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A Glorious Festivus Day for Ravens

Posted on 10 January 2010 by Ed Frankovic

It was a super day for the Baltimore Ravens franchise as they put on a first quarter clinic en route to a 33-14 whipping of the New England Patriots on their home turf in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs. There were lots of firsts for the Ravens on Sunday, as chronicled by Drew in this blog, and a city that seemed a little bit skeptical of this team’s ability to win in the post season will no doubt be going purple crazy all week as Baltimore gets ready to head to Indianapolis. We have several days to analyze that matchup and as Glenn mentioned in his blog, there are things that need some correcting. However, for tonight, this blog is just going to primarily talk about the positives (my dad would call this the anti-Phil Jackman blog – and Phil you know I still love ya!):

– I don’t think I am going out on a limb in declaring this the best performance by the team all season. They defeated an elite club that has a one of the best QB’s in the NFL by lining up and just physically beating the Patriots in nearly every aspect of the game. New England had the deer in the headlights look after Ray Rice went 83 yards on the game’s opening play from scrimmage followed by the Terrell Suggs sack and fumble of Tom Brady that set up the Ravens second touchdown. It was smash mouth Ravens football, no doubt.

– After the game Ray Lewis, who was outstanding with 13 tackles and a sack on Sunday, praised defensive coordinator Greg Mattison for coming up with a great game plan. Mattison, however, said that it was not his schemes, it was the players execution that did the job. Whatever the case, the Baltimore defense was the most aggressive it has been all year and clearly that style fits the personnel. New England only had 196 total yards, wow! Charlie Frye threw for 180 yards on the Ravens in the 1st half alone in last week’s victory in Oakland. #52 talked in the post game about disguising the blitz until the last second for fear of Brady recognizing it and checking off, something the 3-time Super Bowl Champion excels at. Well today, #12 had no clue what was coming most of the time and he played like it. Mattison felt that the team could generate pressure rushing just four players and for the most part he was right. If there is one thing I would like to see less of, it would be the three man rush. The NFL rules are set up so much for the offense that if you give the receivers time to get open they either will or likely draw a penalty.

– Speaking of penalties, Baltimore only was flagged 3 times for a total of 15 yards! That was incredible focus and discipline by a team that has struggled to maintain its composure in several instances this year. Yes, the team was winning so it was easier to stay in control, but mentally that may have been the best the squad collectively has executed all year. Not a single personal foul or pass interference infraction was whistled on the Ravens today.

– Did the offense remind you a bit of the 2000 Ravens in Tennessee? Baltimore only threw the ball 10 times and Joe Flacco completed just four passes (but two were huge ones to Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton to keep second half drives going). But when you get an early lead after an 83 yd scamper why not keep pounding the ball like the Ravens used to do with Jamal Lewis? The rushing totals were 52 carries for 234 yards, a 4.5 yard per carry average. The backs were good and the offensive line was flat out dominant. It is clear that a healthy Jared Gaither at left tackle plays a huge role in offensive success.

– The much maligned secondary was superb today forcing 3 interceptions and holding Randy Moss to 5 catches for 48 yards (and most of those came in garbage time). Dominique Foxworth, Frank Walker, and Dwan Landry might have had their best games of the season. The pressure put on Brady certainly helped and having a healthier Ed Reed at safety contributed as well. Ravens fans can only hope that #20 continues to progress physically this week because they will need his smarts against Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and company. Reed even had a good lateral today to Landry on his INT that put the Ravens in the red zone.

– Special teams were fairly solid. Tom Zbikowski’s 30 yard return after New England cut the Ravens lead to 27-14 put the ball near midfield and on the shorter grid the Ravens drove for the score that put the nail in the coffin in this one. Sam Koch punted well with two good kicks that pinned the Pats inside their own 20 yard line and even Matt Katula’s long snaps were better allowing kicker Billy Cundiff to hit on both of his field goals and all three PATs.

– The Ravens came out as healthy as you can be after 17 weeks of football and tight end Todd Heap’s back injury appears to be minor. So could a team that has been banged up so badly since starting 3-0 finally be getting healthier in some key areas (see Gaither and Reed)? One has to hope that is true and Flacco will likely have an easier time getting his aching hip loose in a dome instead of the freezing north east.

– All in all it was a very good day to be affiliated with the Ravens and somewhere heading south on I-95 at 1000pm on Sunday night there are two full buses of very happy people who decided to go on the WNST road trip to Gillette Stadium. Those people, and any other Ravens fan who attended the game in person, are truly great for showing such faith in a team that many thought would get beat today, including myself. As anyone that has traveled with WNST knows, WNST bus trips, whether to a Ravens game, a Caps or Bears hockey game, or to a horse race, is a ton of fun. I’m sure this weekend to Indianapolis will be no exception so sign up, if you can. By the way, it was great to hear Ravens Coach John Harbaugh mention and praise the support the team received from the Ravens fans who attended the contest today. So how about we more than double that for next week’s Saturday night contest and get at least five WNST buses going to Indy?

Happy Festivus! (que the Ravens Mania music now…)

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Live from Brawl-minster: Ravens get chippy in heat, Harbs cancels p.m. practice

Posted on 08 August 2009 by Luke Jones

1:47 p.m. — As fans continue to wonder about the status of Terrell Suggs and Samari Rolle, Harbaugh is not providing much clarity on either player.

“No, nothing really new on that.  They’re both just rehabbing, and that’s where we’re at.”

Suggs injured his heel on Sunday, and Rolle is the only player remaining on the physically unable to perform list.

1:41 p.m. — Harbaugh did not seem upset nor surprised with the morning practice skirmish.  He simply reiterated his preference for the battles in between the whistles.

“We’ve had a lot of scuffles before the whistle gets blown, I can tell you that,” Harbaugh said.  “Those are the scuffles we’re most interested in.  The other ones are irrelevant.  We don’t mind them.  We don’t want them.  We don’t not want them.  We don’t care about them.  The ones before the whistle gets blown—those are the ones that matter.  Our guys have had plenty of those.”

Here are Harbaugh’s comments on the Michael Oher calf situation:

“It doesn’t look serious.  He pinched it, as Bill [Tessendorf] put [the injury report] in there.  It may be a little bit of a calf sprain.  It will be a rehab issue for a little while.”

