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With Combine in Rear View Mirror, Draft Season Heads to School

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With Combine in Rear View Mirror, Draft Season Heads to School

Posted on 10 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

We’re over ten days removed from the National Football League’s annual Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis.

I apologize for the delay in updates, a trip to Sarasota for Orioles Spring Training is to blame.

Now draft season heads back to campus, as schools host Pro Timing Days for their NFL Draft hopefuls.

The Baltimore Ravens brought a significant contingent of personnel folks to the premiere event during Draft season, including General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta, Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and Head Coach John Harbaugh. The group was very active over the weekend with meetings and workouts.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford)
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), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn)
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), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 4, 5 & 6-Previews of players ahead of the Combine

The Baltimore Ravens made no personnel changes this week, so 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 from the Combine to Pro Timing Days.

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.

DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State)

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

Remember when former Buckeyes LB James Laurinaitis was headed towards the 2009 NFL Draft and his name couldn’t come up without a mention of his father Joe Laurinaitis (the former WWF star “Road Warrior Animal”)?

Be prepared for the same now with Cameron Heyward-the son of former New Orleans Saints RB Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.

Much like Lauriniatis, Heyward heads toward the Draft as a marquee prospect.

Heyward measured in at 6’5″, 294 pounds in Indy. The only disappointing part of his weekend was that an offseason elbow surgery prevented him from being able to lift, where he would have been expected to show off great upper body strength.

Heyward probably won’t be able to lift between now and the Draft, which could allow him to slip to late in the first round or completely out of the first round altogether. He did take time however to show reporters assembled in Indianapolis that he was fully capable of bending his arm at the elbow and had a full range of motion in his arm.

The most impressive part of Heyward’s trip to Indy was his session with the media. Heyward was very impressive in talking to reporters, thinking back on a life growing up around the NFL.

The question for the Ravens will be whether or not Heyward can consistently pressure quarterbacks. He tallied just four sacks during his senior year in Columbus, 15 sacks overall during four seasons at OSU.

The Ravens NEED a rush end, we all know that. But they need a rush end who they can count on to truly generate…well…a rush. There’s certainly a chance Heyward could be that player.

WR Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfn3oxSbJ6A[/youtube]

Shorts just joined Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, I suggest you check it out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

Shorts found immediate superstardom in Charm City over Combine weekend, as the Ravens didn’t hide from their interest in him. Shorts in fact confirmed to WNST.net that he had met with the team’s entire coaching staff and Newsome.

Shorts is smart to bring up the name Pierre Garcon every time he speaks, as the fellow former Purple Raiders receiver has found immediate success with the Colts.

For as much attention as was paid to Shorts during Combine weekend, his 40 time and measurements hurt. He was listed as 6’2″ during college, but measured in at 6’0″. For a speed receiver, his 4.53 time in the forty was disappointing.

Shorts finished his college career with 4,615 yards receiving, which is nothing to sneeze at. He of course posted those numbers at a Division III school, although Mt. Union was one of the premiere programs at the D3 level.

He’s not going to be a Thursday night pick…or a Friday night pick. And Shorts is certainly not “the answer” for the Ravens in terms of upgrading their WR corps. But he could become a solid complementary piece in Cam Cameron’s offense, and could certainly be an option in the team’s return game.

RB Dion Lewis (Pitt)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1wwCS_BBVI[/youtube]

Has there been a more confusing early NFL Draft entry in recent years than Lewis?

Lewis is not a prototypical every down back. He’s much closer to a Ray Rice type of undersized back who will have to be involved in the passing game to really make an impact at the next level.

Of course, that’s an overly fair comparison. No one in the NFL thinks Dion Lewis is the next Ray Rice right now, which is why he could still be an intriguing option late in the Draft.

Lewis (5’7″, 193 pounds) played for just two seasons with the Panthers before departing for the NFL. His (redshirt) freshman season was incredible, as his 1,799 rushing yards and 5.5 yards per carry average made fans in Western Pennsylvania forget about LeSean McCoy, who had been drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.

But his production in his sophomore season didn’t quite reach the same level, as he ran for just 1,061 yards and his average fell to 4.8 yards per carry.

Certainly part of the reason McCoy left school is because of the way running backs are now used in the NFL. There is a common thought that teams are looking for backs with more “tread left on the tires”, as the average shelf life for a back is much shorter than it once was.

Lewis would NOT be a “replacement” for Willis McGahee should the Ravens cut tie with the veteran as expected. But the Ravens could be looking to add multiple pieces to their backfield. As the Draft gets later, Lewis could be an option.

CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami)

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

You’re thinking to yourself…”I know that name!”

You do. Van Dyke became one of the more recognizable names of Draft season when he posted a blazing 4.28 forty yard dash at the Combine, making him the fastest man in Indianapolis.

On top of his speed, scouts clearly like Van Dyke’s size. The former Hurricanes DB measured in at 6’1″, 176 pounds in Indianapolis.

Unfortunately, speed and size alone do not make a player a legitimate NFL prospect. Van Dyke collected three interceptions during his career in Coral Gables, but struggled underneath and in zone situations, only really showing true ability in deep man coverages.

If he wasn’t 6’1″ and blazing fast, Van Dyke wouldn’t be a prospect AT ALL. Because of his size and speed, a team is going to be willing to take a late round chance on his as a developmental prospect.

The Ravens have questions in their secondary; as Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents. On top of that, Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent and Domonique Foxworth is coming off an ACL injury.

Van Dyke is NOT a player the Ravens could take at the top of the Draft and plug in to play next season. But he could be allowed to progress behind veteran corners in Chuck Pagano’s defense.

DE Dontay Moch (Nevada)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PT3GoRCKY8[/youtube]

What we know is that Moch is FAST.

How fast?

He posted a 4.44 time in the forty at the Combine, easily the fastest amongst D-Linemen and Linebackers. What’s crazier is that Moch had previously recorded a 4.20 forty time at a Pro Timing Day in Reno as a junior.

The question for scouts now is whether or not Moch can match his speed with defensive skill.

Moch is a 6’1″, 248 pound end who many folks believe will have to be converted to an OLB at the next level. That would obviously limit his value to a team like the Ravens, who are in desperate need of D-End help.

Moch definitely showed an ability to get to the QB during his four seasons with the Wolf Pack, collecting 29 sacks during his career. He’s also intelligent, composing a NFL Draft diary during the process for the website SB Nation Arizona (he’s a Chandler, Arizona native).

If the Ravens feel he can team with LB Terrell Suggs and provide pressure from the edge, he could very well be a Friday night choice.

QB Jake Locker (Washington)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZchE4x7zlE[/youtube]

If there was any thought process that somehow Jake Locker could slip far enough in the Draft that he could end up being an option for the Ravens, it’s certainly gone now.

While there are still questions about his throwing accuracy, Locker’s 4.52 time in the 40 yard dash and overall Combine performance confirmed that he’ll be a 2nd round pick at worst. That’s far too early for the Ravens to consider a quarterback with an established starter in Joe Flacco.

Locker will not be the Top 10 pick we once thought he would be, but the former Huskies QB seems more and more likely to be picked 25th by his hometown Seattle Seahawks.

Wherever he ends up, he’ll bring 53 TD passes as a Pac 10 quarterback and a solid 6’3″, 231 pound frame.

But unless something were to happen to Flacco between now and the end of April, he won’t be bringing those attributes to Baltimore.

C Rodney Hudson (Florida State)

rodneyhudson

The bad news? Hudson was a guard (and actually played some tackle as well) in Tallahassee, and was a bit undersized even for a very talented ACC Offensive Lineman.

The good news? Hudson is expected to play center at the NFL level, reported to the Combine ten pounds heavier than when he played in the Senior Bowl and would have at least a season (fingers crossed for good health) to study under veteran Matt Birk.

Hudson checked in at 6’2″, 299 pounds in Indianapolis, and the only downside for the Ravens is that he’s continuously risen on Draft boards.

He won’t be taken before Mike Pouncey, but he might not last long enough for the Ravens to get him with the 59th pick in the draft.

Most scouts think Hudson could play immediately. If the Ravens can call his name in New York, they might have the benefit of not having to find out.

LB Colin McCarthy (Miami)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wB-pouJkVw[/youtube]

Looking to the Canes for defensive help wouldn’t be something new for the Ravens organization.

At times, their success has reached a historic level (see Ray Lewis & Ed Reed). At other times, the jury is still out (see Tavares Gooden).

Interesting to mention the names of Gooden and Lewis, as both play a role in why McCarthy might be a legitimate choice for the Ravens.

Gooden is part of a trio (Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain are the others) who have failed to solidify the WILL backer spot next to Lewis in the team’s 3-4 scheme. And as Harbaugh pointed out in a town hall conference call with fans this week, the team is aware that they have to start considering a long term replacement for Lewis at the MIKE backer spot.

