Tag Archive | "lions"

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Caldwell to complete another head-coaching interview with Tennessee

Posted on 06 January 2014 by Luke Jones

Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell continues to receive interest as a potential NFL head coach and will interview with the Tennessee Titans later this week.

After completing interviews with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins in recent days, Caldwell will reportedly meet with the Titans about their open position after they fired Mike Munchak on Saturday.

Caldwell spent three years as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and led them to Super Bowl XLIV before joining the Ravens as quarterbacks coach in 2012. He received much praise for the job he did with the Baltimore offense in helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl after being promoted to offensive coordinator on Dec. 10, 2012, but his offense struggled mightily in 2013 as the Ravens finished 29th in total yards and 25th in points scored while also setting franchise lows in rushing yards and yards per carry.

Baltimore parted ways with running backs coach Wilbert Mongtomery last week, and some have wondered whether a change is warranted at offensive coordinator despite teams having interest in Caldwell for their vacant head coaching positions.


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Caldwell to interview with Detroit, Washington for head coach vacancies

Posted on 01 January 2014 by Luke Jones

Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell has never shied away from the goal of once again being an NFL head coach, and it appears he’ll pursue that possibility in the coming days.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Caldwell will interview for the open head coaching jobs with the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins. Caldwell spent three years as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts before being fired at the end of the 2011 season and joining the Ravens as their quarterbacks coach two winters ago.

Caldwell received much praise for the job he did with the Baltimore offense in helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl after being promoted to offensive coordinator on Dec. 10, 2012. However, his offense struggled mightily in 2013 as the Ravens finished 29th in total yards and 25th in points scored while also setting franchise lows in rushing yards and yards per carry.

Head coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he doesn’t anticipate any changes to his coaching staff for now but acknowledged the possibility of some assistants exploring opportunities for other jobs.

“There may or may not be some more things happening as the week goes on,” Harbaugh said, “and I’m sure some of our coaches could be a part of that, as far as opportunities go to move up and move on and to pursue career opportunities. We’re proud of that. I think we’ve had a lot of success here. The fact that we’re not pushing deep into the playoffs will probably give some of our coaches some opportunities to do that.”

Some have called for a change at offensive coordinator after the Ravens’ immense struggles on that side of the ball, but Caldwell’s track record in Indianapolis as well as his work late in the 2012 season make him a viable candidate for another head coaching job at some point.

A former Penn State assistant from 1986 to 1992, Caldwell’s name has also been mentioned as a possibility for the Nittany Lions’ head coaching vacancy after Bill O’Brien was hired as the new head man for the Houston Texans on Tuesday.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Lions

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

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

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

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

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions Monday night at Ford Field…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Louis Delmas called for unnecessary roughness after Joe Flacco pass intended for Marlon Brown incomplete on 3rd down (2nd quarter)

Ended up giving the Ravens three points in a spot where they would have gotten nothing.

4. Daryl Smith sacks Matthew Stafford for five yard loss at Baltimore 47 (1st quarter)

Lions had moved the ball at will on first two drives until this play, game appeared to be headed to a shootout or even a blowout.

3. Matt Elam intercepts Matthew Stafford pass intended for Nate Burleson (4th quarter)

The “ender”.

2. Jacoby Jones 27 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 15 (4th quarter)

The significance of this play has somehow been lost.

1. Justin Tucker 61 yard field goal GOOD (4th quarter)

I still don’t believe it.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Banged-up Flacco declares himself fine after injury scare

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Luke Jones

After taking a shot to his left knee midway through the fourth quarter of the Ravens’ 18-16 win over Detroit, Joe Flacco indicated that his health will not be a major concern moving forward.

The sixth-year quarterback was hit just below the knee by Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy and was examined by team medical personnel on the sideline as backup Tyrod Taylor warmed up, but he did not miss any snaps before orchestrating a 25-yard drive that resulted in the game-winning 61-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with 38 seconds remaining.

National outlets report that Flacco will take it easy for a couple days and be fitted for a knee brace, but he is not expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

“It wasn’t really bothering me after the initial hit,” Flacco told reporters in Detroit. “I was probably more scared than anything from just what I felt and also just trying to get a couple of yards out of it. Yeah, it feels fine. It feels strong.”

