The mystery of Lamar

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Dennis Koulatsos joins Nestor to discuss aftermath of Ravens loss to Steelers and health of Lamar Jackson


wide receivers, ravens, game, play, lamar jackson, nestor, quarterbacks, running, point, lamar, offense, big, ball, year, team, player, field goal, cincinnati, defense, lead

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

What about w n s t, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive, happy New Year to everybody out there celebrator taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re back out on the road gonna be with my good friend Andy a GNA moving from Island down at the White Marsh be doing that next Thursday we’re trying to set up a crab cake tour out there for quite some time Western Maryland lottery scratch offs to give away to start the year their 50th anniversary, as well as their friends of goodwill. And when donation supporting all that we were doing. This man supports all that we’ve been doing and has for all of this century for the most part. Now. I think we’re getting into our third decade of friendship and partnership here through coons Ford. This is by the way, Dennis it’ll be 25 years on August the third for wn S T 25 years on the radio station. Now one of my 32nd year doing this crazy radio thing. Always appreciate Happy New Year to you. I know I had let a Raskin running around Atlanta all night Saturday flying home during the game. I can say for anybody that went down there Sunday night. Everybody stayed to the end, the traffic, the lights, the blackout, the blood like all of that. Give me a little report because this is the tough times when you really when they’re a playoff team and you don’t believe in them. That is the weirdest we haven’t had a raven year like this. I don’t

Dennis Koulatsos  01:16


think you know I saw letter Raskin from the distance as I was leaving the stadium I didn’t get I couldn’t get close to him to say hello. But it was it was a festive crowd. It was a crowd that arrived there early. We got her bracelets there for the Late Show, which was entertaining. The crowd was intuitive very loud. There was a typical Steelers ravens game about one of my friends ran into halftime he said Listen, I I made a bet where where either team wouldn’t win by six points. And I said, look, it’s gonna be a three point game as they all have been. It’s a slobberknocker. It’s who makes the least amount of mistakes, right and who has the ball at the end. And of course, the Ravens didn’t capitalize on their app opportunities. The referees make me feel like I’m watching a WWE match and time Nestor with the spots and this and that and the other. But it was it was a again, a very festive atmosphere. But a typical ravens Steelers scrum where the Ravens couldn’t muster up any offense. The Steelers did a good job of shutting them down to ground and the passing game for the vapor was was abysmal, particularly the last two possessions. I mean, they just couldn’t move the ball.

Nestor Aparicio  02:24

That is if I would have told you back in the summer, right. And this, this could be the case, hindsight is always 2020. Right. But if I would have told you back in the summer that Lamar would not play for a month in December, that he would not play the month of December, no matter how good they would have been in September, October, they’re pretty good. I mean, that double digit lead, they did something that no one in the history of the game will ever do, again, have double digit leads in 11 games and blow four of them, like literally right, and they had a double digit lead again the other night. So you can add that when they had a 10 point lead again in the second half. And so they’ve now managed to do this defensively where they blown these games. And they all had been because of interceptions or fumbles or major block kicks, pawns, you know, things that can really throw a game askew these were defenses where Kenny pick it through a 30, a 20 and a 10. And went down and beat your ass at the end of the game. And if same would be said for any of the games that they’ve lost in that fashion. But, you know, there’s a point for them where the defense and Mike Tirico even said this in the bronchus, they cheer the defense here. And I’m thinking to myself, the minute you showed up, put your little bracelet on all the white lights and you think you’re at a hockey game or on a spaceship or out at the Luxor in Vegas or whatever. You know, if you’re not sharing defense, you weren’t gonna have much to cheer about right? It was not gonna be you were going to be cheering for defense, big defensive plays, taking the ball away, knocking the ball away. This was not running the ball running the ball running the ball more. This was not going to be to your point anything other than what it was. And at the end when your defense can’t hold its weight. Your backup quarterbacks gonna play for a month. You’re not gonna win that football game home away anywhere when your defense is folding in the fourth quarter when you’ve given them a 10 point lead.