McCarthy could be an option for either role…or perhaps both.

McCarthy is a 6’1″, 238 pound linebacker with decent speed who was a tackle machine (120 in his senior season, 297 for his career) during his time playing for Randy Shannon at “The U.”

On top of being a solid football player, he’s also a smart kid. If you missed his interview with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, I would encourage you to check it out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net.

He’s going to go somewhere between the second and fourth rounds of the Draft. It might very well end up that he finds his way to Baltimore.

QB Greg McElroy (Alabama)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQPVv4pafN8[/youtube]

Despite the fact it was a 43 he posted on the Wonderlic and not a 48, we know that McElroy is intelligent.

We also know that he’s a winner-which helped him win a BCS Championship as a junior with the Crimson Tide.

He also posted fairly impressive numbers in Tuscaloosa, throwing for 5,495 yards and 17 TD’s combined between his junior and senior seasons.

McElroy might not be a future franchise quarterback and will likely stay on the board well into Saturday. That’s exactly where the Ravens might be looking for a quarterback to play behind Flacco with Marc Bulger’s future in question.

He’s got pretty good size, measuring in at 6’2″, 220 pounds at the Combine. We know that Newsome LOVES to draft players from Alabama.

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone if McElroy ended up in purple and black.

LB Martez Wilson (Illinois)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_kX-cfzjjw[/youtube]

As we mentioned with McCarthy, the Ravens are definitely in the market for ILB help.

Wilson is considered by most scouts (including our own Brian Billick) to be the best inside backer available this year. He posted an impressive 4.49 time in the forty at the Combine, making him the fastest backer in the Draft.

Wilson measured in at 6’4″, 250 pounds in Indy; and had an impressive 111 tackles during his final season with the Illini.

The Ravens are going to need ILB help in this Draft. The question will be whether or not they will want to address it as early as will be necessary to walk away with Wilson. He’s going to have a chance to go as early as late in the first round (the Ravens pick 26th) or early in the second round.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NBA-Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Los Angeles Clippers @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Oklahoma City Thunder @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Soccer: MISL-Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Sunday 5:05pm 1st Mariner Arena); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 36 (Saturday 9pm from Shreveport, LA live on MTV2); Tennis-ATP Tour & WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Saturday-Monday 2pm from Indian Wells, CA live on Tennis Channel); Arena Football: AFL-Philadelphia Soul @ Pittsburgh Power (Friday 8pm from Pittsburgh live on NFL Network); Women’s College Basketball: Selection Monday (Monday 7pm ESPN)

10. Get The Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Boyz II Men (Monday 7pm Bourbon Street); America (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Apocalyptica (Sunday 10pm 9:30 Club), Pete Yorn (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Shamrockfest feat. Dropkick Murphys and Carbon Leaf (Saturday RFK Stadium); Lupe Fiasco “Lasers”, R.E.M. “Collapse Into Now”, Billy Joel “Live at Shea Stadium” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Jackass 3 available on Blu-Ray & DVD (Tuesday)

Kind of a weaksauce week for live music, but there’s some decent stuff mixed in. I mean, what…IN THE WORLD…is better than CooleyHighHarmony???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHzkICG47LU[/youtube]

I’m a fan of Grace Potter…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHlhOgQ36m8[/youtube]

There’s few better ways to prepare for St. Patty’s Day than Dropkick Murphys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-64CaD8GXw[/youtube]

and I freaking LOVE Carbon Leaf…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1zs2yezmkE[/youtube]

And since I’m on a role, it’s about time Lupe Fiasco’s disc finally came out. This song was one of the best of 2010…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmp6zIr5y4U[/youtube]

9. Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Sunday 2pm Downtown Baltimore), Shamrock 5K (Sunday 1:15pm Downtown Baltimore)

A 5k run is a surprising place to bump into Rex Ryan…

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

Not a surprising place to bump into Rex Ryan? The place where we bumped into him in Indianapolis during NFL Scouting Combine weekend…

steaknshake

8. Golf: WGC Cadillac Championship (Thursday & Friday 2pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 2pm Sunday 3m live on NBC. All golf from Doral, FL); PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open (Thursday 6:30pm, Friday 11:30am, Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7:30pm from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico on Golf Channel); Champions Tour Toshiba Classic (Friday 6:30pm, Saturday 9:30pm, Sunday 10:30pm from Newport Beach, CA on Golf Channel)

Yeah…I looked up to find out that Rory Sabbatini won the most recent golf event. I honest to God couldn’t tell you anything else going on in the sport, it is what it is.

So I wandered over to some golf blog page for more information about what was going on in golf. Holy hell was that terrible. There was actually information on how to tell two different types of golf balls apart. WHAT THE EFF? They’re golf balls. Hopefully someone put their initials on one of them or something.

Anyway, one of the blogs had an ad for something involving Izabel Goulart. I don’t know what it was, but I don’t care. It was the first interesting thing that happened during my quest for golf information.

goulart

7. NHL: Edmonton Oilers @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Blackhawks @ Washington Capitals (Sunday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on NBC)

In hockey news, the Columbus Cottonmouths of the SPHL wore these jerseys for a “Fight Night” promotion this weekend. (Thanks Puck Daddy!)

cottonmouths

If the Caps would wear something like this, I might actually have a reason to give a hoot about them for a second or two.

6. Pro Wrestling: TNA Victory Road (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

I guess TNA is supposed to be interesting now because 1-Sting is their champion, 2-Bart Scott has joined the fray…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZEFxLp6MQ8[/youtube]

3-Angelina from Jersey Shore is now part of TNA…

angelina

Nope. Still not really all that interested.

5. Boxing: Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV); Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk (Saturday 10:30pm from Mashantucket, CT live on HBO); Jimmy Lange vs. Jimmy “The Fighting School Teacher” Holmes (Saturday 7pm Patriot Center)

The Cotto-Mayorga card is a pretty big deal all around, as both Joshua Clottey and Yuri Foreman are on the undercard.

The reason why Cotto-Mayorga is a big deal in Charm City however is because Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is fighting on the undercard. We don’t know who he’s fighting, but whoever it is HAS to perform better than Robert Bell did five years ago at Madison Square Garden, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-8BYolVPVw[/youtube]

By the way, “Rudy” was on Encore Sunday-right after Little Giants. Raise your hand if you ALWAYS hate Notre Dame…right up until the point where Jon Favreau and the folks in South Bend start chanting Rudy’s name.

For the record, as soon as they finish carrying him off the Notre Dame Stadium field, I start hating Notre Dame again.

4. High School Basketball: MPSSAA Semifinals-4A: Eleanor Roosevelt vs. Patterson (Thursday 7pm), Magruder vs. North Point (Thursday 9pm); 3A: Milford Mill vs. Friendly (Thursday 3pm), South Hagerstown vs. Centennial (Thursday 5pm); 2A: Gwynn Park vs. Digital Harbor (Friday 7pm), South Carroll vs. Easton (Friday 9pm); Dunbar vs. Owings Mills (Friday 3pm), Williamsport vs. Pocomoke (Friday 5pm); Finals all day Saturday (All games at Comcast Center)

Unfortunately Monique Bassett couldn’t will my Perry Hall Gators all the way to College Park, but I’ll give her a pass in her first season.

My picks to win the state titles are Patterson, Milford Mill, Digital Harbor and Dunbar-but I don’t really know anything about the subject.

It’s not the only subject I don’t know much about but comment on anyway. For example, I don’t really know much of anything about women’s fashion, but I’d like to note that I approve of what Samara Weaving is wearing here. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

weaving

3. Ed Block Courage Awards (Tuesday 5:30pm Martin’s West); Anquan Boldin “Chalk Talk” (Thursday 5pm Hill Field House-Morgan State)

Kinda tough to weave my way from Samara Weaving to the Ed Block Courage Awards, huh?

I won’t bother trying to be clever or funny here, and I definitely won’t bother trying to post a picture of an attractive gal. Instead I’ll channel Lance Storm and “be serious for a moment.”

If you didn’t read our own Nestor Aparicio’s column about Michael Vick’s night in Baltimore last year, I REALLY encourage you to do so. It will help explain this video…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmp-fMr31c0[/youtube]

2. College Basketball: ACC Tournament-Maryland vs. North Carolina State (Thursday 7pm from Greensboro, NC live on ESPN2), MEAC Tournament-Morgan State vs. North Carolina A&T (Thursday 8pm from Winston-Salem, NC streamed live at MEACHoops.com), Coppin State vs. Norfolk State/Howard winner (Thursday 6pm from Winston-Salem, NC streamed at MEACHoops.com); Selection Sunday (Sunday 6pm CBS)

Just a year ago, I was sitting outside the Greensboro Coliseum on a Friday afternoon thinking about a weekend that would either involve watching the Terps make a run towards an ACC Championship or watching the Morgan Bears try to clinch their second straight March Madness berth.

