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Peters Set to Return

Marcus Peters
Original Photo by the Baltimore Ravens
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My biggest takeaway from John Harbaugh’s presser on Monday was this – Marcus Peters will return in 2022!


If we just want to talk about the big picture of the defense, certainly you’ve already mentioned the fact that we’re going to be getting guys back. We’re going to get two first-round pick corners back, so that’s a good place to start. ~ John Harbaugh


If the Ravens opted to part ways with Peters, they could save $10M in cap space, but then of course they’d be down a corner who happens to be the defense’s best playmaker. Given Harbaugh’s statement and the team’s cap situation, the guess here is that an extension is in the works for Peters that could reduce his 2022 cap number by $5-7M from the current $15.5M number.

And speaking of roster management, I encourage you to listen in to this podcast featuring Jeff Zrebiec from The Athletic and Brian McFarland from RSR. The capable duo provides outstanding insight into the issues that will affect offseason moves. This is a great primer to set you up for tomorrow’s presser featuring Eric DeCosta.

Taking it to The Streets

Ok, enough of the Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald parallels to his somewhat similar namesake who happens to be the Ravens new defensive coordinator. But for the fools who didn’t believe (sorry, had to slip in one more), MacDonald comes across as a supremely prepared man on a mission. He displays on-his-feet intelligence and an exuberant passion that all add up to the team’s credo, Play Like a Raven.


“The aggressiveness – absolutely – is going to carry over, but I think you’ve got to look through the lens [of], ‘What does aggressiveness actually mean?’ It’s about keeping the offense off balance and where they’re not really believing what they’re seeing on a down-to-down basis. So, a lot of times, that will come with the schemed-up pressure – that’ll happen. A lot of times it could be a fake pressure, it could look like this coverage and play like another one. You’re changing the stress points of the zones and things like that and just trying to create doubt at all times. You want to be the one pushing the envelope, rather than the other way around. So, that aggressiveness, that was something that … That’s a principle of the Ravens organization – is aggressiveness.” ~ Mike MacDonald on the transition from Wink Martindale


Nine Years Ago Today

Back in January of 2013 after the Ravens beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, naturally discussions surfaced about a trip to New Orleans for Super Bowl 47. I worked several different angles regarding accommodations and flights and had it nailed down – even got a ticket, a very good seat offered to me at face value, positioned amongst other Ravens. Everything was falling into place.

Until I got the call…

“Tony, the person I originally promised this ticket to changed her mind and now she is planning to go. So I can’t offer you that ticket anymore.”

I was crushed. The best laid plans, blown to smithereens. It’s tough to reset your mind to pay prices 500% over face value for seats that aren’t as good after you thought you were sitting pretty in a great seat at face value. So instead of dusting off, collecting myself and figuring out a Plan B, I pouted and said, “screw it”, although in a much more profane way.

My wife tried to snap me out of it – and eventually she did. But by that time, the entire plan unraveled and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the preferred plan slipped through my fingers like a Flacco-to-Evans pass in the 2011 AFCC Game. And so I didn’t go.

Super Bowl 35 was a celebration. It was a dominant display from a team described by Sports Illustrated as the Baltimore Bullies. They flat out kicked ass and I was there, 20 rows off the field on the 25-yard line! Super Bowl 47 was a survival. After 35, I was jubilant. After 47, I was relieved.

Here’s to remembering 47, played nine years ago today, ending fittingly with a safety and resulting free kick that ended with Josh Bynes’ takedown of Ted Ginn, Jr.

Senior Bowl

The Reese’s Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday at 2:30 PM on NFL Network. Eric DeCosta has been posting videos from Mobile, Alabama, site of the game. Here’s one of the EDC vids, and you certainly have to wonder if he’s being sincere or if this is an extension of the Liar’s Luncheon, aka the Ravens annual pre-draft press conference.

Among the offensive line talent that allegedly intrigues the Ravens GM:

Daniel Faalele
Luke Goedeke
Bernhard Raimann
Cole Strange

In the Perch

Get your wallets out NOW if you’re a fan looking for a bargain on Ravens PSLs.

