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Tuesday's Mailbag: July 2nd, 2013

Questions are answered about the Ravens, including: How Many Linebackers will be on the roster? Is John Simon talented enough to be on this team? Will Juan Castillo help the offensive line?

Ravens' LB John Simon at the Senior Bowl.
Ravens' LB John Simon at the Senior Bowl.

Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! It is officially our first mailbag of July! I am excited to get to your questions, even though there aren't too many of them this week. Let's get started!

Q1: How will a full season of Juan Castillo help improve our offensive line? - ravenzandoriolesfan4life on BB

Juan Castillo was hired as the run-game coordinator, so he'll mainly be working on helping the offensive line during the run game. He has helped many other linemen improve over his career, and he should be terrific at helping our offensive line develop, since it needs to so badly.

Castillo will look to guide and assist other coaches, such as the running backs coach, Wilbert Montgomery, and the offensive line coach, Andy Moeller. Castillo should provide a helping hand to all of the players on the offensive line, so they can learn how to block in the run game, among other skills.

As bad as our offensive line has been in the past, I hope that Castillo can fix a lot of their problems.

Q2: What's your take on John Simon? - @RavensHypeMan

I really like him. His work ethic seems like one of the best on the team, he has a great personality, and he can flat-out play.

Simon won't start or anything like that, but he is likely to compete for some minutes as a backup OLB, behind Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw. I think he'll play a few snaps a game, especially if he shows how talented he is in an actual NFL game.

Simon is somebody that all Ravens fans should be excited about, since a work ethic like his isn't always common. He is a great person and I'm hoping he becomes an even better football player.

(Fun Fact: John Simon was a Steelers fan growing up, but after being drafted by the Ravens he said: "Some of the things in the house are Pittsburgh things, but not anymore. We're diehard Ravens fans. We're no longer Steelers fans. Go Baltimore.")

Q3: When does training camp start? - @EvanMc96

The first training camp event begins on July 25th, while the last is on August 13th.

To get information on where these will be held and what ones are available to public, read this article.

Q4: Who will be the starting center, Shipley or Gradkowski? - @RavensHypeMan

As far as I know, Gino Gradkowski is looking like the starting center for next year. I think he has played in less NFL games than Shipley, but he has been around the organization and worked harder with the Ravens than Shipley has.

Gradkowski and Shipley have almost the same amount of experience, so you can't use that to show who will be the starter. I'd just have to go with the guy that Harbaugh has been around more, and that's Gino Gradkowski.

In minicamp, Gradkowski and Flacco were developing a better relationship, which is crucial when talking about a center-quarterback duo.

Q5: How many LB's will the team keep? - @JoeWedra

Right now there are 15 linebackers listed on the Ravens roster, but how many of them will be there once the season starts?

Here are the guys that will be here for sure:

  • Terrell Suggs
  • Courtney Upshaw
  • Daryl Smith
  • John Simon
  • Albert McClellan
  • Jameel McClain
  • Adrian Hamilton
  • Josh Bynes
  • Arthur Brown
  • Elvis Dumervil
Now, the others are:

  • Nigel Carr
  • Spencer Atkins
  • D.J. Bryant
  • Meshak Williams
  • Brandon Copeland
I believe they will keep 1 or 2 of the 5 that are questionable, not knowing who they are yet.

I think there will be around 12 linebackers on the roster this year, compared to last year's 9.

That's my prediction, although my view could change after training camp, depending on how well everyone works.

Well, unfortunately, this is already the end of this week's segment of Tuesday's Mailbag! Next week I am looking for MANY more questions, and I'm sure you guys can help me out with that! Email me questions at, tweet them to me @Frezeal33, OR put them in the comments below! Have a great rest of your Tuesday and have an amazing rest of your week. Happy Early Fourth of July, everyone!