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It Wasn’t a “Must” Win, But Ravens Breathing Again After Dominant Win Over Broncos

Posted on 01 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

There was one thought that stayed with me throughout the 2nd half of the Ravens’ 30-7 win over the Denver Broncos Sunday was how much I wanted to say this was a “must win.”

The truth is that it wasn’t, but that’s hard to believe now.

The Ravens entered Sunday’s game 3-3, a game and a half behind both the Steelers and Bengals for first place in the AFC North; a half game behind the Texans and Jets for the final playoff spot in the AFC. They faced a daunting schedule over the next 5 weeks (@Cincinnati, @Cleveland, vs. Indianapolis, vs. Pittsburgh, @Green Bay); and they faced the possibility that the team might start questioning itself before they even got a chance to face any opponents.

Sunday’s performance did NOT answer every question about this football team (no matter how impressive it was), but it certainly allowed the team to relax and start reminding everyone else that they’re still pretty good. As Ray Rice pointed out, this was “a game that (they) needed.” Jarret Johnson concurred, adding “we needed that win…..confidence is a big thing.”

It is significantly easier to “get up” for a game against a divsion foe, but it was evident that this team was “up” for the opening kick. Jarret Johnson’s sack of Kyle Orton set the tone for the game; and Lardarius Webb did the same with a TD return on the opening kickoff of the 2nd half. Throughout the game there were big hits (including Ed Reed’s forced fumble that lead to the game’s first points); and an intensity level that was evident throughout (including Derrick Mason’s outburst that lead to a 15 yard penalty).

It WASN’T a “must win.” The team could just as well won their next 9 after a loss today, and no one would have remembered that they lost on November 1. But this team needed momentum. They needed something to keep their swagger going as they moved into a difficult part of the schedule. They needed to show that they were better than the team that had been playing for the last 3 games.

This game did that.

Now things get no easier moving forward.

-G

Hear From The Following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Kelley Washington
LB Ray Lewis
LB Terrell Suggs
LB Jarret Johnson
CB Domonique Foxworth
CB/KR Lardarius Webb
K Steve Hauschka

John Harbaugh had no further information regarding Haloti Ngata’s ankle, saying he would consult trainer Bill Tessendorf.

4:01-Dannell Ellerbe wraps up this one with a tough hit on Buckhalter. Ravens win 30-7. Back with more shortly.

3:58-Rich Dubroff (of Carroll County Times fame) correctly asks why so many starters are still out on the field. There is no answer.

3:53-Flacco 20/25 throwing the ball today; and Ray Rice has added 108 total yards (and that last TD-putting the Ravens up 30-7 late).

3:46-Ryan McBean banged up for Denver, but he left the field under his power. Probably figured he had better things to do at this point.

3:44-Where the hell has that type of running from Le’Ron McClain been? Wow.

3:42-X-Rays negative on Ngata’s ankle; but he’s doubtful to return. He’s had the ankle taped twice.

3:33-Joe has completed his last 13 passes. However, it is hard to complete a pass when you are being taken to the ground by Andra Davis.

3:31-Drew thinks Ed interfered on that last drive. I’m not sure I agree. This would be the place where I’d hand the ball off to Le’Ron McClain, but they haven’t done that yet this season.

3:20-I’d like that Mark Clayton play much better if it had a pass option on it. They don’t use Clayton’s arm enough.

Doesn’t matter, as Joe Cool held tough just one play letter to deliver that great pass to Derrick Mason. He was smiling as he threw it. He should have been. 23-7 Ravens; still just a 2 possession game however.

3:18-Those two penalties there REALLY hurt the Broncos; and might help the Ravens put this one away. I reminder that I called 26-21. Another field goal and that score is totally possible.

3:08-Do the Broncos know they have a 6’4″ wide receiver? Why wouldn’t they try to throw the ball downfield again to him?

3:05-Where was all of this when Steve Hauschka was MY fantasy kicker? 16-7 Ravens now with 4:55 to play in 3rd.

3:02-Well, that play wasn’t a disaster or anything…….

2:59-Renaldo Hill down on the play for Denver; and had to be helped off the field. The training staff was in a rush to get out there when they saw him go down after the great play by Kelley Washington.

2:57-Mark Clayton did his best Ray Rice impression there in putting his hand on the ground to find some more yards. That move isn’t used as much as it probably should be by guys who are lower to the ground.

2:55-I did not see the penalty called on Andre Goodman, therefore it would be particularly difficult for me to comment on it. I’ll say it WAS a penalty.

2:53-Former KOBST contestant Phil Williams seen on the jumbotron here at M&T Bank Stadium modeling a “Play Like a Raven” t-shirt. Phil did not advance far in the contest, but maybe he will find fame from being a model here at the stadium.

2:50-Tony Scheffler was interfered with, and this KILLS all momentum the Ravens had from Lardarius’ TD. 13-7 Baltimore-Harbaugh maybe should have considered a 2 point conversion.

2:49-Haloti Ngata hobbled off the field under his own power; but that looked particularly concerning.

2:46 And the decision pays off for Denver as Ed Reed jumps offsides. Otherwise, Brandon Marshall would NOT have had a first down.

2:43-This is a big decision here from Josh McDaniels. Not converting could really hurt a team that hasn’t exactly moved the ball with ease.

2:41-That really wasn’t bad coverage from Fabian on Gaffney there, he just missed the ball as it came in. Broncos really moving the ball now; Ravens need to keep them out of endzone to hold on to momentum.

2:40-That’s a tough call to go against Dom there. I don’t agree, but it probably is within the guidelines for interference. Of for just plain playing defense.

2:35-Boy am I glad I didn’t get back from halftime late. What a run by Lardarius Webb. That’s why they made the move to put him in as kick returner. Biggest moment of the rookie from Nicholls State’s career so far.

First kick return for TD since Yamon Figurs on 12/9/07. However, that was in a blowout loss to the Colts.

2:19-Really big stand there from Ravens defense. This should allow them to take the 6-0 lead to halftime-and they start with the ball in the 2nd half.

2:16-Big spot here for Ravens defense. If Broncos get in end zone-all momentum gone. If they get 3, some of the good vibes from the rest of the first half will be lessened.

2:11-71,132 fans here at M&T Bank Stadium this afternoon. 52,000 have said “How are the Broncos 6-0?” at some point today.

2:10-We’re already at the 2 minute warning? Where the hell has this game gone?

2:09-And for those of you scoring at home, Peyton Hillis and Eddie Royal get their first catches. Meanwhile-Drew Forrester points out correctly that Domonique Foxworth IS doing a good job on Brandon Marshall.

2:03-Ravens really self destructed there when they should have had first and goal. Hauschka bangs home another one, and the Ravens have extended their lead to 6-0.

2:02-Le Kevin Smith with the sack. Which begs the question, “what kind of name is Le Kevin?”

2:01-I don’t think I agree with the personal foul call there on Oher. I certainly don’t agree with that play call on first down after.

1:59-Chris Chester the guilty party on the false start. A play later, Joe Flacco with a MIRACULOUS save to find Ray Rice there. WOW. Best play he’s made all game.

1:57-Kyle Orton has TWO passing yards so far. That’s not particularly good.

1:56-Joe has been tall on a number of throws today. What a great play by Mark Clayton to go up and get that one. Wow.

1:52-Haloti Ngata ALWAYS has his hands up. There’s a reason why he’s one of the best D-Linemen in the NFL.

1:51-Are the Broncos aware that the Ravens’ secondary has struggled? Why would they be throwing everything underneath???

1:50-If T-Sizzle jumps there, he has an interception. Damn. Brandon Marshall called for offensive interference anyway; but that could have been a big turnover.

1:49-Broncos OT Ryan Harris is DOUBTFUL to return with a toe injury.

1:45-Do I have to be the one to say this? I don’t think the no-huddle suits Joe Flacco well.

1:43-Not certain why Mitch Berger is punting in the NFL; or why Chris Carr would risk trying to do something with that one.

1:36-A MUCH better kickoff for Steve Hauschka this time; and Eddie Royal was NOT smart to decide to bring that one out.

1:33-That was Flacco’s fault on the pass to Clayton on 3rd down. Threw it behind him.

Another bad snap from Katula on the field goal; but Hauschka gets it through to make things 3-0 Baltimore. Yay.

1:32-As the sun starts to poke out, the Ravens REALLY need to cash this great field position into 6 points. A field goal here would have to be considered a failure.

A Willis McGahee sighting! Those has been a bit rare in recent weeks.

1:30-I thought Walt Coleman would decide there “wasn’t enough evidence”, but he saw the play as being called correctly for sure.

Credit Terrell Suggs with the fumble recovery for those of you scoring at home.

1:25-For the record, while it was very clear on replay that Alphonso Smith held Derrick Mason’s jersey on that play; I really hope no one is stupid enough to say something like “See, I told you there’s a conspiracy against the Ravens.”

Broncos moving the ball a bit with Knowshon Moreno. It was Drew Forrester who told me to go with Sproles ahead of Moreno; so I’ll hold him accountable if this goes wrong.

WHAT A HIT by Ed Reed. HUGE play. McDaniels will challenge, but it is hard to tell either way. Don’t think you can overturn this. Also don’t think this should cost the Broncos a timeout if it isn’t overturned.

1:22-Surprised by just how angry Derrick Mason was there. He’s an motional guy, but there was just no need for that. Ravens would have had a great chance to pin Denver inside the 10. You could tell Harbs was not happy with Derrick’s antics.

1:21-Derrick Mason’s frustration is going to cost the Ravens 15 yards here. They were going to have Sam Koch punt anyway, but this makes the decision even easier.

1:20-Why can’t Flacco to Rice passes over the middle ever look natural?

1:19-Two straight QB sneaks on 3rd and short. They have stayed in the no -huddle throughout the start of the game.

1:17-Ravens spreading things out by going with short passes to the middle.

Todd Heap’s 2nd catch was the 400th of his NFL career. I’m rooting for him to get 400 more today.

1:14-Greg Mattison’s defense has been much more attacking early on. Big TFL for Dawan Landry on the 2nd drive. Mitch Berger has been fortunate to not have either of his first two punts blocked; Chris Carr hasn’t had a chance to do anything yet.

1:12-Correll Buckhalter got the first carry of the game for Denver for all of you scoring at home. I benched Knowshon Moreno in favor of Darren Sproles on my fantasy team personally.

1:08-Couple not-so-perfect passes from Flacco to Heap and Mason; then Brian Dawkins breaks up a great throw to Kelley Washington. Surprised they’s go with 3 straight pass plays there.

1:06-Cam Cameron’s offense working in a no-huddle and trying to force the ball with Ray Rice.

HUGE effort from Todd Heap on 3rd down to get the initial first down of the game.

As a note: Fabian Washington is wearing sweat pants on the sideline. I guess just to stay warm.

1:04-How many times do you see a 6’4″ Wide Receiver used on a screen? Brandon Marshall is DANGEROUS after he gets the ball-even though he didn’t do much on his first touch.

Do you think Frank Walker was de-activated because they were afraid he would spit in Mitch Berger’s mouth?

1:03-Jarret Johnson absolutely LEVELED Kyle Orton. Wow. Big statement early for a pass rush. That’s how you get in the head of a quarterback.

As a note, the rain has picked back up, but the flags aren’t moving at all. Surprised Hauschka’s opening kick was so short.

1:02-Broncos won the toss and chose to receive. Steve Hauschka is kicking to Eddie Royal. That’s it for play-by-play; now I’m back to analysis.

12:59-The “Fire Mishael Miller” people are insane; but that was a STRANGE rendition of the national anthem.

12:52-The rain has let up here at “The Bank”, but the ponchos throughout the stadium take away from the purple atmosphere. Ravens being introduced now; offensive introductions highlighted by Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason.

12:47-Am I a bad person if I choose not to stand for “God Bless the USA”? It’s not our national anthem. Why do they ask everyone to stand for a Lee Greenwood pop song?

