New Ravens Insider VIP web chat transcript

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers in our latest edition of a Ravens Insider web chat transcript discussing the Ravens' offseason news.

Will Kyle Boller go into the season as the team's 3rd string QB?

aaronwilson I don't know yet. It depends which Kyle shows up for training camp. If he plays like he did in the minicamps I watched, then, yes, probably so. Keep in mind that he'll probably look better in preseason games than he did in practice. Kyle tends to be more of a gamer, so does Troy. I don't know if they'll officially call him third, either. Hard to say right now how Harbs will handle that.

How does Jason Brown look making the transition back to Center?

aaronwilson I thought his snaps looked pretty good and he seemed natural getting into his blocks. His stance is better now that he has lost some weight and he's quicker and more explosive now. The diet and workouts have paid off for him.

how has Gooden looked so far

After all of the fights occuring during TC, does it seem as if Harbaugh doesn't have the control over these players as we all think he does?

aaronwilson Very fast and aggressive, so much so that his pursuit angles need some sharpening. He's like a sponge, eager to soak up anything he can learn. Good kid. I didn't read the fights that way. Actually, I thought the coaches liked the aggression and weren't mad at all. You could tell Harbs approved. He likes a nasty attitude, so long as they get back to work on the next snap. If they fought in a game, he would be livid, though. It's a different standard. One fight gets you respect. The other one gets you fined or suspended.

Who seems to be taking to Harbaugh more, the younger players or the vets?

aaronwilson I think the younger guys like his approach more because it closely mirrors their college coaches' style. The vets are good with it, so long as he doesn't get too crazy. They know it's a culture change and they have to go along to get along. I've had several vets express that to me. They know what time it is.

6,0The Sun insinuated that CMac and Reed are not "on board" yet. Is that true?

aaronwilson They have barely showed up for anything, and they don't like a lot of the changes. So, yep, it's basically true.

That said, they'll show up and work hard. Just don't expect them to be rah-rah about minicamps.

aaron, exactly what types of changes would these guys be having issues with?

aaronwilson Well, two-a-days during minicamp for one. Early meetings, long day at the complex in the offseason, etc..

Hopefully, those issues will go away if we start winning. If we have another year like last year, it could get real ugly real fast

Aaron, i saw that Xavier Lee was released. In your view was he just too much of a project or was he just not wanting to play TE?

aaronwilson He was a reluctant blocker who never really bought into playing tight end. He thinks of himself as a quarterback despite his failures at Florida State after a stellar blue-chip prep career.

Who will be McGahees backup

aaronwilson Also, they need roster spots since they can only bring 80 guys to camp. Selfish personal note: I had already typed biographies for all three players for our annual football preview for the Times. Delete, delete, delete.

aaronwilson Ray Rice is going to be the primary backup to Willis McGahee and operate as the third-down back.

Who is out Danials, Ross or Patrick

aaronwilson Patrick had better get healthy, but he's good at special teams so it will be close between him and Daniels.

I smell a PJ daniels type thing with Patrick


IS Danials finnally healthy

aaronwilson It's a mild hamstring injury for Patrick. Daniels is really healthy and in great shape.

They tend to linger though

aaronwilson The coaches have been impressed with his work ethic.

I like Danials

Has PJ shaved that beard yet? He has that Ricky Williams kind of look

What about Zippy and rex saying he had to lose some weight anything to that

aaronwilson No, the beard is intact. He looks like Dr. Harry Edwards still.

aaronwilson Zbikowski could stand to lose a few pounds. Rexy was just being honest.

How has DwAN Edwards looked

aaronwilson It's a new policy on the coaching staff. You can actually say something negative about the players and not have Brian Billick scared about a player revolt. Novel concept.

I like it Sometime honesty makes you work harder

aaronwilson Dwan Edwards is still in good shape, not quite as svelte as last year when he really chiseled it up, but definitely better than two years ago. I think he'll still be a solid backup to Trevor Pryce.

How has Marcus Smith been adjusting to the NFL receiver life?

When will Wilcox be healthy

aaronwilson Marcus Smith has had inconsistent hands, dropping too many slants and outs. He has good hands, just needs to be more consistent. aaronwilson According to Harbs, Dan Wilcox, who we watched jog lightly during the last minicamp that veterans were at, will be ready for the start of training camp. Dan has said he thinks he might not be full-go for the first week of camp, but he's working hard to get out there.

Hope so Are we looking to lock up any and all rookies before TC?

6,0Does Hrbs milk the injury report like Billick?

aaronwilso> Yes, they will sign all the rookies before camp starts. No holdouts expected.

Anything more on any possible contract extensions? (suggs?)

Does flacco have a shot to be the starter opening game.

aaronwilson I don't know how Harbs will handle injuries except to say that Andy Reid was decently forthcoming about injuries. Sometimes, Harbs has pretended they didn't know the extent of an injury, like Sypniewski, which we reported immediately was a torn ACL, then he admitted it weeks later after Syp had surgery. In other instances when a player wasn't practicing, he has said the player had migraines. Not sure if that's going around or what, or if it's code for something. I think he'll be okay on injury reports, but I'll be watching to see how he handles situations when someone may or may not miss a game. That's when most coaches fib. aaronwilson It's been really quiet on the Suggs front. No negotiations currently ongoing.


Aaron, in your own humble opinion...

aaronwilson I think they would prefer for Troy Smith to start the opener, but I've been told the coaching staff is open to the idea of starting Flacco. Depends on if he's ready, and the offensive line.

