Tag Archive | "Rex Ryan"

Former Ravens Safety Reed: “I Know I Can Still Play”

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Former Ravens Safety Reed: “I Know I Can Still Play”

Posted on 02 June 2014 by Ryan Chell

The last time Ravens fans heard from Ed Reed in M&T Bank Stadium, they were welcomed with a less-than-stellar rendition of the popular Eddie Money song, “Two Tickets to Paradise” after the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

The future Hall of Famer did indeed return to Baltimore Sunday for Lardarius Webb’s 5th annual Celebrity Softball Tournament, which was the first time the event took place at M&T Bank Stadium.

And while there showing off his softball skills, Reed sent a message to Ravens fans and the rest of the NFL that he’s still looking for and is ready for a ticket to ride with an NFL team.

“I’m definitely preparing to play,” Reed told reporters during the game. “If I wasn’t, you would have heard something  by now…I learned a lot about the process last year, and I know my worth.”

Reed, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a 9-time Pro Bowler, played 11 seasons in Baltimore before signing a 3-year, 15 million dollar deal with the Houston Texans in March 2013.

However, Reed lasted just seven games in Houston before being waived. He ultimately reunited with former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan in New York, where he played seven games for the Jets (five starts) finishing with 22 tackles and three interceptions.

Battling hip problems to start the year, Reed clearly wasn’t the Defensive Player of the Year-caliber safety he was in his earlier years in Baltimore and many signaled that decline as the end of his dozen years in the NFL.

But don’t tell that to Ed Reed.

“I know I can still play,” he said. “It’s a matter of a right fit.”

And while the Ravens returned this week for voluntary OTAs in Owings Mills, Reed has been getting ready for an NFL call by training between Georgia and Louisiana.

And with Reed waiting for that call, he knows what he wants and how to approach the season. He said he learned a lot about his desire to play football this year from his preparation going into the 2013 year-his first outside Baltimore.

“I’m not going to anybody’s training camp, ” Reed said. “I sat and watched the league last year from a different perspective, and I learned a lot, and I saw they had teams that needed safeties in the latter part of the year.”

Reed didn’t make his Texans debut till Week 3 last season-a 30-9 loss in his return to Baltimore.  During training camp with Houston, he missed workouts on the active PUP-list, and he said he needed that rest to prepare for the season.

And for those who are concerned about that level of determination from the safety, Reed said he’s not concerned with how people think about him.

“Right now, I’m just about taking care of me and getting myself back…I know you guys may question it, but I’m not worried about that. It’s about how I feel.”

The thought of a banged-up, 35-year old safety who could only be a part-time player who’s best days are behind him might not be the biggest draw for an NFL team.

However, Reed, who looked to be enjoying himself Sunday and said it was a pleasure to be back in Baltimore, is content though if this is the end of his NFL dream.

“I’m not worried about the end. I’m not under contract. I’m already at the finish line. I don’t need to sign with anybody.”

“I don’t have to put in any papers. I don’t have to sign anybody’s contract. I don’t have to go to any organization. Ed Reed and Barry Sanders…they did it their own way.”

Those following the game would imagine that if that were to happen, he would follow other elite players of his level to the coaching ranks in an effort to stay apart the game he loved for so many years.

Reed said he would be open to it and that he got a taste of it in 2013 with the Ravens, Texans and Jets.

“Being around Coach Harbaugh, being around Coach Billick, having so many defensive coordinators-I had a different perspective when I left and I definitely learned a lot…I always say I did more coaching when I was in New York because they have a bunch of young guys up there and those guys kind of gravitated to me.”

He’s just hoping that an NFL GM or Coach will gravitate to his football knowledge if it doesn’t equate to continuing his playing career-hopefully in a place he’s all too familiar with in Baltimore.

“I think I can help pretty much any organization if I’m a position coach, a consultant or whatever…I could see me working in the organization here. I could see me working for Ozzie, those guys and Mr. Bisciotti because I put so much into it, I know how they work, and they taught me so much.”

If anything, you can count on Ed Reed making one more trip to M&T Bank Stadium for his guaranteed induction into the stadium’s Ring of Honor and he knows what kind of reaction he’ll get upon that return.

“It definitely brings back memories,” Reed said. “Anytime I come into Baltimore, it brings back memories.”

