Now that Ravens minicamp is over our Luke Jones fills Nestor in on a prognosis of purple while the Orioles will truly become the boys of summer in Baltimore. Are you watching baseball?
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Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
What about wn st Towson, Baltimore. And Baltimore positive we are positively into the summer time I don’t know how much ravens football we’re gonna be talking around here but I’m gonna be able to Maryland crabcake towards all summer long, sort of a record pace for crabcake tours ahead now that I’m back from a little vacay and a bite in the eye all the brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery I’ll be giving away these 50th anniversary throwback scratch offs away at spirits west on Thursday. We’ll also have the fun to win donation had I got the one donation shirt going on 8669 donation you buy two you get to free the entire month of June you get two years 0% financing. When you do that I didn’t even get that deal. Got mine installed last August so I’m then I made my first bugs spawning of spring and summer. And bugs get my eyes Luke Jones. As you can see, you know what didn’t get lost on me last week was I was locked out of training camp for the first time literally in 27 years. JK Dobbins does his thing we we talked at length about that. But observations from a couple of days of whatever the new install of Todd Monken looks like and how Lamar looks in gym shorts running around. Give me a little of a full report, not a little report a full look at a training camp all week when Nestor is locked out.
Luke Jones 01:19
Yeah, I mean, we as you mentioned, one of the big storylines was JK Dobbins not being out there you and I’ve talked about that at length, I think you and I generally agree with the tack, you know, the approach he takes he’s taking not necessarily being what’s best for him per se, certainly not going to be something that the Ravens respond favorably to, but it’s neither here nor there. So don’t think it’s a huge deal in terms of consequential to 2023. But beyond that. It was refreshing for the focus to be on the field, right? I mean, Lamar Jackson under contract, Odell Beckham was out there the first few days was dealing with some food poisoning. On the final day John Harbaugh said he had some bad fish or something. But you know, Beckham took part wasn’t like a full go participant, but he did some full team stuff. I would say it was ordinary, like in a good way back home being out there. And you know, he didn’t do anything spectacular, but he looked healthy and was out there and health and, you know, went through it and took some reps. And it was great to see. You know, I think, by and large, when you kind of look at the Ravens in their totality right now, I’ll say this much you can tell that the defense is in year two with Mike McDonald and the things that they’ve done differently from where they were with wink Martindale compared to the offense with Todd Monken. They’re learning now, the offense is definitely a work in progress. And that’s not to say it was awful or anything like that. But you can tell that they’re learning and you know, it was very much a case. You did not have Rashad Bateman out there. Because he’s, you know, had the screws removed from his foot and had a cortisone shot for that. So nothing, nothing to be to sound the alarm over, but just wasn’t out there for mini camp, and Beckham was limited. So you didn’t have your top two wide receivers on the field for the offense. But you can tell it’s it, they’re learning. And it’s a different feel a different look for this offense. And I think that’s to be expected this time of year. And on the defensive side, you can tell that there is a higher comfort level with what their identity is as a unit with Mike McDonald. So there are a lot of passes broken up a lot of bad passes at the line of scrimmage, things that generally you’re going to see if the defense is ahead of the offense in a setting where there’s no contact. And I’ll keep coming back to that. And it’s kind of a boring thing to say, because everyone wants observations this time of year, who looks good, who doesn’t look as good, who made the big play, all those different things. I’ll remind everyone and John Harbaugh said this, Todd Monken said this, Mike McDonald said this, they’re not really in an evaluation mode this time of year, this is much more still a learning mode. It’s much more still of know what you’re doing. Know where you’re to line up, know your assignment, know your alignment. Practice your technique as much as you can. And obviously, for line play and things of that nature, you’re still a little more limited, because you’re not doing any contact. But that’s really what it comes back to this time of year. Guys look good. And some young guys will turn a few heads here and there. But not even the training camp yet. Once the threat of contact, not even just contact, the threat of contact is introduced. That’s when you start to really evaluate here and look. So again, by and large, nothing to nothing to be concerned about. But just the reality, as you’d expect is with a brand new offensive coordinator and new offensive system. New weapons. Yeah, it’s a work in progress. And on the defensive side. Those guys you can tell that it’s your two with Mike McDonald. And I think that Why expectations are so high there, if they can fortify the pass rush a little bit, you know, bring in, whether it’s bringing back a Justin Houston or someone like that. But I think the expectations are very high on that side of the ball. And we haven’t talked about that as much because it’s been all Lamar and the wide receivers and Todd Monken and the offense but keep in mind, this was a defense that was playing at a very high level the second half of last season. So that’s my thumbnail, if you will, the defense ahead of the offense, which again, new coordinator on the offensive side of the ball, new weapons new new bells and whistles, new plays new system all that, that that’s to be expected when you’re talking about mid June and certainly nothing to be concerned about or really be surprised over.
