Tag Archive | "Alex Smith"


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Ravens-Chiefs: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 19 December 2015 by Luke Jones

The questions run rampant for the Ravens’ Week 15 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Who’s starting at quarterback?

What will the secondary look like?

Does Sunday represent the Ravens’ last best chance to win another game before the most disappointing season in franchise history mercifully comes to an end?

Meanwhile, Kansas City comes to town having won seven in a row to erase a 1-5 start and enter Sunday holding the first of two wild-card spots in the AFC. Simply put, the Chiefs are exactly what the Ravens wanted to be after the worst start in franchise history, but it simply hasn’t happened for the latter.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens play Kansas City for the seventh time in their regular-season history with the series tied 3-3. Baltimore has lost three of the four meetings between the teams at M&T Bank Stadium, but the Ravens won the last of those home contests back in 2009. Counting the postseason, the Ravens have won their last four meetings with the Chiefs.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to avoid the first five-loss home schedule in the 20-year history of the franchise …

1. The Chiefs will hold a plus-two turnover advantage in a microcosm of the season for both teams. Though their list of injuries isn’t quite as extensive, the Chiefs lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season in October and has been without All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston since late November. Andy Reid’s team has kept ticking by forcing turnovers on defense and committing few with an efficient offense. Meanwhile, the Ravens rank 30th in takeaways (11) and 24th in giveaways (23). Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith won’t wow you with ability, but he’s thrown just four interceptions all year. Baltimore will be turning to Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen, who both struggle to protect the football. If both teams follow their 2015 scripts, the Chiefs will capitalize on the Ravens’ mistakes.

2. Elvis Dumervil will exploit former teammate Jah Reid for two quarterback sacks. As bizarre as it was to read that Reid received a three-year contract extension earlier this week, Pro Football Focus has graded the former Raven 73rd of 77 offensive tackles in the NFL this season. On top of that, the first overall pick of the 2013 draft, left tackle Eric Fisher, has graded only 37th overall, according to PFF. This should help Dumervil, who has been limited to just six sacks without a viable edge rusher playing on the opposite side. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will try to run some stunts to take advantage of an offensive line that’s allowed 41 sacks, fourth worst in the NFL. The Ravens defense ranks 20th in the league with only 28 sacks, but Dumervil will turn in a 2014-like performance on Sunday.

3. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce will catch a touchdown pass and collect over 80 receiving yards. Kansas City sports the league’s 27th-ranked passing game, but Smith has effectively used his tight end to the tune of 59 catches for 749 yards and four touchdowns this season. Whether trying to use linebackers or safeties, Baltimore has struggled to cover tight ends and Kelce will effectively move the chains to continue drives for the Chiefs. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens try to cover Kelce as inside linebacker Daryl Smith has been replaced more and more by Zach Orr in the nickel in recent weeks. And with Lardarius Webb now factoring into the rotation at safety, you wonder if even more communication issues are inevitable. Kelce will be ready to take advantage on Sunday.

4. The Baltimore secondary will offer new looks, but Alex Smith will throw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that it was time for young defensive backs such as 2015 fourth-round cornerback Tray Walker, second-year safety Terrence Brooks, and former Houston Texans cornerback Jumal Rolle to receive more opportunities. While it will be important to evaluate the aforementioned players in the final three weeks of the season, the results probably won’t be pretty for a defense that has repeatedly failed to be on the same page even with veterans on the field. Smith carries the dreaded “game manager” label, but he will take advantage of Baltimore mistakes to find Kelce and top receiver Jeremy Maclin for several big plays on Sunday.

5. The Ravens will rebound cosmetically from the Week 14 blowout loss, but Kansas City won’t provide enough help in a 23-14 defeat. Even while carrying a louder tone of resignation this week following an embarrassing loss to Seattle, Baltimore will return to its pattern of competing more like it did in the first 12 games of the season that were all decided by one possession. However, the injury-ravaged Ravens aren’t talented enough to beat a quality team without substantial help from the opposition. The Chiefs won’t figure to provide that assistance as they’ve committed just 12 turnovers all season, third fewest in the NFL. Either Jimmy Clausen or Matt Schaub will facilitate a couple scoring drives against the NFL’s 15th-ranked pass defense, but a couple Ravens mistakes will be the difference.

