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Live From Owings Mills: Ayanbadejo “Eager” to Return

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (4-1) returned to work Thursday at 1 Winning Drive, continuing preparations for Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots (3-1) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

LB Brendon Ayanbadejo met with reporters before practice Thursday, just days before he’s eligible to be activated from the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Ayanbadejo tore his quadriceps on October 4, 2009-the last time the Ravens visited the Pats. He expects to return to the roster as soon as he’s eligible.

“The only thing that I don’t know is what my role is going to be” said the former Pro Bowl Special Teams ace. “I want to sprinkle in a little bit of defense and a little bit of Special Teams.”

Ayanbadejo acknowledged that the team could wait until after the Week 7 game against the Buffalo Bills and the bye week that follows to activate him; but it is particularly important to him that he gets back on the field as soon as possible.

“I haven’t played football in a year” said Ayanbadejo. “(I had an) over 100 game playing streak going-never missed a game in my career. I’m eager to get back in there just for myself.”

Safety Ed Reed (groin/hip) is also expected to be activated quickly by the team once eligible, but RB Matt Lawrence (knee) admitted that he was uncertain of whether or not he’d be added back to the roster after he’s eligible.

Lawrence said he knew the 21 days following Sunday’s game could be an uncomfortable time, but admitted “this is what I signed up for.”

Players on the PUP list can return to practice starting next week, the Ravens have 21 days to decide whether or not to move them to the active roster.

NGATA SPAINED MCL: DT Haloti Ngata told reporters Thursday that he suffered a “mild” MCL sprain in the Ravens’ 31-17 Week 5 win over the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ngata said the injury should not prevent him from playing against the Patriots Sunday.

Ngata was injured while playing on the offensive side of the football, as he split out to attempt to catch a pass on a 1st quarter play. The Ravens were facing 4th and goal from the Broncos’ 1 yard line.

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said the team would allow Ngata to dictate whether or not they’d use him in offensive goal line situations in the future. “It’s always something you weigh. Haloti is the one who wants in there” said Cameron. “We’ve been awfully good with him in there. It was unfortunate what happened the other day, thank goodness he’s going to be fine.”

PRACTICE REPORT: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), OT Jared Gaither (back) and LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) have been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game; none were on the practice field.

However, the five Ravens that missed practice Wednesday all returned to the practice field Thursday. RB Ray Rice (knee), FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder/knee), Ngata (knee), DE Paul Kruger (knee) and CB Josh Wilson (hamstring) were all back on the field Thursday, all were limited participants. Joining them on the list of limited participants were LB Edgar Jones (thigh) and LB Jameel McClain (knee)-who were each limited for a 2nd straight day-and S Ken Hamlin (ankle), who was not on Wednesday’s injury report.

LB Prescott Burgess (unknown) was not present during the portion of practice open to the media; but was apparently just a late arrival as he was not listed on the injury report.

For the Patriots, RB Fred Taylor (toe) did not participate in practice for a second straight day. Safety James Sanders (hamstring) was a new addition to the injury report Thursday. QB Tom Brady (shoulder) and CB Terrence Wheatley (foot) were full participants for a second straight day.

NOTES:  Hear from Cameron, Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg, LB Coach/Former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees, Ayanbadejo and Wilson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……OL Scott Kooistra joined Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, hear that chat in the Audio Vault as well. DE Cory Redding is scheduled to join Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday at 3:30, LB Jason Phillips is scheduled to join Forrester Friday at 7:20am……Cameron told WNST.net Thursday that L. McClain is “the best fullback in the NFL” in terms of being a complete “rushing, blocking and pass catching” package……The Ravens will practice again Friday at 1 Winning Drive, Head Coach John Harbaugh is expected to address the media following practice.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh “Highly Doubts” Kindle Plays This Season

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens had their final media availability Friday morning at 1 Winning Drive before Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

The session was highlighted by significant news from head coach John Harbaugh concerning unsigned rookie LB Sergio Kindle. Harbaugh said that after Baltimore doctors put Kindle through a “battery of tests” from independent doctors in Charm City; it has been determined that Kindle is dealing with “serious (head) issues.” Harbaugh admitted “I think the chances of him playing this year are slim.”

Kindle suffered a fractured skull in an accident at a friend’s house in Austin, Texas the week before the team was to report to Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster.

Harbaugh said the team still intends to sign Kindle to “some form of a deal that reflects the situation”, admitting that the team is both trying to “protect Steve (Bisciotti)’s investment” in their 2nd round pick; but also give the rookie “an opportunity” to get into the facility and around the team. The team will work with the NFL and the NFLPA regarding the contract, a team official said they do not know of a precedent as to how the contract will be formulated.

