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Pro Days Nearly in Books as Draft Season Begins Home Turn

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Pro Days Nearly in Books as Draft Season Begins Home Turn

Posted on 06 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

With only Notre Dame left amongst significant Pro Timing Days this season, NFL Draft season is now headed to pro facilities, as teams will host private meetings with prospects.

This of course is all happening despite the fact that the league and the players are battling in court in Minneapolis.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama), Andy Dalton (TCU), Jeremiah Masoli (Ole Miss)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford), Shaun Chapas (Georgia)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union), Jerrel Jernigan (Troy), Niles Paul (Nebraska)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU), Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)
G-Danny Watkins (Baylor)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada), D’Aundre Reed (Arizona), Aldon Smith (Missouri), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)
DT-Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois), Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State), Alex Wujciak (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami), Brandon Harris (Miami), Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), Richard Sherman (Stanford)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 456-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indy
Parts 8 & 9-A look at players who participated in early Pro Timing Days

The Baltimore Ravens (obviously) made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects whose schools have already held their Pro Timing Days.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, NFL.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

DE Sam Acho (Texas)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea4RHlaq8eg&feature=fvst[/youtube]

Acho became an interesting name in Charm City when he told us at the Combine he had met with the Ravens. Clearly the team had gone down the “Longhorns pass rusher” road recently (see Kindle, Sergio), and they desperately need a rush end.

Acho is a 6’2″, 262 pound beast who tallied eight sacks in each his junior and senior seasons in Austin. He has decent speed (he posted a 4.67 forty yard dash at the Combine and sat on the number at his Pro Day) and has shown the ability to be a solid pass rusher at the college level.

The Ravens will have to figure out if that can translate to a level in the NFL that allows him to partner up with LB Terrell Suggs to get after quarterbacks.

If Kindle’s off-field issues scare fans into thinking the team should avoid all former ‘Horns defenders altogether, consider some of Acho’s accomplishments.

-William V. Campbell Trophy winner (nation’s top football student-athlete)
-2010 Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in athletic, academic and community achievement)
-ARA Sportsmanship Award
-UT’s seventh two-time Academic All-American
-member of the 2010 AFCA Good Works Team
-2010 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete
-finalist for the 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

The Ravens will have to decide whether Acho’s on-field ability warrants a late Thursday or early Friday selection, but they shouldn’t be concerned about him away from the field at all.

(Acho joined Thyrl Nelson last week on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net if you missed him!)

RB Mikel Leshoure (Illinois)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVgFcPDMQLQ[/youtube]

I would be FLOORED if the Ravens selected Leshoure with the 26th pick in the Draft. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Ravens selected him in the 2nd round should he be available.

Leshoure is a 6’0″, 227 pound back with solid speed (4.56 40) who exploded on the scene in 2010. Leshoure posted nearly 1,900 yards of total offense and 20 total touchdowns after totaling just over 900 yards in 2009.

Seeing the way NFL teams have considered the number of touches a back has at the college level more and more, Leshoure decided to leave Champaign a year early and keep as much tread on his tires as possible.

The Ravens will need to overhaul their backfield this offseason. RB Willis McGahee is expected to be let go, FB Le’Ron McClain could depart as an unrestricted free agent. The team needs to figure out how to pair someone with their undersized superstar Ray Rice to carry them offensively.

Leshoure’s size could make him a decent complement paired with Rice.

But I would still only expect it to be possible if Leshoure slips to 58th.

LB Akeem Dent (Georgia)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJbNrEv5zXc[/youtube]

The Ravens have issues at Inside Linebacker.

They have a future Hall of Famer at one position (Ray Lewis) who-while still performing at a Pro Bowl level-is not getting any younger.

Lining up next to him, the team has attempted to see Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe or Jameel McClain nail down a spot-but none of them have done so.

They have to find some better answers at ILB.

Dent recently met with Ravens LB Dean Pees, meaning the team is at least considering a Saturday selection on the former Bulldogs backer. He’s 6’1″, 242 pounds with underwhelming speed (4.78), but he capped his career with Athens with an exceptional 122 tackle, three sack, two forced fumble senior campaign.

There’s nothing about Dent in particular that really makes him stand out-but he’s been productive against SEC offenses and has shown decent character.

For a team needing help at the position, that might be all that’s necessary.

QB Ricky Stanzi (Iowa)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p9xT-7-UkU[/youtube]

When Gil Brandt reported that the Ravens’ QB coach attended Stanzi’s Pro Day in Iowa City, I will admit that I was a bit confused.

Jim Zorn has since taken over the same role with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and Offensive Assistant Craig Ver Steeg to split the responsibilities of working with Joe Flacco.

It is believed (from the folks in Owings Mills I talked to) that Ver Steeg was the coach working with Stanzi at Iowa’s Pro Day. It’s certainly a sign that the team is legitimately considering Stanzi as an option should backup Marc Bulger depart (or perhaps even if he ends up returning).

Stanzi had a solid career for the Hawkeyes, compiling a 3,000 yard senior season to finish off a 7,377 yard/56 TD career. He has solid size (6’4″, 223 pounds) and while he isn’t quick, he did improve his 40 time to 4.93 at Pro Day.

There will likely be some concerns still lingering from a 2009 ankle injury that forced him to miss time, but he didn’t miss a game in 2010.

The Ravens probably won’t even think about quarterbacks until Saturday-as they are not looking for someone who will need to play (unless there’s an emergency situation) in 2011. If Stanzi remains on the board after three rounds, he will have to at least be a consideration.

CB Brandon Burton (Utah)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8HHyOuT4NM[/youtube]

This won’t be the first time I will have written about the Ravens’ CB situation as they (eventually) enter the offseason.

CB’s Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents. CB Domonique Foxworth is coming off of an ACL injury that cost him the entire season. CB Cary Williams is an exclusive rights free agent.

As of this moment, the team has Lardarius Webb, Marcus Paschal and Danny Gorrer as healthy players under contract. They’re going to have to do SOMETHING at the position-although we all expect Foxworth and at least one of the UFA’s to be back in the mix.

Burton is a 6’0″, 190 pound corner who produced solid if not spectacular numbers during three seasons with the Utes. He finished his career with 97 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and three interceptions.

Clearly those numbers were skewed at least a bit by the fact that Mountain West opponents learned not to throw in his direction quite as much.

Burton has decent speed (he shaved his 40 time down to 4.50 at his Salt Lake City Pro Day), but a quicker time might have made him a first round possibility. Instead, he’ll likely be a player the Ravens can consider adding to Chuck Pagano’s defense on Friday night.

RB Darren Evans (Virginia Tech)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVJY_1wU8Lo[/youtube]

Evans only did positional workouts at his Pro Day in Blacksburg, deciding to sit on all of his workout numbers from the Combine.

The decision-much like his decision to leave Va Tech with a year of eligibility left-could certainly be considered questionable.

While his Hokies’ teammate Ryan Williams is all but a sure thing to be a Friday night pick, there is certainly no guarantee Evans will be selected at all. He has decent size (6’0″, 227 pounds) and speed (4.56 40), but the ACL injury that cost him his entire 2009 season will certainly leave personnel folks (like Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome) wary of using a pick on him.

Evans was tremendous in 2008, rushing for 1,265 yards and 11 TD’s. He bounced back for a decent season in 2010, posting 854 yards and another 11 TD’s. He clearly made the decision to leave school out of fear that he would take too much “tread off his tires”, which has become a significant concern for NFL teams who tend to lower the life expectancy for a running back every year.

Evans might be the type of back that could complement someone like Rice, but he’d likely have to come in as a late round pick (or Undrafted Free Agent…if teams are ever able to sign those) and compete for a job behind Rice, Jalen Parmele and whoever else the team brings back in the backfield.

DE Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State)

winterswyk

I think we all expect the Ravens to have addressed the need for a rush end early in the Draft, but I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they could consider selecting multiple Ends during the course of the weekend.

Winterswyk is an intriguing late round prospect. He measures in at 6’4″, 268 pounds and shaved his 40 time down to the 4.80 range at his Pro Day (according to the National Football Post) after a disappointing 4.96 at the Combine.

Winterswyk garnered plenty of attention during his junior season, tallying nine sacks for the Broncos and establishing himself as the type of player who could be a serious threat off the edge at the next level.

That excitement died down a bit in 2010, as Winterswyk managed only two sacks during his senior campaign.

The Ravens certainly couldn’t use a Saturday selection on the former BSU rusher and assume that they had solved their issues on the edge. But if they used an early pick on an End (or waited to address the issue if and when free agency finally begins), Winsterswyk could certainly be an interesting project for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to consider.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I08QqP7cE5A[/youtube]

I’ll say what you’re thinking…yes, there’s reason to compare Sanzenbacher to former Ravens receiver Brandon Stokley.

But there’s no guarantee that a Stokley-type receiver is what the Ravens need right now to complete their receiving corps.

The team will be looking for a downfield speed threat as WR Donte’ Stallworth (unrestricted free agent) may well depart following a season where he was unable to get into the mix offensively.

Sanzenbacher (5’11″, 182 pounds) could be the type to fill that role-but will initially be looked at as more of a possession receiver with a speed threat (4.48 40 at his Pro Day).

The Ravens will return two possession receivers at the top of their corps (Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason), meaning size and speed will be what they are most looking for in a receiver.

Should they address those issues by selecting a Jon Baldwin-type receiver early in the draft, Sanzenbacher could be an additional option on Saturday to further bolster Cameron’s offense.

QB Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7VFdi_WhLY[/youtube]

At 6’5″, 251 pounds; Johnson certainly has the LOOK of a NFL quarterback. At times during his career with the Aggies, he certainly showed off the skills necessary to be a NFL quarterback as well.

Unfortunately, his career in College Station ended with him on the bench due to a shoulder injury. Coach Mike Sherman’s staff lost faith in Johnson’s arm strength-and those questions have clearly lingered over his performance during Draft season.

Johnson has a unique mix of size and athleticism, and managed to throw for over 8,000 yards and 67 touchdowns before ending up on the bench. He had a particularly prolific junior season, completing 296 of 497 attempts for 3,579 yards with 30 TD’s and just eight interceptions.

Johnson could be particularly interesting on Saturday (or as an undrafted free agent) to Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and a Ravens team that will be looking for depth behind Flacco but not for someone who would need to step in and play anytime soon barring emergency.

OT DeMarcus Love (Arkansas)

demarcuslove

Not only has the situation with OT Jared Gaither not been resolved, we’re absolutely no closer to having any true understanding of how the team’s tackle position might shake out.

The team could still decide to retain their former supplemental pick despite the injury issues that cost him the entire 2010 season. They could choose to allow the unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere and sign or draft another tackle. They could let Gaither depart and re-sign OL Marshal Yanda to play tackle. They could choose to elevate a Tony Moll or Oniel Cousins to the position.

Get the picture?

