Luke Jones and Nestor preview the realities of this meaningless game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the wide variety of Pro Bowl standouts named by the NFL this week.
play, ravens, pro bowl, game, lamar jackson, win, point, talking, team, drafted, steelers, year, week, players, pick, football, hamilton, john harbaugh, rested, day
Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio
Nestor J. Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back, w n s t test Baltimore and Baltimore positive, happy New Year to everybody out there. Please shuffle salt. Pay attention to all of the directions on the road in case we get a light dusting this weekend. Luke Jones joins us now to discuss you know something that you and I don’t get together off in like August and say, got a preseason game. You’re this week Luke, who am I gonna bet on last week, but this whole weekend is always wacky. It’s the last weekend of the year. It’s the most important weekend of the year if you’re a coach trying to hold on to the job if you’re a player trying to lay down your last piece of tape if you know whatever that is, but certainly making the playoffs for the teams that have nothing to play for like the Ravens. This is I said treacherous is the word I used earlier in the week. It kind of is because every time I say to you sit them sit and sit them you say Do they almost all have to play and they all gonna have to play for 60 minutes in the Pittsburgh Steelers are gonna come in and for all 60 minutes they’re going to try to beat their ass. Yeah, I mean,
Luke Jones 01:04
you can sit some guys and we found out Wednesday officially what had been anticipated all week in Vegas and the sportsbooks had anticipated it even with the Steelers being a favorite throughout the week. But Lamar Jackson not playing Saturday. Smart. I’m sorry, it’s a no brainer. I really don’t Fathom understand comprehend how anyone thinks it’s a good idea. And that suddenly, two weeks off compared to three weeks off, isn’t a rust factor, you know, isn’t a rust concern. I mean, that’s part of it. But you want to keep the best player in the league and 2023 out of harm’s way in a game that doesn’t mean anything for you. So, but beyond that, they have a bunch of guys banged up. You know, guys like Kyle Hamilton and Marlon Humphrey and guy said I would anticipate sitting out so you can sit some guys out. But at the end of the day, you only have a 53 man roster with a couple practice squad elevations that you can throw in there. So you can’t just play 22 guys and say, oh, okay, well, that’d be fine. That doesn’t work that way. So, inevitably, and if you go back to 2019, and you can pull up the game book and see the Ravens rested roughly eight or nine guys in that game, and a couple of them were injured. But beyond that, starters played and key backups played, and they still beat the Pittsburgh Steelers even without Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews and Ronnie Stanley and Marshall yonder, Earl Thomas and Brandon Williams and Jimmy Smith. But, you know, for the most part, their starters, the rest of their starters played and played a lot and played hard, and they got to win. So the difference here is it’s not a full blown preseason game one because of the roster. And two, I wholeheartedly do believe the guys that are out there, beyond just the motivation of playing for jobs or stats or incentives, in some cases, they do have a chance they can knock the Pittsburgh Steelers out of playoff contention. And while I’m not going to sit here and try to sell that as this overwhelmingly appealing element to an otherwise meaningless game, it does make it a little more enjoyable, a little more intrigue to it, at least knowing that Pittsburgh is one of those teams that does have plenty to play for this weekend. So it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. But going back to the big picture sense of this one, again, no brainer to keep Lamar Jackson out. But to this is where it is like a preseason game. It’s going to be three hours of Ravens fans, ravens coaches, the Ravens brass, holding their breath, making sure that you don’t lose any players that are all that terribly critical to a playoff run. So, you know, I mean, it’s just it’s part of it right. Other teams around the league are resting players, Joe Flacco is not playing in Cleveland, for example, Patrick mahomes, in Kansas City. So there’s a lot of that going on. But at the same time, as I said, at the beginning of the week, you really can’t rest that many guys. So it is something where you’re going to be holding your breath and there is going to be some anxiety hoping that you get through the game without any major injury issues.
