Tag Archive | "Jets"

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Showalter advises Rex Ryan to focus on trying to beat Ravens this season

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s safe to say Buck Showalter won’t be sending New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan any Orioles tickets for his comments criticizing the club for failing to move their Sept. 5 game to accommodate the Ravens in the NFL’s season-opening game.

The former Ravens defensive coordinator expressed his dissatisfaction with the Super Bowl XLVII champions’ inability to open the season at home as has become the custom over the last decade. Ryan went as far as suggesting that the Orioles should have just played in Chicago instead of hosting the White Sox that night, citing that it’s not a big deal considering major league teams play 81 home games.

While Ryan’s ties to Baltimore made it acceptable for him to share his disappointment over the situation, Showalter took exception to the New York coach’s suggestion that the Orioles simply give up a home game. To be clear, the Orioles manager was asked to respond to Ryan’s comments prior to the start of the club’s three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, but it seemed more than coincidental that Showalter knew the exact date of the Jets’ visit to Baltimore this coming season.

“I’d be a little more concerned about Nov. 24 when the Jets come here and trying to figure out a way to beat the Ravens, wouldn’t you?” said Showalter, who put the dates of the Ravens home games in his personal planner in hopes of attending one or two like he did last season. “I think that would be a little bit more of a challenge.

“I try to stay out of things that I don’t know about, like I don’t know about the NFL scheduling and the NFL challenges. That would be my advice. I would stay in what is my area of supposed expertise.”

Considering Ryan’s on shaky ground in New York with the Jets having missed the postseason in each of the last two years, many will find humor in Showalter’s use of the word “supposed” — intentional or not — with many wondering if the fifth-year coach will survive the 2013 season.

In the the Thursday conference call, Ryan expressed his continued fondness for Baltimore where he spent 10 years as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator, but this was a subject he had no business broaching in such confrontational detail and with the complications being above his pay grade.

“Well, who really cares, you’ve got 81 at home, maybe you could have done the right thing and given one up and then played 82 on the road and then 80 at home,” Ryan said. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game.

“Certainly, I can understand, if baseball only had a 16-game schedule you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, you might just [have] common courtesy and say, you know what, maybe I’ll play this one on the road or whatever.”

The conflict over the Sept. 5 date sparked much debate, polarizing many fans who elected to side with either the Orioles or the Ravens, but Ryan’s suggestion of simply giving up a home game is absurd for a club holding playoff aspirations after their first postseason appearance in 15 years last season.

Needless to say, it will be intriguing to see if Showalter circles the Jets’ trip to M&T Bank Stadium as one of the games he attends this fall. There certainly won’t be any doubt which team he’ll be rooting for.

To hear Showalter’s response to Ryan’s criticism, click HERE.

 

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Caps Blitz Jets Again Behind Ovechkin & Holtby

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

After the Caps smoked the Jets, 4-0, on Thursday night, I blogged that we’d know around 930pm if the Capitals were back in the Southeast Division race.

I was wrong, we actually knew an hour earlier as the Capitals destroyed Winnipeg, 6-1, on Friday night. The victory puts the Caps just five points in back of first place Winnipeg with a game in hand. In addition, Washington is just three points behind the 8th place New York Rangers with a Sunday date at 7pm looming with the Rags.

Everything has pretty much come together for Washington this week and as I mentioned after Thursday’s win, it starts with having a close to full lineup. The return of Brooks Laich has done wonders for the forward combinations and suddenly Coach Adam Oates has two lines that can put the biscuit in the basket. It was the second line that set the pace again scoring first as Laich buried one by Ondrej Pavelec off of a sweet feed from Mike Ribeiro. Then Ribeiro set up Troy Brouwer on a two on one to give Washington a 2-0 advantage.

In the middle frame Jay Beagle scored after a nice pass from Joel Ward to chase Pavelec and then the Gr8 greeted Al Montoya with a top shelf snapper that made it 4-0 and ended this one for all intensive purposes. In the third period, Mike Green scored with Laich doing a super job of screening in front and then Alexander Ovechkin tallied on the power play for his 2nd of the night and 15th of the season (now tied for 7th in NHL goal scoring) to round out the Caps markers.

