Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., Oct. 2

October 02, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., Oct. 2

Ray Lewis once asked for a “big guy to plug up the middle” so he wouldn’t have to do so much second-level tackling as he entered the second decade of his illustrious career.

Enter Haloti Ngata in 2006.

Joe Flacco might not have specifically asked for more protection in the wake of the Ravens 2-2 start, but he got it Tuesday night when Eugene Monroe was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ozzie Newsome invested at least $60 million in Flacco last spring — and that investment deserves the utmost protection it can get, which is exactly why Monroe is coming to Baltimore and Bryant McKinnie is likely headed to the bench.

It’s fair to note — more than fair, actually – that McKinnie hasn’t been the worst o-line performer for the Ravens over the first four weeks of the season.  Not even close.  But when you can pry away a guy like Monroe from a moribund franchise who appears to be in the beginning stages of a fire sale, you do it.  Monroe should be the team’s left tackle of the future as long as he can be re-signed when his contract expires at the end of the season…or extended before that day arrives.

This deal, though, was as much about the team’s quarterback as it was anything else.  You can’t cough up $29 million in cash and roughly $60 million over three years and then let that prized possession run around for his life Sunday-after-Sunday.  It just doesn’t make business sense, let alone football sense.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if at some point over the last couple of weeks, owner Steve Bisciotti at least nudged Newsome once or twice during a game and said, “Hey…I don’t know much…but I know I wired a bunch of money into Joe’s account last April and I’d have a complete cow if he gets carted off the field with a blown-up knee because our line can’t protect him.  Let’s get some better people in here…”

That’s how the guy who writes the checks thinks.  And rightfully so, I should add.

Shockingly – and I assume these are folks who don’t actually look at the scoreboard when the games end – there are still folks in town who dismiss Flacco’s ability and always heap credit somewhere else anytime #5 has success.  That’s fine…debate makes the world go ’round.  But, one thing that can’t be debated is this:  If you’re going to give a player $60 million, you then must go out of your way to over-protect him, which is precisely what the Ravens have done.

If only Monroe could also play center, offensive guard, wide receiver, tight end and cornerback.

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It was only one game, but the Capitals looked “different” than I’ve seen them in previous years when they opened the season with a Tuesday night loss in Chicago, 6-4.

Call it the “Adam Oates influence” or maybe it’s as simple as the fact that Oates had an entire training camp to work with his team – unlike last season – but last night’s effort looked more polished, with more speed, more transition ability, and better puck control in the offensive end.  The power play sure looked great, right up until the final three minutes when Washington couldn’t capitalize on a 5-on-3 situation.  Braden Holtby let a couple of softees get by him, including the eventual game-winner with six minutes left, but his play in the 2nd period kept the Caps in the game long enough for Ovechkin and Company to rally in the 3rd period and take a brief lead at 4-3.

I still don’t know if Washington’s defense is good enough, with Mike Green always more interested in an offensive role than a defensive one — and John Erskine still being…well…John Erskine — but if Tuesday’s offensive effort was any indication of what’s to come, things might perk up at the Verizon Center this season.

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That was one helluva scene last night in Pittsburgh for the Pirates-Reds wild card game.

As we saw in Baltimore last October, these cities who once prided themselves on their baseball team only to see them get ripped apart by bad ownership have a lot of pent-up energy to let loose once a game that matters rolls around.

Those people were completely nuts last night at PNC Park.

It was really cool to see.

Now…about those Steelers.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    How can the Caps have briefly led 5 to 4 and ended up losing 6 to 4? Didn’t we have a back and fourth last year about the high cost of attending O’s games and you tried to tell me I was dead wrong? I rest my case!
    You sir, are the fly and I am the Windshield today!

  2. The Armchair QB Says:

    Good move by the Ravens! Now, they need to address the TE dilemma because they just can’t compete with this inept trio……

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    Well from what I hear the guy is a journeyman but at least we get some depth now. Only time will tell sometimes guys who play for bad teams will step it up. If the O line does not get better Joes headed for surgery.

  4. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    The Ravens had a problem & they go out & address the problem. The O’s have a problem & they don’t address the problem. That’s why the Ravens win & the O’s play 500 ball & sit home watching the playoffs !!!

  5. John in Westminster Says:

    It appears McKinnie’s days are numbered and that the Sweet Pea incident was the last straw.

  6. Jason Manelli Says:

    Unitas…Monroe was drafted by the Jags before he was dealt to us, so I don’t think that makes him a journeyman. The ghost of Leon Searcy will forever haunt any deal for a Jag O lineman though.

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    Thanks Jason. Should have said average.

  8. OVER40DON Says:

    Drew, these A.M. post are getting boring, very little chatter. Come on ruffle some feathers somewhere !

  9. Chuck Says:

    “A big guy to plug up the middle”

    Uh, no. Not even if after several drinks or a knock on the head.

  10. BK Says:

    Good, low cost move with Monroe. At least the Ravens asses the situation and try to fix the problem.

    Dan – Drew said 4-3, so I have no idea where you are getting the 5-4 notion?

    Drew- You get on some of us and throw out sarcastic comments about providing soccer and golf info, but at least those are USA or national coverages. Then you keep going on about the Caps? Who cares about the Caps? Spare us the details about a crappy, wanna be ice hockey franchise locating in DC! Hell, they even carry the DC name and not even a Maryland associated name. They are a Washington DC/N. Virginia team. Most of us up here could care less if they folded the franchise tomorrow. There is no real ice hockey following in Baltimore anymore and certainly not a NHL team here.

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