The battle of two very different birds in Baltimore

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As the baseball season ends, our Luke Jones joins Dennis Koulatsos to wraps up another World Series and preview a Seattle Seahawks visit to Baltimore to tackle the surging 6-2 Ravens.


ravens, team, game, talked, year, injury, moves, player, baltimore, point, season, playing, lamar jackson, marcus williams, quan, running, give, trade, sign, derrick henry


Dennis Koulatsos, Luke Jones

Dennis Koulatsos  00:02

Welcome to the Dennis Calarco show leading off as always my number one guest, Luke Jones is doing great things for Baltimore positive wn St. 15 7am. Luke, I’ve been watching the Ravens winning ways. We have a World Series now under our belt, a new champ and even saw some aw the other night and in honor view.

Luke Jones  00:24

Yeah, there’s been a lot going on. I honestly I haven’t been able to watch too much wrestling of late and busy with the baseball playoffs and certainly with the ravens, but it’s good to talk to you. It’s been a couple of weeks. So great to be getting a chance to catch up with you now. Yeah, great,

Dennis Koulatsos  00:38

great to have you. You know, I’m not a great baseball fan by any stretch. In fact, I quickly lost interest. Once our Baltimore Orioles were knocked out. And I certainly I’m not in a camp that well, you know, at least we lost for the champs. I go back to oh six when the Ravens lost to the cult and I Sterling was not rootin for Peyton Manning to win the Super Bowl. But we had the better team that year and had we gotten past some. I think the Colts beat the bears that year in a Super Bowl. Not not a very good Bears team. But we had the inside track and oh six and homefield advantage it didn’t cash it in. So I don’t know how you feel about the Texans. Let me give them credit credit to do they got hot. Right. And at the end, they proved that we’re the best team this past season.

Luke Jones  01:22

Yeah, I mean, I think you have to get the Texas Rangers a lot of credit. And I don’t know how much Orioles fans take solace in it or not. I it’s baseball. I mean, we’ve talked about this a lot. We talked about this, even going back to before the division series started the five days off, and how on baseball like that was and if so much of this still just comes back to baseball is a high variance sport, day to day, there are a lot of situations and scenarios where the better team loses, you know, go look at the course of a full season and see how many bad teams beat good teams and the course of a three or four game series. So why should we expect that to be any different in October but I so that partially explains why we saw the Arizona Diamondbacks at 84 wins get to the World Series. And it’s a product of an expanded postseason. You let more teams in, you’re going to see more upsets and you’re going to see lesser teams be able to go farther, because baseball is just that’s the nature of the sport. But in the case of the Rangers know, even before the division series started, I know you and I talked about this, and I talked about their offense. I talked about the fact that at different times over the course of a 162 game season. I did wonder if they were the best team in the American League. So you have to give them credit, especially with the way they played on the road in the postseason. I mean, just remarkable to do what they did away from their home ballpark. And, you know, especially coming back being down against the Astros in the ALCS. I mean, so they deserve it. You know, I, I don’t know, I didn’t really have much of a rooting interest one way or the other and watching the World Series, I was hoping to see a little bit more of a competitive series. But to me, you know, of those two teams, the Rangers were the far superior team. And I think, as it played out, and as fun as and as admirable was the Diamondbacks run was pretty it was they were an OK team this year, they played really well at times. They’ve certainly come a long way. But it felt as though you know, maybe their magic kind of ran out after they were able to knock off the Phillies, you know, winning the last two in Philadelphia and just didn’t seem like they had a whole lot left in the tank after that, and give the Rangers credit. And I will say this just in a general sense, you know, I think it is a good thing when you have a team a fan base that’s never won a World Series, as was the case with the Texas Rangers who’ve been around a long time, mind you. I do think that’s good for the sport. So if it wasn’t gonna be the Orioles, you know, I’m certainly okay with being the rangers and yeah, I mean, some people will take some, some some kind of, you know, solace or, or something like that in the fact that it was the eventual World Champs that knocked off the Orioles. But I think baseball fans would just tell you, just makes them that much more excited to get to spring training. But yeah, we got a few months to go for that. So in the meantime, we’ll be watching the ravens and continuing to see what they can do that we

Dennis Koulatsos  04:20

will do, Luke, when I came over from Greece back in 73, I was really only suspended with soccer as a sport and of course, I tried everything that the US had to offer and to the state. To me, the hardest thing in sports is to be able to hit a baseball talked about a small object coming at you 95 or 100 miles an hour and I give a lot of credit to those major major leaguers in terms of what they can do with the bat because that is a very very, I was so frustrated that I played I think one season and went back to playing football, basketball, lacrosse and anything but baseball, right? I mean, I enjoyed playing some softball here and there but, but even in softball, I struggle slowpitch so we’ll leave That was that one right there.