Nestor J. Aparicio 04:07
I think the hardest part is like starting to talk about Okay, so what really happens here, I mean, people are gonna gather and Steelers fans are gonna gather skills are gonna come out all fired up because they need to win. Everybody in the world is watching, right? It’s a national TV game. It’s the only game that’s going to be played at that hour on a Saturday afternoon. So I’m sure especially people betting money on this, which is a little bit kind of crazy. You said what’s the motivation for the ravens to win, right? And you’d say, well, you think these guys go out there and try to win never trying to lose ever. I mean, they’re just aren’t. They’re not wired that way. It’s not. This isn’t a movie where you throw the game and 53 guys go out there and do that. This is a game where they all go out there and don’t want to get beat by the guy in front of them. So for that, I will venture to say something unfortunate will happen on Saturday. You know something, something that will cause somebody to gain Two weeks from now, so somebody will get injured in some way that won’t be able to football. I don’t know how that jives or you know how John’s going to be with that or how they’re going to be with that. We sat here and talked about Bradley Chubb getting injured a 30 point game the other day and the coach basically saying that was pretty dumb afterward and Lamar Jackson running in the linebackers was a 30 point game and you and I and coach horrible never says he’s done but but we can of course his brother’s not dumb at all right? His brother is about to win a championship so it’s it’s hard haul hard balls. Who’s got a better than us Luke? Nobody, I guess. Michigan or the Ravens? Yeah, so but I would say this for this game, your it’s as unique game as the franchise will play. And if there’s any right or wrong way to your point, guys have to play, they have to play in they have to play hard and they have to play not like they want to win they have to on every snap, go out and play football. And I it’s different than a baseball All Star game or, you know, pickup tennis. You know, when Pam Shriver comes in here for an exhibition. This is like real serious business between teams that don’t like each other. You know, just Steelers guys are playing not just for for the season, but they’re playing for their jobs as well, laying down the tape that everybody gets to lay down here now 17 times a year. You know, I do have some concerns about it being the Steelers, and I know the league sets it up so that it is Hatfields and McCoys on this last game and half the time it means nothing for half the teams, right like this goes on every single year. But in our position, we don’t want anything to sort of rock the boat of my what might happen. And to your point. Now get to the point here because I know the most important thing we always do here is make the Pro Bowl announcements aside from watching the actual Pro Bowl festivities, competition, whatever they call it these days, can’t believe actually almost flew to Hawaii see that one point on somebody else’s dime, thankfully, but I didn’t. You know, probably you’re gonna have to play in this game. I mean, serious players are gonna play and put themselves in 3040 5060 snaps. I mean, I guess the one thing you’d say is, well, they’ll get less snaps. And I would think to myself, well, the backups are already started, and in some many, many cases, right? So like the notion that some of these guys are gonna get a real limited amount of snaps. I you know, you love the snap counts after the game. This will be an interesting one to see how it gets played. Yeah, no
Luke Jones 07:20
question about it. And John Harbaugh even alluded to this, I think it was on Monday where he talked about what they’ve been doing at offensive tackle, for example, where we’ve seen Patrick McHenry rotate with Ronnie Stanley. We’ve seen Morgan Moses or Daniel fillet rotate in for Morgan Moses on occasion. So
Nestor J. Aparicio 07:35
we don’t think it was clear on the defensive side. Right. But on the offensive side, right. Yeah,
Luke Jones 07:39
it’s very strange, right? I mean, it’s something that on the defensive line has been going on for years. I mean, decades, you’ve seen that. I mean, go back to the 2000 Ravens. I mean, they had their starting defensive tackles. But yeah, Lionel Dalton and other guys would rotate in. Washington. Yeah. Keith Washington. Absolutely. So so that’s something that you’ve always seen on the defensive side. Again, that lends itself to what I was just saying, you don’t you’re not just playing 11 guys. Oh, defense for 65 or 70. Snaps you’re gonna rotate guys in but I do think you’ll see more of that rotating. Some guys are gonna be set are gonna sit out entirely. I mean, that’s obvious. You know, Kyle Hamilton, I fully expect to sit out again this week. I mean, he’s not practicing as we get closer to game day. Some other guys like that. You know, Ro Quan Smith and Patrick Queen are interesting. Two guys who made the Pro Bowl by the way and good for Patrick queen, by the way. I mean, there’s we talked about that a lot in the offseason, everything that was happening with Lamar Jackson or other