Marquise Brown Takes Issue With Bart Scott's Diss
Former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott is beloved in Baltimore for his gritty play as well as his outspokenness, but his recent comment about Marquise "Hollywood" Brown will likely have Ravens fans rolling their eyes.
Scott said on ESPN's "First Take" that Brown wouldn't be a starter on the Bills, Chiefs or Packers.
Brown clapped back at Scott on Twitter and the wide receiver also addressed Scott's comment in an interview with WJZ's Mark Viviano last night on "Purple Playbook," which will air this weekend.
"That was pretty disrespectful, I'm not gonna lie," Brown said. "I don't usually respond to people but if I see Bart in person, we got words."
Perhaps Scott was trying to argue that Lamar Jackson doesn't have as proven of targets around him as Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Aaaron Rodgers. The teams Scott mentioned all have proven No. 1 wide receivers (Stefon Diggs in Buffalo, Tyreek Hill in Kansas City and Davante Adams in Green Bay). But it's quite a stretch to say Brown wouldn't be a starter for those teams.
Brown is eighth in the league in receiving yards and is on pace for 1,533 yards in a 17-game season. He's tied for second with five touchdown catches. Brown also is second in catches of 20-plus yards (nine) and tied for second in catches of 40-plus yards (three).
Should Ravens Be Concerned About Their Running Game?
One of the main storylines for the Ravens this offseason was their determination to improve a passing attack that was last in the league in 2020.
Mission accomplished. The Ravens are No. 6 in passing yards and Jackson is coming off an epic performance in which he threw for a franchise-record 442 yards and four touchdowns and completed 86 percent of his passes.
The Ravens, who have led the league in rushing the past two seasons, are proving they can win by throwing the ball. On the flip side, their feared rushing attack has lost some of its potency.
The Ravens were held to 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 yards per carry) in the 31-25 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts Monday night, ending their record-tying streak of 43 consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
In a 23-7 win over the Denver Broncos the previous week, Baltimore needed to run a play at the end of the game (rather than taking a knee) to preserve the streak. The Ravens finished with 102 yards on 30 carries (3.4 YPC).
Should the Ravens, who are ranked fourth in rushing yards, be concerned about the running game?
"I think the offensive line will be fine run blocking and the threat of Lamar is always going to help, but this run game, which started off well to begin the season, is in trouble, and I am not sure there is a way out," Russell Street Report's Rob Shields wrote.
Some of the dropoff in production in the rushing attack can be attributed to opponents stacking the box and daring Jackson to beat them with his arm. However, there's no denying that losing J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to season-ending knee injuries has been a factor.
The Ravens turned to Ty'Son Williams, who spent last season on the practice squad, and signed veterans Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le'Veon Bell.
Williams (31 carries for 170 yards, 5.5 YPC) has been the most productive, but he was a healthy scratch against the Broncos and had just four carries for six yards against the Colts.
"The Ravens clearly don't trust Ty'Son Williams," Shields wrote. "The veterans they brought in have almost no explosion, no ability to break tackles and no ability to make guys miss. If you take away Lamar, the Ravens are averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and Williams averaged over six yards per carry in his first two games (on 22 carries total)."
As to what the Ravens could do moving forward, The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote: "Do they get Bell more involved at the expense of either Williams or Freeman? Should Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman scrap the whole idea of using three backs and rely primarily on two? Could practice-squad rookie Nate McCrary, who had a solid preseason, enter the mix? Does General Manager Eric DeCosta need to go out and acquire an upgrade?
"All are legitimate questions and the team's backs provided no answers with their struggles Monday night. This just might be an issue all year."
Colts running back Marlon Mack, who rushed for 47 yards on five carries against the Ravens, reportedly is on the trade block. Mack, 25, ran for a career-high 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games in 2019 after running for 908 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games in 2018. He suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last year in Week 1, and second-round pick Jonathan Taylor took over as the starter.
"Getting [tight end] Nick Boyle back will be a huge help too, but the Ravens still have the RB personnel issue no matter who is blocking," Shields wrote. "If they can go grab Marlon Mack, they should be doing it, but outside of someone like that, I just don't see much improvement unless they go back to Williams and he shows more of what he did the first two weeks."
The Ravens have an opportunity to get the running game back on track on Sunday, when they host the Los Angeles Chargers, who are last in the league against the run and just gave up 230 yards on the ground against the Cleveland Browns.
How Many Teams Would Trade First-Round Pick for Justin Tucker?
On the surface, it seems absurd to pose the question of how many teams would trade their first-round pick for a kicker. When the kicker in question is Justin Tucker, however, perhaps it's not out of the question, especially after kickers just had a historically bad week.
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah presented the question to his Twitter followers yesterday.
A majority of the respondents said no team would trade a first-rounder for any kicker, even Tucker, who is the most accurate kicker in NFL history and is likely bound for the Hall of Fame.
However, some respondents did at least entertain the idea.
- "The QB School's" J.T. O'Sullivan broke down game film of Jackson's performance against the Colts. He said Jackson "is playing scary good and can still get better."