The AFC North weekly chat had a lot of Steelers talk, from the red zone to Ben Roethlisberger's longevity. There were some questions about the Bengals, Browns and Ravens along the way.
Anthony Costa (Pittsburgh): Hey Jamison, love your blog, but I have to ask you one question that is puzzling all Steelers fans, will our offense be able to score (touchdowns) in the red zone this year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I don't like to say this, because you never want to highlight an injury, but the Steelers can improve in the red zone without Rashard Mendenhall. Isaac Redman has been underused in that role inside the 20. Also, The Steelers have to get TE Heath Miller more involved in that area.
Sean (New York): Hey Jamison. Huge Ravens fan here. I have a two part question if you don't mind. First, should we at all be concerned about Ray Rice's contract situation? Not that he won't be a Raven, but that the hold out could possibly impact his early season performance a la Chris Johnson? Second, do you see Jacoby Jones being a viable third receiver or just a kick returner? I'm hearing good things about Tommy Streeter and I'd like to see him get some playing time.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): No concern here with Ray Rice. He's a different person than Chris Johnson. While Rice isn't happy with the contract situation, he has always kept himself in good shape. On the second part, Jones should contribute as a wide receiver but I also thought Lee Evans would have contributed more as a the No. 3 wide receiver as well. So, let's see how that plays out. And don't expect much from Streeter this season. I would be surprised if he got on the field. He's a raw prospect.
Kenny Kissel (Pittsburgh PA): Do you think the Steelers have a greater chance to win the AFC North with the Ravens defense having injured players?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Let me put it this way: the Steelers will always have a great chance to win the AFC North and the Super Bowl with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger and defense.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Don't see it unless Maualuga gets injured. Burfict went undrafted for a reason. I still like the addition. Marvin Lewis will coach him up, but it will take time.
Michael (Cleveland): The Browns said they still could add a WR. Who is out there or who could be around after camp??
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Not saying these are the WRs that the Browns should be interested in but here are the best ones available: Plaxico Burress, Braylon Edwards, Mike Sims-Walker, Mark Clayton and Roy Williams.
Mike (Acworth, GA): Do you think by the end of the season, running back Chris Rainey will be a household name in Steeler Nation?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Not sure if he'll be a household name. But his plays will stick out in a few wins this season.
Anthony (Cleveland): Last year I was upset I didnt get to see Dontay Moch play, so Im excited to see him out there this year. Do you see him having much of an impact outside of special teams for the Bengals?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Let's see what he can do in the pass rush when healthy. Don't rule that out.
Nick W (Harrison,OH): What are percentages on the Bengals having their first back -to-back winning season in 30 years?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): If it doesn't happen this year, I don't know when.
Sean McKenzie (Van Wert, OH): Hey Jamison. I see Cleveland getting five starters in this class that will start this coming opening day. quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Trent Richardson, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, linebacker James-Michael Johnson and guard Ryan Miller. I mean Miller is much better than Lavaro is. Do you see five as well?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Three are a lock in my opinion with Weeden, Richardson and Schwartz. Johnson could fill in for Fujita and Ryan Miller has a shot at competing at right guard.
Greg (Williamsport, PA): Jamison, first time on the blog and I like what I see. I know Steelers fan don't want to hear it but Big Ben won't be our QB forever and I think we will need to look for a new QB in the upcoming years. How many years do you give Pittsburgh to make this move?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN): With the upgrades on the offensive line, the Steelers added years on Roethlisberger's career.