Mailbag column: Ravens fanatics stuff my inbox

You had questions, and I have answers, so let's get right to it. Here is what has been sitting in my mailbag over these past several weeks:

@bigphilmd on Twitter asks "Not including QBs, which rookie will have the most positive impact on their team?"


There are a bunch of difference-makers in one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory — guys such as Eric Berry, Brandon Graham, Dez Bryant, Trent Williams and Jahvid Best. Ndamukong Suh, who should have been the No. 1 pick, will be the best of the bunch, and he'll make an impact on the Lions' rebuilt defensive line right from the get-go. Detroit won't come close to making the playoffs in 2010, but they will no longer be an easy team to play against. Suh is the biggest reason why.

Blog commenter Doug M. wants to know if Ray Lewis will be on the field in obvious passing situations this year.


One would need an army to drag Lewis off the field for critical situations late in the game, but he has become a liability in pass coverage because he can't get as deep in his drops as he used to. That's why we'll see Tavares Gooden, Jameel McClain and, when healthy, Brendon Ayanbadejo often on 3rd down. Make no mistake, though, when the Ravens need a big play, Ray will be out there.

RavenLunatix goes off the grid with this question on the blog: "What's your take on that double breasted, no bun, chicken sandwich thing at KFC?"

I take in a lot of toxic waste — gin, Natty Boh, cheap cigars, nachos — but even I wouldn't touch one of those Double Downs.

Tyler wants to know if Joe Flacco's comments about Marc Bulger indicate that he's worried about his job security.

I don't think Flacco is looking over his shoulder, nor should he be. He has looked good at training camp, and media across the country have been pumping his tires entering Year No. 3. It will take a half dozen Bollerian meltdowns for Flacco to get the hook from coach John Harbaugh based on performance.

Spencer asks a tough question on the blog: "If we could trade [Haloti] Ngata straight up for [Jets CB Darrelle] Revis, would we have a better defense this year?"

Unlikely hypotheticals like this are fun to think about. The Ravens are desperate for cornerback help, and Revis is one of the three best in the world. But I'm sticking with Ngata {photo by AP}, the most important piece of the Ravens' defensive puzzle going forward. Ngata, 26, can neutralize one side of the line, and as long as GM Ozzie Newsome is around, the defense will be built to stop the run.

Puck lover Jordan asks "After a disappointing end [in 2009-10], what should the Caps look to add in the offseason?

The Caps need to overhaul their Charmin-soft defense, but it's too late to make a splash at this point. Stay-at-home defenseman Willie Mitchell would be a solid addition. I'll like their chances a lot more if they add a blue-line bruiser at the trade deadline.


Blog frequenter Big Daddy (not Lipscomb) wonders "What would Terrence Cody do for a Klondike Bar?"

Cody would pass his conditioning test running backward while holding you off with one arm and cramming a whole box of Klondike Bars into his face with the other. I'm betting he could do all that if he needed to. The Ravens are, too.

Got a good question for my next mailbag (whenever the heck that is going to be)? Leave it in the comments section, email me at or hit me up on Twitter (@mattvensel). Thanks in advance.