Tag Archive | "Chris Carr"

Your Monday Reality Check-Are Ravens better after Draft? I guess…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Are Ravens better after Draft? I guess…

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve already gotten about a hundred messages via email/Facebook/Twitter/text/Pony Express that said something along the lines of “well Glenn, you got what you wanted.”

To at least an extent, the people sending those messages have been right. After pounding on the desk of the studio at 1550 Hart Rd. in Towson for months (if not years), the Baltimore Ravens acquired a size receiver in the NFL Draft.

In the 6th round of the Draft, the Ravens selected Tommy Streeter, a 6’5″ wide receiver from the University of Miami. Combined with impressive speed (Streeter posted an impressive 4.40 forty time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis), Streeter seemingly adds a more unique dynamic to Cam Cameron’s offense in 2012. Streeter’s size presents an immediate matchup problem in the red zone (and specifically in the end zone) that the team simply didn’t have in their receiving corps in 2011.

Well…mostly anyway.

You see, the Ravens actually DID briefly have a receiver like that in 2011. If you’ll remember, the Ravens acquired former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy late in the 2010 season in hopes he could make the team out of Training Camp. Nagging injury issues and a lockout later, Hardy couldn’t crack the 53 and the lack of a size receiver played a role in the Ravens finishing 18th in the NFL in red zone offense.

So Streeter solves all of those problems, right? Right?

As I was also quick to point out, simply being tall wasn’t the only desirable attribute in a new Ravens receiver. Clarence Moore was tall. Randy Hymes was tall. Even Marc Lester was tall. The Ravens not only needed a tall receiver, they needed a receiver who could catch the ball and become a consistent threat in a National Football League offense.

While I liked the team’s decision to draft Streeter, I will admit that I don’t believe the Ravens (and 31 other teams) passed on him for five and a half rounds because they were TOO worried about how good he was. There have been questions about Streeter’s hands, as well as his overall ability to develop into a consistent standout receiver. Those questions may or may not be fair, as the former Hurricanes star could show 31 teams they made a mistake in the coming seasons or they could show one particular team they made the wrong decision to take him even as late as the sixth round.

I guess that’s basically the entire point of this week’s column. After the NFL Draft, analysts attempt to identify “winners” and “losers” from three days of selecting players. Some of these players will go on to outstanding pro careers, others will leave little in the way of a legacy at the NFL level and others still will never play in even a single NFL game.

So do I think the Ravens did a nice job in the NFL Draft? Yeah…I guess. I guess the Baltimore Ravens did a nice job in the NFL Draft.

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I Answer Your Questions About Reimold, Patsos, New Arena, More

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I Answer Your Questions About Reimold, Patsos, New Arena, More

Posted on 06 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Ravens officially part ways with veteran cornerback Foxworth

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Ravens officially part ways with veteran cornerback Foxworth

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Luke Jones

Waiting only for the results of a physical, the Ravens officially announced the termination of cornerback Domonique Foxworth’s contract on Monday afternoon.

The team cited Foxworth failing a physical after the veteran missed the entire 2010 season and most of last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in his right knee on the eve of training camp two summers ago.

“We appreciate all Domonique did for us the past three years, both with his play and his important leadership off the field,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a team statement. “This does not preclude us from bringing back Domonique back at a later date.”

Set to make a reported $5.6 million in base salary and owning a cap number of $8.6 million for the 2012 season, the former University of Maryland star and Randallstown native likely knew his fate was sealed when his surgically-repaired knee failed to respond well enough to contribute to the Baltimore defense in 2011. In a similar situation to fellow veteran Chris Carr — who was released last Friday — Foxworth found himself supplanted by the Ravens’ young trio of Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, and Jimmy Smith.

With Foxworth, Carr, and wide receiver Lee Evans no longer under contract, the Ravens have shaved an estimated $10.5 million from their salary cap with free agency set to begin next week.

The 28-year-old Foxworth was signed to a four-year contract prior to the 2009 season and started all 16 games in his first year in Baltimore, intercepting four passes and finishing with 53 tackles. He admitted his involvement in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations during last year’s lockout affected his ability to rehab his surgically-repaired knee, leading him to appear in only two games in 2011 before being placed on injured reserve.

