Tag Archive | "Matt Ryan"

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For Certain, Ravens Must Become Team That Holds Ball Last

Posted on 12 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

ATLANTA, Ga. — If you think I wasn’t tempted to write a column that came off as “I told you so”, you’re wrong.

In fairness, I DID pick the Falcons to win 24-20 and said it would be the type of game that would come right down to the final seconds before it was decided.

I’d have every right to say “you should have seen this coming.”

But if I’m being fair, I didn’t REALLY see this coming at all.

I mean, who could have ever seen the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) barely touching the ball for the majority of the first half of their 26-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons (7-2) Thursday night at the Georgia Dome?

Who could have ever seen the Ravens being forced to respond from two different 13 point deficits in the second half only to forge ahead on a TD strike from QB Joe Flacco to TE Todd Heap with 1:05 to play?

And certainly, who could have ever seen the comeback foiled by a methodical drive from Falcons QB Matt Ryan that culminated in a 33 yard TD toss to WR Roddy White?

I mean, I guess the script could have been written in a SIMILAR way, but not that exact way.

It’s funny, because the first “parting thought” that came to my mind as the game was ending was one that I shared via Twitter (you can follow @WNST to see my thoughts on Twitter). I said “Everyone wants someone to blame for a loss. I think I’ll blame Matt Ryan and Roddy White.”

And while it wasn’t the FINAL thought that came to me, I still stand by that. Sometimes good teams just lose to other good teams on the road. The Ravens are a good team (they don’t need me to apologize for them, they’ve proven how good they are throughout the season); but the Falcons are a good team too. And they played at home.

As Ravens RB Ray Rice said postgame “that’s the NFL.”

But even that wasn’t really the most important takeaway I had after the game.

The most important takeaway hit me as I was getting ready to scribe this column.

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Falcons win stunner over Ravens

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Falcons win stunner over Ravens

Posted on 12 November 2010 by Chris Pika

It’s fortunate that the Ravens will have 10 days to regroup after a stunning 26-21 loss at Atlanta in a game that Baltimore seemingly had won with 1:05 to play in the Georgia Dome in a battle of two teams that seemed like mirror images of one another in 2010.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense had struggled for the better part of three quarters, trailing 13-0 before storming back with two touchdowns in a span of 4:37 late in the fourth quarter to take a 21-20 lead on a 9-yard TD catch by tight end Todd Heap.

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Roddy White  of the Atlanta Falcons pulls in this reception against Lardarius Webb  of the Baltimore Ravens at Georgia Dome on November 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

But the other quarterback in the constant comparison of 2008 first-round draft picks, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, drove the Falcons 80 yards in seven plays and 45 seconds to win the game on a gutsy pass play to wide receiver Roddy White with 20 seconds left.

With Atlanta driving at the Baltimore 33 for what most thought would be a game-winning field goal attempt, Ryan rolled left and hit White at the 17, and White danced into the end zone for the 33-yard touchdown.

The Falcons were put in position to win on the previous play. Atlanta faced third-and-10 at the Ravens 41, and Ryan threw over the middle to tight end Tony Gonzalez, who was ridden to the turf for a defensive pass interference call on Baltimore’s Tavares Gooden.

The resulting 8-yard penalty gave the Falcons an automatic first down at the 33, and Atlanta cashed in. After the touchdown, the Falcons went for two points, but failed when Ed Reed picked off Ryan’s pass attempt.

Atlanta was also helped by an earlier third-and-10 catch for 24 yards by wide receiver Michael Jenkins during the drive. Jenkins appeared to juggle the ball as he went out of bounds. The replay booth upheld the call on the field, and the Falcons had a first down at their 44.

Baltimore’s David Reed made an ill-advised return of the ensuing kickoff, and was upended at the Ravens 9 with 16 seconds left. Three plays later, a fumble out of bounds after a catch by T.J. Houshmandzadeh ended a frustrating night for the Ravens.

The Ravens marched 72 yards in eight plays to take a 21-20 lead with 1:05 left. Flacco found wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a 9-yard pass on third down to the Atlanta 35 to keep the drive going. Three plays later, Flacco gunned a bullet into the end zone that Heap caught, but dropped to the ground after taking a couple of steps. The play was reviewed by the replay booth and upheld, and Billy Cundiff’s extra point gave Baltimore its first lead of the game.

But it was not enough as Ryan and the Falcons found a way through a tired Ravens defense at the end.

Ryan finished 32 of 50 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns. White caught 12 of his 17 targeted passes for 138 yards and two scores.

Flacco finished 22 of 34 for 215 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He hit eight different receivers, including Boldin five times for 50 yards and a touchdown, and Heap four times for 57 yards and the late TD.

