Archive for August, 2011


August 29, 2011

Like many of you in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, I am being more than a little inconvenienced by that bitch Irene. The Hurricane/Tropical Storm that tore up the East Coast this weekend has left me without power not only at my home (shitty) but also at my office (not so shitty!)

They tell us it could be a few more days before power is restored, so posts could be sporadic here at the Nest for the time being. However, know that we have some epic GOOBVISION in the works to be posted sometime next week before we all head down to Beaufort, North Carolina (still standing, somehow) for Goob’s nuptials. It won’t be so much a game preview as it will an all-encompassing thesis on Steelers hate.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to keep up with Ravens news via the radio in my car during my many trips to buy ice or gas to refill the generator, and during treks out to Wi-Fi hot spots (currently at a Panera Bread). I feel a bit cut off from the world, that’s for damn sure, but I’m not complaining. A lot of homes and lives were much more affected than my own over the past several days. The extent of my Hurricane “clean up” was picking up a bunch of downed branches in the back yard. I’ll be alright. Just don’t hold the lack of posts against us.

We’re about sick of this preseason mess anyway. It’s time for the real football to start. September 11 is less than two weeks away. We’ll be here all season – don’t worry about that.


Ten Ravens on Scouts, Inc.'s "Top 200"

August 24, 2011

ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. has released their annual player rankings (subscription required) for the 2011 NFL season, and this year the Baltimore Ravens boast 10 players in the Top 200. Last year, they had 11.

The Ravens had the second most players on the list out of AFC North teams. Pittsburgh had a whopping 14, while Cleveland had only three and the trainwreck that is the Bungles managed just a single player on the list (Andrew Whitworth).

Ed.Note – Matt Williamson, the Scouts, Inc. guy that wrote the article, is a Steelers fan. Fourteen players? Pfff.

The 10 Ravens on the list, along with their ranking (on a scale of 1-100) and overall ranking (out of 200 players) are as such:

  1. Haloti Ngata (92, 14)
  2. Ed Reed (91, 21)
  3. Terrell Suggs (89, 31)
  4. Ray Rice (85, 52)
  5. Ray Lewis (84, 67)
  6. Matt Birk (82, 94)
  7. Marhsal Yanda (82, 113)
  8. Joe Flacco (82, 115)
  9. Ben Grubbs (80, 170)
  10. Anquan Boldin (79, 191)

The Scouts give a more detailed take on each player as well.

Haloti Ngata

Ngata has been a mainstay on the interior of the Ravens’ defense since entering the league in 2006. He is one of the largest and most powerful interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

He has excellent foot agility and quickness for his size. Ngata can push the pocket with strength to bull rush offensive linemen. He feels pad pressure well and uses his hands effectively to gain leverage and restrict running lanes. He was an impact pass-rusher in 2010. He is a versatile lineman who can align in more than one position in the Ravens’ 4-3 scheme.

Ed Reed

Reed has rare instincts. He has elite range and is one of the few backend defenders whom quarterbacks truly fear.

Reed is a game-changer from his deep center-field position, which allows the Ravens to be very aggressive with their schemes. He is a supreme ball hawk with rare anticipation and ball skills. He is also an extremely dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands and is an immediate threat to score.

Terrell Suggs

Suggs is a great combination of size, strength and athleticism for the outside linebacker position. He has excellent quickness and speed off the edge with enough burst to close in on the quarterback. He understands leverage and how to get his opponent off-balance as a pass-rusher.

He uses his hands well to disengage as a run defender and work the edge of blockers. He is a versatile player who can effectively drop into coverage and is best in underneath zone schemes. He isn’t extremely fast in pure man coverage and is rarely used in that way. He reacts quickly as plays unfold, which enables him to be active to the pile.

Ray Rice

Rice is a short, powerfully built player with excellent athleticism and instincts. Rice runs with a low center of gravity and has a powerful lower body.

He can threaten the corner and is capable of breaking longer runs. Rice also shows very good balance and good hands as a receiver out of the backfield. He has excellent instincts with the ball in his hands and, despite not having elite speed, he can pick up yards in chunks.

Ray Lewis

Lewis has excellent instincts and vision to react quickly to the run and pass. He has outstanding football intelligence and is able to make all the checks and adjustments needed in the Ravens’ complex scheme.

He has natural power to run through blockers. Lewis is a crafty veteran who takes great angles in pursuit and maintains leverage on the ball carrier. He is a solid pass defender primarily because of excellent anticipation and route recognition.

