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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because apparently I slept straight through an earthquake this morning. That’s about right though. World War III could be happening outside my window, and if it happens before 5:20, I’m not going to be affected.

Oh and also, I skipped the ESPY Awards Wednesday night (I’m assuming I’m not the only one); but when I went back and watched some clips on YouTube Thursday; I thought the Peyton Manning/Blind Side thing was kinda funny…

Like I said, KINDA funny. Not quite as funny as Seth Meyers’ quip:

“This is where sports and entertainment come together, It’s like a Kardashian sister’s bedroom.”

That IS funny.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles took ‘giant step backward’ in 1st half according to Andy MacPhail

Andy better be careful…Greg Bader might take away his press pass with that type of negativity!

The funny thing is…I’m not sure how much I agree with Andy.

In order to take a “giant step backward”, you have to be moving somewhat significantly in the RIGHT direction. While the O’s had done some good things; they put together a 25 man roster that was ABSOLUTELY destined to make them the worst team in the AL East.

The good news is that they didn’t spend too much money to do so-so despite the fact that the organization is an absolute embarrassment in Charm City; it’s at least a cheap embarrassment.

Yep, that’s the best thing I can say. Oh-and they are on a 4 game win streak thanks to their stop down at The Ballpark in Arlington before the All-Star Game.

Now that’s the best thing I can say.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wieters to DL (hamstring) retroactive to July 10

And the word is that the Birds are going to call up Josh Bell to take his roster spot…which means that if Juan Samuel needs to give Craig Tatum some rest or needs to take him out of a game; Jake Fox and his 21 career games played behind the plate will be the only option.

You know what-this is another one of those situations where you don’t REALLY want to think about this. Instead, let’s think about American Idol’s Katharine McPhee (Thanks Don Chavez via Busted Coverage!)…


3. STATS’ Alan Ferguson previews Birds’ 2nd half opener tonight vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Thanks to the Jays for trading away Alex Gonzalez before the series started, too! Of course, the Texas Rangers traded FOR Cliff Lee last week and we thought that would be trouble-but everything worked out there. Maybe I should be concerned that this will have a reverse impact…

First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Ricky Romero at OPACY is at 7:05 tonight, and the game can be seen on MASN. Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz follow Bergesen this weekend against Brandon Morrow and Shaun Marcum respectively; both of the other games this weekend can also be seen on WJZ 13.

I’ll say the Orioles will win 1 of 3. But what the hell do I know?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones says Tim Bascom struggled for Norfolk Tides, Brandon Waring homered for Bowie Baysox on farm

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

-Did you miss Mike Gonzalez with Drew Forrester this morning 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!

We also talked to Frederick Keys Hitting Coach and Former Minnesota Twins INF Denny Hocking; as well as NBCSports.com HardballTalk writer Craig Calcaterra and we got a live update from the British Open, as SI/Golf.com’s Damon Hack checked in live from St. Andrews in Scotland. They’re all in the Audio Vault as well.

-If anything happens this weekend regarding Buck Showalter; you’ll want to make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service. If I’m guessing there…I’ll say “meh, probably not” again. I really think nothing is happening until the Ravens report to McDaniel College.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens QB Marc Bulger fine with backing up Joe Flacco

Look, I haven’t exactly been THRILLED about the acquisition of Marc Bulger; but I’ve been totally willing to admit that he’s a very solid backup QB. As long as he doesn’t have to play against good teams, I have a good feeling about what Marc Bulger is capable of doing.

Of course, I said ALL of that before I realized that Marc Bulger grew up in the hellhole that is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and grew up rooting for the effing Pittsburgh Steelers.


It was bad enough that the dude went to West freaking Virginia; but now you’re adding on that he rooted for the Pittsburgh freaking Steelers?!?!?

Why doesn’t he just go play a charity basketball game at North Harford High School?!

He says those loyalties are gone, but I’ve seen those miscreants up there in the Steel City. Those urine-looking colors are in their blood. It’s like a bad disease.

I’ll be watching this Bulger character…

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Terrell Suggs picked Ravens to win AFC North on ESPN

In all fairness, that’s really the ONLY choice “T-Sizzle” could make. But he’s not the only one that has picked the Ravens to win the division this year.

I haven’t decided who I’m going to pick to win the division yet myself. As I’ve said before, I truly believe the Cincinnati Bengals are the “team to beat” in the division; but that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t beat them. In fact, they may very well do that.

But it won’t be easy. Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham give the Bengals a formiddable offensive attack; and their defense was particularly sound a season ago; thanks to large part to Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph in the back.

If the Ravens want to win the Super Bowl, I firmly believe they need to win the division first. To do that, they can’t get swept by the Bengals or the Steelers as they have been last year and the year before, respectively.

7. Delmarva Daily Times’ Celeste E. Whittaker says Joe Flacco appeared at Harrison, New Jersey football camp Thursday

And when local athletes do good things, we like to give them credit for that.

In fact, it reminds me of some of my favorite moments from attending sports camps growing up. Like the time I was at baseball camp and Hillary Fisher showed up (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…


8. ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ben Grubbs could be first time Pro Bowler in 2010

I couldn’t agree more. As we often see, players are regularly honored with a Pro Bowl selection a year AFTER they were deserving of getting their first nod-as they sort of need some “word of mouth” help to get there. It wouldn’t surprise me AT ALL if Grubbs-or Jarret Johnson for that matter found their way to Hawaii this year, similar to how it took until last year for Haloti Ngata to get the honor.

I’d throw Michael Oher in that mix as well. If everything goes well, the team has a real chance to be littered with Pro Bowlers. Of course, it would be really nice if none of them actually played in the Pro Bowl as they were getting ready for a bigger game in Dallas the following week.

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland AD Search Committee has begun meeting

We discussed this process with IHoops CEO Len Elmore (who is part of the committee) Monday morning on WNST; as the committe can only do so much considering a replacement for President C.D. Mote has yet to be selected in College Park; and the new president will clearly play a major role in the selection of Debbie Yow’s successor.

If the name “Tina Wallman” is the one they come up with through the Search Committee, I’ll think it had been a successful one (Thanks Guyism!)…


10. The Oregonian’s John Canzano says would-be Terrapins AD candidate Rob Mullens hired by Oregon

This is a shame, as Mullens’ background at Kentucky and also under Debbie Yow with the Terps would have made him a perfect candidate for the AD job.

There are still PLENTY of good candidates for the gig (including UConn’s Jeff Hathaway and Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione), but Mullens might have been available at a bit of a less costly price; which could be helpful in the search.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’m not usually very serious; but this is ABSOLUTELY series. Please tune in this weekend (12pm Saturday-12pm Sunday) for Rex Snider’s “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon. Guests will include the likes of Curt Schilling, Kurt Warner and more. All proceeds go to the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital here in Baltimore.

It’s a worthwhile cause. So worthwhile that I ate 12 hot dogs to be a part of it.

