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2 MINUTE WARNING: Ravens News and Notes

Lombardi's Way 2 MINUTE WARNING: Ravens News and Notes

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Vonta Leach still hasn’t signed with another club and the longer this process goes on, the more likely the chances are that he’ll be dressed in purple again for the 2013 season.

The fact that he remains unsigned is a clear signal that the offers being presented by allegedly interested teams aren’t measurably better than the offer he has on the table from the Ravens. This process looks and feels a lot like that of Bryant McKinnie when the Ravens offensive tackle visited with other teams.

Training camps across the league begin in 3 weeks and while a fullback’s role in the NFL is pretty defined particularly for a dying position, Leach would still have to learn the terminology of a new offense. That learning curve becomes a bigger and bigger factor as camp approaches for teams interested in acquiring Leach.

Ray Lewis’ well publicized climb atop Mount Kilimanjaro fell off a cliff when the future HOF linebacker’s foot swelled stemming from a fever, forcing the two-time champion to bail out. Count me among those who are a little suspicious. Maybe Lewis realized that tackling running backs is a lot easier than 19,341 feet of mountain.

Some in the media have adopted the opinion that the Baltimore Ravens will be hurt more by the loss of Anquan Boldin than the Steelers will be by the loss of Mike Wallace. They’re wrong!

Boldin was terrific down the stretch for the Ravens in 2012 but his routes are easily assigned to others on the team’s roster. Clearly they will have to make adjustments but Q’s plays can be taught, assigned and absorbed. You can’t teach speed and few in the NFL can match that of Wallace. His presence must be accounted for at all times and that creates space for WR Antonio Brown and TE Heath Miller.

Wallace is by far a bigger loss.

Which WR represents the biggest loss?

The Ravens signed Daryl Smith to a one-year deal earlier this offseason and he could be another of those great veteran finds from Ozzie Newsome who has a knack for flagging great bargains. That said it is a one-year deal and Smith could parlay success in Baltimore to a more lucrative deal elsewhere.

If that happens, don’t be surprised if the Ravens turn to Rolando McClain in 2014. The Ravens placed McClain on the reserve/retired list, which means that if McClain successfully exorcises the demons that have plagued him and he un-retires, the Ravens control his rights and would have the former National Champion from Alabama under contract for one year at a base salary of $700,000.

Matt Elam will be counted upon to sure up the Ravens coverage in the middle of the team’s defensive backfield while bringing his own brand of physicality, something that will be needed given the departures of Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. Elam is a former captain from Urban Meyer’s program at the University of Florida and he’ll bring some feisty leadership for a rookie.

What Elam also provides is a unique brand on Twitter. Maybe as a middle-aged guy I don’t quite get what his Tweets provide…perhaps you can.

Lastly, it’s been discussed and written about often – the Pittsburgh Steelers’ lackluster offensive line. As Ben Roethlisberger goes so do the Steelers and that line puts (Really) Big Ben and the team’s fortunes at risk.

Perhaps Roethlisberger has come up with a solution.

Eat a ton and look like a lineman himself.

We’ll let you be the judge…

Who will Vonta Leach play with in 2013?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. He also hosts Backfield in Motion with Justin Forsett seen on ABC2 every Saturday at 1PM. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. He ignores the passengers in cars beside him who laugh. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi


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