Injuries remain lead story as Ravens head to Cleveland

Screen Shot 2022 10 20 at 8.12.41 AM
Screen Shot 2022 10 20 at 8.12.41 AM
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With all of that excitement around Orioles baseball this week, the Ravens have managed to quietly prepare for another division opponent on the road. Will DeShaun Watson suit up? Will the Ravens get the offense clicking without more key members? Nestor Aparicio gets Dennis Koulatsos ready for three weeks of injured Ravens road football starting with the Browns on Sunday.


lamar, play, ball, run, quarterback, game, point, years, john harbaugh, week, nestor, win, ravens, colts, injuries, team, linebackers, football, hurt, dobbins


Dennis Koulatsos, Nestor Aparicio

Dennis Koulatsos  00:02

Welcome back. My next guest is Nestor Aparicio doing great things here in Baltimore positive 1570 Am wn St. dotnet. Nestor welcome in.

Nestor Aparicio  00:10

Dennis, how are you? It’s been a it’s it’s been quite a week. That’s all I’ll say. You know Orioles playoffs ravens skies falling Cleveland, Pittsburgh London, like, it’s ditch dogs and cats when I’m at the baseball ballpark twice a week, and the football team is not going to be home for a month. And everywhere I go, nobody asked me about the football team. I did. I was at the Orioles game on Wednesday night when we thought they were going to clinch I thought it was Clint Smith and the Red Sox didn’t help me out. I did have a guy come up to me in the midst of all this, I’m you know, I’m decked out in orange and it’s all orange tie up and guy comes up. He’s like, I’m worried about the injuries, man. I’m worried about the injuries. And I’m like, You should be so short, horrible. I would say at this point. I mean, this is I’m gonna say bad luck with the franchise because I think that’s probably being too kind to them. But they they have an injury issue as a franchise, right? Like I don’t. And I know it’s not because hardball is practicing them too much because he’d love to run them ragged. But it’s It’s uncanny that we’re four weeks into this. And if we’re going to talk about the team, anything we’re going to talk about with Lamar Monken, the pass rush the secondary, all of it is really this isn’t their real team. Right? And it’s our it’s week four, and they’re not playing their real team. Oh, what’s

Dennis Koulatsos  01:28

what’s odd and you can see the stark contrast when they’re facing the other teams that the other teams injury report, you have two or three players. That’s it. We have seven starters. We had seven started out against the Colts, not including JK Dobbins who was lost for the season. So the Colts had two or three guys out we got over half a dozen guys out so I don’t know what it is. They pet players like Ronnie Stanley was kind of history of being injured. And there’s an old adage once injured, always injured. But

Nestor Aparicio  02:00

we also have some ex players that were scheming up to sue the old trainer right like cuz they didn’t they they have popped off that he cost them to their career. Right? Maybe you know, but again, I

Dennis Koulatsos  02:12

don’t know if that’s that’s players

Nestor Aparicio  02:13

popping off. I’m just saying there’s been an unusual amount of injuries in their building. And I don’t know whether there’s any real reason for that or just bad luck? I don’t know. You know, well,

Dennis Koulatsos  02:23

at some point, you hoped it would have good luck when it comes to injuries. But that doesn’t seem to case we go back to when Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters went down, or not contact injuries in practice, right? weren’t even hitting anybody. So you tell me the last time you heard of that happening, there’s something strange going on at the castle. We haven’t figured it out yet. They haven’t figured out yet. But I was at the game Sunday. And man you talk about finding ways to lose a game they found every state they found every single way to lose that game Nestor, you run the quarterback a dozen times and 70 minutes. But with 33 You don’t run them twice to pick up a first out to win the game.