Flacco expressed displeasure after the game that a penalty wasn’t called for a low hit to the quarterback, but he benefited from a Detroit scoring drive of almost six minutes to regain his bearings before the final offensive drive.

The 2008 first-round pick has never missed a game in his professional career, and it appears there are no major concerns that his status would be in jeopardy for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium. There were no immediate plans for the quarterback to undergo magnetic resonance testing on the left knee.

“That was tough,” head coach John Harbaugh said after the game. “He got a helmet right below the knee, so that will be something that I’m sure [the NFL will] take a look at. He fought through that. Joe Flacco is a tough guy, and he’s a great player in crunch time.”

Flacco went 20-for-38 for 222 yards and completed a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones on third-and-15 to put the Ravens within Tucker’s range on the final drive.

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Tucker dedicates huge kick to both fantasy and reality teams

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Flacco says Ravens “settled” on 3rd down run

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Tucker, Ravens tear up book on how to win with wild night in Detroit

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Luke Jones

All the details seemed to be pointing to a valiant effort but a disappointing loss for the Ravens to the Detroit Lions on Monday night.

The offense was 0-for-3 inside the red zone in the first half and could only muster field goals in trying to go toe to toe with the league’s second-ranked offense, leaving the Ravens defense with little breathing room before it finally buckled and gave up a go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown as it has on more than a few occasions this season.

A last-minute drive orchestrated by a gimpy Joe Flacco moved the Ravens to the Detroit 45 before they inexplicably handed the ball to Ray Rice for a 2-yard gain on third-and-10 and called timeout with 43 seconds remaining. Already 5-for-5 on field goals for the night, Justin Tucker trotted onto the field to attempt a 61-yarder to put the Ravens ahead 18-16.

Really? They couldn’t be serious, right?

John Harbaugh explained after the game that his second-year kicker had told him he would be successful kicking a field goal from that great distance before the Ravens called for the unorthodox run to Rice on third-and-10. The coach would have justifiably faced weeks — and likely an entire offseason — of criticism and second-guessing had Tucker not made the longest kick in franchise history to give the Ravens their fourth consecutive win to improve to 8-6 and retake their current spot as the No. 6 seed in the AFC.

Having faith in your players is one thing, but to willingly attempt the third-longest field goal to win a game in NFL history — and to have made up your mind to do it a play earlier — bordered on lunacy.

Yet it worked.

Of course, much has failed to make sense for these Ravens over the last calendar year except the all-too-familiar outcome of winning when it matters most.

They can thank their 24-year-old kicker who is already entering the previously-unspoken territory of comparisons to Matt Stover, a Ring of Honor member and one of the most beloved players in franchise history. Even the great Stover never had a night like Tucker had Monday in booting a franchise-record six field goals — three from 49 yards or longer — and providing one of the wildest finishes in franchise history.

Tucker has now made 33 straight field goal tries — three shy of Stover’s team record — and his 61-yard field goal to win the game was the longest ever made in a dome and only the 14th of 60 or more yards in NFL history.

The discussion centered around a kicker being a team’s most valuable player is typically absurd when acknowledging how few plays in which he’s actually involved over the course of a game, but it’s impossible to overlook how important Tucker has been for the Ravens as they’ve battled offensive inconsistency all year. Teams never want to settle for field goals in lieu of touchdowns, but a guaranteed three points is wholly valuable with an above-average defense that put forth an exceptional effort against All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the high-octane Detroit offense on Monday.

Yes, the Ravens collected another win that could only leave you scratching your head and asking how they did it at the end of the night, but that’s nothing new with Harbaugh’s team.

There is still plenty of work remaining as the Ravens return home to face Tom Brady and New England on Sunday before a potential Week 17 trip to Cincinnati for the AFC North title if they can win their fifth straight in Week 16 against the Patriots.

Baltimore is healthy and appearing poised to make a run once again if they can complete the difficult task of overcoming a 4-6 start to make the postseason for the sixth consecutive year.