12:32 p.m. — A few reminders if you’re planning on heading out to Westminster in the next few days.

This afternoon’s practice has been cancelled.  The next practice will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2:45 p.m.  It is open to the public.

Monday morning’s practice is CLOSED to the general public.  The team will have an open practice at 2:45 p.m.

Monday morning’s practice will be open to the media, so WNST.net will have all of the Ravens updates you want and need.

12:30 p.m. — Brendon Ayanbadejo was working out on the other field during practice.  He’s still recovering from a sprained toe.

Suggs walked out to the field for the final moments of practice, wearing sneakers and still limping slightly.

12:27 p.m. — We saw our daily long touchdown to Justin Harper this morning, as Troy Smith threw a deep one to the second-year receiver.  Harper beat Evan Oglesby on the play.

While Harbaugh is pleased with Harper’s ability to stretch the field, he still wants more consistency out of the 6-3 receiver.  He wants Harper to make the tough catches in traffic, an area in which he’s struggled.

12:24 p.m. — Ray Rice continues to show great moves in the open field.  This morning, Rice caught a pass in the flat and put a tremendous move on Jason Phillips, leaving the rookie in the dust.  Rice continues to get the majority of the first-team reps at running back, but McGahee is still right behind him.

McGahee was seen with an ice pack on his left knee yesterday morning, but he was back out there today with no apparent problems.

12:21 p.m. — Tight end L.J. Smith appears to be finding his way in the Ravens’ offense.  He caught several passes today and seems to be regaining his speed after tweaking a hamstring at the beginning of training camp.

If healthy, Heap and Smith have the potential to be a pretty formidable duo at tight end, a major help to Flacco with the uncertainty at the wide receiver position.

12:16 p.m. — As previously reported, it was an ugly day offensively.  Dropped passes and interceptions were the story of the morning before the big fight.  In addition to Walker, Chris Carr also picked off Flacco.

Despite the rough morning, Flacco did have some nice throws including a nice 17-yard out pattern to Marcus Smith (who was playing Mason’s position with the starting offense) and a long, beautiful touchdown to Smith later in practice.  Considering Smith has had a quiet starting to training camp, it was good for him to make some plays this morning.

12:14 p.m. — Cornerback Frank Walker had another good day, breaking up several passes and picking off Joe Flacco during 11-on-11 drills.  Walker is the most physical corner on the roster and has the ability to play bump-and-run coverage, unlike most of the Ravens’ cover corners.

12:09 p.m. — It was an “over 30” day off for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg, Trevor Pryce, and Matt Birk.

Harbaugh gave a few injury updates after practice.  Oniel Cousins sustained a sprained left ankle, but the head coach said he should return soon.  Terrell Suggs (heel) and Samari Rolle (shoulder/neck) continue to rehab their respective injuries, but Harbaugh did not update when the two will return.

Oher suffered a right calf strain or “pinch” as Harbaugh described it.  The coach did not seem concerned about the injury, but Oher did not return to practice.

12:03 p.m. — It was a difficult day for Gano, but his morning ended in triumph.  After missing kicks from 35, 48, and 53 yards, Gano had a 36-yard attempt with the afternoon off riding on it.  The rookie kicker hit it, and Harbaugh cancelled the afternoon practice to reward his team for all of its hard work.

Gano’s leg was tired today, according to Harbaugh.  He came up short from 53 yards, a distance he had easily been making throughout training camp.

Gano did make field goals from 43, 47, and 51 in addition to his 36-yarder at the end of practice.

10:49 a.m. — John Harbaugh cancelled the afternoon practice today in his post-practice comments. More to come…

10:38 a.m. — Well, we had our first skirmish/melee of training camp in the heat this morning as the offense and defense knocked heads in a team-wide shove-around (apparently started by Paul Kruger and Joe Reitz) with various players involved, including Chris Chester, Jameel McClain & Jared Gaither. It’s hard to say what caused it, but the defense was shoving the offense around pretty good for the second day in a row.

Other morning notes: Michael Oher had a right calf cramp and left practice early. In general, the offense was sloppy and unproductive through much of the morning practice, in front of the usual large weekend crowd here in Westminster. Lots of dropped passes and interceptions.

Perhaps the fight helped matters. After the mini-brawl, the offense looked more focused and was more productive.

Tavares Gooden got limited reps early but didn’t participate later in practice. Jared Gaither was back and took plenty of live reps.

Graham Gano struggled early in the practice (plenty were talking about Matt Stover) but he hit a 36-yarder to end the morning session.

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Live From Westminster: Cousins carted off field in AM practice

Posted on 07 August 2009 by Luke Jones

6:39 p.m. –The Ravens will hold two practices tomorrow, a morning session at 8:45 a.m. and an afternoon workout at 2:45 p.m.  Both practices are expected to be full-squad.

Just a quick note to anyone planning to head out to Westminster on Monday to watch the Ravens in action.  The morning practice will be closed to the public.  The afternoon practice scheduled for 2:45 p.m. will be open for fans to attend.

3:24 p.m. — Despite the defense thoroughly dominating this morning, there were a few highlights for the offense.  Flacco threw a long touchdown pass to Mason during a 7-on-7 drill, beating Frank Walker in coverage.

Justin Harper also made another spectacular one-handed catch.  Harper must still prove he can hold onto the ball when getting hit, but he certainly has shown an ability to stretch the field.  He continues to share time at the No. 3 receiver spot with Kelley Washington with Mark Clayton sidelined with a hamstring injury.

3:17 p.m. — The special teams practice lasted about an hour, as the team focused on kick return and punt team alignments.

Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb, Ray Rice, and Jayson Foster worked on returning kicks.  Punt returners included Carr, Yamon Figurs, Rice, and Foster.

Tavares Gooden was present but did not participate in the special teams workout.

1:20 p.m. — Here’s a fun story from today’s practice:  Derrick Mason had joked during his return press conference on Sunday that the team did not have a marching band or the girl scouts come out to celebrate his return.  A local girl scouts troop from Westminster came out to practice this morning, and Mason greeted them and even conducted an interview with the girls after practice.

The audio is up in the WNST vault if you’d like to take a listen.  Mason also talked about his health and the other wide receivers in camp.

