Tag Archive | "bryant mckinnie"

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Rice practices for second straight day; Marlon Brown returns to field

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens’ injury picture continued to improve on Thursday as running back Ray Rice practiced for the second straight day and starting wide receiver Marlon Brown returned to the field after a one-day absence.

Rice (hip flexor strain) worked on a limited basis Wednesday and was moving very well during the open portion of Thursday’s practice, making it very likely that the Pro Bowl running back will return to action Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. The 26-year-old missed his first game since his 2008 rookie season this past Sunday.

“Anytime that you have Ray [Rice] on the field … He’s a game-breaker. Not only in terms of being able to run the ball, which we all know and understand, but also in the passing game. He’s like lighting in a bottle. Having him certainly opens things up. You have to be concerned about him, and he feels good right now, so things are going well.”

Brown did not participate on Wednesday and is dealing with a neck injury, but he was a full participant during Thursday’s practice as he’s filled a significant role in the offense with the absence of speedy wide receiver Jacoby Jones. Third-string running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) also returned to practice a day after sitting out but was moving slowly as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3.

In addition to Rice, defensive end Chris Canty (groin), linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral), and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) all practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day after missing this past Sunday’s game against Houston.

Offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot), rush specialist Pernell McPhee (knee), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and Jones (knee) did not participate in Thursday’s practice. Of those four, only McPhee would appear to have any real chance to play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie appeared to be moving around much better than he did on Wednesday when he took fewer reps than normal, but the veteran lineman wasn’t listed on Wednesday’s injury report.

After 10 Buffalo players did not practice on Wednesday, the Bills upgraded five of the sidelined to limited participant as wide receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring), cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Achilles), and defensive end Mario Williams (ankle) were all working on Thursday.

BALTIMORE
OUT: WR Jacoby Jones (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), LB/DE Pernell McPhee (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Arthur Brown (chest), DE Chris Canty (thigh), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (neck)

BUFFALO
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DB Ron Brooks (foot), DT Alex Carrington (quad), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (R. groin)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: FS Jarius Byrd (foot), DT Marcell Dareus (ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring), CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (Achilles), DE Mario Williams (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: G Doug Legursky (knee), RB C.J. Spiller (quad)

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McKinnie, J. Jones offer accounts of party bus incident

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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After a party bus altercation in Washington, D.C. that gained national attention on Monday, Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie and wide receiver Jacoby Jones offered their thoughts Wednesday night on what really happened during the offensive lineman’s birthday celebration early Monday morning.

McKinnie’s account doesn’t support the TMZ report saying Jones was struck in the head with a champagne bottle by an exotic dancer named Sweet Pea. The 34-year-old said on his weekly radio show with WNST.net that the TMZ source may have been paid for the story.

“He didn’t get hit over the head with a bottle,” McKinnie said. “You had a girl who managed to find her way on the bus at the end of the night. She wasn’t invited.”

Meanwhile, Jones took accountability for being present at the scene but insisted that there was no foul play on his part. The return specialist was ruled out for Sunday’s game as he continues to rehab the MCL injury he suffered in the season opener on Sept. 5.

Coach John Harbaugh said Jones was fine on Monday and took part in his normal schedule of activity after the police report said the wide receiver refused medical attention at the scene of the incident despite having a laceration.

“I’m going to take the responsibility that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Jones told WJZ-FM radio. “There was no altercation. There’s nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong, but I take responsibility for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enough said. I apologize to my teammates and everybody.”

McKinnie acknowledged that teammates and friends were present for the celebration but insisted there were no shenanigans involving adult entertainers for the night out in the nation’s capital.

The left tackle said the party bus attendees included “me, my teammates, and my friends that came in town for the game and for my birthday and stuff like that. Not any strippers. I don’t know where this came from.”

According to McKinnie, the Ravens had some fun at his and Jones’ expense during Wednesday’s practice as “Sweet Pea” by Tommy Roe was played during the workout.

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Flacco fires back at Lewis’ criticism of Ravens leadership

Posted on 25 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Starting quarterback Joe Flacco wasn’t the first to defend the Ravens’ current leadership in response to former teammate Ray Lewis’ criticism earlier in the week, but his words rang the loudest on Wednesday.

