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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NBA-Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Los Angeles Clippers @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Oklahoma City Thunder @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Soccer: MISL-Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Sunday 5:05pm 1st Mariner Arena); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 36 (Saturday 9pm from Shreveport, LA live on MTV2); Tennis-ATP Tour & WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Saturday-Monday 2pm from Indian Wells, CA live on Tennis Channel); Arena Football: AFL-Philadelphia Soul @ Pittsburgh Power (Friday 8pm from Pittsburgh live on NFL Network); Women’s College Basketball: Selection Monday (Monday 7pm ESPN)

10. Get The Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Boyz II Men (Monday 7pm Bourbon Street); America (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Apocalyptica (Sunday 10pm 9:30 Club), Pete Yorn (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Shamrockfest feat. Dropkick Murphys and Carbon Leaf (Saturday RFK Stadium); Lupe Fiasco “Lasers”, R.E.M. “Collapse Into Now”, Billy Joel “Live at Shea Stadium” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Jackass 3 available on Blu-Ray & DVD (Tuesday)

Kind of a weaksauce week for live music, but there’s some decent stuff mixed in. I mean, what…IN THE WORLD…is better than CooleyHighHarmony???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHzkICG47LU[/youtube]

I’m a fan of Grace Potter…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHlhOgQ36m8[/youtube]

There’s few better ways to prepare for St. Patty’s Day than Dropkick Murphys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-64CaD8GXw[/youtube]

and I freaking LOVE Carbon Leaf…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1zs2yezmkE[/youtube]

And since I’m on a role, it’s about time Lupe Fiasco’s disc finally came out. This song was one of the best of 2010…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmp6zIr5y4U[/youtube]

9. Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Sunday 2pm Downtown Baltimore), Shamrock 5K (Sunday 1:15pm Downtown Baltimore)

A 5k run is a surprising place to bump into Rex Ryan…

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

Not a surprising place to bump into Rex Ryan? The place where we bumped into him in Indianapolis during NFL Scouting Combine weekend…

steaknshake

8. Golf: WGC Cadillac Championship (Thursday & Friday 2pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 2pm Sunday 3m live on NBC. All golf from Doral, FL); PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open (Thursday 6:30pm, Friday 11:30am, Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7:30pm from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico on Golf Channel); Champions Tour Toshiba Classic (Friday 6:30pm, Saturday 9:30pm, Sunday 10:30pm from Newport Beach, CA on Golf Channel)

Yeah…I looked up to find out that Rory Sabbatini won the most recent golf event. I honest to God couldn’t tell you anything else going on in the sport, it is what it is.

So I wandered over to some golf blog page for more information about what was going on in golf. Holy hell was that terrible. There was actually information on how to tell two different types of golf balls apart. WHAT THE EFF? They’re golf balls. Hopefully someone put their initials on one of them or something.

Anyway, one of the blogs had an ad for something involving Izabel Goulart. I don’t know what it was, but I don’t care. It was the first interesting thing that happened during my quest for golf information.

goulart

7. NHL: Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Blackhawks @ Washington Capitals (Sunday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on NBC)

In hockey news, the Columbus Cottonmouths of the SPHL wore these jerseys for a “Fight Night” promotion this weekend. (Thanks Puck Daddy!)

cottonmouths

If the Caps would wear something like this, I might actually have a reason to give a hoot about them for a second or two.

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

I guess TNA is supposed to be interesting now because 1-Sting is their champion, 2-Bart Scott has joined the fray…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZEFxLp6MQ8[/youtube]

3-Angelina from Jersey Shore is now part of TNA…

angelina

Nope. Still not really all that interested.

5. Boxing: Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV); Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk (Saturday 10:30pm from Mashantucket, CT live on HBO); Jimmy Lange vs. Jimmy “The Fighting School Teacher” Holmes (Saturday 7pm Patriot Center)

The Cotto-Mayorga card is a pretty big deal all around, as both Joshua Clottey and Yuri Foreman are on the undercard.

The reason why Cotto-Mayorga is a big deal in Charm City however is because Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is fighting on the undercard. We don’t know who he’s fighting, but whoever it is HAS to perform better than Robert Bell did five years ago at Madison Square Garden, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-8BYolVPVw[/youtube]

By the way, “Rudy” was on Encore Sunday-right after Little Giants. Raise your hand if you ALWAYS hate Notre Dame…right up until the point where Jon Favreau and the folks in South Bend start chanting Rudy’s name.

For the record, as soon as they finish carrying him off the Notre Dame Stadium field, I start hating Notre Dame again.

4. High School Basketball: MPSSAA Semifinals-4A: Eleanor Roosevelt vs. Patterson (Thursday 7pm), Magruder vs. North Point (Thursday 9pm); 3A: Milford Mill vs. Friendly (Thursday 3pm), South Hagerstown vs. Centennial (Thursday 5pm); 2A: Gwynn Park vs. Digital Harbor (Friday 7pm), South Carroll vs. Easton (Friday 9pm); Dunbar vs. Owings Mills (Friday 3pm), Williamsport vs. Pocomoke (Friday 5pm); Finals all day Saturday (All games at Comcast Center)

Unfortunately Monique Bassett couldn’t will my Perry Hall Gators all the way to College Park, but I’ll give her a pass in her first season.

My picks to win the state titles are Patterson, Milford Mill, Digital Harbor and Dunbar-but I don’t really know anything about the subject.

It’s not the only subject I don’t know much about but comment on anyway. For example, I don’t really know much of anything about women’s fashion, but I’d like to note that I approve of what Samara Weaving is wearing here. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

weaving

3. Ed Block Courage Awards (Tuesday 5:30pm Martin’s West); Anquan Boldin “Chalk Talk” (Thursday 5pm Hill Field House-Morgan State)

Kinda tough to weave my way from Samara Weaving to the Ed Block Courage Awards, huh?

I won’t bother trying to be clever or funny here, and I definitely won’t bother trying to post a picture of an attractive gal. Instead I’ll channel Lance Storm and “be serious for a moment.”

