Friday, May 30, 2008

What do the Ravens see in Freddie Mitchell? What doesn't Mike Preston see in Troy Smith?

I’ve been asked by several people why it is that The Sun’s Mike Preston can walk away from a passing camp practice with such a pessimistic perspective on Troy Smith when the rest of the media in attendance discussed Smith in glowing terms.

I thought Smith was very impressive also. I detailed the reasoning in my blog on Thursday. One thing that I didn’t mention Thursday is the growth I’ve seen in Smith in less than a year as well as the apparent disappearance of an awkward hitch in his wind up. I consider those to be positives as well.

When I considered what Preston wrote, it forced me to put things into perspective. Was Smith impressive? Yes. Is he possibly a quality NFL starter? It’s way too early to address that. Is it possible that along with several other observers that my enthusiasm over Smith was a bit too extreme? Perhaps.

You see we have grown so accustomed to watching sub-par play at quarterback here in Baltimore that when one of the quarterbacks actually does some things that catches your attention – something that is a bit eye opening, you pause and take note. Did Smith do anything extraordinary? No. Did he do some things that good NFL QB’s do? Absolutely!

And when you take Smith’s performance on Wednesday and compare it to that of Kyle Boller’s, it’s hard not to get excited. When a sailor is at sea for 5 years he might get pretty excited about the first semi-attractive woman he sees when he returns to shore.

You get my drift…

Similarly Preston may be so used to seeing bad QB play from anyone dressed in a Ravens purple jersey that he has become somewhat jaded. Some may say that he’s intentionally controversial.

Whatever the case may be, two things are clear: 1) Troy Smith looks better than he did at this time last year; and 2) He clearly looks better than Kyle Boller. And that’s a start. Let’s see where it goes from here.

Several have also emailed me today questioning the Ravens interest in Freddie Mitchell. I have also questioned this somewhat puzzling interest in a receiver who couldn’t stick on a receiver-needy team in Philly. His bark was far worse than his bite but not as bad as his haircut.

That said, the Ravens do things like this all the time, not just prior to a season but during a season as well. Other workouts probably don’t get the attention that this one with Mitchell has received because of his flamboyant history. Still this is a very curious workout and I’m wondering if the intent is simply to send a message to an underachieving corps of receivers.

Derrick Mason you are excused…


bond said...

Maybe the tryout says plenty , maybe our receivers aren't that good , maybe Cam doesn't like what he sees , I know I don't...........

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the 29 geniuses who think trying out Mitchell is a good idea.