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A beautiful day: Ravens 36, Eagles 7

Posted on 23 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Ravens used an opportunistic offense and myriad of breakdowns by the hapless visitors to pummel the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium, 36-7 this afternoon.

Andy Reid’s benching of Donovan McNabb at halftime will surely be debated across three states and the calling for his head surely will begin for calling a pass play at the goal line early in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were about six inches from making it a one-score game.

Hard to say who was more quiet today at frigid M&T Bank Stadium today — the Eagles fans or the Ravens fans. It was a strange day of football all the way around.

The game was long and out-of-synch in its pacing and reminded me of what would be the beginning of the end of Brian Billick’s tenure here — the ugly game in Detroit two years ago.

Nothing the Eagles did went right. They got hosed on a couple of calls. Both of their quarterbacks threw hideous passes. The Ravens — and mainly Joe Flacco — stunk for most of the first half and the Eagles still couldn’t manage to score any points beyond the kickoff return, which clearly embarrassed John Harbaugh and his special teams sensibilities.

But feel free to roundly celebrate: the Ravens are 7-4 and looked quite impressive in the end in “playing four quarters” and out smash-mouthing their neighbors from Filthy.

It’s Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for football-wise in Baltimore because we can legitimately start talking playoffs with a chance to be 8-4 next Sunday with a strong effort in Cincinnati.

Where to begin?

Ed Reed ran a 108-yard interception back through traffic that seemed like the Stanford band. Ed Reed also got burned trying to lateral a ball to Samari Rolle in heavy traffic near the goal line. (Somewhere, Billick was still yelling at him!)

Dan Wilcox caught a TD pass after thinking he might not even play.

Jared Gaither played through the pain. Adam Terry left the game early with a concussion and the offensive line still kept coming back for more. At one point, Ben Grubbs left the game. And David Hale was spotted in there mixing it up quite a bit as well.

The Ravens continued to stop the Eagles rushing attack all day long, and seemed to welcome the benching of McNabb for Kevin Kolb, who was largely as ineffective as No. 5. His one drive of note to lead the team back into the game was nullfyed and reversed when Reed went the distance on one of the most amazing plays in Ravens history.

Le’Ron McClain continues to shine his own star as a fullback who has made a seamless transition into a big-time power back, rushing for 88 yards and one breakaway touchdown late in the game when most of the Eagles fans had put down their cheesesteaks and pretzels and headed back toward the Maryland House on I-95.

Mark Clayton was a factor in the game today and we’d love to see more of that. He also made fun of his own endzone celebration.

Jarret Johnson had a huge game and made a pick on McNabb that Harbaugh described as “one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen.”

Matt Stover hit a long field goal when the team needed it.

And Jameel McClain registered his second safety of the season and he’s only been on the team for a few weeks.

Overall, the defense was awesome all day. They pitched a shutout that was only tainted by the kickoff return by Quinton Demps. (Kinda reminded me of another game against an NFC East team where the only score was a return for a touchdown on an otherwise perfect day. Of course, it was a little warmer on Jan. 28, 2001.)

I’ll be writing some more later and posting post-game video. It was largely an “homage” to Ed Reed and the kind of game he had today. (And at one point, he fell to his knees and was all but tackled to leave the field when he couldn’t lift his arm.)

Feel free to throw your comments in and we’ll launch them soon enough.

A great day to be a Ravens fan. The team is 7-4 and headed to Cincinnati. This was a huge win.

And the Eagles fans were strangely silent from whistle to whistle, slithering out of the stadium while the Ed Reed celebration commenced right around 4 p.m.

More to come…

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Just how good are the Ravens?

Posted on 10 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s not time to start printing playoff tickets just yet but if there’s any message that the Ravens sent to not only the Houston Texans but the NFL in general yesterday, it’s that this team is suddenly “for real.”

Any team that can go on the road and paste a team 41-13 in November to go to 6-3 must be taken seriously as a January threat.

Sure, it’s easy to say this: “Who have the Ravens beaten this year that matters?”

The answer: Cleveland twice, Oakland, Cincinnati, Miami and now Houston – combined record of 13-29.

Fair enough.

But the next seven weeks will work all of that out.

