Tag Archive | "McDaniel College"

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh Wants Gaither Back, Thinks Oher Still LT of Future

Posted on 20 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens held their annual “Season Review” press conference Thursday at 1 Winning Drive. Head Coach John Harbaugh, Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Team President Dick Cass all answered questions from reporters in both formal and informal settings.

Following the press conference, Harbaugh addressed the team’s offensive problems, specifically their issues in running the football. The team finished 14th in the NFL in 2010 with 114.4 rushing yards per game after finishing 5th in the league in 2009 with 137.5 rushing yards per game.

Harbaugh attributed the team’s running struggles both to “tweaks” made in the team’s rushing philosophy during Training Camp as well as the struggles of the offensive line.

“We had three new guys playing three new spots (on the line)” said Harbaugh. “I don’t think we ever were really able to overcome that.”

After moving 2nd year offensive tackle from Right Tackle (RT) to Left Tackle (LT) in the offseason; the Ravens had hoped OT Jared Gaither would successfully move from LT to RT. Unfortunately for the team, Gaither suffered a back injury while the team was preparing for the season at McDaniel College in Westminster, and he never saw the football field in 2010. With Gaither out, the team moved OL Marshal Yanda from Right Guard (RG) to RT, and asked reserve OL Chris Chester to play RG.

Harbaugh hopes the team’s problems can be addressed with the return of Gaither, who is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA).

“I would like to coach Jared Gaither” said Harbaugh. “He’s a very talented guy and I think he can be a factor for us next year. He’s definitely got the ability.  If the back is healed up and he can back to training and get the size and strength back, I certainly think he can (stabilize the line).”

Also amongst the Ravens’ UFA’s is Yanda, who Harbaugh would like to see return to RG.

“We want to find the right spots for the right guys” said the coach. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to get this done, but I like Marshal Yanda at RG. I think that’s his position. He’s a dominant puller, he’s physical. If you can put a nice big RT next to him, that would really help.”

Harbaugh also expressed confidence in Oher, who anchored an Offensive Line that allowed 40 sacks this season. FootballOutsiders.com ranked the unit 25th in the league in “Adjusted Sack Rate”, considering sacks and intentional grounding penalties per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance and opponent.

“I think Michael Oher can play either tackle” said Harbaugh. “I think he had a very good second year. The sky is the limit for him.”

Harbaugh did acknowledge Oher could be asked to move back to RT depending on what the team does to upgrade the line in the offseason. Amongst the potential free agents at OT around the league are Gaither, Matt Light (New England Patriots), Doug Free (Dallas Cowboys) and former Towson Tigers standout Jermon Bushrod (New Orleans Saints).

Free Agency cannot begin until the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“What side Mike ends up playing depends on who else is in the mix” said Harbaugh. “He really wants to be better. I still think he’s a home run.”

NEWSOME HOPES TO IMPROVE PRESSURE WITH PERSONNEL: With the transition from departing Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison to his replacement Chuck Pagano, the Ravens have stressed a desire to bring aggression defensively.

The team finished tied for the fifth lowest total in the league with just 27 sacks in 2010.

Newsome said he’d like to upgrade the team’s defensive personnel to improve their level of pressure.

“Are we going to try to continue to bring in some other people that can get to the passer, having (LB Terrell Suggs) to have a companion to go along with him as we did with (former Ravens LB) Peter (Boulware) and Suggs? That would be very helpful for the organization and it’s something that we’ll look into moving forward.”

After selecting Suggs in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, the Ravens saw he and Boulware combine to tally 20.5 sacks in the 2003 season.

Amongst the rushers who could potentially be available in free agency this offseason are LB Tamba Hali (Kansas City Chiefs), LB Lamarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers), DE Ray Edwards (Minnesota Vikings) and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (New York Giants).

As with the Offensive Line, the team could also look for rush help in the NFL Draft.

Newsome believes an upgrade in personnel can solve the team’s rush problems.

