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Objectivity

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Everything posted by Objectivity

  1. Machado is one of the top players in the game. Who wouldn't want him signed long term to their club? The odds of finding one person who can replace what he's capable of are incredibly long. That being said, there's one knock about Manny that I can't get out of my mind, and I know I'm being unfair in saying this. A few years ago, Manny got hurt and was given the option of taking time off and healing and getting back in time for the playoffs or having season ending surgery. He chose the surgery and wrote off the rest of the season. To me, if you have that option, you try to recover and rehab knowing if it doesn't work surgery is still an option and you'd still be ready for the next season. There didn't seem to be a need to end the season at that point, but there didn't seem to be any hesitation or frustration about making that decision. That makes me question his commitment somewhat. And, like I said, I know that's not a fair thing to say because I don't know all the variables. All I know is what I saw and the impression it made.
  2. Wieters has been a good player for the team. When he first came up, people here had him inked into Cooperstown. That's hard hype to live up to. In relation to that, he's a bust. Compared to his peers, we're lucky to have him.
  3. Dumervil will be 32 at the start of next season. Suggs will be 33. At some point, their best isn't going to be as good as what is was the year before. Regardless of who is chosen, the truth is that our defense needs an influx of young talent to learn from and replace our old talent. At the same time, our offense is underwhelming with few true weapons at WR, an underwhelming running game and a line that doesn't protect Flacco (or any other QB) the way it should. Behind the scenes, this team needs a three year plan based on age and expiring contracts. A LT in the first round would be the first step in that direction - someone we could count on for the next five years or beyond. After that, there are a lot of different options available. Regardless of direction, this team needs to get strategic once again. It's great that it typically does well with undrafted talent, but that should be a nice surprise, not an essential part of fielding a winning team.
  4. There have been plenty of dumb penalties, but I wonder if some of them aren't the team trying to cover for their deficiencies. They know their weaknesses better than us and they know the cause better than us. For years, I've felt we'd had the players and the depth to outperform the bad game planning and calling of Pees. Now, the talent isn't their and they can't hide his weaknesses. If taking dumb penalties is what's necessary to be put in a fighting chance to win when you're told to play seven yards off on third and three, then take the penalties and the benefit from the other times the officials don't catch you making the same mistake.
  5. I agree about a future restructure. I would have picked after next season as the likely time, but I think they'll need to be creative to absorb the hit from Rice's contract. As for Flacco's contract, he gets criticized constantly because he was the first QB to cash in under the new CBA. Look who followed him - Romo, Dalton, Ryan, Kaepernick. Am I missing anyone? All those contracts are as big or bigger. Like it or not, his contract is the going rate for a QB during his first renegotiation. Basically, in today's NFL, teams have three choices - pay $100M for a QB they drafted and groomed after 4/5 years, sign some mediocre short-term solution or draft a new QB to develop and be back in the same situation after 4/5 years. Realistically speaking, if the Ravens want to be competitive, what alternative do they have? The "elite" QBs aren't going to become free agents. He's better than those who will be available. Would you be happy with them cutting ties, drafting a rookie and hoping that player is the second coming of Flacco (3 AFC title games in six years and 1 SB win)? I think you'd be disappointed. As it is, the Ray Rice situation is going to have long term effects. If Bisciotti sees errors in the way his leadership team handled this you could see massive offseason turnover in a lot of positions, including Ozzie, Cass, Harbaugh and Byrne (not that he's at the same tier).
  6. I'd say the same thing to this that I would say to people who add people to their Hall-Of-Fame ballot after the first year, "What has he done between his last game and now to make him more worthy?" I understand the view of "no statues for living people." Agree or not, I understand it. But to think a time limit is necessary to determine whether Lewis is "a big deal" seems a bit ridiculous. Also, regarding Lewis and Atlanta, I'll leave the last word with the homicide detective who investigated the case. "?I don?t think Ray Lewis ever should have been charged with murder. I don?t think he committed a murder.?
  7. My only concern is that this approach will proved dated. With the running game devalued almost universally in the NFL, why spend so much to stop the run if few teams are committed to running. Personally, I can still see the benefit. Shut down the run, make the other team one dimensional and then have CBs and safeties who smother the receivers. But, if you're heavily invested in run stoppers chances are their WRs are better than who you're putting against them.
  8. I had to stop laughing at this before I replied. A straight shooter? This is the COLUMNIST (not a reporter by any stretch) who writes glowing articles about the players/coaches who give him inside information and goes after those who don't play his game. Going back a few years, there was a "name" player on defense who was just awful. IIRC, it was Samari Rolle, but I could be misremembering. Anyway, he was getting called out for truly atrocious play by fans. All of a sudden, in the middle of all that, Preston writes a glowing article about how wonderful he is and people just don't understand. Preston sees himself as a kingmaker. I think Tony's take is pretty close. The final decision was Harbaugh's. In the end, he was the one who said Kubiak was his next offensive coordinator. That being said, I'm sure a Ozzie and Bisciotti was in his ear telling him if his picked Hostler is would all be on his shoulders if it didn't go well. I think that and an honest look at both men's credentials made the choice a lot easier. I do see one significant potential danger though. If Harbaugh and Kubiak clash, Kubiak has all the leverage. Virtually the entire offensive staff will be guys loyal to him. Can Harbaugh be the boss who lets the people around him do great work, without worrying about the details and just overseeing everything. Can he let go enough to be a CEO instead of a COO?
