Tag Archive | "Jamarr Robinson"

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Maryland-Florida International “Turtle Power” Chat Today at Noon!

Posted on 25 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Greetings from Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland; where the Maryland Terrapins (2-1) will face the Florida International Panthers (0-2) today. The game can be seen on ESPNU with Rob Stone and David Pollack calling the action. We will be chatting throughout the game in our “Turtle Power” chat at WNST.net, which you can join HERE. You can also follow us on Twitter during the game (@WNST).

The Terps are trying to shake off a 31-17 loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers last Saturday in Morgantown. Maryland fell behind 28-0 early in the second half, but used a pair of Jamarr Robinson-Torrey Smith 2nd half TD passes to get back into the game. Unfortunately, the rally proved to be too little too late. The Terps won a nailbiter against Navy in Baltimore to open the season, they blew out Morgan State at home a week later to get off to a 2-0 start.

FIU might be 0-2, but the record could be deceiving. The Panthers lost their opener 14-10 to Rutgers after having a late lead, and they held a 20-6 lead over Texas A&M last Saturday at Kyle Field before eventually falling 27-20.

Freshman QB Danny O’Brien is taking the majority of the snaps with the first team offense in pre-game, starting QB Jamarr Robinson (shoulder) is not warming up. It appears as though O’Brien will make his first career start today.

The Terps will look to improve to 3-0 against the Panthers in overall series history.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Maryland’s Good Karma Completely Gone After Loss to West Virginia

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

MORGANTOWN, WV — The trip to Morgantown is a bit different than a visit from Morgan State.

The Maryland Terrapins (2-1) were completely dominated by the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0) Saturday,  31-17 at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. The game was not quite as close as the score would indicate, as Maryland trailed 28-0 early in the 2nd half.

Maryland was outplayed in every aspect of the game, with the only exception being a solid performance by punter Travis Baltz-who also kicked a field goal in defeat. The Terps briefly made things interesting in the 2nd half thanks largely to two long Torrey Smith TD grabs, but the ‘Eers easily snuffed out the potential Maryland rally.

The loss isn’t particularly devastating from a football perspective for Maryland, as West Virginia is a very good team (ranked #21st in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll) and the game was played on the road. Should Maryland knock off Florida International next Saturday at Byrd Stadium (as they are expected to do), they would improve to 3-1 and need just three ACC wins to get bowl eligible this season. With Duke coming to College Park the following week, Maryland still has a realistic chance to start the season 4-1. They also showed improvement over the team’s last visit to WVU; a 45-24 beatdown suffered in 2006.

But for other reasons that may be slightly less tangible, this loss was particularly devastating for this Maryland team.

With a last second win over Navy in Baltimore to open the season and a blowout win over Morgan State in College Park, the Terps had already matched their 2009 season total in wins through just two weeks. With the Navy thriller being seen by a national TV (ESPN) audience on Labor Day, there was a measure of positive karma surrounding Head Coach Ralph Friedgen’s squad that was desperately needed.

The decision to retain Friedgen (and Offensive coordinator/Head Coach in waiting James Franklin) following the disastrous 2-10 season was not met with any level of real excitement. Interim Athletic Director Randy Eaton told the Baltimore Sun before the Labor Day battle at M&T Bank Stadium that the program had sold less than 19,000 season tickets this season. Two wins over in-state programs weren’t going to suddenly spike ticket sales, but they did offer hope that a foundation could be laid for a turnaround season.

That foundation didn’t crumble entirely, but it certainly wasn’t built open in Morgantown. It wasn’t just that Maryland lost the game; but also that they put together a completely woeful performance in the process.

Maryland was bad in (almost) every aspect of the game. They allowed eight sacks offensively, a record for the Friedgen era. In the process, QB Jamarr Robinson injured his shoulder (not believed to be serious-he stayed in for the entire 2nd half) and QB Danny O’Brien re-aggravated an ankle injury with forced him out of the game. OT Justin Gilbert was also hurt in the process. Maryland doesn’t know the full details of the injury, but Friedgen said Gilbert “heard a pop”, and the team believes the injury to be significant.

The Terps were not able to get anything going on the ground, finishing the game with -10 net rushing yards. They put together 227 yards via the air; but 140 of them came on the two long TD passes to Smith.

Defensively, Maryland was unimpressive throughout. The Terps allowed West Virginia to amass 469 yards of total offense, 24 first downs and 11 of 18 third down conversions. The first two TD passes from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin (Dunbar) were particularly ugly,  as Friedgen admitted defenders “blew some assignments” to help the ‘Eers establish an early 14-0 lead.

Even more disheartening was the lack of discipline the Terrapins showed. Maryland committed 10 penalties for a total of 77 yards, including three delay of game penalties on their initial possession. Offensive coordinator James Franklin said the penalties occurred because the team “couldn’t hear the cadence” from Robinson; but that certainly doesn’t excuse such a poor drive.

Things could very well turn around for this Maryland football team this season. They won’t play many opponents who will be as difficult as West Virginia (only Miami jumps out as a similarly dangerous opponent), and the mistakes they made Saturday afternoon are correctable. The bigger issues will come off the field. Instead of igniting support within a fanbase that is anything but passionate; this performance will likely ignite responses like “Friedgen can’t do it” or “Franklin isn’t good enough.” What’s worse, this type of performance might not elicit any sort of response whatsoever.

Frankly, with the game on ESPNU and the outcome lopsided-the fanbase in the Old Line State might not even think about Maryland football.

That’s the biggest problem incoming Athletic Director Kevin Anderson faces with the football program.

The good karma from the first two wins is completely gone. Maryland football became Maryland football again Saturday in Morgantown.

For the program to survive under “The Fridge” past this season, performances in big games like Saturday’s cannot continue. Maryland can’t simply win games against the likes of FIU and Duke and hope to win over a fanbase, they must go out and perform like a team worthy of recognition against more significant opponents.

That didn’t happen Saturday.

-G

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Hear from Friedgen and Franklin following Saturday’s loss NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because “Boomer Sooner” passed along a very interesting video to me last night. Apparently there is a new store in Times Square called “Pop-Tarts World”, and the folks over at Slate took the opportunity to think up some new Pop-Tarts recipes.

(You can see the video here or check my Facebook page-just search “Glenn Clark” and add the fella who has a picture of a duckpin bowling lane that says “I (heart) Glenn.”)

