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Ravens Q & A time

Posted on 30 September 2008 by caseywillett

After a hard fought, tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, it is time for another edition of Ravens questions and answers.

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Six-pack for Ravens – Steelers

Posted on 29 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here is my six pack for tonight’s Ravens – Steelers game:
  1. Big night for secondary:The Ravens secondary will have a tall task in front of them tonight. With no Dawan Landry and Samari Rolle, Jim Leonhard, Corey Ivy, and Frank Walker will have to be in sync with Chris McAlister and Ed Reed. The secondary have to make sure they are all on the same page and that their might be zero room for freelancing tonight. In the past it has not been so much Hines Ward that has hurt the Ravens, but the second and third receivers on the team. Another big key for the secondary tonight will be to cover their man the entire play. Ben Roethlisberger is known for scrambling out of the pocket to make almost playground type plays with his receivers. The secondary can not afford to get drawn in to Ben scrambling and let their guy run wide open. Heath Miller is also a guy to keep an eye on tonight.
  1. Be aggressive: With a rookie running back and a hurt quarterback, the Ravens defense has to send a message and set a tone early on. I am not saying do anything outside of the rule book, but take your shots when you can.
  1. Contain Ben: I mentioned it earlier, but it is huge to keep Roethlisberger from scrambling out of the pocket and making throws down the field. Ben is not getting out of the pocket most of the time looking to tuck the ball and run, he is looking to make a pass. The Steelers have made big plays when Ben rolls out and his receivers improvise their routes to convert on big plays. The Ravens have to put pressure on him and when he does roll out of the pocket, stay with him and not give him much time to improvise.
  1. Attack the middle: With Casey Hampton out, the Ravens should continue what they have done so far this season and run the ball up the middle. Cam Cameron has said before that this is not an east and west offense, it is a north and south offense. The Ravens offense should try to do to the Steelers what the Steelers have done to teams for years, just pound the ball down your throat with a running game. This sets a tempo and frustrates a defense quick.
  1. Stay Joe Cool: All of the talk has been about Joe Flacco starting his first road game and it being on Monday Night Football. I do not think Flacco will get caught up in that at all. Flacco has not been rattled, bothered, or over whelmed by anything since he was drafted by the Ravens, granted this is one of the first big challenges of his NFL career, but he and the Ravens have done everything that they can to prepare him for this.
  1. Win the early rounds: A couple of Ravens players said playing the Steelers is like being in a heavyweight boxing match. There is to going to be a lot of flashy punches, or dancing around the ring, it is going to be a straight forward brawl. Both of these teams know what they are about and what the other one brings to the table. One of the keys tonight for the Ravens is to go out and win the early rounds, maintaining nice drives, setting a tempo on offense, and not being overwhelmed, sort of like throwing some jabs and body shots early on. If the Ravens are able to do that, then the Steelers defense will start to get tired, and that is when in the fourth quarter you can go for the knock out punch. Whether that be a touchdown to go ahead, put the game a way, or taking time off of the clock.
Ravens 20 –Steelers 17

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UPDATE: Injury report and news and notes

Posted on 26 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:45
Here is the Ravens injury report for Friday:
OUT:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Samari Rolle(shoulder / neck)
Troy Smith (illness)
QUESTIONABLE:
Yamon Figurs (hamstring)
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Adam Terry (ankle)
PROBABLE
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Ray Lewis (foot)
Le’Ron McClain (migraine)
Willis McGahee(eye)
Fabian Washington (neck)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)

Here are some notes from the morning media session:

Cam Cameron sounded optimistic that Willis McGahee will be ready to go on Monday night, “he’s doing fine from what I can tell. His eye doesn’t look great, but I think he’s doing ok. He was ok in the meeting today.” McGahee sounded optimistic that he will play on Monday night, but he did say right now though he is taking it day by day.
Rex Ryan said they will wait and see about the availability of Samari Rolle for Monday night. Ryan said they are confident in what Frank Walker and Corey Ivy can provide if Rolle is not ready to play.
Jarrett Johnson had a visitor in the locker room today as his friend and Baltimore Orioles Lance Cormier was visiting Johnson today. Johnson and Cormier have homes near one another in Alabama.
Cam Cameron spoke very highly of the job that Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have done this week with the scout team defense. Cameron said that the defense has given them the best look that they could want from the defense.
Chris Chester was at practice this afternoon wearing a #48 jersey. Chester was a former tight end at the University of Oklahoma.
Here is what Cam Cameron had to say about the availability of Le’Ron McClain for Monday night: “He’s full go. He was great in meetings this morning and he will be ready to play.”

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UPDATE: Injury report, Bart vs Hines

Posted on 25 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:25 p.m.
Here is the Ravens injury report for Thursday:
Out:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Did Not Participate:
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Le Ron McClain (migraine)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)
Limited Participation:
Yamon Figures (hamstring)
Willis McGahee (eye)
Samari Rolle (shoulder)
Troy Smith (illness)
Full Participation:
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Fabian Washington (neck)
2:45
Bart Scott is one of the more interesting and outspoken players in the locker room. Here are some of the quotes from today:
On what he thinks of Ward: “I think he does some tremendous things. I was really impressed with what he did, bringing those kids over from Asia last year. I watched a (TV) special. I think that was heartfelt. You know, football is a totally different thing. I don’t care if my mother was out there – I’d smack her around, too. It’s football. It doesn’t matter. If she had a different jersey on, she’s got to get dealt with.”
On whether he will exchange pleasantries with Ward : “If I would, why would I tell you something like that ? You’ve just got to ask the question, huh? No, I’m going out there to try to win a football game. All that other stuff is whatever.”
On the rivalry between the Ravens and the Steelers : “I think it’s a mirror image of two teams that are very physical. Whenever you’ve got two rams butting heads, of course there’s going to be some animosity because we’re pretty much built the same way. I mean, we know it’s going to be a man’s day. It’s going to be a physical day. The best team – the team that comes out and makes a couple of big plays and lays the wood the hardest-usually wins the game. Simple mission.”
Today Hines Ward responded about Bart Scott:
On the alleged cheap shot from the game last year on Scott: “There wasn’t anything cheap about it,” Ward said. “He can call it whatever he wants to call it. I didn’t get fined, I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything illegal. If he wants to say it is a cheap shot then he can continue to call it a cheap shot. I didn’t cheap shot him. I blocked him and he got mad because a receiver hit him.”
On Bart Scott complaining about the hit : Tell him to go cry somewhere else,” Ward said. “It wasn’t a cheap shot. I don’t play this game to try to hurt somebody. Everything was legal. I didn’t get a fine. I didn’t get any letter from the commissioner saying it was a cheap shot. It was legal. If it was a cheap shot then I probably would’ve went low and tried to blow out his knee. I went high and he didn’t like it. You are going to get hit or be hit.”
On any bad blood with Bart : “I don’t think it is bad blood,” Ward said. “It is more respect. This guy is a great player. The thing he says doesn’t bother me. I played with the best trash talker in the world in Joey Porter and all he tries to do it get in your head.”

Rashard Mendenhall has been warned by teammates on what to expect from the Ravens besides their defense on Monday night. Kirby Wilson also warned him about a “professional trash talker.”

