Tag Archive | "adam terry"

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

Brian Matusz was AWESOME.

The best thing about Brian Matusz’s performance last night was that it was the type of performance that didn’t include a lot of “buts”. He did struggle with his pitch count and had to get some help from Cesar Izturis to avoid giving up multiple runs in the 2nd; but his stuff was absolutely incredible.

It doesn’t mean his tenure in Baltimore will be unblemished. But it certainly was exciting to watch last night. We haven’t had enough of those.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says Birds ‘more compelling’ than Ravens

Nestor Aparicio says even Melvin Mora added RBI as Birds ‘piled on’ Tigers

Luke Jones says Grubbs still battling injuries in Westminster

Drew Forrester says Matusz resembled Cliff Lee in win

Glenn Clark says Oher movie “The Blind Side” gets trailer

Eric Aaronson believes ‘hype’ surrounding Matusz

Tom Clayton thinks Orioles’ 2009 season will be remembered differently in future

Rex Snider says Mora linked to steroids by RotoInfo.com (apparently Rex missed it A WEEK AGO when Drew and I read this list on the air. Ball’s in your court, Snider.)

Jerry Reinhardt thinks Birds should sign Glavine in offseason

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Matusz sparkled in debut to lead Birds past Tigers

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Jeremy Guthrie goes to hill tonight vs. Edwin Jackson, Detroit

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Jason Berken ‘still expected to make his next start’ Friday

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Adam Jones hit from cleanup spot last night

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says veterans Huff, Roberts support MacPhail’s rebuilding plan

Tigers Official Site’s Mike Scott says Jarrod Washburn struggled in Detroit debut

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Matusz joins Uehara, Bergesen, Berken, Hernandez as Birds who have won first major league start this season

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Mickolio sent down to make room for Matusz

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds have made no progress in negotiations with 2nd round pick Mychal Givens

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Matusz threw 99 pitches over 5 innings in win

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Mora returned to 3rd base in win

The AP says Izturis, Markakis homered for Birds in win at Comerica Park

Detroit Free Press’ John Lowe says nearly 30,000 saw Birds top Tigers at Comerica Park

Detroit News’ Tom Gage says Matusz threw 27 pitches in 2nd, 30 in 3rd, but Tigers couldn’t take advantage

CBS Sports’ Larry Dobrow has Birds 26th in power rankings

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Brandon Snyder collected 3 hits, scored 2 runs for Tides in win over Syracuse

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Krynzel homered for Baysox in win over New Hampshire

Frederick Keys Official Site says Widlansky homered for Frederick in win over Potomac

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says Travis Keating loser in relief as Shorebirds fell to Hagerstown

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Jake Cowan winner as Ironbirds topped State College

Bluefield Orioles Official Site says Gary Helmick homered for Bluefield in win over Greeneville

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Kenny Moreland won first start since being called up from Aberdeen

Virginian-Pilot’s Darrel Cuenca says Andy Mitchell got no decision after rough start vs. Syracuse

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Adam Terry went to IR with right knee injury that required surgery

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says veteran Birk still ‘adjusting’ to Vikings

The Official Site says Harbaugh thinks Troy (Smith) ‘a football player’

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Pryce played in offseason soccer league to stay in shape

The Sun’s Edward Lee and Ken Murray say Clayton, Suggs, Ayanbadejo, Lamar Divens all missed practice Tuesday

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Gano perfect, Hauschka 4 or 5 Tuesday

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Derrick Mason brought back ‘confidence and fire’ with return

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Kelley Washington did 52 dance impression during practice

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ngata ‘nightmare’, ‘absolute beast’

Carroll County Times’ Daniel Henderson says Mark Clayton ‘taking precautions’ with hamstring injury

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says starting RT job ‘exclusively’ Oher’s with Terry hurt

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Bart Scott was grateful to play alongside Ngata in Baltimore

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Da’Rel Scott named preseason Doak Walker Award candidate

Tribune Newspapers’ Sam Farmer says DHB under ‘pressure’ with Raiders

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says former Penn State CB commit Darrell Givens not interested in coming to Maryland

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Wujciak’s health amongst camp questions for Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Da’Rel Scott trying to join Wycocki as only Maryland backs with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Ralph 16-17 vs. ACC teams on road

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Terps talking to Archbishop Carroll rush end prospect Attaochu (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Terps to face Chaminade in first round of Maui Invitational

The Sun says Maryland-Chaminade to air on ESPNU

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Colorado, Gonzaga, Arizona, Wisconsin all playing in Maui as well

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps could face Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati in 2nd round of Maui Invitational

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps to face Cincinnati or Vanderbilt in 2nd round of Maui Invitational

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Fairfield, St. John’s, Georgia Tech, Auburn, South Carolina all also involved with prospect Tsafack (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter profiles Wisconsin guard prospect Josh Gasser (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s John Talty chats with ’10 prospect Justin Jackson (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Jeff Reynolds, Brian Phipps amongst 7 Terps named to Academic All-ACC team

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Bears holding Media Day Sunday at Hughes Stadium

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says J’hared Hall to represent USA on Global Sports Academy All-Star squad

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site’s Christian Swezey says Mids adding anchor to one sleeve of jersey, Marine Corps logo to other sleeve

The Official Site says Niumatalolo knows Mids facing ‘most challenging schedule’ of his entire time at Naval Academy

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says about 1,000 fans attended FanFest Monday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says safety Middleton doesn’t think Dobbs will completely avoid all contact before season starts

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says Niumatalolo limiting Dobbs’ contact due to lack of QB depth this season

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch says Quality Road will run Travers Stakes next

The AP says Kendall Jackson creating wine to honor Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra

BOXING:

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Mark “TNT” Tucker to fight for USBO light heavyweight title in Westminster Sept. 25

SWIMMING:

CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel says Phelps, Bowman hypocritical in swimsuit complaints

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-The loss of Adam Terry will be unfortunate for the Ravens for many reasons; including their unbalanced line scenarios. But unlike other years, this team is absolutely better put together with O-Line depth.

-Looking at the Maui Invitational Field, Maryland has at least a puncher’s chance to win the thing. Gonzaga must be the favorite; but Maryland should be able to advance to the final with some ease.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Live from Westminster: Adam Terry done for the season

Posted on 04 August 2009 by Luke Jones

5:09 p.m. — Here’s a question for you: what would the Ravens do if long snapper Matt Katula went down in the middle of a game?

We saw our answer after practice this afternoon.  Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata practiced field goal snaps while running back Willis McGahee was long snapping for punting situations.  Both players looked capable, but let’s hope neither has to be called into duty.

While the average fan has no idea who Katula is, he has certainly been an excellent long snapper since joining the Ravens in 2005.

5:00 p.m. — Another rookie to keep an eye on is defensive end Will VanDeSteeg.  At 6-4 and 256 pounds, VanDeSteeg has good size and has received a few reps with the starting defense since Terrell Suggs is currently out with a strained heel.  Paul Kruger has been taking Suggs’ place in the starting lineup.

