2:24-Harbaugh would not give us any idea on how long the starters might go Thursday night, but did mention that he has “thought about” not playing some guys.
I’m still guessing that we’ll see the first unit for 1 series on each side of the football, so long as that series is at least 5 plays or so.
2:09-Hear from John Harbaugh, Kelly Gregg, and Terrell Suggs in the WNST.net Audio Vault.
Couple of housekeeping notes regarding the Ravens. They are holding a walk through tomorrow morning in preparation for Thursday night’s game; but the session is not open to the media. Chris Pika will be live from the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta and will host our live blog at WNST.net. I will be joining him in the discussion, as well as on Twitter.
Players will be here in Owings Mills Friday with brief availability. I will talk to as many of them as I can during the time we have. Saturday is the next roster deadline, as the team has to be down to 53 players. The actual deadline is 6pm. The Ravens would like to have the decisions made well before then, but it is unlikely.
Come Monday, the team will be back on a regular schedule, with Coach Harbaugh’s first press conference of the season at 3pm.
I will be working on a mock roster tonight, which I will have for you during the day tomorrow.
1:55-Couple more odds and ends from John Harbaugh today.
-Harbs mentioned the team does have to consider the knee injury rookie LB Jason Phillips has been battling back from; but also likes what he sees from Phillips. He said he “can see the flashes” in the rookie LB from TCU.
-Harbaugh said the team has “a long way to go on all 3 phases”, and said that while the first team defense has been ALMOST perfect, “the ALMOST part is a real bugaboo.” Coach Harbaugh added that the defense “has a chance to be one of, if not the best defense in the league.”
1:48-Notes from practice: Chris Carr and Jared Gaither both returned to the practice field today after missing yesterday’s practice. When asked about missing Monday, Carr said it was “insignificant.”
Oniel Cousins and LJ Smith remained OUT, and TE Isaac Smolko was also not present.
Ed Reed did not participate in practice; but showed up late with a hoodie and shorts on; putting a jersey on over his hoodie. My first thought would be that the team may have already decided to hold Ed out of Thursday night’s game. Last week, the team used Thursday’s practice as a “Panthers practice”, and may have used today as a “Falcons practice.”
If there’s anything more, we will let you know.
1:15-Maybe the quote of the preseason thus far from John Harbaugh was his take on Dannell Ellerbe when I asked him if having not been out on the field has hurt his chances of making the roster (Editor’s note: I knew the answer already. You ask questions sometimes just looking for quotes). Harbs said the saying around the team was “you can’t make the club in the tub”, but then added that they were still looking at guys like Ellerbe.
On two other bubble guys: D-Linemen Brandon McKinney and Kelly Talavou, Harbaugh said “It’s really important to have a lot of big, physical guys on the D-Line.” Veteran DT Kelly Gregg added about those two guys “you can’t teach size.”
1:03-Cleo Lemon WAS cut by the Ravens earlier this morning, getting their roster down to the 75 player limit they needed to reach by today’s deadline. Lemon was certainly going to be cut before Saturday’s deadline to get down to 53; but the timing is a little bit of a surprise. Many of us thought Lemon might get a number of snaps in the 2nd half Thursday night; to take the pressure of the QB’s who WOULD be on the roster (Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, and John Beck).
This might be an indication that the team wants to see John Beck play a little bit more on Thursday night. He has been VERY limited in the last two games, and could use some game work to show the staff what he has been learning in the preseason.
Harbaugh on Lemon: “Cleo obviously is a proven QB in this league to some extent. We’re disappointed we didn’t have more a chance to get to know him.”
This move may allow Lemon to try to catch on with a team that is battling QB depth issues right now. The Chiefs come to mind right off the bat given Matt Cassell’s injury; and it also reminds me that the Ravens used Willie Anderson to help gameplan for the Bengals in Week 1 last year; it is not inconceivable that the Chiefs could try to do the same thing with Lemon in preparing for Sept. 13. Although I would assume Willie Anderson was probably more helpful to the Ravens than Cleo Lemon could dream of being with Kansas City. But work with me here, people.
12:58-Mark Clayton (hamstring) actually said he would try to give it a go in warmups Thursday night at the Georgia Dome; but it appears to be pretty safe to assume that he will be OUT. Mark reminded us that game experience wasn’t quite as important for him as it might be for some guys on other teams; as he feels as though practicing against the Ravens defense is about as good as playing in a game.
12:53-I starting writing a blog earlier and it somehow did not post. Probably my fault, but maybe the fault of the wireless system here at 1 Winning Drive. Onward and upward I say; and thanks to the WNST staff for picking it up without me.
Terrell Suggs (achilles, heel) DID say he was going to play Thursday night in Atlanta, however he is not sure how long he’ll go. He thinks it is important for him to get out there in game action before the regular season starts. Terrell was also sporting an Orioles hat today; he said he would trade in his Yankees cap after the organization invested in him the way they did.
John Harbaugh had said previously that he thought Suggs was “sort of a maybe” for the game.
Suggs also addressed rookie DE/LB Paul Kruger, who has been running with the starters during Suggs’ absence. Suggs says he’s going to heckle Kruger the way he heckled Joe Flacco last year, and mentioned that he’s been calling him “Goldielocks.”
12:05 p.m. — Terrell Suggs and Chris Carr will both play Thursday night in Atlanta. Mark Clayton will not play but says he will be ready for Chiefs on Sept. 13.
11:26 a.m. — The Ravens have cut quarterback Cleo Lemon to get the roster down to 75 players in time for Thursday’s game in Atlanta. Guess we’ll see more of John Beck vs. Falcons.