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Buffalo Bills v Baltimore Ravens

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After inspiring playoff performance, Flacco reiterates desire for new deal

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A Fu-Manchu-free Joe Flacco cleaned out his locker with the rest of his teammates at the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility on Monday morning, still feeling the hurt of a heartbreaking 23-20 loss in the AFC championship less than 24 hours earlier.

However, the dramatic conclusion to the season doesn’t prevent the Ravens from turning an eye toward the future with difficult personnel decisions needing to be made on a number of veteran free agents. Players knew they were greeting some teammates for the final time, and that uncertainty only adds to the sting of the last-second disappointment in Foxborough.

“It’s tough to really think about that,” Flacco said. “You know it’s going to happen, but you don’t know which guys it’s going to be. It’s tough to kind of be in our shoes and go through that. You kind of just take it for what it is.”

Of course, Flacco remains under contract for one more season under the five-year deal he signed when the Ravens drafted the Delaware quarterback with 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft. The 27-year-old expressed his desire for an extension last offseason and only improved his stock with a strong performance against the Patriots in which he outplayed future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

Muting many of his doubters with a 306-yard, two-touchdown performance despite the Ravens falling to New England, Flacco reconfirmed his preference to not have to play out the final year of his contract. The quarterback feels confident in his play to command a long-term extension with Baltimore.

“Definitely,” Flacco said. “We’ll see how it goes. If it goes, it goes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Though Flacco came under plenty of fire this season after failing to take a leap in his development — at least, statistically speaking — he also orchestrated comeback victories against Pittsburgh and Arizona.

He would have done it again if wide receiver Lee Evans had maintained control of a beautifully-thrown ball that dropped right in his breadbasket before rookie Sterling Moore punched the ball loose. Regardless of the final outcome, Flacco proved capable of having a major part in the outcome of a championship game with running back Ray Rice being a non-factor for most of the game.

“I said it all along, I’m the quarterback I am,” Flacco said. “The first four years that I’ve played here, we’ve gone to the playoffs every time [and] won a game. I think the last two years I’ve played in the playoffs I’ve played well in the playoffs. If you watched the film and you’re a guy in this organization, I think that you can say, ‘Hey, he’s played really good for us.’ Like I said, you never know what’s going to happen, so we’ll see.”

Linebacker decisions

While recent talk has centered around the future of veteran linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens will face difficult decisions with starting backers Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain set to become unrestricted free agents.

With the Ravens likely discussing the possibility of Lewis’ role in the defense being altered — specifically in passing situations — they will also try to determine McClain’s value before the fourth-year linebacker hits the open market. Since being signed as a rookie free agent from Syracuse in 2008, McClain has transformed his role as a special teams player into a starting inside linebacker.

With past Ravens linebackers such as Edgerton Hartwell and Bart Scott receiving lucrative offers from other teams, could McClain be the next Ray Lewis protege to leave the nest?

“I don’t know,” said McClain, who expressed a preference to remain in Baltimore. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know that everything is unpredictable, so expect the unexpected.”

Speaking of Hartwell and Scott, it’s no secret that many defensive players have left the Ravens, only to find the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. Aside from the simple economics, McClain will consider all his options before making a decision on his future.

“You weigh everything,” McClain said. “You weigh the relationships that you build, you weigh how your family is going to be situated, you weigh how good you fit in on a system. All of those things aren’t up to me. At this point, it’s out of my hands. I feel like I did the best I could do. I gave what I gave, and I give my heart every day and won’t regret [anything]. Right now, if it’s out of your hands, there’s no need to worry about something you can’t control.”

Carr in limbo

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Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve had the opportunity to make a number of radio appearances throughout the country during the last few weeks while the Baltimore Ravens marched along in the National Football League playoffs.

In virtually every conversation, I was asked a question about how the outcome of the next game could alter the future of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron in Charm City.

It always felt a little strange to be asked about Cam Cameron. Usually I only hear Cam Cameron’s name when a listener/caller screams at me about him. It’s never in the form of a question.

After the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, it didn’t take 30 minutes for the screaming to start again. It was a bit odd considering there was really no way Cameron could be blamed for the loss in Foxborough.

The reality is that as the team’s offseason officially got underway, Cameron sits at the forefront. His future can only be labeled as “to be determined”, as his contract expires with the end of the season.

Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens’ coaching staff are headed to Mobile, AL this week for scouting at the annual Senior Bowl. It would seem as though the team wouldn’t want the situation with Cameron to linger far into the offseason, especially if they ultimately decide not to retain Cameron after four playoff trips in four seasons and have to find a new coordinator without a likely replacement on staff.

(That’s not an endorsement for either decision. It’s just a fact. I’m actually indifferent towards the situation, as I believe any coordinator in 2012 would need more offensive talent to work with.)

The next pressing situation remains on offense. The team’s Most Valuable Player in 2012 (RB Ray Rice) becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) at a time where NFL teams have been particularly unwilling to invest in long term deals for running backs. Also hitting unrestricted free agency is LG Ben Grubbs, who has never reached a Pro Bowl but has certainly played at a Pro Bowl level. (Monday update: Grubbs will in fact be making his first trip to Hawaii this season as a replacement for Patriots G Logan Mankins.)

There is a likelihood that the Franchise tag will come into play with one of the above players, as it did with DT Haloti Ngata last season before a long-term deal was reached.

DE Cory Redding, LB’s Jarret Johnson & Jameel McClain and S’s Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura highlight other Ravens who become Unrestricted Free Agents. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (who has publicly stated he would like to play another season) is also on the UFA list, as are OL Andre Gurode, TE Kris Wilson, DT Brandon McKinney and LB Edgar Jones.

(CB’s Cary Williams & Lardarius Webb as well as LB Dannell Ellerbe are restricted free agents, all are expected to return.)

Also on the list of Unrestricted Free Agents is C Matt Birk, who denied a CBS report earlier this month that he had already decided to retire at the end of the season. With no “center of the future” clearly on the roster, it may behoove the team to bring the big man from Harvard back for one more season if he’s interested.

While we await Birk’s decision about his future, future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis told reporters in New England he intends to return to Baltimore for a 17th season. S Ed Reed’s future isn’t quite as defined, as he did not speak to reporters after suffering his second AFC title game defeat. Nagging back and neck issues appeared to affect Reed’s play at the end of the season, but he came with big plays in both playoff games.

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Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots - Wild Card Round

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With Patriots standing in way, Ravens embracing familiar role as underdog

Posted on 17 January 2012 by Luke Jones

Depending on who you talk to this week, the Ravens are a very good football team only 60 minutes of strong play away from going to the Super Bowl or an inconsistent group unable to get out of its own way as it prepares to take on the almighty New England Patriots in Foxborough.

Those sharing the latter thought continue to doubt quarterback Joe Flacco, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, and the team in general. Even safety Ed Reed spouted off about Flacco and the offense’s uneven performance against the second-ranked Houston defense in the divisional round, which was not only a purposeless act for his team but is sure to add fuel to the critics’ fire this week.

Baltimore faces the immense challenge of traveling to Gillette Stadium to best a Patriots team that hasn’t lost since before Veterans Day. New England has been held below 30 points only once in its last eight games while the Ravens’ offensive attack has only reached the 30-point plateau one time over its last nine contests.

Yes, the Ravens are the underdogs this Sunday. From fans and media to even within the locker room, the pressure to play their best game of the season — to give themselves their optimum chance to win — is coming from a variety of sources.

And that’s just fine in their minds.

“We like being the underdog,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “We’re used to it. I think we handle it better. Psychologically, I don’t really know why, but I think we do. Should we be? I don’t know. Obviously, it’s their place, they are the No. 1 seed, they have earned it, they are one of the top offenses in the league. They deserve to be the top team, but I like being [the underdog].”

Though their 33-14 win over the Patriots in the playoffs two years ago doesn’t mean much in terms of breaking down the play on the field this Sunday, it does provide a psychological boost as the Ravens once again prepare to head on the road for the playoffs.

There is no team in the NFL better equipped to win a road playoff game than the Ravens, who have won four in seven postseason games away from M&T Bank Stadium over the last four years. Meanwhile, the Patriots have reaped the benefits of home playoff games but were knocked out of the postseason in their home stadium in each of the last two seasons.

The Ravens’ veterans and young players alike know what to expect on the road in January.

“It helps, just by the fact that we’ve done it,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Most of our team has been there before, and then those young guys can relate to the older guys, and the older guys can share some wisdom. But it’s not going to impact necessarily this game, except to the extent that our guys have been there before and it’s certainly not going to be anything new for them. And that’s a good thing.”

