Tag Archive | "matt lawrence"

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Ravens 10-Pack: Baltimore feeling Super at 4-1

Posted on 12 October 2010 by Luke Jones

Even with the daunting task of traveling to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots this Sunday, you have to feel good about the Ravens’ 4-1 start and the early lead atop the AFC North with the first month of the season already in the books.

With three of the first four on the road (two of them division games), you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought the Ravens would fare better than they have after road victories against the Jets and Steelers. And when you take a look around the rest of the league, the Ravens’ accomplishments look even more impressive.

Parity is a word all-too-familiar to NFL fans, but the notion seemed to be waning over the last few seasons with the regular-season success of the 2007 Patriots and extended runs at perfection by the Colts and Saints last year. However, with the 1972 Dolphins uncorking the champagne before Columbus Day — with no 4-0 teams in the NFL since 1970 — and only eight teams sporting one loss through the first five weeks of the season, 2010 appears up for grabs in mid-October.

Are the Ravens the best team in the NFL?

Being this early, who cares? But it’s difficult to argue any team has looked better than Baltimore.

If the Ravens can beat New England (3-1), it will mark just the second 5-1 start in franchise history, the other coming in the 2000 season.

However, for some perspective, at the time of the 5-1 start, Tony Banks was the starting quarterback and the Ravens had just won their second straight game without scoring a touchdown.

Things changed very quickly — in a bad way — before a historic run began and Trent Dilfer and the Ravens found themselves holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of January.

1. Since taking over as head coach in 2008, John Harbaugh has shown the uncanny ability to take care of business against inferior teams, home or away.

In 37 regular season games under Harbaugh, the Ravens have never lost to a team that finished the season with a losing record. As unimpressive as that might sound to the casual observer, you’ll find a “bad” loss by a playoff-caliber team nearly every week in the NFL.

Of course, the opposite argument can be made that the Ravens have fallen short too many times against quality opponents — especially last season when they struggled to get to the playoffs at 9-7 — but winning the games you’re supposed to win and holding your own against winning teams will put you in an enviable position.

The postseason.

Time will determine whether their Week 2 loss in Cincinnati breaks the string, but the Harbaugh-led Ravens have managed to avoid the unwarranted defeats the team suffered in previous seasons.

2. All eyes will be on Bill Belichick and the Patriots in their first game since trading disgruntled receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings and re-acquiring former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. The removal of Moss will undoubtedly impact the New England offense, but how much?

Expect a little gadgetry on Sunday as Tom Brady deciphers where everyone fits in the post-Moss era.

Of course, Belichick had an extra week to figure it out with the Patriots’ Week 5 bye, and his record in New England coming off the bye week is an impressive 8-2, including seven straight wins. But before we write off the Ravens at Gillette Stadium and bow to the genius of Belichick, we should remember that four of the last six have come against the Buffalo Bills.

Not to belittle an impressive feat, but game-planning against a team led in recent years by the likes of Dick Jauron and Mike Mularkey is a bit easier than facing the team that blasted you in the playoffs just nine months ago.

In the Harbaugh era, the Ravens are 2-1 when playing teams coming off their bye week. All three games were last season, which included wins against Cleveland and Denver as well as a road loss to Cincinnati.

3. Putting aside the obvious threat of Brady to Wes Welker, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s biggest concern might be a pair of rookie tight ends.

Through the Patriots’ first four games, Welker leads the team in receptions (26), but not receiving yards. That distinction belongs to Aaron Hernandez (18 catches for 240 yards) despite being the second tight end drafted (fourth round) by New England in April. Rob Gronkowski, a second-round selection, has posted modest numbers (six catches for 62 yards) but was an impressive talent eyed by the Ravens leading up to the draft.

The Ravens have struggled covering the intermediate middle of the field in recent years, so the inside linebacker corps of Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, and Dannell Ellerbe will need to keep a close eye on these rookie targets.

4. As much as we lamented the absence of Matt Stover a season ago, let’s tip our caps to Billy Cundiff. His ability to boot the football deep into the end zone on kickoffs is an underappreciated factor in the Ravens being 4-1.

His four touchbacks against the Broncos on Sunday matched the total number by Baltimore kickers all of last year.

Whispers of Stover will not dissipate — if they ever do — until we see Cundiff make a 47-yarder to win a late-season game, but the distinct upgrade on kickoffs cannot be overlooked.

As great as Stover was with the game on the line, fans easily forget his kickoffs barely traveling inside the 10-yard line, often setting up the opponent with good field position.

5. Plenty has been said about Cam Cameron’s choice to use Haloti Ngata at tight end on Sunday’s opening drive and the near-disaster that followed with the defensive tackle down on the field.

I offer you three names: James Jones (1996), Herman Arvie (1996), and Jonathan Ogden (1996 and 2003), three linemen who all registered touchdown catches with the Ravens.

The difference in this case? Cameron and Harbaugh have too many offensive weapons at their disposal to risk losing one of the greatest defensive players in the game today. Why spend draft picks on two tight ends to complement Todd Heap and then risk your best defensive player trying to be too cute?

Ngata playing offense was a fun spectacle until we saw what nearly happened with the Ravens’ season flashing before the eyes of 71,000 people at M&T Bank Stadium.

Lesson learned — hopefully.

6. It was natural for questions to arise whether the Ravens had any interest in bringing back Antwan Barnes after he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but  Harbaugh promptly shot down the idea on Monday. (Update: Barnes signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday afternoon)

In three years with the Ravens, the linebacker-defensive end managed only five sacks and sealed his fate last October when he whiffed on a tackle of Cedric Benson that led to a 28-yard touchdown run and an eventual loss to the Bengals.

Barnes is too small to provide help at defensive end, where the Ravens need a consistent pass-rush threat, and not athletic enough to play linebacker on every down. If they didn’t want him before the season, what would have changed a month later?

“I haven’t had a conversation with him,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “We don’t really have a roster opportunity right now for that. We wouldn’t be opposed to it. Antwan’s a good person, a good player. Obviously, he’s done some good things here. But, right now, there’s no way roster-wise we could pull that off.”

In other words, “Thanks, but no thanks — we’ve moved on.”

7. If all goes to plan and you believe the recent comments made by Harbaugh, Sunday will mark the final game before All-Pro safety Ed Reed returns to the 53-man roster after beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list.

During training camp, I said Tom Zbikowski would do an adequate job at free safety in Reed’s absence, and the third-year safety has done just that. So with the Ravens currently having the second-best pass defense in the NFL (behind only the New York Giants), the question must be asked:

How well will Reed fit into the secondary when he returns to the starting lineup?

