Tag Archive | "bills"

Ravens prepared to contain Bills’ Manuel, read option

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Ravens prepared to contain Bills’ Manuel, read option

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens spent time throughout the offseason preparing to stop the read option after the offensive attack took the league by storm during the 2012 season.

According to defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the Ravens spent every other day during organized team activities and training camp completing a read-option period during practices to prepare themselves for matchups like Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to take on rookie quarterback EJ Manuel and standout running back C.J. Spiller. Under new head coach Doug Marrone, the Bills’ have used the read option at points during their first three games, giving the Ravens their first look at the wide-open rushing attack since facing San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII last February.

“You enjoy a challenge. If you’re a football player, you don’t want the same thing every week,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “You want a little different [offense], and we love that we get the opportunity again to play against one of these up-and-coming quarterbacks [and] dual threat like EJ Manuel. It’s going to be a challenge.”

The Bills’ version of the read option appears to be working well on the surface with their rushing attack ranked fifth in the NFL, but the transition has been a work in progress as Manuel and Spiller haven’t always made proper reads and the offensive line’s blocking has been suspect. Of particular concern is Spilller, who is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry after averaging an astonishing 6.0 yards per rushing attempt a year ago.

Fortunately for Buffalo, backup Fred Jackson has picked up the slack by running for 169 yards on 32 carries, making him another dangerous weapon to watch for when the Bills try to run the read option. Patience and following one’s assignment is the key to slowing the novelty offense that hasn’t found the same success this season around the league as it did last year.

“Have good eyes,” said Pees, who credited mobile backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor for giving the Ravens a good look in practices. “That’s the No. 1 thing. When you’re playing any kind of option team, when you start looking at things you shouldn’t look at, that’s when you get beat. If I’ve got the quarterback, my eyes have got to be on the quarterback. It’s a little bit like in coverage. Most of the time when a guy gets beat in coverage, it’s because of the eyes.”

Manuel was sacked an astonishing eight times in the Bills’ loss to the Jets last Sunday, so the Ravens will be licking their chops to make life miserable for the rookie quarterback. However, pocket containment will be vitally important as Manuel is a bigger threat to take off and run compared to the three starting quarterbacks the Ravens have faced so far this season.

The Florida State product has carried 13 times for 76 yards in three games, but the Ravens rank sixth in the league with 11 sacks.

“You just definitely have to make sure we can contain him every time,” linebacker Daryl Smith said. “If whoever is coming off the edge, whether it’s an end or linebacker, if they take the inside move, the quarterback definitely can escape and has the speed to get out and get the first down or do whatever he wants to do. We’ve been talking about it this week and definitely have a plan to make sure we always have edges on the defense.”

Looking for improvement from McKinnie

After appearing to be laboring during Wednesday’s practice, left tackle Bryant McKinnie appeared more active and mobile a day later as the Ravens hope to see improvement from the 34-year-old veteran.

The entire offensive line has struggled to block in the running game — an area that’s never been McKinnie’s biggest strength — but the left tackle has struggled in pass protection the last two weeks and was flagged for two facemask penalties in the first half of the win over the Texans.

“There’s always a work in progress in that area, and I think he’s working at it, trying to get better at what he does,” said offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who emphasized a need for everyone — including him — to improve. “He’s a professional and he’s trying to improve every single day. [Run-game coordinator Juan Castillo] does a great job with those guys. They work and they work extremely hard. I think Juan is getting him to the point where he’s moving in the right direction.”

McKinnie’s three-year tenure in Baltimore has been bumpy to say the least as he didn’t start a game in the regular season last year and reported to training camp overweight this summer and was held out of the first day of practice for veterans.

Thompson in mix as kick returner

With Pro Bowl return specialist Jacoby Jones still sidelined with an MCL injury in his right knee and No. 3 running back Shaun Draughn dealing with a high ankle sprain, the Ravens could have a new face in the return game in Buffalo.

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson has practiced on a limited basis for two straight days and is listed as the Ravens’ backup kickoff returner behind Jones on the depth chart. In his rookie season, the speedy wideout served as the kick returner before a critical fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.