Nestor Aparicio 05:43
Look, Jones joins us now. We’re gonna get puts put him on the baseball beat for a little while put them on the beat to beat down and Wildwood for the Fourth of July as usual, but offensive line. And, you know, we talked about all these things they want to do with their $50 million Cadillac quarterback and the tight ends to get to good tight ends, they got all these wide receivers, they got a running back, that’s mad, offensive line and the age of the offensive line. And the fact that they you know, we can add another name to the long list of Ryan Jensen’s and you know, guys that got out and got paid elsewhere, replacing that on the line. And I think another year, the center, and the center exchange with Lamar is going to be a great thing. I love that they found the center that they love that they wanted to work within the offense played well last year. And he had some injury issues early last year as well. But another year stronger another year better. I expect him to be the strength of the offensive line, by the way. And that’s no disrespect to Stanley or Zeidler, or Morgan most any of these guys. I expect the center to be their best player on the line. Yeah, I
Luke Jones 06:49
don’t know if I’m there yet. But I think I think that’s fair. I mean, look, it was great to see Ronnie Stanley, compete and be on the field for training for mini camp. For the first time since 2019. Keep in mind, there was no mini camp in the COVID year in 2020. And Stanley had been recovering from the ankle ever since then. So the fact that oh, yeah, and he took part in one day get stepped on. That’s why they held him out the last two days. But he took every rep on day one, which I was not expecting that. So that was great to see. But your point about Tyler Linder balm, whether it’s this year, or whether it’s year after that, whatever it is, you take a senator in the first round, yeah, you’re expecting him to to be elite, you’re expecting him to be a pro bowl caliber, if not an all pro caliber center. If not, then the positional value probably doesn’t align given, given how we typically view that position and how the Ravens view that position for years going back, you know, post Matt Burke and how they approach that position. But I think you look at the offensive line, the thing I liked the most. And we’ll get to left guard in a moment. You mentioned Ben powers departing the free agency, but you just like the continuity from four or five spots returning. And not just that, but those four spots. A healthy Ronnie Stanley, Tyler Linder Baum, who had a good rookie year and you’re expecting you know, he’s an ascending player, right? He’s only going to get better. You have Kevin Zeitler, who even at age 33, still playing at a high level. And we’ll see what happens with him. Another guy entering a contract here, but he’s going to take it in stride. And Morgan, Moses at right tackle. So you only have to figure out one spot. And I think that’s what’s so interesting. And it’s not to be dismissive of it. I mean, they’ve got to figure out who’s going to play that spot. And I think what was fascinating, over the course of many camp week was we saw the sixth round rookie salah, big salah, I promise you, I’ll have the pronunciation for his last name down by training camp. But I’m still a little uneasy there because it is a long one. But he he was running with the ones at left guard. And again, it’s not your first no contact yet. And that’s still only sane so much. But to me that says two things. One, he’s impressing and to what’s going on within Cleveland, right? I mean, former third round pick. He should be the guy on paper to step in. But we said the same thing about Tyree Phillips, and then they jettison him at the end of training camp last year. So I think it’s going to be fascinating to see how that spot plays out. Whether it’s the rookie, whether it’s John Simpson, who, you know, lined up at left guard a lot in OTAs, and was a former starting guard for Las Vegas a couple years ago, whether it is Ben Cleveland, who finally kind of gets in gear and realizes it’s now or never. So now they have options there. But who’s going to really emerge. But even with that question mark, and let’s face it, you look back at the last five, six years, really this time of year, generally speaking and putting aside the Stanley situation from the last couple years, but just they’ve had a position that they’ve needed to figure out a year ago this time we weren’t sure Ben powers is going to start at left guard. And he ends up starting every game and gets paid right now in a big year and, and did what he didn’t Good for him. So they have to figure that out. But I think when you have four other spots on the line, and again, you’re knocking on wood crossing your fingers saying a little prayer that Ronnie Stanley’s stays healthy, and he was healthy at the end of last year, which was refreshing to see. But when you have the other spots locked down with veteran guys, or in the case of Lindor, bomb, someone that you’re so excited about, and so confident in long term, it makes it a lot easier to figure out that left guard spot for me. You don’t need a left guard to be above average, right? You want a guy that’s gonna give you a high floor? Can he stay on the field? Does he know what he’s doing? Is he gonna give you a consistent effort week to week? Even if it’s not great? Can he just be solid, if they can find someone to be a solid left guard for them, coupled with the other four spots? Your offensive line is in great shape, then even even with a little bit of age on the right side that might make you take a little pause with sight learn Moses. So you know, we’ve talked about it, I believe you and I talked about it in our last big ravens conversation just talking about them position by position, the offensive line. I mean, it’s of the utmost importance. We saw this last year. I mean, when they, especially early in the year, you know before that the injury to Bateman and how they got so banged up at wide receiver. And then of course Lamar is not out there at the end of the year. But you saw the difference it made with an offensive line that was more stable, more consistent week to week more continuity week to week. And I even asked Kevin Zeitler that during mini camp this week, the fact that you’re returning four out of five guys on your starting offensive line. How much does that help? And keep in mind, Kevin Zeitler has been, you know, he’s been three, four other places where, you know, sometimes you’re replacing two or three starters every year. And that’s tough to do it that way. So for the ravens to have the continuity that they have, yeah, they got to figure out left guard. But I think with everything else going on with this offense, you know, your system, more emphasis on the passing game, new wide receivers, more expectations and more on the Mars plate pre snap, you still come back to the offensive line being a stabling stabilizing force. And if it can be and if it continues to be I think it’s just going to give them that much more of a better chance to truly play at a really high level this year
Nestor Aparicio 12:24
up people have come up to me in the last five months and said they almost want to play off game with you know, Snoop. Right, you know what I mean? So that’s a tribute to the offensive line. Right? When you talk about them still being able to compete at some level. It was because of the offensive line that that happened.