Responding to Lewis’ comments made on ESPN questioning the team’s current leaders in the aftermath of the party bus altercation that resulted in wide receiver Jacoby Jones being smashed in the head with a champagne bottle early Monday morning, Flacco defended the team’s recent track record when it comes to off-field behavior and downplayed how much leadership can influence what players do away from football.

“It is what it is. Ray knows better than that,” Flacco said. “Things happen. I think we’re usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there are probably a lot of leadership problems then. So, like I said, Ray knows better.”

No charges were filed and there is no evidence to suggest any player who attended left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s birthday celebration committed any crimes, making the story inconsequential in Flacco’s eyes.

Coach John Harbaugh addressed the incident with the entire team on Monday, warning the players of the dangers of being out in public late at night.

“When you get the information of what happened, it just is what it is,” Flacco said. “You laugh about it, kind of. It’s funny some of the things that we deal with. I don’t really have too many comments on it, because they’d all be taken the wrong way and out of context. But it’s not really an issue.”

While Flacco stood his ground and took Lewis’ comments to task, linebacker Terrell Suggs took a more apologetic stance for the man he teamed with the defensive side of the ball for a decade. Suggs suggested Lewis’ words were taken out of context even though he was on camera speaking freely in response to the news of the incident.

It’s possible that Suggs only read the transcript of Lewis’ words or wasn’t familiar with what Lewis actually said, but the Ravens had to know questions would be asked of Suggs on Wednesday.

“I guess it’s something that I’ll have to hear him say,” Suggs said. “We all know the media can ‘word-play’ [and] misconstrue things. We texted Ray this morning. It’s one guy’s opinion. Like I said, we don’t know what was actually said. You can never take anything for face value. If he says it in front of a camera, it’s a different thing.”

Understandably, Suggs shares a closer relationship with Lewis than Flacco does, but his response to his longtime teammate’s criticism didn’t have near the impact of the stance taken by the quarterback.

A transcript of Lewis’ comments from Monday night are below:

“We talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys that are based off leadership. I’ve said it earlier: ‘Where would the leadership come from?’ Because the leadership is being strong in the locker room and winning games. Listen, talent sometimes can win you games. But when you talk about what’s going on off the field, that’s the most important place where leadership steps up.

“When you think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they’re missing leadership right now. When you have an incident like that, the first thing a leader is going to do is find some way to dissolve everything that’s going on and actually dissolve it before it comes to that type of head or even gets to that point.

“When you talk about the Baltimore Ravens, they’re going to have to refocus and find some quick leaders in that locker room very quickly.”

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Pain plaguing Ravens offense starts with running game

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Pain plaguing Ravens offense starts with running game

Posted on 24 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

To see the Ravens offense struggle through the first three weeks of the 2013 season isn’t surprising — or at least it shouldn’t have been.

There’s no underselling the losses of tight end Dennis Pitta and wide receiver Anquan Boldin — the pillars on which quarterback Joe Flacco relied last season — and how they would impact the passing game in the early stages of the season. Growing pains were expected as Flacco is still developing chemistry with every pass-catching target not named Torrey Smith, but the Ravens figured they could rely on their running game more heavily, especially in the early stages of the season.

But the results haven’t been there. In fact, the Ravens have one of the worst running games in the NFL through the first three weeks of the season in averaging just 2.6 yards per carry, ranking 31st in the league and only ahead of 0-3 Jacksonville. With Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, highly-regarded backup Bernard Pierce, and Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach in tow, there’s simply no excuse for the overall lack of production.

“It’s going to be important, and we have the people to do it,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve got some big, strong, tough offensive lineman, and we have really good backs. Our fullback [Vonta Leach] is the best blocking fullback in the league. The run game is something that has to happen for us.”

But it hasn’t and there have been a number of factors working against the Ravens through the early stages of the season. It would be unfair to overlook the fronts the Ravens have played as Denver, Cleveland, and Houston all rank in the top 5 in rushing yards per attempt surrendered. Expecting Baltimore to be gashing opponents in the running game would be unreasonable, but it still doesn’t excuse such an ineffective ground attack.

The absence of reliable targets in the passing game has prompted opposing defense to often play an extra defender in the box, creating problems when it comes to the simple number of blockers against defenders. Whether attempting to run to set up the pass or to throw to open up the running game, the Ravens have been spinning their wheels more often than not with an offense ranking 30th in total yards and 20th in passing yards. It’s the old chicken-or-the-egg question in which the Ravens are trying to figure out whether their passing game can breathe life into the running game or vice versa.

