Tag Archive | "Kelley Washington"

Blog & Tackle: How TJH was used in 2009

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Blog & Tackle: How TJH was used in 2009

Posted on 07 September 2010 by Chris Pika

The Ravens acquisition of WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh yesterday gave the club a tough receiver who will help Baltimore in the short term by giving QB Joe Flacco another target in the expanding passing game.

What kind of numbers will the about-to-be 33-year-old TJH put up in 2010? It’s obviously hard to say as the Ravens will have to get him up to speed on offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s playbook and Flacco’s passing style. But, we can look back on how he was used in Seattle last season, thanks to STATS, Inc.

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 20: T.J. Houshmandzadeh #84 of the Seattle Seahawks straight arms Sabby Piscitelli #21 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Seahawks targeted him 61 times (31 receptions) on first down, 39 times (28 catches) on second, 31 times (18 receptions) on third and four times (two catches) on fourth down. Of all game situations of down and distance, he was thrown to the most on first down and between 8-10 yards to go — 58 targeted passes.

He averaged over 10 yards per catch, regardless of the down, and had six plays of 25 yards or more. Of his 79 catches, 52 resulted in first downs, a 65.8 percent rate.

After a two-touchdown day at Arizona in mid-November, he did not catch a touchdown the remainder of the season. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was targeted almost the same in each half of the season — 68 targets/41 receptions/417 yards in the first eight games; 67 targets/38 receptions/494 yards in the final eight games.

Seattle threw to him the most between the 40s (43 targets/29 receptions/311 yards) and also from their own 20 to their 39-yard line (40 targets/23 receptions/249 yards).

In the red zone, the Seahawks targeted him 19 times, and he caught just four passes for 19 yards and two scores. The four red zone catches were his lowest total since 2002.

Inside the opponent 10, he was targeted 10 times, and he made three receptions for six yards and one TD.

Where did Seattle throw him the ball, direction-wise? Mainly to the right side of the field with 36 targets to the right (23 catches), and 40 (21 catches) to the right sideline. He also caught as many balls behind the line of scrimmage (eight) as he did over the middle in 2009. But, interestingly, 13 of his 16 receptions caught on the left side of the field went for first downs, an 81.3 percent rate, while eight of his 11 catches to the left sideline moved the chains (72.7 percent).

The Seahawks looked for him the most in three-receiver sets (67 targets/34 catches/3 plays of 25+ yards/23 first downs) and in four-receiver sets (45 targets/31 receptions/2 25+ yard plays/17 first downs).

One oddity was that despite playing just four games on grass in 2009, TJH averaged more yards per catch (15.7 to 10.0), had more catches go for first downs by percentage (76.2 to 62.1) and had more 25+ yard pass plays (4 of 6) on the real stuff.

Finally in yards after catch, he averaged 3.6 per reception, which was 102nd in the NFL. Bookending him at 101 was Ravens TE Todd Heap (3.7) and former Baltimore WR Kelley Washington (3.6). TJH’s average was better than Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (3.3), Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (3.2) and now-former Ravens (and current Rams) WR Mark Clayton (2.6).

TJH was tied for 56th in the league in total yards after catch (284) with New England’s Kevin Faulk and Denver’s Jabar Gaffney. His YAC total was better than four players with at least 1,000 yards receiving — Derrick Mason (273), Carolina’s Steve Smith (246), Ochocinco (239) and San Diego’s Vincent Jackson (228).

While not one of his best overall statistical seasons, Houshmandzadeh led the struggling 5-11 Seahawks in both receptions and receiving yards in 2009. While he won’t be counted on to lead the 2010 Ravens in those two categories, he can still be an important part of Baltimore’s passing game as someone opposing pass defenses shouldn’t forget about when checking on Anquan Boldin deep and Ray Rice coming out of the backfield.

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Clarifying the Physically Unable to Perform List

Posted on 27 July 2010 by Luke Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

To follow Chris Pika on Twitter, click here (@BlogAndTackle)

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It takes 20 minutes: Time might be right for Ravens to take Terrell Owens

Posted on 28 February 2010 by Drew Forrester

One year later, Terrell Owens is once again without a job and in need of a team.

He’s also in need of a championship ring.

This time last spring, the flashy-but-under-achieving wide receiver peddled his wares around the NFL before getting the ultimate kick in the family jewels — the only team willing to give him a chance was in Buffalo.

Talk about “how the mighty have fallen”.

Yesterday, the Bills did what just about every other team in Owens’ career has done.  They waved the white flag.  In true Roberto Duran spirit, the folks in Buffalo said “no mas”.

In Indy yesterday for the 2010 Player Combine, John Harbaugh offered the routine-like disclosure that the Ravens “are interested” in Owens.  In fairness, Harbaugh would say the Ravens were “interested” in the Son of Sam if, in fact, David Berkowitz lost 120 pounds and could run a 4.4 40-yard dash and catch the ball in traffic.

But Harbaugh’s “we’re interested” comment yesterday was much more telling than it appeared to the casual observer.  The Ravens are interested, a lot of people know that and, for the most part, the “cat is out of the bag”.  There was no sense in Harbaugh fibbing yesterday to cover up the team’s potential interest in Owens.  In fact, when Harbaugh slipped during his press conference and said, “we’ve watched a lot of film on him”, I quickly shot back with, “Why were you guys watching a lot of film on him?” and John responded with “You’ve cornered me.”

In past years, including last spring for sure, anytime I asked one of my Ravens sources about Owens and his possible acquisition, it was almost always met with “no interest” or “no thanks” or “we’ll pass”.

I can’t ever remember hearing “maybe” or “we’re thinking about it” or “we’re interested” when the issue of Owens came up.

Until now.

