Let’s get this outta the way right away: ANY win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is a reason for a celebration.
Agreed, it means nothing more than a worse draft pick at this point, but ending the season with 10 losses in a row sounds a lot worse right now.
I’ll gladly take the win.
It was a sloppy effort for anyone who attended the game this afternoon, but there were some encouraging "signs of life" for a team that had been accused of quitting in some circles.
David Pittman wanted to play. Corey Ross and Corey Ivy came to play. Adam Terry lined up at tight end. Derrick Mason caught the ball. Troy Smith looked like he’s in the embryo stage of being a very serviceable NFL quarterback.
After the game, the storylines played out in the locker room.
Jon Ogden did his usual press conference, with a few more bodies at his locker and Scott Garceau quizzing him about a pending retirement. Ogden left himself enough rope to come back, but at no point indicated that he was leaning in the direction of Westminster. I would list his return as very doubtful.
Next door, Mike Flynn was telling everyone he plans to be back playing for the Ravens next season and fulfilling the final year of his contract — that is, if they want him back. If not, he indicated he would attempt to play elsewhere. But he wants to be a Raven for another year and feels he has more football left in him.
Matt Stover held court at his locker and it was business as usual.
On the far side of the locker room, departing offensive coordinator turned UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said his final goodbyes, thanking the fans of the Ravens for showing him that "Sunday crowds could be as good as Saturday crowds."
The final weekend of the NFL season is always kind of strange, but this is even more weird than usual.
The Redskins are in the playoffs. That wild game last night that kept the Pats undefeated was quite a show. Some playoffs team with nothing on the line, like the Steelers, Cowboys and Bucs, kinda started laying down in the end.
As for old Ravens quarterbacks, Vinny Testaverde retired, Derrick Anderson threw one TD for the Browns and Chris Redman threw FOUR TD passes for the Falcons.
And now the Titans are trying to beat Jim Sorgi to get into the playoffs while the entire city of Cleveland watches with horseshoes taped to their heads, praying for any help from the Colts. (So far, it doesn’t look good for Phil Savage, Derrick Anderson, etc.)
So, the playoffs and the road to Phoenix will roll on.
And over the next 72 hours, all hell is certain to break loose in Owings Mills due to this 5-11 debacle.
Many, many folks have indicated that major changes are coming at the Bellagio this week.
WNST will be following this very closely between now and Wednesday’s 2 p.m. State of the Union address by Steve Bisciotti.