Freddie Coleman from ESPN Radio joined Rob Long and Mark Zinno on the Haynie and Zinno show Wednesday afternoon to talk about why the Orioles have improved for the long term, and how the Ravens have to win more than just the AFC North to contend for a championship.

According to Freddie Coleman, the only way the Orioles stay in contention this year is by a blockbuster trade that he doesn’t think they’re going to do, yet  the team should be proud of their first half success, even if they were about a year ahead of their potential.

“I still like the makeup of the team. I think Buck Showalter has done a great job.  I also think Peter Angelos has done a great job getting out of the way and let baseball people do what they are going to be paid to do by him.”

Coleman says their recent adversary may not pan out the way Baltimore fans are hoping for, but that it may prove beneficial in the years to come.

“If you’re the Baltimore Orioles, now you know exactly what a pennant race is all about, and deal with those the kind of pressure and scoreboard watching.  Those things are going to be essential that you’re going to have to have in your DNA if you’re going to compete in the AL East.”

Across the parking lot from Camden Yards, Coleman is confident the Ravens will overcome linebacker Terrell Suggs’ injury, but that they need to prove they are dominant enough to host a conference championship game in M&T Bank Stadium.

“Since Flacco has been the quarterback, he’s done a great job on the road in the playoffs.  At a certain point, you have to win enough games with the New England Patriots, the San Diego Chargers, the Houston Texans, teams like that, will have to come to you to play in the AFC Championship Game.”

Flacco has led the Ravens to four playoff appearances in his first four years, including two AFC Championship games.

“Let’s be honest;  he outplayed Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game last year.  If they don’t have that dropped pass in the end zone by Lee Evans, we could be looking at Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in a different light.  Maybe they’d beat the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, and we’d be talking about them trying to make it back-to-back championships.”

Dave Andrews


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