Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the long view of Ravens draft weekend and the end of the Lamar Jackson contract saga and everything that comes next for the franchise that spent the last six months adrift trying to address its quarterback situation.
draft, lamar, quan, weekend, quarterback, smith, play, offense, point, contract, year, baltimore, ray lewis, ravens, patrick, queen, lamar jackson, ro, field, roster
Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
What about w n s t, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we were positively making our way through the spring happy made everyone we made it. It’s spring. I don’t even feel like it outside. We’re gonna be doing the Maryland crab cake toward a new place this week like a new place last week. We were capillaries on Thursday, and it fails on Friday. You’ll be hearing all that all week long your W nsda and 1570. So brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I’ll be giving away these instant lottery scratch offs on Thursday at MC falls in Middle River, the old oyster and reel that she’s the old Sue Island. It’s the new oyster and real. Got some great guests coming out. And look you will appreciate this. And so my friends at window nation or local 866 90 nation with another month of five years 0% financing. Dundalk High School has a young man that is going to camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he will be our guest on Thursday amongst others. So we have a draft on the brain here. I know it was a little hard for me to sort of wind down with some Grayson Rodriguez, you know, over the weekend and wind down on Sunday with late draft picks and watching the Orioles battle and score insurance runs in the ninth inning. But as much as baseball is going on. Look, you are better all weekend in Owings Mills with access per Chad Steele to ask questions of the big men. What a weekend was a whirlwind weekend and you went Dennis and I all got together on Thursday morning. And I think your word for the weekend was going to be boom or bust. Well, I guess it’s boom now we’ll see if it’s bust. All of their dreams came true over the weekend except DeAndre Hopkins and I’m not sure that was ever their dream, Luke. Yeah, I
Luke Jones 01:37
mean, the Andre Hopkins thing was part of the lead up to the draft, including Lamar Jackson status and we saw what happened there just a few hours before the draft started, but it very much was a boom kind of weekend for the Ravens. I think that was obvious. I think that happened before they even picked ze flowers 22nd overall when you sign your franchise quarterback to a quarter of a billion dollar contract. Oh, it’s gonna be tough to top that
Nestor Aparicio 02:04
over the better be good. That’s all I’ll say. He’s better be good. He he’s been pretty good. Okay, he’s been really good. You know,
Luke Jones 02:11
I keep arguing and telling you that but but
Nestor Aparicio 02:15
oh, I don’t want to see them play without him. At all. I am not that guy. You know what I mean? Unless you want to go draft Anthony Richardson next year, right? Like, I’m not. I’m not saying this isn’t their best case right now. But I will be on record until the parade comes and y’all can wag your fingers at me saying, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know about any of this. I I’m still trying to get some clarity on all this. And him as a football player and him as a gut check. And him as a January like all of that. But when you say quarter of a billion, it gets my attention. It gets my attention, Luke that’s it. It’s the biggest contract of any Glenn Davis of any Chris Davis of any. I don’t make any name of Leon Sirsi. Guys that didn’t play guys that were disappointment. This, this has to work well. It’s the cost
Luke Jones 03:07
of doing business for a legitimate serious franchise quarterback at this point in time Joe burrow is going to get more than that Justin Herbert is probably going to get at least as much. And that’s just how it works in the same way that Joe Flacco was the highest paid quarterback in the NFL for a minute, a decade ago. And then three years after that, and then someone Trump’s him. I mean, it’s just tell it works. But that was the big story. And everything that was going to happen in the draft, especially when you knew it wasn’t going to be a large draft class for the Baltimore Ravens going in, although they did certainly make a little bit of a ripple late, even after they had done their draft recap press conference. They trade back into the seventh round and take a long term pick. That’s going to be interesting and Andrew Vorhees, but I think you look at this draft means a flowers is going to play, it’s going to play a lot right away. I think everyone else that they selected. It’s a wait and see as you expect when you’re talking about third round and Laters. So I think you’re hoping of the six players that they’ve taken beyond ze flowers being the given that he needs to be an impact player as a first round pick. It’s just it’s wait and see. But most of these guys that they selected after the flowers pick were for 2024 and beyond. You know, we’ll see if Trent and Simpson is in the mix, especially not knowing what’s going to happen with Patrick queen. We’ll see what happens with TVs Robinson and the edge rusher rotation. There’s certainly opportunities to be had there. But the other names that they took on day three, it’s far the future and that’s where I remind everyone that the draft is not just for this fall. The draft is much more for the next few falls. So in that, in that light, the Ravens pleased with what they did. I think it was evident that this wasn’t necessarily a draft class in its totality that the Ravens loved I mean they didn’t you know Other than doing what they did in the seventh round, it’s not as though they made any moves to accumulate extra Pics or anything like that. So I think that probably tells you what they thought about the class what they thought about the state of their current roster. But I think, as is the case for every team, once you get to Sunday, once the draft is in the rearview mirror, I think they feel good about the work that they did. And time will tell whether they should truly feel good about that or not, we just don’t know. And that’s what makes the draft fun.
