Lombardi’s Way

APOLOGY NECESSARY: Harbaugh a BIG Factor in Kubiak Hiring

John Harbaugh, Gary Kubiak
Back during the second season of this site’s existence when we operated as Ravens24x7.com I received a call from a friend who had a friend working in the NFL’s offices in New York. The NFL employee shared the 2004 Ravens schedule with our mutual friend who then shared it with me. The information was golden because it had not yet been released to the public. I posted the schedule on 24×7. It was dead on – flawless. Web traffic soared and in some ways it helped put us on the...

Super Bowl XXXV or XLVII?

XXXV and XLVII
Yesterday marked the 13th anniversary of the Ravens Super Bowl XXXV victory at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The date triggers emotions and memories for all Ravens’ fans – a day that will go down as an unforgettable one in Baltimore folklore. During the summer leading into the 2000 season, a friend and I vowed to make our way down to Tampa for the Super Bowl without regard for the participants and for no defining reason other than a desire to witness the grandest stage in all of professional sports....

Humbling Harbaugh

Kubiak Harbaugh 728
Ed. Note: The opinion expressed below was later recanted. Please CLICK HERE for the subsequent apology and for more information.  Just like it wasn’t John Harbaugh’s choice to part ways with former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in 2012, it wasn’t his choice to hire Gary Kubiak to replace Jim Caldwell in 2014. Harbaugh is fiercely loyal. He genuinely believes in the abilities of his staff individually and collectively and has an unwavering faith in their potential to persevere and work through problems. Harbaugh’s choice was Jim Hostler. Word is...

Harbaugh’s Loyalty Could Prove Costly

Fix Harbaugh
John Harbaugh has been a very successful coach in the NFL. The numbers are all there for you to study and absorb if that’s your thing. 5 straight trips to the playoffs 3 AFC Championship Game appearances 1 Super Bowl victory There are franchises around the league that would die for such success yet here in Baltimore we stop just short of ridiculing it because this season wasn’t such a good one for Harbaugh. You see 2013 was Harbaugh’s first as a head coach without Messrs. Lewis and Reed. Whether...

A Baltimore Homecoming for Boldin is Doubtful

Boldin NFCC
He was instrumental in the Ravens unforgettable playoff romp to close out the 2012 season. He brought attitude and toughness to an offense that needed it. He made contested catches in the clutch. And then they traded him! Anquan Boldin, a Ravens star in Super Bowl XLVII has just abruptly concluded his first and possibly last season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. And he will soon become an unrestricted free agent. Fans in Baltimore want the Ravens front office to correct what they believe to be a...

The NFL’s Best Kept Secret

pot_football_576
I’ve had the pleasure of being on the sidelines during Ravens practices. I have knelt with notepad in hand and watched 250 pound chiseled athletes who run at abnormal speeds for bodies that big, race past me from about 5 yards away. Just a few fleeting seconds after they pass you feel a breeze go by, the byproduct of mass and velocity. And then you can’t help but be left with the thought, “What if someone that big and that fast hit you when you weren’t looking?” It happens every...

Cloudy Skies Ahead for Harbaugh, Ravens?

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During his first five campaigns as an NFL head coach John Harbaugh built a pretty impressive resume. He is the only head coach to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons while guiding his team to the AFC Championship three times and of course winning Super Bowl XLVII. You really can’t ask for much more than that! Enter season number 6. The face of the franchise and the NFL’s quintessential leader, Ray Lewis retires. Demonstrative players like Bernard Pollard and Anquan Boldin are set free. Enigmatic...

Trade of Q Gets an F

anquan boldin colts
Anquan Boldin. The mere mention of his name in your friendly neighborhood sports pub will trigger debate amongst Ravens fans. Most will question GM Ozzie Newsome’s wisdom (or lack thereof) in trading Q for a 6th round pick. Terrell Suggs appeared on NFL Network last night practically busting out of his suit jacket given his bloated stature and mocked the deal. (Careful there, Sizzle. You could be next.) Some will defend Ozzie’s decision and say with confidence that the move paved the way for needed reinforcements on defense. The $6M...

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers Have No Class

Jim Harbaugh mouth 728
Maybe I’m a little old fashioned but I like an organization, a team or a player that is classy. I respect an organization that respects itself and forces all those within it to adhere to policies and codes that promote positivity, professionalism and dignity so much so that observers aspire to be part of who you are. I like a team that collectively dresses like professionals, to and from a game; a team that recognizes, appreciates and accepts responsibility for the message that they send in the way they carry...

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...
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