Ravens Rewind: A Miserable Night, Madden’s Thoughts, Troy Smith

December 12, 2007 |

I don’t blame anyone who left on Sunday, even those who left in the first quarter. It was wet, cold and absolutely miserable. What a let down especially after that brilliant montage the Ravens video people played at the beginning of the game. The fans were fired up, and then the game started.

Cornerbacks David Pittman and Derrick Martin don’t look like NFL players, and what has happened to the pass rush? However much fans are clamoring for quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Brian Brohm with what looks like our top 8 draft pick, I think the Ravens need to seriously think about going defense early and often. They need a pass rusher. Wouldn’t Virginia’s Chris Long, son of former Raider great Howie Long, look good coming off the edge? The Ravens also need to invest in two or three cornerbacks either via the draft or free agency.

With the new rules that favor the receivers and Chris McAlister’s and Samari Rolle’s age and injuries starting to take root, this team needs to be able to cover, especially in a division with Chad Johnson, Braylon Edwards and Hines Ward. Don’t forget the conference has the Colts’ & Patriots’ passing attacks as well.

Just when Kyle Boller takes one step forward, he seemingly takes two back. A couple of those interceptions where really bad –especially the one to Gary Brackett. Here is my take on Boller: I love the kid’s heart and his guts. There is no question he has the physical tools, but I am not sure he will ever be consistent enough to warrant our trust for 16 games. He just doesn’t seem to have (it). The great ones do.

I was glad to see Troy Smith get some time even if it was just a glorified preseason game by the time he came in. Any reps he can get are good ones. He showed good pocket presence and feel for the game. Let’s not get too excited. Remember, Boller looked that good in the garbage time vs. the Bengals five weeks ago. I am all for giving Smith some more playing time down the stretch, maybe the second half of the last game, and definitely more time if we have games like last night. In some ways this was perfect. There is absolutely no pressure right know and it’s just an extended 2008 pre-season for Smith.

NBC’s John Madden had nothing but glowing things to say about Smith. He senses that the kid might just be a football player and that he can make plays.  Madden based this on what he saw in preseason, training camp, and last night. Pretty good recommendation, Madden knows football and when a Hall of Fame coach thinks you have what it takes that should open some eyes and ears in Owings Mills. 

Extra Point:  Keep an eye on this Sunday’s game. I have a feeling it could be very important in Ravens’ history.

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