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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

The annual NFL Scouting Combine is underway at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. WNST.net will be live in Indy this weekend to provide coverage of the Combine.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest from the place our friend Merton likes to call “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.” There will also be nearly day long coverage of the events in Indy throughout the weekend on NFL Network.

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)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
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)
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)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
CZane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado)

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-A preview of players who will participate in this weekend’s Combine

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 to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

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 Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

When looking at Smith’s senior season in Boulder, it might seem odd that he didn’t record a single interception. But Smith was only thrown on about 20 times in man coverage during his senior campaign, so his opportunities were limited.

More impressive for Smith was that over his junior and senior seasons with the Buffaloes combined, he allowed just 11 receptions-only one of which was a first down. (He gave up one touchdown in his senior season.)

That lead Smith to gaining very deserved All-Big 12 honors.

The most appealing part of Smith’s candidacy as a first round pick is that he’s 6’2″, 205 pounds. That’s an ideal size for a potential shutdown corner in the National Football League.

The other appealing part about Smith is that he’s not afraid to tackle. He finished his Buffs career with 160 of them. Deion Sanders he’s not-at least through the first 22 years of his life.

Smith is likely going to be available when the Ravens pick at 26th. With Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington all expected to become unrestricted free agents, Smith could be a very intriguing possibility.

QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

Tyrod Taylor is not Michael Vick.

That being said, if I represented Tyrod Taylor I’d do my best to make sure the name Michael Vick was mentioned as much as possible during Draft season.

Taylor was certainly explosive at times during his career in Blacksburg. He was responsible for 67 career touchdowns (44 passing, 23 rushing) and thew for over 5,000 yards between his junior and senior seasons combined.

Hokies fans were frustrated by his decision making at times, and he certainly took advantage of lesser competition (572 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2010 came in back to back games against Duke and Wake Forest).

He’s 6’1″, 216 pounds and VERY quick (expected to clock in near 4.5 when he runs the 40). He has plenty of upside. He had a solid week at the Citrus Bowl during Shrine Game week. He plans on staying at quarterback, unlike fellow former Va Tech QB Marcus Vick-who was willing to try Wide Receiver during the Draft process.

He’s not likely to find his way into the fray any earlier than mid-Saturday. The Ravens aren’t likely to address the QB position before that point, as they will simply be looking for depth behind Joe Flacco in case free agent backup Marc Bulger departs.

It could be a fit. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be.

RB Jordan Todman (UConn)

Todman might be too similar in size to current Ravens RB Ray Rice (he’s 5’9″, 193 pounds; Rice is 5’8″, 212 pounds) to be a true complement in the Charm City backfield, but that doesn’t mean he might not be an option.

The Ravens will still have the option of retaining FB Le’Ron McClain and using him as more of a compliment to Rice, which could enable them to find depth later on with a player like Todman.

Todman didn’t really play a Ray Rice-type role in the Huskies offense, either. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in both his junior and senior seasons, combining for 2,883 rushing yards and 28 TD’s between the two seasons. He caught just 40 passes in the same span.

Will his size allow for him to be a consistent runner at the next level? We’ll have to see. He’s smaller than Willis McGahee (who the Ravens are expected to let go), but he would bring fresher legs-and pottentially a fresher attitude.

Todman replaced a very good back in Donald Brown and more than lived up to the the standard. But despite winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors last season, he’s probably a late Friday night or early Saturday selection.

That might be around the time when General Manager Ozzie Newsome considers a RB.

S Ahmad Black (Florida)

What has made Ed Reed a future Hall of Fame safety in Baltimore has been the fact that he’s had a nose for the football.

It’s not the same level, but there’s no question Black had a nose for the football during his four seasons in Gainesville.

Black finished his Gators career with 13 interceptions (3 of which he returned for touchdowns) and two forced fumbles. He also collected 227 tackles and two sacks. I think it’s fair to use the word “playmaker” to describe him.

At 5’9″, 190 pounds; Black isn’t as big as Reed. With that in mind, he’s not really expected to be a free safety at the NFL level and play centerfield the way Reed does.

But with Dawan Landry a possibility to depart when free agency finally begins, the Ravens could use general depth at the position all around.

Black will go early. Perhaps too early for a team that still counts Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski as options at the position.

WR Jon Baldwin (Pitt)

His numbers over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh were very good but a bit short of earth shattering.

Between his junior and senior seasons, Baldwin caught 110 passes for 1,933 yards and 13 TD’s.

But there’s another number for Baldwin that is much more significant and makes him a likely first round pick after just three seasons at Heinz Field.

6’5″.

Baldwin’s unreal combination of size and speed (he’s believed to be able to post a sub 4.5 at the home of the Colts this weekend) makes him a potentially VERY dangerous downfield threat at the next level.

Interestingly enough, the Ravens need EXACTLY that type of receiver to complement Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

The question is now whether or not Baldwin sticks around to 26, or would it be worth it for John Harbaugh and company to try to move up to make sure they come away with him?

Not every tall, fast receiver selected early in the Draft has panned out and become a legitimate offensive superstar in the NFL. If the Ravens don’t walk away with Baldwin in the Draft, they’d still have free agency (should free agency ever actually happen) to consider addressing the need with a potential free agent like Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice.

If he’s there at 26, I’d have to imagine it would be hard to pass up on him.

FB Owen Marecic (Stanford)

Two things to start. One-Marecic is NOT going to play both sides of the ball in the NFL the way he did with the Cardinal. Two-I know he’s white and he played for Jim Harbaugh in Palo Alto, but Marecic is NOT Toby Gerhart. The comparisons would be unfair.

With all of that said, Marecic is a VERY interesting prospect. He won the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 as the most versatile player in college football. In one game against Notre Dame, he ran for a TD and returned an INT for a TD within the span of 13 seconds.

Even without playing defense at the next level, the Ravens could certainly find ways to use his versatility. He’d be an immediate candidate to help Jerry Rosburg in Special Teams and would be truly valuable should Le’Ron McClain depart or be moved into more of a true halfback role.

Marecic certainly handled short yardage situations for Stanford, scoring 10 combined touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons on just 48 total touches.

John Harbaugh should know a thing or two about Marecic both from his brother and since his father (Jack Harbaugh) coached Marecic for a month in 2009 leading up to the Sun Bowl. He appears to be the exact type of football player would love, and should stay on the board until at least midway through the day Saturday.

LB Nate Irving (NC State)

After the Ravens selected Paul Kruger in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, there was more discussion about Kruger overcoming a stabbing than there was about his actual football ability.

Should the Ravens select Irving this year, be prepared for a similar amount of discussion about things not related to football.

Irving missed the entire 2009 after a car accident that caused a number of serious injuries. Irving suffered a collapsed lung, broken rib, separated shoulder and a compound fracture in his leg and told reporters that summer he felt “blessed” to be alive.

Coach Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack felt “blessed” to have him return to the football field in 2010, as he tallied 89 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He finished his NCSU career with 211 tackles, nine sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions.

There has been some question as to whether or not Irving (6’1″, 235 pounds) can play Inside Linebacker at the NFL level. There are also of course questions as to whether any of the Ravens’ trio of Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain can REALLY play ILB at the NFL level either.

And we all know Ray Lewis isn’t getting younger.

Irving is probably a Saturday selection, and teams will clearly be paying very close attention to the medical portion of his Combine participation this weekend. The Ravens have taken chances on players with red flags before, but after selecting Sergio Kindle last year, they might be a bit more guarded in their decision making.

DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)

There’s no secret that new Defensive Coordinator DESPERATELY needs a true rush end, as the Ravens failed to find a complement for Terrell Suggs along the Defensive Line last year.

It’s also no secret that Watt is one of the top D-End prospects in the country, having collected 11 sacks and 36.5 TFL’s during his two seasons in Madison after transferring from Central Michigan.

Watt is a 6’6″, 292 pound monster who wrecked havoc on Big Ten passers during his two seasons with the Badgers. His 21 Tackles for Loss in 2009 resulted in 91 lost yards for opponents.

Does that sound like something the Ravens could use?

The good news for the Ravens is that there are a number of First Round DE prospects in this year’s Draft, including Ryan Kerrigan and Allen Bailey who we have already profiled. Given the number of DE prospects, there’s a chance a player like Watt could stay on the board until 26th, but it is no guarantee.

If Watt’s available, it would be very difficult for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to pass up on such a talented player at such a position of need.

C Kris O’Dowd (USC)

odowd

Southern Cal became a bit of an “Offensive Lineman U” during the Pete Carroll era, producing the likes of Ryan Kalil (Carolina Panthers), Sam Baker (Atlanta Falcons), Deuce Lutui (Arizona Cardinals), Winston Justice (Philadelphia Eagles) and more.

O’Dowd is the next in the line of Trojans lineman who is expected to make the transition to the NFL level.

He’s 6’4″, 303 pounds and was part of an O-Line that blocked for the 3rd leading rushing attack in the Pac 10 last season, behind just Oregon and Stanford. He made an immediate impact upon arriving in Malibu, becoming the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for USC since 1996.

Teams will be taking a particularly important look at O’Dowd medically in Indianapolis, as he battled knee and shoulder injuries during his college career. With Matt Birk expected to be playing in his final season in 2011, the Ravens could do well to spend a Saturday selection on a player like O’Dowd.

And if you’re at all concerned about O’Dowd off this field, this ESPN piece about his relationship with a young man named Jake Olson should probably ease those concerns…

WR Greg Salas (Hawaii)

Salas’ numbers in 2010 were almost unreal.

The young man from Chino, California caught 119 balls for a ridiculous 1,889 yards and 14 TD’s for the Warriors as a senior. It wrapped up an amazing career in Honolulu that saw him catch 285 passes for 4,345 yards and 26 TD’s-the overwhelming majority of which came in his final three seasons.

Those numbers are amazing.

The problem with Salas is that there’s nothing about him in particular that would make him stand out in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He’s not terribly big (6’2″, 210 pounds) and isn’t lightning fast either (expected to post a 40 time in the mid 4.5’s in Indy).

With will-be free agents TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth significant question marks to return, there’s no easy place to see Salas fitting in at the top with Boldin and Mason in Cam Cameron’s offense.

But the Ravens do need to find more receivers should Stallworth and Houshmandzadeh (and Marcus Smith who is also a free agent) depart. There is no doubt that Salas can catch the football. Should he stick around late into Saturday, he would have to be a player Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company would want to consider.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

We’re just hours away from the start of the annual NFL Scouting Combine at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. WNST.net will be live in Indy this weekend to provide coverage of the Combine.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest from the place our friend Merton likes to call “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.”

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)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
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)
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)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Costanzo (Boston College), Joseph Barksdale (LSU)
CZane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Brooks Reed (Arizona), Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette), Rahim Moore (UCLA)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International), Aaron Williams (Texas), Jalil Brown (Colorado)

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-A preview of players who will participate in this weekend’s Combine

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 to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

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 Jimmy Smith (Colorado)

When looking at Smith’s senior season in Boulder, it might seem odd that he didn’t record a single interception. But Smith was only thrown on about 20 times in man coverage during his senior campaign, so his opportunities were limited.

More impressive for Smith was that over his junior and senior seasons with the Buffaloes combined, he allowed just 11 receptions-only one of which was a first down. (He gave up one touchdown in his senior season.)

That lead Smith to gaining very deserved All-Big 12 honors.

The most appealing part of Smith’s candidacy as a first round pick is that he’s 6’2″, 205 pounds. That’s an ideal size for a potential shutdown corner in the National Football League.

The other appealing part about Smith is that he’s not afraid to tackle. He finished his Buffs career with 160 of them. Deion Sanders he’s not-at least through the first 22 years of his life.

Smith is likely going to be available when the Ravens pick at 26th. With Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington all expected to become unrestricted free agents, Smith could be a very intriguing possibility.

QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)

Tyrod Taylor is not Michael Vick.

That being said, if I represented Tyrod Taylor I’d do my best to make sure the name Michael Vick was mentioned as much as possible during Draft season.

Taylor was certainly explosive at times during his career in Blacksburg. He was responsible for 67 career touchdowns (44 passing, 23 rushing) and thew for over 5,000 yards between his junior and senior seasons combined.

Hokies fans were frustrated by his decision making at times, and he certainly took advantage of lesser competition (572 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2010 came in back to back games against Duke and Wake Forest).

He’s 6’1″, 216 pounds and VERY quick (expected to clock in near 4.5 when he runs the 40). He has plenty of upside. He had a solid week at the Citrus Bowl during Shrine Game week. He plans on staying at quarterback, unlike fellow former Va Tech QB Marcus Vick-who was willing to try Wide Receiver during the Draft process.

He’s not likely to find his way into the fray any earlier than mid-Saturday. The Ravens aren’t likely to address the QB position before that point, as they will simply be looking for depth behind Joe Flacco in case free agent backup Marc Bulger departs.

It could be a fit. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be.

RB Jordan Todman (UConn)

Todman might be too similar in size to current Ravens RB Ray Rice (he’s 5’9″, 193 pounds; Rice is 5’8″, 212 pounds) to be a true complement in the Charm City backfield, but that doesn’t mean he might not be an option.

The Ravens will still have the option of retaining FB Le’Ron McClain and using him as more of a compliment to Rice, which could enable them to find depth later on with a player like Todman.

Todman didn’t really play a Ray Rice-type role in the Huskies offense, either. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in both his junior and senior seasons, combining for 2,883 rushing yards and 28 TD’s between the two seasons. He caught just 40 passes in the same span.

Will his size allow for him to be a consistent runner at the next level? We’ll have to see. He’s smaller than Willis McGahee (who the Ravens are expected to let go), but he would bring fresher legs-and pottentially a fresher attitude.

Todman replaced a very good back in Donald Brown and more than lived up to the the standard. But despite winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors last season, he’s probably a late Friday night or early Saturday selection.

That might be around the time when General Manager Ozzie Newsome considers a RB.

S Ahmad Black (Florida)

What has made Ed Reed a future Hall of Fame safety in Baltimore has been the fact that he’s had a nose for the football.

It’s not the same level, but there’s no question Black had a nose for the football during his four seasons in Gainesville.

Black finished his Gators career with 13 interceptions (3 of which he returned for touchdowns) and two forced fumbles. He also collected 227 tackles and two sacks. I think it’s fair to use the word “playmaker” to describe him.

At 5’9″, 190 pounds; Black isn’t as big as Reed. With that in mind, he’s not really expected to be a free safety at the NFL level and play centerfield the way Reed does.

But with Dawan Landry a possibility to depart when free agency finally begins, the Ravens could use general depth at the position all around.

Black will go early. Perhaps too early for a team that still counts Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski as options at the position.

WR Jon Baldwin (Pitt)

His numbers over the last two seasons in Pittsburgh were very good but a bit short of earth shattering.

Between his junior and senior seasons, Baldwin caught 110 passes for 1,933 yards and 13 TD’s.