Braden Holtby continued his stellar play and didn’t lose his shutout until late in the third period. #70 made some big stops early in the game when Winnipeg was playing hard and physical against Washington. The Jets also received the first four power plays of the game but Holtby didn’t allow any rubber to get past him.

So the Caps are now 14-16-1 with 17 games remaining. It is very clear that despite the loss to the Penguins on Tuesday, they picked up some confidence in that tough defeat. Pittsburgh has won 11 in a row and Washington nearly beat them in that game in the Steel City. Since then the Capitals have built on that confidence in the two white washes of Winnipeg. Confidence is so critical in hockey and the Caps clearly have that right now. Their more mobile defense with Green and Dmitry Orlov is getting to the puck quicker and getting it up to the forwards so that they can create more offense. The improved health has brought a lot of optimism this week.

The question now becomes, can they finally beat the Rangers, who have won both affairs this season? The Rags have the Caps number lately and John Tortorella’s crew has two talented top lines. New York has been struggling of late but you can bet they’ll be fired up for the Caps.

A win on Sunday in Madison Square Garden and things get really interesting. That is one tough place to play and the Capitals are due for some luck there after the game five disaster last spring.

Going in healthy in this third and final matchup between the two teams will certainly help.

But that game can wait until Sunday evening, Washington’s season was on the line coming to Manitoba and the Caps are leaving the province with a sweep of the Jets. Winnipeg and the MTS Centre are still trying to figure out what hit them and I’m not sure the Jets recover the rest of the regular season after getting their rears slapped around. The Capitals came in and showed Winnipeg who was boss, now Washington needs to continue to do that down the stretch to the rest of the teams they face.

Notes: Washington won the faceoff battle, 28-19. Laich was 9-4 on draws and as a result, Ribeiro only took one face-off, which is not #9’s strength…John Carlson had another really strong game logging a team high 22:37. No other Capital played over 20 minutes and none were under 10 minutes. Oates was able to just roll the lines which hopefully helps keep everyone fresh for the huge Sunday night contest.

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Ovechkin, Holtby Lead Healthier Caps To Big Victory

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

When the Capitals lines and defensive pairings for Thursday night’s contest against the Jets were tweeted out by Washington Capitals writer Mike Vogel during warmups, I tweeted back the following:

“Strongest Lineup All Season”

Well the Caps proceeded to make me and more importantly, themselves, look good as they smoked Winnipeg, 4-0 at the MTS Centre in a must win game.

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two helpers and Braden Holtby stopped 20 shots in a dominant performance by Washington.

It was the Capitals best game of the season and it is no coincidence that it came when they were able to field their best lineup of the year.

Mike Green returned to the ice after the Caps got back Brooks Laich and Dmitry Orlov for the first time this campaign on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Marcus Johansson is finally healthy as well. As noted in Tuesday’s blog after their loss to the Penguins, Washington’s effort was very good. On Thursday the effort was excellent and with a nearly healthy lineup for the first time this season (only John Erskine is really missing at this point), Adam Oates’ crew delivered a dandy performance.

Oates could finally put two scoring lines on the ice and he had three very good defensive pairings to use for the first time this season. As a result, John Carlson didn’t have to play close to 30 minutes and that helped him have one heck of a hockey game. #74 was downright superb in his 23:23 of action. That total led the club and looking at the ice times, the depth in the lineup allowed the Caps to roll the lines and the defensive pairs. As Alan May tweeted before the contest, the defense was the most mobile Oates has been able to play all year. Predictably, Washington’s ability to get to the puck and move it up the ice increased tremendously. Overall players were fresher and more productive with not many guys playing out of position. It is a shame that it has taken 30 games to get a healthy lineup, but it is, what it is.

Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (1 goal, 1 assist) have reformed their chemistry from past seasons and are both heating up. The Gr8 now has 27 points in 30 games and five points in his last three games. It’s no surprise that his numbers have improved as the team is getting back to full strength.