12:23-Today will be David Tyree’s debut in purple…..he was inactive when the Ravens visited the Vikings on October 18. There was a thought process that David Tyree’s arrival would leave Demetrius Williams inactive; but I can only remind everyone that David Tyree really is not here to be a WR. He’s here to play Special Teams.

12:19-And of COURSE Rachel Nichols from ESPN would be here again today. She was at 1 Winning Drive Friday, and my work output was not outstanding. Also here-Woody Paige from The Denver Post; who you know from “Around The Horn”….fellow “Around The Horn” contributor Kevin Blackistone (formerly of the Dallas Morning News, now with Fanhouse/AOL Sports), and ESPN’s John Clayton.

12:05-While this is the first time John Harbaugh and Josh McDaniels have faced off as head coaches, it certainly isn’t the first time the Ravens have played the Broncos. The all-time regular season series is tied at 3 games apiece; with the Ravens having won the only matchup between the teams in the postseason (2001 Wild Card playoffs right here in Baltimore en route to the Ravens winning Super Bowl XXXV).

12:01-From everything I can gather, Frank Walker IS a healthy scratch.

As a note-The Ravens are apparently not particularly concerned about Jared Gaither today; as they de-activated both Tony Moll and Oniel Cousins. This means Gaither will start on the left side, Oher on the right side, and Marshal Yanda will be the backup to both.

Also, Tavares Gooden is still slated as the starter at the JACK LB position, but I would expect to see plenty of Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain today as well.

11:43-Baltimore Scratches:

QB John Beck (3rd QB)
LB Antwan Barnes
CB Frank Walker
RB Jalen Parmele
OT Oniel Cousins
OT Tony Moll
DT Kelly Talavou
DE/LB Paul Kruger

Certainly, Frank Walker comes as a surprise-but with Lardarius Webb working with the first team this week; this could be a major message to the Cornerback.

11:38-Denver Scratches:

QB Tom Brandstater (3rd QB)
WR Kenny McKinley
RB LaMont Jordan
G Seth Olsen
DL Chris Baker
OT Brandon Gorin
WR Brandon Lloyd
OLB/DE Jarvis Moss

10:59-Greetings from M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore, where the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens face the 6-0 Denver Broncos today at 1pm. I’ll be keeping you company throughout the day here at WNST.net, as the Ravens face what is ALMOST a “must win” against the Broncos.

For those of you who can’t make it to the stadium today, the game can be seen on CBS (WJZ 13 in Baltimore); with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf calling the action. The game can also be heard on the Sports USA Radio Network; with Eli Gold, John Robinson and Pete Medhurst on the call.

The biggest injury question marks are OT Jared Gaither and LB Tavares Gooden. My gut says both play; but we’ll find out in the next 30-45 minutes for sure.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST), as Drew Forrester joins me here in the press box, and will offer witty commentary during the game as well.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 October 2009 by Glenn Clark

Barry Levinson’s documentary “The Band That Wouldn’t Die” last night on ESPN was OUTSTANDING.

It was a beautiful story told about the city of Baltimore, and the role the Baltimore Colts Marching Band played in bridging the gap between the Colts’ departure and the Ravens’ arrival.

It was a really well put together documentary. In fact, it made me FURIOUS that ESPN did not have Levinson put together their ’58 Championship Game doc last December-which they butchered terribly.

I can’t recommend you watching this enough. Jim Irsay’s insight was especially interesting. I thought he did a good job of saying he loved his father, but understood what a terrible person he had become.

I really can’t say this enough. The documentary was powerful. It was moving. It was probably what I should have expected from someone has talented as Barry Levinson.

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

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester say Ed Reed best Raven in loss to Bengals

Glenn Clark says Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf to call Ravens-Vikings for CBS

Mark Suchy was excited for “The Band That Wouldn’t Die” last night

Tom Clayton says Ravens looked ‘average’ in Sunday’s loss

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens stayed with ‘hot hand’ of Ray Rice in loss to Bengals, know McGahee will be needed to contribute more this season

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens signed David Tyree, let Tony Curtis go

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbaugh thinks Gaither ‘a lot better now’ than he was before Cincinnati game

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Samari Rolle’s status unknown as he reaches stretch where he’s eligible to return

The Official Site says Tyree made 85 tackles during his 6 seasons with Giants

Vikings Official Site’s Josh Fiedler says Ravens looking for ‘bounce back’ result in Minnesota

The AP’s Jon Krawczynski’s says Vikings TE Shiancoe expects Ravens to be ‘pretty mad coming in’ to Metrodome

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Marshal Yanda hoping to return to native Iowa after playing career over

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Birk thinks O-Line still ‘work in progress’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Matt Stover didn’t ‘want to hurt anybody’s feelings’ by working out with Colts

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Harbaugh believes Tyree will help Ravens ‘in whatever way he can’

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck expects Ravens to get things back together Sunday in Minneapolis

The Sun says Ravens must find different ways to use Derrick Mason

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens must use Lardarius Webb more

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Samari Rolle showed up in Owings Mills wearing neck brace

The Sun’s Ken Murray says former Ravens WR Figurs signed with Bucs

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Matt Stover had chance to sign with Browns

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens have 26th ranked passing defense in NFL

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Demetrius Williams’ active status could be affected with David Tyree in Baltimore

Washington Times’ David Elfin has Ravens 10th in power rankings

Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins says Vikes bring 2nd most takeaways in NFL into game

St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Sean Jensen and Rick Alonzo say reaching 100 yards doesn’t matter to Peterson

Fox Sports’ Adrian Hasenmayer has Ravens 12th in power rankings

ESPN.com has Ravens 11th in power rankings

Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver has Ravens 11th in power rankings

NFL.com has Ravens 13th in power rankings

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Sandra McKee says Friedgen knows Terps still alive in ACC race

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps need to go 4-2 the rest of the way to get bowl eligible

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Mikell Simpson could go for Hoos Saturday at Byrd Stadium

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Fridge ‘proud’ of Terps

Carroll County Times’ Matt Zenitz says Cavaliers have similar offense to Middle Tennessee, James Madison-who gave Terps fits

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Hartsfield hasn’t decided when to have surgery on broken hand yet

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says max protection schemes have hurt James Franklin’s offense

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says despite growing up in Virginia, Torrey Smith never rooted for UVa

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Don Brown thought first half against Wake ‘a huge step back’

The Diamondback has Terps 12th in ACC power rankings

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps having to change philosophies due to injuries

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Chris Turner has become ‘threat’ on ground

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Wahoos continuing history of October success under Groh

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph ‘optimistic’ regarding Bruce Campbell

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Hartsfield will miss two games no matter what

Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Michael Phillips says Cavaliers QB Jameel Sewell redeeming himself after missing ’08 campaign

Terrapin Times’ Mike Ashley says Terps, Hoos have good ‘rivalry’ because they genuinely don’t like each other (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Claire Knudsen profiles freshman LB Ryan Donohue (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Lorne Goree ready to get to College Park for spring ball (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Matt Birchenough says Jeremiah Johnson remains committed to Terps

Turtle Sports Report’s Carlos Olazagasti updates season for future Maryland opponents

Turtle Sports Report’s Ross Leonhart checks in with commit Brice Laughlin (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s Bill Greene says Hollywood Hills DE prospect Clarence Murphy to visit College Park this weekend (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says ‘atmosphere’ brought Alyssa Thomas to College Park

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Niumatalolo thinks Teich ‘questionable’ again this week for SMU game

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Mids won’t have easy go against Mustangs

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says trip to Texas big for Midshipmen recruiting-wise

Go Mids updates season for Navy opponents

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site previews Saturday’s Homecoming showdown with Delaware

Delaware Official Site offers complete Tigers-Blue Hens release (pdf)

TOWSON LACROSSE:

The Official Site says fall season wraps up Saturday with Lacrosse for Leukemia event in Bel Air

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site offers radio broadcast details for ’09-’10 season

UMBC BASKETBALL:

The Sun says Justin Fry will be out until January due to knee surgery

COPPIN BASKETBALL:

The Official Site offers details for Friday night’s Midnight Madness event at Coppin Center

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site previews contest with Ursinus

The Official Site offers complete JHU-Ursinus release (pdf)

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Geoff Shannon says ’11 prospect Wells Stanwick committed to Blue Jays

ORIOLES:

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Trembley to bring back entire staff besides Jauss

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks Birds should bring back Chad Moeller to mentor Wieters

BALTIMORE MARINERS:

The Official Site says AIFA team has one more open tryout left

SWIMMING:

Swimnetwork.com’s Bob Schaller says Phelps’ relay team drawing fans to sport

The Sun says Phelps amongst ‘most likeable’ celebrities

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Dave Jauss is gone, huh? I think BJ Surhoff would be a good fit in that role. Think he’s interested?

-Anyone have an American flag I can borrow for tonight’s game?

-Should I bet Eron Riley that if Maryland beats Duke, he has to go to the Ravens’ Halloween bash at Dave & Buster’s dressed as Gary Williams? If Duke beats Maryland, I would have to go as Coach K. Thoughts?

Talk to you from Owings Mills.

-G

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Ravens Name 7 to Practice Squad

Posted on 06 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

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

Sept. 6, 2009

For Immediate Release

RAVENS SET PRACTICE SQUAD

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

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

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

Bryan Mattison                     G             6-3       295       2nd Year         Iowa

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

Eron Riley                               WR         6-3       205       Rookie           Duke

Stefan Rodgers                      T             6-5       317       3rd Year         Lambuth

William VanDeSteeg             OLB         6-4       256       Rookie           Minnesota

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

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Ravens Trim Roster to 53

Posted on 05 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

A couple of quick things I notice in looking at the Ravens’ 53 man roster:

-Half of the Ravens draft picks (including LB Jason Phillips going to IR) didn’t make the cut. It appears as though Davon Drew was the last player to be cut, as he was initially on the roster before the news came that the Ravens had acquired OL Tony Moll in the Derrick Martin deal with the Packers. Cedric Peerman fell behind FOUR other running backs (Rice, McGahee, Parmele, Lawrence) and couldn’t get past them. Phillips appeared to be healthy, but certainly there was only so much you could take from his performance due to the fact that he was coming off a knee injury. This buys him a year to get 100%, and he’ll have another crack next year. Only Dannell Ellerbe makes the team amongst the UFA guys, which is surprising given his own knee injury. He seemed like a prime candidate to go to IR. The Ravens will presumably try to get a number of their rookies back on the practice squad.
-Prescott Burgess and Antwan Barnes BOTH made the team, meaning the Ravens will have no shortage of LB’s. In an ever evolving defense now under Greg Mattison, having veteran guys around can’t hurt.
-By not keeping Jayson Foster (or Justin Harper), the team certainly remains thin at WR. We will continue to monitor cuts from other teams to see if another Wide Receiver (David Tyree’s name has been thrown about PLENTY today) comes up who may be of interest to the team.
-This team is DEEP on the defensive line with Kelly Talavou and Brandon McKinney. This should be a serious area of strength.
-Edgar Jones’ versatility likely kept him on the positive side of the 53.
-Matt Lawrence COULD be asked to take snaps in a fullback-like position. This team really liked him, and decided not to let the numbers game dictate letting him go.
-It was Steve Hauschka’s job to win, and he won it. Now it’s his job to hold on to.
-Stop with the confusion about Frank Walker. He’s the team’s #3 corner, and he isn’t HALF as bad as he’s looked in the preseason. He will have plenty of time to gameplan, watch film, and adjust to the receivers he faces in the regular season. He should be fine. If he isn’t, they’ll address that then. But judging him during pickup football games isn’t fair.
-Tony Moll gives the team a 4th offensive tackle who can also move inside if necessary. Tre Stallings, Stefan Rodgers, and Joe Reitz all had the chance to win the same job but couldn’t.
-A lot of teams aren’t keeping 3rd quarterbacks, but the Ravens need to. With Troy Smith expected to be used as a wide receiver and in gadget play situations, the team needs to have another quarterback available on the roster.

