I caught up with Rexx from Baltimore Beatdown to ask him 5 questions about his Baltimore Ravens.
MCM- Talk about Joe Flacco. Do you wish you still had McNair (who is my all-time favorite player), or are you happy with Flacco?
Baltimore Beatdown- McNair was a great pickup in 2006 and we got all we could have expected from him, interms of skills and leadership. Too bad we couldn't have taken that season further into the playoffs. 2007 showed us a much different McNair, one whom the years of his physical play finally caught up w/ him and he was slow, inaccurate and almost feeble. It was tough to watch, but you couldn't turn aay, like a bad accident. I'm glad he retired. This season the QB Derby fell to Joe Flacco by default, with Kyle Boller getting IR'd and Troy Smith contracting a rare tonsil infection. Flacco has done much better than anyone could have imagined and is firmly entrenched as the QB of the present as well as the future. He is still a rookie and will make rookie mistakes; however, he has looked remarkably poised in the pocket and plays well ahead of his rookie year.
MCM- How good is the 2008 verions of the Ravens defense compared with their defenses of the past?
BB- This defense is healthy for the first time since 2006, when we led the league in total defense. While not as dominant as the best defense in the history of the NFL (Ravens 200 season), this team is more athletic and full of veterans with made skills. I've heard all the talk of Ray Lewis being old, but he is still the best MLB in the NFL and every other team would love to have him. As usual, our defense sets up our offense and if they can get the turnovers necessary to give our offense a short field to work with, we will be tough to beat.
MCM- Do you this game being a slugfest like the Ravens vs. Titans games we all remember from earlier this decade?
BB- Absolutely yes. Both teams have great defenses this season and we did as well back then, although it was usually more about our defense against your offense. You all saw what a beating we put on the Steelers last week, even though we lost the game. However, from a physical standpoint, we won the battle. I'm still pissed off about the turnaround and loss.
MCM- Is your team a playoff team?
BB- I have mixed feelings about the team making the playoffs on its own merit. Until we can prove we can win the close games without imploding or making critical mistakes, I'm unsure. However, based on the Steelers having a much more difficult schedule and their shaky health, I can see the Ravens backing into the playoffs by default if they improve week by week.
MCM- Talk about Willis McGahee. How is he playing? How much will we see of him, and how much will we see of Ray Rice?
BB- Even if McGahee doesn't play a lot, I still don't expect to see a lot of the rookie, Ray Rice. Last year's fullback and this year's beast, Le'Ron McClain, has stepped up and might be the workhorse against a tough Titans front line. McGahee is planning on playing and can always be a threat, as he is a great RB. However, having the 255 pound McClain running behind the blocking of 260 pound fullback Lorenzo Neal will level the playing field, as well as the DB's trying to bring him down!
MCM- How glad are you that the "Offensive Genious" Brian Billick is no longer your coach?
BB- Every time I hear the "offensive guru" label in the same sentence as Billick's name, I cringe. Remember that he "earned" that rep while o-coordinator for the Vikings, when Daunte Culpepper was throwing to Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Jake reed. I could have been the "guru" if I had that talent! Billick was a great motivator and defender of his players. He never managed the games well and always had a vanilla offense. Last season, I firmly believe his lack of playcalling and balls cost us four games, which I could go into detail, but am still recovering from my thoughts of murder and suicide.
MCM- Write the headline in Monday's Tennessean.
BB- You'll hate this one, but as a fan, here goes: "Ravens Knock Titans From Ranks of Unbeatens."
Head over there to see my answers to his questions.