“It’s always great to see Ed Reed,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “He’s like a big brother and anytime you’re around him, it’s a good time.”

‘It’s great to see Baltimore still loves him.”

Follow me on Twitter at @RyanChell87! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

 

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Ravens-Jets: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Jets: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 23 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The term “must-win” is used liberally in professional sports, but the Ravens have reached that reality with a 4-6 record and an opportunity to knock off the AFC’s current No. 6 seed-leading New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore will play the first of three consecutive home games against beatable opponents in an effort to not only move to the positive side of the .500 mark but slide into position to grab a sixth straight playoff berth under head coach John Harbaugh. Meanwhile, the Jets are trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010 under head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

Both teams have obvious flaws but remain in the mix for the postseason in a pool of eight teams that are either 5-5 or 4-6 entering Week 12. The Ravens and Jets will be meeting for the ninth time in the regular season with Baltimore holding a 7-1 advantage and a seven-game winning streak in the all-time series.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens look to improve to 5-6 before a short week leading into a Thanksgiving night game against Pittsburgh …

1. Facing the stingiest run defense in the NFL, the Ravens will struggle to average 3.0 yards per carry on Sunday. A 174-yard performance by the Baltimore running game in Chicago was an encouraging sign but came against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense in sloppy conditions. The rushing attack will need to be graded on a curve against a Jets defense allowing just 2.9 yards per carry, the lowest mark in the NFL since the 2007 Ravens. The goal will be to gain just enough yardage to keep New York honest, which will allow the Ravens to run play-action over the course of the game. Running back Ray Rice said it best earlier in the week in saying they must be willing to take what the Jets defense is allowing, whether it’s two yards or the opportunity to pick up 20. Center Gino Gradkowski and left guard A.Q. Shipley turned in strong performances with their run blocking last week, but the Jets defensive line will be a very difficult matchup on what’s expected to be a windy day.

2. Quarterback Joe Flacco will throw for 275 yards for the first time since Week 6. The Ravens will be involved in a game with wind being a factor for the third consecutive week, which would appear to favor the Jets given the strength of their run defense and running game. However, Flacco will be facing a pass defense that ranks 23rd in the league and felt the need to pick up the 35-year-old Ed Reed to stabilize the free safety spot. There’s no disputing that Flacco has played poorly since the Ravens’ Week 8 bye, but he will be needed to make plays on Sunday as the Jets have been vulnerable to giving up the big play this season, allowing 33 passes of 20 or more yards. The Baltimore quarterback will have to wait at least one more game for the return of tight end Dennis Pitta, but Flacco talked this week about the need for the Ravens to let loose in how they play and the Jets defense hasn’t been nearly as effective on the road, giving up an average of 33 points per game on the road.

3. Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will collect 1 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble. Ryan has a sterling reputation for putting his best defensive players in position to thrive, and Wilkerson has blossomed into the face of the New York defense, collecting eight sacks and 53 tackles in a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and Ryan like to move Wilkerson around on the defensive line, which will be a problem for a unit that’s struggled to call out proper protection assignments this season. Even if the Ravens manage to gain respectable yardage on the ground, the Jets will still attempt to tee off on Flacco with a pass rush facing an offensive line that’s given up 33 sacks this season. An ability to protect the football will be a critical factor in determining the outcome of Sunday’s game and Flacco will cough up a fumble when Wilkerson breaks free for a sack against shaky pass blocking.

4. The Baltimore defense will wreak havoc on rookie quarterback Geno Smith, forcing three turnovers. The Jets have been forced to lean heavily on their eighth-ranked running game while the rookie has failed to record a passer rating higher than 71.9 in any of his last five games and will be without top receiver Jeremy Kerley. As long as the Ravens don’t revert to the struggles they experienced earlier in the season when their run defense allowed 140 or more rushing yards in three of four games, the Jets won’t do enough on the ground to avoid putting the ball in Smith’s hands. The Ravens will need to turn in a defensive performance similar to the one against Cincinnati when they forced Andy Dalton into turning it over three times. Smith has thrown 16 interceptions and has lost four fumbles, which is a recipe for disaster playing at M&T Bank Stadium where the Ravens have allowed just under 13 points per game in four contests this season.

