Tag Archive | "Gano"

15-7-0

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15-7-0

Posted on 01 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

No Ravens-we save them for Tuesday and the “Tuesday Top 7.” Also, considering most human beings EVERYWHERE started their weekend on Thanksgiving; we’ll start there for our qualifications to make the list. And while I realize I’ve somehow managed to stretch a 4 day weekend into 5 days due to my tardiness-deal with it. It’s my list.

You deserve props…..

1-Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Chris Redman and Alex Smith

Do you think it might chap Aaron Rodgers’ ass a bit that every time he does something awesome, ol’ Brett comes along and does something even a bit better?

It sorta reminds me of my childhood friend Scott Meredith…..

meredith

(Edit from GMC: This is NOT a picture of Scott Meredith. Well, apparently it’s a picture of SOMEONE whose name is Scott Meredith, but I only know that because I Google image searched “Scott Meredith”. I guess it is possible that the person pictured above IS my friend Scott Meredith, but I would think I would know Scott Meredith if I saw Scott Meredith. Hey! There’s a squirrel over there……)

Ol’ Scott Meredith loved to one up me growing up. He was a year older, but we were in the same grade.

I remember getting a double in the 6th inning to tie a Little League game; and Scott Meredith of course hit the walk-off homer to steal all of the attention.

I once got 3rd place in a science fair, only to find out that the winner was Scott Meredith-and he actually discovered something that our teachers thought was a new addition to the periodic table of elements. (Turned out later it was just lard.)

I thought I was the COOLEST person alive when I figured out how to play “Basket Case” by Green Day on my clarinet in 6th grade after months of practice……that is until Scott Meredith wandered into the band room, picked up a sax for the first time and NAILED “Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States of America.

And in 7th grade when I had my first REAL kiss from a gal named Rachael who I called my “girlfriend” but I’m pretty sure I never went on a single actual “date” with, I couldn’t wait to tell all of my friends. That is until Scott Meredith came in the next day and introduced us to his wife Molly and twin sons Dave and Donny.

Son of a bitch.

2-Colt McCoy, Tony Pike, Noel Devine, Tim Tebow, Ryan Broyles, Toby Gerhart and Ryan Williams

Look, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow would be #1 and #2 on my list-and it probably wouldn’t be close-but I’m having to accept the fact that Stanford RB Toby Gerhart is a LEGITIMATE Heisman Trophy candidate-especially after his performance in the Cardinal’s big win over Notre Dame Saturday night. Why is this stunning? Mostly because Gerhart is WHITE-which finally gives us an answer to the question “Are there any good white Running Backs anymore?” Sadly, it doesn’t change the fact that we still can’t dance…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj4lgrpNMRw[/youtube]

3-Da’Sean Butler, Chris Singleton and Jon Scheyer

I actually break out in hives whenever I say something nice about anyone from Duke. Except of course when I say “Duke has very nice average looking women”……

duke

4-Knowshon Moreno, Larry Johnson and Justin Forsett

I thought the NFL Network might actually give us a decent game by adding Giants/Broncos, I WAS WRONG. Thanksgiving football just SUCKED this year. In fact, Thanksgiving games were so bad this year they might as well have just let this team play……

orioles

5-Zac MacMath and Lori Bjork

Congratulations to the Maryland soccer team for reaching the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament, and to the Terrapins Womens’ Hoops team for beating Drexel. Is that done? Can I move on? Okay thanks. Who wants to see what former Tennessee women’s basketball star Brittany Jackson looks like these days????

brittany

Thank God, I really didn’t have any other material prepared.

6-Alex Lachman

Has a name that rhymes with Ray Bachman. Who apparently got to hang out with Jack Black recently…..

td

In all seriousness though-congratulations to Johns Hopkins. At least until lacrosse season. Then I hope you lose 40-0 to the Terps.

7-Miles Austin, Terrell Owens and Antonio Gates

With the Ravens having no wide receivers under contract after this season, I thought I would poke around to see what wide receivers might be available in the offseason-and wouldn’t you know it, both Austin (6’3″), and T.O. (6’3″) are available. Who else? Try Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant, Malcolm Floyd and this guy…….

devard

I’m just kidding about the last one. Devard is actually under contract for 3 years. No, really.

8-Eric Fehr

The NHL is happening. And wouldn’t you know, Elisha Cuthbert dates Dion Phaneuf from the Calgary Flames. AND, she just celebrated her 27th birthday! And, this is WAY more interesting than me actually talking about the Capitals!

cuthbert

(Edit from GMC: Attention Sean Avery: there will be many more hockey players who fight for your “sloppy seconds.”)

9-Roy Williams and Tom Izzo

Both reached milestones over the weekend. Sadly for them, Izzo didn’t reach the milestone of “Beating Florida Saturday night” and Williams didn’t reach the milestone of “not looking like Huckleberry Hound.”

I was thinking about what would happen if Roy Williams were to consider running for governor of the state of North Carolina. For god’s sake, who would beat him? I mean, other than this guy…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy-LQH8N6Ug[/youtube]

10-Clint Session and Darrelle Revis

Apparently Jets gameday host (Does she still have that job?) Jenn Sterger has decided to remove her boobs. I think I speak on behalf of God himself when I ask, “Why?”

terger

That being said, I’d like to throw in another plug for our friend “ay52″, who did something recently. Something about a new purse, maybe?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zs05BQoJCg[/youtube]

11-Emmanuel Gbor, Epe Henriques and Zack Zwinak

My roommate (“The Luckiest Dang Roommate on the Face of the Planet”)’s nephew plays for Eastern Tech, so I’ll be rooting for them this weekend-despite their close proximity to my beloved Perry Hall Gators. I’ll also be rooting for the Joppatowne Mariners, mostly because Mariner Point Park in Joppatowne was….ahem….”where I became a man.”

(Editor’s note: By “where I became a man”, I actually mean “I TOTALLY shut out my dad in a game of bocce.” What did you think I meant?)