Luke Jones  05:04

Yeah, I mean, it’s what they do is incredible. I mean, Corey Seager World Series MVP. I mean, you see what he did you said before the injury injury of Dallas Garcia what he was doing, I mean, but it, it, I agree with you. And I think it’s become even more pronounced. Now, when you consider what pitchers do. And look, this isn’t to get into a debate that the game is better now than it was in the past or anything like that. But just the sheer facts that guys are throwing harder than ever. The breaking stuff, from picture to picture is more wicked than it was in the past. I mean, now guys don’t have the same longevity, longevity, and you don’t have guys throwing complete games and whatnot. So again, I don’t want to diminish that. But boy, it is challenging. And so what’s amazing, you’ll see a team that’s no look at the Phillies, for example, how the way they hit the ball. And the way they look like they were just a freight train heading toward the World Series after they, especially after they had beaten Atlanta, you know, they take the early lead against the Diamondbacks. And then their bats just stopped, you know, they went quiet. And that’s the nature of the game. It really is. I mean, you go through the peaks and valleys, especially over a full season, but even in the postseason. So, yeah, give the Rangers credit. I mean, that lineup, they got the job done. And they did it in convincing fashion. And even even that, as they closed it out, in game five, you know, they, they were able to put an exclamation point in the ninth inning to really make it clear that they were going to leave no doubt that they were world champions, and they were going to put that thing away. In Arizona.

Dennis Koulatsos  06:42

No doubt about that. Luke, let’s segue to the Baltimore Ravens. We haven’t talked about them in the wild. And although people want guests weren’t really thrilled about how they want an Arizona, I did read somewhere where the Ravens have traveled like over 13,000 miles the last few weeks, and I was I was across the pond when they were playing the Titans. And I know that the effects that that travel had on my body, and I can’t imagine having practices and, and weight training and nursing injuries or whatnot. So the fact that they keep winning through all that, I think has been very encouraging for this team this year.

