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Ravens-Panthers “Purple Haze” Live Chat 1pm!

Posted on 21 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Greetings from Bank of America Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) will face a second consecutive NFC South opponent in the Carolina Panthers (1-8) at 1pm today. Today’s game will be televised by CBS (WJZ 13 locally in Charm City) with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots on the call. We will be discussing the game in our “Purple Haze” live chat, which you can join HERE.

Here are today’s inactives:

Ravens-
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
OL Chris Chester (illness)
DT Arthur Jones
DT Lamar Divens
DT Brandon McKinney
LB Dannell Ellerbe
WR Marcus Smith
TE Dennis Pitta

The Ravens made a roster move Saturday, waiving OL Scott Kooistra and signing OL Bryan #Mattison to the active roster from the practice squad.
OL Tony Moll will start in place of Chester at RG.

Panthers-
QB Jimmy Clausen (concussion)
RB Jonathan Stewart (concussion)
WR Armanti Edwards (3rd QB)
RB Tyrell Sutton (ankle)
S Marcus Hudson (ankle)
WR Brandon LaFell (concussion)
OT Travelle Wharton (toe)
DT Ed Johnson

The Ravens are in white tops, black pants today. The Panthers are in black tops, silver pants.
Al Riveron’s crew will officiate today’s game.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Ravens-Falcons “Purple Haze” Live Chat 8:15pm Tonight!

Posted on 11 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

ATLANTA, Ga. — Greetings from the Georgia Dome, where the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) will battle the Atlanta Falcons (6-2) in the season premiere of “Thursday Night Football” on NFL Network. Bob Papa, Joe Theismann and Matt Millen will have the call tonight, the game will also be carried back to Charm City on WBAL 11. We will be chatting throughout tonight’s game in our “Purple Haze”, which you can join HERE.

Here are your inactives for tonight’s game-

Baltimore:
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
DT Arthur Jones
DT Lamar Divens
OL Scott Kooistra
S Ken Hamlin
TE Dennis Pitta
LB Jason Phillips
DT Brandon McKinney

Atlanta
:
TE Justin Peelle (groin)
LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee)
DE Lawrence Sidbury
OT Garrett Reynolds
DT Trey Lewis
OG Mike Johnson
QB John Parker Wilson (3rd QB)
CB Dominique Franks

LB Stephen Nicholas will start for Weatherspoon.

The Ravens will be in white tops and white pants, the Falcons are wearing throwback uniforms tonight, as former CB Deion Sanders will be places in their “Ring of Honor” at halftime. They have black tops white pants and red helmets. Ron Winter’s crew will officiate tonight’s game.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Ravens-Dolphins Purple Haze Live Chat 1pm Today!

Posted on 07 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) face a third straight AFC East opponent Saturday, as they welcome to the Miami Dolphins (4-3) to M&T Bank Stadium. The game can be seen on CBS (WJZ 13 locally) with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf on the call. We will be chatting about right here at WNST.net starting at 1pm. You can join the chat HERE.

Here are today’s inactives:

Dolphins-
WR Marlon Moore
QB Tyler Thigpen (3rd QB)
S Reshad Jones
S Nate Ness
DE Clifton Geathers
OT Patrick Brown
OT Lydon Murtha
TE Mickey Shuler

CB Sean Smith will start in place of CB Jason Allen.

Ravens-
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
DT Arthur Jones
DT Lamar Divens
DT Brandon McKinney
TE Dennis Pitta (head)
S Ken Hamlin
OL Scott Kooistra
LB Dannell Ellerbe

The Ravens will be in purple tops and white pants, the Fins will be in white tops and teal pants. John Parry’s crew will officiate today’s game.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Bear Grylls did a “heli-oop” in a recent Degree commercial (Thanks Deadspin/YouTube!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AytBhd_NwH8[/youtube]

In a related story, I once rode in a helicopter. I was so nervous I peed a little. Bear Grylls once drank his OWN urine!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2zITvSp0Hk[/youtube]

You see, he and I have so much in common!!!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Tavares Gooden, WR Donte’ Stallworth don’t expect to find out status for Week 9 until Sunday

My gut says both guys will play, but I feel stronger about Stallworth than Gooden right now. The Ravens not only need a different option at WR (Stallworth POTENTIALLY gives them a speed threat), but they really need a punt returner-especially with Tom Zbikowski still out of practice while he remains in a walking boot.

As far as Gooden is concerned-there is at least a chance the Ravens could choose to hold him out for another week given the depth they now have inside with Brendon Ayanbadejo healthy and with Jason Phillips having played well on Special Teams. But if Gooden is fully healthy-and he looks like he’s pretty close-he plays.

