Tag Archive | "Hines Ward"

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I’m getting ready to head to Greensboro tomorrow morning (I know many of you will be devastated-practically unable to listen to “The Comcast Morning Show”-but Chris Bonetti will do an adequate job in my place), where I would LOVE to meet up with any Maryland fans who are making the trip. I would be MORE than willing to allow you to buy me 4-627 beers.

But also, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the Iron Man 2 trailer that debuted Sunday night on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. It was GLORIOUS…..

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST’.net’s Glenn Clark says Derrick Mason agrees to new 2 year deal with Ravens

Which gives the Ravens at LEAST a formiddable trio of receivers at the top of their WR depth chart. When they go 3 wide (which they usually do under Cam Cameron), they’ll have one of the toughest receivers in the league with Anquan Boldin, one of the most reliable receivers in the league with Derrick Mason and a receiver that they expect to be amongst the quickest receivers in the league in Donte’ Stallworth.

It’s a much more impressive group than most of the trios we’ve seen in Baltimore. In fact, it’s almost as impressive as Tiger Woods’ favorite trio…

howardstern

(Edit from GMC: With no offense to Howard Stern’s crew, I probably would have gone with Jamie Grubbs instead of Jamie Jungers myself.)

Is this one of the Top 3 receiving trios in the league now? No. I still think the Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet); the Steelers (Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace/Antwaan Randle El); the Colts (Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie/Pierre Garcon) and others still have better groups-but there’s legitimate argument that the Ravens have a Top 10 group.

Of course, maybe some fans who have already decided that they need to book hotel rooms in Arlington for next year’s Super Bowl should try to somehow temper their excitement. Teams have had really good offseasons before. In fact, there’s a certain team south of here that did it regularly….

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2. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens were out in full force to watch Devin McCourty at Rutgers Pro Day

I’ve had the chance to talk to Devin McCourty a couple times-he was hanging around Ft. Lauderdale the week of the Super Bowl and at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He clearly has a relationship with former Scarlet Knights teammate Ray Rice, who was hanging out in Piscataway yesterday as well.

The Ravens will ABSOLUTELY be looking for CB help in April’s NFL Draft. We know they at least LIKE McCourty, and they will likely bring him out to 1 Winning Drive for a look in the coming weeks.

3. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal says Ravens/Steelers could be one of this years’s season opening Monday Night Football games

Which has to be the first time….ever….that a reputable reporter has sourced this man in his reporting….

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Ray said via Twitter (@WNST) that Ron Jaworski (who is part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team) told a business group that the network wanted the game to help their season opening coverage.

As we know, NBC and the NFL wanted the Ravens to open last season at Heinz Field against Pittsburgh-but the brass at 1 Winning Drive requested they not have to play another primetime game in Pittsburgh.

It certainly would be better for these teams (who we expect to again be fighting atop the AFC North and/or for an AFC Wild Card spot) to play once during the middle of the season and again near the end of the season. BUT-having the league’s new “sexiest rivalry” in primetime would be good for both the league and their network partners.

For the sake of the Ravens, I just hope the game would be at M&T Bank Stadium.

4. The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke says CB Nolan Carroll impressed NFL scouts at Pro Day in College Park

Obviously Bruce Campbell was the head turner, but NFL scouts were certainly in town yesterday looking to see what Nolan Carroll might be able to bring to the table. Carroll hasn’t been on a football field since breaking his leg in Week 2, and he was unable to get on the field for the Senior Bowl (or another All-Star Game) or at the Combine in Indy.

He’s expected to be a mid-to-low round choice, but has a higher ceiling than some may have expected. He’s a LITTLE bit taller than Domonique Foxworth or any CB on the Ravens roster-so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a visit to Owings Mills in the upcoming weeks.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Greivis Vasquez could use ACC Tournament finals appearance, trip to Elite 8 to have realistic shot at tracking down Juan Dixon’s school scoring record

As Patrick has pointed out before, there really is something poetic about Dixon being the all-time leading scorer in Terrapins history. But if an ACC Tournament title and a trip to the Elite 8 are in the future, there probably would be something poetic about Vasquez passing him.

If they play 7 more games, it will take roughly 22 points per game for the senior from Venezuela. If he goes off for 40+ again at some point again like he did in Blacksburg, there will be a greater probability of this happening.

It will certainly be an interesting subplot to follow as the Terps move towards the NCAA Tournament.

Patrick also pointed out (after Paul in Hawaii asked me yesterday) that the Terps DID bring the gold uniforms with them to Greensboro, although they did not confirm whether or not they would be wearing them Friday night when they take on the Georgia Tech/North Carolina winner.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gary Williams doesn’t feel like Greensboro a ‘neutral’ site

And obviously, it isn’t. BUT-no matter where they played the event, it wouldn’t be a “neutral site.” There’s an argument that maybe it could be moved around a bit more, but certainly Greensboro has been a solid “home” for the event.

