Tag Archive | "Seminoles"

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Will FSU’s Rodney Hudson’s College Success Translate in NFL?

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Brian Billick

Florida State lineman, Rodney Hudson, was a unanimous firs team All-American and is quite possibly the most decorated lineman in ACC history.  When I evaluate him as a prospect, I tend to believe that he can be just as successful in the NFL.  Hudson’s size of 6’2 3/8 and only 299 pounds at the combine, is really my only true concern.

Hudson has an excellent week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.  He dominated in one-on-one pass protection drills, and shined in the 11-on-11 team sessions throughout the week of practice.  He has tremendously quick and nimble feet that continue to chop while engaged with a defender.  While his quick feet are impressive, his hands are even faster.  He shot his hand inside on the numbers first every time, giving himself a total advantage off the snap of the ball.  He uses those inside hands to control the defender and influence him opposite the direction of the play.  Hudson also shows great field awareness in the interior stunt game that defensive lineman use to throw off timing and traditional blocking schemes.  He stuns one defender to pass him off to either the center or tackle, and is always in position to block the next defender that flashes in his gap.  I would like to see him work on his balance and fight the urge to bend at the waist.  He also needs to become more comfortable getting to the second level and maintain that same athleticism that he shows on the line of scrimmage.

Like the other top interior lineman in this draft, Hudson has the versatility to play both guard and center in the NFL.  With his overall body of work and skill-set, I think he be a great value pick for a team in the late second round.

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Thursday 3-Pointer: 2011 Yanks- Underdogs and Overlords, Niets No Longer & Talking Terps and Tourney

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Thursday 3-Pointer: 2011 Yanks- Underdogs and Overlords, Niets No Longer & Talking Terps and Tourney

Posted on 24 February 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Thursday 3-Pointer

 #1 – 2011 Yankees: Underdogs and Overlords

 

A lot of things can come to pass over the course of a 162-game baseball season, but I’m having a hard time adapting to this perception of the Yankees cast as underdogs in the AL East. Perhaps the off-season realization that pinstripes don’t always sell themselves and that some people (even modern ballplayers) still value some things more than money isn’t sitting well with a team who has handed out more than their fair share of blank checks in recent seasons. Although the Yanks clearly aren’t as improved as the Red Sox since the end of last season, they’re still a 1/5 billion dollar juggernaut and a force to be reckoned with, regardless of their own futile attempts to make us believe otherwise.

 

If the Yanks do have one thing potentially working against them going forward, it may be the seemingly cumbersome oversight of the team by Hank Steinbrenner, whose mid-eighties King George act has only seemed to pick up steam in the months since his father’s passing. Never shy about taking shots across the bow at the opposition, after a round of contentious off-season negotiations with Derek Jeter, and another with CC Sabathia probably looming on the horizon, Prince Hank has turned his ire toward his own team and their front office of late too…a la 80′s George.

 

One thing’s for sure, Hank’s not George. For now though it appears that he’s working like mad at trying to be, which could mean opportunities ahead for their AL East contemporaries. It arguably wasn’t until George himself was forcibly removed from Yankees operations at the behest of Major League Baseball that the organization finally found the breathing room needed to be champions again. We’ll see if it takes as drastic a circumstance to make Hank realize the same.

 

#2 – Niets No More

 

Once the highly anticipated Carmelo Anthony trade took place on Monday, it seemed a safe bet that any other movement set to take place would pale by comparison and largely be an afterthought. That of course changed with the surprising announcement on Wednesday that the Nets had acquired the services of All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz.

 

Call them the Niets no more…the New Jersey Nets, seemingly having learned their lesson after the speculation and disappointment surrounding their bid for Carmelo Anthony did a great job at keeping this one under wraps until it was done, and in Williams they have gotten a difference maker, and facilitator that will immediately help get Brook Lopez game back on track, and should provide compelling reasons for future free agents to consider New Jersey or Brooklyn.

 

After Jerry Sloan’s departure in the midst of his 23rd season just a couple of weeks ago, apparently at least partially due to a rift with his star point guard, it seemed that the team had chosen the young guard over the old coach, and put the aftermath to bed. If nothing else the trade indicates that the team likely wasn’t feeling the same amount of love in return from their playmaker.

 

It also appears that Utah wasn’t willing to go through the day-in day-out drama next season that they saw the Nuggets having to deal with this year. Conspiracy theorists may also conclude that the uncertain nature of impending collective bargaining and the likelihood that the 2011-12 season may not go off as planned may have compelled the Jazz also to act now, while the getting was good.

 

No sooner did the news of the trade break than speculation began to abound about the potential return of Sloan to the Jazz now that Williams is no longer an issue. I’d have to guess no. Regardless of Sloan’s reasoning in leaving as he did, he denied reports that Williams was the issue and remained protective of both the player and team on his way out the door. I doubt he’d do a 180 on that stance. What’s more, Sloan’s replacement Tyrone Corbin was an internal promotion from Sloan’s staff, and a player that worked under Sloan for a few seasons as well. The Jazz made no bones from the day of his promotion that interim was not a part of his title. I doubt the former coach or the team would sweep the rug out from under Corbin this quickly. And lastly, without Williams it remains to be seen how the Jazz move forward. Derrick Favors has lots of legitimate upside but joins and already crowded Jazz frontcourt. Devin Harris has big shoes to fill, we’ll see if he’ up to the task. And who knows what the team will make of their draft picks? At least for now, it’s a step back for Utah that Sloan wouldn’t likely be excited about jumping back in with.

 

#3 – Talking Terps & Tourney

 

The Terps took the next logical step in attempting to solidify a respectable tournament resume with a win over Florida State on Wednesday. With 3 games remaining on their conference schedule, the most important and most dangerous looks to be the next, coming on Sunday at Chapel Hill. A win against the Tarheels would provide the Terps with their only signature caliber win before they put their case before the NCAA Tournament selection committee. It would also keep them on track to finish conference play with a 10-6 record, and a legitimate shot at a top 4 seed in the conference tourney, giving them a shot at one of the conference’s lower echelon teams and a pseudo-bye in the first round, seemingly providing more fodder to impress the committee.

 

The Terps sure had their fair share of respectable showings against legitimate competition in the early part of the season, but those likely won’t gain them much favor with the committee. What will though is a spirited run through the remainder of conference play and into the conference tourney. As susceptible as the rest of the conference has been all season, a run through the ACC tourney wouldn’t be out of the question, and would put any bubble issues to bed as well.