At that point, the Ravens have to find seven true scratches again to go with an injured Zbikowski. The likely names are Scott Kooistra, Dennis Pitta, Ken Hamlin, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Jason Phillips and David Reed, as they’re the guys who have been inactive at times during the first seven weeks of the season.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens came back to Owings Mills in 1st place in AFC North

Which is better than the alternative, but clearly doesn’t matter much.

The bottom line is that there is little chance the Ravens make it through the rest of their schedule without at least two more losses. They have tough games at the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans; as well as dates with the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. A more realistic expectation is probably an 11-5 finish.

The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t appear to be quite as tricky. The Ravens are the only team with a .500 or better record that they still have to face away from the Steel City. They do have to welcome the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets to Heinz Field; but that schedule sets up much better.

That’s why the Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night was significant. If they had won that one, they would have been in UNBELIEVABLE shape to win the division. At this point, it looks like the two teams will be in a dogfight.

(Note: This is Week 9. In a month, all of this could be different. In fact, it probably will be.)

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington watched Buffalo Bills tape 3 times, ready to move on

We’ve all had bad moments.

During one of my first overnight DJ shifts back at WHFS, I forgot to turn my mic off after introducing a White Stripes record (I think it was “Seven Nation Army”) and listeners throughout the Old Line State were blessed with the opportunity to hear my variation of Jack White.

Why would I ever listen to that aircheck again? Mostly to make fun of myself. Why would Fabian Washington watch the tapes of getting abused by Lee Evans? He probably did it to get BETTER.

If the Ravens for some reason choose NOT to return Fabian Washington to his starting spot Sunday against the Fins, I would have to recommend they consider Ximena Navarrette. (Thanks Guyism!)

navarette

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says TE Todd Heap ‘feeling better’ after aggravating shoulder stinger in win over Bills

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Did you miss former Ravens head coach Brian Billick (NFL Network/Fox Sports) with Drew Forrester Tuesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Nick Faust (City Guard/#25 ranked prospect)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to discuss his commitment to head to College Park in 2011
  • Andrew Perloff (SI)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to talk Randy Moss and all things NFL
  • Patrick Stevens (D1scourse/CSNWashington.com/Fanhouse)-who joined Drew Thursday morning to talk Terps hoops and Terps football
  • Our “Tuesday Top 7″-which this week was a look at the Top 7 NFL MVP candidates thus far this season
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Monday, including Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR Derrick Mason, Heap and Stallworth
  • Postgame audio from last night’s Maryland-Florida Southern game, including Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley
  • Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss Week 8 NFL action
  • Brad Edwards (ESPN)-who joined Thyrl Monday to talk all things BCS and College Football
  • Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated)-who joined Rex Snider Monday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss Ray Lewis’ legacy and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault. So your day…for the millionth time…is planned well in advance. Just go ahead and thank me now so you don’t have to do it later.

5. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Jordan Williams lead Maryland with 18 points in exhibition win over Florida Southern

And coming from someone who ventured down to Comcast Center, it was a real thriller. Trust me.

That being said, it was certainly MUCH better than it could have been.

This team is going to be able to get up and down the floor quickly and they will certainly be able to find ways to score points. There’s an argument that Jack McCallum might write his follow up to “Seven Seconds or Less” about Gary Williams’ team.

The real question is whether or not the team is going to be able to shoot. Last night they were just 4-12 from beyond the arc and 18-30 from the free throw line. It goes without saying that those numbers will need to improve.

That being said, they look like they have an identity post-Greivis Vasquez. That’s good news thus far.

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins appear to be loaded with “athletic ability”

I wholeheartedly agree. Patrick made a comment last night that this might be the most athletic group assembled in College Park since the Steve Francis/LaRon Profit/Juan Dixon/Terrence Morris team in 1998-1999.

That team was most remembered as being a team that never minded throwing up an alley-oop; no matter where they were on the floor. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily always a good thing.

If we remember, that team was eliminated (in semi-embarrassing fashion) by St. John’s in the Sweet 16 because the Red Storm were an OUTSTANDING defensive team lead by Ron Artest. Should this Maryland team figure out a way to reach a similar level in the NCAA Tournament, it would be an incredible overachievement.

7. UMTerps.com says Maryland QB Danny O’Brien named ACC Rookie of the Week after throwing 4 TD’s against Wake Forest

What’s more? A handful of fans even recognized him as he was sitting at Comcast Center Monday night watching the Maryland basketball game.

It’s really been a surprisingly good start for O’Brien this season. He’s not Scott McBrien just yet, but he certainly appears like he’s a much more naturally able QB than say Chris Turner.