Are the Ravens a mediocre team that has bested a homely lot or an emerging playoff team waiting to break out and start beating some quality opponents?

There is one thing we know for sure.

With a date at the Meadowlands pending – and yes, we still have a handful of seats left on our “Miller Lite Purple Bus” to the swamps of Jersey this Sunday – the Ravens now control their own destiny in this chase for playoff football and a potential AFC North division crown.

It’s down to the Ravens and the Steelers in the AFC North and as tough as the purple schedule looks during the upcoming holiday season, it’s not any easier for yins’ donton either.

The Ravens have played nine games and have laid just one egg. They could easily be 8-1 with a little luck and some fourth quarter defense in the losses against Tennessee and Pittsburgh.

But I’m delighted with 6-3 and an emerging offense, stingy defense and the veteran play of Ray Lewis, Trevor Pryce and company leading the way for John Harbaugh’s troops. Yes, it’s been a VERY good year thus far, especially given the team’s modest expectations to be a .500 outfit.

There’s no crystal ball and no telling how the team will fare when the likes of the NFC East comes calling. But all of a sudden the upcoming matchups against Jacksonville and Pittsburgh at home don’t look so lopsided and quarterback Joe Flacco has looked less like a rookie than a veteran game manager and occasional long ball tosser who, combined with an effective three-headed backfield of Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain, looks to be a factor in this run for January football.

It’s officially “Festivus” season in Baltimore.

Break out the purple lights.

Break out the expectations of fun on Sundays.

And by all means, enjoy this rarest of seasons – a November and holiday full of cheer, potential and hope for a playoff berth.

The good news came in waves yesterday.

The most significant developments happened on the offensive side of the ball, where Derrick Mason went down with a separated shoulder and Todd Heap got off the milk carton of the purple offense.

No doubt that No. 86 has heard the whispers of his pending demise and answered yesterday with his best game of the season.

Meanwhile, Ray Lewis turned in an effort with the impact he formerly had as a much younger man. Two interceptions, running sideline to sideline to once again hold an opposing offense’s star running back to less than 100 yards of rushing.

That makes 29 in a row, if my count is right.

Haloti Ngata’s interception at the goal line sparked a defensive effort that was classic Ravens defense but his contributions on every play should be earning him a grass skirt en route to Honolulu in early February. You’d be hard-pressed to find me a defensive tackle who is playing the game at a higher level right now as the defense continues to break the will of opposing running backs and frustrate and chase quarterbacks each Sunday.

Next up: the World Champion New York Giants.

They had their hands full with Philadelphia last night.

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Ravens VS Texans

Posted on 09 November 2008 by KZ

Texans Inactives:

Texans declared DT Amobi Okoye, WR Andre’ Davis, LB Chaun Thompson, OG Kasey Studdard, TE Mark Bruener, QB Matt Schaub, OL Rashad Butler, and FS Will Demps inactive for Week 10 against the Ravens.

Sage Rosenfels starts at QB. David Anderson stands in at third WR.
Ravens Inactives:
Ravens declared TE Daniel Wilcox, LB Antwan Barnes, CB Chris McAlister, SS Dawan Landry, DT Lamar Divens, WR Marcus Smith, OL Oniel Cousins, and third QB Todd Bouman inactive for Week 10 against Houston.
Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and LeRon McClain are all active. Troy Smith backs up Joe Flacco. Divens hasn’t been active for a game yet this season.
Keys for the Ravens:
  • Pressure Pressure Pressure…Must get to Sage early and often. If he has time he can pick you apart.
  • Keep the RUN going….40 to 45 rushes and 4+ yards per carry and the Ravens win…simple
  • In Joe we trust….a 4th game without a turnover and the Ravens are 6 – 3 at 4:30pm…
  • Don’t sleep on the Screen…Slaton can only do damage in the passing game if the Ravens lose sight of him out of the backfield.

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Ravens Win But Are They a Good Team?

Posted on 02 November 2008 by Ed Frankovic

So we are now eight games into the NFL season and the Baltimore Ravens are now 5-3 after a thrilling come from behind 37-27 win in Cleveland today and my question to all of you is as follows: Should the 2008 Ravens be considered a good team at this point of the season?

