Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley stops by to chat.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Mitch (Cleveland, OH)
In the eyes of the league Cleveland is 2-1 but not really talked about, mostly to the fact they beat the two winless teams. What kind of credibility will the Browns get if they can move to 3-1 by beating Tennessee this weekend?
Jamison Hensley (2:01 PM)
Unfortunately, even if the Browns win on Sunday, there will continue to be skeptics. People will point to the fact that the Titans just lost their best WR, Kenny Britt, to a season-ending knee injury. They'll also talk about how Chris Johnson has struggled all year.This will be Cleveland's toughest test so far because Colt McCoy is going against the top defense in the NFL.
D-Bo (st pete, fl)
Hey whats up Jamison!? I know the recent resignings (Woodley, Timmons, Ike etc)have left the Steelers short on $$$ BUT is them not bringing in OL help (like Flozell) just stubbornness or are they literally that far over cap???
Jamison Hensley (2:04 PM)
From what I'm hearing, the Steelers reached out earlier this month to Flozell Adams but he wanted too much money. If the offensive line continues to struggle, you have to question Pittsburgh's line of thinking coming into the season.Did the Steelers really think Jonathan Scott was the answer at left tackle? That is a tough sell especially when you have to go against a guy like Terrell Suggs twice a season.
Michael Spivey (Beaumont Texas)
Do you think Pittsburgh should give Issac Redman more carries or do you think their lack of a running game is because of their offensive line
Jamison Hensley (2:05 PM)
MS -- I don't think you can blame Mendenhall this year. There's just no holes up front. I think he's done an admirable job bouncing to the outside to generate yards that aren't there. Until the Steelers can fix the offensive line, it will be tough to establish a running game.
Jamison, as a Ravens fan, the Dominique Foxworth situation is puzzling to me. As good a guy as he is, he has also been a huge disappointment in Baltimore after signing a 4r/$28mil deal a few years back. With all the cuts the Ravens made this offseason (Heap, Mason, Gregg, Willis), and knowing Fox wouldnt be 100% healthy coming into the season, why didn't Ozzie let him go as well, or at least ask him to take a pay cut?
Jamison Hensley (2:07 PM)
Wish I had an answer for this one, too. It seemed like a no-brainer to restructure Foxworth this year or just cut him.Maybe the Ravens weren't sold on their depth at CB this summer. Remember Carr and Jimmy Smith were slowed by injuries and Webb was coming off an inconsistent season. Plus, no one knew about Cary Williams until midway through the preseason.All of that might have led the Ravens to take the chance with Foxworth and his big salary.
Mike (Salt Lake City)
When are we going to see Greg Little starting? What more does he have to do/Robo not do to get the nod.
Jamison Hensley (2:10 PM)
Mike -- I think you'll see Little get more and more involved in the offense as the season progresses. Remember he didn't play last season. So, there is some rust that needs to get knocked off. Was a big fan of his pre-draft and am interested in seeing how he develops this year.
TerribleTowel (Charlotte, NC)
Welcome Jamison - Given that the Steelers are a veteran group all playing in the same system for years - why does the pass rush and run D look so spotty/non-existent?
Jamison Hensley (2:11 PM)
TT -- James Harrison is obviously not playing at full strength, and LaMarr Woodley is not getting off blocks like he has done in the past. It's up to Dick LeBeau to get more creative to generate more heat on the quarterback. You have to be pleased with how the secondary has held up considering the time given to the QBs in the pocket this year.
J Steezy (Dahntahn Pgh)
Other than the obvious O line concerns, what do you see as the key or keys to the Steelers / Texans game this weekend?
Jamison Hensley (2:14 PM)
JS -- The biggest concern is the expected return of Arian Foster for Houston. For some reason, Pittsburgh hasn't played like itself when it comes to stopping the run this year.Aaron Smith has gotten pushed back. Casey Hampton is getting cut-blocked. Brett Keisel is getting hurt. The Steelers gave up 86 yards to Joseph Addai on Sunday. Yes, Joseph Addai. They need stronger play up front to stop the Texans running game.
