Tag Archive | "Justin Harper"

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I didn’t get made into a LeBron James poster last night like Bulls rookie James Johnson did…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZlYo-6VEXc[/youtube]

…this is the NBA in 2010. The only time anyone cares is when someone dunks the ball and there’s a guy standing underneath him. Defense be damned!

Look, I think the dunk looked as cool as the next guy-but since that was probably the highlight of the first round of the playoffs, it was a cool reminder to me as to why I’ll be passing on the bulk of the NBA playoffs.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Doug Fister couldn’t finish off no-hitter, but Mariners had little trouble taking care of Orioles

As our buddy Sam Angell said on Twitter:

“If (Gary) Thorne and (Jim) Palmer keep talking about fisting her, @masnsports is going to get its FCC license revoked.”

(Edit from GMC: Please follow us on Twitter @WNST. We do shtick too.)

It couldn’t have been more awkward that some fella named Fister was throwing a no-hitter until the 7th inning. I REALLY had to think to myself “This can’t possibly happen”, but I also knew better.

Ugh. I was frustrated when the season started, but that frustration eventually gave way to laughter. Now it’s hard to even laugh anymore. Before too long, I’m just going to have to give up. How much more of this long civic nightmare can we take?!?!?

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

Matt Wieters had a couple of hits and Ty Wigginton homered! Of course, Ty Wigginton also made a costly error-but that’s the beauty of Ty Wigginton, really. He can’t play any individual position, but he can man a spot on the field right up until the point when someone hits the ball to him!

Look, you really don’t want to look at last night’s box score. I think you’d much rather look at a picture of Anna Sedokova from Russia’s version of Maxim, via Guyism.com…

sedokova

3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Felix Pie likely to miss 3 months

How will we ever survive?

A lot of people will choose to say something about the start of this season like “how could you expect a team to overcome this many crippling injuries?”

My response would probably be something along the lines of “Are the O’s the first MLB team to ever deal with injuries?”

When I said Andy MacPhail and company had put together a team that was “woefully incomplete” before the season, I wasn’t trying to be cute. The reason the Cardinals were willing to part ways with Julio Lugo was because they knew they needed a better option as a utility infielder should their starters get hurt.

This team is desperately trying to make puzzle pieces interlock that don’t match. I know they fit a square peg in a round hole on Apollo 13…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTGiLVj9r2g[/youtube]

…but it isn’t happening in baseball.

There aren’t pieces here that fit. When Dave Trembley asked “why not” about why he would play Luke Scott at 1B last night-there was a part of me that felt for him. He’s been handed 25 players. Not a baseball team, but 25 players. He’s supposed to somehow make it work.

It doesn’t matter that Felix Pie is going to miss 3 months…he’s one of the misfit pieces!

This team isn’t bad because of injuries, this team is bad because the pieces don’t fit!!!

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bergesen sent down after disastrous start, Alberto Castillo called up

There wasn’t much of another option here.

Bergesen has been TERRIBLE. Not “rough”, just TERRIBLE. And this isn’t the debatable type of TERRIBLE like David Hernandez was last week against the Athletics, this is the unthinkable type of terrible that says Bergesen just can’t be at this level right now.

I HOPE this is still him dealing with the injuries from both last season and from the MASN commercial shoot this offseason. I really do.

Despite the fact that he was the team’s best pitcher a season ago, I was never convinced that he was a guy that we could pencil in for 10-14 wins this season.

But I didn’t expect THIS.

A lot of people think Jason Berken will be the guy to move into the rotation while Bergesen is out. It makes sense, as Berken can take Bergesen’s rest, Castillo can move into the pen, and Berken has pitched VERY well thus far.

However, I hope that isn’t the case. Berken has found a role that fits him, and he’s likely best served staying in that role.

The best assumption here is that the Birds will go with a 4 man rotation (due to the way the off days break) for a little while until they have to make a permanent decision. Chris Tillman was the easy choice before the season, but the way he’s struggled at Norfolk has to leave questions.

5. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says Cal Ripken, Peter Angelos didn’t have stories straight in responses

For whatever reason, a few members of the apologist community decided to go after Ken Rosenthal yesterday instead of actually trying to figure out what’s really going on in this situation.

Others have lost a bit of perspective. For example, Drew Forrester chose our good friend Scott Hoffman (who I love by the way-and once told him that drunkenly at Padonia Station) from Orioles Hangout as today’s “Apologist of the Morning” on the Morning Reaction on AM1570.

Here’s what Scott had to say yesterday…

Do I think Rosenthal’s “unnamed sources” were wrong about Angelos vetoing a deal with Ripken to prevent the hometown hero from taking undue credit for the O’s turnaround?  I generally believe where there’s smoke there’s fire, but in this case it sounded so absurd that I simply wasn’t buying it.

Think about it:  “Hey hometown hero offering your services to the team I own, a team that hasn’t experienced greatness since you said goodbye in 2001…I don’t want your presence or your help because I don’t want you to receive credit should this team turn things around.  Thanks, though.”  It’s ridiculous!  It would be absolute public relations suicide if that part of the story were true.

Public Relations suicide?!?!? Would this be the 787th or 788th time that happened???