One of their new recipes is a “Pop-Tarts BLT.” That’s right, a BLT using Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts as bread. This is why America > anywhere else in the free world. It looks AMAZING…

blt

Someone get one of those things for Rex Ryan for sure!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens dismiss CB Bryan McCann, re-sign CB Prince Miller

Which goes back to my original thought regarding the entire McCann-Miller roster decision. Remember that thought? I believe it went something like…

“HUH????”

The issue here is clearly that the Ravens are concerned with Tom Zbikowski as punt returner. When they let Prince Miller go after the final cuts, they had decided that Miller wasn’t quite ready to be a cornerback at the NFL level. However, with Zbikowski REALLY hurting the Ravens in the 2nd half of their win over the New York Jets Monday night; they needed an insurance policy in the back.

Miller gives them that insurance policy.

The issue is that because they had to sign Miller off of the New England Patriots’ practice squad, they have to commit to keeping him on the active roster for three weeks. Therefore when Cary Williams returns from suspension next week, Miller can’t be the player that gets moved.

Instead, players like Ken Hamlin, Jason Phillips, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Marcus Smith and David Reed will be sweating a bit.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Todd Heap didn’t practice; Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Terrence Cody, Jarret Johnson limited

Of this group, I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about Lewis, Boldin or Johnson. These are guys that probably could have practiced fully had the team played on Sunday instead of taking the field for Monday Night Football.

Heap is at least somewhat concerning. John Harbaugh said Tuesday he thought Heap would return to practice Wednesday, but clearly that didn’t happen. Heap told reporters Wednesday he didn’t know if he’d be able to play Sunday. It doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern, but it certainly could affect how dynamic the Ravens are able to be offensively on Sunday.

Should Heap not be able to go, it will be a big opportunity for rookies Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta to make an impact.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cody hopes to play Sunday vs. Bengals

Cody said he thought he could play on Sunday, but he needs to get back into game shape in order to be ready. Brandon McKinney especially played well in his place Monday night against the New York Jets. Should Cody play, it would be likely that Divens would be inactive.

If the Ravens REALLY need help on the D-Line, I would suggest they at least consider Shay Maria. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

shaymaria

4. Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy says Houshmandzadeh finds return to Queen City ‘exciting’

And before we move on from the (on field) Ravens, a couple of things…

-Rex Snider wants Chad Ochocinco to fly him out to watch Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium. He’s offered to dress up like Ines Sainz to try to convince #85 that he deserves the chance to go. You should Tweet Chad and tell him to let Rex make the trip. Something tells me Rex might not be quite the same as Ines…

ines

-The Ravens return to practice today at 1 Winning Drive. We’ll be live from Owings Mills with all relevant notes from practice and media availability today. We’re scheduled to hear from coordinators Greg Mattison, Cam Cameron and Jerry Rosburg; as well as LB Ray Lewis.

Make sure you’re tuned in with Thyrl Nelson and Rex today for live Ravens Reports; follow us on Twitter (@WNST), and check things out at WNST.net.

5. Yahoo! Sports’ Cameron Smith says Ray Lewis’ son had big prep game in Florida

And Ray Lewis III-the Lake Mary Prep star is scheduled to join Thyrl Nelson at 1pm today on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to talk about his huge game. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Thyrl’s first question almost sorta has to be…”Do you use the same deodorant as your dad???”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnLN6DuHXPQ[/youtube]

6. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Brad Bergesen outdueled Kyle Drabek as Orioles swept Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

What did you expect? A loss? These are the Birds we’re talking about! They don’t lose!

Hell-even I poked at the game for a minute last night. I probably would have poked at a few more minutes of the game-but the thing was over in about 40.

Brad Bergesen was outstanding last night. In fact, I think I’ve totally come around on Brad Bergesen. I was never sold on guaranteeing him a spot in the rotation next season-but I’m starting to think he joins Brian Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie as locks. Kevin Millwood clearly won’t be back, and I’m not sure Jake Arrieta has guaranteed himself a spot-although I’m not convinced Andy MacPhail will go out and get pitchers that are much better.

That is the million dollar question however. Will Andy MacPhail make the few moves necessary to give this team a REAL chance to win? We’ll find out.

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

Bergesen’s line? CG, ER, 7H, 3K, 0BB. Not too bad.

Also, Brian Roberts was 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Matt Wieters went 1-2 with a walk and a run scored.

As is our new custom, go look at the numbers. When you get back, Johanna Lundback will be waiting for you. (Thanks Guyism!)

lundback

8. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Buck Showalter undecided on whether to give Jake Arrieta another start

Before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things…

-Great story at MLB.com today, as the Rochester Red Wings honored Orioles’ World Series-winning manager Joe Altobelli earlier this month with a statue in his honor. Altobelli is an icon in Rochester, but should be remembered fondly in Charm City as well. ”

-After wrapping their 3 game series with the Jays, the O’s are off today before opening up a weekend set with the New York Yankees tomorrow night at OPACY. Millwood, Guthrie and Chris Tillman are slated to go for the Birds, AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are slated to go for the Bombers.

9. CSNWashington.com’s Patrick Stevens says Jamarr Robinson, Danny O’Brien will both keep playing for Terps

As Drew Forrester and I discussed this morning, I believe Ralph Friedgen is playing both QB’s due to the loyalty he has for his upperclassmen. Eventually, I think the Fridge will have to go with O’Brien-as I really believe O’Brien gives the Terrapins a better chance to win ACC games.

Did you miss West Virginia coach Bill Stewart previewing Saturday’s showdown against Maryland with Drew on “The Morning Reaction” this morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out!

Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include:

  • Ryan Fagan (Sporting News)-who went around MLB with Drew Thursday morning
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports)-who talked all things NFL with Drew Thursday morning
  • Brett Adams (Stevenson University AD)-who talked about the Mustangs with Drew Thursday morning
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports)-who was at Ravens/Jets Monday night and discussed both teams with Thyrl Wednesday
  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post)-who talked football football football with Rex Wednesday afternoon
  • All sorts of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh.

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so your day is set. Yep, I’m THAT good to you.

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Kriss Proctor working with starters, but Ricky Dobbs still likely to start for Navy vs. Louisiana Tech

Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo joins Rex Snider this afternoon at 2:30 on “The Afternoon Drive”, so we’ll find out everything we need to know about the Mids’ QB situation.

If they REALLY need QB help in Annapolis, I think they should consider Amy Jackson. (Thanks The Beer Goggler via Busted Coverage!)

amyjackson

And finally, I leave you with this.