The question sounds easy but with half of the season to go I’m not sure we can answer yes or no yet. They’ve beaten Cincinnati, Miami, Oakland, and now Cleveland twice, lost two close games to the Steelers and the Titans and had their doors blown off by the Colts. Let’s face it, they could easily be 7-1 or at least 6-2 but they gave away two games, albeit to two good football teams.

However, today’s 14 point rally by the offense and then subsequent defensive shutdown of Cleveland has me starting to think that this Baltimore Ravens team is very close to being considered a good team and can contend for a playoff spot despite a very difficult second half of the season schedule.

When you come back from two touchdowns down on the road, as the Ravens did today at a place where the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants (7-1) lost their only football game this season, you show you not only have talent but, more importantly, you display that you can overcome adversity and doing that is the very foundation for becoming a good team.

On the field the Ravens are making lots of plays but there are still some obvious holes such as the beat up secondary that seems to hang on by a thread at times against the pass, a kick return and coverage team that takes too many penalties and has trouble covering kicks (boy am I glad we don’t have to see Joshua Cribbs for the rest of the season), and an offense that is banged up and struggled today to score a TD on a first and goal from the three yard line late in the contest.

But when you stick together and guys step up when they are behind by several points, as we saw Ray Rice, Derrick Mason, Joe Flacco, Mark Clayton, Le’Ron McClain and any of the guys on the constantly changing offensive line did today you start to build team chemistry between the offense and defense. Today I really believe that the offense won the game and energized the defense going 79 yards in just under five minutes when Cleveland was up 27-13 in the third quarter. After that Ravens TD drive the defense was lights out the rest of the way after struggling for the previous quarter of play.

This win reminded me of the one two years ago in Tennessee when the Ravens trailed 26-7 and didn’t have Ray Lewis but came back with some great offense and a stifling defense to eke out a 27-26 win. That win helped spur a 13-3 season and, I believe, made all 53 players and coaches realize they had something special going on that year. A win like today could do that with this team, especially if the players and coaches realize how special this win was and continue to learn to stick together despite some of the recent distractions (see C-Mac saga and T-Sizzle QB comments).

Flacco and the offense continue to improve and with the Ravens ability to stop any teams running game they should almost always be in the football game. So right now, if you ask me, I would have to say yes, this is a good team. But of course they have eight more games against some very good teams to prove it and it starts next week against a Houston Texans team that has a very good passing attack. What do you think?

By the way, a Redskins win over Pittsburgh tomorrow night would put the Ravens in a tie for first place in the AFC North at 5-3. Dare I say “Go Redskins??!!”

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Ravens crush woeful Raiders, 29-10

Posted on 26 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Raiders have played an interesting foil in the annals of Baltimore football history.

There was the “Ghost To The Post” thriller on Christmas Eve in 1977. The Raiders were the first team to come to Baltimore to play the Ravens in 1996. And, of course, it was a trip to Oakland and a win in the AFC Championship Game in 2001 that took the Ravens to Tampa and a Super Bowl title.

Today, however, the Raiders look to be a shadow of their famed black and silver pirate crest, a hapless franchise with second-rate talent and an owner that makes Peter Angelos seem sensible.

What the hell happened to the “commitment to excellence”?

We’ve seen some bad football teams roll into Baltimore since the Ravens came to town 13 years ago challenging the great Billy Jo Hobert, but today’s effort by the Raiders might’ve been one of the worst we’ve ever seen in the Charm City. That’s about as bad of a football team you’re gonna find with the red, white and blue NFL crest on it.

Their offense was hopeless, the special teams were poor – making Jim Leonhard look like Dante Hall in his prime – and the defense was good enough to allow a slow, 6-foot-6 quarterback to spread wide and catch bombs from the backup quarterback. And who Tom Cable and where is Lane Kiffin?

If Al Davis were in his right mind, he’d be ashamed of what a cruel hoax this is on the Raider Nation and the Black Hole. Next week, they might want to try to show up against the Falcons.

Sure, the Ravens looked great today and we’ll all gladly take this 29-10 win. At 4-3 on Halloween, this 2008 season has some real life and some real promise as the purple heads to Cleveland next week where a win puts them on a fast track for a potential playoff berth. It would be time to bust out the “P” word (or is it still Festivus?). No one could argue with 5-3 at the turn, even if the second half appears to be helluva challenge with so many potential playoff teams on the slate in November and December, including the entire firing squad of the NFC East.