Luke Jones  07:17

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any question about that. As much as you know, just a few weeks ago, you and I were talking about how discouraging it was to see this team struggled to finish football games, specifically Indianapolis in Pittsburgh. And you know, especially that Pittsburgh loss it just ugly, you know, considering how inept Pittsburgh looked for a large portion of that game. But I think you do have to look at what’s transpired since then the long trip to London, as you mentioned, yeah, it wasn’t a perfect performance against Tennessee. I mean, the redzone was, were there, no question about it. But they come home from that they absolutely blow the doors off the Detroit Lions who bounce back pretty nicely this past week, and certainly not a team that, okay, maybe they weren’t ready to be anointed the best team in football, but think that’s still a good team. So you look at how they won that football game, you have to be impressed. And then to go out to the desert. Yeah, it was weird. And as I wrote a Baltimore It’s one of those games that if you didn’t watch it, you look at the final score, it really didn’t give you an indication of how that game played out at all. I mean, it was really the defense leading the way and the offense, not being very good, quite frankly, you know, but as the game went on, now, and they got to the fourth quarter, yeah, the Ravens kind of went back to that tendency of, I don’t know, playing down to their competition, playing with their food, as some people will describe it. But you’re not finishing emphatically the way that you would like to the point where they, it’s almost like they were daring Arizona to pull off a miraculous comeback. So you’d rather not see that. But in the big picture sense, what you just laid out, they’re considering they’re six and two, with, you know, a stretch of for the last five being on the road, and they went four and one over that stretch. I mean, you will gladly take that. You know, any day of the week. If you talk to John Harbaugh before the season started forgetting about injuries, any anything like that just looking at the schedule, the amount of travel as you laid out. And you told him, you can sign up right now to be six into, he would have gladly done that. There’s no question about it, regardless of which games they won and lost, you know, so. So I think from that standpoint, they’re in a good spot. Now. They’ve got three straight games at home, they don’t get on a plane again until after Thanksgiving. Now, this is not an easy three game stretch for various reasons starting with Seattle come into town on Sunday and a Seahawks team that I think is a little better than a lot of people thought they might be even if maybe Geno’s Smith’s not playing at the level that he did last year. But this is a big opportunity for them. And I think if there’s one thing that I’d like to see over these next three games and understanding the two of them, are you It’s division opponents, including the big Thursday night game against the Bengals in two weeks. But how about reassert your your home field advantage a little bit more. And they did that against Detroit, but continue that. Just because, you know, we’ve talked about the last couple of years where, you know, they’ve had some losses at home where you’d kind of scratch your head and say, yeah, that doesn’t feel ravens like to lose that game, you know, certainly the overtime loss against Indianapolis earlier this year. So you got a chance to unpack your suitcase and put it away, you got a chance to play at home three straight weeks, take advantage of this, you know, you can really put yourself in a position where you can not just maintain first place in the AFC north. But since you’re playing the browns, and you’re playing the Bengals got a chance to really seize control of the division. And not just that, but we know that they’re going into week nine, there’s a four way tie for the best record in the AFC, so a chance to keep yourself in great position to try to earn that number one seat overall. So, you know, I think you feel good about this football team. You know, I’m sure we can touch on the trade deadline in a couple moments if you’d like. But, yeah, I think they’re in a really good spot. And that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. But who is you know, I mean? Did you see how the Chiefs played in Denver this past Sunday, Buffalo has been up and down. Although I certainly liked the acquisition of Rasul Douglas for them, you know, to kind of fortify their secondary, but they’ve had their their issues and inconsistency. Cincinnati has come back from the dead. But we saw how the Bengals looked earlier this year. You know, Jacksonville, I think is is up and coming. But you still don’t fully trust them as a young team just yet. So, Miami, you love the offense? What about the rest of the team? You know, there’s still questions there. So, you know, all those teams, there are question marks. So yeah, the Ravens have some question marks, no question about it. But they’re no different than anyone else in that category. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, I mean, the path to the Super Bowl for the AFC is gonna go through Kansas City, whether the Chiefs end up having home field advantage or not. They’re the team that you have to be prepared to knock off. But that’s everyone’s saying that right now, including Cincinnati, you know, who, yeah, they did it a couple years ago, but they didn’t get to the top of the mountain and win at all. So I think from that standpoint, you feel really good about where the ravens are. And, you know, to your point with all that travel, that they did, being able to handle that, with the record being what it is now. And also their health being where it is now and you knock on wood, cross your fingers, say a prayer, whatever you want to do, they’re in a pretty good spot in that regard. And you can’t ask for the health to be much better than it is right now. Which you know, other than JK Dobbins, you know, they’ve got it got some other guys banged up, and but the guys that are all going to return at some point in time. So I like where this football team is right now. And you know, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect doesn’t mean that there aren’t improvements they need to make or consistency that they need to find, you know, on a higher level, specifically on the offensive side of the football. But I think if you look at a six and two record after the schedule that they’ve had in terms of the travel, how can you not be pleased with it? How can you not be encouraged with where this team is going moving forward?

Dennis Koulatsos  13:13

What I liked in the Arizona Game, Luke was the the second half adjustments. In the first half, it was clear Arizona, there would crop them back as many as eight players trying to muddle up the passing game for Lamar Jackson and company but they came out running in the second half featuring Gus Edwards through ran well between the tackles. So yeah, if you’re going to just come out with three to three down linemen, and eight guys on the back end. I thought that was a really good adjustment by Todd Monken. And company.

