On a rainy, dreary day heading out to Owings Mills Thursday, a cloud seemed to hang over the heads of the Ravens as news broke out early this morning that Trevor Pryce, who was released by the team Wednesday, reportedly has signed a deal with the New York Jets.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs wrote on his Twitter account early this morning that Pryce had moved on to join Rex Ryan, his former defensive coordinator here in Baltimore. It was believed that the Ravens had released Pryce with the intention of bringing him back next week after Sunday against Pittsburgh when he was healthy, but with Pryce a Jet, his time as a Raven will have come to an end.
Written in marker on the white board in the Ravens locker room, it said-“R.I.P Trevor…You’re a comeback good man”. Suggs in the locker room before the afternoon practice said that the move “shocked” him and that he wished him all the best and to “call him from the big city.”
I’m shocked. I’m stunned. I’m still waiting from a call from him. I called him a few [unpleasant] words…just joking. That’s my man…all the best,” Suggs said.
If Pryce’s time in Baltimore is over as it appears to be, he will have finished his career as a Raven with 26 sacks in five seasons, including a team-high 6.5 last season. He is fourth on the active career sacks list with 90 quarterback drops, and his 13 sacks in 2006 were third most in team history for a single season.
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison had not heard about the move when he spoke to the media this morning, but he did make sure to wish him all the best for his time under his guidance.
“We loved having here and he was a tremendous addition in our meeting room and we wish him the best of luck,” Mattison said.
Status of Ray Rice
Running back Ray Rice made himself available to the media Thursday after being barred from talking to reporters Wednesday.
He was also available to head coach Cam Cameron and the offense Thursday, as he practiced in pads Thursday afternoon with the offensive line, as he tested his bruised knee making as many cuts as possible.
He also wore a red , non-contact practice jersey that are usually designed for the quarterback and has been used by the likes of safety Ed Reed in the past.
Terrell Suggs, when entering the practice arena, saw Rice immediately and called out to Rice, saying “you look cute in that [expletive] jersey.”
His status is still uncertain for Sunday, and while Rice did say he was feeling better, he said it’s up to the coaching staff to decide and he said he wouldn’t risk it if it isn’t 100%.
“At the end of the day, Sunday is the ultimate test. And that decision will be up to coach. Let’s see how I look in practice, but right now, I feel great.”
Rice said the injury occurred due to a bad plant, and it will be interesting to see how things go on Sunday against an even more intimidating defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rice is confident he wont miss a snap of action.
“My initial thought I was scared,” Rice said. “But then it was new life…and I don’t expect to miss any time.”
“I’m an optimistic guy. If I’m able to cut and I’m able to run…if I’m able to do the things I can do and be the Ray Rice I can be, there’s no question whether I’ll play or not.”
In fact, he has all the confidence in the world that the Ravens coaching and training staff are not only going to make sure he is healthy, but that he will be as safe as can be if he suits up against the Steelers.
“I don’t think there is any risky point when you find out it’s a bruise. Any knee situation is scary. Any guy that has to deal with a small tweak, you do have to take precautionary measures. I think our team does a great job of that.”
Ravens Avoid the Flood by Going Indoors
Other Ravens practicing Thursday included tackle Tony Moll, who was limited in practice Wednesday with a hip injury. He suited up in full pads and was active in the pass blocking drills.
Donte Stallworth(foot) and Tavares Gooden(shoulder), and Edgar Jones(thigh) were the only regular Ravens to not practice, but a strange no-show was tackle Jared Gaither, who is battling a thoracic disk injury.
Gaither was limited in practice yesterday and it was the first time he had done so since the first week of training camp. With him missing practice Thursday, he could have had a setback in his recovery from his disk injury. WIth Moll and Oniel Cousins both back and healthy, Gaither may miss his fourth game of the year.
The Ravens have said throughout the week that he would only be active if he were to play every snap, and with Gaither appearing to not be at full strength, it is likely he will not play on Sunday or will be a game-time decision at the latest.
The Ravens are going to have their hands full dealing with two top-of-the-line pass rusher in Lamar Woodley and former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, who are devastating pass rushers around the edge.
“We just have to block them up,” Marshal Yanda said, who could be starting his fourth game of the season at right tackle. “That sounds pretty simple. It sounds overly simple. But it is. We just need to put a hat on a hat and block them when they come and use good technique.”
“If I get help, I get help. If I don’t, I don’t. You always plan on not getting help, cause most of the time you don’t.”
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said those two have been in the back of his mind as the week has gone on.
“They’re obviously two of the best in the league. You come up with what you think is a sound plan,” Cameron said. “Sometimes you double them. Sometimes you single them. Sometimes you triple them. And then you rely on the trust between the quarterback and the receivers to get the ball out quickly.”
Defensive end Paul Kruger(shoulder) practiced on special teams lining up in punt and kick block, and as he returns from a labrum injury he sustained in the preseason. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is happy to seeing him getting closer to being plugged in on defense.
“He’s a very important part of our defense. He’s improved a great deal in the switch, and if he is one of the guys in the active this week… he will be a big part of this game as he was last year,” Mattison noted.
And with Trevor Pryce in New York, Kruger is one step closer to seeing the field with his pass-rush abilities.
Another body-a big body-who could see playing time against a Steelers power running game is defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who is recovering from a knee injury.
Mattison has been impressed with Cody’s resolve in coming back from a knee injury such as his-something Mattison said he hasn’t seen too often.
“He’s another one that’s in the mix. But we’re not sure. Terrence Cody is back. He is working very hard and we worked really hard last week. I’m really excited about him playing again,” Mattison said.
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