But there’s another number for Baldwin that is much more significant and makes him a likely first round pick after just three seasons at Heinz Field.

6’5″.

Baldwin’s unreal combination of size and speed (he’s believed to be able to post a sub 4.5 at the home of the Colts this weekend) makes him a potentially VERY dangerous downfield threat at the next level.

Interestingly enough, the Ravens need EXACTLY that type of receiver to complement Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

The question is now whether or not Baldwin sticks around to 26, or would it be worth it for John Harbaugh and company to try to move up to make sure they come away with him?

Not every tall, fast receiver selected early in the Draft has panned out and become a legitimate offensive superstar in the NFL. If the Ravens don’t walk away with Baldwin in the Draft, they’d still have free agency (should free agency ever actually happen) to consider addressing the need with a potential free agent like Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice.

If he’s there at 26, I’d have to imagine it would be hard to pass up on him.

FB Owen Marecic (Stanford)

Two things to start. One-Marecic is NOT going to play both sides of the ball in the NFL the way he did with the Cardinal. Two-I know he’s white and he played for Jim Harbaugh in Palo Alto, but Marecic is NOT Toby Gerhart. The comparisons would be unfair.

With all of that said, Marecic is a VERY interesting prospect. He won the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 as the most versatile player in college football. In one game against Notre Dame, he ran for a TD and returned an INT for a TD within the span of 13 seconds.

Even without playing defense at the next level, the Ravens could certainly find ways to use his versatility. He’d be an immediate candidate to help Jerry Rosburg in Special Teams and would be truly valuable should Le’Ron McClain depart or be moved into more of a true halfback role.

Marecic certainly handled short yardage situations for Stanford, scoring 10 combined touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons on just 48 total touches.

John Harbaugh should know a thing or two about Marecic both from his brother and since his father (Jack Harbaugh) coached Marecic for a month in 2009 leading up to the Sun Bowl. He appears to be the exact type of football player would love, and should stay on the board until at least midway through the day Saturday.

LB Nate Irving (NC State)

After the Ravens selected Paul Kruger in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, there was more discussion about Kruger overcoming a stabbing than there was about his actual football ability.

Should the Ravens select Irving this year, be prepared for a similar amount of discussion about things not related to football.

Irving missed the entire 2009 after a car accident that caused a number of serious injuries. Irving suffered a collapsed lung, broken rib, separated shoulder and a compound fracture in his leg and told reporters that summer he felt “blessed” to be alive.

Coach Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack felt “blessed” to have him return to the football field in 2010, as he tallied 89 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He finished his NCSU career with 211 tackles, nine sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions.

There has been some question as to whether or not Irving (6’1″, 235 pounds) can play Inside Linebacker at the NFL level. There are also of course questions as to whether any of the Ravens’ trio of Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain can REALLY play ILB at the NFL level either.

And we all know Ray Lewis isn’t getting younger.

Irving is probably a Saturday selection, and teams will clearly be paying very close attention to the medical portion of his Combine participation this weekend. The Ravens have taken chances on players with red flags before, but after selecting Sergio Kindle last year, they might be a bit more guarded in their decision making.

DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)

There’s no secret that new Defensive Coordinator DESPERATELY needs a true rush end, as the Ravens failed to find a complement for Terrell Suggs along the Defensive Line last year.

It’s also no secret that Watt is one of the top D-End prospects in the country, having collected 11 sacks and 36.5 TFL’s during his two seasons in Madison after transferring from Central Michigan.

Watt is a 6’6″, 292 pound monster who wrecked havoc on Big Ten passers during his two seasons with the Badgers. His 21 Tackles for Loss in 2009 resulted in 91 lost yards for opponents.

Does that sound like something the Ravens could use?

The good news for the Ravens is that there are a number of First Round DE prospects in this year’s Draft, including Ryan Kerrigan and Allen Bailey who we have already profiled. Given the number of DE prospects, there’s a chance a player like Watt could stay on the board until 26th, but it is no guarantee.

If Watt’s available, it would be very difficult for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company to pass up on such a talented player at such a position of need.

C Kris O’Dowd (USC)

odowd

Southern Cal became a bit of an “Offensive Lineman U” during the Pete Carroll era, producing the likes of Ryan Kalil (Carolina Panthers), Sam Baker (Atlanta Falcons), Deuce Lutui (Arizona Cardinals), Winston Justice (Philadelphia Eagles) and more.

O’Dowd is the next in the line of Trojans lineman who is expected to make the transition to the NFL level.

He’s 6’4″, 303 pounds and was part of an O-Line that blocked for the 3rd leading rushing attack in the Pac 10 last season, behind just Oregon and Stanford. He made an immediate impact upon arriving in Malibu, becoming the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for USC since 1996.

Teams will be taking a particularly important look at O’Dowd medically in Indianapolis, as he battled knee and shoulder injuries during his college career. With Matt Birk expected to be playing in his final season in 2011, the Ravens could do well to spend a Saturday selection on a player like O’Dowd.

And if you’re at all concerned about O’Dowd off this field, this ESPN piece about his relationship with a young man named Jake Olson should probably ease those concerns…

WR Greg Salas (Hawaii)

Salas’ numbers in 2010 were almost unreal.

The young man from Chino, California caught 119 balls for a ridiculous 1,889 yards and 14 TD’s for the Warriors as a senior. It wrapped up an amazing career in Honolulu that saw him catch 285 passes for 4,345 yards and 26 TD’s-the overwhelming majority of which came in his final three seasons.

Those numbers are amazing.

The problem with Salas is that there’s nothing about him in particular that would make him stand out in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He’s not terribly big (6’2″, 210 pounds) and isn’t lightning fast either (expected to post a 40 time in the mid 4.5’s in Indy).

With will-be free agents TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth significant question marks to return, there’s no easy place to see Salas fitting in at the top with Boldin and Mason in Cam Cameron’s offense.

But the Ravens do need to find more receivers should Stallworth and Houshmandzadeh (and Marcus Smith who is also a free agent) depart. There is no doubt that Salas can catch the football. Should he stick around late into Saturday, he would have to be a player Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company would want to consider.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off on Draft Season in Focus in Indianapolis for NFL Scouting Combine

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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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association Convention (Thursday-Sunday, Baltimore Convention Center); Soccer: MISL-Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Patapsco (Wednesday 6:30pm), Woodlawn @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm)

10. Lovin’ Spoonful (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Gregg Allman (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Pietasters (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Sarah MacLachlan (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Dinner For Schmucks” and “Machete” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

Yeah, that’s about it this week. Wish I could give you something better. Either way, this song is GREAT…

As is this song…

And this song…

And when she’s not forcing me to look at pictures of injured animals, Sarah MacLachlan can even be bearable…

But yeah, it’s disappointing…

9. Bull Riding-PBR Touring Pro Division (Friday-Saturday Patriot Center)

Apparently this event isn’t the event they show on TV, so it’s not that big of a deal.

But if Johnny Knoxville were to show up, it WOULD be a big deal…because it would be awesome…

8. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Challengers (Friday 11pm from Nashville live on Showtime)

So I sat down and watched some MMA for the first time in MONTHS Saturday, checking out UFC 125 after the Winter Classic.

I was reminded of how awesome the sport can sometimes be…

vera

Brandon Vera’s face was completely rearranged by Thiago Alves. His nose is now hanging out somewhere near his right ear.

Yet he was smiling.

Awesome.

7. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), New Jersey Nets @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats (Saturday 7pm from Charlotte live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Did the ‘Zards know Gilbert Arenas could do THIS before they traded him to the Orlando Magic???

