Ravens Mailbag

Street Talk Ravens Mailbag

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OWINGS MILLS — Emptying the mailbag and delivering the goods unlike Triple Crown pretender Big Brown, here’s a collection of burning questions and answers surrounding the Baltimore Ravens:

1. I’m very curious as to why they’re projecting Adam Terry at right tackle. Is he really the best option?

Answer: The reason why they are looking at Adam Terry on the right side is his size, long arms and improved bulk and strength. They also are confident that they have an accomplished offensive line coach in John Matsko that can help him with his footwork. It’s not like he’s uncoachable. He’s a smart, good athlete.

Keep in mind they have the luxury of going back to Marshal Yanda or trying rookie Oniel Cousins there if Terry falters. The idea is to get the best five blockers on the football field.

2. What’s going on with Kyle Boller?

Answer:  I think Kyle Boller is actually trying too hard. He’s pressing clearly, dealing with nerves as he competes for the starting job. I wouldn’t write him off yet. That would be a hasty conclusion.

3. What are your thoughts on having Joe Flacco run only plays that are similar to the ones he ran in college? It seems like a good idea on the surface, but also reeks of the dumbing-down stuff they did with the offense a few years back.

Answer: I think it’s not a completely accurate statement. He’s been exposed to and is running a ton of the Ravens’ installed offense. They just tailor some plays in the offense to what he’s accustomed to from the offense at Delaware, including a lot of shotgun packages in obvious passing situations.

4. Why would they pull Trevor Pryce on third downs when he is one of our better pass rushers?
 
Answer: They won’t be pulling Pryce on all third downs, just some to rest him. He is involved in plenty of sub packages. He moves inside to defensive tackle while they use someone like Antwan Barnes or Dan Cody as a situational pass rusher off the edge.

5. What in the world is the holdup with Terrell Suggs’ contract? I don’t get it.

Answer: The Suggs deal is tough to complete because his agent wants Dwight Freeney dollars. These big deals take time, but both sides seem committed to ultimately getting something done.

6. Are the Ravens going to try to re-sign Jason Brown, who will be a free agent after this season?

Answer: They haven’t had formal preliminary talks for Brown, just a mutual expression of wanting to get a deal done from his agent and the front office. I don’t think they will have trouble signing Jason Brown.

7. Do you think Justin Harper has any real potential of getting a lot of playing time down the road at wide receiver?

Answer: I do think he has a lot of potential to emerge as a red-zone threat and a possession receiver. Great size, pretty decent hands and routes. Marcus Smith is a good prospect, too. He just needs more consistent hands and time to develop at a new position as a converted running back. He has a tough presence on special teams.

8. Does it look like Sam Koch is going to be able to handle the kickoff duties this year; since Matt Stover’s leg isn’t as strong as it used to be?

Answer: I asked Jerry Rosburg about this and he said they have yet to determine their plan or practice kickoffs yet. There hasn’t been any indication yet that they are looking at Sam Koch to kick off. We’ll know more at training camp when they have full special-teams practices open to the public.

9. Since the Ravens have been using three receiver sets in practice; do you think that will have an effect on how much playing time Todd Heap gets?

Answer: I don’t see Todd Heap’s playing time being reduced. I think he’s a three-down tight end. He’s also capable of playing receiver if needed.

10. What’s your take on Edgar Jones taking snaps at tight end?

Answer: He volunteered to play tight end because of low numbers with injuries to Quinn Sypniewski (knee), Daniel Wilcox (toe surgery), Lee Vickers (hand), and Scott Kuhn (broken thumb) and Jake Nordin moving to fullback. Jones played the position in high school and performed very well considering how long it has been. With Kuhn back at this passing camp, Jones moved back to outside linebacker. They could always call on him again if the need arises. 

11.  Do the Ravens view this year as a rebuilding year?

Answer: I think the general idea is to see if John Harbaugh can win with Brian Billick’s players behind a revamped attitude and a tougher regimen. They’re going to try to make a legitimate run, but obviously age, quarterback, offensive line, injuries as well as the talent of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns will have a large say in how the Ravens fare.

12. Is there a possible reunion coming between former Chargers offensive tackle Shane Olivea and Cam Cameron?

Answer: I really doubt it. Keep in mind this guy tanked big-time and had a bad attitude after signing a six-year contract in San Diego, so I wouldn’t be too eager for him necessarily. Plus, he’s reportedly dealing with some personal issues right now before he signs with a team. I don’t think this is a link.

13. Is Troy Smith showing such a significant degree of improvement that we could have a quarterback controversy in 2009 or 2010?

Answer: Honestly, I don’t think they are careening toward any real controversy because the organization has committed itself to Joe Flacco. I don’t think that Troy Smith’s improvement is going to shake that belief in their first-round draft pick. Of course, things can change, but I don’t foresee that transpiring.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.
 
Photo by Sabina Moran 

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

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