Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Smith gets nod while McGahee nods off

So Troy Smith gets the nod as the starter in St. Louis against the Rams. I equate this start for Smith to a hoops player staring down the front end of a 1 and 1 with his team down by 1 with 0:07 on the clock. He needs to sink both free throws and then successfully defend his end of the court for 7 seconds (number chosen intentionally).

As stated on these pages, I think going with Smith is the right call, not just for the preseason game against the Rams but also for the opener against the Bengals. I’ve listened to some sports talk radio and heard callers say that Smith is too short to play quarterback.

Granted his height is hardly ideal but if successful he wouldn’t be the first vertically challenged QB to move a football team. Jeff Garcia gets it done. He does it with sound footwork while quickly finding throwing lanes in the pocket. Drew Brees gets it done and coincidentally (or not) the Ravens offensive coordinator had a lot to do with steering Brees’ career in the right direction.

Now I’m not suggesting Smith is Brees. But then again, who knows? What I do know (or at least I think I know) is Kyle Boller is not capable of taking the Ravens to the playoffs. You have to win a few road games and he hasn’t won one in 45 months. So on the surface, the nod to Smith is the logical choice.

Looking to buy Ravens’ season tickets? Didn’t get in on the team’s 3,000 member waiting list? No worries!

The Ravens have hooked up with Houston-based to help you get a spot on that waiting list. How? The 3,000 already on the list can sell their spot to the highest bidder. According to the Baltimore Business Journal two spots have already been sold: No. 444 for $2,050 and No. 124 for $2,000. By the way, if anyone knows the person who bought No. 444 could you send along their email address? I have an 8-Track stereo system that I’m trying to unload.

Recently it was opined on The Sun’s website that the Ravens might cut Willis McGahee this year. That was a joke right?

No doubt McGahee has to be in the collective craw of the Ravens. He just doesn’t seem to be very motivated and when I read between the lines of some of his recent comments, I don’t see a player that is looking to improve or one that is really interested in winning.

"Right now, they're throwing the whole playbook at us and they want you to remember it all. What they did the first day, they might not bring it back up again until today and I'm like, 'Man, I don't remember all this.'"

McGahee may as well have said, "Hey, I'm keepin' it real."

"Yeah, real dumb" I said (in my best Chris Rock voice).

McGahee had the entire offseason to familiarize himself with the playbook. He had voluntary camps that may have helped. He had a chance to be productive from day 1 in an offense designed in large part to use a versatile back like McGahee.

Instead he reported to camp heavier than last year. It’s still early and McGahee still might get his act together. But I'm not holding my breath and I don't look for John Harbaugh to be very tolerant of a talented underachiever. That said, it would be next to impossible to cut McGahee. Not only does the team need him, there’s also a poison pill of $13.75 million the Ravens would have to swallow.

Two words for that one – “Ain’t happenin’!”

“Is happening” are two words that best describe Chris Henry’s return to Cincinnati. Marvin Lewis is not accepting “credit” for the extremely questionable roster move. He happily gives that to owner Mike Brown. Marvin, you better dust off that resume. When the owner begins making personnel moves, the next one could be to name your replacement.

Think Marvin would return to B’more if Rex Ryan moves on to be a head coach?

Let’s hope not!