 

What’s certain about this team of late though, is that they aren’t the same team that played good teams close early on, nor are they the same club that dropped a few disappointing games in conference to teams that they arguably should have beaten. No, as young and frenetic as these Terps are, they remain a work in progress. In the last month or so, Pe’Shon Howard has shown a willingness to take and make the big shot, with a propensity to drive into traffic and find open shooters or finishers in the lane. Terrell Stoglin has unleashed the quickest first step seemingly since Steve Francis and is evolving quickly into an adept scorer with other components of his game playing catch up. And how can you ignore the recent growth of Dino Gregory? I’ve said a number of times that Gregory’s athleticism is both encouraging and frustrating. While it has been impressive at times, those times were too few and far between to be overly encouraged about. Recently though, Gregory has unveiled a mid-range game that will have to make opposing frontcourts think twice about stacking the lane to deny Jordan Williams.

 

In open space Gregory looks much more comfortable than he has at the rim this season. And in February these Terps look much more comfortable in their own skin than they did just a month ago. It’s encouraging to think what both might look like once March comes around…and beyond perhaps.

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Maryland’s tournament hopes still alive after 78-62 win over FSU

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Maryland’s tournament hopes still alive after 78-62 win over FSU

Posted on 24 February 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — If their NCAA tournament chances were flatlining following back-to-back road losses to Boston College and Virginia Tech, the Terps discovered a pulse, if only a faint one, on Wednesday night.

Five Maryland players reached double-digit scoring, and the Terps held Florida State to just 39 percent shooting in the second half to seize a convincing 78-62 win over the Seminoles, their first win over a top-50 RPI school this season.

It was the type of performance Gary Williams was waiting for all season despite an ominous start to the evening at Comcast Center.

With the “Wall” nearly empty at tip-off (see below) and not filling much more during the game, the veteran coach was clearly displeased with the lack of student support — evident in his post-game comments thanking those in attendance for “not giving up” and pointing out negativity in the student newspaper.

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Williams couldn’t have felt much better when the Seminoles sprung out to a 9-2 lead two minutes into the game with all points coming from the sharp-shooting Deividas Dulkys. The opening looked and felt like the disastrous 12-0 start against Virginia Tech last month, a game in which the Terps never found the energy or effort to make it competitive in a 17-point home loss.

Instead of sleepwalking as it did against the Hokies, Maryland awoke from the early lapse to answer Florida State’s high-energy level in what amounted to a frenetic first half before the Terps overwhelmed the Seminoles after intermission, outscoring them, 40-25. Defensively, the Terps (18-10, 7-6 ACC) held Florida State to 39 percent shooting in the second half to complete one of its best all-around performances of the season.

“Guys are getting comfortable with each other,” said Williams, who labeled his team’s man-to-man defense in the second half the finest it had played in awhile. “It takes time. Landon [Milbourne], Eric Hayes and Greivis [Vasquez] were four-year seniors [last year]. Now we’ve got three freshmen out there some of the time. It’s a little different.”

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Whether the gelling of this team has come too late remains to be seen, but the Terps took a step toward the postseason bubble — they’re not there yet — with a win over the third-place team in the ACC.

Chris Singleton or not — Florida State was without its leading scorer for the second straight game after the junior broke his right foot against Virginia on Feb. 12 — this was a big one for a Maryland team needing a quality win for both its hollow tournament resume and confidence with March quickly approaching.

Florida State entered the game leading the country in field-goal percentage defense, but Maryland shot 51 percent from the field, becoming only the second team to reach the 50-percent mark against the Seminoles this season. The Terps did it without a dominating performance from Jordan Williams, who still earned his 21st double-double of the year with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

After searching all season for a consistent scoring option behind the sophomore star, freshman Terrell Stoglin turned in a strong 17-point performance — 14 coming in the second half — but was only one of four other Terps (Dino Gregory, Adrian Bowie, and Sean Mosley the others) to contribute double digits to the point total. Maryland also went 7-for-14 from 3-point range after attempting only one shot from beyond the arc in Sunday’s win over North Carolina State.

The balanced effort certainly builds confidence as the Terps are now faced with a trip to Chapel Hill to challenge No. 19 North Carolina on Sunday night. A win over the Tar Heels would propel Maryland back into the NCAA tournament discussion, which is about as much as the Terps can ask for at this stage.

“This [win] definitely builds our confidence,” said Jordan Williams, who passed the 600-rebound mark for his career and joined Joe Smith as only the second Terp to reach the plateau as a sophomore. “North Carolina is a great team with a great coach. We are excited for the challenge.”

A tall challenge it will be as Maryland has a final attempt to beat a top-25 opponent in the regular season. Of course, the Terps have found themselves knocking loudly for a big victory several times this the season.

Only to smash their fingers in the door at the worst possible time.

Though a win seems unlikely, Sunday’s meeting with the Tar Heels is the kind of game Gary Williams has managed to win many times throughout his distinguished career.

Left for dead a little over a week ago, Maryland is suddenly playing like a team that doesn’t want to settle for the NIT.

“We’re a better team now,” Gary Williams said. “I knew it would be a process this year. It takes time to develop a team. I think we’re laying the groundwork here with this year’s team for very good things to happen in the future, but we want to win as many games as we can this year.”

The Terps still have a long way to go to even think about the bubble, their body of work, or their RPI (a modest 85th entering Wednesday night’s game), but they inched a step closer to the discussion with a win over one of the better teams in the conference.

And for now, that’s all Gary Williams and the Terps can do.

An even larger step will be available Sunday night.

NOTES: Maryland is 7-0 against the Seminoles in Comcast Center. … Williams’ double-double left him one shy of the single-season school record set by Len Elmore (22) in 1974. … Stoglin is averaging 19.2 points per game over his last five contests and has made 23 of 24 free throws in his last three games. … Gregory’s 14 points gave him double-digit scoring for the fifth consecutive game. … Five Terps reached double-digit scoring for the fourth time in the last five games. The exception was Sunday’s win over NC State when Maryland had four players in double figures.

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Maryland-FSU: Turtle Power live chat at 9:00

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 9:00 as the Terps battle Florida State in their only meeting of the regular season.***

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Looking for that elusive first win against a top-50 RPI school, the Terps (17-10, 6-6 ACC) are in action this evening against the Florida State Seminoles (19-7, 9-3 ACC) at Comcast Center.

With the Seminoles missing leading scorer Chris Singleton and Maryland desperately needing to stack wins in the last leg of the conference schedule, little needs to be said about how important this game is for Gary Williams and the Terps. Florida State has won three straight games against the bottom feeders of the ACC (Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and Virginia) and is looking for its fourth ACC road to further solidify its NCAA tournament resume.

The Terps look to continue the success they enjoyed last season over the Seminoles when they swept the season series. Maryland has won three consecutive home games against Florida State and carries a 13-3 all-time home record in the matchup.

After being named ACC Rookie of the Week on Monday, Terrell Stoglin aims to continue his hot hand after scoring 25 points each against Virginia Tech and NC State. In his last four games, the freshman is averaging 19.8 points and 6.5 assists and has lifted his scoring average from 9.0 to 10.6 points per game, moving past senior Cliff Tucker for second on the team behind Jordan Williams (17.4).

