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With Ravens Season Over, Draft Season Begins in Orlando

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With Ravens Season Over, Draft Season Begins in Orlando

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

As all of you know, there are few people in the world who are bigger fans of the NFL Draft than I am. Last season, I profiled over 100 NFL Draft prospects in the months leading up to the big event at Radio City Music Hall. Some of those players eventually became Baltimore Ravens, including Michael Oher, Paul Kruger, Lardarius Webb, Cedric Peerman, Jason Phillips, Isaiah Williams, Graham Gano, Eron Riley and more.

And with NFL season now over here in Charm City, it is time to start looking ahead to the 2010 NFL Draft; which will be held April 22-24th again in New York. I like to call the next 3 months “NFL Draft Season”, as it is much more than just the 3 days that determine how teams will make their picks. The season begins with the announcements from underclassmen, then moves to college all-star games (including the Senior Bowl), the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis (which myself, Drew Forrester & Nestor Aparicio will be covering LIVE here on WNST.net), individual Pro Timing Days, and team interviews that all build to the 3 days in April.

We will be starting our weekly NFL Draft Preview segment on “The Comcast Morning Show” this week, the segment will air Wednesdays at 9:40am. This Wednesday, Chad Reuter from NFLDraftScout.com & CBS Sports will be joining us. Chad will be reporting to us live from Orlando, where the annual East West Shrine Game marks the start of College All-Star season. Two Ravens rookies (Jason Phillips of TCU and Dannell Ellerbe of Georgia) were participants in last year’s game, as well as former Terrapins C Edwin Williams, who played for the Washington Redskins this season. It is definitely worth paying attention to what is going on at the game.

As I did last year, I will rank the likely needs the Ravens face in the offseason. This list may be altered as players are released/retired/traded/signed/injured/etc.

1-Wide Receiver (This goes without saying, as the team currently has just Marcus Smith under contract.)
2-Tight End (They almost got Brandon Pettigrew last year, there is no doubt they will be looking at the position again this season. Todd Heap should be back, but LJ Smith is a free agent-and clearly Heap is getting no younger.)
3-Cornerback (While they likely think they have two capable starting CB’s on the team, there is no doubt that Ozzie Newsome and company would welcome another impact corner to a group that already includes Domonique Foxworth, Lardarius Webb and Chris Carr.)
4-Safety (Ed Reed’s future makes this a very crucial spot, as does the pending free agency of Dawan Landry. Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura appear to be part of the team’s future at the position, but having both as starters in 2010 wouldn’t likely bode well.)
5-Outside Linebacker/Rush End (Dwan Edwards is a free agent. Trevor Pryce may choose to retire. Terrell Suggs came in last season out of shape. Antwan Barnes is a restricted free agent. And no one needs to be reminded that this group struggled to get pressure on opposing QB’s during a large part of Greg Mattison’s first season as Defensive Coordinator.)
6-Kicker (Billy Cundiff will be an option for this team, but even he knows there will at least be competition for the job. It may come from a free agent kicker-Graham Gano comes to mind-but it may come from a rookie as well. OR the team may decide to go somewhere else altogether.)
7-Quarterback (Obviously Joe Flacco is THE guy, and the team would be fine with bringing back Troy Smith to back him up. But Smith’s agent made it clear they want him traded, and the Ravens may decide to give him his wish. John Beck remains in the mix, but the Ravens will have to give him a contract. The team could use strength at the position from a young QB if they decide to let Smith and/or Beck go.)
8-Interior Offensive Line (Matt Birk is not getting any younger, and Chris Chester may be up for starter money somewhere else. Marshal Yanda is also a RFA, so this team may need to add to the group-especially at Center.)
9-Exterior Offensive Line (Jared Gaither is a RFA-and the Ravens will have to make a difficult decision there. Someone will want to give him money, it’s just a question of whether or not the Ravens are the team that will want to do it. Behind Gaither and Oher, the Ravens are woefully thin-as Oniel Cousins was somewhat adequate, but nothing more.)
10-Punter (I can’t imagine the Ravens won’t bring back Sam Koch, but I have to put this position on the list-as if Koch gets good money elsewhere, the Ravens will have a major need at the position.)

With all of this in mind, I present my first 10 profiles of the 2010 NFL Draft season. These are all players who are participating in this week’s East West Shrine Game. Thanks to NFLDraftScout.com, Wikipedia, and my own personal conversations with scouts from around the NFL for help with information gathering.

WR Freddie Barnes
(Bowling Green)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw0a-5xV–w[/youtube]

His numbers this season were jaw-dropping. His 155 catches were a NCAA record. His 1,770 receiving yards were a Falcons school record. His 19 TD’s lead the FBS. But his size isn’t necessarily ideal. He’s just 6’0″ and 212 pounds. The Ravens will absolutely need a more sizable threat at WR, but they will also likely need more than one addition to the group. Barnes looks like a lower round pick right now-but he had a huge game in the Humanitarian Bowl, and started practice in Orlando with a bang. A combine invite and solid performance could vault him up boards. One scout told me he could be Anquan Boldin-esque. Everyone in the country would like a player like that. Barnes is VERY athletic, he played QB and basketball in high school in Illinois.

TE Andrew Quarless (Penn State)

quarless

If the Ravens are interested in an impact receiver at the TE position, Andrew Quarless might not be the guy. Quarless had his best statistical season in 2009-hauling in 41 passes for 536 yards and 3 TD’s. But in his 4 year career, Quarless caught just 87 balls for 1,146 yards and 8 TD’s. However, his numbers-and his size-don’t differ THAT much from Pettigrew, who was a Top 20 pick just a season ago by the Lions. Heck, he may even be a bit quicker. But his rap sheet includes a DUI arrest, an underage drinking citation, and marijuana possession. He needs to prove his strength in the months leading up to the Draft, as his frame and ability could very well help him rise to the 2nd night of the Draft (now rounds 2-3). He may well be a guy who would already be a high level prospect had he not been splitting time with Mickey Shuler Jr. during his career in Happy Valley.

S Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrYas6mEuzg[/youtube]

Chancellor has admitted to trying to mold his game after late Skins Safety Sean Taylor, and with good reason. Chancellor is an all-around tough Safety; measuring in at 6’3″, 232 pounds with a great burst as well. Likely a Day 2 pick, Chancellor was an All-ACC performer with experience at both safety positions and also at CB during his career in Blacksburg. He recorded 204 tackles during his Hokies career, along with 6 interceptions, but did not return any for scores. He is also a gifted athlete, having played QB during his HS career in Norfolk.

DE Greg Hardy (Ole Miss)

greghardy

If he was fully healthy, Greg Hardy would almost certainly be a 1st round pick. But even with the wrist injuries that forced him to miss more than a quarter of his senior season and the ankle troubles that plagued him throughout his Rebels career might not keep him from hearing his name called Thursday night. Mostly because he managed to pile up 26 sacks during his time in Oxford, to go along with 38.5 TFL’s, 6 forced fumbles and in interception. The Ravens won’t have to go far for a scouting report on Hardy, as his former Mississippi teammate Michael Oher was also a teammate in high school at the Briarcrest Christian Academy in Memphis. He checks in around 6’4″ and somewhere between 260-275 pounds; making his measurements at the Combine and his Pro Day all more important.

TE Richard Dickson (LSU)

dickson

At 6’3″, 245 pounds; Dickson is likely not going to be a traditional TE, but more likely a FB/H-Back/TE hybrid. The NFL scout I discussed Dickson with said the inevitable comparison is Chris Cooley; but Dickson has to prove himself to be an explosive threat. Dickson’s senior season failed to match the production of his sophomore and junior seasons, as he averaged 350 yards receiving and 4.5 TD’s during his middle seasons-but fell off to just 157 yards and 0 TD’s in his final season in Baton Rouge. Despite the drop-off, he finished his career as the most prolific TE in Tigers history.

