Preston is right on about Ravens' offense I have on...

LETTERS

January 05, 2003

Preston is right on about Ravens' offense

I have on occasion taken issue with The Sun's Mike Preston regarding his columns. But when he writes about football, I pay attention.

His column of Dec. 29 ["Ravens' offense needs new director"] was a fresh breeze from the stifling and offensive tripe Ravens coach Brian Billick has been propagating and, unfortunately, implementing since his arrival in Baltimore.

Preston is to be given high praise for not only taking on Billick's woeful inadequacy as an offensive play-caller, but also backing up his claim with numbers (for instance: a Super Bowl team that goes five games without a touchdown; talk about luck) and solid reasons that only an egomaniac like Billick can ignore.

Billick's droning on of excuses and defending a pathetic offensive coach make him sound like the Cardinal Law of the NFL!

Billick has won a Super Bowl and perhaps that's why Ozzie Newsome and Art Modell have hesitated to make a change where a change is glaringly necessary, even to a casual fan.

I personally think a combination of "parity" and "being lucky rather than good" resulted in Billick having a Super Bowl ring. Perhaps a few more years of agonizing offensive futility might prompt a change of coaches, including the head coach.

Joseph Michael Cierniak Glen Burnie

Ravens need to get rid of Cavanaugh, Blake

Mike Preston wrote on Dec. 29 what many Ravens fans have been thinking for years -- that the Ravens' offense is pitiful and it's long past the time for offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh to find employment elsewhere.

Coach Brian Billick has given Cavanaugh every possible opportunity to succeed and the offense just keeps getting worse. He calls dumb plays at stupid times, fails to take advantage of the few offensive strengths the team has, and is unable to make offensive adjustments during games.

But, as bad as Cavanaugh seems to be, he is only as good as the quarterback he has executing the plays he calls. Again, another dismal offensive failure.

Jeff Blake simply cannot make the plays when the team needs them. He throws over, under, behind or through receivers regularly. And, when the game is on the line, when the team needs a couple of first downs late to control the clock, the last guy you want to have the ball is Blake.

He needs to be on the same fast train out of town as Cavanaugh.

Steve Bassett Ellicott City

Direct the criticism at Blake, not Billick

How can Mike Preston be so down on Brian Billick and so high on Jeff Blake ["Not perfect, but Blake still worth another shot," Dec. 30]?

The Ravens won seven games this year with the youngest team in NFL history. They came ready to play every game, and even the games they lost were exciting. They played their hearts out and probably would have won enough to make the playoffs if it weren't for a number of rookie mistakes by the 11-year veteran, Blake.

Statistics are statistics, but in every game there are a few crucial plays that determine the outcome of the game. Good players make those plays. Bad players mess them up. Jeff Blake consistently made the crucial mistake.

Joe Duncan Glen Burnie

Why were Ravens smiling after defeat?

I watched on TV with disbelief as the Ravens' players smiled and hugged the Steelers' players after losing last Sunday's game.

All I ran into after the game were angry Ravens fans who weren't smiling or shaking hands with each other. Maybe the fans should play next time and the Ravens' players should watch the game.

Thomas Bateman Lutherville

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