6:23 Update: The Eagles are holding on to SEVEN wide receivers, including Jason Avant, Brandon Gibson, Reggie Brown, and Hank Baskett. There was much speculation that John Harbaugh could look to his friends in Philadelphia for receiver help-but if that’s the case, Ozzie Newsome would have to deal for it.

5:18pm-CHANGES COMING EVERY MINUTE: The Ravens’ media relations staff has UPDATED their roster to include the acquisition of OL Tony Moll from the Packers in the Derrick Martin trade. Davon Drew has been let go.

Here’s the new, updated release from the Ravens:

For Immediate Release

RAVENS ROSTER MOVES

The Ravens waived the following veteran players:

Yamon Figurs                       WR/RS       5-11       185           Kansas State                    3rd year

Jayson Foster                       WR              5-7          185           Georgia Southern          1st year

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

Bryan Mattison                   G                 6-3          295           Iowa                                    2nd year

Evan Oglesby                       CB               5-11       182           North Alabama               4th year

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

Stefan Rodgers                   T                  6-5          317           Lambuth                            3rd year

Isaac Smolko                        TE                6-5          258           Penn State                        2nd year

Tre Stallings                          G                 6-3          305           Mississippi                        2nd year

Ernie Wheelwright             WR              6-5          217           Minnesota                        1st year

The Ravens waived the following rookie players:

Nader Abdallah                   DT               6-5          297           Ohio State

Jason Cook                            FB                6-0          245           Mississippi

Davon Drew                         TE                6-4          255           East Carolina

Tony Fein                               LB                6-2          245           Mississippi

Robby Felix                           C                  6-3          295           UTEP

Graham Gano                      K                  6-1          200           Florida State

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

Cedric Peerman                  RB               5-9          210           Virginia

Eron Riley                              WR              6-3          205           Duke

William VanDeSteeg         OLB             6-4          256           Minnesota

The Ravens waived (injury settlement) the following player:

Will Johnson (shoulder)       DT           6-5          285           Michigan     Rookie

The Ravens placed the following player on Injured Reserve:

Jason Phillips (knee)              ILB          6-1         244           TCU               Rookie

Trade:

The Ravens also traded fourth-year DB Derrick Martin to Green Bay in exchange for four-year veteran G/T Tony Moll.

A 6-5, 311-pounder out of Nevada, Moll has played in 39 games during his first three NFL seasons, including 18 starts. Of those starts, 11 have come at right guard and seven at right tackle. He started the opening three games of 2008 at right guard and started two more late in the season at right tackle. Moll, who was selected by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2006 draft, played in all 16 games as a rookie, making 10 starts that season. His last name is pronounced MAHL.

5:00pm-Here is the official release-courtesy of Mike Duffy at BaltimoreRavens.com. I will be back shortly to provide analysis.

The Ravens finally cut down to their 53-man roster by the NFL-mandated 6 p.m. deadline on Saturday, Sept. 5.

And it looks like Steve Hauschka is going to be the kicker for the 2009 campaign.

In addition, defensive tackle Nadir Abdallah; fullback Jason Cook; wideouts Justin Harper, Yamon Figurs, Jayson Foster, Ernie Wheelwirght and Eron Riley; safety K.J. Gerard; kicker Graham Gano; center Robby Felix; linebacker Tony Fein; tight end Isaac Smolko; cornerback Evan Oglesby; offensive tackles Stefan Rodgers and Tre Stallings; and linebacker William Van DeSteeg were all waived.

The Ravens also placed linebacker Jason Phillips on Injured Reserve with a knee injury and reached an injury settlement with defensive tackle Will Johnson because of a shoulder injury.

That means the Ravens are finally down to the team they will bring into the 2009 campaign with the opened scheduled for Sept. 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Below is the list of Ravens who made the final 53-man roster:

Brendon Ayanbadejo
Justin Bannan
Antwan Barnes
John Beck
Matt Birk
Prescott Burgess
Chris Carr
Chris Chester
Mark Clayton
Oniel Cousins
Davon Drew
Dwan Edwards
Dannell Ellerbe
Joe Flacco
Domonique Foxworth
Jared Gaither
Tavares Gooden
Kelly Gregg
Ben Grubbs
David Hale
Steve Hauschka
Todd Heap
Jarret Johnson
Edgar Jones
Matt Katula
Sam Koch
Paul Kruger
Dawan Landry
Matt Lawrence
Ray Lewis
Derrick Mason
Jameel McClain
Le’Ron McClain
Willis McGahee
Brandon McKinney
Haruki Nakamura
Haloti Ngata
Michael Oher
Jalen Parmele
Trevor Pryce
Ed Reed
Ray Rice
L.J. Smith
Troy Smith
Terrell Suggs
Kelly Talavou
Frank Walker
Fabian Washington
Kelley Washington
Lardarius Webb
Demetrius Williams
Marshal Yanda
Tom Zbikowski

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Live From My Couch: Cuts, College Football & Cup Qualifying

Posted on 05 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

This is going to be a bit of a social experiment today. After a long night last night in Timonium at the State Fair, I woke up this morning suffering from a a bit of a case of what I would call “Dragginass.” SO, I have decided to settle down for the day. I will be monitoring cuts from all NFL teams-waiting for word from the Baltimore Ravens-which must come by 6pm tonight. I will ALSO be watching a LOT of college football (including Navy-Ohio State, Towson-Northwestern, Alabama-Virginia Tech and Maryland-Cal); as well as US Open Tennis, and the World Cup qualifier tonight between Team USA and El Salvador. It’s Labor Day weekend, I know. The weather is nice outside, I know. But today is going to be spent on my couch. And I’m going to share my thoughts with you as I go.

8:01-I’m gonna sign off this pretty soon to make way for Luke Jones’ Maryland/Cal live blog. I’m going to flip over to ESPN Classic for the World Cup qualifier and continue to watch Roddick and Isner (now in the 4th) on USOpen.org. I’ll check in on Luke Jones’ blog as I get the chance.

7:05-The Chiefs have cut WR Ashley Lelie. Drew used to think he’d be a good fit with the Ravens. He does share an agent with Derrick Mason.

7:01-The music that is serving as the soundtrack for college football coverage on ESPN/ESPN2/ABC/ESPNU/ESPN Classic/ESPN360/ESPN Deportes/ESPN.com/ESPN8 “The Ocho” is a theme song from Kenny Chesney and then multiple songs from Dave Matthews Band. Not too bad.

6:53-Ralph Friedgen knows the test Dabo Swinney is facing right now. Clemson leads Middle Tennessee State just 10-7 in the 2nd quarter today. The Terps get their chance for revenge against MTSU in 2 weeks in College Park.

6:52-I found this neat video of a smart, funny, good-looking sports talk analyst chatting with Maryland safety Antwine Perez. I think it’s worth looking at…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmwOHx-0sFo[/youtube]

6:50-Isner has taken the first TWO sets against Andy Roddick. This is starting to be a bit of a disaster. I’m not in panic mode yet, but if he gets a break I’ll be officially freaking out.

6:41-John Isner is up a break in the 2nd set; now leading 5-2. Andy is in trouble.

Baylor wins their first road game since 2007, hanging on to beat WFU 24-21. Bad loss for everyone in the ACC.

6:27-Of course, Andrew Parker catches a TD, and the Deacs are still alive, now trailing by 3 with under 4 minutes left.

Also, the Eagles have held on to all 7 receivers, meaning no one from the group of Brandon Gibson, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett or Reggie Brown would be available for the Ravens unless Ozzie Newsome were willing to swing a deal with John Harbaugh’s former team.

6:16-Andy Roddick ends the first set with an EMBARRASSING whiff on Isner’s serve. Isner goes up a set, which isn’t good news for American tennis fans. Love John Isner and all, but he has no chance of winning the tournament. At least A-Rod has a chance.

Melvin Mora is having a nice day as the O’s are up 5-4 in the 7th. Brian Matusz is in line for a win, which would REALLY help this team in trying to avoid losing 100 games, as Josh Lewin and Mark Grace note.

I guess I cursed the Deacs when talking about them rallying. A Riley Skinner INT later, and they’re in serious trouble with 5:02 to play.

6:14-Former Terps OL Andrew Crummey was cut by the Bengals today. As Bob Haynie mentioned earlier today, he joins former Terps C Melvin Fowler (Cardinals) amongst Terps looking for new NFL homes.

6:11-The video quality on USOpen.org is OUTSTANDING. Isner and Roddick in a 1st set tiebreak. Don’t know who is calling the match, but they’re underwhelming.

Couple of notes: Wake has fought back against Baylor; they trail 24-14 with 9:32 to play, but they’re driving. They need to keep the pace moving. This would be a bad loss for the conference.

Illinois is getting hammered by Missouri; and I don’t mind. I think Ron Zook relied on Mike Locksley’s recruiting early, but will be exposed moving forward. Locksley deserves a big time job in a BCS conference.

5:53-Apparently I can watch the matches from Arthur Ashe Stadium on USOpen.org. Thank God. Bad news for American tennis fans; as Sam Querrey joins Jesse Witten amongst American men going home today. Querrey was probably the next best hope for an American to survive to Week 2 beyond Andy Roddick. James Blake will have a tough test tonight with Robredo, and there’s almost no chance Taylor Dent beats Andy Murray.

5:49-US Open coverage switches to Tennis Channel at 6pm? Boo. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that Oudin ousted Sharapova earlier in 3 sets. Nice to have an American playing well besides Venus & Serena Williams.

5:40-Isner-Roddick on now. Everything is okay. I was kinda freaking out there for a minute!

Wake Forest trails Baylor 24-7 in the 2nd half in Winston-Salem. This is not good news for ANYONE in the ACC.

5:37-Why is Fernando Verdasco-Tommy Haas the match that I am seeing right now on CBS? Isn’t Sam Querrey playing Robin Soderling right now?

5:25-Bad afternoon for local college football teams. Johns Hopkins opened their season with a 23-7 loss to Delaware Valley.

5:09-Sorry for the time away from the blog. Check HERE for analysis on the Ravens’ roster.

4:46-Mike Duffy (of BaltimoreRavens.com fame) says Ravens’ roster will be released at 5pm. We will post it for you ASAP at WNST.net and I will text out the important notes.

4:42-RAVENS: Add Will Johnson and Evan Oglesby to the list of cuts. Neither are surprises.

Meanwhile, Melvin Mora has just homered to pull the Orioles within 3-2 of the Rangers. The Orioles are wearing the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants, an old Negro League team. They actually look pretty sharp.

4:04-Derrick has confirmed to WNST that he was traded to the Packers. We do not know anything yet about what the Ravens received, but AW reports it is likely a conditional pick in 2010.

3:58-I am working on the Derrick Martin to the Packers story. Derrick couldn’t comment on it yet when I asked him, but we will assume it is true. Aaron Wilson has confirmed it, so we’ll go with it. This is a place where the Ravens had depth, as Martin would have been 6th corner or 5th safety.

3:34-The afternoon slows down for me at least College Football-wise at this point. Nevada-Notre Dame is on NBC, Melanie Oudin and Maria Sharapova are headed to a 3rd set on CBS (James Blake-Tommy Robredo amongst later action), Orioles-Rangers on FOX (I declined Nestor Aparicio’s invitation to join him at Camden Yards), Baylor-Wake Forest on ABC (was there no Raycom game this week?), San Jose State-USC on Fox Sports Net (locally on CSN), Missouri-Illinois on ESPN, Georgia-Oklahoma State on ESPN2 (after Minnesota-Syracuse finishes), and if you’re into Golf (why the hell would you be?) there’s the 2nd round of the Deutsche Bank Championship on Golf Channel. Apparently that’s part of the FedEx Cup playoffs, which doesn’t make me any more interested. Northeastern-Boston College and Western Michigan-Michigan are on ESPN360 as well.