Atlanta was held to 60 yards rushing on 23 carries – paced by Michael Turner’s 39 yards on 17 attempts, while Baltimore got 116 yards on 21 rushes, led by Ray Rice, who ran the ball 12 times for 59 yards.

It was obvious from the start that the Falcons wanted to throw the ball on offense after most expected Atlanta to try to use Turner a lot early on.

The first quarter was nothing more than a punt-fest as each team had to kick away twice. Sam Koch’s second punt pinned the Falcons at their 9 with 3:02 left in the quarter, but Ryan began to find his groove.

Ryan completed four consecutive passes as the first quarter ended with the Falcons sitting on the Ravens 44. Ryan kept passing, and eventually the Ravens were able to drop White for a four-yard loss back to the Ravens 28.

On the next play, Ryan rolled out and found backup running back Jason Snelling alone on the right side. Snelling caught the ball 4 yards past the line of scrimmage, got a head of steam, and broke the grasp of Dawan Landry to score on a 28-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 11:24 left in the first half.

Baltimore did very little on their next possession, and a Koch punt pinned the Falcons deep again at their 7 midway through the second quarter.

Atlanta got out to their 27 and was forced to punt, but Lardarius Webb didn’t keep a strong hold on the ball during the return and it was stripped out. After a long discussion by Ron Winter’s officiating crew, the Falcons had recovered at the Ravens 43.

The Falcons methodically used the clock and took 12 plays, including a key third-down illegal contact call on Dannell Ellerbe, to stretch their lead to 10-0 just before the half on a Matt Bryant 28-yard field goal.

The Ravens had just 17 offensive plays in the half to Atlanta’s 43 (28 passes), and the Falcons had the ball for 21:14.

The Ravens second turnover of the game was costly as Flacco was picked off by Brent Grimes at the Baltimore 39 early in the third quarter. The Falcons needed just four plays for Bryant to kick a long 51-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 12:51 left.

Baltimore showed signs of life on its next possession as the Ravens went back to the run game. The Ravens moved 65 yards in 10 plays to score on a Flacco 5-yard pass to Boldin with 6:50 left in the quarter, as Baltimore cut the margin to 13-7.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons were the recipient of a key call against Terrell Suggs. On third-and-10 at the Ravens’ 33, Suggs was flagged for a facemask penalty that gave the Falcons a first down at the Baltimore 13 after it was tacked on to the end of a 7-yard pass to Snelling.

Three plays later, Ryan rolled out and led White across the end zone for a 4-yard TD pass and a 20-7 lead with 11:34 left to go.

The Ravens took over after White’s TD, and Flacco moved the offense methodically on an 11-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a 6-yard TD toss to Derrick Mason with 5:42 to play to pull Baltimore to 20-14.

Atlanta racked up 362 yards of total offense to Baltimore’s 320. The Falcons were 12 of 20 on third downs, and had the ball for 35:09. The Ravens were 6 for 11 on thirds, and were penalized six times for 51 yards.

The Ravens (6-3) will be back in action next Sunday against another NFC South foe, as Baltimore travels to Carolina. The Falcons (7-2) travel to St. Louis next Sunday.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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I’m rooting for the Falcons, but not tonight …..

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I’m rooting for the Falcons, but not tonight …..

Posted on 11 November 2010 by Rex Snider

Tonight’s game between the Ravens and Falcons is being billed as a matchup of two very similar teams, with characteristics and qualities mirroring each other. And, for the most part, I understand the comparisons …..

Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan spawned from the same draft class and they’ve assumed starting duties, since day one.

John Harbaugh and Mike Smith ascended into their head coaching roles at the same time, as well. And, they’ve experienced early success.

Ray Rice and Michael Turner have developed into a couple of the NFL’s best running backs.

Both teams have achieved regular season records of 26 wins and 14 losses, since the Harbaugh/Flacco and Smith/Ryan tandems joined ranks.

The comparisons really are aplenty.

That said, I think it’s quite fair to suggest one team has overcome much more adversity and dysfunction, as they’ve climbed back to respectability.

To be blunt, it’s not even close …..

When Brian Billick left the Baltimore Ravens, he left a solid, organized, respectable franchise in his wake. The Ravens were a better team, thanks to his nine years of commitment. While the 2007 season was dismal, the organization was still foundationally strong.

However, the same flattering description cannot be attributed to the Atlanta Falcons …..

As we all know, the Falcons were a dysfunctional mess as the world celebrated the New Years holiday, in 2008. Their head coach deserted them, much like a call girl leaves her john behind …..

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09:  Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Atlanta Falcons looks to congratulate Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings after Petrino's NFL head coaching debut as the Vikings defeated the Falcons 24-3 at the Metrodome on September 9, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Their franchise quarterback was no longer the “franchise quarterback,” and the team was horrible, as it finished up with a 3-13 season.

