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Posted on 29 April 2013 by Drew Forrester
I refrained from reading any national or local re-caps of the 2013 NFL Draft over the weekend. Why? Mainly because I didn’t want to hear or see what folks thought about individual teams and how “well” they did in picking players who have never played a game in their life that mattered.
I laughed right along with everyone else on Thursday night when the Bills stumped all the talking heads by going with E.J. Manuel instead of Ryan Nassib.
You probably giggled too, right?
“The Bills…” you said. “What on earth do THEY know about picking a quarterback? Geez, just go back and look at their recent list of failures. J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick…”
My guess is that most people were saying the exact same thing about the Ravens in 2008 when they took that Flacco kid out of Delaware in the first round.
“The Ravens…what on earth do THEY know about picking a quarterback? Geez, just go back and look at their recent list of failures. Kyle Boller, Chris Redman, Derek Anderson, Anthony Wright, Steve McNair.”
See what I mean?
There’s no sense in judging any of these picks until we see how they all play out, including guys like Manuel and Geno Smith and Manti Te’o.
Just let ’em play. We’ll see who knew what they’re doing in this year’s draft in 2015.
And save the silly draft report cards for the experts who have to give grades so it looks like they know what they’re talking about.
Caps and Rangers again, huh?
Fourth time in five years, I believe.
It’s getting to be old hat, but the two teams usually provide for some interesting hockey in the post-season.
I’m taking the Caps in five games. I know, I know, that’s very risky considering the Capitals are perennial playoff gaggers. But I don’t think this Rangers team is any good and, particularly without Marian Gaborik, I just don’t think they have the firepower to overcome this suddenly offensive-minded Washington squad.
That Billy Horschel guy who won this week’s PGA Tour event in New Orleans is the real deal. Watch and see…he’ll be on the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Dude’s a player.
Buck’s obviously a little concerned about bullpen overuse already and it’s only April 28.
How else can you explain his decision on Sunday for not bringing in Jim Johnson to close the 8-6 lead in the 9th inning?
I’m not criticizing him for it, mind you. I think it was the right thing to do. He knows a lot more about these guys and their durability than we do. Plus, if you really like to pin losses on people, go ahead and put the blame for Sunday’s debacle on Pedro Strop. He inherited a 4-run lead on Saturday and, per his typical form, put enough guys on base that Buck had no choice but to go with J.J. to close the game out.
So, what you saw on Sunday was a by-product of the manager simply not wanting to go back to the well for the 6th time in seven games and use his closer.
Nothing would wreck the season – as evidenced by the display produced by Brian Matusz and Strop on Sunday in Oakland – like an injury to Jim Johnson.
If you have to almost-intentionally eat a loss in late April and then perhaps again once every 6-8 weeks just to keep your best pitchers fresh and healthy, go ahead and do it, I say.
Greg Norman blasted golf’s drug testing procedures over the weekend during a trip to Australia. Rather than subject players to urine tests, as is the case now, Norman is demanding blood tests for golfers on the PGA TOUR. He’s adamant about it. The 2-time British Open champion even went as far to say, “Anyone who uses an illegal substance to improve their performance or their physical well-being is cheating, period. And there’s no room in the game for that. It sickens me.”
Sounds to me like a guy who knows something’s going on with someone, in particular, and it’s The Shark’s way of putting him on notice.
As I read through the quotes, he was just a little too emphatic about it for someone who is “just trying to send a message” about fair play.
Norman knows someone’s cheating. He won’t say who. But he knows.
Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
I’ve already gotten about a hundred messages via email/Facebook/Twitter/text/Pony Express that said something along the lines of “well Glenn, you got what you wanted.”
To at least an extent, the people sending those messages have been right. After pounding on the desk of the studio at 1550 Hart Rd. in Towson for months (if not years), the Baltimore Ravens acquired a size receiver in the NFL Draft.
In the 6th round of the Draft, the Ravens selected Tommy Streeter, a 6’5″ wide receiver from the University of Miami. Combined with impressive speed (Streeter posted an impressive 4.40 forty time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis), Streeter seemingly adds a more unique dynamic to Cam Cameron’s offense in 2012. Streeter’s size presents an immediate matchup problem in the red zone (and specifically in the end zone) that the team simply didn’t have in their receiving corps in 2011.
You see, the Ravens actually DID briefly have a receiver like that in 2011. If you’ll remember, the Ravens acquired former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy late in the 2010 season in hopes he could make the team out of Training Camp. Nagging injury issues and a lockout later, Hardy couldn’t crack the 53 and the lack of a size receiver played a role in the Ravens finishing 18th in the NFL in red zone offense.
So Streeter solves all of those problems, right? Right?
As I was also quick to point out, simply being tall wasn’t the only desirable attribute in a new Ravens receiver. Clarence Moore was tall. Randy Hymes was tall. Even Marc Lester was tall. The Ravens not only needed a tall receiver, they needed a receiver who could catch the ball and become a consistent threat in a National Football League offense.