Dennis Koulatsos  04:15

Well, a lot of a lot to unpack there Nestor during the player introductions first off a row Quan Smith was the last player coming out of the tunnel. He’d received the loudest Ovation every time they flash row called under Smith. The crab went crazy. So your biggest star for their favorites was your middle linebacker right? takes you back to the days when we had Ray Lewis back there. But Kenny dance. I don’t know if he can dance. He hadn’t been dancing. He didn’t dance so far. But again, I met some friends of mine at halftime and they’re Patriots fans and they said then it’s it’s the second year in a row the lot more Jack’s hadn’t hurt at the end of the year. So they think that to your point that you said at nauseam on your on this program and other segments that we’ve done together, that his style of football doesn’t let us Self too long and healthy career. And I made the same statement about Josh Allen but it said, Well, Josh Allen’s a very much bigger man. But this John Newton thought that well, you know what? Cam Newton? Never thought that at one point, right? I mean, so it does make you wonder, is it too late season injuries Baltimore Jackson, they were both week to week we thought we see him back a year ago, that didn’t happen. And now, they went from one to three weeks to four to six weeks and it’s safe to say he’s not going to play against the Bengals. More than likely we will see him win the playoffs. Maybe I have a lot of my friends who are saying we’re not going to see him again. I don’t believe that. They’re saying we’re not going to see me getting ravens uniform, much less this year, but I do think he’s a competitor. I do believe he’s trying to come back for this team and for himself. He’s been all in on this year. And I’ve seen nothing that would indicate otherwise. But as you mentioned, many times the style of his play him crashing into linebackers and safeties doesn’t lend itself to him having a long healthy NFL career

Nestor Aparicio  05:58

hardly got hit four times Sunday night harder than I’ve ever seen Lamar get hit. Right? Well,

Dennis Koulatsos  06:05

he doesn’t have the instincts. He doesn’t he doesn’t look to get down. He’s nowhere near as quick so he doesn’t really see the linebackers and Steve safety’s coming at him. But it is clear that that currently is nothing but a backup and they’re probably better served whether it’s Anthony Brown, or somebody else that can dust off the the heat for next year. Regardless of who the starting quarterback is for the Baltimore Ravens, but Holly just couldn’t move the team.

Nestor Aparicio  06:29

It’s weird Dennis Kalonzo Cyr You could of course hear him on Thursday from three and five. That is Colossus and D colossal show ad on Twitter in the Sunday Sports sports of course, again on Sunday morning this weekend. You’ll be able to hear Dan and of course the tech service and we text that class Campbell I mean, some of the media members that were you know thought that he was gonna go play or try to play and I’m wondering how hard they should play against Cincinnati this week and where all this would be but to your point, we’ve now played two December’s without the starting quarterback. How can we think that was gonna go? I mean, I like and you watch Tyler only skill set and you watch the skill position players around him and you did a good job of finding Mark Andrews and dad’s opposite, okay, job run the ball and they pull, like, you know, a Navy football team. I mean, they pulled like Nebraska back in the 80s. Right when I am hips out there running around, right? Like, they do all of these things. They got Pat Ricard going downhill. But at the end of the day, it’s third, Nate, you still got to throw the ball. Are you going to punt? Right and, and you get into the red zone and you got to, you’ve got to win in a phone booth that they can’t win for whatever reason, and teaching won’t look possessed. I mean, the Hayward play I don’t even know if you really saw or you probably came on watch the highlights. I didn’t see any Stanley pulled, hey, we’re down on to him and Hayward got called, hey, we got into a fight on the sidelines with Minka Fitzpatrick about it. And he said I didn’t do anything. And he didn’t do anything. Haber was literally pushed onto the pile. Ronnie Stanley grabbed and pulled him down. Hey, we’re through his arms up in the air. And he got flagged. Wow. And they were like so the touchdown that they got was only because Ronnie Stanley pulled some Notre Dame trick at the bottom of the pile, literally.

Dennis Koulatsos  08:22

Well, again, that I didn’t see that and thank you for expanding on that Nestor. But

Nestor Aparicio  08:27

the it’s almost comedic. When you watch it, you’re gonna land you see it? Yeah, well,

Dennis Koulatsos  08:31

the two three and outs that the Ravens had at the end of the game. And the biggest issue was the 56 year old returned by Justice Hill, he returns a ball to the Steelers as 40 yard line. They gain negative two yards, the next three plays, nests and a punt.

