Baltimore Ravens

Ravens Q&A with Mike Preston

What is your take on Mike Tomlin's sideline tango with Jacoby Jones? Do you think it was intentional? If you were the NFL commissioner, what punishment would you give Tomlin? -- Jake, Owings Mills

Mike Preston: Tomlin knew exactly what he was doing. A New York Jets strength coach did a very similar move a couple of seasons ago and was suspended for the rest of the season and later fired. The NFL won't do that with Tomlin, but it should give him a severe punishment. The move was classless, stupid, and could have gotten Tomlin and/or Ravens return specialist Jacoby Jones hurt.


And to top it all off, the Ravens were as classy about a bush league move as an organization could possibly be. Coach John Harbaugh brushed the incident aside, and they must be given credit for keeping their mouths shut.

On the Steelers' touchdown to Jerricho Cotchery at the end of the game, it was the same blown coverage from earlier in the season that involves simple talk between two people. How can this keep happening at such crucial times? -- Eric, Pikesville


Eric, I wish I knew. It seemed like Corey Graham made the switch call but the other corner either did not hear it or did not know the signal. It is a problem. Matt Stafford and Tom Brady are a couple weeks away. The secondary needs to get the communication issues straightened out.

It seems Michael Oher's proclivity for false start penalties and his inability to protect Joe Flacco from the pass rush in critical times nearly cost the Ravens yet again. Am I overreacting or is this a pattern I'm seeing? -- Greg, Va.

It is more than a pattern. Oher has committed 43 penalties since 2009, which is the most in the NFL. His inability to stop false starting and the lack of contract talk between him and the Ravens tells you everything you need to know.

The Ravens' pass rush disappeared against the Steelers, despite a banged-up offensive line for Pittsburgh. Terrell Suggs was nonexistent. Any thoughts? Just a poor game? Predictable schemes? -- Mike S.

The Ravens got a lot of pressure on Ben Roethlisberger but could not bring him down for a sack. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil were double teamed almost the entire game. Roethlisberger also picked apart the Ravens every time they blitzed.

The scheme will need to be tweaked when these teams play next year. But you're right, no pressure with the front four.

If the Ravens really want to become a great defense, they have to get pressure with that front group. Sometimes when you blitz a lot, you leave the rest of your defense vulnerable.

If you had to pick an offensive and defensive MVP for the Ravens this year, who would it be and why? I think Ray Rice just misses the cut (or maybe by a lot). -- Bill C., Ocean City


Bill, there are still four weeks to go in the regular season and there is still a decent chance at the playoffs with the Ravens controlling their destiny. This is end-of-the-season talk, but I would keep my eye on Darryl Smith and Torrey Smith at the end of the season. The MVP is Justin Tucker, no contest.

Will Rice or Bernard Pierce surpass the 100-yard mark in a game ever again? -- Tim H., York, Pa. 

Tim, anything is possible, but the Ravens don't play the Chicago Bears again this season.

Do you see the Ravens going on a run now to get a playoff spot and going deep into the playoffs? -- Craig, Winchester, Va.

The Ravens could  win a couple more games and make the playoffs. It will be tough, as their schedule includes three games against winning teams. The playoffs are always tough to predict. The hottest team always seemsto make a run.

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Maybe Haloti Ngata or Suggs will announce his retirement, spark the team, and ride out on a high note like Ray Lewis did. But it will be extremely tough to beat Detroit in Motown in a Monday night game, and the soft Bengals will be hard to beat at home as well.


With the Bengals beating the Chargers on Sunday, the Ravens are still two games back in the AFC North. But if they can make up a game in the next three weeks, it'll come down to the season finale. What do you think of the Ravens' chances to win the division? -- Bill, Perry Hall

As mentioned in the above question, it will be tough to make the playoffs. It will be tougher with a two-game deficit to win the division. Anything can happen, but I wouldn't bet the house on the Ravens winning the division title.

What an up-and-down season! I just feel like a letdown is coming this week against the Vikings. Do you think the Ravens will be able to stop Adrian Peterson? -- J.T., Frederick County

The Ravens have played the run well over the past couple weeks. That being said, they have not played a running back the caliber of Adrian Peterson. The front seven better bring their 'A' game and an extra chin strap.

If the Ravens don't make the playoffs, what changes do you expect? -- John P.

John, the Ravens cap situation tells you there will be roster turnover whether they make the playoffs or not. I have addressed potential cap casualties in previous Q&A sessions.  Let's see how the season ends and we will go from there.