Things didn’t necessarily work out for Gary’s team the one time they did get the event near here-as they bowed out to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament when it was at the “MCI Center” (now the Verizon Center) in Washington, DC back in 2005.

7. Morgan State Official Site says Kevin Thompson lead Morgan State with 20 points, 16 boards in MEAC quarterfinals win over North Carolina A&T

The good news for the Bears is that they’ll now get a day off before having to face Hampton or Norfolk State tomorrow night in Winston-Salem. Especially seeing as how the Spartans took them to Double OT at Hill Field House just about 11 days ago.

If Kevin Thompson plays well, no one is beating Todd Bozeman’s team this weekend. There just isn’t a big man in the conference that can match up with him when he’s on his game.

8. The AP says Kareem Brown’s 16 not enough as Coppin State’s season ended with MEAC Tournament loss to UMES

It was a tough season for Fang Mitchell’s gang. Hopefully they will be able to move forward with the return of Jordan Lee and with the development of guys like Brown and Michael Harper. They’ll have to get some more reliable scoring, and they’ll have to get some real leadership, but Fang isn’t going anywhere-and the CSPEC should help them improve their talent.

And for any Eagles fan who is depressed about the season ending, I offer you a new picture of Megan Fox from Harper’s Bazaar, thanks to Guyism.com. This MIGHT be NSFW.

meganfox

9. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch says red hot Luke Scott tallied 2 more RBI as Orioles topped Pirates in Spring Training action

Insert your own gun joke here.

It is good for the O’s to get a win. Not really important, but you never want a team to get caught up in any sort of familiarity of losing-even if it is just during Grapefruit League play.

The Orioles return to action tonight in Fort Myers as they face the Twins. Kevin Millwood takes the mound against Scott Baker.

10. Examiner Jay Trucker says Mike Flanagan to join MASN broadcast booth

But apparently they’re still going to use the Eddie Murray/Brady Anderson/Mike Boddicker/Bill Ripken rotating color analyst group as well. AND Jim Palmer.

I guess they’re just going to give about any former Oriole a shot behind the mic this season. Which series do you think they’ll use this guy for???

jaygibbons

11. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck and Jeff Zrebiec say Ernie Tyler won’t return as Birds’ “ballboy”, instead choosing to remain in umpire room

Certainly the end of an era.

Tyler’s consecutive games streak at Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards ended in 2007 when he attended Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony; but he’s continued to be one of the most recognizable figures at OPACY since then.

Congratulations to Tyler on 50 great seasons as “ballboy”, and good luck to him as he transitions into his new role.

12. SI’s Tom Verducci pens next Monday’s cover story about Matt Wieters

Which you should read, with or without pants.

Interesting note from “The Comcast Morning Show” this morning, as former MASN analyst and new Blue Jays TV PBP voice Buck Martinez told Drew Forrester that he believes Brian Matusz has “better stuff” than even Tom Glavine.

Wow.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know it was a building full of history and whatnot, but seeing Yankee Stadium look like this can’t help but make me smile a bit….

yankeestadium

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Comcast Morning Show Tuesday Top 7

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

This morning Drew named the top six players and one coach he would take on his team.

7. Mike Nolan
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6. Matt Hasselbeck
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5. Brian Urlacher
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4. Wes Welker
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3. Donovan McNabb
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2. Greg Jennings
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1. Hines Ward
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While Glenn did the opposite, naming six players and one coach he would NOT take.

7. Ike Taylor
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6. Jeremy Shockey
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5. Jay Cutler
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4. Andy Reid
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3. Albert Haynesworth
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2. Miles Austin
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1. Adrian Peterson
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Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Blog & Tackle: How I see Ravens-Steelers 2

Posted on 27 December 2009 by Chris Pika

Deep down, everyone knew that the playoff road for the 2009 Ravens would have to go through Heinz Field in Week 16. That week is here, even if the order is different than most had it. Instead of the Ravens and Steelers playing for the AFC North title, it’s survival time for Pittsburgh, and a chance for Baltimore to close the door on its most-bitter rival while taking a big step toward the playoffs.

Ravens-Steelers Purple Haze Live Chat

The Ravens won the first meeting in overtime in a game that many thought would be a Baltimore blowout with the absence of QB Ben Roethlisberger. Dennis Dixon managed to get the Steelers to overtime, but an interception and subsquent field goal gave the Ravens a huge victory at home.

This time, Roethlisberger and the man who criticized him for not playing in the first meeting, Hines Ward, will play in this one. But Pittsburgh will be without safety Troy Polamalu once again. Pittsburgh is 3-0 with him in the lineup, but 4-7 without.

To get the cliches out of the way early, the game will be a physical, brutal affair once again. These two clubs play hard against each other, and revel in leaving the winner bruised and bloodied from the fight. The loser drags their wounded back to the locker room and wonder if they’ll have enough bodies for the next game.