Certainly much more worthwhile than how I’m going to spend the majority of my weekend…


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from a trip to HersheyPark Friday. Dave Matthews Band was great (of course), but I’m gonna spend a few minutes first gushing over Zac Brown Band-who opened for DMB. If you missed Zac Brown at Preakness (and if you did, shame on you), you may think they’re little more than another forgettable country act you’d be unlikely to listen to on WPOC.

Not exactly.

Their song “Free” might come off a bit too much “CMT”…but when they cut to “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison during the bridge; it’s an absolute SMASH. They did it Friday night, but no one got the video. Here’s an older performance of it…

As I also pointed out on Facebook (add me as a friend-just search “Glenn Clark” and look for a goofy pic of a clown in a seersucker suit at the Kentucky Derby), that wasn’t the only impressive thing they did Friday night. Channeling Rage Against the Machine was also pretty impressive…

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Arrieta impressive as Orioles finished off four game sweep of Texas Rangers in Arlington

This is equally as puzzling (if not much MORE puzzling) than when the Birds swept the Boston Red Sox earlier in the season. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?!?

Since when are the Orioles a team that can pitch comfortably past high powered offenses like the one found at the Ballpark in Arlington? Since when are the Orioles a team that can save face with a game-tying grand slam from Corey Patterson in the 9th?

Maybe it was just the heat in the Lone Star State, but it was an awfully goofy weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But given what we know about the team otherwise, there’s no reason to really think things like “maybe the team has finally turned the corner” or “the All-Star break is coming at the wrong time.”

Remember, this is the same team that was swept by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week. They’re a TERRIBLE team. The worst team in all of baseball.

It just so happens that the worst team in all of baseball pulled off a miraculous weekend sweep of a good team that we thought would get better with the addition of Cliff Lee.

I’ve described the season via Twitter (follow us @WNST) before as a “season long kick in the nuts.” This was like sitting down and getting an icepack between kicks.

It was a great feeling.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of sweep

Wait a second…you mean…you might actually MIGHT want to look at the numbers this time???

Maybe Arrieta wasn’t “brilliant” the way Chris Tillman was Saturday night, but he was damn impressive. 6.1IP, ER, 6H, 3K, 2BB looks like a line I’d take 10 times out of 10 from a starting pitcher.

Julio Lugo continued his recent hot streak-giving the team a better chance every day of maybe being able to steal SOMETHING for him by July 31. It’s still not particularly likely-but it does look better every day as Lugo collects extra base hits (he was 2-4 with a double, RBI and run yesterday).

Even Craig Tatum got another hit and scored another run, despite having to play during a day game following a night game due to the injury to Matt Wieters.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!?!? This is supposed to be the part of the blog where I say something like “You don’t really want to look at this. Instead, look at this picture of Kelly Brook dressed up as Princess Leia as posted by Guyism…”

You know, you should still go look at that anyway…


3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says timing ‘fishy’ as Fox Sports reporting Buck Showalter nearing deal, Sun reporting Juan Samuel to manage after All-Star Game

So how long until the “Not Buck Showalter” or the “UnBuckShowalter” page pops up on Twitter?

By the way, to whoever was running the Dave Trembley page-it sucks now. There could still be plenty of great shtick there if you really tried. Also, whoever is doing the “Nestor Aparicio” page has never been funny. The guy is the easiest target on the face of the planet….how can you possibly do a page without it being funny?

Back to the point-I don’t think that Dan Connolly and Ken Rosenthal necessarily offered OPPOSING reports, as Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail could very well be nearing a deal with Buck Showalter but believe Juan Samuel will be the manager when the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.

I just hope it isn’t because Showalter is hired but is serving in some sort of “advisory” role until he takes over as manager. That’s so unbelievably dumb I just can’t possibly imagine the team would consider it.

Of course, I should REALLY think that it is so unbelievably dumb that I know the team WILL be doing it.

I just really don’t want to believe that.

4. MLB.com’s Todd Wills says Mike Gonzalez could return to Baltimore after ASG, Luke Scott won’t

So….HOORAY! Or something…

I have to assume that Mike Gonzalez won’t be returning to the closer role when he gets back to Charm City, so that gives me hope that maybe Rick Kranitz can find a role that he can be effective in. I’m absolutely not convinced that Alfredo Simon should be the team’s closer of the future, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve already learned their lesson when it comes to Gonzalez.



5. Fanhouse’s Frankie Piliere says O’s prospect Zach Britton had ‘standout’ arm at Futures Game in Anaheim

Which is ABSOLUTELY the most excited I’ll be about anything that happens at Angels Stadium this week.

With no offense to tonight’s Home Run Derby (I’m sure the Nick Swisher-Vernon Wells showdown will be really compelling to….someone?) or tomorrow night’s Mid-Summer Classic (My prediction? Ty Wigginton strikes out), I’ve lost all juice surrounding this event. It used to be exciting to me, and after that it was still at least the “only thing on.”

Tonight WWE Raw is on and the Counting Crows are at Pier Six. I doubt I’ll pass up on either to watch guys hit home runs.

Tomorrow night? Maybe I’ll go see “Despicable Me.” I stayed home to watch last year’s event in St. Louis and the highlight was an Adam Jones sac fly. Never again will I plan around it.

Hell, if I REALLY need something to do I could always just look at pictures of Doutzen Kroes from Russia’s version of Vogue (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)…


6. NorfolkTides.com says Armando Gabino impressive as Tides finished first half on farm with win over Durham Bulls

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-The Birds are clearly off the next four nights as baseball celebrates the All-Star Game in Southern California. They are going to hold a closed workout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night, which I’m sure is exactly what players wanted to hear instead of getting a 4 day break. Of course, when you’re the worst team in baseball DESPITE a 4 game winning streak-it’s hard to make too many demands.

-When the Birds get back, the rotation will line up Brad Bergesen-Jeremy Guthrie-Brian Matusz-Chris Tillman-Jake Arrieta. Obviously the team will have to make a tough decision when Kevin Millwood is ready to return from the DL.

-Congratulations to our buddy Chris Stoner-who will again take home “Apologist of the Morning” honors-although this time the honor is web only, as we were caught up in discussion about Buck Showalter, LeBron James and the red hot Birds on this morning’s show. Chris was back to beating the drum of Nolan Reimold playing 1B in Baltimore; despite the fact that Nolan Reimold has done nothing to show that he’s ready to return to the major league level-and has played only a handful of games at first base at the AAA level. The drum beats on…

7. Pro Football Weekly’s Mike Wilkening says Ravens LB Terrell Suggs believes despite not being in Owings Mills for offseason, own workouts will have him ready for Training Camp

Well, when it comes to someone like T-Sizzle, his track record says we should just take him at his word, right?

Suggs can say whatever he wants; but everyone will be looking to see what type of shape he’s in when the team reports to Westminster at the end of the month. There is a LOT of pressure on him to live up to the contract he DIDN’T live up to a season ago-and saying “I was working hard in Arizona this offseason” won’t be enough if he’s not ready mentally or physically to get after the likes of Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Dennis Dixon and Ben Roethlisberger this season.

