Tag Archive | "ben"

Tags: , , , ,

To Replay or Not to Replay

Posted on 19 December 2008 by Brian Billick

In light of the events that transpired last weekend in the game between the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems like a good time to get back on my soap box about instant replay and the adjustments that need to be made.

Lets begin with the call of whether the pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes to win the game was a good call or not. I thought the league and Walt Coleman, the official, did a good job of explaining the process he went through in determining the legitimacy of the play. They had to determine whether Holmes had both feet on the ground, with position of the ball. Clearly, this was the case.

Next, Coleman had to determine if the ball did indeed cross the plane. This is where it gets interesting. Having been through this scenario dozens of times in my nine years as a head coach I know full well what will transpire during the offseason with regards to this play. Beginning with the Competition Committee, then on to the League Meetings and the full contingent of coaches, general managers and owners, this play will be looked out countless times, in ultra-slow motion and freeze frame, to determine if the ball crossed the plane. After which, like today, 50% of those who saw it will believe it did cross the goal and the other 50% will not. Whether in slow motion or during live action a call of this nature is going to be subjective.

Having recognized the subjectivity of the call, what I take issue with is the fact that via the current replay system the official was put into a position, during a relatively short period of time, to determine what everyone in the NFL will still not be able to definitively say was a good or bad call. Instant replay was instituted with the specific mandate of eliminating the “egregious mistake”. How can a call be considered egregious, if during the calm of the offseason, with all the technology available today, we still can not definitively say what was or was not the right call.

Whatever the call on the field that was made — and in this instance it was ruled Holmes did not cross the plane of the goal line — the video replay was certainly not “irrefutable” evidence to the contrary. Therefore the call on the field should stand. I would say the same thing had the call been made the other way.

My contention all along has been that with the tools available to us today it seems that the need to have the officials leave the field of play and stick their heads into a “peep” show to determine the right call is unnecessary. The replay officials have the capacity to quickly communicate with the Referee any observations they have with regards to the “egregious” error that may have happened on the field, not unlike the college system. This would prove to be a minimal interruption of the game and would give the Referee another source with which to get the call right.

A case in point: When a play is made along the side, by way of a pass reception, and a debate insures between say a Back judge and Line judge who are involved in the call, the Referee will go to both individual and ask, “What did you see?”. The two factors involved, of course, are: did the player have possession and did he get his feet inbounds? If each saw it the same way then the call is easy. If there were a difference of opinion the referee would simply try to ascertain who had the best view. If you were at the same time able to gain a perspective from the replay booth and given that opinion the referee would have all the information possibly available to make the right call. Would this insure 100% accuracy on all call? Of course not…

Currently the calls on the field are upheld roughly between 75% & 80% of the time. And of that 20-to-25%, approximately 5-to-8% of the time it is overruled, the original call was deemed correct, all but after the fact. My contention is that at the very least these percentages will be maintained and there would be virtually no interruption to the natural flow of the game.

At its best, the flow of information given to the Referee will be in a manner that might indeed enhance the chances of the calls on the field being corrected at a more efficient rate.

Comments Off on To Replay or Not to Replay

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

A beautiful day: Ravens 36, Eagles 7

Posted on 23 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Ravens used an opportunistic offense and myriad of breakdowns by the hapless visitors to pummel the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium, 36-7 this afternoon.

Andy Reid’s benching of Donovan McNabb at halftime will surely be debated across three states and the calling for his head surely will begin for calling a pass play at the goal line early in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were about six inches from making it a one-score game.

Hard to say who was more quiet today at frigid M&T Bank Stadium today — the Eagles fans or the Ravens fans. It was a strange day of football all the way around.

The game was long and out-of-synch in its pacing and reminded me of what would be the beginning of the end of Brian Billick’s tenure here — the ugly game in Detroit two years ago.

Nothing the Eagles did went right. They got hosed on a couple of calls. Both of their quarterbacks threw hideous passes. The Ravens — and mainly Joe Flacco — stunk for most of the first half and the Eagles still couldn’t manage to score any points beyond the kickoff return, which clearly embarrassed John Harbaugh and his special teams sensibilities.

But feel free to roundly celebrate: the Ravens are 7-4 and looked quite impressive in the end in “playing four quarters” and out smash-mouthing their neighbors from Filthy.

It’s Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for football-wise in Baltimore because we can legitimately start talking playoffs with a chance to be 8-4 next Sunday with a strong effort in Cincinnati.

Where to begin?

Ed Reed ran a 108-yard interception back through traffic that seemed like the Stanford band. Ed Reed also got burned trying to lateral a ball to Samari Rolle in heavy traffic near the goal line. (Somewhere, Billick was still yelling at him!)

