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This Loss Hurts..

Posted on 14 December 2008 by Ed Frankovic

It is now two and a half hours after the most bitter Ravens defeat since that dreadful loss to Indianapolis in the playoffs two seasons ago and my emotions have run the gamut tonight from angry and mad, to disappointed and sad, to happy overall that the Ravens gave us this opportunity in a year most of us thought would be big trouble, and finally over to the calm analytical mode where I can clearly provide some thoughts on today’s game and the Ravens season:

First off, I think Pittsburgh is definitely the best team in the AFC and they will prove it by beating up Kerry Collins and the fading Tennessee Titans next week. I think they are the best team in the NFL right now but a certain defending Super Bowl Champion who went into Pittsburgh back in late October and won there gets that claim. But I think the Steelers would just love another shot at the New York Football Giants.

As for the Ravens, they are very close to the Steelers and as Drew said, the difference right now is the QB position but let’s give our #5 some more experience and perhaps we might have another story next year. But the NFL is all about right now and this was a missed opportunity. We can put some blame on Flacco for not having a very good game but I also have to put blame on offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who for some reason got pretty conservative today when the Ravens were in scoring position (inside the Steelers 30). Cameron has done a great job with this offense but today he used a little too much of a “let’s not lose” game plan instead of the “play to win” plan we’ve seen alot of this year. The play calling after the Ed Reed fumble recovery was awful and the two runs before the Flacco fumble late in the game were too predictable. Flacco finally had a little rhythm going at that point so a pass on either first or second down should have been called and could have gotten the Ravens in position for a TD that would have made the late Steeler touchdown a moot point.

I also have to put some blame on Willis McGahee again because he let his man escape on that crucial 3rd and 8 play that led to the Flacco fumble when the Ravens were leading 9-6 late in the fourth quarter. McGahee was also a disappointment running the ball, although Pittsburgh does have a good defense, but for the money the Ravens are paying #23 he just isn’t cutting it.

Defensively, the guys played their tails off but were just inches short, although that first Steeler field goal was aided by a questionable first down spot early in the drive. Clearly the Fabian Washington injury caused Rex Ryan to alter his defense. Can anyone say take a cornerback early in the draft in April?

It looks like the Ravens must win both games to make the playoffs thanks to Buffalo’s stupid coaches who decided to have J.P. Loserman try and throw the ball with a three point lead with less than two minutes left against a Jets defense that could NOT stop Marshawn Lynch. The Bills gift wrapped this one for New York and it hurts the Ravens because 10-6 likely won’t make it in now. Winning in Dallas with it being the last game in Texas Stadium will be VERY tough but if you want to make the playoffs then you have to win a tough game and this is one of them.

Can you believe the Redskins lost to the Bengals today? Their season is done and any Redskin fans should be buying Raven fans beverages all off-season, especially those Skins fans who were talking smack before the beginning of the season. Ravens 9-5, Skins 7-7 and Ravens 24 Skins 10 does make me feel better about this loss today but I still would rather beat the Steelers any day than beat the Redskins. But Steeler fans have to admit that this Ravens team is a good one given how close the two games were and I bet most of them aren’t happy at the prospect of this Baltimore franchise finally having a QB for the future and that is something this town has desperately wanted since 1996 (I was never a Vinny fan so I don’t count him as a good QB).

Finally, I agree with Casey Willett, it is nice to hear the Ravens players not blaming this loss on the referees. I thought the officiating crew did a poor job but the bottom line is the Steelers were just barely better today. And as a former Super Bowl winning Ravens head coach (who keeps appearing in Coors Light commericals) likes to say: If you put the game in the hands of the referees, you usually won’t like the outcome!

I’m proud of this football team and I don’t think we’ve heard the last of them yet this year so let’s just hope they can find a way to win in Texas Stadium next Saturday night. The Cowboys are good, but they are beatable.

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The Lorenzo Neal effect

Posted on 08 December 2008 by Jason Jubb

This is my first blog here at ‘NST.  But, if you’ve listened to the “Sunday Morning Blitz” with Rex Snider and me (10am-12pm on WNST), then you are well aware that I am a bit of a number cruncher. If you haven’t heard us on Sunday, you should make it a point to do so !!!!

 

In this introductory blog, I’m going to examine what I will call the “Lorenzo Neal effect.”  It’s somewhat difficult to quantify how good a fullback actually is since he rarely has the opportunity to accumulate personal stats. Therefore, the next best thing is to look at the runner behind him and their production. Keep in mind, I am only looking at running back production, and at this time I’m leaving out the importance of pass protection, which is equally important to a productive offense.

 

From 1997-2007, Lorenzo Neal played on 5 teams and in each and every season, he was the blocking force in front of a 1,000 yard rusher. The list includes Adrian Murrell, Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Corey Dillon, and Ladainian Tomlinson.  Pretty impressive, huh?  You bet.

 

We know these backs were very productive with Neal paving the road ahead of them.  But what happened when he left for another team?  The evidence of his true value is reflected in the production of these same players in a “Post-Neal” era.

 

Adrian Murrell gets tossed from the equation since he is the only player who left for another team the same year as Neal left.

