9:47-Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson did not practice today, per PFT. He has a hip injury he’s nursing. We’ll be watching this over the next few days. The Bengals will need all of their weapons.
5:22-In another tragic twist to the Tony Fein story, it now appears as though Tony’s death is likely to be ruled a suicide. Via the Twitter account of Carroll County Times/National Football Post writer Aaron Wilson, his Baltimore attorney Warren A. Brown says that it is believed Tony took his own life. Toxicology reports may not rule an official cause of death for another 6-8 weeks.
On a personal note, I had the privilege of getting to know Tony and his former Ole Miss teammates Jason Cook and Michael Oher a bit out in Westminster. I had been told by some friends of Tony that he was VERY active during his service time; and still dealt with post-traumatic stress stemming from things he had been involved with during the war.
Truly a sad, tragic end for a man who lived an honorable life. I just spoke to Jason Cook (who you’ll remember nearly made the team as a fullback-and scored a TD in the final preseason game against the Falcons); who is now serving as team chaplain for the Rebels and working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes there in Oxford. He asked for prayers for Tony’s family, who is hurting right now.
4:37-I asked Joe Flacco if he felt the need to say something to Mark Clayton after Mark’s costly late drop Sunday in Foxborough. I thought maybe Joe could have patted him on the ass, said “You know I’m still coming to you next time” and kept running; OR he could have just assumed Mark would know his QB still trusts him. It was the latter. Joe said “Mark’s fine”, and then followed it up by saying “the end of the game didn’t mean anything.”
Maybe not to him……
4:34-It appeared as though Justin Harper was playing the role of Chad Ochocinco in practice today. Demetrius Williams played Randy Moss a week ago, and the rest of the WR’s usually split the roles of the other receivers after the #1 guy.
LB Jarrett Johnson-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Shoulder
WR Derrick Mason-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Neck
WR Demetrius Williams-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Illness
OT Jared Gaither-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Neck
CB Chris Carr-LIMITED-Groin
LB Tavares Gooden-FULL-Shoulder
DT Haloti Ngata-FULL-Back
S Ed Reed-FULL-Knee
OT Andre Smith-OUT-Foot
RB Cedric Benson-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Hip
LB Rashad Jeanty-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Finger
LB Rey Maualuga-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Knee
S Chinedum Ndukwe-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Hamstring
DT Tank Johnson-LIMITED-Foot
DT Domata Peko-LIMITED-Chest
CD David Jones-FULL-Foot
S Roy Williams-FULL-Forearm
2:14-Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest turnaround possible of news from Owings Mills. As soon as I get something, I get it up right over there.
2:08-OT Jared Gaither and WR Derrick Mason were not on the practice field today. Mason is likely a precaution stemming from the painful way he went to the ground Sunday after catching the TD against the Pats. Gaither was in a neck brace today, John Harbaugh said his neck “is a little stiff.” Neither the coach nor the player would rule out Gaither giving it a go Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
2:03-I asked Ray Lewis if he still gets excited to face former Defensive Coordinator Marvin Lewis (despite the fact that this will be the 13th time Marvin has faced the Ravens since going to Cincy). Ray confirmed that he did, saying it’s been “the teacher and the pupil from Day 1.” It appeared as though a few other Ravens players (including Terrell Suggs) understood the history between Marvin and the team despite the fact that VERY few of them were here when Marvin was.
1:54-Ravens players didn’t really appear to be concerned about Chad Ochocinco had to say this morning on a media conference call, or what he was Tweeting during the day yesterday. Here is a smattering of reactions:
-Ray Lewis: “That’s Chad, man. It’s just fun.” Ray also commented about Ochocinco’s comments regarding 52 as a mentor, saying “my phone is always open to him.” I’m “always trying to help him as a man.”
-Derrick Mason on if HE is the real “Ocho Cinco”: “My mother gave me a name. I’m gonna use it.”
