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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Bengals

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Bengals

Posted on 12 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 20-17 (OT) win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Justin Tucker 46 yard field goal good (Overtime)

4. James Ihedigbo 37 yard return of Andy Dalton interception intended for Tyler Eifert, Mohamed Sanu called for 11 yard personal foul (2nd quarter)

3. Reggie Nelson draws 48 yard pass interference on Joe Flacco pass intended for Jacoby Jones (1st down)

2. Terrell Suggs and Corey Graham tackle Andy Dalton for no gain on 4th & 1 (1st down)

1. Giovani Bernard -11 yard catch from Andy Dalton on 4th down, tackled by Corey Graham (Overtime)



(Continued on Page 2…)

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Defense offers glimpse of what Ravens will need down stretch

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Defense offers glimpse of what Ravens will need down stretch

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — The Ravens defense talked extensively about its need to be more dynamic and to finish stronger late in games after narrow losses to Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland over the last month.

A Hail Mary touchdown pass from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to A.J. Green on the final play of regulation certainly jeopardized that goal, but the Ravens rebounded in overtime for a 20-17 win to not only snap a three-game losing streak but — for the time being, anyway — save their season. The last-second gaffe received much of the attention following the game, but the Baltimore defense’s aggressiveness in forcing three turnovers and sacking Dalton five times was the most encouraging takeaway from Sunday’s game.

After a series of solid performances that weren’t quite good enough in recent weeks, the Ravens defense was a game-wrecking unit against the Bengals for most of the afternoon on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Ravens offense looked a lot like, well, the Ravens offense after being held scoreless in the third and fourth quarters and failing to run out the clock after a James Ihedigbo interception with 1:55 remaining in regulation.

General manager Ozzie Newsome spent most of the Ravens’ resources this offseason to upgrade the defense, and the results have been solid but unspectacular. While certainly an above-average unit that entered Week 10 ranked 10th overall in yards allowed and points surrendered, the Ravens have lacked the ability to make game-changing plays (entering Week 10 ranked 11th in the AFC with only 10 takeaways) to support an offense that’s struggled mightily all season and have surrendered long second-half drives to eliminate potential comeback attempts.

Sunday’s performance against the league’s ninth-ranked offense and seventh-ranked passing attack was exactly what the Ravens needed to not only rebound from a disappointing first half but to give hope of advancing to the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. If the Ravens are to achieve that goal, a game-changing defense would provide a major shot in the arm to an offense that looks lost more often than not.

“We have the motto that once you put it on tape, that’s what expected of you,” said Ihedigbo, who had two interceptions but inexplicably batted the ball in the air to Green on the touchdown to force overtime on the final play of regulation. “Defensively, we played lights out today. I made the reference back to the 2000 defense — they didn’t give up anything to anybody. And when you go with that mindset, it shows on the field.”

Expecting them to rise to the level of the Super Bowl XXXV defense would be too much to ask, but the Ravens showed a level of aggression not seen all season with defensive coordinator Dean Pees calling an increased number of blitzes that led to Dalton being hit nine times, contributing to his completion percentage falling below 50 percent. However, the most dynamic change to Pees’ defense was the decision to move cornerback Lardarius Webb inside in the nickel package, a position he played with great success prior to the second ACL injury of his career last season.

The change led to Webb’s best game of the season as the fifth-year cornerback collected his first interception and made six pass breakups to go along with five tackles. On a day that included strong performances across the board in the secondary, Webb was the best player on the field for the Ravens.

It remains to be seen whether the Ravens will make it a permanent move as No. 3 cornerback Corey Graham lacks the ideal size to play on the outside — Webb previously played inside when the Ravens had the bigger Cary Williams available to play outside opposite Jimmy Smith — but the 5-foot-10 Webb played more aggressively than he has all season in blitzing from the nickel spot and getting hands up in passing lanes.