So the Caps get a huge win in Manitoba to pull within seven points of the Jets with a game in hand in the Southeast Division race. With the Carolina Hurricanes losing their fifth in a row, Washington is just five points in back of them.

On Friday at 7pm, the Caps and Jets go at it again. It is another must win for Washington. If they can get it, they are back in the division race. If they lose, then the hole they dug is likely too deep to recover from to make the postseason.

It is tough that it comes down to this game on Friday, but that’s what happens when you put yourself so far behind the eight ball.

Still, the fact that the Capitals played at a high level when they finally iced a nearly healthy club has to be very encouraging. It gives the team and its fans hope that they may be able to salvage this season after all, especially if they can get a W for the second straight night.

We will know more around 930pm on Friday night.

Notes: Steve Oleksy continues to play solid hockey and he also took on big forward James Wright and held his own in a first period fight. #61 played 16:40, which is a good amount for a guy just cutting his teeth in the NHL this season. He doesn’t look out of place at all so far…Orlov played just 14:40 but he was +2 and looked really good at getting and moving the puck. He was paired with Green…Ovechkin had two monstrous hits in the second period on one shift (Bryan Little and Mark Stuart). Stuart only played one shift in the third period…Holtby’s best stop came in the 3rd on a sweet pad save on an all alone Antti Miettinen.

 

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Caps Lose A Battle But Win The War

Posted on 02 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

Anyone who has ever played hockey at any competitive level knows that it is a game of emotion and high intensity. It is especially true in the NHL where the difference in the talent level of teams are not that great.

Simply put, in the NHL if you don’t have energy and intensity and your opponent does, you are likely going to get creamed. For evidence of that, just take a look at Wednesday night’s Caps 4-1 loss to the Flyers.

On Saturday afternoon, the Capitals once again came out flat in the first period and were being outshot 13-3. The only reason the game was scoreless was because of goalie Braden Holtby, who was doing a good job of stopping the Winnipeg shots and not allowing rebounds. Caps fans watching the game had to wonder if this contest was going to be a total continuation of the Wednesday night drubbing in Philly.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, or in this case on the ice. Winnipeg tough guy, Anthony Peluso, got into a bout with Capitals newly acquired forward Aaron Volpatti at the 17:50 mark of the opening frame. Volpatti, who was giving up three inches and 20 pounds, lost the fight fairly handily and the fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg were fired up.

Little did they know though, the bout for Washington was just what the Caps needed to awaken them from a nearly four period slumber.

Whether the Caps rallied around their new teammate for standing up for them in a very tough situation or not, it was the shot of adrenaline the club badly needed.

From that point until Mike Ribeiro made it 3-0 with 15:44 left in regulation by banging home the rebound of an Alexander Ovechkin shot, the Caps dominated the Jets on all fronts outshooting them 18-7 and heavily carrying the play. Matt Hendricks, Troy Brouwer, and Ribeiro all scored during that 26 plus minute stretch and it was all Washington needed to gain a key victory.

Had the Caps lost this game, they would have been eight points in back of the Jets and Carolina in the Southesast Division race. Instead they sit six in back of the Canes but just four behind Winnipeg.

So in my book, Volpatti deserves some serious kudos for coming in and making a big difference in his first game wearing a Capitals sweater. The 27 year old Canadian who competed collegiately at Brown University only played 5:24 the entire contest and didn’t register a point, but his fight was the turning point in this hockey game.

Volpatti lost that battle, but his team ended up winning the war and Washington earned a victory that helps them stay in the Southeast Division race.

Notes: Washington is now 8-11-1 and their next game is Tuesday at the Verizon Center against the Boston Bruins…Mike Green missed the game due to his lingering groin injury…Ovechkin had a very good game getting an assist, pumping four shots on net, shelling out two hits, and drawing a key four minute penalty on Mark Stuart with just over five minutes remaining. I don’t expect Mike Milbury or PJ Stock to let you know that, though…Washington won the faceoff battle, 36-28, and the Caps second goal came off of a Nicklas Backstrom offensive zone winning draw.

