Reporting Kevin Battle
This article was written by Norris & Davis Show intern Dave Andrews. Mr. Andrews is a Baltimore-native majoring in Journalism at Penn State. We’re glad he will be spending time earning experience with us this summer. -Kevin Battle
With some Ravens veterans making a buzz by not showing up to Organized Team Activities thus far, the Norris & Davis Show brought in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette this morning to compare the status of the Ravens to that of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bouchette stressed the importance of the OTAs for younger players, but said early activities aren’t necessarily as critical for veteran players who are familiar with their team’s system and know how to prepare for a season.
“Especially as guys get older, like Ray and Ngata, they might just need a break, you know, get away from this stuff to keep fresh.”
The Steelers beat writer admitted that the interview on the Norris & Davis Show was the first time he had heard about players absences in Baltimore, but reinforced that it was nothing to panic about this early. When Bouchette asked if the number of absent players was around “half-a-dozen or so,” however, he was alarmed to hear that twenty players have yet to show up. Listen to entire interview here:
“People are making a big deal here [in Pittsburgh] that Mike Wallace, who doesn’t have a contract because he hasn’t signed his tender, isn’t here; he’s about the only one. Like you said, Troy Polamalu is here, even some of the injured guys…are here watching practices.”
Bouchette has been assured by players that Wallace wants to be there with the Steelers and is just “playing the system” until he reaches a contract agreement. Also according to Bouchette, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is starting to buy into newly-hired offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who promises to feature more of a running approach this season.
“It’s kind of like the early stages of a rebound after breaking up with a lover. He [Roethlisberger] and Bruce Arians were together for a long time, they were pals…He felt real comfortable with Bruce and now they’ve forced him to move on with someone new.”
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals have made moves this season that have turned some fans into believers. Bouchette, however, isn’t buying it and is sticking with the “two heavyweights” in Baltimore and Pittsburgh to once again be the teams to beat in 2012. Even with super stars not showing up to voluntary OTAs thus far, Bouchette is confident that the Ravens will be ready to compete.
“In the fall, they’re always ready. So, whatever they’re doing in the spring, and nobody did anything in the spring obviously last year, must work in the fall because they’re always there.”
This article was written by Norris & Davis Show intern Dave Andrews. Mr. Andrews Baltimore-native majoring in Journalism at Penn State. We’re glad he will be spending time earning experience with us this summer. -Kevin Battle