Harbaugh said he expected Kindle to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but said he “highly doubts” Kindle will play in 2010. While on PUP or IR, Kindle would still be able to participate in team meetings, work out at the Owings Mills facility and be monitored by team doctors.

While the team wants to get Kindle signed as quickly as possible, the Ravens would not face a league deadline to sign Kindle as they do not intend for him to play in 2010. Should they not sign him before the 2011 NFL Draft, they would lose the exclusive rights to negotiate with him and he would be eligible to be selected by another team.

INJURY UPDATE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) and OT Jared Gaither (back) have already been ruled out for the game, so it was no surprise to not see them on the practice field during the portion open to the media.

The more alarming news for the Ravens was that LB Jarret Johnson (back spasms) was on the field but did not participate for a 2nd straight day.

Johnson was listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game on the team’s final injury report. Should he be unable to play Sunday in Cincy, LB Prescott Burgess would be likely to start in his place. LB Edgar Jones and DE Paul Kruger could also be asked to help fill the void.

Johnson has played in all but one game during his career since being selected in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Alabama. When asked whether Johnson had a good chance to get on the Sunday, Harbaugh said simply “I think he does.” Johnson also said he “should be” good to get on the field.

Five Ravens were listed as “limited” participants on Friday’s injury report. LB Ray Lewis (foot), LB Jameel McClain (knee), TE Todd Heap (shoulder), LB Tavares Gooden (thigh), WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and DT Terrence Cody (knee) were all limited participants Friday, but are all listed as “questionable for Sunday”. Heap and Cody are the only players on that list whose status is a legitimate concern for Sunday’s game; but Cody has practiced all week and Heap has practiced on back to back days.

When asked about his chances of getting on the field Sunday, Cody said the “only thing that could stop me is if the coaches won’t let me play.” Cody however stopped short of declaring himself a lock for Sunday’s game. When asked if he would definitely see the field, Cody responded “I don’t know.”

When asked about his shoulder injury, Heap said “I feel good right now, we’ll have to see how it feels on Sunday.” Heap reaffirmed that he “should be good” to play.

WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and WR Marcus Smith (knee) were full participants in practice Friday and are listed as “probable” to play Sunday.

CB Lardarius Webb (knee) has not been listed on any of this week’s injury reports and was a full participant in every practice leading up to the Week 1 win over the New York Jets. Webb did not play in Week 1, and there is no guarantee he will play Sunday. Harbaugh offered only a response of “I don’t know” when asked about the 2nd year corner from Nicholls State; but said “I think there’s a chance (he plays).”

For the Bengals, DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. RB Brian Leonard (foot) and LB Keith Rivers (foot) are listed as probable.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Heap, Cody and Johnson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Bisciotti watched practice Friday morning from the field at 1 Winning Drive, he spent part of practice chatting with Harbaugh……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday and then travel to the Queen City Saturday night. Saturday’s walkthrough is not open to the media……P Sam Koch joined Drew Forrester Friday morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that conversation can be heard in the Audio Vault as well……For the quickest and most significant Ravens updates respectively, follow WNST on Twitter (@WNST) and make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Personnel Questions Persist Three Days Before Ravens Face Jets

Posted on 10 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just three days away from their season opener against the New York Jets, there were still a handful of questions surrounding the Baltimore Ravens as they returned to work Friday at 1 Winning Drive.

With OT Jared Gaither (back) ruled out for Monday’s game, there are multiple possibilities as to what the team will do at RT on Monday Night Football. Oniel Cousins (concussion) was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday, but told reporters he “didn’t know” if he’d be able to start in East Rutherford. He also admitted that while listed as a full participant, he “didn’t do everything” in practice as he continues to battle headaches. Cousins was again listed as a full participant Friday.

Should Cousins not be able to play-or start-when the Ravens invade New Meadowlands Stadium, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron  says the Ravens have “options” at the position. Tony Moll started against both the Washington Redskins and New York Giants during the preseason, and G Marshal Yanda has been taking snaps at RT this week in case he’s needed to make the shift.

Another question facing the Ravens comes at Punt Returner, where Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Friday the team has a “number of guys who can do that job.” S Tom Zbikowski is listed as the #1 option on the team’s official depth chart; but CB’s Chris Carr and Lardarius Webb were also seen fielding punts during practice Friday. RB Ray Rice had been seen fielding punts earlier in the week as well.

