2:48-Some highlights from Jamal Lewis’ conference call with the Baltimore media:
–Says he’s retiring because he’s “tired of it……time to move on.” He made the decision before the season started.
–“I’m in good shape. That’s how I wanted to leave the game….healthy….so I could go do other things.”
-He has “other businesses” he’ll work on during retirement.
–Jamal says he’ll remember his career “as a Raven of course.”
–He wouldn’t say he wished he finished career in Baltimore. Says leaving for Cleveland was “good timing” for him.
–Monday Night will be more special because it is “last time” he’ll face Ray Lewis, Ravens.
–Says best memories of Baltimore include “hanging around” Rod Woodson, Corey Harris, Ray Lewis, etc.
–Believes he’ll be remembered as “hard worker” in NFL
-He shared some “love” with Brian Billick when the former Ravens coach was in Cleveland earlier this season.
–He and Billick “agreed to disagree”, but Jamal thought Brian was a “good coach.”
-He’s “not sure” what it would take to turn Browns around.
–“We just have to keep on pushing on.”
–Thinks Ray Rice “special back.”
–Ravens still have “physical” defense, playing well up front.
-Kokinis firing “shocking to me.”
2:40-I just wanted to follow up on something that Derek Arnold blogged about yesterday. I usually enjoy Gregg Easterbrook’s “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” on ESPN.com. I think he speaks generally well about football knowing that he can’t possibly follow every team. However, this is one of the dumbest things I have ever read…..
“Right now, rookie left tackle Michael Oher looks terrible. Oher has, at a tender age, already had a lifetime of complex emotional experiences, plus been the subject of a book that’s been made into a big-studio movie that opens next week. When Oher was drafted, TMQ noted, “The true story of an impoverished African-American boy adopted by an affluent white family has obvious Hollywood appeal, but can any 22-year-old handle such media pressure?” Maybe Baltimore needs to take him out of the lineup for a while.”
Gregg should probably have asked someone how Michael Oher was playing before making such a statement. Michael has graded OFF THE CHARTS for his performance-is a RIGHT TACKLE (who was forced to play 2 and a half games on the left side), and was actually on Peter King’s first half All-Pro team.
This is INSANE. Sorry for getting on a soapbox.
1:11-Fabian Washington told me he had “no idea” if he would be available for the Monday Night Football game against the Browns, he suffered a thigh contusion Sunday against the Bengals.
-Also worth noting from the locker room today; Steve Hauschka said dealing with two critical misses this season has given him “thicker skin”, he believes he’s done “a pretty good job but needs to do better.” As far as his thoughts on the team bringing in two free agent kickers for a tryout yesterday are concerned, Hauschka said “the organization wants me to be the guy, and I want to be the guy too.”
-Michael Oher was asked about playing in primetime for the first time in his NFL career, and he responded by saying “I’ve played in 8 primetime games.”
-I asked Kelly Gregg about what appears to be his final matchup with Jamal Lewis, and Kelly said “He’s a competitor, he’s playing like a young Jamal.”
1:00-DE Dwan Edwards will join Drew Forrester on The Comcast Morning Show tomorrow at 7:15.
12:58-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:
LB Jarret Johnson
C Matt Birk
K Steve Hauschka
RB Ray Rice
OT Michael Oher
OT Jared Gaither
DT Kelly Gregg
CB Fabian Washington
WR Mark Clayton
11:38-As you know if you are signed up for the WNST Text Alert service, the Ravens brought in two kickers yesterday-Mike Nugent and Billy Cundiff-for a tryout. However, John Harbaugh indicated last night on his radio show that Steve Hauschka remains the team’s “best option” at the position. I am not surprised that kickers were brought in, nor that the team decided not to make a move. Hauschka has to continue to prove that he deserves the job at the NFL level, and he didn’t do that Sunday in Cincinnati.
And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST)!
11:16-Today is a “bonus day” here at “The Castle”, so we will not hear from John Harbaugh until tomorrow. Also, the Ravens will not be allowing us to watch practice; nor will they be publishing an Injury Report. Therefore, we will have no further update on Haloti Ngata or Fabian Washington until tomorrow. We will hope those two players will be available in the locker room today, and we are still scheduled to hear from Jamal Lewis via conference call later today.
10:57-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where our day starts with a conference call with Browns coach Eric Mangini. Some highlights from Eric Mangini’s conference call:
-Jarret Johnson “fun guy to watch”, has “excellent versatility”
-George Kokinis’ firing “was difficult”, relationship “didn’t work out for a variety of reasons”
-Brady Quinn will get the nod at QB over Derek Anderson…Browns haven’t been as effective offensively “as they should be”, Quinn “deserved an opportunity.”
-“We’ve made a lot of progress” in areas like penalties, “there’s a lot of things we can do better.”
–Jamal Lewis has “had a great career”, coach impressed by how “he mentors young guys.”
-“I really believe in the things we’re doing in Cleveland.”
-Browns fans “are passionate”, “they’re frustrated, but I don’t think anyone is more frustrated than we are.”
–Ravens “can create difficulty” in every phase of game.