Tag Archive | "Donovan McNabb"

Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because they have Moosehead on tap at the new Tilted Kilt in White Marsh, which is about 2 minutes from my house…

beer

They are going to get so sick of seeing me there.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo expected to start season on PUP list

Which wouldn’t surprise you at all if you had checked out my “Mocking The 53″ post Tuesday here at WNST.net. I took Brendon Ayanbadejo and Matt Lawrence out of the equation to make the roster, as I expected both to end up either on PUP or off the roster.

I don’t have anything definitive yet on Lawrence, but it remains a safe assumption.

The hope now is that Ayanbadejo can return to play sometime after the first 6 weeks. I’m still not totally convinced of that either, and wouldn’t be stunned if at some point the team was forced to come to an injury settlement with the LB/Special Teams whiz.

Special Teams will be where someone earns a roster spot with Ayanbadejo missing. Jason Phillips’ chances grow significantly; but David Reed, Edgar Jones, Davon Drew, Prescott Burgess, Prince Miller, KJ Gerard and Demetrius Williams could also stand to benefit by separating their special teams abilities.

Defensively, the Ravens will be without a player who had really settled in as a nickel LB and was very good at playing the pass. If you watched Donovan McNabb and Santana Moss Saturday night when the Ravens faced the Washington Redskins; you’d understand why that’s significant.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says rookie DT Terrence Cody dealing with swelling in knee

And as I mentioned during one of our Ravens reports yesterday, there is no question that a man of Mount Cody’s size would be putting a significant amount of pressure on his knees.

The good news is that it isn’t necessarily structural damage (John Harbaugh pointed out there was a small cartilage issue) and Cody already told us he didn’t expect to miss a game because of the injury.

The bad news is that it is totally possible that the swelling and amount of pain COULD continue for Terrence as the season goes on.

It’s a little concerning, but certainly not frightening. You know what’s frightening? The look on Ray Lewis’ face in this ESPN The Magazine “Faces of the Game” photo…

raylewis

3. Sporting News’ Dennis Dillon says back end of Ravens’ defense ‘shaky’

Anyone interested in arguing this point? Didn’t think so.

You know what DOESN’T look shaky? Karissa Gilham. (Thanks Maxim via The Smoking Jacket!)

gilham

4. The Sun’s Edward Lee says Demetrius Williams, Terrence Cody missed practice again Wednesday

And before we move on from the (on field) Ravens, a couple of things:

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, with coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg scheduled to meet with the media. We will have coverage throughout the day on Twitter (@WNST), right here at WNST.net and with Ravens Reports at 12:30 (with Thyrl Nelson) and 4:30 (with Rex Snider) on AM1570 WNST.

-Did you miss Tavares Gooden’s OUTSTANDING chat with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Jason La Canfora (NFL Network)-who went around the league with Drew this morning
  • Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports)-who got Drew and I ready for our own Fantasy Football Drafts this morning
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers”-as I took a shot at the new Bud Selig statue in Milwaukee and Drew took a shot at the Dave Trembley interview in The Sun this morning
  • Plenty of Audio from Owings Mills Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Marc Bulger, Terrence Cody, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Cory Redding, Jarret Johnson and Tony Moll.
  • Frankie Piliere (Fanhouse/Former Texas Rangers scout)-who went around MLB with Thyrl Wednesday
  • Howard Balzer (Sports Xchange)-who checked in with Rex Snider Wednesday from the NFL Owners Meetings in Atlanta

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so once again I’ve planned your day for you. You can send Thank You cards right here at 1550 Hart Rd.

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says team introduces “The Baltimore Fight Song” to the tune of old Baltimore Colts song

Here’s the song-as posted by WBAL on YouTube…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55X44bYiXjI[/youtube]

And here are the lyrics to the song…

Baltimore Ravens Let’s go

And put that ball across the line

So fly on with talons spread wide

Go in and strike with Ravens pride

FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT

Ravens dark wings take to flight

Dive in and show them your might

For Baltimore and Maryland

You will fly on to victory

It doesn’t come off as the type of song that will inspire a new generation of football fans, but it will CERTAINLY appeal to those who care about the legacy of football in Charm City.

There are some folks that would just as well have “I’ve Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas played after the team scored. If it were “I’ve Got a Feeling” by The Beatles, I might not be opposed…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UzZDOBWGro[/youtube]

6. The AP says Matusz tossed gem, Brian Roberts homered as Orioles topped Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field

I’d love to sit here and tell you that I was gripped to MASN2 to watch every pitch from the South Side last night, but I wasn’t.

Of course, during the pitches I was poking my head at on the screen in the corner of my eye-I was impressed. Maybe I should have been gripped to the TV.

Former WNST producer Chris Bonetti once printed out a Tweet from Ken Rosenthal (of FOX Sports fame) that still hangs on our bulletin board. It reads…

“A scout who caught his first look at Orioles LHP Brian Matusz: ‘I would trade virtually any guy on our staff for him. Boy, is he good.”

The guy who pitched last night…he was that guy.

7. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Incredibly, you actually DO want to look at these numbers. Matusz went 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 5.

Besides B-Rob’s homer, Matt Wieters went 2-3 with a double, 2 RBI and a run scored; and Felix Pie went 2-3 with a run scored.

Good things all around.

Of course, I can’t allow my system to be ruined-so go check out the numbers and then come right back to check out Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, who apparently won the Miss Universe pageant. I say “apparently” because there’s no chance in all hell I actually watched the thing. (Thanks Guyism!)

mexico

8. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Mark Buehrle accused Felix Pie of stealing signs during Birds’ win over Pale Hose

And if he is….I DON’T CARE!!!

I just want Felix Pie to keep playing well. If stealing signs is somehow part of that, STEAL AWAY!!!

Obviously I’m just saying that-but in reality I’d take just about anything for Felix Pie to consistently play well. Whether it’s Buck Showalter, sign stealing, steroids or a deal with Rumpelstiltskin like in Shrek Forever After; just do it.

And maybe do it at the beginning of the season when the games still count…if it isn’t asking for too much.

9. Baysox.com says despite Joel Guzman’s 29th home run, Bowie fell to Akron Aeros on farm

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

-Adam Jones was held out of last night’s game after being hit by a Gavin Floyd pitch Tuesday night. He’s not expected to miss an extended period of time.

-After a rehab stint in Bowie, pitcher Jim Johnson is expected to rejoin the O’s this weekend when they face the Angels in Los Angeles or Anaheim or Rancho Cucamonga or wherever the hell they play.

-He told me he was going to wait until after the season to talk, but Dave Trembley talked to The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec this morning. Nothing earth shattering, but might be worth the read. I’m sure he’ll talk to us soon…

-The O’s and White Sox play the rubber game of their weekday series tonight in The Windy City; Jake Arrieta faces Edwin Jackson. First pitch is at 8:10pm and the game can be seen on MASN2.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland having TE troubles, as Devonte Campbell now hurt as well

With Will Yeatman and Lansford Watson already hurt this preseason, this is troubling news for Ralph Friedgen’s team.

