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Meet Pick No. 70: TE Ed Dickson of Oregon

Posted on 23 April 2010 by WNST Staff

With the 70th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Ravens selected tight end Ed Dickson of Oregon. Here are some vitals stats and information on Dickson.

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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpXURJqx8MU&feature=related[/youtube]

Dickson’s wiki:

Edward James Dickson (born July 25, 1987 in Inglewood, California) is an American football Tight End for the Baltimore Ravens team. He attended Bellflower High School.

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[edit] Early Years

Dickson played football at Bellflower High School and played on both offense and defense, playing tight end and linebacker. Dickson led his team in receiving yards and quarterback sacks during his senior season, and by his performance he was named Southeast-South Coast Lineman of the-Year by the L.A. Times.[1] Dickson’s high school awards include Best in the West Honorable Mention tight end/linebacker by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, First-team All-Suburban League and First-Team All-league pick (offense and defense).[2]

[edit] College career

Dickson enrolled to University of Oregon and was redshirted. Dickson spent time with the defensive ends, but Dickson ended as the tight end in the team’s depth chart behind Dante Rosario. He played 13 games as a defensive lineman in 2006.[3]

In 2009, Dickson was selected to the pre-season watch list for the Mackey Award, given out to the nation’s best tight end.[4]

On September 27, 2009, Dickson was named the national player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and was also named College Football Performance Awards Tight End of the Week.[5] He earned the honors after catching 11 passes for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns in an upset of the 6th ranked California Golden Bears.

At the conclusion of the 2009 season, Dickson was named as a College Football Performance Awards elite performer, finishing 3rd in tight end performance.[6]

[edit] Awards and honors

[edit] Professional career

[edit] 2010 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6′4¼″ 249 lb 33 in. 9¾ in. 4.67 34 in. 9′7″ 23 rep
All values from NFL Combine[8]


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Ravens punch Indy ticket with easy beatdown of Patriots, 33-14

Posted on 10 January 2010 by Drew Forrester

Let me get this straight.

New England hadn’t lost a home playoff game in 31 years — and in that time they were 11-0 in Foxborough.

Tom Brady was 8-0 at home in his post-season career.

Baltimore’s pedestrian 9-7 regular season mark this year included a dismal 3-5 away record.

So with all of that statistical data overloaded against Baltimore, it made perfect sense that the Ravens would race out to a 24-0 first quarter lead and cruise to a 33-14 win in New England today.

Right?

If you say so.

What a crazy league the NFL has become.

And what a crazy season it’s been for the Ravens, who literally entered the 4th quarter of their final regular season game in Oakland with their playoff berth still very much in jeopardy.

7 days later, they’ve polished off the mystique of the New England Patriots and they’re on their way to Indianapolis for a Saturday evening showdown with Peyton Manning and the Colts.

The New England fans hung around until there were about 9 minutes to go in the game.

They put in more of an effort than Randy Moss, that’s for sure.

So how did it happen today?

In a way only the dreamer could possibly imagine, the Ravens scored on their first play from scrimmage and then parlayed two first quarter turnovers into a 24-0 lead before half the crowd could say, “Want another cup of chow-dahh?”

And with their star quarterback obviously in need of a spark-plug change and Moss mailing it in like a member of the Postal Service, the Patriots were left with nothing to do except entertain an afternoon of boos from their faithful and wonder to themselves how on earth they picked today to have their worst game of the season.

As for the Ravens, they picked a great time to produce their best 30 minutes of defensive football all season, that’s for sure.

With Ray Lewis providing yet another epic post-season performance and Domonique Foxworth leading an opportunistic secondary, Baltimore clamped down early and often on both Brady and the running game en-route to a comfortable 24-7 halftime lead.

And when Willis McGahee scampered in with 10:32 to play to make it 33-14, the stands started to empty.

