Tag Archive | "NFL"

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NFL Network’s Breer Says Rice Video and Lack of Transparency has led to a Large PR Issue

Posted on 31 July 2014 by WNST Audio

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Rookie defensive end Urban lost for season due to torn ACL

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Rookie defensive end Urban lost for season due to torn ACL

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After being carted off the field with a severe right knee injury, Ravens defensive end Brent Urban learned he will be lost for the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed the specifics of the injury following Thursday’s practice, describing it as “a clean tear” to reporters. Urban will be placed on season-ending injured reserve after being selected in the fourth round of May’s draft.

“He’s been through this before. He tore his other ACL about five years ago,” Harbaugh said. “He fought through a bad ankle injury his senior year at Virginia and rehabbed that and got back really quick, obviously, in the offseason here. It’s a tough break. It was just a situation where one guy was blocking another guy, and the knee just buckled on him.”

The Ravens had expectations for Urban to become an immediate contributor in the defensive line rotation, potentially serving as the primary backup to veteran Chris Canty at the 5-technique defensive end spot. Urban’s injury likely opens the door for second-year lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore to receive more reps.

A day after being injured on the same play as Urban, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan sat out Thursday’s practice with lingering back spasms, but Harbaugh expected him to return to action “soon.”

Linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (back) while linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata were given a day off to rest. Smith was absent from his second straight practice while Webb has been sidelined since last Friday with back spasms.

Inside linebacker Albert McClellan returned to practice after missing Wednesday.

Wide receiver Jacoby Jones and running back Justin Forsett were both on the field during the opening portion of practice but appeared to be receiving the day off. Forsett observed the rest of the running backs going through individual drills while Jones did some work at the Jugs machine while the wide receivers participated in drills.

Other offensive players absent included guard Will Rackley (concussion-related symptoms) and wide receiver Jeremy Butler (groin).

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip surgery) remains on the active physically unable to perform list.

The Ravens were working in helmets, shells, and shorts on Thursday.

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Ravens sign defensive back Norman, waive Towson product Sheppard

Posted on 29 July 2014 by Luke Jones

Dealing with injuries and depth concerns at the cornerback position, the Ravens added defensive back Marrio Norman to their 90-man preseason roster on Tuesday.

Starter Lardarius Webb continues to deal with a back injury and fourth-year veteran Chykie Brown has recently been hobbled by a hamstring injury, prompting the Ravens to sign Norman after he tried out at last month’s mandatory minicamp. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound defensive back was in the Arena Football League last season and played at Coastal Carolina in his collegiate days.

To make room for Norman on the roster, the Ravens waived wide receiver and Towson product Gerrard Sheppard, who spent the 2013 season on the practice squad. Sheppard has shown promise as a developmental player, but the seventh-round selection of Michael Campanaro in May’s draft and the emergence of rookies Jace Davis and Jeremy Butler saw Sheppard sliding further down the depth chart this summer.

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Concern growing over Ravens cornerback Webb’s lingering back injury

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Concern growing over Ravens cornerback Webb’s lingering back injury

Posted on 29 July 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — What initially appeared to be a minor back issue continues to linger for cornerback Lardarius Webb, who missed his third straight practice Monday as the Ravens shifted training camp to M&T Bank Stadium for a public workout.

Head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged the back spasms he deemed as “nothing serious” on Friday have caused concern as the sixth-year cornerback remained sidelined, leaving third-year defensive back Asa Jackson to take the reps opposite Jimmy Smith in the starting defense. Webb left the field midway through the second full-squad workout of training camp and hasn’t practiced since.

“We’re going to see about Lardarius,” Harbaugh said. “He has some back things that we’re looking at right now, and backs are a little weird. At first it was no big deal. It’s lingering a little bit, so we’ll find out what’s going on with him.”

Fellow cornerback Chykie Brown returned to practice after missing Sunday’s workout due to a tweaked hamstring. He worked with the second-team base defense and played outside in the first-string nickel package with Jackson sliding inside when the Ravens used three cornerbacks.