Of course, it ISN’T necessarily troubling news for Perry Hall High School alums like Glenn Clark, as this could very well pave the way for former Gators TE David Stinebaugh to see the field on Labor Day against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium.

Matt Furstenburg remains ahead of him, and Patrick would point out that walk-on Ryan Schlothauer is probably ahead of him as well-but I don’t care. If Stinebaugh somehow manages to catch a TD in Baltimore, I’m going to get kicked out of the press box for yelling GAAAATOOORRRSSSS!!!!! at the top of my lungs.

11. UMTerps.com says Terrapins RB Da’Rel Scott named to Doak Walker Award Watch List

And if I were Da’Rel Scott, the first thing I would do is call Krystal Forscutt and find out if this was the type of thing that impressed her. (Thanks NextRound.net!)

krystal

And finally, I leave you with this.

Deadspin (via Gawker) posted this yesterday, and it was pretty funny. It’s a horse race at Monmouth Park featuring horses named “My Wife Knows Everything” and “My Wife Doesn’t Know.” It’s a pretty good call…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQRlZw4Rad0[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Mocking The 53: Roster Taking Shape Through 2 Preseason Games

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Mocking The 53: Roster Taking Shape Through 2 Preseason Games

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Ravens have wrapped up Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster and have now settled in at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

They’ve won their first two preseason games against the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, and have just two more preseason contests left (they host the New York Giants Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium and visit the St. Louis Rams a week from Thursday) before they open the regular season September 13th at the Meadowlands against the New York Jets on the national stage of Monday Night Football.

Before they get there, they’ll have to make some major roster decisions. After the game against the Giants, they’ll have to trim the roster slightly before the Tuesday (August 31) deadline to be down to 75 players. Following that, they’ll have just 4 days to make final decisions before the roster is cut to 53 on Saturday, September 4.

There are no changes to the physical roster (except where we expect Lardarius Webb to be when the season begins) since my 4th “Mocking the 53″ update, but there are some changes to the 53 itself. Before we get to that, a reminder of the explanation of the list I wrote before the initial version…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

With that in mind, let’s look again at how the Top 53 shapes up…

1. QB Joe Flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. OT Michael Oher
oher
4. WR Anquan Boldin
5. DT Haloti Ngata
6. LB Ray Lewis
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs

Only one real change in the Top 10, and it comes from someone who hasn’t performed much at all. Ray Rice has played little at all through two preseason games, and it has shown you everything you need to know about the importance of the 3rd year back from Rutgers. His place in this Ravens offense is INCREDIBLY significant, and without him heavily involved, they are just not the same-no matter who is playing receiver.

Otherwise, everything about the Top 10 remains the same. I know Michael Oher has struggled a bit in the first two preseason games-but Oher is a very good player. He was a bit of a 2nd half guy a season ago (remember his struggles in the first half against Jared Allen when the Ravens visited the Minnesota Vikings but his stellar 2nd half in the same game), and might be a player who just needs some more rhythm to shine. I’m not concerned yet myself.

11. DE Trevor Pryce
12. DL Cory Redding
13. TE Todd Heap
14. DT Terrence Cody
15. CB Fabian Washington
16. FB Le’Ron McClain
17. OL Marshal Yanda
yanda
18. C Matt Birk
19. S Dawan Landry
20. S Tom Zbikowski

Almost all of this group remains the same as well. Tom Zbikowski enters the Top 20, as he has played very well knowing he will be in the starting lineup with the Ravens visit East Rutherford Week 1 barring some sort of Ed Reed miracle. I also think it is worth pointing out that while John Harbaugh may have claimed that he ISN’T voting “McClain 4 RB”, Le’Ron McClain has been very good during the preseason-and it would be surprising if he didn’t make more of an impact in the offense this season.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. OT Jared Gaither
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. TE Ed Dickson
25. S Haruki Nakamura
nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. K Shayne Graham
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. LB Dannell Ellerbe

There are some subtle changes in this group-starting with Jared Gaither. Gaither falls out of the Top 20 because we just don’t know what to make of his health. The initial prognosis surrounding his back tear made us believe that he should be available before the Ravens head to New Jersey on Sept. 13. Of course, at this point we’re starting to reach a place where “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Dannell Ellerbe moves back into the Top 30 this week. After watching the other interior LB’s competing for the starting JACK spot against the Skins, I get the feeling that Ellerbe’s ability to play the pass will ultimately get him back into the starting lineup.

Lardarius Webb re-enters “The 53″ at #26. As we see more of what he’s capable of doing early on, we will see how quickly he can rise on the list. Shayne Graham drops a few spots as well despite the fact that I truly believe he’ll be the kicker of record come MNF on Sept. 13. I just somehow needed to reflect the fact that Billy Cundiff has kicked well recently, including 2 makes Saturday night at FedEx Field.

31. P Sam Koch
32. RB Willis McGahee
mcgahee
33. WR Donte’ Stallworth
34. DT Kelly Gregg
35. TE Dennis Pitta
36. LB Jameel McClain
37. LB Tavares Gooden
38. CB Cary Williams
39. DE Paul Kruger
40. OT Oniel Cousins

There are a few significant risers in this group. One is Sam Koch, who was tremendous again Saturday night in DC. His contract situation is an uncomfortable spot for the team, as he is going to get paid SOMEWHERE-but the team has set a precedent in the past that they won’t give big money to a punter (see Kyle Richardson and Dave Zastudil).

Willis McGahee also rises on this list, despite the fact that a number of armchair GM’s in Charm City would have already dealt him for just about anyone with the letters “CB” next to their name. McGahee continues to prove himself as being very valuable, both as a reserve who can take a number of carries and as an impressive short yardage back.

The third riser in this group is Cary Williams-who was exceptional again Saturday night. It may have been preseason football, but the QB Williams picked off (Donovan McNabb) is still a future Hall of Famer. Williams’ size (he’s 6’1″) really DOES make a difference when it comes to how we look at his role moving forward. Should he continue to play similar to his size, Williams could develop into a legitimate NFL corner.

41. LB Antwan Barnes
42. S Ken Hamlin
43. QB Troy Smith
44. DT Kelly Talavou
45. DT Brandon McKinney
46. RB Jalen Parmele
parmele
47. OL Tony Moll
48. LS Morgan Cox
49. CB Travis Fisher
50. OL David Hale
51. LB Jason Phillips
52. WR David Reed
53. S/CB KJ Gerard

Travis Fisher is hanging by a thread-and I would suggest that at this point he’s BARELY ahead of either KJ Gerard or Prince Miller. No matter how quick Anthony Armstrong is, there’s no way that Fisher should have been embarrassed by him the way he was Saturday night. I’ll leave him on the roster for now, if only because the Ravens have to have SOME healthy corners lining up against Santonio Holmes Braylon Edwards and company September 13. I’m also keeping Gerard ahead of Prince Miller, only because Gerard has more to offer on Special Teams right now than Miller does.

