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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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A Final Week of Private Workouts As Draft Season Nears Culmination

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A Final Week of Private Workouts As Draft Season Nears Culmination

Posted on 23 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

We’re less than a week away from the kickoff of the NFL Draft (Thursday night-8pm-ESPN & NFL Network), but we’ve already seen the end of Private workout season, as the Ravens hosted their final private workouts this week.

Now GM Ozzie Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta, Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz, Head Coach John Harbaugh, Owner Steve Bisciotti, Team President Dick Cass, VP of Football Administation Pat Moriarty and the entire scouting staff will be involved in the process before the team makes their first pick.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Andy Dalton (TCU), Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss), Ricky Stanzi (Iowa), Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford), Shaun Chapas (Georgia)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), Mikel Leshoure (Illinois), Darren Evans (Virginia Tech), Stevan Ridley (LSU)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union), Jerrel Jernigan (Troy), Niles Paul (Nebraska), Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State), DeMarcus Love (Arkansas), James Brewer (Indiana)
G-Danny Watkins (Baylor), Will Rackley (Lehigh)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada), D’Aundre Reed (Arizona), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa), Sam Acho (Texas), Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State), Christian Ballard (Iowa), Ricky Elmore (Arizona)
DT-Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois), Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State), Alex Wujciak (Maryland), Akeem Dent (Georgia), Justin Houston (Georgia)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida), Will Hill (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami), Brandon Harris (Miami), Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), Richard Sherman (Stanford), Brandon Burton (Utah), Curtis Marsh (Utah State), Chris Culliver (South Carolina), Buster Skrine (Chattanooga)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 456-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indy
Parts 8, 9 & 10-A look at players who participated in early Pro Timing Days
Part 11-Players the Ravens have shown direct interest in

The Baltimore Ravens (obviously) made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects-all of whom have been shown special attention by the Ravens during Draft season. (Reported by WNST.net, National Football Post, Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun, Pro Football Weekly or others.)

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, NFL.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

DT Corey Liuget (Illinois)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlprPUyKL8M[/youtube]

It might have surprised some to see that Liuget had visited Owings Mills for a meeting with the Ravens. The team has PLENTY of depth on the D-Line (with the exception of rush end). Behind Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg and Cory Redding, the team has the likes of Brandon McKinney, Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens and Kelly Talavou to play the position.

Liuget remains an intriguing prospect. He’s an outstanding gap filler at 6’2″, 298; and even managed eight sacks during his career with the Fighting Illini-five of those coming in 2010.

Liuget is expected to come off the board as early as the mid-teens in the first round. Should he fall, the Ravens would find themselves with a difficult decision-as it would be hard to imagine they have many players higher on their board than a player with Liuget’s ability.

Liuget has been a steady riser during Draft season. The Ravens have to be impressed by the fact that he’s capable of playing in both the three and the five technique-and his Pro Day workout in Champaign was reportedly quite impressive.

He might not seem to fight an immediate need-but he simply can’t be ruled out as the Ravens’ first round choice.

CB Justin Rogers (Richmond)

justinrogers

If you’ve been following my Draft updates, you should be well aware of the Ravens’ issues at Cornerback.

Josh Wilson, Chris Carr and Fabian Washington are slated to become unrestricted free agents. Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent. Domonique Foxworth missed the entire 2010 season due to a torn ACL.

The team is going to have to address the defensive secondary SOMEHOW during the offseason-by retaining their own players or adding new ones (or more likely a combination of both).

Rogers recently visited 1 Winning Drive, giving the Ravens a chance to take a better look at the CAA prospect. His size (5’11″, 180 pounds) is not exceptional, but his 4.40 Pro Day 40 time certainly is.

His Spiders career was certainly exceptional as well, as he finished his four seasons with 12 interceptions (three of which were returned for touchdowns.) He showed himself plenty capable of being a matchup corner-albeit against FCS competition.

He’s not going to come off the board until Saturday. Most pundits believe the team will have picked a corner before then-but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that the team could still add Rogers.

LB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J36hhdBm9QU[/youtube]

The Ravens certainly aren’t the only team that has shown interest in Ayers, as half the league (or more) has hosted the former Bruins backer. But it doesn’t change the fact that the interest in Ayers from General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the team is genuine.

That being said, Ayers isn’t a perfect fit for Chuck Pagano’s defense. While he’s shown an ability to get after quarterbacks (11 sacks during his career in Los Angeles), he can’t be fairly expected to be a true “rush backer.”

Of course, the Ravens already have one of those players in LB Terrell Suggs, so they’re really only in need of a complement to T-Sizzle.

Ayers is a more complete standup backer, as he added 6 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) to his numbers at UCLA. He has mammoth size (6’3″, 254 pounds) and pretty good speed to boot (4.69 40 at his Pro Day).

As the Ravens look to address their rush early in the draft, they’ll have to decide on whether they’re looking for more of a down lineman or a stand-up backer. My guess is that they’re looking for more of a hybrid-as it will allow them to keep LB Jarret Johnson on the field significantly-but slide a rusher back in obvious passing situations.

Ayers likely won’t stick around until the team’s 2nd round choice (at 58). The team will probably have to pull the trigger at 26 or miss out.

(Ayers joined Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” on AM1570 WNST Thursday, that chat can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

G/C Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPMkroHBPqM[/youtube]

If selected by the Ravens, Wisniewski would not be the first Wisniewski to play Pro Football in Charm City.

His father (Leo Wisniewski) was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft. His family tree is rooted in NFL tradition, as his uncle (Steve Wisniewski) was an eight time Pro Bowl guard for the LA/Oakland Raiders and still an assistant O-Line coach for the team.

Clearly football is in his blood.

The Ravens could be well served to add the 6’3″, 313 pound interior lineman to their O-Line. Wisniewski played more Guard in Happy Valley, but many teams believe he will be a Center at the NFL level.

The Ravens have flux at both positions, as G Marshal Yanda is a restricted free agent-but could be asked to return to OT should unrestricted free agent Jared Gaither depart. While C Matt Birk decided to return this season, he is widely expected to be playing in his final NFL season. G/C Chris Chester is also a restricted free agent, but isn’t widely viewed as a “Center of the future” type.

Wisniewski is likely to be a Friday night pick. It would be easy to imagine new Offensive Line coach Andy Moeller rooting to add a player with the bloodlines of a Wisniewski.

DE Robert Quinn (North Carolina)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqJrjwjf55c[/youtube]

The word “interesting” doesn’t even begin to describe Quinn as a NFL Draft prospect.

Quinn is likely better known for his off the field history coming into his pro career than he is for his on field ability. He was suspended for the 2010 season after the NCAA determined he had lied to investigators about receiving improper travel accommodations and jewelry.

When asked how the scandal could affect Quinn (and former UNC teammates Marvin Austin & Greg Little) at the Ravens’ annual Pre-Draft Luncheon, Newsome pointed out the Ravens had an advantage because Pagano was the DC in Chapel Hill back in 2007.

Quinn is widely believed to be a Top 10 talent in this year’s draft class-but the off field trouble has left in doubt where he will end up being selected. That’s where the Ravens come in. Should he continue to fall, the team would have the opportunity to select him at 26th or even consider moving up a few spots to get him.

Quinn has the physique of the type of rush end the Ravens are interested in adding to their defense. He’s 6’4″, 265 pounds and has really good speed (4.59 40 at his Pro Day). In two seasons with the Tar Heels, he tallied 13 sacks-11 of which came in 2009.

As well as addressing the off field trouble, the Ravens have to determine whether or not the year off will also hurt Quinn on the field.

If he slides, it will be awfully difficult decision on whether or not the team should take the chance.

LB Jonathan Cornell (Mississippi)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCO9L3kFDrg[/youtube]

Despite the fact that only a few players in the history of the NFL have even been worthy of being mentioned in the same SENTENCE as future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis, the words “heir apparent to Ray Lewis” tend to get thrown around frequently during Draft season.

It ultimately is never fair to any Inside Linebacker the Ravens select, which Tavares Gooden has found out in recent years.

Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain have failed to nail down the WILL LB spot next to the perennial Pro Bowler, and Jason Phillips hasn’t been able to work his way on the field regularly. We also know Lewis won’t be around forever…even if it feels like he might be.

At 6’1″, 236 pounds; some scouts are going to label Cornell as “undersized.” Of course, some of those same scouts said the same thing about that former Miami Hurricanes LB in 1996. Cornell certainly showed an ability to make tackles, finishing his Rebels career with 215 tackles and eight sacks. His 4.76 forty time at his Pro Day in Oxford had to be considered at least a bit disappointing.

There’s no guarantee that Cornell gets drafted at all. Ellerbe and McClain both made the team’s roster out of Training Camp after not being selected. The Ravens will be a bit more hamstrung in the late rounds of this year’s Draft, as they will be unable to sign undrafted free agents until the NFL’s labor dispute is resolved.

With that in mind, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company will know that it might be more necessary than ever to not risk exposing a player like Cornell to a prolonged post-Draft free agency period.

DE Jabaal Sheard (Pitt)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUXMVmDwvmA[/youtube]

Sometimes a team finds red flags in a player that concern them as they make a decision in whether or not they should be drafted.