Matt Birk

Birk is a crafty veteran who understands angles and leverage as an interior blocker. He is an excellent technician who uses his hands well to maintain body position.

He is athletic enough to slam and chip to the second level and stay connected with his target. He is effective in space and keeps his pads over his feet well when blocking downfield. He can anchor in the middle against powerful bull-rushers and has the quickness and range to make blocks on the perimeter.

Marhsal Yanda

Yanda has been a solid starter for the Ravens’ offense since entering the league in 2007. He has had some durability concerns in the past, but was able to stay on the field the entire 2010 season.

He continues to improve his technique and has developed into a consistent performer as an interior lineman. Yanda is a versatile lineman who can play right tackle or guard.

He doesn’t have the ideal height or athletic ability for tackle and plays with too narrow of a base to be a pile-moving guard. But Yanda is fundamentally sound for such a young player and has an aggressive edge to his game.

He looks to finish and his strength has improved to help him stay connected. Marshal Yanda has quietly become a reliable performer along the Ravens’ offensive line.

Joe Flacco

Flacco has outstanding arm strength and can power the football into small windows. He has developed good touch on deep throws as well as timing and anticipation in the short and intermediate phase of the passing game.

He isn’t much of a run threat but can avoid and be effective outside the pocket. He shows poise under pressure as well as great toughness to stand in the pocket to let patterns develop.

Ben Grubbs

Grubbs has excellent foot agility and quickness as well as deceptive speed. He can move big-bodied defensive tackles off the ball in one-on-one situations and can pull or combo block to the second level.

Grubbs can anchor against powerful bull rushers, using good body positioning and effective hand use.

He is not a liability in space and can recover laterally when initially beaten off the snap.

Anquan Boldin

Boldin is a very strong receiver who is able to use his body to get separation coming out of his stems. He does an outstanding job of making plays in the short-to-intermediate passing game because of his good acceleration into routes, toughness in traffic and ability to excel after the catch.

He is a very good route runner who can line up in multiple positions and cause matchup problems for defenses.


What Gets Goob Goin?

August 23, 2011

This week’s Goobvision is a little bit different. In his new segment, “What Gets Goob Goin?,” Goob rails off on drunk fans, terrible owners, and huge NFL contracts.

(Please ignore whatever that is that happens at 3:32.)

Football Outsiders: Flacco's First 3 Years Similar to Brady, Favre, Kelly

August 22, 2011

I often find myself having to defend Joe Flacco’s play.

Which wouldn’t be surprising if say, I was having these arguments with a bitter, jealous Redskins fan or a misguided Falcons fan who still thinks Matt Ryan is the best QB taken in the first round in 2008.

Of course, if it was a bandwagon-riding towel-twirling Steelers fan that was hating on Joe, it would make perfect sense. The Pittsburgh-Baltimore rivalry makes us blind to the thought that the other team could even possibly have a decent player or two.


See what I mean?

But no, unfortunately – and mind-bogglingly – it’s usually my fellow Ravens fans with whom I’m having to somehow defend Flacco. Yes, the same Ravens fans who – save for one year of Steve McNair – have never, EVER, had a decent quarterback to call their own before Flacco. Joe Flacco is far and away the absolute best QB to ever wear the purple and black for more than a single season.

Flacco has done everything – and more, if we’re being completely honest – that you could possibly expect from a quarterback through his first three seasons in the NFL.

  • He has the wins. Both in the regular season (32-16) and in the playoffs (4-3, all on the road).
  • He has the numbers. His completion percentage, touchdown rate, interception rate, and passer rating have increased every year so far. From Week 3 on in 2010, his passer rating trailed only that of Tom Brady.

And yet, some Ravens fans are still not satisfied. I have no idea what these people want.

Wait, scratch that, I do. They want Joe to actually BE Tom Brady. Or Peyton Manning. Or now, Aaron Rodgers.

Anything short of that, and he might as well be Kyle Boller.

The calls on the local sports talk radio stations (some – ahem – are worse than others) to replace Flacco with his backup du jour – whether it happens to be Troy Smith (2009), Marc Bulger (2010), or now, after he made a play or two against the Chiefs’ third-string defense in a freaking preseason game – rookie sixth round draft pick Tyrod Taylor, are as consistent as they are maddening.

