From the Couch and Fields: Thoughts on a Busy Weekend in Sports

October 21, 2007 |

 
Ravens Recap: What a sloppy mistake filled performance by the Ravens. This team needs to get away for a week and get some key players back on the field.  They also need to find the mental discipline and focus that has been missing all year.  The penalties have to stop!  You can’t win in the NFL with double-digit penalty figures.  This hasn’t been a one or two game thing.   Offensively, some changes need to occur to open up more big plays. You can’t dink and dunk your way down the field for 14 or 15 play drives all day long. Somewhere, somehow the vertical passing game needs to be meshed into the play calling.  
 
The season is not over, but it will be if there are not some immediate corrections. Get as healthy as possible, show more focus and discipline, and come out and take care of business in your own division.  The schedule sets up with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland. As hard as it is to imagine 7-3, it is still possible.  Yes, it’s much to ask, but at this point, it’s time for a little urgency or else the gauntlet of San Diego, New England and Indianapolis will mean nothing. 
 
Terps miss Blackney:  With all the injuries on the Terps’ offensive line one of Maryland’s biggest losses occurred after the 2005 season on the defensive side when coordinator Gary Blackney retired.  Current coordinator Chris Cosh seems more intent on playing it safe then attacking the opponent. His scheme rarely generates pressure or takes a team out of its element.  Passive teams play that way, and in today’s football that rarely succeeds.    Blackney was a creative type who made NFL players out of E.J. Henderson, Madieu Williams and Randy Starks with a aggressive blitzing style that challenged the opponent.  He was a big reason that Ralph Friedgen was able to turn around the program so quickly.  Don’t bet Fridge’s play calling hasn’t been affected by him protecting Cosh’s defense.
 
SEC the best conference in the land:   In this crazy season of college football by far the best conference is the SEC.  The league is deep with talent, speed and depth, and it ranks only behind the NFL as the best brand of  football in the world.  LSU, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina are legit top 15 teams. It has great players in Florida’s Tim Tebow and Kentucky’s Andre Woodson.   When Arkansas, Auburn and Alabama are middle of the road teams, you know this conference is loaded. I haven’t even mentioned Georgia and Tennessee who are having down years and Vanderbilt, who yesterday upset Steve Spurrier’s gang.  Nobody in this conference has lost to North Dakota State and Appalachian State.  It figures to be a wild ride for the rest of season in the South.
 
Schilling is the Man:   You have one October game to win, tell me you wouldn’t give the ball to Curt Schilling.  Even at his age (old) he remains the best big game pitcher in baseball.  Erik Bedard, pay attention and study–it takes more than just great stuff to be an ace. 
 
Lacrosse Community Unites For a Great Cause.  Twelve college teams and 4,000 fans from around the country gathered at St. Paul’s Schools yesterday for the 10th Annual Price Modern Lacrosse for Leukemia Fall Invitational  Tournament.  The event raised over $75,000 for the Maryland Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Each team played in honor of youngster who currently has or is in remission from the disease.  Those youngsters, besides getting some cool swag, spent the afternoon on the bench with their teams.  The event has now raised over $900,000 for caner research.  Among the teams were Towson, Final Four participant Delaware, UNC and UMBC.  

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