Luke Jones  13:45

Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things where you’d like to see them adjust a little more quickly. And even Lamar Jackson, who, let’s let’s face it, Dennis, we know that Jackson is not someone who will go out of his way to say they should be running more because Lamar loves to throw the football. So for him to say what he said after the game. I did think it was a little telling and maybe they were a little slow to adjust, but they did it and look, it’s the NFL, it’s a week to week League, you know, it’s match very matchup driven. That’s really what week to week means. I mean, it’s really it comes down to matchups. Would I have liked to have seen this team be more successful throwing the football against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL? No question. I mean, they’re still chasing consistency specifically with throwing the football and and even with the running game. That’s not just Lamar Jackson scrambles, which obviously we didn’t see very many of it all this past week. But yeah, I mean, you have to be ready to adjust the one thing. Greg Roman talked about this. Todd Monken is encountering this right now. You know it very much is a you know, it’s an offense that teams are going to try to throw the kitchen sink at you because it is unique. And when you have a quarterback as unique as Lamar Jackson, you’re going to see teams try to find things you know, and Kansas City encounters the same kind of thing. And you know, when you’re, when you’re top team or a team aspiring to be that you’re going to have teams that are going to try some different things with you. So from that standpoint, it was good to see them finally adjust. I, for me, not even so much the scheme or the approach, I just liked seeing Gus Edwards look pretty explosive. And, you know, the last couple weeks remember, he had the long catch and run against Detroit. You know, he wasn’t looking that way earlier in the season. And especially now with the trade deadline having passed and then not upgrading at the running back position. To me, it was good to see Gus Edwards do what he did individually. It’s not a pro bowl running back, but certainly someone who has been really successful I mean, prior to this season had averaged five plus yards per carry in each of his healthy seasons in the NFL, so we know he’s capable of doing it. So for me, even more so than the scheme or the adjustment, just seeing Gus Edwards be explosive break tackles, do what he did. Obviously, find the endzone multiple times. That’s always nice for for him and anyone who has him on in fantasy football. But I think, you know, for me, that was the biggest thing that I liked seeing that, you know, okay, they could adjust. And certainly they were able to open up things a little bit with their running game as as the second half went on, but just good seeing Gus Edwards do that. Because earlier in the year, I was a little more concerned seeing him you know, kind of, okay, if he blocked for three or four, you’re kind of getting three or four. And that’s all you’re getting. So it’s nice to see him these last couple of weeks show a little more explosiveness. You know, the physicality has always been there, you know that. But for him, if he can make a few more people miss, it just makes the running game that much more dangerous. Well, I

Dennis Koulatsos  16:47

have Gus Edwards on my fantasy football team. Unfortunately, I had him on the bench stuff, and him and I lost my two points. And so I left him and his 29 points on the bench, which happens, and unfortunately, it happened to me this past week. But that aside that ACL injury he suffered, it usually does take over a year, year and a half, sometimes two for the player to fully come back. And hopefully we’ve seen we’re seeing shades of that with God’s Gus Edwards in regards to the trade deadline, although we want to stay in the moment and savor the journey the ride, we still have to keep an eye out on next season, and you can’t mortgage your future. You can’t give away a prime graphics for especially for short term rentals. So I do think that Eric, the cost and company had a balanced, what do you give up versus what are you going to get? And how much better? Do you make your team as a result thereof?

