Tag Archive | "Omar Brown"

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Ravens tender contracts to Bynes, five other exclusive-rights free agents

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Luke Jones

With the free-agent signing period officially beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the Ravens addressed their six exclusive-rights free agents by tendering each to one-year deals.

Linebackers Josh Bynes, Adrian Hamilton, and D.J. Bryant and safeties Omar Brown, Anthony Levine, and Brynden Trawick were all tendered contracts, according to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.

These moves were considered nothing but a formality as exclusive-rights free agents have two or fewer accrued seasons in the league and own no negotiating rights. In order for the Ravens to retain the rights to these players, they simply had to tender contracts at the league minimum based on their respective service times in the NFL.

Baltimore signed linebacker Albert McClellan to a two-year contract over the weekend and chose not to tender a contract to wide receiver Tandon Doss as these two represented the team’s only restricted free agents. The Ravens are reportedly still open to the possibility of signing Doss to a deal, but he was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday afternoon.

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Post-bye message clear with Ravens’ decision to jettison Huff, Spears

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Post-bye message clear with Ravens’ decision to jettison Huff, Spears

Posted on 30 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Coach John Harbaugh promised the Ravens would make changes in an effort to improve as they entered the bye week with an underwhelming 3-4 record and that promise came to fruition Wednesday morning.

Backup free safety Michael Huff and veteran defensive tackle Marcus Spears were expected to be key cogs in revamping a defense that struggled a season ago despite a Super Bowl title, but both were waived on Monday after just seven games in Baltimore. The pair joined recently-jettisoned left tackle Bryant McKinnie as offseason signings that failed to pan out for general manager Ozzie Newsome.

Though Harbaugh downplayed any hidden agenda behind the decision to part ways with the two veterans, the remaining players on the roster understand what’s at stake over the final nine games of the regular season as the Ravens hope to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 2007.

“The message is, ‘Win,’ plain and simple,” said defensive end Chris Canty, who teamed with Spears for four seasons in Dallas. “If you don’t get your job done, they’re going to find somebody else that can get it done. And in the case of Michael and Marcus, they felt like it was in the best interest of the team to move forward.”

Safeties Brynden Trawick and Omar Brown were promoted from the practice squad to fill the vacated spots on the 53-man roster and to boost the specials teams, an area where Huff and Spears weren’t contributing.

Signed to a three-year, $6 million contract to assume the departed Ed Reed’s free safety spot, Huff was benched following a disastrous performance in the Ravens’ 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos in the season opener. The 30-year-old hadn’t played a defensive snap in the last three games and was guilty of losing outside containment on the final kickoff return that set up Pittsburgh’s game-winning drive two weeks ago.

Spears agreed to a two-year, $2.75 million contract to add depth to the defensive line, but a knee injury limited the 30-year-old to just five games. The former Cowboys defensive end made just 11 tackles and appeared to be in danger of losing reps to rookie Brandon Williams and the returning Terrence Cody after the bye before the Ravens decided to release him ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Any player — veteran or rookie — failing to make significant contributions at his offensive or defensive position or on special teams will quickly find his roster spot on shaky ground as Harbaugh said last week that the coaching staff would find players who wanted to play special teams, a message that could have been interpreted as a shot at Huff’s poor efforts in that area.

“There’s always the fact of life in the National Football League,” said Harbaugh about Wednesday’s cuts. “And what we’ll always try to do is have the strongest roster we possibly can to be as good a team as we possibly can be on Sunday. We feel like these moves move us in that direction.”

Though neither player represented a steep financial investment with long-lasting ramifications — the Ravens will carry $1.3 million in dead money on next year’s cap as a result of their releases — their in-season departures tarnish Newsome’s reputation for making savvy veteran signings that often fly under the radar. And the latest development only fuels the lingering criticism over the Ravens’ decision to trade wide receiver Anquan Boldin after the veteran wouldn’t agree to a $2 million pay cut from his scheduled 2013 salary of $6 million in early March.

With Spears and Huff both vested veterans, their contracts are guaranteed and the Ravens will not recover any cap savings for the remainder of the season. The pair account for $2.55 million on this year’s salary cap.

Trawick and Brown are expected to boost the special-teams units, which have had two punts blocked and have experienced issues in kick coverage at different points this season.

“Those are guys who will give us a chance as backup safeties but also special teams players that have done a good job in practice on special teams and in games when they’ve been in there,” Harbaugh said. “It will give us a chance to bolster that area a little bit. These are two good, young safeties. We have high hopes for both of these guys.”

