Ravens' defense won't be trampled when Saints' offense comes marching in

December 17, 2010|Peter Schmuck

News item: The Ravens face one of the premier passers in the NFL on Sunday when Drew Brees and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints visit M&T Bank Stadium in a game with significant playoff implications for both teams.

My take: It's tempting to look at what Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub did in the fourth quarter on Monday night and wonder how the Ravens are going to stop another multi-talented offensive team — especially off another short practice week — but for reasons I can't explain, I'm pretty confident they will.

News item: New Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds made a guest appearance at the Orioles Reach Holiday Party on Tuesday and answered another round of questions about his difficult 2010 season.

My take: He certainly put up some strange numbers, but he's got serious pop and he's already hard at work trying to fix his strikeout problem. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and stop comparing him to Garrett Atkins.

News item: Relief pitcher Koji Uehara said this week that his "personal attachment" to the Orioles and Baltimore led him to re-sign with the team for the 2011 season and perhaps beyond.

My take: Uehara got a nice, incentive-laden deal that could stretch through 2012 and pay him quite well if he can stay healthy, but it's still nice to see a player show loyalty and appreciation to the team that stuck with him when it appeared he was too fragile to be an effective major league pitcher. And you've got to like a guy who comes over from Japan and lives year-round in the Baltimore area.

News item: New York Jets strength coach Sal Alosi has been suspended indefinitely for ordering players to for form a human wall on the sidelines to obstruct opposing teams during punt coverage.

My take: The Jets claim Alosi acted alone in organizing the players on the sideline throughout the season, which sounds pretty fishy. The guy's a strength coach. If this has been going on all season and the rest of the coaching staff didn't know about it, I think the NFL should take a page from the NCAA playbook and fine the Jets heavily for a lack of institutional control.

News item: The Philadelphia Phillies swooped in and signed free agent pitcher Cliff Lee to a five-year deal worth $120 million.

My take: Might be the best move the Orioles made all winter.

News item: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that he feels the league and the players union could reach a new collective bargaining agreement before the Super Bowl "if we all commit to it and work hard at it.''

My take: I'm doing my part. I've already agreed to accept ownership's proposed revenue split, but I don't think the players are going to be quite so cooperative.

Bonus take: Don't get your hopes up. These things never get done early. The soft deadline is March 4 — the beginning of the new league year — and that's when everybody will get serious.

News item: Cincinnati Bengals receiver Terrell Owens threw the team's coaching staff under the bus this week on his cable television show Tuesday night.

My take: I've got to say I'm surprised … but only because it took this long.

News item: The New York Times printed a correction on Monday after a political columnist accidentally killed off former Orioles manager Earl Weaver.

My take: Weaver took it all in good humor, though I'm sure he's wondering if Jim Palmer had anything to do with it.

News item: Cleveland Indians great Bob Feller, one of the most overpowering pitchers of all time, died this week at 92.

My take: "Rapid Robert" was another member of the greatest generation who put his terrific baseball career on hold for nearly four years to serve in the Navy in WWII, but he still won 20-or-more games six times on the way to the Hall of Fame. Godspeed.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Brett Hollander. Also, check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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