CB Devin Ross (Arizona)

devinross

I’m not certain that the Ravens are itching for another 5’11″ CB at this point, but they could use depth at the position, and Ross will be available on Day 2 (if not Day 3). Ross will immediately be compared to fellow former Wildcats CB Antoine Cason (who just wrapped up his 2nd season with the San Diego Chargers), and the Ravens will inevitably try to compare him to another former CB who played in Tucson by the name of Chris McAlister-who just so happens to be the greatest CB in team history. Ross will benefit from having his name mentioned in the same breath as those two, because he doesn’t have a comparable resume. What he lacks in size, he’ll need to make up in quickness during Draft season-starting this week in Orlando. He recorded just 1 interception in his senior campaign-5 for his career. He’ll have to overcome the thud his college career ended on; giving up a 74 yard TD to Nebraska’s Niles Paul in a 33-0 loss to the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl.

LB Ross Pospisil (Navy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agLDxsJ4mfk[/youtube]

I include Ross Pospisil on this list only because he’s the only “local” college football player participating in the East West Shrine Game. He’s certainly not a prospect to be drafted, but could be an option for the Ravens to take a look at after the draft ends. Just a season ago, Navy FB Eric Kettani and Slotback Shun White were picked up by the New England Patriots following the Draft, as they’ve decided to invest in the former Midshipmen and wait out the service time. Obviously, Saints FB Kyle Eckel previously was able to skirt service time after leaving Annapolis, but I don’t expect that from Pospisil. Ross did have 91 tackles on his senior campaign, including 6 TFL’s. He’s 6’0″ and 227 lbs., and is definitely capable of being a bruiser-but the Ravens would have to be willing to make a long-term investment in a guy that won’ t be able to help them anytime soon. It’s unlikely.

QB Daryll Clark (Penn State)

clark

The funny thing about Daryll Clark’s draft profile is that there is nothing that immediately makes you say “no” about him. He’s a bigger kid (6’2″, 238); but he’s fairly mobile (expected to post a 40 in the 4.6 range) and certainly appears to possess a capable arm. Over his last 2 seasons, he’s completed 60% of his passes for over 5,500 yards and 43 TD’s. In the same time span, he was picked 16 times and was sacked 26 times. Certainly the O-Line play in State College didn’t help those numbers much. He was 22-4 as a starting QB-but his biggest knock is the 4 losses. Clark’s worst performances seemed to come in the most important games for the Nittany Lions-2 against Iowa (both ruining perfect seasons), USC in the Rose Bowl, and Ohio State with the Big Ten title still within reach. He’s not a perfect prospect, but for a likely Day 3 guy, he could certainly prove to be a capable player should the Ravens lose Troy Smith or John Beck.

CB Brian Jackson (Oklahoma)

bjack

You can’t help but get that “What’s not to like” feeling when you look at Brian Jackson’s status. He’s a bit taller (6’1″) than the Ravens’ Current crop of corners, with decent speed (expected to run in the 4.5′s) and has just 5% body fat on his 200 pound frame according to the Sooners. He has football in his blood-his cousin Chris Draft plays LB for the Buffalo Bills. He steadily improved as his playing time increased during his career (112 tackles and 6 picks over his final 2 seasons) and was a very solid special teams player to boot. So….”what’s not to like?” I posed the question to a NFL scout who pointed out to me that there has to be some level of concern stemming from a 2006 knee injury, and while he appeared to be solid, he was never outstanding. He’s had mixed results against his best competition, but did post an interception against Colt McCoy and Texas. Thought by some to be a Day 3 selection, the same scout told me “there’s NO WAY he’s getting past Friday night.”

S T.J. Ward (Oregon)

I have done a lot of research, and while I have no reason to believe T.J. Ward’s nickname is “Freight Train”, I have no reason why it isn’t……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6Hp5uiJgM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YRsIXOihkk[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc8-gJqzWws[/youtube]

I could go on with “big hit porn”, but instead I’ll move on the details. Ward is a tremendous talent, a likely 2nd round pick. If he weren’t 5’10″, his skill set might get him into Round 1. He recorded 180 tackles over his last 3 seasons in Eugene-along with a pair of picks and 6 forced fumbles. He did all of that despite missing a number of games due to knee and ankle injuries-which will hurt his Draft stock. Ward will absolutely be worth the risk to any team that picks him, but he certainly doesn’t come without red flags.

-G

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Offensive Line Play Makes Ravens Look Like Real Super Bowl Contenders

Posted on 27 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

It is entirely too early to proclaim that a team has a legitimate chance of winning a Super Bowl. Three weeks into the season, there is way too much that can happen that can change the entire course of a year.

But through three games, my preseason thought that the Ravens were good enough to get in has given way to the idea that the Ravens might just be good enough to win it all.

There’s one big reason for my change in opinion. Actually, there’s five VERY big reasons for my change in opinion.

The Offensive Line of the Baltimore Ravens-through three games-looks like the type of unit that wins Championships.

Joe Flacco has been sacked THREE times this season.
The Ravens have ran for 470 yards on a 4.7 yards per carry clip.
Through three games, the Ravens have a total of 82 first downs.

These are the types of numbers that come with having a good quarterback, solid receivers, and a steady ground game. But they are also the types of numbers that come from a team that is getting such a push upfront that the offensive success feels absolutely commonplace.

In fact, when offensive players are asked about their success at this point, they almost blush, saying things like “we’re just clicking” (Willis McGahee) and “as long as we keep playing like this, we’re gonna be tough to beat this year.” (Joe Flacco)

The offensive line of this team has been so good that it is hard to even notice the unit is on the field. Matt Birk has made exactly one mistake (a fumbled exchange with Flacco against San Diego). Michael Oher and Jared Gaither have each been penalized ONCE. Even the guards (Ben Grubbs, Chris Chester and Marshal Yanda) have created holes so big Jonathan Ogden could run through them.

Facing the Browns, the Offensive Line limited Browns all-word DT Shaun Rogers to 3 tackles and frustrated him into an unnecessary roughness penalty in the 2nd half. They also cleared the way for Willis McGahee and Ray Rice to combine for three TD’s on the ground where they were COMPLETELY untouched. McGahee couldn’t help but laugh at the idea of going into the endzone untouched, saying “it feels good.”

The Ravens haven’t faced the best defenses in the NFL. The Patriots will provide another unique test for this Offensive Line next week in Foxborough. However, if this unit plays this good and stays healthy this season, it seems VERY apparent that they are good enough that a trip to Miami is an honest possibility.

-G

5:27-You can check the final stats from today’s game here. Joe Flacco finished the day with a new career high 342 yards passing. The Ravens extended their streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher to 38 games.

5:04-You can hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
RB Willis McGahee
WR Derrick Mason
LB Terrell Suggs
LB Brendon Ayanbadejo
DT Haloti Ngata
CB Domonique Foxworth
S Ed Reed

5:00-The only injury note to pass along following the Ravens’ win today is regarding Ray Lewis. John Harbaugh said Ray suffered a “stinger” (as I had guessed) to the shoulder. No real cause for concern.

Ray Rice told me he will have the football framed from his 1st career TD, and he will put it “in (his) bedroom……right next to (him).”

Derrick Mason said his 800th career catch “meant a lot”, but admitted that the Ravens “really don’t make a big deal about” personal milestones.

3:45-I’m not gonna wait. This one’s over. Ravens win 34-3. I’m headed downstairs. Will talk to you shortly. Nice play by Lardarius Webb on the punt.

3:38-Who the hell was Derek Anderson throwing the ball to there?

3:34-Doesn’t usually take until Week 3 for Ed Reed to get into the INT column; but it’s good to see him.

This one will look like a preseason game the rest of the way. Troy Smith under center, Matt “Jack Hunter” Lawrence toting the rock.

3:31-Jameel McClain deserved the chance to dance a little bit after rocking Josh Cribbs. A tip of the hat to Edgar Jones for tackling Cribbs to allow McClain to offer the punishment.

3:28-That one might be a little bit of “running up the score.” Oh well. I’ll be happy for Derrick Mason on his big day. Ravens up 31 with 8:05 to play in this one.

