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On Election Day eve, no one is “undecided” about the 15-7-0

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On Election Day eve, no one is “undecided” about the 15-7-0

Posted on 05 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

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

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

Here we go.

“The ELITE 15″…

1. There’s college football…and then there’s Alabama.

I guess things didn’t work out for this guy…

The team may have lost, but this was AWESOME…

Also feeling stupid? LSU QB Zach Metten-Rae-Jepsen…

Let’s check in on a man who is the second best coach in his own division…

Wanna see Kirk Herbstreit play with Lee Corso’s trunk? Of course you do…

Next up for Alabama? Johnny Football…

Elsewhere in the SEC, this.

2. How did I spend my Sunday night? Oh, just watching this postgame video of Chuck Pagano and crying.

Oh man.

Also, these types of throws are making people wil’ out about Andrew Luck. I get it. A quick reminder that Andrew Luck plays indoors. That’s all.

In defeat, Reggie Bush tallied a TD on a play that reminded of a guy who used to play for USC a few years back…

3. The Pittsburgh Steelers just refuse to make things easy on the Ravens…again.

And say whatever you want…this was an incomplete pass.

Also, this shouldn’t have been a flag on Ryan Clark either. I’m not trying to apologize for the Steelers (in fact, I was glad both calls went against them). Had they lost, they would have lost and I would have said they deserved to lose. That’s the way it works in the NFL.

Also-are you a Ravens fan considering voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? This is the man you’d be voting for…

4. Despite what the computers might say, I think we all know Oregon is the 2nd best team in the country.

We’ll get to Collin Klein in a second, but Kenjon Barner PROBABLY moved to second on the Heisman Trophy list (ahead of Manti Te’o) in the Ducks’ win at USC…

The Trojans lost their third game of the season, but it’s hard to blame their quarterback. Unless you’re former USC RB Marc Tyler…

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, UCLA blew out Arizona a week after Arizona ran over USC. But UCLA’s win came with their assistants looking like this…

5. And I think we all know Kansas State is the 3rd best team in the country.

They looked really good against Oklahoma State Saturday night…

Also, here’s this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfmFwIGUEb8

Elsewhere in the Big 12, did this final 2 point conversion in West Virginia-TCU actually happen?

(Since I don’t like WVU…I don’t care if it did or didn’t. I’m just glad they said it did.)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The 15-7-0 is Italian. It’s Pronounced FRA-GEE-LAY.

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The 15-7-0 is Italian. It’s Pronounced FRA-GEE-LAY.

Posted on 26 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

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

15 Positive Observations…

1. Jerome Simpson is HOLY CRAP THAT TOUCHDOWN WAS SO AMAZING I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FINISH THIS SENTENCE.

The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.

And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.

As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”

Or more.

Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.

2. You just can’t help but be thrilled for Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions.

As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTwsmzTk7Lc

The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.

In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…

3. Kellen Moore and Boise State deserved much better than blowing out an Arizona State team that didn’t bother to try before Christmas in Las Vegas.

It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIXqNJhQPww

The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.

Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?

4. Cam Newton totally Cam Newton’ed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday.

In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…

Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.

I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…

Kick rocks, ham.

5. I don’t know if David Akers’ record for the most field goals in a single season should be considered “significant”, but he owns it either way.

Akers broke the record with FIVE field goals in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks, moving the Niners a step closer to clinching the Number 2 seed in the NFC.

The Seahawks’ slim postseason hopes may have disappeared, but Marshawn Lynch HAS THE GREATEST PAIR OF KICKS I HAVE EVER SEEN…

Perhaps Foster the People has a follow up ready?

But as amazing as they are, perhaps Under Armour & Brandon Jennings did one better with their “Rudolph” inspired kicks…

Okay…synthetic fur? I HAVE to get back into the shoe game.

6. You might have survived the insanity to get the Air Jordan XI Concords, but USC fans still got a better Christmas gift than you.

Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.

I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…

Of course, he’s also been filmed doing this…

7. I’ll ask for the 8th time. Can everyone please stop telling me about the New England Patriots’ defense?

With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.

I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”

They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…

Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…

Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…

(Continued on Page 2)

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The Reality Check Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

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The Reality Check Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 24 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week:  32)

There is a 100% chance folks in Baltimore will pick the Colts to beat the Ravens in a few weeks.

31. Washington Redskins (LW:  31)

Folks in DC were talking this week about how the Skins “showed heart” against the Cowboys. They also showed another way to lose a football game.

30. Carolina Panthers (LW:  26)

I’m assuming Cam Newton is the favorite for Rookie of the Year. Without winning more games he shouldn’t be.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW:  28)

And if you lose to the Browns, it should really count as two.

28. St. Louis Rams (LW:  29)

Their lack of playmakers is incredible.

27. Arizona Cardinals (LW:  25)

I’d say the return of Kevin Kolb could help, but could the return of Kevin Kolb really help?

