Tag Archive | "mcdaniel"

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Ravens Cancel Training Camp in Westminster

Posted on 22 June 2011 by WNST Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RAVENS MOVE TRAINING CAMP

Because of the uncertainty as to when the NFL lockout will end, the Baltimore Ravens will move their 2011 training camp from McDaniel College to their year-round facility in Owings Mills.

Last summer, over 110,000 fans attended the open practice sessions at McDaniel, the Ravens’ training camp home since the franchise started in 1996.

“We’re disappointed we won’t be back at McDaniel and in Westminster this summer. We delayed the decision as long as we could,” Bob Eller, the Ravens’ vice president of operations, said. “There are logistics that needed to be addressed now, including McDaniel’s schedule, the hotel, the fields and other Ravens football functions. Right now, we don’t know dates for camp, and we’ve been forced to make other plans.

“One of the main issues we have is the time it takes to move our entire football operation to Westminster and then bring it back to Owings Mills. Those are days we can’t afford to lose as our team prepares for the season in what has become a condensed time period,” Eller explained.

The Ravens have spent all 15 of their training camps in Westminster. “We’ll miss being there, working with the college and the Best Western hotel. They have been very patient with us through this process,” Eller added. “We’ll also miss the interaction with the fans, which is a huge part of our camp experience.”

“We’ve appreciated the Ravens keeping us in the loop through this process,” Ethan Seidel, McDaniel College’s vice president of administration and finance, said. “We’ve had ongoing discussions internally and with the Ravens, knowing that the closer we got to a regular training camp start date, the less likely it would be logistically feasible to pull it off this year. We’re certainly not surprised by this and have been prepared for this scenario. When the NFL has its new agreement, we look forward to speaking with the Ravens about continuing our partnership with them.”

The Ravens’ lease agreement with Baltimore County does not allow for fans to attend practices in Owings Mills. “We don’t have the parking space for the fans, and the roads could not safely handle the type of crowds we attract,” team president Dick Cass explained.

Cass noted that the team has already begun discussions with McDaniel College to return to Westminster for future Ravens training camps. “We hope to have a full NFL season in 2011, but the current timing compelled us to make this decision. We waited as long as we could, but we’re beyond the dates when we could efficiently prepare for the move to McDaniel for a normal training camp start. We do fully anticipate, however, to be back at McDaniel next summer,” Cass said.

Once a new collective bargaining agreement between the franchises and the players is reached, the Ravens will announce practice schedules. “We will make every effort to have one or more practices at M&T Bank Stadium once we can determine our camp schedule. And, these sessions at M&T will be free and open to the general public,” Cass added.

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Let Me Be The One To Say It-Orioles Better With Guerrero, But We Might Be Getting Carried Away

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Let Me Be The One To Say It-Orioles Better With Guerrero, But We Might Be Getting Carried Away

Posted on 07 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

I was sitting at Love Field Airport in Dallas when I got the news.

Like so many stories in these past 18 months, I got the news from Twitter. Enrique Rojas from ESPNDeportes.com Tweeted that the Baltimore Orioles had finally signed free agent Designated Hitter/Outfielder Vladimir Guerrero to a one year deal worth eight million dollars.

guerrero

I smiled when I saw the news.

As an O’s fan-particularly an O’s fan who has seen my favorite team reach the playoffs only three times during the 27+ years I’ve been on this planet-one of which was a World Series win when I was only a month old-it’s easy to get carried away by any good news at all.

We just haven’t gotten much of it in Charm City during the regime of owner Peter Angelos, especially since 1998.

I will admit that after the Guerrero rumors didn’t produce a deal by the team’s annual Fanfest celebration January 29th at the Baltimore Convention Center-I had a bad feeling this was going to be another swing and miss for the organization and Birds fans alike.

That’s why the news of the deal was most exciting.

