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Your Monday Reality Check: Congrats kid, now don’t miss

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Your Monday Reality Check: Congrats kid, now don’t miss

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

I probably should’ve saved a few hundred of the words I spent on last week’s missive about the Baltimore Ravens’ kicking competition.

Hey, at least I’m going to save you from a story about my 16th birthday party. (Although if you really want to know the details you can always feel free to email me. I always have stories.)

I’m glad our own Drew Forrester has taken the time to commend former K Billy Cundiff over and over again for how he handled himself after missing a crucial kick that cost the team a chance to send the AFC Championship Game to overtime. Drew has been right to point out that Cundiff could have made excuses, could have dodged reporters, could have gone into hiding and waited to hear his fate after an underwhelming season.

He didn’t do that. He manned up. It truly is commendable.

There’s a caveat to our praise however. The fact is that we all know that if Cundiff had made the kick and then given the Heisman to media members postgame we wouldn’t have batted an eye.

The fact is that the only thing any of us (rightly) care about was that in a situation where a team (and a city) counted on one player to do their job, the job wasn’t done.

We’ve been through this exercise repeatedly in the months since the Ravens fell just short of a Super Bowl return. I actually have no interest whatsoever in reliving that moment and determining what happened or who deserves blame. I’m just reminding everyone that while Drew is right to commend Billy Cundiff, there’s an obvious reason why such praise isn’t prevailing throughout Charm City to start the week.

I could not begin to tell you whether or not the Ravens made the right decision by releasing Cundiff Sunday and sticking with rookie K Justin Tucker for the 2012 season. I understand the reasoning behind the decision (I’m pretty sure I made a compelling argument for both specialists last Monday) and support the organization in making the move.

I also fought off the urge to headline this column “Good Tuck, kid” so I feel like I deserve a bit of credit here.

Tucker has a great opportunity to establish himself as an above average kicker for a franchise finally moving past the significant shadow of Matt Stover. Tucker has the opportunity to not just make crucial kicks for the Ravens in 2012, but perhaps also for future Ravens teams both competing for Super Bowl titles and (unfortunately) just trying to stay afloat in the AFC North.

Based on my early conversations with Tucker (the most recent of which-from last Wednesday’s episode of “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net-can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault), I have every reason to believe Tucker is aware of the opportunity in front of him. He seems like an intelligent young man with what we can already tell is an exceptionally capable leg.

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Your Monday Reality Check: This is just plain awkward at this point

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Your Monday Reality Check: This is just plain awkward at this point

Posted on 20 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

For me, it was probably my 15th birthday party.

ESPNZone had just opened in the Inner Harbor about a month earlier and I wanted absolutely nothing more than to check it out. I convinced my parents to let me have a party there after weeks of haggling.

The agreement came with one significant stipulation. As my parents were by no means wealthy people (although clearly I was more fortunate than others), they informed me I could only bring three friends.

I knew then that the decision I made would easily be the most agonizing of my entire life.

(You probably think I’m being sarcastic. With the gift of hindsight, it’s understandable. But think back to the time you had to make a similar decision. Remember how significant you thought it was? I thought so.)

I was obviously going to bring Brandon, as he and I had been hanging out together almost every day that summer. I had also figured I would take Matt, one of my buddies since first grade. The third choice was by far and away the most difficult. Ryan and Andy were stepbrothers, so how was I going to pick one and not the other? Billy had invited me to his cool birthday party earlier that year, so maybe I owed him. Adam was having a paintball themed birthday later in the month, I definitely didn’t want my decision to jeopardize an invite to his party. And for perhaps the first time in my young life I thought perhaps it was more important to consider inviting a GIRL (Leslie) instead of one of my buddies.

I remember thinking “perhaps I could cheat the system.” I tried convincing my parents I couldn’t invite Ryan without inviting Andy. I tried seeing if they would allow me to invite a fourth if I promised to invite one fewer friend to my 16th birthday. I told them Brandon shouldn’t count against the limit because he was basically living with us that summer anyway. I had hoped to find out someone wouldn’t be able to come anyway because their family already had plans.

I wish I could tell you I remembered who I picked. I don’t. I just remembered how awkward the whole process was.

I’m assuming by this point you clearly see the analogy I’m trying to make between my 15th birthday party and the Baltimore Ravens’ preseason kicking competition. How could you possibly not? I’m laying it on so thick!

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

As you’ll remember, I spent most of Training Camp ranking the players on the Baltimore Ravens roster as we tried to determine the Top 53 that would make the final roster.

As we’ve reached the team’s Bye Week, I thought I’d use a similar format (as opposed to a Report Card format) to grade the way the 53 men currently on the team’s roster have played thus far this season. Here’s my list…

53. OL Scott Kooistra-He hasn’t seen the field and he hasn’t been around very long. I’m not sure where else he could be ranked.

52. DT Arthur Jones-The team isn’t dissatisfied with the rookie DT from Syracuse. The issue for Jones is that the Ravens are so deep on the interior of their D-Line that they haven’t been able to get Jones on the field yet. Until then, he won’t find himself any higher on the list.

51. WR Donte’ Stallworth-Stallworth’s broken foot has kept him entirely out of game action thus far, and he only returned to practice last week. The team expects him to be on the field Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Once he gets out there, we can see where he’d rank on this list.

50. QB Marc Bulger-If Marc Bulger never sees the field and stays somewhere near #50, GM Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh will be thrilled-as it means nothing will have gone wrong with the team’s quarterback. This is exactly where they want him.

49. DT Lamar Divens-It seems like Lamar Divens will always be the first name listed when the “who could you cut to make room for…” conversations happen. That being said, he hasn’t been cut yet this season, and has even seen the field at times. He’s a really good player-even if it hasn’t quite been evident yet this season.

48. TE Dennis Pitta-His offensive contributions (1 catch, 1 yard) have been next to nothing, but Pitta has been a solid special teams contributor and has only been inactive for one game. No one in Owings Mills is unhappy with their rookie TE from BYU thus far.

47. CB Cary Williams-He’s been more of a Special Teams contributor than he’s been a corner thus far this season-and he hasn’t been perfect. His block in the back penalty against the New England Patriots was certainly frustrating; and Harbaugh made it known. Williams’ size (6’1″) could make him helpful at CB at some point, but the team has to trust him there.

46. OT Oniel Cousins-The team didn’t really hide from the fact that they were disappointed by how long it took Oniel to get back on the field after a preseason concussion. At this point, I don’t think they can hide from the disappointment in his on-field performance; as he’s struggled to get playing time at all.

45. LB Prescott Burgess-He’s remained a steady player on Special Teams, and that’s what the team has wanted from him. It’s easy to be down a player who doesn’t contribute at his natural position, but Burgess has been solid.

44. LS Morgan Cox-Matt Katula’s struggles a season ago were at least somewhat to blame for early season misses from then kicker Steve Hauschka. I think that’s why it wasn’t terribly surprising when ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg and company decided to go with Cox this season. That being said, Cox has been low on a few FG snaps, and has gotten some help from holder Sam Koch. He needs to be a bit steadier.

43. WR Marcus Smith-Smith is another player whose contributions have been limited to Special Teams thus far, which means his mistakes are often much more memorable than anything he does well. He had a tough day in Foxborough, but he wasn’t the only one.

42. DT Terrence Cody-What a frustrating player Terrence Cody has been this season. There’s moments where it looks like things are clicking for him, but there have been many more moments (in the 4 games where he’s played) where he looked absolutely lost. He didn’t record his first NFL tackle until the Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills.

41. LB Jason Phillips-Phillips may have earned a couple of extra spots on the list simply thanks to the hit he and Edgar Jones delivered to Denver Broncos WR/KR Demaryius Thomas (see below) in Week 5. Phillips is in a tough spot, as the Ravens are deep at ILB. That being said, he’s made an impact in the opportunities he’s had-which is exactly what the team wanted.

ravensbroncos

40. DE Paul Kruger-I’m placing Paul Kruger in the top 40, but I’ll note that he’s played in only two games thus far this season-two he may have never played in had the team not released Trevor Pryce earlier in the year. His ability to play in the wedge has helped get him on the field, but the kick return hasn’t exactly been great with or without him.

39. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Ayanbadejo is another player who I’m squeezing into the Top 40 despite limited work. It looks like Ayanbadejo is going to be able to continue to be an effective player on Special Teams; but his ability to help is pass coverage will determine where he eventually ends up on this list.

38. RB/KR Jalen Parmele-It’s easy to look at the struggles Parmele has had over the last two weeks and be down on his season; but it cannot be dismissed that he’s averaged over 20 yards per return this season. The Ravens have to figure out what’s going wrong with their kick return. My guess is that they’ll find out that the returner isn’t the biggest problem. My second guess is that it won’t mean Parmele will be the returner moving forward anyway.

37. S Ken Hamlin-When the Ravens released Hamlin to make room for Cary Williams earlier in the season, it looked like a confirmation that Hamlin was simply holding Ed Reed’s roster spot. About a week later we found out that wasn’t exactly the case. Hamlin has been effective on Special Teams and has offered something to Greg Mattison’s defense as well-at least until he was left inactive for the first time Week 7. That could be bad news moving forward for Hamlin.

36. WR David Reed-After looking like he might not be able to play Special Teams at all, Reed developed into a very trustworthy gunner for the Ravens over the first few weeks of the season and has taken more snaps as a returner during practice as the season has gone on. That being said, it is interesting to note that Reed was held out of Sunday’s game against the Bills. It had at least SOMETHING to do with a thigh injury, but it will be interesting to see if it was the injury ONLY, or if the injury was just part of it.

35. TE Ed Dickson-Dickson is an interesting case. In the game against the Broncos, his 58 yard 1st quarter catch was eye-opening. His 6’4″ frame clearly makes him an attractive downfield and jump-ball target. But his holding penalty later in the game was an example of exactly why OC Cam Cameron may not fully trust him enough to keep him on the field. My guess is that Dickson is headed towards some level of a breakout performance.

34. LB Tavares Gooden-I get the feeling that I could be showing a little bit too much fairness to Gooden, who was adequate in the two games he played before injuring his shoulder. He probably hasn’t done enough to justify the position, but I’ll keep him here for now. How he bounces back from another setback (and whether or not he can return in Week 9) could have a lot to do with his future in Charm City.

33. CB Josh Wilson-This is really tricky as well. Wilson has by no means been a liability on the field; but he’s done little to prove himself thus far. He’s missed two games (a healthy inactive when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field; an ankle injury kept him out of the loss to the Pats at Gillette Stadium), and he hasn’t been perfect as a returner. But when Secondary coach Chuck Pagano need an answer late against the Bills, Wilson stepped up.

32. WR TJ Houshmandzadeh-Truth be told, I’m completely befuddled by TJ Houshmandzadeh’s short tenure in Baltimore. I don’t think he’s been misused, I don’t think Joe Flacco has failed to look for him or get him the ball, I don’t think he’s necessarily been awful in doing his own job (although I absolutely think he’s given half efforts to catch the ball-which was abundantly evident when the Ravens played the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium). I’m not sure what Houshmandzadeh’s role is moving forward as Stallworth returns. No matter what it is, his catch to beat the Steelers will never be forgotten.

31. OL Tony Moll-Moll has shown himself to be a particularly reliable reserve on the O-Line; he’s been the team’s top reserve this season. In fact, he was on the field at RT when the Ravens put together their final TD drive to get the first win of the Harbaugh era in the Steel City.

tonymoll

30. DT Brandon McKinney-McKinney has quickly become the team’s top reserve along the D-Line, and has played VERY well he’s seen the field this season. He’s probably better as a NT or as an interior tackle in a 4-3 defense, but he’s been outstanding filling multiple roles for DL coach Clarence Brooks.

29. S Haruki Nakamura-Nakamura’s playing time has decreased since the start of the season, but it’s not because he’s performed poorly. Nakamura was both the 3rd safety and the nickel corner in the Ravens’ season opening Monday Night Football win over the New York Jets, but the improved health of the team has limited his role. His play has been effective throughout the season no matter his role.

28. CB Lardarius Webb-After missing the season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium, Webb has been up and down in the six games he’s played. At times he’s been spectacular, including two big pass breakups in the win over the Steelers. At other times he’s been less than spectacular, including the loss to the Bills. Webb stepped in for Zbikowski at PR against the Bills as well, but is unlikely to remain a long term option there.

27. DL Cory Redding-This is somewhat of a tricky judgment as well. Redding has played well, but was supposed to be able to get off the field in obvious passing situations this season to allow for a better rush end option. Sadly, the Ravens don’t have a better rush end option. Redding has just one sack on the season, and that number is unlikely to get much bigger.

26. LB Dannell Ellerbe-If Dannell Ellerbe didn’t have to play in pass coverage, he probably would find himself in the Top 15. Of course, there are a number of LB’s in the NFL who could say the same thing. Ellerbe has been solid but not spectacular, and has not exactly shown himself to be an “answer” for the Ravens at JACK LB.

25. OL Chris Chester-The Ravens would certainly prefer to have Chester coming off the bench and taking snaps at multiple positions; but the back injury to Jared Gaither has forced him into a starting role at RG. Chester hasn’t been perfect, but at no point has he been any sort of liability.

24. LB Jameel McClain-McClain has thus far been the most consistent answer at JACK LB, but he probably hasn’t solidified the position the way the team may have hoped he would. McClain has been solid, but has not been able to make too many plays in the backfield. Opponents have also been surprisingly able to run the ball with effectiveness (none more than Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis), which has to fall on the entire group-including McClain.

23. OL Marshal Yanda-No one has forgotten about Jared Gaither in Baltimore, but Marshal Yanda has solidified the RT position after a few early season struggles. Yanda is still better served playing at the Guard position, but he’s shown his athleticism and ability to both pass block and run block at the RT position.

22. S Ed Reed-There’s little argument for me ranking a player who has seen the field for just one game this high; but the argument exists. Of course, it is a very short argument-based solely on the fact that despite playing in just one game, Reed leads the team in interceptions. He looked like the Ed Reed of old against the Bills, giving the organization every reason to believe he’ll continue to play at a high level.

21. RB Willis McGahee-We might never TRULY know why McGahee didn’t see the field against the Pats, but he’s been very good every other time he’s seen the field. McGahee has been a solid back in both short yardage and goal line situations, is an effective blocker, and can take consecutive handoffs. If for some reason Ray Rice were to get hurt, the Ravens would be fine at RB.

mcgahee

20. C Matt Birk-Birk might not play at a Pro Bowl level necessarily anymore, but he’s still very good. He had some struggles early on this season, but he’s played very well in recent weeks. The Ravens may not have a center of the future on the roster necessarily, but they’re still just fine right now.

19. DT Kelly Gregg-Gregg has been just as steady as always this season; tallying 30 tackles and taking on double teams the same way he’s done since his breakout year in 2002. The only potential knock on Gregg has been a lack of plays made in the backfield.

18. S/PR Tom Zbikowski-The Ravens have been very happy with the play they’ve received from Zbikowski this season-especially while Reed missed the first six weeks of the season. Fans haven’t been thrilled with Zbikowski as punt returner-but since inexplicably running the ball backwards in East Rutherford, he’s been solid in that role as well. Zbikowski missed Game 7 with a bruised heel, but isn’t expected to be out for an extended period of time.

17. S Dawan Landry-I feel like we keep getting back to the Buffalo game with Ravens defenders-but that tends to be what happens when a team gives up 34 points at home. Landry had been very solid until that game however, and has 52 tackles through seven games this season.

16. CB Chris Carr-The best thing to happen to the Ravens in the wake of the Domonique Foxworth injury has been the play of Carr. Carr has been particularly steady starting opposite Fabian Washington. The team would probably like to see him improve a bit on the one interception and five pass deflections he’s posted thus far this season.

15. LB Jarret Johnson-The only disappointment with Johnson this season has been his lack of involvement in the pass rush. He’s tallied just half a sack thus far to go with 28 tackles. He’s been good, he’s just not quite played to the level he played at a season ago when he compiled six sacks.

14. K Billy Cundiff-The name Shayne Graham has LONG been forgotten at 1 Winning Drive. Cundiff has been incredible on kickoffs, tallying 18 touchbacks this season. He had entered the season with just 11 touchbacks for his CAREER. Cundiff is also 10/12 on field goal attempts; with one of the two misses coming in the goofy open end of the stadium at Heinz Field. There really isn’t much more that can be said about Cundiff, he’s been tremendous this season.

13. P Sam Koch-While I’m at it, Koch has been outstanding this season as well. He’s pinned punts inside the 20 yard line 19 times already this season. Some of his yardage numbers are a bit off this season, as the Ravens have had better field position in general this season. Oakland Raiders P Shane Lechler is still probably having a better season; but Koch has to at least be in consideration for a trip to Hawaii.

12. OT Michael Oher-Oher won’t want to hear the name Jermaine Cunningham any time soon, but otherwise he’s avoided a sophomore slump. Oher has answered almost all questions about his ability to play the LT position, even if he isn’t quite Jonathan Ogden just yet. He LOOKS like he’s offsides more than he actually IS offsides, with the only exception being the Patriots game.

11. LB Terrell Suggs-There’s a misconception that T-Sizzle is having a bad season. That’s simply not true. Suggs has played very well at times, and has clearly developed into a very complete all-around LB. The problem is-the Ravens don’t necessarily need an improved all-around LB on the outside. They REALLY need a pass rushing monster, and Suggs (3.5 sacks) just isn’t that guy right now, nor may he ever be again.

suggs

10. G Ben Grubbs-Grubbs has been the team’s most consistent Offensive Lineman thus far this season, and is setting himself up nicely for a potential Pro Bowl trip. As the team’s longest tenured O-Lineman, Grubbs has been significantly important for the team in maintaining continuity in a season where they have been forced to move pieces around.

9. TE Todd Heap-The Ravens thought that drafting two tight ends would help keep Heap fresh by getting him off the field for a handful of snaps every game. They also thought that signing multiple receivers in the offseason would help free up space on the field for Joe Flacco to find Heap. They’ve been right about both things. Heap has still taken a beating this season (thanks in part to Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather), but he’s on pace to have at least his best offensive season since 2006.

8. CB Fabian Washington-Don’t start cursing at your computer screen just yet. I am well aware that Lee Evans treated Washington like Sidney Rice would Frank Walker in the Ravens’ loss to the Bills. However, in the six games before that-Washington was a significant part of why the Ravens had one of the top pass defenses in the NFL (now ranked 8th for the record). Washington’s future standing on this list will of course have everything to do with how he bounces back from what was a dreadful Week 7 performance.

7. WR Derrick Mason-Remember him? Mason might not be on pace for a 1,000 yard season; but when they’ve needed him-he’s been ready to make plays. He was the team’s leading receiver in two very tough road games (at Pittsburgh and at New England), and he caught the only touchdown of the game in the Ravens’ Week 2 loss in the Queen City. Mason is just as reliable as always, and still catches the football…with the exception of the handful of times the team has decided for some goofy reason to try to throw jump balls in the direction of his 5’10″ frame.

6. RB Ray Rice-Fantasy football owners may not be quite as happy with Ray Rice’s performance as I am; but he’s been very good this season. He’s on pace to finish the season with over 1,400 yards of total offense; and should be able to remain fresh the more the Ravens work McGahee into the offense. Rice was expected to be a Top 3 caliber player on this list, but the lack of a breakaway burst appears to be hurting him right now. If that re-appears, he might show himself to be the type of MVP candidate he was a season ago.

5. LB Ray Lewis-Let me get this out of the way. Ray Lewis has not played like the future Hall of Fame LB he is in every game this season. He looked downright human against the Browns. That being said, the season opener on MNF was a vintage performance from one of the greatest defenders in league history, and Lewis locked up the Steelers game with a late interception of Charlie Batch. He tallied 15 tackles in the win over the Bills as well. San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis may be the unquestionable greatest LB in the game today, but Ray Lewis has not fallen terribly far behind.

4. FB Le’Ron McClain-This one may catch a few folks off guard, as the personal foul penalty in Foxborough and the lack of carries probably stick out in the minds of most fans more than anything else, but Le’Ron McClain is playing as well at his position as almost anyone else on the Ravens roster this season. RB Coach Wilbert Montgomery graded McClain’s performance against the Browns as the best by a Ravens player this season, and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron told me that in terms of the total package-blocking, rushing and pass catching-McClain was absolutely the best fullback in not only the AFC-but the entire NFL.

3. QB Joe Flacco-If it weren’t for the dud in Cincy, Flacco may be #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the game in Cincy still counts. Flacco has been outstanding for the better part of the season-despite strange criticism from fans and a handful of analysts alike. He’s on pace for another season with 3,000+ yards and 20+ touchdowns and has limited his turnovers in games BESIDES Cincinnati. Flacco still needs to figure out that Ray Rice is just 5’7″; which has to be the most frustrating part of his game at this point.

2. WR Anquan Boldin-Anquan Boldin has been everything the Ravens had hoped he would be and more. He’s been a reliable target, he’s shown the type of toughness that originally made him a star with the Arizona Cardinals, and at times (the Browns game sticks out) he’s even added an explosive level to his game. He unfortunately doesn’t get to matchup against Eric Wright every week; but he’s on pace for 1,000+ yards and double digit TD’s no matter who he’s up against. Some fans in Baltimore who weren’t familiar with his game thought the Ravens were getting Larry Fitzgerald; but for those who knew what type of player Boldin was-he’s been ABSOLUTELY as good as advertised if not better.

1. DT Haloti Ngata-There is simply no better player on this football team right now than Haloti Ngata. There’s almost no argument any longer about who the best interior D-Lineman is in the NFL either. The only unfortunate part about the season for Ngata has been the fact that the lack of a rush end has forced the Ravens to send Ngata outside and hope he could get to the quarterback. He’s capable, but it’s by no means where he is best used. When he does get in the backfield, there’s no quarterback (or other player at any position) that’s happy to see him.

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

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because tonight is my annual Fantasy Football Draft; or as I like to call it-”August Christmas.” Thanks to my buddy Chris Appel for arranging the event at Mountain Branch for our “Full House League”, where I’m assuming these things will be on the menu…

wingsandbeer

I have the 6th pick in this year’s draft. I’m mortified. Clearly Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew will be gone; with Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson likely behind them. That will likely put me in an uncomfortable spot where the best options are Frank Gore, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Michael Turner.

I have no idea what I’d do in that situation.

I guess Team “Jesse and the Rippers” probably end up having to take this guy…

BOLLER

And as a quick personal note; my condolences go out to Chris Appel (and former WNST.net blogger BJ Appel-the Commish in our league); whose grandfather “Big” Will Appel passed away last night. Big Will was an amazing dude who will be missed. Thoughts and prayers all around, it certainly weighs heavy on an otherwise glorious day.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Terrence Cody (knee), Demetrius Williams (ankle) missed practice again Thursday ahead of Ravens-Giants game

Neither are major concerns, and neither have ruled themselves out for tomorrow night-although it would surprise me if either were on the field after missing practice for all (Williams) or the majority (Cody) of the week.

The Ravens will almost certainly be without O-Linemen Jared Gaither (back), Oniel Cousins (concussion), David Hale (tailbone) and Daniel Sanders (shoulder) tomorrow night; as well as CB Marcus Paschal (leg).

WR Eron Riley (back) and DT Brandon McKinney (knee) are question marks having missed a few practices this week; and I would be surprised if CB Lardarius Webb played on the turf at “The Bank” after returning from the PUP list just this Monday.

It sorta feels weird to talk about injuries before a game and not mention LJ Smith. I hope he’s doing well…

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says ‘ball security’ very important for Cam Cameron, Ravens against New York

And after 8 fumbles in the first two preseason games against the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, it seems like a pretty logical thing to work on.

You know what else seems pretty logical? Posting this picture of Ninel Conde from Don Chavez….

conde

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to be inducted in Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor

I’m not sure if the Browns are planning on inviting guys to town to be honored the weekend of the induction, and it likely wouldn’t matter; as the Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals that day and I’m sure Ozzie will be in The Queen City, not The Comeback City.

But hypothetically, imagine the Browns holding an event on a day where Newsome had been able to attend. I am certain there would be at least a level of awkwardness at Cleveland Browns Stadium. I don’t think the majority of fans would be foolish enough to-say-boo the man whose Cleveland career made him a Hall of Fame TE. But I do think there would be a handful of fans (especially younger fans who might not remember Newsome on the field) who would be uncomfortable with honoring the GM of the team that abandoned Cleveland and now regular comes back to kick the Browns in the ass.

And there’s also the whole “he works for Art Modell” thing.

They’re doing the right thing. And it is probably best that it will happen on a day where they can avoid any level of awkwardness.

4. New York Daily News’ Ebenezer Samuel says G-Men center Shaun O’Hara to miss tomorrow night’s game

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens are holding a walkthrough today that is CLOSED to the media out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. They’ll kickoff against the Giants at 7:30 tomorrow night at M&T Bank Stadium. The game can be seen live on WBAL11.

-Did you miss Ravens LB Jason Phillips with Drew Forrester today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Jason discussed his road to making the 53 man roster after missing last season. You can hear it in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Howard Cross (New York Giants sideline reporter/former TE)-who previewed tomorrow night’s preseason showdown with the Ravens
  • Domonique Foxworth (Ravens CB)-who joined Drew to talk about his recovery and preview the Maryland-Navy get together at M&T Bank Stadium on Labor Day
  • TJ Rives (Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline reporter)-who previewed the Bucs with Drew as we continued to look at all of the Ravens’ 2010 opponents
  • Roger Lodge (Host of “The Sports Lodge” on AM830 in Los Angeles and the former host of “Blind Date”)-who joined Drew to preview the Angels
  • All sorts of audio from Owings Mills Thursday-including Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison, Jerry Rosburg and Ray Rice
  • Steve Hauschka (former Ravens, now Detroit Lions kicker)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Thursday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Joe Maese (former Ravens Long Snapper)-who joined Rex Snider Thursday on “The Afternoon Drive” to talk about Matt Katula/Morgan Cox as well as his new career as a Howard County firefighter
  • Len Pasquarelli (CBSSports.com)-who checked in live from the NFL Owners Meetings in Atlanta with Rex Thursday

Plus much much more. It’s all in the Audio Vault, so once again I’ve planned your day completely. I’m getting sick of carrying you like this.

5. The AP’s Jay Cohen says Edwin Jackson masterful as Orioles lost to Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field

Not a whole heck of a lot more that can be said about this.

Jackson was TREMENDOUS last night. The type of tremendous that sorta makes you wonder how he can ever be bad.

I almost said “I’m glad Edwin Jackson doesn’t pitch for my team, because it would be frustrating to watch him.” But I don’t mean that. I’d take Edwin Jackson my team 10 times out of 10. He’s better than anyone we have.

Nights like these happen sometimes. They’re frustrating, but they happen. Hopefully there will be fewer and fewer of them in 2011.

Hopefully.

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Jackson’s line: 8 shutout innings, 3 hits, 10 strikeouts

Jake Arrieta’s line: 4 IP, 4 ER, 7 hits, 3BB, 2K

You REALLY don’t want to look at these numbers.

Instead, look at Olivia Wilde. She’s much more pleasant to look at. Thanks Guyism!

oliviawilde

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Armando Gabino optioned to Norfolk after loss, Jim Johnson expected before tonight’s game in Anaheim

And when it comes to Gabino, we’ll always have the memories. Like…

I’m happy for Jim Johnson to finally be getting back. I think there was a real chance of him having his spirits dampened after such a dreadful season thus far.

You know what tends to help me when my spirits are dampened? Robert Randolph…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kABK_CDZal8[/youtube]

8. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Tillman roughed up, but Norfolk Tides managed to beat Charlotte Knights on farm

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things…

-The Birds left the Windy City last night for Anaheim, where they’ll open a weekend series with the Angels tonight. First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Trevor Bell is at 10:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN2. Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie face Scott Kazmir and Jered Weaver the rest of the weekend.

-Adam Jones missed another game last night, but was available in an emergency situation. Still not considered a longterm issue.

-While Tillman still seems to be a guy who will be headed to Charm City next week, it does not look like Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail will be giving Zach Britton the call. Might be the right move, but still kinda disappointing.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says LaQuan Williams, Justin Lewis, Matt Furstenburg now listed as starters for Terrapins

And yet somehow Shannon James STILL isn’t starting. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN COLLEGE PARK?!?!?!? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

shannonjames

10. ESPN.com’s Wayne Drehs says Michael Phelps has rededicated himself to Swimming after visiting this year’s Vancouver Olympics

Thank God, as I can’t take seeing Michael Phelps lose anymore.

I mean, if Phelps is losing-I’m pretty sure THIS man defaults back to being the face of Baltimore sports…

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

And finally, I leave you with this.

The Maryland State Fair is underway in Timonium. It means plenty of wonderful things all around. Amongst them? DEEP FRIED POP TARTS! (Thanks Fox 45!)

poptart

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Player Power Rankings

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Player Power Rankings

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

This is going to be the first in a series I will do through Training Camp and on to Week 1 of the NFL season as we try to identify the 53 players who will make up the roster when the Baltimore Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.

As Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.

Here goes…

1. QB Joe Flacco (Do I even need to bother to explain?)
2. OT Michael Oher (Now at LT, Oher has moved into the “most important players on the team” category.)
3. RB Ray Rice (The team MVP from a season ago, Rice’s value is incredible despite the depth at the position. The Ravens are MUCH better offensively with Ray Rice than without him.)
4. WR Anquan Boldin (Everything about the football team changes with Boldin on the field. If this offense is going to be more dynamic this season, it’s going to happen because of what Boldin does to open things up.)

boldin

5. DT Haloti Ngata (It might be blasphemy to some, but Haloti Ngata is the most important defensive player on the roster. Everything they do defensively starts up front with Ngata.)
6. WR Derrick Mason (The team needs Mason to compliment Boldin if this offense is going to be explosive this season. He’s still one of the most important players on the roster.)
7. LB Ray Lewis (He’s no longer THE most important defensive player on the team, but he’s still one of the more important defensive players in the NFL. The drop from #52 to Gooden/Barnes/McClain is significant.)
8. LB Terrell Suggs (Despite his poor 2009, the Ravens maintain high expectations for T-Sizzle in 2010. There’s a question of whether or not he’ll live up to them, but there’s no doubt they exist.)
9. OT Jared Gaither (He might not be the team’s LT any longer, but he’s still a VERY significant part of this team. The Ravens want to have Gaither and Oher as bookend tackles, as they believe it’s part of what makes their team great. Should a team float out a ridiculous trade offer for Gaither at some point I don’t think the Ravens would just dismiss it, but they very much want him to be on the field in New Jersey on Sept. 13.)
10. S Ed Reed (Technically, Ed has still not informed the team that he will return-and should he struggle to regain form after an offseason hip procedure, there’s a chance he might not. But Reed’s plan is to return, and if he does-he’s still a possible future Hall of Fame safety. He’s one of the Top 10 players on the team.)
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11. LB Jarret Johnson (Jarret was the team’s best defensive player a season ago, but his significance on the roster lessened when the team drafted Sergio Kindle behind him. I’d still expect him to have a Pro Bowl season, but his arguable Top 10 ability is currently greater than his actual roster value.)
12. DT Terrence Cody (Yep, that’s awfully high. But make no mistake about it, the Ravens have high expectations for Terrence Cody. Terrence Cody may be behind Kelly Gregg on the depth chart right now, but I wouldn’t expect that to last through Training Camp. He’s a mountain of a man, and is MUCH quicker than you’d realize. The more you see him on the field, the more you’ll wonder how 56 picks were made in the NFL Draft before he came off the board.)
13. OG Ben Grubbs (Grubbs arguably played at a Pro Bowl level a season ago as well, and the organization has been thrilled with him ever since they drafted him out of Auburn in 2007. If he was a tackle, he might be in the Top 5.)
14. DE Trevor Pryce (Despite the fact that he’s kind of only a “half” starter-and sometimes not a starter at all-Pryce has a major role on this team. In passing situations, the Ravens need the pressure Pryce can provide. That being said, the paycut Pryce took this offseason does indeed partially represent how his role has changed.)
15. DL Cory Redding (If Pryce is 14, Redding sorta has to be 15. They’ll be sharing an end position this year, similar to how Pryce and Dwan Edwards shared the position a season ago.)
16. TE Todd Heap (It would be easy to assume that with the Ravens selecting two Tight Ends in the NFL Draft, Todd Heap might be falling out of favor with the team. However, the team thought Heap played FAR too many snaps last season-insert your own LJ Smith joke here-and they wanted to help Heap out. The team also expects the middle of the field to be opened up for Heap thanks to the presence of Anquan Boldin.)
17. CB Domonique Foxworth (He’s the top CB on the roster, but not amongst the top CB’s in the AFC. Foxworth played MUCH better at the end of the season last year, and given the question marks the team has at the position-they could really use a similar performance this year.)
18. C Matt Birk (Not really much to say here. He’s a very important part of the offensive line, and it would be a significant dropoff for the team to have to turn to Chris Chester should he get hurt. His role is important, and he played very well a season ago.)
19. LB Sergio Kindle (The Ravens didn’t use their first pick in the NFL Draft on Kindle by accident. He’s learning a difficult position-as he was a more natural pass rusher at Texas than he will be asked to be in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Kindle’s impact his rookie season isn’t as profound as you might want from the first player a team selects, but he’s definitely a phenomenal talent.)

sergio

20. OG Marshal Yanda (He’s going to be the starting RG for the team, and in the unlikely situation that Jared Gaither WERE to be traded, he’d probably get the shot to start at RT. His job is plenty safe.)
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21. FB Le’Ron McClain (Le’Ron’s recent Twitter campaign might not make him a true RB, but he’s going to get touches both in short yardage situations and late in games, there’s no doubt about that. Le’Ron’s role is very important to this team, and his ability to take a beating will make a major difference in how successful Ray Rice can be after 2,000+ yards of offense a season ago.)
22. CB Lardarius Webb (There’s a level of uncertainty here surrounding how he’ll bounce back in Training Camp from his ACL injury a season ago, but if he’s healthy-he’ll have a chance to start opposite Domonique Foxworth at CB. If he gets back for the bulk of Training Camp, he’s likely be in the mix again at KR as well.)
23. S Dawan Landry (If you’re a starter on defense, your job is safe. Dawan Landry is a starter on defense. His long-term status with the team might be in question, but he’s going to be here. The only sweating Landry will do in Westminster this summer will be due to the weather.)
24. LB Dannell Ellerbe (Dannell Ellerbe is CLEARLY the best of the ILB’s on this roster behind Ray Lewis, but I don’t think his working with the 2nd team at a recent Passing Camp is as easy to dismiss as John Harbaugh wanted it to be. Ellerbe’s attitude and personality are what left him undrafted out of Georgia to begin with. Those questions haven’t gone away since he made the team out of Training Camp a season ago. They love Ellerbe’s ability, but they want him to have a better attitude to boot. He’ll be one to watch at McDaniel College this summer.)
25. CB Fabian Washington (If I’m guessing, Fabian Washington will be starting opposite Domonique Foxworth at the Meadowlands September 13th. He’s also coming off a knee injury, but appears to be a bit closer to returning than Webb. His spot is safe, even though most Ravens fans would like some more quality depth at CB given the receivers they’ll go up against in the AFC North.)
26. WR Donte’ Stallworth (We know this much, Donte’ Stallworth is fast. Judging by what we’ve seen from him in OTA’s, we know he can still catch-at least when he’s not heavily defended. He’s going to be 3rd on the WR depth chart, and won’t have any trouble making it to the final 53. The only real questions surrounding Stallworth have more to do with whether or not he’ll be the 3rd WR when John Harbaugh’s team battles Rex Ryan’s squad.)
donte

