Tag Archive | "Baltimore"

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Jimmy Smith mum on legal incident, insists it won’t be distraction

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith addressed the media on Friday for the first time since his July 12 arrest, but didn’t offer specifics on what resulted in him receiving a failure to obey a lawful order by a police officer citation.

Smith became the fifth Ravens player to be arrested this offseason when he was charged for misdemeanor disorderly conduct while at the Greene Turtle in Towson. Police have said Smith became argumentative while helping a woman in the bathroom and would not obey orders to leave her alone when medical personnel arrived to treat her.

“The incident that occurred is still a legal matter, so I’m not able to discuss that right now,” Smith said in an opening statement at the podium on Friday afternoon. “I’ll gladly talk about football. But, when it’s handled, I will talk about [the incident] and give you my side of the story.”

A court date is pending, but Smith insisted that the legal matter will not be a distraction “in the least” as he prepares for his fourth season in Baltimore.

Webb leaves practice, Rackley absent

Cornerback Lardarius Webb left the field midway through Friday’s practice and didn’t return even though head coach John Harbaugh did not express concern at the end of the workout.

“I don’t have an update on that,” Harbaugh said. “[It was] nothing serious.”

Webb jogged off the field unassisted and was apparently dealing with minor back spasms, according to The Sun. He was replaced in the starting defense by fourth-year cornerback Chykie Brown.

Veteran cornerback Dominique Franks remained on the non-football injury list and didn’t practice on Friday, an indication that he has yet to pass his conditioning test. Offensive lineman Will Rackley (undisclosed) was also absent from the practice field.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip surgery) remained on the active physically unable to perform list.

The Ravens will conduct their first full-contact practice of the summer on Saturday afternoon with defensive coordinator Dean Pees, offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg scheduled to address reporters following the workout.

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Ravens sign suspended safety Will Hill to 90-man roster

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Ravens sign suspended safety Will Hill to 90-man roster

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Turning a blind eye toward perception less than 24 hours after the announcement of the Ray Rice suspension, the Ravens signed former New York Giants safety Will Hill to their 90-man roster on Friday.

The 24-year-old will serve a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy to begin the 2014 season. Hill was also suspended for violating the same policy in 2012 for reported marijuana use and was suspended for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy for alleged Adderall use last year.

The Giants waived Hill in early June after the news of his latest suspension, which he blamed on second-hand marijuana smoke. He would not be eligible to play for the Ravens until Week 7, but Hill can take part in training camp and preseason games.

“[He’s] a good football player,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I had a chance to get to know him; I like where his head is at this time, right now, and we’ll see how he does.”

An undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida in 2011, Hill started 10 games for the Giants last season and was the third-highest ranked safety in the NFL in Pro Football Focus’ grading system. He collected 77 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two pass breakups in 12 games overall. Hill also appeared in 12 games in 2012, collecting 38 tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup.

Hill’s signing could signal the Ravens’ concern at the free safety position with veteran newcomer Darian Stewart currently competing with 2014 third-round pick Terrence Brooks and veteran special-teams standout Jeromy Miles for the starting job. The troubled safety’s talent is apparent, but three suspensions in such a brief period of time and other off-field issues going back to his college days signal a clear lack of maturity and dedication.

After placing injured cornerback Aaron Ross on injured reserve Thursday, the Ravens had an open spot on their 90-man preseason roster.

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Former Orioles closer Johnson DFA’d by Athletics

Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Staff

A’s Recall Scribner from Sacramento; Designate Johnson for Assignment

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland A’s recalled right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento and designated right-handed pitcher Jim Johnson for assignment, the club announced today.

Scribner was on the A’s Opening Day roster and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in two appearances before he was optioned to Sacramento April 7. He returned for a second stint June 17 but did not appear in a game before he was sent back to the River Cats June 20. The 29-year-old right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA and .243 opponents batting average in 31 games with Sacramento and ranks fourth in the Pacific Coast League with 14 saves. Scribner has 57 strikeouts in 37.2 innings, an average of 13.62 strikeouts per nine innings, and has walked just seven for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.14.