He’s just another example of the fine work Eric DeCosta and the scouting staff do every season.  While there’s no guarantee that guys like VanDeSteeg or Dannell Ellerbe will make the team, they are more than capable of coming in and competing—exactly what you want during training camp.

4:55 p.m. — With Oniel Cousins sitting out and Adam Terry now done for the season, the Ravens had Marshal Yanda getting some work at right tackle with the second offense.  Yanda continues to impress in his recovery from three torn knee ligaments, but Chris Chester continues to receive most reps at right guard for the starting offense.

The coaching staff wants to bring Yanda along slowly, a smart decision considering how serious the injury was.

4:51 p.m. — Some of the highlights of the afternoon practice included a Domonique Foxworth interception on a flea flicker attempt from John Beck.  Beck did bounce back, however, when he rolled out to the left and completed a nice sideline pass to Ernie Wheelwright.

Joe Flacco was picked off by Lardarius Webb in the end zone, but the starting quarterback rebounded a few plays later to hit Demetrius Williams for a touchdown with Webb covering on the play.

Rookie fullback Jason Cook had a nice catch out of the backfield with fellow rookie Paul Kruger covering on the play.  Cook has a decent chance of making the team if he can show an ability to catch passes out of the backfield.

4:44 p.m. — The afternoon practice lasted a little over an hour, as the players worked out in helmets, shells, and shorts.  The team spent most of practice running 11-on-11 situations with no contact.

Tackle Oniel Cousins did not practice but was out on the field unlike this morning.  Cornerback Evan Oglesby also did not practice this afternoon.  There were no other real status changes from the players that missed the morning practice.  Tom Zbikowski was dressed to practice but was not very active during the workout.

1:45 p.m. — The NFL Network is currently replaying the “Music City Miracle” game between the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills, and it’s on in the hotel lobby.  Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle—members of the 1999 Titans—have both spent a few moments watching the game in the lobby.

You have to think both of them thought of their late teammate Steve McNair while catching a few moments of the classic playoff game.

1:41 p.m. — Some fans standing on the far upper field away from the bleachers got an up close and personal look at Derrick Mason.  When Flacco threw a fade to Mason in the back corner of the end zone, the receiver’s momentum carried him all the way into the crowd of people standing just beyond the yellow rope, causing a momentary scare.  Mason would prove to be fine on the play, but it was a close encounter for the fans nearby.

1:35 p.m. — Mark Clayton talked to reporters today and suggested his hamstring injury might take a little longer to heal than previously thought.  The Ravens’ No. 2 receiver said it could be another week or two until he’s back on the field.  With Clayton’s history of hamstring issues throughout his pro career, it would make sense for the Ravens to be extra cautious in the second week of training camp.

Suggs is still walking around the team hotel with a boot on his left foot, but the Ravens continue to show little concern.  After all, we’re talking about a guy who has never missed a game and earned two sacks with a badly-injured shoulder against the Steelers in the AFC Championship last season.  Also, keep in mind that Suggs earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last season after missing all of training camp due to being designated the team’s franchise player.  He’s going to be fine.

12:24 p.m. — Left guard Ben Grubbs practiced this morning, but he continues to battle the same ankle injury that landed him on the PUP list at the start of training camp.  After coming out to practice, he was later seen talking to trainer Bill Tessendorf and then went back inside to the training room.  Grubbs later returned to practice.  In his absence, the Ravens shifted Chris Chester to left guard with Marshal Yanda playing right guard.

Tight end Edgar Jones was also shaken up early in practice but later returned to the field.

12:22 p.m. — New defensive back Chris Carr has a physical nature to his game despite his small stature (5-10, 180 pounds).  However, Carr tends to be overaggressive at times in the early stages of camp.  He was called for pass interference this morning and has been flagged several times in the first week.  While it’s certainly a plus to have a defensive back willing to get physical, but it has to come within the framework of the rules.

12:06 p.m. — Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka both looked good, though Hauschka missed a 49-yard attempt.  Hauschka was given the morning off yesterday.

Once again, this battle will come down to how each performs in the four preseason games.  Jerry Rosburg likes both kickers and thinks either one is capable of winning the job previously held by Matt Stover for the last 13 years.

11:54 a.m. — The Ravens spent a substantial amount of time working on their red zone packages this morning, with the first-team offense typically going against the second-team defense and the first-team D matching up against the second-team offense.

Joe Flacco hit Demetrius Williams on a slant for a touchdown, but the highlight of the session came from receiver Kelley Washington.  Matching up against Domonique Foxworth, Washington caught a fade route in the corner of the end zone from backup quarterback Troy Smith.  After bringing down the football, Washington broke into the Ray Lewis dance in celebration.  The move brought loud cheers from the Westminster crowd.

Willis McGahee and Ray Rice both looked strong running the ball with McGahee picking up 14 yards on a play off left tackle and Rice scoring from the 5-yard-line in a rep against the starting defense.  Rice appears to be the No. 1 back in most instances, but McGahee continues to get plenty of reps with the starting offense.

11:42 a.m. — Terrell Suggs (heel) and Mark Clayton (hamstring) once again missed practice, as both players are considered to be day-to-day with their respective injuries.  Antwan Barnes did not practice, so we have to wonder if he’s still feeling the effects of a mild concussion on Sunday morning, though he did practice on Monday.

Tom Zbikowski came up lame early on in practice and limped off with an apparent leg injury.  He spent most of the morning practice resting on a cart on the sideline.

L.J. Smith (hamstring) and Yamon Figurs (foot) returned to practice this morning.  Smith had missed action since tweaking his hamstring early last week, and Figurs was on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp.

Oniel Cousins was abent from practice this morning, but no reason was given.  I haven’t heard anything in terms of an injury dating back to yesterday, so it could just be a day off.

Others not practicing included Brendon Ayanbadejo (toe), Will Johnson, Davon Drew (ankle), and Lamar Divens.

11:28 a.m. — Coach John Harbaugh informed the media that Adam Terry would undergo another knee surgery and will miss the 2009 season.  Terry had previously been on the physically unable to perform list recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery surgery earlier this offseason.

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Live from Westminster: Suggs, Clayton do not practice

Posted on 03 August 2009 by Luke Jones

4:51 p.m. — One player I haven’t discussed too much is tight end Todd Heap.  The veteran has looked good out there with no lingering effects from the back injury apparent.  He looks quick getting in and out of his cuts and is hoping to once again become a major factor in the passing game.

“Todd has done a really good job in the offseason getting himself ready,” coach John Harbaugh said.  “He looks like he’s getting himself ready to have a really good season.  He’ll be the first to tell you that he’s got a lot of work to do betwen now and then, but he’s done well.”

4:45 p.m. — Dannell Ellerbe is a player to keep an eye on if you’re going to make your way out to Westminster.  An undrafted rookie inside linebacker out of Georgia, Ellerbe was considered a mid-round draft prospect before battling knee issues in 2008.  Ellerbe was 2nd team All-SEC in 2007.