players, the Ravens have had that have been first round picks and unhappy or not having their first their fifth year option picked up. There’s a case where he showed up for everything. He had himself a great year. He’s in the Pro Bowl, and he’s gonna get a lot of money from somewhere, probably not Baltimore, probably going somewhere else in the offseason. But you look at row Quan Smith and Patrick queen, well, they both sit out entirely, or is it a case where, you know, maybe one of them plays Trenton Simpson or third round rookie, who was kind of drafted with replacing Patrick Queen next year in mind, you know, that was something Eric Decosta didn’t save flat out. But clearly, that was the motivating factor there. So you want to see some young guys like that. You want to see some whether you’re talking rookies or second year guys who haven’t fully developed just yet. You’ll see some of those guys mix in but, you know, it really is a case mean, like I said, you go back to that 2019 finale, which was it’s almost eerie, how similar the circumstances are. I mean, I don’t remember much of anything, right. Right. But that said, Nestor, that was the Steelers team that actually had a chance to still make the playoffs and Lamar Jackson SAT. As I mentioned, Lamar Jackson, Brandon Williams, Mark Andrews. Mark Ingram was actually hurt at the time. Marshall yonder go through the list and Jimmy Smith. It was about eight guys that they rested. But if you look at the snap counts for just about everyone else, they they scale back a little bit on some veteran players here and there, but for the most part everyone else played. They beat the Steelers 28 to 10 That day, you know, RG three got the start for the Ravens that day. So I think that right, there is a reminder of even with some backups in there, this is still a very, very good ravens team going up against the Steelers team that, look, I’ll give them credit. They’ve been better the last couple of weeks with Mason Rudolph, who will start again, they’ve actually scored over 30 points and back to back games, which the way the Steelers have played for a couple years now. It’s kind of crazy to think about them having that kind of an output. But, you know, this is not a game that I had all think the the Steelers are just going to win and the Ravens are going to go through the motions. In fact, I’m picking the ravens to win this game. That’s how much I think about the ravens, even with taking a few of their best players out of the equation. So
Nestor J. Aparicio 10:58
John be coaching it that way and the TV coach that way, we’re not gonna lose the the Steelers this week and get good backups, you’re gonna go out there and you’re gonna kick their ass and that’s what we’re gonna do. And you’re not gonna play as much two weeks from now but we’re gonna know you can play and you know that that’s the point of even younger guys playing is even in the preseason, we all are like, yawning and like, you know, changing the channel and whatever. But guys are out there. Trying to become the next you know, stone, every one of them. Right?
Luke Jones 11:23
No question about it. And, and it’s so difficult. You made this point. I’m glad you did, because it was a good one. But it’s so difficult to downshift when you’re talking about professional football, right when you’re talking about full contact football. That’s why the Pro Bowl had gotten to the point where it was where it was just just a complete joke, you know, because you had guys who, understandably were trying not to hurt each other or get themselves hurt. But it just resulted in to offer an awful product. I mean, at least with baseball or basketball, there’s still skill being displayed, right? Whereas, you know, in the NFL with the Pro Bowl, how it had been until now, which its flag football and all that you just looked at. It’s like what is this? Like, this isn’t even the same sport. It’s a
Nestor J. Aparicio 12:11
515. All offense. And that was kind of fun, because the games would be 11 the nine you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah. So nobody played any defense at all with football. I mean, we would routinely get together every Super Bowl radio row, which by the way, promotion radio row week’s gonna be huge around your crabcake row. Stay tuned, we’re going to have some things and I’m going to tell you about those days. But we would always get together first thing we would do is on that Sunday night, plug in an equipment watching the awful Pro Bowl and make fun of it and Patrick Queensland making fun of me to make to make a serious point here. And I was in the car headed over to the Beaumont for dinner. And my wife checked down on the phone she’s like, Oh, pecky maidpro And I’m thinking well Good for him. Like of all the names I saw shocked about Hamilton because the young players don’t usually get the kind of that I mean, that’s a special thing even remember, remember Ray Lewis was the third honorable mentioned in 96 and it was like a maybe one day you’ll be a pro bowler and all of it’s quite dubious, but it is a distinction and an honor and when it comes out it’s a big deal ravens.com set the camera up and Eric the cost is office and they did the whole acting thing though blocking and give me a hug thing it’s a big deal for a player and I think it’s even more for queen who was a first round pick. We sort of forget that we sort of forget him the minute that ro Quan Smith got here because he was not Ray Lewis right and you know to your point is gonna make money somewhere else. But this is for all the guys there. I feel the best for him. And I don’t even know him. I’ve never really met him. Yeah, I