Nestor Aparicio  03:02

For me, the strangeness of all of it is aside from the injuries and where they are I really like I Harbaugh’s integrity, you can go read how I’ve been treated word for word. And you can figure out whether he has integrity or not like you can watch the press conferences. You know you can hear their press conferences like Marlon Humphrey will be back soon. Ronnie Stanley be back whenever all of its vague, all of it really. And I talked to my I have Christian Horton from Hollywood casino Perry, who I don’t know if you know this, Dennis, but you can bet legally now in sports. It’s true. It’s a new thing that they have that that’s available. It’s not just point spreads, like we’ve done here for 33 years. But I’m actually picking games, right. So I was at one point very cocky afters. Last Thursday, I was 2110 and two against the spread. And then I took a dump into one o’clock games last Sunday. But the fact that we’re gambling on these games, and these injury reports come out, and that there’s some level of honor expected amongst the gamblers. Right, like sure like, and I don’t think there’s any honor at all about any of that. But I do find it fascinating that I think of John Harbaugh has been a really good coach. Right? And I think over 16 years, I’ve seen this movie, right? Everything’s bad. Everything’s awful. Nobody’s playing. We got to go on the road. Three to three weeks in a row. This is where John hardball shines usually right? This is usually where Yeah, it looks the road looks tough. And there’s it’s not gonna be pretty the way we’re gonna win. It’s never pretty, you know, they’ll win 13 to 12 on the road and Cleveland or so you know, like, they’ll find a way to win this kind of game against this kind of franchise. And that’s when I talked to Christian about I’m like, Look, I can, I can urinate and defecate upon John Harbaugh all day long for personal slights. Keep, he didn’t lose games in Cleveland like this. They’re never two and three. You know, they’re never upside down ever. So the notion that this looks difficult and it looks difficult, like they’re not the better team going into Cleveland without seven starters this week, next week Pittsburgh, you tell me and then going to London, that’s always a crapshoot. I mean, these are three, wildly not good road games right now at this time in the year where they’re not playing with their best players. And meantime, the baseball teams all we can talk about around here, because they’re about to play the most significant games they played in this generation next weekend. And I am of the mindset that if I’m gambling, and I’m sitting here, taking my Hollywood casino numbers that like how do I bet against John Harbaugh at this point, backs against the wall. Everybody’s heard, this is probably where he does his best work. Oh, he

Dennis Koulatsos  05:50

always has guys like him and Bill Belichick. They’re old school, they’re not going to give too much to anyone, particularly the media, and they can care less about the point spread. They’re just trying to win a ballgame Bill Belichick checkers, trying to cement his legacy as a greatest coach of all time, and John Harbaugh was trying to get into the Hall of Fame himself. So they’re trying to win the next ballgame. That’s the most important thing. And it should be the most important thing for these guys. But it was encouraging to have guys like Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Lindenbaum and Marcus Williams out of nowhere, a practice and again, if they can get those guys back plus Gus Edwards, they have a shot against the browns. But now the Browns have Jimmy Swartz, right, a local guy running that defense that Lee Frank looks very legitimate.

Nestor Aparicio  06:29

I actually spoke to Jim’s wife, Catherine Arbutus. This week on the interwebs was her birthday. So yeah, that defense worries me without Linda Obama without Stanley right like miles Garrett, who’s gonna neutralize him how and neutralizing him is Lamar will take off running right like that’s, that’s what they’re, that’s what they know. That’s what they revert back to. That’s probably what Todd Monken is gonna refer revert back to, except when it started three in the quarterback. They don’t really want they don’t want him run in now really don’t want him running. They stare nine months and $60 million is telling him not to run. And it’s their best play. Sometimes it’s their only play. It certainly felt that way in the third quarter last week.

Dennis Koulatsos  07:14

But they didn’t run them they should when they should have ran them Nestor I mean he you know whether he bailed or whether it was designed run play. They should have ran him late in the game when the game fall in line. That’s when you want Lamar Jackson taken up with the ball you can justify it. And this was can you

Nestor Aparicio  07:29

justify getting for it for him shiver on third and for getting his bell rung and being out of three weeks because of a concussion. I don’t know that

Dennis Koulatsos  07:36

any play that could happen on he played my point is I’d rather him have attack the line of scrimmage versus risk him sitting back in the pocket and risk and throwing the ball behind the receiver or having his receiver tackled and the referee just eating the flag right spoiling the flag as we saw. But that was when when Garner miss you stepped out of the endzone for that two point safety. We all thought the game was over

Nestor Aparicio  08:00

the game show I tweeted out I hacked up the May flowers and send these losers back to Indianapolis Man