1:20

The Ravens are keeping quiet on the trash talking side of things as it relates to the Steelers. There has not been one peep about anything or anyone on the Steelers. While some people would love to hear trash talking or some bulletin board material type stuff coming out of here, but I respect this new quiet stance that the Ravens have taken. All you have heard out of this team is that it is just another game.
Dawan Landry was in the locker room for a brief time today and appeared to be in good spirits. There has been no time table as to when he will return to the football field for the Ravens. The Ravens are very optimistic that he will return this season.
Here are some quotes from Dawan Landry:
On the injury: “It was really scary,” Landry said. “It was my first time being injured and, at the time, I couldn’t feel anything. I was able to talk, though, and I felt my toes a little bit and I knew I would be fine eventually. By the time I got on the stretcher and got to the ambulance, all my feeling was starting to come back and I knew I would be okay.”
Thankful to the fans: “A lot of blessings have been answered,” Landry said. “I want to thank all the fans, all my teammates, the whole Ravens organization, the Browns, everybody that is helping me through this process right now. It’s truly a blessing.”

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Wanna Get Mad?

Posted on 24 September 2008 by marcbouchard

If you’re bored at work and want to read something that will really tick you off, I suggest you visit the Pittsburgh Post Gazette website and read Ron Cook’s column from Tuesday. On second thought, don’t bother honoring the hack by clicking on one of his stories. Here is all you really need to read from the column:
The Steelers are going to win the AFC North Division. Let’s get that straight right at the top. As badly as they played in Philadelphia Sunday, they still are better than Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati. They will prove that again Monday night when they smack down the Ravens at Heinz Field.
I’m thinking something along the lines of 35-10.
Seriously.
Now, is it any wonder why I once accused the Pittsburgh sports reporters of waving Terrible Towels in the press box? I mean, it’s one thing for a reckless blogger to write something as irresponsible as suggesting that a bounty should be placed on the head of Hines Ward. It is something entirely different for a card-carrying media member to write “[the Steelers will] smack down the Ravens at Heinz Field.” Does this guy also give the team pre-game pep talks before taking his seat in the press box?
But regardless of Cook’s limited journalism skills, he’s just plain ignorant about the current state of affairs in the AFC North. I’m sure he’s basing his prediction on last year’s Week 9 drubbing on Monday Night Football and dismissing the Ravens season-ending victory over the Steelers because, win, lose or draw, Pittsburgh wasn’t going to change their playoff seed. What he fails to remember is that in the first game between the two teams, the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks were Derrick Martin and Corey Ivy (both Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle were inactive for the game) and their only tight end in uniform was Quinn Sypniewski, as both Todd Heap and Dan Wilcox were also inactive.
If Cook had looked a back to one season prior, he would have seen two absolute butt-whippings by the Ravens in games where both teams were at full strength and both were actually trying to win. Nobody knows if the Ravens’ aging players will make it through the season, but heading into Monday night this is a relatively healthy and rested team (they will have played just two games in the previous 22 days before Monday). And while Joe Flacco hasn’t reached Steve McNair status just yet, I can almost assure you that Flacco won’t leave Pittsburgh after just 63 yards passing, two fumbles, an interception, five sacks and a 44.9 QB rating, as McNair did last year.
Call me a homer (which is okay, because I certainly don’t consider myself a journalist), but I think Mr. Cook and his Steeler brethren are in for a rude awakening on Monday night.
Oh, and by the way, Ron Cook’s email address is: rcook@post-gazette.com. I’m sure he’d love to hear your thoughts on his column.

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UPDATE* Injury report, Ravens zapped of a sack, Troy Smith, and other notes