He has been so impressive that he received a few reps with some of the defensive starters at the end of practice this morning.  While he clearly won’t challenge Ray Lewis or Tavares Gooden for a starting spot, he could be making a strong case for the 53-man roster, especially if he can perform well on special teams.

4:02 p.m. — One offensive lineman looking strong during camp is Oniel Cousins.  After largely being considered a disappointment last year, the 2008 third-round pick has impressed.  However, his kryptonite on the defense is linebacker Antwan Barnes.  Whenever the two face off, whether in individual drills or live 11-on-11 situations, Barnes seemingly gets the best of Cousins every time.

With Terry still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and on the PUP list, Cousins is making a charge for that third tackle spot behind Michael Oher and Jared Gaither.

3:56 p.m. — Just to recap the Ravens’ injury situations, the big names missing from this morning were Terrell Suggs (left heel) and Mark Clayton (left hamstring), both considered day-to-day.

Lamar Divens, Davon Drew (right ankle), L.J. Smith (hamstring), and Brendon Ayanbadejo (toe) were other significant players not practicing today.

Samari Rolle (groin/shoulder), Adam Terry (knee), and Yamon Figurs (foot) are still listed on the physical unable to perform list.

3:47 p.m. — The kick returner competition will also be another interesting battle to follow.  Chris Carr and Lardarius Webb appear to be the early favorites with Yamon Figurs still on the PUP list with a foot issue.

Carr fits the mold of a Jim Leonhard-like returner.  He won’t be a home run hitter back there, but he’ll field kicks cleanly and gain positive yardage.  Webb shows outstanding speed and returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week.  He has great instincts and will be interesting to watch when the Ravens get into the preseason schedule.

When you consider that both players can contribute to the secondary’s depth and Figurs is rather limited as a wide receiver, I think Figurs may have a difficult time winning this job, even when he finally is healthy.

3:40 p.m. — The afternoon practice is complete, as the Ravens focused on their special teams on the upper fields at McDaniel College.  The team spent a considerable amount of time working on kick return blocking assignments.

While these practices aren’t the most exciting to observe if you’re a fan, this is the area where those fringe players can stake a claim for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Moving to the kicking battle, Graham Gano had the opportunity to get the reps—with Steve Hauschka having the day off—and he did not disappoint.  Gano was perfect on five attempts, hitting from 33, 36, 45, 47, and 53 yards.  I spoke to him after the afternoon session, and he was really please with how he was hitting the ball.

12:48 p.m. — The highlight of the morning was a long completion to Demetrius Williams from Joe Flacco the sideline, drawing the loud cheers of the Westminster fans.  Defensive back Chris Carr was guarding closely, but Flacco dropped the ball right into Williams’ hands as he reached over the defender.

Another highlight came when the offense was practicing its goal line sets.  Willis McGahee took the hand-off to the right side and was met by Ray Lewis who wrapped him up and appeared to have the running back stopped.  McGahee kept fighting and crossed the goal line, giving the offense a touchdown on the final play of the drill.

Both Ray Rice and McGahee continue to impresse onlookers, as both men have run with strength in the early stages of training camp.

12:20 p.m. — Ben Grubbs was hobbling around toward the end of practice and was not participating in team drills.  He had previously been on the PUP list with an ankle injury.  Justin Bannan did not practice this morning, but the reason was not disclosed.  Brendon Ayanbadejo continues to recover from a toe injury but was not wearing a walking boot as he walked out to the field at the end of practice.

12:07 p.m. — I have some other injury notes to pass along.  Tight ends L.J. Smith and Davon Drew did not practice, as Smith continues to recover from a hamstring strain and Drew has a right ankle injury.  The rookie tight end Drew was walking with a significant limp today, so it may take some time for him to get back on the field.

Antwan Barnes suffered a mild concussion on Sunday morning, but he was back on the field practicing today.

Samari Rolle, Adam Terry, and Yamon Figurs are still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Jason Phillips was cleared to practice yesterday and is off the list.

11:52 a.m. — The morning practice has come to an end, and there were two notable absences from the field.

Terrell Suggs has a sore left heel and will be out for a short period of time.  Both Suggs and coach John Harbaugh told reporters after practice that the injury was not serious.  Harbaugh expressed little concern with Suggs missing some time, pointing out that he had three solid days of reps in a row before the heel flared up on Sunday.

Suggs had been seen walking through the hotel Sunday afternoon with a walking boot.

Mark Clayton also did not practice, still recovering from a hamstring tweak.  Harbaugh said the team will be extra cautious with it, citing Clayton’s history of hamstring issues.  It is not believed to be a major strain, but the training staff wants to play it safe for at least a couple days.

Rookie Paul Kruger took Suggs’ place on the starting defense while Demetrius Williams, who had his own hamstring issue yesterday, took Clayton’s place with the starting unit.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Glenn Clark

Gotta get out to Westminster today; so I can’t add too much right now.says Harbaugh thought first practice ‘crisp’

Robert Ferguson told me yesterday (and reiterated to Drew this morning) that he wants to play for the Ravens. I can tell you that Reggie Williams definitely wants to play for the Ravens as well.

Are guys like that the answer? No. But could the Ravens use a guy like Ferguson, Williams, Darrell Jackson, etc.

Some sort of veteran presence would be nice.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Luke Jones

Drew Forrester doesn’t know what Trembley could say about another loss

Drew Forrester says rest of season ‘very important’ for Orioles

Luke Jones says Derrick Martin made best play of day in Westminster

Nestor Aparicio says Harbaugh ‘hit hard’ by death of Jim Johnson

Glenn Clark honors Pie for best game as Oriole

ORIOLES:says bullpen couldn’t back up Berken’s solid start as Royals topped Orioles

The Official Site’s Brian Eller

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Tillman makes first major league start tonight vs. Greinke, KC

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Sherrill doesn’t want to be traded

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Trembley thinks Rich Hill good to pitch through tendinitis issues

Royals Official Site’s Dick Kaegel says John Buck hero in 11th for Royals in win

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says 21,545 at Camden Yards saw Birds fall to Royals

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Sherrill only notable Bird with any legitimate chance to be traded

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Tillman important part of MacPhail’s ‘rebuilding’ plan

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Trembley made right decision to pull Berken

The AP says Baez took loss for Birds

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Wieters tallied career high 4 hits in loss

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Hill or Berken expected to lose roster spot in favor of Tillman

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Sherrill ‘flattered’ by trade rumors

CBS Sports’ Larry Dobrow has O’s 26th in power rankings

ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer says Hill ‘probably needs some time off’

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:says Chris Waters loser as Tides fell to Indianapolis

Norfolk Tides Official Site

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Figueroa, Crozier homered; but Baysox fell to Connecticut in wild 11 inning game