Will Suggs be a Raven in 2009?

aaronwilson Yes, I think he will be. They can franchise him again, too. Or sign a long-term deal.

Would they franchise him again before signing him to a long term deal?

That might be the cheaper way to go Franchising him

How many times can you franchise a player? In all seriousness

I remember we did it twice in a row to Cmac

Makes me wonder if we'll franchise Suggs until the NFL hits the no-cap era

aaronwilson Maybe, it's one strategic gambit they could try.

It goes up 20% per year so it becomes cost prohibative but really forever

aaronwilson Walter Jones was franchised at least four or five times.


aaronwilson yes, it does go up each year.

That's why you should decide if you want someone and sign them. Otherwise, let them go or trade them for a first-round pick. They would have no pass rush without him. Imagine this team without Suggs and Pryce. And Bart.

Thats our whole front 7 in a way aaronwilson Well, Pryce is getting older and Bart and Suggs are both going to be free agents, so it's plausible. They need to get some more pass rushers.

and Ray also

aaronwilson Preferably a classic defensive end who can stuff the run and has some pass-rushing moves.

I'd like to get Tyson Jackson in the 20099 draft

That would be sweet

aaronwilson Good football player, definitely.

Peppers is a FA next year, I believe....:-D

I don't think Jackson would drop to 32 though

aaronwilson They are working on a Peppers contract quietly behind the scenes.

Has the coaching staff been open to playing Barnes on more than just 3rd downs?

I don't remember him being paticularly good on special teams

aaronwilson Yes, they are open to that. I wrote a Barnes feature earlier this spring about that. They want to use him in some base defensive packages. He's okay on special teams, not great.

Has the staff found any of the undraftees somewhat impressive?

I remember they were high on Edgar Jones around this time last year

aaronwilson Patrick Carter, Ernie Wheelwright and Jameel McClain.

Adam Kraus isn't bad, either. And Piotr Czech. The kicker.

When is the first cut down date, and what do they have to cut down to?

I hear he could be the possible heir

75, correct?

aaronwilson I think that's premature at this point.

aaronwilson Aug. 26 Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players. Aug. 30 Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players.

How has Joe Reitz been at OL?

aaronwilson Skinny, but athletic. He told me he weighs 282 pounds, but I doubt it. Looks like he's 270 something.

aaronwilson Said he wants to report at 295 pounds. He was joking about how he can eat as much and anything he wants.

Any news on Adam Terry and the RT position?

aaronwilson Well, Cam Cameron told us a while ago that Adam Terry is the starting right tackle. Adam is recovering well from the ankle surgery and moved around well during some snaps at RT during the last minicamp.

This is going to sound like a weird, obsessing question

Who is the defender in TC wearing the #46? Joe Reitz went from 46 to 77 If he doesn't do well at RT like he hasn't in the past, what is the plan? Will Yanda shift back to T, or are we bank on Terry/Cousins?

aaronwilson Joe Reitz wore 46 and is now 77. They can go back to Yanda or try Cousins.

aaronwilson First option would probably be Yanda since it would be easier to move in Chester at right guard or play Cousins there.

aaronwilson They have contingency plans if Adam fails. I actually think he's going to be solid, not awful.

Why not try Cousins at RG and Yanda at R?

aaronwilson That's what I was trying to say. That's one contingency option, or just put Chester in there.

Ideally, Terry and Yanda form a good tandem over on the right side.

do you think Fabian Washington could eventually take over as our second CB after Rolle retires

aaronwilson Yes, I think Washington can cover well enough. He's definitely fast enough. I wonder about his toughness. The guy had major tackling issues in Oakland.

Besides QB, what position is offering the biggest and tightest competition?

aaronwilson Although it's not as if Rolle is a powerhouse in run support. Remember, Deion's tackling?

6,0Stover tackled better

aaronwilson I would say the best competition to watch besides quarterback is the pecking order in the secondary as well as whether Demetrius pushes Clayton for some extra snaps. There is basically no offensive line competition or defensive line or linebacker or starting secondary really or tight end.

aaronwilson Return specialist could get interesting. Seems like Harbs wants to push Yamon Figurs.

Who can do that though? Cory Ross didn't exactly light it up

I can't wait to see what Yamon does this year

thats interesting about figurs if not figurs, who would we have return punts? Rice?

Clayton? Clayton would probably be our best option

aaronwilson They tried Demetrius on punts in minicamp.

And Rice on kickoffs.

They've got some options.

Plus, they have Ed Reed.

As emergency punt returner.

more like emergency playmaker

aaronwilson He's pretty good at that even if he does take too many chances with the football.

I'd like to see Clayton back there We haven't seen those Juke abilities since college

Would we go into the season with 2 TEs?

aaronwilson Nope.

do you think demetrius williams could develop into a number 1 reciever

aaronwilson At least three, maybe four.

aaronwilson I do think Demetrius has that potential, yes.

aaronwilson Just needs to be more consistent in his patterns.

aaronwilson To overtake Clayton and Mason.

aaronwilson Three at least.

aaronwilson Probably will be Heap, Wilcox and Vickers.

aaronwilson Remember Vickers is 6-6 275.

Big kid, former defensive end with the Eagles. Tsizzles31> How about Justin Green? Whats the word on him?

Do you think Jameel Mcclain will make the final roster

aaronwilson Backing up McClain. Looking solid in the schemes, lost 12 pounds, down to 238.

aaronwilson I don't think Jameel will make the final cut. I think he'll be on the practice squad.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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