The Baltimore defense no longer plays the exotic, aggressive schemes of Rex Ryan, but employs a conservative, “bend, but don’t break” style under Mattison. Reed has always gambled in the defensive backfield, at times leaving teammates out to dry in coverage while also making some of the greatest plays in NFL history.

With the 32-year-old returning from hip surgery, it will be interesting to see whether Reed takes a more conservative approach in coverage or returns with a bigger chip on his shoulder to prove he’s still one of the best defensive players in the league and deserving of the new contract he so desperately wants. If Reed proves to be a lesser player than he was prior to the hip procedure but plays with the same aggressive style, the secondary could be more vulnerable to the big play.

That said, it is hard to doubt a player who will one day be enshrined in Canton.

8. Speaking of injured players, you have to wonder how long the Ravens will continue to wait for Jared Gaither to return. Other than being a limited participant in one practice a couple weeks ago, the offensive tackle has been out with a thoracic disc injury since training camp.

With roster decisions looming with Reed and fellow PUP list members Brendon Ayanbadejo and Matt Lawrence, Ozzie Newsome and Harbaugh may need to pull the plug on the projected starter at right tackle.

The improved play of Marshal Yanda at right tackle and Chris Chester at right guard has eased concerns on the right side of the line. Cohesion upfront is difficult to develop, so Gaither’s potential return would require another period of adjustment, something the coaching staff might be uncomfortable with later in the season.

Keep in mind, Gaither has not played right tackle regularly since the early part of his collegiate career at Maryland, so this isn’t a savvy veteran who can step right in to his regular position when healthy.

If Gaither does not make significant progress by the bye week, his season will likely come to a disappointing end.

9. Much has been said about the return of the three-headed running attack and the 2008-like feel to Sunday’s win over the Broncos, but don’t expect it to last.

Like it or not, the Ravens’ current profile is a pass-first team that runs the ball efficiently. The dominating 233-yard rushing performance against Denver was more the effect of a comfortable lead than some epiphany for Cameron.

Of Joe Flacco’s 97 completions through five games, 50 have been for under 10 yards, looking a little like the “running” game of the Patriots with Brady under helm. However, his 6.6 yards per attempt (the lowest of his career) needs to increase for the offense to continue growing.

Despite the profile change — which really began last season — the ability to pound the football looms large when the elements grow harsh, and the Ravens will use it when appropriate.

10. Ranking 19th in the league in total offense (328.2 yards per game) and tied for 17th in points scored (18.4 per game), the Baltimore offense has room for improvement with Cameron and Flacco trying to distribute the ball to keep a plethora of talented players — and egos — happy.

As well as the defense has played, it hasn’t done its counterpart any favors in the turnover department with only three takeaways and a -6 turnover differential, both last in the AFC.

Nothing gives an offense more confidence than starting drives on a short field, and a few more turnovers might be the serum the offense needs to excel. Fortunately, the defense and kick coverage has played well enough to win the field-position battle in most instances, but the turnover differential must improve if the Ravens are to take a step toward elitism, offensively and as a team.

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Live From Owings Mills: John Harbaugh’s Weekly Press Conference

Posted on 11 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (4-1) returned to work Monday at 1 Winning Drive after an impressive 31-17 win over the Denver Broncos Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Head Coach John Harbaugh addressed the media as the team shifted focus from their big win over the Broncos to their impending Week 6 trip to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots (3-1) at Gillette Stadium. Here are some of the highlights from Harbaugh’s press conference…

-Harbaugh offered little new information when it comes to CB Josh Wilson, who injured his hamstring on Brandon Lloyd’s second TD catch Sunday. “I hope it’s a short-term injury” said the coach, adding “it’s not a major hamstring pull or anything like that.” Harbaugh also touched on the decision to switch from RB Jalen Parmele to Wilson at Kick Return, saying “we’ll just see going forward” who is the returner. Harbaugh added “I think both of those guys have done a good job and we’re just looking for a big play.”

-Harbaugh all but dismissed the chances of the Ravens re-signing LB Antwan Barnes, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday. “I haven’t had a conversation with (Barnes)” said Harbaugh. “We don’t really have a roster opportunity right now for that. (I) wouldn’t be opposed to it-Antwan’s a good person, a good player, and obviously has done some good things here-but right now there’s no way roster-wise that we could pull that off.” The Ravens traded Barnes to Philly on September 4th for a conditional pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Eagles are believed to be interested in bring Barnes back to the roster this week, similar to the move the Ravens attempted to pull off with DE Trevor Pryce two weeks ago before he was signed by the New York Jets.

-Harbaugh admitted that the potential returns of S Ed Reed, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo and RB Matt Lawrence from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list following the Week 6 game against the Pats will have to factor into the team’s decision process with OT Jared Gaither, who has first the first five weeks of the season with a back injury. Harbaugh acknowledged “the season is only 16 weeks, so obviously at some point in time we have to make a decision.” Harbaugh also reiterated that Gaither “is a really good player” and “a quality offensive tackle” who “can make our team better.” Harbaugh said he had a lengthy conversation with Gaither last Friday, but doctors have not come to an agreement about exactly what Gaither is dealing with. Harbaugh said “there’s a chance (Gaither) could get back sometime in the next few weeks.”

-Harbaugh offered praise and criticism for rookie TE Ed Dickson, who lead the team in receiving Sunday with 58 yards despite making just one catch. “He was on the field quite a bit (Sunday) and did some pretty good things blocking” said Harbaugh. “He had the holding penalty, he was disappointed with that-as was I.” Harbaugh admitted “it’s our job to get him on the field more. Here’s a guy that’s got ability, he’s worked really hard, he’s very dangerous in the passing game. We need to try to get him out there more and more.”

NOTES: Hear Harbaugh’s press conference NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Dickson joined Drew Forrester Monday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; that chat is also available now in the Audio Vault……the Ravens are off Tuesday (the NFL’s mandatory day off), they will return to the practice field Wednesday in Owings Mills.

-G

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

The preseason is over and the Baltimore Ravens face a Saturday deadline to trim their roster to 53 players.

I said this after the loss to the St. Louis Rams was over, but it bears repeating. I have AGONIZED over putting together an only somewhat educated MOCK roster. I can’t IMAGINE how Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta and George Kokinis are handling it.

