Monday, August 30, 2010

The good, bad, ugly & the Megan Fox: Ravens deliver in dress rehearsal


The Ravens dress rehearsal for the season opener against the Jets was a success Saturday night as John Harbaugh's troops took down the Jets' Meadowland Stadium neighbors the Giants by the score of 24-10. The rhythm that Joe Flacco developed after a rather sloppy opening series was key because Saturday's effort will represent the offense's most recent body of work as they prepare for opening night. The carryover of a sloppy outing would have been unnerving.

The evening wasn't completely devoid of disappointment as Donte Stallworth was lost for 2 months with a fractured foot. The injury leaves the door open for perhaps another roster spot at wide receiver. The fourth and fifth WR slots will be determined by Demetrius Williams, David Reed and Marcus Smith. But on whole the team has to be pleased with the effort, making a pretty decent team in the Giants look very pedestrian.

THE GOOD: Cory Redding: Gotta love his intensity and his textbook demonstration of two-gap technique while shedding a block and stopping Ahmad Bradshaw for no gain. He also helped flush Manning from the pocket on occasion...Chris Carr: Since the midway mark of 2009 Carr has been solid and in many ways underappreciated. He was solid supporting the run defense and added a sack...Haruki Nakamura is a ball hawk and is a surprisingly decent nickel...Todd Heap looks to have discovered the fountain of youth and is playing as solidly as he has in quite some time. The constant double teams look to be a thing of the past given the Ravens 2010 offensive arsenal...Michael Oher played much better than he has as he finds his own rhythm at the blindside...Tavares Gooden was very solid on special teams as was the reliable Sam Koch...Joe Flacco showed improvement at just the right time and looks very comfortable and more focused operating the no huddle attack. He did a nice job of moving the safeties away from where he wanted to go with the football.

THE BAD: Eight penalties for 65 yards at home is just unacceptable. This must be cleaned up, particularly Derrick Mason's mouth which cost the Ravens a chance to put another field goal on the board...Joe Flacco's interception in the waning moments of the first half was forced and thrown well behind the intended target Anquan Boldin. Flacco should know better and the play tarnished an otherwise plus effort in the first half.

THE UGLY: The tackling in the first quarter was weak at best with several offenders including Dawan Landry, Jarret Johnson, Ray Lewis, Fabian Washington and Tom Zbikowski.

THE MEGAN FOX: This one goes to Cam Cameron. His game plan was spot on, utilizing the no huddle to tire out an impressive Giants' front four, help his ailing offensive line and get Flacco into rhythm. Don't be surprised if this is a precursor to the Ravens approach on Monday Night September 13 in the Meadowlands. Rex Ryan defenses and schematic complexities never quite seem to deliver a consistently effective answer to the no huddle.

12 comments :

Jerry said...

Tony,
Ask your boy DeCosta how they found Nakamura. I'd be interested in that story. What a steal. I think I read somewhere, maybe Sun paper, that he wasn't even invited to the Combine. Dude's turning out to be a beast. He tackles like a safety and covers the slot like a corner. And plays his ass off on special teams.

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Aug 30th
..Jerry is right on...First, love that name... when I first heard of his signing... I was expecting someone who spoke broken English and looked like Kelly Talavou??
.. He may be the eventual (now) replacement for the Banged up ED REED? Lets pray that HARUKI does not get hurt again. He is very Valuable....I still wish he could have gotten ONE more Block last week on the FAKE PUNT...a TD would have really shoved it to the DEAD SKINS!

Jerry B said...

The emergence of Nakamura as a "force" assuages some of the concerns about the secondary, where Washington and Carr have been equally impressive on the corners. But, the offensive line continues to be a concern. There doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency with RT, so they obviously must know something we don't. Either that or they're in "denial" and I don't mean the river in Egypt! Also, continuing the debate relative to the advisability of "impact" players returning kicks, of course risk of injury is part of the game, but the odds of injury appear greater on the......"suicide squads"! More prudent to leave kick return duties to kick return specialists.......

Phil From Frostburg said...

A few additional observations from the bleachers:
The good:
* Tony Moll wasn't half bad, certainly an improvement over Cousins. There is no one behind him at OT who can play in the NFL, though. If Gaither can't recover soon, this unit is in deep trouble.
* I think I like Pitta more than Dickson so far.
* The blitz schemes have been creative and effective, but the defense will have to adjust to Suggs being double-teamed once the regular season starts. I'm not sure the front four can consistently get pressure.
* I'm on the Jason Phillips and Cary Williams bandwagon.
* Bulger has looked good and has very good accuracy when not under pressure, but I do notice a bit of a rag arm, and the rap on him is he fumbles when hit. Better not cut Troy, who is much better than TL ever gives him credit. I don't think Bulger could survive behind our current OL for more than a game or two.