Luke Jones 12:43
Yeah. There’s no question about it. And again, you know, we’ve talked a lot about Dobbins, but the running game now this offensive line run blocked at a higher level than it had the previous year. So that made a big difference. And obviously, yeah, Dobbins and Edwards back in the picture, but it’s, it’s so important. And we talked about this some last year, and it kind of got lost with everything that happened, you know, with Bateman going down, and obviously Lamar is not out there. At the end of the year. His contract was, you know, a dark cloud hanging over the entire organization. We talked all about that. But, you know, we quickly forget that going back to not this past offseason, the previous one, you know, so going going into 2022 the Ravens had conversations with Lamar Jackson, as far as what do we need to prioritize, and Lamar said the offensive line. And they did that now, they needed to do more at wide receiver. And they have since done that, we’ll see how that plays out here in 23. But, you know, they were able to stabilize their offensive line. And obviously, Stanley coming back was a huge part of that. But it’s important. It’s really important. And you know, I mentioned this when we talked about Dobbins, it’s not that running backs don’t matter. It’s that offensive line really, really matters. And it just makes things that much more difficult. And people will say, Okay, well look at the Bengals the last couple years, Joe burrow didn’t have a great offensive line. Well, well, he tore up his knee a couple years before that. But even so having a shaky offensive line. That’s just that’s not the formula you can get by. But if you really want to sustain success on the offensive side of the ball, you’ve got to have a good offensive line doesn’t have to be best in the league. But it can’t be a problem for you. If we
Nestor Aparicio 14:31
saw Ronnie Stanley conundrum, right when he’s not playing, how much different the whole thing operates. And that would be true with any your $20 million left tackle, right. But we’re at the point now we’re talking about are they a winner? Or do they have a chance to win a Super Bowl? Oh, my God, they’ve had a kind of a stellar offseason based on what we’re seeing out there other than a mathy running back at this point. You know, they had all the problems with the quarterback and all the negotiation issues and but man they put linebacker to rest with ro Quan Smith. You know, they go out into the draft and they wide receiver and they go spend money on a wide receiver money they don’t even really have on a wide receiver trying to win this year. Keeping these guys healthy, there’s just like, and whatever that Saunders guy out there was doing and whatever the injury bug for the organization and all the problems that they’ve had in recent years. It’s easy for the next six weeks where they’re not going to practice. Hopefully linebackers aren’t going to be found dead drug houses anytime soon. You know it during this offseason as well. But as long as they’re not newsworthy or having problems. There’s no reason to think that they can’t win a lot of football games around here. They’re they’re a very well constructed outfit this time of year minus a little pass rush here and a little question here, a little tweak there. And whether Lamar can really do it or not. You know, this is a well constructed outfit. Kudos to the front office for putting together a reputable National Football League team again.
Luke Jones 16:02
Yeah, I mean, Marlon Humphrey to me said it best when he spoke at the end of minicamp and he said, Look, you you don’t necessarily look at other teams rosters one through 53. But you look at other teams and say who has who has a good core? You know, obviously it starts with the quarterback but what the skill guys look like, you know who who are that team’s All Pro or Pro Bowl players and the teams are only had like one or two. Generally they stink, right? But But you look at the teams that have a core group of say like six guys that everyone would love to have, every team would love to have. And I think the Ravens certainly fit that description. You know, when you look at Lamar, you look at Mark Andrews, you look at a healthy Ronnie Stanley Beckham Bateman. I mean, we’ll see, you know, and then on the defensive side, certainly you look at that with Marlin Humphrey row, Quan Smith. And you know, you can add a couple guys to that if you want to defy first
Nestor Aparicio 16:57
round draft picks in the wide receiver room, right? Like Sure, sure. Now, now granted, a couple of
Luke Jones 17:01
those are guys who didn’t work out.
Nestor Aparicio 17:04
I would just say out loud, that’s something to say, yeah.
Luke Jones 17:08
It catches your attention. Let’s put let’s put it that way. But the point that Marlon Humphrey was saying is, look, we’ve had some years here recently on paper, where we look like a Super Bowl contender, and we won a lot of games in the regular season, and we’ve made the playoffs. But he said, It’s go time, it’s time for us to prove it. And you know, he didn’t go into the specifics of saying we need to get out of the divisional round, or we can’t lose in the first round of the playoffs. But the point was, everything is in place here. And you just said it. And I’ve said it. I’d love to see them at a veteran pass rusher. I still think they probably could use another outside corner just to fortify their depth there. You have you have Marlon Humphrey, you have rock Eocene on the outside, but one of those guys something happens to one of those guys, then you’re looking at a lot of young guys who are completely unproven. So there’s still a piece or two that they can add that I’m not even saying it has to be an expensive piece. But you know, a savvy addition or two. But beyond that, everything is sitting right there. You know, everything on paper on both sides of the bond include special teams because you have Justin Tucker the best kicker on the planet by by a wide margin. Everything is sitting there for them to be great and not just make the playoffs but to get to January and say all right, it’s go time. No longer talking about Greg Roman holding back this passing game, no longer talking about the offensive line not being quite good enough. Certainly better not be talking about wide receiver not being good enough. When you consider the resources invested in that position group this offseason, your quarterback is not thinking about his long term contract anymore. It’s there he got paid, he’s the highest, probably not by the season because burrow and Herbert will be paid and don’t Don’t be have that title, but he’s the highest paid player in the NFL. Defensively, everything is in place and they’re comfortable now under Mike McDonald and everything is sitting right there to go win a Super Bowl. Go play deep into January at the very least get yourself to an AFC Championship game at the very least at least give yourself a chance to play to go to the Super Bowl because do something in January go win some gaps. Exactly. And, and that’s what that’s basically what Marlin Humphrey was saying. And he’s right. It’s go time for this team because here’s the here’s the reality. Yes. Lamar is contract is structured in a way that the cap numbers really for the next couple of years aren’t insane. You know, it’s not as though he’s going to have a $60 million cap hit this year, or next year, the year after that. But this is going to be your best chance in terms of maximizing the rest of the roster. It gets more difficult after that we saw that with Joe Flacco with it’s just the reality doesn’t mean you can’t build a good roster. Let’s be clear, this doesn’t give any front office a pass. But if you have a smaller margin for error, then when your quarterbacks making that much money and taking up that much of your cap, so take advantage right now the time is now because you do have a number of guys that are going to be entering contract years. And it’s not to say I don’t think the Ravens will be really good next year because I think they will be but your best chance. You don’t want to squander this. And we talked about this a lot back in 19. Right, such a devastating, upset loss that they suffered to the Titans. But what did everyone try to say that to comfort themselves? While they were a year ahead of schedule? No one thought Lamar would be the unanimous NBA
Nestor Aparicio 20:21
remember that when the Orioles lose the ALCS and six games next year, just right. It doesn’t mean you ignore next year, it doesn’t mean that you invest everything in this year, and then you don’t care about the future. But the point is no, Michael is going to have that in the next six weeks due as to whether this is a real year or whether this is just we felt good that we just we got there and we’ll bump Phillips it will we knocked on the door will and that will kick it in next year. Like I don’t think any franchise in the modern vernacular can think that way. I mean, I just I mean, look at the nationals and the capitals having their parades. And it’s it’s a it comes in it’s I had checked Montgomery on last week. You saw the Royals come in here, right. We went out to Kansas City and there’s 5000 people sitting in that stadium last month and I said what happened there he came in it went like this. And you talked we talked about Machado and weeders and these guys gone again, it’s all Joe Flacco over with, you know, we sit here talk about Ray Rice’s and these guys, so 1012 you, man, this thing happens fast. And the ravens are very, very much built to win tomorrow, not not, not next month, not next year, like they need to win here. And now and I don’t know that Powerball or d’acosta feel that sort of pressure or wherever shotty is in his metamorphosis into being a former owner and selling off the team at this point. But this is their this is their best chance right here right now. Especially going out and spending money on backup spending big money on row Quan Smith, which, you know, you weren’t you weren’t happy with that amount of outlay. But all that being said, they’re playing over cap this year, and a lot of ways it with the quarterback contract, giving them the flexibility we talked about for a year and a half when they were fighting with him about how they could construct something around him that would allow them to win. To me that’s not 26 or 27. That’s 23 or 24. Based on where they’re going to be eaten cat money two years now I know the cap is gonna go up and all that, but all of its gonna go up and Tad the price the tackles are gonna go up. And like Justin Tucker is going to need to be the highest paid kicker in the history of the world like they this is gonna be money that’s going to be spent out that you better you better smoke and while you got Odell Beckham because you might not have them anymore.