Frederick Keys Official Site says Tyler Henson picked up walkoff single to beat Salem

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Kantakevich winner as Ironbirds topped Brooklyn

Bluefield Orioles Official Site says Almanzar loser as Orioles fell to Princeton

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Radhames Liz roughed up, John Mariotti took loss as Baysox fell to Defenders

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Zagone got no decision for Keys after decent start

RAVENS:says McGahee amongst names on early PUP list

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy

The Official Site says Harbaugh knew WR Williams wanted to get ‘bigger and stronger’

The Official Site offers Harbaugh’s remembrance of Eagles assistant Jim Johnson

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens added former Broncos WR Jayson Foster

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Oher now officially a holdout

The Sun’s Ken Murray says WR Williams ‘ready to go out and play’

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee say Grubbs, Yanda, Rolle, Figurs, Terry, Reitz, Drew, Phillipssays OT Reitz also added bulk in offseason

The Sun’s Mike Preston

The Sun’s Edward Lee says participation ‘sparse’ in first practice

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Williams talked to Mason, doesn’t know what decision he’ll make

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Flacco wouldn’t admit whether Reebok video fake or not

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Gregg back on practice field Tuesday in return from injury

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley wonders if Ravens would be interested in Vick should he switch positions

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Williams came in about 15 pounds heavier

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens cut former Terp Isaiah Williams, OT Saucedo

Carroll County Times’ Daniel Henderson says Gano struggled kicking with different holders

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Harbaugh wouldn’t eliminate interest in Vick

USA Today’s Sean Leahy says Ravens still viewed as ‘defense-first’ team

SI’s Don Banks has Ravens 6th in power rankings

NBC Sports’ Mike Florio says Bennett didn’t take advantage of Ravens

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco has Ravens 10th in power rankings

ESPN.com’s James Walker says ‘pressure’ on Williams this season

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Oher ‘on the clock’ to report to Camp

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:says Ralph, James Franklin, Don Brown, Charles Bankins to make appearance tonight at Sonoma’s in Columbia

The Official Site

Tribune Newspapers’ Andre Williams says LB Fokou brought ‘mean streak’ with him to Eagles

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says Nate Clarke picked Terps over Kansas State

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Scott could post 2nd straight 1,000 yard season

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps report August 9, start practicing August 10

Inside MD Sports’ Jeff Ermann says Archbishop Carroll (DC) OL Nate Clarke committed to Terps Tuesday

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:profiles commit Stoglin in Las Vegas (must subscribe)says future Terp Alyssa Thomas impressive in Best of Maryland event (must subscribe)says former Towson coach Gordy Combs joined Blue Jays’ staff

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site

LOYOLA LACROSSE:says Chemotti amongst next assistants ready for head coaching jobs

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich

NAVY FOOTBALL:says DeMell chose Navy over Air Force after growing up Ohio State fan

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina

UMES FOOTBALL:says Roger Brown joined Skip McClain as Hawks in College Football Hall of Fame

The Official Site

SWIMMING:says Phelps wouldn’t just blame suit after 200 loss to Biedermann in Rome

SwimNetwork.com’s Casey Barrett

SwimNetwork.com says Bowman threatened to pull Phelps from future FINA events until suit ban in place

SwimNetwork.com thinks Phelps will get back on track at World Championships today in 200 butterfly

LA Times’ Lisa Dillman says Phelps could be man to force FINA’s hand on making suit changes

Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins says racing in Speedo suit makes Phelps ‘mortal’

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Bowman could pull Phelps from events in Stockholm, Berlin this year

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Biedermann wishes he would have gotten more credit for beating Phelps

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Biedermann ‘crushed’ Phelps in 200 free

USA Today’s Vicki Michaelis says Bowman thinks swimming ‘in shambles’ over suit issue

The AP says Phelps looking forward to ‘rematch’ with Biedermannsays Saratoga officials hoping to have Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra run

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening

Thoroughbred Times’ Steve Bailey says Borel thinks Monmouth ‘plays to strengths’ of Rachel Alexandra

Thoroughbred Times’ Steve Bailey says Derby winner Mine That Bird still ‘sharp’

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:says Ryan Pierce honored by USL-2

Examiner Jeff Hemelt

SOCCER:says Chelsea, AC Milan trained in Catonsville before World Football Challenge showdown at M&T Bank Stadium

UMBC Retrievers Official Site

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Looking forward to seeing Chris Tillman tonight. Don’t give him much of a chance against Zack Greinke; but looking forward to it.

-If a certain swimsuit helps you swim faster, why wouldn’t everyone just wear it? Does it inject steroids into your body? I understand Phelps’ loyalty to his sponsor; but why not just make a faster suit?

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Ravens kick off 2009 Training Camp

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Luke Jones

The Baltimore Ravens completed their first workouts on Tuesday with rookies, quarterbacks, and selected veterans participating.  The morning and afternoon workouts each lasted an hour and 15 minutes due to a smaller roster needing a smaller number of reps.

“Guys worked hard; it was crisp,” coach John Harbaugh said.  “But it will be a lot sharper on Thursday and Friday.”

The Ravens announced 11 players would be placed on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start training camp.  The players are Lamar Divens, Davon Drew, Yamon Figurs, Ben Grubbs, Willis McGahee, Jason Phillips, Joe Reitz, Samari Rolle, Lou Saucedo, Adam Terry, and Marshal Yanda.

These players still count against the 80-man training camp roster but may come off the list at any time to practice.  Once a player practices, he is no longer eligible for the more commonly-known reserve PUP list that is used in the regular season and requires a player to miss the first six weeks of the season.

“We’ll continue to put these guys through a physical, who have had injuries in the past,” Harbaugh said.  “We’re going to make sure that certain situations react positively to the work before we put them on the regular practice field.”

McGahee was probably the most surprising addition to the list, but both he and the head coach confirmed that it was strictly a precaution to protect the running back’s knee.  He looks to be in great shape and ready to practice in the near future.

“They just want to be sure,” McGahee said.  “We don’t want the same thing we had at last year’s training camp.”

Quarterback Joe Flacco looked sharp in his training camp debut and without veteran receiver Derrick Mason.  Last year as a rookie, Flacco relied on Mason in big situations countless times.  Despite losing a target who caught 80 passes in 2008, Flacco is confident in the passing offense’s ability to move the ball.

Flacco connected with both Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams numerous times during Tuesday’s practices.

“Last year coming in at this time, I had no idea who I was going to be throwing the ball to,” Flacco quipped.  “I didn’t know what Derrick Mason or Mark Clayton even looked like…This year, we’re in much better shape than we were in last year.”

If Flacco is telling the truth, the Ravens will need to have a healthy Williams on the field.  The fourth-year receiver has battled injuries the last two years but will start opposite of Clayton in Mason’s absence.  The receiver looks noticeably bigger and stronger, setting a goal to build muscle mass around the joints.  Williams hauled in a pretty sideline catch over Frank Walker in the afternoon, drawing the cheers of the training camp crowd.