Other times a team finds positive attributes that make the decision to draft the player a true slam dunk.

In the case of Sheard…well…there’s…both? From the Carroll County Times…

“He was arrested last summer for felony aggravated assault and resisting arrest after an altercation in a bar where he threw a man through a glass door. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, was ordered to apologize and pay medical bills. He was suspended from the team for two weeks as well as internal discipline.

He was awarded a medal for bravery years ago for helping an elderly woman escape from a burning home.”

When not getting arrested or helping elderly women from their homes, Sheard has been a hell of a pass rusher for the Panthers. He’s tallied 19 sacks over the last three seasons, and is viewed as a player who could stand up or put his hand in the dirt at the next level.

Sheard is a beast of a man, measuring in at 6’3″, 264 pounds and clocking in with a 4.68 forty time at the Combine. Scouts have been impressed with his bull rush abilities and the way he handled double teams when teammate Greg Romeus got hurt in 2010.

The Ravens are expected to address DE/OLB early in the Draft. Sheard is unlikely to stick around until the 58th pick and might not be a stretch at all should he come off the board at 26.

WR Greg Little (North Carolina)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHwr7WlO77E[/youtube]

So remember all of those things I said about Quinn? Let’s repeat them for Little.

It’s hard to imagine how the year off will affect him, but we do not it took away an opportunity for him to prove himself as a superior pass-catcher.

Little played just a season and a half at receiver after starting his ACC career at Running Back. He finished his UNC career with 1,774 yards of total offense and 12 combined touchdowns. But the only numbers scouts can really use in considering his potential NFL ability are his 62 catches for 724 yards and five TD’s in 2009.

Ironically, Little has good size (6’3″, 231 pounds) but only decent speed (4.51 forty at the Combine). Unfortunately, he’s never really established himself as an outside or over the top receiver, so teams are hard pressed to determine whether or not he’ll be able to be much more than a slot option.

The Ravens probably have receivers like Little on the roster already. He’s similar to Anquan Boldin, certainly thicker than Derrick Mason. The team will have tough decisions to make with unrestricted free agents T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth, but neither are really expected back in Charm City next season.

The team is more likely to think big and fast when it comes to receiver upgrades, as they desperately need to stretch the field vertically and extend the field horizontally. The team could use more than one receiver in their upgrade process, which could be where Little fits the picture.

If the team doesn’t go receiver early in the Draft, they could certainly consider grabbing Little on Friday night and trying to use free agency (which should be coming…eventually) to add a superior playmaker to their corps.

G/C Mike Pouncey (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klPDvs5vvAM[/youtube]

One AFC scout said this to me about the predicament the Ravens could find themselves in when it comes to Pouncey at 26.

“Well…they’d have to take him…they couldn’t afford the risk of him joining his brother in Pittsburgh.”

Clearly that doesn’t ACTUALLY mean the Ravens would have to select Pouncey at 26, but it is a tough decision they’d face. The Ravens have struggled to get consistent pressure on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger over the years, which has allowed for Pittsburgh to dominate the AFC North. Every decision they make this offseason must be made knowing the road to the Super Bowl will go directly through the Steel City.

Should Mike Pouncey join his brother Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers’ O-Line would clearly become that much stronger. It would also make the Ravens’ road to Super Bowl XLVI even more difficult.

That being said, the Ravens’ interest in Pouncey isn’t solely based on keeping him out of Pittsburgh. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron would be well served to add a player of Pouncey’s size (6’5″, 303) and ability to his O-Line. Pouncey is more likely to begin his career at guard than center; and the Ravens could ultimately shift Yanda to tackle should Gaither depart and stick with Pouncey at RG. The move would also give them a potential “center of the future” should Birk retire following the season.

Most scouts believe Pouncey isn’t quite as NFL ready as his brother was, but it’s hard too many rookies being as NFL ready as his brother was. Few scouts doubt the fact that Pouncey is an outstanding talent however, which is why he could go off at the board at 26 or earlier.

Head Coach John Harbaugh spent real time with Pouncey at the NFL Combine. The other head coach Pouncey said he spent real time with in Indy?

Mike Tomlin…of course.

K Kemar Scarlett (Morgan State)

kemarscarlett

Scarlett gained attention in recent weeks after a lengthy ESPN.com profile and an appearance with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST recently. (That interview can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

The Ravens visited Scarlett’s Pro Day over on Hillen Road, but make no mistake-they’re very happy with their own kicker (Billy Cundiff) and they have no interest in Scarlett or any other kicker available in this year’s Draft. It’s certainly a refreshing change for Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg after the last two offseasons.

That being said, Scarlett had a nice career for the Bears; connecting on 27 of 34 field goal attempts, including two 47 yard boots during his senior season.

Scarlett will have an opportunity to play football professionally…it just isn’t going to start with him hearing his name called in the NFL Draft.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Private Workouts Now in Focus with Draft Season Speeding Towards Conclusion

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Private Workouts Now in Focus with Draft Season Speeding Towards Conclusion

Posted on 14 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

Like Florence & The Machine said, “The Pro Days are over.”

Well maybe those weren’t the exact lyrics from Florence Welch and company, but the statement remains true.

Draft season has officially shifted from Pro Days to private visits and workouts.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Andy Dalton (TCU), Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss), Ricky Stanzi (Iowa), Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford), Shaun Chapas (Georgia)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), Mikel Leshoure (Illinois), Darren Evans (Virginia Tech)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union), Jerrel Jernigan (Troy), Niles Paul (Nebraska), Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State), DeMarcus Love (Arkansas)
G-Danny Watkins (Baylor)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada), D’Aundre Reed (Arizona), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa), Sam Acho (Texas), Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State)
DT-Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois), Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State), Alex Wujciak (Maryland), Akeem Dent (Georgia)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami), Brandon Harris (Miami), Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), Richard Sherman (Stanford), Brandon Burton (Utah)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 456-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indy
Parts 8, 9 & 10-A look at players who participated in early Pro Timing Days

The Baltimore Ravens (obviously) made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects-all of whom have been shown special attention by the Ravens during Draft season. (Reported by WNST.net, National Football Post, Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun, Pro Football Weekly or others.)

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, NFL.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

DE Christian Ballard (Iowa)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhgvSsE5tLI[/youtube]

Ballard is one of a number of Defensive Ends that has wandered over to Owings Mills during Draft season.

The Ravens are clearly in need of a rush end, and have looked at a number of players who could fit the role. Ballard (6’4″, 283 pounds) managed to tally eight combined sacks over his junior and senior campaigns with the Hawkeyes despite playing part of that time on the interior of the line.

Ballard has shown good speed during Draft season, trimming his 40 time from 4.75 at the Combine to 4.70 at his Pro Day in Iowa City. He’s not a first round pick, but he is a player the Ravens could consider as early as the second round.

They may have addressed rush end before that. Ballard’s teammate Adrian Clayborn, Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward and a number of other players are all higher on the board. The Ravens have a GLARING need at the position. If they don’t address it in the first, don’t be surprised if they address it with Ballard.

OT James Brewer (Indiana)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X01sxTrZZY[/youtube]

We don’t know for sure whether or not the Ravens have hosted Brewer at 1 Winning Drive, but we do know that the team paid special interest to Brewer’s Pro Day in Bloomington.

The Ravens have an issue along their O-Line. OT Jared Gaither is an unrestricted free agent and there are just a few question marks surrounding him. OT Michael Oher may or may not have a future at LT. G/T Marshal Yanda probably needs to return to being a Guard only.

The team will have to make some decisions.

Brewer (6’6″, 323 pounds) could help in that decision making process. He’s not a first round talent, but he looks like someone who is going to be able to play fairly early on if selected late Friday or early Saturday.

There is a SMALL issue with Brewer…he’s from Indianapolis. If he roots for the Colts, that could be trouble.

But otherwise, he has to be a legitimate option to help new O-Line coach Andy Moeller.

RB Stevan Ridley (LSU)

stevan

Unlike Ravens RB Ray Rice, Ridley’s game is much about power than speed (his 4.65 40 time at the Combine was better than either of his runs at his Pro Day in Baton Rouge). That could be a recipe to get him to Charm City, as the team may well lose both RB Willis McGahee (expected to be released) and FB Le’Ron McClain (Unrestricted Free Agent) this offseason.

Ridley might not be massive, but he packs 225 pounds in a 5’11″ frame. He has the look of a third down/red zone weapon at the next level, which is part of what the Ravens will be looking for in their backfield this offseason.

Ridley had just one big season with the Tigers before declaring for the Draft a year early. After rushing for just 272 yards and four TD’s combined between his freshman and sophomore seasons, he exploded for 1,147 yards and 15 TD’s as a junior. Clearly part of the reason for leaving early was to save some “tread” on his tires.

The Ravens paid special attention to Ridley at the Combine, where they learned more about why he was voted a team captain as a junior. He’s not a Thursday night pick and probably not a Friday night pick either. As the Draft wares into Saturday, he’ll look more and more appealing to the Ravens-who need to give Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron a change of pace option in the backfield.