5. In a defensive struggle with touchdowns at a premium, experience at quarterback and the home-field advantage give the Ravens a 19-12 victory. Both the Ravens and Jets have experienced their share of struggles on the road as New York is 1-4 away from MetLife Stadium and the Ravens are 1-5 in that department, but Baltimore is 3-1 at home this year and has played sparking defense at M&T Bank Stadium. In a game featuring two above-average defenses but flawed offensive attacks, I’ll give the nod to the home team with the veteran quarterback in a low-scoring game. The Jets simply make too many mistakes and haven’t forced turnovers of their own all season, a trend that will continue on Sunday as the Ravens win a close one to put themselves in better position in a muddled wild-card race. An uphill path remains for the Ravens to reach postseason play, but tie-breaking wins over the Jets and Miami Dolphins could prove useful down the line if more wins are to follow one on Sunday.

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“I don’t care what you say…the Jets aren’t coming to Baltimore and winning.”

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“I don’t care what you say…the Jets aren’t coming to Baltimore and winning.”

Posted on 22 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

By this time next Friday, the shape of the Ravens and their playoff run will be in full bloom.

If they win both, that gives them a great chance to sneak in somehow, pending a successful December and/or some assistance from others in the AFC.

Given that both games — Sunday vs. the Jets and Thursday night vs. the Steelers — are in Baltimore, you have to like the chances of John Harbaugh’s team over the next six days.

Pittsburgh stinks.

So do the Jets.

And, yes, the Ravens are a 4-6 team, I know that…and their record indicates “we stink”, too.

But when two stinky teams meet up, the team stinking at home usually wins.  See this year’s Bills/Ravens and Browns/Ravens games, for example.  Or that Ravens/Steelers game in Pittsburgh back in October.

The Ravens aren’t losing at home on Sunday to a woeful offensive bunch like the New York Jets.

I realize the New York defense is pretty good, which could pose problems for a Baltimore offense that struggles to put together four good quarters of activity on the same Sunday, but unless that Jets defensive unit can shut out the Ravens, I can’t see any way possible Rex Ryan leaves Baltimore with a smile on his face late Sunday night.

The Jets won’t reach the end zone on Sunday.  Ravens win in a semi-laugher, 23-9.

—————————————————

Peter Angelos donated $2.5 million to Franklin Square Hospital earlier this week.

His name is attached to several buildings in Baltimore now, a noble gesture from any citizen, no matter how much money you have in the bank.

I’ve said this for a long time now and it will always be worth repeating a few times a year.

Peter Angelos has, in my opinion, not been a very good owner of the Orioles since 1993.  Even today, mostly removed from the day-to-day doings of the organization, his stewardship can be questioned if only by virtue of some of the people employed by him in the team’s front office.  That said, Angelos has done a lot of good for the “non-baseball” community over the last twenty years with donations and financial assistance provided to numerous organizations that make Baltimore a better place.  It’s a shame his good deeds haven’t been publicized the right way by “his people”.

We all might understand Peter Angelos better if, in fact, he was willing to admit he’s a lot more like the rest of Baltimore than he’s evidently willing to admit.

 

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Ravens running game trying to fight off reality check against Jets

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Ravens running game trying to fight off reality check against Jets

Posted on 21 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Even after a difficult overtime defeat in Chicago last weekend, you’d almost excuse the members of the Ravens’ running game for breathing a sigh of relief.

On pace to become the worst rushing offense in the 18-year history of the franchise, the Ravens ran for a season-high 174 yards — which included Ray Rice’s season-long run of 47 yards — in the 23-20 overtime defeat to the Bears, temporarily quieting critics who’ve doubted their ability to gain ground against anyone this season. Still, they also realize those yards came against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense and Sunday’s game against the New York Jets will present a much steeper task.

“That’s one game; the results still weren’t what we wanted in terms of the end result,” offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. “We’ve got a real challenge ahead of us this week, [and the Jets are] maybe the finest run defense in the league.”

Ranked first in the league in allowing just 73.2 yards per game on the ground, the Jets have surrendered just 2.9 yards per carry in their first 10 games. That stingy mark puts them on pace to have the best average in the NFL since the 2007 Ravens, who gave up just 2.8 yards per rush despite an abysmal 5-11 record.

