Tag Archive | "NFL"

Wide receiver LaQuan Williams returning to Ravens

Tags: , , , ,

Wide receiver LaQuan Williams returning to Ravens

Posted on 24 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Former Ravens wide receiver LaQuan Williams announced on Twitter that he was coming home on Thursday afternoon.

The former University of Maryland product and Poly grad has rejoined the Ravens after being waived at the end of the 2013 preseason, agent Chad Wiestling confirmed to WNST.net. Williams spent a brief time with the New England Patriots last November but did not appear in a game during the 2013 season.

“Feels good to be back home #RavensNation,” Williams wrote on his official Twitter account.

Williams was one of the feel-good stories of the 2011 season as the Baltimore native made the 53-man roster as a rookie free agent and caught four passes for 46 yards while appearing in 12 games primarily as a special-teams contributor. The 25-year-old played in 11 games in 2012 but did not catch a pass and finished the season on injured reserve.

With the Ravens deciding last year that Williams was no longer in their plans, the former Terp faces an uphill battle to make the roster, but his special-teams ability always makes him someone to watch during the preseason.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ravens among top ten “smartest spenders” in all of sports according to Bloomberg

Posted on 24 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Bruins, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Rays Lead Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Smartest Spenders in Sports” 2014 Ranking

 

“Efficiency Index” ranks how well all 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB turned wages into wins over last five seasons

 

NEW YORK (April 24, 2014) – Today Bloomberg Businessweek released its Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014 ranking of all 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, rating them based on how much they spent in player payroll for every win during the last five seasons. The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks come in #1 thanks to their five playoff trips, two Stanley Cups, and placing 13th in spending. The Blackhawks are followed by MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals at #2, NHL’s Boston Bruins at #3, NFL’s New England Patriots at #4, and MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays at #5. Coming in last on the ranking at #122 is MLB’s Chicago Cubs, with an average five-year payroll of nearly $120 million and no post-season victories during that time. The Smartest Spenders in Sports is online now at businessweek.com at http://buswk.co/SmartSports2014, and will be in the new issue of the magazine on newsstands tomorrow, Friday, April 25, 2014.

 

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ira Boudway and Evan Applegate compared each team against the average price per win in its league to produce a score called the “efficiency index”: The less a team spends compared to its peers, the lower its score. Playoff victories and championships get extra weight. Boudway is available for interviews as well.

 

Payroll data come from the best available published sources. Season records included for the NHL and NBA were from 2008-9 to 2012-13; records included for the NFL and MLB were from 2009-13. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season (e.g., 16.2 wins in baseball); Wild Card wins get half credit; Championships count for 50 percent of a season (81 wins in baseball).

 
Rounding out the top 10 teams on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014 ranking after the #1 Chicago Blackhawks (efficiency index: -1.59), St. #2 Louis Cardinals (ei: -1.55), #3 Boston Bruins (ei: -1.50), #4 New England Patriots (ei: -1.46) and #5 Tampa Bay Rays (ei: -1.43) are: #6 NBA’s Miami Heat (ei: -1.39), #7 NFL’s Baltimore Ravens (ei: -1.38), #8 NFL’s Green Bay Packers (ei: -1.38), #9 MLB’s San Francisco Giants, and #10 MLB’s Texas Rangers. Joining the Chicago Cubs (efficiency index: 2.61) in the bottom 10 least efficient spenders are #121 NHL’s Edmonton Oilers (ei: 2.21), #120 NBA’s Washington Wizards (ei: 2.17), #119 NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves (ei: 2.14), #118 MLB’s New York Mets (ei: 2.03), #117 NFL’s St. Louis Rams (ei: 2.02), #116 NFL’s Cleveland Browns (ei: 1.97), #115 NFL’s Washington Redskins (ei: 1.85), #114 NBA’s Sacramento Kings (ei: 1.60), #113 NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets (ei: 1.56) and #112 MLB’s Chicago White Sox (ei: 1.53).