 

In 1998, Warrick Dunn ran for 1026 yards (4.2 avg), with Neal.  A year later, in 1999, Dunn’s production was reduced to 616 yards (3.2 avg.), without Neal sharing the backfield.  As a result, Dunn, a smaller finesse back, played in 15 games and began to lose many of his carries to a more effective Mike Alstott.

 

In 1999, Neal went to Tennessee to block for Eddie George, who was already a Pro-Bowler.  George rushed for 1304 yards (4.1 avg, career high) in 1999, and had his best year as a 5th year pro in 2000, with 1509 yards (3.7 avg) and 14 TD’s. In 2001, when Neal left town, Eddie George started 16 games but only totaled 939 yards with a dismal 3.0 yard average.

 

In 2001, Neal joined Cincinnati and supported the ground game of Corey Dillon, who averaged over 4 yards per carry and 1300 yards over two seasons.  While these numbers were on par with what Dillon had done in previous campaigns, his production dipped upon Neal’s eventual departure.  In 2003, without Neal, Dillon started 11 games and collected just 541 yards, which led to his way out of Cincinnati.

 

The San Diego Chargers brought Neal aboard in 2003, to lead the way for Ladainian Tomlinson, who already had two standout years under his belt. With Neal leading the way for five seasons, Tomlinson averaged 1546 yards and 18 TD’s, at an outstanding 4.7 yards, per carry. Going into 2008, LT2 showed no signs of slowing down.  But, the Chargers opted to let Neal go, in favor of younger players, such as Mike Tolbert and Jacob Hester. After 13 games, Tomlinson is on a pace for 1089 yards and has his lowest YPC average (3.7), since his rookie season. Note, his rookie season was also without Lorenzo Neal.

 

In 2008, the Ravens picked up Neal in mid-August, due to his relationship with Cam Cameron, from their San Diego days. Unfortunately, the streak of 11 straight years blocking for a 1000 yard rusher appears to be over for Neal, as the Ravens have adopted a TEAM concept with three backs sharing carries.

 

But, it seems fitting that a “team player” such as Neal, who often flies under the radar should lose that streak in such a manner. That being said, it is hard to ignore the impact he has had as the Ravens are currently third in rushing yards, which is up from 16th in 2007.

 

Ironically, the Ravens are led by Le’Ron McClain, who was only given the opportunity to carry the ball 8 times, last season. The question is what happens when Neal leaves? Let’s just hope he has another productive season or two left in him before we have to find out.

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Caps Lose But Ravens Win

Posted on 08 December 2008 by Ed Frankovic

The Washington Capitals lost tonight on the ice and the Baltimore Ravens won but the football win was much more important as the Caps are still in good shape overall with a four point lead on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Southeast Division.

Since the Caps played first I’ll start with my thoughts on tonight’s 3-1 loss in Carolina.

The Caps controlled the puck and dominated this game outshooting the Hurricanes, 39-25, but they could not beat Carolina goalie Michael Leighton except for Nicklas Backstrom’s goal that came as a Washington five on three power play was expiring. Even Alexander Ovechkin could not work his magic tonight and he was stopped on a penalty shot by Leighton late in the second period (The Great #8 is now 0-5 on penalty shots in his career). This game was 1-1 with under five minutes to go but as has been the case alot this season, when Washington makes a mistake in its own end it is often ending up in the net, especially when Jose Theodore is in goal. Theodore’s recent problem has been with controlling rebounds. Sometimes it is because of his inability to see the shots but tonight he was struggling with some that he appeared to be seeing clearly. After his great game and shutout against Montreal last week I thought Jose was past these problems but they re-occurred this week. If Brent Johnson is healthy you will likely see alot of him in the upcoming weeks until Theodore gets his rebound problem under control.

Another problem for Washington was their horrible night on face-offs as they lost that battle handily, 34-20. Many of these losses were either at the start of power plays or after they iced the puck. In fact, one of Carolina’s goals came after a Caps face-off loss that was the result of a Washington icing.

The injury bug struck again with Eric Fehr not being able to play after suffering an upper body injury in Toronto on Saturday (Fehr is listed as day-to-day). As a result the Hershey highway was once again used as the Caps recalled forward Alexandre Giroux from the Bears. Giroux played 11:48 of ice time in Carolina. By the way, I complained about the officiating on Saturday in Toronto, and rightly so, but tonight I thought the calls went more the Caps way but again they could not take advantage of that or their mostly solid play. Give Leighton most of the credit for stopping the Caps on Sunday.

The big news of the night was the Ravens domination of the Washington Redskins on Sunday night football. Baltimore’s defense was outstanding and if not for two bad play calling and implementation issues on back to back Raven drives Washington would have been shutout. Why Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron decided to throw on 3rd and 13 into the wind late in the third quarter up 17-0 is beyond me? That should have been a run and punt. Then on the next series, instead of running Le’Ron McClain the team decided to give the ball to Willis McGahee, who proceeded to put it on the carpet. This gave the Skins a short field and they closed to 17-10 and had all of us a bit nervous.

