Live From Owings Mills: Healthy Ravens Preparing for Broncos

October 28, 2009 | Glenn Clark

7:53-Injury Report:

Ravens:
LB Tavares Gooden-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Head
S Ed Reed-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Illness
QB Joe Flacco-FULL-Ankle
OT Jared Gaither-FULL-Neck
LB Jarret Johnson-FULL-Shoulder
WR/ST David Tyree-FULL-Hamstring

Broncos:
DL Ronald Fields-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Hamstring
S Brian Dawkins-LIMITED-Hamstring
LB Spencer Larsen-FULL-Shoulder

2:13-Don’t forget about “Billick 101″ tonight at Mother’s in Federal Hill. This is your chance to have a Super Bowl winning head coach teach you the X’s and O’s of football. You can just come out and ask Brian ANYTHING about the game.

2:03-Josh McDaniels is joining us for a conference call now. Here are some highlights:

-Pass rush has improved thanks to outstanding coverage defensively.
-Appreciates play of Champ Bailey, who he says is a “tremendous worker” and cares a great deal about winning
-Brandon Marshall “practicing hard”, “big part of our success.” He thinks Marshall situation “taken out of context” over summer.
-Says he took his name out of running for Ravens head coaching position 2 years ago (after Billick fired) because Patriots were in the midst of a perfect season and he needed to be more prepared to be a head coach.
-Broncos have succeeded in 2nd half because they are “smart, resilient football team.”
-Flacco a “smart football player”, “extremely tough”
-Brian Dawkins brings “incredible” energy and spirit to team. He practices “as hard or harder than everyone else.”
-Mike Nolan is an “excellent coach” who “calls games aggressively” on gameday.

2:00-In a humorous moment today, Ray Rice channeled “Wedding Crashers” in saying he knew that Maryland is all about “Crabcakes and Football”, but admitted that he was allergic to shellfish, so he had to stick with “salmon and football.”

1:58-Ravens DT Brandon McKinney will join Drew Forrester (swine flu pending!) tomorrow morning on The Comcast Morning Show on AM1570 WNST and WNST.net.

1:44-John Harbaugh:

-Ravens “always have a special sense of urgency”, no more this week because of 3 game losing streak. Game has “same importance” as other games.
-Brian Dawkins is a “Hall of Famer”, Champ Bailey is “absolutely” still a shut down corner
-Ravens’ pass protection “good……but it needs to get better.”
-Broncos’ pass rushers “beat blocks 1 on 1.”
-”Veteran players” have helped Broncos defensively, along with Mike Nolan’s “complex scheme.”
-As Lardarius Webb “continues to grow”, he’ll see playing field more.
-Elvis Dumervil is more similar to Steelers’ James Harrison than Vikings’ Jared Allen.
-Ravens “need to do everything better” defensively

1:42-Jared Gaither again told us that his neck was fine; and was out on the practice field. For the record, he WAS practicing at LT, and has been expected to re-claim the position with Michael Oher moving back to RT.

1:32-Derrick Mason:

-”We understand what’s at stake” Sunday against Denver
-”You can’t teach” toughness like Flacco’s
-Champ Bailey “is the best” Cornerback in the NFL
-To beat Bailey, you have to “go out there and play hard.”
-Offense is “like a thermostat”….they’ve been starting games set at 65 or 70 and then turning up; but they “need to start at 100.”

1:22-Elvis Dumervil is joining us for a conference call. Here are the highlights:

-Pass rush is better because they are “working together.”
-Mike Nolan and Josh McDaniels have done “tremendous job”; Nolan “simplified things” defensively
-Says Flacco “big, strong kid with strong arm.”
-He says he goes “all out” in pursuit of quarterback
-Expects Ravens to have “great week of preparation” after 3 straight losses
-”Conditioning” has allowed Broncos to be great 2nd half team

1:17-Joe Flacco:

-Broncos are “capable of making you feel uncomfortable” with their pass rush
-Broncos defense is “most similar” to Ravens’ own defense
-Offensively “we’ve evolved as a group.”
-Flacco also pointed out that he’s be rooting for his hometown Phillies in the World Series, and thought Cole Hamels was a key to the series.

1:13-Todd Heap:

-Brian Dawkins is a “definite leader:, “brings passion”, and has been “playing all over the field” this season.
-Broncos defense will be a “huge challenge”
-Said he recognized some of what the Broncos do defensively because of the time (Broncos DC) Mike Nolan spent in Baltimore
-Ravens “DO need to start better” offensively in games
-Team used bye week to “take stock of where (they) are”

1:08-Some thoughts from around the locker room today:

Ray Rice:
-He was asked if he is underestimated due to his size, and quickly responded “not anymore.”
-He said that in his 2nd NFL season, he can now “read a defense”, “read a coverage.”
-After making an appearance this weekend at “Shogun Fights” at 1st Mariner Arena and receiving a standing ovation in the cage, Rice commented that the experience in Baltimore has been “everything I’ve dreamed of.”

1:02-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
TE Todd Heap
OT Jared Gaither
LB Ray Lewis
CB Domonique Foxworth

11:10-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Ravens are gearing up for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The great news for the Ravens is that everyone is practicing right now, meaning a healthy roster can be expected for Sunday’s game. John Harbaugh told us Monday that Joe Flacco looked “great” recovering from a swollen ankle. Jared Gaither said a week ago that he was ready to come back from his neck injury, and there is no doubt the time off was beneficial for Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson in recovering from their back and shoulder injuries respectively.

We are scheduled to hear from Harbs, Flacco, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and a number of other players today. Josh McDaniels and Elvis Dumervil are scheduled for conference calls with the Baltimore media. I’ll be back shortly with more.

-G

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