The bigger issue is that the Ravens don’t really HAVE any other natural pass rushers on the roster-with MAYBE the exception of Sergio Kindle, whose body probably isn’t ready to make him a dedicated rusher at the NFL level just yet. There’s pressure on Kelly Gregg this season, but that’s because there’s another guy (Terrence Cody) ready to take his spot.

Suggs doesn’t necessarily have that pressure-yet the team is REALLY counting on him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

8. NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi says Ravens still facing ‘cover corner’ issues

This is an interesting subject. We all know that the team LACKS a true “cover corner”, but we also know the roster features a number of potentially CAPABLE corners. Domonique Foxworth really played well during the 2nd half of the season last year, and if it weren’t for his contract; we probably wouldn’t really consider him a disappointment at all.

Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington each played well at times, but are both coming off of injuries. Chris Carr was steady if not spectacular. The team doesn’t really know what they’re getting from veterans Cary Williams, Travis Fisher or Walt Harris.

The reality is that the effectiveness of this group will be directly impacted by the team’s ability to rush the passer. If the team can rush the passer, this group will look MUCH better. If they can’t, this group will look awfully similar to the group that struggled to start last season.

They just won’t have Frank Walker anymore for fans to blame for the struggles. Not that he wasn’t deserving at times…

9. South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo says former Maryland Terrapins star Vicky Bullett headed to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Vicky, who was an exceptional player under fellow Hall of Famer Chris Weller in College Park.

As you know, the Terps are still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Debbie Yow, and Len Elmore is part of the Search Committe (along with Gary Williams, Kevin Plank, Brenda Frese, Sasho Cirovski, etc.) to find the next “Top Terp.” Len joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to discuss the search, if you missed it-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

Also joining us this morning were Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick (who wrapped up Spain’s win over the Netherlands to capture the World Cup) and Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe-who went around MLB. Both are available in the Audio Vault as well.

10. Swimming World Magazine says Michael Phelps posted solid time at NBAC event

You know what I would do if I posted an impressive time at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club? I’d immediately turn to the first person I saw and ask “Do you think Anissa Holmes is impressed?” (Thanks Busted Coverage/NextRound.net!)


And finally, I leave you with this.

On Saturday night at a private residence (Thank you Liz Kort) in Owings Mills, I discovered something that has forever changed my life…


This is a Love Sac. My birthday is September 6. I’m just saying…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 21 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a happy Thursday for me because the blog site Mister Irrelevant found this picture of Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray from the SI Vault….


Greatest picture ever? Greatest picture ever.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. Pro Football Talk/NBC Sports’ Mike Florio says Ravens QB Coach Hue Jackson interviewing for Offensive Coordinator job in Oakland


Jim Zorn once interviewed for the OC job with the Redskins, too.

I’m not trying to say that I know the Raiders are seecretly interviewing other candidates for Tom Cable’s job-but you have to earn the benefit of the doubt to get it.

The word is now that Jim Fassel DIDN’T interview in Oakland-which makes it seem more likely that maybe Al Davis ISN’T interviewing head coaching candidates.

But I don’t trust that to be the case.

The Ravens could have blocked Hue Jackson from interviewing with the Silver & Black, but since this would be a promotion; Steve Bisciotti and John Harbaugh did the right thing to let him interview. The Raiders clearly see Jackson as having the chance to improve JaMarcus Russell in the same way he worked wonders with Carson Palmer and Joe Flacco.

I still think Jackson is in a better place in Baltimore than he would be with EITHER job in Oakland, but that’s just me.

2. The Sun’s Edward Lee says Parmele ‘hopes’ to be in mix for KR job next season

And of course, he should be.

He shouldn’t be GIVEN the job-there should absolutely be a competition for the gig, involving him and Lardarius Webb-and anyone else they bring in this offseason who has an appropriate resume.

Unless your name is Devin Hester or Joshua Cribbs-you should probably be competing for a KR job EVERY year. If Lardarius Webb is going to be a starting CB for this team (which he might well be), or Cam Cameron is going to try to figure out a way to get him the ball offensively (which there are no plans for as of now-but certainly it would make sense); maybe Parmele would be a better option-as he could focus on the job primarily.

Of course, Cribbs is also likely to be available this offseason-and showed himself to be a capable offensive player at times as well.


3. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens hope to bring back both Dwan Edwards, Justin Bannan next season

I hope they do too, but I don’t see it. Both guys earned the right to make real money on their next deal, and are just waiting for someone to give it to them. Maybe the CBA trouble will help to make it difficult for them to find work elsewhere in the NFL-but I would imagine someone will be willing to give one (or both) of these guys big bucks.

Remember, Marques Douglas never had trouble finding work. Neither did Tony Weaver. Or Abrayo Franklin. And the Ravens have more linemen behind this group. There’s a reason why they kept Kelly Talavou and Brandon McKinney coming out of Training Camp last season-despite the fact that they didn’t need D-Linemen at the time.

They knew what was coming.

4. WGRZ (Buffalo)’s Aaron Saykin says Brian Billick couldn’t understand why Bills GM Buddy Nix didn’t reach out to him about coaching vacancy

And neither do I.

I really never got the idea that Brian particularly wanted the job, but I can understand why he would want the phone call/interview/etc. Buffalo likely would never have had the economic backbone to even make it interesting for Coach Billick, who is still getting $4 million from the Baltimore Ravens over each of the next two seasons provided he doesn’t end up employed elsewhere.

The point for Brian is that in 2 years, he’d like to be coming off a span where he was a hot name in the coaching world. Where teams had shown interest in him, and he had been asked to be a part of the hiring process, even if he didn’t end up taking any coaching jobs.

There was no reason for the Bills NOT to talk to Coach Billick. If he determined it wasn’t the right fit for him (which I’m guessing he would have), it couldn’t possibly have hurt to have discussed where the franchise was heading with a Super Bowl winner.

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Josh Brown’s 14 not nearly enough as Towson blown out by Northeastern

Look, I wasn’t there-so I don’t want to say the wrong thing here, but this looks like maybe one team started to give up in the 2nd half at Towson Center last night.

Pat Kennedy has his work cut out for him. Fans who went to the Towson Center for the first time last night could not possibly have left feeling good about the product they paid to see. Losing games to good teams on the road is one thing-getting blown out at home is another.

6. The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says rebounding, experience starting to set Terps apart from others in ACC

Agreed, but they still have problems has well. Their lack of pure outside shooting hurts them, no matter how capable they are in other areas.

And things won’t be easy for Maryland. The NC State team they’re playing Saturday night that everyone thought they’d beat in a walk just took it to a Top 10 Duke team last night. They play North Carolina on Super Bowl Sunday-and the Heels are going to be close to desperation mode, after losing a 3rd straight ACC contest to Wake Forest last night.

There are wins to be had in this conference this season-but the Terrapins have to go get them. Nothing will come easy.

7. UMBC Official Site previews Retrievers’ contest with New Hampshire tonight at RAC Arena (pdf)

Here’s my conundrum. I love Randy Monroe and his guys, but the following people are from the great state of New Hampshire….