Luke Jones 13:39
think that’s fair. I mean, I think Justin Mata BK is a third round pick and a guy that you know there had been some big expectations for him I think it was even Peter King maybe going into his second year actually listed him as a dark horse for Defensive Player of the Year and well clearly that was a couple years premature. But now you look at what he’s done as far as leading interior defensive linemen and sacks and the year he’s had Tyler Linder bomb made it I can recall you and I had so much discussion when the Ravens drafted Hamilton a safety and Linda bomb a senator in that first round two years ago
Nestor J. Aparicio 14:14
Hollywood brown pick as we kind of looked at it right. Right. We
Luke Jones 14:17
talked about we talked about positional value a lot and we’ve seen that and that’s part of what’s so fascinating about how this ravens roster is constructed specifically on the defensive side of the ball where they have these two off ball linebackers one with $100 million contract to the other who just made the Pro Bowl himself and is probably going to get a $75 million contract from someone this offseason but you know I talked about that idea positional value that okay, if you’re gonna draft a safety in the first round, that’s fine. He’s got to be really really really good like if he’s just okay like some first round pick Matt Elam wasn’t even okay right I mean, right? Right. Exactly. That’s when it’s a big with I said with Linda bomb that was such To pivot for the Ravens in terms of investing in the center position, we had seen so many Matt scurrah types, going back to post Matt Burke retirement, that I said, Linda proms got to be a pro bowl caliber center or this is not a good pic in terms of how you value that position, typically, well, he’s made the Pro Bowl in a second year, and it’s a well deserved Pro Bowl. So great to see that for the first year, guys, and we make fun of the Pro Bowl because of the game itself. And now what it’s become with flag football and dodgeball and all these different things that they’re doing. But the honor, even if the process, the voting process gets picked apart, and at times there are snubs, at times, there are guys that make it? Look, I actually think it’s kind of ironic that Justin Tucker made it this year with I think back to some other years where he absolutely should have been the Pro Bowl kicker and wasn’t. Whereas this is a year where I’d say, you know, I don’t know if Justin Tucker certainly isn’t his best season. I think we all would agree with that. I think Tucker himself would agree with that. But reputation, we know how that works. So, but I’m with you, for the guys that have never been there before talking about their first pro bowl selection. Kyle Hamilton, who’s been I’m interested to see if Kyle Hamilton’s an All Pro. I mean, that’s how good of a season he’s had. And I think you’re
Nestor J. Aparicio 16:18
on like other people he’s on. He’s on the best team in football, and he’s done it under bright lights. And everybody knows his name. Now, other than being a Notre Dame football player, which used to be a big deal. It’s not anymore. But once your name gets mentioned, to your point, once Peter King writes about you, people look at you a little bit maybe evaluate you a little differently. That’s the hardest part of being Kyle Hamilton and getting voted in the first year. Getting voted in the first year is the magic and is ease way onto the radar of people were thinking special player, Lamar Jackson, the defense everybody liked to have a six foot three flyer that can play five different positions on the defense and is smart enough to get himself aligned. Yeah, as a 22 year old. You know that right? That’s and to your point, first round draft picks and taking flowers on safeties and centers or whatever this organization needed to get back. The first round draft picks being something that Eric de Costa gets bragged about and talked about as as Executive of the Year and all that stuff, because that’s not happening when you’re drafting Matt Elam that’s not happening when Hollywood Browns barely getting on the field or Batemans barely getting on the field or, or Prashad Paramount going through some names, and these are all ones. Now. Take your flowers, it’s been four years since the last time they were this good. They’re this good because they have this many guys healthy and weak 17 first round picks pedigree guys, it’s nice to have a mat a BK or I mean, even mark Andrews, their pedigree guys do third fourth round picks. Let’s not top 100 players and all the college football in any given year is a big deal. But it’s different being blue chip. And some people thought Kyle Hamilton was a top five football player didn’t have to use it.
