Time For The Ravens to Make a Statement

Street Talk Time For The Ravens to Make a Statement

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It’s understandable that the Ravens organization wishes to remain on the sidelines and let the dust settle on the off-the-field shenanigans of a few of their players.

The Ray Rice storm has quieted – for now.

But you can be certain that it will stir up again once Rice comes out of hiding, which by the way is a wise tactical legal maneuver. Whatever happens in the court of law, and it probably won’t be much for Rice, will be the easy part.

The more difficult challenge will be the court of public opinion.

It’s there that the “sentence” won’t be so lenient.

Rice’s reputation is forever sullied. There’s really no getting around it. Even if he conducts himself in the exemplary way that Ray Lewis did following the double murder charges, the cynical, ugly, unrelenting haters will forever label him a “wife beater” even if his fiancée begs otherwise, just like they’ve labeled Lewis “murderer”.

When the Ravens travel during the 2014 season, Rice will be reminded of his alleged slip up each and every road game. It will get ugly particularly when visiting Cleveland and Pittsburgh. How Rice deals with this opposing onslaught may be even more challenging than dodging headhunting defenders.

The hate could galvanize the team or it could destroy Rice. His physical conditioning for the 2014 season, while important, pales in comparison to the mental conditioning. How he responds mentally could determine his future with the club in 2015 and beyond.

How the Ravens organization eventually responds to the social slipups of their players will go a long way towards repairing their damaged reputation.

It was interesting to observe Kevin Byrne and Garrett Downing on their tour of team headquarters, particularly when they touched on the topic of Jah Reid at the 5:57 mark of this video.

Byrne says, “You know Jah Reid, you know Ray Rice, these aren’t bad guys.”

Well there are a few guys who visited Key West last weekend that might beg to differ about Reid.

According to Adam Linhardt of The Citizen, Red Garter Saloon patron Edmond Mussa, 21 (pictured to far right), accidentally bumped into the 6’7″, 335 pound Reid after which Reid head-butted, punched and kicked Mussa while he was on the ground. Reid then allegedly hit a security guard who attempted to break up the fight.

Police reviewed the video footage that confirmed Reid as the instigator of the confrontation.

The incident will likely be costly to Reid on multiple fronts. First Reid’s rep is tarnished and he does come off as a bad guy. Secondly, although Mussa hasn’t publicly made any claims for damages you can rest assured that’s coming. Lastly, and probably most importantly for Reid, it has severely frayed the string by which his career as a Raven is currently hanging.

Let’s be honest, Reid has been a bust. An acclaimed third round pick in 2011, Reid hasn’t been able to earn playing time over a stocky journeyman offensive lineman who struggled in 2013 – namely A.Q. Shipley.

Isn’t it time for him to go?

Isn’t it time for Deonte Thompson to be sent packing after his Cheech & Chong road show?

The Ravens need to take some action if they want to at least in part reclaim their Q rating. It’s pretty bad when national talking heads start to label the Ravens “the new Bengals” with their recent posts on police blotters.

“Play Like a Raven” suddenly doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

It’s time for Steve Bisciotti to protect his investment.

Forget about waiting for the dust to settle.

Order the code red!

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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