Luckily, Cameron finally went back to what has worked all year with a lead in the late stages: a steady does of McClain and the big #33 once again delivered. Joe Flacco did not have a good game but he did make a couple of big throws to Derrick Mason, the first of which came on the Ravens opening TD drive and the last of which was to #85 for the game clinching TD.

I am running out of patience with McGahee and I have no clue why the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston wants to defend this guy who makes too much money and is injury prone.

The Ravens are 9-4 and kudos to the players and coaches for a great season so far but things get really tough next week when the Pittsburgh Steelers, who flat out stole a game from Dallas today, come to M&T Bank Stadium for a 415pm showdown. As usual we can expect a physical game and the winners of this contest will likely be the teams that face both Baltimore and Pittsburgh in week 16. The Ravens have beaten the Steelers in Baltimore five years in a row. Let’s hope that continues but the offense will need to be better next week as they are facing the #1 ranked defense in the league in Pittsburgh. Baltimore has the #2 ranked defense.

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Here’s Part 2 and a reality check…

Posted on 03 November 2008 by Drew Forrester

So while we continue to bask in the glow of a huge road win, let’s blow out the candle and sit in the dark.

Just for a few minutes.

I promised you Part 2 of “Ravens beat Browns” and here it is.

Consider it the balancing act that’s necessary when someone (ahem, that would be…me) puts the team in the playoffs 8-games into a 16-game season.

I’m thrilled to death with 5-3 and equally ecstatic with how the Ravens have done it (code word for: we’ve won a few games with OFFENSE), yet I continue to see things that leave me puzzled.  And with our playoff hopes alive and well, I’m hoping none of these fears are realized late in the season when one loss, one series or one play could leave us home in January.

Here comes the balancing act.

Enough with the Troy Smith experiment already.  I’m not sure why it is that we have to get him in there on a handful of plays each game.  Is this the CYO Summer League, where all the kids have to play at least 7 minutes or 5 innings?  If Cam Cameron thinks Troy Smith is the better QB for the Ravens, he should just play him.  If Flacco is the QB, he should be the QB.  No more shuffling Smith in there to either appease him or Terrell Suggs. No more pissed-away time-outs.  No more confusion.  Stop the Smith-Shuttle-Bus already.  

Is Willis McGahee IN or OUT?  Financially, I know, he’s IN.  In a big way.  They can’t cut him next spring. He’d be an $8mm salary cap hit.  If he’s NOT healthy enough to play right now, make him inactive and give his spot to a kick-off/long field specialist.  If McClain and Rice are going to carry the load, that’s fine.  But McGahee sitting on the sidelines is a waste. If he’s hurt, fair enough.  Just don’t put him on the sidelines to watch.

Are we philosophically against challenging calls?  Why not throw the red flag yesterday when Jason Wright scampered (supposedly) into the end zone?  I know, I know…when you’re on the road, the replays don’t come as fast and furious as they would if you were the home team.  That’s all the more reason to pay attention to the FIRST replay that is shown.  I’m not 100% sure that Wright touchdown would have been overturned, but it was awfully, awfully close.  The TV crew thought he stepped out before the end zone.  So did I.  

Last but not least, I hope the team doesn’t listen to sports radio goofs who have already situated them into the AFC post-season.  Stay focused, move ahead to the next week and take care of business.

Some are already calling this game in Houston a “trap game”.  That’s a gambling term with which I’m not familiar.  OK, maybe I’m “somewhat familiar” with that term, but I’m not buying it.

Ravens 30-Houston 20.

The playoff train rolls on.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Glenn Clark

Here’s my Tuesday Top 7……..7. Jameel McClain

Welcome to the defense, rookie. McClain came out of the gates making plays; and didn’t seem to be even a bit out of place at all during Sunday’s game. I wonder if there are any more McClains on this roster somewhere…..

6. Joe Flacco

If not for the catch, Joe wouldn’t make the list. To be honest, Joe was downright erratic in the first half. But learning the new wrinkles in this offense couldn’t possibly have been easy for Joe; and he executed the new offense perfectly in the 2nd half.

5. Troy Smith

Troy Smith could have lost faith. He had a great opportunity to become this team’s starting QB; but the opportunity was robbed from him by a VERY unfortunate illness. Instead of moping and feeling sorry for himself; Troy battled back, learned a new way to participate in the offense; and was a major contributor to a win. Good stuff.

4. Jarrett Johnson

He’s not Adalius Thomas. But he doesn’t need to be. He’s having an OUTSTANDING year; and I hope teams keep trying to go to his side of the field.

3. Haloti Ngata

He’s going to catch a TD pass at some point this season, too. You just can’t get past him right now. Remember when the Ravens had to choose between him, Cameron Wimbley, and Broderick Bunkley? Nice decision.

2. Ray Rice

He’s NOT a featured back. But he doesn’t need to be. He needs to be a player that can give the Ravens an offensive weapon on multiple levels; which is EXACTLY what he did Sunday.