  9. Prosecutors cut deals every day. It's their job to prosecute and get the conviction. But, in most cases, the entirety of the case is not dependent solely and exclusively on purchased evidence. From what we've been told, that's the case in this instance. Also, the AP alert I received today says a federal judge has ruled that ARod can't use sealed documents from his arbitration to file for appeal. So basically, ARod can't challenge his suspension that was based on secret evidence because then the secret evidence would be made public and we'd know how legitimate it is (or is not). If that happened to you, would you call it justice?
  10. I can think of two reasons. First, if he truly feels he's being railroaded by a group of people who have bought evidence and witnesses to arrive at a prearranged outcome, what benefit is there to doing that. Second, and more importantly, his Fifth Amendment freedom to not have to testify as a witness. Admittedly, this wasn't a court, just an arbitration hearing, but a choice to not testify should in no way indicate any person's innocence or guilt.
  11. Arod has never failed a drug test. The evidence against him, for the most part, has never been made public and would likely be inadmissible in a court of law. The primary witness against him is being supported by MLB and the basis of its argument is evidence that it paid $125k to purchase. I don't like ARod, but what's that expression about letting 100 guilty people go if it means protecting one innocent person from false punishment? There are a lot of crooks out there, we know who many of them are, even if they've never been convicted. ARod is guilty in the eyes of most people. Once his contract is up (or he's cut), he will never play professional baseball again. He will never be invited to old timer's games. He won't be in the Hall of Fame. He'll be an extremely wealthy nobody. I'm happy with that as a punishment. I'm not comfortable with a punishment based on secret evidence, all of it from highly questionable sources. If they can do it to him with all his money and visibility, what protects any of us if someone decides to make us target #1 for whatever agenda they have?
  12. I absolutely agree. Flacco hasn't been perfect and makes mistakes, which all quarterbacks do from time to time. Personally, my biggest complaint is that he takes sacks when he should throw away the ball. That being said, with all the other issues this team has, the Ravens are really Joe Flacco away from being the New York Giants.
  13. Is it the offensive plan or the play calling? Caldwell's weakness is that he's never called an offense before. If I remember correctly, he has built game plans before. Maybe the solution is to have someone else call plays or turn over everything to Flacco. A bit extreme, but it can't be worse than this.
  14. If you're going to run vanilla plays that are counter to who you are, they're always going to look bad. It's like asking an right-handed artist to paint with their left hand, it's going to look like crap. I think they did that one series to show that they could execute their plan and then went back to running out the clock. Did Flacco throw longer than 20 yards once this preseason? I doubt he'll get past the first series without throwing at least one long ball. Now, whether the receivers catch what he throws is a different story. If teams double up Smith and no one else finds success, then we have a huge problem. But with Smith, Stokely and Jones you have three receivers who are proven. Mix in the x-factor of Brown and Mellette and something good might happen. If Peyton has time to get deep to our secondary all game, we've lost. That's true for any team. But, if Suggs and Dumervil are a constant threat, Manning can be thrown off his game. That's why he has problems in the postseason, top players can cancel out his advantage. Also, that's why I feel confident about this game. The Ravens game plan week one for months. Last year we crushed Cincinatti because we had a gameplan that Caldwell helped create as part of the group. After that, it was all Cam and we saw the difference. A few years ago we crushed Pittsburgh week one because of the time to gameplan. I think we'll have a plan in place to highlight our best aspects. I'm more worried about week two or three when we get our annual "we didn't prepare this week" game.
  15. Manning didn't cost him that game... coaching did. They had a tie game at home with time left on the clock, two or three time outs and a quarterback they paid $20 million specifically to win in that situation and they chose to kneel. Some coaches don't have the ability to think big in big situations. John Fox is one of them. Leslie Frazier also got added to that list last year. Their starting QB couldn't play in the playoffs so they put in a gameplan to protect their backup as if it was a mostly meaningless game in Week 4. If you're in a must-win situation with a backup, you need to play it as if it's must win. If you lose, then it's because your quarterback wasn't good enough, not because you were gutless and chose not to try.
