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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sergio Martinez vs. Martin Murray (Saturday 8:30pm from Buenos Aires live on HBO), Zab Judah vs. Danny Garcia (Saturday 9pm from Brooklyn, NY live on Showtime); MLS: DC United @ Columbus Crew (Saturday 7:30pm from Columbus, OH live on MLS Direct Kick); Golf: PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Avondale, LA), Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf (Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 1pm. All golf from Savannah, GA), North Texas LPGA Shootout (Thursday 12:30pm Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Irving, TX live on Golf Channel)

10. Rihanna (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena Monday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Kendrick Lamar (Tuesday 8pm Patriot Center); Dru Hill (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Badfish, A Tribute to Sublime (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Fabolous/Pusha T (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); ALO (Tuesday 7pm 8×10 Club); The Joy Formidable (Tuesday 8pm Ottobar); Chris Cagle (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Center Stage); Sara Bareilles (Thursday 6:30pm 9:30 Club); Aimee Mann (Thursday 7:30pm Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts); Gladys Knight (Thursday & Friday 8pm Strathmore); All Time Low/Pierce The Veil (Sunday 5:30pm Towson Center); Phoenix “Bankrupt” and Frank Turner “Tape Deck Heart” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Dru Hill was nearly as significant a part of my childhood as chocolate milk. Perhaps more significant. Baltimore institutions.

I had a college girlfriend that thought the song “Chicks Dig It” was about the greatest song of all time. She was…like…REALLY hot…so I might well have told her I agreed.

Our friends from All Time Low have been tremendous to us. Be tremendous to them and go see them this weekend. They love Baltimore sports as much as you do.

Frank Turner does folk punk. It’s truly phenomenal.

9. Sarah Silverman (Thursday 8pm Warner Theatre), Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (Friday & Saturday 8pm Warner Theatre); Jerry Seinfeld (Saturday 7pm & 9:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); David Alan Grier (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Michael McDonald (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Big Wedding” and “Pain & Gain” out in theaters (Friday); Jurassic Park 3D” and “Gangster Squad” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

There’s absolutely no reason to not be completely in support of the Mike Tyson show…

You know whose one man show should be coming next?

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Hope you’ll join us Tuesday night at Greenmount Station!

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Hope you’ll join us Tuesday night at Greenmount Station!

Posted on 14 April 2013 by Brian Billick

WNST.net returns to Carroll County this Tuesday night, April 16th, for a NFL Draft Preview show starring our very own Coach Brian Billick and presented by our friends at Freedmont Mortgage.

The first Super Bowl winning head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and a former Carroll County resident himself, Coach Billick has been studying the NFL Draft for the past few months as he prepares for his NFL Network broadcast duties on Draft weekend. Coach will be ready to answer your questions about Mant’i Teo, Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, Alec Ogletree, D.J. Fluker, Kevin Minter, Jesse Williams and any other players the Baltimore Ravens may be considering this year.

Coach was in the room when the Ravens selected the likes of Ed Reed, Todd Heap, Jamal Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ben Grubbs, Haloti Ngata, Chris McAlister, Adalius Thomas, Jarret Johnson, Sam Koch, Marshal Yanda and more. His qualifications are impeccable. (We’re also aware he was in the room when the Ravens selected Kyle Boller, but after Joe Flacco lead the Ravens to another Super Bowl title we’re pretty sure it’s time to forgive that.)

Greenmount Station is located at 1631 N. Main Street in Hampstead and is the home of Carroll County’s best crab cakes. We were blown away by the support of WNST from the Purple Rowdies in Hampstead when we rolled out that way in the fall for our “Thursday Night Live” series with Dennis Pitta and we can’t wait to be back out there. Kickoff time for the taping of the show is 7pm Tuesday night and the show will air later in the week on AM1570 WNST.net. Get there early and grab a great spot, enjoy some great food and have a cold beer, it’s going to be a fun evening.

Coach is always willing to take pictures and sign autographs for fans in attendance, as well as answer that question that’s been bugging you for 10 years. If you want to ask something along the lines of “Coach, did you ever lose the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXV like the Ravens did after winning Super Bowl XLVII?” he’ll give you an honest answer. (Which we’re pretty sure is “no”, but admittedly not certain.)

