Tag Archive | "colts"

Ravens send WR Reed to Indianapolis for backup RB Carter

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ravens send WR Reed to Indianapolis for backup RB Carter

Posted on 21 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

In a move that was more of a reflection of two players struggling to make their respective rosters, the Ravens traded fourth-year wide receiver David Reed to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for running back Delone Carter on Wednesday.

Though a capable special-teams player with ability in the return game, Reed had failed to establish himself as any kind of a realistic option in the Baltimore passing game and hadn’t been among a number of wide receivers taking reps with the first-team offense in recent days. This offseason, Reed signed a two-year, $1.86 million contract that included a $500,000 signing bonus, meaning the Ravens will carry $250,000 in dead money in each of the next two years after Reed’s departure.

In three seasons with the Ravens, the 2010 fifth-round selection made five catches for 66 yards and had two rushing attempts for 31 yards. The highlight of his career in Baltimore was a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Houston Texans in his rookie season, but ball-security issues caused him to lose his returner job in 2011 before he tore his ACL later that season.

The 5-foot-9, 232-pound Carter was listed as the fourth running back on Indianapolis’ current depth chart following the Colts’ decision to sign veteran Ahmad Bradshaw earlier this summer and was in danger of not making the 53-man roster despite being drafted in the fourth round out of Syracuse in the 2011 draft. After carrying the ball 101 times for 377 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie year, Carter gained just 122 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries last season while Vick Ballard and Donald Brown handled the workload in Indianapolis.

With Bernard Pierce recently dealing with a knee injury suffered in the preseason opener, Carter might prove to be an upgrade over third-string options Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey, and Damien Berry should he prove to be a capable special-teams player. However, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that he ultimately makes the 53-man roster.

Looking at the big picture, the Ravens don’t really save any substantial salary cap space, so this trade was much more about two teams swapping players who now find themselves with better opportunities to make their new rosters. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s familiarity with Reed and Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s previous relationship with Carter in Indianapolis certainly appeared to be catalysts in making the deal.

Comments (2)

Tags: , , ,

Funeral arrangements announced for Art Donovan

Posted on 05 August 2013 by WNST Staff

The funeral for Hall of Fame former Baltimore Colts DL Art Donovan will take place Friday at 11am at The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. The cathedral is located at 5200 N. Charles St.

According to reports from ABC2 and others, there will be no viewing for Donovan and the internment will be private.

Also according to ABC2, In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Believe in Tomorrow (6601 Frederick Road Baltimore Md. 21228) or to Doctors without Borders (PO Box 5022 Hagerstown, Md. 21741).

Comments (0)

Here are some smiles as I remember Art Donovan the entertainer

Tags: , , , , , ,

Here are some smiles as I remember Art Donovan the entertainer

Posted on 04 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

There will be no “Your Monday Reality Check” column this week. Instead, I wanted to offer you some sights and sounds to help remember the life of the incomparable Art Donovan.

As a 30 year old, I don’t have the pleasure of having Art Donovan football memories. My memories of the man who called himself “Fatso” are more of him as an entertainer. I lose many hours of sleep a night watching clips of Donovan making legendary appearances on late night talk shows with the likes of David Letterman and Johnny Carson. These next few are absolutely “must-watch”.

I also discovered a clip of Artie trying his hand as a WWF announcer (with little success) a few years back and have lost a number of hours watching this one as well.

Nestor Aparicio has shared a number of Art Donovan pictures on his personal and the WNST.net Facebook pages. Of all of them, this one (with former WJZ sports anchor John Buren) is probably my favorite.

Nestor also shared this video from the tribute to Art Donovan at Martin’s West back in 2008.

I found this picture from the Kinnear family’s website. It’s something Art Donovan was known to do, sign empty cans of Shlitz for fans.

Artie had a great commercial a few years back to help you with your “cock-a-roaches”, one that Buren and WJZ’s Denise Koch couldn’t stop giggling over.

You may also remember the show “Braase, Donovan and Friends” he hosted with former teammate Ordell Braase. He was pure gold.

Here’s a bizarre story Artie told NFL.com. I don’t know how else to set it up.