But I can’t fathom how the Raiders are going to win another game with that band of ragamuffins.

Let’s take it around the victorious purple locker room:

Joe Flacco wasn’t brilliant today (12 of 124 for 140 years) but he threw a TD, ran for one and damn-near CAUGHT one. The maturation of Flacco as a rookie is going swimmingly well for the team, with him getting all sorts of initiations to victories, defeats, road and home games and all sorts of looks from defenses around the NFL. I’m glad we bought the stock months ago.

Terrell Suggs, for all of his stupid bluster and idiotic pronouncements, certainly showed up to play today and made his presence felt anywhere around JaMarcus Russell, who looks like the next No. 1 QB bust of this decade.

Ray Lewis continues to dazzle in his contract walk season, making play after play and I’m still not sure that Justin Griffith made it anywhere near the goal line on that lone touchdown, but he’ll no doubt still be feeling that hit on Wednesday.

Let’s hear it for Jim Leonhard, who has become a fan favorite with these “little guy” efforts on defense and special teams. He’s MY SIZE for crying out loud, but he plays like a giant on the field.

The running game was effective all day, racking up 192 yards on 46 carries as the Ravens controlled the clock and exhausted the Raiders’ defense. The three-headed monster of Ray Rice (8-64), Willis McGahee (23-58) and Le’Ron McClain (7-32) has been more effective than any of us realized back in training camp. And let’s give the offensive line some props as well — even with Adam Terry and Marshal Yanda out, they’re still protecting Flacco pretty well and allowing the backs to move the ball.

Even Matt Stover had a perfect day, which we’ll need more of as the weather turns and the games become tight enough that his foot will surely play a major role in deciding the season.

But the biggest game ball goes to John Harbaugh and the coaching staff, who have held the team together through several crises this season, not the least of which was the notion that the team didn’t have enough talent to compete:

•    The quarterback carousel during training camp and prepping and winning with a rookie signal caller in the NFL.

•    The horrendous injury/age situation on the defensive side of the ball, with Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Kelly Gregg and Dawan Landry all out of the lineup. And that’s not to mention various dings to Willis McGahee, Terry and the loss of Yanda on offense.

•    The bad, ugly, brutal loss in Indianapolis and a three-game losing streak and the bounce back in Miami and again today. Good teams rebound. The Ravens have nicely. That’s good coaching and a lot of heart.

•    The difficulty of navigating and covering for the stupid comments and actions by some of his childish players (this was essentially what got Brian Billick fired). Not only did Chris McAlister not play today, no one even bothered asking where the hell he was. (Disciplined? Absolutely. But will they say it was his leg? Absolutely. They should just come clean and tell the truth, instead of this silly gameplaying that went on last week.)

One more game ball might go to the Ravens’ still-stellar front office acumen in picking talent. Jameel McClain, Willie Anderson, Evan Oglesby and Brandon McKinney all made plays today and none of them were on the team in August. Hats off to George Kokinis and Ozzie Newsome, who have improved this team coming out of Westminster.

The real test, of course, comes in January when the team’s 2008 record is public.

But so far, at 4-3 with winnable games on the horizon in Cleveland and Houston, the Ravens are far more interesting, entertaining and enjoyable than any of us thought possible eight weeks ago.

And if crappy teams like the Raiders are on the schedule (and there’s at least one left with Cincinnati) we’ll take them every week.

As long as the Ravens show up and beats them in the fashion they did today, it’s fun for all of us.

I’ve never been more excited about a trip to Cleveland…

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Ravens-Raiders blog

Posted on 26 October 2008 by caseywillett

This will be interesting to see how much the Raiders go after Frank Walker with Chris McAlister out today.

1:05 – Hard to throw the ball when you are being chased. Suggs with the pressure Pryce with the sack.

Jarret Johnson is having a monster of a year. He is making plays all over the field.

Jim Leonhard was  shoe string tackle away from taking the punt the distance.

1:15 – So three and outs for both teams. I think we could be seeing a lot of this today. I still stick with the Ravens winning 20-17. Sam Koch does not get the credit he deserves, he is very good about pinning teams deep.

