First off, let’s update the last blog: Reed has finally gotten on the practice field with the rest of the team, albeit with a caveat: Reed has been wearing a red “no-contact” jersey, of the type usually reserved for quarterbacks. According to John Harbaugh, Reed should be ready to go by opening day, but we have our doubts. When asked about the injury, Ed told the media that it was “more in depth than what you have been hearing,” and that he could not really explain it because he is still himself “researching” it. So we still don’t really know anything more about the nature of the injury, whether it is structural, a nerve issue, or what.
Ed isn’t the only former hurricane to be having problems either. Tavares Gooden has been out of practice since the New England game. The team, as has been their M.O. under this new regime, is also keeping this injury very close to the vest.
Next up on our list of hurt-i-canes, Willis McGahee, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee this week. Yes, the same knee that exploded in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Harbaugh said that McGahee too, will be healthy in time for opening day. After being all about reshaping the poor public opinion of him that came out of his time in Buffalo last year, Willis seems to have regressed a bit this offseason. He participated in none of the voluntary minicamps, then showed up to training camp overweight and out of shape. And he has seemed to always have one reason or another to sit out the majority of practices. I’m not saying Ray Rice will be the starter any time soon, but if you draft Willis in your fantasy league, let’s just say that it may be a good time to subscribe to the ol’ “handcuff” theory.
On the bright side, many of the other injured starters, including Dans Cody and Wilcox, Chris McAlister, Haloti Ngata, and Adam Terry, have been seen working on the sidelines and look close to being ready to return to the practice field.
But of course, there is the omnipresent Baltimore question of WHO IS THE QUARTERBACK? As I’m sure you’ve heard, John Harbaugh has already named Troy Smith as his starter for Saturday’s game against Minnesota. And there is a typical little rumor floating around the airwaves that Ray Lewis mentioned to a Boston Globe writer last week that he preferred Troy Smith to be the starter.
Just what we need, Ray.
For all the good he does, it sure would be nice if he would let the damn coaches do their jobs and worry about defense for once. If we Ravens fans have heard it once, we’ve heard it 1000 times: the players LOOOOVE Troy Smith. He’s a great leader, he has that swagger, blah, blah, blah. That’s all fine and good, but last I checked, SWAGGER DOESN’T WIN FOOTBALL GAMES! Smith looked mediocre at best in New England, missing badly on several of his passes, and has been awful in practice since being named the starter (he almost threw 2 picks Monday morning). Troy’s “swagger” has been described by some as borderline arrogance, and I get the feeling he has a bit of a little man’s “Napoleon Complex” going. He showed some good and some bad last week, just as Boller did. The days of the “inmates running the asylum” are supposed to be behind us here in B’More, so the decision on who to play under center should rest squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. John Harbaugh doesn’t need this type of bull as he starts his head coaching career, and let’s hope he gives Ray a bit of an earful regarding his latest flapping off of the mouth.
That’s all we got for now, B’More fans.
Countdown to kickoff: 27 Days
photo credit: Baltimore Sun