If you didn’t read our own Nestor Aparicio’s column about Michael Vick’s night in Baltimore last year, I REALLY encourage you to do so. It will help explain this video…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmp-fMr31c0[/youtube]

2. College Basketball: ACC Tournament-Maryland vs. North Carolina State (Thursday 7pm from Greensboro, NC live on ESPN2), MEAC Tournament-Morgan State vs. North Carolina A&T (Thursday 8pm from Winston-Salem, NC streamed live at MEACHoops.com), Coppin State vs. Norfolk State/Howard winner (Thursday 6pm from Winston-Salem, NC streamed at MEACHoops.com); Selection Sunday (Sunday 6pm CBS)

Just a year ago, I was sitting outside the Greensboro Coliseum on a Friday afternoon thinking about a weekend that would either involve watching the Terps make a run towards an ACC Championship or watching the Morgan Bears try to clinch their second straight March Madness berth.

The Terrapins didn’t keep their end of the bargain, but Todd Bozeman’s Bears certainly did-and my weekend in the Triangle was OUTSTANDING.

This year…I think I’m gonna stick in the mid-atlantic.

Hey, Fang Mitchell’s Eagles still have a real chance of making the Tournament-but I’m not holding my breath that I’ll be needing to do another Selection Sunday special Sunday night on AM1570 WNST.

But if you have any interest in heading to Carolina for the weekend, I’d still encourage it. Just make sure you do these three things…

bojangles
cookout
biscuitville

1. College Lacrosse: Maryland @ Towson (Saturday 11am from Unitas Stadium live on ESPN3.com), Loyola @ Duke (Friday 7pm from Durham, NC live on AM1570 WNST), Lafayette @ Navy (Saturday 12pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium), Lynchburg @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex); Inside Lacrosse Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic: Syracuse vs. Georgetown (Saturday 11am) Cornell vs. Virginia (Saturday 1:30pm), Johns Hopkins vs. UMBC (Saturday 4pm) All games from M&T Bank Stadium live on ESPNU

So before we start filling out our NIT brackets in Baltimore, there’s a damn good day of lacrosse Saturday.

I’ll be at Maryland/Towson and Hopkins/UMBC Saturday for sure, and might try to poke in over in Owings Mills in between.

It’s a shame there’s so much going on in town Saturday, because if there wasn’t I would have gone down to Duke with the Greyhounds Friday night and then stuck around for the ACC or MEAC title games Saturday.

Instead, the Glenn Clark household will be torn over a battle of alma maters when the Terps face the Tigers Saturday morning. I want you to look closely at this picture before you decide whose side you’re going to support…

mdtowson

The great part is…I might have her so brainwashed that she mistakenly roots for Maryland on Saturday. HAHAHA!!!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Smash Mouth Football, Jets vs. Steelers

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Michael Schwartz

The Steelers are facing the Jets at Heinz Field in the AFC Championship for the right to go to the Super Bowl. The Jets and Steelers both play great defense, and that is why they are still in the playoffs. The Steelers are the number one in the NFL and the Jets are number three. The Steelers have had a great defense since the Steel Curtain. They Steelers build their team to be good at defense, and the Jets have started to do this since Rex Ryan became head coach. The Jets had some good defenders but in the last two years they have acquired Trevor Pryce, Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, and many more. Rex Ryan was a defensive coordinator for the Ravens, and when he went to the Jets he wanted to make sure they had a strong defense. They have one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Darrelle Revis and this gives the Jets freedom on defense because Revis doesn’t need safety help over the top. That is a good thing because they can blitz more or double other receivers. The Jets also have helped their offense since Ryan became coach. He drafted Mark Sanchez, picked up L.T, got Santonio Holmes, and Braylon Edwards. This is why they have made it to the AFC Championship two straight years.

The Steelers on the other hand have not made many changes on either side of the ball because the players they have, have worked for them the last couple of years. They have a great quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger and they have good receivers in Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Ward is one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL, and Wallace is one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL. Rashard Mendenhall is a physical runner, but their offensive line is banged up. The Steelers offensive line had three injuries in their game versus the Ravens and since their playing the Jets, who like to blitz, Big Ben maybe needing to get out of more than usual. The Steelers offense will need to score and that’s no easy task on the Jets. This game will be smash mouth football just like when the Steelers play the Ravens.

The Jets offense will face a tough task, but they have played teams who have good defenses. They played the Ravens in their first game, and they also played the Steelers late in the season. The Steelers were without Troy Polamalu, and the Steelers are a totally different defense. The Steelers will need to run the ball effectively against the Steelers who allow just over 60 yards a game. Shonn Greene is a physical running back who has fresh legs since he wasn’t used too much in the regular season. L.T is probably going to be used in the passing game out of the backfield, because he is a finesse back. The Steelers are great at sealing off the gaps so there is nowhere to run, inside or out. The Jets want to run to set up the pass and that will take pressure off of Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez is still a young quarterback, and he needs to make sure he plays a game with little or no mistakes. Troy Polamalu is great at reading the quarterbacks eyes, so Sanchez will need to find Polamalu before the play. If he doesn’t he will have turnovers, and they won’t win this game. They will win this game if they can run the ball effectively, and get their receivers in the game early. Santonio Holmes is coming back to play the Steelers, and they know him and will probably shut him down.

The Steelers will probably have trouble throwing the ball against the Jets secondary. Revis may be on Wallace or Ward, but whoever he is on Cromartie will be on the other. Cromartie is not as good as Revis but is a good corner, but teams like to pick on him because they can’t throw on Revis. Big Ben will need to identify who is on whom so he can decide where he will throw the ball. The Jets like to blitz, even though they didn’t blitz the Pats much, and this means Big Ben will need to see whose coming or he will get sacked. The Jets do a great job at disguising the blitz, but Big Ben is great at avoiding the rush with his size. The Steelers will need to try to run, but if that doesn’t work, then Big Ben needs to take over the game with plays to Wallace and Ward.

Prediction: 24-20 Jets

The loud mouth Jets will win this game and go on to the Super Bowl. They are going to be the better team, and they know that they can beat the Steelers since they already did it. The Jets offense will have decent success running the ball and that’s what’s going to make the game tough for the Steelers. The Jets defense is going to get after Ben since their offensive line is very weak. They have many injuries and Rex Ryan knows how to play Big Ben from his days in Baltimore, so I think that Ryan will dial up the blitzes and get to Ben often.

