The Chicken Box Ravens Defense is Loaded

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Off the Mark

The knock on Lamar Jackson coming out of Louisville was his accuracy – or lack thereof. So far, the rookie signal caller has done little to dispel concerns over misfires that at times during camp, have conjured up thoughts of Nuke Laloosh.

Many have argued that accuracy can’t be taught. Let’s hope for the sake of Ravens Nation that it can be.

Jackson looked better against the Rams than he did in Canton, OH versus the Bears, but 7 of 18 against the Rams second and third stringers won’t cut it. Jackson’s learning curve may end up being the most fascinating thing to watch in the Ravens 22-season history.

Ravens D is Loaded?

Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager who covers the Ravens during the preseason, had some pretty flattering things to say about Wink Martindale’s defense. Check it out…

Put me in the wait-and-see line when it comes to the Ravens defense. Concerns remain over the inside linebackers’ ability to cover in space or adequately defend their zones. And until they prove it in real time beginning September 9, 2018, the jury is still out on the Ravens pass rush. Terrell Suggs looks great, Matt Judon looks like he’ll improve upon a productive sophomore season, and Tim Williams is showing signs of being a threat off the edge.

That said the Ravens will need an interior push and they’ll need Tyus Bowser to become the player they hoped he would be. Early indications are not promising for 2018 given Bowser’s regular appearances in the trainer’s room.

Indiana Here We Come

Following their 8:45 AM practice on Thursday, the Ravens will gather their things and head off to Indianapolis to practice against Frank Reich’s Colts. The two teams will scrimmage on Friday and Saturday and then on Monday they will play at 7:00 PM on ESPN.

Things have certainly come full circle, haven’t they? There was a day when Baltimore area fans would have protested anything to do with the Colts. Remember all of the angst leading into that Divisional Playoff game at M&T back in January of 2007?

Admittedly, I didn’t think twice about the planned practices. I guess it is evidence that as a fan, I’m over the Colts’ move. That said, it has to be considered at least a mild surprise given the history, that the Ravens are being hosted by the team formerly known as the Baltimore Colts, and still owned by an Irsay.

Does it bother you that the Ravens are traveling to Indianapolis to practice against the team that left Baltimore?

Dixon Sighting

Kenneth Dixon is a player that I’ve had high hopes for, ever since the Ravens drafted him in 2016. He flashed as a rookie, left with an injury and came back later during the 2016 season and flashed again. But we haven’t seen him on the field since and his time in the tub this summer leads absolutely no one to believe that his return to the practice field this week will be a lasting one. Even his coach has doubts.

“I really want to see [Kenneth] out there in a game. He looked good in practice the past few days, [he] looks like he’s healthy. To see him in a game will be exciting. I’ll be holding my breath and looking forward to seeing him make one of his signature moves and make somebody miss and all that. If he can do that, that would be good for our team.” ~ John Harbaugh

Jalen’s Jabs

Jacksonville Jaguars star CB Jalen Ramsey was recently interviewed by GQ Magazine and the cocky corner pulled no punches. He called Bills rookie QB Josh Allen, “trash”, said that Matt Ryan is “overrated” and that Ben Roethlisberger is “decent at best”.

So what did he have to say about the Ravens QBs?

Ravens Receivers

Andy Benoit is a well-respected writer who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated. He’s also a perfect example of why you shouldn’t take most national writers too seriously when they analyze one of the league’s 32 teams. Here’s what Benoit had to say about the Ravens wide receivers.

Those that agree with Benoit are probably the same lazy journalists who claimed that there is a quarterback controversy in Baltimore.

Suggestion. Stick with the locals for local.

Around The League

You’ve got to love Deadspin’s “Why Your Team Sucks” articles. They leave no team untouched. Recently they took to ridiculing the Redskins.

And in this case the truth hurts…

Per Deadspin:

“The Skins didn’t want to pay Kirk Cousins $84 million guaranteed, so here’s what they did instead: they traded a third-round pick and promising cornerback Kendall Fuller to Kansas City in exchange for a quarterback who is five years older than Cousins, averages nearly 60 fewer yards per game, and averages nearly a full yard less per attempt. Then they gave THAT guy $71 million guaranteed.

There are people here who think that was smart. I’m not even kidding. You should hear Skins fans here talking themselves into Alex Smith. Alex Smith is a very nice fellow who needs to be surrounded by Pro Bowlers and coached by a play-calling savant in order to average more than 150 yards a game. The Chiefs got a career year out of him last season and still couldn’t be bothered to keep him around. He’s authored not one, but two of the worst postseason collapses in HISTORY.”

Down Goes Frazier!

And in this case, Frazier was played by Ben Roethlisberger.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers dramatic quarterback was knocked to the ground by offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert during practice. The collision has ushered Roethlisberger into the league’s concussion protocol.

Big Ben should be just fine but not until he milks the setback for all it’s worth – like every other injury he has ever suffered in his lifetime.

Over in (Make) Believeland…

Speaking of dramatic, the Browns are the featured team on this season’s Hard Knocks and through two episodes I must admit, it isn’t bad thanks to your typical Browns theatre. First there’s tight-end David Njoku who has been showcasing hands of stone during camp. Here’s an exchange caught on camera between Njoku and Browns defensive linemen Nate Orchard and Chad Thomas:

Orchard: “Whaddup David, you should get on the Jugs, David.”

Njoku: “F— you.”

Orchard: “Aight, cool. Good talk.”

Thomas: “You can’t catch a cold butt-ass naked in Alaska.”

Orchard: “Uh huh!”

Njoku did snag two TD catches during the Browns preseason opener in the Meadowlands against the Giants.

More to come in the weeks ahead including a rookie WR who can’t stay out of trouble, a defensive lineman who plays a fantasy financial planner and a couple of coordinators who are certifiable lunatics.

Bud Light is having fun with the Browns history of losing. They have placed 10 fully-stocked “Victory Fridges” within FirstEnergy Stadium and in various locations around Cleveland. Each cooler is locked and can only be unlocked from a wireless signal that will be sent immediately following a Browns victory. Upon opening Browns fans will be free to consume the contents of the cooler.

What happens afterwards is anyone’s guess.



This Day in Music History

1965, The Beatles set a new world record for the largest attendance at a pop concert when they played in front of 55,600 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City. The Beatles were paid $160,000 for the show, the set list included: ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘She’s a Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Help!’, and ‘I’m Down’. Two of the Rolling Stones were among the audience, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard and later that evening; Bob Dylan visited The Beatles at their hotel.

1969, Woodstock Festival was held on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre farm in Bethel outside New York. Attended by over 400,000 people, the event featured, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shanker, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat and Tears, Arlo Guthrie, and Joe Cocker. During the three days there were three deaths, two births and four miscarriages.

1991, Paul Simon played a free concert in New York’s Central Park before an audience of three quarters of a million people.

1992, Boyz II Men started a 13 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘End Of The Road’ the group’s first US No.1. Taken from the Eddie Murphy film ‘Boomerang’, it broke the 36-year-old record held by Elvis for the longest run at No.1

Quote of the Week

“If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life forever, take a look in the mirror.”

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. 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. More from Tony Lombardi

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