Posted on 24 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:00
Here is the Ravens injury report for today:
OUT;
Dawan Landry (neck)
Did Not Particiapte :
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Limited Participation:
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Le’Ron McClain (back/ankle)
Willis McGahee (eye)
Samari Rolle (shoulder/neck)
Troy Smith (illness)
Full Participation:
Yamon Figurs (hamstring)
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Fabian Washington (neck)
1:15
Here are some notes from the media session this afternoon;
There is at least publicly no revenge factor on the Ravens minds about how the last time these two teams meet on Monday night. Terrell Suggs even reminded people in case people forgot that they actually beat the Steelers here to end the season.
Ray Lewis mentioned how the Ravens are not looking for a “coming out party” on national television Monday night. The Ravens just want to go out and play a football game.
Joe Flacco has not put a lot of thought into playing his first road game on Monday night football. Said that maybe as the game gets closer he will, but has as of now he has not.
Troy Smith ran the look (scout) team offense today. Troy mentioned how it feels good to be back on the field again and is still working his way back
Willis McGahee is still nursing a sore eye after getting cut on his eyelid during the Browns game. Coach Harbaugh said they have talked to the league about it, but have not heard back from them as of yet. The Ravens would not comment on who they suspect was the person scratching McGahee’s eye, put pointed out that it is clear to see on the tape who that person is.
The Ravens are not caught up on who is injured or not injured for the Steelers. The feeling is that when you do that that is when someone that you are not expecting hurts you. They are treating Rashad Mendenhall the same way they would Willie Parker. Terrell Suggs said he treats every running back like they are Barry Sanders and could set the record against them.
Dawan Landry has been around the facility the last couple of days, and is said to be in very good spirits. Landry’s parents were at the game and have been with him since the injury happened. Dawan’s brother Laron drove up from Washington after his game when the injury happened to Dawan and stayed at the hospital with him.
The Ravens have notified us that the team has lost a sack from Sunday’s game. The sack that was credited to the team in the 1st quarter now has been changed by the league to a rush for Derek Anderson. The Ravens now have a total of six sacks on the season. There will some stats that change, but they are still the top rated defense in the NFL.
12:17
Some quick tidbits  from Hines Ward’s  media conference call:
Hines says that this is a very physical and hard fought rivalry between the two teams. Each team knows what they are going to get from the opposing team and that it is going to be a hard hitting game.
He has no hard feelings toward anyone on the Ravens. When he was asked about last year when Bart Scott said he wanted to “kill” Hines Ward after the hit he gave Scott in Pittsburgh, Ward said he was pretty sure that Scott did not really mean that.
The thing that impresses him about the Ravens defense is that they are healthy and are flying to the football.
He does not feel that their game plan will have to change a lot with the loss of Willie Parker on Monday night. Ward said that this offense is not really built just around one guy.
He does think that it will be a big task for Joe Flacco to have to come into Heinz Field and play on Monday night for his first ever road game.
He does not take any of the trash talking personal while it is on the field. He pointed out that he played with one of the bigger trash talkers in the league in Joey Porter
Only message he wanted passed along to Bart Scott was that he says hello. Hines said he will be giving Scott a lot of smiles out on the field on Monday.
Here is an interesting note: The Steelers have not lost at home on Monday night since 10/14/91 when the lost to the New York Giants 23-20. That is 13 straight wins since that loss.

11:35

Yesterday I got a couple of questions in regard to the Ravens and their uniforms. Here is how the rules play out:
The Ravens and every other team in the NFL have to submit a list of what color uniform they wish to wear for each game during the season.
The home teams have the right to wear their choice. So if the Steelers and Ravens both submitted in July that they wanted to wear white for a game in Pittsburgh, the Steelers get to wear it because they are the home team.
The color of the pants can be switched, so a team is not committed to one color of the pants with the uniform, like when the Ravens wore the white top with the black pants.
It is not believed that the Ravens will wear their black uniforms this season

Here are some notes from the morning practice:

Troy Smith was at practice and throwing the ball for the first time since he became ill before the St. Louis Rams preseason game
Nick Greisen (leg) and Samari Rolle (shoulder) were not practicing this morning. Also missing was Dawan Landry who is dealing with a spinal cord concussion.
Yamon Figurs (hamstring) and Fabian Washington (neck) were both back at practice today.
Willis McGahee who is dealing with a cut eyelid and getting poked in the eye on Sunday, was at practice today
We do not know at this time how much each of these guys did during practice or what limitations they had at practice.
Back with more news and notes from the facility after media time with the coach and players.

