Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers a selection of reader questions about the
Dave in Aberdeen: Mike, I've been patient with
Mike Preston: Dave, in all honesty, Cameron is no different than most offensive coordinators in the
They are running the no-huddle offense full-time for the first time, and the Ravens have been very productive. Flacco is playing extremely well and spreading the ball around. Rice still gets his number of touches as a receiver and runner, and there is nothing wrong with him having a light load early in the season so he can help carry the team late in the year. I wrote two weeks ago and still stand by it. If you look at Cameron’s body of work in Baltimore, especially in the post season, he has done well. If both he and Flacco had some receivers who could catch they’d probably been in a
Hopefully, he'll be able to slow it down when needed.
Mike Preston: Well, the problem is that the NFL isn't Major League Baseball. The Ravens just can't go down on the farm and put a prospect in the lineup. For better or worse, they're stuck with Williams and if Smith was better you can be assured he would be in the starting lineup. My problem with both players is that they aren't physical at the point of attack. They don't jam receivers at the line of scrimmage when they are pressing up. They just turn and run.
The Ravens have some other candidates on the roster, but not better than Williams or Smith. Sorry Scott, get used to it. I suggest that you not have any objects close to your TV when watching the Ravens play because they might end up in your set from frustration.
They are hard to watch.
Andrew in Highland: Is there anyone you think should be getting more snaps on D to help the pass rush? Pees sent a lot of blitzes against the
Mike Preston: No. I suggest you go watch TV with Scott or hope science finds a way to clone a
Jeff in Parkville: Mike, is this the return of the
Mike Preston: Actually Jeff, the Ravens blitzed the heck out of Weeden late in the game and that's why the Browns struggled offensively. A lot of fans get frustrated with the Ravens pass rush and want them to blitz every play. That can't and won't happen. You have to mix and match in the NFL, have some balance as far as calling plays and schemes. Pees has done well in trying to manufacture pressure, but the Ravens don't have the talent. This is now a defense that has been hit hard by players leaving, age and switching coordinators for several straight years.
Without injured outside linebacker
LordBern: Another game, another botched end-around. Can anyone tell me if the end-around play is ever successful for the Ravens? It always seems to end with a loss or even a fumble. Can we finally rip that play out of Cam's playbook?
Mike Preston: Actually, he had some success with it in the preseason and earlier in the regular season. But, it's back to being a stinker again. Cameron might need to put it on the shelf for possibly two or three weeks.
Calvin in Tucson: Enjoy your writing. Why do you think the Ravens' front office passed on drafting
Mike Preston: It's very easy to figure out Calvin. Apparently, the Ravens didn't think they were worth taking or valuable enough. With Konz, there were some who said he wasn't' strong enough to play right away, but I probably would have taken him. You are correct, Birk is getting pushed around at times and Gradkowski isn't big enough yet to be a consistent starter. Down the road, though, Gradkowski is going to do well. He is smart and has quick feet which allows him to work into the second level. As for Birk, I have my concerns about him as well but he is a gamer. He is going to play hard until the final whistle, even though that might not be enough at this point of his career.
Sugarbear: Is it too early to start asking about Terrell Suggs' progress on his Achilles? Seriously, any word on if it's realistic to get him back?
Mike Preston: Suggs has said he will return this season and I assume he will. I've known him a long time and he has never gone back on his word to me. It will take him some time to get back into playing shape, but he is going to be a dominant force again. It might ow happen this year, but definitely next season.
Sean Dunn: My question is can Ravens fans ever expect any type of meaningful contribution from
Mike Preston: Maybe he fools me, and I'm hoping that he does, but he doesn't play like he did when he came out of Texas. He is too regimented, too stiff at times. He'll be interesting to watch for the rest of the season, but I think this could be his last season in Baltimore.
JJ in Colonial Beach: Thanks for all of your great coverage of the Ravens over the years, Mr. Preston, when will you join the Ring of Honor? In all seriousness,
Mike Preston: Jamal was a great back in Baltimore, but not in the class of an