Doing just enough to win

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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss offense of Greg Roman and passing game of Tyler Huntley after the narrow Broncos win. And of course, the James Proche pass from inside field goal range.

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Nestor 0:01
What about W N S, T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive it is a it’s Pittsburgh week around here but it’s also the Maryland crabcake tour get back out on the road, brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. We’ll have some ravens scratch offs to give away on Friday. We’re going to get fade Lee’s at Lexington market joined by my pal Dan Rodricks. Right off the backside of his sold out performances over Hopkins with an unbelievable Baltimore show. You want to love Luke Jones? Baltimore, you have no idea. So Dan will be with us on Friday. So I’m brought to you by our friends at Goodwill. We help feed some of the less fortunate folks during the holidays. We hope that you’re warming people up and open up your hearts. There’s some good things out there. Our friends at Goodwill were a part of that. And our friends at window nation keeping us warm inside 866 90 nation is the way to go. I’m wearing my drug city gear here my 1954 brand new shirt, we have a new sponsor your drug city please go support them by your booze down there and you’re charging your views down at Dundalk drug city, the fountain and we’re gonna be doing some crabcake tours down there as well in the future and we’re going to be back in Dundalk next Friday or excuse me next Thursday, excuse me the 15th we’re going to be a Costas and Dundalk with Gina shock from the Go goes in a whole bunch of rock and roll stuff and amberjack stuff. It’s gonna be a great day. So Thursday the 15th if you’re doing nothing Come on over costus and have a crab cake with us and say hello. Luke Jones joins us now in the aftermath. I don’t know that it feels like a victory either eight and four they won 10 to nine the backup quarterback won I mean, a lot of good news in the aftermath of the final. At least John Harbaugh wanted us to believe that I know tough questions in the postgame. I mean, how dare you, Luke Jones, come up with those those narrative questions that they hate so much being that we we tell stories around here. So John Harbaugh can start his own narrative however we want. We’ll control the narrative around here, part of the narrative Luke in the aftermath of the victory was things that almost happened that could have should have would have happened. James crochet, throwing a National Football League, I don’t know much, but I’m thinking he won’t be throwing any more NFL passes.

Luke 2:08
My blood pressure has finally returned to normal after watching that, Nestor, you know, I’m a very quiet individual in the press box. I’m the type that you know, looking up stats and watching the game on my laptop, tweeting, whatever. I was incensed watching that I really was. I couldn’t believe that in that situation, it’s nine to three, there is what 12 and a half minutes to go in the game. You’re already in field goal range second, and seventh from the Denver 29. That’s as close as you get, you know, Justin Tucker from that range is as close as it gets to automatic among kicker scores. And six in your mind, exactly. That’s in that’s in your pocket at that point. And yes, you want to get a touchdown. I’m not saying you can see it and you just settle for a field goal there. Again, it, they hadn’t struggled, or they had struggled to move the football, I get it. They’re trying to do something to catch the Broncos off guard. And well. You let a wide receiver who doesn’t play a whole lot has made minimal contributions, who is clearly in a position where he’s trying to establish himself in the NFL, whether it’s with the ravens, or whether it ends up being with another team. I mean, this is a guy who’s in his third year sixth round pick, he has not done very much in the NFL, how you call that play to a wide receivers one thing. I mean, I remember back in the day and found random Well, throwing passes for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And it worked. It worked quite often for them. If you can recall, I can understand it if it was a receiver who got thrown some passes in the league or someone who’s been in the league a little bit longer. For example, if you have DeMarcus Robinson run that play. He’s seen a lot of NFL football, right, he’s seen a lot of opposing defenses, but to call that play, and it for it to be executed in that way. And for that play designed to clearly have not fooled the Denver Broncos in the slightest. And oh yeah, you target a running back in the endzone, a deep ball to a running back. I just I can’t believe what I saw in those moments. And you know me Nestor I’m not a fire the coach guy, I’ve not been a fire the coach guy about Greg Roman, as much as I have questioned the status quo in the big picture. And whether we’re at a point, even before Sunday, even before that play or the injury to Lamar or whatever is going to happen the rest of the year. I was questioning, you know, are we reaching a point where whether Greg Roman goes off to Stanford or not that it’s time to make a change because this has kind of run its course and it’s not growing in the way that you’d like it to that play call. And that result? As a fireable offense on Sunday. So if anyone is relieved that the Ravens were able to put together a touchdown drive to win that game has to be Greg Roman. And I’m not saying that John Harbaugh would have fired him. But that was that was some Galaxy brain stuff right there Nestor. I mean, for that play call to be called in that moment, knowing you already had a field goal on your pocket, and I get it. People will say, Well, James krochet, can’t throw it in the quadruple coverage. Well, James Porsche is not a quarterback, Greg Roman is an offensive coordinator. And that play call in that moment and seeing how poorly that was executed, showed me that that was a, an offensive coordinator reaching and someone who had no answers at that point in time. So you know, I don’t want to belabor it too much. They did win. And they’re going to continue to move on. And I’m not, again, I’m not saying that they will or shouldn’t fire Greg Roman right at this moment. But, boy, if we’re talking about the Ravens making a change at the end of the year, and Greg Roman, whether it goes to Stanford or whether the Ravens just decided to pull a wink Martindale with Rome, and we’re going to look back at that play and kind of feel that, that I don’t want to say beginning of the end, necessarily, but boy, that’s going to be kind of a, that’s gonna be a marquee play that you’re going to remember as far as just, I still can’t believe they call that play and ran that play in that spot, in that kind of a defensive struggle, and to have that kind of result. I mean, it’s just, it’s mind numbing. He been talking about it. A couple of days later, it’s just, you know, just crazy to think about it. And no one’s going to convince me that that was an acceptable play call whatsoever.