1. Terrell Suggs

Totally unreal. That’s all I need to say.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester

 

agrees with Ian Eagle’s Orioles comments

Drew Forrester thinks Rice top Raven in Raiders’ win

Rob Long says Ravens part of ‘complicated’ AFC

Thyrl Nelson has Ravens 14th in Power Rankings

Bryan Powell says Navy first team to win without throwing in 11 years

RAVENS:The Official Site’s Mike Duffy

 

 

says Cameron would use any active player who can help offense

The Official Site’s Scott Garceau says Flacco had ‘fun’ performance in win

The Official Site’s Kristen Deahl remembers the greatness of Ogden

The Official Site reports Harbaugh thinks Ravens ‘just scratching surface’ of potential offense

Browns Official Site’s Steve King says safeties Jones, Adams both dealing with injuries before game with Ravens

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says offense must continue ‘evolution’

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Cameron knows trick plays won’t always work

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Gaither trying to limit mistakes

The Sun’s Bill Ordine thinks Rice could be used like Eagles’ Westbrook

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Harbaugh ‘optimistic’ about Ayanbadejo playing, ‘pessimistic’ about Landry

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Suggs should say anything he wants now

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says offense improving execution

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder and Dave Carey offer highest praise to D-Line, Linebackers

The Examiner’s Phil Macek says things get tougher from here

Aaron Wilson says Harbaugh thinks Ravens could use 2 QB package ‘every game’

Aaron Wilson says Harbaugh ‘optimistic’ Rolle will return Sunday

The AP says trick plays help Ravens ‘shed bland label’

Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot says Winslow ready to return from suspension

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Winslow back just in time for ‘big division game’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says defense, Cameron ‘hot’CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco

 

gives Ravens B+ for performance in win

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:The Sun’s Matt Bracken

 

 

says commits Porzel, Brown, etc. all had big weekends

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says DHB, Tate could each play on Sunday

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Wujciak averaging 10 tackles per game

The Sun’s Jeff Barker thinks DHB made TD catch on final drive

The Examiner’s Steve DeClue says Terps in ‘great position’ to play for ACC title

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Terps overcame conditions to beat Wolfpack

Washington Post’s Matthew Rennie says Holt will be Hokies’ #1 QB in practice

Washington Post’s Matthew Rennie says Terps own tiebreaker advantage

Washington Post’s Matthew Rennie says resurgence of Cavs has helped Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Tech’s Holt could make first career start vs. Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph has only coached one game ever when bowl possibility gone

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says despite potentially playing ‘best game of season’, Navarre doesn’t pick up Player of the Week award

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says TE Boone will act as backup to Holt while QB’s injured

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says both Taylor, Glennon in walking boots this week

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says some wins not as good, some losses not as bad as they originally appeared

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says former Terp Hill named starter in San Fran

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps can take over first place if GT beats FSU

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Va Tech’s problems deeper than QB issue

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:The Sun’s Don Markus

 

 

wouldn’t have voted Terps as high as 7th

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Neal thinks Vasquez should be all-conference

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:Washington Post’s Camille Powell

 

 

says Terps making statement on net

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says prospect Mincy ‘enjoyed’ Madness trip (must subscribe)Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter

 

says Townsend considers Terps ‘family’ (must subscribe)NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site

 

previews Navy-Temple

The Official Site offers complete Navy-Temple release (pdf)Temple Official Site

 

previews Saturday’s trip to Navy

Temple Official Site offers complete Temple-Navy release (pdf)The Sun’s Don Markus

 

says KNKE could return vs. Temple

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says defense got back on track in win

The Examiner’s Tom Flynn says White surpassed 2,000 yards in win over SMU

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Mids have ‘options’ with Dobbs

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says KNKE will get Senior Day start

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Niumatalolo ‘encouraged’ by KNKE’s running

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says Mids will have to return to air at some point (must subscribe)TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site

 

previews Saturday’s tilt with William & Mary

William & Mary Official Site previews Saturday’s trip to Towson

SALISBURY FOOTBALL:The Official Site

 

 

says Gulls 16th in poll

UMBC BASKETBALL:The Official Site

 

 

says Dogs picked to finish 4thLOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site

 

says individual tickets available now

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:The Official Site

 

 

says Goode honored by CollegeHoops.net

Carroll County Times’ Bob Blubaugh says Goode, Cajou lead way in scrimmage

ORIOLES:The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin

 

 

thinks Jones best served hitting 5th or 6th in lineup

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Orioles should learn from Rays, Phils

The Examiner’s Jay Trucker thinks Loewen ‘overpaid, underachieving, glass-armed, floppy-haired jerk’

The Examiner’s Neal Shaffer happy to see Birds will go after free agents

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL:Ravens Official Site

 

 

names Northwestern’s Woodson Coach of the Week

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:-The subject of the ACC’s TV package for football came up this morning; and I think there is one simple answer for making sure that Maryland games-and the rest of the league’s games-are always available. I think the ACC needs to look into creating their own regional TV network; much like the Big Ten. They wouldn’t lose their partnerships with ABC and ESPN; as the Big Ten still gets their biggest games on the major national spotlight (i.e. Ohio State-Penn State Saturday night on ABC). But not only would they make sure they get ALL of their football games on TV; but they can get basketball games again non-sexy opponents televised; more women’s hoops on TV; and lacrosse, soccer, and baseball televised for sure. It is practically a no-brainer.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

 

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 October 2008 by Glenn Clark

