Tag Archive | "Paul Kruger"

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Kruger has previous Superdome success on resume

Posted on 30 January 2013 by WNST Staff

PAUL KRUGER OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

 

(on winning Sugar Bowl against Alabama in 2009) “I thought about it just in regards to the city. I remember the city coming in and remember the stadium. It was a special time. It was one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in and Alabama was a great team. It was a special thing for Utah. We went undefeated and beat those guys in the Sugar Bowl. It was a really special memory for me. It’s a great place to play such a big game. There’s so much to do in the city and see. It’s a good time.”

 

(on drawing from Sugar Bowl experience) “Stay out of trouble at night. You’re down here for a couple of days. You have to know how to handle yourself, just do what you have to do to prepare right for the game. I don’t see it being too much different than any other game.”

 

(on the season) “I knew it was going to be a big change and a good opportunity for me. Coach Harbaugh and I had a lot of conversation about it. It’s exciting, you know. It was an honor to be a part of this team for this year especially. Now we have one more game to kind of top it off right. It’s one of those things that comes your way so many times, so im just grateful to be a part of it.”

 

(on back trouble in September) “I was extremely worried about it. It was probably one of the most stressful times in my life. Here I was, I had this great opportunity ahead of me and I had something small acting up like that. I wish the best for anyone that has any problems because it’s a paralyzing effect. It was tough so I am glad that I was able to get out of it and get healthy. Looking back, I am really grateful and feel blessed.”

 

(on any future rule changes in respect to players safety) “I don’t think so. It’s a really hard, sensitive subject because that’s what makes football exciting. It’s why people love it. I think the possibility of injury and the danger side of the game is what draws even the players to it. It’s a man’s game and we take pride in playing. I think that’s why fans have a lot of respect and love for the players because they really give it their all. Everyone is getting paid. At the same time, you are putting yourself at risk and in harm’s way.  I think taking that aspect of the game out is really dangerous for the game because it’s a really important element. At the same time, you don’t want to see anyone have any kind of long term injuries and effects from it. So, I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions because it’s tough. I think things evolve and people adjust. I don’t see it ever becoming not a popular game because it has so much history.”

 

(on off-field experiences in life) “I normally don’t say anything about religion or God, especially when I am being interviewed. I really feel like I have been blessed, prayers have been answered, and I’ve overcome a lot, been through a lot. If it wasn’t for my family, faith in God, and all that I don’t think I would have been able to get through it.”

 

(on Ray Lewis last game/retirement) “I am so happy for Ray. He’s had an amazing career. It’s just a perfect scenario of a way to end your career. Everybody looks at retirement as a sad or negative thing but I don’t see it like that at all. I couldn’t be happier for Ray. This is a time in his life where he’ll be able to step back, relax, and enjoy certain things that you can’t enjoy as a player. You get more time with your family, live where you want to live, and just see a side of life. As players, you play for so long and for him to be able to approach this time and having accomplished all that he did; it’s really an amazing thing.

 

(on punching another child, as a child, to play football) “It’s a true story. I used to be wild. I’ve always been really competitive. Back in the day, I had a really bad temper. I was probably tough on my parents.”

 

(on wanting to be a quarterback) “I always saw myself as a quarterback and knew that’s what I wanted to play. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I think if there was a position on defense that I would have wanted to play it would have been D-end. In my opinion, I think they have more of an impact on the game, especially the way it is played more nowadays. It was kind of my decision, they brought me in to play quarterback. I saw we had some other guys like Alex Smith and they were all older, talented players. I was anxious to get on the field and be apart of the team and be a contributor. I told coach, ‘Hey, if there’s a position where I can get on the field sooner, I’d love to make that change.”

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Broncos

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Broncos

Posted on 15 January 2013 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’ 38-35 2OT win over the Denver Broncos Saturday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in an AFC divisional playoff game…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Ma’ake Kemoeatu tackles Ronnie Hillman for no gain on 3rd & 7 (4th quarter)

4. Dennis Pitta 27 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 13 from Baltimore 3 (Overtime)

3. Justin Tucker 47 yard field goal GOOD (Double Overtime)

2. Jacoby Jones 70 yard touchdown catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)

1. Corey Graham intercepts Peyton Manning pass intended for Brandon Stokley (Overtime)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: Hyperbole aside, line play why Ravens still riding

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Your Monday Reality Check: Hyperbole aside, line play why Ravens still riding

Posted on 14 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

WNST.net Ravens insider Luke Jones joined us for “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” late Saturday night after the Baltimore Ravens’ unbelievable 38-35 2OT win over the Denver Broncos.

