With only Cincinnati and ahead and a playoff game next weekend, Luke Jones and Nestor discuss all of the circumstances surrounding the potential return of Lamar Jackson and Ravens playoff hopes this month.
ravens, lamar, week, lamar jackson, point, wide receiver, play, game, wildcard, field, run, greg, practice, win, injury, talking, passing, case, sunday night, pittsburgh
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
America w n s t Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive a Happy New Year to all of you celebrating we are into 202 threes make sure you will adjust your calendars accordingly. Luke will be adjusting his his compass for Owings Mills this week. I don’t they will be playing football next week. I mean, they have made the playoffs. Although it didn’t feel like that when the fans were filing out of the stadium quite disappointed after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Look, I guess the theme for you and I have been, you can’t beat the Steelers at home this way. You’re playing with your backup quarterback. They’re nothing without Lamar. I mean, I think Lamar is going to use this to his advantage in negotiations without a doubt as to how bad they’ve been without him. But having him back this week based on the wildcard seeding or based on maybe winning the division and all that will wash out itself on Monday night. They’re gonna need him next week. And I’m so much more concerned. And I know you’d like to see the rust get blown off and all of that. I just need to see him healthy. We’re the playoff game at this point. For me to believe they have a chance to win one if not two. I don’t think they can win three or four games in the tournament. But I think they can win a game. I think they can win two games. If Lamar Jackson’s back and if their defense is ready to stop the run. Maybe more so than it was on Sunday night.
Luke Jones 01:25
Yeah, I I don’t think you’re talking out of turn and saying that. I think that’s how most people feel at this point. And even when I mentioned the idea of knocking off roster trying to get on a roll. I mean, it really comes down to this. Can he practice some this week? And that doesn’t mean him playing in week 18. Even can he practice a little bit this week, because here’s the thing, Nestor, we’re talking about a month now he’s been out. This is not a case where you roll them out there for one or two limited practices, and he’s ready to go. That’s not gonna inspire much confidence whatsoever. And I don’t even mean from a functionality standpoint with the offense or how they look, it’s more so having confidence that he’s going to be right physically, if he can practice at least a little bit this week with designs of playing wildcard weekend, and then he can log a full practice next week. You know it that’s how it plays out. And again, that’s just me speculating, because no one really has a great feel. I mean, we’ve seen national reporters be very wrong about this situation over the last three or four weeks.
Nestor Aparicio 02:28
I’ve been lied to Stacy Taylor’s lied to by Chad Steele. And by the ravens, and that’s just a fact. And she went on the air with they’re gonna have him back and look at all excited and a Boolean AND, and I’m thinking Oh, my God, if they snookered you and I like Stacey.
Luke Jones 02:44
Yeah, I mean, you know, I mean, I’m not even going to name names as far as that. But it’s just, it’s just a case of no one really knows for sure. But if we’re going to make the argument, regardless of whether we see Lamar, they in Cincinnati week, 18, he has to start practicing at some point, right? He’s got to start stacking some days to show he’s healthy. He’s gotta get his football clock back, so to speak, he hasn’t even practiced as much since December 4, you know, when when he left against the Broncos at the end of the first quarter? So for me, a big key is going to be whether he plays in week 18 Or not, you know, that’s that’s not even it. It’s, is he back on the practice field this week, with designs of being ready for the wildcard round? That’s what I really want to see. And and if not, then I really start to have even more doubts whether we’re even gonna see him then. So, you know, they’ve, everyone’s who’s gone on the record about it speaks in very general terms about being optimistic that he can be right when it matters most. And that’s presumably, January. I mean, we’re in the January now, but talk in the playoffs. So at some point, it’s like, okay, you need to get out there and start showing that he’s healthy, getting himself back into, not that he’s out of shape, but football shape. And like I said, that clock that a quarterback or anyone needs to have, but especially the quarterback being in the pocket, you want to see some some evidence of progress in that way that he is healthy enough to practice. And then the next step is he’s healthy enough to play in a game, whether it’s week 18, or wildcard round. So that’s going to be key for me, you know, if he goes through the entire week, and is still not practicing, and and the idea is okay, well, then it’s wildcard round week after week 18. That’s when I really start to wonder if this is going to happen for him, you know, so that’s where it’s important for me to see him start practicing. Again, whether he plays against the Bengals on Sunday or not, that’s not as relevant and again, all the everything gets sorted out with Monday Night Football on what the stakes are. But if he is going to play in the playoffs, it’s got to start getting back on the practice field and getting himself ready. And at the very least, this offensive Being able to practice together once again, and hoping that you can roll the ball out there wildcard weekend and see something, some evidence of something better than what we’ve seen over the last, really going back to the last couple games before Lamar got hurt, even. So, I mean, it really is critical to see that this week, if there are any designs of him playing and this team having a chance to do something, you’re right. I mean, if it’s Tyler Huntley, God bless him. He’s working hard. You know, I still think he’s better than a lot of backups out there. He had a better supporting cast around him as it relates to the receivers and the skill players. But he’s not Lamar Jackson, he’s not anything close to Lamar Jackson, that much is obvious now. So if we are going to see Lamar Jackson in the playoffs, it’s time for him to get back on the practice field. Because if not, then those doubts just grow more and more and more whether we’re actually going to see him.
