Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jim Williams: From the booth, Bus honks for Baltimore

Jerome Bettis raises the Super Bowl trophy in his hometown of Detroit last season. Jim Williams, The Examiner
Sep 7, 2006 5:00 AM (10 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 4 of 7,418 articles

BALTIMORE - When Jerome Bettis played against the Ravens, the last thing he considered was how to make Baltimore a better team. After all, The Bus played for the hated, rival Pittsburgh Steelers and was the focus of many a crunching hit.

Now, though, Bettis is a media insider and part of the brand new “Football Night in America” team on WBAL 11, to be seen each Sunday at 7 p.m. prior to “NBC Sunday Night Football.” Bettis joins Bob Costas, Peter King, Cris Collinsworth and Sterling Sharpe on the network’s new pre-game show.

When I spoke to him last week as he was getting ready for this week’s debut, he was very high on the Ravens.

Bettis on the Ravens new quarterback, Steve McNair: “The Ravens got the perfect man for the job. Steve manages a game better than almost any QB that I have ever seen. He always is thinking ahead, seldom throws a pick and is great at improvisation. He is also a leader, and I really think that will help the Ravens focus. Finally, Kyle Boller will learn a great deal from Steve, who is a born teacher.”

Bettis on the Ravens’ playoff chances: “They should be able to do well, and I would not be surprised if they won the division. The Ravens have the quality players on ... offense, and of course, you have to love that defense. Or maybe I should say, ‘It is far easier to enjoy the talent of their defense when they aren’t chasing me.’ For the Ravens to make the playoffs, they have to be a better road team and get more consistency on the offense, and with Steve running the show, I like their chances.”

Thursday night on WBAL, you will be able to see the NBC gang of Al Michaels, John Madden and Andrea Kreamer as they handle the opening game of the season between Miami and Pittsburgh.

Also, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network debuts Friday on Comcast channel 62 in Baltimore and channel 64 in Baltimore County, and plenty of Ravens programs can be seen on the network. Ravens Game Plan airs Fridays at 7 p.m. For the complete schedule of Ravens programming, check out

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

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