Nestor Aparicio 05:28
Let judges here you can find him at Baltimore live, we’re gonna be going at this for a long, long time, because we’re not gonna play football game for five months. So the whole Nestor doesn’t believe in Lamar, you can have that narrative if you want. But I want to take this in a different direction. Because you said they’re the smartest guys that I’ve met, right, which is in regard to the cost and how he views this and is experienced in doing this, that they would look at the draft last fall when they were desperate. And they made a deal for ro Quan Smith. And it felt like a desperation deal in the moment the sort of it was an indictment on Patrick queen, like let’s not you know, but it was also an endorsement of ro Quan Smith. It was also a do we have 100 What’s it gonna take to sign him? Do we really believe in him? Is he a Ray Lewis game changer. He’s a lottery pick. He’s an incredible, a much higher regarded football player than Lamar Jackson as an example on draft night right? Or than any of these guys any Hayden Hurst any Hollywood Brown, any of these guys wrote Quan Smith’s the real deal. They give the second round pick away. And then here you are on Monday, May 1 May day after the draft, sort of pissing on the draft a little bit saying hey, what a great draft. I think Eric and Joe probably knew that back in the fall when they go given away a 50 Something pick, you know, something that they know is going to be you know, late second round pick or whatever for row Quan Smith and then the money allocating that money and say well, we’re not going to give it the Queen and we didn’t give it the Mosley we haven’t given to anybody real money at that position since ray in 2006 or seven or eight when he was back on second contract making big money right against the cap I’m talking percentage against the cap right. Well Quan Smith as the pickup and they talked about it and all that. I’m not here to disparage Lamar but ro Quan Smith was somebody they had to have. They went and got they gave up this second round draft pick. So we’re not sitting here giving him the A on the draft report card because they don’t have some sexy swivel hip cornerback out of Fresno State late in the second round, right some 56 picker, whatever it would have been. I would say to you the row Quan Smith thing, they talked about it a lot over the weekend. I saw them patting themselves on the back. But as far as structuring a football team, and having a job for life, and I say that about Eric because it feels like he has a job for like, feels like they could do whatever they wanted to do this weekend, they decided to go on to the quarterback because they didn’t want to go five and 12 Right, and live through that. But ro Quan Smith being a part of this. And the way they’ve structured the team. They’re really good at structuring teams. I mean, I’ve never disparage that now whether they can win with Lamar Jackson throwing the football 45 times a game and Odell Beckham pitching about it. Like all if they can win like this, and John can manage this. They’ve really helped their defense in this draft with ro Quan Smith. They’re a better football team. They’re a better football team in September with ro Quan Smith than they ever would have been Eddie Nadel for him. You didn’t like that contract. You thought they paid him too much money. But you’re okay with Lamar, right? It is funny how we look at the right and left side of the brain, the offense and the defense say how much money we’re giving these guys. I smell the row Quan Smith thing today and I say that’s vision for them to do that. And it was money involved in that. It was the same vision that the Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers in the NFL, all these teams that passed on Lamar was sitting there for 60 days. If you wanted him, all you got to do is go pay him. I give up draft picks. That’s I don’t care about I mean, if you got a franchise, quarterback you do, you’ll give up Anthony Richardson because Lamar is a better quarterback than Anthony Richardson and he’s being paid as such as well. But ro Quan Smith, I want to hear your thoughts on that because they talked about it all weekend. The more I think about the structure of the team, how is the team going to be on September 12 When it’s time to play football. That second round draft pick thing was a fleecing for Eric and an incredible pickup and they got the guy they wanted. It’s not an excuse maker. They targeted him. They a guy that could never have gotten in the draft without being bad. And they made their football team a lot better. And I think it’s important to talk about that because I think that Lamar thinks gonna take up all the oxygen.