Luke Jones 22:44
Yeah, I mean, that’s just that’s just the reality. But when you when you have a lot of good football players, eventually you have to pay them or they leave. And that’s just how it works. And look, the Ravens have done a really good job over the years of balancing out who to keep, and who leaves. And for the most part, there have been some exceptions for the most part, they’ve made the right calls with that. Now there have been a couple guys that they paid that, in hindsight, probably shouldn’t have. And there have been a couple guys, not many who’ve left where you’d say, Wow, you really miss that guy. You know, I haven’t been many of those guys over the years. I
Nestor Aparicio 23:18
haven’t had many of those either beyond the shadow. But I’ll give you an Gasman starts, I’m always
Luke Jones 23:23
Sure. Sure. Well, and maybe that right, there is a good reminder of you still need to be judicious in how you pick who you’re going to pay because a lot of guys aren’t really worthy of a second contract and a lot of guys that most guys aren’t worthy of a third contract. So it’s tough in that regard. But But yeah, it’s sitting right there and look, the ravens, you need to look no further than their own history. Look at their two best regular season teams in franchise history. Regular Season, not playoffs, not super bowl 2006. Steve, Steve McNair year, I mean, that felt like such a magical year. I mean, the defense was not on the 2000 level, but it was not far off. That was a dominant defense. And McNair, you know, did a did a good job wasn’t the wasn’t the MVP McNair but was good enough. And, you know, they were 13 and three, and, you know, the culture coming in and had the first round by for the first time ever. And they lost. And they were terrible. The following year. It was over. It was a one day at a shot. They had a really good shot that year. And they didn’t do it. And we already mentioned it, you know, 2019 14 and two and 13 guys in the Pro Bowl and the Mars unanimous MVP and had this historic, unbelievable season so much fun. And they lost in the divisional round. And everyone tried to say well, they’ll be back and we saw what happened the following year. The injuries just piled up and just crushed them. So you’re not guaranteed anything. And that’s not to say you mentioned 2026 Look, I’m not gonna sit here and say they’re gonna be bad in 2026. I don’t I wouldn’t anticipate that either. But if you’re going to ask me, When is it going to be easier to have a Super Bowl roster? Is it what you have right now? Or is it going to be in 2026? Well, my question would be between now and then is, you better have drafted really well because some of these high price guys that you have right now are either going to be older and not as good and gone or you’re just going to have guys that are going to leave because you just you can’t keep everyone so
Nestor Aparicio 25:23
let’s say you’re in the band Cleveland’s don’t, you know, turn out or when the Bradley Bozeman evaporate. And when the well I mean, the the Prashad Perriman era and the wide receivers we’re getting to that point with Bateman now we’re, you know, like, Alright, dude, what are you? You know what I mean? Yeah, and this is a, this is a dude year for Patrick queen, for Bateman for Dobbins for, you know, I guess, Linda balm is what, you know, like these players that are working toward sticking around or getting paid, Andrews paid Humphrey Paige Stanley paid twice, you know, like, Moammar paid more than any of them. So like, it really is about these guys stepping up and playing to get that number. And in the cases of Queen at some of these, they’re paid playing to get that number elsewhere. And it gets that’s my point. If you really are that good.
Luke Jones 26:19
You’re not going to be able to retain you’re just not. No, you’re not and I mean, you just said it. I mean, Marlon Humphrey flat out said it like Lamar has gotten his contract. I got my contract, Andrews got his contract, like it’s go time for us now. And you know, he’s right in that way. And I’ll go back to something you mentioned about back home. And you know, the idea that, and this is obviously making an assumption that he plays well, and he’s on the field, and he’s up a positive contributor and not hurt and limited the six games. Let’s say he has goes out and has the best year he’s had since 2019, which is kind of what the ravens are betting on at this point. Right? So not that he’s gonna be the Odell Beckham with the Giants, but at least be the guy that was 1000 yard receiver or, you know, somewhere in that neighborhood. The ideal scenario is not that he plays well, and the Ravens resign him. The ideal scenario is Bateman stays on the field. And all of the potential that he’s flashed, and he’s flashed it he’s looked really good, you know, a little more fleeting than Dobbins even. But it’s not as though Bateman hasn’t had his moments and said, and shown you some abilities where you say, well, but the ideal scenario is he stays healthy and puts it all together. And ze flowers your first round pick looks like a legitimate first round pick this year, even if his numbers aren’t now he’s not going to be their number one receiver,
Nestor Aparicio 27:42
you’re going to be comparing him to Hollywood brown the whole time, right? I mean, that’s, that’s gonna be a more physical.