12-Chad Ochocinco and Grady Sizemore

The most awkward moment of my life happened when I was living in Phoenix. I was sitting at dinner with some friends, and wanted to show everyone an awesome picture I had taken from the sidelines of the Arizona State-Cal game that night with a friend who was seated in the wheelchair section and had awesomely painted his face to celebrate his love of the Sun Devils. A friend’s girlfriend (we’ll call her “Delilah”) was seated next to me, and was laughing at the picture. Suddenly, she took it upon herself to flip to the next picture in the phone. Not good.

“Is that your thumb?”

No, it wasn’t my thumb. And I wasn’t a hundred percent certain how the body parts could be confused-but maybe that was a bad sign for me.

Thankfully I’m not a famous athlete, or that cell phone picture may have been headed straight to Deadspin. Grady Sizemore found that out; and women worldwide are suddenly thinking about becoming Indians fans….

grady

(Edit from GMC: That was BY FAR AND AWAY the most SFW photo in the bunch. Props to Sizemore for his use of a mug in another pic. Also, I hope the chick was worth it.)

And another thing, Chad Ochocinco in a Snuggie is awesome to me for some reason; even if I don’t know why……

ocho

13-Graham Gano and Damon Duval

Congratulations (I guess?) to the Las Vegas Locomotives (“Locos” for short, I believe) for winning the UFL Championship, and to the Montreal Alouettes for winning the CFL’s Grey Cup. A lot of people will think it’s ironic that Gano made the kick to win a title after he was cut in Baltimore in favor of Steve Hauschka; but I’m just happy for Gano; who’s a really good guy.

I also found it a bit strange to find out; but apparently THIS is the prize that goes to all of the players who are on the winning team in the Grey Cup…..

pie

(Editor’s note: Yes that IS a maple syrup pie. No I DON’T want to know what it tastes like.)

14-“I Want You Back” by Jackson 5

I wandered into Federal Hill Saturday night to spend the night at Charm City’s finest music venue-the 8×10 Club. (Edit from GMC: No offense to Rams Head Live-which is the finest mainstream music venue in Charm City.) I took in my friends Jimmie’s Chicken Shack and an OUTSTANDING young band called Brian Stewart & The Tell-Tale Hearts. Both were really, REALLY good. But there was another guy who went on stage first (and I WISH I could tell you the guy’s name-because he was really good too); who dialed up a REALLY cool version of the song. It just made me think “Why isn’t this song celebrated the way it should be?”…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt9TUy0_GiM[/youtube]

I was also directed to this-KT Tunstall’s version of the tune. Not too bad either……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xANiW9yWvGE[/youtube]

You know, maybe every band should just come up with a version of this song.

15-Thanksgiving Sandwiches

sammich

Yes, that IS leftover turkey and mashed potatoes with barbeque sauce on wheat bread. When you do it yourself tomorrow, thank me.

You got lucky…….

1-David Akers and Vince Young

Vince Young’s drive to beat the Cardinals was something to behold. But relax Arizona, you still have plenty going for you……

su

2-Tiger Woods

Look, did Eldrick sleep with this Rachel Uchitel chick? Who knows…

uchitel

Did he crash his car because he was drunk? Who knows.
Did he suffer injuries to his face because he was beat up by his wife? Who knows.
Is “Kobe Special” the coolest new term to have entered the English vocabulary? Hell yes.

3-Mike London and Brian Billick

I couldn’t be happier for all of the awesome success Virginia and Notre Dame are currently having with their respective programs. Just two excellent programs who deserve ALL of the success they have found. May I make a suggestion for the next head coach?

chuck

4-Nikolay Davydenko

Nikolay Davydenko won the ATP Tour Finals in London. Nicolette Sheridan is like 46 and somehow still smoking hot….

sheridan

5-1988-89 Miami Heat and 1999-2000 Los Angeles Clippers

I was trying to think of some words to describe just how terrible the New Jersey Nets have been this season; so I decided to reach out to Thesaurus.com. Here are some options…..

abhorrent
appalling
atrocious
awful
beastly
dire
disastrous
disturbing
dreadful
extreme
frightful
ghastly
gruesome
harrowing
hideous
horrendous
horrid
horrifying
loathsome
monstrous
odious
offensive
petrifying
poor
repulsive
revolting
rotten
severe
shocking
unfortunate
unnerving
unpleasant
unwelcome
vile

Any of those work for you? If not, there was one more word, but it read SO extreme I’m not sure even the Nets can qualify…..

“Angelosian”

6-Stephen A. Smith

Is DESPERATE for Allen Iverson to extend this whole “retirement” thing somehow. And I mean “DESPERATE.” Otherwise, his existence is basically built around this at this point…..

cheesesteak

You know, that actually doesn’t seem that bad-other than having to live in Philadelphia…..

7-Those of you-like me-who did NOT have to attend a high school reunion this weekend

But when the Class of 2001 gets together in 24 months, I will ABSOLUTELY try to find Tina Montalvo and dance to THIS song…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54yIMKjG048[/youtube]

Most significant musical contribution of my generation.

You’re a zero…….

Anyone who doesn’t vote for Art Modell or Roberto Alomar to make the Hall of Fame this year

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px7o45QbO3s[/youtube]

And if you don’t think either of these men belong IN, I will personally fight you.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Cundiff IN, Suggs OUT Sunday, Nakamura OUT For Season, Gerard to Active Roster

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Live From Owings Mills: Cundiff IN, Suggs OUT Sunday, Nakamura OUT For Season, Gerard to Active Roster

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

7:30- INJURY REPORT- Ravens:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
C Matt Birk (neck)
TE Todd Heap (chest)
RB Matt Lawrence (knee)
LB Terrell Suggs (knee)

LIMITED:
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)

FULL:
QB Joe Flacco (knee)
LB Tavares Gooden (head)
LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder)

Colts:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
WR Hank Baskett (illness)
DB Antoine Bethea (foot)
OT Dan Fedrkeil (concussion)
DT Eric Foster (back)
DB Aaron Francisco (ankle)
DE Dwight Freeney (not injury related)
WR Pierre Garcon (ankle)
WR Anthony Gonzalez (knee)
DB Kelvin Hayden (knee)
TE Gijon Robinson (concussion)
LS Justin Snow (elbow)
QB Jim Sorgi (right shoulder)
K Adam Vinatieri (right knee)

5:15-The Ravens have just announced that they have added DB Marcus Paschal to their practice squad, after KJ Gerard was promoted to the active roster. Paschal is 6’0″, 201 pounds; and is in his 2nd year out of Iowa.