How is it that I hadn’t heard about “Spike Can Dance” on YouTube until yesterday?!?!?!?!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ZCqlR79qw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland takes care of business, and then some, against Morgan State

Posted on 11 September 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Terps did exactly what was expected of them on paper entering Saturday night’s game against Morgan State, completing a 62-3 thrashing of the Bears in the schools’ first ever meeting.

Even a below-average team in a BCS conference — what Maryland is expected to be this season — should easily handle an inferior FCS opponent or a small conference school every time.

It’s exactly what the Terps, however, have struggled to do in recent history.

In 2008, it was a narrow 14-7 victory over Delaware followed by a shocking 24-14 loss to Middle Tennessee. A season ago, the Terps needed overtime to defeat James Madison 38-35 for its first victory of the season and laid an egg the following week, losing to Middle Tennesse for the second straight year, 32-31.

“It’s a great start,” said defensive end Drew Gloster, who clearly noticed Virginia Tech’s shocking loss to FCS school James Madison earlier on Saturday. “We had something to prove today going out against Morgan State. You see a lot of ACC teams losing today, but we represented our conference well.”

The Terps had little excuse for not blowing out the in-state school from the MEAC, racking up 45 points and 252 total yards in the first half and inserting backups for most of the final 30 minutes.

“We’re still a work in progress,” said receiver Torrey Smith, who caught two touchdowns. “We made a lot of mistakes, but we know we can score. It’s just a matter of us being consistent and going out there and getting it done — all the time.”

In reality, little can be learned from the Terps’ dominating performance other than to conclude the Bears won’t be applying for BCS membership any time soon.The Maryland defense held Morgan State to 3 points and 85 total yards (16 in the first half), the lowest number of yards allowed during the Ralph Friedgen era. The Terps should feel good about a 2-0 start, but no one knows how much better — if very much at all — this team is than it was a year ago.

More than anything, the 62-3 victory may have created a bigger quarterback controversy than already anticipated.

Jamarr Robinson improved his passing totals after an embarrassing effort (11 yards) against Navy, completing 6 of 13 passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns in the first half before being pulled from the game early in the second quarter. However, the first significant playing time for redshirt freshman Danny O’Brien will have more fans clamoring for the strong-armed passer over the fleet-footed Robinson.

O’Brien threw three touchdowns passes on his first three collegiate completions, his first being a beautiful 27-yard dart to tight end Matt Furstenburg before tossing scores to Torrey Smith and Da’Rel Scott. Of course, the Bears’ defense is a far cry from the defenses O’Brien will see during the ACC schedule, but his ability is difficult to overlook when looking at the crop of talented receivers largely being wasted with Robinson under center.

“O’Brien is one of the more advanced freshman that I’ve been around,” offensive coordinator James Franklin said. “When you throw the ball 10 times and three of them are for touchdowns, I mean that’s pretty good. It doesn’t take a genius to see that.”

Robinson’s scrambling ability is an unquestionable asset for Franklin’s offense, but major doubts exist in his ability to produce through the air, something he will need to do starting next week when the Terps travel to a hostile environment in Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. For now, it appears Friedgen will go with the two-quarterback approach as we have seen in the past during his 10-year tenure as the Terps coach.

“We’ve been planning on playing [Robinson] and [O'Brien],” Franklin said. “Felt like all camp we had two [starters], and obviously they are both athletic guys. Danny probably brings a little bit different game than Jamar, but they’re both athletic guys who can do a lot of things. We’ll evaluate the film and go from there.”

It will be a delicate balance that Friedgen and Franklin will have to approach carefully to avoid disruptions of rhythm and flow like we saw last week when O’Brien entered a tie game early in the fourth quarter and promptly fumbled his first hand-off to Davin Meggett, instantly killing a red-zone opportunity. Two-quarterback systems can work at the college level — see the 2007 Florida Gators with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow — but it takes a strong feel for the game by the head coach, a trait many feel Friedgen has lacked in recent seasons in College Park.

Maryland’s first two games have been difficult to use in trying to assess how good this team really is. With Navy’s unconventional triple option racking up significant yardage but self-destructing in the red zone and overmatched Morgan State simply lacking the talent needed to compete with an ACC school, even a bad team may have stolen these two wins.

“I think we’re better than last year, no question about that,” Friedgen said. “I’m interested in how good we are this week [against West Virginia]. But I think this team has a chance to be a very good team. I’ve said that all along.”

The first real test will come next Saturday against rival West Virginia, who will look to rebound after a scary 24-21 overtime victory over Marshall on Friday night. If Maryland goes to Morgantown and knocks off the Mountaineers, they can begin to whisper about the possibility of making some noise in a very average-looking ACC through the first two weeks of the season.

Until then, the Terps can enjoy the 2-0 start — already matching their win total from a season ago — but the first two weeks have been played against unconventional opposition.

Starting next week, we’ll see what Maryland is really made of.

“They’re 2-0, and we’re 2-0,” Gloster said. “There is a good rivalry between us. We are just looking forward to the opportunity to be 3-0.”

INJURY UPDATE: O’Brien suffered a sprained ankle, but the injury is not considered serious, according to Franklin. Freshman quarterback C.J. Brown broke his collarbone and will likely be out eight weeks, per Friedgen. Defensive lineman Marcus Whitfield dislocated his patella and will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

NOTES: Maryland is off to its first 2-0 start since 2007 when the Terps opened with victories over Villanova and Florida International. … The Terps’ 17 points in the first quarter was the most in an opening quarter since scoring 24 at home against the Citadel in a 61-0 victory on Sept. 13, 2003. … O’Brien’s first touchdown pass came on the first pass attempt of his collegiate career. His three touchdown passes came in his first four attempts. … Freshman running back D.J. Adams led the Terps in rushing with 70 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. … The last time Maryland scored 60 in a game was the win over the Citadel in 2003.

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Maryland-Morgan State pre-game notes

Posted on 11 September 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Hoping to build upon their 1-0 start after a 17-14 victory over Navy at M&T Bank Stadium on Labor Day, the Maryland Terrapins will host the Morgan State Bears at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night.

The Terps (1-0) would figure to have few problems against Morgan, the local FCS school from the MEAC that won its opener behind the leg of kicker Kemar Scarlett, who booted four field goals in an unconventional 14-7 victory over Bowie State last Saturday.