“If we get enough good players where when we go up against whoever we play in our division, they can get in a one on one situation and win, we’ll have more pressure.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Newsome, Bisciotti and Cass now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……LB Jarret Johnson joined Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that chat is available in the Audio Vault as well……The Ravens’ leadership said they had yet to speak to LB Ray Lewis about a Wednesday Yahoo! Sports report linking him to a banned supplement spray

-G

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A Ravens-Steelers Week Propaganda Roundup

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A Ravens-Steelers Week Propaganda Roundup

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Always my favorite part of every rivalry, the propaganda surrounding Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field has reached a fever pitch.

The pictures, videos, jokes, etc. are FANTASTIC.

We’ve all seen the classics. Every time the teams play, we’re used to seeing pictures of some of our favorite Steelers fans…

biggirl

huge butt

stillerfan

fan

And there’s always one particular Heath Miller/Todd Heap bit that everyone enjoys. It’s a little offensive, but it’s the Steelers we’re talking about…

heapmiller

This particular version of this picture is more Cleveland Browns-related; but I’ve certainly been texted a version of this that has the dog wearing a purple collar in the past…

dog

Joe Evans sent me a pretty good variation of the above that I really like…

evans

UPDATE: Perry Hall High School alum Billy Apostolou just gave me another one. Winner…

toilet

Leave it to Ravens LB Terrell Suggs to kick things up a notch. After getting everyone riled up out at McDaniel College in Westminster during Training Camp by wearing THIS shirt…

suggs

…He whipped the 1 Winning Drive facility out in Owings Mills into a frenzy when he donned this one Wednesday…

suggsfinger

New this year? A Ben Roethlisberger take on an Antoine Dodson classic. Thanks Barry Aparicio…

hideyourkids

Which lead to this fantastic musical variation from our friend Samantha Sankovich…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q6cq_Ta4vE[/youtube]

And that lead to a funny segment Daniel Tosh did with Dodson on Tosh.O the other night on Comedy Central. Sorry for the poor video quality from YouTube…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNQ9k4sF4qc[/youtube]

As we’ve said all week, Big Ben was never convicted of raping anyone.

In an unrelated story, “No means No.”

It was unrelated. I promise.

Gil from Perry Hall and Tim Kaiser both let me in on a shot of the Steel City that I hadn’t seen before…

gil from Perry Hall

Nick Persico hit me up with this one. I like it…

hate

Here’s an update from Kathleen Smero’s Facebook page. I think my girlfriend needs this shirt…

smero

It’s not really propaganda, but it’s always a good memory. As Luke Jones shared this week at WNST.net, our favorite Ravens-Steelers memory involves former LB Bart Scott…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoDDYkoKi4[/youtube]

Well, I guess we like this toss from QB Joe Flacco to WR TJ Houshmandzadeh toss too…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rISOdUdpTk[/youtube]

Former WNST intern Michael Pomerantz took the Wiz Khalifa song “Black and Yellow” (which had damn well BETTER be banned from Charm City radio stations this week) and turned it into the much more appealing “Black and Purple.” You can download it here, it sounds like this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sekV7BeT4wg[/youtube]

Our friend Rob Fahey (you’ll remember his band “The Ravyns”) has a new tribute to Roethlisberger this season. He joined Drew Forrester and I in studio Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to play it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF3lf5G6xro[/youtube]

In the meantime, my buddy Rich in Westminster couldn’t help but notice that the broken nose handed to Roethlisberger looks an awful lot like the result we’re hoping the Steelers will be handed Saturday…

ben

My buddy Kevin Richardson over at the Baltimore Sun put together a pretty good Ray Lewis remix video worth checking out…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2AlZXUI4VA[/youtube]

Our friends at B-More Bird’s Nest also put together a video this week…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOO81_FYomU[/youtube]

Our own Derek Arnold also passed this along to me…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSXEFyIhd9E[/youtube]

And he directed me to a funny picture Kissing Suzy Kolber posted yesterday. I apologize for the language…

steelers

UPDATE: Scott Price just sent me this one. I love it….

price

When Flacco was told about the existence of this “Last Supper” picture, he got nervous. I don’t blame him…

last supper

After seeing the photo, maybe some folks around the state of Maryland are praying this prayer…

Our Flacco who art in Pittsburgh, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Bowl will come. It will be won, in Dallas as it is in the Dome.

Give us this Saturday, our weekly win, give us Touchdown passes but do not let others pass against us.