Dennis Koulatsos  08:06

Man Yes, you did. And it was awful. Because everyone at the stadium everyone watching at home thought the game was done and it wasn’t done. It was one of the worst losses I’ve ever been a part of in terms of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Nestor Aparicio  08:23

I don’t disagree with that. And I and I know how you feel about the Colts. If they had Seahawks sweaters on a ramp sweaters you might not have felt so bad about it evolve a

Dennis Koulatsos  08:31

team of other franchise that had to be those stinking Colts? Well, this is

Nestor Aparicio  08:35

where they lose the game. They shouldn’t last and we could be here talking about a three and oh team right now. And there’ll be nothing to pick apart other than the injuries themselves. Right. But in the case of Lamar, they watched him play electronic football for two and a half years. They got this thing where they had players around them like Willie Snead, that one of the block and they got Ronnie Stanley back last year, they get their sea legs. But the biggest nightmare the night he was drafted Dennis and I go back five, six years to this right. The night that I saw him with Luke from the upper deck in that tin can out in Canton, Ohio at the office at the Hall of Fame Game and watched him aggressively run into linebackers after watching Joe Flacco back up for 10 years, right. And my thought was always he’s they’re gonna break him in half. He’s seeking contact that’s that, that does not compute to me. Not as a journalist, a football fan, football owner, the guy investing in the team, whatever it would be it it’s against the grain of how the game is played. It’s like against the grain of how the game is played. And you know, jump out of airplanes and your parent pear tree you jump out one time the parachutes not going to open at some point it’s not going to open and the case of Omar, we’re now five, six years into this. He’s got his money. Forget all the off the field stuff. Doesn’t take a shot gets COVID We played football games on Wednesday doesn’t show up for many camp coach texts me pissed off, holds out holding signs up on national TV pay me all of this. He hasn’t played a game in November December a meaningful game in three seasons. And it’s September the 20th. And you want him running in the linebackers? Because it’s the fourth quarter and the games on the line. Well, right. Right. And we’ve and and because we pay him $50 million a year, but you’re not thinking like they were thinking all along that he’s he’s fragile that they did if he breaks it’s not a matter of him being their dentist that’s at the back of their mind has

Dennis Koulatsos  10:49

nothing to do with him being fragile. Look at the Ravens top three running backs Dobbins out for the injured Edwards concussion protocol. Justice Hill out so when running backs Oh, hold

Nestor Aparicio  11:01

on a second. Maybe you’re thinking I’m being disrespectful by calling him fragile. Maybe that’s not the word isn’t that he gets hurt injured easily. The word is he’s a quarterback running into linebackers that were Cam Newton steaming there any of those guys that have their careers cut short because

Dennis Koulatsos  11:19

when you’re running backs who are attacking right they’re not sitting back in the pocket getting hit when they’re getting hurt. It’s common sense that the quarterback is going to get hurt eventually. Right so like you mentioned that he hasn’t played ball in November December. He’s got to be healthy. He’s got to be upright. My point is when you have situational football, that begs whether it’s when you have a mobile quarterback whether it’s Jackson or Jalen hertz or even Patrick mahomes You can roll them out give them a run Pass option not the end of the world but but give your give your guy use utilize his talents when you’re trying to win the doggone game when you’re got 30 seconds to

Nestor Aparicio  11:55

play. When the game’s on the line you take you take a chance.

Dennis Koulatsos  11:59

I’m not saying that he runs the linebackers every play. Look I’d rather have in the head not run club times before that situation right.

Nestor Aparicio  12:07

So you’d rather have me in the postgame press conference asking why he ran well die here because no other quarterback runs like this. No other Franch that is this is stupid. I don’t know what else to say. He’s been injured the last two years. They paid him his bag of money. And now everything in their mind is we can’t get him injured. Well, if you can’t get him injured, don’t ever run the football, right? And then if you don’t run the football, then it’s just gonna be pissed that he doesn’t run the football because he lost his bet or they lost the game. Or they should have won the game. But but then I say well, don’t get hurt. Don’t get hurt. I mean, at the end of the day, everything about that building everything about that building is don’t get them hurt. Don’t get them hurt, don’t get them hurt. That’s literally

Dennis Koulatsos  12:49

that’s where you get hurt when you’re playing scared that’s when you get hurt. You can’t play not to lose you can’t play not to get hurt. Gotta give it your all you have to have an attack mindset. Then, look, let’s see what happens when he gets when he gets his offensive line. Back in tact and in all fairness Sam must defer was he was as advertised by rate by Bears fans he was horrible. He did a great job against EG return was from the Bengals. But he did a terrible job against the Colts defensive front. Patrick McHenry was a turnstile left tackle that didn’t work out. So if you get Stanley and Linda ball back in there, I do think that changes the equation for the Ravens office, particularly Lamar Jackson, when he’s confident he can set his feet and make his reads and throw the ball down the field.