“Deonte demonstrated a year ago that he has the skills to do that,” said Rosburg, referring to Thompson’s 25.9 yard per return average in 15 attempts. “He’s had success, too, and he understands it. He’d probably be pretty excited about that opportunity should it come his way.”

Should Draughn be inactive, the Ravens would likely turn to either Thompson or fellow wide receiver Tandon Doss, who returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown last week.

Ravens glad Miles now on their side

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg smiled when asked about the acquisition of former Cincinnati safety Jeromy Miles off waivers earlier this week.

A rookie free agent from the University of Massachusetts in 2010, the fourth-year safety can play in all phases of special teams and would figure to play a prominent role considering rookie safety Brynden Trawick was active for all of the Ravens’ first three games. With Miles serving as a prominent special-teams player in the Bengals’ units, the Ravens were very familiar with him.

“We’ve had to block Jeromy Miles for the last few years,” Rosburg said. “We’ve had him blocking us the last few years. We’re excited he’s on our team doing those things for us, because he’s been a force in our division. We’re really happy he’s on our team.”

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

More vile than the “Teen Mom” turning her private parts into a sex toy.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)

Is it too late for Greg Schiano to throw his name in for the Texas job?

30. Oakland Raiders (28)

Matt Flynn might throw for 400 against the Redskins.

29. Minnesota Vikings (25)

I heard that next year they’re going to play a NFL game in London!

28. Cleveland Browns (31)

We live in a strange world.

27. Buffalo Bills (26)

Still likely a tough test Sunday.

26. New York Jets (29)

Not buying it.

25. Arizona Cardinals (24)

At least they have all of their finge…nevermind.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (23)

This is really bad team.

23. Washington Redskins (22)

This is also a really bad team.

22. New York Giants (17)

This is a really bad team as well.

21. Carolina Panthers (27)

That’s a hell of a win over a really bad team.

20. St. Louis Rams (19)

But you don’t get the feeling they can’t beat San Fran.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (15)

They should be thankful there are a lot of bad teams in this league.

18. San Diego Chargers (18)

Given all of the bad around the league, I won’t drop them for a loss.

17. Detroit Lions (21)

Big test with Chicago coming to Ford Field.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator MMA (Friday 9pm from Portland, OR live on SpikeTV); Boxing: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Bryan Vera/Adonis Stevenson vs. Tavoris Cloud (Saturday 10:15pm from Carson, CA/Montreal live on HBO); Golf: Champions Tour First Tee Open at Pebble Beach (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7pm from Monterey Peninsula, CA live on Golf Channel); College Basketball: All teams allowed to begin practice (Friday)

10. Ke$ha (Friday 8pm Pier Six Pavilion); Sunday In The Country feat. Gary Allan, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, The Henningsens (Sunday 1pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Lionel Richie (Wednesday 8pm Patriot Center), Atoms For Peace (Monday 8pm Patriot Center); Rascal Flatts (Saturday 5pm Jiffy Lube Live); Reel Big Fish (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Carbon Leaf (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Kix (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Live); Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Thursday 8pm 8×10 Club); The Unlikely Candidates (Wednesday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Wild Feathers (Sunday 12pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Friday 8pm Howard Theatre); Walk The Moon (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), ZZ Ward/The Wild Feathers (Saturday 5:30pm 9:30 Club), Bastille (Saturday 10pm 9:30 Club); Joe Satriani (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre), Earth, Wind & Fire (Sunday 8pm Warner Theatre); Rock The Bells feat. Kendrick Lamar/Wale/Wu-Tang Clan/Kid Cudi/J. Cole/Bone Thugs N Harmony (Saturday & Sunday RFK Stadium); Jack Johnson (Wednesday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); KT Tunstall (Saturday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Biffy Clyro/Morning Parade (Sunday 8pm U Street Music Hall); Kings of Leon “Mechanical Bull” and Drake “Nothing Was The Same” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I wish Carbon Leaf played here once a week…

If for some reason you’re not legally allowed to come to the Bryant McKinnie Show Wednesday night, go see Unlikely Candidates…

Would you guys be so upset if I skipped the Creative Deck Designs pregame show to catch The Wild Feathers in Annapolis Sunday instead?