1:25 – We have a Troy Smith sighting…and that did much for nothing.Did you think you would see the Ravens steal something from the Dolphins playbook ? Also saw the Ravens with 4 wideouts in one of their formations. Great day so far for Jameel McClain who got credit for the sack and safety on JaMarcus Russell.

1:34 – So I put in a request for Red Bull energy drinks in the press box cafateria.  This could be a long day watching this game. The Ravens should throw those trick plays away, twice they have tried some razzle dazzle play and had to call a timeout to avoid play clock from running out.

2:00 – The Ravens have pulled out several of the crazy formations such as using Troy Smith again and putting Haloti Ngata on the offensive line and Willis McGahee going in behind him for the touchdown run. I am still not ready to kick the dirt on the Raiders for the day.

2:15 – Sitting behind some of the officials for the Raiders, you can tell it has been a long season and may be even longer. They can not get out of their own way. De Angelo Hall keeps talking trash to the Ravens sideline for some reason. The Ravens have run the “wildcat” offense three times so far, two of them have been Troy Smith runs, while the other was a Ray Rice run.

2:45 – A great ceremony here at half time putting Jonathan Ogden into the Ravens Ring of Honor. JaMarcus Russell threw an absolute laser to Chaz Schilens for 60 yards. That was more yards on one play than the Raiders had the entire 1st half. The Ravens will have to start throwing the ball out of the wildcat formation if they want to continue to use it.

3:00 – Once again the Ravens try to come out with Troy Smith under center and have to call a timeout to avoid the play clock from running out. Ray Rice has made a lot of big plays and has put up over 100 yards of total offense today. Ed Reed must be really cold, because ever time he comes to the sideline he puts on sweatpants. The Troy Smith to Joe Flacco pass might be the greatest play in Ravens history, and to think it might end up with a field goal. Derrick Mason almost got knocked out by Wilbert Montgomery when he was going back out on the field. Mason was behind Coach Montgomery who flailed his arms in disgust and landed an elbow right on Derrick Mason who stumbled for a second then made his way onto the field.

3:15- I have to be honest, I did not see how Justin Griffith broke the plane of the end zone with the ball. It appeared that he went up and cam right back down with out the ball breaking the plane. That might be the only think that the Raiders have gotten right today. Thomas Howard of the Raiders might want to look at the scoreboard before he makes a tackle when his team is trailing 19-3 and celebrates like he just made the game saving tackle.

3:30 – Here is where the Ravens have to be able to put a team away. They dodged a pretty big bullet that the Raiders were not able to pick up that first down on their last drive. Now the Ravens have to put the Raiders away and turn the lights off on any dim hope they have of getting back into this football game…..Scratch that as McGahee fumbles, this could get interesting.

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Today we continue out education about the 2008 Ravens

Posted on 05 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The undefeated Tennessee Titans roll into town believing (as they should) that they are a Super Bowl contender. Sure, the Ravens are 2-1 and are one play, one red flag, one fumble, one whistle away from being 3-0.

But today the Ravens will have the chance to show us whether they’ll be a very good team this year, or simply one of the many who will be playing “win one, lose one” style in the NFL.

They’ll either sport a pedestrian 2-2 by the end of the day or they’ll be 3-1 at the quarter pole. And either one of them is perfectly acceptable to me.

A month ago many us of believed they’d stink. A win today here against the Titans would make them 3-1 and they would be getting the kind of attention playoff teams will get from the national media.

But let’s be honest: beating the Clevelands and Cincinnatis at home doesn’t earn you honors in the AFC in 2008. We’re pretty sure they both stink.

But beat a 4-0 team and you’ve showed the entire NFL something.

Concerns for the Ravens today:

How will the offensive line and a max protect serve quarterback Joe Flacco against a defense as tenacious and talented as Jim Schwartz’s bunch in blue?

Where’s Willis McGahee? We all like Le’Ron McClain but I’m not sure the Ravens can win if he’s the feature back for the entire season. Unless the offensive line becomes more seasoned and dominant at the point of attack more consistently.

Will Todd Heap become more involved in the offense? Most of us thought Cam Cameron’s offense would use Heap in the same role as Antonio Gates in the San Diego scheme. That hasn’t happened yet.

