Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ravens were never interested in Brandon Marshall

It’s interesting how many sources claim that the Ravens were in pursuit of Brandon Marshall. They never, ever seriously considered the guy. Read my lips…NEVER…that’s N-E-V-E-R!

Just because Marshall has game and wanted out AND everyone outside of the Ravens’ front office believes the team has a glaring need at wide receiver, media folk and fans alike pegged the Ravens to this malcontent.

The fantasy football-minded among you who supported the idea of Marshall in purple rationalized away this off the field train wreck’s transgressions by saying, “Who cares about the 13 run-ins with the law! How many CONVICTIONS has he had?”

Or what about this one: “His girlfriend is just a gold digger.” You know the one he’s allegedly used as a speed bag a time or 13?

Then there were those who point at the troubled players that have made their way through Baltimore in the past. Bam Morris, Eric Green, Corey Fuller and Jamal Lewis – all have had skirmishes or worse with the law as a member of the Ravens’ organization. And let's not forget Atlanta and Ray Lewis.

So what’s one more thug, right?

Maybe you are on board with Anita Marks’ opinion that Marshall is going to be putting up numbers somewhere this season so why not have him do it in Baltimore?
Now there’s some seriously flawed thinking…

Last year the Ravens credo, “What’s our name? RAVENS” was all about the team. This year the theme is “Play like a Raven.” Add the two together and does it suggest that the Ravens give up high end draft picks and a boatload of money for a player whose behavior screams arrogance, entitlement and selfishness?

Some might suggest that a little bit of thug on an NFL football team isn’t such a bad thing. Do you have to have a 53 man roster of choir boys?

Not necessarily but why pay dearly for the risk of trouble? It flies in the face of what John Harbaugh stands for and it really goes against an organizational philosophy that touches the players, the coaches, the scouts, the front office and the ownership. The philosophy is one that stresses team and the composition of the team will consist of tough, smart, fast, good citizens who love the game of football.

By creating an organization marked by classy employees, it invites more of the same. Future free agents may be more inclined to join the Ravens over clubs competing for their services because of the culture. All things being equal, do you think that the wife of a player looking at the quality of an organization might pick a team like the Ravens over another because they nurture an inviting value system?

From a business perspective, Steve Bisciotti is boxed in to the north by the Eagles, to the south by the Redskins and to the west by the Steelers. All of those organizations have deep, rich traditions with large fan bases. So how does Bisciotti reach out and expand his fan base to help him sell more tee shirts and hats, etc, etc? He has to appeal to the masses and a wholesome quarterback and a solid organization practicing core values might have national appeal particularly when the current commissioner deals with off the field issues in a heavy-handed manner.

Marshall to Baltimore never had a chance and for those who want to twist quotes from Ozzie Newsome or Harbaugh and suggest they had sincere interest in the guy, let’s put that notion to bed now. Marshall has talents the Ravens would love to harness but not with the associated risks. If Marshall were to come in and become an off the field problem, Harbaugh would lose credibility with the players who are now on board the Harbaugh train but initially hesitant to embrace his style.

Think of Willis McGahee. Here’s a talented player who has struggled to toe the Harbaugh line. Now a year later and judging from his surprisingly inspired play during camp thus far, it appears that McGahee is on board with Harbaugh.

The system works.

Why would they risk it for even one malcontent?

The TEAM is building something here and the idea of Marshall to Baltimore was really dead on arrival. The Ravens probably chose not to squelch the rumors and allowed them to fester because the rumors can’t fracture their organizational resolve and they might even help to create leverage for them when dealing with other players, perhaps even Derrick Mason.

Now that Mason has returned and is practicing with the team today maybe fans will back off the Marshall idea.

But then again the prevalent fantasy football mentality might not allow it.
You only need to listen to The Fan weekdays between 3-6 PM for proof.


Jerry B said...

Now that Flacco's "go to" guy is back in the fold, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. We can also dismiss those rumors involving the likes of Brandon Marshall, who apparently has problems both on and off the field. The Ravens will always be on the lookout for talent to upgrade any position, but for now, they look like a playoff team. All they need do, going forward, is to stay healthy and....beat Pittsburgh!

Ben said...

Can we stop thinking that Madden Football is real football? Just because Brandon Marshall might be a 95 on the throw happy Mike Shannahan Denver Broncos doesn't mean he's a 95 here.

Just look at all the Defensive stars we've let go. Think Atlanta wasn't expecting a linebacker in the high 80s when they signed Ed Hartwell? How about the Giants when they signed Will Demps? The Texans when they drafted Jamie Sharper? Or the Cards when they signed Duane Starks?

So if you want a team that plays real football with a team first mentality than the Ravens are your Team.

However if you want one that seems to think the NFL is Madden then I think there might be a team about an hour away south of here that you may identify with.