 

An interactive version of the Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014 index is available on businessweek.com. Readers can sort the rankings by league and adjust the weights with their own values to see how the rankings change.

 

NOTABLE FINDINGS FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK’S Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014:
By League:

 

MLB: Top team is the St. Louis Cardinals (#2); least efficient is the Chicago Cubs (#122)

NFL: Top team is the New England Patriots (#4); least efficient is the St. Louis Rams (#117)

NBA: Top team is the Miami Heat (#6); least efficient is the Washington Wizards (#120)

NHL: Top team is the Chicago Blackhawks (#1); least efficient is the Edmonton Oilers (#121)
By Market:
Boston: Three Boston area teams make the top 25 – The Bruins at #3, Patriots at #4, and Celtics at #23 – while the Red Sox come in at #86, due to their lost 2012 season.
ChicagoChicago teams claim the first and last spots on this year’s ranking – the Blackhawks are #1 and the Cubs are #122. The Bulls are #27, Bears are #57, and the White Sox are #112.
Los Angeles: The City of Angels sees the LA Kings at #13, Lakers at #18, Anaheim Ducks at #56, Clippers at #68, Dodgers at #80, and Angels at #102.

New York AreaNo New York area teams rank in the top 30, and five of the area’s nine teams rank in the bottom half of the list. The New York Giants are #32, New Jersey Devils are #43, New York Rangers are #47, New York Jets are #50, Knicks are #77, Islanders are #91, Yankees are #92, Brooklyn Nets are #98, and the Mets are #118.
Washington DC/ Baltimore: Washington is the only market to have two teams in the bottom 10 slots: The Redskins are #115 – and one of the three worst franchises in the NFL – and the Washington Wizards are #120. The Baltimore Ravens are #7, Washington Capitals are #30, Washington Nationals are #58, and the Baltimore Orioles are #70.

# # #

Comments (0)

Pineda Ejection

Tags: , ,

Baltimore Ravens 2014 Schedule Released

Posted on 23 April 2014 by Brandon Sacks

The NFL has finally announced what we all have been waiting to hear since February 2: the 2014 regular season schedule.  More importantly, we have collectively wondered when we will be playing each of the teams against which we were set up to match.  Now that the schedule has been released, no longer shall we ponder when we will play or which games we will play on primetime.  Instead, we now know:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 7 – vs. Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 11 – vs. Steelers, 8:25 (CBS)
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21 – at Browns, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 28 – vs. Panthers, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5 – at Colts, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 12 – at Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 19 – vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 26 – at Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 2 – at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 9 – vs. Titans, 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 16 – BYE
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 24 – at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 13: Sunday, Nov. 30 – vs. Chargers, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7 – at Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14 – vs. Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21 – at Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28 – vs. Browns, 1 p.m.

At first glance, we see that the Ravens play three primetime games – Thursday night at home against the Steelers, Sunday night at Pittsburgh, and Monday night down in the Big Easy.  Expect strong games for all three of these.  The classic AFC North matchup between the Ravens and the Steelers is always a spectacle, especially looking at the track record of these games.  Since Joe Flacco’s debut back in 2008, the Ravens are 6-8 against the Steelers with TEN of these fourteen games decided by three of fewer points.  With regards to the New Orleans game, the team is 9-9 lifetime on Monday Night Football and 4-1 lifetime against the Saints, winning the last matchup by a score of 30-24.  Coming out of a bye and playing on Monday night, it seems tough to think the Ravens are going to lose this game, especially with the Saints coming off of a game against the Bengals the week prior.

Noticeable in this schedule is the relative lateness of the team’s bye week.  Baltimore’s week without football comes in week 11, the latest it has been since the 2001 season where the bye came in week 13.  It’s going to be a difficult first half of the season up until then with the Ravens playing five of their six divisional games during this span.  The only divisional game that falls out of this half is the season finale at home against Cleveland.  In fact, the Ravens open their season with three divisional games, one against each of the other three teams in the division.

