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Your Monday Reality Check-Patriots Game Sunday, Not Yesterday

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Your Monday Reality Check-Patriots Game Sunday, Not Yesterday

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

In the immediacy of the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-13 AFC Divisional Round playoff victory over the Houston Texans Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, I couldn’t help but notice something strange.

It wasn’t from ALL Baltimore Ravens fans, in fact it was far from it.

Instead it came from a particular group of fans who are regularly quick to over-analyze and are particularly negative. Instead of analyzing the team’s strategy and game play against the AFC South champions, they did something much more strange.

They analyzed the team’s strategy and game play based on their next opponent-the New England Patriots.

I’d like to take this time to do what we call in the radio business “resetting.”

The Baltimore Ravens will face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts Sunday, January 22nd at 3pm. The game will be seen live on CBS.

In shorter form, the Ravens and the Pats are nearly a week away from facing each other. They were not scheduled to play (that I know of) this past weekend.

Over the weekend, the only team the Ravens were scheduled to play was the Houston Texans. They won that game 20-13 to advance in the National Football League Playoffs.

I can see where it might seem silly, me resetting like this. I just feel the need to do it because of the many responses I’ve seen since Sunday’s game went final.

“Tom Brady would pick apart this defense.”
“Joe Flacco will be embarrassed standing next to Tom Brady.”
“Cam Cameron isn’t aggressive enough to beat the Pats.”

For the record, I intend to make a pick for the AFC Championship Game this Friday on “The Friday Football Frenzy.” For a second straight week, I picked just two of the four NFL Playoff games correctly this weekend. I struggled coming down the stretch in the regular season as well. I picked the Ravens to win 12 of their 16 regular season games this year, and I was right nine times. I also picked the Ravens to lose four games during the regular season-I got only one of those (at San Diego) right.

My point is that I have no issue with someone looking into their crystal ball to guess who will win a football game. No matter how intelligent someone may be however, it is ALWAYS only a guess. No one (not even in Las Vegas-I think) actually has any idea of who will win a game before it happens.

But this is an appropriate thing to do on a Friday (or Thursday perhaps) after spending a few days breaking down the matchups and taking a closer look at the involved parties.

I stress to you-what happened Sunday here in Charm City may (or may not) have ANYTHING to do with what the Ravens will do in their next game against the Pats.

They weren’t playing the Pats Sunday. They didn’t prepare for them. They didn’t face the same matchups that they will face this coming Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Saying “they would have gotten destroyed by the Patriots today” is completely irrelevant. No one on the face of the planet has any idea how the Ravens would have done against the Patriots yesterday.

As the Ravens do prepare for their AFC title showdown, they will have plenty to look at. They will prepare for a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Brady, a MONSTER tight end tandem in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, a rushing attack that has been so inept their leading rusher in their Saturday night win over the Denver Broncos was Hernandez and a defense that ranked next to last in the NFL in the regular season.

In getting ready for the Texans, the Ravens prepared for rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, an all-world rushing attack lead by Arian Foster, one of the finest wide receivers in the game in Andre Johnson and a defense that was statistically ranked second in the NFL in the regular season.

Needless to say, the matchup is much different. The game will almost certainly be played in a different manner.

There is no guarantee that the Ravens will wander into Foxborough, beat the Patriots and march on to Super Bowl XLVI. There is of course no guarantee they’ll see their season come to a close either.

But there IS a guarantee that the NFL won’t move kickoff before the game is played. This one will start at 3pm Sunday, allowing each team a full week to prepare.

The Ravens’ performance against the Patriots could be the exact same as it was against the Texans-but I’ll bet it won’t be. I’ll bet the team has a different gameplan and the Patriots offer a different style of football-perhaps a more quick strike offense.

I say that facetiously.

The game will almost certainly be completely different. I’ll look forward to spending the week looking at matchups. At this point I’m definitely concerned about the 6’6″ tight end who came off the Ravens’ draft board because of a failed physical.

Physical-that’s a funny word to use with him.

Just please be willing to not use Sunday’s performance as an indictment of what the Ravens are going to do on the field in New England.

Carry on.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland Announces 2012 Lax Schedule

Posted on 10 January 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Maryland men’s lacrosse coach John Tillman has released the Terps’ 2012 schedule. The schedule features six games against teams that made the 2011 NCAA tournament and seven home games scheduled for Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

Tickets will not be needed for the April 28 match vs. Bellarmine as that will be the featured athletic event of Maryland Day and will be open to the public as a part of the festivities on campus.

In addition to the Maryland Day game, the home schedule also features the rematch of the 2011 NCAA championship game in College Park as Maryland hosts Virginia on March 31 at noon and the annual intra-state rivalry with Navy on April 6 at 7 p.m.

“As always, this is a challenging schedule that will test our team from beginning to end,” said Tillman, who is entering his second season at the helm of the Terrapin program.

The Terps are coming off last year’s 13-5 campaign that saw them capture the ACC championship and reach the finals of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. Maryland returns five regular starters from last season’s squad, but also returns All-America face-off man Curtis Holmes.

Following two preseason scrimmages, the 2012 schedule kicks off with the first-ever meeting with Hartford on Feb. 18.

The following weekend finds Maryland traveling to Washington, D.C., for its annual showdown with Georgetown on Friday, Feb. 24.

The Terps then host its first ACC game of the season, a rematch of the ACC title game vs. Duke on March 3.

The team then has a quick turnaround with a road game at intra-state rival UMBC on Tuesday, March. 6.

The team plays Marist for the first time on March 10, before hosting Villanova on March 17.

The Terps conclude their ACC schedule with back-to-back games with North Carolina and Virginia. Maryland visits the Tar Heels on March 24, before hosting the Cavaliers on March 31. Both games are scheduled for noon starts.

Maryland hosts Navy in a primetime Friday night game on April 6 before traveling to Johns Hopkins on April 14 for the 108th meeting of “Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry.”

Maryland then travels to Charlottesville, Va., for the 2012 ACC Tournament at Klöckner Stadium on April 20 and 22.

The Terps will play at Mount St. Mary’s on April 25 before wrapping up the home schedule with Senior Day vs. Bellarmine on April 28.

A road game at Colgate on May 5 will provide the final tune-up for the NCAA tournament, which is set to begin on the weekend on May 12-13 and conclude with the National Championship game on Memorial Day, May 28, in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

2012 Schedule
Day Date Opponent LocationTime
Sat. Feb. 18 HARTFORD College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 24 at Georgetown Washington, D.C. 7 p.m.
Sat. March 3 DUKE * College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Tues. March 6 at UMBC Baltimore, Md. 7 p.m.
Sat. March 10 MARIST College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Sat. March 17 VILLANOVA College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Sat. March 24 at North Carolina * Chapel Hill, N.C. Noon
Sat. March 31 Virginia * College Park, Md. Noon
Fri. April 6 Navy College Park, Md. 7 p.m.
Sat. April 14 at Johns Hopkins Baltimore, Md. 6 p.m.
Fri. April 20 ACC Semifinals Charlottesville, Va. 5/7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 22 ACC Finals Charlottesville, Va. 3:30 p.m.
Wed. April 25 at Mount St. Mary’s Emmitsburg, Md. 7 p.m.

    MARYLAND DAY    
Sat. April 28 BELLARMINE College Park, Md. 1 p.m.

Sat. May 5 at Colgate Hamilton, N.Y. 1 p.m.
Sat.-Sun. May 12-13 NCAA Tournament Campus Sites TBA
Sat.-Sun. May 19-20 NCAA Quarterfinals Annapolis, Md. or Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Sat. May 26 NCAA Semifinals Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium) 4/6:30 p.m.
Mon. May 28 NCAA Championship Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium) 3:30 p.m.
Home games in BOLD CAPS are played at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
Dates, times and location are subject to change.
* ACC game

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Steelers Loss Fun, But Nothing Changes

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Steelers Loss Fun, But Nothing Changes

Posted on 09 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

(Note from Glenn: With there no longer being enough football happening for me to make 22 observations about the weekend, I have since transitioned from the 15-7-0 to a weekly column reacting to SOMETHING that happened over the weekend. It’s a big step for me because I don’t know if I’ll be able to work half-dressed women into the column.)

As of 12pm Monday, I’ve officially heard every Tim Tebow and/or Ike Taylor related joke. The Taylor jokes mostly came courtesy of our own Drew Forrester and were honestly fantastic.

I know that Tim Tebow’s name sounds like “TiVo.” I know that God may or may not have had something to do with Tebow’s victory and I believe there is nothing else to be seen from a Google image search of “burnt toast.”

It’s all been put on the table, and much of it was quite funny.

As Baltimore Ravens fans, we took great joy in seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Denver Broncos Sunday in an AFC Wild Card playoff showdown. We especially took great joy after Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger lead his team to a 2nd half comeback only to see it blow up directly in his face on an overtime TD from Tebow to WR Demaryius Thomas.

It was a lot of fun to see Pittsburgh fans experience the same time of misery that we have experienced ourselves (unfortunately a few times at the hands of the Steelers) in recent years. I loved every moment, even offering a buddy a high-five after things were final in the Mile High City.

But that was about it for me. I offered a silly halftime observation on Facebook (“If the Steelers lose, CBS should do the decent thing and not put Bill Cowher on camera postgame. You could tell he was choking back tears at halftime.”), but I didn’t spend the evening and morning texting everyone I’ve ever known from the Steel City.

Not that I’m judging anyone who did. In fact, I’m totally understanding of anyone who did. Opportunities like this have been unfortunately rare in recent seasons, so taking advantage of this one in particular is more than fair.

Perhaps I didn’t react the same way because I quickly noted that the Ravens’ reality hadn’t changed one bit when Thomas hit the end zone 11 seconds into overtime.

Before the Steelers lost, the Baltimore Ravens were slated to play host to the Houston Texans Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in an AFC Divisional Round playoff game. After the Steelers lost, the Baltimore Ravens are still slated to play host to the Houston Texans Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in an AFC Divisional Round playoff game.

Before the Steelers lost, the Ravens were likely to visit the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game with a win over the Texans. After the Steelers lost, the Baltimore Ravens are still likely to visit the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game with a win over the Texans.

I’ve heard a lot of goofy comments about the Pats somehow not being as good as their record this year. I’ve heard some people say things like “the Pats can’t win, they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.” It’s a statement of fact (New England statistically had the 31st ranked defense in the NFL this season), but yet those same people never seem to say the same thing about the Green Bay Packers, who had the 32nd (that’s dead last) ranked defense statistically in 2011.

The Number 1 defense in the National Football League in 2011? The Steelers. So there’s that.

I’ve also heard some people point out that the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since the 2007 season. This is also accurate. Of course, those same people never use the argument that “the Ravens haven’t won a home playoff game since the 2000 season” as a reason why the Ravens won’t win next weekend.

They also ignore the fact that the arrival and emergence of TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez make the Patriots a completely different offensive team.

I’ve also heard about how the Patriots’ AFC East campaign wasn’t as “tough” as the Ravens’ trip through the AFC North. Of course both divisions have one playoff team standing at this point.

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Sunday Lax: Maryland Stuns Syracuse to Advance to Final Four in Baltimore

Posted on 22 May 2011 by WNST Staff

After the heartbreak of Johns Hopkins’ stunning loss to Denver University Saturday, the University of Maryland made sure Charm City wouldn’t be without a state team in the Final Four for a second straight year by stunning Syracuse in overtime. Here’s the official recap courtesy of the Terrapins’ Sports Information Department, as well as the official recap of Salisbury’s win over Roanoke; which advanced the Sea Gulls to next week’s Division III NCAA Championship Game next Sunday.

Terps Move On To Final Four With 6-5 Win


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. –
Senior Grant Catalino scored with a low-to-high rocket from the right wing with 0:32 left in the first overtime to give the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team a 6-5 victory over No. 1 seed Syracuse in front of 14,122 Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

The victory gives the Terps a 12-4 overall record this season and sends them to their first Final Four since 2006.

The overtime period started with sophomore Curtis Holmes winning his 11th face-off of the game on a big groundball by senior Dan Burns. But the Terps couldn’t get the game-winner on that possession and the Orange had a chance for the win with just under 2:00 to go in OT.

Syracuse’s Kevin Drew scooped up a loose ball and carried it into the Maryland zone. Drew dodged down the right alley on the transition chance, but his shot sailed right of the goal and the Orange failed to back-up the shot, giving possession pack to the Terps.

Maryland cleared the ball easily and set-up a play that started with senior Scott LaRue dodging from the far left wing. The Orange defense stepped up and forced LaRue to move the ball to senior Ryan Young behind the Syracuse goal. Young quickly followed the play and moved the ball to Catalino, who popped out on the right wing and he buried the game-winner from nine yards out.

As exciting as the game ended, it was slow going for both offenses in the first half.

A Maryland turnover caused by Syracuse’s Joel White led to the only goal of the first quarter as Jeremy Thompson scored at the 3:03 mark of the first to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.

With 4:45 left in the second Jovan Miller scored unassisted to make it a 2-0 lead for Syracuse, but the Terps broke through a stingy Orange defense at the 3:58 mark to cut the deficit back to one.

Senior Ryan Young ripped a pass from the high right alley to the left side of the crease where junior Drew Snider was waiting and Snider bounced a shot past SU goalie John Galloway for the goal.

That seemed to awaken the Maryland offense as the Terps tied the game at 2-2 less than two minutes later. Senior Scott LaRue dodged hard from the left wing and got under SU short-stick Tim Harder. LaRue went hard to the crease and put a shot inside the far pipe for his second goal of the season.

Maryland continued its scoring run into the third quarter when the man-up unit came through with a goal after the holding call on Syracuse’s Stephen Kehoe expired. Junior Jake Bernhardt caught his defender ball-watching and cut to the crease where senior Travis Reed found him with a pin-point pass. Bernhardt then one-timed a dunk to give the Terps their first lead of the game, 3-2, at the 9:37 mark.

The man-up unit struck again after a double-penalty on the Orange expired. This time it was Reed scoring the goal, placing a low-to-low shot inside the far pipe from the right wing, making it a 4-2 Maryland lead with 7:42 to go in the third.

Syracuse got back to within a goal on JoJo Marasco’s unassisted goal at the 1:46 mark and SU looked to be in line to take the last shot of the quarter but a procedure violation gave the Terps the ball with 10 seconds remaining.

Young had the ball in the far left corner of the restraining box as the clock ticked down. His desperation heave to the crease paid off when LaRue redirected the ball past Galloway to give Maryland a 5-3 lead going into the fourth.

An illegal body check on senior Brett Schmidt gave the Orange an extra-man opportunity early in the fourth and Thompson converted with his second goal of the game to make it a 5-4 Maryland lead with 10:53 to go.

A save by Galloway with just over 2:00 to go in the fourth gave Syracuse the ball with a chance to tie. After an Orange timeout, Miller dodged the right alley and scored on a high shot with 1:05 left to make it a 5-5 game.

The Orange had the momentum and then got the ball on the ensuing face-off when White picked up the loose ball. The Orange used their final timeout of the second half to set-up a play with 0:55 left.

Syracuse went to Miller again, but this time senior Brian Farrell was able to get his stick on Miller, disrupting the shot, which enabled redshirt freshman Niko Amato to make the biggest of his nine saves of the game.

The Terps advance to the Final Four in Baltimore and will play No. 5 Duke, which defeated No. 4 Notre Dame, 7-5, in the second quarterfinal game at Gillette Stadium. The Terps/Blue Devils match-up will be the second game of the Saturday doubleheader that features No. 6 Denver meeting No. 7 Virginia in the first game at 4 p.m.

Game Notes:
• With the 6-5 win Maryland is now 9-6 all-time vs. Syracuse.
• Maryland is now 44-31 all-time in NCAA tournament games and is 2011 in the quarterfinals.
• The Terps are now 19-21-3 all-time in overtime games and 5-3 in overtime games in the NCAA tournament.
• With three points on three assists, senior Ryan Young now has 48 multi-point and 29 multi-assist games for his career.
• Young’s three assists give him 96 for his career, moving him past Mike Mollott (95, 2000-03) and tying him with Jack Heim (1965-67) for eighth on the Terps’ all-time assists list.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Grant Catalino now has 46 multi-point games for his career.
• Catalino’s two points give him 177 for his career, moving him past Pete Worstell (175, 1977-81) for 14th on the Terps’ all-time goals list.
• Catalino’s goal was the 10th game-winner of his career and is his second game-winner in an overtime game.
• With two points on a goal and an assists, senior Travis Reed now has 36 multi-point games for his career.
• Senior Scott LaRue’s two goals give him the first multi-goal and second multi-point game of his career.

Baltimore Bound With 16-7 Victory Over Roanoke; Gulls Will Play Tufts For Second-Straight Year

SALISBURY, Md. The top-ranked Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team is heading back to Baltimore for its second-straight and 13th overall NCAA Division III national championship game after capturing a 16-7 victory over No. 7 Roanoke College on Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium.

Salisbury (20-1) will play Tufts University, which defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 16-12 in the North Region semifinal, next Sunday at 7 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The maroon and gold will be competing for the program’s ninth national championship. The Jumbos and Sea Gulls met in the 2010 national championship game, with Tufts claiming a 9-6 victory to earn its first national championship in program history. Please visit www.suseagulls.com in the coming days for information regarding the national championship contest as it becomes available.

After 10 minutes of scoreless play, the Sea Gulls tallied the game’s first goal as junior attackman Matt Cannone took a feed from sophomore midfielder Ryan Clarke and finished it into the net for the 1-0 lead with 4:57 left in the first quarter. The Sea Gulls won the ensuing face-off, with sophomore midfielder Corey Nowak picking up the ground ball; the Ballston Lake, N.Y., native burst past his defender and ripped a shot on frame and into the net to hand Salisbury two goals in a span of 10 seconds. After gaining possession nearly a minute later, Roanoke (17-4) called a time-out with 2:06 remaining in the quarter. During the time-out, officials flagged a member of the Maroons (17-4) for an illegal stick, handing SU a three-minute man-up advantage. The Sea Gulls closed out the quarter with man-up goals from junior attackmen Kyle Quist and Tony Mendes.

Salisbury’s man-up advantage continued to start off the second quarter, and the Sea Gulls took full advantage with junior attackman Erik Krum tallying an unassisted goal with 14:37 to play in the half. Over the next several minutes, the maroon and gold would tack on three additional goals, including another man-up goal from Krum, to extend the lead 8-0 in favor of the hosts. Roanoke got on the board with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter, as Jeff Keating recorded an unassisted goal. The Sea Gulls would outscore the Maroons 3-1 to close out the first half.

At the halftime break, Salisbury outshot Roanoke 23-10, picked up 21 groundballs compared to 11 for the Maroons and won 8-of-13 face-offs.

The Sea Gulls kicked off the third quarter with goals from Krum and Mendes before Roanoke ended the quarter with four-straight markers to cut the deficit to 13-6.

Krum added an unassisted goal just 23 seconds into the quarter to hand Salisbury a 14-6 lead and record his fourth and final goal of the contest. The Sea Gulls would take advantage of slashing penalty on the Maroons, their fifth of the contest, with Cannone scoring off of a pass from Quist. Roanoke’s Conner DuBois scored the team’s final goal of the game with 9:01 remaining before SU sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 7:01 remaining.

Cannone led the way in the contest for Salisbury with a game-high six points on three goals and three assists. Krum (four goals) and Mendes (three goals, one assist) finished with four points, while Quist (two goals, one assist) followed shortly behind with three points.

SU senior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez notched 13 saves, one caused turnover and three groundballs to earn the win before being relieved by senior goalkeeper Tim Swinburn to a standing ovation from the Salisbury faithful.

Two Salisbury players deserving of special recognition are senior defender Collin Tokosch and Nowak. The two combined for 18 of the team’s 45 groundballs in the victory.

Keating posted a team-high two goals for the Maroons, while Justin Tuma collected one goal and one assist.

Roanoke goalkeeper Charles Pease finished with seven saves in nearly 54 minutes of action, with Mike Hardon recording six minutes of playing time and staving off one Salisbury shot.

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Hopkins Seeded 3rd, Maryland Unseeded in NCAA Lacrosse Tournament

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Hopkins Seeded 3rd, Maryland Unseeded in NCAA Lacrosse Tournament

Posted on 09 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here are the official releases courtesy of the schools’ Sports Information Departments…

Hopkins Draws Third Seed, Hofstra in First Round of NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament

2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Bracket in PDF FormatGet Acrobat Reader

BALTIMORE, MD — Johns Hopkins earned the number three seed in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and will host Hofstra in the first round on Saturday, May 14 at noon it was announced by the NCAA Selection Committee on Sunday night. Johns Hopkins (12-2) and Hofstra (13-2) both earned at-large bids to the 16-team tournament and will be meeting in the NCAAs for the fifth time. The game will be televised live from Homewood Field on ESPN2.

The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Hofstra first round game will play the winner of the Denver-Villanova game at 2:30 pm on Saturday May 21 as part of a quarterfinal doubleheader at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. Denver, which earned the number six seed, will host Villanova in the first round on Sunday, May 15 at 5:15 pm.

Surprisingly, this is just the third time Johns Hopkins has been seeded third in the tournament. Johns Hopkins was most recently seeded third in 2007 and the Blue Jays parlayed that into the program’s ninth NCAA championship.

This will be the 24th time Johns Hopkins and Hofstra have played in a series that dates to an 18-10 Johns Hopkins win in 1974. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 18-5, although the teams have split the last six meetings with the home team holding serve in each of those six.

Johns Hopkins boasts a 65-30 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament with nine NCAA titles to its credit. The Blue Jays’ 65 wins and 18 championship-game appearances are both national records. In addition, JHU’s current streak of 40 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament in men’s lacrosse is the longest of any team in any Division I men’s team sport. The next longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament is nine (Maryland).

Johns Hopkins, which tied a school record with 12 regular season victories this year, features one of the youngest teams in the nation as the Blue Jays count eight freshmen and sophomores among their starting 10. Six of JHU’s top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores and seven of the eight are due to return next season.

The Blue Jay offense is led on attack by seniors Chris Boland and Kyle Wharton and sophomore Zach Palmer. Boland leads the team in goals (30) and ranks second in points (43), while Wharton counts 28 goals and seven assists to his credit. Palmer leads the team in assists (23) and points (44) and is bidding to become just the third Johns Hopkins player since 2000 to register 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season.

Defensively the Blue Jays are led by sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett, who ranks among the national leaders with a 6.70 goals against average and a .586 save percentage. He is 15-6 in 21 career starts and is joined defensively by sophomores Tucker Durkin and Chris Lightner and freshman Jack Reilly, who have teamed to start all 14 games on close defense. The Blue Jays have held all 14 of their opponents to 11 goals or less and only three teams managed more than nine goals against Johns Hopkins this season.

Hofstra, which is making its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, features a balanced, explosive offense and one of the stingiest defenses in the nation. The high-scoring trio of Jay Card (28g, 15a), Jamie Lincoln (29g, 10a) and Stephen Bentz (23g, 14a) paces an offense that averages 10.3 goals per game, while junior goalie Andrew Gvozden is among the top five in the nation in both goals against average (5.70) and save percentage (.621).

The Pride earned their at-large bid on the strength of a 13-2 record that saw them lose only a pair of games to Delaware by a goal. The second of those two came in last week’s CAA Semifinals by a 10-9 score. Prior to that Hofstra had reeled off eight straight wins since losing to the Blue Hens, 7-6, on March 19.

Johns Hopkins and Hofstra had four common opponents this season in Princeton, Towson, Delaware and Manhattan. Johns Hopkins was 3-1 in its four games against those teams, while Hofstra was 3-2.

Playing at home has been good for Johns Hopkins in its NCAA Tournament history. The Blue Jays are 42-4 all-time at Homewood Field in NCAA Tournament games, including a perfect 9-0 under head coach Dave Pietramala.

Tickets for the game will go on sale in the Newton White Athletic Center on the Johns Hopkins campus on Monday, May 9 at 9 am. Fans can also order tickets over the phone by calling 410/516-7490. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students at one of the participating schools (with ID), children 12 and under and senior citizens. Children two and under are free. Tickets will also go on sale on Saturday at 10:30 am at all ticket booths at Homewood Field. All tickets are general admission – there is no reserved seating at Homewood Field for the NCAA Tournament.

Terps Draw No. 8 Seed UNC In NCAA Tournament

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – For the ninth-straight year the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team will compete in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship tournament. The Terps, which received an at-large bid, will play at No. 8-seed North Carolina in the first round at Fetzer Field, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

This marks the second time that Maryland has been unseeded since 1997 and just the fifth time overall since the tournament began in 1972. The Terps were previously unseeded in 1993 and 1994. In those first two unseeded-years Maryland lost its first round game to the No. 8-seeded team, which were Army and Duke, respectively. The Terrapins were much more successful in 1997, advancing to the NCAA championship game. Maryland defeated No. 7-seed Georgetown in the first round before knocking off No. 2 Virginia in the quarters. In the 1997 Final Four Maryland upset No. 3 Syracuse, but couldn’t topple No. 1-seed Princeton in the finals. The last time the Terps were unseeded was 2009 and that year Maryland was the lone unseeded team to win a first round game, knocking off previously unbeaten Notre Dame, 7-3. The Terps lost to eventual national champion Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

The Terrapins are 39-10 all-time against the Tar Heels, but have faced them only once in the NCAA tournament. That meeting came 25 years ago in 1986 and Carolina, the No. 5 seed, upset No. 4 seed Maryland, 12-10, in Byrd Stadium.

Maryland and North Carolina have already met twice in 2011. The Tar Heels took the first meeting, defeating the Terps, 11-6, on March 26 in College Park. Maryland evened the season series with Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC tournament, rallying from a four-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 7-6 win on April 22 in Durham, N.C.

The Terps, 10-4 on the season, were awarded one of 10 at-large bids to the tournament. North Carolina, 10-5 on the year, also made it into the field as an at-large selection. The Tar Heels are making their 26th NCAA appearance, while Maryland is making its 34th appearance in the tournament.

Carolina has won four NCAA titles, while the Terps have won two. This is the first time since 1999 (Syracuse vs. Princeton) that two former national championship teams are meeting in the first round.

The winner of the North Carolina/Maryland game will meet the winner of the Syracuse/Siena first round game in the quarterfinals on Sunday, May 22, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Tournament Breakdown:
No. 1 Syracuse (Big East) vs. Siena (MAAC AQ) – May 15, 7:30 p.m.
No. 8 North Carolina (ACC) vs. Maryland (ACC)- May 15, 1 p.m.

No. 4 Notre Dame (Big East) vs. Penn (Ivy) – May 14, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Duke (ACC) vs. Delaware (CAA AQ) – May 14, 5 p.m.

No. 3 Johns Hopkins (Independent) vs. Hofstra (CAA) – May 14, Noon
No. 6 Denver (ECAC AQ) vs. Villanova (Big East) – May 15, 5:15 p.m.

No. 2 Cornell (Ivy AQ) vs. Hartford (America East AQ) – May 14, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 Virginia (ACC) vs. Bucknell (Patriot AQ) – May 15, 3 p.m.

Tournament Teams By Conference:
ACC (4): Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia
Big East (3): Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova
CAA (2): Delaware (AQ), Hofstra
Ivy (2): Cornell (AQ), Penn
ECAC (1): Denver (AQ)
Independent (1): Johns Hopkins
America East (1): Hartford (AQ)
MAAC (1): Siena (AQ)
Patriot League (1): Bucknell (AQ)

Stevenson Earns Bye in NCAA Championship, Hosts Cabrini-Widener in Second Round

Bracket

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Stevenson men’s lacrosse team will be making its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship as the No. 3-ranked Mustangs received a first round bye and will host the winner of Cabrini and Widener at Caves Athletics Complex in the second round on Saturday, May 14.

Stevenson (17-2) was one of three teams to receive a first round bye in the South Region along with No. 1 Salisbury and No. 5 Dickinson. The Sea Gulls will host the winner between Springfield and No. 17 Endicott while the Red Devils welcome the winner of Adrian and No. 15 Wittenberg.

A total of 26 teams were selected for this year’s national championship with No. 2 RIT, No. 4 SUNY Cortland and No. 7 and defending national championship Tufts receiving first round byes in the North Region.

Six of Stevenson’s 2011 opponents advanced to the tournament, including Salisbury, Cortland, Tufts, No. 8 Roanoke, No. 16 Denison and Scranton. The Mustangs posted a 5-2 record against the opponents, going 1-1 versus the Sea Gulls with their only other loss coming against Tufts.

Stevenson is 5-11 all-time versus former CSAC rival Cabrini and 2-0 against Widener. Two of the Mustangs’ five victories against Cabrini have come in the last two seasons in NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

More information on Saturday’s second round contest at Caves Athletics Complex, including game time and ticket information, will be made available on GoMustangSports.com as soon as it becomes available.

The quarterfinals will be on Wednesday, May 18 with the semifinals on Sunday, May 22. The Division III national championship game will be played on Sunday, May 29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

Posted on 28 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

These were selected by….Glenn Clark. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Orioles sign Miguel Tejada, Maryland names Kevin Anderson Athletic Director, Navy pounds Notre Dame at Meadowlands, Ravens beat Jets on Monday Night Football, Maryland field hockey wins National Championship, Shogun Fights II & III come to 1st Mariner Arena, John Tillman hired as Maryland lacrosse coach, Ravens sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Trice Capra reaches 3rd round of U.S. Open, Terrapins hold off Midshipmen in Labor Day thriller at M&T Bank Stadium, Cliff Tucker buries Georgia Tech with incredible buzzer beater

10. Danny O’Brien breaks out as Maryland tops NC State

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

Maybe the “moment” should be O’Brien getting his first start against Florida International. Unfortunately, no one was at Byrd Stadium that day and even fewer were watching on ESPN3.com.

Maybe the “moment” should be Maryland’s battle against Florida State in College Park where O’Brien nearly beat the Seminoles and gave the Terrapins a chance to play in the ACC Championship Game. But the Terps lost that game.

So I’ll stick with the season closer. It was an epic breakout performance from a freshman quarterback that offered hope to Maryland fans that change had come.

Of course, change was really STILL to come.

9. Ravens trade for Anquan Boldin

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itI56uxrbeU[/youtube]

If you actually go to the page for that YouTube video, you’ll find multiple Super Bowl related comments.

That was the immediate feeling when the Ravens traded two NFL Draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin. Since that time, the Boldin deal has looked…well…not quite as overwhelming. But it doesn’t change the moment.

In that moment, the Ravens became the “Offseason Champs”, an honor the Washington Redskins had owned for years.

The difference? The Ravens till have a chance to be the REAL champs as well.

8. Baltimore Grand Prix officially announced

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntu-FrV9ufY[/youtube]

Look, I’M not a fan of the IndyCar Series myself. Well, other than Danica Patrick anyway.

And I have NO IDEA how many folks in Baltimore could EVER tell you who Will Power or Dario Franchitti were.

But if the Baltimore Grand Prix raises as much money for the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Governor Martin O’Malley say it will, this could be a MAJOR moment for this area.

7. The return of the Preakness infield

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHLL8YQmCoA[/youtube]

After the “miserable failure” (my own words, folks) that was the 2009 Preakness “Infieldfest” event, the Maryland Jockey Club hit a home run in 2010.

Pimlico’s infield was covered in people thanks to a $20 “All you can drink” ticket that replaced the previous BYOB experience and an awesome musical combination or O.A.R. and Zac Brown Band (which was LIGHT YEARS better than ZZ Top and Buckcherry the previous year).

It was an awesome event. Hopefully there will be another one.

By the way, does anyone remember who won the Preakness this year?

(Edit from GMC: It was Lookin at Lucky. I ALMOST had to go to Wikipedia to jog my memory.)