The Terrapins didn’t keep their end of the bargain, but Todd Bozeman’s Bears certainly did-and my weekend in the Triangle was OUTSTANDING.

This year…I think I’m gonna stick in the mid-atlantic.

Hey, Fang Mitchell’s Eagles still have a real chance of making the Tournament-but I’m not holding my breath that I’ll be needing to do another Selection Sunday special Sunday night on AM1570 WNST.

But if you have any interest in heading to Carolina for the weekend, I’d still encourage it. Just make sure you do these three things…

bojangles
cookout
biscuitville

1. College Lacrosse: Maryland @ Towson (Saturday 11am from Unitas Stadium live on ESPN3.com), Loyola @ Duke (Friday 7pm from Durham, NC live on AM1570 WNST), Lafayette @ Navy (Saturday 12pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium), Lynchburg @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex); Inside Lacrosse Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic: Syracuse vs. Georgetown (Saturday 11am) Cornell vs. Virginia (Saturday 1:30pm), Johns Hopkins vs. UMBC (Saturday 4pm) All games from M&T Bank Stadium live on ESPNU

So before we start filling out our NIT brackets in Baltimore, there’s a damn good day of lacrosse Saturday.

I’ll be at Maryland/Towson and Hopkins/UMBC Saturday for sure, and might try to poke in over in Owings Mills in between.

It’s a shame there’s so much going on in town Saturday, because if there wasn’t I would have gone down to Duke with the Greyhounds Friday night and then stuck around for the ACC or MEAC title games Saturday.

Instead, the Glenn Clark household will be torn over a battle of alma maters when the Terps face the Tigers Saturday morning. I want you to look closely at this picture before you decide whose side you’re going to support…

mdtowson

The great part is…I might have her so brainwashed that she mistakenly roots for Maryland on Saturday. HAHAHA!!!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Terps make flimsy March statement in 80-66 loss at Miami

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Terps make flimsy March statement in 80-66 loss at Miami

Posted on 02 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Depending on how you viewed Maryland’s remote NCAA tournament hopes entering Wednesday night’s game at Miami, it might not have mattered how the Terps fared against the Hurricanes.

If they needed to win the ACC tournament to secure an invitation to the field of 68, the outcome in the penultimate game of the regular season wouldn’t have changed anything on paper, right?

Following a 80-66 drubbing in Coral Gables, the Terps played as though they had similar thoughts in mind. Maryland looked every bit the part of a team with little to play for and after Malcolm Grant’s 3-pointer put the Hurricanes ahead 14-12 with 13:17 remaining in the first half, the Terps trailed the rest of the way.

Instead of beating a mediocre Miami squad to declare they would be a difficult out in Greensboro next week, the Terps (18-12, 7-8 ACC) made a different statement entirely by turning in their weakest performance of the season. Their blowout loss at home to Virginia Tech in January was brutal, but at least the Hokies appear on their way to the NCAA tournament — though a home loss to Boston College Tuesday made that less of a certainty for Seth Greenberg’s squad.

Sunday’s road loss to North Carolina was disappointing, but expected. Laying an egg at Miami — where the Terps are now 0-5 since the Hurricanes joined the ACC in 2005 — is simply inexcusable.

And it’s just the latest piece of evidence revealing why this team isn’t even in the neighborhood of the tournament bubble with Selection Sunday less than two weeks away.

Middle-of-the-road teams in a lackluster ACC just aren’t worthy of an invite to the Big Dance.

Perhaps the most humbling part of the Terps’ defeat to Miami is that the Hurricanes (18-12, 6-9 ACC) actually held a higher RPI (69th, according to RealTimeRPI.com) than Maryland (85th) entering the night. The number is far from a perfect metric, but it screams just how unimpressive the Terps’ postseason profile really is.

Follow BaltimoreLuke on Twitter

Maryland’s defeat to the Hurricanes was far less about the final stats than it was about the lack of effort and urgency for a team playing its first game in March.

If you watched the Terps sleepwalk through the first half, you saw the lethargic body language. Gary Williams even substituted in freshman Mychal Parker — who had played a mere 10 minutes in conference play — before halftime to see if the gifted athlete could provide a spark.

After the Maryland coach undoubtedly roared at his sleepy team at halftime, the Terps responded on their first defensive trip down the floor by surrendering an offensive rebound and layup to Miami big man Reggie Johnson with four Maryland players in the paint.

A microcosm of a forgettable night.

Ironically, the Terps shot an impressive 9-for-18 from beyond the arc — an impressive clip for a team that’s struggled from the perimeter all season — but they negated the long-range success by shooting an abysmal 27 percent from 2-point range. Freshman Terrell Stoglin again led the Terps with 20 points, but had little working behind him, including a nightmarish 3-for-17 performance by Jordan Williams (11 points, 12 rebounds).

Miami thumped the Maryland defense, be it man-to-man or zone, by shooting nearly 55 percent from the field and making 12 of 23 attempts from 3-point range. Five Hurricanes reached double-digit scoring, led by Rion Brown’s 19 points off the pine.

In contrast, the Terps received a measly seven points from the bench, an area where the Terps have often received new life with Gary Williams’ revolving-door starting lineups this season.

After trailing by 13 at intermission, Maryland made its predictable second-half run, cutting the deficit to 50-45 after a Sean Mosley layup with 14:06 to play, but the Terps never got any closer after that 15-3 run, wilting again as Miami seized control down the stretch.

With only a chance to finish at .500 in the conference with a win over Virginia on Saturday, we can now lay to rest the unrealistic scenarios that were still being discussed by some — many of them not based in reality — about Maryland earning an at-large bid. Anything short of an ACC tournament championship will land the Terps in the NIT.

Maryland will need to win four straight against in four days. The Terps haven’t won four in a row all season and won three straight conference games only once.

Stranger things have happened, but if their statement against Miami was any predictor, the Terps’ stay in Greensboro won’t be a long one.

They looked like a team resigned to its fate.

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Maryland-Miami: Turtle Power live chat at 7:00

Posted on 02 March 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat as Maryland takes on the Canes at 7:00***

The Terps begin the final week of the regular season tonight as they travel to Coral Gables, Fla. to meet the Miami Hurricanes (17-12, 5-9 ACC) in their only meeting of the season.

Following a disappointing loss at North Carolina on Sunday that put its at-large hopes essentially out of reach, Maryland (18-11, 7-7 ACC) must focus its attention on finishing the regular season with two wins (the finale takes place at home against Virginia on Saturday) to gain a higher seed in the ACC tournament, where the Terps will look to cut down the nets to earn a spot in the field of 68.

Tonight’s game will be televised on ESPNU with Carter Blackburn and LaPhonso Ellis calling the action from BankUnited Center. As always, join us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 7:00 and follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and analysis regarding tonight’s game.

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Draft Season Takes Odd Detour to San Antonio

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Draft Season Takes Odd Detour to San Antonio

Posted on 05 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

This one might be the toughest one yet.

After big weeks in Orlando and Mobile, there’s still another All-Star Game for National Football League hopefuls to make a statement at the start of NFL Draft season.

The NFLPA Game is Saturday in San Antonio, Texas (2pm-CBS College Sports) at the Alomodome. You’ll remember the game previously being known as the “Texas vs. The Nation” game. Well, you MIGHT remember the game previously being known as that.

The game will still keep the “Team Texas” vs. “Team USA format”, but the Draft showcase surrounding the game is significantly more important than the game itself.

This one isn’t quite at the level of the other All-Star Games, but it’s just as important for the players involved. These players are mostly guys who are currently on the outside l

Before I continue to with NFLGA Game player profiles, I remind you of the East West Shrine Game players we have already profiled, as well as the Senior Bowl prospects we have already profiled.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple)

The only player movement for the Baltimore Ravens since our last post has been the re-signing of Punter Sam Koch, so 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’s a look at 10 players to keep an eye on during the NFLPA Game…

QB Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania)

portis

Yep. Same guy.

After a six year NCAA career that saw him frustrate Gators fans in Gainesville and Terrapins fans in College Park before finally settling in with the Vulcans, Portis is suddenly now thought of as a potential NFL player.

There’s good reason for it.

Portis completed 205 of his 335 passing attempts in 2010, tossing 33 touchdowns and throwing just seven interceptions along the way. He threw for 6,072 yards combined over his junior and senior seasons.

And despite how many times his design run plays went wrong at Byrd Stadium, Portis is still just as dangerous with his feet.