-Todd Heap (who has a Pac 10 background with Ochocinco when they played at Arizona State and Oregon State respectively): “Chad and I go way back……I just laugh at him.” Todd also said that the Ravens will “try to hold him to no catches and no touchdowns” so they don’t see his TD celebration.
-Terrell Suggs (playfully) offered to take Ochocinco up on his offer to box him, suggesting a major event in Las Vegas.
-Domonique Foxworth said he found it funny that that Ochocinco called him “Vivica Foxworth” on Twitter Monday, but he had no interest in responding.
-John Harbaugh declined to comment on Ochocinco’s actions, saying instead “We’ve gotta defend him.”
1:18-Certainly the death of Tony Fein was on the minds of a number of Ravens players today, as well as Coach Harbaugh. Here is a smattering of the reactions:
-Harbaugh said the coaching staff talked about Tony’s death with players this morning. He said he was “shocked”, “saddened”, and “unbelievably disappointed” to hear the news. He went on to say that Fein “was a really good teammate”, “a Raven”, and that the organization had learned that the LB was going to be vindicated in court regarding the assault charges stemming from the incident at Johnny Rockets downtown.
-Derrick Mason said “my prayers go out to his family”, the death was “unfortunate”, and the Ravens “enjoyed him when he has here.”
-Ray Lewis said Fein was a “humble young man”, and he was “really sad” to hear about the news.
-College teammate and friend Michael Oher told me personally that he is considering a game to game tribute to Fein.
1:06-I’m going to start updating soon I PROMISE. In the meantime, head to the Audio Vault at WNST.net to hear from:
Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
WR Derrick Mason
TE Todd Heap
LB Ray Lewis
LB Prescott Burgess
LB Terrell Suggs
LB Jarrett Johnson
CB Domonique Foxworth
and my one on one with OT Michael Oher regarding the death of his Missippi teammate and friend Tony Fein
I will be joining Bob Haynie momentarily on AM1570 WNST.
11:19-The highlight of Chad Ochocinco’s conference call (besides The Ricky Bobby information) was his proclamation that the Baltimore media should let the Ravens know they’re going to “Kiss The Baby.” He asked the media to “make sure you tell them.”
He’s always entertaining.
11:03-Highlights from Chad Ochocinco:
-is Ray Lewis scared of him?: “I doubt it.”
-on Twitter fight with Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth: “I was playing around…….I have much respect” for them
-what does “Kiss The Baby” mean?: “It’s over.”
-said he’s preparing “The Ricky Bobby” celebration for Sunday. Confirmed it will come from scene in the movie “Talladega Nights” where Will Ferrell’s character believes he’s on fire. He said celebration is “a rule breaker”, and he’s “prepared to be fined” by NFL
-said Bengals defense is “saving our ass”, offense needs more “consistency”
-He’s “targetting” Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, F. Washington and Foxworth.
-Playing Ravens “most exciting game for me.”
-Ray Lewis is his “spiritual father”, a conversation he had with Ray changed his entire outlook from last season to this season
-says he’d like to box Terrell Suggs
10:57-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Ravens are preparing for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. Here’s a coulpe things we will be watching for today….
-Will Jared Gaither return to practice? John Harbaugh wouldn’t rule his big Tackle out for Sunday’s game, but certainly you’d imagine this team would use caution in dealing with a neck/shoulder injury.
-How will the team react to the death of Tony Fein? Certainly a number of players had the chance to get to know Tony during Training Camp, but none as well as Michael Oher, who played with him at Ole Miss.
-What will Chad Ochocinco have to say when he talks to us in a matter of minutes? Marvin Lewis is also chatting with the Baltimore media today-around 12:15, hopefully I will catch some of his conversation as well.
-Tavares Gooden missed the Patriots game because of injury, right? I couldn’t help but notice THIS note on this week’s Ravens-Browns game release: “All 53 Ravens players were healthy for the start of the game at New England.” I would assume this is just a mistake, but it might be worth noting…..