Nestor Aparicio  08:46

If they could have three kick the field goal first down for 57 yards and they would have had an eight out of 10 chance of adding three points and trying to ice the game or make it more difficult at the very least or at least protect themselves. Right

Dennis Koulatsos  08:58

they had they had a 10 point lead at that point. And I also think that with the double digit leads Nestor is these. The NFL is progressing progressing faster to a arena football style of league where teams can score points in bunches. I put my stock about the Ravens given up double digit leads you see them every day. I was watching NFL redzone and there were a lot of comebacks. A lot of teams scoring lots of points in the fourth quarter so I think double digit leads we’ve seen are not safe, certainly not at m&t Bank, stadium or anyplace else in the NFL these days because these

Nestor Aparicio  09:29

other teams can throw the football throw can pray for a flag or play for free for whatever happened that Jacoby Jones play where the safety just can’t get there and the quarterbacks got enough arm to get it there. And the wide receivers you got the right to Sean Jackson, the rights really fast guy getting underneath of it that you have a puncher’s chance, I just don’t know where the punch was chances when a they may have played themselves now and they’re having to go back to Cincinnati next week. Right? They may have played themselves into that I think they could go to Jacksonville with a healthy Lamar Jackson next weekend and be okay. Obviously the notion of them playing a home game now against the Chargers or something like that, that feeling starting to go away. So the notion that they’re gonna go on the road, three weekends in a row, and beat. I named many of these guys Trevor Lawrence Joe burrow Allen take the pathway that Joe Flacco took, which he beat Andrew Luck. He beat Peyton Manning, he beat Tom Brady, just to get to the Super Bowl. That’s what you’re looking at here. No matter whether your name’s Herbert. If your name is Lauren, either any of these names. You’re gonna have to be three other teams do it on the road. They’re not capable. They’re if they had to go play tomorrow and start the season all over again, I’m not sure there are seven and 10 football team is there comprise right now, even with Lamar Jackson with a regular schedule if they don’t have wide receivers, and they got banged up corners in a beaten up defensive line.

Dennis Koulatsos  11:02

Yeah, even even with Lamar Jackson, the ravens are devoid of explosive weapons at the skill positions. You see these other teams around the league. They change quarterbacks but they still have skilled receivers. skilled players. You look at San Francisco, Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant the last player taken in this year’s NFL draft, but he’s strong to debo Samuel and Brandon a yoke and he’s got McCaffrey in the backfield. You could just get stood him over there for the Raiders. He’s got Darren Waller. He’s got Hunter Renfro. He’s got to Vontae Adams. So my point is it doesn’t really matter who the quarterback is for the Baltimore Ravens to a degree because they just don’t have the skill players. We saw Gardner Minshew against the Cowboys put up 30 Some points because he’s got AJ Brown, and he’s got to Vontae Smith, and he’s got he’s got weapons. He’s got a big time tight end there too. So the Ravens just don’t have enough weapons. And hopefully Eric the constable learn that you’ve got to have a wide receiver, one in the NFL and a very competent wide receiver to to be able to compete in these type of games.

Nestor Aparicio  12:06

Do you think there’s another Ford dealership in Cincinnati with someone like you with the President’s Award behind you that can even name the wide receivers here? You end up saying like your name all of these these weapons and these other cities? Nobody in these other cities is saying, James Croce you know who the Shawn Jay he’s still playing. I thought he was doing podcasting.

Dennis Koulatsos  12:30

He sent me want this last night. I don’t even think I saw him on the on the field. So hey,

Nestor Aparicio  12:34

Zane, that kid that they signed from the practice squad in Arizona ran around,

Dennis Koulatsos  12:41

and Isabella he got hurt. Because he was fast. He was a seven second round draft pick, but didn’t even throw a deep ball. I don’t believe the entire game I’m trying to flashback to did even challenge this theater’s defensive backs downfield. I don’t think it happened.

Nestor Aparicio  12:56

Well, Justice Hill with the return was the biggest play of the game. That wasn’t Ronnie Stanley pulling cam Hayward down and getting a penalty. Right. And Boswell missing the field goal at 48 yards in the clink. I mean, there were there were a lot of open doors for them and much like their season right and, and the last couple of weeks ago, to the brunt. All of these narrow misses and the big. Well, we had a two touchdown lead but you didn’t menu and you’re telling me your defense or strength your team. Your defense is the backbone of how you’re going to win a championship 2345 weeks from now, and your defense can hold its weight against Kenny Pickett.