While naysayers point to two disappointing losses in Pittsburgh and a blowout defeat to Indianapolis when mentioning the Ravens’ postseason track record under Harbaugh, his teams have also shown the ability to win games in which few gave them a chance. In Harbaugh’s first season, the Ravens knocked off the top-seeded Tennessee Titans in the divisional round and followed it up the next season with a surprising blowout of the Patriots.

The Ravens play better with a chip on their shoulder when they know few believe they can get the job done. There’s no question the veterans in the locker room will point out that the Patriots didn’t defeat a team with a winning record all season despite being crowned the clear favorite on Sunday.

And while the media has swooned over the Patriots’ explosive offense, the Ravens will remind everyone their defense finished in the top four in every significant statistical category this season.

A win on Sunday will likely require the Ravens’ best performance of the season, but their 6-1 record against teams that finished with a winning record in 2011 provides plenty of evidence that they’re more than capable of getting the job done.

Baltimore will need to sustain drives, score touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone, and play a turnover-free game — or close to it — to win a contest in the neighborhood of 31-27. It’s not the easiest task on paper, especially against an offense that scored 513 points in the regular season and a much-maligned New England defense that finished a respectable 15th in points allowed.

But every time you think you’ve sentenced the Ravens’ to failure due to their flaws and write them off, they do something to surprise you, much as they did two years ago in Foxborough when they sent the Patriots home early after barely qualifying for the playoffs the week before.

It’s rarely easy on the eyes, but just ask Green Bay or New Orleans if style points really matter in January.

“I always say there is a right way to do things, there is a wrong way to do things, and there is just the Ravens’ way of doing things,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said following Sunday’s win over the Texans. “It wasn’t pretty, but we’re not really a pretty team.”

And the Ravens are comfortable in that position, with everyone counting them out.

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Browns at Ravens

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Rice the clear choice for Ravens’ team MVP

Posted on 05 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The awards continue piling up for the Ravens’ Pro Bowl running back, but Ray Rice took home another on Thursday when he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player by the local media.

After leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,068, Rice earned his second team MVP award in three years. The fourth-year running back was especially potential in the Ravens’ last five games of the regular season, rushing for 642 yards and accumulating 809 yards from scrimmage.

Rice was named to his second Pro Bowl team last week and will start for the AFC on the last Sunday in January unless the Ravens are playing in the Super Bowl in Indianapolis the following week.

“This has been the healthiest I’ve been [and] this is the best I’ve ever felt,” Rice said. “And [coach John Harbaugh] would tell you himself that this year I got after the weight room a little bit harder this year coming into the season, and I’ve having the ability to get stronger during the season.”

The 24-year-old finished second in the league in rushing yards with 1,364, trailing only Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew who collected 1,606 yards on the ground in 2011.

The Baltimore running back’s only real competition for team MVP honors was linebacker Terrell Suggs, who finished with a career-high 14 sacks and has earned Defensive Player of the Year consideration. However, Rice was the clear choice as the most valuable player due to his consistent output every week for a Ravens offense that lacks any other elite players.

Suggs, on the other hand, turned in three three-sack games but was held to five sacks in the Ravens’ other 13 contests. The 29-year-old linebacker was the team’s best defensive player by a sizable margin, but his unit is simply more talented and would still provide some level of competence without his services.

The same cannot be said about the Ravens offense, which depends on Rice for his dynamic play-making ability and would likely be lost without the 5-foot-8 back.

Rice became just the second player to be named a two-time team MVP winner, joining Ed Reed, who won the award in 2004 and 2008. In case you’re wondering about Ray Lewis, the local media did not begin naming a team MVP until 2003. As a result, Lewis has failed to win even one team MVP award, though it’s easy to say he would have been a multiple-time winner had the honor started with the birth of the franchise in 1996.

Boldin back in the swing

Two weeks after undergoing surgery to have his partially-torn meniscus repaired, wide receiver Anquan Boldin was completing his second straight day of practice and appeared close to full health as the Ravens completed their bye-week workouts in Owings Mills.