While I liked the team’s decision to draft Streeter, I will admit that I don’t believe the Ravens (and 31 other teams) passed on him for five and a half rounds because they were TOO worried about how good he was. There have been questions about Streeter’s hands, as well as his overall ability to develop into a consistent standout receiver. Those questions may or may not be fair, as the former Hurricanes star could show 31 teams they made a mistake in the coming seasons or they could show one particular team they made the wrong decision to take him even as late as the sixth round.
I guess that’s basically the entire point of this week’s column. After the NFL Draft, analysts attempt to identify “winners” and “losers” from three days of selecting players. Some of these players will go on to outstanding pro careers, others will leave little in the way of a legacy at the NFL level and others still will never play in even a single NFL game.
So do I think the Ravens did a nice job in the NFL Draft? Yeah…I guess. I guess the Baltimore Ravens did a nice job in the NFL Draft.
Posted on 02 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
The end of another NFL season and the beginning of a new calendar year is sure to bring change as unfilled goals and promises demand accountability. Continue Reading
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Posted on 26 December 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.
And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.
As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”
Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.
As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…
The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.
In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…
It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…
The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.
Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?
In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…
Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.
I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…
Kick rocks, ham.
Akers broke the record with FIVE field goals in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks, moving the Niners a step closer to clinching the Number 2 seed in the NFC.
The Seahawks’ slim postseason hopes may have disappeared, but Marshawn Lynch HAS THE GREATEST PAIR OF KICKS I HAVE EVER SEEN…
Perhaps Foster the People has a follow up ready?
But as amazing as they are, perhaps Under Armour & Brandon Jennings did one better with their “Rudolph” inspired kicks…
Okay…synthetic fur? I HAVE to get back into the shoe game.
Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.
I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…
Of course, he’s also been filmed doing this…
With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.
I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”
They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…
Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…
Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…
(Continued on Page 2)
Posted on 28 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson
This is not an inducement to gamble, in fact it should serve as quite the opposite. It is my attempt at picking all of the games (before injury reports are official) each week. The picks are broken into 3 categories, 5 picks that I love, 5 that I like and the rest.
I would encourage anyone looking for a little extra interest in Sunday’s game to try the MobTown $15.70 prop card. It’s free it’s easy and cash and bragging rights are on the line.
All lines taken from sportsbook.com.
Loves (100 pts for a win and -110 for a loss)
week 7: 2-3 (-130 pts) season: 13-12 (-20 pts)
Saints -14 @ Rams
Lions -3 @ Broncos
Steelers +3 vs. Patriots
Browns +9 @ 49ers
Chiefs +4 vs. Chargers
Likes (50 pts for a win and -55 for a loss)
week 7: 2-2-1 (-10 pts) season: 10-12-1 (-160 pts)
Panthers -3.5 vs. Vikings
Dolphins +9.5 @ Giants
Bills -6 vs. Redskins
Bengals -3 @ Seahawks
Cowboys +3.5 @ Eagles
Feeling Lucky? (20 pts for a win and -22 for a loss)
Week 7: 1-2(-24 pts) season 9-10-2 (-40 pts)
Titans -9 vs. Colts
Jaguars +9.5 @ Texans
Ravens -12.5 vs. Cardinals
Last week Total: 5-7-1 (-164 pts) Season Total: 32-34-3 (-220 pts)
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Posted on 15 August 2011 by Ryan Chell
New Ravens WR Lee Evans has been in the league eight years, and despite some personal success in his time with the Buffalo Bills, he has never tasted-let alone had the scent-of playoff football in January.
But now, after a trade on Friday that brought the former first-round pick to the Ravens for a mid-round pick, the new wideout is hoping to have that feeling sooner rather than later, and he said it has him rejuvenated.
“Obviously, this has been a very historic franchise-a winning organization-and I just want to come in and do my part and do anything I can to help them win,” Evans said after his first practice Saturday.
And Evans’ presence alone should be a big boost. In his career, Evans has caught 377 catches for 5,934 yards (15.7 YPC), and 43 touchdowns.
In thirteen games last season, he grabbed 37 balls for 578 yards and four touchdowns.
His skills as his career went along forced opposing defenses to shift their focus to him, allowing for the emergence of guys like Steve Johnson in 2010.
It may have been the lack of a wide receiver catching a pass until late in the second quarter of Thursday exhibition loss to the Eagles that forced Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to pull the trigger on the trade with the Bills.
But now in Baltimore, Evans will play second-fiddle to Anquan Boldin and he feels like what he brings to an NFL offense every Sunday is quite the compliment to the former All-Pro and should help them both out in the long run.
“Obviously, one of my biggest attributes is speed; so being able to get down the field and spread the defense,” Evans said. “Q is as dynamic as they come, so I want to open some things up for him and let him control it.”
In four of his first five seasons in the NFL, Evans had touchdown catches of at least 69+ yards.
In 2006 in a game against the Houston Texans, Evans made NFL history for becoming the only player to catch two 80-yard touchdown passes in a single quarter, and he set Bills records for yards in a quarter (206) and in a single game (238).
However, Evans could not keep that level of consistency going his eight years in Buffalo-large in part to coaching changes, different offenses, and a carousel of quarterbacks including Ryan Fitzpatrick, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, and Kelly Holcomb. It all proved to be very unstable at times for the wide receiver, so much so that the trade talks began swirling with Evans over the last year.
