Tag Archive | "philadelphia"

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Run defense has “hands full” trying to stop Eagles’ McCoy

Posted on 12 September 2012 by Luke Jones

There was plenty to like about the Ravens’ 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, but one area of concern coming from an otherwise dominating performance was the lackluster run defense on display in the season opener.

The Ravens allowed 129 rushing yards on 28 carries as Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis led the way with 91 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. It was an uncharacteristic performance in comparison to what you’d expect from a Baltimore defense, but personnel changes have led many to wonder whether the Ravens will continue their tradition of stuffing the run this season.

Defensive end Pernell McPhee struggled to get much of a push at the line of scrimmage while outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan were inconsistent setting the edge as the Bengals consistently gained yardage on the ground to set up short-yardage situations on third down. Fortunately for the defense, the Ravens’ offensive explosion forced the Bengals to abandon the run, and the defense buckled down in the second half.

“It was just little minor technique errors on our part that we can fix, we should fix,” said Harbaugh, who deemed stopping the run as a staple for the Baltimore defense. “[It was] probably guys trying to do more than they actually should try to do and continue to have confidence in the guys around them a little more.”

The Ravens will face an even bigger challenge in stopping the run this Sunday when they take on the Eagles in Philadelphia. In addition to the big-play ability and speed of quarterback Michael Vick, the defense must deal with fourth-year running back LeSean McCoy, who’s already earned the reputation as one of the best backs in the NFL.

Named to his first Pro Bowl last season, McCoy rushed for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns and is a dangerous runner when able to get into space. Also a threat out of the backfield, the 2009 second-round pick caught 48 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees must preach discipline to his defense when facing a player with the ability to cut back and make tacklers miss in the open field. Still in the early stages of his pro career, McCoy earned high praise from the elder statesman of the Baltimore defense on Wednesday.

“He is one of those guys that he has a little flavor,” inside linebacker Ray Lewis said. “I don’t want to put him that high up there with [Hall of Fame running back] Barry Sanders, but he has that type of ability to really jump in the hole, jump out of the hole the way you saw many highlights of the many people he made miss time and time again. You really have to cradle him. You have to keep him in the box and make him play football inside those boxes, kind of where he doesn’t want to be.”

That responsibility will fall heavily on the shoulders of Kruger and McClellan, who struggled to make much of an impact in the season opener. The outside linebackers combined for just three total tackles as questions remain whether they can do a sufficient job in place of the departed Jarret Johnson — who is now in San Diego — and the injured Terrell Suggs.

Making their job even more difficult is the nightmarish threat of Vick taking off when plays break down, but anyone who pays close attention to the Eagles will tell you McCoy is the key to making the Eagles offense thrive.

In Philadelphia’s Week 1 win over the Cleveland Browns, he ran for 110 yards and caught six passes for 26 yards.

“He will test the edges,” said Harbaugh, who is reminded of former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook when watching McCoy. “I think our guys out there did a good job this last game, but they are going to get tested like they’ve never been tested before in this game against this back. ‘Shady’ [McCoy], we had fun interviewing him when he was coming out from [the University of Pittsburgh]. He is a great guy. He has a tremendous personality, and I think the flair of his play matches the flair of his personality. He is a home-run hitter.”

Avoiding those home runs and keeping McCoy between the tackles — where he becomes more pedestrian as a runner — will be the ultimate test on Sunday as the Ravens will look to prove that Cincinnati’s success on the ground was more of an aberration than a harbinger of what’s to come this season.

The Ravens have never faced the shifty McCoy as the teams last met in 2008, but it’s clear the 5-foot-11, 208-pound back has their full attention this week.

“He is a complete back,” Lewis said. “[He will be] catching the ball out of the backfield, catching the ball on screens, running inside and outside. Yeah, we have our hands full this week.”

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Flacco says Ray Rice still huge part of Ravens offense

Posted on 12 September 2012 by WNSTV

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How will Ray Lewis prepare for Michael Vick?