6. Pro Wrestling: TNA Genesis (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

As always, I like to try to provide compelling reasons to view PPV events when I include them on the list. This week’s compelling reason is named Taylor Wilde…

taylorwilde

She’s reportedly a wrestler. Like you care.

5. Golf: PGA Tour Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Thursday-Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 6pm from Kapalua, HI live on Golf Channel)

Oh thank God golf is back. Absolutely no one* had missed it.

(*No one not named Drew Forrester that is.)

My pick to win the golf tour this year? Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Hey, why change now?

In other golf news, former Tiger Woods mistress Loredana Jolie did something recently. Unless it’s taking another picture with her clothes off, you wouldn’t care.

ljolie

4. NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Look, I’m not a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins OR the Washington Capitals, so I don’t have a dog in the hunt. The Pens may have lost on the ice at Heinz Field Saturday; but there was one area where they DIDN’T lose…

bylsma

Bruce Boudreau won the game…but Dan Bylsma looked AMAZING.

Can’t win ’em all, Caps fans.

3. College Basketball: Colgate @ Maryland (Tuesday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Duke (Sunday 8pm from Durham, NC live on Fox Sports Net nationally, CSN locally); Howard @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House); Maine @ UMBC (Saturday 2pm RAC Arena); Hampton @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Howard @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Duke (Thursday 7pm from Durham, NC live on Comcast SportsNet)

Eff Duke.

Does this picture ever get old?

cryingkid

And while we’re at it, how ’bout we throw this Greivis Vasquez classic in there too?

And since the women are playing this week too, here’s Kristi Toliver…

Look, I don’t think the Terrapins are going to beat the Blue Devils Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium-but it doesn’t change how I feel. Just let me have this.

2. College Football: BCS Championship Game-Auburn vs. Oregon (Monday 8:30pm from Glendale, AZ live on ESPN), Sugar Bowl-Ohio State vs. Arkansas (Tuesday 8:30pm from New Orleans live on ESPN), Cotton Bowl-LSU vs. Texas A&M (Friday 8pm from Arlington, TX live on FOX), GoDaddy.com Bowl-Miami (Ohio) vs. Middle Tennessee (Thursday 8pm from Mobile, AL live on ESPN), BBVA Compass Bowl-Pitt vs. Kentucky (Saturday 12pm from Birmingham, AL live on ESPN), Fight Hunger Bowl-Boston College vs. Nevada (Sunday 9pm from San Francisco live on ESPN); NCAA FCS Championship Game: Delaware vs. Eastern Washington (Friday 7pm from Frisco, TX live on ESPN2)

Which Cam Newton joke do you want to go with?

I’ll admit this much. I’m going to be rooting AGAINST the Tigers on Monday night.

I think it’s just probably better for everyone if Newton DOESN’T win the National Championship. Of course, we said the same thing about the Heisman Trophy but that was already decided.

As far as the FCS title is concerned, I’m assuming Delaware wins-right? I mean, there’s NO WAY a team that plays on a field that looks like this can win……can they???

ewu

1. NFL Playoffs: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1pm from Kansas City live on CBS), New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (Saturday 8pm from Indianapolis live on NBC); NFC Wild Card Round-New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks (Saturday 4:30pm from Seattle live on NBC), Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 4:30pm from Philadelphia live on FOX)

The only issue I have here is that I don’t have quite the hate built up for KC that I did for Indy.

If we had been headed out to LucasOil Stadium this weekend, I would have had PLENTY of hate stored up. I don’t know how much hate I can have stored up in a trip to Arrowhead Stadium.

Of course, there IS good news about a trip to Kansas City…

bbq

Yeah…if I were you, I’d think about getting on the bus.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland collapses late in 79-75 loss to Boston College

Posted on 12 December 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The scowl on the face of Gary Williams said it all as the Maryland coach walked off the Comcast Center floor moments after the final buzzer.

In his mind, this was one that got away from the Terps.

The Terps and Boston College went toe-to-toe for 38 minutes in an ACC opener that had the intensity of a late-February battle. Leading 75-72 with 2:44 to play, Maryland would not score again, missing free throws and taking ill-advised shots in a 79-75 loss to the Eagles.

It was just the latest example of a close game in which the Terps couldn’t do enough to secure a victory against a quality opponent, dropping them to 7-4 and 0-1 in ACC play. The loss spoiled another sensational performance by sophomore Jordan Williams who scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, earning his ninth double-double of the season.

“We missed a couple free throws, took a couple bad shots, and were not patient on offense,” Jordan Williams said. “We went away from what we wanted to do on offense when they took a three-point lead, and we didn’t execute well.”

In the final 2:12 of the game, the Terps missed all three of their free-throw attempts, continuing a season-long issue at the charity stripe. The two missed by Cliff Tucker (an 80-percent shooter from the line) jump-started the Boston College comeback.

Freshman Terrell Stoglin, despite playing brilliantly at times and scoring 14 points, came unglued in his decision making. After missing the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:03 left and the game tied 75-75, the point guard followed that up two possessions later by taking — and missing — a quick 3-pointer with 20 seconds left and the Terps trailing 78-75.

It was a move reminiscent of another point guard who never shied away from taking a big shot, even if it wasn’t the ideal look.

“Terrell tries to win just like when Greivis [Vasquez] was a freshman,” Gary Williams said. “Things happen, but he’s trying to win the game. You have to give him credit for that. As he plays, he’ll understand those situations a little better, but I like guys on my team that want to win, and Terrell’s one of those people.”

Stoglin’s performance was a microcosm of what has plagued Maryland all season in close games against tougher competition. As the freshman did Sunday night, the Terps have played brilliantly at times this season but have often shot themselves in the foot at critical moments.

For a team lacking a dynamic scorer like Vasquez, the margin for error is too small to give away points at the free-throw line and make mistakes in the execution of the half-court offense. On Sunday, Boston College’s execution down the stretch was precise while the Terps wilted.

The Eagles hit an impressive 13-of-29 3-point shots, often using four guards to give the Terps match-up problems on the perimeter. Biko Paris made six from beyond the arc and scored 22 points to lead Boston College to a win in its first ACC game under new coach Steve Donahue.

“This is the ACC and everyone can play,” said forward Dino Gregory, who matched a career high with 14 points and had three blocks. “We have to make adjustments on our defense. There is really no excuse for the mismatches.”

In contrast, the Terps went 3-for-17 from the 3-point line and made only 8 of 14 free throws, major flaws in a game that featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes.

Maryland will now have 10 days to stew over this one, as the players take final exams before hosting NJIT on Dec. 22. The Terps won’t resume their conference schedule, however, until Jan. 9 when they have the daunting task of traveling to Durham to take on No. 1 Duke.

After falling in non-conference games against Pitt, Illinois, and Temple, the Terps can add Boston College to a list of winnable games in which they’ve come up short. Maryland’s four losses have been by a combined 20 points, a small number but unforgiving nonetheless.

Of course, plenty of time remains between now and March, but failing to earn precious victories against quality opponents in November and December often catches up with a team looking to play in the NCAA tournament. Maryland only has one remaining non-conference game of any substance, a challenging trip to Philadephia to face Villanova on Jan. 15.

Luckily for the Terps, the ACC appears wide open once you look past the top-ranked Blue Devils. A strong conference record will be needed to boost an unimpressive slate of non-conference wins to this point.

If the Terps find themselves fighting for their tournament lives in early March, they’ll look back at their mid-December conference opener as another game that was there for the taking.

“You have to be able to handle this [loss], and we’ve got time now obviously before we play another conference game,” the Maryland coach said. “Every game we play between now and then will be very important to us to win.