CB Curtis Marsh (Utah State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-DwCYgqHWk[/youtube]

Just to recap the Ravens’ CB situation this offseason-Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents; Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent and Domonique Foxworth is coming off an ACL injury that cost him the entire 2010 season. Lardarius Webb is the only corner that saw the field last season that remains fully under contract.

Clearly new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano will need SOMETHING in his defensive backfield, be it returning players or newcomers.

Marsh is an intriguing option who has already visited General Manager Ozzie Newsome and company in Owings Mills. He was very much under the radar screen playing for the Aggies, but his 6’1″, 197 pound size and 4.42 speed have been undeniable during Draft season.

Marsh initially garnered attention for his matchup abilities against Boise State receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young. He received a Senior Bowl invite but missed the week due to a hamstring injury.

Marsh could come off the board as early as Friday night. If the Ravens don’t select a cornerback in Round 1, he could be a legitimate option after that point.

DE Ricky Elmore (Arizona)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtE9qFonW7s[/youtube]

The Ravens have shown equal interest in Elmore and fellow former ‘Zona DE Brooks Reed, as both have shown an ability to get after Pac 10 quarterbacks.

Elmore tallied 21 combined sacks between his junior and senior seasons, finishing his Wildcats career with 25 sacks overall. During Draft season he’s been training with Clay Matthews Sr. (whose son is a pretty good pass rusher himself) in an attempt to even further improve his ability to get after QB’s.

Elmore is a physical beast, measuring in at 6’5″, 255 pounds. He’s not blazing fast (4.88 40 at the Combine), but he’s deceptively quick for his size.

As I mentioned with Ballard, the Ravens have to be desperate for rush help on the edge. If they select an end Thursday (or early Friday), they’ll likely want him to be someone who also has the ability to stand up in a 3-4 defense.

If they don’t go DE early, Elmore could be a better option later into the Draft (likely Saturday). Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company will have to determine how quickly Elmore could make an impact.

S Will Hill (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQK0xhpkE4Y&feature=fvst[/youtube]

Hill’s size (6’1″, 202 pounds) and decent speed (4.64 40) as well as his overall football ability (four interceptions over three seasons in Gainesville) should make him a solid Free Safety prospect.

Yet despite the Ravens showing interest in Hill at the Combine, he’s viewed as a borderline possibility to get picked anywhere in the Draft.

Hill’s issues are more off the field than they are on the field. He had some problems with his Twitter account-as well documented by the website “Every Day Should Be Saturday.”

Hill later claimed his Twitter account was hacked, but the damage was certainly done-and Hill didn’t exactly win everyone over with his comments about the incident at the Combine.

There are clear question marks off the field, which are clouding the ability he could have on the field. The Ravens appear to be in the safety market this offseason, as SS Dawan Landry is an unrestricted free agent and FS Ed Reed is…well…not getting any younger or healthier. Reserves Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura give them options to plug in, but they’ll certainly look for depth.

Should the Ravens not select a safety at all early in the Draft, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they could take a chance on a player like Hill late in the Draft. After taking risks on DT Terrence Cody and LB Sergio Kindle early in the Draft last season, they might not be as quick to take a chance on a player with a red flag in this year’s Draft.

CB Chris Culliver (South Carolina)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jFfXPtIMlk[/youtube]

As I mentioned with Marsh, the Ravens have secondary issues this offseason. They’ll need to address them SOMEHOW, and Culliver could be part of that.

Culliver is a 6’0″, 199 pound corner who tallied four sacks and three interceptions during his Gamecocks career. (All three picks came in 2008.) He’s coming off a torn pec that caused him to miss the final six games of his 2010 campaign.

Of all of the corners on the Ravens’ active roster in 2010, only Williams (6’1″) is as big as Culliver. None have the blazing speed (4.36 40 at the Combine…which he stood on instead of running at his Pro Day in Columbia) that Culliver has.

Culliver paid a visit to Owings Mills during Draft season to meet with Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company. They likely wanted to see how fluid he was in coverage, as he played just one season at corner in the SEC after converting from safety.

The other nice option with Culliver is his potential involvement in the return game. Culliver finished his SC career with a school record 2,476 return yards. The Ravens got solid production from Webb and WR David Reed/RB Jalen Parmele in the PR and KR roles respectively last season, but they certainly didn’t do so much that they have to be considered locks to return in the roles. Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg wouldn’t be disappointed to add another return man if the Ravens were to use a late Friday or early Saturday selection on Culliver.

G Will Rackley (Lehigh)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaXM8yMXOHM[/youtube]

The Ravens have certainly had no trouble using a pick in the top half of the Draft on interior linemen before.

G Ben Grubbs (1st round), C/G Chris Chester (2nd round), G/T Marshal Yanda (3rd round) and St. Louis Rams C Jason Brown (4th round) have all been players the Ravens have selected early, and they’ve received mostly good results from the selections.

The Ravens don’t appear to have a glaring need amongst their interior linemen, but there are certainly issues to be addressed.

While Head Coach John Harbaugh would like to return Yanda to Guard, he’s an restricted free agent that could depart in the offseason. Even if he stays, the Ravens could be faced with a need to have him stay at RT should the team not re-sign Gaither or not Draft/Sign a better option at the position. After getting a second round tender, Chester (also a restricted free agent) is expected to return, but the team would prefer to have him play a utility role along the line instead of being penciled in at RG.

Rackley could be the type of player who could step in and play RG immediately. The 6’3″, 309 pound lineman turned a number of heads during East West Shrine Game week, showing he was quite capable of playing against big time opposition despite his FCS background.

Rackley was a four year starter for the Mountain Hawks, dominating Patriot League opposition. Clearly the AFC North (and the likes of DT’s like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Casey Hampton) will offer more significant opposition. Rackley is expected to be a Friday night pick, which could certainly be a legitimate place for the Ravens to jump up and grab him.

CB Buster Skrine (Chattanooga)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2jksB_vrsM[/youtube]

Similar to Curtis Marsh, Skrine is going to be looking to overcome a lower level of competition to make a name for himself as a National Football League corner. But Skrine (who played in the Southern Conference) has many more questions about competition to overcome than Marsh-who played his ball in the WAC.

Skrine (5’10″, 186 pounds) has great speed (4.37 40 at the Combine-but rumored to have actually been as fast as 4.29) and finished his Mocs career with five interceptions.

The Ravens both attended Skrine’s Pro Day and hosted him in Owings Mills in March.

The biggest question surrounding Skrine is whether or not he can play press coverage against NFL receivers, many of whom will have a slight to significant height advantage.

If the Ravens feel like he could be, it would make him a solid option late Friday or early Saturday.

LB Justin Houston (Georgia)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR0L2RVId90[/youtube]

Houston appears to be a true standup OLB instead of a down DE, which could help as the Ravens try to find pass rush help.

At 6’3″, 270 pounds; Houston was considered “undersized” to play along the D-Line for the Bulldogs, so he was moved to the outside. He responded to the move by producing 10 sacks in 2010; finishing his career in Athens with 19 sacks total.

Houston’s size and solid speed (he trimmed his 40 time down to 4.57 at his Pro Day) make him a borderline first round pick. The Ravens are obviously in the market for pass rush help (more specifically someone to team with LB Terrell Suggs), and they have hosted Houston in Owings Mills during Draft season.

The only obvious red flag with Houston is a 2009 suspension by UGA coach Mark Richt for an unspecified violation of team rules.

While the team seems unlikely to trade out of the 26th spot this year, Houston could be the type of available player that would make them feel like they could. Should Houston be available in the 30-40 range, the Ravens would likely feel as though they got #26 value after trading back.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

I’ll start with the Retro Version. The retro version is in honor of tonight’s start of Hanukkah. My personal favorite (half) Jew is the great Lenny Kravitz, so here’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” If you’ve seen Lenny recently, please tell him to come back. He was freaking AMAZING.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLhpHjmxNw8[/youtube]

The NEW version of TGSOATTW is a song heard prominently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. I hope that tonight’s Grammy Awards nomination announcement features the band Ra Ra Riot. “Shadow Casting” is quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvcxieyeg4k[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Ravens waived S Ken Hamlin, signed FB Jason McKie

As I reported yesterday, the Ravens also tried out former Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans TE/FB Joel Gamble before going with McKie. I was told they made the decision because they felt McKie was more of a natural fullback while Gamble was more of a hybrid. Gamble is a Baltimore native (and Carver grad).

As far as McKie is concerned, I can’t imagine him being asked to do much more than block-but they’ll definitely need him to block. The likelihood is that Le’Ron McClain’s ankle will probably keep him out Sunday night, and the Ravens’ current roster options just aren’t particularly good. Dennis Pitta can help and Jalen Parmele could see the field; but in a game where running the ball will be important-the Ravens will need a true blocking back.

Don’t rule out Hamlin returning to Charm City at some point this season. He was cut once (to make room for Prince Miller humorously enough) but returned in favor of Trevor Pryce. The Ravens like the veteran presence that Hamlin gives them-but he hasn’t even been active much in recent weeks.

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens not concerned about outcry regarding towel giveaway

During our “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” segment before last year’s Ravens-Steelers game at M&T Bank Stadium, I really used up all of the venom I have on this subject.

