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Ravens create family atmosphere at final walkthrough

Posted on 02 February 2013 by WNST Staff

NEW ORLEANS—Fifteen minutes of football. A lifetime of memories.

That sums up the Baltimore Ravens’ final on-field appearance Saturday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Although footballs were involved, the 15-minute work session inside the Superdome hardly constituted a practice. It more resembled a pep rally and backyard social than a serious walk-through the day before a game.

Approximately 600 family members connected to the Ravens’ organization were on hand to help create a festive atmosphere, including Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore of the Baltimore Colts. Cameras, video cameras and cell phones worked overtime capturing the big picture for posterity.

Running back Ray Rice playfully tackled his mother, Janet, on the sideline. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin went through his paces wearing an Orioles cap. Guard Marshal Yanda sported a a video camera attached to the top of his Ravens’ cap.

Safety Ed Reed concluded the session with the Saturday tradition of leading the entire Ravens team and a few coaches through a few conditioning drills.

Unquestionably, the Ravens are happy, healthy and hungry, not to mention being extremely loose, heading into “The Big Game.”

And that’s exactly how Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh scripted it.

“It’s the kind of foundation of everything we do,” Harbaugh who walked onto the field with his daughter, Alison. “That has been the whole story line of the whole week. In a sense that’s how we did it growing up, when we were kids. We grew up around dad’s teams.

“Most of the time in the NFL it’s not that way. Most of the time there is the separation of families and it’s considered to be a distraction. I just think the opposite. For me, it’s a distraction when people are more worried about their families not being allowed to be a part of it. When the families are included, the kids get to the know the players, and I think guys have a better sense of well being. I think this is a good example of it right here.”

Asked to summarize his team’s work week in New Orleans, Harbaugh said: “The word I would use is effective. We have been very effective. We’ve gotten everything we’ve needed to get done, that’s the No. 1 thing.

“But it what was not without some adversity, which is always a good thing. With all the stuff we’ve been through this year, it just seemed like a minor bump in the road. Nothing you can’t plow right through and make it work. Usually when stuff like that happens it works out better. I think in some ways it worked out better for us. It has benefited us in some way.”

Harbaugh was referring to his team’s initial practice venue in New Orleans, Tulane University, where the Ravens worked only once on a makeshift football field at the school’s baseball stadium.

Ultimately, Harbaugh and his Ravens shared the New Orleans Saints practice facility with brother Jim and his 49ers on Thursday and Friday.

“The league has an obligation and a desire to make sure the competitive playing field is fair,” John Harbaugh said. “I appreciate Jim cooperating with us. He was great about it. We were great with each other about it. Tulane was great about it, and the league was great about it and, ultimately, made it fair for everybody.”

Harbaugh confirmed that the team would remain at their same hotel Saturday night.

“Everybody will be involved in our message tonight (at the team meeting),” Harbaugh said. “That will be us being us. We have great Saturday night meetings. I think the message we deliver will tie together the season, it will tie together where we’ve been and we’ll also make a statement about where we’re going in this 60-minute football game.”

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The Reality Check Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 22 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Kansas City Chiefs (31)

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (32)

Like we all said, all you need to do to have a chance against the Texans is play Chad Henne and Jalen Parmele.

30. Oakland Raiders (28)

They’re…ummm….not good.

29. Carolina Panthers (29)

I’ll make Ron Rivera my bet for “coach who doesn’t last the season.”

28. Cleveland Browns (30)

And now we root like hell for the Browns Sunday.

27. St. Louis Rams (26)

They gave away over 1,000 tickets to the Jets game to the military…but most couldn’t handle the trauma of attendance.

26. Arizona Cardinals (25)

Ryan Lindley CAN’T be a good idea.

25. Philadelphia Eagles (23)

I’m playing Bryce Brown in one of my leagues, so…

24. New York Jets (27)

I don’t think much of that win.

23. Buffalo Bills (24)

Are they improving? Are the Dolphins terrible? What’s that, ham?

