Tag Archive | "QB"

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Joe Flacco joins WNST as a blogger and weekly Tuesday guest

Posted on 02 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Even though we didn’t know he’d be the starting quarterback this Sunday, we’ve known for quite some time that Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco would be in our starting lineup at WNST.

Beginning this morning at 8:30 a.m., Flacco will appear each Tuesday morning on the Comcast Morning Show with Drew Forrester. His segment will appear live on WNST-AM 1570 and be heard again in our audio vault on demand. He will also write a blog each Friday, one we’re dubbing “Joe Fridays.” We might even be texting out his three keys to the game on Fridays as well.

The best part about this arrangement?

We won’t have to guess what he’s thinking about all of this rookie stuff, being the starting quarterback (or even the backup) or how he’s handling Baltimore’s expectations. Now, we can just ask him and give it to you in his words.

I’ve had the good fortune to get to know Joe and his family over the past few months and I really hope he has the kind of success that we want him to have in Baltimore. He’s a nice, polite, quiet kid who seems like being an athlete and an NFL quarterback comes naturally to him. He reminds me of former Orioles ace, Mike Mussina: just let me do my job and I’ll get it done.

I don’t think he’ll be dating celebrity actresses or be caught out on the town very often. He seems, in a good way, to be kinda wrapped up in this football thing.

With Joe Flacco, I think we’ll get nothing too fancy. Nothing boastful or ostentatious. Just the facts, like the real Joe Friday himself from Dragnet.

So, make sure you check out WNST on Tuesdays and Fridays – or anytime, really. The podcasts and the blogs are available around the clock.

Joe Flacco will tell you what’s on his mind at WNST.

And then you can tell us what you’re thinking in the comments below.

More major announcements regarding WNST’s future are coming soon.

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Flacco named starter for Sunday; Harrington rumored to be signed

Posted on 01 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The quarterback carousel and Labor Day news continues as John Harbaugh has named Joe Flacco the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against Cinncinnati.

Earlier in the day, the “who’s the backup?” story unfolded.

The Ravens brought three QBs into Owings Mills today — Chris Simms, Todd Bouman and Joey Harrington and in the end have selected Harrington.

Chris Mortenson of ESPN reported first (meaning the agent leaked it to him)…

It’s been a wild and wacky weekend in Owings Mills as the Ravens try to rearrange the proverbial chairs on the deck and hope the ship doesn’t sink.

Any NFL team that begins practice with a rookie as a No. 1 QB and two other guys who have never attended a practice and are ready to suit up for a game in six days is probably in trouble.

Gonna be an interesting week…

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10 things to watch for tonight

