Getting Over the Off Season
Time flies. First the draft, now the OTAs. Season tickets will be mailed shortly and we’re only 6 weeks from training camp. It’s time I wake from my off season hibernation and get ready for some football. As usual, the opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of the owner, operators, and contributors of and to this fine web site.
Draft and OTA Notes:
· The selection of Michael Oher in the first round looks better and better all the time. When the Sun’s Mike Preston, a notorious nitpicker, sings his praises without a single complaint you know the Ravens hit the jackpot. With his work ethic, Oher should achieve stud status in 2010.
· Next to Oher, I think Paul Kruger has the best chance of the 09 rookie class to get significant playing time this year. The guy looks like a beast with a non-stop motor. With his injury history, though, I’m hoping he’s not the second coming of Dan Cody.
· While most football pundits gave the Ravens “B” grades for the draft, they consistently noted that we failed to address needs at wide receiver and/or tight end.
A Fan’s Take: Doesn’t matter. If the Ravens had drafted a Percy Harvin or Brandon Pettigrew, the talk would have been the Ravens didn’t address the need at offensive tackle. You can’t win. And you can’t judge a draft until 3 years down the road.
· Fox Sports rated the Ravens 5th in their first annual NFL organization rankings.
A Fan’s Take: Because Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome fly so low under the radar, the ranking probably surprised some league observers and fans. The club received high marks for intangibles, the front office, and defense (naturally!). If John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco had a bit more seasoning, the ranking would have been higher.
I think Ravens fans aren’t surprised at all. They knew this intuitively. This organization has a unique quality, one you don’t often see in professional sports: Quiet Competence.
· NBC announced the additions of PED user and All-Pro thug Rodney Harrison and the saintly Tony Dungy to Football Night in America. Talk about polar opposites. Harrison replaces the forgettable Jerome Bettis and Dungy takes over for the very able Chris Collinsworth, who moves into Motor Mouth Madden’s spot (more below). NBC Sports Czar Dick Ebersol told Newsday that the network wants more time to talk about “the game that follows us.”
A Fan’s Take: Uh oh. Just what I don’t want. I want to see highlights. I want to see plays, I want to see hits. I want to see somebody get “Jacked Up!” Chris the Orca drives me up a wall every time he opens his mouth, but I dearly miss Berman’s and Tom Jackson’s Sunday Night highlight show.
NBC is trying to make FNA into a sports version of Face the Nation. Too much talk, too high brow, and ‘way too much Peter King. Football Night in America already stinks and it looks like it’s going to get worse.
· To near universal acclaim for his 30+ years of work in the broadcast booth, John Madden retires from football broadcasting to enjoy all those millions he’s made with his Madden Football game.
A Fan’s Take: Am I the only fan who’s not going to miss this guy? He was refreshing in his first year, tiresome in his second, and unwatchable thereafter. Football freaks like me don’t need every single play, every single line plunge, analyzed in excruciating detail. I always kept the mute button handy when he worked a game. Good riddance to him and his telestrator.
· Tony Kornheiser Leaves Monday Night Football.
A Fan’s Take: A simple case of addition by subtraction. Kornie was badly miscast as the voice of the fan and his shtick, which works so well in print and on PTI, bombed on MNF. Basically, he didn’t know what he was talking about. There’s talk that, instead of resigning, he was actually shown the door. In the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s all good.
Bonus Take: Here’s Chucky! John Gruden looked and sounded great on the NFLN draft show. However, I still wonder why they need 3 talking heads in the booth. It will take a skilled MNF producer to keep Tirico, Jaws, and Chucky from talking over one another.
· HI! THIS IS BILLY MAYS FOR ESPN………..
Every Fan’s Take: MUTE
Is it training camp yet?