27. DT Kelly Gregg (Kelly Gregg remains a fan favorite around Baltimore, but I’m not sure he has a long-term role with this team. I would be stunned if we make it 4 weeks into the season before Terrence Cody is considered a “starter” while Gregg works from the bench. The team is VERY deep with DT’s, and Gregg could end up being the odd man out sooner than later. I think he makes the team, but it looks like someone is going to have to be a casualty amongst the group.)
28. TE Ed Dickson (Dickson is currently ahead of Dennis Pitta and behind Todd Heap on the TE depth chart, and the Ravens are expecting much more from him than they have from backup TE’s in years past. Dickson has looked solid thus far in the offseason, and clearly will have no trouble making the roster for the fall.)
29. OL Chris Chester (Chester had the best season of his career in 2009, but still is a bit of a question mark on this Ravens’ roster. He won’t have trouble cracking the 53, but his role is a bit of a question mark. He’ll be the primary backup at guard, but looks like he’s out of the mix at center for the future. He’s part of the 53, but may not be part of the long-term plan.)
30. LB Tavares Gooden (If Greg Mattison IS toying with whether or not Dannell Ellerbe will start for this team, no single player on the roster would stand to benefit more than Gooden. Gooden inherited the starting job going into the 2009 season, but a concussion/injury plagued career has prohibited him from fully living up to the promise he showed coming out of Miami. He’s still a valuable part of the team, and won’t have any trouble making the roster.)
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31. CB Chris Carr (Carr is especially important to the team right now considering the injuries Washington and Webb and coming off of. He’s also the incumbent punt returner, although he wasn’t particularly overwhelming in the role a season ago. The team loves the veteran presence he gives them in the secondary and the locker room, and he’ll certainly have an important role on the team moving forward.)
32. P Sam Koch (Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about Sam Koch is that like many punters this team has employed before him-Dave Zastudil, Kyle Richardson and Gregg Montgomery-the team doesn’t appear inclined to pay him real money to keep him around long term. Koch had another very good season a year ago, and he’ll be expected to have a similarly solid campaign this season.)
33. QB Troy Smith (A recent Sun story quoted Cam Cameron as saying John Beck had the chance to supplant Troy Smith as the team’s backup QB-but it doesn’t mean the two are involved in any sort of open competition. Smith is the #2 QB unless he has a terrible summer while Beck excels, and the team still would like to use him in other ways. His future with the team is always in question, but clearly no other NFL teams-especially the Browns-was too particularly interested in obtaining him in the offseason.)
34. RB Willis McGahee (It is REALLY difficult to figure out what type of role Willis McGahee will have with this team. It looked a season ago as if he had improved his attitude and was on his way to re-establishing himself in the Ravens offense. And even late in the season against the Raiders and Patriots, he showed that he can still be a valuable contributor. That being said, he looked disinterested off the field, and again chose to skip offseason activities. I assume he’s on the 53, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the end of the road was coming soon.)
35. S Haruki Nakamura (Now healthy, Haruki is safely part of the roster. He has a role both defensively behind Ed Reed and Dawan Landry; and as a valued part of the team’s Special Teams unit. He’ll sleep comfortably during Training Camp-or at least as comfortably as you can sleep at a Best Western.)
36. S Tom Zbikowski (I almost just want to write “ditto” here, as the things said about Haruki Nakamura can also be said about Tom Zbikowski. He has a role, and he’s on the team. Next question.)
37. TE Dennis Pitta (I guess there’s a chance that if Davon Drew were to have an exceptional Training Camp and Pitta were to struggle the roster could change; but there’s no reason to think that will happen. The Ravens went out and got both Dickson and Pitta because they wanted both players to be part of the offense moving forward.)
pitta
(Image courtesy of SB Nation)

38. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (If there’s a vet who MIGHT be a bit concerned about their spot on the roster, it could well be Ayanbadejo. He’s been a great contributor to the team via special teams, and was having his best season as a defender before getting hurt last season. But the Ravens are particularly deep at ILB, and a number of those players can also contribute on Special Teams. It looks like Ayanbadejo is safe, but it isn’t a guarantee.)
39. LB Jameel McClain (Jameel McClain is exactly the type of player I was referring to in the previous post. The Ravens have been happy with McClain since they got him undrafted out of Syracuse, but he hasn’t cracked into “safe” territory yet. It’s safe to assume he’ll be part of the 53 as long as he stays steady.)
40. RB Jalen Parmele (Parmele made himself more valuable with a steady performance as KR after Lardarius Webb was hurt last season. That’s important, considering the Ravens’ tremendous depth in the backfield. Parmele is the player that would stand to benefit most should the Ravens somehow end up parting ways with Willis McGahee. Parmele also gives them valuable depth should there be an injury to a top back.)
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41. K Shayne Graham (He’s finally on the roster, now he just has to win the job. Graham appears to have a “leg up” in his competition with Billy Cundiff for the kicker job. However, it cannot be forgotten that there is a reason the Bengals parted ways with Graham, especially after his two big misses in a Wild Card playoff loss in Cincinnati. There’s going to be a kicker on the roster, and I’d say there’s a 60 percent chance it’s Graham.)

graham
(Image courtesy of SB Nation)

42. QB John Beck (John Beck is going to make this team, as the Ravens are going to carry 3 quarterbacks. Hopefully, he won’t take a single snap all season, unless the team decides to use him from victory formation.)
43. OT Oniel Cousins (The team needs depth at OT, and while Oniel Cousins might not provide particularly QUALITY depth, he does provide depth. He’ll have the chance to move up this list in Training Camp.)
44. LS Matt Katula (This is very simple. Much like the competition for the kicking job, there is a competition for the long snapping job. Katula has about a 75 percent chance of winning the job over rookie Morgan Cox, but will have to show that he’s 100 percent after being plagued by elbow issues and ready to bounce back from a brutal 2009 campaign.)
45. WR Mark Clayton (I don’t think Clayton’s job is QUITE as safe as some others might think, but I certainly assume he’ll be on the team. Clayton has never seen this many capable receivers around him, and he has to make an impact despite coming off an offseason shoulder procedure. I assume he’s on the team, but it is no guarantee.)
46. DE Paul Kruger (This is an interesting situation. The Ravens maintained that they weren’t unhappy with Kruger during his rookie campaign despite the fact that he didn’t play much and contributed less than that. It’s hard to imagine a 2nd round pick being a question mark to make the roster just a year later, but you can’t ignore the number of scratches he had a season ago. He’s bulked up and is expected to be more of a natural pass rusher this season; but there are a number of D-Linemen in front of him. He’ll need to show that he can get to the quarterback, or the number of questions will continue to grow.)
47. DT Brandon McKinney (When Brandon McKinney made the roster last season, he truly LOOKED “like a Raven.” He still does, but is coming off back surgery and plays a position where the team has significant depth. He’s no guarantee to make the roster, but he’s exactly the type of player the Ravens want around.)
48. LB Antwan Barnes (Barnes is part of a deep group at LB, but the team has remained high on him despite some goofy antics at times. That being said, Barnes was an inactive a few times down the stretch last season, so his margin for error is small.)
49. DT Arthur Jones (I can tell you this much. John Harbaugh really is a big fan of Arthur Jones. That being said, it’s a very deep position-and the team might not be able to keep everyone. Arthur Jones is exactly the type of player the team loves, so I get the feeling he’ll stay on the good side of the roster bubble.)
50. OL David Hale (David Hale gives the team depth at interior lineman, but it isn’t particularly quality depth. Should Matt Birk get hurt, it is still more likely that Chris Chester would play center over an extended period of time, but Hale gives them much needed flexibility.)
51. DT Kelly Talavou (I have a funny feeling Talavou could end up being this year’s version of Derrick Martin. Martin-as you’ll remember-was behind a glut of cornerbacks on the roster a season ago at the end of Training Camp, and was traded to the Green Bay Packers for Tony Moll despite being a player the Ravens really liked. Talavou and McKinney are both candidates to be traded after Training Camp, but McKinney’s back injury could make Talavou more valuable on the market.)
52. CB Travis Fisher (The injuries bothering Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington make Travis Fisher more valuable every day. He’s a veteran corner-having played in Seattle, Detroit and St. Louis before now. Even if Webb and Washington are healthy, he could still make the roster to give the team CB depth considering some of the troubles they had defending the pass a season ago. Fisher isn’t Darrelle Revis, but most Ravens fans only care that he isn’t Frank Walker either.)
53. WR David Reed (This is a tough call. David Reed will probably end up in the return mix, as he’s more explosive than Jalen Parmele or Chris Carr, and he’s healthier than Lardarius Webb. Reed might not have much of a role at WR, but Jerry Rosburg has to want his returners to be a little bit more of a threat to break one back. I’ll give Reed the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making the team, but he’ll have an uphill battle.)
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54. OT Ramon Harewood (The rookie from Morehouse State misses the cut on my first list mostly because he hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet. A knee injury has caused him to miss the bulk of the offseason work thus far, and he’ll have to show that he’s more than just a project in Training Camp to make sure he ends up on the roster. The Ravens could try to stash him away on IR.)
55. WR Demetrius Williams (This may or may not correct itself before the start of the regular season. Perhaps no player on the roster is facing a more crucial summer than Williams, as he been making the roster based on size alone for the better part of his career. The Ravens may be forced to fish or cut bait with Williams, as they have too many receivers to keep one around whose only ability thus far in his career has been an ability to…sometimes…draw pass interference flags.)
56. K Billy Cundiff (Billy Cundiff clearly has the most simple road to the roster, as he just has to beat out Shayne Graham for the job. Most of us assumed Graham Gano would beat out Steve Hauschka for the job last summer, but it didn’t work out that way. I’m assuming Graham gets the gig, but certainly Cundiff will have the chance.)
57. OT Tony Moll (Tony Moll offers the team a player who can play both Guard and Tackle, but there’s no real place for him on the roster. This may come down to the team keeping either him or Harewood, and a healthy Harewood appears to offer the team a bit more than Moll does.)
58. LB Prescott Burgess (Not everyone in the LB mix can make the team. With depth from Antwan Barnes, Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Sergio Kindle, Brendon Ayanbadejo and maybe even from Paul Kruger; there’s no way the team can keep everyone at the position. Burgess was a roster casualty a season ago, but the Ravens were able to re-acquire him after trading him to the New England Patriots.)
59. RB Matt Lawrence (The team REALLY likes Matt Lawrence, especially what he has to offer on Special Teams. Lawrence made the roster a season ago as the team kept 5 backs, but there’s no guarantee they’ll keep that many this season. He can very well make the team, but it won’t be easy-especially as he returns from a knee injury.)
60. LB Edgar Jones (It is REALLY tough to figure out what the Ravens plan to do with Edgar Jones this season. He’s managed to remain employed while switching from LB to TE to LB to TE to FB to LB to….I thought they might even give him a shot at the kicking competition this summer. Clearly the organization likes him, and OLB is a better spot to try to make the roster than ILB, I just don’t see a role for him right now.)
61. LB Jason Phillips (See Burgess, Prescott. The team was able to stash Jason Phillips away on IR last season, but likely won’t be able to do the same this year. He’ll have an uphill climb to make the roster, as the Ravens don’t lack depth at the position.)
62. FB Mike McLaughlin (McLaughlin has a real chance to make this roster as well. The undrafted rookie from Boston College hasn’t played fullback since high school, but if he can adapt to it, the team could keep him on to create a jumbo backfield along with Le’Ron McClain. He’ll also need to show that he can step in and play Special Teams, which his background as a LB should help with. My guess is that McLaughlin ends up on the Practice Squad, but he’ll certainly be worth keeping an eye on during Training Camp.)
63. TE Davon Drew (The Ravens were EXTREMELY disappointed with Drew after drafting him out of East Carolina last year. So much so that they let him go before re-signing him when the Miami Dolphins gave up on him as well. That being said, Drew has looked pretty good in the offseason, and will have a chance to compete for a roster spot. Outperforming Dennis Pitta would be the easiest way to get a spot, but seeing as how the team has a soft spot for TE’s, there’s at least a chance they end up keeping 4. Drew’s chances would improve if he offered the team something out of the backfield as well.)
davondrew