3:03-Other things heard around the complex today worth passing along….

-John Harbaugh and Derrick Mason each implored the fans at M&T Bank Stadium to be brutally loud Sunday afternoon to try to distract Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis offense.
-Ray Lewis pointed out that the pre-snap motions he and Manning make are sometimes just “a bunch of bologna”, and part of the chess match between the players.
-Joe Flacco pointed out that he still doesn’t “have all movement” in his foot stemming from the ankle injury he suffered in Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings. He followed that up by saying “but it isn’t affecting me.”
-John Harbaugh appeared to support Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s decision to go for it on 4th and 2 Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium; saying the “odds were probably” with the Pats’ coach.
-There was plenty of praise going around for the Colts. Lewis said they were “probably the best team in football.” He added individual praise for Joseph Addai and Dallas Clark-who he thinks is “probably the most important piece” the Colts have offensively besides Reggie Wayne. Harbaugh said Dwight Freeney is “tremendously relentless”, but Flacco said he has “confidence” in the ability of Jared Gaither and Michael Oher to protect him.

2:56-KJ Gerard will be immediately expected to step in for Haruki Nakamura with Nakamura out for the season due to a broken ankle suffered on the opening kickoff Monday night at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

For those who aren’t familiar with Gerard, he is a 6’1″ rookie UFA out of Northern Arizona who has impressed this organization since arriving for his first minicamp in the spring. He has worked with the special teams units, and there shouldn’t be a great drop-off, although Nakamura is obviously a veteran who has carved out a nice niche on this football team. He used to have really fun hair…..

kj

…..but has since cut it off. The move opens up a spot on the practice squad, John Harbaugh mentioned the team had worked out a few safeties this morning.

2:46-Addressing the loss of Terrell Suggs…..

-Harbaugh confirmed T-Sizzle would miss Sunday’s game due to a “sprained ligament” in his knee stemming from the hit he took from Brady Quinn after Chris Carr’s interception Monday night. Suggs is expected to miss more time, but no one in the organization will confirm anything beyond Sunday. The head coach said Suggs will have to heal “on his own”, and that there was no procedure to help the healing process.

-Harbaugh added that Suggs’ injury provided an “opportunity” for other players, especially Paul Kruger-who is slated to start in Suggs’ stead after filling in for him previously during Training Camp. He also said the injury could provide an opportunity to Antwan Barnes. Harbaugh said that Kruger-who has been active for just 2 games all season-is “still learning nuances” of defense at the NFL level. Ray Lewis reminded the media that the team has a “next man up” mentality, and Kruger “does have to step up.”

-Harbaugh wouldn’t dive too deep into the issue of whether or not Brady Quinn’s hit was a cheap shot-only to say that the hit was “disappointing.” Ray Lewis stood by the frustrated comments he made Monday night, adding that the hit wasn’t “good football.” Upon learning that Brady Quinn had been fined “a good amount” by the NFL for the hit, #52 was quick to remind that there is “no dollar amount” that can be placed on losing the team’s best pass rusher.

2:22-Now the elephant in the room…..the return of Matt Stover.

-Harbaugh said the decision to not bring Matt Stover back had nothing to do with having to carry two kickers, and that the team is “not opposed to carrying two kickers (even) now.” He said the Ravens were just “unable to get” Stover signed. He added “if we could have had Matt here, we would have had Matt here.”

Clearly these comments only lead to more questions regarding what happened between Stover and the Ravens in the offseason. I have heard a couple different things from a few people around the organization, and they vary so much that I don’t really want to speculate on them too much. It does appear as though the organization at least had SOME interest in retaining Matt Stover-but the extent of that interest is not really known. Also, the team DID have the option to go with Stover right up until Adam Vinatieri was injured and Stover signed in Indy. Harbaugh was willing to admit that he’d rather have Stover kicking for him Sunday than against him; and the only thing that IS clear is that the decision to go with Hauschka was a failure; despite him beating out Graham Gano in Training Camp.

-John Harbaugh admitted that “it will be strange” to see Stover on the opposing sideline Sunday; but added that “it will be great too.” Derrick Mason said “it’ll be weird” to see Stover in Blue and White, but that Sunday will be a “special experience” for the former Ravens kicker. Mason himself knows about that having had the chance to return to return to Nashville after playing the bulk of his career with the Titans. Ray Lewis chimed in to add that it will be “weird” to play against Stover, and that his former teammate is “one of the better men I’ve been around in my life” and “just a class guy.”

2:14-Okay, let’s dive into these things a bit more. Starting with the decision that was made at kicker:

-John Harbaugh said the Ravens chose Billy Cundiff over Mike Nugent mostly because of “kickoffs.” Harbaugh saw Cundiff up close and personal when the Browns visited Baltimore in Week 3; and Cundiff booted a kickoff about 9 yards deep into the endzone. John added that the two kickers were “really close.” The kickoff situation was not an area where the Ravens were disappointed in Steve Hauschka, as a few people in the organization reminded me that were happy with the hang time Hauschka got on kickoffs, and believed it was part of the reason why the Ravens had done a good job of containing dangerous return men like Eddie Royal, Darren Sproles, Joshua Cribbs and Percy Harvin.