Tonight’s game will be televised on the ACC Network (WNUV-TV 54 locally) with Tim Brant and Dan Bonner calling the action from College Park.

As always, watch the game with us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 9:00 and follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and analsysis.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Thursday 7:30pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Miguel Acosta vs. Brandon Rios (Saturday 10pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Juan Carlos Burgos vs. Cristobal Cruz (Friday 9pm from Tulsa, Oklahoma live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Tour Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (Saturday 2pm & 7pm, Sunday 1pm & 3pm from Delray Beach, FL live on Tennis Channel), Abierto Mexicano Telcel (Wednesday 4pm & 8pm, Thursday 2pm & 8pm, Friday 6pm & 10pm, Saturday 10am from Acapulco, Mexico live on ESPN3.com), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Monday-Friday 5am & 10am, Saturday 10am from Dubai, United Arab Emirates live on ESPN3.com)

10. Bon Jovi (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Lady Gaga (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Pat Green (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live, Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Robert Cray Band (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); David Gray (Tuesday 7:30pm Strathmore); Charlie Murphy (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Pat McGee Band (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Ryan Cabrera (Monday 8pm Jammin’ Java); G. Love “Fixin To Die” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I saw Bon Jovi a few years ago at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. I was disappointed. He played country pop songs. I didn’t pay to see that. I actually didn’t pay at all. But if I had, THIS is what I would have wanted to see…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40UQDEtRxp8[/youtube]

I like Pat McGee AND Pat Green. I also like Pat Sajak, but I don’t like Pat Boone necessarily.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzTL2woRzrI[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJWnIFlYKjs[/youtube]

Even our buddy Rob Fahey (of Ravyns fame) says he’s most impressed by David Gray of current musicians. That’s high praise…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMxfKuft8x4[/youtube]

And even without the “Special Sauce”, I’d recommend picking up the new G. Love…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCPH3dPQkIc[/youtube]

9. NBA: Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat (Friday 7:30pm from Miami live on Comcast SportsNet), Dallas Mavericks @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 8pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

It used to be that when the Chicago Bulls would come to play the ‘Zards (or the Bullets, really), the games would actually mean something.

Now…they’re just the next team on the schedule…that will probably beat the Wizards.

That being said, they still have SOMETHING going for them…in fact, the best player in the history of NBA Jam…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkM0BE-Iu6M[/youtube]

Benny the Bull was better than Michael Jordan.

Probably a better golfer, too.

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 500 (Sunday 3pm from Phoenix live on FOX)

With the fellas on the Sprint Cup Series headed into Arizona, I’d take a second to remind everyone that Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and company will have a few of their own “distractions” to deal with…

asu
asu
asu

I’ve had the water out there. There IS something in it.

7. Golf: WGC Accenture Match Play Championship (Wednesday 12pm, Thursday & Friday 2pm, Saturday 12pm, Sunday 9am live on Golf Channel; Saturday & Sunday 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Marana, AZ); PGA Tour Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun (Thursday-Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Playa del Carmen, Mexico live on Golf Channel); LPGA Tour HSBC Women’s Champions (Thursday & Friday 11am, Saturday 10am, Sunday 2pm from Singapore live on Golf Channel)

This will be the only week all year that I give half a crap about Golf. Why? Because I get to fill out brackets! You could put together a Pokemon card tournament-if it had brackets, I’d fill them out.

I mean, I’m not going to WATCH the thing…holy hell does that sound terrible. But I’ll check at the end of the day to see how my brackets hold up. And I’ll of course pick  Chi Chi Rodriguez to win. He’s going to have to break through one of these weeks.

6. NHL: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS & NHL Network), Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders (Saturday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

Meanwhile, Glenn Clark will be making the trip up I-95 to Philly to see the Philadelphia Flyers become JUST ANOTHER VICTIM for the Phoenix FREAKING Coyotes, who enter the game winners of seven in a row!

It’s just a shame the game isn’t in Arizona, cause I’d love to hear the Black Keys pump through the Wells Fargo Center…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfYLr3IIVkQ[/youtube]

5. Monster Jam (Friday-Sunday 1st Mariner Arena)

Monster Jam is one of those events that comes around all the time that I have no REAL idea what it is and if it’s sorta white trash but really cool or REALLY white trash and only sorta cool.

Either way, I THINK Grave Digger is pretty cool….right???

gravedigger

4. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 127-BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch (Saturday 10pm from Sydney, AUS on Pay-Per-View)

After the last card (Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort) and the next card (Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua), I will admit that I’m not really all that upset that I’ll be missing this card while I’m in Indy.

But if I was a MMA writer/reporter headed Down Under, I know damn well I’d take a minute to seek out whoever Bliss N Eso are. Their Citizen Cope cover is pretty legit…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIfpZp7YcA[/youtube]

3. College Lacrosse: Loyola @ Towson (Saturday 12pm from Unitas Stadium live on ABC2/ESPN3.com/AM1570 WNST); Rutgers @ UMBC (Saturday 1pm UMBC Stadium); Siena @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 1pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU); Georgetown @ Maryland (Saturday 3pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPNU); Mary Washington @ Stevenson (Wednesday 3pm Caves Athletic Complex), Kean @ Stevenson (Saturday 1pm Caves Athletic Complex)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see “Georgetown” and “Maryland” next to each other, I can really only think about Keith Booth and Joe Smith. Hoyas fans probably won’t be happy for the reminder…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-WoPhVNffA[/youtube]

I guess I have one other memory. It involves Lonny Baxter and the NCAA Tournament if I remember correctly…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nda5RartfAw[/youtube]

2. College Basketball: Florida State @ Maryland (Wednesday 9pm from Comcast Center live on ACC Network-WNUV 54 locally), Maryland @ North Carolina (Sunday 7:45pm from Chapel Hill, NC live on Comcast SportsNet-Fox Sports Net nationally); Delaware State @ Morgan State (Wednesday 7pm Hill Field House), Morgan State @ North Carolina A&T (Monday 7pm from Greensboro, NC live on ESPNU); Drexel @ Towson (Saturday 4pm Towson Center)

I hope the Terps beat the snot out of the Seminoles Wednesday night. But I will admit that FSU will always have at least a small place in my (and Brett Favre’s) heart(s)…

sterger

Jenn Sterger wore a cowboy hat to a football game in Tallahassee five years ago and became a household name.

What a great country we live in.

1. College Football: NFL Scouting Combine (Thursday-Monday from Indianapolis live on NFL Network)

5.2 million people watched the Scouting Combine from LucasOil Stadium last year.

Of those 5.2 million, not a single one tuned in to see how Rich Eisen did in the 40 yard dash. But he did it anyway, and almost beat Ravens DT Terrence Cody!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar5nlv6ZPX0[/youtube]

That might seem surprising, but consider this…if hundreds of college-aged GIRLS were to descend upon a football stadium and run around in the underwear, how many MORE people would be watching?

