Q&A Monday Night

Chris Schisler

The reason I love Common Sense Football is that it has created a wonderful community. It is a platform for great football conversation. This is why I love to do these Q&A articles. Thank you to all who participated, you officially rock.

Question 1 comes from the very elite, Ravens Rob:
@SupermanRob2914: @footballman58 I got one. What in the hell do the Ravens do at CB if Jimmy Smith is out for a while?

Jimmy Smith was the last person the Baltimore Ravens could lose. The starting cornerbacks will be Ladarius Webb and Dominique Franks. This falls into place, its simply the next man up. The big problem is beyond that, who plays Nickel? The Ravens are not exactly in a position of depth when it comes to their cornerbacks. Without Asa Jackson, the Ravens have several options. I think we’ll see Terrence Brooks fill in some with a healthy dose of Chykie Brown. It may not be the greatest situation in the world, but it can be patched together okay.

Question 2 Comes from our friend B. Black:
@BBlack_9: @footballman58 Will Bernard Pierce be a Raven next season?

It is absolutely amazing how Pierce’s stock has plummeted with the Ravens. His loss of favor began in week 1 when he had a costly fumble. Justin Forsett simply came in and stole the starting role with stellar play. Lorenzo Taliaferro emerged in the Cleveland game. This past Sunday was inactive so the Ravens could have another receiver available. To answer your question, probably. The Ravens invested a 3rd round pick on him-in this organization that is a big deal. He is under a 4 year contract in which he signed in 2012. He is not costing the Ravens much, that is the key.

Question 3 comes Brian M., who asks the most detailed questions (making my job easier!): @Briski715: Q&a: Would like to hear an honest opinion of Dean Pees and his defense. I hear some hammer him for not being exotic in blitz packages. I think the work in the secondary has been ” out of the box ideas” that have helped the D do a lot with a little if you know what I mean. Your thoughts?

There have certainly been times where I was frustrated with Pees and his style of defense. His default setting is not an organized chaos or an attack mode. He believes that opponent touchdowns not field goals kill you in the NFL. He is therefore a bend but don’t break natured play caller.

Earlier in the season Pees was hesitant to stunt or blitz. He was hesitant to be aggressive in coverage, all to content to hang his hat on great red zone defenses. With our secondary woes this hesitation is understandable to say the least. He realized after the Cleveland game that this style was not working. He realized that he had to create pressure and force the issue with tight coverage from our corners. Our poor safety play could not cripple our front 7, or it would compound the problem. Ever since the Panthers game, Pees has pressured quarterbacks schematically. I respect his thought process and his willingness to step out of his milder nature. I have a much more aggressive defensive mindset. This being said I love the Cover 3 zone blitz base concept. Hopefully this answers your question.

Question 4 comes from Tracy Cole, our RavensNation representative in the United Kingdom: @Tracy_Cole65: How will Ravens fair against Pits with so many injuries?

The Ravens definitely have a tough test in front of them. I tend to think positively with this team as I trust the coaching and leadership. The Ravens have gone into Pittsburgh and shocked the world before. The reason I am confident in victory is that the Ravens match up well with Pittsburgh. The Ravens will get much more pass rush than the Colts and I think the Ravens will run the ball well. With our beleaguered secondary, we NEED to get some hits on Big Ben.

Question 5 comes from Troy Wilmore: @troy_wilmore: @footballman58 What are your opinions of the Ravens thus far in the season?

Troy, I am pleased with the 5-3 start. Last year was a brutal and miserable season. The Ravens have made many changes and have had a much more exciting football team. The Ravens offense is a breath of fresh air, even when a little out of sync. The defense has gotten better every week. Sure the losses to the Bengals hurt, but it is clear that the Ravens are a great team.

Question 6 comes from Tracy Cole, who has awesomely has participated in just about every Q&A!: @Tracy_Cole65: After 2 great wks why did Joe’s game look as if he was a rookie at times?

The Bengals are the last team Joe Flacco wants to play. They really are his kryptonite. Joe loves to be aggressive and loves to take shots down the field. The Bengals have a very well coached secondary that executed on Sunday. They also have linebackers with coverage skills. They do a lot of creative things and bait Joe into some really awful throws. When there is no where to throw the football he has two options; throwing it away or forcing the issue. He chose the latter to much in the last game. It was just a bad day against a team that always gives him trouble.

Question 7 comes from a die hard Ravens fan named Victor:
@Victor_412: @footballman58 Bernard pierce getting traded? Maybe for a CB?

I doubt it. Player for player trades are actually a little rare at the trade deadline. If we do trade Pierce its going to likely be for mid round draft pick. I don’t see a trade for a corner, as awesome as that would be. Who knows though, nobody saw the Eugene Monroe deal coming either. Ozzie is a mastermind.

Question 8 also comes from Victor: @Victor_412: @footballman58 is Ngata and Suggs HOF candidates after their Career?

I have written about this before. I think Suggs for sure has a chance. He is a former defensive player of the year who has been a top tier outside linebacker from day 1. Ngata, however has been to inconsistent due to injuries. Haloti Ngata is certainly one of my favorite Ravens but I doubt he makes it to Canton.

Question 9 comes from Dawn Hudson: @dwhravens: why don’t the Ravens run the ball more? Best run gm in yrs.

I think the Ravens are running plenty. Surely there have been times when they have gone away from it a bit more than they should have. But the Ravens have had a top 10 offense for a reason. Kubiak builds everything off the run game, but balance and unpredictability are really important to him. He wants defenses to always have to be in fear of Joe taking a shot. He also is Flacco’s biggest fan; he seems very thrilled to work with Joe. Its not a shocker that a former quarterback who likes his quarterback wants a heavy dose of the passing game. Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks to all participants. You guys are the best! Please feel free to keep it coming and share this post and others on any and all social media outlets!

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