Emotions were high in the Zone Superstore Studios of WNST.net. It was hard to have a legitimate conversation. A group of us had gathered to sit and watch the game and just found ourselves shouting “no way” and “unreal” at the television as the Ravens delivered perhaps the most miraculous victory in franchise history.

It was hard to discuss anything beyond the emotion of the moment, the will of the football team, the observations related to the Ravens truly being a team of “destiny”.

Even Head Coach John Harbaugh was caught up in the moment, once again tying the success of a football team to a level of divine intervention in his postgame press conference.

(I have no idea if the Messiah has any interest in determining the outcomes of football games. Perhaps maybe he (she?) felt as though the Broncos had to pay a price for parting ways with the known prophet Tim Tebow in the offseason. And if the Ruler of the Universe really does have concern related to the pigskin, I would vastly prefer a divine preference for the Ravens myself.)

I wish I could tell you what Luke’s response was. More than 24 hours later, I don’t fully remember. What I believe I remember him saying was something about Joe Flacco and then more about the will of the football team. I’m completely in agreement, but it didn’t necessarily answer my question. I’m sort of glad for that.

There’s a well known joke that says “Joe Buck is to baseball what the Catholic Church is to sex. It’s okay that it’s happening just as long as no one is enjoying it.” I’m glad Luke didn’t ruin the beauty of the moment by going all “Nate Silver” and killing us with football nerd-dom. It’s much better that we had a full 24 hours to enjoy and celebrate perhaps the greatest non-Super Bowl win in franchise history before we returned to a more X’s and O’s based discussion of what happened for the Baltimore Ravens Saturday and what they’ll need to do to win moving forward.

(This is the part where you say, “that’s a nice set-up Glenn. You’re a real pro’s pro.”)

The Baltimore Ravens DID win Saturday because of their will. They DID win Saturday because they believed in each other and never lost hope. They DID win Saturday because they have tested veterans who simply refuse to give up or allow a beloved teammate to step into retirement without leaving every last ounce of effort they’re capable of giving on the field.

It’s not just hyperbole. There’s absolute truth to it. It’s just not the entire story. In fact, it’s not even close to the most important part of the story. We go to that stuff first because it’s more likely to get clicks. We’re not stupid.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 12 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor. This week, Luke Jones joined us as well.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 38-35 double overtime win over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sunday in a AFC Divisional playoff.

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Pernell McPhee

4. Ray Lewis

3. Ray Rice

2. Jacoby Jones

1. Justin Tucker (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Colts

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Colts

Posted on 08 January 2013 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’ 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in an AFC Wild Card playoff game…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Pernell McPhee recovers Andrew Luck fumble after Paul Kruger sack, strip (1st quarter)

4. Anquan Boldin 46 yard catch from Joe Flacco (3rd quarter)

3. Cary Williams intercepts Andrew Luck pass intended for Reggie Wayne, returns 41 yards (4th quarter)

2. Ray Rice 47 yard catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

1. Bernard Pierce 43 yard run on 3rd & 1 (4th quarter)

 

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Colts “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Colts “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 06 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 24-9 win over Indianapolis Colts in an AFC Wild Card playoff Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Ray Lewis

4. Haloti Ngata

3. Vonta Leach

2. Bernard Pierce

1. Anquan Boldin (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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It’s Playoff Time Baltimore, How Do You feel?

Posted on 31 December 2012 by BaltimoreSportsNut

The 2012 NFL regular season has come to an end and the real season is about to begin as the Playoffs will kick off Saturday, but the Baltimore Ravens will host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at 1pm.

How will the Ravens do? That is the question on every Ravens’ fans mind, and I am here to share my opinion. Baltimore comes in having lost four of their last five games, although yesterday it was apparent the Ravens were not worried about winning, as they chose health over 11-5. First, I do not have any problem with what Baltimore did yesterday because it was a very slim chance that the Patriots were going to lose to the Dolphins yesterday to give Baltimore a chance at the three seed with a victory, so making sure your key guys are healthy for the playoffs was and should have been more important.