The Ravens have the 28th most challenging strength of schedule out of 32 teams; in other words, based on the numbers from last year, the Ravens have the fifth easiest schedule in the league this year.  Judging by these numbers, fans can expect a big year out of the team.  A 12-4 finish does not seem to be impossible this season.  With this, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Ravens once again claim the divisional crown.  Expect big things out of the team this year – stand by the Ravens as they look to reclaim their spot atop what seems to be the toughest division in football year after year.  This is easily the year that the Ravens can begin their new streak of consecutive playoff appearances, which hopefully will not stop at five this time.

Comments (0)

Ravens release 2014 schedule featuring three primetime games

Tags: , , , ,

Ravens release 2014 schedule featuring three primetime games

Posted on 23 April 2014 by Luke Jones

For the first time in franchise history, the Baltimore Ravens are scheduled to meet AFC North rival Pittsburgh in primetime for both regular-season meetings.

After opening the season at M&T Bank Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept 7., the Ravens will welcome the Steelers to Baltimore four days later in their lone Thursday night game of the season. Baltimore is then slated to travel to Pittsburgh for a Sunday night game on Nov. 2, which would mark the third time in four years that the division rivals have played at Heinz Field on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

The Ravens’ third primetime appearance will fall on Nov. 24 when they travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints, which will be Baltimore’s lone Monday night game of the 2014 season.

Other highlights of the 2014 schedule include a Sept. 28 meeting with the Carolina Panthers in which new wide receiver Steve Smtih will welcome his former team to Baltimore. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and the Ravens travel to Houston to take on the Texans on Dec. 21.

Their Week 11 bye is the latest the Ravens have had in the regular season since 2001, which will likely please head coach John Harbaugh in trying to get back to the playoffs after last season’s 8-8 finish. Baltimore will finish the regular season with four contests against non-playoff teams who went a combined 18-46 a year ago.

The Ravens will play six games against playoff teams from last season: Carolina, Cincinnati (twice), Indianapolis, New Orleans, and San Diego.

For the first time since the 2009 season, the Ravens will not conclude the regular season against the Bengals, instead hosting the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 28. Five of Baltimore’s six divisional games fall in the first nine weeks of the 2014 season with the season finale against Cleveland wrapping up the Ravens’ slate of AFC North games.

The Ravens open the year with three straight division games for the third time ever after previously doing it in 2004 and 2008. This makes a good start imperative if a third AFC North title in four years is in Baltimore’s plans.

This year marks only the third time in franchise history that the Ravens will open the season with consecutive home games after previously enjoying that luxury in 1997 and 2008.

2014 SCHEDULE

Sunday, Sept. 7 vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: This year is certainly big for quarterback Andy Dalton, but the Bengals are the only team in the AFC North to have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.

Thursday, Sept. 11 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:25 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The rivalry has lost some of its shine with so many big-name players exiting in the last couple years, but Mike Tomlin’s sideline trick last Thanksgiving has created new animosity for Ravens fans.

Sunday, Sept. 21 at Cleveland Browns – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The Ravens lost in Cleveland last year for the first time since 2007 and will be coming off extra rest following their Week 2 contest, which spells trouble for Mike Pettine’s Browns.

Sunday, Sept. 28 vs. Carolina Panthers – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The NFL has to wish this game were scheduled to be played in Charlotte instead, but wide receiver Steve Smith will provide plenty of material in the buildup to playing his former team.

Sunday, Oct. 5 at Indianapolis Colts – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The Ravens will find plenty of familiar faces in Arthur Jones, Cory Redding, and Chuck Pagano, but a trip to play the defending AFC South champions won’t be easy.

Sunday, Oct. 12 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: New center Jeremy Zuttah doesn’t have to wait long to play his former team, but it will be interesting to see what head coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Josh McCown can do for that franchise.