3:26-Do Ravens defensive players know they don’t HAVE to lateral the ball on every play? Congratulations to Dawan Landry for the pick……probably the easiest he’ll ever make.

3:20-Don’t think Joe Flacco should still be in the game, but I’m also not a coach in the NFL. True story.

3:13-Apparently Willis McGahee did NOT want to lock up the #1 Spot on this week’s “Tuesday Top 7.”

3:12-Shaun Rogers is frustrated. If I was Shaun Rogers, I’d probably be frustrated too.

3:07-What type of grade would you give Chris Carr thus far this season? He hasn’t been great, that’s for sure. But has he been bad? I don’t think so.

3:06-Cundiff ends the shutout; and the Browns get on the board. Maybe we could see Troy Smith this quarter?

3:03-Mangini kicking the FG to open the 4th? He should be ashamed. But this should allow the Ravens to consider going to the bench this quarter if Cundiff can snap the shutout.

2:56-Ed Reed tried to time that hit for the right moment, but clearly was way too early. If that was a first quarter hit, I would have said “he sent a message” to the Browns’ wide receivers. But I think they already got the message.

If Eric Mangini kicks a field goal on this drive, he has no balls. There, I said it.

2:52-What a hell of a pass and catch from Derek Anderson to Mike Furrey there. Best thing they’ll do all day.

2:51-Justin Bannan just BLEW UP Lawrence Vickers in the backfield. Should the Browns think about just taking a knee?

2:50-A Santana Moss TD and we’re breathing heavily again. With no offense to everyone who is still interested in what is happening on the field with the Ravens and Browns-I have great interest in seeing Redskins fans suffer.

2:47-Nice call, Drew.

2:45-Ray’s gonna really burn me after this today. Rutgers beat Maryland AND he scored his first TD? Now how do I mess with him???

4 plays, 53 yards, 1:54 on the Ravens’ 5th scoring drive of the day. The hits just keep on coming.

2:43-One man shouldn’t do that to another. Willis is just embarrassing those guys. Come on now….

2:38-Brendon Ayanbadejo with the game of his life. I have not said to Drew “nice call” yet, but I get the feeling it is coming…

2:36-2 TD throws for Kyle Boller today in St. Louis. The Rams still trail the Packers 23-14. I always root for Kyle “Don’t Call It A Comeback” Boller myself.

2:35-Derek Anderson into the game……no word if Brady Quinn went to Eric Mangini at the half and said “no mas.”

2:33-Kelley Washington even catches the passes that don’t count. That’s impressive.

2:31-Forrester thinks we should have left at halftime to go down and see Darius Rucker at Merriweather. I’m not REALL convinced we would have missed anything.

2:11-70,950 here today-I’ve noticed a few empty seats around the stadium and can’t blame anyone who decided they would spend their day somewhere else.

2:10-Willis McGahee also doens’t have much to worry about in the “getting your uniform dirty” department. That is just downright unfair.

8 plays, 80 yards, 2:31 on the 4th scoring drive of the half.

2:08-Lions go up 10-0 in Detroit. I have a bad feeling I will be more interested in this in the 2nd half than I am in the game I am attending.

2:06-Standing ovation at “The Bank” as Mason is recognized during the 2 minute warning. Well deserved for the greatest receiver in franchise history.

2:02-A veteran member of the media just asked me if there’s anything the Ravens haven’t done well today. I didn’t have an answer. I guess they could have scored 3 touchdowns.

Derrick Mason with his 800th catch for his career. They’re REALLY gonna be in a tough spot with him when it comes to the Ring of Honor here.

1:53-What Ray Rice did there is almost unfair to those guys in white and orange. They’re trying, even if you can’t tell.

I think Harbaugh should have gone for it again there. Why not put this one away when you have the chance early? There’s no doubt in my mind the O-Line would have gotten the push to get 2 yards.

Hauschka’s 2nd kick still means this is a 2 possession game-which will keep everyone in the stands a bit longer.

16 plays, 82 yards, 7:34 on the 3rd scoring drive of the day for the Ravens. Sam Koch is hanging out with Demetrius somewhere.

1:50-If anyone sees Demetrius Williams today, please let him know kickoff was at 1. Meanwhile, Kelley Washington continues to look like one of the greatest free agent acquisitions in team history.

1:48-Is Rex Ryan going to go undefeated? The Jets are up 14-0 in the 2nd on the Titans. Glad I picked the Titans to make the playoffs……

1:43-Could Willis McGahee be earning back the “starting” RB job? He’s ran hard as hell every time he’s touched the ball.

Ed-I think coverage in general has been BETTER-but certainly could still improve a bit. That’s a bit of a panic penalty on Walker there, but given the spot on the field; that’s probably one that they won’t lose their mind about.

1:39-Attention Brady Quinn: It isn’t usually protocol to throw the ball away when you’re NOT flushed. He had plenty of time there.

Frank Walker was called for a hold there. Most of the city of Baltimore will want him released.

Lions up 7-0 on the Skins. GOD PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN.

1:38-Ed Reed had to go low to make that saving tackle on Jerome Harrison there. As I said, the Browns HAVE to try to run the ball. Losing teams throw on every down. It felt like some fans forgot that the Chargers were a losing team last week.

1:35-Can you call a game an absolute blowout if it’s only a 10-0 game through one quarter? This would be that game if you could.

Nice play by Dwan Edwards there, by the way. I don’t get to say that enough. And Edgar Jones made a nice play on coverage as well.

1:28-Watching Kamerion Wimbley sack Joe Flacco (on a play where Flacco had plenty of time), I can’t help but remember the Draft that lead Haloti Ngata to Baltimore. Not that Wimbley hasn’t turned into a nice player for the Browns, but I think the Ravens are pretty happy with Ngata.

12 plays, 68 yards, 6:03 on the scoring drive-capped by Hauschka’s 36 yard field goal. It’s 10-0 here. Rich Dubroff (or Carroll County Times fame) nailed the time of possession on that one. He’s also provided me a few one-liners today. With him on my right and ol’ Forrester on my left; it could be a real zinger-fest.

1:27 Flacco hasn’t had AS MUCH time in the pocket today as he’s had in the first two games, but he’s had MORE than enough. This offensive line makes this team a Super Bowl contender.

1:24-Brandon McDonald should have made that play on the jump ball to Derrick Mason. That is the only area where the Ravens are behind the 8 ball-as they ABSOLUTELY lack tall wide receivers-and no, neither Brandon Marshall nor Anquan Boldin is coming through that door.

Flacco to Kelley Washington on 3rd down-I’ve heard that before. Don’t stop dancing Kelley.

1:21-Drew says Zastudil is Browns’ MVP thus far. He’s probably right about that, too. Le’Ron McClain with some hard running after his catch; and it is nice to see LJ Smith make an appearance. Say what you want about Smith’s health, he IS capable of catching the ball.

1:18-I guess if Joe Thomas does it, it isn’t considered holding. Spencer Folau was freaking out on the play where Ayanbadejo got the sack-SCREAMING for the hold call. Funny stuff.

1:15-Where were fewer people breathing? Last night in Lexington when Tim Tebow got hit, or a minute ago here when Ray Lewis stayed down?

Ray’s fine.

1:11-6 plays, 31 yards, 2:01 on that first TD drive. The Offensive Line might not have broken a sweat, either.

1:09-ABSOLUTELY the right decision by Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh to go for it on 4th and 1 there.

With Willis McGahee getting into the endzone, I remind everyone that Ray Rice is still yet to get one himself. (Love you Ray.)

1:07-Flacco did the right thing in getting to the line of scrimmage quickly after Mark Clayton’s catch. I was afraid the Browns’ PR staff was actually going to throw the red flag from all the way up here.

1:05-No word on whether or not Domonique Foxworth yelled “Still think we can’t play?” towards Mike Preston after making that pick.

1:04-Brady Quinn comes out throwing. He’ll have success (including an early first down), but the Browns will NOT be able to pull off an upset without running the ball. And with no offense to Jerome Harrison and James Davis…….