Lead us not into frustration, but deliver us to the Superbowl.

For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFL and the glory of the Purple & Black now and forever.

Amen.

That’s not bad. Neither is this joke our buddy Ron Pierro posted in Facebook…

“A Ravens fan, a Bengals fan and a Steelers fan are climbing a mountain and arguing about who loves his team more. The Bengals fan insists he is the most loyal. ‘This is for the Bengals!’ he yells, and jumps off the side of the mountain. Not to be outdone, the Ravens fan is next to profess his love for his team. He yells, ‘This is for the Ravens!’ and pushes the Steelers fan off the mountain.”

Here’s another joke pulled from Facebook…

“On the seventh day, God said ‘Let there be football.’

And it was good.

Later that day, God said ‘Let there be one team to rule the others and set the standard for excellence.’

With that, he plucked stars from the heavens and placed it on the helmet of black and gold.

God said, ‘Let it be called The Pittsburgh Steelers.’

Later that day, God said ‘Even Steelers need a**holes.’

So he made their fans.”

UPDATE: One of my best friends in the world…Sara Mulieri…just posted a weather forecast for Pittsburgh Saturday. I like it…

***WARNING*** The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Pittsburgh PA & surrounding areas for Saturday the 15th of January. This warning will be in effect from 4:30pm until 8:30pm. This Flash Flood will be caused by the tears of the Steelers Fans as they realize the Blackbird Nation has ruined all hopes of another Superbowl appearance. Crying will intensify as the game goes on.

This is a good start, but I know there’s more. If you have something you’d like to add. Please email me (glenn@wnst.net), pass along via Facebook (search “Glenn Clark”) or via Twitter (@WNST).

I love this stuff.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh Says Pryce Will “Be Back With Us”

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) at Heinz Field.

The Ravens made what appeared to be an explosive announcement this morning, as they terminated the contract of DE Trevor Pryce and re-signed S Ken Hamlin. However, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t believe the news to be so significant.

“Trevor’s a big part of what we’re doing here. We anticipate getting back” said Harbaugh. “It’s just what we had to do for now.” Harbaugh appeared aggravated by further questions regarding Pryce, repeating that the termination of his contract was “just a roster move.” He put Pryce questions to bed by exclaiming “Trevor’s a valuable part of this team and he’ll be back with us.”

Fellow Defensive Lineman Kelly Gregg shed some more light on the situation, saying the team told players Pryce “would be back next week.”

Harbaugh appeared happy to have Hamlin back, saying “we said before we wanted him back. He’s part of our team, he was a big part of it the first few weeks. He figures into our plans the rest of the year.”

Without Pryce Sunday in the Steel City, the Ravens are expected to rotate Defensive Linemen. Should he be available, Cory Redding (concussion) would be expected to start, with Brandon McKinney likely to be the top reserve. Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens are all possibilities to play as well, all three were inactive for the Ravens’ Week 3 win over the Cleveland Browns.

WINLESS IN PITTSBURGH: Since taking over as head coach and starting quarterback respectively in 2008, Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have gone 0-3 in trips to Pittsburgh. The team has lost three very close games during the stretch; including the 23-20 overtime loss in September of ’08 on Monday Night Football, the 23-14 loss in the AFC Championship Game in 2009 (which was 16-14 before a 4th quarter Troy Polamalu INT return TD) and a 23-20 loss in December 2009.

Flacco appears unfazed by his inability to win in Pittsburgh. “We’ve played up there three times, and we’ve played pretty good up there. Besides the playoff game, we’ve played really good up there. We just haven’t come up with wins.”

Flacco began his college career with the Pitt Panthers in 2004, but he played in only three games and did not make a start.

Flacco knows exactly what the Ravens need to do for him to be victorious at Heinz Field for the first time in his career. “We’ve got to finish games – and this is going to be another good game – and we’ll have to finish it in the fourth quarter when it comes down to the time to do that.”

Future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis said he was unaware that Harbaugh and Flacco had never won in Pittsburgh as Baltimore Ravens. “I don’t know if they’re worried about it…I won’t even bring it up.”

PRACTICE REPORT: RB Ray Rice (knee) came out to the field at the tail end of media availability during Wednesday’s practice; did not participate. Rice was also made unavailable to the media during the day. Rice walked both in the locker room and on the field without any sort of noticeable limp.

