It’s interesting how the Baltimore Ravens and the team formerly known as the Baltimore Colts have developed this symbiotic relationship over the past couple of years.
It began with a rather surprising move when the Colts, this season listed at +250 to win the AFC South according to NFL Betting at TopBet Sportsbook, hired former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to skipper their sideline. Not that Pagano was a bad choice by team owner Jim Irsay – clearly he has not let his owner down. But until the hire the 52-year-old Pagano had never been a head coach on any level.
When Pagano arrived in Indianapolis familiar names began to follow.
The Ravens third round pick from 2008, Tom Zbikowski, now a member of the Chicago Bears, left as a free agent to join Pagano. Others from the Ravens 2011 roster who followed suit included Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney.
Offensive lineman Joe Reitz, a former Ravens practice squad player, once thought to be a poor man’s Joe Staley, also migrated to the land formerly known as The Kingdom of Peyton Manning.
The Ravens have also lured their fair share of former Indianapolis Colts starting with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. Interestingly enough, Caldwell was in the mix to be the Ravens head coach after team owner Steve Bisciotti fired former head coach Brian Billick, now with Fox Sports and NFL Network.
Caldwell, obviously familiar with Indianapolis personnel has probably played a role in the recruiting of newcomers Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley, both of whom wore the horseshoe for the former Colts skipper.
Center AQ Shipley traveled the beaten path from Indy to Charm City and while he never played for Caldwell it’s hard to imagine that Joe Flacco’s newest mentor didn’t do his own intelligence gathering from his former employer.
And now running back Delone Carter will use the same Mapquest directions and shortly arrive in Baltimore to watch his new teammates host the Carolina Panthers tonight at M&T Bank Stadium.
Carter is a player the Ravens liked coming out of Syracuse in the 2011 NFL Draft when he was selected by the Caldwell-led Colts in the fourth round with the 119th overall pick. He’s a north-south runner with limited special teams experience but the overall opinion of the Ravens staff was that David Reed, the player Ozzie Newsome gave up to land Carter, was not in the hunt at wide receiver and apparently his special teams skills weren’t going to be enough to save him.
Now if Ozzie could somehow get the Colts to part with Reggie Wayne…