Sports Ravens

Ravens-Steelers chat transcript

Poll Question: OK, so who ya got in Sunday night's showdown at Heinz Field?
Answer #1: Ravens` (Votes: 0)
Answer #2: Steelers (Votes: 5)
Jerry Micco:Hello everybody and welcome to a special Steelers-Ravens chat, co-hosted by Baltimore Sun Sports Editor Ron Fritz and yours truly. We officially start at noon, but we're always up for early questions and for you to vote in our poll. See you in a minute!
Ron Fritz:Ready when you are, Jerry.
Jerry Micco:Ready to go, but I've got no questions yet...
Ron Fritz:OK, I'll start with one. Did the real Steelers show up last Sunday?
The Chief:Thanks Jerry and welcome back Ron. Ron your thoughts on Ben's performance last Sunday and can it carry over to this week?
Ron Fritz:Chief, how are you doing? I thought Big Ben looked five years younger. It will be interesting to see if Ravens can get pressure on him. Secondary is beat up, so yes, it can carry over.
Jerry Micco:Ron to answer your quick question to me, the answer is somewhere in the middle. They aren't a team that will drop 51 points every week, but they are also not the team that couldn't score in Cleveland, either. The offense is looking more like folks thought it would at the beginning of the season.
Chunkles:Gentlemen, if you were GM's for your perspective teams you cover, Ron, for you to chose one Steeler to sign on your Ravens team and Jerry, one pick from the Ravens to play on your Steeler team, who would those two picks be?
Jerry Micco:I'm not as familiar with the Ravens as I should be, but I've always been impressed with Haloti Ngata. Big, fast, strong and a tremendous nose tackle. Reminds me of Casey Hampton in Snack's younger years.
Ron Fritz:Chunkles, I would take Le'Veon Bell.
Sparks:I watch the Steelers week and week out, and I know that they have a weak defense and an inconsistent offense with great potential. Ron, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Ravens, and are they a team rising or declining?
Ron Fritz:Sparks, they beat up the Bucs and Falcons, and everyone thought they were a team on the rise. But then they have the same old questions after the loss to Bengals. Secondary is depleted and weak right now. Safeties have no idea where they should be. Strength is Joe Flacco. He's almost unflappable. Justin Tucker is another strength. Never misses. If they beat Steelers, team is on rise again.
The Chief:Ron, what has the loss of Dennis Pitta and the disappearance of Torrie Smith meant to the Ravens?
Ron Fritz:I think it started to show last week against the Bengals because Pitta's backup, Owen Daniels, was out. You pretty much take away the middle of the field from Flacco without Pitta/Daniels and Torrey Smith. Twice he tried going to Smith Sunday and the balls were picked off. But Flacco somehow always finds a way to put them in position to win.
Jerry Micco:Ron, to piggyback on a part of one of your earlier answers, the Steelers have had inconsistent safety play the past couple of years. Mike Mitchell, their big FA signing this offseason, hasn't looked great early on and last year when Ryan Clark was here, he looked like he was fading. I can recall a few years back when Steelers-Ravens played that a couple safeties -- Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu -- were worth the price of admission.
Val:Gents, you think we will have another Tomlin/Harbaugh post-game awkward handshake? FYI - I am Mike Tomlin this year for Halloween!
Ron Fritz:Not anymore Jerry! Wow, the Ravens safeties seem to find a way to get beat every week. They have young guys (Elam and Brooks) and veterans (Stewart and Will) and nobody can seem to get it done.
Ron Fritz:Val, I think everything will be cool with them. Both really tough competitors who want to win. I don't think they have much of a problem with each other.
Jerry Micco:Val, like the players on the field, the coaches aren't on each other's Christmas card lists. But I think there is respect, perhaps grudging, by both men for their coaching ability. Each as a Super Bowl ring. I think when it's the offseason, they are probably just fine with each other. But this division, and this rivalry, is very tough. And I still think it's the best rivalry in the NFL.
Ron Fritz:Jerry,
My cousin in Butler and my parents were almost distraught after the Browns crushed the Steelers a few weeks ago. How has the town responded to the win over the Colts, a team that beat the Ravens?
The Chief:Ron, Steelers have to still play Cincy twice. The Ravens have lost twice to Bengals how do you think the Steelers match up against them?
Ron Fritz:I think the Steelers match up well against the Bengals, especially if they can run the ball and open up the play-action. I thought the Ravens should have won last week, but the Bengals were clearly better in Week 1. The problem you'll have is when they get A.J. Green back. I could see the teams splitting the two games.
Chunkles:Jerry, seems like Ben and Todd are not having coffee together anytime soon. Who would you point the finger at? Does Ben still feel slighted by Bruce Arians "Leaving?"
Jerry Micco:As long as they can ring up 51 points on an opponent like the Colts, I don't care if they are having boxing matches daily. Sometimes you don't personally like your boss, but you have to learn to work with them. And sometimes a boss doesn't personally like a player, but has to work with him. As long as things are professional, and they seem to be just that, and the team is winning, I don't think it's an issue.
