I Answer Your Football Questions
The first several questions come from Bobby Manning. He is a young aspiring sports writer in his own right. His Twitter handle is @RealBobManning and he covers New England sports.
Question 1: Who Is your favorite for the Super Bowl right now?
Answer: I think the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are the two best teams. I think the winner of the NFC West, which is the league’s best division will be the frontrunner. The Super Bowl winner usually does poorly the next season. I will go with San Francisco. Green Bay has a legitimate chance, however San Francisco is the more complete team.
In the AFC its really wide open. Denver is the obvious frontrunner. New England is a contender. I truly think the Ravens have a shot . Also dark horses like the Colts (pun-intended) and the Chargers have to be taken seriously. If I had to bet right now, give me the 49ers over the Broncos.
Question 2: How far is Baltimore from competing again?
Answer: Even at 8-8 the Ravens were one win away from a postseason birth in 2013; they never stopped being competitive. I think the Ravens had a fantastic offseason (other than off the field drama) and they will once again be powers in the AFC. The Ravens offensive line should be dramatically better in 2014. The Ravens all of the sudden have a bevy of weapons and a legitimate stud offensive coordinator. They improved every level of their 12th ranked defense. The defense could be dominant and the offense is going through a rebirth. Baltimore will win the AFC North.
Question 3: Do you not trust Cincinnati? Does McCarron steal Dalton’s staeting job?
Answer: The Bengals are a good team but not a great team. There is a reason they don’t win playoff games. Andy Dalton struggles to live up to the big moment. Say what you want about Flacco he has the clutch gene that Dalton never shows. Dalton’s job is safe…at least for now. McCarron has many issues in his game. Dalton is better than the rookie.
Question 4: Whats the Ravens Biggest weakness, will it hurt them badly?
Answer: The Ravens biggest issue, on a pretty stacked roster, is the right tackle position. While I do believe the Ravens will get adequate play from Ricky Wagner; its definitely a wait and see kind of thing. The second issue is a new offense and a lot of new pieces. It may take time for them to gel. There are no huge areas of concern for the Ravens other than that.
Question 5: Who would you take for this season: Darrell Revis or Aqib Talib?
Answer: Give me Revis. At this point they are about equal in skill but I think Talib lets things get to his head. I don’t want a hot head at corner.
Question 6 comes from Caty (@MarylandGirl89): Do you think Joe Flacco will settle into the new offense quickly or will it take him some time to ease into it?
Answer: I think Joe will be just fine. When he was a rookie the Ravens went to the AFC Championship game. We know he can quickly pick up an offense. I think the Ravens will be efficient in the new offense to start the 2014 season. Now, I do believe it will be best late in the season but there is too much talent to fail.
Question 7 comes from @SupermanRob2914 Who will be the top rookies at each position group?
QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings : Easily the best situation for a rookie QB.
RB: Bishop Sankey, Titans: Sankey is great as a receiver out of the backfield, as well as a powerful runner inside the tackles.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr, Giants: He is a speedy playmaker and has the best QB situation of all the top rookie wide receivers.
TE: Jace Amaro, Jets: Whether Geno Smith or Mike Vick is the starting quarterback they will lean on Amaro.
OL: Gregg Robinson, Rams: This is a freak of nature athlete at left tackle.
DL: Aaron Donald: His addition makes the Rams the scariest defensive line in football.
LB: CJ Mosley: if you read this blog, you know how I feel about Mosley. He is going to be sensational.
Secondary: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: This ballhawk will have to be accounted for before every play.
Brian M (@briski715) asks: I have a strange feeling that there will be a familiar guy wearing number 20 back in our secondary this season. Your thoughts?
Answer: As much as I love Ed Reed, its not happening. That chapter is over, the Ravens are fully committed to Terrance Brooks and Reed is not what he used to be. It would be cool to see him coaching in some capacity. I doubt that happens either.
Tracy Cole (@Tracy_Cole65) asks: If Ray Rice is Suspended does his suspension start in the preseason or the regular season?
He will be suspended and it will start in the beginning of the regular season.