Welcome to the second edition of *Inside Answers, where we've taken questions from fans and brought them to a top performer in the Ravens' most-recent game. *
Here are tight end Daniel Wilcox's responses to your queries about Monday's 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
[Ed. note: Questions may have been edited for clarity.]
Philip Singleton, Cumberland, Maryland: If every Ravens player, including yourself, entered a race who do you think would win the race?
Daniel Wilcox:"Great question! I would say either Fabian Washington or Yamon Figurs. Those guys would win both the 40 and the 100. You can tell those guys are the fastest on the field when they play. Yamon, when he gets a lane on a kickoff return, he takes off in the blink of an eye."
Charlie Simms, Silver Spring, Maryland: Tough loss Monday! Wish we would have beaten those Steelers, but I think there were some positives that came out of it. What do you think is different about this year's offense than in the past? It seems in the past we would get down and not be able to recover. Congrats on your touchdown, and go Ravens forever!!!!!
DW:"Mainly, it's how we prepare all week and the mentality we have going into the weekend. We want to be not just good, but great. We're fighting every game to be aggressive and take it to the defense. We're getting more opportunities to be aggressive this year. We've always wanted to be aggressive, but it's the opportunities that let you execute that."
Jim Elliott Jr., Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania: Hey Daniel, you guys played a great game [Monday] night, and I'm sure come second time around in Baltimore, you'll get the "W". Being a Ravens fan in the heart of [Steeler] Nation is hard, my question is with the intense rivalry. Is Pittsburgh the most hostile environment to play in?
DW:"I don't think so. I honestly believe Philly and Oakland are the two craziest places in the league. But, the Pittsburgh crowd was definitely keyed up. It was hype, but we got to take them out of the game for a little bit. Once they got back in the game, it was so loud. We want to quiet their fans every week. That's why it's important to get off to an early start, so they are taken out of the game.
"The Steelers' fans were actually booing their own team at one point, so that's what it's all about."
Irene Patterson, Owings Mills, Maryland: Daniel, did you give Joe the ball he threw to you in the end zone? Years from now the trivia question will be, who caught Joe Flacco's first TD pass? Answer: Daniel Wilcox on MNF in Pittsburgh.
DW:"That ball was the first-ever touchdown pass for Joe, so I gave it to him. I really wanted to keep it, but it was pretty big for him. It was my first touchdown of the year, so I thought it would look good in my trophy case. Oh well. I told Joe he's got to get me a game ball, any one will work, for my case. Joe really deserved that one, no matter what.
"Oddly enough, I actually caught Steve McNair's first touchdown in Baltimore [against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 10, 2006]. That's crazy."
Brian Roche, Owings Mills, Maryland: Your blog stated that you were comfortable with your role as a blocking tight end. How do you think your touchdown will affect your role on the team with Heap not being a deep threat this year?
DW:"You know what? It was just one catch. I'm still going to be blocking my butt off for years to come, and the touchdowns will hopefully come with the territory. Right now, it's just about me knowing my role and enjoying it.
"I'm getting better, but I do think I missed a few blocks that I'd like to have back. First, I have to work on those, so I can help Joe, Willis [McGahee], or Le'Ron [McClain] gain those extra yards. It's about technique and being smart out there.
"Make no mistake, though. Heap is still a big part of this offense. You'll see that."
One final far-reaching email…
Paul Belayneh, Toronto, Canada:You guys are amazing, ur greatness even stretches into the north. I've been a fan ever since '96. keep on doing what ur doing. Wilcox, btw that was an amazing catch, kept ur cool. Love u guys!
Read Wilcox's latest edition of his 83 Degreez blog.