Tag Archive | "Arkansas"

Private Workouts Now in Focus with Draft Season Speeding Towards Conclusion

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Private Workouts Now in Focus with Draft Season Speeding Towards Conclusion

Posted on 14 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

Like Florence & The Machine said, “The Pro Days are over.”

Well maybe those weren’t the exact lyrics from Florence Welch and company, but the statement remains true.

Draft season has officially shifted from Pro Days to private visits and workouts.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Andy Dalton (TCU), Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss), Ricky Stanzi (Iowa), Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford), Shaun Chapas (Georgia)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), Mikel Leshoure (Illinois), Darren Evans (Virginia Tech)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union), Jerrel Jernigan (Troy), Niles Paul (Nebraska), Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State), DeMarcus Love (Arkansas)
G-Danny Watkins (Baylor)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada), D’Aundre Reed (Arizona), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa), Sam Acho (Texas), Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State)
DT-Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois), Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State), Alex Wujciak (Maryland), Akeem Dent (Georgia)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami), Brandon Harris (Miami), Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), Richard Sherman (Stanford), Brandon Burton (Utah)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 456-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indy
Parts 8, 9 & 10-A look at players who participated in early Pro Timing Days

The Baltimore Ravens (obviously) made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects-all of whom have been shown special attention by the Ravens during Draft season. (Reported by WNST.net, National Football Post, Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun, Pro Football Weekly or others.)

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, NFL.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

DE Christian Ballard (Iowa)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhgvSsE5tLI[/youtube]

Ballard is one of a number of Defensive Ends that has wandered over to Owings Mills during Draft season.

The Ravens are clearly in need of a rush end, and have looked at a number of players who could fit the role. Ballard (6’4″, 283 pounds) managed to tally eight combined sacks over his junior and senior campaigns with the Hawkeyes despite playing part of that time on the interior of the line.

Ballard has shown good speed during Draft season, trimming his 40 time from 4.75 at the Combine to 4.70 at his Pro Day in Iowa City. He’s not a first round pick, but he is a player the Ravens could consider as early as the second round.

They may have addressed rush end before that. Ballard’s teammate Adrian Clayborn, Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward and a number of other players are all higher on the board. The Ravens have a GLARING need at the position. If they don’t address it in the first, don’t be surprised if they address it with Ballard.

OT James Brewer (Indiana)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X01sxTrZZY[/youtube]

We don’t know for sure whether or not the Ravens have hosted Brewer at 1 Winning Drive, but we do know that the team paid special interest to Brewer’s Pro Day in Bloomington.

The Ravens have an issue along their O-Line. OT Jared Gaither is an unrestricted free agent and there are just a few question marks surrounding him. OT Michael Oher may or may not have a future at LT. G/T Marshal Yanda probably needs to return to being a Guard only.

The team will have to make some decisions.

Brewer (6’6″, 323 pounds) could help in that decision making process. He’s not a first round talent, but he looks like someone who is going to be able to play fairly early on if selected late Friday or early Saturday.

There is a SMALL issue with Brewer…he’s from Indianapolis. If he roots for the Colts, that could be trouble.

But otherwise, he has to be a legitimate option to help new O-Line coach Andy Moeller.

RB Stevan Ridley (LSU)

stevan

Unlike Ravens RB Ray Rice, Ridley’s game is much about power than speed (his 4.65 40 time at the Combine was better than either of his runs at his Pro Day in Baton Rouge). That could be a recipe to get him to Charm City, as the team may well lose both RB Willis McGahee (expected to be released) and FB Le’Ron McClain (Unrestricted Free Agent) this offseason.

Ridley might not be massive, but he packs 225 pounds in a 5’11″ frame. He has the look of a third down/red zone weapon at the next level, which is part of what the Ravens will be looking for in their backfield this offseason.

Ridley had just one big season with the Tigers before declaring for the Draft a year early. After rushing for just 272 yards and four TD’s combined between his freshman and sophomore seasons, he exploded for 1,147 yards and 15 TD’s as a junior. Clearly part of the reason for leaving early was to save some “tread” on his tires.

The Ravens paid special attention to Ridley at the Combine, where they learned more about why he was voted a team captain as a junior. He’s not a Thursday night pick and probably not a Friday night pick either. As the Draft wares into Saturday, he’ll look more and more appealing to the Ravens-who need to give Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron a change of pace option in the backfield.

CB Curtis Marsh (Utah State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-DwCYgqHWk[/youtube]

Just to recap the Ravens’ CB situation this offseason-Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents; Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent and Domonique Foxworth is coming off an ACL injury that cost him the entire 2010 season. Lardarius Webb is the only corner that saw the field last season that remains fully under contract.

Clearly new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano will need SOMETHING in his defensive backfield, be it returning players or newcomers.

Marsh is an intriguing option who has already visited General Manager Ozzie Newsome and company in Owings Mills. He was very much under the radar screen playing for the Aggies, but his 6’1″, 197 pound size and 4.42 speed have been undeniable during Draft season.

Marsh initially garnered attention for his matchup abilities against Boise State receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young. He received a Senior Bowl invite but missed the week due to a hamstring injury.

Marsh could come off the board as early as Friday night. If the Ravens don’t select a cornerback in Round 1, he could be a legitimate option after that point.

DE Ricky Elmore (Arizona)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtE9qFonW7s[/youtube]

The Ravens have shown equal interest in Elmore and fellow former ‘Zona DE Brooks Reed, as both have shown an ability to get after Pac 10 quarterbacks.

Elmore tallied 21 combined sacks between his junior and senior seasons, finishing his Wildcats career with 25 sacks overall. During Draft season he’s been training with Clay Matthews Sr. (whose son is a pretty good pass rusher himself) in an attempt to even further improve his ability to get after QB’s.

Elmore is a physical beast, measuring in at 6’5″, 255 pounds. He’s not blazing fast (4.88 40 at the Combine), but he’s deceptively quick for his size.

As I mentioned with Ballard, the Ravens have to be desperate for rush help on the edge. If they select an end Thursday (or early Friday), they’ll likely want him to be someone who also has the ability to stand up in a 3-4 defense.

If they don’t go DE early, Elmore could be a better option later into the Draft (likely Saturday). Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company will have to determine how quickly Elmore could make an impact.

S Will Hill (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQK0xhpkE4Y&feature=fvst[/youtube]

Hill’s size (6’1″, 202 pounds) and decent speed (4.64 40) as well as his overall football ability (four interceptions over three seasons in Gainesville) should make him a solid Free Safety prospect.

Yet despite the Ravens showing interest in Hill at the Combine, he’s viewed as a borderline possibility to get picked anywhere in the Draft.

Hill’s issues are more off the field than they are on the field. He had some problems with his Twitter account-as well documented by the website “Every Day Should Be Saturday.”

Hill later claimed his Twitter account was hacked, but the damage was certainly done-and Hill didn’t exactly win everyone over with his comments about the incident at the Combine.

There are clear question marks off the field, which are clouding the ability he could have on the field. The Ravens appear to be in the safety market this offseason, as SS Dawan Landry is an unrestricted free agent and FS Ed Reed is…well…not getting any younger or healthier. Reserves Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura give them options to plug in, but they’ll certainly look for depth.

Should the Ravens not select a safety at all early in the Draft, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they could take a chance on a player like Hill late in the Draft. After taking risks on DT Terrence Cody and LB Sergio Kindle early in the Draft last season, they might not be as quick to take a chance on a player with a red flag in this year’s Draft.

CB Chris Culliver (South Carolina)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jFfXPtIMlk[/youtube]

As I mentioned with Marsh, the Ravens have secondary issues this offseason. They’ll need to address them SOMEHOW, and Culliver could be part of that.

Culliver is a 6’0″, 199 pound corner who tallied four sacks and three interceptions during his Gamecocks career. (All three picks came in 2008.) He’s coming off a torn pec that caused him to miss the final six games of his 2010 campaign.

Of all of the corners on the Ravens’ active roster in 2010, only Williams (6’1″) is as big as Culliver. None have the blazing speed (4.36 40 at the Combine…which he stood on instead of running at his Pro Day in Columbia) that Culliver has.