Dan Wilcox caught a TD pass after thinking he might not even play.

Jared Gaither played through the pain. Adam Terry left the game early with a concussion and the offensive line still kept coming back for more. At one point, Ben Grubbs left the game. And David Hale was spotted in there mixing it up quite a bit as well.

The Ravens continued to stop the Eagles rushing attack all day long, and seemed to welcome the benching of McNabb for Kevin Kolb, who was largely as ineffective as No. 5. His one drive of note to lead the team back into the game was nullfyed and reversed when Reed went the distance on one of the most amazing plays in Ravens history.

Le’Ron McClain continues to shine his own star as a fullback who has made a seamless transition into a big-time power back, rushing for 88 yards and one breakaway touchdown late in the game when most of the Eagles fans had put down their cheesesteaks and pretzels and headed back toward the Maryland House on I-95.

Mark Clayton was a factor in the game today and we’d love to see more of that. He also made fun of his own endzone celebration.

Jarret Johnson had a huge game and made a pick on McNabb that Harbaugh described as “one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen.”

Matt Stover hit a long field goal when the team needed it.

And Jameel McClain registered his second safety of the season and he’s only been on the team for a few weeks.

Overall, the defense was awesome all day. They pitched a shutout that was only tainted by the kickoff return by Quinton Demps. (Kinda reminded me of another game against an NFC East team where the only score was a return for a touchdown on an otherwise perfect day. Of course, it was a little warmer on Jan. 28, 2001.)

I’ll be writing some more later and posting post-game video. It was largely an “homage” to Ed Reed and the kind of game he had today. (And at one point, he fell to his knees and was all but tackled to leave the field when he couldn’t lift his arm.)

Feel free to throw your comments in and we’ll launch them soon enough.

A great day to be a Ravens fan. The team is 7-4 and headed to Cincinnati. This was a huge win.

And the Eagles fans were strangely silent from whistle to whistle, slithering out of the stadium while the Ed Reed celebration commenced right around 4 p.m.

More to come…

Comments Off on A beautiful day: Ravens 36, Eagles 7

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

Watching Moyer awakens old O’s memories

Posted on 25 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The World Series has returned to Philadelphia for the first time in 15 years. The fans are bathed in red and the series is tied 1-1. To the mound tonight for the Fightin’ Phils: Jamie Moyer.

A blast from the past, and I suppose most fans don’t even associate him with the Orioles, but I remember his time in orange and black quite vividly.

I met Jamie Moyer at the Huggins-Stengel Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. during the spring training of 1993. I wrote an extensive blog about my experience there last year but it was an incredible adventure covering those Orioles teams. One of my favorite experiences as a professional even after all of these years.

Moyer was a super astute student of the game, a likeable guy who a young Mike Mussina and others like Todd Frohwirth and Mark Williamson liked to talk strategy and “real pitching” with. He was a borderline major-leaguer at that point, who had bounced around three organizations and didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 1992 (he spent the whole summer in AAA Toledo after six years in the big leagues)

He was a long shot to make the team coming out of Florida. He was a non-roster invitee and basically an afterthought. That was a season when Ben McDonald, Fernando Valenzuela, Rick Sutcliffe, Arthur Rhodes and Mussina were the starting staff.

It was 1993 and he was basically “washed up.”

Well, you know the rest of the story.

He made the team (and I think he might’ve had some coffee in Rochester that spring as well). He was a back of the rotation starter, who was wily mixing speeds and location like a Scott McGregor and used his smarts like a Mike Flanagan to get guys out. In three seasons of the Orioles’ heyday for attendance and overall interest after Camden Yards’ opening, he went 25-22 on some forgettable on-the-field teams sandwiched around the 1994 strike. He was on the field the night Cal Ripken broke Lou Gerhig’s streak.

Moyer was a good guy, a real professional. His wife, Karen, is former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps’ daughter. Phelps was omnipresent around the team during those years, always making time to do my radio show and talk college basketball with me. Moyer’s wife was outgoing, friendly and loved sports. She even asked me for “GET NASTY” shirt and swore she wore it when she ran every day.

When he left the Orioles before the 1996 season, Moyer had made less than $3 million playing baseball for a decade.

He signed in Boston, was dealt to Seattle and went on to win 145 games in 10 seasons there as a franchise pitcher.

Moyer is still pitching in the World Series at the age of 46. He’s doing it in his hometown. He’s pitched 22 seasons and won 246 games but has never pitched in a World Series game after three other trips to the postseason. It’s the greatest night of his professional life and he’s made almost $60 million more dollars after being all but out of baseball 15 years ago, right around the last time his hometown Phillies were last playing October baseball.