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Oates Needs to Figure Things Out Fast

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Ed Frankovic

0-2 is no time to panic in a normal hockey season and even in a 48 game campaign, there is no need for the Capitals to do that after losing their home opener to the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2.

However, they don’t exactly have a month or so to get things together since every loss and missed opportunity is magnified in this lockout shortened season.

On the ice, this team has not adjusted well to their new coach and they look a step slow on the ice.

Is it because they are out of game shape?

Are they thinking instead of reacting instinctively like you need to do when playing hockey?

Why is the penalty killing so bad (allowed five goals on opponents first nine tries)?

I could go on listing more, but you get the message, right now there are more questions than answers about this Capitals squad.

Coach Adam Oates is still learning his personnel and trying to implement his system so things couldn’t possibly go smoothly right out of the gate given a really short training camp and no real exhibition games, right?

Naturally, the answer to that is yes. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t impose a new system and philosophy on a hockey team and get them to hit close to optimal performance immediately. So we have to give Oates and his staff a pass, at this point, and hope he can find the answers quickly.

Already he seems to have realized that playing Marcus Johansson on the top line and first power play unit is a mistake as MJ90 only received one third period shift. As I blogged after Saturday’s loss, Ovechkin and Backstrom need someone who can go to the net for them. Crashing the crease is not a Johansson specialty nor is he going to be an asset down low in the corners getting the puck out to 19 and 8. I much prefer a bigger guy with those two and wouldn’t mind seeing either Troy Brouwer there or even Eric Fehr, who has had past success playing on that line.

In addition to top line personnel changes, here’s to hoping the Alexander Ovechkin on the penalty kill idea is jettisoned as well. I am a big fan of the Gr8 but to waste his time trying to have him do something he is just not cut out for, playing defense when a man down, doesn’t make sense. Having Ovechkin rest while the Caps are shorthanded seems more logical. Defense is not Ovechkin’s strength, so why put him out there in those situations?

There are still 46 games left and there were some encouraging things in the 3rd period of Tuesday night’s loss (Caps outshot the Jets 17-6 and outscored them 1-0) so hopefully the team can build off of a decent period going forward. But how much of that improved Caps play was the result of Winnipeg hitting the wall after three games in four nights?

We can add that one to the question list as well, however, the bottom line is this team is playing very poor hockey right now.

Therefore, Oates needs to figure this mess out fast before the shortened season gets away from Washington too quickly.

Notes: The Caps have three games in four nights starting Thursday at home vs Montreal before facing the Devils in New Jersey on Friday and then the Sabres at home on Sunday…Braden Holtby allowed 4 goals on 34 shots. He was hung out to dry quite a bit, but on the first Jets goal, which went off of John Carlson’s skate, he overplayed the pass. It was a fluky and weak goal that Washington didn’t need after taking an early 1-0 lead…Mike Green played 27:35 to lead all Caps in ice time…Matt Hendricks had a goal and two fights. I thought he and Jay Beagle were the best Caps on the ice on Tuesday…this team could really use a healthy Brooks Laich but there is still no definitive time table for his return to the lineup.

 

 

 

 

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The 15-7-0 is worth falling 24 miles for

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

“The ELITE 15″…

1. Sometimes a single player can be a real program changer. For Maryland, Stefon Diggs might well be that player.

He at least does a hell of a Jacoby Jones impression…

Maryland improved to 4-2 (2-0 ACC) with a 27-20 win over Virginia despite Perry Hills being their leading rusher with SEVEN FLIPPING YARDS.

Also, Pe’Shon Howard looked pretty good in the new Terps’ hoops uniforms…

2. I hate saying it, but it’s awfully fun to watch Robert Griffin III play football.

It’s sorta not fair. The Minnesota Vikings were playing real football while the Skins’ QB was playing Madden from the year Michael Vick was on the cover…

Ugh. Now we have to hear DC fans running their mouths all week. Well, maybe all of them except this guy.