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Ravens place franchise tag on Rice; make cuts of Evans, Carr official

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Ravens place franchise tag on Rice; make cuts of Evans, Carr official

Posted on 02 March 2012 by Luke Jones

After weeks of speculation, the Ravens have officially placed their franchise tag on running back Ray Rice less than two weeks before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

After leading the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage and being named to his second Pro Bowl team, Rice will now be issued the franchise tender for running backs, reported to be $7.7 million in 2012. Playing out the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a second-round pick in 2008, Rice made only $550,000 in base salary as one of the best bargains in the league in 2011.

“Obviously, I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere,” Ray Rice said following the season. “But, it’s just one of those processes where you want to wait and see what happens, and hopefully me and the Ravens come to a great long-term deal. That’s the goal. I see myself here — I’m a Raven.”

Rice becomes only the fifth player in franchise history to receive the franchise tag, joining offensive lineman Wally Williams, cornerback Chris McAlister, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Of the previous four, only Williams failed to receive a long-term contract after receiving the designation. Given the short shelf life of running backs historically, some have suggested the Ravens should simply wait on a long-term extension for Rice and allow him to play with the tag in 2012, but general manager Ozzie Newsome has made his intentions clear when it comes to his star running back.

“We have used the franchise tag only so we can get a long-term deal,” Newsome said at the NFL rookie combine in Indianapolis last week. “We would like for Ray Rice to have a long career in Baltimore. If we have to franchise him, that would be the reason why.”

Newsome re-iterated that statement Friday.

“As we have in the past, placing the franchise designation on a player allows us to keep negotiating on a long-term contract. Our goal is to keep Ray Rice a Raven. We’ve done this with other outstanding players through our history, including Haloti Ngata a year ago.”

The Ravens will have until July 15 to reach an agreement with Rice’s agent Todd France on a contract or Rice must play the 2012 season under the $7.7 million tender. Baltimore would have the option of using the tag again in 2013, but Rice’s 2012 salary would increase by 120 percent.

Throughout last season, Rice downplayed the significance of his expiring contract, acknowledging the business side of football and never questioning the Ravens’ commitment to him. The running back could elect to hold out during training camp if the sides fail to reach a long-term agreement in July, but history suggests the Ravens will take care of the 5-foot-8 back.

Rice has rushed for a minimum of 1,220 yards in each of the last three seasons and scored a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2011.

France and the Ravens held contract discussions in Indianapolis last weekend, but negotiations for both Rice and quarterback Joe Flacco — who has one year remaining on his deal — are expected to stretch into the late spring or summer before any potential deal is reached.

“The reality of it is those [deals] are going to take a little longer,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’re going to have a lot of contract conversations and different guys we’ll be talking to and even trying to get signed. Maybe even the draft will happen. Those guys will kind of overarch that whole process.

“Ultimately, I think we all believe that those two guys will be on the team for a long time.”

Ravens make cuts official

The Ravens also announced the cuts of wide receiver Lee Evans and cornerback Chris Carr, who was told Thursday about his release from the team.

The team is also prepared to release cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who missed most of last season while still recovering from a torn ACL suffered at the beginning of training camp in 2010, but the move has not been announced as of Friday afternoon.

Evans had a $5.61 million cap number for 2012, and was set to make $3.3 million in base salary and was scheduled to receive a $ 1 million roster bonus on March 18th if he remained with the club.

Evans, 30, battled an ankle injury all season after coming over in a preseason trade with the Buffalo Bills. He appeared in nine games and started two.

He caught four passes for 74 yards and, of course, faced criticism for his key drop in the Ravens 23-20 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Carr was released one season into a four-year contract he signed last summer.

He was scheduled to receive $2.5 million in 2012.

Newsome said those two moves were difficult for him and team personnel to make.

“Each year, we have to make tough, difficult decisions to manage our roster,” Newsome said. “Chris Carr and Lee Evans were valuable Ravens, and both helped us get to the AFC Championship game and the brink of the Super Bowl last season with the way they played and the maturity they added to the locker room.”

However, Newsome said the door is not shut on either one to return to the club.