Here’s what I said the first time I made this list…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

Here’s my final Mock 53…

1. QB Joe Flacco
flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. WR Anquan Boldin
4. DT Haloti Ngata
5. LB Ray Lewis
6. OT Michael Oher
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs

No changes in this group. The Ravens hope they all remain in the Top 10 this season.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. DE Trevor Pryce
pryce
13. DL Cory Redding
14. CB Fabian Washington
15. FB Le’Ron McClain
16. OL Marshal Yanda
17. C Matt Birk
18. S Dawan Landry
19. S Tom Zbikowski
20. CB Josh Wilson

Former Maryland Terrapins CB Josh Wilson joins this group, as he’ll immediately be expected to make an impact at CB and possibly on Special Teams as well. He might not start against the New York Jets on September 13, but expect him to be on the field.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. P Sam Koch
koch
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. DT Kelly Gregg
25. S Haruki Nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. TE Ed Dickson
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. RB Willis McGahee

It’s a shame only one AFC punter can make the Pro Bowl, as Shane Lechler has sorta locked down the spot in recent years. Koch looks like he might be the type of player who could put together a season worthy of a trip to Hawaii.

31. OT Jared Gaither
gaither
32. DT Terrence Cody
33. LB Jameel McClain
34. LB Dannell Ellerbe
35. LB Tavares Gooden
36. LB Antwan Barnes
37. OL Tony Moll
38. RB Jalen Parmele
39. TE Dennis Pitta
40. DE Paul Kruger

Terrence Cody and Jared Gaither have both dropped, only because neither have been on the field. At this point, we can’t really expect either to be on the field at the Meadowlands for the Monday Night Football opener. When they get healthy, expect them both to climb.

41. DT Brandon McKinney
42. LS Morgan Cox
morgancox
43. DT Kelly Talavou
44. OT Oniel Cousins
45. K Shayne Graham
46. WR Demetrius Williams
47. QB Troy Smith
48. LB Prescott Burgess
49. WR Marcus Smith
50. S/CB KJ Gerard
51. DT Arthur Jones
52. WR David Reed
53. WR Donte’ Stallworth* (Will miss first 8 weeks of season with broken foot)

I think Shayne Graham’s experience gets him on the roster, but I’m 51-49 towards him at this point over Billy Cundiff. Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith and David Reed are all on my roster-but seven receivers seems like an awful lot. Smith or Reed would be the odd man out if necessary. I think Troy Smith makes the roster. Not because teams HAVE to keep three quarterbacks, but because I think he’s a better player than Ken Hamlin, Travis Fisher or Prince Miller (to name a few). Prescott Burgess beats out Jason Phillips and Edgar Jones, Arthur Jones beats out Lamar Divens for the final spots on the roster in my book.

54. CB Cary Williams* (Suspended for 2 weeks, does not count against roster)

(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(CB Marcus Paschal-IR)
(OL Daniel Sanders-IR)
(FB Mike McLaughlin-IR)
(LB Sergio Kindle-No contract/Expected PUP)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(RB Matt Lawrence-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(S Ed Reed-Starting season on Reserve PUP)

edreed

55. K Billy Cundiff
56. OL David Hale (Possible IR)
davidhale
57. CB Travis Fisher
58. CB Prince Miller
59. LB Edgar Jones
60. LB Jason Phillips
61. S Ken Hamlin
62. DT Lamar Divens
63. OT Ramon Harewood (possible IR)
64. TE Davon Drew
65. OT Joe Reitz
66. WR Justin Harper
67. DE Albert McClellan
68. WR Eron Riley
69. RB Curtis Steele
70. OT Stefan Rodgers
71. OL Bryan Mattison
72. CB Brad Jones
73. CB Chris Hawkins
74. OT Devin Tyler

Here’s a stab at the 10 man practice squad:
Prince Miller,  Jason Phillips, Davon Drew, Joe Reitz, Eron Riley, Curtis Steele, Albert McClellan, Brad Jones, Stefan Rodgers, Bryan Mattison

Thoughts? Concerns? Comments?

We’ll know how it all shakes out shortly.

-G

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Ed Reed to begin season on PUP, miss first 6 weeks

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Luke Jones

After months of speculation regarding his status for the start of the 2010 season, Ed Reed will be placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list, meaning the Ravens will be without their All-Pro safety for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. The decision was first reported by the NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora on Friday night.

The soon-to-be 32-year-old Reed missed all of training camp and the preseason after undergoing hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in the offseason. Despite occasionally doing agility and conditioning work in Westminster, Reed described his surgically-repaired hip as only “35 percent” in late July before training camp started.

Given the Ravens’ depth at the safety position with Tom Zbikowski performing well in Reed’s place in the preseason and reserve Haruki Nakamura also making plays in the secondary, the organization will choose the safe route despite Reed reportedly campaigning to play sooner.

“This is a slow process,” Reed told WNST.net’s Drew Forrester on The Morning Reaction in early July. “I don’t want to come back and have another injury and then be out for the whole season, maybe even a career. I’m going to take my time with this one and hope everyone can bear with me on this one, and we’ll see what happens.”

Reed injured the hip last season, forcing him to miss four games before returning to the field for the final week of the regular season and the playoffs. The safety made 50 tackles and had three interceptions in 12 games, earning his sixth invitation to the Pro Bowl.

The decision to place Reed on the reserve PUP list likely means the team will elect to keep veteran safety Ken Hamlin or young defensive back K.J. Gerard — or possibly both — to join Nakamura as the backup safeties. Zbikowski will now be expected to occupy the free safety position next to Dawan Landry in the starting lineup for at least the first six games of the season.

When placed on the reserve PUP list, a player must miss the first six weeks of the season but does not count against the 53-man roster. After this time, there is a three-week window during which the player may return to practice (without counting against the 53-man roster) and can be activated as early as Week 7. A decision must be made within the frame of the three-week period to either activate the player or keep him on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.

The earliest Reed could return would be against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 24.

Reed becomes the third player on the roster to be placed on PUP to begin the regular season, joining linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and running back Matt Lawrence, who were given the same designations earlier this week.

Injured rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle remains unsigned after fracturing his skull a few days prior to training camp. He would be eligible for the PUP list when he agrees to terms on a contract with the Ravens.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 01 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because…well it just is, damnit. And oh yeah, it’s time for me to name this week’s “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

The NEW version this week goes to Gyptian for the song “Hold Yuh.” Apparently the song’s been around for a few months, so I found out via Facebook that I’m not that hip. Like I didn’t know that before…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhT_e6D3DeA[/youtube]

The RETRO “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” is Counting Crows’ “American Girls.” What an underrated freaking song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ_MUfryl-w[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens acquire CB Josh Wilson from Seattle Seahawks for 2011 NFL Draft pick

My initial thought on the trade?