Jets head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan not only possesses a formidable group of players up front but offers some of the most exotic looks schematically in the NFL year after year. And considering the Ravens’ issues this season with Juan Castillo’s zone blocking scheme and communication at the line of scrimmage, New York will be less forgiving than the banged-up Bears defense in making Baltimore pay for missed blocking assignments.

With Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, and Kenrick Ellis combining to form the best run-stopping defensive line in the league, Rice offered a realistic approach to the ground game in Sunday’s contest at M&T Bank Stadium. It resembled a plea for patience and not trying to do too much against a very talented front.

“We just need to be honest with ourselves and get a hat on a hat,” said Rice, who eclipsed the century mark on the ground for the first time all season in running for 131 yards against the Bears. “If it’s two yards, we need to take the two yards. If it’s a 20-yard gain and it happens, we need to make the 20. If they’re going to give you something where you’ve got to plow in there for two yards, [you take it]. One thing that we want to get out of is getting tackled for a loss. We always want to be on the plus side of things.”

The Ravens took advantage of the Chicago defense with more man-on-man blocking than the zone approach that’s given the running game little room this season. The offensive line also did a commendable job with combination blocks as well as identifying defenders to block at the second level, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

Even with their success, the Ravens understand one performance doesn’t erase nine weeks of severe struggles as they are still only averaging 83.2 rushing yards per game (27th in the NFL) and 3.0 yards per attempt, which ranks 31st in the league ahead of only Jacksonville.

“We took a step, but it’s still not consistent enough,” left tackle Eugene Monroe said. “We’ll continue to work on it. The mood is positive. We understand that we’ve got to continue to win, but pressing out that issue isn’t going to help that. We’ve just got to continue to stay focused.”

A step down from last week statistically is almost inevitable against the New York defense — a unit that hasn’t given up more than 90 rushing yards in a game since Week 3 — but a key to a victory on Sunday will be whether the Ravens have the ability to do just enough to keep the Jets’ back end of the defense honest. Ryan’s unit ranks 23rd against the pass and has allowed 33 passing plays of 20 or more yards this season, so even the slightest room created in the running game would go a long way in establishing play-action fakes and the ability for quarterback Joe Flacco to roll out to find open receivers.

New York, however, will try to make an offense ranked 30th in the league in total yards one-dimensional as it has been far too many times this season en route to a 4-6 start.

The Ravens are not only determined to begin a three-game homestand on a winning note — improving their AFC wild-card standing in the process — but to prove their running-game explosion last week in sloppy, windy Chicago was a sign of better days to come and not just a pleasant aberration.

As Rice professed, the Ravens can only look at one game, one drive, and one carry at a time against a stout Jets defense.

“You have to get movement to even gain a yard,” Rice said. “You can’t let them feast in one position, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Our big guys have been working, but needless to say, we are getting prepared for a very physical football game.”

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A 15-7-0 preview is just as good when enjoyed sideways

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A 15-7-0 preview is just as good when enjoyed sideways

Posted on 26 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

If you’re not familiar with the 15-7-0, go back and take a look at one from last season and quickly familiarize yourself. Every Monday during football season, I use GIF’s, memes, videos and a minimal amount of wit to recap the non-Ravens football weekend. There are 15 positive observations, seven not so positive observations and one zero identified from outside the world of football.

To my knowledge, it is the most popular, most read and most worthwhile column on the entire internet.

This won’t be a full 15-7-0. Instead, it will be teaser-so we’ll go halfsies. Eight positive observations, four not so positive observations and we’ll keep that zero from outside the world of football. We’re doing the preview this week because next Monday is Labor Day and I’ll be far too deep into U.S. Open tennis to bother with sports that aren’t as important.

Eight positive observations…

1. I assume Chris Johnson and Julio Jones raised their game a bit after finding out they were two of my first three fantasy picks for 2013.

I mean, I can’t imagine a greater honor than finding out you’re joining this squad right here.

They just look like champions. They probably smell like champions. Or Ben Gay. But I bet a lot of champions smell like Ben Gay. What do you think Ben Gay smelled like? I bet he smelled beautiful. Like daffodils or some sh*t just to be ironic.

2. Tavon Austin is really good at football and at pointing.

Being that we’re in Charm City, we already knew the first part-as did the folks hanging out in the woods out in Morgantown. The second part we didn’t learn until his punt return TD against the Broncos…

If he had pointed against Maryland last year he probably would have won the Heisman. Known fact-Heisman voters love pointers.

