Tag Archive | "oakland"

Rice ready for increased workload in second half of season

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Rice ready for increased workload in second half of season

Posted on 08 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After watching Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin run for 251 yards against the Raiders in Week 9, Ray Rice tried to downplay what it meant as the Ravens prepare to welcome Oakland to Baltimore on Sunday.

But it’s only human nature for a Pro Bowl running back to be licking his chops after seeing a defense show such vulnerability.

“Obviously, you look at it,” Rice said, “and you do start getting excited when you see it happening.”

Rice was quick to point out reasons why the Raiders front seven allowed Martin to run all over them in a 42-32 loss, pointing to several occasions when Oakland defenders missed tackles that transformed modest gains into lucrative runs. It’s never a one-size-fits-all comparison from week to week in the NFL, but the Ravens have examined how they can exploit Oakland’s 21st-ranked defense in a similar manner as they begin the second half of the regular-season schedule.

The 278 rushing yards allowed by the Raiders in Week 9 pushed their season average to 124.1 per game on the ground after they had only allowed 102.1 rushing yards per contest through their first seven games, which would have landed them in the 11th spot in the league this week. While Rice and the Ravens are likely to test Oakland’s run defense in trying to win their 15th straight home game, they won’t count solely on the ground game to do it.

“When you look at the tape, you understand why those things happened,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They can play a lot better against the run. They do play better against the run. There are four or five plays in there that just went big for them. You see all those other plays where they do a great job, and they’ve got a real physical front.”

Despite an uneven performance in Cleveland last week, the Ravens displayed a renewed commitment to Rice and the running game after criticism of going away from it on several occasions earlier this season. The Pro Bowl back rushed for 98 yards on 25 carries, which wasn’t exactly a sterling day statistically, but the heavy workload could signal offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s renewed confidence in the back to grind out wins in the second half of the season, especially on the road where the Ravens’ passing game has faltered.

The consummate team player, Rice always says the right thing, but you don’t reach his level of success without wanting the ball in your hands as much as possible. And the numbers prove it’s not a bad strategy as the fifth-year back has run for 622 yards on 131 carries (4.7 yards per attempt), which is 90 more yards than he gained on two fewer carries through the first eight games last season.

“I’ve never been a guy to say, ‘Give me this. Give me that,’” Rice said. “To be able to stick with the run [in Cleveland] no matter what it was, and on first down knowing we were going to dial it, it felt good. It felt good to get my young guy in there, Bernard Pierce, to switch it up. That one-two punch was really working.”

Pierce’s reliability as a rookie will alleviate the pressure on Rice in the second half of the season when the feature back figures to carry a heavier workload anyway, and the rookie from Temple has rushed for 148 yards on 30 carries this season.

Even with the helping hand, Rice figures to become even more important over the season’s final eight games and Cameron has said repeatedly that the Ravens have been cognizant of the running back’s carries in order to keep him fresh later in the season. After carrying only 133 times in the first half of the 2011 season, Rice received 158 attempts in the final eight games and rushed for 832 yards on his way to leading the league in yards from scrimmage.

The Ravens will need a similar herculean effort from Rice as four of their eight second-half games come against top-10 run defenses, including two with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A productive running game will only make things easier for quarterback Joe Flacco, who has struggled on the road this season, as the Ravens attempt to advance to the postseason for the fifth straight season.

“Later in the year as it gets cold, you know you have to run the ball a little bit more and be effective,” Rice said. “But that’s something that we want to grow as. We are going to get better as a run group.”

 

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Five Ravens starters sit out Wednesday’s practice

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Five Ravens starters sit out Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 07 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Hitting the practice field for the first time in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, the Ravens were without three Pro Bowl players and two other starters.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, safety Ed Reed, defensive end Pernell McPhee, right guard Marshal Yanda, and left guard Bobbie Williams were absent from Wednesday’s practice.

Ngata continues to deal with shoulder and knee injuries that have limited his playing time, and the three-time Pro Bowl selection failed to register a tackle in the 25-15 win over the Cleveland Browns. The seven-year veteran played at less than 100 percent after McPhee had already been ruled out in Week 9 with knee and thigh injuries, further weakening the defensive line.

Yanda and Williams both suffered injuries in Sunday’s win, but MRI results were favorable for each player. The Ravens’ Pro Bowl right guard is expected to play on Sunday, but Williams’ status will be trickier to gauge considering he’s already dealt with soreness and swelling in a surgically-repaired right ankle.

Wednesday was likely a day off for Reed, who is dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder and a sore knee.

Meanwhile, the Raiders were without running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson as both are considered question marks for Sunday’s game. Oakland head coach Dennis Allen remained mum on their status in a conference call with the Baltimore media.

Veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour was also a non-participant for Oakland on Wednesday.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), S Ed Reed (shoulder/knee), G Bobbie Williams (ankle), G Marshal Yanda (ankle/knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Josh Bynes (thigh), WR Jacoby Jones (toe), T Michael Oher (ankle), WR David Reed (knee)
CB Jimmy Smith (abs)
FULL PARTICIPATION: S Sean Considine (chest), LS Morgan Cox (shoulder), LB Dannell Ellerbe (finger), DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee), S Bernard Pollard (chest), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle)

OAKLAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Mike Goodson (ankle), RB Darren McFaddden (ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee/hamstring), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: T Khalif Barnes (groin), TE Brandon Myers (shoulder), K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), S Matt Giordano (hamstring)
FULL PARTICIPATION: T Willie Smith (knee), FB Marcel Reece (hamstring), LB Miles Burris (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder), DT Desmond Bryant (cardiac), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), DE David Tollefson (shoulder), CB Coye Francies (thumb), S Mike Mitchell (finger)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Macao-Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le (Saturday 9am from Macao, China live on FUEL TV); Women’s College Basketball: Mount St. Mary’s @ Maryland (Friday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ Loyola (Sunday 7pm Reitz Arena); Boxing: Gary Russell Jr. vs. Vyacheslav Gusev (Friday 10pm from Indio, CA live on Showtime), Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno (Saturday 10pm from Los Angeles live on Showtime); Vanes Martirosyan vs. Erislandy Lara (Saturday 9:45pm from Las Vegas live on HBO); High School Football: MIAA A Conference Semifinals-Mount St. Joseph vs. Calvert Hall (Saturday 12pm Mustang Stadium), McDonogh vs. Gilman (Saturday 5pm Mustang Stadium)

10. Carrie Underwood/Hunter Hayes (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Chicago/Kansas (Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Brandy (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rock Harvest 2012 feat. Don Dokken (Saturday 1pm Recher Theatre); Mint Condition (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Ed Kowalczyk (Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group (Monday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Theory of a Deadman (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Yelawolf (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Social Distortion (Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Motion City Soundtrack (Thursday 5pm 9:30 Club), Gary Clark Jr. (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Taking Back Sunday (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Tuesday 8pm State Theater), Victor Wooten Band (Friday 9pm State Theater); The Script (Wednesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Great White (Friday 8pm House of Rock); Chick Corea (Saturday 8pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); ZZ Ward (Saturday 8pm Georgetown University)

I’ll go see Eddie K ANY DAY OF THE WEEK…

MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS MIKE NESS…

I have to wait until Saturday to see GCJ (in Philly) because I’ll be in Brooklyn Friday night. It’s troubling because I’m not fully certain I can wait ANOTHER DAY.

I’ve put in a good bit of time with ZZ Ward recently. I could put in about six million hours more, too.

9. Doug Stanhope (Saturday 8:30pm Ottobar); Tommy Davidson (Saturday & Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Flip Orley (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv); Adam Carolla (Thursday 8pm Warner Theater); Bill Engvall (Friday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Shaq’s All-Star Comedy Jam (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric); David Alan Grier (Sunday 7:30pm Kennedy Center); “The Muppet Christmas Carol” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday), “The Amazing Spider-Man” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Skyfall” out in theaters (Friday)

Adam Carolla is funny EVERY FREAKING TIME.

The absolute best thing about The Amazing Spider-Man? Emma flipping Stone.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Game times announced for potential AL East tiebreaker and Wild Card game

Posted on 03 October 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 7:15 p.m.)

Major League Baseball has announced times for a potential American League East tiebreaker game on Thursday and the AL Wild Card play-in game on Friday.

A potential one-game tiebreaker between the Orioles and New York Yankees would take place at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday night. Of course, the Orioles must defeat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday and the Yankees must lose to Boston for this game to be necessary.

The Orioles would hold the tiebreaker over New York for home-field advantage due to their superior record against AL East opponents this season.

The AL Wild Card Game will start at 8:37 p.m. on Friday night. Should the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the regular-season finale, they are guaranteed to at least host the wild card play-in game. They would then play the Texas Rangers, who fell in Oakland Wednesday.

If Baltimore falls to the Rays on Wednesday, they would go on the road to play the Rangers in Arlington.

The potential AL East tiebreaker game and the AL Wild Card game are both scheduled to be televised on TBS.

Here’s MLB full listing of postseason schedule:

AL Wild Card Game
Friday, October 5
TBS
8:37 p.m.
NL Wild Card Game
Cardinals @ Braves
Friday, October 5
TBS
5:05 p.m.