Redding and OL Tony Moll (leg) did not participate in practice either. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) did not participate, they have been ruled OUT for Sunday.

Jared Gaither (back) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since August 5th at McDaniel College during Training Camp. Gaither’s status for Sunday remains unknown. Also listed as limited Wednesday was LB Jarret Johnson (back). C Matt Birk (back), OL Chris Chester (back) and TE Todd Heap (shoulder) were full participants.

For the Steelers, QB Dennis Dixon (knee), G Trai Essex (ankle) and DT Chris Hoke did not participate in practice Wednesday.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Lewis, Gregg, Johnson, WR Anquan Boldin, LB Terrell Suggs, FB Le’Ron McClain and RB Willis McGahee NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Boldin was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Sunday against the Browns (8 catches, 142 yards, 3 TD’s). Boldin was dismissive of the honor, saying it “doesn’t matter”……When asked if he thought he’d be active Sunday against the Steelers, Cody responded “(You’d) have to ask the coaches…I think I’m ready.” When asked if he thought he had played well enough in practice to warrant seeing the field Sunday, Cody responded “I wouldn’t say that”……McKinney is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST Thursday morning at 7:00am.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh “Highly Doubts” Kindle Plays This Season

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens had their final media availability Friday morning at 1 Winning Drive before Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

The session was highlighted by significant news from head coach John Harbaugh concerning unsigned rookie LB Sergio Kindle. Harbaugh said that after Baltimore doctors put Kindle through a “battery of tests” from independent doctors in Charm City; it has been determined that Kindle is dealing with “serious (head) issues.” Harbaugh admitted “I think the chances of him playing this year are slim.”

Kindle suffered a fractured skull in an accident at a friend’s house in Austin, Texas the week before the team was to report to Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster.

Harbaugh said the team still intends to sign Kindle to “some form of a deal that reflects the situation”, admitting that the team is both trying to “protect Steve (Bisciotti)’s investment” in their 2nd round pick; but also give the rookie “an opportunity” to get into the facility and around the team. The team will work with the NFL and the NFLPA regarding the contract, a team official said they do not know of a precedent as to how the contract will be formulated.

Harbaugh said he expected Kindle to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but said he “highly doubts” Kindle will play in 2010. While on PUP or IR, Kindle would still be able to participate in team meetings, work out at the Owings Mills facility and be monitored by team doctors.

While the team wants to get Kindle signed as quickly as possible, the Ravens would not face a league deadline to sign Kindle as they do not intend for him to play in 2010. Should they not sign him before the 2011 NFL Draft, they would lose the exclusive rights to negotiate with him and he would be eligible to be selected by another team.

INJURY UPDATE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) and OT Jared Gaither (back) have already been ruled out for the game, so it was no surprise to not see them on the practice field during the portion open to the media.

The more alarming news for the Ravens was that LB Jarret Johnson (back spasms) was on the field but did not participate for a 2nd straight day.

Johnson was listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game on the team’s final injury report. Should he be unable to play Sunday in Cincy, LB Prescott Burgess would be likely to start in his place. LB Edgar Jones and DE Paul Kruger could also be asked to help fill the void.

Johnson has played in all but one game during his career since being selected in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Alabama. When asked whether Johnson had a good chance to get on the Sunday, Harbaugh said simply “I think he does.” Johnson also said he “should be” good to get on the field.

Five Ravens were listed as “limited” participants on Friday’s injury report. LB Ray Lewis (foot), LB Jameel McClain (knee), TE Todd Heap (shoulder), LB Tavares Gooden (thigh), WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and DT Terrence Cody (knee) were all limited participants Friday, but are all listed as “questionable for Sunday”. Heap and Cody are the only players on that list whose status is a legitimate concern for Sunday’s game; but Cody has practiced all week and Heap has practiced on back to back days.

When asked about his chances of getting on the field Sunday, Cody said the “only thing that could stop me is if the coaches won’t let me play.” Cody however stopped short of declaring himself a lock for Sunday’s game. When asked if he would definitely see the field, Cody responded “I don’t know.”