Nestor 6:41
Well, what should they be doing when Tyler hunt? I mean, I, I’m trying to figure out what he literally is like a Lamar spy, right? Like, that’s what you would want. He obviously the way he runs the football, his legs won the game, right? Like his ability to get out of the pocket and make one play to do changed the game like that at the goal line, like they were beaten several times. I don’t know what they’re supposed to be running. But if he’s the quarterback, they shouldn’t have somebody else on the field throwing the football?

Luke 7:11
Well, I mean, I think it’s tough because as we mentioned in our previous segment, you know, the same offensive questions and issues that have plagued the Ravens with Lamar Jackson a quarterback don’t disappear when Tyler Huntley is out there, the the wide receivers are still lacking relative to what you see elsewhere in terms of, you know, high caliber playoff type teams. The offensive line, I mean, Ronnie Stanley didn’t play Patrick McHenry was on and off the field. So you’re down to your third string left tackle and look I liked Daniel fire lately, but he was drafted to be a right tackle. And he was drafted as a developmental right tackle so when he’s playing left tackle for you, in a game like that against a Broncos defense that as we mentioned, is still very good despite the ineptitude of their offensive operation.

That style that’s I mean, it comes down to this whether it’s Lamar or Tyler Huntley, you know, in the coming games, the coming weeks, they’ve got to get the the running game back on track, you know, and I don’t just mean, Lamar running or Huntley running, as you alluded to, you know, you look at their schemed up running game. Since the bye week, it’s kind of gone in the opposite direction, it felt like it was really getting going, when you look at what they did in the second half in Tampa, and what they did against New Orleans, and you kind of look at even go back to the Cleveland game, which wasn’t overly efficient, but it was getting the job done. It was serving its purpose in the way that we think of how this ravens offense likes to operate. So they’ve got to find that and you know, how much of that will will help if JK Dobbins is back and his range of motion is better and the scar tissue that was cleared out with the scope, great if he looks more like that, but we also know that that’s not a guarantee. And we’ve seen with Gus Edwards after a couple promising games before the hamstring issue that he doesn’t look quite right. But now they gotta block better and need to run better. I mean, the running game, we know it and that speaking is the guy who bangs the table over and over, they need to throw the ball better, they need to throw the ball better, which is still true, by the way, but it’s a Greg Roman offense. This offense is designed around the running game, and that’s something that they need to have be more effective for them, which it wasn’t particularly effective other than as you mentioned, Tyler Huntley in some, some key moments. I mean, the passing you look at it, he was 27 or 32, but 487 yards, 5.8 yards per attempt. We saw this late last year. Tyler Huntley, and this is where I will say he does. He does differ from Lamar Jackson. We haven’t seen him show the same willingness to push the ball down the field. Now, how much of that could be less experienced? I think that’s valid. How much of that could be a little more of a conservative gameplan you know, relatively speaking with the past compared to when the Moors back there.

Nestor 9:59
Yeah. So you can crochet the ball and let him throw it.