There are a lot of tentacles to the Terrell Owens situation in Baltimore and more of them lean in the direction of “good sense” than not.  For starters, the Ravens must finally give-in and admit they need help at the wide receiver position.  A season ago, the team added only veteran journeyman Kelley Washington and went to battle with a “B” receiving corps of Washington, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Derrick Mason.

This time last year, the Ravens stood pat and said, “Our wide receivers are good enough”.  I think we all saw enough of the 2009 season to say “well, they weren’t good enough”.

And it’s obvious that the Ravens are not willing to say that anymore, as evidenced by the signing of Donte’ Stallworth three weeks ago.  Even at 36, coming off a so-so year in Buffalo, and always being chased by the Diva Demons, Owens would be an asset in Baltimore.  Is he Anquan Boldin? Of course not.  Is he Brandon Marshall?  He isn’t.  But T.O. does have 1,006 catches in a 14-year career with 144 TD’s.  His numbers are very comparable to a bunch of Hall of Famers like Steve Largent, James Lofton, Raymond Berry and Paul Warfield.  He MIGHT sneak his way into Canton someday.  There’s quality there.  Even going into his 15th season, there’s still gas in the tank.

When the Ravens passed on first round wide receiver options in last spring’s draft like Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks and Percy Harvin, they set themselves up for this gaping hole they’re trying to plug.

The Michael Oher pick was a great one — this isn’t about debating whether or not they were right to go with him over the receivers — but when they went with Oher and passed on Britt and Nicks (both were available), they put themselves in the position of once again having to chase a bunch of pass catchers around in the spring of 2010.

That’s one of the reasons why Owens makes sense now, too.

Knowing what you now know about Oher, what’s a better two-year haul for the Ravens?  The combination of Oher and Owens?  Or Kenny Britt and Vladimir Ducasse (UMass), who will likely still be around when the Ravens have pick #25 in April.

That’s how the Ravens would look at it for sure.  ”One year later, would we do it differently if we had to do it all over again?  Would we go with Britt or Nicks and then take an offensive tackle in 2010?”

The answer is “no”, they wouldn’t.

I know how over-the-moon they are with Oher.  Some in the building are saying he might be the team’s 4th best draft pick EVER after Ray Lewis, Jon Ogden and Ed Reed.  That’s pretty tall company.

So along comes the 2010 draft and while there are definitely going to be some quality receivers available at #25, I’m inclined to believe the Ravens will pass on the likes of Brandon LaFell and Arrellious Benn and go with a defensive pick in round #1 next month.

That bodes even better for Owens.

With receivers -particularly first rounders – being so iffy in recent years, the sound decision might be to give Owens a 1-year deal with some heavy incentives for year #2 if, in fact, he pans out in Baltimore.  There’s no need to back up the Brinks truck for T.O. – he’s done NOTHING over the last year to warrant that kind of contract…but in all fairness, his numbers over the last four years (including 43 TD catches) are likely better than the entire Ravens group of receivers in that same time span.

And if your knee-jerk reaction to Owens is “no thanks, he can’t stay healthy”, you might want to look again.  Take away the 2005 campaign when he missed 9 games after breaking his leg and you’ll be shocked at the other 13 seasons of his career.  How many games do you think T.O. missed in those 13 seasons?  If you said “only 11″, you’re a winner.

A man that misses 11 games in 13 seasons – at a high-contact position like WR – is not “injury prone”.

It should also be noted that plenty of folks will say, “if Buffalo doesn’t want you, what’s that say?”  I’m not defending Owens on this note, because it’s a fact, not a low blow, that he’s had four teams in the last seven years.  But let’s get serious for a second.  He wasn’t going to fix the Bills.  They stunk when he showed up and they stunk at the end of the season and even without him, they’re going to stink next year too.  So try not to blame Owens for the woes in upstate New York.  That’s a sorry franchise in Buffalo.

I’ve never been a T.O. fan, personally, because I think his history speaks for itself.  He’s always been productive, but his teams seem to fall short at the worst possible moment and, at some point, Owens always seems to be in the mix of some sort of debate that usually centers on whether or not he’s being treated fairly or being utilized the right way.

It’s always about him.  Always.  And any thought that heading off to the NFL’s wasteland otherwise known as Buffalo would somehow “straighten him out” proved false when the Bills gave him the boot yesterday.

But now entering the December of his career, Owens stands to go down as his position’s version of Dan Marino.  A guy with all the tools.  A player who was highly productive.  And someone without a championship ring.

In 14 years in the NFL, T.O. has never been a winner.

And facing the prospect of being discussed forever as “one of those guys who was great but never won anything”, I’d have to think Owens might look at Baltimore as a perfect ending to his career.  Yes, his reputation — that of a troublemaker or a diva — is notable and certainly gives any team reason to stop and say, “What are we getting ourselves into with this guy?”  But for the Ravens, right now, with guys like Lewis, Reed and Mason winding down, this could be the time to throw everything into the effort to win a championship before a rebuilding period begins sometime in the next year or two.

And that means, perhaps, taking a flyer on guys like Stallworth, Terrell Owens and any other player the Ravens might have previously written off because of supposed character flaws.

Let’s be honest for a second, with no disrespect intended to the Ravens here:  The way the team has BEEN doing it with their wide receivers over the last decade has been the WRONG way, it would appear.

Last year, Terrell Owens would have been on the “wrong way” list. Maybe now, he’s not “the wrong way”.

And while on the subject of winning championships and “doing it the right way” and “Play Like A Raven” and whatever other bumper-sticker cliches you want to throw out there, keep this in mind.  As great as Ray Lewis has been — he has ONE title to his name.  As great as Todd Heap has been, he has ZERO titles to his name.  As great as Ed Reed has been, he has ZERO titles too.  In other words, be careful protecting the locker room with warnings of “if we bring in so-and-so, he might wreck what we’ve built”.  News flash:  The Ravens haven’t won anything since January of 2001.  It might be a friendly, team-oriented locker room, but it’s also a title-less locker room over the last 10 years.  And that, too, isn’t a low blow — it’s just a fact.