Sunday, Oct. 19 vs. Atlanta Falcons – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: In a meeting of first-round quarterbacks from the 2008 draft, Matt Ryan has been better statistically, but Joe Flacco and the Ravens will gladly take the superior postseason resume.

Sunday, Oct. 26 at Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: Contrary to what we saw in the last three seasons, there is no NFL mandate that the Ravens conclude the regular season in Cincinnati, but this one figures to be pivotal in the AFC North race.

Sunday, Nov. 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: This meeting will mark the third time in the last four years that the Ravens and Steelers will meet in a Sunday night game at Heinz Field.

Sunday, Nov. 9 vs. Tennessee Titans – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The memory of what was once the Ravens’ best rivalry continues to fade over the years, but the return of hard-hitting safety Bernard Pollard should be an interesting story.

Sunday, Nov. 16 – BYE

Monday, Nov. 24 at New Orleans Saints – 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Skinny: Baltimore won its only regular-season trip to the Superdome in 2006, but dealing with Drew Brees and that offense indoors is a tall order for Dean Pees’ defense.

Sunday, Nov. 30 vs. San Diego Chargers – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: These teams haven’t met at M&T Bank Stadium since 2006, but San Diego’s late-season run to the postseason gives them plenty of momentum going into 2014.

Sunday, Dec. 7 at Miami Dolphins – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The Ravens travel to Sun Life Stadium for the second straight year in a meeting between two teams who collapsed down the stretch to miss the playoffs last year.

Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The Jaguars appeared on their way to the No. 1 pick before winning four of their last eight games in 2013, but head coach Gus Bradley needs a quarterback for this team to become a threat.

Sunday, Dec. 21 at Houston Texans – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: Meeting for the fifth straight season, the Ravens and Texans now share a new link with former Houston head coach Gary Kubiak now roaming the Baltimore sideline as offensive coordinator.

Sunday, Dec. 28 vs. Cleveland Browns – 1:00 p.m.
Skinny: The Browns haven’t won a game in Baltimore since George W. Bush was president and will remain the doormat of the division until they can find a franchise quarterback.

Notes: For the first time, flexible scheduling can be applied in Weeks 5 through 10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by moving a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to the afternoon.

Another new wrinkle will be a select number of games being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring some games to wider audiences.

Flexible scheduling will still be used in Weeks 11 through 17 as it has been in past year years. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling cannot be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday nights.

A scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game is announced no later than six days prior to December 28.

Comments (3)

Tags: , , ,

Ravens LB Brown impressed by DC Pees’ off-field leadership

Posted on 23 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Orioles minor league recap – 4/22

Posted on 23 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Tuesday…

* Anthony Vasquez struggled through four innings as Triple-A Norfolk lost 6-3 to Lehigh Valley

* Tim Berry continued his red-hot start by earning the win in Double-A Bowie’s 11-1 victory over Erie

* Single-A Frederick was off on Tuesday

* 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey struck out five and allowed an unearned run as Single-A Delmarva won 4-1 over Savannah

Comments (0)

Ravens pleased with early turnout for offseason program

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ravens pleased with early turnout for offseason program

Posted on 22 April 2014 by Luke Jones

(Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With players returning to Owings Mills this week to officially begin preparations for the 2014 season, the Ravens are pleased with the early turnout for the first phase of the offseason training program.

Strength and conditioning coach Bob Rogucki said attendance was “high” for the first two days of voluntary workouts with quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice, wide receivers Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, and Jacoby Jones, tight end Owen Daniels, inside linebackers Daryl Smith and Arthur Brown, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, and safety Matt Elam among the many players who were present. The first two weeks of the program focus solely on strength training and conditioning four days a week, but there is less time to ease players back into the routine under the current collective bargaining agreement that pushed back the starting date for the offseason training program.

Players were given the task of completing six 300-yard runs as a baseline for their conditioning and are focusing on strengthening their necks in the early stages of the program in addition to traditional weight training.