Kind of a big record for KOL. They don’t want to be the band that was SUPPOSED to be the biggest thing ever.

9. Kevin Nealon (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv); “Don Jon” out in theaters (Friday); “Iron Man 3″ available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Season TV Premieres: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Tuesday 8pm ABC), “Modern Family” (Wednesday 9pm ABC), “South Park” (Wednesday 10pm Comedy Central), “Parks and Recreation” (Thursday 8pm NBC), “Saturday Night Live” (Saturday 11:30pm NBC), “The Simpsons” (Sunday 8pm FOX), “Bob’s Burgers” (Sunday 8:30pm FOX), “Family Guy” (Sunday 9pm FOX), “American Dad” (Sunday 9:30pm FOX); St. Demetrios Greek Festival (Thursday-Sunday Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church); “The Gathering: Food Truck Rally” (Thursday 5pm Maryland Historical Society, Friday 5pm McHenry Row); Baltimore Book Festival (Friday-Sunday Mt. Vernon Place); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds)

Don’t be surprised to see me poke over to the Greek Festival this weekend for a lot of THIS.

It’s good that Parks & Recreation is coming back. I need more time to prepare my Bert Macklin costume for Halloween.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens add former Bills guard Howard

Posted on 25 July 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The roster additions kept coming Wednesday afternoon as the Ravens added former Buffalo guard Cord Howard to build depth along the offensive line at the start of training camp.

An undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech in 2010, Howard spent his rookie season in Buffalo before spending last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He played in 10 games and started four for the Bills during his rookie season.

The 6-foor-4, 314-pound guard is likely a depth move for training camp as the Ravens now have the maximum 90 players on their preseason roster.

Howard joins linebackers Ricky Brown and Darryl Blackstock as roster additions on the eve of the first full-squad workout scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Size Matters And I Won’t Stop Saying It

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Your Monday Reality Check-Size Matters And I Won’t Stop Saying It

Posted on 23 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Remember the guy who scribbled what (at least looking back on it) was nearly a love letter to San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd last summer?

Remember the guy who pounded on the desk for days during his first full week as host of “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net about how much he wanted to see the Baltimore Ravens add Floyd to their receiving corps for 2011?

Remember the guy who received ridicule for not being excited (and frankly showing a level of discontent) after the Ravens failed to acquire Floyd and instead dealt for Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans?

The name’s Glenn Clark. It’s good to talk to you again. In case you were wondering, I haven’t stopped bitching about the need for the Ravens to add size to their receiving corps.

After a relatively quiet start to the 2012 NFL Offseason, the Ravens will absolutely add players this week. The Ravens have eight picks in this weekend’s NFL Draft, and will have the opportunity to address both depth and need over the course of the weekend. Fans and analysts have debated the order of the team’s needs, largely agreeing that Offensive Line, Interior Linebacker, Pass Rusher, Running Back, Safety, Wide Receiver and Kick/Punt Returner tend to make up the list.

I don’t particularly care what order the Ravens use to rank their own needs. As we all know, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and company won’t suddenly move away from the “best player available” philosophy that has worked so well for them in recent years.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that at some point during the course of the weekend the team will draft at least one receiver.

My rallying cry will remain the same. When they do, they need to find a receiver who can get up and get the football.

In 2011, six of the top seven total offenses in the National Football League included a significant contributor (either at WR or TE) who stood at least 6’5″ or taller. The other team (the Philadelphia Eagles) had a 6’4″ TE target in Brent Celek.

The Baltimore Ravens have two tight ends (Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson) who are both listed at 6’4″ but who have been unable to establish themselves as legitimate red zone threats at the pro level. This has at least something to do with why the Ravens managed to score TD’s on just 50% of their trips to the red zone in 2011, a mark good enough for only 18th in the NFL.