Luke Jones 27:48
He’s a more physical a little bit bigger. You know, he’s not huge, but he’s bigger than Hollywood, Brown was coming out of college and a little more willing to take on contract or contact and break tackles. But again, my ideal scenario is yes, Beckham has a good year. But Bateman and flowers are the guys that really, you know, they both look legit, and they’re both on the field and healthy. The ideal scenario is, you can let back back and walk. And you feel so good about those two guys. And sure you draft another receiver next year, whatever it is, I mean, that’s just how it works, right? There’s a pipeline that you need at every position, every position that matters at the very least. So that’s the scenario you want. And that’s how you sustain this thing for the long term. You’re gonna whip on some pics and you mentioned Ben Cleveland, I mean, it’s not even a third round you miss on a third round pick, that’s not the end of the world. When you miss on first round picks, that’s when it’s a problem. When you miss on second round picks. That’s when it’s a problem. And, you know, that’s where a guy that you didn’t mention, but But I throw into this group big time, or maybe you did mention them. Adopt AOA, it’s go time for him. You know, this is year three, as a first round pick. You know, he his rookie year started out really promising and since then he’s kind of been chasing that but you shouldn’t need a
Nestor Aparicio 28:59
justice. You should be your Justin Houston. He should be your match.
Luke Jones 29:03
Yeah, and you could still augment you know, you still need some veterans and look, I mean, it’s not as though they it’s not as though Justin Houston has made big money the last couple years for the Ravens but you know, you want to be in a position where you’re bringing in those veterans to augment what you have not because oh my gosh, we need another guy. Well, there’s
Nestor Aparicio 29:21
no replacing Coleus Campbell to and they’re gonna miss him. Sure.
Luke Jones 29:25
I think the defensive lines uh, I think the defensive line is fine. I think it’s solid. You know, I think there’s depth there. I don’t think it’s a problem. But I think it’s a really interesting position group because go look at the contract status of everyone other than second round, or second year, Travis Jones or another third round pick from a year ago. Every one of consequence from Michael Pearce to Bran urban, to just a matter BK to Broderick, Washington. They’re all pending free agents. So that’s right. This is a pivotal year for that group. hoping that’s where, at the very least, I want to see Travis Jones, take a big step forward and show me that you can be the next Brandon Williams for this team where, you know, even if you’re not going to be a pro bowl, nose tackle, we can count on you, you know, you’re going to be a guy that we’re going to plug in there. And we’re going to not think about it the next few years, at the very least. So you want to see that and yeah, we’ll see who else they ultimately resign about. I mean, I think they’d like to resign Mata became Broderick Washington,
Nestor Aparicio 30:26
a guy that could play so well, that plays itself out here because they won’t be able to afford
Luke Jones 30:28
him. Could Yeah, I think that’s possible. So that, but the point,
Nestor Aparicio 30:33
you’re wondering how they win a Super Bowl, you know what I mean? Like if they win a Super Bowl, that that’s the kind of kid that we get a lot of money if he’s a part of a Super Bowl winning team.
Luke Jones 30:40
I mean, go back and look at Super Bowl 47 Two guys who played well for them and played really well for them in some big spots. Paul Kruger, and Danelle Ellerby. Both got paid very handsomely. Elsewhere. Did they really deserve it? Arthur Jones, were two. Yeah, well, that was a year later. Right. But But yeah, that was a year delayed. But in the case of LRB and Krueger, they got big time contracts elsewhere, they never lived up to it. But you need that. Sure. So the defensive line is an interesting group, because you just mentioned it, it’s gonna be a challenge replacing class Campbell, not impossible, but it’s gonna be you’re gonna miss them. Definitely gonna miss them, you’re gonna miss them in the locker room as well, you know, just as a leader, but you know, there are guys in that group that should be very motivated, that they’re going to be playing for another contract. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how that plague that group plays out. But when you just look at this roster in its totality, it’s not perfect, but boy, it’s really good in most of those spots. No, it is a championship caliber roster on paper, assuming health, assuming certain guys that we’ve mentioned take the step forward that they need to. So go back to what Marlon Humphrey said it’s go time. I mean, it really is it’s time for this group to go out there and prove it. And it’s great winning games in the regular season. It’s great making the playoffs. There are so many NFL markets right now that, you know that the seasons the Ravens have had in recent years, other cities would dream to have that. But if your standard is truly as high as it has been for a long time, and it’s winning a championship, it’s time to take it to the next step. Now it’s time to at the very least, you could talk a lot about Patrick mahomes. And the chiefs and unseating them well, if you never even get to a championship game, to have the opportunity to do it, can’t really talk about it. So that’s where it’s time for this group to go out there and prove it not just in the regular season, but get themselves in a position to make a deep run.
Nestor Aparicio 32:34
Yeah, one of the interesting parts of chat steel not allowing me to do my job but allowing you to do yours. I don’t even get their press releases anymore. They’ve taken me they’ve taken me off the press releases have been a bad boy, apparently. When did they? When did they reconvene again, I mean, that it really is a different kind of schedule, with preseason and one game being less that it’s not normal, and none of them want it to be normal. They want these games to feel like scrimmages. I feel
Luke Jones 32:59
Yeah, yeah. It’s It’s very strange. I mean, you’ll see the young guys you know, some of the younger rookies or second year players, you know, you’re gonna see David a job. They’ll play in the preseason, for example, you’ll see oh, a play in the preseason. John Harbaugh even said that, but yeah, you look at the schedule. First of all, we’re still waiting to see what the official training camp schedule looks like. But it’s, I don’t know, the official start date. But you know, it’s usually July 27. somewhere in that neighborhood, you know, of the last week of July, and they’ll report you know, the rookies report a little bit earlier than that, and players coming off injury report a little bit earlier than
Nestor Aparicio 33:33
that. But summer vacation, baby. Yeah, you get about five weeks here.