(Editor’s note: Thanks to all who pointed out Holmes will miss the first 4 games. Absolutely right. My mistake. I need a better editor. Or an editor.)

Two players who I moved back onto the roster thanks to their performance Saturday night are Jason Phillips and David Reed. Reed not only played well offensively, but also made a very key Special Teams tackle. Proving his value on Special Teams changes everything-which goes for Phillips as well. That being said, Edgar Jones is a very valuable AND versatile player who I currently have OFF the 53, so these standings remain tentative.

(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(S Ed Reed-Likely PUP)
(LB Sergio Kindle-Likely PUP or IR)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-potential PUP or injury settlement until known otherwise)
(RB Matt Lawrence-potential PUP or injury settlement until known otherwise)

I’m taking both Ayanbadejo and Lawrence out of the equation for now. There are other players on this team battling injuries, but neither of them have even done significant work in practice. Until I see that, I’m going to work under the assumption that they won’t be part of the team Week 1. That can change rapidly. A week ago, we were working under the assumption that Lardarius Webb would start the season on PUP.

54. K Billy Cundiff
55. CB Prince Miller
56. LB Edgar Jones
57. WR Demetrius Williams
58. DT Arthur Jones
59. OT Ramon Harewood
60. DT Lamar Divens
divens
61. TE Davon Drew
62. LB Prescott Burgess
63. WR Marcus Smith
64. WR Justin Harper
65. FB Mike McLaughlin
66. WR Eron Riley
67. DE Albert McClellan
68. RB Curtis Steele
69. OT Joe Reitz
70. CB Marcus Paschal

The reality is that Miller, Edgar Jones and Williams are in direct competition at positions where there is probably room to keep another player. Arthur Jones and Divens are probably in positions where keeping another player just might not be a legitimate option. Of course, we didn’t all think the Ravens would keep both McKinney and Talavou a season ago, and what did we learn there?

Mike McLaughlin’s name will keep coming up, but keeping him on the 53 really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There isn’t MUCH risk in exposing an undrafted rookie FB who has just converted to LB. Giving him more time on the practice squad could really benefit him as a player.

71. CB Doug Dutch
dougdutch
72. OL Bryan Mattison
73. OT Stefan Rodgers
74. CB Brad Jones
75. CB Chris Hawkins
76. OT Daniel Sanders
77. OT Devin Tyler

A good sign that you’re a longshot to make the roster? A simple Google image search doesn’t come up with a legitimate picture of you. Thank God for Facebook. Hopefully there’s some practice squad help in this group.

There you have it. Questions? Concerns? Comments? Thoughts in general? Song requests? Let me know.

-G

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Ravens CB Cary Williams on Pre-Season Success: “I Really Want To Take Advantage Of The Opportunity The Baltimore Ravens Have Given Me”

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Ravens CB Cary Williams on Pre-Season Success: “I Really Want To Take Advantage Of The Opportunity The Baltimore Ravens Have Given Me”

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Ryan Chell

Cary Williams

One of the reasons why the Baltimore Ravens signed Cary Williams off the Tennessee Titans‘ practice squad last season was because the Ravens had injury concerns with their corner backs.

Flash forward almost a year, and Cary Williams is still on this team because…the Ravens have injury concerns at the corner back position.

But Williams, if he continues to play like he has in first two Ravens preseason games-both Baltimore victories against the Panthers and the Redskins-, he might find himself a roster spot in the Ravens crowded secondary when the 2010 season starts on September 13th against the Jets.

Williams has recorded interceptions in the first two games of the season, intercepting Panthers second-round pick Jimmy Clausen in the Ravens opening round victory, and on Saturday, he did one better, intercepting Redskins starter Donovan McNabb on a pass intended for Santana Moss.

He returned the interception 37 yards.

Williams got both interceptions not seeing starting action.

“The ball was a little under-thrown,” Williams told the media after the game. ‘I guess Donovan was trying to give the guy an advantage on the ball because of my position on top of his outside shoulder, but I just came down and saw it and tried to run as fast as I could.”

Williams played well on special teams down the stretch last season as the Ravens made their way into the playoffs, and now going into the 2010 season, Williams is still trying to prove to the Ravens that he is worth a taking a flier on in a more active-role when it comes to being a part of this defense.

“I just relish any moment that I can go out there and show my abilities,” Williams told Drew Forrester Monday morning, fresh off the weekend victory over the Redskins.  “I really want to take advantage of the opportunity that Ozzie and the Baltimore Ravens have given me.”

Since Williams joined the Ravens last November after being signed off the Titans practice squad, Williams said he has taken each day as a way of improving his play as NFL corner, hopefully as a Raven.

“I just want to take it one day at a time really and just continue to get better each week. I want to show the guys that I’m a dependable corner and that I’m a guy who can really help this team out.”

Williams was originally a seventh-round pick by the Tennessee Titans in the 2008 Draft out of Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. He became the fifth player in school history to be drafted into the NFL.

Listed at 6’1”, 185 lb, Williams is a bigger, physical corner who can leap and compete with bigger wide receivers.

In his senior season as a Ichabod, he nabbed seven interceptions, good for second in school history, while also recording two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

But that was Division-II football. He now is playing in the NFL, but through the ten career games that he has played in, not including the likes of the preseason game on Saturday, he says the game is slowing down for him a bit.

“To me, it really didn’t feel any different,” Williams told Forrester. “But I guess with the starters, McNabb came out on fire, completing passes left and right. I guess it felt like a regular season game with the tempo and things like that.

“But when I got out there, it didn’t feel like that. It felt like football. And you just try and play football at the best of your ability just like any other game, and try to perform and put your best foot forward.”

Williams is stepping forward as an option to help solidify the secondary when it comes to the corner back position. And he knows what he is capable of in this league.

“I feel like I’m capable to go out there and play against anybody. I just want to become a sponge this off-season and try and learn as much as possible from Coach [Chuck]Pagano and from the rest of the guys like [Lardarius] Webb. I want to try and get their perspective on things and try to soak in as much as possible…and learn the game, and each week get better and better gradually.”

Unfortunately, even if Williams does continue to progress week-by-week in the preseason, there will be a hiccup in that process as he will miss the first two games of the regular season after being suspended by the league for violating the NFL’s conduct policy.

It stems from an incident that occurred when he was with the Tennessee Titans last year, an issue that Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens staff knew all about before bringing him in.

Williams was suspended twice in his college career while at Fordham University before being kicked off the team, forcing Williams to play at Washburn.

And while Williams and the rest of the Ravens defense shut down the Skins offense Saturday to a total of three points, Williams-along with the rest of the Ravens defenders-will tell you that they were far from perfect.

“I think we have some things to work on,” Williams said. “Obviously today we’re going to go out and review the film, and do the corrections through practice. But as a unit, I think we did alright. I don’t think we did too bad at all.”

