Two Ravens Retire and a Former Raven Sounds Off!

Street Talk Two Ravens Retire and a Former Raven Sounds Off!

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Like many of you after hearing about the retirement of Rolando McClain, my eyes rolled back in my head like it was a slot machine. And for the Ravens, they may have hit the jackpot when the lazy underachiever decided to call it a career at the highly advanced age of 23.

Immediately the skeptical among you wondered…

Did he get arrested again?

Will he have to do time on some priors?

Did he flunk a drug test?

Time will tell but THANKFULLY the polar opposite of Ray Lewis IS NOT accepting the baton from the two-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time Defensive MVP and future Hall of Famer. What a joke that would have been!

Ray Lewis, a man driven to push the boundaries of his talent propelled by an insatiable work ethic. And then there’s Rolando McClain, a man so not afraid of work that he might lie down right next to it.

Clearly the guy has issues.

Clearly he doesn’t love the game of football.

Clearly he’s been able to fool Nick Saban and the University of Alabama and to a lesser extent, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh.

Now we’ll see who plays the fool when McClain un-retires within a year.

Thankfully it will be some team other than the Ravens.

Or maybe not…

The Ravens placed McClain on the Reserve/Retired List which essentially means that the team will own his rights if he returns.

Who knows, maybe McClain gets McCleaned and returns to the game a focused man.

And then again maybe Lindsay Lohan will become a spokesperson for Narcotics Anonymous.

One guy who never had to worry about cleaning up his act off the field is former Ravens Wide Receiver and 2005 first-round pick Mark Clayton. Clayton we’ve learned has decided to call it a career.

Always a solid, stand-up guy, Clayton never developed into a consistently solid receiver – at least not what you would expect with the 22nd overall pick, a pick that amounted to a bit of a reach for the Ravens. His selection is one example of favoring need and a desire to clean up the locker room over the best player available (although they clearly missed on Roddy White chosen 5 picks later).

Others passed on by Ozzie & Co. during that draft include Aaron Rodgers (24), Heath Miller (30) and Logan Mankins (32).

A member of the Ravens front office once said that the team never had to worry about what Clayton would be doing the Saturday night before a game. Instead they probably worried about what he might do on Sunday afternoons.

The former Sooner never really seemed to embrace life in the NFL. He didn’t love the game, didn’t spend outlandishly and towards the end of his career looked like he checked out mentally. Walking away is an easy choice for Clayton and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Bernard Pollard was on 105.7 The Fan’s Norris and Davis Show yesterday discussing his sudden departure from the team. And while he seemingly understands the business side of the game, there’s an obvious grudge he holds against the Ravens. And while his name wasn’t mentioned, the white elephant in the room was John Harbaugh. You can listen to the interview HERE.

Pollard served a need for the Ravens and he served it well. The needs have changed and the goal is to get faster and younger. Pollard isn’t that old (28) by NFL standards but he plays slow in the secondary and is a liability in coverage – something that was seriously exposed in Super Bowl XLVII.

Mix in his head hunting approach and the propensity of league officials to flag such behavior more and more, coupled with his hotheaded selfishness and an undesirable cap figure and it’s not too difficult to understand why Pollard is now with his 5th team in 9 seasons.

During the convo with Steve Davis and Bob Haynie, Pollard said that he would not participate in the private ring ceremony being held on June 7. One day when he’s retired and reliving the glory of the 2012 season, Pollard will regret that decision.


Manny Machado leads the major leagues in hits (59), is second in doubles (17), and ranks second in total bases (93). (Thanks @BaltimoreLuke). Manny is a stud and it might be in the Orioles best interests to extend him now and not wait until they can milk him at his current bargain basement wages.

Clearly Under Armour has taken notice…

Am I alone in being ticked off about most big name musical acts continually bypassing Maryland? It happens all the time and it’s particularly more noticeable during the summer. I absolutely hate traveling to Northern Virginia to see a concert. The Jiffy Lube Center or whatever they call it these days (fka Nissan Pavilion) draws all of the acts that Merriweather used to get.

And now DC has drawn in Paul McCartney when that could have been M&T.

What gives?

Meanwhile, the local government officials are pounding their chests about drawing in House of Cards, Netflix’ smash hit starring Kevin Spacey. The Baltimore area will play a big role during Season 2. I’m sure that represents jobs and it’s nice to promote the area on a great new show, but c’mon man! Can’t we get a few more bands on the run?

I was up late last night channel surfing and landed upon American Reunion. And it dawned on me that this series of movies ruined it for anyone who really did have a great band camp story.

So I had this idea… what if we had a Ravens’ hopeful blog about his experiences trying to make the club? The obvious choice for me was Gerrard Sheppard from Towson University seeking professional employment with his favorite team.

I reached out to his representatives and they agreed. I then let the Ravens know about my intentions and they shared their opinion on the idea.

A day later Sheppard was released.

Now I know the sequence of events was purely coincidental (I hope) but can you blame me if I’m really rooting for the former Tiger to land with another NFL club?

Does anyone know how it is humanly possible to follow 12,421 Twitter accounts? A small local radio station does exactly that. I guess some folks just Never Stop Tweeting. Maybe there’s a little of this going on …

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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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