6. Duke beats Virginia in lacrosse Final Four

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

Maybe Notre Dame’s improbable run to the National Championship Game or the Blue Devils’ thrilling Memorial Day win over the Fighting Irish were bigger stories; but the Saturday showdown between the Cavaliers and Devils was absolutely EPIC.

The impact of Yeardley Love’s murder added to the buildup surrounding the game, as Cavs coach Dom Starsia was reminded of George Huguely’s name throughout the NCAA Tournament. Also adding to the buildup was the presence of the final class of “Super Seniors” from Duke, as the NCAA granted all Duke players an extra year of eligibility following the scandal that rocked the Durham campus in 2006.

The game was even better than the incredible buildup. Max Quinzani’s game winner with 13 seconds left finished off what had been one of the more incredible quarters of lacrosse ever seen in Charm City.

This will be the only entry on the list that doesn’t involve a local team. It was good enough that it doesn’t matter.

5. Orioles hire Buck Showalter

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

When I gave my “Local Sports Person of the Year” vote to Buck Showalter, I said his hiring represented the first real “hope” Birds fans had experienced since the 2005 campaign, when the team reached the All-Star Game still leading the American League Wild Card race.

What happened with the O’s down the stretch (a 34-23 finish under Showalter) means little if the team does not build upon it. But the hope that came with the incredible finish was that the team COULD build upon it.

We’ll see.

But it certainly doesn’t change the level of excitement that came with Showalter’s hiring and incredible two month run. If things truly turn around for the Orioles, it will be marked as the actual moment of change.

4. Joe Flacco finds TJ Houshmandzadeh to beat Steelers in Pittsburgh

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

I’m pretty sure my column that day said it all.

The Ravens were ABSOLUTELY on their way to another crushing loss at Heinz Field; and I wasn’t going to believe it wouldn’t end that way until the moment Houshmandzadeh hauled in the Flacco TD toss.

The Ravens QB had never lead his team from behind to win in the final two minutes of regulation.

That changed.

Had the Ravens held on to finish the sweep of the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium; the win would have meant even more.

3. Maryland beats Duke to (essentially) clinch ACC regular season title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIW27uR56s[/youtube]

As I stated when he was voted “Local Sports Person of the Year”, this was the defining moment for Greivis Vasquez.

Beating good teams at Comcast Center has been somewhat commonplace for the Terps in the Gary Williams era. In fact, Maryland had knocked off North Carolina in College Park just a season earlier. (Both the 2009 Tar Heels and this year’s Blue Devils would go on to win the NCAA Championship.)

Yet somehow, this particular win over a good team was more satisfying. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was Senior Night for Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the win would ultimately prove to be the difference as the Terps would split the ACC regular season title.

More than anything, it probably had everything to do with the fact that it was Duke.

Wins ALWAYS feel better when they come against Duke.

2. Ravens go to Foxborough, beat New England Patriots in AFC playoffs

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwFU4xYzV4[/youtube]

If it had been a round (or definitely two rounds) later, this would have been a slam dunk #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the flat performance in a divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts a week later took some of the excitement out of the win at Gillette Stadium.

That being said, the emotions of a dominant win over a Bill Belichick/Tom Brady lead team on the road won’t be forgotten for some time.

It was even more emotional when the story of Matthew Costello (son of WMAR anchor Jamie Costello) giving Cam Cameron the play call for Ray Rice’s opening play TD came out.

It was a huge win and an awesome feeling. It’s just a shame it didn’t extend towards the Super Bowl.

1. Reggie Holmes breaks Morgan State’s all-time scoring record in win over Coppin State

I was there for #2, #3 and #4. This was better.

morgan

The emotions inside Hill Field House were incredible.

It was Senior Night, the final home game for star guard Reggie Holmes.

Holmes was announced as MEAC Player of the Year. Kevin Thompson was announced as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Dewayne Jackson was announced as MEAC Freshman of the Year. Todd Bozeman was announced as MEAC Coach of the Year.

Holmes’ entire neighborhood (Cherry Hill) was in the stands…and actually rushed the floor PREGAME. The game started more than an hour late.

Holmes needed 33 points to break Marvin “The Eraser” Webster’s Bears career scoring record. He scored 36 in a blowout win.

It was incredible.

It represented everything that makes college basketball in Baltimore great. It represented everything that makes Baltimore sports great.

It was the best moment of the year.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Blog & Tackle: NFL one-liners through Week 13

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Blog & Tackle: NFL one-liners through Week 13

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Chris Pika

The 2010 NFL season has reached the three-quarter mark, and like any good game on Sundays, it’s usually the fourth quarter that decides success or failure.

It’s a chance to take stock of each conference after 13 weeks and 12 games with one-liners on each of the teams. Below are some stats, observations and conjecture as we look ahead to the final four weeks.

First, here is a look at the AFC by divisions. Records are through Week 13:

AFC East

New England Patriots (10-2): Patriots have won last four, including huge win over the Jets to solidfy their claim as AFC’s best team behind conference-best (+110) scoring differential; road to AFC title will go through Gillette Stadium and coach Bill Belichick.

New York Jets (9-3): Despite 3-1 stretch, Jets went from potentially being in line to host AFC title game to very vulnerable after shredding of New York’s vaunted D by the Patriots.

Miami Dolphins (6-6): Dolphins continue to confound with 5-1 road mark, but 1-5 home record — that will be main reason they will not make playoffs as well as offensive woes (-23 point differential).

Buffalo Bills (2-10): Bills finally saw results after 0-8 start with two straight victories, but close loss to Steelers and blowout defeat to Vikings has slowed Buffalo’s progress.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3): Steelers have grabbed choke-hold of AFC North after winning the war in Baltimore last week behind QB Ben Roethlisberger and stout defense; now Pittsburgh could host AFC Divisional Playoff at always-tough Heinz Field.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4): Only home loss of season so far to Steelers was costly as Ravens may have three straight playoff games on the road instead of one or two home games; predicted high-production offense has gone cold at bad times.

Cleveland Browns (5-7): Cleveland continues to be a “tough out” thanks to solid running game behind RB Peyton Hillis; if they get QB (and maybe head coach) situation settled in offseason, could be 2011 team to watch in AFC.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-10): The wheels have completely come off the cart for one of the preseason favorites to win the division — nine-game losing streak may spell the end of the Marvin Lewis era in Cincinnati.

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5): Jaguars, after 3-1 stretch, find themselves on top in the division, despite worst point differential among all division leaders (-43) — only question is can they hold off slumping Colts?

Indianapolis Colts (6-6): Colts’ injuries have finally taken a toll; forget Peyton Manning for a moment, being in position of having to pass so much has allowed opponents to tee off in crucial situations — but Indy can still catch Jaguars for division title.