And Williams said he has been around one of the best game-film studiers of them all in linebacker Ray Lewis.

“You’re playing with one of the greatest in the game. In my opinion, he is the greatest field-general to ever play the game,” Williams told Forrester. “Ray is a great guy off the field, but he’s even better on the field. It’s almost as if he knows every position and every scheme that we have. He knows everyone’s responsbillites.”

“He can help you out in any aspect of the game, and it’s just a wonderful experience, and its the greatest experience of my life.”

But, since Williams has become a member of this organization, he has learned the importance of winning games to the Ravens coaching staff.

“Winning is a big part of this organization,” Williams replied.”It’s already known when you put on a Raven uniform what is expected of us, and we have to go out there with high intensity. And every week, we’re going out there trying to put our best foot forward trying to win games.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more information regarding Cary Williams and his chances at making the Ravens 53-man roster. WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Before You Push The Purple Panic Button ….

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Before You Push The Purple Panic Button ….

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Rex Snider

My highly anticipated “Sports Saturday” started off on a positive note, thanks to the Orioles 8-6 victory over Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers. The game was full of pleasant surprises …..

Who would’ve ever predicted that Josh Bell would connect more often than Joe Flacco on a simultaneous gameday? Ahh …. the magic of the unexpected in sports, huh?

By the time I hit the Lazy-Boy for the Ravens vs. Redskins preseason showdown, I was convinced it was going to be a GREAT night. I can’t say it turned out badly, but I did go to bed knowing John Harbaugh’s bunch still has A LOT of work on its hands before reuniting with Rex Ryan and his Jets.

While I can readily admit Saturday night’s game left me agonizing over a few areas of concern with this team, I’ve chosen to take a more sensible look at the overall picture of the 2010 Baltimore Ravens …..

For the past few weeks, we’ve heard the gloomy forecasts from those who invested a significant portion of their collective hope in Domonique Foxworth’s presence at cornerback. From callers to on-air hosts and even occasional guests, some sobering words have been spoken.

However, in all fairness, there has also been a fairly respectable amount of us who believe the team will be just fine, while downplaying any real handicap to the secondary. And, we’ve had answers for our continued positive outlook, right?

The common rationale in defending the stubborn optimism has been along the lines of “THE RAVENS ARE GONNA HAVE TO BLITZ MORE OFTEN AND GET AFTER THE QUARTERBACK.”

This certainly seems like a logical solution, right? Heck, it’s Football-101 …..

But, we’ve also heard the fairly warned potential ramifications to this solution, too.

As many realists have concluded, if you’re blitzing, you MUST get to the quarterback. If not, guys like Donovan McNabb are gonna make plays. And, the Ravens will be facing a host of ‘slingers better than the former Philadelphia Eagle, in 2010.
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At times during Saturday’s game, McNabb looked like he was doomed, only to fool all of us by stepping up or rolling out of the pocket to buy an extra tick. He succeeded in some crucial situations, including a couple opportunities from the Redskins endzone.

By the way, does anyone know if Travis Fisher made the trip to DC?

The good news is we still have three solid weeks remaining before action on the field really counts. That’s 21 days for Lardarius Webb to get healthier. That’s 21 days to shop for better options on the rosters of other teams. And, that’s 21 days for Greg Mattison to assert some Rex Ryan and Marvin Lewis “PURPLE MAGIC” into his defense.

I’m certain a proportionate amount of this week’s WNST phone calls will be directed at finding a way to help the crippled cornerback unit. That’s the way it always is with the fan base. Among our consistent reactions, nothing is stronger than the tendency to PANIC.

Well, I’m telling you to relax.

Absorb the preseason for what it is – PRESEASON.

John Harbaugh and Greg Mattison weren’t really worried about stopping Chris Cooley, Santana Moss or Anthony Armstrong. Indeed, I’ll guarantee you they were more interested in seeing how their patched up secondary would fare against them – for better or worse.

For some players, like Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and Derrick Mason, this game was simply about finding their rhythm and getting back into the flow of established gameplans.
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For some others, like Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth, Cory Redding and Ken Hamlin, this game served as a prime opportunity to become intimate with their surroundings and a whole new playbook, at fullspeed.

And, yet, for some guys, like Travis Fisher (really …. did he play?), Prince Miller, Jason Phillips and Cary Williams, this was a vitally significant opportunity to prove they can play at this level and for this team.

You can bet a few sets of discerning eyes were cast on Flacco and his cohorts, as well as Boldin and his gang. But, I’ll bet the house nearly every eye that matters was watching that final group, as they danced upon the bubble …..

So, while you’re worried about the Ravens cornerbacks being able to cover the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, I’m urging you ….. LET IT GO.

Unless he suddenly finds some of Ronnie Lott’s natural ability deep within his soul, Travis Fisher will not find a spot on this Ravens team. Greg Mattison surely suspected it going into Saturday night’s game. Fisher, himself, only confirmed it.

Perhaps, that’s why Mattison emphasized on a blitz-happy defensive attack. I can see that strategy. Think about it …. they might as well test the unproven or unlikely guys in an ideal situation, right?

Thus, they blitz and leave “Fisher Island” all by itself.

The preseason is partly about bringing the obvious back into focus, while also helping the truly qualified to learn a new system. But, it’s equally apportioned to testing the untested, to see if they can be part of a championship-caliber organization.

This trip to FedEx Field was nothing more than the second step in John Harbaugh’s FOUR-STEP preseason process. This team is in a self analyzation stage. They must find out who can contribute, even in the most mitigating ways, to this team’s immediate future.
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While we love and savor those summer days in Westminster, it won’t be revealed there. Harbaugh and company cannot determine their 53rd man at McDaniel College. The survival process does not surround the practice field.

Two meaningless games are in the books and two more still remain. I don’t mean to undervalue the meaning of playing the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams over the next couple weeks. But, these games really don’t matter.

Let me rephrase that ….

The next couple games don’t matter UNLESS you’re standing in the shoes of Fisher, Miller, Williams and a few others. For them, these games are every bit as important as Super Bowl XLV.

These are the biggest games of their lives.

As I suggested, relax. This team will be just fine. Ozzie Newsome didn’t spend more than six months agonizing over a kick ass opportunity, just to be totally derailed by losing a cornerback in the early stages of training camp.

He’s obviously not panicking, why should we?

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Ravens beat Skins 23-3

Posted on 22 August 2010 by Domenic Vadala

More importantly than the final score, the Ravens left FedEx Field in Landover, MD fairly healthy. According to John Harbaugh, wideout Demetrius Williams rolled an ankle in the second quarter, but that shouldn’ limit him in practice this week. Ultimately the Ravens beat the Washington Redskins 23-3 in a game that was probably more noted for how it dragged on in the second half than anything else. Although the Ravens won the game, it’s preseason…this game left much to be desired on the part of the Ravens. They put three fumbles on the ground in the first half; the coaching staff might want to spend some time on hanging onto the ball this week in practice. However, quarterback Joe Flacco completed 9-16 pass attemps although he only had 72 yards. I thought the Redskins were the team that used the West Coast offense?!