1:19 p.m. — We did see our first “fight” of the camp this morning.  Frank Walker and Evan Oglesby mixed it up a little bit, but it wasn’t exactly Ali-Frazier.  With the first preseason game still six days away, these players are definitely getting tired of hitting each other and are ready to hit an opponent.

12:51 p.m. — I just saw Oniel Cousins walking around the hotel.  He was walking with a limp, but there was no apparent wrap or support or anything of that nature on his left leg—definitely a good sign.

12:49 p.m. — The kicking battle was fairly even again, as it has been for the better part of camp.  Graham Gano made two kicks beyond 40 yards but missed from 53.  Steve Hauschka missed from 42 but hit from 45 and 53 yards.

I continue to be impressed by both kickers.

12:46 p.m. — Domonique Foxworth is really starting to settle in with his new team.  On a deep pass attempt to Demetrius Williams, Foxworth was step-for-step with him as the pass fell incomplete.  Ray Lewis was heard praising the new cornerback, the calling card of knowing you belong in the Baltimore defense.

12:28 p.m. — One of the more intriguing stories of the morning was the player lining up next to Ray Lewis in Gooden’s absence.  While most would have expected Jameel McClain, rookie free agent Dannell Ellerbe was running with the first team.  I mentioned Ellerbe earlier this week, but he is clearly making an impression with the coaching staff.

McClain was lining up at inside linebacker with the second unit, so it appears Ellerbe has passed McClain on the depth chart—for now.  It will be interesting to see what happens if Gooden is out for any extended period of time.

12:22 p.m. — Prior to sitting out with an ice pack on his left knee, McGahee displayed some nice moves in the open field after catching a screen pass from Flacco in 11-on-11 thud.  McGahee has had a solid camp, so hopefully the ice pack is just a precautionary measure.

Speaking of running backs, Le’Ron McClain displayed some nice cuts during live action this morning.  Despite the fact that McClain will be used as a fullback this season, I still expect him to receiver his fair share of carries along with Ray Rice and McGahee.

12:09 p.m. — With Gaither not participating in any live drills, Michael Oher once again lined up at left tackle with Marshal Yanda shifting to right tackle on the starting offensive line.  David Hale took Ben Grubbs’ place at left guard.

The Ravens are incredibly thin on the offensive line right now with Grubbs and Gaither out and the left leg injury to Cousins this morning.  They’re fortunate to have Chester, who can play both guard positions and center, and Yanda to play both guard and tackle.  If not for the versatility of these two, a bad situation would be even worse.

Considering the Ravens were in need of another tackle before Cousins’ injury, you would have to think the Ravens will bring in another tackle to camp.

10:39 a.m. — Morning highlights were ALL defense. Todd Heap dropped one into the hands of Ed Reed who returned it for a TD. Ray Lewis rocked Jalen Parmele at the line of scrimmage that got a big “ohhhh” out of the crowd. And — either good or bad news depending on your view — the defense sacked Joe Flacco three times when going live for a series. It’s been quite the defensive show, but the Cousins injury was bad news this morning. We’ll see how he progresses.

10:34 a.m. — Oniel Cousins just went down on the field. He walked over to the cart and is now being carted off the field. There will certainly be more to come…We just sent a WNST Text on this. Join our text service here…

10:10 a.m. — Frank Walker has been subbing in for Fabian Washington this morning.

10:06 a.m. — Willis McGahee has now joined Jared Gaither in the “ice club.” McGahee is icing his left knee.

10:01 a.m. — Jared Gaither is on the field with an ice pack on his neck and shoulder. We’ll know more when the practice is over. John Harbaugh is NOT speaking to the media today. He will be leaving immediately following the morning practice for Philadelphia to attend the memorial service for his good friend and former Eagles defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson.  More with Bob Haynie in a little bit…

9:17 a.m. — Jared Gaither appears to be limited on the field this morning, not participating in the 11-on-11 right now. But he is on the field and looks to be mostly fine.

8:46 a.m. — Jared Gaither is back on the field practicing this morning. Demetrius Williams is also on the field this morning, a beautifully cool summer day.

There are three noticeable Ravens missing today: Terrell Suggs, Ben Grubbs and Tavares Gooden.

I’ll be tweeting today (Twitter seems to be down or slow again today) as well as checking in at 9:30, 10:30 and all day at WNST AM 1570 with Drew and Bob.

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 December 2008 by Glenn Clark

Ravens 24, Steelers 14

I get less and less nervous about this game every day. Roethlisberger can’t throw like Peyton; and the Steelers can’t run like the Giants. After losing a close game early; the Ravens won’t lose a close game Sunday.

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

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Joe Flacco says he was ‘excited’ at end of Skins game

Brian Billick says Ravens-Steelers at ‘whole new level’ this weekend

Casey Willett says Ravens won’t wear black Sunday

Drew Forrester thinks signing with Red Sox would make Tex turncoat

Bob Haynie will re-live ’58 title game with Bob Wolff today

Alex Thomas picks Ravens 17-9

Bryan Powell says ESPN including Indianapolis in replay of “Greatest Game”

Ed Frankovic says Caps face Senators tonight


The Official Site’s Patrick Gleason says things significantly different from a year ago to today

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says league’s top 2 defenses set for showdown

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says McGahee thought he ‘played like doo-doo’ vs. Redskins

The Official Site says Cameron sticking with RB by committee

Steelers Official Site previews Sunday’s showdown

Steelers Official Site’s Bob Labriola says Gaither will have to hold his own vs. J. Harrison

The Sun’s Ken Murray says teams’ defenses strong physically and mentally

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee say Reed, Ayanbadejo, 52, L. McClain win fan voting for Pro Bowl

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Cameron most ‘valuable’ part of Ravens organization

5 of 7 Sun writers pick Ravens

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens need to protect Flacco, run hard, and close game well

The Sun remembers Steelers ending Ravens’ playoff hopes in ‘04

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says 52 playing at weight 15 pounds heavier than previous years

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Steelers fans ‘strange, passionate’

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Rice, Gaither, Mason all miss practice

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Newsome thinks Grubbs, J. Brown part of why Flacco successful early

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Steelers coming off two very physical games