Zbikowski and Carr are the team’s top options, but both are expected to start on defense Monday night in New Jersey. Zbikowski will start for Ed Reed (who is on the reserve PUP list with a hip/groin issue) and Carr is expected to start alongside Fabian Washington with Josh Wilson as the nickel back. It would not be surprising to see both Carr and Zbikowski get chances to return punts in the opener.

A third question surrounds the status of Webb. Head coach John Harbaugh said the team wasn’t “anticipating” Webb (knee) to be available Monday when he spoke this week on his weekly radio show, but Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison praised the work Webb has done Friday. Mattison said Webb was “a lot closer” to returning. Webb returned to practice August 23rd, and was listed as a full participant on the team’s initial injury report Thursday. Webb was again listed as a full participant Friday.

However, Webb did not play in any of the team’s preseason games and had been held out of contract drills in recent days.

Another question surrounding the Ravens has to do with which eight players will be inactive for Monday night’s game. Gaither, DT Terrence Cody (knee) and WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) have already been ruled out for the game. Webb is another candidate to be scratched, as is DE Paul Kruger (shoulder) who did not participate in practice Thursday but was back on the practice field Friday afternoon, where he was listed as a limited participant.

Other potential candidates to be scratched include TE Dennis Pitta, WR’s David Reed & Marcus Smith, DT’s Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens, LB’s Edgar Jones, Prescott Burgess and Jason Phillips, CB Bryan McCann and S Ken Hamlin. It is worth noting that of that group; Reed, Smith, Jones, Burgess, McCann and Hamlin are expected to have very significant roles on Special Teams.

NOTES: Hear from Cameron, Mattison, Rosburg and Cousins NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net……McCann joined Drew Forrester Friday morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that interview is also available in the Audio Vault……The Ravens will practice again Saturday, with Harbaugh scheduled to address the media following practice. They will then hold a walkthrough Sunday (closed to the media) before heading to East Rutherford……The Jets removed DE Shaun Ellis (knee) from their injury report, he was listed as “limited” Thursday. S Brodney Pool (ankle) improved from not participating to limited……Harbaugh’s first weekly press conference will be Tuesday at 4pm. Press conferences will be at 4pm Monday when the Ravens play games on Sunday.

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Prepare For Jets Without Key Pieces

Posted on 08 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens took the practice field Wednesday at 1 Winning Drive focused entirely on the New York Jets, who they will open the season with on Monday Night Football from Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, they are practicing without two key pieces-who they likely won’t have Monday night.

DT Terrence Cody (knee) and OT Jared Gaither (back) were not present during the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday and are not expected to take the field for the season opener. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) will certainly be on the inactive list Monday night, as he is expected to miss roughly the first eight weeks of the season.

The Ravens are not required by the NFL to release their first official injury report until tomorrow.

Should Cody and Gaither join Stallworth on the inactive list Monday night, the team would have to scratch an additional five players. Possibilities to be scratched include WR David Reed, WR Marcus Smith, TE Dennis Pitta, DT Arthur Jones, DT Lamar Divens, DE Paul Kruger, LB Edgar Jones, LB Prescott Burgess, LB Jason Phillips and CB Bryan McCann.

Another possibility to miss Monday night’s game is CB Lardarius Webb, who is in his 3rd week of practice since being activated from Training Camp Injured Reserve. Webb did not play against the New York Giants or St. Louis Rams to end the preseason as he continues to come back from a torn ACL. Webb still hasn’t participated in contract drills, but said the knee was “getting better.” Regarding Monday, Webb said “I’ll see where I’m at.”

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh participated in his first official practice as a Raven Monday, wearing the familiar #84 jersey.

RAVENS COMPLETE PRACTICE SQUAD: The Ravens have signed former Purdue CB David Pender to their practice squad, filling the 8th and final spot.

Pender joins QB Hunter Cantwell, WR Justin Harper, RB Curtis Steele, OLB Albert McClellan, OT Devin Tyler, OL Bryan Mattison and TE Davon Drew on the developmental group.

Pender is a 6’0″, 180 pound corner who finished his career with the Boilermakers with 3 interceptions. He had originally signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after going undrafted.

NOTES: Hear from Webb, K Billy Cundiff, FB Le’Ron McClain, LB Jameel McClain, OL Marshal Yanda, G Ben Grubbs and C Matt Birk NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net……Yanda is scheduled to join Drew Forrester Thursday morning at 7:00am on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST……Following practice Thursday, coach John Harbaugh, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and QB Joe Flacco are scheduled for formal media sessions. In addition, Jets coach Rex Ryan and LB Bart Scott are scheduled for conference calls with the Charm City media contingency.