You know, especially if one of them was SI swimsuit model Kate Upton…

upton

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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With Combine Looming, Several Players Have Already Made Statements in Draft Season

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With Combine Looming, Several Players Have Already Made Statements in Draft Season

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

It’s been an eventful Draft season thus far.

National Football League personnel folks have made stops in Orlando, Florida; Mobile, Alabama and San Antonio, Texas for College All-Star Games; as well as a lesser-known stop at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona for the Eastham Energy College All Star Game.

The NFL Scouting Combine is roughly two weeks away at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. It will be the final high profile opportunity for players to make a statement during Draft season. Following the Combine, Draft season will be all about Pro Timing Days on college campuses and private workouts at team facilities.

Before I continue, I remind you of the East West Shrine Game players we have already profiled, the NFLPA Game players we have already profiled, as well as the Senior Bowl prospects we have already profiled.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech)
FB
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
RB
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami)
WR
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia)
OT
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado)
C-Zane Taylor (Utah)
DE
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas)
LB
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
S
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette)

With no player movement since the last post, my team needs for the Baltimore Ravens remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here’s a look at 10 potential Ravens targets who have already impressed during Draft season. Thanks to NFLDraftScout.com/CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Wikipedia, WNST.net (The AP), YouTube, NFLDraftBible.com and various official websites for their help in putting together these bios.

QB Christian Ponder (Florida State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCuu6UyO3B0[/youtube]

For those of us who have followed the ACC in recent years, we’re well aware that Ponder never really lived up to the hype and potential that surrounded him.

There was a time when he was believed to be a legitimate preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. Hell-there were probably two times when that was true. It just didn’t pan out.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t still develop as a QB, especially holding a clipboard behind an established starter like Joe Flacco.

Ponder had a solid if not spectacular season for the Seminoles in 2010, becoming the first FSU QB to beat both Miami and Florida since Chris Weinke. Some of his numbers suffered a drop-off however, as he completed 184 of 299 passes (61.5%) after completing 227 of 330 passes (68.8%) as a junior. His INT to TD numbers did improve, as he threw for 20 TD’s and eight INT’s a year after throwing 14 TD’s and seven INT’s.

Ponder has good size at 6’3″, 227 pounds and a strong arm. He had an exceptional week at Ladd Peebles Stadium, where he ended up being named MVP of the Senior Bowl. There will be some concern about Ponder’s health-he missed two games in 2010 as he battled an elbow injury, including the ‘Noles loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. He’ll get poked and prodded a bit more than other prospects when he makes his trip to Indy.

If Ponder ends up being a 2nd or 3rd round guy (as many pundits believe he will be), he probably won’t be headed to Charm City. But if he were to slip to Saturday morning, he would be an intriguing option for GM Ozzie Newsome and company to consider.

WR Titus Young (Boise State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPM5ttLp_Qg[/youtube]

When I profiled fellow Broncos WR Austin Pettis before the Senior Bowl, I immediately got responses asking “what about Titus Young?”

I chose to profile Pettis (who won the “Hands” competition at ESPN’s All-Star Football Challenge last week in Southlake, Texas) first because I felt his size (6’3″) might be a more ideal fit for a team that desperately lacked a red zone target in 2010.

But in a similar way, Young could also address a significant need for the Ravens-a need for speed if you will.

Young is just 5’11″, 170 pounds-which won’t really separate himself from the team’s current top two receivers, Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

But Young is much quicker than either of those two, as he is expected to be able to post a 40 time in the range of 4.40 or perhaps even better. If he does, he could end up stretching the field in the way Donte’ Stallworth was unable to.

Young posted a combined 2,488 yards of offense and 22 TD’s between his junior and senior seasons at BSU. He was clearly a benefactor of playing with Pettis and QB Kellen Moore and probably from playing against WAC defenses as well. But much like you can’t teach size, you certainly can’t teach speed.

If Young posts the times we expect him to at the Combine and/or his Pro Day, he’ll end up being a particularly likely choice for Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company on Friday night.

WR Vincent Brown (San Diego State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftMEiRffEDg[/youtube]

The city of San Diego has had a good run with Wide Receivers named Vincent.

But unlike the Chargers’ Vincent Jackson (6’5″), Brown’s size (6’0″) won’t be what teams who consider selecting him will be looking to add.

Instead, Brown’s hands and speed will be what teams will be looking for if they add him to their roster. Brown showed off both of those attributes in impressive ways during Senior Bowl week.

Brown had a hell of a senior campaign for the Aztecs, catching 69 balls for 1,352 yards and 10 TD’s; finishing a SDSU career where he caught 209 balls for 3,110 yards and 23 TD’s.

The question for the Ravens will be whether or not Brown could really separate himself from the likes of Mason and Boldin in the teams’ receiving corps. He’s fast, but he doesn’t appear to be as fast as even a receiver like Young.

That’s of course why Brown will likely stay on the board a bit later than Young. That could make him an intriguing option for the Ravens should he stick around until Saturday.

RB Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVPuzPacWDY[/youtube]

If not for an ankle injury in 2009, Hunter may have entered the Draft as the top back on the board.

Consider these numbers: In 2008, Hunter produced 1,753 yards of offense and 17 TD’s. In 2010, he bounced back to churn out 1,649 yards and 16 TD’s.

There’s just that pesky 2009 season that’s mixed in-where he missed six games and tallied less than 500 yards of total offense.

Hunter has been one of the most exceptional football players to watch in the country during his time in Stillwater. His big games haven’t just come against lesser opponents, either. In the Cowboys’ loss to Nebraska last season, he ran for 201 yards and two TD’s against a Cornhuskers defense that was amongst the best in the Big 12.

The strange thing about Hunter is that despite being about the same size as Ravens RB Ray Rice (they’re both listed as 5’8″), Hunter was much more of a runner than an all-around offensive threat. Combining his sophomore and senior seasons, Hunter ran the ball 512 times while he caught just 42 passes.

I would assume that at the NFL level, Hunter’s size will dictate a need to be more of an all-around weapon. If that’s the case, he might not be the type of runner to match Rice in Cam Cameron’s offense.

But if NFL teams believe he can be an every down runner despite his size, Hunter could very well be a Friday night option for Baltimore.

DE Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St9j5K6STws[/youtube]

If I were to describe Kerrigan in just one word, I think the word I would choose would be “monster.”

This guy is an absolute beast.

The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year tallied 25 sacks between his junior and senior seasons with the Boilermakers; and finished his career as the all-time conference leader in forced fumbles.

The only question for the Ravens about this pass rushing machine is whether or not he can stay on the edge should he be added to Chuck Pagano’s defense.

The Ravens HAVE to find a rush end this offseason. Terrell Suggs is going to remain their rush backer-although they might want to consider adding depth there in case Sergio Kindle never gets to a football field.