The Ravens signed wide receiver Kamar Aiken and quarterback Nick Stephens to fill the open spots on their practice squad.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Giants

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Giants

Posted on 25 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 33-14 win over the New York Giants Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Anquan Boldin 39 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 19 (2nd quarter)

4. Omar Brown sacks Eli Manning for nine yard loss (3rd quarter)

3. Brendon Ayanbadejo sacks Eli Manning for seven yard loss (2nd quarter)

2. Torrey Smith 6 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & goal (1st quarter)

1. Ray Rice 27 yard touchdown catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Ravens-Rams preseason primer: Five bubble players to watch

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Ravens-Rams preseason primer: Five bubble players to watch

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Trying to conjure up excitement for the preseason finale is an effort in vain, but don’t tell Ravens coach John Harbaugh that the game holds no importance.

While most starters aren’t expected to play against the St. Louis Rams Thursday night, the Ravens will provide a final opportunity to rookies and fringe veterans to stake their claim for a spot on the 53-man roster. For these players, this game will be as important as any they’ve ever played.

“We’re going to try to get as many reps as we can for the guys that we’re trying to determine their future,” Harbaugh said. “These guys work too hard out here to not give them every opportunity out there in a game situation to prove what they can do.”

Thursday marks the third preseason meeting between the Ravens and the Rams, with St. Louis holding a 2-0 edge. Baltimore leads the all-time regular-season series with a 3-2 advantage after winning 37-7 at the Edward Jones Dome last Sept. 25.

As is the case with every preseason game, the final score will be irrelevant, but Harbaugh and his coaching staff hope to take away enough information to make any final decisions that linger regarding who they’ll select to join the 2012 Ravens.

Those not making the cut will hope to land on the practice squad or with any of the other 31 NFL teams after Friday’s 9 p.m. deadline. For many, the vision of playing in the NFL will come to an end in less than 48 hours.

“This is their dream,” Harbaugh said. “There are a lot of guys that have an opportunity right now that are on the bubble to make this team. So, we’ve got decisions to make here and for other teams to take a look at. So, they’ve earned that, they deserve that, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Five bubble players to watch

1. CB Chykie Brown

Assumed to be the odd man out in a deep group of cornerbacks entering training camp, the second-year defensive back has shown improvement in coverage as well as special-teams ability as a gunner and on kick coverage to improve his standing for a roster spot. Brown has three tackles — and another on special teams — and a pass breakup in three preseason games.

Danny Gorrer and rookie Asa Jackson hold the advantage in the pecking order, but the Ravens like the potential of the 2011 fifth-round pick and would be hesitant to let him go because of his contributions on special teams. While keeping seven cornerbacks would appear to be excessive for most teams, the thin depth at safety will likely lead to veteran Corey Graham working more at free safety, thus improving Brown’s chances for a roster spot.

2. LB Sergio Kindle

After Kindle’s strong start in training camp, many began daydreaming that the 2010 second-round pick would finally begin realizing his potential after a fractured skull derailed his rookie season and left him virtually deaf in one ear. However, the big linebacker hasn’t shown much since then and suffered a shoulder stinger that kept him sidelined for the Ravens’ third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kindle still doesn’t show great awareness and struggles to shed blocks when he’s stymied on his initial rush at the line of scrimmage, but coaches have complimented his work ethic and maintain that he’s come a long way. The lack of depth at outside linebacker will likely lead to the Texas product finding his way onto the 53-man roster, but Kindle will need to improve as a special teams player and show more at linebacker to remain in Baltimore long-term. A strong performance against the Rams would definitely allow Kindle to sleep better before final cuts are made Friday.

3. OT Ramon Harewood

After landing on injured reserve in each of his first two years with the Ravens, Harewood has remained relatively healthy this summer and has shown improvement after struggles during organized team activities and the early portion of camp. A 2010 sixth-round pick from tiny Morehouse College, the Barbados native is still relatively new to the game of football, but his 6-foot-6, 334-pound frame and athleticism were attractive features the Ravens waited patiently to develop.

Harewood still doesn’t play with as much strength as his size suggests he should, but the uncertainty with reserve tackle Jah Reid’s injured calf may lead the Ravens to keep him on the roster for now. Rookie Kelechi Osemele has worked more extensively at left guard while competing with veteran Bobbie Williams in recent weeks, so the coaching staff may elect to take a ninth offensive lineman, which would open the door for Harewood.

