Not enough umph from Flacco?

Lombardi's Way Not enough umph from Flacco?

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HEAD & SHOULDERS & FORCED FUMBLES ~ The more I think about the Ravens failure to kill the clock late in the fourth quarter when facing a second and 5 with 3:22 left in the game, the more I think Cam Cameron was just plain arrogant in his play calling. The way the Ravens’ defense was playing, you have to run the ball there to kill some clock and if not AT LEAST you make sure you get a hat on their best playmaker, Troy Polamalu. The Steelers were desperate to create a big play and the Ravens teed it up perfectly!

NO ONIEL, NO OLE’ ~ Why wasn’t Oniel Cousins in the game for more snaps to help support the running game (or lack thereof)? Instead they ask Ed Dickson to do something he does rather poorly (blocking) against the very formidable James Harrison and Lamar Woodley?

JUST HIRED & GETS A PAID VACATION ALREADY? If you sign a fullback, why not use him? The Ravens did that last week with Jason McKie. Why bother signing the guy if you aren’t going to play him? The guy is a nine year vet and if he isn’t good for a dozen plays even if it is his first week, what’s the point? My guess is that they’ll release the guy sometime within the next 2 weeks.

86’d BY 83 ~ Back to Dickson, it is pretty obvious that Todd Heap was a huge part of Cam Cameron’s game plan. But when the reliable Heap left the game with a hamstring injury, Cameron should have adjusted. That play in the right corner of the end zone on second and goal at the 6 at the 7:28 mark of the third quarter amounted to nothing more than a wasted and hurried play. And from the looks of the team’s second to last offensive play when Dickson made a tough catch and tried to roll out of bounds, the pitch and catch combo obviously were on different pages. That was another wasted first down opportunity.

NO MORE POPCORN FOR JOE ~ Ever wonder what these coaches do with Joe Flacco all week, particularly during film sessions? I know I do! He has not improved at all with the game’s little subtleties, the nuances that often separate average quarterbacking from above average to excellent quarterbacking. Flacco doesn’t get to the line early enough to survey or to use false snap counts to get the defense to commit pre-snap so as to allow the line to reset their blocking assignments. Even Brian St. Pierre did that to the Ravens in Charlotte a few weeks back. Let the man grow up and let’s not even go to the lack of audibles, you know…those things that Cameron called overrated.

I’m fighting these thoughts and the obvious parallels, but has anyone noticed how Drew Brees’ and Philip Rivers’ careers soared when they no longer worked with Cam? Coincidence? Maybe…

PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER…What is going on with Flacco’s mechanics? Too often they look more and more like Kyle Boller’s than a professional who should be adding polish to his game. C’mon Joe, you have 44 regular season starts and 5 playoff starts under your belt.  That throw to Dickson was embarrassing for someone with the fire power he has in that right arm. He explained his failure away like this: 
"I never got my hips back over there to put enough umph on the ball to Ed."
DID YOU KNOW? This Monday marks the seventh prime-time game the Ravens will play on the road under John Harbaugh. Baltimore has been scheduled for 10 prime-time games in the Harbaugh Era, and the Ravens are 3-3 in those away contests.
AND IT WAS CALLED YELLOW ~ Is it me or is Michael Oher really slumping as of late? He leads the team with 10 penalties and now that the penalties are coming, that quick start of his is being viewed more as a false one than an athletic one. His mental error on Sunday Night also cost the Ravens dearly. It pays to stay awake during film study. I mean “C’mon Man!” That was No. 43, the star of those Head & Shoulders commercials that you ignored.
HEY JOHN, ‘TIS THE SEASON ~ John Harbaugh certainly is getting chippy as of late. A couple weeks back he got in the face of WNST’s Drew Forrester and last week his tone towards the media was overwhelmingly condescending after being asked if he believed reports that Ben Roethlisberger’s foot was broken.
"I could care less. He’s going to line up and play quarterback. Is there anything besides injuries you guys want to talk about? Do you want to talk about anything important like the game?”
Now he’s directing some venom at the fans.
During his call in show with WBAL’s Gerry Sandusky Tuesday night, Harbaugh was questioned repeatedly about the offense and their obvious struggles. When Harbaugh reached his limit with the criticisms he shot back.
"I’m proud of this football team.  I’m proud of our defense.  I’m proud of our offense.  We will fight our tails off to be the best team we can every single week.
"If that’s not enough for you then go find another team to cheer for.  If you’re not proud of this team then you don’t know football." 
EBENEZER SCROOGE ~ And finally on a baseball note, back during the summer when we learned that Peter Angelos owned MASN would not agree to broadcasting terms with the Ravens – terms nearly identical to those they operated under for the four previous seasons I mentioned to a few friends that it was a bad sign for the Orioles. Most couldn’t see the connection but for me it was a signal that Angelos would be greedy and stingy this offseason. It’s early but that is how it seems to be playing out so far during the Hot Stove season.
While contenders shop to improve at baseball’s answer to Nordstroms, the Orioles shop in the “opened” and “returned” aisle at Walmart.

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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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