(The lack of a singular red zone receiving target isn’t necessarily the ONLY reason why the Ravens have struggled to score TD’s in the red zone, but it’s hard to fathom mutual exclusivity here.)

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Defensive end Mark Anderson visits Ravens, scheduled to meet with Bills

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Luke Jones

Trying to boost their pass rush this offseason, the Ravens welcomed free-agent defensive end Mark Anderson to visit the team’s Owings Mills facility on Tuesday.

After collecting 10 sacks with the New England Patriots in 2011, Anderson has received plenty of interest on the open market a week into free agency. In addition to the Patriots trying to maintain his services, the 28-year-old defensive end had already visited Miami and Tennessee before arriving in Baltimore on Tuesday.

Attempts to reach Anderson’s representatives were unsuccessful, and the Buffalo Bills announced team officials were meeting with Anderson on Tuesday night before he was scheduled to visit the Bills’ facility on Wednesday.

In six seasons, Anderson has collected 35 1/2 sacks in stints with the Bears, Texans, and Patriots. Though he started only one game last season, his presence as a pass rusher was a valuable asset to the Patriots, especially after veteran Andre Carter went down with a season-ending injury. The Ravens would likely use the 255-pound defensive end as a situational pass rusher as well as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 base defense.

Anderson is a product of the University of Alabama, making him likely to hit it off with Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome. However, that common strand didn’t seem to help the Ravens land free-agent guard Evan Mathis, who chose to remain with the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend.

And like Mathis, Anderson appears to have left town without an agreement in place.

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Broncos SB Odds Improve, Ravens Drop After Start of Free Agency

Posted on 19 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Peyton Manning Odds

Peyton Manning – Total Passing Yards in the 2012 Regular Season? 

Over/Under                    4000    

Peyton Manning – Total TD Passes in the 2012 Regular Season?       

Over/Under                    28½

Peyton Manning – Completion % in the 2012 Regular Season?          

Over/Under                    65%

Peyton Manning – Total Interceptions in the 2012 Regular Season?   

Over/Under                    16½

Peyton Manning – Will his first pass of the season be complete, incomplete, or an Interception?

Complete                      -180     (5/9)

Incomplete                    +150     (3/2)

Interception                   +1000   (10/1)

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 NFL MVP?           

Yes                              7/1       

Peyton Manning – Will he win 2012 Comeback Player of the Year?   

Yes                              1/1       

Tim Tebow Odds

Tim Tebow – Which team will he be on for Week 1 of the Regular Season?     

Jacksonville Jaguars                  3/2

Denver Broncos                         7/4

Miami Dolphins                          7/4

New England Patriots                 7/1

Cleveland Browns                       12/1

Tim Tebow – Will he start as a QB in the NFL Week 1 of the Regular Season?          

Yes                  EVEN  

No                    -140     

Broncos Odds

Denver Broncos – Regular Season Wins         

Over                              10        

Will the Denver Broncos play against The New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl?           

Yes                              50/1     

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC?

Yes                              6/1

Will the Denver Broncos win the AFC West?

Yes                              2/3

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS  (odds current, 3/19/2012)                  (odds on 2/6/2012)

Green Bay Packers                                13/2                                          6/1

New England Patriots                             15/2                                          7/1

New Orleans Saints                               10/1                                          8/1

Denver Broncos                                     12/1                                          50/1

Houston Texans                                     12/1                                          12/1

San Francisco 49ers                              14/1                                          18/1

Baltimore Ravens                                   15/1                                          14/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                15/1                                          12/1

New York Giants                                    16/1                                          15/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                                18/1                                          12/1

Dallas Cowboys                                     20/1                                          18/1

San Diego Chargers                               22/1                                          16/1

Chicago Bears                                       25/1                                          30/1

Detroit Lions                                          25/1                                          18/1

Atlanta Falcons                                     28/1                                          22/1

New York Jets                                       30/1                                          16/1

Carolina Panthers                                  40/1                                          50/1

Cincinnati Bengals                                 40/1                                          40/1