1:03-Josh Cribbs is particularly dangerous every time he touches the ball. Jerry Rosburg admitted that there is little he can do to slow down the Browns’ speedy returner on kickoffs. Ravens just have to maintain their gaps and can’t allow him to break tackles.

1:00-Browns won the toss, they’ll take the ball. Unfortunately, I’m not sure they can hold for the entire 60 minutes though…

12:55-Starting offense introduced this week after defense was introduced before home opener against Chiefs. Particularly loud ovations for Oher, Ray Rice, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, and Joe Flacco. It isn’t quite as electric without a Ray Lewis dance, though.

12:52-I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that the Ravens serve Nantucket Nectars Premium Orange in the Press Box before games. They don’t advertise with us, but their product is OUTSTANDING.

12:29-I have two friends from Texas in town this weekend. One of them just texted me to say “I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in downtown Baltimore not wearing purple.”

Awesome.

12:16-Jerome Harrison is starting for the Browns in place of Jamal Lewis. Hank Fraley is starting in place of Floyd Womack, meaning the Browns DID err in listing him as inactive. Rex Hadnot was the player that should have been listed as inactive.

12:14-Ravens inactives:

LB/DE Paul Kruger
DT Kelly Talavou
TE Tony Curtis
OL Tony Moll
OT Oniel Cousins
LB Dannell Ellerbe
RB Jalen Parmele
QB John Beck (3rd QB)

This means LJ Smith WILL dress for the first time as a Raven, and the team will have 3 active Tight Ends. It will be interesting to see if LJ contributes at all on Special Teams.

12:10-I get the feeling the Browns mistakenly listed Hank Fraley as inactive when Rex Hadnot was supposed to be. The word was that Hadnot wasn’t even traveling.

12:01-Did anyone see the shot of Rex Ryan walking into Giants Stadium today? Brian Billick would have lost his mind. Rex looked more homeless than even I usually do! Just noticed Rob Ryan (now the Browns Defensive Coordinator) down on the field here at “The Bank”, and he looks EXACTLY the same as you remember him from Oakland.

11:55-There’s a rumor being passed around that Paul Kruger is inactive again today. As I just told Chris Bonetti and Jason Jubb, I did not expect him to be active this week despite the fact that the Ravens let go of Prescott Burgess Tuesday. A reminder that Tom Zbikowski was NOT active last week and will be today. Jarret Johnson is the only REAL injury question mark; but he’s also one of the toughest guys on the team, so I bet he’s dressed.

11:53-Ravens in purple tops and white pants-they’re expected to wear purple until the final home game of the season. Browns in white tops and brown pants.

11:50-From the Cleveland Browns’ official Twitter page, here are their scratches:

RB Jamal Lewis
K Phil Dawson
OL Hank Fraley
OL Floyd Womack
TE Greg Estandia
WR Brian Robiskie
DB Gerard Lawson
QB Brett Ratliff (3rd QB)

11:15-The Ravens are 13-7 all-time against the Browns; including a sweep of the Brownies last season. They are 7-3 all-time against the Browns here in Baltimore.

10:40-As I noted yesterday, 4 Browns aren’t here in Charm City-as Jamal Lewis, Phil Dawson, Rex Hadnot and Floyd Womack are already OUT according to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com. Billy Cundiff was signed by the Browns to kick. Former Raven Cedric Peerman was waived to make room for Cundiff.

10:30-Greetings from the Press Box here at M&T Bank Stadium in beautiful downtown Baltimore; where the Ravens put their 2-0 record on the line in their first AFC North contest of the year against the 0-2 Cleveland Browns. The Ravens have started a season 3-0 only once in their history-2006, when they went on to finish with the 2nd best record in the AFC.

Today’s game can be seen on CBS, the great Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker are on the call. According to The Weather Channel, it will be 71 degrees and mostly sunny today at 1pm; with just a 10% chance of precipitation.

Drew Forrester will be manning the WNST Twitter account today (@WNST), with Nestor Aparicio, Chris Pika, Luke Jones and myself chiming in. Don’t forget about our “Purple Haze” live chat tonight at 7 on WNST.net, where we’ll break down everything about today’s game and the other NFL action.

-G

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Not All Browns Coming to Baltimore Tomorrow

Posted on 26 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

According to our friend Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com, the Cleveland Browns will be particularly short-staffed coming to M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow.

RB Jamal Lewis (hamstring), K Phil Dawson (strained calf), OL Floyd Womack (ankle) and OL Rex Hadnot (knee) will all miss tomorrow’s game. Free agent kicker Billy Cundiff was signed to replace Dawson tomorrow against the Ravens; former Ravens RB Cedric Peerman was waived so the Browns could make room for Cundiff.

I’m going to guess that Cundiff doesn’t have this in him…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en65Ws1FNxE[/youtube]

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: JJ, LJ, Reed Questionable

Posted on 25 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

4:30-Injury Report-Ravens:

S Ed Reed-DNP-QUESTIONABLE-Neck
LB Jarret Johnson-LIMITED-QUESTIONABLE-Shoulder
TE LJ Smith-FULL-QUESTIONABLE-Hamstring
DT Justin Bannan-FULL-PROBABLE-Knee
OT Jared Gaither-FULL-PROBABLE-Illness
CB Fabian Washington-FULL-PROBABLE-Illness (Concussion)
S Tom Zbikowski-FULL-PROBABLE-Head (Concussion)

Browns:

RB Jamal Lewis-DNP-DOUBTFUL-Hamstring
OL Floyd Womack-DNP-DOUBTFUL-Ankle
OL Rex Hadnot-LIMITED-DOUBTFUL-Knee
K Phil Dawson-LIMITED-QUESTIONABLE-Right Calf
LB David Bowens-FULL-QUESTIONABLE-Knee
DL Shaun Rogers-FULL-QUESTIONABLE-Foot
RB James Davis-FULL-PROBABLE-Shoulder
OL Alex Mack-FULL-PROBABLE-Knee
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-FULL-PROBABLE-Shoulder
RB Cedric Peerman-FULL-PROBABLE-Thigh
DL Ahtyba Rubin-FULL-PROBABLE-Toe
P Dave Zastudil-FULL-PROBABLE-Right Knee

1:49-A couple of notes from personal conversations with players today. I spoke with LJ Smith-who still appeared uncertain of whether he will play on Sunday. I get the feeling this is no longer really about his hamstring, but more about whether or not he would be able to contribute on Special Teams. There is an active spot available right now after Prescott Burgess was traded Tuesday; but Tom Zbikowski was inactive against the Chargers and will almost certainly be back Sunday. Tony Curtis, Paul Kruger, and Dannell Ellerbe might all be options to dress Sunday, depending on how game-ready Ellerbe is, how quickly Tony Curtis has put things together, and how much Paul Kruger has developed on the Special Teams side of the ball. LJ Smith might well be on the field; but my conversation with him lead me to believe it was not certain.

Also, my friend Jon Gallo of CBS Sports passed along a note he got from a personal conversation with kicker Steve Hauschka. Apparently Hauschka, ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg, Sam Koch, and Matt Katula went to M&T Bank Stadium to work on kicking yesterday instead of staying here at 1 Winning Drive for practice. Rosburg talked before the San Diego game about the significance of Hauschka understanding his home stadium better than any kicker in the NFL; especially after the wind caused the 2nd year player from NC State to push a 41 yard field goal against the Chiefs. Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson would almost certainly be more familiar at M&T Bank Stadium (especially the stanchion), so this was a good chance for Hauschka to improve his familiarity.

1:43-Regarding injuries; John Harbaugh said Jared Gaither missed the last two days because the rest of the team “didn’t wanna get sick.” He didn’t try to break down any more of Gaither’s illness, reminding reporters that he isn’t a doctor-which is true. Harbs wasn’t so convinced about Jarrett Johnson-as despite the fact that JJ got back out on the practice field this morning, the Coach (who celebrated a birthday this week) said “that’s still gonna be an issue.” It appears as though Ed Reed missing practice was nothing more than a precautionary measure given Ed’s lingering shoulder and neck issues.