Luke Jones 09:40
Well, I mean, they extended ro Quan Smith in January. It’s not a new story. It’s spin to not have a second round pick. I look. I I voted for ro Quan Smith as my team MVP. I think he was fantastic for them. And when I don’t know if I crushed the contract in the way that you labeled me as doing that I I think I said
Nestor Aparicio 10:00
because you thought he throws a lot of money for like, it’s a lot. I
Luke Jones 10:03
think it’s a lot of money for an inside linebacker in today’s game, and it is he’s the highest paid in the league. And as far as there’s no comparison between a franchise quarterback and an inside linebacker sorry. I mean, it’s just I think that’s apples to oranges and the money. It speaks out. Yeah. 260 million, as opposed to 100 million. But the thing that I will say, and, you know, it’s not as though I think that it was a poor decision to extend him. I really liked the player. Eric de Costa said he’s a force multiplier. And I think when you saw how the defense played upon his arrival, even though I think there were some other factors at work there, including getting a little bit healthier at a couple spots, specifically outside linebacker with what they were dealing with there at the start of the season, but they’re better. And, you know, I don’t even think acquiring him was this colossal indictment on Patrick Queen because Patrick Queen played much better, even before they acquired ro Quan Smith, and he had played in his previous two years. But I think it does show the difference between a force multiplier someone who makes you better. I don’t want to say this generations, Ray Lewis, but you get my point in terms of a guy that makes that kind of an impacted inside linebacker
Nestor Aparicio 11:18
and a guy, the one on the team, the next four years being their leader, they have declared this is our leader. And I think the dead I don’t say it was quiet, and they spent a lot of money. But I think it’s lost on us that they’re going to be a much better football team because of that, because of that move. I think,
Luke Jones 11:34
well, he but he was on the team last year, though, is my point. You know, it’s not a new acquisition. But you know, the difference between him and a Patrick queen who good player, but is he a guy that’s really making a colossal difference is he may come guys around him better. And that’s where I think there’s a pretty clear distinction. And the ravens, They made their decision very clear from the moment that they extended row Quan Smith, Patrick Queens not going to be a raven long term. And it’s just gonna be a matter of whether he plays out this, this coming season here, which, at this point, it kind of feels like you will unless they do have a trade in the works. Maybe it’s a player for player and you add a corner or something like that. But it was evident that Patrick Queen wasn’t going to be, quote, the guy that they were maybe hoping he would be when they drafted him three years ago, but good player, and he’ll play next to row Quan Smith, as things stand today for one more season and then probably move on after that. So
Nestor Aparicio 12:33
there’ll be a better team with him than without him. Right. Well, and that’s what they get. They’re not going to giving him well, yeah, we’re gonna get a comparable starting player, if they if they choke him up, I would think,
Luke Jones 12:43
well, and that’s where I kind of looked at this thing. And I mean, I from the moment they acquired ro Quan Smith, the thought came in the back of my mind that Patrick Queen could be dealt that coming off season, if they extended Smith, at which they obviously did even right before the season came to an end back in January. But you know, I think you look at it. And again, this goes back to positional value, what I mentioned about an inside linebacker compared to a quarterback or an edge rusher, or a wide receiver or a franchise left tackle, I mean, it’s positional value is a thing, and you have to consider it, it’s not the end all be all. And clearly the ravens are frankly making an exception with ro Quan Smith kind of kind of being in that elite truly elite category of off ball linebackers. But I think, you know, in the case of Queen, what are you really going to get? What are you going to trade and get in return? And is that really going to help your football team in 2023, as opposed to having him play an extra row Quan Smith for one more year, you have a very much a position of great strength there. And then, you know, fifth year options, all the different things that were talked about, and Eric was non committal over the weekend about it. I thought that was telling, you know, I don’t want to pay or Patrick Queen a whole lot of money when you’re already paying ro Quan Smith, but for this year where his cap figure isn’t that high? Yeah, I don’t want to just trade them for the sake of doing it. Unless I’m getting something of value whether it is a pic of future value, or you trade him for some other teams slot corner or something like that.