Not only did President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail come through to add a nine time All-Star and borderline Hall or Famer we’ve all enjoyed watching for years as a Major League Baseball fan, but he did it at a price some five million dollars more than we were told the team had originally offered.

In a few moments, it felt as though the organization had gone through a complete change. If felt as though we could finally mark the turning point in what I heard MASN’s Tom Davis call “The Rise of the Orioles” over the weekend.

Hell of a lede, huh?

Reality set in for me sometime around 2pm Saturday as I was sitting at Comcast Center in College Park watching Maryland blow out Wake Forest.

The reality in the acquisition of Guerrero is that the Orioles are a better team today than they were a week ago-but that nothing has REALLY changed organizationally.

The Birds invested $8 million dollars in their current and future on-field product Friday.

The $8 million they invested might well solidify them as a favorite to finish third in the American League East; and will lead to more MLB talking heads picking them to finish at or slightly above .500 this season.

Despite his age (35) and having missed nearly half the 2009 season with a torn pec (he played in just 100 games); there’s fair reason to expect Guerrero to equal his 2010 production (.300, 29 HR’s, 115 RBI) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 2011.

For those reasons, there is an understandable excitement surrounding the acquisition of Guerrero-myself included.

But the Orioles didn’t change the course of their organization by signing Guerrero.

They signed a player for ONE season and gave him $8 million.

They didn’t make an annual investment of $8 million in a player in his prime who will be around for five seasons.

They made a one time investment of $8 million in a player who is nearing the end of his career.

They DIDN’T spend $56 million over four seasons to acquire Adam Dunn-which is what the Chicago White Sox did this offseason.

They DIDN’T spend $96 million over six seasons to acquire Adrian Beltre-which is what the Texas Rangers did this offseason.

Some folks will say the Orioles exercised fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, fiscal responsibility still hasn’t replaced “wins” in determining who wins the AL East and AL Wild Card.

The Orioles gave Vlad Guerrero $3 million more this season than they gave P Koji Uehara a season ago. (The team actually made more of an “investment” in Uehara than they did Guerrero-as he was originally given 2 years, $10 million.)

As CBS’ Ian Eagle would say, “that’s not a low blow…”

Guerrero makes the Orioles better, but most folks willing to take an impartial look at the general scope of the American League would agree that they’re still not approaching a place where they can legitimately compete with the likes of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have added Guerrero. They ABSOLUTELY did the right thing in making the addition. They should be commended for the decision to upgrade their team this way.

But as fans, we should have a little more IQ than to respond by saying things like “the confederate money era is over” or “they’ve finally decided to change their financial ways” or the one a caller named Aaron dropped on Drew Forrester and I Monday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST…

“Now the Orioles are set up to go out and get Prince Fielder this offseason.”

None of those things have changed.

For whatever reason, the team decided to make an $8 million upgrade that will help them win a handful of additional games this season. On paper, they will send a lineup to the plate that might end being in the top third of the league after finishing 13th in runs scored a year ago.

But adding Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero in an offseason puts them in good shape to win the 2005 NL East, not the 2011 AL East.

And it certainly doesn’t show that they’ve suddenly changed their ways in terms of spending money.

One eight million dollar payment does not suddenly enter them in the Albert Pujols discussion.

Hopefully things will go well for the Orioles in 2011.

Hopefully Guerrero will match his 2010 output.

Hopefully Lee and SS JJ Hardy will stay healthy and return to their 2009 productivity.

Hopefully 3B Mark Reynolds will keep his power numbers up even if his batting average and strikeout numbers are less than desirable.
Hopefully C Matt Wieters will reach the levels we thought he would reach a season ago.

Hopefully RF Nick Markakis and 2B Brian Roberts will be Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts.

Hopefully CF Adam Jones will look like the 2nd half of 2010 Adam Jones and not the 1st half of 2010 Adam Jones.

Hopefully the starting pitching will continue to develop.

