Answer Man XV

<br><b>Reporter:</b> Let me start by asking you about Alonzo Jackson. Is he a certifiable bust now? <br><b>Answer Man: </b>Well, it looks like the coach is finally coming around on him.

All I can say is it's about time, because he really stinks.
Reporter: What about the Pro Bowl? Are there any omissions you're upset about?
AM: With the Pro Bowl, you go the year after you deserve it. Like with Aaron Smith, he's getting his pub this year. Next year he'll make it. It's just the system. That's unfair but that's how it is.
Reporter: Sometimes next year doesn't get here, does it?
AM: Right. But if he has any semblance of the same season next year, I'm sure he's going to be in.
Reporter: The Ravens have lost three out of four. What's their problem?
AM: The offense isn't clicking. When Jamal Lewis is out it's even tougher for them. Kyle Boller's playing a little better. He's inching up the progress chart but the receiving corps isn't coming through for them. (Travis) Taylor's dropping the ball. I like Kevin Johnson. If you look at him physically, he should be producing. Their biggest threat now is Clarence Moore and he's a rookie. I don't know how well Jamal Lewis' ankle is, but that's their offense. They got (Todd) Heap back, which helps a lot. Boller, like I said, is hot and cold.
Reporter: Why couldn't they score more than 10 points against Indy, even with Chester Taylor running the ball?
AM: They got away from their running game, which I don't understand. Jamal Lewis was running good. Chester Taylor didn't even finish the game. It was Jamal. I don't know what their deal is. But with all that, these two teams can just throw everything out the window. It'll be a knockdown, drag out, we-hate-each-other, I-don't-care-how-we're-playing kind of game.
Reporter: Weren't the Steelers flat the last time these teams played?
AM: I don't know about flat. A lot of things went wrong. Tommy (Maddox) went down and stuff like that. A lot of things just didn't go right that game. I can't see us ever being flat against the Ravens. To me, and it's just because the Ravens are better, I hate the Ravens more than I hate Cleveland. I mean, you hate Cleveland because it's Cleveland, but when you think of a real dogfight, it's the Ravens. It's one of those teams that it don't matter what's going on, they're going to play us tough.
Reporter: Defensively, is Ray Lewis having as poor of a season as so many analysts are saying?
AM: Well, you know what it is? He's so pubbed, and expected to do such great things, people are surprised if he gets blocked every now and then. I mean, he is human. Is he having a season statistically like he has in the past? No. But the guy's still a highly dangerous linebacker I would want on my team. You've got to be aware of him on the field. If he doesn't play to the statistics, or if Dan Krieder blocks him one time, then all of the sudden Ray Lewis is overrated. No. He's still fine. Ed Reed is very good. The one guy who's slipped is (Chris) McAlister. Last game he got beat a couple times. I don't know what it is but he's not the same guy as last year or the years past. But (Anthony) Weaver, their D-tackle, is playing good. Kelly Gregg, I'd like him on our team. If he had the range (Casey) Hampton has, he's like that type of guy. He's stout.
Reporter: Aren't Gregg and Chris Hoke similar?
AM: The only difference between him and Hoke is he's a little stronger than Hoke, just because he's got more size. He's real similar to Hoke, but a little stronger and bigger.
Reporter: How's Hoke doing?
AM: Hoke's doing great. Great. Better than anybody expected. But Ray Lewis, like I said, I wouldn't count him out. Obviously people are scheming against him and stuff like that. They don't have the same scheme they did before so he's going to have to take on a lot more blocks.
Reporter: What about comparing Reed and Troy Polamalu?
AM: Here's the difference: Reed returns interceptions for touchdowns. That's the only difference. Troy returned one but Reed will take 'em a hundred yards. He's got the highlight-reel returns. That's the only difference I think.
Reporter: Troy's not better against the run?
AM: The way we use Troy is a little different than the way they use Reed. Troy's real close to the line of scrimmage; Reed's further back. So, I think they're similar. I think Troy may be a little more explosive as a hitter, just because of his natural leverage, but they're so close. Reed just gets on ESPN with his returns.
Reporter: So do you have a feel for this game either way?
AM: Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes and shows up physically. I think it's going to be a great game because they're fighting for the playoffs and we're fighting for home field. So not only is a rivalry there, but both of us have something at stake.
Reporter: How do you see this game if it's played in the mud and the elements?
AM: That would suit both teams well because we're both going to want to run the ball. We'll have a better passing game than them so it may suit them better, if it's in the mud and elements, but I like the challenge. And that sets it up for us to just beat them physically. I'd rather us win that way than it be a nice day and Ben throws for 300. Know what I mean?


Steel City Insider Top Stories