“As we talked about when we informed Chris and Lee of these moves, this does not close the door on them coming back to the Ravens.”

WNST.net’s Ryan Chell contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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Ravens release veteran cornerback Chris Carr

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Ravens release veteran cornerback Chris Carr

Posted on 01 March 2012 by Luke Jones

In a move that comes as no surprise, the Ravens will cut veteran cornerback Chris Carr in a move to free up money on the salary cap with free agency less than two weeks away.

First reported by Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network on Thursday, Carr was reportedly set to make a base salary of $2.5 million in 2012 and carried a cap number of $3.45 million.

Hamstring and back injuries forced Carr to miss seven games in 2011 after the seven-year pro had previously never missed a game in his career. He made one start, collecting 19 tackles and three pass breakups. The 28-year-old started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2010, intercepting two passes and making 67 tackles while serving as the team’s most reliable cornerback with Domonique Foxworth missing the season with a torn ACL and Lardarius Webb not 100 percent recovered for his own ACL tear the previous December.

“Thanks everyone in [Baltimore] love the team and the city,” Carr said from his official Twitter account. “It’s a business, I think it was the best for both parties.”

After signing a new four-year contract last July, Carr entered training camp as a favorite to start, but a hamstring injury forced him to miss the second half of the preseason as young cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams secured starting spots on the Baltimore defense. Predicting Carr’s fate in Baltimore became all but elementary when he was a healthy inactive in the Ravens’ divisional playoff win against the Houston Texans.

The day after the season-ending loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship, Carr acknowledged to the media that he was unsure whether the Ravens would retain his services with Webb, Williams, and 2011 first-round selection Jimmy Smith leapfrogging him on the depth chart.

The Ravens are also expected to cut cornerback Domonique Foxworth and wide receiver Lee Evans in the coming days. Foxworth, who spent most of the last two seasons on injured reserve, carries an $8.6 million cap number for 2012, and his release would save just over $5.5 million in cap room.

After making just four receptions in an injury-plagued season, Evans is owed a $1 million roster bonus a few days after the start of free agency, so the Ravens would not have to fork over the cash and would save nearly $4.5 million in cap space by releasing him.

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Newsome sounding more optimistic for Grubbs’ potential return to Ravens

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Newsome sounding more optimistic for Grubbs’ potential return to Ravens

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Luke Jones

Following the Ravens’ disappointing loss in the AFC championship game to close the 2011 season, it had been considered all but a foregone conclusion that Pro Bowl left guard Ben Grubbs had played his last game in Baltimore.

However, general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh provided a more positive spin on Friday regarding negotiations with the 2007 first-round pick. At the Ravens’ end-of-season press conference a few weeks ago, Newsome did not speak confidently about the team’s ability to sign Grubbs but offered more optimism at the NFL rookie combine in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon.

The Ravens must still decide whether they want to allocate so much money to the guard position after signing fellow Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda to a long-term deal last August, but Newsome doesn’t appear ready to throw in the towel on the former Auburn product.

“Ben is a player that we would love to have back in Baltimore,” Newsome said. “I think we’ve had some conversation with Pat Dye, his agent, already. We will see how things work out between now and the beginning of free agency on March 13.”

In order to clear enough room with the salary cap to offer enough money to entice Grubbs to stay, the Ravens will need to make several cuts, which Newsome acknowledged on Friday. The most likely candidates to be released include cornerback Domonique Foxworth, wide receiver Lee Evans, and cornerback Chris Carr.

“We’ve had the opportunity to assess our roster, and we will make some moves between now and March 13 to release some players,” Newsome said. “We’ve already got one player (running back Ricky Williams) who has decided that he was going to retire. So, we have a strategy in place that will allow us to have the ability to sign players that we want to sign.”

Evans’ cap number is scheduled to be just under $6 million in 2012, and the Ravens owe him a $1 million roster bonus a few days after the start of free agency if he is retained. With a cap number of $8.6 million in 2012, Foxworth is all but certain to be cut, which would save Baltimore roughly $5.6 million from the 2012 cap.

“I have a meeting with Foxworth when we get back next Thursday, and I don’t know what his intentions are,” Newsome said.