Culliver paid a visit to Owings Mills during Draft season to meet with Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company. They likely wanted to see how fluid he was in coverage, as he played just one season at corner in the SEC after converting from safety.

The other nice option with Culliver is his potential involvement in the return game. Culliver finished his SC career with a school record 2,476 return yards. The Ravens got solid production from Webb and WR David Reed/RB Jalen Parmele in the PR and KR roles respectively last season, but they certainly didn’t do so much that they have to be considered locks to return in the roles. Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg wouldn’t be disappointed to add another return man if the Ravens were to use a late Friday or early Saturday selection on Culliver.

G Will Rackley (Lehigh)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaXM8yMXOHM[/youtube]

The Ravens have certainly had no trouble using a pick in the top half of the Draft on interior linemen before.

G Ben Grubbs (1st round), C/G Chris Chester (2nd round), G/T Marshal Yanda (3rd round) and St. Louis Rams C Jason Brown (4th round) have all been players the Ravens have selected early, and they’ve received mostly good results from the selections.

The Ravens don’t appear to have a glaring need amongst their interior linemen, but there are certainly issues to be addressed.

While Head Coach John Harbaugh would like to return Yanda to Guard, he’s an restricted free agent that could depart in the offseason. Even if he stays, the Ravens could be faced with a need to have him stay at RT should the team not re-sign Gaither or not Draft/Sign a better option at the position. After getting a second round tender, Chester (also a restricted free agent) is expected to return, but the team would prefer to have him play a utility role along the line instead of being penciled in at RG.

Rackley could be the type of player who could step in and play RG immediately. The 6’3″, 309 pound lineman turned a number of heads during East West Shrine Game week, showing he was quite capable of playing against big time opposition despite his FCS background.

Rackley was a four year starter for the Mountain Hawks, dominating Patriot League opposition. Clearly the AFC North (and the likes of DT’s like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Casey Hampton) will offer more significant opposition. Rackley is expected to be a Friday night pick, which could certainly be a legitimate place for the Ravens to jump up and grab him.

CB Buster Skrine (Chattanooga)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2jksB_vrsM[/youtube]

Similar to Curtis Marsh, Skrine is going to be looking to overcome a lower level of competition to make a name for himself as a National Football League corner. But Skrine (who played in the Southern Conference) has many more questions about competition to overcome than Marsh-who played his ball in the WAC.

Skrine (5’10″, 186 pounds) has great speed (4.37 40 at the Combine-but rumored to have actually been as fast as 4.29) and finished his Mocs career with five interceptions.

The Ravens both attended Skrine’s Pro Day and hosted him in Owings Mills in March.

The biggest question surrounding Skrine is whether or not he can play press coverage against NFL receivers, many of whom will have a slight to significant height advantage.

If the Ravens feel like he could be, it would make him a solid option late Friday or early Saturday.

LB Justin Houston (Georgia)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR0L2RVId90[/youtube]

Houston appears to be a true standup OLB instead of a down DE, which could help as the Ravens try to find pass rush help.

At 6’3″, 270 pounds; Houston was considered “undersized” to play along the D-Line for the Bulldogs, so he was moved to the outside. He responded to the move by producing 10 sacks in 2010; finishing his career in Athens with 19 sacks total.

Houston’s size and solid speed (he trimmed his 40 time down to 4.57 at his Pro Day) make him a borderline first round pick. The Ravens are obviously in the market for pass rush help (more specifically someone to team with LB Terrell Suggs), and they have hosted Houston in Owings Mills during Draft season.

The only obvious red flag with Houston is a 2009 suspension by UGA coach Mark Richt for an unspecified violation of team rules.

While the team seems unlikely to trade out of the 26th spot this year, Houston could be the type of available player that would make them feel like they could. Should Houston be available in the 30-40 range, the Ravens would likely feel as though they got #26 value after trading back.

-G

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 11 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Arena Football-AFL Tampa Bay Storm @ Philadelphia Soul (Friday 8pm from Philly live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ivan Popoca vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on ESPN2), Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz/Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey (Saturday 9:45pm from Mashantucket, CT & Manchester, ENG live on HBO), Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido (Saturday 10:30pm from Bayamon, Puerto Rico); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 41 (Saturday 9pm from Yuma, AZ live on MTV2); Soccer: MLS-DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 7pm from Toronto live on Fox Soccer Channel)

10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Friday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Sick Puppies/Framing Hanley/Adelita’s Way (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Three Days Grace/My Darkest Days (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live/Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Dirty Heads (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Seether/Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Several Species: The Pink Floyd Experience (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); All Mighty Senators (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Johns Hopkins University Spring Fair feat. Chiddy Bang (Friday-Sunday JHU); Cake (Thursday-Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Aimee Mann (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); KT Tunstall (Wednesday 8pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue), Chris Cornell (Sunday 8pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Patrice O’Neal (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You’re thinking to yourself…”TSO? Christmas is 8 and a half months away!” Well…try this one on for size…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Rkzs1h1vu0E[/youtube]

Framing Hanley made a major mistake. Art Alexakis from Everclear once told me bands should “NEVER release a cover as their first single.” That being said, Framing Hanley’s take on Lil’ Wayne is pretty good…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/vbUR0SRceD0[/youtube]

If you weren’t a Soundgarden/Temple of the Dog/Audioslave fan; you may not realize how amazing a Chris Cornell solo show has the possibility of being…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/5Pt03oU6RHI[/youtube]

The Foo Fighters are amazing. Every time they put something new out you say to yourself “Wow…that might be the best thing they’ve done.” Yet they’re no one’s favorite band. It’s wild…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/kbpqZT_56Ns[/youtube]

9. Roller Derby: Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

kiss

Now you’re thinking to yourself “Okay Glenn, how did you go from an entry about the CCRG to a picture of Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page kissing???”

This is too easy.

Drew and Ellen kissed as part of the promotional tour for the film “Whip It”, which was…of course…about Roller Derby. Here’s another promo photo…

drewellen

That would be another point for me. I’m running away with this one.

8. Horse Racing: Arkansas Derby (Saturday 5pm from Hot Springs, AK live on HRTV), Decanter Wine Festival (Saturday 11am Pimlico)

I’m realizing more and more that my second annual pilgrimage to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby is…like…RIGHT around the corner.  It means I have to consider my wardrobe again.

Last year I went with THIS on Kentucky Oaks day…

oaks

I’m the one on the left. I swear.

And then I wore THIS on Derby day…

derby

Look, I tend to dress like a bit of a homeless slob for most of the year…so…I like the idea of looking good just for these days. With that in mind, any suggestions?

7. Tennis: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 4:30am, Saturday 7am Sunday 8am from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France live on Tennis Channel)

Oh good. Clay courts. The place where the American men who aren’t good enough to win the rest of the year somehow actually get worse.

I don’t understand it either.

But since the event is on the clay, shouldn’t we just go ahead and give the title to this man?

kuerten

(Edit from GMC: If you knew that was Gustavo Kuerten, we should probably consider a life together.)

6. Golf: PGA Tour Valero Texas Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from San Antonio), Champions Tour Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am (Friday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 4pm Sunday 1pm live on NBC)

Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am? TOTAL excuse for me to post a picture of a Bloomin’ Onion!!!

onion

Words really aren’t necessary after that, right?

5. Auto Racing: NASCAR Aaron’s 499 (Sunday 1pm from Talladega, AL live on FOX); IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday 3:30pm from Long Beach, CA live on VERSUS)

Did someone say Talladega??? Ricky Bobby was on TNT the other night…

[youtube]http://youtu.be/BWKisUSxjXk[/youtube]

Thank God for this movie. Could you imagine if I actually had to know who had won each NASCAR race during the course of the year?

I know they were in Texas last week-who won that one? Davey Allison? Was that the name of a real driver?

4. Pro Wrestling: TNA “Lockdown” (Sunday 8pm from Cincinnati live on Pay-Per-View)

Every match inside a steel cage? YES PLEASE!