It’s our NFL Draft Preview Show with Coach Brian Billick presented by Freedmont Mortgage, taping Tuesday night at 7pm at Greenmount Station in Hampstead. We can’t wait to see you out there.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 16 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NBA-Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Denver Nuggets @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Houston Rockets @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (Monday 7pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet); Soccer: MISL Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena), Team USA U-20 vs. Costa Rica (Friday 6:30pm from Puebla, Mexico live on Fox Soccer Channel); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Lamont Peterson vs. Kendall Holt (Friday 5pm DC Armory); ShoBox: Art Hovhannisyan vs. Alejandro Perez (Friday 11pm from Cabazon, CA live on Showtime), Cornelius Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith (Saturday 9pm from Detroit live on Showtime); Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Malik Scott (Saturday 10:30pm from Huntington, NY live on NBC Sports Network); Women’s College Basketball: Duke @ Maryland (Sunday 3pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Tour U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships (Saturday 1pm & 4pm Sunday 4pm live on Tennis Channel)

10. Shinedown/P.O.D./Three Days Grace (Tuesday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); Dirty Heads/Shiny Toy Guns (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Wale (Thursday 9pm Rams Head Live); Imagine Dragons (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Matisyahu (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Matchbox Twenty (Monday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Robert Randolph Presents: The Slide Brothers available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Shinedown is that band you’ve always liked but never fully admitted to it…

I could listen to Wale’s first full record on repeat for like a week straight.

Imagine Dragons not only does one of your favorite songs but also MY favorite song from Madden 13…

I will sign up for ANY amount of more Robert Randolph.

9. Joel McHale (Sunday 7:30pm Towson Center); Eddie Griffin (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); “Argo” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Snitch” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Winter Wine Celebration (Friday-Monday); “The Gathering” (Saturday 3pm The Castle at Keswick Hampden)

I saw Joel McHale after Preakness a few years ago. He was LEGITIMATELY funny. Also there’s this.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS); Women’s College Basketball: North Carolina @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Maryland @ Clemson (Sunday 5pm from Clemson, SC live on YouTube); Soccer: MISL Rochester Lancers @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from 1st Mariner Arena live on MISLtv.com), Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:3pm from 1st Mariner Arena live on MISLtv.com); Boxing: Lucas Matthysse vs. Michael Dallas Jr. (Saturday 10pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Sergiy Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera (Friday 9pm from Verona, NY live on ESPN2)

10. Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); The xx (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Little River Band (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), The English Beat (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Ra Ra Riot (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Cowboy Mouth/All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), The Used (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Sister Hazel (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Friday 8pm Strathmore); Bryan Adams (Saturday 8pm National Theatre); Tony Bennett (Saturday 8pm Warner Theatre); Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite “Get Up!” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The xx? In the words of Joe Flacco, “I don’t know.”

Forrester and I have gone to see Ra Ra Riot a few times. What of it?

Sister Hazel should legally be forced to play a show here once a week.

This Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite thing is a “yes.”

9. Baltimore County Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday); Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters“, “Movie 43” and “Parker” out in theaters (Friday); John Witherspoon (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory), Todd Glass (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge (Saturday Sandy Point State Park)

The Polar Bear Plunge is a FINE reminder that…it’s been awhile since we’ve seen bikinis around here…

Now we should check in on Jennifer Lopez in Parker…

Okay. Nothing to see here obviously.

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We found something worse than replacement refs — Thursday night football

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We found something worse than replacement refs — Thursday night football

Posted on 28 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

There’s a reason why horses don’t race every third day.

They’re not built to do it.

And likewise, football players aren’t built to play two games in four days.

Nowhere was that more evident than on Thursday night in Baltimore, where the Ravens and Browns plodded along in the rain until a Brandon Weeden pass sailed through the end zone on the game’s final play to give Baltimore a 23-16 win.

It’s a shame that NFL players and coaches have to go through this exercise-in-futility once a season, but that’s the way it goes these days as the league tries to dig itself out of a deep financial hole otherwise known as the NFL Network.

What sounded like a great idea a half-dozen years ago — “let’s start our own TV network and dedicate it to the NFL 24/7″ – has now contributed to the watering down of a terrific product.  These Thursday night affairs have become so benign and pedestrian that the outcome is all but predictable.  In fact, the home team is now 17-5 over the last 22 of these things.

“No matter how much you try (as a player), there’s no way you feel like this is actually a ‘regular’ game,” said one Ravens veteran to me in the locker room after the rainy escape from the Browns.  ”I’ve played in a lot of these now and they always have the same weird feeling.  You just get the sense everyone wants to be into it, but some guys just aren’t.  It’s hard.  We just played on Sunday. Usually on Wednesday or Thursday you’re just starting to feel like yourself again.”

