Say it Joe

it's good to see Flacco fired up

Ravens quarterback begins stepping up as a leader

July 29, 2011|By Peter Schmuck

News item: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco fired back at his critics Wednesday, after an offseason that included being blasted by Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones.

My take: It's good to see Flacco continue to come out of his shell and grow as a leader. He'll get a chance to shut Woodley up in the regular season opener. It'll be a little harder to shut up Jones, since he apparently had no problem with popping off after the Bungles' pathetic 4-12 season.

News item: The Ravens moved decisively to clear room under the salary cap this week by releasing big-name veterans Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg and Willlis McGahee.

My take: It takes some serious front office fortitude to take a public relations hit like that, but the team needed salary cap room and Ozzie Newsome has never been timid when it comes to building the best possible team. I'm guessing Mason and Gregg end up coming back under new terms, but who knows what's going to happen over the nutty next couple of weeks.

News item: Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle has been declared fit to practice after missing all of last season recovering from a skull fracture.

My take: There's still some room to wonder whether he'll be available when the regular season starts, but a healthy and productive Kindle would be a huge addition to the Ravens' defense.

News item: In a heart-warming display of age sensitivity, the Oakland Raiders have hired a grandmother to be part of this year's cheerleading squad.

My take: It's not what you think. Suzie Sanchez is 37 and she's not even the oldest cheerleader in the NFL. And, of course, she's 100 years younger than Al Davis.

News item: The Redskins have traded troublesome defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for the equivalent of a large bag of footballs.

My take: Okay, it is a fifth-round pick two years from now, but you get my drift. Haynesworth is now playing for Bill Belichick. This should end well.

Related news item: The Patriots, apparently trying to fill the huge personality gap created by Belichick and Tom Brady, have also acquired Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco.

My take: LMAO.

News item: Major League Baseball admitted this week that umpire Jerry Meals badly blew a call in the 19th inning to give the Atlanta Braves a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates early Wednesday morning.

My take: Yes, it was an egregious call and, yes, expanded instant replay could have prevented a serious injustice.

Bonus take: And I'm still against it.

News item: Baseball's deadline for making trades without waivers is just a day or so away, but there already have been some big deals that could have an impact on division races.

My take: Must be nice. The Orioles, meanwhile, are in the familiar situation of trying to get rid of players they signed last winter. That's not necessarily a bad strategy, but you have wonder if we're ever going to get to a time when this isn't the most suspenseful week of every Orioles season.

News item: There has been speculation in Boston that the Red Sox may make a late play for former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard, who was scheduled to return to the Seattle Mariners rotation Friday after a month on the sidelines.

My take: Can't wait to see what the Sox might be willing to give up for a great pitcher who has been as fragile as a Faberge egg. Of course, once he's in a rival AL East city, he'll probably turn into Roger Clemens.

News item: The NFL free agent signing period officially began on Friday at 6 p.m.

My take: Has anyone heard from Brett Favre?

Listen to Peter Schmuck when he hosts "The Week in Review" Fridays on WBAL (1090 AM) and wbal com.

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