When asked about his shoulder injury, Heap said “I feel good right now, we’ll have to see how it feels on Sunday.” Heap reaffirmed that he “should be good” to play.

WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and WR Marcus Smith (knee) were full participants in practice Friday and are listed as “probable” to play Sunday.

CB Lardarius Webb (knee) has not been listed on any of this week’s injury reports and was a full participant in every practice leading up to the Week 1 win over the New York Jets. Webb did not play in Week 1, and there is no guarantee he will play Sunday. Harbaugh offered only a response of “I don’t know” when asked about the 2nd year corner from Nicholls State; but said “I think there’s a chance (he plays).”

For the Bengals, DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. RB Brian Leonard (foot) and LB Keith Rivers (foot) are listed as probable.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Heap, Cody and Johnson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Bisciotti watched practice Friday morning from the field at 1 Winning Drive, he spent part of practice chatting with Harbaugh……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday and then travel to the Queen City Saturday night. Saturday’s walkthrough is not open to the media……P Sam Koch joined Drew Forrester Friday morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that conversation can be heard in the Audio Vault as well……For the quickest and most significant Ravens updates respectively, follow WNST on Twitter (@WNST) and make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service.

-G

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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: 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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Mocking The 53: Roster Taking Shape Through 2 Preseason Games

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Mocking The 53: Roster Taking Shape Through 2 Preseason Games

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Ravens have wrapped up Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster and have now settled in at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

They’ve won their first two preseason games against the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, and have just two more preseason contests left (they host the New York Giants Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium and visit the St. Louis Rams a week from Thursday) before they open the regular season September 13th at the Meadowlands against the New York Jets on the national stage of Monday Night Football.

Before they get there, they’ll have to make some major roster decisions. After the game against the Giants, they’ll have to trim the roster slightly before the Tuesday (August 31) deadline to be down to 75 players. Following that, they’ll have just 4 days to make final decisions before the roster is cut to 53 on Saturday, September 4.

There are no changes to the physical roster (except where we expect Lardarius Webb to be when the season begins) since my 4th “Mocking the 53″ update, but there are some changes to the 53 itself. Before we get to that, a reminder of the explanation of the list I wrote before the initial version…

“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, let’s look again at how the Top 53 shapes up…

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

Only one real change in the Top 10, and it comes from someone who hasn’t performed much at all. Ray Rice has played little at all through two preseason games, and it has shown you everything you need to know about the importance of the 3rd year back from Rutgers. His place in this Ravens offense is INCREDIBLY significant, and without him heavily involved, they are just not the same-no matter who is playing receiver.

Otherwise, everything about the Top 10 remains the same. I know Michael Oher has struggled a bit in the first two preseason games-but Oher is a very good player. He was a bit of a 2nd half guy a season ago (remember his struggles in the first half against Jared Allen when the Ravens visited the Minnesota Vikings but his stellar 2nd half in the same game), and might be a player who just needs some more rhythm to shine. I’m not concerned yet myself.

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

Almost all of this group remains the same as well. Tom Zbikowski enters the Top 20, as he has played very well knowing he will be in the starting lineup with the Ravens visit East Rutherford Week 1 barring some sort of Ed Reed miracle. I also think it is worth pointing out that while John Harbaugh may have claimed that he ISN’T voting “McClain 4 RB”, Le’Ron McClain has been very good during the preseason-and it would be surprising if he didn’t make more of an impact in the offense this season.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. OT Jared Gaither
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. TE Ed Dickson
25. S Haruki Nakamura
nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. K Shayne Graham
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. LB Dannell Ellerbe

There are some subtle changes in this group-starting with Jared Gaither. Gaither falls out of the Top 20 because we just don’t know what to make of his health. The initial prognosis surrounding his back tear made us believe that he should be available before the Ravens head to New Jersey on Sept. 13. Of course, at this point we’re starting to reach a place where “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Dannell Ellerbe moves back into the Top 30 this week. After watching the other interior LB’s competing for the starting JACK spot against the Skins, I get the feeling that Ellerbe’s ability to play the pass will ultimately get him back into the starting lineup.