And so, I’m always on the lookout for more ammo in defense of Joe that I can throw in the face of these moronic, unthinking, football-know-nothings. The people that don’t care that it’s not just us sane locals, but every single national writer or broadcaster that comments on the NFL, who can’t believe the kind of bashing Flacco receives in his own town.

This time, the shells I’m loading in my Flacco-haters-are-idiots shotgun come from none other than Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. Schatz and FO are basically the end-all be-all as far as advanced statistical analysis of the gridiron goes. They’ve been on the cutting edge since 2003, coming up with advanced metrics such as Defense-Adjusted Value over Average (DVOA). For those of you without advanced degrees, just know that FO are basically the “Moneyball” guys of football – they know what they’re talking about.

I purchased FO’s 2011 Almanac, a publication they put out every season. I don’t want to give out too much here for free, as the Almanac goes for about $21.95 on the FO website, and I can certainly respect the efforts of gentlemen who have figured out a way to scratch out a living talking about football on the internet. I will, gladly, however, point out this nice little gem from the Baltimore Ravens preview chapter:

By our similarity scores, the most similar quarterback to Joe Flacco over the years 2008-10 is Tom Brady between 2001 and 2003 – right before he blossomed from a winning quarterback whose stats didn’t quite match his reputation, to a winning quarterback whose stats even surpassed his reputation. The list of similar quarterbacks also includes Brett Favre 1992-94 and Jim Kelly 1986-88.

Brady, Kelly, and Favre.

THOSE are the three guys who advanced statistical analysis argue compare with Joe Flacco over each of their first three seasons.

Between the three of them, 10 Super Bowl appearances, four Super Bowl wins, two Super Bowl MVPs, and five NFL MVPs. Some pretty nice company.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Flacco-bashers.

Will Joe ever enjoy nearly the type of top-of-the-league success those guys did? Well that remains to be seen. But after three years, to be spoken of in the same breath as Brady, Favre, and Kelly? One would think that should be just about enough to make these silly fans who are unsatisfied with Joe at least stop and think twice.

Though they probably won’t.

Look, Joe isn’t infallible. Along with his strengths, Schatz sees the same things that the level-headed among us see:

There’s a lot of worry in Baltimore about whether QB Joe Flacco is ready to “take the next step,” but the signs are certainly strong. Yes, Flacco needs to throw the ball away and take fewer sacks…

Yes. Even the most “Wacko for Flacco” among us remember watching games time and again last year and urging…BEGGING…Joe to get rid of the ball as he stood in the pocket for far too long waiting for the inevitable sack. He needs to get better at some things. If his first three seasons are any indication, he will do just that in year 4 – get better.

The Ravens are, without a doubt, a flawed team – the offensive line and wide receiver spots (though less so after the addition of Lee Evans) to name two, leave something to be desired – but Joe Flacco is the LEAST of our problems.

Of course, I have no doubt that dipshits like this guy will continue to spew their nonsense about #5.

The rest of us will just be forced to, unfortunately, turn the station when these idiots clog the airwaves calling for Tyrod Taylor to take Joe’s spot.

And to, naturally, point to the stats and the win column, which tell the real story.

Lee Evans and Vonta Leach: I'm Sold.

August 21, 2011

Well, Ravens fans, are you sold on Vonta Leach and Lee Evans yet?

Because after just two games of Leach, and one of Evans, I sure as hell am.

Both had big hands in the Ravens’ first-team offense’s only touchdown drive on Friday night in the second preseason game.

First, Evans caught a 43-yard pass from Joe Flacco down the left sideline on 3rd-and-7 to not only extend the drive, but move the ball well into Chiefs’ territory. On the play, Evans displayed the kind of run-past-a-cornerback speed that Ravens’ receivers have been so desperately lacking over the years.

Evans had 3 catches for 68 yards in two quarters of work. The new #83 should prove an integral piece of the Ravens’ offensive puzzle in 2011, and although he doesn’t quite have his chemistry with Flacco down 100% just yet, it was nice to see that the two have at least some sort of a rapport already.

Two (and three) plays later, the Ravens’ new fullback showed why he was brought to Baltimore. Vonta Leach caught a short pass in the flat from Flacco, and looked like he was about to get lit up by Chiefs’ linebacker Brandon Siler. Instead, it was Siler who – by far – got the worst of things.

Leach lost his helmet on the play, but that didn’t stop him from popping up immediately, seemingly looking for somebody else to hit. On the next play, he found someone to hit as he paved the way for Ray Rice’s 26-yard touchdown scamper.