Though not expected to be overly active in the free-agent market, both Newsome and Harbaugh painted a promising picture of the Ravens’ salary cap situation compared to last season when they had to release key veterans Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Willis McGahee, and Kelly Gregg prior to the start of training camp.

“You can have a lot of salary-cap room, but if you don’t have good players that doesn’t help you,” Newsome said. “We feel very good about the makeup of our roster. We have good veteran players and good young players coming along and learning from those guys. When you have good players you are in a good cap situation.”

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Sizing up the Ravens’ 2012 free-agent class

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Sizing up the Ravens’ 2012 free-agent class

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Luke Jones

In the aftermath of the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship on Sunday, the finality of the season coming to an abrupt end was accompanied by the all-too-familiar feeling knowing that same team will never be together again.

The reality of the NFL’s offseason brings substantial change to all 32 teams — some more than others — and forces players to say goodbye to others for the final time as teammates.

“It’s tough to really think about that,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “You know it’s going to happen, but you don’t know which guys it’s going to be, so it’s tough to be in our shoes and go through that. You finally just take it for what it is, and before you know it, you hope you had a good relationship with everybody on the team and said as much as you could say to that guy. We hope we can bring as many people back as we can.”

While other moves will be made — cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr and wide receiver Lee Evans are the strongest candidates to be cut despite being under contract for the 2012 season — the Ravens have 13 unrestricted free agents, four restricted free agents, and four exclusive-rights free agents entering the offseason. I’ve included the entire list with a brief thought on each player’s potential future in Baltimore.

Two dates to keep in mind as the offseason begins are the March 5 deadline to designate a franchise player and the start of free agency on March 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Unrestricted free agents

RB Ray Rice
2011 stats: 16 starts, 2,068 yards from scrimmage, 15 touchdowns
Skinny: Rice isn’t going anywhere as the Ravens will either use their franchise tag on the Pro Bowl back or sign him to a long-term deal, though the latter would certainly create more cap space for 2012.

G Ben Grubbs
2011 stats: 10 starts, first Pro Bowl selection
Skinny: The Ravens clearly would like to bring the left guard back, but with Marshal Yanda receiving a sizable deal a few months ago, can the organization afford to invest so much money in the guard position?

C Matt Birk
2011 stats: 16 starts
Skinny: After 14 seasons in the league, Birk may decide to retire, but the Ravens could elect to go with the slightly-younger Andre Gurode or look to the draft for the center position.

LB Jarret Johnson
2011 stats: 16 starts, 56 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks
Skinny: With Johnson on the wrong side of 30, it might be time to part ways with the veteran linebacker, but the Ravens lack a logical replacement on the current roster with the disappointing development of 2010 second-round pick Sergio Kindle and the limitations of pass rusher Paul Kruger.

LB Jameel McClain
2011 stats: 16 starts, 81 tackles, one sack, one interception
Skinny: The former undrafted free agent credits Ray Lewis for his growth, so you have to wonder if McClain becomes the next Baltimore linebacker to receive an inflated contract elsewhere.

DE Cory Redding
2011 stats: 15 games (11 starts), 43 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks
Skinny: Before an ankle injury slowed Redding over the final month of 2011, he was having his best season in years, but the Ravens could elect to go with younger — and cheaper — defensive lineman Arthur Jones at this position.

LB Brendon Ayanbadejo
2011 stats: 16 games, 27 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, nine special teams tackles
Skinny: The 35-year-old intends to play in 2012 and expects to be back with the Ravens, but the nickel linebacker may not be on the same page as Baltimore in terms of a contract to make his return feasible.

S Tom Zbikowski
2011 stats: 14 games (four starts), 16 tackles, one sack
Skinny: Largely a forgotten man after Bernard Pollard wrestled away the strong safety job early in the season, it appears Zbikowski will likely try to find a new home where he can start.

S Haruki Nakamura
2011 stats: 15 games, three tackles, nine special-teams tackles
Skinny: In a similar position to Zbikowski, the Ravens will likely make a harder push to keep Nakamura due to his exceptional ability as as special teams player.