Lardarius Webb re-enters “The 53″ at #26. As we see more of what he’s capable of doing early on, we will see how quickly he can rise on the list. Shayne Graham drops a few spots as well despite the fact that I truly believe he’ll be the kicker of record come MNF on Sept. 13. I just somehow needed to reflect the fact that Billy Cundiff has kicked well recently, including 2 makes Saturday night at FedEx Field.

31. P Sam Koch
32. RB Willis McGahee
mcgahee
33. WR Donte’ Stallworth
34. DT Kelly Gregg
35. TE Dennis Pitta
36. LB Jameel McClain
37. LB Tavares Gooden
38. CB Cary Williams
39. DE Paul Kruger
40. OT Oniel Cousins

There are a few significant risers in this group. One is Sam Koch, who was tremendous again Saturday night in DC. His contract situation is an uncomfortable spot for the team, as he is going to get paid SOMEWHERE-but the team has set a precedent in the past that they won’t give big money to a punter (see Kyle Richardson and Dave Zastudil).

Willis McGahee also rises on this list, despite the fact that a number of armchair GM’s in Charm City would have already dealt him for just about anyone with the letters “CB” next to their name. McGahee continues to prove himself as being very valuable, both as a reserve who can take a number of carries and as an impressive short yardage back.

The third riser in this group is Cary Williams-who was exceptional again Saturday night. It may have been preseason football, but the QB Williams picked off (Donovan McNabb) is still a future Hall of Famer. Williams’ size (he’s 6’1″) really DOES make a difference when it comes to how we look at his role moving forward. Should he continue to play similar to his size, Williams could develop into a legitimate NFL corner.

41. LB Antwan Barnes
42. S Ken Hamlin
43. QB Troy Smith
44. DT Kelly Talavou
45. DT Brandon McKinney
46. RB Jalen Parmele
parmele
47. OL Tony Moll
48. LS Morgan Cox
49. CB Travis Fisher
50. OL David Hale
51. LB Jason Phillips
52. WR David Reed
53. S/CB KJ Gerard

Travis Fisher is hanging by a thread-and I would suggest that at this point he’s BARELY ahead of either KJ Gerard or Prince Miller. No matter how quick Anthony Armstrong is, there’s no way that Fisher should have been embarrassed by him the way he was Saturday night. I’ll leave him on the roster for now, if only because the Ravens have to have SOME healthy corners lining up against Santonio Holmes Braylon Edwards and company September 13. I’m also keeping Gerard ahead of Prince Miller, only because Gerard has more to offer on Special Teams right now than Miller does.

(Editor’s note: Thanks to all who pointed out Holmes will miss the first 4 games. Absolutely right. My mistake. I need a better editor. Or an editor.)

Two players who I moved back onto the roster thanks to their performance Saturday night are Jason Phillips and David Reed. Reed not only played well offensively, but also made a very key Special Teams tackle. Proving his value on Special Teams changes everything-which goes for Phillips as well. That being said, Edgar Jones is a very valuable AND versatile player who I currently have OFF the 53, so these standings remain tentative.

(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(S Ed Reed-Likely PUP)
(LB Sergio Kindle-Likely PUP or IR)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-potential PUP or injury settlement until known otherwise)
(RB Matt Lawrence-potential PUP or injury settlement until known otherwise)

I’m taking both Ayanbadejo and Lawrence out of the equation for now. There are other players on this team battling injuries, but neither of them have even done significant work in practice. Until I see that, I’m going to work under the assumption that they won’t be part of the team Week 1. That can change rapidly. A week ago, we were working under the assumption that Lardarius Webb would start the season on PUP.

54. K Billy Cundiff
55. CB Prince Miller
56. LB Edgar Jones
57. WR Demetrius Williams
58. DT Arthur Jones
59. OT Ramon Harewood
60. DT Lamar Divens
divens
61. TE Davon Drew
62. LB Prescott Burgess
63. WR Marcus Smith
64. WR Justin Harper
65. FB Mike McLaughlin
66. WR Eron Riley
67. DE Albert McClellan
68. RB Curtis Steele
69. OT Joe Reitz
70. CB Marcus Paschal

The reality is that Miller, Edgar Jones and Williams are in direct competition at positions where there is probably room to keep another player. Arthur Jones and Divens are probably in positions where keeping another player just might not be a legitimate option. Of course, we didn’t all think the Ravens would keep both McKinney and Talavou a season ago, and what did we learn there?