“I think his goal is to become a durable football player, along with becoming capable of doing all the things he needs to do as a receiver,” Harbaugh said.  “He looked good out there [Tuesday].  There was no indication of the Achilles [injury] at all.”

Another player returning from an injury is veteran defensive tackle Kelly Gregg.  Wearing only an ace bandage on his surgically-repaired knee, Gregg participated fully in both the morning and afternoon practices.

With a healthy Gregg, 32, joining Haloti Ngata, Trevor Pryce, and top reserve Justin Bannan, the Ravens are hoping to field an even better defensive line than they enjoyed a year ago.

“I feel great about our defensive line,” defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said.  “In watching a bunch of film in the offseason, the thing that keeps sticking out is that the front seven gets after it.  They have a lot of pride, and now with [Dwan] Edwards back and Kelly [Gregg] back, you’ve just added depth to that, and it should allow us to rotate guys and keeps guys fresh throughout the year.”

- The Ravens signed wide receiver Jayson Foster, a 5-7 receiver with good speed.  Foster attended Georgia Southern and spent time with Pittsburgh, Miami, and Denver on their practice squads.

Former Maryland Terp Isaiah Williams was waived on Tuesday.  The rookie wide receiver was signed by the Ravens in May.

- Veterans are set to report to Westminster on Wednesday.  Physicals are scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

The first full-squad practices open to the public will be on Friday.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Glenn Clark

I’m not overly concerned about Michael Oher yet. I think Michael will be here by the end of the week, and will begin to work his way into the starting lineup by the first preseason game. I would really be surprised if he wasn’t here shortly.

That being said, I will continue to be concerned about the WR situation until the Ravens get effective WR play in regular season games. Biren Ealy is nothing more than a body; and I am in agreement with the fans who think the team needs to make an upgrade somehow. I am not going to back off my concerns here.

But GOD it is great to have football back.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Luke Jones says vets reporting to Training Camp Monday included McGahee, Clayton, Williams, Yanda, Terry, Rolle, Gregg, Landry, Barnes

Nestor Aparicio says Royals seeing hope by playing Orioles

Luke Jones says Ravens’ Newsome not interested in Vick

Nestor Aparicio says Ealy brings background issues to Baltimore

Patrick Staso remembers Bennett’s time in Charm City

Glenn Clark says WWE event tonight highlight of non-baseball week

Tom Clayton thinks Ravens should take chance with Matt Jones

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Rich Hill lasted just 2 1/3 innings in Birds’ loss to Royals

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Berken goes to hill tonight vs. Brian Bannister, Royals

The Official Site’s Brian Eller says Trembley knows players dealing with uncertainty of Trade Deadline

Kansas City Royals Official Site’s Dick Kaegel says Billy Butler had 5 hits to pace Royals in win over O’s

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Hill ‘apologized’ after loss, cited tendinitis as culprit for struggles

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Mora wants to stay with Birds

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Trembley wouldn’t discuss Hill’s future after loss

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Birds will try to get Hill through waivers

Examiner Jay Trucker says Huff not helping team or himself right now

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says 15,000 at Camden Yards saw Royals top Birds

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Cla Meredith made first appearance at OPACY since being acquired from Padres

McClatchy Newspapers says Jones homered for Birds in loss

Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton says Robinson Tejeda picked up win in relief of Chen for KC

The Sports Network says “Mexicutioner” Soria pitched 9th for 16th save of season

Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan has Birds 26th in power rankings

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Birds 25th in power rankings

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Michael Aubrey’s homer not enough for Tides in loss to Durham

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Matusz shut down Connecticut in win

Frederick Keys Official Site says Zach Britton shut down Salem in win

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says Joe Mahoney scored run, drove in another in loss to Asheville

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Brian Sisk lost in relief as Ironbirds fell to Brooklyn

Bluefield Orioles Official Site says Robert Bundy loser as Orioles fell to Princeton

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Steve Bumbry battling through early average struggles at Aberdeen

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Ryan Adams homered for Keys in win

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Ray walked one, but gave up no runs or no hits in 1 inning of rehab assignment with Baysox

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Britton now 3-0 vs. Red Sox this season

Virginian-Pilot says David Pauley took loss as Tides fell to Bulls

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens waived Sypniewski

The Official Site says Harbaugh knows Oher ‘wants’ to be at Training Camp

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Flacco talked to Mason, doesn’t know what decision he’ll make

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Barnes, Peerman first Ravens to arrive in Westminster

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbaugh claims Ravens ‘excited’ about start of Camp

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens didn’t show interest Monday in WR’s Joe Horn, Amani Toomer, or DJ Hackett

The Sun’s Mike Preston doesn’t think Ravens will miss Leonhard

The Sun’s Mike Preston expects Mason to be back

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens could be willing to trade for ‘top-notch’ WR if Mason remains retired

The Sun’s Edward Lee says lack of first round picks signed hurting negotiations with Oher

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens added WR Biren Ealy

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens also cut practice squad OG Brian Johnson

ESPN.com’s James Walker thinks Flacco ‘has to be concerned’ about Mason

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Biren Ealy brings 1 career catch, 6 career yards to Baltimore

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Suggs, Steelers’ Harrison could combine to make hell of a defender

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens ‘falling behind’ at WR

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Oher’s negotiations should be easier than Bengals’ negotiations with Andre Smith

ESPN.com has Ravens 10th in power rankings

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Friedgen thinks Terps ‘hungry’ to compete in ACC

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps now admitting to disappointment of last year’s Humanitarian Bowl appearance

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says James Franklin wants Chris Turner to ‘create’ more with feet

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Dion Armstrong not academically eligible yet

Washington Post’s Zach Berman says Terps received no first place votes in Atlantic Division balloting

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Turner playing role of ‘stabilizer’ for Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Turner thinks LaQuan Williams could be ‘crucial’ to offense

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Dominique Herald, Bearthur Johnson missing from Terps’ roster

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph has dropped 95 pounds, down to 306

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps playing fairly easy non-division schedule

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich voted Baltz, Torrey Smith All-ACC

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps’ O-Line key to chances to defy preseason projections

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich rekindled fun rivalry with Ralph at ACC Media Day

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh introduces incoming freshman QB C.J. Brown (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh introduces incoming freshman OLB/DE Isaiah Ross (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem profiles most recent commit Mario Rowson (must subscribe)

Inside MD Sports’ Seth Hoffman says DB Carroll thinks Don Brown bringing ‘excitement’ back to defense

Turtle Sports Report’s John Talty says Carroll ‘isn’t worried’ about negative preseason prognostications for Terps (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Turtle Sports Report’s John Talty caught up with guard Sean Mosley (must subscribe)

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says TE Godlasky, LB Alex Butt to join Rob Ambrose at CAA Media Day tomorrow at ESPNZone

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says incoming OL Graham Vickers picked Navy over Army and Air Force for chance to play multiple positions