Luke Jones 18:00
I was just gonna say that. I mean, there are people that thought he might be the best overall player in the draft and he fell to the middle of the first round. Now it wasn’t the same fall was Ray Lewis late in the first round or Ed Reed late in the first round. But I mean, Hamilton fell into their laps. And I think that was a case. We talked about it at the time. They had Chuck Clark already they had just signed Marcus Williams. They had Geno’s stone on the roster, who they thought was a solid backup. That was not a position of great need whatsoever. But when it was a player of that caliber falling into their laps in the middle of the first round, they just said, We’ve got to take this guy.
Nestor J. Aparicio 18:39
I know that there was almost a safety though. And maybe Eric the first night out there at the complex. Maybe he spoke to that, you know initially, as it says safety, but we don’t think he’s I bet he’ll say that at this point. And I’m sure they said that at that point, though. It’s not just about the secondary just about, like the way Chuck Clark plate you said Chuck Clark, and I’m thinking we like click chuckle you like Chuck Clark, smart guy, they’d love to put the put the.on him all of that he was the quarterback of their deep and, and a low pedigree guy against the grain of how other people felt about him. They didn’t. It’s like they looked at Lamar Jackson, and they weren’t looking for Joe burrow, because they didn’t have the first pick. Right? I mean, so they were looking for something different. And, you know, look, this goes back to when Acosta used to speak to me, and we used to be in each other’s homes and ride together. And so you know, like, back when we were friends in the Pearl Jam era, he would always tell me about the baseball scouting he did. He was the first person ever say sigma Dells name to me and pronounce it properly because you knew sake. And he was all in on the baseball analytics because he’s a baseball fan. He’s reds. He’s also basket. He’s big Celtics fan too. But he was into the science of the analytics and how baseball changed its sport by measuring things differently and 10 years ago, bunkered up with this guy named Eliza modell that he would later I want to recommend over a dinner with John Angelos that he iron them. Boy, this will be a good book one day. But it’s true. And Eric is now and not speaking about it because he doesn’t speak to people like you anymore. People like me certainly anymore, but that he’s out in the front of whatever they’re doing on drafting whatever they’re doing on thinking differently, right? And now they’re in the catbird seat to say, we’re doing Moneyball here. We’re doing football. Moneyball, we’re not going to tell you how we’re doing it. But we’re picking first round winners and we’re picking against the grain because we’re taking safeties who aren’t safeties, quarterbacks who weren’t running backs and senators who go to the Pro Bowl, we pick them that, you know, that’s an impressive resume. If there’s a parade here on February 13. Sure,
Luke Jones 20:50
sure. No question about it. And look, I mean, it still kind of begins with you drafted Lamar Jackson, right? I mean, how many teams passed over him, including yourself when you draft drafted Hayden Hurst earlier in that first round 2018, but you drafted Lamar Jackson, and he’s one of the very best players in football. He’s gonna win a second MVP and five, five, his first five full seasons as the starter I mean, that
Nestor J. Aparicio 21:19
makes so I can say that out loud, too. And
Luke Jones 21:24
if you want to sound like a hater, sure,
Nestor J. Aparicio 21:26
but has to change though, that has this is the only time you can change it. You could do all of that short what do we did this through the winning way Slacko elite after he threw the pit the past to take him to the Super Bowl after he’d been in the Blackwood one playoff games. And we’re like, How much money do we give him and he didn’t win the big one. And, you know, he’s not Tom Brady. And he’s not, you know, look, I mean, the measurement is, to your point, you sat here extended last week, and this is where we are with them. This isn’t about hating. This isn’t about them throwing me out and you know, me not being at the Super Bowl any of that this is they better go win the Super Bowl. This is no that’s Oh, for sure. All of this is what will this win a game and lose the championship game at home to Patrick mahomes or Josh Allen or Joe Flacco? Like they they Lamar better not lose any of those three names this month, or he’s gonna have to hang on that for another year. The way flack led to your forever the way Manning endeared about Brady. Probably still today, even though he’s doing a pretty good job on television. Brady won a whole lot more Brady was the better quarterback than Peyton Manning, and I’m not even really sure that’s true. But he put the rings don’t lie. Sure.
Luke Jones 22:37
And as I’ve also pointed, pointed out that other than Patrick mahomes Every other young quarterback in the league is in the same exact group as Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Joe burrow. Joe burrow got to a Super Bowl. He didn’t win it.
