Ravens need to put sloppiness of Week 1 behind them in Cincy

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When the starters don’t take any live reps until the whistle blows, it makes for sloppy football. Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the curse of the penalties and the stout defensive performance of Ravens against the Texans.


penalties, play, game, ravens, year, baltimore, team, talking, injuries, players, marcus williams, rookie quarterback, week, sunday, tackle, luke, good, safety, stadium, bengals


Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back wn S T, Towson Baltimore. And Baltimore positive it is week two now not even week one. The Orioles are Omagh week. And the Ravens go on the road to Cincinnati this week. Obviously we discussed the injuries at length, we’re going to be monitoring all that if you’re on the wn S T tech service brought to you by Coons, Baltimore Ford, you’ll get that first. Dennis will be here on Thursday. We’ll also be here before then, from the three of the five. And of course, Dennis was on Sunday morning, I was driving around Sunday morning doing great stuff with Luke, myself fantasy football, all of that stuff. Is there for you. Look, I guess without the injuries, the penalties would have been the big store, right? Like I mean, at the end of this, we would have said, wow, they won they won by 16 points that covered the spread for all of you out there. That’s really important. By the way, I’m picking the game. Just we get it okay gets a spread this week with Christian Horton up in Hollywood Casino. Berryville. So he’ll be on this week. For you with the penalties. We added. It’s a sloppiest thing in the world for these teams that don’t play, let alone injuries. But penalties is something I would have bet the over on penalty Sunday morning. Yeah, I think


Luke Jones  01:10

that’s kind of an easy thing to look at. In fact, I’d be fascinated to. And I’m not saying I’m going to be the diet, the guy that does this because I’ve got enough going on. But it’d be fascinating to look around the league, specifically for the teams who did not play their starters in the preseason. And we know that that’s a sizable chunk of the league for Yeah, there are plenty of teams that still play starters, but

Nestor Aparicio  01:29

two thirds thirds 20 of the team.

Luke Jones  01:33

I don’t think it’s quite that high. But even the teams that do let’s be clear. I mean, we’re talking about a handful of snaps, right? I mean, very few teams are playing starters for multiple quarters in the preseason at this point in time. So the point is, you go from practicing and playing and shaping your preparation for the season in a very controlled environment in training camp and these joint practices, right. So you go from that, to suddenly you’re playing real football, live tackling. I think that’s a big factor that I’ve been asked some players about over the course of the week. And I know Mike McDonald’s talked about it. But you have that. And when you’re doing that, you want to have sound technique. And for the most part, I mean, look, we’re talking about a Ravens defense that gave up three field goals, right. Darby tackled, I’ll

Nestor Aparicio  02:22


tell you that right now,

Luke Jones  02:24

no question about it. But at the same time, when you have guys who are now when that’s a controlled environment, you’re you’re doing the live to the tack, or thud, or whatever it is. It’s not fully live football. Of course, when you take those, you take those reins off, and suddenly you’re playing live to the whistle, you’re going to have some penalties. So you don’t want to see it and look 13 penalties for 106 yards it speaks for itself. I mean, it’s way too many. And specifically look at someone like Justin Matta BK who had the makings of a really good game, but he committed three penalties. You know, so I think a lot of that you do chalk up to week one, certainly you want to correct it. Certainly you don’t want that to become a big trend, you know, a season long trend. Because if it is, it’s something you’ll be talking about, because it costs you football games, you know, especially when you’re playing teams that are way better than the Houston Texans. But I am ready, you know, I’m willing to chalk it up to you go from not playing at all in the preseason. And if you’re committing a pre snap penalty on offense, and in the summer, maybe you’re jogging down the field and taking a lap if you’re a young player, but beyond that, there’s really, no, there’s no no real repercussions for it, because it’s practice. So you get into this environment when you haven’t played any live games, you know, if you’re starting players and you’re gonna have some of this again, you don’t want to be too flippant about it. You want to correct it this week. And believe me, the coaches will be reminding those guys who committed these infractions that you don’t want to have that and certainly on offense, you want to clean up the pre snap stuff like Gus Edwards going in motion at one point moving before the ball was snapped which by the way, that was something that was a big complaint about with Greg Roman maybe maybe it wasn’t 100% Greg Romans fault all the time. I say that a jest things are gonna happen. But the point is a lot to clean up. And it was a very sloppy effort, way better on the on the defensive side of the ball and they certainly did the heavy lifting but you need to clean up the penalties on both sides of the ball. You don’t want to have that Nate, you know, they even had some some some issues on special teams as it pertained to that as well. So I again chalk it up to week one. I’m fine saying that right now. But if we’re talking about week to go into Cincinnati and playing the Bengals, if we’re talking about that kind of a a number of penalties and penalty yardage, probably going to be talking about a different outcome then so you certainly want to be play a much cleaner football game moving forward.

