LETTERS 2 TL ~ LET’S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALRIGHT

Lombardi's Way LETTERS 2 TL ~ LET’S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALRIGHT

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WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?
 
TL,
 
I noticed on your blog that WNST gave you the elbow and forced you off the air.  I also read where FANMAN opined that there might be some jealousy on the part of Bruce Cunningham and that may have been the driving force behind GAMETIME getting the boot.  That got me to thinking…I never recall Bruce ever acknowledging your radio show or website on his program and I found that to be unusual, you know?  I did hear you mention his show and Aaron Wilson but never the other way around.  In fact I remember Bruce saying something to the affect that anyone can put together a website and then call themselves a member of the media.  I wondered about that when he said it and then FANMAN’s comment made me think more about it.
 
And then there was your little dig at him about Ronnie Prude.  What gives?  I enjoy both of your shows.  What’s wrong with having two quality Ravens shows on the air?  As far as I see it, the fans lost out on this exchange.
 
Can’t we all get along?
 
Joe B., Perry Hall
 
Joe,
 
I can’t speak for Bruce and I didn’t hear his comments about our site or websites in general whichever the case may be.
 
Am I a member of the media?  Well I can tell you that I’ve always considered myself a fan first and through the good graces of the Ravens, they’ve allowed us access to the players, coaches and front office.  In essence we combine that access with the passion of a fan and deliver 24×7.  We bring that same passion and work ethic to our show GAMETIME and WE are our harshest critics.  Nothing that Bruce says or doesn’t say will change that.
 
I won’t hesitate to tell you that I’ve always enjoyed the Saturday Ravens Show on WNST.  And as long as Aaron Wilson is part of that show, I always will.  When WNST first introduced us on their Morning Show, I stated clearly and unequivocally that Bruce’s show set the bar for Ravens-centric programming.  And we will do our best to try and match it for the benefit of our listening audience.
 
We’ll be back with GAMETIME, I can promise you that!
 
As for my comments on Bruce referring to Ronnie Prude as Perdue three times, I didn’t make the mistakes – he did.  I simply pointed them out just as I would if the scoreboard operator made the same mistake three times or if Kyle Boller tripped three times.  Well ok, I admit I reported on Kyle after only two trips…but you get the point.  It wasn’t personal and I wish Bruce well.  Now had he screwed up three times on Mathias Kiwanuka I may not have said a word.
 
Can we all get along?  Why not?  Let’s do it!
 
Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends….
 
TL
 
YOU GUYS AREN’T TOO SAPPY
 
TL,
 
While it seems everyone is praising the play of McNair, as well as Mike and Musa Smith, I can’t help but wonder why no one is commenting on the play of Gerome Sapp. He did a stunning job as SS especially in a new system. He made several excellent tackles and coverage plays that really helped me relax on what was going to happen with that position. He did so well I was even thinking, "Will Demps who?"
 
Ben, Jarrettsville, MD
 
Ben,
 
I didn’t quite see Sapp’s play the way you did.  He made a very nice play in the end zone on a pass from Eli Manning intended for Plaxico Burress.  That I recall.  So I looked at the official stats and he only registered two tackles, one after a 7 yard completion to David Tyree and another in the second quarter when he assisted Dennis Haley to stop rookie RB James Sims for no gain – the same James Sims who had 7 carries for -3 yards.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I like Sapp (after all he does a weekly piece for us) and I’ve been saying that the concerns over the other safety position are overblown in my opinion because Demps hasn’t played well for a couple of seasons.  Sapp is capable of filling Demps’ shoes but comparing his performance to that of McNair and the two Smiths is a bit of a stretch for me.
 
Good overall effort though and I really liked his positioning on Burress in the end zone.  That’s a play that Demps would not have made last year.
 
Welcome home Gerome,
 
TL
 
TICKING AWAY THE MOMENTS THAT MAKE UP A DULL DAY
 
TL,
 
You wrote [in your Post Game Analysis]:
 
"Kyle Boller’s two minute drill to conclude the first half was hardly a symphony.  On three consecutive plays Boller threw short between the hash marks with 1:00 to go.  After finally going downfield to Demetrius Williams for 23 yards, the offense wasted 14 valuable seconds by running to the line of scrimmage to dirt the ball when a timeout would have been more appropriate.  That left the team with just 10 seconds to work with meaning just one play before a field goal attempt.  Those 24 ticks could have provided at least two shots at the end zone." 
 