“How we go after practice each day is going to be really big. That’s going to be very important for us to get better, because we don’t have to get a lot better. We have to get better, but we don’t have to get a lot better.”

The margin between victory and defeat has been minuscule for the Terps, but you’re only as good as your record says.

And with four losses already in the middle of December, it’s clear Maryland has plenty of work to do.

NOTES: After going undefeated in conference home games last season, the Terps dropped their ACC opener and are now 6-7 all-time against Boston College. Maryland had also won 27 straight games when leading at halftime. … The Terps entered the game second in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense (.372) and 3-point percentage defense (.288) but allowed the Eagles to shoot 48.3 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc. … Maryland had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half but just one after halftime. … The Terps’ nine turnovers matched a season low, which came against Pittsburgh on Nov. 18.

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Terps crumble at FT line in 79-70 loss to No. 5 Pitt

Posted on 19 November 2010 by Luke Jones

In the big picture, the Terps can actually feel pretty good about their showing against one of the best teams in the nation.

But a 14-for-30 performance from the free throw line will only leave Maryland thinking what might have been in a 79-70 loss to Pittsburgh Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Lacking the experience and size of No. 5 Pitt, Maryland hung tough in the second half despite a 21-4 Panthers run that saw the deficit grow to 42-29 less than three minutes into the second half. The Terps responded with a 17-4 run of their own to tie the game with 12:47 to play, but would get no closer, dropping their first game of the season.

Senior Cliff Tucker led all scorers with 17 points, once again looking like the Terps’ only viable option from the perimeter. Sophomore Jordan Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds, but wore down against an imposing frontcourt that outrebounded Maryland by a whopping 43 to 23 margin.

Newcomers Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin, who had been bright spots in the opening week of the season against less-than-stellar competition, looked very much like two freshmen playing their first game at Madison Square Garden, but we knew there would be nights like this.

Sean Mosley (the Terps’ leading returning scorer) struggled offensively for the third straight game, managing just seven points while battling foul trouble much of the night.

And yet, Gary Williams can point to one of the simplest — and most critical — aspects of the game to explain why the Terps will play against Illinois in the consolation game Friday (5:00 p.m. on ESPN2) instead of competing in the championship game.

From the charity stripe, Williams was just 2-for-7, Mosley 1-for-3, Dino Gregory 1-for-3, and James Padgett 0-for-4, as the Terps shot 46.7 percent from the line in what has become a disturbing early-season trend.

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In a 75-74 victory over the College of Charleston last Wednesday, Maryland needed a last-second shot by Howard to overcome a 5-for-18 free-throw shooting performance (27.8 percent) and prevent an embarrassing loss.

Having lost their top three scorers from a season ago and lacking the 3-point shooting to quickly erase deficits, the Terps must rely on the transition game and taking the ball inside to score — or to get to the free-throw line. The Panthers obliged with the latter, giving the Terps 30 free-throw attempts. Even an average performance from the line — such as Pitt’s 70.3 percent clip — would have created a much different game in the final minutes when Maryland had no choice but to foul.

Fortunately, poor free-throw shooting is correctable — or at least improvable — and you can bet the Maryland coach will have his team working feverishly to refine its touch from the line.

It will be interesting to see how Maryland responds Friday — especially without the senior leadership of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne — but the Terps showed they were capable of competing with one of the better teams in the country Thursday night, suggesting this might be a better season than many expect.

But their margin of error is too minute to survive a “Shaq”-like performance from the charity stripe.

On a night in which they valiantly scrapped against a better team, Maryland’s biggest enemy was itself.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Jimmy Fallon actually did something funny. I won’t even bother with a “no offense” precursor. Fallon really isn’t that funny.

But he was the other night.

Here’s Fallon (joined by Bruce Springsteen) performing a version of “Whip My Hair” by Willow…AS Neil Young.

Sounds complicated. Just watch. It’s REALLY funny.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens not looking past Carolina Panthers

Nor could they.

As I’ve said ad nauseam this season, it just doesn’t work like that in the NFL.

In the NFL, players literally do nothing all week EXCEPT prepare for that Sunday’s opponent.

Everywhere a player walks in Owings Mills this week, they see pictures of Panthers players like Jon Beason. Every time they talk to a coach, they’re hearing something about John Fox’s schemes.

They might well know that their NFC South opponent is inferior, but they’re still spending an entire week with their single focus on that team.

No one is talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No one is thinking about the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New Orleans Saints.

The ONLY thought process in the building this week is Sunday’s game in Charlotte.

In college football, there are distractions. An Alabama player can hear about Vanderbilt all week in practice, but when they go to class and when they’re sitting around the dorm room; their friends are all saying things like “yeah, but what about that Florida game?”

It doesn’t work that way in the National Football League.

The lecture halls are inside the facility. There are no dorm rooms.

There’s just a focus on Sunday’s opponent.

That doesn’t mean a victory is guaranteed at Bank of America Stadium Sunday. The ball isn’t round. Lots of things can happen.

But if the Ravens were to lose Sunday, it wouldn’t happen because the Ravens were looking past the Panthers this week.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says secondary play remains ‘primary concern’ for Ravens

As I said before, I genuinely believe personnel to be the problem for the Ravens defensively.

For example, how much better do you think the secondary would be if Chuck Pagano had Tiffany Taylor to work with? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

tiffanytaylor

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Panthers haven’t decided between Tony Pike or Brian St. Pierre as starter

Not exactly Joe Montana or Steve Young, huh?

I feel like Tony Pike’s familiarity with the system makes him the better option; but then again-it’s Tony Pike.

More bad news for Carolina Wednesday, as the team was forced to place RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) on Injured Reserve. With Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton also banged up, expect Mike Goodson to start Sunday.

So…you know, the Panthers have that going for them.

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Tom Zbikowski didn’t practice again; Tavares Gooden, Todd Heap and Fabian Washington were all limited

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

-The Ravens will be back on the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive, with coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg scheduled to speak to the media following practice, as well as RB Ray Rice. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-Did you miss Ravens LB Sergio Kindle 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! Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Brett Adams (Mustangs Basketball Coach)-who discussed the “Pride of Maryland” DIII Tournament with Drew Thursday during the Stevenson Coaches’ Report
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers” Thursday-as Drew took a shot at Andy MacPhail and Glenn Clark took a shot at Colin Cowherd
  • Plenty of Audio From 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Josh Wilson, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and Jarret Johnson
  • Larry McReynolds (NASCAR Analyst-Fox, SPEED)-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Sunday’s “Chase for the Cup” finale
  • Clark Judge (CBSSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • James Franklin (Maryland Offensive Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for the “Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Heather Dinich (ESPN.com)-who went around ACC Football with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

Once again, it’s all in the Audio Vault. Make sure you head over there today to check it out!

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter not a factor in American League Manager of the Year voting

And I think we’re all smart to enough to admit that because he only managed for a third of the season, he DIDN’T deserve the consideration. It of course doesn’t take away anything that he did for the Orioles this season.

You might not know this, but I get a Manager of the Year vote. It didn’t go to Ron Gardenhire OR Ron Washington. Instead, it went to Jodie Marsh. (Thanks Guyism!)

jodiemarsh

6. WNST.net’s Rex Snider wonders why Andy MacPhail didn’t go after Dan Uggla

Peter Schmuck addressed this in his blog yesterday. Dan Uggla wouldn’t have been a PERFECT fit for the O’s. They already have a second baseman in Brian Roberts, and there would be a learning curve for Dan Uggla should he be forced to move to third base. He’s also only under contract for one more year.