Nestor Aparicio  04:51

Well pre snap penalties on the offensive side at home. No, no. Right. Pushing the quarterback after the play. No, no, you know No, it’s one thing to have a face mask Ronnie Stanley getting up on a guy with his left arm or whatever. I mean, those kinds of things happen holding penalties when you’re trying to keep somebody from killing Lamar or whatever. I almost that’s in the in the flow of the game. It’s it’s unforced errors and it’s more mental errors more, more not controlling your mojo not being in control of your state, as Tony Robbins would say.

Luke Jones  05:24

Yeah. And in the case of Travis Jones, look, was it this major kill shot or cheap shot? No, it wasn’t, and anyone and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention, I mean, with the Ravens celebrating the 25th anniversary of the stadium, they had lots of old ravens players there, Michael McCray,


Nestor Aparicio  05:41

it was because I mean, I’m not at the game. So and I saw pictures of Todd heap on the field stuff. And I’m like, Oh, I wish I had a presidential I want to see my friends. But I got a text. Saturday night, like five o’clock. This speaks to you know, 30 years of doing this, my phone goes off. And it was Opie my Haley. And I’m like, is that the real Ovie mandolin? You know what I mean? So I text him back and he needed to solve crab sandwich. So he wound up a to Pepe, he’s not costless. Because he was downtown, I would have sent him over there, fade. These was close. We’ll be there on Friday during the Maryland crab cake door. But I heard from ofI. And I’m like, Well, I know they bring players back and the club level and John Ogden is always running around and saying hello to people. And I just thought it was sort of the ambassador thing they do. I didn’t realize like there was telling me about it. Because not everybody was at the game, Luke, not everybody was lucky, like you, you know, are spending $15 on StubHub at 1230. Which is the other way to go.

Luke Jones  06:34

I mean, I’d be lying if I told you I listened carefully to that what that what was said at halftime about, you know, just the stadium in 25 years, I mean, they did bring the players, you know that they had about 40 former ravens players that came out and they introduced those guys before they introduced the starting offense. So that was nice to see. So it was good seeing those guys. But the point I was just to finish my thought about Travis Jones point was seeing guys like Michael McCreary and Peter ball were in the stadium, you’re thinking that’s not roughing the passer. And it certainly wasn’t 25 years ago, it wasn’t. But that’s part of what you said, as far as the awareness, situational awareness of understanding, look, today’s NFL, they don’t want you to hit the quarterback. And if he if the ball is out, and you can avoid touching the quarterback, let alone pushing them to the ground, you must do that, because you’re gonna get called for it. I mean, that’s just the reality of it, whether you think the call soft or not, that’s just, that’s 2023. And it’s not going back the other way, it’s only going to get worse in that regard. And I do feel for defensive players, that to a to a degree. But again, with Travis Jones, I think that was one, he could have avoided that. But it goes back to what I said, my previous point about the penalties, you’re talking about a guy who practiced all summer, and he did play in the preseason a little bit. So you know, not that he gets a full pass. But a lot of these guys, they didn’t tackle to the ground at all. They weren’t going to hit Lamar Jackson whatsoever. So you kind of get to this point where you’re playing so controlled, and then it’s Hey, go play and go play a 60 minute regular football game, and you better tackle and you better hit, and you better not let a guy get free. You’re gonna have some of that. But again, you don’t want those. I mean, those are killers, you know, those are Dr. extenders, those are, that can be the difference between a punt and a field goal or the difference between a field goal and then a touchdown. So you have to clean that up. Travis Jones learned his lesson the hard way. And certainly we’ve seen other guys do that in recent years.

