Monday, August 24, 2009

Ravens Ready To Face Rex

Normally preseason games do not drum up huge storylines, but this one sure does. The Ravens are taking on the New York Jets in their second preseason game tonight, which means for the first time, they will take on Rex Ryan on the opposite sideline.

Not only Ryan, but also two key players on last year's defense, Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard.

At least it is only preseason. Had this been the regular season, a whole slew of stories may have come out. But chances are nothing special will happen. Some New York writers have been trying to drum up that Ryan wants revenge on his old team for not taking him as head coach, but come on, Ryan has better things to do.

But at least for the first series, you have to think it is strange. Seeing Bart Scott going after Joe Flacco? And Jim Leonhard, a guy that got noticed in Rex Ryan's system, now going against the team that made him special? And Rex Ryan, the Ravens defensive coordinator for six years, leading the Jets. Scott has said he will have "no friends" when the game begins, but that is to be expected when players leave.

But we are happy for all of them, and for the Jets, this is a much more important game than the Ravens. For all the Ravens wide receiver issues, they do not have nearly as many questions as the Jets. New York does not know who their starting quarterback will be, and will be starting #5 overall pick Mark Sanchez in the game. Nothing like going against the Ravens defense for your first contest. The Ravens were in this spot last season, trying to find their starting quarterback among Flacco, Troy Smith, and Kyle Boller under a new head coach, and the Jets are going through the same.

For the Ravens, they are still trying to find their solid WR corps. Other than Mason and Clayton, no one's job is safe. Demetrius Williams, Justin Harper, Jayson Foster, and the rest of the corps will need to step up, especially with the injury to Marcus Smith, who is now on the injured reserve. Also, the Ravens will want to see Cleo Lemon to see if he can be a third string quarterback in the wake of the injury to John Beck, plus the possible rumors of trading Troy Smith.

But for the most part, it will just be weird seeing Rex Ryan on the opposing sideline tonight. Let's just be happy it is not the regular season.

Also news: Ravens rookie LB Tony Lein has been arrested for assault on a police officer, the AP reports. The officer claimed Fein was passing a weapon, which actually was a cell phone, and then Fein pushed the officer when confronted.

(Photo credit: The Star-Ledger)

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