-G

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Ravens Announce Final 53* Players to Make Roster

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Ravens made multiple moves today to trim their roster from 75 active players to 53.

The team announced they have placed DT Kelly Talavou (knee), OT David Hale (back), OT Stefan Rodgers (ankle and OT Ramon Harewood (knee) on Injured Reserve, ending their 2010 season. The team also moved S Ed Reed from the Active PUP list to the Reserve PUP list. LB Antwan Barnes was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The team also cut an additional 15 players: TE Davon Drew, S/CB K.J. Gerard, WR Justin Harper, CB Chris Hawkins, CB Brad Jones, OL Bryan Mattison, DE/LB Albert McClellan, OT Joe Reitz, WR Eron Riley, QB Troy Smith, RB Curtis Steele, OT Devin Tyler, WR Demetrius Williams, CB Travis Fisher and K Shayne Graham.

The team actually has 54 players currently on the roster, as CB Cary Williams does not count against the roster for the first two weeks while suspended. Here is the Ravens roster:

QB’s (2)
Joe Flacco
Marc Bulger

RB’s (4)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele

TE’s (3)
Todd Heap
Ed Dickson
Dennis Pitta

WR’s (6)
Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Mark Clayton
Marcus Smith
David Reed
Donte’ Stallworth* (expected to miss 8 or more weeks)

OL (8)
Michael Oher
Ben Grubbs
Matt Birk
Marshal Yanda
Jared Gaither
Chris Chester
Tony Moll
Oniel Cousins

DL (9)
Haloti Ngata
Trevor Pryce
Cory Redding
Kelly Gregg
Terrence Cody
Brandon McKinney
Arthur Jones
Lamar Divens
Paul Kruger

LB’s (9)
Ray Lewis
Terrell Suggs
Jarret Johnson
Jameel McClain
Tavares Gooden
Dannell Ellerbe
Prescott Burgess
Jason Phillips
Edgar Jones

CB’s (6*)
Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Josh Wilson
Lardarius Webb
Prince Miller
Cary Williams* (Does not count against roster)

S’s (4)
Dawan Landry
Tom Zbikowski
Haruki Nakamura
Ken Hamlin

ST’s (3)
Sam Koch
Morgan Cox
Billy Cundiff

The Ravens can add eight players to their practice squad Sunday.

Here are Ozzie Newsome’s thoughts on the decision to cut Troy Smith and carry just two quarterbacks: “The competition to make our team was very heated, and we decided to keep a position player rather than a third quarterback. We have a number of young guys who made our team who have tremendous upside, plus they can help us win this year. We’ve gone with two quarterbacks before (last time was 2006).”

Here are John Harbaugh’s thoughts on Billy Cundiff making the team ahead of Shayne Graham: “First, congratulations to Billy. He won a great competition, and he earned this spot. We’ve talked about this the entire preseason: Both Billy and Shayne rose to the occasion and performed at high levels. We know Shayne will kick in the league, but we feel very good about the decision to go with Billy.”

-G

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Ravens Cutdown Day Notes: What We Know Thus Far

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

3:15pm update: I figured we should take a look at the roster, based on what we know/assume:

(Edit from GMC: When I say “DEFINITELY”, I am saying that either based on the fact that a player was never on the bubble to begin with, or based on news we have heard today.)

There are DEFINITELY 2 QB’s on the roster (Joe Flacco, Marc Bulger)
There are DEFINITELY 4 RB’s on the roster (Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain, Jalen Parmele)
There are DEFINITELY 5 WR’s on the roster (Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, David Reed, Donte’ Stallworth)
There are DEFINITELY 3 TE’s on the roster (Todd Heap, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta)
There are DEFINITELY 9 OL’s on the roster (Michael Oher, Jared Gaither, Matt Birk, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda, Chris Chester, Oniel Cousins, Tony Moll, Ramon Harewood)
There are DEFINITELY 8 DL’s on the roster (Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg, Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Terrence Cody, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones, Paul Kruger)
There are DEFINITELY 6 LB’s on the roster (Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden)
There are DEFINITELY 4 CB’s on the roster (Fabian Washington, Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Lardarius Webb)
There are DEFINITELY 3 S’s on the roster (Dawan Landry, Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura)
There are DEFINITELY 3 ST’s on the roster (Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Billy Cundiff)

So as of right now, 47 of 53 roster spots are spoken for. Players on the list above could still be traded away (like Antwan Barnes was earlier today). But if not, six jobs would still be available. The bubble players who have not been accounted for include:

QB Troy Smith, WR Demetrius Williams, WR Marcus Smith, OT Joe Reitz, DT Lamar Divens, LB Prescott Burgess, LB Jason Phillips, S KJ Gerard, S Ken Hamlin.

The Ravens could also acquire other players before 6pm.

2:50pm update: A reminder that the Ravens will NOT be having formal media availability today with Ozzie Newsome or John Harbaugh. Instead, we will merely get an official release from the team at 6pm, and Harbaugh will be made available to the media again Monday.

Curtis Steele did not have any realistic chance of making the 53 man roster, but NFP confirms he indeed was cut. Like the others we mentioned below, he’s a very realistic practice squad candidate.

Oh-and Trice Capra lost 6-0, 6-0. What’s worse? CBS says she’s considering a scholarship offer from Duke. Apparently she doesn’t think there’s a future with Glenn Clark.

1:45pm update: National Football Post now reports that the Ravens have placed both OL David Hale (tailbone) and DT Kelly Talavou (ACL) on IR. Hale is not surprising at all, but Talavou is. Talavou was hurt in Thursday night’s loss to the St. Louis Rams; coach John Harbaugh declined to comment on the injury when asked by media assembled in Owings Mills Friday.

Hale’s injury likely paved the way for Ramon Harewood to make the roster. Chris Chester now defaults back to being the team’s backup center as well as the 3rd guard.

Talavou’s injury likely helped Arthur Jones make the roster. Still no word yet re: Lamar Divens; there’s an outside chance it could help him make the roster as well.

Also, RB/KR Jalen Parmele was probably never even “on the bubble”, but a NFL source tells me he’s safe. Now you know.

And one more thing-Baltimore’s Trice Capra lost the first set 6-0 to Maria Sharapova. I might start drinking early today.
————————–
It’s 1pm, and I’m overwhelmed by the amount of college football and U.S. Open tennis on TV today. That being said, there are a number of moves being made by the Baltimore Ravens today as they work towards the NFL deadline to have 53 players on their active roster. Here’s what we know thus far…

-National Football Post has reported that K Shayne Graham has been cut and K Billy Cundiff has won the kicking battle. There could be a number of factors (both football and non-football related) involved with this move. Football-wise, Cundiff had hung with Graham throughout Training Camp on field goals, and appeared to get more distance than Graham on kickoffs. Outside of football, there were some off-field concerns with Graham-and he almost certainly would have made more money than Cundiff.

-WNST.net first reported (follow us on Twitter @WNST) that rookie DT Arthur Jones had made the team. No word on other bubble players on the D-Line, including DT’s Kelly Talavou and Lamar Divens. DT Brandon McKinney was not believed to be on the bubble.

-NFP also reported earlier in the day that rookie OT Ramon Harewood had made the team. This was more than a bit surprising, but could reflect the injury issues the Ravens currently have on the O-Line. With OT Jared Gaither a question mark (back), OT Oniel Cousins (concussion) just getting back to the practice field Friday and OL David Hale (tailbone) still an IR possibility-the team may just well need the depth.

-The Ravens have announced they have traded LB Antwan Barnes to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. This is also surprising, as the Ravens do not have tremendous depth at OLB. This could be good news for one of the bubble guys at ILB (Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess) or OLB bubble man Edgar Jones. It could also reflect a belief that Sergio Kindle could be able to return this season; he is currently in Charm City meeting with neurologists. NFP says Phillips and Burgess are “probably safe.”

-ProFootballTalk/NBC Sports first reported CB Travis Fisher had been cut by the Ravens; while NFP reported Prince Miller had also been cut. This likely means good news for CB KJ Gerard and could also be good news for S Ken Hamlin. The Ravens confirmed yesterday that S Ed Reed would open the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

-There have been rumors floating by ESPN and others regarding the status of QB Troy Smith-rumors have included Smith could be traded or released. There have also been rumors floating surrounding WR Marcus Smith, none have been confirmed. WR David Reed has made the team according to multiple sources.

-A number of other players have also been cut. WNST confirms WR Eron Riley was cut, while NFP reported TE Davon Drew, DE/LB Albert McClellan, TE Davon Drew, CB Chris Hawkins and OT Devin Tyler were cut. None were believed to be roster possibilities, but all could be practice squad options.

I will continue to update as updates are available.

-G

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

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Mocking The 53: One Final Preseason 53 Man Roster

Posted on 04 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

The preseason is over and the Baltimore Ravens face a Saturday deadline to trim their roster to 53 players.

I said this after the loss to the St. Louis Rams was over, but it bears repeating. I have AGONIZED over putting together an only somewhat educated MOCK roster. I can’t IMAGINE how Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta and George Kokinis are handling it.

Here’s what I said the first time I made this list…

“Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company will at least MOSTLY keep the 53 best players on the roster, I am going to try to identify the Top 53 players on the roster myself. It ISN’T a perfect science, and some of the players will have outside circumstances that will influence where they find themselves on the list. Similarly, the Ravens will make some decisions based on health, position needs, etc.

I’m putting “best overall players”, “most significant players”, and “position relevance” into my “Top 53″ rankings. This isn’t just a list of the 53 best players on the team. This is however a list-at this moment-of the 53 players I believe are most likely to make the roster.”

Here’s my final Mock 53…

1. QB Joe Flacco
flacco
2. RB Ray Rice
3. WR Anquan Boldin
4. DT Haloti Ngata
5. LB Ray Lewis
6. OT Michael Oher
7. WR Derrick Mason
8. LB Terrell Suggs
9. LB Jarret Johnson
10. G Ben Grubbs

No changes in this group. The Ravens hope they all remain in the Top 10 this season.

11. TE Todd Heap
12. DE Trevor Pryce
pryce
13. DL Cory Redding
14. CB Fabian Washington
15. FB Le’Ron McClain
16. OL Marshal Yanda
17. C Matt Birk
18. S Dawan Landry
19. S Tom Zbikowski
20. CB Josh Wilson

Former Maryland Terrapins CB Josh Wilson joins this group, as he’ll immediately be expected to make an impact at CB and possibly on Special Teams as well. He might not start against the New York Jets on September 13, but expect him to be on the field.

21. CB Chris Carr
22. P Sam Koch
koch
23. QB Marc Bulger
24. DT Kelly Gregg
25. S Haruki Nakamura
26. CB Lardarius Webb
27. TE Ed Dickson
28. WR Mark Clayton
29. OL Chris Chester
30. RB Willis McGahee

It’s a shame only one AFC punter can make the Pro Bowl, as Shane Lechler has sorta locked down the spot in recent years. Koch looks like he might be the type of player who could put together a season worthy of a trip to Hawaii.

31. OT Jared Gaither
gaither
32. DT Terrence Cody
33. LB Jameel McClain
34. LB Dannell Ellerbe
35. LB Tavares Gooden
36. LB Antwan Barnes
37. OL Tony Moll
38. RB Jalen Parmele
39. TE Dennis Pitta
40. DE Paul Kruger

Terrence Cody and Jared Gaither have both dropped, only because neither have been on the field. At this point, we can’t really expect either to be on the field at the Meadowlands for the Monday Night Football opener. When they get healthy, expect them both to climb.

41. DT Brandon McKinney
42. LS Morgan Cox
morgancox
43. DT Kelly Talavou
44. OT Oniel Cousins
45. K Shayne Graham
46. WR Demetrius Williams
47. QB Troy Smith
48. LB Prescott Burgess
49. WR Marcus Smith
50. S/CB KJ Gerard
51. DT Arthur Jones
52. WR David Reed
53. WR Donte’ Stallworth* (Will miss first 8 weeks of season with broken foot)

I think Shayne Graham’s experience gets him on the roster, but I’m 51-49 towards him at this point over Billy Cundiff. Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith and David Reed are all on my roster-but seven receivers seems like an awful lot. Smith or Reed would be the odd man out if necessary. I think Troy Smith makes the roster. Not because teams HAVE to keep three quarterbacks, but because I think he’s a better player than Ken Hamlin, Travis Fisher or Prince Miller (to name a few). Prescott Burgess beats out Jason Phillips and Edgar Jones, Arthur Jones beats out Lamar Divens for the final spots on the roster in my book.

54. CB Cary Williams* (Suspended for 2 weeks, does not count against roster)

(CB Domonique Foxworth-IR)
(CB Marcus Paschal-IR)
(OL Daniel Sanders-IR)
(FB Mike McLaughlin-IR)
(LB Sergio Kindle-No contract/Expected PUP)
(LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(RB Matt Lawrence-Starting season on Reserve PUP)
(S Ed Reed-Starting season on Reserve PUP)

edreed

55. K Billy Cundiff
56. OL David Hale (Possible IR)
davidhale
57. CB Travis Fisher
58. CB Prince Miller
59. LB Edgar Jones
60. LB Jason Phillips
61. S Ken Hamlin
62. DT Lamar Divens
63. OT Ramon Harewood (possible IR)
64. TE Davon Drew
65. OT Joe Reitz
66. WR Justin Harper
67. DE Albert McClellan
68. WR Eron Riley
69. RB Curtis Steele
70. OT Stefan Rodgers
71. OL Bryan Mattison
72. CB Brad Jones
73. CB Chris Hawkins
74. OT Devin Tyler

Here’s a stab at the 10 man practice squad:
Prince Miller,  Jason Phillips, Davon Drew, Joe Reitz, Eron Riley, Curtis Steele, Albert McClellan, Brad Jones, Stefan Rodgers, Bryan Mattison

Thoughts? Concerns? Comments?