“That’s my thing. I always play outside because that’s where they wanted me and that’s where they need me,” said Webb about the position change in the nickel package. “I felt like with me playing safety in college and liking to tackle and eyes roaming sometimes, that’s just my spot. I like that spot; I felt comfortable. With that position, you get to tackle, you get to blitz, you get to cover, you get to do it all. You kind of just get to play football.”

The key to beating the Bengals was providing enough harassment on all levels of the defense to entice the bad Dalton to surface as he did in Miami in Week 9. A secondary that included three players listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week rose to the occasion and limited the Bengals’ big plays other than the 51-yard prayer that was tipped into Green’s hands to force the extra period. However, the defense rebounded to make a fourth-down stop of running back Giovani Bernard in overtime to give the Ravens the ball back at their own 44 before the final game-winning drive.

Third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith had one of his best days as a pro, making five tackles and breaking up two passes of his own, and Ihedigbo and rookie Matt Elam turned in strong performances at the safety spots as the Ravens broke up 17 passes in all. Of course, they could thank a ferocious pass rush led by Elvis Dumervil’s 2 1/2 sacks for lending a hand up front.

“Our secondary played tremendously well,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Everybody is going to talk about the last play [in regulation], which is a shame in some ways. Maybe you will talk about the whole game. I thought the pressure was very good, but our secondary covered a very talented and gifted receiving corps all day.”

The Ravens offered a glimpse on Sunday of what they’ll need the rest of the way to give themselves a real shot down the stretch. The offense was again miserable beyond an ability to capitalize on good field position a couple times in the first half and to put together a 28-yard drive in overtime to set up Justin Tucker’s 48-yard field goal to win the game.

Baltimore must have the dynamic, game-changing defensive effort it got Sunday on a regular basis because the offense continues to show no signs of real improvement. It’s no secret that the Ravens lack balance and have struggled in all three phases of the game at different times this season, but Sunday’s win represented a successful attempt to augment the team’s biggest strength.

The challenge will be repeating it moving forward.

“We have to play great as a defense if we want to get back on track,” Webb said. “And today, from the [defensive] line with all the pressure [to] the turnovers, we played great as a defense as a whole. We’ve got to keep getting our hands on the ball. If we keep getting turnovers, then we can keep winning.”

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Creative Deck Designs Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 20-17 (OT) win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn’s Pats…

5. Ed Dickson

 

4. Justin Tucker

3. Torrey Smith

 

2. Elvis Dumervil

1. Lardarius Webb (Pat on Both Cheeks)

 

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Ravens-Bengals: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Bengals: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — Approaching must-win territory this early in a season for quite some time, the Ravens look to snap a three-game losing streak while narrowing the gap in the AFC North when they take on the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

At 3-5 and trailing Cincinnati by 2 1/2 games entering Week 10, the Ravens have little margin for error if they want to advance to the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year under head coach John Harbaugh. Baltimore is trying to avoid a third straight division loss and is off to its worst start through eight games since the 2005 season.

A banged-up Ravens defense will have the tall order of slowing Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and the league’s seventh-ranked passing game, but defensive backs James Ihedigbo (toe), Jimmy Smith (groin), and Corey Graham (calf) are all active and will play. In addition, starting inside linebacker Daryl Smith was deemed active after dealing with what was listed as a thigh injury all week.

The Ravens ruled second-year cornerback Asa Jackson inactive, making you assume they’re confident in the health of both Smith and Graham in the secondary. Rookie defensive tackle Brandon Williams was the only other player ruled inactive that could be deemed a surprise as the Bengals average 106.8 rushing yards per game despite their passing game being their biggest strength.

Former Bengals running back Bernard Scott is a healthy scratch for the second straight week and will not have an opportunity to face his former team.

Meanwhile, the Bengals will be without starting tight end Jermaine Gresham, who tested out his injured groin during pre-game warmups but was deemed inactive. As expected, rookie running back Giovani Bernard (ribs) is active. Cincinnati is already reeling from the loss of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who suffered a torn ACL in the Week 9 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The Bengals are also without starting inside linebacker Rey Maualuga, who continues to be sidelined by a knee injury.