Money, fame, girls, the spotlight, cars…Owens has so much of that in his lifetime vault he has to use two banks to keep it all safe and secure.

But he doesn’t have a ring.

Forget for a second whether T.O. makes sense for the Ravens.

The real question — do the Ravens make sense for him?

I say – at this stage – it makes sense for both parties.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have said that.

A year ago, the Ravens passed on him.

Ozzie Newsome’s famous saying — “right player, right price” — might have to be tweaked this spring.

Make it “right player, RIGHT TIME”.

The time might be right for T.O.

From everyone’s standpoint.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me, because after discovering Christina Hendricks yesterday, some of you did the right thing and directed me to some of the other hottest chicks on TV, including Kaley Cuoco from “The Big Bang Theory”….

cuoco

Please…..PLEASE…..to be directing me to others that I might not know of yet.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens taking chance on ‘troubled’ WR Donte’ Stallworth

Which has obviously lead to a day’s worth of discussion regarding whether or not A-Stallworth deserves a 2nd chance after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter last year, and B-Stallworth is good enough for the Ravens to consider him an “upgrade” over their current receivers.

Let me address the 2nd part of that first (naturally). While Stallworth has never had 1,000 yards in any of his 7 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns; he DOES have 32 career TD grabs. In their careers; Mark Clayton, Kelley Washington and Demetrius Williams have combined for 27.

This move works football-wise if it is paired with the return of Derrick Mason and the acquisition of a taller wide receiver.

As far as whether or not he deserves the second chance, I’m in general the type of person who believes in second chances. For example, when I heard Tara Reid was going to pose in Playboy, I was willing to give her a second chance despite how brutal she had looked in recent years….and that move paid off….

reid

(Edit from GMC: Someone is currently thinking “Are you making a joke about a situation that involved a man dying? The answer is no. I’m making a joke about Tara Reid. Don’t sweat the details.)

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens taking ‘gamble’, but not ‘major gamble’ on Stallworth

In my story yesterday, I wrote about some conversations I had with former Stallworth teammates (including current Ravens TE LJ Smith-who was teammates with Stallworth in Philly, and Saints TE Darnell Dinkins, who was teammates with Stallworth in Cleveland). I also had conversations with other former teammates that I can’t make public, and I heard the conversation Ray Bachman and Rex Snider had with Stallworth’s former Saints teammate Spencer Folau yesterday.

Every single conversation has netted the following reaction:

“Great guy, made a bad decision. He deserves the second chance.”

The best news for the Ravens is that Stallworth cost them only $900,000; and if he can’t play, they’ll let him go after Training Camp. He’s a low risk guy, as the only risk (which Drew points out) is a level of fan backlash. The good news for the Ravens is that they’re in a place right now where Ozzie Newsome and company will PROBABLY be given the benefit of the doubt from the fanbase if the signing doesn’t work out.

3. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Stallworth ‘not the answer’ for Ravens

There’s just no doubt about this. Stallworth has been a good player, but he’s 6’0″. The Ravens didn’t lack for undersized receivers whether they brought back Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton or not. What they lack is a size guy. They need someone who can just go up and be counted on grabbing the football, and they just don’t have that yet.

Brandon Marshall (6’4″) is out there-but unlikely. Malcolm Floyd (6’5″) is out there-and the chances of him ending up in Baltimore have everything to do with what the cost will be. Dez Bryant (6’2″) could end up slipping a bit in the NFL Draft. Danario Alexander (6’5″) from Missouri and Demaryius Thomas (6’4″) from Georgia Tech will likely both slide into later rounds of the Draft, especially after Thomas broke his foot yesterday.

The point is, without grabbing a receiver with size, the Ravens will leave themselves in a very bad place even with a guy like Donte’ Stallworth.

4. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says team released TE Sypniewski after he failed physical

I think a lot of people who enjoy hard-nosed football were really disappointed to hear this, as Sypniewski was certainly a hard-nosed player. He was a tough, physical guy who the Ravens liked enough to hold on to him despite the fact that he missed the last two seasons. Unfortunately, the knee injury ultimately did him in even after another recent cleanup procedure.

With Sypniewski gone, I guess the “best hair” award now defaults to Adam Terry???

adamterry

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens discussing new deal with Derrick Mason

I’m not COMPLETELY certain that Derrick Mason will return to Baltimore, but I would lean that way, that’s for sure. I get less of a feeling every day that he’s coming back and going to Tennessee to re-join the Titans, I know that much. I still think there’s a real chance he retires, but I’m more than 50% on him coming back to Baltimore.

Addressing the other big discussion point from yesterday regarding the Ravens (and I already addressed this on Twitter, so make sure you follow us @WNST); the Ravens will NOT be dealing Willis McGahee for Antonio Cromartie. I get that the Chargers have dangled Cromartie and they’re looking for a Running Back; but NO ONE is interested in trading anything legitimate for McGahee.

Could McGahee be a throwaway to make the money work in a deal for Cromartie? Maybe. But the deal would have to be a Draft pick for Cromartie, and I don’t see the Ravens being interested in dealing a Thursday or Friday night pick (Rounds 1-3) for a Corner right now. Even beyond that, Cromartie was a first round pick, so I think the Chargers will be looking for 1st round equivalency. Tashard Choice and a draft pick seems like a much more likely combo to possibly head to San Diego.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Maryland overcame ‘tired’ first half performance to rally past NC State in Raleigh

Clearly the sting of playing 3 games in 5 days was showing for this Maryland team for the first 25-30 minutes of their trip to the RBC Center. After a strong start from the field, they really struggled late in the first half; and once again failed to score 70 points on the road en route to a 67-58 victory.

Once again, Jordan Williams was a HUGE difference maker last night. When the Terps couldn’t get their feet under them and were struggling from the field, he didn’t let Tracy Smith establish himself inside, pulled down some boards and got some easy hoops. Once Greivis Vasquez (and Adrian Bowie) got something going offensively, Williams had kept things close enough that the Terps could pull away.

Sometimes conference road games are tougher than they should be. It was fitting that on the same night, Duke had to rally from down 12 in the second half to beat Miami. These types of things happen.

They get some rest now-but not much. 61 hours exactly before Saturday’s tilt with Georgia Tech.

7. The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Gary Williams thought Vasquez wasn’t “going to let (Terps) lose”

Obviously this was a showing of will from the Venezuelan senior in the 2nd half, as he was totally determined to make sure his team didn’t fall to the worst team in the ACC. He isn’t the first Maryland guard during the Gary Williams era to do those types of things, as John Gilchrist and Juan Dixon helped carry their teams to Championships doing almost the exact same thing.

Of course, there were also a couple times last night when Vasquez chucked up a wild 3 in transition or in a totally unnecessary situation. That’s the Vasquez lore. The one he hit at the shot clock buzzer was pretty impressive.

Now at 8-3 in ACC play, the Terps are in great shape. I know that a certain host of the “Comcast Morning Show” speculated this morning that the Terps needed to win 11 or 12 ACC games to clinch a trip to the NCAA Tournament; but there appears to be no chance of that being true. Given the lack of teams with Tournament resumes in the power conferences, there is just no chance an ACC team that wins 10 conference games will be left out of March Madness. However, I will say there is a chance that if the Terps were to lose 4 of their last 5 and finish 9-7 (unless the win is over Duke); they’ll get left out.

There’s just not enough teams elsewhere in the country to leave a 10 win ACC team out of the picture, even if the ACC is going through a down year. The Tournament committee won’t just take another CAA or Horizon League team just for the sake of taking someone else. A CAA team with one win over an ACC team earlier in the season does not have the resume of an ACC team with 10 wins over other ACC teams.

8. Raleigh News & Observer’s J.P. Giglio says Wolfpack blew double digit 2nd half lead in loss to Terrapins

There was ALMOST a moment last night where you felt bad for Sidney Lowe.

Look, he’s clearly not cut out for a big time job in the ACC, or what you imagine the ‘Pack want from a head coach. When a couple of things went Maryland’s way in the 2nd half, he just didn’t have an answer. He had no switches, he had no ideas, he really had nothing. His players acted accordingly.

I have to imagine that despite the fact that he’s an alum, they’re going to give him the Sendek treatment down there, right? If so, does he get to keep his jacket???

lowe

9. Morgan State Official Site says 17 from Reggie Holmes, double double from Kevin Thompson lead Bears to win at Delaware State

I got a text from Todd Bozeman after the game last night, he described it simply as “hard fought.” Which is exactly what he had to expect from a Hornets team that had MEAC Championship dreams of their own.

With just one more conference win, the Bears will clinch at least a tie for the MEAC regular season championship. Not to play spoiler, but they’re going to get it.

They’re back in action Saturday with a BRUTAL trip to Kentucky to face Murray State in an ESPN BracketBuster matchup. The game tips at noon and can be seen on ESPNU.

10. The AP says J’Hared Hall lead Loyola with 12, but Hounds fell to St. Peter’s at Reitz Arena

That’s another really tough loss for Jimmy Patsos’ crew. I’m not going to try to paint a picture that I’m a Greyhounds expert, but it looks like there’s an issue when the guys coming off your bench tend to be your leading scorers, and the most points you’re getting from a starter are Shane Walker’s 10.

They now fall to 5-11 in MAAC play after their loss to the Peacocks. They step out of conference play for an ESPN BracketBuster matchup against New Hampshire at home Saturday.

11. The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says former Boston College fundraiser Jim Paquette to replace Joe Boylan as Loyola Athletic Director

His experience in the catholic environment at BC will certainly help him make this transition; but raising money might be a bit more difficult here due to the fact that he won’t have football to fall back on.

I don’t know too much about Paquette, but we’ll be getting him on the air shortly here at WNST to make sure we introduce him to Baltimore.

12. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Bergesen to return to mound for Orioles within 2 weeks

There is no doubt that Andy MacPhail and every human being in the entire O’s organization is hoping for the exact same thing. The quicker he returns to the mound in Spring Training, the less “MASN commercial” jokes we can make.

For the record, pitchers and catchers reported yesterday. I really do wish I was in Sarasota.

And finally, I leave you with this.

The lineup for Bonnaroo 2010 was announced yesterday, and umm….it’s not too bad.

Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Weezer, Tenacious D, Nas, Damian Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Flaming Lips, Norah Jones, John Fogerty, Jeff Beck, Dropkick Murphys, Wale, Zac Brown Band, The Dead Weather, Tori Amos, Rise Against, and so many more. One of those more is Kings of Leon, who is…not even a little bit bad….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuQiBrBD2JE[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Blog & Tackle: Second chance for Stallworth

Posted on 17 February 2010 by Chris Pika

All eyes will certainly be on wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth and the Baltimore Ravens after the club signed him Wednesday – a second chance for a man whose horrible personal decision cost another man his life less than a year ago.

The football move to add depth to the wide receiver corps is a good thing for a Ravens team in need of playmakers. He was 21st among wide receivers from 2005-09 in yards per reception (14.8) and 11th among WRs in average yards after the catch (5.3) over the same five-year period. Stallworth is not a No. 1 receiver any more, but he will be someone opposing defenses will have to account for.

Stallworth has had a lot of personal accounting to do over the last year.