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Ryan Beats Belichick in a Battle of the Coaches

Posted on 17 January 2011 by Michael Schwartz

The loud mouth, trash talking Jets went against the soft spoken, quiet Patriots. Rex Ryan was talking trash all week, and this is not new for the Jets but it puts a lot of pressure on them. Bill Belichick doesn’t get into Rex Ryan’s trash talking game, but one of his players did and that was Wes Welker. Belichick has a rule about trash talk, and Welker broke the rule so he sat one possession. Rex Ryan’s players all talked about how their defense was going to shut down Brady, and the main culprit was Antonio Cromartie. He had some very interesting words to Tom Brady and many thought that during the game Brady would make him pay. Rex Ryan doesn’t mind that his team does this and that is because he wants them to be as arrogant as he is. When he was a coordinator he couldn’t do this, but since he’s a coach now he can do whatever he wants. In the past Ryan’s team has backed up his talk but this was a whole new challenge since they lost by 42 points the last time they played the Patriots. That is why there was so much pressure on the Jets.

The Jets backed up their talk by playing great defense. The defense never let Brady get comfortable and that is key if you want to beat the Patriots. The Jets were getting pressure with three man rushes, and that is pretty amazing since it’s five on three and the three wins. Brady is usually great at throwing the ball away and not taking a sack, but the Jets sacked him five times. Shaun Ellis had two sacks on the three man rush. The Jets are very good at getting to the quarterback but this was a whole different story, they got to him without blitzing often. Rex Ryan is known for his exotic blitzes but he only blitzed 12% of the time in this game. It worked and they also made Tom Brady throw his first interception since Week 6. He set the record for longest consecutive passes without an interception, but the Jets didn’t get that memo. They intercepted Brady while the Patriots were driving in the first quarter. The Pats offense was not their normal explosive self, they only scored 21 points. They also were great in coverage, on one play Brady extended the play for over eight seconds, but the Jets were in such great coverage that it was incomplete. Usually Brady would have thrown a touchdown or a long pass because it’s a broken play.

The Jets offense played one of their best games of the season. They scored 28 points and they were running well and passing well. Mark Sanchez threw for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is his career high for the postseason, and ties the franchise record. The Jets were able to run the ball for 120 yards against a good Patriots run defense. They were able to contain Vince Wilfork and that’s why they had so much success. They knew how to beat the Patriots defense and they did.

Bart Scott was very upset that the Patriots defense was getting talked about all week when they aren’t in the top 5 in the NFL. The Jets are number 3 so Scott was upset that their defense wasn’t being talked about as being a team that could stop Tom Brady. After the game when Sal Paolantonio interviewed Scott, he was yelling and then he said how their defense is much better than the Pats and it deserved to be talked about. He said he is ready for next week, and if they play defense how they played Brady then they have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl.

The Jets will need to stop their celebrating at beating their division rivals and focus on the Steelers. They beat the Steelers during the regular season 22-17, but Troy Polamalu didn’t play in that game. With Polamalu the Steelers defense is much better, they allow less points and yards per game. Mark Sanchez will need to find Polamalu before every play or else he will make big plays in big situations. The Jets defense will need to get pressure on Roethlisberger and bring him down, since he is so big that is a challenge but if there is one team that can do it it’s the Jets.

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A Ravens-Steelers Week Propaganda Roundup

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A Ravens-Steelers Week Propaganda Roundup

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Always my favorite part of every rivalry, the propaganda surrounding Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field has reached a fever pitch.

The pictures, videos, jokes, etc. are FANTASTIC.

We’ve all seen the classics. Every time the teams play, we’re used to seeing pictures of some of our favorite Steelers fans…

biggirl

huge butt

stillerfan

fan

And there’s always one particular Heath Miller/Todd Heap bit that everyone enjoys. It’s a little offensive, but it’s the Steelers we’re talking about…

heapmiller

This particular version of this picture is more Cleveland Browns-related; but I’ve certainly been texted a version of this that has the dog wearing a purple collar in the past…

dog

Joe Evans sent me a pretty good variation of the above that I really like…

evans

UPDATE: Perry Hall High School alum Billy Apostolou just gave me another one. Winner…

toilet

Leave it to Ravens LB Terrell Suggs to kick things up a notch. After getting everyone riled up out at McDaniel College in Westminster during Training Camp by wearing THIS shirt…

suggs

…He whipped the 1 Winning Drive facility out in Owings Mills into a frenzy when he donned this one Wednesday…

suggsfinger

New this year? A Ben Roethlisberger take on an Antoine Dodson classic. Thanks Barry Aparicio…

hideyourkids

Which lead to this fantastic musical variation from our friend Samantha Sankovich…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q6cq_Ta4vE[/youtube]

And that lead to a funny segment Daniel Tosh did with Dodson on Tosh.O the other night on Comedy Central. Sorry for the poor video quality from YouTube…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNQ9k4sF4qc[/youtube]

As we’ve said all week, Big Ben was never convicted of raping anyone.

In an unrelated story, “No means No.”

It was unrelated. I promise.