Nestor Aparicio 14:21
I would be rang over the weekend with him right like Eric on Friday night, didn’t want to talk about it. We’ll talk about it over the weekend. Maybe by the time people hear this, it will be on the wn St. tech service brought to you by Coons, Baltimore Ford, right, like anything. But I would think at some point on Friday, they had an opportunity to deal him somewhere for a second round pick in real terms or something for next year. And I don’t know that they would want to deal him for something for next year because they think they’re going to win the Super Bowl this year. Right? Obviously they just went all they don’t want to do anything to diminish the 22 team as it’s comprised. They’re trying to add to it they’re trying to get a Marcus Peters or you know get to get Get somebody to come play play quarterback. But in the case of Queen if they didn’t like him and didn’t want him on the team, I want to, they want to replace them with another football player, or at least a future draft pick. They had their chance to deal him over the weekend. The fact that they didn’t. I’m a little shocked by it. I didn’t think he’d be on the football team by Monday. I really didn’t. Well,
Luke Jones 15:21
I mean, you mentioned a second round pick, I think they would have jumped the train up for a second round. Fair enough. I don’t care. I don’t think he’s I don’t think you’re getting anything close to that. And that’s part of my point. Right? I mean, could you get a fourth round pick for him? Sure. Is that what
Nestor Aparicio 15:33
that speaks to the value of where he is, at this point, you’re gonna get fourth round pick from you’re not used to keep them? Right. I mean, which is what they
Luke Jones 15:39
did. Right. Right. Right. And I mean, they and you know, they drafted Trenton Simpson, out of Clemson, a third round pick, when you’re drafting a third round pick, you have designs of that guy being a starter for you in the future? You know, that’s kind of the, that’s kind of my cut off line, you know, third round pick is kind of where I look and say, That’s someone they think that can start for them in a year or two. And, you know, we’ll see how it plays out. Obviously, plenty of times that doesn’t work out. And then there are other times you draft a guy on day three, and you think he’s gonna be a backup and he ends up starting is secondary dangers, so you never really know. But in the case of Trenton Simpson, I think that was pretty evident. And I’ve even seen some people make some loose comparisons as far as his skill set, translating to what Patrick queen has done for the Ravens last couple years. So So you have essentially his replacement on the roster. Uh, but I still think the best case scenario for that if you’re trying to maximize your 2023 opportunity to try to win a Super Bowl or at least make a very deep playoff run. It’s to have Patrick Queen playing next to row Quan Smith. So we’ll see how it plays out, Queen. You know, people saw on Twitter, it was a sheesh that I think he tweeted out I mean that. And that was the extent of it. It wasn’t anything beyond that. But I think it was at least a cryptic message delivered there that seemed to be about Trenton Simpson being selected, but we’ll see how it plays out at the same time. If you’re Patrick queen, this is where we go back to the value of ro Quan Smith, and Eric Decosta, talking about him and using the term force multiplier. Well, Ray Lewis was a force multiplier and asked the slew of guys that played next to Ray Lewis, and how that worked out for them getting contracts elsewhere. If you’re Patrick queen, yeah, you might be a little sour about how the last six months have played out in terms of row Quan being acquired, be an extended understanding that especially now with a franchise quarterback under a monster contract, you’re certainly not going to pay to off ball linebacker. So you know, he knows that his long term future is not in Baltimore. So he might have some frustration there. But at the same time, puts in another year in Baltimore, next row, Quan Smith, and Mike McDonald, putting him in positions to make plays and do what he does best, which we we know he’s a good Blitzer, we know that he’s good when he can play downhill. You know, maybe he’s not the best in pass coverage, although I think he got better in that regard last season, but he can put himself in a position to get a really nice payday elsewhere. So there’s still plenty of motivation for a Patrick queen to play well and play at a high level and Baltimore this year, even if he has to see the writing on the wall, that he’s not going to be a raven for the long haul.
