Tag Archive | "matt stover"

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number this week, I decided to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Some jersey numbers provide for good debate (Sam Adams or Jarret Johnson for No. 95?) while other integers provide quite the challenge to simply produce a warm body (Who was your favorite No. 46 to suit up for the Ravens?).

Some choices are obvious, others might anger you, and a few will make you say, “Who?” but let the debate begin.

1 Randall Cunningham (2001)

There was really no other choice here. Some Ravens fans are still hollering for Brian Billick to replace Elvis Grbac with the veteran backup.

2 Anthony Wright (2002-05)

No one will forget Wright tossing four touchdown passes to little-used receiver Marcus Robinson, as the journeyman quarterback engineered the greatest comeback in franchise history against the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.

3 Matt Stover (1996-2008)

Never mind the fact that he’s the only player to sport the number 3 in franchise history. There is actually a Stover tribute video on YouTube.

4 Sam Koch (2006-present)

With apologies to the current Ravens head coach’s brother Jim, who played quarterback for the Ravens in 1998, the current Ravens punter is the clear choice for No. 4.

5 Joe Flacco (2008-present)

The franchise quarterback won three playoff games in his first two seasons in the league. Not a bad start.

6 Steve Hauschka (2008-09)

Yes, I’m well aware of this…

The only other option here was J.R. Jenkins, the kickoff specialist in 2002. On second thought, Jenkins really got some distance on those kicks!

7 Kyle Boller (2003-08)

I realize most have already clicked back on their browser window after these last two picks, but the former Cal quarterback is still the franchise leader in total passing yards.
Boller
I’m not sure you were aware, but I once heard he could throw the football through the uprights. From the 50-yard line. On his knees.

8 Trent Dilfer (2000)

Flacco may be the toast of the town in 2010, but he has some work to do before making anyone forget about this guy.
Dilfer

9 Steve McNair (2006-07)

Many remember his poor playoff performance against Indianapolis in January 2007 and his miserable final season in Baltimore, but his arrival in 2006 helped orchestrate the best regular season record (13-3) in franchise history.

10 Eric Zeier (1996-98)

A punting performance by Kordell Stewart in 2004 and the brief hero-worship of Stoney Case in 1999 earn bizarre mentions here, but Zeier had six 100-plus quarterback rating performances and three 250-yard games in his three-year career in Baltimore. Height (listed at 6-foot-1) prevented the Georgia quarterback from getting a legitimate chance as the starter.

11 Jeff Blake (2002)

The former Bengal is the clear-cut choice here, but no one will forget him chuckling with Steelers coach Bill Cowher moments after tossing an interception in the end zone in the final seconds of a loss at Pittsburgh in 2002.

12 Vinny Testaverde (1996-97)

One of the most maligned quarterbacks in NFL history, Testaverde still owns the finest passing season in franchise history when he threw for 4,177 yards and 33 touchdowns in 1996.

Tony Banks gets consideration here with his five touchdown passes in the Ravens’ thrilling 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville in Week 2 of the 2000 season, a pivotal moment in the history of the franchise. Things fell apart quickly for Banks before eventually being replaced by Dilfer several weeks later.

13 Eron Riley* (2009-present)

Research indicated no player has worn No. 13 in the regular season for the Ravens. Riley wears the number on the preseason roster and was a member of the practice squad a year ago.

14 Wally Richardson (1997-98)

The pride of Happy Valley, Richardson was the third-string quarterback for two seasons and threw for one yard on two career attempts in the NFL.

15 Dave Zastudil (2002-05)

The front office took heat for drafting “The Weapon” in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, but Zastudil was a quality punter for four seasons before signing with the Browns.

16 Yamon Figurs (2007-08)

Tremendous speed that produced two touchdown returns his rookie season, but Figurs could never put it to use as a receiver.

17 David Tyree (2009)

Shayne Graham immediately takes this distinction if he makes the 53-man roster next month, but receiver Matt Willis (2007) was the only other option for this number. Besides, you may remember Tyree for something else a couple of years before his brief stop in Baltimore…

18 Elvis Grbac (2001)

Other than Boller a few years later, no player faced the wrath of Ravens fans quite like Grbac. The former Pro Bowl quarterback came to town with intense pressure to lead a repeat in 2001, but Grbac had no chance when Jamal Lewis was lost for the season after tearing his ACL early in training camp.
Grbac
He went down in flames against Pittsburgh in the playoffs and retired a few months later, but name a quarterback who would have won with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins as his feature backs that season.

19 Johnny Unitas*

Yes, I’m well aware Johnny U never played a down for the Ravens, but did you really think I could put this guy on the list?
Mitchell

20 Ed Reed (2002-present)

A nanosecond-long nod goes to the Super Bowl-winning safety Kim Herring, but Reed is the easiest choice among the numbers previously worn by other players. The ball-hawking safety is unquestionably one of the greatest free safeties in the history of the game.

Next up: Find out which member of the Ring of Honor didn’t make the cut as I reveal the greatest Ravens for Nos. 21-40.

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A Guy Who Embodies The “Current” Orioles Way? Josh Bell ….

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Rex Snider

I’m on the doorstep of completing my fourth month as host of the REX & RAY SHOW – and during this time, a few consistencies have proven dependable …..

Fans have never been warm to the idea of Garrett Atkins regaining his once promising stroke, in an Orioles uniform …..

Ravens faithful still want Matt Stover kicking for their team …..

And, Miguel Tejada is just a “stopgap” for uber-prospect JOSH BELL …..

That’s right, if we talk Orioles, Bell’s name is usually mentioned by those who are looking forward to 2011 and beyond. And, he’s always regarded as part of the FUTURE by devoted Orioles fans.

Why?

What accomplishment or achievement has caused so many people to invest an arbitrary plea of confidence in Josh Bell?

I don’t see it. In fact, I’ve never seen it. When Bell was served up as the barter for George Sherrill (who was valued as a setup man) I reasoned the Dodgers didn’t really covet the young infielder. And, they tossed in Steve Johnson, to boot.

When he arrived at Bowie, Bell owned a career .289 batting average in 1400 at-bats. He averaged a homerun in nearly every 30 trips to the plate. He displayed very little speed on the bases and his walk/strikeout rate was less than impressive.