Portis has the look of a QB. He’s 6’4″, 208 pounds, fast and is the cousin of outstanding Washington Redskins RB Clinton Portis. He received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he’ll have the chance to make a further impact for NFL personnel. His California coach was Dwain Painter-who coached NFL quarterbacks for some 20 years.

He’s taking the draft process seriously, having opened JoshPortis.com to help gain a more significant profile.

Fans in the Old Line State have a bitter taste about him because things didn’t work out for Portis in James Franklin’s offense. That doesn’t necessarily mean he was a bad quarterback. His numbers clearly reflect the fact that he played at the D2 level, but there’s still a chance he could be a late round option in Charm City as they try to stabilize the position behind Joe Flacco.

QB Taylor Potts (Texas Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRYaO56e9hU[/youtube]

The great thing about Taylor Potts is that he’s the first Red Raiders quarterback in a number of years whose big numbers can’t immediately be dismissed by saying something along the lines of “that’s just because he played in a Mike Leach offense.”

That being said, the numbers for Potts were still prolific after Tommy Tubberville replaced Leach. Between his junior and senior seasons, Potts threw for 7,166 yards, tossing 57 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Unlike the QB who came to Lubbock before him (Graham Harrell), Potts didn’t have the pleasure of throwing the ball to now San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree.

Harrell (and fellow former TTU QB’s Kliff Kingsbury & Sonny Cumbie) haven’t exactly built a pipeline from Lubbock to the NFL. Potts is the first quarterback to come after the Leach era. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome will have to determine if that makes him worth taking a late round (or free agent) shot on to complement Flacco.

WR Denarius Moore (Tennessee)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AinMXfB3fyM[/youtube]

Moore is going to run one of the most important 40 yard dashes this year at LucasOil Stadium.

If he slides under 4.40, he’ll give himself a great opportunity to be a high pick. If he can’t get under 4.40; folks like Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz will have to wonder if he’s really capable of addressing a speed receiver need.

Moore had an outstanding senior season for the Volunteers, catching 47 balls for 981 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished his career in Knoxville with a very respectable 112 catches for 2,004 yards and 18 TD’s.

But he HAS to be the speed guy. At 6’0″-6’1″, 191 pounds-if he can’t stretch the field he wouldn’t separate himself from Derrick Mason or Anquan Boldin. The problem is that if he does-the former Vols star probably won’t be around on Saturday when the Ravens might like to pick him.

DE Eddie Jones (Texas)

eddiejones

Until his senior season, Jones had not exactly proved to anyone outside of Austin that he was capable of generating a QB rush from the edge.

But in 2010, Jones was able to tally six sacks (and a forced fumble) for a Longhorns squad that underperformed greatly.

Jones will have to use the stop in San An and other stops during Draft season to show that he is still developing as a rusher. If he does, a team like the Ravens could very well choose to snap him up late in the Draft.

At 6’2″ and 258 pounds he’ll have to bulk up a bit, but the team won’t want to see him lose speed in the process. My guess is that the team wouldn’t select Jones with the idea that he’ll be the primary rusher-but he could team with Paul Kruger to give them depth behind a higher pick or a free agent addition.

S Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette)

morolle

I know what you’re wondering and the answer is “no.”

Despite playing in the defensive backfield and having the last name “Rolle”, Maurice Rolle is not related to either former Ravens CB Samari Rolle or Tennessee Titans S Myron Rolle.

Rolle started to develop a bit of a nose for the football over his last two seasons with the Ragin Cajuns. He collected four interceptions but battled some leg injury issues, which cut his 2010 season short.

Rolle isn’t a likely draft pick as of this moment, but he’s the type of player that can work that way with a good trip to Indy. His size (6’1″, 197 pounds) gives him the look of a NFL player, he just has to prove to folks (like Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta) that he can make a transition from Sun Belt Conference to NFL.

C Zane Taylor (Utah)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5s1o9IgDE[/youtube]

As the Ravens look for a center of the future behind Matt Birk, Taylor is certainly going to be a viable option.

Taylor is 6’3″ and 313 pounds but battled some minor knee injuries in 2010. In 2010 he also helped lead the way for a Utes rushing attack that tallied nearly 2,000 yards.

Plus…he’s STRONG. According to the team’s official website, he can bench 440 pounds and squat 565 pounds. Impressive, yes.

The Ravens aren’t likely to go center early in this draft, but they might think about Taylor as the Draft moves toward Saturday.

RB Damien Berry (Miami)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpFtJQsYK5o[/youtube]

Statistically, Berry’s 2010 campaign for the Hurricanes was not all that impressive.

He finished with just 899 yards and 5 touchdowns; although he did average 4.7 yards per carry and managed four games of 100 yards or more.

NFL personnel folks are going to really have to look at the hard running ability of Berry to determine where he might fit in during the Draft process.

He has decent size (6’0″, 215 pounds) and has the look/feel of a back who can take a bunch of handoffs. In fact, he had 15 or more carries in nine of 12 games for the ‘Canes in 2010. Berry should be a hit during the interview process in Indy, as he was voted as the team’s “Good Guy” by Miami media during his senior year.

Berry has the feel of a back who could be a sleeper on Saturday. The Ravens have to make a decision regarding fellow former ‘Cane Willis McGahee; and Berry might be the exact type of back who could complement Ray Rice in a positive way.

WR Owen Spencer (North Carolina State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pch-yYmCy98[/youtube]

One of the most under-the-radar screen receivers on the board in 2011, Spencer has the opportunity to wow personnel folks over the next few months.

Spencer never really posted explosive numbers during his four years in Raleigh, but he was nothing if not solid. Between his junior and senior seasons with the Wolfpack, Spencer caught 90 balls for 1,677 yards and 10 TD’s, including the goofy deflection of a Russell Wilson desperate heave seen above.

Wilson has size (6’3″, 191 pounds) but could use a little more speed (he’s expected to post a 40 time in the 4.5 range at the Combine) if he’s going to be counted on to extend the field for a team like the Ravens. He was certainly capable of posting big plays for NC State, averaging 22.3 yards per catch in ’08, 25.5 yards per catch in ’09 and 15.2 yards per catch in ’10.

With TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth serious question marks to return, a player like Spencer could be the exact addition the Ravens need. But Spencer has a lot of work to do between now and the last weekend of April to prove he’s a solid option.

WR Jock Sanders (West Virginia)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPmgqklGM7A[/youtube]

If nothing else, the former Mountaineers standout might very well have the best name in the NFL Draft.

Sanders’ size (5’7″, 179 pounds) is an issue. His athleticism is not. He’ll be expected to post a very quick time in the 40 at the Combine/and or his own Pro Timing Day in Morgantown. He’ll also be expected to be involved in the return game no matter where he ends up being selected.

He’s absolutely an athlete, having also lettered in basketball at St. Petersburg Catholic High School in Florida. The question now is whether or not he’s really a football player-particularly at the NFL level.

He can certainly stretch the field; but his size will mean he absolutely HAS to be behind defensive backs to be able to make plays. If he ends up in one on one battles with defenders, he’s going to lose. That’s problematic for teams like the Ravens who don’t want to risk turnovers.

He’ll stick around later into the draft; maybe even after that. At some point, he’ll be a player the Ravens will at least want to consider.

LB Adrian Moten (Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMT7Bdm1Kpg[/youtube]

He might not be a natural rush backer, but Moten certainly showed the ability at times (despite battling wrist injuries) to get to the quarterback. During four seasons under Ralph Friedgen, Moten tallied 15 sacks.

Not only did he show an ability to pressure QB’s, Moten also finished his four year career with 205 tackles, two forced fumbles and six interceptions-including four in his senior campaign.

Moten is a player who will be available late in the draft and could fit a need for the Ravens if any of their current restricted free agent LB’s depart this offseason. He has good size (6’2″, 230 pounds); but would benefit well from shaving his 40 time under 4.6.

He’s no slam dunk to get picked, but the former Terp could well be an option for Baltimore.

Thanks to WNST.net (The AP), NFLDraftScout.com/CBSSports.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official Athletic sites for helping us put together the profiles

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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NFL Draft Season Moves To Alabama For Senior Bowl

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

NFL Personnel folks didn’t have to travel far this week.

After this past week’s East West Shrine Game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, NFL Draft season shifts from Florida to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl.

Saturday’s game from Ladd-Peebles Stadium will air at 4pm on NFL Network. Senior Bowl practices will also air throughout the week on NFL Network.

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz lead a group representing the organization in Alabama.

Before I continue to with my player profiles, I remind you of the players we have already profiled.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware)
FB-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland)
WR-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU)
OT-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada)
DE-Justin Trattou (Florida)
S-Jermale Hines (Ohio State)

With the only movement for the organization this week being the (reported) extension the team gave K Billy Cundiff, there’s no movement in my “biggest areas of need”…

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

Now here’s a look at 10 players participating in this week’s Senior Bowl who you should keep an eye out for.

