For more articles by Tony Lombardi click here.
Frank Walker was one of my whipping boys last year during summer camp, the preseason and well into the 2008 campaign. Yet somewhere along the line, it clicked for Walker and he became a valuable contributor to the Ravens defense. If you can refrain from parking your objectivity at the door and revisit his play during the later part of the season and into the playoffs, you would see a player who slowly but surely meshed with Rex Ryan's defense.
Perhaps you made the same mistake that I did - you let the demonstrative antics and after the play yapping of Walker distract you. After all, how could someone as regularly beaten as Walker talk trash with and hock loogies towards opponents?
Some folks within the organization think Walker is half nuts and the truth is, they like it that way. Sometimes you just need someone to stir the pot a bit and Walker seems more than happy to oblige.
It remains to be seen if Walker will make the 53 man roster come September. The competition in the defensive backfield promises to be fierce and players on the bubble like Derrick Martin might surprise and knock out Walker and his $2 million plus salary hence saving the team $1.6 million in valuable cap space.
But don't expect Walker to go down without a fight and some signature trash talking. He genuinely likes his situation in Baltimore.
Last year during the Holiday Season, members of the entire Ravens organization received greeting cards from Walker with a $2 bill inserted in each card. When they questioned Walker about the somewhat curious gift, Walker told the deuce recipients that he used to do the same in Green Bay, only there he passed out $1 bills.
Why $2 in Baltimore?
Walker said, "Twice the money, for twice the organization."