The perspective to keep here is that is CERTAINLY looks like Ken Rosenthal got good information. He went to the respective parties for quotes-informing them that he was running the story. Instead of responding, THEY allowed the story to run as-is.

Hindsight is ALWAYS 20-20.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Jake Arrieta decent, Steve Johnson struggled for O’s on farm

Jake Arrieta would also be a choice to slide right into a rotation spot, I just have a gut feeling that the organization wants to hold off on that. Arrieta has been “ready” for a while now, yet hasn’t gotten the call. Unless they just don’t have another choice, I don’t think it’s coming this time.

Before we move on, a reminder that the O’s and M’s get back at it at Safeco Field in Seattle tonight. David Hernandez faces Jason Vargas, first pitch is at 10:10pm and the game is on MASN2. We’ll be hosting our “Orange Crush” chat at 10pm at WNST.net.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Oregon safety T.J. Ward visited 1 Winning Drive

The easiest comparison to make about Ward is to former Ducks safety Pat Chung, who was drafted by the New England Patriots a season ago. They’re the same size (5’11″, 212 pounds), the same position and roughly the same speed.

While safety isn’t necessary a priority for the Ravens, the uncertain NFL future of Ed Reed and the uncertain future of Dawan Landry in Baltimore really have to make it a position that they address at some point during the NFL Draft.

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Demetrius Williams, Tony Moll signed tender offers

Can’t WAIT for the Vince Lombardi Trohpy to come by 1550 Hart Rd.!!!!

Williams faces a long road to making the roster in Training Camp, especially if the Ravens add a taller receiver between now and then. We KNOW Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth will make the roster, and Williams, Mark Clayton, Justin Harper and others will be in the mix behind that.

It will provide for an interesting August at McDaniel College. Which is more than what we can say about what will be going on at Camden Yards.

9. UMTerps.com says Pe’Shon Howard, Haukur Palsson officially join incoming class

These are fun names to say.

You know what else is a fun name to say? Marta Gut. And how convenient, Busted Coverage had a picture of her to show me!

martagut

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Terps 4th, Loyola 7th, Towson 14th, Hopkins 16th in Top 20 poll

It’s truly remarkable that Tony Seaman’s Tigers are back in the Top 15, and on the cusp of a NCAA Tournament bid.

It really is.

You know what else is amazing? The picture of Jessica Hart that What Would Tyler Durden Do found…

hart

And finally, I leave you with this.

As I said yesterday, this is Green Week here in Charm City. I will be doing my part here all week, as I care a great deal about whatever the hell it is that Green Week supports.

My contribution today is a cover of “I Fought The Law” by the band Green Day. Did you know “I Fought The Law” was originally recorded by “The Crickets” after Buddy Holly passed away? I’m FULL of useless knowledge!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TOVkiBE2r4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens Agree to New 2 Year Deal With Derrick Mason

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

In a move that has been expected, the Baltimore Ravens have confirmed tonight that they have reached a new 2 year agreement with WR Derrick Mason.

Mason returns to a team that has revamped their WR corps this offseason, adding Anquan Boldin via trade and signing Donte’ Stallworth as a free agent.

The sides were unable to come to an agreement before free agency opened, but Mason never took another visit-despite rumored interest from the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

Mason had flirted with the idea of retiring at the end of the 200-2010 season, telling media he was either “50-50″ or “60-40″ to return.

Presumably, Boldin and Mason will be the top two receivers on the team next season. Along with the Stallworth, the team will be deep at receiver, as Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams have yet to gain any interest as tendered UFA’s, and Marcus Smith and Justin Harper remain under contract.

Tune into AM1570 WNST throughout the day Thursday for more reaction to the news.

8:40pm-update with quotes from a team release:

GM Ozzie Newsome: “We know exactly what we’re getting with Derrick and that’s production. Every Ravens fan knows what Derrick brings to this team. It’s reliability, toughness, leadership, the fight to win, the want of the ball in the clutch times. He has a two-year history with Joe (Flacco) that says ‘we know how to produce together.’ They are on the same page.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh: “This is outstanding, just great news for the Ravens. Our coaches are happy. Derrick’s teammates are happy and you know Joe [Flacco] is smiling. Way to go to Ozzie [Newsome] and Pat [Moriarty] for getting this done. We would have lost something special if Derrick had gone to another team. We have gotten better in the last couple of days.”

WR Derrick Mason: “I’m getting myself ready to play football and help the Ravens win. But, the first thing I am going to do is take my family on vacation. I’ll see everybody back in Baltimore soon.”

9:40 update-ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Mason deal is 2 years, $8 million. In one of those “how about that” moments, that was the exact figure I told Bob Haynie today I assumed they had offered him.

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because the people of Milledgeville, GA are much more intelligent and creative than I ever realized….

bigben

Clearly, this Roethlisberger issue is too serious to really be funny; but…..it’s also pretty funny. Sorry. (Thanks Deadspin.)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. Maryland Official Site says Vasquez unanimous All-ACC choice, Jordan Williams named to ACC’s All-Rookie team

And Andy Roddick’s wife is moderately attractive….

decker

Look, we all knew these players were going to receive these honors, so it isn’t exactly earth-shaking. That being said, both are still very deserving. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

The announcements for ACC Player of the Year, ACC Coach of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year come this afternoon. The answers are Greivis Vasquez, Gary Williams and Derrick Favors. Other answers would be inaccurate, which of course doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland, Illinois, Texas, Pitt, Navy, Rhode Island, College of Charleston in field for 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Of course, this all sets up for the Terps, Illini, Longhorns and Panthers to meet up at Madison Square Garden early in the season.