The Ravens are working with a new center in second-year lineman Gino Gradkowski, who replaced the retired Matt Birk and is responsible for making the calls for blocking assignments at the line of scrimmage. Besides the void in leadership, the Ravens have also been challenged up the middle by beefier defensive linemen against the undersized Gradkowski.

And Baltimore is even dealing with a new voice on the coaching staff as run-game coordinator Juan Castillo is running the show for the offensive line and the implementation of his inside zone blocking schemes appears to be a mixed bag at best thus far.

But the Ravens’ problems in the running game run deeper than the aforementioned variables as even reliable run blockers such as Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Michael Oher have struggled more than you’d typically expect so far.

“We do feel like we understand it and we’re working on it,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that it can be corrected. We’re not getting the production from the run game that we should, but we also feel like we’re on our way to getting that done. We just have to do it; you just have to go out there and get it done.”

A look back at the Ravens’ performance in the running game against Houston makes it difficult to pinpoint one specific problem above the rest. All five starting linemen missed assignments at different points, Pierce missed several running lanes, the Texans stacked eight men in the box on occasion, and backside pursuit was even a problem as defenders dragged down ball carriers from behind on a few occasions. Whether it was running to the strong side or the weak side of the line, it didn’t seem to matter as Pierce’s run off right tackle for 25 yards to end the third quarter was the only real bright spot for the ground attack.

Again, the Ravens have played talented defenses this season, but the sum of their talented parts hasn’t added up to even marginal success in most cases. Even in the fourth quarter when many credited the Ravens for wearing down Houston, they managed only 28 yards on 13 carries and needed to rely on Flacco’s arm for third-down conversions.

“One guy here, one miss there, one bad target in another place, each time that’s what holds you back,” Harbaugh said. “Their safeties do a great job of tackling, so they limit you from the big runs. Our run game is not where it needs to be. We’re going to go to work on that — we have been working on it. We’ll continue to do so, and we need to make that important. One thing we’ve seen that, philosophically, we’re going to stick with it.”

Of all the factors working against the Ravens in the running game, perhaps the most surprising has been the play of the left side of the offensive line. While veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie has never been known as a strong run blocker, left guard Kelechi Osemele has looked nothing like the blocker we saw in last year’s postseason when many thought he had the potential to be a Pro Bowl lineman.

Harbaugh wasn’t willing to place blame on any one player or unit in explaining the running game struggles Monday, but it’s apparent the offensive line hasn’t been on the same page. And even when it has been, running backs haven’t made the proper zone reads.

“All of our guys are going to point the finger right back at themselves,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the kind of guys we have. I would characterize it more of being in sync, more in terms of working together more efficiently – combination blocks going to the right guy with the right technique at the right time. Those things – it’s not just a matter of just one-on-one knocking somebody off the ball. That’s not the way it works. It’s way more complicated than that up front.

“There’s a precision to the run game, too. It’s something that we don’t quite have ironed out yet against good fronts, and we’ve got to get there. That’s what we’re working on.”

Whether it’s a matter of still adjusting to Castillo or simply getting used to Gradkowski over the veteran Birk, the Ravens must improve with their ground attack to alleviate the pressure on Flacco and an undermanned passing game. On paper, the personnel is simply too good to be so unproductive — even against talented front sevens.

The real gauge for how severe the run problems are will come on Sunday when the Ravens travel to Buffalo to take on a Bills defense that’s surrendering 4.3 yards per carry and 155 yards per game on the ground. Even if Rice misses his second straight game with a left hip flexor strain, there’s no excuse for the Ravens not to make substantial progress with their running game against an underwhelming opponent.

To their credit, the Ravens haven’t abandoned their commitment to run — their 88 rushing attempts rank 10th in the league — but that only goes so far when you’re gaining minimal yardage on first and second down and putting Flacco and the passing game in difficult third-down situations. They know it needs to be an important part of their identity in 2013, but the production on the field hasn’t backed that up.

“It’s something that we think is important,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to be able to run the ball here. It is a part of our DNA, and it is part of who we are as a football team.”

And it’s a side of the Ravens they need to start showing if their offense is to make strides as the season progresses.