As Michael Vick was settling into prison life, Bobby Petrino was familiarizing himself with the University of Arkansas …. and the Falcons were limping to close out a horrid 2007 campaign.

Say what you want, that organization didn’t deserve such an obstructed road of hardship and anguish.

It was beyond bad luck. It was wrong …..

In Baltimore, we’re spoiled by the riches of a football franchise built on stable management and in-depth personnel – on and off the field.

In Atlanta, just three short years ago, the Falcons faced the potential of unraveling into an era of disaster. They faced the uncertainty of finding the right general manager, head coach and quarterback to reverse the team’s wrong direction.

Enter Thomas Dimitroff …..

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Blog & Tackle: Revisiting 2008 draft intrigue: Ryan or Flacco

Posted on 10 November 2010 by Chris Pika

With the focus this week on the quarterbacks in the Thursday night game – the Ravens’ Joe Flacco and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan, I was reminded of a piece I wrote after the 2008 NFL Draft evaluating SI.com’s Peter King’s reporting of draft-day intrigue involving the Ravens, Falcons and Rams.

Tuesday, King re-visited the 2008 NFL Draft weekend in his SI.com MMQB Mail blog on Tuesday, and he repeated his reporting from that time that the Ravens had offered St. Louis their first-, second- and fourth-round picks in 2008 plus a third-round pick in 2009 for the No. 2 slot in 2008, which King presumes the Ravens would have selected Ryan in that spot.

BaltimoreRavens.com writer Sarah Ellison made mention of King’s article Wednesday in her “Late For Work” blog on the club’s website, and it is worth mentioning that Kevin Byrne, the club’s VP of Public & Community Relations shot down that particular piece of reporting in his draft day blog of April 27, 2008. Byrne’s key observations in the “The Byrne Identity”:

I started thinking: Am I out of the loop on my team? I just left my guys and there was no indication this was happening. The reality: St. Louis was leaking info that the Ravens wanted the 2nd pick to select Matt Ryan. Why? They wanted the Falcons to react and give them a draft choice to move one space to make sure they got Ryan. Ah, the games continue.

I mention this here because the Flacco-Ryan debate and the choice both the Falcons and the Ravens faced was very hot in the days before and after the 2008 NFL Draft. It is my contention now that either quarterback would have achieved the same results in the other’s huddle.

Flacco was expected to be the “quarterback of the future” in Baltimore and back up either Troy Smith or Kyle Boller in 2008. With Smith’s viral infection and Boller’s shoulder injury, Flacco became the man earlier than expected and seized the job. Flacco inherited a playoff-ready club with a veteran defense in 2008, and did not have to carry the team with his arm.

Not so in Atlanta. The Falcons decision on who to take had far-reaching implications for a franchise in turmoil in the wake of the dual Michael Vick (indicted) and Bobby Petrino (abandoned team for Arkansas head coach job) sagas, as King reported in Sports Illustrated the week after the draft. Ryan had to beat out just Chris Redman for the starting job, and it was no secret that he was the better man very early in training camp.

Both Flacco and Ryan are solid quarterbacks and solid citizens. And because of the comparisons of both coming out of college, both are tied at the hip when anyone discusses the quarterbacks of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Since King re-visited the Ravens “offer” to St. Louis, you get a chance to re-visit my estimation on what actually happened that weekend. The key portions from my “Blog & Tackle” April 28, 2008 WNST.net blog “Interesting Moves And Disinformation”:

Now for the intrigue. (Kevin) Byrne said he had been in the Ravens’ draft room and that there was no indication of a deal working between Baltimore and St. Louis. His verdict was that St. Louis leaked the “trade” info to get the Falcons to move one space from No. 3 to No. 2 to secure Ryan and for St. Louis to gather picks.

Two things of interest here: Rams’ VP of personnel Billy Devaney was the former assistant GM of the Falcons until February of this year and (Peter) King worked from the Falcons’ media area in Flowery Branch and had access to the Falcons’ decision makers (who may have leaked or confirmed the “trade” details given by the Rams). Devaney, knowing his former bosses and some of the Falcons’ early draft plans, probably knew how to push some buttons in Atlanta.

The way it goes down is much like a poker game. The Rams call the Falcons and say in a nutshell, “Baltimore really wants Matt Ryan and has offered trade terms X. We are interested because Chris Long is our guy, we don’t need a QB and we could use the extra picks. What do you want to do? ” If you believe Byrne’s version, and I do, then the whole thing is a bluff by Devaney to get the Falcons to panic and jump one spot. In the end, Atlanta stood firm and the top three went off the board in the order most expected.

