Tag Archive | "kyle"

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Joe Friday — A quarterback’s blog

Posted on 05 September 2008 by joeflacco

This is the first installment of “Joe Friday”, a personal blog from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco that will appear at WNST.net every Friday morning.

This has been a great week for me as we get ready to host the Bengals in the season opener on Sunday in Baltimore. My parents are coming down from New Jersey and my girlfriend, Dana, will be in attendance as well.  It’s a little extra special that my first pro game is at home, but right now I’m just focusing on getting ready for Sunday.  I feel like I have a good grasp of the playbook and the system we’re using, but I know the game is going to be tough and Cincinnati will come to town ready to play.  Our guys are excited for Sunday, there’s no doubt about that.

I did my best to get all of the little things out of the way early in the week.  I handled my ticket requests and got my parents, family and friends all sorted out for Sunday. I’m just focusing on the game and what I have to do.  I know it’s the season opener, but I’m just approaching it like I have a job to do and that’s run the offense and help us win a game.  Every game is important.
Tonight, I took 10 of the offensive lineman out to dinner at Ruth’s Chris.  These are the guys who are going to be protecting me on Sunday, so I want to make sure they’re happy with me!  We had a great meal (I had a filet) and I’m sure the folks at Ruth’s Chris are happy.  We probably paid the light bill for September and October tonight but it was the right thing to do and we had a great time together. Who’s buying next month?
I do want to add that I wish Kyle Boller all the best with his shoulder injury.  Kyle was great to me from the first day I arrived in Baltimore and it’s really disappointing to see him go out before the season even starts.  All the quarterbacks in camp were helpful to one another and the two new guys, Casey Bramlet and Todd Bouman, have both stepped right in and tried to make a contribution.  Our coaching staff expects us all to be successful, which is a really good environment to play in.
I hope you all enjoy Sunday’s game.  I’ll check in with Drew next Tuesday morning at 8:30 during his show and we’ll talk about the Bengals game and what lies ahead.

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In a New York Minute…

Posted on 05 September 2008 by John Novak

Johnny Carson defined it as being the time it takes from when the traffic light turns green, till the guy behind you starts honking his horn.
What comes to my mind is Don Henley’s New York Minute song – how he tells the story of how everything can change thatquick.
In sports, just like in life, athletes don’t know when their New York Minute will happen. Just this week, Kyle Boller is placed on IR, Daunte Culpepper announces his retirement, and Joe Flacco is officially announced as the starting QB for Week 1.
On rare occasions, some athletes are fortunate enough to decide for themselves when their New York Minute will occur. Cal Ripken got to decide himself when his streak would end.
Meanwhile, sport fans, while they always will have something to cheer for, never know when their team will be the champion, if ever. Their New York Minute occurs when the time expires or the last out is made, and their team is officially the winner.
Sport fans need to remember what my Mom said, as we attended Game 2 of the 1983 World Series, and watched Mike Boddicker strike out Phillie after Phillie. Mom said something which would wind up to be Nostradamus-ian – “We need to enjoy this because we may never see it (the Orioles in the World Series) again in our lifetime”.
Enjoy whatever you do, right here and right now, because tomorrow, it could all change.
Sadly, the most tragic of New York Minutes happened today for the family and friends of 1983 World Series champion Todd Cruz. Say a prayer for his family and friends tonight.

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Be careful cutting ties with Boller

Posted on 04 September 2008 by Drew Forrester

Kyle Boller’s season is over.

What about his Ravens career?

Should that come to an end as well?

Many in town – including The Sun, evidently – believe it’s time for the Ravens to completely cut ties with Kyle Boller.

Well, that’s certainly one avenue to explore. In fact, Boller himself might think that’s best for his career. Maybe the fans in Kansas City or Seattle won’t cheer in unison if he gets injured there.

But, I’ll give you three reasons why it might not be good for the Ravens to just summarily dismiss Kyle once his shoulder injury is healed.

Reason #1 – Joey Harrington
Reason #2 – Chris Simms
Reason #3 – Todd Bouman

In part due to Boller’s injury (and Troy Smith’s illness), the Ravens have been searching for a competent back-up quarterback over the last three weeks.

