Tag Archive | "New York Jets"

NFL Hot Seat Rankings

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NFL Hot Seat Rankings

Posted on 02 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

The end of another NFL season and the beginning of a new calendar year is sure to bring change as unfilled goals and promises demand accountability. Continue Reading

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Not in My Back Yard

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Not in My Back Yard

Posted on 20 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Week 15 of the NFL season brought about a heavy dose of perspective and a number of reality checks for teams that rightly appeared to be primed for the playoffs just a week ago. While frustration, part and parcel to any NFL season, isn’t easy to accept, it’s still far better than the alternative…apathy.

Sometimes seeing your own favorite team regularly and up close and for all its warts and blemishes makes it tough to mesh that perspective with the “bird’s eye” view that we get of most teams through highlights and limited national TV exposure. That said, fans in cities from Green Bay to Indianapolis are up in arms over the weekend’s action and could all probably use a healthy dose of perspective.

While the Ravens are far from perfect or infallible, they’re the devil we know, and for that I’m both happy and hopeful. As for the devils that we don’t know, here are 10 of the most interesting NFL storylines that I’m glad to be seeing from the bird’s eye view, as they’re undoubtedly entertaining for fans, but probably best appreciated from afar.

Here are the Top 10 NFL Storylines That I’m Glad Are Playing Out in Someone Else’s Back Yard.

Storyline #10- Suck for Luck

 

For the first 5 or so weeks of the season there were anywhere from 5-10 interested and interesting looking candidates in the Luck sweepstakes. By mid-season it was down to 2, and as Matt Moore and the Dolphins tried against hope to rally around coach Tony Sparano, only Indianapolis was left in the Luck conversation. That invited a number of other conversations regarding Luck’s potential and Peyton Manning’s future with the Colts. Last week’s win by Indy may have reignited hope in both St. Louis and Minnesota as potential Luck destinations.

 

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MobTown Sports Blog

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MobTown Sports Blog

Posted on 05 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a quick look ahead at the agenda for Monday on the MobTown Sports Beat:

 

Ravens Reaction

 

The Ravens are always on the table, especially on MSB Mondays. We’ll look back on the Ravens impressive and needed win over divisional rival Cleveland and have plenty of reaction.

 

A Nickel and a Nail

 

Five penny for your thought type topics of conversation and a nail for someone who deserves it.

 

#1 – BC-Mess or Oklahoma Statement

 

Despite an impressive thumping of the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State will be home watching the BCS title game like the rest of us. There’s little doubt that Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in the country, but do we really want to relive 9-6 snoozer that was the “game of the century” from just over a month ago? And how now can LSU lose a national title to Alabama after beating them on their own field in November and playing a much tougher out of conference schedule and the SEC title game? How much of this is due to the media’s inability to let go of their stated notion that Alabama was the best team in the country in the first place? Would LSU be getting this same opportunity if they had lost at home to Bama?

 

 

#2 – Tarheels are Baby Soft

 

They’re talented, there’s no doubt about that. The Tarheels are inordinately talented for a team in this the “one and done” era, the problem is that they seem to know it too. The juggernaut that Carolina looked to bring to the table after returning Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zellar and John Henson to fuse with the typical insurgence of Tarheel freshman talent so far has been anything but. After stumbling out of the gates last year only to turn it up for the stretch, Barnes looks to be making that his habit. Their talent will be enough to get them by on most nights, but when the real heat turns up, look for these Tarheels to wilt under the pressure like they did against Kentucky on Saturday. They appear poorly coached and at times altogether indifferent. Don’t believe the hype surrounding this Carolina team, as it appears that they themselves have already bought in too much.

 

#3 – NBA Free Agency to Begin on Monday?

 

Sort of at least…beginning on Monday it looks like teams will be free to at least make known their intentions and overtures to prospective free agents ahead of Friday’s projected final resolution in the lockout. Big men abound in free agency and no NBA team ever has enough of those. Greg Oden could be headed to the Heat, making him and them even more hated then each is already individually. Additionally, as “Big 3’s” are seemingly becoming en vogue, teams will be looking to fish or cut bait with a few marquee names that could quickly become trade fodder. Derron Williams, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard could all begin or end this season with new teams. And let’s not forget about Danny Ainge’s latest attempt to sabotage the Celtics. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of the Rajon Rondo trade rumors or their impact.