“Good move.”

That feeling hasn’t changed.

Look, Josh Wilson is NOT going to be confused for Chris McAlister (at least not Chris McAlister in his prime) at any point. But Josh Wilson has started 24 of the last 28 games in the Emerald City, and has pulled down six interceptions over the last two years.

This acquisition does a number of things for the Ravens. My guess is that the departure of Travis Fisher will come soon after. I had thought Fisher would hold a roster spot until Cary Williams was ready to return, but they don’t have to just keep him on the roster for the sake of keeping him anymore. They could still end up keeping him to have a fourth healthy corner Week 1 when the Ravens face the New York Jets, but if Lardarius Webb is ready to go they’ll already have four.

The move also frees the Ravens to consider allowing Chris Carr to return punts again. Carr was solid in the role a season ago, and is a better option right now than a banged up Mark Clayton or banged up Tom Zbikowski-who is expected to start if Ed Reed isn’t ready to go. If Carr returns punts, there would be less of a need to use a roster spot on Prince Miller-who could probably survive being exposed and end up on the practice squad.

With all of that being said, Josh Wilson is 5’9″ and is NOT a “shutdown” corner. He’s also in the final year of his contract-and given the market for decent corners, he can probably command a decent amount of money.

However, he’s been very solid in recent years and looks like he can help this team in multiple ways. I am in no ways an “everything Ozzie Newsome does is perfect” type of person, but this move looks to be very good-right in the mold of other solid moves made by the organization.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens moved Brendon Ayanbadejo, Matt Lawrence to reserve PUP

These were both expected moves as neither player had been able to do much of anything football-wise either at Training Camp in Westminster or in Owings Mills. With the team needing to get down to 75 active players, these two were totally logical choices.

You know what else is a totally logical choice? Posting this picture of Peaches Geldof, who has to be making her father (yes, the great Bob Geldof) proud. Thanks, The Grumpiest!

geldof

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Terrence Cody had knee surgery, likely to miss season opener at New York Jets

Go ahead and make your own comment about how much weight “Mount Cody”‘s knees have to hold up. That’s fine. It’s totally legitimate.

There is a real concern as to whether or not Cody will be dealing with knee issues for the rest of the year or even the rest of his career. He’s quite obviously a large man, and that’s a lot of pressure to put on that part of your body.

It’s unfortunate that the Ravens will likely be without Cody for the visit to the Meadowlands. Cody struggled in Training Camp at McDaniel College, but really seemed to turn something on under the lights when the Ravens faced the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins in the preseason. He looks like a player who is just better in games.

Without Cody, the Ravens will have to rely on whoever makes the team from Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens behind Kelly Gregg. In my most recent “Mocking the 53″ update, I had McKinney and Talavou on the good side of the bubble. It’s totally possible the team will decide to keep another D-Lineman given the injury concerns with a guy like Cody.

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Ed Reed had sit-down session with John Harbaugh, Greg Mattison, Chuck Pagano

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

-The Ravens are holding a walkthrough today before tomorrow night’s trip to St. Louis to face the Rams. The walkthrough will be closed to the media, but I will still join Thyrl Nelson at 12:50 on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” and Rex Snider at 4:30 on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview tomorrow night’s game.

-We found out more and more yesterday just how many vets won’t take the field at Edward Jones Dome. Clearly there will be no Joe Flacco, and don’t expect to see Marc Bulger either. Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Todd Heap, Michael Oher, Matt Birk, Marshal Yanda, Ben Grubbs, Haloti Ngata, Trevor Pryce, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain are all guys I wouldn’t expect to see either. Probably even more than that.

5. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Matusz sparkled as Orioles topped Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Boy has Brian Matusz ever been really FREAKING good recently.

I know the BoSox have just about given up at this point late in the season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have real players in their lineup.

Matusz has been good recently no matter who the opposition was.

If this is shaping up for Matusz to become the STELLAR young starting pitcher so many folks were hoping he would, the O’s will be in a much better place as an organization.

But with that being said, they still need to go get a real front of the rotation-type starter this offseason to match Matusz and Jeremy Guthrie. If Andy MacPhail does that, everything changes in Charm City.

That’s a big “if.”

6. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Matusz’s line: 6IP, 2ER, 6H, BB, 6K

Luke Scott added his 26th home run of the season (as well as a 2nd RBI and a 2nd run scored) and Felix Pie hit his 5th home run as well. Nick Markakis crushed his 40th double of the season (giving him four 40 double seasons for his career) and Brian Roberts went 2-4 and scored a run as well.

The numbers are good. Go look at them. When you get back, Nina Senicar will be waiting for you with a photo from GQ in Italy. Thanks, Guyism!

Nina

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Brandon Snyder, Robert Andino, Nolan Reimold to be part of September callups for Birds

It is also widely speculated that Chris Tillman will be part up callups, we’ll get back to him shortly.

After struggling for the better part of the season, it is good to see that Brandon Snyder is going to get a shot at the Major League Level. By no means do I believe he should be penciled in to play 1B next season, but it will be interesting to see what he has to offer.

I have a nightmare that keeps playing out in my head. The nightmare is that the Orioles report to Sarasota for Spring Training with the plan to platoon Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold in LF.

I PRAY that isn’t the case.

8. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Tillman shined for Norfolk Tides, Manny Machado picked up RBI double for Aberdeen Ironbirds on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things…

-The O’s are back in action tonight against the Sawx, with Jon Lester facing Jake Arrieta. First pitch at OPACY is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Did you miss Bowie Baysox pitcher Eddie Gamboa this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Arnold Palmer-who teamed up with Fred Mills Wednesday morning to talk golf and prostate health with Drew
  • Jon Saraceno (USA Today)-who talked about Rex Ryan and the Jets with Drew Wednesday as well

Plus PLENTY more. It’s all in the Audio Vault, make sure you check it out today. I keep doing so much for you…

9. Washington Post’s Liz Clarke says Ellicott City’s Beatrice Capra beat Karolina Sprem at U.S. Open

This is awesome. In fact, it’s even more awesome because Pam Shriver was talking about it last night during the Caroline Wozniacki match. Much love for tennis in the greater Baltimore area.

Also awesome? The text message Boomer Sooner sent me last night…

“How am I supposed to get anything done when this unseeded dude is forcing Rafael Nadal into tiebreaks?”

I’ll admit it. It took EVERYTHING inside of me to not respond; “Marry me.”