Next week is important. If the Ravens can go on the road and beat a revitalized Browns team; they’re a contender. If not, they’ve got the Browns to contend with down the stretch in the race for the playoffs in the AFC. Yesterday was a VERY fun win, but it wasn’t the difference maker. Next Sunday will be the difference maker.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio wonders where Raiders’ “Commitment to Excellence” went

Drew Forrester thinks Raiders should be ashamed of performance

Bob Haynie thought Smith-to-Flacco ‘exciting’, ‘fun’

Rob Long thinks Harbaugh creating ‘best situation for team to be successful’

Casey Willett says Ravens struggled with ‘razzle dazzle’ early

Glenn Clark thinks Terps’ Mosley ‘remarkable’

Alex Thomas thinks Rice ‘rock star’

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Cameron got ‘creative’ in win

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ogden ‘emotional’ at halftime Ring of Honor ceremony

The Official Site’s Sam Angell says having 2 QB’s on field gives offense ‘new wrinkles’

Raiders Official Site says McGahee added TD for Ravens in win

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Flacco throws for TD, runs for TD and makes big catch in win

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens picked up 75 yards on 4 plays with two QB’s in backfield

The Sun’s David Steele says Suggs almost ruined “Suggs package”

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says defense forces 4 sacks, safety in win

The Sun’s Mike Preston gives high praise to running backs, D-Line, linebackers

The Sun’s Mike Preston says playing Raiders may have well as been ‘Bye’ for Ravens

The Sun’s Edward Lee says McAlister deactivated before game due to knee

The Sun’s Bill Ordine says Ravens use Rice successfully in multiple ways

The Sun’s Bill Ordine says Flacco found WIDE OPEN D. Williams for deep TD pass in win

The Sun’s Bill Ordine says McClain’s safety opened scoring

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens can’t keep committing penalties on offense and beat good teams

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Suggs’ statements got Ravens in trouble with league

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Ravens have chance to get into first place tie next weekend

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Flacco, Smith playing together shows ‘team unity’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Suggs inspired by stupid comments

The Examiner’s Dave Carey says Harbaugh wants offense to be ‘aggressive’, ‘creative’

The Examiner’s Gary Lambrecht not ‘jubilant’ about win over awful Raiders

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Ravens score season-high 29 points in win

Aaron Wilson says “Falco” ‘playing like Randy Moss’

Aaron Wilson says Smith ‘excited’ to return to field

Aaron Wilson says J. McClain makes impact in NFL debut

Aaron Wilson gives highest praise to linebackers

Carroll County Times’ Ryan Chell says Ogden ‘almost broke down’ during ceremony

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Flacco displays ‘versatility’ in win

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Ogden ran out of tunnel once more before entering Ring of Honor

The AP’s David Ginsburg says Flacco didn’t want to look like ‘fool’ when trying to make catch

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens ‘quietly hanging around’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens again on ‘winning streak’

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Raiders ‘helpless’

SI’s Peter King reads WNST.net, thinks Ravens DO have ‘bounty’

Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson thinks Cameron ‘winner’ for play calling

SF Chronicle’s David White says Raiders ‘overmatched’ by Ravens

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Terps enter AP rankings at 25th

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph thinks ranking ‘nice’ but meaningless at this point of season

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says big donors to make Virginia Tech trip

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Meggett thought he ‘should have scored’ on final drive

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph thinks getting into Top 25 represents league ‘parity’

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Scott has extra time to recover from shoulder injury

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph thinks O-Line played ‘best they have so far’ in win

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Hokies dealing with injuries to both QB’s heading towards Maryland game

The Examiner’s Sean Welsh says Terps can play for title by winning out

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Scott ‘still very sore’ yesterday

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says ‘tough guy’ Scott taking role as leader

Frederick News-Post’s Greg Swatek says Meggett filling ‘key role’ for Terps

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps in Top 25 for first time since ‘06

Washington Post’s Matthew Rennie says both Va Tech QB’s ‘questionable’ for Maryland game

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says both Va Tech QB’s have ankle sprains

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Philistin will have MRI today

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says throwing in rain Saturday ‘pretty tough’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says ranking may not be good sign for Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says almost half of AP voters put Maryland on ballot

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens wouldn’t be surprised if Scott ‘questionable’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps, Heels only bowl eligible teams in ACC thus far

ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach thinks Terps Jacksonville-bound; Bruce Feldman has them in Boise

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich has Terps 3rd in power rankings

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Ralph thinks ACC teams will keep fluctuating in rankings

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps, Noles have created separation in division

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Scott ‘kept momentum going’ in win

Turtle Sports Report’s Seth Hoffman says Scott gets ‘motivational’ after injury on final drive

Terrapin Times’ Mike Ashley checks in with Ralph’s Sunday thoughts (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Terps picked to finish 7th in preseason poll

The AP’s Aaron Beard says Terps get 192 points in ACC voting

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says little attention paid to Terps on Media Day

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Vasquez picks Terps 4th in ACC

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Gary thinks ACC should get 7 teams in NCAA Tournament

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Mids receive votes in AP Top 25

The Official Site’s Bob Socci says DE Walsh ‘vocal leader’

