Take A Deep Breath

ravens

Ok folks, I know you’re excited. I’m excited too. The Ravens finally have a legitimate claim to a talented core of wide receivers. Turn on any sports talk show in town right now and you’ll be inundated with callers espousing their joy and their belief that this Ravens core of players is the greatest miracle since Moses parted the Red Sea.

     But I want everyone to stop a moment, take a deep breath, and allow your ballooned expectations to float safely back to Earth. Although it’s great that the Ravens made the move for Anquan Boldin and resigned Derrick Mason, and brought in Donte Stallworth, there is still a long way to go before anyone can be crowned with anything.
    I’m not saying don’t be excited, I’m saying temper your expectations. Boldin is a legitimate talent, but let’s be 100% honest, he hasn’t turned in a complete season since 2006 (not withstanding the devastating helmet to helmet hit). The man is harder than coffin nails and isn’t exactly injury prone, but he has been hobbled by a number of major injuries throughout his career, which could manifest themselves in the decidedly more physical AFC North. Donte Stallworth by contrast, could be an all world talent IF he lives up to expectations. He was good in Philly, solid in New England, but was a ghost in Cleveland before being suspended. Couple that with his injury history and the fact that he’s been out of football for over a season, and it is legitimate to wonder which player we’re going to get. As for Mason I can say nothing bad about him aside from the possibility of diva type drama between he and Boldin. Both are possession type receivers willing to lay their body on the line to make the play. With only so many passes to go around and the bond already forged between Bazooka Joe and Derrick, you wonder if Boldin goes off to ESPN about not getting the ball enough (especially in the run heavy Ravens Offense).
     Let me add one caveat to this argument before the angry mob bangs down my door wielding fiery torches and pitchforks. I could not be happier to have this wide receiver core lining up this fall in Ravens purple. Mason, Clayton, Stallworth and Boldin will be a formidable set. You want to know what makes me most excited? The knowledge that you can only double team one or two of them. You double Derrick and Anquan will burn you, double Anquan AND Derrick, well then good luck catching Donte or Mark. This should be fun to watch, especially if the Ravens now draft a young TE and add strength to our Defensive Ends and Tackles.
     But that being said, please don’t rush to over excitement just yet. A lot of angst we all felt last season was a direct result of over inflated expectations. Let’s just see how it all plays out first, and then start jumping for joy when Stallworth leaves Polamalu in the dust this fall. Take a deep breath folks, as Ray said to Anquan when he signed “It’s in Dallas this year” but we’ve still got a long road to go before we get there.
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