Dennis Koulatsos  13:36

These aren’t the 2000 ravens, they’re certainly not the 1985 bears that cannot shut teams out. They lost two rookie quarterback and football such a complimentary game. And we talked about this all the time. Nestor it’s the ultimate team sport where, again, if the offense gets a couple first downs if they get another field goal, maybe they’re changing the narrative and the outcome of the game. But you see these other quarterbacks, these other teams that get the ball back just like the ravens, Sunday night, with 30 and 40 seconds left and for them to drive down the field. It’s not a problem to get a field goal. A lot of times it’s frightening to endzone and you’re talking about quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and and Tom Brady and Joe burrows and Patrick mahomes. But they have weapons at the wide receiver position. They have explosive players and what they generate was should trade for somebody next year, they should trade a first and a third. Just like the Eagles traded for AJ Brown, because they certainly can’t draft a wide receiver that’s they just for whatever reason, the stars have never aligned as so they need. They don’t have a second piglet next year. So give up a first and a third and get yourself a real wide receiver one because that’s another narrative. Why will Lamar Jackson want to resign with a team? That’s a run first team that can help him win ballgames.

Nestor Aparicio  14:48

Well, that’s why the wide receivers will sign here and that’s why they have to draft them because they can’t recruit them. That is Colossus is here. He will be here again on Thursday. Alright, so let’s let’s play the game because there’s only one left And then it’ll be playoff time next week. So I’ll do my wings will do do, alright. So like if you were to write the script as to what’s going to happen here, like, I’m going to write a column this this week, that’s going to be a little bit of the, you know, ghost of past, present and future when the story is written on draft day, right, because we already know they’re going to draft 20 something or you know, whatever, it’s going to be based on their playoff team and they get a draft 21st third, second, whatever it’s gonna be. What happens between today and then, and I’ll just mean a Cincinnati game is weak. Like, what field do they walk off of disappointed after losing the year? And the season’s over? What does that press conference look like? What happens to Greg Rome? What absent Lamar Jackson is Lamar Jackson part of that? Or is Tyler Huntley going and losing in Cincinnati this weekend? Next week? Like I said, that there are so many crystal balls here. And then the crystal ball in regard to Where’s Lamar is head? It? Does he really want to be here? Or do they? Are they just ready to be done with him? At this point, say, this didn’t work. You know, I gotta keep my job. I’m Eric. I’m John. I like my gig around here. Kick can’t play in december two years in a row, we have issues with him. He doesn’t show up in OTAs. We can’t sign him. He’s got a statue, he thinks he’s bigger than than he is. Then he doesn’t show up and play in the games. We need him in. Like we made a mistake here. Let’s go lick our wounds and have Derek Carr be our quarterback. I’m not making this up. But like something has to happen here. That looks like $200 million for a kid who has been unavailable lately. Or they’re going to franchise Him and live with whatever that means for him psychologically. But this isn’t going to end with a parade and I’m starting to get ready for it’s going to rain soon. And what and what does that mean for Eric and Steve and John Harbaugh. And what does it mean for Lamar? Well, first

Dennis Koulatsos  17:03

off as a as a fan of the team, I would love to see a home game which seems out of reach now they had they beaten the Steelers it would have been within reach so I’m disappointed with that. I think that with the they have to move on from Greg Roman I think it’s obvious the team needs refreshing just like they needed a fresh running from Brink Martin deli a year ago, bringing somebody and that somebody from the hardwood tree somebody from the outside. If I’m Steve was sorry, I was some fresh ideas. I want a younger coordinator. I want a modern day offense. And

Nestor Aparicio  17:36

I’m telling you right now, every time I’ve ever been with John and I’ve been with John a lot, right? And I’ve been lied to by John, I’ve been told the truth by John. Every time there’s ever been a discussion with John in regard to coaches. And this was for my book, right? This is after cam camera and all of that. John is adamant, as much as his last name is horrible, that he picks his coaches that he he’s going to pick his coach