….so maybe I’m rooting for the Wildcats?

8. Loyola Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Siena

Again, I’m not trying to offend Jimmy Patsos or anyone on his staff-but it appears likely that the Greyhounds will fall to 2-7 in MAAC play tonight.

That’s not good enough. Not for a coach who has recruited all of the players on the team.

This isn’t a “Jimmy Patsos has to go” statement-not in the least bit. But this IS a statement that Jimmy Patsos needs to be better. Losing tonight at Siena is really no big deal-as the Saints are REALLY good. But the Hounds have to find wins. They just have to win games. They can’t be 2-7 in the MAAC.

It just isn’t good enough.

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Danielle Bernstein says IL analysts think Maryland, Hopkins could end up in Final Four

And Dave Cottle might NEED to get back to the Final Four.

Maryland started practice on Monday-and they’ll be back inside Byrd Stadium (or Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium if you will) this season, so the “no home field” excuse won’t be in play any longer.

There’s only 2-3 programs in the country that should be able to compete with the University of Maryland when it comes to lacrosse. Syracuse has a talent base and financial backing, as does Virginia. Johns Hopkins has a passionate fanbase and a program that builds itself around lacrosse. Same can be said for Princeton-but neither the Jays not the Tigers have the financial backing that Dave Cottle has in College Park.

Dave Cottle can’t just be reaching the NCAA Tournament. He HAS to be reaching the level of the Final Four-and in the mix to win national championships.

Unlike my statement about Jimmy Patsos-this IS a “Dave Cottle must go” argument…IF the Terps aren’t playing at M&T Bank Stadium come Memorial Day weekend.

10. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Luke Scott would rather play in field, not be full-time DH

And I’d like someone to bring me a plate full of the shrimp vindaloo from the indian joint Drew Forrester and I went to in Indianapolis Friday night…..


Sing it with me….”You can’t always get what you want….”

I’m not sure where Luke Scott wants to play. I think he wants to play Left Field, but that’s absolutely Nolan Reimold’s spot. If he wants to play First Base-I guess he has just as good of an argument as ANYONE who is currently on the roster-but he’s not a first baseman either.

Maybe he should just be happy that he’s getting 4 and a half million bucks after hitting no better than .258 in any of his last 3 seasons.

I’m just saying.

11. MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin says Jake Arrieta, Caleb Joseph, Alfredo Simon, Chad Moeller amongst Birds’ non-roster Spring Training invites

The only name on this list that is AT ALL interesting to me is Arrieta, who I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t get a look at the end of the season last year. Arrieta is the “next” of the group of young pitchers, and may be closer to being ready than we realize. If David Hernandez and Jason Berken are in the mix for the 5th spot (behind Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman); why shouldn’t Arrieta be?

12. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Pimlico/Laurel auction delayed until February 10

If I was David Cordish right now, I would probably look like this….


The guy paid his money for slots. He got into the bidding process. He got zoning rights for his slots. Why the hell should he have to wait for the chance to try to win the tracks?

In other horse racing news, Jeff Seder told Drew this morning in an interview on “The Comcast Morning Show” on AM1570 WNST that if his group were to win the tracks, he WOULD change the rule to allow outside alcohol to be brought in on Preakness Saturday. David Cordish had also said he would change that rule. We are assuming that Joe DeFrancis would NOT change the rule, as we are assuming that the Maryland Jockey Club would maintain control of the event.

And finally, I leave you with this.

We DVR a lot of things in the Glenn Clark home. 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, The Office, SNL, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls, WWE Raw, the ESPN 30 for 30 Series, and for some reason Charm School with Ricki Lake are amongst the programs you’ll find on our Comcast DVR. But maybe my favorite show on the DVR is “True Life” on MTV. Yesterday, the episode “True Life: I’m Deaf” was on my DVR, and while I’ve seen the episode before-I decided to watch it again.

If you never saw the episode, you can watch it here.

The episode is about a gal named Amanda from Towson University, who attempted to tryout to be a Baltimore Ravens dance squad member despite the fact that she’s deaf. At the end of the episode, you find out that despite the fact that she didn’t make the Ravens squad, she tried out to be a Baltimore Blast cheerleader and made the team.

All of this was basically a buildup for me posting pictures of a hot Blast cheerleader and saying something along the lines of “maybe you should get to a game”…..


BUT!!!! There’s another update! Amanda has since moved on to a new gig…..she’s a…..PHILADELPHIA EAGLES CHEERLEADER?!?!?!?



I thought these stories were supposed to have happy endings!

Talk to you tomorrow.


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Where Did Ravens Go Wrong in ’09? Look No Further Than Final 5 Minutes

Posted on 18 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

It was fitting to see the Ravens fall apart in the final 5 minutes of the first half Saturday night in Indianapolis. Fitting because the final 5 minutes of halves are exactly where everything went wrong for this team throughout the season in dropping 8 games.

Need a refresher?

Week 4 @ New England:
Final 5 minutes of 1st half-The Patriots were ahead 10-7, but a Sammy Morris 12 yard TD followed by a Joe Flacco interception put the Pats up 17-7 at the break.
2nd half-After driving the length of the field, a hopeful game-winning drive faltered when Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton dropped passes to finish the Ravens’ chances.

Week 5 vs. Cincinnati:
1st half-After getting into Bengals territory with :33 to play in the half, the Ravens were unable to get even as much as a FG attempt before the half. They were forced to burn their final timeout at the :33 mark because an 8 yard pass to Todd Heap was in the middle of the field. (The Ravens ultimately lost by a field goal.)
2nd half-Carson Palmer converted a 4th and 1 to continue a hopeful game-winning drive, then Ray Lewis’ personal foul on Chad Ochocinco and Ed Reed/Frank Walker’s pass interference on a 3rd & 16 put Cincy in scoring position. They cashed in, as Palmer found Andre Caldwell for the winner.

Week 6 @ Minnesota:
1st half-Trailing 14-0, the Ravens had a golden opportunity to make the game a 1 possession game with a 1st & 10 from the Vikings 12 yard line and 2 timeouts. Unfortunately, all they could muster was a 1 yard completion to Ray Rice, and they were forced to kick a FG. (The extra 4 points would have made up the eventual 2 point difference.)
2nd half-After what seemed like an impossible rally, the Ravens went ahead 31-30. It took Brett Favre little time to turn things around for the Vikes-as he went 58 yards to Sidney Rice on a play where Frank Walker couldn’t have interfered more. After a Ryan Longwell FG put the Vikings back ahead, the Ravens had a chance to win the game, but a bad snap from Matt Katula lead to a bad miss from Steve Hauschka at the gun.

Week 9 @ Cincinnati:
1st half-Trailing 17-0, the Ravens got the ball back with 2:52 to play and a chance to do SOMETHING before going to the locker room. It took just one play for Joe Flacco to be picked by Leon Hall on an unnecessary deep ball, and the Bengals took that same advantage to the locker room.
2nd half-Despite a Steve Hauschka miss with 6:12 to play, the Ravens still had a chance trailing 17-7 late. Approaching midfield on the better side of the 2 minute warning and with timeouts still in their pockets, everything fell apart. Joe Flacco was sacked on 3 straight plays, and the Bengals essentially clinched the AFC North.