22. Tennessee Titans (21)

So…do I play Kenny Britt against the Jags this week?

21. San Diego Chargers (20)

I’m still scared sh*tless.

20. Miami Dolphins (19)

What happened here?

19. Detroit Lions (17)

So…I guess it’s about over?

18. Washington Redskins (22)

I’m not certain I’m ready to buy back in.

17. Dallas Cowboys (18)


(16-1 on Page 2…)

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The Reality Check Week 11 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 14 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)

I had a funny feeling they’d end up back here.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (32)

In my heart of hearts, their defense is better than the Jags’.

30. Cleveland Browns (26)

The entire state is too concerned with the Buckeyes’ pursuit of an undefeated season to notice.

29. Carolina Panthers (28)

Oh right. They stink. Sorry I forgot that.

28. Oakland Raiders (24)

Just an absolutely piss poor effort. Which I appreciated.

27. New York Jets (25)

Rex is popular enough that he’ll survive this.

26. St. Louis Rams (30)

They deserved to lose and stole a tie.

25. Arizona Cardinals (23)

Welcome back from the bye. Enjoy Atlanta.

24. Buffalo Bills (27)

That was pretty respectable.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (21)

There are too many good players to be this bad.

22. Washington Redskins (22)

This is a big stretch here after the bye for Mike Shanahan.

21. Tennessee Titans (29)

Where the hell did that come from?

20. San Diego Chargers (18)

And yet…do any of you feel comfortable about the Ravens’ trip to San Diego next week?

19. Miami Dolphins (14)

This is a crucial test for them on Thursday Night Football.

18. Dallas Cowboys (19)

They don’t go away, do they?

17. Detroit Lions (12)

That could end up being a brutal loss to their playoff hopes.

(16-1 on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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Foxworth says NFL had conspiracy against players

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff


Washington, D.C. – The Class Counsel under the Reggie White settlement agreement and the NFL Players Association today filed a complaint, on behalf of the NFL players, charging the NFL, its clubs and their owners of collusion during the 2010 NFL season. The complaint details a conspiracy to violate the anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions in the White Settlement Agreement (SSA) by “imposing a secret $123 million per-Club salary cap for that uncapped 2010 season.”

The written claim is filed with the United States District Court of Minnesota, which oversees the SSA and alleges that the league and owners acted illegally and “solely by self-interest, unconstrained by their clear and unambiguous SSA obligations.”

“When the rules are broken in a way that hurts the game, we have an obligation to act. We cannot standby when we now know that the owners conspired to collude,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director.

“Our union recently learned that there was a secret salary cap agreement in an uncapped year. The complaint today is our effort to fulfill our duty to every NFL player. They deserve to know, above all, the facts and the truth about this conspiracy,” said Domonique Foxworth, NFLPA President.

The complaint cites John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, who also serves as the Chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, as publicly confirming that the NFL directed teams to restrict players’ salaries during the uncapped year. When asked about imposed penalties for the Redskins and Cowboys, he replied: “What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole … full well knowing there would be consequences.”

Such a scheme breaches express anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions of the SSA and the owners’ duty of good faith in implementing the SSA.

In the filing, it is alleged that the NFL and owners furthered their concealment by “approving the very player contracts that enabled the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints to exceed the secret, collusive salary cap” and, prior to and on March 11, 2012, failed to disclose to the players or the NFLPA “that the true reason for the then-proposed reallocation was to penalize the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints for not fully abiding by the Collusive Agreement.”

Also as described in the complaint, these collusion and other claims are entirely new and were previously unknown to the players and the NFLPA. They therefore were not asserted, and could not have been asserted, in the previous actions that were filed in either Brady. v. NFL or under the SSA in the White litigation.

The players and the NFLPA will be represented in these proceedings by Jeffrey Kessler, David Feher and David Greenspan of Winston & Strawn, LLP; James Quinn of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; David Barrett, James Barrett, Daniel Schecter, Thomas Heiden and Michael Nelson of Latham & Watkins, LLP; Barbara Berens of Berens & Miller, P.A.; Mark Jacobson of Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA.

