Posted on 31 January 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 31 January 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 28 January 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 13 November 2013 by Drew Forrester
Add Ed Reed to the long list of ex-Ravens who left Baltimore for a different pasture and wound up looking foolish.
And, while doing so, Reed also stuck another feather in the career cap of Ray Lewis, who knew when his time had come and refused to do the one-time money grab like Reed and others have done.
Ed Reed embarrassed himself in Houston. Ray Lewis went out like a world beater in Baltimore, holding up the trophy and telling the city he loved them on a Tuesday afternoon last February.
Reed now joins the club occupied by guys like Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas, Bart Scott, Tony Weaver and plenty more. A few years from now when they all have their summer reunion of “The Guys Who Left Baltimore And Weren’t The Same”, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger can share jokes with Reed about how they got paid and got laughed at when the well went dry quickly after they arrived in their new city.
It’s fair to note that Reed was at the end of his career when he left Baltimore for a one-time heist in Houston. A lot of others left here in their prime to try and “cash in” and wound up doing so — only to see the grass WASN’T greener on the other side. That said, a Hall of Famer getting $15 million for three years and not making it to Thanksgiving isn’t something to put on your career resume.
Ray Lewis, Super Bowl win or not, wouldn’t have been retained by the Ravens after the 2012 season. None of that mattered, of course, once “52″ announced his retirement last December, but had Ray wanted to continue playing into ’13 and beyond, some team – the Texans perhaps – with the thought they were “one guy away” would have ponied up money for the Hall of Fame linebacker.
Ray’s career ended the way he wanted it. In Baltimore. As a champion…with no regrets about playing a half-dozen games for the Dolphins or Cowboys or Redskins before Father Time brought him into the office on a Tuesday in November and told him to pack his bags.
Ed Reed’s career ended on Tuesday when a 2-7 team told him to get out — and keep the money he stole from them.
He’ll be a Hall of Famer, of course, and every highlight the NFL Network shows in 2019 or 2020 will have him making plays in purple, not in that incredibly gorgeous Texans helmet he wore for a weekend or two, but Ed Reed took the money from Houston and gave them nothing in return.
He might as well have worn a bandit’s mask to practice in Houston. When he practiced, that is.
Ray Lewis never, ever did that.
One guy was smart enough to know his playing days were over — and he ended it on his terms.
One guy didn’t care about anything except getting paid one more time. He won on that account. But he lost another battle with Ray Lewis along the way.
Ray was always just a little better, a little more popular and a little more valuable to the Ravens than Ed Reed.
A fact Ed proved for a final time yesterday when the Texans kicked him out.
Posted on 25 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
This week the Ravens are stammering,
The Texans just gave them a hammering.
You knew they were done,
When they threw out the run.
And now fans want to fire Cam Cameron
The Tigers had visions of grandeur,
And threw out an ace in Verlander.
But for being the best,
Maybe had too much rest.
And in Game 1 got beat by a Panda
There once was a QB named Cam,
Who wanted to be Superman.
But when things don’t work out,
He always starts to pout.
So now people are calling him Sham.
The Bounty-Gate thing was malicious,
Inspiring hits that were vicious.
But the players suspended,
Had their punishments ended.
And now have beef with two commishes.
There once was a Jag named Maurice,
Who called the Bears quarterback weak.
He should laugh at himself,
Because he’s now on the shelf.
With a little foot that he just tweaked.
Posted on 21 October 2012 by Drew Forrester
There’s a policy in the NFL that all teams get a 10-minute “cooling off period” before the media is allowed to enter the locker room following a game.
Today, in the aftermath of the shellacking in Houston, I gave myself a two-hour grace period before sitting down to opine on what we all witnessed at Reliant Stadium.
Strangely, my opinion hasn’t changed much since 4:15 pm.
The Ravens appear as if they’ve become “homers”.
You know the story by now. They’ve won 14 straight games at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
They can’t break an egg on the road.
But they sure can lay one.
I saw a lot of armchair coaches pointing the finger at Joe Flacco and the offense on Sunday as the Texans piled on the points in that 43-13 beatdown.
And I observed gobs of folks blaming the Baltimore defense for “not being able to stop anyone” as Houston controlled the ball and the game for the final 53 minutes.
Here’s the truth.
On the road, the offense isn’t very good. Remember last week against Dallas? They put up 31 points in a 2-point win over the Cowboys. There was that 31 point effort at home against New England and the 44-pointer over the Bengals on September 10.
At home, the Ravens offense is alive and creative and mobile, not to mention efficient both on the ground and in the air.
On the road, they have as much energy as a hammock. They don’t do anything well.
The rest of the truth?
The defense isn’t very good, home or away, but Sunday in Houston it was pretty much a disaster throughout the afternoon as the Texans picked them apart in the air and ran through them on the ground.
If you’re of the mindset that “someone” has to get the blame, go ahead and blame away.
Cam Cameron absolutely deserves to be criticized. At home, he puts together a game plan that helps garner points and win games. On the road, his game-plan mostly brings snickers and f-bombs from those of us who don’t cover our eyes when the Ravens go on offense.
There was a point mid-way through the 4th quarter on Sunday when the Ravens were faced with 3rd and 3 and they were in four-down territory, trailing 36-10. The third down play was a pass. As was the fourth down play. The Ravens were saved by a questionable pass interference call that extended the drive, but you get the point. Looking at 3rd and 3 and knowing his offense was in a four-down situation, Cameron elected to pass on 3rd down. Why not run there? If you only pick up one or two yards, you run again on 4th down to get the first down. If you can’t pick up three yards on two running plays in the NFL, you – as the coordinator of that sorry group – and your offensive line and running back shouldn’t get a meal or refreshments on the plane flight home.
Joe Flacco is going to get the hot-seat treatment this week from fans and media and let’s be fair, he deserves it. He had the ball in his hand and the game in the balance in week #2 at Philly and couldn’t do anything. Under his direction, the Ravens offense managed three measly field goals in a sleepy 9-6 win at Kansas City three weeks ago. At home, he’s been spectacular at times. On the road, he’s looked like a 15-handicapper playing against Tiger Woods. There were also some lackluster offensive efforts last season in Jacksonville and Seattle, but in all fairness to the quarterback, last year is last year. I’m only worried about this season. And so far, in three away games, the offense and the quarterback of John Harbaugh’s team have been borderline woeful.
(Please see next page for more)
Posted on 18 May 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
The Ray Rice saga took another interesting turn this week when LeSean McCoy signed a 5-year $45 million contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. By most accounts, McCoy’s deal compares favorably to the contract signed by Arian Foster with the Houston Texans earlier this season (5 years $43.5 million). In both cases the backs stand to make about $21 million over the next 3 seasons. Guaranteed has its own meaning in the NFL salary world, but those seem to be the accepted numbers.
Rice is set to play the 2012 season under the franchise tag at $7.7 million for 1-year. That $7.7 million is guaranteed to Rice regardless of performance or injury on the day that he signs the tender. If the Ravens and Rice were unable to come to an agreement after that season and they tagged him again he’d play the following season for approximately $9.1 million. Again that money would be guaranteed on the day that he signed the tender.
There’s obviously a risk reward equation at work here. A guaranteed $20 million in hand sounds much better than $7.7 million and the chance to try again next season, especially in the world of an NFL running back, where stars are routinely chewed up and spit out by the thankless machine. Therefore Rice is asking the team to assume the risk, and commit to paying him for at least the next 3-years or so regardless of his health and performance status, essentially conceding that he’s unwilling to concede that same risk and bet on himself. In either case, for a back that’s made a little over $3 million thus far in the NFL, he’ll be getting a substantial raise.
Here’s where things get interesting for me though, and where I begin to wonder whether Rice playing hardball with the Ravens is really in his best interest, or if it’s in the best interest of his agent. Rice’s agent, after all, may or may not be his agent at this time next year; he’s looking to get paid today. Furthermore, in the encrypted language of NFL contract speak, 5 years and $50 million or 6 years $80 million, even if most of that money never gets paid out, is a substantial feather in the agent’s cap and a selling point for future clients.
It’s easy to state the worst-case scenario when it comes to the year-to-year status of NFL players and the potential for career ending injuries. Agents get fired by players all of the time. When though, is the last time a 25-year old star running back found himself out of the league after a single down year or catastrophic injury? Teams lined up to pay Peyton Manning after multiple neck surgeries and a full season on the shelf, Michael Bush cashed in for four years $14 million after and injury riddled couple of seasons and with nowhere near the cache displayed by Rice. Short of a Napoleon McCallum or Garrison Hearst type of injury, and in this age of modern medicine it’s almost inconceivable that Rice would find himself in a position after this season where someone wasn’t willing to pay him. It’s equally inconceivable that the Ravens would be willing to let him walk for nothing after 2012.