Posted on 23 August 2008 by caseywillett

Here are 10 things that I will be looking for tonight:
  1. Terrell Suggs – How does he play? Does he look slow? Is he having a hard time with the offensive lineman in front of him? What kind of “football” shape is he in? I think Suggs will have a solid showing tonight.
  1. QB – Is tonight the night that Troy can seal the deal and make a final case for being the starting quarterback on September 7? I still say that Kyle Boller would have to do way more than what Smith has to do tonight to keep hope alive. If the offense moves the ball with or without scoring a bunch of points, that closes the deal for Troy.
  1. Safeties – With it looking more and more like Ed Reed will not be ready to start the season on time (as I have been saying for a while), who steps up in his place? Jim Leonhard is expected to be the guy who takes the field with Dawan Landry and the most likely guy to win the competition with Harauki Nakamura, and Tom Zbikowski. But, how will the the communication be with those two and do they cover each others weaknesses?
  1. Tackle – With Adam Terry expected to play a little bit tonight (and looking like he will be ready for the opener) and Jared Gaither looking like he may not be ready for the opener, who steps up? Which of Chad Slaughter, Oneil Cousins, David Hale, Mike Kracalik, and Joe Reitz make a push for that left tackle spot? Do they put Adam Terry in at left tackle and maybe see who can help on the right side? The tackle position has been a reason for concern for the last two years and I am not sure that there will not be more questions after tonight.
  1. Interior defensive line – Haloti Ngata is expected to play some tonight which is good news for the Ravens, but not so good news is the amount of time that Kelly Gregg has missed and possibly still will miss with a knee injury. Justin Bannan is one of the more underrated players on the Ravens roster and while he is not Kelly Gregg, he is still a very solid backup and will not miss a beat. J’Vonne Parker is also a guy to watch tonight to see how he plays when he is in the game at that position.
  1. Communication in secondary – It was an issue last week with the secondary but it might be a little bit better this week with Samari Rolle being back there and possibly Chris McAlister. No. 21 & 22 can make up for some miscommunication but this is another reason why the team will miss Ed Reed. Dawan Landry has to step up and take over that role and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  1. Running Game – With Willis McGahee’s health being a concern, how does Ray Rice respond tonight? Ray had a nice game early on last week versus the Vikings. How will he respond tonight? Who steps up behind him? Will it be Cory Ross? Alex Haynes? Allen Patrick? All three of those guys could earn a roster spot tonight with a solid performance.
  1. 3rd WR – With it looking like Demetrius Williams may not be ready to start the season, will someone step up for that 3rd wide receiver position? Marcus Smith has had a solid camp and nice preseason, but I do not think he has locked up that spot yet. Matt Willis has been around for a while with the team and has a great opportunity to show what he can do. Here is a guy to watch tonight, who I think might have a real shot at the 3rd spot: Yamon Figurs. Cam Cameron used Figurs several times as the 3rd wideout during camp. He can absolutely fly down the football field; he just has to be able to hang on to the football.
  1. Tight End- Dan Wilcox might get a chance tonight to play in a game for the first time in a while. This is huge for Wilcox, because his spot on the roster could very well depend on it. If this were a regular season game, I really think you would see Todd Heap out there on the field. Tonight is a chance for Adam Bergen, Aaron Walker and Edgar Jones to fight it out for one of the tight end positions.
  1. Who Steps Up – Every one of these guys dreamed of one day playing in the NFL. For a lot of them, that dream will come to an end after tonight. With the first cuts coming Tuesday, a couple of these guys will have played their last NFL game ever. Tonight is a chance for those guys on the bubble to show that they deserve to stick around and have a chance to compete for a spot on the final 53 man roster. Tonight’s game will go a long way as to the future of some of the players. All of the players know that too and they have to step up tonight and make that decision tough on Coach Harbaugh. One play good or bad can determine their future with the Ravens.
Here is one more guy to watch tonight when he is on the field: Brendon Ayanbadejo. Brendon is always around the football and making plays whether it is on defense or special teams.

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Friedgen Chooses Steffy to Lead Maryland as Disgruntled Terps’ Fans Question Decision