Luke Jones 33:37
And you know, Odell Beckham talked about the fact that he’s planning to hook up with Lamar Jackson in Florida, and they’re gonna throw I’m sure we’ll see some of that on social media and fans will get excited about that. And that’s good. Hey, there’s nothing else to be excited about football wise, this time of year.
Nestor Aparicio 33:50
I was gonna say to you, and when that happens, and they make a tape and some y’all down there, we’ll have to do a segment talking about, you know, yeah,
Luke Jones 33:58
we’ll break it down. Right. Right. So, but no, I’m
Nestor Aparicio 34:02
using that, Jim.
Luke Jones 34:04
I’m sure he will be. That’s still. You know, it’s one of those things. We haven’t talked about it because, hey, the deals done. We’re gonna see how this all plays out. That’s still one of the funniest. At the time.
Nestor Aparicio 34:16
It was like a Saturday Live skit. I only wish like it was almost like the United Way Peyton Manning. Saturday Night Live pit with the kids, right? I only wish you had seen Championship Wrestling. I did a whole wrestling thing with with Dennis because the ads that played on Championship Wrestling in 1979. On four o’clock, they were always the same ads. It was just great man. You know, it was just it was like Mr. Reyes hair weave and who was the other thing that the the it was the electronics store. I can’t remember what it’s called. It’s that we had a business it was downtown. Anyway, but it was just sort of like this lowering commercial John Bass style
Luke Jones 35:00
If I told you what I thought of though when that when the commercial for the entire gym first came out I said this is like something I’d see on mass and when they’re not showing any original programming like it felt like that kind of an infomercial but wifely looking
Nestor Aparicio 35:12
for the Orioles game against the Cubs on Sunday. And, you know, saying St. Pete peacocking to the phone Peacock, I’m saying NBC, I’m saying mass in one mess, my dear friend and I want to give a shout out. This is from the heart. You are not a Skipjacks guy but Jeff Amdur was the guy at Skipjacks games and clippers games that wore the red fireman’s hat ran up and down section 210 Yelling skippers on a warpath go go. He’s been in hospital yet for a couple weeks ago. And man this guy is a lifer. You know, teacher of first first and foremost was a lifelong teacher. But also just as big a sports fan as I know. And this broke my heart. He’s been in the hospital last couple of weeks. Every time these bastards take these baseball games and eff around with them and put it on mass and to the hot. I know this, my wife spent 155 nights in the hospital, right? So in the nights when the game was on mass and two, we didn’t get the Orioles games in the hospital. So like I just it’s one thing for me to be Get off my lawn guy and bitch about and we meander for football on the baseball and it’s fine, because I need a rant on this. Because it’s it’s insane. That the way football should learn from this, they should all learn from this, the NHL should learn from this putting their Stanley Cup games on where nobody can find them and watch them and in a place that they’re not normally for people. It’s just sports has gotten really wacky in that way. Like it’s not that I’m an old guy get off my lawn is just basic principles of there’s a million things I can get you don’t my wife instead of watching the Orioles because they weren’t on she went for a three mile hike and had a good time and gotta get her exercise inning. And like, and I’m not stressed about it because they’re just making so much money that they can throw me out and let you in and justify it somehow that it’s not discriminatory or it’s just okay, because this is where we operate. And there’s something wrong with Nesta, like everything they do is have a judgement from the prices they charge to the fan experience to what they do. It’s just amazing how many choices we all have in the summer. You know what I mean? To do things and I just want to give Jeff some love. They tell him to get well soon. But restricting games for people in the hospital really pisses me off, you know? Sure. Well, and
Luke Jones 37:33
I was even I was talking about this with someone on Sunday. You know, I you and I, we’ve talked about this plenty of times. You don’t necessarily say it on the air, but I don’t have amazingly fast internet. And it’s not as though I’m totally in the middle of nowhere. I’m not in
Nestor Aparicio 37:50
a suit. The one thing I learned and I talk a lot of politics around here and having Heather Maziar on over the eastern shore and Ben Cardin, different people, that the elected officials in the state, they drive around in the way that I drove around on the crabcake tour for two years, and see how many places in this state online education is not available unless you go pull into town and steal it from the Royal farms, you know, in Cambridge in a nice relation, so you don’t live far off 83 But you know, my wife’s in the other room trying to hook up technology all throughout Central Pennsylvania right now. But I, I would say to you the same thing, the streaming thing. It’s like, you’re just telling people to not watch the game, or that they can’t watch the game. It’s terrible. It’s awful. Or at the
Luke Jones 38:36
very least, you’re either telling them not to watch, or we’re telling you that we’re going to make this a pain in the butt for you. Because, look, I’m not saying that I wasn’t saying that for anyone to take pity on me. I can stream but it does impact them what else I’m doing on the internet that I if I tried to stream the ballgame, and also watch videos on YouTube on my phone. That’s not gonna work. Something’s gonna it’s gonna start out you know, it’ll start buffering.
Nestor Aparicio 39:02
It reminds me of my new place. They put the spigot on the dish when I do the dishes with the water. And I don’t get enough water and yeah, to even and the plumber told me they restrict all of them now legally for less water. And I’m like, what can’t wash my dishes. It’s like, it’s like spitting all my dishes. When your internet spitting. You can’t stream the friggin Oriole game. Well, and it’s even worse. It’s one thing to talk about. You can stream it like me, but it’s not the perfect experience. And it’s a little bit of an inconvenience. But there are plenty of people in this country who have no access to high speed internet where even if you say you know what, I’m an all in fan.