Miami Dolphins                                      40/1                                          35/1

Seattle Seahawks                                  40/1                                          60/1

Arizona Cardinals                                   50/1                                          30/1

Kansas City Chiefs                                50/1                                          50/1

Oakland Raiders                                    50/1                                          50/1

Tennessee Titans                                   50/1                                          40/1

Washington Redskins                            50/1                                          60/1

Buffalo Bills                                           75/1                                          60/1

St. Louis Rams                                      75/1                                          75/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                         75/1                                          75/1

Indianapolis Colts                                   100/1                                        50/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                               100/1                                        100/1

Minnesota Vikings                                 100/1                                        75/1

Cleveland Browns                                   150/1                                        100/1

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

“Our Super Bowl odds have been down for a couple weeks until we knew where Peyton would go since this signing would have such a huge impact on every team’s odds.  Denver who we had at 50-1 before we closed the odds have dropped to 12-1 and as I expected the public is taking them regardless as soon as we opened this morning.  We were a bit lucky that Denver came out of nowhere in the Manning Sweepstakes so not too many people bet them at 50-1.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

 

 

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Ravens Among Super Bowl XLVII Favorites

Posted on 06 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Included below are 2013 Super Bowl odds, updated odds on where Peyton Manning ends up, and a quote from Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, Kevin Bradley on why next season’s SB odds where so tough to make.

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS

 

Green Bay Packers                    6/1

 

New England Patriots                 7/1

 

New Orleans Saints                   8/1

 

Philadelphia Eagles                    12/1

 

Pittsburgh Steelers                    12/1

 

Houston Texans                         12/1

 

Baltimore Ravens                       14/1

 

New York Giants                        15/1

 

San Diego Chargers                   16/1

 

New York Jets                           16/1

 

San Francisco 49ers                  18/1

 

Dallas Cowboys                         18/1

 

Detroit Lions                              18/1

 

Atlanta Falcons                         22/1

 

Chicago Bears                           30/1

 

Arizona Cardinals                       30/1

 

Miami Dolphins                          35/1

 

Cincinnati Bengals                     40/1

 

Indianapolis Colts                       50/1

 

Tennessee Titans                       40/1

 

Oakland Raiders                        50/1

 

Carolina Panthers                      50/1

 

Denver Broncos                         50/1

 

Kansas City Chiefs                    50/1

 

Seattle Seahawks                      60/1

 

Buffalo Bills                               60/1

 

Washington Redskins                60/1

 

Minnesota Vikings                     75/1

 

St. Louis Rams                          75/1

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers             75/1

 

Cleveland Browns                       100/1

 

Jacksonville Jaguars                   100/1

 

What team will Peyton Manning be a member of for game 1 of the 2013 Regular Season?

 

Arizona Cardinals                       2/1

 

Washington Redskins                5/2

 

Miami Dolphins                          3/1

 

New York Jets                           7/2

 

Indianapolis Colts                       7/1

 

“With Peyton Manning’s situation it has made setting next year’s Super Bowl Odds very difficult and a reason you will see teams like Arizona and Miami at lower odds than what they would be in case Manning signs there.  As for the Colts, even though there is a slim chance he stays they are at 50-1 but if he does leave will shoot up to around 100-1 and if stays would drop down to around 15-1, just goes to show the importance of a guy like Peyton.”

 

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.

In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-Adam Sandler (Actor)

-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)

-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)

-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)

-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)

-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)

-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)

-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)

-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)

-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)

-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)

-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)

-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)

-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)

-David Feherty (Golf Channel)

-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)

-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)

-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)

-Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
-Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
-Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)

-Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)

-Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)

-Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
-Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
-Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
-Peter King (SI/NBC)
-Lesley Visser (CBS)
-Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
-Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)

-Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
-Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)

(More on Page 2…)

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Harbaugh Named Salute to Service Award Finalist

Posted on 30 January 2012 by WNST Staff

NEW YORK – With Super Bowl XLVI around the corner and the spotlight on the field, the NFL is recognizing excellence off the field by announcing today the two finalists for the League’s inaugural Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to members of the U.S. military and their families, is the NFL’s first Official Military Appreciation Sponsor.