Nestor Aparicio 05:56
It’s amazing the way that the league has put the schedules together. Now, at the end of the year, they had the 17th game now the 18th week, they do all of this stuff, to keep it interesting. And I don’t know what it is about the league and gambling on it. And late games and David and Goliath getting together and how the Eagles could look as bad as the Eagles looked over the way you know, all of that goes into the league. And we’ve watched this all of our lives, that these games get a little trashy at the end. And there’s a little bit of a will as to, hey, that team’s eliminated, but they came to play. They want to play football today, even though they’re four, nine or whatever they are right. And with the Ravens the last couple of weeks seeing the browns, feeling themselves with their new quarterback, seeing the Steelers feeling themselves with their new quarterback right. And I wrote that it felt like two weeks ago, hardball was under siege. That’s the word I use under siege at the castle in regard to Roman in regard to contract with their star quarterback in regard to health in general, in regards to you beaten to cost up about not having wide receivers, like just all of it. This has been a really unsettled season for them. And we’ll have time to talk about it when it’s all over with and they get eliminated whenever they get eliminated. And if there’s a parade here, six weeks from now, it will be a Purple Rain three story for the generations, right. But if they’re going to lose, they’re going to get eliminated. They’re not going to win the Superbowl working from that premise. What have we learned here in regard to this offense in regard to Lamar as money in regard to well, they can’t win without Lamar, can they win with Lamar, you know, I mean that that’s going to be a question I’m going to have, and that’s going to be something for him and his contract and his money. And the offseason that he has to live with whatever the last the L the outcome is going to be. And I don’t want to get into his maturity, but I will. And he hasn’t dealt with a lot of things well, quite frankly, his own success and his statues and you demand you demand you demand candy on the field and play and win these football games in December in January to get a statue here or anywhere else that’s not Louisville at this point. I don’t hear much from him. I don’t know much about him. I don’t know his psychology other than to know his immaturity at various points. I don’t know that for his own legacy. He wants to come running in off the off of a gurney to play a playoff game on the road that they’re probably going to lose two weeks from now. Right? I mean, like, if that is his rush back, to be 80% to go out and be offered up to Cincinnati two weeks from now or dare I say Kansas City wherever they would finish if they lose this week and things happen. And they wind up a lower seed that the pounding of sand he had to take after losing to Tennessee, to losing to San Diego to losing to bump these lawn off seasons. This is a much longer offseason for him because of the money and because of the contract. And because his regular season record is so gaudy, so incredible. He’s one of one pay and pay him he holds the sign up pay him and all that standard. And when two or three games in January ever in this for me like that, that’s the question I’m going to have. Because once they get $50 million I know you want why receivers and you want nickel corners and slot corners and you want time you want dimes you want them all you want. You want a full copy what edge rushers you want all of that. Once you get in $50 million. Do you really think the cast of characters is going to improve around him? He’s going to have to be that much more special. Well,
Luke Jones 09:54
some of what you just mentioned, those are organizational issues. It’s not all on Lamar. Oh no, I mean You asked me, I mean, you asked me what we’ve learned. I think the one thing most can agree on, and I think this was the case whether you were a fan of them or not. I think we can all agree the Greg Roman era has run its course I think you’re absolutely need a new offensive mind in here. You know whether Lamar is extended, tagged, traded, you know, whatever the outcome is, in the offseason
Nestor Aparicio 10:20
is really hard on Roman, by the way, will art we can have ads that I do just that
Luke Jones 10:25
you really what’s your case for bringing them back at this point? And look, I’m I don’t think I’m that hard on Greg Rome. And I just said that this is an organizational issue as much as anything. But my point is, I don’t think this is tenable to maintain the status quo at this point. There’s no evidence that this thing is moving in the right direction at this point, well, then players, okay, whose fault is that? That’s not the Mars fault. The Maher doesn’t pick the team under I mean, I’m just saying and look, to be clear, this isn’t me saying that it’s all Greg Romans fault either. But you can’t fire the rest of the team. So what do you do?
