What is the reality of getting Mark Andrews back on the field?

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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the potential return of Mark Andrews and how the Ravens will beat the Houston Texans on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back wn s t test in Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively into a playoff week around here we haven’t had many in the 28 years at home especially so frigid conditions out there make sure you’re you’re plowing the driveway accordingly and and getting some hot chocolate ready my dad my mom probably would have been nice thermos of hot chocolate for a playoff game, like the, you know, like when the Steelers came in here back in the 70s and kroner flew into the upper deck or the Raiders game. We may have the first AFC Championship game here were 10 point favorite three hours away from making that happen on Saturday since 1971, our historian for all things ravens will be out in Owings Mills all week long chronicling and if there’s any breaking news you get first W NS T. tech service he is Luke Jones. Luke I am I called it audible last week a little weird by weekend right sitting around watching three days worth of football full on after the snowstorm bang that one game. So we get to three double letters over the weekend. That Wednesday, I thought to myself, all right. Where am I going to watch these games? What’s going on? You know, my wife and I maybe dinner, go over to state fair go to one of our places and watch the game every ever costs, which we’ve been guilty of doing. And then this peacock thing happened last week, of which you, you follow me on the internet loop even you can’t avoid me. You know, I’m not a fan of this. So and I don’t I’m not a streamer, like in a general sense, because I don’t watch movies and entertainment. I’m not interesting. Luke asked anyone. So I didn’t really want to pay peacock and the Baltimore Sun thing. And by the way, David Smith just bought the Baltimore Sun. If I had my kazoo, I play taps for the Baltimore Sun at this point. But I would say you know, in all of this time, it’s trying to figure things out here in regard to what we’re going to do where we’re gonna go, I’m like, let’s go to Hollywood Casino. So what the Hollywood casino gave a bunch of purple rains away. I gave a whole bunch of Oh snaps away. The first question on everybody’s mind Saturday night while I’m watching this frigid game that I’m thinking, well, at least I’m in Perry Ville, at least the steaks good, the food’s good. The wine is good. I want some money at blackjack. So I had that going for me. But I you know, for me, I guess with all of this stuff went on on Saturday night and getting out and be a part of this. Mark Andrews Mark Andrews Mark Andrews, Mark Andrews is Mark Andrews plan. So Luke, I guess you’ll hear all week is Mark. Angie, is John gonna be coy all week. I mean, he’s out there practicing. I called everybody sure he’s gonna play. I mean, I

Luke Jones  02:35

believe he’s gonna play. Um, I’m not sure he’s gonna play this week. But I think the fact that he was on the practice field, at the end of the bye week, I’ll be it very limited. I mean, he went through individual, he was moving okay. But when he really tried to go at full speed, you could see the ankle is still an issue. I mean, this was a, this was kind of a three month injury. And it’s been about two months. So you do the math there. But obviously, understanding it’s a very short timeline here in terms of trying to play I think, I’m not saying that he’s not going to play this week, like definitively. But if you’re going to ask me right now, at the start of the week, and look, I mean, be following us on Twitter, and at Baltimore. positive.com. I’ll have the injury reports, you’ll see the practice participation level. You know, I, I’ve wondered if the AFC Championship is the realistic target. Whatever is realistic for Mark Andrews at this stage of his health with his ankle. I mean, the reality is they they played some of their best offense of the year without him and I’m not at all implying that. That means Isaiah likely is better than Mark Andrews or a better fit or anything like that. It just means that the entire offensive operation has improved since November, the last time he played. So, you know, I I certainly don’t think Mark Andrews approaches this week in terms of he’s definitely not playing against Houston. I don’t think the ravens are ruling anything out. But if you look at the fact that I mean, he had surgery, you know, he went to North Carolina to see Dr. Robert Anderson, who is a renowned foot specialist, and he had surgery on this ankle slash fibula injury that he had, and he’s not 100%. But he is at a point where he’s back on the field. And he’s ramping up and we’ll see how much you know, as I

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:29

always cited the picture of him on eating out. It’s like, hey, not know he’s trying to play he’s going to play in your mind. And, you know, again, every single person that came up to me in Hollywood casino wanted to talk about Mark Andrews that that was when you get out in the community. You talk to people you find that out more so than on the internet for sure. Yeah, no