But regardless whether there was an offer or not, depending on who you believe, King’s final statement on the matter in his MMQB Mail piece Tuesday rings true for all involved:

So believe me, Atlanta’s happy Baltimore didn’t make the deal, and Baltimore’s happy the Rams didn’t take the deal. Baltimore has Flacco and Rice. Atlanta has Ryan. Both teams are living happily ever after.

Thursday night, both Flacco and Ryan lead their respective teams in what could be the best game of the NFL’s Week 10 schedule. But just for a moment, imagine Ryan in a Ravens jersey and Flacco in a Falcons one — would the paths the two franchises have taken since the 2008 NFL Draft been any different?

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because A-I haven’t gone all Vincent Van Gogh yet and cut off my ear despite the intense pain.

And B-It’s time to name a few “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” First is the “new” version of the honor, which you’ll probably make fun of me for. There’s no reason for me to like the song “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna and Drake, but damnit-I really do…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kCXaPcW3Js[/youtube]

As far as my “retro” version of TGSOATTW is concerned, I offer an ode to two things. One, the Black Crowes are at Rams Head Live tonight. Two, with the Baltimore Ravens headed to Atlanta to face the Falcons this week, I remind everyone that the Black Crowes are (along with Outkast) amongst the most significant musical contributions we’ve received from the A-T-L. Hard to believe their version of “Hard to Handle” is over 20 years old…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09WlrVnramo[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens want improved red zone offense for trip to Georgia Dome

As I’ve stressed, there is no simple solution here.

The best Red Zone scoring team in the NFL is the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions just so happen to have a 6’5″ star receiver (Calvin Johnson) who has grabbed 8 touchdowns already this season. (They’ve also made a few less trips to the red zone than the Ravens, who are 24th in the league in finding paydirt from inside their opponents’ 20.)

The Ravens just don’t have a 6’5″ star receiver they can lob the ball up towards in the red zone.

This is actually fairly scientific. When you enter the red zone, the field shrinks vertically. There isn’t as much space to find receivers, defenders have less space to cover.

Therefore, teams have to find space in other ways. The best way to do that is to find space ABOVE the ground. That’s where receivers like Calvin Johnson (and Larry Fitzgerald…and Andre Johnson…and Vincent Jackson, etc.) make such a significant difference.

Todd Heap is 6’5″, but just really doesn’t leap like he did at one point in his career. TJ Houshmandzadeh is 6’2″, but plays more like he’s 5’11″. Anquan Boldin is 6’1″ and Derrick Mason is 5’10″.

Without that jump ball threat, it won’t be so easy for the Ravens to improve their numbers in the red zone. Ed Dickson (6’4″) could be the wild card, but he has to continue to earn the trust of John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron just to be on the field.

I don’t expect the Ravens to have another one touchdown in seven trips performance as they did Sunday, but I don’t know that there is a simple solution either.

Of course-limiting penalties would certainly help.

2. WNST.net’s Chris Pika says Ravens-Falcons could be ‘Super Bowl XLV preview’

If I’m a betting man, I’d bet AGAINST this happening.

That being said, both teams are tied for the best record in their respective conferences, and have the one factor that is most necessary to win in the NFL this season…balance.

You can’t help but notice the similarities between Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco to the Falcons’ Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. You can’t help but notice how the teams have running backs that are similar in style in Ray Rice and Michael Turner.

They’re both really good teams who I have no doubt will be playing in the postseason. But if I was a betting man, my money would say they don’t face off again in Arlington to finish the season.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice admitted he made ‘bad decision’ in taking to Twitter after being pulled over

Thank God Twitter didn’t exist when I was in college. Can you even IMAGINE how many dumb things I’d say? I said enough dumb things on MySpace and Facebook over the years, so I’m just grateful I didn’t have Twitter to worry about as well.

Clearly Ray Rice should have never mentioned that he got a break from an officer and gave him an autograph no matter what the circumstances were. That being said, this is really not a big deal at all. Rice has been a model citizen during his short NFL career, and as long as he gets his window tinting taken care of, he’ll be abiding by all rules again.

This is just a quick lesson in not needing to pass EVERYTHING along via Twitter. A lesson we probably all need to learn at some point.

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Josh Wilson could be in line to start Thursday night

At this point, Greg Mattison and the Ravens don’t have much of a choice but to start Wilson over Fabian Washington at this point.

That being said, I have to wonder if they’ve considered all options. For example, was Nicole Craner considered? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

craner

5. ESPN.com elevates Ravens to 1st in power rankings

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

-The Ravens are back at work at 1 Winning Drive today, but today’s walkthrough is CLOSED to the media before they depart at 2:30 for “Hotlanta.” We’re not departing just yet, so we’ll still have Ravens Reports throughout the day on AM1570 WNST.