Since the emphasis for both clubs is not allow the other to score, how do the Ravens and Steelers dent the scoreboard? Let’s break it down, thusly.

RAVENS OFFENSE: This point is obvious to football observers, but scoring first is paramount. The team that gets the lead can dicate their playbook to the opponent. Fall behind, and because of the defenses, you might take more chances than usual. Baltimore is 7-1 when scoring first in 2009, 1-5 when the opposition does.

To those who don’t like the Ravens to throw as much as they have this year, you might want to avert your eyes. The Steelers secondary is vulnerable, and there will be opportunities for big plays. But Baltimore has to set it up. Run the ball with Ray Rice, Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee, and make Pittsburgh stack the line. Once that happens, then QB Joe Flacco can look for the receivers downfield, or just a mid-length pass to TE Todd Heap to move the chains.

Baltimore has run the ninth-most short pass plays (less than 15 yards) to the right with 171. The Ravens’ average gain on those passes, 6.8 yards, is second in the league. That’s where Rice and Heap live. Baltimore is also seventh in both plays (37) and average gain (13.8 yards) on passes 15 yards or more to deep left.

The big key here is to keep Flacco upright at all costs. Baltimore might get help if James Harrison misses the game with an biceps injury. A strong run game keeps the rushers at home and buys the Ravens’ QB needed time when he goes to the air. Pittsburgh has to protect its struggling secondary, and one way is to rush the passer consistently. Flacco needs to make the right decisions when the pocket collapses.

The Ravens have four games with 400-plus yards of total offense in 2009, including the three top outputs in club history.

RAVENS DEFENSE: The same problem on defense haunts the Ravens as well. Can the Ravens get after Roethlisberger enough to force turnovers and keep Santonio Holmes and Ward from getting open deep against the Ravens’ second-string corners?

Roethlisberger is hard to bring down, and harder still to corral when he gets out of the pocket. Baltimore needs to bring enough pressure from the edges to make Roethlisberger go through his receiver progression without benefit of rolling to the outside.

When the Steelers pass, they look deep middle, where they’ve tried 40 plays (second in the NFL) or deep right (35 plays; 10th in NFL). Pittsburgh has thrown just over 100 times more than they have run this season. Besides Ward and Holmes, TE Heath Miller has almost 700 yards and five TDs. Six players have 20 or more catches.

The run game is no slouch as Rashard Mendenhall needs 22 yards for 1,000 on the season. Mendenhall has six of the nine rush TDs for the Steelers. Willie Parker has settled into the backup role with almost 300 yards and no TDs.

The Steelers like to run to the right with 79 attempts each up the middle and to right guard, and 63 times to right tackle. Compare that to 31 plays each to left guard, left tackle, and 33 plays to left end.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A big question for the Ravens in the wake of losing Lardarius Webb for the season is: With Carr taking a bigger role in the secondary, will the Ravens let Carr return kickoffs and punts. Ed Reed (if he is able to go) will not return punts, so reports have Jalen Parmele returning kicks and Carr returning punts.

Not to be overstated, the turf at Heinz Field gets in bad shape in December with the amount of games played on it and the recent snowstorm. Field goals, especially from long distance, will be dicey. That will force both teams to make offensive decisions knowing that 3s will not be automatic at any point.

NFL.com Ravens-Steelers Video Preview

PREDICTION: The Steelers will try (like every other opponent) to take out Rice. Flacco will have to throw the ball effectively under pressure to find seams in the Pittsburgh secondary. Both teams’ key defensive performer (Reed and Polamalu) will not play in the game. This will be the usual knock-down, drag-out game as the defensive lines try to help their respective secondaries in coverage. Baltimore gets an early score and will spend the rest of the day holding off the Steelers’ desperate charge. I wouldn’t be suprised to see this game (like the first) go to overtime. Ravens 20, Steelers 17.

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Ravens/Steelers Thursday Injury Report

Posted on 24 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens-

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

OT Jared Gaither (foot)
LB Tavaras Gooden (groin)
LB Jarret Johnson (knee)
LS Matt Katula (forearm)
S Ed Reed (groin)

LIMITED:

WR Mark Clayton (knee)
S KJ Gerard (thigh)
DT Kelly Talavou (knee)

FULL:

C Matt Birk (neck)
WR Justin Harper (foot)
TE Todd Heap (chest)
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)
TE LJ Smith (ankle)
WR Kelley Washington (ankle)

Steelers-

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

G Chris Kemoeatu (wrist)
CB Keenan Lewis (back)
S Troy Polamalu (knee)

FULL:

DE Brett Keisel (neck)
CB Anthony Madison (illness)
RB Rashard Mendenhall (hip)
RB Willie Parker (knee)
WR Mike Wallace (knee)
WR Hines Ward (hamsting)

-G

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Lookalikes! Steelers Xmas Villains Edition

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Derek Arnold

The last time the Ravens and Steelers met, it was Thanksgiving-time. The purple feasted on the Steelers’ backups in true Thanksgiving fashion.

The Nest, in the spirit of the season, gave thanks for all the reasons we’re glad we aren’t Steelers fans.

This time around, its another Holiday, and another meeting with the Black-and-Yeller. What better time to use our weekly Lookalikes! to dive into the many ways in which the members of the Pittsburgh Football organization (past and present) hate Christmas, Santa Claus, the Salvation Army, Rudolph, and YOU?

Everyone’s favorite 24-hour marathon Christmas Movie, “A Christmas Story” featured antagonist bully Scott Farkus. I’m pretty sure that, at some point in his life, Farkus changed his name to “Rocky Boiman,” before learning to play football and signing with the Squealers.

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Steelers’ owner/chairman (and United States Ambassador to Ireland) Dan Rooney is disgusted by the poor, puts orphanages out of business with his partner Marley, and will be visited by 3 ghosts on Christmas Eve. Or at least, he looks like (Jim Carrey’s) Ebinezer Scrooge, the guy I actually just described.

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Former Pittsburgh Head Coach Bill Cowher, now that he has taken a break from coaching, has taken up magic. His stage name is “Professor Hinkle,” and if any snowmen come to life on the power of magic hats that belong to him, he will show no mercy to the snowman nor the children who love to watch him laugh and play, in his quest to gain back his hat.

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Hines Ward is known for two things: Cheap shots, and smiles. You know who else likes to smile a lot? That’s right, guys that plan on stealing every Christmas present in ENTIRE TOWNS!

Hines Grinch

What Lookalikes! (or any Steeler-hating piece for that matter) would be complete without old faithful, Jeff Reed. We’ve been over the laundry list of stupid looking poses, dumb hairstyles, and drunken hijinks of Reed before, but until now, never realized that he was the “Heat Miser” in the Childrens’ classic, “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”

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Now, since it’s Christmas and all, I’ll give a gift to any Steeler-fan vermin that happen to stumble upon this post.

The Ravens aren’t exempt from showing up in Christmas movies. Why, just the other day, I was watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” and, lo and behold, Joe Flacco!

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Happy Holidays to all, and GO RAVENS!

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens Eyeing Major Showdown with “Arch Rivals”

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

5:51- INJURY REPORT – Ravens:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
OT Jared Gaither (foot)
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
LS Matt Katula (forearm)
S Ed Reed (groin)

LIMITED:
C Matt Birk (neck)
WR Mark Clayton (knee)
S KJ Gerard (thigh)
TE Todd Heap (chest)
LB Jarret Johnson (knee)
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)
DT Kelly Talavou (knee)
WR Kelley Washington (ankle)

FULL:
TE LJ Smith (ankle)

Steelers:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
DE Brett Keisel (neck)
CB Anthony Madison (illness)
RB Willie Parker (knee)
S Troy Polamalu (knee)
WR Hines Ward (hamstring)

LIMITED:
CB Keenan Lewis (back)
RB Rashard Mendenhall (hip)
WR Mike Wallace (knee)

Troy Polamalu reportedly told the media in Pittsburgh that he did not expect to play Sunday.

1:59-The one major thing I took away from media availability today was the way the players downplayed the significance of the fact that the Ravens were playing their biggest rivals-instead pointing out the significance of the game alone.

Ray Lewis even described the Steelers as the “next team on the schedule.”

Clearly the players were very willing to discuss their AFC North rivals at length, and didn’t hide from how well they knew each other-but they appeared to be much more focused on the fact that they feel like they need to win out to have a chance to make the playoffs.

1:35-The Ravens have confirmed that LS Nick Sundberg was signed to their practice squad. Clearly this is an insurance policy for a struggling Matt Katula.

Mark Clayton (hamstring/knee), Kelley Washington (ankle) and KJ Gerard (thigh) were all practicing today. Jared Gaither (foot) and Ed Reed (foot/groin/hip/etc.) were NOT-Harbs confirmed earlier today the story that Reed had gone back to Florida for further evaluation. I did not notice Tavares Gooden (groin) at practice either.

For the quickest updates, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST). I have quotes from Harbaugh, etc. coming up-and already posted quotes from Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin; who held conference calls with the local media.

1:13-Some quick stuff, as practice is coming up:

Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:
Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
OT Michael Oher
LB Ray Lewis
LB Terrell Suggs
CB Corey Ivy
CB Chris Carr

Also, John Harbaugh announced Domonique Foxworth was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

There is a Long Snapper in the locker room by the name of Nick Sundberg. He’s a rookie out of Cal who was with the Carolina Panthers earlier in the season. No word on whether he’s been signed to the practice squad or is just a tryout guy. As soon as I get an update, I will let you know. Matt Katula had another tough week against the Bears Sunday, but John Harbaugh defended him; and said he doesn’t believe his elbow is still hurt.