So it’s now on to Indianapolis, where the Ravens will undoubtedly have January 13, 2007 on their minds.  Fresh off of a 13-3 regular season and a first-week playoff bye, Steve McNair had a game only Tom Brady could duplicate (today) and the Baltimore offense stalled in a 15-6 loss to Indy.

Next Saturday night in Indy, it’s payback time for Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, Ed Reed and the rest of the guys who were part of that disappointing home defeat.

It had to be this way, right?

Baltimore vs. Indianapolis.

Winner goes to the AFC Championship game.

Loser goes home.

One thing for sure:  Tom Brady won’t be making a trip to South Florida in early February to gun for his 4th ring.

The Ravens made sure of that today in New England.

Now if they can send next week’s opposing quarterback home early, we might really be on to something.

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Lots of questions but not lots of answers for Ravens

Posted on 22 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

To say that frustration has fallen across the land here in Baltimore along with an early sunset would be an understatement. Today, once again, the sun continued to set on another season of Ravens football as the Ravens dropped their fifth game of the season as the Indianapolis Colts walked across the purple bird toward the visiting locker room as the winners in their former land of Baltimore.

Today, it is NOT the land of pleasant living.

After a 7th-consecutive disgusting loss for a fan base who built that horseshoe for the Irsay family before having it shoved up its civic backside in March 1984, there are many questions, but few answers the Ravens can provide beyond a disappointing 5-5 record.

Ed Reed and Ray Lewis didn’t even chat with the media. (Why Reed was trying to pitch the ball in that situation is just inexplicable — except that he’s been doing it for a decade, Brian Billick-be-damned!)

John Harbaugh had a rather terse “no comment”-style response in regard to this action.

I’m not a guy who’s ever looked for “goats” in losses. I’ve been around this game long enough to know that mistakes of the physical nature are usually deemed “acceptable.”

It’s pretty apparent that the Ravens have guys in the secondary who are physically over-matched or outrun at various points. That, in a way, is OK. They’re trying hard, doing their best, trying to get in a position to make a play. Domonique Foxworth, Frank Walker, Fabian Washington, Chris Carr — they’ve all had bad days and bad plays in these 10 games, but no one is confusing their results with their effort.

But the mental mistakes? Well, those are the ones that the coaches hate the most. In tennis, they’re called “unforced errors.”

Today, the Ravens made way too many mistakes in decision-making, and most of it came in the last few minutes of the game, opening the door for the Indianapolis Colts after spending much of the day on the all-too-rare “right side” of the Baltimore-Indianapolis 25-year karma.

The Ravens got several calls from the officials and a few good spots. Most of the “breaks” went their way vs. the Colts. They stripped the ball at the foot of the goal line to avert another Indy touchdown in the first half. They picked Peyton Manning twice early and played very, very well on defense all day, especially considering that they were playing the best quarterback on the planet with the fewest weapons and the worst secondary they’ve fielded during the lopsided rivalry.

But the holy trinity of mistakes — all by key members of the franchise — Flacco’s interception, Reed’s fumble and Harbaugh’s screwy use of the clock and the last, few precious timeouts put the Ravens with a full foot into the grave for the 2009 season with a 5-5 record. Only the late afternoon buffoonery of the Steelers losing to the Chiefs and the Bengals bungling a sure victory in Oakland could keep the Ravens off of complete life support. And that doesn’t factor in the relative mediocrity of teams like Miami and Denver, who have become the Ravens’ competition for a 9-7 playoff berth.

Harbaugh also has to accept the Ravens’ share of the responsibility for why Matt Stover was in a blue and white uniform today kicking winning field goals and the purple franchise is working on yet another kicker who missed a kick today in a game that was lost by two points.

So you think this game wasn’t won by the difference between Stover and Bill Cundiff?

Bad snap by Matt Katula not-withstanding, Stover made all of his tries, including the eventual game-winner with seven minutes remaining. Cundiff’s 30-yard near-whiff is the three points that would’ve won the game.

The kicking game has been the difference between being 7-3 and 5-5.