In fact I’d be PARTICULARLY interested if Angelina Love was in one of those matches…

alove

3. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers (Wednesday 8pm from Cleveland live on Comcast SportsNet); NBA Playoffs (Saturday-Monday live on ABC, ESPN and TNT)

And sadly, the season ends for the Washington Wizards. Of course, we’ll always have the memories…

Like…

Yep. It was a hell of a season.

2. NHL Playoffs: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7:30pm from Verizon Center live on VERSUS), New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7:30pm from Verizon Center live on VERSUS), Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers (Sunday 3pm from New York live on NBC)

Look, I appreciate the fact that the Caps are going to play a game at the Civic Center next year. Not because I like the Caps, but because I appreciate anything that brings money to the city. If I want folks to praise Shogun Fights, I have to be willing to praise the DC hockey team.

That being said, it’s going to be really awkward pulling for the Rangers over the next few weeks considering how much I dislike the Yankees.

But seriously, how can you root against these guys?

[youtube]http://youtu.be/o1OA5niEPm0[/youtube]

1. College Lacrosse: Johns Hopkins @ Maryland (Saturday 8pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPNU); Loyola @ Georgetown (Saturday 7pm from Kehoe Field live on AM1570 WNST); Towson @ Penn State (Saturday 7pm from University Park, PA live on ABC2 & ESPN3.com); Army @ Navy (Saturday 2pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports); Stevenson @ Salisbury (Saturday 12pm Sea Gull Stadium)

I (secretly) pull for the Blue Jays almost every week of the year.

Not this one.

turtle

It’s the 107th matchup between the Terps and the Jays. I’m hoping for 107-0 in honor of that.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Pro Days Nearly in Books as Draft Season Begins Home Turn

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pro Days Nearly in Books as Draft Season Begins Home Turn

Posted on 06 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

With only Notre Dame left amongst significant Pro Timing Days this season, NFL Draft season is now headed to pro facilities, as teams will host private meetings with prospects.

This of course is all happening despite the fact that the league and the players are battling in court in Minneapolis.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Andy Dalton (TCU), Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford), Shaun Chapas (Georgia)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union), Jerrel Jernigan (Troy), Niles Paul (Nebraska)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)
G-Danny Watkins (Baylor)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada), D’Aundre Reed (Arizona), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)
DT-Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois), Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State), Alex Wujciak (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami), Brandon Harris (Miami), Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), Richard Sherman (Stanford)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 456-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indy
Parts 8 & 9-A look at players who participated in early Pro Timing Days

The Baltimore Ravens (obviously) made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects whose schools have already held their Pro Timing Days.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, NFL.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

DE Sam Acho (Texas)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea4RHlaq8eg&feature=fvst[/youtube]

Acho became an interesting name in Charm City when he told us at the Combine he had met with the Ravens. Clearly the team had gone down the “Longhorns pass rusher” road recently (see Kindle, Sergio), and they desperately need a rush end.

Acho is a 6’2″, 262 pound beast who tallied eight sacks in each his junior and senior seasons in Austin. He has decent speed (he posted a 4.67 forty yard dash at the Combine and sat on the number at his Pro Day) and has shown the ability to be a solid pass rusher at the college level.

The Ravens will have to figure out if that can translate to a level in the NFL that allows him to partner up with LB Terrell Suggs to get after quarterbacks.

If Kindle’s off-field issues scare fans into thinking the team should avoid all former ‘Horns defenders altogether, consider some of Acho’s accomplishments.

-William V. Campbell Trophy winner (nation’s top football student-athlete)
-2010 Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in athletic, academic and community achievement)
-ARA Sportsmanship Award
-UT’s seventh two-time Academic All-American
-member of the 2010 AFCA Good Works Team
-2010 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete
-finalist for the 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

The Ravens will have to decide whether Acho’s on-field ability warrants a late Thursday or early Friday selection, but they shouldn’t be concerned about him away from the field at all.

(Acho joined Thyrl Nelson last week on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net if you missed him!)

RB Mikel Leshoure (Illinois)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVgFcPDMQLQ[/youtube]

I would be FLOORED if the Ravens selected Leshoure with the 26th pick in the Draft. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Ravens selected him in the 2nd round should he be available.

Leshoure is a 6’0″, 227 pound back with solid speed (4.56 40) who exploded on the scene in 2010. Leshoure posted nearly 1,900 yards of total offense and 20 total touchdowns after totaling just over 900 yards in 2009.

Seeing the way NFL teams have considered the number of touches a back has at the college level more and more, Leshoure decided to leave Champaign a year early and keep as much tread on his tires as possible.

The Ravens will need to overhaul their backfield this offseason. RB Willis McGahee is expected to be let go, FB Le’Ron McClain could depart as an unrestricted free agent. The team needs to figure out how to pair someone with their undersized superstar Ray Rice to carry them offensively.

Leshoure’s size could make him a decent complement paired with Rice.

But I would still only expect it to be possible if Leshoure slips to 58th.

LB Akeem Dent (Georgia)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJbNrEv5zXc[/youtube]

The Ravens have issues at Inside Linebacker.

They have a future Hall of Famer at one position (Ray Lewis) who-while still performing at a Pro Bowl level-is not getting any younger.

Lining up next to him, the team has attempted to see Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe or Jameel McClain nail down a spot-but none of them have done so.

They have to find some better answers at ILB.

Dent recently met with Ravens LB Dean Pees, meaning the team is at least considering a Saturday selection on the former Bulldogs backer. He’s 6’1″, 242 pounds with underwhelming speed (4.78), but he capped his career with Athens with an exceptional 122 tackle, three sack, two forced fumble senior campaign.

There’s nothing about Dent in particular that really makes him stand out-but he’s been productive against SEC offenses and has shown decent character.

For a team needing help at the position, that might be all that’s necessary.

QB Ricky Stanzi (Iowa)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p9xT-7-UkU[/youtube]

When Gil Brandt reported that the Ravens’ QB coach attended Stanzi’s Pro Day in Iowa City, I will admit that I was a bit confused.

Jim Zorn has since taken over the same role with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and Offensive Assistant Craig Ver Steeg to split the responsibilities of working with Joe Flacco.

It is believed (from the folks in Owings Mills I talked to) that Ver Steeg was the coach working with Stanzi at Iowa’s Pro Day. It’s certainly a sign that the team is legitimately considering Stanzi as an option should backup Marc Bulger depart (or perhaps even if he ends up returning).

Stanzi had a solid career for the Hawkeyes, compiling a 3,000 yard senior season to finish off a 7,377 yard/56 TD career. He has solid size (6’4″, 223 pounds) and while he isn’t quick, he did improve his 40 time to 4.93 at Pro Day.

There will likely be some concerns still lingering from a 2009 ankle injury that forced him to miss time, but he didn’t miss a game in 2010.

The Ravens probably won’t even think about quarterbacks until Saturday-as they are not looking for someone who will need to play (unless there’s an emergency situation) in 2011. If Stanzi remains on the board after three rounds, he will have to at least be a consideration.

CB Brandon Burton (Utah)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8HHyOuT4NM[/youtube]

This won’t be the first time I will have written about the Ravens’ CB situation as they (eventually) enter the offseason.

CB’s Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents. CB Domonique Foxworth is coming off of an ACL injury that cost him the entire season. CB Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent.

As of this moment, the team has Lardarius Webb, Marcus Paschal and Danny Gorrer as healthy players under contract. They’re going to have to do SOMETHING at the position-although we all expect Foxworth and at least one of the UFA’s to be back in the mix.

Burton is a 6’0″, 190 pound corner who produced solid if not spectacular numbers during three seasons with the Utes. He finished his career with 97 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and three interceptions.

Clearly those numbers were skewed at least a bit by the fact that Mountain West opponents learned not to throw in his direction quite as much.

Burton has decent speed (he shaved his 40 time down to 4.50 at his Salt Lake City Pro Day), but a quicker time might have made him a first round possibility. Instead, he’ll likely be a player the Ravens can consider adding to Chuck Pagano’s defense on Friday night.