-Did you miss Ravens DE Paul Kruger with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today at WNST.net to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Andrew Brandt (National Football Post/Former Green Bay Packers Executive)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Steve Gorman (Black Crowes Drummer/host of “Steve Gorman Sports”)-who talked sports and rock & roll with Drew Wednesday
  • Dave Archer (Falcons Color Analyst/Former QB)-who previewed the Thursday Night Football showdown with Drew Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights III)-who previewed Saturday night’s event at 1st Mariner Arena with Drew Wednesday
  • Plenty of audio from Owings Mills Tuesday, including Harbaugh, Flacco, Rice, Wilson and DT Haloti Ngata
  • Urijah Faber (WEC Fighter)-who joined Rallo and Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Tim Strachan (Maryland Football Analyst)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown with the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” with Thyrl Tuesday
  • Chris Knoche (Maryland Basketball Color Analyst)-who talked 2K Sports Classic with Thyrl Tuesday as well
  • Ovie Mughelli (Falcons FB/former Raven)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Thursday night’s game
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked all things Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve somehow managed to plan your day AGAIN. This is getting totally out of hand…

6. MLB.com’s Evan Drellich says Orioles to reduce seating capacity at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, improve sightlines

And if Andy MacPhail and company had come to Glenn Clark and said “how do YOU think we could improve sightlines at OPACY?”, here’s how I would have responded.

“IMPROVE WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT!!!!!!!!! If I had a bad sightline for the Mona Lisa or a good sightline for a piece of cow manure, I’d pick the bad sightline all day.”

Of course, Peter Angelos and company haven’t asked me for an opinion since…well…ever.

(Edit from GMC: For the record, I think this is a good idea. I just want so many things fixed that one good idea doesn’t suddenly leave me completely thrilled.)

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says former O’s manager Dave Trembley accepts minor league gig with Atlanta Braves

Good for Dave Trembley, honestly.

I doubt Trembley will ever get back to the managerial level in Major League Baseball, but this should be a good role for him.

And no truth to the rumor that the Braves only hired Trembley after being turned down by New Orleans Saints cheerleader/Louisiana middle school teacher Chastity McLemore. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

chastity

8. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with College of Charleston at Comcast Center

Here’s what we know.

While they DID blow out Seattle in their opener Monday night, the Terps were quite sloppy in the victory. Turnovers, missed free throws and failed finishes were all issues against the Redhawks.

The Cougars are going to have familiarity with Gary Williams thanks to Bobby Cremins’ background at Georgia Tech. On top of that, this is a C-of-C team that managed to knock off North Carolina a season ago.

I don’t think the Terps are at risk of losing tonight, but I certainly don’t expect this to be a walkover either.

No matter what, we’ll have the “Turtle Power” chat going tonight at 7pm (the game can be seen on ESPNU with Rob Stone and Jay Williams on the call), Luke Jones (and perhaps Glenn Clark if he can survive his ear infection) will be live from College Park to provide companion analysis.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins CB Avery Graham and S Desmond Kearse remain out, TE Dave Stinebaugh has not been ruled out for Saturday’s trip to Virginia

Despite Stinebaugh being a proud Perry Hall High School Gators alum, I will be the first to admit that Stinebaugh is not the difference in winning and losing.

That being said, a team that has dealt with so many injuries at skill positions can certainly use a player like Stinebaugh back on the field.

And speaking on behalf of PHHS grads everywhere-we don’t really have a lot of guys worth rooting for around the world, so we need him on the field too. It just makes all of us look better.

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs missed practice Monday and Tuesday with slight concussion

Apparently Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo expects Dobbs to return to practice today, so he shouldn’t really be at risk of missing Saturday’s Central Michigan game.

And while Kriss Proctor would probably do a more than admirable job of filling in for him should he miss the game, I would implore the Mids to make sure they consider all options before settling with Proctor. For example, I think Karol Jaramillo might make a good option as well. (Thanks Guyism!)

jaramillo

And finally, I leave you with this.

Apparently this play from a High School Football game in North Carolina last week lead to a penalty. It should have lead to a penalty for being an effing awesome idea…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh-FYmzhMyE[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Are we rooting against Jason Garrett?  Absolutely …..

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Are we rooting against Jason Garrett? Absolutely …..

Posted on 10 November 2010 by Rex Snider

Feelings can a very perculiar thing …..

When we’re denied by someone, we tend to take it personally. It could be the first girl who turned us down – or the second, for that matter. It could be the employer who canned our application. It could be the coach who cut us from the team.

Regardless of what we might say, when someone rejects us, we hope to see them regret the decision ….

We want to see that same girl ending up with a loser.

We want to see that prospective employer go out of business.

We want to see that coach’s team suffer through a horrible season.

You got that? It’s not good enough to hope it happened. We want to see it happen. As certain as we want to see the figurative trainwreck before our eyes, we want to witness those who rejected us, as they fail.