26. Minnesota Vikings (LW:  23)

Without Adrian Peterson they’d be lower. Yes, it CAN get lower.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (LW:  21)

If Kyle Orton doesn’t throw the ball once in practice this week he should still play ahead of Tyler Palko. And Kyle Orton stinks.

24. Cleveland Browns (LW:  30)

How does this team have four wins?

23. Seattle Seahawks (LW:  24)

I’m going to assume they’ll win a third straight game Sunday.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (LW:  22)

Let’s see.

21. Buffalo Bills (LW:  17)

They’ve been awful recently and Fred Jackson is hurt. Remember when they were good?

20. Miami Dolphins (LW:  27)

There’s half a chance they win Thursday in Arlington.

19. San Diego Chargers (LW:  18)

I guess it’s clear now they AREN’T the best team in the AFC West.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW:  19)

How does this team ONLY have four wins?

17. Tennessee Titans (LW:  15)

They’re too close to the Wild Card race to just play Jake Locker, but it has to at least be tempting.

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Like The Rest Of You, The 15-7-0 Is Worried For Maryland Against Towson

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Like The Rest Of You, The 15-7-0 Is Worried For Maryland Against Towson

Posted on 26 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

You might be able to guess what it is.

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

15 Positive Observations…

1. Towson has a legitimate chance against Maryland next week, and everyone knows it

Let me start by reminding everyone how happy I am for the Tigers. I love Rob Ambrose, I love the entire TU program. My girlfriend is a Towson alum. She’s also MUCH prettier than I am. I’m thrilled for the school after their Homecoming blowout win over Colgate (heard as always on AM1570 WNST.net) and their 3-0 start…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKl0F5lsAPg[/youtube]

It’s just that…I can’t even begin to think about how much crap I’m going to take if the Tigers end up going down to College Park and beat the Terps at Byrd Stadium. After the GARBAGE performance Maryland put together against Temple, there has to be concern…

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

Yeah. I’m sweating.

2. I can’t figure out if I’m happier for Buffalo or Detroit at 3-0

What I do know is that both of their games Sunday were AWESOME…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgF_9Kxhgqs[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKpZnZ8fUvI[/youtube]

If I don’t get the Ravens in Indianapolis, I feel as though I’d be willing to accept Bills-Lions. It’s the next most likely scenario, right?

3. As soon as the Texans regained a 4th quarter advantage, I absolutely knew the Saints were going to march back down and win the game

I just didn’t know it would happen after a very elaborate game of pinball…

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

Do you think anything previously came up when you YouTubed Kevin Walter?

4. Clemson was just so very un-Clemson-like Saturday

I’m so confused. The Tigers were clutch in big victories in back to back weeks. Don’t they know who they are???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS0PJjgV0Jc[/youtube]

We’re not a month into the season, but Tajh Boyd is the ACC Player of the Year thus far. I know weirdos who care about things like that.

Oh, and Florida State’s Rashad Green has a question. Who builds a brick wall around a football field?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDTi1znVjSQ&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

5. This week in “Why the SEC is better than you”, Marquis Maze and Morris Claiborne might not have stopped running yet

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2CJUuR3ypU[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihvnMC1h95U[/youtube]

You know how impressive Alabama is? They beat a Top 15 team thoroughly and their amazing punt return TD might not have been the coolest play of the game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7vrngQ2KZ4[/youtube]

How do you think the Crimson Tide would do against Temple?

As a side note, I have NO IDEA what the story is behind the LSU “grandma kegstand” video making the rounds on YouTube, but I can understand why some folks believe it to be awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTgHismrNo0[/youtube] 

6. I was way wrong when I started the season with the Oakland Raiders at the bottom of my power rankings

They’re better than that. They’re certainly faster…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhUbvrI8MqM[/youtube]

Darren McFadden. Denarius Moore. Michael Bush. Jacoby Ford. Darrius Heyw-four out of five ain’t bad.

Side note. The fake Kevin Anderson Twitter account mentioned Sunday that Ravens WR Torrey Smith had more TD receptions Sunday than DHB has had in his NFL career. It is what it is.

Oh, and here’s the picture of Jets QB Mark Sanchez getting his nose set after having it broken…

sanchez

Ravens-Jets Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium. Creativity is in your corner, Charm City.

7. Cam Newton wasn’t amazing this week, but I’m guessing this is the first of what will be a bunch of wins for him

One of the few cool things that happened in this one was Blaine Gabbert’s monsoon hail mary toss to Mike Thomas…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykDKf9BN-HE[/youtube]

The rest of everything that happened in this one was pretty awful. At one point the score was 5-3 Panthers. I had assumed it was the 2nd inning and Brian Matusz started for the Jaguars.

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Despite Struggles in Preseason, Ravens Standing By Rookie WR Smith

Posted on 29 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

After two drops in the Baltimore Ravens’ third preseason game – a 34-31 win over the Washington Redskins – rookie WR Torrey Smith (Maryland) faced a fair share of criticism from fans and analysts alike.

Some of his critics have gone as far to already label the former Terrapins star a “bust” despite having not played in even a single regular season game. Based on the drops in particular, much of the criticism lobbed at Smith has included comparisons to fellow former Terps receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey has caught just 35 passes for less than 500 yards and only two touchdowns in two seasons since being selected in the Top 10 of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

While has Smith has made a total of just two catches for eight yards in the preseason, fans have watched receivers who entered Training Camp lower on the depth chart offer more significant contributions. Second year man David Reed and fellow rookies Tandon Doss & LaQuan Williams (Maryland, Poly) have all made more plays without the number of drops that have troubled the team’s second round pick.

Even so, the Ravens have made it clear they have not soured on Smith and still see him as a significant part of their 2011 plans.

With newly acquired WR Lee Evans (left foot) sidelined for a second straight practice Monday, the Ravens again had Smith working with the first team offense. It is a clear sign that Smith has not dropped below third on the team’s wide receiver depth chart.

Following Monday’s practice, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said there are lofty expectations for the rookie.

“It is a process for guys. We all want things to be instant, we want guys to just jump right out of the blocks and dominate the National Football League and just go from there (but) it’s easier said than done”, Cameron said. “He’s a great practice player, works extremely hard. Over the years guys that approach things the way he’s approaching the game get better (and) improve. That’s our expectation for him, just to get better and improve.”

Cameron said he’s impressed by the extra work Smith is putting in to try to improve.

“He and (QB) Joe (Flacco) are spending some extra time together. He was in the building yesterday-one of the few guys in the building and those are all good signs. He’s got a bright, bright future and sometimes it just takes a couple games under your belt to get comfortable.”

Ravens players had been given the day off Sunday.

Cameron also told reporters he felt like he might have an idea as to why Smith has struggled so much early in his NFL career.

“I think it’s just overall learn(ing) the system” Cameron said. “We’ve gotta get him to where he doesn’t think about the play-just go out and play and let his natural ability just show itself. I think that’s going to come.”

Cameron’s re-affirmation came just two days after Head Coach John Harbaugh encouraged media members and fans to “lay off the kid” when asked about Smith’s struggles.

It is important to note that while excusing Smith’s struggles based on his lack of experience is fair during the preseason, fans and analysts alike won’t be as quick to give him the benefit of the doubt should he have troubles in the season opener against the team’s AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers September 11. That game is less than two weeks away.

In fact, Cameron himself may have made the most significant comment Monday when asked about whether or not the team’s Offensive Line would be ready to go by September 11. The question was particularly relevant considering how the first unit has just finally started working together on the practice field due to injuries (C Matt Birk and RG Marshal Yanda), position moves (RT Michael Oher having been shifted from LT) and new acquisitions (LT Bryant McKinnie).

Cameron was quick to say “absolutely” when asked, and followed it up with “we don’t have a choice. This is pro football and I think we all know what that means. By the time that game comes around, the expectation for the player, for us as coaches from the fans is that we’re ready to play. No ifs, ands (or) buts about it. No excuses.”

The same philosophy could be used with Smith.

If he’s going to be the team’s third receiver when the Ravens face their division nemesis at M&T Bank Stadium, he’s going to have to perform.

“No excuses.”

-G

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Indy Calling: Workouts Continue As Draft Season Moves Toward Combine

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Indy Calling: Workouts Continue As Draft Season Moves Toward Combine

Posted on 16 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

If the NFL Draft is the “Super Bowl” of NFL Draft season, I believe next week’s trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for the NFL Scouting Combine would qualify as the end of the regular season.

After next week, the Draft season “playoffs” begin as players hold Pro Timing Days on college campuses and private workouts at National Football League facilities.

Before I continue, I remind you of the East West Shrine Game players, the NFLPA Game players, the Senior Bowl prospects and the rest of the Draft prospects we have already profiled.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International)

The Baltimore Ravens made some personnel changes this week, adding CB Marcus Paschal and WR Brandon Jones. Both of those players are little more than guys who are getting Training Camp tryouts.

The team placed the franchise tag on DT Haloti Ngata ensuring his return for at least the 2011 season (if there is one). They also worked out free agent DC Reynaldo Hill.

Despite all of that, my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

CB Aaron Williams (Texas)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5oUaOLG-yE[/youtube]

Our buddy Scott Wright from DraftCountdown.com had the Ravens selecting the 6’1″ junior Longhorns DB at 26th a week ago. (He’s since switched to Colorado CB Jimmy Smith.)

I’m not sure I agreed with the mock, but I definitely wouldn’t be up in arms if Williams was the pick.

Williams has one unique advantage as a 6’1″ corner-the advantage of being two or three inches taller than any corner on the Ravens’ roster (not named Cary Williams).

Williams is best known for the sack that ended the career of then Oklahoma (and now St. Louis Rams) QB Sam Bradford. Unfortunately his senior season might have been most remembered for a TD he gave up to Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. Blackmon burned a few folks during the 2010 season to be fair.

But Williams was very good for the better part of his three seasons in Austin. He finished his career with 89 tackles, five forced fumbles and four interceptions-including one he returned for a TD.

There’s a good chance he’s on the board at 26. He definitely won’t reach to the team’s pick in the second round. They could possibly trade back and get him-but with question marks surrounding CB’s Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington in free agency-GM Ozzie Newsome and company might not be able to take that chance.

WR Torrey Smith (Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A_6n_eoI2o[/youtube]

I know what you’re thinking.

“How could I possibly not know everything there is to know about Torrey Smith? I listen to him every Tuesday at 12:30 with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST!”

While I INDEED suggest checking out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net to hear more from the former Terrapins star, I figured I might pass along a little more information as well.

Smith may ultimately go down as a player who would have been better off sticking around for one more year to make himself a first round pick, but there’s also a chance he’ll be a player whose Draft season alone makes him a first round pick.

Smith will run one of the more important 40 yard dashes at LucasOil Stadium next week, where is expected to post a sub-4.40 time. The only thing working against him will be the fact that fellow former Terps WR Darrius Heyward-Bey lit the Combine on fire two years ago but has disappointed since being selected in the Top 10 by the Oakland Raiders.

Smith wouldn’t address a size need for the Ravens (he’s 6’1″), but he would certainly address a speed need-which Donte’ Stallworth was unable to do during his season in Charm City.

Smith saved his best for last in College Park, grabbing 67 catches for 1,055 yards and 12 TD’s. The only disappointment for Smith in 2010 was his return game, as he tallied just 585 return yards after combining for 2,498 yards and 3 return TD’s between his freshman and sophomore seasons.

While Lardarius Webb and David Reed each came on at the end of the season in their respective return roles, it’s safe to say neither have particularly locked their roles down.

Smith could offer a lot to the Ravens. 26th might be a stretch as of now, but as he rises in Draft season it could very well be the exact spot where he ends up. Before they pull the plug, they’ll probably want to encourage Smith to improve some of the company he keeps…

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

OT Anthony Costanzo (Boston College)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqJrjwjf55c[/youtube]

At this point, it seems unlikely that the Eagles’ 6’7″, 308 pound monster will be around when the Ravens are on the clock at 26.

But with the Jared Gaither situation still very much up in the air and question marks surrounding Michael Oher’s long-term stability at LT; it might be a good decision for Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company to make a move for a player of Costanzo’s stature.

Costanzo had a remarkable career in Chestnut Hill, having been a starter for four seasons. He was the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for BC in ten years during the 2007 season-which we remember as the year Matt Ryan was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

Costanzo had a big week in Mobile, showing off his quick feet and long arms. More impressive (according to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com) was his frame, as he displayed a muscular torso despite his mammoth size.

He’s not quite (Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl OT) Joe Thomas as a prospect-but he’s really good. There’s a chance he could become Joe Thomas at the next level.

DE Brooks Reed (Arizona)

brooksreed

There has been plenty of attention given during Draft season to Wildcats DE Ricky Elmore, but Reed is certainly deserving of note himself.

Reed boasts an impressive 6’3″, 262 pound frame and tallied 17 sacks during his career in Tucson. There has been discussion of whether or not he can be and end at the next level or if he’s going to end up being a stand-up guy.

With the Ravens very obviously needing End help, he would have much more potential value to Chuck Pagano’s defense as an end than an OLB. The question is whether or not he can provide a consistent rush from the end position, and we don’t quite know the answer to that.

Reed has plenty of athleticism, having played RB as well as DE in high school. It doesn’t guarantee he’ll be a great athlete at the NFL level, but it certainly speaks to his versatility.

WR Randall Cobb (Kentucky)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i09R28AWgFU[/youtube]

It is REALLY hard to figure out how valuable the former Wildcats star will be at the next level.

During three seasons in Lexington, Cobb played quarterback, running back, receiver and returner. Between the four positions, he was responsible for 42 total touchdowns over those three seasons.

As a more natural receiver in 2010, Cobb was very impressive. He grabbed 84 catches for 1,017 yards and seven TD’s. But it’s hard to figure out if Cobb can make a seamless transition to being a natural receiver at the NFL level.

With a 5’11″ frame, Cobb is going to have to be FAST to really be a dynamic threat in the NFL. At a Pro Timing Day last season, he ran just a 4.55 in the 40 yard dash. Scouts will need to see a time better than that in Indiana next week.

