Sunday, May 9, 2010
Productive Weekend at One Winning Drive
The Baltimore Ravens took their first step this weekend towards their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl in 2010.
The minicamp got underway on Friday, and immediately a surprise took place: Michael Oher took reps with the first team at left tackle and Jared Gaither was on the right side. Joe Flacco hurled passes to new receivers Donte Stallworth and Anquan Boldin, and the rookies took their place on the field learning the ropes. Sergio Kindle looked like a monster coming off the edge and David Reed....wait, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's still May. I sounded like a Redskins fan for a second there!
The minicamps are really just organized practices so that the team can get together without pads on or pants, and they can run through plays and get accustomed to football playing shape. Coach John Harbaugh still runs an effective practice where guys are going at it competitively even without tackling. The practices now also help make training camp more effective because they won't spend the better part of July or August learning the whole playbook or getting in football shape.
Jared Gaither was out on Saturday and Sunday with a foot injury that was suffered, well, nobody knows when. Is it a ploy to be traded elsewhere by Gaither? He is presumably not happy with his contract or being moved from left tackle. But let's be honest, Oher is a much better left tackle and deserves to protect Flacco's blindside. Gaither is seen as lazy by the coaches and has all but worn out his welcome.
Trade speculation about him is rampant now and he only has himself to blame. He was given a tremendous opportunity coming out of the supplemental draft to be drafted by a good organization with tremendous people around him. He was also given the opportunity to be the left tackle of the future for a winning organization. Just like at the University of Maryland---Gaither seems to have blown a great opportunity for himself.
Keep checking back for Ravens updates throughout the spring and summer as we head into the 2010 season this September.