The Ravens have won four of their last five games over the Bengals, with their only defeat over that stretch coming in Week 17 last season when they rested an overwhelming number of starters after wrapping up the AFC North title a week earlier. Baltimore leads the all-time series by a 19-15 margin and are 12-5 at home.

Sunday’s referee will be Walt Coleman.

The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 60s, but winds up to 20 miles per hour could wreak havoc for both teams’ passing attacks and kicking game at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens will wear purple jerseys with black pants while Cincinnati dons white jerseys with black pants.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
CB Asa Jackson
S Omar Brown
RB Bernard Scott
C Ryan Jensen
WR Brandon Stokley
LB John Simon
DT Brandon Williams

CINCINNATI
TE Jermaine Gresham
CB Chris Lewis-Harris
LB Michael Boley
LB Rey Maualuga
C Trevor Robinson
G Tanner Hawkinson
DT Devon Still

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio, Drew Forrester, and I bring live coverage from Baltimore throughout the day.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Browns

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Browns

Posted on 05 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 24-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Jason Campbell 12 yard run on 3rd & 3 (4th quarter)

The first good opportunity the Ravens had to end the Browns’ final drive.

4. Jabaal Sheard sacks Joe Flacco for 1 yard loss on 3rd & 3 at Baltimore 47 (4th quarter)

This was even worse considering the Ravens had already converted a 4th down on the drive.

3. Davone Bess 1 yard TD catch from Jason Campbell on 4th and goal (1st quarter)

A remarkable catch and a play that set the tone for the game.

2. Davone Bess 3 yard catch from Jason Campbell on 4th and 1 (4th quarter)

The Ravens would have ended up with the ball, plenty of time and great field position.

1. Eric Martin recovers Spencer Lanning punt muffed by Tandon Doss at Ravens 11 (3rd quarter)

Clearly the single biggest turn of the game.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Packers “Slaps to the Head”

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Our Ravens/Packers “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 13 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the Creative Deck Designs Postgame Show on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Green Bay Packers 19-17 Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. James Ihedigbo

4. Lardarius Webb

3. Gino Gradkowski

2. Juan Castillo

1. Ray Rice (Two Slaps)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Monroe officially set to make Ravens debut against Packers

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Monroe officially set to make Ravens debut against Packers

Posted on 12 October 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed what had been considered all but a certainty throughout the week as newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe will not only make his Ravens debut against the Green Bay Packers but will also start.

With more than a week of preparation under his belt after being acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Monroe will replace veteran Bryant McKinnie as the starting left tackle on Sunday. The 26-year-old Monroe has put in long hours at the team’s Owings Mills facility getting caught up to speed with run-game coordinator Juan Castillo and offensive line coach Andy Moeller about the Ravens’ blocking schemes.

“He did a heck of a job this week. He looks good,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I would anticipate that he’ll play quite a bit — possibly start. You might even say probably start at this point — that would be my anticipation right now. Unless something changes between now and then, he’ll be the starter at left tackle.”

Selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2009 draft, Monroe had spent his entire career with the Jaguars before he was traded the Baltimore in exchange for two third-day picks in next year’s draft. He won a total of 22 games in five years with Jacksonville, making it understandable for the University of Virginia product to feel energized in joining the defending Super Bowl champions.

However, Monroe tempered that excitement over his debut on Friday in explaining his need to be on the same page with his new offensive line mates.

“I approach game day the same way I do every week regardless of the situation,” Monroe said. “Excitement’s not an emotion that necessarily helps you perform as far as precision. I’ll need to be precise this week and be on top of my game since everything is brand-new. I am excited, but I’ll be focused.”

Meanwhile, McKinnie revealed to reporters he has been dealing with swelling in his knee and even had it drained recently to ease some of the discomfort.