-Harbaugh believes Hauschka was “just not ready yet” to kick at this level, he didn’t have what it takes mentally. Harbs said it is “usually a process” for young kickers to adapt at this level, he mentioned that David Akers had been cut by 3 teams before catching on with the Eagles and becoming one of the better kickers of the last 20 years. Harbaugh certainly got to know Akers well while he was Special Teams coordinator in Philadelphia. Derrick Mason chimed in with support for Hauschka, adding “I enjoyed having Steve here. One player in particular doesn’t win or lose games.”

-Billy Cundiff said he got the call around 2pm Pacific time yesterday, and immediately headed towards Baltimore from Phoenix. He had actually gone back to school at Arizona State in recent years-getting a MBA and was working in an accounting firm while waiting for his next shot in the NFL. He said that as far as replacing Hauschka (and Matt Stover) is concerned; “the NFL is a replacement league.” He admitted to having watched some of the MNF game against the Browns knowing there was a chance he could end up with the Ravens. He would have watched more, but his young daughter was taking his attention.

1:05-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
LB Ray Lewis
CB Domonique Foxworth
K Billy Cundiff

Additionally, Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta joined Drew Forrester on “The Comcast Morning Show” this morning at 7am. You can hear from him in the Audio Vault as well.

The Ravens have also altered their practice schedule following the Monday Night Football game in Cleveland. They will not practice until 4pm today; essentially allowing for an additional “half day” to recover from the game against the Browns. This could be helpful for guys like Haloti Ngata (ankle), Tavares Gooden (concussion) and Todd Heap (chest) especially.

12:42-Here’s a rundown of what’s happened today:

-Billy Cundiff has been signed as the new kicker.
-Haruki Nakamura has been placed on IR (broken ankle); rookie KJ Gerard has been signed to the active roster from the practice squad
-Terrell Suggs is OUT for Sunday (at least)
-Matt “Jack Hunter” Lawrence missed Monday night’s game with a “knee issue”, there is no timetable for his return

Back to elaborate shortly…..

10:50-We are hearing rumblings that Cundiff is the kicker-via the Twitter account of his representation. Thanks to Aaron Wilson for the tip.

10:46-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Baltimore Ravens begin preparation for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. We are scheduled to hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and others today; and we will hope to hear from a new kicker-Mike Nugent or Billy Cundiff is expected to be named as Steve Hauschka’s replacement today.

The Colts are making Jim Caldwell and Peyton Manning available via conference call, although most reporters would have preferred to talk to Matt Stover.

Remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates from today’s availability.

-G

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15-7-0

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15-7-0

Posted on 19 October 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens on Tuesday-our “Tuesday Top 7″. In the meantime…..

You deserve props…..

1-Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Tom Brady

It was a hell of a weekend to be a quarterback. Well, it was a hell of a weekend to be MOST quarterbacks. I’m pretty sure the weekend still wasn’t good for THIS particular quarterback…..

boller

You know what, I take it back. Kyle B looks like that…..and I look like this…….

me

So……which one of us do you THINK had a better weekend……

2-Cliff Lee and Jerry Hairston Jr.

This one’s on Forrester.

Much like the way he will NEVER be invited back to my house to watch a Ravens game (he said “The Ravens are gonna win this one” 12 times in the 4th quarter in true Forrester Curse fashion); I think we’re really gonna have to think about who we invite on The Comcast Morning Show in the future.

Consider the fact that Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe caught TWO TD PASSES Sunday against the Ravens after an appearance on the show Thursday…..AND the fact that Jerry Hairston Jr.-who had NEVER had a playoff at-bat before Saturday-SCORED THE WINNING RUN for the Yankees to beat the Angels!

And with that, I’d like to take this time to annouce that THIS MAN is permanently banned from The Comcast Morning Show in the future…..

hines

Screw you, Hines Ward.

3-Alex Ovechkin

I’m no Capitals fan, but I’ll contend that The Great 8 is the best athlete to come from Eastern Europe since Alona Bondarenko…..

bondarenko

Strike that. Alona Bondarenko is better than Alex Ovechkin. Sorry Caps fans.

4-Tim Tebow, Mark Ingram, Josh Nesbitt and Matt Barkley

An old radio friend of mine had a funny Facebook status Saturday night….

Chad Dukes thinks that slut Erin Andrews should be banned from the sidelines after her sextape.”

Genius. She really should, too. Does she think we’re not thinking about that when we see her on the sidelines? Speaking of which, you know who else I’d like to see make a sex tape? The chick who plays “Pam” on “The Office”…..

fischer

Wait…..the Raiders’ pigeon?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2msmYpNXic[/youtube]

Strongest effort by a Bird in a sporting event since……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfTUmmKoqJ8[/youtube]

6-Blake Griffin

I have a friend who graduated from the University of Oklahoma, so this was a tough weekend for her. Her quarterback got hurt again, her backup couldn’t figure out a way to beat their archrival, and the Sooners are just 2 games better than the WOEFUL Maryland Terrapins. On top of that, their mascot is a FRAUD……

fraud

…..and their most distinguished alumni is best known for the phrase “slobberknocker”…….

jimross

……so I figured I’d lift her spirits by noting that Blake Griffin had 13 points and 12 boards in a practice NBA game. So……everything’s cool now, right?

7-Sean Mosley

Midnight Madness should be at midnight, damnit. I don’t want to harp on this, but if Midnight Madness had been at midnight, I could have gone after checking out AC/DC at the Verizon Center Friday night. Instead, THIS was the most exciting thing happening in College Park Friday night…..

makingout

Wait…..I changed my mind…….this is just fine……do that basketball thing whenever you want…..who the hell is Sean Mosley? My neck hurts.

8-Cory Ross

And I don’t mean to pile on here, but Graham Gano already has a 53 yard field goal on the season for the UFL Las Vegas Locomotives……if you know where I’m going…..

Cory Ross, huh? Remember when Cory Ross started a game accidentally in Baltimore and gauged the Steelers? You know, right before Brian Billick got fired? Oh, memories…..

Apparently not everyone is off to a great start on the UFL season though….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br5xGUmF79Y[/youtube]

Hang in there, Anita. You’ll get ‘em next time…..