Don’t feel guilty about it. Reacting to rejection in this way is quite human. It’s our way of fending off the reality that someone did not want us; we hope to see them fail, as a result.

And, this is probably where most of us find ourselves when considering the impending plight of Jason Garrett. Nearly three years removed from rejecting Baltimore and the Ravens, Garrett is getting an audition for the job he craved all along.

In four days, the Dallas Cowboys will face the New York Giants, in the Meadowlands. When the whistle blows and the kickoff commences, Jason Garrett will find himself calling all the shots for Jerry Jones’ team.

Well, we think he’ll probably be calling the shots Jerry allows, at least.

Don’t misconstrue the spirit of my message. I’m quite happy things turned out as they did, here in Baltimore. The Ravens haven’t missed the playoffs, since Garrett said “no thanks.” And, Steve Bisciotti’s second choice is turning out to look like the best choice …..

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh looks on against the New England Patriots in the third quarter of their NFL football game in Foxborough, Massachusetts October 17, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Some readers might be looking at this potentially conflicted message and thinking “I don’t care if Jason Garrett wins or loses.” But, you’re lying to yourself. You do care. Or, you’re just an isolated exception to the normalcy of being human.

There is a fairly good chance the Cowboys get their chaps handed to them, in northern Jersey, on Sunday. They’ve been horribly bad – which resulted in Wade Phillips’ firing. The Giants, in contrast, have been pretty impressive, while enjoying a 6-2 record.

Who knows what Jason Garrett is thinking these days? Everyone is aware of his decision to rebuff the Ravens and Falcons, following the 2007 season. He opted for the stability of the Cowboys …. and, perhaps, to become their next head coach.

Meanwhile, Baltimore and Atlanta haven’t missed a beat …..

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Blog & Tackle: Ravens-Falcons could be Super Bowl XLV preview

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Blog & Tackle: Ravens-Falcons could be Super Bowl XLV preview

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Chris Pika

Halfway through the NFL season, there is no clear-cut favorite in each conference to make it to the Super Bowl. Two of the major contenders will play Thursday night in the Georgia Dome in a possible preview of Super Bowl XLV — the 6-2 Ravens and 6-2 Falcons.

Both teams are very similar. Both clubs are 4-0 at home and 2-2 on the road, both will come into the game with a two-game win streak and a 4-1 mark in the last five games.

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Matt Ryan  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates after a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on November 7, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Both are quarterbacked by young, impressive players who could have just as easily been switched as to where they were drafted. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are both solid characters on the field and solid citizens off of it who share almost identical nicknames — “Joe Cool” and “Matty Ice”. One had a playoff-ready team when he took over in the huddle, and the other had to become the face of the franchise almost immediately after a tumultous period in which the previous starting QB was indicted and the head coach bailed for Arkansas. You could put either man in the other’s huddle, and see the same results.

Both have a strong primary target at wide receiver. Atlanta has Roddy White, who was injured in Sunday’s win against Tampa Bay. White is one of the most-exciting deep-ball receivers in the game right now. Baltimore has veteran Anquan Boldin, who has provided Flacco with a legitimate vertical threat for the first time in his short career.

Safety valves? The Ravens have ultra-versatile back Ray Rice, who leads the team in rushing, and is Flacco’s second-favorite receiver. The Falcons counter with maybe the modern game’s finest tight end, Tony Gonzalez, who can still use his big frame to block and is Ryan’s second-favorite receiver.

The running backs? Baltimore uses the three-headed backfield of Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain to wear down opposing defensive lines, especially in the second half. Atlanta has a big bruiser, Michael Turner, who has bulldozed his way to big yardage all season.

Overall on comparison of the two teams on offense, Atlanta gets 22 more yards per game, converts 13 percent more of its chances in the red zone, 17 percent more in goal-to-go situations and has scored 2.6 points more on average than the Ravens.

The Falcons may need every bit of those numbers as the two teams are markedly different on defense. The Ravens give up 36 yards less overall, 45 less passing yards and 1.9 points less on average than Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens safaety Ed Reed runs with the ball after intercepting a pass from Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland November 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

What the Falcons don’t have is the trio of all-world veteran defenders in safety Ed Reed, linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive end Haloti Ngata. They do have tough veteran defensive end John Abraham, who is paired with young DE Kroy Biermann, safety William Moore and linebacker Curtis Lofton.

The special teams edge belongs to the Ravens as punter Sam Koch and kicker Billy Cundiff have pinned opponents deep in their own end consistently. Atlanta’s punter/kickoff specialist Michael Koenen does not get the distance that either Koch or Cundiff does, but kicker Matt Bryant is a solid indoor kicker, as he has not missed a field goal in the Georgia Dome in 2010.