 

#4 – A.F.Seeding

 

The top end of the AFC all managed to hold serve on Sunday. Along with the Ravens win, the Steelers beat the Bengals 35-7, the Patriots beat the hapless Colts 31-24 and the Texans rallied behind TJ Yates for a 17-10 win over the fading Falcons, so the logjam continues at 9-3 atop the AFC.

 

Houston survived a tough opponent behind TJ Yates first start after losing Andre Johnson again mid-game in a scene eerily similar to the one that preceded his last hamstring injury and kept him out of action for several weeks, and Brian Cushing left early too. If it weren’t for bad luck, these Texans wouldn’t have any yet they still refuse to lose in this their ordained playoff season given the absence of Peyton Manning in the division.

 

The Raiders were blasted by the suddenly resurgent Dolphins 34-14 and coupled with another heroic Tim Tebow comeback effort, surrendered the top spot in the AFC West (by virtue of a tiebreaker) to Denver.

 

The Titans and Jets both picked up wins to pull even with Cincinnati in the race for the final wild card spot with the Bengalis still enjoying the benefit of the tiebreaker…for now.

 

#5 – Packers on a Roll

 

Green Bay survived its first real test of the season on Sunday when the Giants punched in a 2-point conversion to tie them with less than a minute remaining and one timeout for the Packers. We should have known on the kickoff that the Pack was about to do something special. Randall Cobb, who’s having a fine year, took a knee on the kickoff just a yard or so deep in the end zone, essentially conceding that taking time away from Aaron Rodgers and the offense, even a few seconds, would be unacceptable even for a return man adept at taking them to the house. Two plays later the Packers were in field goal range and the rest as they say was history.

 

If you’re giving me the Packers or the field today, I’ll still take the field but it’s getting tougher to do each week. You could argue that now isn’t the time to be playing your best football, but the Packers have been doing it since week 1 and still look to be improving. They’re much deeper than last year’s injury riddled bunch and now can count themselves battle tested too.

 

You’d almost like to get an L out of the way before the playoffs start, but if it’s going to happen for these Packers it looks like it’ll happen naturally, as they don’t seem to be slowing at all. Maybe the cursed Colts season has taught a lesson to anyone willing to take note, “embrace the 0, or the 0 will come get you”.

 

And the nail goes to the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti for their announcement to take their ball and go home, or more specifically to cancel indefinitely the Westminster training camp that had become engrained in the traditions of many a Ravens’ fan who can’t get to the stadium for actual games.

 

The move has money written all over it, in this immediate aftermath of the NFL lockout where we as a public were forced to endure the tug of war over an unfathomably fat cache of cash that we were all made too well aware of, that seems to be bad form.  The team will surely try to make it up to the fans somehow, but attempts will be feeble at best compared to the rite of passage that was Ravens training camp.

 

(While not a regular attendee at Ravens training camp myself, I certainly understand the loss that some are feeling. As a 38-year old Baltimore native, my only “real” memories of the Baltimore Colts began and ended with training camps at Goucher college)

 

It’s not lost on us, Mr. Bisciotti, that you’re the same guy who encouraged us to offset the season ticket price increase of a few years ago by selling our Patriots, Steelers and/or Colts tickets as they were doing very well on the secondary market. Clearly the real plight and point of view of the average fan is lost on the occupants of the owner’s box.

 

What’s not lost on Mr. Bisciotti is the ability to pass the buck, or more aptly to allow crap to roll downhill, as he did by calling it a football decision. By stating that the Ravens were a better football team when they practice at their Owings Mills facility the owner laid blame right at the coach’s feet even without saying quite that much.

 

The truth is, it’s hard to say whether the Ravens are better or worse when they don’t have a camp, as this is the first year without one and also a year anomalous in the annals of NFL history due to the lockout. Using this season, as a barometer to measure anything is pointless at best and more likely irresponsible.

 

I’ll agree that life is easier for the Ravens when they don’t have to pack up and move operations from Owings Mills to Westminster and back, but easy isn’t the road to NFL glory. Eight times per season the Ravens will have to pack up and prepare, at least in part, away from the castle, usually in makeshift conditions not ideally suited or built for the purpose of readying a team for a football game. That the Ravens have struggled in doing it this season may speak to the “preparation” they’d have gotten in camp, under similar conditions.

 

 The road to a Super Bowl is a tough one, and one that the Ravens took once already while holding camp in Westminster, and the team enjoys lots of cushy handouts and civic backrubs from fans who’ll never have the chance to set foot in the stadium for a game, to lock them out using the fortress that they in part financed is just wrong.