The Sun’s Don Markus says OC Jasper thinks Dobbs ‘not ready’

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner ‘doesn’t think’ Mids face QB controversy

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Navy just one win away from DC Bowl trip

Go Mids’ Matt Zemek says Navy used ‘classic’ formula to beat Stangs (must subscribe)

ORIOLES:

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says former Bird Bradford having ‘unbelievable’ time with Rays

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Matusz continues to shine, Reimold continues to struggle in Arizona

BLAST:

The Sun’s Kent Baker says league will likely play with 4 teams due to Orlando’s exit

FIGURE SKATING:

The Sun’s Candus Thomson says Meissner can’t overcome early falls, finishes 8th at Skate America

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Congratulations to John Carroll QB Steven St. Clair for being named today’s “Athlete of the Morning” on the Comcast Morning Show. St. Clair scored TD’s in the air, on the ground, via INT return, and via punt return as John Carroll PASTED Boys’ Latin. Congratulations to all of our other nominees as well.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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More C-Mac talk,Rex – Rob Ryan,Suggs radio comments, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan

Posted on 23 October 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some news and notes from Ravens today:

Here is Rex’s comments on C-Mac situation:

-Rex Ryan talked about how Jim Leonhard was in the game more than Ed Reed because of a certain package that the they had practiced more in it, but no one talked about it. Rex said it is his responsibility to get the job done no matter who is out there.

- As to who decides who starts on defense, Rex Ryan made is very clear, “it is my call, always on defense.”

-Rex mentioned that he owes it to this football team to do what they think is best with match ups, even if that means taking out Ray Lewis.

On his relationship with Rob Ryan:

- ” We were really close, we still are very close. With dad’s profession, I always had my best friend with me when we moved.”

-”you look forward to seeing him, maybe going out to eat or something. You have to feel bad for someone, might as well feel bad for him. It is all about the win, hopefully our team will come out on top.”

-The defensive guys have said that the guy to getting JaMarcus Russell is to wrapping him up and wait for help to come.

On Terrell Suggs comments on the radio:

- ” I am getting it all second hand, I do not know all the particulars on it, so I would rather not comment right now til I hear it myself.”

On Mike Singletary getting hired in San Fransico:

“I am excited for Mike Singletary to get that opportunity, I think he will do a tremendous job.He probably gives the best speeches I have ever heard a guy give. I think the lost a heck of coach in Mike Nolan, I hate to see one of my friends lose a job when the season is not even over. I think that is kind of ridiculous, it is what it is. I guess adversity to some comes opportunity for others, hopefully Mike Singletary will do a good job in stay in that position, but i sure feel for Mike Nolan.”

-Cam Cameron mentioned that Willis McGahee took 30 cc’s off of his knee before the Miami game and having the game he did was impressive. Cameron feels like McGahee is getting healthier and that will benefit the offense.

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 October 2008 by Glenn Clark

It was GREAT to see the Ravens get the win in Miami yesterday. But it doesn’t make them a playoff team. It DOES however convince me that they won’t go 4-12; which I will admit I was concerned about again.

And John Harbaugh is still not doing much for me. Some people already seem to know what happened with Chris McAlister in Miami; and the truth WILL come out. Just saying that there was an “in house disciplinary action” would have been enough. Don’t get too cute.

The biggest difference on the field yesterday was clearly Willis McGahee; who is this team’s greatest difference maker. If he can be explosive; things could open up for Joe Flacco.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Casey Willett doesn’t buy McAlister injury story

Drew Forrester welcomes fans back to Ravens bandwagon

Brent Harris happy to see Ravens ‘finally’ get road win

Alex Thomas says Ravens ‘finally’ win regular season game in Miami

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens improve to .500 with win in Miami

The Official Site’s Kristen Deahl says Suggs scores first career TD in win

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Mason ‘finally’ scores first TD of season in win

Dolphins Official Site’s Andy Kent says Ravens run ball well, stop run well in win

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens snap 3 game losing streak with win

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens get first road win in over a year

The Sun’s David Steele says Ravens prove they’re better than ’07 with win in Miami

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley and David Steele say McGahee again strong in South Florida

The Sun’s Mike Preston says McAlister doesn’t know why he didn’t start; Harbaugh says McAlister hurt

The Sun’s Mike Preston gives highest praise to O-Line, Running Backs

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Rolle ‘optimistic’ to play Sunday

The Sun’s Mike Preston says win ‘downright sloppy at times’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Flacco, Boller ‘statistically comparable’ through first 6 games of career

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Flacco’s development tough to gauge

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Barnes has ‘maturity issues’

The AP says Cameron ‘jubilant’ after win over former team

Aaron Wilson says Ravens got ‘needed’ win

Aaron Wilson says Cameron got ‘closure’ with win

Aaron Wilson says McAlister, Harbaugh differ over reason McAlister came off bench

Miami Herald’s Jeff Darlington says “Wildcat” questioned after Fins’ loss

Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero says Fins’ defense ‘run down’, ‘run over’

South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Dave Hyde says Cameron gets game ball, Gatorade shower after beating former team

South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov says Pennington ‘erratic’ in loss