I also found my last interview with Art Donovan. It was in November 2011 and he was talking about an upcoming event. He was 87 and he was still incredibly entertaining.

My friend (and former WNST.net contributor/Ravens PR staffer) Sam Angell suggested what the Baltimore Ravens could do in 2013 to honor Artie Donovan.

As I find more I’ll share it here to help remember a great man and a Baltimore institution.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

Former Colts kicker Linhart dead at 70

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Former Baltimore Colts K Toni Linhart died Sunday morning in Baltimore County after a battle with cancer. Linhart was 70.

The Austrian-born kicker came to the National Football League in 1972 (spending his first season with the New Orleans Saints) after playing soccer professionally for seven years in his home country, including six appearances with the Austrian national team.

Linhart overcame a relationship with Charm City fans that was at times frigid when he kicked a 31 yard field goal in a dense fog at Memorial Stadium in December 1975. After Bert Jones lead the Colts downfield, Linhart (who was described in that week’s Sports Illustrated as “having a history of the shanks”) connected on the kick to give the Colts a 10-7 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins. The win helped the Colts to a 10-4 record and an AFC East title, a season result that seemed very unlikely when the Colts started the season 1-4.

Linhart would go on to lead the NFL in scoring in 1976 and reached the Pro Bowl in both 1977 and 1978. He finished his career with the New York Jets in 1979.

Former Colts QB Marty Domres told the Baltimore Sun ”Toni was never flamboyant about his abilities.” He added about the man he once held kicks for “he was low-key and understated about everything. I doubt that a lot of people even think of him when it comes to Colts’ lore.”

Linhart lived in the Baltimore area in his final years and attended many Colts reunion events.

Comments (0)

Your Monday Reality Check: Flacco deserves better than Unitas family feud

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check: Flacco deserves better than Unitas family feud

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Glenn Clark

Lord knows Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco doesn’t need me (or anyone else in the world right now) to speak up for him.

The Super Bowl XLVII MVP is doing just fine, thank you. After silencing his critics (except for a handful of analysts who refuse to accept fact and continue to live in a world where continuing their narrative is more important than actually analyzing what happens on a football field) in a postseason run for the ages, Flacco signed what is still technically for the moment the richest contract in NFL history. Since then, the Ravens have made a series of personnel moves that have made it clear the quarterback isn’t just the future of the franchise but very much the present.

By no means is there anything other than the brightest rays of sunshine in Joe Flacco’s life.

This weekend brought a strange turn however, as the seemingly incredibly cool news that Flacco would shoot the football scenes of an upcoming Johnny Unitas biopic in the role of the Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts QB. The project, “Unitas We Stand” is being produced on a smaller budget by Joe Unitas, one of the sons of “Johnny U”, the screen play based on the book “Johnny U” by Tom Callahan.

My initial reaction to the news was something along the lines of “this is one of the neatest Baltimore things I’ve ever heard…ever.”

My personal reaction to the news hasn’t changed much since that first response, but the story took an ugly turn Sunday as other members of the Unitas family weighed in on the involvement of the Ravens’ signal caller.

J.C. Unitas, the grandson of Johnny Unitas and son of John Unitas Jr. said on Facebook “If you want a real movie, hire a real actor. My grandfather and his legacy deserves only the best, and this is not it. Has Baltimore forgotten that Trent Dilfer also won a Super Bowl while playing for Baltimore?”

Unitas Jr. described Flacco to USA Today as a “goofball”, adding “if you want a quarterback, go with Peyton Manning. My father was just like that. This is a joke.”

The quotes make public on a national scale what has been known on a much smaller scale for years; there is a major rift between the children of Baltimore’s greatest quarterback’s two wives. After the Hall of Famer’s death, his widow Sandra Unitas seized control of the marketing company representing his likeness from John Jr. John Jr. sued to regain control of the company and a divide was created in the relationship between the five children Unitas had from his first marriage (including John Jr.) and the three from his second marriage (including Joe).