Nestor Aparicio 18:14
That video of him wanting row Quan Smith on the team and looking up on seeing the stats on the scoreboard. That’ll come back, but Luke Jones is here. It was a long, long weekend of draft activity over the weekend. I brought the row Quan Smith thing up and I sort of hijack the conversation with that. I don’t think you thought the conversation was going that way when we began, but I thought that that was a significant part of the weekend, and obviously clean being sort of the dangling story and all of this. But one thing it’s not dangling is the Lamar thing. I guess at some point, he’ll sit in front of you as Rebeck and Hensley and do a tap dance and talk about how he didn’t really want to be traded and how he always loved it here and how great it was. And he’s gonna have a foundation here and like, okay, all of that. With the weekend and the overview, and we’ll read about all of your thoughts Baltimore positive, and overview of their draft and their team. I began by saying I think they’re a better team in September than they were last September, because the RO Quan Smith not because of Lamar Jackson’s contract. And the one thing about his contract that bothers me a little bit is this thought that he’s going to play better because he’s paid now i I’ve seen the body of work. I’ve seen the injuries. I’ve seen the risks. I’ve seen the passing. I’ve seen the frustration. I’ve seen all of that. i They are a Super Bowl contender. That’s one thing that’s different than where we were when I left you on Wednesday or Thursday. Lamar was in doubt the first round draft pick, what are they going to do? What are they going to do with that a quarterback? They’re no longer a doubting franchise, right? Like all of this. Five months of levar versus Steve, it’s over who won or lost doesn’t matter. are now they need to is the kid coming to OTAs now this this the contrary I mean, I’m not being a jerk I mean, like, is he now all in because it hasn’t felt like he’s been all in and like a year and as a media guy and as a fan, and as an astute observer and watching this, it is shown and I said Dennis said he made some some business decisions with the football last year in regard to running into linebackers or running out of bounds or the style and the way he played all of a sudden now, whenever the kumbaya would ever hurt feelings in those pissy John press conferences in December in January, and that awful thing that happened a month ago where John sitting there in front of ever his worst nightmare sitting in front of all the national media, and get ganged up on about his quarterback tweeting at like all that’s over now, it’s Lamar, we love you meet Todd Monken. Let’s go play ball. I think they’re professional enough to like all handle that. But Lamar did himself some damage. I mean, he really did he self inflicted over the last year with the fan base, and all that kumbaya goes out 33 touchdowns in the first game against the browns or whatever, everything’s good. But there is there’s some work to be done. relationship wise out there, because I’ve never seen it come on done the way the last five months have for this franchise.
Luke Jones 21:23
I’ll keep going back to the Ray Lewis example I’ve used with you over and over and over. I mean, Ray Lewis was a free agent at one point in time, Ray Lewis at at least one point in time wanted to be traded that was even public, you know, before they drafted a Lodi nada. Oh, 506 Ray Lewis, and the Ravens were not Kumbaya, it was not, you know, certainly it’s a little bit different when it’s your franchise, quarterback, but you just spent five minutes talking about row Quan Smith and what kind of value he brings Ray Lewis brought even more value than that. So really, at that point in time, Ray Lewis was their quarterback even though he wasn’t actually playing the position. So my point in saying that is Is there some fences to be mended? A little bit? Sure. Do. I think it’s anything that can’t be overcome?
Nestor Aparicio 22:10
No. $185 million, by feelings?