The game started a little late, the fans are pretty stewed up in Filthy.

I hope Jamie Moyer pitches a classic.

Comments Off on Watching Moyer awakens old O’s memories

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

Ravens news and notes and injury report

Posted on 22 October 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some notes from 1 Winning Drive today:

-The Chris McAlister saga will continue to roll on, as McAlister spoke with the media and commented on the situation which you can see in my previous blog. Coach Harbaughreemphasized today that playing time has nothing to do with discipline. It is simply they are putting the best 11 guys on the field against the Raiders. McAlister does in fact appear on the injury report this week, which you can scroll down to see.

– Buddy Ryan the father of Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will be at the game on Sunday.

-JaMarcus Russell was a big topic of discussion with several of the defensive players today. Trevor Pryce, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata all talked about how big and strong Russell is and how you have to wrap him up to get him down. Pryce mentioned that the thing you have to do when you get to Russell is ask him to lie down so you can get the sack. Suggs is concerned that he might get shrugged off if he gets to him and goes for a sack. Ngata pointed out that a big thing with Russell is that he will dump off passes to the running backs when you get to him and that is a dangerous thing. All of the guys compared sacking Russell to trying to sack Ben Roethlisberger, very difficult. Suggs compared sacking Russell to trying to sack Trevor Pryce.

– Jonathan Ogden who will be going into the Ravens Ring of Honor on Sunday, will be introduced with the team on Sunday.

– Terrell Suggs said early that he thought Troy Smith should be starting for the Ravens. Now Suggs has said ” I thought the question was about multiple packages. I said both quarterbacks should get a chance to play, like running back Ronnie Brown depending on the package. Joe is 3-3 as the starter and has done a good job. It’s not like we haven’t won any games.”

Suggs also has had controversy come up with his comments about a bounty on Hines Ward. Here is his response to that, ” there wasn’t any bounty. The reporter asked me if there was a bounty and I just said I’m going to keep a watch on the guy. He broke some guy’s jaw last week, and he tried to cheap shot Jarrett Johnson. He also cheap-shotted Ed Reed. We’re just going to be on alert the next time we play him. It’s like the guy in your neighborhood who always pulls your shorts down and your drawers show, well, you always have to be on the lookout. You have to be alert.”

Suggs has always been a media friendly guy, but I can not imagine these type comments set well with the new coaching regime

– Here is the injury report for the Ravens for Wednesday:

OUT: Samari Rolle(neck/shoulder) Dawan Landry(neck) Adam Terry (knee)

Did Not Participate: Yamon Figurs(knee) Ed Reed(thigh) Demetrius Williams(ankle)

Limited Participation: Jared Gaither(neck) Chris McAlister(knee) Willis McGahee(knee)

Comments Off on Ravens news and notes and injury report

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

Ravens Dominate Bengals

Posted on 08 September 2008 by Ed Frankovic

Ravens Pound Bengals

The Ravens whipped the Bengals today using a great running game, a physical and intimidating defense, and a high energy effort – something that surprised many fans and media in this town, including myself. However, watching the way the Ravens players went at it today I don’t think they were surprised with their performance and that bodes well for this team going forward, if they can stay healthy. Confidence is a huge thing in sports and this football team has to have that after dominating Cincy today with a young offensive line, a rookie QB, and a rookie RB. The Bengals were a team that had given the Ravens fits the last several years but today the Baltimore Birds put a beat down on Marvin Lewis’ gang.

Here are some of my thoughts on the game today:

–    So just how hurt are Ed Reed, Chris McAlister, and Samari Rolle because they looked pretty healthy today? The Ravens are clearly a different football team when those 3 guys are on the field. Is it possible the Ravens were just being overly cautious with each of them this pre-season or are they really on the verge of being knocked out for several weeks this season or their careers (as we’ve heard about Reed)? I hope our man Casey Willett can get the scoop on this because a healthy secondary is definitely the difference between this team contending for a playoff spot versus the team likely playing for a high draft spot. Reed’s coverage on T.J. Houshmandzadeh early in the game that led to C-Mac’s interception is the type of play that turns a game around.

–    It was great to see the Ravens power running game back. Baltimore got most of their yards behind the strength of their offensive line in center Jason Brown and guards Marshal Yanda and Ben Grubbs. Ray Rice had a very good game except for his costly fumble, but he is a rookie and we’ll let him slide on that one. Le’Ron McClain was outstanding dragging tacklers all day for significant yardage. Bottom line: the Ravens offensive line teed off on the Bengals defensive line all day something we hadn’t really seen around here since 2003 when Jamal Lewis almost broke the NFL single season rushing record.