I say “sets up” knowing damn well that a few of those teams could give the Terps some trouble early at Comcast Center, especially considering this team will be trying to replace Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. Adrian Bowie will likely be trying to prove himself for the first time at the point, while Sean Mosley will be trying to prove himself for the first time as a go-to scorer at the NCAA level.

It won’t be easy. It especially won’t be easy if they get to New York.

3. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has Terps as 5 seed, facing Arizona State in first round of NCAA Tournament

As of right now, that’s about right. Due to the fact that their surge has come late, it is unlikely the Terrapins will be able to stay “local” (Providence or Buffalo), but they’re still likely to get a high seed. Should they make a run to the ACC Championship Game Sunday in Greensboro, that seed could be even higher.

And for the record, despite living in Tempe for 2 years-my allegiance is not even a BIT in question. Despite the aesthetics of Sun Devil Country….

tempe

4. Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy says Maryland, Notre Dame finalize deal for 2011 football game at FedEx Field

Awesome.

Of course, by next season-there is no doubt that Brian Kelly will have the Fighting Irish turned around, and this game will be even more of a disaster than the 22-0 loss at Giants Stadium in the Kickoff Classic a few years back.

This is a bit of a good news-bad news issue. The good news is that for a Maryland team that struggled to get ANY sort of TV coverage last season (not that I didn’t enjoy getting to know the broadcast staff of ESPN360), they’ll get a midseason primetime game televised nationally on NBC.

The bad news is that the game will be played only a few miles away from College Park, yet Irish fans will get to eat up the bulk of the tickets via a lottery. This isn’t like the Navy game in Baltimore-where fans of both schools have equal access to tickets.

But it’s still a good thing for the program, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully we’ll feel the same way the morning after the game.

5. Johns Hopkins Official Site previews tonight’s contest with UMBC at Homewood Field

Your boy is headed over to Homewood Field tonight to FINALLY get his first look at the Jays this season. Let’s Tweet up (follow us on Twitter @WNST) if you’re going too. Let me know, and we’ll grab some sort of frosty adult beverage following the game.

Big game for Dave Pietramala’s crew after falling to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They want to prove that losing the Tigers was nothing more than a tough loss to a really good team. Taking care of business tonight against the Retrievers will prove that.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ozzie Newsome thinks he ‘made a mistake’ by not originally drafting Anquan Boldin

boldin

There are a lot of NFL GM’s who feel the same way, trust me. There’s a heart measurement that can’t be quantified when players run around in their underwear out in Indianapolis.

Anquan Boldin proved his heart just weeks before his trip to the NFL Scouting Combine, when his Florida State team went into the Sugar Bowl without starting QB Chris Rix and backup Adrian McPherson. The Seminoles tried 3rd string QB Fabian Walker, but had no success against a tough Georgia defense.

Knowing that he needed a good showing to help his NFL Draft stock as an undersized WR, Boldin was still more than willing to move under center (where he had played in high school) to try to help Bobby Bowden and the ‘Noles. They didn’t win the game-but it showed the type of player Anquan Boldin was.

It’s good that the Ravens have gotten a second chance to have a player like Anquan Boldin on their team. It’s not as good as having a career’s worth of Anquan Boldin, but hopefully it will help change the entire team.

7. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Harbaugh, Boldin believe acquisition perfect ‘fit’

And it really does appear to be that way. Boldin is a tough player, and will have no problem being part of a John Harbaugh team or a Cam Cameron offense. He’s the type of receiver that will immediately make Joe Flacco better, and he already has the respect of locker room leader Ray Lewis.

I’ve been hard pressed to find negative things to say about the acquisition. Boldin’s health will be a factor, but he’s never played fewer than 10 games in a season, and his only 10 game season came in 2004.

But when you think of “injury-prone” players, he’s not the type of guy who has a history of knee troubles-or who has had to miss a season due to an ACL issue.

It’s a great fit. It really is.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says acquisition of Seneca Wallace makes it unlikely Troy Smith will end up in Cleveland

What’s funny here is that the one reason I thought Troy Smith might be a fit with the Browns is because of the affinity Mike Holmgren had for Seneca Wallace in Seattle. In fact, I just talked about that with Bob Haynie yesterday on AM1570.

Apparently, I was (sorta) right.

It’s just that instead of going to get a quarterback SIMILAR to Seneca Wallace, Holmgren just decided to go get Wallace.

This leaves Troy Smith in a tough spot. He and his agent (Ralph Cindrich) have done all of their posturing to try to get him to his hometown team, and calling it a “longshot” would now be kind.

The Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, Redskins and Panthers are all likely still in the QB market. You would think that either Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb would probably end up in one of those locations. In others (like in Arizona), Smith wouldn’t be entering a competition for a starting job-but instead assuming the role of “the next guy to get a chance if our first guy screws up.” And a lot of people think a QB like Matt Leinart might screw up.

