Tag Archive | "Cary Williams"

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Rice’s miracle play grabs headline, but Ravens defense made comeback possible

Posted on 25 November 2012 by Luke Jones

Ray Rice’s miraculous catch and run on fourth-and-29 will go down as one of the greatest regular-season plays in the 17-year history of the Ravens and will be remembered in the years to come.

A late awakening by quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense completed an improbable 16-13 comeback victory over the San Diego Chargers and pushed the Ravens to 9-2, matching their best start in franchise history.

But none of it would have been possible if not for the stout performance of an undermanned, banged-up Baltimore defense at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday. As much grief as he received early in the season, first-year defensive coordinator Dean Pees deserves a pat on the back after the last two weeks in which the Ravens have held opponents to a combined 23 points in two road victories.

The injuries are well-documented and the struggles have been scrutinized throughout the season, but the defense came to play in what appeared to be a difficult matchup against a Chargers attack that’s struggled all season but still possesses the weapons to be dangerous on any given Sunday. The Ravens held San Diego to 13 points, surrendered 280 yards, and sacked quarterback Philip Rivers a season-high six times in their most impressive defensive performance of the year.

San Diego was just 3-for-15 on third down and 0-for-1 in the red zone as the Ravens continued an incredible streak of four straight games without allowing a red-zone touchdown. Baltimore has kept opponents out of the end zone in their last 10 trips inside the 20-yard line.

The numbers barely make you blink in the context of what’s been one of the greatest defenses in the NFL for more than a decade, but a simple look around the field reminds you just how impressive the group has been recently. A 10-point effort against Pittsburgh was brushed off because backup Byron Leftwich was at the helm for the Steelers, but to hold Rivers and the Chargers to 13 points in nearly 75 minutes of play Sunday is worthy of recognition.

That is, if you can recognize who’s making the plays. By no means have they become a no-name defense — Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Ed Reed are still on the field, even if less than 100 percent in each case — but the Ravens continued to receive contributions from unlikely sources.

Replacing inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who left the game with an ankle injury, 36-year-old special-teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo was a factor in pass coverage, making four tackles and defending a pass in extensive action. Filling in for the man who was already replacing the injured Ray Lewis and has arguably been the Ravens’ best defender this season, Ayanbadejo made several key tackles in the second half to help stall San Diego drives.

Another special-teams player, cornerback Corey Graham, continued his strong play in the secondary by making five tackles and defending two passes as he continues to fill in effectively for the injured Jimmy Smith. He and Cary Williams held up well against taller wide receivers Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander in what looked like a mismatch on paper heading into Sunday’s game.

More impressive than anyone, however, was third-year defensive end Arthur Jones, who collected the first two sacks of his career and added another tackle for a loss as he manhandled the Chargers up front. Largely considered a disappointment in increased action this season, Jones has played his best games of the season the last two weeks, making the extended absence of Pernell McPhee little more than an afterthought at this point.

The key to the defensive prosperity on Sunday was the Ravens’ pass rush as Suggs, Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, and rookie Courtney Upshaw collected sacks in addition to the two secured by Jones. Baltimore took advantage of a poor San Diego offensive line and made Rivers uncomfortable in the pocket, allowing the secondary to tighten its coverage.

Aside from a lone drive for a field goal surrendered in the game’s final 41 minutes, the defense was exceptional, forcing four three-and-outs in the second half and keeping the Baltimore offense within striking distance when it finally awoke from its game-long slumber midway through the fourth quarter.

The numbers won’t blow you away and the defensive stars aren’t playing at the same level they did in the past, but Pees has seemingly cracked the code to repair the crisis this defense was facing during its bye week. In the four games played since the break, the Ravens have allowed a total of 58 points after giving up 43 alone against Houston on Oct. 21.

Maybe it was Pees’ decision to move upstairs to the coaches’ booth. Perhaps unheralded players are finally living up to the mantra of “next man up” that’s constantly uttered in the Ravens locker room.