Cobb’s 40 time could be the difference in going as high as the first round or as low as the fourth round. It seems as though 26th would be a stretch for a team like the Ravens, as Cobb probably has to be viewed as a “project” for folks like Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.

But if Cobb ends up slipping, a project might not be a bad addition to the team’s receiving corps; as long as they further address the need to compliment Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason with a true top target.

OT Joseph Barksdale (LSU)

barksdale

After moving from Right to Left Tackle between his junior and senior seasons, Barksdale has seen his draft stock continue to rise.

The 6’6″, 318 pound big man made the move to the left side for the 2010 season after Ciron Black graduated. The move appears to have paid off, as Barksdale is currently projected amongst the top 10 tackles available in the Draft. He’s not in the Thursday or Friday night conversation as of right now, but he could be moving in that direction as Draft season continues.

Barksdale claimed second team All-SEC honors during his senior campaign in Baton Rouge, helping the Tigers finish 4th in the conference in rushing. He tallied 49 knockdowns at the most important position on the line.

Head Coach John Harbaugh has said he wants OL Marshal Yanda to return to RG (if he returns to the team as a free agent). To do that, the team has to get a player to complement Oher and solidify the tackle position. As the Draft progresses to Friday night/Saturday, Barksdale will be a more attractive option for new O-Line coach Andy Moeller.

RB Shane Vereen (California)

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

The Ravens will be looking for a back to compliment Ray Rice should Willis McGahee (as many of us are expecting) be let go. Vereen might very well be a solid option.

Vereen isn’t a big back, but his 5’10″ (205 pound) frame was big enough to allow him to carry the ball 15 or more times in nine of the Golden Bears’ 12 games in 2010. Vereen finished the year with a 5.1 yard per carry average, adding 13 TD’s.

Vereen finished his three year career in Berkeley having rushed 556 times for 2,834 yards and 29 TD’s. He added 874 receiving yards and six receiving TD’s over the three seasons. His numbers (and build) are similar to fellow former Bears back Marshawn Lynch.

Vereen could play his way up the board during Draft season, but without having participated in a College All-Star Game as an early entry his only Draft season statement thus far was an appearance on ESPN2′s All-Star Football Challenge. He’s probably a late Friday night pick right now, which could be the perfect spot for the Ravens to plug him into Cam Cameron’s offense.

DE Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajnVMrltDc4[/youtube]

Much like Arizona’s Reed, the Ravens are going to have to determine if Matthews can be a true rush end at the NFL level.

He certainly did a solid job in the role during his four years in Columbia, tallying 13 sacks between his junior and senior seasons. Matthews finished his Gamecocks career with 142 total tackles from the edge.

The Ravens haven’t found a true rush end since the demise (and ultimate departure) of Trevor Pryce. They rotated Ngata, Paul Kruger and even Cory Redding on the edge last season, with none of them settling into the role.

Matthews would certainly bring an impressive frame (6’4″, 268 pounds) to anchor the line, as well as a fairly high motor (expected to run the 40 in the 4.7′s range). He often went against premiere O-Linemen in the SEC (including Barksdale above) and had success.

Early in Draft season, Matthews is a Saturday pick-probably in the 4th-5th round range. It would make sense for the team to draft an end earlier in the weekend, but Matthews could certainly end up being an additional insurance policy.

CB Jalil Brown (Colorado)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84WC_f_3Ip4[/youtube]

While more attention is given to his Buffaloes teammate Smith, Brown certainly has the tools to play at the next level.

Brown (6’0″) isn’t quite as tall as Smith (6’2″), but his size does separate him from other corners in the draft-as well as the corners on the Ravens’ roster. Only Cary Williams (6’1″) from last year’s roster is taller than Brown, although Paschal is also 6’0″. The Ravens’ top corners under contract (Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb) are 5’11″ and 5’10″ respectively.

Brown had a solid career in Boulder, finishing with six interceptions over his final three seasons. His performance was good enough to pick up All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. There may be some concern for NFL scouts due to a shoulder surgery between his junior and senior seasons-but it did not appear to affect him during his senior campaign.

Brown’s 40 time in Indianapolis will go a long way in determining where he will be picked. If he stays in the range of 4.5, he’ll probably be an early Saturday pick. If he cuts under 4.5, he’ll have a chance to be picked Friday night. If he ends up posting a number over 4.5, he’ll be in danger of sliding to late Saturday.

The former Buffs corner has a unique connection to the Ravens. He set an Arizona High School record by once running for 412 yards in a game at South Mountain High School. The player who previously held the record? Ravens LB Terrell Suggs.

S Rahim Moore (UCLA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im2SZjMaO2A[/youtube]

With Ed Reed’s future almost always in jeopardy and Dawan Landry a free agent, the safety position will have to be addressed by the Ravens in the offseason.