OL Andre Gurode
2011 stats: 13 games (five starts)
Skinny: Signed as an insurance policy behind Matt Birk, the 10-year veteran wound up being needed at left guard for an injured Grubbs and could be the short-term replacement at center next season.

DT Brandon McKinney
2011 stats: 12 games, 14 tackles
Skinny: A regular part of the rotation along the defensive line, it’s hard to envision teams beating down McKinney’s door, but the Ravens may try to go younger and cheaper than the six-year veteran.

TE Kris Wilson
2011 stats: 15 games, four special teams tackles
Skinny: His touchdown catch in the divisional round was his claim to fame, but the veteran’s competent special teams ability may not be enough to keep him in Baltimore next season.

LB Edgar Jones
2011 stats: nine games, three special teams tackles
Skinny: Though he was active all nine games after being signed in early November, there’s a reason why Jones was unemployed when the Ravens were looking for special-teams depth.

Restricted free agents
(The Ravens can offer a tender attached to a draft pick and then have the right to match any offer from an opposing team and would receive that team’s draft pick if they choose not to match it.)

CB Lardarius Webb
2011 stats: 16 games (15 starts), 68 tackles, five interceptions, sack
Skinny: With another season like he had in 2011, Webb will be looking for a large payday and deservedly so.

CB Cary Williams
2011 stats: 16 starts, 77 tackles, two forced fumbles
Skinny: Easily the most pleasant surprise on the Baltimore defense, Williams will battle 2011 first-round pick Jimmy Smith for a starting corner job in training camp.

LB Dannell Ellerbe
2011 stats: nine games (three starts), 17 tackles
Skinny: The third-year linebacker always leaves you wanting more but could find himself in position to compete for a starting role depending on how the Ravens address the inside linebacker position this offseason.

RB Matt Lawrence
2011 stats: Did not play (injured reserve)
Skinny: Though a competent special-teams player when he’s been healthy in his three-year career, you have to think the Ravens are ready to cut ties with the injury-plagued back.

Exclusive-rights free agents
(These are players with two or fewer accrued seasons and own no negotiating rights.)

LS Morgan Cox
2011 stats: 16 games
Skinny: There’s no reason to think the Ravens are displeased with Cox’s performance as the long snapper.

CB Danny Gorrer
2011 stats: 11 games, three tackles, four pass breakups
Skinny: Considering he was pushing Chris Carr for the No. 4 corner spot by season’s end and was strong on special teams, Gorrer should have no reason to think the Ravens won’t bring him back.

LB Sergio Kindle
2011 stats: two games
Skinny: The Ravens will bring Kindle back, but he’ll need to make major strides in the offseason and training camp to make the 53-man roster again.

LB Albert McClellan
2011 stats: 16 games (one start), seven tackles, 12 special teams tackles
Skinny: He drew a start for the injured Ray Lewis on Thanksgiving night and is one of the best special teams players on the team, making his return a certainty.

 

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After inspiring playoff performance, Flacco reiterates desire for new deal

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After inspiring playoff performance, Flacco reiterates desire for new deal

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A Fu-Manchu-free Joe Flacco cleaned out his locker with the rest of his teammates at the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility on Monday morning, still feeling the hurt of a heartbreaking 23-20 loss in the AFC championship less than 24 hours earlier.

However, the dramatic conclusion to the season doesn’t prevent the Ravens from turning an eye toward the future with difficult personnel decisions needing to be made on a number of veteran free agents. Players knew they were greeting some teammates for the final time, and that uncertainty only adds to the sting of the last-second disappointment in Foxborough.

“It’s tough to really think about that,” Flacco said. “You know it’s going to happen, but you don’t know which guys it’s going to be. It’s tough to kind of be in our shoes and go through that. You kind of just take it for what it is.”

Of course, Flacco remains under contract for one more season under the five-year deal he signed when the Ravens drafted the Delaware quarterback with 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft. The 27-year-old expressed his desire for an extension last offseason and only improved his stock with a strong performance against the Patriots in which he outplayed future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

Muting many of his doubters with a 306-yard, two-touchdown performance despite the Ravens falling to New England, Flacco reconfirmed his preference to not have to play out the final year of his contract. The quarterback feels confident in his play to command a long-term extension with Baltimore.

