We’ve heard Ozzie Newsome say many times over the years, “You can’t have enough good corners.” Yet since Super Bowl 47, the Ravens have not had enough good corners. It seems as if they’ve confused quality with quantity.
In 2016 we witnessed a major drop off in the team’s secondary when Jimmy Smith wasn’t on the field and unfortunately, that seems to be an annual rite of passage for the Ravens before they finish any season. Since he entered the league, Smith has missed 22 of a possible 96 regular season games (23%).
The quality of Smith’s play gets lost at times because he’s too often unavailable and then opposing quarterbacks tear the Ravens secondary to shreds. The failures without him somehow diminish the success with him.
In their Next Gen Stats, NFL.com, when analyzing Smith in 2016 concluded:
“Opposing quarterbacks knew that testing Smith was not the wisest course of action, only targeting him 5.5 times per game. Players in his coverage managed a mere 45 percent catch rate, the second-lowest allowed among all No. 1 corners this season. Smith was a master at eliminating big plays, as his 9.48 yards per catch allowed was the lowest among No. 1 corners.”
Smith’s passer rating against was 10th in the league at 68.5 as opposed to Shareece Wright who yielded a 116.7 before being benched. Tavon Young provided excellent value as a rookie 4th-round pick but now it’s up to Newsome to find more quality. The Ravens have drafted just 1 corner with a Top 3 pick in the last 10 NFL drafts not named Jimmy Smith – Lardarius Webb.
Honey I Shrunk Matt Birk
Ray Lewis is certainly making his rounds around the NFL and upon the small screen these days. Recently he caught up with Matt Birk (below). That really is Matt Birk!
— Ray Lewis (@raylewis) February 3, 2017
But back to Ray, he put it out there on BaltimoreRavens.com that he is open to coaching.
“I don’t know if I’ll go directly into it, but it’s something I’m definitely looking into.”
Count me among those who think that Lewis would be a flop as a head coach. There’s a difference between teachers and preachers and Ray could be a TV evangelist. He craves too much attention and doesn’t give enough of it. He’s a special man and a deserving first-ballot Hall of Famer. But greats like Ray struggle to make the conversion from great player to a great or even a good head coach.
A player that Ray is often compared to his HOF’er Mike Singletary and we know how Mike’s coaching career went. Greats have high expectations and fail to recognize that all players aren’t treated equally. Troubled or bottom of the roster players are different than the stars and former stars have trouble relating or grasping this reality – particularly those who are used to and crave the spotlight.
Former Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is in the news again and wants to get back in the game of football after a few months of convalescing.
“My next stop is not going to be coaching, and I’m kind of excited about that because there are a lot of things about the game that I’ve always loved. I love evaluating, I love the draft, I love evaluating players and doing those types of things. I had some really interesting conversations with some colleges. So we’ll see.”
Many here in Baltimore miss the Kubiak offense and while it was a good one and Joe Flacco had one of his better years in it, the Super Bowl 50 winning head coach’s place in Ravens history is a bit inflated. His reputation has benefitted from bad offenses before and after his one-year stint in 2014. And let’s not forget that Joe Flacco’s best season was in 2010, under much-maligned offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
In 1966, The Rolling Stones released ’19th Nervous Breakdown’, when it reached No.2 on both the US and UK charts, while topping the NME charts and was the fifth best-selling single of 1966 in the UK.
Featured Local Musical Talent
Baltimore born and bred Tony Sciuto is this week’s featured local star. Sciuto is a songwriter, performer and record producer and was a member of both Little River Band and Player. Sciuto has written songs for the Bay City Rollers, B. J. Thomas and Tina Turner amongst others and he’s been an overwhelming success in Japan.
Tony can be seen locally at the Horseshoe Casino on Saturdays. You can also check out his 5-song sampler on YouTube HERE from his brand new record “Temptation Alley” or you can download Tony’s songs on iTunes.
A Little Levity
A couple, who happen to be Steelers fans, go to a WalMart in Bethel Park, PA and the husband picks up a case of Arn City Lite and puts it in the cart. Wife asks, “What the hell are you doin’ Daryl?” Daryl says, “Bertha it’s on sale for $10.” Bertha says, “Put it back you drunken Yinzer…we can’t afford it.”
A few aisles later Bertha puts a $20 tube of beauty cream in the cart and Daryl asks, “What in the hell is that cream for?” She says, “It makes ma face look more purty!” And Daryl says, “So does that there Arn City Lite and it’s half the price!”