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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Broncos

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Broncos

Posted on 18 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Bernard Pierce 15 yard run negated by Matt Birk holding penalty (2nd quarter)

4. Rahim Moore recovers Joe Flacco fumble on 3rd & 1 forced by Justin Bannan (1st quarter)

3. Eric Decker 51 yard TD catch from Peyton Manning (3rd quarter)

2. Joe Flacco pass intended for Torrey Smith incomplete on 3rd & 10 (3rd quarter)

1. Chris Harris 98 yard TD return of Joe Flacco interception (2nd quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Former Ravens Justin Bannan  and Jason Brown ready to hit the trenches against old mates

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Former Ravens Justin Bannan and Jason Brown ready to hit the trenches against old mates

Posted on 23 September 2011 by Ryan Chell

When the Ravens line up Sunday at 4:15 versus the St. Louis, they will have two familar faces looking across at them from the Rams offensive and defensive lines.

Anchoring the trenches for the Rams are former Ravens in center Jason Brown, and defensive tackle Justin Bannan. Both spent four years in Baltimore, with Bannan coming over as a free agent from the Buffalo Bills from 2006-2009, and Brown having stayed in a Ravens uniform from 2005-2009.

Brown was a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2005 out of North Carolina, and after three solid years starting at both center and guard, he parlayed that into one of the richest contracts ever given to an interior lineman with St. Louis.

Both joined WNST this week to talk about how odd it is wearing blue and gold as opposed to purple and black, and if they had any regrets of not being a Raven anymore.

Jason Brown

“It’s tough, but sometimes it has to be that way,” Brown told Drew Forrester of “The Morning Reaction” Friday. Of course I had made some strong connections and family there with the Ravens, and it was hard for me to leave the Ravens, but the thing is ultimately…my immediate family at the end of the day. I had to make that family decision.”

“It was tough with the lockout and everything,” Bannan told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday. “I signed here in the beginning of August and have been here ever since trying to get acclimated and get use to the new guys, new faces, and new defense. But it’s all come along pretty well.”

Justin Bannan

He’s looking forward to going up against his old friends and teammates, and one of them, guard Ben Grubbs, may not suit up against Bannan because of a foot injury.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Ben,” Bannan said. “I want to find out and see who I’m playing against, but obviously Grubbs is a great player and he’s a friend of mine.”

“I know a lot of the guys on that offensive line, so it’s always going to be a great matchup against them and it’ll be a great game.”

Playing in 58 games for the Ravens, Bannan felt like he learned a lot in Baltimore from coaches like Greg Mattison and Rex Ryan, and now he’s adjusting himself to playing for a similar coach in Steve Spagnuolo.

“In my mind, I like how he approaches the game,” Bannan said. “I like the way he coaches the game. He’s a smart man and he’s always taking into account everything. I’m glad to be a part of it. He’s always been good to me, and I think he’s a great coach.”

Brown said that Spagnuolo’s attention to detail is just as lively on the other side of the ball despite he being a defensive guy.

“Spags, he walks the walk and he definitely talks the talk,” Brown said. “He’s a man that’s led by faith…something a lot of guys identify with. When you have a foundation that you’re trying to build your team on built on discipline, responsibility, work ethic, morals-all those things, we have a great foundation here with the Rams.”

Bannan also gave Spagnuolo credit for giving him another chance to play in the NFL. Bannan, 32, was cut by the Denver Broncos in the off-season just one year, and for some, it could have meant the end of the line.

“Obviously, it was tough. I had a five-year deal there and they decided to make a business decision, and asked me to take a pay-cut.”

“That’s the nature of the business and that’s the business we’re in,” Bannan added. “You’ve got to move on, and you’ve got to take a step back and take a look at what you know.”

Bannan received a lot of praise in the preseason for his high motor, and for that, he has been receiving solid playing time the first two weeks of the season.

“I’m in my tenth year in the NFL and to me, that’s awesome to make it that far,” he said. “The fact that I still get to play this game and be on a great team and be around a bunch of great guys, it makes a huge difference.”

And while the team has not played well this early in the season, he attributed their struggles to early and predicts a turn-around on their part starting Sunday versus his old team.

“I like this team a lot, and I like this defense. It’s all talk saying we have a bright future, but I really believe that and it’s just a matter of putting it together and making it happen.”

Brown agreed.

“Things are definitely coming up out here in St. Louis and we know our biggest opponent right now is ourselves,” he said. “We haven’t played our best ball in the first two weeks right now. There’s so many mistakes that we can correct ourselves as an offense to put us back on track to being a great team.”

And like Bannan, he’s confident that it will start Sunday.

“Somebody’s going to walk away 1-2,” Brown said. “Even though we started off a little rougher than the Ravens right now, at the end of the day that’s what is going to have to be, 1-2.”

WNST thanks Justin Bannan and Jason Brown for joining WNST and wish them all the best following Sunday! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Best From Week 1 to Week 17-Ngata My Choice For Ravens MVP

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Best From Week 1 to Week 17-Ngata My Choice For Ravens MVP

Posted on 05 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

In past years, voting for Baltimore Ravens MVP has been particularly simple.

In 2003, no one would have really needed to consider anyone not named Jamal Lewis for the honor.

In 2006, there was hardly an argument that Steve McNair didn’t deserve the award.

Just a season ago, I fired back the name “Ray Rice” about as quickly as I had received my MVP ballot.

Yet when ballots were sent out last week for the 2010 version of the honor, my deliberation process was a bit lengthier.

Plenty of Baltimore Ravens players had solid seasons in 2010.

LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed, LB Terrell Suggs and K Billy Cundiff were all very deserving of their Pro Bowl nods. Each could very well be considered in this conversation.

Suggs and Reed in particular were exceptional at times; Suggs collecting 11 sacks and forcing two fumbles, Reed tallying a league leading eight interceptions despite missing the first six games while on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

QB Joe Flacco is also deserving of consideration. P Sam Koch is as well. OL Ben Grubbs would at least have to be on the list, as would RB Rice, CB Josh Wilson and WR’s Anquan Boldin Derrick Mason.

In fact, my 2-10 on the list would be (in order): Suggs, Reed, Lewis, Flacco, Koch, Cundiff, Rice, Boldin and Mason. Wilson would be right after that group.
But when it came to determining one individual winner, one player really stood out.

From Week 1 in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets to Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium, there was no better Raven than DT Haloti Ngata.

That’s why he was my choice for Ravens MVP.

Statistically, Ngata might stand out in the way other players do. However, he posted a career high in sacks (5.5), and tied career highs in tackles (63) and pass deflections (5).

He did it in a season where he was asked to play multiple positions along the defensive line; including a number of snaps at Rush End after the team waived veteran DE Trevor Pryce.

The Ravens finished the season with the 5th best run defense (93.9 ypg) in the NFL. They allowed more than 150 yards rushing just once all season (173 yards in Week 3 against Peyton Hillis and the Cleveland Browns); they allowed 75 yards rushing or less five times.

This coming after an offseason in which national football writers (and many of us in the local market) speculated the team was going to be stronger offensively than defensively.

But statistics probably don’t do complete justice to Ngata’s value to this football team.

In 2006, there was no hiding from the fact that Lewis (a sure fire future Hall of Famer) wanted a great DT to play behind in order to help extend his career.

In four years, the big man from Oregon has done just that and more. In 2010, a 35 year old Lewis collected 139 tackles (good for 6th in the NFL) and anchored that 5th over rushing defense.

Without Ngata in front of him, it would be fair to question whether or not Lewis would even be playing at this point in his career.

In October, Head Coach John Harbaugh described Ngata as “playing as well as any defensive player in the league (right now).” It wasn’t an exaggeration then and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration now.

There might be some argument that the New England Patriots’ Vince Wilfork is as good an interior D-Lineman as Ngata. There’s definitely an argument that if he hasn’t yet, Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh will soon pass Ngata on the list of the league’s best players at the position.

But for now, Ngata’s the guy.

And that’s really the biggest reason the team’s defense has remained a stellar unit despite the losses of Pryce, DL Justin Bannan and DL Dwan Edwards as well as the season ending torn ACL suffered by CB Domonique Foxworth at the start of Training Camp.

The best statement that can be made about Ngata this season is that there was never a game in which we found ourselves shaking our heads and thinking “what a pedestrian effort from Haloti today” or “are we sure Haloti knew the game kicked off at 1pm?” or “Haloti really hasn’t made an impact today.”

That can’t really be said about the other players in my Top 10.

From Week 1 to Week 17, Haloti Ngata showed up, gave a full effort and made a legitimate impact.

He was REALLY good in 2010. Not only was he the team’s best player, he was also their most valuable.

That’s why he got my vote.

ngata
(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Say Missed Tackles, YAC Have Aided Broncos’ Passing Success

Posted on 06 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) returned to the practice field Wednesday at 1 Winning Drive, looking ahead to a Sunday showdown with the Denver Broncos (2-2) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens’ AFC North foe enters Sunday’s contest with the top passing defense in the NFL, having compiled 339.5 yards per game over their first four contests. QB Kyle Orton has thrown for 295 yards or more in all four games, including 476 in a Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts and 341 last Sunday in a win over the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens meanwhile enter the contest with the top passing defense in the league, allowing just 119 passing yards per game through their first four.

While Ravens Pro Bowl LB Ray Lewis said Wednesday that Orton is “throwing the ball extremely well”, he also noted that the Broncos have benefited from “a lot of missed tackles”, adding “the run after catch is huge.” Lewis said the Broncos may complete a number of passes Sunday, but the Ravens know “you have to hit them and stop them where they catch it at.” Ravens CB Fabian Washington agreed with Lewis, saying “their receivers are good after the catch. They can turn short yards into home runs. Once they catch the ball, you gotta get them on the ground.”

Ravens CB Lardarius Webb praised the Broncos’ WR corps, admitting “I didn’t how good these guys were until I cut up my film. Eddie Royal, Brandon Lloyd, (Jabar) Gaffney, these guys are some of the best.” Washington acknowledged the Broncos have four very talented wide receivers (including rookie Demaryius Thomas), but stated “I think we have five very good corners. I think we match up well with them.”

GAITHER UPDATE
: While Head Coach John Harbaugh offered reporters no additional information regarding OT Jared Gaither’s meeting with back special Dr. Robert Watkins Monday in Los Angeles, Gaither himself was a little more open.

Gaither said he still hasn’t been cleared to return to the football field; and that he was “not sure” what needs to happen to get clearance. Gaither pointed out, “I still have pain and I still don’t have all the movements, I guess I wouldn’t be cleared until I can do that.”

Gaither reiterated that every opinion he’s received has been that he wouldn’t need surgery for the back; but said he still has no timetable for when he can return. When asked about when he might be able to return to the team, Gaither didn’t have a timetable but said “I can’t wait” to get back on the field. Gaither was on the practice field last Wednesday, but said he was just trying to determine how much pain he could handle.

In the meantime, Gaither said he is working on “core stabilization.” He explained “I don’t know if there’s much treatment you can do to help a disc. You pretty much have to strengthen everything else around it and see how much pain you can take.”

With Gaither out, the Ravens acquired veteran OL Scott Kooistra Tuesday-replacing CB Prince Miller on the active roster. Harbaugh said the Ravens valued Kooistra’s experience in the AFC North. In the 7th season of his career, Kooista’s previous NFL experience was entirely with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

PRACTICE NOTES: Five Ravens were not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday. DE Paul Kruger (knee), WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) and Gaither have all been ruled OUT Sunday. DE Cory Redding (concussion) was not on the practice field during the portion open to the media, but said earlier he had been given the “green light” to return and was not listed on the injury report.

RB’s Ray Rice and Willis McGahee as well as FB Le’Ron McClain were all on the practice field-Rice and McClain were full participants, McGahee wasn’t listed. Rice entered the team’s Week 4 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers with a knee injury, McGahee and McClain both suffered stingers during the win at Heinz Field.

LB Edgar Jones (thigh) was a limited participant in practice, TE Todd Heap (shoulder) was listed as a full participant.

For the Broncos, CB Champ Bailey (non-injury) and RB Spencer Larsen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday. CB Andre Goodman (quad), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) were all limited. All other Broncos were unlisted.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Lewis, Gaither, Webb, Washington, Gooden, Kruger, QB Joe Flacco, LB Jarret Johnson and WR TJ Houshmandzadeh NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……DT Lamar Divens is scheduled to join Drew Forrester Thursday morning at 7:00am on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST……Johnson will get to see his good friend and former Ravens teammate in Broncos DL Justin Bannan Sunday; he said he told Bannan this week to “stay out of that white jersey. He looks awful in white.” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels told the Charm City media contingent in a conference call Wednesday that Bannan has brought “leadership skills” and a “great work ethic” to the Mile High City……Flacco said he kept a football from Sunday’s win, not because of the significance of the win, but instead because the ball had pink ribbons on it. Flacco admitted he liked the ball because it “was different”, and was going to steal one whether the Ravens won the game or not……The Ravens return to practice Thursday; coordinators Greg Mattison, Cam Cameron and Jerry Rosburg as well as LB Terrell Suggs are amongst those expected to meet with the media.