Guess what they found?

The cupboard is bare.

There are currently 96 QB’s in the league (assuming all 32 teams have three on their roster, which most do). If you’re not one of the best 96, what does that say for your value?

Right, not much.

Assuming that all goes well with the development of Joe Flacco, the team will need a capable #2 QB both this season and in years to come. I’m hearing from various players in the Ravens locker room that Troy Smith’s not too keen on being a #2. Not to blame him, of course, because Smith SHOULD want to start in the league. Can he? Maybe, maybe not. But you can’t blame Smith for not wanting to chase the NFL-starter dream.

If Flacco settles in here and Smith isn’t willing to be his back-up, the Ravens will be looking for a back-up against next spring/summer.

Where to turn?

Why not Boller?…as a back-up and nothing more.

I say he’s as good as any of the other unemployed rag-a-muffins that are sniffing around the unemployment line.

He was decent in the back-up role back in ’06 when Steve McNair spent most of the year healthy. Boller played in a few games and looked like a different guy than the one who stumbled and bumbled his way through the first three years of his career.

Kyle as a starter? No. Not in Baltimore, at least. We’ve been there, done that, and, we have the t-shirt.

Kyle as a back-up? Sure.

Or we could chase Joey Harrington around again next summer. Or Chris Simms. Or Todd Bouman.

After all, I’m sure they’ll be available.

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Simms pt. 2, Big Willie, and Ocho Cinco

Posted on 03 September 2008 by caseywillett

Well today we got one answer to the Ravens quarterback questions, and that is that Kyle Boller is done for the year and likely as a Raven. What has been known for a little while was made official today when it was announced that Kyle would not play this season due to an injury to his shoulder.
Here are some other notes from today:
Hope a lot of fans are not going to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday to see Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee, Chris McAlister, or Ed Reed. The outlook for those guys is not very promising for Sunday’s game.
The Ravens announced that Todd Bouman was officially apart of the team today. I still wonder how this will play out next week as I think there is still a chance that they could add yet another quarterback to the roster.
Chad Johnson was entertaining as always. You have to go to the audio vault and listen to Ocho Cinco talk about Bart Scott and Dawan Landry. He had a harsh remark as it relates to Dawan. I talked to Dawan about what Chad said, and he just sort of laughed. Trust me it is must listen to stuff. Also goes into detail about how Ray Lewis talked him into going back to the Bengals and being quiet.
Casey Bramlet is very likely to be added to the Ravens roster for Sunday’s game. There is no way that they can go into the game with Flacco, and Bouman. Bramlet has a better working knowledge of the offense and would be the next guy in if Flacco got hurt.
Todd Heap told us today that he is healthy and looking forward to getting back onto the field on Sunday and playing.

The drama and revolving door that is the Ravens quarterback situation is getting a little bit more interesting today. There is a rumor that Chris Simms might be coming back to Baltimore. Now the Ravens have not confirmed that Todd Bouman has signed with the team. In the last 24 hours there have been reports that Joey Harrington, Chris Simms, and Todd Bouman have all signed with the team.

Here are some scenarios that I could see playing out to Simms possibly coming back:
Maybe the Ravens have learned more about Troy Smith and his health and feel that they need a quicker solution at the quarterback position.
Simms could have asked the Ravens to give him a day to think about the offer and has come back to them
Maybe the Ravens have learned more about Troy Smith and his illness and there is a reason for concern for him.
Maybe Chris Simms is not coming at all. At this point who knows?
There was a report yesterday that Willie Anderson could be coming to Baltimore to visit. Now yesterday the Ravens had a team photo and had a team luncheon, so maybe noone was hear to see Anderson and that he might be coming for a visit soon.
Time to go listen to Ocho Cinco(Chad Johnson) on a conference call. He is always the highlight of the year.

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We don’t know anything

Posted on 03 September 2008 by Keith Melchior

As we all shake our heads and ask, “What the hell is going on up at 1 Winning Drive these days?” it just goes to show we don’t know anything about the day to day management of a professional football team.