3:23-One of my favorite things about college football is watching former college football players freak out thinking about their alma maters. I mentioned Tommy Knight earlier, as he probably JUST started breathing again after Iowa blocked the NIU FG attempt to win; and the Hawkeyes escaped 17-16. Now, my pal Qadry Ismail on Facebook says he’s ‘uneasy’ watching Syracuse down the stretch against Minnesota. Fabian Washington Tweeted today that he’s in Lincoln for Nebraska-Florida Atlantic tonight, and Derrick Martin told me he’s just gearing up for Wyoming’s showdown with Texas next week.

3:03-I forgot to mention that Northwestern finished off Towson 47-14 earlier. Rob Ambrose will have two weeks to prepare for Coastal Carolina at Unitas Stadium and will have to convince his team that this one didn’t matter.

RAVENS: Hearing from a few sources (including AW) that David Hale will make the Ravens roster. I actually didn’t even have him on the bubble.

3:00-This one is over. Ohio State will win 31-27. Navy made a statement today, but that statement will not be fulfilling at ALL after getting so close. Great group of young men playing ball in Annapolis.

2:57-What a disaster for Navy. After getting the TD run from Ricky Dobbs; he was intercepted and returned for two points the other way. Ohio State takes over up 31-27 with 2:23 to play. The Buckeyes get the ball in GREAT field position after a failed onside kick. Just one timeout for Navy to try to get the ball back needing a TD to win.

2:42-Dobbs to Marcus Curry for a LONG TD, RIGHT AFTER Ohio State went for it on 4th and 2 instead of trying a Field Goal that would have given them a 3 possession lead. If Navy comes back, Jim Tressel will have to answer questions about that decision. It’s 29-21; a one possession game now with 6:15 to play.

2:41-Novak Djokovic finished off Jesse Witten in the 4th set, 6-4. Witten’s serving doomed him all day. Andy Roddick-John Isner still to come at Arthur Ashe Stadium today.

2:38-RAVENS: Aaron Wilson confirms what I thought would happen all week. WR Justin Harper has been cut by the Ravens. This certainly leads to the opinion that the team is probably looking for WR help this weekend.

2:35-If it wasn’t over before, it is now. Kurt Coleman picks Ricky Dobbs and Ohio State takes over leading by 15 with under 10 minutes to play.

2:35-Scott Concannon adds another rushing TD, and Northwestern extends their lead over Towson to 47-14. Brutal day for the Tigers; but (I can’t believe I’m saying this) it could have been worse.

2:29-And just like that, the dream may be over for the Mids. Dan Herron plunged in for a TD, extending Ohio State’s lead to 29-14. Aaron Pettrey inexplicably missed the extra point.

2:28-That will probably be a CRUSHING turnover for Navy. Mario Washington made the catch, but Kurt Coleman stripped the ball, and Dexter Larimore recovered for the Buckeyes. 2 plays later, Ohio State is now inside the 10 yard line looking to extend this to a 16 point lead.

2:24-The Steelers have cut CB Anthony Madison. No Ravens ties there, expect for the fact that I hate the Steelers.

2:22-Can the Ravens add Aaron Pettrey to kick? He just booted a 52 yard FG to put Ohio State ahead by 9 at 23-14. And it would have been good from WELL past 52. What a kick. Navy has to respond here in the 4th quarter.

2:18-Northwestern has extended their lead over Towson to 40-14. Wildcats are well on their way. Meanwhile, my good buddy and former Ravens CB Tommy Knight is FREAKING OUT, as his Iowa Hawkeyes (the number 22 team in the country) are trailing Northern Iowa 13-10 in the 2nd half. Former Ravens assistant Kirk Ferentz needs to get things turned around there quickly to avoid the loss to Kurt Warner’s alma mater.

2:16-RAVENS: WNST confirms Yamon Figurs has been cut. Also not a surprise. The writing was on the wall for him when Carr and Webb were named the returners.

2:13-16 yard TD grab for Marcus Curry and it’s a 1 possession game in Columbus. What a MASTERFUL 99 YARD DRIVE by Ricky Dobbs. 20-14 Ohio State now as the 3rd quarter is winding down. HUGE drive for the Mids.

2:09-RAVENS: Now hearing that Kelly Talavou has made the team. He was the safest of my “bubble” guys. Graham Gano has been cut. That basically had to happen after Steve Hauschka won the job. Gano is in positive spirits today, this much I know.

Ricky Dobbs has Navy driving again on their first possession of the 2nd half. Peter Athens found David Newsom for a TD, Towson trails Northwestern 37-14 now.

2:04-RAVENS:Not all players are aware of their fate yet. One player told me he is on a “2 hour countdown” to hear the news. AW also added that Robby Felix has been cut. That’s not a surprise either.

Roger Federer DID eliminate Lleyton Hewitt by the way. Maria Sharapova vs. Melanie Oudin next.

1:56-RAVENS: Here are two names that we might be a bit surprising. Aaron Wilson now says Edgar Jones and Dannell Ellerbe have MADE the Ravens’ 53 man roster. This would be POTENTIALLY bad news for guys like Davon Drew, Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess, and Antwan Barnes.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic beat Jesse Witten in a 3rd set tiebreak. This one appears to be over as well. Today was SETTING UP to be special, but has turned a bit.

1:50-I’ll go ahead and give this a confirmation; even though we all knew it was coming. Steve Hauschka HAS made the team.

1:41-Maybe my speculation about David Tyree earlier wasn’t so unfounded. Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times says via Twitter that the Ravens have “serious interest” in the former New York Giant. This isn’t insane, considering the Ravens need to replace Marcus Smith, who was expected to be more of a special teams

1:38-Just stepped away for a few minutes to talk to some of the guys on the Ravens bubble via text. No news to pass along there; but I will say that the collective attitude seems to have remained positive.

Jesse Witten has broken Novak Djokovic in the 3rd and has a chance to serve for a 2 sets to one lead. Federer was serving for the match against Hewitt, but Hewitt broke him. Federer still leads by a break in the 4th, and will look to finish off Lleyton Hewitt.

1:27-It is halftime at Ryan Field, and Northwestern has extended their lead back to 30 thanks to a 21 yard TD run by Scott Concannon.

It’s halftime at The Horseshoe as well, and Ohio State extended their lead to 20-7 with a 25 yard field goal by Aaron Pettrey.

1:22-WNST has confirmed 2 cuts from the Baltimore Ravens, and they’re the two that were my final TWO in on my mock roster. FB Jason Cook and WR Jayson Foster have been cut.

1:17-Roger Federer picked up a break to open the 4th set. I’ll say this one ends at 6-2 in the 4th.

DJ Shockley’s play against the Ravens Thursday night will likely be his last in a Atlanta Falcons uniform, as he has been cut by the team. The Falcons will go with Matt Ryan, former Raven Chris Redman, and John Parker Wilson under center.

1:15-Jesse Witten dropped the 2nd set to Novak Djokovic. Witten has struggled with his serve against the former Australian Open champion.

Drew Forrester just sent me his final score pick for Towson-Northwestern. It isn’t favorable for the Tigers.

1:11-Tremayne Dameron scores the first points of the Rob Ambrose era; a 1 yard TD to cut Northwestern’s lead to 30-7.

Joe Bauserman is in the game for Ohio State, the Buckeyes usually play their backup QB in the first half of their first game to get him some work.

Roger Federer wins the 3rd set 7-5. He’ll finish off Hewitt in 4 for sure.

1:06-Don’t look now, but Peter Athens has driven Towson into Northwestern territory. Also, Navy was forced to punt again.

Roger Federer just came up with a break of Lleyton Hewitt’s serve; so he’ll have a chance to serve for the 3rd set now ahead 6-5.

1:03-Facebook comment of the day comes from former Maryland Terrapin Tahj Holden:

“Paulus throws his first collegiate TD and afterwards he go hugs the ref. How appropriate.”

12:59-Greg Paulus has thrown for his first career TD already, but the former Duke point guard is trailing 14-10 in his first game as Syracuse QB.

Bad news elsewhere. Terrelle Pryor rushes for a TD, and Ohio State now leads Navy 17-7 in the 2nd quarter. In Chicago, a safety has extended Northwestern’s lead to 30-0 over Towson. A correction, as the passing TD earlier was NOT thrown by Mike Kafka, but instead Dan Persa.

12:55-Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets kick off at 1pm today against Jacksonville State; that game is on ESPN360 as well if for some unknown reason you’d want to watch.

Terrelle Pryor with some very athletic plays as the Buckeyes are driving again. Cris Carter’s kid had a really nice catch on the drive; and the Bucks are now inside the 10 yard line.

12:50-Mike Kafka has just found Andrew Brewer for a 72 yard TD in the 2nd quarter, and Northwestern leads Towson 28-0. Just brutal. Josh Hall is producing today’s game in the studios of AM1570 WNST on Hart Rd., and he just checked in via text to tell me that calling Towson “terrible” might not quite fit the bill. It’s not going to be an easy turnaround for Rob Ambrose replacing Gordy Combs.

A Ricky Dobbs fumble gives Ohio State good field position with a 10-7 lead in the 2nd quarter in Columbus.

12:45-Navy lined up to go for it on 4th and 2 from their own territory early in the 2nd quarter; but called timeout when they couldn’t draw the Buckeyes offsides. Bob Davie thought going for it would have been a terrible idea for Navy, but trailing 10-7 with Buddy Green’s defense likely to continue to struggle; I might have agreed with the Mids trying to continue a drive.

Did Perry Hall REALLY lose 33-7 at Joppatowne last night? Christ, I’m never picking any more PH games again. Come on, Gators!

12:39-Nightmarish start to the Rob Ambrose era in Chicago; as Arby Fields has gone in AGAIN-this time from 22 yards-to extend Northwestern’s 1st quarter lead to 21-0.

Also, as a note. I credited Mike Florio for the work over at PFT today earlier; but it looks like it’s a staff effort over there. Gregg Rosenthal is also chiming in. He says there is a question mark as to whether or not former Maryland RB LaMont Jordan will make the roster with the Broncos. Denver will not keep RB Darius Walker.

12:34-If you have DirecTV, Dish Network, or whatever other satellite service carries Big Ten Network, there are actually four other live games on right now. Penn State leads Akron 14-0, Iowa and Northern Iowa are tied at 3, Purdue leads Toledo 14-0, and Michigan State leads Montana State 7-0. If you’re from the midwest (or you’re a Nittany Lion alum living in Baltimore), I will admit that BTN kicks ass.

Aaron Pettrey has connected from 23 yards to give Ohio State a 10-7 lead over Navy late in the first quarter.

12:32-OSU is driving again up at The Horseshoe, Buddy Green’s defense could be in for a long day.

Another note from TU-N’western; apparently both Tiger QB’s have played early on; with neither of them having any success. Tommy Chroniger came in late in the first quarter.

12:26-I don’t see the Ravens being interested in him, but the Rams have cut WR Ronald Curry. Curry has had minimal success during his career with the Raiders and Lions; but has had flashes since his North Carolina days ended. I think it’s a lock he would already be better than Justin Harper or Jayson Foster though.
The Browns have cut former Ravens CB Corey Ivy. Given the team’s depth in the secondary, I would say a return to Baltimore would be “unlikely” at best. (I really mean “not happening.”)

More bad news from Ryan Field, as Northwestern has extended their lead to 14-0 over Towson thanks to a TD run by Arby Fields.

12:24-Lleyton Hewitt had a break point to get back in the 2nd set; but he sent a shot JUST long, and Federer took the set 6-3. Doubt he’ll lose another set today.

A reminder that I will be shutting this blog down before tonight’s Maryland-Cal game. Our new Terps reporter Luke Jones will host a live blog during Terps-Bears.