Nestor Aparicio 11:04
Sacrifice your offensive coordinator and you bring something else in and you do a new dance and you draw new plays, and you hope Lamar can can make the throws and you have wide receivers go and get open and create separation, and you hope that the offensive line gives him the opportunity and then he doesn’t quit on the plane just take off because Tyler Huntley does that a lot. Right. I mean, we watch it the last couple weeks. I mean, second, third, reads, progressions, all those kinds of things. You know, Lamar has done that, in 2019, when he had special planet talent around him, and he was in second to every, you know, every set of downs. I haven’t seen Lamar get better about that. Does that. Does that make any sense as Lamar gotten better?
Luke Jones 11:47
I mean, what in what, what as a passer like in what way? Do you mean, because there you can, you’ll find a lot of X’s and O’s types tell you that Lamar has gotten better in elements of the passing game. And they’ll point to Well, look who he’s throwing to other than Mark Andrews. Right.
Nestor Aparicio 12:03
The outcome hasn’t gotten better. Oh, sure. Sure. Fair, fair. And again,
Luke Jones 12:07
we talked about this at the time. I mean, Lamar Jackson, when he led the NFL on touchdown passes, that was an absurd I don’t want to say outlier, because that diminishes what he did. But what it is, is, it was so crazy, that he led the NFL and touchdown passes when I think he was what 28 I think in passing attempts that year, that touchdown percentage, you know, that was akin to Aaron judge hitting 62 home runs like is Aaron judge gonna do?
Nestor Aparicio 12:33
Didn’t know what to do with him in 19. I don’t think there’s any. There wasn’t a team out there until San Diego came along. And Oregon owes Brown.
Luke Jones 12:42
That was 2018. That was his rookie year.
Nestor Aparicio 12:45
Sorry, my bad. I just wanted to play in stopping him. The regular season of night I was out in LA I talked to Eric Weddle after the game like nobody could see the ball. They weren’t schemed up for it. They certainly didn’t have the right personnel on the field at that time, speed wise to deal with him. And he had better players around him at that point in his career. He really did. Yeah,
Luke Jones 13:07
I mean, the wide receiver, I mean, they had Marquis Brown, which is they had that at the very least. I mean, they didn’t have many wide receivers beyond that, that you were hanging your hat on. I mean, Willie Snead, okay. You know, Seth Roberts, we
Nestor Aparicio 13:18
saw how that worked out in the playoffs, throw in the ball 40 times either they just
Luke Jones 13:22
they still threw 36 touchdown passes Nestor that’s what I’m saying like that what they did was, okay, that is the top of the mountain of what the Greg Roman offense can be. And we saw that it’s the best offense in the history of this franchise. It was it was that great that dynamic, that incredible. And Greg Roman deserves credit for that. And that’s why I said, by no means am I putting this all on him. That’s not the truth. That’s not true whatsoever. In the same way that when cam Cameron was fired, it wasn’t all on camera at that point in time. But at some point, you got to make a change, because this is where we look at this thing and say, Okay, I understand Lamar Jackson is not going to throw 36 touchdowns every year, if he’s going to be 28th in the league and pass attempts. But where does this thing go from here? And what we’ve seen is this thing is just backsliding every year, right? It’s it’s a lesser version of 2019. And it’s, no it’s becoming less and less every year, and much more. So
Nestor Aparicio 14:16
in the red zone, too, by the way. Oh,
Luke Jones 14:18