 

 

@ Me Back

 

3 random questions. Hit me with your answers on Twitter @Thyrl or @WNST, by email thyrl@wnst.net, or at 410-481-1570. Whatever you do, get back @ me.

 

@-1: Who are the top 5 on your #NFL rookie of the year ballot?

 

I’ll go Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, AJ Green, Torrey Smith & DeMarco Murray

 

@-2: Who would you seed 1-8 in a college football playoff?

 

Give me- #1 LSU, #2 Bama, #3 OK St., #4 Boise, #5 Stanford, #6 Arkansas, #7 Wisconsin, #8 Clemson/WVU play-in or Oregon if I have to pick 1.

 

@-3: Who looks the like the best college hoops team so far?

 

For me – Kentucky, Ohio State, UConn, Syracuse, Missouri…but there’s a lot of teams I haven’t seen yet and a bunch more I can’t wait to see again.

 

 

 

 

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NFL Week 8 Locks, Lumps & Luck (or Lack Thereof)

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NFL Week 8 Locks, Lumps & Luck (or Lack Thereof)

Posted on 28 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

This is not an inducement to gamble, in fact it should serve as quite the opposite. It is my attempt at picking all of the games (before injury reports are official) each week. The picks are broken into 3 categories, 5 picks that I love, 5 that I like and the rest.

I would encourage anyone looking for a little extra interest in Sunday’s game to try the MobTown $15.70 prop card. It’s free it’s easy and cash and bragging rights are on the line.

 

All lines taken from sportsbook.com.

 

Loves (100 pts for a win and -110 for a loss)

week 7: 2-3 (-130 pts)    season: 13-12 (-20 pts) 

 

Saints -14 @ Rams 

 

Lions -3 @ Broncos

 

Steelers +3 vs. Patriots

 

Browns +9 @ 49ers

 

Chiefs +4 vs. Chargers

 

 

Likes (50 pts for a win and -55 for a loss)

week 7: 2-2-1 (-10 pts)    season: 10-12-1 (-160 pts)

 

Panthers -3.5 vs. Vikings

 

Dolphins +9.5 @ Giants

 

Bills -6 vs. Redskins

 

Bengals -3 @ Seahawks

 

Cowboys +3.5  @ Eagles

 

 

Feeling Lucky? (20 pts for a win and -22 for a loss)

Week 7: 1-2(-24 pts)    season 9-10-2 (-40 pts)

 

Titans -9 vs. Colts

 

Jaguars +9.5 @ Texans

 

Ravens -12.5 vs. Cardinals

  

Last week Total: 5-7-1  (-164 pts)     Season Total: 32-34-3 (-220 pts)

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Week 7: Locks, Lumps & Luck (or Lack Thereof)

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Week 7: Locks, Lumps & Luck (or Lack Thereof)

Posted on 20 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

This is not an inducement to gamble, in fact it should serve as quite the opposite. It is my attempt at picking all of the games (before injury reports are official) each week. The picks are broken into 3 categories, 5 picks that I love, 5 that I like and the rest.

I would encourage anyone looking for a little extra interest in Sunday’s game to try the MobTown $15.70 prop card. It’s free it’s easy and cash and bragging rights are on the line.

 

All lines taken from sportsbook.com.

 

Loves (100 pts for a win and -110 for a loss)

week 4: 4-1 (290 pts)    season: 11-9 (110 pts) 

 

Chargers -2 @ Jets 

 

Texans +3 @ Titans

 

Steelers -3.5 @ Cardinals

 

Packers -9 @. Vikings

 

Ravens -7.5 @ Jaguars

 

 

Likes (50 pts for a win and -55 for a loss)

week 4: 3-2 (40 pts)    season: 8-10 (-150 pts)

 

Redskins +2.5 @ Panthers

 

Browns -3 vs. Seahawks

 

Broncos +1.5 @ Dolphins

 

Raiders -4.5 vs. Chiefs

 

Saints -14 vs. Colts

 

 

Feeling Lucky? (20 pts for a win and -22 for a loss)

Week 4: 1-1-1 (-2 pts)    season 8-8-2 (-16 pts)

 

Buccaneers +1 vs. Bears (in London)

 

Lions -3.5 vs. Falcons

 

Cowboys -12.5 vs. Rams

  

Last week Total: 8-4-1 (328 pts)     Season Total: 27-27-2 (-56 pts)

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Ravens LB Jarret Johnson on Defensive Player of the Week award: “I wasn’t expecting it”

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Ravens LB Jarret Johnson on Defensive Player of the Week award: “I wasn’t expecting it”

Posted on 06 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

Linebacker Jarret Johnson left for his home in Florida content in his team’s performance in the 34-17 beatdown of the New York Jets Sunday night, but he found quite the surprise on his doorstep when he landed in the Sunshine State.