That being said, the O’s could ABSOLUTELY use his bat in their lineup.

Of course, the Birds could use ANY bat in the lineup. It won’t be Uggla, but there are other bats on the table.

I’ve already explained how I feel about Adam Dunn.

7. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says legendary trainer Mack Lewis to be remembered with Charm City viewing today

It will be a great regret in my life that I was never able to get to know Mack Lewis.

The man was an incredible example of exactly what makes our city great. Almost in the vein of Bea Gaddy.

He will be sorely missed, and I am VERY sad that I never had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him.

Today’s viewing is from 4-8pm at the Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Home on York Rd. The funeral is tomorrow at 11am at Gilliam Concert Hall at Morgan State’s Murphy Fine Arts Center.

8. The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider says Maryland finally expecting big crowd at Byrd Stadium for Florida State battle Saturday night

The attendance has been a MAJOR issue for the folks in College Park.

Frankly, the attendance has a lot to do with why new AD Kevin Anderson wouldn’t guarantee Ralph Friedgen’s future despite solid on field performance this season.

The team deserves a great turnout Saturday night for the battle with the Seminoles.

It ISN’T just a game with major ACC Championship Game implications. It’s actually an elimination game for the Terrapins. If they lose Saturday night, the NC State game the following week will be meaningless, as FSU will guarantee themselves a 6-2 conference finish.

It’s a big game. There SHOULD be a big crowd.

9. The AP says Dylon Cormier scored 20 points to lead Loyola past UMBC at Reitz Arena

Also worth noting that Jamal Barney dropped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds in the win; while Travis King lead Randy Monroe’s Retrievers with 22 points in the loss.

Morgan State is an action tonight, as Todd Bozeman’s Bears get another great chance to knock off a major conference opponent when they visit Providence at 7pm. Providence is picked to finish at the bottom level of the Big East this season, and Bozeman already has a win over a Big East team at Morgan State, as he beat DePaul in Chicago two years ago.

And some NCAA Tournament soccer action tonight, as Pete Caringi’s UMBC Retrievers visit Princeton at 7pm.

10. UMTerps.com previews Terrapins’ tussle with Pitt tonight at Madison Square Garden

I’ll go Panthers 84, Terps 71.

I wish I felt better about it.

To soften the blow, here’s a picture of Kelly Carrington. (Thanks Next Round!)

kellyc

And finally, I leave you with this.

I hope to see you out at the Down Under Restaurant at Fullerton Pub tonight. We’re trying to raise 1,570 canned goods this holiday season-so we need your help!

If you come out, we can BS about sports. Or food. Or beer. Or rock and roll. Or chicks. Or Pro Wrestling. If you approach me with a Chris Jericho-related question, it might earn you a beer.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 16 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams (Saturday 10pm from Atlantic City live on HBO); NBA: Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics (Wednesday 7:30pm from Boston live on Comcast SportsNet), Memphis Grizzlies @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Wizards @ Detroit Pistons (Sunday 6pm from Auburn Hills, MI live on Comcast SportsNet); NHL: Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Capitals @ Atlanta Thrashers (Friday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network), Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ New Jersey Devils (Monday 7pm from Newark, NJ live on Comcast SportsNet); Women’s College Basketball: Towson @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), American @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); College Field Hockey: NCAA Tournament Final Four-Ohio State @ Maryland (Friday 4:30pm Field Hockey/Lacrosse Complex College Park), National Championship (Sunday 12pm Field Hockey/Lacrosse Complex College Park)

10. Furthur-Phil Lesh & Bob Weir (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena), Cedric The Entertainer (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Marcell & The Truth (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Reel Big Fish (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Tuesday & Wednesday 8:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Playing For Change Band (Sunday 12:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Wiz Khalifa (Thursday 6:30 and 10pm 9:30 Club), Maceo Parker & Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Chuck Brown (Saturday 11pm 9:30 Club); Boyz II Men (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Bob Marley (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv); Bill Maher (Friday 8pm Hippodrome); Jerry Seinfeld (Friday 7pm & 9:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Keith Urban “Get Closer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

I don’t care if it’s lame to be into TSO. I’m freaking WAY into TSO. And frankly, since when did someone not think I was lame???

Playing For Change may be the coolest concept since the invention of music. Which I believe happened midway through the 20th century when four lads from Liverpool got together. Correct?

You know how college basketball fans always chant “overrated” when they knock off a good team? I’d like to chant “underrated” at a Karl Denson show…

And since my love for TSO has already established me as being lame, I’ll just go ahead and pile on by adding that I freaking DIG Keith Urban like whoa. Yes. Like whoa.

9. Thanksgiving Turkey Taste-Off (Saturday 11am Whole Foods Culinary Center Annapolis)

For the record, I have not decided where to go yet for Thanksgiving this year. I mean, the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark will PROBABLY get me, but if you’re willing to offer one of these, I would be more than willing to come to your house and break down the Ravens’ 53 man roster all day…

turducken

(Edit from GMC: Or could someone just bring a turducken by 1550 Hart Rd. one day this week? That would work just as well. Hugs and kisses.)

8. High School Football-MPSSAA Playoffs Regional Finals-4A West: Sherwood @ Gaithersburg (Friday 7pm), 4A North: Patterson @ Urbana (Friday 7pm), 4A South: Eleanor Roosevelt @ Wise (Saturday 1pm), 4A East: Broadneck @ Arundel (Friday 7pm), 3A West: Quince Orchard @ Damascus (Friday 7pm), 3A North: Franklin @ North Harford (Friday 7pm), 3A South: Huntingtown @ Friendly (Friday 7pm), 3A East: Wilde Lake @ River Hill (Friday 7pm), 2A West: South Carroll @ Middletown (Friday 7pm) 2A North: City @ Eastern Tech (Friday 7pm CCBC-Essex), 2A South: Hammond @ McDonough (Friday 7pm), 2A East: Fallston @ Queen Anne’s (Friday 7pm), 1A West: Fort Hill @ Mountain Ridge (Friday 7pm), 1A North: Brunswick @ Western Tech (Friday 7pm CCBC-Catonsville), 1A South: Dunbar @ Forest Park (Saturday 1pm Poly High School), 1A East: Bohemia Manor @ Havre De Grace (Friday 7pm)

You know, I never thought I’d forgive Franklin High School for the Homecoming beatdown they gave my Perry Hall Gators in ’08. BUT…they have EVERY opportunity to regain my love this week.

This man MUST lose.

brinkman

(Edit from GMC: I’m talking about the ass in the back. Not the poor kid in the front. Unless he’s a Steelers fan too. Then count him in.)

Ken Brinkman is the football coach at NHHS, and he brought the Pittsburgh Steelers to Harford County and LAUGHED about it.

He’s an ass, and his Hawks sadly must pay for it. Therefore, GO INDIANS! Scalp the Hawks!

7. Soccer: Team USA @ South Africa (Wednesday 2pm from Cape Town live on ESPN2), MISL-Chicago Riot @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament-Bucknell/Penn winner @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field)

And a shoutout to Pete Caringi’s UMBC Retrievers, who open the NCAA Tournament Thursday night at Princeton as well.

As far as this USA/South Africa match is concerned, I’m a bit confused. I mean, all summer I thought we were supposed to secretly be rooting for South Africa. Are we now supposed to hate them?

I’m torn, like Natalie Imbruglia. (Thanks Chad Dukes!)

I mean, how can I root against the country that gave us THIS?!?!?

