Let me give you my experience as a PSL holder up through 2001. Just get really drunk, record this on tape and replay it 1000 times over 3.5 hours once a week: "F---ing Billick, get the ass---- (insert current QB) out of there and put in (insert current backup QB)." You must mispronounce both QB's names as well.
Okay, so on to the Ravens.
In my last take, long ago in a distant cap-strapped galaxy, I covered the offense and boy are they better than I had hoped, but let's talk defense. It is a good thing Hartwell has stepped up what with those prognostications about Ray not having much success in the 3-4, right? Well, Hartwell has stepped up but Ray Lewis gets better every year, you could line him up in the 4-3, 3-4, 5-2 or 0-1 and he still is gonna get his tackles and, more importantly, make impact plays. I wouldn't trade Ray for any other player in the NFL. Warner, pass, Faulk, pass, Shaun Alexander, pass. Along with Hartwell and Ray, Boulware is having a damn good season and the 4th LB, whether it be Shannon Taylor or Cornell Brown, is doing fine as well. With Bernardo Harris coming off the bench once again this unit is the backbone of the team.
Defensive line, okay, they have played fine, I have no complaints, mainly because I had such low expectations that playing solid exceeded the low bar I set. On occasion they are impacting the game with pressure and sacks, they have played the run fairly well as long as Fred Taylor isn't on the field and have done their jobs admirably. There is room for improvement but we have 2 definites for the future in Gregg and Weaver, Maake Kemoeatu looks like he will be a fine backup and AD, despite not making it in pass coverage as a LB is a fine pass rushing DE…oops, who picked off Brunell for the first time in weeks? McCrary is helping bring in the sacks. In any case, they aren't setting the world on fire but they are doing their jobs and not making big costly mistakes.
To the defensive backfield…who would have thunk it? I thought for sure we were going to get schooled early and often by the likes of Manning, Brunell and Griese. Those are some very good QBs with some very good weapons. Baxter has stepped up and is playing a very good CB. Very good, not just serviceable or good enough for the Bengals, but Raven good. McAlister is McAlister. And then we come to the safeties, two rookies a first round pick and (in the voice of Bill Murray as Carl from Caddyshack) "a kid out of nowhere, a Cinderella story." Ed Reed and Will Demps aren't just playing okay, they aren't just playing well for rookies, they are making the plays that are winning us games, they are playing good for 6 year vets. Reed with picks, Demps with a pick and a tip Ray Lewis picks off, and best of all, we aren't getting killed over the middle. Is it me or are we actually better than we were with Woodson and Harris out there? What a surprise.
Thank you Ozzie Claus, wait until you see this year's off-season wish list. Is there a better front office in finding talent and play makers? I have my issues with them but finding talent isn't one of them, Savage and Harris need to be retained along with Ozzie, pay them Art and Steve!
The Clowntown Syndrome
There is a full-scale meltdown on the shores of Lake Erie and if somebody doesn't address it soon we could have an explosion resulting in everything east of the Mississippi being hit with beer bottles.
What happened? Greatest fans on earth? Booing the hometown QB, then when he gets a concussion and is stumbling around, cheering when he goes to one knee? Bush league, baby. This guy is an overpaid bust, a serviceable QB at best, but he is giving everything he has, it isn't his fault that is all he has, the Clown front office picked him and paid him. Boo Carmine and Dewey (oops, he's gone), not Noodle Arm. See how crass this looks? I would point that out to the drunken jackass behind me but he isn't there anymore.
The Clowns came out of the blocks looking good, blowing a sure W on a VERY stupid penalty, then kicking the Bungles around, then a big comeback W against the Oiltans. WOOHOO! Uh-oh, here comes B. Greg's Heel of the Jackboot™ (in existence LONG before this cleat of reality).