Luke Jones 39:44
I’ll pay for peacock I’ll pay for Apple TV Plus, I’ll pay for whatever whatever you’re going to talk about to stream. In addition to having cable or satellite and
Nestor Aparicio 39:56
the maths on me this will be a great summer project for you do the math on if you bought everything you’d have to do to watch 162 baseball games, the amount of money and then more than that, the amount of money they’re sucking out of your rectum that you don’t even realize off of your cable bill. If you have a cable, you know, like I have again, and then not show me the spring training age, and then tell me that I gotta go do this and that and jump over this hoop on a Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon a Friday night to go watch their game. It’s insane. It’s insane. And they’re trying to grow the sport. No, they’re not. They’re trying to grow their revenue. They don’t care about anybody or anything. And they have no accountability. And they’re going to open their books soon. He promises Yeah. But it is an amazing place. We are where the oils are good again, and I really want it and they make it difficult for me to get it. Yeah. Oh, I
Luke Jones 40:54
mean, that’s majorly that’s every market right now. I mean, I saw something. I wish I had it in front of me right now because I saw it a week or two ago. But the Yankees who even have they even have a in market streaming deal with I think it’s Amazon. I believe there’s a game of the week in the New York area, you know, the metropolitan area where the Yankees are streamed on Amazon one day a week. And there was someone showed the Yankees TV scheduled for like a six day period Nestor and I think it was on five different networks. over a six day period. There were six different games showing
Nestor Aparicio 41:27
Leo on the stoop who was relatively The Sopranos, get his baseball game. He’s only 68 years old, but he’s tucked up and he might be on Facebook, but like, Leo don’t want to chase that around five days to try it. I mean, it’s they just teach a Brightman? Where are you? Who’s running the place? John, you’re supposed to be the Smart TELEVISION digital guy and all that it this is half assed, but it’s fast.
Luke Jones 41:55
It’s not TJ Brightman and John are part of the group. This starts with Rob Manfred. Rob Manfred is the cover. And he works for the 30 owners. And they love this because uncle Leo or grandma or your dad or whoever it is, who can’t stream the game. They don’t care because peacocks cutting them a big fat check. They don’t care about that. And they’re just saying, like, you don’t need to watch all one at 162 You don’t need to do that. Now think back to 40 years ago, the games weren’t on every single day. I mean, that’s that’s the mindset. And I’m not I’m not forgiving that let’s be clear. That’s
Nestor Aparicio 42:32
a sports in general since I started this gig doing what I do to promote local teams. In general. They’ve done just about everything they can do to chase me away, like just in general, from the Maryland chirps making us drive halfway to rockville to get breast credentials and and a parking pass that then parked somewhere near Hyattsville to the Orioles throwing me out 17 years ago to them doing nothing but lying, which is why I sort of got thrown out to begin with because I get sort of fed up with the bullshit. And now the football team. It’s insane. But that’s just me being a journalist and sort of a concern fan with questions for billionaires. This is really just about my poor wife wanting to watch a baseball game because she lives in the city. And it’s like, hey, the team’s excited to play in the Cubs. It’s Sunday. I like baseball. I mean, watch the game and they won’t give you the game. Yeah, that’s that’s just that’s just it’s it’s mindless to me really is
Luke Jones 43:28
it’s a fascinating juxtaposition of seeing that compared to what the mindset was not even that long ago, let’s say 10 years ago Nestor when even the Orioles with Madison if there was going to be a game on free broadcast TV. It was generally the Sunday games right and the idea i i assume the idea at that period of time was it Sunday, people were getting together they’re more likely to be watching TV or barbecuing on on a summer afternoon.
Nestor Aparicio 43:57
How does the bar get the game? How does a bar Yeah, how does a bar put the game on? When you when you don’t have the young thinking like put some bar everybody had channel 13 When they put a Sunday game on right? Like my mom if she had rabbit ears and could watch the Orioles on a Sunday afternoon and fall and at every nursing home they get channel 13 They get channel 45 like so it’s so it’s
Luke Jones 44:20
but right it’s just swung in the opposite direction of it used to be Sunday, a Sunday afternoon game might be the day where you’d say okay, we’re gonna make this we’re gonna easy access right everyone even people who aren’t Orioles fans or people who don’t go to the ballpark, but hey, they’ve heard their friend, their friends coming over for a barbecue and they’re a baseball fan and hey, we’ll watch the game and hey, that’s a pretty good product. Maybe we’ll go get some tickets that that used to be the mindset 10 years ago and now it’s the opposite even if you subscribe to Masson and it’s and let’s be clear, it’s a few times a year this is happening now but you feel like it’s only gonna get worse in that regard. probably
Nestor Aparicio 44:53
wrong. It’s it’s a broken trust. No, I can trust that that’s you know, He asked me about my issue with the Ravens at heart, it’s broken trust, you lack integrity. You’re not. You’re not doing what you said you were going to do by the community and by your customers and by people. And then you restrict media people from asking legitimate questions about this stuff. It’s It’s not how it was supposed to work when my parents put all the money out to build the stadium. Yeah, Johnny’s picked up $600 million. hasn’t said a word hasn’t answered a question has since Sashi. And Chad down to the State House to collect the check. And meanwhile, all of this Oriole enthusiasm that you have, and everybody asked for hotdogs and Adley rutschman. And, and Gunnar Henderson, they don’t have a lease man. Yeah. You know, like they don’t have a lease. Well, you have, there’s so much growing on the tree outside of one’s coat and cows are getting here, which I can handle. And so can Dan Connolly, because he’s a professional, that that question should be asked by people in the community of what, what trust. I love all this Baltimore issue on the front of the jerseys where for 25 years, they refuse to acknowledge the team only than that. Right? So. So all of this goes on. And it happens in a vacuum, if there’s no accountability for any of it, you know?
Luke Jones 46:13
Yeah. And you mentioned some of the issues locally. And I can’t help but think these aren’t local issues. But look at what’s happened with the RSN model cratering, and baseball where you have, you have networks that aren’t paying rights fees to teams, and that what the Padres are now being shown on what is it direct TV.