Johnson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 4, and it came as quite the surprise to the Raven linebacker who recorded just three tackles against the Jets but returned a Mark Sanchez fumble caused by Haloti Ngata for a touchdown.

Jarret Johnson

The 26-yard fumble recovery made it 27-7 Ravens in a crazy second quarter, and he was also praised for his performance rushing the passer and dropping back in coverage.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Johnson told Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Thursday. “You don’t know anything about it until they tell you, then you get it.”

Johnson was honored by the achievement, and it felt even better for Johnson because he felt like there were others-especially some of his fellow teammates-were more deserving than he was.

“This is my first one but I did think it was pretty cool even though I think there have been better defensive performances before…I will definitely take it.”

Johnson told Nelson that he felt like beating his former boss in Rex Ryan was going to be the highlight of the week.

“It’s always good to see those guys,” Johnson said. “They’re fun to compete against, and it’s always an emotional game.”

When asked who he felt was the most emotional Sunday night in the locker room following the beatdown, Johnson said the answer was easy.

Without a doubt-it was coach John Harbaugh, who despite three full seasons in Baltimore has brought the team three playoff appearances-can’t seem to make fans forget Rex Ryan.

Hopefully with the defense beating up Ryan-that helps Harbaugh get the monkey off his back.

“Anytime there is an emotional side to it, the stacks are a lot higher and the guys are a little more pumped up,” Johnson said. “Games like that get guys pretty pumped up.”

What also gets Johnson pumped up and full of confidence are the comparisons already to the great Ravens defenses of this decade-the 2000 and 2006 defenses.

Johnson said that given the preparation defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and the tremendous start he has the defense out to, people were going to draw that line.

“It comes with success,” Johnson said. “Any time you play good defense that’s who you’re going to be compared to because they set the bar and that’s the standard.”

He told fans to wait for the entire season and the body of work to be completed, but he’ll never turn down a compliment.

“Anytime you’re mentioned with those guys, it’s a pat on the back for you.”

And that’s what he plans on doing this bye week-lying on his back.

“The main thing is I’m rehabbing,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to take advantage of the time to get good lifts in and do all the rehab things so that when we come back, we will be able to roll.”

WNST congratulates Jarret Johnson on his achievement and hopes to continue to have these awards stay in Baltimore! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Cory Redding on DC Pagano: “We play hard for Chuck…he’s a great coach and I’m proud to play for him”

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Cory Redding on DC Pagano: “We play hard for Chuck…he’s a great coach and I’m proud to play for him”

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

Jets coach Rex Ryan was loved by his players during his time in Baltimore from 1999-2008 large in part for his ability to allow his players to let loose and have some fun.

It allowed Ryan to get maximum potential and effort out of his players on defense, and guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed played their hearts out for him.

However, when Ryan left to coach the Jets in 2009, the Ravens were left with a fundamentalist in Greg Mattison at the helm and that appreciation was lost on the part of the players.

On Sunday with Rex Ryan on the opposing sideline, Ravens fans got a first-hand glance at a love growing on new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

The beating the Jets took at the hands of the Ravens clearly showed that, and one of the players already heralding the efforts of Chuck Pagano is Ravens DL Cory Redding.

He explained that love and respect for their new boss to Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Monday following the Ravens 34-17 victory.

Cory Redding

“He never starts the meetings off without a joke and never finishes one without a laugh,” Redding told Clark. “We start off with jokes to relax the room a little bit, and then we get into the meetings to and do what we got to do to get our orders for the week.”

The players followed through on those orders.

Ravens safety Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and others forced four turnovers from Jets QB Mark Sanchez, turning three of them into touchdowns.

They held the Jets to just three points on offense, and just 150 total yards through four quarters of play.

The three scores-sparked by Reed’s strip sack that Jameel McClain converted for the opening touchdown-turned out to be a franchise best, and Redding actually told Clark that he saw this kind of performance a mile away given the confidence they had going forward.

“I knew something magical was going to happen because we’ve been practicing that play for three weeks,” Redding said of Reed’s blitz. “We ran it a couple times, but just to start the game off with that kind of attitude and mindset, we were hoping and surely Ed came free…that’s what set the tone for the game.”