Tennessee Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. The first Salute to Service Award will be presented to one of the finalists at the inaugural NFL Honors event that will air on NBC Saturday, February 4 at 9 PM ET. In addition, a $25,000 contribution will be made by USAA in the winner’s honor to the aid societies representing all five military branches.

“We should never take for granted the tremendous sacrifices made daily by our nation’s military,” said Steve Speakes, executive vice president of USAA’s external affairs and a retired Army lieutenant general. “Together with the NFL, we are launching the Salute to Service Award as a way to recognize those in the NFL community who appreciate and honor that sacrifice, enrich the lives of military members and encourage others to do the same.”

An ardent backer of the military in his 52 years as owner, Bud Adams’ enthusiasm for the military began with his service in the U.S. Navy from 1942-46.  His commitment to supporting the military followed him and the franchise to Tennessee where he focused his efforts on recognizing the service men and women of nearby Fort Campbell, home to the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, as well as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) and the 5th Special Forces Group (Green Berets).

Since 1999, more than 11,000 Fort Campbell soldiers have been guests of Adams at Titans home games, and it’s very common for Adams to host military members in his suite and award game balls as a tribute to their service. Adams’ support at Fort Campbell includes directing the team to make several visits during the year where Titans players, cheerleaders, and staff can participate in autograph sessions at the PX, greet patients at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, provide programs to the on-base middle school and visit with the on-base high school football team.

Similarly, John Harbaugh’s dedication includes frequent base visits, and he relishes interaction with the military community. His passion for supporting the troops was felt immediately by the Ravens’ organization after being named head coach in 2008. Harbaugh was the main driver in the team’s decision to institute a Military Appreciation Day, an annual event which was established during his first training camp with the team. Since then, an estimated 2,000 service members have enjoyed preferred seating and opportunities to meet with players and coaches during Ravens’ camp.

Away from the field, Harbaugh often recruits Ravens players and coaches to join him during base visits, and even took members of his team to the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, Calif., last December in the middle of the Ravens’ playoff run. He has also spent significant time and funds putting together care packages for soldiers overseas, and caches of school supplies for military families.

In December, 22 NFL clubs nominated for this award coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel who best demonstrated support for the military community. The submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:

*         Roger Staubach, Naval Academy graduate, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl MVP

*         Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion

*         Rocky Bleier, U.S. Army veteran, four-time Super Bowl champion

*         Jim Mora, Sr., Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach

*         General Stephen Speakes, U.S. Army veteran, USAA executive vice president

*         Eric Grubman, Naval Academy graduate, executive vice president-NFL Ventures and Business Operations

“Bud and John’s efforts demonstrate how members of the NFL family can inspire us both on and off the field,” said Roger Staubach. “Their service to the military community is a reminder that we can never do enough to show our appreciation for all the men and women in uniform who defend and protect us.”

All Salute to Service nominees are listed below:

KS Bud Adams Jr. Tennessee Titans Founder, Owner, Chairman of the Board

Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings Defensive End

Jason Baker Carolina Panthers Punter

Tom Coughlin New York Giants Head Coach

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Kris Dielman San Diego Chargers Left Guard

Mark Dominik Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager

Anthony Fasano Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver

Mike Flood Seattle Seahawks Vice President, Community Relations & Special Projects

Drayton Florence Buffalo Bills Defensive Back

John Harbaugh Baltimore Ravens Head Coach

Robert Wood Johnson IV New York Jets Chairman & CEO

Gary Kubiak Houston Texans Head Coach

Lonie Paxton Denver Broncos Long Snapper

Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers Strong Safety

Marco Rivera Green Bay Packers Guard (Retired)

Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns Offensive Lineman

Charles Tillman Chicago Bears Cornerback

Chad Walker Detroit Lions Community Affairs Coordinator

Washington Redskins Cheerleaders

Roddy White Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver

Kurt Wisenbaugh Jacksonville Jaguars Manager, Events and Game Operations

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