RB Darren Evans (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVJY_1wU8Lo[/youtube]

Evans only did positional workouts at his Pro Day in Blacksburg, deciding to sit on all of his workout numbers from the Combine.

The decision-much like his decision to leave Va Tech with a year of eligibility left-could certainly be considered questionable.

While his Hokies’ teammate Ryan Williams is all but a sure thing to be a Friday night pick, there is certainly no guarantee Evans will be selected at all. He has decent size (6’0″, 227 pounds) and speed (4.56 40), but the ACL injury that cost him his entire 2009 season will certainly leave personnel folks (like Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome) wary of using a pick on him.

Evans was tremendous in 2008, rushing for 1,265 yards and 11 TD’s. He bounced back for a decent season in 2010, posting 854 yards and another 11 TD’s. He clearly made the decision to leave school out of fear that he would take too much “tread off his tires”, which has become a significant concern for NFL teams who tend to lower the life expectancy for a running back every year.

Evans might be the type of back that could complement someone like Rice, but he’d likely have to come in as a late round pick (or Undrafted Free Agent…if teams are ever able to sign those) and compete for a job behind Rice, Jalen Parmele and whoever else the team brings back in the backfield.

DE Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State)

winterswyk

I think we all expect the Ravens to have addressed the need for a rush end early in the Draft, but I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they could consider selecting multiple Ends during the course of the weekend.

Winterswyk is an intriguing late round prospect. He measures in at 6’4″, 268 pounds and shaved his 40 time down to the 4.80 range at his Pro Day (according to the National Football Post) after a disappointing 4.96 at the Combine.

Winterswyk garnered plenty of attention during his junior season, tallying nine sacks for the Broncos and establishing himself as the type of player who could be a serious threat off the edge at the next level.

That excitement died down a bit in 2010, as Winterswyk managed only two sacks during his senior campaign.

The Ravens certainly couldn’t use a Saturday selection on the former BSU rusher and assume that they had solved their issues on the edge. But if they used an early pick on an End (or waited to address the issue if and when free agency finally begins), Winsterswyk could certainly be an interesting project for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to consider.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I08QqP7cE5A[/youtube]

I’ll say what you’re thinking…yes, there’s reason to compare Sanzenbacher to former Ravens receiver Brandon Stokley.

But there’s no guarantee that a Stokley-type receiver is what the Ravens need right now to complete their receiving corps.

The team will be looking for a downfield speed threat as WR Donte’ Stallworth (unrestricted free agent) may well depart following a season where he was unable to get into the mix offensively.

Sanzenbacher (5’11″, 182 pounds) could be the type to fill that role-but will initially be looked at as more of a possession receiver with a speed threat (4.48 40 at his Pro Day).

The Ravens will return two possession receivers at the top of their corps (Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason), meaning size and speed will be what they are most looking for in a receiver.

Should they address those issues by selecting a Jon Baldwin-type receiver early in the draft, Sanzenbacher could be an additional option on Saturday to further bolster Cameron’s offense.

QB Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7VFdi_WhLY[/youtube]

At 6’5″, 251 pounds; Johnson certainly has the LOOK of a NFL quarterback. At times during his career with the Aggies, he certainly showed off the skills necessary to be a NFL quarterback as well.

Unfortunately, his career in College Station ended with him on the bench due to a shoulder injury. Coach Mike Sherman’s staff lost faith in Johnson’s arm strength-and those questions have clearly lingered over his performance during Draft season.

Johnson has a unique mix of size and athleticism, and managed to throw for over 8,000 yards and 67 touchdowns before ending up on the bench. He had a particularly prolific junior season, completing 296 of 497 attempts for 3,579 yards with 30 TD’s and just eight interceptions.

Johnson could be particularly interesting on Saturday (or as an undrafted free agent) to Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and a Ravens team that will be looking for depth behind Flacco but not for someone who would need to step in and play anytime soon barring emergency.

OT DeMarcus Love (Arkansas)

demarcuslove

Not only has the situation with OT Jared Gaither not been resolved, we’re absolutely no closer to having any true understanding of how the team’s tackle position might shake out.

The team could still decide to retain their former supplemental pick despite the injury issues that cost him the entire 2010 season. They could choose to allow the unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere and sign or draft another tackle. They could let Gaither depart and re-sign OL Marshal Yanda to play tackle. They could choose to elevate a Tony Moll or Oniel Cousins to the position.

Get the picture?

Love (6’4″, 315 pounds) could be an option for the Ravens at tackle or guard as the team considers how they’ll shape their O-Line opposite LT Michael Oher and LG Ben Grubbs.

Love certainly showed his ability to handle top rushers as an All-SEC performer for the Razorbacks; but struggled against top talent during Senior Bowl week in Mobile.

He’ll probably be a late Friday/early Saturday selection and will certainly be an interesting prospect for a Ravens team needing changes along the line.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 14 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Transitions Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Tampa Bay, FL); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Demetrius Hopkins vs. Brad Solomon (Friday 9pm from Hollywood, FL live on ESPN2), Lucian Bute vs. Brian Magee (Saturday 10pm from Montreal live on Showtime); Horse Racing: Rebel Stakes (Saturday 5pm from Hot Springs, Arkansas live on HRTV); Arena Football-AFL: Philadelphia Soul @ Chicago Rush (Friday 8pm from Chicago live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-Columbus Crew @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm RFK Stadium)

10. Pete Yorn (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Cold (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Halestorm & Charm City Devils (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mike Epps (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena), Lil’ Wayne (Sunday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); Phil Lesh & Bob Weir (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Travie McCoy (Sunday 6pm Recher Theatre); America (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Loretta Lynn (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); 2nd Annual Hippodrome Foodie Experience with Alton Brown (Saturday 6pm Hippodrome); The Fighter” and “WWE True Story of Wrestlemania” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

Drew Forrester and I will be Rams Head Tuesday night, because Pete Yorn is outstanding…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zginCd6D0as[/youtube]

John Allen is a Charm City rock icon. That is all.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmHauE5ODe4[/youtube]

If you’re not a Weezy fan, I don’t think we can be friends. Nicki Minaj is coming to town with him. I’d marry her.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfYcOYMNuXM[/youtube]

Is it possible for me to enjoy a Phil Lesh/Bob Weir show even if I don’t smoke pot? I mean, I dig Scarlet Begonias…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj_kK1j3CV0[/youtube]

9. St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday)

This year’s festivities will be a bit different, as basketball will be a bit of a priority Thursday. That being said, I need a couple of things to make my St. Patty’s Day better.

1-Bangers and Mash

bangers

2-Smithwick’s

smithwicks

3-Flogging Molly[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trkx9xLb5X8[/youtube]

If your establishment has those three things and ample breathing room, please let me know. I will be in attendance.

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Jeff Byrd 500 (Sunday 1pm from Bristol, TN live on FOX)

Bristol is a smaller track, which is supposed to make the race more exciting.
But really, how can it get any more exciting than THIS?!?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V78QFZxooQ[/youtube]

7. Tennis: ATP Tour & WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Tuesday & Wednesday 2pm live on Tennis Channel, Thursday 2pm & 10pm live on Tennis Channel, Friday 2pm & 6pm live on Tennis Channel 4pm & 11pm live on ESPN2, Saturday 7:30pm live on Tennis Channel 2pm & 4pm live on ABC, Sunday 2pm & 4pm live on ABC. All tennis from Indian Wells, CA)

The Indian Wells stop is one of the few tour stops on the schedule that goes two weeks despite not being a grand slam event.

Of note from what’s already happened in the draw, Donald Young defeated Andy Murray.

NO, NO…please don’t leave. I promise that’s the only tennis analysis you’ll find here. Instead, here’s the picture of Ana Ivanovic everyone likes so bad…

ivanovic

6. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls (Tuesday 8pm from Chicago live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (Friday 7pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), New Jersey Nets @ Washington Wizards (Sunday 1pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

The ‘Zards haven’t done much of anything right this season…until this past weekend.

This past weekend they did a FANTASTIC job…of finding their way onto Blake Griffin posters!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHB5rNtha-A[/youtube]

Talk about giving fans EXACTLY what they paid their money for!