OF COURSE it’s shameful that the Ravens are giving away towels the night of a Ravens-Steelers game.

OF COURSE it’s embarrassing to hardcore Baltimore football fans to see their own team use a “copycat” version of a rival tradition.

OF COURSE fans should chose NOT to waive the towels but instead to use their hands to clap, bang thundersticks, or otherwise make noise.

OF COURSE the Ravens should really know better in this entire situation.

Unfortunately, they’re still going to give the stupid towel away Sunday night even though there is no one excited about it.

Hey-it makes a nice dish rag. If they were giving them away on the way out-I’d be okay with it. And even ol’ Forrester thinks it makes a nice wall flag…

df

3. The AP’s Alan Robinson says Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger wearing protective boot, expected to play Sunday vs. Ravens

OF COURSE Ben Roethlisberger is going to play Sunday.

(I’ve said “OF COURSE” a lot today. Annoying anyone?)

Of course, if Sabrina Maree lived in the Steel City (or here in Baltimore); I’m not so sure Big Ben wouldn’t be too distracted to make it to the game Sunday night. (Thanks The Beer Goggler via Busted Coverage!)

sabrinamaree

4. ESPN.com drops Ravens to 4th in power rankings

Calm down. The only three teams ahead of the Ravens are the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and New York Jets; who are all 9-2. The Ravens are first amongst the 8-3 teams.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-I’m all for the idea of a “No Means No” chant Sunday night. I think it has to start during TV timeouts right before the Steelers take the ball. If this happens, I will seriously OWE the city of Baltimore for being so freaking awesome.

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. We’ll of course be out there to cover everything happening on and off the practice field. Make sure you remain tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking out WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

5. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says chances of Cesar Izturis returning to Orioles continue to improve

With no offense to Cesar Izturis, umm……..I’d rather not.

Connolly says Jason Bartlett will be dealt by the Tampa Bay Rays, but not to Baltimore. Miguel Tejada is headed to the San Francisco Giants, who lost Juan Uribe to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It could still be an option for the Minnesota Twins to deal JJ Hardy, but they’re not guaranteed to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka or not move him to second base.

If all else fails, why not Maggi Caruthers?!?!? (Thanks Guyism!)

caruthers

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen named ACC Coach of the Year, QB Danny O’Brien named Rookie of the Year

Both of these were sort of “no brainer” types of decisions.

The only other real options for Coach of the Year were Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. As the Seminoles did basically what everyone expected them to do and the Hokies only started playing well after losing to Boise State and James Madison; it would have been hard to justify either being honored ahead of Friedgen.

And I’m not sure I have many more words to scribe regarding O’Brien. Maybe it’s best the Terrapins DIDN’T make it to Charlotte to play in the ACC Championship Game. I’m not sure what else I could have said about him.

He’s like Matt Wieters. You know, expect…he’s actually done something.

7. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with Penn State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

I’ll say Terrapins 77, Nittany Lions 69.

I think it will be close for a while though, and I don’t doubt that Talor Battle will get his.

But there would be no excuse for Maryland to not roll up to State College and dominate inside with Jordan Williams. That should absolutely be the difference maker.

SHOULD be I say.

8. The AP says Justin Fry’s 16 points not enough as UMBC fell at Penn

Randy Monroe’s Retrievers MIGHT be better than last year; but it hasn’t resulted in a win yet.

And with a trip to UConn coming Friday night-I’m not sure a win is coming soon either.

Towson is in action tonight, the Tigers host Western Michigan at the Towson Center at 7pm.

9. The AP says Michael Harper scored 19 points to lead Coppin State past Lincoln (Pennsylvania) at CSPEC

Now they gear up for not only an early season MEAC showdown; but the ultimate rivalry game-as they visit Hill Field House for a date with the Morgan State Bears Saturday at 4pm.

But to celebrate the Eagles’ win, I offer a picture of Dani Thompson. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

danithompson

10. The Sun’s Hanah Cho says Maryland officials maintain they will work to protect Preakness as future of horse racing in jeopardy

Did you miss Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Richard Hoffberger Wednesday morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you’ll find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Mike Bires (Beaver County Times)-who talked Steelers with Drew Wednesday
  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens with Drew Wednesday
  • Paul Cantabene (Mustangs Lacrosse Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday for “The Stevenson Coaches’ Report”
  • A Birds starting pitchers game (courtesy of Sporcle.com) Drew and Glenn Clark (I know him) played Wednesday morning, as well as a call from “Steve M from Kingsville.”
  • Keith Booth (Maryland assistant coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Tuesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Scott Smith (Strikeforce Fighter)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”
  • Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)-who went around the sports world with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Allen McCallum (WNST MLB Analyst)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday for “The MLB Report”
  • Gabrielle Dow (Ravens VP of Marketing)-who joined Nestor Aparicio Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss the towel fiasco
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL Tuesday with Nestor

And finally, I leave you with this.

So apparently the North Carolina A&T band plays a version of the Antoine Dodson “Bed Intruder” song. Awesome. Thanks WNST intern Barry Kamen courtesy of Ryan Chell’s Facebook page…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3UsvLyu3N0[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

As I posted on Facebook last night, the retro version of TGSOATTW is the song “Wounded” by Third Eye Blind. There will never be a day when the song won’t mean the world to me…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffMWFsidCDk[/youtube]

As far as the NEW version goes, I also showed my hand on Facebook last night. (A reminder that you can be my friend on Facebook by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the goofy guy in the pink shirt who is dancing at a wedding.)

When we look back on 2010 in the future, there is no doubt in my mind that we will remember it as “The Year of Cee-Lo Green.” For as great as “F*** You” is, there’s something even more amazing about “Old Fashioned”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKzHCQCHvYY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says future of horse racing in jeopardy as David Cordish wins Anne Arundel County slots vote

Well…now we know.

I’m completely torn on this entire situation.

On one side, I ABSOLUTELY think David Cordish will create a world-class facility. I think it will be outstanding both on the interior and the exterior; and I think it will attract money from both inside the Old Line State and from elsewhere. His track record makes me believe he’s going to do a hell of a job.

On the opposite side, I also think the vote is an unquestioned blow to the state of horse racing in Maryland-at least for the short term. Immediate slots revenue at Laurel might not have been the BEST solution for the future of the sport in the state, but it was probably the best option right now.

The issue now is all about what the Maryland Jockey Club and MI Developments do moving forward. They’ve stated that this will mark the end of live racing at Laurel Park, with Pimlico instead hosting 40 days of live racing in the Spring.

While that might be a necessary move, it clearly isn’t the best option for the sport. The MJC (and MID) will have to go back to the drawing board and consider other options. Is it time to shift focus to a new track? Is it time to explore options for slots in Baltimore? Is it time to think about how the facilities could be better used?

I do not believe this has to be the final nail in the coffin for the sport in the state. But I DO believe it has the potential to be if the folks involved aren’t willing to immediately change course.

It’s going to be an interesting stretch over the next few months.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome would be interested in Shawne Merriman if he clears waivers

Here we go…

I’ll say this much. If I was the GM of the Ravens, I’d pass on “Lights Out.” I think risking a roster spot in season on a guy whose career has been marked in recent years by injuries and ineffectiveness is a questionable judgment at best.

But I’m not saying that because I believe the team doesn’t have pass rush problems.

The team has MAJOR pass rush problems-there’s absolutely no question about that. I’m worried that there might not be an in season fix for the Ravens.

But I DON’T think the answer should include taking a risk on a player who is surrounded by more question marks than the book “Are You My Mother?”

Now-could Shawne Merriman end up in Charm City? Maybe. There’s almost no chance any NFL team claims him off waivers, so he’ll be available. If he passes a physical and is humble enough to understand that he isn’t the Pro Bowl player he was at the beginning of his career-maybe he’s a fit.

It certainly doesn’t smell like it though.

3. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens not interested in Randy Moss

We knew this-but now we don’t even bother having to mention it anymore.

The Ravens aren’t interested in Randy Moss…even if they should be. To me, this is one of those “right player, wrong time” situations.

Randy Moss would be the PERFECT compliment to Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth (I’ve never thought TJ Houshmandzadeh was a logical fit myself); but it’s not something that can be forced.

If the Ravens had an offseason to meet with Moss and discuss his role and what their expectations were for him-they might be in a place where they could feel more comfortable in adding him to the mix. But adding a player like that in the middle of the season is dangerous.

But then again…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueaHLHgskkw[/youtube]

4. National Football Post has Ravens 4th in power rankings

Which seems about right, considering Sarah Longbottom was ranked 3rd. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

longbottom

5. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark lists Haloti Ngata amongst NFL MVP candidates

And a few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-A reminder that we will be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, as the Ravens return to the practice field. John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others are scheduled to meet with the media following practice-you’ll hear from them throughout the day on AM1570 WNST and at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Greg Gumbel with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? He’ll be at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday to call Ravens-Dolphins for CBS. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Lomas Brown (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who wrapped up the MLB season with Drew Wednesday
  • KC Keeler (Delaware Football Coach)-who previewed the Blue Hens’ visit from Towson Saturday and talked Joe Flacco with Drew Wednesday
  • Reed Harris (WEC GM)-who discussed the UFC/WEC merger and the future of both companies with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Kirk Hinrich (Washington Wizards Guard)-who discussed the start of NBA season in DC with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Steve Johnson (Bowie Baysox Pitcher)-who talked about his former San Francisco Giants teammates winning the World Series with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Nate Davis (USA Today)-who went around the NFL with Rex Tuesday
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault. See what I did there? I planned your day for you again. This is getting a bit ridiculous.