Luke Jones  04:50

question about it. Look, I’m not at all suggesting he’s not going to play I just question whether it’s going to be this week or whether the AFC Championship is the more realistic target maybe even just Do people the way Rob Woodson did 30? Sure, sure, sure. And look, I mean, from the moment that he was hurt after that initial fear that he was done for the year and wasn’t gonna be able to come back. You know, they did walk that back a little bit. John Harbaugh acknowledged a few days later and when Andrews had the surgery that, hey, if we can make a deep enough run in the playoffs, yeah, he’s got a chance to be able to get back. So a lot of it’s going to be how the ankle responds this week. There’s no question about that. I mean, like I said, you can tell, you know, beyond the fact that it was heavily taped, you can tell that he’s not 100%. But that this isn’t going to be 100% proposition. I mean, this would not be a mark Andrews, presumably, I mean, I’m making this assumption right now. But this would not be a case of Mark Andrews is going to come back and he’s plans 60 snaps, I think this is a case of Mark Andrews comes back. And he’s available for some third downs. He’s available in the red zone. Right. So and the way I say likely is played out they’ve been, like I said, they haven’t skipped a beat. And it’s really a compliment to the entire offense in Lamar Jackson and Todd Monken. And, yes, Isaiah likely. So we’ll see how it goes this week. But I thought, at the very least, the Ravens put him back out there last Friday, with the idea that it gives Houston or whoever they were going to play in the divisional round. More of an idea that, hey, we, we’ve got to be prepared for Mark Andrews here, we have to be ready for Mark Andrews. So we’ll see how it plays out this week. But yeah, the fact that he’s on the field already. He’s gonna give it a go at some point, you know, whether it’s going to be this week or next week, or to your point, they are making it to Vegas and the Super Bowl. But I think when you look at the timeline, here, again, we’ll see for Saturday, but I think this certainly bodes well for his availability for the AFC Championship at the very least. And you’re just gonna have to see how that ankle responds. I mean, that was a very serious injury. And we’re talking about two months since he heard it against the Bengals. So, you know, again, how what’s the pain tolerance level? Where’s the swelling with the ankle, how’s he respond to some on field practice work? You know what, we’ll see how that all goes. But it was a great sign seeing him out there. And I’ll throw this out there. Good to see him out there. Because I do have some concern, not that he won’t play. But ze flowers has been dealing with a calf issue now for about three weeks, you know, the sat out week 18? Which no brainer, of course you set out, you know, when they had everything locked, locked up already, at that point. didn’t practice it all during the bye week. And, you know, I think, let me be clear again, I expect him to play. But is he 100%? Is this calf issue, something that you got to watch out for? So with that in mind, yeah. You love the optimism of having Mark Andrews back on the field just knowing that it’s another highly trusted weapon for Lamar Jackson. He trusts Mark Andrews more than anyone, right. I mean, that’s been evident for five years now. So good to see him back on the practice field. We’ll see about as they say flowers practice participation this week. You know, Marlon Humphrey had the calf issue that he sustained against the dolphins, so we’ll be watching him die off AOA dealing with an ankle that he hurt against the Steelers early in that week, a team game. So yeah, they’ve got some guys banged up. But the initial indication from John Harbaugh for whatever it’s worth, which isn’t much is optimism about those guys being ready to go against the Texans on Saturday, but again, we’ll see over the course of the week be checking the injury report and as you alluded to the wn S T tech service. I will have the final injury report and of course, Game Day inactive sent out 90 minutes prior to kickoff on Saturday afternoon.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:44

Look, Joe is here. You can find him out at Baltimore Lukey vitamin Owings Mills, as he said, Okay, so if you’re standing in Hollywood casino people come up to you and they love to come up to you and they say, What do you worry about Luke? What’s got you worried about this Texans team coming in? What some what’s keeping Harbaugh awake this week other than just the fact that they’ve left this up before you know what I mean? Like they have and Lamar has been a part of that. And Marlon Humphrey and justice. I mean, go through the guys that were on the team, you know, four years ago and Ronnie Stanley we get through all those guys. There are other guys new to the party. They’re guys like you mentioned a flower is just trying to get on the field play in their first playoff game. Thoughts about what worries you as ro Quan Smith ever played in a playoff game? I’m trying to think about this. Maybe not I don’t share last last year. Right. Okay. I’m just thinking like the bears. When you play on bank. He played