Harbaugh acknowledged giving McKinnie some rest this week while Monroe received more extensive work with the offensive line, but the veteran took the high road in saying he’ll continue to do his part despite speculation that he could be traded after losing his starting position. It remains unclear whether the Ravens would be willing to weaken their new-found offensive line depth by trading McKinnie.

“Bryant has had a very good week as well,” Harbaugh said. “We didn’t practice him Wednesday just for soreness from the game and things like that, but he’s practiced the rest of the time and he looks good.”

Reports on McClain favorable

Though Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain isn’t eligible to begin practicing until next week as he is currently on the reserve physically unable to perform list, Harbaugh confirmed reports earlier in the week painting an improved medical outlook for the sixth-year defensive player.

McClain sustained a spinal cord contusion last December and hasn’t played since then in waiting for magnetic resonance imaging to show improvement to the point that he can return to football. The Ravens have expressed confidence all along that the inside linebacker would eventually be cleared.

“I think it was reported that he was cleared, and there is some truth to that,” Harbaugh said. “The back specialists have looked at his most recent MRIs, and it’s very favorable. I’m not in position to sit here and say completely 100 percent — I don’t know that. There is a process still involved, but it’s encouraging to say the least. It’s all positive that way.”

Upon McClain’s expected return to the practice field — no starting date has yet been determined — the Ravens would have a 21-day window before they must return him to the 53-man roster, waive him, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

Harbaugh proud of chest bump fail

Harbaugh gained notoriety earlier in the week for his attempted chest bump that was inadvertently denied by safety James Ihedigbo in last Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins.

The 51-year-old coach presented the clip to his players and showed a strong sense of humor when asked about it on Friday.

“I was kind of proud of the video,” said Harbaugh, drawing laughs from reporters in Owings Mills. “There was some good air between my feet and the ground there, absolutely. Then I played it off a little bit. I kind of turned and gave a little fist pump.”

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MobTown Sports Beat Monday Ravens Roundup

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MobTown Sports Beat Monday Ravens Roundup

Posted on 23 September 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

 

The Ravens improved to 2-1 on the season yesterday with a one-sided, 30-9 win over the Houston Texans. After the way that the Texans handled the Ravens last season, there were a number of reasons to be concerned beforehand. Truth be told, I had a much worse feeling about what might happen against Houston than I did before the beat down the Ravens suffered in Denver in Week1. Hindsight however is 20/20, so here’s a quick rundown of what we know now after the Ravens latest victory:

5. Justin Tucker is Back on Track

…for now at least. Maybe it was the reception that Billy Cundiff received from the Ravens faithful last week that had Tucker out of sorts. Maybe it was just the presence of Cundiff in the building that infected Tucker’s right foot last Sunday. Regardless, Tucker made enough big kicks in his rookie year to have some equity built up with fans. That equity though wouldn’t have lasted through too many 0-for-2 performances like he had last week vs. Cleveland, especially if those misses began to cost the Ravens games.

While concern over the kicking game was mild at most, it was nice to see Tucker get back on track with a 3-for-3 game against the Texans, hitting from 28, 45 and 43 yards. Even though the two from 40+ came in late, low leverage situations, any concerns fans had about the Ravens kicking game can be shelved…for now.

4. Dirty Birds

After struggling with penalties last year, the Ravens still appear to have some work to do in that regard. The 2013 Ravens have 20 penalties for 181 yards through 3 games, including 10 for 87 yards in yesterday’s affair. Despite their most penalized performance of the season vs. Houston, the Ravens still managed to win the “penalty battle” as the Texans racked up 14 for 113 yards.

3. Cheering for Laundry

On the day that Ed Reed returned to Baltimore as a member of a new team, and Ray Lewis returned to be honored by the Ravens, it was the guys who suited up in their places that stole the show. James Ihedigbo picked up 9 tackles, 2 for a loss along with 2 defended passes and simply seemed to be everywhere while covering Ed Reed’s old spot. Daryl Smith, playing in Ray Lewis’ former domain plucked a Matt Schaub pass away from a waiting Owen Daniels, and at a time where the Ravens offense was struggling to make hay, made some on his own, hustling it 37 yards to pay dirt.