6. The AP says Orioles declined option on reliever Mark Hendrickson, give him $200,000 buyout

So long Mark, we’ll always have the memories…

Like….ummm….

In all honesty, Hendrickson was serviceable at times, and was downright EFFECTIVE for stretches against left handed hitters.

I don’t think anyone is crying for the guy when he walks away with $200,000 either. What a nice life that must be…

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Juan Samuel apparently coming back to Birds

I will admit that I’m surprised. I’m not stunned, but I’m surprised. I thought Juan Samuel made a statement about what he was going to do moving forward when Buck Showalter was hired-so I didn’t expect him to end up back in Orange and Black.

Of course, Samuel likely thought there was a chance he could end up filling one of the managerial vacancies around Major League Baseball. Clearly this news means that he’s not in the picture for the Pittsburgh Pirates job, and the Milwaukee Brewers decided to go elsewhere when they hired Ron Roenicke yesterday.

As it appears that he’s coming back, hopefully he’ll be able to make a contribution. Sadly, I don’t think that contribution will be 30 home runs.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says corner infield power bat, shortstop, starting pitching biggest areas of need for O’s

Like Dan Aykroyd said to Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, “Great kid, you’ve identified it, the next step is washing it off.”

Andy MacPhail knows what the team needs-now he just needs to go get it.

No problem, right?

Can I add one more name to the Orioles’ shopping list this offseason? I’d like for them to add Jorgie Porter. (Thanks Guyism!)

jorgieporter

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland preparing for either Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris to be under center for Miami Saturday

This is a MAJOR question mark.

Against some teams, the dropoff from starter to backup wouldn’t be the most significant situation facing an opponent.

But if the Terps don’t have to face Harris when they play the Hurricanes Saturday, it is UNBELIEVABLY significant.

It doesn’t mean they’ll win. But it DOES mean they’ll have a chance, which I wouldn’t think they’d have if Harris played.

10. The Diamondback’s Conor Walsh says Terrapins women picked up double double from Alyssa Thomas en route to exhibition blowout over Gallaudet

The inappropriate joke of the day would be something along the lines of “Well-at least the Bison players didn’t have to hear any trash talk from the Terrapins at Comcast Center while they were losing…”

I wouldn’t say that though, because I’m not inappropriate.

Exhibit A: It would be inappropriate of me to NOT pass along this picture of Sofija Milosevic. (Thanks Totally Crap!)

sofija


And finally, I leave you with this.

This is the end of a real live Canadian Football League game. Honestly. I don’t understand any more than you do (Thanks Deadspin!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5BFaykcxGg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I get to name a couple new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

Have you heard the new Kings of Leon CD “Come Around Sundown”? NO? This is no one’s fault but your own. You’re missing “The End”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B-t-WDRuXQ[/youtube]

And in the “retro” category, TGSOATTW is my current Facebook status (add me as a friend by searching “Glenn Clark” and clicking on the best looking guy you find). It’s the amazing “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjNjJR9jUGo[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather fined $50,000 for hit on Ravens TE Todd Heap

The more you looked at the hit, the more you realized he was very deserving of being HEAVILY fined. Meriweather’s hit was ABSOLUTELY in the “cheap shot” realm-the type of hit that the NFL will be looking to lay out a suspension for moving forward.

With Heap having come back into the game Sunday-it appears as though he’s fine and it seems like we can move forward from Brandon Meriweather-gate.

Now-and a tip of the hat here to KDKA in Pittsburgh-the league IS doing something right in cracking down on hits where a player leads with his helmet. In order to that, it is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE and frankly downright SHAMEFUL that they are currently selling this picture of James Harrison’s fine inducing hit on Mohamed Massquoi…

harrison

In their “NFL Photo Store.”

The league should be absolutely ASHAMED.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh thinks “execution” cost Ravens in loss to Pats, not “conservative” play calling

Maybe I should just leave this one alone.

Of course…I won’t.

John Harbaugh is ABSOLUTELY right in this case. The Ravens’ failure to execute on big plays-mixed with New England’s consistent execution-were why the Ravens lost the game Sunday.

Sadly, Cam Cameron had nothing to do with Billy Cundiff kicking the ball out of bounds, or Le’Ron McClain’s personal foul, or Tom Brady finding Rob Gronkowski for 24 yards on 1st and 25, or Chris Carr not catching a Zoltan Mesko punt.

Those plays lost the game Sunday.

But that’s the end of it. As of this moment, I’m not discussing it any more.

I promise.

I think.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Trent Dilfer, Jonathan Ogden, Jamal Lewis, Michael McCrary, Rod Woodson amongst those expected in attendance for Super Bowl XXXV anniversary celebration Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium

The shame is that the entire team can’t be there. Brandon Stokley (Seattle Seahawks WR) has a game Sunday and Shannon Sharpe, Brian Billick and Tony Siragusa are broadcasting for CBS and FOX. Unfortunately, the Ravens do not have a home game this season that isn’t on a Sunday, so there really isn’t a game where the schedule would work out better.

And I’d like to take this time to honor these guys as well. To do so, here’s a picture of Petra Silander. Thanks Guyism!

petras

4. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says annual Ravens-Redskins game possible if NFL adopts 18 game schedule

Which means I’ll have an annual opportunity to be flamed on Deadspin. Count me in!

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens return to work at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, and we’ll of course be back out there with full coverage. Ed Reed and Brendon Ayanbadejo are scheduled to return to the practice field; and we’re expecting to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and others while we’re out there. Stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter @WNST and make sure you’re checking WNST.net throughout the day!

-Did you miss Yahoo! Sports NFL analyst Jason Cole Wednesday with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to have a listen. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Jay Jaffe (Baseball Prospectus)-who talked ALCS and NLCS with Drew Wednesday
  • Matt Hendricks (Washington Capitals Forward)-who talked puck with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Tuesday afternoon’s edition of “The MLB Report” with Rex and Allen McCallum
  • Mike Goldberg (UFC Play by Play Voice)-who joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report” to preview Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez Saturday at UFC 121
  • Othello Henderson (Former UCLA and NFL safety)-who joined Thryl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” after being named as accepting money from Josh Luchs in last week’s SI story

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you check it out today. Of course you’ll want to thank me later for planning your day. I accept my Thank You’s in the form of CASH.

5. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish won’t be an option for Orioles

Hear that sound? That’s the sound of me ripping up the World Series tickets I had already purchased for 2011.

Eh. Maybe instead Andy MacPhail and the Birds will spend their money on a real pitcher like Cliff Lee. I mean, I know they won’t-but it’s early and I’m tired. I guess I must be dreaming.

While we’re on the O’s, I wasn’t NEARLY as worked up about the Robinson Cano home run last night as some fans were. I giggled thinking about Jeffrey Maier, but it certainly didn’t anger me.

I love seeing the New York Yankees lose-TRUST ME on that. I was grinning from ear to ear. But unless it was Tony Torasco standing in Right Field, it wasn’t going to bother me that the Yanks got a questionable call.

If it had been Tony Torasco; I would’ve walked around Perry Hall Middle School completely dejected today just to remember the feeling.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says O’s prospect Ryan Adams named Player of the Week in Arizona Fall League

Unfortunately, Ryan got the bad news today that winning this award in the AFL DOESN’T mean you get a date with Kimbyr Leigha. Thanks The Smoking Jacket!

leigha

7. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Danny O’Brien to start at QB for Maryland again Saturday against Boston College

And it looks like Ralph Friedgen is going to try to get Jamarr Robinson to learn the “Josh Portis Package”, so hopefully Robinson will actually take some time and learn the playbook.

Sticking with O’Brien seems to be the best way to go for the Terps, as he looks like he’ll give them the best chance to win. My guess is that a win won’t come against a tough Eagles defense Saturday in Chestnut Hill; but he might give them a chance to win next Saturday against Wake Forest.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says new Terrapins AD Kevin Anderson guaranteed more than $400,000 this season

It’s a little bit more than Debbie Yow was making, but I think that was to be expected. The salary might also say something about why they went with Anderson for the top job in College Park instead of one of the rockstar names (UConn’s Jeff Hathaway, Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione) who probably make more money staying where they are.

I feel like if I were putting together a contract for a significant job, it would read more like a concert rider than it would a real contract.

“Mr. Clark requests 4 Vitamin Waters and a table of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his suite for every game at Byrd Stadium.”

Sure it would probably cost me some cash, but it would be freaking AWESOME.

9. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy will be without kicker Joe Buckley Saturday against Notre Dame

You don’t expect that this will make a difference against the Fighting Irish, but given that the last three games in the series (including two wins for the Midshipmen in South Bend) have all been decided by six points or less, this clearly COULD have an impact.