Gil from Perry Hall and Tim Kaiser both let me in on a shot of the Steel City that I hadn’t seen before…

gil from Perry Hall

Nick Persico hit me up with this one. I like it…

hate

Here’s an update from Kathleen Smero’s Facebook page. I think my girlfriend needs this shirt…

smero

It’s not really propaganda, but it’s always a good memory. As Luke Jones shared this week at WNST.net, our favorite Ravens-Steelers memory involves former LB Bart Scott…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoDDYkoKi4[/youtube]

Well, I guess we like this toss from QB Joe Flacco to WR TJ Houshmandzadeh toss too…

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

Former WNST intern Michael Pomerantz took the Wiz Khalifa song “Black and Yellow” (which had damn well BETTER be banned from Charm City radio stations this week) and turned it into the much more appealing “Black and Purple.” You can download it here, it sounds like this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sekV7BeT4wg[/youtube]

Our friend Rob Fahey (you’ll remember his band “The Ravyns”) has a new tribute to Roethlisberger this season. He joined Drew Forrester and I in studio Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to play it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF3lf5G6xro[/youtube]

In the meantime, my buddy Rich in Westminster couldn’t help but notice that the broken nose handed to Roethlisberger looks an awful lot like the result we’re hoping the Steelers will be handed Saturday…

ben

My buddy Kevin Richardson over at the Baltimore Sun put together a pretty good Ray Lewis remix video worth checking out…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2AlZXUI4VA[/youtube]

Our friends at B-More Bird’s Nest also put together a video this week…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOO81_FYomU[/youtube]

Our own Derek Arnold also passed this along to me…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSXEFyIhd9E[/youtube]

And he directed me to a funny picture Kissing Suzy Kolber posted yesterday. I apologize for the language…

steelers

UPDATE: Scott Price just sent me this one. I love it….

price

When Flacco was told about the existence of this “Last Supper” picture, he got nervous. I don’t blame him…

last supper

After seeing the photo, maybe some folks around the state of Maryland are praying this prayer…

Our Flacco who art in Pittsburgh, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Bowl will come. It will be won, in Dallas as it is in the Dome.

Give us this Saturday, our weekly win, give us Touchdown passes but do not let others pass against us.

Lead us not into frustration, but deliver us to the Superbowl.

For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFL and the glory of the Purple & Black now and forever.

Amen.

That’s not bad. Neither is this joke our buddy Ron Pierro posted in Facebook…

“A Ravens fan, a Bengals fan and a Steelers fan are climbing a mountain and arguing about who loves his team more. The Bengals fan insists he is the most loyal. ‘This is for the Bengals!’ he yells, and jumps off the side of the mountain. Not to be outdone, the Ravens fan is next to profess his love for his team. He yells, ‘This is for the Ravens!’ and pushes the Steelers fan off the mountain.”

Here’s another joke pulled from Facebook…

“On the seventh day, God said ‘Let there be football.’

And it was good.

Later that day, God said ‘Let there be one team to rule the others and set the standard for excellence.’

With that, he plucked stars from the heavens and placed it on the helmet of black and gold.

God said, ‘Let it be called The Pittsburgh Steelers.’

Later that day, God said ‘Even Steelers need a**holes.’

So he made their fans.”

UPDATE: One of my best friends in the world…Sara Mulieri…just posted a weather forecast for Pittsburgh Saturday. I like it…

***WARNING*** The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Pittsburgh PA & surrounding areas for Saturday the 15th of January. This warning will be in effect from 4:30pm until 8:30pm. This Flash Flood will be caused by the tears of the Steelers Fans as they realize the Blackbird Nation has ruined all hopes of another Superbowl appearance. Crying will intensify as the game goes on.

This is a good start, but I know there’s more. If you have something you’d like to add. Please email me (glenn@wnst.net), pass along via Facebook (search “Glenn Clark”) or via Twitter (@WNST).

I love this stuff.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 5 moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

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Top 5 moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

Posted on 12 January 2011 by Luke Jones

Saturday marks the 33rd meeting (including playoffs) between the Ravens and Steelers in the 15 years since the NFL returned to Baltimore.

With Pittsburgh holding a 20-12 all-time edge and always coming out on top when the stakes are at their highest, the highlights are admittedly scarce from the Baltimore perspective despite the matchup blossoming into the most intense rivalry in the NFL. A conflict bred from off-field venom and disdain (circa 2001) has morphed into mutual respect and even tighter competition in recent years as the last six meetings in the regular season have been decided by four or fewer points (the Steelers won 23-14 victory in the 2008 AFC Championship).

The divisional-round encounter will add another memorable chapter to Baltimore-Pittsburgh lore, but before looking ahead to potential triumph or bitter disappointment, we look back at the top 5 moments (with a couple honorable mentions added for good measure) in the history of Ravens vs. Steelers — from the Baltimore perspective.

And for our Pittsburgh brethren lurking and ready to chime in, be sure to check back later in the week for the five worst moments in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

Honorable mention >>>

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Ravens-Steelers Always Hard Hitting, Defensive Battles

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Ravens-Steelers Always Hard Hitting, Defensive Battles

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Ryan Chell

Ravens Defense

Rivals for years, the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers have always been similar teams with the same kind of philosophy: punch the other team in the mouth, run the football, and command the ball in every category of the game.

Especially when it comes to the defensive side of the ball, with the Ravens and the Steelers controlling the tempo of the game and keeping their opponents off the scoreboard.

In the NFL in the salary cap era, players come and go. But for years, these two teams have had the same scheme and philosophy defensively.

“I will say this about our identity and I think it’s been established,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in the team’s weekly release. “We want to be a physical football team, a fundamentally sound football team and rough and tough in everything we do.”

The Ravens have had Chris Mcalister, Duane Starks, Rod Woodson, Jamie Sharper, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Sam Adams, Tony Siragusa, Adalius Thomas ,Samari Rolle, and Bart Scott all lining up and playing at a high level on the Ravens defense.

Meanwhile, the Steelers have had destructive pass rushers and quality linebackers like Joey Porter, Kendrell Bell, Jason Gildon, and good system corners in DeShea Towsend and Chad Scott.

And of course there have been the stalwarts over the years in Baltimore in safety Ed Reed, LB Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and LB Ray Lewis.

For the Steelers, fellow tackling machine James Farrior has made a name for himself since coming over from the Jets earlier in his career, Casey Hampton and DE Aaron Smith command so much attention in the middle when they play, and James Harrison and Troy Polamalu have garnered national attention as one of the best defenders in the league.

James Harrison

Since 2000, the Steelers rank first in total defense, allowing 280 yard per game, while the Ravens are right behind them with 283 yard allowed.

During that span, the Ravens have allowed a league-low 286 TDs, while the Steelers are right behind them with 309 scores against them.

The Ravens have allowed the fewest points per game (17 ppg.) while the Steelers again trail Baltimore (17.3). The Ravens also have the most takeaways since 2000 with 339 and interceptions (213).