3. I don’t know who Edmund Nelson is, but I’m enjoying him enjoy his ribs.

Apparently he’s related to the Pittsburgh Steelers, so once he finishes his plate of ribs I’m totally going to start hating him.

4. Tony Romo was also really excited about learning he was joining my fantasy football team.

Romo threw 2TD’s in the Cowboys’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Also, this image of Domata Peko from pre-game introductions.

Also, Cowboys P Chris Jones hit the massive scoreboard on a punt and had to punt again. Brandon Tate returned it for a TD. Thanks, Obama.

5. College football coaches have been pretty damn awesome recently.

When not refusing to pick a quarterback, Lane Kiffin is delivering ice cream…

Rich Rodriguez is dancing off…

And Bo Pellini is pulling a pretty righteous prank…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3CnoA8wCEo

Meanwhile Ralph Friedgen is…I dunno…swimming in a pool filled with barbecue pork funded by Kevin Anderson’s money? Just spitballing here.

6. The Raiders are awful, but perhaps Terrelle Pryor would be worth watching?

I mean…maybe. I’m not saying anything for certain.

I’m just saying maybe.

7. The folks at NFL Films will put just about any idiot in a documentary, won’t they?

This year’s version of “America’s Game” celebrating the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens will air September 2nd at 9pm on NFL Network. For some reason, the league was freaking out trying to get a copy to me last week. When I popped it in Friday night, it wasn’t five minutes before I realized why.

I’m sorry. It wasn’t my call.

8. Credit Gilman with football’s first big upset for 2013.

Friday night’s opener aired live on ESPNNews and was a lot of fun to watch late. Of equal importance, Good Counsel DE Jesse Aniebonam committed to Maryland during the broadcast. #HeATerp

And elsewhere in High School Football, they’re running Statue of Liberty plays for TD’s at something called Apopka.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Some Free Advice For Warren Sapp, Dan Duquette, Rex Ryan, More

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Some Free Advice For Warren Sapp, Dan Duquette, Rex Ryan, More

Posted on 22 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Your Monday Reality Check-We’d Be Defensive And We’d Be Wrong

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Your Monday Reality Check-We’d Be Defensive And We’d Be Wrong

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ll just say this up front and deal with the consequences of the comment at some other.

I know-as a fact-that at least one high profile Baltimore Ravens player has been involved with a “Pay For Play” scheme of some sort. That discovery was confirmed to me by both a current and former teammate.

This column isn’t about the details of that revelation, as I have not found the details to be particularly newsworthy. If that changes in the future, I will fully accept the responsibility of sharing them publicly. Instead I bring the note up only to make it known that such schemes are not so particularly unique and it is easy for others around the game of football to offer perspective and commentary.

I also share this to set the tone for an answer to a question asked many times since the “Bountygate” saga surrounding the New Orleans Saints and former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams broke days ago.

“How would we react if it had been the Ravens?”

The question has been asked in the face of sharp criticism levied in the direction of Williams and company. National writers and local analysts alike have cried for severe punishment for both the individuals and the organization. Amongst the penalties suggested have been the loss of draft picks, six to seven figure fines, firings, suspensions and even the forfeiture of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV title.

We’ll find out reasonably soon what the actual penalties will be, but the down time between the release of the National Football League’s findings and sentencing has certainly allowed for sports media driven by the NFL to run wild with questions/comments.

There don’t appear to be great numbers of supporters of the Saints’ sins, but there certainly appears to be more than a few football fans who have been willing to suggest “everyone does this” or “injuries are a part of the game” as a response.

There is a sense of relevancy at least to the latter. There is an awkward nature about every football game played at every level. Every competitor in every game lines up knowing their chances of victory would be greatly improved if their opponents’ best players weren’t on the field.

It doesn’t mean players have regularly worked to ensure their opponents left the field early, it just means the thought is always very much in their minds.

It certainly doesn’t mean it is okay for a coach/organization to pay players as a bonus for injuring opponents.

The other question regularly asked by the small group of Saints defenders is “how would you feel if it was your favorite team?” As I’ve already noted, I’ve wavered on this since first being asked.

