Posted on 31 July 2014 by WNST Audio
Comments Off on ESPN’s Van Valkenburg thinks Ravens have role to play in discussing domestic violence
Posted on 31 July 2014 by Glenn Clark
Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford and if not I’m just going to keep saying it is because it makes me feel a greater sense of self-worth.
The Baltimore Ravens will have another opportunity Thursday to do things the right way. While undoubtedly there will be some in attendance for or viewing RB Ray Rice’s press conference who will come to crucify no matter what is said. Those people have always existed (in at least part for good reason) and Rice and the Ravens have simply managed to swing more people into that group with their failures.
They don’t need to keep going out of their way to direct folks down that path.
Ray Rice is slated to meet with the media following Thursday morning’s 8:30am practice. A cynic would note the team altered the schedule by hours-perhaps in hopes that fewer national media types would be able to attend the media gathering. Head coach John Harbaugh is scheduled to also be available for a second consecutive day as well. Harbaugh is not often made available to the media on back to back days, but perhaps this changed because of the amount of national media expected for the event.
I have been told that reporters will NOT get a “only questions about football for Ray” type of warning. All questions will be on the table. That does not necessarily mean that Rice will ANSWER every question. In fact, I’d venture a guess that he’ll defer to his legal team a time or two during the course of the presser.
I hope that during the course of the entire event Rice will pursue any sort of “redemption” angle but will instead remain humble and contrite. I also hope that John Harbaugh will do the one thing he and the rest of the organization still haven’t done in the nearly six months since the since the original incident took place…I hope he’ll use the words “domestic violence” and choose to condemn the act.
Harbaugh came as close to that as we had ever seen Wednesday when chatting with reporters about Rice’s upcoming press conference.
“I love the way he’s handled it. I hate what happened. What happened was wrong – flat out. The thing I appreciate about it is how Ray has handled it afterwards by acknowledging that it was wrong, and he will do everything he can do to make it right. That’s what you ask for when someone does the wrong thing. I’m proud of him from that standpoint. For anybody out there that’s going to misconstrue that and just write, ‘John Harbaugh is proud of Ray,’ then shame on you. I’m proud of him for the way he’s handled it. I’m disappointed in what happened, but you go forward. You go forward.”
He came awfully close. “I hate what happened”, “what happened was wrong” and “I’m disappointed in what happened” are all close.
Of course…the “what happened” is domestic violence-but the Ravens have chosen not to say anything about that. The Ravens have chosen not to address that despite the fact that according to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, 50 people in Maryland lost their lives due to domestic violence from July 2012 to June 2013.
They lost their lives to domestic violence. The same act that happened between Ray Rice and his now wife in Atlantic City. The same topic the Ravens have chosen to avoid at every turn in 2014.
It’s time for John Harbaugh-the “football CEO” of the Baltimore Ravens to be the one to use a platform (and there most certainly will be one Thursday) to step up and address “domestic violence”. Not “what happened”, not “the incident”, not anything like that. It’s time to step up and address “domestic violence”.
It’s time to say “we don’t condone or accept domestic violence and as a leader in this community we want to do everything we can to help those in this community (which lost 50 members in the span of 12 months to this action) who are dealing with this awful issue.”
This might be the last chance to have this type of platform as with Rice having the case adjudicated in New Jersey and the NFL has filed their ruling. The issue will not “go away” for Rice, but this might be the last time it receives significant national attention.
I REALLY hope that when I come in Friday morning to fill in one last time on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction”, I’m not shaking my head as violently as I was following the LAST time Ray Rice spoke to the media.
This organization has made me quite proud to be a fan a number of times over the years. It would be awfully nice to feel that again Thursday instead of the same frustration I’ve been feeling for roughly half a year.
Posted on 29 July 2014 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — What initially appeared to be a minor back issue continues to linger for cornerback Lardarius Webb, who missed his third straight practice Monday as the Ravens shifted training camp to M&T Bank Stadium for a public workout.
Head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged the back spasms he deemed as “nothing serious” on Friday have caused concern as the sixth-year cornerback remained sidelined, leaving third-year defensive back Asa Jackson to take the reps opposite Jimmy Smith in the starting defense. Webb left the field midway through the second full-squad workout of training camp and hasn’t practiced since.
“We’re going to see about Lardarius,” Harbaugh said. “He has some back things that we’re looking at right now, and backs are a little weird. At first it was no big deal. It’s lingering a little bit, so we’ll find out what’s going on with him.”
Fellow cornerback Chykie Brown returned to practice after missing Sunday’s workout due to a tweaked hamstring. He worked with the second-team base defense and played outside in the first-string nickel package with Jackson sliding inside when the Ravens used three cornerbacks.
Defensive end Chris Canty missed his second straight practice on Monday and was excused to deal with a family matter, according to Harbaugh. With Canty absent, second-year defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore filled in at the 5-technique spot with the starting unit.
Other players remaining absent from practice included offensive linemen Will Rackley (concussion-related symptoms) and Parker Graham (groin) and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip), who remains on the active physically unable to perform list as he recovers from offseason surgery.
Lewis pays surprise visit
With a statue of Ray Lewis expected to be unveiled before the start of the regular season, the future Hall of Fame linebacker paid a surprise visit to the public training camp practice, easily drawing the loudest ovation on Monday night.
Lewis’ statue will stand next to the one of Johnny Unitas that was completed outside M&T Bank Stadium in 2002. Fans have customarily rubbed the high-top shoe of the Unitas statue for good luck on game days, but it remains to be seen if a new tradition will emerge when the second statue makes its debut next to the image of the Baltimore Colts legend and Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Most of the time, I’m never lost for words, but that’s a very humbling thing,” said Lewis, who implied his statue will be an image of his famed pre-game dance routine. “”For me to share that [honor with the late Unitas], that’s awesome.”
Rice greeted warmly by Ravens fans
As has been the case for with the select few selected for the opportunity to attend training camp practices in Owings Mills, fans greeted running back Ray Rice warmly whenever he was shown on the video board at the stadium.
Upon receiving his first loud ovation of the evening, Rice tapped his chest to acknowledge an announced crowd of 28,323.
The three-day window for Rice to appeal the two-game suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell passed on Monday with the 27-year-old electing not to try to have the discipline reduced.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith made the play of the night with a leaping, one-handed catch inside the red zone with Jackson trying to stick with him in coverage.
Matt Elam turned in the most bizarre play of the evening when he picked off a Joe Flacco pass before nearly being run down by the golf cart of owner Steve Bisciotti, who claimed the second-year safety had seen him all the way and nearly tipped the vehicle over.
Defensive end Pernell McPhee was the defensive standout of the evening, collecting two quarterback sacks and making another tackle for a loss during team drills.
First-round inside linebacker C.J. Mosley got his first taste of M&T Bank Stadium and responded by knocking away a Flacco pass in the end zone during 11-on-11 red-zone work. Mosley lined up next to veteran Daryl Smith in the starting defense.
Comments Off on Concern growing over Ravens cornerback Webb’s lingering back injury
Posted on 28 July 2014 by Glenn Clark
As you’ve probably already heard, I’m in for Drew Forrester on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” all this week on AM1570 WNST.net. Drew is in Ocean City-presumably doing enough golfing for him, myself, Luke Jones and the entire European Tour.
I have no idea if Drew is planning on writing daily posts himself this week, but I’m going to try to do my best to write my own. Drew’s Morning Dish is brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. Glenn’s Drew’s Morning Dish can be brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford…unless of course they think I’m a big dummy and don’t want to put their name on it.
This will be about the most simple opinion I will have ever shared on-air or online. Sometimes I say things that people argue with or yell about, but I can’t fathom there being much in the way of dissent here.
The issue surrounding Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice is complicated, to say the least. I have shared a number of opinions about the topic over the course of the last few days and have no doubt that those topics will re-appear throughout the week and throughout the rest of Rice’s tenure in Charm City. I’m on the record about thinking the punishment was too light and that the NFL has a major “perception issue” at best when it comes to women, while the team has failed woefully to address the issue of domestic violence.
But Ray Rice is going to be a Baltimore Raven moving forward. Barring injury, he’ll return to the field Week 3 and will look to help the Ravens make a push towards winning the AFC North again. Before that, he’ll be on the field for preseason games (probably three of them) and will make his first major public appearance Monday night when the team holds a public Training Camp practice at M&T Bank Stadium.
