With the lockout raging on, media outlets continue to crank out “Top Ten” lists and rankings of all kinds. In the spirit of having not much football to report on, the Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley recently released his All-Ravens Team. The team consisted of the best 26 Ravens, with 11 players from the offense and defense to go along with 4 special teams players. Without further ado, here is his All-Ravens team:
OFFENSE: QB Joe Flacco; RB Jamal Lewis; FB Sam Gash; WR Qadry Ismail, WR Derrick Mason; TE Todd Heap; LT Jonathan Ogden; LG Edwin Mulitalo; C Wally Williams; RG Jeff Blackshear; RT Orlando Brown
DEFENSE: DT Haloti Ngata; DT Sam Adams; DE Michael McCrary; ILB Ray Lewis; ILB Bart Scott; OLB Peter Boulware; OLB Terrell Suggs; CB Chris McAlister; CB Duane Starks; S Ed Reed; S Rod Woodson
SPECIAL TEAMS: K Matt Stover; P Sam Koch; RET Jermaine Lewis; Special Teams Ace: Benny Thompson
Credit needs to be given where credit is due, as Hensley did an amazing job with the entire list. The list should have been easy to make with the franchise only existing in the form of the Ravens since 1996, but there are often a few head scratchers on lists like these. None here though, as Hensley hit the nail on the head…
Except for one section!
The section in question is the offensive line. Ogden, Mulitalo, and Brown’s spots on the squad are safe to me. It is the candidacy of Wally Williams and Jeff Blackshear that seem out of place.
Those who know me or who have read my articles know that I appreciate Ravens history, but I was a little surprised to see two linemen from the Roosevelt Potts Era
(I told you I liked Ravens history).
I believed that a few Ravens who have suited up more recently deserved the nods.
In his argument for Wally Williams Hensley states, “So it goes to Wally Williams, who ranked among the top third of centers when he started three seasons at that position for the Ravens.”
Now that’s a weak argument and it makes you wonder if there’s some ulterior motive running amok here. What shocked me was that A) Mike Flynn was not picked and B) Mike Flynn was not even on the second team.
Flynn was a Raven from 1998-2007, and started for 8 of those seasons. He may not have been a Pro Bowl talent, but he would have been replaced early in his career if he was not that good. Flynn gets my nod for longevity.
Right Guard has probably been one of the biggest problem areas on the Baltimore Ravens throughout the team’s history. We all have been “treated” to watching the likes of Bennie Anderson and Keydrick Vincent fill the Right Guard spot for the team over the years. I was surprised that Hensley did not stay more current with the pick and given the nod to Marshal Yanda. He has not racked up many years with the team and has been forced to play some tackle, but he is the most talented RG this franchise has seen.
Finally, there were two comments that stood out to me as I read these installments. The first was Jamison Hensley’s reference to Jamie Sharper as an Inside Linebacker. I was almost sure that he played outside in the Raven’s 4-3 defense and went to research it. According to all my sources (Nfl.com and Madden 2001), Jamie Sharper was most definitely an Outside Linebacker. It was not until he suited up in the Houston Texans’ 3-4 did he move inside.
The second comment made by Hensley was, “Joining McAlister on the All-Ravens team is Starks, who was often underappreciated during his four seasons with the Ravens.”
Hensley is spot on here, as Starks never got as much credit then and even now as he is often forgotten by the average Raven fan. Starks was really quite the player, as it was he who led the 2000 defense in interceptions with 6 and not anyone named Woodson or McAlister.
All in all, a great piece by Hensley.
I just wish we had some real football to talk about!