Steve, Havre de Grace: I had high hopes for Boller this year, backing him up in debates against Steelers fans, (I'm at WVU where Steelers and Eagles fans outnumber Ravens fans 1 million-to-1). After watching him blow any hopes of a successful season long ago, I came to realize it's time for him to go. Should the Ravens go for Leinart or Young (should he enter the draft) and start over, or try to get an established veteran? Also, what do we do about Jamal?
David Steele: The Ravens would have to be very lucky to land in the right spot in the draft for either Matt Leinart or (if he comes out of school this year) Vince Young. Right now, they're on a path to pick between fifth and 10th overall. But even if they get that lucky, would you want to put a franchise quarterback drafted that high behind this offensive line? And have him lean on a questionable rushing game? I say, start rebuilding with the line, find a veteran that won't lose you games, then find a QB to develop in a later round, or even in next year's draft.
Jamal Lewis, he seems headed toward being franchised. That's a lot of money for someone after the year he had, but if he returns to form next year, it's a bargain. I'm still very, very skeptical about giving up on a 26-year-old running back, even with his injury history, because of what he's done up until now. I wish this season had sold me on Chester Taylor, but it hasn't.
Floyd, Baltimore: The Ravens, yes the quarterback must go, and his guardian angel. It is time for a change. Do we have the coach's replacement in place, or may they will wait until he leaves? Or change now and let the new coach get into the flow with current players. What are your thoughts on this?
David Steele: No, you can't change now, unless whoever you're changing to has a shot at getting the gig permanently. And there's no one on the staff that fits that description; if they change coaches in the offseason, it's hard to imagine Jim Fassel, Rick Neuheisel or even Rex Ryan being all that popular a choice. Now, if owner Steve Bisciotti has a head coach in mind for next year and a plan to beat everyone else to him, wonderful. But he hasn't tipped his hand yet, and as mad as this will make the faithful fans, it's no sure thing that Brian Billick will go. It might be a massive shakeup on the roster, with Billick given another chance to positively affect the newcomers.
Larry, Westminster: Do you think Kyle Boller would benefit by sitting on the sideline for 2 years watching Brad Johnson lead the offense?
David Steele: Not bad. Wish someone had thought of that a year or two ago. At this point, it might not help. Boller's psyche is an open question now, especially with Billick choosing to let the world know that he thinks Boller needs a shrink. He might need one, but apparently the first session would deal with his boss putting his business in the street. Still, he's young enough (and, yes, talented enough) to benefit from a good mentor. Some team might provide him one some day. It would be nice if it was this one and if the Ravens had provided him one from the start.
FF, Baltimore: Two years ago disharmony appeared on the team for the first time, at least publicly. I hate to say this, but to me it seems as if it surfaced the same year Deion Sanders joined the team. Do you have any thoughts on this, or is this just me?
David Steele: It's just you. (Kidding!) Actually, at this point in his career, Deion is not a disruptive force. He never really was; his teammates and coaches have tended to like him, respect his ability and his willingness to do what it took to help the team. He's been more of a calming force than anything since coming here. He never got into the locker-room squabbles, cliquishness or jealousy his teammates have. Part of it, of course, is because he hasn't had that kind of clout he's been a part-time player with diminishing skills and just doesn't command the attention he did in his prime (no pun intended). Guys like that have torn up locker rooms before, but to his credit, Deion hasn't. They won't really be better or worse off when he's gone. Getting rid of him won't solve their chemistry problems, that's for certain.
David Steele periodically answers questions from Sports Direct subscribers. If you would like to receive Sports Direct, baltimoresun.com's free weekly newsletter, click here.
Q&A with David Steele
Sun columnist answers questions from Sports Direct subscribers
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