He was convicted of second-degree DUI manslaughter in the death of Mario Reyes in March 2009. He admitted to drinking the night of the accident, and received a sentence of 30 days in jail, 1,000 hours of community service, two years of house arrest and 10 years probation. He also lost his Florida driving privileges for the rest of his life.

He served just 24 days in jail – a sentence that angered many of those who fight for tougher drunk-driving laws – and he avoided a civil lawsuit by reaching a financial settlement with the Reyes family. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the 2009 season, and he was reinstated the day after Super Bowl XLIV.

So, Stallworth was eligible to return to work, and the Ravens have given him an opportunity to re-prove himself.

I worked around Stallworth during his first four seasons in the NFL with New Orleans (2002-05). I won’t say I knew him well outside of the locker room, but I had plenty of conversations with him about football and his career after practices and games. You also get a real sense about a player by watching him interact with his teammates and coaches when the media isn’t around.

Stallworth was well-liked in the locker room, and he worked hard on the practice field. He’s had a lot of injury issues (hamstring, heel) during his career, and his prep work before practices and games was painful to watch as his hamstrings were stretched to the limit like a track athlete’s would be before a meet (Stallworth ran track and jumped in high school).

The early-entry to the NFL (he was drafted No. 13 overall out of Tennessee after his junior year) battled those injuries in his first two seasons to start just 10 games among the 24 he played, although he had eight TD catches as a rookie in 2002.

The next two seasons he caught fire, with 767 yards and five TDs in 2004 and 945 yards and seven TDs in 2005 during the club’s disastrous 3-13 Katrina season. In August 2006, he was traded to Philadelphia, and later was fourth on the team in receptions for the Patriots during their undefeated regular season in 2007. He battled injuries again in 2008 with Cleveland, and his numbers tumbled.

Stallworth’s one-year signing does not present a significant risk to the Ravens. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out, both Derrick Mason and Kelley Washington are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents, and Stallworth is the only veteran WR under contract in Baltimore right now. He still has the burst of speed and good hands to be effective as a possession receiver for Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense. He has been working out, and obviously the Ravens looked at both the football player and the person before offering him a contract.

I wouldn’t dare to tell anyone what to think of the Ravens signing Stallworth, especially in light of his conviction. But I can say this from my perspective: He is a very thoughtful person who seems to “get it” about the game and life. I read the quotes from Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh, and all spoke about his horrible decision, and the consequences for both the Reyes family and for the man who chose to drink and drive.

Stallworth has to live with that result each day, and while he paid a financial sum, he can never repay the emotional debt to Reyes’ family.

“I will never get that morning back,” he said in the Ravens’ press release. “It weighs on me every day and will for the rest of my life. What I can do is move forward, try to be a better person, try to convince others not to do what I did and warn others about the dangers of drinking and driving. I have to show otherwise that what happened doesn’t reflect who I am. I have to prove that, and, hopefully, I’m on my way to doing that.”

Maybe the prevalent “it will never happen to me” mentality in locker rooms or the local bars might come to a momentary pause when hearing Stallworth’s message.

“I will make the best of it, and some people may listen to me because I will be playing,” he said. “I hope I can do some good in delivering a message that could help someone or prevent someone from doing what I did.”

If anyone thinks twice and doesn’t climb behind the wheel after a couple of drinks because of Stallworth’s fatal mistake, that will be the most important unseen catch of his career.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because-as an Andy Roddick fan-I’m very personally happy for his wife (Brooklyn Decker), who was unveiled as the cover gal for the new SI swimsuit issue…

decker

Of course, I think A-Rod himself may have been a better choice….

roddick

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Vasquez joins rare company by being named ACC Player of the Week again

As Patrick (who ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich appropriately nicknamed “Stat-rick” years back) points out, Greivis is only the 4th player in Terrapins history to receive the honor multiple times in multiple seasons. The other 3 players are John Gilchrist, Albert King and some guy you might have heard of….

juan

2. SI’s Seth Davis says Vasquez “best player in ACC”, doesn’t have Terps in Top 25

I THINK Sylvan Landesberg is the best player in the ACC myself. BUT, there is ABSOLUTELY an argument that Vasquez is playing as well as Landesberg if not better-and my guess is that Maryland will have more staying power than Virginia near the top of the league.

The only argument analysts have for leaving Maryland out of the Top 25 (and they didn’t crack the AP or USA Today Coaches’ Polls) is that they haven’t REALLY beaten anyone-other than sweeping Florida State. That’s a fair argument. They get a chance to play two good teams this week, but the only win that would really mean anything would be Saturday at Duke…

3. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has Terps IN as 8 seed in NCAA Tournament; Morgan State in as 15 seed

Which-due to who they’ve defeated-is exactly where they should be right now. The good news for Gary Williams’ team is that they get the next month to figure out what type of seed they’re going to have in the Tournament. If they keep winning, they can be as high as a 3 or a 4 seed. If they go 4-4 over the next 8 games, they’ll be in about the same spot as they are right now.

4. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Morgan State went through “nightmare” 2 day stretch before surviving Bethune-Cookman 48-47

I warned yesterday that Morgan was going to be hard pressed to beat Bethune-Cookman due to having to play 2 games in a 26 hour span. They were tired in the 2nd half, and Reggie Holmes had nothing to offer. On top of that, there were some real issues surrounding the team this weekend-and you could see how much it weighed on Todd Bozeman even after the game.

My guess is that after surviving this weekend, the Bears will go on to finish 16-0 in MEAC play. That being said, it is absolutely meaningless if they do or they don’t. They really just need to make sure they win the MEAC Tournament. It would be special if they could do both. They step out of conference play to face Winston-Salem State Saturday.