Defensive end Chris Canty missed his second straight practice on Monday and was excused to deal with a family matter, according to Harbaugh. With Canty absent, second-year defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore filled in at the 5-technique spot with the starting unit.

Other players remaining absent from practice included offensive linemen Will Rackley (concussion-related symptoms) and Parker Graham (groin) and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip), who remains on the active physically unable to perform list as he recovers from offseason surgery.

Lewis pays surprise visit

With a statue of Ray Lewis expected to be unveiled before the start of the regular season, the future Hall of Fame linebacker paid a surprise visit to the public training camp practice, easily drawing the loudest ovation on Monday night.

Lewis’ statue will stand next to the one of Johnny Unitas that was completed outside M&T Bank Stadium in 2002. Fans have customarily rubbed the high-top shoe of the Unitas statue for good luck on game days, but it remains to be seen if a new tradition will emerge when the second statue makes its debut next to the image of the Baltimore Colts legend and Hall of Fame quarterback.

“Most of the time, I’m never lost for words, but that’s a very humbling thing,” said Lewis, who implied his statue will be an image of his famed pre-game dance routine. “”For me to share that [honor with the late Unitas], that’s awesome.”

Rice greeted warmly by Ravens fans

As has been the case for with the select few selected for the opportunity to attend training camp practices in Owings Mills, fans greeted running back Ray Rice warmly whenever he was shown on the video board at the stadium.

Upon receiving his first loud ovation of the evening, Rice tapped his chest to acknowledge an announced crowd of 28,323.

The three-day window for Rice to appeal the two-game suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell passed on Monday with the 27-year-old electing not to try to have the discipline reduced.

Monday highlights

Wide receiver Torrey Smith made the play of the night with a leaping, one-handed catch inside the red zone with Jackson trying to stick with him in coverage.

Matt Elam turned in the most bizarre play of the evening when he picked off a Joe Flacco pass before nearly being run down by the golf cart of owner Steve Bisciotti, who claimed the second-year safety had seen him all the way and nearly tipped the vehicle over.

Defensive end Pernell McPhee was the defensive standout of the evening, collecting two quarterback sacks and making another tackle for a loss during team drills.

First-round inside linebacker C.J. Mosley got his first taste of M&T Bank Stadium and responded by knocking away a Flacco pass in the end zone during 11-on-11 red-zone work. Mosley lined up next to veteran Daryl Smith in the starting defense.

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Bovada keeps Ravens’ regular season win total at 8.5

Posted on 28 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). If you have any questions or need an explanation of the numbers to the right of the win totals, please let me know.

“NFL win totals continues to take more money than any other future market we have up right now for the NFL and a few teams are really standing out as popular bets. The Chicago Bears over 8.5 has taken over 95% of the money but we are comfortable holding the number at 8.5, especially in a pretty competitive division. The Saints and Patriots are seeing the same type of action forcing each of their win totals to move up half a win. The two teams who have caught my eye taking quite a bit of under money is the Dallas Cowboys dropping from 8 to 7.5 wins and the Carolina Panthers with 80% of the public expecting them to regress from their surprising year in 2013.”

-Kevin Bradley, Sportsbook Manager, Bovada.lv

 

Arizona Cardinals – 2014 Regular Season Win Total           

Over                                         7½ (-150)

Under                                       7½ (+120)

 

Atlanta Falcons – 2014 Regular Season Win Total               

Over                                         8½ (-105)

Under                                       8½ (-125)

 

Baltimore Ravens – 2014 Regular Season Win Total           

Over                                         8½ (-125)

Under                                       8½ (-105)

 

Buffalo Bills – 2014 Regular Season Win Total       

Over                                         6½ (-155)

Under                                       6½ (+125)

 

Carolina Panthers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total          

Over                                         8½ (+135)

Under                                       8½ (-165)

 

Chicago Bears – 2014 Regular Season Win Total  

Over                                         8½ (-165)

Under                                       8½ (+135)

 

Cincinnati Bengals – 2014 Regular Season Win Total          

Over                                         9 (-115)

Under                                       9 (-115)

 

Cleveland Browns – 2014 Regular Season Win Total          

Over                                         6½ (-135)

Under                                       6½ (+105)

 

Dallas Cowboys – 2014 Regular Season Win Total               

Over                                         7½ (EVEN)

Under                                       7½ (-130)

 

Denver Broncos – 2014 Regular Season Win Total              

Over                                         11½ (-105)

Under                                       11½ (-125)

 

Detroit Lions – 2014 Regular Season Win Total    

Over                                         8½ (-105)

Under                                       8½ (-125)

 

Green Bay Packers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total        

Over                                         10½ (-115)

Under                                       10½ (-115)

 

Houston Texans – 2014 Regular Season Win Total             

Over                                         7½ (-150)

Under                                       7½ (+120)

 

Indianapolis Colts – 2014 Regular Season Win Total           

Over                                         9½ (-125)

Under                                       9½ (-105)

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – 2014 Regular Season Win Total      

Over                                         5 (-135)

Under                                       5 (+105)

 

Kansas City Chiefs – 2014 Regular Season Win Total          

Over                                         8 (-105)

Under                                       8 (-125)

 

Miami Dolphins – 2014 Regular Season Win Total               

Over                                         7½ (-105)

Under                                       7½ (-125)

 

Minnesota Vikings – 2014 Regular Season Win Total         

Over                                         6 (-140)

Under                                       6 (+110)

 

New England Patriots – 2014 Regular Season Win Total   

Over                                         11 (-115)

Under                                       11 (-115)

 

New Orleans Saints – 2014 Regular Season Win Total       

Over                                         10 (-125)

Under                                       10 (-105)

 

New York Giants – 2014 Regular Season Win Total            

Over                                         8 (-130)

Under                                       8 (EVEN)

 

New York Jets – 2014 Regular Season Win Total 

Over                                         7 (-135)

Under                                       7 (+105)

 

Oakland Raiders – 2014 Regular Season Win Total             

Over                                         5 (-130)

Under                                       5 (EVEN)

 

Philadelphia Eagles – 2014 Regular Season Win Total        

Over                                         9 (-140)

Under                                       9 (+110)

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total       

Over                                         8½ (-150)

Under                                       8½ (+120)

 

San Diego Chargers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total       

Over                                         8 (-150)

Under                                       8 (+120)

 

San Francisco 49ers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total       

Over                                         10½ (-130)

Under                                       10½ (EVEN)

 

Seattle Seahawks – 2014 Regular Season Win Total          

Over                                         11 (-115)

Under                                       11 (-115)

 

St. Louis Rams – 2014 Regular Season Win Total 

Over                                         7½ (-150)

Under                                       7½ (+120)

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2014 Regular Season Win Total

Over                                         7 (-135)

Under                                       7 (+105)

 

Tennessee Titans – 2014 Regular Season Win Total           

Over                                         7 (-105)

Under                                       7 (-125)

 

Washington Redskins – 2014 Regular Season Win Total   

Over                                         7½ (-125)

Under                                       7½ (-105)

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Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish: Rice issue complicated, dropping celebration shouldn’t be

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Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish: Rice issue complicated, dropping celebration shouldn’t be

Posted on 28 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

As you’ve probably already heard, I’m in for Drew Forrester on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” all this week on AM1570 WNST.net. Drew is in Ocean City-presumably doing enough golfing for him, myself, Luke Jones and the entire European Tour.

I have no idea if Drew is planning on writing daily posts himself this week, but I’m going to try to do my best to write my own. Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish can be brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford…unless of course they think I’m a big dummy and don’t want to put their name on it.

This will be about the most simple opinion I will have ever shared on-air or online. Sometimes I say things that people argue with or yell about, but I can’t fathom there being much in the way of dissent here.

The issue surrounding Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice is complicated, to say the least. I have shared a number of opinions about the topic over the course of the last few days and have no doubt that those topics will re-appear throughout the week and throughout the rest of Rice’s tenure in Charm City. I’m on the record about thinking the punishment was too light and that the NFL has a major “perception issue” at best when it comes to women, while the team has failed woefully to address the issue of domestic violence.

But Ray Rice is going to be a Baltimore Raven moving forward. Barring injury, he’ll return to the field Week 3 and will look to help the Ravens make a push towards winning the AFC North again. Before that, he’ll be on the field for preseason games (probably three of them) and will make his first major public appearance Monday night when the team holds a public Training Camp practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

There are a lot of things Ray Rice should do moving forward in his NFL career. He should be humble and appreciative of whatever amount of support fans choose to give him. He should work hard in his marriage and personal relationships. He should stay out of trouble. He should be willing to answer questions openly and honestly when he addresses the media for the first time Thursday in Owings Mills (I say “first time” because I am expecting he will actually answer questions this time). He should attempt to work hard in his professional career-playing football-and re-stock an inventory of appreciation among those who will likely be uncomfortable watching him play.

There’s one thing in particular he absolutely should not do-probably ever again.

Until his trip to Atlantic City, perhaps this celebration was the single most synonymous image of the three time Pro Bowler. Rice’s touchdown celebration has been completely sensical. Given his 5’7″ frame, the former second round pick has been doubted throughout his career, with skeptics wondering whether a player could succeed at a high level in the league at that size.

The celebration-which involved Rice flexing his ample biceps (or sometimes pointing at them)-was his way of saying his toughness and strength more than made up for what he lacked in size.

Rice’s touchdown celebration has been re-enacted by many in Charm City who have looked up to Rice. If you have attended a game at any level-from Pop Warner to college-in this area over the past few years, you have undoubtedly seen a young football player impersonating their idol.

But as the former All-Pro returns to the field after being the first of five Ravens to be arrested in the offseason, it’s time for the celebration to go.

There’s multiple reasons why Rice should abandon the muscle flexing. The most obvious is the visual created by the celebration. While those in Baltimore might recognize the flex as a celebration he’s used for his entire career, those around the country will immediately see a connotation between the flex and the incident with his wife. At best, it’s not worth the headache for Rice to have to try to defend himself. More realistically, it would represent an alarming lack of awareness.

Additionally, struggling Ravens fans don’t deserve to have to defend it. The player and team have already put fans in an awkward position for multiple reasons. Undoubtedly, Ravens fans will be asked “how does it feel do root for a wife beater” for the rest of Rice’s tenure in Purple and Black. The situation doesn’t need to be worsened every time the running back does something significant on a football field.

Someone in this area will inevitably make some sort of “PC Police” claim in response. I won’t bother to try to explain to someone that doesn’t understand why it isn’t a good idea for someone who was arrested for domestic violence to publicly flex his muscles as a form of celebration. If you don’t get it, you won’t get it. But consider that even if you cling to the rights of speech, perhaps dropping the celebration would simply be the best way for Rice to show humility at this point.

As a player, Rice shouldn’t treat it as something someone is taking away from him, he should instead treat it as an opportunity to show how much he’s grown as a man from the lowest moment of his life.

When he made his statement in Owings Mills weeks ago, Rice made it clear he wanted to try to make things return to normal as quickly as possible. You hope he understands that even a gesture like this wouldn’t POSSIBLY get him there.

But it would go a long way in starting the process.

-G

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Ravens remain short at cornerback position on Sunday

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The cornerback position remained in flux on Sunday afternoon as the Ravens practiced without Lardarius Webb for the second straight day and Chykie Brown was also sidelined.

Webb has been dealing with minor back spasms since Friday while Brown sat out with a tweaked hamstring, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Both players walked out to the field to observe practice, a typical sign of neither injury being serious. With Webb and Brown both sidelined, third-year cornerback Asa Jackson took the first-team reps opposite Jimmy Smith in the secondary.

The Ravens added a cornerback to the practice equation as veteran Dominique Franks finally passed his conditioning test and was activated from the non-football injury list on Sunday. Signed after last month’s mandatory minicamp, Franks was tested early and often working on the second-string defense and held up reasonably well.