Bill:given defensive vulnerabilities on both sides, could we dare dream of a Steelers/Ravens shootout? Will NBC adjust their script and continue talking about the hardnosed defense from each side?
Jerry Micco:I think this game has a 27-24 feel more than a 13-10 feel.
Bill:I'm think more like over/under 75
Bill:27-24 would qualify as a defensive slugfest in NFL 2014
JamesinNYC:Hello Ron thanks for joining us. How is the team's health generally speaking any troublesome areas besides the one CB?
Ron Fritz:I agree. Want to pick the Steelers in a reverse-psychology thing, but I can NEVER pick the Steelers (remember, I'm from Cleveland originally). I think Tucker wins it for Ravens and I could see 20-17 or 24-21. Shouldn't be a shootout.
Ron Fritz:As all sports editors do, I'm just hoping for a fast game!
Ron Fritz:JamesinNYC, the Ravens' health is terrible. Top two tight ends are out, plus two of their best three corners. Lines should be healthy this week. Wide receiver isn't great with Michael Campanaro being out. Think Wes Welker-type. Had three catches in about a quarter last week before getting injured.
Val:Has Joe been questioned about his "not seeing the likes of Harrison, Farrior and Woodley" comments after the last meet? I think it is possible that teams just aren't intimidated by the "softer" defense. Your thoughts?
Jerry Micco:Well, he'll get his wish this time because Harrison is playing. And he looked very good last week against the Colts. The defense played its most physical game Sunday, but still gave up 34 points. You can see some improvement, but it is nowhere near the powerhouse it has been in the past.
Ron Fritz:Val, I don't think Joe has responded to the Harrison, Farrior, Woodley comments. I agree that these aren't the defenses of old. That said, if Suggs or Dumervil can nail Big Ben a couple of times, it might change the game. He got hit in the first game and I think it affected him the whole game.
The Chief:Ron, have the Ravens finally set in and adopted Gary Kubiak's Offense?
Ron Fritz:Chief, they have. Except the tight ends getting injured. They are running the ball and Flacco is spreading it around to all receivers. It looks like a Kubiak Offense. Imagine if Pitta was playing.
Jerry Micco:One thing is the Ravens OL, at least to me, has been very good. And they did run for 157 on the Steelers in their first meeting.
Ron Fritz:They are good, Jerry. In their big wins, Flacco hasn't been touched.
The Chief:Ok you two, what is the wager this week? How about a case of IC Lite for a case of Natty Boh or a couple of Primanti Bros sandwiches for a bushel of crabs?
Ron Fritz:IC Lite is awful!!! That's not a win. How about pierogies vs. crab cakes?
Jerry Micco:My wife's family is from Southern Maryland and if Ron puts up a bushel of crabs, I'll need to put up a Kia opposite that to make it a fair bet. Natty Boh brings back a lot of time at Penn State when I was an undergrad.
Ron Fritz:You've got that right. Crabs have been expensive all summer.
JamesinNYC:Who ends up getting the better middle LB?
Ron Fritz:I think C.J. Mosley is going to be a Pro Bowl player for years.
Ron Fritz:He's already making a difference. Has Shazier?
Jerry Micco:I think Shazier and Mosley are both very good, but somewhat different. I always saw Mosley as a run-stopper type who is prototypical of an inside linebacker. Shazier is more of a speed guy who will be very good in coverage and will have to work his way around in traffic. He has been set back by an injury this year, but I think he can be very good. I think right now Mosley is the better player.
The Chief:OK Jerry/Ron we are at the half way post; who you got in the Super Bowl this year?
Jerry Micco:Go ahead Ron...
Ron Fritz:Thanks Jerry. That's a tough one. I'll go Broncos vs. Green Bay.
Ron Fritz:But I also think two or three other teams from each side can get in. Parity, baby.
Jerry Micco:I originally had the Colts and Seahawks playing in the Super Bowl. I think that Denver is now the favorite to win the AFC. The NFC, to me, is wide open. Even the Lions have a shot. But for some nagging reason, I still like the 49ers. I think if everyone gets healthy they can play with anyone. So let's say Broncos-49ers.
Jerry Micco:I think Denver has a legit shot to be 15-1 or 14-2. Really good game up in Foxboro this weekend between Broncos and Patriots.
Ron Fritz:I could even see the Ravens getting there. For some reason, this feels a lot like 2012.
Jerry Micco:OK Ron, I don't see any more questions. Want to make a prediction? I'll follow.
Ron Fritz:I see Ravens winning 20-17 or 24-21. Tucker field goal is difference.
Ron Fritz:Bring on the pierogies!
Jerry Micco:I have it a field goal game the other way, Steelers win 27-24. Have played well the past two games, why not against their hated rivals? Bring on the blue crabs!
Ron Fritz:Let's just pray for a fast one, Jerry!
Jerry Micco:Thanks, Ron, for taking the time to do this. I look forward to it every year. Should be a great game Sunday night. And as always, keep that game clock moving!
Jerry Micco:See you soon!
Ron Fritz:Thank you Jerry. Always a blast. Good to hear from Chief. Take care.
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