Kerrigan showed up at the Senior Bowl having LOST weight and taking stand-up snaps at OLB. For a player that will almost certainly go in the first round, the Ravens would need him to be able to stay on the edge and play the position they used to count on Trevor Pryce to handle.

If he can stay on the edge, Kerrigan could very well be handed a purple jersey (as long as he stays on the board) when the Ravens pick 26th.

RB Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6NDCE-A1qw[/youtube]

In an option offense, sometimes the numbers accumulated by a running back can be dismissed.

From his sophomore to senior seasons in Lincoln, Helu total 3,195 rushing yards and 27 TD’s. It was an impressive run.

Pun intended.

Much like Hunter, Helu was much more of a runner than a pass catcher in the Huskers offense. Helu’s advantage is that he’s bigger (6’0″, 220 pounds) than Hunter and has shown better durability. If the Ravens are looking for a back more in the vein of Willis McGahee-Helu could well be the guy.

On the surface, it appears as though Helu would be a good fit in John Harbaugh’s locker room as well. Helu was very involved in Nebraska’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and made visits to area hospitals.

As of right now Helu appears to be a Saturday selection. The Ravens have selected a later round RB from Nebraska in the past (Cory Ross) and didn’t have it necessarily pay off. That doesn’t mean they’d avoid Helu-they’d just hope for better results if they look in his direction.

TE Will Yeatman (Maryland)

yeatman

When a player has 21 career catches for 177 yards and one touchdown, he’s not likely a legitimate draft prospect.

But if there’s a position where it can be done, there’s no doubt the position is Tight End.

Much like players have made the jump from college basketball (San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates and New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham are two of the more notable), Yeatman will hope to show his athleticism in hopes of reaching the NFL.

Yeatman’s story is compelling. He was a football and lacrosse player at Notre Dame, but two alcohol-related arrests lead to his decision to leave the school. The Irish wouldn’t allow him to transfer to North Carolina, which lead him to College Park.

After getting on the lacrosse field, Yeatman finally returned to football in 2010. Unfortunately, a broken finger forced him to miss the majority of the season.

Yeatman made the trip to Phoenix for the Eastham Energy game and impressed. He made four catches for 49 yards in the game itself; but scouts were impressed with his 6’6″, 250 some pound frame and solid hands.

There will ALWAYS be a place in the NFL for a player like that.

The Ravens don’t necessarily need a Tight End after drafting Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta last year and adding Davon Drew to the active roster late in the season. That being said, the future Hall of Fame tight end running the team never seems to shy away from adding more.

Yeatman could be a late round or free agent steal. Todd Heap certainly isn’t getting younger. If he’s there, I would imagine the organization would at least make the consideration.

CB Anthony Gaitor (Florida International)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvgcDDD-jMI[/youtube]

The Ravens have lacked size in their defensive backfield; and a 5’10″ corner from FIU probably won’t fix that.

But as we’ve seen from stars like New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis, you don’t always need to be big to a Pro Bowl caliber player.

Scouts have often commented that the former Panthers CB plays like he’s 6’2″ instead of 5’10″. During his appearance at the NFLPA Game (former Texas vs. The Nation) at the Alomodome, Gaitor’s physicality on the line and ability to stay with receivers downfield impressed scouts.

Obviously there is a significant jump from the Sun Belt Conference to the NFL. Gaitor will be scrutinized a bit more because of the talent level he faced in college.

But he’s a guy that will likely stick around until Saturday in the Draft, and could be a steal if the Ravens think they’ll lose some combination of CB’s Josh Wilson, Chris Carr and/or Fabian Washington.

RB Alex Green (Hawaii)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8tLLVQzDTs[/youtube]

It would not be even a bit unfair to call Green a “late bloomer” during his Warriors career.

Entering his senior season, Green had ran for just 453 yards and two TD’s during his time in Honolulu. Seven games into his senior season, Green had yet to put together a 100 yard rushing game.

That all changed quickly.

On October 23rd, Green rushed for 172 yards and four TD’s against Utah State, starting a streak where he would run for 100 or more yards in four of six games. Highlighting that run was a 327 yard, three TD performance at New Mexico State.

At 6’2″, 230 pounds-Green has the ideal size to compliment Rice in the Ravens offense. Like Hunter and Helu, he was much more of a runner than “offensive threat” during his college career.

Before coming to Hawaii, Green helped lead California’s Butte Community College to a National Championship in 2008.

So he has that going for him. Which is nice.

He looks like he’ll be a late round pick in the Draft, which could put him right in the place where the Ravens could look to add a back.

WR Ryan Whalen (Stanford)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik-LNTMYn50[/youtube]

In the past, the Ravens had easy access to Cardinal athletes-as John Harbaugh could just find out whatever he needed to know from his brother-Jim Harbaugh-who coached players like Whalen at Stanford.

The problem now is that Jim has taken over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and probably wants to keep as much scouting info to himself as possible.

Whalen had an impressive junior season in Palo Alto (57 catches, 926 yards, four TD’s), but an elbow injury hurt his numbers in 2010 (41 catches, 439 yards, two TD’s).

The problem for Whalen is that his size (6’2″, 205 pounds) and speed (expected mid 4.5′s 40 yard dash) wouldn’t really separate him from Boldin or Mason in Baltimore.

That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be brought in to give the team receiving depth-especially with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Stallworth possible departures.

Whalen would be an intriguing prospect for Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and company the longer he sticks around into Saturday.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Ralph Friedgen Era Victories

Posted on 29 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Yep…it’s another list. Hey, it’s the end of the year.

As Ralph Friedgen’s tenure as University of Maryland football coach comes to a close with this afternoon’s Military Bowl contest against East Carolina at RFK Stadium (Luke Jones hosts our “Turtle Power” live chat here at WNST.net at 2:30), I figured I’d look back on the era of “The Fridge” by remembering his best victories as Maryland football coach.

(Edit from GMC: It was brought to my attention at 9:55am that my friend Patrick Stevens of D1scourse.com posted a similar list at 9:43am. S.O.B. I encourage you to check his list out as well.)

Honorable Mention: Maryland 24, Purdue 7 (December 29, 2006 Champs Sports Bowl Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL); Maryland 35, California 27 (September 13, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 23, Navy 20 (September 3, 2005 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 17, Navy 14 (September 6, 2010 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 26, Wake Forest 0 (October 18, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 20, Clemson 17 (September 27, 2008 Memorial Stadium Clemson, SC); Maryland 14, Miami 13 (November 11, 2006); Maryland 27, Florida State 24 (October 28, 2006 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 28, Virginia 26 (October 14, 2006 Scott Stadium Charlottesville, VA)

10. Maryland 38, NC State 31 (November 27, 2010 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

The last regular season win of Friedgen’s career certainly stands out to some extent.