Johnson was 4-2 with two saves, one blown save, a 6.92 ERA and .353 opponents batting average in 38 relief appearances with the A’s. The ERA is the highest among Major League relievers as is his .434 opponents on-base percentage. His opponents batting average is the highest in the American League. Johnson has allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in 4.1 innings over his last five games.

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O’s acquire Paredes from Royals, option him to Norfolk

Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Orioles acquire INF/OF Jimmy Paredes from Kansas City

The Orioles today announced that they have acquired INF/OF JIMMY PAREDES from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. Paredes has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Paredes, 25, batted .305/.332/.457 (82-269) with five home runs and 36 RBI in 65 games for Triple-A Omaha this season. The switch-hitter was 17-for-18 in stolen bases for the Storm Chasers and has recorded 183 stolen bases in eight minor league seasons.

In 127 major league games with Houston (2011-13) and Kansas City (2014), Paredes has batted .233/.272/.308 (88-377) with three home runs, 31 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

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Goodell says Rice’s conduct “unquestionably inconsistent” with league policies

Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL notified Baltimore Ravens running back RAY RICE today that he will be suspended without pay for the first two 2014 regular season games and fined an additional game check for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy for his February arrest.

In May, Rice resolved the charges by entering into a pretrial intervention program. Under this program, he will not be prosecuted and is not required to serve jail time or pay any fine. After one year, the charges will be expunged and will not be part of Rice’s record.

Following this agreement, Goodell met with Rice and his wife. Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.

In a letter to Rice, Commissioner Goodell stated:

“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.

“You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.

“I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations.”

Rice’s suspension will begin on August 30. He will be eligible for reinstatement on Monday, September 12 following the Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rice may participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.

Rice may appeal this decision within three days.

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Rice to be suspended for first two games of 2014 season

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Rice to be suspended for first two games of 2014 season

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After months of speculation with varying opinions about his fate, Ravens running back Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season as punishment for a domestic violence incident that occurred in an Atlantic City casino in February.

The league officially announced its decision on Thursday afternoon as Rice was punished for “conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter that Rice’s conduct “was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL.”

Rice was fined a game check — which is reportedly calculated from his 2013 base salary of $1 million — in addition to the salary he’ll lose during the two-game suspension without pay, bringing his total lost compensation to roughly $529,000. He will be unavailable as the Ravens open their season against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on Sept. 7 and welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Baltimore four days later for a Thursday night game.

“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”

“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”

Baltimore will be able to replace Rice on the 53-man roster while he’s suspended. The running back will be allowed to participate in all aspects of training camp and in preseason games before beginning his suspension on Aug. 30.

The 27-year-old running back and his wife met with Goodell in New York last month, leading many to assume a ruling on a potential suspension would come before the start of camp as the Ravens try to rebound from an 8-8 season that saw them miss the postseason for the first time since 2007. In the spring, Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and was accepted into a pretrial intervention program after allegedly striking his fiancee and rendering her unconscious at the Revel Casino on February 15.

“We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “The time the commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.

“We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”

The news was met with much criticism on Thursday as many believed the NFL is taking too soft of a stance on domestic violence. The Ravens have stood firm in their support for Rice throughout the process and never wavered in expressing their positive feelings toward him, regularly pointing out his pristine record and reputation prior to the February incident.

Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that Rice’s suspension would not impact his team’s preparations in training camp until after the second preseason game. He reiterated that idea on Thursday, adding that the organization has already moved on from a football standpoint.

“It’s really not a big deal. It’s just part of the process,” Harbaugh said. “We said from the beginning the circumstances would determine the consequences. There are consequences when you make a mistake like that. I stand behind Ray — he’s a heck of a guy. He’s done everything right since. He makes a mistake; he’s going to have to pay a consequence. That’s good for kids to understand that it works that way. That’s how it works. That’s how it should be, and we’ll move forward.

“Ray will be back when the time comes. It’s not something that we’re dwelling on; it’s just that we’re not worrying about it. [We're] moving forward.”

Primary backup Bernard Pierce, veteran newcomer Justin Forsett, and 2014 fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro are expected to compete for more reps while Rice serves his suspension.