Luke 10:01
Well. Yeah, exactly. That’s what I keep coming back to. It’s just my, as I said,

Nestor 10:08
Tyler Huntley to make the fatal flaw and throw the interception that cost you the game. So you’re trying to dink and dunk, and in a six point game or a three point game at one point, right? Yeah, like, all you’re trying to do is give Justin Tucker a chance to kick the ball, and then you piss that away? Yeah, yes. The one that, you know, that’s not the narrative as a coach Arbol would say that’s gonna be my new word for him. By the way, if you haven’t, if you haven’t noticed or not narrative, that’s his word, not mine. What does he want the narrative to be that they won by appointing or backup quarterbacks a hero,

Luke 10:39
and that they that it’s hard to win in the National Football League, which look, there are elements of that, that I’ll buy, but to sit here and try to

Nestor 10:48
write that. I mean, they gotta ravens website over there, they can write that. I mean,

Luke 10:51
it just it comes down to this. And look, you can only play the opponent that that is presented to you that week, right? You know, whoever’s coming to town or wherever, whatever city you’re traveling to, but to sit here and try to talk about this being a big win on the same day that the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Kansas City Chiefs again. I mean, come on, you know, I mean, and look, I know John Harbaugh doesn’t care about the Bengals beating the chiefs in the moment. But when you look at the eyeball test, when you look at where teams are trending, and you look at the overall say that the team and oh, by the way, the Bengals, they didn’t have Jamar chase for the last several weeks. And they were able to endure that. And you saw what they were able to do. And now he’s back. And that helps them That’s trouble. They have TJ Reed are on the defensive line. And yeah, so they’ve had their share of injuries. So I get it. And let’s be very clear. No head coach worth his salt is going to be on the postgame press conference and publicly dress down his team for what they didn’t do particularly well when they win a football game, because that’s a perfect way to lose your locker room. But John, behind closed doors and exhaling and getting back to his office early Monday morning. He knows what what happened on Sunday. And he knows the reality of where they are right now with not knowing when Lamar is going to be back. Or maybe they do know when he’s going to be back or not knowing how healthy he’s going to be how effective he’s going to be. He knows that that’s way more relevant to their season and beating the Denver Broncos 10 to nine,

Nestor 12:22
what’s left pinky issue, right? I mean, we’re talking about is we’ll write well,

Luke 12:27
and we’re and this is where it’s different Nestor if this is a PCL injury to a 30 year old Peyton Manning, you know, or even a 25 year old Tom Brady, or you know, a pocket passer, right? You say okay, that’s not ideal, you wanna be able to move in the pocket, but it doesn’t fundamentally change your offense. Right. If Lamar Jackson, you know, whether he’s out there or not. Or, you know, and I guess it doesn’t change too much with Tyler Huntley. But it certainly changes things if you have a lesser version of Lamar. And it’s a case where you can’t say you’re going into the game saying he can’t carry the ball 12 times, that changes, fundamentally your running game. And certainly, if you’re in a position where you have to throw the ball more, that changes things as far as the defense recognizing, hey, Lamar is not leaving the pocket. That changes how he can’t

Nestor 13:24
move in the pocket, and he can’t push off the way he needs to push off to throw a ball. 30 Right. Right.

Luke 13:31
Right. And let’s be clear, as I mentioned, in a, in a previous comment when we were talking about this, if they’re not going to send them are out there if he’s 60%, right, we’re talking about a case of, okay, they’re in a position where they don’t feel like he can damage a knee anymore. He’s moving around well enough, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna be Sunday morning, by the way, it’s just and I’m not suggesting it is I’m talking, you know, this might be two weeks from now. This could be the rest of the season. It might be something where he can play with it, but you know, he’s not gonna be 100% I saw I can’t remember if it was Mike Florio or one of the national types made mention Zeke Elliott had a PCL injury for Dallas last year. Now, he didn’t even miss a game. But you look at the splits of how he performed before that injury and how he performed after No, it was striking. Look, it’s a running back and Zeke Elliott’s carried the ball way, you know, a ton. So I don’t want to make it’s not a direct comparison. The point is, as I say, all the time, healthy enough to play is not the same as healthy enough to thrive. And if you have a Lamar Jackson, whose mobility is not thriving in the way that we’ve come to expect, boy, that changes everything because, you know, it’s a different version of Lamar, you’re talking about there, you know, it’s not really Lamar than right. I mean, again, Tom Brady can play on a bad wheel or, you know, Peyton Manning could play on a bad Wii or you know, go down the list of any number of quarterbacks. Not saying Lamar can’t play, but that is such a fundamental part of what he does that it completely changes his game. So Again, we don’t know.