Also-I hope the Vikings enjoyed their taste of people thinking they were good for a week. The Cardinals waive hello, but we’ll get back to them.

3. ALERT! ALERT! Shonn Greene still plays in the NFL.

161 yards and 3TD’s for the New York Jets RB in a blowout loss over the Indianapolis Colts. But no, I’m GLAD I picked up Vick Ballard before getting trounced in Fantasy Football.

Also, tt was so totally worth putting Tim Tebow in for punt protection so you could one day be able to do this in a blowout win!

And…

4. The reports of LSU’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

I mean, just ask these guys!

Steve Spurrier isn’t really sure if he’s mad about his Gamecocks’ performance…

The East-West SEC showdown actually split a few households…

So now we wait for LSU-Alabama III…or IV…or who the eff knows why don’t we just play this game a hundred times to determine a national champ every year?

5. For Orioles fans who haven’t been paying as much attention to college football this season, Kansas State QB Collin Klein is in the “name to know” category.

It wasn’t an overwhelming performance for the Heisman Trophy candidate in Kansas State’s narrow win over Iowa State, but his three rushing TD’s looked better in a week where Geno Smith didn’t particularly shine…

K-State and WVU tangle next week. It had a chance to mean even more, but it still looks like kind of a big deal.

6. The Atlanta Falcons only needed 40 seconds on the clock to come back and beat the Raiders.

Matt Ryan was FAR from brilliant, but Matt Bryant bailed him out at the end to keep the Falcons perfect.

Do you feel like LOL-ing today? Here’s Carson Palmer trying to make a tackle…

Also part of the reason the Falcons are the only undefeated team left in the NFL? Harry Douglas’ concentration…

7. You like that Russell Wilson gets to actually enjoy a last second miracle win this time.

Because this time it really WAS a catch!

Let’s enjoy this grab from Doug Baldwin…

Wes Welker would tell you what he thought of the game, but it would probably come out sounding like “BROWNAHHHHH”…

I think it’s appropriate to wrap up this one with the most Tom Brady thing EVER…

Oh I almost forgot. Richard Sherman Tweeted something funny postgame…

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There’s absolutely no replacement for the 15-7-0

Posted on 10 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

The “ELITE” 15…

1. It was way more interesting than it needed to be, but Maryland got a nice win Saturday.

Ryan Chell and I made the drive up to Filthy Saturday, and I will admit I expected much worse than what I got.

As Darren Pang would say, “holy jumpin’!” Perry Hills wasn’t great-but he made some nice throws. Marcus Leak was fantastic, and Stefon Diggs more than made up for an earlier fumble with that spectacular catch you saw there at the end of the game.

Most of us would have settled for just not giving up 12 rushing touchdowns like it felt like they did a year ago against the Owls. Instead we got Randy Edsall’s first EVER road win.

While I was in the “Illadelph” (to quote The Roots), I had a tasty chicken cheesesteak and a pretzel. I did not however get to stop at the place The Nasty One recommended, “Talk of the Town” for one of their steaks.

Anything anybody can tell me about this place?

I was a little disappointed we didn’t bump into Temple fan and friend of “The Reality Check” Bill Cosby at the game, but apparently he was busy looking dapper at UMass…

2. Rex Ryan and the Jets are perhaps the greatest trolls in the history of football.

The Jets didn’t just look BAD in the preseason, they looked like one of the worst teams in the history of football. They scored one offensive touchdown. They looked to have the offensive ineptitude of a JV football team, but at one of those schools where they only have like 300 students so the JV team is mostly made up of girls and kids that thought they were trying out for badminton.

And then, this.

I’m not as baffled as you. I’m significantly more baffled. I had sort of assumed the Jets were just going to panic and line Tim Tebow up at every position to try to set some sort of bizarre record because they cared so little about winning.

What the eff? I PICKED THE JETS TO WIN?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!!?

Heh. I knew it all along.  And you doubted.