But we don’t have any real reason to assume a team like the Cards (or the Rams, or the Panthers, or whoever) is REALLY interested in Troy Smith-especially if they have to give something up to get him.

9. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens should still pursue Derrick Mason or receiver in NFL Draft even after acquiring Boldin

Completely agreed. In fact, I’d say they still need to do both.

Remembering that Donte’ Stallworth and (likely) Mark Clayton would only be back on 1 year deals, and knowing that Marcus Smith, Demetrius Williams and Justin Harper are COMPELTELY unproven commodities, the Ravens can use more help at receiver.

They’d be much better off going into Training Camp with a group of 8 wide receivers that looks like….

Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Donte’ Stallworth
Mark Clayton
Eric Decker (Minnesota WR coming off a foot injury-likely to be picked in the 3rd-5th round.)
Demetrius Williams
Justin Harper
Marcus Smith

From that group, they could keep as many as 5 receivers, try to release others and sign them back to the practice squad, allow injuries to play out as they will, etc. etc. etc.

Now-I’m playing fantasy football here. BUT-I don’t think the Ravens are dismissing Derrick Mason. I think they’re almost giving him the “Ray Lewis treatment” from a season ago. Remember, they made an offer to Ray and made it clear publicly they wanted him to return. They also said to him “go find out how much you’re worth.”

After Ray talked to teams that might be interested (presumably including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets), he realized that his greatest value was still in Baltimore. He returned.

I get the feeling (although no one has confirmed this to me) that they’re trying something similar with Mason. “Go find out how much you’re worth.” Mason can talk to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, etc. and truly gauge what his value is. If he finds out other teams value him as a #1 receiver, he might be able to cash in that way. If he finds out the 2 year deal he has on the table from the Ravens is fair-he has the option to come back.

10. The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says kids had serious questions for Michael Vick during appearance at St. Vincent’s Center Monday

I don’t want to get too deep into the Vick discussion here, as we spent the better part of four hours talking about it this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show.”

I do not support those of you who will choose to protest the Ed Block Courage Awards tonight because of Michael Vick’s attendance. That’s not because I support dogfighting, but it’s because I’m done with the part where we try to crucify Michael Vick.

If Vick’s teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles thought Vick was deserving of this type of honor, so be it. That’s not something ANY of us can speak to, as we don’t know the daily life of Michael Vick.

If you aren’t happy that he’s receiving the award, I understand your opinion. But I won’t support a protest of an event that is amongst the best charitable events our city holds. No thank you.

11. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Matt Wieters got first hit of Spring Training, but Birds fell to Twins

You hate to see a team get only three hits in a game whether it’s in the Grapefruit League, the American League, or even the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; but these things happen.

The O’s return to action today in Sarasota against the Rays, first pitch is at 1:05. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles, Jeff Niemann for Tampa. I’d tell you where to see the game on TV, but………

12. SI’s Dan Shaughnessy says MacPhail, Wieters give Orioles ‘hope’

This looks pretty similar to the Tim Kurkjian story I commented on yesterday. Warm fuzzies are all well and nice, but it doesn’t explain how the Birds are going to compete against the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East. It’s nothing more than warm fuzzies.

And finally, I leave you with this.

The presence of Scott Hall last night is part of why I think the “Hulk Hogan era” will ultimately doom TNA, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the return of the “Monday Night Wars”, especially when Rob Van Dam bumped into Sting….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0-m0tDCW8M[/youtube]

It WAS better than watching Criss Angel on WWE. That’s for sure.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Ravens/Colts Inactives

Posted on 16 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Ravens:
QB John Beck (3rd QB)
WR Justin Harper
CB Marcus Paschal
S Keith Fitzhugh
OL David Hale
OT Tony Moll
DT Kelly Talavou
DE/LB Paul Kruger

Colts:
K Adam Vinatieri
WR Sam Giguere
TE Colin Cloherty
DT John Gill
OT Michael Toudouze
OG Mike Pollak
DE Ervin Baldwin
DT Fili Moala

-With Jim Sorgi gone, Indianapolis no longer carries a 3rd QB.

-Carl Cheffers and crew will officiate tonight’s game.

-Country singer Gretchen Wilson (“Redneck Woman”) will sing the national anthem tonight, and will perform at halftime. There is a rumor that “Rich” from the country band “Big & Rich” (“Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”) might join her.

-G

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Ravens-Patriots Pre-Game Info

Posted on 10 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Ravens:
OT Tony Moll
DT Kelly Talavou
WR Justin Harper

DE/LB Paul Kruger
CB Marcus Paschal
S Keith Fitzhugh
OL David Hale
QB John Beck (3rd QB)

Patriots:
DL Ron Brace
OL Dan Connolly
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
OT Mark LeVoir
OL Rich Ohrnberger
WR Isaiah Stanback (3rd QB)
CB Terrence Wheatley
LB Thomas Williams

Gene Steratore and crew are officiating today’s game.