Moore exploded on the Pac 10 scene in 2009, recording 10 interceptions for the Bruins. He tallied just one interception as a junior however before leaving Los Angeles early for the Draft.

While his interception numbers were down in 2010, his tackle numbers increased greatly. He tallied 77 tackles, up from 45 as a sophomore.

Moore has an impressive build (6’1″, 197 pounds) and can work his way up the Draft board by going under 4.5 when he runs the 40 yard dash at the Combine.

He looks like a Friday night pick as of right now. The Ravens could do well to pick him in the second round.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I decided to spend the weekend out in the heat; going to see the Beach Boys with the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark Saturday night at Pier Six Pavilion; and hitting up Dave Matthews Band Friday night at Nationals Park with “The Artist Formerly Known as The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet.”

I apologize if you’ve already seen this on my Facebook page (search “Glenn Clark” to add me as a friend; I’ll be in a picture at Artscape wearing a Derrick Mason Dan Wilcox jersey); but I thought it was worth sharing again. I’ve seen Dave Matthews channel Willie Nelson for “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away” a handful of times in my life, but I will admit that it was BETTER with Zac Brown along for the ride…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjkPpX0cAZA[/youtube]

Yeah, I managed to enjoy myself despite the fact that I was surrounded by insufferable folks from Washington. At least I had 4-5 guys come up to me during the night and yell “Go Ravens”, which I certainly appreciated.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle stable after hitting head in accidental fall down two flights of stairs in Austin Thursday night

I hate to start such a laughable blog with such a serious topic; but clearly this is the most significant story of the weekend locally.

As I wrote yesterday, the news is “troubling” at best. We still don’t know many details surrounding the incident or a timetable for Kindle’s return; which only allows for more speculation from folks in the area.

What we know is that Kindle is at the University Medical Center Breckenridge in Texas, where he’s expected to make a full recovery after falling down two flights of stairs. What we DON’T know is how he managed to fall down two flights of stairs. Was it a fight? Was alcohol involved? Were drugs involved? Was it a simple accident?

It’s hard to ignore the troubles Kindle dealt with during his time with the Longhorns; but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should expect the worst here. As I said the night the Ravens selected him and Terrence Cody; they knew what they were getting themselves into. The pair had immense talent, but plenty of red flags to match.

The bigger question is what will it mean going forward. We’re hoping to find out more about that this afternoon when John Harbaugh addresses the media at the Best Western in Westminster. Make sure you’re tuned in to Nestor Aparicio this afternoon (he’s just filling in for Rex Snider this week, calm down everyone) to hear from the coach-hopefully with news on a timetable for Kindle’s return.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark breaks down 81 players on Ravens roster before Training Camp opens

As of this moment, I have David Hale as the last player MAKING the cut and John Beck the first player MISSING the cut. Want an explanation? You’ll have to click the link to check it out; as well as a breakdown of the other 79 players who are preparing to open practice at McDaniel College.

It’s really fine work from this particular writer; and I would know a thing or two about fine work. For example, I saw this picture of Shakira over at Don Chavez…

shakira

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrell Suggs’ shape, health of Lardarius Webb & Fabian Washington worth watching out for in Westminster

Also worth watching to see if Luke Jones and I melt in the heat.

Rookies (except Sergio Kindle), quarterbacks and select veterans (players recovering from injuries, practice squad guys, etc.) are all reporting to Westminster today; with the first practice of the year coming tomorrow at 8:45am.

It will certainly be worth watching to see what type of participation the two corners can offer (I’m assuming both will be reporting today) as they return from knee injuries; as well as players like Brandon McKinney-who hasn’t fully participated since suffering a back injury last season.

It will also be interesting to hear from Troy Smith, who is reporting to Camp as the #3 quarterback on the roster for the first time since his rookie season in 2007-when Steve McNair and Kyle Boller were ahead of him on the depth chart.

As we get to Thursday & Friday we’ll be able to take a look at the veteran players like T-Sizzle who have some question marks surrounding their arrival at Camp.

The good news? There’s football to talk about this week. OH.THANK.GOD!

4. The Sun’s Rich Scherr says Baltimore Mariners topped Wyoming Cavalry at 1st Mariner Arena to win first AIFA Championship Bowl

Awesome stuff. I’m well aware that it is the AIFA and not the NFL; but it is still a Championship. It’s particularly fulfilling in a year when the Baltimore Blast surprisingly DIDN’T win a Championship-as it guarantees the city of Baltimore a title of some sort this season.

Just awesome stuff all around; and an entertaining game whether you attended, listened online or simply followed our updates via Twitter (follow us @WNST.)

If you missed Mariners LB Fearon Wright this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

-Stacey Long (Camden Chat); who joined us in-studio to break down the end of baseball season in town
-Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus); who took a look around MLB with Drew
-Ross Tucker (SI.com, GoBigRecruiting.com); who previewed NFL Training Camp season.