Nestor Aparicio  08:31

About you in their assets over on the sideline with the D line.

Luke Jones  08:35

Sure, sure. No question. And we talked about this for years. I mean, Matthew, Jude on who is doing his thing in New England and continuing to play at a high level for the Patriots, you know, one of the few ravens players who, you know, they bid farewell to and he’s done a really nice job for himself. But how many times over the years do we look at someone like Matthew Jude on and just say that penalty was, you know, that was wasn’t smart, you know, whether you think it was ticky tack or not, it wasn’t smart. And I think that’s the key. And that’s what makes it so challenging for the defense. But, again, it’s the reality and that’s a something you need to clean up to your point, you can deal with some of the other penalties that just happened and it’s just a physical, physical mistake, you want to avoid the mental mistakes, you know, I think, and certainly you don’t want to have too much of that. But, you know, overall, the defense played really well. And I think especially the second half, you know, after after they give up the two field goals at the end of the first half, which you know, I asked Patrick Queen about that and he was still he was on tilt about it. He was not happy about that. You could tell that some of the defensive leaders that they weren’t thrilled with how they played despite the fact that they only gave up nine points and they got a lot of heat on on CJ Stroud in the second half but they want to play cleaner. They want to be more consistent and they know doing that against the Texans is one thing but go into Cincinnati week to Joe burrow a ticked off Bengals offense that’s going to be a different channel. lunch with them, especially if they don’t have Marlon Humphrey and especially if they don’t have Marcus Williams out there in the secondary. So if you’re down a couple of your key guys especially on the back end, boy you better play sound football and limit the mistakes and the penalties or that’s gonna kill you.

Nestor Aparicio  10:14

Look, you know, I was doing some writing last week some writings of writings a column this letter to Steve shoddy a letter to John Harbaugh. So I’m writing these letters, releasing them getting all this input and all this it’s 1130 at night and you know, I never watched television, right? Like I am famously not a television guy, just for having it on or background more of a music guy than a television guy. And I like literally was a little worn out a little emotionally spent a little edited, spent, you know, I mean, I’m writing 8000 word tombs, the final letters, my death letters to John Arbol and Steve Ashati. Other than my actual columns here when they play football games, but put the television on late at night, the other night. And the first thing that came home was the bullies of Baltimore. Like I just clicked the television. I don’t know why it was on ESPN and had it been my wife and everything you talk about, with all the old players being here and hitting quarterbacks late and that part and bullies Baltimore pillock said, they’ve legislated all of that out of the game at this point, and 20 years later, for Peter ball were to come back after playing on those teams or Michael McCrary. And saying, it really is a different game in that way. And when I watched the bullies of Baltimore, not only you know, seeing Kevin Byrne seeing goose alive, it made me text Marvin in the middle of the night. So Marvin and I were going after it a little bit I through Del Rio and no because I saw him and but the the game now when you watch the old stuff, it’s a different game. And I guess that’s the only game Travis Jones has ever known is this game, not the game McCrary is played or the game Ray Lewis played or every played, but it really the game is different. It is.