Dennis Koulatsos  18:02

but here’s the conversation that Vamsi reached out to John you can certainly pick your your next coordinator and you will I want you to interview the best coordinators that are available whether you know them or not whether you have a relationship or not, he owes that to the team. And he has to do that it’s not it’s not it wouldn’t be for me wouldn’t be a request it would be more of a demand make him think maybe it’s his idea but to me he needs to bring in the best candidate the one that can elevate this offense using Lamar Jackson skill set that would be the conversation no other conversation because that would be a huge sticking point to find the owner and the second piece is grandchild Lamar to see what does he look like with a wide receiver one give them a wide receiver one someplace trade for him. I don’t care what you have to give up for him. Get get him a proven wide receiver one. Now the next question is the Lamar show up on the tag does he play on the tag or does he so

Nestor Aparicio  18:54

so you’re gonna give him a lot of 45 million then you’re going to do DeAndre Hopkins I would make it an aim I want a more I don’t you know you’re gonna deal with somebody. I want you to get that guy 18,000,002

Dennis Koulatsos  19:05

I would do that one. Absolutely. I would do that because it’s for me Lamar would be a one year rental at that point just to see can he get can you take the next step? And if he can’t guess what, the following year, we train him to get whatever we can for him. But for the for 2023. I want to see what he looks like in a modern day offense in a path first offense that are run first offense with a with a pro you

Nestor Aparicio  19:26

put him in a pass first offense, I would tell you your there’s your mistake right now, that’s like me telling you that you know, I want a big big roomy car from Ford. But I want to get 60 miles to the gallon. You’re like I don’t think I don’t think that that’s tangible. I don’t think he can drive that car honest. Well,

Dennis Koulatsos  19:45

to me, I think he can and there’s a big question mark there. One of us is wrong. One of us is right. And we may never find out the answer. Depending on how this offseason plays out. That’s the other piece of this puzzle.

Nestor Aparicio  19:54

He’s never going to be passed first because when the ball is in his hands and they’re down 10 points in the third quarter you’re going to run with the football

Dennis Koulatsos  19:59


If he has some wide receivers, he can throw some jump balls to Nestor. I wouldn’t be so sure about that. He he was he ran a pro style offense in Louisville. He went up against some big time teams in the form of Clemson and, and other big time programs. You know, he played against Deshaun Watson and the legs and went toe to toe with them with a lot less talent, but he had more talent and why don’t we see when they have right now in college. So let’s give the guy some weapons just to see what he looks like in a pro style offense in the NFL. He looked very well were good and the in that offense in college,

Nestor Aparicio  20:30

you’re down on James crochet, aren’t you? You’re down.

Dennis Koulatsos  20:33

James crochet tylan Wallace. I mean, all these guys that keep bringing in I mean, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure what AJ Brown would look like in this offense or Davante. Adams, Justin tougher so they may be pedestrian because of the style that they play? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Nestor Aparicio  20:50

I don’t I don’t think that this style of offense is attractive to any of the wide receivers that we

Dennis Koulatsos  20:59

know but it’s attracted to offensive lineman and running backs and tight ends perhaps but the one position and it’s a big position in the NFL in today’s NFL, I don’t believe you can win anything without having a couple of big time wide receivers. What’s What’s the Ravens lack? If you look at the chiefs and the bangles and the bills, and the Eagles and all these things, I mean they have they have weapons, they can score and they can play defense and they can run the ball the well rounded they’re not one dimensional. This team can’t come back from a deficit you you We saw that Tyler Huntley vomit all over himself with 40 some seconds left to go where whereas a competent quarterback with competent skilled players would drive down that field and set up His kicker for it for a field goal or even maybe a game winning touchdown.

Nestor Aparicio  21:44

That is God so says Here he is the score touchdowns over Coons, Baltimore 47 Security Boulevard he will be here on Thursday from three to five driving you home as well as on Sunday morning. get you ready for ravens and Bengals and the final weekend of the season. final weekend for some coaches and some players and some some retiring people and then we’re going to get into playoffs next week. And it’s gonna be a whole new world. Two games on the Saturday three on Sunday one on Monday as well and matchups all over the place and plenty to talk. plenty to talk about into the offseason here as well. I am Nestor we are wn sta and 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive in the New Year 2023

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