Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jim Williams: Baltimore native Harris is living out his boyhood dream
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Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 27, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 7 mins ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 4,416 articles

BALTIMORE - When Brent Harris of Comcast SportsNet was growing up in Towson, he was a diehard Colts and Orioles fan. Like all kids he dreamed of one day playing for the home team.

Well, in the case of Harris he is happy with his CSN job as the man who follows the O’s and the Ravens for the network. This season, Harris leaves the anchor desk in Bethesda and will be the beat reporter for the Ravens, starting this weekend as training camp opens in Westminster.

I spoke to Harris about this season’s Ravens team and what the best storylines are.

The quarterback situation: “Steve McNair is an All-Pro with Super Bowl and Pro Bowl experience and 12 years in the league. He commands respect and will be able to run the Ravens offense better than possibly any quarterback the team has ever had. But he will also make Kyle Boller better. It will take the pressure off Boller and allow him to grow as a leader. I think that McNair and Boller will work well together, and when Kyle needs to step in for Steve, he will be ready.

On the defense: “Ray Lewis has said that if the team had a big impact lineman in front of the talented linebackers and defensive backs, it would keep opposing teams honest. It would also allow the Ravens’ defense to play its aggressive style with a top run stopper on the line. Well, No. 1 draft choice Haloti Ngata is that guy, and when he gets signed — and I do feel that it will happen soon, he will be just what the Ravens’ defense needs to keep it dominate.

On the AFC North: “This is the best division in the AFC and might be the best in all of the NFL. You have the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, which made the playoffs last season and might have been better than the Steelers had Carson Palmer not been injured. You also have a very improved and young Cleveland team. The Ravens have their work cut out for them, but if they can stay healthy, this is a legitimate playoff team.”

So, the Baltimore boy, Brent Harris, a Towson University grad, is living his dream and doing a great job for CSN and for Ravens fans. His reports can be seen every night on CSN SportsNite starting this weekend.

Other notes

The Fox network broadcast team of Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston will be joined by former Raven DT Tony Siragusa for the preseason telecasts. We should know by next week if the games will also air on CSN as they have in the past.

* * *

Last week I told you that D.C. United and Real Madrid wanted to play a “friendly” Aug. 9 at Camden Yards. Well, the two teams will play, but the game will be in Seattle, not Baltimore. United does hope it can play a game in Baltimore next season, so soccer fans hang in there.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at

1 comment:

da bear blogger said...

Shocker! Another Comcast profile by Jim Williams. Still enjoying the free cable I see. Did you know 4 and 9 both have new sports people who grew up in the area?

9's Reid / Joyce Jackson leave and you write nothing. 4's Bruckner leaves and you let Rick Snider write something on your beat. Bruckner had been in the market 15+ years. Jackson between NewsChannel 8 and 9 had been here at least a decade. Nothing from the media guy. Weak.

News bulletin: 5 is going HD inside their studio and out in the field--something 9 does not do. This will make their sports coverage stand out. To see it, it would require you to change the channel on your TV away from ComcastSportsCrap or WJLA and we all know that's not about to happen. Keep shining the emmys.