John Unitas Jr. once told the Baltimore Sun “she is nothing to me” about Sandra Unitas. I can tell you (while choosing to avoid specifics because I don’t think they serve much of a purpose) that I have heard him use much worse terms to describe her in private conversations.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (2)

Reed leaves Houston without contract in hand

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Reed leaves Houston without contract in hand

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Luke Jones

After looking like signing a deal with the Texans was imminent after a two-day visit, Ravens free-agent safety Ed Reed did what he’s done on a number of occasions the last few offseasons by throwing everyone a curveball.

Instead of completing a deal with Houston as many expected, Reed left the city without an agreement in place. A deal isn’t expected on Friday, but the Texans remain optimistic in signing the veteran defensive back, according to multiple outlets.

Negotiations will continue through the weekend, but the 34-year-old left Houston without a contract in hand after the Texans wined and dined Reed on Thursday. According to the NFL Network, Reed spent roughly 4 1/2 hours at the team’s offices at Reliant Stadium on Friday before leaving the building without an agreement.

Meetings were described as positive and this doesn’t mean the safety won’t still sign with the Texans, but a full-court press was made by the organization to entice Reed to sign a contract before he’d return to his home city of Atlanta. After his six-year, $44.4 million contract officially expired on Tuesday, Reed began his free-agent tour on Thursday by meeting with Texans officials and even defensive coordinator Wade Phillips before spending the night in Houston.

Meanwhile, USA Today reported Friday afternoon that the Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome remained in contact with Reed throughout his visit with the Texans.

The Texans rolled out the red carpet for the nine-time Pro Bowl safety as the organization announced general manager Rick Smith was on his way to pick up Reed in owner Bob McNair’s private jet. Reports suggest the Texans have been hot after Reed’s services since the start of free agency on Tuesday afternoon.

“Both of us are contenders and want to get a championship, but we still have some things to work out,” Reed said to reporters upon landing in Houston. “Conversations have been great, amazing. We’re on the same page as far as what we need to get done.”

Despite dealing with a chronic nerve impingement as well as a torn labrum in his shoulder, Reed was one of only two players to make all 16 starts for the Baltimore defense and collected four interceptions and 58 tackles in the 2012 regular season. The ball-hawking safety also intercepted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the Ravens’ 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII.

Reed hired David Dunn to be his agent recently and has remained hopeful he would remain with the Ravens.

The 34-year-old acknowledged Houston’s close proximity with family living in his home state of Louisiana was a major selling point for his interest in joining the Texans. Reed spoke of the Ravens and Baltimore on Thursday much like a man who was moving on.

“It’s been a great ride,” Reed said in Houston. “The fan support has been truly amazing, a lot of love and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It’s definitely tough, but after 11 years, you pretty much understand things about the business.”

Visiting Houston is an obvious sign that Reed could be the next Baltimore defensive player to exit this offseason, but the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year also needs to establish a market for himself and determine whether the grass is greener on the other side in joining a new team for what will be his 12th professional season.

The situation has been compared to Ray Lewis’ flirtation with free agency following the 2008 season, but in this case, the Ravens have sent a clear message they’re essentially starting over on defense after the exits of Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard, Cary Williams, and Paul Kruger. The organization will depend on defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and cornerback Lardarius Webb — three of the highest-paid players on the team — to be the pillars of a defensive unit clearly in transition.

It remains to be seen whether Reed will be included in those plans — regardless of the cost.

But, for now, Reed remains without a home after looking like his trip to Houston would result in his official departure from the Ravens.

Comments (0)

The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Colts

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Colts

Posted on 08 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in an AFC Wild Card playoff game…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Pernell McPhee recovers Andrew Luck fumble after Paul Kruger sack, strip (1st quarter)

4. Anquan Boldin 46 yard catch from Joe Flacco (3rd quarter)

3. Cary Williams intercepts Andrew Luck pass intended for Reggie Wayne, returns 41 yards (4th quarter)

2. Ray Rice 47 yard catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

1. Bernard Pierce 43 yard run on 3rd & 1 (4th quarter)

 

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Pierce’s physical style ideal fit for January football

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pierce’s physical style ideal fit for January football

Posted on 07 January 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens pride themselves on being built for December and January when the elements sour and teams must rely more heavily on their running game.