He’s been good. Good enough that if Holly Peers were on campus in College Park, he’d probably be able to get a date with her. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

peers

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terrapins face much more difficult schedule down stretch in ACC play

And before we move on from the Terps, a couple of things…

-On the basketball side, it was announced before last night’s game that Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory would be the team’s captains this season. It was a LITTLE bit surprising considering Mosley is only a junior and both Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie are seniors; but Mosley has a reputation for being a solid practice player and might have more “emotional leader” in his blood.

It also means that the Terps now have two captains from Charm City to go with two of the three assistant coaches on their staff (Bino Ranson, Keith Booth). But someone without a brain will still try to mention that Maryland “cares more about DC than Baltimore.” Lord.

-Also in basketball, the team will hang a banner honoring last year’s ACC (Co) Regular Season champions before next Monday’s season opener against Seattle.

-In football, the ACC announced kickoff times and TV for the team’s next two games. They’re game against the Miami Hurricanes this Sunday will kick off at 12pm and will air on ESPNU. Next Saturday’s trip to Charlottesville to face Virginia will kickoff at 3:30pm and will be seen on ESPN3.com. Hard to generate interest when no one is seeing the games…

9. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Rick Kranitz accepted job with Houston Astros, Texas Rangers special assistant Mark Connor expected to be Orioles pitching coach

Well, if he could help a lowly team like the Rangers win the World Series, just imagine what he could do with the Birds!

(Edit from GMC: Apparently the Rangers did NOT win the World Series. I will be forced to admit that I didn’t watch last night. I chose fake college basketball and Monday Night Football instead.)

I’d offer an opinion here, but it would be misinformed. I don’t REALLY know how much Rick Kranitz did for this team. I do know that the Orioles young pitchers steadily improved last season, so Kranitz might deserve some credit there.

I know LESS about Mark Connor-other than the fact that he shares a name with my 7th grade history teacher. Don’t ask me why I knew my 7th grade history teacher’s full name-and DEFINITELY don’t ask how I remember it.

10. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Baseball America named Manny Machado, Zach Britton top prospects in O’s organization

Yet somehow “JWoww” from Jersey Shore was left off the list despite wearing this for Halloween…

jwoww

Finally, I leave you with this.

In honor of Election Day, I’ll pass along my favorite sign from Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the National Mall in DC. This guy literally made this sign and brought it to a rally. If there wasn’t a legal definition for “awesome” before, there is now…

fajita

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

As you’ll remember, I spent most of Training Camp ranking the players on the Baltimore Ravens roster as we tried to determine the Top 53 that would make the final roster.

As we’ve reached the team’s Bye Week, I thought I’d use a similar format (as opposed to a Report Card format) to grade the way the 53 men currently on the team’s roster have played thus far this season. Here’s my list…

53. OL Scott Kooistra-He hasn’t seen the field and he hasn’t been around very long. I’m not sure where else he could be ranked.

52. DT Arthur Jones-The team isn’t dissatisfied with the rookie DT from Syracuse. The issue for Jones is that the Ravens are so deep on the interior of their D-Line that they haven’t been able to get Jones on the field yet. Until then, he won’t find himself any higher on the list.

51. WR Donte’ Stallworth-Stallworth’s broken foot has kept him entirely out of game action thus far, and he only returned to practice last week. The team expects him to be on the field Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Once he gets out there, we can see where he’d rank on this list.

50. QB Marc Bulger-If Marc Bulger never sees the field and stays somewhere near #50, GM Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh will be thrilled-as it means nothing will have gone wrong with the team’s quarterback. This is exactly where they want him.

49. DT Lamar Divens-It seems like Lamar Divens will always be the first name listed when the “who could you cut to make room for…” conversations happen. That being said, he hasn’t been cut yet this season, and has even seen the field at times. He’s a really good player-even if it hasn’t quite been evident yet this season.

48. TE Dennis Pitta-His offensive contributions (1 catch, 1 yard) have been next to nothing, but Pitta has been a solid special teams contributor and has only been inactive for one game. No one in Owings Mills is unhappy with their rookie TE from BYU thus far.

47. CB Cary Williams-He’s been more of a Special Teams contributor than he’s been a corner thus far this season-and he hasn’t been perfect. His block in the back penalty against the New England Patriots was certainly frustrating; and Harbaugh made it known. Williams’ size (6’1″) could make him helpful at CB at some point, but the team has to trust him there.

46. OT Oniel Cousins-The team didn’t really hide from the fact that they were disappointed by how long it took Oniel to get back on the field after a preseason concussion. At this point, I don’t think they can hide from the disappointment in his on-field performance; as he’s struggled to get playing time at all.

