Tag Archive | "Steve Bisciotti"

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Ravens to rename practice facility Under Armour Performance Center

Posted on 08 June 2012 by WNST Staff

Baltimore, MD (June 8, 2012) – The Baltimore Ravens, who play at M&T Bank Stadium in Camden Yards, and Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the leader in performance apparel, footwear and accessories, whose global headquarters are located downtown at Locust Point, are joining forces in a wide-ranging collaboration that will feature multiple community-focused initiatives. The ten-year agreement also includes naming rights for the Ravens’ practice facility in Owings Mills, which will be renamed the Under Armour Performance Center.

These dynamic organizations are led by nationally-recognized business and civic leaders.  Both Steve Bisciotti, owner of the Baltimore Ravens, and Kevin Plank, the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Under Armour, have enjoyed tremendous success both in the United States and abroad.

“I love the Under Armour brand and am proud that it is Baltimore-based,” Bisciotti said. “They started with football wear that players wanted, and still do. They produce great products. Under Armour is the only partner for our training center. Their success has been off the charts, and this partnership will serve as a long-term platform that will showcase to the nation the best of what two of Baltimore’s strongest companies have to offer.

“We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Steve and the Ravens over the years.  The Under Armour Performance Center is a facility that reflects our shared commitment to making all athletes better and to help the Ravens players excel on game-day,” said Plank. “We are even more excited that our partnership extends off-the-field, and will allow both of us to implement meaningful changes in the community.”

While both the Ravens and Under Armour have been active in improving the community, the two companies will combine to empower local youth and schools through football initiatives.  Specific youth football programs include the creation of annual grants, multiple clinics and statewide competitions.  Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and his assistants will play an active role in some of these programs, including a free Under Armour-sponsored clinic for over 400 Carroll County youth on June 16 at McDaniel College.

The creation of an annual 7-on-7 high school flag-football tournament, which already has attracted registration from 72 schools and more than 1,400 students for 2012, highlights the competitive elements of the agreement.

A visible component of the partnership is the renaming of the Ravens’ practice facility to the Under Armour Performance Center, which will host local and national media throughout the year and will showcase two of the city’s most successful corporate entities.

Under Armour recently announced the launch of a local community-based empowerment program, entitled “WIN Baltimore.” The platform is designed to spark positive social change throughout Baltimore and its surrounding neighborhoods by fueling the social, educational and physical advancement of the boys and girls who will serve as the future business and community leaders of the region.

The Ravens franchise, founded in 1996, won Super Bowl XXXV in January of 2001. The team has earned playoffs berths in five of the last six seasons, and they are the NFL’s only team to appear in the playoffs in each of the last four seasons – posting at least one victory in each of those postseasons. Long recognized for their community involvement, the Ravens’ mission is to win football games, serve their fans and be a positive force in the community.

About Under Armour, Inc.

Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.ua.com.

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Do you really care how Suggs was injured?

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Do you really care how Suggs was injured?

Posted on 06 June 2012 by Luke Jones

It’s no secret there was a cloud of uncertainty regarding the circumstances of Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs’ partially-torn Achilles tendon suffered in the final weekend of April.

While the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year maintains he injured himself doing conditioning work, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter’s Tuesday report of multiple witnesses claiming Suggs tore the tendon playing basketball in Arizona confirmed initial reports that circulated when the news first broke on May 3.

Over a month after the injury was made public, does it really matter how Suggs was injured?

The Ravens have never commented publicly regarding the circumstances surrounding the Suggs injury, but it’s nearly impossible to believe the organization didn’t do its own investigating over what exactly happened when the star player was injured. In other words, Tuesday’s news was hardly surprising to the Ravens.

However, Tuesday’s revelation forces Suggs — and perhaps the organization — to address the story as the 29-year-old linebacker appears to have been caught in a lie if you believe multiple accounts from the Akchin Gymnasium in Maricopa. If in fact he was injured playing basketball, Suggs was likely fearful of any potential action taken by the Ravens to withhold his salary or fine him. Judging from his initial comments following the injury, it was clear how despondent Suggs was for letting down teammates and fans, another factor that may have led to him withholding the truth behind the incident.

Though it’s within their right as an organization to withhold his salary due to a non-football injury, the Ravens have given no indication they plan to do so, a course of action with which I agree. It’s understandable to be upset with Suggs over choosing to lie — if that’s ultimately what he did — but the reality is this injury could have taken place any number of ways.

Owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, and fans would love to put star players in bubble wrap during the off-season, but it’s not reality. If you’re familiar with any of the off-season workouts players put their bodies through to prepare for the upcoming season, you know it puts the individual at far more risk than a light jog or simply raising a five-pound dumbbell. While Suggs’ participation in a basketball tournament wasn’t approved by team officials, he just as easily could have suffered the injury in Torrey Smith’s charity basketball tournament earlier this year or Lardarius Webb’s charity softball game this past weekend — events cleared by the Ravens.

The injury remains unfortunate and damaging to the Ravens’ Super Bowl aspirations for the 2012 season, but the altered cause of the injury doesn’t affect my opinion of Suggs unless we suddenly learned he tore the Achilles doing something egregiously reckless such as performing wheelies on a motorcycle or parachuting off a building.

If Schefter’s report is true, Suggs should come clean and apologize, which would allow all invested parties to move on from the incident once and for all. It doesn’t impact his recovery time or make the injury any better or worse, but addressing the issue now eliminates the lingering doubt and will allow the five-time Pro Bowl defensive player to focus on his rehabilitation with minimal media distractions after this latest wave of scrutiny.

Yes, Suggs used questionable judgment if he did hurt himself playing basketball and proceeded to lie about it, but it’s not worth holding a grudge against a player who’s been a standout member of the organization for nearly a decade.

He and the Ravens have suffered enough already.

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Sticking With Cameron is Still Ravens’ Right Move

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Sticking With Cameron is Still Ravens’ Right Move

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

With a fresh new batch of Ravens in tow Ozzie Newsome is once again in the fans’ good graces and discord has predictably shifted back toward Cam Cameron. I’ll take the role of devil’s advocate on this on and make a case for keeping him. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll start by saying that I wasn’t in love with the Cameron hire when it was made. I was concerned about the reports of the degree to which he had apparently alienated his locker room during his 1-15 season at the helm of the Miami Dolphins, I was aware that both Drew Brees and Philip Rivers seemed to improve mightily after being removed from Cameron’s tutelage and mostly I was concerned that Cameron had made his reputation while riding a predictable offense driven by two future hall of famers in Antonio Gates and Ladanian Tomlinson. During his time with the Chargers, Cameron’s offense typically had big wide receivers on the outside but rarely used them, instead doing most of their offensive work through Gates and Tomlinson and between the hash marks.

Here’s where my opinions have changed and why:

 

1 – Brees and Rivers

 

As mentioned, both Brees and Rivers seemed to thrive once removed from Cam’s influence. While that could serve as an indictment of sorts, some credit is surely due to Cameron for the foundation he built under those QBs. As Joe Flacco seemed to enter the league substantially behind each of those two on the learning curve, another year or two under Cameron at least could and should benefit his continued development, and sooner or later it’d be interesting to see what Cam could do with a QB if given an extended window to develop him. How many coaches have one QB the caliber of Brees or Rivers on their resumes, much less both?

 

 

2 – The Chance at an Extended Stay

 

As the Ravens have learned, NFL hiring practices are predictable and the current chic coaching hires in league circles are young coordinators of successful teams with little or no head coaching experience. The fact that Cameron is getting older and is still associated so easily with that 1-15 Dolphins team, makes it unlikely he’ll be finding his name on any short lists any time soon. If the Ravens could indeed find a comfort level with Cameron they could look to have him here and paired with Flacco for a long time to come. The kind of situation that Indianapolis and Pittsburgh each had for the better part of the last decade could certainly play well in Baltimore if we’ll just let it happen.

 

 

3- The Ravens are Deficient at Tight End

 

I like Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, but that doesn’t change the fact that in this the budding era of the tight end, those two aren’t measuring up to some of their star counterparts in the more productive offenses in the NFL. As I mentioned earlier regarding Cameron’s time in San Diego and as evidenced here in Baltimore with Todd Heap in the fold, Cameron not only will use the middle of the field, he wants to. That said, with Ed Dickson’s issues catching the ball this season, asking him to go up in traffic and impose his size by catching balls thrown up high is simply an invitation for an interception. The Ravens aren’t avoiding the middle of the field because they want to; they’re avoiding it because they have no weapons on whom they can rely there…yet.

