In the aftermath of the 2018 Hall of Fame Game featuring the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears, there’s been quite the array of takes.
Some hot, and some cold.
Then there are those takes are just blatantly garbage. Takes that make absolutely no sense, that people seem to run with, and have zero ground to stand on to back up their claims. And let’s be honest here… would it be me if I didn’t call BS on those takes?
***for the sake of anonymity, and avoiding absolute public humiliation for having such trash takes, I won’t name drop or handle drop anybody here. I’m a classy fella like that***
“A quarterback competition still exists in Baltimore”
Sigh… no. No, it doesn’t.
If you watched even a single series from each of the three quarterbacks that played on Thursday night, you’d know in a split second that no such competition exists. Granted it’s the 1st of five preseason games for the Ravens, but Bob clearly looks like a veteran QB who is primed to be 2nd on the depth chart, while Lamar Jackson showed flashes, but absolute inconsistency and inexperience.
Then there was a tiny glimpse of Josh Woodrum, who clearly gets cut and stuck on the practice squad or journeys around the league as a 3rd string/practice squad guy like he’s done his whole career. And honestly? Do you blame the guy? Keep playing football, travel the country, rubbing elbows with elite QB’s like Joey Flacco, and flat out living the dream!
“Joe Flacco & RGIII laughed at Lamar’s Interception.”
If you truly believe the clip floating around showing Flacco and Bob laughing – allegedly at a Lamar Jackson pick – I’ve got some bad news for you about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and that prince in Africa who wants to blindly send you a million dollars if you just provide him with your social security number and banking information.
IT IS ALL FAKE.
The clip shows Bob and Joe laughing… BEFORE THE PICK WAS THROWN. Clearly the two are joking about something that the cameras didn’t catch. Maybe it was something Lamar did, but then again, maybe Joe busted cheeks and fanned it Bob’s way, or maybe Brandon Williams is off dancing in the background to Imagine Dragons.
You can see the moment in the clip where the pick DOES happen, as RG3 clearly exclaims and jumps forward a bit.
Simply put, you don’t know WHAT was being laughed at, but unless the two QB’s could see the future and knew the pick was coming?
It ain’t that.
“Kamalei Correa is back (here?)!”
WOOAAAH BUCKAROO! Let’s pump those brakes, shall we?
First of all, in order to be ‘back,’ you had to be ‘there’ once already. That’s not Correa, unless you’re referring to his days at Boise State. If you’re simply referencing the NFL, then no. He can’t be back.
As for this particular game, I think it goes without saying that Kamalei Correa had a phenomenal outing on Thursday night in Canton… but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as he played agaisnt backups all game long. Also worth noting – a singular preseason game isn’t necessarily indicative of what’s to come. I think we can surely name a handful of players that have come out strong in the preseason and proceed to disappear in the regular season.
“The new helmet hit rule is going to ruin the game!”
Well… yes it will. IF it stays written the way it’s written, and called as frequently as it was Thursday night.
But you have to remember a couple of things here: first and foremost, this was the first live game action these officials – any officials – have been asked to make this call. I’m sure they’ve gone through a slew of simulations, training, and anything you can imagine to help clarify when to call it, and when not to call it. But none of that is the same as live-action whistle blowing and flag throwing. They’ll go back and watch the tape to see when the flag was incorrectly thrown, and times it was missed, make the proper adjustments and move forward. There’s also something to be said about new penalties being over-called intentionally in the preseason in order to really drive home the point that the grey area is likely to be called a flag and steer players away from those plays. This qualifies as that in my mind.
The second thing you need to realize is that the rule can possibly be adjusted – and really it should be. As noted by oh so many folks on the Twitters, in normal human anatomy, the head is fixated on the shoulders. As such, when lunging into a tackle – since you don’t tackle upright – your head will come first 99.9% of the time. Hands extended deters that, sure, but you simply don’t tackle with your hands. In addition, let’s address the fact that a standard NFL helmet is 12.5″ wide, and covers roughly 50% of the shoulder-to-should area. Basically, you’ve got 6-8″ of shoulder on each side, and a player going in for a tackle has to hope/pray/cross fingers/knock on wood that their target doesn’t shift last second and the helmet grazes for first contact.
Simply put, I believe the rule gets altered prior to Week 1, and even if it remains the same, the flags will be fewer and farther between come regular season. Everything will be okay, folks. Relax.
“We should worry about the O-Line.”
I ain’t scared!
It was blatantly obvious the depth at offensive lin is lacking, namely at the tackle position, but you need to take a deep breath, and quickly remember that James Hurst, while not ideal, is going to end up the primary backup at tackle, while Orlando Brown Jr. will take that starting RT position before Week 1. Hurst didn’t play. Brown did. There’s a capable extra warm body right there to feel (slightly) better about.
But if that’s not enough to ease your mind, the other thing you need to remember is that Ozzie isn’t done yet. In fact, he’s never been done in the first week of August. Once camp cuts come around, the Ravens will use the cap space they have remaining to nab some veterans on the O-Line to help fill some voids, and we’ll be A-Okay. Realistically? You can use this same argument (camp cut casualties) to help fill voids at inside linebacker, as well as running back (I’m not sold on any of the UDFA’s just yet, nor am I sold on the oft-injured Kenneth Dixon, and I think Alfred Morris needs a phone call).
Just remember folks: the Hall of Fame Game was merely an organized scrimmage between two teams whose main goal was to come out healthy and unscathed. Both did so. Don’t invest too much into narratives from this game alone, but instead, look at the preseason as a whole to draw conclusions… unless it’s about Breshad Perriman. You can go ahead and make every last assumption you want there because you’re probably 100% dead on.