They can all be found in the Audio Vault today as well.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says graduation important to Maryland WR Torrey Smith, who’s on pace to finish school in December

It’s natural to compare Torrey Smith to Darrius Heyward-Bey; although he hasn’t shown ANY of the leaping ability that DHB did during his brief run in College Park. Worse than that, Hey-Bey clearly has yet to live up to his Top 10 NFL Draft status during his time with the Oakland Raiders.

However, should Torrey Smith have a big junior season-he would put himself in the position to at least consider a jump to the NFL; even if he isn’t destined to be a Top 10 pick like the the previous Terps receiver ended up being.

So how do the Terrapins keep Torrey Smith in school if he has a big year? I’d suggest they tell him Jessica Hall would be impressed by that (Thanks Busted Coverage/F-Listed!)

jessicahall

Patrick’s in Greenboro for the ACC Football kickoff; make sure you check out his site (D1scourse.com) and follow him on Twitter (@D1scourse) for updates. We’ll discuss it in depth on this week’s “D1scast.”

6. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jake Arrieta rocked as Orioles fell to Twins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

After not watching a single game for the better part of a week; I actually sat down and watched the game yesterday.

I should’ve switched over to the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” marathon they had on E!

You can wonder how things might have been different had Arrieta been able to retire Jason Kubel instead of giving up a 2 out grand slam; but it’s fruitless. He was playing with fire and got burnt. I’m certainly not panicking about Arrieta; but it has to be at least a bit concerning that he could only go 4 innings yesterday.

Luke Scott had a couple of doubles; which will hopefully help his potential trade value as we rapidly approach Sunday’s deadline.

Andy MacPhail can use all of the help he can get in that area. Hopefully Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie will be a bit more inspired on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Orioles hit Canada; as they could BADLY help this team.

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

Corey Patterson added 2 hits (including a double), as did Felix Pie. Cesar Izturis added a couple of RBI in the 9th inning; which was nice as well.

But trust me-you REALLY don’t want to look at this. Instead, look at this photo of Alessandra Ambrosio from What Would Tyler Durden Do. We’ll regroup after that…

ambrosio

8. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Matt Wieters activated, Craig Tatum sent back down to Norfolk

Which is weird-because I remember a certain Drew Forrester saying to me last week “They’re NOT sending Tatum down.”

Sorta like a guy I knew who said about Maryland football last year “they’re not losing to Duke.”

I don’t like having Jake Fox as a backup catcher. But then again, I don’t like Jake Fox. Of course, I have to keep in mind that the choices in this situation are garbage and garbage; but I think Craig Tatum has at least performed at a more respectable level than Jake Fox this season. If garbage can be respectable that is.

Sorry guys, it is what it is.

9. Baysox.com says Steve Johnson pitched Bowie past Richmond Flying Squirrels on farm

And before we move on from the on-field Birds; a couple of things:

-The Orioles are back in action tonight; as they head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Brandon Morrow is at 7:07pm on MASN. The Jays are 9-0 against the Orioles this season. It’s hard for me to imagine that changing tonight.

-With the baseball season now OVER in Charm City; we named our first ever “Apologist of the Year” this morning; with “The Great Arbitrator” making the final call. The nominees were:

  • MASN’s Steve Melewski
  • Post-game hosts Jim Hunter & Rick Dempsey
  • Chris Stoner
  • “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army
  • The Sun’s Peter Schmuck
  • 105.7′s Tom Davis
  • Our pal “Roar From 34″
  • The man in charge-Andy MacPhail
  • “Neal S” from The Loss Column
  • Our own Drew Forrester

And after careful deliberation; we are proud to announce that our first ever “Apologist of the Year” is……fellow Perry Hall High School alum Steve Melewski!

Amazingly, the news has traveled quickly in the PHHS circle; and our alma mater’s Wikipedia page has already been adjusted to reflect the honor.

GO GATORS!!!

10. MLB.com’s Kyle Maistri says former O’s PBP Voice Jon Miller honored with Ford Frick Award at Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown

I’m just going to leave this alone for right now, other than to offer this YouTube classic (Thanks Sam Angell!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j40hUOlXDc[/youtube]

Congratulations Jon!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After seeing DMB Friday night; I think I’m gonna go ahead and give “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” honors to “Cornbread.” It’s so great…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens/Raiders Inactives

Posted on 03 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Ravens:
QB John Beck (3rd QB)
WR Justin Harper
CB Marcus Paschal
S Keith Fitzhugh
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
OL David Hale
OL Tony Moll
DT Kelly Talavou

Raiders:
QB Bruce Gradkowski (knee)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot)
RB Justin Fargas (knee)
OT Langston Walker (ankle)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
WR Javon Walker
DE Greyson Gunheim
QB JP Losman (3rd QB)

Charlie Frye will start at QB for Oakland.