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Travis Baltz could be forced into kicking duties for injured Nick Ferrara when Maryland plays Navy Monday

Nick Ferrara did a good job punting for the Terps when Travis Baltz was hurt last year.

With that said, I have NO interest in seeing Travis Baltz try to kick field goals for the Terrapins this year.

I however DO have an interest in seeing as much of Phuong Nguyen as possible. Thanks, The Smoking Jacket!

nguyen

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’m headed to Timonium Friday for the Maryland State Fair, but before that I made a pit stop this weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival down in Annapolis…or Crownsville…or whatever the hell that town is called. It was AWESOME.

They have ice cream in cantaloupe bowls…

cantaloupe

Octoberfest in tankards…

octoberfest

Games I have no idea how to play…

games

And I found a new calling as an axe thrower!

axe

In a word…GLORIOUS.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Live From Owings Mills Update: Ravens Move Lawrence, Ayanbadejo to Reserve PUP; Cody Has Knee Surgery

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ahead of Tuesday’s 4pm deadline, the Baltimore Ravens have made the necessary moves to get their roster down to the necessary 75 active players. All NFL teams face a 4pm deadline Tuesday to make similar moves.

GM Ozzie Newsome announced the team moved LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (quad) and RB Matt Lawrence (knee) from the Training Camp “Active” Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to the regular season “Reserve” PUP list. The moves mean both players will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. After Week 6, the Ravens will have three weeks to decide whether or not to activate the players.

Neither move comes as much of a surprise. Coach John Harbaugh told the media last week he was “less convinced” Ayanbadejo would be ready to go after suffering a torn quad in last season’s Week 4 loss to the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Ayanbadejo confirmed Harbaugh’s concerns, telling WNST.net he would “most likely” start the season on the PUP list. Lawrence had not participated at all since being placed on Injured Reserve last November with a knee injury.

Harbaugh said Tuesday that both players were “just not ready yet.” He expressed disappointment, saying “those guys were guys that we really thought at one point in time originally that they’d be ready for minicamp and for OTA’s. They have just not responded as well as we’d hoped to the treatment.”

Harbaugh reminded that the season wasn’t over for either playing, noting “there’s still a process, it’s just slower. We’ll be working those guys for the next number of weeks. Hopefully after six weeks we’ll get a chance to practice with them, and we’ll figure out if they can go at some time-we’ll have to decide at that point.”

Neither player will be eligible to practice during the first six weeks of the season, but can participate in team meetings and other functions around the 1 Winning Drive facility. They can practice for up to 21 days following Week 6 before the team must make a final decision.

On Monday, the Ravens had trimmed their active roster by three players. OL Daniel Sanders and CB Marcus Paschal were placed on IR, while CB Doug Dutch was released. The team now has until Saturday to trim the roster to 53 active players. Only S Ed Reed (hip/groin) remains on the Active PUP list.

KNEE SURGERY FOR CODY:
Terrence Cody has missed the last week of practice with a knee injury, and on Tuesday Harbaugh admitted the Ravens’ 2nd round pick in this year’s NFL Draft had recent knee surgery.

“Terrence had surgery on Tuesday” said the coach. “He’s got a little bit of a tear in his lateral meniscus and he had a loose body floating around in there. They were trying to manage it and there was getting to be a bit of swelling and they finally figured out what it was.”

Cody will be forced to miss more practice time, and the injury could affect his status for the season opener. “That’s a two week deal” said Harbaugh. “There’s a chance he could be back for the opener against the Jets. Or with a bigger guy, sometimes it takes a little longer.”

Harbaugh pointed out that the Ravens are in good shape as they have solid depth on the offensive line. The Ravens will be able to rotate Brandon McKinney, Kelly Talavou, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens Thursday night when they play the St. Louis Rams. Should Cody miss the game in New York, McKinney would be likely to benefit from extra playing time.

Cody was not available Tuesday to discuss the surgery.

A CHANCE REED COULD PLAY: Harbaugh was asked  Tuesday if there was “a possibility” Reed could play in the Monday Night Football opener despite missing the entire preseason.

“I think that’s a possibility” responded Harbaugh. “The determining factor is going to be ‘what’s best for him’…there’s no way we’re going to rush him back.” Harbaugh added “he’s gonna want to come back as soon as he can. But he’s also been in this thing long enough to understand (he’s) gotta do it the right way.”

Reed has been around the facility this week but has denied interview requests. He was seen on field during practice Tuesday, but was in street clothes and remains on the PUP list. Harbaugh said he and Ed met with GM Ozzie Newsome, Secondary Coach Chuck Pagano and Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison Monday, but he has no inclination as to whether or not he will be on the active roster.

NOTES: Harbaugh said safety Tom Zbikowski didn’t practice Tuesday morning due to a “thigh bruise.” It is not believed to be a serious injury……With Donte’ Stallworth , Mark Clayton hurt and Zbikowski now hurt, CB Prince Miller is expected to the majority of punt returns Thursday night. Harbaugh said it is a “great opportunity” for Miller to try to make the roster, Miller said he wants to show that he “can make some things happen” as a returner……When asked if backup QB Marc Bulger would play Thursday night, Harbaugh said “I don’t know…we’re not going to play a lot of guys”……Hear from Harbaugh, Miller, OL David Hale, WR Derrick Mason and K Billy Cundiff now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……P Sam Koch is scheduled to join Drew Forrester Wednesday morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Must Trim Roster to 75 Today

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (and all other NFL teams) face a 4pm deadline Tuesday by which they must have their preseason roster down to 75 players.

The Ravens currently have 77 active players on their roster. 74 are actively participating, three are on the “Active” Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list (they also have three players on IR and one player who remains unsigned). The team will decide today how they want to get down to that number, and they have a few options by which to do it.

The three players currently on the Active PUP list are S Ed Reed, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo and RB Matt Lawrence. Ayanbadejo said last week he was “most likely” headed to the Reserve PUP list to start the season. Should the Ravens move Ayanbadejo to that list, he would be forced to miss the first six weeks of the season. It would also fill the need for one of the “cuts” the team has to make today. Lawrence is expected to either be placed on the Reserve PUP list or released. Should that happen today, that would also fill the need for one of the “cuts” the team must make. Reed was originally believed to be Reserve PUP-bound, but has been at the 1 Winning Drive facility doing work recently, and could end up finding himself on the active roster starting Week 1 when the Ravens visit the New York Jets.

