We’ve heard it all week – the Ravens are a “fraud” at 3-0. They’re the weakest of the undefeated teams. They’re in for a rude awakening. Would beating the Raiders at home do much to alter this perception? Heck, would beating the Raiders this week and then beating the Redskins next week even change much?
Who knows? That’s for the talking heads to debate. All I know is I’d rather be a “weak” 4-0 or 5-0 then a “dominant” 3-2 or 4-1.
Working in our favor? Oakland is only 3-21 since 2008 when playing in the Eastern Time Zone. Let’s check out some more stats, some quotes, and plenty more in our weekly Crab Bag.
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“He has been an elite quarterback in this league for a long time. For a guy to be an elite quarterback and have that type of consistency, it tells you the kind of toughness that he has. I have nothing but respect for them and the way they play. They fight until the very end, and you have to give them credit.”
WR Steve Smith Sr. on playing with QB Joe Flacco:
“Every quarterback and wide receiver has some dialogue, but not every quarterback that I played with is a Super Bowl champ or a Super Bowl MVP. Not every quarterback is his height and can throw 60 or 70 yards off his back foot. There are things that Joe can uniquely do that some of the other guys I’ve played with cannot.”
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees on DT Timmy Jernigan:
“I think Timmy is playing at a high level. He plays with a lot of energy. I love his attitude. I love the way he plays. He’s a true Raven defensive player. He’s playing at a high level, and I hope he stays there.”
“Mine and Ronnie’s chemistry is always building. Every play, every rep – it is always building. We are not to the point yet where we can read each other’s mind or anything like that, but hopefully one day we can get there.”
G Marshal Yanda on rookies T Ronnie Stanley and G Alex Lewis handling the responsibility of starting on the line’s left side:
“They’re rookies, they’re young guys, and they’re going to make young guy mistakes. I feel like they’re playing well for young guys. They’re going to go through some growing pains as a young player. I look back on when I was a young player, and you understand there are certain plays where they haven’t necessarily seen those looks before, and they might get edged a little bit here and there. They’ve both been playing really well and fighting through. They’re both guys that can handle it. It’s not too big for either of them. Alex, with his dad and him being an [former NFL] offensive lineman, I think that really helps him. It’s not too big for him either. They’re playing off of one another, they’re working hard every day out in practice, and that’s important. They’re getting better. It’s good to see.”
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Shareece Wright
Explain the dynamics of your position group.
“We’re definitely a dynamic group. Eric Weddle brings a lot to this secondary. He’s a 10-year vet, brings a lot of experience and makes us a lot better. We all have different aspects that we bring to the game. Jimmy [Smith] has advice for me on certain things, and I have advice for him. So far, even with ‘Webby’ [Lardarius Webb] being a corner and playing safety now, he has a different perspective. We all give each other things to work on.”
Can you describe your personality and how that fits into the DB persona?
“It’s just staying true to who you are. I can’t turn into somebody on the field that I’m not in real life. I’m a confident person, but I don’t talk much. Actions speak louder than words on any day. Anybody can hype themselves up and say how good they are, but that’s just not the way I go about things. I’m a calm, cool and collected guy, but I am confident in what I do. I just don’t need to talk about it.”
“It was an era that we were blessed to be in. We had a great program that emphasized family. We were just a bunch of humble guys that were just trying to make it. We all had one goal in mind, and that was to make it to the NFL. We worked together, and everything we did was based off making it to college and the next level. It kept us grounded.”
Who is responsible for the family culture at Colton?
“Our head coach, [Harold] Strauss. He had been coaching for 20-some-years, and they brought us up like that. He got us at a young age, and we just believed in him. We trusted what he said and bought in.”
What about the Ravens’ culture attracted you to sign here, aside from your best friend [Jimmy Smith] already being on the roster?
“It’s a winning organization. It’s one of those organizations when you hear about the NFL, you think about those teams that know how to win a Super Bowl and know what it takes. It’s a powerhouse organization. It’s a first-class organization, and everybody knows that.”
Favorite thing to do in the offseason?
“I do an annual Fourth of July camping trip with my family. That’s one big thing I look forward to in the offseason. We go to Lake Perris (CA) back home. We ride the jet skis during the day, put up our tents at night and have a big bonfire.”
Favorite comfort food meal?
“Boston Market. Chicken, green beans and the sweet potatoes. That’s my go-to.”
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio led the Ravens’ LBs from 1999- 2001, while assistant defensive backs coach Rod Woodson played four seasons (1998-2001) in Charm City. Baltimore’s record-setting defense helped the Ravens capture the Super Bowl XXXV title in 2000.
Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman served as a senior assistant (2001) and “O” coordinator/QBs coach (2002-03) in Oakland. The ‘02 Raiders went to Super Bowl XXXVII, after leading the NFL with 389.8 yards per game and ranking No. 2 with 28.1 points per game.
Ravens inside linebackers coach Don Martindale worked with Oakland’s LBs from 2004-08. The 2006 Raiders’ defense allowed just 284.8 yards per game, ranking third in the NFL.
Raiders OL Kelechi Osemele signed with Oakland during the 2016 offseason after spending four years (2012-15) with the Ravens, including their Super Bowl XLVII campaign. He was drafted in the second round and started all 16 games during that title-winning season.
Raiders S Brynden Trawick spent three seasons (2013-15) in Baltimore after signing as a rookie free agent, suiting up for 38 games.
In 2012, Denver produced a 13-3 record and an AFC West title, while Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio led the Broncos’ defense during Ravens OLB Elvis Dumervil’s final season with the team. That year, Dumervil earned his third Pro Bowl nod with 11 sacks.
In 1998, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (ST coordinator) and O-line coach Juan Castillo (offensive line) worked in Philadelphia with Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave (offensive coordinator).
The late Al Davis, former Raiders owner and GM, worked as a scout for the Baltimore Colts in 1954.
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT