Tag Archive | "Geno Smith"


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Ravens-Jets: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 22 October 2016 by Luke Jones

The Ravens need a break, but they could use a victory even more.

With several key starters sidelined with injuries and having lost their last three games, the Ravens are naturally looking forward to some rest with next week’s bye, but beating the New York Jets feels like a must if a realistic second-half run to the playoffs is in the plans. Falling to 3-4 would require a 7-2 finish just to get to 10 wins, and a challenging schedule awaits in November and December.

Meanwhile, the Jets are already all but finished with a 1-5 record and have made a change at quarterback. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Joe Flacco will be anywhere close to 100 percent after missing practices this week with a right shoulder injury, making the quarterback play iffy at best for both sides.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens meet the Jets for the 10th time in their regular-season history. Baltimore has won eight straight matchups with the only New York victory coming in a 19-16 overtime final on Nov. 2, 1997.

Below are five predictions for Sunday:

1. The Ravens will set a season high for rushes and a season low for passes to protect their quarterback. Flacco looked sharp throwing passes in Friday’s walk-through and the offensive line may welcome back both starting offensive tackles, but Baltimore still needs to be smart with its franchise quarterback. The problem is that the Jets rank sixth in run defense and are allowing just 3.4 yards per carry, the same as the Ravens’ No. 1 run defense. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will stick with the run to the tune of well over 30 carries while Flacco throws fewer than 33 passes, his season low.

2. Jets receiver Brandon Marshall will catch a touchdown against a banged-up Baltimore secondary. The New York passing game is hardly scary, but top cornerback Jimmy Smith was recovering from a concussion all week and will likely draw the difficult task of slowing the 6-foot-4 Marshall, who has 443 passing yards this season. Smith won’t get much help from a Ravens pass rush that has been ineffective all season and will be without both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. The Jets have a poor offense, but injuries have made an improved Ravens defense more vulnerable.

3. The Ravens defense will pick off Geno Smith twice in his first start since 2014. The lowest scoring offense in the league is desperate to turn to Smith, who has thrown 36 interceptions in 32 career games in the NFL. After setting a franchise low with only six interceptions in 2015, Baltimore has picked off eight passes in the first six games of the season, which has certainly helped playing in close games. Look for defensive coordinator Dean Pees to dial up some blitzes and disguise coverages to confuse a quarterback who’s only playing because veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick has been downright awful.

4. Breshad Perriman will finally score his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. It’s been an underwhelming start to what is essentially the 2015 first-round receiver’s rookie season as Perriman has caught just 13 of the 29 passes thrown his way and has struggled to catch balls consistently. However, we’ve seen him flash his ability to make plays in the vertical passing game and it only feels like a matter of time before he finds the end zone. With the league’s 28th-ranked pass defense having to deal with Mike Wallace on the opposite side of the field, Perriman will catch a deep one for a score.

5. John Harbaugh’s team will limp into the bye feeling better about itself with a 23-16 win. Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and the Ravens playing in one-possession games. Perhaps Baltimore would win by multiple scores if the injury report weren’t such a mess, but you just can’t trust the Ravens to be anything but mediocre right now. That said, the Jets have been a disaster in Todd Bowles’ second season and not even playing at home makes you believe they’re a good bet to win. There will be penalties and self-inflicted mistakes because that’s what they do, but the Ravens will find a way to come home with a much-needed win before embracing a week off.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Jets

Posted on 26 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 19-3 win over the New York Jets Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Geno Smith pass intended for Bilal Powell incomplete on 3rd and goal (1st quarter)

The Jets’ only real TD chance on the day but could have set things up to go the wrong way.  

4. Torrey Smith 60 yard catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

A “statement” play on a drive that only finished with a field goal…but didn’t need more. 

3. Justin Tucker 53 yard field goal GOOD (3rd quarter)

If he misses this, the Jets are in great shape in a close game. 

2. Corey Graham intercepts Geno Smith pass intended for David Nelson (3rd quarter)

The above GIF is of his second pick, his first set up the play that is Number 1.

1. Jacoby Jones 66 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco (3rd quarter)

The Jets would have never come back anyway, but this was certainly the “ender”.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens barely break a sweat in easy win over hapless Jets

Posted on 24 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

At one point during Sunday’s snoozer between the Ravens and New York Jets, I posted a joke on Twitter that went something like this:  “I just tried to type Geno Smith’s name on my computer and it auto-corrected to Geno Boller.”

It took me about a minute to feel awful for typing that.

It was completely disrespectful to Kyle Boller.

Betrayed by a quarterback who clearly can’t handle the pressure and a handful of wide receivers who jaked it almost all afternoon, the Jets slinked out of Baltimore Sunday night 19-3 losers, looking nothing at all like a club worthy of competing for an AFC playoff spot.

The Ravens, meanwhile, learned little new about themselves on Sunday, except they’re now 5-6 and tied with the Steelers leading up to Thursday night’s showdown with Pittsburgh here in Charm City.  The Baltimore offense was lethargic once again on Sunday, but even a mediocre running game and a couple of big play throws from Joe Flacco were more than enough to ward off the pathetic Jets and their woeful offensive unit.

How on earth the Jets can possibly have five wins to date is beyond me given what they displayed on Sunday in Baltimore.  I’ve seen some gutless efforts by visiting teams over the last twelves seasons while covering the Ravens and this one goes in the all-time top 5.

For those folks who think the Ravens have a problem at quarterback, running back, offensive line and, in general, producing NFL-caliber offense, I ask you to first look at Exhibit A before rendering any judgment on your Baltimore team.

Exhibit A=the Jets.

They’re horrible.

They make the Ravens look like the 49’ers of the early 1980’s.

As bad as Baltimore’s offense has been this season — and that’s now six straight games failing to score more than 20 points for Flacco and Comapny — they haven’t produced anything close to the 3-point stinkeroo authored by the Jets did on Sunday.

There’s bad — as in, we’re trying real hard and we’re getting closer, but we’re not there yet (the Ravens) — and then there’s “laughably inept”, which is where the New York effort from Sunday should be filed.

It provides us all with some proper perspective on the Ravens and what they’ve done and what they’re capable of doing.

We’ll get a much better picture of the Ravens and their playoff chances on Thursday night when the Steelers come to town.  With both the Jets and Miami losing on Sunday, Baltimore and Pittsburgh find themselves firmly entrenched in their annual battle for a post-season berth.  It won’t quite amount to “winner take all” on Thursday evening, but a Pittsburgh victory would give them the season series and the edge in a playoff tiebreaker should one be needed between the two teams at season’s end.

Hopefully the Ravens don’t run around town for the next day or two crowing about their “big win” over the Jets.  Yes, a win is a win in the NFL, but Sunday’s 19-3 victory was more a by-product of “someone had to win and it wasn’t going to be the Jets”.

Thursday night, the varsity comes to town.

Pittsburgh doesn’t have a Geno Smith or anyone as remotely disinterested as Santonio Holmes was all afternoon on Sunday.

The Steelers, if nothing else, have some heart.

The Jets, on Sunday, had nothing.

Someone asked me prior to Sunday’s game what I thought the chances were that the Jets could win over the Ravens.

I answered: “Zero”.

Turns out I was right.

With that kid at quarterback, they had zero chance of winning on Sunday in Baltimore.


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Ravens-Jets: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 23 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The term “must-win” is used liberally in professional sports, but the Ravens have reached that reality with a 4-6 record and an opportunity to knock off the AFC’s current No. 6 seed-leading New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore will play the first of three consecutive home games against beatable opponents in an effort to not only move to the positive side of the .500 mark but slide into position to grab a sixth straight playoff berth under head coach John Harbaugh. Meanwhile, the Jets are trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010 under head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

Both teams have obvious flaws but remain in the mix for the postseason in a pool of eight teams that are either 5-5 or 4-6 entering Week 12. The Ravens and Jets will be meeting for the ninth time in the regular season with Baltimore holding a 7-1 advantage and a seven-game winning streak in the all-time series.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens look to improve to 5-6 before a short week leading into a Thanksgiving night game against Pittsburgh …

1. Facing the stingiest run defense in the NFL, the Ravens will struggle to average 3.0 yards per carry on Sunday. A 174-yard performance by the Baltimore running game in Chicago was an encouraging sign but came against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense in sloppy conditions. The rushing attack will need to be graded on a curve against a Jets defense allowing just 2.9 yards per carry, the lowest mark in the NFL since the 2007 Ravens. The goal will be to gain just enough yardage to keep New York honest, which will allow the Ravens to run play-action over the course of the game. Running back Ray Rice said it best earlier in the week in saying they must be willing to take what the Jets defense is allowing, whether it’s two yards or the opportunity to pick up 20. Center Gino Gradkowski and left guard A.Q. Shipley turned in strong performances with their run blocking last week, but the Jets defensive line will be a very difficult matchup on what’s expected to be a windy day.

2. Quarterback Joe Flacco will throw for 275 yards for the first time since Week 6. The Ravens will be involved in a game with wind being a factor for the third consecutive week, which would appear to favor the Jets given the strength of their run defense and running game. However, Flacco will be facing a pass defense that ranks 23rd in the league and felt the need to pick up the 35-year-old Ed Reed to stabilize the free safety spot. There’s no disputing that Flacco has played poorly since the Ravens’ Week 8 bye, but he will be needed to make plays on Sunday as the Jets have been vulnerable to giving up the big play this season, allowing 33 passes of 20 or more yards. The Baltimore quarterback will have to wait at least one more game for the return of tight end Dennis Pitta, but Flacco talked this week about the need for the Ravens to let loose in how they play and the Jets defense hasn’t been nearly as effective on the road, giving up an average of 33 points per game on the road.

3. Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will collect 1 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble. Ryan has a sterling reputation for putting his best defensive players in position to thrive, and Wilkerson has blossomed into the face of the New York defense, collecting eight sacks and 53 tackles in a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and Ryan like to move Wilkerson around on the defensive line, which will be a problem for a unit that’s struggled to call out proper protection assignments this season. Even if the Ravens manage to gain respectable yardage on the ground, the Jets will still attempt to tee off on Flacco with a pass rush facing an offensive line that’s given up 33 sacks this season. An ability to protect the football will be a critical factor in determining the outcome of Sunday’s game and Flacco will cough up a fumble when Wilkerson breaks free for a sack against shaky pass blocking.

4. The Baltimore defense will wreak havoc on rookie quarterback Geno Smith, forcing three turnovers. The Jets have been forced to lean heavily on their eighth-ranked running game while the rookie has failed to record a passer rating higher than 71.9 in any of his last five games and will be without top receiver Jeremy Kerley. As long as the Ravens don’t revert to the struggles they experienced earlier in the season when their run defense allowed 140 or more rushing yards in three of four games, the Jets won’t do enough on the ground to avoid putting the ball in Smith’s hands. The Ravens will need to turn in a defensive performance similar to the one against Cincinnati when they forced Andy Dalton into turning it over three times. Smith has thrown 16 interceptions and has lost four fumbles, which is a recipe for disaster playing at M&T Bank Stadium where the Ravens have allowed just under 13 points per game in four contests this season.

5. In a defensive struggle with touchdowns at a premium, experience at quarterback and the home-field advantage give the Ravens a 19-12 victory. Both the Ravens and Jets have experienced their share of struggles on the road as New York is 1-4 away from MetLife Stadium and the Ravens are 1-5 in that department, but Baltimore is 3-1 at home this year and has played sparking defense at M&T Bank Stadium. In a game featuring two above-average defenses but flawed offensive attacks, I’ll give the nod to the home team with the veteran quarterback in a low-scoring game. The Jets simply make too many mistakes and haven’t forced turnovers of their own all season, a trend that will continue on Sunday as the Ravens win a close one to put themselves in better position in a muddled wild-card race. An uphill path remains for the Ravens to reach postseason play, but tie-breaking wins over the Jets and Miami Dolphins could prove useful down the line if more wins are to follow one on Sunday.

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Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., May 1

Posted on 01 May 2013 by Drew Forrester

Maybe now Greg Norman will shut up.

PGA Tour player Vijay Singh had his potential 1-year suspension thrown out yesterday after a governing body on performance-enhancing drugs told us what we already knew — that deer antler spray isn’t illegal because there’s nothing in it that helps you.

Singh, after the SI.com story last February named him as a user of the product, was eligible for a one-year suspension after admitting he used deer antler spray, which supposedly contains IGF-1, a banned substance in several leagues including the NFL and PGA Tour.

Ray Lewis, of course, was also named in the SI.Com article, which came out on Tuesday of Super Bowl week while the Ravens were in New Orleans preparing to play the 49’ers.

Greg Norman went nuts earlier this week in an article that originated out of Australia, claiming the PGA Tour’s current drug testing method (urine test) is disgraceful and calling for blood tests to verify who is clean and who isn’t.

He didn’t name Singh, specifically, but it’s widely known on TOUR that the 3-time major champion isn’t among the most popular figures in the locker room and the deer antler spray controversy hasn’t helped his image.

Only one problem:  Singh didn’t really do anything wrong in this situation.  Deer antler spray has as much effectiveness as it would if you spread toothpaste under your armpits.

That he came clean from the beginning and said, “I’ve been talking to this nut job Mitch Ross and I’m using that deer antler spray” should be proof he wasn’t trying to actually cheat.  Singh, of course, will never live down a cheating incident during the early days of his career in an Asian Tour event in the 1980’s when he changed his scorecard after a round.

In this case, though, Singh wasn’t cheating.

He was simply fooled by a snake oil salesman.

It happens to the best of ’em.

Just ask Ray Lewis.


LOL at Geno Smith.

The 39th player taken in the draft last week, the former West Virginia QB fired his agent yesterday.

Apparently, Smith thought he should have been the #1 pick in the entire draft and holds his agent accountable for the fact that he was passed up 38 times before finally being selected by the Jets.

I think Smith would have made as much sense if he would have fired his agent BECAUSE he got picked by the Jets.

That would have made as much sense as firing the guy because you weren’t selected number one overall.

I have a feeling we’re going to get lots of laughs out of Geno during his time in New York.