WR Leonard Hankerson (Miami)

Look, I don’t want to watch this video again any more than any other Terrapins fans reading this. But the 1:40 mark is a perfect example of something Hankerson could bring to Charm City…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6lp4sxzFlQ[/youtube]

Ugh.

Here’s what we know. Hankerson is 6’2″ (205 pounds), but can both stretch the field and get up and get balls-although maybe not quite as well as some of the 6’4″ and 6’5″ receivers available.

Hankersoon broke Hurricanes single season records in 2010 with 72 catches, 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had 75 receiving yards or more in eight of the Canes’ 13 games his senior year.

Those single season records come from a school that produced the likes of Andre Johnson, Santana Moss and Michael Irvin just as a reminder.

There really aren’t any red flags with Hankerson. There are no obvious character flaws (although he’ll certainly be picked apart when he reaches the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis) and he served as a team captain in Coral Gables last season.

If he was two inches taller, he’d be a slam dunk. If he’s on the board in the 2nd or 3rd round he might still be.

LB Mark Herzlich (Boston College)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzZUA5CZ6IQ[/youtube]

The good news for Mark Herzlich is that no matter what happens in his quest to reach the NFL, he already has enough material for writing his first book.

Herzlich is best known now for his recovery from Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season. But before getting cancer, Herzlich was on his way to being a potential Top 45 pick in the NFL Draft.

In ’08, Herzlich tallied 110 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, six interceptions and two TD returns. He was an absolute wrecking machine.

He was still one of the better linebackers in the ACC when he returned in 2010, but he didn’t post the same type of season. He finished with just 65 tackles, but still forced two fumbles and brought down four interceptions.

He looks like he can still perform at a very high level, but it isn’t a guarantee. NFL teams will take his recovery into account, but they will look at both the positive and negative aspects.

On the positive side, he’s a solid human being who has already shown the ability to to overcome adversity.

On the negative side, teams will have to at least CONSIDER the possibility that he might not ever regain the dominance he showed in Chestnut Hill before his diagnosis.

He might very well be a hell of a player, perhaps the exact type of defender the Ravens could line up next to Ray Lewis and let him learn from the future Hall of Famer.

Neat story-Herzlich was such an impressive athlete coming out of Conestoga High School (Pennsylvania) that was actually offered a lacrosse scholarship by Dave Pietramala at Johns Hopkins. Doesn’t make him a better option, just a neat story.

OT Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjPsgcj2ufI[/youtube]

While Carimi will almost certainly at least START his National Football League career as a Right Tackle, his 6’7″, 325 pound frame will make some scouts think of him as a Left Tackle of the future.

Carimi’s representatives will ABSOLUTELY throw around the name of Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl Tackle Joe Thomas during Draft season. Thomas was also a dominant O-Line force for the Badgers, although he was thought to be more of a slam dunk at the NFL level than Carimi has been thus far.

Not only does Carimi have a solid ability to protect the passer, but he showed quite the ability to run block as well. The Badgers finished second in the league in rushing, just five yards behind Illinois. RB John Clay rushed for over 1,000 yards despite missing two games.

Mobile is a big week for Carimi. Indy will be a big week for him as well. His size and his success in the Big Ten (not only did he take care of NFL prospect/Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward for the most part in the video above, he also handled NFL prospect/Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn as well) combined with a strong Draft season could push him to the Top 10 in the Draft.

But much like Michael Oher, if he’s around in the early to mid 20′s (especially at 26), the Ravens might not think twice to grab him. With Jared Gaither’s future in Baltimore in question, the Ravens could be wise to try to bookend Oher and Carimi moving forward.

LB Casey Matthews (Oregon)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUz2o2a_OXA[/youtube]

As NFL fans watched Matthews lead the Ducks against the Auburn Tigers in the BCS Championship Game out in Glendale, many of them thought to themselves, “this guy could really help my team.”

Some of those same NFL fans will be watching Clay Matthews (III) lead the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl next week and will think to themselves “my team needs to get his brother.”

It’s with that in mind that I point out Casey Matthews ISN’T Clay Matthews. It doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player that could help NFL teams, it just means he isn’t the type of sack machine his brother has been.

Casey Matthews is more of inside linebacker, perhaps the type of player that could step in and learn the WILL spot that Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden have failed to nail down.

Matthews is 6’1″ and 232 but isn’t quite as quick as a number of other inside linebackers. He averaged over 69 tackles a season from his sophomore year to his senior in Eugene; adding eight sacks, four interceptions and a forced fumble over the same three year span.

The NFL is clearly in his blood. Not only is his brother an All-Pro performer, his father (Clay Jr.) was a four time Pro Bowler over a 19 year career with the Browns and Atlanta Falcons. His grandfather (Clay Sr.) played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950′s. His uncle (Bruce) was a Hall of Fame OL for the Houston Oilers. His cousin (Kevin) is a lineman for the Tenneessee Titans. His cousin (Jake) just finished his freshman season at Texas A&M and could well reach the NFL too.

He looks like he could hang around for awhile on Draft weekend. If he’s available into late Friday night or Saturday, he could end up being a steal for the Ravens.

(Thanks to Mobile Press-Register for headline photo of Matthews)

DE Allen Bailey (Miami)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-A6SlfWKPo[/youtube]

The Ravens need a Defensive End. Unfortunately for them, Bailey has looked better on the inside of the D-Line in Mobile-at least according to CBSSports.com.

Bailey measured in at 6’3″, 278 pounds in Mobile; which reportedly left him at a not-so-surprising disadvantage when matched up against the better Offensive Tackles participating in the Senior Bowl. It might be nothing more than a blip on the radar screen for a player who will eventually become a dominant Rush End. It might be a sign that Bailey will never truly be an End at the NFL level.

Bailey showed an ability to get after Atlantic Coast Conference quarterbacks, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the next level. He tallied 102 tackles and 19 sacks over his final three seasons with the Canes. He has the moves, but the power is a question.

He might prove to be an effective interior lineman at the next level. But if the consensus is that he’ll be a Defensive Tackle in the NFL, he probably won’t be the guy for the Ravens in the first or second round.

WR Austin Pettis (Boise State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfqGvm5PNuY[/youtube]

Yep. That’s impressive.

There’s a lot that’s impressive about the former Broncos receiver. First, he’s 6’3″ and can get up (as you saw in the video). Second, he’s quick. He’s expected to be able to run in the 4.5′s at LucasOil Stadium.

Pettis finished his career with 229 catches for 2,838 yards and 39 touchdowns. In BSU’s 2010 Labor Day upset of Virginia Tech at FedEx Field, Pettis also blocked a punt and held for an extra point. Later in the season he even THREW for a touchdown.

Clearly some of Pettis’ impressive numbers came from being part of a high-powered WAC offense that included Heisman Trophy QB candidate Kellen Moore and fellow Senior Bowl WR Titus Young. The question will be whether or not he can still be effective at the NFL when a team doesn’t have the football for as many plays and a coordinator (say…Cam Cameron) isn’t calling quite as many passes.

Right now Pettis looks like a potentially dangerous target for QB Joe Flacco if he’s available late Friday night or Saturday afternoon. He could be a solid compliment to Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and whoever else the team lines up at WR.

RB DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFs5HZwyng[/youtube]

Much like Carimi’s reps will do their best to use the words “Joe Thomas” as much as possible during Draft season, Murray’s reps will ABSOLUTELY look to use the words “Adrian Peterson” as much as possible during the same stretch.

They’ll do well to compare Murray’s explosiveness to the fellow former Sooners back. They’ll unfortunately also remind NFL personnel that Murray (hamstring, knee, etc.) has a bit of an injury background much like Peterson.

Murray’s size (6’1″, 207 pounds) and ability (he once ran a 4.42 40 and recorded a 36.5 inch vertical leap while in Norman) should translate to the NFL with no problem. Murray averaged well over four yards per carry during his career in the Big 12. He ran for 50 touchdowns and caught another 13 over four seasons. The word “explosive” certainly fits.

If he’s available in Round 2, the Ravens would likely do well to pair him with current RB Ray Rice, especially if RB Willis McGahee departs.

QB Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq1gL_Q-vO0[/youtube]

This much I know. In Reno, there couldn’t be a negative word said about Kaepernick. The guy is an ICON.

I understand why. Kaepernick LOOKS like a quarterback. He stands at 6’6″ and weighs in at 225 pounds. He’s unbelievably quick, with the capability to run a 4.5 40 (or maybe even under that) at the Combine.

