Ravens Notebook

So far, Orlando "Zeus" Brown has not received a warm embrace from Raven fans who have been crying for a fix at the right tackle position for the years since Brown's exodus in 1999.

Perhaps the stinging words that Brown left the organization with before he left, about how he was glad to leave a second rate city and team behind and how he hated wearing purple is still sharply embedded in the fans' minds.

 

But more than that, like most of us, they fan base is extremely skeptical of how Brown will fit into the lineup after missing in action for the past three years. Brown of course took the time off to recover from a devastating eye injury.

 

Although it seems that he has completely recovered from the injury (he passed his eye exam without much trouble) it remains to be seen if his footwork, backpedal and initial drop step is even as solid as it was four years ago, let alone six years ago, when Brown was a much better pass blocker.

 

According to Ravens coaches, Brown's footwork and technique was polished and for a man who weighs 360-pounds, he moved like a point guard weaving in and out of traffic along the base line.

 

Still, the true test will come when Zeus has to line up against an elite pass rusher like Peter Boulware at training camp. If he can reasonably hold off the edge rush for the months leading up to the start of the season, Brown may indeed reprise his role as one of the more solid right tackles in the game, given his unquestioned ability to maul defensive ends in run blocking situations…

 

Speaking of solid right tackles, the Ravens really missed a golden opportunity to land the top right tackle in the game: Kyle Turley.


Actually, the club never wanted Turley in the first place, perhaps because the former New
Orleans Saint, who converted into a St. Louis Ram a couple of days ago, is an eccentric personality off the field.

 

Turley was accused by the Saints of being a locker room distraction off the field, which led to the two sides parting ways abruptly this week. But there haven't been any indications that Turley is anything more than a verbose, pumped up lunatic on the field, who has led a somewhat ordinary life (according to NFL standards) when he takes his helmet off.

 

In actuality, the Saints simply didn't want to pay for Turley, who had been demanding a bonus in the $8-to-$10 million range all off-season long. New Orleans felt like Turley was worth less money, although he is arguably one of the top five-to-ten offensive tackles in the game. Instead, they signed Wayne Gandy, an aging but solid left tackle, to a similar type deal which included a bonus worth half of what Turley ultimately received from the Rams.

 

That said, the Rams ended up snagging a dominant tackle for merely a future second round pick and a deal worth slightly more than $5 million per season, totaling $26 million, which is $54 million less than what Orlando Pace is demanding.

 

Turley is earning left tackle money from the Rams, which tells you that either this year or the next, Pace, and his inflated contract demands, will be gone.

 

But how does Turley's signing with the Rams relate to the Ravens? Simply, Turley was the perfect player for this organization to go after.

 

At 27-years old, Turley hasn't even reached his prime. He's already shown the ability to play both RT and LT spots at a high level, which is rare in the NFL these days.

 

Also, considering that Jonathan Ogden has the left tackle position all to his self, Turley would have anchored the right tackle position, giving the Ravens the top bookends in the league.


As for Turley's crazy contract demands affecting the cap in future years, his demands aren't crazy at all. Turley simply wanted to be paid the $10 million in upfront money that tackles Flozell Adams, Luke Petitgout and Jon Jansen received in their new deals.

 

It's possible that Turley would have been willing to accept $1 million les


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