 

 

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Ravens to open season hosting Cincinnati on Monday night

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Ravens to open season hosting Cincinnati on Monday night

Posted on 17 April 2012 by WNST Staff

After publicly campaigning to play a Monday night game in Baltimore, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti will finally get his wish.

WNST.net has learned the Ravens will open the season by welcoming the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals to town in a nationally-televised game on Monday, Sept. 10. It will be the first Monday night game played in Baltimore since the Ravens played the Patriots on Dec. 3, 2007, a game in which New England won in the closing seconds to remain undefeated.

Stay with WNST.net throughout the evening, follow WNST on Twitter, and be sure you’re subscribed to the WNST Text Service to have the entire schedule sent to your mobile device as the NFL officially announces the 2012 schedule at 7:00 p.m.

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I Answer Your Questions About Steve Bisciotti, Orioles Record, RGIII, More

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I Answer Your Questions About Steve Bisciotti, Orioles Record, RGIII, More

Posted on 03 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Harbaugh envisions Kruger at outside linebacker for Ravens

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Harbaugh envisions Kruger at outside linebacker for Ravens

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Luke Jones

After longtime linebacker Jarret Johnson signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago, the Ravens began the process of finding his replacement at the strong-side linebacker position.

Pass rush specialist Paul Kruger is the consensus choice among options currently on the roster, and coach John Harbaugh confirmed that notion at the NFL owners’ meetings in Florida on Tuesday. Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, Kruger struggled to find a role on the defense in his first two seasons before becoming a regular contributor in passing situations last season.

“I think Paul is probably the leading candidate for the ‘Sam’ linebacker job,” Harbaugh said. “I could very definitely see him doing that. When we lost [Johnson], I went back and watched all of Paul’s tape. I watched every one of his plays from last year just to try and get a feel just for whether or not we’d be comfortable with him in there. He did a nice job in coverage, he set the edge well.”

The 26-year-old Utah product collected 5 1/2 sacks while playing in all 16 games last season after struggling to simply avoid the inactive list in his first two seasons. Kruger had only one sack and five tackles over 20 games in 2009 and 2010 as the coaching staff evaluated whether he was better suited for defensive end or linebacker.

He and rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee became mainstays of the defensive line on third down last season as the pair combined for 11 1/2 of the Ravens’ 48 sacks. Now, new defensive coordinator Dean Pees will take a long look at Kruger as the replacement to the run-stopping, blue-collar Johnson, who started every game at strong-side linebacker over the last five seasons.

“Obviously, he’s a very good pass rusher,” Harbaugh said. “I believe Paul can do it. I think he will do it.”

Kruger’s ability to play the run and to drop in pass coverage remains a mystery after limited opportunities in his first three professional seasons. The Ravens will look hard at the draft if a prospect such as Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw or North Carolina’s Zach Brown is available early, but with other positions to address and limited cap space to potentially add another veteran linebacker, Kruger may find himself in position to be the starter when the preseason begins.

“He wants to be that guy and he wants to do it as well or better than how it’s been done for the Ravens,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what you want out of one of your players.”

Of course, Harbaugh’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt when you remember we’re four months away from the start of training camp. The coach is clearly going to show as much faith as he can in players currently on the roster without dwelling too much on hypothetical additions down the road.

The other player mentioned by some as a potential candidate to replace Johnson is 2010 second-round pick Sergio Kindle, but Harbaugh didn’t exactly speak about him in the same encouraging terms as he did with Kruger. Active for only two games last season, Kindle more closely resembles a player fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster than a viable starting option after the slow recovery he endured from a fractured skull just days before the start of the 2010 training camp.

While it’s true that Kindle has never had the benefit of a full offseason program at the team’s Owings Mills facility, it’s clear he has plenty of work to do before the Ravens can afford to keep him on the roster for a second straight season.

“If he comes back and becomes a player in the NFL, it’s going to be an unparalleled accomplishment,” Harbaugh said. “You know what? We think it can happen, and we’re going to know by the end of training camp.”

Cundiff competition

Ever since kicker Billy Cundiff missed a last-second 32-yard field goal that would have sent the AFC Championship game into overtime, fans and media alike have pondered how the Ravens should handle the kicker position next season.

As he did when he spoke to WNST.net at the NFL Combine last month, Harbaugh reiterated that he fully expects Cundiff to handle kicking duties again this fall. However, the Ravens are looking to create some competition for the incumbent kicker in the preseason.