  16. This. 1,000x this. Tebow is not going to win in a traditional NFL offense. I think everyone, including Tebow himself, gets that. But, Tebow's time in Denver proved two things. 1) Tebow can win in an offense built around his strengths. Not only because it makes him play better, but because opponents refuse to adapt because they think it's beneath them. They'd rather lose and say Tebow is playing the game wrong than do what it takes to win. 2) No team is going to change its offense to suit Tebow because they've all agreed how the game should be played and that's not the way. Look at how miserable John Elway was when the Broncos were winning with Tebow as QB. He made Tebow the starter to show that he couldn't play and then all Tebow did was win. The happiest John Elway looked during that whole stretch was the day after the New England loss. Personally, I think the NFL needs a Moneyball moment where someone does something different and wins because everyone refuses to adapt. Or maybe that's already happened. I don't see Kaepernick or Wilson getting support as good players in this league without the path being cleared by Tebow.
  17. True. But, I think BPA is also shorthand. It's really best player available on the Ravens draft board. I wouldn't be surprised if "need" factors into the determination of "best." I doubt Gino Smith is high on our board at all for the reasons you stated. That being said, if a center or guard were available for any of our higher picks and we would have had him ranked higher if our need had been greater, we could still take him.
  18. I think it's best player available no matter what. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if this draft skews a bit more offensive than people are anticipating. Yes, we have defensive needs. But you don't pay your starting QB what we're paying Flacco without making sure that he has all the tools necessary to pay back the investment on the field. I don't think Austin is realistic, but if things go funky and he falls to the mid 20s (extremely doubtful), then I could see a trade. On a separate note, how many players are "locks" to make the team? Obviously some lower round picks don't pan out, but how much space do we have on the roster.
  19. I'm not making myself clear, and I understand that. Balancing the cap in the NFL is a magic trick. You not only have to get under the cap this year, you need to understand how much you're borrowing from the future and when those bills are going to come due. At the same time, the NFL is a team sport and depends a lot on each player knowing those around them and trusting that everyone else is doing their job so you can just worry about doing yours. We've now lost six (?) defensive starters from last year. If the replacements are all/most "Next Man Up" and are familiar with each other, then there is little problem. If it's a defensive expansion team at the top of the depth chart, then it really doesn't matter... they're going to be good, but the knowledge and trust that comes with time won't be there. I also wonder where Pees fits into this whole thing. Has he been managing a defense he wasn't happy with? Is this converting the defense to play his style of football? The only worry I have, at this point, is that Ozzie's value of players is different than the market's value of players.
  20. Swap the series, take Bisciotti up on making up the lost revenue. Problem solved.
  21. I think the movie is going to be extremely enjoyable. That being said, I'm wondering if there will be some push back because these new movies are lacking in any actual star trekking. I'm also worried that despite all the secrecy and misdirection the major story beats are pretty obvious. I hope the basic framework is more than - Kirk is a hotshot. Kirk gets in trouble. Kirk saves the day.
  22. Legacy is about perception not reality. Half of the defensive starters (roughly) will be new next year. Individually, I'm ok with every change. Collectively, it could be seen as a team being so locked into a plan it refuses to adjust to unexpected circumstances. If they were the Orioles, the assumption would be the organizational incompetence that we grew used to over the past decade+ (last season as a possible exception). The Ravens have proven to have a consistently reliable front office. That doesn't mean that it's infallible. I have no doubt this team will make the playoffs next year. I just think its dangerous to be where the team is right now and have to have so many things go right. At some point that's not going to happen.
  23. I'm ok with that as long as the $ value is the market value. For many years, the Orioles had a $ value for players that was often much, much lower than what the player could get from any other team. The team was bad because the Orioles first offers were so ridiculously insulting that players refused to even listen any more. I don't think that's the case here, but Ozzie is gambling with this team and his legacy right now as much as Flacco did with his contract last year. If the Ravens go out there next season with a retooled team and make at least the second round of the playoffs, then Ozzie did the right thing and kept us competitive for years to come. If the Ravens defense implodes and every game is a shootout that we lose 38-35, then next season (or the season after, for appearances) Ozzie is retired or AD at Alabama and we're in a true rebuilding mode for the next half decade, at which time that team will have nothing left from the "family" team Harbaugh was raving about just a few months ago. Ozzie isn't just risking his legacy to validate his system, he's risking Harbaugh's legacy and Flacco's legacy as well. If he builds a bad team, they're going to get as much of the blame as he will. I like the idea that we're getting younger and faster (and hopefully aggressive once again, I miss that). It doesn't mean that I'm not nervous. It feels like we've built the stakes so high that we need another 96 Draft with two HOF selections just to break even. As for Reed, I have nothing but fond memories, but I hope he doesn't live to regret this move. As a Raven's future Hall of Famer, he got a pass for a lot of his antics on and off the field. As a Texas, he's an interchangeable part brought in to make a better machine. When he contemplates retirement next offseason, how will the Texans and its fans react. When he abandons coverage on a gamble that doesn't pay off, how accepting will they be? If he intercepts a ball and tries shoveling it to an unsuspecting teammate and the opposing team gets it back, how will he handle the boos from the fans that have no interest in his past feats with a rival team?
  24. The city saw that many people before. And recently. If they pulled the victory parade in the streets of safely, then two games where fans are in stadiums and off the road would be easier.
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