The Sun’s Edward Lee says McGahee returned to practice

The Examiner’s Steve DeClue says Steelers Ravens’ ‘real rival’

Aaron Wilson says line must do better job of protecting Flacco than in Week 4 loss

Aaron Wilson says he ‘wouldn’t’ believe in himself

The AP says Suggs hopes to ‘torment’ Big Ben

3 of 4 ESPN Sunday Countdown analysts pick Ravens

3 of 6 ESPN analysts pick Ravens

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ravens haven’t ‘backed down’ since Week 4 loss to Steelers

ESPN.com’s James Walker says timing bad for Parker to address reasonable concerns

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Flacco Ravens’ MVP

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Mason amongst those who can’t pick between Reed, Polamalu

SI’s Peter King picks Ravens 16-12

SI’s Don Banks says looking back; Flacco should have been 2nd pick in Draft

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says 52, Reed should go to Pro Bowl

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac says Parker knows teams that want to win Super Bowl need to run ball

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac says Tomlin thinks winning more important than running

Beaver County Times’ Mike Bires says J. Harrison doesn’t hold grudge against Ravens for letting him go


The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Birds have to make decision on D. Cabrera

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Orioles selected catcher in Rule 5 Draft, traded him to Astros

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says MacPhail doesn’t think O’s out of Teixeira sweepstakes

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Red Sox ‘clear frontrunners’ for Teixeira

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Guthrie dumps agent Boras for Close

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Mets select Birds’ Cherry in Rule 5 Draft

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Tex will go to ‘highest’ bidder

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says market might warrant Birds tendering offer to D. Cabrera

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds’ offer ‘well behind’ Teixeira market

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds make multiple Rule 5 picks

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds could add more than 1 available catcher

Washington Post’s Dave Sheinin says Boras wants 10 years, $200 million for Tex

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick says Birds still need ‘babysitter’ at catcher, pitching help


The Official Site previews Maryland-Delaware State

The Official Site offers complete Terps-Hornets release (pdf)

Delaware State Official Site previews tonight’s contest

The Sun’s Don Markus says former MSJ star Gregory improving underneath

The Sun’s Don Markus says Burney to miss 3-6 weeks with stress fracture

The Examiner’s Dylan Waugh says Burney’s injury could mean more minutes for Dupree

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Terps keeping focus to avoid upset in non-conference stretch

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gregory still pushed by father

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Burney’s injury could give minutes to Kim, Goins

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Hornets playing tough times; getting blown out by all

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says new strength, conditioning coach Ricci making impact since coming from Ravens

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter checks out prospects from City-DeMatha (must subscribe)


The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph hints Steffy could play in Humanitarian Bowl

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Seamonson yet to interview for Defensive Coordinator position

The Sun’s Matt Bracken recaps season for commit Schlieper

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says R. Costa will skip Bowl game to avoid drawing ‘attention’ to himself

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says reduced charges lead to possibility of return for Costa

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell wonders if Boise game should be cancelled

Washington Post’s Josh Barr says Terps hosting BIG weekend for recruits

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says someone suggested Ralph paint Terps’ field red

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Costa’s ‘embarrassment’ part of reason he’s not returning

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Steffy working as #2 quarterback right now

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Gloster has been working out at LEO

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph ‘juggling’ time right now

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps 7th in ACC in attendance

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Lee-Odai makes Terps feel better about ‘future’ (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Terps practicing hard despite Bowl letdown (must subscribe)


The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says former McDonough star Marchiano part of Maryland team vying for title this weekend

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says Sasho playing ‘no respect’ card at College Cup

Washington Post’s Steven Goff says Terps making 5th appearance in last 7 College Cups


The Official Site says Mount looking for “All-Century” team to celebrate 100 years of hoops in Emmittsburg


Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Mids have country’s ‘most improved defense’

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says Army should face ‘consequences’ for blowout loss to Mids (must subscribe)


Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Hounds picked 2nd in ECAC


The Official Site says 3 Gulls receive postseason honors


The Sun’s Bill Ordine says officials working hard to bring Final Four back to M&T Bank Stadium


The AP’s Nesha Starcevic says Klitschko ‘wary’ of Rahman


The Sun’s Ray Frager says ESPN’s “Greatest Game” broadcast provides important ‘history lesson’


-Klitschko beats Rahman via 2nd round knockout. I love Rock, but there’s really no excuse for him to even be in this fight.

-Maryland 90, Delaware State 62. Do you need an explanation?
-Pitt 88, UMBC 67. Staying within 20 would be an accomplishment though.
-Towson 74, High Point 70. They BADLY need to bounce back.
-Dayton 75, Coppin St. 65. That’s a tough arena to win at on the road.

-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete(s) of the Morning Devon Sadler and Matt Deurr. Sadler followed up his Thursday AOTM win by dropping another 29 in Aberdeen’s 72-20 win over New Town. Deurr followed up his Wednesday AOTM win by getting 18 points and 14 boards in Century’s 74-40 win over Westminster.

Talk to you tonight at Maryland-Delaware State.


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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 November 2008 by Glenn Clark

Ravens 38, Bengals 13

And it might not even be that close. I think this will be close in the 2nd quarter; but at some point the fans in Cincinnati will turn on the Bengals; and this will get ugly.

Boston College 24, Maryland 23

There will be a last-second FG involved. Either a make for BC or a miss for the Terps. They haven’t lost a close game all season; but this will be the heartbreak.