Week 11 vs. Indianapolis:
1st half-The Colts punctuated an 80 yard drive with a 5 yard TD by Joseph Addai to put the Colts ahead 14-9. After some strange play-calling, the Ravens DID still manage to cut the Colts’ lead to 14-12 going to the break, but better use of the clock could have taken them the extra 18 yards into the endzone.
2nd half-Trailing 17-15, the Ravens were marching towards a sure-fire FG or a hopeful TD to re-take the lead. But the drive fell apart when Joe Flacco was intercepted by Gary Brackett on a short pass over the middle. After getting a stop, the Ravens had one more chance-but Ed Reed fumbled away a punt return on an unthinkable lateral attempt.

Week 13 @ Green Bay:
1st half-The Ravens had given up just 3 points when there were 5 minutes left on the clock. By the time they went to the half, they had given up 17. Sound familiar? Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver caught Aaron Rodgers TD’s to extend the lead. Unbelievably, the Ravens actually had a chance to get points before the half when they got the ball at the GB 37 with :32 to play and 2 timeouts-but they could get just 12 yards.
2nd half-Due to Joe Flacco throwing one of the worst interceptions in Ravens history, the final 5 minutes at Lambeau Field were mostly unnecessary. But the Pack rubbed salt in the wounds anyway, adding a Mason Crosby FG and finishing things with a Clay Matthews sack to finalize a 27-14 victory.

Week 16 @ Pittsburgh:
1st half-After driving into Steelers territory, a drive to tie the game or potentially go ahead was thwarted by an Ike Taylor sack. The Steelers responded by marching downfield, and a Ben Roethlisberger-Santonio Holmes TD extended their lead to 20-10. John Harbaugh decided for some inexplicable reason to call his final 2 timeouts in the last 35 seconds-saying he had hoped for a pass to set up a Hail Mary. It doesn’t make any more sense now than it did at the time.
2nd half-Trailing 23-20, the Ravens marched into PITT territory and were approaching Billy Cundiff FG range at the 35 when they faced 3rd and 7. Two LaMarr Woodley sacks later, the threat was over. The Ravens had the chance to get the ball back one more time thanks to a Tom Zbikowski INT return, but the play was negated by a Frank Walker illegal contact call.

Divisional Round @ Indianapolis:
1st half-Tied at 3, the Colts faced a 4th and 4 from the Baltimore 35 that had the Ravens stopped-they would have been in great position to try to take the lead going to the half. Not only did Joseph Addai pick up the first down, Peyton Manning ultimately found Austin Collie for what would end up being the game-winning TD. The Ravens got the ball back, but mixed a 1st down run with 2 incomplete passes-giving Indy one more chance. They made it count, as Reggie Wayne hauled in a short TD to take a 17-3 lead.
2nd half-As was the case in Green Bay, the final 5 minutes were mostly unnecessary. But the Colts made sure the Ravens didn’t get even as much as a glimmer of hope-as Antoine Bethea and Jerraud Powers wrapped the playoff victory up with interceptions.

As you can see, the struggles over the final 5 minutes were in every phase of the game. Untimely mistakes, bad play calling, clock mismanagement, errors in judgment, and lapses from the defense, offense and special teams. It wasn’t a season where Joe Flacco, the secondary, the O-Line or the coaching staff struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves-it was a season where EVERYONE struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves.

Ultimately, the responsibility to win the final 5 minutes probably does fall on the head coach. Managing what tend to be frenzied situations and having to make quick decisions are the responsibility of the man in charge-as there can only be one voice in the panic. The final 5 minutes would be the time where John Harbaugh needs to be able to veto a call from Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison OR Jerry Rosburg-or just make a call on his own.

But even if he chooses not to do that, the final 5 minutes are where attention to detail is most critical from a head coach. This has plagued Andy Reid throughout his career in Philadelphia, and is probably the biggest reason why Reid is thought of as a really good coach instead of a Super Bowl winning coach.

John Harbaugh just wrapped up his 2nd year as a head coach. He has time to change things. But with every issue the team faced this season-the final 5 minutes of each half were the most obvious place where this team lost 8 games.

Losing 8 games won’t be acceptable if this team wants to take steps forward in the future.


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Accomplishment of 2nd Straight Playoff Trip Can’t Go Unnoticed

Posted on 03 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

I understand why the excitement isn’t what it was a season ago.

A season ago, the Baltimore Ravens began the season with a rookie QB, a first year head coach and no expectations; which made a return to the playoffs particularly sweet for fans throughout Charm City.

But entering this season, last year’s run to the AFC Championship Game lead many fans to adopt a “Super Bowl or bust” type motto. Amazingly, the Ravens will be one of just 12 teams who will be alive in the race for the Vince Lombardi Trophy come Monday morning-despite the “I’m not sure they even belong” attitude a number of fans have adopted.

There’s reason for the less than enthusiastic emotions that fans in town have adopted. This Ravens team has been less than overwhelming this season-beating just one playoff team (San Diego in Week 2) en route to clinching a Wild Card berth against the Raiders Sunday in Oakland. The Ravens finished the season with 6 straight losses against teams who qualified for postseason play, and mixed in a loss to the Steelers-who will miss the playoffs despite posting a record equal to the 9-7 mark the Ravens posted this season. Joe Flacco appeared to regress in his 2nd season, and John Harbaugh made the type of mental mistakes that coaches probably SHOULDN’T make in their second season. The Ravens’ Wide Receivers have been troubling, and their secondary has been terrible at times.

The remarkable thing about all of this is that all of the problems the Ravens have been forced to overcome have happened during a season in which they reached the playoffs for a 2nd straight year for only the 2nd time in franchise history.

There’s a slew of players and coaches around the NFL who aren’t going to be participating in a 2nd straight postseason. The list includes Matt Ryan, Mike Smith, Tony Sparano, Brett Favre, Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Marvin Lewis, Tony Romo, Wade Phillips, Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning, Jeff Fisher, Chris Johnson, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Drew Brees, Sean Payton and John Fox. (Others-like Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Singletary and more will fail to reach even a single postseason over the 24 month span.)

Get the point?

Reaching the postseason in back to back seasons is a MAJOR accomplishment. The Ravens will be able to make money, gain exposure and build on their franchise history over at least the next week if not the next month. It will be remarkably difficult for them to go to Foxborough and beat the Patriots, but they might. Whether or not they do, they will have had an outstanding season.

It doesn’t change the problems this team faces. They will still need to overhaul their receivers in the offseason-but they will be doing it in an offseason where they are coming off a 2nd straight trip to the playoffs. The Steelers can’t say the same thing about their secondary overhaul this offseason.

It’s a big deal.

It’ll be a bigger deal if they’re still alive in 7 days.


(If you’d like to join us at Gillette Stadium next Saturday, click the “Trips” tab at WNST.net)

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Previously Silent Questions About Flacco Will Echo Following Unthinkable Play in Loss to Packers

Posted on 08 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

15/36, 1 TD, 3 picks.

