Chat Transcript from earlier this evening.
Here's what you missed. Remember, we do this every Wednesday at 9PM. If you are a board member here, you are in!
Aaron Wilson: Hi, everyone. Ready for your questions.
Bohlieve: What’s the story with JO and Billick on the sideline Sunday? Any need for concern or just a passionate outburst?
Aaron Wilson: Jonathan Ogden has lost his temper on the sidelines, throughout his career, replete with helmet-tossing. I don't think that was as glaring as how Chris McAlister ran at Billick after his personal foul and had to be restrained by teammates. Ogden was under control for the most part.
terp2006: Hey Aaron, do you think that Billick is "regressing" somewhat to his old formulaic approach to offense, or was the plan for ball control and intermediate passes the plan for months? Is the offense tired of being used in this manner?
Aaron Wilson: I think the plan for ball-control is equal parts regression and the fact that the coaching staff realizes that Steve McNair is adjusting to a new system and is having growing pains. That said, this hasn't been a very imaginative game plan regardless of whether it's Billick's doing or Jim Fassel.
B-more Ravor: Any word on them making efforts to get AD re-signed?
Aaron Wilson: That's not a priority to have an in-season signing. I think they will try to get it done, but I wouldn't expect anything imminent or even during the season for that matter. He's obviously their top impending free agent, but he'll cost money and determining his true market value isn't really possible without him hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent. A.D. told me last month that he'll either get a big contract with Baltimore or somewhere else. His preference is to remain here.
TL24x7: Aaron, the offense was strikingly similar to the Boller led offense. The Ravens are really struggling on first down and they burned much of the play clock before they got to the line...that could be a problem on the road. Have the Ravens considered a no huddle offense.
Aaron Wilson: Clock management issues, penalties, pass protection are all glaring issues. Running a no-huddle offense isn't the answer. I believe they would only commit more miscues with a high-degree of difficulty offense.
Merlin: Is there any chance that the Ravens will figure out how to rotate Jason Brown. I am tired (as are others) of seeing other defenses get pressure with only 4 lineman and no blitzes. He's got to be a step up from Keydrick!
Aaron Wilson: Jason Brown is next in line for a job and he's likely to overtake Keydrick Vincent at some point if the line doesn't improve. Honestly, though, I saw Mike Flynn and Edwin Mulitalo, particularly Mulitalo against Warren Sapp, struggle more than Vincent against the Raiders. That said, Vincent is on the thinnest ice. No move is impending and I wouldn't count on Billick rocking the boat while the team is undefeated. It's a drastic measure and I doubt it happens anytime soon.
terp2006: Any thoughts about the upcoming schedule? While we have lost in Cleveland the past 2 years, it seems like a winnable game -- but are the San Diego and Denver games a barometer for the potential of this team?
Aaron Wilson: Yes and no. San Diego will test the run defense. However, it's not a balanced offense. The offensive line is likely to be exposed in this contest as well as the lack of a top-flight running game. That said, San Diego is still winnable, a defensive battle.
Who knows if Denver will continue to struggle or if they'll rebound? Their defense is impressive and I think they have the personnel to match up with Baltimore and keep it close on Monday Night Football.
admin: How is JO's injury?
Aaron Wilson: Jonathan Ogden told me today that his hyperextended knee feels much better and he's not worried about his availability for Sunday. Samari Rolle (sprained foot) had a similar response, although he didn't practice today.
Eight players are questionable, including linebacker Ray Lewis (neck), running back Jamal Lewis (foot), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (back), Ogden, Rolle, running back Musa Smith (knee) and linebacker Adalius Thomas (foot).
hurting: About the JO incident. Was that aimed directly at Billick? If so I think it is disrespectful and wonder if he would do the same to Ozzie since Ozzie got rid of the better of the two centers two years ago?
Aaron Wilson: Yes, he was upset at Brian Billick, the head coach. Why can't Jonathan Ogden get mad at him? It's not as if he was pushing or shoving the coach or even necessarily cursing him out. Ogden declined to elaborate on why he was so mad, but my understanding is that he got mad because they didn't run the ball more often.
I think certain players can disagree with a coach if they have the credibility to do so. There's a subtle line and I don't think it was crossed.
I think McAlister was far more defiant and out of control and as you heard Monday, Billick was specifically, publicly upset with McAlister, not Ogden.
I think a lot of players tend to overreact at the first sign of offensive distress because the issues with this team for years on offense have worn away their tolerance for mistakes. They are worried it's the same old story, different year.
I understand the sentiment, but there has to be a constructive way to address these issues. Sometimes, people get angry. It's football.
TL24x7: Aaron, clearly Andrew Walter fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter...but apparently the referee blew the play dead. Didn't the NFL implement a rule to deal with inadvertent whistles?