“Definitely,” Flacco said. “We’ll see how it goes. If it goes, it goes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Though Flacco came under plenty of fire this season after failing to take a leap in his development — at least, statistically speaking — he also orchestrated comeback victories against Pittsburgh and Arizona.

He would have done it again if wide receiver Lee Evans had maintained control of a beautifully-thrown ball that dropped right in his breadbasket before rookie Sterling Moore punched the ball loose. Regardless of the final outcome, Flacco proved capable of having a major part in the outcome of a championship game with running back Ray Rice being a non-factor for most of the game.

“I said it all along, I’m the quarterback I am,” Flacco said. “The first four years that I’ve played here, we’ve gone to the playoffs every time [and] won a game. I think the last two years I’ve played in the playoffs I’ve played well in the playoffs. If you watched the film and you’re a guy in this organization, I think that you can say, ‘Hey, he’s played really good for us.’ Like I said, you never know what’s going to happen, so we’ll see.”

Linebacker decisions

While recent talk has centered around the future of veteran linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens will face difficult decisions with starting backers Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain set to become unrestricted free agents.

With the Ravens likely discussing the possibility of Lewis’ role in the defense being altered — specifically in passing situations — they will also try to determine McClain’s value before the fourth-year linebacker hits the open market. Since being signed as a rookie free agent from Syracuse in 2008, McClain has transformed his role as a special teams player into a starting inside linebacker.

With past Ravens linebackers such as Edgerton Hartwell and Bart Scott receiving lucrative offers from other teams, could McClain be the next Ray Lewis protege to leave the nest?

“I don’t know,” said McClain, who expressed a preference to remain in Baltimore. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know that everything is unpredictable, so expect the unexpected.”

Speaking of Hartwell and Scott, it’s no secret that many defensive players have left the Ravens, only to find the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. Aside from the simple economics, McClain will consider all his options before making a decision on his future.

“You weigh everything,” McClain said. “You weigh the relationships that you build, you weigh how your family is going to be situated, you weigh how good you fit in on a system. All of those things aren’t up to me. At this point, it’s out of my hands. I feel like I did the best I could do. I gave what I gave, and I give my heart every day and won’t regret [anything]. Right now, if it’s out of your hands, there’s no need to worry about something you can’t control.”

Carr in limbo

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Ravens feeling fine as challenging task awaits in Foxborough

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Ravens feeling fine as challenging task awaits in Foxborough

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens turn the page to their 20-13 win over Houston and look ahead to Foxborough and the AFC championship game, they once again appear to have health on their side despite a physical fight against the Texans.

Coach John Harbaugh provided a similar prognosis for free safety Ed Reed’s injured ankle to what was offered following Sunday’s game. Reed told reporters Sunday his left ankle was not a concern after turning it on the final defensive play of the game.

“Ed looks like he’s alright with the ankle,” Harbaugh said. “Everything’s coming up OK as far as the x-rays.”

The prognosis is certainly good news as the Ravens prepare to face the NFL’s “most explosive offense” in Harbaugh’s words.

Though Reed being helped to the sideline certainly provided a scare, the Ravens are in good shape elsewhere with linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps) and Jameel McClain having both played on Sunday after being game-time decisions. Ayanbadejo did not see much action defensively while McClain split time with Dannell Ellerbe at linebacker.

“We really got through [the game] it very well,” Harbaugh said. “The two toughest ones were Brendon and Jameel, and they fought through theirs. They were right to the last minute decisions, and they came out of it OK.”

Right tackle Michael Oher had his knee wrapped following the game, and defensive tackle Arthur Jones limped off the field with an apparent leg injury at one point, but neither injury was considered serious enough to report following Sunday’s game.

“Nothing serious [with them],” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t been told anything yet.”

Evans sighting

In an otherwise lackluster afternoon for the Ravens’ passing game, wide receiver Lee Evans provided an acrobatic one-handed catch on a third-down play to give Baltimore a first-and-goal at the Texans’ 9-yard line.

The Ravens failed to score on the possession after they were stymied on fourth down from the Houston 1, but the reception by Evans provided a glimpse of what the organization expected after trading a fourth-round pick to Buffalo for him in the preseason. Harbaugh also hopes it’s a sign of things to come for the remainder of the postseason.