5. NHL: Washington Capitals @ Montreal Canadiens (Tuesday 7pm from Montreal live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Capitals @ Detroit Red Wings (Wednesday 7:30pm from Detroit live on VERSUS & Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ New Jersey Devils (Friday 7pm from Newark, NJ live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet)

So everything that’s happened in the world of hockey recently has been about Zedano Charo. I’m not interested.

The only thing I care about in the world of hockey is the fact that the Phoenix Coyotes got two big points Sunday night against the Anaheim Ducks. But I don’t think anyone else cares, so I won’t go any further with it.

You know what, there’s nothing hockey interesting to post here. So instead I’ll post Zach Galifianakis’ monologue from Saturday Night Live. He KILLED…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QnulJMA2FQ[/youtube]

Yeah. That’s better than hockey.

4. Women’s College Basketball: NCAA Tournament-St. Francis vs. Maryland (Sunday 12pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com), Georgetown vs. Princeton (Sunday 2:30pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com). More games Saturday-

While the Terrapins are involved, I’ll be paying attention to Women’s March Madness. In fact, I’ll probably even head down to College Park Sunday.

But if for some reason the season were to come to an end for the Terps, my interest in Women’s College Basketball would go right back to what it was before…

“What’s former UTEP star Claudia Lampe doing these days?”

UTEP

3. College Lacrosse: Denver @ Loyola (Wednesday 7pm from Ridley Athletic Complex live on AM1570 WNST), Loyola @ Air Force (Saturday 3pm from Colorado Springs, CO live on AM1570 WNST); UMBC @ Maryland (Friday 8pm from Byrd Stadium live on ABC 2 & ESPN3.com), St. Joseph’s @ Maryland (Sunday 1pm Byrd Stadium); Towson @ Navy (Tuesday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Stony Brook @ Towson (Saturday 1pm Unitas Stadium); Johns Hopkins @ Syracuse (Saturday 6pm from Syracuse, NY live on ESPNU); SUNY Cortland @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex)

What do you think the chances are that Greyhounds nation will let me ride out to Colorado with them for the game with the Falcons? I just want to be there for the flyover…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k5b7Pzmy74[/youtube]

By the way, I think the Hounds will beat Air Force Saturday. I don’t know if I would feel the same way if they were playing against Ivan Korshunov from Air Force One…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1P1xOBvAyg[/youtube]

2. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 128-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jon “Bones” Jones (Saturday 10pm from Newark, NJ live on Pay-Per-View); Bellator Fighting Championships 37 (Saturday 7pm from Concho, OK live on MTV2)

I would suggest Baltimore be rooting for Bones Jones Saturday night, as his brother is Ravens DT Arthur Jones.

With no offense to Tom Zbikowski-who I’m pulling for-I know for SURE Saturday night’s fight will be more fulfilling than watching Zibby laugh at the Tomato Can he was placed in the ring against…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TQIf9cMS_Y[/youtube]

If you’ve never seen Bones fight, he’s pretty freaking entertaining…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQqiilaj1rs[/youtube]

1. College Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Butler vs. Old Dominion (Thursday 12:40pm from Verizon Center live on TruTV), Pitt vs. UNC Asheville/Arkansas-Little Rock (Thursday 3:10pm from Verizon Center live on TruTV), UConn vs. Bucknell (Thursday 7:20pm from Verizon Center live on TNT), Cincinnati vs. Missouri (Thursday 9:50pm from Verizon Center live on TNT) Other games Thursday-Sunday live on CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV

I don’t care how many networks show the NCAA Tournament as long as two things happen.

1-They ALL play this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4o_FZZ_Ccs[/youtube]

2-They somehow find a way to allow Gus Johnson to call every game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkiM3tBJVhk[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Live From Indianpolis: Ravens Salute Shorts at Combine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live From Indianpolis: Ravens Salute Shorts at Combine

Posted on 26 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Greetings from LucasOil Stadium, where we are in attendance for the NFL Scouting Combine. Here are a few notes from a busy Saturday in the media center…

-Believe the hype surrounding Mount Union WR Cecil Shorts. At least believe the hype that the Baltimore Ravens are interested in the Division III prospect; which was confirmed by Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.

Shorts told me Saturday he met with the team’s entire coaching staff in a formal interview setting Friday night. General Manager Ozzie Newsome was also involved in the interview according to the 6 foot receiver.

Shorts also played cornerback and even some quarterback during his time at the small Ohio college, but made the strong statement to reporters Saturday that “wide receiver is the position I’ll be playing.” Shorts was part of the Raiders’ 2008 National Championship team.

I’d expect to hear more about Shorts in my next Draft preview column.

-The BIGGEST star of the day was Auburn QB Cam Newton. Most of this year’s quarterback class in the NFL Draft met with reporters Friday, but Newton came in Saturday and received the type of attention usually saved for someone like Paul McCartney. My colleague Nestor Aparicio offered this picture via Twitter (@WNST)…

camnewton

Honestly, it was crazier than that. Of course, Newton sparked that fire in commenting that he “wanted to be an icon” after recently announcing a partnership with Under Armour. Newton read a prepared statement to clarify those comments when he reached the podium in Indy.

As exciting as the arrival of the Heisman Trophy winner and BCS Champion was, Newton is almost certainly not on the Ravens’ radar.

Other players generating a buzz upon making an appearance in the media center included Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, North Carolina DT Marvin Austin, Georgia WR AJ Green and Oregon LB Clay Matthews.

-Matthews was one of a number of players who confirmed to me Saturday they had met either formally or informally with the Ravens this weekend.

Texas DE Sam Acho, Virginia Tech DL John Graves, Georgia FB Shaun Chapas, Oklahoma DE/LB Jeremy Beal, Southern Arkansas DE Cedric Thornton and Oklahoma State LB Orie Lemon were amongst a group of players who confirmed they had met with scouts or position coaches.

Tennessee WR Denarius Moore and North Carolina State WR Owen Spencer both confirmed meetings with Ravens WR Coach Jim Hostler.

A number of players told me they hadn’t yet met with the Ravens but believed they would Saturday evening or later in the weekend; including Texas A&M DE Von Miller.

Other players were more coy about who they had met with, including Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn and California DE Cameron Jordan.

-A common theme amongst the Linebackers in the room Saturday? They all look up to future Hall of Fame Ravens LB Ray Lewis. Lemon and Illinois LB Martez Wilson in particular pointed out they admired the perennial Pro Bowler and hoped to shape their careers in similar ways.

West Virginia RB Noel Devine told reporters his role model was former Ravens CB Deion Sanders. Devine and Sanders are both represented by agent Eugene Parker. Devine said Sanders once brought him for a visit of the Ravens’ 1 Winning Drive facility in Owings Mills.

Appalachian State LB D.J. Smith noted that former Ravens (and Mountaineers) TE Daniel Wilcox had been a good influence for him during his final season in Boone. Wilcox returned to his alma mater in 2010 to finish his degree and helped out the ASU staff during football season.

Acho told me he was very close with Ravens LB Sergio Kindle, but hadn’t spoken with Kindle much since the latter suffered a fractured skull in an accident at a friend’s house in Austin.

-There were no Maryland Terrapins in the media center Saturday, but two players talked to me about their connections to the Terps.

Spencer spoke glowingly about his relationship with former Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow during his final season at NC State. He described Yow as a “strong lady” who was “always positive” and who appeared to be very comfortable at “home” in Raleigh. Spencer commented that Yow was particularly interested in seeing the Wolfpack beat the Terps in College Park, but NCSU fell 38-31.

UConn RB Jordan Todman said Head Coach Randy Edsall’s decision to leave Connecticut for Maryland played no role in his decision to skip his senior season and enter the Draft. Todman told me he held no grudge towards the new head coach in College Park, but told me to expect Edsall to bring a more authoritative personality to the job.