It looked (at the time) like this was the “statement” win the Terrapins needed with Danny O’Brien under center to prove they were headed in the direction of an ACC title.

They might still be, it just won’t be with Friedgen at the helm.

Wherever Torrey Smith ranks amongst the great players in Friedgen’s tenure, this was clearly his best game. He was absolutely DOMINANT against the Wolfpack…who I have a funny feeling will show up again on this list.

9. Maryland 37, Clemson 20 (November 10, 2001 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6pGkM-Sxw[/youtube]

This game was already going to be meaningful, as it was the first time Byrd Stadium was sold out in the Friedgen era.

After North Carolina State beat Florida State earlier in the day, the game became very significant-as it put the Terps on the track towards the BCS.

The game itself wasn’t of the epic nature; but the Terps had lost eight straight to the Tigers before finally breaking through.

This was also the first “rush the field” moment in Friedgen’s ten seasons.

It wasn’t quite as big as the team’s next win, but we’ll get to that.

8. Maryland 26, NC State 24 (November 22, 2003 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQAxI9q5dI[/youtube]

This game was significant for multiple reasons.

First, it finished off a perfect 4-0 record for Friedgen against NCSU while Phillip Rivers was quarterback.

Second, the game did have a bit of an epic nature after Nick Novak missed what would have been a game-tying extra point. Leroy Ambush forced a turnover, and Novak was able to get redemption by kicking the game-winning field goal.

And third, it kept Maryland on track for what would eventually be a Gator Bowl berth on New Year’s Day.

7. Maryland 20, Georgia Tech 17 OT (October 11, 2001 Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtcYJK21R0s[/youtube]

This might not be high enough on the list. Hell, I know it isn’t high enough on the list. But I already made the list. I’m not changing it now.

This was the very first significant win in the Friedgen era at Maryland, and it was absolutely miraculous.

Yellow Jackets RB Joe Burns inexplicably ran out of bounds late in regulation with his team ahead 17-14; setting up a career long 46 yard field goal by Novak (who had been AWFUL up to that point in his Maryland career) to send the game to overtime. In OT, another Burns fumble would seal the first win over a ranked team for Friedgen at his alma mater.

With the win, Friedgen’s Terps improved to 6-0; forcing fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic to take notice of what was happening in College Park.

6. Maryland 34, Rutgers 24 (September 29, 2007 Rutgers Stadium Piscataway, NJ)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=485yysHK7m8[/youtube]

Of all of the wins on this list, this is certainly the most improbable.

When Jordan Steffy went down against the Scarlet Knights, a large number of Maryland fans had to think to themselves “who the hell is Chris Turner?”

They’d find out in a big way.

Perhaps the game was more significant because of the sheer number of then-current or former Garden State residents who went to the University of Maryland.

There were definitely a number of households torn up and down the I-95 corridor because of the matchup.

For Friedgen, it would be the first of two wins over Top 10 opponents that season.

5. Maryland 41, West Virginia 7 (January 1, 2004 Gator Bowl Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q63nyT2mhtM[/youtube]

The ONLY thing about this game that gets it on the list was the fact that it was a New Year’s Day game played on NBC-making it arguably the highest profile win in the Friedgen era.

The game wasn’t exactly exciting, save for some impressive Scott McBrien to Steve Suter theatrics. The matchup was disappointing, as the Terps had already posted a blowout victory over WVU earlier in the year.

It was the third straight high-profile bowl game Maryland reached to start Friedgen’s career. Unfortunately, it was also the last.

It was also the last time Friedgen would collect a victory over the Mountaineers.

Had those last two statements been different, the Friedgen era might not be coming to a close in DC today.

4. Maryland 42, Boston College 35 (November 11, 2007 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6di8qtmN9Zo[/youtube]

When he’s 70 years old, Chris Turner will still be able to tell everyone he talks to that he once beat Matt Ryan.

Ryan entered the Saturday night national TV showdown (ABC) near the front of the Heisman Trophy race. He didn’t necessarily disappoint (421 yards passing and 3TD’s) in front of the College Park crowd, but he was outdone by a guy who was better known for looking like Napoleon Dynamite.

Turner threw for 337 yards and 3TD’s himself, while Lance Ball added 122 yards on the ground and a rushing TD. Maryland was ahead 42-21 in the second half before eventually holding off the Eagles late.

It was an impressive victory for a frustrating team. Friedgen’s Terps beat two Top 10 teams that season, but finished just 6-6 and lost to Oregon State in the Emerald Bowl.

3. Maryland 20, Florida State 17 (October 30, 2004 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGX8Mvr5Evw[/youtube]

Maryland was 0-14 all time against FSU until this game.

Friedgen was ofer in his first three contests against the Seminoles himself until this game.

History will forever note that Joel Statham was the first ever Maryland QB to beat Florida State.

Six years later, I still really can’t believe it happened.

2. Maryland 30, Tennessee 3 (December 31, 2002 Peach Bowl Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDi9rXxCGSQ[/youtube]

You can count Ralph Friedgen’s wins over SEC programs on one finger.

Not only was Maryland’s Peach Bowl romp over the Volunteers the first significantly high-profile (New Year’s Eve on ESPN) non-conference win under Friedgen, it was also the statement game for E.J. Henderson; who will probably go down as the best player of the Friedgen era.

It was the type of win that allowed Maryland fans to measure the progress the Terps had made through two seasons.

It was also the type of win that made fans think more postseason wins over SEC teams would be coming in the future.

Obviously they didn’t.

1. Maryland 23, NC State 19 (November 17, 2001 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

Shaun Hill and Guilian Gary will forever be remembered as the combination that sent Maryland to their first ACC Championship in 16 years and their first Orange Bowl berth since 1956.

The only unfortunate thing about #1 is that most coaches probably don’t want to be remembered as collecting their most significant victory in their first season.

Friedgen never returned to this moment, but it doesn’t take anything away from the victory itself.

It was an awesome moment in University of Maryland athletics history.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

I’ll start with the Retro Version. The retro version is in honor of tonight’s start of Hanukkah. My personal favorite (half) Jew is the great Lenny Kravitz, so here’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” If you’ve seen Lenny recently, please tell him to come back. He was freaking AMAZING.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLhpHjmxNw8[/youtube]

The NEW version of TGSOATTW is a song heard prominently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. I hope that tonight’s Grammy Awards nomination announcement features the band Ra Ra Riot. “Shadow Casting” is quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvcxieyeg4k[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Ravens waived S Ken Hamlin, signed FB Jason McKie

As I reported yesterday, the Ravens also tried out former Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans TE/FB Joel Gamble before going with McKie. I was told they made the decision because they felt McKie was more of a natural fullback while Gamble was more of a hybrid. Gamble is a Baltimore native (and Carver grad).