But they may not have anticipated rookie running back Bernard Pierce carrying such a substantial workload as the third-round pick from Temple starred in Sunday’s wild-card playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts. Pierce ran for 103 yards on 13 carries with 43 yards coming on one fourth-quarter run to set the Ravens up in the red zone before scoring their final touchdown.

According to Pro Football Focus, the rookie broke five tackles to average 3.77 yards after contact per attempt. In contrast, Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice gained 70 yards on 15 carries but broke only two tackles and gained 2.47 yards after contact per attempt.

However, the 22-year-old understudy remains grounded over his increasing role within the offense despite leading the Ravens in rushing in each of the last three games.

“Maybe two games — Ray didn’t play [much against Cincinnati in Week 17],” Pierce said. “But it’s a definite confidence booster, because I just want to be able to keep getting better week in and week out, and I’ve proven that to myself and everybody else.”

In wins over the New York Giants in Week 16 and Indianapolis on Sunday, the Ravens have used the running game to wear down the opposing front seven, with Pierce playing a major role in doing so. In his last five games, Pierce has rushed for 388 yards on 62 attempts, which is good for just under 6.3 yards per carry.

Over that same stretch, Rice has gained 341 yards on 74 carries, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt.

“We think we have two good guys that can play,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We like both of those guys in that situation. Bernard has earned the right to be in on those kind of situations. I like both of our backs a lot.”

While no one should question Rice’s standing in the offense, Pierce’s physical nature appears to be paying dividends against opposing fronts. Rice will continue to see plenty of touches both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, but Pierce has shown the type of vision and power to warrant a heavy workload through the remainder of the postseason.

And with the thin air and cold temperature of Denver playing major roles in Saturday’s divisional meeting with the Denver Broncos, the Ravens will likely use a similar plan to the one used against the Giants and Colts when Rice and Pierce shared carries more evenly.

“The fact that the altitude is probably going to be a factor as far as guys who are carrying the ball getting gassed, those two guys are going to take care of each other,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we’ve been building on.”

Mile High state of mind

Traveling to Denver for the first time in the Harbaugh era, the Ravens have examined every possibility in order to offset the challenge of playing at such a high altitude.

Unlike a regular West Coast trip when teams typically leave a day earlier than a normal trip, the Ravens will depart for Denver the evening before the game. Some studies indicate the human body typically has a 24-hour period before diving into an adaptation mode, which includes a thickening of the blood. Adjusting to a higher altitude typically takes three weeks or more, so leaving a day earlier than normal wouldn’t figure to offer any notable benefit, especially when it’s a shorter week to begin with.

“We have a plan for that. We’re going to go out there the night before,” Harbaugh said. “We feel like that’s the best way to do to try to stay within a 24-hour window in the altitude. We’ve got some other advice for our guys in order to take care of their bodies out there and be ready to go.”

There are only so many measures teams can take, but optimum conditioning will play a major role in dealing with the thin air at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

“I think our team is in very good shape,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’re physically going to be able to handle it.”

Infirmary report

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>

Comments (1)

Playoff win over Indianapolis microcosm of Ravens’ 2012 season

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Playoff win over Indianapolis microcosm of Ravens’ 2012 season

Posted on 06 January 2013 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — In many ways, the Ravens’ 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday was a reflection of their entire 2012 season.

The outcome and final stats looked better than they felt over the course of the game, particularly in the first half when the Baltimore offense sputtered and the defense reaffirmed its “bend but don’t break” mentality after being on the field for over 19 minutes prior to halftime. The Ravens ultimately set a franchise playoff record with 441 yards of total offense and registered eight plays of 20-or-more yards after leading by a narrow 10-6 margin after the first 30 minutes.

Quarterback Joe Flacco finished with 282 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 completions, setting a new team playoff record with a 125.6 passer rating, and wide receiver Anquan Boldin produced a Ravens’ playoff record 145 receiving yards on five catches.

The second-half performance is one we’ve seen before as Flacco and the Ravens looked every bit the part of an elite offense.

“We were very efficient on offense,” Harbaugh said. “We were averaging nine yards per play until we took a knee there at the end. We didn’t have as many plays as we would have liked to have, but we sure were having success with our plays.”

