Is it the Chess Pieces or the Man Moving the Pieces?

October 19, 2009 | Marty Mossa

     From 1996 – 2001 Marvin Lewis guided the Baltimore Raven’s defense.  This was a defense that broke records in 2000 and helped lead the Purple Birds to their first and only Super Bowl.  Lewis left for D.C. in 2002.  He was replaced by Mike Nolan.  Under Nolan the defense never missed a step.  The Ravens stellar “D” was still a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

     When Nolan left to coach the 49’ers in 2004, Rex Ryan took over.  Under Ryan’s fiery manner the defense remained among the leagues’ top ten.  His “D” helped lead the Ravens to the playoffs in 2006, and to the AFC Title Game in 2008.

     Now in comes Greg Mattison to replace Rex who went to bigger and better things.  Mattison has pretty much the same personnel left from last year minus Jim Leonard and Bart Scott.  The “D” had notable injuries last year, including McCaulister and Rolle.   The defense always had the eye of the tiger.  They always had that fire.  That was until this year.  During games where Rex was at the helm of the defense, we would witness him barking orders from the side line.  He would rev the “D” up and get them fired up.  Up until Mattison, all the defensive coordinators here in Baltimore had the look of a warrior ready to go into battle.

     2009 in steps Greg Mattison.  He looks like he has the passion of slug on a hot summer’s night.  Every time the camera shows this “captain” of the defense, he looks lost, confused, and clueless.  Instead of a look of “what will be my next defensive strategy”, he has the look of man who forgot where he parked his car at the Owings Mills Complex.  His predicessors captained their ships through rough seas at times, but somehow always got the ship to port safely.  This imposter of a defensive captain is heading for an iceberg.  Unless he does something quickly, the team will take on water and sink.

     If the Ravens fail to make the playoffs due to continued defensive lapses, it is of my opinion that this guy should be sent packing!!!   I don’t care of the who, what or wheres, just ask yourself this:  if Rex Ryan was still the coordinator would the defense have collasped like they did the last two weeks?


46-41 against the spread (bad weekend all around)