Saturday, May 10, 2008

Not a good sign in Baltimore

According to Associated Press reports out of Baltimore Saturday, the Ravens' mini-camp was the site of a team brawl.

As per the report, nearly all 85 players in camp were involved in a squabble that began when offensive tackle Oniel Cousins and defensive tackle Amon Gordon threw punches after running back Allen Patrick was taken down hard on a burst up the middle. All the players surged toward the middle of the field, and it was nearly two minutes before peace was restored.

Later during practice, which was held indoors because of rain, defensive backs Corey Ivy and Frank Walker came to blows during a blocking drill.

It has a familiar ring to it for me.

Back in 2000, the Steelers were coming off a 6-10 season and had a similar locker room brawl in which linebackers Jason Gildon and Earl Holmes went after running back Richard Huntley for something that happened on the field.

The jawing continued into the locker room and the fight erupted, with reporters stuck in the middle. Luckily for me, I was not one of the guys stuck in the middle, but I was in the locker room at the time and it was not a pretty sight.

Baltimore is coming off a 5-11 season and many of the veterans, much like the ones in that Pittsburgh locker room, see themselves coming to the end of their careers.

And, in fact, by the time the Steelers were good again in 2001, Holmes and Huntley – two of the main combatants - were gone.

10 comments:

Wieters said...

All the Ravens fans I've seen online seem to regard this as a positive thing ("I like the fire it shows," "no more soft minicamps," "we need that nasty edge back").

Are they just being homers, or do you think they have a point?

Dale Lolley said...

I see no good coming out of a team-wide brawl. That's not fire, that's stupidity and selfishness.
That's why I brought up the Steelers' brawl in 2000. It was symptomatic of a team that had problems.

Wieters said...

Then again, the Steelers went 9-7 that year, so they actually got better after the brawl instead of worse.

However, Harbaugh is going to have a heck of a time establishing himself as the leader of that team with Ray Lewis still around. It might have been smart for the Ravens to dump Lewis to make room for Harbaugh, just like the Steelers got rid of Porter last year (and maybe should have done with Faneca too).

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

The Steelers improved by 3 games that year to 9-7. The next year they improved by 4 games to 13-3.

I'm not saying that the brawl had anything to do with the Steelers improving over the next two years (correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation), but it certainly didn't appear to retard them.

Dale Lolley said...

But they also started slowly and then finished strong as they figured out that guys like Huntley and Holmes weren't going to be in their future.

Anonymous said...

Dale
Holmes wasn't gone until after the 2001 season.

Dale Lolley said...

He was as good as gone since they brought Bell in to replace him.

Anonymous said...

I thought James Farrior replaced him. Kendrell Bell replaced Mike Jones.

Steve said...

Hey

Boys will be boys....I do recall a stool being brandied about in the Holmes-Huntley fiasco.

If Huntley was the guy with the stool, did he fumble it?

Keep up the good work Dale

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, Gildon had the stool.