Aaron Wilson: They did, but it wasn't exercised in this case. I haven't heard a lot of conversation regarding this issue and I doubt the Ravens will complain or have complained.
B-more Ravor: Aaron, Jamal now has a foot injury too?
Aaron Wilson: Correction: It's a hip injury. I just mistyped when I filed the injury report on the fly. He's doing fine. I predict several upgrades to probable by Friday.
The most serious injury seems to be Rolle's.
B-more Ravor: Just a comment, but with all the worrying among fans about the conservative offense, it's interesting that Ogden wanted to see them run more!
Aaron Wilson: I think he wanted to run out the clock in a game that was clearly in hand. That's not a bad idea, particularly with Steve McNair struggling and throwing off his back foot due to pressure up the middle. Running the football might have gotten the Raiders from teeing off on the pass rush. It's not an entirely bad or flawed theory. Makes sense to me fundamentally.
Merlin: Over the last few years, I have seen the Ravens fail to convert consistently on third and short. Not sure why, given their power running game. Does the team consider this a problem & is there a plan to address that this year (e.g. Mike Anderson)?
Aaron Wilson: I think they are aware that they're somewhat short of dominant in short yardage despite three powerful runners. I think Mike Anderson is here as a change of pace to Jamal Lewis, but he's not the ultimate answer.
The running game, especially when directed away from the left side, isn't too much to remark about. Most of the success is gained behind Jonathan Ogden and Edwin Mulitalo. Not much has changed.
TL24x7: What's the latest on David Pittman? Has he practiced and do you expect him to see the field any time soon. Also comment on the likelihood that Chris Chester and/or Dan Cody will be active on Sunday.
Aaron Wilson: David Pittman practices everyday. He's just not as good as the other cornerbacks. He makes more money than them, but he hasn't advanced as quickly as Ronnie Prude and others. I doubt that any of those players will be activated Sunday, barring injuries.
The depth chart isn't changing, so those guys will have to bide their time and wait for their chance.
Part 2 in next post:
Screwing up Ravens message boards since 1999.
Re: Chat Transcript from earlier this evening.
admin: What are your impressions of the AFCN so far this season. In a nutshell...
Especially the Steelers last Monday.
Aaron Wilson: Quick sketches: The Cincinnati Bengals are the most dangerous team followed by Baltimore. Pittsburgh seems to have taken a small step backward, but keep in mind that they need Ben Roethlisberger and he wasn't healthy Monday. They can play better than that.
And Jacksonville is a legitimate contender.
Cleveland isn't in these teams' class and I don't anticipate that changing.
B-more Ravor: What's the early talk on the new coaches - Gansz, Nathan, Carrier and Johnson?
Aaron Wilson: Gansz: fiery, intense, detail-oriented, not great results so far. Nathan: steady, experienced, players' coach, well-respected; Carrier: learning on the job, well respected for playing career, seems to have inspired young players, particularly Dawan Landry to tackle well.
Mike Johnson is much more demanding than David Shaw and exerts control over drills.
If players don't perform, he's quick to criticize and he's also the first to praise.
I think he has a bright future and is the best receiving coach Baltimore has had during Brian Billick's tenure.
Merlin: Has Ray reasserted his leadership in the locker room? Is it the same as years before? Or is the leadership among the team more distributed?
Aaron Wilson: I think Ray Lewis has mended most of the fences he tore down in the offseason. He's a leader, but the big-picture is he's not the only leader. That's the sign of an emerging atmosphere capable of going a long way.
Ray Lewis is in a good place right now, and I don't see that changing for at least the rest of the season.
B-more Ravor: What was the reasoning for alternating the KO duties with Stover and Koch last weekend?
Aaron Wilson: To keep Koch's leg fresh. I think it's a poor idea, but they don't pay me for my input. lol. Matt Stover isn't a kickoff guy at this stage of his career. I don't expect this experiment to last a long time.
Don’t Know: Why do the ravens have to burn all their timeouts because they can’t get the plays ready in time, particularly at home against OAK?
Aaron Wilson: It's yet another sign of a quarterback inexperienced in a new offense. Despite his veteran status, Steve McNair is learning on the job, getting accustomed to different personnel and plays.
I think the plays could get to him faster, too.
Merlin says: OT -- What's the real story behind Jeff Fisher and Billy Volek in Tennessee? Sounds like there's some real bad blood.
Aaron Wilson: Billy Volek feels like promises were broken.
That said, he didn't really perform at all and he has to understand that Kerry Collins is more experienced than him and that Vince Young represents the future.
This is standard operating procedure in a divorce like this one. A change of scenery was in order.
Greg: Why did they even bring in Collins, they clearly had no playoff shot so why not just go Vince Young for the experience?