-G

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (81-99)

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (81-99)

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number recently, we continue to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 covered jersey numbers 1 through 80 if you missed them.

Part 5 (81-99) concludes our trip down memory lane by looking at some of the greatest receivers, tight ends, and defensive linemen in franchise history.

81 Michael Jackson (1996-98)
Jackson

Anquan Boldin is a good bet to hold this honor in the near future, but “Action” Jackson was a big-time receiver in the Ravens’ first season in Baltimore, catching 14 touchdowns and eclipsing the 1,200-yard mark. Jackson’s numbers declined in his final two seasons with the Ravens, but he and fellow wideout Derrick Alexander were huge weapons in Ted Marchibroda’s passing game.

82 Shannon Sharpe (2000-01)

The former Denver tight end came to Baltimore and immediately provided the leadership sorely lacking on the offensive side of the football. His game-winning 29-yard touchdown catch with seconds remaining in a 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville set the early tone for what would eventually be a championship season in 2000. And he also had a big catch in the AFC Championship that you might remember…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiL2gJTVPec[/youtube]

83 Daniel Wilcox (2004-08)

Wilcox rarely had the chance to shine in the Baltimore offense, but the dependable backup tight end caught 76 passes and eight touchdowns in his five years with the Ravens.

84 Jermaine Lewis (1996-2001)

The diminutive Maryland Terp is unquestionably the greatest return specialist in franchise history and returned six punts for touchdowns in his six years with the Ravens. Though he never returned a kickoff for a score in the regular season, the two-time Pro Bowl selection capitalized on the world’s biggest stage with an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to seal the eventual Super Bowl XXXV victory. His courage down the stretch of that magical season was documented (see below) in the NFL Network’s “America’s Game” series.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seVOzeRNBIM&feature=related[/youtube]

85 Derrick Mason (2005-present)
Mason

Though overshadowed by bigger, faster receivers throughout the NFL, Mason has been the model of consistency throughout his first five seasons with the Ravens. The veteran has averaged 82 receptions per season and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in four of his five campaigns in Baltimore.

86 Todd Heap (2001-present)
Heap

Injuries have stunted his production in the latter half of his career, but few tight ends have shown the versatility of Heap with his ability to split out wide or outleap  defenders as a dangerous red zone target. Heap has 36 touchdown catches in his nine seasons.

87 Qadry Ismail (1999-2001)

The “Missile” was a rare weapon in a passing game that struggled to produce in the early stages of the Brian Billick era. Ismail caught 18 touchdowns and had two 1,000-yard seasons in his three years with the Ravens.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vt3D6oqyok[/youtube]

88 Brian Kinchen (1996-98)
Kinchen

Injuries prevented Quinn Sypniewski from potentially earning this distinction, but Kinchen was a steady if unspectacular tight end for the early Ravens. His 1996 season included 55 catches for 581 yards and a touchdown. Kinchen also had the ability to long snap.

89 Mark Clayton (2005-present)

Clayton and fellow No. 89 Travis Taylor are viewed as two of the biggest draft busts in the history of the franchise. The former Oklahoma Sooner holds a slight edge in receptions (234 to 204) through five seasons with the franchise, but Taylor had more touchdowns (15 to 14). Neither player met expectations, but Clayton still has the opportunity to improve his résumé, enough to give him the nod here.

90 Rob Burnett (1996-2001)
Burnett

One of the most unheralded members of the dominant Baltimore defenses from 1999 to 2001, Burnett had 10.5 sacks and forced three fumbles in 2000 but was a Pro Bowl snub. The defensive end compiled 26.5 sacks in his six seasons with the Ravens.

91 Lional Dalton (1998-2001)

Dalton never had the chance to show his stuff as a starter on the defensive line, but he was a key member of the rotation for a deep unit of tackles. He wins narrowly over defensive end Marques Douglas (who also wore No. 94) and defensive tackles Aubrayo Franklin and Brandon McKinney.

92 Haloti Ngata (2006-present)

Considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL today, Ngata has wreaked havoc on opposing running games from the moment he stepped foot in Baltimore. 350-pound defensive tackles are not supposed to be as athletic as Ngata, and the league finally recognized his rare talent by selecting him to his first Pro Bowl in 2009.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWWEK38OsAk[/youtube]

93 Keith Washington (1997-2000)

The defensive lineman is remembered most for his block of an Al Del Greco field goal that was returned by Anthony Mitchell for a go-ahead touchdown in the Ravens’ memorable 24-10 victory over the Titans en route to a Super Bowl title, but Washington was a key member of the defensive line rotation in his four seasons.

A strong final season by Dwan Edwards in 2009 was not nearly enough to earn strong consideration here after the defensive lineman was largely a flop in his first three seasons with the Ravens.

94 Justin Bannan (2006-09)

The defensive tackle was a major factor in 2008, starting 15 of 16 games in Kelly Gregg’s absence. His four strong seasons with the Ravens earned him a nice payday with the Denver Broncos following last season.

95 Sam Adams (2000-01)
Adams

Many will argue for Jarret Johnson for this jersey number, and a legitimate argument can be made, but how can you overlook Adams’ massive impact—literally and figuratively—in his two seasons with the Ravens? The defensive tackle made the Pro Bowl twice and teamed with Tony Siragusa to form a 700-pound wall around which the menacing Ray Lewis could freelance.

Johnson is a very good player and received his just due in Part 4 (No. 76), but Adams was the better player in his two-year stint in Baltimore.

96 Adalius Thomas (2000-06)
Thomas

The former sixth-round pick transformed himself from a defensive end to one of the best outside linebackers in the league over his seven seasons with the Ravens. The two-time Pro Bowler was also a menacing 270-pound gunner on the punt team and was the most versatile player on the talented defenses of the post-Super Bowl era.

97 Kelly Gregg (2000-present)

The former wrestler hardly looks the part of an NFL defensive tackle, but Gregg has manned the interior of the Baltimore defensive line for nearly a decade. “Buddy Lee” ranks second on the Ravens’ all-time tackles list, behind only Lewis.

98 Tony Siragusa (1997-2001)
Goose

The brash, rotund Siragusa arrived in 1997 and was part of the defensive transition from a hapless unit to the record-setting company that struck fear in the opponent’s heart. His controversial hit on Rich Gannon knocked the Oakland quarterback out of the AFC Championship game, but the outspoken Siragusa would have been the first to say it did not matter whether Gannon played or not against that Ravens defense.

99 Michael McCrary (1997-2002)
McCrary

His blue-collar style still resonates fondly with Baltimore fans, and the undersized defensive end is recognized in the Ravens Ring of Honor. McCrary’s 51 career sacks ranks third behind Peter Boulware and Terrell Suggs on the Ravens’ all-time list. Chronic knee issues cut short what had already been a brilliant career.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I went over to Pimlico yesterday and they had ALL of my favorite things. Beer, oysters, and even crab balls…

crab balls

They did something with the horses too-hopefully someone else was paying more attention than I.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Bergesen sparkled as Orioles topped Mariners

You know, some people look at the O’s and say “they only have 10 wins.”

I look at the O’s and say “they have 10 more wins then they had on Opening Day.”

Watching Brad Bergesen early on last night, I got the sense that he was again benefitting from “swinging in the rain”, as the M’s were hacking. However, as the game moved on-I felt as though Bergesen was mixing his pitches really well, and would have been effective no matter what the weather was.

It’s nice to say something like that. I hope I can say it again tomorrow.

I hope I can say Luke Scott and Adam Jones had multi-hit games again tomorrow as well.

There’s a lot of things I hope. None of them have anything to do with Felix Hernandez throwing a perfect game. PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!!!!!

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of win

When do we just annoint Alfredo Simon our lord and savior?

Things got a little hairy for Koji Uehara late last night, but thank God “Special Sauce” or whatever the hell the kids are calling him came in to finish things off.

I’m REALLY not convinced that Alfredo Simon is the next coming of Randy Myers, but I’m all for riding the Simon train until it comes crashing down. I mean, we’ve had MUCH worse over this 13 year span.

You know what, I’d probably be all for riding Alfredo Simon even if he ends up failing, just because I’d simply like to have more games with SAVE SITUATIONS!!!

10-24.

Hey, if this was a football game-we’d only be trailing by two possessions!

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Corey Patterson called up by Birds

As even Jay said yesterday via Facebook-

“Only Corey can save us now.”

No one is REALLY excited about Corey Patterson being back in Baltimore. No one is REALLY excited about Nolan Reimold going back down.

Unfortunately, wins and losses have to count for at least SOMETHING. I know that’s not the on-field picture that’s been painted; but it HAS to.

Nolan Reimold wasn’t helping the Orioles win. You can’t just keep sending someone out to the field that doesn’t help your team win.

Insert your own Kyle Boller joke here.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester defends Andy MacPhail for uncomfortably posted fan video

UNCOMFORTABLE?!?!?

I’m not even kidding about this-I think watching “2 Girls 1 Cup” was less awkward than watching this.

Holy crap.

I still don’t know what the point of this video was. I know he threw in a “keep the faith” quip at the end of the video, but…umm…there were 3,000 people at OPACY last night. How much faith is there to be kept?!?!?

There was no apology for the disastrous start. There was no “this is my fault, and I’m going to fix it.” There was nothing more than a basic rundown that Mike Gonzalez struggled, Garrett Atkins is amongst the players who haven’t produced, and the team has had to face the Yankees and Red Sox early.

Umm….didn’t we already know that?

However, ol’ Drew Forrester DEFENDED HIM! Unbelievable! He gave him the pass for this DISASTER of a video! Not only that, but he said in our “Orange Crush” chat that “82-80 isn’t far away” for the Birds.

And with that, Drew Forrester was named “Apologist of the Morning” by “The Great Arbitrator”-HIMSELF!

History made again!

5. The AP’s John Kekis says Nationals prospect Strasburg shut down Norfolk Tides on farm

I’m not sure how many people stayed up to watch this on MASN last night, but…ummm…this kid Strasburg…it looks like he might be pretty good.

I’m not going to say he IS good yet, as he hasn’t recorded a single out at the MLB level.

BUT…it looks like the Nats are going to benefit greatly from having drafted him.

Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that they head back to the field this afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to wrap their 3 game set with the Seattle Mariners at 12:35. Felix Hernandez goes against Kevin Millwood. There’s a rumor that Glenn Clark might make an appearance at the ballpark today, but we’ll see. It might be a brief stop in the press box and then 6 innings of sitting in the stands and drinking beer.

I like to call that “Thursday.”

6. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Lamar Divens expects to be cleared for practice next week

Divens joins a DT group that remains VERY deep for the Ravens despite the departures of Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards this offseason.

Behind Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg there’s Terrence Cody-with Cory Redding splitting time with Trevor Pryce on the end.

Behind that group, there’s Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney and Arthur Jones even before you get to Lamar Divens. It’s a DEEP GROUP.

Should the Ravens be looking to make an upgrade at another position, this would likely be the position they have the depth to deal from. Do I expect them to? Not necessarily. But could it be possible? Absolutely it could be.

7. ESPN.com’s James Walker says Cam Cameron thinks Ravens’ offense can be ‘elite’

I don’t think anyone disagrees that they have the POTENTIAL to be elite.

Joe Flacco MUST progress in his development. Ray Rice needs to have another Pro Bowl caliber year. The impact of Anquan Boldin has to be both numbers for him and increased production from Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and Donte’ Stallworth. Jared Gaither and Michael Oher need to continue to hold down the tackle spots.

There are a lot of variables, but the pieces are there. If they remain healthy, there is absolutely a chance that Cam Cameron will be right.

I’ll say there’s a better chance of the Ravens having an elite offense than there is of me getting a date with Giorgia Palmas (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

palmas

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland to visit Penn State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

You guys have been talking about how much you’ve wanted to see the Terrapins play the Nittany Lions, and now you got your way!

Sadly…it’s not in football.

The Terps and Lions make for one of the worst matchups in the Challenge this year. Plus, State College is TERRIBLE, so I can’t fathom any Maryland fan wanting to drive up there for the game. I guess Talor Battle is pretty good, but does anyone in Happy Valley even know there are other sports after football season is over?!?!?

Ugh.

Michigan State would have been nice. Wisconsin would have been fine. Purdue would have been great. Ohio State would have been great.

Penn State is none of those things. Penn State is just….awful.

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns and Tommy Kehoe say Duke/Hopkins best of 1st round games in NCAA Tournament

I don’t think I disagree. Loyola/Cornell could be (if the Greyhounds can summon the success they had earlier in the season); but given how the Blue Jays played down the stretch, they have at least a chance to knock off the Blue Devils.
Before I move on from college sports, here’s a look at UMBC’s new logo (as we first passed along via Twitter -@WNST- yesterday.)

umbc 

I can dig it. Go Retrievers!