But perhaps the best quality the Ravens have is their faith in one another as Harbaugh inexplicably showed in his young kicker to make one of the longest kicks in league history to win a game they desperately needed. It didn’t make sense in the seconds leading up to the try and left you still shaking your head after the ball sailed between the uprights at Ford Field.

The Ravens failed to score a touchdown against the Lions and have gone 4-for-14 inside the red zone over their last four games. The defense once again played well before surrendering a late-game touchdown that threatened to doom them for the third straight week.

And, still, Baltimore has won in each of the last four weeks despite their imperfections and shortcomings.

The Ravens certainly went against the book on how to beat a quality team on the road Monday night as Tucker did his best to earn a key to the city. Even so, the Ravens won’t and shouldn’t apologize for the win, either.

They’ve shown time after time that the unconventional works perfectly for them.

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Our Ravens/Lions “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Creative Deck Designs Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 18-16 victory over the Detroit Lions Monday night at Ford Field…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Dean Pees

4. Daryl Smith

3. Jacoby Jones

2. Joe Flacco

1. Jimmy Smith (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens-Lions: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 16 December 2013 by Luke Jones

Trying to stay on pace in the playoff race and keep their AFC North title hopes alive, the Ravens travel to Ford Field in Detroit to take on the Lions, who are pressed with high stakes of their own in a tight NFC North division battle with Chicago and Green Bay.

A win puts the Ravens back into a tie with Miami, who entered Monday as the No. 6 seed in the conference by way of an 8-6 record, but Baltimore holds the head-to-head tiebreaker due to a Week 5 win over the Dolphins. With Cincinnati falling in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, the Ravens also know they can win their third straight division title if they’re able to win their final three games to close out the regular season.

As expected, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is active and will play against the Lions after missing his first game of the season last week against Minnesota. The rush specialist suffered a left ankle injury in the Thanksgiving night win over the Steelers and will be expected to provide pressure on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and a potent passing attack.

Veteran tight end Dallas Clark is active this week after sitting out against Minnesota in Dennis Pitta’s return to action. Second-year wideout Deonte Thompson continues to be inactive despite the season-ending injury suffered by veteran slot receiver Brandon Stokley last week.

Lions running back Reggie Bush is active and will make the start after missing last week’s game due to a calf injury suffered in pre-game warmups in Philadelphia. The veteran provides a dangerous pass-catching option out of the backfield for Stafford to complement All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is also active despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week while nursing a shoulder injury.

The Lions will be short in the secondary Monday night as starting cornerback Chris Houston is out with a toe injury and backup corner Darius Slay is also inactive. Jonte Green will start in Houston’s place against the Ravens.

The Ravens are playing indoors for the first time since prevailing in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, and it’s a welcome development for a team that’s played in harsh weather conditions over the last six weeks that have brought major challenges to both the passing and kicking games. Baltimore is also playing its first Monday night game since last year’s season opener against the Bengals.

Baltimore leads the all-time series against the Lions by a 2-1 margin but lost its only other appearance at Ford Field in 2005, a 35-17 final that included a franchise-record 21 penalties and two player ejections. The Ravens won the last meeting between these teams in 2009 in a convincing 48-3 final at M&T Bank Stadium.

The referee for Monday night’s game will be Carl Cheffers.

The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants while Detroit dons its blue jerseys with silver pants.

Here are Monday night’s inactives:

S Brynden Trawick
S Omar Brown
RB Bernard Scott
C Ryan Jensen
WR Deonte Thompson
OLB John Simon
DT Brandon Williams

CB Chris Houston
CB Darius Slay
QB Kellen Moore
RB Mikel Leshoure
G Rodney Austin
G Leroy Harris
OT Jason Fox

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the evening for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio brings live coverage from Ford Field in Detroit.

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Ravens-Lions: Five predictions for Monday night

Posted on 15 December 2013 by Luke Jones

Playing on the road for the first time in nearly a month, the Ravens know exactly what’s at stake when they travel to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions on Monday night.