If those things happen, the Orioles could be interesting to watch this season. It could be especially important to sports fans in the state of Maryland as we have no guarantee the Ravens will be reporting to McDaniel College in Westminster for Training Camp in July-or at all.
But can we all agree to not get carried away? Can we all agree to be able to react at an appropriate level?

The Orioles aren’t suddenly an expected contender because Guerrero is in tow. And they’re certainly not a team that has suddenly changed their business model in a way that will allow them to add players and compete on an annual basis.

They’re simply a little bit better than they were a week ago.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

-G

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Ranking The Ravens: A Postseason Breakdown of 53(+) Man Roster

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Ranking The Ravens: A Postseason Breakdown of 53(+) Man Roster

Posted on 21 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

In their new song, “Waiting For The End”, the band Linkin Park offered a lyric that should be considered particularly fitting for Baltimore Ravens fans.

The hardest part of ending is starting again…

With their 31-24 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in the AFC Divisional Round, the 2010-2011 NFL season has ended for the Ravens.

It didn’t take long for the team’s offseason to begin. Even with owners and players apparently headed towards a lockout, GM Ozzie Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta, Senior Personnel Assistant George Kokinis and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz lead a front office hard at work in shaping what the 2011 Baltimore Ravens will look like…as long as there is a 2011 NFL season.

Members of the front office are already preparing for the NFL Draft, as they are scouting college seniors this week in Orlando at the East West Shrine Game. Next week they will be doing the same thing at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.

As we enter the offseason, I’ll offer a variation of my preseason power rankings (you’ll remember my “Mocking the 53″ blogs) to review the team’s roster. This is a complicated review, as I factor in who had the best season, who has proved to a better player overall, the value of the position and contract status.

Players labeled as “UFA” are unrestricted free agents. Players labeled as “RFA” are restricted free agents. Players labeled as “ERFA” are exclusive rights free agents. Players labeled as “reserve/future” have reserve/future contracts.

Unique labeling on my part. I’m aware.

1. LB Terrell Suggs
2. DT Haloti Ngata (UFA)
3. RB Ray Rice
4. LB Ray Lewis
5. G Ben Grubbs

grubbs

While I said Tuesday Ngata was the team’s best player in 2010 (he also received my vote for/won the team’s Most Valuable Player award), his contract status leaves him second on the list.

Suggs was outstanding in 2010, proving his 2009 season was indeed a fluke after signing a big contract the proceeding offseason.

It is going to cost owner Steve Bisciotti a LOT of money to retain Ngata this offseason, but the Ravens are basically going to have to pay the price. Losing Ngata could absolutely WRECK the franchise’s plans defensively, as Ngata anchors what they do up front. It could only spell the end of Lewis’ career. If Ngata were to depart, Lewis could no longer be viewed as a Top 5 player on the roster for sure.

Rice’s fantasy football numbers were down in 2010, but his offensive impact certainly wasn’t. He remained the Ravens’ most dynamic playmaker and is expected to an offensive force for years to come.

It was interesting (for me) as I graded out players that I felt Grubbs was worthy of being a Top 5 player. Grubbs proved himself to be the team’s best and most reliable Offensive Lineman, and gives the team at least one more position they don’t have to worry about…for now.

6. WR Anquan Boldin
7. QB Joe Flacco
8. OT Michael Oher
9. K Billy Cundiff (UFA)
10. P Sam Koch (UFA)

koch

Everything at the receiver position has to be viewed as wide open right now…except for Boldin. He has to be viewed as the team’s top possession receiver no matter what Derrick Mason decides to do.

While Flacco is still a cornerstone for the franchise (and the suggestion made that the team should have him “compete” with Marc Bulger for the starting job is laughable), his move outside the Top 5 is a statement. He made SOME of the progress the team wanted him to make-but not all of it. There will be increasing pressure for that to happen next year.

Oher represents a tricky situation for the Ravens. While he struggled in 2010, he’s certainly not a BAD player. The team will have to figure out whether or not he has a long term future at LT. If he does (and he plays to that level), he’ll be a Top 5 player on this team for a long time.