-There is plenty of audio available from players in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net. Hear from the following potential future Ravens…

  • Oregon LB Casey Matthews
  • Louisville RB Bilal Powell
  • UConn RB Jordan Todman
  • Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn
  • Arizona LB Brooks Reed
  • Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward
  • Cal DE Cameron Jordan
  • Texas A&M DE Von Miller
  • Boise State WR Titus Young
  • Texas DE Sam Acho
  • Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett
  • LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard
  • Wisconsin DE JJ Watt
  • Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers

-I passed a long a few comments Saturday morning that I heard from various National Football League sources regarding the Ravens’ offseason Defensive Coordinator change. One NFL coach told me, “The Ravens have a chance now with (New DC Chuck) Pagano. The other guy (Greg Mattison) didn’t know what he was doing.”

Other statements I heard from NFL sources said similar things.

Make sure you continue to follow us @WNST on Twitter for all of the latest from Indianapolis.

-G

(Headline photo courtesy of Cleveland Plain-Dealer)

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association Convention (Thursday-Sunday, Baltimore Convention Center); Soccer: MISL-Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Patapsco (Wednesday 6:30pm), Woodlawn @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm)

10. Lovin’ Spoonful (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Gregg Allman (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Pietasters (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Sarah MacLachlan (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Dinner For Schmucks” and “Machete” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

Yeah, that’s about it this week. Wish I could give you something better. Either way, this song is GREAT…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWXcjYNZais[/youtube]

As is this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WGVW7byRCA[/youtube]

And this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxa0Kpgsgv8[/youtube]

And when she’s not forcing me to look at pictures of injured animals, Sarah MacLachlan can even be bearable…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3VrggQW7tk[/youtube]

But yeah, it’s disappointing…

9. Bull Riding-PBR Touring Pro Division (Friday-Saturday Patriot Center)

Apparently this event isn’t the event they show on TV, so it’s not that big of a deal.

But if Johnny Knoxville were to show up, it WOULD be a big deal…because it would be awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jovQQOOMes[/youtube]

8. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Challengers (Friday 11pm from Nashville live on Showtime)

So I sat down and watched some MMA for the first time in MONTHS Saturday, checking out UFC 125 after the Winter Classic.

I was reminded of how awesome the sport can sometimes be…

vera

Brandon Vera’s face was completely rearranged by Thiago Alves. His nose is now hanging out somewhere near his right ear.

Yet he was smiling.

Awesome.

7. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), New Jersey Nets @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats (Saturday 7pm from Charlotte live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Did the ‘Zards know Gilbert Arenas could do THIS before they traded him to the Orlando Magic???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZheMh7QS5QQ[/youtube]

6. Pro Wrestling: TNA Genesis (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

As always, I like to try to provide compelling reasons to view PPV events when I include them on the list. This week’s compelling reason is named Taylor Wilde…

taylorwilde

She’s reportedly a wrestler. Like you care.

5. Golf: PGA Tour Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Thursday-Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 6pm from Kapalua, HI live on Golf Channel)

Oh thank God golf is back. Absolutely no one* had missed it.

(*No one not named Drew Forrester that is.)

My pick to win the golf tour this year? Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Hey, why change now?

In other golf news, former Tiger Woods mistress Loredana Jolie did something recently. Unless it’s taking another picture with her clothes off, you wouldn’t care.

ljolie

4. NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Look, I’m not a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins OR the Washington Capitals, so I don’t have a dog in the hunt. The Pens may have lost on the ice at Heinz Field Saturday; but there was one area where they DIDN’T lose…

bylsma

Bruce Boudreau won the game…but Dan Bylsma looked AMAZING.

Can’t win ‘em all, Caps fans.

3. College Basketball: Colgate @ Maryland (Tuesday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Duke (Sunday 8pm from Durham, NC live on Fox Sports Net nationally, CSN locally); Howard @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House); Maine @ UMBC (Saturday 2pm RAC Arena); Hampton @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Howard @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Duke (Thursday 7pm from Durham, NC live on Comcast SportsNet)

Eff Duke.

Does this picture ever get old?

cryingkid

And while we’re at it, how ’bout we throw this Greivis Vasquez classic in there too?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrajaO74m94[/youtube]

And since the women are playing this week too, here’s Kristi Toliver…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpNRtFN1K0[/youtube]

Look, I don’t think the Terrapins are going to beat the Blue Devils Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium-but it doesn’t change how I feel. Just let me have this.

2. College Football: BCS Championship Game-Auburn vs. Oregon (Monday 8:30pm from Glendale, AZ live on ESPN), Sugar Bowl-Ohio State vs. Arkansas (Tuesday 8:30pm from New Orleans live on ESPN), Cotton Bowl-LSU vs. Texas A&M (Friday 8pm from Arlington, TX live on FOX), GoDaddy.com Bowl-Miami (Ohio) vs. Middle Tennessee (Thursday 8pm from Mobile, AL live on ESPN), BBVA Compass Bowl-Pitt vs. Kentucky (Saturday 12pm from Birmingham, AL live on ESPN), Fight Hunger Bowl-Boston College vs. Nevada (Sunday 9pm from San Francisco live on ESPN); NCAA FCS Championship Game: Delaware vs. Eastern Washington (Friday 7pm from Frisco, TX live on ESPN2)

Which Cam Newton joke do you want to go with?

I’ll admit this much. I’m going to be rooting AGAINST the Tigers on Monday night.

I think it’s just probably better for everyone if Newton DOESN’T win the National Championship. Of course, we said the same thing about the Heisman Trophy but that was already decided.

As far as the FCS title is concerned, I’m assuming Delaware wins-right? I mean, there’s NO WAY a team that plays on a field that looks like this can win……can they???

ewu

1. NFL Playoffs: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1pm from Kansas City live on CBS), New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (Saturday 8pm from Indianapolis live on NBC); NFC Wild Card Round-New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks (Saturday 4:30pm from Seattle live on NBC), Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 4:30pm from Philadelphia live on FOX)

The only issue I have here is that I don’t have quite the hate built up for KC that I did for Indy.

If we had been headed out to LucasOil Stadium this weekend, I would have had PLENTY of hate stored up. I don’t know how much hate I can have stored up in a trip to Arrowhead Stadium.

Of course, there IS good news about a trip to Kansas City…

bbq

Yeah…if I were you, I’d think about getting on the bus.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Holiday Fun: Fantasy College Football Bracketology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Holiday Fun: Fantasy College Football Bracketology

Posted on 16 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

It’s Holiday season. Let’s have a little fun today.

Like every other red-blooded American, I’m no fan of College Football’s BCS system. In fact, I believe the approval rating for the BCS actually just somehow dropped lower than Barack Obama’s.

The best playoff proposal I’ve ever heard for a NCAA Tournament at the FBS level is a 16 team format that includes all conference champions getting automatic bids. I don’t know who to credit with coming up with the idea, so I won’t bother. The idea is that you include all conference champions, then fill out the other remaining seeds via final BCS rankings.

Were a tournament in place this year, these teams would be automatic qualifiers:

Auburn (SEC)
Oregon (Pac 10)
TCU (MWC)
Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Boise State* (WAC)
Virginia Tech (ACC)
UConn (Big East)
Central Florida (Conference USA)
Miami (Ohio) (MAC)
Florida International (Sun Belt)

*Technically Nevada won the WAC’s tiebreaker system, as they and BSU finished with better overall records than Hawaii; but they beat the Broncos head to head. However, this tournament would adapt the rules that all conferences determine non head-to-head tiebreakers by BCS standings; which is a system already in place in the Big Ten. Thus, Boise State qualifies.

and the following teams would be at-large qualifiers…

Stanford
Ohio State
Arkansas
Michigan State
LSU

Therefore setting up a 16 team tournament that would look something like this…

(1)Auburn (SEC)
Game 1 Details
(16)Florida International (Sun Belt)
(2)Oregon
Game 5 Details
(15)Miami (Ohio) (MAC)
Winner of 1
Game 9 Details
Winner of 2
Winner of 5
Game 11 Details
Winner of 6
Winner of 9
Game 13 Details
Winner of 10
Winner of 13
Game 15 Details
Winner of 14
Winner of 11
Game 14 Details
Winner of 12
(8)Arkansas
Game 2 Details
(9)Michigan State
(7)Oklahoma
Game 6 Details
(10)LSU
(4)Stanford
Game 3 Details
(13)UConn (Big East)
(3)TCU (Mountain West)
Game 7 Details
(14)Central Florida (Conference USA)
Winner of 3
Game 10 Details
Winner of 4
Winner of 7
Game 12 Details
Winner of 8
(5)Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Game 4 Details
(12)Virginia Tech (ACC)
(6)Ohio State
Game 8 Details
(11)Boise State (WAC)

Pretty good looking Tournament, huh? Games could start next weekend after finals, with the Championship Game being played somewhere around Martin Luther King Day. It would be only about a week longer than the season is right now.

