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

Posted on 24 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here is the Ravens injury report for today:
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)
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.
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.


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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6-pack review and post game

Posted on 08 September 2008 by caseywillett

Here is a look back at my 6-pack game preview and some post game thoughts:
  1. Give Joe time– At times today, it seemed like Flacco had all day to look down the field and make plays. Not being sacked one time today speaks highly of the job that the offensive line did for him. Flacco completed 15 passes to seven different receivers, eight to the wide outs, six to the running backs, and one to a tight end.
  1. Keep drives going – The Ravens today kept the ball for 36:15. A big part of that was due to their ability to convert on third downs. The Ravens were 9-17 53%, on third downs today. LeRon McClain converted on third down four of the nine times. The Ravens got the ball with 7:15 left to go in the game and never gave it back to the Bengals. In that time they ran the ball 10 times, threw one pass, and took two knees to end the game.
  1. Find Ben Utecht – Utecht finished the day with two catches for 10 yards. Ben had to stay in most of the time to help pass protect for Carson Palmer.
  1. Get to Carson – The Ravens were giving Palmer all kind of looks early on in the game. Here is how Palmers first quarter went: sack (Justin Bannan), sack (Jarrett Johnson), two runs, a completed pass, and was intercepted. Several members of the Bengals media, said they do not remember seeing Palmer that rattled in a long, long, time. Matter of fact, today was the first time since week 17 of the 2005 season that Palmer has been held under 100yds passing in a regular season game.
  1. Don’t play their game– Besides Samari Rolle throwing the football after his interception that ended up never happening, the Ravens played smart football as it relates to unsportsmanlike penalties. Several times during the game there were some flare ups between players and pushing and shoving. Every time Ravens players would grab their teammate and pull them away from the situation. In the past penalties for late hits, unsportsmanlike conduct and other things would have cost the Ravens.
  1. Special teams has to be special – Sam Koch did yet another excellent job of pinning the Bengals deep. Koch does not get the credit he deserves for his punting ability, but he came up with some huge punts today. Yamon Figurs also had a huge day with some nice returns. There was a very questionable block in the back call on what would have been Figurs punt return for a touchdown. Figurs also deserves credit for being a gunner on special teams and making a great open field tackle on Chatman of the Bengals for a one yard loss.
-The Ravens locker room was an interesting place to be after the game. Watching the guys walk up the tunnel and into the locker room was a very interesting scene. Ray Lewis embraced quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson who had a huge grin on his face. You could hear the team applauding, cheering, and celebrating, across the hall in the media room even with the locker room doors closed.
-Several Ravens players said that the Bengals defense almost had a look on their face that they could not believe that the Ravens were moving the ball at will on them. There was definitely a swagger with the offense today.
-The Bengals were not pleased with their performance, “we sucked”, said Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, “we got beat on two b.s. plays”, was how John Thornton summed up the day for the Bengals defense. I know it is early, but Marvin Lewis might be the leader in the clubhouse of a coach on the hot seat after week 1.

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Hopes and fears for the 2008 Ravens

Posted on 07 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

On every barstool and at every dinner table in Baltimore, the question comes: “How do you think the Ravens are going to do this year?”

People ask me dozens of times a day everywhere I go around town. I’m not Kreskin, but the Las Vegas “over/under” line on wins is six.

As in 6-10.

Honestly, if you give me a dollar and make me bet on the Ravens at this point I’d take the under because I think they will need a myriad of positive developments to see 7-9.

So, in the spirit of debate and with the ability to have your feedback in the comments, I will make this column a simple “point/counterpoint” in hopes and fears format.

Hope: Ray Lewis can play at the same level he did last year for one more year in purple.

Fear: This team might be bad enough early enough that Lewis will go back to being a complainer and a divider instead of one who unites the team. We’ll see how the “walk” year goes.

Hope: Joe Flacco shows that he belongs in the NFL as a quality starting quarterback and shows the early signs you want to see from a rookie signal caller.

Fear: The offensive line and the skill position talent he is surrounded with won’t give him the opportunity or the protection to look like that skilled leader.

Hope: That Steve Bisciotti knew what he was doing when he fired Brian Billick on Dec 31st.

Fear: John Harbaugh’s new policies and strategies have offended some of the players waaaay more than anything Billick did.

Hope: Ed Reed and Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle will all perform up to the cap numbers that their salaries dictate.

Fear: All three of these guys never really make it to the field and make he kind of positive impact this season due to injury, indifference and a debilitating disease.