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Ford 400 (Sunday 1pm from Homestead-Miami, Florida live on ESPN)

I know folks are supposed to care about this event because it involves a showdown between Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick in the last race of “The Chase for the Cup.” But of course no one outside of Alabama (not named Rex Snider anyway) actually gives a crap.

Hell, does anyone even know what Cup it is that these dudes are chasing? The Winston Cup? The Nextel Cup? The Piston Cup from “Cars”?

I THINK it’s the Sprint Cup, but honest to God I don’t know that for sure.

In fact, if you told me that the Cup in question was THIS one, I’d probably be apt to believe you…

cupnoodles

5. Pro Wrestling: WWE Survivor Series (Sunday 8pm from Miami live on Pay-Per-View)

Question: What is it that Ashley Valence does for WWE?

ashleyv

Answer: Whatever the hell she wants.

4. Mixed Martial Arts-UFC 123: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida (Saturday 10pm from Detroit live on Pay-Per-View); Strikeforce: Challengers (Friday 10pm from Jackson, Mississippi live on Showtime)

You know what I love? I love the fact that Rampage Jackson is an absolute MANIAC and doesn’t even bother trying to hide it from anyone. The dude is certifiably insane, and everyone is just cool with it.

The real question is…would you rather be hit by Rampage Jackson or ran over by a sumo wrestler? Cue Sport Science…

3. College Football: Florida State @ Maryland (Saturday 8pm from Byrd Stadium live on ABC); Arkansas State @ Navy (Saturday 3:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS College Sports); Hampton @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hughes Stadium)

Credit Thyrl Nelson for this.

I think I’m going to offer former Seminoles LB (and Ravens LB and Dunbar grad) Tommy Polley one of those types of side bets that governors usually put together.

I figured I’d offer him a bushel of crabs, and in return he can offer me…some free shoes!

fsu
(Thanks to Rich in Westminster for the pic!)

2. College Basketball-2K Sports Classic: Maryland vs. Pittsburgh (Thursday 7pm from New York live on ESPN2), Maryland vs. Illinois/Texas (Friday Time TBA from New York live on ESPN2); Central Connecticut State @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); UMBC @ Loyola (Wednesday 7pm Reitz Arena), Dartmouth @ Loyola (Sunday 12pm Reitz Arena); Coppin State @ Towson (Tuesday 7:30pm Towson Center)

The good news? I already hate Pittsburgh anyway!

Come watch the Terps take on the Panthers from MSG with US on Thursday night! We’ll be hanging out at the Fullerton Pub (and the Down Under Restaurant) for our “Rub Elbows With The Stars” event. We need you to bring out some canned goods, as we’re collecting 1570 cans this holiday season.

Interestingly enough, 1570 might also be the number of points Pe’Shon Howard needs to score to keep the Terrapins in the game Thursday night. And I’m not so certain he won’t…

1. NFL: Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1pm from Charlotte live on CBS)

A recommendation…come to Whisky River in the Queen City Saturday for the big WNST Saturday night pep rally. While you’re there you can buy me a drink…or twelve. It will be a good time!

I usually use this space to make fun of the team the Ravens are playing, but the Carolina Panthers? I mean, do I have to rub it in?

Instead, here’s some Eric Church. Enjoy the soothing feeling before this weekend’s asskicking…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland Announces 2010-2011 Basketball Schedule

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Coming off a season in which they won a share of the ACC regular season crown and made a 2nd consecutive NCAA Tournament, the Maryland Terrapins kick off their 2010-2011 campaign less than two months from Thursday, playing an exhibition contest Monday, November 1 against Florida Southern in College Park.

Maryland’s schedule is highlighted by an appearance in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer, where they will face Pitt at Madison Square Garden in New York. They will also face either Illinois or Texas at MSG in the event. Maryland will also visit State College to face the Penn State Nittany Lions in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, take on Temple at Verizon Center in  DC as part of the BB&T Classic, and visit Villanova at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

As part of their conference schedule, Maryland will play an annual home and home series with Duke, as well as home and homes with  Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.

Maryland is scheduled for Raycom regional broadcast seven times (WNUV54 in Baltimore), six games scheduled for broadcast on Fox Sports Net (most will air on Comcast SportsNet locally, one will air on MASN), CSN only for five games, ESPN or ESPN2 for five games, ESPNU twice and CBS once. There are five games scheduled for no TV-they will air online via “TerpsTV.”

Here is the entire Maryland schedule, courtesy of a press release from the Terps…

Day     Date                Opponent                                                                                  Time                   Television

Mon.   Nov. 1             FLORIDA SOUTHERN (Exhibition)                                         8:00                     —

Mon.   Nov. 8             SEATTLE UNIV. (2K Sports Classic)                                      TBA                    TerpsTV

Wed.   Nov. 10           CHARLESTON (2K Sports Classic)                                        7:00                     ESPNU

Sun.    Nov. 14           MAINE                                                                                        2:00                     CSN

Thu.     Nov. 18            vs. Pittsburgh (2K Sports Classic at New York)                           7:00                     ESPN2

Fri.       Nov. 19            vs. Illinois or Texas (2K Sports Classic at New York)                  5:00/7:00             ESPN2

Tue.    Nov. 23           DELAWARE STATE                                                                  8:00                     TerpsTV

Fri.      Nov. 26           ELON                                                                                          8:00                     CSN

Wed.    Dec. 1              at Penn State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)                                     9:15                     ESPN2

Sun.     Dec. 5              vs. Temple (BB&T Classic, Verizon Center)                                8:00                     MASN / FSN

Wed.   Dec. 8             UNC GREENSBORO                                                                 7:30                     CSN

Sun.    Dec. 12           BOSTON COLLEGE*                                                                 4:00                     FSN

Wed.   Dec. 22           NJIT                                                                                            8:00                     TerpsTV

Wed.   Dec. 29           NORTH FLORIDA                                                                      8:00                     TerpsTV

Tue.    Jan. 4              COLGATE                                                                                  8:00                     CSN / NESN

Sun.     Jan. 9              at Duke*                                                                                      8:00                     FSN

Wed.    Jan. 12            at Wake Forest*                                                                          8:00                     Raycom

Sat.      Jan. 15            at Villanova                                                                                  1:00                     CBS

Thu.    Jan. 20            VIRGINIA TECH*                                                                        9:00                     ESPN or ESPN2

Sat.     Jan. 22            CLEMSON*                                                                                 2:30                     Raycom

Thu.     Jan. 27            at Virginia*                                                                                   7:00                     CSN

Sun.     Jan. 30            at Georgia Tech*                                                                         7:45                     FSN

Wed.   Feb. 2             DUKE*                                                                                        9:00                     ESPN

Sat.     Feb. 5             WAKE FOREST*                                                                        1:00                     Raycom

Wed.   Feb. 9             LONGWOOD                                                                              8:00                     TerpsTV

Sat.      Feb. 12            at Boston College*                                                                       1:00                     Raycom

Tue.     Feb. 15            at Virginia Tech*                                                                          8:00                     Raycom

Sun.    Feb. 20           NC STATE*                                                                                5:30                     FSN

Wed.   Feb. 23           FLORIDA STATE*                                                                     9:00                     Raycom

Sun.     Feb. 27            at North Carolina*                                                                       7:45                     FSN

Wed.    Mar. 2              at Miami*                                                                                     7:00                     ESPNU

Sat.     Mar. 5              VIRGINIA*                                                                                   2:00                     Raycom

March 10-13                at ACC Tournament (Greensboro, N.C.)

March 15 & 16             at NCAA First Round (Dayton)

March 17 & 19             at NCAA Second & Third Rounds (Denver, Tampa, Tucson, Washington, D.C.)