Here’s my gut feeling. If the circumstances were either the same (or at least in some way similar), Charm City would be likely to be supportive of the Ravens. If Gregg Williams was Rex Ryan or Chuck Pagano and Sean Payton was John Harbaugh and the players involved were actually Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson-we’d be much less likely to call for a death penalty-caliber punishment.

We’d be way more likely to be defensive of the persons involved, suggesting “the bounty wasn’t the reason the unit was successful” or reminding fans that bounties have existed throughout football history.

We’d do it for the same reason San Francisco Giants fans continued to support slugger Barry Bonds despite the escalating evidence suggesting Major League Baseball’s all-time home run king perhaps cheated en route.

I’m not suggesting a football bounty in any way compares to steroid use. I’m only suggesting that it is easier to support players/coaches from your own favorite team because even if you don’t agree with their methods at heart, you believe something more significant.

Those players were trying to help your favorite team win.

When a player accepted money from a Saints assistant to go after an opposing player (or for simple on-field achievement), they did so as part of an attempt to win. Not only were they successful, they were so successful they turned a perennially miserable franchise into a Super Bowl champion.

If the Baltimore Ravens were accused of something similar, it would be much too easy for us to just say “I don’t necessarily like it, but I’m glad they did whatever necessary to win.”

It does not in any way alter the actual facts.

The facts here are very simple. The New Orleans Saints broke the rules and perhaps risked permanently altering the lives of men who were friends, former teammates and simply “brothers” on the gridiron.

There is nothing that can be said that will ever make that acceptable in any way. I won’t attempt to tell you what sort of penalty that should bring with it, I will only tell you I too believe it should be significant.

I will also suggest again that asking “what would you think if it was your favorite team” is not a defense Saints fans should even consider in conversation.

I would probably be supportive. I would DEFINITELY be wrong.

-G

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ChuckPagano

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New Colts coach Chuck Pagano on if he’s grabbing former Ravens in FA: “I think history tells you that’s the case”

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Ryan Chell

Indianapolis was crazy all last week hosting the Super Bowl, and right along with it has been the host city’s new football coach and ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

That was because Pagano-just days after the Ravens’ 23-20 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Patriots- didn’t have to wait long to get back to work at the game of football preparation because NFL teams kept calling for his services.

After just one season as Ravens defensive coordinator replacing Greg Mattison, Pagano apparently had built enough of a resume that the Indianapolis Colts called 1 Winning Drive and asked to interview the 51-year old for their coaching vacancy.

And they were impressed enough by Pagano’s demeanor, it only took one interview for owner Jim Irsay and new general manager Ryan Grigson to know who they wanted to replace the fired Jim Caldwell as head coach.

They hired Pagano on January 25th, making the move official.

Pagano hasn’t slept much over the last two weeks moving his life from Baltimore to Indianapolis but he did find a few minutes to  join Drew Forrester, Glenn Clark, and Nestor Aparicio last Thursday afternoon from Radio Row to offer a special message to Raven Nation.

“My thanks go out to Steve [Bisciotti], Ozzie, Coach Harbaugh, the rest of the guys and all the players, all the assistant coaches, and the fans. I had four great years there and it’s really the last thing I ever expected.”

Pagano joined the Ravens in 2008 as secondary coach and quickly became a favorite of the players.

When Pagano left for Indianapolis, several defensive players took the move hard, including corner backs Lardarius Webb, Domonique Foxworth, and safety Ed Reed.

It was equally as hard for Pagano to move on, and his leave his brothers-in-arms behind.

“I felt like I had the greatest job in America,” Pagano continued. “It’s a fabulous organization and I wish nothing but the best for them.”

It was the sheer shock of getting the call that made Pagano consider the offer. Despite his success this season leading the third-ranked defense, he thought his chance was going to come after a few years down the road.

“It’s crazy,” Pagano replied. “It’s the last thing I ever expected-obviously walking in that locker room and dealing with the heartache that everybody was coming off of with that loss.”

Pagano walked into his regular meeting Monday morning after the loss to New England, and Coach John Harbaugh handed a phone to him in his office.

“Indianapolis called…they want to talk to you,” Harbaugh said.

“I was like, ‘No way-come on…tell me you’re playing with me’,” Pagano told the WNST crew. “I got on the phone with Ryan Grigson-our GM, and he asked if I would come down.”

Pagano was also equally surprised considering he had no connections to Jim Irsay, the Colts, or Grigson in the past.