Love (6’4″, 315 pounds) could be an option for the Ravens at tackle or guard as the team considers how they’ll shape their O-Line opposite LT Michael Oher and LG Ben Grubbs.

Love certainly showed his ability to handle top rushers as an All-SEC performer for the Razorbacks; but struggled against top talent during Senior Bowl week in Mobile.

He’ll probably be a late Friday/early Saturday selection and will certainly be an interesting prospect for a Ravens team needing changes along the line.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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First Round of Pro Days in Draft Season Books

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First Round of Pro Days in Draft Season Books

Posted on 17 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

No matter what happens in Washington DC or courtrooms in Minnesota or the NFLPA offices; NFL Draft Season is moving forward.

After the Combine, Draft season has now progressed with Pro Timing Days, as players work out in familiar settings on their own college campuses. Some Pro Timing Days have gotten a ton of publicity (like Auburn’s, which aired on ESPN3.com), others have gone virtually unnoticed outside of the local market (Maryland held their Pro Timing Day in College Park Wednesday).

The Baltimore Ravens continue to send scouts to Pro Timing Days during the NFL lockout, a group lead by General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz.

Before I continue, I remind you of the players we have already profiled during Draft season.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), Jake Locker (Washington), Greg McElroy (Alabama)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (Connecticut), Owen Marecic (Stanford)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii), Shane Vereen (Cal), Jordan Todman (UConn), Dion Lewis (Pitt)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford), Torrey Smith (Maryland), Randall Cobb (Kentucky), Jon Baldwin (Pittsburgh), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah), Kris O’Dowd (Southern Cal), Rodney Hudson (Florida State)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina), JJ Watt (Wisconsin), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Dontay Moch (Nevada)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland), Nate Irving (NC State), Colin McCarthy (Miami), Martez Wilson (Illinois)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA), Ahmad Black (Florida)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado), Jimmy Smith (Colorado), DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami)

If you missed any of those profiles, you can check them out in the archives here at WNST.net.

Part 1-A look at players who participated in the East West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida
Part 2-A look at players who participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
Part 3-A look at players who participated in the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation Game) in San Antonio, Texas
Parts 4, 5 & 6-Previews of players ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana
Part 7-A look back at players who made in impact at the National Football League Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens made no personnel changes this week, so my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects who have already held their Pro Timing Days.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

CB Brandon Harris (Miami)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0yjcu9CJvc[/youtube]

Harris has been a bit of a faller ever since the end of the Hurricanes’ regular season.

He struggled in the Canes’ Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame. He measured in an inch shorter (5’10″) than his listed height in Indy. He lost an inch on his vertical between his stop at the combine and his Pro Day in Coral Gables.

That being said, he’s been linked to Charm City by a number of mock drafts-both by fans and experts.

Harris measured in at 5’10″ in Indianapolis, and posted an exceptional 4.46 in the 40 yard dash.

He excelled in man coverage during his time under Randy Shannon, playing much above his height. The Ravens would have to believe he can translate that ability to the next level for him to be a real fit in Chuck Pagano’s defense.

Harris is a borderline 1st/2nd round pick. He could go anywhere between 20 and 40. With the Ravens sitting at 26, there’s no question that he’ll be a legitimate consideration.

LB Kelvin Sheppard (Louisiana State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Ckjltk9Ic[/youtube]

The bad news? Sheppard’s disappointing 4.76 40 at his Pro Day in Baton Rouge was particularly troubling for scouts who envisioned him moving to an outside linebacker position at the next level.

The good news? The Ravens would more likely be looking at Sheppard as an inside linebacker prospect given the inability for Tavares Gooden, Jameel McClain or Dannell Ellerbe to look down a starting job in the 3-4 scheme and the long-term reality of Ray Lewis’ age. If his time hurts his stock with some teams, it could make him available to a team like the Ravens later in the Draft.

Sheppard measured in at 6’2″, 250 pounds in Indianapolis. His biggest strength is tackling in space (he combined for 228 tackles between his junior and senior seasons), but he progressed during his senior season enough that he was able to record four sacks and force two fumbles for the Tigers.

Sheppard is a late Friday night or early Saturday at this point. He’s a good player who lacks elite speed. He’s roughly the same size as Lewis. And here’s a note from his LSU bio…

“Undisputed team leader for the Tigers as a senior in 2010 … Known for his fiery pre-game speeches to the team”

Sounds like he might be a fit.

DE D’Aundre Reed (Arizona)

dreed

I was chatting with Arizona DE Brooks Reed at the Combine-and it came upon me to ask him what it was like going through the Draft process with a teammate like Ricky Elmore.

His response caught me off guard.

“Yep, it’s great to be able to have Ricky with me…and D’Aundre Reed.”

My head couldn’t quite get around it. D’Aundre Reed was at the Combine?

Sure enough-despite starting just eight games for the Wildcats, Reed has been getting a bunch of attention during Draft season.

It isn’t because of his numbers. During the last two seasons in Tucson, Reed tallied just 54 tackles and four sacks.

That being said, Reed has good size (6’4″, 258 pounds) and managed to shave his 40 time down to 4.75 at his Pro Timing Day.

There’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll be drafted, but he’ll be an intriguing prospect both late Saturday and after the draft is over. He may a bit more like Cory Redding than Trevor Pryce, but could be an interesting developmental prospect for the Ravens.

OT Derek Sherrod (Mississippi State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HG8AW-S198[/youtube]

With the news that Ravens assistant O-Line coach Todd Washington was closely watching Sherrod at the Bulldogs’ Pro Day, there has been some buzz in town surrounding the 6’5″, 321 pound tackle.

We all know the Ravens have O-Line needs. OT Jared Gaither and G/T Marshal Yanda are unrestricted free agents. Head Coach John Harbaugh has not hid from the fact that he wants to see Yanda return to guard and Gaither back at RT.

That’s all well and good, but there are a number of moving parts involved-not only due to free agency but also due to the health of Gaither. With Andy Moeller set to begin his first season as O-Line coach, the team could do well to obtain another mammoth bookend tackle.

After not running in Indianapolis, Sherrod clocked in at 5.29 at the MSU Pro Day in Starkville. He’s clearly behind Gabe Carimi in terms of being the most sought after tackle in the draft, but he’s in the mix with the likes of Nate Solder and Anthony Costanzo just behind that.

He’ll likely be available at 26. He probably won’t be available a round later when the Ravens pick again. Depending on how the first round plays out, Baltimore could be a destination for the big man.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0xi0eaaP7I[/youtube]

I understand how 40 times can change between the Combine and Pro Day.

I absolutely do NOT understand how a player like Rodgers can go from measuring in at 5’5 7/8″ inches in Indianapolis and then 5’7″ in Corvallis just weeks later.

Even with the extra inch and an eighth, a team interested in Rodgers would be looking simply for a Ray Rice type of back who is capable of producing solid yards per carry on the ground but can be involved in the passing game to a significant extent as well.

That might not make him a fit in Baltimore-as the Ravens already have a Ray Rice (whose name just so happens to be Ray Rice), but might be looking to revamp their backfield with an impending departure of Willis McGahee, and a potential departure in unrestricted free agent FB Le’Ron McClain.

Rodgers is well known for combining with his older brother (WR James Rodgers) to make the Beavers a very explosive offense over the last few seasons. He posted an impressive 1,471 yards of total offense and 17 TD’s in 2010-which was considered a disappointment after 1,962 yards of total offense and 22 TD’s in 2009.

Clearly the season ending injury his brother suffered and the departure of QB Sean Canfield went into the statistical drop Rodgers suffered as a junior before leaving school.

Rodgers wouldn’t address the Ravens’ backfield needs, but he could be an interesting addition late Friday or early Saturday if Newsome and company believed they could further address the backfield issues later in the offseason (if there is any later in the offseason this year).

WR Jerrel Jernigan (Troy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63lbmKiBWl0[/youtube]

Jernigan was a clear beneficiary of participating in drills at the Trojans’ Pro Day last week, with the most significant bump coming in his 40 yard dash.

Jernigan was clocked at 4.46 at the Combine, but shaved that number down to 4.32 at his Pro Day.

Jernigan was a consistent target during his four years in Troy, catching 262 balls for 3,128 yards and 18 touchdowns. Critics will (fairly) point out that those numbers were tallied while playing Sun Belt conference competition, and that can’t really be ignored.

Yet most mock drafts see Jernigan as a Friday night selection; where the Ravens could be looking for wide receiver help if they don’t address the position in Round 1.

Jernigan’s 5’9″, 185 pound frame does not give him ideal size to stand out in a receiving corps that already features average sized receivers like Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. But the team will be looking for a speed receiver option, as Donte’ Stallworth never really found his way into Cam Cameron’s offense a season ago and is a likely departure as an unrestricted free agent.

Getting down to 4.32 at Pro Day could be a big step in proving to scouts (including those in Baltimore) that he has a realistic future as a speed receiver in the NFL.

OG/OT Danny Watkins (Baylor)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVyyt5-S88E[/youtube]

Watkins is a VERY intriguing prospect for a number of reasons.

First of all, it is believed that Watkins is more likely to be a guard at the next level, despite playing LT at a very high level following the departure of former Bears and now St. Louis Rams tackle Jason Smith.

Second, Watkins has a strange story. He grew up in Kelowna (British Columbia), Canada. (He was actually selected by his hometown BC Lions last year in the CFL Draft.) He didn’t play football in high school, instead choosing to play rugby and hockey. He just began playing football three years ago at Butte (junior) College in California and played just two seasons in Waco.

Third, he’s 26 years old. That certainly hurts for some teams who are looking for long term prospects, and his lack of experience might be a detriment to a team who would draft him believing his age made him more pro-ready.

With all of that said, the general consensus is that Watkins is still an early Friday selection. He’d be more valuable to the Ravens as a tackle; but could provide a better option than Chris Chester at guard should the team choose to keep Yanda at RT. The Ravens held a private workout with Watkins in Texas this week, so there’s clearly interest.

And if Watkins becomes a Raven, perhaps his previous career as a firefighter could somehow help? Perhaps?

WR Niles Paul (Nebraska)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmFt10el-m4[/youtube]

Paul shaved his time in the 40 down to 4.42 at his recent Pro Day in Lincoln, .03 seconds faster than the time he posted at the Combine.

But the questions most scouts have about Paul don’t really have much of anything to do with his speed.

The real question is whether or not he’s capable of being an elite receiver at the next level. And it’s certainly a relevant question considering he never posted particularly prolific numbers during his career with the Cornhuskers.

Paul had a good year in 2009, catching 40 passes for 796 yards and four touchdowns; but those numbers fell in his senior season when he grabbed 39 balls for 516 yards and just one score.

Paul’s best value is as a returner, as he tallied nearly 2,500 yards and three TD’s over his last three seasons as the Huskers’ primary return option.

David Reed and Lardarius Webb appeared to get comfortable as the team’s kickoff and punt returners respectively last season, but they certainly haven’t solidified themselves in positions where they couldn’t be unseated.