Period. Not a low blow, just a FACT!

So, just how big was the departure of Stover after all? And whose idea was all of this in the offseason?

For Harbaugh, the honeymoon with Charm City is on life support. The media are already agitated by his various peculiar idiosyncrasies and paranoid policies. And the Ravens are a breath away from elimination in 2009, which is probably just about what they’ve earned on the field with various degrees of poor play, poor preparation and lousy decision-making.

What the hell was Harbaugh thinking throwing that red flag after calling a timeout and not calling for a measurement? Honestly, that’s not a leader under fire in the NFL, that’s amateur hour! If that were any other coach blowing it on the other sideline, that’s exactly what we’d call it.

And, factor in the inevitable aging of a less-than-youthful roster and the injuries to the likes of Terrell Suggs, Todd Heap, Haloti Ngata and Brendon Ayanbadejo and you’ve got a recipe for under-achieving that falls far outside of just Harbaugh’s deficiencies. When injuries happen, teams don’t make the playoffs. You can check the track record on that.

You get the feeling that it’s just not meant to be for the Ravens of 2009.

Oh, and it’s Steeler Week here in the former land of pleasant living.

The Purple Haze is on at 7 p.m. tonight (and every Sunday night). Looking forward to chatting about the Ravens’ precarious situation in the NFL cosmos…

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‘Twas The Night before the Ravens opener…

Posted on 12 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

It kinda reminds me of Christmas Eve with anticipation. We’ve been waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and finally, football season is really here in Baltimore.

Wash away those ghosts of Troy Polamalu – the ones from the AFC Championship Game in January not the one from Thursday night – and let us begin a season anew.

First up, it’s the woeful Kansas City Chiefs. The general vibe around town all week has been one of supreme confidence. Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed began their Wednesday press conference with dancing. John Harbaugh has sounded confident. Joe Flacco seems like a veteran all of a sudden.

I’ve quizzed several Kansas City media members and I had a chance to watch parts of two of their preseason games (both without Matt Cassel). No one is brimming with confidence in the land of the red Chiefs and no one really expects them to win tomorrow.

The Vegas line started at 10 ½ and has now moved to 13 points. Even if Matt Cassel plays on Sunday – and that seems to be a sure bet given their backup options with Tyler Thigpen and Brodie Croyle – the Chiefs are a team of nobodys and “who is thats” coming in to serve the purple patrons an Opening Day patsy.

The Ravens should win on Sunday. There should be no excuses.

The team has looked brilliant in virtually every facet of first-team play through four preseason games. They’ve almost made it look too easy, even without Terrell Suggs for long stretches.

Confidence is high. Tailgates are sizzling with Roma Sausage and cold beer. Even the weather looks to be strong – forecast is 78 degrees and zero chance of precipitation.

So, just how will the 2009 season go for the Ravens?

The fans are abuzz with talk of depth at the wide receiver position. The offensive line is trying to find some depth to open up holes for a running back-by-committee arrangement with Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain and Ray Rice, who will probably be the leading rusher if they all stay healthy. And the health and productivity of Todd Heap is certainly a question mark.

But, offensively, it feels like Flacco will be asked to do more and looks more than capable of stepping up to that challenge.

Defensively, the eyes will always be on Ray Lewis, who is fighting Father Time with every season. Consider that he’s now survived two years longer than Jon Ogden and the likes of Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper, Chris McAlister, Duane Starks – who all entered the league after No. 52 – all seems to be done in the NFL. Lewis was considered a surefire Hall of Famer five years ago is now continuing to pile on his own legacy.

What kind of a year will it be for Lewis?

And Ed Reed, who has had neck issues and certainly doesn’t appear set for a long, long career given his style of play and reckless abandon and penchant for physical contact?

Terrell Suggs appeared injured during most of camp but quieted all questions for me in the Atlanta game, when he looked dominant and healthy.