Defensively the Skins were able to complete some big plays on the Ravens’ defense. Coming out of last season the secondary was a big question mark, and with Dominique Foxworth out for the year that continues to be the case. On the Redskins’ opening drive of the game Donovan McNabb was able to complete a 45-yard home run ball downfield to Anthony Anderson, who ran under the slightly underthrown pass to make an amazing catch. The play saw the Ravens getting caught in a cover-two defense, which they might not want to continue playing if that’s going to be the result. One thing that was fairly impressive was the Ravens’ red zone defense, which tightened to hold the Redskins to a field goal. McNabb also hooked up with tight end Chris Cooley as well as wide receiver Santana Moss on numerous occasions throughout the first half to move the chains on Redskin drives. However the Redskin offensive line, which looked fairly good last week against Buffalo, seemed to wilt under the pressure of the Ravens’ defense. McNabb found himself getting knocked around on several occasions; right before halftime they even caused a rushed McNabb to commit an intentional grounding penalty. Overall, the Redskins put up three points in the game, which means that the defense played well.

One thing that we do have to keep in mind is that it’s preseason. Admittedly I’m a firm believer in the preseason system in the NFL, as I think these games all serve a huge purpose. There are certainl aspects of any sport which cannot be mastered in practice, such as timing with receivers if you’re a quarterback, or running a route through a defensive secondary. So when I hear people talk about shortening the preseason, first off I tell them that they’re going to see two or three weeks of bad football in the newly elongated regular season. However that would also mean that coaches would have less time to evaluate their players in games. Traditionally the fourth week has always been the game where the starters play very sparingly, givng coaches the chance to see the reserves for most of the game. That wouldn’t be the case if there were only two preseason games. That aside, odds are that had this been a regular season game the play calls would have been different at various stages of the game, so who knows what the final score would have been. When players and coaches get ready for a game, their main goal is always to win (preseason or regular season). However I think that John Harbaugh’s probably happier with the fact that they came out of the game with just a few nicks than he is with the final score.

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Four Weeks Into “Season”, Ravens Haven’t Changed Much

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

LANDOVER, Md. – Looking at the 23-3 final score, it would be easy to assume the Baltimore Ravens had no troubles with the Washington Redskins Saturday night at FedEx Field. It would also be easy to assume that after a less than overwhelming performance against the Carolina Panthers, the Ravens reminded their regional rivals and other teams throughout the NFL that they are a true favorite to win the AFC and reach the Super Bowl.

And to some extent, maybe all of that is true.

The reality is that after four weeks of practice at McDaniel College in Westminster and two preseason contests, everything that was a concern for this team as they entered Training Camp remains a concern still.

Without Domonique Foxworth, the biggest concern facing the Baltimore Ravens was in the secondary. Injuries (Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb), inexperience (Cary Williams and Prince Miller) and…well…insignificance (Chris Carr and Travis Fisher) still make the unit a rather large question mark to at least some extent.

Fabian Washington played a very solid first quarter in DC, but his long-term durability remains a question-especially considering his standing as the team’s current top corner. There has been a great fear that Lardarius Webb would end up starting the season on the PUP list, but it looks more and more like he will be active within a week. But little is known about how quickly Webb will be able to get into NFL game action, and how much he will resemble the player who was a pleasant surprise after being selected in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Nicholls State.

Chris Carr was at least adequate if not better for a 2nd straight week; but the same cannot be said for Travis Fisher. Fisher (and Dawan Landry) were torched early by a 45 yard pass from Donovan McNabb to Anthony Armstrong (which set up a Graham Gano field goal-Washington’s only points of the game). Fisher would have been torched by the same receiver again in the 2nd quarter had McNabb not been guilty of an overthrow.

Cary Williams was a bright spot for the Ravens, recording his second interception of the preseason on an underthrown ball from McNabb intended for Santana Moss. The only unfortunate part of Williams’ solid play is the reminder that he will be unavailable when the Ravens visit the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in Weeks 1 and 2 due to a suspension handed down by Roger Goodell for a violation of the league’s conduct policy. Behind Williams; Prince Miller, Doug Dutch and Chris Hawkins offered little to nothing in late game play.

The concerns surrounding the Ravens don’t stop there. At inside linebacker, there was no separation created by Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden or Dannell Ellerbe to lock down a starting role next to Ray Lewis. All three took turns having trouble with the likes of Chris Cooley and Moss over the middle; although none were liabilities against the run.

While the Ravens may have gotten pressure on Donovan McNabb at times, only once was Terrell Suggs able to put him in the dirt. With the question marks at corner, it is well known that the pass rush must improve for this team this season. Suggs had his hands full with rookie Skins tackle Trent Williams, while Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg appeared to do little more.

Offensively, the Ravens’ concerns surrounded scoring points and sustaining drives. The longest sustained scoring drive they put together with Joe Flacco and the offensive starters in the game was 40 yards to start the 2nd quarter (which was capped off by a 26 yard field goal from Billy Cundiff). They also put together a 68 yard TD drive two possessions later, but 51 of those yards came on a direct snap run by Haruki Nakamura off a fake punt.

The areas of concern are just that. Areas of concern.

But in the nature of building a team up after breaking them down, the Ravens did INDEED manage to prove that they are still the AFC North and Super Bowl contenders we believed them to be before Camp started.

The areas that WEREN’T concerning before Camp started are in no ways concerning now. The Ravens’ run defense allowed just 25 yards rushing. The Ravens spread the ball around offensively, with 7 different receivers catching at least two passes, and 16 different receivers hauling in at least one reception. Joe Flacco was steady if not spectacular-completing 9 of 16 passes for 72 yards. Sam Koch was absolutely stellar-totaling 235 yards on 5 punts and pinning the Redskins inside the 20 yard line 3 times.

Where we know the Ravens are good, we still know the Ravens are good.

Following the game, coach John Harbaugh said “we’re pleased with where we’re at, but we know we have a long way to go.”

I couldn’t agree more.

This team has shown nothing to make us think they aren’t capable of reaching every lofty goal that fans have for them. That being said, they’ve also reminded us that it’s going to be a long road to reaching those goals.

The good news is that the Super Bowl is still scheduled for February 6th in Dallas (or Arlington, Texas); not next weekend at M&T Bank Stadium. That will be nothing more than another preseason game-this time against the New York Giants.

Between now and February 6th, concerns will need to be limited.

-G

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Ravens beat Redskins but concerns still loom

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Drew Forrester

Plenty of teams watching tonight’s Ravens/Redskins pre-season thriller in Landover tore up their old playbook when scheming for the Ravens and added one new page that should suffice in 2010:

Game plan against the Ravens:  Throw the ball.  Often.