Luke Jones  17:40

Yeah, I mean, you’re always considering that. And I mean, I think the reality is Eric to caster, whether you you’ve liked moves or haven’t liked moves, whether you’ve agreed with something, disagree with something. I mean, he’s certainly shown a propensity to be willing to make a move at the at the trade deadline. You know, we saw that with Marcus Williams, we saw that with unique and Gok way that that didn’t work out as well. Certainly, we saw it with ro Quan Smith, which worked out beautifully. So, you know, they, he was kind of two for three in that regard. And, you know, didn’t make a move in 21, which probably worked out for the best considering Lamar Jackson got hurt. And, you know, even with healthy Lamar Jackson, I think there was debate how far that team was gonna be able to go. And Steve shotty acknowledged as much to offseasons ago, but I think he just, you can only make the moves that are presented. And first of all, I don’t think there were that many players that were moved at the trade deadline, guys that were actually traded, where you would say, Wow, the Ravens really cool to use that guy. Okay. Oh, here, Montes, Montez sweat No, good player, but look at what the bears came up to acquire him. If the Ravens were gonna beat that offer, you’re gonna give up a first round pick? I mean, that’s what it would have been. I mean, say what you want whether the bears were wise or not in doing that, I mean, it’s certainly a head scratching kind of move. I guess they’re hoping they’re just gonna be able to sell him on a stay in there and signing a long term deal. And if they do then great, you know, in that way, it’s not, I guess it’s not 100% different than what the Ravens did with ro Quan Smith a year ago. But still, that’s a lot to give up, especially for a team that has a long way to go compared to the Ravens last year. You know, I think you can look at Chase young, you know, can will I hear that the, the Ravens could have made the offer that that San Francisco did and you know, a little bit better, a little bit better of a third round picks, sure. But the question is, would the commander’s did they, you know, were they willing to do that? Were they willing to trade him to a team that’s 35 miles away from where they are, you know, is there a little bit of that at work here in the same way that people will talk about the Yankees and the Red Sox whether they’ll do business right, so you know, but I think that the rest of you I mentioned Rasul Douglas have been dealt to Buffalo. I think that was a really nice trade for the bills. But I think the reality is is I think the Ravens cornerback depth is as good as it’s going to be right now. Now, two injuries later, then we’re going to be talking about that. But guess what, that’s every team in the league right now. So, you know, I don’t think you’re planning, you can’t plan for multiple injuries, you can plan for an injury, maybe two, you get more than that. You’re in trouble. And every team in the league is that way. So I feel like their depth that corner was good, wide receiver. You know, I saw some people mentioned this and look, has the Odell Beckham deal worked out to this point. No, it hasn’t. I mean, that’s and people viewed it as an overpay at the time he signed. And, you know, it’s hard to look at that and say that it’s trending in the right direction. But who are you going to acquire it wide receiver as far as the guys that? You know? I mean, you’re talking about big players, you know, you weren’t talking about anyone that’s moving the needle. So really, it just does come back to running back for me other than that potential Chase young trade, which I just mentioned, and no one got moved. I mean, it just comes down to this. I mean, Josh Jacobs, now you see what happened with the raiders in the aftermath of that. So were they even taking calls? Was there anything even going on there with the general manager in a head coach who were about to be fired? Derrick Henry, I mean, there’s been a lot of chatter and, and whatnot there, as far as ownership and whether they ultimately wanted to where they were going to move Derrick Henry, I mean, if you’re the Titans, you’re seeing what Levis did. And you might be saying, hey, still, we’re still in this thing, you know, and he’s a player who’s meant that much to them. So you look at those to say, Quan Barkley the face of the giants. I mean, I thought it was their potential to get someone like Zach Moss, you know, someone that might be, you know, certainly not a big splash, but might have added a little more diversity to their running back group that they currently have. But it just didn’t happen and you didn’t see those big names moves. You know, it’d be one thing if Kansas City went and got say, Quan Barkley, you know what I mean? And then you say, Okay, well, what’s this going to look like? You know, it’s one thing to talk about Kansas City if they had gotten DeAndre Hopkins for example, you know, but you really look at the contenders in the AFC like I said, other than buffalo fortifying their cornerback spot and, you know, Douglas isn’t a three time all pro cornerback he’s a solid corner who’s going to help them but you know, you look at the contenders. It’s not as though there were an abundance of moves made I mean, San Francisco adding Chase young to to that front. Yeah, that’s impressive, but you’re not worried about the 49 s until Christmas night and and in a bigger picture sets to the Superbowl potentially. So I think that stamp

Dennis Koulatsos  22:46

piece the other piece, Lou not to cut you off the other piece of that Chase youngins way he’s a great when he’s healthy. And in contrast to Rowan Smith, it was a healthy player for five years for the bears. You’re still taking a chance on a guy who hasn’t been available for the bulk of his career.