Nestor J. Aparicio 22:50
It’s almost like Flacco never got one right. Oh, it said Right. I
Luke Jones 22:54
mean, it was 11 years ago, right. I mean, that’s why it’s just a strange the strange things when he
Nestor J. Aparicio 23:01
rolls out for the playoff game next week. It’s not Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. It’s all guy out here somehow still doing it is what it is. It
Luke Jones 23:10
is it is. By the way as we’re as we’re mentioning, Joe Flacco, did you hear his quote earlier in the week in Cleveland, they were asking
Nestor J. Aparicio 23:17
him about he was he was young enough to make babies like I did. If I had
Luke Jones 23:20
messed up in high school, I could be one of these guys dad. Just thought that was that was such a joke quote. But But yeah, I mean, look, Lamar Lamar is not hiding from it. He he knows that. legacies are ultimately defined in January. It’s this whole team at this point. John Harbaugh has won two playoff games since the Super Bowl, which was 11 years ago. Justin Tucker, you know, everyone else from that? Super the last time I spoke
Nestor J. Aparicio 23:46
to John hardball like really spoke to John hardball. The night that he lied to me at the pool down in Florida. He was five different times in the same conversation. He was apologizing to me for losing a playoff game. Like for how it all fell apart? Because he’s always perpetually trying to keep his job in some way. Right? I guess. Sure. And nothing would be more horrific than me losing 31 to 14 somehow because Lamar turns an ankle and they can’t win three weeks from now in the first court, you know, like, whatever goes wrong, there’s nothing that can be acceptable. And then even with injury, no coaching decision, no Miss kick, no drop ball in the endzone that’s going to be acceptable if they don’t want a Super Bowl year and like I have never gone on the radio and said that I mean like because it’s the second time around. They’re really good. The competition is perceived to be lackluster, even met mahomes will come in here with a diminished version of the chiefs. They’re gonna be on the road all of these things, all the health, all the momentum all the talking points now and that’s why getting back to like, right here not not out on the dashboard out on the windshield but on the dashboard. Definitely Pittsburgh for three hours and the They, they can’t sustain an injury on the O line and injury on the D line, somebody that and I’m gonna tell my carted off and life threatening. I’m just talking about a bone bruise. That means you can’t play three weeks now against Joe Flacco. That’s all.
Luke Jones 25:16
Well, and that’s why agreed. But there is one injury this team sustains and you say it’s over. And that’s why Lamar Jackson’s not playing Saturday. I mean, it’s it’s that simple. It’s why we want the other day. We can talk all we want in terms of the rust factor, how you prepare over these next few weeks, all those different things. It’s, it’s nearly impossible to quantify that right? You can find examples of past teams who rested starters, even rested starters for multiple weeks, and made it to or won a Super Bowl, you can find examples of teams, you know, Tom Brady, quite often they played Tom Brady’s a different kind of quarterback than Lamar Jackson, you know, he’s standing back in the pocket and throwing and not taking off and running around in the way that Lamar does. But there’s examples of teams like that, that played their starters and didn’t do a whole lot of the resting. And once. Yeah, so that’s why I’ve said this whole rest verse Russ thing that I’m already sick of talking about. And I don’t mean with you, I just been hearing about it from everybody. It’s whatever you want to make it to be, right. I mean, they
Nestor J. Aparicio 26:29
chip on the first three plays when they go out on offense that night under the light. If they have a three and out it’s all rusty, you know, if if somehow four, and they scored a touchdown, it’s a four play 78 yard drive and flowers is dancing in the endzone and they’re up six nothing, then Oh, my God, they John fixed them. You know, it is it’s very reactionary, not just Twitter or Facebook or every barstool. But it is the amount of pressure that is put on these games. Now that they’ve made its pressure every week, and we got to be great. And there’s pressure on John two days ago at a press conference just to get through a meaningless game this week. They’ll feel all of that, but they haven’t ramped it up felt this kind of pressure as as that team in five years and your point, there’s only 10 guys left on that team. Yeah,
Luke Jones 27:17