Paul measured in at 6’1″, 224 pounds at the Combine. His senior season was cut short by a foot injury that will certainly be a concern for any team wanting to consider him.

While not as short as Jernigan, Paul’s size probably wouldn’t allow him to stand out in the Ravens’ receiving corps either-as he’s basically the same size as TJ Houshmandzadeh, who is certainly a question mark to return as an unrestricted free agent.

QB Andy Dalton (TCU)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY_J_w4oQfc[/youtube]

If there was any hope that the man who surpassed Sammy Baugh as Texas Christian’s all time winningest QB could somehow slip far enough to be a consideration for the Ravens on Saturday, those hopes have probably been dismissed by his performances thus far during Draft season.

Dalton had an exceptional Pro Day according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, completing 49 of 52 attempts-with two of his incompletions the result of dropped passes.

Dalton is no stranger to the word “exceptional”, as the four year starter finished his career with more than 10,000 passing yards and 71 touchdowns…and a particularly significant Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin.

His 6’2″, 215 pound frame and solid arm will be beneficial to SOMEONE in the NFL…it’s just unlikely to be the Ravens. Joe Flacco is THE quarterback; the team could just be looking for help behind him with Marc Bulger an unrestricted free agent.

RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7b6kJwvhN4[/youtube]

If Mark Ingram never played a snap in the NFL, it wouldn’t keep him from being able to write a book about his life to this point.

His father (Mark Ingram Sr.) helped the New York Giants win Super Bowl XXV, but was eventually incarcerated due to charges of bank fraud and money laundering. He remains in prison to this day and is not scheduled to be released until 2014.

The younger Ingram has overcome his father’s troubles in a big way, becoming the Crimson Tide’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner and leading his team to a BCS National Championship Game win over Texas in Pasadena back in January of 2010.

After an incredible 2009 season in which he compiled 1,992 total yards of offense and 20 TD’s, a knee injury delayed the start of his 2010 campaign. A “down” year in 2010 still resulted in 1,157 yards of total offense and 14 TD’s.

Ingram is considered a slam dunk first round pick, especially after getting his 40 time down into the range of 4.5 at his Pro Day in Tuscaloosa following a disappointing 4.62 at the Combine.

The Ravens are unlikely to look to grab a 5’9″ back in the first round, but Ingram’s availability could challenge their “best player available” philosophy. They DO need backfield help even if they have more pressing needs.

There’s also a certain General Manager in Baltimore who has a particular affinity for former Alabama players.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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NFL Draft Season Kicks Off In Orlando at East West Shrine Game

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NFL Draft Season Kicks Off In Orlando at East West Shrine Game

Posted on 22 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

For NFL Draft nerds (like myself), this week has marked the true start to NFL Draft season.

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome lead a group of staffers who traveled to Orlando to watch practice ahead of this year’s annual East West Shrine Game.

With the NFL Draft likely to take place before free agency begins this year, it can be argued that Draft season is more significant than it has been in years past.

Before we start to look at players involved in Draft season, I think we should first identify the Ravens’ biggest areas of need. With free agency still to determine many things, here are the areas where I believe the team most needs to improve.

1. Defensive End-Newsome said this week the team needs a “companion” for LB Terrell Suggs in pass rush. I agree, and I believe it needs to be a true edge rusher.
2. Offensive Tackle-If the team feels comfortable with bringing back Jared Gaither (and Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated they were), re-signing him could address the problem. If not, they’ll need to upgrade.
3. Wide Receiver-The Ravens will have to make decisions on TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth; but need to come away with a big receiver and a speed receiver that can both be counted on offensively.
4. Cornerback-Only Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb are under contract, so the team needs to make decisions on Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Fabian Washington and Cary Williams. Either way, they would be well served to add a bigger, more physical corner.
5. Fullback-If Le’Ron McClain returns, this wouldn’t be an issue. With the current expectation that he won’t return, the team will be looking for an option here.
6. Inside Linebacker-At the MIKE spot, the team knows Ray Lewis can’t play forever. At the WILL spot, the team has three players (Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe) who are all coming up on some form of free agency and who have not separated themselves from each other at all.
7. Safety-While it doesn’t appear Ed Reed will retire this offseason, the Ravens have to think about the possibility it could happen in the near future. At the same time, Dawan Landry is a free agent and appears to be one of the more likely free agents on the team to get bigger money elsewhere.
8. Center-Whether or not Matt Birk retires (I’ll guess he doesn’t), the team clearly needs to review the position. If Birk returns, it will only be for one more season. I don’t think the team has future plans for Chris Chester in the middle. Daniel Sanders could be an option, but the team might be well to draft a center as well.
9. Running Back-Willis McGahee is a very likely departure this offseason, leaving the team with a need to compliment Ray Rice.
10. Quarterback-If Marc Bulger departs, the Ravens will need someone else to backup Joe Flacco. Hunter Cantwell could be an option, but they might want to at least CONSIDER a doomsday theory scenario with Flacco and draft a mid to late round QB as well.

Some of these positions will be addressed whenever free agency finally does begin, others can be addressed simply by signing the team’s own free agents. Before free agency is even an issue, the Ravens will have to get through Draft season.

Here are a look at 10 players participating in the Shrine Game, which you can watch at 4pm on NFL Network.

RB Evan Royster (Penn State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tWf1NOPkL0[/youtube]

After an explosive sophomore season (1,391 yards of total offense and 12 TD’s), Royster immediately gained attention.

Incredibly, he posted two more very steady seasons, tallying 1,356 yards of total offense and 8 TD’s in 2009; 1,216 yards of total offense and 7 TD’s in 2010. He has the size of a back who could compliment Rice (6’1″, 228 pounds) and many scouts think he’ll have a solid career as a third down back at the NFL level.

So what’s the problem? Well, Royster’s biggest performances as a senior came against Temple and Michigan, neither or which can really be considered premiere defenses. He also doesn’t fit the bill of the dynamic backs in the Naitonal Football League currently like Rice, Jacksonville Jaguars back Maurice Jones-Drew, Houston Texans back Arian Foster, Tennessee Titans back Chris Johnson or Kansas City Chiefs back Jamaal Charles.

As of right now, he’s probably a mid to late round pick. If so, he might be a solid pick-up should McGahee leave Charm City.

WR Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mihM5auuXx0[/youtube]

As the Ravens look for a receiver who can  extend the field, they might want to think about Jean. He’s 6’3″ (and somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 pounds), and has deceptive quickness.

While the Owls don’t exactly play against top caliber opposition in the Sun Belt conference, Jean also managed to post big games against Texas (see above) and Michigan State. He finished the 2010 season with 64 catches for 988 yards and 8 TD’s, wrapping up a career with 146 catches for 1,992 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He’s probably a late round pick at this point, but what he does at the Citrus Bowl Saturday and what he does at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis could lift him to late Friday night or early Saturday morning. If the Ravens don’t go receiver early, he could certainly be an option for the team later in the weekend. Jean wasn’t exactly hotly pursued out of High School in Miami, but he could be a hot name in April.

DE Justin Trattou (Florida)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DBWhBn75KM[/youtube]

Maybe an interception isn’t the greatest highlight to offer for a player the Ravens would be looking to see handle an edge rush, but I can only work with what I have.

Trattou is a rising end whose size has never matched his ability to bring down a QB. He tallied just 8 sacks over his four seasons in Gainesville despite his 6’4″, 255 pound frame. In fairness, he was surrounded by top notch rushers like Carlos Dunlap during much of his Gators career.

Trattou may pan out to be more of a Dwan Edwards or Cory Redding contain type of end, but NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks says he’s put together an impressive mix of rush moves this week in the shadow of Disney World. If he continues to show a rush presence, he could be an intriguing name for the Ravens to consider on Saturday.

S Jermale Hines (Ohio State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atBM7zf2IAw[/youtube]

Hines’ career interception total over four years in Columbus (three) looks more like a single game for a future Hall of Famer like Reed, but that doesn’t mean Hines hasn’t had a nose for the football. The safety from Cleveland also finished his Buckeyes career with 159 tackles and two sacks, and was named first team All-Big Ten by conference coaches in 2010.

At 6’1″, 216 pounds; Hines is bigger than your typical free safety-but is also quick. In fact, Hines could be an option as a returner at the next level as well. He’s as much an athlete as a football player, but his football skills certainly developed well at OSU, and could very well still improve as he reaches the NFL.

As the Ravens approach Saturday, Hines could be a valuable depth option at safety. While Tom Zbikowski handled FS well with Reed on the PUP list, he didn’t necessarily convince anyone he was absolutely the team’s replacement for Reed longterm. Hines could be that type of player someday if groomed appropriately at a young age.

WR Terrence Toliver (LSU)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhIrQn1Nd7w[/youtube]

His numbers are by no means overwhelming, but exactly how many times was Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron able to call a play like the TD pass Toliver caught from Jarrett Lee above?

Exactly.

The Ravens finished 22nd in red zone efficiency in 2010. For the numerous complaints about the lack of creative play-calling, there was only so much for Cameron to work with. Namely, he missed a target the size of Toliver.

Toliver caught just 41 balls for 579 yards and five TD’s during his senior campaign in Baton Rouge. All five TD’s happened either in the Florida game above or in the Tigers’ Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M, where he caught three.

But there’s another number that’s significantly more important.

6’5″.

The only receiver the Ravens have with such size is James Hardy, and he’s James Hardy. If the Ravens are truly looking to get more dynamic offensively, Toliver could be a solid pickup on Friday night or Saturday.

FB Anthony Sherman (UConn)

anthonysherman

I would love to have been able to share a YouTube clip of the Huskies FB with you, but when you rush just four times for a total of one yard in your senior season I guess there’s not much to post.

Sherman might not have big numbers, but he can help take credit for a rushing attack that finished 2nd in the Big East in 2010, just four yards behind conference leading Louisville. He also showed himself to have reliable hands in the Connecticut offense, grabbing 48 passes for 477 yards and a TD over his four seasons playing football in Hartford.

More importantly, Sherman lead the way for RB Jordan Todman to finish fourth in all of the NCAA FBS in rushing with 1,695 yards. If the Ravens are going to want a traditional blocking back (and the way they used McClain would make you think they are), Sherman could very well fit the bill. At 5’11″, he has a very effective way of throwing around 244 pounds.

OT Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada)

I know what you’re thinking.

“Canada?”

Yeah, I’d usually just ignore a Canuck and let CFL teams fight over who gets him. But there are two unique things O’Donnell has going for him.

1-He’s 6’10.”

2-He did THIS to Boise State DE Ryan Wintersyk at an indoor practice during Shrine Game week.

Does it make him NFL material? Not necessarily. But does it mean more folks will be paying attention? Absolutely.

RB Da’Rel Scott (Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADjVJ3MKd8k[/youtube]

Scott HAS to hope scouts were paying close attention to the Military Bowl, as his 200 yard, 2 TD performance against East Carolina was by far and away the best of his senior campaign for the Terps. If scouts could only remember his bowl game performances he’d be a lock to get selected, as he also compiled 174 yards and 2 TD’s against Nevada in the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl.

After a breakout season (1,133 yards and eight TD’s) in 2008, Scott totaled just 1,133 yards and nine TD’s in his junior and senior seasons combined.

That being said, Scott’s 5’11″, 200 pound frame is shifty but can still take a hit. He could be a steady performer behind a solid O-Line at the next level and will likely be available late into Saturday.

QB Ricky Dobbs (Navy)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSDGeekCtMg[/youtube]

A number of teams (including the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions) have had no problems selecting service academy players in the NFL Draft and waiting until they were eligible to play. The Ravens have never done that, but with their partnership with the Maryland National Guard, they’ve certainly been more military friendly in recent years.

Dobbs probably doesn’t project to be a quarterback at the next level, but he’s a better passer than those who don’t follow the Midshipmen (see above) probably realize. Dobbs threw for over 2,500 yards over his junior and senior seasons; combining with 2,170 yards rushing.

It will be interesting to see if Dobbs stays at quarterback throughout Draft season or if he works at other positions. Receiver seems to be the best bet for him given his 5’11″, 215 pound size; but he could fit with some of the more undersized running backs in the NFL as well.

The military service will be an issue. He’s much more likely to sign as an undrafted free agent than to be picked, but he’s the type of special athlete a team might very well be willing to wait for. There’s no off-field red flags for NFL teams to worry about with Dobbs, as everything he does he keeps in mind that he ultimately wants to be the President…of the United States.

QB Pat Devlin (Delaware)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkPzmE0__7A[/youtube]

If the Pat Devlin story sounds familiar, it should. Substitute “Pitt” for “Penn State”, and it’s basically the Joe Flacco story again.

Devlin nearly lead the Blue Hens to the NCAA FCS title in 2010, throwing for 3,032 yards and 22 TD’s before the Hens were cut down by Eastern Washington in the Championship Game.

Devlin doesn’t project quite as high in the 2010 Draft as Flacco did in the 2008 Draft, but he’ll have time to try to improve that. As of now, he looks like a Friday night selection, but will get the chance to go up against better talent in Orlando and will get to work out against better players at LucasOil Stadium in Indy.

If he moves up, there’s no chance the Ravens take him. If he’s around late into Saturday, it wouldn’t stun me.

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I’m thinking about the Darius Rucker show at Pier Six Pavilion on October 22nd, and just happened to find this gem as I was doing so…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX3-S649cvo[/youtube]

As I already explained to Boomer Sooner, if Rucker does Purple Rain on the 22nd-I cannot be held responsible for my actions.

By the way, I’ve been posting a ton of stuff on Facebook this week (you can add me as a friend by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the best looking guy you find). I’ve been adding a bunch of stuff to my iPod, so I’ve been sharing some of the things I find…like this surreal combo between Soulive and Robert Randolph…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S3Hb1r-gm0[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens believe Denver Broncos atop NFL in passing offense thanks in part to YAC, missed tackles

This probably isn’t the case with Demaryius Thomas; but it certainly is the case with Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal. If the Ravens are going to keep Kyle Orton and company in check Sunday, they’re going to have to make sure tackling part of the gameplan. Of course, I guess they should always make sure tackling part of the gameplan.

The fact is that there’s almost NO chance the Broncos will have success running the ball; but they might get time to throw it given the Ravens’ lack of pass rush. If Orton gets time, he’ll find his targets. The Ravens just need to make those targets don’t get out of their grasp and get downfield.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says DE Paul Kruger (knee) not expected to return until after bye week

I know I already made a suggestion yesterday, but I think it’s fair for me to make another. With the Ravens needing help at DE for a little while, I think it’s fair that they consider going with Helen Flanagan. (Thanks Guyism!)

flanagan

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Kruger, Tavares Gooden, Jared Gaither, Donte’ Stallworth all OUT Sunday

And we knew all four guys would be out, so this comes as no surprise. As far as who else will be down Sunday-my guess would be Scott Kooistra, Edgar Jones, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens.

As far as Gaither’s concerned, he told us yesterday he “can’t wait” to get back on the field this season and maintained that he didn’t need surgery. While I by no means believe Gaither is above criticism, I ABSOLUTELY think that the conspiracy theorists who believe Gaither is simply taking part in an elaborate holdout orchestrated by Drew Rosenhaus are absolutely goofy.

Faking a back injury doesn’t earn you any money…anywhere…ever.

As far as IR is concerned, the Ravens can’t just simply place Gaither on IR to “wash their hands” of the situation as some might suggest. They know that there isn’t a single player available who is NEARLY as good as Gaither. Not in the same galaxy. Therefore, they have to be willing to be just a bit more patient with their big man.

It’s definitely frustrating.

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Ravens amongst Super Bowl contenders after win over Pittsburgh Steelers

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I said the same thing on Facebook and Twitter (follow us @WNST) Sunday night; then had to fight with not just folks from the Steel City, but also folks that are Ravens fans!

Winning at Heinz Field clarified that the Ravens are legitimately amongst the best teams in the AFC. I’m not sure why anyone would want to argue with that, but for some reason, certain fans are. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

The team is a Super Bowl contender. It doesn’t mean they’re going to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Arlington, it doesn’t even mean they’re going to play in the game. But it does mean they have a real opportunity, which as of right now can’t be said of other teams-like the Miami Dolphins.

5. The AP’s David Ginsburg says DT Haloti Ngata ‘humble’ star

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens are back on the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive; and we will of course be in Owings Mills to cover it. We are expected to hear from Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg and LB Terrell Suggs amongst others today. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking us on Twitter and staying right here at WNST.net!

-Did you miss Lamar Divens with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who joined Drew Thursday morning to go around the NFL
  • John Plevyak (Stevenson University Soccer Coach)-who checked in with Drew Thursday to discuss the Mustangs’ big win Wednesday over Salisbury
  • Denison Cabral (Baltimore Blast legend)-who discussed the end of his tenure in Baltimore with Drew Thursday
  • Vic Carucci (NFL.com)-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss Joe Flacco and more
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who went around the AFC North Wednesday with Rex
  • Charles Bankins (Terrapins ST/TE Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for the “Terrapins Coaches Report”
  • Anthony Castrovince (MLB.com)-who predicted Roy Halladay’s no-hitter (REALLY) with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Joe Posnanski (Sports Illustrated)-who discussed all things MLB postseason with Thryl Wednesday
  • All sorts of Audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Fabian Washington, Jared Gaither, Jarret Johnson, Lardarius Webb, Paul Kruger, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Tavares Gooden

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so your day is planned AGAIN. Could I do anything more for you???

6. Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow says Orioles ratings up 10% on MASN

Not in Glenn Clark’s house. But not because I don’t love the O’s…just because I’m too busy watching Billy The Exterminator…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvzQo12I5Bk[/youtube]

7. Washington Examiner’s Thom Loverro says Nationals slugger Adam Dunn could end up in Charm City

YES.PLEASE.

Seriously, how do we get him here? I mean, does he need my help in packing? I’m available-I just moved myself last week in a Tropical Storm. I’m ready to go.

My guess is that the Birds DON’T get Adam Dunn from the Nats. Mostly because it will require money. But if they come away with Diora Baird this offseason, I’ll consider it an upgrade. (Thanks FHM via Busted Coverage!)

diorabaird

8. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Buck Showalter to make decision on Birds’ staff by Friday

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-Ummm….

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland TE David Stinebaugh expected to miss 4-6 weeks with MCL injury

I feel like things are so thin at TE for Ralph Friedgen’s team at this point that I actually might be pressed into taking a handful of snaps against Clemson. I’m ready, for the record.

Also, this sorta dampens my plans to go check out my Perry Hall Gators against Woodlawn on Friday night. I mean, I’ll still go-but I just won’t be as thrilled talking PHHS football with our new greatest alum hurt.

But Go Gators anyway!

10. UMTerps.com says Maryland Madness to open Terps’ basketball season next Friday at Comcast Center

In honor of Lefty Driesell, they should leave it at midnight. Despite that, I’ll certainly be in College Park Friday night to celebrate Gary Williams’ newest team. But if somehow Hiromi Oshima were to be there next Friday, I think I’d be willing to forgive the fact that it isn’t at midnight. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

oshima

And finally, I leave you with this.

I gave you Keenan Cahill doing Ke$ha yesterday. Apparently he does Usher and Katy Perry as well…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ChcMtiiic[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm_n3hg-Gbg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Deadspin introduced me to what is unquestionably the greatest sport ever created by human beings or any other species throughout history. It’s called the “Fight Football League” and it is some sort of combination of football, rugby and Mixed Martial Arts…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXMsmxWRLpY[/youtube]

Here’s actual footage of a match as well…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li9hP6z5DLo[/youtube]

Apparently the sport only exists in Italy, which only goes to prove BASICALLY what we knew all along…Italians are better than everyone. Go ahead and call us “divers” again there Drew Forrester.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jeremy Guthrie beat up as Orioles fell to Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

One of the things we’ve grown accustomed to under Buck Showalter here in Charm City is that he’s going to let his starters pitch.

Last night may not have been the most appropriate time to do that.

Jeremy Guthrie has clearly been this team’s most reliable starter in 2010, but he wasn’t great last night.

Losing 2 of 3 at home to the M’s doesn’t mean doesn’t mean the bloom is off the rose for the new skipper, but it does mean that there is still a level of reality to be understood.

This is a bad team-no matter the manager. We just hope they can continue to be SLIGHTLY better because the skipper continues to light a fire under the asses of as many players as possible.

I think a lot of us had hoped we were past the time when this team would drop 2 of 3 at home to a team like the Mariners. I guess the reality is that they at least showed some effort last night.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Hey-Matt Wieters hit a home run. How about that???

Other than that, not a whole lot to see here. So why don’t you take a look at Jessica Hall from Rukus magazine and then we’ll regroup after! (Thanks Guyism!)

jessicahall

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Manny Machado could report to Sarasota as early as Sunday

I would take this time to warn that this ISN’T Matt Wieters. Machado is coming out of high school in Miami-and no matter how many people compare him to A-Rod, it’s going to take some time. Wieters was coming out of college, and didn’t have as much to prove at Bowie and Norfolk. Machado is going to have to start in the Gulf Coast League, and probably has a LOT of A ball ahead of him in the next year or 2…or 3…or 4.

Just ask Billy Rowell. But we’ll get back to him.

I’d also like to take this to warn that no matter how nice it is described by Don Chavez, the Mila Kunis-Natalie Portman kissing scene PROBABLY won’t be enough to make you want to go see the movie Black Swan-even if it was made by the same guy who made “The Wrestler”. I’m just being honest…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9DevdBithM[/youtube]

4. NBCSports.com’s Bert Blyleven says Buck Showalter can only help O’s ‘so much’

I hate to keep saying this.