10. Maryland Jockey Club says Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver drew 8th post, named 5-2 favorite for Preakness

If you missed Paddy O’Prado jockey and former Preakness (as well as Derby and Belmont) winner Kent Desormeaux this morning, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out today. Drew also had the great John Feinstein and new Wake Forest coach (former UMBC coach) Jeff Bzdelik on the show this morning, check them out.

If you missed Alessandra Ambrosio over at Guyism, look what I found!

ambrosio

11. WNST.net’s Gary Quill says Lookin At Lucky 2nd choice at 3-1, drew 7th post

Bob Baffert seemed happy with the draw. Of course, Todd Pletcher seemed happy with the draw for Super Saver. A lof of people were happy at Pimlico yesterday. I mean, how could you not be? There were crab balls!!!

I’m starting to join the Bob Haynie bandwagon when it comes to Lookin At Lucky. I think he’ll get my money.

Or at least whatever money I have leftover after alcohol.

And finally, I leave you with this…

Congratulations to the Montreal Candiens for making sports fans in Pittsburgh sad this morning. Since they already made sports fans in Washington sad this postseason, they’re basically my heros!

Since it’s a big day in Canada today, here’s some Our Lady Peace…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CBBtorFg2I[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens Agree to 2 Year Deal With Cory Redding

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Ravens Agree to 2 Year Deal With Cory Redding

Posted on 22 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they have agreed in principle on a two-year deal with former Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions DL Cory Redding.

Redding joins a Ravens D-Line that has recently lost both Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan. He joins Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg, Trevor Pryce, Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou and Lamar Divens in the Ravens’ D-Line rotation.

Redding may immediately step in at DE to replace the departed Edwards, with Pryce switching in for obvious passing downs. However, D-Line will still likely be a position the Ravens try to upgrade during the NFL Draft.

Here are Redding’s career statistics, thanks to the AP (via WNST.net):

Career Defensive Stats
Year Team G TK Asst Sacks Yds Int Yds TDs PD FF FR
2003 Det 9 6 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2004 Det 16 34 6 3.0 20.0 0 0 0 0 1 2
2005 Det 16 26 7 1.0 4.0 0 0 0 4 1 1
2006 Det 16 38 10 8.0 43.5 0 0 0 0 2 1
2007 Det 16 27 10 1.0 5.0 0 0 0 1 0 2
2008 Det 13 31 6 3.0 19.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 Sea 15 18 2 2.0 10.0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Totals 101 180 42 18.0 102.0 0 0 0 6 4 8

redding

1:10pm update: Cory Redding just joined Bob Haynie and Mark Suchy on “The Bob Haynie Show” on AM1570 WNST. Here are some of the things he had to say….

-”Love the program, love the facility, love the organization. Respect the men who play there.”
-Ravens were “a perfect fit” for him in free agency.
-“I don’t care what my position is. Just to be out on the field will be fun for me.”
-“It’s gonna be a unique situation” playing with Ravens defense.
-
“Can’t wait to get ready to work with you guys and pursue the playoffs.”
-
“I love the game of football. I love to compete.”
-“I will definitely do my best” in games against Steelers.
-Cory also told Bob & Mark about his Foundation…The Cory Redding Foundation…visit CoryReddingFoundation.org

If you missed the interview (SHAME ON YOU!), you can hear the entire chat in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

12:30pm update:
Nestor Aparicio caught up with Ravens coach John Harbaugh and this is what he had to say about the addition of Redding in Orlando at the owners’ meetings:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq5r4UFgOX0[/youtube]

12:20pm update: John Harbaugh just joined Nestor and the other Baltimore media covering the league meetings in Orlando. Here are his thoughts on Cory Redding:

“We’re excited about Cory because he fits us. He plays with a high motor, plays with great energy. He’s a sideline to sideline type of player. He’s excited to be a Raven. We think he’s a similar player to Dwan (Edwards). We hope he falls right in at that spot. He’s a really good player against the run. He’s stout and he plays real hard.”

Harbaugh’s chat with the media will be available shortly via WNSTv.

12pm update: Here are some thoughts from Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome:

“This will sound a little like a broken record, but Cory is a guy who plays like a Raven. He hustles, he plays with intelligence, and he can play multiple positions like many of our defensive players. He’s been a starter at both inside tackle and defensive end. And I am sure our coaches will use him in both positions.”

WNST.net’s own Nestor Aparicio is live in Orlando at the annual NFL meetings, he will continue to provide us information from John Harbaugh, Dick Cass, etc. as it becomes available. Make sure you follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 17 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because…..well……it’s St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not Irish, and I’ll never be the type to say “I’m Irish for today” or anything like that. BUT, I enjoy Bangers & Mash, Smithwick’s AND Flogging Molly…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXNj-4BXLng[/youtube]

If you’re interested in coming out and buying me my first 6-72 beers tonight, let me know.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Gary Williams, Greivis Vasquez making ‘final run’ together

Trying to spare any sort of poetic statement, this is going to be a special run for this combination of coach and player.

Vasquez is not only the best player Gary Williams has had since Juan Dixon, it’s the best relationship he’s had with a player since Juan Dixon. Juan was famously known for being willing to hurl things right back at Williams, including language that would make some of us blush.

This type of story makes sense, as every time out might be the last time this coach and player share the floor together. There’s no doubt in my mind that the coach isn’t particularly interested in thinking about the first game he’ll play AFTER the player moves on.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Vasquez coming into NCAA Tournament off ‘rare’ bad night in Greensboro

Of course, seeing as how THIS is the most exciting thing to do in Greensboro….

tiddlywinks
…isn’t EVERY night in Greensboro a bad night?

Now, with that being said…there is a question about whether or not Vasquez has reached an emotional high point with the win at Duke and the ACC regular season title split, or if he has another level he can reach over the next week(s).

That being said, even reaching “another level” might not guarantee victory for the Terps-as the competition won’t be easy.

3. Triangle Business Journal’s Jeff Drew says Maryland amongst most popular basketball teams in country

WHAT???

I would have assumed this team would have been higher on the list….

ucla

Seriously though, do you really think the Terps are the 4th most popular college basketball team in the country? North Carolina and Duke make sense at the top of the list, but I would assume Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and UConn would be next on the list.