So here’s your chance to fill out the bracket. Thanks to Bracketmaker.com, you can click HERE and decide how you think it would play out. OR you could leave your thoughts here in the comments.

Me personally, I still have Cam Newton and the Tigers beating the Ducks in the title game out in Glendale…

(1)Auburn (SEC)
Game 1 Details
(16)Florida International (Sun Belt)
(2)Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 5 Details
(15)Miami-Ohio (MAC)
Auburn (SEC)
Game 9 Details
Arkansas
Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 11 Details
LSU
Auburn (SEC)
Game 13 Details
Virginia Tech (ACC)
Auburn (SEC)
Game 15 Details
Oregon (Pac 10)
Oregon (Pac 10)
Game 14 Details
Ohio State
(8)Arkansas
Game 2 Details
(9)Michigan State
(7)Oklahoma (Big 12)
Game 6 Details
(10)LSU
(4)Stanford
Game 3 Details
(13)UConn (Big East)
(3)TCU (Mountain West)
Game 7 Details
(14)Central Florida (Conference USA)
Stanford
Game 10 Details
Virginia Tech (ACC)
TCU (Mountain West)
Game 12 Details
Ohio State
(5)Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Game 4 Details
(12)Virginia Tech (ACC)
(6)Ohio State
Game 8 Details
(11)Boise State (WAC)

(Editor’s note: In my tournament theory, teams are slotted to bowl games as they are eliminated. It isn’t a PERFECT theory, but we’re comparing it to the BCS. The BCS is TERRIBLE. This is better.)

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Cam Newton  of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with the crowd after the 2010 SEC Championship against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Tigers beat the Gamecocks 56-17. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Your thoughts? Have fun with this today…

-G

Comments Off

Blog & Tackle: Ravens-Falcons could be Super Bowl XLV preview

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog & Tackle: Ravens-Falcons could be Super Bowl XLV preview

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Chris Pika

Halfway through the NFL season, there is no clear-cut favorite in each conference to make it to the Super Bowl. Two of the major contenders will play Thursday night in the Georgia Dome in a possible preview of Super Bowl XLV — the 6-2 Ravens and 6-2 Falcons.

Both teams are very similar. Both clubs are 4-0 at home and 2-2 on the road, both will come into the game with a two-game win streak and a 4-1 mark in the last five games.

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on November 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Both are quarterbacked by young, impressive players who could have just as easily been switched as to where they were drafted. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are both solid characters on the field and solid citizens off of it who share almost identical nicknames — “Joe Cool” and “Matty Ice”. One had a playoff-ready team when he took over in the huddle, and the other had to become the face of the franchise almost immediately after a tumultous period in which the previous starting QB was indicted and the head coach bailed for Arkansas. You could put either man in the other’s huddle, and see the same results.

Both have a strong primary target at wide receiver. Atlanta has Roddy White, who was injured in Sunday’s win against Tampa Bay. White is one of the most-exciting deep-ball receivers in the game right now. Baltimore has veteran Anquan Boldin, who has provided Flacco with a legitimate vertical threat for the first time in his short career.

Safety valves? The Ravens have ultra-versatile back Ray Rice, who leads the team in rushing, and is Flacco’s second-favorite receiver. The Falcons counter with maybe the modern game’s finest tight end, Tony Gonzalez, who can still use his big frame to block and is Ryan’s second-favorite receiver.

The running backs? Baltimore uses the three-headed backfield of Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain to wear down opposing defensive lines, especially in the second half. Atlanta has a big bruiser, Michael Turner, who has bulldozed his way to big yardage all season.

Overall on comparison of the two teams on offense, Atlanta gets 22 more yards per game, converts 13 percent more of its chances in the red zone, 17 percent more in goal-to-go situations and has scored 2.6 points more on average than the Ravens.

The Falcons may need every bit of those numbers as the two teams are markedly different on defense. The Ravens give up 36 yards less overall, 45 less passing yards and 1.9 points less on average than Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens safaety Ed Reed runs with the ball after intercepting a pass from Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland November 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

What the Falcons don’t have is the trio of all-world veteran defenders in safety Ed Reed, linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive end Haloti Ngata. They do have tough veteran defensive end John Abraham, who is paired with young DE Kroy Biermann, safety William Moore and linebacker Curtis Lofton.

The special teams edge belongs to the Ravens as punter Sam Koch and kicker Billy Cundiff have pinned opponents deep in their own end consistently. Atlanta’s punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen does not get the distance that either Koch or Cundiff does, but kicker Matt Bryant is a solid indoor kicker, as he has not missed a field goal in the Georgia Dome in 2010.

Coaches? One is John Harbaugh, who has made his team into a disciplined well-oiled unit after taking over for a very successful longtime coach who won a Super Bowl, and the other, Mike Smith, is related by marriage to that Baltimore Super Bowl-winning coach and who had to steady a team and a franchise after it was abandoned by his predecessor.

Sounds like the type of marquee game the NFL loves to showcase on their own network, and the country will see what these two teams are made of Thursday night.

It will be entertaining, it will be bruising, it has a chance to be high-scoring, and most importantly, if you happen to miss it on TV (for only catastrophic reasons), you might get to see the rerun on February 6 on a much-bigger stage in North Texas.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

Comments Off

Ravens Waive S Ken Hamlin To Make Room For Return of CB Cary Williams

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens Waive S Ken Hamlin To Make Room For Return of CB Cary Williams

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Ryan Chell

Ken Hamlin

With a roster move expected Tuesday with the return of corner back Cary Williams, the Ravens announced that they have waived safety Ken Hamlin.

Hamlin, who was signed by the Ravens in June to provide insurance for the safety Ed Reed if he were to be placed on PUP, had a one-year contract in place and was vying for a starting job in case the Ravens had concerns about Tom Zbikowski starting in Reed’s place.

Hamlin was active in both games this year and posted one tackle on special teams during the Ravens 15-10 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.

It was a hard decision for the Ravens to make as a team, said Coach John Harbaugh in a press release.

“We have to do something, but it’s not going to be something we’re going to be happy about doing,” Harbaugh said. “And it will be something that we’ll have to take a view to Sunday on and also a view to the long term on, because we want to hold on to all the good players that we have.”

“Every guy we have right now is a very good player.”

Hamlin, an eighth-year veteran and former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks out of Arkansas, was once the one of the highest paid safeties in the league after signing a six year, 38 million dollar deal with the Cowboys in 2007.

He made his only Pro Bowl in that 2007 season.

Hamlin struggled at times in the preseason, and with fellow safety Haruki Nakamura also coming back healthy from a leg injury, the Ravens felt like they no longer needed Hamlin’s services.

And with corner back Cary Williams returning from his two game suspension laid down by the NFL for violating the NFL’s conduct policy, the Ravens had to make a move to keep the roster at the legal 53-man limit.

The Ravens made moves yesterday on their practice squad, releasing tackle Devin Tyler and DB David Pender from their developmental squad. This morning, the Ravens then added former Oklahoma State tackle Brady Bond to the practice squad.

This left one spot on the practice squad, and with Williams returning, the Ravens could have been trying to leave a spot open to try and send a player from the 53-man roster down on the practice squad.

The expected move would have been to send DT Lamar Divens to the practice squad, but the Ravens would have to expose him to waivers first before trying to send him down.

But with the talent the Ravens have at defensive tackle, Divens would have likely been picked up by an opposing team, and they felt like Hamlin-a player who was available to all 32 NFL teams in June-was more expendable.