Kovacs (Santa Monica)
I went back and looked: of the 9 teams with new coaches only 2 (Cleveland and Carlina) also replaced the o-coordinator. What's your take on the offense's progress for Cleveland? At times it hasn't been pretty, but Colt's not missing by much. I think he's close to gearing up the Browns attack
Jamison Hensley (2:17 PM)
Kovacs -- McCoy has played well when it counts, which is at the end of games. Where McCoy needs to improve is his accuracy. He has failed to complete half of his passes in two of three starts this year. That's not going to cut it in the long run.What I really like is how McCoy has avoided pressure and his ability to throw on the run. You can't say enough about the leaping ability of the Browns WRs. There's a lot to get excited about.
Chris (New Jersey)
If you had to chose between any AFC North team's secondary to go into a game with, which one do you take?
Jamison Hensley (2:20 PM)
Chris -- Good but tough question. Let me start by making my best AFC North secondary. I would obviously take the Ravens' Ed Reed and the Steelers' Troy Polamalu. My top corner is CB Joe Haden from the Browns. Your other corner could be Leon Hall from the Bengals or Ike Taylor from the Steelers.So, to answer your question, right now I would take the Steelers. That secondary has played very well despite little pressure up front. Not sold on Sheldon Brown with Cleveland or Cary Williams with Ravens. So, it would be the Steelers.
Adam (Columbus, Ohio)
Jamison, what have you been hearing about the Ced Benson hearing that took place yesterday? Any word of the ruling?
Jamison Hensley (2:22 PM)
Adam -- I hear there's no ruling yet on Benson's appeal. Benson and Marvin Lewis both said today that they expect him to play against the Bills. Fantasy alert: Benson could have a big game against Buffalo, which has the 24th-ranked run defense.
Jordan (Columbus, Ohio)
Jamison, do you think we are seeing the emergence of an Elite Cornerback in Joe Haden?
Jamison Hensley (2:24 PM)
Jordan -- I certainly do. Haden has been the best corner by far in the division. Of course, the best showdown will be Haden vs. Mike Wallace. Haden will really have to be on top of his game to quiet Wallace, and I'm not sure if anyone can do that right now.
Dan (Tulsa OK)
Andy Dalton has posted QB ratings above 100 in his first two games, and had an abysmal performance in his 3rd. What do you see for this kid's career? I like his QB intangibles a LOT, but I wish he had just a tad more gunpowder in that rifle of his...
Jamison Hensley (2:27 PM)
Dan -- It is funny that the Red Rifle lacks the arm strength that you want in a franchise quarterback. I like Dalton's intangibles. He should be a good leader and you can see he has a feel for the position.The disturbing trend is his inability to convert third downs, especially third-and-long. That's when a quarterback has to really hit tight windows. He hasn't shown the arm to do that right now. But it's early in his career.
Rob (San Antonio)
Haven't heard your end of the season predictions for the AFCN. How do you see it playing out?
Jamison Hensley (2:29 PM)
My preseason predictions (at my former place of employment) was:1. Steelers: They return basically entire team that went to Super Bowl2. Ravens: Lack of depth at wide receiver and in pass rush puts them a notch below Steelers.3. Browns: Too many question marks on offense4. Bengals: In rebuilding mode with young quarterback.
hey JH, seems the chat isnt kinda broken for most ppl. anywho, do you think there is any sort of rift or divide between Flacco and Cam Cameron? Flacco expressed he wants to air the ball out more and call audibles. Cam has been reported as saying audibles are overrated. surely it cannot be overrated when all the great elite QBs use audibles to adjust last second to the defense. not a huge Cam Cameron fan here. thanks JH keep up the good work
Jamison Hensley (2:33 PM)
BmoreEd20 -- I always got the sense that Flacco has never felt comfortable with Cameron, even though Cameron has really tried to go out of his way to publicly support Flacco. In the past, Flacco has confided more in his QB coach (Hue Jackson and Jim Zorn).But let's be clear about this -- Flacco and Cameron both want to win. Flacco wants to air it out more, and Cameron wants to show he can develop another top-notch quarterback.
Alex (Toms River NJ)
Jamison, do you think the Ravens will have a similar performance against the Jets as they did against the Rams, or it be more like the Titans game?
Jamison Hensley (2:34 PM)
Alex -- The loss at Tennessee was a letdown, plain and simple. It would shock me -- absolutely shock me -- if the Ravens didn't come into meeting with Rex Ryan emotionally and physically ready. There will be plenty of intensity, from the Ravens' and Jets' sides. This game should live up to its hype.
