City Desk

Fight for Old D.C. (Cont.): Did the Baltimore Ravens Draft Tyrod Taylor to Be Footsoldier in the Harbaugh Plan?

Looks like the Baltimore Ravens really are intent on moving the line of scrimmage for fandom. Their creep into the Nation's Capital continues later this week, with a minor league baseball appearance by draftee Tyrod Taylor.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, remember, all but boasted at the end of last season that his organization was going to expand its fanbase. That expansion, Harbaugh made clear, was going to be highlighted by a D.C. takeover.

Here's the coach outlining The Harbaugh Plan:

I love the Baltimore Raven fans. We're reaching out and trying to get more. We're trying to take control of this whole area. We'll take over Washington DC while we're at it. And head up into Pennsylvania and grab all those fans, and over to West Virginia and Virginia. Come on and be a Baltimore Raven fan because this is an exciting organization and exciting football team.

Others within Steve Bisciotti's organization seem to be following up on the coach's pledge, too.

Soon after Harbaugh spoke, Raven RB Ray Rice was throwing his birthday party at the Lux Lounge in downtown D.C.

Then in April's draft, the Ravens used two picks on local (as in the D.C. market) favorites: University of Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith in the second round, and Virginia Tech QB Taylor in the sixth.

Taylor, particularly, looked like he could have been a good pickup for the Redskins. Tech fans are loyal to their own to the point of obnoxiousness, and, well, this offseason, it's clear the Skins are in need of not only a quarterback but some marketable bodies.

But while Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen were moving heaven and earth to stockpile seventh-round choices, the Ravens' Ozzie (not Smith) Newsome snagged Taylor for Baltimore, a team with a far clearer depth chart in the backfield with young franchise QB Joe Flacco.

And now, lockout notwithstanding, it looks like Taylor has been enlisted as a soldier in the Fight for Old D.C.

Taylor is the featured guest at Thursday night's Bowie Baysox game, scheduled to throw out the first pitch and stick around to sign autographs all night.

On paper, Bowie shouldn't be a swing city. Google Maps says the Baysox home field is 12 miles from the Redskins' FedExField (which has hosted Virginia Tech games in the past to exploit the Hokies' massive D.C. following) and a whopping 34 miles from the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, which has not hosted Virginia Tech games.

But the Ravens clearly feel Bowie's in play. And I gotta think the fact they're dangling a Hokie ain't an accident.

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  • randy_hawkins

    Dave, I Think you're reaching here. Bowie is the AA team of the Orioles, so there is that connection. Tyrod is making his way to Richmond's minor league club on Saturday, too. I think it's more of a Hokie thing than anything for all of this.

  • noodlez

    "the Ravens' Ozzie Smith snagged Taylor for Baltimore..." YO DAVE MC DONT YOU MEAN OZZIE NEWSOME???

  • Dave McKenna

    noodlez:I'm a tool. I mean, IMA TOOL! Ozzie Smith? geezus chrysler! I'll make it right. Thanks for the catch.

    And Randy H, well, before the draft I really was thinking Tyrod could be a good low pick for the Redskins for football and non-football reasons, and when they worked him out I was pretty sure he'd end up in Ashburn. And, I really do still believe it wasn't all Xs and Os that got him to Baltimore. But, maybe that's more of that reaching you're talking about! Thanks for the input.

  • RavenManiac!

    Can't really fault the Baltimore Ravens front office for these methodical & savey bussiness moves, After all the Ravens are considered to be one of the NFL's smartest organizations, If Skins management were wise they could learn a thing or two from the Ravens on how to run an effective & flourishing professional football program both on & off the field IMO, *Kanye Shoulder shrug*

    P.S. I think the take over plan is a brilliant one, If anything it should force the Redskins to step their game up both on & off the field. It's nothing more then healthy competition.

  • DelusionalThinking

    Maybe the Ravens have a shot at taking some of the DC market, but he's delusional when it comes to Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Fans in those regions aren't going to be abandoning the Steelers for their divisional little brother any time soon.