A difficult battle in Morgantown looms next Saturday for the Terps, so coach Ralph Friedgen clearly expects a crisp performance against the Bears. Despite rushing for 92 yards against the Midshipmen, quarterback Jamarr Robinson struggled in the passing game, completing just two passes for 11 yards despite having a talented group of wide receivers at his disposal.

The game can only be seen on ESPN3.com (formerly ESPN360), so be sure to join us in the Turtle Power chat, as I’ll be coming to you live from Byrd Stadium in College Park. If you’ve ever joined our live chats at WNST.net, you know they’re the best way to watch the game other than being in the stadium!

Check back right here for updates and pre-game notes (time-stamped below) leading up to kickoff at 6:00 p.m. You’ll be watching the game on your computer anyway, so watch the game with us at WNST.net and experience Turtle Power!

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5:55 p.m. — LaMont Jordan is an honorary captain for the Terps today. Jordan is the all-time leading rusher at Maryland. His 36 career touchdowns rank second on the school’s all-time list. Of course, Jordan went on to play for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders in the NFL, totaling 3,734 yards and 28 touchdowns in his pro career.

J.B. Brown was the second honorary captain for tonight’s game. Brown was a three-year starter in the Maryland secondary and made 130 tackles in his career (1985-88). He went on to play 12 years in the NFL.

5:25 p.m. — Placekicker Nick Ferrara is out again today as he continues to nurse a groin injury. Travis Baltz will handle field goals as well as his regular punting duties, and Ted Townsley will kick off for the Terrapins.

Running back Gary Douglas is dressed to play after sitting out the Navy game with a sprained ankle.

Despite playing in the same state, tonight will mark the first meeting between Maryland and Morgan State in football. I won’t remind you what happened on the Comcast Center floor a couple years ago when the Bears came to visit Gary Williams and the Terrapins.

Tonight’s game will also be the first time the Terps have faced a current member of the MEAC. It will also be the first game against an FBS (Div. I-A) school for Morgan.

Though they are a 36-point favorite over the Bears, the Terps are coming off a short week after their season-opening victory over Navy on Monday. Maryland has now won six of its last seven openers and are 7-3 in the season’s first game under coach Ralph Friedgen.

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Maryland-Navy Notebook: Questions remain at quarterback

Posted on 06 September 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Terps will feel good about their 17-14 victory over the Naval Academy — Maryland’s first win since Oct. 3, 2009 — but a plethora of question marks remain for a team trying to rebound from a 2-10 season in 2009.

Perhaps none looms larger than quarterback Jamarr Robinson, who rushed for 92 yards on 12 attempts but completed only two passes for 11 yards.

Despite showing impressive speed, Robinson has yet to show enough consistency in the passing game to instill much confidence that the Terps can significantly improve after a disastrous 2009. In Monday’s victory over the Midshipmen, Robinson tossed an interception from the Navy 19-yard line as the Terps were threatening to add to a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

“I felt like I could have thrown the ball better,” Robinson said. “We struggled in the passing game, but we came away with the win and that is all that matters.’

Maryland’s plight at quarterback might not be as frustrating if not for the extensive depth it possesses at the wide receiver position. Junior Torrey Smith, a Biletnikoff Award candidate, touched the ball just three times for a total of 11 yards, as the Midshipmen also kicked away from the dangerous returner throughout the afternoon. Adrian Cannon was held to one catch for five yards while LaQuan Williams, Ronnie Tyler, Kevin Dorsey, and Quintin McCree all failed to register a catch.

Of course, production in the passing game takes a backseat when a team rushes for 261 yards on 34 carries, but Ralph Friedgen’s decision to insert Danny O’Brien early in the fourth quarter during a tie game speaks volumes about the uncertainty the coaching staff feels with Robinson at the helm. Despite the change, O’Brien’s fumbled hand-off to Davin Meggett from the Navy 16 paved the way for Robinson’s return after only one play for the redshirt frosh.

The shuffling of quarterbacks, however, is not foreign to Friedgen, as he split time between Turner and Jordan Steffy as early as two seasons ago. The Maryland coach said it was planned to give O’Brien playing time against Navy and reiterated after the game that both quarterbacks would play this season.

“There was a mix-up on [Robinson's] interception,” said Friedgen when asked to assess Robinson’s play. “We’ve got some weapons out there that I’m sure we’re going to be using, but when you only get 39 snaps, that’s the other thing.”

Red zone, dead zone

Efficiency in the red zone is a must for any good football team, but if Monday was any indication, Maryland and Navy may both be heading toward difficult seasons.

The Terps went 3-for-5 in red zone opportunities with Robinson throwing a second-quarter interception from the Navy 19 and O’Brien fumbling from the Mids’ 16 after Tony Logan had snapped off a 57-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter. Maryland cashed in on its three other opportunities inside the red zone with scoring runs by Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett and the go-ahead 24-yard field goal by Travis Baltz.

Navy, however, brought its red zone inefficiency to a new level, going just 2-for-7 inside the 20. The Midshipmen missed a 32-yard field goal, finished three drives with fumbles inside Maryland’s 5-yard line, and sealed their losing fate when quarterback Ricky Dobbs was stuffed by safety Kenny Tate on 4th-and-goal from the Terps’ 1 with 0:34 remaining in the game.

“There’s no consolation in moving the ball,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said after the loss. “The object of the game is to score, and they did a good job keeping us out. We just had some mental lapses. I got out-coached. This is a team loss.”

Double duty for Baltz

Placekicker Nick Ferrara filled in for an injured Baltz last season, so it was only fair for the senior punter to return the favor in the 2010 opener. With Ferrara nursing a groin injury, Baltz handled both punting and kicking duties, making the eventual game-winning 24-yard field goal with 7:50 remaining in the game.

“I tried to mentally prepare myself and when I lined up to kick, I just visualized the ball going in,” Baltz said. “I think my preparation was very helpful for today’s game.”

It was the first field goal of Baltz’s career, and he was also 2-for-2 on PATs. He also averaged 53.0 yards per punt on three tries. Friedgen recognized the senior’s impact by making him a captain for Monday’s game and presenting him with the Crab Bowl trophy after the Terrapins’ win.

Beating Navy

The Terps improved to 7-14 all-time against Navy. Maryland’s last win against Navy had come in the schools’ last meeting, a 23-20 victory at M&T Bank Stadium in 2005.

With Friedgen’s future very much in doubt, Monday’s victory over the Midshipmen may have earned the coach bonus points with newly-appointed athletic director Kevin Anderson. After holding the same position at Army and never beating the Naval Academy during his tenure at West Point, there was little doubt how much satisfaction Anderson took in the Terps’ victory.

