Tag Archive | "Jason Phillips"

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Live from Owings Mills: Seven Ravens not practicing as attention turns to Rams

Posted on 21 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Putting behind the disappointment of a 26-13 loss to Tennessee on Sunday, the Ravens returned to the practice field with a number of players unavailable to them during the open portion of practice.

Wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle), guard Ben Grubbs (toe), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (concussion), and Cory Redding (undisclosed) were not present for the portion of practice open to the media. Veteran center Matt Birk attended practice but was not working, indicating a likely day off for the 35-year-old continuing to work his surgically-repaired knee back to full strength.

In a piece of positive news, cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) returned to the practice field after missing Sunday’s game against the Titans and an entire week of practice.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith (high ankle sprain) and wide receiver/returner David Reed were not present since neither is likely to return to action prior to the Ravens’ bye week following a meeting with the New York Jets on Oct. 2.

The Ravens have also re-signed rookie safety Mana Silva to the practice squad to take the spot formerly held by defensive back Danny Gorrer, who was promoted to the 53-man roster on Saturday to add to the team’s depth at cornerback. Linebacker Jason Phillips has joined the Carolina Panthers after being waived by the Ravens on Saturday.

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Looking to boost CB depth, Ravens sign Gorrer from practice squad

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Looking to boost CB depth, Ravens sign Gorrer from practice squad

Posted on 17 September 2011 by Luke Jones

With Jimmy Smith sidelined for a few weeks and Chris Carr’s short-term status also unknown, the Ravens have signed defensive back Danny Gorrer from the practice squad to boost their depleted depth at cornerback.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Ravens have waived linebacker Jason Phillips. The third-year Texas Christian product was inactive for the season opener against Pittsburgh after dealing with a concussion in the days leading up to the game.

Gorrer is a former Texas A&M product who was an undrafted rookie free agent in 2009. He played in three games with the St. Louis Rams in 2009. The Ravens signed him to their practice squad last season, and he was on the team’s training camp roster before being waived and signed to the practice squad at the beginning of September.

With Smith and Carr ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Titans, the Ravens only had four healthy cornerbacks on the roster, one of them being rookie Chykie Brown. In comments made by defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and head coach John Harbaugh earlier in the week, it was apparent the Ravens don’t have a great deal of confidence in Brown to contribute defensively at this point.

“Chykie’s got a ways to go,” Harbaugh said on Friday. “He’s got to learn the defense. He’s got to become a more disciplined player, a more fundamentally-sound player. I think that was his issue. That’s why he slid to the fifth round.”

Gorrer is capable of playing either cornerback or safety, a major reason why the Ravens elected to keep him on the practice squad for a second straight year.

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Sunday’s injury report for Ravens-Steelers

Posted on 09 September 2011 by Luke Jones

Only two Baltimore players appear on the official injury report for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Linebacker Jason Phillips returned to practice on Friday after sustaining a concussion and not participating the previous day and was deemed fine, according to coach John Harbaugh after Friday’s practice.

However, a new name appeared on the injury report as starting left guard Ben Grubbs did not participate and is dealing with a thigh injury. Listed as probable for Sunday’s game, the issue is not considered serious.

BALTIMORE
QUESTIONABLE – LB Jason Phillips (concussion)
PROBABLE – G Ben Grubbs (thigh)

PITTSBURGH
OUT – LB Chris Carter (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL – WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring)
PROBABLE – T Marcus Gilbert (concussion)

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens make final preparations for Pittsburgh

Posted on 09 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Conducting a final workout on Friday before welcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, the Ravens practiced in shells and shorts in typical Friday fashion.

With the Ravens working on the field farthest away from the media’s viewing area during the open portion of practice, it was difficult to account for every player on the 53-man roster, but receiver Lee Evans (foot), center Matt Birk (knee), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor were all practicing, as they have all week in preparation for the Steelers.

Linebacker Jason Phillips appeared to be dressed to practice from a long-distance vantage point after being listed as a non-participant with a concussion on Thursday’s injury report.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb was taking all repetitions returning punts during the special teams period of practice and is still listed as the No. 1 punt returner on the team’s official depth chart. Speculation has persisted that rookie LaQuan Williams will be involved in the return game, but it remains to be seen.

The Ravens will wear their white jerseys in the regular-season opener, forcing Pittsburgh to wear their black jerseys despite a forecast calling for a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 80s for Sunday afternoon.