Zone E: Face Value-$2,500—- Thank You Price- $500
Zone F: Face Value-$1,500—- Thank You Price- $500

NFL Relationships & Integrity

Too often, NFL players are labeled with a broad stroke as being deviants, spoiled and entitled. In part, the media is to blame for that because the focus is too often on things that players do wrong off the field. Apparently negativity sells, as opposed to the good that players do in the community. Being around the NFL for over 18 years now as publisher of this site, I have seen the devotion of players to their faith, the time and money they spend in the community and their commitment to family. I can also tell you that as a cross-section of society, a microcosm if you will, the percentage of players engaged in sordid extracurricular activities as a percentage, is smaller than that of the general populace.

The ties that bind in the NFL, the interpersonal locker room relationships, run deep. When quality men are brought together in an intense way and their success depends on each other, mentors and proteges emerge and those connections will outlive the time spent as co-workers.

Such is the case of Raiders CB Nate Hobbs and his former coach Rich Bisaccia.

Thank you Bea!

Yesterday I shared my take on the class action suit spearheaded by Brian Flores who was recently ousted by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Whether you agree with Flores’ position or not, you should be impressed by his integrity. He’s willing to risk his career for a cause that is bigger than him and one that will outlive all of us.

Flores just strikes me as a man who wants to do the right thing. He avoided overtures (and that may be putting it mildly) to accept $100,000 from Ross (who also has an ownership stake in a sportsbook) for each game tossed in 2019 as part of an effort to position the Dolphins to select Joe Burrow in the 2020 NFL Draft. He resisted encouragement to tamper with a would-be-available quarterback as part of a clandestine recruiting effort. And he sucked it up during his interviews with the New York Giants, plowed through the process despite knowing the G-Men’s front office has already decided to hire Brian Daboll.

I’m not sure how or when Flores’ mission will end, but I think it’s safe to say that the good old NFL boys club will have no choice but to adopt measured change that it has successfully resisted for 100 years. Flores’ will be the face of this suit. But others are sure to join in with their stories of alleged improprieties.

The Athletic spoke with partner David Gottlieb from the law firm representing Flores, Wigdor, LLP. One of the questions asked of Gottlieb centered upon former Browns head coach Hue Jackson who suggested on Twitter that like Flores, he too, was offered money to lose by an owner, the Browns Jimmy Haslam. Gottlieb was asked if Wigdor has reached out to Jackson.

“I can tell you that there’s been a number of conversations with people, both inside football and outside football, and we expect that there will be additional people coming forward in the coming days and weeks.”

THIS, is just getting started…

 

Hail to The Commies?

Daniel Snyder from the jump, has been a despicable owner of the Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Redskins and now known as The Commanders. Let the jokes begin!

Since Snyder bought the team in 1999 covering 23 seasons, his team has a record of 156-212-1 and they have two playoff wins against six losses. Arguably Snyder’s biggest victory (so far) is his ability to escape culpability for the extreme sexual oppression that many women/victims have alleged is part of the Commanders’ culture.

Perhaps Jon Gruden’s lawsuit will shine a new light on the creepy Snyder and his merry band of yes men and make them go commando before the legal powers that be. The league is equally culpable in their willingness and ability to maneuver the law in a way that sweeps this scandal under the rug. The entire story calls to mind Roger Goodell’s decision to destroy all of the material evidence that implicated the Patriots in Spygate. Sometimes the NFL plays out like a mobster flick.

 


“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” ~ Vince Lombardi


The Russell Street Huddle

Many of our sponsors are Ravens fans and that certainly includes Jason Gray from D&L Window Tinting. I sat down with Jason to talk about the Ravens and a few awesome products that D&L has that should get the attention of most who visit RSR.

Music Fanimal

On this day in Music History (1959) Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” die in a plane crash.

In Episode 7 of Music Fanimal we were forced to call a play at the line of scrimmage when we learned that the talented Ed Neenan was in mute. Ed came down with a case of laryngitis so we decided to do a best of, selecting one song from our previous 8 musical guests including (in order, time stamp): Tony Sciuto; Rob Baier and Denny Grace from Kanye Twitty (2:39); Jeff Mullin and Frank McCreary from Sons of Pirates (6:10); Dave Tieff (9:27); Dennis Schocket (12:51); How’s My Hat (15:48); Vertigo Red (18:50) and Rob Fahey (22:50). Great performances that I encourage you to check out.

My Single Friend

My Single Friend tells girls he dates that he has an identical twin. That way if he sees any of them in public he can ignore them and later blame the “twin”.

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