we will be making a mistake in letting the wegher and ward combo go. with CAP, we have on our roster the makings of an incredible run game for years to come. this will be stewart's last year and i'd be surprised if he finished it just based on history. we need to be looking ahead and we have what we need for the future in these rookies.
i'd also like our defense to shut down luck while cam dismantles the colt defense to momentarily quiet those clowns who think this is a game between QBs and have crowned luck as the heir to peyton/brady.
and in regards to steve smith being expendable....the team/organization put up with his schtick as long as his performance made it worth it. the last couple years he was here, it became less and less worth it. in fact the last year he was here, he was a lot more likely to get into a fight with someone than he was to get into the endzone. sure, he schooled us in that first game against us, but the old guy ran out of gas after that and was essentially JAG the rest of the season that the ravens acted like they were trying to talk into retiring.
there is very little reason that he can't be kept for at least another 5 years and still play at a very high level. quite honestly, we need him anchoring the center for the next several years and we need to have the OL around him decided on for the long term so that we can have some much needed continuity. when he really starts to slow down because of his age, the rest of the line should have several years together so that finding a replacement will have less of an impact. if we keep dicking around with the OL the way we have the past few years, it will only keep us from reaching our potential and dominating for the next decade (which is what should happen with cam and luke around). we need kalil for a few more seasons for quite a few reasons and he's well worth the salary considering his importance for the team. His cap peaks this year then drops by more than a million next year and then he becomes a bargain at 3.5mil in 2017 and 1.7 in 2018. at THAT point we can start talking about his replacement if we haven't already got someone groomed for it while the rest of the OL gels. oh, and by the way, he will only be 33 in the last year of his contract. if he can stay healthy and the rest of the OL pulls their weight, he can be playing at an all-pro level...even at that "old" age.
in that first play, my initial reaction was we did exactly what the defense was antcipating and that was followed by we weren't strong enough at the point of attack to simply impose our will regardless of what happens. i'll stick with that.
that's not what happened last year. last year the pats game planned and played hard while we acted like it was any other preseason game. we went in to evaluate our players. they went in to get revenge for beating them the year before. we were quite simply sucker punched. considering it was the pats, we shouldn't have been surprised. any one watching the game could tell it meant more to the pats going into the game than us and we were absolutely not on a level footing in regards to planning, motivation, and performance. this year it appears we will be closer to level footing by treating this as a real game/grudge match. if anyone gets sucker punched this year, i would rather it be them. the pats have it coming.