The bigger issue will be whether Ricky Dobbs and the Mids’ offense is back on track after a big second half against SMU. If so, this is certainly a winnable game in East Rutherford Saturday.

10. CAASports.com says Towson basketball picked to finish 10th (of 12) in CAA

But there’s good news! Despite being picked 10th, the Tigers still get to look at this picture of Melissa Satta…

satta

And finally, I leave you with this.

Hat tip to Deadspin for this one. Somebody is WAAAY too excited about something that happened in Madden 11. (Language is ABSOLUTELY NSFW!!!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P0yfq2wDvU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because once again I get to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The first addition is the “new” addition to the list…”Grenade” by Bruno Mars…he played it on Saturday Night Live and it kicked a little ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kfkTJCv4j8[/youtube]

The “retro” version of TGSOATTW? It’s also Lesson 3 for “Boomer Sooner” as I prepare her for her first Dave Matthews Band show in November. It’s “#41″…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEbb621s_GI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers all playing better football than any NFC team

At this point, that’s probably true.

My hunch tells me that the only NFC teams that could end up being TRUE Super Bowl contenders would be the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

The Saints don’t look like Super Bowl contenders right now, but that’s mostly because they can’t run the ball. They’ll get Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush back, and they should be able to run again. The Green Bay Packers can get back on that list should they figure out a way to run the ball-but I don’t see that happening if Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn are the primary backs.

The point is-those three aforementioned teams are the only teams that look like they can stand up next to the three premiere AFC teams-at least the three that have stood out thus far.

The good news for the Ravens is that as of right now-this season is shaping up to be a season about “balance.” In recent years, teams that have won have tended to have the most powerful offenses or simply the best quarterbacks.

Early on this year, the teams that have had the most success appear to be the teams that are the most balanced. If it remains that way, the Ravens should be in good shape.

Of course, we know damn well that things can change quickly in the NFL.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg says 4-1 start doesn’t ‘guarantee’ anything for rest of season

Of course not. But if it guarantees that Jamie Edmondson takes more pictures in Ravens gear, than 4-1 was PLENTY WORTH IT! (Thanks SI with tip from Derek Arnold!)

jamieedmondson

3. Boston Globe’s Monique Walker says New England Patriots still remember AFC Wild Card playoff loss to Ravens last season

This was a topic I discussed yesterday during Ravens Reports on AM1570 WNST. There will almost definitely be some level of a “revenge” factor when it comes to the Patriots Sunday. Bill Belichick is a proud man. Tom Brady is a proud man. These are men who will CERTAINLY remember the embarrassing fashion in which they were dismissed at Gillette Stadium in January.

Does that mean that the Ravens will quickly run into a buzzsaw in Foxborough? Not necessarily. But do I think this Patriots team will look at this game with a bit more significance than other games? Sure.

Should I ask another question and follow it up with another quick answer? I think I’ve run the course.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh, Ravens concerned with Pats returner Brandon Tate

Before we move on from the on-field Ravens, a couple of things…

-Harbaugh apparently reiterated on his radio show last night that CB Josh Wilson’s hamstring injury is not a major concern. I say “apparently” because I didn’t listen to the show personally. How could I? The replay of “The Morning Reaction” was on WNST!

-The Ravens are back in action today at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. We’ll be out there all day with full coverage; so make sure you’re tuned into AM1570, following us on Twitter (@WNST) and checking back in at WNST.net throughout the day. We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others before practice.

-And this picture of Ray Rice-which has been passed around Facebook over the last 24 hours (add me by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the best looking person you find) is kinda awesome…

rayrice

5. SI’s George Dohrmann says former Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden admitted accepting benefits from agent Josh Luchs while at UCLA

The funniest part of the story is Luchs saying that during an entire Janet Jackson concert, J.O. screamed “Janet!” at the stage. Of course, I might do the same thing if she was rocking out a little “All For You”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2KabvvLF7M[/youtube]

For the record, Luchs maintains that he did NOT pay or give benefits to either Ravens TE Todd Heap or LB Terrell Suggs while he was working with Gary Wichard and pursuing them at Arizona State.

Did you miss Josh Luchs with Drew Forrester and Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Wednesday morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Dabo Swinney (Clemson Football Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” to preview the Tigers’ contest with the Terrapins Saturday
  • Craig Laughlin (Washington Capitals Color Analyst-Comcast SportsNet)-who joined Drew Wednesday to talk some Caps hockey
  • AJ Daulerio (Deadspin Editor)-who joined Drew Wednesday to discuss the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger controversy
  • Ralph Cindrich (Long-time NFL agent)-who joined Drew Wednesday to offer his opinion on the Josh Luchs story
  • Jon Anik (host of ESPN’s “MMA Live”)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Marcellus Wiley (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports)-who discussed his new book “Death to the BCS” with Thyrl Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault-so consider today planned. Again. Because I’m awesome like that. Again.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Buck Showalter had surgery Tuesday in Texas, no decisions imminent for Orioles coaching staff

Impossible.

There’s no chance that human injuries could affect a superhuman like Buck Showalter enough that he required knee surgery. I refuse to believe it.

That being said, the handful of folks who are waiting for news about the Birds’ coaching staff will have to keep waiting. In the meantime, MASN passed along that the O’s are apparently interested in Seibu Lions SS Hiroyuki Nakajima.

And you didn’t think Andy MacPhail was going to make the moves necessary to win in 2011. I know you feel stupid now. Hiroyuki Nakajima, babe. What are the dates for the 2011 World Series???

7. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Clemson coach Dabo Swinney prepared to face Maryland QB’s Jamarr Robinson, Danny O’Brien Saturday in Death Valley

Swinney told Drew Forrester this morning that having to prepare for both QB’s makes Maryland particularly tough. Maybe so, but I generally don’t think the Terps can win big games if they try to split reps between two quarterbacks.

They might not do that. They might end up having one real “starter” and a package for the other QB. But it’s totally possible that Robinson and O’Brien could alternate series in James Franklin’s offense. I would prefer the former.

I mean, I would prefer having one REALLY GOOD QB, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps coach Ralph Friedgen has good recent history at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium

I keep being reminded of Maryland’s win at Clemson two years ago. Maryland probably wasn’t quite as good as their record indicated, but they were able to hang around just long enough to let something goofy happen to help them win. I don’t THINK the same thing will happen Saturday, but it certainly could.

You know what else could happen? Kayla Collins could call me. I don’t THINK it will happen-but it certainly could. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

smokingjacket

9. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo expects FB Alexander Teich to be able to start Saturday vs. SMU

And with Vince Murray banged up, the Midshipmen could certainly use Teich on the field; as the Mustangs can score points.

They’ve scored at least 21 points in all six of their games, including 35 against Washington State and 42 against Rice. They’re VERY capable of scoring points in the June Jones offense.

The Mids however have scored 14 points or less in three of their five games thus far. It looks like they’ll need to score to win Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. It won’t be easy.

10. TowsonTigers.com says DT Yaky Ibia named semi-finalist for National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy

This is very cool. Cool enough that even Maggie Q should be interested. (Thanks Guyism!)

maggieq

And finally, I leave you with this…

I know everyone’s already seen it-but here’s the Grover/Sesame Street/Old Spice YouTube gem for the 5 or 6 of you that may have somehow missed…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkd5dJIVjgM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because Joaquin Phoenix is back on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight on CBS. Why is this a big deal? You may remember their last get together…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBoGNBSLYRY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says NFL fined Ravens coach John Harbaugh $15,000 for striking official in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati Bengals

I know a lot of folks are fired up because New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs only got a $10,000 fine for throwing his helmet in the stands. I wouldn’t be so fired up. The league has to make a statement that it is not okay to make physical contact with an official. The way they do that is by levying heavy fines.

John Harbaugh knew he was wrong when he made physical contact with an official. It doesn’t mean his argument wasn’t valid, it doesn’t mean he was trying to harm the official he made contact with.

It just means he was wrong to do it. He’ll remember that the next time he approaches an official with frustration.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Jared Gaither not expected to play Sunday vs. Cleveland Browns

And if I was in the Baltimore Ravens’ front office, I would admittedly be getting frustrated with not having Jared Gaither on the field. If this was supposed to be a 6 week injury, it is hard to stomach him not being able to get back out on the field.

That being said, no one in the organization is debating whether or not Gaither is hurt. He’s clearly dealing with a fairly significant injury, or at least an injury to a significant part of his body.

At this point, the Ravens probably must consider getting Oniel Cousins and/or Tony Moll on the field more. Marshal Yanda is still expected to be the starter with Chris Chester at RG, but thus far the results of that experiment have been uneven at best.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens released OT Devin Tyler, CB David Pender from practice squad

We’ll always have the memories.

Looks like the Ravens will need some practice squad help this week. NFP said Tuesday the team tried out OL Xavier Fulton and Marc Dile; as well as CB’s John Bowie, Coye Francies and Ray Fisher.

