What About Stover ???

March 02, 2009 |

We can all probably agree Matt Stover is not the kicker of yesterday ….. or five years ago.  His presence on the 2008 Baltimore Ravens roster may have been more of a hindrance, than benefit.

Overall, Stover converted 27 of 33 field goal attempts and he proved, once again, to be MONEY inside 30 yards.  By all accounts, he’s a better MAN than player – and he’s a damn good player.  He brings integrity and stature to the organization and he’s devotedly committed to the Baltimore community, from a stewardship perspective.

Yet, in truth, we’re all uneasy about Matt Stover’s leg ….. especially beyond 40 yards.  If he’s lining up for a 45 yard attempt, you’re holding your breath, right?  And, if the prospect of a 50+ yard field goal looms, we’re bound to see Sam Koch trotting onto the field.

I’m not suggesting a team can’t be effective by pinning the opposing offense deep in it’s own territory.  In fact, the Ravens capitalized on many opportunities, in 2008.  Still, it’s tough to compete with the Patriots, Colts and Steelers when we know they’re gonna attempt and probably convert field goal opportunities beyond the 35 yard line.

Given Stover’s limited range, it has also become necessary to carry a “long kicker” on the roster.  Enter Steve Hauschka.  This predicament has certainly impacted John Harbaugh’s decisons on his active roster, each gameday.  Eventually, it’s gonna hurt – maybe it already has …..

I could elaborate further on reasons why Matt Stover might not be a good fit for the 2009 Baltimore Ravens.  No problem here.  But, TELL HIM.

Have you ever been in limbo?  It sucks, huh?  I’ve been there and hated every bit of the ride.  It affects the guy wavering in uncertainty, as well as his family.  Yep, there are actually families connected to the inner workings and personnel decsions of professional sports franchises.

I understand it’s a cruel business.  Players get cut all the time.  In training camp, many “slapdicks” know they’re there to get cut and some get the shock of their lives when the “coach wants to see them ….. and they need to bring their playbook.”  It’s unforgiving.

Yet, Matt Stover isn’t like most guys.  He’s the last remaining member of the team that relocated from Cleveland.  He’s made Baltimore his HOME and he’s given an immeasurable amount of love to the organization and this city.

For once, I’d hope Ozzie Newsome, Steve Bisciotti and their staff would break from any normal “it’s just business” tactics and handle Matt Stover’s situation with some personal and humane regard.  Don’t string the guy along.

If you don’t want him back, tell him.  After all, there was no problem in doing it for Jason Brown.  If you’re not sure whether you want Stover back, tell him.  But, do something.

He’s not just another kicker ….. even if his abilities have lowered his appeal to such a level.