Brent Englar's Baltimore Ravens Fan Profile

Who am I?

Aspiring playwright and diehard Ravens fan. Also an Orioles fan, but we don't need to get into that right now ...

Main Skills

Writing. Editing. Cooking. I also play the piano (though it's been a while since I took it seriously.)

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Brent Englar's Weblog Posts

Replacing Derrick Mason: The Ravens External Options posted on 07/15/2009

The Baltimore Sun beat me to the punch on this topic, listing the Ravens top 5 options not currently on the roster for replacing the seemingly retired Mason:,0,430

Here are the Sun's top five receivers:

  1. Marvin Harrison
  2. Brandon Marshall
  3. Anquan Boldin
  4. Plaxico Burress
  5. Drew Bennett
They also list the following free agents still on the market: D.J. Hackett, Amani Toomer, Justin McCareins, Reggie Williams, and Darrell Jackson. To that list I would add Koren Robinson. Let's break down each option: 1. Marvin Harrison: Harrison is an unrestricted free agent, so he wouldn't cost any draft picks, and like all UFA's in July, the market for his services appears quite small (otherwise he'd be signed by now), so he shouldn't command an outrageous contract. Even a close approximation of his prime would give the Ravens a receiver who runs crisp routes, has excellent hands and vision, delivers the occasional big play downfield, and commands respect from teammates and opponents alike---in short, the very things Mason brought to the offense. The problem is that for the past two years Harrison has been nowhere near his prime.  The numbers say it all: 

Continue reading "Replacing Derrick Mason: The Ravens External Options"

Breaking Down the Ravens' Receivers posted on 07/14/2009

So Derrick Mason may or may not be retiring. All right, let's suppose he does --- where does that leave the Ravens' passing game?

The first thing to ask is how good it was expected to be even WITH a healthy Mason catching passes in 2009. And I don't imagine too many fans were so drunk on the purple Kool-Aid as to expect our passing attack to have finished in the top half of the league. We're bringing back pretty much the same cast from last year, when we ranked 28th in the league with a mere 175.5 yards/game. Even accounting for the continued development of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and that young offensive line, that's a heckuva lot of ground to make up. Unless Demetrius Williams finally becomes the vertical threat this offense hasn't had in over a decade, you're not going to shoot up that many spots riding an aging possession receiver, I don't care how good he is.

Continue reading "Breaking Down the Ravens' Receivers"

Derrick Mason Retires posted on 07/14/2009

I will follow up this brief post with a more extensive analysis of the Ravens current (and potential) receiving situation in the wake of Derrick Mason's bombshell announcement yesterday that he is retiring.  But first, a few quick points:

  • As the Baltimore Sun is already speculating, Mason appears to have left himself an "out" clause in this announcement (which apparently he did not make to Ravens officials, but rather to ESPN News and a website affiliated with his agent). He has not filed the requisite paperwork with the league offices, and in a statement to ESPN News, he spoke hypothetically rather than absolutely:
"If I do change my mind, it won't be because of the Ravens. It'll be because of some other things - my family and talking with other people. I still got to talk with some coaches over there. As far as financially, I don't think they can do anything to sway me."

    Continue reading "Derrick Mason Retires"

    Breaking Down the Ravens Schedule, part II posted on 04/14/2009

    So, ten weeks and nine games into the season, what is it fair to say we have? One probable loss (at New England), four TCOB games (i.e., no excuse for losing, not if you want to be Super Bowl champion: home against KC, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Denver), and an equivalent number of toss-ups (at Cincinnati and Cleveland ... mostly because they're division games, at Minnesota, at San Diego). Leaving us with an intriguing stretch run that features two games against the Super Bowl champions, one game against Peyton Manning and his flying circus, and one game against a team that could very well be looking for its first victory since December 2007.

    WEEK 11: VS INDIANAPOLIS (2008 record: 12-4): We haven't beaten the Colts in 6 tries. Any reason to believe it'll happen this time around? For starters, it's an ordinary, Sunday-afternoon home game: no playoffs, no prime time, no special meaning for Baltimore fans to get worked up about---just two teams gunning for a victory late in the year. The Colts will be coming off their annual prime time slugfest with New England. So we might be just a little bit fresher (though we'll be coming off a Monday-nighter against Cleveland). Betting on the Ravens in this series is getting to be like betting on the Cubs to win it all ... still, we've got to get a W one of these years. Don't we?

    Continue reading "Breaking Down the Ravens Schedule, part II"

    Breaking Down the Ravens Schedule, part I posted on 04/14/2009

    I haven't blogged since the Super Bowl, and I probably won't blog again for a while (at least not until the draft), but the 2009 schedule was just released, and it's worth taking a quick look at the way the upcoming season breaks down for the hometown team. One thing you can count on, there are games that look easy right now that will look a lot tougher when they get here, and there are games that look tough now that will end up looking much easier. The most one can do, therefore, is to say: IF LAST SEASON'S RESULTS CARRY OVER INTO NEXT SEASON ... which of course they never do.

    Still, IF LAST SEASON'S RESULTS CARRY OVER INTO NEXT SEASON, here's how things look right now for the purple and black:

    WEEK 1: VS CHIEFS (2008 record: 2-14): There aren't many sweeter ways to open the season than at home against the woeful Chiefs. Matt Cassel gets his first test right away, and even with our aforementioned caveat, a Chiefs win here would qualify as a major upset. Were this game in November or December I might temper my confidence (slightly), but in Week 1, for a team that last played in the AFC Championship game and blew out nearly every inferior team it played in 2008, anything less than total domination by the Ravens would be inexcusable.

    Continue reading "Breaking Down the Ravens Schedule, part I"

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