Coaches? One is John Harbaugh, who has made his team into a disciplined well-oiled unit after taking over for a very successful longtime coach who won a Super Bowl, and the other, Mike Smith, is related by marriage to that Baltimore Super Bowl-winning coach and who had to steady a team and a franchise after it was abandoned by his predecessor.

Sounds like the type of marquee game the NFL loves to showcase on their own network, and the country will see what these two teams are made of Thursday night.

It will be entertaining, it will be bruising, it has a chance to be high-scoring, and most importantly, if you happen to miss it on TV (for only catastrophic reasons), you might get to see the rerun on February 6 on a much-bigger stage in North Texas.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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A blunt reality?  Ravens are very fortunate to be in Baltimore …..

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A blunt reality? Ravens are very fortunate to be in Baltimore …..

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Rex Snider

I’m admittedly naive when it comes to the appeal of sports, as an entertainment vice in the landscape of American culture.

While I like to count myself among the more informed souls when it comes to how people really value their hard earned money, as it relates to sports entertainment, I acknowledge my shortcomings in understanding some distinct geographical differences.

In some ways, I simply assume the National Football League is a popular product throughout this country. But, yesterday, I really learned a valuable lesson about pro football’s lack of appeal in certain cities.

Yeah, I’ve seen the endless updates on television blackouts, on a daily basis. Yet, such examples are usually tied to markets where NFL franchises have been uncompetitive for a substantial string of seasons.

Tampa? I get it.

Oakland? I get it.

Detroit? I get it.

The teams in these cities have struggled for years. And, they’ve offered little, if any, hope for the hometown faithful. Thus, I understand why a greater group of fans choose to keep their money, rather than spend it on seeing their favorite team getting shellacked on a consistent basis.

Heck, I’ve even understood blackouts in San Diego. The weather in that city is usually impeccable, and the Chargers are probably the biggest “tease” in the NFL. So, the choice is between Sundays at the beach or Qualcomm Stadium. The people have spoken, I suppose.

As for a total trainwreck, like Jacksonville, the blame should be shared by Paul Tagliabue and his corps of supporters …..

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 21: Patrick Cobbs  of the Miami Dolphins runs for yardage during the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Do you see the above photo of the Jaguars hosting the Dolphins? Any chance we see that many empty seats when the Dolphins come to Baltimore, this week? No way ….

The Jaguars are not an awful team; they’re simply situated in a bad area for pro football. A large portion of the population is transient, thanks to the U.S. Navy.

And, college football is a huge attraction in the Jacksonville area – a few notable programs are in close proximity. It’s a storied tradition in this part of the country.

I think it’s very fair to suggest the NFL erred in awarding Jacksonville an NFL franchise, in 1993. The Jaguars have been set up to fail, since their inception. But, that’s Tagliabue’s sin to bear.

Yesterday, I learned that Jacksonville shares some distinct company to the northwest …..

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Lil’ Wayne is getting out of prison today (or at worst in the next 36 hours). If you don’t know, I LOVE me some Weezy…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV2ssT8lzj8[/youtube]

…so much so that it inspired my greatest Halloween costume EVER…

weezy

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ray Lewis disappointed Shawne Merriman won’t be headed to Charm City

That being said, I never REALLY thought Shawne Merriman was coming to Baltimore. We knew John Harbaugh and company weren’t putting in a waiver claim for a guy whose career has been marked by injuries and ineffectiveness in recent years; and I always thought there would be another NFL team that would want “Lights Out” more.

But I NEVER thought it would be the Buffalo Bills.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say, “As far as the Ravens are concerned, they’ll be fine.” Unfortunately, I have no idea if they will or won’t be. They’re 24th in the NFL in sacks right now, and there’s no simple solution for how the number will improve.

But I don’t think Shawne Merriman would have made the difference in-season.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Zbikowski missed practice Wednesday

And everything points to the idea that Zbikowski won’t play again Sunday when the Ravens face the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens will be okay at safety with Ed Reed healthy. The other question is punt return, where there was hope that WR Donte’ Stallworth could step in immediately as he is expected to return from a broken foot Sunday.

However, Stallworth was not on the field during the Special Teams portion of practice Wednesday. That doesn’t mean he still couldn’t be involved, but it makes you think that maybe the team is trying to limit how much he does in his first game back.

Should Stallworth not be an option, the job would presumably be Lardarius Webb’s against the Fins.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Matt Birk a bigger fan of St. Paul restaurant than Randy Moss

Should this really be considered Ravens “news”? Eh…probably not.

But does this particular subject reach home with me.

I mean, this would be like me arranging catering from The Fullerton Pub & The Down Under Restaurant only to have Ryan Chell go off about not liking the food.

My initial thought wouldn’t just be “how dare you?”. My initial thought would really be something along the lines of “what kind of idiot are you? This food is delicious!”

