Friday, June 25, 2010

Can Walt Harris find his fountain of youth in Baltimore?

Back during the offseason of 1997 the Ravens attempted to address some serious concerns at the position of cornerback. To help in that regard the team dipped into the free agent market and signed Rod Woodson who had just finished a subpar season with the San Francisco 49ers.

The move at the time seemed to be a bit of a reach particularly when the 49ers signed free agent corner Antonio Langham who the Ravens were all too happy to remove from their roster.

Langham struggled mightily in Baltimore so naturally the two moves combined raised serious doubts.

Why would the 49ers make no attempt to re-sign Woodson yet they were all too eager to make Langham a rich man?

Woodson had a so-so year at corner for the Ravens in 1998 and after the team drafted Chris McAlister, Marvin Lewis did the sensible thing and put the former All Pro corner's football acumen and willingness to deliver a blow to work at safety. Woodson went on to be a Pro Bowler for the Ravens during his final three seasons with the team, 1999-2001.

Yesterday the Ravens signed another free agent corner who is a former Pro Bowler, Walt Harris. Now Harris is a bit long in the tooth and he'll celebrate his 36th birthday during training camp in Westminster. But in short spurts maybe Harris can play. Club insiders believe that he is an upgrade over the more youthful Frank Walker but then again, some cynics might say that a folding chair is an upgrade over the former Raven.

That said, maybe like several before him Harris can play better as a Ravens defender than he did with his prior club. Besides Woodson, Sam Adams, Tony Siragusa, Tommy Polley, Trevor Pryce, Mike McCrary and Corey Harris come to mind.

Every now and then you get lucky by taking a shot with former Pro Bowlers like Harris.

Come to think of it, the Ravens have added a few other former Pro Bowlers in Ken Hamlin, Shayne Graham and Marc Bulger.

Who knows, maybe they'll get "lucky" again.


Jerry B said...

Hope springs eternal......

Anonymous said...

Anyone's better then Frank "Mr. Toasty" Walker!!