When asked about the significance of playing their first AFC North opponent Sunday, Harbaugh reminded us that AFC North games have potential “tiebreaker implications”, meaning the games can be more valuable than any other individual games. Harbaugh also said of the Browns “they have every intention of putting it together on Sunday.”

12:31-Overheard today: Jonathan Ogden saying “I bet they probably still owe me some money”, to which a Ravens staffer responded “I think you probably got plenty.” Pretty humorous.

11:47-Ed Reed is not dressed for practice today. He just came out to the practice field in street clothes. With Ed’s chronic shoulder and neck issues, this could be nothing more than a precautionary day off. Hopefully Harbs will give us an explanation.

11:35-A quick update from the practice field. Both Jared Gaither (illness) and Jarret Johnson (shouler) were out on the field this morning. Gaither appeared to be a little bit less than a full go during O-Line workouts, and could be listed as “limited” today as he continues to work back from the flu bug that got him this week. Johnson was seen sprinting off the practice field to head back to the locker room at one point. We’ll find out more details of his recovery shortly.

10:57-We’re back out here at 1 Winning Drive, where the Ravens will hold a walkthrough today as they install the final elements of their gameplan for Sunday’s game against Cleveland. Jarret Johnson (shoulder), Jared Gaither (illness) and Justin Bannan (knee) are the only concerns injury-wise; but all 3 are believed to be fine to go for Sunday. Gaither and Johnson have not practiced for the last 2 days, Bannan has been limited.

We will be headed out to view practice here shortly, and we will hear from John Harbaugh this afternoon-around 1pm or so.

-G

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Live from Owings Mills: Fabian Washington Returns to Practice

Posted on 24 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

5:01-Earlier today, the Ravens announced that the Browns had returned about 300 tickets to Sunday’s game. It appears as though a few of those tickets are still available via TicketMaster.

4:32-Ravens Injury Report:

LB Jarret Johnson-DNP-Knee
OT Jared Gaither-DNP-Illness (Flu Bug)
DT Justin Bannan-LIMITED-Knee
CB Fabian Washington-FULL-Illness (Concussion)
TE LJ Smith-FULL-Hamstring
S Tom Zbikowski-FULL-Concussion

Browns:

OL Rex Hadnot-DNP-Knee
OL Floyd Womack-DNP-Ankle
RB Jamal Lewis-DNP-Hamstring
LB David Bowens-LIMITED-Knee
DL Shaun Rogers-LIMITED-Foot
RB James Davis-FULL-Shoulder
C Alex Mack-FULL-Knee
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-FULL-Shoulder
RB Cedric Peerman-FULL-Thigh
DL Ahtyba Rubin-FULL-Toe
P Dave Zastudil-FULL-Right Knee

DNP signifies DID NOT PARTICIPATE

2:10-Terrell Suggs was particularly chipper today, taking a Sun writer to task for thinking the Ravens did not get an adequate pass rush in Sunday’s game. The great thing about T-Sizzle is that even when he disagrees with you, he tries to have fun with reporters. Head to the Audio Vault to take a listen.

2:02-I will admit that I find it somewhat odd that no one is being particularly committal regarding LJ Smith’s status for Sunday. He will be practicing fully for a 2nd straight day today; and I still imagine he will be on the field Sunday, but no one is coming out and just saying “yes, LJ is going to play.”

Strange. That’s all.

1:59-Highlights from Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison:

-Regarding the play of the defensive backs against the Chargers’ Wide Receivers: “Our secondary did a much better job than people realized.”
-On the size of the Chargers’ WR’s: “It looked like they should be playing in the NBA.”
-On what the Ravens need to work to eliminate moving forward: “The number of big plays.”
-Mattison also really harped on how proud he was of the defense for not allowing a TD in 4 red zone trips by the Chargers.

1:53-Highlights from Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg:

-On Browns WR/KR Joshua Cribbs: He “is a football player” who “gets free in so many different ways.” To contain him on kick returns, you have to “try to make sure he doesn’t have any windows.”
-Regarding Rosburg’s role in keeping Cribbs with the Browns during Rosburg’s time in Cleveland: “Success has many fathers.”
-Rosburg made is seem as though Paul Kruger was closer to being able to get on the field as a special teams contributor, saying Kruger had his best week of practice.

1:49-Fabian Washington has returned to practice, he appears to have recovered from Sunday’s concussion. I did not see Jared Gaither or Jarret Johnson on the practice field; and did not notice Jared in the locker room either. Dealing with the flu big, the only thing you would really be concerned about would be losing weight; but this is not (to our knowledge) anything similar to the illness Troy Smith battled last season.

One more note regarding practice: the Ravens are again pumping in crowd noise. They do this whether the team is playing at home or away that weekend. The defense needs to adjust to the noise levels here in Baltimore from the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium, so they practice communication with pumped in crowd noise.

1:16-I’m headed out to watch a couple minutes of practice, then I’m joining Bob Haynie shortly on AM1570 WNST. In the meantime, hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
LB Terrell Suggs

1:09 A couple of notes from each coordinator, starting with Cam Cameron:

-Cameron had nothing but praise for the Browns, saying “their defense…for 3 quarters…has played really well”, their defense is “as stout a front 7 as we’ve played” and they’re “the most physical football team we’ve played yet.”
-Regarding the chances of Demetrius Williams making a contribution soon: “Demetrius has had a great week of practice….time will tell.”
-Cameron said the Ravens made just 7 offensive corrections from the Chargers game, down from 47 in the first preseason game
-When asked about Derrick Mason approaching 800 career receptions, Cameron said that as a coach, “very seldom do you get the opportunity to be around players like (Derrick).” He also said Derrick as “developed as good of habits as anyone (he’s) been around.”
-When asked if new Tight End Tony Curtis would be ready to contribute Sunday, Cameron said “we’ll see.”

12:49-When asked about Fabian Washington, Greg Mattison took the chance to praise the play of Frank Walker (who would likely start in Washington’s place if Washington can’t go); saying “Frank’s always ready to step in.” He added that Frank is very similar to some of the Ravens’ defensive linemen, as Mattison feels as though he needs to get them more playing time.

12:43-The coordinators downplayed the significance of the injuries players are currently dealing with. Cam Cameron said Jared Gaither “will be ready to play” Sunday against Cleveland-he has been battling a flu bug. Cameron also said TE L.J. Smith has had “a good week of practice”, but wouldn’t commit to him being on the field Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Greg Mattison said he believed both Fabian Washington and Jarret Johnson would be on the field Sunday. When asked about his shoulder injury, Jarret said he was feeling “fine.”

11:17-We’re back out at 1 Winning Drive today, where the biggest storyline will be the health of 3 Ravens starters who did not practice yesterday. Jared Gaither (illness) and Jarret Johnson (shoulder) are presumably not serious; but Fabian Washington (concussion/illness) could well be a major question mark for Sunday’s game against the Browns. Chris Carr appeared to be the 3rd corner on Sunday in San Diego, but I believe Frank Walker would be the guy to start if Fabian couldn’t go. Justin Bannan (knee) was also limited in practice yesterday.

We are scheduled to hear from all 3 Coordinators today (Cam Cameron, Jerry Rosburg and Greg Mattison). I will be back after hitting the locker room with more info.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Downplaying National Attention

Posted on 23 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

4:45-Injury report:

RAVENS-
OT Jared Gaither-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Illness
LB Jarret Johnson-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Shoulder
CB Fabian Washington-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Illness
DT Justin Bannan-LIMITED-Knee
TE LJ Smith-FULL-Hamstring
S Tom Zbikowski-FULL-Head (Concussion)

BROWNS-
OL Rex Hadnot-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Knee
RB Jamal Lewis-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Hamstring
OL Floyd Womack-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
LB David Bowens-LIMITED-Knee
DL Shaun Rogers-LIMITED-Foot
RB James Davis-FULL-Shoulder
OL Alex Mack-FULL-Knee
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-FULL-Shoulder
RB Cedric Peerman-FULL-Thigh
DL Ahtyba Rubin-FULL-Toe
P Dave Zastudil-FULL-Right Knee

2:51-Tuesday is former Ravens LB O.J. Brigance’s 40th birthday. When asked about what O.J. means to this Ravens team, John Harbaugh said “OJ is the core….of the spirit of the football team.”