Nestor 15:02
Let me interject this because it holds your thought. But this is why when you’re talking about giving a running quarterback $250 million, and we’re now in the third straight year of Lamar having health related issues after October, because when you run into linebackers 14 times last week, and Joe burrow didn’t, and the other quarterback said, go through any of these guys, Allen any of the guys that are upright Joe burrow and look like it’s September 1, and he’s ready to kick your ass on Sunday. He looked healthy. He looked right. He looked fearless. He looked all that you want to see an NFL quarterback look pissed off from last year from losing the Super Bowl like all of that, right? You you think about where December is and what December football has looked like your for 26 years, right? And you say you’re going to run into linebackers in September, you’re going to run into safeties and linemen in October. And you’re going to be upright in December. This is why they don’t have running quarterbacks. And I’ll continue to go back to to that night you and I sat in Canton, Ohio, and they put Ray Lewis in the Hall of Fame. And he was running in the linebackers. And you and I were up in the in the in that rickety little press box up there going oh my oh my oh my like we’ve never seen a quarterback do that. This is why because he ran the ball 14 times. And then it gets hurt. And we might not hear of him again. And if we do, I am very, very skeptical, having watched him go up and down those steps. And having had a knee surgery myself and knowing what the wheel is worth just the walk to think that if they can three weeks off two weeks off, he doesn’t play the next couple of weeks, maybe get him back against Atlanta or something like that, that you could get a 100% for the version of him that you want. Going into Kansas City, buffalo, Miami, whatever it’s going to be. They had their own problems, so to Nashville over the weekend. But I keep going back to what what 100% of him look like? And what are the odds that you’re going to have under percent of him in any December, let alone when he’s 20 789 30 down the line the next three to five years. What you want him to be in Fantasyland and how wonderful it is that he’s talented, incredible, transcendent kind of quarterback. He’s that on September 1 When he’s healthy. He’s not that after the 100 and 80th. Time he’s run into a linebacker in the course of 10 weeks, 12 weeks.

Luke 17:34
I don’t know if I necessarily agree with you in terms of you know, that wasn’t a cumulative, he got hurt in the pocket. Now he got hurt in the pocket as a passer. So I don’t think for me, it’s not the volume nearly as much as just his mobility is a big part of what makes Lamar Lamar right, whether he’s running 12 times in any given game, or if it is one of those occasions where he only runs a few times. And we’ve seen games like that as well, but he got hurt in the pocket. The point is, when you’re talking about any quarterback, who his legs are a big part of his value, and that’s anyone would admit that with Lamar, I mean, we’re talking about the guy who already in my mind is the greatest, greatest rushing quarterback in NFL history. That’s not a knock on his passing. That’s a compliment to how transcendent he truly is. But this is where we come back to it. And for me, that’s not even, oh, how many runs is too many. You’re gonna get hurt. You mentioned Joe burrow, Joe burrow, tore his ACL two years ago, you know, he got hurt Joe Flacco got hurt in the pocket. Tom Brady got hurt in the pocket. quarterbacks get hurt just like any other position on the field. However, when you are breaking down a player’s value, and now you’re talking about, I wouldn’t say three years. I mean, Lamar had COVID two years ago. I mean, that wasn’t, it wasn’t an injury per se. Lots of guys had COVID, two years ago that were missing games. And I just

Nestor 18:51
remember being up in Philadelphia and no one was there and thinking it looked like a shell of himself and thinking like he didn’t look like he wanted to run that week, like two weeks ago, it looked like he didn’t want to run. He didn’t want contact in a couple of these games to three weeks ago. He didn’t want you can see the difference when he’s out there and he’s in command and he has the full complement of his skill set of his skill set. Right he does not have that right now. He hasn’t had that in a couple of weeks. And this is the third season in a row that the wheels have been taken away from him even ever so slightly, just whatever that would be that he’s his wheels aren’t 100% When that happens to your point he’s a different quarterback then when the wheels aren’t right for a pocket passer