We’ll know how it all shakes out shortly.

-G

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Morning Reaction 53 Man Roster

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Morning Reaction 53 Man Roster

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Drew Forrester and I put together our own 53 man mock roster Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. Here’s a look position by position.

A reminder that we made this last based on the 53 players WE would keep if we were Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh. These are NOT necessarily the 53 players we believe the RAVENS will keep. Also, the roster TECHNICALLY has 54 players, as Cary Williams does not count against the roster for the first two weeks while suspended.

The players who are NOT in parenthesis are players we agreed were “slam dunk” on the roster. The players who are in parenthesis are players that were “bubble” guys or warranted some level of conversation.

The final players we cut were David Reed and Arthur Jones.

QB: (3)
Joe Flacco
Marc Bulger
(Troy Smith)

RB: (4)
Ray Rice
Willis McGahee
Le’Ron McClain
Jalen Parmele

TE: (3)
Todd Heap
Ed Dickson
Dennis Pitta

WR: (6)
Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Mark Clayton
Donte’ Stallworth
(Demetrius Williams)
(Marcus Smith)

OL: (9)
Michael Oher
Jared Gaither
Matt Birk
Ben Grubbs
Marshal Yanda
Chris Chester
Tony Moll
Oniel Cousins
(David Hale)

DL: (8)
Haloti Ngata
Cory Redding
Trevor Pryce
Kelly Gregg
Terrence Cody
Paul Kruger
Brandon McKinney
(Kelly Talavou)

LB: (8)
Ray Lewis
Terrell Suggs
Jarret Johnson
Tavares Gooden
Jameel McClain
Antwan Barnes
Dannell Ellerbe
(Prescott Burgess)

CB: (4*)
Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Josh Wilson
Lardarius Webb
Cary Williams* (makes team, but does not count against 53 man roster to start season)

S: (5)
Dawan Landry
Tom Zbikowski
Haruki Nakamura
(KJ Gerard)
(Ed Reed)

ST: (3)
Sam Koch
Morgan Cox
(Shayne Graham)

graham
(Photo courtesy of SB Nation/BaltimoreBeatdown.com)

If you want to know how we made these conclusions, you can hear our entire segment NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!

-G

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Not A Great Night in St. Louis For Ravens on Bubble

Posted on 03 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

I’m going to save my final thoughts on the Ravens’ upcoming roster cuts for Friday, but I figured I’d share some thoughts from the Baltimore Ravens’ 27-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams Thursday night before I did.

Plenty of jobs were considered to be “on the line” Thursday night, but not a whole lot of them appeared to be locked up by those on the Ravens’ bubble. I’m only going to consider the players that were at least CLOSE to the bubble coming in. With no offense to the likes of Curtis Steele and Chris Hawkins, they’re not really even worth discussing.

