Walker's weekend mailbag

Let's see what's in the mailbag as we wrap up the regular season this weekend.

David from Baltimore wants to know how much of the Ravens’ penalties and lack of discipline are a reflection of coach John Harbaugh.

James Walker: Good question, David. As with most things, some blame always falls on the desk of the head coach. But I don’t have as big a problem with it as others. I feel, to a degree, the Ravens encourage this type of play. The whole "play like a Raven" saying has a lot to do with being nasty and physical on Sundays. But the team needs to find a balance of being tough without being penalized. That is what falls on Harbaugh and his staff.

Jeff from West Deptford, N.J., writes: With the Ravens possibly getting to 9-7, do you think they will go far into the playoffs?

Walker: Jeff, we examined the Ravens' playoff prospects in the AFC North blog this week. There are some factors going against them, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Ravens won a playoff game. They have the talent. In terms of matchups, I think Baltimore has a better chance to beat Cincinnati in the wild-card round than New England.

Danny M from Baltimore wants to know if the Ravens will trade for Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason.

Walker: It's too early to determine if Baltimore will go after Boldin specifically, Danny M. But I do anticipate the Ravens making a significant upgrade at that position. That is one of my four fearless predictions for 2010.

Reed Cooke from Timonium, Md., writes: Why isn't anyone outraged at the NFL's switching the Jets/Bengals to 8:30 PM?

Walker: Everyone, let's chill with the "outrage" comments. The AFC North inbox is filled with them this week. No one was outraged about flex scheduling two weeks ago. So I think it's a poor excuse to use right now. If the Steelers took care of business on the field and beat the Oakland Raiders or Cleveland Browns or Kansas City Chiefs, their destiny wouldn't be in Cincinnati's hands. The Bengals earned to right to do whatever they want Sunday night that’s in the best interest of their team.

RJ from Virginia Beach, Va., writes: Hey, maybe LaMarr Woodley is using reverse psychology. But, in a sense, he can't really lose. If they Bengals and New England Patriots lose, he can say he was right. If they win and the Steelers get into the playoffs, well, Woodley benefits from that as well.

Walker: Good point, RJ.

Zak from Chicago is curious if the uncapped season will hurt AFC North teams.

Walker: Zak, for one year it shouldn't be much of an issue. All unrestricted free agents will be restricted. So the threat of matching offers and losing draft picks to sign players will prevent free agency from spinning out of control. But if a new CBA isn't reached after next season, then we could see a different landscape where it could impact the AFC North. But I doubt the NFL and NFLPA would let these negotiations go that far.