Late For Work 10/20: Proposal May Make Skins Annual Rivalry

Plus an explanation on why Meriweather wasn’t suspended and rankings.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 8:59 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

New Proposal Could Make Redskins An Annual Rivalry

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair plans to ask the NFL to alter its schedule to allow “natural regional rivalries” to play out annually as opposed to every four years, this according to FoxSports.com’s Jay Glazer.

It appears McNair is hoping to capitalize on more matchups with the Dallas Cowboys, an idea Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is on board with.

But would the league actually adopt the proposal?

“Yeah, it’s something we’ll definitely consider,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said per Glazer.

“McNair’s request would seem to open up a Pandora’s Box of issues, though it would likely be a component of the 18-game regular season the owners want to implement,” wrote USA Today’s Nate Davis.

There would be some hurdles to jump over if Goodell did decide to implement a yearly regional matchup in an 18-game format. One of the bigger issues would be for the teams that lack a logical regional opponent, especially if other matchups are locked in.

That wouldn’t be a problem in Baltimore, where the obvious regional opponent choice would be the Washington Redskins, who reside just down I-95. (An argument could also be made for the Philadelphia Eagles.)

Playing at least once every year would certainly bring new meaning to the “Battle Of The Beltway.” It’s not the most exciting battle when it’s played in the preseason with starters mostly on the bench.

Currently, the two teams are not only in different divisions, but also in different conferences. They have played a preseason game five times in six years, but they have only met four times in the regular season since the Ravens’ inception in 1996 (Baltimore leads, 3-1).

As BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg wrote during the preseason, the Steelers and Colts are obviously the Ravens’ most-loathed opponents, but because of proximity alone, the Redskins should be right up there on the loathing scale.

I’d say a yearly matchup would liven things up a bit.

Davis took a stab at pairing up regional partners. What would you suggest?

Jets-Giants (Big Apple Battle)
49ers-Raiders (Bay Brawl)
Texans-Cowboys (Texas Twist)
Eagles-Steelers (Keystone Klash)
Ravens-Redskins (Beltway Bowl)
Rams-Chiefs (Show Me State Scrap)
Saints-Titans (Jazz-Country Smackdown)
Buccaneers-Dolphins (Sunshine State Soiree)
Falcons-Jaguars (The World’s Second Biggest Cocktail Party)
Lions-Browns (Lake Erie Encounter)
Bears-Colts (Battle of I-65)
Chargers-Cardinals (Border War)
Packers-Bills (Snow Bowl)
Seahawks-Broncos (If It Works For The Pac-10, It Works For Us)
Panthers-Bengals (Cats)
Patriots-Vikings (Randy Moss Reunion) … [Feel free to do better]

Why Meriweather Wasn’t Suspended

Reports this week indicated the NFL intended to suspend players for “devastating” hits.

Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $50,000 for his flagrant helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Todd Heap, but why wasn’t he suspended?

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson explained that decision during an appearance on NFL Network, per National Football Post.

“Very frankly, we had lot of discussions internally about suspending,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, we wanted to be fair. The notion was, if you’re going to have elevated discipline, give players and coaches and organizations fair notice that in fact suspensions, taking guys off the field, is an option for us going forward in these types of hits. So we didn’t think that was appropriate.”

Ravens Shouldn’t Rush Reed

While All-Pro safety Ed Reed is eligible to return to practice today after a six-week stint on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Head Coach John Harbaugh said there’s no guarantee Reed will play Sunday against the winless Buffalo Bills.

Reed seems to be itching to comeback, and very well could be ready, but B Blogger Matt Vensel  believes that if Reed has lingering health and/or conditioning concerns, it may be prudent to rest him against “one of the worst teams in the NFL.”

“I was right there with [Ray Lewis] when he said that ‘it’s going to be rough on Buffalo’ at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday,” Vensel wrote. “If Reed isn’t yet ready to roll, it makes sense to hold him out another week, then give him the extra time over the bye week to make sure he’s good to go for the second half. The Ravens are going to need him.”

One More Item Of Business Related To Reed

There is one other item of business the Ravens need to take care of this afternoon when Reed and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo return to the practice field. The organization will have to decide whose roster spots Reed and B.A. will now occupy.

One option is to place tackle Jared Gaither on Injured Reserve since he has yet to play in a game.

MASN’s Dan Kolko said another option could be waiving safety Ken Hamlin, defensive tackles Lamar Divens or Arthur Jones, offensive tackle Scott Kooistra or linebacker Jason Phillips. Kolko also named Jalen Parmele as a possibility, but added that move would surprise him.

Speculation could end today, but the Ravens don’t have to make an announcement until Saturday.

Week 6 Power Rankings

NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora is standing by the Ravens after their overtime loss in New England. But he’s the only one. The Ravens fell as low as No. 6 in some rankings.

Where does LaCanfora’s faith come from? Here’s his explanation: “[The Ravens] already played at New England, Jets, Steelers and Bengals; fat part of schedule up ahead.”

ESPN: Ravens (4-2) are ranked No. 4, down from No. 2 last week. The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) are No. 1 while the Jets (5-1) are No. 2. The Patriots (4-1) moved ahead of the Ravens at No. 3.

USA Today: Ravens are ranked No. 5, down from No. 2 last week.  USA Today has the same top two as ESPN, but they placed the Colts at No. 3 pushing the Pats (4) and Ravens back.

ProFootballTalk.com: Mike Florio ranked the Ravens No. 6, down from No. 2 last week.

FoxSports.com: Ravens are ranked No. 6, down from No. 1 last week.

CBSsports.com: Ravens are ranked No. 6, down from No. 1 last week. The Jets and Steelers come in at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora: Ravens are ranked No. 1, same as last week. Steelers are No. 2 while the Jets are No. 3.

SI.com’s Peter King: Ravens are ranked No. 2, down from No. 1 last week. The Steelers take over as the top dog.

Costello Cancer-Free And Still Suggesting Plays

Remember last year’s story about Matthew Costello? He’s the 14-year-old Ravens fan with brain cancer that suggested offensive play calls to Cam Cameron that led to touchdowns.

Well now he’s cancer-free. Connelly said his experience with the Ravens brightened his mood during his radiation treatments.

“Without that, I don’t know where I would be right now,” Costello said.

ESPN’s Chris Connelly caught up with Costello recently and took a look back at last year’s incredible story.

Quick Hits

  • Cornerback Lardarius Webb remains one of the fastest cornerbacks on the team, even after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last December, but was picked on by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. [Carroll County Times]
  • RavensInsider: Former Ravens WR Eron Riley was signed to the Broncos’ practice squad. [Twitter]
  • RavensInsider: Todd Heap no concussion or neck issues following MRI, John Harbaugh said on his radio show tonight. [Twitter]
  • FABEWASH31: At the dentist getting my teeth whiting (sic) [Twitter]
  • ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck has advice on how to help Joe Flacco when teams try to double his receivers in coverage.

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