That’s exactly what it looked like to me on Thursday.

“Everyone wants to be into it, but some guys just aren’t.”

That Thursday night’s affair featured the visiting Browns was a major help to the Ravens.  Last week, the Panthers drew the short end of the stick when the defending Super Bowl champions came calling and the Giants manhandled Carolina, 36-7.  Cleveland is almost an automatic win these days…and that’s when you play them on Sunday.  Mix in a Thursday night encounter and it’s about the slammest of slam dunks.

The Browns did manage to throw a scare into John Harbaugh’s team, nearly driving the length of the field before the game’s final pass was incomplete in the end zone, but this one was over when the schedule came out last April.

You’re not coming to Baltimore on a Thursday night and beating the Ravens.

Especially if you’re the Browns.

But the real story of Thursday night’s game wasn’t that the Ravens (now 3-1*) won and the Browns (0-4*) lost.

The story of the night was the force-fed approach of Thursday night football by the NFL, who have figured out a way to damage their own enterprise by making players do something they’re not built to do.

Football players – ever since their days in high school – have conditioned themselves to play a game once a week, with 6 or 7 days of rest and recovery from game-to-game.

Three days of recovery isn’t enough for a professional player.

And for a league hell bent on stressing player safety, the message that’s sent with Thursday games is fuzzy at best.  No one wants to play football on Thursday night.  No one.  Ask any coach in the league if they want to play on Thursday and they’ll tell you “hell no”.  Ask any player and you’ll hear the same thing.

But the league, of course, didn’t ask the coaches or players if they wanted to play on Thursday night.

The NFL chased the money, again, and came up with a new way to maximize revenue while minimizing quality.

I assume Thursday football is here to stay.

And I can also assume – or guarantee – that Thursday football will always be scoffed at by the coaches and the players, who simply aren’t built to play two football games in four days.

(Note: Records of Ravens* and Browns* are noted with * to acknowledge that games were played in the regular season with non-professional officials calling the games.)

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionHigh School Football: Kenwood @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm), Gilman @ Mount St. Joseph (Saturday 1pm), Catonsville @ Hereford (Friday 7pm)

10. Blocktoberfest feat. Stroke 9 (Saturday outside 1st Mariner Arena); Several Species: The Pink Floyd Experience (Saturday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Gotye (Sunday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Switchfoot (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Needtobreathe (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (Friday 8:30pm Rams Head Live); North Mississippi All-Stars (Thursday 7pm Recher Theatre); Old Man Brown (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Powerman 5000 (Saturday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); BoDeans/Levi Lowrey (Wednesday & Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Los Lobos (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Wallflowers (Wednesday 8pm Black Cat); Pat McGee Band/Ari Hest (Friday 8pm Strathmore); David Gray (Sunday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Blondie (Monday 8pm State Theatre); Mumford & Sons “Babel”, Green Day “Uno”, Lupe Fiasco “Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap” and No Doubt “Push and Shove” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Holy crap. Stroke 9 is still a thing? Effing A, I’m all in…

Frank Turner is so freaking underrated…

It’s not a question of whether or not you love the Wallflowers. It’s just a question as to whether or not you’re willing to admit it…

I was sent a copy of the Mumford record last week, I love it. Did you see their performance of “Below My Feet” on SNL? Chills.

9. Margaret Cho (Tuesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Lewis Black (Thursday-Saturday 8pm Warner Theater); JB Smoove (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Avengers” and “Family Guy Volume 10” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Looper” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Book Festival (Friday-Sunday Mt. Vernon Place); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday Revel Grove); Living Classrooms Foundation “Maritime Magic” (Friday 7pm Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park)

HOLY HELL I WANT TO DO NOTHING BUT WATCH THE AVENGERS ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT THIS WEEK IT’S SO FREAKING AMAZING OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD AND I WANT TO DO ALL OF IT WHILE EATING SHAWARMA!!!!

Seriously though, I’m kinda all in on shawarma…

Let’s all go for shawarma!

