All jacked up about the Ravens' chances this season?
I don't blame you.
Can't wait for training camp to begin later this month so you can head out to Westminster and watch the workouts in the heat and humidity and then try to slip past security to get up close and personal with your heroes at the plush Best Western Hotel, the modern-day Shangri-La off Route 140 that serves as team headquarters?
OK, that part I don't get.
But there's no question Ravens fans are ready for some football, especially with all the solid offseason moves the team made in an all-out attempt to win the Super Bowl.
Earl Weaver used to brag about the "deep depth" on his old Orioles teams. But those teams had nothing on the Ravens, who seem to have an insurance policy at every key position now.
Let's start with quarterback, only the most important position on the field.
Worried about Joe Flacco getting hurt? All the Ravens did was sign two-time Pro Bowl selection Marc Bulger to be his backup.
Sure, Bulger, 33, struggled the past few years with the St. Louis Rams. But he was injured for much of that time. And he got zero help from a shaky offensive line that couldn't block your grandmother and left Bulger feeling as though he were hit by a tractor on every play.
That's why signing a guy with Bulger's experience to a one-year deal for $3.8 million is a sound investment. Especially when backup Troy Smith's agent seems to be shopping him everywhere but the Patterson Park flag football league.
Then there's wide receiver, where the Ravens really got deep.
I liked the moves for veterans Donte' Stallworth and Anquan Boldin. Both should finally let this team throw downfield and over the middle instead of relying on those little comeback routes by Derrick Mason and the sideline patterns of Mark Clayton.
In the defensive backfield, the Ravens signed veteran safety Ken Hamlin in case Ed Reed can't go at the start of the season. And with Reed coming back from a hip procedure and his status uncertain, it takes pressure off Tom Zbikowski and the rehabilitating Haruki Nakamura to fill the shoes for the defense's biggest playmaker.
Worried about cornerback with Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington still rehabbing injuries? Maybe you should be.
In a recent interview on WBAL Radio, coach John Harbaugh said he expects both will be back this season, although they might not be at full strength when the season begins.
So the Ravens added eight-year veteran Travis Fisher and 13-year vet Walt Harris as insurance. Neither will strike fear in the hearts of opposing wide receivers. (Harris is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament.) But with Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr returning, along with Cary Williams, there's probably enough experience to get by.
And it's that way up and down the roster.
The defensive line lost veteran Justin Bannan but added depth by signing former Seatte Seahawks defensive tackle Cory Redding and drafting Terrence (Mount) Cody and Arthur Jones.
And with Terrell Suggs coming off an off year, with his conditioning a question mark, guess what the Ravens did?
They went for a mini-Sizzle in top draft choice Sergio Kindle, who's 6 feet 3, 250pounds and can rush the passer with a hand in the dirt or from an outside linebacker slot.
"I get to the quarterback. That's my deal," Kindle told reporters when he was selected. The guy even sounds like T-Sizzle.
If he sets up a killer video system for movies and games in front of his locker, we'll have to check his DNA.
There's even healthy competition at kicker, a problem area that probably cost the team a couple of wins last year.
Now Billy Cundiff, the holdover from last season, goes up against veteran Shayne Graham, who has to prove he's not haunted by missing field goals from 28 and 35 yards for the Cincinnati Bengals in their wild-card loss to the New York Jets last season.
All in all, you've got the deepest Ravens team in recent memory.
I guess Harbaugh could worry about Sam Koch getting hurt. But he's just a punter (the columnist said respectfully).
And the way the Ravens are shaping up, they could probably have me do the punting — bad knee, bad hip, big gut getting in the way — and still be OK.
Not that you'd want to see that.
I'm just saying.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.
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