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

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Mosley gave Terps ‘good minutes’ in ‘stunner’ over Michigan State

Ed Frankovic says Caps’ Poti hurt


The Official Site’s Lindsay Melvin says Reed, 52, L. McClain, McGahee amongst those doing good work on Thanksgiving

The Official Site’s Jen Gaffney says Marching Ravens honor those who’ve served

Bengals Official Site’s Geoff Hobson says J. Johnson’s weight issues got him out of Cincinnati

Bengals Official Site says Houshmandzadeh, L. Jones amongst those who didn’t practice Thursday

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg grateful for ‘humble’ Grubbs

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Gaither did not practice yesterday

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says all 3 backs running ‘together’

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Bengals’ air assault will be ‘threat’ to Ravens

7 of 7 Sun writers pick Ravens

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens need to get quick start, O-Line production, and harass Fitzpatrick

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Steelers hold ‘common opponents’ advantage over Ravens

The Sun ‘remembers’ miserable ’07 opener vs. Bengals

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Copper, Clayton amongst those ‘limited’ in practice

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ngata still trailing; but 52, Reed, L. McClain all lead in Pro Bowl voting

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Heap returns to practice

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Houshmandzadeh likely ‘near top of list’ if Ravens interested in WR

Aaron Wilson says Reed displaying ‘playmaking instincts’

Aaron Wilson says Fitzpatrick more likely to scramble than Palmer would have been

Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte says Harbaugh returning to Queen City, where he was on Bearcats’ staff

Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte says Livings will start for Whitworth at LG

8 of 8 ESPN Analysts pick Ravens

4 of 5 ESPN Sunday Night Countdown analysts (Tom Jackson withstanding) pick Ravens

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Bengals have become ‘disaster’ since last game with Ravens

ESPN.com Scouts Inc says Bengals have ‘played well lately’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Marvin ‘not worried’ about future in Cincinnati

ESPN.com Scouts Inc.’s Keith Kidd says Houshmandzadeh one of ‘most dangerous slot receivers in NFL’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Marvin, Ocho Cinco ‘polar opposites’

7 of 7 Sporting News analysts pick Ravens


The AP says 23-5 run pushed Terps to upset win over Spartans

The Official Site offers numerical evidence of win

The Official Site says Gary thought Terps ‘as good as any team (he’s) coached in playing with a lead against a good team’

The Sun’s Don Markus says upset ranks with Gary’s best

The Examiner’s Dylan Waugh says Terps ‘sharp in all aspects’ of win

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Gary refused to bill Terps as ‘underdogs’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gary thinks win will leave naysayers ‘quiet’……..’at least for a day’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps get Gonzaga next tonight

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Terps held MSU’s Morgan to 4 points; kept him in foul trouble

Washington Times’ Barker Davis says Terps get first win over ranked team since Carolina last January

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps get 6th ever 15+ point win over Top 5 team

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps beat Top 10 team for 13th straight season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says win over Spartans ‘won’t lose luster’

Orlando Sentinel’s Tania Ganguli says Vasquez, Neal each score 17 in win for Terps

Detroit News’ Eric Lacy says Spartans fell without services of Suton

Detroit Free Press’ Shannon Shelton says Terps ‘outhustle’, ‘outmuscle’ Spartans

ESPN.com’s Andy Katz says Vasquez felt ‘unbelievable amount of confidence’ thanks to Gary

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish says Neal hit double digits for just 2nd time in career


The Official Site says Terps hit 9 3’s in Cancun win over Montana


Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says DHB ‘questionable’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says L. Williams again OUT tomorrow

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Covington also ‘questionable’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Drummond, Clement, Moten could all be possibilities if Covington can’t go

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says loss of DHB could be ‘damaging’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says BC, Clemson could hurt Maryland in trying to find Bowl destination

Boston Globe’s Adam Kilgore says BC QB D. Davis ‘focused’ in preparation for first start

Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy says Eagles trying to fare better than ’04 team that lost with Big East title on line

ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman picks BC 21-7

SI’s Stewart Mandel picks Terps 21-16

Terrapin Times’ Claire Knudsen says LB Fokou looking to end Maryland career on solid note (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Navarre’s legacy at Maryland ‘solid’ (must subscribe)


The Official Site previews tomorrow’s Third Round clash with Cal


The Official Site previews tonight’s Palestra showdown with Villanova


Go Mids’ Matt Zemek says “Buddy-ball” working defensively (must subscribe)


The Official Site says Mids try to improve to 5-1 tomorrow night vs. Radford


The Official Site previews tomorrow night’s home opener vs. Boston U.

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says color analyst Sigler won’t be conflicted when Eers play Boston U. team he previously coached


The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Birds working in Japan; but little Japanese talent available


The Sun’s Rich Scherr says over 12k see Dons paste Cardinals 35-0

Digital Sports’ Pat O’Malley says Dons finish undefeated for first time since ’60 thanks to win over Hall


-Gonzaga 87, Maryland 68. The only bad thing that happened last night was that the Terps are convinced they are better than they are. Gary will need to do a better coaching job tonight; because Gonzaga won’t bail them out with missed shots.

-UMBC 73, Toledo 68. This could be a pretty good game. The MAC is down this season; and the Retrievers can take advantage.

-Villanova 91, Towson 70. But there will be a point in the second half when the Tigers are within single digits and really believe they have a chance.

-Kansas 100, Coppin State 67. Not like it matters.

-Morgan State 79, Ole Miss 77 in overtime. Bears pull the stunner. You heard it here.

-Vermont 80, Loyola 71. Mike Lonergan takes out his Maryland frustrations on his old pal Jimmy Patsos.

-Maryland Soccer 2, Cal 0. The Terps won’t be challenged….yet.

-Congratulations to SunTrust Athlete of the Morning Terence Garvin. 183 yards and a TD in the Dons’ 35-0 pasting of Calvert Hall.

Talk to you tonight for a Maryland-Gonzaga live blog.


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You Play The Coach – Which Raven Gets Your Game Ball?

Posted on 26 November 2008 by Alex Thomas

That wasn’t just another Ravens win, that was a statement to the rest of the NFL that the Ravens are true playoff contenders. I was down at Washington College (my alma mater) for the game. Considering I didn’t have to work, I stuck around and watched the game with the numerous Eagles fans who I have described in previous blogs. We usually don’t hang out on Sundays, but considering the entire cast of the men’s swimming ’08 alumni were there, I decided to give it a shot. Of course, I was in the comfort of other Ravens fans to ease the pain in case the Raven’s lost.

But they didn’t. In fact, they mopped the floor with the Eagles, and in the process have made themselves an integral part of Philadelphia sports lore: The Day the Donovan McNabb Era Ended.

The first half of this game was actually rather boring. Aside from a great play by Jarret Johnson and an Ed Reed pick that set up a great TD catch by Daniel Wilcox, both offenses were searching for a way, ANY way, to move the football down the field without bringing out the punter. But the second half, especially the fourth quarter, was filled with reasons for Ravens fans to cheer and Eagles fans to have another one.

