BOSTON (CBS)- It’s not your typical classroom. They’re not your typical teachers. It’s where you go after failing all year. It’s Gresh and Zo’s NFL Summer School on 98.5 The Sports Hub!
Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak’s summer school tour rolls on and travels to Baltimore, Maryland, where the guys educate us all and preview the 2014 season for the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens had the type of offseason that they soon want to forget. The Ravens had five arrests, including star running back Ray Rice. The other four players arrested were Deonte Thompson, Jah Reid, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Jimmy Smith. Other than the arrests, the Ravens offseason included signing free agents and drafting players.
The two main free agents that the Ravens signed were wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Owen Daniels.
During the 2014 NFL Draft, the Ravens selected Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Florida State defensive end Timmy Jernigan.
The Ravens former offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell left to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions and former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will take over as the offensive coordinator.
Gresh: “This has been quite an offseason for the Ravens. And in a way it started last year with Elvis Dumervil kind of falling into their lap and sort of turning over their roster, maybe more on defense than on offense. What does Steve Smith have left? I still think that he can play one more year at a pretty high level. I think the Ravens are very dangerous because regardless of all the names that Hardy mentioned, they have no fear.”
Zolak: “They thrive on people counting them out or circling the wagon type of scenario. But this Steve Smith thing, we’ve sort of talked about it. When things are going great, he’s going to be good. It’s going to be interesting when they have that four game skid — does he open the mouth? He’s not the greatest character guy to begin with. But I think he’s got something left in the tank.”
Will the Ravens regret signing Joe Flacco to the ginormous contract last off-season?
Gresh: “It’s very simple: you have a quarterback who has a significant amount of road playoff wins; he played great in the Super Bowl, he’s a winner and the guy does a lot of little things that allow you to win games. While he’s not the biggest ‘ra-ra guy,’ when you hear the coach talking about how this is Joe’s football team now — he waited his turn — and I think at that position that’s a really hard thing to do. He had to be patient and wait to get to the leadership mantle. And I think that’s a real testament to Joe Flacco.”
Zolak: “I like Flacco. I’m a Flacco guy. But two years ago they didn’t even know if this was his team, they weren’t totally sold on him. They put it in his lap and said, ‘Go out and win and prove it to us.’ It kind of was the handshake deal where it was like, ‘You come to me and meet me in my office,’ and then when you win the damn thing you get your deal. And what did Flacco do? Put it on his back and went 11-4 in the postseason and went into that office, put his fist on that table, and said, ‘There it is, pay me.'”
Can Ray Rice regain his elite running back status?
Gresh: “In my mind he never lost it. They (Ravens) also had a terrible year last year on offense. They couldn’t get out of their own way. That’s the hard part for running backs, is that it’s like that quarterback spot, you need other people around you to produce. I think if Ray Rice were a free agent everybody would be screaming, ‘Go get him.’ Because he catches the ball he’s a 300 touch guy. I expect Ray Rice to bounce back.”
You can draft one wide receiver, who do you go with? Torrey Smith or Steve Smith?
Zolak: “Torrey Smith. He’s got big game capability. He can break it. I go with him.”
Gresh: “I’m still going Steve Smith. You know why? I don’t know if Torrey Smith is going to demand the ball like Steve Smith is.”
Last year the Ravens were 8-8. They were 10-6 the year before that. So the Vegas over/under on the Ravens this year is 8.5 wins. Where do they finish? Do they make the playoffs?
Zolak: “9-7. They get in (to the playoffs) as a wildcard. They either get in winning their division or with the wildcard.”
Gresh: “Over. Making the playoffs. They are going to have a chance to win their division.”
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