Here’s what Thurman Thomas thought about the Bills’ effort…

But other than that I hear he enjoyed it. Before we move on, here’s Bills TE Scott Chandler knocking down Rex Ryan…

Here’s Antonio Cromartie flipping into the endzone…

And after the game Bart Scott announced a media boycott. Who says he didn’t learn anything from Ed Reed while in Charm City?

3. Most of the talk after Redskins-Saints is related to Robert Griffin III, but Billy Cundiff probably deserves a bit of attention himself.

About effing time someone started paying attention to RG3, don’t you think?

The real question for the Skins? Is the former Heisman Trophy winner REALLY this good or did he play a dreadful defense?

The real question for the Saints? Can things get better or will not having their head coach prove to doom the season?

The other question? Will Nike be able to capitalize on adidas pitchman Griffin’s “Heart”?

I wish I could root for this guy. DAMNIT why did he have to be drafted to DC? For example, I’d LOVE to enjoy this…

…but clearly there’s no chance.

Oh and also! Billy Cundiff made all four of his field goal tries. That seems noteworthy for some reason, I just can’t think of why.

4. The SEC again emphatically proved to be greater than the Big 12. Wait. The hell? Missouri and Texas A&M aren’t in the Big 12 anymore?

I had just sorta figured a college basketball-style “Big 12/SEC Challenge” had been scheduled this weekend. I was as surprised as you.

The story of Georgia/Missouri was the jawing about “Old Man Football”. It was good enough to win…

Also, another look at Mizzou’s unis, please…

The story of Florida/Texas A&M was the Aggies forgetting they play two halves in college football still…

There was however this Ben Malena absolute BLAST for TAMU fans who want to feel better about things…

And since we’re here…did you happen to see the live broadcast of Midnight Yell Practice from Kyle Field Friday night on ESPNU?

There were 40,000 people there. To practice yelling. I have no words. I’m going to wear overalls to Maryland/UConn next week. And then there’s this…

5. Perhaps Mark Sanchez got a lesson in quarterbacking from Matt Barkley this weekend.

For like five seconds as it was storming in New Jersey Saturday there was a thought Syracuse could hang with USC. Nope.

There was a bit of a weather issue in the New York area Saturday (hell…in the Baltimore area too). You might have noticed it if you were watching the U.S. Open semifinal between Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych…

6. Jay Cutler is REALLY happy to have Brandon Marshall, but Matthew Stafford still has Calvin Johnson folks.

You know how good Calvin Johnson is? He had over 100 yards receiving Sunday and NO ONE noticed. No one except Matthew Stafford of course, who needed somewhere to throw the ball to help move past his THREE interceptions…

What you missed in that highlight package? Cortland Finnegan chucked an ear pad from Megatron’s helmet to the Rams’ sideline. Dirty? Clever? Rhubarb?

Here’s a picture that shows the Lions cost Floyd Mayweather $100,000 during the first half of the game…

Meanwhile…in the Windy City…the Brandon Marshall experiment is working thus far. Who would have ever thought a tall receiver would be something a NFL team would actually want?

And if I were to ask you, “who is the longest tenured player in Chicago Bears history?”, what would your answer be?

Would your answer have been this?

That’s LS Patrick Mannelly, who began his 15th season with the Bears today.

Don’t worry. No one else has heard of him either.

7. Randy Moss was a difference maker at Lambeau Field. This is not a repeat of a 15-7-0 from 2003.

Quite the day in Green Bay for the Niners Sunday, especially K David Akers…

Well…I guess it was quite the day for everyone involved in the game that DIDN’T try to dunk the ball over the crossbar. I’m looking at you, Vernon Davis…

Here’s Jim Harbaugh’s reaction…

The Packers, Saints and Giants all lost at home on Week 1. Apparently “parity” isn’t just a well known Civil War battleship.

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Perhaps Trade Good Business, But Ravens Need Good Players

Posted on 27 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — I almost thought about just re-posting the column I wrote two years ago.

I DEFINITELY thought about writing nothing at all.

But after the Baltimore Ravens traded their first round pick in the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the Vikes’ 2nd and 4th round picks Thursday night, I had a few thoughts cross my mind.