And from there, Pagano had Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, and the Jets offense right where he wanted them.

“We have blitzes, but for the most part Chuck has things planned out and we just roll with him,” Redding said. “Whenever he gives us a call and says, ‘okay fellas, let’s go out there and make it happen’, we do.”

Redding also mentioned that Pagano wasn’t playing with a full deck either-missing several corners in Jimmy Smith, Chris Carr,  and LB Dannell Ellerbe among others.

What does that mean?

When they do get healthy (the Ravens had seven inactive players Sunday night-all of them suffering from injuries)-watch out.

“That speaks highly of this team…,” Redding said, “…the whole team are starters and when it’s your chance, you go out and play like a starter. That’s what the guys did-they stepped up and made plays.”

Redding said in the short time that Pagano has been their defensive coordinator that given the preparation he puts in toward making them better, they can only show him the same.

“The man is good about his craft and physicality and he knows defense. He’s a great coach, and I’m proud to play for him.”

What Redding is even more pleased about is the fact that despite dominating performances this year out of the Ravens defense against the Steelers (7 turnovers) and the Jets (3 TDs), Pagano still expects more out of them and never won’t be satisfied.

Redding wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The funny thing is despite the score and the touchdowns we had on defense…there were still a lot of mistakes and techniques that were messed up last night that fans don’t see. That all gets ironed out behind the scenes and so that’s how you create a better team.”

“Even though we dominated that team Sunday night, we still have areas to improve and work on,” Redding said.

Fortunately though, the head coach in John Harbaugh felt like those improvements could wait one week, and a great performance on Sunday night was rewarded with an entire week off for the players, making guys like Redding happy.

“Harbaugh’s a good coach,” Redding said. “He realizes we got a good thing going and the biggest thing for us is to rest…go relax, and get your mind off it a little bit.”

WNST thanks Cory Redding for joining Glenn Clark and is ready to welcome the Ravens back next week at Owings Mills! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Ravens beat Jets 34-17 in a WTF? special

Posted on 03 October 2011 by Drew Forrester

Sunday night’s Ravens-Jets game reminded me of the first time I heard Marilyn Manson’s song “The Dope Show”.

When it ended, I said to myself, “What the hell was that?”

File it under “a win is a win” and move on, I suppose.

I figure it like this:  Both quarterbacks were pretty much terrible.

I’d rather have the terrible one whose team won.

So, in that regard, I’ll take Flacco and move on to the bye week.

But it was certainly a weird game on Sunday night, as the Ravens offense mixed one excellent quarter of football with three non-descript quarters.  And the defense came through with three scores.

The only thing missing was Kyle Boller.

The good news?  The Ravens are 3-1…which, after 4 games, is the minimum goal of any head coach (who tells the truth).  Do that three more times and you’ll be 12-4 at the end of the season and playing a home playoff game.

The bad news?  Well, there really isn’t any, per-se, although Flacco’s off performance and the lack of any real impact from Baltimore wide receivers on Sunday night could be construed as a step back.

It would be fair to give *some* credit to the Jets defense on Sunday night, as they held the Ravens offense to just one score and had a TD of their own.  It wasn’t a win for Rex Ryan, but his defense certainly came to play for the most part.

We’ll be breaking down the whole thing all day Monday on WNST Radio, so catch us there.  In the meantime, comments and thoughts are welcome below.

And if you don’t believe me about that Marilyn Manson song, go ahead and listen right here.  Afterwards, I bet you say to yourself, “What the hell?”

That’s precisely what I said after last night’s 34-17 win over the Jets.

But a win’s a win.

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“The Nasty Purple Pre-Game Show 3-Things We’re Looking-4 in Jets-Ravens

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“The Nasty Purple Pre-Game Show 3-Things We’re Looking-4 in Jets-Ravens

Posted on 02 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

Ryan’s List

1. Torrey Smith building off last week’s 5 catch, 152 yard, 3 TD performance

Torrey Smith

2. Lean on Ray Rice after Darren McFadden’s performance against New York Jets last week (19 rushes, 171 yards, 2 TDs)

Darren McFadden

3. Ravens O-line has to pick up Jets’ exotic blitzes from Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine

Mike Pettine

Glenn’s List

1. Don’t give up on Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith

2. Control the outside on offense and defense

Shonn Greene

3. Make Mark Sanchez uncomfortable

Mark Sanchez

Tune into WNST after Ravens-Jets for your ‘Nasty Purple Post-Game Show” sponsored by Courtland Hearth and Hardware and First Choice Automotive! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Andre Gurode: “I got the call from the Ravens, and it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me”

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Andre Gurode: “I got the call from the Ravens, and it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me”

Posted on 01 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

When the Ravens signed Andre Gurode a week before the start of the regular season, the move was meant to be a security blanket should incumbent center Matt Birk-who was coming off micro-fracture knee surgery in the preseason-not been healthy to start the opener against Pittsburgh.