64. WR Marcus Smith (Marcus Smith is a dark horse to make the roster, but it is worth remembering that he WOULD have made the roster last season before suffering a knee injury in a preseason win over the Washington Redskins. Smith faces a tough competition, but he is 6’1″, and has shown some promise during his short NFL career.)
65. CB Cary Williams (Speaking of 6’1″, height might give Williams a chance to make the roster on the defensive side as well. It looks like Williams will be battling Travis Fisher for a roster spot, but the team could end up keeping more DB’s-especially considering the question marks surrounding Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb’s return from injury. Williams hung around on the roster at the end of last season, but still has a long road ahead of him.)
66. S KJ Gerard (The 2009 UFA out of Northern Arizona impressed the team from Day 1, so much so that he was eventually promoted to the roster from the Practice Squad when Haruki Nakamura was hurt. That being said, it’s hard to picture the team keeping a 5th safety, and it seems unlikely that Gerard would make the squad as a corner ahead of the likes of Fisher and Williams. His versatility and special teams ability give him a shot, but his best chance is if someone ahead of him gets hurt.)
67. CB Prince Miller (Of this year’s group of UFA’s, Miller and Mike McLaughlin appear to have the best chance at making the roster. Miller has had the chance to mark quality SEC receivers during his career at Georgia, but 5’8″ certainly isn’t the ideal height for a corner. He’s played well in the offseason, and his ability to return kicks could give him a real chance to make the roster.)
68. WR Justin Harper (Justin Harper found his way to the active roster late in the season, but the number of quality receivers ahead of him makes it unlikely to envision him finding his way on the roster out of Training Camp. He has a way of impressing fans with leaping catches in practice, but has dropped way too many catches to be considered a serious candidate to make the roster. If that changes over the summer, he’ll work his way up the list.)
69. DT Lamar Divens (Divens is in the deep group of D-Linemen that are trying to make the roster. Unfortunately, he played in just 3 games in 2008 before missing the entire 2009 season due to a shoulder injury. He’s in the “looks like a Raven” mix, but he’ll have to win a job against the likes of Talavou, McKinney and Art Jones.)
70. CB Marcus Paschal (Paschal and John Harbaugh have a history that dates back to their time together with the Philadelphia Eagles, but Paschal has still only played 5 games in his NFL career. He has a shot to make the roster considering the team needs secondary depth, but I wouldn’t describe his shot as “likely.”)
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71. OT Joe Reitz (Reitz has snuck his way onto the Practice Squad over the last two seasons-one of which was cut short by shoulder injury. He’s 6’7″ and 315 pounds but his still never played real football game in his life, either at the college of pro level. His size makes him promising, but his lack of experience makes him unlikely.)
72. WR Eron Riley (Riley is 6’3″ and one of the more likeable guys in the locker room, but the coaches want to see more explosiveness from him. If the team hadn’t upgraded at receiver over the offseason, I might think better of his chances of making the roster.)
73. DE William Van de Steeg (When I saw lower case letters on Van de Steeg’s jersey last summer in Westminster, I assumed he wouldn’t be around very long. He’s hung around Charm City longer than I expected, but I don’t expect it to be too much longer.)
74. OL Bryan Mattison (It’s nice to be the son of the offensive coordinator, but it probably isn’t nice enough to get Mattison on the roster. He was kept on the practice squad last season, and I imagine he’ll probably find his way on the practice squad again this year.)
75. OT Stefan Rodgers (Rodgers has been a part of 5 different teams during his 3 year NFL career; including the Buccaneers, Eagles, Jets and Jaguars. During that time, he has yet to make it on the field for 1 game. I don’t think that changes with the Ravens this season.)
76. LS Morgan Cox (Morgan Cox’s chances of making the roster actually aren’t all that bad. He just has to beat out Matt Katula, who will come in as an overwhelming favorite. If Katula hasn’t shaken off his elbow issues, Cox’s chances will improve.)
77. RB Curtis Steele (A lot of scouts really like Curtis Steele. The problem is, there isn’t an obvious role for the UFA out of Memphis. My guess is that he ends up on the practice squad, but making the 53 isn’t impossible.)
78. DE Albert McClellan (I haven’t heard a bad thing about the Ravens’ UFA out of Marshall. Problem is, I haven’t heard anything that makes me think he’ll really have a shot at making the roster.)
79. WR Rodelin Anthony (When you’re a 6’5″ receiver, scouts pay attention. But if the Ravens’ UFA out of UNLV wants to make the 53, he’s going to have to make a MAJOR impact between now and Labor Day.)
80. S Brad Jones (I think a lot of folks were confused about who exactly Brad Jones was when he signed out of Cincinnati. Jones is a rookie-not the LB who was drafted by and played for the Packers last season. The Ravens have had success with safeties from Cincinnati-see Nakamura, Haruki; but I don’t expect that to help Jones make the roster.)
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81. WR Maurice Price (Price has bounced around during his career-making stops with the Chiefs, Pats, 49ers and Calgary Stampeders of the CFL before landing on the Ravens’ practice squad. I would be surprised if he found his way back.)
82. WR Chris Hannon (A 6’3″ receiver out of the University of Tennessee who has made stops in Kansas City, Carolina, San Francisco, Miami and Detroit should probably have a better chance of making the roster than I am giving him credit for. He’ll have plenty of time over the next few months to prove me wrong.)
83. DL John Fletcher (John Fletcher is a 6’6″ D-Lineman out of Wyoming. He has at least a chance at making the practice squad, but probably nothing more than that.)
84. OL Daniel Sanders (The UFA out of Colorado hasn’t given me-or anyone else-much of a reason to be able to say too much about him at this point. Maybe that will change.)
85. CB Courtney Smith (I’m not sure I had ever heard of Central Washington before the Ravens picked up Courtney Smith. He’ll have a chance to put the school on the map, but it’s a bit of an extreme longshot.)
86. CB Ashton Hall (The Ravens signed two undrafted members of the Thundering Herd following the draft. Of the two, Albert McClellan appears to be a bit farther ahead.)
87. C Digger Bujnoch (Before putting together this list, I could name 86 of the 87 players on the Ravens’ roster. The former Cincinnati Bearcats center was the only one I couldn’t.)

It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks play out, as each of these players will have a chance to improve their place on the list.

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because…well…because it’s Friday. Sure, I got kicked out of Yankee Stadium yesterday just for being an Orioles fan…which SHOULD be an “ejectable offense” the more I think about how silly it is to root for this team.

Before we get to “Trembley Watch 2010″, how about we start this thing on a positive? Deadspin posted a soccer goal the other day that makes me think even I could participate in the World Cup…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p1Eq1AOoTo[/youtube]

I can play goalie AT LEAST as well as that guy.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Mike Fitzpatrick says A-Rod homered, Rivera closed out solid Sabathia start as Yanks finished sweep of Birds

Well, the few innings that I got to see of it-it looked just like Orioles baseball to me.

It was hard to even be excited when Luke Scott and Adam Jones homered, as we knew it meant a rally wasn’t coming. Kevin Millwood wasn’t up to the level of effectiveness that we’ve come to expect from him this season, but who can blame him?

Plus, the Yankees ARE really good. Alex Rodriguez wasn’t even TRYING to hit a homerun when he did. They have a lineup that is so good that a guy who would quite possibly be the AL MVP right now (Robinson Cano) is hitting 5th! They have a lineup that is so good Mark Teixeira is barely hitting better than Mark Wahlberg thus far, and the team is mostly unconcerned.

It doesn’t make it unfair that the Orioles have to compete against the Yankees in the AL East. It makes it unfair that the Orioles don’t TRY to compete against the Yankees in the AL East.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of sweep

Three hits again yesterday. Or in other words, fewer hits than Third Eye Blind had…ON THEIR FIRST ALBUM.

(Edit from GMC: Of 3eb’s hits, my personal favorite was “How’s It Gonna Be”…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAGVr-O-3E[/youtube]

And by the way, don’t take a look at the MLB standings at any point (unless for some strange reason you absolutely have to). The only thing you’ll see is that the Birds are currently 15.5 games back…of FOURTH PLACE.

Can’t we just start Training Camp tomorrow?

3. ESPN.com says Trembley to be fired, Juan Samuel to take over as manager

So…get excited!

In the end, there will be no crying over the end of Dave Trembley’s tenure, as no one REALLY thinks Dave Trembley is a good manager. That being said, he was never given a respectable group of players capable of actually winning…anything.

No sadness today for Dave Trembley, who might well be a nice guy (as Roch Kubatko said), but never really showed himself to be capable of managing.

As far as Juan Samuel is concerned…umm…okay? I know this isn’t a permanent move, but it isn’t inspiring long term OR short term. The Orioles will presumably start looking for a manager in the Bob Melvin/Buck Showalter/Tom Kelly/etc. crowd, although there is an argument that they should let Samuel finish the season and then actually conduct a FULL search in the offseason.

For the record, I’d sign off on Bob Melvin being hired. Having covered him in Phoenix when he managed the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’ve seen him take a team to the NLCS whose best players were Chris Young and Eric Byrnes. That being said, no one should have any reason to believe the team will get any THIS season under any manager. They’re not a good team, and some of the players who HAVE performed may well be shipped elsewhere.

Hopefully there will be both a respectable manager in the dugout and a respectable team on the field come Opening Day 2011. In the meantime, this remains hopeless no matter who’s managing.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says if Trembley fired, Andy MacPhail replaces him on hot seat

And I had him on my hot seat even before now.

The blood is on MacPhail’s hands. He’s in charge, and he didn’t give the manager a REAL chance to win-despite the fact that the manager really wasn’t any good.

MacPhail’s “plan” looks almost laughable at this point, with only the young pitchers (and Nick Markakis) looking like actual major league players right now. This is a CRUCIAL offseason for MacPhail, as the team HAS to be better next season for there to be any reason for any of us to believe that MacPhail actually does know what he’s doing in Baltimore.

Yes, I’m talking about the offseason 54 games into this season. What else would I do?

It’s like a broken damn record, but GOD does it ever suck to be an Orioles fan right now.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says night on farm headlined by Tides’ Brandon Erbe falling to 0-9

And before we move on from the Orioles…

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Peter DiLutis, who we have decided that we will also “fire” from AOTM consideration today. Peter has toed the line of “Apologist” and “Idiot” for the better part of the season, and today’s thoughts that the Trembley firing would “spark fan interest” went down the “idiotic” role. Drew Forrester “The Great Arbitrator” selected him over Roch Kubatko AND Dave Trembley, and I will apologize to both of them for being mentioned in the same sentence as the kid.

-The Orioles actually DO play again tonight, but only because they have to. They’ll open a weekend set with the Boston Red Sox; with first pitch on MASN from Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 7:05pm. Chris Tillman makes the start for the Birds, Clay Buchholz opposes him for the Sox. I’ll assume a sweep-but I would probably assume a sweep against just about anyone.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens sign kicker Shayne Graham, give him $1.5 million base salary

Finally.

As I said yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), it is safe to call Graham the favorite in his competition against Billy Cundiff this summer in Training Camp; but he’ll have to show that he’s moved past the issues that lead him to miss two big kicks in the Cincinnati Bengals’ Wild Card loss to the New York Jets. If he struggles, Cundiff will still have a chance to leave Westminster with NFL employment.

Graham has the chance to make up to $2.5 million this season via incentives. Hopefully those incentives include NOT MISSING KICKS.

And with all of this said, there’s still another part of the equation here. Matt Katula HAS to have a better season snapping the ball. If he struggles again, this could look very similar to the Steve Hauschka – Graham Gano competition from a year ago.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says John Harbaugh believes ‘pass coverage’ Sergio Kindle’s “Achilles’ heel”

Which is sorta why my expectations (FOR THIS SEASON) are higher for Terrence Cody than they are for Sergio Kindle. He has to learn a new position (as he was mostly a pass rusher at Texas) that is particularly complicated. I think Sergio Kindle is going to be a very impressive player, I just don’t know that it’s going to be at the Rookie of the Year caliber level that he is hoping to perform at this season.

By the way, if you missed Sergio Kindle (and Terrence Cody and Ed Dickson and Arthur Jones) at our Miller Lite Purple Rookies Show Wednesday night at Casey’s in Towson; you can hear from ALL of them in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net.

8. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Texas State QB Brad George tried out Thursday at 1 Winning Drive during Ravens Rookie Camp

Brad George’s chances of making the team?

Let’s just say I have a better shot at getting to know Karina Flores (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

karinaflores

9. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Gary Gait not a candidate to replace Dave Cottle as Maryland lacrosse coach

Not that he ever really WAS a candidate this time around. Gait has done a nice job coaching the women at Syracuse, but his coaching experience just really doesn’t fit the bill of what’s necessary for the Terps as they look to replace Dave Cottle.

Also cross Rick Sowell off the list, as the Stony Brook coach received a contract extension to stay put there.

The list is still LONG. Kevin Corrigan, Mike Pressler, Jeff Tambroni and Don Zimmerman are still probably the most likely candidates…probably. At least maybe.

You know…who knows???

10. UMTerps.com says Terrapins senior Caitlyn McFadden claimed Women’s Tewaaraton award

And Duke’s Ned Crotty won the award on the men’s side. Crotty was clearly the best player in the game this year, I just couldn’t have voted for him because I am particularly opposed to the 5th year Blue Devils.

That being said, both are very deserving honors for the best players in college lacrosse.