Quite a few people I have listened to, both in person and on various radio talk shows, seem to have the feeling that the NFL is like a fantasy football league and teams can sign the best players at each position for their respective teams.

Bulletin: Fantasy means “something you wish would happen to you and something you often dream about” The NFL is NOT fantasy football.  I feel that if it wasn’t for betting (shhhhhhh) and fantasy football leagues, it’s doubtful that an extreme majority of “fans” would really care as much about the NFL, simply because they do not understand the game.

It’s obvious the Ravens have salary cap money troubles, so it’s ludicrous to bring in a Daunte Culpepper, Brett Favre caliber QB, so naturally they are looking for a semi-accomplished NFL experienced backup quarterback just in case Troy Smith and Kyle Boller cannot play because of their respective medical conditions. SO of course they are getting a scrapheap backup. Just like the reason they signed Casey Bramlet last week. He was a warm healthy body that filled an immediate need.

I would have loved to see the Ravens look at John Lynch or Willie Anderson, two veteran players who could step in and give much needed experience at 2 critical positions, safety and tackle. Again..$$$ talks and that is the reason these guys aren’t on the radar screen nor should they be.

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Ravens Q&A time and quarterback watch ’08

Posted on 02 September 2008 by caseywillett

As the world turns as it relates to the Ravens quarterback situation, here is another chance to do a Ravens questions and answers session.
Here is my take on the quarterback situation:
There were apparently two quarterbacks at the facility all day yesterday that would be new to the team. One of them was Joey Harrington while the other one could be Todd Bouman. The Ravens acknowledged that they did work out three guys yesterday, but did not confirm if they had signed or where close to signing any of them. I think this all gets played out in the next 24 hours.
With all of these quarterbacks coming in, this is even more of a clear indication that Kyle Boller is headed to injured reserve. The team has denied that he will need surgery, but said there was some medicine in his arm and that they would know more by Friday. Kyle has told people that he will not be playing this year. The reason, I guess, to keep his injury a secret for as long as they did was to keep teams like Cincinnati guessing. Well, yesterday Coach Harbaugh said Joe Flacco would be starting and that there was a good chance that Boller and Troy Smith were out. So much for the guesswork.
As Troy Smith goes in this carousel, Troy looks like he is still ill. Troy told reporters yesterday that he has lost about 25 pounds and is still on antibiotics. Troy could be two to three weeks from getting back on the football field, which makes you wonder if he is in jeopardy for the season. Troy did not want to get into much detail about what was going on with him right now. He said he was just glad to be around teammates and out of the hospital.
Casey Bramlet is another piece in this whole quarterback puzzle. I look for Casey to be activated on Saturday to be Joe’s backup for Sunday versus the Bengals. Bramlet has a working knowledge of Cam Cameron’s offense and could be ready to come in if Flacco was to get hurt.
Here is my prediction: Kyle Boller gets put on injured reserve and is done for the year. The Ravens then sign a new quarterback, probably in the next 24 hours. Troy Smith will be a touch and go situation for a couple of weeks. If it looks like he might be able to come back in three weeks, then they ride out the storm with Flacco, a new quarterback (Harrington or Simms) and Bramlet. If Troy is out for longer than that, or if there is more to his illness than we know, they bring in a third quarterback. Just looking at Troy, I am guessing it will be hard for him to be back on the field in three weeks.
I was asked this yesterday, but had computer issues later in the evening and was not able to respond, but Coach Harbaugh also told us that there where four wide receivers who were brought in to work out yesterday. We were not given the names of those players, but it makes you wonder about the health of Marcus Smith. Marcus has been nursing an injury for the last week or so and maybe there are some concerns about his health for the next couple of weeks.
Joe Flacco has earned rave reviews from staff in the Ravens organization and not just for his play on the field. This weekend it was pretty quiet around the facility and most people were away for the weekend. However, there was Joe Flacco in the facility most of the weekend watching film and talking to anyone in the facility about football. I am not saying that he will turn out to be Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Johnny Unitas, but he has what looks like all the potential in the world to show why he was a first round draft pick.

Now bring on those Ravens questions…

That’s what I’m here for! LOL…

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Flacco Fever…Catch It!