“He didn’t jump out in a negative way, so that’s positive for a corner,” Harbaugh said following practice. “And we’re happy to get him out there, because we needed the legs out there, and he’s a talented guy. It should be fun to watch him on tape tonight.”

Harbaugh said that offensive lineman Will Rackley has “a little ding,” which is code for concussion-related symptoms in the head coach’s words. The Ravens will proceed with caution until the former Jacksonville Jaguars lineman is cleared.

A number of key players were given Sunday off as wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith, linebacker Daryl Smith, defensive end Chris Canty, and tight end Owen Daniels did not practice but watched from the sideline. Harbaugh has regularly given veteran players days off over the course of training camp but has steered away from a set “30-and-over club” over the last two summers after implementing that during his first several seasons in Baltimore.

“We had some veteran guys sit down today; that was by my design,” Harbaugh said. “I pulled those guys back [and] felt like they would benefit from it.”

Running back Bernard Pierce was a full participant on Sunday after leaving the field early due to being sick during Saturday’s practice.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (active physically unable to perform list – hip surgery) and offensive lineman Parker Graham were once again absent on Sunday.

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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Luke Jones

With 2014 training camp officially underway and the Ravens attempting to bounce back from their first non-playoff season of the John Harbaugh era, there are a number of early (too early?) takeaways from the practice field in Owings Mills.

1. Steve Smith has looked like an elite player.

It’s fair to express doubts over a 35-year-old wide receiver whose yards per catch average has dropped in three consecutive years, but Smith has been as good as advertised going back to organized team activities in the spring, catching everything in sight and regularly beating cornerbacks during practices. On Saturday, he made an excellent catch on a deep ball defended by Chykie Brown and later made an impressive adjustment on a pass thrown behind him on a slant pattern. Of course, it’s important not to get carried away with how anyone performs in July, but if Smith can be that reliable target to help move the chains and provide a safety net for quarterback Joe Flacco, the investment in the 14th-year receiver will be well worth it.

2. The No. 3 cornerback for the 2014 Ravens may not yet be on the roster.

The organization spent plenty of time this offseason talking up the potential of Brown and Asa Jackson, but it’s difficult to find anyone on the field in which defensive coordinator Dean Pees would have confidence using in the nickel package along with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. Brown has bit on play-action fakes and has struggled to find the ball when he is in position while Jackson — who is an inside defender in the nickel package — has also been beaten deep on a couple occasions. To make matters worse, Dominique Franks still hasn’t passed his conditioning test after fellow veteran newcomer Aaron Ross tore his Achilles tendon taking the same test. The Ravens would prefer to use Webb inside in the nickel, but there have been no signs of anyone currently on the roster being capable of handling duties as the third cornerback.

3. Left guard Kelechi Osemele is moving well and is the biggest key for the offensive line.

The third-year lineman has moved well early in camp and will be the key in determining how effective the interior offensive line can be in 2014 after it was undersized and ineffective last season. It’s still too early to gauge whether his surgically-repaired back will be in issue, but Osemele delivered an impressive block 10 yards downfield that sent safety Darian Stewart to the ground on Saturday afternoon, a telling example of the improved mobility he simply didn’t have early last year. If the Ravens can be strong inside with Osemele and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda flanking new center Jeremy Zuttah, it will alleviate much of the pressure on Rick Wagner or whoever mans the right tackle position.

4. Veteran newcomer Darian Stewart has impressed and is the early favorite to start at free safety.

His unfortunate encounter with Osemele aside, Stewart has displayed good athleticism at the safety position and looks to be the favorite to line up next to Matt Elam in the starting defense. The former St. Louis Rams safety is versatile with the ability to line up closer to the line of scrimmage or to play the more traditional free position, and Pees has said on a number of occasions that he’s looking to mirror his safeties more than just having a traditional strong and free one. Rookie Terrence Brooks will need to make significant strides between now and the start of the season as he appears to be thinking too much when lined up on the field and has worked primarily with the third-string defense to this early point. Secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo is familiar with Stewart going back to their days in St. Louis, so the Ravens hope they’ve found another value signing like they did with Corey Graham a couple years ago.

5. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to move his skill players around in formations.

The Ravens are sure to experience growing pains implementing their new offensive system, but Kubiak has experimented plenty with his skill players to find strengths and weakness as well as potentially exploit vulnerabilities in a defense in a given matchup. His creative use of tight ends is a well-documented characteristic of his West Coast system, but it will be fun to watch how he uses fullback Kyle Juszczyk and big wide receiver Marlon Brown in addition to Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels this season. Ultimately, offensive success in the NFL comes down to winning 1-on-1 matchups no matter how clever your schemes might be, but pre-snap movement has been a regular feature of what we’ve seen so far in Owings Mills.

6. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw looks too heavy for the third straight preseason.

Coach John Harbaugh was more complimentary of Upshaw’s conditioning in the spring, but the third-year linebacker looks bigger at the start of training camp than he did during OTAs, continuing a theme of the 2012 second-round pick not taking the best care of his body. In fairness to Upshaw, he hasn’t noticeably labored during his first few practices, but temperatures have also been favorable thus far. He has been solid in his first couple seasons and has flashed potential to be better than that, but it’s just difficult to project a player to improve when he spends too much time playing catchup with his weight every summer. The early expectation is that Upshaw will once again split time with Elvis Dumervil at the strongside outside linebacker position.

7. Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has a rare combination of strength and quickness that’s fun to watch.

More attention has been paid to first-round linebacker C.J. Mosley, but Jernigan is becoming an early favorite of Pees as he’s been very active and has shown plenty of power in the trenches early in camp. Brandon Williams is the favorite to line up as the starting nose tackle, but there’s no reason Jernigan won’t be a regular member in the rotation, and his play could be a deciding factor in how the Ravens handle the final year of Haloti Ngata’s contract after the season. Pees quipped on Saturday that Jernigan doesn’t always follow his assignment, but he’ll make a big play anyway, which is pretty high praise for a rookie defensive lineman just a few days into his first training camp.

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B&B Big Story Banter: Ray Rice Suspension & NFL Cultural Issue

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B&B Big Story Banter: Ray Rice Suspension & NFL Cultural Issue

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Brett Dickinson

It was bound to be a much talked about topic, but the NFL, the Ravens, Ray Rice and even sports media could not have expected the backlash after the two game suspension everyone has waited for.  The idea of this punishment being accepted in society, let alone in a private multi-billion dollar corporation, is downright appalling to anyone that has a functioning brain and a television.  But where does the real problem lie here? Obviously Rice has a major issue he should handle, which has been covered since day 1 of this incident. But this whole situation reeks of a much grander cultural issue in the NFL and sports in America.

To start, the main excuse for such a lenient reaction by  Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens organization is that “he has never done anything wrong before” is blatantly asinine. All CRIMINALS HAVE A CLEAN TRACK RECORD BEFORE THEIR FIRST CRIME! Why does his past “good behavior” allow Rice to strike a woman? Why is anyone looking at his charitable endeavors as a reason that he should be given more leniency towards such a heinous act? Because he has performed well in the most popular sport in the country, all the while being a stand up citizen for his first six seasons, does not give him (or anyone) a pass on judgement.

Yet the NFL powers decided that knocking a woman unconscionable is only worthy of half the punishment for taking Adderall without clearance from the the league offices. Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Jonhson was the last to receive a suspension by a league before Rice; four games for not reporting to the league that he was taking a prescription drug that contained a banned substance.

Any defense of Rice’s actions shows immaturity and undermines the moral fabric of the entire NFL fan base. The statement has arisen, “We don’t know if he did anything in that elevator.” Well we all certainly know what the police report says. It states that Rice struck his girlfriend using his hands. We all know that Rice himself felt the need to publicly apologize for his actions. I can’t remember the last time I apologized for not doing anything wrong. We all know that the NFL Commissioner had enough evidence to suspend Rice. There would certainly be a ensuing legal battle if he were innocent, yet still receive punishment.