9-Vince Murray and Pat Devlin

Tough homecoming for Towson against Delaware Saturday, of course-not quite as difficult as Homecoming was at Byrd Stadium; where I’m reasonably certain I was the only person who came home.

George W. Bush was at the Navy-SMU game Saturday in Dallas. It was somewhat strange when he opened the game by welcoming all of the Sooners and Longhorns fans to the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Rivalry.

Are “George W. Bush is stupid” jokes still funny, or are we all supposed to go with the more popular “Barack Obama hasn’t done anything” fare?

Eff it, to quote Frank Caliendo….”I miss the little guy.” He wasn’t much of a President, but DAMN if he wasn’t entertaining…..

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

10-Nikk Davis and Joe Cummings

I will FREELY admit that I was the only person who gave even HALF a crap about what was going on in the world of lacrosse this weekend. Then again, I knew if I hung out around a lacrosse game, I’d find someone who knew where I could find the new John Mayer tune. I was right!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZwVjys2bQI[/youtube]

11-Duke Basketball

I can’t believe I’m saying this. Jesus, I might break out in a cold sweat. But in an era when no one can afford to spend money on their basketball program, it’s kinda cool that you were able to do this…….

duke

Okay, I hope Coach K and the Blue Devils get their ASS KICKED every game. And…..there’s nothing about this picture that makes me concerned whatsoever. BUT…..it’s cool. NCAA Basketball teams are cutting spending, and they tread lightly when it comes to doing cool stuff. I have to give props…..and it is REALLY uncomfortable to do so.

12-Canada

A lot of people are going to dog the people up in Vancouver for their strangely shaped Olympic medals, but do not count me amongst that group. I think the Canadians have actually put together a hip looking medal…

medal

I mean, they’re oddly shaped and all, but they’re mostly cooler than anything else that’s come from Canada….except for the one time Avril Lavigne decided to start working at Hooters……

hooters

13-Jim Nantz

Maybe the nicest guy on the face of the freaking planet. He saw his wife crying in divorce court and gave her a hug. Holy freaking crap. There are women that I have no reason to have ill will towards and I would LAUGH if I saw them crying. Then again, I might be the worst human being on the face of the planet. Also, Nantz has a new commercial with Peyton Manning out…..where he shoots a football with a bow and arrow. Anyone have video of that????

For the record, Drew Forrester hasn’t put pants on since this particular moment……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af2zHvVKWh8[/youtube]

14-Chick-Fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Sweet Tea

chicktea

Ask me which I’d rather have. A night with Marisa Miller or the meal above………

Go ahead…….

That’s what I thought. Marisa Miller will still be there when I’m ready…..

15-Angus Young

So…….this show was EXACTLY as good as I had hoped it would be……..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzxI_Jw0wV4[/youtube]

And this song is EXACTLY as kick-ass live as I imagined……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7FFPP5KKA8[/youtube]

AND…..I TOTALLY didn’t come away from the show worshiping Satan (that I know of), so this is all a win-win!

You got lucky……

1-Colt McCoy and Shrimp Vindaloo

In Rick Reilly’s column previewing Oklahoma-Texas last week, he described McCoy’s girlfriend Rachel Glandorf as “hotter than shrimp vindaloo.”

The interesting part for me is that the first thing I Google image searched was…….

shrimp

And then the NEXT thing I Google image searched was…..

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CezbgHDlN3A/STWFdiwgB-I/AAAAAAAADRw/Pu9PxXtyhLg/s400/rachel-glandorf-2.jpg

It really has never been a bigger weekend for shrimp vindaloo than this one. Frankly, this might be a peak for shrimp vindaloo. I somehow doubt it gets much better than this. I know Rick Reilly looked at Rachel Glandorf favorably, but when else will shrimp vindaloo get this much attention???

Oh, and Texas beat Oklahoma to keep their BCS National Championship dreams very much alive. Which is neat, if you’re into that sort of thing……

2-Danny O’Brien

And by “lucky”, I mean, you better get ready to play. Chris Turner-I love you. You helped this team to some big wins (@Rutgers, vs. Boston College, vs. Cal, vs. North Carolina), but there’s just no reason for you to be in there anymore. I know you’ll still play, but Ralph is gonna have to look at Jamarr Robinson and Danny. Danny is the most likely candidate to be the guy next season, so I guess he’ll be the real go-to guy.

We’ll always have the memories…….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEujY9dJ5L0[/youtube]

3-Sunderland

This didn’t REALLY happen, did it????

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kun2g_NXS4[/youtube]

Oh holy crap, it did. Liverpool must be PISSED! In fact, I heard a rumor that the kid who threw the ball on the field was receiving death threats from Liverpool fans until he said “Hey look over there”……..at which point Liverpool fans took their anger out on a poster of this…..

yoko

Don’t blame them. I want to take my anger out on that image, too.

Also, was that humor too smart for this blog? I feel as though it may have been. Therefore, boobs.

4-Jimmie Johnson and Martin Laird

Not really as much because their accomplishments were lucky, more because they are lucky that ANYONE noticed. For example, my friend told me she had to work yesterday-to which I responded “Are the people at your work aware that the NFL did NOT decide to cancel games this season?”

That being said, Laird is reportedly a golfer on the PGA Tour. He won the Justin Timberlake Open in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake won this Sunday wherever the hell he felt like it…..

biel

5-Rian Lindell

It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE for a kicker to miss a kick from the mid-40 yard range to win a football game. COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! No other kicker in the NFL could POSSIBLY do that!

Anyhoo, Rian Lindell got a 2nd chance and made it count Sunday, which is more than can be said about my 2nd-12th chances with the law……..

