Honoring Fallen Ravens
After the tragic deaths of Jaylon Ferguson and Tony Siragusa, it feels like football has come to a stop in Baltimore. And for good reason – these two men were bigger than just the sport they played. Sure, “Sack Daddy” was poised for the best season of his career, but his true pride was in his three children with his fianceé. And of course “Goose” was a huge part of the 2000 Super Bowl team, but his larger-than-life personality endeared him to even the biggest rivals well after his playing days.
I know the team will find ways to honor these two men this season, but I’d like to endorse two specific ideas.
1) Number patches on helmets. As a current member of the team, Ferguson’s 45 should definitely be on there, but with rookie Travis Jones currently wearing Siragusa’s 98, it may not be possible to include both.
I would love for the Ravens to wear a 45 patch or helmet decal in honor of Jaylon Ferguson this season.
— RAMEY (@HoodieRamey) June 23, 2022
2) Let’s bring a Super Bowl home to Baltimore. Do it for Ferg, and do it for Goose. We can even honor Siragusa by breaking one and having to get another, like he did back in 2001.
Goose once took The Lombardi to NJ where he hosted a party. It was dented while chipping golf balls over it. Then they dismantled it & used the ball in a pickup game. When returned the trophy was a mess. The #Ravens ordered a new 1 from Tiffany's & David Modell kept the original. pic.twitter.com/EGw0dxMVv5
— Tony Lombardi (@RSRLombardi) June 23, 2022
To get that Lombardi trophy, though, the Ravens are going to have to go through a treacherous AFC filled with elite quarterbacks. Last year’s wave of two-high and split-field coverages offered a blueprint that Mike Macdonald is primed to execute with this offseason’s additions.
After finishing in the top 10 of defensive DVOA 3 out of 4 seasons, BAL made a surprising decision in replacing Wink with former assistant Mike Macdonald, who will shift how the Ravens think about and play defense. https://t.co/kCLnFcr3aW
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) June 22, 2022
Ted Nguyen of The Athletic does a great job breaking down the Ravens’ defensive approach this season. I especially enjoyed how Macdonald is making sure that every defender, regardless of position, knows the assignments of every single player on the field for any given play. That will help players make adjustments that can have huge impacts.
On the other side of the ball, I’m still very confident in the Ravens’ current receiving corps – including their tight ends.
Mark Andrews is busy with a wedding, but it looks like Ravens rookie Charlie Kolar made it to @te_university … or at least its food trucks.
(via IG/te_university) pic.twitter.com/43DoqEj7pq
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) June 23, 2022
It was nice to see Charlie Kolar attend Tight End University. There’s a lot of hype – and deservedly so – around Isaiah Likely, but I think Kolar will be a weapon this year as well. Sure hands and a high football I.Q. will be especially valuable on goal-to-go and short yardage passing situations if opponents stack the box to stop the run.
But the calls to trade for D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin will persist, partially because the Ravens can afford to sign them to market-level extensions, something Robert Mays and Nate Tice brought up on this morning’s The Athletic Football Show.
🚨New Athletic Football Show!🚨@Nate_Tice and I run through 10 moves — OK, it was like 15 moves — we'd like to see before the start of the season. Trades, signings, however it needs to happen. https://t.co/0z0p97Aa3U
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) June 24, 2022
I’m loathe to give up draft capital, especially after this year’s bounty of great picks. But giving up a first-round pick stings a little less when you’re expecting it to be in the late-20s (or ideally, 32), so if either receiver is available and wants a reasonable, market-rate extension, I’d at least explore a deal.