12:21-Really impressive drive from Dobbs, who finished it off with a 16 yard TD run. Joe Buckley is Navy’s kicker (apparently beating Jon Teague), and he connected on the extra point to make things 7-7. 80 yards methodically for the Mids on that drive.

12:16-Peter Athens is under center for the Tigers today, answering the question Rob Ambrose couldn’t answer on The Comcast Morning Show Wednesday morning. It might not matter, as Jacob Schmidt plunged in for a 2 yard TD to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead early. Ricky Dobbs has put together 3 first downs to get Navy driving at Ohio Stadium.

12:11-Anything surprising here? Federer is up 4-1 in the 2nd set on Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt.

The Buckeyes drew first blood in Columbus, with Terrelle Pryor connecting with Dane Sanzenbacher for a 38 yard TD. 7-0 Bucks. Ken Niumatalolo’s offense came out throwing to start their first possession, and QB Ricky Dobbs will certainly be a better throwing option than any of their recent QB’s.

12:09-Back to cut day. Our friends to the south (The Washington Redskins-who are ABSOLUTELY AWFUL) have had a QB controversy on their hands this preseason, with a debate between popular 2nd year QB Colt Brennan (Hawaii) and popular rookie UFA Chase Daniel (Missouri). Turns out neither will be on the team. Brennan will head to IR, Daniel will be let go. Your team stinks. Enjoy Jason Campbell. Thanks PFT.

12:05-An update to the games you can watch. West Virginia-Liberty is available on ESPN360, which if you have Comcast (and you should!), you can enjoy on your computer.

Arizona Cardinals Play by Play voice Dave Pasch on the call for Ohio State-Navy. He’s very good at everything he does. The Buckeyes used a reverse to get into Mids territory on the opening kickoff. Ohio State is going to be more talented than the Midshipmen. The boys from Annapolis must be smarter and CANNOT miss assignments.

Jesse Witten did NOT serve out the set, but has a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak. Let’s put the first set into Witten’s column with a 7-2 tiebreak. AWESOME stuff.

11:58-Couple other games you can watch early today:

Appalachian State @ East Carolina (MASN)
Minnesota @ Syracuse-the debut of Greg Paulus for the Orange (ESPN2)
Western Kentucky @ Tennessee-Lane Kiffin’s debut for the Vols (Comcast SportsNet)

Lee Corso picked the Crimson Tide to top the Hokies tonight for the record. So did Braves 3B Chipper Jones.

11:52-Two teams in action locally early on today; here’s how you can enjoy the games. Navy-Ohio State will be on ESPN, so that’s easy. Towson-Northwestern will be on the Big Ten Network (which is AWESOME if you have satellite, but not so great if you have basic Comcast like me). My friend Matt Rosen (the son of the GREAT Sam Rosen) is on the call. Therefore, do what I’m doing. Go right up to the top of WNST.net and enjoy the call from Chicago with Spiro Morekas and Tom Judd. I have no ties to the school; but Go Tigers!

Notes from tennis: Lleyton Hewitt took the first set from Federer 6-4. And Jesse Witten (a qualifier from Kentucky) is tied at 5 games apiece in the first set with Novak Djokovic. While still unlikely, the day appears to be special early in New York. Witten just broke Djokovic, he’ll have a chance to serve for the first set.

11:42-I not only WANT to hate Roger Federer, I absolutely find myself rooting against him. He’s great, there’s no doubt about that. But he’s not a compelling figure like many great tennis players were. He’s somewhat boring to watch because he’s just so calculating. He’s tied at 4 apiece in the first set with Lleyton Hewitt today (match on CBS), and I will be pulling for Hewitt to oust him and end his reign at Flushing Meadows.

Yesterday at the Open, Taylor Dent advanced to the 3rd round in a 5 set thriller. I root for all of the American players, but Dent’s injury history has kept him out of action for a few years in New York, and I will be particularly pulling for him in the 3rd round against Andy Murray.

Hewitt has just broken Fed. He’s up 5-4 and has a chance to serve for the first set. I already know how this match will end, but it’s exciting to think someone could top Fed.

11:27-I’m totally the type of guy who would LOVE to hate Tim Tebow. But Jesus that guy is great. We all remember his words after Florida lost to Ole Miss last year…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sGv2Zw-WQw[/youtube]

But Gameday just showed his speech at halftime of the BCS National Championship Game, and it was as good if not better. It isn’t available yet on YouTube, but it is GOOD.

Tim Tebow-as much as I want to not like him-is why I love college football.

11:16-Checking in with our pal Mike Florio from NBC Sports/ProFootballTalk.com (who will join Drew Forrester at 8:30am every Friday during football season), a few notes from cuts to pass around early.

-The Titans have cut Baltimore native Jason Murphy (Edmondson), an offensive lineman. Murphy is still very active in the Baltimore community (and lives here), but I don’t know if he would be a good addition to the Ravens team. Murphy has struggled to get on the field during his NFL career, but maybe playing at home could help him focus. I have David Hale currently as the last interior lineman on the Ravens’ roster, but couldn’t guarantee that Murphy would be better than Hale.
-The Giants have cut former Super Bowl hero David Tyree. Tyree has not played during the preseason, and probably has more hope of being a special teams player than a contributor at WR this year. But the Ravens do love a good special teams player. There’s no reason to speculate the Ravens being interested in Tyree, but any team could use a player that can do this…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

11:12-Thus far I’ve spent my morning watching “College Gameday” on ESPN, and was reminded of why I love College Football. The piece they did on Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford that was QUITE good. This really is the absolute best thing ESPN does. What a thorough program, entertaining, involving, informative. They don’t do everything right at the Worldwide Leader anymore, but they certainly still do this the right way.

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Live From Owings Mills: Willie Anderson Sets Baltimore A-Twitter

Posted on 04 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

1:45-A Ravens executive has told me that he is not aware of any conversations the team has had with Willie Anderson regarding a possible comeback. He did remind me that Willie is a “very good player”, but might not be in current playing shape.

1:40-A reminder to sign up for the WNST Text Service! We will get you the cut/roster info tomorrow as SOON as it is available. I will also be available throughout the day at WNST.net for instant analysis. It takes a lot to interrupt a day of college football viewing for me, and I will absolutely NOT be available after 10pm when Maryland/Cal kicks off. But with the deadline coming at 6pm, I should have plenty of time.

1:30-As I mentioned with Drew this morning and later with Bob; if I were to make any changes to the 53 man mock roster I put together Wednesday; I would probably replace Matt Lawrence with WR Jayson Foster. I think Jayson offers special teams help and can play as a 5th receiver if need be. This is all contingent on the team not adding a WR who may be cut.

1:15-A lot is being made of the comments made by Willie Anderson via Twitter last night. I’m not sure how much to make of them, but I can tell you that I have reached out to Willie via personal email and via Twitter message to try to get some clarification. Willie is on Twitter using the name WillAnderson79, and made these comments last night:

“Just had to inform Raven’s coaching staff and manangement that for now I’m staying retired.
They’ve been in talks with me since May about coming back. I wanted to come back too!”
Not saying that down the line if they need I won’t come back. I know I can play for 3 more years so who knows what may happen down the line”
Plus I feel God has something great planned for me after Football. I wanna help try and save these kids out here in the world”
But Who knows! We all say that till week 6 we feel like we wanna go back. I’m gon get a chance to celebrate my son’s bday for 1st time”
He was born in Sept. I’m never home! I finally got a chance to seee him attend 1st day of school. I’ve spent so much time this August wi”
I’ve been playing football in August since 1986. 11 years old playing for The Trinity Gardens little league midgets team
Then I went to JR High, High School 3 years of College, 13 years of Pro Football. 200 games to be exact!
Like I said who knows how I feel next week! I’m just trusting in God what I always believed that his plan will continue success for me!”
That’s 200 games in the Pros for those of you keeping score or count. Lol”

So much to take from all of that, which is why I’m hoping for a response from Willie today. This all appears to have come about from Willie hearing that Andre Smith was hurt, and Tweeting earlier in the week that he couldn’t return to the Bengals because the Ravens hold his rights. John Harbaugh mentioned earlier this year that Willie had an emotional conversation with Ozzie Newsome regarding what it meant to be a retired football player. I’m not sure how that conversation would have lead to the Ravens asking Willie to come back to the team; but they CERTAINLY need help at the Offensive Tackle position.

Behind rookie Michael Oher and Jared Gaither, the team has Oniel Cousins (battling an ankle injury) and a group of players who likely won’t make the team (Stefan Rodgers, Tre Stallings, Joe Reitz). They will almost HAVE to scan the cut lists this week to see if anyone might become available. Willie Anderson would be a logical choice as they maintain his rights.

On the Willie Anderson side of the picture, he has every right to not want to race back and play football. However, the Ravens may not want Willie Anderson as much as they just want a veteran tackle. Should they choose to add another player; there is no guarantee they’ll still have interest in Willie if and when he feels like he’s ready to return.

1:06-Very awkward vibe coming from the Ravens locker room today. This morning’s practice was in shorts; but ran a half hour longer than scheduled. Following the practice, the mood in the locker room appeared to be a bit more awkward, as many players were unaware of their own personal futures, and others were unaware of what the future had in store for their friends and teammates. The team is not scheduled to gather again until after tomorrow’s cut, and there will be 22 fewer men on the roster when they gather.

I posted some sound in the Audio Vault at WNST.net from Lardarius Webb, Yamon Figurs, and Ray Rice. I also spent a few moments talking privately with some of the guys whose future is up in the air (Jason Cook, Matt Lawrence, Steve Hauschka, Prescott Burgess, etc.); and some of the guys intimated that they were playing the waiting game. They will learn their fate via phone call tomorrow; as they are not scheduled to be here in Owings Mills.

11:09-The Ravens have gathered this morning for some minimal on-field work. I’m not sure what the nature of the work is (may be nothing more than keeping guys crisp as they won’t go again until Wednesday), but it is obviously rare to do anything onfield the day after a game.

The bigger story today will be watching the attitudes of the players who are awaiting word on their professional future tomorrow. Last night’s win over the Falcons provided minimal clarity (if none at all), and a lot of guys are sweating out the next 18 hours or so as they await word.

One of the things we haven’t talked much about is the idea that some players could be hidden on IR this season. UFA LB Dannell Ellerbe and LB Jason Phillips jump out at me on that list. Ellerbe has battled a knee injury throughout the last weeks, and Phillips came into Training Camp off a knee injury at the NFL Draft Combine. Both are guys this organization likes, but both would be question marks on the 53 man roster.

I mentioned this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” with Drew Forrester that the one change I would make to my projected 53 man roster from Wednesday would be to take Matt Lawrence OFF the roster and replace him with Jayson Foster. I don’t know that Foster is ABSOLUTELY one of the 53 best football players on this team; but I do think the Ravens could line him up as a WR in an emergency situation and certainly use him on Special Teams.

All of this can change in an instant based on what players become available elsewhere in the NFL. I have warned before that the Ravens feel as though they have MORE than 53 good players (and John Harbaugh reiterated the sentiment post-game in Atlanta last night), but there are areas they will likely be willing to consider additions. A veteran receiver would be a possibilty, as would someone who could provide depth at OT. BUT, Ozzie Newsome is not thinking he HAS to add players like that. If the Eagles cut a Reggie Brown or Hank Baskett, that would be a natural fit. If a player like Willie Anderson (who the Ravens added last season) were available, that would ALSO be a natural fit. But they will NOT just go out and sign a receiver or Tackle for no reason.

The deadline to have the roster down to 53 is 6pm Saturday. I expect we will approach 6pm before we get the list.