As a Dodgers prospect, Bell sported a fielding percentage below .900 and an overwhelming amount of his errors were with the glove, as opposed to his arm. If you saw his glovework during Orioles Spring Training, you might think he’s a DH.

Umm …. go back two paragraphs. He’s not a DH, either.

This year, Josh Bell is getting his first taste of Triple-A pitching. At best, it’s fair to suggest he’s undisciplined. At worst, it’s equally fair to say he’s often overmatched.

He is averaging a strikeout in every 3.5 at-bats. And, his walk/strikeout totals are horrendous. He’s gone down on strikes 49 times, and walked just 8 times, in 178 at-bats.

Do notable Major League hitters strikeout so often? Yes – but they’re commonly hitting dozens of homeruns, per season. They’re also facing much better pitching.

You want examples? Sure …..

Jim Thome – strikes out once in every 3.3 at-bats. But, he also owns 569 homeruns.

Adam Dunn – strikes out once in every 3 at-bats. But, he homers in every 13 times at the plate.

Pat Burrell – strikes out once in every 3.5 at-bats. But, he also hit 267 homeruns in just over 10 seasons. He’s also 33 years old and looking for a job.

If you really want to see a mirrored image of Josh Bell’s minor league offensive statistics – but on the major league level, look no further than Jose Hernandez. He enjoyed 15 seasons in the big leagues.

However, Hernandez’s long tenure was much credited to stellar defense. And, he played a variety of positions. Unlike Hernandez, Bell is challenged defensively. In fact, he’s a poor fielder – period.

In a perfect world, Josh Bell would be deemed a major success if he turned out to have a career resembling Pat Burrell. The problem is he hasn’t displayed such credential throughout 5 years of lesser competitive baseball.

Worse yet, his defense cannot be tolerated at the Major League level. A fielding percentage south of .900 will absolutely LOSE BALLGAMES for a team.

Yet, the phone calls keep coming …..

Josh Bell is part of the Orioles future. Indeed, he probably is ….. and that’s a huge part of the organization’s problem.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/20/10)

Posted on 20 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:43-

Chad Reuter is live in Orlando. He is covering the East-West Shrine Game. He states that many of the players in this game have great potential. Reuter discusses some of the wide receivers available. He explains that the underclassmen who declared early have boosted the class of pass-catchers. He calls Golden Tate a possible target for the Ravens in the draft. on the topic of quarterbacks, Reuter explains that after the second round, not much talent will be available. He also believes that Tim Tebow will drafted much higher than many people expect.

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9:27-

Dave Steckel of the Capitals is now on with Drew. Steckel scored the game winning goal last night against the Detroit Red Wings. He talks about the leadership Alexander Ovechkin provides as a captain. Next, Steckel talks about maintaining focus during a time where the team is running away with its division. Steckel also discusses the upcoming Olympic break. The players spend much of their time relxing before spending the latter part of the break to get back into shape.

9:10-

Bob in Parkville calls in to talk about the earlier segment on Marvin Harrison. Bob believes that Harrison definitely shot the man in question. He goes on to say that this type of issue is far too common in the NFL. He states that nothing in any other sport compares to this.

8:54-

Lomas Brown, of ESPN is next welcomed in. He begins by talking about the Colts-Jets game coming up this weekend. He is torn on which team he believes will win. As for the NFC Championship Game, Brown thinks the Vikings defense puts the team in a position to win. He states that Brett Favre came back to win a Super Bowl not just reach the NFC Championship. Finally, Brown talks about the CBA bargaining. The owners are asking for the players to assume a large loss in the percent of profits.

8:50-

Merton is the next caller. Drew quickly jumps on Merton’s offer to take the Orioles from Baltimore too. He thinks Indy could turn the team in to a winner just like it did with the Colts. He makes sure to treat us with the Colts fight song before he leaves.

8:46-

Art in Bel Air calls in. He wants to let Drew know he agrees that fans who no longer care for Matt Stover just because he played for Indy are wrong. He doesn’t care what team Stover chose to play for if it was the best situation for him.

8:25-

Head coach of the Towson basketball team, Pat Kennedy is the next guest. Drew lets Kennedy know that whenever he accompanies a local team to Philly they lose. Therefore, Drew will stay away from the city for now. Kennedy admits that the losing hurts his team, but morale is still high. He states that the team is doing well in the paint right now. He is not upset about the team’s level of play despite the fact the team has not met expectations.

8:07-

Jason Fagone of GQ joins Drew to talk about his story on Marvin Harrison. After publishing this story ESPN has revealed that the FBI is restarting investigations on Harrison. Fagone discusses with Drew how Harrison has returned to where he grew up despite his monetary success as a pro football player.

8:01-

Miles from Owings Mills wants to make it clear that most Baltimore fans would welcome Stover back with open arms if he were to return next season.

7:54-

Dan in Fallston is the next caller. He blames Stover for demanding a guaranteed contract from the Ravens when he knew the team did not give them out. Drew emphasizes that Ozzie Newsome made the decision on Stover and the idea of John Harbaugh not wanting Stover is false.

7:43-

Lots of discussion on Matt Stover this morning. Bill in Essex talks about Matt has almost destroyed his legacy in Baltimore by going to play for the Colts. Drew points out that the Stovers are very sensitive to these types of issues becuase of their desire to be a part of the community.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/13/10)

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:51-

Ian Eagle is the next guest. Drew congratulates him for having the best comment of the year. Eagle said that Baltimore is not used to playoff baseball, that’s not a low blow, its a fact. Eagle next talks about the Ravens upcoming game with the Colts. He agrees with Drew that regardless of the outcome of the game, the national media will focus on the Colts’ decision to rest their players at the end of the regular season.

eagle

9:27-

Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Weekly is next up. he begins by talking about the interesting matchup between Arizona and New Orleans. He states that the Saints have lost their reputation of invincibility with a bad losing streak to end the season. He also talks about the success the Cardinals have had in the playoffs. Moving on the Ravens, Wilkening explains that the team had an excellent game plan coming into New England. Wilkening also talks about the Bengals’ quick exit from the playoffs. Instead of placing a lot of blame on Carson Palmer, he explains that the offense needs to become more balanced and add a deep threat to compliment Chad Ochocinco (Johnson?). In regards to possible upsets this week, Wilkening states that the Dallas Cowboys have the best chance of going on the road and defeating the Vikings.