I’m no math whiz, but I can add. Rice is already guaranteed $7.7 million from the Ravens as long as he shows up to work this year. If he makes it through the year upright, the Ravens could franchise him again and by this time next year, before a single down or even mini-camp takes place he’d be guaranteed another $9.1 million. That’s $16.8 million as long as 2012 isn’t an outright disaster for Rice; forget about how he performs in 2013, he’ll have nearly $17 million in the bank for two seasons…period. McCoy and Foster will get $21 million for the next 3 seasons.
Let’s say at that point Rice no longer looks the part of a star. By the third year, the franchise tag probably gets too heavy for the Ravens to stomach. Rice then hits the open market as a 27-year old free agent. He’ll only need a one-year deal at $4 million to be right on par (earnings-wise) with the big splash signings this off-season. The more likely scenario is that a 27-year old Rice on the open market is easily able to get the same 5-year $45 million (adjusted for inflation) that he’s looking for today or better, while McCoy and Foster and/or their teams will still be locked into the back ends of their deals.
Rice is asking the Ravens to bet on him and assume the risk; it’s standard practice. But if he were to bet on himself and absorb that risk instead, he could wind up much richer for doing it. His agent however is unlikely to see it that way. Maybe Rice should consider this as he potentially compromises himself physically by skipping camps or workouts etc.
Posted on 19 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
A little bulletin board material never hurts when trying to elicit every modicum of motivation out of a team in any sport. When the opponent at hand however is the New England Patriots, bulletin board material is usually tough to come by. The Patriots have done their best Lou Holtz imitation all week in preparation for the Ravens, and will likely continue to do more of the same. Why, after all, would the Patriots need to sing their own praises or to trash the Ravens’ achievements when the media and fans seem to be doing plenty enough of that for everyone?
As opponents have provided little fuel for the Ravens proverbial fire in terms of trash talking, the Ravens themselves have seemingly taken a creative means to finding their other external motivations or even creating them internally.
Last week Joe Flacco successfully predicted that the Ravens would win their game and he’d fail to get any credit for the win, to that end he’s ‘invited the conversation that has followed. More importantly however, Flacco acknowledged (albeit indirectly) that he hears the criticism, and his willingness to bring it up further suggests that it bothers/motivates him.
If the Patriots aren’t going to push that button, maybe it’s good that Ed Reed did. His comments were succinct and respectful when taken in context, borne in truth and from a desire to win, and along the way to indicting the quarterback Reed offered up several other scapegoats and/or excuses as possible factors in what he assessed.
That Terrell Suggs clearly and passionately countered Reed’s assessment with a full and unwavering vote of confidence in Flacco wasn’t nearly as bantered about by the media, but surely isn’t lost on the quarterback either.
And speaking of factors not lost, surely Reed is aware that while pointing a finger at Flacco and the offense, there are 3 more fingers pointed back at him (as the saying goes). Reed acknowledged as much by prefacing his comments with a concession that he didn’t play well either on Sunday. Reed capitalized once again on his flair for the dramatic and locked up the sealing and highlight inducing interception against Houston, but might have left 2 more interceptions on the field. And while his reemergence in the stat column is refreshing (and encouraging given his propensity to accumulate interceptions in bunches), reemergence suggests that there was a submergence that led to it, as Reed has not only been largely absent from the stat column of late, but his lack of tacking has been the topic of healthy debate for the last couple of weeks too.
All season (on the MobTown Sports Beat) we’ve touted the value of motivation, and while it seems logical that professional athletes, especially in the playoffs, should be sufficiently able to motivate themselves, a little something extra never hurt. All season we marveled at the Packers not only because of the precision with which they were performing, but also and more impressively because they were somehow finding ways to improve despite the fact that they were already the league’s most efficient unit. Not buying into your own hype is often easier said than done.
Hopefully as the Ravens prepare for the Patriots and a possible trip to Indianapolis as a result, both Ed Reed and Joe Flacco are going to bed at night burning over missed opportunities and scheming ways to make sure that they don’t get away again. Hopefully too (but far less likely) Tom Brady and the Patriots are tucking in at night wholly enamored with their 45-10 dismantling of the Broncos and simply expecting more of the same this week.
Posted on 17 January 2012 by Tom Federline
The Texans earned a “loss” and are back in Houston cleaning out their lockers. The Ravens earned a “win” and are headed to Foxboro, Massachusetts to play the New England Patriots for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The better “team” on the field this past Sunday gets to watch the Conference Championship from their Home Theatre Entertainment Centers. Did that defense look familiar to you? While the “team” that is carrying two coaches, gets to go north and pull in another hefty paycheck for a days work. The Ravens need to change the game plan before and during the game, if they even want to think remotely of going to Indianapolis Irsay Land and make more money. The Ravens were given a gift Sunday. I don’t think the Bill Belichik Patriots will be as generous.