Posted on 12 September 2012 by WNSTV

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Washington Mystics @ New York Liberty (Wednesday 7pm from New York live on WNBA.com), Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on WNBA.com), New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on NBA TV); High School Football: Charlotte Christian @ Gilman (Friday 4pm), St. John’s (DC) @ Calvert Hall (Friday 7pm), City vs. Dunbar (Friday 7pm from Poly), Perry Hall @ Towson (Saturday 1pm)

10. Charm City Music Festival feat. Weezer, Eve 6, Flogging Molly, Ballyhoo! (Saturday 12pm Harbor East Waterfront); Anthony Hamilton feat. Estelle (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Barry Manilow (Saturday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Bon Iver (Saturday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Sunday in the Country feat. Eric Church (Sunday 1pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Kerfuffle feat. Offspring, Sublime with Rome, Garbage (Saturday 3:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); (hed) PE (Wednesday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Yardbirds (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Don McLean (Friday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Kingston Trio (Sunday 4:30pm & 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); J. Geils Band (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Saturday 7:30pm Nationals Park); Dan Deacon (Saturday 9pm Ottobar); George Clinton (Monday 8pm Howard Theatre); Dave Matthews Band “Away From The World”Bob Dylan “Tempest”Avett Brothers “The Carpenter” and Little Big Town “Tornado” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You get excited about Weezer, but I ALWAYS get excited about Eve 6…

This is a difficult admission and I hope you’ll be supportive at this time. I’ve actually SEEN Eric Church AT a previous Sunday In The Country. It look a lot for me to be able to say that…

The thing about a Springsteen show anywhere near here is that I feel like no one ever talks about it…

I’ve listened to the new Dave Matthews record (and NO, I’m NOT headed to lacrosse practice later-thank you very much). I dig this tune most…

9. Maryland Wine Festival (Saturday & Sunday Carroll County Farm Museum); “Cirque du Soleil: Totem” final week (Tuesday-Sunday National Harbor); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday Revel Grove); “Finding Nemo 3D” in theaters (Friday)

If you think for a SECOND I won’t be going to see Nemo Friday night you are OUT OF YOUR MIND. It’s like this…

No joke. I’m so in on this.

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Terps aim for 2-0 start Saturday at Temple

Posted on 07 September 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – The University of Maryland football team takes to the road for the first time of the 2012 season when it faces Temple at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday at noon. The Terrapins will look to build upon a 7-6 season-opening win over William & Mary in which 14 players made their Maryland debut, including 12 true freshmen. The defense kept the team in the game, allowing Justus Pickett to run for the game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

First-and-10

• A dominant defensive effort by the Terps enabled the win in week one. Linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield made 13 tackles and helped seal the game with a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. Defensive lineman Joe Vellano had 11 stops – two of them for loss – and an interception. In all, the defense recorded 10 tackles for loss, four sacks and held William & Mary to just 2.5 yards per carry (41 attempts, 104 yards). Hartsfield, the ACC’s active career leader in tackles, and Vellano, a 2011 second team All-American, highlight the 10 starters returning to the Maryland defense this season.

• The offense was set to return five starters, including three of its top four receivers from last season in wideouts Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins, and tight end Matt Furstenburg. Junior C.J. Brown, who started five games in 2011 and set the Maryland single-season rushing yards record by a quarterback, was set to assume No. 1 quarterback duties before suffering a torn ACL in a non-contact drill on Aug. 14. Injuries hit both sides of the ball hard during the preseason, as 10 potential starters missed the William & Mary game with various injuries and ailments (see note page 2)..

• Still, Maryland hopes a number of key returnees, combined with a highly touted 2012 recruiting class, will help it reach postseason play for the ninth time in the last 12 years. In addition to Vellano and Hartsfield several playmakers are back on defense. In the secondary, Eric Franklin and Dexter McDougle have plenty of experience, having both started every game last year. Franklin, a senior who has played in 28 career games, led the team in solo tackles (64), ranked second in total tackles (106) and tied for second on the team with four pass breakups. McDougle, meanwhile, led the team with six pass breakups and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. The Terps also welcome back linebackers Darin Drakeford and Alex Twineand defensive lineman A.J. Francis, all of whom have starting experience. Drakeford is a disruptive force, tying for the league lead last season with four forced fumbles. As a true freshman last year, Twine ended the season as the starter at Will linebacker and averaged 9.8 tackles in his four starts. Francis has played in each of the last 38 games and has 24 career starts.