American League Division Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
AL Division winner #2 @ Tigers
Saturday, October 6
TBS
TBA
AL Division winner #1 @ AL Wild Card
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Division winner #2 @ Tigers
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Division winner #1 @ AL Wild Card
Monday, October 8
TBS
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2
Tuesday, October 9
TBS
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
Tigers @ AL Division winner #2*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
AL Wild Card @ AL Division winner #1*
Friday, October 12
TBS
TBA
National League Division Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
NL Division winner #2 @ Giants
Saturday, October 6
TBS
TBA
NL Division winner #1 @ NL Wild Card
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Division winner #2 @ Giants
Sunday, October 7
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Division winner #1 @ NL Wild Card
Monday, October 8
TBS
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2
Tuesday, October 9
TBS
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Wednesday, October 10
TBS or MLBN***
TBA
Giants @ NL Division winner #2*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Thursday, October 11
TBS
TBA
NL Wild Card @ NL Division winner #1*
Friday, October 12
TBS
TBA

American League Championship Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
ALCS Game One
Saturday, October 13
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Two
Sunday, October 14
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Three
Tuesday, October 16
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Four
Wednesday, October 17
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Five*
Thursday, October 18
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Six*
Saturday, October 20
TBS
TBA
ALCS Game Seven*
Sunday, October 21
TBS
TBA

National League Championship Series
Series
Date
Network
Air Time (ET)
NLCS Game One
Sunday, October 14
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Two
Monday, October 15
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Three
Wednesday, October 17
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Four
Thursday, October 18
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Five*
Friday, October 19
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Six*
Sunday, October 21
FOX
TBA
NLCS Game Seven*
Monday, October 22
FOX
TBA

World Series
Series
Date
Match-Up
Network
Air Time (ET)
Game One
Wednesday, October 24
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Two
Thursday, October 25
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Three
Saturday, October 27
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Four
Sunday, October 28
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Five*
Monday, October 29
NL Champion at AL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Six*
Wednesday, October 31
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA
Game Seven*
Thursday, November 1
AL Champion at NL Champion
FOX
TBA

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Orioles clinch first postseason berth since 1997

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Orioles clinch first postseason berth since 1997

Posted on 30 September 2012 by Luke Jones

The Orioles missed their chance to celebrate at Camden Yards Sunday afternoon, but they have officially landed in the postseason for the first time since the 1997 season.

With the Los Angeles Angels falling to the Texas Rangers in the second game of a doubleheader, the Orioles’ magic number for a postseason berth fell to zero as they have assured themselves of at least a wild card spot in the 2012 postseason.

The Orioles will undoubtedly take a few moments to celebrate as they arrive in St. Petersburg for the final three-game set of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Rays, but they remain focused on winning the AL East as they’re deadlocked with the Yankees in first place.

Should they remain tied with the Yankees, the teams would play a tiebreaker game in Baltimore on Thursday that would be considered the 163rd game of the regular season to determine the division champion. The season series was tied 9-9 between the clubs, but the Orioles own the next tiebreaker to host the game by way of their superior division record. Baltimore owns a 42-27 mark against the AL East while New York is only 38-31 as both clubs play their final three games against AL East opponents.

The Oakland Athletics won Sunday to remain one game behind the Orioles in the wild card race. Oakland holds the tiebreaker over the Orioles via their 5-4 record in the head-to-head series this season, meaning they would host the wild card play-in game on Friday should the Orioles not win the division and the teams finish with the same record.

Regardless of how the final three games of the regular season play out, Orioles fans can take satisfaction in knowing their team is heading to a place it hasn’t been in 15 years.

 

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Veteran linebacker Blackstock joins Ravens

Posted on 25 July 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Adding their second 2011 member of the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday, the Ravens signed veteran linebacker Darryl Blackstock to add more depth to the position for training camp.

Reported by Scout.com, the 29-year-old is entering his sixth season and has collected 84 tackles and four sacks in his career playing with Oakland, Cincinnati, and Arizona. He was a third-round selection of the Cardinals in the 2005 draft.

Blackstock spent 2010 in the UFL before playing in Oakland last season. He appeared in 16 games and made one start, making 20 tackles for the Raiders.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Ravens signed linebacker Ricky Brown, who played the last five seasons in Oakland.

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Ravens add veteran linebacker Ricky Brown

Posted on 25 July 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As veterans trickled into the Owings Mills training facility to begin training camp, the Ravens have added an experienced linebacker by signing Ricky Brown.

The 28-year-old spent the last six seasons with the Oakland Raiders, playing in 58 games and making 13 starts. Brown is expected to contribute on special teams while adding depth at the linebacker position.