The secondary will have a fresh look with Dominique Foxworth and Fabian Washington mixing it up with Frank Walker, who has to earn a little more confidence from the purple crowd and probably will vs. Kansas City.

The defensive line appears to be the strength of the defense, led by Haloti Ngata who had a mysterious injury appear earlier this week.

Questions and more questions. We’ll have 16 weeks of this marathon.

The answers begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Bring on the season. Bring on the Chiefs. Bring on the roadtrips!

My prediction: Ravens go 12-4 and win the Super Bowl.

Baltimore 31, Kansas City 13

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Ravens rookies a big hit at The Barn

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Ravens rookies a big hit at The Barn

Posted on 17 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Seven of the Ravens rookies for 2009 joined the WNST crew at The Barn last night for a Miller Lite event packed with purple fans and laughs. We’ll be running the audio on AM 1570 over the next few days and the audio vault here at WNST.net and video platform of wnsTV will also have the evidence.

We did brief conversations with different sets of guys, most of whom drove together from Owings Mills not knowing what to expect when I accosted them an invited them to Carney for what has become an annual event.

Paul Kruger and Jason Phillips did the first segment and admitted to being “lost” from time to time in the early going back in April.

Next up with was kicker Graham Gano (who admitted to being nervous because of the “public speaking” angle of live radio) and running back Cedric Peerman, who talked about Al Groh’s pro set offense at Virginia.

And finally, the trio of Lardarius Webb, Jason Cook (an undrafted free agent fullback who has been very impressive in OTAs) and Davon Drew joined me to close out the evening with some laughs. Webb provided the best comedy of the evening with some tales about his fandom of Ed Reed.

Seven Ravens rookies
Seven more Ravens. Seven more good guys who spent an evening out in the community having fun with their new fans. They were an impressive, polite and good-natured bunch of guys who make it easy to root for them in Westminster next month.

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Bird watching & no hoisting of goblet in Pittsburgh

Posted on 09 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

10:42 p.m. — Bring on Game 7! The Pittsburgh Penguins have been plenty feisty daing back to Game 7 in Washington, D.C. in what feels like a lifetime ago. It wasn’t the most exciting first period in Stanley Cup history, but the third period tonight at The Igloo was spectacular. Action, back and forth and up and down the ice. The game almost was tied with just 13 seconds remaining on a close one.

It was Stanley Cup magic. The Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh are 60 minutes away from a second civic championship in five months. Disgusting!

Meanwhile, Brad Bergesen did a nice job tonight against Seattle. The Birds won 3-1. Nolan Reimold hit a big fly. Melvin Mora had one interfered with in the first inning. It was a good, necessary win for the Birds.

8:40 p.m. — I’m in the midst of a typical spring night of wearing out the “previous” on my Comcast remote as I go back and forth between the Orioles-Mariners and Red Wings-Penguins.

The sky is a beautiful blood orange over downtown tonight and the Orioles game has been strange and the Red Wings look poised to hoist Lord Stanley’s chalice on enemy ice once again. Imagine these cockroaches from Pittsburgh having to watch the Red Wings raise The Cup at the Igloo for the second year in a row in front of the Steel City faithful.

Imagine the indignity! (But, it couldn’t happen to nicer folks that our neighbors in Pittsburgh!)

As for the Orioles, if you didn’t see the fan interference in the first inning on a near-home run for Melvin Mora (coincidentally, the kid was wearing an orange Mora No. 6 freebie giveaway that apparently no one knew about) you need to check it out. It was a Jeffrey Maier special, but when the umpires reconvened they rescinded a two-run homer call and the Orioles were suddenly only up 1-0 instead of 3-nil.

It looks like there’s less than 10,000 in the park tonight and the storm that rolled through town at dinner was biblical. Just horrendous where I was in Towson and White Marsh.

I don’t know if I’ll blog all night but I’ve been watching and I just felt like writing. It’s been a long week already and we’re making a lot of changes at WNST and you’ll see this site really come to life over the next few weeks.