Whatever the case, the defense is figuring it out and it makes the 9-2 Ravens that much more dangerous down the stretch — even with their many flaws that will once again be discussed this week.

It’s not the Ravens’ dominating defense of old, but the unit saved the day on Sunday.

Even if the late-game heroics of Rice and the offense will be what everyone remembers.

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Our Ravens/Chargers “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 25 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 16-13 win over San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Brendon Ayanbadejo

4. Cary Williams

3. Dennis Pitta

2. Justin Tucker

1. Ray Rice (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Steelers “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 19 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Cary Williams

4. Ray Rice

3. James Ihedigbo

2. Anquan Boldin

1. Corey Graham (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Raiders “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 11 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Anquan Boldin

4. Dennis Pitta

3. Cary Williams

2. Bernard Pollard

1. Cam Cameron (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Browns

Posted on 06 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Bernard Pierce 12 yard TD run on 3rd & 1 (1st quarter)

4. Brandon Weeden pass intended for Greg Little incomplete on 4th & 2 (4th quarter)

3. TJ Ward roughing the passer called after Joe Flacco incompletion (4th quarter)

2. Torrey Smith 19 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)

1. Anquan Boldin 21 yard catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)

(Ryan Chell’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Browns “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 04 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. DeAngelo Tyson

4. Cary Williams

3. Sam Koch

2. Anquan Boldin

1. Ray Rice (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Texans “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 21 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Houston Texans 43-13 Sunday at Reliant Stadium, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I again offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

(NOTE: Not all photos from today, some photos courtesy of Houston Chronicle.)

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Christian Thompson

4. Terrence Cody

3. Michael Oher

2. Jimmy Smith

1. Joe Flacco (Two slaps)


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Jimmy Smith looking to live up to first-round billing with increased role

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Luke Jones

Only 18 months ago, the Ravens selected Jimmy Smith with the 27th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft with thoughts of the Colorado product becoming a shutdown cornerback.

Needless to say, the start of Smith’s professional career hasn’t gotten off to the start he anticipated as an ankle injury in the 2011 season opener and the emergence of Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams had relegated Smith to part-time duty over the first 18 games of his career. However, with the season-ending ACL injury suffered by Webb in the Ravens’ 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, Smith now finds himself in the starting role he and the Ravens initially envisioned on draft day two years ago.

The 24-year-old is ready to prove the Ravens made the right decision in tabbing him as a first-round talent, even if he’s had to wait patiently for his first extensive opportunity to start. Though Smith sustained a groin injury against Dallas, he is expected to make the start against the Houston Texans this Sunday.

“First, second, third, seventh [round], it doesn’t matter,” Smith said. “Once you get drafted, you want to prove what you’ve got. You want to prove to everybody that you belong, and it [stinks] that my opportunity came at a time when another player was hurt, but at the same time, you’ve got to step up and show what you’ve got.”

In reality, Smith’s role had increased this season anyway as defensive coordinator Dean Pees has made extensive use of the nickel package, with the second-year cornerback playing on the outside on the opposite side of Williams as Webb slid inside to assume the nickel spot. Prior to Sunday when Webb went down with the knee injury in the first quarter, Smith had participated in 55 percent of the Ravens’ total number of defensive snaps (205 of 373) through the first five weeks of the season.

Veteran special-teams standout Corey Graham is expected to play in the nickel package and line up at the inside position previously occupied by Webb.

Through six games this season, Smith has collected 16 tackles and three pass breakups. He’ll now be asked to play nearly all defensive snaps, though the expanded workload won’t really come with any new responsibilities while on the field.

“I expect him to play really well,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I have tremendous confidence in Jimmy Smith. We all do. Jimmy’s got tremendous confidence. He’s here for a reason. He’s talented, he works hard. He’ll play well.”

Despite an impressive 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame for a cornerback, Smith has been hesitant to use his impressive size to chuck wide receivers at the line of scrimmage, instead using his above-average speed. The defensive back is also inconsistent in trying to find the football in coverage, often in good position but failing to finish plays.

