Archive for the ‘FJM’ Category

Preston's Solution: Be More Like Best Players Ever

September 15, 2010

Preston’s words in italics.

In the Ravens’ 10-9 win against the Jets Monday night, Ryan was clearly outcoached by head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens staff. It wasn’t really close.
The Ravens made some adjustments to their game plan, while the Jets stayed status quo on their way to defeat.

It was evident right from the start. Once Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was sacked on the Ravens’ first offensive play, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron went with more tight and power formations, even an unbalanced line to help his offensive tackles and protect his quarterback.

I could be wrong here, but haven’t we heard time and again that Cameron scripts the first 10-20 plays of every game well before stepping on the field? Exactly what evidence does Preston have that the sack-fumble on Flacco resulted in Cam throwing his gameplan completely out the window? Cam was somehow SURPRISED that the Jets blitzed and got pressure?

“Oh, Rex is going to try to hit our quarterback? Well then, won’t be needing this anymore, I suppose…”

/throws playbook into the stands

/finds stick on the ground, starts drawing plays in the dirt

“Ok, team, here’s what we’re going to do….”

If Cam really did adjust his entire game plan on the fly AFTER ONE PLAY, he is either a complete moron, or…the person who suggested this scenario is.

In the passing game, the Ravens took advantage of one-on-one matchups, while Ryan never changed his blitz-happy scheme. Poor Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie. As members of the Jets secondary, they were repeatedly burned by Ravens receivers as the Ravens; pass protection schemes countered the Ryan blitzes.

Yes, poooor them. Wilson and Cromartie deserve our pity. You know who I feel sorry for? Cromartie’s kid…the one whose name he doesn’t remember.

While the Ravens were chucking it downfield, Ryan had second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez throwing mostly short passes. It got ridiculous after a while, especially since the biggest question mark surrounding the Ravens in 2010 is the suspect play of their cornerbacks.

Maybe Ryan didn’t get the memo.

Who uses “memos,” these days? Do you still use them in the newspaper business, Mike? That would certainly explain why the whole industry is on life support.

The Jets get messages to Rex Ryan the old fashioned way – by printing them in fortune cookies and on restaurant menus and the toilet paper at the Jets’ facility.

Look for more blitzes Sunday

The Ravens didn’t show a lot of exotic blitzes against the Jets because they didn’t have to, but that won’t work against the pass-happy Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.

Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer has receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, and the other player to keep an eye on is No. 3 receiver Andre Caldwell.

The Ravens couldn’t match up with Caldwell last season, and after Monday night’s game, we still don’t know have any idea if they can stop him because the Jets didn’t challenge the Ravens’ secondary.

/looks up Andre Caldwell

Caldwell has a groin injury and didn’t even play against New England. Also, he is listed as the fourth WR on Cincy’s depth chart, behind Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and Jordan Shipley. But yeah, the Ravens should focus on him this week.

Just lazy, Mike.

Flacco has room for improvement

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco turned in a decent performance Monday night against the Jets, and he “slid” well side to side to avoid some pressure, but he still needs to improve his mechanics.

Flacco is having some of the same problems as a year ago because he doesn’t step into some of his passes and he throws off his back foot. Flacco has to learn to step up in the pocket hard like a John Elway, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

Oh, is that it? Joe just has to be more like those three guys?

Fire quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn immediately and hire Mike Preston to replace him, Steve Bisciotti. He’s figured it out.

When he doesn’t step forward, he drops his elbow close to his body which causes his passes to sail. There are also times that he doesn’t know when to put air under the ball, and when to throw it on the line. It’s frustrating with Flacco because there are times when he shows the appropriate form, compared to his predecessor, Kyle Boller, who had very little technique.

Preston, showing that even though it’s been two full years since Kyle Boller suited up as a Raven, he can’t write piece without taking a jab at him.

Let it go, man.

The Ravens need to address these issues quickly because they have quality receivers who can go up and catch the ball. Sometimes with quarterbacks in this situation, they get lazy and rely more on their receivers than the appropriate mechanics.

“By week 8, I expect Joe Flacco to be throwing left-handed, no-look, behind-the-head passes because, shit…’ANQUAN IS OUT THERE!’”

Easy There Harbaugh

Harbaugh, understandably so, was extremely happy after the win against the Jets, but he got a little carried away when he said Lewis has not lost a step.

Let’s not go crazy.

Maybe Harbaugh hasn’t seen film of Lewis during the 2000 season.

This is the kind of throwaway, lazy shit that drives his readers crazy. Really, Mike? John Harbaugh never watched Ray Lewis play in 2000? Of course that’s it.

WTF is he going to go up there and say?

“Oh, well, if Ray wasn’t so old, fat, and slow compared to when he was 25, we would have won that game 10-0 easy, or maybe even 10-to-negative 12. I should really look into replacing that guy.”

Throw your keyboard into the Bay, Preston.

Nakamura the nickel again next week?