To everyone’s surprise, Boldin return to the practice field on a limited basis last Friday, provoking the team to upgrade him from “out” to “doubtful” for the team’s Week 17 showdown in Cincinnati. Of course, Boldin didn’t play against the Bengals, but his ability to practice only eight days after the procedure was an encouraging sign.

Boldin finished the season with 57 catches for 887 yards and three touchdowns, but the 31-year-old wideout was held to just 16 catches over his final six games before undergoing the procedure.

“I played with it partially torn all year,” said Boldin, who believes this is the best he’s felt all season. “I just felt like I’d just play until it [tore], and that’s what it did. It tore enough to where it flipped up and my knee started catching. I couldn’t run or anything like that. I felt it necessary to go ahead and get it taken care of.”

If Boldin is showing any lingering effects from the surgery, it’s not apparent with his teammates, who say he hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the practice field. While it was speculated that Boldin may not have been ready to return had the Ravens played in the first round of the playoffs, all indications are the veteran would have been ready to go.

Instead, he’ll have extra time to prepare to make an impact when the Ravens will need him most.

“He looks really good,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “I think he’ll provide that spark for us. I’m sure he’d be ready to go if we had to play this week, but I think this bye definitely helps that out.”

Bye week work

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Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens

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In absence of leader, Suggs in full control of Ravens defense

Posted on 11 December 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — As I watched the Ravens’ 24-10 dismantling of the hapless Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, the same theme kept sounding in my head.

As strange as it was watching a Baltimore-Indianapolis matchup without quarterback Peyton Manning and linebacker Ray Lewis lining up on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage, it was painfully clear how much more the Colts offense missed Manning than the Ravens defense missed Lewis. Of course, that’s no knock on Lewis, whose impact as an inside linebacker simply cannot match the effect of a team missing its future Hall of Fame quarterback, but it’s a statement you thought you’d never hear given his unquantifiable effect on the Baltimore defense.

Before Indianapolis’ 76-yard touchdown drive that concluded the game — against several backups on the Ravens defense — Baltimore had a chance to set a franchise record for fewest yards allowed as the Colts had just 91 before taking over with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. With Lewis out of action for the Ravens’ last four games, not only has the defense survived but it’s flourished, allowing just 12.5 points and 263.3 yards per game over that span.

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In Lewis’ absence, linebacker Terrell Suggs has gone to the head of the pack, posting seven sacks over the Ravens’ last three games. His three-sack performance against Indianapolis matched his single-game high and gave him 13 for the season, setting a new career best for the nine-year veteran.

But ask the boisterous pass rusher if he’s having the best year of his career and you’ll get the humble version of “T-Sizzle” who’s more concerned with winning championships than hearing his name in the Defensive Player of the Year discussions.

“I don’t know,” said Suggs in response to the career-year query. “It only counts if we get to [the Super Bowl in Indianapolis] and the confetti drops. Right now, I think we are all just doing our parts — holding [the] levee until the general gets back. That’s how I honestly think we are playing.”

While the Ravens are certainly looking forward to Lewis’ return — quite possibly next week in San Diego — the lieutenant general is leading the troops with similar success, even if Suggs’ leadership style isn’t quite as obvious as the authoritative 36-year-old linebacker leading the Baltimore defense for the last 16 seasons. Injury or not, it’s becoming more and more apparent we’re seeing a changing of the guard with Suggs subtly taking the reins of the defense as Lewis and safety Ed Reed move closer to the end of their respective careers.

As has been the case several times this season, Suggs took over the game on Sunday, chasing overwhelmed Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky all over the pocket as the Ravens improved to 10-3 to remain tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers atop the AFC North.

“Terrell Suggs was just a game-wrecker,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He was a game-wrecker in the run. He was a game-wrecker in the pass rush. I think he had three caused fumbles. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with any of them.”

Despite Suggs’ reluctance in discussing the personal accolades, his 2011 season may go down as one of the best in the history of Ravens defenders. His 13 sacks are tied with the number Trevor Pryce collected in 2006 for third in team history, and only defensive end Michael McCrary (14 1/2 in 1998) and linebacker Peter Boulware (15 in 2001) remain ahead of Suggs, who still has three games remaining to set a new franchise mark.

Even if the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker isn’t willing to acknowledge his increasing role as a leader, there’s no question who’s become the best player among a plethora of greats on the Baltimore defense. Lewis may remain the general inspiring his troops with pre-game speeches, but Suggs is the most gifted soldier in the trenches, the guy you want on your side when the stakes are at their highest.