ESPN.com’s Tim Graham says Cameron felt good for family after win

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens extend streak to 25 straight games without 100 yard rusher

Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez says Flacco gets first career road victory

SI’s Peter King says Ravens ‘smothered’ Wildcat

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph ‘hopeful’ Terps won’t suffer letdown

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph disappointed by crowd size

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Moten could be back for Va. Tech Nov. 6

The Sun’s Jeff Barker wonders if team who beats ranked teams should be ranked themselves

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Turner impressed by Oquendo

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says DHB not thinking about leaving school just yet

The Examiner’s Abby Sondak says DHB ‘only frustrated when (Terps) lose’

Frederick News-Post’s Greg Swatek says Terps beat Wake in front of smallest home crowd of season

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Barnes to have MRI today

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps continue stellar play at noon

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps play better in front of smaller home crowds

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says no one besides Barnes seriously hurt in Wake game

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Turner continues dominance vs. ranked teams

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Herbstreit thinks Terps 23rd best team in country

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Cosh gets 2nd career shutout at Maryland

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens continues to expect unexpected with Terps

ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach thinks Terps Jacksonville-bound, Bruce Feldman thinks they’re headed to Boise

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich has Terps 4th in power rankings

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Ralph wants better home field advantage

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps overcame Scott’s fumbles

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps won with total team effort

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Ralph ‘good tired’ after win (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Dalton, Cinosky get top awards at annual banquet

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Frese lands two HUGE prospects (must subscribe)

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site’s Jack Clary says Mids to play 1,200th game in school history Saturday against SMU

The Sun’s Don Markus says Niumatalolo should consider playing Dobbs

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Navy gets chance to bounce back vs. awful SMU team

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Mids still have ‘favorable schedule’ to get to DC Bowl

Go Mids’ Matt Zemek not ‘alarmed’ by Pitt loss

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Schaefer to attend tonight’s chalk talk

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Examiner’s Jon Gallo recognizes Kase after big game

ORIOLES:

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Wieters cooling down a bit in Arizona

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Ralph is right to expect at least 50,000 Maryland fans at Byrd Stadium every Saturday. What more do you guys want???

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Another lost afternoon in Indy

Posted on 12 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

If there was any doubt about where the Ravens stand amongst the elite teams in the NFL, this afternoon’s resounding thud in Indianapolis made it clear as most in the locker room said in the postgame: “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

It was all beer, girls and giggles for a little while, John Harbaugh’s arrival as the new head coach of the Ravens and the likeable rookie from tiny Delaware leading the charge to a 2-0 record and near-wins in Pittsburgh and at home last weekend against the upstart Tennessee Titans.

Today’s three hours in Indy (and it felt like the game lasted three days) made it clear that the stakes are a little higher as teams starts figuring out tendencies, weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Oh, and that Peyton Manning guy is still pretty good, especially when he has time and healthy receivers.

To a man, there were 53 very embarrassed and abused football players in the purple locker room at Lukas Oil Stadium. It was a licking of the century, by far the worst and most disappointing loss in team history, reminiscent of the waning days of the Ted Marchibroda era in 1998. The only game I can remember that was this lopsided was the Jacksonville first-half drubbing at home in that final year of Teddyball.

But Manning has had a few dozen of these almost-too-easy cakewalks en route to Canton over the course of this decade, picking on the likes of Corey Ivy, Frank Walker, and yes, even Chris McAlister.

I shot plenty of videos for wnsTV about my still inexplicable disdain for Indianapolis, the Colts, the Irsay memories and just sitting in their new palace all day brought back the anger of Mayflower vans for me.

(I know, I know…I should be over it. Maybe I need a shrink, because I turn 40 on Tuesday and the Colts are celebrating their 25th season in Indianapolis and my blood still curdles at the first sight of my father’s stolen horseshoe on the bodies of these Midwestern hillbillies. It still sucks and perhaps like a few of the folks left in Brooklyn with Dodger blue, I guess I might never “get over it.”)

I still have a deep hatred for the concept of the Indianapolis Colts and I probably always will.

Oh, and the stadium was beautiful, more gorgeous than the city and the franchise probably deserves, especially considering the first 15 years of ineptitude and empty seats in the heartland.

Oh, and there was the game? There’s really not a lot to say about the game.

You saw it.

It was a trainwreck come to life. Play after play, mistake after mistake, breakdown after breakdown. There wasn’t much most of the players could say except that they’d fly home and attempt to have collective amnesia as they head to Miami next week to attempt to rectify last December’s embarrassment that cost Brian Billick his job and brought Cam Cameron north to run the Ravens’ offense.

Joe Flacco’s play was unacceptable.

Chris McAlister’s play – as well as the secondary in general — was unacceptable.

And the eight guys who missed tackles on the play before the two minute warning of the first half should hang their heads in shame for that effort.

And the team’s general lack of execution in every phase of the game – Derrick Mason went as far as to say that even the cheerleaders kicked the Ravens’ glutes – was clearly irritating to Harbaugh, who was quite chippy in the postgame Q&A.

Hey coach, we just ask the questions. How you choose to answer them is your deal!

