Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MOMENT OF TRUTH: Ogden Should Retire...Ray is a Liar

I found it interesting that just minutes before Jonathan Ogden was supposed to go on the air as ESPN 1300’s Anita Marks’ week long side kick from radio row in Phoenix, he was on air with WNST. To their credit NST wasted little time and tried to get Ogden to fess up and reveal his plans for the 2008 season. Ogden bit his lip but if it’s possible to predict an action based solely on tonal inflections during an answer, my guess is we’ve seen the last of Jonathan Ogden in a Ravens uniform. And that’s a good thing!

I mean no disrespect to J.O. Who among us could question his contributions to the organization? But it’s time to move on. It’s time to see if Adam Terry can get it done if told left tackle is his job to lose. He’s performed well at LT when he’s been given a chance to stick his toe in the water. Let Terry take a full body plunge and give him the job in ’08. Here’s hoping that J.O. hangs up the big toe.

Ray Lewis has spoken out in the past and he’s clearly been the instigator of controversy. Last week while on the set of The Best Damn Sports Show, Ray was a mock contestant in a mock version of Fox’ TV show “Moment of Truth.” For those not familiar with the show, the contestant is put through a series of increasingly difficult questions and the truthfulness of the responses is validated by a polygraph machine.

Ray was asked if Brian Billick was a good head coach. He said yes. He was asked if he was better than Brian Urlacher. He said yes. He was then asked if he could get away with it would he take performance enhancing drugs. Ray said no. Finally Ray was asked if he believed that the Ravens could win a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Ray said yes.

The polygraph confirmed that only one of Ray’s answers was a lie. More on that in a bit…

Few around the league would find fault with the Ravens’ drafting prowess and their ability to evaluate collegiate talent. If there is a weakness in the Ravens approach on draft day, that weakness clearly lies in their inability to produce an impact player in rounds 2 and 3.

I will tell you that Ravens’ Director of College Scouting Eric DeCosta is a driven, determined and emerging NFL executive. His character is such that he is openly more critical of his own mistakes and more interested in mending them than accepting praise for the many right choices he’s made since assuming the reins from Phil Savage in 2005.

Some critics have said the Ravens front office hasn’t been the same since Phil Savage left. To that I say, “You better take a closer look!”

Savage’s last draft with the Ravens was by far their worst. The Ravens left their war room on day 2 of the 2004 draft with Dwan Edwards, Devard Darling, Roderick Green, Josh Harris, Clarence Moore, Derek Abney and Brian Rimpf. Four of the seven aren’t even in the NFL and the others have produced very little.

Clearly Phil Savage’s star is rising a bit after a successful campaign in Cleveland. Let’s see what they do this year now that they aren’t near the top of the draft and that they don’t have a No. 1 pick thanks to the trade they made with the Cowboys to nab Brady Quinn. Clearly the jury is out on Quinn but you would think Savage may have learned from the 2003 trade with New England for the rights to draft Kyle Boller.

Some also seem quick to forget that Savage was hanging by a thread in Cleveland. If not for a successful 2007, Savage and Romeo Crennel could have been on their way out. Instead they stay. Crennel even received an extension through the 2011 season. Crennel had two years remaining on the five-year deal he signed in February 2005. The extension is believed to be worth about $4 million per season.

I wonder if Phil Savage is familiar with Brian Billick’s 2006 contract extension. Hello, McFly!

Back to Ray Lewis and the mock game of “Moment of Truth.” Ray’s answer that was refuted by the lie detector was his “yes” answer to the question, “Did you think the Ravens could win a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer at quarterback?”

Wonder if Ray had something to do with the Ravens acquiring Elvis Grbac…

Surely I jest…

I think…


Harryos29 said...

Tony Jan 31, 2008
Well, this is the last Day of January and from what I'm reading, you may be right about J.O. retiring.... Last day of January...Last game for J.O. It all seems to fit. ... I caught a glimpse of J.O. with JAMES DUKES tonite on the NFL Channel covering the Super Bowl. I must admit, Old J.O. was looking dapper with a new Close cropped hair cut...
I saw Ray also on that show. I think he was thinking more about Carmen Electra...IMHO. That would make my Lie Detector Needle go hay-wire too.
Harbaugh is assembling what Appears to be an ALL PRO Coaching Staff. I can't wait for Training Camp.

Anonymous said...

You're right about J.O retiring. Either way, I just hope he makes the announcement quickly this year.

But in my humble opinion, you're vastly overrating DeCosta. This is the guy who said Mark Clayton was an impact wide receiver - Wrong.
That Dan Cody was a first round talent and a steal in the 2nd round - Wrong.
That Chris Chester had the most upside of any lineman he's seen in years - Still technically TBD, but I'm laughing.
That Yamon Figurs was worth trading up for in the 2nd round of the draft - Wrong.
That Haloti Ngata was a beast - OK got one right.

I know it's Ozzie who makes the final decisions on draft choices, but you know DeCosta also has his fingerprints on it. How many fullbacks can we take in the 4th and 5th rounds (3 in the last few years) before the team realizes you can get the same talent at that position in UFAs? How many special team specialists are we going to waste draft picks on for the same reasons? How many mid-round draft picks like PJ Daniels and Devard Darlings will continue to waste roster spots or get put on IR with phantom injuries?

DeCosta has to answer for why there is such limited depth on this team at so many positions. I hope you'll ask him some of these tougher questions next time he's on your show, which I know he visits frequently.