I honestly like this team’s chances at making a serious playoff run as honestly, it is a minor miracle that this team made the playoffs with all of the injuries that they suffered, especially on the defensive side of the football. The Ravens found ways to win early in the season in games where they honestly had no right to win, which is why I like their chances. This team has been battle tested and have shown they do not care if they win ugly, as long as they win! That is going to be huge for this team in the playoffs, and is one of the main reasons I feel strongly that the Ravens can make a serious run in the postseason.

Another reason I have reason to believe is the vast improvement of this defense over the last several weeks. Early in the season it was apparent that the 2012 Ravens defense is not what Baltimore was used to seeing, but as the season has progressed this defense has gotten better and better. Cary Williams has really had a good season, despite his early struggles and Corey Graham has really come on as well. The performances by Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger since Terrell Suggs returned has been tremendous, and Kruger has nine sacks this season.

I also believe that this offense has turned a page under Jim Caldwell, I know it has really only been two games, but what they showed against the Giants is the ability to understand matchups and even yesterday we saw them exploit the middle of the field, which is something that hardly ever seemed to happen under Cam Cameron.

Call me crazy, or a homer, but I love Baltimore’s chances in the Playoffs……we shall see, starting this Sunday at 1pm!

What do you think about the Ravens playoff chances?

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Ravens not looking for ways to lose, but defeats suddenly finding them

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Ravens not looking for ways to lose, but defeats suddenly finding them

Posted on 09 December 2012 by Luke Jones

LANDOVER, Md. — Finding a way to win had been the Ravens’ mantra on their way to a 9-2 start this season despite critical injuries, a pedestrian defense, and a schizophrenic offense.

That combination prompted critics to continuously doubt how good the Ravens really were as they appeared ready to cruise to their second straight AFC North title.

But Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins left the Ravens searching for answers — and themselves — after suffering their second consecutive defeat for the first time in three years. They have never viewed themselves as the type of team that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, but the Ravens have done just that the last two weeks.

“I don’t want to say we find a way to lose,” safety Ed Reed said. “We damn sure [aren't] looking for a way to lose. This is the NFL. This is a season we’re going through.”

It’s been quite a season, indeed, as the peaks had been more prevalent than valleys, but this recent slide is territory not visited by the Ravens in recent seasons.

The Ravens don’t lose games at M&T Bank Stadium. Until they did last week against Pittsburgh for the first time in two years.

They bounce back from rare losses, refusing to fall into the pit of a losing streak. But they did just that at FedEx Field on Sunday as Redskins kicker Kai Forbath booted the game-winning 34-yard field goal to officially hand the Ravens a two-game skid.

And despite holding fourth-quarter leads in each of their last two games, the Ravens are now 0-2 in December, the month in which they’ve thrived under coach John Harbaugh. They entered last week’s game with a 14-5 record in December and January over their first four seasons under Harbaugh.

“I don’t want to be known as ‘Yeah, we get them close in the fourth quarter, and the Ravens are going to give it away,’” said running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. “That’s never been us. That’s not going to be us.”

But it has been them the last two games as they missed their opportunity to not only clinch a playoff spot but would have locked up the division title on Sunday after losses by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

In reality, my overall opinion of the Ravens hasn’t changed dramatically over the last two weeks. But the results haven’t been the same as we saw over the season’s first 11 games.

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense produced 28 points but began the second half with two turnovers and two three-and-outs that caused their 21-14 halftime lead to shrink to 21-20 before their lone touchdown drive of the second half. They then produced another three-and-out in overtime before Richard Crawford’s 64-yard punt return sealed the Ravens’ fate.

The defense allowing 31 points certainly isn’t acceptable, but it was difficult to expect much better from the group with Terrell Suggs joining Dannell Ellerbe and Jimmy Smith on the sideline and Jameel McClain exiting the game in the third quarter. Even so, Dean Pees’ unit settled down after a brutal first quarter to keep the Redskins in check until they marched 85 yards for a touchdown pass, thrown by backup quarterback Kirk Cousins to add insult to injury.

At times, the Ravens looked like they would be good enough to come away with their 10th victory of the season.

But they weren’t and they didn’t. It’s a feeling they’re not used to.

“We are fighting through all the things you fight through at this stage of the season as a football team,” Harbaugh said. “That is why you don’t overreact to these things. It is a tough loss, and it is going to be a fight to the division championship and that is what we are fighting for right now.”