As The Sun’s Peter Schmuck put it today, Leach is “exactly the kind of fullback the Ravens needed,” and I couldn’t agree more. I got nothin but love for ya, Pain Train, but I don’t think I’ll be missing you – or thinking about you at all – moving forward.

The Ravens still have issues at offensive line, obviously, but as far as the fullback and wide receiver (not to mention quarterback, running back, right guard and left guard) positions go, our Birds are looking damn good.

Ravens Add Offensive Line Depth with LeVoir, Murphy

August 21, 2011

The Ravens have been looking a bit thin at offensive tackle here leading up to the start of the regular season, with Oneil Cousins proving to everybody that he has no business garnering even a hint of consideration to play the position, and rookie Jah Reid most likely not completely ready to step in and take on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass rushers on his own in week 1.

Well, they’ve addressed the issue this weekend, adding not one but two veteran offensive tackles.

The first was former New England Patriot Mark LeVoir. Levoir played his college ball at Notre Dame, and was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2006. He is plenty big enough over there, at 6’7″ 310 lbs. For the past three seasons, LeVoir played 32 games for the Patriots, including all 16 (two starts at RT) in 2008.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, LeVoir reportedly refused to take a pay cut to stay in New England.

For what it’s worth, in the two games LeVoir started in 2008, Matt Cassel was sacked a total of nine times. I can’t tell from the box scores how many of those LeVoir was responsible for but…well, there you have it.

Again: I have absolutely no context for those stats or their relation to Mark LeVoir. Don’t quote me as saying he’s a bum, or that he gave up 9 sacks in two games. Just presenting the facts.

The other guy the Ravens signed was former Tennessee Titan Jason Murphy.

Aaron Wilson had this to say about the center-guard:

Murphy is a Baltimore native who played collegiately at Virginia Tech.

Murphy, 29, is a 6-foot-2, 304-pounder who has previously played for the Titans, San Diego Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks, spending time on various practice squads.

He has also played in the United Football League with the New York Sentinels and Florida Tuskers.

He was also First-Team All ACC in 2005. I was hoping to expand on the whole “Baltimore Native” thing – maybe find out where he went to high school – but I can’t seem to find much information. According to Jason’s page at, he has never so much as appeared in a regular season game. (If any of you know where Murphy went to high school or can provide any more accurate NFL information, let me know).

Update: Murphy went to Edmondson High School. Thanks to reader Matt for the heads up. He was also the Baltimore Sun’s defensive player of the year in 2001. For more info, see this post from It’s two years old, but it goes into some nice detail of the charity work that Murphy is (was?) involved in locally.

Hopefully LeVoir and Murphy can show something in the coming weeks, and can help solidify what remains quite a shaky situation up front for the Ravens.

Preseason Game 2: Chiefs @ Ravens – What to Watch For

August 19, 2011

Aaaaaaah, memories

Coming off their less-than-inspiring performance in Philadelphia last Thursday, the Ravens will be looking to improve upon more than a couple things in their second preseason tune-up contest.

Coming to town are the Kansas City Chiefs, who have suddenly become “Ravens West” to the Jets’ “Ravens North” and the Redskins’ “Ravens South” this offseason, adding former Ravens Kelly Gregg, Le’Ron McClain, and Jared Gaither to their roster. While the B’More faithful will be eager to give at least two of those guys a nice warm welcome in their returns to Charm City, let’s take a look at what more important issues Ravens fans will be watching for after kickoff.


As always, the Ravens’ main concerns seem to start up front. With Marshal Yanda sitting this one out due to back spasms, public enemy #1 Oneil Cousins will be moved inside to right guard, where he hopes to reverse his fortunes from last week’s awful showing. Jah Reid will get the start at right tackle, where he will have his hands full with Chiefs’ linebacker Tamba Hali, who led the AFC with 14.5 sacks in 2010. On the other side, Michael “False Start” Oher will try to rebound from a similarly dismal performance against Philly, where he was manhandled at times, especially while run blocking.

The Ravens couldn’t block anyone in the preseason opener, regardless of whether they were trying to run the ball or throw it. Let’s hope to see some improvement tonight.


The Ravens’ other most glaring weakness against the Eagles was their inability to wrap up ballcarriers when they had them dead-to-rights. Time and again, Mike Vick, Le’Sean McCoy, and Ronnie Brown slipped out of what should have been tackles-for-losses, and turned the play around for positive – sometimes hugely positive – gains. Ravens’ defenders were in the right place at the right time more often than not, they just couldn’t seal the deal. I’m willing to give them a pass for last week’s effort – rust and all that – but I want to see a much stronger showing of sure-thing tackles here in game #2.