The Ravens were 23-3 winners over the Redskins on Saturday night, but it’s what they COULDN’T do, not what they DID do, that made the most impact.

What they couldn’t do:  Stop the throw across the middle.  Be it short, intermediate or long, the Redskins had a field day throwing the ball in the middle of the field.

Washington QB Donovan McNabb was good at times and bad at others, but there’s one thing for certain:  The boys in purple better upgrade in the secondary and get better linebacker play against the pass between now and September 13 or they’ll need to put up 30 points a game on offense to win most Sundays.

The good from Saturday night?  Marc Bulger was terrific.  The only problem with that?  He’s the back-up quarterback.  But Bulger was good enough to fill the phone lines this coming week.  You can expect talk radio to explode with “Should we think about starting Bulger?” calls sometime around 6:07 am on Monday.

Other highlights –

Terrell Suggs looked motivated in the first half and showed signs that he might be the Suggs of 2008 in 2010.  He was ultra-quick off the edge and made life miserable for rookie Trent Williams throughout the first two quarters.

Cary Williams had a nice interception in the first half and continues to give the Ravens hope that he can help their ailing secondary once he returns from a 2-game suspension in week #3 when the Ravens host Cleveland.

Fabian Washington made his return after last November’s knee injury and looked fine, stepping in front of one McNabb throw near the goal-line and otherwise handling his business without issue.

Donte’ Stallworth had  a good night catching the ball – particuarly linking up with Bulger – but a lost fumble marred his otherwise solid game.

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Best Of The Best: My Top 20 QB’s

Posted on 18 August 2010 by Joe Giglio

Imagine you are in the ultimate football draft with only one goal for your football team: win the Super Bowl this year. How would you go about picking a quarterback to lead your troops into battle? Forget past, forget future, and only focus on the present. Who are the signal callers in the league right now that you would go to war with in order to win the ultimate prize?

Here are my Top 20 Quarterbacks heading into the 2010 season:

20. Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders

Always liked the guy. Stuck in a rotten situation with rotten coaches in DC for years, yet his completion percentage, yards, and touchdowns went up every single year. Will be playing for his 2,000th offensive coordinator in the form of Hue Jackson this season in the Black Hole. Last season every Raider supporter (so…me) said that if that team had a decent QB they would have made the postseason. Well, Campbell is a decent QB. Should Raider fans start saving up for playoff tickets? Probably not, but it wouldn’t totally shock me.

19. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

If I had one win one single game, Vince would probably be significantly higher on this list. He is dynamic at moments, but can also show how limited his skills as a passer are at others. His legs are clearly what make him a game breaker, but we’re going to have to get the touchdown-interception ratio better than 32-39 for a career before I truly want to build a team around him. He is still raw and has room to grown and learn, but the 2006 Rose Bowl wasn’t yesterday. It’s time for Vince to show if he is closer to growing into a Donovan McNabb or continuing on a path to becoming a Michael Vick (in terms of on the field only) clone.

18. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

Yes, I know this is a guy that has only started 13 games in the NFL. Yes, I know that he had more INTs than TDs last season. Yes, I know he plays on a team with a conservative offensive approach, and many times, wasn’t even on the field in favor of the wildcat. Still, the guy can sling it. Big arm, big moxie, big game experience at Michigan. I wasn’t the biggest fan of him coming out of college because I thought he should have won bigger, which I guess can be a backhanded complement at his abilities. Miami has now given him Brandon Marshall to work with on the outside, and I expect Henne’s numbers, and Dolphin victories, to be on the rise in 2010.

17. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Youth doesn’t scare me when ranking these guys. I don’t believe we can look at Sanchez as the sum of the parts, but rather evaluate him on how he finished the season. Early on in 2009 he looked in over his head, confused at times, and uncomfortable with dealing with the media after tough performances. As the season moved along, and the Jets started playing to his strengths, he was phenomenal. He “managed” the games, but also made a few plays in each of those victories down the stretch that either won the contest or sealed the deal. He throws on the run better than almost any QB in the league, is already respected in the locker room, and will only get better with a full camp as the starter.

16. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks

Still? When he is healthy, absolutely. Seattle is admittedly a tough team to predict, and there is a part of me that believes that Charlie Whitehurst will be the starter by the end of the season. But Hasselbeck can still lead an offense. Pete Carroll raved on The Shore Sports Report about the shape that Hasselbeck is in and the team leader that he is. Short, bald, and without a huge arm is no way to get legitimate recognition in today’s NFL, but at least he is getting some here.

15. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Put up or shut up. I am a big enough man to out myself as a Cutler guy, but even I could barely watch that 2009 debacle in the Windy City. From the 4 picks on opening night in Green Bay to the 0 TD, 5 INT stunt he pulled in San Fran on a Thursday Night we would all like to have back, Jay was a bust in the new city. Still, there is hope for a guy who looked destined for stardom during his early years in Denver. Mike Martz has arrived to run the offense, Chester Taylor is going to help shoulder the load in the backfield, and Julius Peppers should help keep Jay on the field. This is a make or break year for the entire Chicago franchise, led by the QB on this list with the potential for the biggest leap or possibly the biggest fall.

14. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

I’m comfortable with my team going to war with anyone from Carson on up this list. It looked like this guy was destined for a perennial Top 5 spot on this list during his early days out of USC, but injuries to his knee and elbow, combined with a change in offensive philosophy, have changed the kind of numbers he puts up. Still, this is a guy that has never played a full season without completing at least 60% of his passes, and shouldn’t be evaluated on those last two windy and cold games against the Jets and their ferocious defense. Antonio Bryant, Jermaine Gresham, and Jordan Shipley were great additions to a receiving corps that desperately needed it.

13. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Let the debate begin. I have people trying to convince me this is a Top 5 guy on a list list like this, and I’m not even willing to put him in the Top 10. I realize the kind of yards and rating this guy had last year, but I need to see more victories, less fumbles, and back to back healthy seasons. Don’t forget the knock on this guy was never his ability to throw it down the field, but rather in knack for being carted off it. Last year was the first time we saw him in all 16 games. Also, there is the fumbling issue and propensity for turnovers at the wrong time. That blown lead at home vs. Indianapolis is part of the reason I don’t trust this guy. This should be the year for him and the Texans to finally break through, but I’m not ready to believe quite yet.

12. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

It’s not often that 9-7 can sell me on what a guy is made of, but it did here. I’ll admit that I don’t particularly care for Matt Ryan. I didn’t think he was great at Boston College, didn’t think he deserved the coronation for beating the Bears on a 10 yard post pass in his first game, and certainly didn’t agree with SI’s Peter King ranking him one of the Top 20 players in the sport after his rookie year. That being said, he showed he was a leader last season by coming back from turf toe when the playoffs we’re not a realistic possibility to lead his team to their first back to back winning seasons in franchise history. He’s on the rise…whether I like it or not.

11. Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins

I still can’t believe that he was moved in division when Philly decided it was time for the divorce to become final. The city had it out for the guy from the moment Paul Tagliabue called his name in the 1999 Draft. He isn’t the player he once was, but that didn’t stop him from putting up his third best statistical season of his career last year. The last time Mike Shannahan inherited a QB that was 33 and without a ring on his finger was in 1995 out in Denver. That guy? John Elway. Denver never gave up on him and they celebrated together in 1997 and 1998. If history repeats itself, the only fans in the sport that won’t enjoy it will be those in Philadelphia.

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it.

Coming tomorrow: The Top 10

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Perhaps, Michael Vick Just Won’t Get It ….

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Perhaps, Michael Vick Just Won’t Get It ….

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Rex Snider

While I’m not a passionate fan of Michael Vick’s play on the football field, I have been quietly rooting for him since last season’s return.

To be honest, my hope in seeing him overcome his past has no real tie to football or athletic achievements, at all. I’ve really hoped he would leave his sordid transgressions and the associated lifestyle in the rear view mirror, while proving to himself and others that he is indeed a “CHANGED MAN.”

Better yet, I thought Michael Vick could motivate a growing generation of adolescents who’ve made poor personal choices in their young lives. Maybe, just maybe, his story and ultimate rise from self-destruction would help others in an inspirational way.

There is just one “catch” ….. this anticipated story of a compassionate comeback needs to stay on track.

As recently as a couple weeks ago, things were looking very opimistic.

Today, I’m not so sure.

As the world now knows, Michael Vick celebrated his 30th birthday with a BIG BASH at a Virginia Beach nightclub, on Thursday night. It was promoted and advertised to the general public, via Facebook, Twitter and informal means.
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While some people might think that hosting parties and momentous celebrations are an expressed inclusion of our freedoms, many of us also realize that such events are an invitation to more than just dancing, drinking and eating birthday cake.

And, discerning between these two considerations is probably where Michael Vick screwed up.

I don’t care that he’s a convicted felon and federal parolee; I don’t simply assume he’s done something illegal. He’s paid his debt to society – he has every right to attend charity functions at Martins West, movie premieres in Hollywood and parties thrown in his honor.

However, a clearly distinct line distinguishes the difference between the “RIGHT” to do something, and whether it’s “RIGHT” to do something. I’m certain celebrities employ such decision making methods when considering their presence and involvement at events – both public and private in nature.

It doesn’t matter if they organize or host the event, if a BIG NAME is in attendance and something goes wrong, they’ll be forever tied to it. Just ask TMZ’s Harvey Levin …..

When is the last time this guy did something DUMB or ill-advised in a social setting?
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Good luck finding such an incident. You’ll likely search for days and still never find any smoking guns. And, there is a very plausible reason behind striking out on any quest in finding dirt on Peyton Manning – HE KNOWS BETTER.

Peyton Manning is aware of his image, reputation and obligation to an array of different people. The list includes …..
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His Team
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His Wife
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His Business Partners
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His Family’s Name
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I’m sure you see my point – even if you disagree. But, the names go beyond Peyton Manning. I’m confident this list of guys will not be arrested, accused of criminal conduct or attending a party where another attendee is SHOT, in 2010 ….. Drew Brees, Derek Jeter, Steve Nash, Donovan McNabb, Andy Roddick, Albert Pujols, Hines Ward, Tim Duncan, Jeff Gordon, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco …..

How about this ….. I can think of a list of guys who have endured legal troubles, while making some very poor choices in their respectives pasts. But, they’ve given us every reason to believe we won’t be seeing their name associated with crime and punishment, by year’s end. For me, the list starts with Ray Lewis.

It’s been a decade since Ray ran afoul of the legal system or found himself in a public meltdown of poor judgement. He’s way beyond such indiscretions – he values his reputation and image. He has plenty of company among those who’ve had troubles and overcame them, like ….. Kobe Bryant, Ricky Williams, Josh Hamilton, Kurt Busch, Bernard Hopkins, Brett Favre and Jamal Lewis.

Of course, the final group is those who’ve committed multiple transgressions. Arrested? Yes. Stupid decisions? Yes. Numerous occurences of one or both? Yes. These are the guys you’re most likely going to be hearing about during a BREAKING NEWS segment, early in the morning. This is where you’ll find Brandon Marshall, Elijah Dukes, Sidney Ponson, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Tyson, John Daly, Jeremy Mayfield, Cedric Benson, Allen Iverson, Matt Jones, Delonte West and Michael Vick.

Hey, it’s accurate.

Michael Vick may very well have intended to celebrate an innocent occasion, last Thursday. In fact, I’d be willing to bet on it. He doesn’t want to screw up – he doesn’t want to be out of a job – he doesn’t want to go back to prison. I honestly believe these things.

However, I also believe Michael Vick lacks the sensibility to dissect a proposed action or decision, while considering the ramifications of the FALLOUT if something goes wrong. That’s exactly what he should’ve done when the idea of his birthday party being held at a nightclub, and open to the general public was tabled.
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Why?

Well, there are a few reasons. Foremost, there is very little positive exposure to be gained in a nightclub environment. While nightclubs attract girls dressed in their sexiest wares, they also serve as a hotspot for people with checkered characters. Say what you will – Mike should be whoring himself to more “feel good” opportunities than President Obama, Tom Cruise and the CEO of BP, combined.

Another consideration is Michael Vick should not host, endorse or attach his likeness to ANY EVENT, unless he has direct control over it. I don’t care if a promoter really handled the party, its got the name MICHAEL VICK forever stamped to it. In the future (or in hindsight), he should celebrate his birthday with a party at home or in an establishment that can offer a respected reputation and a high degree of decorum.

If he wants to get CRAZEE and dance with some hotties, while fondling an expensive champagne bottle, he should have the party at home – and make all guests leave their cellphones at the door. Be assured, that’s what happens at Diddy’s house. And, he has much less to worry about than Mike does.

You don’t think Alex Rodriguez enjoyed the arrival of his 30th birthday? How about Ladanian Tomlinson? Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Shaq? They just make good decisions when it comes to enjoying themslves.

As we sit here today, Michael Vick has problems. He might not face any legal sanctions with his Probation Officer. But, I think that everything else is in limbo. I’d bet my HOUSE that a certain group of individuals are angry as HELL. They’ve attached themselves to Michael Vick and he has let them down. Of course, the most important one is obvious …..
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However, you can also include Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid, Tony Dungy and Arthur Blank. Each of them went to bat for him, helped him or had a HUGE part in giving him this most recent chance to make a living as a member of the National Football League.

What could they do differently, specifically ask “Michael, will you be celebrating your 30th birthday in a nightclub” ??? They should’ve expected that he would exercise better judgement. No doubt, they rightfully expected it from him.

With each passing hour, more and more details regarding the NIGHTLIFE of Michael Vick are surfacing. Welcome to the age of Twitter, Facebook and online tabloids. We now know Vick hosted parties in May, as well as April.