“Anybody that comes into this program, our expectations are always going to be high for them,” said Rogucki, now in his seventh year with the organization. “If we don’t start pressing that button today then three weeks from now, they aren’t going to be ready. Our expectations are always high and, right now, we’re pleased with what they’re doing.”

Despite a tumultuous offseason that included an indictment for aggravated assault, Rice has been present for workouts and received a positive review from the Ravens training staff. Reports indicated earlier this offseason that Rice had lost weight after head coach John Harbaugh said the seventh-year running back was too heavy in a career-worst season that included a Week 2 hip injury that hampered him for much of the year.

Rice’s pending legal case may still compromise his availability for the 2014 season, but his commitment to improve on the field hasn’t gone unnoticed. The 27-year-old rushed for a career-low 660 yards and averaged just 3.1 yards per carry while weighing in the neighborhood of 225 pounds last year.

The Ravens would like him to be at least 15 pounds lighter this season.

“He’s doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth,” Rogucki said. “He told me he has a handle on it. He looks good. Whatever he did from the end of the season until now, he’s in a good position right now.”

Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele continues to make excellent progress after undergoing back surgery last fall and is expected to participate in organized team activities and minicamp practices.

Though workouts are officially voluntary, Rogucki and the rest of the coaching staff conveyed a clear message from the point players returned to the building.

“Every time they come in, they’re going to do more weight or more reps without bells and whistles,” Rogucki said. “There’s a lot of programs out there that have bells and whistles. In order to survive in this league, you’ve got to lift and you’ve got to lift heavy. That’s the bottom line. You’ve got to run and you’ve got to run fast. You’ve got to condition and you’ve got to condition long.

“There are no other answers but that to survive. It’s a collision out there. It’s a car crash every time they hit.”

 

Comments (0)

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: 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), LPGA Tour Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7pm from San Francisco live on Golf Channel); MLS: FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7pm RFK Stadium); Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 (Saturday 7pm from Richmond live on FOX); Boxing: Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz (Saturday 9:30pm from Carson, CA live on Showtime); High School Basketball: Capital Classic (Saturday 7:30pm T.C. Williams High School)

10. Brian Regan (Friday & Saturday Warner Theatre); Ron White (Friday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Joe Rogan (Friday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Bill Bellamy (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore Green Week (Tuesday-Saturday throughout Charm City); The Gathering Food Trucks Rally (Friday Downtown Towson); Maryland Bacon Festival (Saturday 12pm Rash Field); “Brick Mansions” out in theaters (Friday)

This is a heart made out of bacon. This is wonderful.

These young ladies are wearing bacon. Did I mention bacon?

9. M3 Rock Festival feat. Tesla, Kix, Extreme, Sebastian Bach (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion); Ludacris (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Lacuna Coil (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Ani DiFranco (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Live); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage), Kindred the Family Soul (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Thursday 8pm 8×10 Club); Edwin McCain (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Maceo Parker (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Bret Michaels (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); The Used/Taking Back Sunday (Tuesday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Alabama Shakes (Friday & Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Better Than Ezra (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Band of Skulls (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Nappy Roots (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Johnnyswim (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival feat. Jerry Douglas/Cris Jacobs (Saturday Druid Hill Park); Toadies (Sunday 8pm Black Cat); Ben Folds (Monday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); G. Love & Special Sauce “Sugar”, Keb Mo’ “Bluesamericana” and Neon Trees “Pop Psychology” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

From the last time Sister Sparrow was in town…and killing it.

I like to imagine I’m living my life within an Alabama Shakes tune. Because they’re excellent.

Nappy Roots are still around??!??!?!? Do you have any idea how many times I hit repeat on a Nappy Roots track in my life?

I think Allen McCallum and I may be headed to the Birchmere to see Johnnyswim. Because Johnnyswim is wonderful.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

NFL Network’s Rapoport says Rolando McClain was smartest player he covered at Alabama

Posted on 21 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

NFP’s Corry believes that Rolando McClain has used up his last chance in NFL

Posted on 21 April 2014 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)