As I mentioned this morning in Crabs & Beer, please head to bcf.org to purchase tickets for Tuesday night’s “2 Rings for O.J.” event at M&T Bank Stadium. WNST is NOT affiliated with the event, but we are FULLY supportive of O.J.

2:49-OT Jared Gaither and LB Jarret Johnson were also absent from the part of practice open to the media. We will await further word when the injury report is released this afternoon.

2:32-Brady Quinn is meeting with the media right now. Here are some highlights:

-Quinn believes the “biggest” thing the Browns have to do moving forward is “correct (their) mistakes.”
-on how difficult the 2-0 Ravens will be: “this will be an uphill battle.”
-on how he’s played so far this season: “not the way I’ve liked to.”
-on whether a change in systems has affected how he’s played in ’09: “We’re not going to make any excuses” for our struggles
-on Browns: “We have a lot of confidence as a team in our ability. We know when we play well, we’re as good as anyone.”
-Quinn also believes the Ravens will try to force HIM to beat them, but the Browns cannot afford to abandon the run.

2:29-Coach Harbaugh and the guys on the offensive side of the ball all commented on the fact that that they’re sure they’ll see some similarities between Cleveland’s defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme and that of their own former d-coordinator, Rex Ryan, his twin brother.  Sons of Buddy Ryan, who master-minded the “46″ defense of the Chicago Bears in the mid-1980′s, both Rob and Rex’s defenses heavily showcase the pass rush and multiple disguised formations used to confuse opposing QB’s at the line.  Joe Flacco added, “they’re gonna try to mix things up on 3rd down.”

1:55-Coach Harbaugh also noted he believes that between former Raven Dave Zastudil punting, 11-year veteran Phil Dawson place-kicking, and the electrifying Josh Cribbs returning punts and kicks, the Browns stack up favorably with any team in the league in terms of specialists.  Coming from a former long-time special steams coordinator in the league, that should really say something.  Special teams play helped Kansas City stay close until the 4th quarter against the Ravens in the opener… if Cleveland is to have any chance that late on Sunday, that trio will have likely played a large role.

1:40-In his post-morning practice meeting with the media Coach Harbaugh was somewhat candid when asked about the playing status of L.J. Smith and yesterday’s signing of free agent TE Tony Curtis.  He said it’s “no mystery” that Curtis was brought in for depth and insurance at the position and that it’s still in doubt whether or not Smith’s sore hamstring will be enable him to suit up Sunday against Cleveland.

1:31-I am joining Bob Haynie momentarily. Chris Bonetti (from the “Mobtown Sports Beat”) is here with me, and is going to jump on and throw up a thought or two. Also, head over to the Audio Vault at WNST.net right now to hear from:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
WR Kelley Washington
TE Todd Heap
LB Ray Lewis
LB Jarret Johnson
CB Frank Walker

1:26-Quick notes from the part of practice open to the media:

S Tom Zbikowski (concussion) and TE LJ Smith (hamstring) were both practicing
CB Fabian Washington (concussion) was not seen during the part of practice open to the media
I also noticed Lardarius Webb was taking a few more punt return reps. That could just mean that Chris Carr took more after I left practice. But I thought I would pass it along.

12:57-I think what jumped out most about this morning’s podium and locker room session was the recognition players made about their status as the #1 team in power rankings released by national media outlets like ESPN and SI. What makes it interesting is how it appears as though John Harbaugh is trying to use it as a motivating ploy.

Both Todd Heap and Ray Lewis mentioned that the team had been made aware that they were ranked 20th in the (ESPN) poll at this time a season ago; but the team managed to go 11-5 and reach the AFC Championship Game. This means Harbaugh is both trying to downplay the significance of the ranking for the Ravens and ALSO convince his team that the Browns (power ranked 29th by ESPN) are much better than they are perceived to be.

Heap on how much the ranking means: “not much, especially at this point in the season.”
Heap on the Browns being ranked 29th: “We believe they’re a lot better than that.”
Mason on the ranking: “That’s the NFL, one week you’re winning and everyone loves you; (then) you’re losing and everyone hates you.”

I’m headed out to watch practice right now; I’ll be back with more shortly.

11:12-Brady Quinn is scheduled for a teleconference around 2:30 this afternoon; in the meantime we’re expected to hear from John Harbaugh and several Ravens players (Ray Lewis included). I’ll be back with more when we get out of the locker room.

10:55-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Ravens begin prep for their game with the Cleveland Browns Sunday. Eric Mangini is meeting with the Baltimore media right now, here are the highlights:

-on the ’96 season he spent with the Ravens: “I have a lot of great memories”; including meeting his wife, drafting Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, and getting stuck in the Memorial Stadium elevator during the game against the Patriots. “Baltimore is a special place.”
-on Browns’ 0-2 start: mistakes are “very correctable” but margin for errors “is very very small” against teams like Baltimore
-on Ray Lewis: “He’s passionate…..has an incredible work ethic…..has great instincts……plays faster than he is… a natural leader from Day 1.”
-on Browns’ fine system: “I have no interest in taking players’ money.”
-on Ravens: “I think (they are) a balanced team… big plays come now from the offense and specials, not just the defense.”
-on Ed Reed: He can “ruin games in a heartbeat.”
-on DC Rob Ryan: He “is a creative guy”, “similar to Rex (Ryan)”, “great with the players.”

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

Internet issues here at 1550 Hart Rd. (my fault, not anyone’s here) this morning kept me from polishing off Crabs and Beer this morning, so I didn’t get to comment on Lisa Horne’s note on FoxSports.com that Maryland & Virginia would be in a bidding war for the services of Jeff Jagodzinski as head coach.

Insane.

Maryland has a succession plan. James Franklin will be the next head coach. Economically, even a 2-10 season couldn’t change such plans. That’s just where they’re at.

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

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Drew Forrester says Ravens ‘potentially’ interested in free agent WR Baskett

Glenn Clark says Cedric Peerman now only Ravens Draft pick not under team control

Nestor Aparicio offers photographic evidence of how empty Camden Yards

Drew Forrester says ‘no one’ at Orioles-Rays game last night

Drew Forrester offers free tickets for Towson-Coastal Carolina tailgate party Saturday night

Brian Billick to speak with John Harbaugh on FoxSports.com

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Wieters tallied 5 RBI for Birds in win over Rays

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Chris Tillman takes hill tonight against Andy Sonnanstine, Rays at Camden Yards

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Pie returned to lineup, hit leadoff

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Brian Roberts, Roberto Alomar locked in battle at 2B in all-time lineup

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds to open ’10 season in Tampa Bay, host Blue Jays in home opener April 9

Rays Official Site’s Bill Chastain says Zobrist doubled, tripled for Rays in loss to O’s

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Jason Berken won 3rd straight start as Birds topped Rays

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Mora played 793rd game at third base with Birds, passing Doug DeCinces for 2nd all time in organization’s history (behind Brooks Robinson)

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds should get off to better start next year facing AL Central, AL West opponents

The Sun says Birds to face Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Giants, Padres in interleague play in 2010

The Sun says B-Rob broke own single season doubles record

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says 11,575 saw Birds top Rays at OPACY

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Trembley sat Reimold to reward Jeff Fiorentino

The AP says Brian Roberts tallied 52nd double in 3rd inning, setting new franchise record

CBS Sports’ Larry Dobrow has Birds 25th in power rankings

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Frederick News-Post’s Adam Behsudi says Keys’ Caleb Joseph won Orioles’ Elrod Hendricks Award for Community Service

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says 5th round pick Davon Drew rejoined Ravens via practice squad