I wonder if dog fighting co-defendant, Quanis Phillips, attended those events. Probably not. Why did he attend this one? Well, it was held near his home. But, most importantly, he attended last Thursday’s party, because he could.

NOBODY and/or NO PLAN was in place to stop such a situation. And, if they did plan for it, they failed …. which is even worse, if you really think about it.

Thursday’s incident is a loud, distinct message to one of Michael Vick’s former endorsers, as if they have really considered resurrecting his marketability …..
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You can bet the folks in Beaverton, Oregon, are thinking one thing …. “MIKE AIN”T WORTH THE RISK.” And, if Nike is scared off, so is McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Visa and Under Armor. Like humans, corporations are known to forgive and reconcile, but they arguably take far less chances than people do.

Over the last few days, we’ve heard the typical “we will wait until all the facts are known before addressing the situation” line. It’s the SAFE thing to say …. and it may very well apply to the United States Justice Department’s role in the life of Michael Vick.

But, rest assured, NFL spokeman, Greg Aiello, was better off giving the politically correct statement, rather than saying “Roger is done with this experiment.”

As for the Eagles, did you expect them to say “Mr. Lurie is knee deep in trying to void Michael Vick’s contract.” Oh and “Jeff Garcia is visiting team headquarters, later this week.”

Perhaps, both Mr. Goodell and Mr. Lurie haven’t exercised such drastic measures. But, you can bet they’re not sitting on their hands while waiting for an outcome, either. Not a chance …..

They know what they need to know.

Michael Vick may never, EVER be involved in another incident of violence. He may never pose for another mugshot in his life.

But, he cannot be trusted to really think about a potential outcome to the hair-brained ideas of family, friends and cohorts. No doubt, he’s as spontaneously reactive to his cultural ideals as Paris Hilton is to shopping for shoes.

He’s evidently incapable of change. He is who he is …..

He just can’t be trusted to do the RIGHT thing.

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Chris Bonetti

Suggested Reading

SportingNews.com:  Outstanding TSN College Hoops columnist Mike DeCourcy suggests, “Don’t believe all the David-Goliath nonsense.” And you know what?  I agree, Mike.  In fact, not only will I take the Bulldogs and the 7.5 points, but I’ll pick Butler outright.  Just saying, the Monday night National Championship Game is the easiest big-time sports ticket to get your hands on.  You better believe all those West Virginia and Michigan State fans’ seats will be occupied with folks from Indy rooting for Butler.  If this game is tight with four minutes to go, it’ll be great to watch Duke’s Big 3 try to score against the stingy Bulldogs’ defense in front of a hugely pro-Butler crowd.  Butler has won 25 games in a row and hasn’t allowed any opponent in the Tournament to score more than 59 points.  If guard Shelvin Mack, who battled leg cramp issues, and center Matt Howard, who had concussion like symptoms, are ready to roll 100 percent with Gordon Hayward, Duke gets over that 60-point watermark, but it won’t be enough to prevent coach Brad Stevens’ team’s 26th straight win.

SI.com: College Basketball columnist, Andy Glockner breaks down tonight’s title tilt position by position in, “Title game matchup: Duke vs. Butler.”

NY Times: Kevin Armstrong takes a closer look at the off-court statistics of Duke and Butler in, “For Butler and Duke, a Very Public Affair.” They are the first two private schools to meet for the National Championship since Villanova-Georgetown 25 years ago.

USAToday.com: Bob Kimball dissects Tiger’s press conference from The Masters this afternoon in, “Tiger Woods speaks: Praises fans, apologizes to fellow pros on Tour”

ESPN.com: Sal Paolantonio looks back at McNabb’s career in Philadelphia in, “Eagles decide McNabb’s time is up.”

SI.com: A weekly must read, Peter King’s, “Monday Morning Quarterback: How the McNabb-to-Redskins trade impacts the rest of the NFL, draft.”

FanHouse: Kevin Blackistone unfortunately tells us about Matt James, an All American football recruit headed to Notre Dame in September, whom fell to his death while on Spring Break with friends in Panama City, FL this past weekend in, “An ‘Incredible future’ ends needlessly.”

ESPN.com:  Boxing columnist Dan Rafael says, “It’s time for Hopkins and Jones to retire,” after their bout this weekend in Las Vegas, won by Bernard Hopkins via unanimous decision.

Video of the Day

There’s been a lot of talk about DaSean Butler’s knee injury and its aftermath Saturday night with Bob Huggins consoling his senior, whom turned out to have a torn ACL and sprained MCL.  An odd sight sure… but a definite true sign of a coach’s compassion for his player.  I loved it; thought it was great.  However, I do have a HUGE problem with something.  The way Butler was carried from the floor was utterly UNACCEPTABLE!  How can a team physician and training staff not immobilize the knee in any way and allow two other players to carry their teammate of the floor with his leg just dangling, knocking against the ground with every step.  Jeez, further damage can be done so easily in that situation.  Unreal.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2dUjfAqTg4&feature=popt11us08[/youtube]

Tweets of the Day

The President of the United States, Barack Obama – BarackObama

Opening the 2010 baseball season with the first pitch at Nationals Park today.

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Capitals Playoff Puck Bus now on sale via TRIPS tab: Join the WNST “Rock The Red” Baltimore crew for an “all… http://bit.ly/bBMlhb

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Yankee Stadium bustrip for Wednesday, May 5 matinee now onsale: Miller Lite presents another WNST Orange Roa… http://bit.ly/dDqKYD

ESPN MLB Columnist, Jayson Stark – jaysonst

Nationals haven’t allowed 11 R on Opening Day since . . . well, last year . . . when they gave up 12 to Florida. Quite a tradition.

SI MLB Insider, Jon Heyman – SI_JonHeyman

just asked lasorda in lunchroom why padilla started today. “i dont know. you know how many people asked me that question?”

New York Times College Basketball Columnist, Pete Thamel – PeteThamelNYT

Just talked to a Butler official who said that the players went to their 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. classes today. Back for 12:30 film.

WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

Butler-Duke tonight would be a game I’d like to see Jim Nantz lose his voice, and CBS go to the bullpen for Gus Johnson.

FoxSports.com College Basketball Columnist, Jeff Goodman – goodmanonfox

Fran Fraschilla, according to sources close to the situation, has withdrawn from the Iona opening.

SI.com NFL Columnist, Peter King – SI_PeterKing

I like the trade. Helps both teams. Lets Reid move on with kid he thinks could be ARodgers. Gives Shanny top-12 QB to play aerial game.

Former Ravens, Browns Scout and friend of WNST, Daniel Jeremiah – MoveTheSticks

Theory for the Eagles must be to let Kolb and the other young skill guys grow up together. That way they hit their prime at the same time

ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Pika – Adam_Schefter

McNabb has 3rd-highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks (83-45-1, .647) behind Manning (119-59, .669) and Brady (88-25, .779).

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