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I need you to sign this petition to keep Dannell Ellerbe in Baltimore

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I need you to sign this petition to keep Dannell Ellerbe in Baltimore

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

Baltimore Ravens unrestricted free agent LB Dannell Ellerbe checked into my show “The Reality Check” Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We talked about the contract talks between his agent and the team, his “challenge” that he could outrun Manti Te’o backwards (he was kidding) and how much he wanted to return to Charm City next season.

He had one request before I let him go.

“That’s how much I want to be in Baltimore. Tell everyone to start a petition!”

So we did. My producer Ryan Chell and I started a petition to ask the Baltimore Ravens to keep their former undrafted free agent LB right here in Charm City.

I want you to sign it, too. You can go right here to do that.

Since we’re here, I should definitely take a minute to tell you why I’m so particularly interested in seeing the former Georgia backer stick around.

I start by mentioning that Ellerbe is a damn good football player. But you already knew that from watching the games this season. Ellerbe has gone from undrafted and fighting to separate himself from other young linebackers like Tavares Gooden to becoming one of the NFL’s most consistent inside performers. When healthy in 2012, Ellerbe may well have been the team’s best defensive player, outperforming two future Hall of Famers and perennial Pro Bowlers like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.

Despite a number of injuries (which forced to miss all three games during the Ravens’ late season slide), Ellerbe returned to have a stellar postseason. He made what may well have been the game saving tackle on Frank Gore’s late run in Super Bowl XLVII, helping the Ravens finish off their second title.

You of course already knew all of that.

But there are other reasons I really want to see Dannell Ellerbe return.

I want to see him return because I’m inspired by a guy who fought to go from undrafted and scratching to get in on Special Teams to being a dependable high-level performer.

I want to see him return because he cares so much about the city of Baltimore and wants so badly to remain here.

I want to see him return because the Ravens are obviously losing Ray Lewis and will be in a very difficult place to lose their best inside linebacker as well. Behind Lewis and Ellerbe, the Ravens have just Jameel McClain coming back from a neck injury, Josh Bynes, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Albert McClellan at the position.

I want to see him return because I’ve been impressed by his maturation both on and off the field. He admitted to me begrudgingly earlier in the season that maturation has come even if he didn’t believe he needed it. Dannell has overcome a reputation of being someone who didn’t always care as much as he needed to in order to become a player that spends extra time watching film in the locker room.

I want to see him return because he’s always made himself available to us and hasn’t changed as he’s become more successful. He never hid at a time when he was hurt or at a time when he didn’t have a great game. Dannell has always been available to answer questions. He’s always said yes when we’ve asked him to come on the radio. He’s never dodged anything.

Dannell Ellerbe has been a picture of someone I want to have as a Raven. I really hope this will work out so that Dannell can return before or after the open of free agency in two weeks.

He wanted a petition and he’s absolutely worthy of one. Ravens fans signed petitions to fire Cam Cameron in droves. I’d like to hope that signing a petition to support one of the team’s better defensive players would be just as easy.

Let’s try again. Click right here to sign the petition. Then I want you to share it via your Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or whatever other social media sites you use. I want you to text and email it to your friends. I don’t want this to be about WNST, I want it to be Dannell. He’s already shared this himself via social media. He’s involved. He’d love to see the support as he enters free agency for the first time in his career. He deserves it.

Go sign the petition. Say thanks to Dannell. Let him know you want him back.

It’s what he told me he wanted.

-G

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Ten non-Flacco thoughts on Ravens’ offseason

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Ten non-Flacco thoughts on Ravens’ offseason

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Luke Jones

With the Ravens about to enter the most critical contract negotiations in franchise history later this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, it’s difficult not to be inundated with the Joe Flacco discussions as general manager Ozzie Newsome tries to lock up his franchise quarterback for the long haul.

Frankly, the talk has been overwhelming and I’m as guilty as anyone in fueling the Flacco fire — HERE, HERE, and even HERE — and what impact it will have on the rest of the offseason and even the future of the franchise.

With that in mind, I offer 10 offseason thoughts not related to “you know who” as we wait to see how negotiations play out:

1. The Ravens could be faced with the choice of overpaying Bryant McKinnie or enduring another season of Michael Oher at left tackle.
Both sides will explore other options, but it’s difficult to find a left tackle — who’s ready to play immediately, anyway — with no cap room and no draft choice higher than 32nd overall. McKinnie may also find a lukewarm market with his off-field baggage and questions over why the Ravens sat him for the entire regular season. If the Ravens deem McKinnie too expensive or too risky to sign, would they roll the dice in going with Oher at left tackle for another season and hoping they can find their left tackle of 2014 in the draft? It’s a dangerous proposition and the Ravens simply don’t have the resources to expect to find anyone better than McKinnie in free agency.