Mike McLaughlin’s name will keep coming up, but keeping him on the 53 really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There isn’t MUCH risk in exposing an undrafted rookie FB who has just converted to LB. Giving him more time on the practice squad could really benefit him as a player.

71. CB Doug Dutch
dougdutch
72. OL Bryan Mattison
73. OT Stefan Rodgers
74. CB Brad Jones
75. CB Chris Hawkins
76. OT Daniel Sanders
77. OT Devin Tyler

A good sign that you’re a longshot to make the roster? A simple Google image search doesn’t come up with a legitimate picture of you. Thank God for Facebook. Hopefully there’s some practice squad help in this group.

There you have it. Questions? Concerns? Comments? Thoughts in general? Song requests? Let me know.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Activate Lardarius Webb from PUP List

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With Training Camp in the books, the Baltimore Ravens returned to 1 Winning Drive Monday and were immediately greeted by good news.

CB Lardarius Webb was activated by the team after suffering a torn ACL that cut short his 2009 season and forced him to miss all practices in Westminster on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Webb was on the practice field Monday, moving with what appeared to be no pain in individual drills. No team drills were available for media viewing, so his level of participation there is unknown. Coach John Harbaugh confirmed Webb “looked good moving around” in individual drills, Webb added “it was fun.”

It is also still unknown whether or not Webb will participate in either of the team’s remaining preseason contests (vs. New York Giants Saturday, @St. Louis Rams one week from Thursday); or whether or not he will be ready for the season opener Sept. 13 at the Meadowlands against the New York Jets. Harbaugh said of Webb’s chances of playing in the preseason “we’re not going to push it.” Webb deferred questions about when he may be able to return to Harbaugh or Head Trainer Bill Tessendorf.

Fellow corner Fabian Washington; who returned from a torn ACL while the team practiced at McDaniel College, thought Sept. 13 was a fair target date for Webb’s return. “I think there’s always a chance” said Washington. “I know he’s close.”

With Domonique Foxworth out for the season (knee), Webb’s return marks good news for a Ravens secondary unit looking to improve on the 200+ yards per game they allowed via the air in 2009. Safety Haruki Nakamura said Webb’s return is “going to mean a lot. He’s a guy who at the end of (2009) who was starting to play really well.” He added “now that he can anticipate things and be more confident, it’s going to make a bigger difference.”

When he is ready to play, Webb will battle Chris Carr for the right to start opposite Washington at CB. His return makes the battle for roster spots behind him tougher; with Travis Fisher, Cary Williams, Prince Miller, KJ Gerard, Marcus Paschal, Doug Dutch, Brad Jones and Chris Hawkins all in the mix.

The second year corner out of Nicholls State is unlikely to return to the kick return role he held down in 2009 (that job currently belongs to Jalen Parmele), but he hasn’t ruled the return game out entirely. “I want to do everything I can possibly do when I get back to 100%.”

After being scratched from Saturday night’s game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field, Gerard (hamstring) was back on the practice field Monday and appeared to practice fully. Paschal (leg) remained extremely limited during drills.

Outside of the secondary, WR Demetrius Williams was not present during the portion of practice open to the media Monday; he left Saturday night’s win in DC with an ankle injury. Other Ravens not present Monday included O-Linemen Jared Gaither (back), Oniel Cousins (concussion), David Hale (tailbone) and Daniel Sanders (arm/shoulder).

S Ed Reed (hip), LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (quad) and RB Matt Lawrence (knee) remain on the PUP list.

NOTES: For the first time since the implementation of new practice viewing rules earlier this year, the Ravens removed a member of the media from practice for talking on their cell phone…Ayanbadejo and Lawrence were both on field during Monday’s practice, Lawrence was in uniform…Harbaugh said he talked to Ed Reed Saturday night during the Skins game-Reed “feels good about his progress

-G

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Four Weeks Into “Season”, Ravens Haven’t Changed Much

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

LANDOVER, Md. – Looking at the 23-3 final score, it would be easy to assume the Baltimore Ravens had no troubles with the Washington Redskins Saturday night at FedEx Field. It would also be easy to assume that after a less than overwhelming performance against the Carolina Panthers, the Ravens reminded their regional rivals and other teams throughout the NFL that they are a true favorite to win the AFC and reach the Super Bowl.