no question. I mean, the red zone offense has been awful since week three. I mean, it really has they were, I think, what was its was it six or 10 or eight for 10 over their first three weeks. And since then, I mean, they’ve been either last or 31st in the NFL. So it’s been awful. But that’s where I come back to. If you asked me this, you know, what have we learned? You know, yeah, there. There are other questions. Let’s be clear about that. I’m not saying it’s the only answer we’ve gotten. But again, I think whether you’re tagging Lamar, whether you’re extending Lamar, whether you’re trading him at some point in time, and again, I don’t know what’s going to happen this offseason, and you know, even take it to the next one. If you want to. But I feel like before you’re going to extend, don’t you have to find out what this looks like with another coordinator. Because if it’s if this is truly the best it can be, and I don’t buy that necessarily. Not even necessarily, I don’t buy that. I don’t think Lamar Jackson is, can only succeed with Greg Roman as his offensive coordinator. I think that’s baloney. But I’d like to find out what it looks like with a new set of eyes, a new play caller, if someone who has some different ideas, and again, that doesn’t mean that they throw it 45 times a game, it’s still going to be run based. But you’ve got to see this thing look like it’s growing. I mean, I saw someone make the comment on Twitter, I can’t recall who it was, but really made the comment of everything they’re doing right now. It just feels like they’re just throwing darts. You know, we saw how many of those passing concepts back in 2019. We’re all based off of, you know, this specific running play, obviously, you know, all kinds of play action RPOs we get that, but it just feels like this thing has just become so disjointed. And again, that’s not all Greg Romans fault. I’ll go back to they don’t have that they have probably the worst wide receiver group in the NFL right now. So it really does become well, it is going to be difficult because whether you’re tagging Lamar, or giving them $50 million a year for the foreseeable future, yeah, your roster building does become more difficult. But you know that at the same time, Josh Allen makes a lot of money and buffaloes receivers are still got Stefon Diggs, we’ve seen Kansas City continue to play at a high level and Patrick mahomes is making a lot more money. So that can’t be the only excuse. But yes, it does become more challenging, and it is going to be challenging. However, they go about building this roster over the offseason, because they’re gonna have some veteran players are gonna move on. They have a few cut candidates to save some cap room. But you know, there’s always the fallout of you’re, you’re saying goodbye to potentially a good player. So it does become more challenging, but that’s where I go back to. Is this thing really moving forward with Greg Roman or is it at best when it’s been at its best? staying the same? Certainly, it’s not growing. It’s not evolving in a positive way. It’s just, it’s been backsliding, and it’s getting worse and worse. And again, it’s it’s exacerbated by some of the other issues we mentioned. You know, the injury to Bateman was huge. At the same time, Prasad Batemans, not Jerry Rice, or Randy Moss, you know, we’re not talking about a proven, legit serious All Pro Number one kind of wide receiver. So, you know, the flaws of this team, you know, they haven’t been able to overcome that offensively. And as much as they’ve run the ball well, and that’s great. You’re still seeing that they struggled to even score 17 points with just being able to run the football. So it shows that that’s not tenable. And then on the flip side with the defense, it’s a good defense. Is it a great defense? Well, you know, what, what do you hang your hat on that? That you’re wowed by? I mean, even the run defense which had looked amazing, since the the acquisition or Oh, Quan Smith, look at the last three weeks, it hasn’t been as good and yeah, class Campbell’s a big part of that, I think, but I don’t think it’s the only part of it. You know, you can’t you take one guy away, and you’re suddenly gassed for 200 rushing yards. No, that that tells me guys are worn down, or they just weren’t tough enough on Sunday night. So you know, but we saw Atlanta run on them a little bit. We saw Cleveland run on them. So and that wasn’t happening at all.