–    The play of Joe Flacco in total was very good. His TD run was just incredible but we can’t expect him to do that very often (btw, what a great block by Jason Brown on that run!). As for his pocket presence, it was superb! Fellow blogger Chris Pika pointed out that Joe only got hit 1 time in 75 plays meaning the o-line did a good job of blocking and Flacco did a very good job of feeling pressure when it came and moving away from it. As for his throws, I can only think of a couple that were off. #5 under threw Mark Clayton in the first half on a deep pass that if made properly would have been a TD and another time while scrambling out of the pocket he badly overthrew an open Clayton in the flat. Overall I have to give Flacco an A for his performance today.

–    The receivers stepped up today! It was great to see Mark Clayton back and playing at a high level. He can be a dangerous player and he was very good today. Derrick Mason was his usual solid self and he is a great leader for the younger guys. I’ve never met Mason but he seems like a real class act. Another thing the receivers did well was with their run blocking. You can’t run the ball that well without help from the WR’s.

–    I still think that the block in the back call on Yamon Figurs punt return was a very borderline to bad call. It appeared that the Ravens player (I think it was Frank Walker) hit the Bengals punter in the shoulder although from the referees angle he probably saw one of Walker’s hands on the punters back so he threw the flag.

–    Bart Scott and the rest of the Ravens linebackers were phenomenal today. I singled out Scott because he had a tough season last year and he looked more like his 2006 form today. Terrell Suggs, Jason Johnson, and Ray Lewis were all over the field all day and Rex Ryan has to be very proud of that crew.

–    Biggest disappointment of the day: TE Todd Heap. He dropped an easy TD in the second quarter that would have put the Ravens up 14-0 and his fumble in the opening minutes was reminiscent of some of his past ones. That fumble reminded me of the one he had in the Indy playoff game in January 2007 and someone has got to get Heap to stop leaving his feet with the ball under him because it is getting knocked out too much by the opposing team. Luckily for Heap the defense rose to the occasion and shut the Bengals offense down without any points after that turnover (I also think they ended up breaking Carson Palmer’s nose).

–    Coaching: WOW! Clearly the players were energized and how cool was it to see the offense run a “no huddle” sequence? That clearly confused the heck out of Cincinnati. The double reverse was a major risk/reward play so with Clayton going to the house Cam Cameron looks like a genius on that call.

Overall, it was a great day for the purple and black and the doubters have to be re-thinking their pre-season prognostications after this performance (myself included). As I said in the opening, if the Ravens stay healthy this team can contend for a playoff spot based on what I saw today. But this is only week one and right now this team needs to focus on just getting better each week. Next week will be a tough game going to Houston to face a Texans team that had their jocks handed to them by the Pittsburgh Steelers today. As our old coach told us time and time again: “Winning on the road in the NFL is one of the toughest thing to do in sports.”

Comments Off on Ravens Dominate Bengals

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

6-pack review and post game

Posted on 08 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here is a look back at my 6-pack game preview and some post game thoughts:
  1. Give Joe time– At times today, it seemed like Flacco had all day to look down the field and make plays. Not being sacked one time today speaks highly of the job that the offensive line did for him. Flacco completed 15 passes to seven different receivers, eight to the wide outs, six to the running backs, and one to a tight end.
  1. Keep drives going – The Ravens today kept the ball for 36:15. A big part of that was due to their ability to convert on third downs. The Ravens were 9-17 53%, on third downs today. LeRon McClain converted on third down four of the nine times. The Ravens got the ball with 7:15 left to go in the game and never gave it back to the Bengals. In that time they ran the ball 10 times, threw one pass, and took two knees to end the game.
  1. Find Ben Utecht – Utecht finished the day with two catches for 10 yards. Ben had to stay in most of the time to help pass protect for Carson Palmer.
  1. Get to Carson – The Ravens were giving Palmer all kind of looks early on in the game. Here is how Palmers first quarter went: sack (Justin Bannan), sack (Jarrett Johnson), two runs, a completed pass, and was intercepted. Several members of the Bengals media, said they do not remember seeing Palmer that rattled in a long, long, time. Matter of fact, today was the first time since week 17 of the 2005 season that Palmer has been held under 100yds passing in a regular season game.
  1. Don’t play their game– Besides Samari Rolle throwing the football after his interception that ended up never happening, the Ravens played smart football as it relates to unsportsmanlike penalties. Several times during the game there were some flare ups between players and pushing and shoving. Every time Ravens players would grab their teammate and pull them away from the situation. In the past penalties for late hits, unsportsmanlike conduct and other things would have cost the Ravens.
  1. Special teams has to be special – Sam Koch did yet another excellent job of pinning the Bengals deep. Koch does not get the credit he deserves for his punting ability, but he came up with some huge punts today. Yamon Figurs also had a huge day with some nice returns. There was a very questionable block in the back call on what would have been Figurs punt return for a touchdown. Figurs also deserves credit for being a gunner on special teams and making a great open field tackle on Chatman of the Bengals for a one yard loss.
-The Ravens locker room was an interesting place to be after the game. Watching the guys walk up the tunnel and into the locker room was a very interesting scene. Ray Lewis embraced quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson who had a huge grin on his face. You could hear the team applauding, cheering, and celebrating, across the hall in the media room even with the locker room doors closed.
-Several Ravens players said that the Bengals defense almost had a look on their face that they could not believe that the Ravens were moving the ball at will on them. There was definitely a swagger with the offense today.
-The Bengals were not pleased with their performance, “we sucked”, said Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, “we got beat on two b.s. plays”, was how John Thornton summed up the day for the Bengals defense. I know it is early, but Marvin Lewis might be the leader in the clubhouse of a coach on the hot seat after week 1.