-G

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Ravens/Raiders Inactives

Posted on 03 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Ravens:
QB John Beck (3rd QB)
WR Justin Harper
CB Marcus Paschal
S Keith Fitzhugh
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
OL David Hale
OL Tony Moll
DT Kelly Talavou

Raiders:
QB Bruce Gradkowski (knee)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot)
RB Justin Fargas (knee)
OT Langston Walker (ankle)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
WR Javon Walker
DE Greyson Gunheim
QB JP Losman (3rd QB)

Charlie Frye will start at QB for Oakland.

-G

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Ravens/Steelers Pre-Game Info

Posted on 27 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Scratches – Ravens:

WR Justin Harper
S Ed Reed (groin)
S Keith Fitzhugh
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
G/C David Hale
OT Jared Gaither (foot)
DT Kelly Talavou
QB John Beck (3rd QB)

Dannell Ellerbe will start for Tavares Gooden at JACK LB. Tom Zbikowski will start for Ed Reed at FS. Michael Oher will start for Jared Gaither at LT, Oniel Cousins will start for Oher at RT.

Steelers:

CB Keenan Lewis (back)
FB Carey Davis
S Troy Polamalu (knee)
OG Kraig Urbik
OG Chris Kemoeatu (wrist)
DE Sunny Harris
WR Joey Galloway
QB Charlie Batch (3rd QB)

David Johnson will start for Carey Davis at FB. Tyrone Carter will start for Troy Polamalu at FS. Deshea Townsend will start for William Gay at RCB.

-G

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Ravens/Steelers Thursday Injury Report

Posted on 24 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens-

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

OT Jared Gaither (foot)
LB Tavaras Gooden (groin)
LB Jarret Johnson (knee)
LS Matt Katula (forearm)
S Ed Reed (groin)

LIMITED:

WR Mark Clayton (knee)
S KJ Gerard (thigh)
DT Kelly Talavou (knee)

FULL:

C Matt Birk (neck)
WR Justin Harper (foot)
TE Todd Heap (chest)
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)
TE LJ Smith (ankle)
WR Kelley Washington (ankle)

Steelers-

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:

G Chris Kemoeatu (wrist)
CB Keenan Lewis (back)
S Troy Polamalu (knee)

FULL:

DE Brett Keisel (neck)
CB Anthony Madison (illness)
RB Rashard Mendenhall (hip)
RB Willie Parker (knee)
WR Mike Wallace (knee)
WR Hines Ward (hamsting)

-G

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Ravens-Bears Pregame: No Reed, Clayton, K Washington, Gooden or Gaither Today

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Ravens-Bears Pregame: No Reed, Clayton, K Washington, Gooden or Gaither Today

Posted on 20 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

4:05-That’s it for me here…..make sure you head over to WNST.net for our Purple Haze live chat during the game!

3:24-Clearly WR depth will be an issue today. Ravens will have only Justin Harper behind Derrick Mason and Demetrius Williams, although David Tyree could be pressed into emergency duty today. With Todd Heap and LJ Smith apparently healthy enough to play, one of them could be flexed out wide; as could Ray Rice if necessary.

3:14-Here are your starting changes…..

Michael Oher starts for Gaither at LT
Oniel Cousins starts for Oher at RT
Demetrius Williams starts for Clayton at WR
Dannell Ellerbe starts for Gooden at LB
Tom Zbikowski starts for Reed at FS

(Reed was out here this afternoon trying to get ready before the game.)

For the Bears, Devin Aromashodu will start for Devin Hester at WR, Anthony Adams will start for Marcus Harrison at DT.

3:00-Here are today’s scratches, starting with the Ravens:

QB John Beck (3rd QB)
OT Jared Gaither (foot)
WR Mark Clayton (hamstring, knee)
WR Kelley Washington (ankle)
S Ed Reed (foot, groin, etc. etc.)
LB Tavares Gooden (groin)
S KJ Gerard (thigh)
OL David Hale

Bears:

WR/KR Devin Hester
WR Juaquin Iglesias
S Craig Steltz
CB DJ Moore
OT James Marten
DT Matt Toeaina
OT Orlando Pace
DT Jarron Gilbert

1:49-The snow-covered sections in the upper deck have SLIGHTLY improved, but fans will likely still be greeted with piles of snow when they get into the stadium. Please do not use this as an excuse to act like an idiot.

Bill Leavy and his crew will officiate today’s game. No update on the story CBS reported this morning about officials arriving late; but they were supposed to be able to make it on time no matter what.

A reminder that today’s game is on FOX-with Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Chris Myers on the call.

12:39pm-Greetings from M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore, where the Baltimore Ravens will play the Chicago Bears today. I got here about 25 minutes ago, and the parking lots and sidewalks were a bit of a concern getting in. However, once I got into the stadium, I was BLOWN AWAY by what great shape it was in…..

stadium

Absolutely amazing. As you can tell, the field is in PERFECT shape, and the stadium is mostly clear, with only a few sections in the upper deck still filled with show. Over 1,700 workers were at the stadium this weekend to get it into shape, and they are STILL here, clearing what’s left of the snow and salting the steps and walkways in fear of the melted snow re-freezing. It is just absolutely outstanding.

I’ll be back shortly with more before our “Purple Haze” live chat opens.