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Loyola gets top seed, will open NCAA Tournament against Canisius

Posted on 06 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse Earns No. 1 Seed, Will Host Canisius In NCAA First Round

BALTIMORE – The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team gathered as ECAC Champions on Sunday night to watch the NCAA Championship Selection Show on ESPNU, and the Greyhounds learned they will host CanisiusCollege in the First Round on Saturday, May 12, at 5 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Greyhounds, who have won a school record 14 games this year with just one loss, received the No. 1 seed in the Championships afterwinning the ECAC Championship on Friday evening with a 14-7 victory over Fairfield University.

“It’s a special day for our program,” Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “I am so proud of our guys. They have worked so hard day-in, day-out. Our senior leadership, and our captains have been special this year.”

Loyola and Canisius will play on ESPNU with a simulcast offered online on ESPN3. The winner of the game will take on the winner of North Carolina and Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 19 in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Canisius enters the NCAA Championships after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game over Siena. The Golden Griffins rallied from a 9-6 halftime deficit to beat the Saints 10-9. Canisius will bring a 6-7 record to Ridley for the First Round game.

The Greyhounds will host a game for the first time since 2000.

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ESPN’s Van Valkenburg offers perspective to Seau death

Posted on 02 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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I answer your questions about Harbaugh, Chen, Stoglin, More

Posted on 01 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Harbaugh’s honest comments create another “story” involving Ravens

Posted on 01 May 2012 by Luke Jones

In the latest example that the start of the 2012 NFL season cannot come soon enough, Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s comments regarding two other coaches and organizations have him in hot water with some in the football world.

In an interview with 98 Rock on Tuesday morning, Harbaugh was asked about the perceptions of championships won by the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints amid cheating scandals that resulted in severe disciplinary action for each organization.

“What happens — even the thing in New England — no matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now,” Harbaugh said in the interview. “It’s been stained.”

Of course, the comments created quite a firestorm via social media, causing major sports media outlets to pick up the story. The reaction prompted Harbaugh to issue a statement this afternoon.

“While on the 98 Rock show this morning to talk about the run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research, I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain,” Harbaugh said. “My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league’s actions.

“I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints. I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill [Belichick] and Sean [Payton] both know that.”

Harbaugh went on to say that he reached out to both Belichick and former Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi to clarify his comments. Belichick and Harbaugh share an amicable relationship, as the Patriots coach offered a high recommendation of Harbaugh before the Ravens decided to make him the third coach in the history of the franchise in January 2008.

“I have so much respect for Coach Belichick and the job he does and has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career,” Harbaugh said. “I called him to remind him of my respect for him.”

It’s critical to note that Harbaugh never said the aforementioned championships should be stained — even if he feels that way privately. He commented on the opinion many clearly hold regarding the recent successes of the Patriots and Saints and how their legitimacy came into doubt because of the respective scandals. However, in the modern age of media and the thirst for news about all things related to the NFL, it’s no surprise many are taking these words and running with them.

As we saw with the comments made by Joe Flacco in regards to where he thought he ranked among NFL quarterbacks, we constantly ask sports figures for honesty and originality in what they say, but then we’re unmercifully quick to criticize when we receive just that.

Regardless of your opinion on whether Harbaugh’s comments were inflammatory or not, this is sure to create even more drama in the weeks leading up to an AFC Championship rematch between the Ravens and Patriots on Sunday night, Sept. 23.

With that in mind, I suppose this qualifies as “news” when we’re still three months away from the start of training camp.

Even if it’s really not.

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Perhaps Trade Good Business, But Ravens Need Good Players

Posted on 27 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — I almost thought about just re-posting the column I wrote two years ago.

I DEFINITELY thought about writing nothing at all.

But after the Baltimore Ravens traded their first round pick in the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the Vikes’ 2nd and 4th round picks Thursday night, I had a few thoughts cross my mind.

