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!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:01 PM)
Happy Holidays and welcome to the chat. Hope everyone is doing well today. Let's talk some AFC North football and kick off this chat.
Which team should be more concerned with the result of last weeks game? Pittsburgh or Baltimore?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:03 PM)
Michael: Both should be concerned. The Ravens defense should have this same worry if pass rushers can't get to a top-tier QB. And the Steelers have to be concerned if Roethlisberger is going to be this limited heading into the playoffs. Of course, the Steelers' loss hurt worse because of how it impacted the season. The Ravens lost and still control their fate for the AFC North and a first-round bye despite losing.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Why didn't the Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bench Ben Rothlesburger since he was awful at San Francisco?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:05 PM)
Chris: Tomlin should have sat Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter after Steelers trailed by 17 points. Roethlisberger said Tomlin asked him to come out but Roethlisberger wanted to stay because he didn't want to let his teammates down. At some point, Tomlin has to override Roethlisberger because he can't allow Roethlisberger to take hits during a meaningless part of the game.
Bert (St. Paul, MN)
What are the percentage chances that Hillis is the Browns' starter next year? Hardesty? Richardson if available? Also, how does next season look for Little and Cameron?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:06 PM)
10 percent chance that Hillis is back. I expect Cleveland to draft a running back. The Browns can't trust Hardesty because he gets banged up so easily.
Josh (Baltimore, MD)
Hey Jamison,I have been reading your stuff for a long time now, I am a Baltimore native and would ready your articles in the Sun religously! Great Job and keep it up!Do you think the Ravens will get it together and win out this season to finally get some home playoff games? And If so (I know the seeding is not set yet), do you think the Ravens are better off as a #2 seed considering they would not have to see the Steelers again until the AFC championship game (unless the #6 seed upsets #3, and if they do indeed beat the #1 Patriots)?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:11 PM)
Josh: You make an interesting point. If the Ravens finish as the No. 2 seed, they would likely face the No. 3 seed (barring an upset by the No. 6 seed). Baltimore would prefer to host Houston, and not Pittsburgh, in the divisional round. The problem comes in the AFC championship game (assuming the Ravens win in the divisional round). Baltimore would either play at New England or home against Pittsburgh. So, No. 2 seed works for the Ravens in divisional round but not championship game.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear JamisonI am shocked that the Ravens only had one MNF game. Could you see them with a home MNF next season?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
Bisciotti said he could almost guaranteed a home MNF game for the Ravens next season. So, that sounds like a good bet. Ravens have been on 5 prime-time games this season. So, they have no reason to complain.
Mr. Theodore Taylor (Orange, New Jersey)
Will the Steelers rest Big Ben this week or will they play him?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
My guess is the Steelers will sit him against St. Louis. From what I hear, next week's season finale is still up in the air. We'll see.
David-G (Co) [via mobile]
I loved what the Niners did on Monday but my question is. Would Harrison starting have made a difference n how?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:15 PM)
David: Harrison would have made a big difference. Alex Smith wouldn't have had the time to sit the pocket and wait for Vernon Davis to separate from the linebackers. Plus, when you increase the pass rush, you increase the chances of a turnover. The Steelers offense needed a short field in the worse way Monday.
Jordan (Dalton, Ohio)
If the Browns decide to go the quarterback route in the draft who do you envision them taking?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
Jordan: RGIII would bring the most excitement. But I'm not sure he would fit into Shumur's system. It'll be interesting to see where USC's Barkley lands.
JH, if you were Ozzie Newsome, what would you do with Flacco at the end of this season. Bisciotti wanted to see improvement, and he has regressed instead. Do you pay Rice and Grubbs and let Flacco play out his contract? Or do you pay him, let one of the two walk (probably Grubbs) and hope that more talent around him will help him improve. Honestly, I'm not sure what everyone else sees in him to really become that elite guy (John Clayton). He just does too many things in the passing game that make you wonder.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
Sam: The Ravens and Flacco will talk contract extension. You have to do it considering Flacco will be heading into the final year of his deal after helping the team to four straight playoff seasons. Deciding on the dollar amount will be the tough part. Flacco's side will try to get a big contract based on the fact that he's won so many games. The Ravens will try to get the price down based on Flacco's inconsistent passing numbers.
can the bengals still make the playoffs or is there no post season for them this year
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
Justin: The Bengals need the Jets to lose in the worse way. That could happen. Jets finish up against the Giants and at Miami. The Bengals will beat Arizona at home this week, but the tough part will be beating Baltimore in the season finale. I think the Bengals don't make it to the postseason this year, but they have to be favored to make it next season.
what are the needs for the bengals this year that they can solve in the upcoming draft
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
Justin: Safety, running back and linebacker.
TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)
Hensley! Been a few weeks since I had time to do this chat thing. Hope all has been well. Suisham has to go. The guy has become a liability. Every time he goes to kick from anything outside 30 yards, I cringe. I think Pittsburgh should invest in a kicker for the draft. (Yeah I said the "D" word) But my point is, Suisham shouldn't be a Steeler next season. Thoughts? Have a good one.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:23 PM)
TooSmooth: I've been saying the Steelers need to find a long-term answer at kickers for years. Suisham is a liability. I think Pittsburgh should look to the draft for a kicker, but the Steelers probably will end up with another veteran one. As everyone knows, kicking at Heinz is very difficult. It takes more than a strong leg to be successful there.
I went to the Browns Cardinals game this past weekend and thought I saw the Peyton Hillis from 2010. Did I see a mirage?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Mike: He was there and he definitely came ready to play based on that opening drive. I think it helps his resume in free agency. I just don't see him re-signing with Cleveland in the offseason.
Do you see the Steelers doing anything in the playoffs with the injuries to Rothlisberger, Sanders, Pouncey and Woodley? Their offensive line is weak and Pouncey's absence hurts. Sanders adds more speed to the wideouts and the pass rush is not as effective as in the past so Woodley's absence has hurt. Of course Rothlisberger's injury is an obvious problem.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:26 PM)
Mark: As you mentioned, Roethlisberger is the key. If he is limited, it will severely limit what the Steelers can do offensively. The good defenses, like the 49ers, can shut down offenses that are too predictable.
Have you ever met Joe Reedy (cincy enquirer) in person? If so, why is he so angry at the world?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
Bobcat: I have met Joe Reedy several times, and he has always been pleasant with me.
Is there any way that New England drops one of their last two so that the Ravens could pass them for the number one seed?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
Chris: As you know, anything can happen (and it usually does to the Ravens on the road). But it seems like a very low percentage that the Patriots would lose the rest of the way. Their last two games are home ones against Miami and Buffalo. I expect New England to be the top seed.
Zach (Brunswick, MD)
If the Ravens and Steelers should win out what are the chances of them playing each other in the AFC Championship in Baltimore?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Zach: My guess is Ravens would have to beat Houston and Steelers would have to win at New England for that AFC championship game to happen.
Matthew (New York)
Will C. McCoy be the browns Starting QB next year?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
Matthew: I would bet against that.
Dustin Rossell (Cadillac, MI)
Jamison, couldn't the Bengals also use another CB? I'm not sure Nate Clements is the answer going forward. The offensive line also needs to be upgraded along with a true #2 WR, it seems aside from Green and Gresham, nobody else can do anything. Do you think the Bengals add another WR through the draft and/or free agency?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:33 PM)
Dustin: Look for the Bengals to get another wide receiver in free agency this offseason.
You said earlier in the year "I am not sold on the 49ers" Do you still feel that way? That defense is REALLY GOOD!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
Tim: Defense is very good. But if Roethlisberger and Pouncey were healthy, I say Steelers would have won that game.
At what chance do the Ravens sit starters in Wk 17? Does a Steelers lose increase the chance, or does the Ravens loss this past weekend throw that idea out the window?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:36 PM)
Bobcat: The AFC North title and AFC top seed won't be determined until the last weekend. Expect to see Ray Rice, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.
Anderson (Altoona, PA)
Your HONEST opinion please, is J. Harrison truly a bully in the NFL or is the national spotlight on him because he doesn't do much to support his image ((apart from the James Harrison foundation he created and all of the community service work he does in Pittsburgj))??
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
Anderson: I wouldn't call James Harrison a bully and I don't think the NFL picks on him. My feeling is Harrison plays the game a certain way and doesn't think he can alter his approach.
do u agree that the bengals future is brighter then any other team in afc north?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:39 PM)
jackie: I wouldn't say that but it seems like a bright future. Some of the Bengals' future prospects will depend on how they use those first-round picks from the Palmer deal. If they hit on those, Cincy will be dangerous. But Baltimore and Pittsburgh have a lot of good young talent, too.
Anderson (Altoona, PA)
I think the NFL does single Harrison out but he's too stubborn to listen to the critisism and clean up his style.
Why do you discredit the 49ers for them not being healthy? Steelers were not the only team that was playing injured, Gore is not healthy, Staley didn't play the whole game, Patrick Willis who is agruably the best linebacker in the league was not even in. Willis in that defense is a lot better than what it was Monday night.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:41 PM)
Understood. But an injury to a starting QB (especially one who has carried the team offensively) is bigger than any injury to a Pro Bowl MLB or running back.
Better Christmas Special: Rudolph or Charlie Brown Christmas?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:41 PM)
Rudolph. Hands down.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:42 PM)
Thank you all for a great chat today. Let's see how the playoff picture shapes up after this week's game. Happy Holidays to everyone.