Nestor Aparicio 18:39
And there’s the teams that want to run though, too. Sure. Yeah, run
Luke Jones 18:43
first. But right. But that goes back to what we were saying in the Pittsburgh game. The first meeting between these teams were the ravens, the Steelers knew the Ravens were going to run the ball, and the Ravens were able to do it anyway. But that kind of shows that, you know, that even for this defense that, you know, it’s it’s good. Again, I don’t want to beat them up. They only gave up 16 points, but at the same time, they did allow Pittsburgh to really control the tempo. And, you know, the overall theme of the game was Pittsburgh being able to run the football and run it really, really well in the Ravens. They ran it well with Dobbins, but was it that overwhelming gas shoe, big play kind of running game that it needs to be if you’re not going to throw the ball really at all other than Mark Andrews? No, it wasn’t Pittsburgh was able to keep it from being, you know, 200 plus yards and you saw the outcome, then the Ravens only managed 13 points. So, you know, again, though, to go back to the big picture of what you said, You know what we’ve learned. That’s why this season is frustrating, because it feels like we haven’t learned a whole lot, but I just don’t know how you maintain the status quo and expect anything to change in that way. I think you have to move on. Again, it’s not all Greg roamans fault. I want to be clear about that. And he still deserves credit for what he did at the beginning of this current and error of ravens offense and ravens football but I just, I think you got to make a change. And, you know, even this past week again, he was asked about the red zone and he said it’s little things that are easy to fix, why aren’t they getting fixed them? No, you have to at some point in time, you just have to look at it and, and say, We got to do something different here. And again, it’s not all his fault. But if you’re gonna choose between Lamar Jackson and Greg Roman, I think that’s an easy choice. And that’s not to say that it’s a given what’s going to happen with Lamar is that makes this offseason as interesting as any of the Ravens have had in a very long time. You know, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But I just, I don’t see how you maintain the status quo there and expect markedly better results in 2023. By just doing the same thing, I think you gotta look in a new direction there and see if you can find someone that can be Greg Roman version two, how about that?
Nestor Aparicio 20:56
Uh, you’re in the building? Clearly, and I’m not anymore. And I would always feel the temperature in there from the minute I walk up and see art modells, you know, in his his house to thump on the on the above the fireplace, that Lamar Jackson spirit there and the temperature for his injury, and the training room and hardball speaking out of both sides of his mouth about getting him back. What do you know about Lamar and his health that there’s been like, him being on the sideline last on Sunday night, but not last week, not traveling with the team to Cleveland. But being in Pittsburgh, I saw him in the locker room in Pittsburgh. And that was the week after he had tweeted to the fan and Twitter and like all of that. I mean, he has played a long time now all of a sudden, I mean, really, he’s playing a long time.
Luke Jones 21:48
It’s been a month. I mean, it’s you know, by by the time that you’re playing in Cincinnati on Sunday elbow will have been over a month. Let’s be clear, there has been a lot of conjecture out there that I think we need to ignore that. That’s not to say that there aren’t, there isn’t some truth in between and all that. But there have been a lot of people, including people who fancy themselves being in the know, who have talked about this and have ended up being wrong, whether they got bad information, whether we’ve made assumptions, whatever it is, we haven’t had a good feel for this and no one has had a good feel for this. I think it’s important to remember and we said this from the start with this being reported to be a PCL injury. It’s a tricky injury I mentioned right away. I said who’s the former Raven who had that injury Prashad pyramid his rookie year and look at how that played out. And that was a healthy 22 year old wide receiver. PCL speed is trouble, right? I mean, it’s just you know, any knee injury is? Yeah, that’s it’s not ideal, right? You need your wheels,
Nestor Aparicio 22:49
or knee. We all know what that feels like. Right? Yeah, yeah. And,
Luke Jones 22:53