But it was more than just the numbers that made Joe Flacco’s performance so unnerving in a 27-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers Monday night at Lambeau Field. It was the brutal way in which he seemed to collapse in the game’s most important moments.

With the Ravens trailing 24-14 but still very much in the football game, Tramon Williams intercepted Flacco on a play that will replay in the minds of Baltimore football fans for a long time. The team had an opportunity to pull within 3 points following a 1st and goal at the Packers’ 1 yard line. Instead, they lost 2 yards on a run, called timeout; and then watched Joe Flacco roll to the right side of the field and inexplicably throw the ball off his back foot across his body to the middle of the field-where Williams was waiting to safely corral it.

Flacco went on to add another interception (this one collected by AJ Hawk) with the game still undecided; allowing the Packers to extend their lead to 13. After some more terrible clock management (John Harbaugh should be ashamed), Flacco looked disinterested in a lethargic final drive that appeared as though Harbaugh and Cam Cameron had decided to call off the dogs.

This was the lowest moment in Joe Flacco’s tenure as starting quarterback in Baltimore.

His disastrous performance in Indianapolis last year was forgivable because it was very early in the season; and even EARLIER in his career. It certainly appeared to work as a learning experience that allowed Joe to improve the rest of the way-ultimately reaching the AFC Championship Game.

Tonight’s game was a crucial moment where the Ravens needed to stay on pace in the race for the final AFC Wild Card spot. Instead of remaining tied for the final playoff spot-they now find themselves a game (and a tiebreaker) behind the Jaguars. It was also a game they needed to prove they could still beat good teams on the road. The last time they beat a quality opponent away from M&T Bank Stadium was September 20 in San Diego; and it feels like an eternity longer than that.

Tonight’s was a crucial moment for Joe Flacco, who has never won a game in regulation after trailing in the final minutes. With the Ravens having completely swiped momentum from the Packers in the 2nd half; Joe was primed for an opportunity to do just that on “The Frozen Tundra” before his unthinkable pass floated into the hands of Tramon Williams. He also needed to prove that he could beat another good NFL quarterback. Since out-dueling Phillip Rivers in Week 2 at Qualcomm Stadium, he was 0-5 against Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers-a statistically very good quarterback had never been a guy who could prove he could win a big game in the 4th quarter. Yet he made the plays when he needed to (including the TD pass to Jermichael Finley in the 4th quarter that gave his team a 2 possession advantage), and the man known as “Joe Cool” faltered under the spotlight of a Monday Night Football audience.

Joe will still be the quarterback Tuesday.

He’ll still be the quarterback Sunday against the Detroit Lions, no matter how many fans went scrambling to WNST.net, Facebook, Twitter and their cell phones to cry out for Troy Smith.

He just has to get better.

It’s not Joe Flacco’s fault that the Ravens are 6-6 right now. Injuries to Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Jared Gaither, Todd Heap, Jarret Johnson, Fabian Washington, Brendon Ayanbadejo and nameless others who have missed time or played at less than 100 percent are probably the biggest culprit.

But when a team is in a bad way, the quarterback is the one player who can rally the troops. While quarterbacks like the aforementioned Brady have found success (great success in fact) without getting too high or low emotionally; quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning have all allowed emotion to be a great part of what eventually made them Super Bowl champions. I’d like to see SOME emotion…..at all…..from #5. It’s an emotional team. They need an emotional leader.

There is an argument that Joe’s ankle is the biggest reason he’s struggled this season, and that might well be accurate.

There is an argument that he is being asked to carry a team despite not really having enough playmakers to be effective offensively.

There is certainly an argument that a season after pushing all of the right buttons-the trio of John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson had too much faith in a 2nd year quarterback out of the CAA.

No matter the reasoning, Joe Flacco isn’t progressing in his 2nd season-and there’s an argument at this point that he’s regressed. That regression found a signature moment in Green Bay Monday night.

It has to change. It has to change now for the Ravens to have any chance at still getting to the postseason.


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Why Ravens Win Tonight and a Purple & Red Crabs & Beer

Posted on 07 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens 24, Packers 20

I’ve changed my mind. I was blinded by the Packers’ outstanding home record in December in recent years; and I picked the Packers to win.

I was wrong.

And it took me hearing something repeatedly this weekend to be reminded of just why it is that the Ravens will win.

Drew Forrester said it first Friday when he pointed out that the Ravens struggle against “elite” quarterbacks.

I read a few blogs over the weekend, and listened to some other radio stations throughout town and heard both hosts and callers describing Aaron Rodgers similarly-as an “elite” quarterback. One guy on the “Sports Leader” in town even went as far as to say Aaron Rodgers was on par with quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Carson Palmer.


Aaron Rodgers is NOT elite. He’s NOT in the next group right behind elite, either.

Aaron Rodgers is in the top half of NFL quarterbacks, and he’s posted decent numbers this season. But he’s nowhere NEAR elite. (He couldn’t sit at Drew Brees’ lunch table, either.)

The biggest difference between quarterbacks who are good statistically and quarterbacks who are elite is that the elite quarterbacks have put their team on their back and carried them to victory in very important games.

Ben Roethlisberger has done it. Peyton Manning has done it. Brett Favre has done it. Kurt Warner has done it. Tom Brady has done it.

Even Carson Palmer has done it this season against his biggest AFC North rivals.

Aaron Rodgers has not.

In fact, he’s been just about the opposite. In his 2 seasons as a starting quarterback, Rodgers is a whopping 3-9 in games decided by 9 points or less.


Elite quarterbacks WIN those games.

Even more-in his first season as a starter, Rodgers’ only win after Week 11 came over the Detroit Lions (in the game that clinched the first ever 0-16 season in NFL history). His only significant victory of the season was a home win over Indianapolis in Week 7. He got the 2nd significant win of his career 2 weeks ago against the Cowboys.

Joe Flacco had more significant wins (4) in a MONTH last season (@Dallas, vs. Jacksonville, @Miami, @Tennessee) than Aaron Rodgers has had in his career. He’s won more significant road games (3) than Aaron Rodgers (ummm……zero) as well.

The reason I initially picked the Packers was exactly the reason Drew pointed out Friday. The Ravens struggle against elite quarterbacks.

The good news for tonight is that they don’t have to face one.

Ravens win.

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

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Luke Jones says Vasquez, Milbourne struggled as Terps fell to Villanova

Rex Snider grateful for Raiders’ win over Pittsburgh

Nestor Aparicio checks in from WNST trip to Green Bay

Glenn Clark says Lions coming to town won’t get Baltimore fans as amped as they usually are for Ravens games

And the best from the rest of the world…..