Should the Ravens make a move with just one or neither or those players, they would then need to cut another player from the roster. OT Stefan Rodgers did not participate in the portion of practice open to media Tuesday morning, and could be a candidate to be released. Coach John Harbaugh had said yesterday the team was going to get to the roster limit with “injury settlement” decisions, and some “fringe” players have battled injuries. WR Eron Riley has been hampered by a back injury recently, S/CB KJ Gerard has been dealing with hamstring trouble. OT Ramon Harewood has been healthy for the majority of Training Camp and the preseason, but an offseason knee injury could end up landing him on Injured Reserve (IR).

It is worth noting that whatever roster moves are made, the team will have to at least consider their roster needs for Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome. With OT’s Jared Gaither and Oniel Cousins hurt, the team could use depth at the position for the game.

Following today’s roster moves, the team must make additional moves Saturday to trim the roster from 75 to 53 players. The Ravens trimmed from 80 to 77 yesterday by releasing CB Doug Dutch and also moving CB Marcus Paschal and OL Daniel Sanders to IR.

MISSING PRACTICE: The reason for Rodgers’ absence from practice Tuesday morning is unknown. He had battled arm/shoulder trouble while the team was at McDaniel College in Westminster for Camp. Other players not participating during the portion of practice open to the media included WR Donte’ Stallworth (out 8-10 weeks with broken foot), CB Fabian Washington (ribs), OL David Hale (tailbone), Gaither (back), DT Terrence Cody (knee) and WR Mark Clayton (concussion).

FB Mike McLaughlin (hip) and Cousins (concussion) were on the field in shorts, neither were participating. S Tom Zbikowski was dressed, but was not seen doing much work.

Lawrence, Ayanbadejo and Reed were not participating as they remain on the PUP list. Reed made a rare appearance on the practice field in street clothes.

NOTES: Harbaugh is scheduled to address the media at 12pm today following practice……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough tomorrow before traveling to St. Louis for Thursday night’s game, the walkthrough is not open to the media.

-G

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Roster With One Preseason Game Left

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Mocking The 53: A Look at Ravens Roster With One Preseason Game Left

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Following a convincing win over the New York Giants Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens have just one more preseason contest to solve the final spots on their 53 man roster.

They’ll play the St. Louis Rams Thursday night at Edward Jones Dome, and a number of players will be hoping it isn’t the final time they don the purple  & black. The team will be forced to trim the roster to 53 players this Saturday.

There have been a few changes to the roster since my last “Mocking the 53″ update; with CB Doug Dutch cut and both OL Daniel Sanders and CB Marcus Paschal placed on IR. I am also going to move Cary Williams OFF the 53 (he will receive an asterisk following the 53) since he will be roster exempt during the two weeks he’s suspended. He’s on the roster, but the cuts Saturday won’t reflect that. Finally, Donte’ Stallworth moves back to the 53rd spot on the roster. He’s not the 53rd best player on the team, but since he can’t participate I won’t continue to lift him.

As a reminder of my overall philosophy in selecting these players, here is the explanation I posted before my initial mock roster…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

With that in mind, here’s how I see the Top 53 shaping up…

(Thanks to The Sun and BaltimoreRavens.com for photos.)

1. QB Joe Flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. WR Anquan Boldin
4. DT Haloti Ngata
5. LB Ray Lewis
6. OT Michael Oher
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs
grubbs

Only a few small changes to the Top 10, as I dropped Michael Oher a couple of spots. The 2nd year tackle from Ole Miss is still VERY important to this football team, and I wouldn’t be stunned at all if his 2nd season ended in a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. But he HAS struggled during the preseason, and this is simply a reflection of that. Otherwise, the top players on the team remain exactly the same.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. DE Trevor Pryce
13. DL Cory Redding
14. CB Fabian Washington
15. FB Le’Ron McClain
16. OL Marshal Yanda
17. C Matt Birk
birk
18. S Dawan Landry
19. DT Terrence Cody
20. S Tom Zbikowski

Just a couple of tweeks in this group as well. Todd Heap moves up a couple spots after his sensational performance Saturday night against the G-Men. On the flip side, Terrence Cody falls a few spots due to the knee injury that forced him to miss Saturday night and has forced him to miss about a week’s worth of practice. I still think “Mount Cody” is going to end up being VERY good, but he hasn’t been very good recently.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. P Sam Koch
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. DT Kelly Gregg
gregg
25. S Haruki Nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. TE Ed Dickson
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. OT Jared Gaither

A few movers in this group as well, including a significant move from Sam Koch. He’s looking like a real weapon for this team. His performance against the Washington Redskins would have garnered him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors if it had happened during the regular season, and he was exceptional again Saturday night against the Giants. He’s been very impressive to watch both during Training Camp practices at McDaniel College in Westminster and in practices since then at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

Jared Gaither falls a few spots as he continues to battle a back injury. At this point, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be on the field when the Ravens play the New York Jets Sept. 13 in East Rutherford to open the season. Kelly Gregg moves up a few spots, as his value to the team is heightened with Terrence Cody hurt.

31. RB Willis McGahee
32. LB Jameel McClain
33. LB Dannell Ellerbe
34. LB Tavares Gooden
35. LB Antwan Barnes
36. OL Tony Moll
moll
37. RB Jalen Parmele
38. TE Dennis Pitta
39. DE Paul Kruger
40. DT Brandon McKinney

And after the first 30 players on the roster, EVERYTHING IS TOUGH TO FIGURE OUT! Players 31-40 on this list will all make the roster, but they’ll likely fluctuate position as the season goes on.

In the never-ending saga of “As the JACK LB Turns”, the JACK LB position is turning. Sorta. Harbs said Monday that analysts shouldn’t look too much into the fact that Jameel McClain has started all three preseason games, as all three backers are likely to play roughly the same number of snaps. To some extent, I believe him. In three linebackers, the Ravens have about one complete linebacker. If only they could figure out a way to mold the three together. McClain stays ahead of the others due to the fact that he HAS been starting, but the separation he found from the others early in camp is pretty much non-existent at this point.

Tony Moll and Jalen Parmele are also risers in this group. Parmele because his job as kick returner solidifies his level of importance to the team. Moll because with Gaither and Cousins sidelined, he’s stepped in and held down the RT position admirably. In fact, he’s likely moved ahead of Cousins on the depth chart regardless of health. Should Gaither not be able to go on Monday Night Football to open the season, I would expect Moll to start regardless of health.

41. LS Morgan Cox
42. DT Kelly Talavou
43. OT Oniel Cousins
44. QB Troy Smith
45. CB Travis Fisher
46. S Ken Hamlin
47. K Shayne Graham
48. OL David Hale
49. WR Demetrius Williams
50. WR Marcus Smith
marcussmith
51. LB Jason Phillips
52. CB Prince Miller
53. WR Donte’ Stallworth*

Somewhere in this group my confidence level starts to decline a bit. I’m just not exactly sure where it is. Here’s what we know from 41-53.