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Harbaugh disappointed with Ravens’ involvement in party bus incident

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Harbaugh disappointed with Ravens’ involvement in party bus incident

Posted on 23 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed that wide receiver Jacoby Jones did not sustain any serious injury in an altercation involving a party bus early Monday morning, but that doesn’t mean the coach was happy either.

After reportedly being struck in the head with a bottle when a fight broke out during left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s birthday celebration in Washington, D.C., Jones was back at the team’s Owings Mills facility as he continues to rehab the MCL sprain he suffered in the season opener on Sept. 5.

“As far as him, he’s fine,” Harbaugh said. “He went through everything today that he was supposed to go through. He didn’t miss anything.”

The Ravens coach, however, expressed disappointment over the incident as several other players are believed to have attended the birthday celebration. Harbaugh was unaware of any further investigation being done on the incident after no arrests were made early Monday morning, but he wasn’t pleased to see the organization painted in a negative light upon learning of the incident that morning.

Harbaugh said he spoke to the individual players involved as well as the entire team about the altercation.

“I’m not very impressed, personally, with the report,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not something we want to be known for. I’d like to think it’s not something those guys would want to be known for. It’s nothing to be proud of, so it’s kind of disappointing in that sense.”

For the time being, it appears that no disciplinary action will be taken against Jones, McKinnie, or any other players involved in the incident, but Harbaugh used the altercation as a teachable moment in reminding players about the potential dangers of being in a public setting late at night.

Harbaugh mentioned the familiar advice given to many young people by their parents.

“Of course we’re going to have conversations and we’ve had conversations about that and other things,” said Harbaugh, referencing the motto of nothing good ever happening after midnight. “We’ll probably keep that between us and address that with the team. What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known as a football player or do you want to be known for that? I don’t think that’s anything to be proud of.”

 Rice, Canty “in the ballpark” to return this week

Harbaugh expressed optimism that running back Ray Rice and defensive end Chris Canty could return for Sunday’s game in Buffalo after both were sidelined for Week 3.

Rice continues to work his way back to full strength after suffering a left hip flexor strain while Canty is dealing with a groin injury. The Ravens will see how each progresses over the course of the week, but Harbaugh wouldn’t describe how much of a chance each would have to play against the Bills.

“I don’t know about the ‘good’ or ‘great’ or whatever, but [Rice] was close this week to a degree,” Harbaugh said. “So was Chris. With those muscle [strains], you never know for sure, but they were in the ballpark this week and we think that will really put them in the ballpark coming up.”

Meanwhile, reserve nose tackle Terrence Cody is likely out for Week 4 after suffering a left knee sprain in the first quarter of Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans.

The good news is the Ravens could get rookie defensive tackle Brandon Williams back this week after he practiced on a limited basis for the first time since suffering a toe injury in the preseason finale on Aug. 29.

“I think it’d be a stretch to expect [Cody] back this week,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to try, but more likely it will be after this week coming up.”

Standing pat at running back for now

With Rice sidelined and third-string running back Shaun Draughn suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s win, the Ravens could be in the market for another running back depending on how the week goes.

Rookie Jonas Gray is currently on the practice squad and the Ravens could always bring back third-year veteran Anthony Allen, who was with the team this preseason and is very familiar with the offensive system after two seasons with the organization.

“I think right now we’re in a wait-and-see mode,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no imminent move as far as a running back goes because we feel those guys’ injuries are something we can deal with. We’re always looking for a good player, too.”

 

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Big week for charity, giveaways, Ravens shows, bus trips and Hooters girls at WNST!

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Big week for charity, giveaways, Ravens shows, bus trips and Hooters girls at WNST!

Posted on 27 August 2013 by WNST Staff

It’s a jam packed week here at WNST, with more chances for you to hang out, mingle, win prizes and meet players than perhaps we’ve ever slammed into a single week before.

THURSDAY NIGHT:

Glenn Clark from “The Reality Check” continues his “Grab a Bud” happy hour series at Hooters in Towson courtesy of Budweiser. Glenn will be rooting the Orioles on against the Red Sox, showing some major support for Towson against UConn and keeping tabs on the Ravens as they visit the Rams. If you stop by Hooters, not only will there be Hooters girls, but you can take advantage of some of their brand new menu additions, including “The Southwestern.”