Luke Jones  23:02

Yeah. Oh, no question about it. I mean, and that’s where I kind of look at those two deals, it was interesting to me like to me sweat is the player, okay, he, he doesn’t have the upside that Chase young showed before the ACL injury, but he’s the guy that you kind of know what you’re getting. Whereas with Chase young, it’s like, okay, what is he exactly? And not to say that he’s not playing well, this year? I’m not suggesting that but okay, what exactly are you getting? And then if you’re giving up a draft pick, if you’re signing that him? What exactly are you signing there? So, you know, I think it comes down to it. Were there moves that they were in on potentially making? Were they having talks with teams, of course they were but at the same time, you look at the reality of where they are with the salary cap next year, knowing that you now have a $52 million quarterback per year that you know, you’re it’s part of it, it’s not to blame Lamar, it’s just reality every team that has a high price quarterback like that, it’s different accounting as it pertains to your salary cap. So you’ve got that to consider. You have the fact that you have a guys that you use void years on this past year, so there’s gonna be a little more dead money that’s going to hit the cap, you know, not an extraordinary amount but some and you’re just up against it and you have a lot of pending free agents. I mean, right now, just Mata BK Patrick, queen, Gino Stone, who you now throw into that conversation. You know, Kevin Zeitler so you definitely have some some big time questions. I mean, I just named for just off the top of my head, let alone you know, talking about, you know, probably not so much concerned about Odell Beckham being a free agent, but point is there plenty of pending free agents. They only have so much cap space that they’re going to be able to use and the draft becomes that much more important. We talked about this a ton in 2013 1415 1617. You know in the Post Joe Flacco posts not post, not post Joe Flacco post Super Bowl, Joe Flacco era where the Ravens missed on Matt Elam they missed on Arthur Brown they missed on Terrence Brooks, they missed big time on Rashad Perriman. I mean, go down the list of those early picks those first few years after the Superbowl, yeah, that really put them in a major, not major, but that put them in a bind in terms of not having that young, cheap talent to augment your football team, whether you’re talking about offense or defense. So that’s where you will want as many swings, you want as many lottery tickets so to speak, as it pertains to the draft as you can get. So I wasn’t opposed to making a trade by any stretch of the imagination. And boy, the idea of Derrick Henry being in the same backfield lining up behind Lamar Jackson and what that could have meant for a running game, or Josh Jacobs or sequin bark. It didn’t sound like the Giants ever had any remote interest whatsoever in trading say Quan, but point is, yeah, the thinking about any of those guys, boy, that would have been a lot of fun. But at the same time, were you going to give up a second round pick for a running back who you’re then either going to have to sign to a long term deal. And I know, Dennis, you and I’ve talked about that and the merits of whether that’s wise to do that specially with a top shelf quarterback contract already on the books, or, and here’s the difference between that move, and even row Quan Smith or talking about like a chase young or a Montes sweat or someone like that? Is okay, you don’t sign that running back? What can’t pick? Are you? Are you going to recoup there? It’s not going to be a third round pick because no one’s paying running backs to that degree. So you’re, you might give up a second. Okay, you probably, I don’t know for sure. You very well could have gotten Derrick Henry for a second round pick. But if you don’t sign up long term, and look, he’s gonna be 30 years old. I’m not really keen on signing a 30 year old running back. Now as great as his career has been, you’re signing him for what he’s already done, rather than what he’s going to do in that scenario. So how much is he going to get on the open market? And then what compact is that going to be? You know, you’re probably going to, at best, you are maybe going to get a fourth round pick. And that’s not even a guarantee. So I think he got up, you’ve got to keep your eyes on the big picture. And as much as Eric Acosta has picked his spots to be aggressive, at the same time. Go back and look at the Orlando brown trade. Go back and look at the marquis brown trade. Those two trades specifically stand out right away as those were not trades that were for winning. Now. You know, those were long term deals. I mean, in fact, the ravens, you know, the short term they took a hit of at both of those positions when they made those trades, even though especially the marquis brown trade with Linda bomb has looked like a homerun in the big picture. They still were light at wide receiver last year, you know? So to Kosta has always tried to maintain that balance between the short term and the long term and long story short, he just he didn’t see a deal that made sense for them coming together. And they decided Stan Patton, when you’re six into And in first place and tied for the best record in the conference. And Kansas City didn’t make any big moves and Miami didn’t make any big moves. Cincinnati didn’t make any big moves. I think he looked at that and saying, You know what, we’re in a good spot. And John Harbaugh said it you know, we really like our team, we like our guys and I think that’s the message that delivers to the team to say hey, you know, we didn’t make a trade at the deadline. So you know, go out there and do what you do we believe in you. So I think that’s how it played out and I’m okay with that. And ultimately the the proof will be in the pudding and I’ll say this and you know, as I ramble on and on the biggest factor here is the Ravens need a healthy Lamar Jackson in December in January and there is not a trade to be made on that market. That changes that reality. If Lamar if we see a repeat of last year the year before they could have gotten say Quan Barkley Derrick Henry DeAndre Hopkins Montes sweat and chase young and you know what they don’t have Lamar. It’s not happening for them in January so that’s where you know and that’s that kind of sounds like a you know, that’s been a little wishy washy, but it’s the truth this team always has a chance with a healthy number eight on the field. So that’s where you just hope that continues because they’re in a good spot here moving forward into the second half of the season.

Dennis Koulatsos  29:34

See, and you mentioned all the pending free agents and not that they’re going to be able to sign even one of them but in a scenario mentioned where you sign Derrick Derrick Henry and maybe extend him his best football behind him whereas Justin by the BK if they’re going to spend money, just about a BK Patrick queen and chinos tell with a lesser degree because you still have Marcus Williams Baxter and Carl Hamilton, but my point is, I’d rather see them invest that money In the defensive lineman with his best football ahead of him with young linebacker with his best poeple ahead of him, rather than a splash signing that doesn’t have a good long term return.