Luke Jones 22:14
I mean, I just I just think it comes back to what it’s what you just said. It’s business. It’s ultimately what happens on the field. Yeah, there has been fan frustration. There’s been frustration on both sides at various times, the Ravens were very frustrated. Lamar had to be frustrated with the Ravens. You know, we talked about it even going back to this and breaking it down on a very simplistic level of Lamar seeing what Deshaun Watson got, even with all of his transgressions, the contract that he got, and not being able to get that from a team that knew him and knew that he wasn’t a problem off the field in the same way that Deshaun Watson clearly had all kinds of problems and all kinds of legal issues and whatnot. But it still comes back to winning football games, and it comes back to once business off the field is set. This is a guy that is very popular in the building. He is and you know, I’ve said that over and over. That’s why I kept saying to you, that pump the brakes a little bit on this idea that Lamar is gone, because I even though there was frustration. He’s still someone that’s very, very likable, even though he’s not perfect. And even though certainly, you can poke holes in not showing up at OTAs and things like that. But at the end of the day, he was still someone very well liked. And everyone recognize that the Baltimore Ravens are a heck of a lot better with him at quarterback then unknown quarterback taking his place, and certainly better than Tyler Huntley taking his place, each of the last two December’s into January, which is an issue by the way, yeah, he needs to stay on the field. There’s no question about that. So that’ll be part of this. But ultimately, to answer your question about OTAs. I think we’re gonna see him. Is he going to be there for every single day of voluntary workouts moving forward? Well, lots of veteran players aren’t there every single day. But if he’s there for OTAs, if he’s there for when they start to really beef up the on field practice part of this, which I think he will be, because he always was prior to last year. So I don’t know why that would be any different now. If that’s the case, and we get into spring workouts, and we get into fake football and practices and helmets and shells and shorts in late May into June. He’s there. Obviously, he’ll be there for all of training camp. I think we talk less and less about all of that Fallout, and I’ll say this much. And I was even pondering this. I was talking about this with someone over the weekend that you had this dark cloud of his contract situation hanging over the entire organization for two years but really the last year specifically now last year, which season last year, I had to it had to and look they still went 10 and seven they still made the playoffs even with him missing the last five six games of the Season. So I think that’s does speak to John Harbaugh. And this roster of players say what you want about, you know, certain deficiencies here or there or a position of question here or there. But they didn’t crumble, they can fall apart even with all the conjecture about the injury and the timetable for that. And people that were up in arms about traveling to this road game or traveling the road that to that road game deep, they kept it together. And you’d never got to a point where it felt like it was chaos internally, you know, I think there was certainly frustration in terms of Lamar just not being out there. Not even getting into how hurt was he could he have played less than under presented any of that just the fact that he wasn’t out there, period, you know, that you want your franchise quarterback on the field. But I think now with this contract having been done, and again, putting aside the terms, putting aside how much he’s making, putting aside the long term roster challenges it creates for anyone, oh, and a franchise, heighten your top tier contract, you know that that’s the challenge for any team, then, from a roster building standpoint, you have to be that much more perfect. You need to be that much more fine in how you’re picking football players in using your cap dollars and whatnot. But I think for everyone now, they don’t have to answer those questions anymore. And even guys, that weren’t necessarily directly related to Lamar on the field.
