Posted on 12 April 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 29 March 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 26 March 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 25 March 2014 by Brett Dickinson
By: Brett Dickinson & Barry Kamen
Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis on the biggest local and national stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire. We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO SEGMENT HERE!
Brett 1: After an arrest in the middle of December, former Michigan offensive tackle and NFL draft prospect, Taylor Lewan, is facing three assault charges just months before the draft. With the Ravens arrest total rising this off season, along with the controversy over Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins last season, should Ozzie Newsome consider drafting the guy with such a checkered past?
The Ravens organization has not been afraid of taking a chance on players with legal issues, as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Donte Stallworth, and Rolando McClain all come to mind. Taylor Lewan’s overall talent and willingness to discuss the incident with NFL teams, makes him worth the risk. Lewan is a top 10 talent, and if he were to fall to the Ravens at pick 17, it is a no-brainer. Plug Lewan in at right tackle, and the Ravens will have turned last year’s biggest weakness into a strength.
Barry 1: Week 2 of NFL free agency is officially in the books, with the second tier of available players signing on with their new teams. Is there one move from last week that stands out as significant, whether good or bad?
BD: I thought the that a couple teams have made nice under the radar moves as of late. Though it may not be for huge contracts, the Atlanta Falcons adding return specialist Devin Hester and offensive guard Jon Asamoah, were great additions. Hester is still the best return man in the game, even though he may not have many touchdowns, he will put the offense in good starting field position consistently. Asamoah just made sense as an upgrade for their line that desperately needed.
Other moves I like include: WR James Jones to the Oakland Raiders, CB Walter Thurmond to the New York Giants and CB Antonio Cromartie to the Arizona Cardinals.
Brett 2: Speaking of free agency, probably the “biggest named” quarterback, Michael Vick, left the Philadelphia Eagles to sign on with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. The much maligned signal caller has struggled the past couple seasons, before eventually losing his starting job to Nick Foles. He now is trying to supplant Geno Smith as the starter for “Gang Green.” Do you think this was the best fit for Vick and the Jets?
The Michael Vick signing is extremely confusing to me. As mentioned, the Jets spent a high 2nd round pick on Geno Smith, and despite his struggles and multiple injuries to the wide receiver position, finished 8-8. Signing Vick makes it clear that the Jets do not have full faith in Smith as their franchise quarterback, yet Vick cannot be relied on to be healthy for an entire season. The Jets love to make headlines with their quarterback signings (Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Vick), but I think the signing will be regrettable. The Jets need continuity, not publicity, at the quarterback position.
Barry 2: Matt Schaub was another quarterback on the move, as the Houston Texans traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a late round pick. For most of his career, he was pretty successful, until last year’s debacle of a season for the entire team. Can the Schaub trade enough to bring the Raiders back to relevance?
BD: This move is not about putting the Raiders over the top and back into contention. It was more about finding a veteran to hold down the position, so that Oakland is not forced to reach on one of the first round quarterback prospects. Schaub has been decent for most of his career and now the team can focus on putting talent around that position, before bringing in a franchise player via the draft within the next couple seasons. Does Schaub make this team better? YES. But he is still probably the worst quarterback in a division that includes: Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and Alex Smith.
Brett 3: The New York Knicks have officially brought in former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson, as their President of Basketball Operations. Do you think this marriage will end with Jackson taking the Knicks back to the promised land with a NBA championship?
Phil Jackson’s triumphant return will make the New York Knicks a much better franchise because of the respect he has earned from his years as a coach. While the Knicks have very few pieces to build around, Jackson has stood by F Carmelo Anthony, providing the star player with much-needed confidence and stability.
I do not think that the Knicks will win a championship with Jackson as president. The Pacers and the Heat are set up to be the class of the Eastern conference for the foreseeable future, and the only way to intrigue free agents will be for Jackson to return to the sidelines and coach. With all signs pointing to Steve Kerr becoming the Knicks coach, the team will be much improved, but Carmelo Anthony’s style of play will have to change if he ever wants to add a ring to his resume.
Barry 3: After the first round match up in the NCAA Tournament, where San Diego State defeated New Mexico State in overtime after midnight, the losing NMSU was forced immediately on a plane to go home. SDSU head coach Steve Fischer had some poignant comments about the situation, saying the NCAA was “disgraceful” by their actions (Watch the post game interview HERE). Do you agree with Fischer that NMSU should have been the opportunity to stay the night after such hard fought late night game?
BD: I could not agree with Fischer more, as I think it was bush-league to shovel off a losing team so late in the night. We are not talking about them finishing in the middle of the day; it was the middle of the night. Those kids just laid everything out on the court, not only for themselves, but benefiting the TV ratings for the NCAA! They deserved better and I am not surprised they did not get it from such a narrowed-minded organization. If I had any money to bet, I would put the bank on the fact that the NCAA changes this scenario as soon as next year.
Posted on 24 March 2014 by WNST Staff
Last year’s off-season after the Super Bowl was painful for Ravens fans, but now the team is being rewarded for its troubles and patience in free agency.
At the NFL Owner Meetings today in Orlando, the Baltimore Ravens learned more about their off-season approach in May as they received the league maximum number of compensatory picks possible for free agent losses.