Luke 19:37
well, and I think this is where you do look at it and there has to be some some frustration that this is now two years in a row and you know, the week to week banged up here and there I mean, again, the numbers bear out that he wasn’t that limited, you know at for too many stretches of time the last few years, but when you’re talking about having missed The last four games last year with the the bone bruise in the ankle. And now you’re talking about this knee injury however long he’s gonna miss whether it’s a game, whether it’s two games, or whether it’s longer than that. It is, it is where you look at this thing and say, you have to be pragmatic about it and say, Now the lower body injuries are starting to pile up a little bit here. It doesn’t mean this is going to be debilitating to him long term. But 25 is different than being aged 27 at age 29, and age 31. And, you know, that’s where the Ravens have always had to consider this. It does. And that’s not even me saying they shouldn’t pay him or shouldn’t extend him, but it is part of the conversation. And that’s why for me it’s always been more about just how is he going to age and people always kind of talk about well, what happens if he suffers a really serious injury? Well, any anyone can suffer a really serious injury I mean, Patrick queen was thinking he broke his femur at first on Sunday now x ray was net negative it’s a thigh bruise and with what just just a matter of gay landing on him which I think anyone’s gonna be feeling bad with Justin better be gays landing on a but yeah, the point is, anyone who takes the field takes a football field knows that there’s a potential for very serious injury, ranging from broken legs and torn up knees and Achilles to head and neck injuries which are much more consequential to the quality of someone’s life even so you always take that risk. But there was always that question. For me, it was always Lamar falls somewhere on the scale between, you know, to take your pick as far as Derrick Henry or any running back and carries the ball a ton. Lamar falls somewhere on the scale between that which Lamar is not that he doesn’t carry the ball that much compared to the most prototypical passing pocket quarterback, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, whoever you want to name? Where does Lamar fall on that scale? And the question for me was always as he gets older, it’s going to have to trend more and more towards the pocket side. I mean, that’s just human nature, you slow down as you get older, right. I mean, that’s, that’s true of anyone. So that’s where the Ravens have always had to kind of look at this thing and kind of try to project out how Lamar is going to age. And that’s why for me, to not see this team take more steps to become better throwing the football, and that includes personnel, as I’ll continue to complain about their lack of wide receivers. But that’s that’s all part of this equation, though, as far as talking about a 25 year old year old Lamar Jackson, or a 22 year old who was a historic unanimous and NFL MVP, compared to what he’s going to look like, two years from now, four years from now, six or seven years from now. And look, that’s not to say Lamar still be a great quarterback into his 30s. But what has to happen in order for that to come to fruition? The health piece is going to be? Yeah, that’s huge for anyone, right, you know, quarterbacks that have had bumped shoulders and elbows, you know, saw their careers and very quickly, so you know that that’s true of anyone. But when you’re talking about how unique his skill set is, in terms of how important his legs are, to the overall picture of who he is as a quarterback, and who the ravens are as an offense? Yeah. How can you not look at that and have some concern, not just for the rest of the season, but looking at that in the big picture? Because he needs to stay on the field. Right? I mean, availability is important. He’d be the first to tell you that and how frustrated he was at the end of last year. So you know, again, you hope this is a minor injury. And I’m not expecting him to play this coming week, that’s for sure. But you hope it’s a minimal absence, and Tyler Huntley can hold down the fort and you hope when he gets back out there the march right, but to your point, how likely is that for him to not just get back out there, which I expect that but how effective? How explosive? Is he going to look like himself? It can he looked like himself at least enough to keep the opponents, you know, on their, on their heels a little bit, you know, knowing what he can do to opposing defense? Or is it going to be a diminished version, which is just going to be another problem that you can kind of tack on to some of the other concerns we’ve talked about with this offense here since the early weeks of the 2022 season.

Nestor 24:19
That’s just your narrative. Luke Jones, your narrative Baltimore, Luke. You can find Luka out on the interwebs. He’ll be in Owings Mills all week long, probably agitating John hardball during Pittsburgh week. We’re getting ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers through this week and also get ready for the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by our friends at the Maryland lottery we let ourselves play on Friday at fade Lee’s the next Thursday the 15th We’re in Dundalk. It cost is not a truck city where I have my cool shirts. But that will be a cost us with jeans shock and a whole bunch of rock and roller so I’m celebrating my 31st anniversary on Baltimore radio which happens on December the 13th. Much to the chagrin of Kenny Albert because he gets a year older every year as well. I am Nestor he is Luke we are wn st am 15 70 TASHA Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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