During his four year career with the Wolf Pack, Kaepernick became the only NCAA FBS quarterback to throw for 10,000 yards and rush for another 4,000. He was also the only player to ever have three seasons of 2,000+ passing yards and 1,000 plus rushing yards.

At times (including the team’s upset win over Boise State in 2010), Kaepernick looked absolutely brilliant.

There will be one particularly big question mark surrounding Kaepernick during Draft season. NFL personnel folks will have to figure out how much of Kaepernick’s success can be tied to Coach Chris Ault’s “Pistol Offense.” The system was fun to watch and produced explosive numbers-but it isn’t a system that will translate to the NFL level. Kaepernick doesn’t really have much in the way of injury concerns, with his only notable injury being an ankle sprain against the Terps in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl.

Kaepernick looks like he could be very good. If he keeps performing at a high level during Draft season, he’ll probably be picked too high for the Ravens to consider him as a compliment to Flacco.

OT Nate Solder (Colorado)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76BVEBtw-qk[/youtube]

As of right now, Solder looks like he could very well be in the mix when the Ravens pick at 26.

If so, he could be a VERY tempting option to join new Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller’s group.

Solder is an enigma. His technique and ability didn’t always match his mammoth size (6’9″, 315 pounds) during his Buffaloes career. There were absolutely times where he manhandled players who were clearly matchup problems. There were also times where quicker ends and linebackers were able to move around him.

Reports from Mobile say Solder has struggled against players like Cal’s Cameron Jordan, but has impressed against Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan.

He looks like he could be a franchise tackle; but he’ll need further development. The Buffs weren’t really an offensive juggernaut, but that isn’t necessarily Solder’s fault.

The question for the Ravens will be whether or not a project like Solder is a good compliment to Oher. It’s a fair question. They’ll hopefully get an answer as Draft season progresses.

S Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K2Aj0xujxc[/youtube]

I’ve been having trouble trying to figure out exactly how good Jarrett is.

He had a very good career for the Owls, collecting 292 tackles, forcing two fumbles and tallying nine interceptions. He was often the best player on the field during MAC contests.

Yep…no idea.

Jarrett has the look of a NFL player, checking in at 6’2″ and weighing 202 pounds. He’s agile and looks good in man coverage. He’s not necessarily an Ed Reed-type ballhawk; and might translate better at strong safety at the next level.

He’s probably a Friday night guy at this point. With Dawan Landry potentially leaving, he could be an option to get into the mix with Tom Zbikowksi and Haruki Nakamura next season.

(Thanks to YouTube, NFLDraftScout.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, and various official college websites for help in putting together the profiles.)

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-UMBC @ Navy (Tuesday 7pm Alumni Hall), Richmond @ Towson (Wednesday 7pm Towson Center)

10. Wale (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live, Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Wiz Khalifa (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); O’Malley’s March (Wednesday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head On Stage); The Roots (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club)

You’re going to see a recurring theme here. Not a whole lot going on this week. Not to take anything away from what’s happening here.

Wale is awesome, even if he roots for the effing Washington Redskins. At least he rocks Orioles hats and puts Ray Rice in his videos…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8YxSzXnZ40[/youtube]

The Roots are the greatest hip hop band in the history of ever.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIVzt_vGyr8[/youtube]

I don’t care for Wiz Khalifa. He’s from Pittsburgh. He roots for the Steelers. Eff him. Instead, I enjoy THIS…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6NDogvBJA8[/youtube]

9. Little Fockers“, “True Grit” & “Casino Jack” open in theaters (Friday); “Family Guy: It’s A Trap” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

I don’t know if Little Fockers will be as funny as “Meet the Parents” or as “Ehhh” as “Meet the Fockers.” Either way, I’ll probably go see it. I mean, I can hope, right…

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

I saw True Grit last week. Well, I saw MOST of True Grit last week. Late in the movie, the projector in the theater over in White Marsh blew up. But I could tell that the movie really kicked ass. Especially because Jeff Bridges was in the flick. Jeff Bridges is awesome.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED4VL7W6VdQ[/youtube]

And Family Guy got around to spoofing Return of the Jedi. If I gave a crap about Star Wars, I’d be more into this. Instead, I’ve spent a better part of my life having or trying to have sex with women.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLldVtS-G04[/youtube]

8. “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” (Friday-Saturday, TBS), “It’s A Wonderful Life” (Friday 8pm NBC)

Blah blah blah here are clips from A Christmas Story…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XlPwsmkPHI[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46WcFObgYhI[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4IZ0Flh3M[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2l6RnWM2tU[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJSmmbmJCLw[/youtube]

Like we need anything else here.

7. High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Kenwood (Wednesday 6:30pm)

I don’t know what’s going to happen when my Gators visit the Bluebirds. What I DO know if that it won’t be anywhere near as awesome as what happened earlier this morning when Annapolis Area Christian School played McDonogh and Archbishop Curley. It had to be the most exciting week in AACS history…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7IbJPTHhyw[/youtube]

6. NBA: Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ San Antonio Spurs (Sunday 7pm from San Antonio live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Houston Rockets (Monday 8:30pm from Houston live on Comcast SportsNet)

It’s a shame Yao Ming got hurt, or else the ‘Zards-Rockets contest would have been Yao Ming vs. Yi Jianlian. That would be exciting, just not for anyone in America.

I’m gonna skip the part here where I make a joke that someone later tells me is racially insensitive. Instead I’m JUST going to post a picture of General Tso’s Chicken and we’ll move on from there.

generaltso

5. NHL: New Jersey Devils @ Washington Capitals (Tuesday 7:30pm from Verizon Center live on VERSUS), Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network), Washington Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes (Sunday 7pm from Raleigh live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Apparently the Caps have been mired in a significant losing streak recently. I say “apparently” because I simply don’t give a crap. But I don’t understand why everyone in DC is so pissed off about the Capitals losing a lot of games. They’re just doing what all of the other favorite teams in the District (Wizards, Redskins, Orioles) already do…LOSE ALL OF THEIR GAMES!

Oh, it never gets old.

redskinssuck

4. Glenn Clark’s Christmas plans (December 23-25, throughout Charm City)

Blah blah blah…I’m going to Chiapparelli’s Thursday night…

chips

And then my mom is making Stuffed Shells on Saturday…

shells

Any further questions?

3. College Basketball: NJIT @ Maryland (Wednesday 8pm Comcast Center); Princeton @ Towson (Wednesday 4pm Towson Center); Loyola @ Howard (Wednesday 7pm Burr Gymnasium)

Thank God the Terrapins are playing a basketball game Wednesday. Things have been so damn quiet in College Park during finals week. ‘Bout time there’s something to talk about.

Eh, let’s talk about Mike Leach instead. Here’s video of Mike Leach doing the weather once. It’s freaking awesome. This guy’s a maniac, but he’s about to be the Terps’ maniac. We’ll take it.

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

2. College Football: Poinsetia Bowl-Navy vs. San Diego State (Thursday 8pm from San Diego live on ESPN), Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl (Tuesday 8pm from St. Petersburg, FL live on ESPN), MAACO Bowl-Utah vs. Boise State (Wednesday 8pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN), Hawaii Bowl-Hawaii vs. Tulsa (Friday 8pm from Honolulu live on ESPN), Little Caesars Bowl-Florida International vs. Toledo (Sunday 8:30pm from Detroit live on ESPN), Independence Bowl-Georgia Tech vs. Air Force (Monday 5pm from Shreveport, LA live on ESPN2)

The Midshipmen are headed to San Diego this week. Must be a tough life. Having to serve our country and having to travel during Christmas week? I sorta feel for the Mids.

Oh wait, where are they going?

sandee

A-holes.

1. NFL: Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (Sunday 1pm from Cleveland live on CBS)

Eff Cleveland.

Eff Bernie Kosar. Eff Drew Carey. Eff Kid Cudi. Eff Trent Reznor. Eff Marquis Grissom. Eff LeBron James. (Oh wait.)

You know, I should feel bad for Cleveland because the city is awful, all of their sports teams suck and they lost the only thing about the city that made them remotely worthwhile; but they always treat everyone who comes from Baltimore like crap. (I understand why, don’t get me wrong.)

So eff them. I ENJOY their suffering. In fact, enjoy this a-holes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTeCc8jy7FI[/youtube]

(Edit from GMC: A side note, Cleveland. After the Ravens kick your asses Sunday, it would be REALLY nice if you could go ahead and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers the following week. We still kinda want to win the AFC North here in Baltimore. So all of those mean things I said about you? They expire in a week.)