Koch and Cundiff represent a unique problem for the team. During the 15 years of the team’s history, they’ve never been the type of organization that would spend a lot of money on a specialist. They’re going to have to pay two guys this offseason as top-tier specialists. These players were a SIGNIFICANT reason the team managed to win 12 regular season games and a playoff game this year.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. WR Derrick Mason
13. S Ed Reed
14. CB Domonique Foxworth
15. FB Le’Ron McClain (UFA)

mcclain

Heap, Mason and Reed are unique. If this list was based on ability and performance alone; there would be an argument they should all be in the Top 10. Their age leaves them on the outside looking in, as even if they return as expected the team will have to make decisions at their positions.

It might seem surprising that Foxworth is the highest ranked of the cornerbacks, but he was the team’s top guy before getting hurt and is the only guy (besides Lardarius Webb) in the group who actually has a contract.

The Ravens are in a VERY unique situation with McClain. He had a tremendous season at fullback; but doesn’t want to return as true fullback. To return, the two time Pro Bowler would have to be assured of more involvement in Cam Cameron’s offense. I’m not sure how likely that is.

16. CB Chris Carr (UFA)
17. LB Jarret Johnson
18. CB Lardarius Webb
19. CB Josh Wilson (UFA)
20. DE Cory Redding

redding

Carr had a great season and offered some legitimate stability to the team’s defensive backfield. That being said, there will be a question as to whether or not bringing him back will work monetarily. If he gets paid as a #1 corner, the Ravens might be in trouble. Wilson is in the same boat. The uncertainty surrounding those two corners helps Webb find himself ranked higher on the list.

My guess is that one of Carr and Wilson will be back, but not both.

Johnson and Redding are both solid contributors to the defense, and the Ravens can pencil them in for next season. They’ll need a healthier (or just somehow more effective) Johnson, and they’ll need to compliment Redding with a legitimate rush end.

21. S Dawan Landry (UFA)
22. WR TJ Houshmandzadeh (UFA)
23. TE Ed Dickson
24. DT Brandon McKinney
25. DT Kelly Gregg

kgregg

Like other players, the Ravens find themselves in a tricky spot when it comes to Landry. As a starter and solid contributor to one of the league’s better defenses over the last few years, Landry could find himself in position to make a lot of money on the free agent market. The Ravens may or may not be in a place to match that. He’s been good; but with restricted free agents Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura likely to return, it seems unlikely they would retain Landry at a high cost.

Houshmandzadeh almost seems to be in a “if Mason doesn’t come back” position. The Ravens can’t just retain all of their top three receivers and make progress offensively. If Mason retires, there would be a much greater likelihood of Houshmandzadeh returning.

Dickson showed signs of being a potential breakout performer in 2010, but never actually broke out. The team will look to expand his role as he continues to get more comfortable in the offense. He also represents the team’s best chance of limiting an aging Heap’s snaps in 2011.

It might look surprising at first to see McKinney listed ahead of a player like Gregg, but I think it represents an area where the Ravens can move forward. McKinney came on strong down the stretch, looking like a reliable cog on the defensive line. While Gregg made a fantastic play on Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium, he showed signs of aging as the season wore on, and it would be difficult to assume he could continue playing the majority of downs in the future.

26. OT Jared Gaither (UFA)
27. OL Marshal Yanda (UFA)
28. DT Terrence Cody
29. C Matt Birk
30. S Haruki Nakamura (RFA)

nakamura

My only gut instinct with Gaither is that the team won’t give him the type of premium price tag a top tier OT would probably expect. There’s an argument as to whether or not ANYONE should pay Gaither that price, but my guess is that someone will. The Ravens don’t want to see Yanda depart, but there’s a chance another NFL team will choose to offer him legitimate tackle money because he played the position in 2010.