The Ravens lacked a killer instinct in the second half that was epitomized by Flacco, who followed a three-touchdown first half with two critical turnovers. The first was a sack-and-strip suffered by the quarterback for the second straight week after Michael Oher was beaten soundly by Rob Jackson. The second took potential points off the board and came inside the red zone as Flacco failed to react to a Ryan Kerrigan blitz quickly enough and was hit as he threw, leading to a London Fletcher interception.

CONTINUE >>>

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Steelers

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Steelers

Posted on 04 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’ 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Joe Flacco pass intended for Tandon Doss incomplete (4th quarter)

4. Charlie Batch pass intended for Isaac Redman incomplete, Ravens challenge and ruling upheld (3rd quarter)

3. Anquan Boldin called for offensive pass interference after 17 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 11 (3rd quarter)

2. Paul Kruger called for roughing the passer on Charlie Batch 10 yard completion to Mike Wallace (4th quarter)

1. Ziggy Hood recovers Joe Flacco fumble at Baltimore 27 after James Harrison sack (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Rarefied air of Steelers Week for Ravens is to be savored not soured

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Rarefied air of Steelers Week for Ravens is to be savored not soured

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

With five games left in the 2012 campaign, the Baltimore Ravens’ 9-2 record is a textbook testament to never quitting and having some special, battle-tested leaders who stare down adversity undaunted — and never, ever become unnerved.

Somehow, someway – even on 4th & 29 – Joe Flacco can manage to walk into a huddle, call nothing but go routes and still throw a check down and the other 10 guys in the huddle including Ray Rice can buy in on saving the game with some kind of miracle. Once you’ve seen that play work, there’s a little part of you that believes that all things are possible for this beleaguered group of purple warriors.

Eleven games into this journey, there’s still a legitimate debate about the merits and quality of this year’s team. And on a play-by-play, drive-by-drive basis it’s almost inexplicable that this team could be 9-2 and holding an almost insurmountable three-game lead in the AFC North. Almost every facet of the Ravens’ production on the field has come under scrutiny or provided some inefficiency, ineffectiveness or failure at some point.

But there they are at 9-2 and still in the throes of possibility regarding home field advantage throughout the postseason.

Week after week the Ravens seem to be on the ropes. And week after week I enter the post-game press conference watching John Harbaugh try to explain how the team won another game when the previous 60 minutes of football looked like a sloppy box of chocolates in the sun.

You never know what you’re doing to get.

Clearly, no one wants to play the Ravens in Baltimore. The home field advantage in The Purple Crabcake is now the best in the football. Is that the noise of the fans? Is it home cooking? Is it the comfort level of Joe Flacco and the offense for play calling? Is it the visiting team(s) coming into M&T Bank Stadium knowing the odds are long simply on reputation?

We don’t have the answers to this Jekyll & Hyde act. We merely witness it and remain alternately flustered and floored after yet another unlikely victory.

It’s almost like watching the Baltimore Orioles this summer – you don’t question how it gets done, you simply enjoy the result. Just smile and hold on…

Other than knowing that over the history of the NFL home teams have always dominated and are always given three points in Las Vegas just for walking out of the home locker rooms, the Ravens’ bi-polar domination at home and sleepwalking on the road remains an unsolved mystery in progress.

On the road, the Ravens are an ugly bunch – a scuffling, stumbling, punting and yet more-times-than-not still victorious bunch. From Cleveland to San Diego, from Pittsburgh to Kansas City, the Ravens have been on the ropes and could’ve easily perished in the 4th quarter of all four games.

And 5-6 would look, smell and taste a whole lot different than 9-2.

But what we saw on Sunday was an all-timer.

The Ray Rice “Hey Diddle Diddle” 4th & 29 in San Diego will go down in history as one of the most amazing plays of this generation. (And we’re still not even sure if it really was a first down? And we’re pretty sure Anquan Boldin could’ve been flagged for a block to the back and unnecessary roughness. He still might hear from Park Avenue after that one.)

But when Flacco, Rice and Torrey Smith aren’t create miracles, they’re walking off the field far too often on the road frustrated after another failed 3rd and something. Or going 130 minutes at a clip without scoring a road touchdown.

The same offense and personnel that is so fluid in Baltimore routinely sputters on the road.

The defense, which over the years has earned a legendary status led by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, has been hit hard this season by a myriad

SEE PAGE 2

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