Lots of work behind the scenes lately.

But tonight — for a beautiful Tuesday night — I’m watching hockey and baseball and enjoying it immensely!

Nolan Reimold just turned on one and the Birds are up 2-0. Also, my buddy Ed Frankovic keeps texting me from Hershey with Bears-Manitoba updates. Apparently, the Bears are losing.

Red Wings and Penguins are nil. Been a sleepy first period by Stanley Cup Finals standards.

A big night of fun sports…

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To Draft or Not To Draft

Posted on 17 April 2009 by Nicholas Miskelly

To Draft or Not To Draft 

As draft day approaches I have begun to think in greater depth about what the Ravens should do with their first pick. The Ravens have traditionally been one of the best teams in the NFL when it comes to drafting and evaluating talent.  The great Ozzie Newsome always puts this team in the best possible position to draft value with a pick and never based on need.  He has done it again this year. 

After the season was over the Ravens had a lot of decisions to make.  They had to decide who to re-sign, who to let go, and for those who left, how would they be replaced?  We saw the likes of Bart Scott, Chris McAlister, Jason Brown, and Jim Leonhard all leave via free agency.  But after that we saw Ozzie reload as only Ozzie can.  He brought in Matt Birk at center, Foxworth at corner, and L.J Smith at tight end to sure up potential weaknesses or thin areas for the Ravens.  He also resigned Samari Rolle and signed Chris Carr to the team to make sure there was great depth in the secondary and coverage on the special teams unit.  Heading into the draft this team is complete and does not have any glaring need that must be addressed early in this draft.  Furthermore this team has a wealth of young talent that they did not have room for last year with the likes of Prescott Burgess and Tavares Gooden.  This team is in as comfortable of a position as any team heading into the draft.  This is why they must consider adding Boldin to the team.  He may very well be the one missing piece. 

While the Ravens do not typically like to trade their top pick or a bulk of their picks in a draft, this year might be the year to do so.  I know the Ravens have only six picks this year but if you give up your first and your third round picks you will be gaining more value in Boldin than you would be giving away with what could come in with those two picks.  Wide receiver is the hardest position to fill in the draft and more times then not the pick results in a bust.  The game is so much more physical at the NFL level it is just impossible to project how well receivers will do and which ones will be a bust.  Boldin is a perfect example.  He was a second round draft pick because teams could not project how well he would do.  This year looks to be a crap shoot again as teams try to guess which wide-out is worth taking.  The Ravens are one of those teams and by trading for Boldin it would eliminate all of the guesswork. 

Look at this way:  Who might the Ravens draft with the 26th overall pick?  Most projections I have seen have the Ravens looking at a corner or, you guessed it, a wide receiver.  Thanks to Ozzie’s great offseason the Ravens have added depth and talent to their secondary.  A corner pick here is no longer a must but rather more like a luxury.  A wide receiver for this team makes the most sense, so why not get the best? This years best available is not Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks(I think is the best in the draft), Kenny Britt, or even Darrius Heyward-Bey.  That is right, the best wide-out available this year is Boldin.  The Ravens fans want him.  The Ravens need him.

Boldin is young, only 28, and can help this team for another 5 years.  He will come in and have an immediate impact on this offense, especially on Joe Flacco.  The other benefit of getting Boldin is that you would not have to wait for him to develop.  He is ready to go on day one.  Let’s face it the Ravens are not getting any younger on defense and guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed do not have the years left to wait for a rookie to develop.  Flacco is also emerging into a star and we do not need to hold him back while waiting for the rookie WR to develop.

Traditionally the Ravens have not been afraid to pull the trigger to trade up in the draft to get guys they felt were important to this team and may not be available when it is their turn to draft, ala Joe Flacco.  So why not pull the trigger this year.  Just because Boldin is not in the draft does not mean we should write off the idea of dealing our picks.   