The bad:
* Ray looked slow against the Giants. Gotta wonder if the extra weight has backfired.
* The corners outside of Cary Williams are simply not very good right now, in coverage or in tackling skills. Offenses will not let the Ravens blitz as effectively in the regular season. The team needs to find coverage help. I'd put two safeties (Nakumura and Hamlin) as the first extra DBs over any backup corners in the nickel and dime packages.
* Can we finally stick a fork in Justin Harper and can we please IR David Hale to free up a roster spot for someone who can play?
* What is it with this new field that players keep slipping? At least they're not tearing ACLs anymore, at least yet.
* Two subpar games from Paul Kruger after he finally showed something against Carolina
* I still don't get why they wasted a perfectly good fake punt in the preseason
* Contrary to popular opinion, the kicking job is Graham's to lose, and he hasn't done anything to lose it yet. It won't happen, but count me as one who would like to see both kickers stay, with Cundiff doing the kickoffs and insurance in case Graham's yips carry over from last year. Both functions are much more valuable than anything an Edgar Jones or whomever the last guy would be can bring to the table. Actually, what I'd really like is Stover back, with Cundiff doing the kickoffs...oh never mind.

Joe from Perry Hall said...

@ Phil,

Put the beer down during games if you plan on analyzing. Cases in point:

Justin Tuck destroyed Tony Moll

Cousins IS better than Moll

Pitta is good but how do you say he's better than Dickson? If you want the coaches' take, watch which gets more reps with the first team.

There's a reason the team spent $3.8 million on Bulger and why Troy Smith never saw the field last season despite Flacco's many ailments. TL is right, Smith stinks!

Hamlin as a nickel or dime? Are you kidding me?

I could go on but what's the point while wearing your Moll beer goggles?

Cy said...

Poor Phil, Finally has some good to say and he gets ripped regardless. It's a cruel world....

One other point to make....if Gaither can't play, best lineup is with Yanda at right tackle and Chester at right guard. I'm surprised we haven't seen that a little in games, though Yanda did play some RT last week against Giants when Moll went down.

That group could win some games.

Phil from Frostburg said...

Yeah, gee, I thought I was finally a bit positive for a change, at least for me.
* I never said Moll was great, but he held his own and was clearly more effective than Cousins ever has been. If Ken McKusick posts an OL analysis that demonstrates differently, I'll take it back. Yanda may indeed be the best option overall, but he isn't taking any reps at the position.
* I didn't say Pitta was better than Dickson necessarily, just that I liked him better so far. I understand he's gone against lesser defensive personnel. I get the hype with Pitta now. I'm waiting to get it validated by Dickson.
* Yes, Hamlin as a dime DB beats Prince Miller or Travis Fisher any day. That's what we're facing the first two weeks.
* Anyone who says Troy "stinks" doesn't have much credibility. The fact he can move the ball at all with Tyler, Mattison, etc blocking for him is a testament some ability. I like Bulger. I like his accuracy. But you can see he doesn't have good arm strength, and he does fumble when hit. Let's hope Flacco stays upright and we don't have to find out for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

JOSH WILSON!!! MARGINAL STARTING CB FOR A 5TH. GREAT MOVE.

Phil from Frostburg said...

The final word on Moll: From Ken McKusick's analysis of the offense posted on this very website, "Moll (-1/+2): He allowed a sack to Tuck (see above), but given the number of passing (and total) plays, he was still OK in aggregate with no other QHs or penalties." One must conclude, then, that my analysis was spot on. Damn, I'm good.

On Josh Wilson, don't know anything about him since he left the Terps, but if he can perform at a level like another Chris Carr or Cary Williams, it will be worth the 5th rounder. We didn't need to find a Pro Bowl corner, just someone who can hold his own. Wilson was a heckuva kick returner in college, so maybe he helps there, too. I wonder if Parmele could be in jeopardy now.

Phil from Frostburg said...

The final word on Moll: From Ken McKusick's analysis of the offense posted on this very website, "Moll (-1/+2): He allowed a sack to Tuck (see above), but given the number of passing (and total) plays, he was still OK in aggregate with no other QHs or penalties." One must conclude, then, that my analysis was spot on. Damn, I'm good.

On Josh Wilson, don't know anything about him since he left the Terps, but if he can perform at a level like another Chris Carr or Cary Williams, it will be worth the 5th rounder. We didn't need to find a Pro Bowl corner, just someone who can hold his own. Wilson was a heckuva kick returner in college, so maybe he helps there, too. I wonder if Parmele could be in jeopardy now.

The Truth, Nolies, MD said...

Who is Ken McKusick and what was he watching? Tuck blew by Moll several times. Cameron was smart to run the no huddle and tire out the Giants front 4. Otherwise Joe Flacco might have been knocked out.

If Cousins was beaten as badly as Moll you'd be calling for his head there Phillip.

And Tony, tell your boy DeCosta to tell his boss Ozzie, "Nice f-ing job landing Josh Wilson."

That guy looks like a baller!

Anonymous said...

Tell joe flacco in the NFL there is a left side of the field. You canlook at it and you can throw passes there. I think they call it looking off the defence. When you don`t it is called telegraphing!