The Ravens secondary, which ranks second in the NFL, is now even more crowded at corner, but the Ravens with this move felt like they had enough support behind the starters at safety in Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski, and Williams was worth keeping on the team.

He will step in to provide depth behind starters Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington, and Harbaugh said having too many corners is a problem he wants to have.

“I’ve heard coaches say you can’t have too many corner backs, and it’s probably true. The thing it’s going to give us – and you throw the safeties in the mix… but those guys really give us a lot of flexibility with our packages.”

“So, we’re going to be able to put a lot of defensive backs on the field and run different pressure packages and different coverage packages that are going to be tough for people to identify. So, that will be a plus for us,” Harbaugh said in his press conference on Monday.

Williams grabbed two interceptions in the preseason and showed a lot of promise on special teams as well since the Ravens signed Williams off the Titans practice squad toward the end of the season last year.

Harbaugh said Williams has already been hard at work since he has been allowed to return to the facility and they will work on getting him on the same pace with the rest of the team.

“I think he was out there today, and we’ll get him into meetings and get him back on track,” Harbaugh said. “He went through all the training camp and the whole offseason, so I don’t think it will be too much, but it was good to see his face sitting in the room there.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to follow the Baltimore Ravens! For all your Baltimore Ravens news, keep listening because We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-NASL: Vancouver Whitecaps @ Crystal Palace Baltimore (Saturday 5pm Paul Angelo Russo Stadium-Calvert Hall), MLS: DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet and MLS Direct Kick); Mixed Martial Arts: Shine Fights (Friday 9pm from Oklahoma live on Pay-Per-View)

10. Lady Gaga (Tuesday 8pm Verizon Center); Buckcherry/Flyleaf/Charm City Devils/Sick Puppies (Thursday 6pm Power Plant Live), Blues Traveler (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Kottonmouth Kings (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Toadies (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live), Seether (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Pat McGee (Saturday 8:30pm Rams Head On Stage), Ozomatli (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Big Boi (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Blondie (Wednesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Deadliest Catch Live (Wednesday 8pm Lyric Opera House); York Fair (Friday-Monday York Fairgrounds); Maryland Seafood Festival (Friday-Sunday Sandy Point State Park); In The Street Festival (Saturday 11am Market Street & Carroll Creek Linear Park Frederick)

I’m leaving Lady Gaga alone. I’m probably the only one in the world who will do that. Trust me, I find her just as fascinating as the rest of you-but there’s NO chance I’d pay money to go see her live.

You see what you made me do? I spent 42 words on Lady Gaga. Ugh.

Moving on, I’m a much bigger fan of Flyleaf than you’d ever realize…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN0FFK8JSYE[/youtube]

I WILL be attending Blues Traveler after the Purple Party Friday night. John Popper and I are kindred souls…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ousaiByU1ko[/youtube]

“Possum Kingdom” might be the only song I’m really interested in seeing the Toadies do, but it’s really a hell of a song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFyv6Y2J9Lw[/youtube]

I LOVE Outkast in a way that doesn’t fit the love I feel for a lot of other things in the world. Big Boi’s new record is freaking TREMENDOUS, if not necessarily Safe For Work…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiwDs01pfZM[/youtube]

9. EA Sports NHL 11 available in stores for XBox 360/PS3 (Tuesday)

If I had time to play NHL 11, there is no doubt that I would somehow find a way to make Viktor Tikhonov the greatest player in the league.

By the way, if I DID play NHL 11-there would be a 100% chance you’d see a Jason Lee/Jeremy London type moment from “Mallrats” with me…

“Hartford, the Whale? They beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime.”

If you get the reference, you’re a winner. And I offer this to you as a prize. Oh but once again, it isn’t necessarily the type of prize that has language completely safe for work…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfVVjpVZP8I[/youtube]

8. Golf: PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs-BMW Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 12pm Sunday 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Lemont, Illinois); LPGA Tour P&G NW Arkansas Championship Presented by Walmart (Friday 12:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Rogers, Arkansas live on Golf Channel); Champions Tour Posco E&C Songdo Championship (Friday-Sunday 6:30pm from Songdo, Korea live on Golf Channel); Team USA Ryder Cup Selection Show (Tuesday 10:30am Golf Channel)

A week after some dude named Matt Kuchar won a golf tournament, some dude named Charley Hoffman won the next one. I’m not even kidding about this-when I heard Charley Hoffman had won a playoff event, I thought “Brandt” from The Big Lebowski had somehow been victorious.

Oh and also, Tiger Woods is still mediocre. Which is (I guess) enough to warrant coverage on SportsCenter. Frankly, I’d prefer more table tennis highlights myself…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJn5L1nrkL4[/youtube]

7. Auto Racing-NASCAR Air Guard 400 (Saturday 7:30pm from Richmond live on ABC)

I’d like to pretend I care about this. I know Rex Snider is taking some sort of bus trip down to Richmond Saturday, but it just isn’t my type of thing. Not because I’m shallow-minded, but more because I just like to actually be ENTERTAINED when I spend my entertainment dollar.

Speaking of entertaining, this Oregon Trail-related photo qualifies (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…

oregontrail

6. High School Football: Southern @ Glen Burnie (Friday 6:30pm), Overlea @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm)

Uh oh.

You mean to tell me that Overlea-home of the Falcons-is facing Perry Hall-home of the mighty Gators-Friday night?

AN ALMA MATER SHOWDOWN BETWEEN GLENN CLARK AND THE GREAT TOM CLARK?!?!?!

tomclark

You’re going down, dad.

5. Basketball: FIBA World Championships-Team USA vs. Russia quarterfinal (Thursday 11am from Istanbul, Turkey live on ESPN), Semifinals and Final (Friday-Sunday from Istanbul live on ESPN)

HOLY CRAP I LOVE THIS. USA-Russia?!?!?!? DOWN WITH THE SOVIETS!!!

Let’s do to them what we did to Ivan Drago…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqT34mnSBio[/youtube]

4. Pro Wrestling: WWE Smackdown (Tuesday 6:45pm from 1st Mariner Arena-airs Friday 8pm on MyNetwork24)

Despite the fact that there’s way too much Jack Swagger, Big Show, Rey Mysterio and Cody Rhodes on Smackdown, I still kinda dig it. Undertaker is a rock star, Kane is underrated, and the combination of CM Punk, Matt Hardy and Christian is completely underused.

And oh yeah-they also have Rosa Mendes…

rosamendes

3. College Football: Morgan State @ Maryland (Saturday 6pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPN3.com); Georgia Southern @ Navy (Saturday 3:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS College Sports)

The Terrapins may have been fortunate to survive the “Crab Bowl Classic” against the Midshipmen; but the fact remains that they ARE 1-0.

The other fact remains that Kenny Tate has earned himself a few free dinners in the future…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avj6Bs37qJI[/youtube]

2. Tennis: U.S. Open (Tuesday-Thursday 11am live on Tennis Channel 7pm live on ESPN2, Friday 12:30pm live on CBS, Saturday 12pm-mens semifinals 8pm-Women’s Final live on CBS, Sunday 1pm Women’s Doubles Final live on ESPN2 4pm Men’s Final live on CBS. All tennis from New York)

At this point, I think it’s fair to say I’m COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT about heading up to Flushing Meadows Sunday. There’s roughly 0.1% chance an American will be there (no pressure Sam Querrey), but if it’s Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal everything will be cool in my book.

And you don’t even need to bother asking. I WILL be purchasing a few of these while I’m in The Big Apple…

tennisball

1. NFL: Monday Night Football-Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets (Monday 7pm from East Rutherford, New Jersey live on ESPN); WNST “Purple Friday” Pep Rally (Friday 5pm Sports Legends at Camden Yards)

FOOTBALL IS REALLY (REALLY) BACK.

Oh. Thank. God.

Me personally, I think it will be cool not only to see the Ravens back in action Monday night, but also to see some of my favorite reality TV stars like Antonio Cromartie and Rex Ryan…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHe1AT-rk50[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ywxfeG2oOo[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off