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Monday press conference notes

Posted on 22 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some news and notes from Coach Harbaugh’s Monday press conference:
Dawan Landry is out of the hospital and will be wearing a cervical collar for the next week or so and then will be reevaluated.
The physical play of the defense started with the play of Bart Scott and Ray Lewis and some of the big hits that they delivered
As far as the running back trio, Coach Harbaugh says that you can never have too many good players. They do not feel committed to having one guy have to carry the ball 30 times.
Willis McGahee’s eye is swollen pretty badly after he suffered a cut on his eyelid yesterday. McGahee wears a shield on his helmet, which make you believe there was some dirty play going on. Coach Harbaugh called the incident “unfortunate, and should not have happened.”  McGahee also got poked in the eye late in the game.
Coach Harbaugh gave a ton of praise to the Ravens medical staff for the treatment that they gave Dawan Landry and how quickly the acted. Coach Harbaugh also had complimentary words for the Browns for the amount of respect they showed for Landry.
There is no concern about this team getting to high. The team began to work today to get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Samari Rolle who suffered a shoulder injury during the game yesterday is a little sore today, but should be ready to go on Monday.

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Update on Landry, other injuries…

Posted on 22 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Ravens were quite concerned about Dawan Landry as was half of the city with that ugly hit just before halftime.

By the postgame press conference, they had confirmed that he was in shock trauma and ability to move some extremities.

Now, two hours after the game they have confirmed that Landry suffered a spinal cord concussion but has neurologically recovered. He will remain in shock trauma overnight for testing and observation.

Other injury news:

Willis McGahee has a laceration over one eyelid and got poked in the other eye.

Samari Rolle has tingling in his right arm and will have tests done tomorrow.

I will post an extensive Ravens blog in the morning with my excited thoughts about a 2-0 first-place start.

Meanwhile, Joe Flacco’s postgame thoughts are on wnsTV.

Purple Kool Aid, anyone?

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With Much Anticipated Return!!

Posted on 09 September 2008 by stevenlink

Well it’s been a while since I blogged last and I apologize greatly to all the devoted fans of this blog (as tumbleweeds come tussling by).  A lot has happened in the World of Sports in the past few weeks and unfortunately I cannot cover it all but I’ll do the best I can.

Let me first get this thought out there about the Orioles: The season was a lot of fun for the most part.  This team exceeded a lot of expectations that were set at the beginning of the season for them.  The unfortunate part is that they are no longer exceeding those expectations and we are in September and the Orioles decided to slump again like they always do.  Everyone knows that the reason for this is their pitching…again.  The Brian Matusz #1 draft pick keeps looking better and better as does the rotation of the Bowie Baysox.  And on that note, congratulations to the Baysox for their historic season of winning their division.  It is a shame that they lost in the playoffs but it was pretty bush-league how the Akron Aeros placed Travis Hafner in their lineup.  I mean it’s fair having an All-Star slugger conduct his rehab stint during a playoff right?  But I digress…Andy MacPhail’s philosophy of pitching first for organization truly is the best way to rehabilitate this floundering franchise.

In regards to the Ravens’ game Sunday all I can say is, well, I was wrong.  I’ll admit that I was one of those persons who felt the Ravens had no chance winning that game against the Bengals.  But really, was I really that crazy for making that call?  You have Carson Palmer, Chad John-oh I mean Ocho Cinco, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh against a secondary that was beat up last year by this team, and on top of that, Ed Reed was a game-time decision and Wacko Flacco wasn’t overly impressive during the pre-season.

But the Ravens defense was simply phenomenal Sunday.   They decided to leave the hammer at home and instead brought the sledge to bust the Bungals offense with.  They were so dominant that T.J. Houshmandzadeh decided to invest in the Kleenex Tissue Company on Monday because of all the crying and complaining he did on the field.  My only problem with our defense yesterday was when Samari Rolle decided to try his best impersonation of Brett Favre and chucked the ball into the sidelines after his “fumble” recovery.  I mean really guys??  Did we not learn anything from last year and the delay of game penalties??  His reaction to that play was uncalled for.