Posted on 02 September 2008 by marcbouchard

Being a sports fan doesn’t get any better than when a highly-touted prospect develops into a star for the local team. It doesn’t happen often, and the occurrence is even more rare when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. Around here, it’s been generations since Baltimore football fans were blessed with John Unitas and decades since Bert Jones graced the book-covers of many of our elementary school textbooks.
It was 1973 when the Colts took Jones with the second pick in the NFL draft, then watched him develop into a league MVP by his fourth season. Thirty five years later, Baltimore tries again to pull off the rare feat with Joe Flacco, who will make his NFL debut this Sunday vs. the Bengals.
The fact that there was little buzz over Flacco this summer shows how gun-shy we are about getting our hopes up for such a rare occurrence, especially since we just tried this five years ago with Kyle Boller. My guess is if the Boller experiment wasn’t so fresh in our minds, Joe Flacco would’ve been the biggest story in Ravensland, trumping even Camp Hardball. It’s like we’re collectively trying to avoid jinxing Flacco by not talking about the possibility that the Ravens may now hold in their possession one of the rarest gems in all of sports: the star NFL quarterback.
Well I say we put our fears aside and enjoy this ride from the beginning. Though our Flacco experience has thus far been limited to compact chunks of preseason games, Flacco seems to posses the necessary combination of physical tools and quiet confidence that is shared by all the great ones. At the very least, he combines the positive attributes of the other two candidates in the short-lived quarterback competition the Ravens tried to hold this preseason, bearing the size and arm strength of Boller and the natural leadership skills and self-assurance of Troy Smith.
If one Flacco play stands out for me thus far, it was the fade to Derrick Mason vs. the Rams last Saturday. In nonchalantly lobbying that perfect pass, Flacco looked like a kid effortlessly tossing one last imaginary buzzer-beater into the basketball hoop in his parents’ driveway before coming in for dinner. Heck, if the guy can look that relaxed throwing a touchdown pass after just a handful of NFL snaps — preseason or not — you can’t help but be excited.
Here’s hoping for a bright future for Joe Flacco…and for us.

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Chill-pills are 3 for $5 at the market…

Posted on 01 September 2008 by Drew Forrester

It’s hard to determine who has lost their way more: the Ravens…or the fans.

The Ravens at least have an explanation for their situation. They’re in the midst of an injury riddled pre-season that has seen them lose two quarterbacks in the last week.

The fans, though, just can’t seem to understand that the team is in the bind of all binds right now and they’re forced to do something – anything – to get ready for next Sunday’s opener against the Bengals in Baltimore. The Ravens have a football game to win next Sunday and to do that, you need a couple of quarterbacks at least – preferably one that’s actually played in a game that mattered…and not a NFL Europe game or a bowl game against (insert college opponent here).

One quick trip around Baltimore’s various football/Ravens related fan message boards tells you all you need to know about today’s supposed turn of events. People are trying to find their way to the Hanover Street bridge…if you know what I mean.

Have the Ravens signed Joey Harrington, Chris Simms or, perhaps, both? Maybe. The Ravens aren’t really saying anything today, except three QB’s came in for a work out and Joe Flacco is going to start next Sunday against the Bengals. There are reports floating around that Harrington has signed. Or that Simms has signed. Or that both have signed. Who knows?

But if they have added Harrington and/or Simms, what’s the big deal?

They have to bring SOMEONE on board between now and tomorrow. What if Flacco pulls his groin in Wednesday’s practice? Who goes on Sunday in that case, Mark Clayton?

So, with nowhere else to turn – and with Kyle Boller likely out for an extended period of time and Troy Smith telling folks he might not be ready for 2-3 more weeks – the Ravens need to bring someone in who has quarterbacked in the NFL before, right?

And it’s NOT Casey Bramlet.

Joey Harrington has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career (so has Daunte Culpepper by the way, a stat which surprised me…) and Simms is no great shakes either. How do I know Harrington and Simms aren’t prime options at this point? Easy. Harrington just got beat out in Atlanta by Chris Redman and Tampa Bay chose Jeff Garcia over Simms.