11:14-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Baltimore Ravens are back at work today in preparation for Sunday’s showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. We all know about the AFC Wild Card implications of the game, as the Ravens will actually have the chance to clinch a playoff spot Sunday should other games around the AFC go their way.

We are scheduled to hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason and more today. The Ravens made two roster moves yesterday-signing CB Corey Ivy to replace Lardarius Webb (IR-ACL injury), and signing S Kevin Fitzhugh off the New York Jets’ practice squad to replace release CB Marcus Paschal.

Be back shortly.

-G

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4th Day Of Christmas ....

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4th Day Of Christmas ….

Posted on 21 December 2009 by Rex Snider

Damn the snow !!!!

Damn the Chicago Bears Travel Secretary !!!!

Damn these lists of holiday gifts !!!!

I’m going broke, and my blogs are suffering. At this rate, my “12 Days Of Christmas” are gonna take about 3 weeks. I’m running behind schedule – but I’m dedicated to catch up. So, stay tuned – OFTEN.

Today, I’m handing out the special gift of HUMILITY.

That’s right, some folks need a sweet dose (or sour ….) of it, and I’m ensuring they receive a fair portion, as a Christmas gift.
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JOHN HARBAUGH
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I’ll admit it, I’ve been pretty hard on the Ravens Head Coach, throughout this 2009 season. I’m not being personally disparaging, I just think we’ve finally observed some consistencies (and inconsistencies) that suggest he has some work to do – on his coaching game …..

If he’s being honest with himself – and his players, I would think Coach Harbaugh has some serious soul searching on the front burner of his Monday evening. While he won’t publicly admit it, Harbaugh has a problem with Chris McAlister. Everyone suspects it.

I get the whole concept of exiling players, and sticking them on the equivalent of the “Island Of Misfit Toys.” Respect and honor are key with many coaches. And, Chris McAlister probably did a few things we’ll never know.

But, John Harbaugh might very well find himself at a humbling intersection, as we sit just 4 days from Christmas, and 6 days from a trip to Heinz Field. Who’s covering Santonio Holmes? How about Hines Ward? Umm, Mike Wallace? Did you consider Heath Miller?

Maybe, we should try this guy …..

I can’t fathom the thought of going forward with the in-house corps of cornerbacks. I know John Harbaugh is dedicated to the TEAM concept and “Playing Like A Raven.” Well, Coach, that goes for YOU, too.

There is a locker room full of guys who’ve busted their asses, since late July. What do they deserve? Lets start with giving them the best chance to win – even if it means sitting down with Chris McAlister and seeing if a short-term marriage is in the best interest of both halves.

Call Sean Payton …..

Ask him why he signed McAlister. Ask him why he cut him? Ask him if McAlister’s short tenure affected the team negatively.

Better yet, just look at the current RAVENS and ask yourself, “what do they deserve?”

Coach Harbaugh is being wished some humility – and a sobering vision, for Christmas.
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CHRIS McALISTER
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Yeah, dude, you’re not blameless in this standoff. In fact, I’m imagining you’re probably 95% at fault.

It’s quite easy for me to toss criticism at John Harbaugh – he’s expected to be the “bigger man” and lead by a professional decorum and example. And, he’s pretty much done that.

He hasn’t thrown you under the bus, publicly, one time. While it’s pretty obvious you guys haven’t exchanged Christmas cards, he’s been respectful of your image and public character, as far as the media and fans are concerned.

I would be interested in knowing if Chris McAlister has done anything to resurrect a sliver of his broken relationship with the Ravens Head Coach. He has the ties – he can get to him.

Where is Chris McAlister?

You should be appearing at any and every public service event. It’s CHRISTMAS ….. go find a cameraman, and hand out a turkey !!!!

Or a toy !!!!

Or some money !!!!

It’s all about perception, and it’s also about being humble. You did this. You caused the divorce. I’ve beat up John Harbaugh, because he hasn’t reconvened with your conflicted butt. You wanna play football?

What steps have you taken to mend the fence?

Chris McAlister needs the gift of humility, especially as he confronts a life that probably needs some straightening – beyond the football field.
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REX SNIDER

Well, I don’t think this has ever happened. Have I ever included myself, as a “sub-topic” of a blog?

I don’t think so.

But, I’m not immune to discerning treatment – especially as it regards a legitimate shortcoming. How do they say it ….. “if the shoe fits?”

I’ll be quite honest, and say I’m really disappointed in myself. While I appreciate this forum and virtual freedom to write (and say) about things desired, I also expect a responsibility from myself.

Yes, I expect more from ME.

For the past few weeks, I’ve seized numerous opportunities to pry on the personal life of Tiger and Elin Woods. While, I absolutely believe I haven’t been disparaging, I have walked into a couple’s “no go” zones.

I do think Tiger’s life is an open book. He’s a celebrity – and pitchman for commercial products. Thus, he’s accountable for a very public image. If he fails to uphold that image, he’ll be held to task.