9:09-

Rick from Parkville calls in. He first mentions that the Terps have recently picked up a solid linebacker commitment. Next, Rick talks about how the Ravens need to keep Peyton Manning off the field. He also mentions that the offense needs to get into a better passing rhythm.

flacco

7:53-

Pat Kennedy is next up with Drew. He states that there is a difference between a poor record and playing badly. He has seen progress recently and calls the next 5 game stretch very important. Kennedy mentions how he has shifted his lineup so the team has a bigger frontline. He explains that with these improvements hopefully the team can win some more close games.

7:50-

Ed in Park Heights brings up another point in the argument over whether or not the Ravens should have kept Matt Stover. He states that Dannell Ellerbe, who was one of the last players to make the team could have been cut if the team kept two kickers.

7:34-

Brendon Ayandaejo joins Drew early this morning. He starts off by talking about how he will be recovered in plenty of time for the start of next season. Ayanbadejo next discusses how the Ravens will try to contain Peyton Manning this weekend. On the offensive side of the ball it is important to once again run the ball and control the clock. Ayanbadejo also chimes in on the steroid debate that has been renewed by Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use. He believes that so many players used performance-enhancing drugs it is almost an even playing field.
brendon

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (11/20/09)

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Jack McManus

9:48-

Andy Behrens from Yahoo! Sports is on to offer his weekly fantasy advice. To get all the details on who to start make sure you check out the audio vault.  

9:27-

A caller informs us that the release of Steve Hauschka made his week and that no one could be worse. He also asks Drew why the Ravens did not bring back Chris McAlister. Glenn points out that Billy Cundiff could be much worse than Hauschka.

9:08-

The Colts’ sideline reporter, Kevin Lee is now on to talk about the Ravens-Colts matchup this weekend. He first reminds everyone that any team can win on every given Sunday. He next describes the differences between Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell. Lee explains that the two are very similar although, Caldwell will occasionally get more heated during practices. He moves on the injuries depleting the Colts secondary. He points out the strong safety play that has kept the Colts defense strong. On the topic of Matt Stover, he believes that Stover could return to Baltimore if and when he is released after Adam Vinatieri returns from injury.

stover 

8:52-

Randy Monroe, head coach of the UMBC basketball, is the next guest. He first talks about the coaching he did at the end of the game against the Loyola Greyhounds. He is not second guessing his decision to wait to call a timeout in the final seconds. Monroe states that he is always telling his players that they must maintain throughout games. He talks about the adjustments his team has been forced to make after losing Jay Greene and Darryl Proctor. He knows that the team will improve with time. Monroe next discusses the idea of a Baltimore-area showdown.

monroe 

8:40-

Mike Florio is now talking some football with Drew. He talks about the Bengals’ signing of Larry Johnson. He states that as long as Johnson behaves himself, the gamble should be worth it for the Bengals. Florio believes that if the Buffalo Bills brings in a quality coach, the team could turn around very quickly. He explains that the team needs to have a plan that every part of the organization agrees with. He also states that each of the undefeated teams this weekend need to be careful with their opponents.

johnson 

8:35-

Merton now joins us from Indianapolis. He promises to call in at 8:30 on Monday regardless of the result of the game on Sunday. He makes a wager with Drew. If the Colts win Drew and Glenn must sing the Colts’ fight song. If the Ravens win, Merton will personally apologize Bob in Parkville.  

7:32-

Bill Herrion, head coach of the New Hampshire Wildcats men’s basketball team is on with Drew. His team will face off against the Terps tonight at the Comcast Center. Herrion begins by talking about his difficult road schedule early in the season. Besides playing Maryland the Wildcats will also go up against Pitt and Hofstra. He next brings up his teams experience level. He explains that even though their is only one senior on his roster, many of the other players have significant on-court experience.

herrion

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (11/18/09)

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Jack McManus

9:44-

A caller questions Drew about the relationship between a coach and the general manager. The GM always has the final say because of the financial situation. However, good front offices work together with the coaching staff to assemble the best team.

9:28-

Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals is now on with Drew. He scored the game-winning goal to beat the New York Rangers last night. He talks about how the team played strong with out their star Alex Ovechkin. He next speaks about the goaltending situation. He explains that it is beneficial to have two capable goalies. He moves on to the effectiveness of the team’s power play at this point. He states that the team is not trying to be too fancy right now and it is working.

9:20-

 lappas

Steve Lappas from CBS College Sports is the next guest. He is a former head coach for multiple Division I basketball teams. He starts off by talking about big-time teams visiting smaller schools. Yesterday, the Clemson Tigers played at Liberty. He calls playing at home the biggest advantage in college basketball. (I guess it didn’t help the Flames much). Lappas next talks about the outlook for Maryland’s season. He calls Greivis Vasquez a great all-around player.

9:11-

A caller agrees with Drew’s blog this morningand goes even further to say that Matt Stover should receive a standing ovation.

8:55-

Ross Tucker is now on with Drew to talk some football. He starts with his thoughts on the Larry Johnson signing. He states that he does not think that Johnson will be in a fourth-string role like Marvin Lewis says. Tucker explains that the Super Bowl teams rarely turn out the way it appears during the season. Therefore, he does not believe the Colts and the Saints will meet in the playoffs. He next explains Bill Belichick’s reasoning for his decision to go for it on 4th down. He talks about the statistics that back up Belichick’s choice.

bill

7:47-

The head coach of Towson’s final opponent, James Madison, Mickey Matthews is next up. He starts off by describing how his team has started to come together late in the season. The team faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year, and the team has improved noticeably because of it. Matthews hopes the Dukes will carry this momentum into next season. He next talks about how Rob Ambrose has helped change the philosophy of the Towson football program. He calls them a very capable team.

mantle

7:39-

Rob Ambrose joins us this morning to talk about the Tigers before the end of their season. He brings up how his team has never given up. Despite the team’s struggles this season, the players love the team and the school. Regardless of the opponent, the Tigers fight each and every week. He next talks about the importance of having a good quarterback in order to make the next step to the FCS playoffs.

ambrose

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A Call to Harbs: Your Chance to Fix the Ravens

Posted on 10 November 2009 by Luke Jones

The sheer volume of opining, panicking, and lamenting jamming the airwaves, flooding inboxes, and littering message boards since 4:30 p.m. on Sunday has been impossible to escape if you’re a Ravens fan.