As far as McKie is concerned, I can’t imagine him being asked to do much more than block-but they’ll definitely need him to block. The likelihood is that Le’Ron McClain’s ankle will probably keep him out Sunday night, and the Ravens’ current roster options just aren’t particularly good. Dennis Pitta can help and Jalen Parmele could see the field; but in a game where running the ball will be important-the Ravens will need a true blocking back.

Don’t rule out Hamlin returning to Charm City at some point this season. He was cut once (to make room for Prince Miller humorously enough) but returned in favor of Trevor Pryce. The Ravens like the veteran presence that Hamlin gives them-but he hasn’t even been active much in recent weeks.

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens not concerned about outcry regarding towel giveaway

During our “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” segment before last year’s Ravens-Steelers game at M&T Bank Stadium, I really used up all of the venom I have on this subject.

OF COURSE it’s shameful that the Ravens are giving away towels the night of a Ravens-Steelers game.

OF COURSE it’s embarrassing to hardcore Baltimore football fans to see their own team use a “copycat” version of a rival tradition.

OF COURSE fans should chose NOT to waive the towels but instead to use their hands to clap, bang thundersticks, or otherwise make noise.

OF COURSE the Ravens should really know better in this entire situation.

Unfortunately, they’re still going to give the stupid towel away Sunday night even though there is no one excited about it.

Hey-it makes a nice dish rag. If they were giving them away on the way out-I’d be okay with it. And even ol’ Forrester thinks it makes a nice wall flag…

df

3. The AP’s Alan Robinson says Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger wearing protective boot, expected to play Sunday vs. Ravens

OF COURSE Ben Roethlisberger is going to play Sunday.

(I’ve said “OF COURSE” a lot today. Annoying anyone?)

Of course, if Sabrina Maree lived in the Steel City (or here in Baltimore); I’m not so sure Big Ben wouldn’t be too distracted to make it to the game Sunday night. (Thanks The Beer Goggler via Busted Coverage!)

sabrinamaree

4. ESPN.com drops Ravens to 4th in power rankings

Calm down. The only three teams ahead of the Ravens are the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and New York Jets; who are all 9-2. The Ravens are first amongst the 8-3 teams.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-I’m all for the idea of a “No Means No” chant Sunday night. I think it has to start during TV timeouts right before the Steelers take the ball. If this happens, I will seriously OWE the city of Baltimore for being so freaking awesome.

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. We’ll of course be out there to cover everything happening on and off the practice field. Make sure you remain tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking out WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

5. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says chances of Cesar Izturis returning to Orioles continue to improve

With no offense to Cesar Izturis, umm……..I’d rather not.

Connolly says Jason Bartlett will be dealt by the Tampa Bay Rays, but not to Baltimore. Miguel Tejada is headed to the San Francisco Giants, who lost Juan Uribe to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It could still be an option for the Minnesota Twins to deal JJ Hardy, but they’re not guaranteed to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka or not move him to second base.

If all else fails, why not Maggi Caruthers?!?!? (Thanks Guyism!)

caruthers

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen named ACC Coach of the Year, QB Danny O’Brien named Rookie of the Year

Both of these were sort of “no brainer” types of decisions.

The only other real options for Coach of the Year were Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. As the Seminoles did basically what everyone expected them to do and the Hokies only started playing well after losing to Boise State and James Madison; it would have been hard to justify either being honored ahead of Friedgen.

And I’m not sure I have many more words to scribe regarding O’Brien. Maybe it’s best the Terrapins DIDN’T make it to Charlotte to play in the ACC Championship Game. I’m not sure what else I could have said about him.

He’s like Matt Wieters. You know, expect…he’s actually done something.

7. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with Penn State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

I’ll say Terrapins 77, Nittany Lions 69.

I think it will be close for a while though, and I don’t doubt that Talor Battle will get his.

But there would be no excuse for Maryland to not roll up to State College and dominate inside with Jordan Williams. That should absolutely be the difference maker.

SHOULD be I say.

8. The AP says Justin Fry’s 16 points not enough as UMBC fell at Penn

Randy Monroe’s Retrievers MIGHT be better than last year; but it hasn’t resulted in a win yet.

And with a trip to UConn coming Friday night-I’m not sure a win is coming soon either.

Towson is in action tonight, the Tigers host Western Michigan at the Towson Center at 7pm.

9. The AP says Michael Harper scored 19 points to lead Coppin State past Lincoln (Pennsylvania) at CSPEC

Now they gear up for not only an early season MEAC showdown; but the ultimate rivalry game-as they visit Hill Field House for a date with the Morgan State Bears Saturday at 4pm.

But to celebrate the Eagles’ win, I offer a picture of Dani Thompson. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

danithompson

10. The Sun’s Hanah Cho says Maryland officials maintain they will work to protect Preakness as future of horse racing in jeopardy

Did you miss Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Richard Hoffberger Wednesday morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you’ll find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Mike Bires (Beaver County Times)-who talked Steelers with Drew Wednesday
  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens with Drew Wednesday
  • Paul Cantabene (Mustangs Lacrosse Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday for “The Stevenson Coaches’ Report”
  • A Birds starting pitchers game (courtesy of Sporcle.com) Drew and Glenn Clark (I know him) played Wednesday morning, as well as a call from “Steve M from Kingsville.”
  • Keith Booth (Maryland assistant coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Tuesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Scott Smith (Strikeforce Fighter)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”
  • Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)-who went around the sports world with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Allen McCallum (WNST MLB Analyst)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday for “The MLB Report”
  • Gabrielle Dow (Ravens VP of Marketing)-who joined Nestor Aparicio Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss the towel fiasco
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL Tuesday with Nestor

And finally, I leave you with this.

So apparently the North Carolina A&T band plays a version of the Antoine Dodson “Bed Intruder” song. Awesome. Thanks WNST intern Barry Kamen courtesy of Ryan Chell’s Facebook page…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3UsvLyu3N0[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a look at the night that was on Tuesday and the one that lies ahead on Wednesday along with a few random musings from the best seat in the house, literally, at home in front of the TV.

Yesterday, I speculated here that there was little chance that Pat Riley had any intentions of replacing Erik Spoelstra on the Miami Heat bench because their level of chemistry, commitment, and overall play, and the lack of assuredness that Riley himself would be able to get much more from this squad. With 24 hours to think on it, I might amend that line of thinking and say that Riley may replace Spoelstra, but he won’t likely jump back onto the bench himself. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojinarski wrote this piece about how James’ me first act is a safe bet to wear thin pretty quickly, and speculates that it was James’ inner circle that began floating the “Spoelstra is panicking” rumors in the first place. With the Heat, and James headed to Cleveland on Thursday, the drama, and attention are bound to continue.

 

Speculation also abounds today that perhaps Roger Goodell’s main motivation behind not suspending Andre Johnson and/or Cortland Finnegan for their brawl on Sunday is because the Texans are playing on Thursday night. As it related to Johnson, Finnegan or even a possible James Harrison suspension (that won’t happen either), it would seem that the NFL’s appeals process would have allowed all 3 the chance to play this week, and every other until their appeals were heard. Maybe the NFL was afraid that Johnson would decline an appeal and serve his suspension to spite the league. I wonder if Goodell is compiling a manual of precedents for the punishments that the league is dishing out, seemingly at random, this season.

 

Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford coach, former Ravens’ quarterback and brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh projects to be one of the hottest commodities on the market as schools begin to make and fill coaching vacancies. Michigan seems like the natural fit, if they choose to part company with Rich Rodriguez, but some believe that Harbaugh would be crazy to leave Stanford, where success is measured in academics and his feet aren’t likely to be held to the fire anytime soon, even if his now successful program took a dramatic U-turn. I would be at least mildly surprised if Jim Harbaugh didn’t have at least one eye on the NFL if he has any desire to change jobs. It should develop into an interesting off-season story line.

 

With all of the purple towel resistance building before Sunday night’s game, crowd noise is becoming topical. Now there are talks of a “No means no” chant for Ben Roethlisberger. On the surface, it’s funny, hilarious actually, but that’s from my perspective. I’m guessing there’s another side of this issue that would find it tasteless and appalling. In other words, it might make the Steelers fans that are on hand a little more comfortable. Count me out on the “no means no” chant, but I’ll be listening, and laughing a little inside.

 

I have to say that no matter how the Derek Jeter negotiations work out, I am amused. I’m not sure what Jeter’s value might specifically be to the Yankees, but I’m pretty certain that 4 Derek Jeters wouldn’t be worth the kind of money that both sides are discussing to any other team. His legend is intact, his skill set is declining, and we’re talking about projecting him beyond his 40th birthday. The one thing that has never failed Jeter in his opportunistic Major League career has been his timing. From the ball hit to Jeffrey Maier, to the inexplicable flip to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate, to seeking out his last payday with hit #3000 on the horizon, Jeter’s always been the guy in the right place at the right time.  

 

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In Capping Successful Season, Friedgen’s Terps Find Dawn After Darkness

Posted on 27 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Don’t call it a “pleasant surprise.”

Don’t call it a “respectable turnaround.”

Don’t dare call it a “nice story.”

After beating the 23rd-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack 38-31 in their regular-season finale Saturday at Byrd Stadium, the Maryland Terrapins (8-4, 5-3 ACC) put the final touch on a season that can only be described as a “success.”

It might not be the type of success that will make fans in Baltimore and DC rush to purchase season tickets (Saturday’s attendance was only an announced 35,370), as it won’t end with an ACC Championship Game appearance and could possibly result in only a trip to the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium.

But by picking up win no. 8 against an NC State (8-4, 5-3) squad that would have clinched a berth in next week’s title game at Bank of America Stadium, the Terps bridged the gap between “good story” and “successful season.”

Then, athletic director Debbie Yow (who departed College Park for Raleigh in July) announced last December that she would retain head coach Ralph Friedgen. In an interview with Drew Forrester shortly thereafter on AM1570 WNST, she made it clear that her expectation for Friedgen’s 2010 Terps was at least a 7-5 finish.

Despite Yow being replaced in the AD post by Kevin Anderson this fall, it remained fair for those around the Maryland program to have an expectation for the Terps to finish the season 7-5. If Friedgen’s team really was moving in the right direction, their 2010 schedule was not so daunting that it couldn’t result in at least seven victories.

Seven wins would have been a feel-good story.

The eighth victory makes it a real success.

“I’m really happy for our players” said Friedgen. “(They’ll) finally hopefully start getting some respect. Even when we’re doing well, we never beat anybody. Well, we beat somebody tonight.”

The way Maryland came about victory no. 8 makes it even more impressive. After a November 20th loss to Florida State eliminated Maryland from having any chance of reaching Charlotte, it would not have been stunning to see the Terps roll over against the ‘Pack. Quarterback Russell Wilson and NCSU were still very much alive in the ACC title game picture, with legitimate dreams of an Orange Bowl berth.

It appeared as though that possibility would come to fruition early on Saturday, as the Terps fell behind 14-0 after two offensive possessions for each team. But freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien rallied the Terps, connecting with receiver Torrey Smith four times for touchdowns (a school record for the receiver), and the Terrapins wouldn’t allow another NC State touchdown until the fourth quarter, after they had already built a 21-point advantage.

There was particular emotion evident from Maryland players and coaches (including an exuberant leap from defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo following a fourth quarter sack by DL Drew Gloster) throughout the game. It was a stark contrast to what happened two seasons ago, when Maryland was eliminated from the ACC title picture in a blowout loss to the Seminoles, then finished the season with another loss at Boston College.

Friedgen said he was concerned about the possibility of a letdown.

“It was hard. I was concerned about it going into today’s game. I kinda talked to them last night. I said ‘things in life that you really want, you don’t always get. But sometimes it’s darkest before the dawn. And if you keep persevering and you keep working, sometimes all of a sudden good things happen.’ I said, ‘I know how down you are, but there’s nothing we can do about that but go back to work.’”

Friedgen’s words rang true with Maryland players.

“We were upset we weren’t playing for an ACC title because we felt like we were good enough to play in a game like that,” said O’Brien. “But like coach said, we still had a lot to play for. I think we got up to play where a lot of teams might not have.”

“He just told us we still had a lot to play for,” said senior linebacker Alex Wujciak. “Going to a good bowl game, finishing right on Senior Night, beating a ranked team, there’s still a lot of things that this game meant for us.”

Finishing a regular season with eight wins does not solve all of the problems surrounding the Maryland football program (as Saturday’s attendance made clear), but it absolutely offers a statement of hope for 2011 no matter what happens in Maryland’s bowl appearance.

The Terrapins clearly have a quarterback who they can expect big things from in O’Brien. Just 10 of the 44 players on their 2-deep roster (offense and defense) participated in Saturday’s Senior Day even — meaning the team will bring back plenty of talent (Smith could also be tempted to throw his name into the NFL Draft).

But 2010 was not just a season about building expectations for the future. It was a regular season that gave fans both thrills and memories. The final stop against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, the debut of O’Brien against Florida International, the emotional win at BC after Pete DeSouza’s scooter accident and the offensive shows against Morgan State, Virginia and NC State will not be forgotten by the fans that had the pleasure of watching and following.

The 2010 Terrapins were not a team that made a good run or simply took advantage of a soft schedule. The 2010 Terrapins were a good team.

A good team whose on-field performance is deserving of being remembered as a success.

After a 2-10 season in 2009 and last week’s heartbreak of being eliminated in the ACC title race, the win most certainly capped the emergence of a Maryland team from darkness.

-G

Hear from Friedgen, O’Brien, Smith, Wujciak, Gloster, OC James Franklin and DC Don Brown following Maryland’s win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

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