Looking position by position at the performance of different players…

Troy Smith, QB: Troy’s numbers were as poor as his decision making at times. He finished 18-38 for 237 yards and 2 picks. He also ran for a pair of scores. If we’re being fair, the O-Line Troy played in front of was unthinkably bad and Cam Cameron didn’t really experiment too much with play-calling.
Davon Drew, TE: Drew finished the game with 2 catches for 23 yards, but was probably too far off the bubble for anything he did to matter all that much.
Demetrius Williams, WR: Williams made two grabs for 38 yards, one of which his size made a difference for. With Donte’ Stallworth hurt, I felt like Williams was much safer on the bubble-but he gave a solid performance especially considering his ankle injury.
Marcus Smith, WR: He was targeted twice but didn’t come down with a catch. He’s had a solid preseason, but nothing happened Thursday night to help him clinch a spot on the roster.
David Reed, WR: Reed had a very good night Thursday. He made three catches for 65 yards and averaged 34.5 yards on four kick returns. There might not be a kick return job available, but his versatility could help him make the roster.
Ramon Haredwood, OT and Joe Reitz, OT:  I’m going to try to be fair to both of these guys here. The entire offensive line was terrible Thursday night, and all were playing out of position. The injuries to Jared Gaither, Oniel Cousins and David Hale may force the Ravens to keep an extra O-Lineman, but nothing they saw Thursday night will help them make that decision. Harewood was awful and made bad decisions to boot. Reitz played out of position and looked lost at times.
Brandon McKinney, DT: When he was on the field, McKinney looked to be in the right place. If he really was on the bubble he probably isn’t any more.
Kelly Talavou, DT: The entire first unit on the field struggled, and the D-Line didn’t help to get in the backfield and pressure Sam Bradford. That being said, they weren’t particularly gauged up the middle either. Talavou is probably safe on the roster.
Arthur Jones, DT and Lamar Divens, DT: Neither Jones not Divens were particularly bad Thursday night, but if either were on a particular side of the bubble before the game they probably stayed there.
Jason Phillips, LB and Prescott Burgess, LB: Jason Phillips finished the game with a team high 9 tackles. Unfortunately, what stuck out from his performance was his complete inability to cover the pass. I doubt anyone stood to benefit more from Phillips’ performance than Burgess-who played sparingly but whose experience may be enough to get him on the roster.
Edgar Jones, OLB: It looked like Edgar Jones played with a real sense of urgency Thursday night. His 3 tackles included a sack and another TFL. I’m not sure Jones can be counted on as a pass rusher, but his versatility could be enough for John Harbaugh and Greg Mattison to choose to keep him around.
Travis Fisher, CB and Prince Miller, CB: It’s hard to figure out who was bad here and who was worse. Neither looks like a realistic option to be a NFL CB at the moment, and Miller compounded the issue by muffing a punt-which nearly lead to a Rams touchdown.
Ken Hamlin, S and KJ Gerard, S: Neither player really made much of a positive impact Thursday night, but that was a common theme. Gerard did end up recovering Prince Miller’s muff in the endzone, but I don’t think that will make much of a difference. If Ed Reed is healthy to start the season (that’s a big “if”), I don’t think either will end up on the roster.
Shayne Graham, K and Billy Cundiff, K: No field goal attempts, but the duo combined to make all 3 extra point attempts. Cundiff was a little bit better on kickoffs, which could end up helping him.

I’m agonizing over a MOCK roster. I can’t imagine what’s going on in the minds of Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and George Kokinis right now.

It should be an interesting weekend-or at least much more interesting than the football game Thursday night.

-G

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Purple Haze Chat 8pm Tonight!

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

It might not look like NFL football, but technically it will be. The Baltimore Ravens visit the St. Louis Rams tonight at Edward Jones Dome, kickoff is at 8pm. We chose to pass on the St. Louis trip, mostly because the Ravens are going to choose to pass on playing the majority of their starters in tonight’s game.

With that being said, the game can be seen tonight on WBAL11, and I will be following along from my couch in Rosedale. Other WNST and WNST.net personalities will be joining me in tonight’s “Purple Haze” chat, which begins at 8pm and you can join HERE. I’m sure there will be Orioles discussion, as well as college football and U.S. Open talk-at least if I have my way.

Troy Smith is expected to start at QB for the Ravens and play all four quarters. The Rams are expected to start rookie QB Sam Bradford and have their starters in the game for about 15 snaps. Smith is one of many Ravens players fighting for a roster spot as Saturday’s deadline for NFL teams to get to 53 players looms. Other players squarely on the bubble include WR’s Demetrius Williams, David Reed and Marcus Smith, TE Davon Drew, OL David Hale, OT’s Ramon Harewood and Joe Reitz, DT’s Kelly Talavou, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens; LB’s Jason Phillips, Edgar Jones and Prescott Burgess; CB’s Travis Fisher and Prince Miller and S’s Ken Hamlin and KJ Gerard. Kickers Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham are still in a heated battle for a roster spot as well.

The Rams have announced that the following players will be deactivated tonight:

QB AJ Feeley
RB Steven Jackson
WR Laurent Robinson
DE James Hall
LB Na’il Diggs
S James Butler

The Rams have announced that Kenneth Darby will start for Jackson, Keenan Burton will start for Robinson, David Vobora for Diggs. Danny Amendola will start for Donnie Avery, who the team placed on IR earlier in the week.

The Ravens have announced (via the Twitter account of their own Mike Duffy) that there will not be any inactives announced tonight. However, it is safe to expect that almost all starters as well as other injured players will not play tonight.

Look forward to chatting with you at 8pm!

-G

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