Give up the picks and bring Baltimore a star thus narrowing the gap between the Super Bowl champions and the Baltimore Ravens!!! 

 

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My Spring Training 2009, Day 1 (A dream)

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My Spring Training 2009, Day 1 (A dream)

Posted on 16 February 2009 by Drew Forrester

Greetings from Ft. Lauderdale!

Pitchers and catchers have reported and the media throng has started to trickle in down here.

Schmucker looks great…must have “tanned up” a little bit before making the trip to FLA.  I saw his rental car in the parking lot.  Know how I know it’s his?  Hawaiian shirts on hangers in the car.  Gee, times must be tough at The Sun.  Peter’s driving a Honda CRV.  I’m not gonna say a word to him about his cheap wheels.  I’m sure, at some point while I’m down here, I’ll need to bum a ride or two from him.

Kubatko has big arms but they’re awfully white.  He needs some sun.  Some of that $2.65 per-month I’m giving to MASN must be going to Roch’s expense account.  He’s driving a rental Escalade.  Probably in his contract.

Jeff Zrebiec is in the house too.  I never really noticed this before, but he looks like a cross between Andre Agassi and Live’s lead singer Ed Kowalczyk.  I couldn’t find a photo of Kowalczyk that didn’t screw up the blog, but trust me on that one. 

 

http://odeo.com/channels/2106546-Jeff-Zrebiec-discusses-the-Orioles       http://www.celebrityprayernetwork.com/sports/andre-agassi/   

Anyway, Zrebiec’s in the house and if Live’s playing somewhere in South Florida in the next month, he could go on stage and sing “Pain Lies on the Riverside” and everyone would have a tough time figuring out which one is the rock-n-roll star and which one is the newspaper writer.

I think we’re going to Jackson’s Steakhouse tonight.  My per-diem is somewhat limited, so I might just stick with a couple of glasses of Cabernet and a house salad.  If the guys want to split a nice bottle of Red, I might go with the #72, the Chappellet 2005.  It’s $85.00, but well worth it.

I saw Andy MacPhail in the parking lot.  I said, “Hey Andy, how’s your morning?”.  He looked around for a soft drink table and replied, “Drew, I can’t really discuss that with you.”

I went over to the Japanese reporters covering the team and said, “How do you say, ‘It’s going to be alright’ in your language?”  The translator remarked, “Daijobu desu”.  I said, “You’ll be saying that to Uehara a lot this year.”

That’s about it for Day 1 of my spring training coverage.

It’s great to be here interacting with the rest of the media who were credentialed and given the privilege of covering the team in Ft. Lauderdale.

I wonder if Zrebiec is Croatian?  I know a little bit of that language too from my days in the soccer business.

Gotta run, I see Andy MacPhail over by the soft drink table.

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So lemme guess: you skipped the Pro Bowl again?

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So lemme guess: you skipped the Pro Bowl again?

Posted on 09 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I spent the afternoon yesterday at Sylvia’s house in Parkville watching the Pro Bowl, eating chicken wings and pizza and drinking Miller Lite. Honestly, I’m glad we did make a date to watch the game with her many Ravens buddies and waiting for a random big play from a guy in a purple helmet or to get a look at the many Ravens staffers donning Don Ho-style red Hawaiian flowered print shirts. The entire coaching staff from John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron right on down looked like Peter Schmuck at Camden Yards on a summer night.

But the Pro Bowl sucks even when you’re with people you like in a really cool basement (Sylvia won our “Miller Lite Purple Palace” contest last month). We all know that. Vanilla defenses. Lots of “no shows,” including our own Ed Reed. Even the quarterbacks stunk yesterday, with everyone from Peyton Manning to Kerry Collins to Drew Brees to Kurt Warner throwing these wobbling dying duck passes all over the Honolulu turf. Brendon Ayanbejdo played more base defense in the Pro Bowl yesterday than he did during the entire NFL season. LeRon McClain missed at one shot at the endzone and got in on his second chance. Terrell Suggs and Ray Ray looked regal in their red jerseys making a few random tackles and missing others.