Aaron Wilson: Remember, this is a regime that sat Steve McNair for several years because it didn't want to ruin his development. The owner is impatient, but it's still Jeff Fisher and Floyd Reese's call. They're not inclined to do anything to hurt Young's progression.
B-more Ravor: Is there any concern about the lack of LB depth if AD or Scott go down? They've got a lot of hybrid types, but no true coverage LBs.
Aaron Wilson: I think it's a mild concern considering the likelihood of losing two starters isn't high. Both of those guys are pretty durable, especially Scott. I wouldn't be unduly worried. You're not hurt until you're hurt.
Every football team is a delicate house of cards. The Ravens are no exception to that rule.
Greg: What is the feeling among the offense heading into Cleveland? Are they confident or worried after not playing quite so well?
Aaron Wilson: They are regrouping. No one is making brash pronouncements, not even Jamal Lewis. I think they're determined to prove that last week was an aberration and not the rule.
Heap86: Aaron, is McNair having trouble grasping the Playbook?
Aaron Wilson: Steve McNair is a smart guy. He knows the playbook, but his instincts and comfort zone are unlikely to fully kick in until the second half of the season.
It's not just knowing the plays. It's being able to execute them without thinking about it.
Greg: What is the assessment of the Browns defense? This looks to be one we should gain confidence against.
Aaron Wilson: You won't hear a true assessment from the Ravens, but my opinion is it's a flawed outfit incapable of playing an aggressive, physical, smart New England Patriots style 3-4 alignment. They lack playmakers in the front seven, healthy cornerbacks and hard-hitting safeties. There's little if any reason to fear any of these guys. Andra Davis, Willie McGinest and rookie Kamerion Wimbley are the top defenders.
Heap86: Aaron, Why was Corey Ross kept, is there a certain reason?
Aaron Wilson: They like him. I guess they thought given the injury history at running back they should err on the side of caution. He's a tough, smart kid who has return ability. I think they were overly concerned that someone might sign him, so they decided to protect him from that by keeping him on the active roster. I think it's an overreaction, but that's just my opinion.
Greg: Back to the Browns defense, they appear thin in the secondary with injuries and no depth to start with, have they hinted the game plan will include aggressively attacking that weak area?
Aaron Wilson: Steve McNair smiled a little when I noted in a question the injuries at cornerback with Daylon McCutcheon lost for the season and Gary Baxter doubtful with a pectoral injury.
I doubt they will take many chances, not with this run defense tied for 26th overall and giving up 158 yards per game.
Greg: I figured they wouldn't "gamble" but I think a few well timed shots are in order.
Aaron Wilson: Agreed about the well-timed shots. Gerome Sapp is the primary backup, but Jamaine Winborne and Derrick Martin are capable of playing safety in a pinch.
B-more Ravor: With only 3 Safeties on the roster is one of the 6 CBs being used as a back-up Safety in practice?
Aaron Wilson: We don't get to watch that part of practice. It's closed by the time they begin team drills.
Dabruise: Aaron, What's up with DVD? What do they think of him and are we ever going to see him again this year?
Aaron Wilson: Devard Darling was shaky on special teams against Tampa Bay, but I think he'll get another shot. They wanted to give Clarence Moore a chance, but he didn't finish the play when he had opportunities on vertical shots Baltimore took against Oakland.
Dabruise: One of the signs of BB's stubborness was him forcing the Moore issue. Should we expect that to change?
Aaron Wilson: He's always liked big receivers. I don't expect that to change. It's not a trend. It's how he operates. I think Devard Darling and Demetrius Williams are more complete receivers than Clarence Moore. That said, it's hard to overlook 6-foot-6, 220 pounds.
You can't teach size.
Greg: Or guts.
Aaron Wilson: If they don't know that, they have bigger problems than you're intimating. lol.
Dabruise: How's Boller's demeanor/attitude?
Aaron Wilson: Kyle Boller seems to be handling his demotion all right, but I thought he was caught off-guard against Tampa Bay and renewed doubts about his ability to lead the offense or become a viable starter in the future with his lack of poise that manifested itself in the form of a dropped snap and a delay of game penalty. It lent more credence to why he was replaced in my opinion.
Heap86: I'm sure this was probably asked but how is JO and Rolle, looking for Sunday?
Aaron Wilson: Both assured me that they would be available Sunday. I think Samari Rolle is more of an issue than Jonathan Ogden because a foot injury limits his mobility. He didn't practice today.
Aaron Wilson: Thanks for all your questions. Goodnight everyone.
Screwing up Ravens message boards since 1999.
Re: Chat Transcript from earlier this evening.
Thanks Aaron and Admin! One day I'm actually going to make it to one of these.