Lee Evans

I’m very anxious to see newly acquired wideout Lee Evans in his Ravens debut. Early reports from Evans’ first few practices with the team were that Joe Flacco was having a tough time adjusting to Evans’ speed, throwing behind him or underthrowing him several times. This isn’t surprising – while there have been a burner or two in the WR corps since Joe showed up (Yamon Figurs, Torrey Smith), Flacco hasn’t had anybody with the combination of speed and “polish” running routes for him well…pretty much ever. I’d like to see a sign that Evans and Flacco are adjusting to each other tonight, in the form of a few targets and hopefully at least a catch or two.

Sergio Kindle/Paul Kruger

While it was great to see Sergio Kindle out there on the football field running around and engaging in live contact against Philadelphia, it was Paul Kruger who really caught the eye of Ravens fans. In the never-ending search for a pass rushing compliment to Terrell Suggs, the third-year player from Utah looks like he might finally be ready to step up, recording five tackles and a sack against the Eagles. What we need to start seeing now from Kruger is some consistency – he can’t have a great game one week, then come back and be an invisible man tonight against KC.

As for Kindle, he had himself in good position several times in Philly, but seemed overanxious – understandable, considering his circumstances – which cost him the chance to make a play or two. Watch for him to be a bit less nervous/hyper out there tonight, and hopefully make a more tangible impact.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for preseason game 2. How about you – what will you have your eye on tonight?

And now, just for fun:

Goob Takes Overreacting Ravens Fans to Task

August 14, 2011

After the Ravens’ first preseason game against the Eagles, the fanbase is a bit restless due to the team’s mediocre performance. Goob gives these overreacting fans a swift boot of perspective in this week’s video, while also touching on Oneil Cousins being awful, Tyrod Taylor, and Lee Evans.


Ravens Acquire Lee Evans From Buffalo

August 12, 2011

Well, this should help quiet the bellyaching about the Ravens’ lack of receivers from SOME factions of the fanbase.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens have acquired Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans via trade.

While it had been rumored that the Bills were hoping to get a 3rd-round pick in exchange for Evans, it seems the Ravens were able to land the 8th-year veteran for a 4th rounder.

Apparently the Ravens’ brass was significantly underwhelmed last night by the performance of Torrey Smith to feel that they had to make this move. Evans instantly becomes the team’s #2 wide receiver, with Smith and Tandon Doss likely to work in as the #3-4 guys, depending on the offensive package.

Evans, 30, has had two 1000-yard receiving seasons (2006 and 2008), and averages 15.7 yards per reception for his career. He gives the Ravens a legitimate burner on the outside. In addition, Evans has been durable during his time in the NFL – he missed 3 games in 2010, the first time in his career he had missed even a single contest.

He was a Raven-killer as well. In last year’s contest, he caught 6 balls for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns at M&T Bank Stadium. In a 2007 game, he caught 5 for 98, and in the 2006 finale, 7 for 145 and a score.

Let’s hope Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco can get Evans up to speed quickly. We need all the help we can get.

Still, it doesn’t matter who the receivers are if the offensive line can’t keep Joe Flacco on his feet. O-line should be the next priority moving forward.

Eagles 13 Ravens 6: Reviewing What we Watched for

August 11, 2011

Not from this week, but might as well have been

Well, that was even uglier than expected. One of the two teams that took the field tonight looked like a team that had zero offseason organized team activities or minicamps, and was struggling to play catch up, while the other looked halfway decent for the first preseason game. Unfortunately, the Ravens were the former.

The Ravens put on a display of football worthy of the highschool-esque production team and camera crew broadcasting the game in the B’More area. Let’s review our “what to watch for” from the other day, and go over what we saw:

Offensive Line

Oneil Cousins made the start at right tackle, and did not play well. On the other side, Michael Oher also struggled mightily, especially in running situations. On the Ravens’ second play, Oher was completely dominated by Trent Cole as he tackled Ray Rice at the line of scrimmage. I believe “bench pressed” was how Qadry Ismail described it, and he wasn’t wrong.

Rice again carried from the Eagles’ 31 yard line on a 1st-and-10, and Dennis Pitta and Oher both stood blocking nobody while their left side completely collapsed and Rice was stuffed for a 6-yard loss.