Taking a timeout after the pass to DWill could have left the Ravens in a bad situation with no timeouts remaining.  A pass completed in bounds or a sack could have erased the entire clock after unpiling and getting lined back up, or erased a good portion of it if they chose to spike the ball.  I would have liked to have seen 2 shots at the end zone in that situation, but IMO all that time was burned up on those pointless dump off plays to the hash marks earlier in the 2 minute drill.
 
Mike Firestine
 
Mike,
 
I agree about the dump offs but I have to ask, did they ever use the timeout?  No!  They took a shot at the end zone, failed and then kicked the field goal with about 3 seconds left on the clock.  Put that 14 seconds back on and you get that extra shot or two at the end zone.  That timeout did nothing for them up on the scoreboard as they headed in for the half.  With under 25 seconds to go and already within field goal range, most coordinators would take the extra 14 seconds over the time out.
 
Take the T.O.,
 
TL
 
IF YOU FALSE START ME UP
 
Tony,
 
What I think would be neat, would be a weekly break down of how teams will attack the Ravens, and vice versa.
 
For instance, I don’t think many teams will try and run a 2 TE set and run on our Steeler Package, as that is a man for man match up we win 99% of the time.  So, how do people attack the Ravens defense?  Three wide sets?  Pro formation with play action?  Match up issues, etc.  And since we have a balanced team for once, I think it can really be fun.
 
So, on another note, what do you think is the over/under for the number of false starts by the O-line at home this year?
 
Mark Considine
 
Mark,
 
I’ll put that over/under at 12 but maybe I’m being optimistic.  I know that you’ve been to camp so you know that the offensive line has worked extensively on the hard count to keep defenses off balance.  I hope they maintain the discipline that they seem to be developing in camp.
 
Good points about the matchup issues against the Ravens.  It should be fun to watch and the versatility of the Ravens’ defense should work to their advantage against most clubs.  The one team that seems to present matchup problems for the Ravens is Cincinnati.  That’s why it’s important to develop some of these young DB’s like Prude, Martin and Pittman.  The Ravens won’t face the Bengals until week 9 (Game # 8).  That should help the Ravens as the rookies gain valuable experience.
 
Interesting that Rex refers to that personnel package as “Steeler” isn’t it?
 
Why don’t you steel away,
 
TL
 
A SCRIMMAGE IS A SCRIMMAGE
 
TL,
 
I agree with your article about the scrimmage. "Dough not panic!" as Sam Adams said in his United Way commercial some years ago.
 
I think last year, the Raven’s got the best of the Redskins in the scrimmage. But who went to the playoffs and who went 6-10?
 
Andy S.
 
Andy,
 
Well said!  I liken camp, the scrimmage and the preseason games to a band that is working through chords to a new song.  It doesn’t matter so much what it looks like or how it sounds at this point.  What matters is how it looks and sounds when the lights go on the day of the main event and for the Ravens that takes place on September 10, 2006 at 1 PM at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
 
Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal,
 
TL
 
RELAX DON’T DO IT
 
TL,
 
You wrote [again in Post Game Analysis]:
 
The stats will show a pick six.  What they won’t show is that McNair properly read a blitz and found one of his hot reads in Devard Darling.  The stats won’t show that the inexperienced receiver cut off his route – a cardinal sin for a receiver particularly in a blitzing situation.
 
YOURS is the only publication that EXPLAINED why the interception happened. I didn’t panic when I first read it, but I did think it was a bit uncharacteristic of McNair. Now, with the information in context, it makes complete sense – McNair DID do the right thing, and got hung out to dry by a receiver not doing his job.
 
Thanks for the COMPLETE info and context!
 
Bill Duck, Salisbury, MD
 
Bill,
 
It’s my pleasure and my job…media member or not!
 
It’s all good,
 
TL

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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