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird put in final workout before West Virginia Derby

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra worked Monday at Saratoga in preparation for Haskell Invitational

Thoroughbred Times’ Ed DeRosa says Mine That Bird went four furlongs at Mountaineer Race Track

Thoroughbred Times’ Ed DeRosa says trainer Steve Asmussen says Rachel Alexandra faces ‘tall task’ against Summer Bird, etc. at Haskell

SWIMMING:

SwimNetwork.com thinks Phelps will set new world record in 200m Free

Tribune Newspapers’ Lisa Dillman says Phelps appeared ‘agitated’ after watching Biedermann break record in high-tech swimsuit

Tribune Newspapers’ Lisa Dillman says Bowman, Phelps abandoning experiment with new stroke

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says Cavic still believes he lost to Phelps in Olympics due to faulty technology

BALTIMORE COLTS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman ‘catches up with’ former QB Domres

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Bruce Chen, huh? Yeah, that’s about right.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Harbaugh kicks off his second training camp with questions at receiver

Posted on 27 July 2009 by Luke Jones

Less than 24 hours after newly-signed receiver Drew Bennett abruptly announced his retirement, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was disappointed but reiterated the Ravens would move on with the players they already have.

Bennett retired after an arthritic condition caused his knee to swell up after working out and signing a contract with the Ravens on Friday.  The eight-year veteran spent most of his career with the Tennessee Titans but spent his final two seasons in St. Louis with the Rams.  Bennett is the second Ravens wide receiver to retire in the last two weeks, though Derrick Mason’s absence clearly has a much bigger impact on the offense.

“I think that’s why you put guys through a workout at this stage; it’s to find out how they recover the next day and what not,” said Harbaugh.  “[Bennett's] knees just didn’t calm down…And it is time for him to move on.  He didn’t feel like he could get through a practice, let alone a season at this level.”

Harbaugh reiterated the Ravens would be adding a wide receiver but did not mention any specific name, saying it could be a veteran or younger player.  The Ravens have signed receiver Biren Ealy to replace Bennett on the roster.  Having only one career reception, Ealy is probably not the last addition to the wide receiver position.

While the Ravens were adding Ealy to the roster on Monday, they also waived tight end Quinn Sypniewski.  The former fifth-round draft pick out of Colorado had struggled to recover from a horrific knee injury dating back to last season.  Harbaugh said the young tight end was still in the team’s plans, but the organization could not afford to keep him on the 80-man training camp roster at this time.

Harbaugh has not had any further communication with Mason since meeting with him in person last week.  Mason retired two weeks ago, though he has not submitted the official league paperwork.  The star receiver was previously seeking a contract extension this offseason.

The second-year coach is more concerned with the players that will be taking the field at McDaniel College this week.

“We’re not talking about any specific players or anything like that,” Harbaugh said.  “Everybody knows the situation.  We’ve got a job to do today, our guys can’t wait to go to work, and that’s it.  And that’s what training camp is about.”

The other big story of the day is the absence of first-round pick Michael Oher.  The right tackle from Ole Miss is the only draft pick yet to sign from the Ravens’ 2009 class.  Only four of the NFL’s 32 first-round picks have signed contracts as of Monday afternoon.

Should Oher fail to report by Monday evening, he would become the first rookie holdout since Haloti Ngata in 2006.

“The agent wants to make sure he does the right thing by Michael, and we want to make sure that we do the right thing by Michael, too,” Harbaugh said.  “We want to get the best contract we can for him as soon as we can.  It should happen pretty soon.”

Despite the questions at wide receiver, the head coach is ready to kick off the Ravens’ 14th summer at McDaniel College.

“Everybody that I have talked to is excited to go to training camp,” Harbaugh said.  “They’re excited to go to work.  I know the coaches feel the same way, and the players feel that way.”

- The Ravens also waived guard Brian Johnson, a member of the practice squad last season.

- Veterans that reported to training camp on Monday include Willis McGahee, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Marshal Yanda, Adam Terry, Samari Rolle, Kelly Gregg, Dawan Landry, and Antwan Barnes.

The Ravens will announce the players to be placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Tuesday.

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Live from Westminster: Ravens waive Sypniewski & sign WR Biren Ealy

Posted on 27 July 2009 by Luke Jones

8:32 p.m. – Ealy’s dismissal from the New Orleans Saints stems from an arrest back in May.  You can read about it here.

5:57 p.m. – If you’re on the WNST text service, you just learned the Ravens have signed wide receiver Biren Ealy.  Having only one career catch, I’m not sure Ealy would be the signing to “replace” Drew Bennett, but he is another warm body here in Westminster.

Ealy played his college football at Houston and played four games with the Tennessee Titans in 2007.

5:42 p.m. – Willis McGahee just walked into the lobby of the Best Western, joining veterans Samari Rolle, Adam Terry, and Antwan Barnes among the select veterans reporting today.

McGahee looks to be in good shape, but we’ll get our first look at the former Hurricane tomorrow morning on the field.

He was second behind Ray Rice on the depth chart during OTAs, as he was recovering from offseason knee surgery.

As I type this, I just saw Kellly Gregg walk through the door.

5:14 p.m. – Lardarius Webb is really excited to get going and says that the sore hamstring that plagued him during OTAs is now 100 percent.

He mentioned how much he’s learned from just observing Ed Reed—his hero growing up—and how he’s looking forward to playing with him.

4:01 p.m. – Ozzie Newsome was overheard in the hotel lobby shooting down any chance of Michael Vick becoming a Raven.

“We have a quarterback,” he said.  “We have three quarterbacks.”

3:17 p.m. – The John Harbaugh press conference was very brief.  It will be available in the WNST audio vault shortly.

* Harbaugh described Bennett’s condition as an “arthritic” knee.  The veteran receiver just didn’t think he could do it anymore.

* There are some “irons in the fire” regarding the wide receiver position.  Harbaugh said the Ravens would be adding a receiver but did not name anyone specifically, speculating that it could be a veteran or a young player.

* Regarding Michael Oher’s contract status, he said the rookie right tackle wants to be in camp on time but understands his agent needs to get the best deal possible for him.  Harbaugh pointed out that very few first round picks have signed contracts and how the slotting process delays negotiations.

The deal should happen “pretty soon” according to Harbaugh.

* Harbaugh insists that Quinn Sypniewski—waived earlier today—is still in the team’s plans, but the organization could not afford to keep him on the 80-man training camp roster.

The surgery on Sypniewski’s injured knee did not work last season, and he is recovering from another procedure.

* Harbaugh said the team would make decisions on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list tomorrow but would not disclose any players who would be on the list.

2:20 p.m. – I just spoke to third-round pick Lardarius Webb, and he’s very excited to finally be at training camp.  He actually spent the last month here in Baltimore, continuing to train and work out at the Ravens’ facility.