-G

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Blowout of Lions Much Needed For Struggling Ravens Team

Posted on 13 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

To put it simply, the Ravens NEEDED a performance like the one they got on Sunday.

They NEEDED to prove to themselves-and to those around the NFL who were questioning them-that they were still a good football team.

Sunday’s 48-3 thrashing of the Detroit Lions didn’t REALLY say much about the Ravens or their chances of advancing to the AFC playoffs, but it did say some things.

For those of you who were predicting a doomsday 6-10 or 7-9 finish for the Ravens-unlikely.

For those of you calling for the entire team to be broken up in the offseason-probably a bit premature.

For those of you who buzzed into “The Comcast Morning Show” this week to ask “Is it time to start thinking about John Harbaugh’s future in Baltimore?”-the answer is “no.”

Let me repeat-Sunday’s win did NOT prove the Ravens as Super Bowl contenders-and may ultimately prove to be just another win for a team that didn’t get quite enough this season. But the Ravens not only won, they treated the Detroit Lions like the Glen Burnie JV team-which is exactly what good football teams SHOULD do to the Detroit Lions. (Who are a historic type of terrible for the record.)

The Ravens pulverized the Detroit Lions in every way imaginable. They out-gained their opponent 548 to 229, picked up 24 first downs to Detroit’s 13, and won the turnover battle by a margin of 2-1. They pulled their starting quarterback after 3 quarters-but they might as well have done it after 2. In the second half, there were players making contributions who I had honest to god forgotten were on the team. (Sorry Edgar Jones!) John Harbaugh said very simply that all 3 units of his team “executed”, and he’s absolutely right.

The point is, that is EXACTLY what good teams SHOULD do to the Detroit Lions. The Saints, Vikings, Packers, Bengals and Bears had already defeated the Lions by double digit margins this year. Only the Steelers and Rams had single digit victories over the Lions, and the Steelers appear to be much more of “pretenders” than “contenders” for a playoff spot. Beyond that, the Redskins and Browns had of course unimaginably found ways to LOSE to this Detroit ballclub. The Ravens certainly belong in the former group much more than the latter.

The Ravens are a GOOD team. We know that much. Yes, they’ve lost 6 games-but they’ve lost 6 games to teams who would all make the playoffs if the season ended today (Packers, Vikings, Patriots, Colts and Bengals twice). And while they HAVE their problems (secondary and wide receiver jump RIGHT off the page-but other areas haven’t been perfect); they still have a veteran team of solid play-makers; and managed to win Sunday even without Ed Reed, Jared Gaither and Mark Clayton.

They’ll have to keep winning for it to mean anything. As Derrick Mason put so well following the win-the game means “nothing if (the Ravens) can’t win the next game.” The good news is that they should be able to keep winning. The remainder of the schedule (vs. Chicago, @Pittsburgh, @Oakland) sets up well for a team that has not lost a game all season to a team who currently has a record of 7-6 or worse.

But they proved they weren’t a bad team Sunday-which is exactly what they NEEDED to do.

-G

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5:25-Kelley Washington (ankle) and Ray Rice (chest) were the only injured Ravens who did not return today. Rice is clearly not believed to be serious, while there was no further information available on Washington.

5:18-Hear from the following NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
G Ben Grubbs
LB Ray Lewis
LB Jarret Johnson
S Tom Zbikowski

—————————————-

4:14-Only the Lions. This one’s over. 48-3 Ravens. Back shortly with more.

4:12-Two minute warning. Anybody have any thoughts?

4:03-Troy Smith with a rushing TD. It’s 48-3 now. Mercifully, only 5:02 still to play in this one.

3 plays, 23 yards, 1:23 on the drive.

48 ties for most in a single game-since the Kyle Boller-lead Monday Night Football thrashing of the Packers back in 2005.

4:02-Jalen Parmele into the game….. (Yeah, I’m still here….)

3:53-Sam Koch with another tremendous punt. Just outstanding……

3:51-Ravens with a team single-game record 510 yards from scrimmage on the day!

3:50-Edgar Jones with a first down catch! Good for him!

3:48-In news that is about as pressing as Mark Clayton being OUT-Kevin Smith won’t return for the Lions with a knee injury.

3:47-Flacco finishes 13/20 230 yards and a TD on the day. Which gives DF a chance to put him back in the Tuesday Top 7….

3:40-Boy you hate seeing an injury like that to Kevin Smith. Just uncomfortable to look at……..

3:35-We’re through 3 quarters, and it looks like Troy Smith will finally be coming in to play….

3:30-I immediately take the previous statement back. Obviously-both McClain and McGahee went over 100 yards in last year’s win at Dallas.

Another McGahee TD-the Ravens now have a team record 4 rushing TD’s on the game. 41-3. They HAVE to take Flacco out now, right?

3:28-Willis McGahee is going to go over 100 yards as well. Don’t believe the Ravens have ever had 2 100 yard rushers in one game.

3:22-Why wouldn’t the Lions put Drew Stanton in this game? That would sorta force Harbaugh to go to Troy Smith….

3:18-A Willis McGahee TD. 34-3. There’s no one left in this place…..

6 plays, 61 yards, 3:08 on the drive.

Is there anything else on? I’d like to change the TV’s in the press box.