BTW, for the record, I’m taking Pittsburgh to beat Chicago in the NHL Finals.

That is, if Sydney Crosby returns to the Penguins for these playoffs, which apparently he will.

Without Crosby, they can’t win it all.

With him, as much as it pains me to say it, they’ll raise the Cup again in June.


Zach Britton is gone after one start.

Who comes up?

My guess is its Freddy Garcia.  He’ll start Saturday in Anaheim.

I wonder if Britton knew he was on such a short leash?  One start, not good, back to the minors.

Anyway, Garcia won’t be around for long.  He’ll have a good start or two, but when the dust settles and he’s made ten starts in orange, you’ll be clamoring for his release.




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Bring Out Your Dead

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

Inspired by the scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where the body cart is being pushed through the city during the plague as the mortician cries “Bring Out Your Dead”. As one man ambitiously tries to deliver a not quite dead elderly man to the cart hilarity ensues. Here’s a look at who’s being (or has been) written off for dead in the sports world, and what the final prognosis might be.

“I’m Not Dead Yet” – Despite reports to the contrary these guys are not dead yet, but may have one foot in the proverbial grave and another on a banana peel.


Cam Newton – Superman has become the Super-Sulker but he’s not dead yet, not by a long shot. Still there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. Newton’s post-loss body language has been unbearable. We can all appreciate that the kid wants to win, but he’ll have to do some growing up before he can become a leader of men. Cam took everyone (including himself) to task in the wake of the Panthers most recent defeat, but mostly seemed to point fingers at his offensive coordinator. Newton is looking for a game plan that authors blowouts but will sooner or later have to learn that life in the NFL doesn’t work that way. In 3 of his 5 losses this season, Cam has had the ball in his hands with a chance to win the game in the final 5 minutes. If he intends to be the star he’s being cast as, he’ll need to get comfortable in those situations. It’d also help if Newton stopped shaking off teammates’ efforts to celebrate TDs with him while clearing out space to do his ridiculous Superman dance.



Cam Cameron – Sticking with Cams, reports of the demise of Cam Cameron might be a byproduct of Ravens fans wishes more than anything else. In the wake of the Ravens most recent disappointment against the Houston Texans however, another long and introspective look at this offense might be long overdue. Cameron was “under fire” by owner Steve Bisciotti last season and managed to survive. There’s no reason to believe the Ravens will make a change before seasons end, but in the event that it doesn’t end in the Super Bowl, this season could very likely be Cameron’s last.


Maurice Jones-Drew – Remember MJD calling out Jay Cutler a couple of seasons ago for surrendering during the playoffs due to an MCL injury that didn’t look that serious on TV and didn’t require surgery. Last week in a game the Jaguars lost in overtime to a less than spectacular Oakland Raiders squad, MJD watched from the sidelines while nursing a foot injury that didn’t look that serious on TV and that apparently won’t require surgery. This on the heels of his extended and controversial holdout from training camp while trying to earn a new contract or force a trade won’t buy Jones-Drew much empathy as he watches from the sidelines for the next couple of weeks at least.


Lance Armstrong – Maybe the Lance Armstrong fiasco will give us a long overdue chance to examine ourselves. He lorded over a sport that was rampant with doping and drug use, and while he adamantly proclaimed being above it throughout his once storied and undeniably dominant career. Now having given up the fight and having been stripped of all of his career accolades Armstrong also finds that those who rode his coattails to success and fortune aren’t set to stand by him in the hard times. It’s still impossible to ignore all of the good that Armstrong has done in his career, and it seems only a matter of time before he’ll inevitably bounce back in the court of public opinion…but it doesn’t look like it’ll be terribly easy, or any time soon for that matter.


Dirk Nowitzki – Just as the world was ready to close the book on the legacy of Dirk Nowitzki he surprised everyone and cemented that legacy by winning an NBA championship. He backed it up however by showing up for a lockout shortened NBA season the following year out of shape, and now looks ready to miss at least the first few weeks of this season as he recovers from ankle surgery. It may now be safe to close the book on Nowitzki’s NBA legacy. It appears he got that title just in the nick of time.


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The 15-7-0 offers a hearty “RIP Defense” to the game of football

Posted on 01 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

“The ELITE 15″…

1. The performance Towson authored in defeat at LSU is still very much worthy of the term “elite”.

On more than one occasion during the first three quarters in Baton Rouge I found myself saying “oh my God oh my God oh my God”. It was an amazing effort from the Tigers in Death Valley…

No matter what, it doesn’t mean this didn’t happen…

I remember taking a picture of the screen when Morgan State lead West Virginia 10-0 in the NCAA Tournament. Things went SIGNIFICANTLY better for Towson after their moment than they did for MSU.

2. Hey! Remember last week when the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons were the best team in their respective conferences? Like Sonny & Cher said, “the beat goes on”.