The team received a third (99th overall), two fourth-round (134th, 138 overall), and a fifth-round pick (175th overall).
The picks were rewarded for the losses of DE Paul Kruger (Cleveland), MLB Dannell Ellerbe (Miami), CB Cary Williams (Philadelphia), and FS Ed Reed (Houston) in free agency.
Because the Ravens did not sign any unrestricted free agents in the 2013 off-season, the team was not docked any picks from their total.
DE Elvis Dumervil, DL Chris Canty, DL Marcus Spears, S Michael Huff, and MLB Daryl Smith were all signed after teams cut them or late into training camp.
All-in-all, the Ravens will have eight picks as their disposal in May.
Follow all your Ravens news on @WNST on Twitter! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Sports!
Posted on 19 March 2014 by Luke Jones
The Ravens will hold a draft party at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday, May 8 that will feature player appearances and the opportunity to watch the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.
The event will run from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. while the draft itself begins at 8 p.m. with the Ravens holding the 17th pick of the first round. Draft coverage will be shown on the giant video boards and televisions around the stadium.
In addition to current players, former first-round picks from the Ravens will be present to greet fans and sign autographs. Official NFL combine drills, locker room tours, and photograph opportunities will also be on the night’s agenda of activities.
Tickets are $15 for children (ages 3-12) and $20 for adults, but the event will be capped at 6,000 tickets due to current stadium renovations. Parking will be free in stadium lots A, B, C, G, and H with those lots opening at 5 p.m. that evening.
More information is available at the team’s official website and tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.
Posted on 19 March 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 19 March 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 11 March 2014 by WNST Audio
Posted on 11 March 2014 by Brett Dickinson
By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen
Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis of the big news stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire. We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.
Listen to last week’s segment HERE.
Barry 1: Last Monday was the final day that NFL teams could place the franchise tag on one of their players. The New Orleans Saints designated All-Pro TE Jimmy Graham for next season, who is slated to make upwards of $7 million next year. One caveat to this transaction is that the Saints placed the non-exclusive tag on Graham, meaning that NFL teams can offer him a contract. The Saints have the right to match any offer; if they choose not to, they are compensated with that team’s two first-round selections. Is Jimmy Graham worth two first-round picks to any NFL team?
BD: This is Jimmy Graham; he is the best TE in football and arguably the best skill position player in all of football. He is a game changer, that can completely remake an offense. A team with a late first rounder should absolutely consider bringing him, as he could be the final piece to winning a Super Bowl. It will have to be a front-loaded contract (meaning they will need a ton of cap room), to ensure the Saints cannot match any offer.
If a franchise has been a consistently making the playoffs (and drafting later), they can only expect to get better with adding such a superior talent. Just look at the Packers last two first round picks, Datone Jones (2013) and Nick Perry (2012); tell me they wouldn’t trade both of those players for Graham right now.
Brett 1: Reports have been surfacing that P Ervin Santana, the best remaining starting pitcher available, is anxious to join a team and will settle for a one year contract. The two teams that are mentioned as the frontrunners to sign Santana are the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles. Should the Orioles heavily pursue Ervin Santana now that he is only interested in a one year deal?
BK: There is no question that Ervin Santana would be an upgrade over the likes of Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez. When Santana was interested in a multi-year deal, the Orioles were correct in staying away; now that circumstances have changed, a one year deal is sensible for someone with his track record. In a difficult division, I could see the Orioles plugging Santana into the number four spot in their rotation, winning 11-13 games, and allowing the Orioles to move Gonzalez or Norris to the bullpen. Signing Santana would cost the Orioles the 91st pick in this year’s draft, whereas the Blue Jays would be giving up the 50th overall selection. The move makes a lot of sense to me, and could be just what the Orioles need to ensure a playoff spot next season.
Barry 2: Continuing with our Santana talk, the Orioles signed former Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana, last week to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. What are your expectations for Johan Santana as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery?
BD: There is always the slim chance that the signing actually works out for both parties, but those odds are very slim that Santana becomes a relevant pitcher, whether in the rotation or out of the bullpen. He has no velocity on his fastball, which in turn makes his best pitch, the change-up, virtually ineffective. I think the likely scenario is he turns into this year’s Jair Jurrjens; a guy the Orioles took a chance on but inevitably was not worthy of a spot on the roster.
Brett 2: ESPN draft insider Todd McShay recently released his second NFL mock draft. This time around, McShay has the Baltimore Ravens selecting LB C.J. Mosley. What do you think of the Alabama star in purple and black?
BK: I would love to see Mosley as a Raven, but I take issue with McShay’s mock draft for a couple of reasons. In that mock draft, he has TE Eric Ebron, who had a great NFL Combine that may make him a top 10 pick, going 21st overall to the Green Bay Packers. I have a hard time believing that the Ravens would pass on Ebron in favor of Mosley, especially if the Ravens’ front office continues its philosophy of drafting the best player available. At the moment, inside linebacker is a huge need for the Ravens defense, but many expect the Ravens to re-sign Daryl Smith and Josh Bynes. There is little doubt that Mosley could be a very good player in Baltimore, but the Ravens would be wise to use their first round selection to address a different need.