Tag Archive | "heap"

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Dickson tells Luke and Glenn about life after Todd Heap

Posted on 30 October 2011 by WNST Staff

In case you missed our Monday Night Live show with Ed Dickson a few weeks ago, our Luke Jones and Glenn Clark had a chance to discuss Todd Heap’s contribution to the development of the young tight ends with the Ravens.

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Ravens sign former Texans FB Leach; Heap goes home to Arizona

Posted on 31 July 2011 by WNST Staff

On a day when the Ravens facility seemed quiet from a practice perspective, the fanbase was given two jolts of news during this active free agency period as Ozzie Newsome signed fullback Vonta Leach away from the Houston Texans and watched as Todd Heap signed with the Arizona Cardinals after flirting most of the morning with the New York Jets.

The action has been fast and furious and every signing signals the end or the beginning of a new era. It’s now apparent that Le’Ron McClain is finishes as a member of the Baltimore Ravens with the addition of Leach, who is big, bruising lead blocker who will create challenges for linebackers and safeties in the AFC North.

Heap, who is an Arizona native and an Arizona State grad, decided to go “home” despite many attempts by Rex Ryan to woe him to the Jets for another purple reunion.

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Monday Bloody Monday: Ravens set to part ways with Heap, Mason, Gregg and McGahee

Posted on 25 July 2011 by WNST Staff

The action came fast and furious and with shocking force on Monday afternoon as the Ravens — via many sources, agents, players and media — are set to part ways with a bevy of big-name stars as the 2011 free agent period comes like a tsunami. Veterans Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg and Willis McGahee were all informed of the termination of their contracts almost immediately following the NFLPA ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Several sources inside Owings Mills said that Heap and Mason will be offered a chance to return to the team at a lower salary. Gregg could also be offered a reduced role and a lower salary. Many other teams around the NFL are expected to release veterans in an attempt to lower their 2011 salaries and free up cap space.

It promises to be an unprecedented week of news, information and free agent signings.

For full, unfolding coverage you can always follow us in real time on Twitter @WNST.

WNST will have full coverage of all of the information and pending changes in Owings Mills all day Tuesday at WNST.net and AM 1570.

Ravens players are expected to start appearing the Owings Mills headquarters as early as 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

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Will the Ravens Ever Get Over the Hump? Steelers, Ravens Review

Posted on 16 January 2011 by Michael Schwartz

The Ravens and Steelers are the same team in different uniforms. They both like to run the ball and play hard nose defense. So, who would have thought that these teams would have 55 points combined? This game had a lot more offense than anticipated. The Ravens have had trouble beating Ben Roethlisberger and that didn’t change on this day. The final score was 31-24 Steelers, but if you saw the first half you would have thought the Ravens scored 42 and the Steelers 13.

The first half was dominated by Baltimore. After the Steelers had a 10 play 80 yard drive which led to a one yard run by Rashard Mendenhall. The Ravens came back with their own 10 play 68 yard drive. On the following Steelers possession, Terrell Suggs forced a fumble on Big Ben and Cory Redding picked it up and scored a touchdown, while all of the other players thought the play was over. This play was very strange since all of the Ravens and Steelers were standing around think the play was over. Veteran Ray Lewis didn’t even go for the ball on the ground, and he is somebody who always plays until the whistle. This gave Baltimore a 14-7 lead and they had the momentum. In the second quarter the Ravens offense had a short field after a Steelers turnover and the Ravens scored a touchdown with 3:02 in the first half. This gave the Ravens a 14 point lead going into halftime, and many people thought that the Ravens were finally going to beat their divisional rival.

In the second half everything changed. The Steelers came out on fire tying the game within the first 10 minutes. Ray Rice, who hasn’t fumbled all year, caught a pass out of the backfield and had it stripped and lost it. This was a turning point in the game because this led to the Steelers first touchdown which gave them all of the momentum. Then Hines Ward caught an eight yard touchdown pass and the game was tied up.