Nestor Aparicio 46:29
Alongside with Eric Fisher, I didn’t know Blum about all of this. And it’s because they’ve been stealing money from people paying for their product who didn’t use their product. And that’s just that’s been going on as long as there’s been cable television. Sure, sure. So
Luke Jones 46:45
you have that happening. And then I’d be remiss, and not not to get into it in too much detail. But what’s happening with the athletics and how, okay, you know, it is going to happen in Vegas, all the public funding, they’re giving them all the BS that you hear about the the exaggerated amount of local revenue it generates, which is it’s been proven time and time again, that it’s far less than what they claim it to be. And that’s not to say there’s none, there’s not to say that there aren’t benefits. There’s not to say that you don’t want to have professional sports teams. But when you consider the sweetheart deal that they get. And then as you mentioned, no accountability to go with it. I mean, look at the
Nestor Aparicio 47:25
media people out not taking questions ownership, not available, ownership calls itself local and isn’t really local. It’s,
Luke Jones 47:33
I mean, look at the A’s here. And look, it’s that’s a difficult conversation. Because I mean, the Raiders have left, you know, the warriors are playing in San Francisco now, you know, so it’s not as though
Nestor Aparicio 47:44
the Asia bullets in the sleeve here. You wonder why I have some myths about me from accountability. I you know, I worked at the newspaper for 12 years trying to get a football team here, that then would import PR people from out of town to throw people like me out because I ask legitimate questions. So like, it’s it comes a long way. And with the Orioles, they say they’re turning the corner, they have this opportunity to turn the corner. Right. I mean, football is going to YouTube TV now. Right?
Luke Jones 48:15
Yeah, for Sunday Ticket. Sure. Yeah, too. Right. Yeah. So I mean, it’s, there’s, it’s a fascinating landscape. And in the case of baseball, specifically, because they have so much product, they do have to figure it out, because the RSN model is going away, at least how it’s presently constructed. So in some ways, I don’t let me be clear, I’m not empathizing, because these are billionaires. But there is a problem that does need to be figured out here in terms of how you do it. And it presumably will ultimately be an Allah carte streaming that you just you pay subscription to stream the Orioles games. But then in the meantime, they’re gonna continue to splinter the games out and peacock and all this, watching them
Nestor Aparicio 48:59
do this after watching like mobile wagering get set up, and I’m partners with the lottery, we’ve talked about all of this, it really is amazing what their offer is going to be. Because to me, their offer has to include tickets to the game, or a hat that they send you if you live in the middle and you’re not planning on coming to games. But there has to be some connection between the media and the live and being able to purchase the third dip, whatever they charge for 100 bucks for a month. You can walk around the stadium get to go to every game, that orange carpet, there has to be some media way to not make me pay per game to watch your baseball team on my phone like I I just don’t. I don’t know how many people are going to do that. And I see their crowd and look, no offense to old white people, but it’s a lot of old white people. And being an old white guy or being accused of being an old white guy. I’m actually an old Hispanic guy, but there, there has to be a real thought process going on TJ Freidman doesn’t want to be accountable to it. But he is. And somebody’s got to go up to rob Manford. And, you know, get him out of his penthouse and explain to people what’s really going on. And the real complaints that people have because baseball’s Lalalalala, we don’t hear any complaints. And I mean, call the Orioles and try to complain. I dare you find somebody find somebody at the ravens to call to complain about something. There’s no such thing because they don’t really care. Yeah, I’ll just get the game Sunday.
Luke Jones 50:28
I’ll disagree with what they hear you. They don’t care. Right. I mean, they hear they’ll hear that. I mean, Rob Bamford. Here’s everything. I mean, hearing some of his comments about what’s happened with the Oakland situation. I mean, it’s just it’s shameful, but they don’t care. Because why? Because they’re gonna be more profitable doing it the way they want to do it. And that really, St. Louis
Nestor Aparicio 50:48
Rams took a dump all over St. Louis, and went out to LA, with an owner from Missouri who pilfered the team. Come on, man. I mean, it’s like John Angelo’s telling me, the team’s gonna be here, as long as the rockets red glare. There don’t think he’s not watching this Oakland situation. He’s got West wrapped around his finger. He’s got like, John Angeles, just make it look in the make the big play in Baltimore. And Wes, can roll over and give it to him. And who even knows what he’s asking for at this point, because reporters aren’t allowed to ask questions about civic money about public money.
Luke Jones 51:23
Yeah. And ultimately, you know, the unfortunate part here and I say this as someone who depends on sports is my livelihood. So I’m not saying this to be disparaging, but in a way I am. Generally speaking, cities and states and governments. They do it because they know if if they don’t, someone else will, at some point in time, and Oakland is finding this out right now. Although, certainly I’m not blaming the, you know, the government there as much as you know, what’s been horrible ownership that, you know, even from where it was 20 years ago, I mean, I was proud franchise going out the way it is pretty, it’s a darn shame. It really is.
Nestor Aparicio 52:01
Yeah, yeah. I hope they change their underwear when they get to Las Vegas and do a brand shift. To honor Charlie Finley for Washington or anywhere, they would have given him a buck. He moves them on the move to Kansas City out there so pirates begat pirates, Luke will be pirating our ship against the Seattle Mariners all weekend Camden Yards, obviously, the Ravens tickets have downtime, which is what this whole segment was about from the beginning. You can find Luke at the bottom or Luke anywhere the internet travels and your Wi Fi will allow you. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, all those sort of normal places as well. We’re doing the Maryland crab cake tour on Thursday, Southwest Baltimore beat spirits West over to Mount St. Joe in St. Agnes central St. Agnes, as well. That’s true until five on Thursday. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery, we’ll let ourselves play some throwback scratch offs, as well as our friends at window nation. I am Nestor we are wn St. am 5070, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking. Baltimore positive