csteuber Fabian Washington has a lot of talent and I think he's in a good situation with Baltimore and has an opportunity to realize his true potential. I think overall the Ravens have a solid secondary and if they're lucky enough to stay healthy they will be fine. aaronwilson What do you think the impact of Matt Ryan's big contract will have, if any, on Joe Flacco's negotiations?
csteuber I think Matt Ryan's contract set a new standard as far as rookie QB contracts are concerned. Flacco won't get anywhere close to what Ryan got, but he's going to get a nice payday. I think it all depends on what his agent wants; I think the Ravens have to be smart about how they deal with these negotiations.
aaronwilson What do you think of these rookie wide receivers Baltimore has picked up? Ernie Wheelwright, Patrick Carter, Justin Harper and Marcus Smith.
csteuber All of the receivers you mentioned have great size and that's something the Ravens wanted to address. I like Marcus Smith and Justin Harper a lot. I think they have a shot to make the team. Wheelwright is also intriguing. He has great size and ability.
csteuber You mean rookie signings?
aaronwilson He's not referring to Baltimore, which has yet to sign anyone as of today's transactions.
csteuber Honestly, there is no reason any of the rookies should holdout. In a way, their contract is slotted with a percentage increase and it should be easy to lockdown a deal. I think the players who holdout are being poorly advised by their agents and should step in to get a deal done. You saw what happened to JaMarcus Russell; that didn't workout for anyone.
Marcus Smith will also contribute on special teams. I think they upgraded their talent, plus, John Harbaugh was one of the best special team coaches when he ran that unit in Philadelphia.
aaronwilson What do you think of the Steelers, Browns and Bengals' respective rookie classes? aaronwilson And how do the Ravens' newcomers stack up?
csteuber I really like what the Steelers did in the draft. They added the best talent available and upgraded their offense. Mendenhall and Sweed will have an opportunity to contribute right away. The Browns got a nice player in Beau Bell and Martin Rucker will also contribute on offense.The Bengals needed a solid draft and they did; Rivers will be an impact player right away. Jerome Simpson, Pat Sims, Andre Caldwell and Andre Collins
csteuber Like I said before, I thought the Ravens had a nice draft. A lot will depend on how Flacco develops over the next few years, but overall it was solid. Ray Rice will be a nice RB and I think Tavares Gooden has a chance to develop nicely, as he will learn from another Miami LB Ray Lewis.
csteuber University of Pitt or the Steelers?
csteuber I'd be a little concerned if I were a Steelers fan in regards to their O-Line. Losing Alan Faneca will be a huge loss. The Steelers defense will be fine. They have a lot of solid defenders who can get after the QB.
csteuber Luckily for the Giants, they have a Justin Tuck, who's one of the best young DE's in football. The Giants will also get Mathias Kiwanuka back healthy and they will also add to the pass rushing mix.Anytime you lose a player like Strahan it's huge, but I think the Giants will be fine.
csteuber The NFC East is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. They're all tough teams. The Cowboys are going to be explosive this year. The Giants are solid. Philly will rebound and contend for a playoff berth; the Redskins will most likely finish last.
Although we will be playing the Vikings in the preseason, do you think Rex Ryan will have a plan to slow down AP or will it be a possible preview to when they come to Baltimore in '09? Which rookie RB has the best chance to make an impact this year?
csteuber As far as a mostly run game (Peterson & Taylor) vs. (McGahee & Rice)? They will have a game plan going in to stop Adrian Peterson, but he's a guy you try to contain. Peterson is going to get his yards; he's extremely explosive. The Ravens have to attack the edge and force Peterson to cut back Kevin Smith will have the biggest impact this season. He's going to be the starter in Detroit.
csteuber At this time how are the Ravens being viewed as a rebuilding team or a team that can win like two years ago? With the schedule that we have I believe it is rated at the 5th toughest in the league what do you believe would be a good season record wise for the Ravens I am predicting a 9-7 season Peterson and Taylor are better than McGahee and Rice.