Want to see Danieal Manning make an interception return TD look like a kick return TD? Of course you do.

It’s probably worth taking a closer look at the block Jonathan Joseph laid on Nate Washington during the return…

Oh my. Houston stomped Tennessee, but you knew that was going to happen. Tennessee also lost quarterback Jake Locker for what looks like could be “several weeks” according to CBS. So they’ve got that going for them.

The Falcons-Panthers game was significantly more interesting. Carolina had a chance to pull the upset at the Georgia Dome but (first) Cam Newton fumbled the ball after what would have been a late 3rd down conversion (then) Ron Rivera decided not to go for it on 4th and short but instead give the ball back to Matt Ryan (and) Ryan did this from the shadow of his own endzone…

The Falcons would get a game winner from Matt Bryant to stay undefeated, the Panthers fell to 1-3. Matt Ryan’s thoughts are NSFW if you’re a lip-reader…

Earlier in the game, Cam Newton did THIS…

And I guess spending time in Atlanta has helped Dunta Robinson perfect his Tomahawk Chop…

3. Also from the “don’t forget we’re really good” category, I give you the New England Patriots.

The Pats were in a bit of trouble in the first half of this one, but then they remembered they were the Patriots and scored like 600 unanswered points. Was it 600? I think it was 600. Let’s ask Tom Brady.

By the way-I’m terrible at lip-reading. If you told me he was asking about whether or not Looper was any good, I would believe you.

Now Ryan Fitzpatrick’s reaction…

Maybe he just found out the new stadium is going up in Los Angeles and is getting excited about buying a home in Burbank.

Vince Wilfork nearly killed a man in this one…

And Rob Gronkowski made sure he didn’t miss another spike…

4. Since you started reading this week’s 15-7-0, West Virginia scored three more touchdowns.

WVU QB Geno Smith threw more touchdowns (8) than incomplete passes (6) Saturday against Baylor. He also threw for 656 yards and no picks. Try to keep up…

How about that last catch from JD Woods to seal it? Geesh. You might not have seen it because your head was still spinning from the 133 points scored in the game.

Smith is your Heisman Trophy frontrunner and the Mountaineers are a sexy “dark hose” pick to make a run at the BCS Championship. The folks in Morgantown might want to make sure they have room for a third digit on the scoreboard.

5. Is it safe declare that the Urban Meyer experiment at Ohio State is already working?

First, we start with the fact that ESPN’s College Gameday was in East Lansing this week. It’s noteworthy. Here’s the singular best sign…

That’s just…so…exceptional. Mom and dad are proud of the education they’re paying for you to get at MSU!

The Buckeyes are 5-0 but can’t win anything. This will be an awkward storyline if the season continues this way…

And since the Big Ten stinks, I kinda have to assume it will. Oh and also, the Spartans coaches were complaining postgame that the game film they received from Ohio State wasn’t up to standards. It sounds like whiny bitching from sore losers, but I’ll let you be the judge…

I don’t really understand the issue. Of course, if they had sent the right video, the Spartans probably would have been able to figure out what the Buckeyes’ hand signals were all about…

6. And some weeks Peyton Manning really still IS Peyton Manning.

Remember what everyone said about the Raiders defense? They probably didn’t say enough. The guy most thankful for the asskicking? Demaryius Thomas. Otherwise this would have been REALLY embarrassing…

And for fellow Peyton Manning fantasy owners, this one is worth watching again…

7. The Chargers defense would have been an awfully good start in fantasy football this week.

Well, other than this Jamaal Charles run…

But the six turnovers, they were helpful. And since we’re talking about baked goods, thanks to whoever brought the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding (I’m sorry I forgot who you are!) to Maritime Magic Friday night (an event to benefit Living Classrooms Foundation). Holy hell I’ve never had anything greater.

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DC Stewart says Terps hope to limit big plays against WVU

Posted on 19 September 2012 by WNST Staff

University of Maryland Quotes

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On West Virginia’s defense:

“For us it’s a front that Perry [Hills] hasn’t faced. We’ve faced four down fronts for the most part, and we’ll get some three down fronts like last week in nickel situations. This team is a true 50 defense. Which for him is just another week of adding to his box of experience. You have to attack different fronts different ways, and so this week we have to prepare and come up with a game plan vs. a 50.”

On how Perry Hills bounced back after last Saturday’s loss:

“I talked to him on the phone and saw him after the game and my big thing was telling him as a quarterback it’s a natural leadership position. The other guys on the offense are going to look to him for leadership, and it’s a game. It’s one game, and obviously we didn’t play very well on offense and that’s collectively, myself included as a coach. We need to come in, he needs to come in tomorrow and put it behind us. That’s going to be our base way of doing things around here, win or lose, we have 24 hours to get over it and make the necessary adjustments we need to make.”