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Maryland @ Loyola (Tuesday 7pm Reitz Arena), UMBC @ Maryland (Friday 7pm Comcast Center); Golf: PGA Tour Shark Shootout (Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 4pm Sunday 3pm live on NBC. All golf from Naples, FL); High School Basketball: Edmondson @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Perry Hall @ Dulaney (Friday 7pm)

10. Matisyahu (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Hinder/Saving Abel/My Darkest Days/Default (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Old 97′s (Tuesday 7pm Recher Theatre), Nonpoint (Thursday 7pm Recher Theatre); Usher (Wednesday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Better Than Ezra (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), G. Love & Special Sauce (Monday 8pm 9:30 Club); National Tree Lighting Ceremony feat. B.B. King, Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles (Thursday 5pm President’s Park); Mint Condition (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); T.I. “No Mercy” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Mid-Atlantic Holiday Beer Tasting (Saturday 12pm The Brewer’s Art)

With this being Hanukkah, I will mention that I LOVE Matisyahu…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS9uTiEY9ag[/youtube]

Haven’t heard of Old 97′s? Maybe it’s time to take a minute…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDDyD0Hj5n0[/youtube]

Maybe Nonpoint should invite Ray Lewis over to Recher Theatre for their Phil Collins cover…

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

Better Than Ezra is the type of band that has had a much bigger impact on my life than I might really recognize. Between Empire Records and THIS classic, I’m really grateful for the boys from New Orleans…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9-FD5un87M[/youtube]

9. Inception“, “Shrek Forever After” and “Boy Meets World Season 4” available in stores (Tuesday)

You know why Season 4 of Boy Meets World was the best one? It was the season that featured the “Sixteen Candles and 400 Pound Men” episode. You know, where Cory Matthews had to help his friend Frankie with his father (Vader)’s match against Jake “The Snake” Roberts while also being there to dance with Topanga Lawrence at her 16th birthday party.

Yeah, I’m a nerd. But this is a great episode. It’s an ode to The Flintstones episode where Fred Flintstone has to be in two places at once. Here’s the end of the episode…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ue284USuKQ[/youtube]

8. Boxing: IBF/WBO Heavyweight Championship-Vladimir Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora (Saturday 5pm from Mannheim, Germany live on ESPN3.com), Yonnhy Perez vs. Joseph Agbeko, Abner Mares vs. Vic Darchinyan (Saturday 9pm from Tacoma, Washington live on Showtime)

I’ll be forced to admit that I could not have told you who held the IBF, WBO, WBA, HBO, NBA, NWA, OPP, TLC, IWIF, MIAA, NAACP or UNICEF heavyweight titles.

And frankly, I have nothing to offer to a boxing discussion that would be of value. Except that the “Floyd Wetherton” character on Family Guy was an amazing combination of both very sad and very funny…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyFRtqxFE6k[/youtube]

7. Soccer: MISL-Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); College Soccer: NCAA Championship Game (Sunday 4pm from Santa Barbara, CA live on ESPN2)

Obviously there’s little to no interest in the College Cup now because Maryland lost to Michigan Saturday, eliminating the Terrapins from the NCAA Tournament.

I’d like to give you another reason to watch Friday and Sunday, but I honestly don’t have it.

Instead, I’ll discuss something much more significant in the world of soccer. A recent news story about the breakout soccer star of 2010.

You’ll remember Larissa Riquelme as the Paraguay soccer fan who captivated the attention of the world during this summer’s World Cup. NOW you’ll remember her as the girl who recently wore this dress…

riquelme

6. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Los Angeles Lakers (Tuesday 10:30pm from LA live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Sacramento Kings (Wednesday 10pm from Sacramento live on Comcast SportsNet), New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

If you’re a fan of the ‘Zards (I’ve heard a rumor there are a handful of you out there somewhere, but I haven’t actually MET any of you in my life), I suggest you not watch their game with me Tuesday night. I’ll be rooting hard for the Lakers.

Not because I’m some sort of bandwagon Lakers fan, trust me.

I’ll be rooting hard for the Lakers because this guy plays for them…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2UUyAzKLMg[/youtube]

Steve Blake will always be a hero to me.

5. NHL: Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on VERSUS & Comcast SportsNet), Colorado Avalanche @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers (Sunday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network)

You already know I’m not a fan of the Caps, so let’s just move on from that.

I’m not sure if this particular dress…

rangersdress

…is available in a Phoenix Coyotes style, I know what “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” will be getting for Christmas this year. And will be wearing to every function we attend in 2011.

4. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 124-Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck (Saturday 10pm from Montreal live on Pay-Per-View)

Since the fight is happening in Montreal, I know damn well who I’m picking to win…

youppi

Youppi is awesome. Oh…of course I’m picking GSP to win. He’s fighting Josh Koscheck. Who the hell am I supposed to pick there?

3. College Basketball: UNC-Greensboro @ Maryland (Wednesday 7:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Boston College @ Maryland (Sunday 4pm from Comcast Center live on Fox Sports Net-CSN locally in Charm City); Towson @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); Towson @ George Washington (Wednesday 7pm Smith Center); Navy @ Coppin State (Tuesday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), West Virginia Tech @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); Loyola @ George Mason (Wednesday 7pm from Patriot Center live on MASN), Mt. St. Mary’s @ Loyola (Saturday 4pm Reitz Arena)

I’m torn here. On one side, I’m very happy to see the start of ACC season. On the other side, the Terps’ loss to Temple in the BB&T Classic leaves me just a bit concerned.

I know this much. If I see ANY of you wearing this shirt this week, I might very well take a swing at you…

superfan

2. College Football: Army/Navy Game (Saturday 2:30pm from Philadelphia live on CBS); Heisman Trophy Presentation (Saturday 8pm from New York live on ESPN)

My ABSOLUTE favorite game of the year in any sport.

I doubt they’ll show this video up at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday, but if they did-I’m not sure how the Midshipmen COULDN’T be inspired…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqKS7gmC444[/youtube]

1. NFL: Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans (Monday 8:30pm from Houston live on ESPN)

The Monday Night Football trip will be my first to Houston.

For anyone who has made the trip before, can you tell me anything about this place? I’m told I HAVE to hit it while I’m there…

feast

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention-NHL: Washington Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes (Wednesday 7pm from Raleigh live on Comcast SportsNet), Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Friday 5pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals (Sunday 5pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network)

10. Ozzy Osbourne (Monday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Charm City Devils (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Jah Works (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Recher Theatre); Citizen Cope (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere, Friday 8:30pm, Saturday 1:30pm & 8:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Carbon Leaf (Wednesday 6pm 9:30 Club), Donovan Frankenreiter (Thursday 8pm 9:30 Club), Cyndi Lauper (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club), KT Tunstall (Saturday 10pm 9:30 Club), Brandon Flowers (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Shelby Lynne (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Lisa Lampanelli (Saturday 7pm Warner Theatre); Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Inception“, “Despicable Me” and “Shrek Forever After” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

I have an attorney friend (I should probably have more of those) who has an extra ticket to see Ozzy Monday. She’s quizzing her friends about Ozzy to see who will get the ticket. The first question is one of those “just don’t answer this the wrong way” questions. It is: “What is your favorite Ozzy song?” Rumor has it there’s someone who actually DIDN’T answer “War Pigs.” Fine by me, I’m a step closer to having a ticket!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtqy4DTHGqg[/youtube]

No SR-71 Thanksgiving show this year, but I’d be MORE than happy to see CCD instead. I’m digging “Best of the Worst”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7XhpOrrkAM[/youtube]

Citizen Cope could do just about ANYTHING and I’d be in. But if I was headed to Annapolis to see him-I’d be hoping for “Pablo Picasso”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d4O02BJz74[/youtube]

There are a lot of rumors that this will be one of the better disc’s in Kanye’s career. I’ll admit that “Devil In A New Dress” makes me hopeful…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D55rDDvu3n4[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark’s Thanksgiving Plans (Wednesday-Saturday)

And seriously-I think I’ve got a win.

On Wednesday, I’ll appease a roommate and we’ll watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Calling it a classic doesn’t really do it justice. (Clip VERY NSFW!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5o8DFfYHS4[/youtube]

Thursday night is easy. Pumpkin Pie, white wine and Home Alone. It is what it is…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dGOfFbzvq4[/youtube]

And after everything calms down Saturday, my favorite part of Turkey Day begins. You know, the part where I slab turkey, mashed potatoes and BBQ sauce on bread and forget the words “calorie intake” mean anything.

tgiving

8. Soccer-World Cup Qualifying (Women’s): Italy @ Team USA (Saturday 2pm from Bridgeview, IL live on ESPN3.com), College Soccer-NCAA Tournament: Penn State @ Maryland (Sunday 4pm Ludwig Field)

I’m so TORN here!

We all know I love the red, white & blue. And since the greatest American women’s soccer moment involved stripping, I PARTICULARLY love American women’s soccer.

But this is Italy we’re talking about. The land of my forefathers. The land that taught me that talking with my hands is as important as talking with my lips, and that my lips are more made for kissing.