The two teams have used each other as models as to how to play the game the right way, as both teams have won Super Bowls in this decade.

“If you see what Pittsburgh is doing now, you win with defense in this league. That has not changed,” Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. ”

It’s all about stopping teams on defense…I think we can continue to do that, because those are the ingredients to winning, and that’s what we’re doing in Baltimore.”

And as the Ravens come into Pittsburgh on Sunday, Baltimore boasts the league’s top defense yet again, allowing 244 ypg. and also holding their opponents to a league low 30% conversion rate on third down.

Pittsburgh’s defense meanwhile has the most turnovers(10) on their resume as well as the best turnover ratio(+6).

With these two top defenses, Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers should be close as it always has been. In three of their last four meetings, the margin of victory has been a field goal.

Last season, both contests between the AFC North foes were decided by three points, with a Ravens win on November 29th in overtime(20-17) and a December 27th Steelers victory (23-20).

And in the contests between those teams, it has been much like it was last year. The Baltimore-Steelers rivalry has always been a see-saw, back-and-forth battle.

Only three times over the last 8 years has one of the teams swept the season series, with Baltimore winning twice against the Steelers in 2006, and the Steelers won a trio of games against the Ravens in 2008-2009, including the the AFC Championship game, and they won each contest in 2002.

In the overall series, the Steelers lead in wins 17-11, but those stats are a big slighted toward Pittsburgh as the Steelers often took advantage of a young expansion team in the late 90′s.

But the numbers do not look good in Pittsburgh for the Ravens. In Pittsburgh, the Ravens are 4-10 all-time-including 0-2 in the postseason-as opposed to when the Ravens host the Black and Gold, when the series is tied 7-7.

If anything, the Ravens are looking to leave an impression on the Steelers even if Pittsburgh should go on top Sunday at Heinz Field.

But with first place on the line in the AFC North, the Ravens would like the opportunity to grab that chance when they can on top of drawing some attention their way.

“Respect isn’t given. It’s earned,” LB Ray Lewis said. “We’re not here to be liked. But when we get off the field, we will be respected.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to track the Ravens as they play a huge divisional game against the rival Steelers on Sunday! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Ravens Convert Third-Down Chances; Overcome Turnovers To Squeak Out Of Meadowlands With Win

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Ravens Convert Third-Down Chances; Overcome Turnovers To Squeak Out Of Meadowlands With Win

Posted on 14 September 2010 by Ryan Chell

Bryan Thomas Joe Flacco
When quarterback Joe Flacco got sandwiched between Jets DE Shaun Ellis and LB Bryan Thomas on the first play of the Ravens’ 2010 season and immediately fumbled the ball, things looked bleak and dire.

But it turned out that play-which occurred on first down-had no bearing on the game on Monday Night, which the Ravens squeaked out of, 10-9. Where the game was won in the New Meadowlands Stadium was on the critical third-down conversions.

After that fumble, the Ravens became more conservative on first down more often than not. And with Ray Rice struggling against the Jets tenacious run defense (42 yards on 21 carries), the Ravens often found themselves in the critical third-and-long situation.

But this is where the Ravens thrived on Monday, and where the Jets came crashing down, and played a huge role in the victory for Baltimore.

The Ravens were 11-of-19 on third down against the Jets, while New York turned out only to be 1-of-11, failing to move the sticks on several occasions, sometimes deep into Baltimore territory after being granted a great starting position by the special teams or turnovers.

The key piece turned out to be the stellar debut of  Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin, acquired in the off-season for third-and-fourth round picks in April’s draft, who caught a game-high seven passes for 110 yards.

Anquan Boldin

Three of those passes came on critical third down conversions, and Flacco targeted Boldin one more time trying to convert.

His biggest play came with the Ravens backed up close to their own end zone with 10:57 left in the third quarter with the Ravens leading 7-6.

That catch over former Raven Jim Leonhard kept the drive alive, and later allowed the Ravens to move into position to allow Billy Cundiff to kick the deciding 25-yard field goal with 7:11 remaining in the third.

Todd Heap also came up big with several catches, reaching 75 yards highlighted by his 35 yard catch with 4:27 left in the final quarter which allowed the Ravens to chew up much needed clock to preserve the win.

Heap showed remarkable route-running ability Monday night, as he often was in perfect mismatch situations against a smaller defender like Leonhard or a slower linebacker.

He nearly had a touchdown with 5:34 left in the first quarter had rookie corner Kyle Wilson not been in perfect position to knock the ball way.

Wilson would extend the drive for the Ravens several plays later on a holding call, but the drive ended with the Willis McGahee fumble at the Jets 20 yard line, marking the second of three turnovers for the Ravens in that half.

But the Jets could not capitalize off those turnovers. They could not run the ball effectively with their starter, Shonn Greene, who only rushed for 18 yards on 5 attempts on top of putting the ball on the ground twice, and quarterback Mark Sanchez-despite not turning the ball over-was only 10-of-21 for 74 yards.

Mark Sanchez

His mental miscues, along with his tight end Dustin Keller-were highlighted at the end of the Jets’ final drive as the two connected on a nine yard reception, but they needed ten yards on fourth down.

It’s simple math there Jets fans, and guess what, that 1 yard is also the number in the loss column for you guys going into Week 2 to play the Patriots, instead of having that number in the win column.

Other notes:

  • Jets DT Kris Jenkins left with 8:16 left in the first quarter after suffering an apparent left knee injury. Jenkins, a former MD Terp, when healthy is one of the most dominant nose tackles in the game, but knee injuries have cut his NFL short. He was ruled out of the game.
  • Two big hustle plays by not the fastest guys on the team. First came punter Sam Koch being the only man for Jets returner to beat on a punt return with 11:39 remaining in the second quarter. Otherwise, Leonard would have had a touchdown. The other came minutes later, when CB Antonio Cromartie intercepted a pass intended for either Todd Heap or Anquan Boldin on the left sideline close to the end zone.  Cromartie squeaked through the Ravens offensive line trying to tackle him, and quarterback Joe Flacco caught Cromartie after a 66 yard return, keeping another potential Jets touchdown off the boards.