Has an “offensive coordinator” ever been fired prior to a Divisional Championship game? Hey Bisciotti, show some (guts) and make it a first. I say “offensive coordinator” with an emphasis on the second syllable. Can you get Zorn back here for the final two games? It would be nice if Flacco had a say. Oh, wait a minute I believe he already eluded to his disapproval, when you fired Zorn. All that talent on offense and Baltimore fans have to increase their blood presssure medicine because Camera Cameron and John Horribaugh cannot pull it together. Did you all see T-Sizzle during Horribaughs post game speech? The look said it all. The Ravens can do it. They have the talent. Come on Defense – two more games!
Why were the Ravens using a “Duckpin ball” (Ray Jr.), to run up the gut on a goal line stand, instead of using a Ten-pin ball (Vonte Leach)? They have tried that before and it does not work. I can call the plays before they break the huddle, from my living room. Better be some changes on that offense. Did anybody see that 49′ers team play this weekend? Now there is an “offensive coordinator” and head coach (emphasis on first syllable)! It pains me to write negatively about our home team headed to the Divisional Championship game, but it’s true. Thank you Jacoby Jones (rock nut punt returner) and T.J. Yates (rookie QB starting his 7th game) for delivering late Christmas presents.
Ravens are gonna have to stay on Santas “good list” and dig down deep or send Cameron packing for a win up north. Speaking of “good list”, did you notice the Ravens were not called for a penalty on Sunday? Let me say that again, the Baltimore Ravens did not even commit a holding penalty yesterday. Ok, let’s say it like it is, the Ravens were not “charged” with a penalty. The New Orleans Saints did not commit a penalty in their game either. I believe I saw at least 6-8 from my living room. Hey NFL, who are you trying to kid?
I had to go look it up, there were only 18 penalties called in all four games. The regular sesason average is around 6.5 / team / game. There were only two (2) offensive line holding calls, that’s right two. 2 holding calls, 4 games, 8 teams, I’m not buying it. It’s a joke. I guess no holding penalty calls, is better than “at the refs discretion” holding calls (which usually means – bought). Oh I forgot, they change the rules for the playoffs. And then we have to get the obligatory, the refs tried to hand the Packers the game (fumble/no fumble/ let’s review – no fumble) call. It was clear in real time and slow motion – the Packer lost the ball to the eventual winners – Giants. Did you see the “roughing Aaron Rogers” penalty? No, neither did I. The NFL still playing the naivety game. Here’s another “fix” for you to brew on - when they go “under the tent for review” - the bidding starts. I guess the winning team needs to know how to expand it’s penalty limitations and be ready to bid during review.
Best results of the weekend: 1. No more “unstoppable” Saints (would have been nice though, if Ravens could have stopped Brees TD run) 2. No more “almost undefeated” and repeat Packers. And the Grand Finale “Shut the Media up” – No more Tebow! For a nice parody of David Bowies Space Oddity and goof on all the hype, check out YouTube and Jimmy Fallons ”TeBowie”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPViSZRcnn8&feature=player_embedded
End with a positive – The Ravens have a shot. A long shot mind you, but a shot. They should relish more as the marked underdogs. Let Flacco play! Let Ray-Ray coach! This is Ray and Eds Swan Song. So let’s look into my “Crystal Ball” – (Styx). It the Ravens continue on like they have been playing - Patriots 41 Ravens 13. If the Ravens play like they are capable of playing – Ravens 24 Pats 20. With the defense closing it out!
Posted on 15 January 2012 by Peter Dilutis
The Baltimore Ravens are 60 minutes away from going to the Super Bowl.
What more can we, as fans, really ask for?
The Ravens just beat a very good Houston Texans team. Yes, T.J. Yates was their third string quarterback, but that is a very tough, physical, good football team that the Ravens defeated today to advance to an AFC Championship date with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Foxborough.
Let me repeat that. The Ravens just advanced to the AFC Championship game.
Was it pretty? No. Were there mistakes made? More than we can count.
But this isn’t week three anymore. This isn’t the Browns or Colts or Bengals.
There is no need to develop the offense or defense or special teams to better prepare for the rest of the season. The Ravens do not have to worry about developing an identity or getting any style points.
The Ravens just need to win. And they did just that today.
Just win, baby.
One down, two to go.
Fans that let the boos roll off their tongues today, while a great minority, really displayed a loss of perspective and logic.
This is the playoffs. The team on the other side of the football is a really good team. The Houston Texans were playing on January 15th for a reason.