And it’s understandable with Sunday’s game clearly being one of the Ravens’ worst performances in recent memory.

Of course, the venting is part of the cathartic process of being a fan after a loss, but it ultimately does nothing to address the problem—or problems—and leaves you feeling helpless in the Ravens’ plight with a 4-4 record and two games behind Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the AFC North.

Ultimately, “it is what it is” for us observers.

In reality, the frustration and second-guessing displayed by us all is falling on deaf ears, and for the most part, that’s a good thing. Who hasn’t made a bold proclamation—or several hundred—to their buddies but later felt relief that no one was really listening?

After all, I was convinced Peyton Manning would be the next Heath Shuler while Ryan Leaf would be the next John Elway, and we all know how that turned out.

Peyton Manning

So now that we’ve acknowledged our limitations and past gaffes in evaluating the NFL and its players, this is your chance to prove yourself once and for all.

The phone rings, and John Harbaugh is on the line asking for your astute opinion on the state of the Ravens. He doesn’t have time for personal attacks or whining; Harbaugh is looking for answers.

He’s willing to take three REALISTIC suggestions and implement them beginning in Cleveland on Monday night.

And the key word is REALISTIC.

Larry Bird and Kevin McHale are not—wait a second, wrong rant—Chris McAlister and Michael McCrary are not walking through that door. And if they did, their knees would be completely shot.

Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard say hello to the Charm City, but they’re perfectly content with Rex Ryan in the Big Apple. And the former defensive coordinator sends his regards, but his hands are too full with a rookie quarterback and the New York media to worry about the Ravens’ defensive woes.

Those Jets have long since taken off and aren’t coming back.

And like most of your kids’ Halloween candy, the deadline is long gone, so please spare us the trade proposals.

No matter how great they sound.

I don’t want to hear about officiating conspiracies either. It’s a defeatist attitude, and you’ll hear the same complaints in 31 other NFL cities. Well, maybe not Pittsburgh.

Steelers referees

Lastly, the Colts are more likely to return to Baltimore than Matt Stover is to play for the Ravens—at least until Adam Vinatieri returns from injury in a few weeks (How’d you like that middle-of-the-road remark? And no, I don’t think it will happen anyway).

So now that I’ve squashed 75 percent of the irrational suggestions running through our frustrated minds over the past 48 hours, you have THREE suggestions to offer to Harbaugh for the rest of the season.

And remember, Baltimore is counting on you.

No pressure, right?

I’ll go first.

1. A Nightmare on Russell Street

Yes, I know Paul Kruger does not play special teams.

I fully understand.

Harbaugh wants his reserves to be versatile, and it’s the perfect rationale when a team does not have any glaring deficiencies. However, the defense has struggled to pressure the quarterback from its base front, and Greg Mattison is reluctant to blitz due to a weak secondary—another issue entirely.

It’s clear Kruger is too small to take every snap as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment and does not have the skill set to play as a stand-up linebacker at this point.

But this is the same player Jon Gruden described as playing like “Freddy Kruger” on draft day last spring.

Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ esteemed scouting department used a second-round selection on the defensive end from Utah, so it’s difficult to believe he cannot contribute to the pass rush in some form.

And don’t tell me it would be catastrophic to the team’s flexibility on special teams and other areas. This is the same team that carried two kickers on its roster for years. It’s not as though Danny Kight, J.R. Jenkins, or Wade Richey were contributing in more than one area during their days in Baltimore.

If we look at this from a different perspective, how many special teams players are consistently on the active 45-man roster on Sundays and fail to make any impact on offense or defense?  David Tyree, Prescott Burgess, and Demetrius Williams immediately come to mind.

In other words, there HAS to be a place for Kruger on a defense needing more pressure on the quarterback.

If even the threat of Kruger diverts a little attention away from a Terrell Suggs or a Trevor Pryce, it’s well worth it.

Let’s find out if the rookie can play.

2. Lost in Westminster

Speaking of Demetrius Williams, yes, he is still on the 53-man roster despite rumors of his abduction in Westminster back in August.

After a promising rookie season and two injury-riddled seasons in 2007 and 2008, Williams entered training camp as the team’s No. 3 receiver. Following the emergence of Kelley Washington and a nagging hamstring and knee that slowed him during the summer, the 6-foot-2 receiver has completely disappeared in Cam Cameron’s offense with the lone exception of a 17-yard catch in Minnesota.

But it became apparent during Sunday’s loss that Williams needs to have a presence in this offense.  With Joe Flacco trying to throw deep jump-balls to Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, wouldn’t it make more sense to send Williams (the only receiver with both size and speed on the roster) on one or two of those patterns?

Yes, a stiff breeze is as likely to injure the wideout as a strong safety, but keeping him healthy on the sideline serves no purpose to this football team either.

Williams is and should be the No. 4 receiver on the roster, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an option in the passing game, at the very least providing a bigger target in the vertical passing game.

If the coaching staff has no confidence in Williams, he should either be inactive every week (opening the door for Kruger) or off the roster entirely.

3. Waiting on Willis

Remember when Willis McGahee led the NFL in touchdowns after the first three weeks of the season with six?

It seems like an eternity ago.

It was clear Ray Rice had supplanted McGahee as the starting tailback heading into the season, but the veteran was entering the season healthy and revitalized after a rocky relationship with Harbaugh in 2008. McGahee was still figuring to be a major part of the running game.

Since carrying the ball 25 times in the first two weeks, McGahee has received 22 carries in the six games since. Unacceptable.

Rice is clearly having a tremendous season, but is it really what’s best for the team?

In the same way that Flacco could lead the league in passing yards if he threw on every down, is Rice producing such a large portion of the yards and being the only force in the backfield what’s best for the Ravens’ offense presently and moving forward?

With Rice putting up 732 total yards in the last five games, I’ll remind you that the Ravens are 1-4 during that stretch.

McGahee’s return to the game plan would serve two purpose for the Baltimore offense.

First, it would provide the Ravens with a legitimate threat to run between the tackles, something Rice does not provide. The 5-foot-8 back is more effective running from spread-out formations and getting into open space.

