Can Witten catch fire like Romo?

As if replacing the colorful Coach Chucky (Jon Gruden) in the MNF booth isn’t enough, the manner in which Romo made it look so easy adds context to expectations for Witten.

The former tight end might not have to predict plays, but his success on the big stage will undoubtedly hinge on whether he can develop a TV persona that wins with the consumers. That’s insight wrapped in style and pizzazz. Some signature phrase or hook — veteran viewers remember the first ex-Cowboys star in the booth, Dandy Don Meredith, crooning, Turn out the lights…the party’s over — is good for his business, too.

We aren’t chasing a star, Jay Rothman, ESPN’s lead producer for MNF, insisted to USA TODAY Sports. We’re not trying to ride the Tony Romo wave.

Mike Smith earned his second Derby victory. The 52-year-old jockey crossed the finish line at Churchill Downs with only a few specks of mud on his white and green silks in the rainiest Derby in the race’s 144-year history.

According to coach John Harbaugh, the game plan for the Heisman-winning dual-threat player is still very much under construction.

You can do it in practice. You do it in the laboratory, Harbaugh told reporters when asked how the Ravens ‘ staff will formulate a plot for Jackson to succeed early on in Baltimore. Obviously we’ve got coaches who have a lot of experience with that. That’s helpful to us. You do it on the practice field. We ran a lot of stuff out here today that you probably saw.

We’re gonna always try to get our players making plays for us. Lamar’s a guy that can help us win games.

Harbaugh offered no specifics as to what the Ravens ‘ lab, led by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, has already cooked up, but early signs point to Baltimore leaning on Jackson’s arm, rather than his legs.

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