3:15-You have to imagine we WILL see Troy Smith in this game at some point…..

Hate seeing Todd Heap hurt himself in a 24 point game.

Louis Delmas questionable to return (ankle) for Detroit.

3:09-I know there’s still a game going on, it’s just tough for me to remain interested.

Hey! Justin Harper checks in! Weird…..

3:00-Tremendous grab by Demetrius Williams (no, really) before a Le’Ron McClain TD. Ravens piling it on at this point…..

11 plays, 74 yards, 6:10 on the drive. 27-3. Feel a bit bad for Mt. St. Joseph’s Jim Schwartz…..

2:58-Ray Rice getting attention on the Ravens sideline…..and we finally see Willis McGahee.

2:39-20-3 at the half. We’ll be back shortly. Because we have to.

2:38-Ngata limped off field. Harbaugh smart to call timeout there. Force the Lions to punt, give your team a chance to block it.

2:36-70,673 announced here at “The Bank” today. I say “announced” because many of them are not here.

2:32-Ravens can’t punch it in as their stellar goal line offense continues….Billy Cundiff enters and connects from 25, extending Baltimore’s lead to 20-3 with 1: to play in the half.

6 plays, 43 yards, 1:08 on the drive.

Don Carey is struggling to turn off his mic today….and keeping track of what’s going on in the football game.

2:31-Ray Rice is now over 200 yards of total offense for the game.

What’s going on with McGahee? Not in on the 3rd possession, now not in on the goal line…..

2:26-He was catching a pop-up, but nice work there by Chris Carr to get up and get some yards back on that play. Ravens will have a chance to put this one away before halftime….

2:23-Good challenge from John Harbaugh, that was easy to tell.

2:20-Antwan Barnes was FURIOUS that wasn’t ruled a sack. He should probably calm down a bit….

2:17-And with that, Ray Rice has gone over 1,000 yards rushing and 1,500 yards from scrimmage this season. He also has 133 yards rushing on the day, a team high for the season.

2:16-I told you Ray Rice was gonna have some long runs this season. 62 yards on that one.

4 plays, 69 yards, 1:00 on the drive…..17-3 Ravens.

2:15-Rough day for Don Carey’s crew………

2:14-The fact that Ray Rice just got 10 yards on that play makes me remember just how bad the Lions are……

2:10-Lions fortunate that kick made it through-but they cut Baltimore’s lead to 10-3 with about 4 and a half to play in the first half.

15 plays, 69 yards, 7:24 on the scoring drive (Credit to my buddy Rich Dubroff of Carroll County Times fame for keeping track for me.)

2:09-I was a bit surprised that the Ravens would have accepted that penalty. Declining and forcing Hanson to kick makes MUCH more sense.

2:07-2nd straight 3rd down play where Dennis Northcutt was WIDE OPEN in the middle of the field. Terrible.

2:06-The remarkable thing about that run from Kevin Smith there was that he only lost 5 yards. What the hell was he thinking?

2:05-I’m a bit surprised to not see a flag on that ball in the endzone……

2:04-Congratulations to City’s Bryant Johnson for making a catch here in his hometown. Hopefully there won’t be many more.

Dannell Ellerbe tackles Daunte Culpepper, but he gets the first down before the tackle. Lions approaching the red zone. What the hell?

2:02-Dennis Northcutt makes it a bit more difficult for me to say this one is over already.

Lions LS Don Muhlbach is QUESTIONABLE to return with an arm injury.

2:00-Ray Lewis encouraging the crowd to get pumped. The crowd encouraging Ray Lewis to tackle better.

1:58-Took over 19 minutes-but we finally have a timeout from John Harbaugh. Knew it had to be coming…..

Also, the Dolphins are leading the Jaguars 14-0 in Jacksonville, and the Colts are leading the Broncos 14-0 in Indianapolis in games with major playoff implications for the Ravens.

1:55-Worth noting: We’ve played more than 18 minutes of football-and Harbs hasn’t called a single timeout. Weird.

Also, Derrick Mason had the wind knocked out of him on that TD catch-he’s expected to return.

1:51-The Lions are just AWFUL. That will go down as a 62 yard TD pass, but credit the Lions for just bring terrible as Marvin White and Phillip Buchanon paved the way for that TD. Wow.

3 plays, 70 yards, 1:17 on the scoring drive. 10-0 Ravens

1:49-What a play over there by Todd Heap to push his way for 7 yards. Impressive strength.

No Willis McGahee yet today. Weird.

1:42-Kevin Smith and Ray Rice are BOTH going to go over 100 yards today. Brutal run defense at the end of the quarter has the Lions driving although trailing 3-0.

1:40 – Drew Forrester knows more about football than I do.  I thought that was worth pointing out.

1:38-All targets today have been Ray Rice and Derrick Mason, correct? Yikes.

Billy Cundiff says his head his fine, he knocks it through from 38 to put the Ravens ahead 3-0 late in the first.

7 plays, 45 yards, 3:12 on the drive

1:36-Probably because the 2nd drive was so short, John Harbaugh kept Ray Rice in. Good call. He and Le’Ron McClain work the ball into the red zone.