I don’t understand how there’s any reasonable way you can substitute a potential Hall of Fame quarterback (after it’s all said and done…at this point, he’s in the Hall of Very Good) for a back-up with limited experience…on the road in one of the most intimidating atmospheres in the NFL in M&T Bank Stadium…against a ferocious defense that has already forced three turnovers.

Andy Reid made a bad call, and he’s trying to rectify it by starting McNabb on Thanksgiving night…sorry buddy, this isn’t going to save your job, or McNabb’s for that matter. The Eagles are a team ready to implode, which is kind of strange to think about considering how dominating they’ve been in the NFC in recent years.

Some thoughts on the game:

-Jared Gaither surprised all of us by playing against Philly, and he played a pretty good game considering he’s playing with one arm.

-Joe Flacco keeps getting better every week. Considering all of the pressure he was under, it’s amazing that he didn’t throw a pick. He’ll see similar pressure against Pittsburgh in a few weeks, so it’s good to see that he’s learning to protect the football.

-What happened to Brian Dawkins? Did he even play on Sunday? He is the heart and soul of the Eagles defense, and had literally no impact on the game. No wonder the Ravens put up 36 points.

-If I could give out an Unsung Hero award, it would undoubtedly go to Jarret Johnson.

-Matt Stover is still struggling to get elevation on his kicks.

-For the second time this season, the Ravens special teams cost the team a shutout. That has to be frustrating for Ray Lewis and Co.

-My game ball goes to Ed Reed. For several reasons, including the record-breaking 108 interception return for a touchdown that sealed the game. As Gerry Sandusky said: “You better believe the hay’s in the barn now.” I think it’s a no-brainer.

Who gets your game ball this week?

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A beautiful day: Ravens 36, Eagles 7

Posted on 23 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Ravens used an opportunistic offense and myriad of breakdowns by the hapless visitors to pummel the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium, 36-7 this afternoon.

Andy Reid’s benching of Donovan McNabb at halftime will surely be debated across three states and the calling for his head surely will begin for calling a pass play at the goal line early in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were about six inches from making it a one-score game.

Hard to say who was more quiet today at frigid M&T Bank Stadium today — the Eagles fans or the Ravens fans. It was a strange day of football all the way around.

The game was long and out-of-synch in its pacing and reminded me of what would be the beginning of the end of Brian Billick’s tenure here — the ugly game in Detroit two years ago.

Nothing the Eagles did went right. They got hosed on a couple of calls. Both of their quarterbacks threw hideous passes. The Ravens — and mainly Joe Flacco — stunk for most of the first half and the Eagles still couldn’t manage to score any points beyond the kickoff return, which clearly embarrassed John Harbaugh and his special teams sensibilities.

But feel free to roundly celebrate: the Ravens are 7-4 and looked quite impressive in the end in “playing four quarters” and out smash-mouthing their neighbors from Filthy.

It’s Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for football-wise in Baltimore because we can legitimately start talking playoffs with a chance to be 8-4 next Sunday with a strong effort in Cincinnati.

Where to begin?

Ed Reed ran a 108-yard interception back through traffic that seemed like the Stanford band. Ed Reed also got burned trying to lateral a ball to Samari Rolle in heavy traffic near the goal line. (Somewhere, Billick was still yelling at him!)

Dan Wilcox caught a TD pass after thinking he might not even play.

Jared Gaither played through the pain. Adam Terry left the game early with a concussion and the offensive line still kept coming back for more. At one point, Ben Grubbs left the game. And David Hale was spotted in there mixing it up quite a bit as well.

The Ravens continued to stop the Eagles rushing attack all day long, and seemed to welcome the benching of McNabb for Kevin Kolb, who was largely as ineffective as No. 5. His one drive of note to lead the team back into the game was nullfyed and reversed when Reed went the distance on one of the most amazing plays in Ravens history.

Le’Ron McClain continues to shine his own star as a fullback who has made a seamless transition into a big-time power back, rushing for 88 yards and one breakaway touchdown late in the game when most of the Eagles fans had put down their cheesesteaks and pretzels and headed back toward the Maryland House on I-95.

Mark Clayton was a factor in the game today and we’d love to see more of that. He also made fun of his own endzone celebration.

Jarret Johnson had a huge game and made a pick on McNabb that Harbaugh described as “one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen.”

Matt Stover hit a long field goal when the team needed it.

And Jameel McClain registered his second safety of the season and he’s only been on the team for a few weeks.

Overall, the defense was awesome all day. They pitched a shutout that was only tainted by the kickoff return by Quinton Demps. (Kinda reminded me of another game against an NFC East team where the only score was a return for a touchdown on an otherwise perfect day. Of course, it was a little warmer on Jan. 28, 2001.)

I’ll be writing some more later and posting post-game video. It was largely an “homage” to Ed Reed and the kind of game he had today. (And at one point, he fell to his knees and was all but tackled to leave the field when he couldn’t lift his arm.)

Feel free to throw your comments in and we’ll launch them soon enough.

A great day to be a Ravens fan. The team is 7-4 and headed to Cincinnati. This was a huge win.

And the Eagles fans were strangely silent from whistle to whistle, slithering out of the stadium while the Ed Reed celebration commenced right around 4 p.m.

More to come…

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Glenn Clark

Ravens 24, Eagles 21This could be a defining game for Joe Flacco and the Ravens. I really believe this game could be 21-17 with about 1:41 left and the Ravens getting the ball at the 24. I think Flacco will prove himself with the biggest win of his young pro career.

Maryland 31, Florida State 20

I actually think this will become a statement game for the Terps. I really believe they will win this game, as the emotions are high in College Park. I especially think this given the fact that I also believe Wake will beat BC Saturday afternoon.

James Madison 41, Towson 20

The Dukes aren’t letting off the throttle just because they have their title wrapped up.