After making the trade, General Manager Ozzie Newsome described the decision as “good business” for the Ravens. He might very well be correct. According to the famous Jimmy Johnson trade chart, the Ravens’ 29th overall pick was worth 640 points. The two picks acquired by the Ravens (35th and 98th overall) are worth a combined 658 points. Based on the chart alone, the trade really does appear to be “good business.”

Let’s drag this out a little bit though. The combined value of having the 129th-160th picks in the Draft (or ROUGHLY the entire 5th round) is 1,093.5 points. The 14th pick in the first round of the draft is 1,100 points. The value is almost exactly the same.

So with that in mind-which would you rather have? Would you rather have the 14th pick in the NFL Draft or the entire 5th round in the NFL Draft?

Don’t think about this TOO much. I don’t think there’s really a correct answer here.

The point I’m trying to drive home is that the acquisition of an additional pick or the breakdown of picks based on a numerical chart does not guarantee a selection in the draft is necessarily “good business.”

The last time the Ravens traded out of the first round was in 2010, when the team famously dealt the 25th overall pick in the first round of the Draft to the Denver Broncos for the 43rd, 70th and 114th overall picks in the Draft. The team would go on to select LB Sergio Kindle with the 43rd pick, TE Ed Dickson with the 70th and TE Dennis Pitta with the 114th. While Kindle has been almost a complete non-factor in the two seasons since the deal (and it is hard to imagine him becoming much more than that), Dickson and Pitta have established themselves as capable contributors at the pro level.

The player selected in the 25th spot was now New York Jets QB (and Special Teamer?) Tim Tebow. At first blush, the deal appears to have been “good business” indeed for the Baltimore Ravens.

But if we step back even a bit more, it’s worth identifying some of the players selected between the 25th and 43rd spot in the 2010 Draft. The list includes New England Patriots Pro Bowl CB Devin McCourty and TE Rob Gronkowski, as well as players like New Orleans Saints CB Patrick Robinson (4 interceptions in 2011), Miami Dolphins DL Jared Odrick (6 sacks in 2011), Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best (over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 6 combined TD’s in 2010 before an injury shortened 2011 campaign) and other promising young players.

The Ravens picked up Kindle, Dickson and Pitta but could have had Gronkowski.

This “which would you rather?” argument is nearly as compelling as the earlier one presented. In the spirit of full disclosure, the Ravens have said Gronkowski failed a physical before the 2010 Draft that took him off their board.

The 2010 deal could perhaps prove to ultimately be known as “good business” or it could ultimately be known as the year the Ravens missed on a chance to get one of the more dynamic players in the National Football League. Moreover, two of the players selected between the time the Ravens traded out of the 25th pick and ultimately selected with the 43rd pick in 2010 went on to help a Pats team eliminate the Ravens in the 2012 AFC Championship Game and prevent the Purple & Black from reaching their first Super Bowl in over a decade.

So while we’re quick to accept the idea that trading out of the first round with talented players still on the board like LB Courtney Upshaw, WR Stephen Hill, OL Peter Konz and OT Jonathan Martin was “good business” for the Ravens Thursday night, let’s tell the whole story and paint the entire picture. Trading out of the first round MIGHT have been good business for the Ravens.

It MIGHT be looked upon as the time the Ravens missed out on a future superstar like Vikings S Harrison Smith, San Francisco 49ers WR AJ Jenkins, New York Giants RB David Wilson or (perhaps) Indianapolis Colts LB Upshaw.

As the headline of this column suggested, the Baltimore Ravens may have pulled off “good business” by dealing out of the first round, but the more important need for the team is to acquire good players. If the Ravens acquire good players with the 35th and 98th picks this year, the deal will ultimately prove to truly be good business.

If the Ravens instead miss out on those picks, the deal will be known more as the year where a team looking to make the next step towards a Super Bowl title failed to acquire good players.

You’ll probably tell me I’m being negative. I’d like to think I’m just being realistic.

-G

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