Nestor Aparicio 26:27
It’s everywhere he goes, he goes to a club, he goes out goes hustle, every one of these guys about Lamar Jackson. Right,
Luke Jones 26:32
exactly. So I do think and look, I’m not saying that that means they go from being a 10 win team to a 15 win team. I’m not saying that the the effect is that profound. But I do think it makes an impact now where one Lamar is there, you’re not dealing with potentially, I won’t even call it a hold out. Because if it had been the tag, if he hadn’t signed the tag, he’s not under contract. So he’s under no contractual obligation to be there. But everyone is, you know that that cloud lifted right before the start of the draft, and then all the focus goes where back to the field. And that’s where you remember that, you know, even with some of the questions that you point out, and I know you’re not as high on him as a football player, as some people, but they’re 45 and 16, and games that he started. And it’s really darn good. And I get it. They’re still waiting for that January breakthrough. By the way, that’s everyone on the team, not just him. There are other guys that are accomplished on this roster. Like Mark Andrews, for example, who hasn’t necessarily had the best performances in the postseason, and I’m just singling
Nestor Aparicio 27:34
another guy from way back when I had a press pass when I used to be in the media, Luke, you remember that I stood next to Marlon Humphrey after their elimination. He said we choked. So that puts him on the field Ronnie Stanley’s apart. I mean, there are a lot of guys that have been here a number of years now who are very wealthy men who are part of this who don’t like walking around in the offseason, having lost and being a part of this because other than Tucker, and hardball because then you know, the front office. Nobody’s got pelts out there, right. I mean, these guys stand when playoff games I mean, you and I have been here since Flacco and Matt Burke and Torrey Smith. I saw Tori Reed they have these guys have pelts they have rings, the rest of these guys. I’m from Missouri for all of this. We’re Lamar, the antics, the offseason, the money the tweet does all of that like to go in now go in now, like you know, like whatever they’ve done to be offensive in the offseason in regard to how you would feel about them or whether you believe in them or not. They’re fully developed again, right all last week. They were in pieces this week to your point. It’s ball time. It’s time for PE time for play. This is where John loves it. We got all of our guys in the building. They’re all signed. Now I get to go coach them up, Todd Monken gets to install an offense and we get to go play football.
Luke Jones 28:53
Yeah, and I would say I mean that. Look, just to throw one example out there. It’s really tough to win a Super Bowl. Look at Matthew Stafford. He was regarded as a loser in Detroit, a loser in Detroit. And then he wasn’t anymore. Peyton Manning. His early years in Indianapolis was not considered a winner even though the Colts had a run there of regular season success that they had not had in their time in Indianapolis, then what happens? He wins in 2006 not a loser anymore. So all of these quarterbacks including Joe burrow, who has been to a Super Bowl but hasn’t won one, including Justin Herbert, every one but Patrick mahomes. As far as all the guys that are active right now, they’re all in that same boat that they’re chasing a ring until they’re not anymore, right? So Bomar is no different in that way. And to your point, and I wholeheartedly agree on this. And I’m working on this at Baltimore positive.com as we speak. You look at the state of this offense now and look we can debate whether they were a year late on moving on from Greg Roman and pivoting in realizing that hey, you can’t just win with a run, first run heavy kind of offense, you do need to have more of a focus on the passing game and that doesn’t mean you become past happy either. Just means you need more balance you need more efficiency, you need more explosiveness but you look at the offense and we can talk about the defense and we can and we will because there are still questions at corner for example, and I expect we’re gonna see a veteran signing or to vet you know, a trade something like that. They certainly have work to do. They’re still questions about edge rusher, I think. And maybe we see a Justin Houston reunion at some point this offseason. Eric even talked about that back in January. But you look at the state of this offense right now Nestor every box on paper is checked. They have a new offensive coordinators highly accomplished and Todd Monken. They have their franchise quarterback on a five year deal now. It’s no longer any questions about his future you’ve added over Odell Beckham Jr. and ze flowers at the wide receiver position. Nelson Aguilar as well. You have Rashad Bateman coming back healthy. I mean, guys that were playing and playing meaningful snaps last November and December are now going to be battling to make the roster Think about that for a moment that tells you how dynamic the shift has been at the wide receiver position. And look, there’s still a heck of a lot. We’re depending on the health of Beckham, and Rashad Bateman in that equation. But you have that your offensive line minus Ben powers is intact. So yeah, you got to figure out left guard, but you’ve got Ronnie Stanley, and Tyler Lindenbaum flanking whoever is going to line up there, whether it’s Ben powers, or someone else on the roster. So that shouldn’t be a major concern, rest of your offensive line is intact, you have the one of the very best two or