• Quarterback Perry Hills, who against William & Mary became Maryland’s first true freshman starter since Latrez Harrison in 1999, will direct the offense. Hills overcame a slow start against the Tribe by leading the Terps on a 10-play, 69-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game winner. Maryland has a young, talented group of skill players around Hills. Pickett, a sophomore, is the veteran in the backfield and is joined by three freshmen in Brandon Ross, Albert Reid and Wes Brown. At receiver, sophomore Marcus Leak and freshman Stefon Diggs each had three receptions in the season opener.

• Diggs is also the kickoff and punt returner, and averaged 16.6 yards on three punt returns against William & Mary. Nathan Renfro secured the punting duties and performed well, averaging 53.0 yards on four punts with a long of 60. His best punt came late in the fourth quarter with Maryland holding on to a one-point lead. Renfro had his 57-yard punt downed at the 2-yard line with 2:17 remaining to help seal the win. With senior Nick Ferrara out of the season opener, freshman Brad Craddock handled the kickoff and place-kicking duties.


Quick Hitters

• Seven players made their first career starts on Saturday against William & Mary: quarterback Perry Hills, running back Albert Reid, safety Sean Davis, defensive back Jeremiah Johnson, linebacker Cole Farrand, nose tackle Darius Kilgo and offensive lineman Nick Klemm.

• In addition to the seven first-time starters, 14 players saw their first action against William & Mary. And of the 44 players that saw time against the Tribe, 25 of them were underclassmen.

• Maryland has 14 true freshmen listed on its two-deep (excluding return men), which is the third most in the FBS (Colorado – 16, Texas – 15).

• Maryland allowed William & Mary to gain just 229 yards of total offense. That’s its best total defensive performance since surrendering 115 to Wake Forest on Oct. 30, 2010.

• The Terps held William & Mary to 2.5 yards per carry. Additionally, 28 of the Tribe’s 41 rushes were for three yards or less, including 15 of 19 in the first half.

• Demetrius Hartsfield recorded a double-digit tackle game against William & Mary by finishing with 13. Hartsfield had seven double-digit efforts in nine games last season. Hartsfield also had a fumble recovery with 1:11 left that sealed the win.

• Head coach Randy Edsall handed out game balls for the win over William & Mary. Marcus Leak got the game ball for offense, Joe Vellano for defense and Nathan Renfro for special teams. Renfro also received honorable mention punter of the week from CollegeFootballPerformance.com.

• Maryland was hit hard by injuries in the preseason. Thirteen players missed the season opener due to various injuries and ailments: defensive linemen Keith Bowers, Isaiah Ross and Andre Monroe; defensive backs Isaac Goins, A.J. Hendy and Matt Robinson; linebackers Kenneth Tate and Abner Logan; quarterbacks C.J. Brown and Dustin Dailey, running back Brandon Ross; offensive lineman Josh Cary; and place-kicker Nick Ferrara. Both Monroe and Brown are out for the season.

• Perry Hills became the first true freshman starter at quarterback for Maryland since Latrez Harrison in 1999. He also became the first freshman to start a season opener since redshirt freshman Calvin McCall on Sept. 2, 1999, in a 6-0 win over Temple.


Maryland-Temple Series History

• Maryland leads the all-time series with Temple, 6-1. The series dates back to 1997; the schools played four years in a row from 1997-2000. Temple’s only win in the series came last year, when it beat the Terps 38-7 in College Park. Maryland is 3-0 when playing at Temple.
• The last meeting in Philadelphia was Oct. 8, 2005. Mario Merrills ran for three touchdowns and Sam Hollenbach passed for 228 yards in a 38-7 victory.