The WNST.net staff got a taste of this beauty last week. It’s glorious. Everyone who attends Thursday night will be registered to win tickets to see Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, who made a hilarious appearance on “The Reality Check” last week that’s worth listening to if you missed it) Sept. 4 or Kenny Loggins Sept. 15 at The Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric. Glenn will be giving away tickets on site, so anyone who stops by between 7pm and 8pm will be registered. There will be other great giveaways as well, and rumor has it there are girls at Hooters. Just a rumor.

FRIDAY NIGHT:

As the Grand Prix of Baltimore gets underway downtown (we encourage you to get your tickets now!), WNST has two incredible events lined up. First, we’ll kick off our 2013 Ravens player show series with Super Bowl XLVII champion left tackle Bryant McKinnie at Adams Jeep in Aberdeen. The show gets underway at 7pm. We’ve had a ton of fun with the man known as “Mt. McKinnie” over the years. Sometimes he even gets into song.

If you want pictures and autographs with Bryant Friday night, make sure you go right now to get your ticket. The autograph ticket will cost you just a $15 donation to Living Classrooms Foundation. (ALL proceeds go to the Living Classrooms Foundation.) Get your tickets now, there are a ton of rowdy Ravens fans in Harford County that will be out in full force.

Later Friday night, Glenn Clark and Nestor Aparicio will wander down Route 40 to Exscape Nightclub for a huge orange celebration. Between 8:30 and 10:30, we’ll be rooting on the Birds as they battle the Yankees with a FREE taco bar and $5 Orange Crush Machados. As if that wasn’t enough, every single person who stops by to see us between 8:30 and 10:30 will walk away with a very awesome “Crush Davis” t-shirt courtesy of The Zone Superstore. See a look at the back of the shirt below. Another rumor? There are also girls at Exscape Night Club.

SATURDAY:

Our tradition of taking Baltimore Orioles fans on the road continues, as our Orange Roadtrip to The Bronx to see the Birds battle the Yanks departs White Marsh at 7am. It’s a tremendous chance for you to root on the O’s in an ALDS rematch against a team they’re fighting with again this year for a postseason spot. The trip is just $119 per person and includes the ride up and back, ticket, beer/soda/breakfast/snacks. With an afternoon start, the bus should return at a very reasonable time.

Here’s trip down memory lane to our first ever trip to the new Yankee Stadium…

Keep all of this in mind as you prepare for your Labor Day weekend. It’s going to be a ton of fun throughout Charm City (and beyond) for the WNST crew. Look forward to seeing you around!

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling-WWE Live Show (Sunday 5pm Verizon Center); WNBA: Washington Mystics @ Atlanta Dream (Wednesday 7pm from Atlanta live on NBA TV); USA Hockey Training Camp Public Day (Tuesday 7am Kettler Capitals IcePlex)

10. Live/Kelly Bell Band (Saturday 2pm/6pm Baltimore Grand Prix); Luke Bryan (Wednesday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Maze feat. Frankie Beverly (Saturday 7pm Verizon Center); John Mayer (Saturday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap); Anthony Hamilton (Wednesday & Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre), Salt-N-Pepa (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Three Dog Night (Wednesday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Fall Out Boy (Thursday 7:30pm Maryland State Fair), Three Days Grace (Sunday 7:30pm Maryland State Fair); Franz Ferdinand “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Hyperbole be damned. Live is one of the most consistently fantastic bands of the last 25 years. It’s a shame things couldn’t stay together.

The Kelly Bell Band…or as you know them…David Modell and I’s favorite band…

I know what John Mayer is now. I also know that there was a time I half enjoyed him.

I have probably enjoyed WAY more Fall Out Boy songs in my life than I’d ever like to admit.

9. Maryland State Fair (Tuesday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday-Monday RenFest Fairgrounds); Finesse Mitchell (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Jake Johannsen (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv);  The Great Gatsby” and “Pain & Gain” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)”

I’ll make an appearance in Timonium this week. When I do, there will be a peach sundae involved.

And yeah, maybe a red velvet funnel cake.

Don’t judge.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Pitta done for season with dislocated hip

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Pitta done for season with dislocated hip

Posted on 27 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens suffered a major blow during practice Saturday.

