Answer Man II

<b>JW:</b> Great. You're watching tape of the Ravens-Browns game. Is that the great 4-4 we're looking at? <br><b>Answer Man:</b> Where? (Freezes frame) Please tell me where you see a fourth linebacker? <br><b>JW:</b> Hey, I just walked in to say hello. You buggin'?<br><b>AM: </b>No. It's just you media guys. You wouldn't know a 4-4 if it was keeping you from a sandwich.

Look, no fourth linebacker. Yes, they'd bring a fourth linebacker in and slip him outside the tackle, but on short-yardage run plays. It wasn't unusual at all.
JW: Aren't teams really ganging up to stop Jamal Lewis?
AM: Yeah. You know what the running back can do. So it's a simple game plan.
JW: But is it outrageous? Are teams really daring them to throw?
AM: I wouldn't say outrageous. But when you have eight, nine people in the box, and when you look at their receiving corps there's really no one who can beat you except (Todd) Heap, so why not? It's not like they just put two corners out there and everyone else is at the line, but they will shade up the safeties and have them play closer because they're not afraid of anybody beating them deep.
JW: Research shows that 2,000-yard rushers don't come back with very good years. Do you see Lewis having slipped at all this year?
AM: Physically, no. You know, it's great, especially in your business, that people can make stats say anything they want. But teams are probably more apt to focus more on a 2,000-yard rusher.
JW: Did the loss of Jonathan Ogden last week play a big part in that?
AM: Yeah. Kenard Lang had three sacks. And then you can't run to that side. Ethan Brooks is not very good.
JW: Won't Ogden be less than 100 percent this week?
AM: Eighty percent is still a lot better than Ethan Brooks.
JW: With Brooks out this week they have to play Ogden, right? Isn't either him or Tony Pashos?
AM: Yeah. If we get Pashos we'll be happy people. Very happy people.
JW: The rest of their line is pretty much what we're used to, except for center. Casey Rabach is replacing Mike Flynn. Everybody's making a big deal out of that. Is Flynn that good?
AM: In years past I didn't think so but I saw him play a couple times in the preseason and he's gotten better. He's a solid starter. Rabach is a solid spot starter. (Edwin) Mulitalo and Bennie Anderson are guys who, if they get their hands on you, are strong and can do some damage. Orlando Brown showed some improvement as the year went on. Before that I guess he was overaggressive. He's tamed it down a little bit, and he's a big man who's hard to get around.
JW: The wide receivers weren't much before Travis Taylor was injured. His replacement is Randy Hymes. Do you know anything about him?
AM: Hymes is a big slow guy. They try to throw it up and let him use his size and get position and out jump people.
JW: What's Kordell Stewart looking like?
AM: Same Kordell. Makes some nice throws; makes some real stupid throws. Makes some good decisions; makes some real dumb decisions. He's just inconsistent. Same Kordell.
JW: Anything to fear from the rookie wide receivers?
AM: They're striding guys that aren't very quick but they've got size.
JW: Anything else on that offense that's interesting?
AM: Chester Taylor's interesting. He's what Amos (Zereoue) should have been. Amos is a good draw-screen, third-down back. Chester's good at that but Chester can also go in the I and run from there. He's a good back. I like Chester.
JW: Defensively, are we looking at the same old Ravens?
AM: Yeah, it's like throwing a bunch of dogs a bone. They go after the ball. They play with an attitude and a ferocity that is unmatched. It's impressive to see. As much as you hate to give it to them, they are impressive. They go after the ball, play disciplined defense and they've got speed.
JW: Aren't they losing guys? What about the loss of Peter Boulware?
AM: Suggs. Terrell Suggs. Well, they lost Kelly Gregg. He was playing well. And you've got (Anthony) Weaver. He's playing well. Their weakest guy might have been Adalius Thomas but he's a solid guy. He wouldn't start on our team but he'd probably be the first back-up at outside linebacker for us.
JW: If you hadn't signed Clark Haggans, was Adalius Thomas a possibility?
AM: We looked at him. So there you go. And then you've got the corners. (Gary) Baxter doesn't have speed but as long as they cover him up over the top he's fine. You've got Ed Reed who is very good. (Will) Demps is pretty solid, too. And then you've got (Chris) McAlister. And then Edgerton Hartwell, if he were on any team he'd be a star. So you really don't have any weaknesses. If you try to run past their back-up nose tackle, you're still running into Ray Lewis and Edge Hartwell. Where you going? If you try to run away from them, they've all got speed to chase you down. But I'm not saying they can't be beat.
JW: The Steelers have proven that. How?
AM: You know what it is? It's just, 'Hey, we know you're good. We're good. We think we can beat you.' It's just mano a mano. You just go in there and say, 'We're not worried about you. We're going to do what we do well and you have to stop us.' And you go in with the attitude that this is our division rival. That's when it comes down to who wants it more, who's the more physical team.
JW: Oakland had success blitzing Tommy Maddox. Won't Baltimore bring even more pressure?
AM: They may, but they don't have to blitz to get pressure. You've got Suggs coming off the edge.
JW: What about Deion Sanders?
AM: I watched him a little bit in the game and he can still run straight ahead. But stop and go, acceleration, change of direction, it isn't there anymore. So I would go after him. Prove to me you're back. If he makes one pick and it's outstanding, then 'OK, we're not throwing to this side again.'
JW: Thanks, Mr. Man. You better get back to your tape.

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