“I hope he’s appreciative [of the win],” said Friedgen, earning laughs from reporters in the post-game press conference.

Odds & ends

Meggett’s 67-yard sprint in the first quarter was the longest of the junior’s career. It was also the Terps’ longest run since Darrius Heyward-Bey had a 76-yarder against Clemson on Sept. 27, 2008. Maryland’s longest run last season was a 48-yarder by Scott. … Senior linebacker Alex Wujciak had a career-high 18 tackles and has now recorded double-digit tackles in 18 of his last 23 games. … Tate recorded a career-high 12 tackles, including his stop at the 1 on 4th-and-goal to preserve the victory. … Scott’s 58 rushing yards gave him 1,751 in his career, moving him past Keon Lattimore for 14th on the all-time list at Maryland. … The Terps did not have a pass completion until their first drive of the third quarter. … The announced attendance at M&T Bank Stadium was 69,348.

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After Multiple Failures in 2009, Terps Start 2010 With a ‘Finish’

Posted on 06 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — After finishing the 2009 campaign with a dismal 2-10 record, Maryland Terrapins football coach Ralph Friedgen had just two areas of focus for his team in the offseason.

“Hold on to the football” said Friedgen, “and finish.”

When the Terps opened their 2010 campaign against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium Monday, Friedgen certainly got one of his wishes.

The Midshipmen outgained the Terrapins offensively by a count of 485 yards to 272. The Mids ran 82 offensive plays to the Terps’ 39. Navy picked up 26 first downs while Maryland finished with just 11.

Yet in the end, the final score read Maryland 17, Navy 14.

When the game was over, Friedgen made a statement that would be hard for any Maryland fan to disagree with. He said, “Last year, we probably wouldn’t have won this game.”

There’s little doubt about that. Five of Maryland’s 10 losses last season were by one possession (Middle Tennessee State, @Duke, @NC State, @Florida State, Boston College). Games against Rutgers and Virginia in College Park also involved one-possession differences into the 4th quarter.

Had Maryland been able to “finish” those games, the entire season would have been different.

After going ahead 17-14 on a Travis Baltz field goal with 7:50 to play in the game, Maryland needed to come up with one more defensive stop to “finish” the Midshipmen. Just three plays into the Navy drive, Maryland had Navy backed up into a 3rd and 8 situation. The Terps looked like they had come up with the necessary stop when linebackers Adrian Moten and Alex Wujciak bottled up Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs (a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate) for a two-yard gain. Unfortunately, the stop came after an inadvertent facemask committed by Moten, moving Navy to their own 49 yard line.

Clearly, the penalty swung momentum in Navy’s favor. The Midshipmen proceeded to march downfield, where they faced 4th and goal from the 1-yard line with 37 seconds to play. Coach Ken Niumatalolo decided to go for the winning touchdown instead of attempting a field goal to send the game to overtime. Maryland S Kenny Tate kept Dobbs out of the end zone, finishing off a victory for the Terps.

Coach Niumatalolo’s thoughts after the game? “You have to find a way to finish.”

Maryland didn’t prove much about what type of football team they’d be in 2010 with their win over Navy. The gave up a ton of yards defensively and finished the game with more questions than answers offensively, including a potential QB controversy after Friedgen benched starter Jamarr Robinson for redshirt freshman Danny O’Brien briefly in the second half. They didn’t get the ball to their most dangerous playmaker (Torrey Smith) until after halftime, and Friedgen’s clock management late in the fourth quarter left something to be desired.

Yet, despite all of the struggles and despite facing adversity in the most important moments of the game, Maryland figured out a way to “finish.”

It is unlikely that this Maryland football team will play too many games before or during ACC play in 2010 where they will build a comfortable lead and just have to hang on. It is much more likely, given the level of competition, that to win football games, they will have to fight and scratch throughout. In fact, it is entirely likely that they will play more games where they are outgained, out-coached or outperformed, yet somehow manage to find themselves hanging close in the fourth quarter.

It happened nine times in 2009. The Terps managed to win just two of those games.

To start 2010, they now know they are capable of winning more.

RB Davin Meggett (who lead the team with 105 rushing yards and added a touchdown) told reporters after the game that coming up with that type of finish was “vastly important.” “We now know we can do it,” added Meggett, “I’m pretty sure (Coach Friedgen) is going to expect this from us. We’re going to do our absolute best to finish games now.”

When Maryland used a miraculous 4th down conversion from RB Lance Ball to beat Navy 23-20 in 2005, they could have well said the same things about learning how to finish games. But the Terps were just 1-3 after that point in games decided by one possession, including a loss the following week to Clemson. For the lesson they got in finishing on Monday to mean anything, they’ll have to prove that they truly are capable of winning those types of games.

If they do, things could be much more interesting at Byrd Stadium this season than some analysts have expected.

If they don’t, things could be much more similar to 2005, when the Terps finished the season 5-6 and failed to gain bowl eligibility.

It will depend on how they “finish.” Thanks to their finish Monday, they’re 1-0 when many fans and analysts alike thought they’d be 0-1.

That’s not a bad start.

-G

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What do you expect from the Terps’ football team in 2010?

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Domenic Vadala

On Labor Day, we’ll get our first look at the Maryland Terrapins’ football team this year when they take on Navy at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. As we unfortunately remember, the Terps posted their worst finish under Ralph Friedgen in 2009 with a 2-10 record. However it is worth noting that quarterback Chris Turner was injured towards the end of the season, but also suffered injury problems through most of the year. As is the case with any football team at any level, it all begins and ends with the quarterback position. Much like a lead off hitter in baseball, a quarterback streamlines the entire offense and in many cases the entire team. This year junior Jamarr Robinson will be the starting quarterback for Maryland, who we saw fill in for the injured Turner in the final two games of last season.

So given that the Maryland offense struggled for most of the year in 2009, what makes anyone think that won’t be the status quo in 2010? First off, there’s a big difference in terms of preparation between being the starting quarterback and being a backup. Friedgen is on record as saying that he’s seen a sizable change in Robinson in terms of being a vocal team leader, as well as improving upon his reads and timing with his receivers. At the wideout position Robinson will be complimented on either side by Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon, both of whom figured into the offense last season. The offensive line will return three of five starters, and Robinson will also have tailbacks Davin Meggett and Da’Rel Scott at his disposal. However as I said, everything begins and ends with the quarterback position in football; the success or failure in Maryland’s season will bank on the play of Robinson. From what Coach Friedgen has said, Robinson appears ready to take the reins as the Terps’ next quarterback. I suppose you could look at Robinson’s two starts at the tail end of last season (both losses) similar to preseason games in the NFL. Luckily for him he was able to gain some in-game experience under center, and now he needs to build upon that going into 2010.