The Ravens likely can’t be in position to overpay a player like Yanda, but they certainly to solidify their O-Line. Birk could still decide to retire; but even if he doesn’t the team has to make future plans for the position.

Cody showed SOME signs of being a future contributor during the 2010 season, but probably not enough that the Ravens can feel comfortable with expecting him to play every down in 2011. Nakamura could be very important, as he would be the most likely to step into the role should Landry depart in free agency.

31. RB Willis McGahee
32. DE Paul Kruger
33. LB Jameel McClain (RFA)
34. LB Tavares Gooden (RFA)
35. LB Dannell Ellerbe (ERFA)

ellerbe

I’m going to guess that McGahee won’t be getting the $19.7 million owed to him over the last three years of his contract. The most likely scenario probably involves McGahee not returning to Charm City next season. But if he’s willing to take a pay cut, there’s still a chance he could be a solid compliment to Rice behind an improved O-Line.

Paul Kruger started to show some signs at the end of the season that he might be able to contribute in the future. Unfortunately, that’s probably not the level of progression the team had in mind for the 2009 2nd round pick. 2011 could be a “make or break” type of year for Kruger.

And then there’s McClain/Gooden/Ellerbe. Does anyone else want to try to figure this out? The team clearly hoped one player in this group would separate themselves out at McDaniel College in Westminster during Training Camp in 2010, but that clearly didn’t happen. They also hoped one would separate themselves during the 2010 season. That didn’t happen either.

Of the group, McClain has probably shown himself to be the most steady, but is equally vulnerable against the pass. Gooden is probably the best against the pass, but there’s a joke in there about being the prettiest girl at fat camp. Ellerbe showed some capability of making plays in the backfield, but looks lost against the pass.

It looks like all three will end up returning in 2011. It also looks like the Ravens will be in a very familiar position when (if?) the season begins.

36. WR/KR David Reed
37. CB Fabian Washington (UFA)
38. S Tom Zbikowski (RFA)
39. LS Morgan Cox
40. OL Chris Chester (UFA)

chester

Whether or not David Reed can someday contribute at receiver is still to be determined. But he clearly came on as a kick returner until a concussion and a wrist injury cut his season short. He’ll have to stay out of trouble off the field, but it looks like the Ravens have a solid piece of the puzzle in Reed.

Washington made it clear earlier this week he wouldn’t return to the team unless his role was expanded. There’s a chance his role could be expanded if Carr and Wilson depart. Otherwise, it doesn’t look good. Zbikowski will almost certainly be back, the organization will now have to determine whether or not he is capable of replacing Ed Reed on a full-time basis whenever the future Hall of Famer walks away from the game.

Cox did a nice job of solidifying the long snapper position after beating veteran Matt Katula out during the preseason. The only concern surrounding Cox is how quickly he’ll be able to return from the torn ACL he suffered against the Cleveland Browns, but it appears as though he’ll be ready to go.

Chester will be another tough decision for the Ravens. If another team is willing to pay him to be an every down linemen, the organization will have to think hard before matching. Chester has shown himself as being reliable, but I think he’s only a starter in Baltimore if Yanda were to depart…or the Ravens were forced to keep Yanda at Tackle.

41. CB Cary Williams (ERFA)
42. OL Tony Moll (UFA)
43. LB Jason Phillips
44. QB Marc Bulger (UFA)
45. WR Donte’ Stallworth (UFA)

stallworth

Williams could be in a good spot this offseason. As an exclusive rights free agent, he could be in a good position to come back and get more playing time should some of the corners ahead of him sign elsewhere. He’s 6’1″, and the team liked him at least enough to hold on to him through a suspension to start the 2010 season.

Moll looks like a solid option to return and give the O-Line important depth. He’s capable of playing multiple positions to at least a solid level. He’s not good enough to be an every down player and it’s unlikely that another team will choose to pay him that way.

Phillips showed signs in 2010, probably enough that he will enter the 2011 season on the “good” side of the roster bubble. He certainly can’t be considered a lock at this point however.