2. Regardless of how the tackle position shakes out, I’d like to see Kelechi Osemele remain at left guard next season. Lost in the shuffle of the offensive line shakeup to start the postseason was the stellar play of Osemele, who was seeing his first extensive time at left guard since the preseason. The Iowa State product played solidly at the right tackle position, but he showed the potential of being a Pro Bowl player on the interior line in four playoff games. At 6-foot-5 and 335 pounds, Osemele clearly has the size to hold up at right tackle, but he could be good enough to make everyone forget about Ben Grubbs at the left guard position. The combination of him and Marshal Yanda could be the best guard duo in the league sooner rather than later, so the Ravens would love to keep Osemele inside in a perfect world.

3. Nothing should be guaranteed to Jimmy Smith next season despite a strong rebound in the postseason.
It looked like a lost season for the 2011 first-round pick after ineffective play and sports hernia surgery dropped him to fourth on the depth chart late in the year, but Smith rebounded to play well in the postseason, including making critical plays on third and fourth down of the Ravens’ goal-line stand in the Super Bowl. His 6-foot-2 frame is the logical replacement for the likely-to-depart Cary Williams, but Smith will need to work his way up the depth chart by first beating out Chykie Brown for the No. 3 corner spot and then Corey Graham for a starting job. His postseason play proves the discussion about Smith being a bust was premature, but the time is now for Smith to prove the Ravens were wise to use a first-round pick on him.

4. This will be a big offseason for Terrence Cody, who is looking more like the second failed second-round pick of the 2010 draft. Outside linebacker Sergio Kindle has already parted ways with the Ravens and Cody might follow him sooner rather than later as the nose tackle enters the final year of his rookie contract. Newsome made it clear at the season-review press conference that the Ravens need to improve at defensive tackle and Cody struggled to get on the field as he competed with veteran Ma’ake Kemoeatu this season. Despite being listed at 341 pounds, Cody was often manhandled and made little impact in taking on blockers to allow linebackers to make plays against the run. The defensive lineman made only two tackles in the postseason and could find himself on the roster bubble should he go through the motions during training camp.

5. With all the discussion over the salary cap purge following the 2001 season, has everyone forgotten how quickly the Ravens returned to prominence after gutting their roster? I understand the line of thinking of both Newsome and owner Steve Bisciotti in saying they don’t want to mortgage the future solely to make an ill-advised effort to get back to the Super Bowl next season, but it’s not as though the Ravens fell off a cliff following their last purge. They went 7-9 as the youngest team in the NFL in 2002 and improved to 10-6 and captured their first AFC North title in 2003. It certainly helped that the Ravens had young versions of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed as well as offensive pillars in Jonathan Ogden and Jamal Lewis, but that group also had Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright playing quarterback. What’s the moral of the story? Organizations that draft well and stay true to their process for making personnel decisions won’t stay down for long in the NFL.

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Yanda, five others absent from Monday’s practice

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 6:15 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Fielding a smaller contingency of players after trimming the roster to 75 players, the Ravens were without Marshal Yanda and five others for Monday’s practice.

Yanda (knee) hasn’t worked since last Monday when he was undercut by linebacker Chavis Williams. The starting right guard finished the practice but missed the Ravens’ third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Thursday. Coach John Harbaugh has said on two separate occasions that the injury isn’t considered to be serious.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), wide receiver Tommy Streeter (foot), linebackers Ricky Brown (hip) and Josh Bynes (back), and safety Sean Considine (concussion) were also absent from the portion of practice open to media.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle (shoulder) appeared to be practicing without a red non-contact jersey for the first time since sustaining a stinger in the second preseason game of the summer.

“He’s not a lock, but he’s done very well,” Harbaugh said. “This game will be important for him.”

Tight ends Ed Dickson (shoulder) and Dennis Pitta were practicing on a limited basis for the second straight workout after returning to the field Saturday. To no surprise, Harbaugh squashed any lingering chance of the tight ends seeing some action Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams.

“No chance,” Harbaugh said. “No chance of that. They’re not ready for that yet.”

The Ravens officially placed linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and wide receiver David Reed (knee) on the reserve physically unable to perform list, meaning both will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Defensive lineman Ryan McBean (ankle), safety Emanuel Cook (leg), and linebackers Darryl Blackstock (leg) and Stevie Baggs (leg) were placed on season-ending injured reserve Monday morning.

 

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