Luke Jones  09:38

in one with the bears. I think I think he played Yeah, yeah. No, but But I mean, look, is there anything that worries me using the word worry? No, not really. But that said, it’s football. The Texans are a good team. You know, are they great? No, I don’t I think they’re another You’re away from being in that conversation, as I said to you in a previous conversation, but you’ve got to go out and play, and you’ve got to go out and play your best football. And if you don’t, then this could be a different game, this could be a very uncomfortable game, because this is a really talented football team. And they’ve got a lot of good young players, starting with their quarterback. So, you know, from that standpoint, I want to see them start fast, you know, getting into the whole rest, first rust all that, you know, just come out sharp, right, come out, ready to play. I think the way that they approach the bye week was a positive not. And it’s so easy to just draw these comparisons. And look, I’ll still push back on the notion that the reason why they lost to the Titans was that they were just rusty. I mean, they came out and they didn’t play well. You know, were they overconfident? Whatever it might have been. They didn’t play well. You know, they they made mistakes in every phase of the game. And you know what, when the MVP of the league doesn’t play well, and your defense gets run over by Derrick Henry, then, yeah, you know, you throw some turnovers in there, you’re gonna lose. So we all know how that played out. So beyond those, those types of concerns, you know, concern being a relative term. I don’t have a lot these major worries because I think the ravens are a much better football team than the Houston Texans, but they’ve got to go out and prove it. I think what makes me feel better about this matchup, knowing that the Ravens a relative weakness has been their run defense. And this is a Texas team that hasn’t run the football particularly well all season. You know, they kind of they had they popped a couple runs against Cleveland on Saturday, but it’s mainly what CJ Stroud thrown the ball to Nikko Collins and thrown the ball to his tight end throwing the ball to some of his complimentary receivers. So with the ravens, their the strength of their defense has been their past defense, whether we’re talking about coverage on the back end, or bringing down quarterbacks leading the league in sacks. So I think from that standpoint, I feel better, then, you know, talking about the potential AFC Championship matchup where you have the chiefs who can run the football, you know, the bills who can run the football, including with their quarterback, so, you know, so from that standpoint, I don’t think this matchup, I think this matchup is a good matchup for the Ravens understanding that the ravens are the better team, you know, against anyone that they’re playing at this point in time on paper. But, again, the longer lay off the fact that Houston is in and has been in playoff win now must win kind of mode for the last few weeks. You know, I think that’s where it takes some pause. I don’t think worry is the right Ken, right term. But you take some pause and say, That’s why I’ve said it’s so critical for this team to start fast. I think if you start fast, you remind the Texans very quickly that, oh, yeah, we’re playing the best team in the NFL. And we’re a good story, but winning the AFC South is not the same thing as having the best record in the NFL. So, you know, beyond that, you know, again, that’s a Texas team that has talented players, but you know, they’ve dealt with injuries on the offensive line, I will give them credit. They protected CJ Stroud very well against that Browns front, you know, and really begins with Laremy Tunsil. And his health and his availability, he got banged up at the end of that game. So, you know, we’ll kind of see what that looks like over the course of the week. But, you know, it’s a Texans team right now that’s competent. It’s a young, confident football team. And, again, I’m going to be a broken record all week about this. This need to start fast. I mean, I said the same thing, you can go back and find it four years ago, that was my theme throughout the week, start fast against the Texans or against the Titan, sorry, don’t let them get into the running game with Derrick Henry,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:46

you do that? Ryan Tannehill. We’ll make some mistakes, and we’ll throw you the football and I love the worst thing that happened in that game is I remember and again, my wife and I went up in the hospital in the middle of the night that night, we think it was COVID We have been in Asia. Like it’s it’s I haven’t gone back and watched every minute open. All I remember about the beginning of that game is when they were going on those Freaky deaky forth and shorts that they were killing everybody on. They’re not doing that. I mean, I feel like that game kind of got pissed away on a strategy sense of those fourth downs that they were just steamrolling everybody. That’s possession. I mean, when you don’t make a fourth down, it’s a fumble, basically, right. I mean, so that that act, it is a turnover, even though we didn’t call it that. And we’re examining a game, it’s four years ago, but it’s all crystal clear as to how this happens. Go as the Cowboys you watch them the other night, right? Like, it happens fast. When the ball goes over your head, and you look up and it’s eight minutes into the first quarter, you’re losing 10 to nothing. You’re like dal happen, the fans are cold, and the sun setting and you’re supposed to win and everybody’s talking about how you’re supposed to win. Now the one thing they won’t be doing is putting the camera on the shot because lord knows if he’s even here, but but on Jerry, that’s part of the Dallas thing that plays into all of that. As you start to circle the drain a little bit, and you better make sure that’s not you, one of these teams will circle the drain one of these home teams, bad things are gonna happen this week. And you got to make sure it’s not you know, I