Evans know already that things are going be different in Baltimore.
“It has been a whirlwind for in Buffalo with different coordinators and quarterbacks,” he said. “To come to a stable situation, it builds confidence in me that I can continue to get better everyday.”
And so far in two practices with the team, the one guy in Joe Flacco who he knows will be throwing passes to him during his entire stay in Baltimore-how long it may be for Evans-has been there to make sure he does.
“Joe Flacco did a great job of keeping me in the loop with what is going on so I didn’t mess up too much,” Evans admitted.
When asked about his situation with the Bills, it was clear that he was happy to be out of a team that didn’t or probably couldn’t see him as part of their future.
“The main goal when you bring young players is to try and help them out as much as you can, develop them, and try to win. That was more so the mindset.”
“But, you never know when you bring in a new regime of coaches and GMs what their mindset is going to be. You understand what the risks are with that, and you just have to go for it.”
And while he will be doing the same thing in Baltimore to young receivers like Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith, he knows all mostly the Ravens are just asking him to do his business and catch the football.
And he knows he can do that.
“Just play ball,” Evans said. “It’s pretty stable here, so I will just do whatever I can to get better and do what I can to help them win.”
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Posted on 01 August 2011 by Ryan Chell
Ravens free agent corner back Fabian Washington signed a one-year deal Sunday with the New Orleans Saints, and while he was fielding calls for nearly a week regarding his free agent status and desire to play, he knew one thing for sure.
He wasn’t returning to the Ravens.
“Yes, definitely. I won’t be coming back,” Washington told Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Friday.
That being said, he definitely was tired of waiting to get picked up after the long NFL-lockout which stalled free agency.
“I’m very anxious to get back to football,” Washington said. “I haven’t been off this long since high school. I’m definitely ready to get back to work.”
Washington-who spent the last three seasons with Baltimore after coming over in a draft-day trade with the Raiders in 2008-had been getting calls from several teams in the NFL looking for both corner back depth and guys with starter experience.
But sadly, he knew after losing his starting job to Josh Wilson in 2010, his time in Baltimore was done.
After starting 12 games his first year in Baltimore in 2008 and the first ten games of the 2009 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury versus Indianapolis, Washington struggled at the beginning of 2010 and lost his starting spot after getting torched in the Ravens’ 37-34 OT win.
Washington was often criticized for dropping sure interceptions, his poor tackling, and his slow recovery speed if he got beat.
But, Washington said that he’s used his struggles last year as motivation to get back to playing at a high level.
“You better grow…you can’t go backwards man,” he said. “I try to take all of the positives from everything. I sat back and looked at some things I was doing wrong. I feel like through this off-season I’ve corrected that. I’m 100 percent health-wise, and I feel great. I feel like I’m ready to play ball man, wherever it may be.”
On top of his struggles, it felt even worse to end his Ravens career losing yet again to the one team he learned to envy in the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs once more.
“You never want to lose in the playoffs, and you never want to lose to the Steelers,” Fabian said. “Every loss I’ve been in the playoffs has felt the same, but you don’t want to lose to the Steelers. You don’t want to hear their mouths all off-season.”
Washington’s potential upside, youth and skills-especially his speed-have kept the former 1st-round pick out of Nebraska not only still in the league but still a commodity to an NFL squad.
“I’ve been getting some calls,” Washington said. “Some teams are showing interest. In my position though, there are a couple big guys who need to sign first.”
He was of course referring to ex-Oakland teammate CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the top free agent on the market, who signed a deal with Philadelphia on Friday.
“The dude is a beast,” Washington said-who played with Asomugha from 2005-2007. “He is unreal out there. Teams rarely throw at him. That’s one thing-playing on the other side of him-you better be ready for a whole heap of balls to be thrown at you.”
“You just need to expect that, because no team is going to throw at him. I think the stat was he was thrown at 50 times all year- total. That’s unheard of. You’ve just got to prepare yourself and have your mind right to have a lot of opportunities to get an interception. It’s a coordinator’s dream to have a corner like that.”
He, Chris Carr, and Asomugha-all former Raiders CBs-spent much of the week watching where each of them were projected to go.
“Everybody’s waiting to see where Nnamdi is gonna play,” Washington said last week, “then the dominoes will start falling at the cornerback position. But me man… I’m just sitting back relaxing.”
And sure enough, as soon as Asomugha signed Friday with Philadelphia and Carr re-signed on Saturday with Baltimore, Washington signed on the final day of the weekend with the Saints.
But despite the fact that he’s now in the Big Easy playing for the 2009 Super Bowl champs, he still holds a high place in his heart for the time he spent in Baltimore the last three years.
“I would definitely say it was a roller coaster,” he said, “but I enjoyed every minute of it in Baltimore. “It was fun man…a lot of winning. Where I was coming from, I wasn’t used to that.”
“It’s a great place, and I encourage anybody that gets the chance to play there…play there because you’re gonna win. I have nothing but good things to say about Baltimore.”
WNST thanks Fabian Washington for joining us, and we want to wish him all the best for his time in Baltimore! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
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