The Ravens signed Gurode to a one year deal worth 3 million dollars, and the move turned out to be a blessing in disguise-but for reasons unexpected.

Birk returned from surgery healthy and ready to go, and it looked as if Gurode was going to be relegated to backup duty after being a full-time starter since 2003 with the Dallas Cowboys.

However, when Ravens left guard Ben Grubbs was diagnosed with a foot/ankle injury after Baltimore’s Week 1 victory against the Steelers-and his Week 2 replacement Mark LeVoir struggled in his place-Gurode got the nod to start at guard last week against the St. Louis Rams.

Andre Gurode

And while the Ravens were lucky to have brought him into Owings Mills, Gurode felt even more honored to have that respect thrown his way after his ugly divorce with Dallas after they cut him after nine seasons.

Gurode joined Luke Jones on “The Morning Reaction” Friday and said that he’s here to prove the Cowboys made the wrong decision thinking he was slow, overweight, and on the decline.

“My ending in Dallas…I didn’t know too much about it,” Gurode told Jones. “It was a situation where it was a contract issue, and they told me my services weren’t needed and I had to look elsewhere.”

That elsewhere was Baltimore. He also had interest from the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions according to reports.

“I got the chance to play with a great organization in the Baltimore Ravens,” Gurode said. “Everything has been absolutely beautiful here. I love the organization, love how everything is being run, and it’s just a great place to play.”

However, he had to make some sacrifices on his part in taking a backup role on the Ravens offensive line. He also had to show that he could still be versatile to Andy Moeller and John Harbaugh that they could trust him at another position other than center-just as he did filling in for Grubbs at LG last week against St. Louis.

Gurode-a six-time Pro-Bowler at center and two-time All-Pro-had not played guard since  2004. He admitted that it took getting adjusted to working with someone else snapping the ball next to him as opposed to him doing it himself.

“It has been difficult, but at the same time you need to do your best,” Gurode said. “Going from center to guard, you know you’re used to making calls, snapping the ball with your right hand, and then you find yourself getting comfortable..at the start of the play.”

To most, it would have been a struggle. But Gurode said his teammates and coaches made the switch one of the easiest adjustments he’s ever made.

“I have some great teammates,” said Gurode. “I have some great coaches. They helped me work through it, and each day-each week-I’ll keep getting better, and learn the offense a little better.”

Two Ravens he has really enjoyed working with are his fellow offensive lineman in Bryant McKinnie-who also joined the Ravens late in training camp-and a guy usually lining up across from Gurode in Cory Redding.

“It’s been real interesting because I’ve know Bryant for a little while too,” Gurode said of McKinnie-who also was selected in the 2002 NFL Draft. “There are times when I may not say the correct call or I may not know what’s going on.”

“So I’ll ask him what’s happening…I’m never prideful to ask for help.”

And if you think McKinnie and Gurode are tied, Redding and Gurode go back way farther.

The two were prep teammates at North Shore High School in Houston Texas, and despite Gurode making his way to Colorado for college and Redding becoming a Longhorn, the two re-united in the Ravens locker room almost by accident.

“When I walked into the locker room, I just wound up putting my bags next to a boarded-up locker really not paying attention to whose locker it was,” Gurode laughed. “No one else in the organization knew that Cory and I were teammates. It was very much a surprise to come back, and find my locker set up right next to his.”

He feels blessed to be re-united with a close friend of his in Redding, and considers it quite the honor going up against him in practice every day.

“We’ve been playing together for a very, very long time. It was really special to finally be on the same team…and playing for the same organization, so it was very much a special treat.”

And after Cory, Bryant, Ozzie Newsome, and John Harbaugh welcomed him in, the landslide continued.

He really feels like a Raven now and a member of a family more than ever.

“It was just a whole group effort on the team…just getting here, fitting in, and them accepting me. The rest has been playing out like it’s supposed to.”

WNST thanks Andre Gurode and hopes to continue seeing him making contributions on the field! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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