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On the strengths of Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey...
I think Darrius Heyward-Bey would be a good addition for the Ravens. We need a top notch SPEEDY reciever to catch the deep balls from Joe Flacco. He could get good separation from cornerbacks and could turn a 20-yard Derrick Mason catch to a 70-yard Darrius Heyward-Bey touchdown easily. Speed in the NFL is everything because along with height, that's one thing that you can't teach. He has both. So in other words, whatever his weaknesses are, he can be taught. GET HIM!
On who the Ravens should go after instead of Heyward-Bey...
I think Heyward-Bey is decent receiver with exceptional straightline speed, but he's also known for dropping catchable balls, rounding off cuts in his routes and having alligator arms over the middle. The other concern with Darrius is that he doesn't necessarily have the elusiveness that most receivers in the NFL need to break away from the line of scrimmage and run for yards after the catch.
Personally, I think the Ravens should pursue Torry Holt, as he's proven that he's still a very reliable top notch receiver and hasn't really lost much of a step in the speed department. Another option would be to go with the Reggie Bush look-a-like, Percy Harvin from Florida State, who combines excellent speed with natural elusiveness and could provide yet another wrinkle Cam Cameron could take advantage of with our "Suggs Package" offense. The only problem of course with Percy is that he has some durability concerns.
Either way I see Percy Harvin and/or Torry Holt as better options at the wideout position than Heyward-Bey, who looks great on paper, but I believe is a little overrated on the field.
On potentially trading for Browns WR Braylon Edwards...
I would really like to see a trade for the Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards. I know a lot of people are saying we should go after Torry Holt, but we already have a veteran wide reciever in Derrick Mason. So I think that Holt would be more of a stop-gap at this point. Braylon Edwards would be perfect because he would provide a younger reciever for Flacco to develop a relationship, and progress with.
On GM Ozzie Newsome being the most valuable member of the Ravens...
I am so jazzed that Ray Lewis is remaining a Raven! I am also excited about the additions we have made with free agents even against the sad loss of Scott, Brown, and Leonard. 2009 is going to be a super year!!
I think I can safely speak for all Raven fans when I say the most valuable member the Ravens have is Mr. Ozzie Newsome.
I am awe-struck by his ability to plan long range for the our team, while taking care of todays players and coaches. If there was a MVP for general managers he would win every year. Job well done!!
On experimenting with Jameel McClain and Tavares Gooden at inside linebacker...
I think that the Ravens should test Jameel McClain at inside linebacker because of his flashes of greatness on special teams and defense. He got 2 safties, 2.5 sacks, and lots of pressure on the quarterback in the short playing time that he received on defense. McClain seemed like the type of powerful, aggressive player that the Ravens love to have on their defense. They should also experiment with Tavares Gooden at ILB because he never was able to showcase his potential due to his hip injury.
On why the Ravens should go after Panthers DE Julius Peppers...
I would love to see the Ravens pursue Julius Peppers. Dominant defensive ends on both sides is the main formula that has won the majority of the last 10 Super Bowls. The Steelers last year and the last time they won, the G-Men, Indy with Freeney and Mathis and NE did it with D, and did not with just O.
On why the Ravens should not draft Heyward-Bey...
Heyward-Bey is an athlete, but the Ravens do not need another converted track star turned wide receiver. We already drafted the fastest player in the draft two years ago, Yamon Figurs, who ran a 4.3, and he has yet to do us wonders down field. And, Heyward-Bey had a "OK" college career at best. Was he all over the highlight reel? Oz and company will get it right, but I would rather draft a known football product than someone with height, weight and a good 40-time on his resume.
On why the Ravens should not try to sign free agent WR Torry Holt...
In response to the Ravens possibly pursuing wide receiver Torry Holt, I would say this would be a completely unnecessary addition. Although he has had a brilliant career, being the only receiver who has ever had 6 consecutive seasons of receiving at least 1300 yards which could one day land him in the Hall Of Fame, as well as having earned a Super Bowl championship and 7 Pro Bowl appearances; the reality is that he is 33 years old and on the decline of his career. In my opinion, Holt would merely soak up a good chunk of the Ravens salary cap which we could use on getting some younger, talented receivers or fulfilling other positions. With that said, I think there are better places the Ravens could put their money, however if they were to bring Holt to Baltimore, I'm sure he would manage to fit in and put up numbers regardless.
Or on trading for Lions WR Calvin Johnson...
I think the ravens should trade their first round pick for a proven WR, like Calvin Johnson from Detroit. Give up this year's first and third round picks and next year's second or third round picks for this guy. He is special and Detroit would not mind having all these picks. They are rebuilding and Baltimore is in it for now.
On the Ravens linebacker corp...
The Ravens never seem to be too short on linebackers. The next man up will be interesting. After losing linebackers like Hartwell, Thomas and now Scott, who will this defense make famous next?
*Raymond SparkmanBaltimore, MD
On drafting defensively in the first round this year...
I've noticed over the Ravens history in the draft that all of the defensive first round picks were successful picks and were an immediate impact. This includes Ray Lewis in '96, Peter Boulware '97, Duane Starks '98, Chris McAlister in '99, Ed Reed in '02, Terrell Suggs in '03 and Haloti Ngata in '06.That can only be said about a few of the eight offensive 1st round picks. No knock on Heyward-Bey, but I believe the Ravens should focus on a replacement for Bart Scott, stick to defense what has made the Ravens who they are. Get a ILB that Lewis can mentor & pass the torch to once he retires. I believe WRs are a dime a dozen in the draft and talent can be found in later rounds.
Lexington, KY *
On the addition of Chris Carr to the defense...
Chris Carr is a GREAT addition to the Ravens and is a great threat in our secondary as well as on special teams. I don't know how many of you have seen this guy play, but the first thing you'll notice is his speed. He's got jets for real. The fact that he played with Fabian Washington under Chuck Pagano as the secondary coach in Oakland gives me the feeling that things will click between them as our starting corners. This addition easily gives us one of the fastest secondaries in the league alongside Ed Reed and Dawan Landry. Carr also returns kicks and was ranked 4th in the league last year amongst all return specialists. With Leonard going to the Jets and the soft play of Yamon Figurs, we found someone to step in and excel. The Legendary Baltimore defense is definitely changing, but it's changing for the better. I cant wait for 2009! GO RAVENS!