45. LB Prescott Burgess-He’s remained a steady player on Special Teams, and that’s what the team has wanted from him. It’s easy to be down a player who doesn’t contribute at his natural position, but Burgess has been solid.

44. LS Morgan Cox-Matt Katula’s struggles a season ago were at least somewhat to blame for early season misses from then kicker Steve Hauschka. I think that’s why it wasn’t terribly surprising when ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg and company decided to go with Cox this season. That being said, Cox has been low on a few FG snaps, and has gotten some help from holder Sam Koch. He needs to be a bit steadier.

43. WR Marcus Smith-Smith is another player whose contributions have been limited to Special Teams thus far, which means his mistakes are often much more memorable than anything he does well. He had a tough day in Foxborough, but he wasn’t the only one.

42. DT Terrence Cody-What a frustrating player Terrence Cody has been this season. There’s moments where it looks like things are clicking for him, but there have been many more moments (in the 4 games where he’s played) where he looked absolutely lost. He didn’t record his first NFL tackle until the Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills.

41. LB Jason Phillips-Phillips may have earned a couple of extra spots on the list simply thanks to the hit he and Edgar Jones delivered to Denver Broncos WR/KR Demaryius Thomas (see below) in Week 5. Phillips is in a tough spot, as the Ravens are deep at ILB. That being said, he’s made an impact in the opportunities he’s had-which is exactly what the team wanted.

ravensbroncos

40. DE Paul Kruger-I’m placing Paul Kruger in the top 40, but I’ll note that he’s played in only two games thus far this season-two he may have never played in had the team not released Trevor Pryce earlier in the year. His ability to play in the wedge has helped get him on the field, but the kick return hasn’t exactly been great with or without him.

39. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Ayanbadejo is another player who I’m squeezing into the Top 40 despite limited work. It looks like Ayanbadejo is going to be able to continue to be an effective player on Special Teams; but his ability to help is pass coverage will determine where he eventually ends up on this list.

38. RB/KR Jalen Parmele-It’s easy to look at the struggles Parmele has had over the last two weeks and be down on his season; but it cannot be dismissed that he’s averaged over 20 yards per return this season. The Ravens have to figure out what’s going wrong with their kick return. My guess is that they’ll find out that the returner isn’t the biggest problem. My second guess is that it won’t mean Parmele will be the returner moving forward anyway.

37. S Ken Hamlin-When the Ravens released Hamlin to make room for Cary Williams earlier in the season, it looked like a confirmation that Hamlin was simply holding Ed Reed’s roster spot. About a week later we found out that wasn’t exactly the case. Hamlin has been effective on Special Teams and has offered something to Greg Mattison’s defense as well-at least until he was left inactive for the first time Week 7. That could be bad news moving forward for Hamlin.

36. WR David Reed-After looking like he might not be able to play Special Teams at all, Reed developed into a very trustworthy gunner for the Ravens over the first few weeks of the season and has taken more snaps as a returner during practice as the season has gone on. That being said, it is interesting to note that Reed was held out of Sunday’s game against the Bills. It had at least SOMETHING to do with a thigh injury, but it will be interesting to see if it was the injury ONLY, or if the injury was just part of it.

35. TE Ed Dickson-Dickson is an interesting case. In the game against the Broncos, his 58 yard 1st quarter catch was eye-opening. His 6’4″ frame clearly makes him an attractive downfield and jump-ball target. But his holding penalty later in the game was an example of exactly why OC Cam Cameron may not fully trust him enough to keep him on the field. My guess is that Dickson is headed towards some level of a breakout performance.

34. LB Tavares Gooden-I get the feeling that I could be showing a little bit too much fairness to Gooden, who was adequate in the two games he played before injuring his shoulder. He probably hasn’t done enough to justify the position, but I’ll keep him here for now. How he bounces back from another setback (and whether or not he can return in Week 9) could have a lot to do with his future in Charm City.

33. CB Josh Wilson-This is really tricky as well. Wilson has by no means been a liability on the field; but he’s done little to prove himself thus far. He’s missed two games (a healthy inactive when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field; an ankle injury kept him out of the loss to the Pats at Gillette Stadium), and he hasn’t been perfect as a returner. But when Secondary coach Chuck Pagano need an answer late against the Bills, Wilson stepped up.

32. WR TJ Houshmandzadeh-Truth be told, I’m completely befuddled by TJ Houshmandzadeh’s short tenure in Baltimore. I don’t think he’s been misused, I don’t think Joe Flacco has failed to look for him or get him the ball, I don’t think he’s necessarily been awful in doing his own job (although I absolutely think he’s given half efforts to catch the ball-which was abundantly evident when the Ravens played the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium). I’m not sure what Houshmandzadeh’s role is moving forward as Stallworth returns. No matter what it is, his catch to beat the Steelers will never be forgotten.

