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October 30, 2008

Demetrius in better focus (updated)

DemetriusSun.jpgNobody has to tell me that Demetrius Williams is a talented wide receiver who got a bad break when an Achilles tendon injury forced him onto the injured reserve list this week, but I called his father, Dwight, today and he called me on the carpet for saying in a post yesterday that the Ravens might not miss Demetrius that much.

"That's my kid and I would be the first to point out his shortcomings,'' Dwight said, "but I'll also be the first to come to his defense. I read some of the posts and people are saying he can't do this and he can't do that. ... He gets tagged with being injury-prone. The kid has played through several injuries. He wants to play."

Dwight is no ordinary sports dad. He is a former college player who made it to several NFL camps. He and Demetrius were featured in a Baltimore Sun article recently, which documented how Dwight has often been his son's biggest critic, because he knows how tough it is to succeed at this level.

He called me out on my contention that -- if you take away last week's 70-yard touchdown -- Demetrius averaged just two receptions and 18 yards receiving per game through the first six games of the season.

"I read where he isn't producing,'' Dwight said. "How do you produce when they throw to you only two times a game?"

The injury has played a role in that. Demetrius (shown burning Troy Polamalu for a TD in 2006) suffered a partial Achilles tear last year and has developed a bone spur near the point where it is healing. He'll undergo surgery to remove the spur next week. In a perfect world, he might have rested the injury during the offseason, but the Ravens had brought in a new coach and new offensive coordinator, so he felt he had to take every opportunity to learn the new offense.

"He wanted to get back in there because he's a little bit of a warrior,'' Dwight said. "They pushed him and OTA'd him and wouldn't let him rest it. We finally took him to a very famous doctor here in the Bay Area who said, 'You've got a partially torn Achilles. The only thing that's going to help is rest.' But they have a new coaching staff and he wanted to prove himself. Since then, it's been all bad."

What Dwight wants everyone to know about his son is that he's a quality vertical receiver who has a chance to be a very good NFL player when he gets back, which will happen when Joe Flacco has a full season of experience under his belt and likely be better equipped to throw the ball downfield.

"Demetrius is better than you give him credit," Dwight said. "The Ravens must recognize that to put him on the IR to get fixed for next year."

Roster update: Cornerback Derrick Martin has also been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The Ravens also signed free agent wide receiver Terrance Copper and signed kicker Steve Hauschka off their practice squad.

Baltimore Sun file photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 2:05 PM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Just football


Good for the dad and good for you for posting his comments. I'll be pulling for Demetrius.

Pete...more Hot Stove stuff to mull over for the O's. I know everyone is pulling for a couple good starters to be signed, but really, the O's jsut need some innings eaters, guys that aren't injury prone and have proven that, though they don't win every ballgame, they get close to that 200 mark year in and out. ESPN just posted an article on Burnett maybe opting out on his contract and they included a big list of free agent to be pitchers. I'll post the link below.

Lets face it, the O's are not going to get Derek Lowe. The Yankees are going full out for the same thing the O's are, so they will throw money at this guy along with Sabathia, but probably not Sheets. They dont want a guy that gets injured each year either. I don't think Burnett is a good enough option because he has gone over 150 innings in only 5 out of 9 full years, and now 2 of those will have been in contract situations.

If the Yanks don't re-up Mussina, the O's should get him. I know he doesn't eat a ton per game anymore, however, he stays healthy. He's proven that over his career and has a decent ERA to show for it. And, he won't cost much now. 2 years, 12 per.

Next on my list is Jon Garland. Now, the O's may have to pay a little more for him because he is younger, but every year he's been a full time starter he has pitched at least 190 innings and has a career 4.5 ERA. We're going to see a drop in years and money offered this year, so I think that they go 5 yrs, 14 per.

After them, I'd go Randy Wolf, Oliver Perez, Burnett, then whatever you can get. I think those top 2 guys would eat a TON of innings next year, which is what the O's desperately need. Come back with a healthy pitching staff and see how things work out. Also, I think MacPhail would do good to pick up a Rule 5 if possible, Beird was pretty good before he got injured.

Sign Roberts and Markakis and that stuff will happen, if not, the O's might have a terrible offseason. MacPhail needs to act fast with these guys before they get picked up by somebody else.

I've felt since we drafted him that he would be a beast if he could just stay healthy. I hope he takes all the time he needs to heal, because we could really use his size and speed in our offense.

That is what I like about you Smucker, you always show the human side of things and you give everyone a chance to share. Good for Dwight for sticking up for his son, and good for you for giving him a forum to speak. You're the man Smucker.

And by the way....don't let you head swell about this comment....your tummy is big enough. We couldn't take you with two big bumps protruding from you flowered body.

Pete's reply: Don't worry about that. I'm working on the other one, too.

Pete--After reading your comments, I feel really good about Demetrius, his dad Dwight, and you.

You've captured here what is so often unknown or not thought about--the human struggles beyond the numbers, the wins and the losses.

I love the way Dwight spoke up for his son and I love the way you brought all of this to light for us.

This is a classy job of reporting.

Thanks, Pete.

Pete's reply: Thanks. Dwight is a nice guy and we had a great conversation today. Gave me some insight on Demetrius I didn't have before.

It's admirable for a father to stick up for his son--however--in the
Not For Long league, you either produce, have a specified and needed backup or emergency role (like a 3rd string QB) or your readin' the
want ads.