 

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Veteran cornerback Ross tears Achilles tendon prior to first day of camp

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Veteran cornerback Ross tears Achilles tendon prior to first day of camp

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens began their first full-squad workout of the summer having already lost a player for the 2014 season with the news of veteran cornerback Aaron Ross tearing his Achilles tendon.

Ross suffered the injury while taking his conditioning test while veteran cornerback Dominique Franks did not pass his, explaining his absence from the field during Thursday’s practice. The former was officially placed on injured reserve while Franks starts training camp on the non-football injury list until he passes his conditioning test.

Signed along with Ross following last month’s mandatory minicamp to boost depth at the cornerback position, Franks is expected to compete for the No. 3 cornerback spot behind starters Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. Though not a good impression to make, Franks failing the test isn’t an uncommon occurrence as a number of veterans have failed the Ravens’ challenging conditioning test at the start of training camp over the years.

Head coach John Harbaugh announced the injury to Ross after Thursday’s practice and left open the possibility of the Ravens adding another veteran cornerback.

“We have pretty good depth, [but] we’ll always be looking for better players,” Harbaugh said. “Whenever I get asked that question, I give the same answer. I don’t think we have an particular urgency. We have good players at corner. The guys are competing, [and] we like our guys. I expect the third corner to be one of the guys already here.”

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody was also absent after being placed on the active physically unable to perform list while recovering from offseason hip surgery. Coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week there is no clear timetable for his return to the practice field, but he continues to make good progress in his recovery.

Running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder surgery) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) were both present and working after Harbaugh declared both to be at full speed earlier this week. With Thursday’s news of starting running back Ray Rice receiving a two-game suspension to begin the season, Pierce figures to have the inside track to begin the year as the starting back in Gary Kubiak’s offense.

“I’m very confident in Bernard. I’ve always liked Bernard,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a heck of a player. He’s worked very hard. He’s 217 pounds, [and] he’s in the best shape of his life. He looked good out here the last couple of days; he looked really good today.”

The Ravens were practicing in helmets, shells, and shorts on Thursday morning and will conduct their first full-contact workout on Saturday.

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Steve Smith’s expectations realistic in coming to Ravens

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Steve Smith’s expectations realistic in coming to Ravens

Posted on 23 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Steve Smith has talked plenty about motivation this offseason but is also grounded in reality as he officially begins his first training camp with the Ravens on Thursday.

Understandably having a chip on his shoulder over being released by the Carolina Panthers after spending the first 13 seasons of his career in Charlotte, the 35-year-old wide receiver is looking to prove he still has plenty left in the tank to help the Ravens, but there are no predictions of a 1,300-yard season or a return to the Pro Bowl. His motivation is shaped by perspective with an eye toward the end of his career knowing nobody wins the battle with Father Time.

“You can never perform at as high a level at 35 that you did at 25,” Smith said. “My job is to go out there and catch what’s catchable and have fun doing it. [I don’t want to] really concern myself too much on the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘Should I be here?’ or ‘Should I be there?’ The things that I’ve experienced in my career, honestly, they’re not going to get any better, and the reason why is because my perspective is different. Hopefully, I will accomplish better things statistically, but I’m living the dream.”

It’s difficult to predict what to expect from Smith in terms of production on the field as his yards per catch average has decreased from 17.6 in 2011 to 16.1 in 2012 to 11.6 last season, which was his lowest mark since 2007. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound wideout has depended on speed on the outside for much of his career, but he will need to reinvent himself as more of a possession receiver to thrive in Gary Kubiak’s offensive system while Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones provide two stronger outside options in the vertical passing game.

The University of Utah product turned in an excellent spring, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running crisp shorter routes whether working outside or in the slot. Smith downplayed how long it will take to build a rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco — simply explaining he’ll catch anything that should be caught — but also recognizes he doesn’t have to be the primary focus of the passing game like he was for more than a decade with the Panthers.

“I understand there are going to be times when I’m the premier receiver,” Smith said, “and there are times that I need to clear through for Torrey or Jacoby or Marlon [Brown]. You have to be able to be efficient in any offense; you’ve got to understand in every play what your role is.”