I know the draft is over for this year, but which team helped / hurt itself the most with this draft?
cteuber I think the Ravens are a bit of a tweener team. In some ways they're in transition with a new coach and a bunch of young players and in another way they have some quality veterans that can help the youngsters. It will be interesting to see how the team comes together this season.
csteuber The Chiefs had the best draft, and it's early to say which team hurt itself the most, but I was confused by the Titans selection of Chris Johnson. I like Johnson, but the Titans took LenDale White in the second round in 2006 and Chris Henry in the second round in 2007. Didn't make much sense to me.
csteuber I think Troy Smith should get an opportunity. He was a big time player at Ohio State and I think he has some upside. I think we've all seen what Kyle Boller can do at this point, I think Harbaugh should give Smtih the reins.
aaronwilson Honestly, I think Rex Ryan has been his usual aggressive, back-slapping self. The promotion was geared to reward him and allow him to be elevated somewhat to appease those that wanted him to be the head coach. He defers to Harbaugh on many things, but he does run the defense. That hasn't changed.
aaronwilson From left tackle to right tackle, I think it will be, assuming everyone is healthy, Jared Gaither, Ben Grubbs, Jason Brown, Marshal Yanda and Adam Terry, as the starters. The lone backup I could see eventually starting if there's an injury is rookie Oniel Cousins.
aaronwilson He's improved his conditioning, gained some speed, converted some fat into muscle and seems to be moving around better. He also seems more instinctive and knowledgable. That has translated into helping the younger players and barking out defensive signals when Ed Reed hasn't been in attendance at minicamps.
Landry has a very good attitude and has made a strong impression on John Harbaugh.
aaronwilson The players seem to like the new coaches, especially Cam Cameron, Chuck Pagano and Greg Mattison. I've known coach Pagano since he was on the coaching staff at my alma mater, East Carolina. He's a great teacher, very enthusiastic and has a knack for getting the most out of his players.
aaronwilson I don't know if all of these guys would necessarily stretch the field, but those five receivers would probably be Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Justin Harper.
aaronwilson Pretty funny. Let's just say he shouldn't be waiting for a phone call from Ozzie Newsome.
aaronwilson I think it will be a legitimate competition, and I think Joe Flacco is well prepared for early playing time. They have been saying around team headquarters that they will play Flacco if they think he's ready and not before.
aaronwilson Honestly, I think this is an 8-8 team in all likelihood.
aaronwilson I've been told that they don't feel bound to hold back Flacco based on what happened with Boller.
aaronwilson They are two different personalities and two different quarterbacks.
aaronwilson I think the youth movement is already being phased in as much as they can do so while remaining true to the talent on the roster.
aaronwilson I don't know if they have ruled out signing older free agents in the future. I would have to ask Ozzie Newsome how he felt about that. In the past, he signed players when they were in their prime. It would be advisable to follow that precept in the future.
aaronwilson I would tend to think J.O. may bow out Friday at his golf tournament, but nothing official has been stated.
aaronwilson The biggest cap figures are for Ray Lewis, Chris McAlister and Terrell Suggs.
aaronwilson True. I think they have overspent for older players. In most cases, they only got one good season out of those guys like Pryce and Rolle. Mason has been a good signing.
aaronwilson So has Pryce, but he had one great year and one injury-plagued year.
aaronwilson They have no current plan at this point. They will likely need to draft someone. aaronwilson Yes, I think they will let some of the players depart. But I don't think they will begin cutting draft picks who have failed toemerge.
aaronwilson Moriarty is very good at managing the cap. He follows orders on what to pay guys, though.
aaronwilson He presents scenarios to Ozzie, who is his boss, and then it's run by Bisciotti.
aaronwilson It's not like Moriarty doesn't know what cap decisions they're making or their impact.
aaronwilson If they want to sign him and I know that they do.
aaronwilson The Suggs talks slowed down because his agent is asking for way too much money. aaronwilson They didn't have much cap room last year, either.
aaronwilson And they rarely do a new deal with two years remaining.
aaronwilson Barnes is quick, fast and aggressive. He has a lot o pass-rush potential.
aaronwilson Keep in mind they signed Suggs to an equitable rookie deal and he has outplayed that deal. Now, the market price has gone up and they have decided they want to pay him.
aaronwilson Why would he not swing for the fences?
aaronwilson It's his job to get Suggs as much money as possible. It's the Ravens' job to get him signed to a market-value deal that they can afford.
aaronwilson Well, Rolle, Walls and McAlister haven't been practicing.
aaronwilson The starting cornerbacks are McAlister and Rolle at this point.
aaronwilson And Washington is the nickel followed by Ivy and Walker.
aaronwilson Close competition between Walker and Ivy.
aaronwilson I don't know what Suggs' reaction would be, but his agent could definitely have told him to wait knowing the big dollars would only increase whether it was the Ravens or someone else.
aaronwilson We don't know yet about Walls. He has been hurt.
aaronwilson Not a serious injury from what I've been told.
aaronwilson As far as Martin and Pittman, they have ground to make up. So does Prude.