Two, it would improve the likelihood of Rice’s smaller frame holding up for the entire 16-game schedule. Though Rice carried the ball 380 times for Rutgers in 2007, that same durability cannot be guaranteed at the pro level. When you have another legitimate option at tailback, why take the risk in finding out?

McGahee needs to be more involved. No excuses.

***

If you’re sitting there thinking I didn’t address the secondary, kicker, or coaching questions, you’re absolutely right.

To be perfectly honestly, I’m not sure how to address the secondary at this point.

Do you blitz more, leaving your defense more susceptible to the big play, or play with more help in pass coverage, hoping for your front four to reach the quarterback eventually? Is rookie Lardarius Webb a better option than Fabian Washington?

As for the kicking job, would Mike Nugent or Billy Cundiff really be any better than Steve Hauschka?

Is Mattison in over his head, or is the talent holding this defense back?

All are questions for which I don’t have a definitive answer.

Remember, you only get THREE realistic suggestions.

Maybe that isn’t enough to fix the Ravens, but that’s all you’re getting.

Make them count.

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When Life Gives You Lemons – Read My Blogs …..

Posted on 20 October 2009 by Rex Snider

Stover Would’ve Made It …..

Damn, it felt good to say it. And, as preposterous and pig-headed as it sounds, you know the prospect of Matt Stover, lined up for a 44 yarder, crossed your mind. You envisioned it – DON’T LIE TO ME …..

I’m not sitting here saying “WHAT IF ….”

It’s impractical. But, more than a few Baltimore football loyalists have been wondering how Steve Hauschka would fare when finally fronted with a crucial game-deciding field goal attempt.

You’ve been to Training Camp – it’s easy to put the ball between the uprights on a steamy summer morning, in Westminster.

You’ve also been to the pre-game festivities, at M&T Bank Stadium, when kickers display their version of batting practice homeruns, with 60 yard field goals.

You’ve watched Steve Hauschka convert extra points and “low-pressure” field goals without much regard for his game breaking ability.

You waited for Sunday’s game to get here. It’s HERE. And, now, the Ravens have another thing to worry about, because everybody has this uneasy feeling in their stomach. One thing will cure it – getting another chance and making it.

Until that time arrives, we’re gonna allow lots of crazy things to cross our minds.

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Steve Bisciotti- Wasting Money ??? Say It Isn’t So …..

For years, we’ve been told the Ravens owner is a guy who’s made his money the old fashioned way – he’s earned it. We know the real-life accounts …..

A modest childhood, in Anne Arundel County …..

Working his way through school, including Salisbury State University …..

Starting his own business, with little more than an insatiable desire to succeed …..

Steve Bisciotti isn’t living the American Dream. HE IS THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Right?

Every person living within the borders of this great country knows the economy has truly struggled over the past couple years. Times are tough – and we’re subsidizing some companies, while bailing-out others.

Whenever I see a corporation that has landed in the lap of dysfunction and desperation, I’ve wondered “Hmmm …. How would Steve Bisciotti feel about this?” Does he support the free rides given to GM, Chrysler and AIG?

I’ve never observed Steve Bisciotti as a guy who wastes money. By all accounts, he appears to be a MONEY MAKING MACHINE – and correct in virtually every business decision.

But, now, I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m wondering if Maryland’s Most Notable Gazillionaire is feeling duped by his staff’s decision to give Domonique Foxworth enough money to buy 540 brand spanking new Corvettes?

Yes, that would be Domonique “The 27 Million Dollar Man” Foxworth …..

The return on investment? Well, he really looks good while chasing guys – who have a football in their hands, huh? Actually, Foxworth wasn’t the most pedestrian member of the Defensive Secondary, on Sunday, but he’s still done very little to earn that new contract.

In all fairness, the Ravens owner and his staff have made good signings, as well …..

But, I do wonder what “Bank Bags” Bisciotti is thinking these days …..

The Return of “Little Bill” on Nickelodeon

If you’re a parent of a son or daughter under 25 years old, you certainly remember the hit Nickelodeon cartoon, “Little Bill.” It featured storylines from a book series, by Bill Cosby.

Well, I’m happy to report I’ve started writing the screenplay for “Little Bill – 2,” which I will be submitting for Mr. Cosby’s review. I plan on keeping it elementary and consistent with the preceding version.

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In “Little Bill – 2,” our main character, Little Bill, played by John Harbaugh, imitates his hero, Big Bill, played by Bill Belichick. And, with normal human instinct, Little Bill repeats his role model’s moves, mannerisms and quotes.

Look for Harbs, as he continues coining his trademark Belichick bytes …..

“They scored more points ….”

“We need to do a better job ….”

“We will work hard ….”

Thanks, coach. Can we quote you on that? By the way, it seems more credible for coaches with fists full of Super Bowl rings to do things as they please. Whereas, the coaches who are still learning the job and the town, itself, might want to be a little more endearing and cooperative.

When the Patriots lose a couple games (which hardly happens), the fans can rely on the team’s record of FOUR SUPER BOWL appearances, in eight seasons, as evidence that things will be okay. Bill Belichick has the “cred” to bluntly suggest “don’t worry about it” in very few words.

Where did John Harbaugh develop such a resume’ ???

He hasn’t …..

Thus, when reporters and fans ask for some reassurance or hopeful outlook, would it be too hard a task to elaborate a little bit? In fairness to Coach Harbaugh, I’m not referring to the post-game pressers, when emotions still run high.

But, the dramatic three word clichés, as a formidable response to a plausible question, a day later, are not acceptable. Oh, they might be allowed, per policy. But, it’s as unacceptable as the efforts of some players.

So, repeat after me ……

BIG BILL
LITTLE BILL

BIG BILL
LITTLE BILL

See the difference ???

Well, well, well …..

In fairness to Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh, his former D-Coordinator – turned Head Coach of the New York Jets, hasn’t been spewing his very quotable and borderline pompous remarks lately …..

I guess that’s what a ‘lil bit of losing can do for you, huh?

Damn, it was getting to the point where I was starting to avoid another guy named “Rex.”

What’s Sexy-Rexy gonna do if his team keeps doing stupid things, or if young Mark San-CHISE keeps throwing strikes to players in the wrong colored jerseys?

If things don’t work in the Big Apple, I would think Mr. Bisciotti would borrow some money from Domonique Foxworth, and lure his former D-Coordinator back to Bawlmer, for a promotion to D-Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/Official Team Spokesman …..