A three-game winning streak has pushed Baltimore above the .500 mark for the first time since October, but a 1-5 road record can’t be overlooked as the Ravens play two of their final three away from M&T Bank Stadium against first-place teams. And with Miami and San Diego also hanging around in the AFC wild-card picture, the margin for error is small.

The Ravens have the clear advantage with health as linebacker Elvis Dumervil was the only player of real consequence listed as questionable and the rush specialist is expected to make his return after missing last week’s game against Minnesota with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, the Lions have three starters listed as questionable or worse on the final injury report of the week.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens aim to improve to two games above .500 for the first time all season. Monday night marks the fourth time these teams have ever met with the Ravens holding a 2-1 all-time advantage. Detroit won the only meeting between the teams at Ford Field, a 35-17 final back in 2005.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to maintain their grip on the No. 6 seed in the conference playoff race …

1. Facing a banged-up and below-average secondary, Torrey Smith finds room down the field for a long touchdown. The Lions will be without starting cornerback Chris Houston and rookie backup Darius Slay while starting free safety Louis Delmas missed two practices this week with a knee injury, leaving Detroit’s 25th-ranked pass defense even more vulnerable than normal. Smith has been held to just nine receptions over the last three games, but the return of tight end Dennis Pitta and the recent emergence of Jacoby Jones alleviates the heavy attention he was facing earlier in the season. This will free him up to slip past the secondary for a deep touchdown on Monday night, which will put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his three-year career.

2. Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson will go over 100 yards receiving and catch a touchdown over safety Matt Elam in deep coverage. The rookie’s comments questioning Johnson’s age and physicality earlier in the week were foolish, but the league’s best wideout was already motivated with the Lions fighting Chicago and Green Bay for the NFC North title. Elam has been a disappointment in pass coverage — recording just two pass breakups — as he’s played out of position all season and his small frame doesn’t play well against Johnson if he’s asked to provide help over the top. Cornerback Jimmy Smith has received most of the attention in terms of who will cover Johnson, but the Ravens rarely ever flip their corners and will likely try to offer as many different looks as they can in coverage. It won’t matter as Johnson will still get his yards and a score on Monday.

3. Linebacker Terrell Suggs will collect his first sack since Nov. 3, but the Ravens won’t generate much pressure on Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions have only allowed 15 sacks this season, which is a major reason why Stafford has remained healthy and is 24 yards shy of his third consecutive 4,000-yard season. Baltimore hasn’t collected a sack since Week 12, but blitzing will leave the defense vulnerable underneath against running back Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield, leaving defensive coordinator Dean Pees in a difficult position. Suggs will beat left tackle Riley Reiff for a sack in the first half and Dumervil’s return will help, but Stafford’s quick release and the Ravens’ concern with Bush and fellow back Joique Bell catching passes out of the backfield will lead to another week of underwhelming pressure.

4. Joe Flacco will roll out and move from the pocket by design to neutralize the Lions’ interior pressure to throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns. The presence of defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley is a major concern for the Ravens as Flacco will need time in the pocket to step up and go vertical to test a poor secondary. Even if right guard Marshal Yanda and center Gino Gradkowski can hold their own against Suh, Fairley is likely to give A.Q. Shipley fits, which will prompt offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to use designed roll-outs and waggles for Flacco to move outside the pocket. Flacco has shown that he can throw effectively on the run and Pitta’s presence will help in that regard with intermediate passes to move the chains. Detroit’s defensive line is too strong to try to play straight up in the passing game, so the Ravens will try to get Flacco in space behind the line of scrimmage.

5. Struggling at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, the Ravens can’t quite keep up in a 27-20 final to Detroit. Most attention has fallen on the likes of Johnson, Stafford, and Bush this week, but the Ravens’ running game and pass rush do not match up well against the Lions, which will be the difference in a game in which points could come liberally for both sides. Baltimore will not be able to find space against the league’s sixth-ranked run defense, putting everything on Flacco’s throwing arm, but the passing game just hasn’t had a consistent 60 minutes of play all season long and that will catch up with them late in a back-and-forth game. With the Ravens unable to pressure Stafford, the Lions will just be too tough to stop as a late score against a defense that’s been unable to finish will be the difference in an entertaining contest.

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