Luke Jones  11:51

It really is. And I mean, I noticed that on a couple of occasions, that there were some milk, the Ravenstone laid some hits on Houston players. I mean, there’s no question about that. There are a couple hits over the middle, you know, a couple passes that Stroud threw over the middle where there was a big hit. And what’s your what’s your reaction 25 years ago was just to react and be like, Oh, wow, he popped him. The reaction now is what when that happens, it’s a flag. You’re looking to see if there’s a flag or not. And yet, there’s still plenty of instances where there is it. But that’s your natural reaction now rather than just react to the hit? Yeah. With the with the testosterone flying around, right. You know what, when you’re watching games with with your buddies or whoever, you know that that was just how it was. And that’s how it’s changed. Again, it’s not that there’s no physicality I thought the Ravens played physical. On Sunday, I thought the defense played really well. Overall, again, penalties aside, gave up nine points, they gave up three in the second half. And that was a sudden change post turnover situation. So they they certainly did their job as they should against the rookie quarterback and against the team that had the second overall pick in the draft. I mean, that’s just that’s just where it should be especially playing at home. But you know, I was pleased with what I saw overall. Row Quan Smith was fantastic. Patrick Queen played really well. Shout out to Ronald Darby. You know, one of the newest ravens, a guy who is 11 months removed from an ACL injury didn’t arrive. I think his first practice was August 17. August 18. It three tackles at the line of scrimmage or for a loss I mean for a corner. Now that’s that’s pretty good. That shows despite the fact he’s not the biggest guy, he’s gonna fit right in if he could stay healthy, because that he showed the willingness to be physical there. And you know what the Ravens won out of their corners in that regard. So there were plenty of good things. And it was nice to see the pass rush get going in the second half. David a job Oh, with the strip sack, which I think was huge just for his confidence if nothing else, we talked a lot about how underwhelming the preseason was for him. And I mean, he played into the third quarter against Tampa and that last preseason game that’s, that tells you what the coaches thought about his preseason, the fact that he was playing that deep into the last preseason game. So get the reps, he needed the reps and they wanted to see something. So it was good. Good to see that translate them to, you know, a game that actually counted the game that actually mattered that he stepped up the way that he did. I asked him a way about that, you know, and he even said that, you know, when you’re a young guy, you and he was talking about himself when his rookie year you’re a young guy, you make a big play early on that you know that can that galvanizes you a little bit that energizes you a little bit to say, hey, I can do this, you know? Yeah, it’s not college anymore. Yeah, these guys are better than going up against the big 10 opponents like a job Oh did a couple years ago but doesn’t mean I can’t play so you hope that’s a sign of more to come for him. It was good to see the the defense get pressure on Stroud in the second half. My goodness they should considering the state of Houston’s offensive line. I mean, they were down to already their third center. The right tackle was placed on injured reserve during the week. I mean, on paper if that group’s fully healthy the Texans might have to make He was up a decent offensive line eventually. But that was the kind of offensive line that your front should get after.

Nestor Aparicio  15:06

It was a fourth preseason game. I mean, that’s a bad team. That’s a team that’s going to win two or three games for me.


Luke Jones  15:11

Yeah, I mean, it’s hard for me to ever say that a team’s only going to win two or three games, but even a best case scenario that feels like a team that maybe they find a way to win five or six, but they’re certainly not going to be any better than that. Right? I mean, you know, when you have a young team, I mean, the rebuilding, they have a new head coach. I think I credit demeco Ryans for being aggressive in a couple spots. You know, me i i go nuts over coaches that just placed a play to not lose by too many points rather than

Nestor Aparicio  15:41

your own 40 On the first set of downs like that one,

Luke Jones  15:44

right. agreed on that one, but some, you know, a couple of the other decisions where you know, he’s a little more aggressive. I like seeing that. I mean, you look when you’re in that spot, a rookie head coach who has a rookie quarterback, making his first NFL start on the road, you’re trying to walk a line between doing the things that you need to do to give yourself any semblance of a chance to win while also trying to protect your rookie quarterback so it is what it is but to your point. Yeah, if the defense didn’t play like that, and if Houston somehow found a way to score 20 points, then yeah, we’d be talking about this defense in way different terms Marlon Humphrey are not Marcus Williams are not like that shouldn’t happen so the defense did what they were supposed to do on Sunday and like I said, because of the questions with the pass rush it was good to see a job Oh, Flash was good to see Mata BK do what he did. I thought oh a played well. So it’s a start way bigger test coming now I’m going to Cincinnati again the Bengals are going to be in a foul mood as they should be because they got embarrassed on the road against Cleveland, but the Ravens gonna have to be sharper and as we said, certainly have to limit the mistakes and the penalties to a far greater degree than than they did on this past Sunday. You know,