Seriously, can you imagine this exchange …..

Reporter – “Coach, what happened out there today ???”

Rex Ryan – “They scored more points.” “We will circle the wagons.” “We are men.” “By the way, that’s a good question.” “Our players are tough.” “Play Like A Raven.” “Thanks for the good question.”

Nah – NOT A CHANCE !!!!

The Trade Deadline Arrives …..

We will finish this off in the spirit of all good Orioles fans …..

To recognize the looming NFL’s trade deadline, I’d like to propose the following possible deals …..

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Frank Walker, Prescott Burgess, the rights to former Raven Dan Cody, a Michael Phelps’ autographed bong and a handpainted portrait of Al Davis on the underbelly of a blue crab ….. to the Oakland Raiders for Nnamdi Asomugha

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Justin Harper, Jason Phillips, Samari Rolle, the rights to former Raven Leon Searcy, an autographed copy of his new novel “Burning Down The House” by Peter Angelos and an unopened suitcase found floating in the inner harbor ….. to the Cincinnati Bengals for Rey Maualuga

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Willis McGahee, the rights to former Raven Chris McAlister, any future rights to Brandon Marshall and Anquan Boldin, an authentic Anita Marks-Miami Fury jersey and a pair of New York Yankees panties ….. to the New England Patriots for Randy Moss and Steven Gostkowski.

Let The Countdown Begin …..

Without providing any free advertising to other Baltimore radio stations, we have just 19 days until the start of 24/7 Christmas music on one particular affiliate …..

Merry Christmas & Happy Halloween !!!!

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A Beautiful Monday – With Mycheal Miller, Ray Bachmann, Mike Preston, Bruce Laird & Josh Hall ….

Posted on 14 September 2009 by Rex Snider

Every Monday will bring about the challenge of creating an innovative and thought provoking message ….

You’re being swamped with “Call Stover” ….. “Call Rex Ryan” ….. “Call Lorenzo Neal” & “Call Kyle Boller” blogs, right? Okay, let’s not go that far ……

But, you know what I mean !!!!

How often can yesterday’s performance be swallowed, digested and regurgitated – over the course of the next couple days? It’s gonna happen and we all know it. Thus, I’m hoping to provide a more original message, while not losing sight of the magic revolving around a fresh new football season.

Here are a few of my observations from gameday, as well as the morning after …..

My first recollection regards yesterday’s SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ. We were wrong, and that goes for the staff, guests and callers. All of us predicted a beatdown of great magnitude.

I only spoke with ONE cautious dissenter, over the span of 7 days. This morning, I’ll tip my cap to Ray Bachmann. He called it. He thought the Ravens would win – but, in regard to the Chiefs, he said, “they’ll hang around.” He reasoned “this is the NFL.”

Ray was right.

You watched the game – I watched the game – nearly everyone watched the game. We can break it down in virtually every possible way. But, in truth, when December rolls around, September 13th will be in the WIN column. Period …..

At this point, attention turns to the West Coast and the San Diego Chargers. If San Diego lays an egg against Oakland, tonight, will the Ravens look that much better? Or, will the same Chargers team featuring LaDanian Tomlinson, Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates be looked at as a lethal dose of OFFENSE?

Honestly, I think the first few weeks of the NFL season are a “wash.” Teams haven’t exhibited enough consistent vulnerabilities for opponents to exploit. It’s too early to suggest each team that played poorly in Week #1 will continue with the same habits in following weeks.

History says so ……

And, history doesn’t lie. A team or two that played poorly, this week, will be playing football in mid-January. Bet on it.

The Ravens didn’t play poorly. But, they didn’t wipe their feet with the pulverized carcasses of the Kansas City Chiefs, either. Relax – its one week, and the Ravens are tied for 1st place, with a 1-0 record.

Aside from the game, I’ve made a few more observations ……

The Orioles Succeed Where The Ravens FAIL …..

Yep, I said it. And, trust me it’s a very hollow and meaningless victory for the O’s brass. It regards something off the field. It specifically involves pre-game entertainment. Amazed?

Each game, the Orioles offer a different rendition and performance of the National Anthem. Think about it – virtually every genre’ and demographic representation of musician are covered.

From children to adults, amateurs to Grammy award winners and everything in between, you can count on the Orioles providing an original sampling of the Star Spangled Banner, whenever the gates open.

Not the Ravens.

Before EVERY Ravens home game, Mycheal Miller, struts to the microphone and does a GREAT JOB performing the National Anthem. No argument, the rendition is nearly flawless.

But, please give someone else a shot. It’s called VARIETY. How can this happen? Does Steve Bisciotti love some “Double M” on gameday? Maybe, Mr. Miller has a really rich uncle who likes seeing him perform?

Hey, something’s going on …..

Get Mike Preston A Gardening Guide …..

I was lumbering through a lazy Monday morning, and I wanted something mundane to lullaby me back into a coma. I’ve watched nearly every Bob Ross painting episode – you know ….. the white dude, with a huge Afro. It’s classic “Bedtime @ 2pm” stuff …..

Without the painting show, I tuned into “Monday Morning Quarterback,” on MASN. It features Tom Davis, Bruce Laird and Mike Preston. The webcam is beautiful – Tom Davis was dressed like Johnny Cash, albeit a BIG Johnny Cash.

But, it was really Preston and Laird who stole the show …..

The topic of players “slipping” on the field surface came up and Mike Preston coyly suspected the slick conditions could be attributed to how recently “they watered the field.”

Hey Mike, it’s an ARTIFICIAL SURFACE. It’s comprised of ground-up tires. Perhaps, we should see if the tires used in the process were “radials?” Yep, I’m here all week …..

Bruce Laird’s Math …. 2 + 2 = 5 …..

When asked about the overall quality of play, Laired reasoned “more teams LOSE, than WIN” on a weekly basis. Huh?

Mike Preston’s “Humble” Approach …..

Johnny Cash, umm I mean Tom Davis, asked Mike Preston about his “Report Card” that appears in The Sun, on Monday mornings. Without hesitation, Mike confided it’s the “most read” article by Ravens players. They’re eager to know what GRADE they’ve earned.

I harbor absolutely no doubt that Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice crawled outta bed this morning to find out if they’re on Mike Preston’s “Honor Roll.” That’s funny – I thought these guys were motivated by winning and money.

