SLASH TO GET THE CASH?

Lombardi's Way SLASH TO GET THE CASH?

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PLEASE DON’T GO
 
TL,
 
I would like to find out how I can express my concern about signing Adalius Thomas . I go to every game and think the fans deserve a say in this matter. How about a Bisciotti email of combined fan support of A.D. He is a good player and a good Baltimore guy. We can not afford to lose him.
 
Sonny Kuhn
 
Sonny,
 
The Ravens are a proud organization and it’s hard to find fault with the way Ozzie has managed the team. I think they know what’s best for their club now and long term a little better than we do. If they keep AD, I’ll trust that that is the right thing for the club. If they don’t, I’ll retain that same trust.
 
That being said, I will start a blog topic today on AD. If you and others chime in, I will happily email it to the Ravens. It can’t hurt, right?
 
To the future,
 
TL
 
HELP AT RB
 
TL,
 
Our draft in 2006 was strong (Ngata, Williams, Koch, Landry.) I don’t, however hear much about PJ Daniels. With our need for a RB, does he have potential? Musa Smith has looked real good at times but has been injury prone-are we giving up on him? I tend to think we will get Jamal back cheaply and would want to draft a different style back or 2 in the draft. Can’t see us giving up a #1 pick for Michael Turner (whether he is worth one or not).
 
Lew Oppenheimer
 
Lew,
 
P.J. put the ball on the turf during preseason games a couple of times and while that goes against his M.O. out of Georgia Tech, it was probably enough for Brian Billick to keep him inactive. Daniels isn’t very explosive but he can give you those tough yards. It will be interesting to see if he even sticks next season. The Ravens have too many backs that do the same thing in my opinion. It’s time to find a genuine change of pace back and I see the team spending a first day pick on a RB. Musa is an unrestricted free agent but given his inability to stay on the field (something that goes back to his days as a Georgia Bulldog) the team could part ways with Smith although his work ethic and special teams contributions are valued by the organization.
 
The club could explore free agency or make some sort of trade for a player like Michael Turner. Personally I think Turner is the real deal and worthy of a late first round pick. His “tires” have relatively low mileage for a player with 3 years of experience.  That will happen when you are behind LT on the depth chart.
 
But if they do upgrade the position via the draft, the Ravens might adopt a similar approach to the one they took in 2000 when Priest Holmes opened the season as the starter and eventually gave way to Jamal Lewis. New England used a slightly different approach with Corey Dillon and rookie Lawrence Maroney this season. Perhaps the Ravens will do the same with Mike Anderson and a young back. Something has to give because upgrading the rushing attack is a Ravens’ priority.
 
Cheers,
 
TL
 
HALL OF FAME

Dear Tony,

I love your take on the game and read you faithfully. This column today was really good.

I noticed there will be something going on vis-a-vis the Baltimore/Indy Colts and the Hall of Fame in Canton, OH soon. You referred to it twice. I am anticipating that this might be due to the fact that Indy may go all the way and finally get their own SB trophy. If so, there will be an Indy Colts Trophy finally. If that is what you are thinking, brother, I am on the same page.

Please put me on any email list you might have concerning getting the Baltimore Colts records segregated from the Indy Colts records. I still have a 1962 autograph book with the entire teams’ autographs and was a diehard season ticket holder until they left. Like you, if Canton would simply have a Baltimore Colts exhibit and a Indy Colts exhibit with segregated records, I think the NFL would solve the problem of almost all of us.

 
The blue and white and horseshoe does nothing for me now.

Thanks for the great work!

George (Nemo), a Lithuanian like Unitas

 
George,
 
We plan on making an announcement on an effort to rally the community to collectively plea their case with the hopes of separating the records and accomplishments of both clubs. Each city is deserving of the distinction. I don’t think Indianapolis embraces the Baltimore Colts heritage and it isn’t fair to Baltimore that our football heritage has been stolen.
 
If you read faithfully (and I can tell you do), you will know when we’re ready, trust me. Give us a couple of weeks.
 
To the Baltimore Horseshoe,
 
TL
 
WE CAN BUILD IT…WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER
 
TL,
 
Not sure why the Ravens abandoned the run. Jamal was averaging 5 yards a carry. Regardless it is what is and it is time to look to next season. There are really only a few holes: They need to upgrade RB, C, CB and special teams if BJ can’t recover.
 
Tony, your thoughts on the progress of the O-line? Brown, Chester, Vincent, Pashos? Are they the answer? They should franchise Thomas. He is 29 and it would give them leverage in negotiations for a longer term contract. If he plays the year under the Franchise [tag] he would be 30 before he became a free agent.
 
Sean Robertson, Arlington, VA
 
Sean,
 
As stated above, the Ravens will make changes in the backfield. It would be shocking if they don’t. I can easily see Flynn moving to a swing role as a reserve center/guard. Mulitalo could re-claim his job at LG and Jason Brown may move over to right guard. Chris Chester could become the center but I think they will look to build his strength in the offseason without sacrificing his speed. That said, his speed might be used better as a guard and given the stout defensive tackles in the AFC North, it isn’t hard to imagine Brown taking over at center.  Vincent could be a cap casualty particularly if the team thinks Rimpf can provide adequate depth.
 
The wild card here is Jonathan Ogden. I’m told that Ogden could retire if the Ravens choose to discard Flynn and Mulitalo, players close to J.O. If they return, even in reduced roles, I expect Ogden to do the same.
 
In speaking with Ravens Director of College Scouting Eric DeCosta, he told me that the Ravens’ priorities in the draft will be the offensive line and inside linebacker. I think CB will also be a consideration if they have determined that third round pick David Pittman can’t compete against NFL athletes. So far he has the makings of a bust.


 

 

I think the offensive line did a great job on whole this season and their run blocking was overly criticized. I think Jamal Lewis left a few hundred yards on the field over the course of the ’06 season. I do expect more versatility from the line next year even if the athletes remain the same. They can’t afford to so easily discard the value of draws and screens because the linemen either don’t possess or aren’t asked to demonstrate the prerequisite athleticism for such plays.
 
Tony Pashos is an example of a determined player who worked hard to improve. I believe he wants to stay in Baltimore but his price might be driven higher due to the laws of supply and demand.
 
AD is a tough call. If they don’t come to terms with him, I would expect a franchise tag if for no other reason than to trade him in order to gain something in return. Ozzie doesn’t like seeing home grown talent leave with tread remaining on the tires.
 
The Slash Fund will climb,
 
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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