Bulger will likely only return to the team if he isn’t offered a starting job elsewhere. With Jim Harbaugh now in charge of the San Francisco 49ers, it wouldn’t be stunning to see him consider Bulger. If the options are for backup jobs-or even jobs where Bulger would have to “compete” for a starting gig, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him return to Baltimore.

Some of the fan frustration surrounding Cam Cameron certainly centers around Stallworth, who seems unlikely to return. The Ravens need a speed receiver option, but it has to be a player they’ll trust to send out and stretch the field.

46. TE Dennis Pitta
47. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo
48. DT Arthur Jones
49. WR Marcus Smith (UFA)
50. DT Lamar Divens (RFA)

divens

The lack of involvement from Pitta in 2010 was disappointing, but he was often a victim of only being able to dress 53 players. His role should expand in 2011.

Ayanbadejo and Smith are interesting cases. Both are special teams players only for the most part, and the team will have to determine how much value they have. Smith is unlikely to generate much interest elsewhere, Ayanbadejo isn’t getting any younger. Both could return, but I don’t think they’re guarantees.

Jones and Divens are both solid players who have the “look” of Ravens defensive linemen. The only issue for new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano is that he’s inheriting a bunch of these type of players. They’re big, they move fairly well and they can control gaps. Jones will clearly be back in 2011, Divens is the question mark.

51. LB Prescott Burgess (UFA)
52. RB Jalen Parmele (RFA)
53. OT Oniel Cousins (RFA)
54. WR James Hardy (reserve/future)

55. TE Davon Drew (ERFA)

ddrew

Burgess was a solid Special Teams contributor who was also able to get a handful of positive snaps defensively. There’s a chance he could generate interest elsewhere, we remember the New England Patriots grabbed him when he was available in 2009.

Parmele could stand to benefit from a McGahee departure, but probably wouldn’t be a great option as the top compliment to Rice.

Cousins gives the team a cheap reserve tackle. I can’t fathom anyone will be hot after him, so he seems like a player that will at least make it to Westminster with a chance to retain his job.

Hardy is interesting. He climbed the list after comments by Newsome in the team’s Season Review press conference. There was a reason Hardy was once a second round pick by the Buffalo Bills. There’s also a reason why he was unemployed a season ago. Either way, he’s 6’5″. The Ravens don’t have any other receivers of that size right now.

Davon Drew is the fourth of four TE’s on the roster. That would be a problem in a lot of places, but when the General Manager is a former Tight End, it bodes well for the chances of sticking around.

56. LB Sergio Kindle (ERFA)
57. DT Kelly Talavou (ERFA)
58. RB Matt Lawrence (RFA)
59. QB Hunter Cantwell (reserve/future)
60. WR Justin Harper (reserve/future)

harper

Kindle is such a question mark (as he continues to recover from a fractured skull) that it really doesn’t matter how much talent he might have. Until there’s reason to believe he’ll be able to return next season, he can’t be an assumed part of the 53 man roster.

If Talavou is able to come back healthy, he’s highly thought of by the organization. He could be the insurance that allows the team to let someone like Divens go elsewhere.

Lawrence is a good Special Teams player if he’s healthy. It will be an uphill battle for him to make the roster in Training Camp, especially after missing the entire 2010 season.

Cantwell is the team’s 3rd quarterback, but has only a cup of coffee worth of experience on an active roster with the Carolina Panthers in 2009. If the Ravens decided to go with three QB’s again, he’d have a decent chance to make the roster.

Harper is tall. Harper has only ever been on the active roster briefly. The team’s website apparently doesn’t know Harper wears number 82. That’s where we’re at with Harper.

