Hot in the city. Hot in the city! Tonight!
As we sweat out the days and nights dreaming of Training Camp and a possible Super Bowl run we are still hard at work talking all things purple. So, this time our law expert Jonathan Scruggs has put forth these questions three for our esteemed panel to break down in a segment we call Ravens roundtable.
As always audience particiption is encouraged.
Question #1 – Do you think the Ravens are deserving of all of the praise and hype that’s been thrown their way by the national media?
First up, Gene Winner:
Yes they deserve the hype to some extent, the Ravens added new weapons on offense which should make them potent, not mention the help on the D-line with Redding, Kindle and Cody. The only obvious question mark is the secondary because of injuries. This unit hasn’t got me sold just yet–and it’s looking like the “Dirty Dozen” movie as they are signing quite a few veterans as a stop gap.
Next up, would be myself, Matt Jergensen:
They deserve credit for finally building an offense and that is why the national media is crowding this bandwagon. The defense has always been the face of this franchise and many people have always wondered what this team would be like if they had a potent offense that didn’t struggle to score. If the offense can meet expectations this will be a really fun year for Ravens fans. I’ll admit it seems weird though. Fans seems to relish in the argument that the national media hates us. That won’t wash this season.
Lastly, the orginator of the debate, Jonathan Scruggs.
No. Until they start winning the Ravens do not deserve all the hype thrown their way. They haven’t earned it yet. Yes they made the playoffs for the second straight year last season, yes they destroyed the Patriots in Foxboro, but until they show that they can make it to Dallas in February, they don’t deserve anything. Don’t get me wrong though, this is a damn good football team that’s only getting better, but potential means nothing once the whistle blows. We finished up as the 3rd best team in the AFC, that’s about where our hype level should be right now.
Question #2 If the Ravens could steal one player from any other active roster in the NFL which player would you choose and for what reason?
Gene “the Winner Takes it All” :
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Why? We need a shutdown corner! After C-Mac was released the team has yet to find a shutdown corner. The good news is the Ravens have lucked out with Lardarius Webb and he could be that corner for the future.
Jared Allen. Why? He gets to the quarterback. Simple as that. Ever since he came into the league with Kansas City he just finds way to slam the opposing quarterback to the turf and that’s a consistent element that’s been lacking on this defense for three seasons. Add it and it could get ugly for the opposition.
Jon Scruggs :
I would take hands down Troy Polamalu. Could you imagine having Troy at Strong Safety and Ed at Free Safety? That would be the most ludicrous and intimidating defensive backfield in the history of the NFL. Two almost assured hall of famers put together would be an absolute force to be reckoned with. Teams would be lucky to score 7 points against the Ravens.
Question #3 Which team is the bigger threat to the Ravens at this point in the off season, Cincinnati or Pittsburgh?
They sure are making it easier for us in the AFC North aren’t they? Off season wise the edge goes to the Bengals. In Cincy they had good draft and picked up a good receiver. But the possible suspension of Cedric Benson (he got into trouble again) could really mess things up for them. With Pittsburgh the suspension of Big Ben and shipping off their number one play-maker–that hurts their off season. As far as when the season gets here, Cincinnati has a tough schedule, can their motley crew keep it together another year? Pittsburgh may end up as the biggest threat.
At this stage I’d have to say the Bengals. Historically, Cincinnati gives Baltimore fits and I didn’t want to bring this up but they swept us last season. I really think their defense is developing into something special but for them to be a true threat they need Carson Palmer to return to form. If he can connect with their draft choices they are a team to be reckoned with in 2010. The Steelers have had a nightmare off-season but it’s hard to count them out just yet. Realistically the Ravens have a chance to sweep the Steelers for the first time since 2006. They just have way too many issues to ignore and they appear to be ripping apart at the seams.
Pittsburgh’s woes have been well documented this off-season. From Ben’s indiscretions to Willie Colon’s busted knee, nothing seems to be going right along the three rivers. That being said they are still a very dangerous team, and it’s unfortunate that so many prognosticators have been writing them off. Every team in the AFC North (yes even the lowly Browns) have the talent and manpower to shock the NFL. With a little luck and a lot of heart, even supposedly bad teams can surprise. However, that not withstanding, the Bengals pose the larger threat to the Ravens’ Superbowl aspirations. The Bengals have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster, and with Carson coming back fully healed and recovered, I’d say they could lay a hurting on the Birds of Baltimore… For whatever reason they have had the Ravens’ number for some time and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.