Nestor Aparicio  16:54


that? Don’t tell the ladies in the press from their whom I love at the Raven stadium will probably never see again in my life, but that’s okay. You know, for me with the game, you know, over the weekend, it’s sort of being where I am and the game starts, right. So it starts and I’m watching. And all these numbers are flying around. I’m like, where’s my flip? Call? It’s the first time in my life I haven’t had a flip card, or football games. Moeller used to laugh at me up in Section 513. Because I would bring a stack up, I’ll go down the press room, say hello to you go up to the seats that I paid for in Section 513. And I will take a stack of flip cards and give them to everybody up in my area. So they weren’t yelling at me. Hey, Nestor, who’s number 24. You may tie with the trench down here is that a new safety day? God number 24. Is that is that Dominique Foxworth today bring in there, and then you’re like, oh, no, that’s like a linebacker. And that’s like the number one overall pick in the draft day. That’s like, clowny like these numbers. You know, I don’t want to be the old guy get off my lawn. But dude, I have to start getting a flip card here, or I’m not going to get the right way. Because it’s the only way I’ve ever watched football. My whole life was with a flip card.

Luke Jones  18:05

I know at one point, and I’m not saying this to you know, I’m not saying this to patronize you. But believe me, I know, at least at one point, you could print it off from the team website. Again, I’m not I’m not saying that.

Nestor Aparicio  18:17

Can I email chats dealing? For me with with clowny and with these guys getting after it, the Williams thing? It’s still I mean, Humphreys not coming back this week. Williams and the loss of him and the pack that we think’s not going to be good. I mean, this is um, we we stopped at the offensive side and Dobbins but you start losing safeties for the year. That’s not good, either.

Luke Jones  18:42

Yeah, and I mean, you hope for the best here. I mean, the initial reports are concerned about a torn pack. That doesn’t necessarily mean season ending, but that is a long term injury you’d be talking about, probably gone until December right now, which is, you know, they lost Marcus Williams and Week Four last year with the wrist injury. So it’s unfortunate. Here’s another guy who hardly missed any action at all in New Orleans and suddenly have an injury issues and Baltimore, I mean, it’s, it is what it is, but the difference now, and you know, some people will say, hey, Geno’s stone played pretty well last year in place, Marcus Williams, but keep in mind, they had Chuck Clark in that scenario. Chuck Clark is in New York and unfortunately suffered a torn ACL. He’s not he’s not a raven, and he’s not healthy anyway. But the point is, when you look at how the Ravens played on Sunday, and I think you’re going to see a lot of this. We saw our Darius Washington as their their primary nickel. And that wasn’t surprising. We talked about him a lot over the summer. He had a strong summer, won the job. Great. He’s five foot 878 pounds. My point with that is there are going to be instances depending on matchup depending on your opponent’s personnel where he’s not going to be the NIC when we saw that even on Sunday. There were a number of times where the Ravens went to three safety looks before the Williams injury and what Did they do, they brought in Geno stone next to Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton slipped back into that nickel spot that he played so well in the second half of last year. Quite a difference. You go from a five, nine or five, eight nickel to a six foot four nickel. So now, if Marcus Williams is out, you’re a little more limited in how you can operate there. You go to a position where do you notice stolen comes in from Marcus Williams, Kyle Hamilton’s starting safety this year. But now you have to kind of figure it out and figure and kind of look at how you want to handle this. Do you want to do it where Hamilton goes down to the nickel spot and then art areas Washington plays off? You know, he’s a natural safety, you know, even if he doesn’t have the ideal size for it, or do you put Daryl Worley in the mix and we saw that a little bit on Sunday as well.