Also, remember when Mark Sanchez was the next Joe Flacco? Fellow former USC QB Matt Leinart has some career advice if things don’t turn around….

matty

6-Megan Fox

So, apparently she won some sort of award from Spike TV AND pulled down a big endorsement deal for Armani underwear this weekend, too. Which made me think, does anyone really wanna see Megan Fox in her underwear???

fox

Seriously…..no thanks. I mean, if that’s what you’re into and all, good for you. But some of us have standards, and this frankly just isn’t good enough. But for those of you who don’t really care about looks, I guess this will be something you’ll be into.

7-People who don’t live in Maryland in October

My Saturday looked a lot like this……

rain

Which I guess beats waking up and seeing this……..

snow

I’m going back to Arizona. Eff this. I love you guys, I love my family; but I think I have the flu again after like a day. this place SUCKS. WHAT THE EFF IS SNOW IN OCTOBER ALL ABOUT?!?!?! 66 degrees on Tuesday? The weather here is about as rational as my girl after 2 beers……….

“I think we should go skiing……in the air!!!!!!!!”

You’re a zero…..

Everyone who is angry about Richard and Mayumi Heene

Seriously, there are other things to worry about in the world. For example, there are rumors that this lady……

dita

had a sultry lesbian photoshoot with another model where they were each in their underwear. And yet, NO PICTURES TO BE FOUND YET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My friends, our nation is in crisis. Please, someone help me solve this problem……

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983……

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

Here are my picks for the weekend:

Ravens 24, Chiefs 7

They’re just better. But not 30+ points a game offensively.

Maryland 20, James Madison 6

Madison brings in two new quarterbacks, which makes me think they’ll struggle offensively.

Navy 34, Louisiana Tech 24

This should be fun for the Mids, at least early on

Akron 44, Morgan State 13

It might not be that close. Not that the Zips are particularly good.

Perry Hall 16, Overlea 12

The Gators can’t open 0-2, can they?

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

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Cam Cameron plans on going ‘Receiver by Committee’ offensively

Drew Forrester picks Ravens to win AFC North; Glenn Clark says Wild Card with Suggs as Defensive Player of the Year

Nestor Aparicio says Chris McAlister said he’s returning to NFL next week

Nestor Aparicio picks Ravens to win Super Bowl

Rex Snider celebrating Purple Friday on 9/11

Keith Melchior picks Ravens to top Giants in Super Bowl

Lawson Lambert picks Ravens 2nd in AFC North, Wild Card winner

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says M&T Bank Stadium ranked 2nd best in NFL by Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Marshal Yanda, Mark Clayton both expected to play vs. KC Sunday

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says ‘continuity’ expected with Greg Mattison taking over Rex Ryan’s defense

The Official Site says Greg Mattison thinks streak of not allowing 100 yard rusher ‘important’ to Ravens defense

Kansas City Chiefs Official Site says Matt Cassel, Brandon Flowers, Terrance Copper all ‘limited’ in practice

Kansas City Chiefs Official Site says Haley thinks decision on Cassel will go ‘down to the wire’

Kansas City Chiefs Official Site says QB Cassel feels knee ‘making progress’

Kansas City Chiefs Official Site says Flacco may have given RB Larry Johnson ‘bulletin board material’

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says finding weapons for Flacco still issues for Ravens

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Hauschka knows creating reputation in Stover’s shadow ‘won’t be easy’

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Pryce believes Mattison’s defense not as ‘violent’ as Rex Ryan’s

The Sun says Chiefs 0-3 all time at M&T Bank Stadium

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens need ‘improvement’ from Flacco, ‘motivation’ from defense, ‘breakthrough’ from Ray Rice

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says health of WR’s Mason, Clayton, success of K Hauschka, consistency of CB’s Washington, Foxworth all potential problem areas for Ravens

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Flacco no Brady or Manning, but Ravens don’t need him to be

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Antwan Barnes facing off with former teammate Dwayne Bowe

The Sun’s Ken Murray explains why he thinks Ravens will win Super Bowl

The Sun’s Edward Lee says ST Coordinator Rosburg told Gano to ‘stay ready’ after cut

The Sun’s Edward Lee says LJ Smith didn’t practice again

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens ‘targeting’ Larry Johnson

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens worked out free agent punter Glenn Pakulak

Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb says Haley hasn’t indicated if Tyler Thigpen or Brodie Croyle would start should Cassel not be able to go

Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher says Flacco’s comments posted in Chiefs’ locker room

SI’s Peter King picks Ravens 33-9

NFL.com says Ravens have won 5 straight home games in September

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt will be watching DJ Johnson vs. Ray Rice Sunday

NFL.com’s Vic Carucci says defenses will be more ‘familiar’ with Flacco in 2nd season

Fox Sports’ Joe Concha says Ravens-Colts, Ravens-Steelers will help to determine entire NFL season

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco picks Ravens 27-10

ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons picks Ravens to finish 12-4, win Wild Card

ESPN.com’s James Walker picks Ravens 24-10

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Roberts has shot to be first player to reach 60 doubles since ‘36

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says MacPhail thinks minor league system had ‘very good year’

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Arrieta, Xavier Avery, Josh Bell, Zach Britton, Erbe, Hobgood, Steve Johnson, Luis Lebron, Brandon Snyder, Waring all players in O’s organization worth watching

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Matusz to receive Jim Palmer Award as top pitcher, Waring to receive Brooks Robinson Award as top player in organization

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds opened Rookie of the Year campaign for Reimold

Examiner Jay Trucker says 2009 Birds “Why Bother” team (BRILLIANT!)

Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown has O’s 27th in power rankings

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Tyser Tower dedicated Thursday before Saturday’s home opener

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Ralph wants to get Gary Douglas into tomorrow’s game

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Jamari McCullough will miss JMU game

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Terps ‘must’ improve Saturday vs. Madison

The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider says not all suites, mezzanine seats sold at refurbished Byrd Stadium

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Chris Turner thinks JMU game ‘very, very important’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says senior associate AD Ullmann heard ‘not right now’ frequently from fans regarding purchasing luxury seats for football games

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Tony Logan questionable, Kenny Tate will handle punt returns

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terps hoping for ‘improvement’ from WR’s after Adrian Cannon, Ronnie Tyler, Torrey Smith only receivers with catches vs. Golden Bears

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says James Franklin thinks Turner could be All-ACC Candidate

Washington Times’ Harrison Goodman thinks ACC should give up revenue to CAA if Dukes join William & Mary, Richmond in beating ACC teams

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Dukes to pick up $325,000 check for game at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens picks Terps 20-9

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says RB Porzel, FB Berman remain OUT for Terps

Harrisonburg Daily News Record’s Mike Barber says Terps will look to pressure Dukes QB’s Justin Thorpe, Drew Dudzik

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says ‘large contingent’ of JMU fans expected in College Park Saturday

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says DC Don Brown thought Cal ‘exposed (Maryland’s) weaknesses’ (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Ralph happy with week of practice preparing for JMU (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says freshman kicker Ferrara ‘broke the ice’ with first game at California (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem profiles freshman DE Isaiah Ross (must subscribe)

Inside MD Sports’ Seth Hoffman says injury to Bruce Campbell ‘wrinkles’ O-Line

Inside MD Sports’ Seth Hoffman says Terrell Skinner thinks Terps ‘humbled’ by blowout loss in Berkeley

Inside MD Sports’ Jeff Ermann says Virginia TE prospect Josh Lovell’s verbal ‘all but done deal’ for Terps

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Mids commit to playing in 2012 Emerald Bowl

The Official Site says $10 tickets available to kids wearing football or cheerleading uniforms to Saturday’s game against Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech Official Site previews tomorrow’s opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Louisiana Tech Official Site offers complete Midshipmen/Bulldogs release (pdf)

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Joe Buckley kicker, but Niumatalolo may use Jon Teague for 40+ yard kicks

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Tyler Simmons like extra starting LB for Mids

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Mids would face Pac-10 opponent in San Francisco in ‘12

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Cameron Marshall brings two tours of Iraq, Marines experience to DE spot with Mids

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Mids must limit La Tech WR/KR Livas

Washington Post’s Matt Bonesteel says San Fran game means Mids have postseason appearances nailed down through 2013

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says AD Gladchuk has given Mids ‘long term stability’

Go Mids offers quick facts on Navy, La Tech

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site previews Hopkins/Randolph-Macon

The Official Site offers complete JHU/Randolph-Macon release (pdf)

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says former Hound P.T. Ricci selected by Philadelphia Wings in NLL Draft

BALTIMORE MARINERS:

The Official Site says Mariners brought back WR Scorpio Brown

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Joe DeVivo says Laurel fall session opens tomorrow

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-I’ll say Derek Jeter breaks Lou Gehrig’s record in his first at-bat tonight. And I won’t care much. Screw the Yankees.

Talk to you this weekend.

-G

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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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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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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens Make First Cuts

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

2:01-Talked to Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth for a while today about facing his former team-the Atlanta Falcons-Thursday night. He said the ’08 season was a “semi-magical year” with the Falcons, where he felt like he was the “leader of the group” in the secondary. He’s not Bart Scott, as he praised former coach Mike Smith as a “great coach” and a “smart, talented guy.”

When I asked Foxworth to compare his former teammate at QB (Matt Ryan) to his current teammate at QB (Joe Flacco), Foxworth said “they’re pretty different”, praising Flacco’s superior arm strength; but saying that their biggest similarity is their “poise.”

1:56-LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee) was in full uniform for practice this afternoon, and was seen early on running individual drills away from practice. It appears as though the UFA from Georgia will attempt to give it a go today. He continues to be in a difficult spot, as he is a guy this organization has liked; but they haven’t been able to see enough of him in recent weeks.

1:37-Terrell Suggs and Mark Clayton are each out on the practice field and dressed, but we were not able to see either guy do much work before getting kicked out of practice. CB Chris Carr was in warm-up pants, and OT Oniel Cousins (ankle) was in shorts. Neither appeared to be participating in team drills. Carr had been battling back spasms during Training Camp. Jared Gaither also did not practice (neck).

1:32-Drew Willy (UFA QB-Buffalo), Bradon Godfrey (UFA WR-Utah) and Biren Ealy (3rd year FA WR out of Houston; previously with Titans) are your first cuts in the process of getting the roster trimmed down to 75. With Samari Rolle on the PUP list, the roster currently sits at 76; meaning the team will have to make one more cut before tomorrow’s deadline. None of the moves are at all surprising; and Drew Willy could be a future practice squad guy.

12:53-Very different attitudes coming from WR Demetrius Williams and WR Kelley Washington.

Williams said very simply about his performance this preseason: “I can do better.” He also appeared to be a little more reserved in his comments. Washington meanwhile appeared to be a bit more confident, but isn’t concerned about whether or not he’s a starter. Washington said his “mission is just to come here and be a target for Joe.”

Williams didn’t appear as though he was trying to use vindication as a motivating factor, despite being passed over by multiple teams before having to try out with the Ravens and accepting a lesser contract. He reminded me that “The NFL is all about opportunity” and that he’s “always known (he) can play.”

I did wonder if the excitable WR had prepared any sort of special celebration should he find the endzone in the season opener; but Washington admitted he “just want(s) to make sure (he’s) on a roster.”

He will be.

12:49-Steve Hauschka told us that he knows Thursday night could be big for his future in Baltimore, saying the game is his “chance to go out there and solidify the position.” Hauschka seems to have handled his miss from 27 yards Saturday night pretty well; and added “I’m human, I’m going to miss a kick once in a while.”

The miss did give Hauschka a chance to show he’s capable of bouncing back when facing adversity, but also left the door open for Graham Gano to remain in the competition should he continue to struggle.

12:46-You would imagine that DT Kelly Gregg would be the type of veteran who might be held out of Thursday night’s game; considering he’s both part of the 30 and over club AND coming off an injury. But Gregg said he “expects” to play in Thursday night’s game.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens gave the vets one series at the start of the game, if for no other reason than because it is difficult to ask a team to work hard in practice and then not have them play.