The Ravens offense looked pretty good as well.  Ray Rice and Le’Ron McLain ran very well but Lorenzo Neal was the real hero with the way he created those running lanes for those two backs.  Todd Heap showed how rusty he was with his fumble and dropped touchdown.  But the rookie QB Joe Flacco really stole the show with his performance.  I thought he’d act like a deer in the headlights out there but again I was proven wrong.  He showed poise and confidence as he was able to adjust to blitzing linebackers or charging defensive linemen.  His block on Mark Clayton’s touchdown run was the play of the game to me.  Hopefully he can build on this experience and maybe, just maybe we finally have the start of a real quarterback here in Baltimore.  And if it takes me having to be wrong for this to happen…then I never want to be right.

Yesterday it was announced Tom Brady is done for the rest of this season.  The shouts of despair and sadness you hear is not only from New England, but also from all of those Fantasy Football players who decided to draft Tom Brady with their first round pick instead of that running back they knew they should have gone with instead.  The news about Tom is horrible.  No one wants to see such a great football player get injured, especially the injury that he was dealt.  So here it is, my Question to You – Do you think the Patriots are still Super Bowl contenders without Tom Brady behind center?  I don’t think they are Super Bowl contenders anymore because of this injury.  However, I do think this team will still make the playoffs.  They still have a ton of talent and the Belichick x-factor to win a lot of football games.   This team just won’t win games by 30 points this year like they did last.

Quick note on “Football Night in America” on NBC before the Sunday night football game, could it be more unprofessional?  I mean you had Tiki Barber with his rude comments, Jerome Bettis with his gushing about the Steelers, and of course Keith Olbermann…enough said.  It was like I was watching a bunch of frat boys discuss last night’s party and their take on what happened.   And what is the deal with Bob Costas?  Is he trying to reassemble the early 1990’s Sportscenter crew?  Is Craig Kilborn the next addition to his cast?  I know that Olbermann and Patrick are good friends, but NBC should get Olbermann off of the show the same way they got him off of the election coverage.  Bob, you disappoint me.

It’s no secret that I am a huge University of Miami Hurricane fan, and it was no secret of my feelings towards Urban Meyer, the head coach of the University of Florida football team, on Saturday night.  His decision to continue to pass the ball into the endzone with 1:00 minute left and kicking a field goal to end the game after the Canes stopped his team.  That action was completely uncalled for and disrespectful.  The Canes played great against a much more experienced and skilled team being down only 9-3 going into the 4th Quarter.  But their young and inexperienced team fell apart in that last quarter and were behind 23-3 when the Gators were still passing for that last touchdown.  Do you think it was a coincidence that even with the field goal the Gators were able to make their 21 point spread?  I don’t…And the excessive celebration call made during the BYU v. Washington game against Washington’s QB Locker was horrible and the fact it resulted in the Washington’s loss was even more of a kick in the jewels.

If you didn’t hear by now Maryland lost to Mid Tennessee State this past weekend.  That’s right folks, it wasn’t Tennessee or even Memphis who beat the Terps, but Mid Tennessee State.  To reiterate, it was not a team from the SEC or Conference USA, but rather the Sun Belt Conference.  The 24-14 loss was a complete embarrassment.  There was no reason for this loss.  This has been an underachieving program for the past 3-4 years.  My Take on this situation is that if the Terps do not make a legitimate run at a prestigious bowl this season then Ralph Freidgan should be let go.  There are no more excuses for him.  The ACC is one of the weaker conferences in the NCAA now (just take a look at the Top 25 poll and see how many ACC teams are represented there as one piece of evidence).  His team has underachieved ever since he had his own recruits took over this team with the exception of the 2006 season.  He has had recruiting scandals to recruiting losses from here in our own state to neighboring schools that should not happen.  I like Ralph, I think he has done so much for this program and putting it back on the map, but he needs to right the ship before Maryland Athletic Director finally sets him out to sea.  And if you were wondering who I think the AD should look at Skip Holtz, the head coach of ECU, to take over at Maryland.  I think his style of play and the players on the Terps’ roster would be a great fit.