“Dennis (Pitta) has a dislocated hip” head coach John Harbaugh announced following practice. “We’ll have to take a look at that and see exactly what it is. It’s a serious injury. He’s going to be out for awhile, he will not be in the Denver game (Week 1). We’ll just have to play it from there to see how long it goes.”

ESPN reported Saturday night that Pitta, who was transported to a local hospital and underwent surgery immediately, is expected to miss the entire season.

The injury occurred after the tight end collided with S James Ihedigbo on a pass play in the back of the end zone. Saturday’s practice was the first padded practice of this year’s Training Camp.

The injury is a major blow for the Baltimore Ravens, who traded WR Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason. Pitta had been hoped to build on his 2012 season (61 catches, 669 yards, seven touchdowns) to help replace Boldin.

Ed Dickson, Billy Bajema and rookie Matt Furstenburg all saw snaps with the first team offense after Pitta’s departure. Free agent TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Morgan State) visited the Ravens’ facility earlier in the week but did not sign. Rookie FB Kyle Juszczek could also be asked to help out in the process, especially if the Ravens were to re-sign current free agent FB Vonta Leach as the Newark Star-Ledger reported Thursday night they are expected to do.

Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell suggested the Ravens would continue their “next man up” mentality.

“Somebody’s going to have to step up and we do have some capable guys. All across the flanks we do have some weapons. We’re just going to have to have some guys make some plays for us.”

Dickson-a fellow fourth year tight end-moves to the top of the tight end depth chart in Pitta’s absence. Dickson told WNST.net “it’s on me to go out there and build chemistry with (QB) Joe (Flacco) and to do the things that I do to the best of my ability.”

Dickson also told WNST.net he sent Pitta a text after practice saying “Keep your head up…the injury’s not going to hold you down. We need you. Praying for you…I’m holding down the fort for you.”

Dickson’s 2012 numbers were disappointing as he fought through injuries. The tight end played in just 13 games and caught 21 balls for 225 yards without a touchdown grab. “Ed has been playing and performing extremely well” Caldwell said. “He’s had a good camp thus far. He’s moving well, he’s catching the ball for us, he has a lot of big play potential. Ed is a very capable guy. We’re going to have to have some other guys step up as well.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a dislocated hip usually takes upwards of 2-3 months for recovery and rehabilitation.

Making matters worse for the Ravens is their lack of depth at receiver as well. Without Boldin, only Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones have more than even 123 career receiving yards. Doss has those 123, David Reed 66, Deonte Thompson 51, LaQuan Williams 46. Neither Tommy Streeter nor rookie Aaron Mellette has ever played in a NFL game.

YANDA REMAINS OUT: Despite being removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list Friday, OL Marshal Yanda (shoulder) was not present Saturday, but is expected to return shortly. S Anthony Levine (shoulder) was on the practice for a second straight day after being removed from the PUP list. LB Jameel McClain (back) remains on the PUP list and did not practice Saturday.

OT Bryant McKinnie (conditioning) left practice early Friday as coach John Harbaugh had concerns for how he’d hold up in the heat, he was back on the practice field Saturday afternoon. OL Kelechi Osemele (hamstring) and Ryan Jensen (leg) were not present for Saturday’s practice. WR LaQuan Williams (arm) and Marlon Brown (knee) were not present as well.

DL Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee) remains on the non-football injury list and is not expected to practice during Training Camp.

OTHER PRACTICE NOTES: S Omar Brown appears to have switched jersey numbers, going from number 38 to number 31.

K Justin Tucker stood out during Saturday’s practice, including makes from 60 yards and 65 yards out. After the make from 65, Tucker let out an exclamation of “Come on!”

LB Terrell Suggs had the quote of the day. After making a tackle on a goal line stop against the first team offense, Suggs yelled out “Where the f*ck is Vonta Leach when you need him?”

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Early Injuries Shuffle the Ravens Offensive Line in Camp

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Early Injuries Shuffle the Ravens Offensive Line in Camp

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Brett Dickinson

Day 2 of Ravens Training Camp held some big storylines, especially concerning the Offensive Line. The team’s Super Bowl run in 2012 was predicated on the blocking emergence of a unit that was shuffled all season long. With Bryant McKinnie reinserted into that core, Baltimore seemed to find the best fit for its five lineman; as Kelechi Osemele moved to Guard and Michael Oher transitioned back to RT.