But if the Ravens REALLY need practice squad help, I think Helen Lindes would make a fine option. (Thanks Guyism!)

lindes

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Tavares Gooden could miss 4-6 weeks with shoulder injury

And a few more things before we move on from the Ravens…

-There was no announcement regarding the roster move made by the Ravens to activate CB Cary Williams from suspension. There was a 4pm deadline yesterday. The team hasn’t said a thing. I’m sure we’ll find out by the time John Harbaugh speaks to the media today.

-The Ravens return to practice at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, with their focus shifted to their home opener Sunday against the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. We will have full coverage throughout the day on AM1570 WNST, at WNST.net and on Twitter (@WNST). We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and many more Ravens players; as well as conference calls with Eric Mangini and Joshua Cribbs. Make sure you stick with us!

5. The AP’s Howard Ulman says Ty Wigginton homered as Orioles crushed Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

They didn’t just win, they punished the Red Sox in every single way. So much so that even Glenn Clark managed to drag himself away from the season premiere of “Glee” to watch the game a bit.

I’m kidding. I didn’t watch any of Glee last night. It’s still waiting on my DVR.

What else can I say here? This late summer version of Spring Training has been a lot of fun. When they play another real game, I hope it’s just as exciting!

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of win

The Birds got help from some other folks besides Wigginton last night.

Brad Bergesen gave up just one run on five hits in six innings (plus four walks) to improve to 8-10.
Adam Jones was 3-4 and scored a pair of runs.
Nick Markakis was 2-5 and also scored a pair of runs.
Brian Roberts went 1-3 and walked twice, also scoring two runs.

So go look at the numbers. Then come right back here. Divya Lalitha will be waiting for you. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

divya

7. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Brian Roberts injured shoulder but didn’t exit Tuesday night win over Sox

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things…

-INF Julio Lugo rejoined the team last night in Beantown after dealing with a pinched nerve. According to MLB.com, Buck Showalter is in no rush to get him back on the field.

-The Birds will try to polish off a sweep of the Sox tonight at Fenway Park. First pitch between John Lackey and Kevin Millwood is at 7:10pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

8. Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow says M&T Bank Stadium awarded 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

Did you miss Drew Forrester’s chat with Maryland Office of Sports Marketing director Terry Hasseltine Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to hear Hasseltine’s thoughts on the Final Four, the World Cup, IndyCar racing, etc.

Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include:

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens and Orioles with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Mike Wilkening (Pro Football Weekly)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Rex Hoggard (Golf Channel)-who previewed the TOUR Championship and Ryder Cup with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Matt Mitrione (UFC Fighter) and Reed Harris (WEC General Manager)-who joined John Rallo and Thyrl Nelson on “The MMA Report” Tuesday
  • Johnny Rhodes (Former Terrapins Guard)-who discussed the upcoming Gary Williams event at Sports Legends at Camden Yards with Thyrl Tuesday
  • Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault. Once again, I’ve planned your day for you. Just send all checks to 1550 Hart Rd.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland OL Justin Gilbert out for season, RJ Dill and Pete DeSouza to start at OT

Clearly Ralph Friedgen’s Terps could use some help on the O-Line. I think they should seriously consider Christina De Kerpel. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

dekerpel

10. NavySports.com says Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland to host Midshipmen clash with Notre Dame in 2012

I’d REALLY like to go on this trip. Mostly for this reason…

beer

And finally, I leave you with this.

It’s time to think about “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” Here’s my new version of TGSOATTW; as John Legend and The Roots got together to record a new cover album called “Wake Up!” The song is called “Hard Times”, and it is QUITE good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOgkRniSNTs[/youtube]

And the “retro” version of The Greatest Song of All Time This Week? In honor of Barry Aparicio’s 26th birthday today-he told me his favorite Michael Jackson song of all time is “Man in the Mirror.” It’s a good song, he’s a good man, so happy birthday Barry…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9lq8oaK5Mw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because “Boomer Sooner” passed along a very interesting video to me last night. Apparently there is a new store in Times Square called “Pop-Tarts World”, and the folks over at Slate took the opportunity to think up some new Pop-Tarts recipes.

(You can see the video here or check my Facebook page-just search “Glenn Clark” and add the fella who has a picture of a duckpin bowling lane that says “I (heart) Glenn.”)

One of their new recipes is a “Pop-Tarts BLT.” That’s right, a BLT using Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts as bread. This is why America > anywhere else in the free world. It looks AMAZING…

blt

Someone get one of those things for Rex Ryan for sure!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens dismiss CB Bryan McCann, re-sign CB Prince Miller

Which goes back to my original thought regarding the entire McCann-Miller roster decision. Remember that thought? I believe it went something like…

“HUH????”

The issue here is clearly that the Ravens are concerned with Tom Zbikowski as punt returner. When they let Prince Miller go after the final cuts, they had decided that Miller wasn’t quite ready to be a cornerback at the NFL level. However, with Zbikowski REALLY hurting the Ravens in the 2nd half of their win over the New York Jets Monday night; they needed an insurance policy in the back.

Miller gives them that insurance policy.

The issue is that because they had to sign Miller off of the New England Patriots’ practice squad, they have to commit to keeping him on the active roster for three weeks. Therefore when Cary Williams returns from suspension next week, Miller can’t be the player that gets moved.

Instead, players like Ken Hamlin, Jason Phillips, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Marcus Smith and David Reed will be sweating a bit.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Todd Heap didn’t practice; Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Terrence Cody, Jarret Johnson limited

Of this group, I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about Lewis, Boldin or Johnson. These are guys that probably could have practiced fully had the team played on Sunday instead of taking the field for Monday Night Football.

Heap is at least somewhat concerning. John Harbaugh said Tuesday he thought Heap would return to practice Wednesday, but clearly that didn’t happen. Heap told reporters Wednesday he didn’t know if he’d be able to play Sunday. It doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern, but it certainly could affect how dynamic the Ravens are able to be offensively on Sunday.

Should Heap not be able to go, it will be a big opportunity for rookies Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta to make an impact.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cody hopes to play Sunday vs. Bengals

Cody said he thought he could play on Sunday, but he needs to get back into game shape in order to be ready. Brandon McKinney especially played well in his place Monday night against the New York Jets. Should Cody play, it would be likely that Divens would be inactive.

If the Ravens REALLY need help on the D-Line, I would suggest they at least consider Shay Maria. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

shaymaria

4. Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy says Houshmandzadeh finds return to Queen City ‘exciting’

And before we move on from the (on field) Ravens, a couple of things…

-Rex Snider wants Chad Ochocinco to fly him out to watch Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium. He’s offered to dress up like Ines Sainz to try to convince #85 that he deserves the chance to go. You should Tweet Chad and tell him to let Rex make the trip. Something tells me Rex might not be quite the same as Ines…

ines

-The Ravens return to practice today at 1 Winning Drive. We’ll be live from Owings Mills with all relevant notes from practice and media availability today. We’re scheduled to hear from coordinators Greg Mattison, Cam Cameron and Jerry Rosburg; as well as LB Ray Lewis.

Make sure you’re tuned in with Thyrl Nelson and Rex today for live Ravens Reports; follow us on Twitter (@WNST), and check things out at WNST.net.

5. Yahoo! Sports’ Cameron Smith says Ray Lewis’ son had big prep game in Florida

And Ray Lewis III-the Lake Mary Prep star is scheduled to join Thyrl Nelson at 1pm today on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to talk about his huge game. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Thyrl’s first question almost sorta has to be…”Do you use the same deodorant as your dad???”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnLN6DuHXPQ[/youtube]

6. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Brad Bergesen outdueled Kyle Drabek as Orioles swept Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

What did you expect? A loss? These are the Birds we’re talking about! They don’t lose!

Hell-even I poked at the game for a minute last night. I probably would have poked at a few more minutes of the game-but the thing was over in about 40.

Brad Bergesen was outstanding last night. In fact, I think I’ve totally come around on Brad Bergesen. I was never sold on guaranteeing him a spot in the rotation next season-but I’m starting to think he joins Brian Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie as locks. Kevin Millwood clearly won’t be back, and I’m not sure Jake Arrieta has guaranteed himself a spot-although I’m not convinced Andy MacPhail will go out and get pitchers that are much better.

That is the million dollar question however. Will Andy MacPhail make the few moves necessary to give this team a REAL chance to win? We’ll find out.

7. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Bergesen’s line? CG, ER, 7H, 3K, 0BB. Not too bad.

Also, Brian Roberts was 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Matt Wieters went 1-2 with a walk and a run scored.

As is our new custom, go look at the numbers. When you get back, Johanna Lundback will be waiting for you. (Thanks Guyism!)

lundback

8. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Buck Showalter undecided on whether to give Jake Arrieta another start

Before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things…

-Great story at MLB.com today, as the Rochester Red Wings honored Orioles’ World Series-winning manager Joe Altobelli earlier this month with a statue in his honor. Altobelli is an icon in Rochester, but should be remembered fondly in Charm City as well. ”

-After wrapping their 3 game series with the Jays, the O’s are off today before opening up a weekend set with the New York Yankees tomorrow night at OPACY. Millwood, Guthrie and Chris Tillman are slated to go for the Birds, AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are slated to go for the Bombers.