For all of the Ravens off-season pick-ups, Daryl Smith might have been the least heralded. He was grabbed on the same day the Ravens visited the White House and his signing went basically under the radar. If he continues to play like he did on Sunday, he could be the team’s most impactful addition. It’s also pretty encouraging that his big play came defending a tight end, which has been an issue for the Ravens of late.  

2. Doss is a Boss

What more can you say about a guy who was shown the door by the team when they pared down to their final 53 men, only to come back with an emphatic impact? Life out of football, brief as it may have been, seems to have brought out the best in Tandon Doss who is making the most out of his second chance with the Ravens. Maybe in the coming weeks Doss can become more a part of the Ravens passing game, and finally show fans those hands we heard so much about from the team about throughout his first 2 seasons. It’s not like the Ravens offense couldn’t use a pair of hands that they can trust between the hash marks.

1. Who Says Joe Flacco Can’t Act?

While Joe Flacco’s increased, post-Super Bowl public profile has led to some pretty clunky performances as a pitchman in various commercials, Flacco’s acting skills were on full display yesterday. After last season’s debacle at the hands of the Texans, JJ Watt and the rest of the Houston pass rush broke the huddle with their ears pinned back more often than not on Sunday. Flacco used that aggression against the Texans inducing 5 encroachment or defensive offsides penalties on the anxious Texans defense.

Elsewhere in the AFC North

The Bengals picked up a big win and remain tied with the Ravens at 2-1 atop the division. For now at least, it’s shaping up to be an interesting battle between these 2 for the division. They’ll meet again in Week 17 this year, maybe with something actually on the line this time.

The Steelers looked really bad to start against the Bears on Sunday night, but showed some real resilience closing the gap from 24-3 to 27-23. It looked like Pittsburgh had really found their resolve in the face of an 0-3 start. In the end though, their comeback attempt was little more than a chance for Ben Roethlisberger to cough up the ball in a late critical situation…it’s kind of their thing.

Leave it to the Browns to all but announce that they’re going into full tank mode by trading RB Trent Richardson and skipping right over Jason Campbell on the depth chart to 3rd stringer Brian Hoyer to replace injured starter Brandon Weeden, and then pick up a win on Sunday. There are even reports that the Browns are shopping receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Of course the Browns can’t even tank right. If they had only known that the best way to win was to actually try to lose, they could have saved themselves and their fans years of heartache.

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Our Ravens/Texans “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Texans “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 22 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Creative Deck Designs Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each (Tim Horsey played the role of Ryan Chell for Week 4.)

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 30-9 win over the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday…

Glenn’s Pats…

5. Gino Gradkowski

 

4. Dean Pees

 

3. Haloti Ngata

 

2. Torrey Smith

 

1. Daryl Smith (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens take training camp on road to Annapolis

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Ravens take training camp on road to Annapolis

Posted on 04 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After a successful first trip to Annapolis last year, the Ravens once again took training camp on the road Sunday in a public practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

The Ravens drew more than 20,000 fans to Annapolis last year for one of three public practices to offset the discontinuation of training camp in Westminster. Once again, Baltimore will hold practices at M&T Bank Stadium as well as Stevenson University this summer in an effort to give fans an opportunity to see them practice.

The organization did not have an official attendance figure after Sunday’s practice, but a team official described the crowd  as “comparable” to last year’s turnout.

Baltimore is now two weeks into camp and still a few days away from its preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making Sunday a golden opportunity to break up the monotony of daily practices at the team’s training facility in Owings Mills. It also provided a stadium setting for rookie players getting ready for their first live-game action on Thursday.

“The great thing about it is that you get in a situation like this where you’re in a stadium,” Harbaugh said. “It’s amazing how guys’ brains seem to shut down the first time they get into a new environment. So, you go down to Tampa and you go on the road in a game, and it’s hard for them, so they start making little mistakes. I think this will be a stepping-stone towards that.”