12:44-When asked if WR Kelley Washington has done enough to deserve being the #2 receiver for this team, John Harbaugh responded by saying “I think he has.”

I believe it was The Hives who said, “Hate To Say I Told You So……Allright!”

12:40-When told that the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (who went on to become Super Bowl XXXV Champions) finished the preseason 4-0, John Harbaugh said “we’ll go by the 2000 team” in determining whether or not they want to finish the fake football season undefeated. He did admit that as a team they “want to win.”

In reality, teams care about who wins preseason games right up until the clock says 0:00. Once the game is over, it really doesn’t matter to them whether or not they came out victorious.

12:37-John Harbaugh would not commit to an amount of playing time for starters Thursday night, other than to say that they won’t play the whole game. He did say that the team has “gotten a lot out of (their) starters” in the preseason.

Regarding tomorrow’s cut to 75 and next week’s cut to 53; Harbaugh also reminded that “special teams are huge”, and that they usually are the “tipping point” in making roster decisions.

12:34-Harbaugh said the Ravens are “proceeding as usual” with the kicking competition, but admitted he would “give Steve (Hauschka) the edge.”

Regarding Matt Stover, Harbaugh said “as long as he wants to kick, he’s a factor around the league.”

12:27-A couple of important updates from John Harbaugh. Coach addressed the 3 most significant injured Ravens:

-CB Samari Rolle (neck) will begin the season on the (non-counting) PUP list, meaning his spot will not count against the Ravens’ 53 man roster. Moreover, Harbaugh said Rolle “has a chance” to play this year, BUT “if there’s any risk at all, he won’t play.”
-Harbaugh said the Ravens “want” LB Terrell Suggs (achilles, heel) to take part in practice this week, and said they expected him to participate in practice today to the extent that he’s able to. Suggs didn’t comment to the media, but appeared non-committal regarding whether or not he’d participate. You have to wonder if this is part of a chess game between Suggs and the team. He did appear to have taken part in workouts this morning.
-Harbaugh said WR Mark Clayton (hamstring) is “less possible” to play Thursday night against the Falcons.

11:11-Coming off Saturday night’s win over the Carolina Panthers, the Ravens are back on the practice field today to prepare for their Thursday night finale in Atlanta against the Falcons. I wouldn’t expect a heavy workload for a number of the regulars, as the team doesn’t want to risk injury before the Sept. 13 opener against the Chiefs. The team must trim their roster to 75 by tomorrow; but John Harbaugh has told us that this first cut isn’t quite as earth-shattering, as they are dealing with some injury issues that will allow them to be flexible.

Will certainly be a question as to whether or not we’ll see Terrell Suggs this week. There’s no chance he hits the field Thursday night at the Georgia Dome, but it would be a very positive for this team to see him on the practice field here at 1 Winning Drive at some point this week.

Also, with Steve Hauschka’s miss from 27 failing to nail the job down Saturday night; the kicking competition for another week. Graham Gano is still alive (although clearly VERY far behind), and you never know if Matt Stover might show up at some point.

Be back shortly with updates from Harbs and the locker room.
-G

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Not Auto-Matt-ic: Paging Stover…Matt Stover!

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Not Auto-Matt-ic: Paging Stover…Matt Stover!

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Just in case you’re wondering, the Ravens have NOT contacted Matt Stover about their kicking needs for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 13. Not yet, anyway.

But, of course, there are more than just a few people around the Charm City who think that might not be a bad idea.

And the team is led by head coach John Harbaugh, who spent his entire existence in the world of special teams and kickers and punters. This has to perturb Harbaugh more than most coaches.

The kicking game and life in the NFL is a strange one. Here is this macho game played by the biggest, fastest and toughest guys in our culture and along comes a little kicker with it all on the line to win the game on his foot and the 40 yards between the line of scrimmage and goal posts.

It’s not a cruel joke or coincidence as much as it’s weekly reality in the NFL.


After he made the game-winning kick in Tennessee last January, the Ravens jettisoned Matt Stover for three reasons, really:

1. He wasn’t their best bet on kickoffs, which forced them to carry an extra man on the roster
2. He cost them a lot of money (more than $1 million per year) as opposed to a rookie who’d earn 40% of that
3. He wasn’t getting any younger and his distances seemed to get shorter each year, even if he was considered “automatic” inside of 45 yards

Now, with just this lame preseason finale in Atlanta awaiting on Thursday, the Ravens appear to have two young kickers but no one that they can truly trust with big games on the line.

Both Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka have managed to both do something that Stover never did in 14 years in a purple helmet: they’ve manged to make us actually think about the kicking game.

Stover was so automatic, so universally forgotten about that his presence was a bit of a security blanket. Like Ray Lewis has been at middle linebacker. Like Jon Ogden was for many years at the left tackle spot.

Think about all of the kicks Stover made over the years. How many of them do you really remember?

Sure he missed a few biggies – one in the AFC Championship Game in Oakland back in 2001 as I recall. His most memorable miss is almost certainly the 0-13 Miami 2007 “gimme” that contributed to Brian Billick’s ouster as head coach.

But he just came in, made the kick, praised Jesus and ran back to the bench.

Well, over the last three preseason games, not only have we witnessed the competition drama of these two nice young men trying to fill the shoes of a “once a generation” kicker, but we’ve had the “hold our breath” drama over whether the three points is actually going up on the scoreboard on something most Ravens fans have viewed as “Auto-Matt-ic”.

Neither one of them is stepping up even remotely to the level of confidence we had with Matt Stover.

So, will the Ravens call Matt Stover?

Probably not. (For all of the same reasons they had eight months ago.)

Will the Ravens regret not calling Matt Stover?

Only time will tell.

But Stover is available, in shape and waiting by the phone. (For the record, I hear he’s enjoying his first August off in 24 years…)

And if I know that much, you can bet that Ozzie Newsome can’t be too far away.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

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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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