7:45-Here are you injury reports, starting with Baltimore:
S Tom Zbikowski-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Concussion
S Ed Reed-LIMITED-Concussion
TE LJ Smith-LIMITED-Hamstring
LB Tavares Gooden-FULL-Knee
LB Terrell Suggs-FULL-Concussion/Chest
LB Antwan Applewhite-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Hamstring
C Nick Hardwick-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
DE Travis Johnson-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Groin
RB LaDainian Tomlinson-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
G Louis Vasquez-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Knee
P Mike Scifres-LIMITED-Groin
DT Jamal Williams-LIMITED-Arm
OT Marcus McNeill-FULL-Hand
1:30-Mike Florio (of ProFootballTalk.com) notes today that Chargers RB Michael Bennett may see his first regular season game action with the team Sunday when they face the Ravens. It is interesting to note that Bennett did play in the postseason last year.
Also, with the Ravens enjoying the chance to give coaches Gatorade baths after wins, I would say that Cam Cameron (former Chargers assistant) and Secondary Coach Chuck Pagano (whose brother John is the LB Coach for the Chargers) are the two most likely candidates to get the bath should the Ravens wind up victorious Sunday.
1:27-I noticed Tavares Gooden, LJ Smith, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs were all out there practicing, but cannot say I saw Tom Zbikowski. I was only out at practice shortly; so I also won’t say he didn’t. I’ll await the official word later today. I’m a blogging professional like that.
OC Cam Cameron
DC Greg Mattison
ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
LB Tavares Gooden
LB Jarret Johnson
NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net. I’m going to go watch a bit of practice, then I’ll be joining Bob Haynie on AM1570 WNST at 1:30.
1:08-A couple more nuggets from Jerry Rosburg, as he mentioned that Jon McGraw’s blocked punt in the win over the Chiefs was “clearly” his fault, blaming a “communication problem” that he said was fixed first thing Monday.
He also said of Steve Hauschka (and all kickers in general), they need to “know (their) stadium better than any other kicker.” He said this in reference to the field goal Hauschka missed to the left due to the wind at M&T Bank Stadium. Rosburg said those things will happen with a young kicker as he learns the stadiums in general. Given the fact that the Chargers play in arguably the best climate in football, he doesn’t expect Hauschka will have to figure out too much about Qualcomm Stadium.
12:58-Cam Cameron is returning to San Diego, where he served as Offensive Coordinator from 2002-2006, and got to know a number of the players on the current Chargers team. While he admitted he has “a lot of great memories” from his time with the Chargers, he also noted that Sunday was “just another football game.”
When talking about the offense he developed with Chargers coach Norv Turner, Cameron noted “we can all go back to Don Coryell and credit him for the whole thing.” Regarding the criticism Turner receives, Cameron stated somewhat emphatically “Norv Turner is a great football coach.”
Cameron “absolutely” expects to see his former player LaDainian Tomlinson on the field Sunday.
12:51-The praise of the San Diego Chargers continued today. ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg described RB/KR Darren Sproles as “very explosive”, and noted that it will “take everyone” to stop him. He went on to praise every aspect of the Bolts’ team, saying it will take an “all out team effort” to shut them down.
Cam Cameron noted that he believed San Diego’s defense has “tremendous speed.” Greg Mattison described Phillip Rivers as “a great quarterback.” Tavares Gooden was impressed by TE Antonio Gates’ “double moves” and “ability to read a defense.” Jarret Johnson said both Sproles and LaDainian Tomlinson have “a ton of speed” and aren’t afraid to block.
12:45-I think the one storyline going into today’s game that no one really wants to talk about is the potential playoff ramifications a game this early on can have. With the Ravens and Chargers both expected to be AFC contenders, this game could ultimately be the difference in Home Field Advantage, a Wild Card spot, or even just seeding in the playoffs. It’s WAY too early to really look at that, but I asked Jarret Johnson about it anyway-if only because-I’m interested. He gave me exactly the answer I thought I’d get. “It’s the second game……playoffs aren’t even a factor right now.”
He’s absolutely right, but if the Ravens win the AFC North and the Chargers win the AFC West; this game could end up meaning much more.
12:40 The players in question this morning are all “fine” according to Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison. Mattison said both Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed would be good to go Sunday, saying Reed was out there “intercepting passes” in practice yesterday despite the fact that he wasn’t necessarily supposed to be practicing. Mattison said Suggs “is fine”, just dealing with some “soreness” in his stomach and ribs.
Tavares Gooden told me he would “definitely” be able to go Sunday, saying his knee feels “a lot better.”
11:21-The word of the day at 1 Winning Drive is “concussion.” We’ll find out shortly how Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Tom Zbikowski are progressing. Expected to hear from coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison, and Jerry Rosburg shortly. I’ll be back with more.