BR.com went looking for fans who had something to say. And there were a lot of you. Here's the first installment of *You Said It!
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Change. It's not always easy to see the need, let alone plunge into it. However, it is refreshing to see the fruits of the labor of firing Billick, an interesting interview process, hiring Coach Harbaugh, and the success of the "Harbaugh era." As much as I hate to lose, I can honestly say that even if the Ravens experience more losses so far, it would still be a joy to watch Harbaugh make the Ravens a team again. He set his philosophy and plan into action, stuck to his guns, and brought class back to a locker room full of potential.
Hometown: Elkhart, MD
on the New #1 Priority...
Everybody is very excited over Joe Flacco, his poise as a rookie QB, and his upside. We are all hoping that the Ravens finally have their franchise QB.
However, he needs some offensive weapons at WR and Ozzie has to make this deficiency his #1 priority. Ozzie, don't make excuses about the salary cap. Minus J.O. and a few players we need to send packing this off-season, there should be plenty of money to get a bonafide #1 receiver for this team. Ten years of waiting is enough. And then we need to use our 1st- or 2nd-round draft pick to choose another WR – and not one of our usual "busts" at this position (see T. Taylor, Ron Johnson, Javin Hunter, D. Darling, Kevin Johnson, C. Moore, and possibly M. Clayton).
And priority #2 should be one or two dependable cornerbacks. Everyone feels that this team is close to being a true contender again, and these acquisitions could get the team over the hump.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
on Troy Smith...
I feel that Troy Smith should be the starting quarterback over Joe Flacco. It would give Flacco more time to get adjusted to the fast pace of the NFL. Troy Smith knows how to score points. Even at the end of last year, Troy Smith picked up the win against a tough Steelers team. In the last game when Smith was in, the Ravens scored 13 points, which is more points than Flacco sometimes has in an entire game. Troy also has the option of running the ball – forcing defenses to contain more than they need to for Flacco. There are just more options for Troy Smith and he knows how to score.
Hometown: Harwinton, CT
on the Ravens organization...
Reeling with excitement after this come-from-behind win, I could not be any prouder of the entire Baltimore Ravens organization: owners, management, coaches, players, and fans.
[Sunday vs. Cleveland] was a much bigger game than any commentators made it out to be. We swept a division rival that swept us last year. We halted a seemingly emerging Browns team from making a legitimate run at a wildcard spot [Sunday]. Joe Flacco had his first 2 passing TD game and his third straight game without an interception. The Ravens defense unleashed its wrath on teams, forcing 3-and-out after 3-and-out.
Just as Flacco is proving Cam Cameron's and management's competence every game, Ray Rice also is showing why the Ravens are great in the draft.
My hat's off to all of you. Way to make us proud. Get ready for Houston and have a fun season.
P.S. T-Sizzle...that pick-for-6 was just awesome. You are the next coming of Ray Lewis.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
on Ray Lewis's Contract Status...
A few weeks ago I was watching/listening to a Ravens radio show on the MASN channel I have here at my house. They were discussing a pretty interesting subject in my opinion: Free agency. It seems that our beloved Ravens have three key free agents at the end of the season in Bart Scott, Terrell Suggs, and, of course, Ray Lewis. The two commentators were discussing all of the possibilities that the team would have to weigh at the end of the year and ultimately make a hard choice. What I am writing about is my amazement that the commentators would even bring up the chance of losing Ray Lewis. The thought has to send chills down the spine of a true fan of the Ravens. In my own personal opinion, I would rather give up both Suggs (as amazing of a football player that he is) and Scott both just to keep Lewis in purple for the remainder of his days. He is the heart and soul of not only the defense but also the entire team. Football players can be drafted and signed but true leaders are very, very hard to come by in life and in football. Lewis could possibly be the greatest defensive football player/leader/ motivator in NFL history. In the end, it would be one of the saddest days in Baltimore's long sports history if the Ravens were to say goodbye to Lewis at the end of the season. Adam Merritt
Hometown: Chincoteague Island, VA
on The Greatest Game Ever Played...
While the league itself does not plan any official commemoration of the December 28, 1958, Baltimore Colts vs. New York Giants title game, known as the "Greatest Game Ever Played", the Ravens do and that, in my opinion, is as it should be. Many of the surviving members of both teams will be here when the Ravens play the Jaguars on the 50th anniversary of that game. It would have been an absolute travesty for the imposters in Indianapolis, who are home to the Titans that day (the Giants are on the road) to have hosted any kind of celebration. My understanding is that, among others, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore and Gino Marchetti are going to be here. What a fitting tribute to toast those players publicly one last time, where they made their mark. Let's hope the game in Baltimore that day has meaning for the Ravens in terms of making the playoffs. Hats off to the Ravens for doing the right thing.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
on the Facemask Rule...
I'd like to vent my frustration over the NFL's facemask rule. Why is it OK for an offensive back to stiff-arm a defensive back in the face mask but if the defensive back happens to touch the runner's mask while making the tackle it's a 15-yard penalty? Seems like there's a double-standard there.
Hometown: Oxnard, CA
We need to get back to basics on the subject of tackling. This season has been a great one defensively, but as a D-hungry fan, I am inclined to ask for more. The past few games have seen several instances where a Ravens player has attempted to tackle up high and ended up on the ground watching the play and the time go marching on. Does Dominic Rhodes' 38-yard run back in Week 6 ring a bell? The Ravens' reputation as a stingy D is only going to last as long as our tackling is sound.
A bone-crushing hit from a purple jersey is always pleasing to see, but we shouldn't discount the utility of a lasso-style leg tackle, or an arms-around-the-waist rugby take down. I'm sure every defensive and special teams player wants to be the guy on the SportsCenter Top 10 plays who put the hurt on someone, and rightfully so. But let us not forget the importance of putting the hurt on the opposite team rather than its collective players.
Hometown: Glen Burnie, MD
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*The opinions expressed here are exclusive to the individuals and do not represent the views of the Baltimore Ravens organization. *