Lombardi’s Way

DeCosta Still Willing to Stay On-Deck

Eric DeCosta Game Plan
Since I started doing what I do here at Russell Street Report I’ve been blessed with some opportunities that otherwise would never have come my way. One of those blessings is getting to know Ravens Assistant GM Eric DeCosta. Now I have no doubt that some of you reading this will accuse me of having a man crush. If that’s your conclusion, so be it. If that’s how you define admiring a man’s commitment to his family and to his job, I’m ok with that. DeCosta is a stickler for...

Ravens Rookie Class Gets Bad Marks For Participation

baltimore-ravens-2013-draft-731
Heading into summer training camp last July we listened as John Harbaugh described the 2013 Draft Class as among the best that he had seen. Officials around team headquarters glowed when questioned about the draft class, proudly explaining how intelligent the group was and how each in their own way had been a leader of their respective collegiate teams. The scouts boasted that they would have been happy selecting Arthur Brown in the first round but got him in the second. Brandon Williams was described as a third-round steal; fourth...

Bisciotti Gives His Staff a Mulligan For 2013

Bisciotti Harbaugh
Local media will try to tell you that the State of the Ravens press conference is that one time of the year when owner Steve Bisciotti fields questions about his team. Those of us who contribute to the Ravens Rap in Ocean City, Maryland know otherwise. For the last six seasons Bisciotti has visited us on the set of the Ravens Rap because of his loyalties to and long-standing friendship with Steve Pappas, the owner of The Original Greene Turtle. Through the years we’ve come to know Bisciotti a bit...

Ravens Repair Man

code red
1. Fix the Offensive Line The most obvious weakness and by far the single biggest deterrent to the Ravens success in 2013 was the horrific play of the offensive line. Joe Flacco was sacked 48 times, good for second highest in the league and the running game was a putrid 30th in yards and a league worst in yards per carry (3.1). The repairs won’t come easy and they won’t generate production immediately as offensive fronts take time to gel. Ozzie Newsome needs to: 1) Re-sign Eugene Monroe; 2) Closely...

Ravens Coaching Staff Needs to be Held Accountable Too

Dean Pees Harbaugh
For 6 out of 7 seasons and five straight the Baltimore Ravens were postseason participants. After that degree of success, as a fan you grow a little accustomed to that second season. So sitting at home, watching the playoff games without anything on the line seemed a little different. When you don’t have a dog in the fight your perspective changes and sometimes you see things a bit more clearly when the emotion is stripped away. As I watched (great games by the way) it was hard not to compare...

Montgomery Out, Castillo Next?

Ravens Coaches
When you are the Running Backs Coach for a team that averaged a league worst 3.1 yards per carry and finished 30th overall in total rushing yards and said team missed the playoff for the first time since George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, job security is about as realistic as a January heat wave in Green Bay. And therefore it should come as no surprise that Wilbert Montgomery lost his job with the Ravens yesterday. The spin from John Harbaugh on what many are reporting as a...

Looking For a Rooting Interest in The 2013 Postseason

chiefs colts
I’m wondering if I’m the only one trying to find a team to hitch my emotional fanwagon to during the postseason. Let’s consider the possibilities…   New England: Yeah right… I’d rather wear Tom Brady Uggs than root for them. Cincinnati: No thanks…I want Andy Dalton to continue to be for the Bengals what Matt Schaub is for the Texans. Indianapolis: Isn’t that blasphemy for a Baltimore native? Denver: Sorry, sick of hearing about Peyton Manning and I’ll never forgive Mr. Ed, aka John Elway. San Diego: Nope. Phillip Rivers...

Suggs’ Future With Ravens in Jeopardy

Suggs profile
Terrell Suggs reported to camp this summer in the best shape we’ve ever seen from the 6-time Pro Bowler, former Defensive Rookie of the Year (2003) and the former Defensive Player of the Year (2011). Early on his attention to nutritional detail and the extra hours in the weight room and with cardiovascular training paid big dividends on the field. Through 8 games Suggs had 60 combined tackles and 9 sacks. In his DPOY campaign he had 70 combined tackles and 14 sacks during the entire season. And though he...

Identity Crisis

Harbaugh SB XLVII
The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2013 campaign championing their newly coined mantra, “Here We Are.” Well that one sort of backfired, didn’t it? For the first time in six seasons the Ravens are on the outside looking in at the NFL postseason. So “Here We Are” and it’s not such a pretty view and the seats aren’t all that comfortable. Yet that being said it is a vantage point that the Ravens need to experience. Being knocked out of the playoffs in many ways is a blessing in disguise for...

Fans Should “Play Like a Raven” Too

Play Like a Raven
When you win the Super Bowl there’s a natural swagger that goes along with it. It’s the walk, the body language of a champion. Years, sometimes full careers are spent trying to capture The Lombardi. It drives players and coaches. It inspires them to arrive at work a little earlier, stay a little longer, lift a little more with the hope that it all pays dividends. When it finally does and the confetti in your team’s colors rains down from above symbolizing the crowning achievement it can be a little...

A Holiday Embarrassment!

