1. There’s really no other way to say it and there’s no sense in pussy-footing around. People who come out to pre-season football games in Baltimore and boo members of the Ravens can only be classified as nitwits. And the “I paid for my tickets and I can boo if I want” excuse is something only a nitwit would say. It’s pre-frigging-season, folks. Lay off the booze if it’s going to affect you that much. Sheesh…
2. I wrote last week that ONE of the results in ’08 could be a “win a month”. Add that up and it’s 4-12. If these injuries to Reed and CMac are going to persist throughout the season, the boys in purple are in deep doo-doo. Deep. Same for the offense without McGahee and Heap. Yeah, I know, Ray Rice was a rock star on Saturday night. I think he’ll be a contributor, sure, but I don’t want him carrying the load as a rookie. If McGahee and Heap are bothered with injuries all year, you’re looking at another season of 1 touchdown per-game.
3. What to do at quarterback? Here’s what I think they should do. They’re two games into a 4-game pre-season. As we all know, Game #4 really doesn’t count (as if any of them do in August…that’s a big reason why you don’t boo…see #1 above), so it’s a 3-game pre-season for all intents and purposes. Anyway, between now and next weekend, is Troy Smith going to suddenly find his “A game” and miraculously turn into a prime-time NFL quarterback? Of course not. So – and I say this with gritted teeth – what John Harbaugh SHOULD do, right now, is annoint Kyle Boller the starting quarterback for the regular season. He has the most experience. Period. Smith hasn’t been unable to unseat Boller after nearly a month of training camp, so that tells you something right there. In the end, though, if it were up to me, I’d go with the guy who has the most experience.
4. Let’s face the facts. You can put Tony Romo in Ravens purple tomorrow and he’s not going to have much success behind that thing they call an offensive line. I’m not trying to defend Boller or Smith for their play, but the protection they’re receiving (or not) is about 67% of the reason why neither of them can play effectively.
5. Hope you have a good, clear photo of Frank Walker in a Ravens uniform.
6. So they didn’t let Ray Lewis do his pre-game dance on Saturday night? What gives? I wrote this a month ago and I’m not changing my tune now. Let the guy dance. Why try and change him now? You’ve been letting him hop around out there for a decade now. All the sudden you’re gonna tell him to stop doing it? Bad move. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
7. I sure hope Suggs doesn’t look like Re-Run from What’s Happening? when he shows up at practice today. That dude better be in shape and ready to roll. By the way, Sizz, that sure was some fancy negotiatin’ you did for the last three weeks. Before camp started, you were due to get $8.5 million. Now, you’re still getting $8.5 million. Let me sign up for a class on negotiating if you ever teach one.
8. I still can’t get over that people booed at a pre-season game. Nice first impression for John Harbaugh, eh?
9. Bring on the Joe Flacco era. David Steele of The Sun was right on target in today’s paper. Had Flacco completed that late TD pass to Justin Harper, we’d have a full-fledged controversy on our hands.
10. If the Ravens go 4-12, I say fire Billick again.
11. All the sudden, guys like Edwin Mulitalo, Mike Flynn and Tony Pashos start to earn a little more respect.
12. Those mid-week radio shows should be a lot of fun this year if the Ravens wind up losing two out of every three they play.
13. Two games in the Cam Cameron offense and the Ravens have precisely TWO offensive touchdowns. At least we’re not going backwards.
14. You’ll have a very good grasp on the ’08 Ravens after two weeks of the regular season. They SHOULD beat the Bengals at home, but they might not. They SHOULD beat the Texans on the road in week 2, but they might not. A good team goes 2-0. An average team goes 1-1. A bad team goes 0-2. We won’t have to wait long to find out where Baltimore ranks.
15. We need to see more from Mark Clayton. Much more, in fact.
16. Ben Grubbs is solid. Wait a minute, I thought the urban legend was Ozzie didn’t use draft picks on offensive lineman.
17. Why would a team in the midst of a quarterback competition allow one of the QB’s to only throw five passes in his half of work? We KNOW he can hand the ball off to Ray Rice. We want to see him T-H-R-O-W. In defense of the coaches, though, as soon as Smith drops back to pass, he’s almost always on the run…sometimes it looks like that’s actually what he WANTS to do. Too bad the Ravens don’t run the wishbone when Smith’s in there.
18. If these injuries to the key starters linger, I’m telling you it’s going to be a win a month. I hope I’m wrong.
19. What do you and Jason Campbell of the Redskins have in common? You’ll both be watching the Super Bowl from your living room next February.