Of course, the Ravens’ motivation in signing Smith to a three-year, $11.5 million in March went beyond the number of passes he’ll catch as the offense lacked vocal leadership and swagger last season following the trade of veteran wideout Anquan Boldin. Smith has already shown he isn’t afraid to stir the pot as he mixed it up with cornerback Lardarius Webb during last month’s mandatory minicamp.

He’ll need to be productive on the field to authentically establish himself as a leader, but the early returns suggest both sides of the ball have benefited from his competitive fire during practices. It’s a reputation that was well known to the Ravens long before the veteran stepped foot in Owings Mills this spring.

“We get another defensive guy playing offense with Steve coming over,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “This is one guy last year [who defensive coordinator] Dean Pees told us not to anger, and it was a preseason game. The goal was to do our time and get out of there. It’s great to have him on our team.”

Smith’s ability to rebound from an underwhelming 745-yard season a year ago will go a long way in determining whether the Ravens can substantially improve their 29th-ranked offense in 2013. He doesn’t need to be a 1,000-yard receiver, but the veteran will be asked to catch shorter passes and help move the chains on third down, an area in which the Ravens ranked only 20th last season.

The longtime Panther knows his career is winding down but thinks he’s found the ideal place to fit his personality.

“I’m lucky to even be here,” Smith said. “After you hit 35, you should be with a walker and all that stuff. I’m just happy to be playing ball and have the opportunity to play in a conference where it’s smash-mouth football, and I’m going to fit in perfectly [with] that.”

Pierce, Reid ready to go

The Ravens will conduct their first full-squad workout on Thursday morning and enter the summer with a short injury report as running back Bernard Pierce and offensive lineman Jah Reid both participated fully in Tuesday’s workout.

Pierce has now been cleared after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery while Reid was sidelined with a calf injury in the spring.

“These two days they both looked good. They both looked fine; they have no problems,” coach John Harbaugh said. “There are some full-speed-type drills out there, not contact, but the speed of it, and they had no problems. We’ll work them through the first two days. Thursday and Friday are both full speed, but they’re not full contact, so that’ll be another chance for them to take the next step that way. I don’t anticipate any problems.”

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody is the only veteran with a clear injury concern entering camp as he’s still recovering from offseason hip surgery. Harbaugh said the fifth-year lineman is progressing, but there is no clear target date of when he’ll return to the practice field.

Dumervil grateful for opportunity provided by Bowlen in Denver

With Wednesday’s news of Pat Bowlen stepping down as owner of the Denver Broncos due to Alzheimer’s disease, Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil offered his support after spending the first seven seasons of his career in Denver.

“He helped impact my life [and] my family for generations to come,” Dumervil said. “He was a great guy. He always asked about my health, and when I was out for the year [in 2010], we talked a bit. He was always great to me, and I was always grateful for that. When I heard about the news, it was a sad day for that.”

 

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Orioles option Guilmet to make room for Gonzalez return

Posted on 23 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Orioles recall RHP Miguel Gonzalez from Triple-A Norfolk; RHP Preston Guilmet optioned to the Tides

The Orioles today announced that they have recalled RHP MIGUEL GONZALEZ from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RHP PRESTON GUILMET to the Tides.

Gonzalez, 30, has gone 4-5 with a 4.04 ERA (89.0IP, 40ER) in 16 games (15 starts) for the Orioles.

Guilmet, 26, has posted a 5.23 ERA (10.1IP, 6ER) and 12 strikeouts in 10 appearances for the Orioles this season.

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Machado day-to-day after missing game with back injury

Posted on 22 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was removed from the starting lineup just before first pitch Tuesday night in Anaheim.

The reigning American League platinum glove leader was scratched with “back tightness” according to the team. Machado has no previous history with back injuries-he missed the first month of the 2014 season as he recovered from knee surgery.

Ryan Flaherty played in Machado’s place at third base and hit ninth in the lineup against the Los Angeles Angels. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop was moved up to the seventh spot in the lineup with Machado out.

O’s manager Buck Showalter told reporters after the game Machado was day-to-day with the injury. The skipper described the injury as “spasms” and noted that Machado told him only minutes before the game he couldn’t play.

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