New Rave

Being treated improperly in professional sports is a commonality. The majority of athletes are cut or forced out due to the lower echelon of job security in the NFL. That is the part of sports that is expected and never looked into deeply. But when a former MVP and multiple Pro Bowler is handed his walking papers it does. Steve McNair’s case with the Tennessee Titans may have been the worst case a player has ever been treated. For what he did for the Titans since 1995 was remarkable, and suddenly they cut him off their list. Life as an athlete is tough, but Steve McNair is going to make life tough for coaches and crush the mentality of the Titans front office.

He may have went through some injury prone seasons and seem to be on the down side of his career, but McNair is no where done. Now a Baltimore Raven, he enters a situation that was in desperate need for a quarterback of his abilities. Do not be shocked to see a sudden revitalized Jamal Lewis, and oh a Ravens defense return to the extraordinary level that was gone last year.

In the NFC North there is only one team heading into the season without a question mark at quarterback. That team is the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals and Steelers are hoping their young gun slingers are healthy. Even if they are the rust will be there from the slow process of non contact drills and the overlap of rest. The Cleveland Browns are looking dismal with no one but Charlie Frye to look forward with.

It is going to be a lot easier than people think, for the Ravens to be strong AFC contenders. Not the .500 type contender, but a great team. The defense now has Trevor Pryce and a huge defensive tackle in Haloti Ngata that will protect Ray Lewis. Offensively they brought in veteran tail back Mike Anderson, in case Jamal Lewis is stutter step 2005 Lewis.

The situation is so great for McNair that it is almost too good. Another subtle attraction is the fact that McNair has his favorite target at wide receiver. Yes, Derrick Mason the reception gobbling king that we all know will team up with McNair strongly this season. Weapons galore does not end. We all remember that Frank Wycheck was one of McNair’s favorite targets back in the day. Well now he has a healthy Todd Heap to hurl the ball too.

From a fantasy stand point no one is going to draft McNair in a deserving spot. Reason being that quarterbacks have been unsuccessful with the Ravens. The reason being that Chris Redman, Kyle Boller, and Anthony Wright should have never been out on the field. Do not be fooled by that. Steve McNair will put up decent numbers and open up the offense for the Ravens. He spreads the football around as well as any quarterback, which makes it extremely easy for the offensive coordinator to bust out gadget plays.

The other obvious reason no one will take McNair above the sixth round is because of his injury history. He has been banged up more than ever, but what you have to love about McNair is that he battled most of those injuries on the field. He hardly ever missed the time he should have to recover from his injuries.

If you see an opportunity in the draft where McNair is the best second option left at quarterback than draft him. Especially if you were unable to draft Manning, Brady, Delhomme, or a for sure number one quarterback. The Ravens may not open up the offense as much as fantasy owners would like, just because of their stellar defense. They will do enough though for McNair to finish around twenty touchdowns and near the 3,000 yard mark.

Name a quarterback you could count on more of as a second fantasy quarterback?


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