When the Titans have the ball it will be interesting to see if the Ravens’ defense can goad Kerry Collins into some of the problems he had back on Jan. 28, 2001 when he was leading the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Collins is now playing the “Trent Dilfer role” for the Titans. He protects the ball. He manages the game. And he’s been undefeated doing it for a team that wants to smack you in the mouth and get turnovers on defense.

Theoretically, this is a good match up for the Ravens because the Titans don’t have the long-ball arsenal and quick attack style that teams like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati like to employ. This is one day when you’d think the gambling style Rex Ryan’s defense likes to utilize won’t be as susceptible to big plays or big breakdowns, especially in the secondary.

But the Ravens are going to have to keep Flacco and the offense on the field and they’ll need to run more effectively than they have so far this season. (Or at least in the way that they controlled the ball in the fourth quarter of the Cincinnati and Cleveland wins.)

Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vandenbosch, Keith Bullock and company are stingy. They stuff the run. They sack the quarterback. They ball hawk. And they take the ball away.

The Titans have manhandled all four of their opponents. Pound for pound, they have been the best team in the NFL so far this season.

Today’s task is a tall one for the men in purple.

But it’s a day to figure out whether that 2-0 start was an aberration or whether the Ravens have arrived in 2008 as a legitimate playoff contender. Today is a reality check for the whole city.

Win today and we can start discussing the possibility of the “p” word and being a legitimate contender.

A loss today and staring the down the barrel of a trip to visit Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indianapolis next week, and all of a sudden the Ravens’ prospects aren’t looking so rosy.

Get’s your “Let’s Go Flacco!” signs and enjoy the game!

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Monday press conference notes

Posted on 30 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some news and notes from Coach Harbaugh’s press conference:
On the Derrick Mason TD:
Coach Harbaugh said now looking back at the Derrick Mason catch in the end zone, “we think he was in.”
The reason he did not challenge the catch was because of the replay he saw it was not clear if he was in or not
Derrick Mason did not lobby for Coach Harbaugh to challenge the catch
On the end of regulation:
The Ravens were hoping to pop a run against the Steelers. If that would have happened, they would have pushed the issue. Once it did not happen, they were just looking to get to overtime and let it play out.
Coach Harbaugh felt like because of the injury to Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain, and the timeout situation, they were limited as to what they could do.
On the 3rd and 8 run:
The Ravens were looking to catch the Steelers off guard and felt like they had the right call in to do it. Coach Harbaugh said they like to go against the norm in certain situations and that was one of them
Other notes:
Willis McGahee suffered a rib injury during the game and they is why he did not return. He is expected to be ok, and back this week against the Titans.
As it relates to the offensive line play, Coach Harbaugh said that it was not blown assignments that lead to the sacks. He pointed out that the offensive line could do a better job of blocking as could everyone else.
Coach Harbaugh said the penalty on Jarrett Johnson is a penalty in the “grey area” for him. He looked at it as Johnson was just playing hard.
The “big picture” for the Ravens is getting ready to play a very good Tennessee Titans team on Sunday.

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UPDATE: Injury report and news and notes

Posted on 26 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:45
Here is the Ravens injury report for Friday:
OUT:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Samari Rolle(shoulder / neck)
Troy Smith (illness)
QUESTIONABLE:
Yamon Figurs (hamstring)
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Adam Terry (ankle)
PROBABLE
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Ray Lewis (foot)
Le’Ron McClain (migraine)
Willis McGahee(eye)
Fabian Washington (neck)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)

Here are some notes from the morning media session:

Cam Cameron sounded optimistic that Willis McGahee will be ready to go on Monday night, “he’s doing fine from what I can tell. His eye doesn’t look great, but I think he’s doing ok. He was ok in the meeting today.” McGahee sounded optimistic that he will play on Monday night, but he did say right now though he is taking it day by day.
Rex Ryan said they will wait and see about the availability of Samari Rolle for Monday night. Ryan said they are confident in what Frank Walker and Corey Ivy can provide if Rolle is not ready to play.
Jarrett Johnson had a visitor in the locker room today as his friend and Baltimore Orioles Lance Cormier was visiting Johnson today. Johnson and Cormier have homes near one another in Alabama.
Cam Cameron spoke very highly of the job that Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have done this week with the scout team defense. Cameron said that the defense has given them the best look that they could want from the defense.
Chris Chester was at practice this afternoon wearing a #48 jersey. Chester was a former tight end at the University of Oklahoma.
Here is what Cam Cameron had to say about the availability of Le’Ron McClain for Monday night: “He’s full go. He was great in meetings this morning and he will be ready to play.”