“Let me tell you right now: we’re not about pointing fingers,” Harbaugh said. “So if anybody thinks I’m gonna stand up here and point the finger at one guy or another guy, ‘This guy played well and this guy didn’t play well.’ You can just pack up your tape recorders right now.”

I guess that’s our job, huh, “pointing fingers” and “looking for reasons”?

It was 24-0 at halftime.

It was 31-0 soon thereafter.

Much like at Billick’s darkest hours – Detroit in 2005 and the Miami debacle last year come to mind, but I’m sure there are more – taking the heat ain’t easy. Answering the questions for abominations like this turd in Indy ain’t easy.

But the questions WILL be asked. And the answers might not be easy or they might not come at all. But they show up in the standings, one way or another.

Flacco, for being just five games into his career, was more even in the postgame than his coach and accepted full responsibility for the mistakes at the podium.

McAlister, as his usual custom, took no questions at all. But Harbaugh maintained, “Chris is not hurt.”

So, if Harbaugh wants to know “what kind of men” he has, he’ll have 11 more weeks to find out. Right now, his men are 2-3 and reeling from a surprising knockout punch in Indy.

We didn’t expect much from this team in August. Perhaps the quality of play over the first four hours of the season foolishly fooled us into thinking the team is better than we thought. Or maybe the Indy incident is a blip on the radar and they’ll go back to playing well next week and get to .500 before coming home to play Oakland in 13 days?

But this is Coach Harbaugh’s first test of wills, seeing if he can keep the finger-pointing, distractions and division from bubbling to the surface in a room full of embarrassed players. A 31-3 thorough ass-kicking will do that.

The fans always spend the hours and days after these kinds of losses in a deep funk and civic depression. For the players, it doesn’t work like that. They can’t afford to be distracted.

Tomorrow is a new day in Owings Mills. The team is 2-3 and could easily be 4-1.

At this point, we’d all settle for 3-3 with a good week of practice and play against the Dolphins.

Let’s see how Harbaugh, Flacco and the rest of the gang respond to the crisis.

As Harbaugh said yesterday (and I concur), “That’s what it’s all about!”

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Today we continue out education about the 2008 Ravens

Posted on 05 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The undefeated Tennessee Titans roll into town believing (as they should) that they are a Super Bowl contender. Sure, the Ravens are 2-1 and are one play, one red flag, one fumble, one whistle away from being 3-0.

But today the Ravens will have the chance to show us whether they’ll be a very good team this year, or simply one of the many who will be playing “win one, lose one” style in the NFL.

They’ll either sport a pedestrian 2-2 by the end of the day or they’ll be 3-1 at the quarter pole. And either one of them is perfectly acceptable to me.

A month ago many us of believed they’d stink. A win today here against the Titans would make them 3-1 and they would be getting the kind of attention playoff teams will get from the national media.

But let’s be honest: beating the Clevelands and Cincinnatis at home doesn’t earn you honors in the AFC in 2008. We’re pretty sure they both stink.

But beat a 4-0 team and you’ve showed the entire NFL something.

Concerns for the Ravens today:

How will the offensive line and a max protect serve quarterback Joe Flacco against a defense as tenacious and talented as Jim Schwartz’s bunch in blue?

Where’s Willis McGahee? We all like Le’Ron McClain but I’m not sure the Ravens can win if he’s the feature back for the entire season. Unless the offensive line becomes more seasoned and dominant at the point of attack more consistently.

Will Todd Heap become more involved in the offense? Most of us thought Cam Cameron’s offense would use Heap in the same role as Antonio Gates in the San Diego scheme. That hasn’t happened yet.

When the Titans have the ball it will be interesting to see if the Ravens’ defense can goad Kerry Collins into some of the problems he had back on Jan. 28, 2001 when he was leading the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Collins is now playing the “Trent Dilfer role” for the Titans. He protects the ball. He manages the game. And he’s been undefeated doing it for a team that wants to smack you in the mouth and get turnovers on defense.

Theoretically, this is a good match up for the Ravens because the Titans don’t have the long-ball arsenal and quick attack style that teams like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati like to employ. This is one day when you’d think the gambling style Rex Ryan’s defense likes to utilize won’t be as susceptible to big plays or big breakdowns, especially in the secondary.

But the Ravens are going to have to keep Flacco and the offense on the field and they’ll need to run more effectively than they have so far this season. (Or at least in the way that they controlled the ball in the fourth quarter of the Cincinnati and Cleveland wins.)

Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vandenbosch, Keith Bullock and company are stingy. They stuff the run. They sack the quarterback. They ball hawk. And they take the ball away.

The Titans have manhandled all four of their opponents. Pound for pound, they have been the best team in the NFL so far this season.

Today’s task is a tall one for the men in purple.

But it’s a day to figure out whether that 2-0 start was an aberration or whether the Ravens have arrived in 2008 as a legitimate playoff contender. Today is a reality check for the whole city.

Win today and we can start discussing the possibility of the “p” word and being a legitimate contender.

A loss today and staring the down the barrel of a trip to visit Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indianapolis next week, and all of a sudden the Ravens’ prospects aren’t looking so rosy.

Get’s your “Let’s Go Flacco!” signs and enjoy the game!

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