Hope: The Ravens home crowd will give the team the leeway a new coach, rookie quarterback and a bunch of second-string starters should have to attempt to improve.

Fear: (And almost a certainty), the M&T Bank faithfull will lustily boo Flacco (or any other quarterback) at every mistake, fumble, interception or any failure to convert a third down.

Hope: The Ravens will go back to becoming more honest and transparent with their information to the fans and media, like they were for 12 years under the Modell/Billick regime.

Fear: Under the John Harbaugh/Steve Bisciotti new school of information distribution, we’ll all be guessing and snooping around like we’ve been for six weeks now.

Hope: Kelly Gregg gets healthy soon.

Fear: Kelly Gregg’s knees are a lot worse than we know and he isn’t going to get healthy anytime soon.

Hope: The Ravens will beat the snot out of the Bengals today.

Fear: Carson Palmer will exploit the secondary all afternoon and miscommunication on the backside will cost the team dearly.

Hope: On Halloween (and maybe even Thanksgiving), the team is close enough to .500 and playing well enough to warrant at least a cursory discussion about 9 or 10 wins.

Fear: An injured, aging team with a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach stumbles out of the gate and starts the season 1-4 or 2-5 or something really dreary and hopeless.

Hope: The rookie class will step up and show the signs of life we’ve seen when the franchise has been at its low ebb (think 1997-98). Flacco, Gooden, Nakamura, Zbikowski, Rice – all of those guys need to contribute with the hope that they’ll be legitimate starters or Pro Bowl candidates in the coming seasons.

Fear: These rookies will have to play TOO much this season for the Ravens to be in any good in 2008.

Hope: That we all have fun this year.

Fear: I don’t have a lot of hope.

Have fun with the game today and let’s hope that our gut instincts are all wrong and the Ravens of 2008 take us on a surprise ride into the holiday season.

Wouldn’t that be great?

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*UPDATE Cut down day for the Ravens

Posted on 30 August 2008 by caseywillett

4:30 So the Ravens have trimmed their roster down and announced the suspension of Derrick Martin for the first regular season game. You can see all of the cuts listed in Nestor’s blog.

On my 53 man roster, I went 51-53. I missed on Adam Bergen and Casey Bramlet by having them in and leaving Anwar Phillips and Jamell McClain out. As it relates to Peter Czech, we did not even know that he was on the team. We were told he was waived to make room for Casey Bramlet on Thursday, but on the Ravens site he is listed on the 53 man roster.

The Derrick Martin situation is no suprise. When you saw Kevin Faulk get suspended, you knew Derrick’s was coming also. Also not suprised with decision to IR David Pittman.



Today is the day that 22 members of the Ravens team have not been looking forward to. This is the day when you are told that your services are no longer needed for this football team. The Ravens have to get down to 53 man roster by 6 p.m. The rookies on the Ravens will all have to report to the Ravens facility today and await word whether they have made the team or not.

I will keep you updated here and through our text service throughout the day as the cuts become available. As it relates to the practice squad, the Ravens have until noon tomorrow to establish that team. Once a player becomes available, it goes in reverse order of record as to claiming a player.
Here is my attempt at the 53 man roster for the Ravens.
QB – Boller, Flacco, Smith, Bramlet
RB – McGahee, Rice
FB – Neal, McClain
WR – Mason, Clayton, Williams, Figurs, Smith
TE – Heap, Wilcox, Jones, Bergen
OL- Brown, Grubbs, Yanda, Terry, Gaither, Cousins, Hale, Chester
DL- Pryce, Douglas, Gregg, Ngata, Parker, Bannan
LB-Lewis,Scott,Suggs, Johnson, Barnes, Ayanbadejo, Greisen, Gooden
DB – Rolle, McAlister, Washington, Walker, Martin, Ivy
S – Reed, Landry, Leonhard, Zbkowski, Nakamura
ST – Koch, Katula, Stover
I admit this is just my guess, but hey someone had to put Bramlet on the team, it might as well be me.
Here is my thinking on a couple of guys:
Casey Bramlet – I think they are going to need him for a couple of weeks. With the status of Kyle Boller and Troy Smith in the air for week one, they may have no choice but to keep Casey.
J’Vonne Parker – I thought J’Vonne has had a very solid camp and preseason. Also factor in with Ngata, and Gregg nursing injuries, he gives them depth at that position.
Derrick Martin – Derrick is another player who I thought had a solid preseason and regular season. Derrick is nursing a shoulder injury right now and maybe we will find out how severe that is today, but I think Derrick has earned a spot on this team.