Luke Jones  30:12

Yeah, exactly. I mean, it, you know not to get too much into it, because you and I talked about this at nauseam with JK Dobbins and everything that happened in the offseason with him. But I just don’t think that’s a position that that’s wise to invest in at this point in terms of a free as far as a free agent contract. Now I agree with you there. I’m absolutely looking at the ravens to draft a running back in not the first round. But I think the second round is really you know, that second round pick that you didn’t use to trade for a veteran running back to me, I’m looking at that and, and Dennis, you’d be better versed than I am at this point. I mean, I haven’t looked at the running backs at all coming out of college this coming year or anticipated. But, you know, I think that’s where you need to invest. And to me, you get to the end of the rookie contract. And you do exactly what the Giants, the Raiders, what they’ve done is, if you love your back, you can explore a deal. But you know, even if you can’t get a long term deal done, and you still love your back, honestly, and look, the union, they’ve got a chance to negotiate this and try to get the franchise tag out of the picture. If you’re a team and that’s that you’re you have that resource at your disposal. Why would you not franchise or running back for another year? I mean, I just it’s just while running backs.

Dennis Koulatsos  31:35

I did too. But in normal positions, too. I’d be very careful as a GM to extend anybody. Sure, I’d have to be convinced that that the it’s just not the money, you’re not playing for the money, you’re playing for a Super Bowl, you’re playing for a gold jacket. And when I look at the guy like row, Quan Smith, a guy like Lamar Jackson, when he gets her bag, and really has no impact on their performance, they’re going to show up and we look at the Shawn Watson and I’m not saying he’s faking an injury, why the Browns tied up all that money on the guy who had some red flags. And so whether whether it’s a running back wide receiver defensive tackle, I’ve got to be convinced to the general manager that if I’m gonna extend you beyond your rookie contract, you’ve got to be a dude. And to me, there’s just not that many guys that that would trust that they would play their best ball. After that pen came off the contract. We saw Terrell Suggs signed three contracts, I believe, with the ravens and at least the last two, he took a year off. Before he started, he got his act back together again. So I do love players like ro Quan Lamar, that the back just doesn’t change them. That doesn’t change your profile, doesn’t change your MO they want to win a Super Bowl, they want that yellow jacket, that gold jacket. And those are the kinds of guys that I would I would extend.