The Official Site’s Sarah Ellison says Harbaugh knows Ravens will answer critics “on Sunday”(s)

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Chargers’ Tomlinson, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Luis Castillo, Jamal Williams, Antwan Applewhite all hurt during win over Raiders

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Special Teams likely determining factor in why Kruger didn’t dress for Chiefs game

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Antwan Barnes, Brendon Ayanbadejo honored Brigance with dance after Special Teams tackle

The Official Site says Flacco, Oher up for weekly awards

The Official Site offers thoughts on Kanye West-Taylor Swift battle from Brandon McKinney, Dannell Ellerbe, Brendon Ayanbadejo

Chargers Official Site’s Casey Pearce says tickets still available for Ravens game Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium

The Sun’s Mike Preston hopes Ravens don’t ‘rely’ too much on Flacco

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Jarret Johnson beat up for not taking down former Alabama teammate Brodie Croyle harder Sunday

The Sun says Isaac Smolko waived to make room for Davon Drew

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says OL Chris Chester ‘total package’

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Oher wants to be viewed as football player, not subject of book, movie “The Blind Side”

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Ravens, Chargers particularly ‘similar’

The Sun’s Gus Sentementes says Ray Lewis opening MVP Entertainment facility in Hunt Valley

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says other than Gaither giving up sack to Hali, O-Line was particularly impressive against Kansas City

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says OL Brian Johnson received injury settlement from Ravens

San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee says Nick Hardwick ‘most likely’ Bolt to miss Sunday’s game

USA Today’s Sean Leahy says Norv Turner will use Michael Bennett as ‘backup plan’ if LT can’t go

NFL.com has Ravens 6th in power rankings

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

Middle Tennessee State Official Site says Coach Rick Stockstill thinks Maryland fans want ‘revenge’ on Blue Raiders more than Maryland players

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Chris Turner showing off ability on ground

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Middle Tennessee QB Dwight Dasher should give Terps good ‘preview’ off mobile ACC QB’s like Tyrod Taylor

Carroll County Times’ Matt Zenitz says Terps get another shot at slowing down spread offense vs. MTSU

The AP says Anthony Wiseman knows last year’s loss will make Terps ‘respect’ Raiders this year

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says Ralph Friedgen admits Nolan Carroll ‘almost certainly’ will not get extra year of eligibility

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says despite hype, freshmen Caleb Porzel, D.J. Adams, Dexter McDougle, Eric Franklin, Avery Murray yet to see field

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Fridge frustrated with penalties

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says fans concerned about how loud marching band was during JMU game

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps had just 5 ‘explosive’ plays against James Madison

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Caleb Porzel, Louis Berman will remain OUT vs. Raiders

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Cameron Chism listed as CB starter opposite Anthony Wiseman on depth chart

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Don Brown in no rush to get McDougle on field

Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy says Don Brown saw ‘positive signs’ from defense in win over Madison

Terrapin Times’ Mike Ashley says Terps need to take ‘pressure’ to pursuit of QB’s (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Claire Knudsen profiles CB Dexter McDougle (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Seton Hall Prep (NJ) PG prospect Sterling Gibbs impressed with visit to College Park (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says former Terps Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman returning to Comcast Center for WNBA playoffs with Washington Mystics

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Don Markus says former Tiger Tamir Goodman retiring from basketball to take job as Director of Haifa Hoops for Kids

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Buddy Green, staff recognized for defensive performance against Louisiana Tech

Pitt Official Site previews Saturday’s showdown at Heinz Field

Pitt Official Site offers complete Midshipmen/Panthers release (pdf)

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Panthers similar to team who beat up Mids in Annapolis last year

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Marcus Curry, Jabaree Tuani, Gary Myers named Team MVP’s from Louisiana Tech game

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Marcus Curry bounced back from preseason illness, making impact for Mids

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says 43 yarder against Bulldogs helped calm kicker Joe Buckley

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Niumatalolo thinks Panthers ‘big, strong, fast’

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise says O-Line opening up holes for Dion Lewis thus far

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Kevin Gorman says Greg Cross playing role of Ricky Dobbs in practice for Panthers

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina breaks down Saturday’s trip to Pittsburgh (must subscribe)

Go Mids updates seasons for Mids’ opponents

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Oct. 15 game against Howard to be televised on ESPNU

UMES BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Frankie Allen announces Kevin White, Jamal Edwards, Lyvann Obame, Sean Berry, James Cotton as recruiting class

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Dave Litfin says Belmont winner Summer Bird breezed Tuesday with Desormeaux on board

Thoroughbred Times says ESPN to televise Goodwood Stakes (with Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird) or Lady’s Secret Stakes (with undefeated Zenyatta) October 10

SWIMMING:

Loyola Official Site says Michael Phelps topped Shaquille O’Neal in “Shaq Vs.” episode taped in Loyola pool

GOLF:

The Sun says Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Gil Morgan, Jim Thorpe all commit to Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Congratulations to Brian Roberts for his franchise record 52nd double of the season. We’re sorry none of it matters.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Live From….My Couch? Ravens Busy on Off Day

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Live From….My Couch? Ravens Busy on Off Day

Posted on 15 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

Just a couple quick notes to pass along while I sit on my couch today thanks to the off day.

One-The Ravens have brought back TE Davon Drew, signing him to their practice squad. Drew looked he was the last man cut when the Ravens trimmed the roster to 53 (he was initially ON the roster, then his name disappeared after the Ravens acquired OL Tony Moll from the Packers in the Derrick Martin trade), and the Ravens certainly had to be reluctant to allow another Draft choice to sign elsewhere. This means the Ravens maintain the rights to 5 of their 6 picks this season (Cedric Peerman). Drew was a 5th round pick out of East Carolina. After being cut by the Ravens he was signed by the Dolphins, but they waived him with an injury settlement.

Two-I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens show interest in WR Hank Baskett, who was released today by the Eagles. Baskett has familiarity with John Harbaugh from their time together in Philadephia. It is no shoe-in considering the Ravens apparently had mixed interest in Greg Lewis when he was released by the Patriots; but Baskett would make sense. I’ve heard rumors that Baskett has some sort of famous wife……

kendra

Three-According to the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter), the Chargers expect RB LaDainian Tomlinson to be a game-time decision for Sunday with an ankle injury. He is not expected to practice tomorrow. Same for Louis Vasquez and Nick Hardwick.

-G

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Ravens Name 7 to Practice Squad

Posted on 06 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

Here’s the official release, courtesy of the Ravens’ media relations staff:

Sept. 6, 2009

For Immediate Release

RAVENS SET PRACTICE SQUAD

The Ravens have signed the following seven players to their practice squad:

K.J. Gerard                              S             6-1       192       Rookie           Northern Arizona

Justin Harper                         WR         6-3       215       2nd Year         Virginia Tech

Bryan Mattison                     G             6-3       295       2nd Year         Iowa

Joe Reitz                                 T             6-7       305       2nd Year         Western Michigan

Eron Riley                               WR         6-3       205       Rookie           Duke

Stefan Rodgers                      T             6-5       317       3rd Year         Lambuth

William VanDeSteeg             OLB         6-4       256       Rookie           Minnesota

Additionally, TE Davon Drew was picked up by the Dolphins, WR/KR Yamon Figurs was picked up by the Lions, and RB Cedric Peerman was added by the Browns. The Ravens will add another player to the practice squad this week according to Mike Duffy of BaltimoreRavens.com; who also reports the team has placed Ernie Wheelwright on their practice squad.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

What happened during Dave Trembley’s press conference last night on MASN really is unacceptable, and DT had every right to act accordingly. Some member of the Orioles’ Public Relations staff should have gone to the hallway in an attempt to quiet the people standing there.

It’s a frustrating season for Dave. Would the Orioles be better with a different manager? Probably not MUCH better….they’re just a bad baseball team. But I understand Dave’s frustration.