After making the trade, General Manager Ozzie Newsome described the decision as “good business” for the Ravens. He might very well be correct. According to the famous Jimmy Johnson trade chart, the Ravens’ 29th overall pick was worth 640 points. The two picks acquired by the Ravens (35th and 98th overall) are worth a combined 658 points. Based on the chart alone, the trade really does appear to be “good business.”

Let’s drag this out a little bit though. The combined value of having the 129th-160th picks in the Draft (or ROUGHLY the entire 5th round) is 1,093.5 points. The 14th pick in the first round of the draft is 1,100 points. The value is almost exactly the same.

So with that in mind-which would you rather have? Would you rather have the 14th pick in the NFL Draft or the entire 5th round in the NFL Draft?

Don’t think about this TOO much. I don’t think there’s really a correct answer here.

The point I’m trying to drive home is that the acquisition of an additional pick or the breakdown of picks based on a numerical chart does not guarantee a selection in the draft is necessarily “good business.”

The last time the Ravens traded out of the first round was in 2010, when the team famously dealt the 25th overall pick in the first round of the Draft to the Denver Broncos for the 43rd, 70th and 114th overall picks in the Draft. The team would go on to select LB Sergio Kindle with the 43rd pick, TE Ed Dickson with the 70th and TE Dennis Pitta with the 114th. While Kindle has been almost a complete non-factor in the two seasons since the deal (and it is hard to imagine him becoming much more than that), Dickson and Pitta have established themselves as capable contributors at the pro level.

The player selected in the 25th spot was now New York Jets QB (and Special Teamer?) Tim Tebow. At first blush, the deal appears to have been “good business” indeed for the Baltimore Ravens.

But if we step back even a bit more, it’s worth identifying some of the players selected between the 25th and 43rd spot in the 2010 Draft. The list includes New England Patriots Pro Bowl CB Devin McCourty and TE Rob Gronkowski, as well as players like New Orleans Saints CB Patrick Robinson (4 interceptions in 2011), Miami Dolphins DL Jared Odrick (6 sacks in 2011), Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best (over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 6 combined TD’s in 2010 before an injury shortened 2011 campaign) and other promising young players.

The Ravens picked up Kindle, Dickson and Pitta but could have had Gronkowski.

This “which would you rather?” argument is nearly as compelling as the earlier one presented. In the spirit of full disclosure, the Ravens have said Gronkowski failed a physical before the 2010 Draft that took him off their board.

The 2010 deal could perhaps prove to ultimately be known as “good business” or it could ultimately be known as the year the Ravens missed on a chance to get one of the more dynamic players in the National Football League. Moreover, two of the players selected between the time the Ravens traded out of the 25th pick and ultimately selected with the 43rd pick in 2010 went on to help a Pats team eliminate the Ravens in the 2012 AFC Championship Game and prevent the Purple & Black from reaching their first Super Bowl in over a decade.

So while we’re quick to accept the idea that trading out of the first round with talented players still on the board like LB Courtney Upshaw, WR Stephen Hill, OL Peter Konz and OT Jonathan Martin was “good business” for the Ravens Thursday night, let’s tell the whole story and paint the entire picture. Trading out of the first round MIGHT have been good business for the Ravens.

It MIGHT be looked upon as the time the Ravens missed out on a future superstar like Vikings S Harrison Smith, San Francisco 49ers WR AJ Jenkins, New York Giants RB David Wilson or (perhaps) Indianapolis Colts LB Upshaw.

As the headline of this column suggested, the Baltimore Ravens may have pulled off “good business” by dealing out of the first round, but the more important need for the team is to acquire good players. If the Ravens acquire good players with the 35th and 98th picks this year, the deal will ultimately prove to truly be good business.

If the Ravens instead miss out on those picks, the deal will be known more as the year where a team looking to make the next step towards a Super Bowl title failed to acquire good players.

You’ll probably tell me I’m being negative. I’d like to think I’m just being realistic.


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