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UPDATE: Injury report, Bart vs Hines

Posted on 25 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:25 p.m.
Here is the Ravens injury report for Thursday:
Out:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Did Not Participate:
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Le Ron McClain (migraine)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)
Limited Participation:
Yamon Figures (hamstring)
Willis McGahee (eye)
Samari Rolle (shoulder)
Troy Smith (illness)
Full Participation:
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Fabian Washington (neck)
2:45
Bart Scott is one of the more interesting and outspoken players in the locker room. Here are some of the quotes from today:
On what he thinks of Ward: “I think he does some tremendous things. I was really impressed with what he did, bringing those kids over from Asia last year. I watched a (TV) special. I think that was heartfelt. You know, football is a totally different thing. I don’t care if my mother was out there – I’d smack her around, too. It’s football. It doesn’t matter. If she had a different jersey on, she’s got to get dealt with.”
On whether he will exchange pleasantries with Ward : “If I would, why would I tell you something like that ? You’ve just got to ask the question, huh? No, I’m going out there to try to win a football game. All that other stuff is whatever.”
On the rivalry between the Ravens and the Steelers : “I think it’s a mirror image of two teams that are very physical. Whenever you’ve got two rams butting heads, of course there’s going to be some animosity because we’re pretty much built the same way. I mean, we know it’s going to be a man’s day. It’s going to be a physical day. The best team – the team that comes out and makes a couple of big plays and lays the wood the hardest-usually wins the game. Simple mission.”
Today Hines Ward responded about Bart Scott:
On the alleged cheap shot from the game last year on Scott: “There wasn’t anything cheap about it,” Ward said. “He can call it whatever he wants to call it. I didn’t get fined, I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything illegal. If he wants to say it is a cheap shot then he can continue to call it a cheap shot. I didn’t cheap shot him. I blocked him and he got mad because a receiver hit him.”
On Bart Scott complaining about the hit : Tell him to go cry somewhere else,” Ward said. “It wasn’t a cheap shot. I don’t play this game to try to hurt somebody. Everything was legal. I didn’t get a fine. I didn’t get any letter from the commissioner saying it was a cheap shot. It was legal. If it was a cheap shot then I probably would’ve went low and tried to blow out his knee. I went high and he didn’t like it. You are going to get hit or be hit.”
On any bad blood with Bart : “I don’t think it is bad blood,” Ward said. “It is more respect. This guy is a great player. The thing he says doesn’t bother me. I played with the best trash talker in the world in Joey Porter and all he tries to do it get in your head.”

Rashard Mendenhall has been warned by teammates on what to expect from the Ravens besides their defense on Monday night. Kirby Wilson also warned him about a “professional trash talker.”

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The Ravens are keeping quiet on the trash talking side of things as it relates to the Steelers. There has not been one peep about anything or anyone on the Steelers. While some people would love to hear trash talking or some bulletin board material type stuff coming out of here, but I respect this new quiet stance that the Ravens have taken. All you have heard out of this team is that it is just another game.
Dawan Landry was in the locker room for a brief time today and appeared to be in good spirits. There has been no time table as to when he will return to the football field for the Ravens. The Ravens are very optimistic that he will return this season.
Here are some quotes from Dawan Landry:
On the injury: “It was really scary,” Landry said. “It was my first time being injured and, at the time, I couldn’t feel anything. I was able to talk, though, and I felt my toes a little bit and I knew I would be fine eventually. By the time I got on the stretcher and got to the ambulance, all my feeling was starting to come back and I knew I would be okay.”
Thankful to the fans: “A lot of blessings have been answered,” Landry said. “I want to thank all the fans, all my teammates, the whole Ravens organization, the Browns, everybody that is helping me through this process right now. It’s truly a blessing.”

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