How painful was THAT to watch?
Preseason Game No. 4 + Dome + Replacement Officials + Obsolete Broadcast + Broadcasters as Bored as YOU + Sloppy Effort From the Ravens = A Television Extravaganza Just Slightly More Exciting Than a Test for The Emergency Broadcasting System.
Please pass the NoDoz!
Last night’s preseason game between the Ravens and Rams was a true test of your fandom. And if you stayed through until the bitter end you must either cover the team or you need to hire a lifestyle social director. Secretly I was praying for the broadcast, about as cutting edge as a rooftop antenna strapped to a chimney, to be pre-empted by re-runs of The Brady Bunch.
Rave TV’s (what an ironic name) replays were atrocious; the camera crew follows the action like Stevie Wonder might manage a position as an air traffic controller and no play clock in their on-screen graphics?
Making matters worse – the replacement refs! With their competencies (or lack thereof) on full display, they managed to make a slow and boring game even slower and more boring. It’s not their fault really. Asking them to officiate a NFL game is on par with asking a crossing guard to captain Baltimore’s Homicide Unit.
If the league isn’t going to pay for real officials they should refund fans across America the difference between what Ed Hochuli and his colleagues are paid and what they pay the temporary agency employing the replacements.
Ok, on to the game…
John Harbaugh decided to rest his starters and let the reserves take on the Rams first team during most of the first half. It wasn’t pretty as the Rams, after making adjustments during their opening series on defense, stymied the Ravens Tyrod Taylor led offense. On their first five plays from scrimmage the back-up signal caller marched the team 49 yards. On their next 20 plays they managed to advance just 57 yards.
The ugliness continued for hours.
So, why bother with breaking down the game in detail for this edition of the Good, Bad, Ugly & The Megan Fox (the last of which I would give to Deonte Thompson – you’re in kid!)? Would you read it anyway?
Instead let’s zero in on the players by position and determine who will survive “The Turk”. Your opinions are certainly welcome.
IN: Joe Flacco; Tyrod Taylor
OUT: Curtis Painter ~ There’s little sense keeping someone of his caliber on the team. Curtis Painters are a dime a dozen and they can be found at any point during the season in an emergency. And let’s face it, if it gets down to needing a Painter any color will do since the season would be lost anyway, don’t you think?
RUNNING BACK (4)
IN: Ray Rice; Bernard Pierce; Bobby Rainey; Vonta Leach
OUT: Anthony Allen
PRACTICE SQUAD: Damien Berry runs hard and his style really fits the Ravens. I didn’t see enough of him on special teams to warrant a roster spot given Rainey’s success this preseason and during training camp.
WIDE RECEIVER (6)
IN: Anquan Boldin; Torrey Smith; Jacoby Jones; LaQuan Williams; Tandon Doss; Deonte Thompson
PRACTICE SQUAD: Tommy Streeter ~ His absence last night suggests that the Ravens may be trying to hide him so that they can sneak him on to the PS and then try and develop his raw talents.
TIGHT END (3)
IN: Dennis Pitta; Ed Dickson; Billy Bajema
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
IN: Bryant McKinnie; Bobbie Williams; Matt Birk; Marshal Yanda; Michael Oher; Kelechi Osemele; Gino Gradkowski; Jah Reid; Ramon Harewood.
NOTE: Harewood’s time at guard last night can be interpreted two ways. The Ravens are leaning his way and they want to test his versatility to lock up that last spot or they are stilling searching for a home for the native of Barbados…Will be interesting to see what the team does with Jah Reid in light of the new IR rules.
BUBBLE: Tony Wragge
PRACTICE SQUAD: G/T Jack Cornell
DEFENSIVE LINE (8)
IN: Haloti Ngata; Terrence Cody; Art Jones; Ma’ake Kemoeatu; Pernell McPhee; Bryan Hall; DeAngelo Tyson; Ishmaa’ily Kitchen
PRACTICE SQUAD: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste; Terrence Moore
IN: Ray Lewis; Jameel McClain; Brendon Ayanbadejo; Courtney Upshaw; Albert McClellan; Paul Kruger; Sergio Kindle; Dannell Ellerbe; Chavis Williams
PRACTICE SQUAD: Nigel Carr
IN: Ed Reed; Bernard Pollard; Christian Thompson
PRACTICE SQUAD: Omar Brown
OUT: Sean Considine ~ Even when healthy he did little to justify keeping him. Expect an injury settlement.
IN: Lardarius Webb; Jimmy Smith; Cary Williams; Corey Graham; Asa Jackson; Danny Gorrer
OUT: Chykie Brown