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionPro Wrestling: Ring Of Honor (Friday 7:30pm Du Burns Arena); Soccer: MLS Columbus Crew @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: Long Island Lizards @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Mercito Gesta vs. Ty Barnett (Friday 10pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)

10. Summer Spirit Festival feat. Erykah Badu, Common, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Saturday 3pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); George Thorogood & The Destroyers (Wednesday 7:30pm Wolf Trap), The Temptations/The Four Tops (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap); 12 Stones (Sunday 6pm Recher Theatre); Old Crow Medicine Show (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Our Lady Peace (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Toadies (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ted Nugent (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Dick Dale (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Daughtry (Wednesday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric), Lyle Lovett (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Aaron Neville (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Civil Twilight (Friday 8pm Rock & Roll Hotel)

It’s really tough for me to choose whether I enjoy Sharon Jones or the Dap-Kings more…

Do people throw Wagon Wheels at OCMS shows? Should they just be called Old Crow Medicine Shows?

We all know America > Canada, but what do we make of the fact that Our Lady Peace is from Canada???

I’m man enough to admit I’m excited about Daughtry. Are you?

9. Tracy Morgan (Thursday 7:30pm & 10pm Howard Theatre); Jerry Seinfeld (Friday 7pm Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); John Mulaney (Friday & Saturday DC Improv); “Hatfields & McCoys” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Totall Recall” out in theaters (Friday)

Total Recall is about three days away from release. The number three seems to be relevant for some other reason I can’t think of ohyeah…

Oh and also, here’s Tracy Morgan giving birth. Neat!

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Reports: Paterno statue to be removed this weekend

Posted on 20 July 2012 by WNST Staff

NFL Network’s Kim Jones and CBS’ Bonnie Bernstein each Tweeted Friday news regarding the future of the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium.

Jones, a Penn State alum, said via Twitter “Am told that Penn State plans to take down the Paterno statue this weekend.” Bernstein said “Source: Penn State Board of Trustees voted on a conference call last night to take down Joe Paterno statue. Will happen this wknd.”

PSU officials however have not confirmed such reports when asked by various outlets. One actual denial of the report came from Daily Collegian (the student newspaper at Penn State) reporter Laura Nichols, who quoted Board member Ryan McCombie as saying “We did no such thing.”

The Paterno statue has been the subject of much debate since last week’s release of the Louis Freeh report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal in State College. Earlier in the a plane flew over Happy Valley with the message “take the statue down or we will.” A handful of Penn State students had camped out near the statue this week to protect it.

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Ngata never dreamed of being number nine player in league

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Ngata never dreamed of being number nine player in league

Posted on 29 June 2012 by Ryan Chell

When it comes to humility on the Baltimore Ravens, defensive lineman Haloti Ngata may be the leader in the locker room in that category.

And despite his three Pro Bowl nominations and four-time All-Pro selections in his six-year NFL career, Ngata still hesitates to call himself one of the best football players in the NFL.

Too bad now, others said it for him.

Wednesday on NFL Network’s “Top 100″ players list-after watching dozens of players fall behind him-the Ravens’ first-round pick in 2006 was finally recognized as the ninth best player in the game.

He came ahead of fellow Raven defenders in Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and even his fellow teammate in Terrell Suggs, the reigning defensive player of the year.

And showing up on the national stage yet again-there were few opportunities for Ngata to shy away from the limelight.

It’s ironic because Ngata hasn’t been reserved on the field-making plays all over and showing his athletic ability.

He joined Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday to talk about the honor.

“I probably would have never dreamed of being the number nine player in the league,” Ngata said. “Being voted that by your peers, that’s pretty awesome.”

Despite playing hurt for half of the 2011 season, Ngata finished with a career-high 64 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles in a full 16 games.

Ngata was the third defender chosen behind Jets CB Darrelle Revis and Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware.

To be named the best defensive lineman in football and one of the most versatile guys on that side of the ball-it’s pretty neat, he said.

“There are some things that I can do with my athletic ability of mine that people notice,” Ngata said. “God just blessed me with these talents and abilities, and none of this could be done without him.”

Ngata was an integral part of the team that reached the AFC Championship game under coach John Harbaugh-a 23-20 loss to the Patriots-that still rubs Ngata the wrong way.

“That loss was the toughest because I felt like we should have been in the Super Bowl,” he said. “I’ve never felt as good as I did with a group of guys…our camaraderie was so tight-knit that it just felt that we were supposed to be there.”

He said that having the close group of guys in the locker room-with a lot of the same team returning in 2012-that helped get the bad taste out of their mouths.

“There isn’t going to be any hangover,” Ngata said. “We’re all ready to work and are all getting better together and better individually.’

“It’s just that time that we’ll get there…and get ready to roll.”

Unfortunately, Ngata knows that he will “rolling” without Suggs for much of this season-making his role that much important.