Houston Texans (5-7): Lack of strong starts have doomed Texans, 1-5 in their last six games — last chance for Houston (and maybe coach Gary Kubiak’s job) comes with Monday night visit by Ravens in Week 14.

Tennessee Titans (5-7): When you didn’t think anybody else could surpass Minnesota as NFL’s best soap opera, here comes the Titans; normally unflappable coach Jeff Fisher has had to deal with Vince Young, Randy Moss and owner Bud Adams in recent weeks.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): Chiefs seem to have control of the division after a three-game win streak and perfect 6-0 home mark; can they hold off the Raiders and Chargers over the final four weeks?

Oakland Raiders (6-6): Progress has been slowed by 3-2 mark in last five games, but 4-0 division record could be factor if they get help before Week 17 showdown at traditional rival Chiefs.

San Diego Chargers (6-6): Amazing how one loss changes things after blowout defeat by Raiders last week that stopped four-game win streak; season on the line vs. Chiefs this week.

Denver Broncos (3-9): A three-game losing streak coupled with Spygate-like scandal in London finally cost Josh McDaniels his coaching job; Eric Studesville gets his audition but the supporting cast is not there.

And now for the NFC by divisions:

NFC East

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons converses with quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens after the Falcons 26-21 win at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-4): The Eagles are tied for the division lead, but arguably have the NFC East’s toughest schedule left with two games vs. Dallas and one each against the Giants and Vikings — for what was originally expected to be a transition year, a lot is still on the table.

New York Giants (8-4): Giants are playing as well as any team in NFC right now, but head coach Tom Coughlin’s team must navigate Minnesota, Philadelphia and Green Bay the next three weeks to stay in the division and Wild Card mix.

Washington Redskins (5-7): The Redskins season has become a trainwreck as head coach Mike Shanahan has had to deal with several distractions, including DT Albert Haynesworth’s suspension for conduct detrimental; the Skins defense should be suspended as well, allowing the fifth-most points in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys (4-8): The Cowboys have gotten off the deck to become a team no one wants to face down the stretch; Dallas could play spoiler in the NFC East and help Jason Garrett remove the interim coaching tag.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (9-3): The Bears have won five straight to hold the division lead by one game thanks to resurgent play by QB Jay Cutler and LB Brian Urlacher; Chicago has murderous final four weeks capped by Week 17 visit to Packers.

Green Bay Packers (8-4): Despite injuries, Packers are firmly in the playoff mix, but key Week 12 loss at Atlanta looms large as well as final three games against New England, Giants and Chicago — win those and Green Bay will have earned its postseason ticket.

Minnesota Vikings (5-7): A change in head coach to well-respected assistant Leslie Frazier has helped the mood in Minnesota, but the final four weeks will be all about Brett Favre’s literal limp to the finish of his career (I think).

Detroit Lions (2-10): Some of the strides made early in the season by the Lions have been erased by the current five-game losing streak; coach Jim Schwartz is still looking for consistent winning formula.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (10-2): The hottest team in the NFC with six straight wins, the Falcons may do something no Atlanta NFL team ever has — host the NFC Championship Game in January; but they have to get through Week 16 Monday Night game vs. Saints.

New Orleans Saints (9-3): The defending Super Bowl champions are playing like it for first time all season with a current five-game win streak as the Saints try to go stride-for-stride with the Falcons; back-to-back road contests at Baltimore and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16 are New Orleans’ key games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5): The air has finally come out of the Buccaneers’ balloon with two straight losses, but Tampa Bay is just one game out of a Wild Card spot with favorable matchups in the next three weeks before Week 17 at Saints.

Carolina Panthers (1-11): The Panthers just want the season to be over, and the housecleaning will begin soon after starting with head coach John Fox; Panthers are a NFC-worst minus-153 in point differential.

NFC West

St. Louis Rams (6-6): The Rams have quietly put themselves in position to make the playoffs out of a weak NFC West, but don’t mistake St. Louis as a weak team — QB Sam Bradford is one of the league’s feel-good stories of 2010, and division could come down to Week 17 tilt at Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks (6-6): The Seahawks are in position to capture the NFC West, but head coach Pete Carroll’s squad still has worst point differential among NFC teams with a winning record (-49); Week 17 vs. St. Louis could be the decider.

San Francisco 49ers (4-8): San Francisco not officially dead in NFC West race, but last gasp could come this Sunday vs. Seattle; if they win, they still have games vs. St. Louis and Arizona — teams they have already beaten in 2010.

Arizona Cardinals (3-9): Cardinals have gone south for the winter as they have lost seven straight and hold NFC’s second-worst point difference (-138), but have three winnable games in final four weeks.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Live From Owings Mills: Redding, Zbikowski, Chester, Dickson all QUESTIONABLE Sunday

Posted on 26 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) held their final open practice of the week Friday before Sunday’s showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at M&T Bank Stadium.

DE Cory Redding (arm) returned to the practice field Friday, he had missed both Wednesday and Thursday. His return makes him a more likely candidate to play Sunday when the Ravens face the Bucs. Head Coach John Harbaugh said the team would “see on Sunday” on Redding’s elbow felt to make a final determination.

Redding said Friday he “felt good” in practice, adding “I’m making progress to Sunday.” Redding would not commit to being available for Sunday’s game, but said he had “pushed (DT) Haloti (Ngata) around” in practice, which he felt was a good gauge about how much strength he has in his arm.

Should Redding not be able to start or play Sunday, DE Paul Kruger would be a likely candidate to start in his place. Redding was listed as questionable on Friday’s final injury report.

OL Chris Chester (illness) was the only Ravens player missing from the practice field Friday, he is also questionable for Sunday’s game. Harbaugh reiterated Friday that Chester could play without practicing this week, Chester admitted he felt “more than capable” of being able to play.

S Tom Zbikowski practiced again Friday, he is also questionable but expected to be available Sunday for the first time since suffering a foot injury in the team’s Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Neither Harbaugh nor Zbikowski would confirm Zbikowski’s availability Sunday. Zbikowski admitted his foot was “not 100%”, but also claimed “I’m dying to get back out there.”

Zbikowski said his apprehension was not because he was feeling much pain.

“(It’s) not too bad” said the third year safety out of Notre Dame. “Mentally I’ve still got a little fear.”

TE Ed Dickson (thigh) was also listed as questionable for Sunday, S Ed Reed (illness) was listed as probable after saying Friday he felt “much better.”