And we’re very deserving of looking at pictures of Rose Byrne from GQ, as posted by Guyism…

rosebyrne

11. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland-Morgan State will kickoff at 6pm on ESPN3.com, Maryland-West Virginia will kickoff at 12pm on ESPNU

Effing ESPN3.

I understand why ESPN3 if good for the ACC and company, but the league needs to work out a way that games shown on ESPN3 can also be shown over the air in local markets. For example, if the game is on ESPN3 (the old ESPN360)-there should be an option for Comcast SportsNet to carry the ESPN broadcast.

ESPNU is good for no one…unless of course you have ESPNU. I do not. And I’m the most important person here.

12. WNST.net’s G.Q. picks Fly Down to win tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes

For a differing opinion, Rick from Reisterstown selected the favorite (Ice Box) to win when he called the race this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. I’ll pick Make Music For Me, mostly because he has the best name in the race.

If you missed Rick this morning, you can hear it in the Audio Vault. It will be available later via WNSTv. Other guests from this morning you can hear in the Audio Vault include Baseball America’s Jim Callis, NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra (HardBallTalk) and NESN Sox pre-game host Tom Caron.

I prefer Rick myself.

And finally, I leave you with this.

“Get Him To The Greek” opens today. I have fairly high hopes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kbLFrbDeic[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because the new Jack Johnson disc “To The Sea” came out yesterday. It’s pretty good. Good enough that I’ll make “The Upsetter” this week’s “Greatest Song of All Time This Week”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7n7A-e7Pjc[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howie Rumberg says Tejada made costly error as Orioles fell to Yankees in New York

Our girl Jen Royle described it as one of the most “heartbreaking” losses of the season. The rest of us barely even noticed it happened. In fact, as the game was coming to a close; I was getting in my car to go check out Shrek (which was okay) over at The Avenue in White Marsh. This wasn’t heartbreaking, this was Orioles Baseball 2010.

Javier Vasquez was the most likely of the 3 pitchers going for the Yanks this week for the Orioles to have a chance against. So…scratch that.

As far as the Tejada play is concerned, Tejada should have been able to get the throw there, and Wigginton should have been able to make the scoop. Of course, Tejada isn’t really a good MLB 3rd baseman, and Wigginton isn’t really a good MLB 1st baseman, so it’s hard for me to be made about any of it.

Or anything else related to this awful team.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Well, Brian Matusz was really good. 6 2/3 innings, 3 runs (just 1 earned-and the other two given up after he left), 6 hits, 5 k’s, 3 BB.

The Orioles lost the game on an Alex Rodriguez groundout.

UGH.

It’s really tough to talk about it. In fact, I’m taking a break for a second. Here’s a picture of Liz Parada from What Would Tyler Durden Do. We’ll reconvene shortly.

parada

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says O’s mustered just 5 hits against Javier Vasquez in loss

Or, as Drew explained this morning-they had exactly as many hits as Alanis Morissette did on “Jagged Little Pill.”

Corey Patterson hit a home run, so at least we have that going for us.

Adam Jones and Julio Lugo each finished the game with 4 LOB. Not as if it was a game chocked full of missed opportunities, but the 7th inning does come to mind.

Nope, talking about the game again was a mistake. I should have known better. I’m moving on.

4. Fanhouse’s Ed Price describes Birds as ‘failure’

Which means he knows enough to make him qualified to talk about the team.

The Orioles ARE a failure.

Peter Schmuck wrote something this morning about the Orioles needing to do the right thing and let Dave Trembley go. We discussed it on the morning show, and I will admit (although I’m going to break out in hives doing it), that I might sign off on Andy MacPhail NOT firing Dave Trembley during the season.

If the Orioles DO fire Trembley (and we all know they should), they’re left with two options:

1-Hire someone in house (like Juan Samuel or Brad Komminsk) for the rest of the season on an interim basis. The risk associated with a move like this is that the team might somehow actually WIN a few games with a new manager. It’s unlikely, but it’s (I guess) possible. If they could find a way to win a few games, they may be forced to keep a guy like Samuel or Komminsk around, especially if they appear to have developed chemistry with guys like Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Brian Matusz who actually are part of “The Plan.”

2-The team could go out and hire a real manager like Bob Melvin or Tom Kelly; but they’d be handing them a terrible team. The reality is that the team is still likely to trade away a few guys who have been productive this season (Luke Scott, Kevin Millwood, Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada are all possibilities); and they’ll have little chance to win games. Bringing a new manager into a losing culture doesn’t bode well for creating a “new atmosphere” moving forward.

The only person who could manage the team the rest of the season and wins and losses would be irrelevant would be Dave Trembley.

The issue is, I can never sign off on doing something that involves winning being irrelevant.

Every day the Orioles allow Dave Trembley to manage the team, they’re saying winning is irrelevant-as the Orioles are NOT winning.

Much like the team, this is a no win situation. The team has no one to blame but themselves, as they came into the season with no chance of winning-and this is what they deserve for that.

As far as fixing it, they might not have much of a choice but to let Trembley finish the season.

It’s not like any of us will be watching the rest of the way anyway.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Caleb Joseph, Steve Johnson had big nights on farm

And before we move on from this wretched ballclub, a few more things:

-The Orioles are back in action tonight-apparently their petition to cancel the rest of the games was denied by Bud Selig. Brad Bergesen goes to the hill against Phil Hughes, first pitch at Yankee Stadium on MASN is at 7:05pm.

-We still have a few spots left on our Miller Lite Orange Bus Trip to The Bronx tomorrow; as we’ll watch Kevin Millwood hopefully pick up his first win since coming to Baltimore against CC Sabathia. Seeing as how there’s going to be Miller Lite and Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square is catering breakfast, I’d be fine if we were going to see an AHL game. Some of our roster might as well be in the AHL anyway.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens officially brought back George Kokinis

This has been one of the stranger offseason storylines I can remember. It was known that Kokinis was coming back months ago-but for some reason the team wouldn’t talk about it. In fact, when I asked John Harbaugh about it at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, he not only blew the question off, he appeared to be about ready to strange me after that.

There is a rumor that the team had to remain quiet about it because of a pending lawsuit Kokinis has with the Cleveland Browns. There’s also a rumor that the team remained quiet about it as they were trying to define his role alongside Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta.

Who knows what the reason really is, but it seems like bringing back a respected personnel man to the organization can’t possibly be a bad thing for anyone involved.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens reportedly set to sign K Shayne Graham to compete with Billy Cundiff

It’s about time.

I’m not sure why it’s taken this long (and it still isn’t done by the way) for the team to make this happen, but this is a welcome addition to the team. Hopefully Graham and Cundiff will push each otehr not only during the remaining OTA’s, but also when they get to Westminster for Training Camp.

Of course, this isn’t exactly like picking between Kelly Brook and Megan Fox in a beauty contest. There’s a reason the Cincinnati Bengals parted ways with Shayne Graham after last season (his two misses in the Wild Card game against the New York Jets were certainly a big part of that), and Billy Cundiff was adequate but not exceptional for the Ravens.

Also, the Ravens had hoped that Steve Hauschka and Graham Gano would push each other at McDaniel College last summer, but it didn’t exactly translate to much success for either guy. Simply having a competition doesn’t mean the competitors are primed to succeed.

For the record, after looking at the pictures of Kelly Brook from FHM United Kingdom that Guyism posted yesterday, there’s half a chance I’d pick her OVER Megan Fox…

kellybrook

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says eyes will be on undrafted free agents like Mike McLaughlin, Prince Miller during this week’s Rookie Camp

A couple of reminders before we move on from the Ravens:

-We will be out at 1 Winning Drive today for Rookie Camp, and will have updates during the day via Twitter (@WNST). You’ll be able to hear from John Harbaugh and players this afternoon with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman on AM1570.

-TONIGHT is our annual Purple Rookies Show at Casey’s in Towson. This is your chance to hear from and meet the NEWEST Baltimore Ravens, including Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody. It’s going to be a lot of fun, make sure you come out and meet the new guys! If for some reason you miss the show tonight, it will air tomorrow morning at 9am after Nestor Aparicio fills in for Drew Forrester and I on “The Morning Reaction.”

9. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says former Maryland guard Eric Hayes, former Morgan State guard Reggie Holmes worked out with Wizards

Neither of these guys is going to be selected in the NBA Draft, but I expect both of them to get a shot on a NBA Summer League roster in Las Vegas this year; where they’ll have a chance to crack a roster. Both have valuable skills, but are incomplete players. They have something to offer, but it will have to be a right fit type of situation.

Holmes was SUPPOSED to join us this morning on “The Morning Reaction”, but missed it due to another workout. We’ll get him later in the week. In the meantime, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today and check out Drew’s chats with Justin Gimelstob (the former tennis player and now Tennis Channel analyst who checked in with a live update from the French Open in Paris), Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl (who previewed the World Cup before heading over to South Africa), and Bowie Baysox INF Brandon Waring.

10. The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Duke coach John Danowski, Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan support Baltimore being at least semi-permanent home for lacrosse Final Four

And you’re certainly not going to get a dissenting opinion from me.

Nor are you going to get a dissenting opinion regarding whether or not Francoise Boufhal is attractive (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

boufhal

And finally, I leave you with this.

Since we’re going to be in The Big Apple tomorrow, I’m thinking about picking up an Elvis sandwich. Peanut butter, bananas, honey, bacon, etc? Yes please. Apparently they have some in the Village…

elvis

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Plenty of Risers During Draft Season Stops in Mobile, Orlando

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Plenty of Risers During Draft Season Stops in Mobile, Orlando

Posted on 07 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Welcome to the third installment of my NFL Draft profiles, which I will be doing throughout the months leading up to Draft season in hopes to make sure you are introduced to every player who might be a future member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Sorry for how long this took, as our trip to Ft. Lauderdale to cover the Super Bowl and “Snowpocolypse 2010″ have limited my ability to get this posted quickly.

So far, I have previewed players participating in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando and Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. If you missed either update, these are the players you can go back to learn about….

QB’s Daryll Clark (Penn State), Sean Canfield (Oregon State)
WR’s Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati)
TE’s Andrew Quarless (Penn State), Richard Dickson (LSU), Jimmy Graham (Miami)
OG Mike Iupati (Idaho)
OT Vladimir Ducasse (UMass)
DE’s Greg Hardy (Ole Miss), Brandon Graham (Michigan)
LB Ross Pospisil (Navy)
S’s Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech), T.J. Ward (Oregon), Myron Rolle (Florida State)
CB’s Devin Ross (Arizona), Brian Jackson (Oklahoma), Trevard Lindley (Kentucky), Javier Arenas (Alabama)
K Leigh Tiffin (Alabama)

This week, I’m going to try to take a look back at what transpired in Orlando and Mobile, and who may have risen on the Ravens’ radar moving forward. With still no player movement, my team needs for the Ravens remain the same….

1-WR
2-TE
3-CB
4-S
5-OLB/DE
6-K
7-QB
8-G/C
9-OT
10-P

Thanks to CBSSports.com, SportingNews.com and SI.com for reports from the all-star games-and to NFLDraftScout.com & Wikipedia for help regarding particulars.

East West Shrine Game…

QB Max Hall (BYU)

maxhall

Statistically, there is really no argument that can be made against Max Hall. During his 3 seasons in Provo (after transferring from Arizona State), Hall threw for over 11,000 yards and nearly 100 TD’s. Sometimes success from a Brigham Young quarterback can be dismissed based on the level of competition he played against in the MWC; but that’s not the case with Hall. Not only was he strong against teams like Utah (who he awkwardly said he “hated” in a post-game press conference), but he compiled an impressive 7-2 record against BCS opponents. He has no more than average size (6’1″, 200 pounds or so); but he’s a bit older (24) due to his LDS mission. Comparisons to current Ravens and former BYU QB John Beck would be pretty fair, as both came from similar backgrounds and systems. Hall made a nice impression while in Orlando; putting together a very solid 4th quarter in the East West Shrine Game, including a TD pass to Ryan Moya.

C John Estes (Hawaii)

estes

Estes was a steadying force for the Warriors, even if not an overwhelming one. His size (6’2″, 295 pounds) will make his performance on the bench even more important at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is by no means small, but no NFL team will want to have a sub-300 pounder on their offensive line. Estes will likely need to add bulk as well as prove he has the muscle to battle with the Haloti Ngata and Shaun Rogers of the world inside. As a player who will be available late Friday night and possibly even on Saturday, Estes may be a good fit for the Ravens. Estes could spend a year or two adjusting his body to the NFL level while Matt Birk continued to anchor the middle of the line in Charm City.