March 18 & 20             at NCAA Second & Third Rounds (Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Tulsa)

March 24 & 26             at NCAA Regionals (Anaheim, New Orleans)

March 25 & 27             at NCAA Regionals (Newark, San Antonio)

April 2 & 4                    at NCAA Final Four (Houston)

* – Atlantic Coast Conference game

All times and dates subject to change; All times Eastern; Home games played at Comcast Center (17,950) listed in BOLD CAPS

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because after a weekend in Ocean City, I spent the evening literally BATHING in aloe vera. I’m not kidding, I think I looked like Justin Bartha in “The Hangover”…

justinbartha

The thing is, it doesn’t hurt until you’re sober.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Miguel Tejada singled home winning run to lift O’s to sweep of Nationals

I didn’t think it was possible.

I especially didn’t think it was possible after Julio Lugo doubled with one out in the 8th and then proceded to get picked off 2nd base by Wil Nieves.

Shows what I know.

I’m well aware that it was the Nats, but it’s still a sweep. Around here, that’s almost as good as winning the World Series.

It’s been particularly nice to see the Birds put together some rallies and come back from early deficits in these games-but it would be nicer to see starting pitchers be a bit more effective. We’ll get back to that.

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

Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t bad yesterday. 6 innings, 3 earned runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. He certainly wasn’t GREAT, but he wasn’t bad. Compared to some of the other starting efforts we’ve seen at Camden Yards recently, it was really good.

Only Tejada had two hits amongst Orioles players yesterday, but that’s all that was needed. Maybe these guys are hitting better because Nick Markakis called them out publicly. Maybe they’re hitting better because they know the July 31 trade deadline is coming up and this is their chance to get out of Charm City.

I don’t really care why they’re hitting better. I just want them to keep doing it.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Buck Showalter told ESPN Orioles have ‘some great pieces’

Yeah…like Markakis…and….ummm….Adam Jones for a week?

Clearly having watched the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks win World Series titles AFTER he left has made Showalter badly want another MLB gig. Of course, if he thinks he’s going to reach that level under Peter Angelos, he’ll probably be disappointed.

You know who DOES have some great pieces? Zaira Nara. (Thanks Guyism/Remix Magazine!)

zaira

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Andy MacPhail finally cut ties, DFA’ed Garrett Atkins

I’m trying to figure out the right way to say this. Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts were here before MacPhail got here. Adam Jones has been marginally successful. Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta all look like they’re talented but haven’t necessarily shown it yet.

As far as a “face” of the MacPhail era is concerned, umm….Atkins is about as good a choice as any.

This was a failure from Day 1. It represented the fact that the team decided to sign a lesser player instead of going out and actually signing a real impact player. That’s the real impact of the MacPhail era.

Maybe the marketing folks at the Warehouse should put together a “Mt. Rushmore”-type photo of Atkins, Rich Hill, Adam Eaton and Koji Uehara (who returned with the Atkins DFA). Could be a hot seller this Christmas. If I was better at Photoshop, I’d do it for them.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Felix Pie 2-4 with RBI, two runs for Frederick Keys on farm

Me, I’d put Felix Pie on the “Mt. Rushmore”, but someone would try to convince me that his 8 hits earlier this season mean he’s a good player. If Jake Fox was an offseason acquisition, he’d make it for sure. In the meantime, a few more things before we move on from the Orioles…

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army is no stranger to the AOTM-but this morning he received the award for citing Fangraphs in opining that Juan Samuel was wrong for trying to have Matt Wieters bunt last week. I don’t often credit Drew for being funny, but labeling a group of people as “Fangraph-sexuals” was pretty damn humorous.

-The Orioles are off today, but return to action tomorrow night opening a 3 game series against the Oakland Athletics at OPACY. Matusz, Kevin Millwood and Arrieta take the hill for the Orioles; Dallas Braden, Ben Sheets and Trevor Cahill go for the A’s.

-Thanks to Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus for joining us this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to talk some baseball. If you missed it, head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests this morning were SI’s Jon Wertheim (live from Wimbledon) and UMBC soccer coach Pete Caringi (who went around the World Cup). It’s all up in the Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens without Ed Reed would be like Pittsburgh Steelers without Polamalu

As a commenter eloquently scribed after Bowen’s piece (why do all of the good commenters post at NFP?), the Ed Reed situation really IS the “elephant in the room.”

If the Ravens are going to be Super Bowl contenders (and I believe they will be), it is hard to imagine them doing it with Dawan Landry and Ken Hamlin at safety. They need Reed to be some sort of difference maker in the secondary.

My assumption remains that Ed does intend to come back, and will sit out the majority of Training Camp-part for health reasons and part because he probably doesn’t have that much interest in spending his August sweating it out in Westminster.

We know Ed WANTS to return. It SEEMS like he’ll be healthy enough to return. Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that he IS.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says new LB coaches Dean Pees, Ted Monachino making impact in offseason

Maybe so, but even the Arizona State connection couldn’t help Monachino get Terrell Suggs to Owings Mills this offseason.

You know who’s REALLY made an impact this offseason? Wendy Braga. (Thanks Don Chavez/Busted Coverage!)

wendy

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Maryland 68th in offseason college football rankings

Boy.

I have had a bad feeling about this Terrapins club since the end of last season.

I know that luck played a role in 2-10 last season. I know that they lost close games throughout the season, and certainly had a chance to beat the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, Virginia, Duke, etc. That being said, they still have a real lack of talent at crucial spots (namely O-Line and D-Line), and Jamarr Robinson is unproven at best under center.

There is talent on this team. A team with as many decent running backs (Da’Rel Scott, Davin Meggett, Caleb Porzel, D.J. Adams, Gary Douglas) and WR’s (Torrey Smith, Emani Lee-Odai, Tony Logan, Quintin McCree, LaQuan Williams, Ronnie Tyler, Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey, Kerry Boykins) as Maryland does, they should really be better offensively.

If this IS Ralph Friedgen’s last season in College Park-it COULD be a long one.

9. Testudo Times’ Ben Broman says Eric Hayes will join Washington Wizards’ Summer League roster, Landon Milbourne joins Atlanta Hawks’ Summer League roster

And as I passed along yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes will join Greivis Vasquez with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. I should also know about Jermaine Dixon (who graduated at Pitt but is from Baltimore and is the younger brother of Juan Dixon) and his NBA future later today.

I will obviously be rooting for all of these guys this summer, but understand it will be a longshot for any of them to end up on a roster (other than Vasquez of course). The one thing that could help Hayes or Holmes is if their respective squads just simply want a player who can come off the bench and provide deadly accuracy from beyond the arc. I don’t know how those guys would do defending NBA guards, but I certainly know they can shoot against anyone.

And geez-the ‘Zards have Quinton Ross and James Singleton on their roster. You mean to tell me Eric Hayes isn’t better than THEM?

10. The AP’s Samuel Petrequin says Michael Phelps received ‘wakeup call’ at Paris Open meet

I’d personally prefer my own wake-up call in France to come from Emanuelle Chriqui from “Entourage” (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

chriqui

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know that Team USA’s loss to Ghana in South Africa really limits the excitement fans have about soccer; but I’ll pass along these YouTube clips anyway for the 4 or 5 of you who haven’t already seen them.

Here’s the epic “world reaction” to Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria. ABC used it in the setup for the Ghana match…

Now here’s Andres Cantor calling the Donovan goal…

Is the awesome Andres Cantor GEICO commercial available on YouTube yet? I could really use it.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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