31. OL Tony Moll-Moll has shown himself to be a particularly reliable reserve on the O-Line; he’s been the team’s top reserve this season. In fact, he was on the field at RT when the Ravens put together their final TD drive to get the first win of the Harbaugh era in the Steel City.

tonymoll

30. DT Brandon McKinney-McKinney has quickly become the team’s top reserve along the D-Line, and has played VERY well he’s seen the field this season. He’s probably better as a NT or as an interior tackle in a 4-3 defense, but he’s been outstanding filling multiple roles for DL coach Clarence Brooks.

29. S Haruki Nakamura-Nakamura’s playing time has decreased since the start of the season, but it’s not because he’s performed poorly. Nakamura was both the 3rd safety and the nickel corner in the Ravens’ season opening Monday Night Football win over the New York Jets, but the improved health of the team has limited his role. His play has been effective throughout the season no matter his role.

28. CB Lardarius Webb-After missing the season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium, Webb has been up and down in the six games he’s played. At times he’s been spectacular, including two big pass breakups in the win over the Steelers. At other times he’s been less than spectacular, including the loss to the Bills. Webb stepped in for Zbikowski at PR against the Bills as well, but is unlikely to remain a long term option there.

27. DL Cory Redding-This is somewhat of a tricky judgment as well. Redding has played well, but was supposed to be able to get off the field in obvious passing situations this season to allow for a better rush end option. Sadly, the Ravens don’t have a better rush end option. Redding has just one sack on the season, and that number is unlikely to get much bigger.

26. LB Dannell Ellerbe-If Dannell Ellerbe didn’t have to play in pass coverage, he probably would find himself in the Top 15. Of course, there are a number of LB’s in the NFL who could say the same thing. Ellerbe has been solid but not spectacular, and has not exactly shown himself to be an “answer” for the Ravens at JACK LB.

25. OL Chris Chester-The Ravens would certainly prefer to have Chester coming off the bench and taking snaps at multiple positions; but the back injury to Jared Gaither has forced him into a starting role at RG. Chester hasn’t been perfect, but at no point has he been any sort of liability.

24. LB Jameel McClain-McClain has thus far been the most consistent answer at JACK LB, but he probably hasn’t solidified the position the way the team may have hoped he would. McClain has been solid, but has not been able to make too many plays in the backfield. Opponents have also been surprisingly able to run the ball with effectiveness (none more than Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis), which has to fall on the entire group-including McClain.

23. OL Marshal Yanda-No one has forgotten about Jared Gaither in Baltimore, but Marshal Yanda has solidified the RT position after a few early season struggles. Yanda is still better served playing at the Guard position, but he’s shown his athleticism and ability to both pass block and run block at the RT position.

22. S Ed Reed-There’s little argument for me ranking a player who has seen the field for just one game this high; but the argument exists. Of course, it is a very short argument-based solely on the fact that despite playing in just one game, Reed leads the team in interceptions. He looked like the Ed Reed of old against the Bills, giving the organization every reason to believe he’ll continue to play at a high level.

21. RB Willis McGahee-We might never TRULY know why McGahee didn’t see the field against the Pats, but he’s been very good every other time he’s seen the field. McGahee has been a solid back in both short yardage and goal line situations, is an effective blocker, and can take consecutive handoffs. If for some reason Ray Rice were to get hurt, the Ravens would be fine at RB.

mcgahee

20. C Matt Birk-Birk might not play at a Pro Bowl level necessarily anymore, but he’s still very good. He had some struggles early on this season, but he’s played very well in recent weeks. The Ravens may not have a center of the future on the roster necessarily, but they’re still just fine right now.

19. DT Kelly Gregg-Gregg has been just as steady as always this season; tallying 30 tackles and taking on double teams the same way he’s done since his breakout year in 2002. The only potential knock on Gregg has been a lack of plays made in the backfield.

18. S/PR Tom Zbikowski-The Ravens have been very happy with the play they’ve received from Zbikowski this season-especially while Reed missed the first six weeks of the season. Fans haven’t been thrilled with Zbikowski as punt returner-but since inexplicably running the ball backwards in East Rutherford, he’s been solid in that role as well. Zbikowski missed Game 7 with a bruised heel, but isn’t expected to be out for an extended period of time.

17. S Dawan Landry-I feel like we keep getting back to the Buffalo game with Ravens defenders-but that tends to be what happens when a team gives up 34 points at home. Landry had been very solid until that game however, and has 52 tackles through seven games this season.

