ChatRewind: Last year for Dick LeBeau?

July, 5, 2013
7/05/13
2:00
PM ET
If you want to read the entire chat, you can click right here. These are some highlights:

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Todd (Minneapolis): In most articles on my beloved Bengals, Andy Dalton's arm strength and third-down efficiency is always the main reason why the Bengals will struggle to make the playoffs (for a third year in a row might, I add). Will the additions of tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard really spread teams out enough where Andy will be able to see the field better and make those deep throws and third-down conversions? Do you see either player (Eifert or Bernard) getting 50-plus catches this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I don't see Bernard or Eifert making 50-plus catches this year. That's a lot to ask of a player who won't be starting. Where these guys will help is in the short and intermediate passing games. Bernard can take a short pass, break tackles and make a big play. Eifert can stretch the field more than [Jermaine] Greshamand will contribute more 12 to 15-yard plays. Both will make impacts this year.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Andrew (Cleveland): Is the Browns' Tashaun Gipson enough of a ballhawk to lock down the starting free-safety job in Cleveland? Or do you see Johnson Bademosi or Jamoris Slaughter as legit competition?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Gipson is an average starter in this league. But he's the best one they have right now. Slaughter could develop down the road. Bademosi is more of a special-teams player, and a very good one. When the season starts, I expect Gipson to be back there with T.J. Ward.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Ravenous128 (Columbia, MD): What are you hearing about Gino Gradkowski's transition to starting center? Is he the answer, or will the Ravens look to free agency as a fallback?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I believe this is going to be Gradkowski's job to lose. But remember, the Ravens traded for A.Q. Shipley in early May. He started down the stretch for the Colts last season. If Gradkowski doesn't show he can start this year, Shipley is the fallback option.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Luke (Carlisle, PA): Do you have any inclination this may be Dick LeBeau's last season at the helm of the Steelers defense? With a lot of expected age turnover (Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Larry Foote) at the end of the coming season, do you feel it would be the right time for him to walk away, with Keith Butler in the wings?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I'll put it this way: I wouldn't be surprised if this was LeBeau's final season. It's going to happen over the next year or two. When the Steelers retained Keith Butler, it showed he was the defensive coordinator in waiting. That, I feel, started the clock on LeBeau.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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