Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh approach their chairs at the panel to address the media and their questions regarding the Ravens offseason plans.
Ozzie Newsome: I’d like to thank you all for your time and for joining us today. We know that there are a ton of rumors running rampant regarding our players who may soon become free agents and we thought we would take this opportunity to address those rumors without compromising the integrity of our plans or those of the players who have a right to do what it best for them and their families.
Bruce Cunningham (“BC”): Alright folks, it looks like the driver is out of the bag, the ball is on the tee and it’s time to get this party started! Mind if I go first Oz?
Ozzie: You are on the tee Bruce. Don’t shank it!
BC: (chuckling) Thanks Oz, this is an exciting press conference and it starts RIGHT NOW!
Ozzie: Thanks Bruce…so what’s your question?
BC: As you journey through the waters of what should be a tumultuous off season, what guidelines will you employ as your navigational buoys?
Ozzie: We want to improve upon the 2008 season and take that next step to the Super Bowl. However we can make that happen, we will do so with the means provided by Steve Bisciotti.
Anita Marks (“AM”): Ozzie, less than a year ago we learned that Steve McNair decided to retire. That is something that my homie from the U Willis McGahee wasn’t expecting when he signed on with the Ravens because McNair was a big part of why TWO-THREE wanted to come to Baltimore. Have you been in touch with Steve and if so, might he consider a comeback? I know that would make Willis happy and as you know a happy Willis is no DAWG…he be a BAL-LAH!
AM: Any plans to contact Steve? I mean can you dial McNair’s digits, leave a message and say, “Yo Air, can you hit me back?” It would mean a lot to Willis.
Jerry Coleman (“JC”): This question is directed to Eric DeCosta the all new Director of Player Personnel and is intended for all those listening to Fox 1370 Sports Radio and our FIFTY THOUSAND WATTS…Eric, you have been unable to find a prototypical No. 1 wide out in the draft and the free agent market is rather limited. Given your poor track record in the draft with receivers and the scarcity of available NFL wide outs, how do you plan on answering the pleas from the fans for a go to guy for Joe Flacco?
DeCosta: You know that’s a good question Jerry and one that we’ve spent a lot of time discussing amongst the scouts. What we’ve concluded is that the so-called draft busts at the wide receiver position are usually players who go to teams with unsettled quarterback situations. Now that we have what we believe to be our franchise quarterback of the future and with Cam Cameron and his offensive staff, we are more confident that we can develop the receiver that the fans and of course Joe Flacco deserve.
Damon Yaffe (“DY”): Eric, on that subject does it really matter to you if that coveted wide out is more comfortable at the X, Y or Z position on the field?
DeCosta: We just want players that are tough, smart, fast, good guys off the field and have a passion for the game.
DY: Yeah but that said Eric, it’s been my experience as a ball coach that certain players have that quick twitch, that explosive first step but not necessarily that long speed and are better suited for the X or Y role. Don’t you guys give that any consideration? That could be part of the problem here.
DeCosta: Damon Kadafi, apparently the problem is that we don’t have the coaching, scouting talent, or resources of Boys Latin, NDP, Maryvale or wherever it is you are coaching these days.
DY: (blushing like a school girl whose dress was just blown skyward for the whole world to see…)
Nestor Aparicio (“NA”): Ozzie, my wife and I were in bed the other day watching NFL Network and Rich Eisen comes on – a job that by the way I should have not that Dan Akroyd wannabe…and he said that the Ravens have perhaps the best organization in football and now that the team has what looks to be a franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco who just happens to do an exclusive blog on my station WNST where we never stop talking Baltimore Sports and on WNST.net which is what I devote most of my time to when I’m not hosting a show from 2-6PM Monday through Friday on AM 1570, that the Ravens could be a team that is a perennial threat to play in the post season. Agree or disagree?
BC: One of my personal credos is “Live and let live.” I’m not even sure what the hell it means but I like the way it sounds. John, as a coach and a parent, what do you think of Michael Phelps’ recent transgressions and what sort of punishment is he deserving: a) from the mindset of a parent and b) from the mindset of a coach?
John Harbaugh: Well Ron that is something I haven’t really thought about but I can tell you that I was disappointed. Michael has spent some time with the team and seems to be a really good kid and obviously a huge Ravens’ fan.
BC: (chuckling) It’s Bruce…Bruce Cunningham John. I am the aforementioned Bruce Cunningham.
DY: Excuse me, aren’t we suppose to be talking football here and defining ways in which the Ravens can augment their “RAWster” in order to put an even more competitive product on the field? Get with the program Cunningham! I mean this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to glean some valuable information from these men and you knuckleheads are wasting their time over some toke from an athlete with the lung capacity of a blue whale hovering over some sticky icky. My God, how in the hell did LaBrozzi ever agree to bring you to 105.7 The Fan?