Comments Off on 6-pack review and post game

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

Ravens – Bengals 6-pack

Posted on 07 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here is my 6-pack of things to look for in today’s Ravens – Bengals game
  1. Give Joe time: With a rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco, a hurt if playing at all running back in Willis McGahee, a backup rookie running back in Ray Rice, and still a questionable offensive line, I expect the Bengals will throw everything they can at Joe Flacco early until he can beat the pressure. The Bengals linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald is the former Ravens linebackers coach, and knows the players on offense, especially the line. It will be huge today for Lorenzo Neal, and LeRon McClain, to pick up the blitzes and other schemed the Bengals will throw at Flacco. The offensive line will have to hold up, the offense can not afford to have to have Todd Heap or Dan Wilcox stay back on every play to help pass protect.
  1. Keep drives going: This is going to be a huge part of what the Ravens offense will have to do today. The Bengals defense is not that great, and it will be key to keep them out there as long as possible. By having long sustained drives, not only does it keep the Bengals defense on the field, it keeps the Ravens defense on the bench, and more importantly keeps Carson Palmer and that high powered offense on the sidelines. Mark Clayton told me this week that the one big key for them is to convert on 3rd down and not get in 3rd and long situations.
  1. Find Ben Utecht: As much as the Bengals wide receiving corp gets talked about, and rightfully so, the off season addition of Ben Utecht was a big pickup for the Bengals.  Ben will be a big part of what the Bengals will do today. He may not finish with 100+ yards or three touchdowns, but he will be the guy to come up with some key catches for the Ravens. He will become to Carson Palmer what Dallas Clark is to Peyton Manning. A guy who can line up almost any where and make that big reception for them. He will also cause match up problems for the Ravens defense.
  1. Get to Carson: With Kelly Gregg doubtful for this game, and Haloti Ngata still nursing a knee injury, it will be key but a little harder for the Ravens to get pressure on Palmer. Terrell Suggs will have his hands full with his former Sun Devil friend Levi Jones. Trevor Pryce will be a key to getting after Palmer and applying the pressure. Palmer will stand in the pocket and make you pay if you do not get to him quick enough. The linebacking corp of the Ravens can not be overly aggressive because that is when Ben Utecht and Chris Perry will hurt them in the passing game. Ravens have to get to Carson, hit him, knock him down, and not let him get comfortable in the pocket.
  1. Don’t play their game: It is no secret Chad Ocho Cinco loves to talk trash while he is on the field. TJ Houshmandzadeh can also do some good trash talking. Ocho Cinco has already made it known that he is going to be yelping at Dawan Landry and Bart Scott all day. Scott, Landry, and Chris McAlister, can not afford to let the talk get the best of them and get penalties for late hits. This is a game that Cinco, and Houshmandzadeh, will play with the Ravens and try to get them to retaliate.
  1. Special teams has to be special: It would be huge for the Ravens offense today if the special teams unit can give them a short field to work with. With a rookie quarterback, and injuries on the offense, the last thing they need is to have to be trying to go 60-80 yards ever offensive drive. On the other side of the coin, it will be huge for the special teams to force the Bengals to have to go 60-80 yards. The Bengals have the weapons that given the short field they will make you pay quickly, or get in position for Shayne Graham to give them points.
Final prediction: Bengals 27 – Ravens 20