The team already had concerns at Center, with the retirement of Matt Birk, but it was expected Gino Gradkowski would be handed the starting job. Though, with the acquisition of former Colt, A.Q. Shipley, the competition seems to be in full swing. Both split time throughout drills on Friday, yet Shipley was in place with the first team for most of the 11-on-11 portion of practice. Shipley also saw some time next to Gradkowski, filling in at Guard. You can hear Gradkowski’s thoughts on the competition here, in a interview with Glenn Clark, on the Reality Check, after Friday’s practice.

The key concern for the next couple weeks will be the health of both starting Guards, Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele. Yanda was placed on the PUP list, but passed his physical on Friday, making a return in the upcoming days likely. On the other side, Osemele was held out of Thursday’s 2nd practice and was a no-show on Friday, with concerns of a hamstring injury.

In the place of the those two standouts, were several combinations of players varying in experience. Jah Reid took the most snaps at LG (Osemele’s position) with the first team, while RG was a mixed bag of former practice squad players and rookies. Ryan Jensen, a 6th round pick out of Colorado State-Pueblo, initially spent time with the first team, until he was shook up with a leg “tweak,” during running game drills. As mentioned before, A.Q. Shipley filled in at one point, but Ramon Harewood covered the position, while Shipley played Center. Jack Cornell and Antoine McClain also rotated in that spot at points during practice.

It may not be an actual injury, but there still has to be concern at the LT position as well. Though Bryant McKinnie was cleared to practice on Friday, after being sat down Thursday for “conditioning issues,” he did not see much time on the field. He was involved in all position drills, but was held out in most the team exercises (7-on-7, 11-on-11, Two Minute). Rookie fifth round pick, Ricky Wagner (from Wisconsin), settled in with the first team, while McKinnie was on the sidelines. He performed admirably against Elvis Dumervil, but did struggle against the former Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs.

The key acquisition for the line may be having Offensive Assistant, Juan Castillo, around for an entire season. He not only brought an intensity to practice, but was pulling players aside between plays. Castillo was recognized as one of the best Offensive Line coaches in the league, while in Philadelphia (before his failed experiment calling defensive plays), where he utilized big men in the trenches to control the defensive front 7. He has plenty of size on this roster to play with and can be a real asset in developing some of the younger players on the team.

By the end of practice, the first team Offensive Line looked as follows: LT-Wagner, LG-Reid, C-Shipley, RG-Harewood, RT-Oher. That is vastly different than last season’s Super Bowl winners and the expectation for the starters, come Week 1.

Side Notes:

The defensive rookie class of Matt Elam, Arthur Brown and Brandon Williams all worked with the second team, even though there is high expectations for that trio.

Chykie Brown worked in with the first team, essentially holding down Lardarius Webb’s spot until he is ready to participate in practice.

Torrey Smith had to leave the field at one point, during 7-on-7 drills, with an apparent lower leg/ankle/foot injury. He did have a noticeable limp for the rest of practice, but continued to participate, until the end.

The defensive line showed some versatility, during Two-Minute drills, where OLB Courtney Upshaw and DE Pernell McPhee lined up inside at the DT spots; Dumervil and Suggs held down the DE positions, in that alignment.

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McKinnie returns to practice, Osemele sits out Friday

Posted on 26 July 2013 by Luke Jones

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The first-day drama surrounding left tackle Bryant McKinnie has appeared to resolve itself to some degree for the Ravens.

According to WNST.net colleague Brett Dickinson, the veteran offensive lineman returned to the practice field on the second day of full-squad workouts after being held out Thursday by coach John Harbaugh, who told reporters McKinnie was “too heavy” to practice. The 33-year-old was believed to be carrying 10 pounds more than the team preferred, but the overall sense in Owings Mills was that McKinnie would be able to shed the weight quickly.

McKinnie’s return was good news because starting left guard Kelechi Osemele sat out Friday’s practice as he tweaked his hamstring a day earlier. The second-year lineman was playing in McKinnie’s place at left tackle before he was stretched out on the sideline and was seen with an ice pack on the back of his right leg while watching the second half of the workout. The injury was not believed to be serious and his absence on Friday was likely precautionary.

Other players missing from Friday’s practice included wide receiver Marlon Brown, cornerback Asa Jackson, linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), and right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder). McClain and Yanda remain on the active physically unable to perform list.

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