Greene fumbled two plays later, which Dawan Landry recovered.

  • With the Jets leading 6-0 after the Landry recovery, T.J Houshmandzadeh recorded his first catch of a Raven. You could read his lips as he responded “Let’s Go!” The play went for 27 yards with Cromartie trailing behind the newly-acquired receiver. The Ravens capitalized off Cromartie again, as his holding penalty the next play extended the drive yet again. Three plays later, the Ravens found the end zone on a Willis McGahee 1 yd Td run, the only touchdown of the game.
  • What made this interesting was that several plays before, the Ravens had kicked a 46 yard field goal from Billy Cundiff. The kick was good and the points were on the board, but a running into the kicker call on Browns receiver Braylon Edwards-who broke through the Ravens wedge-extended the drive.
  • Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was lucky because they say in  the NFL you NEVER take points off the board. What if the Ravens went 3 and out the next several plays, and lined up for the field goal and missed? Luckily this call paid off for Baltimore.

Hopefully the Ravens won’t have to worry about that kind of situation next week when the Ravens travel to Cincinnati to take on the division-rival Bengals, who are coming off a 38-24 loss to the New England Patriots. The Bengals of course were the AFC North Division Champions last year after going 6-0 in the division, and the Ravens will be facing them on a short week.

Game time is 1PM on Sunday the 19th.

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Is Mark Sanchez really a fruitcake? We’ll find out tonight as Ravens visit Jets

Posted on 12 September 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

If you don’t watch Hard Knocks on HBO, you won’t get the humor in the headline but I have a hunch you will be watching tonight as eight months of sports silence in Baltimore and a revenge game on national TV for Jets coach Rex Ryan should whet your appetite for the deliciousness of the next 17 weeks and beyond.

Tonight, the Ravens finally play football. For real…

I have been quite silent this summer as the Orioles have continued to tank it en route to a last-place finish but today I recommit to telling you what I think during the football season. I’ve been busy 24 hours a day building the new WNST.net that many of you are enjoying daily via our many means to reach you: the Morning Newspaper, text service, Facebook, Twitter, AM 1570, this very website at WNST.net, etc.

The Orioles are winning and no one is watching while the Ravens have been dormant since that dark night in Indianapolis eight months ago but have once again captured the imagination not only of the local marketplace but they’ve become the national media darlings and are expected to be in Dallas in early February by many pundits.

The locals have been waiting since January for a reason to cheer and tonight we’ll get it in prime time glory with story lines galore for ESPN to pitch America.

The world expects the Ravens to be a playoff team – a 10-to-13 win machine of big-time offense with an emerging Joe Flacco and a hard-hitting (if not hard-covering in the secondary) defense still led by the credentials of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and some fresh faces on the back side.

Tonight we begin to find out not only what our Baltimore Ravens are made of but we’ll also find out whether Rex Ryan’s men in green actually “Play Like Jets” after talking incessantly for the past month in our living rooms via the loudest, brashest most reality-based reality TV ever made – “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets”

The harsh words have all been exchanged: Rex Ryan disrespected Ray Lewis who disrespected Mark Sanchez which led to Kris Jenkins and Bart Scott piling on in what the linebacker formerly known as “Hot Sauce” called “part of the show.”

It was a week of pre-game hype that Vince McMahon and Don King could both appreciate but Ray Lewis summed it all up here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL5CZcMqqWA[/youtube]

Honestly, I was actually blown away when I finally watched last week’s “Hard Knocks” on Saturday afternoon to hear what Rex Ryan actually said on the show that set off No. 52 in a tirade for the ages. Before he spoke, Ray Lewis admitted that he didn’t watch it and still went nuts with the notion that the Jets could somehow be more relevant or favored in tonight’s game.

I was five feet away from Lewis when he went nuts.

I went over to him in the locker room 15 minutes later and told him that I’d seen ALL of the press conferences over the last 15 years and it was his finest moment. “Really, you think so?” he said with a smile.

Yes, Ray! That one was for the ages and has this city inspired to spit purple lightning at 7 p.m. tonight.

So how will this go tonight?

Here are the five things I’ll be on the lookout for from Sect. 324 of the upper deck of the New Meadowlands Stadium. If you like my analysis here at WNST.net feel free to join our Twitter page tonight or friend us on Facebook or chime in with your thoughts in our Purple Haze LIVE CHAT that will begin at 7 p.m. And if you’re coming to New Jersey this afternoon, make sure you join us in Parking Lot L for a BYOB pre-game party of biblical proportions.

Sanchez accuracy can’t be dirty

If the Jets are going to be a contender this year they need to utilize a strong receiving corps with a passing attack that was woefully lacking in 2010 as Mark Sanchez slogged through his rookie campaign until the last few weeks when their defense caught fire and led them to the AFC Championship Game in Indy. Sanchez was portrayed as a bit of a clown in “Hard Knocks” and was referred to by Mark Brunell as a “fruitcake.” I wasn’t impressed with Sanchez on or off of the field this past month in preparation for tonight’s game. I think he’ll throw the Ravens a few opportunities to change the game. What they do when he does that will dictate the Ravens fortunes because with a few turnovers I believe the Ravens could win this game in a rout. And that’s without Ed Reed!

Jets taking care of the ball

The Jets were quite sloppy in many facets of the game in the preseason and turnovers were a major problem. Their running game seems to be a strength in their attack and you’d have to believe that running up the middle against the Ravens will be a tall task for an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and company. In general, I’m wondering how the Jets will attempt to exploit the Ravens through the air because it’s their best chance to win, lining up mismatches in the secondary and hoping Sanchez will be protected and can deliver the ball accurately.

Revis rusty?

We know that Cam Cameron will be mixing it up with this compliment of offensive weapons that Ozzie Newsome has assembled in the offseason. This team went from having Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton to having Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh become a true No. 1 and 2 with Mason almost certainly to move into a more complimentary role as the season wears on. Not that this is a bad thing: Mason will be a true weapon come December and other teams wear thin in the secondary as the weather chills. But the real secondary story tonight will be the return of Darrelle Revis who will be out on the island tonight chasing Boldin in many cases with just five days of practice under his belt. They say he’s the best in the business. Well, tonight he’ll face live bullets and there’s no doubt the communication of the Jets’ back line will be put to the test early and often by Flacco and company.