The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Domonique Foxworth, Lardarius Webb have ‘big task’ ahead of them in trying to defend Donald Driver, Greg Jennings

The Official Site’s Ryan Mink remembers Baltimore Colts’ big win over Packers in ‘59

The Official Site’s Sean Patrick Byrne says ‘physical’ aspect of line play has put Grubbs amongst best Guards in NFL

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens have to get to Aaron Rodgers to win

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley picks Packers 27-17

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Flacco’s ankle ‘X-factor’ in tonight’s game

The Sun’s Mike Preston gives Charles Woodson edge over Derrick Mason, Donald Driver edge over Domonique Foxworth, Aaron Rodgers edge over Dwan Edwards and Trevor Pryce

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens need win tonight to keep pace with Jaguars in AFC playoff race

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Derrick Mason, Ravens not afraid of trip to Lambeau Field

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Cam Cameron thinks offense ‘weather-proof’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens’ Wild Card hopes helped by Steelers’ loss to Oakland

Green Bay Press Gazette’s Mike Vandermause says Packers 18-4 in December, January regular-season games at Lambeau Field since 2000

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lori Nickel says Dom Capers transformed Green Bay defense

Wisconsin State Journal’s Tom Ziemer says Packers defense enters Monday Night Football contest red hot

SI’s Peter King says Ravens 13th best team in NFL

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens’ defensive communication should improve playing on road


The AP says Sean Mosley’s 26 not enough as Terps fell to Villanova in BB&T Classic

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The AP says Scottie Reynolds tallied 25 to lead Wildcats past Maryland at Verizon Center

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Jordan Williams chipped in 19 points, 12 boards in defeat

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Vasquez played just 27 minutes in loss due to foul trouble

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Gary Williams thought Cats’ 45-33 rebounding edge ‘unacceptable’ in Maryland loss

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Wildcats hit 16 threes in win over Terps

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Vasquez struggled again, finishing with 12 points in loss

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Eric Hayes finished with 20, but thought Terps ‘just couldn’t get over the hump’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says rebounding should improve with Dino Gregory scheduled to return Saturday

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Corey Fisher 3 ended Maryland run that got them within 3 in 2nd half

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps not amongst Top 45 teams in country

Washington Examiner’s Craig Stouffer says Herndon native Reynolds played like he ‘owned’ Verizon Center for Wildcats

Philadelphia Daily News’ Dick Jerardi says Jay Wright thought beating Maryland ‘real quality win’

USA Tim Gardner says Taylor King chipped in 13 points for Nova


-What does Maryland’s loss to Villanova last night mean going forward? Well, it means they CAN’T lose a home game between now and the start of the ACC season. The date with William & Mary on December 30 looks tougher every week-the Tribe has already defeated Wake Forest and VCU this season and gave UConn a hell of a run for their money. Last season, the Terps could afford a home loss to Morgan State because they managed to top Michigan State at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. They won’t be able to afford a similar loss-even to a decent mid-major.

It also means the Terps will likely have to go 8-8 in ACC play to reach the NCAA Tournament. They should be able to do that-but it certainly isn’t a given. Even a win over North Carolina or Duke wouldn’t be enough to get a 7-9 league team into the dance without a marquee non-conference win. Unless of course Indiana finds eligibility for Jared Jeffries, Keith Smart or Isaiah Thomas and wins the Big Ten. That would be really nice, by the way.

Talk to you tonight in our “Purple Haze.” Go Ravens!


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No longer the Bungles, Cincinnati leaves the Ravens exposed

Posted on 10 November 2009 by Chad Lamasa


I’ve been trying to figure out how to write a blog about the Ravens this week. It’s been really difficult because there was just so much wrong with them this weekend against the Bengals.
I’ll start here. I think the game meant a lot more to the Bengals than it did to the Ravens. This shouldn’t have been the case. A win would have put the Ravens right back in the mix of things. Now we are only 1-2 in the division. Luckily we have one more game against the Browns next weekend, but unless something changes soon, I could see us being 2-4 in the division after playing the Steelers twice.
Carson Palmer stated after the game, “We are disappointed we only won by 10 points.” This is a telling statement. The Bengals have all the confidence in the world right now and are playing extremely well.
It’s strange to see them sitting atop the division, but not shocking. I have felt most of their problems the last couple of years have been due more to injuries than to a lack of talent. Palmer is a top five or six QB in the league, Chad (I refuse to call him Ocho Cinco) is an elite receiver, and Cedric Benson seems to have had a resurgence in his career.
Their defense, a bunch of cast-offs no one wanted anymore, is playing like the Ravens of the 13-3 season a couple of years ago. They are are physical and stacked in every aspect.
Ed Reed, used to be one of the best tacklers in the game. I understand he’s hurt but I’ve noticed that instead of making the tackle, he’s trying to knock the ball loose on every play. I can vividly picture two or three plays where if he had just made the tackle we could have stopped a drive.
Steve Hauschka. What to say about this kid? I think people should ease up on him. I agree he should have made the 38 yarder. I’m not sure it would have mattered if he did though. I just didn’t feel like the momentum would have shifted if he did. It would have added three points to the final score. They way we were playing- I don’t think we would have scored again, but you never know.
He’s basically a rookie, and even Stover was a rookie once. Guys have to start somewhere. However, I do agree with what Drew said yesterday, and really all season long, don’t trust your kicking game to a rookie. If you let Stover go, then go find another free agent and double his salary. Kicking is too important a part of the game to trust to a rookie.
I’m not sure what has happened to the offense, but it seems to have gotten to be very vanilla lately. In the beginning of the season we were using McGahee, McClain and Rice, now it’s down to Rice with an occasional sighting of the other two. They need to get back to using them and mixing things up again.
Is Troy Smith even still on the team? I don’t think we should use the Wildcat too much but every so often to change things up might be helpful. We just need to get back to what made us successful last season and earlier this year.
Another thing that needs to be addressed is the amount of penalties we are taking. I believe I heard during the game that the Ravens are the most penalized team in the league. That is absolutely ridiculous! That needs to be stopped and soon.
Lardarius Webb was the one bright spot in the game to me. This kid is just blossoming in front of our eyes and if he continues to do so, he will probably earn the starting job by next season. The hit he had on Benson was beautiful.
Listening to Harbaugh’s press conference yesterday, I was impressed that he seemed to be more open and actually answered questions. I really liked that he took so much of the blame for the team not being prepared.
I know he is disappointed with the way the season has unfolded thus far (as are the fans) and I hope this gets straightened out sooner rather than later.

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Bengals 17 Ravens 7 (The WHICH TEAM IS THE BUNGLES, AGAIN? Game)

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Derek Arnold

After a week in which they reassured us that the sky was, in fact, not falling, the Ravens pulled a complete 180 with their worst performance of the season in Cincinnati yesterday. It was the first of the Ravens’ 4 losses where they were absolutely, unquestionably, without a doubt, outplayed and outcoached for 60 minutes. The first of the four where you can’t look back, point to any one or two particular plays, and say, “yup, that was the one that lost it.” It was a flat-out, thorough butt-whipping at the hands of the “Don’t call us the Bungles.”