If the organization does NOT go get real Major League Baseball players to improve the roster this offseason, nothing is going to change. Even with Buck Showalter as manager, a bad team will lose…like how they’ve lost 2 of 3 to the lowly Mariners this week at home.

If they go get real players AND continue to develop their own (not one OR the other), they’ll have a chance to improve. Even in the mighty AL East. That’s not Glenn Clark saying that, that’s a should-be Hall of Fame pitcher saying that.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Billy Rowell had big night for Frederick Keys in win over Wilmington Blue Rocks on farm

And before we move on from the Birds, a couple of things…

-The Orioles open up a 4 game series with the Texas Rangers tonight at OPACY; first pitch between Brian Matusz and Colby Lewis is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Reliever Jim Johnson is slated to make a rehab appearance for the Frederick Keys starting tonight. I’m not sure what Jim Johnson’s role will be with this team moving forward-but it will be good to at least have him in the mix.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Oniel Cousins carted from McDaniel College field with ‘headache’ during Ravens Training Camp Wednesday

I’ll take John Harbaugh at his word, but I think this could remain an issue. The bigger issue is that with Jared Gaither, Tony Moll and Cousins all banged up-the team could be left needing Ramon Harewood to play the great majority of the game Saturday night at FedEx Field.

I KNOW the team wants to leave Marshal Yanda at RG and use Chris Chester as a reserve interior lineman-but I get the feeling they have to at least CONSIDER switching Yanda outside for the good of the entire unit at this point.

Hopefully Gaither and Cousins are both ready to go on September 13 against the New York Jets, but I’m not convinced both will be just yet.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says CB Lardarius Webb could be activated from PUP list ‘soon’

Wait a second…what is this?

Good news??? From Westminster???

I’m just not so sure I believe it!

In all honesty, it would make a WORLD of difference for the Baltimore Ravens if Lardarius Webb were to begin practicing soon-as it would significantly improve his chances of being on the field in East Rutherford for the Monday Night Football opener.

No matter when Lardarius Webb is activated, I don’t necessarily expect to see him on the field next week against the New York Giants or on the field in two weeks against the St. Louis Rams. That being said, none of that matters.

All that matters is whether or not he can see the field at the Meadowlands. If he can, it helps everything about this team…but you already know that.

You also probably already know that Sheridyn Fisher is a LOVELY gal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

fisher

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington will play Saturday night against Washington Redskins

MORE good news?!?!? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?!?!?

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Your LAST chance to view Ravens practice this year is THIS AFTERNOON at 2:45pm. Practice will be closed to the public tomorrow, and the heads back to Owings Mills next week. If you had wanted to get out for Camp, make sure you do it THIS AFTERNOON. Luke Jones is on the scene, he’ll be checking in with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider throughout the day.

-Rookie DT Arthur Jones announced on Twitter that he was fined $5,000 for an illegal block during the Carolina Panthers game last Thursday. If I ever Tweet about a $5,000 fine-you can be sure that I’m doing it bankrupt. (You can follow US on Twitter @WNST.)

-Did you miss Ravens Safety/potential punt returner Tom Zbikowski with Thyrl Nelson yesterday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” here on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out! Some other things you can check out in the Audio Vault include:

  • Audio from Training Camp Wednesday-including John Harbaugh and WR David Reed
  • Washington Redskins CB (and former Maryland Terrapins CB) Kevin Barnes-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday afternoon to preview Saturday night’s game
  • Steve Wyche (NFL.com)-who talked Brett Favre and more with Rex Wednesday
  • Paul White (USA Today)-who talked Buck Showalter, Orioles with Thyrl
  • Brian McRae (WHB Kansas City, former Royals OF and Baseball Tonight analyst)-who went around baseball with Thryl
  • Larry McReynolds (FOX NASCAR Analyst)-who talked some bumping and grinding with Rex
  • All of the Baltimore sports media tryouts you’ve heard on “The Morning Reaction” with Nestor Aparicio

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so once again your day is planned. I’m much too good to you…

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps coach Ralph Friedgen planned to meet new University President Wallace D. Loh Wednesday afternoon in College Park

And for more on the hiring of Wallace D. Loh and ALL things Maryland-related, make sure you check out this week’s edition of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens. You can hear it in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today, and it’s worth checking out.

And while we’re on the topic of Maryland, Patrick also recently passed along that Gary Williams’ basketball team would be facing North Florida December 29 at 8pm at Comcast Center. So…you know…go ahead and cancel your New Year’s Eve trip plans. You can’t miss that!

10. Tribune Newspapers says Michael Phelps won 200 meter butterfly at Pan Pacifics, remained unsatisfied

And finally, I leave you with this.

Geekologie says KFC is testing a new sandwich called “The Skinwich”, which is apparently a sandwich made entirely of fried chicken skin.

Yes. I’m serious…

skinwich

This is the reason why the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the planet.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from a trip to HersheyPark Friday. Dave Matthews Band was great (of course), but I’m gonna spend a few minutes first gushing over Zac Brown Band-who opened for DMB. If you missed Zac Brown at Preakness (and if you did, shame on you), you may think they’re little more than another forgettable country act you’d be unlikely to listen to on WPOC.

Not exactly.

Their song “Free” might come off a bit too much “CMT”…but when they cut to “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison during the bridge; it’s an absolute SMASH. They did it Friday night, but no one got the video. Here’s an older performance of it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xwq3X0CTjc[/youtube]

As I also pointed out on Facebook (add me as a friend-just search “Glenn Clark” and look for a goofy pic of a clown in a seersucker suit at the Kentucky Derby), that wasn’t the only impressive thing they did Friday night. Channeling Rage Against the Machine was also pretty impressive…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ChmnEFUGoA[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Arrieta impressive as Orioles finished off four game sweep of Texas Rangers in Arlington

This is equally as puzzling (if not much MORE puzzling) than when the Birds swept the Boston Red Sox earlier in the season. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?!?

Since when are the Orioles a team that can pitch comfortably past high powered offenses like the one found at the Ballpark in Arlington? Since when are the Orioles a team that can save face with a game-tying grand slam from Corey Patterson in the 9th?

Maybe it was just the heat in the Lone Star State, but it was an awfully goofy weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But given what we know about the team otherwise, there’s no reason to really think things like “maybe the team has finally turned the corner” or “the All-Star break is coming at the wrong time.”

Remember, this is the same team that was swept by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week. They’re a TERRIBLE team. The worst team in all of baseball.

It just so happens that the worst team in all of baseball pulled off a miraculous weekend sweep of a good team that we thought would get better with the addition of Cliff Lee.

I’ve described the season via Twitter (follow us @WNST) before as a “season long kick in the nuts.” This was like sitting down and getting an icepack between kicks.

It was a great feeling.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of sweep

Wait a second…you mean…you might actually MIGHT want to look at the numbers this time???

Maybe Arrieta wasn’t “brilliant” the way Chris Tillman was Saturday night, but he was damn impressive. 6.1IP, ER, 6H, 3K, 2BB looks like a line I’d take 10 times out of 10 from a starting pitcher.

Julio Lugo continued his recent hot streak-giving the team a better chance every day of maybe being able to steal SOMETHING for him by July 31. It’s still not particularly likely-but it does look better every day as Lugo collects extra base hits (he was 2-4 with a double, RBI and run yesterday).

Even Craig Tatum got another hit and scored another run, despite having to play during a day game following a night game due to the injury to Matt Wieters.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!?!? This is supposed to be the part of the blog where I say something like “You don’t really want to look at this. Instead, look at this picture of Kelly Brook dressed up as Princess Leia as posted by Guyism…”

You know, you should still go look at that anyway…

kellybrook

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says timing ‘fishy’ as Fox Sports reporting Buck Showalter nearing deal, Sun reporting Juan Samuel to manage after All-Star Game

So how long until the “Not Buck Showalter” or the “UnBuckShowalter” page pops up on Twitter?

By the way, to whoever was running the Dave Trembley page-it sucks now. There could still be plenty of great shtick there if you really tried. Also, whoever is doing the “Nestor Aparicio” page has never been funny. The guy is the easiest target on the face of the planet….how can you possibly do a page without it being funny?

Back to the point-I don’t think that Dan Connolly and Ken Rosenthal necessarily offered OPPOSING reports, as Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail could very well be nearing a deal with Buck Showalter but believe Juan Samuel will be the manager when the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.

I just hope it isn’t because Showalter is hired but is serving in some sort of “advisory” role until he takes over as manager. That’s so unbelievably dumb I just can’t possibly imagine the team would consider it.

Of course, I should REALLY think that it is so unbelievably dumb that I know the team WILL be doing it.

I just really don’t want to believe that.

4. MLB.com’s Todd Wills says Mike Gonzalez could return to Baltimore after ASG, Luke Scott won’t

So….HOORAY! Or something…

I have to assume that Mike Gonzalez won’t be returning to the closer role when he gets back to Charm City, so that gives me hope that maybe Rick Kranitz can find a role that he can be effective in. I’m absolutely not convinced that Alfredo Simon should be the team’s closer of the future, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve already learned their lesson when it comes to Gonzalez.

Right?

Right?

5. Fanhouse’s Frankie Piliere says O’s prospect Zach Britton had ‘standout’ arm at Futures Game in Anaheim

Which is ABSOLUTELY the most excited I’ll be about anything that happens at Angels Stadium this week.

With no offense to tonight’s Home Run Derby (I’m sure the Nick Swisher-Vernon Wells showdown will be really compelling to….someone?) or tomorrow night’s Mid-Summer Classic (My prediction? Ty Wigginton strikes out), I’ve lost all juice surrounding this event. It used to be exciting to me, and after that it was still at least the “only thing on.”

Tonight WWE Raw is on and the Counting Crows are at Pier Six. I doubt I’ll pass up on either to watch guys hit home runs.

Tomorrow night? Maybe I’ll go see “Despicable Me.” I stayed home to watch last year’s event in St. Louis and the highlight was an Adam Jones sac fly. Never again will I plan around it.

Hell, if I REALLY need something to do I could always just look at pictures of Doutzen Kroes from Russia’s version of Vogue (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)…

doutzen

6. NorfolkTides.com says Armando Gabino impressive as Tides finished first half on farm with win over Durham Bulls

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-The Birds are clearly off the next four nights as baseball celebrates the All-Star Game in Southern California. They are going to hold a closed workout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night, which I’m sure is exactly what players wanted to hear instead of getting a 4 day break. Of course, when you’re the worst team in baseball DESPITE a 4 game winning streak-it’s hard to make too many demands.

-When the Birds get back, the rotation will line up Brad Bergesen-Jeremy Guthrie-Brian Matusz-Chris Tillman-Jake Arrieta. Obviously the team will have to make a tough decision when Kevin Millwood is ready to return from the DL.

-Congratulations to our buddy Chris Stoner-who will again take home “Apologist of the Morning” honors-although this time the honor is web only, as we were caught up in discussion about Buck Showalter, LeBron James and the red hot Birds on this morning’s show. Chris was back to beating the drum of Nolan Reimold playing 1B in Baltimore; despite the fact that Nolan Reimold has done nothing to show that he’s ready to return to the major league level-and has played only a handful of games at first base at the AAA level. The drum beats on…

7. Pro Football Weekly’s Mike Wilkening says Ravens LB Terrell Suggs believes despite not being in Owings Mills for offseason, own workouts will have him ready for Training Camp

Well, when it comes to someone like T-Sizzle, his track record says we should just take him at his word, right?

Suggs can say whatever he wants; but everyone will be looking to see what type of shape he’s in when the team reports to Westminster at the end of the month. There is a LOT of pressure on him to live up to the contract he DIDN’T live up to a season ago-and saying “I was working hard in Arizona this offseason” won’t be enough if he’s not ready mentally or physically to get after the likes of Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Dennis Dixon and Ben Roethlisberger this season.

The bigger issue is that the Ravens don’t really HAVE any other natural pass rushers on the roster-with MAYBE the exception of Sergio Kindle, whose body probably isn’t ready to make him a dedicated rusher at the NFL level just yet. There’s pressure on Kelly Gregg this season, but that’s because there’s another guy (Terrence Cody) ready to take his spot.

Suggs doesn’t necessarily have that pressure-yet the team is REALLY counting on him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

8. NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi says Ravens still facing ‘cover corner’ issues

This is an interesting subject. We all know that the team LACKS a true “cover corner”, but we also know the roster features a number of potentially CAPABLE corners. Domonique Foxworth really played well during the 2nd half of the season last year, and if it weren’t for his contract; we probably wouldn’t really consider him a disappointment at all.

Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington each played well at times, but are both coming off of injuries. Chris Carr was steady if not spectacular. The team doesn’t really know what they’re getting from veterans Cary Williams, Travis Fisher or Walt Harris.

The reality is that the effectiveness of this group will be directly impacted by the team’s ability to rush the passer. If the team can rush the passer, this group will look MUCH better. If they can’t, this group will look awfully similar to the group that struggled to start last season.

They just won’t have Frank Walker anymore for fans to blame for the struggles. Not that he wasn’t deserving at times…

9. South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo says former Maryland Terrapins star Vicky Bullett headed to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Vicky, who was an exceptional player under fellow Hall of Famer Chris Weller in College Park.

As you know, the Terps are still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Debbie Yow, and Len Elmore is part of the Search Committe (along with Gary Williams, Kevin Plank, Brenda Frese, Sasho Cirovski, etc.) to find the next “Top Terp.” Len joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to discuss the search, if you missed it-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

Also joining us this morning were Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick (who wrapped up Spain’s win over the Netherlands to capture the World Cup) and Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe-who went around MLB. Both are available in the Audio Vault as well.

10. Swimming World Magazine says Michael Phelps posted solid time at NBAC event

You know what I would do if I posted an impressive time at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club? I’d immediately turn to the first person I saw and ask “Do you think Anissa Holmes is impressed?” (Thanks Busted Coverage/NextRound.net!)

anissa

And finally, I leave you with this.

On Saturday night at a private residence (Thank you Liz Kort) in Owings Mills, I discovered something that has forever changed my life…

sac

This is a Love Sac. My birthday is September 6. I’m just saying…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because the Netherlands beat Uruguay and advanced to Sunday’s World Cup Final. This means Rafael Van Der Vaart gets to play another significant game in South Africa.

Why is that good news? Well…apparently you don’t know that Rafael Van Der Vaart is married to Sylvie Van Der Vaart…

vandervaart

Like I said, this is good news.

Of course, had Uruguay won-we would have been talking more about Diego Forlan-WAG Zaira Nara, and there wouldn’t have been anything bad about that either…

zairanara

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Johnny Damon crushed walk-off homer to lift Tigers past Orioles in Detroit

Look, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. I WAS named “Apologist of the Morning” by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I said it last night on Twitter (follow us @WNST), and I’ll stick by it…

Here’s where I’ll be fair. Sometimes the other team tries too.”

I should have prefaced that. I should have said that if the Orioles were a good team, they’d earn the benefit of the doubt that sometimes the other team tries too.

I didn’t feel as though the Orioles didn’t try last night, or as if anything in particular was a glaring reason for why they LOST the game. I really DID feel as though the Tigers were just much better.

Of course, I should be fair. They AREN’T any good. This is what happens when you aren’t any good. Even when you play well (Jake Arrieta pitched well, the Orioles added runs in the 8th and 9th inning, etc), the teams you play against can figure out ways to beat you.

Maybe another Tweet I sent out last night was more fitting for this team…

“Well, the Orioles managed to find a way to lose again. Just like a season long kick in the nuts…

It really is.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Matt Wieters had both a double and a triple in last night’s game. Rumor has it that afterwards he IMMEDIATELY needed an IV.

Credit Arrieta for pitching well…6 and 1/3 innings, 1 earned run, 7 hits, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks. Hopefully he won’t give up hope. I’m not exactly sure how he couldn’t, but I hope he won’t.

You know what, you REALLY don’t want to look at the numbers. Instead, look at this video that SecretSauce.TV put together called “Twilight for Guys.”

(Editor’s Note: Warning. This video involves girls in their underwear making out with each other. Or in other words, don’t watch mom.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOpyyrtzgBU[/youtube]

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Felix Pie activated, Kevin Millwood sent to DL

And Felix Pie had two hits last night. Although he couldn’t move Matt Wieters (trust me, I think it was terrible baserunning from Wieters too) to 3rd base-or score him-in a key situation; but I’ll leave that alone.

By the way, he didn’t win AOTM-but I wanted to address something Peter Schmuck wrote. Schmuck wrote…

“For his trouble, he waited 21/2 months for enough offensive support to earn his first victory of the year and now appears to be wilting under the weight of this discouraging season.

How else could you explain his performance Monday in Detroit, where he lasted just one inning, threw 45 pitches and allowed five runs? It was the third-shortest outing of his 14-year career and the sixth time in his past eight starts that he gave up at least five runs.

I understand that Millwood did a decent job to start the season, but are we really surprised that he’s struggling???

Kevin Millwood is a solid MLB pitcher who was poorly cast by Andy MacPhail as a front of the rotation starter on a bad team. He’s a good pitcher, but he’s a good pitcher who should be the 3rd or 4th starter on a good team.

He’s a pitcher who was 48-46 over his last 4 seasons (all with the Texas Rangers) before being traded to Baltimore. He averaged a 4.67 ERA over those 4 seasons as well.

He was GOING TO STRUGGLE this season. He isn’t Roy Halladay. He isn’t Felix Hernandez. He isn’t Andy Pettitte! He’s a veteran starter who has been good in his career; but has struggled at times.

It’s frustrating because it almost eliminates his trade value as we approach the July 31 deadline; but it isn’t surprising. It’s what happens when a team acquires “a guy” instead of “the guy.”

We know all too much about that here in Charm City.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Garrett Atkins officially released by Birds

Now here’s the part where we all sit around and think about our memories of Garrett Atkins…

-There was the time he hit his home run
-There was the time he went to London and brought Aldous Snow back to the Greek Theater
-There was the time he blew up that BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico
-There was the time he blew the call on Maurice Edu’s goal in the Team USA-Slovenia match
-There was the time he announced Mary Kane as his running mate in his campaign to replace Martin O’Malley as governor of Maryland

I’m not sure why everyone was down on him, it was a hell of a run.

(Edit from GMC: Apparently only the 1 home run was true amongst the things on that list. I could have sworn…)

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Zach Britton, Ryohei Tanaka struggled for O’s on farm

Before we move on, a couple of things…

-The Birds are back in action tonight as they try to avoid the sweep at Comerica Park. First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Max Scherzer is at 7:05pm on MASN. My guess? The Tigers will finish the sweep. But I always assume the other team will win.

-Did you miss Bowie Baysox pitcher and Orioles prospect Steve Johnson on “The Morning Reaction” this morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. We also had ESPN analyst and former Rangers/Cubs/etc OF Doug Glanville (author of the new book “The Game From Where I Stand”) and former Terrapins/Blast star Desmond Armstrong to talk World Cup on the show this morning-make sure you check them out as well.

6. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ed Reed likely to be out until October

This wouldn’t surprise me necessarily. I know that Ed is wanting to get back on the field; but I wouldn’t exactly be stunned if he missed Training Camp. Should he miss Training Camp, there would be a major question as to whether or not he should be PUP’ed.

There are some simple facts here. 1-While Ken Hamlin and Tom Zbikowski give the Ravens depth at safety, neither are Ed Reed. 2-There are CLEARLY other issues involved in this, with Ed bringing up his contract multiple times during an interview on “The Morning Reaction” last Friday.

I’ll guess that Reed’s situation will be the story we’re most interested in while we’re in Westminster. In fact, I hope it is. A Joe Flacco injury would be a more interesting story. I’m not looking for something like that.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg says costly moves show Ravens commmitted to making run towards Super Bowl

I would counter with the same thing I’ve said a hundred times before. The moment the Ravens traded for Anquan Boldin, they showed me they were intent on getting to Dallas and hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. I’m not worked up about the additions of Marc Bulger, Ken Hamlin or Walt Harris. Any NFL team could make those types of moves.

Acquiring Anquan Boldin? That’s a Super Bowl-type move.

By the way, John Eisenberg will join Rex Snider this afternoon on AM1570 WNST at 3:30pm.

8. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks says Ravens offense now in ‘spotlight’ thanks to offseason moves

This is very similar to what I told Mike Florio in his ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports season preview magazine. There is a shift here. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Michael Oher are the nucleus of a unit that should make the Ravens winners for years to come.

They’ve added pieces like Matt Birk and Anquan Boldin to that. They’ve kept pieces like Derrick Mason and Todd Heap with that.

And they’ve done it without sacrificing much of anything defensively.

There’s a reason why they’re considered a “Rolls Royce” of professional organizations.

By the way, I’d like to put something in the “spotlight” myself. Something named Rhian Sugden. (Thanks Guyism!)

rhian

9. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says former Terps coach Dave Cottle removes name from consideration for Harvard lacrosse job

I said from the jump that I wasn’t sold on this being a good fit for Dave Cottle. He really has no background in the northeast, and having to get kids to an Ivy League school isn’t as easy as the success Princeton has had would make you think it was.

The Penn State job would have been a great gig for Cottle-but the Nittany Lions found their man. Instead, he’s probably better suited sitting it out and seeing what might open up in the next year or two. He’s MUCH better off in the Mid-Atlantic. Had Towson parted ways with Tony Seaman (which they rightly didn’t), that might have been a good fit.

10. UMTerps.com says Comcast Center to host Women’s NCAA Tournament games on Sunday, March 20 & Tuesday, March 22 2011

I’ve attended Women’s Tournament games in College Park, and they do an outstanding job of hosting the event. Hopefully, Brenda Freses’s team won’t be on the outside looking in during March Madness this year.