Comments Off on Ravens – Bengals 6-pack

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

Casey’s ‘Six Pack’ preview for Ravens-Falcons

Posted on 28 August 2008 by caseywillett

So as the Ravens get ready for their final preseason game tonight versus the Falcons, here are six things to watch for. I guess we will call them Casey’s Six-Pack:
 
  1. O-line reunited – For the first time this preseason, the offensive line is expected to be back together with Adam Terry and Jared Gaither both likely to play tonight. It will be interesting to watch how they gel with Jason Brown, Marshal Yanda and Ben Grubbs after missing so much time. I expect that they will stay out there longer than usually expected for a fourth preseason game.
 
  1. Tight Ends – Todd Heap and Dan Wilcox will be on the field together tonight for the first time this preseason and the first time in a while. They are both coming back from injuries and will get some time with the first team offense tonight. Wilcox made his comeback last week and looked pretty good. Tonight will be another stepping stone on his road to recovery. I would imagine he will stay out there a little longer than Heap tonight. Also keep an eye on the guys know battling for that third tight end position. Adam Bergen will probably see the field first then you I imagine you will see Edgar Jones and Keith Heinrich.
 
 
  1. The Joe Show – Tonight Joe Flacco will see a lot of reps. While I do not think he will play the entire game, here is another chance for him to show what he can do and earn even more respect from his teammates. I think Joe will pass the test tonight with flying colors. Later in the game I expect you will see Casey Bramlet come in and run some of Cam Cameron’s offense.
 
  1. 3rd down stoppage  – The Ravens have allowed their opponents to convert 50% on 3rd downs this preseason which is why teams have racked up 67 first downs against them. Stopping teams on 3rd down has been an issue for this team during the preseason. They cannot allow teams to sustain long drives on them whether they lead to three or six points.
 
 
  1. Limit the air attack – The Ravens secondary, in particular Cory Ivy and Frank Walker, have been picked on a bunch this preseason. Not having Ed Reed, Chris McAlister or Samari Rolle factors into that, but how confident are you that they will be there all together during the regular season? The Ravens have allowed 607 yards through the air this preseason at a 58% completion rate. Of the 112 passes that have been attempted against the Ravens so far, 82 of them have been short passes. The Ravens have to stop the air onslaught and be able to find a way to stop the no-huddle offense.
 
  1. Prove you belong – After tonight, about 20 members of this football team will no longer be members. Tonight is the final audition for the coaches, scouts, front office and people who will make the roster decisions by 4 p.m. on Saturday. For guys like Ronnie Prude and David Pittman, they have to take advantage of Derrick Martin not being able to play. Do guys like J’Vonne Parker, Adrein Clarke, Joe Reitz, Jameel McClain, Lorenzo Williams and several other guys do something tonight to make a case one way or another as it relates to making this team? Does an aging veteran like Gary Stills just get caught up in a salary cap and numbers game and become expendable? Can Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski, Allen Patrick, and other late-round draft picks feel confident in their spot on the team after tonight’s game? One thing is for certain: they have had all of a long camp and preseason to prove what they have. Here’s one last chance to prove tonight that they belong on this team.

Comments Off on Casey’s ‘Six Pack’ preview for Ravens-Falcons

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

AFC after 3 pre-season games Fantasy notes

Posted on 27 August 2008 by KZ

After three weeks of the pre-season….AFC Fantasy Football notes:

Buffalo Bills: Edwards beats out Losman! Is this the year the Bills take a step forward? Team still needs to find a TE. Lanston Walker injury could create issues.

Man of the Year: If it’s anyone besides Marshawn Lynch, this team is in a heap of trouble.

Bust of the Year: Josh Reed, the bills drafted James Hardy to finally take some pressure off Lee Evans.

Sleeper: Trent Edwards…teams will try and stop the run, which will give Edwards lots of opportunities to open things up.

Miami Dolphins: New coach…check….new QB…new General Manger…lots of things are new in Miami.

Man of the Year: Chad Pennington has a chance to make a huge difference.

Bust of the Year: Ricky Williams…can’t handle a full load…be careful in drafting him.

Sleeper: Ted Gin Jr…has the speed and moves to be a dynamic WR…but can he handle the pounding on his smallish frame.

New England Patriots: 18 and 1…does that 1 linger or is it a rallying point? Have teams figured out how to slow down Brady and Moss, like was done in the playoffs?

Man of the Year: Laurence Maroney will have to play a larger role in the offense this year.