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Niners QB Smith says more film study needed before facing Reed, Ravens

Posted on 29 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on Kaepernick taking the starting job) “No question, I’m not going to lie about any of that. [It’s been] tough at times for sure, tough to accept, tough to watch, but we’re in the Super Bowl, and this has been an amazing experience. It’s a great team, I love being a part of it. I have said it before, it’s bittersweet a little bit, but still, it’s been a great thing to be a part of.”


(on his frustration losing the starting job) “I mean, it’s only human nature that things like that do happen, but for me it’s just trying to shut all that down. That’s not doing any good for anybody, certainly not me. For me, it’s focusing on my job, staying ready, and being the best teammate I can. Those are the priorities for me; those are what I try to focus on.”


(on the Ravens’ strengths) “I don’t know if there’s any one spot; they are good across the board. Very physical up front, good in the back end, and good in the middle. For us it will be a challenge. There are no weak spots, as you would expect from a Super Bowl defense. They are really well-rounded, and, for us, I think it is going to take a balanced attack. We’re going to have to be able to do it all: run, pass, mix it up and keep them on their heels.”


(on him requesting to be released) “I don’t know where this stuff comes from. I’m focused on this game and helping this team win a championship and doing whatever I can do. That stuff can wait; there is plenty of time for that in a week.”


(on Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard) “Both are really good players, both veteran guys. They really understand what they’re doing. They know offenses well; they know what quarterbacks try to do. Pollard is a very physical guy. You see it on the tape, some of the hits he makes, his physical presence. With Ed, he’s unique in his own right. He’s so unorthodox in how he plays; it’s not textbook safety play that you’re used to seeing. He plays Cover 2 different than anybody; he plays the middle of different than anybody, and obviously has exceptional range and great instincts. When he is around the ball he has great ball skills as well. He’s a unique guy to go against; it definitely requires a lot of film study because he doesn’t play safety like anybody else.”


(on how Coach Harbaugh’s impact on the team and himself) “I just think he understands what it’s like to be back there. The expectation level, he understands the plays you should be making back there, what are tough plays to make back there and what it’s like to go through a game to go through a season, and I think constantly just thinking about putting players in a position to succeed. It’s no different as a quarterback he’s just trying to put us all in a position to succeed and he understands what it’s like to be back there so I think he has a good idea what it takes.


(on the experience) “Amazing. You’d love to be starting but it’s a blessing to be at a Super Bowl, there’s a lot of guys that play a long time that don’t ever get here, so I’m enjoying it. We’ve got a great team, a great group of guys, loving it.”


(on the challenges of the week) “For me it’s the same as the rest of the guys. There are a lot of distractions. You’re away from home, a lot of things that break up routine. For myself it’s just trying to remain focused. There’s a lot of things going on, things like this that are out of the ordinary. Just stay focused, stay in the game plan and get ready to play the game.”


(on his coaching of Colin Kaepernick) “I don’t know about that, it’s probably a better question for Coach and Colin. We’ve got a great QB room, all the guys are great, starting with [Quarterbacks Coach] Geep [Chryst]. For me it’s just being a good teammate, I don’t know if I’m doing anything extraordinary, just doing my job.”


(on if he feared losing his job) “I knew there was an opportunity there, no question. You’re letting the next guy step in and get an opportunity. I fully knew what Colin was potentially capable of. He came in and made the most of it. It’s the nature of sports.”






Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on if he wanted to lash out) “I don’t about lash out. In my mind it’s focus on things you can control and there was nothing about that I could have changed, the way it happened. Stuff like that happens, it’s football, there’s going to be injuries, it’s a physical game.”


(on Kaepernick taking over as the starter) “We’re in the Super Bowl, this is a great thing. It’s been an amazing ride. We’ve still got one left here. I’m not thinking about that stuff right now. My role changed, however many weeks ago that was, and I’ve taken on this new role. That’s my job. Now it’s to stay ready to go and help this team any way I can. I’ll have time to think about other stuff in a week.”


(on if he’s thinking about his future) “Not at all, not at all. Like I said, after Sunday there will be a long time to think about that stuff.”


(on how he helps Kaepernick) “For me, if there’s anything I see, whether it’s in the game plan or in the game. As a backup quarterback you’re constantly trying to play the game through the starter. So for me, in practice, you’re not getting the reps, so you’re back there watching. It’s the same thing on game day. It could be anything, it could be nothing. With him, it’s not a lot at times, he sees things really well he’s a really smart kid, and obviously a tremendous player.


(on his progress under Coach Harbaugh and how he has changed) “I really feel like even a few years ago I was the same player. I really think the difference is the receiver group around me changed. (We have) a good system, putting guys in a position to make plays, playing good, sound football and just doing it more consistently.”


(on head injuries and if he regrets taking himself out of the game) “Not at all. We’re all going to be done with this game at some point and we’ve got a lot of life ahead of us, so err on the side of caution. With that head stuff, there are no brain transplants I’ve ever heard of. I may only get one, so it’s not something to mess around with.”


(on if other players would not report head injuries for fear of losing their jobs) “I haven’t heard any. Players deal with that with all types of injuries and have always dealt with that, whether it be an ankle or your head. I think it ultimately comes down to the doctors and the players and how they feel. I don’t think anybody is going out there recklessly. If guys don’t think they’re ready and can’t go in then I don’t think they’re going to mess with it. I don’t think that changes it.”


(on how things could have been different were he the starter) “I’m not thinking about it, to be totally honest with you; I’m really focused on taking this all in. This is a great thing. For almost all the guys on the team this is their first trip to the Super Bowl. (I’m) primarily just getting ready to play.”


(on if he prepares as though he could still play and win the Super Bowl) “That’s my job. Be ready to go. You never know, it’s a crazy game, crazy things happen and my job is to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. That’s my role.”


(on preparing as a backup) “It’s different, but it’s a lot of mental preparation. A lot of time in the film room a lot of time with the playbook, and just being ready to go. Like I said, I play the game through Kaep a lot, you’re just trying to take the reps and be ready to jump in at any time.


(on getting through the disappointment of losing the starting job) “Things happen in sports. For me it’s just being ready for the next opportunity, that’s what I can control, being ready for when that opportunity comes. I don’t know when it’s going to come, but for me I’m just doing to continue to work to be ready. Once this is done and next week or a few weeks from now we can think about that stuff.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on working in a system he is comfortable in) “I think there are a lot of great systems out there, and I think arguments can be made for any of them. There are a lot of things that go into being a good offense and playing good quarterback. For one, it’s good players around you, it makes life around you much easier. For me it’s just being well rounded. You want to be able to do a lot of different things, you want to be versatile.”


(on having to address losing his job all week) “I mean it’s coming, it’s expected. I feel like I’ve been answering it the last few weeks anyway, so I’m ready for it. Like I said, I focus on what I can control. For me it’s getting ready to go if I have to and staying prepared and helping this team. No different from a lot of these guys. There are distractions that are unique to this week for everybody. For me it’s just trying to stay as focused as possible.”


(on if being young helps make losing his job easier to deal with) “I feel like I have a lot of football ahead of me. I don’t feel like this is my last opportunity I feel like there’s more out there for me.”


(on looking to the future) “There will be plenty of time for that when this is all done. Right now I’m just focused on the game.


(on having to deal with doubt throughout his career) “It’s kind of the nature of playing quarterback. There’s going to be a lot of scrutiny, there’s going to be a lot of eyes on you, it’s kind of the nature of the job.”


(on asking the advantages of being released versus being traded) “I have no idea. That didn’t come from me; I don’t know where any of that came from. I haven’t even thought about it to be totally honest with you. I want to play football but there will be time to think about that stuff when this is done.”


(on how he’s enjoying the Super Bowl) “Loving it! We spend so much time together as a team, we spend so much time away from our families putting in time with each other you can’t help but get closer to each other. For us to come down here and go on this journey, it’s been a great ride and a great experience.”


(on being a consummate professional) “It’s a team game and a team sport. If you want it to be about yourself, go play golf or tennis. I got into team sports to be a part of a team and there’s something very unique about that, the selflessness of a team sport. For me, my teammates are about as high as it gets on the priority list, behind my family.


(on dealing with the difficulty of the switch) “I just think I’m honest about it, I don’t think my teammates expect anything else. That’s not to say that the situation is easy, it can be uncomfortable or awkward at times, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”


(on his biggest improvements under Harbaugh) “I don’t necessarily think I was doing anything different. Maybe more consistent, but I give credit to my teammates, the guys around me when I was playing, and Coach is putting us in positions to succeed.


(on if he learned anything from replacing a Brett Elliot in college) “I know how close we remained through that and for me knowing it was difficult for him, but I’ve learned a lot from all the quarterbacks. Brett to start, but then I’ve been around a lot of great guys, I’ve seen in a lot of quarterback competitions. Shaun Hill and I competed for a few years and it actually only brought us closer. We’re actually really good friends and I just think it can be handled the right way… There’s only one guy that can get the ball, there’s only one starter. I don’t think it has to be handled in a negative way. Everything can be put out on the table, and left out on the field, so to speak.”





Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013







(on coming so close to the Super Bowl last season) “Obviously for us it was a great run last year. We came up short. Some great moments you look back on, and then the Giants game. Getting that close to being here last year, it’s tough.


(on the burden being drafted number one) “At the time it’s a great thing, you’re doing all the combine and doing all the work outs and all that stuff. Inherently, if you’re going to the number one team, usually that means they’re the worst team from the year before. Then all of a sudden you’re playing and maybe they don’t have the pieces around you. That’s kind of the nature of the deal.”


(on if he thinks he would still be the starter had he not gotten hurt) “I haven’t even thought about it to be honest with you.”


(on if the thinks he was playing his best football when the switch happened) “I felt the most comfortable I’ve been on a football field in a long time, maybe ever. I felt like I was continuing to get better and better.


(on if he thinks he could have led the team to the Super Bowl) “I for sure think that, but that’s kind of neither here nor there.”


(on how his previous experiences helped prepare him for his benching) “I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career. I’ve been in a lot of competitions. I’ve dealt with injuries before. I feel like I’ve been through a lot that has prepared me for this. If you’re a quarterback very long in this league, you’re going to go through some things. You better have thick skin, you better be able to handle situations. For me it’s just being ready for the next opportunity. That’s my focus.”


(on the frequent turnover of offensive staff early in his career) “It’s hard, not just for me, I think for everybody on offense who played here. I don’t know how you get very proficient and something, when you’re constantly just pressing delete and having to learn something different. The terminology the complexity of an NFL offense is big. You’ve started to lay that foundation, you start to feel comfortable with something then you’ve got to press delete and learn a different one. You never really get to an advanced level within the offense with that kind of turnover.”

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The 15-7-0 is made up of 60% water, 40% leftover turkey and cranberry relish

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

Here we go.

“The Elite 15″…

1. I have to assume that at this point they don’t need to keep trying to wake up the echoes in South Bend.

Remember when the Trojans were down two scores late and went for it on 4th down anyway? I bet that worked out well…

I can’t tell if Fighting Irish LB (and likely Heisman Trophy finalist) Manti Te’o was excited about the win, though…

Also, what do you think Lane Kiffin was thinking here…

Of course, the Trojans are NEVER losers…

2. Now that Jay Cutler has returned to save the Chicago Bears’ season, we can all get back to talking about how much Jay Cutler sucks.

He’s unlikeable, but he’s a hell of a QB…

Back to that “unlikeable” thing. Ask AJ Jefferson…

J’Marcus Webb might disagree though…

3. Jesus. Weren’t the Bengals just completely dead a couple weeks ago?

Mohamed Sanu had a busy day (on my fantasy football bench)…

Credit to NFL Red Zone’s Scott Hanson-who saw Raiders DL Tommy Kelly in a fight and IMMEDIATELY noticed he was a doppelganger for Suge Knight…

4. There might be a LITTLE bit of drama headed to New York this year, but I’m pretty confident Johnny Manziel has locked up the Heisman Trophy.

His big game Saturday against Missouri happened AFTER Johnny Football overcame this troublesome looking injury…

Manziel will finally speak to the media for the first time Monday. He’ll have to play catch up to the all out blitz the Irish have gone through with Te’o…

5. Now Alabama plays Georgia next week for the right to be favored to win the BCS Championship Game.

Georgia’s Alec Ogletree prepared for the SEC Championship showdown by going all Kurt Angle on Georgia Tech…

Elsewhere in the SEC, I give you Jarvis Landry!

(Continued on Page 2…)

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