Josh Hall is a STAR …..

I’ll finish this off by tipping my cap to SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ producer, Josh Hall. Yesterday, we debuted a new segment “Josh versus …..” and the boy-wonder went 4-1 against the spread.

Way to go, Josh ……

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Ravens Preview

Posted on 02 September 2009 by kevinpb

I decided to do my preview of the 2009 season after the Carolina pre-season game because I hope that the first line offense and defense does not even get on the field in Atlanta, in fact, don’t even let them board the plane to go to Atlanta. I have seen all I need to see to know that the 2009 Baltimore Ravens are going to be a formidable team.
If they were an NFC team they would be the odds on favorite to get to the Super Bowl. Since they play in the AFC they are one of 3 or 4 teams that can make it to the mid February classic.

There is a lot to like about the 2009 Ravens. But I think the most interesting thing regarding this year’s version of the Ravens is the continued shift in vision of the team. The change in vision and/or direction was set in motion with the firing of Brian Billick 2 years ago. The firing of Coach Billick was as much an indictment of make up of the team as it was a reflection of the poor record in the year in which he was fired. In fact, when it became clear that the players which led the team in the direction it was heading did not support the coach, Brian Billick’s fate was sealed.

The second indication that a change was coming was the passing over of Rex Ryan as head coaching candidate for the Ravens. This would have continued this team on a course of defensive dominance for years to come. Let’s face it, the Ravens are not a sexy team. Even if you are the most devout fan they can be painful to watch at times. They were the NFL’s version of old pick up truck, strong, steady, tough and dependable. Unfortunately, this old truck occasionally had trouble with the sleek sports cars of the NFL. No where was this more evident then in the 2006 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. I still can’t even watch a replay of that game to this day. All I remember thinking about that loss was that, “it was our type of game and we still lost.”

The third indication that things were about to change at the castle, was John Harbaugh’s hiring of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator. Cameron has a distinguished and successful career as an offensive coordinator. His offenses have over the years have had good rushing attacks some years and good passing attacks in others. His system is adaptable to the player’s talents, instead of trying to make the players fit into a rigid system.

What Ozzie Newsome set in motion was to take the intensity and passion that the defense played with and transfer it to the offense. To his credit, he started rebuilding the offensive line with an attitude. Once the great Jonathan Ogden retired, the die was cast and the rebuilding of the offensive line became of paramount importance. There was a two pronged shift in philosophy too. The first part of this change was subtle. Originally, it was the Raven’s plan to draft lineman in the later rounds and develop them and then sign older veterans to bolster the weaknesses on the line. After the loss to the Colts that year you saw the Raven’s start to draft offensive lineman with their higher draft picks. Ozzie selected Ben Grubbs in the 1st round, then stole Jared Gaither in the supplemental draft. Marshall Yanda came in the 3rd round as did Adam Terry a few years earlier. Finally, this past year, Ozzie selects Michael Oher again in the first round. Once it was evident that the Raven’s could not keep Jason Brown, Ozzie went back to his old standby and signed a veteran free agent to complete this unit.

The second part of the shift in philosophy of the offensive line was to get away from just sheer bulk and get more athletic. I have watched enough football to know that this offensive line is going to be something special. They are big, strong, fast, athletic and nasty. Gaither is the thoroughbred, and has Ogden’s stamp of approval. Grubbs is the athletic one. Yanda and Oher are just good ole nasty boys. Matt Birk is the point guard that keeps it all together. As the year goes on, this unit will become one of the best in football. Gaither and Oher are big and athletic enough to overpower most and contend with the speed rushers off the edge. Grubbs might be the best pulling guard in the league and Yanda is just a road grader. Chris Chester played well last year filling in for Yanda and is our main back up in the middle of the line. Losing Adam Terry for the year hurts because he was an adequate back up on either side of the line at tackle. Do not be surprised if you see Ozzie bring in a veteran tackle after cut down day to help with depth.

The running back by committee was terrific last year. In fact, it was a brilliant idea that camouflaged the fact that our number one running back failed to report to camp in shape and was not ready to carry the load even though he was paid to do so. I shudder to think what would have happened to Joe Flacco if it were not for Ray Rice and LeRon McClain. After watching the preseason Willis McGahee is relegated to 2nd team, LeRon McClain is the short yardage back and lead fullback; Ray Rice will carry the load. This is the type of back the Cam Cameron likes. He is a quick shifty runner that catches the ball well out of the backfield. Ray Rice is going to have a spectacular year. He is short in stature but is powerfully built. He runs low to the ground, explodes in the hole and changes direction on dime. As my cousin said to me, on that swing pass he caught in the Carolina preseason game where he did the step back, “he looked like Barry Sanders on that play”.

The wide receivers have caused the most consternation amongst the fans, and rightfully so. Thank God, Derrick Mason did not retire!!! Derrick Mason is the consummate professional and really is the heart of our offense. I thought it was interesting last week when Bart Scott made the comment that the real coach of the Ravens in 2008 was Rex Ryan, the only player that felt compelled to say something was Derrick Mason. That being said, both Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams have NFL talent, but their inability to stay healthy does not lend itself to having confidence in these two. Enter Kelley Washington. He has been a pleasant surprise in camp and has had success in the preseason games. He is currently lining up as the number 2 receiver. He is big, strong and fast and he looks to be able to contribute on offense. It is clear that the Raven’s are going to need some production out of either Clayton or Williams to go along with Mason and Washington. If the Ravens keep a fifth receiver it looks that it might be Justin Harper only by default. Todd Heap seems to have resurfaced in the offense and if he can stay healthy he gives us another credible threat down the field. LJ Smith is hurt again; enough said. Do not be surprised to see Ozzie scour the waiver wire after cut down day for help at either wide receiver and/or tight end.

The main reason why the Ravens will continue to be a relevant team and why, barring mounting injuries, they will break the cycle of one good year followed by one bad year is the quarterback. Yes fans, Joe Flacco is that good. I am not trying to anoint him the next Johnny Unitas, nor will I even go so far as to call him Bert Jones…yet. He is only in his second year and there are mistakes to be made, but the kid has IT! He is smart and has a much better handle on the offense. He has a laser arm. He also has a tremendously quick release and is deadly accurate. Did you see the touchdown pass he threw to Todd Heap in the Carolina preseason game? He put the ball the only place it could be. In that same game, he laid out a long ball perfectly down the sideline to Kelley Washington, over the outside shoulder where only our receiver could catch it. It is amazing how much more open our receivers look when Joe Flacco is throwing them the ball. Joe Flacco is now the shining jewel of this franchise and will be a terrific quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens for several years.