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

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Joe Flacco happy to see other rookies playing

Nestor Aparicio says Baltimore/Philly rivalry gets another chapter Sunday

Drew Forrester doesn’t think Teixeira headed to DC

Bob Haynie says Izturis much better than anyone who currently plays for Orioles

Thyrl Nelson says Birds shouldn’t throw away money

Ed Frankovic says Caps drop one in LA

Alex Thomas picks Ravens 23-16


The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens happy to be home

The Official Site says Ravens hosting food drive before Eagles game

The Official Site says Cameron thinks Eagles’ defense ‘probably is’ Flacco’s biggest test yet

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Rice wants to be more like Westbrook

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ravens still respect McNabb

Eagles Official Site’s Dave Spadaro says Eagles need to ‘execute’

Eagles Official Site says Mornhinweg thinks offense needs to ‘start faster’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Sunday gives student Harbaugh chance to defeat teacher Reid

4 of 7 Sun writers pick Ravens to beat Eagles

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens must protect Flacco, force turnovers, and avoid big plays

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens may want to consider returners other than Figurs

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ravens hoping to continue home dominance

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says T. Smith unlikely to switch positions

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Eagles game could provide ‘redemption’ from Giants loss

The Sun remembers when Eagles tied Ravens

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Mason, Reed, Rolle all practice

The Sun’s Edward Lee says 52, Reed, L. McClain lead Pro Bowl voting at their positions

The Sun’s Mike Preston thinks R. Ryan will stick around

The Sun’s Edward Lee says only Gaither absent from practice

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ngata ‘deserves’ Pro Bowl trip

Aaron Wilson says Ravens still in ‘strong position’ to make playoffs

Aaron Wilson says defense thinks Eagles’ run offense will ‘test’ them

Philadelphia Daily News’ Les Bowen says Eagles want to ‘establish run early’ Sunday

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Ray Parrillo says Eagles have ‘target’ on Flacco

ESPN.com’s James Walker surprised Ngata doesn’t get more love nationally

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ravens realize ‘they have to play better’

3 of 5 ESPN Sunday Countdown analysts pick Ravens

4 of 6 ESPN experts (thus far) pick Ravens

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says Ngata ‘in the mix’ to go to Hawaii


The Official Site says Terps thinking title headed into tomorrow night’s game

Florida State Official Site says Bowden reports Datko practiced Thursday

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps expecting sellout

The Sun’s Matt Bracken recaps season for QB commit Brown

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Noles preparing for frigid temperatures

The Sun’s Jeff Barker thinks Terps will have more night success at home than on road

The Sun’s Jeff Barker breaks down Bowl possibilities for Terps after Orange Bowl

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says heat on Bowden amongst FSU fans

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph opening practice to students again

The Examiner’s Abby Sondak says E. Williams brings ‘energy’ to Terps in push for Orange Bowl

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Terps know they’re game more important than BC-Wake

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says this game massive for Terps

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Bowden thinks Terps play tough every week

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Oquendo drive-extender for Terps

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says ‘no surprises’ for Terps on injury report

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Noles’ defense strong

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Ralph will blog

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell remembers Ralph’s first meeting with Bowden

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says at least 100 students showed up for practice last week

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps struggled in this situation two years ago

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps going trying to beat FSU for 3rd straight time at home

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps won’t have Gossett TV’s on Wake game

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Oquendo, Tyler delivering for Terps on 3rd down

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says L. Williams, Gonnella both OUT for Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says all of Oquendo’s 3rd down catches have been pickups

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Chick-Fil-A Bowl praises Terps

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Ralph wants interaction between players, students at practice

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps have new football site

Orlando Sentinel’s Tim Linafelt says Noles preparing for dry footballs in Saturday’s chilly conditions

Florida Times-Union’s Ira Schoffel says J. Thomas threat to catch passes as well

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Turner has become one of ACC’s ‘better quarterbacks’

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says FSU confirms McClure OUT


The Official Site previews tonight’s Vermont game

The Official Site offers complete Terps-Catamounts release (pdf)

The Sun’s Don Markus says Terps want to get out to quicker start vs. Vermont

The Sun’s Ray Frager says tonight’s game first of 8 this season to be televised by CSN

The Examiner’s Sean Welsh says Gary looking for 400th victory at school tonight

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Terps’ recruiting year looks more like pro ‘free agency’

The Diamondback’s Mark Selig says Lonergan returns to College Park tonight

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Lonergan has always followed Terps

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Lonergan thinks Catamounts have taken ‘good shots’ thus far this season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps remaining ‘patient’ in hopes to improve inside

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Goins ‘better than expected’ thus far

DC Examiner’s Craig Stouffer says Catamounts lead to College Park by Lively


The Official Site says Toliver has 27 points, 10 assists to lift Terps past JMU

The Sun’s Patrick Gutierrez says Terps use 14-0 run to pull away from Dukes

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says JMU had lead in 2nd half

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says 6,000+ see Terps top Dukes

The AP says Toliver decided to take over down stretch


The Official Site says Navy-NIU to be shown on ESPN Classic, not ESPN2

The Official Site’s Bob Socci says Mids don’t quit

Northern Illinois Official Site says Huskies looking to get bowl eligible with win over Mids Tuesday

The Examiner’s Steve DeClue says Mids were close to providing memories for lifetime

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Niumatalolo ‘concerned’ about Tuesday trip to Dekalb

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Dobbs ‘sharp’ in practice


The Official Site says 10 Tigers playing final game tomorrow

The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Tigers get chance to stun #1 Dukes


The Official Site’s Mike Hermann (he’s the AD!) says get behind Coach Kennedy because he finally has all of his own players


The Official Site offers complete UMBC-Quinnipiac release (pdf)


The Official Site previews tomorrow’s season finale with Hampton


The Examiner’s Dave Carey says CB McKhan making strides for Bears


The Official Site previews ECAC Southeast Championship vs. Catholic Saturday

The Official Site offers complete Hopkins-Catholic release (pdf)


The Official Site says 14 Gulls honored by conference


The Official Site says Eers ink 2

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Phelan headed to College Hall Sunday


MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch says Mussina knew this would be his final season

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds targeting Izturis at short

The Sun’s Ray Frager says Moose should go to Hall as Oriole, Rick Maese says he’s a Yankee

The AP says Mussina has ‘no regrets’ over decision to retire

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds, Ponson going to court Dec. 17

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Montanez honored by Topps

The Examiner’s Jay Trucker says Moose will have to wait for year with no first time candidates to get to Hall……….as Yankee

