Answer Man

<b>JW: </b> Last week was good, Answer Man. We received a lot of feedback, but I don't need as much anger this week. I need info. <br><br><b>Answer Man: </b> What's up? I have some good stuff on Dexter Jackson if you'd like. <br><br><b>JW: </b> I don't want to know about your old mistakes. I want to know about your next mistake. I want to know about Drew Henson.

AM: You know I can't confirm or deny those rumors, and that's assuming I know anything about it at all. And you realize it's just an agent trying to drum up some business. But you think that would be a mistake?


JW: No. Actually, I think it would be a great move. Your fans have patiently watched you guys scour the garbage bins for quarterbacks, but you never got your break and time's up. It's time for a bold move, unless you want to wait for 1-15. And that's down the road if the rest of the division keeps grabbing stars while you dawdle with right tackles through the next decade, too.

AM: There are some quality guys just a half-grade away. Guys like Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.


JW: Tell me about Ben Roethlisberger. I watched him the other night. He looked like a young Jim Kelly.

AM: That's exactly the player I thought of. Don't quote me on that though.


JW: I won't. So tell me why is a quarterback like him playing at Miami of Ohio?

AM: He played wide receiver in high school as a junior because the coach's son was the quarterback. After his junior year, he went to a passing camp at Miami, Ohio, and he knocked the coaches out. They offered him on the spot and he accepted. Then he went out and had a great senior year, was named Mr. Ohio and Ohio State and Michigan offered scholarships. He stayed loyal to his word and stuck with Miami. I really think he should stay in school another year, though. It really helps guys. Look at Eli Manning.


JW: Tell me about him.

AM: Well, I didn't study him. All I can tell you is he has to be doing a great job to have that team playing as well as it is. Don't you have any questions about the Steelers?


JW: Sure. I just did a story on Tommy Maddox. You do realize he's a much better quarterback with the quick drops, quick reads and quick throws.

AM: Everyone does. It's not his fault. It's not Mike's fault. Didn't we go over this last week? The head coach is determined to make this a balanced offense, particularly with the state of the line.


JW: Find out anything about the line for me?

AM: Yes. They want to move Alan Faneca back to guard when Marvel Smith comes back next week because Alan helps them on both sides when he's at guard. But they really are committed to playing their five best, so it'll come down to who's better, Keydrick Vincent or Oliver Ross? Sunday's game will have a lot to do with that.


JW: Tell me about this game. What strikes you about the Cardinals?

AM: Mammoth offensive line, just huge. And they're not that bad. They've got some athletic ability. They've got a very solid offensive line and it's going to be hard to get pressure on those guys. If we go at them with blitzes like we did Seattle, that's better than trying to beat those guys one on one because once they engage you you're done. Marcel Shipp is running well. He's not going to break the long 50, 60-yarders but he'll get the consistent 5, 10, 15, 20-yarders. He's a good running back. He just doesn't have the top-end speed.


JW: Was he on everyone's radar screen coming out of UMass?

AM: Yeah. You just didn't think he was going to be a feature back but, hey, guys step up in this league. We had him on the radar screen. The receivers, Anquan Boldin is good. Now, the rest of them, I don't know. Bryan Gilmore's got some speed. The rest of them are just alright.


JW: The Penn State kid, Bryant Johnson, doesn't impress you?

AM: No. He's just alright. I didn't like him coming out, or as high as he was taken. They should've flipped them, Anquan first and Bryant third. He's not real quick, he's not real fast. He's big. He can catch, but he's got to learn the nuances of being a big guy without speed or quickness, shielding the DBs, using your hands in routes, things like that, because he doesn't have the quickness to separate, especially versus man.


JW: Wasn't speed Boldin's drawback?

AM: That and he was so big everybody thought he was going to be a running back. He was a converted running back. A converted quarterback, running back and then they switched him to wide receiver. He doesn't have speed but he knows how to use his size to get open. They use him a lot on crossing routes. Johnson's an outside guy; Boldin's on the inside when they go slot. He's so big and has great ball skills.


JW: On their line, is Leonard Davis the best?

AM: No, he's not the best. That would be probably Cameron Spikes or Pete Kendall. Leonard's good just because of his size. If he wasn't 380, he wouldn't be that good. They don't really have a weak spot on the line, maybe Anthony Clement, the right tackle. But L.J. Shelton is a pretty good left tackle. Their line's pretty good. Freddie Jones is a receiving tight end. He's pretty good. At quarterback, Jeff Blake is on the decline with his accuracy, and he used to have that great deep ball but he doesn't have it anymore. He can still hurt you with his feet.


JW: What about their defense?

AM: On the line they have two defensive tackles that are pretty solid. They're strong and can rush the passer. Their defensive ends are not that good. Calvin Pace, the rookie, is still learning how to play this game. He's more of an edge, go-around guy, especially against the run. He doesn't have a complement of rush moves. I'm not impressed with him but he's young and he has some physical tools.


JW: Was this team interested in him?

AM: Yeah. He would be an outside linebacker for us. We liked him. Their linebackers are instinctive, athletic and fast. They're good at the point but they have trouble getting off blocks. They're not soft, just not great at getting off blocks. I like all of their linebackers.


JW: Any weaknesses?

AM: It would be their D-ends and in the secondary. The corners, David Barrett is pretty good but the other guy, Renaldo Hill, doesn't have the speed to cover guys deep and he reacts a step late to a lot of things. I'll tell you who's been a disappointment, when I saw him, was Dexter Jackson. He's not playing very well. He's got some picks, but those are overthrows where he's in position, but he's not aggressive forcing the run like I thought he was. The other guy, Adrian Wilson, though, is pretty good.


JW: Good thing this team didn't buy Jackson, right?

AM: Yeah. Exactly. We got away with one there.

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