LETTERS 2 TL: Fans & Retirees Upset by Upshaw

Lombardi's Way LETTERS 2 TL: Fans & Retirees Upset by Upshaw

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While trying to find information about Ravens mini camp I came upon your website and have enjoyed reading your articles.  I think you have insight into what is going on and reporting it as you see it.  However as a sports fanatic step mom, I was wondering your take on UDFA Donald Usry from Southeastern Louisiana University.  We will only have his perspective of his Raven experience. I’d like to hear your perspective if you were able to observe any of the mini camp workouts.



It’s really difficult to get a read on the players during rookie camp, especially for linemen. There’s really no measurable contact and let’s face it, linemen are in the contact business.

Moreover, the linemen are often taken to a part of the field that is far removed from the media.  So it’s next to impossible to listen to how the coaches are instructing the players or when they give them the attaboys…

I know the Ravens must think that there’s some talent there that they can coach up. I highly doubt that Usri will make the 53 man roster.  His best bet is the practice squad in my opinion, but that’s not a bad thing given the Ravens track record of developing such talent.

I will be reporting on organized team activities and on summer camp on ProFootball24x7.com. More voluntary OTA’s begin tomorrow (Thursday is open to the media).  Next week the entire team will report.  I’ll keep a watchful eye on Usri then and during summer camp.

Thanks for visiting the site.  I hope you come back often.

All the best,


What if anything are the Ravens expecting from Dan Cody this year.  He’s been on the field for one game I believe since he was drafted.  The injuries have hurt, but one would think this must be a make or break year for the guy.  Seems like a good kid too.
Perry Whitlock

Dan is a good kid and a very dedicated gym rat.  He’s built up added strength and size this offseason and I don’t think they see him as a linebacker type at all.  I think he’s a situational pass rusher at this point with the hope that he could become a more well-rounded player with experience.  I see him with his hand in the dirt almost exclusively although there will be situations where he’ll drop back in coverage when Rex Ryan calls for zone blitzing.

I’m not sure if it’s a make or break season for Cody.  The Ravens are patient with players they hold in high regard.  The organization is frustrated and disappointed in his inability to stay healthy yet eager to see if they can build upon his productive play against the Falcons and then the Steelers for a portion of that 27-0 game.

You are right, he could be that bonus pick this season.  Of course we thought that last year too.

Thanks for the note,


I usually agree with you, but not this time!  Dilfer provided veteran leadership at a position that demands it.  He took over a woefully inept offense under Tony Banks that went five games without an offensive touchdown and helped transform it into a championship team that went on to win the Super Bowl as a "Wild Card" team, while defeating every other team in it’s path at home and on the road!  If I’m not mistaken, that’s quarterbacking, as "field generals", are supposed to do.  In retrospect, prior to Steve McNair’s arrival, Trent Dilfer, arguably, was the most successful quarterback in the Ravens’ young history!
Jerrold L. Brotman, Timonium
After reading your re-fried article from 2005 about Trent Dilfer, I concluded that you’re in desperate need of a very large cup of S.T.F.U.
Skay Baltimore
Your eloquence is impressive but given that a columnist is supposed to provide opinion and given that I host a radio program, excuse me if I refrain from that cup.  (You were offering right?)
You have a choice.  You can read or listen or both.  Or you can choose to do none of the above – that’s America for you and me.
Jerry, your opinion is one shared by many – I just don’t happen to be one of them.  I agree that Dilfer provided leadership but I don’t even think his leadership was as vital as that of Shannon Sharpe’s.  When Dilfer struggled, who kept Dilfer focused?  When Ray Lewis struggled emotionally during the aftermath of his murder trial, who was there to provide a huge shoulder for Ray to lean on?
Let’s look at the numbers even a bit more than the column delved into…
Dilfer completed 35 of 73 passes for 590 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 interception during the four games of the 2000 championship run for a QB rating of 83.7.  Now on the surface while not prolific, those are acceptable numbers for a quarterback who was for all intents and purposes told not to lose the game.
But Shannon Sharpe contributed to those numbers in a huge way.  Let’s take a look at how Dilfer’s QB rating plummets if a few bounces don’t go his way during that post season. 
Remember the tipped pass against Denver that went for a score?  Take that away and Dilfer’s rating drops to 74.7.  How about the 96 yard scoring strike to Sharpe who caught the ball in traffic and went the distance thanks to a block by Brandon Stokley against the Raiders? If that pass also falls incomplete, Dilfer’s rating plummets to 45.2.  Remember that phantom defensive holding call that negated Jesse Armstead’s interception return for a score in Super Bowl XXXV?  Take that holding call away and Dilfer’s number falls to 43.8.
And you know what, even if all of those bounces didn’t go Dilfer’s way, I still think the Ravens manage to win Super Bowl XXXV.  That coupled with all the things that I wrote in my column is why I concluded that Trent Dilfer Did Not Win Super Bowl XXXV.
Hey Skay, I’ll shut up now…for a little while,
Great work on [NFL’s Upshaw Disses Retired Players.]  It was extremely well written and man did you hit some HOT spots.
Bruce Laird
You are balls on!  I don’t know how Upshaw can stand himself.  Don’t know if you saw recently that Mike Ditka had this to say about Upshaw: "Nobody is less deserving of his position because he has no comprehension of what it means to give back to the game. He’s a fraud."
Given your blog, I thought you’d want to know…
Bob, Perry Hall
To NFL Fans Everywhere,
First, I know this comes from a biased perspective given that Bruce is a friend, but his insatiable desire to right this grotesque oversight by the NFL is highly commendable and if the retired players get their just due, one day they should all stand up and laud the efforts of the man who proudly wore No. 40 for the Baltimore Colts.
And Bob, I’m happy that you get it.  Just imagine your parents busting their butts to put you through college.  You take that degree and parlay it into a successful career.  Your parents unfortunately are down on their luck and are struggling to survive.  You are making dollars hand over fist.  Could you see yourself not coming to the aid of your parents?
Of course you couldn’t!  Who could?  But if you think about it, Upshaw’s actions (or lack thereof) aren’t that far removed from such unconscionable behavior.  I called him an empty suit in my blog.  He’s actually worse.  He’s an empty suit with a sense of entitlement.  Tagliabue’s puppet served his purpose.  Now that those strings are broken, it’s time for a new Pinnochio.
You Can’t Hide Your Lying Eyes,
You made a Marine get all choked up, I oughta… What a great column, I showed it to my Mom and after she wiped her eyes she said you can hug her anytime you need one.
Jim, Baltimore
I’m happy that you and your Mom enjoyed the column.  It came straight from the heart and I’m glad that it reached the hearts of you and your Mom.
My best to the both of you,
I go to 24×7 to feed my appetite for Ravens news.  I know I’ll get a balance when I visit this site and not the propaganda I’m fed over at baltimoreravens.com.  Thanks for being the best unofficial site.
John, Columbia
Thanks for your support and we appreciated the kudos.  But the reality of the situation is this…BaltimoreRavens.com is a nicely done site and it is one of the finest of its kind in the league in my opinion.  Keep in mind that the site’s intent is to help expand the team’s fan base while building the Ravens’ brand.  That’s why you might interpret its content as propaganda.  I think if pinned down, those over at BaltimoreRavens.com would agree with you to a certain extent but if you think about it, they are doing what they are supposed to do and I think they’re doing it well.
That said, as a result of the slant BaltimoreRavens.com is forced to take, there will always be a need for a site like ours.  And we hope to continue to earn your support.
From the "Unofficia"l Ravens’ site…
Rave on,

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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