I guess it’s cool, as it means this Terrapins team has made some traction nationally. But I can’t help but wonder just how realistic the numbers are.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland, Morgan State fans having tough time arranging for trips to see teams in NCAA Tournament

It IS a shame. Morgan’s trip to Buffalo isn’t terrible-and seeing as how their tickets sold out, clearly there are plenty of Bears fans who have decided that they’re ready to make the trip.

Spokane is just unfortunate.

Obviously, SOMEONE has to go play out west. Of course, playing in a bigger city with more flight options might help to limit the damage. I am absolutely NOT a fan of the NCAA playing Tournament games in places like Spokane, Boise, and other less than desirable cities.

I mean, what’s wrong with playing like nice places like Miami, San Diego, New Orleans and Baltimore*?

(*indicates one of these places clearly doesn’t belong)

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Towson confirms Pat Kennedy will return as head coach next season

My first reaction to this is “obviously Towson is saying that winning really doesn’t matter to them.”

My second reaction is only slightly more positive; “Towson is clearly saying that money is such a mess that they can’t really be too concerned about basketball.”

Look, I think Pat Kennedy is a better coach than a lot of guys who could have jobs. That being said, it isn’t working at Towson. They won some games down the stretch, including 5 of their last 8 regular season games and 6 of their last 10 including the CAA Tournament. That stretch included a win at William & Mary, which helped to knock the Tribe off the at-large bubble.

BUT….in a perfect world, I would imagine the athletic department there would try to use a coaching search and hire to pump some new life into a program that admittedly does have a few good pieces in place.

6. Inside Lacrosse says Chris Pastirik scored with 6 seconds left to help Towson beat Navy for first win of season

It was a nice night for lacrosse at Unitas Stadium, and a big win for Tony Seaman and the Tigers, who were in real danger of getting off to an 0-5 start with a showdown looming against Virginia on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Navy is in a BIT of trouble-as they have now fallen to 3-4. They play Holy Cross in Annapolis Saturday and then travel to Colgate a week later; but their stretch after that is brutal. Before the Patriot League Tournament, they play Georgetown, at Maryland, Army at M&T Bank Stadium, and Johns Hopkins. Yikes.

If you’re interested in seeing some lacrosse this afternoon before starting your St. Patty’s festivities, head over to Owings Mills to Stevenson host Stevens (yeah, you read that right) at 4pm at the Caves Athletic Complex.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Dwan Edwards agreed to 4 year deal with Bills

4 years, $18 million

Must be nice.

Meanwhile, this will be my lunch today…..

ramen

(Edit from GMC: That’s not because I’m poor, it’s because I LOVE Pork flavored Ramen noodles.)

In all seriousness, the Ravens will miss Dwan Edwards. He had found himself a nice spot playing on obvious running downs while Trevor Pryce rotated in for obvious passing downs.

With Edwards and Justin Bannan gone, D-Line becomes an even more important spot for the Ravens to try to upgrade in the NFL Draft. Also, expect Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou and maybe even Lamar Divens to be in the mix. There might even be another guy….

8. Baltimore Ravens Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Paul Kruger ‘bulking up’ for chance to move from LB to DE

Look at that! Another guy!

If Paul Kruger is going to be a Defensive End in the NFL, he obviously WILL have to bulk up. He’ll need to look a bit more like Kyle Vanden Bosch….

vandenbosch

….than “Sunshine” from “Remember the Titans”…..

titans

9. Bowling Green News says Ravens were in attendance for Falcons’ Pro Day to see players like WR Freddie Barnes

This comes after the Ravens had previously attended Youngstown State Pro Day to watch WR Donald Jones.

Does it mean the Ravens are no longer interested in taking a receiver in Round 1 and are instead focusing on receivers in mid-rounds and later rounds? Not necessarily.

In fact, had Demaryius Thomas been able to work out at Georgia Tech Pro Day-I would assume that the Ravens would have been particularly interested.

BUT-my GUESS remains that the Ravens will go Tight End or defense in Round 1, then address Wide Receiver later in the Draft.

Just a guess.

10. MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier says Chad Moeller homered as Orioles topped Twins

Told you the Birds had a catcher for the future!!!

By the way-break up the O’s! 3 straight wins! A reminder-the World Series is in October, you’ll want to put aside money now to make sure you guarantee a seat.

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding. I’m actually really happy they’ve won 3 in a row-but I wish it was Kevin Millwood making a strong start, not David Hernandez.)

11. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Steve Johnson returned to Birds from Giants

Which means Dave Johnson has been crying for some 18 hours.

The organization expected Johnson to be back, so this isn’t much of a surprise, honestly.

But if the city of Baltimore was going to take someone from Northern California, why couldn’t it have been Allison Stokke??? (Left, thanks Busted Coverage)

stokke

12. Daily Racing Form’s Joe DeVivo says Pimlico Special, duPont Distaff cut from Pimlico season

So…..does this mean we get booze back at Preakness, or what?

And finally, I leave you with this.

After posting the Stone Cold Steve Austin beer truck video yesterday, I had multiple requests for the Kurt Angle milk truck video. Quite possibly the greatest thing WWE ever did…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwzjPb36p6M[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It was a Happy Friday for me because…

1-the Morgan State thing was AMAZING last night

and 2-With sentencing being oft-delayed for Lil’ Wayne (it looks like Monday now), I’m just gonna go ahead and give props to Weezy today, since I don’t want this to keep dragging out. Dude is getting the Plaxico Burress treatment in New York, which is unfortunate. But props to Weezy.

“One Way Trip” is my favorite track off of “Rebirth” (Language NSFW)….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNlVQ8G5USI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. The AP says Reggie Holmes’ 36 lead Morgan State in rout of Coppin State

I can’t say enough about what an incredible night it was at Hill Field House.

Was it like Senior Night and Maryland/Duke in College Park? Maybe not, but the raw emotion was very similar.

Reggie Holmes has staked his claim as one of the greatest college basketball players in Baltimore history, and last night was some form of coronation. With some of the greatest players in Charm City history present (including Sam Cassell, the reigning Dean of Baltimore Basketball), Holmes put on a show for the ages against an Eagles team-that even in a down year-remains the Bears’ biggest rival.

But the event was so much more than that. It was chilling. It came in front of a packed house, where fans would have waited hours for the chance to see Holmes’ night. A group of 30 or so fans rushed the floor BEFORE the game to help celebrate Holmes (who surpassed Marvin “The Eraser” Webster as the all-time leading scorer in MSU history in the win). Coach Todd Bozeman told us after the game that it was “Cherry Hill” that rushed the floor-and joked that the team had thought about playing the game in that particular Baltimore neighborhood.