Bust of the Year: Brady and Moss…both will be top 10 in their respective positions but just do not expect record setting years…I’d guess 35 to 40 TD’s for Brady and 15 TD’s for Moss.

Sleeper: I keep waiting for Ben Watson to have a breakout year…I think this is it.

New York Jets: It was actually a ho-hum camp for the Jets. Nothing really happened…well until a hall of fame to be QB came along and pushed expectations through the roof.

Man of the Year: How many wins is Brett Farve worth? I’d say to the Jets 4…so 8 – 8 would be a true miracle.

Bust of the Year: Brett Farve…yes he is the man also, but this is not Green Bay…28 TD’s would amaze me. He is still the gun slinger, so 24 TD’s and 20 INT’s is a possibility.

Sleeper: Jesse Chatman…with T. Jones now 30 and injury to him would open the door for a pretty decent Chatman.

 

 

Denver Broncos: Shanny’s back, back again, Shanny’s back, tell a friend. Everyone’s favorite Fantasy coach is back again to torment us all.

Man of the Year: Jay Cutler will be a top 8 QB this year.

Bust of the year: Selvin Young…3 or 4 RB’s will start for Denver this year…and usually the first guy up is the last guy in total yards.

Sleeper: Andre Hall and Anthony Alridge…they will start at some point this year…worth a flyer.

Kansas City Chiefs: Something tells me this team may be Fantasy friendly this year…Croyle starts at QB, LJ is back and healthy, Gonzo is well Gonzo…what’s not to like? Revamped OLINE! Dwayne Bowe is a legit WR…oh now I see it…Davard Darling is the other WR and Herm Edwards is still the coach.

Man of the year: It does not seem to matter who the QB is Tony Gonzales gets his catches, but will TD’s be a problem this year?

Bust of the Year: With Croyle at QB, LARRY JOHNSON, healthy or not, is going to see a lot of 8 and 9 man fronts.

Sleeper: Jackie Battle…he is a big 6’3, 238 bruising back who can get into the hole quickly…If LJ goes down…keep an eye on him.

Oakland Raiders: This is a young team with a ton of untapped talent on the offensive side of the ball and a defense that is better than people think.

Man of the Year: JaMarcus Russell is essentially a rookie but the Raiders will go as far as he can take them.

Bust of the Year: Darren Mcfadden is not Adrian Peterson, he simply is not.

Sleeper: Ronald Curry could have 70 catches and 8 TD’s this year.

San Diego Chargers: Injured players return to lead the Bolts! Rivers, Gates and LT all back after disappointing end to 2007.

Man of the Year: LT is still the best player in the NFL

Bust of the Year: Vincent Jackson has untapped potential at WR…it remains untapped.

Sleeper: Legedu Naanee I can see him replacing Jackson in the lineup by mid-season.

 

 

 

Baltimore Ravens: A pre-season that leaves the team with more questions than answers. Who is the QB, RB, CB, TE…and so on and so forth.

Man of the Year: JOE FLACCO will be the starter by week 5 at the latest.

Bust of the Year: Willis McGahee…I said early on something worried me about him.

Sleeper: Yamon Figures will have a huge impact in the return game and will be given a shot at WR.

Cincinnati Bengals: Rudi is not ready, Chad is hurting and did I read that Chris Henry was resigned? WOW!

Man of the Year: Carson Palmer is a top 5 QB. He will have to throw a lot with the RB situation unsettled.

Bust of the Year: Chad Johnson is hurting…and it’s not going to get better.

Sleeper: Jerome Simpson WR…with Johnson and TJ banged up Simpson should get a chance this season and I think he is special.

Cleveland Browns: Huge expectations for the Browns this year. Can Anderson duplicate the first 10 games from 2007 for an entire year? Can Jamal continue his revival?

Man of the Year: Braylon Edwards is a top 5 WR and getting better!

Bust of the Year: Derek Anderson is being drafted like a top 6 QB, he will be lucky to be a top 12 guy.

Sleeper: Brady Quinn will start at some point this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Why is this team being overlooked again this year? Best balance of any team in the division.

Man of the Year: Ben Roethlisberger…did you know Big Ben threw 32 TD’s last year? Well, he throws 35 this year.

Bust of the Year: Rashard Mendenhall is going to be a solid if not great NFL RB, but just not this year…Willie Parker is still the man in Pittsburgh.

Sleeper: Limas Sweed..Ben wanted a big receiver and he got a really good one.

Houston Texans: Can they find a RB? Can Andre Johnson stay healthy, can the defense continue to improve.

Man of the Year: Andre Johnson will lead the league in receptions and yards if he plays 16 games this year.