Nestor Aparicio  20:46

We’re gonna get to know some of these names, aren’t we? Well, I’m

Luke Jones  20:48

Terrell Morley has been around a couple years. I mean, he’s been the guy who’s been on their practice squad and we’ve seen him in a pinch play some corner. They transitioned him to safety this year. So, you know, I

Nestor Aparicio  20:58

saw a lot of Stephens back there. And you know, I mean, we’ve been hearing about him as well. Right. So it’s

Luke Jones  21:03


Brandon Stevens was one of their starting corners because, and I know some people complain to me on Twitter about that, and I get it. Brandon Stevens is a guy who, as much as he shows, he flashes and has ability. He has been a guy who just has not been able to play the football. We saw that on an instance, on Sunday goes for an interception and it ends up being a 20 yard game then. But he was the one corner they had that was available all summer. He practiced all summer. He was his availability, which you know, when you’re talking about guys getting hurt, that’s, that’s what matters. Nothing else is availability. So it is a case. It is the case, especially with Marlon Humphrey right now until he’s back, you know. I would not think he’s going to be back this week. If he had any shot to play against the Bengals you would have thought he’d be back on the field at least a little bit. Last week. We didn’t see that. Who knows. I don’t think he’s going to be out that much longer. I’ve seen him walking around, you know, he’s

Nestor Aparicio  22:05

on the sidelines in mind, but on the game, he was there. Okay.

Luke Jones  22:09

i As far as I know, he was okay. I think so. I think so. I don’t remember seeing him. I wasn’t looking for him either. Because I mean, he was an inactive I’ve, but I’ve seen him and I saw him all. I saw him in the locker room at all three days last week. And like I said, if you just saw him there, you’d have no idea he was injured. So I don’t think it’s going to be too much longer but you’re not going to have them against Jamar Chase and the Bengals and and you’re not going to have Marcus Williams the way that seems likely even if it ends up being a best case scenario for him with the MRI. You’re certainly in a position now where again, like I said, with the JK Dobbins thing, you’re losing some of that margin for error. You’re losing some of that upside You’re certainly losing depth and a position at safety where look, Chino stone is a quality backup. I think they can be okay, just a one on one for one trade off. But it does limit some of your personnel packages because like I said, I think they they wanted to have a healthy mix of Washington as your more conventional Tavon young kind of a Nickelback, but also mix coyote slide camp Kyle HAMILTON To the nickel spot like they did last year. But you don’t have Marcus Williams, that that puts you in a different position as far as who’s going to line up next to Geno stone under that instance. So this is unfortunately like we said it’s football it’s part of the game. This is why you want to try to have quality depth at as many positions as you can because you know you’re going to lose some guys but yeah, if they’re losing Marcus Williams long term, that’s that’s a tough pill to swallow. Because we’ve seen you know, in the limited time he’s been on the field. We’ve seen the interceptions that he had early last year and what kind of ability he has but unfortunately facing the likelihood of him missing some substantial time for the second straight year.

Nestor Aparicio  23:56

Here’s Luke Jones he is Baltimore Luke He will be in Owings Mills all week when he’s not at Camden Yards and he thinks the Orioles home all week Cardinals. And then of course the race this weekend. big big big baseball going on here. We’re gonna be talking football week injuries, trying to figure it all out if you’re on the WNS D tech service brought to you by Coons, Baltimore Ford, you’ll get it first. And of course on Friday, I’m at fakies I got my favorite t shirt on. We’ll be in Lexington market nine until noon. Our partners from Coppin State, Dr. Anthony Jenkins, who runs to join as well as the head coach Larry Stewart who runs the basketball program gonna be joining us down to fade these I think let Raskin stop by got some other desktop by on Friday, from nine until noon. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I will not have these, these 50th anniversaries although I do have them. I’m gonna have rabid scratch offs this week. So we’re gonna get lucky as they say on Friday at Bally’s and I’m also going to be at the nest down at the convention center. We’re gonna talk about that later on in the week. That is the ledge that literally sits underneath of the cupcake Baltimore positive 25th anniversary logo right here on our screen on Friday night for the sold out game with Adam Jones ends Saturday night against the rays this week. So it is truly a sports week the ravens are want to know the sky is falling. There are injuries. Lamar is up right. We’re going to Cincinnati they stink this week, and Luke’s got double duty. If you have not read my letter to Steve Ashati and our John Harbaugh, please do I’ll have a letter for Adam Jones as well as Eric the cost to come in this week. Chad Steele and Sashi Brown will get theirs when I get around to it because I’m busy around here because it’s football season, and we got to first place baseball team on Nestor. He’s Luke we are W nsda of 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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