He probably said: "Hey fellas, we've been getting our butts kicked all year. It's time we came up with a stop. The bottom line is that this is Baltimore and in this town we play like a Raven. Well it is time some of you step up because if you don't step up we're going to take another step back. Where would you rather be right now? Here, playing in one of the great games of your life, or sitting at home on your kicks. Somebody make a play. We need a play right now, damn it."
By the way Andre, I've heard that speech about 30 times in 17 years. The "Where would you rather be?" speech is usually reserved for the playoffs.
Jerry, Timonium: Hey Mike, does the Ravens defense get caught off guard by running plays because they have to defend the pass more? It seems like the defensive backs have to make too many tackles versus the run.
They don't get caught off guard. This defensive unit has missed more tackles this season than any in the past 10 years. Some of the guys in the front four just don't get off blocks and the linebackers have been slow to plug holes, especially in short yardage situations. As for the guys in the secondary, Lardarius Webb and Bernard Pollard are excellent tacklers. Ed Reed started smacking players around last week after he got embarrassed by the Eagles tight end leaping over him. That's what I like about Reed. You tick him off and he responds. That clip of him getting embarrassed was shown all over national TV.
Now, go back and look at the film before the game Sunday night. Take a look at Reed's face on the sideline during the national anthem. He is completely focused and has chewed every ounce of sugar out of that gum. He played well. As for Williams and Smith, what can I say?
They whiff a lot.
Joe, Essex: Mike, what is your take on the replacement officials? I mean, honestly, all referees blow calls -- even the "real" ones. My biggest complaint is the fact that the games seem to drag on forever with these guys. It seemed like Joe Flacco was just throwing the ball up, looking for the pass interference or illegal contact call on the final drive, and of course, the Ravens got the call and the win. Thoughts?
Why not chuck it up? I would have. It was great strategy and the Ravens did it a lot Sunday night.
My take on the officiating is that these NFL games are so terrible to watch that I have not watched a full game except for the Ravens. Once I start seeing all the flags and the numerous huddles by the officials, I turn it off. I decided a long time ago it wasn't worth getting frustrated over these games. I can have more fun cutting the lawn than watching inept officials.
Billy T., Salisbury: The home dominance continues for another week for the Ravens. Any chance the Ravens suffer a letdown Thursday night against the Browns? I just don't see it happening, but it is the NFL and anything can happen. Will the short week affect the Ravens?
Some say this is a "trap" game, but there are no such games for the Ravens. Those games are for teams that dominate, not ones that squeak by. The Browns can't be taken lightly. It's a division game played at night on national TV. Regardless of Cleveland's record, the Browns have played hard and been physical against the Ravens. If the Ravens don't respond in a similar matter, they could lose.