And there’s no doubt about it: NO ONE wants to get hurt. Everytime Ray Lewis went toward the ball we were all holding our breath and he STILL might wind up on the Steelers in six weeks for all we know? Or, this might’ve been the final time he strapped on a purple chinstrap. That thought definitely crossed my mind.

Next year, the Pro Bowl will move back to the mainland for the first time in more than a generation, and will be played the week before the Super Bowl in Miami, which will probably allow me to attend. But what’s to see when you actually watch the game?

Guys kinda going through the motions. The NFL marketing its various “Pro Bowl official game jerseys.” And all of the stars in one place at one time in a game that should probably be changed to a flag football game. Even the announcers kinda make fun of how the game is an “exhibition” that borders on a joke as far as a competition goes.

It was a great chance to honor our “Miller Lite Purple Palace” winner and talk football. All of Sylvia’s friends were buzzed up about all the same stuff all of the WNST listeners have on their minds.
Sylvia's Purple Crew

What’s going to happen with Ray Lewis?

Are the Terps going to make the tournament?

The Orioles are going to suck again.

But there’s something poignant and “final” about seeing the last snap of the football season and knowing we have to wait until August for the next round of crappy football that doesn’t matter and until after Labor Day for the first meaningful games again.

Today, the offseason begins in the NFL. The combine is next weekend in Indianapolis. The owners meetings happen in late March. The 2009 schedule will be released in early April. And then cometh the draft, which is one of my favorite weekends and events of the year.

Hang in there. We’ll try to make sense of the offseason and the Terps and Gary Williams and of course, we’ll be following the Orioles with the only objective coverage in the marketplace.

I’ll chat with you more at 2 p.m. today with a major announcement.
Nestor and Sylvia

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Ravens locker room giddy for trip to Nashville

Posted on 04 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The kudos for the continued brilliance of Ed Reed and the poise of Joe Flacco permeated the Ravens locker room following today’s big win over the Dolphins here in Miami. Other than the defensive breakdowns on the late third-quarter drive that nearly got the Fish back into the game, it was a day of celebrations, high fives and memories of what a January run feels like.

The Ravens punished the Fins in the first half and only let up long enough to wait for another turnover. No play was bigger than the botched handoff to Ted Ginn, which sealed the fate of Miami and propelled the Ravens back to a second-round playoff matchup on the Cumberland River in Nashville at 4:30 this Saturday.

As you know, our buses are filling up fast. You can book you trip here. We will also be announcing a major indoor tailgate party/pep rally in downtown Nashville for Saturday morning for all visiting purple fans. To show his support for the purple contingent on the road, head coach John Harbaugh visited with the fans as he exited the field in Miami this afternoon and went out of his way to praise the road warriors, many of whom drove the 17 hours down to South Florida and have a lot of highway in front of them tomorrow en route back to Baltimore. I met many of these people in my travels today and they will be featured in my Miami videos on wnsTV tomorrow.

There will be plenty of time to dissect today’s game and to preview an epic matchup in Nashville this week. But for now, I’m exhausted, giddy and pretty “speechless” when it comes to the accomplishments of this team this season.

The one thing that struck me in talking to so many players after the game was the fact that it was the FIRST playoff win for many, many Ravens-drafted players in this organization. Only Ray Lewis, Matt Stover and Todd Heap were with the team in Miami in Jan. 2002, the last time the Ravens won a postseason game. Virtually every long-time player — from Ed Reed to Terrell Suggs to Haloti Ngata to Jason Brown — mentioned how special it was to finally win a playoff game. For some like Trevor Pryce, Samari Rolle and Derrick Mason, it was their first win in January in purple as well but all have had substantial success with Denver and Tennessee.

It’s been a pretty special year and as bad as 2008 sucked, it appears that 2009 is off to a helluva start.

All aboard for Nashville…

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