2:10 p.m. – If you’re looking for another person who isn’t sure of Derrick Mason’s status for this season, look no further than his quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco today said he spoke to Mason last week, and the 35-year-old receiver did not “sound too sure” about the prospects of returning to the Ravens.

I’m sure we’ll hear more about the Mason situation this afternoon when Harbaugh speaks to the media.

1:48 p.m. – The news of Quinn Sypniewski being waived is not very surprising given the state of his surgically-repaired knee that cost him the entire 2008 season.  The young tight end had experienced some setbacks this offseason in getting the knee back into football shape.

With Todd Heap, L.J. Smith, Edgar Jones, and rookie Davon Drew in the fold, the Ravens have plenty of capable tight ends to compete this summer.

1:12 p.m. – Other players making their way to Westminster include Paul Kruger, Jason Phillips, Jason Cook, and Graham Gano—who was sporting a new buzz cut.

I had the chance to talk to Gano about his battle with Steve Hauschka for the kicking job.  He’s confident and says he’s kicking better than he ever has right now.  The interview is available in the WNST audio vault.

12:06 p.m. – I just had the chance to chat with John Harbaugh in the lobby.  He will make his official statement about Drew Bennett at 3:00 p.m., but he was surprised to hear about the veteran receiver’s retirement.

Bennett’s decision seems to be completely about the poor health of his knee.

Harbaugh confirmed that he met face-to-face with Derrick Mason last week.  There had been some confusion in the media over whether their discussion was over the phone or in person.

11:47 a.m. – The players are starting to trickle in slowly.  I just spoke to sixth-round pick and running back Cedric Peerman.  He’s refreshed and ready to go for his first training camp as an NFL player.

Antwan Barnes has also walked through the lobby, the first “select” veteran to make an appearance.

10:59 a.m. – I’m here at the Best Western in Westminster, waiting for the Ravens rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans to report for training camp here at McDaniel College.

It’s been a very quiet morning with the only noteworthy appearance being made by assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, walking through the lobby.

The news on everyone’s mind is obviously the surprising retirement of veteran wide receiver Drew Bennett two days after signing a contract with the Ravens.  The announcement leaves the Ravens exactly where they were two weeks ago when Derrick Mason announced his own retirement.

John Harbaugh will speak to the media at 3:00 p.m., and the wide receiver position will surely be the hot topic of discussion.

Will the Ravens now turn their efforts toward D.J. Hackett?  The former Seahawk and Panther was among four receivers who tried out on Friday—along with Bennett, former Lion Chris Hannon, and rookie Justin Brown.

Hackett was also scheduled to try out back in May along with Kelley Washington, Jerry Porter, and Tab Perry but chose to try out with the Houston Texans instead.  The Ravens decided to go with Washington.

Hackett’s best season came with Seattle in 2006 when he caught 45 balls for 610 yards and four touchdowns

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Key 2009 Ravens Positional Battles

Posted on 23 July 2009 by Marco Romanell

After free agency and the draft, the Ravens will enter training camp with many question marks at positions on both sides of the ball. These positional battles will go a long way in determining how much success they will have and if they can make a return trip to the playoffs.

Here are some of the key positional battles that will shape the Ravens roster:

 Backup Quarterback:

Smith vs Beck:

The fact that some people still want Troy Smith to be the starter because he can scramble is absolutely absurd. The Ravens think so highly of Smith’s ability that they brought in Miami Dolphins outcast John Beck to compete with him for the back up job.

Neither one will have a chance at starting baring a major injury to Flacco, but it should be a good battle to see who holds the clipboard. Personally, Troy Smith hasn’t shown me anything that indicates he is even a capable back up in the NFL. The fact that he can “scramble” means nothing, and won’t be the reason if he wins the job.

Much like Troy Smith, John Beck was given the starting job, but unlike Smith, Beck lost it because of his play not sickness. All that being said there has to be something about Beck that Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh like otherwise they would not have brought him in.

This battle is likely to go on throughout the duration of training camp and likely not to be decided until right before week 1. I could personally care less as to the who the backup is but I am leaning towards John Beck.

Man isn’t it nice that we don’t have to worry about these guys competing for the starting quarterback job?

 Kicker:

Gano vs “the Kid”:

Matt Stover was the only player that was on the roster since they moved to Cleveland and he has amassed a Hall of Fame career. The Ravens have parted ways with Stover but have made it known he is just a phone call away if they feel that they need him.

With Stover gone, the starting job will be up for grabs between Steven “the kid” Hauschka and Graham Gano.

Hauschka was the Ravens kicker last year for field goals of 50 yards and higher. He has a booming leg but lacks consistent accuracy. Hauscka did not have the college career that Gano had and I do not believe he has the talent either

Last season at Florida State, Gano won the Lou Groza Award and only missed two field goals, both from 50+ yards. In the NFL you need a kicker that can hit 50+ yard field goals but you also need one that can hit consistently from inside 40 yards. Gano has that advantage over Hauschka and but he also has shown in practice that he can hit long field goals.

Rookie kickers tend to struggle but 1st impressions of Gano lead me to think he has the makeup to succeed in year one.

Ultimately, I think his consistency and accuracy will win out and he will be the Ravens kicker for 2009 and many years to come.

 :Secondary:

Landry vs Zbikowski vs Nakamura :

There will be a major positional battle at the strong safety position alongside Ed Reed. Dawan Landry is coming off a major injury but has been awarded the starting safety position this coming into training camp.

There are still question marks about how Landry will respond from his injury and have to deal with Tom “Momma Said Knock You Out” Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura who the Ravens brass definitely like. Both Zbikowski and Nakamura got a lot playing time last season and should improve immensely in their second year.

Zbikowski and Nakamura are hard hitters and with another year of experience should be more versed in the cover game.

Many fans were unhappy with the Ravens parting ways with Jim Leonhard but Dawan Landry had better stats than Leonhard did before his injury so the guy can obviously play. Despite anything that has been said, it is likely that Landry will be a little “gun-shy” about making hard hits to protect his injury. Just look at Ed Reed for the first part of last season.

I think Landry has more talent then both Nakamura and Zbikowski but I believe they have improved enough to give Landry a battle for the starting position if his injury is not fully healed.

The Ravens also have another battle between Ladarius Webb and Samari Rolle for back up corner/ nickel position. Rolle is the incumbent but Webb seems to have all the tools to be a big time corner in this league. Ultimate, Rolle is on his last leg and Webb will win the job easily.

 

Wide Receiver:

Williams vs Washington vs Smith vs?:

The wide receiver position is an absolute mess for the Ravens after Derrick Mason announced his retirement. It is still likely Mason will return but if he doesn’t the Ravens are left with a bunch of un proven guy vying for 4 receiver spots.

Mark Clayton is the only garunteed starter as he will be the number 1 receiver without Mason or number 2 if Mason returns. Clayton has shown signs of brilliance and developed a rapport with Flacco in the second half of the year last year, but many question if he can be the “ go to “ guy for this offense.