Luke Jones  15:09

mean, it’s a one game season from here on out, no one cares. At this point in time, no one cares that you have the best record in the NFL. No one’s don’t care, right. That’s what I’m saying. I mean, they don’t care. Now. They care in the sense that they have to deal with Lamar Jackson, and how well he’s played. But they won’t care in the midst of the game, it doesn’t matter if Lamar is gonna be MVP of the league, it doesn’t matter that the ravens are 13. And four, it doesn’t matter that they won the Division, it doesn’t matter that they’re the number one seed in the context of those 60 minutes of football, you’ve got to go out and win on a play by play basis. And if you do that, and you do that early on, I’m guessing you won’t have too many problems. And I’m guessing, maybe not saying it’s a full full on blowout, but I’m guessing you win in fairly comfortable fashion. But if you start slow. Now, the good news is you just laid out that that possibility, throw it out there 10, nothing seven minutes into the game. The good news is, I think this offense is much better constructed now compared to four years ago, to deal with that kind of a scenario. Because we’ve seen it, we’ve seen them throw the football and we’ve seen it despite the fact that they had the number one rushing attack in the NFL in terms of yards per game. We know that between the tackles there, schemed up running game hasn’t been as dominant as it was four years ago with the Greg Roman lead, you know, offensive attack where they are running the ball. And, you know, being in a phone booth with 12 and 13 personnel and all that, you know, there, they haven’t been that kind of a style of offense. And you know, that they’ve had their moments. And certainly Lamar scrambling and leading away running the football, as he still does, even if it’s not as frequent as it used to be. It’s still frequent. But this is a team that can play from behind. In fact, I even saw it. It was one of the success rates, you know, one of the EPA expected points added per play measures, I forget which one it was. So I don’t want to cite, you know, cite it incorrectly. But it talked about the fact that the Ravens actually had, I believe it said they had the best EPA, for teams, when they were trailing this year. Now, the Ravens didn’t trail a whole lot. So that’s not a huge sample. But it speaks to the fact that even those times where they did fall behind this year, they didn’t panic. I mean, they didn’t. So that’s a good sign. You know, these are all good signs. And the biggest difference now compared to four years ago, is, you know, you have a 27 year old Lamar Jackson as opposed to 22. Right, sir. 22, turning 23. So, you know, and the same applies for all the their other players. I mean, these guys are more experienced. They’ve dealt with disappointment they lost in 19. They lost against Buffalo and 20. Lamar Jackson wasn’t out there last year, but they lost in Cincinnati. So they’ve dealt with a lot of losing in the playoffs, and what do you say? What do you always hear coaches and players say that you either win, or you learn? Well, they’ve learned a lot in the playoffs over the last few years, because they’ve had these disappointments. So from that standpoint, that’s where I am much more heartened, much more confident in this football team. And I don’t want to be disingenuous, I was very confident about the 2019 team. They were outstanding in the regular season. And that’s where this is a reminder that you take some pause, because, you know, this team has a similar feel in terms of perception that they had four years ago, even if stylistically, it’s different. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:41

maybe even more so because their play played so well in December. Yeah, but

Luke Jones  18:45

but they played I mean, they won 12 games in a row to conclude 2019 I mean, again, I’m not saying you but you know, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:52

personal San Francisco in Miami at the end and even Detroit now the way they steamrolled Detroit, now the Detroit’s a final 18. I mean, I know they beat the rams that year. It is 40