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

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

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

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

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

Nestor Aparicio says Orioles ‘irrelevant’

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

ORIOLES:

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

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of sweep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The AP says Reimold homered for Birds in loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAVENS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CBS Sports says Terps 57th best team in country

CBS Sports picks Terps to play in EagleBank Bowl

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

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

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

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

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

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

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

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

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse says former Terp Feifs joined staff at North Carolina

NAVY FOOTBALL:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAVY LACROSSE:

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

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

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

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

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Jays open season Saturday at Delaware Valley

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

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

HORSE RACING:

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

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

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

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

COLLEGE LACROSSE:

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

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

NBA:

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

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

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

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Mock Like a Raven: My 53 Man Roster Projections

Posted on 02 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

The Ravens don’t have to trim their roster down to 53 players until Saturday; but with no availability today in Owings Mills (there is a walk through prior to the trip to Atlanta for Thursday night’s game against the Falcons), I thought this would be a good time to play fantasy GM and project who will be on the good of the 53 come Saturday.

A reminder that there are currently 75 players counting against the Ravens’ roster. Samari Rolle is on the PUP list and will miss the first 6 weeks of the season.

Let me start by breaking down (position by position) the players on this roster who are ABSOLUTELY safe:

QB (3)
Joe Flacco
Troy Smith
John Beck

RB/FB (4)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele

WR (4)
Derrick Mason
Kelley Washington
Mark Clayton
Demetrius Williams

TE (2)
Todd Heap
LJ Smith

OL (8)
Michael Oher
Matt Birk
Marshal Yanda
Jared Gaither
Ben Grubbs
Chris Chester
Oniel Cousins
David Hale

Secondary (9)
Ed Reed
Lardarius Webb
Domonique Foxworth
Dawan Landry
Tom Zbikowski
Chris Carr
Fabian Washington
Frank Walker
Haruki Nakamura

LB (7)
Paul Kruger
Jarrett Johnson
Tavares Gooden
Terrell Suggs
Jameel McClain
Ray Lewis
Brendon Ayanbadejo

DL (5)
Trevor Pryce
Haloti Ngata
Dwan Edwards
Justin Bannan
Kelly Gregg

Specialists (2)
Sam Koch
Matt Katula

Therefore there are 44 positions on this team ABSOLUTELY filled. That would leave 9 jobs available to the other 31 men on the roster. Let me eliminate some of those guys who will NOT be making this team.

WR Eron Riley, WR Ernie Wheelwright, TE Isaac Smolko, OL Robby Felix, OL Bryan Mattison, OT Stefan Rodgers, LB Tony Fein, LB William VanDeSteeg, DT Nader Abdallah, DL Will Johnson

Some of these men will find their way back to the practice squad. It is hard to eliminate any potential help at positions like WR, OT, or TE; but none of these guys have really done enough to ensure bubble status.

Subtracting those 10 men, I am left with 9 jobs available for 21 players.

However, one of those available jobs is kicker. Steve Hauschka has all but locked up the job, but he’s not a definite to beat Graham Gano. There is an outside chance Matt Stover could still take the job, which would likely mean the team would keep Gano as a kickoff specialist. We will work under the assumption that Hauschka wins the kicking job.

I now have 8 jobs available for 19 players. Here are the players:

RB/FB-Matt Lawrence, Cedric Peerman, Jason Cook
WR-Justin Harper, Yamon Figurs, Jayson Foster
TE-Edgar Jones, Davon Drew
OL-Joe Reitz, Tre Stallings
CB/S-Evan Oglesby, Derrick Martin, K.J. Gerard
LB-Dannell Ellerbe, Antwan Barnes, Prescott Burgess, Jason Phillips
DL-Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou

Now I have to try to be like Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta, and John Harbaugh. This is difficult because all of those men are MUCH smarter than I am. But I am going to rank those players from 1-19 regardless of position. The top 8 will be the guys who get the final jobs on my “mock” team. I’ve separated them into a first group of 4 that I am VERY confident will be on the team, and a 2nd group of 4 that I am NOT as confident about.

1-DT Kelly Talavou (Has anyone come on stronger in the last two weeks? His play against the Jets and Panthers almost made me declare him a “lock” on this team.)
2-S/CB Derrick Martin (Five safeties might seem like a bit much, but what Martin offers is an additional veteran cornerback, which is especially valuable with Samari Rolle out.)
3-DT Brandon McKinney (Much like Talavou, the Ravens LOVE McKinney’s size; and in a 4-3 base defense under Greg Mattison, it certainly won’t hurt to carry an extra D-Lineman.)
4-LB Antwan Barnes (Should actually be feeling pretty safe. A lot of people may have never thought Antwan was on the bubble, but I think he came in needing to prove something this year.)
—————
5-RB Matt Lawrence (Matt has been really impressive. I don’t know how this team can use a 4th running back; but I just can’t see them letting him go.)
6-LB Jason Phillips (Hasn’t played badly in the preseason, but hasn’t overwhelmed. The team has to take into consideration the fact that Jason is coming off a knee injury in the spring; and is a good tackler.)
7- FB Jason Cook (Is actually my “last man in.” I don’t know that the Ravens feel the need to keep a 2nd FB, but if they do-it will be Jason. If the Ravens are to pursue an additional WR this weekend, I believe they would take Jason’s spot.)
8-TE Davon Drew (I’m not sure Davon is better than Edgar Jones, or more deserving of a roster spot. I’m also not sure the Ravens would even keep an additional TE if not for LJ Smith’s hamstring. A gut feeling here.)
——–
9-LB Dannell Ellerbe (When I asked Coach Harbs about Ellerbe the other day, he told me “you can’t make the club in the tub.” That’s not good news for a guy who seemed like he was on his way to making the team before missing the better part of the last few weeks.)
10-WR Jayson Foster (Could be a wild card in this entire process. He’s too small to play WR, but he DOES have something to offer on Special Teams. But Special Teams players can’t be liabilities elsewhere on the field. I just don’t know how Cam Cameron could use him.)
11-RB Cedric Peerman (I get the feeling the Ravens are very disappointed in the progress of the rookie out of Virginia. Peerman might make a lot of teams, but he’s just not quite as good as the 4 guys ahead of him on the depth chart.)
12-TE Edgar Jones (“Versatility” isn’t quite as valuable as “good.” Edgar can play multiple positions, but has never shown himself to be able to play any of them particularly well.)
13-WR Justin Harper (His flashes of brilliance don’t make up for a lack of consistency. The Ravens MIGHT choose to go with him just because they need a taller target, but I don’t think he’s quite good enough.)
14-LB Prescott Burgess (Just lost in the shuffle from what I can see. This could again be a position where the team decides they would rather have an additional veteran; but I don’t think he’s earned a spot on the team this year.)
15-WR Yamon Figurs (All speed. That’s just not enough. Being knocked out of the KR competition doomed Yamon.)
16-CB KJ Gerard (The organization seemed to be really enthused about the UFA out of Northern Arizona during minicamps, but I haven’t heard the same praise over the summer.)
17-CB Evan Oglesby (I just don’t think he fits in anymore. They upgraded the position, and Evan doesn’t fit with those guys.)
18-OT Tre Stallings (It’s hard to turn down an additional Tackle, but Stallings just doesn’t seem to be quite good enough.)
19-OT Joe Reitz (Ditto from Stallings.)

Therefore, my FINAL roster is……

QB (3)
Joe Flacco
Troy Smith
John Beck

RB/FB (6)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele
Matt Lawrence
Jason Cook

WR (4)
Derrick Mason
Kelley Washington
Mark Clayton
Demetrius Williams

TE (3)
Todd Heap
LJ Smith
Davon Drew

OL (8)
Matt Birk
Michael Oher
Jared Gaither
Ben Grubbs
Marshal Yanda
Chris Chester
Oniel Cousins
David Hale

CB/S (10)
Ed Reed
Domonique Foxworth
Fabian Washington
Dawan Landry
Chris Carr
Frank Walker
Haruki Nakamura
Tom Zbikowski
Lardarius Webb
Derrick Martin

LB (9)
Ray Lewis
Terrell Suggs
Tavares Gooden
Jarrett Johnson
Paul Kruger
Jameel McClain
Brendon Ayanbadejo
Antwan Barnes
Jason Phillips

DL (7)
Haloti Ngata
Kelly Gregg
Trevor Pryce
Justin Bannan
Dwan Edwards
Kelly Talavou
Brandon McKinney

ST (3)
Sam Koch
Matt Katula
Steve Hauschka

WHERE I MAY BE WRONG: 8 Offensive Lineman is a bit troubling. Tre Stallings could get a significant bump if this organization just doesn’t feel comfortable without an additional backup Tackle.)

Let me know what you think. I’m working this based on my own personal observations and a SMALL amount of feedback I’ve heard from members of the organization prior to Training Camp, out in Westminster, and these last 2 weeks at 1 Winning Drive.

-G

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Flacco, Starters Very Good Again as Ravens Beat Panthers 17-13

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

I have to stop and remind myself that this is just another preseason game.

Otherwise, I might get carried away and say something like “The Ravens look like a Super Bowl contender.”

Of course, they might be. But let’s not use fake football games to judge that.

Saturday night’s 23-20 win was a breakout game of sorts for Joe Flacco in the preseason; as he made precise throws and moved the ball around to multiple receivers. His long throws to Kelley Washington gave hope to the idea that the Ravens may have established a wide receiver opposite Derrick Mason.

Ray Rice showed exactly why the Ravens want the ball in his hands; tallying 99 all purpose yards. Willis McGahee showed his abilities as a change of pace back; finishing off the Ravens’ 2nd TD drive.

Are there areas where the Ravens can improve? Yes. Joe Flacco struggled in the 2 minute drill before the half, and the team was penalized 7 times for 45 yards. Also, the 2nd string offense failed to produce any points, and the 2nd string defense gave up 10 points.

But they were really impressive……again.

The type of impressive that makes you get some crazy ideas.

-G

Ravens Final Stats:

Flacco 23/28 247 yards 1TD
T. Smith 7/10 57 yards, 1INT
Parmele 4 rushes 68 yards
Rice 10 rushes 32 yards, 8 catches 67 yards
McGahee 6 rushes, 16 yards, TD
Mason 6 catches 71 yards
Washington 3 catches 66 yards
Williams 4 catches 43 yards
Heap 4 catches 35 yards TD
Webb 7 tackles
J. Johnson Sack
Ngata, Barnes .5 Sack each
Hauschka 1/2 FG (38 long), 2/2 XP

10:52-Victory formation will help Ravens improve to 3-0 in fake football games, finishing off the Panthers 17-13. Gerry Sandusky tells us that the last time the Ravens opened a preseason 3-0, the 2000-01 Ravens went on to win Super Bowl XXXV.

I won’t read into it quite that much.

Be back shortly with a wrap.

10:49-Matt Lawrence with a tough yard to pick up a first down. Ravens should be able to polish this one off.

10:47-Sandusky says scouts from 12 different NFL teams in the house looking for players who may end up getting cut.

10:45-Jalen Parmele with a nice run, looking to lock up a potential spot as the Ravens’ 3rd running back.

10:44-Or John Beck and company. I’m not partial….

10:42-John Kasay is good from 50 with 3:39 left. 17-13 Ravens; and Troy Smith and company need to milk the rest of this clock….

10:41-Have you ever seen more drama over the difference of a 5 yard penalty or loss of down? At least tonight’s game will be more exciting than Thursday night at Atlanta…..

10:37-Gerry Sandusky: “If this were the regular season, things would really be getting tense right now in a 7 point game.”

Oh if only…….

10:33-Panthers driving again. 2nd string defense struggling for a 2nd straight game.

10:27-Troy Smith has been pretty good on this drive so far. Ravens approaching the red zone with about 8 minutes to play in this one.

Consider me a curse. Smith’s next pass goes through Edgar Jones’ hands, and is intercepted by Dante Wesley. Panthers ball.

10:24-75% of the people who texted the broadcast think Matt Stover will be the kicker on September 13. This is absolutely meaningless, but humorous I guess.

10:16-They don’t get the challenge, but they do get the TD. Decori Birmingham plunges in for the score on 4th down. Frank Walker blocks the XP, but he was much too early.

Carolina makes it 17-10 with Kasay’s XP.

