First day on Radio Row and it was the calm before the storm. Radio Row becomes a circus, but not until about Wednesday. Watch the week of videos- they will become increasingly chaotic and frenetic. Had some buddies from Vancouver, BC radio stop by and Adam Rank of NFL.com and NFL Network put his support behind the Niners.
Beyond the radio broadcast, I went to the Ravens’ arrival press conference. While the Niners were dressed down in workout gear and casual attire, the Ravens were dressed to impress. They had gotten into town more than an hour a half before the press conference, I saw Boldin and Torrey Smith leaving the hotel in casual gear, so I was surprised to see the Ravens contingent, from Ray Rice to Terrell Suggs and Joe Flacco all dressed in suit and tie. This is a ‘business trip’ for them. That’s clear.
Rice was making jokes and Flacco looked calm and confident. When asked about the Niners defense, he said their strength is not deception, but a successful pass rush. This season, the Niners blizted only 22% of QB drops according to Greg Cosell of NFL Films, which is well below the league average. But as Flacco recognized, they don’t have to blitz much because their line is so strong. And he makes a good point- you’ll see in the video.
The real matchup is in the secondary and whether Flacco’s cannon can exploit the Niners dbs. San Fran does love their nickel package, but Boldin and Smith are physical and the Niners had a tough time with Julio Jones and Roddy White’s physicality. If the Niners don’t contain the Ravens’ deep passing game, it could be a long day for the defense.
Ultimately, we’ll see a lot more of these guys this week and get a better idea of what they’re going to be looking for themselves.
Went to Dragos for dinner, which is considered one of the top restaurants in town. I marveled as a server held a GIANT, LIVE lobster on a tray and walked around with it. I stopped him, asked for a picture, upon snapping said picture, the GM of Dragos, picked the fat thing up and handed it to me (as though I was hoping for a wet lobster in my grasps)… And then it hit me. This is likely the second to last human interaction this creature will see before its ultimate demise. So that was fun.
Ran into Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports who said he “had a feeling” the Ravens would win the Super Bowl. He also thought the Pats would prevail last year. So there’s that.
I’m off to the French Quarter where cameras are not allowed!
Media Day is tomorrow! Don’t miss it!