Whether the Ravens choose to add a veteran or sign a rookie following the draft, Harbaugh sees no reason why they shouldn’t explore every avenue to get better — while clearly maintaining faith in the 2010 Pro Bowl selection.

“I say that so I’m not ruling anything out, but Billy is our kicker,” Harbaugh said. “I would anticipate Billy [being] our kicker for the opening game of the season. I think he’ll have a great preseason. I think he’ll have a great season next year, but everybody gets competition and he’s no exception.”

Running without Rice?

Continue >>>

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Your Monday Reality Check-I Got A Nice Reminder Sunday

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Your Monday Reality Check-I Got A Nice Reminder Sunday

Posted on 19 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

It’s been a tough start to National Football League free agency for Baltimore Ravens fans.

Even for the most realistic fan of the Purple And Black (I’d like to think of myself in that group), it’s impossible to be excited about a six day span that has seen five players (LB Jarret Johnson, DL Cory Redding, G Ben Grubbs, S Tom Zbikowski, S Haruki Nakamura) depart, just one free agent (C Matt Birk) return and no free agents added to the roster.

The realistic Ravens fan knew this could be coming. Between them, the five players share just one Pro Bowl appearance (Grubbs was invited to Hawaii this season as an injury replacement) and all were able to cash in on the open market. The Ravens, having spent significant money during the regular season to extend would-be free agent DT Haloti Ngata decided none were “cornerstone” players and wouldn’t overpay to keep them.

The Ravens are instead working to spend a boatload of money to extend QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice, both players they do believe are “cornerstone” parts of the organization.

The realistic fan also knows the Ravens still have work to do in free agency before the process is finished. It was revealed this week that return specialist (and part time Wide Receiver) Ted Ginn Jr. visited Owings Mills last week. The team could still look to find help along the Offensive Line and at Linebacker as well, and could even add another Safety at some point.

Additionally, the realistic fan is aware that the upcoming NFL Draft is likely to help shape the 2012 season for the defending AFC North champs, with some players (like WR Torrey Smith and DE Pernell McPhee) not likely to fully develop into contributors until after the season has started.

AND the realistic fan knows the 2012 season will also be defined in part by the continued development of young players. Entering the 2011 season, the team’s secondary was considered to be one of the bigger question marks about the roster. Just months later, the CB trio of Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith represents one of the more solid units in football.

Yet even the most realistic Ravens fan still agonizes over the thought “can enough be done to get this team over the hump and into a Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years?”

A reasonable level of concern is understandable at this point. In addition to the pre-existing question marks facing the team (uneven O-Line play, lack of a size receiver, age and injury related decline from defensive playmakers, Special Teams issues), there are additional depth issues created by the first batch of free agent departures.

It’s an uneasy time for Ravens fans.

The majority of Ravens fans have not swayed far from reality in how they’ve viewed Week 1 of the actual NFL offseason. As can be expected, some have gone off the deep end entirely. The reminder I got Sunday could serve as a nice “reality check” itself for fans in both groups. It’s probably something you already know about.

I assume you’ve heard that free agent quarterback Matt Flynn agreed to a three year, $26 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks. As the deal involved only $10 million of guaranteed money, most analysts agreed it was a particularly fair and perhaps very good deal for a team that is trying to improve on a third place finish in the NFC West last season.

I actually think the deal was a great move for the Seahawks. In fact, just days ago during our weekly “Free Advice” segment on “The Reality Check” (weekdays 2-6pm on AM1570 WNST.net for the one of you that doesn’t listen already) I encouraged the Seahawks to pull the trigger on the move. I can only assume my endorsement was the final approval the team needed to get the deal done.

But the facts about Flynn don’t change. The quarterback was believed to have so little pro talent coming out of LSU that he slid to the seventh round of the NFL Draft. While they’ve been impressive, he’s made only two starts with the Green Bay Packers as is still mostly an unknown commodity.

An unknown commodity who has $10 million guaranteed coming his way.

You see, the Seahawks are in a place where they had to make a significant move that could backfire. Matt Flynn might be more Rick Mirer than Matt Hasselbeck in the Emerald City, which could possibly doom Pete Carroll’s tenure.

Yet if the team didn’t pull the trigger, they could face a reality that involves more Tavaris Jackson. That would almost certainly doom Carroll to a sub .500 record until he was dismissed.

The Seahawks had to pull the trigger partly due to desperation. It’s a feeling the Baltimore Ravens have experienced in the past with mixed results. It’s a feeling that Baltimore Ravens fans should enjoy not experiencing this year.

The Ravens haven’t been able to accomplish much during free agency, but they haven’t had to. They’re not a desperate organization seeking a single fix to exit mediocrity. They’re a superior organization merely looking to make a few moves to reach “the next level.”

The Ravens have a quarterback. The Ravens have talented players at other offensive skill positions. The Ravens (still) have one of the best defenses in the league.

Desperation isn’t a word General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Owner Steve Bisciotti even have to consider. Neither do Ravens fans.

It’s a significantly better place to be. I appreciated the reminder.

Carry on.

-G

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ChuckPagano

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New Colts coach Chuck Pagano on if he’s grabbing former Ravens in FA: “I think history tells you that’s the case”

Posted on 06 February 2012 by Ryan Chell

Indianapolis was crazy all last week hosting the Super Bowl, and right along with it has been the host city’s new football coach and ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

That was because Pagano-just days after the Ravens’ 23-20 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Patriots- didn’t have to wait long to get back to work at the game of football preparation because NFL teams kept calling for his services.

After just one season as Ravens defensive coordinator replacing Greg Mattison, Pagano apparently had built enough of a resume that the Indianapolis Colts called 1 Winning Drive and asked to interview the 51-year old for their coaching vacancy.

And they were impressed enough by Pagano’s demeanor, it only took one interview for owner Jim Irsay and new general manager Ryan Grigson to know who they wanted to replace the fired Jim Caldwell as head coach.

They hired Pagano on January 25th, making the move official.

Pagano hasn’t slept much over the last two weeks moving his life from Baltimore to Indianapolis but he did find a few minutes to  join Drew Forrester, Glenn Clark, and Nestor Aparicio last Thursday afternoon from Radio Row to offer a special message to Raven Nation.

“My thanks go out to Steve [Bisciotti], Ozzie, Coach Harbaugh, the rest of the guys and all the players, all the assistant coaches, and the fans. I had four great years there and it’s really the last thing I ever expected.”

Pagano joined the Ravens in 2008 as secondary coach and quickly became a favorite of the players.

When Pagano left for Indianapolis, several defensive players took the move hard, including corner backs Lardarius Webb, Domonique Foxworth, and safety Ed Reed.

It was equally as hard for Pagano to move on, and his leave his brothers-in-arms behind.

“I felt like I had the greatest job in America,” Pagano continued. “It’s a fabulous organization and I wish nothing but the best for them.”

It was the sheer shock of getting the call that made Pagano consider the offer. Despite his success this season leading the third-ranked defense, he thought his chance was going to come after a few years down the road.

“It’s crazy,” Pagano replied. “It’s the last thing I ever expected-obviously walking in that locker room and dealing with the heartache that everybody was coming off of with that loss.”

Pagano walked into his regular meeting Monday morning after the loss to New England, and Coach John Harbaugh handed a phone to him in his office.

“Indianapolis called…they want to talk to you,” Harbaugh said.

“I was like, ‘No way-come on…tell me you’re playing with me’,” Pagano told the WNST crew. “I got on the phone with Ryan Grigson-our GM, and he asked if I would come down.”

Pagano was also equally surprised considering he had no connections to Jim Irsay, the Colts, or Grigson in the past.

“I had only spoken with Ryan a year prior about some things…it was just a surprising deal.”

But now the holiday is over for Pagano. He’s already at work formulating his new coaching staff and preparing for the 2012 season.

Both of those preparations might and have already conflicted with the Ravens off-season plans, as Pagano already tabbed Baltimore assistants Marwan Maalouf and secondary assistant Roy Anderson on his coaching staff.

Right now, it’s all downhill from here for Pagano.

“We’re still putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” Pagano added. “We’ve got three great hires with Bruce Arians coming in an offensive coordinator…and Greg Manusky just signed on today.”

Pagano admitted that he tried to raid his ex-boss in John Harbaugh of more of his assistants, but there was only so much leverage John would allow.

“I tried to raid the hen-house of coaches, but between Ozzie and John I obviously knew that wasn’t going to happen.”

Pagano said that he’s had numerous offers from fellow co-workers and coaches and ex-players to come on board.

But he quickly shot down the belief that it was because of him that he was getting all these calls. It’s about the tradition of working for a storied franchise like the Colts.

“This city is phenomenal…there’s a ton of people that want to come to this city and be part of this organization.”

Could this include several former Ravens on defense who are free agents-Jarret Johnson, Haruki Nakamura, Tom Zbikowski, etc-who loved Pagano?

He said it would be foolish for the Ravens not to anticipate that. They’ve already experienced it with the exodus of players following Rex Ryan to New York.

“I think if you look at history and you look at the coaches that have moved on from there and took other jobs, I think history tells you that’s the case. Nobody does it better than those guys now and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have my eye on a couple guys.”

But the one guy that Pagano is probably worried about-and this time as his coach as opposed to drawing up a game-plan against him-is his current quarterback in Peyton Manning.

His future remains in doubt as Colts quarterback, but Pagano isn’t worried about it. He knows and trusts in the people that are above him making those decisions for him.

“It’s obvious that Mr. Irsay and Peyton…the lines of communication are there. They’ll continue to talk and as time goes on…the situation will handle itself.”

Pagano said he has too much on his mind to involve himself with that he said he’s going to assume the right things get done.

It was the same approach he had in Baltimore, and that worked well enough for him.

“I’ve got so many things to do trying to reach out to players,” Pagano said, and put a staff together. I’ve got to do the best I can.”

WNST thanks Chuck Pagano for joining us on Radio Row and wishes him all the best in Indy…when they’re not playing the Ravens! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

 

 

 

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

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Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.

In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-Adam Sandler (Actor)

-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)

-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)

-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)

-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)

-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)

-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)

-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)

-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)

-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)

-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)

-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)

-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)

-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)

-David Feherty (Golf Channel)

-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)

-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)

-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)

-Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
-Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
-Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)

-Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)

-Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)

-Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
-Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
-Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
-Peter King (SI/NBC)
-Lesley Visser (CBS)
-Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
-Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)

-Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
-Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)

(More on Page 2…)

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Even after devastating loss, State of the Ravens is solid

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Even after devastating loss, State of the Ravens is solid

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Peter Dilutis

OWINGS MILLS: The braintrust of the Baltimore Ravens was on display in Owings Mills as Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass, and John Harbaugh met with the media Wednesday afternoon.

While several references to the now infamous Lee Evans drop made it clear that these men are not yet over what happened in Foxborough on January 22, the top decision makers in the organization displayed confidence that the Ravens are headed in the right direction.

“I’m proud of the product we’re giving Baltimore,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said. “It seems like football is a passionate business in Maryland. We’re one of the top five teams as far as ratings in our home market, and that’s a good thing. They say apathy is the worst emotion and there’s not much apathy in this town about our team.”

Bisciotti was very blunt when asked what the Ravens could do next season to take the next step and get to the Super Bowl.

“Hold onto a ball,” Bisciotti said. “That’s where it was this year. It’s a game of inches. We were there.”

A big reason why the Ravens “were there” at the end against New England was because of the Joe Flacco’s performance in the AFC Championship game. Much has been made about Flacco’s contract situation and his standing as the franchise quarterback going forward. Throughout the 45 minute press conference, both Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome made it clear that they were not only planning on going forward with Flacco at the helm, but they are looking forward to reaping the benefits of his continued rise.

“Did Joe improve? Yes. And he improved after we took away some weapons that he was accustomed to in Mason and Todd Heap,” Newsome said. “He was able to improve with two young tight ends, two young receivers, a receiver that was traded to him in the middle of training camp, and a second year receiver in Anquan. There’s no doubt that Joe improved.”

“The thing that I like about Joe is that when you are in this business, you get judged on one thing: winning,” Newsome said. “Joe wins. If he continues to win and if one pass is caught, he would be in the Super Bowl. I think he’s going to win Super Bowls…a lot of them. I hope to be a part of them. He has improved, but the thing you cannot knock about Joe is that he’s a winner.”

Bisciotti chimed in with praise for his quarterback.

“People want to see fire in their athletes,” Bisciotti said.” We know Joe has it. I think he’s going to be extremely successful. I think he’s going to have rings, and he’s got 10 years in his prime to show it. I think he will be rewarded for his personality in the long-run.”

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