16. CB Chris Carr-The best thing to happen to the Ravens in the wake of the Domonique Foxworth injury has been the play of Carr. Carr has been particularly steady starting opposite Fabian Washington. The team would probably like to see him improve a bit on the one interception and five pass deflections he’s posted thus far this season.

15. LB Jarret Johnson-The only disappointment with Johnson this season has been his lack of involvement in the pass rush. He’s tallied just half a sack thus far to go with 28 tackles. He’s been good, he’s just not quite played to the level he played at a season ago when he compiled six sacks.

14. K Billy Cundiff-The name Shayne Graham has LONG been forgotten at 1 Winning Drive. Cundiff has been incredible on kickoffs, tallying 18 touchbacks this season. He had entered the season with just 11 touchbacks for his CAREER. Cundiff is also 10/12 on field goal attempts; with one of the two misses coming in the goofy open end of the stadium at Heinz Field. There really isn’t much more that can be said about Cundiff, he’s been tremendous this season.

13. P Sam Koch-While I’m at it, Koch has been outstanding this season as well. He’s pinned punts inside the 20 yard line 19 times already this season. Some of his yardage numbers are a bit off this season, as the Ravens have had better field position in general this season. Oakland Raiders P Shane Lechler is still probably having a better season; but Koch has to at least be in consideration for a trip to Hawaii.

12. OT Michael Oher-Oher won’t want to hear the name Jermaine Cunningham any time soon, but otherwise he’s avoided a sophomore slump. Oher has answered almost all questions about his ability to play the LT position, even if he isn’t quite Jonathan Ogden just yet. He LOOKS like he’s offsides more than he actually IS offsides, with the only exception being the Patriots game.

11. LB Terrell Suggs-There’s a misconception that T-Sizzle is having a bad season. That’s simply not true. Suggs has played very well at times, and has clearly developed into a very complete all-around LB. The problem is-the Ravens don’t necessarily need an improved all-around LB on the outside. They REALLY need a pass rushing monster, and Suggs (3.5 sacks) just isn’t that guy right now, nor may he ever be again.

suggs

10. G Ben Grubbs-Grubbs has been the team’s most consistent Offensive Lineman thus far this season, and is setting himself up nicely for a potential Pro Bowl trip. As the team’s longest tenured O-Lineman, Grubbs has been significantly important for the team in maintaining continuity in a season where they have been forced to move pieces around.

9. TE Todd Heap-The Ravens thought that drafting two tight ends would help keep Heap fresh by getting him off the field for a handful of snaps every game. They also thought that signing multiple receivers in the offseason would help free up space on the field for Joe Flacco to find Heap. They’ve been right about both things. Heap has still taken a beating this season (thanks in part to Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather), but he’s on pace to have at least his best offensive season since 2006.

8. CB Fabian Washington-Don’t start cursing at your computer screen just yet. I am well aware that Lee Evans treated Washington like Sidney Rice would Frank Walker in the Ravens’ loss to the Bills. However, in the six games before that-Washington was a significant part of why the Ravens had one of the top pass defenses in the NFL (now ranked 8th for the record). Washington’s future standing on this list will of course have everything to do with how he bounces back from what was a dreadful Week 7 performance.

7. WR Derrick Mason-Remember him? Mason might not be on pace for a 1,000 yard season; but when they’ve needed him-he’s been ready to make plays. He was the team’s leading receiver in two very tough road games (at Pittsburgh and at New England), and he caught the only touchdown of the game in the Ravens’ Week 2 loss in the Queen City. Mason is just as reliable as always, and still catches the football…with the exception of the handful of times the team has decided for some goofy reason to try to throw jump balls in the direction of his 5’10″ frame.

6. RB Ray Rice-Fantasy football owners may not be quite as happy with Ray Rice’s performance as I am; but he’s been very good this season. He’s on pace to finish the season with over 1,400 yards of total offense; and should be able to remain fresh the more the Ravens work McGahee into the offense. Rice was expected to be a Top 3 caliber player on this list, but the lack of a breakaway burst appears to be hurting him right now. If that re-appears, he might show himself to be the type of MVP candidate he was a season ago.

5. LB Ray Lewis-Let me get this out of the way. Ray Lewis has not played like the future Hall of Fame LB he is in every game this season. He looked downright human against the Browns. That being said, the season opener on MNF was a vintage performance from one of the greatest defenders in league history, and Lewis locked up the Steelers game with a late interception of Charlie Batch. He tallied 15 tackles in the win over the Bills as well. San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis may be the unquestionable greatest LB in the game today, but Ray Lewis has not fallen terribly far behind.