Posted on 19 August 2008 by mattberger

Around 11:30 this afternoon, Ralph Friedgen announced in a press conference that redshirt senior Jordan Steffy would be the Terps’ starting quarterback, ending a 3-way competition with fellow quarterbacks Chris Turner and Josh Portis, both redshirt juniors.
Terrapin Nation made an announcement shortly after with cries made by players, Maryland beat writers and passionate Terps fans:
Let’s backtrack a little. You can read my previous blog on Terps quarterbacks (Part 1 of the unfinished Terps football series) to get in depth analysis of all three contenders but here is the short version.
Jordan Steffy is known as a great practice player as repeated over and over again by Coach Friedgen. Steffy played little in his first three seasons but was given the starting job in 2007. He started the first five games but was injured against Rutgers and was never able to reclaim the starting sport. In his starts, Steffy did a good job managing the game but seemed to lack pocked presence and the ability to take shots down field. Against West Virginia, the Mountaineers loaded the box with eight defenders, daring Steffy to throw the ball behind their secondary, something that he refused to do. He missed several open receivers in the game and was even criticized for making a wrong read by Ray Lewis while he was being interviewed on ESPN.
Chris Turner, on the other hand, does not practice as well as Steffy but performed well in games, beating two Top 10 ranked teams in Rutgers and Boston College. He also led the Terps to high-scoring victories over NC State and Georgia Tech. Turner was able to get the ball downfield to the talented Maryland wide receivers, leading to several big plays. Turner entered summer practice as the #1 quarterback on the Maryland depth chart.
Finally, Josh Portis came to Maryland after transferring from Florida. One of the nation’s top quarterback recruits out of high school, Josh is a prototypical dual-threat quarterback with the ability to run and pass. Offensive coordinator James Franklin called Portis “one of the sickest athletes” he has seen. Due to a cheating violation, Portis was ineligible for the 2007 season, but Coach Friedgen has said that the Californian will have special packages designed for him to change the pace of the game. Portis is simply explosive and will almost definitely receive some playing time in 2008.
That being said, this decision was not like one that I have ever seen before. At least 90% of Maryland fans were openly rooting for Turner to get the job. There was no split amongst the fan base like that in Green Bay. A very clear majority of Maryland fans wanted to see Chris Turner out there on August 30th.
With that in mind, it makes sense that Friedgen almost sounded like he was trying to win over reporters with the announcement that Steffy would be sounding. He sounded unsure and very passive in his announcement.
Now onto the more disturbing part
I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’m a Maryland Football insider. I’m in high school, I know a few players on the team and have some friends that are insiders, but I consider myself just a very passionate fan.
However, I have heard from two different, current players that the team morale went down significantly with the announcement this afternoon. One of these players in particular seemed very upset at the news that Turner would not be their leader. He said (and this is a straight quote) “Coach (Friedgen) might be losing us”. A lost locker room in any sport, and it’s time to pack your bags and find a new coaching gig.
Also, I have heard from a source close to Chris Turner (and I promise you this is very, very close) that Turner could be transferring from Maryland. A native Californian, Turner’s parents may want him closer to home. While Steffy will be gone next year, there is speculation that Josh Portis would start next season leaving Turner again as the backup. This transfer is strictly a rumor from a source very close to Maryland Football and Turner that I have talked with on a Maryland online site, but this could all happen this week, this month, at the end of the season, or never.
Finally, take a look at the two main Terps message boards (Turtle Sports Report and Terrapin Times) to see the fans’ reactions. These people are diehards with season tickets and thousands of dollars donated to the Terrapin Club, and they are not happy. Heck, I’m not happy.
Ralph Friedgen has had trouble with quarterbacks before, choosing Chris Kelley over Scott McBrien, Joel Statham over Sam Hollenbach, and now Jordan Steffy over Chris Turner twice.
Maryland football people (players, fans, etc) are not happy. That is a fact. At this point, there is really only one way to make us happy. Jordan Steffy needs to go out and dominate Delaware, Middle Tennessee State, and Eastern Michigan to show us that he is ready for California-Berkley and ACC play. If that happens, Maryland Football has the chance to be great this year.
If that doesn’t happen, things could ugly real fast.
P.S. Apologies to readers of my blog, but I do not plan on finishing the 10-part Maryland Football series. I simply bit off more than I can chew at this point. There will be an in depth season preview sometime before August 30th. GO TERPS!

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Terps Football Preview Part 1: Quarterbacks