On Matt Furstenberg’s play and his involvement:

“There’s an effort to get the passing game going. But, with a young quarterback obviously coverages and things they do on defense dictate where the ball goes.  We go into every game with a plan to try to get certain touches to certain people. We have to make adjustments and when you have a freshman quarterback, a lot of the things that you go in planning for you see different things. It becomes a game of adjustments throughout the course of it. Matt’s a guy that the impact he’s made for us may not be on the stat sheet. He’s done a great job in the run game for us and he’s helped us in some protection situations, and we’ll continue to try and find ways to get all those guys involved. As I told our offense, especially the guys on the back end, we’ll only be able to do and go as far as far as our quarterback is able to take us.”

On having Tyler Cierski back and where the reps will go:

“It’s a great situation to have as we’ve talked about. That’s the type of situation you’d like to have at all the positions, along the offensive side of the ball. We’re fortunate to have four backs that are all capable of carrying the load for us. The competition day to day and throughout the course of a game week will obviously dictate the roles that each guy has.”

On Brandon Ross returning:

“Well yesterday was really the first day, and I thought he did well for his first day back. He’s been in all the meetings even though he hasn’t been practicing with the guys that are traveling, but he’s been there mentally throughout the course of the injury. From a mental standpoint we feel that he’s there, and then last week he was able to get some physical reps down on the scout team. From what I heard he did a great job and looked good running.”
Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On how he rated the return of Matt Robinson and Isaac Goins:

“I thought both did a good job. I thought our communication in the back end was clean. I thought they did a good job of coming in where they left off and knowing what they’re supposed to do. They did a good job of making sure everybody was on the same page.”

On the difficulty of going up against WVU’s offense:

“The offense has one of the better quarterbacks, Geno Smith, in NCAA Football. Not just having him, but the tempo of their offense, they’re a fast paced offense. And then they have good skill players on the edge with Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin are going to end up as two of the better receivers. As a challenge, we’re excited about the challenge. To be the best, you have to play the best. I think it’s excited they’re on the schedule and we get an opportunity to play them.”

On the challenges the air raid offense presents:

“For the most part they can lure you to sleep, especially if their quarterback has a strong arm like Geno does, and their receivers can catch the ball. What we want to do is keep the ball in front of us, tackle the catch, and eliminate the big play. If we can get off on third down, I think we’ll have the opportunity to be close.”

On slowing down a quarterback like Geno Smith:

“I don’t think you go into it worried about slowing him down. I just think like I said you eliminate the big plays, keep the ball in front of you, tackle the catch, put pressure on him, and get off on third down. You’ll have opportunities.”

On Head Coach Randy Edsall’s insight on WVU:

“Coach Edsall knows what we do defensively, and the people we’re playing against. So, he always is going to have his name on it and he’s talked to us about it.”

On how the secondary has taken steps the past two games:

“I just think with Matt [Robinson] back as a starting safety our communication is a lot cleaner. You’re not going to get freshmen mistakes from him. Unfortunately freshmen are going to make mistakes, and they’re going to see run when it’s not run, and see pass when it’s not pass. Matt understands his keys, your keys tell you run or pass, and then you play it from there. So, I think the biggest improvement is not having mental errors in the back end like we had against Temple and William & Mary.”

On the challenge of playing a hurry-up offense:

“My first college job back from the NFL was the University of Houston. This is the exact same offense that the University of Houston employs. As a matter of fact, Dana Holgorsen in 2009 had the number one offense at the University of Houston, and then he went to Oklahoma State. The way the defense is set up with the no huddle and the wristbands that we use, it came from playing against that offense in practice. I don’t anticipate the communication being a problem. What I do anticipate is that it’s hard to practice that speed.”

On the linebacking core:

“Honestly I’d like to see more plays. We had some opportunities to make plays and it’s not anybody’s fault. We just need to understand what’s asked of everybody, and once we get that cleaned up I think we’ll be able to make some more plays. For the most part they’ve done what we’ve asked, but I just guess I’ve been spoiled.”

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Edsall knows West Virginia air raid offense will present challenge to Terps

Posted on 18 September 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening statement:

“We’ve got a tough one this week, that’s for sure. [West Virginia] is ranked No. 8 in the country, going down to Morgantown which is not a real good place to play from the standpoint of the noise and everything else. But we’re looking forward to the challenge of going up against the air-raid offense. Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin and Joe Madsen the center, who is a really good player. They’re averaging over 600 yards a game, 55 points game, talented players, so our defense is going to have their work cut out for them.


“Defensively, they’re led really there by their linebackers Terrence Garvin and Isaiah Bruce. Again a scheme where you have very athletic people playing a ‘50’ scheme. Offensively we’re going to have to make sure we utilize every possession and make every possession count, especially with what our defense is going to be facing this week. We look forward to it and we know that it will be a very hostile environment, but another challenge for our young team.”