“I had only spoken with Ryan a year prior about some things…it was just a surprising deal.”

But now the holiday is over for Pagano. He’s already at work formulating his new coaching staff and preparing for the 2012 season.

Both of those preparations might and have already conflicted with the Ravens off-season plans, as Pagano already tabbed Baltimore assistants Marwan Maalouf and secondary assistant Roy Anderson on his coaching staff.

Right now, it’s all downhill from here for Pagano.

“We’re still putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” Pagano added. “We’ve got three great hires with Bruce Arians coming in an offensive coordinator…and Greg Manusky just signed on today.”

Pagano admitted that he tried to raid his ex-boss in John Harbaugh of more of his assistants, but there was only so much leverage John would allow.

“I tried to raid the hen-house of coaches, but between Ozzie and John I obviously knew that wasn’t going to happen.”

Pagano said that he’s had numerous offers from fellow co-workers and coaches and ex-players to come on board.

But he quickly shot down the belief that it was because of him that he was getting all these calls. It’s about the tradition of working for a storied franchise like the Colts.

“This city is phenomenal…there’s a ton of people that want to come to this city and be part of this organization.”

Could this include several former Ravens on defense who are free agents-Jarret Johnson, Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski, etc-who loved Pagano?

He said it would be foolish for the Ravens not to anticipate that. They’ve already experienced it with the exodus of players following Rex Ryan to New York.

“I think if you look at history and you look at the coaches that have moved on from there and took other jobs, I think history tells you that’s the case. Nobody does it better than those guys now and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have my eye on a couple guys.”

But the one guy that Pagano is probably worried about-and this time as his coach as opposed to drawing up a game-plan against him-is his current quarterback in Peyton Manning.

His future remains in doubt as Colts quarterback, but Pagano isn’t worried about it. He knows and trusts in the people that are above him making those decisions for him.

“It’s obvious that Mr. Irsay and Peyton…the lines of communication are there. They’ll continue to talk and as time goes on…the situation will handle itself.”

Pagano said he has too much on his mind to involve himself with that he said he’s going to assume the right things get done.

It was the same approach he had in Baltimore, and that worked well enough for him.

“I’ve got so many things to do trying to reach out to players,” Pagano said, and put a staff together. I’ve got to do the best I can.”

WNST thanks Chuck Pagano for joining us on Radio Row and wishes him all the best in Indy…when they’re not playing the Ravens! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

 

 

 

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Where are you getting your Baltimore sports news & information? Sharing is caring…

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Where are you getting your Baltimore sports news & information? Sharing is caring…

Posted on 29 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new 2012 WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 3 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

The saddest day of 2009 for any Ravens fan was also the day that I saw the state of the world had changed for WNST.net via the instant power of our text service. On the 4th of July at 4:17 p.m. I was sitting at home watching midday holiday baseball when I got a tip from a friend that Steve McNair had been murdered.

After receiving that quick text, I jumped onto the computer and saw that every Tennessee TV station was reporting his murder within the previous five minutes. At 4:21 p.m. more than 3,900 people received a WNST Text reporting the only facts we knew: “Tennessee media is reporting that Steve McNair has been murdered. More to come…”

At 4:50 p.m., ESPN finally reported it. And at 5:37 p.m. – a full 76 minutes later, The Sun finally had it on their website.

While I was blogging feverishly, looking for any information I could get from Nashville in the first 30 minutes on a sweltering holiday summer day – monitoring all of their TV stations and newspapers and fielding a wide variety of emails, Tweets and texts – apparently the 3,900 people on our WNST Text Service had taken matters into their own hands in forwarding our message to tens of thousands of other people like a game of virtual phone booth. More than 23,000 people had visited my blog by 8 p.m. on a premier national holiday on a day when virtually no one was in front of a computer. They were all coming from the palms of theirs hands via their mobile devices.

THAT – in the previous 25 years of my media existence — would have been impossible in the old, dinosaur world of local news. And it certainly would’ve been exclusively the area of the three local TV stations and, probably, WBAL Radio. But in the new world, they were all coming to the local source of the breaking sports news: WNST.net.

But the one thing about our WNST Text Service that often goes without saying is this: when we report it, you KNOW it’s true. Through our own goodwill, hard work and credibility, we have established a reputation for never, ever being wrong on a news story. And there are now more than 5,200 of you on the WNST Text Service.