Question: Is there any chance Laura Leigh Siani could be part of the Tournament??? (Thanks Brosome/Busted Coverage!)

siani

And finally, I leave you with this.

Is it even safe for the Orioles to go to the Ballpark in Arlington this weekend??? Not only are fans falling from the upper deck (I’m not even going to bother re-posting that video), but even fans in the outfield are pinning kids against fences to try to steal cheap souvenirs…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7_C92Q3uIQ[/youtube]

Heat does crazy things to people…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Live From Indianapolis: Harbaugh Says Ravens “Interested” in Terrell Owens

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Live From Indianapolis: Harbaugh Says Ravens “Interested” in Terrell Owens

Posted on 27 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Indianapolis, IN Greetings from LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana; where we have gathered for the annual NFL Scouting Combine. I’ll be providing updates below, as well as answering your questions throughout the day.

——————————————-

5:16pm-Stanford RB Toby Gerhart is on the Ravens’ radar, as no team will have scouted him better. Aside from playing for John Harbaugh’s brother Jim Harbaugh with the Cardinal; Toby actually had Jack Harbaugh (John’s father) as a RB coach leading up to the Sun Bowl matchup against Oklahoma.

Gerhart is a potential Ravens target should there be movement made at RB, and there has been speculation he might be a FB at the NFL level. However, Gerhart says he thinks he’s more like “Eddie George or Corey Dillon”, and believes he will be a true RB as a pro.

He said Jim, Jack and John Harbaugh are all “identical”, and “crazy in a good way.” He described the coaching trio as “firey.”

You can hear from Toby Gerhart in the Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

4:20pm-In the last hour, I’ve caught up with quite a few potential Ravens targets. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon is expected to go in the first 3 rounds, and he might be the most outgoing player at the entire Combine. He’s meeting with the Ravens tonight.

Auburn LB Antonio Coleman will be a Saturday pick-he said he had a solid relationship his freshman year with current Ravens OG Ben Grubbs. Much like Ozzie Newsome is known to target Crimson Tide players, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz campaign to add other Tigers.

James Madison LB Arthur Moats said that in his two meetings with Delaware, he tallied 3 1/2 sacks on Ravens QB Joe Flacco. He’s expected to be a mid-round pick, and he has already met with the Ravens; they talked to him about different “schemes.” He said he feels a kinship with Flacco and current UMass OL Vladimir Ducasse (another potential Ravens target), as there aren’t tons of players who make the jump from the CAA to the NFL.

Clemson LB Ricky Sapp has talked with the Ravens-he says the team (and other NFL teams who have looked at him) are satisfied with what they saw in his knee-he was dealing with an ACL issue.

I also spoke with TCU LB Daryl Washington and Cal WR Verran Tucker-neither player has met with the Ravens yet, but both believe they will tonight. As Washington showed me, the players have a scheduled listed on the back of their nametag-but it doesn’t say which teams they’re meeting with, only times. This is apparently done to prevent players from researching the teams they are to meet with and preparing answers specific to their audience.

3:08pm-Here’s the video of John Harbaugh addressing Terrell Owens today in Indianapolis…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkvhJUjXaTw[/youtube]

2:53pm-Check out the Audio Vault here on the front page of WNST.net NOW to hear John Harbaugh’s meeting with the media here in the Media Center at the NFL Combine.

It is up there in two parts-the first was his formal “podium” session, the second was his “informal” session away from the podium.

Clearly, the most significant thing to come from either session involved Harbaugh admitting the Ravens “were interested” in free agent WR Terrell Owens, which is in line with what we have reported at WNST.net throughout the day.

Harbaugh also touched on Donte’ Stallworth, Troy Smith, Willis McGahee, Derrick Mason, Dwan Edwards, Billy Cundiff, Jim Zorn, Terrell Suggs, Ted Monachino, Joe Flacco, Matt Birk, Ozzie Newsome and more. Check it out!

1:32pm-Things have really picked up here this afternoon. I’ve spoken to a number of potential Ravens targets in the last hour, but haven’t had a chance to update all of them. Follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest. Will update shortly. In the meantime, the media center nearly came to a stop when Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford entered…

bradford

12:14pm-Just briefly bumped into Arizona State DE/OLB prospect Dexter Davis, who told me he had a good meeting with the Ravens as well. Davis is 6’2″, 255 pounds and moves well. He’s transitioning to OLB after posting 28 1/2 sacks during his career with the Sun Devils. He struggled with the switch during his week at the East West Shrine Game in Orlando; but certainly has the pedigree to rush the passer.

The Ravens aren’t disappointed with the last pass rusher they took out of Tempe….you might know him….Terrell Suggs? But unlike T-Sizzle, Davis won’t be coming off the board in the first round, he’ll be a day 3 selection.

11:53am-I guess it’s Ole Miss day here in the Media Center. WR Shay Hodge just stepped in, told me he’s already met with the Ravens’ entire staff, and answered a lot of questions from WR Coach Jim Hostler. He said he thought the meeting went “really well.” Hodge checks in at 6’1″, 207 pounds; and is coming off a 1,135 yard season in Oxford.

He told me he thinks his “route running” and ability to “catch jump balls” will separate him from other receivers in the Draft. He told me he looks at Ravens OT Michael Oher (a former Mississippi teammate) as a “big brother”, and that he has received a number of texts from Oher this week, with the big man telling him he wants to see Hodge in Charm City.

There’s no doubt that the Ravens love players that come from SEC schools. Ozzie Newsome is from Alabama, Joe Hortiz from Auburn. 2 of their last 3 first round picks (Oher and Ben Grubbs) have come from the SEC.

11:26am-Just spoke to Ole Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster after his press availability (which you can hear in the Audio Vault just to your left on the home page at WNST.net). McCluster said he definitely sees the comparisons between himself and Ravens RB Ray Rice, as both are backs who “work hard”, and they’re obviously similar in size and style. McCluster believes he’ll be used out wide more than Rice.

When I spoke to Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz about McCluster, he said that the Ravens (or any other NFL team) would have to have a plan to use him in multiple ways. A team interested in a Running Back wouldn’t just take McCluster, but a team interested in an offensive weapon would. Cam Cameron would have to have a real idea of how they could make him a threat.

McCluster spoke very highly of his former Rebels teammate Michael Oher, and also of FB Jason Cook-who was with the Ravens in Training Camp last summer.

10:33am-The reasoning for my cryptic messages regarding Terrell Owens was to allow Drew Forrester to put together what we knew about it. There IS interest from the Ravens in Terrell Owens. There’s just no doubt about that. We DON’T know what John Harbaugh’s relationship was with Owens in Philadelphia, but we have confirmation (as you can read if you check out Drew’s blog to my right) that there is interest in Owens within the organization. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves…

10:28am-I just spoke to a source within the Arizona Cardinals organization. He told me the Cards WERE more interested in trading Anquan Boldin this year than they were last year. BUT-they’re not just going to give up on “Q” for the sake of moving him. They want more and better picks this year, knowing they’ll probably need to draft a QB to be prepared behind Matt Leinart in the event Leinart still hasn’t developed now taking over for the retired Kurt Warner. You have to assume that Rod Graves would want AT LEAST a 2nd round pick for Boldin, probably a combo. Will be interesting to follow…

10:00am-Clifton Brown from the Sporting News speculated the other day that the Ravens would be interested in former Bills/Cowboys/Eagles/49ers WR Terrell Owens, who is currently a free agent. Owens IS 6’3″ and would probably come cheap, but has questionable history with the Ravens (especially GM Ozzie Newsome). He was with John Harbaugh in Philly, and in order for the Ravens to sign off on T.O., Coach Harbs would probably need a good history with the oft-criticized receiver.

Here’s the real question. What would your reaction be if the Ravens were to pursue Terrell Owens?

9:50am-Bruce Campbell posted a 4.78 40. If you’re watching the NFL Network or NFL.com coverage from here in Indy, I don’t think you’ve seen another Lineman go under 5. Campbell also measured in with an OL-high 36 1/4 inch arms, and 10 1/2 inch hands. He did 34 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. There’s a reason he left College Park despite never REALLY fulfilling his potential as a Terp. He’s going to get RICH.

9:16am-Defensive Linemen and Linebackers are scheduled to appear today-we’ll be looking to talk to the likes of troubled Florida rusher Carlos Dunlap, Michigan giant Brandon Graham, Georgia Tech freak Derrick Morgan, a seemingly healthy Greg Hardy from Ole Miss, and Terrapins killer Mike McLaughlin from Boston College.

Offensive Linemen are out on the field today, Maryland OT Bruce Campbell is your first star of the day; as he posted times of 4.78 & 4.81 in the 40 despite a 6’6″, 314 pound frame. Wow.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because some of you have really jumped on the crusade to point me in the direction of attractive women on TV I did not know about before…Thanks to Chad Lamasa for letting me know about Yvonne Strahovsky from NBC’s “Chuck”…

strahovsky

…who seems nice. As does Constance Zimmer, who was on HBO’s “Entourage.” Thanks to Brandon Holthaus for pointing her out to me….

zimmer

Is there someone I still don’t know about? Let me know via comments, Facebook, Twitter, or Pony Express. Preferably Pony Express, just because I think it’s an awesome way to do this.

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. Maryland Official Site previews tonight’s tilt with Clemson at Comcast Center

As the Terps play for things like a 1st round bye in the ACC Tournament, seeding for the NCAA Tournament, and still a shot at a regular season ACC Championship, this game is a “need to win” given their next three.

While the regular season finale at Virginia looks like the MOST winnable game of the bunch, the Terrapins have struggled mightily in season finales down in Charlottesville. Before that, the trip to Virginia Tech and home date with Duke are REALLY tough games; meaning the Terps can’t assume anything.

This is no easy task, either. Oliver Purnell’s Tigers haven’t exactly lived up to their lofty early season expectations in the ACC, but they still present a unique challenge in Trevor Booker, combined with plenty of talent in the backcourt.

I’ll say 83-79 Maryland, but it’s shaky. The good news is that the Terps will have had 75 hours between games to get ready, so the players who appeared to be fatigued late in the game Saturday against Georgia Tech should have fresh legs.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Greivis Vasquez REALLY unlikely to reach Juan Dixon’s career record, but not impossible

As Patrick points out (and is anyone surprised that a topic about numbers was addressed by Patrick?), if the Terps play 10 more games (they have 4 regular season games left, so they’d need to reach the ACC Tournament championship game and the Sweet 16 to play 10) he’ll need to average 25.7 points per game to top Juan Dixon’s career record of 2,269.

Likely? Not at all. Impossible? Not at all.

As Patrick pointed out yesterday on his Twitter feed (@D1scourse), there IS something poetic about Juan Dixon being the school’s all-time leading scorer. He’s a Baltimore kid, he was an underdog, he lead the school to their first ever Final Four appearance and their first ever NCAA Championship. Does that mean that Maryland fans should root AGAINST the senior from Venezuela clipping Dixon’s record? Of course not. BUT-I don’t think Maryland fans would be too upset if Vasquez fell short.

3. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says playing Clemson will help Terps ‘gauge progress’ since loss at Littlejohn Coliseum

Which is somewhat true. Maryland struggles on the road in general, so beating Clemson at home after a dismal performance on the road might be more of an indication of the way Gary Williams’ club just performs better in College Park than it is an indication of how much they’ve improved since losing 62-53 back on January 31.

The one area where Maryland can gauge progress is how they handle Jerai Grant; who scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the first meeting. If Grant has similar success this time out-that’s bad news for the Terps.

And before we get off the topic, we’re sure Terrence Oglesby has no eligibility left, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHPmrOcHtfk[/youtube]

Sorry to even bring it back up…

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Terps don’t need to get to 11 or 12 ACC wins to reach NCAA Tournament

And as others (like SI’s Andy Glockner) have recently mentioned, teams that finish 9-7 or better in a league like the ACC will get IN. There just aren’t enough other teams around the country with legitimate NCAA Tournament resumes to take the spots. The ACC is the 3rd power ranked conference in the country RPI-wise, so the detractors that have claimed the league is “down” aren’t REALLY looking much past the fact that North Carolina has been dreadful and there is only one team currently ranked in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Top 25.

You know why else teams in the ACC will get the benefit of the doubt on Selection Sunday? Because this young lady exists…..

acc

5. Towson Official Site previews tonight’s final road trip of regular season at William & Mary

William & Mary beat Wake Forest and Maryland this season. Towson lost games by 59 points and 42 points this season.

I’m not trying to say that I’m some sort of sorcerer, but I think I know how this one ends.

It would be tough to judge the Tigers by whatever happens tonight at Kaplan Arena, mostly because almost every CAA team would be expected to lose there. Pat Kennedy and his gang will almost certainly be judged by how they perform in Richmond during the CAA Tournament, where they put together a nice run a season ago.

6. UMBC Official Site previews America East regular season finale tonight at New Hampshire

Not a whole lot else to say here. I hope Randy Monroe’s Retrievers team can squeak out one more win this season (either tonight or in the America East Tournament) to build some spirits over there in Catonsville. If I had to guess though, they probably won’t.

While we’re on the subject of UMBC, what is the point of Drew Forrester hanging out with Phil Stern if Phil hasn’t introduced me to Kim Browning yet???

browning

7. Inside Lacrosse says Michael Kimmel, Kyle Wharton and Steven Boyle had big days as Johns Hopkins crushed Delaware 15-7

This is a very impressive victory for Dave Pietramala’s Blue Jays, as the Blue Hens were coming into the game off a win at UMBC Stadium on Saturday. To push past a Delaware team as easy as Hopkins did yesterday makes a statement about just how much separation there is between them and other teams in college lacrosse.

The Jays return to action Friday night at Homewood Field against Siena, another game that can be seen on ESPNU. If I wasn’t headed to Indianapolis, I’d be there.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chris Tillman to throw side session today, Brian Roberts expects to be able to take live batting practice next week

Both of these things obviously appear to be good signs, but we should probably let them play out before we assume that everyone is out of the woods. If Tillman or Bergesen has long term effects from their injuries, it will hurt a team that for once appears to be coming into the season with a set rotation.

9. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Tejada reported to Spring Training Tuesday ‘comfortable’ at 3B

Good to know.

(Sorry, it doesn’t move me much to know that a player feels “comfortable” coming into Sarasota needing to move positions. Glad he’s there. Not much else to say.)

10. Ravens Official Site says team hires Monachino as OLB Coach, reuniting him with Terrell Suggs

I really think this is a sign to me that John Harbaugh and staff are serious about getting T-Sizzle in shape. The team was NOT happy with Suggs’ conditioning after getting hurt in Training Camp, and bringing in a coach he worked with at Arizona State is a likely sign they need more from him this season. They believe in Suggs (to the tune of 60 million dollars), but they’re not going to give him a free pass anymore.

11. NFL.com’s Vic Carucci says Ravens have needs at WR, TE, CB, DE going into NFL Draft

Agreed. In fact, I’d bet 4 Chinese lunches that their first round pick is at one of those positions.

As Drew Forrester and I discussed this morning, there is one player on the Ravens board that will NOT be available at 25-but I wouldn’t be even a BIT surprised to see them move up and get. I’d tell you who it was, but I’d have to kill you.

(Hint: It is NOT Jimmy Clausen.)

12. The Sun’s Glenn Graham says despite Josh Selby’s 45, Edmondson stunned Lake Clifton to win Baltimore City hoops title

Josh Selby is a hell of a player, and that’s a hell of a win for Edmondson. Congratulations to both.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Have you seen this? Scott Van Pelt duped live on SportsCenter last night by Captain Janks from the Howard Stern Show, claiming to be Brian Westbrook? No idea how ESPN got had like this….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1cQ-3IQKx8[/youtube]

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

Look, I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this whole steroids situation personally. I mean, clearly Mark McGwire has been embarrassed by having to finally publicly admit to steroid use, and there is little to no chance he will ever be able to shake it off and enter Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

BUT-using steroids to hit all of those home runs did help him get this……

mcg

So….they can’t be all bad, right?

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens taking similar path this year as they did last

With his point being that a season ago, the Ravens went on the road to blow out the AFC East champs, then went on the road to beat the #1 seed in the AFC. The Ravens have a chance to do the same thing this year, but I don’t think the comparison is fair. With no offense to Chad Pennington and Kerry Collins, I think it says a lot that the quarterbacks the Ravens beat last year are each currently NOT starters in the NFL.

The opponents the Ravens are facing this year are MUCH better than the ones they faced last year-and it absolutely starts at the QB position. The Ravens made a major statement by beating a team with an elite QB (Tom Brady is ABSOLUTELY “elite”), and that could help them build confidence as they look to beat an elite QB in Peyton Manning this week as well.

Me personally, I’d much rather be facing this guy in the playoffs…..

stoney

2. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Harbaugh believes Flacco ‘healthy enough to play well’

I really don’t have much of an idea of just how bad things are for Joe Flacco. We can ALL tell that he’s laboring, but none of us really know just how bad it is because Joe and the coach of the team continue to dismiss it.

It is well understood that come playoff time-everyone in the league is banged up. But having your quarterback banged up and having a starting cornerback banged up are two VERY different things. This isn’t a case of whether or not Joe can play-obviously he can. But this IS a question of “what might happen?” if the Ravens trail 31-26 with 1:16 left and 1 timeout.

It could be an issue.

3. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Todd Heap ‘expected to play’ Saturday night

ESPN.com’s James Walker added last night that the x-rays on Todd’s back came back negative, which is good news for everyone. Todd Heap won’t be the difference in Saturday night’s game, but we all know the Ravens are better off with a healthy Todd Heap than they are without one.

4. Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell says Colts have never won playoff game after first round bye

I think this is a completely relevant statistic that CANNOT be overlooked. Peyton Manning has NEVER won a playoff game after shutting things down or getting out of rhythm late in the season. Maybe the Colts will just be better at turning things back on under Jim Caldwell than they were under Jim Mora and Tony Dungy, but I somehow doubt it.

More importantly, whoever wins the toss in this game really needs to take the ball. If the Ravens can come out and dictate pace the way they did in Foxborough, a Colts offense that hasn’t tried to score points in weeks might be in a position to struggle a bit more.

We can at least hope.

5. NFL.com’s Vic Carucci says Colts most ‘vulnerable’ of home teams in 2nd round

Sure.

But they’re also the only home team in the 2nd round of the playoffs with Peyton Manning at quarterback and Reggie Wayne at wide receiver.

Look, the Colts are beatable. But not beatable with a big margin for error. Just beatable. As in, it’s possible.

6. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio announces Purple Playoff Parties in Broad Ripple section of Indy Friday night and Saturday afternoon

And who WOULDN’T want to come out and hang with a group of jerks like this???

trip

Here’s what you should know about this picture:

1-Chris Bonetti (the fella on the right whose voice you’ve heard on commercials during the day on AM1570) IS a Jets fan, but they don’t play until Sunday-so you won’t have to worry about him rambling on. Also, he’s ABSOLUTELY rooting for the Ravens on Sunday night (partly because it helps New York), so he’s one of us.

2-Mike Gross (the 2nd guy on the right) is the webmaster at WNST.net. He also lost a game of Pop-A-Shot basketball to his girlfriend by a score of 22-4 on Saturday night at Dave & Buster’s. Is that relevant? No. Did I want to share it anyway? Of course I did.

7. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Al-Farouq Aminu leads way as Wake Forest hosts Maryland tonight

The good news again here is that much like Florida State, the Demon Deacons are unlikely to reel off 12-16 points in a row thanks to outside shooting. The Terrapins can’t completely take away Wake’s size, but they should be able to stay close throughout. It’s a tall order to go to Winston-Salem just 48 hours after a big ACC win.

Boy.

75-71 Deacs.

But who knows.

8. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester wonders why Orioles haven’t signed Adam LaRoche

I have no problem with the Birds signing Adam LaRoche. Mostly because he’s capable of playing baseball.

Drew’s right, LaRoche is better than a number of the guys that are available-which of course means he probably wants some money-or maybe 2-3 years.

I get the feeling that might not work here.

9. The AP says Reggie Holmes’ 16 lead Morgan State in win over Hampton

This is what we expect from Todd Bozeman’s team, it’s MEAC season and they are VERY capable of winning any game they play. The combination of Holmes and Thompson will present problems for everyone in the conference. If they play well, they’ll beat everyone in the league.

10. Loyola Official Site says 22 turnovers doom Greyhounds in loss to Iona

As they would if Loyola was playing Stevenson, for the record.

Jimmy Patsos’ bunch is in a tough spot now in the MAAC. They had a great chance to make some noise early on in conference play, but very quickly they’re now 1-5.

I don’t think I need to be the one to tell anyone that 1-5 isn’t a good place to be.

11. The AP says Coppin fell to 5-9 overall after loss to Howard

This isn’t a “bad” loss for Fang Mitchell’s crew-but they certainly can’t afford to think that they can just turn things on come MEAC Tournament time. Replacing Tywain McKee’s scoring continues to be an issue for the Eagles.

12. The AP says Maryland women hung on late to beat ranked Cavaliers in Charlottesville

By far the best win of the season for Brenda Frese’s crew, even if it wasn’t overly impressive. When Tchatchouang missed those freebies at the end of the game, I really wished I could pronounce her name better when I was cursing it.

And finally, I offer this.

It wasn’t exactly Bret Hart, but the WWE managed to keep my interest last night by bringing in Iron Mike Tyson to guest “host” RAW. He even decided to step in the ring and tag with Chris Jericho to take on Shawn Michaels and HHH at the end of the night. It did provide one pretty cool moment….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vBokxrZvUs[/youtube]

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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