New York Post’s Joel Sherman credits Moose for accomplishments in steroid era

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal thinks Tex choosing Birds ‘doubtful’

Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown says Moose won 20 after deciding to retire


The Official Site says team adds 12 to Camp roster


The AP says Phelps to hawk Subway


The Sun’s Childs Walker says MRC could cut events

Thoroughbred Times’ John Scheinman says prize money down in ‘09


-Here are some hoops predictions for this weekend…..Maryland 78, Vermont 62-the Terps really need to get a few rotation problems solved tonight; or else Thursday’s game with Michigan State could get UGLY. UMBC 70, Quinnipiac 64-Coach Monroe worked the Dogs pretty hard on Wednesday after their loss Monday night. Marshall 75, Morgan 72-The Bears don’t need to win their early season games; but they do need to get ready for a tough MEAC season. Purdue 87, Coppin 68-but this one will be closer at half than the Boilers will want it to be. Towson 84, Hampton 72-The Tigers SHOULD be double digits better than most MEAC clubs.

-Your regional High School Football winners will be……Arundel, Millford Mill, Wilde Lake, Eastern Tech, River Hill, Pikesville, Joppatowne, Dunbar AND……..the Perry Hall Gators.

Talk to you tonight from Maryland-Vermont.


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Good to see fellow rookies get a chance

Posted on 21 November 2008 by joeflacco

It sure will be good to get back to our stadium and see (and hear) all the fans for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.  We put that New York loss behind us right away and started preparing for the Eagles.  We’ve had a good week of practice and we all know Philadelphia has an outstanding organization with players who know how to win.  But we need a win too.  I guess that’s why we have to play the game on Sunday, right?

I’m not sure about the status of Jared Gaither, Willie Anderson or Adam Terry for Sunday’s game but it will be a great opportunity for other players to step up and play and that’s a good thing for them.  David (Hale) and O’Neil (Cousins) both got some snaps in New York and even though it came in the 4th quarter I know they were grateful for the opportunity.  They’ve been working hard all year for their chance and as a fellow rookie, I felt good for them on Sunday when they got in against the Giants.  I hope Jared and Willie are both healthy enough to play again soon, if not this Sunday, but David and O’Neil will do just fine if called upon.

It’s going to be a lot fun over these last six games.  We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good position 10 games into the season.  We just need to keep having fun and stay focused and we’ll be fine.  I have a lot of friends and family coming down for the game so I need to treat them and the rest of the fans to a win.  I’ll be doing my best for all of you, that’s for sure.  Have a great Thanksgiving next week!

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Ravens vs. Eagles – Your Predictions

Posted on 20 November 2008 by Alex Thomas

Finally, the Ravens return to Baltimore and get to play in front of the home crowd. Coming off an embarrassing performance in the Meadowlands, the Ravens defense is poised to play their best game of the season.

Brian Westbrook is battling an ankle injury and has not yet participated in practice this week. Westbrook is the support beam for the Eagles offense. If he doesn’t play, the Eagles offense takes a totally different shape. Donovan McNabb did not play well last week against a rather pathetic Bengals defense.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the football, things aren’t looking so good. It looks like Jared Gaither won’t play, and Willie Anderson has been limited in practice all week. With the Eagles defense leading the NFL in sacks with 36, Joe Flacco could be running for his life on Sunday. When I last saw Derrick Mason he was in a sling, and he told reporters earlier this week that he is uncertain about whether or not he’ll play.

I think that if the Ravens were completely healthy, this would be an easy Baltimore victory. But the banged up offensive line creates some severe personnel match-up problems. Oneal Cousins trying to block Trent Cole and Darren Howard? Yeah…right…

The Ravens need this win with Miami and New England breathing down their neck in the AFC wild card race. Baltimore, Miami, and New England all have 6-4 records, but at this point the Ravens hold the tie-breaker. And either the Dolphins or the Patriots will pick up a win this week as both teams will square off in Miami.

My prediction: The Ravens know what’s at stake and will find a way to win this week, but Joe Flacco must be protected in order for that to happen. Look for more Troy Smith this week.

Ravens – 23

Eagles -16

Pivotal match-up: Ravens Offensive Line vs. Eagles Defensive Line.

Where it could all go wrong: The old adage: protect the football and protect the quarterback. If both of those things happen, the Ravens will win this game. I don’t see the Eagles doing much on offense with an unhealthy Brian Westbrook.

Surprising statistic: The Eagles are 37-1 when McNabb has a passer rating over 100.

Last Week’s winner would have been Ravenator if he would have picked the Giants to win, but the check mark goes to Johnny Rocket, who predicted a 31-11 Ravens loss. My pick: 23-20 Giants. Actual score: 30-10 Giants.

Week 10 Winner: My man Franchise gets the check mark, predicting a 31-10 Ravens victory. Remember when Ozzie Newsome was getting verbally crucified on the airwaves? I guess all of us should trust the Franchise. My pick: 29-12 Ravens. Actual Score: 41-13 Ravens.

Week 9 Winner: Johnny Rocket picked the closest score, predicting a 22-16 Ravens win. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Ravens to put up 37 points on the road. My pick: 23-17 Browns. Actual score: 37-27 Ravens.

Week 8 winner: Nestminder is our first back-to-back winner, picking the Ravens to win 24-6. We had a record-low in the number of predictions received, but we can rebound this week. We’ll chalk that one up to the new website. My pick: 27-6 Ravens. Actual score: 29-10 Ravens

Week 7 winner: Nestminder picked a 20-13 Ravens victory and Polostat was a close second. My pick: 24-16 Ravens. Actual score: 27-13 Ravens.

Week 6 winner: Johnny Rocket correctly picked against the Ravens, per usual, predicting a 32-8 Colts victory. My pick: 28-23 Colts. Actual score: 31-3 Colts.

Week 5 winner: Columbia Ken picked the closest score, predicting a 17-13 Titans victory. My pick: 17-9 Ravens. Actual score: 13-10 Titans

Week 4 winner: Jon R. reluctantly picked a 24-20 win for the Steelers. My pick: 13-10 Ravens. Actual score: 23-20 Steelers (OT)

Week 3 winner: EazyE picked a 23-13 win for the Ravens vs. Cleveland. My pick: 23-13 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.

What are your predictions this week?

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