10:12-Birmingham can’t get in on 3rd down from the 1. The Panthers will go for it. Why wouldn’t they? Actually, John Fox will throw a challenge flag. He might as well, as this will be a timeout to prepare their next play if nothing else. I will admit, it looked at first as though Birmingham might have gotten in.

10:10-1st and Goal from the 25 is not the math you want to be facing. But a strong through from Josh McCown gets the Panthers right back down to around the 5. Decori Birmingham puts them on the doorstep.

10:05-17-3 at the end of the 3rd; but the Panthers are on the doorstep. I will be forced to admit that I might get distracted in the 4th; as UFC 102 has started, and I will be poking over at that every now and then. Bear with me.

10:03-Nakamura, Zbikowski, Walker, and Webb in the secondary right now. Delhomme finds Muhammad deep down the sidelines with the starters out. Nakamura and Zbikowski were in a tough spot there trying to cover a very good veteran receiver.

9:57-Justin Harper is NOT on the roster as of right now in this blogger’s opinion. He has to make some plays to try to convince this team they have a 5th receiver on the roster.

9:53-Joe Reitz in on the opposite side of Michael Oher. Reitz is a guy who has the size, but remains raw in his 2nd year. Jameel McClain missed a tackle on that drive, but he shouldn’t be concerned.

Troy Smith into the game at QB, he finds Demetrius Williams for a 1st down.

Flacco finishes 23/28 for 247 yards and a TD. He was even better than the numbers.

9:50-Listening to Ed Reed talk to Rob Burnett; I’m reminded that having the Super Bowl in Miami again this season will certainly be a motivating factor for some of the guys on this team. Obviously Ray Lewis, Tavares Gooden, and Antwan Barnes would also be amongst the guys who would love the chance to go to “Dade County” as Reed said.

Jarrett Johnson with the sack, and the Ravens force another punt. Lardarius Webb now in to return punts.

9:46-Good stick by K.J. Gerard there on kick coverage. The rookie out of Northern Arizona was impressive in mini-camps, but has not seemed to do enough in the preseason to warrant taking a roster spot. He’s not completely out of the mix, but he faces a long road.

9:43-Steve Hauschka remains on the field with the starters in the 2nd half. This could be a statement from Harbaugh about the competition again. Hauschka gets the make good, and puts the Ravens ahead 17-3 in the 2nd half with the 38 yarder.

9:40-Gerry Sandusky saying “Todd Heap is Back!” might be a bit much, but another nice grab by the Ravens TE. Also, kudos to Michael Oher for moving to the other side of the line and continuing to grind it out on the left. He wasn’t perfect in the first half; and I’m not sure I agree with Rob Burnett’s praise. Oher was beaten on this drive by fellow rookie Everette Brown (Florida State) and resorted to a hold. Hasn’t been a great night for Oher, but hopefully a learning experience.

9:37-Kelly Talavou has continued to impress on the D-Line. He’s a guy who I thought had a long way to go to make the roster; but could be winning a spot. CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco is impressed (via Twitter).

9:31-First half stats:

Flacco 17/22, 199 yards, TD
Rice 9 rushes, 25 yards; 6 catches, 55 yards
McGahee 3 rushes, 6 yards, TD
Mason 5 catches, 61 yards
Washington 2 catches, 59 yards
Heap 3 catches, 23 yards, TD

Delhomme 6/10, 96 yards
Goodson 6 rushes 15 yards
Smith 2 catches, 37 yards
King 1 catch, 31 yards

Baltimore: 16 first downs. Carolina: 4 1st downs.
Baltimore: 231 total yards. Carolina: 104 total yards.

9:21-Calm the excitement a little bit. For all of the great things Joe Flacco has done tonight, he was not great in the 2 minute drill. He didn’t turn the ball over; but you would have liked to have seen the ball moved downfield in a quicker motion.

GREAT first punt from Sam Koch pins the Panthers inside the 5 yard line; and that will take us to the half. 14-3 Ravens at the break. I’ll be back shortly. John Harbaugh tells Stan White the starters will come back for the start of the 2nd half.

9:19-Flacco not as crisp in the 2 minute situation as you’d hope. He’s moving the ball, but it is taking more time than you’d like. This is where having a player like an Anquan Boldin, Dwayne Bowe or Brandon Marshall makes a world of difference.

9:15-Nice play there by Haloti Ngata. The guy might not admit it, but he really wants to get some deserving Pro Bowl recognition this season. Chris Carr with the smart decision to throw a block to make sure Baker’s punt went into the endzone.

Also, this situation plays out EXACTLY how the Ravens want it to. Joe Flacco will get the chance to work a 2 minute drill; and Steve Hauschka could get a chance to try another pressure kick.

9:09-Dom is going to have to make tackles better than that. Although you have to like Haloti Ngata’s hustle to get downfield there and make a tackle. Panthers don’t waste any time getting into Baltimore territory. He nearly let Kenny Moore escape on the next play as well. His tight coverage has been impressive, but he can’t allow poor tackling to hurt him.

9:04-I firmly believe that Willis McGahee can thrive as a change of pace back in this offense. McGahee has good feet; and can move forward very well. He plunges in for the 1 yard TD here, and the Ravens go ahead 14-3 after Hauschka makes another extra point with 4:16 to play in the half. Joe Flacco has looked REALLY good this preseason. Very, VERY impressive.

9:02-Tough night for the Panthers’ Chris Gamble. He’s called for another penalty covering Mason. You can’t help but worry that Flacco has a tendency to zero in on Mason; which is why the rhythm he appears to be developing with Kelley Washington is even more important.

9:00-Nice juke by Derrick Mason on Chris Harris there. Mason is not much of a YAC guy; mostly because he tries to be a little smarter about when he goes down and when he tries to extend a play. He doesn’t do anything particularly silly when he was the football. Still a joy to watch.

8:56-The Ravens CLEARLY want the ball in Ray Rice’s hands; and you can tell why. He’s a special type of player who can do a lot of things with the ball in his hands. Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee will still have their opportunities; but Ray Rice is clearly the man in this offense. Might as well call him Ray “Touches” Rice this season.

Flacco back to Mason to convert a 3rd and 9. Every time he catches a ball this season I’ll be thankful he didn’t actually retire.

8:53-Not a great play on Chris Carr’s return of Jason Baker’s punt. It wouldn’t have mattered, because Antwan Barnes was called for holding. Barnes is a guy who APPEARS to be on the good side of the 53 right now, but certainly doesn’t have anything locked up.

8:50-Nice play by Domonique Foxworth breaking up a throw to Mushin Muhammad. Good night for Foxworth thus far. He’s not a Number 1 corner, but he’s gonna get those assignments this season. He’ll have to be up for the challenge, especially against taller receivers.

8:45-Sounds like there are a few Ravens fans in Charlotte tonight, as Joe Flacco floats a beautiful TD pass to Todd Heap to put the Ravens ahead. Hauschka’s XP makes it 7-3 Ravens with 13:23 to play in the 2nd. Kudos to Heap for bouncing back from the drop to make that grab.

8:43-Joe Flacco has been the story of the game thus far for the Ravens; as he has looked particularly comfortable in the pocket; with the exception of hanging on to the ball too long when he was sacked. I really doubt Joe is thinking at all about the Ravens bringing in Brandon Marshall.

8:40-I hope I hear the guy from 105.7 come out to practice again this week and tell someone Kelley Washington “hasn’t made the team yet.” He knows who he is, and another 42 yard bomb to Washington makes me feel more and more comfortable in my assertion that Washington will be the #2 receiver on Sept. 13.

3-0 Panthers at the end of the first quarter.

8:37-The handoff to Ray Rice on first down featured an end around gadget; the 3rd down play was also a deceptive pitch to Ray Rice. Some creative play-calling there from Cam Cameron and company. Todd Heap with the drop on the ensuing first down.

8:32-John Kasay puts it through from 38 after a bad snap. The Ravens kickers could learn something from him. 3-0 Panthers with 2:02 to play in a very quick moving first quarter.

8:26-Great protection for Delhomme and a long completion to Jeff King on Baltimore’s side of the football field; about the 21. Delhomme with a variation of the no-huddle that is successful, as he finds Steve Smith for what appears to be another first down. Strike that. Smith was called for a personal foul-face mask. Rare to see an offensive player called for a face mask in that situation. They keep the first down, but back up 15 yards to the 25.

8:23-After Graham Gano missed a kick last week, Harbaugh decided to pull him for Hauschka even though they had been giving each kicker a half to kick up until that point. I imagine Harbaugh will stick with Hauschka after that miss, but it REALLY makes things interesting.

Important to remember that the Ravens did NOT game plan for the Panthers this week due to playing on Monday Night Football and having only two days of practice before Friday’s walkthrough. The successful plays underneath may not have been so successful for the Panthers had the Ravens been able to gameplan.

8:20-The underneath pass to Ray Rice isn’t NEARLY close enough to the endzone; and Hauschka is forced to kick.

WHOA. 27 yard miss? Still 0-0, and the Matt Stover rumblings are about to get even louder.

8:18-Hello foot, here’s my gun. The false start is followed up by a delay of game. It doesn’t seem as thought it’s particularly loud in North Carolina tonight; so that must be a failure to communicate.

Flacco sacked by Tyler Brayton. Cam Cameron CANNOT be happy with how things have gone. Maybe Harbaugh should have challenged.

8:17-A little surprised John Harbaugh didn’t throw a challenge flag; but this does give him the chance to run some goal line plays.

Michael Oher called for a false start. That hurts. First flinch to the rookie tonight.

8:11-Kelley Washington continues to impress. He and Derrick Mason make first down grabs on Joe Flacco’s first 2 passes. I’ve been reading again this week that Kelley is a “bubble guy.” In what world? Demetrius Williams was the other “starter” tonight in place of Mark Clayton, but I still think Washington is going to be in the lineup in Week 1.

Tom Clark SWEARS he saw someone jump on the play where Flacco hit Mason to the 1. I didn’t get to watch the replay; but it CERTAINLY looked like Mason got the endzone. Nice drive for Flacco early.

8:08-Rookie Mike Goodson takes the pitch on the Panthers’ first lay of the night. What would have been a big run was brought back by a penalty. RB DeAngelo Williams has been battling injury issues. Paul Kreuger (Terrell Suggs) and Justin Bannan (Kelly Gregg) get starts.

Near pick for Domonique Forxworth on Jake Delhomme’s first pass; but the Panthers NEARLY converted another 3rd and long on this Ravens defense. Greg Mattison is fine with them getting yards as long as the Ravens stop them short, but after Mark Sanchez’s TD drive last week; that has to be an area of concern.

Chris Carr with a nice return on the Panthers’ first punt of the game. Ravens take over in Carolina territory.

8:04-Another crucial night for kickers Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka, and Hauschka appears to be getting the first shot tonight. He’s the clubhouse leader for the job right now; and said tonight would be a bit of a homecoming for him, as he finished his college career at NC State. The name Matt Stover was thrown about a good bit this week around Owings Mills; but I still believe the kicker on Sept. 13 against the Chiefs is already on the Ravens roster.

7:48-An appearance by my parents (The great Tom & Karen Clark) at Summer Camp. They came bearing turkey pepperoni, chips & Margaritaville salsa, and crackers and hummus. I’ll be enjoying a few Miller Lites this evening as well.

7:41-The first round of cuts comes this week; but the roster only needs to be down to 75 players. There is a chance the Ravens could decide to cut a player before the final preseason game (Thursday against the Falcons) that will surprise us, as the team could decide to give some players a chance to sign elsewhere before preseason is over.

LB Prescott Burgess is certainly a bubble guy right now, as well as WR Yamon Figurs, CB Evan Oglesby, and RB’s Cedric Peerman, Matt Lawrence, and Jalen Parmele.

