Lombardi’s Way

Dear Joe, Shut Up And Play!

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Dear Joe, You should just shut up and play! Your team, your offense hovers near the bottom of the league in most offensive statistical categories and your personal stats you must admit are rather embarrassing. You are supposed to be the straw that stirs the drink – the man carrying the team as you did during the 2012 playoffs. Instead, you are leaning on the defense yet again. Yes I get that the offensive line has been a sieve, but you Joe are not without fault. You and your fat...

Flacco’s Bad Habit

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Whether it’s related to politics, music, sports, motion pictures, you name it, it seems these days that whenever someone is critical of someone or something they are labeled “hater”. I suppose then that when parents correct their children and are critical of undesirable behaviors they are “haters” too? It’s an overused term and really it’s a cop out. The term is embraced by many who are apparently more comfortable sticking their heads in the sand and hope that a problem goes away by dishing out more hugs, support, new toys...

Flacco Contract Could Choke the Ravens

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The Baltimore Ravens went on a magnificent run during the 2012 season that culminated in the franchise’s second World Championship. Led by quarterback Joe Flacco who had a stellar romp through the playoffs, John Harbaugh’s troops overcame the odds and won 4 consecutive playoff games (three as underdogs) to capture The Lombardi. Flacco, free from the seemingly binding chains of former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, flourished and as an unrestricted free agent and his timing couldn’t have been better. Flacco cashed in to the tune of a then record-setting $120.6...

Bad Officiating is Ruining the NFL

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NFL officiating has become a joke. The inconsistencies in-game and from officiating crew-to-crew can be costly to teams and players and certainly frustrating to fans. What goes through the minds of these men dressed in stripes during games – particularly during crucial moments? Are they so pressured by the league that when in doubt they simply throw a flag? Last night we watched Luke Kuechly mug Rob Gronkowski on the game’s final play. A flag was thrown and in their infinite wisdom the crew decided that the ball was not...

Baltimore, a City That Should no Longer REED

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Sentimental fools want to bring Ed Reed back into the nest and placed on the team’s 53-man roster. Why? Some will say he’s a great leader. Others will say that he’s like a coach on the field and that he would help set the defense pre-snap. Some have said that as a nickel back Reed would certainly strike more fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks than say Corey Graham or Chykie Brown. None of those are compelling enough reasons to bring Ed back! Let’s first consider whose place Reed...

No Time for Bandwagon Fans

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There are plenty of vacant seats on the Ravens bandwagon. Spoiled by success, frustrated by unrealistic expectations, fans are dropping off in droves even before the next stop and despite just passing the midway point of the 2013 season. Intoxicated by a World Championship fans want the buzz to last. They want to hear the Ravens being celebrated throughout the national media. They want that full year of having that “defending champ” persuasion. But the buzz is gone and only a nasty hangover remains – one that is seemingly getting...

The Time is Now to Re-sign Eugene Monroe

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  Both of the Ravens starting offensive tackles were first round draft picks in the 2009 NFL Draft. Both will become free agents following the 2013 season. Both Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher will NOT be calling Baltimore their football home in 2014. One of the bright spots so far this season has been the play of LT Monroe since the Ravens traded for him back on October 2, 2013. Outside of a miscue that allowed Packers’ LB Nick Perry to strip-sack Joe Flacco during the waning moments of the...

This Isn’t Rocket Science

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When players enter the NFL from the collegiate ranks the biggest adjustment for them, bar none, is the speed of the game. Clearly for any astute fan of the NFL, that’s no revelation. A distant second in the list of adjustments is the cerebral part of the NFL. Understanding a new playbook and grasping new terminology that might seem like a foreign language, takes time. It also slows a player down in an already fast-paced new world. League coordinators will also challenge opponents with new looks and wrinkles, the intent...

Check Ego at the Door!

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  “I thought the run game, if you watch it play for play, we made a lot of good runs against a lot of tough looks.” “When you look at our offensive line, we can be good at it, and we blocked a lot of things really well yesterday.” A lot? Really? Quotes like these from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh given to professional members of the media who serve as a conduit to the team for fans are rather insulting to both the media and the paying customers. The...

We’ve Seen This Movie Before

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We’ve been down this road before. In 2005 the Ravens had a meltdown, a season during which Ray Lewis went AWOL with a mysterious hamstring injury that required surgery from a doctor in Florida. The Ravens finished (6-10). In 2007 the Ravens got off to a (4-2) start and then went on a nine game losing streak, including a loss to the previously winless Cam Cameron-led Miami Dolphins before finishing (5-11). The up and down nature of the Brian Billick era wore thin on owner Steve Bisciotti and he vowed...

