Saints @ Ravens: Interview With the Enemy II - Electric Boogaloo

Guess what?  We have another Interview With the Enemy segment this week!!  I know...I'm over the moon as well!!

I was able to exchange five questions and answers with Matt Sadler of BaltimoreSportsReport.com.  You should go over to his site and check out my answers in his "Scouting the Saints" post.  

Many thanks to Matt for sharing his thoughts with us...make the jump to drink in his knowledge.

Saints vs Ravens coverage

Saints vs Ravens preview

Canal Street Chronicles:  Much has been written about the Ravens defense being "not what it used to be." Are you concerned about it?  What specifically is going on in that phase of the game that is troubling to you?

Baltimore Sports Report:  Oh yeah... there are games where the defense looks great and there are games where you cringe  watching them. Monday night was one of them. Giving up 21 points in the 2nd half is a joke. The weakest part of the defense is the secondary. Sure, Ed Reed is out there, but for every play he makes, there are a few plays where he leaves the corners exposed. These corners are not great. The 2 expected starters at the beginning of the season are not on the field due to injury and/or performance. If the defense can get pressure on the QB, everything seems to be okay. Oterwise, it will be a long afternoon.

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CSC:   Joe Flacco is considered by some to be a good "game manager" who doesn't make mistakes, but who won't dazzle you, either.  Is this a fair assessment?  How do you rate/describe your QB's strengths and weaknesses?

BSR:   Flacco doesn't throw a lot of bad interceptions, but he makes his share of mistakes. They are more along the line of "not recognizing the blitz", "not reading the progressions fast enough", etc. That being said, those are things most people feel he can improve upon.  Flacco has one hell of an arm. His ability to throw the out pattern is phenomenal. His accuracy in the 10-20 yard range does not always equate to the long game. For the number of receivers at his disposal, he can't seem to connect very often with the deep fly routes.

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CSC:   Tell me about John Harbaugh and his coaching style.  (I think I remember some folks questioning his lack of experience as he rose to head coach without being a coordinator first, right?)   Is he a master motivator...offensive guru...cool customer who's unflappable?  All/none of the above?  He's had decent success in his few years there, but how exactly does he do it?

BSR:   Harbaugh is very corporate, no nonsense kind of guy. There are as many haters as there are lovers. People think that the Ravens have the talent to be better than they are. The Ravens continue to have discipline issues on the field. This was something that Harbs was supposed to fix. The other big issue people have with him is his selection of coaches. His loyalty to his boys makes people wonder if he is hiring the best coordinators for this team. 
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CSC:   Your receivers were supposed to be a strength this season (steady/ageless Derrick Mason, the speedy repentant Stallworth, Big Man Boldin, and the unstoppable Todd Heap).  How's that working out so far?

BSR:   Don't forget TJ Houshmandzadeh..... There are almost too many receivers that you have to wonder how much impact they have. Mason is still Flacco's most used target. Stallworth missed the 1st half of the season and hasn't had a big impact yet. Boldin has had some of the strongest plays all season, yet some games he has just disappeared.  The truth is that the offense line play has not been good enough to see the airshow at its best. All in all, I still would rather have the receivers then not at all. 

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CSC:   What is your offense's "bread and butter" play?  

BSR:   It's not an exact play. It's more like send every receiver out and clear room for Ray Rice underneath to catch a dump pass and run wild.

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