That efficiency was absent in the first half as Flacco went 5-for-12 for 108 yards and Boldin failed to register a catch on two targets. And the unit’s inability to sustain drives for portions of the first and second quarter could have spelled troubled for a tired defense against a better opponent, but the Ravens prevailed as they should have against the inexperienced Colts in Baltimore.

As maligned as the offense has been this year — coming to a climax with the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Dec. 10 — the numbers suggest it’s one of the best assembled in the 17-year history of the franchise. The Ravens set franchise records for most points (398), fewest turnovers (16), and most plays of 20-or-more yards (73) this season, but few would regard them as having a very productive offense.

Sunday’s up-and-down performance had a similar feel before the Ravens were able to pull away, but that’s been the story all season. Very little has come easy, even if Sunday marked the fifth margin of victory all season of more than one possession.

“It wasn’t as clean as we wanted it to be,” center Matt Birk said. “But, that’s what we do. We just kept fighting, we just kept plugging away.”

Perhaps Boldin said it best in explaining the Ravens’ approach in the first half, equating it to a heavyweight fighter feeling out his opponent in the early rounds.

The veteran wide receiver certainly helped in providing the knockout punch with an 18-yard touchdown catch with 9:14 remaining to put the Ravens up by two scores. Indianapolis had no answers for the savvy Boldin, making you wonder why Flacco and the Ravens didn’t call his number more frequently in the first half.

“We wanted to show them a couple looks and see what we got early,” Boldin said. “We kind of wanted to hold some things back until the second half. We got the looks we thought we were going to get.”

Sunday’s performance was good enough to dispose of Indianapolis, but the Ravens now face the daunting challenge of going to Denver to take on the Broncos, the team that demolished them in Baltimore less than a month ago. Denver hasn’t lost a game since the beginning of October and will be the clear favorite, and the Ravens haven’t exactly inspired confidence very often when playing away from M&T Bank Stadium.

A full 60 minutes resembling what we saw in the second half on Sunday will be a necessity in order for the Ravens to have any chance of pulling off an upset against Peyton Manning, the man who’s disposed of them twice in the postseason in the last seven years. There will be no time for feeling out the opposition or Manning and the Denver offense will jump ahead early and won’t look back.

Ray Lewis wasted no time in moving past his final game in Baltimore, eliminating any doubts of his ability to reboot emotionally after such a memorable day. The 37-year-old linebacker hopes this time around will be different against the Broncos with him and several others back and healthy for the rematch.

“I’ve already turned my iPad in to get Denver film now,” said Lewis, who finished with a team-high 13 tackles in his first game since Oct. 14. “It’s on to the next one. That’s one thing about being in this business for so long. Denver is going to be well-rested. We saw them earlier in the year, but now we get them again with all our guys back. We are really looking forward to it.”

We’ve waited all year to see the “real” Ravens show up, but Sunday is exactly what we’ve seen for much of the season. We witnessed a group capable of playing as well as anyone in the league in the second half, but mistakes and a lack of productivity allowed an inferior Colts team to hang around in the first half.

That won’t get the job done against the teams remaining in the postseason. The foot needs to be on the gas pedal from the opening kickoff next week.

The Ravens talked a good game following Sunday’s win, with several players embracing the opportunity to meet the Broncos again. You can only wonder if they’ll feel differently beginning at 4:30 p.m. next Saturday.

“[I'm] really looking forward to it,” Boldin said. “I was hoping we would get to them. So, they’ll see us next week.”

Which Ravens team will we see?

Will it be the offense that produced 253 yards of offense and the quarterback who threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns after halftime? Or will we see the sputtering unit we saw for much of the first half?

Can the defense offer enough resistance against Manning and the Denver offense to keep the Ravens in the game?

It’s difficult to forget the 34-17 beating they took just three weeks ago to Manning and the Broncos. Why would this time be any different, especially with Baltimore going on the road?

“We’ll make it different,” Boldin said.

Then, it’s time for the Ravens to show up for a full 60 minutes to prove it.

Comments (1)

Ray Lewis tells Nestor about “the last dance” in Baltimore

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ray Lewis tells Nestor about “the last dance” in Baltimore

Posted on 06 January 2013 by WNSTV

Comments (0)