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Jarrel Smith tallied 21 points to help Towson survive late rally from JMU

I was following Drew on Twitter last night (follow us @WNST) while I was sitting at Hill Field House, and I found it humorous that he kept saying things like “this would be an epic collapse” and “there’s no way Towson can blow this, right?”

You just sorta knew it was still going to be interesting.

Good for the Tigers for holding on. They’re hoping to face UNC-Wilmington tomorrow night at the Towson Center, but obviously the weather remains a factor. If they play the game and you can’t make it out, it is scheduled to be aired on MASN.

6. WNST.net’s Corey Johns says Spadafora lead UMBC with 14 points in blowout loss to Maine

I was sort of afraid this would happen. The Black Bears hadn’t forgotten how the Retrievers came up to Maine 9 days earlier and stole a win to knock them out of first place in the America East; and they had payback on their minds. On top of that, Randy Monroe’s team is just unfortunately not that good.

They’ll be back in action Thursday night at Hartford, that game is scheduled to be on MASN as well. I love Randy Monroe AND Hartford SID Sam Angell, but I think I might choose to look at pictures of Lorraine Nicholson instead…

nicholson

7. The AP says Kareem Brown tallied 18 to lift Coppin State to first MEAC victory of season over Florida A&M

As I said yesterday, thank God they beat the Rattlers-because there might not have been another MEAC win on the schedule for Fang Mitchell’s Eagles.

He has players there. He’s trying to find the right group of guys to stay on the floor. Hopefully a blowout win can help them gel together moving forward. They return to action Saturday against South Carolina State at the Coppin State Physical Education Complex.

8. Washington Post’s Kathy Orton says Maryland women had no answer for Monica Wright, whose 34 lifted Virginia to victory

At this point, it will take something very dramatic for Brenda Frese’s team to continue their streak of NCAA Tournament appearances. They’re now 3-6 in the ACC, and 3 of their last 5 games are on the road.

They have talented players, they just don’t have a good mix. The good news for Brenda is that she has PLENTY of talent coming next season and only one senior (Lori Bjork), so they should be okay for the future.

They’ll try to start their one final push this season at Wake Forest on Thursday night.

9. Ravens Official Site’s John Eisenberg says Ravens will need ‘first rate offense’ to get past Colts in AFC

You can’t really argue with this.

Sure, the Ravens played the Colts close in Baltimore despite not having a GREAT offense this season-but to stay near the top of the AFC and be able to host AFC Championship Games and reach Super Bowls, you have to be able to compete with teams like Indianapolis offensively.

They have to have more than one capable receiver to do it, too. It isn’t JUST a case of needing one go-to receiver. They need to have multiple go-to receivers, a tight end that is seriously in the mix, AND a solid RB (which is the only place they currently have an advantage over Indy).

On top of that, the quarterback needs to be playing at a high level. Joe Flacco doesn’t need to be Peyton Manning, but he needs to be better than he was last season.

10. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Donte’ Stallworth ‘interesting free agent’ for team to consider after being released by Browns

We talked about it this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” on AM1570, and I got the idea that fans were less against Stallworth because of the DUI/manslaughter issue than they were because Stallworth has never had a 1,000 yard receiving season.

I wouldn’t be opposed to the addition of Stallworth if it came via these situations:

1-He isn’t brought in as “the answer” at receiver, but instead to be the team’s 3rd or 4th guy. He’s had a better career than Mark Clayton, Kelley Washington, Demetrius Williams and Marcus Smith-possibly combined. I would like to see Washington back in the mix, and Smith is still under contract, but Stallworth could fit if they brought in a #1 receiver and kept Derrick Mason.

2-He comes cheap. The CBA issues are going to limit what this team can do. If Stallworth is available cheap, they might get better value there.

11. MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin says Birds could still add another left-handed reliever before Spring Training

I want to add some analysis here, I’m just uninspired. If they add a lefty, I hope it isn’t the “Hefty Lefty”….

lorenzen

12. The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Charm City Challenge canceled due to lack of corporate sponsorship

Jordan Williams
James Padgett
Kimmie English
Kris Joseph
Henry Sims
Sean Mosley
Quintrell Thomas
Malcolm Delaney
Braxton Dupree
Dino Gregory
Jerai Grant
Shane Walker
Jerome Burney
Dwayne Collins
Eric Hayes
Landon Milbourne
DaJuan Summers
Greivis Vasquez
LaQuan Williams
Alade Aminu
Shane Clark
Dante Cunningham
Reggie Holmes
Troy Smith
Jessie Sapp
Itchy Bolden
Branden Albert
James Gist
Kenny Hasbrouck
Drew Neitzel
Will Thomas
Josh Boone
Will Bowers
Tommy Breaux
Guillermo Diaz
Gerald Brown
Hassan Fofana
Ekene Ibekwe
Jack McClinton
Will Sheridan
DJ Strawberry
John Gilchrist
Jarrett Jack
Chris McCray
Lee Melchionni
Gary Neal
Andre Collins
Sherrod Ford
Mike Grinnon
Keith Jenifer
Jai Lewis
Ismail Muhammad
Josh Powell
Melvin Scott

I hope you understand why it is such a shame this is happening. I really hope this is just a 1 year absence and not a permanent cancellation.

And finally, I leave you with this…

If you haven’t been a fan of Wale thus far (and you SHOULD be), you’re going to have to start soon. Check out his new video “Pretty Girls”…not only will you like his O’s hat, you might enjoy the Ray Rice cameo as well…

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

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Baltimore Ravens Grades and Comment

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Baltimore Ravens Grades and Comment

Posted on 04 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Drew and Glenn have both graded the season of each contributing Raven.