Of course, there were several false starts as well, one by Cousins when the Ravens were trying to go for it on 4th-and-2. After the penalty, they were forced to punt.

Jah Reid played the majority of the second and third quarters, and seemed to hold his own…but he had not one, but two false start penalties.

You’ll fit right in, Jah.

Wide Receiver/Passing Game

The Ravens made two plays in the passing game, and neither was particularly impressive. Dennis Pitta’s catch on the first play was spectacular, but the throw from Joe Flacco left much to be desired, as Pitta had to reach behind himself and over his defender to bring it in. Ray Rice’s 27-yard grab on the Ravens’ first 3rd down attempt was nice to watch, but was more the result of some completely busted Eagles’ coverage than anything great Joe or Ray did.

The first team offense did nothing else in the passing game. Only one throw went Anquan Boldin’s way, an incompletion on a crossing route that would have been wiped out by an illegal formation call anyway, had it been caught.

Torrey Smith was nowhere to be found.

Tandon Doss had 3 catches for 26 yards, but none came while working with the first team offense.

Joe Flacco’s final play of the game looked exactly like WAY too many plays of his last year…drop back on 3rd down, nobody open, happy feet, attempt to step up, take a sack.

Not many positives here.

Backup Quarterback


Tyrod Taylor was absolutely horrific on Thursday night. His final line: 19/28 for 179 yards and 2 interceptions. He should have had three interceptions. His first pass in an NFL game was picked off.

Taylor also had six carries for 59 yards, which is cool if you’re into your quarterback doing that sort of thing.

The silver lining is that hopefully this will force the Ravens’ brass into going out and signing an ACTUAL backup quarterback here soon, and they’ll stop with all this “Tyrod Taylor can be our backup” nonsense. No, he can’t.

If Joe Flacco gets hurt for any significant amount of time, the Ravens’ season is screwed. There are no quarterbacks on the market who can take the Ravens to the Super Bowl – or even the postseason – should Flacco go down. However, there are guys out there who can keep the team afloat should Flacco be forced out for a series, a quarter, or even a game or two.

Tyrod Taylor? Not that guy. Let the search for a real backup begin.

Sergio Kindle

Kindle, unfortunately, didn’t do much to impress either. He had two tackles, but both came after his teammates whiffed on earlier attempts (more below). I suppose the good news is that Kindle went out there in an NFL game and took some hits, and seems to be no worse for the wear. Let’s hope #94 continues to stay healthy and becomes a contributor in purple this season.

Billy Cundiff

Yeah, Billy can still kick it really far. He connected on 34 and 53 yard field goals, but missed wide left on a 55 yard attempt. He also booted all three of his kickoffs for touchbacks.

That concludes the “what we watched for” categories. If I was to put together a “what we saw” list, it would have to include, in big bold letters, this: MISSED TACKLES

It was just a horrific display of tackling by the Ravens, from the first teamers all the way down to the guys that will be cut before their jerseys are even cleaned. Hopefully it was just a byproduct of the shortened practices and rust from the offseason, but I can’t even count how many times the Ravens whiffed on what should have been sure-thing wrap ups in the backfield or near the line of scrimmage. More often than not, these misses led to big plays and extended drives. Priority #1 for Chuck Pagano moving forward needs to be to get this problem cleared up, and soon.

Speaking of Pagano, I have a bone to pick with him as well.  We’ve been hearing all preseason from the media how Pagano is much more aggressive than his predecessor, Greg Mattison. Well, early on in this game, we were treated to a huge contradiction of these assertions.  On the Eagles’ opening drive, after Jason Avant’s potential touchdown reception was upheld as incomplete, Philly faced 3rd-and-goal from the Ravens’ 3-yard line.  While the drive to that point had been a disaster for the Ravens, they could have saved some significant face (not to mention points) by holding the Eagles to a field goal there. Unfortuantely, Pagano took a page from the Greg Mattison playbook and called for a 3-man rush in that situation.  The result, of course, was an easy touchdown for the Eagles.

WTF, Pagano?

We were led to believe that the 3-man rush was a thing of the past, yet…here it was, allowing touchdowns just like it did in New England and elsewhere in 2010.


The next game is Friday August 19, at M&T Bank Stadium against “Ravens West” – the Kansas City Chiefs. As we welcome Kelly Gregg, Le’Ron McClain, and Jared Gaither back to Baltimore, let’s hope the guys can figure some things out up in Owings Mills between now and then.

Because damn…that was ugly.