No-huddle a no-brainer, so get it on


Think of a kid who doesn't study all semester, then crams right before finals. Maybe he's smart enough to get away with it. But he probably could improve his grades by hitting the books sooner.

The Ravens are that kid.

They need to stop playing catch-up.

They need to use the no-huddle offense sooner.

The opening series today would be perfect, but we would settle for any time in the first quarter.

Coach Ted Marchibroda probably won't do it -- ideally, the Ravens want to control the ball and keep their sorry defense off the field.

But here's the stat of the week:

The Ravens have scored 130 points in their past four games, but none in the first quarter.

Heck, they've scored only 21 points in the first quarter the entire season. Against Denver, they cranked out that many in a 12-minute stretch.

Using, of course, the no-huddle.

Granted, Marchibroda doesn't have Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett and Co. on defense, the way he did when he used the no-huddle as Buffalo's offensive coordinator.

But seriously, what does he have to lose?

The ball-control plan isn't working -- the Ravens never seem to get untracked early.

The pattern is always the same. They fall behind. They use the no-huddle. They rally.

Sure, it's a risk employing a quick-strike offense with a banged-up, give-it-up defense, but if the Ravens ever scored first, they might change the entire dynamic of the game.

Why not grab the lead, then control the clock?

Marchibroda considered using the no-huddle in the first half of the season opener against Oakland, but the Ravens moved the ball early, so he waited until the second half.

If it made sense then, it certainly makes sense now.

Go for it, Ted.

They'll score 40. You'll need 50.

Free swings

Clinton over Dole. Give the points.

If the Orioles want Eddie Murray, they can keep him. "Eddie understands that it might be a limited role, and that less money than last year might be involved," said Murray's agent, Ron Shapiro. So, what's the problem? Murray, 40, would be a part-time DH with diminishing bat speed. The Orioles milked Murray for his leadership and his 500th homer. Maybe that's all they wanted.

Speaking of embattled Shapiro clients -- and the list is getting rather long -- enough tears for Cal Ripken. There's no shame in moving from shortstop to third base at the age of 36. The change is best for Ripken and best for the Orioles. Mike Bordick would make a suitable replacement at short. Walt Weiss can still play, too.

Fifteen carries for Bam Morris today, or else.

The NBA had a nice idea, putting together a list of its 50 all-time greatest players. But how can you regard the list as anything more than a marketing ploy when it includes Shaquille O'Neal? Shaq over Bob Lanier? Shaq over Joe Dumars? Please.

Remember what Peter Angelos said about Chris Widger, the catcher the Orioles could have acquired from Seattle? "I told Pat, 'We'll get him in the off-season.' Pat said, 'No, we won't.' I said, 'Pat, we will get him, we will.' " No, they won't -- Widger went to Montreal this week in the Jeff Fassero deal.

By the way, if Angelos wants a cheerleader in the broadcast booth, he should just get it over with and hire Kathie Lee Gifford.

The Bullets finally should make the playoffs this season, not that anyone in Baltimore cares.

Art Modell after the Denver game: "There isn't anything on the street better than what we have here." Evidently, the newest Ravens -- linebacker Sedric Clark and cornerback Dorian Brew -- came from a different neighborhood.

The Redskins are for real, at least by watered-down NFL standards. But take heart, Baltimore: the 'Skins must face Philadelphia, San Francisco and Dallas in an 11-day stretch later this month. That should prove their undoing.

Let's get this straight. The Orioles don't trust Randy Myers for one inning, but now they're going to trust him for six or more?

What a privilege to chat with Letterman regular Larry "Bud" Melman the night the Yankees won the World Series. "I'm waiting for a car to come take me home to Brooklyn," Melman said, "if Brooklyn is still there." No problem, Larry. New Yorkers don't riot over championships. Other things maybe, but not championships.

Anyone miss Jim Speros?

Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis on the possibility of becoming a head coach: "What I've found in coaching is that the guy who worries about his next job doesn't do very well at the job at hand. I've sought this position for so long that really nothing else matters right now."

Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis on the possibility of getting fired: "That's part of it. If I haven't done the job to their expectations, I will get replaced, and the next person will be in here. That's the lot we've chosen in coaching."

Who's running the Dole campaign, Rich Kotite?

Another sign of a crumbling society: Maryland Stadium Authority director John Moag reports that the first tier of luxury suites at the new MCI Center in Washington will be just 11 rows off the floor.

All this talk about free agents, and the Orioles have yet to negotiate with Little Jeffrey Maier.

What the heck: Ravens 45, Bengals 41.

Pub Date: 11/03/96

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