Ngata assured Clark and those concerned Ravens fans that he being 100% healthy makes’ Suggs’ absence a little easier to swallow.

“I’m ready to go,” Ngata said. “I’m really excited. Right now at this time, I’m usually ready to get back on the football field and hit some people…I can’t wait to get back.”

And Ngata mentioned that it’s not just on his shoulders to fill that void. Others are there to help him along the way.

“There are so many great athletes that we have behind Suggs with Upshaw, Sergio Kindle, and Chavis Williams. Those guys are so athletic and hungry right now.”

Ngata said a young player like Courtney Upshaw reminded him of his own enthusiasm his rookie season.

“He doesn’t want to do much other than just trying to get better. He looks hungry and ready to step up.”

He hopes that Upshaw, himself, and the rest of the his teammates improve together and continue to play at the top of their games. He says if that happens, that championship is attainable.

“I’m just happy that I can be able to help those guys, and I just hope that I can get better and try to get the Ravens to a Super Bowl.”

WNST thanks Haloti Ngata for joining Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday! To hear more of the interview, check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net! Want a chance to meet and greet Haloti? Head out to “The Ngata Family Foundation Luau” October 1st at Michaels 8th Avenue which benefits wounded soldiers and their families! Tickets are available at www.ngata92.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

As first reported by the NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens hosted former Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones for a visit Sunday.

Jacoby Jones became an interesting name for Ravens fans after the NFL Draft, as the Texans’ selection of DeVier Posey made it appear as though the veteran receiver could become expendable for the team. He obviously was, as the team took only days to part ways with Jones.

Perhaps adding Jones to the mix would be a good idea for the Ravens. He’s been in the league for five years, but has only spent the last three seasons getting significant reps as a wide receiver. His numbers aren’t spectacular (31 catches, 512 yards and two touchdowns in 2011), but they’re certainly serviceable for a complementary receiver. The Ravens clearly need depth, as behind starters Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin they have just four combined career receptions (all belonging to LaQuan Willams) from a group that also includes Tandon Doss, David Reed, Phillip Livas, Rodney Bradley, Patrick Williams and 6th round pick Tommy Streeter.

As much as the Ravens may have needed a playmaker type, they clearly needed depth at the position in general. Jones could bring that, and could also bring experience in the return game. Despite his two fumbles against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, he has four TD returns (3 punt, 1 kickoff) in his career.

An even more intriguing name that has loosely been discussed amongst Ravens fans is the name Michael Crabtree. The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver has been a hot topic after the team drafted Illinois WR AJ Jenkins in the first round of the NFL Draft. In addition to Jenkins, the team has added veteran free agent receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss this offseason, leading to some speculation that the team could be prepared to move on from Crabtree after selecting him with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

I want to reiterate that the rumors surrounding Crabtree have been thinly veiled. While a National Football League source told me he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Ravens had interest in trading for Crabtree, no true source has been able to confirm that actual interest exists. However, in my chat with CBSSports.com NFL writer Clark Judge (who is honestly amongst the absolute best in his line of work) last Friday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, the Crabtree-Ravens conversation came up…

JUDGE: “Hey one other question for you, are you serious about taking that caller’s suggestion and trying to acquire Michael Crabtree?”

ME: “No, I don’t think that’s realistic at all. I was trying to play devil’s advocate.”

JUDGE: “The thing about Crabtree is that they would probably be willing to give him away because while he’s young, he’s an underachieving diva. A second rounder? I’d probably give him away for a fourth rounder.”

ME: “If they were willing to give him away for a fourth rounder, I’d be willing to have the conversation.”

JUDGE: “I wouldn’t want him on my team.”

It should be made clear that Judge didn’t report to me that the Niners were interested or willing to trade Crabtree away for a fourth round pick. He simply said that HE would be willing to do that if he were making the calls for San Fran. (The chat is available here in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.)

I’ll say again what I said to Clark Judge. If the San Francisco 49ers were willing to trade Michael Crabtree away for a fourth round pick, I’d have the conversation. I’m aware that Crabtree has yet to fully live up to his potential as a Top 10 pick and has certainly had “personality issues” that stem back to his lengthy rookie holdout. I’m also aware that the former Texas Tech standout has become more and more productive in each of his three years in the league and his best year (2011) coincided with the year his quarterback (Alex Smith) finally moved into the “credible” category of NFL signal callers.

Let me stress, I’d have the conversation. But it’s important to point out again that this is not a fantasy football league. This is the NFL.

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