Smith seemed to adjust to the speed of the game late last season, intercepting two passes in the final seven weeks of the regular season and collecting another interception in the AFC Championship game against New England. However, he’s still getting used to the complexity of routes run by NFL receivers.

“There are a lot more route combinations up here, so you’ve got to always keep your eyes on the man, and then turning your head is kind of a skill that you’ve got to kind of perfect,” Smith said. “Then sometimes, you turn your head around, he stops, and then catches a comeback. It’s just a lot of discipline with that, and like I said, I worked on it a lot this offseason — when to turn, when not to look and how to play the hands.”

Both Williams and Smith have been maligned for suspect coverage this season as the Baltimore defense has struggled to find a consistent pass rush. With Webb no longer a part of the defensive backfield, the unit will face even greater challenges in trying to slow opposing passing attacks.

Smith beginning to realize his immense potential as a full-time player would be a shot in the arm to the 26th-ranked defense in the NFL. He expects to be challenged even more now that he’ll be on the field a lot more in his new starting role.

“I’m a second-year corner,” Smith said. “They’re definitely going to attack me. But, I’ve got to strap it on and be ready.”

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Cowboys

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Dez Bryant drops pass from Tony Romo on two point conversion attempt (4th quarter)

4. Jacoby Jones 108 yard kickoff return TD (3rd quarter)

3. Anquan Boldin 20 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 14 (2nd quarter)

2. Cary Williams intercepts Tony Romo at Ravens 20 (2nd quarter)

1. Dan Bailey misses 51 yard field goal WIDE LEFT (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Ravens aren’t facing an uphill battle…they’re just facing a battle – like everyone else in the NFL

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

At least once or twice a season, I have to sit down and pound out one of these blogs to give everyone a dose of reality as it relates to the Ravens and the NFL campaign.

So…here goes.

I’ll cover a bunch of topics here, so please pay attention.

Let’s start with the obvious.  The Ravens defense isn’t all that good.  Their biggest problem of all?  They don’t really do anything in particular very well.  They can’t stop the run.  They surely can’t defend the short throw over the middle.  And if the other team has two or three different legit wide receiver options, there’s no way they can stop an elite quarterback, mostly because they don’t put any pressure on him.  Most teams with a “sub-par” defense at least have one element they consider “their specialty”.  The Ravens don’t really have anything we’d consider a specialty.

But…and yes, there’s a balance to this, hence the word “But” in there — their offense is virtually the exact opposite of their defense.  The Ravens can run it and throw it.  They can use Ray Rice’s feet or his hands.  They can focus on either Pitta or Dickson.  They can send Torrey Smith long or they can have Boldin run the slant and let Flacco feed him that all-world ball he throws to the sideline.  As bad as Baltimore’s defense is, their offense is probably just as good.

You people wanted offense.  Well, you got it.

You might see a lot more 31-28 games and a lot less of the 17-10’s and 20-14’s.

What will that get them?

Well…so far, it has them at 5-1, which is impressive on its own – except for that 9-6 stinker in KC that they won… a game they likely would have lost a season ago for whatever reason.

And do you know what the Ravens are focused on now, six games into the season?

The same thing they were focused on back on September 10.

The Ravens have one goal in front of them.  They simply want to make the playoffs.

As one long-time staffer said to me today, “You have to look at this like it’s a marathon.  You can’t finish 26 miles until you’ve reached the 5 mile mark, the 10 mile mark, the 15 mile mark, etc.  Eventually, the 26 mile mark comes into view, but not until you’ve completed the first 25 miles.  And that’s the NFL, too.  We need to get to at least 11 wins in our mind.  We have five already.  We have six more to go.  If it takes less than that and we get in, that’s fine.  If we have the best record overall, that’s great.  If we win the division, we’d be thrilled.  But our big thing is to make the playoffs.  After that, we’re 0-0 like everyone else.”

Class dismissed.

(Please see next page for more)

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