Harbaugh sidelines
In a word – embarrassing. The World Champion Baltimore Ravens had an opportunity to make a statement against perennial playoff contenders, the New England Patriots. Instead of seizing the opportunity as proud defenders of the crown, they looked like shameful pretenders. They were outplayed, outhustled, outcoached, out-planned, out-executed and probably ousted from the post season while being outscored in record fashion at M&T Bank Stadium. There was nothing good about the game except the fact that a fan could comfortably sit in the stands in shorts and a t-shirt on...

Flacco Needs to Improve for Ravens to Advance

flacco frustrated
Whether you are a fan or not everyone can agree on one thing when it comes to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco – he’s one tough player. During the course of his very successful 5+ years in the NFL, Flacco has taken the field every single game day. He has started 107 consecutive games (including 13 post season starts) and he’s never missed a single snap due to injury. Given his willingness to stand in the pocket, his tall and lanky frame, predictable play calling and an offensive line that...

Despite Struggles Rice Still Leads

Ray Rice Parade
Ray Rice has been heavily criticized this season. His production is off and clearly he’s not performing to the level of his contract. The three-time Pro Bowler is being paid to be an elite running back yet he averages just 3.1 yards per carry and is ranked as the 54th most productive back in the league out of a total of 54 backs ranked by Pro Football Focus. The burst isn’t there. The elusiveness is missing. Of Rice’s 197 carries he’s broken tackles or made defenders miss just 9 times...

Flacco Gets a Chance to Make a Statement

Flacco v Lions
Joe Flacco has been the subject of much debate and criticism so far during the 2013 season and with plenty of reason — 120 million reasons. When you sign what was then a record setting contract, not only does it provide financial security, it can also provide headaches. Now granted the structure of Flacco’s deal is relatively cap friendly in 2013 but beginning next season, the stakes get higher and so will the expectations. It comes with the landscape designed by the salary cap. There are fewer dollars to go...

REMEMBERING SANDY HOOK: The story of a young Ravens fan

girl sunset
This was originally posted on December 21, 2012   This is a story about a little girl who just a few days ago celebrated a birthday. She’s a happy child with a magnetic personality, engagingly social who laughs and hugs often. Having entered the world just seven years ago Joey is known for her affection and incredibly wonderful sense of humor for someone so young. She loves to swim, swing, play with her Barbie dolls and enjoys her iPad and computer. And she really loves her sisters. Joey’s hair is...

Are NFL Fans Out of Control?

49ers Stadium Shooting
As you know Adrian Peterson got his panties in a bunch on Sunday over the behavior of Ravens fans who he alleges threw snowballs at the Vikings’ players. In this day and age when pictures and video appear out of nowhere on the web, no visual evidence whatsoever has surfaced that corroborates Peterson’s claims. There is also no evidence that is publicly available (for the moment) that supports claims by some fans that the Vikings players returned frozen fire into the crowd. Whatever happened or didn’t happen, crowd control is...

LIAR, LIAR!

pinocchio-tomlin
So Mike Tomlin gets a $100,000 fine. BIG DEAL! One hundred large is like a pimple on Casey Hampton’s butt when compared to Tomlin’s annual salary of $5.75M. But Tomlin’s salary isn’t the real issue. The real issue is, does the punishment fit the crime? Now we’ve learned that the NFL has not considered intent in determining Tomlin’s punishment. “Intent is not a factor in discipline because it cannot be determined,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk via email. “An individual is fined for an action that is...

Jimmy Smith Rewarding Ravens Leap of Faith

Jimmy Smith Ravens
“He’s as athletically gifted as Asomugha. He’s got all the ability in the world. He also could be a supreme punk.” ~ NFC Personnel Director   The physical parallels to Nnamdi Asomugha were undeniable. Their height, speed, Scouting Combine results and intelligence all nearly mirror images. Could Jimmy Smith make the leap from the Colorado Buffaloes to the NFL and become a regular at the Pro Bowl the way Asomugha had? Many had their doubts and it had nothing to do with Smith’s potential to create chaos for NFL quarterbacks....

IN SEARCH OF: Integrity in Broadcasting and Officiating

Collinsworth commentary
Some believe the Mike Tomlin incident on Thanksgiving Night has been beaten to death. To a certain degree they are right BUT… Let’s not forget about the integrity of the game. This incident needs to be addressed by the league offices today and Tomlin should at the very least be hit with a 6-figure fine. I found it interesting how the NBC broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth so easily dismissed Tomlin’s actions as “gamesmanship” yet they crucified Jeff Triplette’s crew for moving the chains forward despite the...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Tradition Doesn’t Graduate

Thanksgiving-Day-Quotes-Wallpaper
Thanksgiving, perhaps the simplest and most sincere of all Holidays and one shared by everyone in this great country regardless of religion. Thanksgiving. The word alone is rich with selflessness, appreciation and gratitude. It is by far my very favorite Holiday and a tradition that is uniquely American. Tradition. A very good friend of mine, when measuring the importance of tried and true customs once told me, “Tradition doesn’t graduate.” That poignant statement hung in the air for me for a few moments. And when it finally soaked in, I...