THE GRAPEVINE: Cameron dishes, Preston misses, Smith wishes

Lombardi's Way THE GRAPEVINE: Cameron dishes, Preston misses, Smith wishes

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The battle for the fifth wide receiver will certainly be a hotly contested positional competition and for the moment the two slugging it out are Demetrius Williams and David Reed. Williams has been the beneficiary of more reps with backup QB Marc Bulger and if you take that as an indicator, Reed is going to have to step it up to make the final 53.

Or wait!

Is that a hamstring that we just heard pop and he’s headed for IR? <wink> <wink>

Speaking of the backup QB, former Raven and current NFL Network analyst Rod Woodson is on record saying that Troy Smith is the best back up in the NFL.


If you ask me he’s not even the best backup on the Ravens and excuse me there Rod, but just off the top of my head while perusing the teams in the league the names Vick, Anderson, Collins, Rosenfels, Leftwich,  Kitna all are better backup signal callers than Troy Smith. I would even go so far to say that third stringers Dennis Dixon and Kellen Clemens and arguably the Raiders’ Kyle Boller are all better than Smith. Even the Browns thought Seneca Wallace was better than Smith.


Hey, do Woodson and Smith have the same agent?

A few years back I asked Deion Sanders if he thought punt returning was more dangerous than kick returning. He did not hesitate to say, “No!” He explained that with kick returns the entire coverage team is running at full speed towards you when during punt returns the coverage isn’t as heavy and a lateral move here and there allows a returner to escape pursuit.

Yesterday I heard Mike Preston discussing the Ravens options for punt returning. He said that teams really don’t want to put a starter in that position because you run the risk of injury and suggested that Tom Zbikowski should not be returning punts because he’s a valuable backup filling in for Ed Reed.

I totally disagree.

Sorry Mike but you can’t tell me that DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker, Joshua Cribbs, Eddie Royal, Darren Sproles, Reggie Bush and Jerricho Cotchery (top NFL punt returners mind you) are less important to their clubs than Zibby. Teams can’t play with fear (memo to Cam Cameron).

Just sayin’…

While we’re on the topic of memos and Cam Cameron, here’s Cam giving props to Oniel Cousins:

“He’s not 100 percent yet, but his effort is 100 percent,” Cameron said. “One thing I like about ‘Cous’ is you know exactly what you’re getting. He’s not one guy one day and another guy the next day. He shows up. He’s there every day. He’s where he’s supposed to be, he gives you his best effort.

“Sometimes, he doesn’t execute the play like he would like or we would like, but his effort is consistent. Pretty much, a play-caller can deal with a guy like that. To me, it’s easy to call plays when he’s in there because I know I’m going to get a great effort.”

“Cous” is working hard and it’s nice to see it acknowledged but let’s call this statement from Cameron what it is – a salvo to Messrs. Gaither and Rosenhaus.


Word is that special teams coach Jerry Rosburg did not confront recently released long snapper Matt Katula after the Ravens’ coaching staff opted to go with undrafted rookie Morgan Cox. According to one source Katula being the class act that he is reached out to Rosburg and thanked him for the opportunity to play for the team.

Here’s to Katula landing a spot elsewhere. Hopefully this premature release works to his advantage. 


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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of and 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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