An undrafted free agent from Boston College in 2006, Brown spent a brief time with the New England Patriots last preseason before he was released in early September. He then re-signed with Oakland and spent most of last season on injured reserve while dealing with a concussion, playing in only three games.

Brown has made 102 tackles and forced three fumbles in his six-year career.

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Former Ravens exec Bailey joins new USFL

Posted on 16 May 2012 by WNST Staff

San Diego, Calif. (May 16, 2012) — The United States Football League (USFL) announced today that Jeff Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback during his 12-year NFL career, has been named to the USFL’s board of advisors.

Garcia will serve on the player development branch of the USFL’s advisory board. The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. resident joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and former NFL and San Diego Chargers executive Jim Steeg – Chairman of the USFL board of advisors – along with former Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens executive vice president James Bailey and sports consultant/coach Terrell Jones on the board.

“We are thrilled to have Jeff involved and to be able to tap into his knowledge and experience in the professional football world as we look forward to re-launching the USFL in 2013,” USFL President and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Cuadra said. “Jeff’s extensive background and networks with professional football players will undoubtedly help carry out the USFL’s mission of helping our players live successfully and responsibly as positive citizens on and off the field.”

The USFL is planning to field eight teams for its inaugural 14-game season in 2013, kicking off in March and concluding with a championship game in June. The league has targeted a number of U.S. cities for franchises.

The USFL’s board of advisors will be responsible for guiding and advising USFL management on various areas of operations and, eventually, focus on identifying candidates and selecting the league’s commissioner.

Garcia began his NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 1999 and went on to play with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans. He led the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders to the 1998 Grey Cup championship and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, providing his springboard to the NFL.

Garcia, retired from football, is the owner of Beyond Wealth Sports, a company representing professional athletes on and off the field. It is focused on mentoring athletes and helping them prepare for the transition from sports to secondary careers. Garcia’s business practice is directly in line with the USFL’s long-term goals for its players.

The USFL is designed to allow players not drafted by the NFL, or those that have been released by NFL teams, an opportunity to play professional football under the same rules as the NFL. In order to maintain financial responsibility and sustainability, the USFL will structure itself under a single-entity business model. All player and coach contracts will be owned by the USFL, and each team owner will be a member operator of the league.  

The USFL intends to create a working relationship with the NFL by allowing access to its players and personnel. This relationship will be one of respect and collaboration, but the USFL will operate independently with a focus on developing its players and creating the best fan experience possible.

The USFL will also endeavor to prepare players for life after playing football by providing mentorship and counsel to expand the athletes’ awareness of opportunities inside and, especially, outside of football.  Additionally, the USFL wishes to enhance the fan experience by providing greater access to its players and employing technology to enhance the viewing experience for its fans.

Biletnikoff was a six-time All-Pro wide receiver who totaled 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns during his 14-year NFL career with the Raiders. He began his professional coaching career in the original USFL, coaching with the Oakland Invaders and the Arizona Wranglers.

Steeg is a 35-year veteran as an NFL executive and the former COO of the San Diego Chargers. Prior to joining the Chargers, Steeg was instrumental in the growth of the NFL’s Super Bowl, having worked for the NFL for 26 years, where he was Senior Vice President of Special Events.

Bailey was responsible for the management of all business, financial and legal operations in his 21-year tenure with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. He facilitated and oversaw the relocation of the franchise to Baltimore.

Jones, CEO and founder of TJones Group, LLC, has been involved in professional sports as a coach and consultant for more than 16 years. He has worked with the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Jones has successfully negotiated endorsement deals for his clients as well as sponsorship deals with major corporations, and will consult with the USFL on its business operations.

About The United States Football League

The United States Football League, LLC, a Delaware LLC, is a professional spring outdoor football league owned by EndZone Sports Management and is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. Jaime Cuadra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the USFL. The USFL’s vision is provide a high-level competitive environment to help develop players for the National Football League, while preparing its players for succeeding as professionals and in life on and off of the field during and after their football careers. While the USFL initially operated from 1983-87, the new USFL plans to debut in the spring of 2013 by fielding eight teams nationwide to play a 14-game season, including a four-team playoff tournament, and providing fans with an exciting and innovative brand of football. The USFL plans to adopt all playing rules of the National Football League. For more information on the USFL’s 2013 launch, please visit the USFL online at www.theusfl.net and via social media on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheUSFL) and on Twitter (@TheUSFL).

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Wieters, Chen stand out from Weekend of Orioles baseball

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Orioles 5, Athletics 2 Final Box Score

Posted on 29 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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