(Drew’s grade/Glenn’s grade)

Quarterbacks
flacco

Joe Flacco: B-/C+

Running Backs
rice

Ray Rice: A/A-

Willis McGahee: B/B-

Le’Ron McClain: B/B

Tight Ends
heap

Todd Heap: B/B-

LJ Smith: D/C-

Wide Receivers
mason

Derrick Mason: B+/A

Mark Clayton: C-/C-

Kelley Washington: B/B

Demetrius Williams: C/C-

Offensive Linemen
oher

Jared Gaither: B/B+

Michael Oher: A/A

Ben Grubbs: B/B+

Matt Birk: B+/B+

Marshal Yanda: B/B

Chris Chester: B/B-

Oniel Cousins: C+/C

Defensive Linemen
ngata

Trevor Pryce: B-/C+

Dwan Edwards: B+/B

Haloti Ngata: B/A-

Kelly Gregg: C+/C

Justin Bannan: B/B

Terrell Suggs: D/C-

Linebackers
lewis

Ray Lewis: B+/B+

Antwan Barnes: C/C+

Tavares Gooden: C/C+

Dannell Ellerbe: B+/B

Jarrett Johnson: A/A-

Jameel McClain: C/C

Paul Kruger: C/C

Brendon Ayanbadejo: B/B+

Defensive Backs
reed

Domonique Foxworth: B/B-

Fabian Washington: C/C+

Chris Carr: B-/B-

Lardarius Webb: B/B+

Frank Walker: C/C+

Ed Reed: B+/A-

Dawan Landry: B+/B

Tom Zbikowski: B+/B

Haruki Nakamura: C/C+

Special Teamers
koch

Matt Katula: D/D

Sam Koch: B+/A-

Billy Cundiff: B/B-

Coach
harbaugh

John Harbaugh: B/B

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me, mostly because I saw a picture of Christina Hendricks from the TV show “Mad Men” at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards….

madmen

I can’t figure out what it is I like about her… (Thanks WWTDD for the picture)

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says final 5 minutes killed Ravens throughout season

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the season breakdown I included in the blog. In all 8 losses this season, the Ravens lost the final 5 minutes of each half. That’s 16 halves where the team shot themselves in the foot in the must crucial stages-all of which lead to losses.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Look, the handful of people (and it’s not NEARLY as many as you think) who really think John Harbaugh should be fired are INSANE. But the people who think John Harbaugh is above criticism are also off-base. The final 5 minutes of a half are EXACTLY the place where the head coach is most necessary; as he has to be able to manage the situations while the coordinators make the calls.

Also, I’m NOT rooting for Rex Ryan. Mostly because I want to know that the Ravens made the right choice.

2. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Mason retired, then didn’t, then did, then didn’t, and we’re pretty sure he isn’t

But he might be.

Seriously, this was by far and away the STRANGEST press gathering I could have imagined Derrick holding. Please check it out in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

I wasn’t really surprised AT ALL when Derrick opened his gathering by saying “I’m done.” Frankly, there was a part of me that expected it. I still think that in order of likelihood; retirement, returning to the Titans and returning to the Ravens are the only things Mase will do at this point.

But I have no idea what he was thinking yesterday. You really have to hear it.

3. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Flacco standing by story that injuries ‘didn’t affect’ how he played

And I’m standing by the story I told my ex-girlfriend that I only slept with my friend Christina once when I was drunk.

I’ll try one more time to get John Harbaugh to talk about this today. After that, we’ll just have to wonder what was really going on with Joe.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says aside from Mason; Clayton, K Washington and D Williams all face uncertain futures

Which means I can introduce a new segment to my blogging. In the past, I of course included Hot chick “porn” and Food “porn”, but I now add Wide Receiver “porn”…..

boldinmalcolmmarshallvjack

Yeah, that’s hot.

5. SI’s Peter King “really hopes” Ed Reed won’t retire

Which makes two of us.

And it’s not the first time Peter King and I have been compared favorably, either.

The Ravens are NOT as good with Tom Zbikowski playing as they are with Ed Reed, no matter what some people in town (who I’m only guessing are still wearing their Notre Dame pajamas right now) have tried to exclaim.

The Ravens are an IMPOSING defense when Ed Reed is in the secondary.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Crede, Tejada options for Orioles at 3rd base

This is sorta like the flip side of the Ravens’ “Wide Receiver porn” segment. Over in Andy MacPhail’s office today, here’s the “Corner Infield porn” they’re looking at….

blalockrusscrededelgado

Not exactly hot.

In fact, it would be kinda like finding out you have a friend in 9th grade who is taping up pictures of Amy Winehouse in their locker…

winehouse

While everyone else has pictures up of Kyle Boller’s girlfriend….

prejean

7. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Josh Thornton’s 23 not enough for Towson to hold off St. Joseph’s in Philly

Not that anyone expected Towson to beat St. Joe’s; but if there was ever going to be a year where the Tigers could go to Philadelphia and beat Phil Martelli’s bunch-this would have been the year.

The other news is that Troy Franklin has left the team-which can’t be surprising either considering the fact that Troy hasn’t been playing recently.

So, there’s that.

8. The AP says Chauncey Gilliam lead Retrievers with 24 in loss to Stony Brook

Again, at some point-this season for UMBC is going to be about little more than trying to get an America East win for Randy Monroe’s bunch. It’s a trying season, and it makes Drew Forrester’s commercial sound even more ridiculous-which makes me giggle.

9. Maryland Official Site previews tonight’s tilt with Longwood

Yes, this should be a 30 point pounding-but no, nothing is given. Especially considering the fact that the Lancers will be starting 2 players from the Old Line State tonight-and will be playing others from the DC area who likely dreamed of playing for Gary Williams and on the Comcast Center floor. It is always tough to gauge a group of players who think that their next game is the Super Bowl against a group of players who think their next game is against a team with a funny name.

Of course, it IS a funny name.

10. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi says Terps amongst first four teams OUT of NCAA Tournament right now

Which is exactly where they should be…..right now.

