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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

A case for Bart Scott


vmax
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This week I watched the Ravens Cowboys and the Ravens Browns game (@ Leaveland) and Bart jumped out at me. He was making plays and having solid games.

 

With all the "Bart is the odd man out" talk on retaining him, Suggs and Ray, I thought somebody should make a case about retaining Bart Scott.

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Bart is 5 years younger than Ray with a lot less mileage.

 

I was pleased to see he stayed quiet most of the season and let his play do the talking. I'm sure part of that is Harbaughs influence and part is maturity. On the field he's remained intense and intimidating. Bart won't back down or hesitate from anything.

 

He has decent covering skills and played selflessly in Ray's shadow by doing a lot of the dirty work such as taking on blockers to free up Ray.

 

He wants to be here...hell... he took less money to stay here than go to Cleveland. He'll be more Cap friendly to retain than Ray who could break down at any time IMO. That day is not too far off. Remember McNair...1st game of the 2007 season and he was never the same. McCrary got a big/final contract I believe in 2001 or 2 and then his knees totally went south. Lightning does strike twice at that age in the NFL.

 

Bart definately is a Raven according to Harbaughs definition. An 'undrafted free agent walk on' who just wouldn't be denied. He's got heart.

For now he could pair up with Gooden or Griesen in the middle.

 

Bart is an experienced vet. He knows the defense and could be a big help in the leadership role. He's no Ray Lewis as far as leadership goes, but there are other ways to take command and Bart can do that.

 

If it's just cold hard logic on the "Who to keep at linebacker?" debate, than my logic..:).. says keep Bart and let Ray go.

 

Yet business comes into this too.

Ray has been the face, heart and soul of this franchise. Ray has given every ounce he's got and then some. Ozzie has retained all the Ravens who give like this to the franchise...call them 'Ozzies Ravens.' Loyalty like that is attractive to players. It entices FA's to want to be here. It makes Ravens players want to stay here.

 

You cannot replace Ray's passion for the game. You cannot replace how well Ray studies an opponent and knows exactly what the opponent will do. That translates into him being the perfect general on the field in a complex defense.

Ray is a "once in a lifetime" find. He's in another stratosphere.

Ray is the standard and the rest fall short.

 

Yet when I handicap Ray by considering his age, mileage, and soon to diminish physical skills, then I can see Bart as being a solid retention...not a replacement for Ray...but the linebacking interior will still get the job done near to it's present standard.

 

I'm looking down a short road...say the next 3 years. I can see Bart playing, being a solid, consistent producer.

I can't see Ray. I wish I could. Then again, I can't see him in another uniform. As a fan I do not want to lose him and what he brings. He has had the most extroardinary career..an absolute joy to watch.

 

Finally, there is the big picture to consider. What is the best for everyone involved for the long term good of the team and franchise? Not for one individual...but for all.

It's a team sport. There are 52 other men who contribute and have earned the right to be financially compensated under the CAP.

They are Ravens too.

 

This is a tough off season of business considerations because the Ravens organization has drafted and developed talent very well. The price for that is not being able to retain their investments under the present Salery Cap situation.

Edited by vmax
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Great points all around, max! I was thinking about this situation the other day, if Ray leaves, it might not necessarily be a bad thing to bring back Scott. I think Scott is more than ready to take over a leadership position on this team. Of course he will not be a Ray Lewis, but if we sign him to a four-year deal, he will be productive over the length of the contract. Like you stated, you cannot be sure about that with Ray. Now, Scott is not going to take a hometown discount by any means, but he should come at a lower rate then Ray.

 

Either way, one of them needs to come back. I believe that Ray will be more highly pursued as a free agent then Scott, so if Ray runs off and takes the money, we should have a chance to retain Bart. Bart wants to be a Raven, and I am sure he will give us every opportunity to re-sign him.

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Ozzie thinks that Leonhard will not be back.

 

He has to look at if he comes back, he’s competing for a starting job. If he goes to one of these 31 other teams, then he will probably go in and be a starter and everyone wants to play. I understand Jimmy probably wants to go somewhere else.

 

http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/02/21/newsome-ra...kely-moving-on/

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Ozzie thinks that Leonhard will not be back.

 

 

Leonard can definately be a starter on many teams. I don't think any Ravens fans want to see him go...I know I don't. He's got 'the Right Stuff'.

Ozzie must have a plan in mind. I'm sure he does.

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