4. FB Le’Ron McClain-This one may catch a few folks off guard, as the personal foul penalty in Foxborough and the lack of carries probably stick out in the minds of most fans more than anything else, but Le’Ron McClain is playing as well at his position as almost anyone else on the Ravens roster this season. RB Coach Wilbert Montgomery graded McClain’s performance against the Browns as the best by a Ravens player this season, and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron told me that in terms of the total package-blocking, rushing and pass catching-McClain was absolutely the best fullback in not only the AFC-but the entire NFL.

3. QB Joe Flacco-If it weren’t for the dud in Cincy, Flacco may be #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the game in Cincy still counts. Flacco has been outstanding for the better part of the season-despite strange criticism from fans and a handful of analysts alike. He’s on pace for another season with 3,000+ yards and 20+ touchdowns and has limited his turnovers in games BESIDES Cincinnati. Flacco still needs to figure out that Ray Rice is just 5’7″; which has to be the most frustrating part of his game at this point.

2. WR Anquan Boldin-Anquan Boldin has been everything the Ravens had hoped he would be and more. He’s been a reliable target, he’s shown the type of toughness that originally made him a star with the Arizona Cardinals, and at times (the Browns game sticks out) he’s even added an explosive level to his game. He unfortunately doesn’t get to matchup against Eric Wright every week; but he’s on pace for 1,000+ yards and double digit TD’s no matter who he’s up against. Some fans in Baltimore who weren’t familiar with his game thought the Ravens were getting Larry Fitzgerald; but for those who knew what type of player Boldin was-he’s been ABSOLUTELY as good as advertised if not better.

1. DT Haloti Ngata-There is simply no better player on this football team right now than Haloti Ngata. There’s almost no argument any longer about who the best interior D-Lineman is in the NFL either. The only unfortunate part about the season for Ngata has been the fact that the lack of a rush end has forced the Ravens to send Ngata outside and hope he could get to the quarterback. He’s capable, but it’s by no means where he is best used. When he does get in the backfield, there’s no quarterback (or other player at any position) that’s happy to see him.

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

-G

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Ravens-Bills Purple Haze 1pm Today!

Posted on 24 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — Greetings from M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) will face a second straight AFC East opponent in the Buffalo Bills (0-5) today at 1pm. The game can be seen live on CBS (WJZ 13 in Charm City) with Don Criqui and Steve Beuerlein on the call. We will be chatting during the game in our “Purple Haze” live chat, which you can join HERE.

Here are today’s inactives:

Bills-
OT Cornell Green (knee)
CB Terrence McGee (back)
DE Alex Carrington
LB Keith Ellison
LB Aaron Maybin
DE John McCargo
OL Ed Wang
QB Levi Brown (3rd QB)

Ravens-
WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot)
LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder)
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
WR David Reed (thigh)
S Ken Hamlin
DT Arthur Jones
DT Lamar Divens
OL Scott Kooistra

The Ravens made two roster moves yesterday, activating S Ed Reed and LB Brendon Ayanbadejo from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. To make room for those two players, the team placed OT Jared Gaither (back) on Injured Reserve and cut LB Edgar Jones.

The Ravens are wearing purple tops and white pants for today’s game, the Bills are wearing white tops and white pants. Pete Morelli’s crew will officiate today’s game.

The Ravens will be honoring the 2000-2001 team that won Super Bowl XXXV during today’s game. The players will form a gauntlet pre-game for the current Ravens to run through, and the team will be honored at halftime of the game.

Come chat with us!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens-Patriots “Purple Haze” Live Chat 1pm!

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Ravens-Patriots “Purple Haze” Live Chat 1pm!

Posted on 17 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

FOXBOROUGH, Ma. — Greetings from Gillette Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens will face the New England Patriots at 1pm Sunday. The game can be seen on CBS (WJZ 13 in Charm City) with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call. We will be chatting live during the game-as WNST.net personalities will be participating in the “Purple Haze”, which you can join HERE.

gillette

Here are your inactives/roster changes for today’s game-

Ravens:
OT Jared Gaither (back)
LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder)
DE Paul Kruger (knee)
WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot)
OL Scott Kooistra
DT Arthur Jones
CB Josh Wilson (hamstring)
DT Lamar Divens

OL Marshal Yanda will again start for Gaither at RT, OL Chris Chester will start for Yanda at RG.

Patriots:
RB Fred Taylor (toe)
CB Terrence Wheatley (foot)
DL Kyle Love
OL Rich Ohrnberger
S James Sanders (hamstring)
WR Taylor Price
RB Thomas Clayton
OT Mark LeVoir

Head Coach Bill Belichick and Pats players will be donning pink today, similar to what the Ravens did last week against the Denver Broncos. This is the third and final week of a window the NFL allowed for uniform alterations to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout the league. Some Ravens are again wearing pink shoes; including WR Derrick Mason, LB Terrell Suggs, LB Prescott Burgess, S Tom Zbikowski, WR Marcus Smith and DT Terrence Cody.