1:32-I thought Culpepper had the spot there. Big measurement to get the Ravens off the field. They need to mix up their runs on this drive-Willis McGahee will enter the game as it is the 3rd possession.

1:30-Strong move there by Culpepper to avoid the sack. That leaves the Lions with a 3rd and 1 instead of 3rd and long.

1:29-Boy what a run there by Kevin Smith on 1st down. Credit the Ravens for TERRIBLE tackling, but very nice run.

1:28-If you’re interested, DeAngelo Smith’s forced fumble has been switched to Larry Foote. I’m guessing you probably weren’t interested.

1:26-Pretty dreadful series there for Joe, but Sam Koch with a hell of a punt to put the Lions inside their own 20.

Ravens continue to struggle out of the gate offensively. Ray Rice’s fumble hurt-but they looked TERRIBLE on their 2nd drive.

1:24-If Joe Flacco throws that ball where he’s supposed to, Derrick Mason gets a big gain.

What in the world is going on with Don Carey’s crew? Was it a penalty or not?

1:22-That Jason Hanson miss there tells me that kicking will be a tough task today. Miss was from 45-keeping this one scoreless.

1:18-Calvin Johnson is just plain taller than Domonique Foxworth or Tom Zbikowski. He has the ability to get a ball like that. The Ravens are fortunate he didn’t come down with it.

Aaron Brown with the big run? What’s going on here?

Jarret Johnson hobbles off…..

1:16-Trevor Pryce with a COSTLY roughing the passer on a play where Dawan Landry made an EASY interception. Frustrating start for this team right now.

1:14-Lardarius Webb was absolutely STUNNED by the move Calvin Johnson just put on him. Ouch.

1:12-That makes it 2 fumbles in 2 weeks for Ray Rice in the red zone. Look, there’s NO DOUBT that he’s the team MVP this season-but that’s just completely unacceptable.

Credit DeAngelo Smith from Detroit for the forced fumble.

1:11-Demetrius Williams checks in as a 3rd WR. Would be a nice spot for a fade on 3rd down.

1:09-If I had to guess, that won’t be the last HUGE run from Ray Rice today. He would have been a “must play” in Fantasy Football.

1:05-Great penetration there by Haloti Ngata and company to bring down Kevin Smith on that 3rd and short. Ravens didn’t want to let Daunte Culpepper and company feel too good about themselves early on.

A number of Ravens fans are here today dressed as purple seats. Can’t REALLY say I blame anyone for skipping this one.

1:03-Lions win the toss and come out throwing. No surprise there. Big 3rd and 2 early from midfield.

1:01-I’ll confirm that Oher will start at LT, Yanda at RT, and Chris Chester at RG.

Also, Chris Myers is calling today’s game for FOX alongside Tim Ryan instead of Sam Rosen. No word on why Rosen isn’t here.

12:25 Weather.com says 40s and rain THROUGHOUT today’s Ravens-Lions game. I get the feeling that there will be thousands of empty seats, as fans have taken to Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist and eBay to try to dump their tickets this week.

12:06-We have an update on the Lions inactives. FB Terrelle Smith is ACTIVE and will START, FB Jerome Felton is INACTIVE.

Also for the Lions-RG Dylan Gandy will start for Daniel Loper (active, back) and RE Cliff Avril will start for Dewayne White.

The team waived WR Eric Fowler this week, and moved TE Jake Nordin to the active roster.

11:48-I don’t have an official note on how the O-Line will shuffle with Jared Gaither out, but I assume Michael Oher will play LT, Marshal Yanda will play RT, and Chris Chester will play RG. Just an assumption however; and with Tony Moll and Oniel Cousins both active-either could be in the mix.

11:44-Tom Zbikowski will start for Ed Reed today, Kelley Washington will start for Mark Clayton.

11:22-Here are your inactives:

RAVENS-
QB John Beck (3rd QB)
S Ed Reed (groin/foot)
OL David Hale (concussion)
OT Jared Gaither (foot)
TE LJ Smith (ankle)
WR Mark Clayton (hamstring)
NT Brandon McKinney (back)
NT Kelly Talavou

LIONS-
QB Matthew Stafford (3rd QB)
DB Jahi Word-Daniels
FB Terrelle Smith
C Melvin Fowler
OT Corey Hilliard
TE Casey FitzSimmons (concussion)
DT Andre Fluellen (groin)
DE Dewayne White (toe)

10:55-Greetings from the press box at M&T Bank Stadium in a rainy downtown Baltimore, where the 6-6 Baltimore Ravens continue their quest to reach the playoffs against the 2-10 Detroit Lions.

Make sure you follow us throughout the day here at WNST.net, as well as on Twitter (@WNST) and on our WNST Text Service (text “WNST” to 68255 to get updates) for everything you need to know today.

WR Mark Clayton is OUT-per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In a related story, Tiger Woods cheated on his wife.

I don’t mean to downplay that-it’s just that we all KNEW Mark Clayton (hamstring) was out today, which is why the Ravens waived FB Charles Ali yesterday and moved WR Justin Harper to the active roster.

I CERTAINLY don’t expect to see S Ed Reed (you name it) today, and would say LB Terrell Suggs (knee) is unlikely.

-G

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