I don't mean to diss Demitrius, but with no other deep-threat receiver having been with this club since, well, since the Cleveland days, someone has to step up. And if it ain't gonna be D. W., then the Ravens need to get their scouts to find someone--either that or Derrick Mason needs to run deeper routes, or Heap needs to move outside.

Peter- They spent all their money on the Defense and ended up with a sea-saw with star jones on one side and calista flockheart on the other. I hope Calista isn't afraid of heights.
I swear I am not a bad person but.....They used to say it was the coordinator. Then the QB. But again...we have been through sevarl of both. I really think that we just can not get a wide reciever that knows how to run a downfield route. He can say they only throw to him 2 times a game, but, if he is not open then what are you supposed to do? We should have traded for Roy Williams. How does Dallas have any cap space? I think it is time to start redoing this team. I think Clayton is gone after his contract is up. I think Heap is gone after his contract is up. I think they should be looking for suitors for McGahee. You have to keep Ray because well, he is Ray. Ngata is the best d-lineman in the NFL. They need to pay serious attention to the CBs, WRs, and LBs that are entering the draft this year. Injuries are a sign of aging. They spent all their money on the Defense and ended up with a sea-saw with star jones on one side and calista flockheart on the other.

hi mr. williams. sorry about your son.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow piece on what Derrick Martin's parents have to say about him going to IR. Is Terrance Copper's Mom happy that he's going to be playing closer to home? He's a DC product y'know.

How will a year of Flacco experience put an end to Demitrius dropping the ball? He does not possess the focus or hands to be a big time receiver in this league. And he is delicate.

Sorry Dad.

I love how Rick H. just makes stuff up. He must be the ultimate Ravens Insider to comment with such confidence about Demetrius not possessing the "focus or hands to be a big time receiver in this league." The Ravens obviously should make Rick H. their new director of pro personnel or, better yet, GM.

Demetrius is one of my favorite Ravens. He WILL be a star for us. He and Flacco will be taking many trips to Hawaii. Demetrius has speed, hands, and agility, as he showed in his rookie year. When he comes back in full health, it's on.

Did you happen to see what Dallas gave up to get Roy Williams? We might as well trade them our whole draft. Screw that. Sign Houshmanzadeh to a deal in the offseason. I believe he is a free agent (that's what the Almighty Jamison says, anyway).

Mr. Williams, don't take it personal, us ravens fans are a tough crowd to please. But one thing we have not had (ever) as a team is a lights-out receiver. We are all hoping Demetrius will be that guy one day. I was very upset to hear that he had to IR this season. He is young and strong and will bounce back from this. Good luck and god bless.

Boy im glad Kyle Boller got put on the IR too, he can get much better for next year right. Being injury prone is sometimes due to lack of conditioning and other times just bad luck. With Demetrius lets hope its just bad luck.

I have to agree with Rick H. Williams may have more dropped balls than Heap. How many times have you seen him make a great attempt going up for the ball, the ball hitting him in the hands, and the ball falls to the ground? If that is not a problem with "focus" or "hands", what is it?

Pete's reply: I don't know about that. Most of the balls to Williams in the old offense were contested. Now, you can argue that he didn't get enough separation once in awhile, but this was not a team with a quarterback the past few years who put every ball on your hands.

Big time/big play receivers don't go up for the ball and not make the catch. Seen it too many times with Williams. I too am sorry Dad. Rick H. for G.M.!

A couple of things (maybe more, I am an old football coach and my math is horrible). I really want to thank Peter for the opportunity to speak out in defense of my kid. Its tough to sit and see your kid get hammered a little in any environment. I want to say to all of you I think Peter did an outstanding job of getting the info and presenting it to the Ravens fan base.

I want to thank all of you that expressed the support to me for my response understanding that I have seen him play all of his life, and if he gets his health squared away I think Baltimore will be the benificiary of a good reciever. I have seen him do some extraordinary things as a reciever, as he grew at each level . I want you all to know that I never professed that he is a "big time" reciever in the NFL. How many teams have a Larry Fitzgerald, or go back; a Jerry Rice? What I do believe is that Demetrius is a solid reciever, given the chance to get healthy and get on the field regularly, he will produce. The rosters of the NFL are filled with recievers that were taken in the first and second round and they are no where near producing on the field.

One other thing Rick H., as a coach I expect my reciever to get a ball thrown to spot where my deep threat can get to it. Even if it is contested he should be able to make the "first"play on the ball. That did not happen regularly in any of the seasons he has played. His first td (a 77 ydr against two defenders) from Boller was even a little underthrown.

This what I am good at. Go back and look at the film of the "drops" that Demetrius had and point out one, that he did not have to turn awkwardly or even back into the DB to try and make a play. I did and I counted three that I feel he should have come away with. How many of us in our profession(s) have only made three mistakes in the past three years. Sorry Rick, give the kid a break.

Lastly, I waited until the season was over to respond. I told Peter back when we first spoke that the Ravens were good for at least 9 wins (ask him). I knew and still feel, this is a good team, and I did not want to distract from the succesful run the team was making. We need to find a way to keep Ray, some way some how. He is more than just a player on the field for this organization. I have a signed sealed prediction for next year that I am going to send to Peter, (just because it is fun to do) to see just how good my football eye/knowledge really is. Thank you all again, especially Peter and I am hoping for an even more successful season next year.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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