Safety James Ihedigbo (neck) and wide receiver David Reed (groin) were new absentees on Sunday, joining Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot), and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore as non-participants. According to the Ravens’ official Twitter account on Friday, Ihedigbo was shaken up on the final play of practice in Owings Mills, but the injury wasn’t believed to be serious.

Both Harbaugh and Ihedigbo confirmed the strong safety is dealing with a minor neck injury. Ihedigbo was listed as the starter on the team’s first depth chart released last week as he continues to compete with first-round pick Matt Elam, who took the reps with the first-team defense on Sunday.

“We’re just giving James a rest on the neck,” Harbaugh said. “He kind of got tweaked a little bit – [there’s] a little strain in there. It’s from the special teams drills. He goes pretty hard in there, so more than anything, I want to back him off a little bit.”

Tight end Ed Dickson practiced on Sunday but left the field early in the session after tweaking his hamstring. The injury forced veteran Visanthe Shiancoe into extensive action with the starting offense.

Harbaugh eased concerns about Dickson’s status after practice as the Ravens are already dealing with the season-ending hip injury suffered by starting tight end Dennis Pitta.

“His hamstring grabbed a little bit, so we pulled him out for precautionary reasons,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll take a look at it tomorrow and see how it looks and see where we’re at.”

Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood returned to the practice field for the first time in over a week Sunday after receiving an injection to alleviate swelling in his knee.

Fans greeted players with loud cheers and enthusiasm as they took the field shortly after 5 p.m., with Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco receiving the loudest reaction.

Tucker comes up short by his long standards

Kicker Justin Tucker had no problem converting a series of kicks from under 50 yards Sunday, but the Ravens once again tested the limits of his remarkable range.

After missing a 58-yard attempt wide to the left, Tucker came up just short on kicks from 63, 65, and 68 yards. The second-year kicker hit the crossbar on a 63-yarder, which is the distance equaling the NFL record.

“It was fun,” said Harbaugh, who’s teased his kicker whenever he’s missed from record-setting distances this summer. “It was great to see him out here in front of the crowd and get the long field goals. I’m always disappointed when he misses those 69-yarders, you know?”

McKinnie sounds off on weight issue

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie appeared to be growing tired of the questions about his weight on Sunday after he missed the first full-squad workout two weeks ago for being roughly 10 pounds overweight.

The 33-year-old has taken part in every workout since, but he is still trying to reach his target weight of 346 pounds that was prescribed by the teae. McKinnie said Sunday that he hasn’t played at that weight since 2002 but is moving closer to it.

“It’s not an issue,” McKinnie said. “I’m not like a big, huge guy. I’m not fat or sloppy. People will see me and they’re like, ‘Oh, you lost a lot of weight.’ Actually, I didn’t. It’s just every time I’m overweight — whether it’s five or 10 pounds — people assume I’ve just ballooned up.”

Odds & ends

Flacco and wide receiver Torrey Smith appeared to be picking on third-year cornerback Chykie Brown as they connected for two touchdowns against him during 11-on-11 drills. The pair completed a score on a comeback route on which Brown lost his footing and later connected on a touchdown strike on a quick inside slant in the red zone. … Rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette caught a long touchdown from backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor as the seventh-round pick beat cornerback Asa Jackson to catch a pretty pass. … Wide receiver Jacoby Jones had the most impressive route of the day, burning Jimmy Smith badly on a double move that caused the third-year defensive back to fall down during a 1-on-1 drill. … Rookie cornerback Moe Lee intercepted a Tyrod Taylor pass in a team drill, showing a quick break on the ball to continue his impressive camp despite an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. … Owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome were present after attending Jonathan Ogden’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio on Saturday night. As practice was concluding, Bisciotti heeded the cries of young fans to show off his Super Bowl ring, pretending to toss the ring into the stands before walking over and offering the children a closer look at the gaudy piece of jewelry.

 

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