Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston's observations on Andy Reid's moment, Ravens' decisions on Suggs and Weddle, and more

I haven’t had a favorite NFL team since the Colts left Baltimore in 1983, but I will be rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday when they play the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

Unlike a lot of Baltimore fans, it’s not because of a dislike for New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick or quarterback Tom Brady, but a respect for Chiefs coach Andy Reid.


Reid has been a head coach in the NFL since 1999 and has an overall record of 207-137-1, but has reached just one Super Bowl, losing 24-21 to the Patriots in 2005.


He has been harshly criticized in the past for overcoaching in the postseason, and there is some truth to that, which is why Reid has a 12-13 playoff record, including a 2-4 mark with the Chiefs.

But it also shows how hard it is to win a Super Bowl title. Regardless if he ever wins one, Reid has been successful and is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL.

I never bet against Belichick or Brady in the playoffs. When Ravens mania was running wild in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago, some local fans suggested the AFC title game could be played here if the Indianapolis Colts upset the Chiefs and the Ravens beat the Los Angeles Chargers and then the Patriots in New England.

I never thought the Ravens could knock off the Patriots, especially when Belichick has nearly two weeks to prepare. He’ll come up with something to slow down the Chiefs on Sunday.

People take a lot of cheap shots at Brady, but he is one of the few quarterbacks who is entertaining to watch, along with the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, in his second season, is already in that category with the throws he makes on the run.

He is special to watch, but this game will be even more special if Reid wins and gets to the Super Bowl. He deserves it.

Frequent flyers

I keep hearing all these stories about the Patriots being mad because everyone disrespected them and how they got bored and turned it up in the postseason.

Maybe some of that is true, but let’s not forget that the Chargers traveled from the West Coast to the East Coast twice and played two playoff games within a week. That’s a lot to ask of any football team.


Getting along

It has been reported by the national media several times that Ravens coach John Harbaugh and new general manager Eric DeCosta don’t get along, but that’s not true, according to sources at The Castle.

They say the two have had disagreements but nothing more than the usual pros and cons about players and other on-the-field issues.

It’s a good, sound professional relationship, they say.

Time to say goodbye?

The Ravens need to make decisions on several key veterans, including safety Eric Weddle and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.

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Both were team leaders and mainstays on defense, but it’s time for the club to part ways with both players. Suggs is a free agent and one day might be a Hall of Famer, but he is no longer a dominant player.

The Ravens could opt to re-sign him as a situational player, mostly used in passing situations, but Suggs might have too much pride for that role. If that is indeed the case, the Ravens need to move on, much like they did with safety Ed Reed after the 2012 season.


As for Weddle, he has one year left on his contract worth $6.5 million. He still plays reasonably well near the line of scrimmage, but has lost a step and can’t close on long passes.

The Ravens brought in Weddle three years ago because former defensive coordinator Dean Pees wanted an experienced player who could set coverages in the secondary.

Well, the Ravens should be old enough now to figure things out on their own with cornerbacks such as Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young. It’s time for the Ravens to move on from Weddle as well.

Missed opportunity?

I wonder if the Ravens spoke with Gary Kubiak about coming to Baltimore before he recently became an assistant head coach/offensive adviser with the Minnesota Vikings.

He certainly has the credentials to work with and develop rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.