other defensive ends at this point. They only signed on defensive lineman and he was a nose guard, Lorenzo Williams from Mizzou.
Greg Hardy, Greg Middleton... Thanks guys!
aaronwilson Chester is falling behind the other guys a little bit as they ponder other options. He's not out of the equation by any stretch.
aaronwilson Until they have some alternatives for Marshal Yanda at RT like Oniel Cousins developing, they can't execute the line shuffle.
aaronwilson It will be dire if Todd Heap and Dan Wilcox have health issues. Otherwise, it will be fine.
aaronwilson They can always put an extra offensive lineman in at tight end like Chris Chester or Adam Terry.
aaronwilson Terry can't play guard. The man is 6-8. And he's not a right tackle.
aaronwilson So, the right tackle will either be Yanda or Cousins in all likelihood.
aaronwilson Terry is hurt and is missing
valuable reps, but I'm not counting him out.
aaronwilson Plus, Gaither could screw up during the preseason again as he did last year.
aaronwilson Chester is playing okay. He's just not that big and they want to consider other alternatives.
aaronwilson I would say Mark Clayton has outplayed Demetrius Williams so far.
aaronwilson I don't think the pass-blocking or quarterback play will be good enough to warrant playing three wideouts very often.
aaronwilson Yes, Terry would just be a backup if he doesn't start. Quality backup, definitely.
aaronwilson This looks like a running team.
aaronwilson As far as injuries, most are not that serious really.
aaronwilson Marcus Smith has been solid overall, tough kid, good hands, not a burner, but quick and strong. Really fills out the uniform.
aaronwilson It's all subjective on the offensive line's pass blocking, quarterback play, learning a new offense. The most likely thing that will happen is they will run the ball a lot and go high percentage on throws until the players have fully absorbed the intricacies of Cameron's offense.
aaronwilson Someone knocked into Figurs.
aaronwilson However, they will be likely be less predictable in terms of formations, tendencies with Cameron and run better plays.
aaronwilson They have closed workouts this week.
aaronwilson Next camp that I'm going to that's open is May 20. Three-day rookie minicamp.
aaronwilson The OTAs start up again later this week.
aaronwilson Ray Rice, Mark Clayton, Jim Leonhard, Demetrius Williams and Ronnie Prude caught punts Saturday.
aaronwilson Play-action shapes up as a staple in this offense by the way, Al.
aaronwilson I doubt they have to do that in games. Remember, they have Ed Reed, too. And Figurs, Leonhard, Rice.
aaronwilson Leonhard is a pretty good little punt returner and backup safety. He had another good minicamp.
aaronwilson By the way, couple small items I picked up today: No greivance date set for Terrell Suggs yet, according to an NFL PA legal department official. Also, Xavier Lee remained unsigned as of late this afternoon. His agent hadn't heard from Baltimore yet.
aaronwilson It's getting to be that time if Clayton and Williams don't develop.
aaronwilson By the way, Clayton had an awesome minicamp.Over his injuries and playing very well.
aaronwilson I just said he hasn't signed yet, but I expect him to be at the next minicamp. He told me he was going to talk over things with team officials.
aaronwilson Clayton is very focused. We'll post a feature on Mark soon.
aaronwilson I don't think that was the case with Mark, but I suspected that with some veterans.
aaronwilson I think Cam will be able to make good use of Clayton.
aaronwilso> Dan thinks he's going to be ready, but he also asked me to pray for him. He seemed a little pessimistic. I know he's uptight about being hurt at the wrong time as the new regime is putting their imprint on things.
aaronwilson Jackson is a good coach. Anyone who can get 10 touchdowns and five picks out of Chris Redman is pretty solid.
aaronwilson Dan is a spiritual guy.
aaronwilson By the way, Bart Scott's No. 32 is being retired at his Detroit high school on Wednesday. I'm trying to set up a phone interview with him from Detroit for that afternoon to ask him about it.
aaronwilson He's come a long way since not getting recruited much out of high school.
aaronwilson John Matsko is very intense and very blunt and direct in his approach. He's the new offensive line coach.
aaronwilson Matsko is old-school. Coached Anthony Munoz at USC and all those good Chiefs linemen and worked for the Rams when they were the Greatest Show on Turf.
aaronwilson All the contract stuff with Ray is preliminary. It was overstated.
aaronwilson I think they will talk a little more before the season, then just table it until January and February to see where things lie. I wouldn't re-sign anyone early other than the younger guys like Suggs and Brown. I would wait to see how Bart and Ray play.
aaronwilson I think Ray prefers to play here because they will pay him more and he has more off-field deals in Baltimore than anywhere else he would go.
aaronwilson I don't think Belichick would go for Ray after already getting Jerod Mayon this year. Not happening.
aaronwilson Not because of personality. Just don't think he'll need him.
aaronwilson I think Baltimore would be smart to make a commitment to Bart or Ray, not both, or go young.
aaronwilson Washington didn't practice much. Tight hamstring.
aaronwilson Actually didn't work at all other than maybe a few reps Friday.
aaronwilson Well, I think the future middle linebacker of this team is Tavares Gooden anyway. Blazing speed. Tough kid, big hitter.
aaronwilson It's neck and neck on those guys. Slight edge to Ivy.
aaronwilson Gooden is looking like a good pick.
aaronwilson Bart is being more low-key now, less joking around. More politically correct, boring interviews.
aaronwilson Not a coincidence.
aaronwilson Slight edge to Troy right now.
aaronwilson Best third back right now is Cory Ross, but he's too much like Rice. Could wind up being Allen Patrick just because of special teams.
aaronwilson Practice squad maybe for Wheelwright aaronwilson Yes, Daniels could get cut.
aaronwilson Hasn't done anything in the NFL yet.
Will need a stellar training camp to stick around.
aaronwilson He had better volunteer for every special teams unit.
aaronwilson Ross is a scrappy kid, hard worker, Harbs seems to like him, but he's too identical to Rice.
aaronwilson You want a contrast with reserves. Really early to project roster cuts, but you can see how some situations will play out.
PSURaven how is flacco's mobility so far?
aaronwilson Flacco has nice footwork, quick choppy steps.
aaronwilson Musa hasn't had any offers. Best chance was Jets, but it didn't pan out.
aaronwilson I think Leonhard could make it for special teams.