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Troy Smith admitted to hospital; Ravens lose to Falcons

Posted on 28 August 2008 by caseywillett

The Ravens came into tonight’s game with out the following players:
20 Ed Reed
21 Chris McAlister
22 Samari Rolle
23 Willis McGahee
29 Derrick Martin
31 Fabian Washington
49 Tavares Gooden
52 Ray Lewis
81 Marcus Smith
97 Kelly Gregg

Troy Smith is not here tonight and apparently became ill again today and there are people in the organization that are concerned about his health. He has been admitted to Union Memorial Hospital with a tonsil infection.

The more time spends away from the team due to his illness, the more it looks like it will be time for Joe Flacco on September 7.

8:15 p.m. (update)

Tonight, I think the quarterback competition came to an end. When Casey Bramlet entered the game with over 11 minutes left in the 2nd quarter that was the sign of who will be playing to me on al that Flacco will be the guy playing next Sunday vs. Cincinnati.

Watching Flacco on the sideline, he is constantly talking and communicating with Kyle Boller, Adam Terry, Marshal Yanda and the rest of the offensive linemen.

Tonight I believe Joe Flacco sealed his fate as the Ravens starting quarterback.
Cory Ross just left the field on a cart with a right ankle sprain.

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Casey’s ‘Six Pack’ preview for Ravens-Falcons

Posted on 28 August 2008 by caseywillett

So as the Ravens get ready for their final preseason game tonight versus the Falcons, here are six things to watch for. I guess we will call them Casey’s Six-Pack:
  1. O-line reunited – For the first time this preseason, the offensive line is expected to be back together with Adam Terry and Jared Gaither both likely to play tonight. It will be interesting to watch how they gel with Jason Brown, Marshal Yanda and Ben Grubbs after missing so much time. I expect that they will stay out there longer than usually expected for a fourth preseason game.
  1. Tight Ends – Todd Heap and Dan Wilcox will be on the field together tonight for the first time this preseason and the first time in a while. They are both coming back from injuries and will get some time with the first team offense tonight. Wilcox made his comeback last week and looked pretty good. Tonight will be another stepping stone on his road to recovery. I would imagine he will stay out there a little longer than Heap tonight. Also keep an eye on the guys know battling for that third tight end position. Adam Bergen will probably see the field first then you I imagine you will see Edgar Jones and Keith Heinrich.
  1. The Joe Show – Tonight Joe Flacco will see a lot of reps. While I do not think he will play the entire game, here is another chance for him to show what he can do and earn even more respect from his teammates. I think Joe will pass the test tonight with flying colors. Later in the game I expect you will see Casey Bramlet come in and run some of Cam Cameron’s offense.
  1. 3rd down stoppage  – The Ravens have allowed their opponents to convert 50% on 3rd downs this preseason which is why teams have racked up 67 first downs against them. Stopping teams on 3rd down has been an issue for this team during the preseason. They cannot allow teams to sustain long drives on them whether they lead to three or six points.
  1. Limit the air attack – The Ravens secondary, in particular Cory Ivy and Frank Walker, have been picked on a bunch this preseason. Not having Ed Reed, Chris McAlister or Samari Rolle factors into that, but how confident are you that they will be there all together during the regular season? The Ravens have allowed 607 yards through the air this preseason at a 58% completion rate. Of the 112 passes that have been attempted against the Ravens so far, 82 of them have been short passes. The Ravens have to stop the air onslaught and be able to find a way to stop the no-huddle offense.
  1. Prove you belong – After tonight, about 20 members of this football team will no longer be members. Tonight is the final audition for the coaches, scouts, front office and people who will make the roster decisions by 4 p.m. on Saturday. For guys like Ronnie Prude and David Pittman, they have to take advantage of Derrick Martin not being able to play. Do guys like J’Vonne Parker, Adrein Clarke, Joe Reitz, Jameel McClain, Lorenzo Williams and several other guys do something tonight to make a case one way or another as it relates to making this team? Does an aging veteran like Gary Stills just get caught up in a salary cap and numbers game and become expendable? Can Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski, Allen Patrick, and other late-round draft picks feel confident in their spot on the team after tonight’s game? One thing is for certain: they have had all of a long camp and preseason to prove what they have. Here’s one last chance to prove tonight that they belong on this team.

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