Going into the fourth quarter Baltimore had 0 momentum while the Steelers had it all. The Ravens had to make adjustments on the offensive side of the ball in order to win. It is very difficult for a defense to stop a team when they are 23 or 25 yards from your end zone. The Steelers made a field goal and then the Ravens countered back with a field goal. With about four minutes to play the Steelers the Steelers were faced with a 3rd and 19. Big Ben threw a 58 yard pass to Antonio Brown who was out at the four yard line. Ladarius Webb was one on one and Brown just ran by him. Webb said after the game that he wasn’t expecting help over the top and he thought that Brown was going to stop right when he got enough for the first down. Webb guessed wrong and it hurt the Ravens because with a minute and change the Steelers scored a touchdown. On the kickoff they kicked it to Lerron McClain who got it to the 50. The Ravens were in business until Joe Flacco got sacked on third down. It was 4th and 19 and it was the Ravens last chance. Joe Flacco threw a perfect pass to T.J Houshmanzadah, but he dropped it. The ball hit him between the 8 and 4. It was a perfect pass by Flacco and it would have given the Ravens a first down. The Steelers just kneeled the rest of the time away and again the Ravens couldn’t beat Big Ben.

There are a lot of facebook status updates and tweets saying how Flacco is not that quarterback who can get you over the hump. I disagree and that is because he put the team in the position to win. On third and goal, Joe Flacco threw a ball to Anquan Boldin that hit him in the chest and he dropped it. This would have given the Ravens a four point lead and the Steelers would have had to get a touchdown. They got a touchdown but the Ravens would have some momentum and they would probably do some different things. Looking at that and saying what if, is not the point. The receivers who dropped the ball were the ones complaining all year to throw it to them. You throw a perfect pass in a big situation and you drop it. After the drop T.J went and cried on the sidelines, and he should because he knew that the pass was on the money. Boldin was covered all game and Flacco delivers a perfect pass and he drops it. All of the Ravens fans need to take a good look at this season and say, “Is it Flacco?”

There were some controversial calls that went against the Ravens and one was holding penalty on Marcus Smith during Webb’s punt return for a touchdown. Marcus Smith was called for holding when the defender basically flopped. Earlier in the week Trent Dilfer said that he hoped this game didn’t get messed up because of officiating. It was a bad call but the Ravens were only 29 yards away from a touchdown and that’s when Boldin dropped the pass in the end zone. This was a big call, but it didn’t make the Ravens lose. You don’t blame the officials, no matter how bad the call is.

The Ravens have a lot to look at this offseason because of the free agents, the age of their offense and defense. The Ravens have a lot of big free agents including, Ngata, Heap, Yanda, Carr, Wilson, Gaither, Washington, and many more. They need to look into who they need to keep in order for them to get over the hump. They can’t let Ngata go and they need corners so expect at least two of them to stay. On the age aspect of their players, you don’t know what Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, and even Matt Birk are going to do. These guys are going to take a hard look at this team and see if they are a Super Bowl caliber team; because that is the only way I see them staying here. If there is a lockout, I don’t know if any would come back but the one who probably will is Ray Lewis. The Ravens need to look into getting someone who can lead that defense when Ray is gone because the time will come when it happens.

In conclusion to the Steelers and Ravens game, you have to tip your hats to the Steelers. They made a great comeback and they never let up. Their offensive line is banged up but they are a good enough team to win with different combinations. They will be a tough game for either the Pats or the Jets and they were the better team on that Saturday.

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Ravens punch Indy ticket with easy beatdown of Patriots, 33-14

Posted on 10 January 2010 by Drew Forrester

Let me get this straight.

New England hadn’t lost a home playoff game in 31 years — and in that time they were 11-0 in Foxborough.

Tom Brady was 8-0 at home in his post-season career.

Baltimore’s pedestrian 9-7 regular season mark this year included a dismal 3-5 away record.

So with all of that statistical data overloaded against Baltimore, it made perfect sense that the Ravens would race out to a 24-0 first quarter lead and cruise to a 33-14 win in New England today.


If you say so.

What a crazy league the NFL has become.

And what a crazy season it’s been for the Ravens, who literally entered the 4th quarter of their final regular season game in Oakland with their playoff berth still very much in jeopardy.

7 days later, they’ve polished off the mystique of the New England Patriots and they’re on their way to Indianapolis for a Saturday evening showdown with Peyton Manning and the Colts.

The New England fans hung around until there were about 9 minutes to go in the game.

They put in more of an effort than Randy Moss, that’s for sure.

So how did it happen today?

In a way only the dreamer could possibly imagine, the Ravens scored on their first play from scrimmage and then parlayed two first quarter turnovers into a 24-0 lead before half the crowd could say, “Want another cup of chow-dahh?”

And with their star quarterback obviously in need of a spark-plug change and Moss mailing it in like a member of the Postal Service, the Patriots were left with nothing to do except entertain an afternoon of boos from their faithful and wonder to themselves how on earth they picked today to have their worst game of the season.

As for the Ravens, they picked a great time to produce their best 30 minutes of defensive football all season, that’s for sure.

With Ray Lewis providing yet another epic post-season performance and Domonique Foxworth leading an opportunistic secondary, Baltimore clamped down early and often on both Brady and the running game en-route to a comfortable 24-7 halftime lead.

And when Willis McGahee scampered in with 10:32 to play to make it 33-14, the stands started to empty.

So it’s now on to Indianapolis, where the Ravens will undoubtedly have January 13, 2007 on their minds.  Fresh off of a 13-3 regular season and a first-week playoff bye, Steve McNair had a game only Tom Brady could duplicate (today) and the Baltimore offense stalled in a 15-6 loss to Indy.

Next Saturday night in Indy, it’s payback time for Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, Ed Reed and the rest of the guys who were part of that disappointing home defeat.

It had to be this way, right?

Baltimore vs. Indianapolis.

Winner goes to the AFC Championship game.

Loser goes home.

One thing for sure:  Tom Brady won’t be making a trip to South Florida in early February to gun for his 4th ring.

The Ravens made sure of that today in New England.

Now if they can send next week’s opposing quarterback home early, we might really be on to something.

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Just Say No To Anqaun Boldin

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Neal Bortmes

The Ravens should not trade for Anquan Boldin. Yes he is a dynamic receiver who can score touchdowns, I know because he helped me win my fantasy league last year.  Boldin suffered a broken jaw and came back to play last season, so we know he is tough, and he accumulated 89 grabs for 1,038 yards and 11 TD’s despite missing time due to the gruesome injury.  He hasn’t proven to be a malcontent like other big name receivers, but he is very envious of his teammate Larry Fitzgerald’s contract and thinks he should be similarly compensated.  Boldin is a strong guy with a lot of YAC potential and I am sure that Cam Cameron could use him in very creative ways.



The crux of the situation is the Cardinal’s price tag for acquiring him.  Somehow they have decided that every general manager in the league is as foolhardy as Jerry Jones and they are seeking a 1st and 3rd round pick similar to what the Cowboys gave up last year in their trade for Roy Williams.  That move may pay dividends for the ‘Boys this year but the returns are not in as of yet, and I think that a similar move by the Ravens may be unpredictable as well.  The Ravens made it to the AFC Championship game last year with the core group of guys currently on the roster, and Ozzie Newsom has actually hit on more first round picks than he has missed during his tenure with the Ravens.  Which is something very few, if any executives can say during that same time.  Personally I would rather take the chance that Ozzie will find a gem, regardless of position, at 26 who will play for the team for ten years, than trade for Boldin who has about five high level years left.  Boldin is approaching 30 which is generally the start of decline in many players.



There are other potential hurdles in the Ravens’ quest for Boldin, including their current salary cap situation.  If the Ravens do trade for him they will have to cut some other players in order to sign him to the extension worth the type of money he desires.  This will reduce the depth that Ozzie has worked hard to build in the off-season through free agency.  If the Ravens could somehow sweet-talk the Cardinals into accepting a second round pick and either Willis McGahee or Todd Heap (or even better both and a lower pick) then they could clear enough cap space to sign Boldin.  Trading these players however also has potentially negative salary cap implications.



If the Ravens were to sign Boldin for the money he expects than it will surely create problems in the locker room.  Terrell Suggs has wanted a contract extension for what he perceives as his market value for two years now.  During that time he has never complained or whined openly to the media, asked to be traded, or become a distraction in any way to his team, the same cannot be said for Boldin.  In my estimation if the Ravens trade for Boldin and give him what he is asking for then Suggs will have a legitimate beef with the organization.  He has done everything asked of him but if he is slapped in the face like that I feel a divided contentious looker room may result.



Suggs will not be the only Raven veteran who will be dismayed by this course of events.  Derrick Mason will also assuredly be upset because he too would like a contract extension, and like Suggs he has been a consummate professional in his time here.  Mason also played through a significant injury last year having suffered a torn labrum and scapula in week 10; however he was sill able to total 80 receptions for 1037 yards and 5 TD’s.  Mason’s age (35) and his injury may soon catch up with him but he has seemed to improve each year of his career with the Ravens. 



The Ravens need to upgrade their receiving corps, preferably with a go-to-guy who can stretch the field, but Anquan Boldin is not the answer.  The problems I have enumerated weigh heavily in the favor of his acquisition as a negative prospect going forward and unless things change in the very near future it is simply a bad idea.  The Ravens should continue to build through the draft and see how things transpire before they go all willy-nilly and trade away their future for a bunch of potential problems.  Last but certainly not least remember that Haloti Ngata is going to also need a new contract soon and he will surely command top dollar.

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Ravens sign former Eagles tight end L. J. Smith

Posted on 17 March 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Several media outlets are reporting that the Ravens have signed veteran tight end L.J. Smith to a 1-year, $1.5 million deal to potentially join Todd Heap in the team’s corps. Read more here…

This might’ve been moved forward by John Harbaugh’s years with the Eagles. Strangely enough, Harbs hasn’t attemted to raid any of the Philadelphia roster over the past 13 months.

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Packed at Owings Mills; Probably not at OPACY

Posted on 14 January 2009 by Drew Forrester

It’s AFC Championship Week in Baltimore and the Baltimore, Pittsburgh and national media have descended on Owings Mills.

You’ll be able to hear all of the coverage in a little while once Casey gets all the sound on to our web-site…plus, Casey will be doing the 2-6 pm show with Ray later on today at WNST.

John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Joe Flacco…they all spoke with the media today at the facility and the place was jam-packed with members of the press corps.

For reasons known ONLY to the Orioles, they decided today at noon was the perfect time to have Koji Uehara appear before the Baltimore media at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Other than the beat writer from The Sun and a few stragglers from MASN, I assume the room at OPACY is filled to the brim with Japanese media members who are there for Uehara.

But, 95% of the Baltimore sports media is out here at Owings Mills covering the Ravens-Steelers showdown on Sunday.

It is, after all, a fairly big game.

Speaking of the game, I’ll be doing an “AFC Championship Preview Show” this Saturday from 1-4 pm at WNST, following Ray and Casey (11-1) with their regular Saturday Ravens show.

We probably won’t be discussing Koji Uehara.

Then again, neither will anyone else…today or Saturday.

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Remember this? “Cut Heap, cut Stover…they’re done.”

Posted on 11 January 2009 by Drew Forrester

When the game is on the line and a play needs to be made, you turn to the veterans.

That’s what the Ravens did yesterday when the game was in the balance in Tennessee.

Maligned earlier in the season by fans who wanted them chased out of town, both Matt Stover and Todd Heap came through when it mattered most on Saturday.

Heap corralled a terrific 23-yard thread-the-needle-pass from Joe Flacco on 3rd down in the game’s final two minutes and moments later Stover connected on the game-winning 43-yard field goal as Baltimore moved on to the AFC title game.  Just like old times — Heap and Stover factoring in a win. 

It couldn’t have happened to two nicer guys.  Or, two better professionals.

Heap has gallantly played through a difficult season, battling both a pre-season calf injury and an offensive system that clearly doesn’t utilize him like in year’s past.  Stover had some brief struggles early in the season as special teams coach Jerry Rosburg made a couple of small – but significant – changes in the team’s kicking game.  And Stover, admittedly, took some time to adjust.

But yesterday, there they were, playing huge roles for the Ravens.

And to think that we took plenty of calls from folks back in September who said, “Heap is done…Stover can’t do it anymore…time for those guys to go.”  If I took one of those calls, I took 20.

Done.  And done.  Both of them.

Not quite, kids.

They still have football left to play this season.

And, if the game is on the line next Sunday, I’m perfectly fine with the ball being thrown at Heap with 2 minutes to go on 3rd down.  And, if there’s less than a minute to play and Stover jogs on to the field for a 40-something-yard field goal, I like our chances.

I always like our chances when two veterans like Heap and Stover are the ones we need to rely on to come through in the clutch.

They proved that again yesterday.

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In case you weren’t in Nashville…

Posted on 10 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The scene today at Graham Central Station could’ve only been followed by something as amazing as today’s win over the Tennessee Titans and the dramatic fashion with which it all unfolded. Matt Stover’s kick. Joe Flacco’s pass. Todd Heap’s catch. Fabian Washington falling on the ball. Rob Bironas missing the field goal. The crowd taking over the streets of Nashville in a virtual sea of purple and marching on LP Field en masse crossing over the Cumberland River.

Baltimore made a powerful impact in downtown Nashville this weekend. It was a takeover, something akin to what the Red Sox and Yankees do to Baltimore. The cops had to come out onto 2nd Avenue and break up the sea of purple. Apparently, they were stopping traffic outside of Graham Central Station and car-tipping was a fear. The only tangible difference between a Red Sox Nation holdup of our city three times a year was that once we got inside LP Field, we realized there were probably only 5,000 of us total. We took over the primary block of bars in Nashville, but the 70,000-seat stadium was plenty blue and red and at the end when Heap made that catch, it was an ear-splitting sound emanating from the stands supporting the Titans. Heap told me after the game that he couldn’t hear anything as the clock was ticking down to zero.

As for the game, there were hundreds of unused tickets. I got stuck with a pair myself. Tickets were virtually worthless an hour before game time. There were sellers everywhere and no buyers. It was a like a flea market. Any Ravens fan could’ve gotten in for $20 yesterday. I’ll get some videos up of it on Sunday when I’m waiting and watching more NFL Football.

These are the memories that make it worthwhile to be a football fan and love the NFL. And, man do I love the NFL today. It was just one of the magical days of my sporting life. Just like it was eight years ago. Just like next weekend sets up to kick it up a notch, the way we did in Oakland eight years ago.

But will it be Pittsburgh? Or San Diego. As we saw in the Arizona-Carolina game, you never how these games are gonna turn out. Who the heck knows who is going to win? Who knew the lowly Cardinals would lay the smack down on the Panthers like that?

I have 100 seats reserved on two buses for Pittsburgh. I have the tickets. I have the bus. All I need them to do is win tomorrow.

If the game is in San Diego, I’ll be announcing a giant party for anyone who can make the trip but there will be no formal “WNST trip” to San Diego. It’s too pricey on short notice and I don’t really think there’s a market for $1400 trips for a weekend to California at this point. I think most people will feel like we’re 60 minutes away from the Super Bowl and “I’ll just wait and go to Tampa.” Understood!

Wait’ll you see the videos from today. It was the second biggest road party in Ravens’ history. It was Whiskey Joe’s-like. Go and ask your friends who were here. It was one for the ages. The party today was amazing. It was just an unreal day to be a Ravens fan.

This is what it’s all about.

Pittsburgh or San Diego?

Who do you wanna play and why?

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