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

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark thinks Lawrence, Phillips, Cook, Drew last Ravens IN, Ellerbe, Foster, Peerman, E. Jones first Ravens OUT

Drew Forrester says Trembley thought organization ‘lacked professionalism’ after loss

Luke Jones says some Ravens getting ‘final chance’ to make roster vs. Falcons

Bob Haynie wonders if Terps will cover 21 point spread at Cal

Nestor Aparicio says Orioles ‘irrelevant’

Nestor Aparicio says WNST.net hosting “Purple Haze” live blog for Ravens-Falcons

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Sarfate, Jim Johnson battered as Yanks finished off sweep of Birds

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of sweep

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says after night off, Chris Tillman takes hill tomorrow vs. Scott Feldman, Rangers

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says O’s could be without Adam Jones for rest of season

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Markakis tabbed as Roberto Clemente Award nominee

Yankees Official Site’s Bryan Hoch says Sabathia shut down O’s as Bombers finished sweep

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says 21,000 saw Yanks polish off sweep at Camden Yards

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Albers trying to improve ‘mental approach’

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Yanks ‘haves’, Birds ‘have nots’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds could have used 20 more pitches from Berken in loss to Yanks

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Birds might regret trading away Gathright

Examiner Jay Trucker humorously wonders how favorite Orioles will celebrate Baltimore Beer Week

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says bullpen couldn’t pick up Jason Berken after solid 5.1 innings

The AP says Reimold homered for Birds in loss

The AP says Pie to play bulk of time in CF with Adam Jones out

New York Post’s George A. King III says Sabathia impressive in picking up 16th win

New York Times’ Tyler Kepner says Phil Hughes earned save with Mariano Rivera getting night off

New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand says A-Rod’s big night included 2,500th career hit

Newsday’s Erik Boland says Hinske added homer for Yanks in win over O’s

Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Johnny Damon went 4-5 with 2 runs for Yanks in win

Bergen Record’s Pete Caldera says Yanks now 7 ½ games up on Red Sox in AL East after win

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick says Dodgers’ acquisition of Sherrill amongst best trades made

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Ambiorix Concepcion hit grand slam as Tides topped Gwinnett

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Tanaka loser as Baysox fell to Binghamton

Frederick Keys Official Site says Sean Gleason loser as Keys fell to Kinston

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says Haughian loser as Shorebirds fell to Lake County

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Joshua Dowdy loser as Ironbirds fell to Staten Island

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Montanez tallied 2 hits in Keys’ loss to Captains during rehab assignment

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Zach Britton, Brandon Waring get top season honors from Carolina League

Virginian-Pilot’s Jim Hodges says Rhyne Hughes also homered for Tides in win over Braves

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Kevin Byrne says Harbaugh ‘feels for’ players about to get cut

The Official Site says McGahee listens to ‘down south music’, eats chicken to prepare for games

Atlanta Falcons Official Site’s John Manasso says veterans John Abraham, Todd McClure may not play at all tonight

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says rookie LB Jason Phillips plans to ‘take advantage’ of chance to make plays tonight before Saturday’s cuts

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Justin Harper, Yamon Figurs amongst receivers ‘on bubble’

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Kelley Washington has moved ahead of Demetrius Williams on depth chart

The Sun’s Ken Murray says NBC analyst Dungy wonders if Ravens will lose ‘aggressiveness, cohesiveness’ with Rex Ryan gone

The Sun’s Ken Murray says ST coordinator Jerry Rosburg knows kickers need to hit at ’90 percent’ clip

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says bubble players like Talavou feeling ‘tense’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Hauschka can lock up kicking job tonight at Georgia Dome

Frederick News-Post’s Adam Behsudi says DL Brandon McKinney ‘battling’ to make roster

Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter says Flacco will give Falcons CB’s Chris Houston, Brent Grimes ‘decent test’

USA Today’s Sean Leahy says Flacco, Brandon Marshall could have ‘nice long-term marriage’

SI’s Peter King picks Ravens to go 9-7, lose in first round of playoffs (to Steelers)

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says Ravens will finish 2nd in AFC North, need Flacco to be more of ‘passer’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says teammates let Suggs have it when he returned to practice

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph ‘hopes’ players motivated by being big underdogs to Cal

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph confirmed QB Clay Belton transferred from Miami (Ohio) to Maryland

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says staff doesn’t want players sleeping on flight to Cal, hopes to help team adjust to time difference

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Nick Ferrara ‘kicker of the future’

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Phil Costa not ‘stressed’ by classes

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says Ralph would like to have 24’s Jack Bauer on his team

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Don Brown ‘can’t expect too much’ from D-Line

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps face ‘long night’ Saturday flying home from Berkeley

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Maryland staff will begin watching James Madison film on flight back from California

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says DJ Adams playing role of Jahvid Best for Terps in practice

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Ralph thinks Terps need to be ‘blue-collar team’

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Ralph thinks Terps will get Cal’s ‘best shot’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says OT Bruce Campbell is ‘sizable presence’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps will finish 7-5, 4-4 in ACC

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says 28 Terps have never played college football game before

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says 21 points largest dogs Terps have ever been under Fridge

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says former Terp Kevin Glover to be honored by ACC

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Cal beat writer Okanes reports Best ‘not 100 percent’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens thinks Ralph might try similar motivation with Middle Tennessee State

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph has made choice between Nick Ferrara, Mike Barbour; but won’t announce it yet

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Belton wasn’t overly impressive with RedHawks

San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick says Syd’Quan Thompson providing leadership for Cal in secondary

Oakland Tribune’s Jonathan Okanes says Cal’s Tyson Alualu, Cameron Jordan ‘bolster’ defense

CBS Sports says Terps 57th best team in country

CBS Sports picks Terps to play in EagleBank Bowl

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich wonders how Don Brown’s defense will match up against Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Glover to be honored at ACC Championship Game

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says prospect Uzomah expects scholarship offer from Terps

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Lamar Young ‘X Factor’ on Terps’ O-Line (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Friedgen reminding players they’re 21 point dogs to Golden Bears (must subscribe)

Inside MD Sports’ Seth Hoffman/Bear Insider’s Jim McGill break down individual Terps/Bears matchups

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says 2011 prospect Sterling Gibbs to visit College Park (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse says former Terp Feifs joined staff at North Carolina

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Mids ‘concerned’ with Bucks QB Terrelle Pryor

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Niumatalolo still undecided between Jon Teague, Joe Buckley at kicker

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Dobbs ‘more accomplished passer’ than previous Navy QB’s

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Mids haven’t played Top 6 team (other than Notre Dame) since beating South Carolina in ‘84

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Jon Teague will handle kickoffs

Columbus Dispatch’s Todd Dallas Lamb torn between OSU fandom, Navy support

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says Navy fans need to ‘take it easy’ on QB Ricky Dobbs

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina previews Navy-Ohio State (must subscribe)

Go Mids’ Chris Rohe breaks down individual Mids/Buckeyes matchups (must subscribe)

NAVY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Midshipmen to host two Fall Ball events this year

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Ambrose knows Tigers jumping in ‘deep end’ by playing Wildcats

Examiner Matthew Schlissel says Northwestern will provide ‘stern test’ for Rob Ambrose’s Tigers Saturday

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Jays open season Saturday at Delaware Valley

The Official Site offers complete JHU/Del Val release (pdf)

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Jays have good shot to win Centennial Conference for first time since ‘05

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra continuing to look for ‘racing immortality’ at Woodward Stakes

Daily Racing Form’s Mary Rampellini says Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird returned to Woolley’s stable at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Dominic Terry continues to ride Rachel Alexandra in workouts

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says Woodward Stakes field includes 2008 Belmont champ Da’Tara

COLLEGE LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says next year’s Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium moved back to 3:30pm on Memorial Day

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Saturday games in Final Four will now face off at 4pm, 6:30pm

NBA:

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Carmelo Anthony back in town for charity weekend with singer Mario

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-I’ll say Falcons 23, Ravens 10 tonight. The backup units haven’t been overly impressive for the Ravens, and I think DJ Shockley and Chris Redman could have a big night.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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