I mean, there aren’t many guys left. And but to go back to just finishing the thought on what we were talking about with the risk factor. Go back to that 2019 Steelers game book. Most of their starters on defense played quite a few of their starters on offense still played. And I get it, you know, the focus is on Lamar Jackson, but just about everyone other than Hollywood, brown played well, in that Titans playoff game, he played really well in that game, go back and look at his numbers. I mean, he was one of the few guys who you’d say probably wasn’t rusty, he, you know, he just needed more guys to play like him. But, you know, it’s not as though they rested half their team in that in that finale. So that’s part of the reality of the regular season, as opposed to it actually being a preseason game where you have a 90 man roster. So you go out there, you’ve got to play hard, you can’t downshift, I think downshifting and not playing hard is how you get guys hurt, quite frankly, because you’re gonna have a Steelers team that’s absolutely trying to win and trying to make the playoffs and they actually have a few different paths to the playoffs, you know, that it would certainly help them big time. By winning, you know, their odds plummet without a win. But, you know, they’re trying to make it and they’ve looked a little bit better the last couple of weeks. So for everyone that’s going to play on Saturday from Tyler Huntley on down, you know, they’re going to play hard, and they’re going to try to win, and they want to try to knock their division rival out of the playoffs. But in the big picture sense. Yeah, you’re holding your breath for these next three hours, I have no idea how to quantify the risk factor and to say, Well, if you play in week 18, you’re not going to be rusty in the divisional round. But if, if you sit then you’re definitely gonna be you know, I think those are talking points that people just want to say whatever they, you know, whatever their opinion is, without any justification for it. But the one factor that you do talk about that absolutely sinks their chances is if Lamar Jackson gets hurt, if a couple other their absolute best guys get hurt, that takes, you know, their Super Bowl hopes take a major hit in that in that light. So you try to keep guys out of harm’s way. Guys, you do play play hard, go through it three hours, it’s football, it’s their livelihood. It’s not like they’re doing anything differently. Tyler Huntleys played games for this team, unfortunately, quite frankly, because of Lamar has injuries the last couple of years, but, you know, they’re gonna go out there and play a football game and you hope for the best. They’re going to try to win if they don’t win, no one cares, right? If you’re going to turn the page, and then get ready for the bye week where they’re not going to be off. They’re gonna practice I’ve already heard from team officials are going to practice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, next week. They’ll get a little bit of downtime during the weekend. And at that point, they’ll see who they’re going to play, so they still don’t know it’s still an unnamed opponent. Now as much as we speculate about which teams we know they won’t play Kansas City in the divisional round because the chiefs are not locked into the three seed so that we know they won’t play the winner of Miami or Buffalo on Sunday night. So But beyond that, you know, you’re kind of still preparing for all the other possibilities. So play a game on Saturday and get home amidst the snow or slush or whatever it ends up being and then you get to watch football the rest of the day Saturday or Sunday and kind of see how it’s gonna play out.
Nestor J. Aparicio 30:29
Look, Joe is here he will be there and more drive than most of the people in the stadium. I would not want to be in my 513 this would have been the one week I get 10 bucks from my seats and stay home and try to stay dry. Everybody stay healthy this weekend. Stay dry. Take the Ravens best advice and just be ready to be there two weeks from now as they sell out the game and the the whole world watches as football weekend here. We’re going to be doing the Maryland crab cake tour and bringing it back to like the crab cake row beginning radio row week of February 5. We’ll be talking a lot about that next week when we we won’t have an opponent but at least we’ll have a pathway for the ravens and we’ll have other opponents certainly six really good football games next weekend in the NFL playoffs and a national championship game as well that the hardball families participating in HCMC if John runs out, and Houston on Monday night I look he’s got to go to the game right? Yeah, he revealed that his calendar right. It actually does
Luke Jones 31:26
with having the bye week I mean players are going to have off from what I understand they’re gonna have players they’re gonna get Sunday obviously off and I think they’re gonna get Monday off. I think they will come back either Tuesday or Wednesday. I don’t know that for certain but, you know, they’ll get a couple down a couple days of downtime after the Steelers game, and then they’re back at work so that that does afford John Harbaugh the opportunity to see his brother tried to win a national championship. He was asked about that and he’s certainly fired up about it as you’d expect a hardball family with Michigan in their blood right so you know, we’ll get a chance to be there in person.
Nestor J. Aparicio 32:00
Yeah, I heard the Michigan song about 1000 times. Ah, good luck to all the hard balls booting Jack. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive