It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because A-I haven’t gone all Vincent Van Gogh yet and cut off my ear despite the intense pain.
And B-It’s time to name a few “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” First is the “new” version of the honor, which you’ll probably make fun of me for. There’s no reason for me to like the song “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna and Drake, but damnit-I really do…
As far as my “retro” version of TGSOATTW is concerned, I offer an ode to two things. One, the Black Crowes are at Rams Head Live tonight. Two, with the Baltimore Ravens headed to Atlanta to face the Falcons this week, I remind everyone that the Black Crowes are (along with Outkast) amongst the most significant musical contributions we’ve received from the A-T-L. Hard to believe their version of “Hard to Handle” is over 20 years old…
Let’s see what everyone has to say…
1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens want improved red zone offense for trip to Georgia Dome
As I’ve stressed, there is no simple solution here.
The best Red Zone scoring team in the NFL is the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions just so happen to have a 6’5″ star receiver (Calvin Johnson) who has grabbed 8 touchdowns already this season. (They’ve also made a few less trips to the red zone than the Ravens, who are 24th in the league in finding paydirt from inside their opponents’ 20.)
The Ravens just don’t have a 6’5″ star receiver they can lob the ball up towards in the red zone.
This is actually fairly scientific. When you enter the red zone, the field shrinks vertically. There isn’t as much space to find receivers, defenders have less space to cover.
Therefore, teams have to find space in other ways. The best way to do that is to find space ABOVE the ground. That’s where receivers like Calvin Johnson (and Larry Fitzgerald…and Andre Johnson…and Vincent Jackson, etc.) make such a significant difference.
Todd Heap is 6’5″, but just really doesn’t leap like he did at one point in his career. TJ Houshmandzadeh is 6’2″, but plays more like he’s 5’11”. Anquan Boldin is 6’1″ and Derrick Mason is 5’10”.
Without that jump ball threat, it won’t be so easy for the Ravens to improve their numbers in the red zone. Ed Dickson (6’4″) could be the wild card, but he has to continue to earn the trust of John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron just to be on the field.
I don’t expect the Ravens to have another one touchdown in seven trips performance as they did Sunday, but I don’t know that there is a simple solution either.
Of course-limiting penalties would certainly help.
2. WNST.net’s Chris Pika says Ravens-Falcons could be ‘Super Bowl XLV preview’
If I’m a betting man, I’d bet AGAINST this happening.
That being said, both teams are tied for the best record in their respective conferences, and have the one factor that is most necessary to win in the NFL this season…balance.
You can’t help but notice the similarities between Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco to the Falcons’ Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. You can’t help but notice how the teams have running backs that are similar in style in Ray Rice and Michael Turner.
They’re both really good teams who I have no doubt will be playing in the postseason. But if I was a betting man, my money would say they don’t face off again in Arlington to finish the season.
3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice admitted he made ‘bad decision’ in taking to Twitter after being pulled over
Thank God Twitter didn’t exist when I was in college. Can you even IMAGINE how many dumb things I’d say? I said enough dumb things on MySpace and Facebook over the years, so I’m just grateful I didn’t have Twitter to worry about as well.
Clearly Ray Rice should have never mentioned that he got a break from an officer and gave him an autograph no matter what the circumstances were. That being said, this is really not a big deal at all. Rice has been a model citizen during his short NFL career, and as long as he gets his window tinting taken care of, he’ll be abiding by all rules again.
This is just a quick lesson in not needing to pass EVERYTHING along via Twitter. A lesson we probably all need to learn at some point.
4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Josh Wilson could be in line to start Thursday night
At this point, Greg Mattison and the Ravens don’t have much of a choice but to start Wilson over Fabian Washington at this point.
That being said, I have to wonder if they’ve considered all options. For example, was Nicole Craner considered? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)
5. ESPN.com elevates Ravens to 1st in power rankings
And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…
-The Ravens are back at work at 1 Winning Drive today, but today’s walkthrough is CLOSED to the media before they depart at 2:30 for “Hotlanta.” We’re not departing just yet, so we’ll still have Ravens Reports throughout the day on AM1570 WNST.
-Did you miss Ravens DE Paul Kruger with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today at WNST.net to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…
- Andrew Brandt (National Football Post/Former Green Bay Packers Executive)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
- Steve Gorman (Black Crowes Drummer/host of “Steve Gorman Sports”)-who talked sports and rock & roll with Drew Wednesday
- Dave Archer (Falcons Color Analyst/Former QB)-who previewed the Thursday Night Football showdown with Drew Wednesday
- John Rallo (Shogun Fights III)-who previewed Saturday night’s event at 1st Mariner Arena with Drew Wednesday
- Plenty of audio from Owings Mills Tuesday, including Harbaugh, Flacco, Rice, Wilson and DT Haloti Ngata
- Urijah Faber (WEC Fighter)-who joined Rallo and Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
- Tim Strachan (Maryland Football Analyst)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown with the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” with Thyrl Tuesday
- Chris Knoche (Maryland Basketball Color Analyst)-who talked 2K Sports Classic with Thyrl Tuesday as well
- Ovie Mughelli (Falcons FB/former Raven)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Thursday night’s game
- Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked all things Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday
It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve somehow managed to plan your day AGAIN. This is getting totally out of hand…
6. MLB.com’s Evan Drellich says Orioles to reduce seating capacity at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, improve sightlines
And if Andy MacPhail and company had come to Glenn Clark and said “how do YOU think we could improve sightlines at OPACY?”, here’s how I would have responded.
“IMPROVE WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT!!!!!!!!! If I had a bad sightline for the Mona Lisa or a good sightline for a piece of cow manure, I’d pick the bad sightline all day.”
Of course, Peter Angelos and company haven’t asked me for an opinion since…well…ever.
(Edit from GMC: For the record, I think this is a good idea. I just want so many things fixed that one good idea doesn’t suddenly leave me completely thrilled.)
7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says former O’s manager Dave Trembley accepts minor league gig with Atlanta Braves
Good for Dave Trembley, honestly.
I doubt Trembley will ever get back to the managerial level in Major League Baseball, but this should be a good role for him.
And no truth to the rumor that the Braves only hired Trembley after being turned down by New Orleans Saints cheerleader/Louisiana middle school teacher Chastity McLemore. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)
8. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with College of Charleston at Comcast Center
Here’s what we know.
While they DID blow out Seattle in their opener Monday night, the Terps were quite sloppy in the victory. Turnovers, missed free throws and failed finishes were all issues against the Redhawks.
The Cougars are going to have familiarity with Gary Williams thanks to Bobby Cremins’ background at Georgia Tech. On top of that, this is a C-of-C team that managed to knock off North Carolina a season ago.
I don’t think the Terps are at risk of losing tonight, but I certainly don’t expect this to be a walkover either.
No matter what, we’ll have the “Turtle Power” chat going tonight at 7pm (the game can be seen on ESPNU with Rob Stone and Jay Williams on the call), Luke Jones (and perhaps Glenn Clark if he can survive his ear infection) will be live from College Park to provide companion analysis.
Despite Stinebaugh being a proud Perry Hall High School Gators alum, I will be the first to admit that Stinebaugh is not the difference in winning and losing.
That being said, a team that has dealt with so many injuries at skill positions can certainly use a player like Stinebaugh back on the field.
And speaking on behalf of PHHS grads everywhere-we don’t really have a lot of guys worth rooting for around the world, so we need him on the field too. It just makes all of us look better.
10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs missed practice Monday and Tuesday with slight concussion
Apparently Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo expects Dobbs to return to practice today, so he shouldn’t really be at risk of missing Saturday’s Central Michigan game.
And while Kriss Proctor would probably do a more than admirable job of filling in for him should he miss the game, I would implore the Mids to make sure they consider all options before settling with Proctor. For example, I think Karol Jaramillo might make a good option as well. (Thanks Guyism!)
And finally, I leave you with this.
Apparently this play from a High School Football game in North Carolina last week lead to a penalty. It should have lead to a penalty for being an effing awesome idea…
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…