And, in a move that will surely disappoint many of the 71,000 in attendance for Sunday, the Ravens will introduce the offense prior to the start of the game. Even if they’re trying to provide a psychological boost to quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense, there’s no disputing the crowd’s response not being as electric as one witnessing Ray Lewis doing his dance.

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Phillips only Ravens player present on Thursday injury report

Posted on 08 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Linebacker Jason Phillips was the only player missing from the Ravens’ open portion of practice and was the only Baltimore player present on Thursday’s injury report

After Wednesday’s injury report included no Ravens players, the addition of Phillips is unlikely to raise too many eyebrows in concern for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.

The outlook for Steelers receiver Jerricho Cotchery appears bleaker as well as he continues to battle a hamstring injury.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – LB Jason Phillips (concussion)
LIMITED – none

PITTSBURGH
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – LB Chris Carter (hamstring), WR Jerricho Cotchery
LIMITED – none
UPGRADED TO FULL PARTICIPATION – T Marcus Gilbert (concussion)

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens only missing Phillips on Thursday

Posted on 08 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day closer to their season-opening meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens failed to have perfect attendance for a second straight day as linebacker Jason Phillips was missing from the open portion of practice.

However, all players were dressed in helmets, shells, and shorts and working. Center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Lee Evans (foot), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (left shoulder) were all practicing for the second straight day after none of them were listed on Wednesday’s official injury report.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe wore a wrap on his left hand but did not appear to be limited during special teams drills.

Lardarius Webb, Chris Carr, and Ed Reed all received work fielding punts during the special teams portion of practice, though speculation persists that rookie LaQuan Williams will factor in the punt return game on Sunday.

Prior to the start of practice, several players visited with Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, including running back Ray Rice and free safety Ed Reed.

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Ravens-Redskins Notebook: Nakamura runs wild, 3rd down woes on D

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Luke Jones

LANDOVER, Md. — Even those crazy enough to gamble on preseason games would not have envisioned who the Ravens’ leading rusher would be against the Redskins in a 23-3 victory on Saturday night.

No, it wasn’t Ray Rice or Willis McGahee. Not even fourth-string back Curtis Steele racked up the most rushing yards against the Washington defense.

A backup safety?

Haruki Nakamura ran 51 yards on a fake punt play in the second quarter to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee to put the Ravens ahead for good at 10-3. The third-year safety showed nifty moves on the play, faking out linebacker H.B. Blades and receiver Brandon Banks on separate occasions to set up the Ravens’ first touchdown.

“Anytime you can give a team a spark, you don’t want to give credit to yourself; you’ve got to give credit to the whole entire group,” Nakamura said. “Without guys blocking, I probably would have got smashed in the backfield or been a loss. As a special teams group, that’s the type of things we’re trying to do this year.”

Nakamura said he had not had a long run of that nature since his high school days and had not touched the ball since college.

“You had to like the call [special teams coordinator] Jerry Rosburg sent in on the fake punt,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The Redskins looked like they had it figured out a little before the snap, but [Nakamura] handled it and made the play.”

Cornerback comeback

Fabian Washington had not seen live-game action since Nov. 22 against the Indianapolis Colts when the cornerback tore his ACL, ending his 2009 season and leading to a difficult offseason of rehab.

The 27-year-old sat out the preseason opener but was on the field against the Redskins, making a tackle and breaking up a pass attempt in the first quarter before being replaced by Cary Williams.

“I feel great,” said Washington, who admitted he still isn’t 100 percent recovered. “My knee held up. Mentally, I feel great.”

With Lardarius Webb still on the Physically Unable to Perform list and Chris Carr continuing to recover from a strained hamstring, Washington’s performance was good news for an otherwise shaky Baltimore secondary that allowed 206 passing yards in the first half.

“They got a couple of third downs and one deep ball, but we didn’t give up any points,” safety Dawan Landry said. “As long as you’re not giving up points, we are going to win.”

Third down doldrums

The Redskins marched 73 yards on 13 plays on the opening drive of the game, but their success on third down was even more concerning in regards to the Ravens defense.

Washington was successful on its first three third-down conversions, gaining 73 total yards to move the chains before the Ravens finally stopped the Redskins on third down from the 7-yard line to force a Graham Gano field goal. The big play was a Donovan McNabb 45-yard completion to Anthony Armstrong, moving the ball inside the 10 before the Ravens defense finally buckled down.

The Redskins went 1-for-9 on third down following their successful opening drive.

“We have to get better [on third down], and we did improve in the second quarter,” Harbaugh said. “Also, give some credit to [McNabb]. He has seen it all, and he did a really good job of buying extra time.”

Bubble breakout

The second preseason game is often the biggest opportunity for bubble players to improve their standing for the 53-man roster, and linebacker Jason Phillips and receiver David Reed seized the opportunity on Saturday night.

Phillips made tackles on back-to-back plays with the second being a sack and forced fumble of Redskins backup Rex Grossman, which was recovered by the second-year linebacker late in the third quarter.

Lost in the shuffle behind Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, and Dannell Ellerbe in the inside linebacker hierarchy, Phillips—who spent last season on Injured Reserve due to a knee injury—is fighting to be noticed on special teams, but creating more turnovers will grab defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s attention very quickly.

The rookie receiver Reed appeared to put a miserable training camp behind him with a masterful performance on one second-half scoring drive. He caught four passes for 38 yards, all coming on a 95-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Jalen Parmele.

A standout performer during the OTA schedule, Reed struggled to catch the football consistently in four weeks of training camp but showed confidence reining in passes from backup Marc Bulger. Currently in a battle with Demetrius Williams for the fifth receiver spot, Reed may have closed the gap between the two with his strong showing.

“I’m very happy,” Reed said. “It was great to help the team out any way I can, and it was unbelievable. It was a great game.”

Happy and healthy

More satisfying than the 23-3 victory was the apparent escape from Landover without any significant injuries.

Harbaugh said Williams sustained “a little bit of a turned ankle” but was not aware of any other issues following the game.

The Ravens had 11 inactive players on Saturday night, including offensive tackle Jared Gaither, cornerback Marcus Paschal, defensive back K.J. Gerard, guard David Hale, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, offensive linemen Daniel Sanders and Stefan Rodgers, and the four players currently on the active PUP list (Webb, safety Ed Reed, linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, and running back Matt Lawrence).

Carr was active and suited up to play but sat out to rest his left hamstring. The starting corner started against the Panthers but tweaked his hamstring on the third series, forcing him to miss several more practices. He was a full participant only in Thursday’s practice after being limited the entire week.

“They just wanted to be extra cautious, just because of what happened last week,” Carr said. “It was just a precautionary measure. I’m very eager to get back out there.”

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Clarifying the Physically Unable to Perform List

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Luke Jones

With so much discussion over the PUP (physically unable to perform) list over the last couple weeks regarding Ed Reed and today’s announcement that 10 players—including second-round pick Terrence Cody—have been placed on PUP, it’s easy to get confused with the meaning of the designatioin.

In Reed’s case, the discussion in recent weeks is in regards to the reserve PUP list, which states:

This list designates players with serious injuries that will keep them from being able to start a season on the 53-man roster but may be able to return to the roster during the regular season. The players must be placed on this roster at or before the league-wide 65-man summer roster cutdown to be eligible for this designation, and they must stay on this list for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. After this time, teams have three weeks to evaluate such players, after which each such player must be placed on the 53-man roster, injured reserve, or waivers.

This morning’s designation (Reed, Cody, Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Oniel Cousins, Walt Harris, Matt Lawrence, Prince Miller, and Rodelin Anthony) was for the active PUP list, which is the first step taken to place a player on the aforementioned reserve list. It states:

Once they are designated as physically unable to perform, they are prohibited from practicing with the team. They can, however, rehabilitate individually and participate in team meetings. If a player begins training camp on the PUP list, they can be moved to the active roster at any time, even after one practice. A player is not allowed to be placed on the PUP list if they start training camp on the active roster.

The active PUP list still counts against the 80-man training camp roster, so there is no added roster flexibility but players are allowed to come off the list at any time. However, if Reed or any of the other nine players participates in a practice and would suffer a new injury or re-injure a preexisting condition, they would no longer be eligible for the PUP list in either capacity.

To put it simply, the active PUP is the necessary procedure for potentially placing any player on the reserve PUP in which he’d miss the start of the regular season. With most players, this doesn’t happen and they’re able to return to the practice field at some point during training camp.

For some perspective, the players who started on the active PUP list at the start of training camp last season were Willis McGahee, Lamar Divens, Davon Drew, Yamon Figurs, Ben Grubbs, Adam Terry, Jason Phillips, Samari Rolle, Lou Saucedo, Marshal Yanda, Kelley Washington, and Joe Reitz.

McGahee, Grubbs, Yanda, and Washington all went on to make key contributions for the 2009 Ravens.

While it certainly won’t make anyone happy seeing these 10 names on the list, it’s not always the major concern some perceive it to be.

Unless you’re talking about an All-Pro safety.

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RavensPanthers

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Preseason Game 3 – Ravens @ Panthers

Posted on 29 August 2009 by Derek Arnold

RavensPanthers

The “most important” of the fake football games is upon us, as the Ravens travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers in preseason week 3. Week 3 of preseason is traditionally the game in which the starters play the most out of any of the four exhibitions. As such, we want to see our boys in purple and black looking sharper then we saw against either the Redskins or Jets.

What specifically will I be watching for from my couch?

Run Defense

Seeing an opponent rack up rushing yards is about as foreign to us here in B’More as a menu that considers “crab” snow crabs or some such nonsense. The Jets, though, were able to find some room on the ground, even when the Ravens starters were on the field. Baltimore fans have been a bit uneasy after seeing that, so we are all a little anxious about whether first-year defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s squad can plug the holes we saw in Week 2. Carolina was the #3 rushing team in the NFL in 2008, averaging over 152 yards per game. They will be without half of their lethal 1-2 rushing attack though, as Jonathan Stewart is sidelined with an injury. DeAngelo Williams (5.5 ypc in 08) will see the bulk of the carries, and will present a significant challenge for the Ravens.

Hindering the Ravens’ efforts will be the lack of DT Kelly Gregg, who injured his shoulder against New York. Word is that Kelly would play if this were a regulat season game, but will sit out just to be safe.

Linebacker Battle

Depth at linebacker is nothing new in B’More, but this preseason the Ravens are even more stacked at the position than normal. As a result, some guys that seemed to be a lock when they checked into the Best Western in Westminster now find themselves teetering on the bubble. Antwan Barnes, for instance, who saw action in 13 games and made 14 solo tackles as a pass-rush specialist in 08, finds himself neck-and-neck with such newcomers as Jason Phillips and Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe missed the Jets game though, and will need to suck it up and get some reps in Charlotte. Prescott Burgess is in a similar situation.

Speaking of linebackers, is it time to start worrying a little about T-Sizzle? He hasn’t seen the field since the first week of August, and now that the team is back at their complex in Owings Mills, it seems unlikely that Suggs is still just trying to avoid practice.

Kickers

This one isn’t so much a battle any more as it is a “hang on” situation for Steve Hauschka. He has a definite lead over rookie Graham Gano at this point, and as long as he hits his kicks from here on out, the 2nd-year player from NC State should find himself on the roster opening day. Hauschka might have some extra friends and family in the stands down in the Tar Heel State, so it will be interesting to see how he responds.

Pancake Man

Beast OT Michael Oher will see his first true test in the NFL, as he takes on Panthers DE Julius Peppers, who had 14.5 sacks last year. Oher, who has been calling out the likes of Dwight Freeney since he was in high school, certainly won’t back down from the challenge, but he will have his massive hands full keeping Joe Flacco upright.

Wide Receiver

Of course we couldn’t go an entire preview without touching on (beating) the ravens WR situation (dead horse). Mark Clayton, despite returning to practice this week and declaring himself available for the game, will be held out by Coach John Harbaugh. This will give the slew of guys competing behind Clayton some more precious reps to show that they can be the consistent option on the outside that B’More desperately needs. Kelley Washington has played well, but Demetrius Williams, Justin Harper, Jayson Foster, et al. need to step up, lest the Ravens be forced to hit the waiver wire over the next several weeks. Some sources have them coveting whatever WR the Philadelphia Eagles decide to cast off.

As always, the main point of focus in a preseason game is for everyone to come out healthy. These items (and more) though, will give us plenty of other sports-talk fodder for run up to the regular season opener.

How about you, see anything I missed?

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Getting down to 53: The final days of training camp

Posted on 18 August 2009 by Luke Jones

We’re in the final week of training camp in Westminster, but the Ravens do not need to make any cuts until Sept. 1, when they must trim the roster to 75 players.  The team must then narrow down to the regular season number of 53 by Sept. 5.

For those begging for help at the wide receiver position, the late cut dates mean any veteran receiver that could possibly shake free and help the cause in Baltimore probably won’t be available until right before the regular season.