At 41, Morgan Cox is the Long Snapper, he’s on the team.
At 42, Kelly Talavou appears to be ahead of Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens and comfortably on the roster. He made the roster last year, and the team has maintained faith in him.
At 43, Oniel Cousins is absolutely making the roster as long as he’s healthy. It seems as though he will be-but that’s no guarantee.
At 44, Troy Smith is the team’s 3rd quarterback. The only way he’d not be part of the 53 is if the team were to suddenly find a trade partner or decide for some reason that they don’t need to keep a 3rd quarterback. I find both to be unlikely.
At 45, Travis Fisher is on the team for now. I get the feeling that might not be the case when Cary Williams comes back.
At 46, Ken Hamlin looks like he’s safe until Ed Reed comes back. Of course, there’s a chance that will happen sooner than we thought.
At 47, I still believe Shayne Graham will win the kicking competition. However, I’ve moved him back significantly because there’s almost no difference between he and Billy Cundiff right now. If Cundiff wins, I can’t be surprised anymore. The organization had privately given the job to Graham weeks ago, but there are some factors that might have that job slipping from his grasp.
At 48, David Hale seems safe as long as he’s healthy. That’s a real question mark right now as he battles a tailbone injury. Hale had played well in Camp, and it looked like his improvement had been significant over 12 months.
At 49, Demetrius Williams moves back on the roster. The Ravens will likely want to keep a 4th receiver active with Stallworth hurt, and Williams has more experience than the others on the roster. His size also separates him from the others.
At 50, Marcus Smith is an outstanding Special Teams player. Given some of the players Jerry Rosburg’s unit is missing (including Brendon Ayanbadejo), his inclusion in the Final 53 would make almost too much sense.
At 51, I’m keeping Jason Phillips on the roster for now. Some would argue Prescott Burgess should have his spot, and he’ll have the chance to move ahead.
At 52, Donte’ Stallworth’s injury helps Prince Miller a lot. With Tom Zbikowski starting and Mark Clayton now a slot receiver (who is hurt), it is fair to expect Miller get the bulk of action at punt return this week. That could be enough to lock down a job.
At 53, Donte’ Stallworth holds a roster spot.

54. CB Cary Williams*
carywilliams
(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(CB Marcus Paschal-IR)
(OL Daniel Sanders-IR)
(S Ed Reed-Potential PUP)
(LB Sergio Kindle-Expected PUP)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(RB Matt Lawrence-Starting season on Reserve PUP)

With Ed Reed now hanging around the facility in Owings Mills, those rumblings that he’ll avoid the PUP list will get louder. With Ed, it’s hard to ever really know. Otherwise, we can be sure Brendon Ayanbadejo will start the season on PUP-and it’s safe to assume that Matt Lawrence will be PUP at best.

55. K Billy Cundiff
56. LB Prescott Burgess
57. WR David Reed
58. LB Edgar Jones
59. DT Arthur Jones
jones
60. DT Lamar Divens
61. OT Ramon Harewood
62. S/CB KJ Gerard
63. TE Davon Drew
64. OT Joe Reitz

Everyone between 55-64 has at least a CHANCE to make the final 53.

At 55, Billy Cundiff is neck and neck with Shayne Graham in the kicking competition. One of them will win.
At 56, Prescott Burgess can win a spot on the roster over the next week. His abilities on Special Teams will help him.
At 57, David Reed has played well recently-but hasn’t been outstanding for all of Camp. He’s not far from the roster, but the next week will be crucial for him.
At 58, Edgar Jones has plenty of versatility-but he hasn’t shown himself to be an exceptional OLB. Despite Sergio Kindle’s injury, he doesn’t look like he’s quite made the team yet.
At 59, Arthur Jones has a ton of upside. He also finds himself the victim of a numbers game. The Ravens might be concerned about exposing him, but it seems like he’s better suited for the practice squad.
At 60, Lamar Divens is in a very similar situation as Arthur Jones. The Ravens would hate to give up on a player that “looks like a Raven” the way Divens does, but he might not fit on the roster right now.
At 61, Ramon Harewood still looks like a very qualified candidate for IR given his knee issue just after the NFL Draft. Injuries to Gaither and Cousins could make him a roster option.
At 62, KJ Gerard has REALLY been hurt by not being on the field for stretches this preseason. The Ravens need secondary help, and he could provide it if he could stay healthy. This is a big week for him.
At 63, Davon Drew has played really well this summer. Unfortunately, there just doesn’t appear to be room for a 4th Tight End on the roster.
At 64, Joe Reitz could end up making the roster given the same injuries to Gaither and Cousins. But if I was a betting man, my money wouldn’t be on him.

65. WR Justin Harper
66. FB Mike McLaughlin
67. WR Eron Riley
riley
68. DE Albert McClellan
69. RB Curtis Steele
70. OL Bryan Mattison
71. OT Stefan Rodgers
72. CB Brad Jones
73. CB Chris Hawkins
74. OT Devin Tyler

Harper and Riley really offer something to a practice squad given their size. When the Ravens are forced to go up against taller receivers, it will help to have taller receivers to match up against in practice. Others on this list look like solid practice squad options as well-of which Curtis Steele could be one of them.

Questions? Concerns? Song requests? Let me know. I’ll post my final Mocking The 53 Friday.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Fabian Washington Battling Bruised Ribs, Team Makes Roster Moves

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens returned to the practice field Monday morning at 1 Winning Drive following their 24-10 win over the New York Giants Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

Unfortunately, not all Ravens were on the practice field during the portion of the session open to media.

CB Fabian Washington was a new addition to the list of players not present, with no known new injury. Washington returned from a torn ACL early in Training Camp, but hadn’t missed a practice in recent weeks. Via his Twitter account, Washington said “Good morning world. Another day to get better” shortly before practice began. Coach John Harbaugh told the media Washington missed practice with bruised ribs, and that the team just wanted to get him some rest.

Other Ravens not participating during the portion of practice open to the media included WR Donte’ Stallworth (broken foot-likely to miss at least 8 weeks), CB Marcus Paschal (quad), FB Mike McLaughlin (hip flexor), OL David Hale (concussion), DT Terrence Cody (knee), OT Oniel Cousins (concussion), OL Daniel Sanders (shoulder), OT Jared Gaither (back), WR Mark Clayton (concussion). Cousins was on the field in a helmet-but was wearing shorts. CB Doug Dutch was also not present with no known injury, and it was later confirmed that he had been cut.