Flacco directing the offense and multiplicity

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has had three years in the system now and the list of weapons he has is impressive by any measure. The best offense Baltimore football fans have seen since 1977 will take the field tonight. How will Ray Rice be used? When will Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain get the ball? How will Todd Heap and Ed Dickson be used? What role will Houshmandzadeh grow into in this offense? Tonight we get answers including the protection up front that Flacco will need to deliver in this ramped up offensive attack.

The New Meadowlands as a weapon

The Jets have always been the second citizens of Giants Stadium. The team is a generational under-achiever. This year there’s more heat than there’s ever been due to Rex Ryan’s boasts and the braggadocio of the entire franchise being led by a cool, cussing, confident leader who expects to win tonight and every night. Tickets started at nearly $300 and have fallen to less than $100 to get into the game tonight. I know they’ve expanded the stadium but I thought the expanded expectations would expand their horizons to pack their own stadium in a sea of green for a Monday Night Football debut against a real contender and Ryan’s former franchise for a revenge bowl of biblical proportions. It will be interesting to see if the crowd can affect Flacco, who’s earned a bit of a reputation for being Joe Cool when impacted on the road. Flacco has won playoff games in Miami, Nashville and New England in his first three years in the league. I’m not sure the bright lights of New York will affect him tonight.

Quite frankly if Sanchez is the “fruitcake” Brunell alleged, the Ravens will waltz tonight at The New Meadowlands.

My prediction: Ravens 24, Jets 13

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War of words moves to tactics on field at Meadowlands in prime time

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War of words moves to tactics on field at Meadowlands in prime time

Posted on 12 September 2010 by Ryan Chell

Harbaugh & Rex
Monday’s night’s game between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens features two playoff teams from last year, and two similar teams who have identical philosophies on offense, defense, and special teams.

Both the Ravens and the Jets are teams that are going to control the clock and pound you on defense and in the run game, even with some of the big name free agent acquisitions Baltimore and New York made in the off-season in their receiving corps.

And both teams have also partaken in the war of words this week, as the Darrelle Revis signing earlier in the week prompted Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain to say that they were glad to see him back so that “so that there wont be any excuses”, which then prompted Jets coach Rex Ryan to respond on his own, saying:

“I don’t know what’s wrong with Le’Ron,” Ryan said. “He said something about  there’s no excuses…He must have us confused with someone else.”

“We don’t make excuses. All we do is produce…and that’s what we plan on doing Monday night.”

And then there was the war of words between Ray Lewis and Rex Ryan on Thursday and Friday.

“We’re talking about the Jets like we’re talking about the Saints,” Ray Lewis said on Thursday to both the New York and Baltimore media. “Those are the only people who can be dethroned: Drew Brees and the Saints, not Mark Sanchez and the Jets.”

Lewis made sure to heed a warning to Ryan.

“The only danger is writing a check you can’t cash,” Lewis said. “That’s pressure on his players. Rex can talk all he wants to, but Rex ain’t putting on the pads.”

Rex responded as best he could.

“It sounds like we got under Ray’s nerves a bit,” Ryan responded.

But the game isn’t being played in the game of words. It’s going to be played in a smash-mouth style of play when the teams hit the gridiron on Monday.

Let’s take a look at the match ups when the Ravens and Jets offenses take the field against the opposing defenses.

1. Ravens Passing Offense vs. Jets Passing Defense. EDGE: Ravens.

Michael Oher

Normally, I would give the edge to the Jets in this department, but over the last week the Ravens added T.J. Houshmandzadeh and I think that gives them a slight edge in that department with Houshmandzadeh lining up against rookie corner Kyle Wilson.  The Jets re-signed  Revis earlier this week to a 4 year deal worth 48 million dollars, but he is not in 100% football shape whatsoever. He should still be good enough to shut down Anquan Boldin, but a quick Mason should be able to break away from Antonio Cromartie’s poor tackling prowess.

The Jets’ best pass rusher is out in Calvin Pace (broken foot), which certainly helps the Ravens’ loss of RT Jared Gaither and the injury concerns of backup Oniel Cousins. Marshal Yanda could be heading out to play tackle, and Chris Chester could be filling in for Yanda at guard. There could be some concerns on the right side, but I think overall Joe Flacco should be able to stay upright for the majority of the game.

Ravens Run Offense vs. Jets Rush Defense: Jets

McClain getting stuffed

I don’t think either team is going to be very effective at running the football against these run defenses. Much like with the Ravens, former Maryland Terp Kris Jenkins (6-4, 360) is going to command a lot of attention in the middle. When healthy, Jenkins is one of the top nose tackles in the business.The same goes for defensive end Shaun Ellis, who is a quality run stuffer as well as a decent pass rusher for the Jets.

And on top of Jenkins are inside linebackers Bart Scott and David Harris. Scott is widely known as one of the best inside backers in football, and Harris is probably one of the more underrated guys in the business.  Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain may be fresh having seen little action in the preseason, but the Jets bring just as good a run defense as the Ravens had in years past (96.5 RPG)

Jets Passing Game vs. Ravens Pass Defense: Even
Mark Sanchez

Skill position wise, I think the Jets wide receivers are a lot better than the defensive backs the Ravens have. Braylon Edwards, while he drops a ton of balls, is a home-run threat and has had some success against the Ravens in the past as a member of the Cleveland Browns. No Santonio Holmes for the Jets as he is serving his four-game suspension for substance-abuse, so the Ravens don’t have to worry about his services.  And in reality, the two best receivers right now for the Jets may be the biggest receivers they have on the team in Jerricho Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller.

Dustin Keller

Ravens corner backs Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb will be coming off season-ending knee surgeries, and new corner Josh Wilson, on top of only measuring 5-8, is still getting acclimated to the defensive playbook. Dawan Landry is a thumper, but can get caught out of position at times. It will be interesting to see how Tom Zbikowski performs in a starting role in place of Ed Reed, who is listed on the PUP list. Zbikowski played well in Reed’s absence last season.