WR Verran Tucker (Cal)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVIBjWcO0ls[/youtube]

Tucker was showing some positive signs in Orlando before a hamstring injury stunted his Draft season progress. Tucker will have to make up for that in Indianapolis and with his own Pro Day in Berkeley, as he does not have the resume and profile to fall back on. Tucker was never a big numbers guy for the Golden Bears, tallying just 815 yards and 4 TD’s during his 2 year career after transferring from El Camino Junior College. In fact, Tucker had as many 100 yard seasons for the Bears as you and I did. But there are positives about Tucker for sure-he’s in the 6’1″-6’2″ range, and can move his sub-200 pound frame very quickly (he’s expected to run in the 4.4 range in Indy). He’ll need to show teams in individual workouts that he can be a slot receiver at the NFL level,capable of picking up yards after catches over the middle. Ozzie Newsome and company will need multiple receivers before the season begins, so adding a player like Tucker late in the Draft might be an option.

TE Riar Geer (Colorado)

geer

What impressed scouts most about Geer in Orlando was his solid blocking and safe hands in passing situations. In terms of 2nd tight ends, Geer really appears to fit the bill. He’s definitely got the size (6’3″, 252 pounds) to play the position, but he’s not particularly quick-which will limit his ability to be an offensive playmaker. Geer was never much of a numbers guy (his 402 yards receiving during his senior season in Boulder were almost twice as much as his next biggest season), but he was dependable, and could be a nice late round option for a team needing help in 2 TE sets. His red flags include a knee injury and a previous arrest due to an off-campus fight. There is the possibility Geer could play some Fullback at the next level as well. While the Ravens could use another player to line up next to Todd Heap, it is more likely they’d be looking for a player who could develop into more of a playmaker.

OT Rodger Saffold (Indiana)

saffold

Maybe no player solidified their stock at the Shrine Game as much as Saffold did, as he was REALLY impressive against Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy in practice-winning most 1 on 1 matchups. At 6’5″, 312 pounds; Saffold is roughly the size of Michael Oher, who the Ravens selected in the first round a season ago, and ended up being a Rookie of the Year candidate. Saffold is a likely mid-round pick right now, but he could rise over the coming weeks as more teams deem him capable of being an OT at the next level instead of needing to move to OG, which a number of scouts thought he would before his performance in Orlando. If he stays in the mid-rounds, Saffold would likely be the type of player the Ravens would look at with Jared Gaither’s future still up in the air.

LB Jason Beauchamp (UNLV)

beauchamp

The biggest question about Beauchamp’s draft status absolutely surrounds what position he will play. He appears to be an outside linebacker-but not necessarily a great pass rusher. He has the tackling ability of someone who can play inside, but got around the edge nicely when he wasn’t hurt last season. His tackling numbers in Las Vegas were impressive-he tallied 332 for his career, 221 over his final two seasons. At 6’3″, 243 pounds; teams will watch his numbers in the 40 and on the bench closely as they try to determine where he might fit in on their defense. He’s clearly a very bright kid, as he wrote a weekly column for the Las Vegas Sun on top of his football duties. In a defense with as many movable pieces as Greg Mattison’s, Beauchamp could slide in at Jarret Johnson’s current position, or possibly at the JACK position Dannell Ellerbe currently mans.

CB Alterraun Verner (UCLA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eit1ZcphBtc[/youtube]

If the Ravens add just one cornerback this offseason, my best guess is that it will be someone a bit taller than Verner, who at 5’10″ is actually not even as big as Domonique Foxworth, Fabian Washington or Frank Walker. But if John Harbaugh and staff decide that they want to bring in more than one CB, Verner may be a solid option. As you can see, he’s a very capable defensive playmaker, having intercepted 13 passes, forced 3 fumbles and scored 4 defensive TD’s during his Bruins career. In that way, he reminds me of Lardarius Webb, a pick that appeared to work well for the Ravens last season. He also reminds me of Webb in that he might have to move to safety to make his speed effective at the NFL level. He’s believed to be a mid-round pick, and his size will probably prevent him from rising too much higher than that.

K Hunter Lawrence (Texas)

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

Believe it or not, Hunter Lawrence actually made a few other kicks during his Longhorns career. Of course, clearly none of them were as meaningful as the pressure kick he made to beat Nebraska inside Cowboys Stadium to win the Big 12 Championship Game and advance to the BCS Championship Game. This would mean that he’s connected on one more big kick in his life than say Steve Hauschka or Billy Cundiff (unless of course you consider a game winner for the Browns in a 6-3 victory over the Bills a “big kick”). But beyond that kick, Lawrence was 34/39 on FG attempts during the two seasons he kicked in Austin; including 13-15 tries from between 40-49 yards. He doesn’t have a giant boot necessarily (in fact he missed his only career try from beyond 50 yards), but for a steady kicker who has had to make pressure kicks before, he could work as solid competition for Cundiff; especially if he ends up going undrafted.

WR Blair White (Michigan State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhd7nvwEXWA[/youtube]

It took him until his senior year to become a reliable target in East Lansing, but he certainly delivered. White finished his senior season with 70 catches for 990 yards and 9 TD’s. Over his final two seasons, he put together 6 100+ yard games. At 6’2″, 205 pounds; White would not likely be the typical #1 receiver in the NFL, but he certainly could fill a role. The comparisons to guys like Austin Collie and Brandon Stokley are inevitable (likely having a lot to do with the fact that White is…..well….white), and they might very well be fair. White got Draft season off to a great start, nabbing 7 catches for 93 yards in the East West Shrine Game. White would be a solid option for the Ravens should he be available on Saturday.

S Van Eskridge (East Carolina)

eskridge

Scouts would probably like to see a little bit more speed from a free safety prospect like Eskridge, but he certainly has plenty to offer otherwise. At 6’1″, 195 pounds; he’s probably big enough to play at the next level, potentially even big enough to play CB. He showed unique playmaking ability during his career with the Pirates-picking off 11 passes and forcing 5 fumbles. He’s also a very capable tackler, having tallied 290 over the last 3 seasons. Moreover, Eskridge performed at the most important times; having combined for 19 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 pass defenses in ECU’s win over Houston in the Conference USA Championship game and their loss to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl. On top of that, he ended up claiming defensive MVP honors in the Shrine Game. There are few red flags on Eskridge’s resume, and he could be a very intriguing prospect should he be available on Saturday.

Senior Bowl…..

WR/RB Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss)

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

While he is one of the biggest stars of Draft season thus far (and has a big fan in our man Paul from Hawaii), McCluster may not be a perfect fit for the Ravens, mostly because he’s almost a clone of Ray Rice. McCluster is an explosive playmaker, tallying 2,997 total combined yards during his junior and senior seasons in Oxford. McCluster is roughly Rice’s size (each are somewhere between 5’7″-5’9″, with McCluster clocking in at just a few pounds below Rice’s 210. But the idea remains the same. McCluster is at his best when teams get him the ball in space-which he proved during a stellar Senior Bowl week in Mobile. The Ravens weren’t shy to take chances on Rebels prospects a season ago, drafting Michael Oher and adding FB Jason Cook & LB Tony Fein before letting each go at the end of Training Camp. With Willis McGahee’s future questionable, Cam Cameron could decide to take a chance on another playmaker to help make the Ravens’ offense even more unpredictable. We know one thing-McCluster does the one thing Cameron wants his backs to do-he catches the ball. He’s probably a Friday night guy in April’s Draft.

LB Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri)

weatherspoon

376 tackles, 12 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions and 2 defensive TD’s made the last 3 seasons of Weatherspoon’s Tigers career particularly memorable. To make his NFL career memorable, he’ll have to settle in at a LB position-which could be outside or a JACK-type of position depending on the team he ends up with. Weatherspoon is a beast at 6’2″ and 245 (or so) pounds, and is expected to be able to post a 40 in the 4.5 range on the fast track at LucasOil Stadium. Weatherspoon comes from a family of athletes, including his cousin-former WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon. Lions DC Gunther Cunningham told the Detroit Free Press that Weatherspoon showed a great deal of leadership during Senior Bowl week. Should he play inside, the Ravens may be looking for a leader after the eventual retirement of Ray Lewis. However, Weatherspoon is expected to be a Thursday or Friday night pick-which may be a bit too early for the Ravens to pull the trigger on a LB that isn’t a pass-rusher.

WR Jeremy Williams (Tulane)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV1E83U6zK4[/youtube]

He’s taller than Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, but 6’1″ may not be the ideal size for a receiver the Ravens are looking at in the 2010 Draft. But if Williams stays on the board until Saturday, he will be a reliable target for any team that takes a chance on him. Williams had a spectacular senior campaign for the Green Wave, grabbing 84 catches for 1,113 yards and 7 TD’s. His season included 5 games where he tallied 100 or more receiving yards. Williams capped that off with a strong performance at Ladd Peebles Stadium, where he made 6 catches for 83 yards and finished with over 100 yards of total offense. Of course, things haven’t necessarily worked out well stemming from the last time the Ravens drafted a WR named Williams…

WR Taylor Price (Ohio)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIOwxj0oh6Q[/youtube]

Scouts around Mobile compared Taylor Price to Chicago Bears WR Johnny Knox. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Johnny Knox is LIGHTNING fast. I’ll reiterate that I don’t think a 6’1″ receiver will address the Ravens’ problems at the position, but I know having game-breaking speed has worked for other #1 WR’s around the league, including Carolina Panthers star Steve Smith. Price didn’t put up eye-catching numbers during his Bobcats career, but he finished with just over 2,000 yards receiving and 14 TD’s. On top of that, Price spent some time during his career as both a punt returner and kick returner-but wouldn’t be an obvious candidate to compete with Lardarius Webb, Jalen Parmele or Chris Carr for a return job in Baltimore.

CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State)

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

The oddest thing about Kyle Wilson’s draft profile is trying to figure out how a player with his speed managed to end up at Boise State despite being from Piscataway, New Jersey. Strangely enough, it WASN’T because Rutgers wasn’t interested. Wilson wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, but he proved his doubters wrong during his career with the Broncos. Not only did he finish his career with 11 interceptions and 2 defensive TD’s, he also added 3 punt return TD’s. Wilson’s speed isn’t a concern, but his size (5’10″) makes it difficult to assume he can transition from WAC star to shutdown NFL corner. There will be plenty of comparisons made between Wilson and Jacksonville Jaguars safety Gerald Alexander, who also went to the Draft coming off a BSU victory in the Fiesta Bowl.

TE Ed Dickson (Oregon)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpXURJqx8MU[/youtube]

Unlike Riar Geer, Ed Dickson does appear to be the type of TE who could develop into a big playmaker while splitting time with a former Pro Bowler like Todd Heap to start his career. Dickson has tremendous size (6’5″, 244 pounds); and could really make sure he doesn’t stick around until Saturday on draft weekend by posting a 4.6-ish 40 at the Combine. Dickson didn’t exactly put up insane numbers in Eugene, but he did average over 500 yards receiving and 4 TD’s over each of the final 3 seasons of his Ducks career. Dickson is a tremendous athlete, having previously played LB and DE in High School and early in his college career. What makes him even more intriguing is that his size (much like the size of Miami TE prospect Jimmy Graham) makes him a legitimate jump ball and endzone threat, which the Ravens are currently lacking.

LB Daryl Washington (TCU)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0gc2ODyM1w[/youtube]

While pass rusher Jerry Hughes is the Horned Frogs defender that is getting the most attention during Draft season, Washington has quietly made a name for himself as a riser at the ILB position. Washington had a stellar senior season in Fort Worth; tallying 109 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and a INT return TD. Washington moves well for someone who is about 6’3″, 234 pounds; but he moved to strong side during the Senior Bowl, and scouts will want to see continued progress from him at that position. Where he could fit in for the Ravens would be as a reserve MLB, as his ability to move downfield in pass coverage could get him playing time in obvious passing situations with Ray Lewis having appeared to lose a step in 2009. He looks like a Friday night pick as of right now.