There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about our defense and all of the accolades they have received over the years have been deserved. There have been many variations of our vaunted defense over the years with only one remaining constant. I mentioned earlier in this piece that the Ravens are changing direction, and that is true; but as long as Number 52 is in the middle of the defense, we will never totally lose our identity as a defensive minded football team. Whether you like him or not, he has been the heart, body, mind and soul of this football team for a long time. He is on the very short list of greatest linebackers of all time. The defensive line is stout, but some key players are getting a little long in the tooth. Kelly Gregg and Trevor Pryce have to continue to perform at a high level. Justin Bannan filled in well for Gregg last year. Haloti Ngata is a superstar waiting to happen. The key retainee was Terrell Suggs, who is counted on to pressure the quarterback. Second round draft pick, Paul Kruger is touted as a high energy guy in the mold of Michael McCrary. I guess that is why they gave him that number. The Ravens have significant depth at the defensive line positions with the likes of Dwan Edwards, Kelly Talivou and Brandon McKinney.

At linebacker the team is also loaded. The starters will be, Ray Lewis, Jarrett Johnson, Tavares Gooden and Terrell Suggs. Ray Lewis is a Hall of Famer. Terrell Suggs is a Pro Bowl player. Jarrett Johnson plays at that same level but is somewhat overlooked and Jameel McClain will push Gooden for the other starting inside spot. Paul Kruger will back up Terrell Suggs and learn the hybrid defensive lineman/linebacker position that Suggs has evolved into. Antwan Barnes will be brought in on special situations to pressure the quarterback. That leaves a chore of other good football players fighting for one or two back up spots at linebacker. Brendon Ayanbadejo will most likely retain one of those spots due to his special teams status and there is probably one more spot for a trio of players, Prescott Burgess, Jason Phillips and Dannell Ellerbe. I like the mix of veteran leadership with young athletic talent in this group. This position will remain a strength of the team.

The secondary has gone through a transformation. Gone is Chris McAlister; and, at least for a little while, so is Samari Rolle. Fabian Washington covered well last year as a starter, but my mother hits harder and tackles better. Dominque Foxworth was acquired in the off season to replace McAlister and is exactly the type of free agent pick up that makes Ozzie Newsome so dangerous. He is still a young and improving corner and could develop into an elite player, but there are questions concerning his tackling ability as well. It may take him a while to learn how to play defense for the Ravens but he has a chance to become a really good cornerback. As big as Jim Leonard played last year, I am extremely happy to see Dawan Landry back at strong safety. I think he is a big time player and is great in run support. His ability to play close to the line will let Ed Reed continue to do what he does best; roam the field and take the ball away. Reed is a gambler and he will get burned occasionally, but when he gets the ball in his hands he is pure magic. I just wish he would stop trying to lateral the ball all over the field. Ed’s lingering neck and shoulder problem is a growing concern and should be monitored closely. Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura provide excellent depth and special teams play. Nakamura especially has shown flashes of being able to step in and play safety at a high level. In years past, I have always cringed when our first team cornerbacks have gone down, but the last 2 years Ozzie Newsome has done a good job of building depth at this position. Samari Rolle was brought back to play the nickel back and Chris Carr was signed to add depth and return kicks. I have been impressed with 3rd round draft pick, Lardarius Webb. I first saw him at training camp and I am impressed with his attitude and skills. He does not look afraid and he looks to be a pretty good cornerback once he gets some experience. With Samari Rolle starting the season on the IR list, it seems that Frank Walker has received a reprieve and will start the season with the team. While Frank played effectively toward the end of last year, his propensity for committing stupid penalties and his less then effective play this preseason has landed him squarely on the bubble. There is not a lot of experience here, especially with Rolle on the shelf. This is another area that the Ravens may look to improve themselves after cut down day.

Over the years, I have been very critical of Sam Koch as a punter. I did not think he was bad, I was just frustrated by his inability to hit the big kick at times to get the team out of a hole. Whenever he needed to boom one it seemed as though he couldn’t do it. Most point to his ability to place the ball inside the 20 yard line as an indication that he was a high caliber punter. Let’s be clear, there is not a more overrated stat in football, then how many times a punter places the ball inside the 20 yard line on a punt. I have never thought that such a stat was a productive measurement of any punter. That being said, I have to admit that Sam Koch is growing on me, his distance on punts has improved, his hang time has improved and he has become adept at directional punting, pinning the return man against one sideline or the other. Chris Carr was impressive as a returner at Tennessee. He fields the ball well and gets upfield quickly. He gives us the same thing Jim Leonard did last year returning punts with more speed and possibly more ability to take one to the house.

One of the biggest stories in training camp has been the competition for kicker. To be perfectly frank, I don’t understand what Coach Harbaugh is trying to accomplish. I understand that Matt Stover cannot get the distance on kick offs and that adversely effects our ability to defend since it shortens the field for the other team. There is a noticeable trend of opponents starting field position increasing yearly. So I applaud the idea of finding a kicker that is able to kick the ball in the endzone or forcing the opponent’s returner to field the kick closer to the endzone. I have noticed this preseason that we have done a much better limiting the opponents starting field position. However, the 2 kickers in camp have not shown the ability to routinely kick the ball in the endzone and have relied mainly again on directional kicking to pin the return to one side of the field or other. They have also failed to show that they have the ability to hit field goals with any consistency. What it comes down to is this; for a team that is expecting to be in the thick of a playoff run, does it make sense for anyone else other then Matt Stover to kick field goals for this team. I don’t think so.

Those in charge at the castle have proven over the years that they know how to build and run a football team, that cannot be argued; but their strategy regarding the kicking game does not make any sense to me. All I know is that on Sunday, December 27, 2009 at Heinz Field, when it is 17-17 with 1:22 to go in the fourth quarter, the wind is blowing and the flurries are falling and the field is mud pit when the Ravens kick team trots out on the field to try the winning field goal, the only person I want kicking that ball is Automatic Matt.

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