The good news is that Maryland will completely control their postseason destiny. As long as they don’t finish 8-8 or worse in an ACC that is pretty open, they’ll be fine. But as of right now, their best win is over Florida State. You can’t call that a Tournament-worthy resume just yet.

11. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra won Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year

Which was the right choice. With no offense to Zenyatta and a big win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Rachel Alexandra’s run for the Black Eyed Susans and her dominance in the Kentucky Oaks as well was more than enough for me to say she was a worthy winner.

12. Universal Sports says Michael Phelps wrapped up SoCal Grand Prix with gold, bronze on Monday night

Michael Phelps athletic accomplishments < Michael Phelps sexual conquests and recreational drug use.

At least until the 2012 Olympics anyway.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’ve been hot and cold on The Ting Tings since they first hit the scene, but their performance of “That’s Not My Name” on Saturday Night Live KILLED.

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Mason May Be Changing Mind About Retirement As I Type This

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Live From Owings Mills: Mason May Be Changing Mind About Retirement As I Type This

Posted on 18 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the Baltimore Ravens gathered today to clear out their lockers before beginning the offseason. A number of players met with the media, a handful were unavailable. The players spent much of the day signing each others’ helmets and recycling gear, but a number of players were very aware of the fact that they might be cleaning out their locker for the final time here at the complex. This was a common sight today…

bags

The biggest story of the day was the BIZARRE conversation Derrick Mason had with us while he was cleaning out his locker. It opened this way….

“I’m done.”

From there, it was a strange rambling where Mason both made it appear that he was retiring, then eventually left everyone in the air about his future. Some of the highlights….

-”This is it. I had a lot of fun. We had a good role this year…”
-”I’m possibly done as a player in the NFL. I feel good physically, but mentally I just gotta see what happens from here.”
-”I don’t know what the Ravens are going to do.”
-”I’ve got a week to rest and find something to do…here or in Nashville. Cut a little grass probably.”
-”I will talk to Coach Harbaugh or Ozzie (Newsome) and Cam (Cameron) and my position coach (Jim Hostler), let them know where my mind is at mentally.”
-”I didn’t wana Super Bowl yet…..I think I’m gonna tell ya’ll when Ed Reed tell ya’ll.”
-”Ed Reed’s 50-50 right now, I’m more like 60-40.”
-”Nothing’s definite but death and taxes.”
-”I’m gonna make a decision…quickly and definitively. It’s not gonna be a drawn out thing.”
-”If someone catches me working out in another week, then I guess I made my decision. But if not, I guess my days of playing football are possibly over.”
-”Anyone who gives you a percentage….even though I said 60-40….they’re lying.”
-”There’s a chance” he could come back to Baltimore.

It was REALLY weird. I implore you to listen to it in the Audio Vault at WNST.net. It came off as though Derrick WANTED to announce his retirement, but had a sudden change of heart as he was talking.

There is more to be heard in the Audio Vault at WNST.net. You can hear from these players, and I’ll include a highlight from each:
WR Kelley Washington: “I’m going to look out for myself, put myself in the best situation…I don’t expect everybody to be back.”
DE/LB Paul Kruger told us he was meeting with John Harbaugh later today to discuss what he needs to do in the offseason to make sure he plays next year.
QB Troy Smith: “I love the situation here, I love the people here. Through the thick of things, you wanna play, you wanna be on the field.”
WR Demetruius Williams-On his time in Baltimore: “I can’t say it’s been all great, I can’t say it’s been all bad. It’s been my time.”
QB Joe Flacco: “I was not affected in any way” by injuries.
OT Michael Oher says Jared Gaither is Ravens LT: “He’s a better player than I am, better athlete. It would be better” if he was RT & Gaither LT
.
WR Mark Clayton: WR corps “needs to be strong”… Ravens probably need to add a “playmaker” to group. He expects to be a restricted free agent, and says of his relationship with the team- “we’re cool.”
K Billy Cundiff:
“I’d love to come back.” He added that he would be open to competition in Training Camp if he comes back.
LS Matt Katula:
“I wanna be here…hopefully I am.” Elbow is “not an excuse…I just need to get better.”
LB Jarret Johnson
says he’ll be rooting for the Jets, but it’s “bittersweet” to see so many former Ravens having success there.
DT Justin Bannan: “I don’t have a crystal ball, all I can say is I love this city, the organization, the fans. It’s been a true pleasure…”
OT Jared Gaither initially told reporters he was unavailable due to the flu, but later came back and appeared to be fine. “I’m not really worried about” future with team, “I’m pretty sure I’ll be here”
LB Brendon Ayanbadejo on Ed Reed’s status: “Time is the greatest healer. Once the game is gone, that’s pretty much what you want to have back.”
S Dawan Landry on future with team: “Hopefully everything works out.”
CB Chris Carr: “I’m definitely going to try to call (Ed Reed) and try to convince him to stay.”
CB Lardarius Webb says he’ll be staying in Baltimore to rehab injury. Training Camp is a “realistic” expectation, but he won’t “rush.”
CB Domonique Foxworth: “I fully expect (Ed Reed) to be back.”

Amongst the players who weren’t available to meet with the media today were LB Ray Lewis, LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata, RB Ray Rice, C Matt Birk, TE Todd Heap, DT Kelly Gregg and RB Willis McGahee. McGahee was approached in the locker room, but he exclaimed “I’m out” as he moved swiftly past repoters. I believe a reporter may have been able to corner him as he was leaving the building entirely. Other players may have had individual meetings.

John Harbaugh will hold his final press conference of the season tomorrow morning at 11am. We will have live coverage for you at WNST.net and via Twitter (@WNST). The traditional end of season news conference with Harbaugh, Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome is not scheduled as of yet.

-G

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