61. OL Ramon Harewood
62.
OL Bryan Mattison (contract status unknown)
63. OL Daniel Sanders (contract status unknown)
64. RB Curtis Steele (reserve/future)
65. DE Albert McClellan (reserve/future)
66. CB Danny Gorrer (reserve/future)
67. OT Brady Bond (reserve/future)
68. OT Andre Ramsey (reserve/future)
69. LS Kevin Houser (UFA)

I’d provide a picture of Kevin Houser here, but even the team’s official site doesn’t have one.

If they all return (and are healthy); Harewood, Mattison and Sanders will compete to try to provide depth along the O-Line. Harewood could give the team an insurance policy if they choose to cut ties with Cousins, Sanders could prove to be the team’s center of the future when Birk hangs up the cleats. A local writer joked with me that Mattison had been “on scholarship” in recent seasons-that would probably come to an end now as his father (former Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison) has departed for Michigan.

Steele has the look of a potential weapon at the next level. If he can work his way into the return game, he’d have a much better shot of making the roster.

McClellan is employed by the Ravens, as is Gorrer. I’m going to guess most of you didn’t know that. Neither has a realistic path to the active roster.

Bond and Ramsey are big. My guess is that both of them will find their way onto an active roster in the National Football League someday. It probably won’t be in Baltimore however.

It might not be fair for me to rank Houser last on this list. He’s a NFL player, which is more than anyone else in this final group can really say. But his ONLY chance of returning to the team is if Cox can’t return from his torn ACL. There’s a chance he might not be ready for the start of Training Camp, but it’s unlikely it will be a factor moving towards the 2011 regular season.

(Thanks to BaltimoreRavens.com for the pictures!)

-G

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 08 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Monmouth @ Maryland (Saturday 5pm Comcast Center); Golf: PGA Tour Children’s Miracle Network Classic (Thursday-Sunday 1pm from Lake Buena Vista, FL live on Golf Channel); College Soccer: MAAC Tournament (Friday & Sunday Ridley Athletic Complex), Stony Brook @ UMBC (Wednesday 7pm UMBC Soccer Stadium); NBA: Houston Rockets @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls (Saturday 8pm from Chicago live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS & WGN America)

10. Black Crowes (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live; Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm 9:30 Club), Music 4 Maryland feat. Pat McGaee Band (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), John Butler Trio (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Live); CKY (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); Powerman 5000 (Friday 8pm Sonar); Brad Garrett (Thursday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head On Stage); Steven Page (Thursday 6pm 9:30 Club); Rusted Root (Wednesday 8pm State Theatre); Experience Hendrix feat. Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Steve Vai, Susan Tedeschi, Living Colour (Thursday 8pm Hippodrome); Allman Brothers Band (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Shinedown (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre), Brian Regan (Friday 7:30pm Warner Theatre); Bob Dylan (Saturday 7pm Smith Center-George Washington University); Straight No Chaser (Saturday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Cee-Lo Green “Lady Killer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Kid Cudi “Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman will be on with Drew Forrester Wednesday at 9:05am on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. On Wednesday night, you’ll hear Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman rocking the hell out of tunes like “Remedy”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts3VbVVFdQs[/youtube]

I’m been saying for years that there is NO excuse for anyone to not be into John Butler Trio. They’re the best thing to come from Australia since Nicole Kidman. Strike that. JBT is better.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGIpieuW62s[/youtube]

If you don’t love the Allman Brothers, you might as well get the hell our of this country…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WGVW7byRCA[/youtube]

And there is no disc coming out this year that I have looked forward to as much as I’m looking forward to Cee-Lo’s. Holy hell…

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

9. Maryland Irish Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I feel like I’ve celebrated this once already this year. Wasn’t it just called St. Patrick’s Day?!?!?

stpattys

Hell…if it involves Bangers and Mash, Guinness, and screaming along to a Flogging Molly song, I don’t care when we celebrate. I’m IN.