Join the WNST Text Service…

And it goes without say that “timeliness” and the element of surprise is, in fact, the essence of what makes it “news.” News is immediate. News is shareable. News is eternal.

And, clearly, not all news is good.

But the depth of our content was also apparent on that sad, summer day. Ironically, we had video of Steve McNair joining about 1,200 Ravens fans in Nashville to greet them from January of last year before the big playoff game in our You Tube video vault. It’s a really weird clip — especially given it was the last time he’d do anything with his Baltimore roots. We raised $5,000 that night last January for the Air McNair Foundation and the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. I had given very little thought that night at Limelight in Nashville that I would never see Steve McNair alive again.

Like most breaking news stories – and all tragedies – it was completely unpredictable that Steve McNair could die

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Ravens’ Pagano to become next head coach of Colts

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Ravens’ Pagano to become next head coach of Colts

Posted on 25 January 2012 by Luke Jones

In what’s easily been the most frustrating week in the history of the franchise, the Ravens will now need to look for a new defensive coordinator as Chuck Pagano has been hired as the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

Leading the Ravens to the No. 3 overall defensive ranking in his first season as coordinator, Pagano interviewed with Indianapolis on Tuesday before being offered the job on Wednesday. The 51-year-old spent three seasons as the Baltimore secondary coach before being promoted to replace former defensive coordinator Greg Mattison last offseason.

“It’s difficult to leave the Ravens but I couldn’t pass up on this great opportunity,” Pagano said to the Ravens’ official website. “I’m just thrilled and so excited.”

Pagano was extremely popular with his defensive players and brought a more aggressive play-calling style than Mattison, helping the Ravens improve from a franchise-low 27 sacks in 2010 to an AFC-best 48 this season.

“He just had an inkling for [making the right calls],” linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo told AM 1570 WNST on Wednesday afternoon. “More than anything, he wasn’t going to rely on just going vanilla and saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to beat everybody just going vanilla.’ That’s what coach Mattison liked to do.”

The Ravens sent four defensive starters to the Pro Bowl this year, including linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and free safety Ed Reed.

Pagano will be introduced to the Indianapolis media in a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The Colts fired general manager Bill Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell following a disastrous 2-14 season without quarterback Peyton Manning.

“We are so happy for Chuck, [his wife] Tina and their daughters,” coach John Harbaugh said in an official statement. “We are proud of him. Like me, Chuck grew up in the game and loves it. We will miss him and thank him for all he did for the Ravens.”

The 51-year-old will likely usher in a new era with Indianapolis primed to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in April’s draft. Ayanbadejo said the Colts will immediately take to Pagano’s infectious personality.

“He was one of those guys [where] it was like he was out on the field of battle with you and you’d never want to let him down, because he’s such a good guy,” Ayanbadejo said. “He’s also a family guy and a great person. You really felt like you knew him, and more than anything, you just didn’t want to let him down.”

Pagano had previous stints as a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders and also coached at several colleges, including most recently at the University of North Carolina before being hired by Harbaugh in 2008.

The Ravens will also wonder what impact Pagano’s departure might have on their list of defensive players with expiring contracts. Linebackers Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain, and Ayanbadejo, defensive end Cory Redding, safeties Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney are all set to become unrestricted free agents and could now view Indianapolis as a viable alternative to the Ravens, who will not have a great deal of salary cap space.

After former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was hired as the head coach of the New York Jets in 2009, linebacker Bart Scott and safety Jim Leonhard joined him in the Big Apple as free-agent signings.

Baltimore will now have its fourth defensive coordinator in five years after Rex Ryan, Mattison, and Pagano all held the job under Harbaugh. The most logical in-house candidate to fill the role would be linebackers coach Dean Pees, who was the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2009 before moving on to Baltimore.

“I don’t think you’ll see any letdown if Dean Pees takes over,” said Ayanbadejo, who described Pees’ relationship with players as one based more on respect than the emotional Pagano. “You might even see a better defense if Dean Pees takes over because he likes things done a certain way, and he’s really particular about the way he does things.”

Pagano becomes the fourth defensive coordinator in the history of the franchise to depart for a head coaching position elsewhere, joining Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan, and Ryan.

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