Demetrius Williams is coming off an injury but may be the most talented receiver on the Ravens roster when healthy. Williams gives Flacco a big target and has the ability to stretch the field, but has major injury concerns. Right now Williams is penciled in as the number 2 but a bad training camp and poor health could bump him from that position.

After Williams and Clayton the Ravens are left with Kelly Washington, Marcus Smith, Ernie Wheelwright and Eron Riley.

Washington has NFL experience although he was never a major factor for the Bengals. Smith was injured for the majority of last season but he has good height, speed and a lot of upside. I like Smith but he missed pretty much the entire year last year which puts him behind the other three.

Eron Riley and Ernie Wheelwright are the long shots but if the the gap between them and Washington and Smith is not a huge one. Riley has blazing speed which makes him intriguing, and if he can develop as a route runner he may be an X factor. In the end I believe Riley and Wheelwright will be on the practice squad but you never know.

The Ravens receiving corps is a pot luck and even the coaching staff has no idea what will come of it. Mason could return or they could acquire another wide out or both.

Either way, the play of Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams will determine if the Ravens are Super Bowl bound or not.

Right Tackle:

Oher vs Terry:

This job is Michael Oher’s to lose, but if he fails to pick up the playbook quickly, he will lose it

These positional battles are what makes training camp fun and they will provide fans with a lot to argue about. Regardless of who wins them, the Ravens seem to have depth at every position and that will be a major strength for this team.

Personally I am going to enjoy watching these battle play out and see who is on the Ravens 60-man roster come Week 1.

The Ravens brass has soured on Terry and he has proved that he is not an adequate tackle in this league. The O-Line has depth and flexibility so Yanda could slide to tackle and Chester to guard if Oher is not ready and the Ravens don’t want to put Terry in.

Everything depends on Oher’s ability to pick up the playbook. Hopefully for the sake of the o- line he does it sooner than later.

Kick Returner:

Webb vs Carr:

Much to the delight of everyone the Yamon Figurs era in Baltimore looks to be over. With Figurs out of the picture and Jim Leohnard on the Jets, the Ravens now have a problem every team wants to have, too much talent at one position. Both Ladarius Webb and Chris Carr will be battling to see who wins the returner job and both have the big play ability the Special teams needs.

I have to give a slight edge to Carr given the fact that he already had success last season, but Webb has the speed and makeup to win the job. Both players look to give the Ravens a legitimate returner they have not since the departure of Jermaine Lewis.

Webb and Carr will help turn the once maligned special teams unit, into one of the best in the league. Fans don’t care who is returning kicks, as long as its not Yamon Figurs.

Positional battles like these are what makes training camp fun to watch. No matter who wins the Ravens fans should feel good about the depth this team has.

It will be interesting to watch these battles take shape and to see who is on the roster come September 13th.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 24 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

The Koji Uehara situation is going to come to a head sooner than the Orioles wanted it to. As a few callers mentioned this morning, Koji looked VERY uncomfortable pitching in the heat last night in South Florida, and I don’t think that’s something that he’s just going to come around to feeling comfortable with. If he couldn’t go deep in games when he wasn’t uncomfortable pitching; how will he be able to work into games when he is CLEARLY uncomfortable?

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Bob Haynie wonders if Birds can get to .500

Drew Forrester not surprised by comments made by O’s employee Melewski

Thyrl Nelson says Birds need lefty specialist in bullpen

Marco Romanell thinks Birds can win 4 of next 5 against Marlins, Nationals

Glenn Clark says Adam Jones no longer amongst Top 7 hitters in American League

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds rallied in 9th but fell to Marlins in 12th

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Berken, Birds square off with Nolasco, Marlins tonight

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Jones, Markakis amongst O’s still vying for All-Star nods

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Izturis began rehab work in Miami with teammates

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Chris Ray happy to contribute however he can now back with O’s

Marlins Official Site’s Joe Frisaro says Cantu gets walk-off RBI as Fish top Birds

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Tillman gave up 2 runs over 6 innings but took no decision as Pawtucket rallied to top Tides

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Bascom winner as Baysox topped Binghamton

Aberdeen IronBirds Official Site says Haughian took loss as Ironbirds fell to Staten Island

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says 10,000 saw Marlins top Birds at Land Shark Stadium

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Uehara’s ‘mistake’ lead to Uggla home run

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Trembley thinks Ray has improved ‘delivery’, ‘finish’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Birds should hold on to Huff, Izturis; consider dealing Sherrill

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Guthrie scored run in 9th as pinch runner

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Wigginton made costly baserunning blunder in loss

Examiner Jay Trucker says Wieters connected on 2nd career home run in loss

The AP says Brian Bass took loss for Birds

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Matusz on ‘fast track’ following time spent with Keys this season

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Sabin says Jim Miller blew save as Tides fell to Red Sox

South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Juan Rodriguez says Hanley Ramirez hit grand slam for Marlins in win

Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo says Matt Lindstrom blew save opportunity for Fish

Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer says Andrew Miller had been ‘impressive’ early on before Birds got to Marlins’ bullpen

CBS Sports’ Larry Dobrow has Birds 22nd in power rankings

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Figurs plans to be ready for Training Camp

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says D. Williams, Rice, Gooden, Terry, Ngata must take ‘next step’ this season

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says Reed, 52, Ogden honored by ESPN

Examiner Phil Macek says Ravens, Steelers remain ‘toast of’ AFC North

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ogden, Lorenzo Neal amongst best offensive players of decade

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Diamondback’s Michael LeMaire says Scout.com thinks Terps 59th best team in country

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says DE/TE Delic took ‘unlikely path’ to College Park (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke offers photo of what next year’s Under Armour shoe could look like

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terrence Morris 10th best player of Gary’s 20 years

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Greivis 9th best player of Gary’s 20 years

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says ’11 prospect Gbinje impressed during NBA Top 100 Camp (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says ’10 SG prospect Mincy committed to Terps over Georgia, Rutgers

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says FB Torri Preston ‘looking forward to’ Ohio State game

The Official Site says Mids picked to go 9-4 by Lindy’s

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says Melbourne (FL) DT Thomas Stone ‘first known commitment’ in Navy’s 2010 class

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Chris Harris received academic honor from Patriot League

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Cullinane, Kyle Cottrell pick up ECAC Academic honors

BALTIMORE MARINERS:

The Official Site says tickets for Saturday night’s game available for $10

The Official Site previews Saturday’s contest with D.C. Armor

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch says Haskell Stakes at Monmouth, West Virginia Derby could be options for Big Drama

Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Churchill Downs to expand staff for next night racing card

The Sun’s Hanah Cho says former owner Mark Vogel to buy back Rosecroft Raceway

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Looking at ESPN.com’s “All-Decade team”, I am struck by how well the people with the Worldwide Leader in putting together the list. Jon Ogden, Ed Reed, and Ray Lewis were all particularly deserving; and no other Ravens were. The other players who made the cut were also good selections.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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