BC: I said yes to the first figure he threw out there…(singing) Go on take the money and run…WOO-WOO-WOOOOO
AM: John, when I was a professional quarterback there was an open competition each new season for the starting position and I think that helped to heighten performance and to promote the concept of team. Will there be an open competition for the starter’s job in Baltimore when summer camp opens next year? I mean Troy Smith – c’mon the guys in the locker room really have his back and his ipod just rocks. Plus he was a really, really, really, really, really unfortunate and innocent victim of a mysterious virus last season and I don’t think it’s fair to make him the artificial back-up quarterback.
Harbaugh: Well I can guarantee you Anita that Troy is real and not artificial. As for an open competition if we believe that is best for the team, we’ll do it. As it stands right now, Joe is our starter and if something like that is a deterrent and negatively affects the way our guys compete, we’ll just find other players who will always compete and strive to win football games regardless of the circumstances and the music on their ipods.
NA: When I hear fans talk about Ray Lewis and that the team should sign Ray no matter what it costs, I just feel like choking someone. Do you ever get that feeling? You know when someone just pushes you to the brink and you just can’t take it anymore. Man I just want to wedge my hands right around their jugular. With that in mind, what is the team’s current position with Ray and what is the likelihood that he remains a Raven for the rest of his career?
Ozzie: We want Ray to retire as a Raven. We have offered him what we believe is an attractive offer to make that happen. But I think for Ray to feel good about the offer, he needs to see what other teams are willing to give him. Not until then will he feel comfortable. Right now he doesn’t feel that way so I’d say the chances of Ray returning aren’t better than 50-50 but certainly more likely than you increasing the signal power at WNST.
JC: Speaking of signal power, we at the FIFTY THOUSAND watt all new Fox 1370 were wondering if there’s any truth to the rumor that there were other Ravens with Daren Stone in that Tampa strip club as seen on TMZ.
NA: Coleman, my wife and I can vouch that there were no other Ravens there!
BC: (chuckling) That Nestor does get around now doesn’t he? Hey can we talk about the time we found all those (chuckle, chuckle, hee-haw) Hedonism pics on your computer?
AM: Nestor you’ve been to Hedonism? That place rocks but still not quite what the Playboy Mansion was in its heyday.
DY: If you guys don’t knock it off, I might go postal on your sorry asses.
BC: Hey Anita, do you have any pics you can share? I would love you madly if you could!
Ozzie: Are there no other football related questions?
JC: Do you expect to employ the often maligned franchise tag on a player this free agency season and if so who is the most likely to receive that designation that is embraced by some and dreaded by others?
Ozzie: We will do what we believe is in the best interest of the Baltimore Ravens.
DY: This is for Eric or Ozzie…Can you predict with some reasonably comfortable degree of certainty that you will get a player with your No. 1 pick that can not only produce in his first season but also be a difference maker – you know that clutch dude that you can go to when the game is on the line?
DeCosta: We are in the pick business Damon and while the No. 1 pick clearly gets all the press and the attention, we are looking to build our roster from the bottom up. That means building depth and increasing competition for roster spots. If a draft does that, it’s a successful one. As for the No. 1 guy, I think our track record suggests that we’ll be ok.
AM: John, Chris McAlister fell out of favor with you this season. I know that there’s more to the story than you have led on. I know it. You know it and you know that I know it because me and TWO ONE were kicking back down at Ruth’s Chris with my boy David Sadeghi. He told me so… So, can you finally tell us what went down during the season once and for all? Admiring minds want to know?
Harbaugh: Probably inquiring ones too Anita… Look we think Chris McAlister is a good player and a good guy and under the right conditions we want Chris to return. At this point that’s all we can say.
BC: If Ray does leave, do you think he’ll do that dance in his new hometown stadium? Who will dance for the Ravens during player introductions? C’mon Oz, it’s getting late and IT’S THIRD DOWN in this stare off with Ray.
Ozzie: (frustrated) Thanks for joining us today. We’ll see you all at the Pre-draft press conference in April.
BC: Ozzie wait, did you know that I am REALLY good friends with Tom Matte? I swear it wasn’t my fault that I called Ronnie Prude Ronnie Perdue all six times…
AM: Ozzie if you need a dentist or a good steak I can hook you up!
NA: Harbs, wait up bro…was wondering if you want to invest in a website…Billick might be moving on.
DY: Yo DeCosta, here’s my card…let me know if you need some help in that war room or if you need a bratwurst hook-up or a kicking new diet program. I’m your man bro!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This press conference is obviously a parody and never really took place. At least we don’t think so…
Jim Six Toes was a consulting editor on this creation.