Bust of the Year: Kevin Walter is currently number two on the depth chart, he finishes 4th.

Sleeper: Jacoby Jones for the second year in a row…

Indianapolis Colts: The only question is…Manning’s knee and how healthy will it be. Jeff Saturday the leader of the OLINE may be out a long period of time as well.

Man of the Year: Joseph Addai has to be the man and take pressure of Manning early in the season.

Bust of the Year: Anthony Gonzales has lots of potential but a healthy Marvin Harrison will curtail his production this year.

Sleeper: Roy Hall…if Harrison get hurt this year..Hall will get some time.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Can they finally win the division? They appear to have all the pieces in place.

Man of the Year: David Garrard has to continue to be efficient and effective in 2008.

Bust of the Year: Troy Williamson is simply not that good.

Sleeper: Matt Jones had a great camp…and has earned his chance to play.

Tennessee Titans: Can Vince Young reduce the turnovers? That is the question for this team. They have a solid defense a good running game, but need VY to take care of the ball better…9 -17 TD to INT ratio will not get it done.

Man of the Year: Vince Young…it is his team and he has to be a better on field leader.

Bust of the Year: LenDale White? I think he will have a good year, but all this Chris Johnson talk has me worried a bit.

Sleeper: Justin McCariens has the size and speed to be exactly what VY needs.

Have a question? go to www.fansfantasyfootball.com

Comments Off on AFC after 3 pre-season games Fantasy notes

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

Some Sleepers and Busts for your viewing!!!

Posted on 07 August 2008 by KZ

2008 Fans Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts

Sleepers:

Now this list is long…but it’s complete

QUARTERBACKS:

Kurt Warner – he has to start at some point doesn’t he?
Jason Campbell – I am not a big fan, but can’t argue with his completion percentage
Alex Smith – 4000 yard QB’s seem to follow Martz around

RUNNING BACKS:

Reggie Bush – He can’t be that bad can he?
Thomas Jones – good line, good WR’s…a better TE will all help
Jesse Chatman – seems to always have a good run for a few games…handcuff to Jones?
Tim Hightower – everyone’s buzzing about him…Edge has to slow down at some point…
Andre Hall – RB’s that play in Denver…enough said!
Pierre Thomas – If Deuce is not healthy he could surprise.
Lamont Jordan – vulture supreme?
The rookies: Ray Rice, Jonathan Stewart and Steve Slaton all could get a chance to shine this year!

WIDE RECEIVERS:

Calvin Johnson – he is going to be a stud in the NFL…is this the year?
Chris Chambers – With Gates not 100% someone has to catch the ball.
Rashied Davis – Devin Hester is not a starting WR in the NFL…sorry!
Bryant Johnson – If Alex Smith throws for 4000 yards…someone has to catch the ball
Eddie Royal – could surprise if he gets a chance.

TIGHT ENDS:

Greg Olsen – fast, smart…just a matter of time
Alge Crumpler – in a TE oriented system now…will be VY’s best friend if stays healthy
LJ Smith – Health is the only thing holding him back
Ben Patrick – Size, hands, speed…has the tools…
Will Heller – again has the tools…in a passing system.

BUSTS:

John Kitna – Martz is gone…so are 4000 yards
Eli Manning – 23 td’s and 20 ints…Super Bowl winning QB, which stats help you in fantasy more?
Derek Anderson – He may be OK, but he is not a top 5 QB!
Willis McGahee – Something scares me about him in 2008
Jamal Lewis – There is no such thing as a fountain of youth..I see a drop off
Julius Jones – I just don’t see stud RB..plus will his TD’s be vulture?
Bobby Engram – no way he duplicates 2007
Roddy White – may have a ROOKIE QB throwing to him for a long part of the year.
Desmond Clark – They drafted Mr. Olsen for a reason
Randy McMichael – never could count on him, why start now

KICKERS:

Rob Bironas – He can’t duplicate 2007…no way…good kicker, but do not overvalue him

MARQUES COLSTON AWARD NOMINEES

MARCUS MONK (WR) – 6’4” 212 ran a 4.41 in his pro-day…plays in CHICAGO…
JACOB TAMME (TE) – If Dallas Clark goes down…watch out for this guy!

JOSH MORGAN (WR) – If he makes the team in SF…could surprise!

COULD GO EITHER WAY…could be a sleeper…could be a bust…flip a coin:

RONNIE BROWN – coming off of ACL surgery, had a great start to 2007…has RICKY WILLIAMS looming…???

Go to www.fansfantasyfootball.com

for all your Fantasy Football needs!

Comments Off on Some Sleepers and Busts for your viewing!!!