three tight ends in football and Mark Andrews, and you have two young tight ends behind him who maybe aren’t going to be featured as prominently as they would have in a great Roman offense, but still did nice things last year, and still look at them to be a factor in various ways. I just really ran off the entire offense, you know, coaching on down to players that they’ve added, it’s time to go, it’s time to be great. And that doesn’t mean that they have to set records in the way that they did in 2019. But this needs to be an offense now that can go up and go toe to toe with just about anyone and yeah, I still think they’re going to have a really good defense because I do think they’ll figure out corner. And it’s not to say it’s going to be an elite Best of the Best top two or three defense but I think it’s going to be really good. But this offense, as it’s currently constructed now has no more excuses. You know, there’s there’s no more well, yeah, but Greg Roman, or Yeah, but the offensive line and Ronnie Stanley’s health are, yeah, but wide receiver because we say that every year who’s the
Nestor Aparicio 32:45
running back two years ago, they didn’t have a running back, they ripped up three running back knees. And that really made Lamar the running back all of it. He ran the ball 21 times it gets Minnesota you know, I mean, like the fat how much he has to run and how effective the running game will be without him running into linebackers and how effective the passing game will be without him running into linebackers. And can they move the chains without his legs doing it? Well, we’re gonna find out
Luke Jones 33:10
well, and and I’ll continue to say he’s still going to run, it’s just going to be you don’t you want to be in a position where you don’t need to have to don’t want to be in a position where he needs to run all the time. Right? So you have JK Dobbins and you have Gus Edwards. You know, I’m sure they’ll bring in, you know, when you look at the rookie free agent class, they’ll bring in some running backs have some long term upside there. But yeah, everything about this offense now is designed to be better throwing the football again. And I’ll continue to push back when you say in 45 or 50 times. I don’t think that’s it at all. And again, I think you need to look around Patrick mahomes doesn’t throw the ball 50 times a game. Now he can when they are in that position where they need to do that. And I do think that’s part of this where if you do get in a position where you’re down 10 Or you’re in a position where your defense just isn’t clicking that day and some other quarterback franchise quarterbacks carving you up. If you need to get into one of those slugfest where it’s just going back and forth and it’s the first team to 42 wins, then I think the ravens are better equipped to handle something like that, and time will tell how well they handle that. But the point is it was clear at with Greg Roman that they had kind of reached their peak and they were at best staying the same the last couple years but more often than not backsliding and we saw that the last two years where they got off to a good start even throwing the football but then that would dissipate over some time and you know, one injury you know to recite Bateman last year and really hurt their passing game. You know, it shouldn’t be that way right? You shouldn’t be in a position where if you lose one wide receiver your passing game totally falls apart because you know it’s not as though Rashad Bateman was Jerry Rice in his prime. So the point is you beefed up so many different areas of the offense, you’ve maintained areas of the offense that were good last year. So it’s go time, it’s time for this offense to, to really look like it can be an offense that not just plays well in the regular season. And they’ve done that, you know that they, they did that last year for stretches of time until, obviously, when Lamar went down, and then it totally fell apart. But it’s time to be great. And it’s time to be great come January, and at this point in time looking at this, especially understanding that that contract that Lamar Jackson has now is going to make things more challenging from a roster building standpoint, starting next year, the year after that, and certainly the year after that. So this is going to be your best chance right now. That’s not to say that you won’t have a chance two or three years from now, but this is going to be your best chance to present your best chance to try to win a Super Bowl because it’s only going to get more challenging from here and they’ve got other high price guys like ro Quan Smith and Marlon Humphrey and oh healthy Ronnie Stanley, that are making big money themselves Mark Andrews making big money themselves and it’s time to go because these guys are all in their prime.
Nestor Aparicio 36:11
Big expectations in Owings Mills and their big expectations at the warehouse as well downtown. Luke Jones will be monitoring all of it all week long. You follow him follow him at Baltimore. Luke. You can find me Ness at Baltimore positive.com We’re gonna be doing the Maryland crabcakes represented by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at window nation on Thursday in Middle River we’re going to be at MC falls oyster and real from 2005 Stop by say hello have some copies of Purple Rain one and two. If you want to brush up and get prepared for Purple Rain three. I’m making my purple notes right now. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. continuing our conversation about the draft Lamar Jackson and those pesky Baltimore Orioles. We are Baltimore positive.com. Stay with us