Yet Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wants to state that “[Ray Rice] is a good guy.” I’m sorry but when you find it necessary to use physical force against a woman than NO HE IS NOT! This simply proves the team (like the rest of the league) is just worried about winning and not HUMAN DECENCY. We have seen this in the past as the Ravens publicly backed the likes of Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister and Terrell Suggs during their legal troubles. I guess that is why the team did not have the gumption to take action when they were handed all of the same evidence that led to this suspension. 

But in the end it is not Rice’s fault that the league office felt some sort of sympathy on his case.  And that is where the real issue comes to the forefront. The NFL has stood by its players to a fault; where well known and reported criminals can get away with breaking the law because they can play football.  The players have no recourse knowing that the league will let them back in with open arms no matter how despicable the act.

There were 19 arrests this off season (5 of which by those who play in Baltimore), yet many of those players will be allowed to go back to there daily lives and daily earnings without any repercussions what so ever.  Has anyone even mentioned throwing out a suspension for Deonte Thompson or Jah Reid or Lorenzo Talliferro or Jimmy Smith? NO!

And just maybe, if the NFL did put in a policy TO NOT GET ARRESTED or you will lose out on your livelihood, like they have with their substance abuse and performance enhancing drug policies, players would be less inclined to act like delinquents off the field. Maybe it is time for the NFL to take a stand against their EMPLOYEES ACTING AS CRIMINALS. Roger Goodell certainly had a chance to prove a point with Ray Rice and he missed terribly.

Now the court of public opinion is weighing down on the league and rightfully so, as the NFL’s culture of protecting its product has proven to outweigh the importance HUMAN DECENCY.  I dare anyone to go out, hit their wife in public or get arrested with multiple DUIs or get caught with illegal narcotics on several different occasions or any other crime and still be allowed to show their face at their place of business the next day.  So why does the most powerful sports league in the world just deem these actions as acceptable or commonplace?

After Goodell laid down this “punishment” on Ray Rice, I personally felt ashamed to consider myself a diehard fan of the NFL. It is an embarrassment for the NFL to consider its fan base so neanderthalic and stupid to not understand what is fair and just.

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Jimmy Smith mum on legal incident, insists it won’t be distraction

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith addressed the media on Friday for the first time since his July 12 arrest, but didn’t offer specifics on what resulted in him receiving a failure to obey a lawful order by a police officer citation.

Smith became the fifth Ravens player to be arrested this offseason when he was charged for misdemeanor disorderly conduct while at the Greene Turtle in Towson. Police have said Smith became argumentative while helping a woman in the bathroom and would not obey orders to leave her alone when medical personnel arrived to treat her.

“The incident that occurred is still a legal matter, so I’m not able to discuss that right now,” Smith said in an opening statement at the podium on Friday afternoon. “I’ll gladly talk about football. But, when it’s handled, I will talk about [the incident] and give you my side of the story.”

A court date is pending, but Smith insisted that the legal matter will not be a distraction “in the least” as he prepares for his fourth season in Baltimore.

Webb leaves practice, Rackley absent

Cornerback Lardarius Webb left the field midway through Friday’s practice and didn’t return even though head coach John Harbaugh did not express concern at the end of the workout.

“I don’t have an update on that,” Harbaugh said. “[It was] nothing serious.”

Webb jogged off the field unassisted and was apparently dealing with minor back spasms, according to The Sun. He was replaced in the starting defense by fourth-year cornerback Chykie Brown.

Veteran cornerback Dominique Franks remained on the non-football injury list and didn’t practice on Friday, an indication that he has yet to pass his conditioning test. Offensive lineman Will Rackley (undisclosed) was also absent from the practice field.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip surgery) remained on the active physically unable to perform list.

The Ravens will conduct their first full-contact practice of the summer on Saturday afternoon with defensive coordinator Dean Pees, offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg scheduled to address reporters following the workout.

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