It all hangs on how well Jets QB Mark Sanchez plays in Monday’s opener. The talent is there for the Jets; Sanchez just has to get the ball to them instead of the Ravens defenders if you’re the Jets coaching staff. If the Jets are forced to abandon the run and Sanchez is forced to throw the ball more than 20x, the Ravens should win this game based on the probability that the Jets 2nd year QB will make mistakes.

Here are some of Sanchez’s notable bad performances last year-as a rookie-where he was forced to throw the ball close to 30 times a game.

New Orleans(10/4, L 24-10): 14-27, 3 INTs

Buffalo (10/29, L 16-13, 10-29, 5 INTs)

Jacksonville (11/15) Jets L 24-22, 16-30, 2 INTs

New England (11/22) Jets L 31-14, 8-21, 4 INTs

Atlanta (12/20) Jets L 10-7, 18-32, 3 INTs

In other words, if the Ravens put the ball in Sanchez’s hands, he should play right into the Ravens’ game plan.

Jets Run Offense vs. Ravens Rush Defense: Edge: Ravens

Ravens Stopping the Run

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. No one runs on the Ravens, except some guy named Cedric Benson. A lot of people think Shonn Greene is the real deal, and he will be the featured back in Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer‘s offense.

But like their QB in Sanchez, Greene also has not faced a dominant rush defense in his short NFL career as the Ravens since he has seen the bulk of the carries in New York. He has only played 17 games including the playoffs last year, and only got double-digits in carries in seven of those contests.

The Jets have two of the best offensive lineman at their respective positions in D’Brickashaw Ferguson at the left tackle spot and Nick Mangold at center. Alan Faneca is gone at the left guard spot from last year, and in his place they have youth and inexperience in the position. The favorite to start on Monday is rookie Vladimir Ducasse out of Massachusetts, and he could be the spot Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison want to exploit. Haloti Ngata, Trevor Pryce, and Cory Redding should have enough weight under them to hold off the Jets offensive lineman, and the Raven linebackers will stuff Greene before he can get down the field.

The Jets had also cut longtime fullback Tony Richardson over the weekend, but brought him back several days later. He has been a bone-crushing fullback his entire career, and one of the Ravens linebackers are going to have to bust him in the backfield before he can get some speed under him to drill some holes in the Raven defense.

Special teams: Edge: Ravens

Despite the Ravens in a frenzy to find healthy kick and punt returners, I still like the Ravens specialists over the Jets. Chris Carr, David ReedTom Zbikowski, and Josh Wilson could all be candidates to return kicks. Carr may not have blazing speed, but he wont take any risks when it comes to catching and running with the football on a punt.

Jim Leonhard

For the Jets, safety Jim Leonhard is remembered by Baltimore fans for his ability to get some yards on punt returns (31 returns, 326 career return yards, 10.5 avg). For the Ravens, Billy Cundiff won the kicking job out of camp over veteran Shayne Graham based on his ability to kick the ball deep on touch backs in the preseason.  Ravens punter Sam Koch is only a hair away from being known as a Pro-Bowl caliber punter (73 punts, 43.7 avg, 26 punts inside 20).

Jets kicker Nick Folk, a former Pro-Bowl kicker in 2007, was cut by the Cowboys last season after struggling hitting the uprights (18 out of 28). And in a windy Meadowlands, a kicker who can’t find the uprights in a dome I think would have issues kicking in 30 MPH winds.

My prediction for the game: Ravens 21, Jets 17.

Which probably won’t make this guy happy.

Fireman Ed

Stay tuned to WNST and WNST.net for more Ravens News! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Prepare For Jets Without Key Pieces

Posted on 08 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens took the practice field Wednesday at 1 Winning Drive focused entirely on the New York Jets, who they will open the season with on Monday Night Football from Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, they are practicing without two key pieces-who they likely won’t have Monday night.

DT Terrence Cody (knee) and OT Jared Gaither (back) were not present during the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday and are not expected to take the field for the season opener. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) will certainly be on the inactive list Monday night, as he is expected to miss roughly the first eight weeks of the season.

The Ravens are not required by the NFL to release their first official injury report until tomorrow.

Should Cody and Gaither join Stallworth on the inactive list Monday night, the team would have to scratch an additional five players. Possibilities to be scratched include WR David Reed, WR Marcus Smith, TE Dennis Pitta, DT Arthur Jones, DT Lamar Divens, DE Paul Kruger, LB Edgar Jones, LB Prescott Burgess, LB Jason Phillips and CB Bryan McCann.

Another possibility to miss Monday night’s game is CB Lardarius Webb, who is in his 3rd week of practice since being activated from Training Camp Injured Reserve. Webb did not play against the New York Giants or St. Louis Rams to end the preseason as he continues to come back from a torn ACL. Webb still hasn’t participated in contract drills, but said the knee was “getting better.” Regarding Monday, Webb said “I’ll see where I’m at.”

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh participated in his first official practice as a Raven Monday, wearing the familiar #84 jersey.

RAVENS COMPLETE PRACTICE SQUAD: The Ravens have signed former Purdue CB David Pender to their practice squad, filling the 8th and final spot.

Pender joins QB Hunter Cantwell, WR Justin Harper, RB Curtis Steele, OLB Albert McClellan, OT Devin Tyler, OL Bryan Mattison and TE Davon Drew on the developmental group.

Pender is a 6’0″, 180 pound corner who finished his career with the Boilermakers with 3 interceptions. He had originally signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after going undrafted.

NOTES: Hear from Webb, K Billy Cundiff, FB Le’Ron McClain, LB Jameel McClain, OL Marshal Yanda, G Ben Grubbs and C Matt Birk NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net……Yanda is scheduled to join Drew Forrester Thursday morning at 7:00am on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST……Following practice Thursday, coach John Harbaugh, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and QB Joe Flacco are scheduled for formal media sessions. In addition, Jets coach Rex Ryan and LB Bart Scott are scheduled for conference calls with the Charm City media contingency.

-G

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