On the defensive side of the ball the Terps are only returning five players from last year’s group, however one of them is (linebacker) All-American candidate Alex Wujciak. The defense struggled last season in that they couldn’t make key stops in a lot of close games, and in a few others they allowed Maryland to simply be blown out (the loss to Va Tech comes to mind). So in that sense perhaps heavy turnover isn’t such a bad thing, however the starting defense will be very young this season. In Maryland’s final seven games of the season (all losses), four of them were by seven points or less. Many of those games featured Maryland having the lead, and having the opposing team drive down the field at the end of the game for a winning score. Consistency on the defensive side of the football might well be as important to this team as the play of Jamarr Robinson on offense.

As is the case every year, the schedule itself will play into how Maryland finishes the year. The Terps start things off with the above-mentioned game against Navy in Baltimore. That should be a great day for local college football fans, with the best of the Old Line State on display in the heart and soul of the state of Maryland, the city of Baltimore. Maryland then heads to Byrd Stadium in week two for it’s official home opener, before hitting the road for a tough game at West Virginia in week three. Speaking for myself, I don’t get into the whole thing of teasing WVU fans about burning sofas and so forth, however…can I just state my complete and utter disdain for the West Virginia Mountaineers?! Throw the Virginia Tech Hokies into that mix as well. Maryland will also host Florida International in week four prior to starting the ACC schedule, which will ultimately tell the tale of the season. The Terps went 1-7 in conference play last year, so in my opinion a reasonable goal would be to go .500 in 2010. While this was a very bad team last year, keep in mind that you only need six wins to in theory qualify for a bowl game. So that makes the WVU game that much bigger seeing that if the Terps finish the year at 6-6, they’d be on the bubble in theory. A big win at a quality opponent always looks good. That aside, this team lost a lot of close games last season, so perhaps given those experiences the contingent of players that remain from that injury-plauged roster can help them to win some close ones in 2010.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because myself, the lovely “Boomer Sooner”, “The Luckiest Dang Roommate on the Face of the Planet” and “The Luckiest Dang Roommate’s Girlfriend on the Face of the Planet” all wandered up to Camden, New Jersey (which might be the single WORST place on the face of the planet) to check out the great Jimmy Buffett.

I would sit here and sing the praises of Jimmy Buffett (and/or the multiple Coronas we downed beforehand), but you already know just how great he is. Instead, I’ll let you know that my personal favorite Jimmy Buffett live song is “Southern Cross”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Ah-Ch8NQ4[/youtube]

And yes, you ARE allowed to pick a cover as your favorite song to see live. Of course, now that I found out that it is ALSO Boomer Sooner’s favorite song; I think I’m going to have to consider another. I mean, this is still relatively new for me. I can’t let her think that I respect/value her opinion, can I? She’s a girl!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Birds crushed 4 homers against Justin Masterson, bullpen in win over Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?!?!?!?

Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Matt Wieters and Luke Scott all homered last night (Luke Scott did something on the road?); and the team survived a shaky performance from Jake Arrieta to win their 7th in their last 8.

I don’t know what else to say. The fact is it DOESN’T matter as the team has won 7 of 8 but STILL has the worst record in Major League Baseball-although they’re just a half game in front (behind) of the Pittsburgh Pirates in that race. However, it is really nice to have a stretch like this. They’re not going to win 87.5% of their games the rest of the way; but if they can compete to stay around .500 the rest of the way, we’d all be entertained.

But it still wouldn’t REALLY matter.

What matters is what happens this offseason, and what happens next spring.

But if we’re going to have to watch the games, I guess we might as well be entertained. It’s either this or watching YouTube clips “Come On” highlights from Arrested Development and South Park…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5BMQ-xpTog[/youtube]

Okay, that clip was more entertaining. Sorry to the O’s…

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of another win

By the way, Arrieta’s final line last night was 6IP, 6R (5ER), 6H, 2BB, 3K. I feel like I’m going to hear someone describe his start as “gutty” at some point today.

You know the (new) drill here. You actually DO want to look at the numbers now, which is stunning. Do that, then look at this picture of Nikki Mitchell from The Smoking Jacket/Busted Coverage. Win/win I call it!

nikkimitchell

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara could take save opportunities from Alfredo Simon

I know Buck Showalter is all about winning games (and trust me, I’m GRATEFUL for that); but I don’t think Uehara makes sense.

Uehara’s 2 year, $10 million deal ends in a month and a half; and I just can’t fathom Andy MacPhail having future plans for him in Charm City. Then again, MacPhail was the guy who gave him stupid money and a stupid promised start in the rotation originally.

If Showalter wants to find out whether or not he has a closer on the roster for next season (and I’m guessing he doesn’t), he should go with Simon and Gonzalez. If he’s just hellbent on making sure Steve in Homeland loses his bet with Drew Forrester; maybe it’s worth taking a shot on ol’ “Sideburns.”

4. Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker says former Mariners manager Wakamatsu could join Buck Showalter’s Orioles staff

Apparently these two have a history that dates back to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and this would be a natural fit. I’d be fine with it, but I’d prefer they go out and get an actual PLAYER from the Emerald City. For example, is Ichiro available?

This of course is part of the question surrounding what the Orioles’ staff will look like a season from now. Few in Baltimore would be saddened to see Terry Crowley depart, but baseball minds will tell you he’s still amongst the better true hitting coaches in baseball. There’s an argument that the young pitchers on the Orioles staff would be better suited to have Rick Kranitz stick around for continuity, but there’s also an argument he hasn’t earned that right just yet.

With no offense to Gary Allenson, T-Bone Shelby or Jeff Datz; those jobs really aren’t significant enough to worry about who handles them. Should Buck Showalter have someone from his past (Toronto Blue Jays 3B Coach Brian Butterfield comes to mind) that he wants to fill the role; that’s fine. Should he decide to keep one or more of the current guys in place, that would be fine as well.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore homered in Norfolk Tides’ loss to Indianapolis Indians on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things:

-The Birds and Tribe face off again tonight, with first pitch from the Comeback City at 7:05pm on MASN. Brad Bergesen faces Josh Tomlin-whoever that is.