I’ve listed the number of players I predict the Ravens to keep at each position in parentheses. This list does not include the practice squad of eight players the Ravens will keep in addition to the 53-man roster.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
LOCK: Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, John Beck
BUBBLE: None
LONG SHOT: Cleo Lemon, Drew Willy
Skinny: It’s been an interesting week regarding quarterbacks, but Cam Cameron made it clear the Ravens are still committed to Beck as the No. 3 guy.  Smith’s play in the preseason has further cemented his status as the backup to Flacco.

RUNNING BACKS (5)
LOCK: Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain
BUBBLE: Jalen Parmele, Matt Lawrence, Cedric Peerman
LONGSHOT: Jason Cook
Skinny: Parmele is a favorite of Cameron, and Lawrence impressed during the preseason opener last week.  Peerman appears to currently trail these two on the depth chart.  Despite being the only other fullback behind McClain on the roster, Cook appears to be a candidate for the practice squad at this point.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
LOCK: Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Kelley Washington
BUBBLE: Justin Harper, Yamon Figurs, Jayson Foster
LONG SHOT: Biren Ealy, Bradon Godfrey, Eron Riley, Ernie Wheelwright
Skinny: Losing Marcus Smith for the season is a major blow to the special teams units, an area in which the second-year receiver thrived.  Williams’ inability to remain healthy continues to frustrate the staff.  Harper has a ton of potential but is very inconsistent.  Foster has put his name into consideration with a good performance against the Redskins and an ability to make plays during practice.

TIGHT ENDS (3)
LOCK: Todd Heap, L.J. Smith
BUBBLE: Edgar Jones, Davon Drew
LONG SHOT: Isaac Smolko
Skinny: Drew continues to be very quiet on the practice field.  Jones is a good special teams player and has played some H-back during camp.  His ability to play linebacker if needed makes him a valuable commodity on the 53-man roster.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
LOCK: Jared Gaither, Ben Grubbs, Matt Birk, Chris Chester, Michael Oher, Marshal Yanda, Oniel Cousins
BUBBLE: David Hale, Tre Stallings, Joe Reitz
LONG SHOT: Robby Felix, Stefan Rodgers, Bryan Mattison
Skinny: The team should definitely look to add a veteran tackle, because Cousins is too inconsistent as the third tackle, but he’s improved from last season. Hale’s ability to play both guard and center will likely land him on the roster.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)
LOCK: Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Trevor Pryce, Justin Bannan
BUBBLE: Dwan Edwards, Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou
LONG SHOT: Will Johnson, Nader Abdallah
Skinny: Edwards and McKinney are the favorites to land the final two defensive line spots on the roster.

LINEBACKERS (10)
LOCK: Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Tavares Gooden, Antwan Barnes, Jameel McClain, Paul Kruger, Brendon Ayanbadejo
BUBBLE: Jason Phillips, Dannell Ellerbe, Prescott Burgess
LONG SHOT: Tony Fein, Will VanDeSteeg
Skinny: Ellerbe’s knee sprain was a disappointment considering how much he’s impressed over the last two weeks.  Burgess has been around for a couple years, but will it be enough?

CORNERBACKS (6)
LOCK: Domonique Foxworth, Fabian Washington, Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb, Samari Rolle, Frank Walker
BUBBLE: K.J. Gerard, Evan Oglesby, Derrick Martin
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: Rolle’s health continues to be a concern.  Walker is probably safe because his physical style is much different than the other pure cover guys in the secondary.  Considering how many talented, young linebackers are currently on the roster, I predict the Ravens will go with 10 backers and only six corners.  If they go with seven corners, Gerard, Oglesby, and Martin are all in the mix.  Martin has seen reps at both safety and corner this summer.

SAFETIES (4)
LOCK: Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski
BUBBLE:
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: No drama at this position.  These four are locks.

KICKER (1)
LOCK: None
BUBBLE: Graham Gano, Steve Hauschka
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: It’s been a very close race so far, with Hauschka possibly holding the slightest of edges.  There are still three preseason games to clarify the picture.

PUNTER (1)
LOCK: Sam Koch
BUBBLE: None
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: Koch practiced some field goals this week to be prepared in an emergency situation.

LONG SNAPPER (1)
LOCK: Matt Katula
BUBBLE: None
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: Ngata is the backup field goal snapper, and McGahee is the No. 2 long snapper for punts.  Let’s hope neither has to be called into action.

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