you know, I wrote it, other people wrote it, you and I talked about it on the radio extensively, that it was never going to be in the best interest of Lamar Jackson. Or the Ravens? Yeah, whether you’re talking football wise, business wise, not in anyone’s interest to rush him back. And for him to play as a diminished version of himself. This was not a case of Philip, like Phillip rivers slapping on a knee brace and playing in the playoffs because well, he played from the pocket anyway. So it didn’t matter. But that’s not the Mars game, right? I mean, what makes him special? You know, wherever you fall on Lamar Jackson, what makes him special is his mobility. I mean, that he’s a generational talent for that reason. So it was never going to be a case where he was out a week, and then he’s back. Right. And I think as time has gone on, I think it’s become evident that this is probably the kind of PCL injury that was bordering between a grade, which would have been one, two, maybe three weeks, and a grade two, which is probably more in the four to six range, you know, so I think as time has gone on, it’s probably been a little bit closer to being a grade two than a grade one, because we’re, hey, we’re talking about it being a month. You know, I’ve seen him not a whole lot in the locker room, but I have seen him on occasion. And to be clear, most of the time when you’re talking about injured players who’ve been out multiple weeks, you don’t see them in the in the locker room very often. So that is not out of the ordinary. However, you know, some of the conjecture things you’ve heard around town, you know, people speculating on Twitter, whatever, that certainly don’t want to create a perception that he’s gone AWOL, you know, in the way that Ray Lewis did back in 2005, where he kind of just left right, he hurt his hamstring and wasn’t around the team the rest of the year. You know, it hasn’t been anything like that. You made mention, he was in Pittsburgh. He did not go to Cleveland. The story was that they didn’t want to have swelling on the plane, which I thought was odd because while he went to Pittsburgh, and Cleveland not that much
Nestor Aparicio 24:48
longer have a trophy. I mean, it’s just to a point where they lie about so much and clearly my own personal situation dealing with their lack of integrity. i There But there is no integrity and whatever they say in regard to the injury, then it’s are we going to see him or not? That’s why I’m asking you because you’re sure what are in the building? They will let a couple of people in there
Luke Jones 25:10
right so Right, right. So, but he was on the sideline in Atlanta. Remember that the Ravens even tweeted out the video the interaction between him and hardball, which seemed harmonious, you know, it’s fine, I guess. You know, when teammates have been asked about them. I mean, Tyler Huntley was asked about him this past Friday, you know, how’s Lamar doing with this? And he said, It’s killing him right now. Now. And and he said that in a very sincere way, you know, I don’t at all think that this is a case where Lamar is just solely made a business decision. Is there a business element to consider here for the ravens and Lamar Jackson? Sure, you don’t want to put them out there at a severely diminished version of himself now, knowing that he’s not signed long term and knowing that the ravens, whether they want to sign them or even if they want to eventually trade them down the line,
Nestor Aparicio 25:54
they will respect this law. I’ll say this about horrible he lie about anything he will, but giving his team the best chance to win. Tyler Huntley gave them the best chance to win on Sunday night, which tells you all you need to know about how healthy Lamar is because if you didn’t think they cared about Sunday night or about winning, oh, they did. And they needed to win, and they wanted to win. And they believed they were in a position to still win the division. And like all of you, when I talk to you, I’m like, why don’t they just put them on a carport, and roll him out January 14 1516, because that’s the only game that matters. And I’ll stand behind that from two weeks ago. But to your point, if he could have played even at 80 or 90%, or given them a chance to win, he would have played because that’s who they are. Harbaugh lie about anything, but not winning. I mean, when it comes to winning, what you see is what you get on the field. And, and I do believe that he believes Tyler Huntley gave them the best chance to win on January 1. Yeah.
Luke Jones 26:50
And keep in mind, you’re always balancing the now with the future. Right. And when I say the future here, I mean, in two weeks, you know, do you put Lamar Jackson out there at a lesser version of himself, where he’s vulnerable to a setback? Or maybe some other injury? Because he’s not moving in the same way that he normally does? Yeah, that’s where you do have to consider it. And, you know, even though yes, they wanted to win, and they wanted, you know, because of ramifications with the division and all that. But at the same time, they still understood that we’ve already punched their ticket to January. So preseason games is what they really are. I mean, it’s not fully that, but it’s not the same of you have to win or your season’s over, right? I mean, there’s, there’s,
Nestor Aparicio 27:32
no matter what happens, you’re still gonna have to go to Buffalo Kansas City, a waiting three weeks happens, you’re gonna have to do that. Right. So
Luke Jones 27:39