But, his personal situation is not funny. It’s embarrassing and it’s sad. There are numerous victims in this situation – who can be further hurt by those with media credentials.

While I don’t think my past remarks infringe on Tiger’s family – a man’s family is none of my business. I’ll concentrate on being the best dad and husband, possible. And, leave Tiger and others to managing their own.

This is my humble wish for ME.
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The People Around Chris Henry

Chris Henry’s funeral is set for tomorrow. Many members of the NFL’s collective family are expected to travel to Gretna, Louisiana, to pay their final respects to the veteran wide receiver.

I’m certain we’ll see and hear and collection of poignant and touching remembrances. As with most funerals, I’m sure dry eyes will be hard to find. This is the way people grieve and it’s purely natural.

However, in the coming weeks and months, someone – ANYONE with a connection to the National Football League and Chris Henry must step forward and speak in sobering fashion about the often troubled young man. It’s the only way to truly learn from his brief, but interrupted life.

Will it be Chad Ochocinco? If he wants earn some credibilty beyond being pro football’s traveling circus, he should speak out. Tell the truth, Chad. Chris Henry made an awful lot of poor decisions – his latest discretion was life costing.

How about you, Roger Goodell? God knows you deal with poor behavior, front and center. If you speak honestly, it wouldn’t cheapen Chris Henry’s image or memory. If your goal is being productive, why not do it?

I think Roger Goodell has an obligation to talk about the game’s realities and risks. By all indications, Chris Henry was a very dysfunctional young man. The Bengals were managing his finances – like a parent oversees a kid’s allowance. Does this bother you, Mister Commissioner?

Perhaps, Marvin Lewis could address the conflicted and combustable topic known as “The Life & Times Of Chris Henry.” I realize Coach Lewis has a locker room to consider and his message would rely upon respecting the teacher/student principle.

Regardless, someone needs to be honest about Chris Henry and how he really lived his life. As with most deaths, surviving collegaues and friends are slathering Henry’s memory with compliments and testimonials …..

“He really turned his life around”

“He was on the right path”

“He hadn’t been in trouble in over a year”

Wow !!!! Is that the modern-day median line for good character? If people don’t get arrested, are they considered successful? I got a 14 year old daughter and I’m gonna expect much, much more from her.

Chris Henry hasn’t been in handcuffs for a substantial amount of time. I’m glad about that. But, he undoubtedly still had issues. He died after falling from a speeding pickup truck – during a domestic incident with his fiance’.

It’s December – it was 46 degrees, in Charlotte, on the afternoon Chris Henry died. And, he was shirtless in the back of a pickup truck. Yet, so many people want to convince us he was a changed man.

Consider this …..

If I handed you piece of paper, at the start of the 2009 NFL season – and asked you to write the names of the 5 players most likely to DIE within the next year, would Chris Henry be on that list? You’re damned right.

In a spur of the moment situation, Chris Henry made another poor decision. It was his worst decision, EVER. He is gone – and 3 children no longer have a dad.

It’s time for someone who really wants to change the image of the NFL to swallow some pride, humble up, and be honest about Chris Henry and the culture of many of the game’s players. That’s my wish for them.
.
Rex Ryan

Admit it, seeing Rex Ryan’s swagger melt with each frustrating Jets loss is kinda comforting, right?

Where are the game balls for all those SUPER-JET fans, now?

Is Rex still leaving confidence-driven phone messages for season ticket holders? Or, is he making Mark Sanchez call the same people and apologize for wasting their hard earned money?

Back in September, Rex Ryan was being pimped around the Big Apple. He was the common fan’s hero. Yet, a short 3 months later, he’s being questioned and criticized by the same group of Gang-Green supporters.

From “toasted to roasted” …..

I think Rex Ryan is going to be very successful, in New York. But, he really needs a few spoonfuls of humility. The story should never, ever be about him. He’s the Head Coach, not the Head Star.

Rex needs to lighten up – he’s giving me a bad name …..

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A few thoughts on the Ravens and questioning sanity of Hines Ward

Posted on 30 November 2009 by Tom Clayton

After watching the Ravens squeak out a win in overtime against the Steelers last night I had a few thoughts about two of the Ravens offensive lynchpins for years to come.

First of all we need to find a way to prevent Joe from taking huge hits after throwing the ball. Joe has impressed me with his ability to deliver the ball accurately with the pass rush bearing down on him; but these hits are not only going to take a cumulative toll on his body but raise the chances of a potentially catastrophic injury when he is getting punched in the mouth every time he drops back to pass.

Right now Joe’s ankle is clearly affecting his mobility and leaving him more susceptible to the big hit because he can not move around the pocket as well as he did in his rookie year.

I also feel like Joe is a bit lackadaisical with disguising the play action pass. I don’t really see him fooling too many defenders with his play action ability. All of the really good quarterbacks in the NFL do an above average job of utilizing the play action pass to buy more time in the pocket. Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger are two players that immediately come to mind when thinking about utilizing the play action to their advantage.