“Lee’s huge for us. We would’ve liked for Lee to have been involved, obviously, all the way through,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something that we will like to see as we go forward here trying to get that done, and we’re not going to stop trying to get that done. Seeing that play get made, you get kind of excited. He’s certainly capable of making those plays; we’ve seen him make them his whole career. I think it brought a smile to everybody’s face. We’ll be looking forward to more of that.”

After missing seven games with an injured left ankle, Evans posted only four receptions for 74 yards despite entering the season as the Ravens’ No. 2 receiver on the depth chart.

Carr still in Ravens’ plans

With Ayanbadejo and McClain the only question marks on the Ravens’ injury report entering Sunday’s game, it was surprising to find veteran cornerback Chris Carr’s name on the list of inactives against the Texans.

Battling hamstring and back injuries that sidelined him for seven games this season, Carr has slid down the depth chart behind starters Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams as well as rookie Jimmy Smith, who enters the game in the nickel package. With Houston limited in the passing game, the Ravens elected to activate cornerback Danny Gorrer for his special teams prowess, leaving Carr as the odd man out in the divisional playoff.

Carr started all 16 games for the Ravens a season ago after Domonique Foxworth suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp and Lardarius Webb was coming off an ACL injury of his own.

“Chris is a big part of what we’re doing, especially when we play teams that throw the ball a lot, so that could be a big factor this week,” Harbaugh said. “We put the extra [defensive] lineman up this week because of the type of offense we were playing, and then special teams were a part of that decision, too.”

With New England owning the second-ranked passing game in the league, the Ravens will need all hands on deck to contain the Patriots as much as possible. Though his 5-foot-10 frame certainly won’t help against the likes of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, it’s a good bet Carr fits into defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s plans for certain passing situations on Sunday.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Harbaugh, Jarret Johnson, and Torrey Smith right here.

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Ravens-Texans: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Texans: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 15 January 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — For the first time in five years, the Ravens host a playoff game in Baltimore as they welcome the AFC South champion Houston Texans to M&T Bank Stadium for a divisional round playoff this afternoon.

Of course, the Ravens have the edge in experience as they make their fourth straight playoff appearance while Houston played its first ever postseason game last week in knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore hopes for a similar result to its Week 6 win over the Texans in Baltimore, a 29-14 final that improved the Ravens’ mark to 5-0 against Houston.

The Texans will try to beat the Ravens in Baltimore for the first time this season after Baltimore went a perfect 8-0 at their home stadium. The Ravens haven’t lost a home game since Dec. 5, 2010 when Pittsburgh beat them in a nationally-televised Sunday night game.

Today marks the 16th playoff game the Ravens have played in the 16-year history of the franchise. They are 1-2 at home and have not won a postseason game in Baltimore since Dec. 31, 2000, the Ravens’ first playoff game that began their run to Super Bowl XXXV.

The Ravens will wear their purple jerseys and black pants this afternoon while Houston dons its white jerseys and blue pants. Baltimore will introduce its seven Pro Bowl players with veteran linebacker Ray Lewis being announced last, of course. With the futures of Lewis and safety Ed Reed uncertain, it’s possible today marks the last time the two run out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens fans certainly hope not.

Linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps) and Jameel McClain are both active and will play after being questionable for this game.

Surprisingly, cornerback Chris Carr is inactive despite not being on the injury report this week. While there’s always the possibility that a lingering back issue could have flared up over the weekend, it’s pretty clear the former starting cornerback has fallen dramatically on the depth chart. Rookie Jimmy Smith will come on the field in the nickel package and Danny Gorrer is available as the fourth cornerback.

Here are today’s inactives:

Baltimore
WR Tandon Doss
CB Chykie Brown
CB Chris Carr
RB Anthony Allen
LB Josh Bynes
OL Justin Boren
LB Sergio Kindle

Houston
QB Jeff Garcia
CB Brandon Harris
S Troy Nolan
G Thomas Austin
T Andrew Gardner
TE Garrett Graham
WR Jeff Maehl

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