Ex-Ravens linebacker Bart Scott ready to 'keep it real' as CBS analyst

After 11-year NFL career, he looks forward to sharing his thoughts on TV

August 11, 2014|Mike Preston

When the regular season opens next month, former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott will debut on CBS's NFL Today pregame show as a commentator and analyst.

Can't wait.

Scott will be provocative, funny, entertaining and knowledgeable, but there also will be times when what he says might appear irrational or as if he's "on medication."

Can't wait.

Scott, affectionately known as "The Mad Backer" in Baltimore, will always give you an honest, sometimes emotional opinion, none better than his "can't wait" rant on ESPN in 2011 after his New York Jets upset the New England Patriots.

"I have that Baltimore pedigree, I don't fear anything," said Scott, who played 11 years in the NFL, including seven with the Ravens.

Scott has had other special moments, like when he said he put some "hot sauce" on Reggie Bush's twisted ankle in 2006. A year later, he threw an NFL official's flag into the stands at M&T Bank Stadium after he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

In New York, Scott once was fined $10,000 for showing an obscene gesture in front of a cameraman, and he also threatened another one. He even tried to organize a boycott of the media.

Now, he is one of us.

"I will keep it real," Scott said. "I know what I am talking about, and I can relate to people and tell them about the transformation of the game, how it has become more of an arena football game. I can give them new intel about the offensive advantages, and how the defense has to stop it.

"I know the blueprints on how to stop Aaron Rodgers, how to play zone against Peyton Manning or what it takes to move Drew Brees off his spots, how to take down Ben Roethlisberger, because I've done it. I know I can say some things that others can't say because some people think I'm crazy."

Oh, Scott is crazy like a fox. A lot of that stuff in New York was contrived, nothing more than theater. Scott, who has a degree in economics, often gave motivational speeches to corporations while he was with the Ravens.

Away from the game, Scott is soft spoken, articulate and extremely well-mannered. But give him lights and cameras, and he'll give you action.

That's one of the main reasons he left Baltimore for New York when he became a free agent in 2009.

"This was Ray's town," said Scott of Baltimore. "We knew we had to step out, to bring the type of energy and passion we had in Baltimore to New York. We did that while I was there.

"Why not? It's the media capital of the world, and everything there is overexposed. I have to believe that what happened in New York helped me get this job here. These kinds of jobs usually go to Hall of Famers. I had a good career, not a great one."

Scott is a good change for the television business. The keys to victory are still the same, but a lot of faces haven't changed with the game.

In May, Scott was going to work out for the Cleveland Browns before he was offered the CBS job. He had spent the previous year rehabilitating a toe injury.

"A lot of these national guys just compile notes from what the local guys write in each city, and they form opinions," Scott said. "Half of these guys who report stuff have no clue to what … they are talking about."

"You may not like me, but you know I will be honest. I have played for some of the best minds, like Mike Smith, Mike Nolan, John Harbaugh, Hugh Jackson and Rex Ryan, still in the game. Sometimes, God has to remove something from you before you appreciate the blessing. This job is a gift."

Scott already has been poring over game tape. He likes what the Ravens did in the offseason by adding offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and wide receiver Steve Smith.

"They got deep threats on the outside in Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, and two guys who can work the numbers inside in Dennis Pitta and Steve Smith," Scott said. "They have already proved that they want to run the football, and even though they don't have a big offensive line, they can still pound away at you because of their athleticism and the way Kubiak designs his running game.

"Joe [Flacco] took a step backward last season, but that was because of his offensive line, and the poor running game, which never got off the bus."

Scott has some questions about the Ravens defense. He likes Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil up front, but isn't so confident about the second level.

"They miss Ed Reed," Scott said. "They miss his IQ. If other guys didn't study, Ed studied enough for them because he always got them in the right alignment. As for [inside linebacker C.J.] Mosley, he has athleticism and can run, but I don't know about his physical side. On fourth-and-1, third-and-1, can he man up and make that play?"

Scott said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome needs to stop drafting players from his alma mater, Alabama.

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