There are a lot of things Ray Rice should do moving forward in his NFL career. He should be humble and appreciative of whatever amount of support fans choose to give him. He should work hard in his marriage and personal relationships. He should stay out of trouble. He should be willing to answer questions openly and honestly when he addresses the media for the first time Thursday in Owings Mills (I say “first time” because I am expecting he will actually answer questions this time). He should attempt to work hard in his professional career-playing football-and re-stock an inventory of appreciation among those who will likely be uncomfortable watching him play.
There’s one thing in particular he absolutely should not do-probably ever again.
Until his trip to Atlantic City, perhaps this celebration was the single most synonymous image of the three time Pro Bowler. Rice’s touchdown celebration has been completely sensical. Given his 5’7″ frame, the former second round pick has been doubted throughout his career, with skeptics wondering whether a player could succeed at a high level in the league at that size.
The celebration-which involved Rice flexing his ample biceps (or sometimes pointing at them)-was his way of saying his toughness and strength more than made up for what he lacked in size.
Rice’s touchdown celebration has been re-enacted by many in Charm City who have looked up to Rice. If you have attended a game at any level-from Pop Warner to college-in this area over the past few years, you have undoubtedly seen a young football player impersonating their idol.
But as the former All-Pro returns to the field after being the first of five Ravens to be arrested in the offseason, it’s time for the celebration to go.
There’s multiple reasons why Rice should abandon the muscle flexing. The most obvious is the visual created by the celebration. While those in Baltimore might recognize the flex as a celebration he’s used for his entire career, those around the country will immediately see a connotation between the flex and the incident with his wife. At best, it’s not worth the headache for Rice to have to try to defend himself. More realistically, it would represent an alarming lack of awareness.
Additionally, struggling Ravens fans don’t deserve to have to defend it. The player and team have already put fans in an awkward position for multiple reasons. Undoubtedly, Ravens fans will be asked “how does it feel do root for a wife beater” for the rest of Rice’s tenure in Purple and Black. The situation doesn’t need to be worsened every time the running back does something significant on a football field.
Someone in this area will inevitably make some sort of “PC Police” claim in response. I won’t bother to try to explain to someone that doesn’t understand why it isn’t a good idea for someone who was arrested for domestic violence to publicly flex his muscles as a form of celebration. If you don’t get it, you won’t get it. But consider that even if you cling to the rights of speech, perhaps dropping the celebration would simply be the best way for Rice to show humility at this point.
As a player, Rice shouldn’t treat it as something someone is taking away from him, he should instead treat it as an opportunity to show how much he’s grown as a man from the lowest moment of his life.
When he made his statement in Owings Mills weeks ago, Rice made it clear he wanted to try to make things return to normal as quickly as possible. You hope he understands that even a gesture like this wouldn’t POSSIBLY get him there.
But it would go a long way in starting the process.
Posted on 26 July 2014 by WNST Staff
It was bound to be a much talked about topic, but the NFL, the Ravens, Ray Rice and even sports media could not have expected the backlash after the two game suspension everyone has waited for. The idea of this punishment being accepted in society, let alone in a private multi-billion dollar corporation, is downright appalling to anyone that has a functioning brain and a television. But where does the real problem lie here? Obviously Rice has a major issue he should handle, which has been covered since day 1 of this incident. But this whole situation reeks of a much grander cultural issue in the NFL and sports in America.
To start, the main excuse for such a lenient reaction by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens organization is that “he has never done anything wrong before” is blatantly asinine. All CRIMINALS HAVE A CLEAN TRACK RECORD BEFORE THEIR FIRST CRIME! Why does his past “good behavior” allow Rice to strike a woman? Why is anyone looking at his charitable endeavors as a reason that he should be given more leniency towards such a heinous act? Because he has performed well in the most popular sport in the country, all the while being a stand up citizen for his first six seasons, does not give him (or anyone) a pass on judgement.
Yet the NFL powers decided that knocking a woman unconscionable is only worthy of half the punishment for taking Adderall without clearance from the the league offices. Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Jonhson was the last to receive a suspension by a league before Rice; four games for not reporting to the league that he was taking a prescription drug that contained a banned substance.
Any defense of Rice’s actions shows immaturity and undermines the moral fabric of the entire NFL fan base. The statement has arisen, “We don’t know if he did anything in that elevator.” Well we all certainly know what the police report says. It states that Rice struck his girlfriend using his hands. We all know that Rice himself felt the need to publicly apologize for his actions. I can’t remember the last time I apologized for not doing anything wrong. We all know that the NFL Commissioner had enough evidence to suspend Rice. There would certainly be a ensuing legal battle if he were innocent, yet still receive punishment.
Yet Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wants to state that “[Ray Rice] is a good guy.” I’m sorry but when you find it necessary to use physical force against a woman than NO HE IS NOT! This simply proves the team (like the rest of the league) is just worried about winning and not HUMAN DECENCY. We have seen this in the past as the Ravens publicly backed the likes of Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister and Terrell Suggs during their legal troubles. I guess that is why the team did not have the gumption to take action when they were handed all of the same evidence that led to this suspension.
But in the end it is not Rice’s fault that the league office felt some sort of sympathy on his case. And that is where the real issue comes to the forefront. The NFL has stood by its players to a fault; where well known and reported criminals can get away with breaking the law because they can play football. The players have no recourse knowing that the league will let them back in with open arms no matter how despicable the act.
There were 19 arrests this off season (5 of which by those who play in Baltimore), yet many of those players will be allowed to go back to there daily lives and daily earnings without any repercussions what so ever. Has anyone even mentioned throwing out a suspension for Deonte Thompson or Jah Reid or Lorenzo Talliferro or Jimmy Smith? NO!
And just maybe, if the NFL did put in a policy TO NOT GET ARRESTED or you will lose out on your livelihood, like they have with their substance abuse and performance enhancing drug policies, players would be less inclined to act like delinquents off the field. Maybe it is time for the NFL to take a stand against their EMPLOYEES ACTING AS CRIMINALS. Roger Goodell certainly had a chance to prove a point with Ray Rice and he missed terribly.
Now the court of public opinion is weighing down on the league and rightfully so, as the NFL’s culture of protecting its product has proven to outweigh the importance HUMAN DECENCY. I dare anyone to go out, hit their wife in public or get arrested with multiple DUIs or get caught with illegal narcotics on several different occasions or any other crime and still be allowed to show their face at their place of business the next day. So why does the most powerful sports league in the world just deem these actions as acceptable or commonplace?
After Goodell laid down this “punishment” on Ray Rice, I personally felt ashamed to consider myself a diehard fan of the NFL. It is an embarrassment for the NFL to consider its fan base so neanderthalic and stupid to not understand what is fair and just.
Posted on 25 July 2014 by WNST Audio
Comments Off on CBS Sports’ Doyel thinks Ray Rice should have received at least an 8 game suspension
Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Audio
Comments Off on SI Legal Analyst McCan says Rice’s Suspension On Par With Other First Time Offenders
Posted on 24 July 2014 by WNST Staff
COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL notified Baltimore Ravens running back RAY RICE today that he will be suspended without pay for the first two 2014 regular season games and fined an additional game check for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy for his February arrest.
In May, Rice resolved the charges by entering into a pretrial intervention program. Under this program, he will not be prosecuted and is not required to serve jail time or pay any fine. After one year, the charges will be expunged and will not be part of Rice’s record.
Following this agreement, Goodell met with Rice and his wife. Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.
In a letter to Rice, Commissioner Goodell stated:
“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.
“You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.
“I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations.”
Rice’s suspension will begin on August 30. He will be eligible for reinstatement on Monday, September 12 following the Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rice may participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.
Rice may appeal this decision within three days.
Comments Off on Goodell says Rice’s conduct “unquestionably inconsistent” with league policies
Posted on 24 July 2014 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After months of speculation with varying opinions about his fate, Ravens running back Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season as punishment for a domestic violence incident that occurred in an Atlantic City casino in February.
The league officially announced its decision on Thursday afternoon as Rice was punished for “conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter that Rice’s conduct “was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL.”
Rice was fined a game check — which is reportedly calculated from his 2013 base salary of $1 million — in addition to the salary he’ll lose during the two-game suspension without pay, bringing his total lost compensation to roughly $529,000. He will be unavailable as the Ravens open their season against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on Sept. 7 and welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Baltimore four days later for a Thursday night game.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement released by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”
“My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”
Baltimore will be able to replace Rice on the 53-man roster while he’s suspended. The running back will be allowed to participate in all aspects of training camp and in preseason games before beginning his suspension on Aug. 30.