For the Bucs, DE Kyle Moore (shoulder) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Four other players were listed as probable for Sunday-LB Quincy Black (ankle), WR Sammie Stroughter (foot), OT Jeremey Trueblood (knee) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee).

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Redding, Chester, Zbikowski, Kruger, Reed and WR TJ Houshmandzadeh following Friday’s practice NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……OL Bryan Mattison joined Drew Forrester Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that conversation is available in the Audio Vault as well……Weather.com/The Weather Channel predicts 48 degrees and sunny in Charm City for Sunday’s game……Carl Cheffers’ crew will officiate Sunday’s game……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday morning in advance of Sunday’s game. Saturday’s walkthrough will be closed to the media

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Hoping to Take Advantage of Buccaneers’ Youth

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday, continuing preparations for Sunday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Buccaneers have skill players who are all relatively young in their NFL careers. QB Josh Freeman (22) is in his 2nd NFL season, RB Lagarrette Blount (23) is a rookie, WR Mike Williams (23) is a rookie, WR Sammie Stroughter (24) is in his 2nd season and WR Arrelious Benn (22) is a rookie. Even the team’s more veteran skill players are relatively young, as TE Kellen Winslow II is just 27 and RB Cadillac Williams is just 28.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said the team’s youth isn’t necessarily good news for the Ravens.

“They play like a bunch of kids” said Harbaugh. “They run around and get after it and they’re enthusiastic. I’m sure its got its pluses and its got its minuses. We’ll try to negate the pluses that the youth brings to the table and we’ll try to take full advantage of whatever those minuses are.”

The Buccaneers are the youngest team in the National Football League, and continued to get younger this week when they released veteran DL Ryan Sims (30).

LB Jarret Johnson downplayed the “mysterious” nature of a young team like the Bucs.

“We’re not (team) that play each other a lot” said Johnson. “But you’ve got adequate time during the week to get familiar with them, so it’s not going to be a mystery when we get out there.”

FLACCO DISMISSES MASON SPAT: Much like Harbaugh did during his Monday press conference, QB Joe Flacco was quick to dismiss a reported physical confrontation with WR Derrick Mason during their Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.

“We were in a good battle and things happen on the sidelines sometimes” said Flacco. “I was laughing ten seconds after it was over.”

Flacco admitted that every sideline conversation is different, and some can be cause for concern moving forward.

“I guess it can be, but not between me and Derrick.”

PRACTICE REPORT: OL Chris Chester (infection) and DE Cory Redding (arm) did not participate during practice Wednesday. S Ed Reed (illness) did not participate either.

The Ravens received good news Wednesday, as S Tom Zbikowski (foot) returned to practice for the first time since suffering a bruised heel in the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Zbikowski said Wednesday he was “feeling good”, and Harbaugh said Zbikowski has a “good chance” of seeing the field Sunday in Charm City. He was listed as a limited participant Wednesday, as was TE Ed Dickson (thigh).

FB Le’Ron McClain did not appear as though he would be participating in contact drills Wednesday.

For the Buccaneers, Winslow (knee) and DE Kyle Moore (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday. LB Quincy Black (ankle), Stroughter (foot) and OT Jeremey Trueblood (knee) were all full participants in practice.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Zbikowski, Johnson, LB Ray Lewis, RB Ray Rice and LB Terrell Suggs NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta joined Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, you can hear that chat in the Audio Vault now as well……The Ravens will wear black uniforms Sunday when they face the Bucs……The Ravens will practice Thursday despite the Thanksgiving holiday

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Red Zone Troubling For Ravens Offense

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (6-2) returned to work Tuesday at 1 Winning Drive, holding their final open practice before a Thursday Night Football showdown with the Atlanta Falcons (6-2) at the Georgia Dome.

If the Ravens are to beat their NFC South opponent Thursday night, they will likely need to improve their performance offensively in the red zone. In their Week 9 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens scored just one touchdown despite getting inside the Fins’ 20 yard line seven times.

“That’s something we’ve got to get corrected” said RB Ray Rice. “In the past we’ve been physical down there. This year, we’ve just got to do a better job of doing the little things execution-wise. We’re just trying to get down there and relish our opportunities down there.”

Three of the six trips to the red zone that failed to end with touchdowns were hurt by Ravens penalties. “We hurt ourselves with penalties” said QB Joe Flacco. “I think that was the main reason. We kinda got ourselves out of sync a little bit. That can’t happen if we’re going to continue to beat good teams.”

The Ravens are scoring touchdowns on 42.8% of their offensive possessions in the red zone, down from 51.5% last year. The Ravens rank 24th in the NFL in red zone touchdown efficiency.

RICE CLARIFIES INCIDENT: Before discussing football, Rice took a few moments to clarify a story that had been popularly passed around the internet Tuesday morning.

Rice confirmed reports that he was pulled over Monday and given a warning due to his car’s window tint. Rice however clarified that that he did not avoid a ticket by offering the officer an autograph, but instead offered the autograph to the officer after he had already been issued the warning.

“Bad decision by me warning it on Twitter” said Rice. “I don’t want to make it seem like I’m getting any fair treatment.”

PRACTICE REPORT: Tom Zbikowski (foot) was not on the practice field again Tuesday, leaving him in serious jeopardy of missing Thursday night’s game. Zbikowski has not played since suffering a bruised heel in the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Zbikowski would “probably not” play Thursday night.

All other Ravens were on the practice field Tuesday and are expected to be available for Thursday night’s game. RB Matt Lawrence practiced again Tuesday but remains on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He will not be available Thursday unless activated to the active roster. The Ravens have three weeks to activate Lawrence and are not expected to do so before the Falcons game.

The Falcons’ injury report was the same as Monday, with the only exception being QB Chris Redman (non-injury), who returned to practice. C Todd McClure (knee), LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee) and WR Roddy White (knee) did not participate in practice for a second straight day. WR Brian Finneran (knee/ribs), LB Curtis Lofton (knee), RB Jason Snelling (knee) and CB Brian Williams (hamstring) were all limited for a second straight day.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Rice and DT Haloti Ngata and CB Josh Wilson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……DE Paul Kruger is scheduled to join Drew Forrester at 7:15am Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, Falcons FB (and former Raven) Ovie Mughelli is scheduled to join Rex Snider at 5:05pm Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” on AM1570 WNST……The weather will have no impact with Thursday night’s game being played inside the Dome, but tailgaters traveling to Atlanta from Charm City can expect 71 degrees and plenty of sun according to Weather.com/The Weather Channel……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Wednesday morning before traveling to Atlanta Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday’s walkthough will be closed to the media

-G

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