Nestor Aparicio  13:29

I agree wholeheartedly who’s running the football for them the next 13 weeks.

Dennis Koulatsos  13:34

Melvin Gordon and Kenyan Drake. Okay, so

Nestor Aparicio  13:39

they get hurt.

Dennis Koulatsos  13:40

And then they’ll have Mitchell the kid Mitchell and week number five well he might be the answer. Maybe maybe set the farmer but look don’t get the

Nestor Aparicio  13:49

point you we could talk about the offensive line and I’m with you without Linder bomb without Stanley. They’re not that over the next 14 weeks if they had to play without both of them. No good. So they’re gonna they’re gonna get back on the field. That’s gonna be fun, then they’re gonna have to develop this running game that was meant for JK Dobbins, a healthy back home and healthy Bateman. All the wide receivers all the flavors in the first round draft picks the offensive line, the veteran offensive line, the quarterback who we’re going to coach up now after 10 years of professional college and pro football, and we’re going to turn them into something that nobody ever wanted to turn them into. Because they didn’t think he could do it. When when there’s people in his face and the pockets breaking down and he’s still and patting the ball and trying to find safe flowers moving and trying to avoid a 320 pound guy breathing on him. The throws a little late. And that’s not lumbars fault. That’s true of every quarterback in the history of the game. It’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. And those guys never dealt with that pressure. The reason Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were so great is they got rid of the ball before they had to deal with any of that because once all of that happens, nobody’s any good John Elway’s, not all that great and they’re getting act on like so. Him being in the pocket trapped I don’t see trapped because you’re they’re gonna run or you’re gonna throw if he’s looking to throw he’s not looking to run he always looked to run they’ve had to unprogrammed him looking to run off. Yes.

Dennis Koulatsos  15:16

And how about how about during this press for somebody asked him about him thrown behind his receivers. And he was like shocked he was to

Nestor Aparicio  15:25

was in the press conference because that’s the look he gave me. I said to him that the that second the last question I ever asked him after the Minnesota game. And I thought, Dennis, I’m a friggin old school. Hammond ag reporter with a notebook right? Like I did this at high school games that over EBT and overly 3040 years ago, you just ask a question, like an obvious question, not something that John Harbaugh. I saw Nick gall gets all heat. They both got pissed at me that day, he ran the ball 21 times in an overtime game, and they had to play four days later. What kind of journalist am I if I don’t ask that question? Right? Like, and it was a really, it wasn’t a hey, you random 21 time he couldn’t get hurt. That wasn’t the question. The question was, Is that sustainable? Of course, ran the ball 21 times today. I expected John to say, No, I don’t. I don’t really want him run that much. But we won the game. We did what we needed to do to win the game. We don’t have any plan to run him 21 times did he run it? 21. That’s probably too much. Like John could have just said that and walked off. Instead he took the piss with me. And I asked Lamar about it. And when I asked Lamar about it, it reminded his immaturity is on display. As a human his immaturity is on display, the pounding of the ground, everything about him screams immature to me. And I’ve talked about this way. The way chats do hides them, the way you can’t talk to him the way you can interview him the way he cut the Rolling Stone interview off the minute they started talking about race politics, Kodak Black, all of these things, right? He he’s not a real mature guy. And I don’t know that he’s gaining maturity around him the way Ray Lewis and Shannon Sharpe and Rod Woodson, teach him how to be a man. And I think it was a little bit of that with Mark Ingram and big trust a couple years ago,

Dennis Koulatsos  17:18

Campbell in the locker room helped,

Nestor Aparicio  17:20

I think, if Odell Beckham was that guy, I don’t know. But he’s got all the money in the world now. But when I asked him as a 23 year old man running the ball 21 times as a quarterback in the NFL, I said, Lamar, you ran the ball 21 times today, and I have forever i couched it in a nice way. And he looked at me with disdain. He’s like, I didn’t run the ball 21 times last week today. I’m like, that sounds like something like my eight year old would say, like, there’s nothing to do with the question. So you can’t ask. I mean, you saw what Lamar looked like when you talk to Lamar about throwing behind receivers. Right? You can’t ask me that. Chad, he asked me.