It was just special. If you weren’t there, I’m sorry. Both the Bears and Eagles are now off until the MEAC Tournament. Coppin State is the 11 seed, they’ll face UMES in the Opening Round Wednesday. Morgan State is the 1 seed, they’ll face the Howard/North Carolina A&T winner Wednesday night.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps rolling towards Top 4 seed in NCAA Tournament

Of course, Patrick didn’t give me much better news than that. For travel reasons, I’m hoping the Terps end up in Providence or Buffalo, but neither seems likely. If it can’t be one of those locations, then I would hope it would be somewhere nice. For example, Jacksonville….

jax

…but Patrick says San Jose is more likely…..

siliconvalley

I’m hoping for New Orleans…..

http://www.partyonwheelsusa.com/images/party_girls.jpg

….But Patrick says Spokane is much more likely….

nothing

3. Fredericksburg Free Lance Star’s Steve DeShazo says Terps can clinch at least share of ACC regular season title for first time since ’02 with win tomorrow at Virginia

I’ll be in Charlottesville tomorrow afternoon, live blogging at WNST.net. Luke Jones and I will chime in via Twitter, make sure you follow us (@WNST) during the game.

I can’t stand the Wahoos myself, I think “Auld Lang Syne” is a stupid fight song, and I think the only people who should wear ties to a game are coaches. At least it isn’t football, so I don’t have to see them do the stupid “arms around each other” thing after touchdowns.

The Cavs didn’t offer much when they came to Comcast Center, but I don’t imagine they’ll just roll over at John Paul Jones Arena. Sylven Landesberg played 36 minutes against Boston College despite a thigh injury, and should be good to go tomorrow. The good news is that Mamdi Diane graduated a season ago, meaning he can’t kill the Terps again.

If they can get the job done, they get a banner. That’s pretty special.

4. Washington Post’s Gene Wang says Maryland women topped North Carolina, will face Duke today in ACC Tournament quarterfinals

Congratulations to Brenda Frese and the Terps, who need to keep winning to have a shot at returning to the NCAA Tournament.

They played Duke tough for 40 minutes in College Park, and for 30-some minutes at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Now, I have to pose a question that apparently someone told me was sexist. With no offense to the Terps-as I’ll watch any game they play, but as far as the rest of the ACC Women’s Tournament is concerned-I think I’ll choose cole slaw wrestling instead…

coleslaw

5. UNC Wilmington Official Site previews today’s CAA Tournament opener against Towson

This is a matchup that Pat Kennedy’s club SHOULD win, but that obviously doesn’t mean they will. Even if they do, a date with Old Dominion looms Saturday in Richmond, meaning this will likely be a short trip for the Tigers.

That being said, there will be a LOT of good basketball at the CAA Tournament this weekend, most of which will air live on the Comcast Network. Work taking a poke at-especially on Sunday when there really isn’t anything else on. (NASCAR?)

6. Loyola Official Site previews tonight’s MAAC Tournament opener against Manhattan

Much like Towson, this is a very winnable game for the Greyhounds up in Albany; but that certainly doesn’t mean they WILL win.

I don’t think new AD Jim Paquette was brought to Loyola to clean house or make drastic changes (most young AD’s aren’t brought in for that reason), but there’s clearly some heat on Jimmy Patsos. A couple of wins this weekend could really ease that.

7. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says Maryland’s Ryan Young, Hopkins’ Kyle Wharton, Loyola’s Collin Finnerty worth watching at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow

If I were staying in Baltimore, TRUST ME I would be at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic tomorrow. It’s a great event (as is the Day of Rivals event IL does), and there’s a really cool atmosphere to it.

These are big games for these teams, too.

Maryland scored a ton of goals-but they really needed a minor miracle to beat Georgetown. Duke barely beat Bucknell and lost to Notre Dame, meaning this could be a clash of ACC rivals who have shown some signs of being “pretenders.”

Coaching changes always cause trouble, but Chris Bates is hoping to keep Princeton in the Top 10 nationally. They gave up 14 goals in a win over Hofstra to open the season. Hopkins is 3-0, but they’re coming off an 8-7 nailbiter over Siena.

Loyola is off to a hot start as well, but facing an Irish team that as I just mentioned has already topped the Blue Devils this season. The Hounds lost a close game to the Fighting Irish in Atlanta a season ago, this would be a real statement for Charley Toomey’s team before opening the Ridley Athletic Complex.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Mark Clayton, Marshal Yanda got 2nd round tenders, Adam Terry not tendered by Ravens

Going with the 2nd round tender instead of the 1st round tender means that while the Ravens want to bring both Clayton and Yanda back, but would be willing to accept solid compensation if another NFL team is REALLY interested in them.

Clayton would come back with a cheap price tag (the type of price tag that means he wouldn’t necessarily have to be guaranteed a roster spot), as I just don’t see teams being interested in offering a 2nd round pick for him. Yanda will be a bit intriguing, but I think will ultimately end up returning as well.

Adam Terry could also return, as teams are not likely to be banging down the door of an oft-injured OT.

9. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Anquan Boldin, Kevin Water most likely WR options for Ravens

Walter is the easy call. The Ravens could bring him by 1 Winning Drive this weekend and try to make sure he doesn’t leave. There’s no off the field concerns, even if he isn’t your typical #1 receiver. He’s still 6’3″, and the Ravens DESPERATELY need a taller receiver.

Boldin is attractive, as the Cardinals are rumored to be looking for no more than a 3rd round pick in return. But he’s got some question marks-including a few injury issues and some tangles with coaches in the past-including former offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

It always works that way. They’re attractive, but you’re just not 100% certain they’re a perfect fit. Sorta like Nicki Minaj….

minaj

10. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal says Broncos pursuing Dwan Edwards, Justin Bannan

Sadly, this is the business of football. The Ravens don’t want to see either of these players walk away-but with money tied up elsewhere, a team like Denver could easily view these players with a higher value than the Ravens could match.

The Ravens love Bannan off the field, but they’re deep at DT-and a Kelly Talavou or Brandon McKinney could move into the D-Line rotation. Dwan Edwards found a real role for himself (despite making way for Trevor Pryce in obvious passing situations), and I get the feeling the Ravens will really try to get him back.

11. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Matusz gave up 2 run homer in Orioles’ loss to Rays Thursday

Apparently it wasn’t exactly a ball that was crushed, but it was a home run nonetheless.

The Birds return to action tonight against the Pirates in Sarasota, Chris Tillman gets his first Grapefruit League start against Zach Duke.

12. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says Andy MacPhail had approached Tejada about moving to 3B before trading him to Houston

It’s a pretty good read about how both Tejada and Placido Polanco are making the move to third base this season.

You can read it…..or you could watch the video of Brittney Griner punching Jordan Barncastle again. Your call.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtaPtQnu370[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

Have you heard the story about…ahem….”actress” Samantha Ryan?

samantharyan

According to the Huffington Post, Ryan is a BIG Kansas Jayhawks fan, and Wednesday night’s game against Kansas State fell on her birthday, so she put out on Twitter than she was looking for tickets. She got them, apparently thanks to assistant coach Kurtis Townsend.

Please insert your own “Friends with Benefits” joke here.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Blog & Tackle: 2010 NFL Free Agency primer

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Chris Pika

The 2010 NFL free agency period began March 5 with 531 players who can negotiate with all 32 clubs, and the landscape in an uncapped year is much different. Here are the Ravens players directly impacted by free agency, and some of the rules going forward in the 2010 season.

Restricted free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed three, four or five accrued seasons and whose contracts have expired. They have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until April 15, at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed, and the player receives the June 1 tender from his old club, the player’s rights revert exclusively to his old club on June 1.

Restricted free agents who received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are subject to the first refusal/compensation system of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old club has a right of first refusal to all players listed below.  Compensation is as listed in the column on the right. If the old club has only a right of first refusal but is not entitled to any compensation, the designation “ROFR” appears in the column. In order to submit an offer sheet, a new club must have available the required choice or choices, defined as its own or better choices in the applicable rounds, in the 2010 NFL Draft. Offer sheets may be submitted to an old club by no later than 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on Friday, April 15.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School, Compensation)
Barnes, Antwan  LB  Florida International 4th
Beck, John  QB  Brigham Young  3rd
Burgess, Prescott  LB  Michigan  6th
Chester, Chris  G  Oklahoma  3rd
Clayton, Mark  WR  Oklahoma  2nd
Cundiff, Billy  K  Drake  ROFR
Gaither, Jared  T  Maryland  1st
Koch, Sam  P  Nebraska  2nd
Landry, Dawan  DB  Georgia Tech  2nd
McClain, Le’Ron  RB  Alabama  1st
Moll, Tony  T  Nevada  5th
Smith, Troy  QB  Ohio State  5th
Washington, Fabian  DB  Nebraska  2nd
Williams, Demetrius  WR  Oregon  4th
Yanda, Marshal  G  Iowa  2nd
 
Unrestricted veteran free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed six or more accrued seasons whose contracts have expired. They are free to sign with any club, with no compensation owed to their old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). At that point, their rights revert to their old club if it made a “tender” offer (110 percent of last year’s salary) to the player by June 1. Their old club then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (November 16) to sign the player. If the player does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.

Unrestricted free agents with six or more accrued seasons. Subject to the CBA’s “Final Eight Plan” rules, the players in this category may be signed by any club in the league until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first training camp, whichever is later), with no rights of any character held by the old club.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School)
Bannan, Justin  DT  Colorado
Edwards, Dwan  DE  Oregon State
Ivy, Corey  DB  Oklahoma
Mason, Derrick  WR  Michigan State
Smith, L.J.  TE  Rutgers
Tyree, David  WR  Syracuse
Walker, Frank  DB  Tuskegee
Washington, Kelley  WR  Tennessee
 
Players with fewer than six accrued seasons who received no qualifying offer or no minimum tender from their old club.  The players in this category may be signed immediately with no rights of any character held by the old club. There is no signing deadline applicable to these players.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School)
Jones, Edgar  TE Southeast Missouri
Ryan, Greg  C  Western Kentucky
Saucedo, Lou  T  Montana State
Terry, Adam  T  Syracuse
 
Here are some of the rules pertaining to the above players, especially in light of the “Final Eight Plan” currently in place that impacts the Ravens for the 2010 NFL season.

Q. What is the time period for free agency signings this year?
A. For restricted free agents, from March 5 to April 15.  For unrestricted free agents who have received the June 1 tender from their prior Club, from March 5 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). For franchise players, from March 5 until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the regular-season (November 16).  If he does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. There are no transition player designations this year.
 
Q. What is the difference between a restricted free agent and an unrestricted free agent?
A. In the 2010 League Year, players become restricted free agents when they complete three, four or five accrued seasons and their contract expires. Unrestricted free agents have completed six or more accrued seasons. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club with no compensation owed to his old club.
 
Q. What constitutes an “accrued season?”
A. Six or more regular-season games on a club’s active/inactive, reserved-injured or “physically unable to perform” lists.
 
Q. What is the Final Eight Plan?
A. During the Final League Year, the eight clubs that make the Divisional Playoffs in the previous season have additional restrictions that limit their ability to sign unrestricted free agents from other clubs. In general, the four clubs participating in the championship games are limited in the number of unrestricted free agents that they may sign; the limit is determined by the number of their own unrestricted free agents signing with other clubs. They cannot sign any UFAs unless one of theirs is signed by another team.
 
For the four clubs that lost in the Divisional Playoffs (including the Ravens), in addition to having the ability to sign unrestricted free agents based on the number of their own unrestricted free agents signing with other clubs, they may also sign players based on specific financial parameters. Those four only will be permitted to sign one unrestricted free agent for $5,807,475 million or more in year one of the contract, plus the number of their UFAs who sign with another team. They also can sign any unrestricted free agents for no more than $3,861,823 million in year one of the contract with limitations on the per year increases.
           
In the case of all final eight teams, the first year salary of UFAs they sign to replace those lost cannot exceed the first year salary of the player lost with limitations on the per year increases.

Q. Is there an Entering Player Pool in the Final League Year?
A. Yes. The CBA provides that the league has the right to keep the rookie pool in the Final League Year.
 
Q. Is there a Minimum Team Salary in the Final League Year?
A. There is no Minimum Team Salary in the Final League Year.
 
Q. Are there individual player minimum salaries in the Final League Year?
A. Yes, but they rise at a rate somewhat slower than player minimum salaries rise in capped years.
 
Q. Do any player contract rules from capped years remain in place for the Final League Year?
A. Yes. Some rules like the “30% increase rule” are still in effect in the Final League Year for player contracts signed in capped years. That rule restricts salary increases from 2009 to 2010 and beyond. For example: a player with a $500,000 salary in 2009 would be limited to annual salary increases of $150,000 ($500,000 x 30%) beginning in 2010.

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