To any Ravens fan watching, flashbacks to Minnesota in Week 5 were unavoidable, as the purple team came out as flat as could possibly be, on both sides of the ball, en route to digging themselves a quick 14-0 hole. There would be no late-game near-miracle comeback at Paul Brown Stadium though, even if there would be an all too familiar Steve Hauschka “wide left,” thrown in as a little salt on the wound. Even though the defense did buckle down after the Bengals’ first two drives (both touchdowns), allowing just a field goal for the final 47:26, you still came away from this one feeling like it was a steamrolling.

Where to begin?

On offense, Bengals’ defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer now has Cam Cameron’s number in 2009 the way that Dick Lebeau of the Steelers did in 2008 (yet to be seen if it carries over to this year). In six games against the rest of the league this year, the Ravens offense is averaging 30.8 points and 399 yards off offense per game. In two contests against Cincy, those numbers drop to 10.5 and 236. Against the “not Bengals,” Joe Flacco has thrown 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and compiled a passer rating of 100. But when the striped team lines up on the other side of the ball, his numbers have read a dismal 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions, and 59.2 rating.

That there are now not 1, but TWO teams in the division who seem to have figured out Cameron/Flacco is a bit unnerving.

As bad as Joe was yesterday, he got absolutely zero help from his offensive line, who need to take their share of the blame. The group that had played so solidly all season had their worst outing, as Flacco was under constant pressure and holding and false start flags were rampant. After allowing 12 sacks in 7 games, the Ravens gave up 4 to the Bengals, even without Antwan Odom. Three of these came on the final drive when they were able to tee off on Flacco, but the pressure was there all day. And, for his part, Joe needs to do a much better job of identifying his hot read and getting the ball out quickly when the blitz comes. Several times yesterday he had time to throw, but instead patted the ball and ended up on his butt.

Derrick Mason did absolutely nothing to back up his “nobody can cover me 1-on-1” talk leading up to the game, as he caught just 3 of the 13 balls thrown to him, for a measly 31 yards. Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington had only 1 catch apiece, as the Ravens converted just ONE OF TEN 3rd down opportunities. A terrible effort by all.

All except Ray Rice of course, who was the only thing even resembling a weapon the Ravens had all day. He finished the day with 8 catches for 87 yards and 12 carries for 48 and the team’s only score.

On defense, all the problems that seemed to have been corrected against Denver came flooding back in force against the Bengals. The pressure that was there from the front seven against Kyle Orton was nowhere to be found when Carson Palmer dropped back. The gap integrity that held the Broncos’ ground game in check was instead replaced with more gaping holes for Cedric Benson, who racked up 117 yards. The sure tackling that negated Denver’s short passing attack regressed to the tune of more arm tackling FAILs and inability to wrap up the ballcarrier (with the pleasant exception of Lardarius Webb).

The few times Greg Mattison did dial up the blitz, it was largely ineffective. They forced some early, errant throws from Palmer in the 2nd half, but during the game’s decisive opening quarter, ginger boy had all day and then some. Cincy was a disgusting 5/5 on 3rd downs on their two touchdown drives, which included an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 with the score 0-0, and an illegal contact call on Chris Carr that gave them another try despite an offensive holding flag being thrown on the play. Other critical mistakes on those two possessions included Fabian Washington dropping what should have been an easy interception on a deep pass and a pass interference flag on Dawan Landry negating a Ravens’ fumble recovery (because, despite interfering, Landry was STILL unable to keep Chad Ochocinco from making the catch…UN-AC-CEPT-AB-LE!)

Ed Reed’s strip of Ochocinco (for the 2nd straight game) could have made this one interesting, had he been able to take it to the house OR had the Ravens’ O been able to score a TD for the 2nd consecutive drive OR had Hauschka not CH-CH-CHOKED again, this time from only 38 yards and the middle of the field.

Of course, none of those things happened, but the Ravens really didn’t deserve this one anyway. Not in the least.

I’ll search in vain for a bright spot for this week’s “Play Like a Raven” feature, but it won’t be easy. This one was just bad all around.

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Ravens Report Card

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

Quarterback: C-

This seems harsh, but Joe was terrible yesterday. Save for one decent drive, he wouldn’t have gotten even a passing grade yesterday. It was arguably his worst game as a Raven. I talked after the Patriots game about Joe needing to come up biggest when the team needs him the most (the way Tom Brady and company tend to)-and the first two drives of the game were when the Ravens needed Flacco the most. He didn’t deliver. He needs to figure out how tall Mark Clayton (and Ray Rice) are, too. If he continues to overthrow those guys, he’s gonna get them killed, or he’s gonna get picked more.

Running Backs: B

Don’t blame Ray Rice for this one. He had the heart of a champion, and was the best player on the field wearing white. Should the coaching staff be using Le’Ron McClain (who played well) and Willis McGahee more? Maybe, but not because Ray Rice isn’t playing well.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C

No terrible mistakes by this unit, but not a particularly good performance either. Derrick Mason had to play defensive back more than receiver on a couple of plays, and Todd Heap had no idea where the first down marker was on that 3rd and 5. It was not a great day for them.

Offensive Line: C

The 2nd half was PARTICULARLY ugly for this unit. I’m not sure how much the team worked no-huddle and with a huddle during the week, and if changing on the fly in Cincinnati hurt them; but the penalties in the 2nd half from Oher, Gaither and Grubbs were just unneccessary. Not a good day for the unit that had arguably been the best on the season.

Defensive Line: D

This unit CLEARLY missed Haloti Ngata. They got almost NO pressure on Carson Palmer-and certainly no game changing plays (even Terrell Suggs’ sack was for a grand total of -1 yard). Cedric Benson should not be gauging the Ravens defense ONCE-more or less twice. It all started up front, and it wasn’t good. 

Linebackers: B-

I’m not REALLY sure why I am giving them this good of a grade; I guess it’s because Ray Lewis really played with a lot of heart, and the unit as a whole did make some plays, even if they were beat a few times too. This unit is going to have to apply more of the pressure, and has to be more of a punishing group. They have failed in these areas thus far, but have tackled better than the rest of the defense….I guess.

Secondary: D-

Look, I don’t think Champ Bailey could have stayed with the Bengals’ receivers given the time Palmer had to throw the ball; and Chad Ochocinco made some AWESOME grabs; but this was poor. Lardarius Webb did give some solid effort when he came into the game, but he has gone untested as far as actual cover abilities. There is no answer to improve this group. When you have an average secondary, you MUST get better pressure. This combination hasn’t worked the way they had hoped.

Special Teams: D

Steve Hauschka’s miss was critical, but he wasn’t the only part of this unit that struggled. Penalties on special teams are really unthinkable, and even Sam Koch struggled. It’s infectious right now.

Coaching: D-

Maybe the worst game of the season for the entire staff. Unprepared from the beginning, and not enough corrections in-game. Greg Mattison deserves SOME credit for taking away the middle of the field AFTER the Bengals’ first 3 drives, but this was NOT a good game from them. The execution wasn’t much better, but John Harbaugh and company deserve to take their licks after this. WHY DOES CAM CAMERON CALL JUMP BALLS FOR 5’10” RECEIVERS?!?!?! Ugh….


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