-Did you miss Hall of Famer Earl Weaver with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Drew and Earl talked about Buck Showalter, the anniversary of Cal Ripken’s MLB debut and much more. Head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Chorye Spoone (Bowie Baysox pitcher)-who joined Drew this morning to discuss his season in the O’s system
  • Orlando Alzugary (WQAM Miami)-who previewed the Miami Dolphins as we continue to preview AFC East teams this week in our look at the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule
  • Purple reports from Westminster with Luke Jones; as well as sound from McDaniel College Tuesday with John Harbaugh, Jameel McClain and Tom Zbikowski
  • Chris Chester (Ravens OL)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Ken Singleton (YES Network)-who discussed the anniversary of Cal’s debut and some New York Yankees baseball with Rex Tuesday
  • Ryan Couture (Strikeforce fighter, son of Randy Couture) and Reed Harris (WEC General Manager)-who both joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, meaning once again you have your day taken care of for you. As always, you’re welcome.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Chris Carr, Jared Gaither likely to miss Ravens preseason opener tomorrow night vs. Carolina Panthers

We still don’t know about some of the other question marks on the roster, including Fabian Washington-who could be sat to protect him from the M&T Bank Stadium turf.

If Washington & Carr can’t play, it would be likely that Travis Fisher and Cary Williams would start. Wow.

They could still go out and make an acquisition. For example, I believe Paulina Stanek is available. (Thanks Don Chavez!)

stanek

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Domonique Foxworth underwent knee surgery Tuesday performed by Dr. James Andrews

That’s right, the ugliest name in all of sports medicine-which also so happens to be one of the best.

It’s a long road back from an ACL tear-but there’s no question in my mind that Domonique can handle it both mentally and physically. Because of the timing of it, he should be in good shape to be back in time for Training Camp next season.

In the meantime…umm…does he maybe have a cousin who can come play for the Ravens???

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff to alternate kicks tomorrow night

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Training Camp is CLOSED to the public (and to the media) today, so if you head up to Carroll County-a trip to Chick-Fil-A will be about your only option. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Luke Jones will still be checking in throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider today on AM1570 WNST as we prepare for the Ravens’ preseason opener tomorrow night.

-This morning’s “Training Camp Top 5″ was “If you were to get in a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the upper deck at Heinz Field, which current or former Ravens would you want on your side?”

Here’s my list:

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Steve McNair
  3. Bart Scott
  4. Tom Zbikowski
  5. Arthur Jones

Here’s Drew’s list:

  1. Rex Ryan
  2. Kelly Gregg
  3. Ray Lewis
  4. Jarret Johnson
  5. Frank Walker

And via Twitter (follow us @WNST), here’s Nestor Aparicio’s list…

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Bob Sapp
  3. Sam Adams
  4. James Trapp
  5. Ray Lewis

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins De’Onte Arnett, Taylor Watson to miss Training Camp in College Park

The Terps held their football Media Day yesterday at Byrd Stadium, and you will be able to hear from plenty of players (including Jamarr Robinson, Da’Rel Scott, Alex Wujciak, Poly’s LaQuan Williams, Antwine Perez, Torrey Smith and more) via WNSTv in the next few days/weeks.

It was a slightly awkward day at Media Day yesterday, as the cloud of last year’s 2-10 record and the uncertainty surrounding Ralph Friedgen and James Franklin (the man tabbed to be the program’s next head coach) remains. It will remain that way until (unless?) Maryland turns things around this season.

The other news to come out of Media Day was that LB Avery Murray has left the team for personal reasons, and Zach Kerr & Ronnie Tyler are still in summer school.

Patrick and I discuss Maryland’s O-Line, preview North Carolina and North Carolina State; and get into a spirited discussion regarding Navy football in this week’s “D1scast”-which you can hear now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

10. LA Times’ Chris Dufresne names Navy 24th best team in country

What Patrick and I discussed yesterday surrounded the nature that this is CLEARLY the best team in Annapolis since maybe as far back as the Roger Staubach era; but all of the positive feelings could go away should Ken Niumatalolo’s Midshipmen lose just the season opener against Maryland.

Their schedule doesn’t allow for them to make too much noise the rest of the way (they face other ACC bottom-feeders like Duke and Wake Forest as well as a Notre Dame team that may or may not be a factor in the BCS this season). Should they suffer an early costly loss, it will be hard to maintain a Top 25 (or Top 25-range) status.

That being said, this is a FANTASTIC problem for the Mids to have.

You know who won’t have trouble staying in the Top 25 this season? Sophie Reade. (Thanks Guyism!)

sophie

And finally, I leave you with this.

I named “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” earlier this week on Facebook (you can add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and add the goofy looking guy sipping Orange Kool-Aid because he lost a bet to Ed in Park Heights). “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison isn’t just A comeback song, it is THE comeback song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB1D9wWxd2w[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because somebody decided to make my week yesterday and alter the Perry Hall High School Wikipedia page. As you know, there was an update made yesterday morning to note the significance of the “Apologist of the Year” award won by Steve Melewski…

melewski

But later in the day; someone (and if you’re reading, I can only say “Thank You”) decided to update the PHHS page again to add an additional member to the “Notable Alumni” section…

glenn

You better believe it’s going on my resume.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle will miss Training Camp with fractured skull

I don’t know how much I can add here. Like I said yesterday-this is terrible news to start the season. Not season-defining news necessarily, but terrible news nonetheless.

Before being dismissive of the significance of Kindle’s injury, I would suggest you take a look at the roster from a personnel standpoint. This team gave up over 207 yards per game from a passing defense standpoint last year. That was still worthy of a Top 10 defensive ranking; but it’s a number that needs to improve as this team tries to win the AFC North and reach Dallas to play in the Super Bowl.

Sergio Kindle was (almost certainly) not going to step in here and post double digit sacks the way someone like Shawne Merriman did; but he was going to give them depth at OLB and a speedy, athletic look opposite Terrell Suggs when he was on the field. The team CLEARLY hoped his presence would help improve the pass rush; even if he wasn’t solely responsible for posting big sack numbers.

The Ravens really don’t have much depth at OLB. Suggs and Jarret Johnson are the starters; but other than Kindle-the depth includes Edgar Jones (a converted TE/ILB/FB/Centerfielder?), Paul Kruger (who the team had bulk up in the offseason for a move to DE), and both Antwan Barnes and Prescott Burgess. They could also ask another of their many ILB’s to move outside (Jameel McClain comes to mind); but none would be likely to help the pass rush even at the level Kindle could have.