The Ravens are in white tops and white pants today, the Patriots are in blue tops and white pants. Bill Levy’s crew will officiate today’s game.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Ravens-Broncos Purple Haze Chat 1pm Today!

Posted on 10 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) step out of AFC North play for the first time since Week 1 today as they host the AFC West Denver Broncos (2-2) at M&T Bank Stadium. Today’s game can be seen on CBS (WJZ 13 in Charm City) with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts on the call. We will be chatting about it today here at WNST.net in our “Purple Haze” live chat.  You can join the chat at 1pm HERE.

Here are the scratches for today’s game:

Ravens-
LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder)
OT Jared Gaither (back)
WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot)
DE Paul Kruger (knee)
OL Scott Kooistra
DT Arthur Jones
DT Lamar Divens
TE Dennis Pitta

OL Marshal Yanda will again start for Gaither at RT, OL Chris Chester will start for Yanda at RG.
The Ravens are in purple tops, white pants and pink shoes today. The pink shoes are being warn to celebrate the NFL’s recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Broncos-
RB Spenser Larsen (ankle)
RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring)
WR Eric Decker
OL Stanley Daniels
OL Chris Clark
CB Syd’Quan Thompson
OL Eric Olsen
QB Brady Quinn (3rd QB)

The Broncos are in white tops and white pants today.

Come chat with us!

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Prince Miller Returns to Practice Squad

Posted on 07 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Thursday, preparing for a Sunday matchup with the Denver Broncos (2-2) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens made a minor roster move Thursday, signing CB Prince Miller back to their practice squad after releasing him from the active roster Tuesday. Miller originally made the Ravens’ roster out of Training Camp, but was released when the team signed CB Bryan McCann. Miller signed with the New England Patriots practice squad before Week 1 of the regular season, but the Ravens signed him back to their active roster before Week 2 after releasing McCann. The Ravens were able to cut Miller and sign him to their practice squad after keeping him on the active roster for the NFL minimum three weeks.

Miller maintained a positive attitude about what essentially turns out to be a demotion, saying Thursday “it’s a decision that had to be made. When you’re in the position I was in, anything can happen.” Miller added “I’m going to continue working how I’ve been working, and maybe my number gets called sooner or later.”

To make room for Miller on the practice squad, the team released CB Danny Gorrer.

CAMERON DOESN’T WANT AUDIBLES:
A popular frustration amongst Ravens fans this season has been the lack of audibles called by QB Joe Flacco at the line. It turns out there may be a very good reason for why it doesn’t happen very often.

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron told reporters Thursday “audible-ing is overrated. We’re better off calling a play and executing that play.”

Cameron said the Ravens used audibles much more during Flacco’s rookie season in 2008; but admitted he wouldn’t give away too much information about the team’s current offensive decision making.

Cameron also told reporters that he had a simple philosophy for keeping all of the team’s offensive playmakers (including WR’s Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh; as well as TE Todd Heap and RB Ray Rice) happy, saying “if you’re out there, we want to do everything we can to get you the ball.”

PRACTICE UPDATE: OT Jared Gaither (back), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder), DE Paul Kruger (knee) and WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) have all been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game against the Broncos, none were on the practice field Thursday.

Strangely missing from the practice field during the portion open to the media were CB Fabian Washington and RB/KR Jalen Parmele. Washington has since been confirmed as missing due to illness, while Parmele was not listed on the injury report and must have been a late arrival.

LB Edgar Jones (thigh) was listed as a limited participant for a second straight day. FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder) was on the practice field, but was wearing a red “no-contact” jersey. He was listed as a full participant, along with Heap (shoulder) and Rice (knee).

For the Broncos; RB Spencer Larsen (ankle), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and DL Jamal Williams (not injury related) missed practice. CB Andre Goodman (quad) and LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) were listed as limited participants. All other Broncos were not listed.

NOTES: Hear from Cameron, Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, LB Terrell Suggs and Miller NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……DT Lamar Divens joined Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed the chat, make sure you check it out in the Audio Vault as well. OL Tony Moll is scheduled to join Forrester Friday morning at 6:50am……The Ravens will practice again Friday, with Head Coach John Harbaugh slated to address the media after practice. They will then hold a walkthrough Saturday before Sunday’s game. Saturday’s walkthrough is closed to the media.

-G

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

Posted on 06 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-G

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