“Don’t be fooled; this is still Ray Lewis’ team,” Suggs said. “He is still the general of this team, and he has a personal relationship with everybody on this team, and it’s showing. As I said, his presence is still very much there.”

Suggs may be right about Lewis’ presence, but the Ravens are just as fortunate to have No. 55 standing right next to him. His performance in Lewis’ absence proves it.

Rice running all over

Following his career-high 204-yard performance against the Cleveland Browns, running back Ray Rice hit triple digits again on Sunday, rushing for 103 yards on 26 carries in the win over Indianapolis.

It was the first time in his four-year career that Rice was able to achieve back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. The 2008 second-round pick has reached the century mark in rushing in three of the Ravens’ last four games after offensive coordinator Cam Cameron came under fire at several points earlier this season for not giving enough carries to the 5-foot-8 running back.

“I guess I have to say I’m pretty fresh right now considering the amount of workload I had in the first half of the season,” Rice said. “I’m not saying I saved my best for the end of the season, but I’m doing a great job of keeping myself fresh. I get a great relief when Ricky Williams is in there. I am just looking forward to being consistent.”

Rice has now compiled 30 games with at least 100 total yards from scrimmage during his career, including 28 since he became the full-time starter in 2009. His 28 games dating back to that season are the most in the NFL.

His 103 yards against the Colts also gave Rice 1,029 yards in 2011, marking the third straight season he’s surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing barrier. Rice joins Jamal Lewis as the second Raven to post at least 1,000 in three straight campaigns. Lewis accomplished the feat from 2002 to 2004.

“It means a lot to me,” Rice said. “Anytime I do something, I give my credit to the offensive line. But to do three straight [1,000-yard seasons], it does say something, consistency-wise. I try to just stay the course.”

Cundiff’s calf

After veteran Shayne Graham was on standby all weekend in case Billy Cundiff’s left calf wasn’t ready for action, the Ravens kicker proved able to play on Sunday, making his only field goal attempt, which came from 36 yards near the end of the first quarter.

However, Cundiff experienced some soreness on kickoffs in the first half, prompting Harbaugh to turn to punter Sam Koch in the second half. Fortunately, the Ravens would only need Koch to kick off one time and Cundiff was still available for field goals and extra points.

The move was considered more precautionary with the Ravens holding a 14-point lead at halftime.

“It was important for [Cundiff] to be able to kick,” Harbaugh said, “but he started feeling [something] on the kickoffs as we progressed in the first half, so we went with Sam in the second half on kickoffs.”

Odds & ends

Wide receiver Torrey Smith tied Jamal Lewis’ rookie record for touchdowns in a season when he posted his sixth score of 2011, an 8-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. … The Ravens accumulated four sacks against Indianapolis, giving them a league-high 45 on the season. With three games remaining, Baltimore is on pace to record 55 sacks in 2011, more than doubling its total of 27 last season. … Opponents have now gone 21 straight games without scoring on their opening drive against the Ravens, the NFL’s longest streak over the past 20 seasons. … Veteran wideout Lee Evans passed the 6,000-yard mark for his career with a 21-yard reception in the third quarter. … The Ravens have now won 17 of their last 18 games at M&T Bank Stadium and are 7-0 at home this year. Baltimore is 26-5 at home in four seasons under Harbaugh.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Terrell Suggs, Ray Rice, Jarret Johnson, Torrey Smith, Bernard Pollard, and Jameel McClain right here.

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Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots - Wild Card Round

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Jarret Johnson claims this Ravens team best he’s been on

Posted on 09 December 2011 by WNST Audio

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Hear from Jarret Johnson in the locker room today at 1 Winning Drive

Posted on 28 November 2011 by WNST Audio

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Kam Chancellor

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Our Ravens-Seahawks Slaps To The Head

Posted on 13 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

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

To just about everyone’s surprise, there were no Pats to be given following the Ravens’ game Sunday, as they fell 22-17 to the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I instead 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 after each game.

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

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Ray Lewis

4. Anquan Boldin

3. Jarret Johnson

2. John Harbaugh

1. David Reed (Two slaps)

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Our Ravens-Cardinals “Pats On The Ass”

Posted on 30 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple 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.”