OG Jeff Byers (USC)

jeff byers

If some schools are “Linebacker U” (like Penn State) or “Wide Receiver U” (Tennessee and Michigan State have been given that nickname), when will we finally recognize Southern Cal as “Interior Lineman U”? After players like Deuce Lutui (Arizona Cardinals), Ryan Kalil (Carolina Panthers), Sam Baker (Atlanta Falcons) and others, Byers is just another steady O-Lineman the Trojans are going to send to the NFL. The issue that is holding Byers back is his history of injuries. His career was slowed in 2005 and 2006 by hip and back injuries that caused him to miss the better part of two seasons. But Byers showed solid versatility in his senior season, even starting a game at center when Kris O’Dowd was hurt. Byers measures in at 6’3″ and right around 300 pounds-making his growth and bench performance very important as teams like the Ravens consider him on Saturday.

DE Alex Carrington (Arkansas State)

carrington

One of the most below the radar pass rushers in the entire FBS, Carrington is out to prove that his 19 sacks over his final two seasons in Jonesboro were about his own individual ability, not the Sun Belt level of opposition he faced with the Red Wolves. Carrington is an absolute monster, checking in at 6’5″, 280 pounds and expected to post a 40 somewhere in the 4.7 range at the Combine. Scouts in attendance at the Senior Bowl were blown away by his strength and versatility; as he’s believed to be capable of rushing in either a 3-4 or 4-3 set. Carrington would be a VERY intriguing selection for a Ravens team with Trevor Pryce’s long-term future in the air; and needing someone to perform opposite Terrell Suggs.

QB Jarrett Brown (West Virginia)

jarrettbrown

The inevitable comparisons with Brown will be to Miami Dolphins QB Pat White, but that’s only because the two players aren’t standing next to each other. Brown wasn’t overwhelming during his only season as a starter in Morgantown; he threw for 2,144 yards and 11 TD’s; adding 452 more yards and 6 TD’s on the ground. But Brown has great size for a player looking to prove himself at the next level-at 6’4″, 200 pounds. He’s not blazingly fast, but he definitely has the ability to move in the pocket-and his time in the 40 could change where he ends up getting picked. If the Ravens do end up moving Troy Smith-Brown’s size gives him an obvious advantage over the former Heisman Trophy winner as far as how his game will translate. He looks like a borderline Friday night or Saturday choice as of right now, which will certainly impact whether or not the Ravens would be interested.

Next week I’ll take a look back on the “Texas vs. The Nation” game risers.

-G

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Where Did Ravens Go Wrong in ’09? Look No Further Than Final 5 Minutes

Posted on 18 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

It was fitting to see the Ravens fall apart in the final 5 minutes of the first half Saturday night in Indianapolis. Fitting because the final 5 minutes of halves are exactly where everything went wrong for this team throughout the season in dropping 8 games.

Need a refresher?

Week 4 @ New England:
Final 5 minutes of 1st half-The Patriots were ahead 10-7, but a Sammy Morris 12 yard TD followed by a Joe Flacco interception put the Pats up 17-7 at the break.
2nd half-After driving the length of the field, a hopeful game-winning drive faltered when Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton dropped passes to finish the Ravens’ chances.

Week 5 vs. Cincinnati:
1st half-After getting into Bengals territory with :33 to play in the half, the Ravens were unable to get even as much as a FG attempt before the half. They were forced to burn their final timeout at the :33 mark because an 8 yard pass to Todd Heap was in the middle of the field. (The Ravens ultimately lost by a field goal.)
2nd half-Carson Palmer converted a 4th and 1 to continue a hopeful game-winning drive, then Ray Lewis’ personal foul on Chad Ochocinco and Ed Reed/Frank Walker’s pass interference on a 3rd & 16 put Cincy in scoring position. They cashed in, as Palmer found Andre Caldwell for the winner.

Week 6 @ Minnesota:
1st half-Trailing 14-0, the Ravens had a golden opportunity to make the game a 1 possession game with a 1st & 10 from the Vikings 12 yard line and 2 timeouts. Unfortunately, all they could muster was a 1 yard completion to Ray Rice, and they were forced to kick a FG. (The extra 4 points would have made up the eventual 2 point difference.)
2nd half-After what seemed like an impossible rally, the Ravens went ahead 31-30. It took Brett Favre little time to turn things around for the Vikes-as he went 58 yards to Sidney Rice on a play where Frank Walker couldn’t have interfered more. After a Ryan Longwell FG put the Vikings back ahead, the Ravens had a chance to win the game, but a bad snap from Matt Katula lead to a bad miss from Steve Hauschka at the gun.

Week 9 @ Cincinnati:
1st half-Trailing 17-0, the Ravens got the ball back with 2:52 to play and a chance to do SOMETHING before going to the locker room. It took just one play for Joe Flacco to be picked by Leon Hall on an unnecessary deep ball, and the Bengals took that same advantage to the locker room.
2nd half-Despite a Steve Hauschka miss with 6:12 to play, the Ravens still had a chance trailing 17-7 late. Approaching midfield on the better side of the 2 minute warning and with timeouts still in their pockets, everything fell apart. Joe Flacco was sacked on 3 straight plays, and the Bengals essentially clinched the AFC North.

Week 11 vs. Indianapolis:
1st half-The Colts punctuated an 80 yard drive with a 5 yard TD by Joseph Addai to put the Colts ahead 14-9. After some strange play-calling, the Ravens DID still manage to cut the Colts’ lead to 14-12 going to the break, but better use of the clock could have taken them the extra 18 yards into the endzone.
2nd half-Trailing 17-15, the Ravens were marching towards a sure-fire FG or a hopeful TD to re-take the lead. But the drive fell apart when Joe Flacco was intercepted by Gary Brackett on a short pass over the middle. After getting a stop, the Ravens had one more chance-but Ed Reed fumbled away a punt return on an unthinkable lateral attempt.

Week 13 @ Green Bay:
1st half-The Ravens had given up just 3 points when there were 5 minutes left on the clock. By the time they went to the half, they had given up 17. Sound familiar? Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver caught Aaron Rodgers TD’s to extend the lead. Unbelievably, the Ravens actually had a chance to get points before the half when they got the ball at the GB 37 with :32 to play and 2 timeouts-but they could get just 12 yards.
2nd half-Due to Joe Flacco throwing one of the worst interceptions in Ravens history, the final 5 minutes at Lambeau Field were mostly unnecessary. But the Pack rubbed salt in the wounds anyway, adding a Mason Crosby FG and finishing things with a Clay Matthews sack to finalize a 27-14 victory.

Week 16 @ Pittsburgh:
1st half-After driving into Steelers territory, a drive to tie the game or potentially go ahead was thwarted by an Ike Taylor sack. The Steelers responded by marching downfield, and a Ben Roethlisberger-Santonio Holmes TD extended their lead to 20-10. John Harbaugh decided for some inexplicable reason to call his final 2 timeouts in the last 35 seconds-saying he had hoped for a pass to set up a Hail Mary. It doesn’t make any more sense now than it did at the time.
2nd half-Trailing 23-20, the Ravens marched into PITT territory and were approaching Billy Cundiff FG range at the 35 when they faced 3rd and 7. Two LaMarr Woodley sacks later, the threat was over. The Ravens had the chance to get the ball back one more time thanks to a Tom Zbikowski INT return, but the play was negated by a Frank Walker illegal contact call.

Divisional Round @ Indianapolis:
1st half-Tied at 3, the Colts faced a 4th and 4 from the Baltimore 35 that had the Ravens stopped-they would have been in great position to try to take the lead going to the half. Not only did Joseph Addai pick up the first down, Peyton Manning ultimately found Austin Collie for what would end up being the game-winning TD. The Ravens got the ball back, but mixed a 1st down run with 2 incomplete passes-giving Indy one more chance. They made it count, as Reggie Wayne hauled in a short TD to take a 17-3 lead.
2nd half-As was the case in Green Bay, the final 5 minutes were mostly unnecessary. But the Colts made sure the Ravens didn’t get even as much as a glimmer of hope-as Antoine Bethea and Jerraud Powers wrapped the playoff victory up with interceptions.

As you can see, the struggles over the final 5 minutes were in every phase of the game. Untimely mistakes, bad play calling, clock mismanagement, errors in judgment, and lapses from the defense, offense and special teams. It wasn’t a season where Joe Flacco, the secondary, the O-Line or the coaching staff struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves-it was a season where EVERYONE struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves.

Ultimately, the responsibility to win the final 5 minutes probably does fall on the head coach. Managing what tend to be frenzied situations and having to make quick decisions are the responsibility of the man in charge-as there can only be one voice in the panic. The final 5 minutes would be the time where John Harbaugh needs to be able to veto a call from Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison OR Jerry Rosburg-or just make a call on his own.

But even if he chooses not to do that, the final 5 minutes are where attention to detail is most critical from a head coach. This has plagued Andy Reid throughout his career in Philadelphia, and is probably the biggest reason why Reid is thought of as a really good coach instead of a Super Bowl winning coach.

John Harbaugh just wrapped up his 2nd year as a head coach. He has time to change things. But with every issue the team faced this season-the final 5 minutes of each half were the most obvious place where this team lost 8 games.

Losing 8 games won’t be acceptable if this team wants to take steps forward in the future.

-G

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Comcast Morning Show Tuesday Top 7

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Comcast Morning Show Tuesday Top 7

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Here are the top 7 Raven players from the team’s playoff win over the Patriots.

Glenn’s List

7. Chris Carr
carr

6. Ed Reed
reed

5. Dawan Landry
landry

4. Dwan Edwards
edwards

3. Domonique Foxworth
foxworth

2. Ray Lewis
lewis

1. Ray Rice
rice

Drew’s List

7. Dawan Landry
landry

6. Terrell Suggs
suggs

5. Matt Birk
birk

4. Frank Walker
walker

3. Ray Lewis
lewis

2. Ray Rice
rice

1. Domonique Foxworth
foxworth

Season Totals-

Glenn:

30t-Antwan Barnes (1 point)

30t-Oniel Cousins (1 point)

30t-Steve Hauschka (1 point)

30t-Frank Walker (1 point)

30t-Kelly Gregg (1 point)

30t-Brendon Ayanbadejo (1 point)

27t-Billy Cundiff (2 points)

27t-Matt Birk (2 points)

27t-Demetrius Williams (2 points)

26-Trevor Pryce (3 points)

23t-Jalen Parmele (4 points)

23t-Tom Zbikowski (4 points)

23t-Chris Chester (4 points)

21t-Kelley Washington (5 points)

21t-Paul Kruger (5 points)

20-Dannell Ellerbe (6 points)

18t-Dwan Edwards (7 points)

18t-Chris Carr (7 points)

16t-Haloti Ngata (7 points)

16t-Terrell Suggs (7 points)

15-Sam Koch (8 point)

14-Mark Clayton (12 points)

13-Dawan Landry (13 points)

11t-Ed Reed (17 points)

11t-Jared Gaither (17 points)

9t-Willis McGahee (19 points)

9t-Lardarius Webb (19 points)

8-Domonique Foxworth (20 points)

7-Michael Oher (20 points)

6-Todd Heap (22 points)

5-Jarret Johnson (31 points)

4-Ray Lewis (36 points)

3-Derrick Mason (37 points)

2-Joe Flacco (44 points)

1-Ray Rice (86 points)

Drew:

31t-Le’Ron McClain (1 point)

31t-Steve Hauschka (1 point)

31t-Marshal Yanda (1 point)

29t-Justin Bannan (2 points)

29t-Kelly Gregg (2 points)

24t-Jalen Parmele (4 points)

24t-Antwan Barnes (4 point)

24t-Haloti Ngata (4 points)

24t-Fabian Washington (4 points)

24t-Chris Chester (4 points)

23-Matt Birk (5 points)

19t-Frank Walker (6 points)

19t-Dannell Ellerbe (6 points)

19t-Dwan Edwards (6 points)

19t-Terrell Suggs (8 points)

16t-Billy Cundiff (7 Points)

16t-Ben Grubbs (7 points)

16t-Sam Koch (7 point)

15-Lardarius Webb (9 points)

14-Mark Clayton (11 points)

13-Kelley Washington (14 points)

12-Michael Oher (15 points)

11-Jared Gaither (16 points)

9t-Todd Heap (17 points)

9t-Ed Reed (17 points)

8-Dawan Landry (19 points)

7-Willis McGahee (22 points)

4t-Domonique Foxworth (28 points)

4t-Derrick Mason (28 points)

4t-Jarret Johnson (28 points)

3-Ray Lewis (46 points)

2-Joe Flacco (55 points)

1-Ray Rice (75 points)

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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