Luke Jones  32:51

Yeah, no question about it. And, and I’m just, you mentioned them in passing. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring it up, because I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in writing at Baltimore But think about the 8020 rule, you know, that the Ravens have long subscribed to, you know, 80% of the production at 20% of the cost. Look at what’s playing out right now with Marcus Williams, who they just signed last offseason to what a five year $70 million contract. And yet Gino stone is leading the league in interceptions right now. Now, I’m not gonna sit here, Dennis and say that I’m so smart that I thought genius that I expected Gino stone was going to do this. But we’ve now seen in the last six or seven years for the Ravens just at the safety position alone. Look at what happened with Tony Jefferson. And then chuck Clark, you know, replacing an injured Tony Jefferson. And at that point in time, Chuck Clark was a better player than Jefferson at that they’re better stages in their career. And then, look, Marcus Williams had not had these major injury concerns before coming to Baltimore. And I know some people right away, I’ll say, Well, it’s the Ravens. It’s their training stuff. Oh, I mean, you had a dislocated wrist. You know that that’s not really a conditioning, you know, that’s not conditioning injury. That’s what he had last year. Now, this year, a pec and a hamstring. All right, you know, if it makes you feel better to say it’s all the Ravens fault, and, and no one should ever get injured, and then fine. I’m not gonna argue with you because they have had a lot of injuries in recent years. But the point is, and this kind of lends itself to what I was just, you know, in response to what you just said, you know, at times, this is why it’s important. You want to try to thread the needle so to speak between competing for championships and relying on trustworthy veteran players, but also letting and allowing younger guys to develop because, you know, now you look at the scenario with Geno stone. I mean, Marcus Williams, do I think Marcus Williams is a better player than Geno stone, all things being equal? I think so. Although genome stone continues to intercept Pat, I mean, you know, like Ed Reed back there the first half of the season, which is just remarkable Yeah, he already has more interceptions and for a full season than the Ravens have had since Eric Weddle back in like 2016 or 17. I think it was, I mean, going back and oh, yeah, they played eight games, you know. So it speaks to how impressive it’s been but, but now you’re in a position where you say, Okay, what are you going to do? I would assume. Actually, you know what, I retract that I don’t even want to make an assumption at this point. But you’re in a position now where Marcus Williams is gonna be going into third year of his contract. Hopefully he finishes the rest of the year healthy. He is back practicing this week. Hopefully, he plays really well. And he plays the final eight, eight games or nine games and through the postseason, and he’s out there and then we forget about that. Because if he does, then it makes it easier to say, okay, he’s still our guy and Gino, we love you, you’re probably gonna go make big money elsewhere. But if it’s continues to be injuries and on and off the field, you’re going to be in a position where you have a Marcus Williams contract that’s still not going to be very easy to get out of so to speak. And you don’t want to be in a position where, okay, then Geno’s, Gino stone walks and then suddenly he’s not there next year and Marcus Williams, the injuries are continuing for him. So, you know, the point is you want to try to you want to have a nice balance of veteran players but also have some room some flexibility to have your young guys develop and I mean, look at how Geno’s stones developed. I mean, this is a guy who was waved multiple times during his rookie year he was with the Houston Texans, and the Texans didn’t even keep them all they had to do was tender him and exclusive rights tender, which is standard operating procedure for teams with players that are only you know, in their first or second year. And you know that guys that are either undrafted or practice squad type guys. So, you know, it’s wild to kind of see where he’s been. But it’s another reminder, and it kind of lends itself to what you were saying about, you know, these deals, you know, extensions are great, but it’s got to be with the right guys. Because otherwise, you know, you’ll be saying, you know, sometimes the best deal is the one you don’t make and you know, we know that the Ravens have had plenty of players that they’ve allowed to walk and then a year or two later you say Oh, that’s good. They didn’t get they didn’t resign that guy because it didn’t turn out that way. And on the flip side, they’ve had some of their own that they’ve resigned or free agents that they’ve signed where then a year or two later you say Oh, that wasn’t so great. So you know that’s you know, it’s part of it. Every team is going to have some of those regrets and every team is going to have those woulda coulda shoulda is but it definitely seeing what you know stone has done this year as a reminder of don’t give up on players developing Patrick Queen another one you know certainly as we’ll see how this plays out and see what kind of market these guys have and how many of them they can keep and other guys that will be moving on and they’ll be collecting comp picks for

Dennis Koulatsos  37:55

no question by Luke Always a pleasure having you on appreciate your thoughtfulness, insight and comments please tell our listeners where they can find you in Baltimore positive other great things you do including your blog.

Luke Jones  38:06

Absolutely. I encourage everyone to follow me at Baltimore Luke on Twitter X or threads you know anywhere you can find me at Baltimore Luke checkout at you can follow at wn S T on Twitter as well. Check out my blog at Baltimore sponsored by coons for the Baltimore the latest ravens injury report, my 12 ravens thoughts with a prediction, postgame REACTION Final injury report. Check out all of that at Baltimore You want to be on the wn St. Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for the Baltimore. If you are you’ll get the final injury report of the week, you’ll get the game day inactives any significant in game injury updates, you know we’re not going to send it out if you know the backup of backup safety or backup corner has a hamstring and as questionable to return but if a big name player is injured during the game, and we get a meaningful update on their status, we’ll send that out to you directly or on your mobile device via the wn a C Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for to Baltimore. And of course, anything throughout the week on am 1570 with Nesta ravens players and coaches interviews from Owings Mills, checkout all of that at Baltimore

Dennis Koulatsos  39:13

All right, my friend, you stay well. And I know you’ve hit the stadium Sunday covering the ravens and should be a very interesting game against the Seahawks. It will

Luke Jones  39:20

we didn’t talk about the Seahawks too much, but I think it’s gonna be a good football game. And I think Pete Carroll Watch out. You know, I’m not a betting man. But I saw a couple factoids in regards to them being an underdog and how they tend to do well in those scenarios. So Ravens have to start fast play well, if they do, I think they’ll get the victory.

Dennis Koulatsos  39:40

You got my friend. There he goes. Luke Jones here in 15 7am. Baltimore positive wn S T. We’ll take a quick break and come back right after this.

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