On what makes West Virginia so special:

“They don’t use the tight end in their offense so they really kind of spread you out. Then what they do is they utilize Tavon Austin as a running back, putting him in motion and getting him the ball on handoffs, getting the ball on swing passes and underneath. The thing that’s really impressive, and having had the opportunity to watch Geno play from the time he was a young guy, you just see the growth and maturity that he’s had in the years that he’s been there. He’s gotten a lot better each year; he’s bigger and stronger now, shows good poise in the pocket, knows when to come out of the pocket and knows when to sit in there. So I think it’s the experience of the quarterback and it’s the talent surrounding him and then they do have an experienced offensive line.”


On wide receiver Kevin Dorsey only having three catches this season:

“A lot of times it’s what the defense is doing that dictates where the ball goes. I think that Kevin is going to have plenty of opportunities in the remaining games. We just need to make sure that we make the correct reads and that he runs the precise routes. Kevin sees the big picture and again, we have plays where he is supposed to get the ball but they do a good job of covering. Sometimes we may not execute as well as we should. Kevin and I both know that he’s going to have some big days for us before the year is over.”


On West Virginia QB Geno Smith and what he has learned from last year:

“He’s got a great arm and he knows where to go with the ball. He’s putting the ball right were its needs to be. I think his accuracy has improved since last year and I see a guy who has done more in the weight room and has gotten a bit thicker. You can watch the film and see the level of confidence that he plays with. If we can shake that confidence a little bit early in the game and disrupt it, then that would be to our advantage.”


On the seniors drawing upon last year’s game:

“You always take a look at history and try to use it to your advantage. During the week, coaches will show certain things from last year. We know that we came close and came up a little bit short. But that’s something that we need to draw on. We need to minimize the mistakes. It has got to be a team thing. The offense has to take advantage of every possession, the defense has to be sound, and in the kicking game, we have to make sure we do the things we are supposed to.”


On having four options at running back:

“I wish we had this kind of depth at every position. We’ll see how everything plays out in practice during the week. We have a process in mind going into the game on how we want to use those guys but we’ll see how it plays out during the week.”


On the similarities between Stefon Diggs and WVU’s Tavon Austin:

“Well you see similarities when you watch the film. They are both kick-off returners and punt returners; they both play the slot position on offense. They might use Austin more from a running game standpoint than we do with Diggs. They are both great athletes and great competitors with the ability to change the game quickly and make big plays.”


On having four running backs listed as starters:

“I think that we have situations where all four can end up playing. And again, we will see how it all plays out but I have a lot of confidence in each and every one of those guys. The thing is, it’s not what somebody didn’t do, it’s just the situation. I think all four of them will play in the game if things work the way we want them to.”


On playing at West Virginia:

“The one thing that we have to do is really prepare our guys for the noise and the hostility that those fans have for their Mountaineers. I would hope that, I know the last time I was playing at West Virginia – my hat goes off to them in terms of we went there after the situation with Jasper Howard, and they couldn’t have been more classier and outstanding fans that particular day. They have such tremendous passion for their team, we just have to try and prepare our guys for that and understand they have to stay focused and block all that stuff out. [We] just need to remember that the only thing that is really important it what is going on in between those white lines.”


On if he sees the West Virginia-Maryland game as a rivalry:

“I see it as a rivalry. It’s a game that you’re playing pretty much every year. The states are bordering each other; we compete against them quite a bit in recruiting. It’s a game that has been played a number of times but we have to do our part to get back on the winning side.”


On facing West Virginia’s unorthodox defense and offense:

“I don’t think it is really an unorthodox defense. We’ve seen a lot of different defenses in the past three weeks so this one might be a bit more standard than others. The biggest thing we have to do as a team is get better fundamentally and from a technique standpoint. We haven’t come up short in effort or the want-to or any of that. We have made progress in the past three games but we still have a lot of work to do fundamentally. People can put up offenses and put up defenses but if you can go out and execute the fundamentals of the position and the defense and utilize the techniques, then you’re going to be successful against any scheme. We also have to get better at recognizing the situation that we are in and get better responding to that situation. For me, the biggest challenge for us is to get better fundamentally and improve our technique so we can go out and execute. We also have to understand those situations we are in and play to those situations.”


On Perry Hills’ clock management and seeing the field better:

“I was pleased with the way the guys bounced back on Sunday. I thought that we probably had our best Sunday practice this year. We watched the film and made corrections in practice. Once we go through the film on that Sunday, that previous game is over – you have to have a short memory. I know that Perry has put that behind him. I know that some of the mistakes you saw from last week you won’t see this week. You might see some new ones – you hope you don’t, but I’m confident in him. He’s extremely conscientious and he is going to get better. He’s got to feel comfortable when he goes out there and plays.”