that’s where again, block out the conjecture. And look, I’m not saying anything that’s been talked about is patently false, either, you know, again, sometimes the truth can kind of fall somewhere in the middle. But this idea that Lamar was going to rush back, that’s not in the Ravens interest. It’s certainly not in his interest, football wise, or business wise. So, you know, it really just comes down to it. Is he healthy enough to practice at this point, there’s no more games in terms of, he’s just going to show up without practicing. Right? It’s evident at this point, he needs to practice some, you know, he’s going to have to put together you know, whether it’s one, two practices this week, and then closer to a full week of practice, wildcard week, you know, who knows? But this isn’t a case of you try them out there. And you’re playing games with the media at this point. Could you have done that? Three weeks ago? Sure, why not? But at this point, he’s got to practice and they need to see that. He looks right. And he’s moving around. And he needs to know it, that that he’s right. And he’s moving around, and he can not just defend themselves, but do the things that make Lamar Lamar. So until they’re at that point, you know, it, it leads to questions, and it leads to some some doubt as far as what he’s going to look like when he does get back out there. So, but, again, he’s been out there. Do I Do I have his itinerary to guarantee that every rehab has gone on rehab sessions going on? on schedule and all? No, I mean, no one get is privy to that as far as media and outsiders, but he’s been in the building. I’ve seen him in the locker room on a couple different occasions. You know, he’s been at the games other than the Cleveland game a couple weeks ago. He has been in the pote. He was in the postgame locker room on Sunday night. He seemed to be walking around better than he did the previous week. what’s that worth in relation to practicing and playing in a game, you know, not enough to glean right I’m getting away from the Bengals defense is different than walking dead. And to be clear, just watching him walk doesn’t mean that he can’t play either. It’s just he’s walking. That’s not the same as playing football, you know, so. So from that standpoint, I don’t want to put too much into it. But you know, it’s difficult, but this is where we’re at the point again, the gamesmanship isn’t as much of an issue as much as it’s kind of practice. I mean, he’s got to get on the field and workout and and you know and when I say workout meaning with his teammates and with this offense I’m
Nestor Aparicio 30:11
gonna pass it to Sean Jackson yet
Luke Jones 30:14
yeah, well he completed the long one in Jacksonville. That’s right. That’s why he was playing then. Okay. Yeah, I mean keep in mind the shot and keep in mind to Sean Jackson was on the practice squad for a few weeks before he finally got the call. So you know, he practiced with them for a while but now he hasn’t practiced the same back Yeah, so I’d Sammy Watkins, even though he wasn’t targeted on Sunday night. Now he’s he’s among their higher snap count guys as far as wide receiver even though you’re seeing more and more formations where they have one wide receiver on the field. It reminds me of reminds me of Todd heat back in the day playing you know, basically be in there one wide receiver with Kyle bowler,
Nestor Aparicio 30:51
Melissa Stark made a point about Lamar Dobbins and somebody else not being on the field two years. I’m
not even thinking who it was. Maybe it was ever I don’t know. It was a combination of injured ravens haven’t been physically Stanley, maybe. I don’t know if it’s all three of them or no, it would have been it would have been because it had been the case for Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins. And by the time they were both back on the field together,
Luke Jones 31:18
I want to say Lamar was out so it’s probably those three
Nestor Aparicio 31:21
because they they’re skilled position players. I guess the point is short. We are talking about a really fractured organization in regard to injuries in regard to what Ronnie Stanley’s value, Mars value Bateman’s value. Dobbins value Edwards that I mean, really injured guys over the last, I don’t know, take this year and a half of last year over the last 25 games. How you have the games those guys have played all of them to skill position players.
Luke Jones 31:50
Yeah, no question. And to be clear, this is why even though I’m saying they need to move on from Greg Roman, it’s not this is not and I don’t think even Greg Romans harshest critics, I would hope his harshest critics recognize that. A lot of other things have gone wrong, too. Right? I mean, but at some point in time, you can’t just keep running it back, you know, write the definition of insanity thing, right? I mean, at some point, you do have to make a change, bring it up someone with a new mind, new eyes on this offense, new eyes on them or a greater focus on a better passing game? Does it mean passing way more, it means passing better, being better at it when you do it being tied in more effectively with play action and all the things you do with your running game? So I assume we’re going to see that it certainly feels like it’s moving in that direction. But you just said it. I mean, it is another reminder of just how things, you know how not according to plan, things have gone since 2019, which is why I keep coming back to what a colossal missed opportunity. 