That’s just reality.

The other thing I’ve heard a lot in the immediacy of the Kindle injury is “well, Paul Kruger didn’t do anything for us last year after HE was a 2nd round pick.”

True, sure. But you have to understand that the Ravens were UNBELIEVABLY disappointed in what they got from Paul Kruger last season. We’ll always remember his interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that was about it from the rookie from Utah last season. The organization has MUCH higher expectations from players selected that high in the NFL Draft.

Man, two straight days we start this thing on such a downer. Good news ahead?

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens reported to Westminster ‘built for Super Bowl run’

Despite the reality of the Sergio Kindle situation and the month-long Ed Reed distraction, the Troy Smith drama and Cary Williams’ suspension; the Ravens are STILL opening the season with Super Bowl aspirations, and rightfully so.

I had an interesting Twitter conversation with former Ravens TE Dan Wilcox (you can follow him @83DEGREEZ and us @WNST) a few weeks ago about what it takes to win a Super Bowl. I argued that having the right players made up about 80% of the formula for winning the title; with coaching and chemistry making up the other 20% of the formula. Dan disagreed, arguing that chemistry and mental approach made up MUCH more of the formula than I was giving it credit for.

Clearly this isn’t scientific, but Dan WOULD know a thing or two about being part of a winning team-having reached the AFC Championship Game in his final season just two years ago.

If my formula is right, the Ravens have the athletes to win and should make a real push.

If Dan’s formula is right, well, I’m not so sure.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 2nd round pick Terrence Cody

Go ahead and get all of your jokes out right now…

“I heard the Westminster Chick-Fil-A had to call the National Guard for reserves.”
“Are there enough delivery drivers in Carroll County to keep the big man happy?”

Cody didn’t look to have put on any more weight, but hopefully we’ll find out today (Luke Jones is on the field at McDaniel College as I type) exactly what Cody’s weight is as Camp begins.

And then hopefully moving forward we won’t have to continuously update this.

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE. He failed his conditioning test. Awesome news.)

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ed Reed, Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb amongst those who will start camp on PUP list

None of that is surprising-it will be more interesting to see who else MIGHT end up on the PUP list while returning from injury.

By the way, a reminder that this ISN’T the “miss the first 6 weeks of the season” PUP list; this is a PUP list for Training Camp-and there are some clerical matters involved. These guys can go on the PUP list now but be removed before Monday Night Football on September 13.

I’m REALLY hoping that the team DOESN’T put Sofia Vergara on the PUP list. That would be criminal (Thanks Guyism!)…

vergara

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh plans to ‘work out’ issues with Ed Reed

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-If you missed Drew Forrester’s chat with veteran NFL agent Ralph Cindrich this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST-it was really interesting. They discussed Sergio Kindle, his former client Troy Smith and the agent issues currently surrounding USC and NCAA Football in general. The conversation is in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net if you want to check it out. Ravens rookie WR David Reed joined Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, you can check that out as well.

-The Ravens are back on the practice field today; with an afternoon practice at 3:30pm. John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco are all scheduled to meet with the media following practice this morning-we’ll have it all in the Audio Vault, and you can hear all of it throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Nestor Aparicio on AM1570 WNST.

6. The AP says Wieters had first career multi-HR game, but Orioles dropped series opener to Blue Jays in Toronto

In fairness, the Birds played REALLY well…after they were down 8-0.

A rough outing for Brad Bergesen, who I guess thought Chris Tillman’s demotion last week meant he had nothing to worry about moving forward. Ugh.

Jose Bautista hit his Major League Baseball-leading 28th home run of the year last night. I know Matt Garza threw the 5th no-hitter of the season last night, but are we sure guys stopped using steroids?

At first blush, I couldn’t believe that was Matt Wieters’ first multi-homer game of his career. When I thought about it more, it made plenty of sense.

Are the Matt Wieters Facts not funny anymore? I’ve had so much taken from me as an O’s fan, I can’t stomach the idea of losing this as well!

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

By the way, I have NO IDEA why Juan Samuel brought Brad Bergesen back out to start the 6th inning last night. At first blush, I thought it was shameful. When Samuel pulled him a batter later, I DEFINITELY thought it was shameful.

But as always, you REALLY don’t want to look at the numbers from last night. Instead, look at Adrianne Curry dressed as Princess Leia at Comic-Con in San Diego (Thanks Don Chavez!). We’ll regroup after that…

leia

8. MLB.com’s James Hall says Wigginton’s suspension reduced to two games

Which forced the O’s to play Jake Fox at first last night and have just Julio Lugo and Corey Patterson on the bench.

I’d be concerned, but what does it really matter?

No word on whether or not the O’s are considering a roster move to get another player on the bench tonight; but it might be a good idea. Just a thought-but a backup catcher (Craig Tatum comes to mind) could be helpful.

9. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell went 0-7 in Norfolk Tides’ loss on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-The Birds are back in action tonight; facing the Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Kevin Millwood and Ricky Romero is at 7:07pm, the game can be seen on MASN. I don’t like the Birds’ chances against Romero. They don’t do well against lefties. Or anyone.

-Congratulations to Luke Scott for being named the American League Player of the Month. Hopefully that will impress the New York Mets. Or Detroit Tigers. Or San Diego Padres. Or anyone…

-If you missed former Orioles Executive and current SiriusXM MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette with Drew Forrester this morning, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Delmarva Shorebirds field coach/former O’s CF/my personal hero Mike Devereaux was also on the show, as well as former Maryland lacrosse coach and current Chesapeake Bayhawks consultant Dave Cottle. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen confirmed Jamarr Robinson will start under center for Terrapins

Which we basically knew; but this just settles anyone who thought the job could be available for Danny O’Brien or C.J. Brown to win this summer in College Park.

If Kimberly Phillips shows up in camp however-I’d let her win whatever job she wanted (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)…

kimberly

11. ACC Official Site says Terps picked to finish last in Atlantic Division by media assembled in Greensboro

Ehh…2nd…4th…6th…doesn’t matter to me. It’s like Ricky Bobby says…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_isgXzxIa24[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

Did Kings of Leon really cancel a show in St. Louis when there was an…umm…seagull incident?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siIQmp4KUoE[/youtube]

I’d be more concerned if they weren’t the band that did “Be Somebody.” That earns them something…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7dQTqBGASU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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