On getting the ball to the wide receivers:

“There are only so many touches in the game. A lot will depend on what defenses will do – coverage that they play and how they match up during certain sets will dictate where the ball will go in the passing game. I think that we will be able to spread the ball around a little bit. A lot depends on how people play us.”


On how advanced Stefon Diggs is as an 18-year old:

“That’s a tough question to answer. I anticipated him being productive and doing some of the things I’ve seen him do, but maybe didn’t realize how much further along I thought he was. He still has a lot to work on in terms of fundamentals, technique and some other things in terms of route-running and all that. But I think the thing I didn’t realize is how far along he is in terms of understanding and his knowledge of the game.


“If you take a look at the play on Saturday, the touchdown that he got, I mean how many guys are going to realize that it’s one-on-one coverage, the ball is thrown not to me, but over to a guy next to me, and all I’m going to do is play to the whistle and run to the ball because the ball might be tipped, and then I catch it. There’s a lot of guys that wouldn’t have that instinct that have been playing for a long time. That’s something that I don’t know you might even see in the NFL from guys that have been playing. The athleticism, the dynamic plays, I kind of expected he could do those things. But I didn’t expect the experience, the knowledge of some of the things he can see that he’s doing. Because again, I think it’s rare to have a guy do some of the things we’ve seen him do out there.


“This is why I’m so excited about this team and these players; and you want to get upset sometimes, but you can’t because you just have to be patient. Against Temple you saw Wes [Brown] put the ball on the ground. And then you saw him come back against Connecticut and what he did. You’re standing on the sideline and you see him coming through the hole, bodies are coming, and he covers it up with two hands. You know, he learned.


“Stefon drops a punt because he takes his eye off it. And then against Connecticut, he’s standing there and there’s three guys right in front of him. He just focuses in on catching the ball, and then he catches it and he has the wherewithal to say ‘Ok I know didn’t fair catch it,’ and he instinctively reacts after he catches it and spins and makes a big return.


“Perry [Hills] makes some of the mistakes he makes, and then one of the things we’ve been telling him is if it breaks down take off and run, well he did that and scored a touchdown. So as much as it can be painful to see some of these things, it’s just the experience these guys have to get. But it also makes it fun because they have the ability to make plays, and when you have guys that have the ability to make those plays I think it helps everybody else that’s around you.”


On his confidence of the defense:

“I’m confident in our defense and I’m very confident in our defense when everybody goes out and does their job.  We’re going to get tested this week. There’s no doubt about that. We’re going to be tested quite a bit. But again I like our focus and our mentality that we are bringing. We need to step it up even more this week now. We’ve got to step it up to give ourselves an opportunity to win. There are things we need to correct and be sound and more solid with some of the little things that we are doing defensively. I think that can make us even better. We’ve got our hands full this week, there’s no question. It will be fun to watch our guys go out and compete against this high-powered offense which we have a tremendous amount of respect for.”


On his experience against West Virginia as a player and a coach:

“When I was at Syracuse playing, we played West Virginia, so it’s a team that I’ve been competing against as a player and as a coach for many, many years. I’ve always just had a tremendous amount of respect for West Virginia. I can still remember going to old Mountaineer Field when it was right in the middle of campus when I was a quarterback at Syracuse. We’d go and they pelted us with oranges and we walked on the field pre-game and they had dogs out their catching Frisbees and tobacco-spitting contests. You know when you go play West Virginia you better strap it up because it’s going to be a physical, 60-minute game. Especially when you go there, you know that their fans are going to be against you. I’ve always enjoyed playing against West Virginia teams from when Don Nehlen was a coach and Rich (Rodriguez) and now Dana (Holgorsen). I think it’s always good to be able to play good teams and West Virginia is a very good team.”


On the recruiting battle with West Virginia:

“There are so many players in this area and this region and state, we’re not going to get them all. There’s some that we might not recruit based on different variables in the recruiting process. Knowing that they are a bordering state and they come in here and recruit, it’s important for us to go and work to beat them and get wins against them from a recruiting standpoint that kids we do go head-to-head with we have a little more ammunition than them. I think it’s always fun to compete against West Virginia because you know you’re going to get their best effort. It’s going to be a physical, 60 minutes of slug-it-out, get-after-you and who’s standing at the end.”


On the offense’s role in slowing West Virginia down:

“We’ve done a decent job of doing that with the time of possession in the first three games. Even though we are in a no-huddle, it’s not the hurry-up type of offense like West Virginia’s. The best defense we can play is having our defense on the sideline. It’s important for us to be able to possess the ball and, not only possess the ball, but make sure you score. If we are possessing the ball and not coming up with points, that’s not going to give us the formula for victory we’re looking for.  We need to possess the ball, we need to score points, and we need to try to keep our defense off the field. When the defense is on the field, we need to play very sound, very solid and take care of responsibilities and not let them have those big plays against us.”

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