2019 was and as much as fans and even media types, tried to say, well, the Ravens were a year ahead of schedule at that point in time. You got to strike while the iron is hot, because you don’t know if it’s going to continue to be that way. Winning and development and, and growing into a championship team. That’s not always a linear process. It’s not as though Okay, well, you win nine games this year, and then 11 Games next year, and then 13 games a year after that, and then you win a Super Bowl. That’s not how it works. It rarely works that way. I mean, the 2000 ravens were such a great example of that, you know, the 2012 team. Yeah, there, there had been some some heartache and some missed chances and playoff losses that led to 2012, where they weren’t as good record wise, they were 10 and six, as opposed to be in 12. And for the previous two years, but you know, with this team, I mean, my goodness, they looked unbeatable through the second half of the 2019 season. And then they got beat. And since then they’ve been trying to chase that. And it’s not all Greg Romans fault. Not all the front office. It’s not all Mr. Jackson, it’s not all the wide. It’s a combination of all all those different things. Breaking down or not being quite good enough at some point in time, or just not being on the field. In the case of Lamar Jackson. You know, it’s the Marlins played at a high level since his MVP, season it at different times. But he’s also struggled with availability, the end of the last two seasons. So that’s part of it, that’s baked into it. So it’s going to be a fascinating offseason. Not that anyone should be wishing away. What happens even if you don’t think they’re gonna win the Superbowl. Don’t take this for granted. Just take a look at what happens down at a you know, down the road at FedEx field and land over in the mess that is the Washington football team commanders or whatever they’re calling themselves these day to days, it’s a reminder things can be a hell of a lot worse. But that said, I think it’s very clear that this is going to be a very, very interesting offseason for the ravens and there are a lot of pivotal decisions that are gonna have to We made in a lot of ways, and I’ll be honest Nestor, I don’t know how it’s all gonna play out. I think it’s gonna be a very interesting offseason. Kind of all season we haven’t seen around here in quite some time.
Nestor Aparicio 35:12
You know, I would say tumultuous. I mean, and and that would be the case if they won the Super Bowl which I don’t think they’re going to. And here in the next couple of weeks there’s going to be a thought at some point when this is over with, but for them to put their best face on it. It needs a healthy Lamar Jackson to get out onto the field or if not this week, certainly next week, and and I don’t think there’s any rush for me this week, in thinking they’re going to Cincinnati and winning and bad. Like I, to me, it’s just it’s the preseason again, it’s ramping up for whatever the eventual assignment is next weekend.
Luke Jones 35:46
Well, and here’s the difference. And you and I debated this a couple of weeks ago when it was less what you know, there was less of a of a certainty as far as what week a team was going to mean one way or the other. But now you are talking about with Lamar having not practiced through the end of week 17 That’s why I said for me, it’s not even about him playing against the Bengals. Now it’s it’s got to get on the practice field and start stacking some days, show his team show the medical staff show himself that he’s right, when he’s on the field. And then we can start talking about, Okay, how’s this team matchup against maybe a rematch at the Bengals in the wildcard round? Or, you know, whether you’re having to go to Buffalo or Kansas City, or Jackson, whatever, however it plays out. But you’re right. All of this is a non starter if Lamar Jackson isn’t right, I mean, we can talk about how formidable they can be with him. If he comes back, and he’s healthy. And maybe he gets on a roll. And we’ve seen him throw the ball at an incredibly high level, even with lesser receivers at different points over the last four or five years. But you’ve got to get to the point where he’s right physically, and the clock’s ticking. I mean, they’re running out of time at this point. It’s not, it’s not December 11 anymore. It’s you know, we’re, we’re into the first week of January and the regular season finale. So that’s where it at this point, if not now, but show Walter, you still always say this, if not now, when? And you know, they’re really up against it now. And I don’t need to see him in Cincinnati. You know, even though you and I were kind of debating about that a week or two ago, but I do need to see him on the practice field this week. And if we don’t, then the doubts grow even more as far as what are we going to see him in the wildcard round? And two? What’s he going to look like physically at that point? And is, is that going to be what’s best for anyone that’s involved in this entire situation? Well,
Nestor Aparicio 37:39
and him going out and embarrassing himself in a playoff game, when he’s trying to get $250 million. That probably isn’t good either. For any of them. I look, we’ll be at Owings Mills all week. Happy New Year. I know I first time I said happy during the segment, but we’re certainly happy to be in the 2023 We’re gonna get the Maryland crab cake tour back out on the road very, very soon. Jean a Coney Island hot dog. It’s gonna be our first stop here with Andy this year. Looking forward to doing that next Thursday as well. So brought to you by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at Goodwill and window nation, as well. I am Nestor we are wn sta and 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive