Tag Archive | "Shayne Graham"


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Graham to handle kicking duties, Redding game-time decision against Browns

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In addition to the surprising revelation that wide receiver Anquan Boldin would miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing knee surgery, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was in a giving mood as it pertained to injury information on Thursday.

With the Ravens signing veteran Shayne Graham on Wednesday, it wasn’t a major leap to assume he’d be handling kicking duties on Saturday. Billy Cundiff continues to be hampered with a left calf injury that’s kept him out of practice since Dec. 7, and Harbaugh essentially revealed who would be his kicker as the Ravens host the Cleveland Browns.

“We anticipate Shayne being the kicker this week,” Harbaugh said. “Billy [is dealing] with his calf, and Shayne’s had the practice, so even if Billy was ready to go -– which I still think he’s nursing that thing back — he’s still not 100 percent. Shayne got the week of practice, so we’re going to go with Shayne.”

Defensive end Cory Redding missed practice again on Thursday, but the veteran told reporters earlier in the week that he intends to play against the Browns this weekend. Harbaugh’s overall prognosis seemed to be in line with the 31-year-old lineman’s proclamation.

After missing two days of practice last week with the same injured ankle, Redding played in the 34-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers last Sunday.

“I think he’s very similar to last week,” Harbaugh said. “It went to game day last week, so we’ll see where he’s at. But he’s progressing.”

Browns head coach Pat Shurmur has already ruled out quarterback Colt McCoy and wide receiver Jordan Norwood as the two will not make the trip to Baltimore due to concussions.

Cleveland has also placed starting strong safety T.J. Ward on injured reserve with a strained foot. He had missed the Browns’ last six games since injuring the foot against the Houston Texans on Nov. 6.

However, cornerback Joe Haden and wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi returned to practice on a limited basis for the Browns on Thursday.

The final injury report of the week will be released on Friday despite there being no media availability the day before Saturday’s game.

OUT: WR Anquan Boldin (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: K Billy Cundiff (left calf), DE Cory Redding

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: QB Colt McCoy (head), WR Jordan Norwood (head), S TJ Ward (foot)
LIMITED: WR Josh Cribbs (groin), CB Joe Haden (thigh), LB Ben Jacobs (head), FB Owen Marecic (head/ankle), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (foot), T Tony Pashos (ankle), DT Scott Paxson (hand/calf), S Usama Young (shoulder)
FULL: RB Montario Hardesty (calf), G Shawn Lauvao (ankle), DT Brian Schaefering (ankle)

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Boldin, Redding absent for second straight day

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Defensive end Cory Redding has expressed confidence that he’ll play while wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s status remains more mysterious as the Ravens prepare to welcome the Cleveland Browns to town on Christmas Eve.

Neither veteran was present during the open portion of practice on Thursday after both veterans were listed as non-participants on Wednesday’s injury report. Redding has been dealing with a right ankle injury for a couple weeks while Boldin’s absence is puzzling after he was present for the Ravens’ walk-through practice on Tuesday. The No. 1 receiver is listed on the report as having a knee injury.

Kicker Billy Cundiff (left calf) was not present during the portion of practice viewed by media, a strong indication that newly-signed veteran Shayne Graham will handle kicking duties against Cleveland on Saturday. Cundiff hasn’t practiced since Dec. 7 despite having kicked in the Ravens’ last two games.

Referee Walt Coleman and his crew will officiate Saturday afternoon’s game between the Ravens and Cleveland. The weather forecast predicts sunny conditions with temperatures in the mid-40s.

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Shayne Graham

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Comfortable situation for reunion between Graham, Ravens

Posted on 21 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Shayne Graham walked into the locker room he thought he’d be inhabiting as the Ravens kicker a year ago.

That was before he was beaten out in training camp by incumbent Billy Cundiff. Since then, their respective careers have gone in opposite directions as Cundiff was selected to the Pro Bowl last season while Graham split time with the Giants and Patriots a season ago and has played just two games this season, filling in for the Miami Dolphins’ Dan Carpenter last month.

However, a left calf injury to Cundiff has brought Graham back to Baltimore, a place where he signed a one-year contract potentially worth $2.5 million last season before he failed to make the team.

“It’s nice to actually come into this locker room,” Graham said. “A lot of these guys were in camp when I was here a couple of years ago. A lot of the guys are familiar with me. There’s a lot of good guys here, so it’s a real smooth transition for me. Having the operation here, the snapper and holder, those guys are phenomenal. So, I couldn’t ask to be in a better position or be around a better bunch of guys. I’ve played in this stadium a few times. It will be nice to be out there.”

With Cundiff only 2-for-5 on field goals in the month of December, including a missed 36-yard on the opening drive of the Ravens’ 34-14 loss in San Diego last Sunday, the Ravens had no choice but to address their kicking situation. It’s an uncomfortable position for a team trying to win their final two games of the regular season to secure the AFC North title and a minimum of a first-round bye.

“[Bringing in Graham] is a real plus for us,” special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said, “because we know we’re bringing in a guy that not only is a quality NFL kicker but has been in the NFL environment and understands playoff-caliber football at the end of the season. We expect him to come in here and add that veteran experience.”

In his 11th professional season, Graham provides a veteran pedigree that includes some experiences kicking in the postseason while a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the final game of his seven-year tenure with the Bengals was a playoff loss to the New York Jets in which he missed two second-half field goals, including a 28-yarder that essentially sealed the 24-14 defeat.

Graham said all the right things in not wanting to create a kicker controversy in Week 16 of the season, reminding everyone he was brought in due to an injury and not simple ineffectiveness.

“I hope he gets healthy as soon as he can,” Graham said. “All I can control is what I’m asked to do. If I’m asked to go out and play then I go out and play and play my best to help these guys win. If it’s for one week, it’s for one week. If it’s for two, it’s two. If it takes more or less, that’s really out of my hands. All I can do is line up and kick when they ask me to.”

Rookie memory loss

Coordinator Chuck Pagano did not mince any words in assessing his defense’s poor showing against the Chargers in which they surrendered 34 points and 415 yards of offense.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but much of the focus has centered around the struggles of rookie first-round pick Jimmy Smith, who was torched by Chargers wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd. Pagano believes there’s no time for Smith to dwell on his mistakes; he’ll be busy learning from them instead.

“No. 1, they’re going to go after rookies, and No. 2, you’ve got to have amnesia to play that spot,” Pagano said. “It’s, physically, one of the most demanding positions to play on the field, especially when you’re playing against that caliber of a quarterback and wide receivers. You’ve got to go back and you’ve got to look at the tape and you’ve got to study yourself and you’ve got to look at yourself as the next offensive coordinator is looking at you. Until you put the fire out, they’re going to keep coming.”

It’s typical for young cornerbacks to find themselves in learning situations as Smith did on Sunday night, but his defensive coordinator believes his mindset is equipped for moving on quickly and becoming a better player because of it.

“The great thing about Jimmy is he’s kind of unflappable that way,” Pagano said. “He’s pretty calm and looked at what he needed to correct from a technique standpoint. So, we move on from there.”

Boldin bogged down

It’s been an up-and-down year for No. 1 receiver Anquan Boldin, who has caught 57 catches for 887 yards and three touchdowns.

The distribution of that production has been hard to figure out as Boldin began the year slowly, catching just 15 passes for 222 yards in his first four games. His next four games were dramatically better as he made 26 catches for 405 yards.

However, Boldin finds himself in an extensive rut over his last six games, securing only 16 receptions for 260 yards. He has only one touchdown over the stretch, a 35-yard score against Cincinnati on Nov. 20.

Are the Ravens doing enough to make sure their veteran receiver is included in the offensive game plan with the continuing emergence of two young tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, and rookie receiver Torrey Smith over the course of the season?

“He is always involved,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “He is always in our top three progressions. Obviously, he has made some big plays. You are always wanting to get a guy like that the ball more. I think you have to look at the big picture. He has an opportunity to get over 1,000 yards, and there aren’t many guys doing that in the league.”

Though Boldin is miscast as a No. 1 receiver, the Ravens would benefit to see his production increase over the final two games of the regular season to assist in moving the chains on third down and to control the intermediate portion of the field in the passing game. However, those throws to Boldin need to come organically, according to quarterback Joe Flacco.

“You don’t really do anything [extra to get him the ball],” Flacco said. “You run the plays that are called. Anquan is going to get open. It’s just a matter of running those plays and executing them. I think if we execute our game plan and we get first downs and we maximize the amount of plays that we have in a game, then everybody in our offense is going to get a good chance to get the ball.”

Pro Bowl voting in books

Voting for the 2012 Pro Bowl concluded earlier this week as seven players from Baltimore were leading at their respective positions after more than 100 million votes were cast this season.

Inside linebacker Ray Lewis, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, free safety Ed Reed, offensive tackle Michael Oher, fullback Vonta Leach, and special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo were all leading at the conclusion of voting. However, fan voting accounts for only one third of the decision as coaches and players also vote for the honor.

Leading all NFL players in voting was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Pro Bowl selections will not be announce until next Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on the NFL Network. The game will take place in Honolulu on Sunday, Jan. 29, a week before Super Bowl.

Of course, Ravens players hope to be ineligible for the Pro Bowl game as selected players from the two Super Bowl teams do not participate.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Cam Cameron, Chuck Pagano, Jerry Rosburg, Cory Redding, and Shayne Graham right here.

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Ravens missing Redding, Boldin from Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 21 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Cleveland Browns coming to Baltimore on Saturday, the Ravens have a new kicker in the mix after signing veteran Shayne Graham on Wednesday morning.

Wearing No. 12, Graham was present and practicing as the Ravens took part in their second practice of the week. Regular kicker Billy Cundiff (left calf) was not present during the portion of practice open to the media, making it more likely that Graham handles kicking duties against the Browns.

Defensive end Cory Redding (ankle) and wide receiver Anquan Boldin (undisclosed) were also absent during the portion of practice open to the media. Redding was not seen during the Ravens’ walk-through practice on Tuesday, though no official injury report was released. The veteran defensive lineman has been dealing with a sore ankle that forced him to miss two practices last week. The injury appeared to limit Redding at a couple different point during the Ravens’ 34-14 loss to San Diego last Sunday night.

Boldin’s absence was more mysterious as it’s unclear whether Boldin is dealing with an injury or was simply given a day to rest. He was present during Tuesday’s practice that took place on the Ravens’ indoor field.

Linebacker Ray Lewis (toe) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (toe) were both present and working during Wednesday’s practice.

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Needing insurance, Ravens sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham

Posted on 21 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With 2010 Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff ailing physically, the Ravens have signed veteran Shayne Graham to the 53-man roster to provide insurance over the final two weeks of the regular season.

In a corresponding move, rookie linebacker Chavis Williams has been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury.

Despite appearing in the Ravens’ last two games, Cundiff has not practiced since Dec. 7 as he’s dealt with a left calf injury. His miss from 36 yards on Baltimore’s opening drive against San Diego made him only 2-for-5 on field goals in the month of December. Cundiff is just 27-for-36 on the season with all nine misses coming away from M&T Bank Stadium.

Cundiff admitted to reporters following the Ravens’ 34-14 loss to the Chargers that his ailing calf has hindered his ability to perform. Graham was invited to the team’s Owings Mills facility for a tryout two weeks ago and was put on standby before the Ravens deemed Cundiff healthy enough to play against Indianapolis on Dec. 11.

“It’s always a concern,” said Harbaugh earlier in the week about Cundiff’s health affecting his kicking. “I think it’s probably all wrapped up in there together. We’ve got to look at that today; we’ve got to look at that this week, because he hasn’t been able to practice the last couple weeks. That may have affected him a little bit. Nobody’s more frustrated right now than Billy with it.”

Given the healthy state of their 53-man roster, the Ravens have the ability to carry both Cundiff and Graham for now in hopes that the former will be healthy enough for the postseason. However, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens handle a delicate situation should Graham perform at an exceptional level while Cundiff is on the mend.

Graham was with the Ravens during training camp last year as he competed against Cundiff for the kicking job. He most recently played for the Miami Dolphins, filling in for the injured Dan Carpenter in November. He made four of five attempts in two games, with the longest field goal being from 28 yards.

An 11-year veteran, Graham spent seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, making him quite familiar with the AFC North. Over his career, Graham has made 212 of 247 (85.8 percent) field goal attempts.

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Ravens sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham as insurance for Billy Cundiff

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Ravens sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham as insurance for Billy Cundiff

Posted on 21 December 2011 by WNST Staff


The Baltimore Ravens have signed K Shayne Graham to their 53-man roster, it was announced Wednesday morning.

Graham is an 11-year veteran who has seen action in 138 career games, including two this season with the Miami Dolphins. He was released from the team on Nov. 30.

Graham has converted 212 of 247 (85.8%) career field goal attempts during his career and 321 of 326 point after touchdowns. In his two contests with Miami this season, he was 4-for-5 on FGAs and 6-for-6 on PATs.

Graham has also spent time on the active rosters of the New York Giants (2010), New England Patriots (2010), Cincinnati Bengals (2003-09), Carolina Panthers (2002) and Buffalo Bills (2001). He originally signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent in 2000.

To make room for the roster move, Baltimore placed rookie OLB Chavis Williams (foot) on Injured Reserve.

-Via a team release

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Ravens concerned with Cundiff’s health, struggles down stretch

Posted on 19 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After seeing their kicker making only two of five kicks this month and nursing a left calf injury, the Ravens appear moving closer to making a decision regarding the woes of Billy Cundiff.

His miss from 36 yards on the Ravens’ opening drive helped set the tone for a disastrous night in which the Ravens were beaten soundly in all phases of the game. The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker is just 27-for-36 on field goals this season with all nine misses coming away from M&T Bank Stadium.

When the injury first surfaced two weeks ago, the Ravens had veteran Shayne Graham on standby before Cundiff proved healthy enough to kick against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14. However, coach John Harbaugh admitted Cundiff’s effectiveness while kicking at less than 100 percent is being questioned more and more.

“It’s always a concern,” Harbaugh said. “I think it’s probably all wrapped up in there together. We’ve got to look at that today; we’ve got to look at that this week, because he hasn’t been able to practice the last couple weeks. That may have affected him a little bit. Nobody’s more frustrated right now than Billy with it.”

Given the healthy state of the 53-man roster, Baltimore could elect to sign Graham and allow Cundiff a week or two to rest before inserting him back in the lineup or electing to place him on injured reserve if the calf fails to improve. Regardless of how the Ravens choose to handle the situation, Harbaugh appears ready to address the situation sooner rather than later.

“We’re going to have to look at that really hard this week and try to make a good decision that way.”

Fumbling control of destiny

Aside from the embarrassment of being blown out in a nationally-televised game on Sunday night, the Ravens lost their grip on the inside track to the No. 1 seed in the AFC and slipped to the No. 5 berth in the current AFC standings.

The Ravens will now depend on help from others to determine whether they can regain control of the AFC North or ultimately find themselves back on the road as a wild card for the fourth straight season. While not conceding the loss of a first-round bye, Harbaugh expressed obvious disappointment at the failure to take advantage of a golden opportunity.

“We haven’t let it get away yet, obviously, but the control of it we certainly let get away,” Harbaugh said. “That’s disappointing. That’s something that we really wanted to hold onto. That was a target for us.”

The Baltimore coach acknowledged the accomplishment of the Ravens clinching their franchise-record fourth straight playoff appearance, continuing an impressive run since arriving on the scene as a rookie coach in 2008. It’s a feat not to take for granted, according to Harbaugh.

“The first thing you have to do is make the playoffs. It’s tough to do. It’s not so much a one-week accomplishment, either. It’s what you do over the course of the season that earns you the trip into the playoffs. I’m proud of that for our team. I think that’s exciting. That’s something we’re looking forward to, but now the next two weeks is going to play out in terms of exactly what that’s going to mean for us.”

The Ravens will do plenty of scoreboard watching over the next two weeks, starting with Pittsburgh’s Monday night game against San Francisco, but Harbaugh made it clear how critical it is for his team to handle everything it has the ability to control, starting with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday afternoon.

“That’s the thing we can control. We have complete control over the next two weeks as far as what we do. That’s what we need to take care of.”

Webb decision

To the surprise of nearly everyone, cornerback Lardarius Webb was able to play in San Diego after missing a full week of practice due to a turf toe injury he suffered against Indianapolis the previous week.

Webb was limited, however, playing in the nickel package while rookie Jimmy Smith started at cornerback opposite Cary Williams in the base defense throughout the night. It’s unclear whether the Ravens would have used Webb as a returner considering the Chargers never punted in their convincing victory over Baltimore. His inability to prepare physically led to the decision to go with Smith over Webb in the regular defense.

“He hadn’t practiced all week,” Harbaugh said. “That was the main thing. He held up fine physically. I think it’s something that you really don’t want to push if we didn’t have to.”

Smith and Williams were torched repeatedly by the combination of 6-foot-5 receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, who combined for eight catches, 180 yards, and a touchdown against the Baltimore secondary. There’s no predicting whether Webb’s presence on every play would have helped matters much, but Harbaugh chose to go with the combination of cornerbacks who prepared all week for a complicated passing scheme.

“We felt like our young guys were going to do a good job out there, but the main thing was just handling all the different route combinations and the coverage,” Harbaugh explained. “We felt like those guys had practiced all week, so that gave us the best opportunity, combined with the injury, was the direction that we wanted to go.”


Many questioned why Harbaugh didn’t use his allotment of timeouts on San Diego’s final possession of the first half as the Chargers marched down the field and took a 17-7 lead on a 1-yard run by Ryan Matthews. With the Chargers scoring at will against the Baltimore defense and set to receive the opening kick of the second half, it was an opportunity to save time for Joe Flacco to operate the two-minute drive and come away with points to make it a one-possession game at halftime.

Instead, the coach refrained from using his timeouts, and the Ravens started from their own 21 with just 19 seconds remaining. A 24-yard pass play to Ray Rice was followed by one of four Antwan Barnes’ sacks to end the first half.

It was a decision Harbaugh regretted when asked about it on Monday afternoon.

“I thought about that right away while the game was going on. I should have used those timeouts and given us a chance to get down there and get some points before the half.”

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear John Harbaugh’s Monday press conference in Owings Mills right here.

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Lewis, Cundiff questionable; Birk probable for Colts on Sunday

Posted on 09 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — For the fourth consecutive week, the Ravens have listed linebacker Ray Lewis as questionable on their final injury report despite the veteran being highly unlikely to play.

Kicker Billy Cundiff was given the same designation and is considered a game-time decision after he suffered a calf injury earlier in the week. He is considered a game-time decision, and veteran Shayne Graham will reportedly be signed should Cundiff be unable to play against Indianapolis.

Center Matt Birk returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday and is listed as probable after he missed two practices this week with the sprained shoulder he suffered in the Ravens’ win over the Browns last Sunday.

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Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith was a new addition to Friday’s injury report as he was limited with what’s listed as a thigh ailment. However, the first-round pick is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.

Cornerback Chris Carr will miss his third straight game with a back injury, continuing an injury-plagued season after the veteran had not missed a game in his first six NFL seasons.

OUT: CB Chris Carr (back)
QUESTIONABLE: K Billy Cundiff (left calf), LB Ray Lewis (foot)
PROBABLE: RB Anthony Allen (thigh), C Matt Birk (shoulder), G Ben Grubbs (toe), CB Jimmy Smith (thigh)

OUT: LB AJ Edds (ankle), QB Peyton Manning (neck)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Pat Angerer (knee), TE Dallas Clark (fibula), TE Brody Eldridge (hand), WR Anthony Gonzalez (groin), TE Ryan Mahaffey (concussion), G Joe Reitz (knee), LB Ernie Sims (toe)

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Ravens kicker Cundiff’s status up in air, backup plan in place

Posted on 09 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens welcoming 0-12 Indianapolis to town on Sunday, you wouldn’t expect them to need a field goal in the closing seconds to secure a victory.

However, they may not have the services of Billy Cundiff in the unexpected event that they need one. Cundiff is listed as questionable on the final injury report and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.

The kicker missed his second straight practice on Friday as he continues to deal with a left calf injury. Cundiff is suffering from a left calf injury that “cramped up” earlier in the week, according to coach John Harbaugh. He has not attempted to kick with the injury and has been receiving treatment the last few days.

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“We’ll find out,” said Harbaugh when asked about his kicker’s chances of playing against the Colts. “I think so. I’m hopeful. I really am hopeful.”

In the event that Cundiff cannot play, multiple reports say the Ravens will sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham to fill in against the Colts. Graham and Cundiff competed for the kicking job in Baltimore during last season’s training camp when the latter won the job at the end of the preseason.

Graham was most recently with the Miami Dolphins after their regular kicker Dan Carpenter went down with an injury. He kicked in two games for Miami, making 4-of-5 field goals with the longest being only 28 yards. Should the Ravens decide to sign Graham, the move would likely come sometime Saturday after further evaluating Cundiff.

“We’ll have a backup plan for sure,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’ll just see how it feels [Saturday] and then into Sunday. It’s not a major thing; basically his calf cramped up. But we’ll take every precaution between now and Sunday.”

Cundiff is 26-for-34 on field goals this season, all eight misses coming on the road. He missed two field goals in the sloppy conditions in Cleveland on Sunday, raising concerns about his ability to make kicks away from M&T Bank Stadium.

The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker signed a five-year, $15 million contract in January.

“He’s doing everything he can, I’m sure, to get himself ready for this game,” punter Sam Koch said. “He doesn’t want to sit out. He wants to be there for the game, so he’s going to do everything he can to be out there on Sunday. … You have to wait until you’re out there to see how it really affects you. He hasn’t kicked since it happened. He doesn’t know how it’s going to affect him. It could affect, it could not affect him. It’s just kind of wait-and-see how it all goes.”

Koch told reporters he has kicked field goals this week in practice, making four of five attempts during Thursday’s practice. He has not kicked field goals since high school but says he would be honored to try if called upon Sunday.

What kind of range does the Ravens punter have if pressed into field-goal duty?

“I’d go at least 63,” Koch quipped. “I’d say 63 would be my max. I’d push it back to 64 if we could [break] the record.”

Lewis getting closer

Linebacker Ray Lewis missed his third straight practice this week and is expected to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday.

He has not practiced since the week of the San Francisco game when he was listed as a “limited participant” during the walk-through practice the Ravens conducted on a short week. It is believed that Lewis did not partake in much activity at all during those workouts.

However, speculation persists that Lewis and the Ravens are targeting a return in the nationally-televised prime-time game in San Diego next Sunday night. The 36-year-old linebacker suffered the turf toe injury in the Ravens’ loss to Seattle on Nov. 13

“I think he’s very close,” Harbaugh said. “It’s one of those injuries that you just have to see how it goes. You have to take everything into consideration. Maybe he could have played the last couple weeks; maybe we decided to just mitigate the risk. We just have to see where we’re at.”

Lewis had not missed more than two consecutive games since 2005 when he missed the final 10 games of the season with a torn hamstring that required surgery.

Odds & ends

Jenna Bush of “The Today Show” was at the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility on Friday doing a feature story on rookie receiver Torrey Smith. Bush, of course, is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. … Referee Clete Blakeman and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Indianapolis. … Sunday’s forecast calls for clear skies with the temperature in the mid-40s.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from John Harbaugh and Sam Koch as well as Jarret Johnson’s conversation with Drew Forrester on Friday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” right here.


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Ravens-Giants Notebook: Stallworth breaks foot, gone two months

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Despite 243 total yards of offense in the first half and an impressive 24-10 thrashing of the New York Giants, the Ravens suffered a significant loss on Saturday night, losing wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth for the next two months due to a broken left foot.

Stallworth will have surgery immediately and a screw will be inserted in the foot with hope that the receiver can return after the bye in Week 8, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

“That’s really disappointing for him and for our football team, obviously,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll do what we do. We’ll step up and the next guy will play well.”

The injury was sustained when the receiver “just planted wrong,” according to teammate Derrick Mason.

With Stallworth working as the punt returner and fourth receiver, the Ravens will now lean more heavily on Tom Zbikowski and Mark Clayton for return duties and will look down the depth chart at Demetrius Williams, David Reed, and Marcus Smith for additional help in the receiving unit.

Passing offense thrives

Joe Flacco may have only played 34 minutes in Saturday night’s win over the New York Giants, but his right arm received a full night’s work as the quarterback threw 34 passes, completing 21 and accumulating 229 yards through the air.

“I like to play and come out and just throw the ball, throw the ball, and throw the ball some more,” Flacco said. “It was fun man. I had a great time, and I think everybody out on the field did.”

It was apparent offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wanted to see his passing offense find a rhythm after an uneven performance against Washington last Saturday. The Ravens decimated the Giants defense for 243 yards of total offense and 17 points in the first half. The offense turned the ball over once in the first half on a late interception thrown by Flacco.

“Our tempo with the no-huddle was good, and our ball protection was better,” Cameron said. “We stressed both this week.”

Flacco’s favorite target on Saturday night was Heap, who continues to have an impressive preseason with two rookie tight ends pushing him for playing time and the veteran avoiding the injury bug. Heap caught six passes for 69 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown catch to put the Ravens ahead, 17-0 in the second quarter.

“It was just a play where [Flacco] had faith in me to go get the ball,” Heap said. “I’m definitely glad to see it work. It’s a play where you have to body the guy up and make a play.”


Though Anquan Boldin made his Baltimore debut two weeks ago against the Carolina Panthers, Saturday night marked the first time the impact receiver was announced to the crowd in pre-game introductions, earning loud cheers from the 70,742 on hand at M&T Bank Stadium as the starting offense was announced.

The raucous crowd grew even louder when Boldin reined in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Flacco early in the second quarter. The Ravens hope it was the first of many this season as the new impact wideout will be leaned upon to help the passing offense reach new heights. The score put Baltimore up by 10, and the Ravens never looked back.

“We’re just starting to get comfortable with one another,” Boldin said about his relationship with his new quarterback. “For us, we considered the half a real game, and we tried to pick it up a little bit and get in sync because this is truly the first dress rehearsal that we’ll get before the regular season.”

Boldin finished his evening with four catches for 52 yards with the aforementioned touchdown grab. The former Arizona Cardinals receiver has also earned a reputation as a strong blocker during his career, displaying it Saturday night when he wrestled a defensive back to the ground during a run play.

“That’s always been a part of my game,” Boldin said. “I hate to see a running back break a run. He could have gone for 30 or 40 yards, but my guy makes the tackle. So that’s something I take pride in. I was in one of those situations where a guy put his hand on my face mask, that pissed me off a little bit, so I had to get him back.”

Field goal opportunities passed up

The kicking competition remains undecided with Saturday’s victory providing little clarity in the process.

The Ravens converted three fourth-down tries in the second quarter, passing on potential field goal attempts from 26, 53, and 48 yards. Billy Cundiff made the only attempt by either kicker on the night, a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter.

“We have confidence with this [offense] on fourth-and-short, and we’ll continue to be aggressive with those,” Cameron said after the first half.

Shayne Graham lined up for a 41-yard field goal late in the first half, but Mason was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the Ravens out of field-goal range and forcing the punting unit onto the field.

McGahee M.I.A.

Though completely healthy and dressed in uniform, running back Willis McGahee did not play in the third preseason game. The Ravens’ running game did not get much of a workout as a whole in the first half, with only 11 rushing attempts and four of them coming from Flacco.

“We just don’t need to play those [veterans] every single week,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think we need to see what [McGahee] can do.”

Health update

In addition to Stallworth, the Ravens lost another receiver against the Giants when Clayton sustained a concussion on an illegal hit from safety Antrel Rolle in the second quarter.

“That’s obviously something to be careful with, but we’ll see,” Harbaugh said. “It shouldn’t be a long-term thing.”

Linebacker Ray Lewis left the game early in the second quarter and was icing his right knee on the bench in the first half. The 15-year veteran, however, told WNST.net’s Glenn Clark that it was “nothing” to be concerned over after the game.

Odds & ends

The Ravens now hold a 7-5 all-time record against the Giants in the preseason. The victory was the team’s seventh straight preseason win. … Giants receiver Victor Cruz’s 1-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter was the first defensive touchdown allowed by the Baltimore defense in the preseason. … Lardarius Webb was listed as inactive for Saturday’s game, but dressed in uniform and went through pre-game activity before the game. The Ravens’ other inactives were Jared Gaither, Terrence Cody, Oniel Cousins, Demetrius Williams, Eron Riley, Marcus Paschal, K.J. Gerard, David Hale, Daniel Sanders, Ed Reed, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Matt Lawrence.

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