Needing a quick pick-me-up to distract from this weary weather today (first time in a month we’ve had rain this week, and I’m already over it) I decided to watch the replay of the Ravens’ end-to-end domination of the Raiders from this past weekend.
While the game was phenomenal in nearly every aspect, it hadn’t really dawned on me until halftime of the replay what my desire to watch the CBS broadcast again, truly means:
I actually enjoyed the broadcast enough to watch it twice.
Why did I enjoy it so much?
Partially because a Ravens victory makes everything sweeter, but also because the pairing of Greg Gumbel and Trent Green is easily my favorite duo I’ve seen on CBS in…
Side note: we haven’t seen Tony Romo in a Ravens broadcast (yet) but when that day comes, that team will likely nab that top spot.
Full disclosure: I’ve long been a Trent Green fan in the booth. His color commentary is accurate, honest, and beneficial to the broadcast. He doesn’t sugarcoat every play, or place blame on the wrong facets of the game (i.e. not blaming a QB for a poorly drawn up play). If a quarterback makes a bad throw? He tells you it’s on the quarterback, then goes on to tell you why it’s on him, whereas other teams will just say “that’s a bad throw from Flacco.”
A consummate professional, Green is.
A prime example in this game comes in the form of Alex Collins, on a long run up the far sideline after breaking through a hole in the left side of the line.
“You know what I noticed there, Greg? Watch the way Alex Collins is carrying the football. He’s holding it high and tight.”
In itself, Green calling attention to Collins’ form in the carry is more than most color analysts on CBS even catch. He goes on to explain further:
“Watch when he gets through the line, watch where he holds the ball up high… he’s had a problem with fumbles- leads the NFL with 2- but you can see as contact is coming in he’s holding it higher and tighter, making a conscious effort to protect that football.”
So simple. So spot on. So beneficial.
Hell, that’s more insight into what the Ravens did to help fix Collins’ fumblitis than anything Marty Mornhinweg spewed last week during practice when asked about it!
Speaking of Marty comments, the word “confidence” came up multiple times during the game. Where Marty said “we are confident” ad nauseum, Green pointed out specifically where and how he noticed it all game long.
He drove home points in Flacco’s delivery showing more confidence than he’s seen from him all season, or his movement in the pocket not being as skittish due to confidence. Trent also talked about the offensive line suddenly turning it on, showing improved confidence, and leading to much more overall success on offense.
Again, he was much more poignant with his commentary on the Ravens offense than anything Mornhinweg has said.
How about one more for the road?
Green watched the Ravens’ (attempted) 2-minute drill, and had this to say:
“Not a huge sense of urgency, which is a little odd, now that they are under a minute… going back to that sense of urgency on the last play, there were over 25 seconds that went off the clock between [when] Maclin went on the the ground and when that ball got snapped… that’s valuable time, those are seconds you can’t get back.”
Tell me: what other booth team has addressed this in a similar fashion? Who else has really discussed the Ravens’ approach to the 2-minute drill and called out their failures, much like Green? Certainly not John Harbaugh & Joe Flacco, I’ll tell ya that much!
Then there’s Green’s counterpart – Greg Gumbel.
I don’t know how you can not love this guy. His pipes are meant for the broadcast booth, and I appreciate his enthusiasm on big plays and scoring plays. It’s enough to throw a little extra hype into your gut (unless it’s the opposition scoring, of course). In stark contrast to guys who come off with a more Steven Wright-esque monotone approach to scoring plays, Gumbel is the man.
Take Green’s insight, add in Gumbel’s soothing pipes, and what you come out with is a total match made in Sports Broadcast Heaven (if such a thing exists, I need to fill out an application pronto!).
The perfect example of their cohesion can be demonstrated during the short stint in the game where Raiders QB EJ Manuel started connecting with Jared Cook & Michael Crabtree on a steady drive downfield. When Green mentioned Manuel’s fit in Oakland, Gumbel opined as to why:
Gumbel: “You said this is a good system for EJ Manuel- why?”
Green: “Because of his background with Todd Downing. So Todd and EJ were together, Todd Downing the Offensive Coordinator for the Raiders, for a year in Buffalo where Todd was the Quarterbacks Coach while EJ was there, so there’s a familiarity and a trust, so when you talk about game planning and play selection, I think because of that prior history, it helps.”
Things the average fan watching this game doesn’t know, but the duo of Gumbel & Green bright to the forefront.
It’s like a Sports Snapple Fact machine up in this booth, and I could not have asked for anymore this past Sunday.
Here’s to hoping the NFL on FOX team of Rosen & Barber can live up to this gold standard come Sunday vs the Bears.
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) October 10, 2017
QUOTE OF THE GAME
Coming out of a TV timeout, the cameras pan out to Alcatraz, followed by this Greg Gumbel statement:
“Alcatraz, formerly a prison, now home of the Cincinnati Bengals.”
Okay, not really, but it would have been spot on had he gone that route…
I don’t have a *real* quote of the game this week. Everything was great!