And finally, for all of you European Premier League Soccer fans out there, I was told you can’t miss Saturday night’s game (noon game here) between Chelsea and Manchester City.  Manchester City spent 32 Million Pounds (converting to the dollar that would be like 1 billion dollars…sarcasm people) to acquire Brazilian striker Robinho.  Let’s not forget that in European Soccer the money spent is not going to the player but rather to the player’s previous team, Real Madrid.  Apparently the concept of the indentured servant is still alive and well in Europe…Also there is the Ohio State v. USC game Saturday.  I know all of my Notre Dame friends will be upset with this remark but I’m rooting for USC to smear the Buckeyes across the field for this game.

Well I hope my much anticipated return was well received.  I’m done for now but I’ll be sure to be back at the next chance I get.  Sayonara B-more.

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What an Opening Day!

Posted on 08 September 2008 by Vince Fiduccia

Wow! That is about all I can say after today’s Ravens home opener. What an electric atomphsere in the stands on a beautiful if not slightly hot day.
First, Joe Flacco was unbelievable.  I know the stats aren’t Hall of Fame worthy, but Flacco’s performance was so much more than numbers. The poise, the presence in the pocket, and the way he checked down to receivers. How about the confidence that Cam Cameron showed in the rookie, going with a no huddle, I don’t know what was more impressive–Cameron letting the rookie use it or the way Flacco operated the no huddle attack. I couldn’t believe Flacco’s fleet feet on that 38 yard touchdown scamper down the sideline. How about no interceptions or fumbles?
Did Flacco ever look like a lost rookie today? The answer is no; instead he showed more composure than most veterans in the league. It’s only one game and we can’t get too ahead of ourselves.  But, we may have at long last found our quarterback.
How about the crowd reaction to the kid?  Is this town starved for a star quarterback or what? The chants of “Let’s go Flacco” where deafening. What an awesome moment to see the crowd pulling for this kid.
Flacco was far from the only bright spot on this day. The win would not have been possible without the great play of the offensive line; they absolutely whipped the Bengals in the trenches.   In the fourth quarter when everyone in the stadium knew what the Ravens were going to do (run the ball), the Bengals couldn’t stop Le’Ron McClain. McClain following fullback Lorenzo Neal dominated the fourth quarter, and the Ravens enjoyed over 36 minutes of time of possession in an old fashion display of smash mouth football. On the pass protection front, the line gave great protection to Flacco and allowed the rookie the ability to go through his progressions. In all the line allowed the Ravens to rush for 235 yards and allowed no sacks.   Memo to Willis McGahee: your knee, head and heart better get better quickly or you might not get in at all. This team is already deep with rookie Ray Rice and McClain carrying the load.
The defense was equally terrific today holding the Bengals potent offense in check all day. This just in, the Bengals are going to have big problems on the line this year.  They have struggled all preseason with the run offense and can’t protect Carson Palmer, but I digress. It was finally great to see the Ravens secondary (Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Ed Reed and Dawan Landry) healthy and on the field at the same time. Was Chad Ocho Cinco, Johnson or whatever this clown’s name is, actually on the trip this weekend?   Ocho Cinco was nonexistent and Chris Perry got no running room thanks to Haloti Ngata and company.   The front seven controlled the Bengals’ offense and showed that age has not caught up to them.  These old dogs can still hunt.
It all added up to a very thrilling opening game and special congratulations to John Harbaugh on his first career coaching win. His team was very well prepared and conditioned, especially in the fourth quarter.
It’s a great start and as Drew Forrester likes to say, you can’t win them all unless you win the first.  Off to Houston with a 1-0 record next week and maybe the return of Kelly Gregg and the definite return of Fabian Washington to reinforce the defense.

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