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 30-27 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Jarret Johnson


4. Dennis Pitta


3. Sam Koch


2. Joe Flacco


1. Terrell Suggs (Pat on both cheeks)


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Ravens injury report: Evans, Grubbs out again; J. Smith probable against Jacksonville

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Ravens injury report: Evans, Grubbs out again; J. Smith probable against Jacksonville

Posted on 22 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens released their final injury report of the week on Saturday with the expected news that wide receiver Lee Evans and guard Ben Grubbs would be out again after not practicing all week in preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

However, rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith is probable to play after missing the last four games with a high ankle sprain sustained early in the Ravens’ season-opening win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 11. Smith practiced fully for the second straight day on Saturday and appears more likely to play than fellow cornerback Chris Carr, who is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis all week.

“I feel good,” Smith said before the injury report was released. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to play this game, but I feel good. I mean, I’m optimistic like I said before, [but] I really don’t know what the coach is going to do with it.”

Many have speculated whether the Ravens should play Smith against the Jaguars, who are ranked last in the league in passing offense, or hold him out to get another week of practice under his belt before returning to action against the Arizona Cardinals next week. Coach John Harbaugh is weighing the risks and rewards with the idea that the rookie cornerback will need time to re-adjust to the speed of the professional game.

The Ravens are ranked seventh in pass defense despite Smith and Carr missing most of the season to this point. Is that a factor to consider in giving Smith an extra week to heal?

“That’s probably part of it, but the other side of the coin is you want to get a young guy out there playing,” Harbaugh said. “He needs to play too; he hasn’t played much. He played very little in the preseason. I think that’s going to be tough for him. Both of those things go through our minds.”

Evans will miss his fourth straight game and will be replaced once again by rookie Torrey Smith in the starting lineup. Andre Gurode will make his fourth straight start at left guard with Grubbs having not played since the season opener. Harbaugh feels the frustration shared by fans regarding the status of the Ravens’ two offensive starters.

“It’s just probably slower than any of us imagine that those guys would be,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve just got to keep fighting in there and try to get them back. I think it’s going to be one day we’re going to walk in here and they’re going to go through a full practice and they’re going to feel good and they’ll be ready to go. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

Grubbs’ injury has drawn comparisons to former Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden, whose toe ailment contributed to an early exit to a certain Hall of Fame career in 2007. Harbaugh had previously said in mid-September that an MRI showed no structural damage or long-term concern regarding Grubbs’ right toe, and the Ravens coach stood by that claim on Saturday.

“Still waiting for him to respond,” Harbaugh said. “It’s the process of getting the swelling out, getting the bruising out, and the healing process that takes place. I know that’s pretty vague, but that’s the best I can do.”

Still not cleared for contact after sustaining a concussion on Oct. 2, safety Tom Zbikowski is listed as doubtful and likely to miss his second straight game as he continues to deal with symptoms. The strong safety practiced on a limited basis on Saturday and said it was a good day for him in terms of not feeling the effects of the concussion.

Zbikowski is listed behind Bernard Pollard at strong safety on the Ravens’ official depth chart.

“Obviously, it’s never as fast as you want it to be,” Zbikowski said. “You want to be back as soon as you can, but once again, it’s a brain injury. It’s not a hamstring injury or something like that where you make it a little worse — it’s something I’m taking a pretty good precaution on before I get out there.”

Return specialist David Reed was the only new addition to Saturday’s injury report after being limited with a finger injury in the final practice of the week. He is listed as probable on the official injury report for Monday’s game, but the condition could factor heavily in the decision whether he or Bryan McCann handles kickoff return duties.

OUT – WR Lee Evans (ankle), G Ben Grubbs (toe), RB Anthony Allen (thigh), LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)
DOUBTFUL – S Tom Zbikowski (head)
QUESTIONABLE – CB Chris Carr (thigh)
PROBABLE – CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), WR David Reed (finger), LB Jarret Johnson (back)

OUT – S Courtney Greene (hamsting)
DOUBTFUL – T Eben Britton (back)
QUESTIONABLE – G Jason Spitz (quad)
PROBABLE – DT Tyson Alualu (knee), CB Derek Cox (groin), S Dawan Landry (thigh), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring), RB Montell Owens (knee), G Will Rackley (knee), LB Clint Session (elbow), T Guy Whimper (hip)

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