The 27-year-old running back and his wife met with Goodell in New York last month, leading many to assume a ruling on a potential suspension would come before the start of camp as the Ravens try to rebound from an 8-8 season that saw them miss the postseason for the first time since 2007. In the spring, Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and was accepted into a pretrial intervention program after allegedly striking his fiancee and rendering her unconscious at the Revel Casino on February 15.
“We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “The time the commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.
“We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”
The news was met with much criticism on Thursday as many believed the NFL is taking too soft of a stance on domestic violence. The Ravens have stood firm in their support for Rice throughout the process and never wavered in expressing their positive feelings toward him, regularly pointing out his pristine record and reputation prior to the February incident.
Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that Rice’s suspension would not impact his team’s preparations in training camp until after the second preseason game. He reiterated that idea on Thursday, adding that the organization has already moved on from a football standpoint.
“It’s really not a big deal. It’s just part of the process,” Harbaugh said. “We said from the beginning the circumstances would determine the consequences. There are consequences when you make a mistake like that. I stand behind Ray — he’s a heck of a guy. He’s done everything right since. He makes a mistake; he’s going to have to pay a consequence. That’s good for kids to understand that it works that way. That’s how it works. That’s how it should be, and we’ll move forward.
“Ray will be back when the time comes. It’s not something that we’re dwelling on; it’s just that we’re not worrying about it. [We’re] moving forward.”
Primary backup Bernard Pierce, veteran newcomer Justin Forsett, and 2014 fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro are expected to compete for more reps while Rice serves his suspension.
Comments Off on Rice to be suspended for first two games of 2014 season
Posted on 22 July 2014 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens officially welcome veterans back to their Owings Mills facility for the start of training camp on Wednesday while continuing to remain in the dark on the status of running back Ray Rice.
The 27-year-old running back and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16, leading many to assume a ruling on a potential suspension would come before the start of camp as the Ravens try to rebound from an 8-8 season that saw them miss the postseason for the first time since 2007. Head coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday he was unaware of when a decision or announcement would be made regarding Rice’s standing for the start of the 2014 season.
The seventh-year coach wouldn’t say whether he was surprised not to already know Rice’s fate at this late stage of the summer.
“I’d rather not get into that. It’s not for me to say,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not my decision to make or any of us here. It’s in other people’s hands. I’m sure there are a lot of complications in making those kinds of decisions. There are many sides to every story, and there are a lot of factors. There are other people involved; there are other disciplinary situations involved around the league. That has to be weighed and taken into context.
“They’re going to have to sort through that and be fair about the whole thing. I know the league is very judicious about that. I think they work really hard to do the right thing. I don’t think they worry about public opinion too much. I think they want to do the right thing by the people involved, and we’ll see how it goes.”
Rice took part in organized team activities and mandatory minicamp in the spring after pleading not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and being accepted into a pretrial intervention program. His legal trouble stemmed from a February incident in which he was arrested and charged for allegedly striking his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City, N.J. casino.
According to Harbaugh, the Rice suspension will not impact preparations for the start of the regular season until after the second preseason game. Third-year backup Bernard Pierce, veteran Justin Forsett, and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro are expected to compete for more reps while Rice serves his expected suspension.
“We’ll just be business as usual until then,” Harbaugh said. “We’re installing for the first six days [of camp] and working situations through the first two preseason games. Once we get past the second preseason game, then we’ll need to know that. Whenever they’re ready to let us know, we’ll be ready to hear it.”
The Ravens coach didn’t have much to offer in response to the arrest of cornerback Jimmy Smith earlier this month.
The fourth-year defensive back was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after an incident at a Towson bar on July 12. Smith became the fifth Ravens player to be arrested this offseason.
“I understand what happened,” said Harbaugh, who reiterated that the message about off-field conduct has been delivered to his players extensively. “I heard it from a lot of different sources, and I haven’t thought about it since. I think I’ve given it the amount of attention that it deserves.”
Comments Off on Ravens still awaiting official word on Rice discipline