On the other hand Ray Rice has become the “ultimate weapon” on offense and a player that has multiple Pro Bowls ahead of him. Rice can truly do it all; he runs hard in the ground game and has excellent hands in the passing game. He has shown an amazing combination of power and finesse; bowling over defenders on one play and then juking them out of their shoes the next.

Rice is averaging 128 yards from scrimmage per game and is well on pace for 2,000 all purpose yards. He is creating matchup nightmares all over the field and is someone that teams must game plan against when going up against the Ravens.

Rice has also developed a special relationship with Ray Lewis and seems to be soaking up a lot of “Big Ray’s” better traits. I could see Rice becoming the vocal leader on offense; something that could pay major dividends going forward.

A completely random observation I made from last nights game was when Hines Ward was carrying Ed Reed eleven yards down field on his back, he was laughing the entire time. I mean what the hell is so funny to this guy? He is laughing the entire game; are they playing clips from Chris Rock’s stand up act in his helmet the entire game. I am a fairly happy guy but if I walked around laughing constantly I think people would begin to question my sanity. I don’t know if there has ever been one player that has irritated me more than Hines Ward in the history of sports.

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Friday Morning’s Purple Crabs & Beer, Picks & Comment

Posted on 27 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

My pick: Ravens 20, Steelers 17

I tend to pick the Ravens at home. But I have little confidence in this pick. This game could be a blowout either way. I can’t say with certainty that the Ravens will bounce back offensively. The Steelers know them well, and will frustrate the hell out of them. This game could end up resting on Joe Flacco’s shoulders in the 4th quarter-and I’m just not certain I trust him to beat a team like Pittsburgh.

Drew’s pick: Ravens 24, Steelers 13

Drew went as far as to “guarantee” the Ravens would win. He noted that with a loss-the Ravens would fall to 3-3 at home this season with back to back losses; and he just doesn’t believe it will happen.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Ray Lewis (foot), Ed Reed (foot), Terrell Suggs (knee) didn’t practice on Thanksgiving

Nestor Aparicio ‘thankful’ for Billick, Marvin Lewis, Jim Schwartz, Rex Ryan, many former Ravens assistants

Drew Forrester ‘thankful’ for professionals in Ravens organization

And the rest of the world…..

The Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Ray Lewis hasn’t handled Ravens’ close losses well

The Official Site’s Sarah Ellison says Harbaugh not talking about “Suggs package”

Steelers Official Site says Steelers have won 16 of 26 regular season matchups in series, Ravens have won 5 of last 6 between teams at M&T Bank Stadium

Steelers Official Site’s Teresa Varley says Hines Ward, Mike Tomlin, etc spent Thanksgiving helping less privileged

Steelers Official Site’s Bob Labriola says Deshea Townsend will have big responsibility vs. Kelley Washington on 3rd down

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Chris Carr hasn’t given Ravens much in return game

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Flacco remains ‘confident’ through struggles

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Le’Ron McClain hopes Charles Ali signing will lead to more carries for him

The Sun’s Mike Preston says playoffs not out of question for Ravens

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens need to force turnovers, get to Roethlisberger, get production from Lardarius Webb

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens can’t start slow, have Flacco struggle, or let Santonio Holmes beat them

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens should only consider bringing back Mark Clayton or Kelley Washington as 3rd receiver

The Sun remembers Ravens’ last win over Steelers-back in 2007

6 of 7 Sun analysts pick Ravens

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ngata limited again in practice

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Derrick Mason thinks noise more important than towel-waving

The Sun’s Edward Lee says T-Sizzle remains ‘question mark’ for Sunday Night Football

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Frank Walker, Mark Clayton don’t think Corey Ivy helping Steelers too much with Ravens information

The AP’s Alan Robinson says Big Ben not concerned about latest concussion

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says James Harrison will cause problems for Jared Gaither, Ravens

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Terrell Suggs reports recovery ‘accelerated’ in hopes to play against Steelers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette says Todd Bouman, Patrick Ramsey worked out for Pittsburgh as they consider adding one

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown says Polamalu ‘unlikely’ to play Sunday in Baltimore

SI’s Peter King picks Steelers 22-17

SI’s Don Banks has Ravens 15th in power rankings

4 of 7 Sporting News analysts pick Ravens

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt thinks James Harrison-Jared Gaither could be special matchup

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ravens, Steelers at ‘crisis stage’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens, Steelers were rooting for Giants to beat Broncos (well…..)