Jamison, I don't think Cleveland got enough credit for the win over Miami. They won without Hillis and without Cribbs returning punts/kickoff. If Cleveland pulls this win out against Tennessee, they'll be 3-1 going into their bye. They seem to have remedied the mental mistakes that cost them the Cincy game, so my question is, when should I buy my tickets to the super bowl?
Jamison Hensley (2:39 PM)
I agree with you on not getting enough credit on the win over Miami. Those are typically the games the Browns have lost. So, this could be a turning point.The next four games will be telling for the Browns: vs. Tennessee, at Oakland, vs. Seattle and at San Francisco. If Cleveland can win three of those -- all of which come against the middle/bottom tier of the NFL -- the Browns will set themselves up for an interesting second half of the season.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore)
Jamison, do you agree with some Baltimore media types who claim I was running up the score in St. Louis or do you believe me when I said that leaving in Joe and continuing to pass was about building rhythm on my O? The rest of the league doesn't think I'm a poor sport do they?
Jamison Hensley (2:42 PM)
Hey Harbaugh (or is that your real name?) -- I don't get leaving Flacco in there for the entire fourth quarter when the game was won, especially when you look at your backup QB situation.Tyrod Taylor, a rookie sixth-round pick, needs reps. That would have been the perfect situation to get him into a game. You might need to go to Taylor at some point. That would have been the smart move.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you think we see 3 more TDs from Torrey Smith for the YEAR?
Jamison Hensley (2:43 PM)
Scott -- If you get another three for the rest of the season, the Ravens would be pleased with that. The expectation is that he'll be the No. 3 WR behind Boldin and Evans. Six TDs from a rookie would be a solid season.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you see Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders eventually overtaking Hines as the #2 WR in Pitt?
Jamison Hensley (2:45 PM)
Scott -- I'm not sure if you'll see it this year. But it will definitely be a question next season. At this point, I would give the edge to Antonio Brown as the guy who takes over at No. 2. He certainly has been a playmaker in the return game.
Troy Reed (Baltiburgh)
Just stopping in to welcome you to the AFC North.
Jamison Hensley (2:47 PM)
Hello Troy Reed. I've heard a lot about you!
Will the AFCN be more likely to have 1 team in the playoffs or 3?
Jamison Hensley (2:48 PM)
I would be surprised if the AFC North didn't get at least two teams. The reason is the schedule. This division should rack up wins against NFC West and AFC South (outside of Houston, and yes I know the Ravens lost at Tennessee).
Do you see the Browns being a Playoff contender by 2013? I feel if we have 1 or 2 more drafts like our last 2 we will be a force to recon with.
Jamison Hensley (2:51 PM)
Thomas -- I'm not one to say how far a team is from contending because you've seen so many instances where a team can go from last to first. Obviously, the Browns are showing they are on the right track.The defense is legit. The offense is still a work in progress. For a team to be a playoff contender year after year, there needs to be stability at the QB position. McCoy has shown flashes, but he needs to be more consistent and accurate in order to become a franchise QB.
Do you think the Bengals defense is legit or more of a blip on the radar based on the offenses they have played so far
Jamison Hensley (2:53 PM)
ld1214 -- The Bengals have some underrated talent. Their front four is really tough, and Maualuga seems to be a good fit at MLB. I'm not sold on the secondary yet. Clements has been erratic. And Crocker has trouble covering top TEs. Should be a good test going against a Bills offense that has a lot of confidence.
Taylor Underwood (923 the fan studios)
What do you think the chances are of the Bengals pulling off an upset against the Bills Sunday? Do you believe in OC Jay Grudem? and What do you think of Cincys number 3 defense?
Jamison Hensley (2:55 PM)
Taylor -- This is a good week to play the Bills. You know Buffalo is still enjoying that win over New England. The Bengals have to take advantage of this situation where the Bills could be prime for a letdown.
Whats going on with Sergio Kindle? I know Baltimore's pass rush is solid so far this year, but why has Sergio been inactive?
Jamison Hensley (2:58 PM)
john -- In watching the preseason, Kindle just didn't show up in games. I can't remember him making a play. I don't think he's ready. If he was ready, you know the Ravens would have him out on the field rushing the passer.**Thanks all for my first chat. Let's meet here same time next week. Sorry I couldn't answer all the questions. Talk to you soon ...