9. CSNWashington.com’s Patrick Stevens says Jamarr Robinson, Danny O’Brien will both keep playing for Terps

As Drew Forrester and I discussed this morning, I believe Ralph Friedgen is playing both QB’s due to the loyalty he has for his upperclassmen. Eventually, I think the Fridge will have to go with O’Brien-as I really believe O’Brien gives the Terrapins a better chance to win ACC games.

Did you miss West Virginia coach Bill Stewart previewing Saturday’s showdown against Maryland with Drew on “The Morning Reaction” this morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out!

Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include:

  • Ryan Fagan (Sporting News)-who went around MLB with Drew Thursday morning
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports)-who talked all things NFL with Drew Thursday morning
  • Brett Adams (Stevenson University AD)-who talked about the Mustangs with Drew Thursday morning
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports)-who was at Ravens/Jets Monday night and discussed both teams with Thyrl Wednesday
  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post)-who talked football football football with Rex Wednesday afternoon
  • All sorts of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh.

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so your day is set. Yep, I’m THAT good to you.

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Kriss Proctor working with starters, but Ricky Dobbs still likely to start for Navy vs. Louisiana Tech

Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo joins Rex Snider this afternoon at 2:30 on “The Afternoon Drive”, so we’ll find out everything we need to know about the Mids’ QB situation.

If they REALLY need QB help in Annapolis, I think they should consider Amy Jackson. (Thanks The Beer Goggler via Busted Coverage!)

amyjackson

And finally, I leave you with this.

How is it that I hadn’t heard about “Spike Can Dance” on YouTube until yesterday?!?!?!?!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ZCqlR79qw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it is “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” time!

My NEW “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” comes with an explanation. “Boomer Sooner” and I spent the weekend in New York, and as you’d expect from a gal who grew up in Texas and went to school in Oklahoma, she’s a fan of country music. I will admit to having a soft spot for the genre myself. With that in mind, this week’s winner is Eric Church’s “Smoke a Little Smoke.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1S467ck1c[/youtube]

And the RETRO version of the “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” was decided Friday night-when the great John Popper and Blues Traveler took the stage at Power Plant Live. I mean, is there ANYTHING greater than “Run-Around”???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ousaiByU1ko[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says John Harbaugh does not expect Todd Heap to miss any time after suffering shoulder injury in win over New York Jets

Clearly that’s good news. While Heap was MIGHTY impressive hauling in the first down pass from Joe Flacco on the Ravens’ penultimate possession Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium, it could have been costly. Being labeled the top play in NFL Week 1 action by ESPNews probably wouldn’t have been as meaningful had Heap been unable to take the field Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

It’s important to keep Heap on the field because his presence alongside Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and TJ Houshmandzadeh forces the Bengals to stay honest with their outstanding CB’s (Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph). The matchup problem is exactly what the Ravens need.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Nakamura, Josh Wilson, Lardarius Webb will ‘compete’ for nickel CB job

Apparently the Ravens had decided back around the Washington Redskins preseason game that Nakamura would be able to handle the role. That helps explain (at least to some extent) why the team had no trouble parting ways with CB Travis Fisher, and why they felt the need to hang on to veteran S Ken Hamlin.

Nakamura had no troubles against Mark Sanchez and the Jets Monday night, but he really wasn’t tested. I feel as though Wilson or Webb would be better long-term options, but the Ravens clearly appear to have at least some sort of comfort level with Nakamura.

It will be especially interesting to see how Cary Williams fits into this mix when he returns. He’s not really the best suited to cover slot receivers, but appeared to earn real playing time with his performance in the preseason.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens waived IR players David Hale, Stefan Rodgers

We’ll always have the memories…of David Hale’s facial hair…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RK-Y7Bn7Bw[/youtube]

If the Ravens need to fill the roster spot, I’d think Jeri Lee would do a fine job (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…

jerilee

4. The Sun’s Matt Vensel says Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco fighting with Le’Ron McClain, Willis McGahee on Twitter

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Harbaugh told the media yesterday that he had no update on rookie LB Sergio Kindle, adding he “wished” he did. He also said he thought Webb had a chance to play against the Jets, and thinks he’ll have a chance to play Sunday as he continues to work his way back from a torn ACL.

-The Ravens return to practice today in Owings Mills as they prepare for Sunday afternoon. We’ll be live at 1 Winning Drive with coverage throughout the day on AM1570 WNST, on Twitter (@WNST), and at WNST.net. Harbaugh, Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and others are expected to address the media this morning; and Marvin Lewis and Ochocinco are scheduled to hold conference calls with the Baltimore media this afternoon.

5. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Nick Markakis and Adam Jones homered as Orioles blew out Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

It’s goofy to even talk about-but if the Birds were to face the Minnesota Twins in a 7 game series starting tomorrow; does anyone else get the feeling Buck Showalter’s team would figure out a way to win?

I don’t just want the Buck Showalter t-shirt they were giving away last night, I want a Buck Showalter Fathead!

I feel like a broken record though-as I can’t think of anything else to say besides “why couldn’t this have happened when games mattered???”

I wasn’t watching again last night. Not because I don’t love the Orioles, but because the games just don’t matter. I played kickball last night, enjoyed a medium Angel Food from Smoothie King for dinner, then watched the MTV Video Music Awards (or fast-forwarded through them) on DVR. Eminem was pretty good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbYEIrRjxjw[/youtube]

I hope the games will matter in September 2011.

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Markakis and Jones homered; Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Robert Andino all doubled, and Matt Wieters was 3-5 with a run scored and a RBI.

On top of that, Jake Arrieta threw six shutout innings.

Everything about the numbers is good. Go look at them. Then come back and look at Diana Falzone. We’ll call it a “win-win”! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

falzone

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals to visit Charm City in 2011; O’s to visit Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, Nats

I guess there’s something exciting about Albert Pujols coming to OPACY next season; but I’d be plenty happy if Pujols DIDN’T play-but we were instead excited to see the Orioles play.

Do you think Nelly would make the trip with the Cards? I’ve always thought he (and his band-aid) were kinda cool.

nelly

8. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Birds not concerned about injuries to Brian Matusz, Brian Roberts

And before we move on from the Birds, a few things…

-The Orioles will try to finish off a sweep of the Jays tonight; first pitch from The Yard is at 7:05pm, you can see it on MASN2. Phenom Kyle Drabeck makes his first career start for Toronto, he’ll face Brad Bergesen.

-Did you miss SiriusXM MLB Network Radio analyst and former Catonsville pitcher Jeff Nelson on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester this morning? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net today to check it out. Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Dan Graziano (Fanhouse)-who was in attendance for the Monday Night Football contest in East Rutherford and chatted with Drew about the Ravens and Jets Wednesday morning
  • Pete Caringi (UMBC Soccer Coach)-who previewed tonight’s contest with La Salle at UMBC Stadium
  • Albert Breer (Boston Globe), Barry Barnes (Fanhouse), Brian Billick (Fox Sports/NFL Network), Clark Judge (CBS Sports), Tom Pedulla (USA Today), Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who all recapped Ravens/Jets during the day Tuesday with Rex Snider and Thyrl Nelson
  • Tuesday’s weekly press conference with John Harbaugh from 1 Winning Drive

It’s all in the Audio Vault-PLUS THERE’S MORE-so your day is planned. AGAIN. I’m much too good to you…

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland, West Virginia extend football series through 2017

A slew of other Terrapins football-related notes via Patrick:

-Within the WVU series, the Terps will host back to back games at Byrd Stadium in 2013 & 2014; they’ll visit Morgantown back to back in 2015 & 2016

-Rob Stone and former Georgia Bulldogs/Cincinnati Bengals LB David Pollack will call Maryland/WVU this Saturday for ESPNU.

-Maryland will be without LB Marcus Whitfield for the rest of the year due to a knee injury. TE Will Yeatman is expected to be ready to return from a broken finger Saturday.

-Maryland and Florida International will kick off at 12pm next Saturday (September 25) in College Park. The game can be seen on ESPNU. It isn’t a great option, but it’s better than the alternative-which is no TV at all. If Maryland keeps winning, they might see some better TV options.

That’s a lot of information for one day. If I were you, I’d consider making a donation to the “keep Patrick Stevens working fund” over at D1scourse…

10. The Sun’s Sandra McKee says Pam Shriver to hold final event at 1st Mariner Arena November 17

This sucks.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed Pam’s involvement with the community and her partnership with this event since its inception. I’ve been thrilled while watching events with the likes of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Andy Roddick. Even last year’s event with Melanie Oudin, John Isner and the Bryan Brothers was a lot of fun.

It’s a shame American tennis has fallen off the map. It’s a shame 1st Mariner Arena is an absolute dump and folks in general don’t want to attend events there. It’s a shame Pam’s life has had twists and turns and she’s been taken to California.

I hope there will be future tennis events in Baltimore. I hope Pam Shriver will be involved.

Trice Capra is a natural fit to be involved with the last event, but there’s a certain someone else I’m also hoping to see…

wozniacki

Or Andy Roddick. Either one.

And finally, I leave you with this…

Congratulations to Sasho Cirovski’s Maryland soccer team for a 3-0 win over the Loyola Greyhounds last night at Ridley Athletic Complex. To celebrate, here’s DK…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJlcu4J2MWg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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