 

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Eagles coach Andy Reid’s oldest son found dead

Posted on 05 August 2012 by WNST Staff

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Orioles on verge of dealing for Blanton?

Posted on 31 July 2012 by WNST Staff

With the trade deadline set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the Orioles appear to be narrowing in on Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

Multiple reports say Baltimore is on the verge of acquiring the 31-year-old starter if the sides can come to an agreement on the amount of money the Orioles would have to pick up. Blanton is owed approximately $3 million of his $8.5 million salary for the 2012 season. Signed to a three-year, $24 million contract prior to the 2010 season, he is set to become a free agent after the season.

Enduring a miserable season after high expectations, the Phillies are looking to dump salary after awarding starting pitcher Cole Hamels a $144 contract extension last week.

Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 earned run average in 20 starts and one relief appearance this season. He has allowed 22 home runs, which is tied for first in the National League.

Over his nine-year career, Blaton has an 81-71 mark with a 4.35 ERA in 218 career starts.

A Philadelphia Inquirer report said the Phillies are seeking to acquire infield prospect Jonathan Schoop, but it would seem farfetched that the 20-year-old would be on the table for a back-of-the-rotation starter with an expiring contract. Schoop was the 2011 Brooks Robinson Player of the Year, an award bestowed upon the organization’s top positional player in the minor leagues.

The Orioles are looking to improve their starting rotation, but they are unwilling to part with top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy and top infield prospect Manny Machado. Young pitchers Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz have drawn some interest from opposing clubs, but their struggles have hurt their overall value, meaning the Orioles would likely be selling low on either pitcher.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 12 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Tennis: ATP Garry Weber Open (Tuesday-Saturday 1pm from Halle, GER on Tennis Channel)

10. Bonnie Raitt (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Beach Boys (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Neil Diamond (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Dave Matthews Band/Gary Clark Jr. (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Martina McBride (Wednesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Reel Big Fish (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Of Montreal (Thursday 8pm Recher Theatre); Lindsey Buckingham (Thursday 9pm Baltimore Soundstage), Lisa Marie Presley (Friday 8:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); Kelly Bell Band/Cris Jacobs (Saturday 7pm 8×10 Club); Robert Cray Band (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Grouplove (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Cult (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Bouncing Souls (Tuesday 7:30pm Black Cat DC); Ziggy Marley (Wednesday 8pm Howard Theatre), Little Richard (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Keane (Thursday 8pm Strathmore); Rush “Clockwork Angels” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’ve already established that “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is the greatest Beach Boys song of all time. Now I point out that I’m an absolute hack because I also enjoy this clip from Full House…

A lot of people know I’m a significant Dave Matthews fan. But do you know that I’ve proclaimed my all time favorite Dave Matthews tune to be THIS?…

And if you go see DMB don’t stay in the parking lot too long. Gary Clark Jr. is freaking AMAZING. You may remember him from a collaboration he had with Ray Lewis a few weeks back at the NFL Draft…

Wait…The Cult? Isn’t that the band that does the song from that commercial in that Super Bowl?

9. Star-Spangled Sailabration (Wednesday-Monday Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Locust Point); Rock of Ages” and “That’s My Boy” out in theaters (Friday); Gilbert Gottfried (Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Richard Lewis (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv)

Ryan Chell and I are going to see That’s My Boy Tuesday night. It will probably make six billion dollars and everyone involved will get new cars. It used to piss me off because I don’t really find Adam Sandler’s shtick to be funny anymore, but there are a couple issues involved. One-Adam Sandler sat down with us at the Super Bowl and was really nice. He even opened up about my idol Chris Farley, which is something I found out later he really never does…

Two-over the past few months I’ve developed a unique friendship with Happy Madison star Peter Dante, who might be the best human being on the face of the planet. He’s the guy on the right below…

So now I hope the movie is funny and they make a billion dollars. Damn you, nice guys.

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.

Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.

Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.

I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.

The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”

It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.

Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.

Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.

But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Wieters hero for Birds in another extra innings win

Posted on 10 June 2012 by WNST Staff

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