ESPN.com’s James Walker says defense ‘back’ for Ravens

Here are the rest of The Comcast Morning Show Picks and Comment (without the comment):

NFL:
Colts/Texans: Me 31-28 Houston, Drew 30-24 Indianapolis
Redskins/Eagles: Me 23-13 Philadelphia, Drew 17-10 Philadelphia
Dolphins/Bills: Me 23-10 Miami, Drew 24-13 Miami
Seahawks/Rams: Me 24-10 Seattle, Drew 27-24 St. Louis
Buccaneers/Falcons: Me 20-16 Atlanta, Drew 31-13 Atlanta
Panthers/Jets: Me 28-20 Carolina, Drew 24-20 New York
Browns/Bengals: Me 34-6 Cincinnati, Drew 31-7 Cincinnati
Jaguars/49ers: Me 16-13 Jacksonville, Drew 24-10 San Francisco
Chiefs/Chargers: Me 31-24 San Diego, Drew 27-19 San Diego
Bears/Vikings: Me 26-16 Minnesota, Drew 40-17 Minnesota
Cardinals/Titans: Me 34-30 Arizona, Drew 28-24 Tennessee
Patriots/Saints: Me 26-17 New England, Drew 34-28 New Orleans

College Football:
Maryland/Boston College: Me 24-14 BC, Drew 30-24 BC
Navy/Hawaii: Me 27-26 Navy, Drew 38-31 Hawaii

College Basketball:
Towson/Dayton: Me 88-61 Dayton, Drew 84-67 Dayton
UMBC/JMU: Me 69-62 Madison, Drew 71-58 Madison
Morgan State/Appalachian State: Me 77-55 Morgan, Drew 80-64 Morgan
Coppin State/USC: Me 80-58 USC, Drew 91-70 USC

Talk to you shortly.

-G

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Live from Owings Mills: Hines Ward Says Ravens/Steelers Rivalry “All Out War, Pure Hatred”

Posted on 25 November 2009 by Glenn Clark

4:40- INJURY REPORT – Ravens:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE-
LB Ray Lewis (foot)
TE LJ Smith (illness)
S Ed Reed (foot)
C Matt Birk (neck)
LB Terrell Suggs (knee)

LIMITED-
TE Todd Heap (ribs)
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)

FULL-
LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder)

Steelers:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
QB Charlie Batch (wrist)
LB James Farrior (non-injury)
WR Hines Ward (non-injury)
OL Chris Kemoeatu (knee)
S Troy Polamalu (knee)

LIMITED:
DE Travis Kirschke (calf)

FULL:
QB Ben Roethlisberger (head)

2:04-Most of the chatter around here at 1 Winning Drive today was regarding the great rivalry between the Ravens and Steelers. Here are some highlights:

John Harbaugh:
-“After being in (this rivalry) for 3 games, I feel like I’ve been in it for a lifetime.”
-“(These are) two teams that believe in playing physically. (It’s) fun to be a part of this rivalry, (to) go up against a team that you respect.”

Ray Lewis:
-When he sees the Steelers logo he thinks “here we go again.”
-Says rivalry is based around “respect” due to the great “legacy” the Steelers have.

Ray Rice:
-Rivalry “very intesnse…..buckle your chin straps and let’s go.”
-He got a “chill” before facing Pittsburgh for the first time last season, and still thinks he’ll get “butterflies” before Sunday’s game.
-Black and gold, purple and black “not a good mix.”

Mike Tomlin:
-Rivalry “always provides fireworks.”

Hines Ward:
-“It would mean a great deal” to beat the Ravens 4 straight times.
-“You have to play in it” to understand it.
-“I would like to hit them just as much as they would like to hit me.”
-“You will come out of this game hurt.”
-Games in Baltimore are “always going to come down to the wire.”
“When I go across the middle, those guys aren’t going to try to tackle me softly, they’re gonna try to rip my head off.”
-Considers it an “honor” to have been voted the Dirtiest Player in the NFL by other players in a Sporting News magazine poll; thinks Ravens players probably voted for him “3 or 4 times” in the poll.
-Says trash talking in rivalry has a lot to do with the “respect factor” between the teams; but knows trash talking won’t be the same without T-Sizzle playing.
-Described rivalry as “all out war…..pure hatred.”

2:00-Sorry I’ve been slow to update. Please remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates possible.

A quick update from practice: Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were not seen out on the indoor field. However, both are usually late arrivals; so this does not mean they definitely didn’t practice. Given Ray Lewis’ ankle injury, I wouldn’t be stunned if he didn’t practice. Terrell Suggs (knee) has not returned to practice, I do not expect him to return in time for Sunday night’s game.

12:56-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
OT Michael Oher
LB Ray Lewis
LB Jarret Johnson
LB/DE Paul Kruger

11:06-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive-where the Baltimore Ravens are preparing for a big Sunday Night Football showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. We are scheduled to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, Ray Rice and other players today; the Steelers are making Mike Tomlin and Hines Ward available via conference call.

The Ravens will be incorporating 2 new players on their active roster; FB Charles Ali and CB Cary Williams. They replaced Matt Lawrence and Fabian Washington, who were each placed on IR yesterday. Ali will don #38 in Purple (most famously worn by Mike Anderson); Cary Williams will don #29 (most recently worn by Derrick Martin).

Talk to you shortly.

-G

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