Posted on 08 July 2008 by mattberger

This is Part 1 of a 10-part series previewing the 2008 Maryland Football Season. In addition to discussing the various positional battles within the team, I hope to also raise awareness for Terps Football because it is often overlooked in the crowded Baltimore media market. For the full 2008 spring football depth chart, goto http://terps.wikispaces.com/.
Chris Turner-**
Jordan Steffy-***
Josh Portis-****
Jamarr Robinson-**
Tyler Bass-**
Chris Turner, a fourth-year junior from Simi Valley, California, began the season third on the Terps depth chart. However, the former 3-star recruit who chose the Terps over Louisville and UCLA, was flushed into action in a close game at Rutgers after starter Jordan Steffy was injured and backup Josh Portis was suspended for cheating on a test.
Turner never relinquished the starting spot even with the return of Steffy, leading the Terps to victories over Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and NC State. He ranked 3rd in the ACC in Passing Efficiency and completed 63.5% of his passes.
Jordan Steffy, a fifth year senior from Leola, Pennsylvania, was one of the Terps’ most heralded recruits of the 2004 class. After choosing Maryland over Michigan State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson, Steffy played in 6 games as a true freshman in 2004.
After recovering from a car accident which forced him to miss the 2005 season, Steffy stood as the backup quarterback to Sam Hollenbach in 2006.
Poised to shine in 2007, Steffy was given the starting spot only to lose it due to an injury and inconsistent play. He struggled with his decision making, and at times he appeared scared to throw the ball down field (we’re used to that, right!)
In the four games that Steffy did complete, he led Maryland to wins over Villanova and Florida International while falling to West Virginia and Wake Forest.
Josh Portis, a transfer from the University of Florida, arrived in College Park with extremely high expectations due to his unbelievable athletic ability. Josh, the first cousin of Clinton Portis, came out of high school as one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects.
With a full depth chart at Florida, however, Josh decided to make the move to Maryland only to be suspended for the 2007 season because of an incident in which he cheated on an exam.
Even before the incident, it seemed unlikely that Portis would be given the starting spot as he was unable to grasp Ralph Friedgen’s complicated offense.
Jamarr Robinson and true freshman Tyler Bass will not see the field with Bass most likely taking his redshirt year in 2008.
My Take
At the quarterback position, Maryland finds both a great challenge and a great luxury, as the top three Terps on the depth chart have shown the ability to start on Saturday. With Turner and Steffy especially, Coach Friedgen has confidence putting both of them on the field.
I believe that one of those two will be the starter come September with Turner out to the very big lead due to his play last year. However, it is still very much an open race. Over the past 4 seasons, I have gotten the feeling that Coach Friedgen really likes Jordan Steffy and wants to give him the opportunity to prove himself with another chance on the field.
The X-factor again is Josh Portis. If he is able to figure out the offense and become a field leader, he has the athleticism to beat out Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy, but as I said before I do not think he will be the starter come September.
Coach Friedgen emphasizes trusting a player before he is able to put him on the field, and I do not see that trust in Portis yet. That being said, Josh Portis could be used in different packages as another variable for opposing defenses. That is an exciting feeling for Terps football fans who know what Portis can do.
Up Next: Running Backs and Full Backs. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

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Posted on 02 January 2008 by raybachman

Was it time for Billick to go? I don’t know but, I wish it was Ozzie’s decision and not the decision of certain players on the team.  I know Biscotti said that wasn’t the case but the fact is, certain players wanted Billick fired.
Who will be the next head coach of this team? I hope the Ravens go with a young coordinator like Pittsburgh did. I think a younger guy can relate better with today’s players.
Is it time to rebuild? I think the Ravens need a QB before they can even be serious about competing for a Super Bowl. Some depth at the corners would be nice, and maybe someone to rush the QB.
Personally, I was a fan of Brian Billick but, it’s time to move on. Thanks for the Super Bowl and all that you have done for WNST and the fans of Baltimore.

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Casey at the bat: Ravens thought

Posted on 27 April 2007 by caseywillett

Good to finally hear that Jonathan Ogden is retuning next season. While the announcement is no great surprise to me — since I expected him to come back all along — it is good to have it finally resolved.

I still think the Ravens will take Ryan Kalil with the 29th pick, barring something drastic happens and someone falls into their lap. As far as it goes with the Ravens and a QB in the draft, I have spoken with a couple of people with the Ravens who are very high on John Beck out of BYU.

I don

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