The Ravens (and all other NFL teams) had to get down to 75 players before Tuesday’s deadline. Harbaugh said the team would get down to 75 with a “couple other injury settlement things.” Late Monday afternoon they did just that, placing Sanders and Paschal on IR.

WR Eron Riley (back), S/CB KJ Gerard (hamstring) and WR Demetrius Williams (ankle) all returned to practice Monday. S Ed Reed (hip/groin), RB Matt Lawrence (knee) and LB Brendon Ayanbadejo remain on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. LB Sergio Kindle (head) remains unsigned.

With Reed, Lawrence and Ayanbadejo not currently counting against the roster, the team is now below the 75 man limit.

HARBAUGH HONORED: Harbaugh was honored Monday by members of the U.S. Navy; as he was presented with a Cannon Shell from the U.S.S. Constitution and a flag from the U.S.S. Maryland. The Navy decided to honor Harbaugh for the commitments made to the military by the entire organization, including their annual Training Camp “Military Appreciation Day” and an upcoming military partnership they have with Under Armour.

Harbaugh was touched by the gesture and spoke on behalf of the organization, saying “we just feel so strongly about the U.S. Military.”

KICKERS STILL DEADLOCKED: When asked about the status of the kicking competition between Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff, Harbaugh responded “we don’t know yet.” He went on to add that the team likely wouldn’t make a decision until the “very last minute.”

Even Graham admitted he didn’t think there “was any unbalancing of the scales” in the competition when he met with reporters. He added that “a decision either way would be justifiable.”

Thus far in the preseason, Graham has made two of his three field goal attempts while Cundiff has connected all three of his attempts.

NOTES: When asked about CB Lardarius Webb’s status (knee) for Thursday night’s preseason finale at the Edward Jones Dome, Harbaugh said “I don’t anticipate him playing in this game.”……Reed made an appearance in the locker room Monday, but declined the opportunity to talk to reporters when approached……Hear from Harbaugh, Graham, Clayton, Webb and DL Lamar Divens NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net……WR Marcus Smith will join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST Tuesday at 6:45am……The Ravens will have just one more practice open to the media this week before their Thursday night game in St. Louis against the Rams. They will practice tomorrow morning, Wednesday’s walkthrough will be closed to the media.

-G

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Ravens-Giants Purple Haze chat now!

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Ravens-Giants Purple Haze chat now!

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Ravens will try to win their third straight preseason game this evening as they host the New York Giants at 7:30 p.m. The third preseason game is widely-regarded as the most critical of the four preseason contests, so we can expect extensive playing time for the starting units.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Glenn Clark and I are live from the press box at M&T Bank Stadium for all pre- and post-game coverage at WNST.net. We’ll have the Purple Haze chat open for business at 7:30 to talk about tonight’s preseason action, and you can expect a number of WNST.net personalities to chime in throughout the game. It’s the newest and best way to enjoy the game other than actually being at the stadium yourself!

If you haven’t done it already, remember to sign up for the WNST Text Service to receive all breaking news including injury updates prior to tonight’s game. It’s our best feature at WNST.net, and it’s free! As always, you can get the quickest updates and quips by following us on Twitter (@WNST)!

Stay right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading up to the start of the Purple Haze chat at 7:30 p.m.!

_______________________________________________

7:00 p.m. — Interestingly enough, cornerback Lardarius Webb is dressed and going through pre-game activity. He was listed as a scratch tonight, but as we saw with Chris Carr in the preseason opener against Carolina, the preseason inactive list is not official like the one we see in the regular season.

We’ll continue to monitor Webb’s status as we get closer to game time.

6:55 p.m. — The Giants have an equal number of inactive players this evening. Receiver Ramses Barden, quarterback Jim Sorgi, safety Michael Johnson, cornerback Terrell Thomas, running back D.J. Ware, cornerback Aaron Ross, tight end Travis Beckum, linebacker Chase Blackburn, center Shaun O’Hara, guard Kevin Booth, receiver Sinorice Moss, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, and defensive lineman Chris Canty will all sit out tonight’s contest against the Ravens.

Rich Seubert will slide over to center in place of O’Hara and Guy Whimper will play left guard. Defensively, Rocky Bernard will replace Canty at defensive tackle, Bruce Johnson will take Thomas’ place at cornerback, and Jonathan Goff will start at MLB. Keith Bulluck is expected to play, however.

6:35 p.m. — If you’re on the WNST Text Service, you would already know the Ravens inactive list for this evening!

Thirteen players will not play this evening, including Lardarius Webb, Jared Gaither, Terrence Cody, Oniel Cousins, Demetrius Williams, Eron Riley, Marcus Paschal, K.J. Gerard, David Hale, Daniel Sanders, and the three remaining members of the PUP List (Ed Reed, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Matt Lawrence).

Tony Moll will again be at right tackle with Gaither and Cousins sidelined, and Tom Zbikowski will receive the start at free safety with Reed still on the PUP list.

6:00 p.m. — Several players dealing with injuries were out on the field going throughout workouts earlier as we await to learn their status for tonight’s game.

Receiver Demetrius Williams was doing some agility work after not practicing the entire week. He sprained his ankle during last Saturday’s victory over the Redskins.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb was doing extensive work with secondary coach Chuck Pagano, though it is doubtful the Ravens would want Webb to play so soon after coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Receiver Eron Riley (back) was also working out on the field.

5:40 p.m. — The Ravens will try to improve their preseason mark to 3-0 and win their seventh straight preseason game. The team holds an all-time 34-23 record in preseason play and is 17-12 at home.

Tonight marks the 12th time the Giants and Ravens have met in the preseason. Baltimore holds a 6-5 series lead in the preseason. The teams last met in a preseason contest on Aug. 19, 2007, a game in which the Giants won 13-12.

5:25 p.m. — The NFL will experiment with an eighth on-field official for tonight’s game, one of four preseason games the league is using as a test study. The deep judge will not be used in the regular season and is solely intended to provide the NFL Competition Committee with video and feedback for future consideration.

The “deep judge” will be positioned in the defensive backfield, opposite the back judge on the head linesman’s side of the field. His primary job is to watch eligible receivers.

Of course, the official crews are also adjusting to the newly-positioned umpire, who is now in the offensive backfield. Umpires were previously positioned behind the defensive line but have been moved because of safety concerns after several umpires were seriously injured in recent years.

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