Luke Jones  19:04

Niners that year, too. I mean that, you know, I hear you if your argument is they played it more difficult schedule this year. Yeah. I’ll agree with that. That’s fine. My point is, I’ve seen and not you, I’m saying this in general, when I’ve seen people and fans are doing this because they’re trying to reassure themselves. I’ve seen people try to be dismissive of that team for years ago. That team was a great football team. And as much as I know, you talked to Aaron shots recently talking about DVOA and the all time historic teams from that analytics using that analytics measure. You know, this team is right up there in the top four or five of all time, but that team was pretty high on the list too. So the point is, everything you’ve done to this point 13 And for leading the league and point differential leading the league and takeaways leading the league in sacks. Lamar Jackson going to be MVP leading the league in rushing we go down the First of all the accolades, all the guys that have been named All Pro and Pro Bowl and all those different things. None of that matters when you kick the ball off at 430 on Saturday, you have to go out there and play better than the Texans for three hours don’t have to be perfect. But start fast play well, don’t give a young team, any semblance of hope that they have a real serious chance of winning the football game. You know, if you go out and do that, then the Ravens should win this one in relatively comfortable fashion. But if they start slow, then the Texans are feeling already feeling good after what they did against Cleveland. I mean, they blew out the browns, they made the Browns look awful. But if you give them a chance to start fast, and get an early lead on the road, to your point, with all the cold, you know that some of this crowd noise is going to be muffled as it is. But if you start getting out that road team starts fast crowd gets a little nervous, a little unsettled. Probably not booing, I’m not saying that but there’s a nervous energy in the stadium, then we were talking about a different kind of game over the course of three hours. So again, it’s a Texas team that, you know, they’ve got some young players who don’t know any better at this point that they’re not ready for this stage. You know, they don’t know that they’re not supposed to be ready for this stage. So you need to go out and you know that this just came to mind the Ravens need to put them in their place, you know, for lack of a better term, put them in their place, you know, their attendance seven team that that won a lousy division. Yeah, whereas the ravens are the best team in football and had the best record in the league against a really challenging schedule and playing in what a lot of people regarded as the best division in the NFL this year. So go out and establish your dominance, right, go out and play, play great football right off the bat. And if they do that, then I’m guessing the second half will be much more of a celebration. Thinking about that AFC Championship game being played in Baltimore for the first time in over 50 years. He

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:57

is Luke Jones. He is Baltimore look he’s gonna be out knowing smells when we talk football here all week long. We got great guests. We had football all last week at three Hall of Fame voters, former ravens celebrities, people checking in the most important thing we’re doing here this month, actually happens next month starts February 5. We used to do radio row by going to the Super Bowl. This year we’re going to offer you a cup of soup or bowl with our friends at the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at window nation and Jiffy Lube. We’re taking this thing out on the road beginning on the fifth of February. I’m wearing my Coco’s established 1985 shirt with my little parrot on it. We’re going to be there on the Wednesday the seventh of February beginning the fifth of February. at Lexington market failures. We’re going to be live eight hours a day nine to five on may be given more information next week. We’re going to be doing this for the Maryland Food Bank. We’re going to ask you, yeah, you all of you, even your mom and your sister and your brother in law and your brother, your cats, we’re going to have all of them contributing to make the city better. So that’s going to be a February 5. We are calling it a cup of Super Bowl week. And we’ll be telling you more about it. So Monday, if at least Tuesday we’re going to be at cost this Wednesday. We’re going to be a Coco’s Thursday. We’re going to be at State Fair in Catonsville. And on Friday, we’re going to be at Pappas and Cockeysville. It’ll all be brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. I’ll have the fresh scratch offs. I was given these at a Hollywood casino that women are like, it’s more like gingerbread, they still smell a gingerbread. So even though the holidays are over with we’ve got through Martin Luther King Day, and we’ve got a Festivus Day coming up. The gingerbread is still on with the Maryland lottery. I’ll have some fresh cheese though and some peppermint payouts as well. We had some winners up at Hollywood Casino. So thanks, everybody came out and gave some books out. I won some money in blackjack. Joe Flacco didn’t do as well as I did. But you know, it was a it was a thing. And we’re looking forward to getting up on potentially fingers crossed a Super Bowl engagement on February 11. Here in Baltimore. Here’s Luke I am Nestor. We’re out at all week long, lots football around here. We’re going to tamp down a little bit of the music and the community and the politics all that we’re doing charity. In the month of February at the heart of all this, we’ll be telling you all about our programming and our live programming. The week of a cup of Super Bowl week. I gotta get used to saying that he’s Luke, I’m Nestor we’re back for more football, football and more purple football. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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