Dennis Koulatsos  17:59

He was surprised that he was aware. So maybe hopefully, he saw some game film this week and, and saw that he was in fact late with some of the throws, but not all of his throws, certainly, but there was a handful of throws, he was 100 receiver.

Nestor Aparicio  18:12

And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s the rest in the pocket. It’s sort of a new thing for him. He has minute in there ever and had to do that, that this is something that they’re working on with him. If he was he ever got really good at it, he would have been higher draft pick, like and if this is the way they’re gonna play and I’ve talked about it for eight months, he’s going to need to be more accurate and they’re going to be protected better and they’re going to need better down in distance. And they’re gonna need wide receivers to catch the ball when he gets it there. Because that was a problem last year for Tyler Huntley delivering the ball and having guys drop it would have been playing in January last year if they just caught a couple of Tyler Huntleys passes, right. So everything about wide receivers and I always say this about their egos and I saw Chad otro cinco in Cincinnati the other night like you know, the egotistical part of this. So many things have to go right? For Odell Beckham to be a star or as a flowers to be as to not say flowers. He needs to get space off the line and beat somebody but long passes. They want to go vertical. They need better protection, they better route running a more impressive running game.

Dennis Koulatsos  19:15

Did you see a long pass by the Ravens offense this past Sunday? Because time didn’t Yeah, you know what, but still, he had some time. You know, there were the cultural playing their safeties deep. You still got to take a shot. There’s a thing called pass in advance if your receiver doesn’t catch the ball. He threw one deep as a flower the week before double coverage of flowers came down with it. You got to still take shots you just claimed Thanks. It was it was a great pass on the great cat. My point is just because we’re in a too deep zone doesn’t mean that you ignore the long ball. This is where I challenge a guy like monkey then horrible. Challenge them deep spread the field making, you know, trying to make a play trying to get try to draw pencil pass interference, but they just think and dunk offense whatever that leads to turnovers. I mean they turn to ball over four times recovered two of them. That’s why they lost the game.

Nestor Aparicio  20:04

Well, the ball was wet to feel was wet. I mean that that, that allows you to not be to be the better team and not be the better team but I think Pittsburgh, Tennessee in London, these are I do not expect them to come home to and for like, I don’t

Dennis Koulatsos  20:21

know, but I’ll give you this too and I’ve been saying this since day one having watched Lamar Jackson his entire career. He’s not a good inclement weather quarterback. He just he likes dry warm weather, cold weather damp weather. That’s not him that his game doesn’t want to be out there not comfortable big out there.

Nestor Aparicio  20:37

Well he’s a kid who ran around all of his life and 85 degrees right like he’s a Florida kid so that I don’t like it either. And I grew up here but I mean I playing well in it. He has no experience playing in it to play well and he’ll do his best

Dennis Koulatsos  20:49

work in a dry climate and in the dome, so I don’t know how many of these games we have coming up are in domes and warm weather but the AFC North Iran division to have a quarterback who doesn’t play well in inclement weather. Tell me temporary love

Nestor Aparicio  21:02

Joe because he had big hands you could throw the football hold on to

Dennis Koulatsos  21:05

the wall can’t help him you don’t want to have a little tiny dinosaur hand you want you want those big hands.

Nestor Aparicio  21:11

Oh guy I mean Lamar looks small next to Ronnie Stanley but he’s not a small guy. No,

Dennis Koulatsos  21:15

he’s not a small guy you want none at all? Not at all. But Tom Brady was a great snow snowy inclement weather quarterback now all in other words they had up there in New England but the guy he

Nestor Aparicio  21:28

did before the game I don’t know if you know about this before the game he gets to the footballs

Dennis Koulatsos  21:31

make them easier to grip and

Nestor Aparicio  21:33

took a little bit yeah,


that’s true too.