7:34-Not many former Ravens on the Panthers roster. K Rhys Lloyd is with the Panthers in the preseason, but seems unlikely to make the roster, unless they decide to keep him as a kickoff specialist. Former OL Keydrick Vincent is also with the Panthers. Certainly seems unlikely that the teams will have as much emotion as they did Monday night in facing former friends Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, etc. etc. etc.

Panthers FB Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse) attended Walkersville High School in Frederick County.

7:30-I have been given word that Chris Chester is confirmed as OUT tonight, and Marshal Yanda will likely get the start at RG. Meanwhile, OT Jared Gaither is suited up and will go. (Kudos to the Twitter account of The Sun’s Jamison Hensley…..which is apparently where my friend found out the news.)

7:25-Via the Panthers’ Twitter account, we can confirm that Godfrey is not in uniform. RB Jonathan Stewart is also not in uniform; same can be said for Safety Nate Salley.

The Panthers are 0-2 in the preseason, with a Week 1 (24-17) loss to the Giants in East Rutherford and a Week 2 (27-17) loss to the Dolphins in Miami. The Ravens are 2-0 in the preseason, with a Week 1 (23-0) win over the Skins, and a Week 2 (24-23) win over the Jets.

7:20-One key matchup to watch tonight will be rookie OT Michael Oher vs. Panthers defensive standout Julius Peppers. Oher admitted this week that he grew up watching guys like Peppers; and Peppers will provide the unique combination of size, speed, and veteran savvy that Oher likely never saw against SEC opponents while at Ole Miss. This should be a very unique learning experience for Oher; who has always been able to use his mass and freakish athletic ability to beat defenders. It will be interesting to watch how he reacts when Peppers uses a move he has never seen before. I don’t expect Peppers to unleash his full arsenal in a preseason game; but he should provide a unique challenge for Oher.

7:17-Tonight’s game can be seen on WBAL11 and MASN….or MASN2…..or maybe MASN8 “The Ocho”. (I’m pretty sure it’s MASN2…..what a disaster that thing is.) Radio broadcast team Gerry Sandusky, Rob Burnett, and Stan White will have the call.

If you’re like me and already glued to WBAL11, you’re watching NFL Films’ presentation of the 2008 Ravens season. As emotional as it was to watch the highlights of the win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium again; I just about lost it watching OJ Brigance address the team after the Jaguars game. Wow.

7:07-I do not have an OFFICIAL list of scratches for tonight’s game; but I know we won’t see:

WR Mark Clayton, LB Terrell Suggs, DT Kelly Gregg, and TE LJ Smith. I also don’t expect to see OT Stefan Rodgers, WR Biren Ealy, OL Chris Chester, LB Dannell Ellerbe, or OT Oniel Cousins.

LB Jon Beason won’t go for Carolina, LB Thomas Davis and CB Charles Godfrey may also miss tonight’s contest.

Coach John Harbaugh told us to expect the starters to go AT LEAST the entire first half this week; and that this game is usually treated as a “3 quarter game.” I doubt we’ll see many starters go 3 quarters, but I imagine we WILL see Joe Flacco go the entire first half; as the coaching staff would probably be very happy to see him get the chance to run a 2 minute drill (similar to the drive Troy Smith ran in the first preseason game against the Redskins).

I don’t really expect 30+ guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Trevor Pryce, and Derrick Mason to play into the 2nd half either.

7:00-Greetings from……..my couch. That’s right, I did NOT make it Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium to see the Baltimore Ravens battle the Carolina Panthers; but I will keep you company right here from the Glenn Clark compound (affectionately known as “Summer Camp”), at least until my girlfriend (“The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”) distracts me with the delicious smells of her buffalo chicken dip.

I’m kidding, you’re stuck with me all night. She’ll just half to feed me some dip while I blog.

You can also enjoy more wacky one liners and shtick with Luke Jones tonight on Twitter. Just follow WNST. I might even poke over there every now and then.

I’ll set the table next.

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

I cannot confirm the Philadelphia Daily News story that says the Ravens have been interested in any WR’s that might be freed up by the Eagles; but I CAN say that the story is COMPLETELY logical.

Guys like Hank Baskett or Reggie Brown would already come in with familiarity towards John Harbaugh, and a likely willingness to contribute on special teams.

The Ravens DON’T have a 5th receiver on this roster right now. Justin Harper just isn’t consistent enough. Jayson Foster is too small. Yamon Figurs is not good enough without contributing as a returner.

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

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Clayton told him he thought he’d be ready for Saturday’s game in Charlotte

Luke Jones wonders if Samari Rolle’s career may be over

Drew Forrester says Reimold should have tried to make play on Marte’s HR in 9th

Bob Haynie says Terps have 14 commitments now after adding PA O-Lineman

G.Q. says Timonium to host racing on 7 of 11 days during Maryland State Fair

Michael Schilling credits Sun for taking Orioles baserunning to task

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Jim Johnson blows game in 9th as Birds fell to Indians

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Adam Jones ‘close’ to returning

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Robby Hammock, Sarfate, Uehara amongst likely September 1 roster additions

Indians Official Site’s Jeff Seidel says Andy Marte homered in 9th to lift Tribe past O’s

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says home run ruined solid effort from David Hernandez

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Trembley believes Jones ‘close’ to returning

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says Baines to join Steve Barber, Cal Ripken Sr. & Jr. as Maryland natives in Orioles Hall

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Danys Baez also had bullpen issues after looking ‘unhittable’

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says nearly 14,000 at Camden Yards saw Birds blow game late

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Harold Baines will be inducted into Orioles Hall of Fame this weekend

The AP says Mora, Wieters homered for Birds in loss

Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes says Tribe’s rally got Cumberland native Laffey off the hook

Akron Beacon Journal’s Sheldon Ocker says Matt LaPorta had key hit before Marte hit winning HR

SI’s Ted Keith has Birds 29th in power rankings

CBS Sports’ Scott Miller says Trembley’s future in Baltimore ‘uncertain’

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says Bergesen, Reimold still alive in race for AL Rookie of the Year

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Bob McCrory loser as Durham’s Chris Richard homered in 9th to top Tides

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Freddy Deza loser as Bowie fell to Akron

Frederick Keys Official Site says Keys eliminated from playoff contention with loss to Kinston, Wilmington’s win

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says McCurry threw 6 shutout innings as Shorebirds blanked Lake County

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Joshua Dowdy loser in relief as Aberdeen blanked by Vermont

Bluefield Orioles Official Site says Fabrizio loser as Orioles fell to Danville

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Tides’ Gathright went 2-3 with walk, stolen base in loss to Durham

Examiner Jay Trucker says Prince George’s Stadium offers good beer selection, opportunities for kids

Carroll County Times’ Matt Zenitz says Shorebirds’ 6’7”, 255 pound 1B Joe Mahoney has 29 stolen bases

Frederick News-Post says Sean Gleason took loss as Frederick fell to Kinston

Virginian-Pilot says Chris George stellar in Harbor Park debut, but Bulls beat Tides’ bullpen late

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens happy to be back in Owings Mills

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbaugh plans to give all return reps to Carr, Webb

The Official Site says Harbaugh confirms starters will at least go whole first half vs. Carolina

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Bart Scott didn’t intend to ‘disrespect’ John Harbaugh with post-game quotes Monday night

The Sun’s Ken Murray and Edward Lee say Mark Clayton won’t play Saturday at Panthers

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Figurs, Foster likely out of running for return job

The Sun’s Michael Sragow says “Blind Side” director John Lee Hancock realized Oher’s story movie-worthy 50 pages into Michael Lewis’ book

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Frank Walker joined Terrell Suggs in wearing anti-Steelers gear

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Clayton feels no pain in hamstring

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Mark Clayton could return for Atlanta game next Thursday

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Oher will be ‘tested’ by Carolina’s Peppers

ESPN.com’s James Walker says former Raven Boller played well for Rams in win over Bengals

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Cam Cameron always adding ‘new wrinkles’ to Ravens offense

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Torrey Smith’s kick return TD amongst highlights of Thursday night’s scrimmage at Byrd Stadium

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph thinks Scott, Meggett both ‘Number 1 tailbacks’

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says WR’s Adrian Cannon, Torrey Smith, Ronnie Tyler, Kevin Dorsey, Quintin McCree, LaQuan Williams, Kerry Boykins, Tony Logan, Emani Lee-Odai to travel to Berkley

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says D.J. Adams lead Terps in rushing in scrimmage with 59 yards

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says James Franklin not thrilled with TE play

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Anthony Green returned INT 71 yards for TD in scrimmage

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps have no current plans to play game at FedEx Field (which will host Boise State-Virginia Tech and Penn State-Indiana in coming years)

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Abington Heights (PA) O-Lineman Conaboy commit to Terps

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says freshmen QB’s Danny O’Brien, C.J. Brown ‘impressing’ in camp

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says Travis Ivey ‘not concerned’ about team’s D-Line depth

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Ferrara, Barbour each made long kicks in Thursday night’s scrimmage

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says camp has been described as fun, relaxed

Washington Post’s Mike Wise says Ralph has weight problems under ‘control’

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Ralph thinks O’Brien ‘grasps offense’ better than Brown

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Justin Lewis, Lamar Young, Bennett Fulper to all get playing time on O-Line

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Ralph thinks Turner ‘mature’

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Carl Russell, Jared Harrell, Derek Drummond will also rotate in at DE

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell wonders if Ralph will still be in good mood next week as Terps prepare for Cal

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says freshman Isaiah Ross could make impact for Terps at DE

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Coach Lempa thinks safeties McCullough, Tate ‘smart’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Travis Baltz ‘sharp’ in scrimmage

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says former Terp Josh Portis lost first start with California (PA)

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Adrian Cannon was leading receiver in scrimmage

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Bruce Campbell likely to be highest Terp selected in 2010 NFL Draft

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Sule, Wujciak forced turnovers in scrimmage

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Gary Douglas tied with Morgan Green for 3rd RB spot (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Ralph particularly happy about Terps in camp (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Deege Galt comfortable at ‘anchor end’ in Don Brown’s defense (must subscribe)

Inside MD Sports’ Jeff Ermann says Conaboy picked Terps over Pitt, Rutgers, Minnesota, Temple, West Virginia, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Illinois, Akron, UConn, Michigan State, Marshall, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, and Oregon

Turtle Sports Report’s Allen Wallace says Conaboy ’99 percent committed’ to Terps (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Terps interested in St. Anthony (Jersey City) prospect Devon Collier (must subscribe)

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Rob Ambrose, senior players spoke at kickoff luncheon on campus Wednesday

The Official Site says Tiger players helped students move in across campus

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says tickets available for Sept. 12 opener at Akron

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Slotback Marcus Curry returning to ‘form’ after early health issues

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says coaches getting after new center DeMell

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says John Angelo doesn’t remember hit that knocked him out of Wake Forest game last season

Go Mids’ Matt Zemek says fans shouldn’t worry if Midshipmen struggle to open season

COPPIN BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Eagles to open new arena Dec. 5 vs. Morgan

UMES BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Hawks players helped students move in on Princess Anne campus

MCDANIEL FOOTBALL:

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says 6’8” TE Woody Butler ‘freak’ on offense for Terror

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Belmont winner Summer Bird could take step towards Eclipse Award with win in Travers Stakes

Thoroughbred Times’ Phil Janack says Quality Road, Kensei getting more hype at Shadwell Travers than Summer Bird

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS:

The Sun’s Childs Walker and Kevin Van Valkenburg say Binky Jones to headline Shogun Fights card at First Mariner Arena in October

BALTIMORE COLTS:

The Sun’s David Zurawik says Levinson’s documentary on Colts marching band to premiere on ESPN Oct. 13

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Want a pick for tomorrow night? Panthers 20, Ravens 17. But I might just be picking the Panthers because teams that go 4-0 in the preseason don’t have a great history of Super Bowl success.

-It was funny to watch the meltdown of fans on Facebook and Twitter last night after the Indians beat the Orioles. Mostly because the only thing I could think was “are you surprised?”

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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