It’s also the land that gave us “The Situation”! How can we root against them?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zT9p1vnBjo[/youtube]

7. Table Tennis: JOOLA North American Tennis Championships (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center)

I was going to simply say “I’m picking Forrest Gump” and leave it at that, but apparently the former Alabama KR is not playing this year. I’m just as surprised as you.

Seriously-I love playing ping-pong, but these people are freaking NUTS.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8IVASo0umU[/youtube]

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!? WOW!

6. Tennis: Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (Tuesday-Saturday 1pm, Sunday 3pm from London live on Tennis Channel)

FINALLY! Some eye candy for the blog!!!!!!

andyroddick

Maybe not all of you are as big of Andy Roddick fans as I am, but…ummm…deal with it.

5. NBA: Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks (Thursday 8pm from Atlanta live on TNT), Orlando Magic @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet & NBA TV), Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat (Monday 7:30pm from Miami live on Comcast SportsNet)

I haven’t been following basketball in a while, do we still hate the Heat because of LeBron James?

Sorry, I just don’t pay as much attention as I probably should.

Oh and also…do you think Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp will finally get the Seattle Supersonics past the Chicago Bulls this year? That’s a hell of a combo they’ve got there in the Emerald City…

4. College Football: North Carolina State @ Maryland (Saturday 3:30pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPN2)

Yes, the ACC Championship Game is out of the picture. But beating the Wolfpack Saturday might very well be the difference in the Terps going to a bowl game in Nashville or Charlotte instead of ending up in a bowl game at RFK Stadium.

Let’s think about that a bit. Music City gave us Kings of Leon…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kQUjwv2R1g[/youtube]

The Queen City gave us Anthony Hamilton…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4LVf9qdFYA[/youtube]

And DC gave us…ummm….Rod Strickland?

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

3. College Basketball: Delaware State @ Maryland (Tuesday 8pm Comcast Center), Elon @ Maryland (Friday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet); UMBC @ Coppin State (Wednesday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); Loyola @ Morgan State (Monday 7pm Hill Field House); Navy @ Towson (Wednesday 7pm Towson Center)

I hate it when local teams play against each other. I mean, how do I pick between Randy Monroe’s Retrievers or Fang Mitchell’s Eagles? And how do I pick between Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds or Todd Bozeman’s Bears?

It’s like trying to pick what Thanksgiving dessert I enjoy more:
spp
pumpkinpie
pecanpie

You know what? I’m not picking. Good luck to ALL of the local teams this week, and please bring me one of each type of pie. MMM….pie….

2. High School Football-MPSSAA Playoffs: Broadneck @ Henry A. Wise (Saturday 1pm), Urbana @ Gaithersburg (Friday 7pm), Wilde Lake @ Damascus (Friday 7pm), Huntingtown @ Franklin (Friday 7pm), Eastern Tech @ Middletown (Friday 7pm), McDonough @ Queen Anne’s (Friday 7pm), Fort Hill @ Dunbar (Saturday 1pm Poly High School), Brunswick @ Havre de Grace (Friday 7pm); Turkey Bowl: Calvert Hall vs. Loyola Blakefield (Thursday 10am from M&T Bank Stadium live on ABC2)

Here’s what Thursday’s annual showdown between the Cardinals and Dons means to those of us in Baltimore with no MIAA ties.

You see, when you’re growing up-Calvert Hall/Loyola is simply the game you flip over to for a minute after Santa Claus strolls through New York in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After you turn 21 and discover the “true” meaning of Thanksgiving Eve, Calvert Hall/Loyola becomes a game you can’t POSSIBLY wake up early enough to watch before stuffing your face with enough food to make you forget about your hangover.

As a side note, let’s go Franklin Indians again Friday night. You knock Ken Brinkman and North Harford High School out of the playoffs, you get EVERY ounce of support possible from me.

Up yours, Brinkman.

1. NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 4:15pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on FOX); New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions (Thursday 12:30pm from Detroit live on CBS), New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys (Thursday 4:15pm from Arlington, TX live on FOX), Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets (Thursday 8:20pm from East Rutherford, NJ live on NFL Network)

As we gather around televisions Thursday to enjoy the annual celebration that is watching the Lions get their asses kicked, I’d like to take some time to remember the true meaning of the day.

It is important that we give thanks for the many wonderful things that have happened this year.

For example, let’s give thanks that Frank Walker now plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

And let’s give thanks that the McRib is back. It’s not my thing anymore, but I really do get it.

And finally, let’s give thanks that Amanda Harrington forgot to grab a bra before snapping this picture. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

amandaharrington

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland lets one slip through fingers in 26-20 loss to Miami

Posted on 06 November 2010 by Luke Jones

Opportunistic is a word we’ve used often to describe this year’s Terps, largely because we’re still trying to figure out just how good they really are after nine games.

And there Maryland was again, only seconds away from an unlikely 20-18 victory at Sun Life Stadium over a Miami team that had thoroughly dominated the Terrapins in nearly every statistical category. It was setting up to be the biggest win in two years for a program trying to erase the memory of a 2-10 season a year ago. A defensive score, some favorable officiating, and two botched extra points by the Hurricanes appeared to be just enough for the Terps to steal a victory they really didn’t deserve.

Unlike their win against Navy on Labor Day, however, the Terps defense couldn’t make a play to seal it as Miami quarterback Stephen Morris threw a 35-yard touchdown strike to Leonard Hankerson with 37 seconds left, giving Miami a 26-20 victory and leaving the Terps (6-3, 3-2 ACC) wondering what had hit them.

While the loss does little to hurt Maryland’s goal of winning the Atlantic Division and playing in the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville (the Terps still control their own destiny, unlikely as it might be), you have to wonder about the effect it will have on the psyche of a team building momentum after a road victory at Boston College and a 62-14 drubbing of Wake Forest on Homecoming last week.

Saturday’s loss looked an awful lot like the excruciating losses from last season in which the Terps did just enough to lose, regardless of the competition. Don Brown’s defense was gashed for 504 yards despite two Alex Wujciak interceptions — one returned for a 60-yard interception. The Hurricanes (6-3, 4-2 ACC) beat them to the edge countless times on running plays, and when Terps defenders did manage to get to the spot, they couldn’t tackle the ball carrier anyway.

On the final Miami drive, defensive lineman Joe Vellano drew a roughing-the-passer penalty, giving the Hurricanes the ball at the 50-yard line and making the job of the freshman quarterback much easier. Four plays later, Hankerson slipped behind Dexter McDougle and Kenny Tate for the game-winning touchdown catch.

It was an ugly relapse for a group that had been allowing just 19.8 points per game, 26th in the nation.

The Terps offense did few favors for an exhausted defense, managing to hold the ball for only 22:41 as quarterback Danny O’Brien played his worst game of the season. The redshirt freshman was just 9 of 27 for 134 yards, throwing a touchdown against one interception. Arguably the biggest reason for the team’s turnaround, O’Brien uncharacteristically looked the part of a freshman Saturday as he was outplayed by the inexperienced — but highly-touted — Morris (a true freshman), who was playing for the injured Jacory Harris.

Maryland had a golden opportunity following Wujciak’s second interception that set up the offense inside the red zone late in the third quarter. Two plays later, O’Brien badly underthrew LaQuan Williams at the goal line as the pass was picked off by Miami’s Ray-Ray Armstrong.

On the Terps’ next drive after they had moved the ball to the Miami 6, O’Brien misfired on two attempts, forcing the offense to settle for a field goal to take a two-point lead.

It even looked for a moment like the Maryland offense would be the group to make the fatal mistake as the Terps were trying to retake the lead in the fourth quarter. O’Brien fumbled after being leveled by linebacker Ramon Buchanan. It was returned for an apparent touchdown by Marcus Robinson before a mysterious facemask penalty was called on the Hurricanes, negating the score and giving Maryland a first down and the go-ahead field goal in the fourth.

Truthfully, both teams did plenty to lose on Saturday — Miami committed 10 penalties for 100 yards — but the Terps simply didn’t make enough plays in a very winnable game over a banged-up, vulnerable Hurricanes team.

Ralph Friedgen spoke last week about his team only reaching the minimum when the Terps became bowl-eligible last week after earning their sixth victory. Time will reveal where Maryland ends up in terms of their bowl destination, but Saturday’s loss hurts with an always-interesting trip to Charlottesville looming next week, followed by home meetings with Florida State and North Carolina State to close out the regular season.

Neither Maryland nor Miami looked very deserving of a win, but the Terps let one slip through their fingers. Instead of being opportunistic as they had been for much of the year, their performance was more wasteful than anything.

Where they go from here will tell how much they’ve really grown as a team.

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