But they probably represent the BEST options available to the Ravens right now. They’re not great options (that’s why they’re available a week before the season) but they ARE options and they DO have NFL experience.

You can throw your hands up in the air and bellyache about it all you want, but the bottom line in the NFL is this: there’s a SEVERE shortage of high-level talent among back-up quarterbacks in the league.

And the Ravens, like a bunch of teams, are paying the price for it right now.

That’s why they took Joe Flacco last April.

In a couple of years, if the football gods will leave the Ravens quarterback position out of their daily “who do we mess with?” diary, Joe Flacco will be running the show and we won’t give much concern to who the #2 and #3 quarterbacks are in Baltimore.

For now, though, everyone needs to take a chill pill and get through the first Sunday against the Bengals.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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Flacco, Boller, Smith, Harrington, Bouman, Simms, and a quarterback to be named later

Posted on 01 September 2008 by caseywillett

Finally the worst kept secret in town is out; Joe Flacco will be your starting quarterback on Sunday versus the Bengals.
Here are some highlights from Coach Harbaugh’s meeting with the media:
-On if they have added another quarterback: “no, we are looking at doing that, with our situation, I think we probably have to. We need a backup quarterback for the game, so we are looking at a couple of guys.”
-On Kyle’s condition: “It is a deal where we have to wait a certain amount of time to see what exactly it is. There is some medicine in there that has to take effect. We will probably know by Friday.”
On Troy’s availability –“Troy will not be practicing for a while; he is on antibiotics and different things. He is going to be out until he gets his strength back and that infection gets cleared up.”
-On if Troy and Kyle are ruled out vs Cincy – “Pretty close, we are not ready to do that yet, but pretty close.”
-On if the new quarterback could be here for more than just a week or two –“It is a possibility, you can figure out the scenario where that would be the case.”
On working quarterback’s out– “We worked out three guys today, Chris Simms, Todd Bouman, and Joey Harrington. We also had three receivers you interested to know who those guys are? Na, that is alright”
Here are some other notes from today:
-Coach Harbaugh also mentioned that Willis McGahee practiced today although it was not at 100%.
-News from the Cincinnati Bengals official website is that Willie Anderson will meet with the Ravens on Tuesday.
-So today, we have been discussing, Troy Smith, Joe Flacco, Kyle Boller, Todd Bouman, Joey Harringon, and Chris Simms…..WOW
-Troy Smith looks very tired and weak while talking to him today. You can listen to the audio of his chat with the media.
– One thing I can say about Joe Flacco is that his attitude has not changed one bit, whether is be going from first round draft pick, to opening say starter. As Coach Harbaugh said it earlier, Joe just has this sort of “Joe kind of way” about him. Joe was here in a mostly empty building this weekend watching film.

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Just like a marriage…

Posted on 29 August 2008 by Drew Forrester

…Joe Flacco and the Ravens have exchanged vows and are ready to start the honeymoon.

It begins on September 7.

On the basis of, a) not getting hurt – and, b) not turning the ball over in the last two games – and, c) earning the trust of his teammates – Flacco will likely start the opener next Sunday against the Bengals.

And he should start.

Of course, the Ravens’ options are somewhat limited, with Kyle Boller limited to throwing left handed and Troy Smith limited to sipping electrolytes through a straw.

Yes, Flacco gets the start by default.

But, it’s not like he’s been a stiff, either. He’s done nothing to make anyone say, “that kid can’t play…”

Again last night, he made some nice throws, changed a few plays at the line scrimmage and, generally, doesn’t look like a guy who’s in the first month of his NFL career.

Like I’ve been saying for the last couple of weeks now, Flacco is offering just as much as Boller or Smith at this point, so why not start him?

It might get ugly. In fact, it probably will at some point. Rookie quarterbacks rarely, if ever, step in and dominate the league right away.

Don’t expect Joe Flacco to dominate right away.

Like a marriage, Ravens fans should be willing to take Flacco “for better or worse” in 2008.

But there WILL be high points with Joe Flacco and I’d bet the “better” outranks the “worse” by the time the season concludes.

Finally, after six years, we can stop spending money on divorce lawyers and celebrate a union that appears to be strong.

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