The Integrity of the NFL is in Jeopardy

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In England there’s an oft-used expression, “the bee’s knees”. It refers to an extraordinary person, place or thing. In the United States its street pseudonym would be, “the sh*t!” You get the picture… In the NFL these days, knees are a big topic and the buzz around them is extraordinarily unpleasant. Players are going down with season ending knee injuries at an alarming rate and the NFL and their hypersensitive rules committee, which has inspired paranoid game officials to over-police games has only itself to blame. (Here’s a look at...

Doss Begins to Answer Critics

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Back in August I came down very hard on Tandon Doss in an article entitled It’s Time for The Ravens to Toss Doss. In it I agreed with the assessment of former Ravens cornerback Cary Williams and the insinuation of former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron – Doss is soft, I concluded. No NFL player wants that description anywhere near his resume. But there it was and Doss earned it and earned his way off the 2013 Ravens after the team’s final preseason game. Doss’ friend and teammate Torrey Smith...

Ravens Make Costly Blunder?

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The NFL is big business. They are all about creating desirable content for Americans to consume in both traditional and cutting edge ways. Content is king and if it’s delivered properly revenue streams of all types flow into the league’s coffers. If you build it, they will come and clearly the NFL is a developer like no other in our country. And if they have it their way the NFL will conquer the world as well. The league’s teams also have their own objectives when it comes to establishing and...

IT’S PREDICTION TIME: Ravens @ Steelers

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RAVENS @ STEELERS (-2 ½) OVER/UNDER @ 40 ½ HEINZ FIELD   It was once viewed as the most vicious rivalry in all of sport but as of late the luster has dulled on the semi-seasonal showdowns between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are struggling with their offensive lines and that has placed pressure on the passing games of each team and on the respective defenses, which have been asked to pull up the slack for offensive inefficiencies. On Sunday something has to give. Since John...

Rice’s Struggles Costly in More Ways Than One

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Ray Rice just doesn’t look like the same player who started from 2009 through 2012. He lacks the burst that was once a staple of his game, seems less elusive in open space and goes down on first contact. He appears to be pressing and lacks patience and trust in the offensive line. Who could blame him? This season Rice is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry and 4.4 yards per reception. His numbers in the 2012 playoffs were very un-Rice-like, averaging 3.6 yards per carry although he did average...

The Real Story Behind Opening 2013 on the Road

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As he does every year Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti joined us on the set of Ravens Rap in Ocean City, hosted by the Blue Ox Bar and Grille. Among the topics we discussed during the show was the NFL’s opening night. Bisciotti was quick to point out that Orioles owner Peter Angelos was not at fault and did his best to accommodate the Ravens. The culprits were MLBPA and the Chicago White Sox. When asked why the league never seriously considered a Wednesday game, Bisciotti explained that after consulting...

How Peterson Grieves is up to Him

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As you are likely well aware, Adrian Peterson lost his 2-year-old son, victim of a heinous beating from a 27-year-old monster who is “an acquaintance” of the child’s mother. I can’t even begin to fathom the extraordinary range and intensity of emotion that AP must be feeling right now. In a moment he might feel that his heart is in tatters, broken, followed swiftly by overwhelming rage. Those emotions and all points in between are understandable. No one knows how he or she would respond to such emotional trauma and...

Flacco is a Winner and Earning Every Penny

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When you sign a $120M+ contract and play quarterback in the National Football League and you don’t perform to the level of that contract, critics will fly in from all angles like flies on road apples. And if listen to observers from both near and far, Joe Flacco fits the description of a player not playing up to his pay scale. Fans along with the media are attracted to glitzy stats like moths to a lamppost. It’s the curse of fantasy football. Stats are sexy and sex sells. What gets...

The Sun Shines on Baltimore in Miami

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For many reasons South Florida is one of the preferred vacation destinations in the country. Mix in your favorite football team playing at said destination and suddenly you have a great excuse to pay a visit. Such was the case for an estimated 22,000 Baltimore residents this past weekend when fans followed the Ravens to Sun Life Stadium to watch them take on the Miami Dolphins. Dade County area fans are used to these visits – they get it, welcome it, even appreciate it. South Beach was decorated in purple...