The Ravens have found a way of getting safety Haruki Nakamura on the field. Nakamura played as the nickel back against the Jets, and could be in the same situation against the Bengals even though the Ravens might be better off using another cornerback in this game.

Nakamura versus Caldwell?

I’m taking Caldwell in that matchup.

“Haruki, you may be the coach’s ‘favorite player,’ but you couldn’t cover an injured fourth-string wide receiver.”

Ravens reach settlements with two players

The Ravens have reached injury settlements with guard/center David Hale and offensive tackle Stefan Rodgers. The news about Hale is disappointing because he was one of the hardest workers on the team and was actually starting to become a solid player.

Maybe the Ravens will bring him back next season.

New game: take a shot every time Preston ends a blurb with a “Maybe…” comment.

Good effort by Suggs

Ravens defensive end/outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had six tackles against the Jets, including one sack. Suggs also had a couple of hurries.

It was a good game against a quality left tackle in New York’s D’Brickashaw Ferguson. And if Suggs can add a move or two to his repertoire and learn how to set up his moves, he could become the most dominant pass rusher in the NFL.

“What Suggs really needs to do is be more like Bruce Smith, Michael Strahan, and Reggie White. That’s the ticket.”

Keyboard, meet Bay, please.


New Feature: FJM'ing Mike Preston

August 31, 2010

One of the main reasons blogs irritate the old-guard type sportswriters in this country is because they provide a platform in which anybody with an internet connection can tear down the work of these “journalists,” sometimes exposing them for the ridiculous hacks that they are. When a sportswriter publishes a piece nowadays, their words are available out there in cyberspace for billions of eyeballs, as opposed to just those eyeballs attached to people who subscribe to that particular newspaper or magazine. And, instead of said words being tossed out with the garbage twice a week and then largely forgotten, they remain in the binary world of cyberspace pretty much indefinitely.

The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of sports-journo takedowns was the blog “Fire Joe Morgan.” As that site has entered retirement, the torch has been passed to others, such as “Fire Jay Mariotti.” These guys are absolute geniuses at times, and show little, if any, mercy for bumbling wordsmiths like Rick Reilly, Gregg Easterbrook, and of course, Jay Mariotti.

“Fire Joe Morgan” is so universally accepted as the gold standard in this practice that the style of line-by-line attacks on a piece has simply become known as “FJMing.”

Another guy who has taken the practice to new heights is omnipresent internet funny-man Drew Magary. Drew’s weekly roastings of Sports Illustrated’s Peter King over at Kissing Suzy Kolber are consistently the most commented-on blogs on the site.

I think, for the most part, these rippings are done mostly tongue-in-cheek. Drew, for instance, has several times expressed discomfort with readers harassing King in-person the way Drew does in his blogs. Nobody REALLY wants these guys to get fired, but sometimes they need to be held accountable for their drivel. Especially since there are so many more capable sportswriters (no, I don’t mean me) littering the internet, doing the work for pennies (or less), while people like King and Easterbrook and Bill Simmons rake in the dough while struggling to put together coherent thoughts and contradicting themselves every other week.

Anyway, all of that was a long-winded way to introduce something new around here.


The most obvious target for a B’More-centric FJM is Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston. Ravens fans have a funny relationship with Preston, as he is a guy that many of us LOVE to HATE.

“Did you see what Preston wrote? Man, I hate that guy,” is probably one of the most common phrases uttered around water coolers in Baltimore from September through December. Extremely opinionated, often contrary, and usually negative, Preston does what he is paid to do – get attention – very well.

But man, does he get under our skin.

For this first installment of FJM’ing Mike Preston, we’ll go with just this short little blurb he wrote as part of Ravens’ Insider‘s “instant analysis” of the Giants game:

Mike Preston: The Ravens’ passing game was strong, but I’m hoping this isn’t a repeat showing from last season when the Ravens started throwing the ball all over the place, and got away from the running game. Hopefully, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron learned from last year’s mistake, which also led to injuries to quarterback Joe Flacco.

You’re right, Mike. The REAL reason the Ravens have used Ray Rice so sparingly here in preseason is NOT because they are saving him for when the games start to count, or to prevent injury, or to keep his legs fresh, or any other sensible explanation. No, the real reason is that this really is the new Ravens offense. Joe Flacco can plan on throwing the ball 50-60 times every game in 2010, while Ray Rice will be lucky to get 5 carries a game.

Come on, man. After putting together incredibly run-heavy game plans in 2008, followed by a nicely balanced attack in 2009, did Cam Cameron really suddenly become Andy Reid overnight? You can’t really believe that, can you?

You don’t buy the conventional wisdom that Cam is using the preseason to develop timing and chemistry in the passing game? You don’t think its wise to get Joe Flacco as many “live” reps with Anquan Boldin as possible before September 13?

After all the good that the Ravens’ offense displayed on Saturday night against NYG, all Preston’s “analysis” consists of is “derrrrrrr, I hope they don’t get away from the running game?” REALLY? Really.

You suck, hack.