And to some extent, maybe all of that is true.

The reality is that after four weeks of practice at McDaniel College in Westminster and two preseason contests, everything that was a concern for this team as they entered Training Camp remains a concern still.

Without Domonique Foxworth, the biggest concern facing the Baltimore Ravens was in the secondary. Injuries (Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb), inexperience (Cary Williams and Prince Miller) and…well…insignificance (Chris Carr and Travis Fisher) still make the unit a rather large question mark to at least some extent.

Fabian Washington played a very solid first quarter in DC, but his long-term durability remains a question-especially considering his standing as the team’s current top corner. There has been a great fear that Lardarius Webb would end up starting the season on the PUP list, but it looks more and more like he will be active within a week. But little is known about how quickly Webb will be able to get into NFL game action, and how much he will resemble the player who was a pleasant surprise after being selected in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Nicholls State.

Chris Carr was at least adequate if not better for a 2nd straight week; but the same cannot be said for Travis Fisher. Fisher (and Dawan Landry) were torched early by a 45 yard pass from Donovan McNabb to Anthony Armstrong (which set up a Graham Gano field goal-Washington’s only points of the game). Fisher would have been torched by the same receiver again in the 2nd quarter had McNabb not been guilty of an overthrow.

Cary Williams was a bright spot for the Ravens, recording his second interception of the preseason on an underthrown ball from McNabb intended for Santana Moss. The only unfortunate part of Williams’ solid play is the reminder that he will be unavailable when the Ravens visit the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in Weeks 1 and 2 due to a suspension handed down by Roger Goodell for a violation of the league’s conduct policy. Behind Williams; Prince Miller, Doug Dutch and Chris Hawkins offered little to nothing in late game play.

The concerns surrounding the Ravens don’t stop there. At inside linebacker, there was no separation created by Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden or Dannell Ellerbe to lock down a starting role next to Ray Lewis. All three took turns having trouble with the likes of Chris Cooley and Moss over the middle; although none were liabilities against the run.

While the Ravens may have gotten pressure on Donovan McNabb at times, only once was Terrell Suggs able to put him in the dirt. With the question marks at corner, it is well known that the pass rush must improve for this team this season. Suggs had his hands full with rookie Skins tackle Trent Williams, while Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg appeared to do little more.

Offensively, the Ravens’ concerns surrounded scoring points and sustaining drives. The longest sustained scoring drive they put together with Joe Flacco and the offensive starters in the game was 40 yards to start the 2nd quarter (which was capped off by a 26 yard field goal from Billy Cundiff). They also put together a 68 yard TD drive two possessions later, but 51 of those yards came on a direct snap run by Haruki Nakamura off a fake punt.

The areas of concern are just that. Areas of concern.

But in the nature of building a team up after breaking them down, the Ravens did INDEED manage to prove that they are still the AFC North and Super Bowl contenders we believed them to be before Camp started.

The areas that WEREN’T concerning before Camp started are in no ways concerning now. The Ravens’ run defense allowed just 25 yards rushing. The Ravens spread the ball around offensively, with 7 different receivers catching at least two passes, and 16 different receivers hauling in at least one reception. Joe Flacco was steady if not spectacular-completing 9 of 16 passes for 72 yards. Sam Koch was absolutely stellar-totaling 235 yards on 5 punts and pinning the Redskins inside the 20 yard line 3 times.

Where we know the Ravens are good, we still know the Ravens are good.

Following the game, coach John Harbaugh said “we’re pleased with where we’re at, but we know we have a long way to go.”

I couldn’t agree more.

This team has shown nothing to make us think they aren’t capable of reaching every lofty goal that fans have for them. That being said, they’ve also reminded us that it’s going to be a long road to reaching those goals.

The good news is that the Super Bowl is still scheduled for February 6th in Dallas (or Arlington, Texas); not next weekend at M&T Bank Stadium. That will be nothing more than another preseason game-this time against the New York Giants.

Between now and February 6th, concerns will need to be limited.

-G

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