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Joe Flacco gets to gauge himself against fellow ’08 NFL Draft selection Chad Henne

This is actually a very unique couple of weeks. Not only does Flacco get to gauge himself against Henne, but he also gets to gauge himself against Matt Ryan in two weeks at the Georgia Dome.

And it isn’t just the quarterbacks, either.

These two weeks will be a good gauge for the entire team, as everything about the Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons is similar to what the Baltimore Ravens are these days.

They’re balanced. They have young QB’s. They have coaches who are in their 3rd year and have experienced success early in their careers.

And I’m gonna go out a limb here, but I get the feeling they’re also all three teams who enjoy this picture of Melissa Giraldo. (Thanks DJMick via Busted Coverage!)

melissag

5. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Ozzie Newsome may have put together best O-Line, D-Line combo in NFL

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

-We’ll be back out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today; and we’re expecting to hear from coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST and following us on Twitter @WNST throughout the day.

-Did you miss Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Karl Alzner (Washington Capitals Defenseman)-who talked puck with Drew Thursday morning
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • David Pollack (Maryland/Miami Color Analyst-ESPNU)-who previewed the showdown between the Terps and ‘Canes with Drew Thursday
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs
  • Scott Miller (CBSSports.com)-who talked MLB offseason with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • Tom Brattan (Maryland O-Line Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Henson (Yahoo! Sports)-who wrapped up the World Series and talked hot stove with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, so once again-your day is planned. I can’t believe how good I am to you…

6. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Orioles will hire Wayne Kirby as 1B/Outfield coach

Is there any chance he could still steal 25 bases for the Birds this season?

Or could his brother (Terry Kirby) could return punts for the Ravens?

Otherwise-I don’t really know how much it means to have Wayne Kirby as 1st base coach. Maybe he’s a GREAT addition, maybe he’s just an addition. It’s hard to really make a statement like that at this point.

It IS kinda cool to have a first base coach whose baseball cards I definitely collected a ton of however.

7. MLB.com’s Bryan McTaggert says O’s could spend more money at 1B in offseason than any other position

Once again-problem pinpointed. Now-can we just find a damn solution already?

Unfortuantely, I don’t think Kassie Lyn Logsdon will be an option-even if she would have been the team’s best bet. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

logsdon

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Miami RB Damien Berry will miss Saturday’s game against Maryland

This is starting to get frightening.

How could so many things be going against the Hurricanes going into this game?

Randy Shannon said there’s a 75% chance that Jacory Harris won’t play Saturday, and their top RB is out Saturday as well.

I would STILL remind everyone that Miami has MUCH more talent than Maryland, but this continued good news really makes me think Maryland might actually have a chance.

A chance. Let’s not get carried away.

But if Jacory Harris and Damien Berry were healthy, I’m not certain I would have given them much of a chance at all.

9. LoyolaGreyhounds.com says Jimmy Patsos’ team opens season with exhibition contest vs. Shepherd tonight at Reitz Arena

I dated a girl who went to Shepherd. I know way more about Shepherdstown, West Virginia than I’d ever want to admit. There’s a Clarion Inn there. Don’t ask me any follow up questions to that statement.

For the record, the girl I was dating was NOT Raica Oliveira. If it was, you could ask me as many follow up questions as you wanted. (Thanks Guyism!)

raica

10. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says new facility needed to save horse racing in Maryland

Build a track downtown. Nab the city’s slots license and pair them together. Make it NICE. Sorta like what David Cordish is doing at Arundel Mills…

There’s no reason why this HAS to be the death of horse racing. It just has to be the death of business as usual. That’s tough for a lot of folks to understand…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Am I a nerd if I want to go see Megamind this weekend? It actually looks kinda cool…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJtot_f-snU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Where will the Ravens be in January?

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Where will the Ravens be in January?

Posted on 28 October 2010 by Rex Snider

Fast forward yourself a couple months to the week following Christmas. You will most likely be experiencing the typical holiday happenings – your kids are complaining about the things Santa did NOT leave under the tree …. your wife is counting down the days until school returns from the seasonal break …. and you’re simply trying to survive such an ordeal.

Oh yeah, and you’re also digesting the Ravens latest win, against the Cleveland Browns, in the final road game of the regular season. It will probably be a little tougher than most of us originally imagined, but beating the Browns will be a mandatory formality.

And, as certain as many parents are looking ahead to the second half of the school year, many of us are looking ahead to some pretty exciting circumstances …..

College football’s biggest bowl games are approaching …..

New Years festivities are being planned …..

Rex Snider is watching his new HAIR as it’s starting to grow …..
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And, the Ravens will be readying for the ultimate arrival of the Cincinnati Bengals in the season finale’ …..

Now, bring yourself back to this 28th day of October …..

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