Nestor Aparicio  21:35

That’s really what happened. It’s true to the story of the footballs is I talked about this couple weeks ago somebody story the football is really they never fumbled when you take the air out.

Dennis Koulatsos  21:44

Oh, it took off. We’re not powered to knock out Steven Ridley

Nestor Aparicio  21:51

yeah, there’s no there’s no question if you look back at the Patriots run and how filthy it was the taking the boat they never fumbled the ball at home ever. Never. Never Never Never and that the story wasn’t about Tom Brady gripping the ball the story was

Dennis Koulatsos  22:07

a fumble This is very true. 100% Correct. Yeah.

Nestor Aparicio  22:11

Anyway, right Tom Brady cheating is he still retired Peyton Manning doing I haven’t heard from him lately.

Dennis Koulatsos  22:17

I don’t know podcast I don’t know what he’s doing making commercials doing great things out there. I saw

Nestor Aparicio  22:21

to sell popped up last weekend on on the news trying to do damage control and do all that but listen, the Ravens as constructed I still am a believer that they can be a playoff team like the Orioles and but that being said they gotta get healthy. I mean, they’re gonna play with the team they played with last week around Lamar first Lamar is gonna get hurt. Lamar will get hurt. If Lamar is gonna run the ball the way Lamar ran at 19 and 20 If you’re gonna run the ball 10 1215 times a game because they have to because they need to, because it’s a close game. Because in your mind, it’s 33 Run Lamar, Lamar every place their best play, then that’s really what I gathered out of it in the third quarter last week when they were in a ropey game at home passing wasn’t working ball was wet run them are they let you know I don’t we don’t want to run them on our lap. We got to win today run Lamar, same thing they thought about Minnesota a year and a half ago and then didn’t see him the rest of the year. So this Ron Lamar in the linebackers I will go back to the original sin of the night they drafted him and everybody’s saying well, he’s got to throw the ball better. He’s got to be a pocket guy he’s got to stand and I don’t want to say he can’t I just don’t think it’s their their their best chance to win. And it’s not their best chance to keep them healthy. And it’s not their best chance to move the offense down the field with him trying to navigate problems in front of him while wide receivers are down the field while he’s trying to hit guys in stride. I I don’t see that as his strength nor the 31 other NFL general managers like literally the rest of the league. It’s not Nestor being a jerk, the rest of the league had a chance to bring him in and say we’re gonna play this style of game and none of them wanted it because they’re afraid of him getting hurt. They really are they’re not afraid that he stinks. He might if he has to play as a drop back quarterback and if you tie his legs together and say you cannot run more than five times a game like we’re just not and if you do that he’s a middle quarterback. He’s not a great quarterback. He’s not a great passing quarterback. So the legs part of him is what makes him special. You can’t take that away from him. But you can’t take away the linebackers ability to hit him either. And he’s gonna get hit. I mean, how about the guy doing special sauce on him on his ankle and nobody coming over and punching him in the face?

Dennis Koulatsos  24:41

Yeah, that look that look for the Ravens all the way Where’s Ryan? Jensen

Nestor Aparicio  24:45

was he still in Tampa he went apart he’s

Dennis Koulatsos  24:47

he’s hurt again unfortunately good really good guy. But Nestor as always, I appreciate your time keep doing great things on Baltimore positive. All great stuff. Love all the stuff that you post online.

Nestor Aparicio  24:58

Dennis the next time we get together it’ll be something magic happened. We go. I feel really dirty. I haven’t talked enough football this week. So I really, I really appreciate you for giving me a chance to denigrate Lamar. I’m not denigrating Lamar Lamar shouldn’t be running in the linebackers. And that’s a problem for me. Other than that, you know, I think they can win in Cleveland this week. But this is a tough game. This is the tougher of the three. I mean, they’ll they’ll prove something to me if they win this week. All right, well,

Dennis Koulatsos  25:25 defense travels well, so go Brooklyn, Smith and Ravenswood that we’ll take a next break here in 1570 Am wn St. We’ll be back right.

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