Last night, I had a chance to watch the game from an interesting perspective. I worked the game for Westwood One/CBS Radio as a sideline reporter.
No, I’m not trying to “big time” you. Sitting on the sidelines gives you a completely different view on the game. For years, as a youngster, you always look at NFL players and think if you were in the right situation, you could have ended up in the League. After being that close to the speed of the game, I realize that there’s no situation that could have put me in the NFL. Those guys are too strong and too fast and down right scary. I’d rather talk about it than get hit by Ray Lewis and Bart Scott.
Now, for the Ravens and their 9-4 record. Who would have thunk it? Nine wins by the Baltimore Ravens, and the season still isn’t over. John Harbaugh and his coaching staff has really pulled these guys together and made the most out of this season.
When the coaching change was made, I was not in favor of it. I’ll admit that now. I was scared of change because of the past success we’d experienced. Now, I realize the Ravens reached the ceiling under the previous coaching staff.
No, I don’t think Brian Billick forgot how to coach, I just believe his message got old with this team. That’s what happens in the professional ranks. It’s clear to see that this Ravens’ team looks fresh. Their approach is completely different.
Last night, when the Washington Redskins narrowed the score to 17-10, the Ravens got the ball back with 11:27 left in the game. In years past, the Ravens’ would have played passively. I’m not sure if the passive play was caused by the play calling, or by a lack of faith in the system by the players.
On Sunday night, Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense ate up 7:52 and capped it off with a touchdown pass to Derrick Mason. I can’t really say that there was a lot done different from the way it use to be done, but I can say the results were different. That means change was certainly needed.
Will the Ravens get into the play-offs this year? I believe they will. Either way, this is a better team, and an even better franchise now. I said back in February that this was the first big move of the post-Modell era for the Ravens, and that this group would be judged, ultimately, on how they handle it.
So far, so good…