4. DE DeAngelo Tyson

The seventh-round pick of April’s draft got off to a slow start this summer, but Tyson has shown glimpses of impressive athleticism and has collected four tackles and a sack this preseason. Coaches have noted his improvement, and the Georgia product has ideal size (6-foot-2 and 310 pounds) for the defensive end spot in a 3-4 alignment.

Tyson’s chances for a roster spot improved when veteran Ryan McBean suffered a season-ending ankle injury, but he would likely be the seventh defensive lineman the Ravens would keep if he lands on the favorable side of the bubble. A strong performance in St. Louis would narrow the gap with 2011 practice squad member Bryan Hall, who has shown the ability to pressure the quarterback from the interior. The organization never likes giving up on its draft picks this soon, but waiving a seventh-rounder would be far from uncommon.

5. S Omar Brown

Nothing about Brown’s measurables are impressive, but the rookie free agent from Marshall has shown an uncanny nose for the football in recovering three fumbles and grabbing an interception in the first three preseason games. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Brown doesn’t have great size as a safety and lacks speed — running the 40-yard dash in only 4.7 seconds — but secondary coach Teryl Austin and defensive coordinator Dean Pees have complimented his instincts in the defensive backfield.

The season-ending injury to Emanuel Cook and concussion concerns with veteran Sean Considine have left the Ravens vulnerable at the safety position with only the raw fourth-round selection Christian Thompson behind starters Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. This has allowed Brown to earn more consideration for a roster spot when he was likely regarded as little more than a long shot a couple weeks ago. However, the veteran cornerback Graham’s ability to slide over to safety makes it more difficult for Brown, meaning the practice squad might be a realistic destination for him. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the Ravens pursue another veteran option if Considine’s recovery from a concussion drags out much longer.

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What to Look for on Thursday Night

Posted on 22 August 2012 by jeffreygilley

Come thursday night, the Ravens will be looking to exercise some demons against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  In week seven of last season, the Ravens suffered an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars on national television.  Joe Flacco and the offense could not move the ball as the Ravens fell 12-7.

Even though this is the preseason, the Ravens still want to win the game.  More importantly, the first team offense and defense must show improvement.

In the preseason, the offensive and defensive schemes are very vanilla.  Defenses dont give away their exotic blitzes for other teams to study.  Because of this, there is usually a three to four man rush which means a lot of one on one match-ups on the offensive and defensive line.  That said, the Ravens defensive line has not generated any pressure this entire preseason.

The loss of Terrell Suggs might prove to be more of a predicament than first expected.  Courtney UpShaw had a disappointing performance in his debut against the Lions but I think he will get his act together and perform well throughout the season.  UpShaw wont be handed the job but he will be expected to play a lot and make a sizable impact.

In addition to UpShaw, the Ravens have many other young and unproven linebackers.  Albert McClellan, Paul Kruger, and Sergio Kindle will be asked to take the place of Suggs.  I am not so optimistic that they can do that.  Kruger had a good year in 2011 but Suggs was a big part of his performance.  Suggs was able to command double teams which would in turn, leave Kruger one-on-one with an offensive lineman.  Even with Suggs’s help, Kruger only amassed 5.5 sacks.

Hopefully, I am wrong and Kruger can play well this season but I just dont see it.  If the front seven cant put pressure on the quarterback, expect the Ravens secondary to struggle.

Joe Flacco needs to have a good game this thursday.  He has looked solid but not great this preseason.  Torrey Smith should be back which will help Flacco tremendously.  The Jaguars will be a good test for Flacco seeing as the Jaguars had a top ten defense last season.  But, I think Flacco will have a very good game against the Jaguars.  He seems to be more confident and decisive after the AFC Championship game where he outperformed Tom Brady.

Jim Caldwell has also had an impact on the growth of Joe Flacco.  In the first two games, Flacco seems to be surveying the field more rather than just checking the ball down to Ray Rice.  He has also gotten better at looking off safeties to make plays.

Also keep an eye on rookies Omar Brown, Bobby Rainey, Deonte Thompson, and Asa Jackson.  All four of these players have performed very well and if the preseason ended today, I think they would be on the team.  Thompson, Rainey, and Jackson have all showed their potential on special teams as return men and on coverage.  Jackson and Thompson have performed extremely well returning kicks and both had long returns against the Lions which were both called back on penalties.

Omar Brown on the other hand, is making play after play.  Brown is a turnover machine and seems to have a future on the team if he continues to perform at a high level.

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