-G

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Ravens/Raiders Injury Report-Game Status

Posted on 01 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Ravens:

QUESTIONABLE:
OT Oniel Cousins (knee)
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
WR Derrick Mason (knee)
S Ed Reed (groin)
LB Terrell Suggs (thigh)
CB Cary Williams (thigh)

PROBABLE:
OT Jared Gaither (foot)
LB Jarret Johnson (back/knee)
DE Trevor Pryce (illness)

Raiders-

OUT:
QB Bruce Gradkowski (knee)

DOUBTFUL:
RB Justin Fargas (knee)
OT Langston Walker (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE:
S Tyvon Branch (hip)
DE Greg Ellis (knee)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)

PROBABLE:
DT Gerard Warren (shoulder)

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Derrick Mason Goes Off

Posted on 30 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

7:00-As I discussed with Thyrl Nelson this afternoon on “Limited Access”, Jarret Johnson really wasn’t particularly upset about his Pro Bowl snub. He referred to Haloti Ngata-who was deserving of a Pro Bowl trip a season ago, but had to wait until this season to get the recognition from those around the NFL who weren’t familiar with him last year. Jarret would have been VERY deserving of a trip to Miami this year as the clear Defensive MVP of this football team, but if he continues to play at this level-his time will come.

I cast my vote for Ray Rice today in the official media balloting for Team MVP. If a single vote went elsewhere, I will have to wonder what team that reporter was actually covering….

6:15 – INJURY REPORT- Ravens:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Derrick Mason (knee)
DE Trevor Pryce (illness)
S Ed Reed (groin)
LB Terrell Suggs (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION
T Oniel Cousins (knee)
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
FULL PARTICIPATION
T Jared Gaither (foot)
LB Jarret Johnson (back/knee)
CB Cary Williams (thigh)

Raiders:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DE Greg Ellis (knee)
RB Justin Fargas (knee)
QB Bruce Gradkowski (knee)
T Langston Walker (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
FULL PARTICIPATION
DT Gerard Warren (shoulder)

Strange stuff there. Gaither is listed as FULL, but he DEFINITELY did not participate in individual O-Line drills while we were watching. Also, Reed was out there running around-although he may not have participated in any drills. It was a laid back practice for sure.

2:00-Ed Reed didn’t appear to be particularly optimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday, saying he’d be a “game time decision……at best” with his groin injury. He said he would be okay with coming off the bench if it could help the team. HOWEVER, Ed was a late arrival at practice today, and was seen running around during the portion of practice that was open to the media.

1:40-Clearly the most uncomfortable moment of today’s media availability was when a reporter asked Derrick Mason about the negative response he’s received since his crucial 4th quarter drop against the Steelers Sunday.

“I don’t care. I really don’t care. That sh*t’s over with man, that sh*t’s over with. I don’t care about a drop man, move on-that’s the game of football. You know? I’m gonna laugh and I’m gonna laugh and I’m gonna laugh if I drop one or if I drop two.  I’m gonna laugh. I’ve done it for 13 years. So, I don’t give a hell about what other people say. That’s basically the way it is. I’ve had my share of drops, but I’ve also had my share of big catches. I smile on the big catches, I smile on the drops. That’s the way it is. I’m not going to change. Anything else?”

While Mason returned to his normal more jovial attitude for the rest of the press conference, it was nonetheless uncomfortable. Clearly Derrick had to know that questions about the drop and his response were coming, so I was a bit surprised he reacted so strongly. There’s no reason to dwell on the play moving forward, but it was a very big play in the biggest game (to that point) of the season. And for a number of reporters who didn’t travel to Pittsburgh, it was the first chance for them to ask Derrick about the play.

1:35-A very light practice for the Ravens today, no pads and a number of guys were in shorts. LB Tavares Gooden and S Ed Reed returned to practice, but both will likely be listed as limited. Still no practice for OT Jared Gaither.

1:04-Don’t forget to make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates from out here at 1 Winning Drive.

Raiders coach Tom Cable just told us on a conference call that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland) is questionable for Sunday’s game. You would have known that 5 minutes earlier if you were following us on Twitter.

12:57-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
FB Le’Ron McClain
WR Derrick Mason
TE Todd Heap
DT Haloti Ngata
LB Ray Lewis
CB Domonique Foxworth
S Ed Reed

Much of this will also be available later today via WNSTv and YouTube.

11:00-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Baltimore Ravens are gearing up for Saturday’s trip to Oakland Alameda County Coliseum to face the Oakland Raiders with an AFC Wild Card berth on the line. We are scheduled to hear from John Harbaugh, Pro Bowler Ray Lewis, Pro Bowler Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason and more today; as well as Raiders coach Tom Cable and DL Richard Seymour via conference call.

Back with more shortly….

-G

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