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Kobalt Tools 500 (Sunday 3pm from Phoenix live on ESPN)

Do I include Sunday’s NASCAR race because I give a crap about Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson or anything related to the Chase For The Cup? Of course not. I include Sunday’s race because damnit, it’s happening in Arizona; and that’s a mighty fine excuse for me to remind you of other things that happen in the great state of Arizona…

asu

The scenery there is really quite breathtaking…

7. NHL: Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers (Tuesday 7:30pm from New York live on VERSUS), Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (Saturday 7pm from Buffalo live on Comcast SportsNet), Atlanta Thrashers @ Washington Capitals (Sunday 5pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

If I was excited about something the Caps were doing, I’d tell you. Since I’m not, we’ll move on to something more interesting.

Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy tells me Sean William Scott is going to be in an upcoming hockey movie entitled “Goon.” That might not be interesting in and of itself, but it reminds me of one of my favorite lines in movie history…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlV6A3BLVBE[/youtube]

6. Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito, Kelly Pavlik vs. Brian Vera (Saturday 9pm from Arlington, TX live on HBO Pay-Per-View)

Dance a happy dance, Dallas. This marks the last time your fine city will host a relevant sporting event until the Super Bowl!!!

By no means do I support anything that fans of the Washington Redskins would enjoy, but I will admit that this t-shirt might be good enough to purchase….

cowboyssuck

Sorry I didn’t write anything about the boxing match. It was supposed to have Floyd Mayweather. If it did, it would be relevant.

5. High School Football-MPSSAA Playoffs: Perry Hall @ Urbana (Friday 7pm)

I know there are plenty more relevant games that are being played this weekend. But as this appears to be the final contest of the season for my Gators, I figured I’d give them a special shoutout.

The bigger issue is that it leaves me with no more opportunities to tell embarrassing stories of myself from high school. So….here’s a picture from my High School Prom. This should make up for a month’s worth of missed embarrassing stories with PHHS’s upcoming elimination…

prom

4. College Basketball: 2K Sports Classic-College of Charleston @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm from Comcast Center live on ESPNU), Maine @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet); VMI @ UMBC (Sunday 3pm RAC Arena); Drexel @ Loyola (Friday 8pm Reitz Arena)

You know what I like about C-of-C? Their team is called the Cougars. In a semi-related story, here’s a picture of Diane Lane…

dianelane

3. College Football: Maryland @ Virginia (Saturday 3:30pm from Charlottesville, VA live on ESPN3.com), Central Michigan @ Navy (Saturday 3:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS College Sports), Maine @ Towson (Saturday 2pm Unitas Stadium); South Carolina State @ Morgan State (Thursday 7:30pm Hughes Stadium); McDaniel @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 1pm Homewood Field)

God I can’t stand the freaking Cavaliers.

I can’t stand the stupid ties they wear to games.

I can’t stand how they think “Wahoos” is a cool nickname.

I can’t stand how they use “Auld Lang Syne” as their victory song.

But what I can’t stand more than anything else? How the hell is it possible that a place I despise so much produced one of the greatest bands in the history of music?!?!?!

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

2. Mixed Martial Arts: Shogun Fights III (Saturday 6:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); UFC 122: Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami (Saturday 8pm from Oberhausen, Germany on SpikeTV); WEC: Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki (Thursday 9pm from Las Vegas live on VERSUS)

I can’t implore you enough to head down to SF3 Saturday night. John Rallo puts on a hell of an event, and it’s cool enough just to support the notion of having big-time MMA events in Charm City. If you want a future UFC Fight Night or Strikeforce card in town, supporting Shogun Fights would be a hell of a step in the right direction.

And the thing is-if it is cool enough for THIS guy to attend, trust me-it’s much too cool for you…

rickeyhenderson

1. NFL: Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons (Thursday 8:20pm from Atlanta live on NFL Network & WBAL11)

And what am I doing while I’m in The A-T-L this weekend? Well, I think a pilgrimage is in order….

dwarf house

I don’t know anything about the Hapeville Dwarf House, but if it’s the location of the original Chick-Fil-A, it will be the most important trip I ever take.

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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