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Managing Expectations

I needed to take some time away after the past few games.  The last three weeks have been agonizingly painful to watch.  For us that bleed the Purple and Black, it's tough to be a Ravens fan.  It's not that we have the worst team.  That honor goes to teams like the Lions and Bengals, year in, year out.  They are awful and their fans know it.  Relative to expectations, a four win season may be seen as a success for them.  Not so much for the Ravens.  Our situation is far tougher on fans.  At least Lions and Bengals fans know better then to have hope.

Almost every year the Ravens show us enough to get excited.  As soon it looks like their turning the corner, the rug is pulled out from beneath them.  Us fans are crushed.  Again.

Being away from the team has allowed me to see our situation from a less biased perspective.  Things aren't ever as bad as they seem.  We have hope, which is more then many franchises can say .  



Breath Rexx.  It will be O.K.  Harbaugh will win games in Baltimore.  It might not be this year but I bet you he will.  I can't discount all the positives I've seen out of Harbaugh through 5 games.   Five games is not a sufficient sample size to be judged on, especially given the learning curve.

Sure, we looked terrible Sunday.  Poorly coached.  Crappy QB play.  John Harbaugh made mistakes in previous games as well.  He's been awful at challenges.  Flacco doesn't know how to look off a safety.  This is all clear. 

Joe Flacco is also 6'6", has a cannon for an arm, and ice water coursing through his veins.  John Harbaugh has undoubted gifts as a leader and motivator (See winning over Ray Lewis immediately for proof).Coach Harbaugh had to give him the vote of confidence.  It does not mean he can't make a change at some point down the line.  Establishing a trust and confidence with your potential franchise QB is one of the most important tasks in order for Harbaugh to be successful in Baltimore. 

(On a side note, what have we ever seen from Troy Smith?  I don't get the fascination with him.  Sure he won the Heisman, but so did Danny Wuerfull.  Plus, he is nowhere near game ready from a health standpoint, so its a moot point for now.)

John Harbaugh will be here more then one year.  Joe Flacco will also.  I still believe that in two years Joe Flacco will be a good quarterback in the NFL.  I also believe that we will still have the same coach, and he will have grown into a good one.

It all boils down to expectations.  Most of us came into the season expecting little out of the Ravens.  When they played well and won the first two games, our expectations were raised.  We all felt we had a playoff team, 7-9 would no longer suffice.  

Well guess what happened.  The Ravens fell back to earth.  Hard.  And now, when they fail to live up to our expectations, we are mad.  It's understandable, especially since our playoff hopes faded as quickly as they came.

I am not happy with the way we've been playing.  Far from it.  But I can see the light at the end of a long tunnel.  No one could have thought this would be easy.  We are starting a Head Coach with no major coordinator experience and a rookie QB out of Delaware.  We are going to take our lumps, it's a given, but we will learn from it.  They need to be better then last week, but they will make mistakes. Its a natural progression and it comes with the territory of starting a rookie QB and head coach.

Maybe I'm wrong.  They could both turn out to be busts.  But for now I am going to keep faith in our new Head Coach and QB.  I still see a bright future for them in Baltimore, even though they may have to travel a rough road to get there.  At the end of the day, I think they'll make it.

To quote Andy Dufresne...

"Remember, Rexx, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

Hang in there.  Things will get better.