Tag Archive | "suggs"

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On the road against weaker foes for Ravens it’s been ‘Ball So Hard-ly’ in 2011

Posted on 14 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

The trip home from Seattle was just as long for me as it’s been for the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve had several hours of reflection now, and so have I, as the purple tour of North America continues with intermittent ugly losses and long plane rides.

The Ravens, as I’ve written and said many times since the initial debacle in Nashville back in September, have been become quite consistent in their inconsistency and unpredictability. We all know that there’s a very good football team someone in there based on the sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the steely resolve they’ve used to overcome deficits like the hole they dug against the Arizona Cardinals.

But, when will the “real” Baltimore Ravens of 2011 stand up and define their season?

This latest smelling, wretched turd in Seattle will not sit well for the next six days as head coach John Harbaugh will go back to the drawing board – or maybe that’s Cam Cameron’s job? – as the Ravens attempt to game plan for a first-place showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday for the most recent “really important game” of 2011.

The Seattle game had all of the hallmarks of a lost game amidst the promise of an elite team and a still-potential Super Bowl year for the Ravens.

Sure, kick returner David Reed will be the fall guy for the two obvious field possession swings and the 22-17 loss to the Seahawks but as Ray Lewis told me at his locker last night it goes far deeper than a few fumbles or turnovers.

Some random questions and observations as the Ravens return from Seattle at 6-3 and still fully in control of their own destiny in the AFC race for a No. 1 seed, a January bye week and some home-cooking to start the 2012 Festivus season:

Is the defense aging?

The otherwise stingy Ravens defense began every stand yesterday in Seattle from a position of obvious weakness. When Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed lead their defense onto the field and the first mumble is: “I hope we can hold them to a field goal!” that’s never good.

The turnovers yesterday killed the spirit

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Suggs says Pittsburgh is his Madison Square Garden

Posted on 02 November 2011 by WNST Staff

It’s Pittsburgh week in Owings Mills and Terrell Suggs always has some thoughts on his mind about Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward. Here’s his thoughts when pressed by Nestor Aparicio:

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With Big Ben & Polamalu out, no excuses for Ravens tonight

Posted on 29 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

As we all now know, the Steelers will play tonight’s game here in Baltimore without their two best players, with the late subtraction of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joining safety Troy Polamalu in the black and gold infirmary.

It is not lost on any Ravens fan that tonight it’s clearly: advantage Baltimore.

Big Ben, as ‘yins from ‘donton affectionately call him, has been poison for anything in purple since he entered the league. He is the Ravens kryptonite. Polamalu’s interception of Joe Flacco in Pittsburgh last January must be considered the most heartbreaking play in the history of the franchise.

I don’t think I need to remind you that the Ravens are on a three-game losing streak to our friendly neighbors from the northwest.

Or that this is their first appearance on Baltimore turf since hoisting a second Lombardi Trophy to the Tampa skies last Febuary.

Or that, at 5-5, a loss to the Steelers tonight will effectively end the Ravens season.

I hate the Steelers. You hate the Steelers.

Let’s hope that attitude — and a few first downs and quarterback pressures along with some goofy white towels we’ll all be waving — are enough to keep the Ravens season alive tonight.

I get the feeling we’ll be feeling the loss of Fabian Washington more than we realize — just like when Chris McAlister went away two years ago — but there are no excuses for a Ravens loss tonight.

We can’t cry about Terrell Suggs not suiting up (of course, John Harbaugh has played the cat and mouse injury report game all week with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.)

Flacco needs to be crisp and sharp. Billy Cundiff can’t miss field goals. Matt Katula needs to snap straight. The offensive line can’t create pre-snap penalties. The defensive front seven must make Dennis Dixon run for his life like the rookie quarterback he is tonight.

The game is on national television. It can’t be a coming out party for some guy from Oregon we’ve never heard of.

The only thing worse than losing to the Steelers at home to effectively end our season with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving would be the thought that it happened at the hands of some guy named Dennis Dixon putting on a black and gold cape.

A disturbing thought.

Let’s hope we don’t go there…

The Ravens must win tonight.

My updated prediction: Ravens 34, Steelers 9

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Don’t ask…just click! Very, very funny…

Posted on 30 October 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I’m not one for cartoons, jokes, chain letters or general web stuff that I refer to as “spam.” (And for the 1000th time, NO, I don’t want to play Mafia Wars with you on Facebook! Stop sending me that manure!)

However, I got this link forwarded to me on Facebook (thanks, Tom!) and, well, it’s pretty freaking good.

It’s PG-13, don’t worry…thank me later!

Just click here…

Be ready to laugh…

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Suggs continues his double talk over camp

Posted on 15 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Today is the day. Either Terrell Suggs agrees to the deal the Ravens have put forth and becomes a long-term signee or he’ll be franchised at 4 p.m. and will have to suffer with a second year of detainment and a $10.2 million payday in 2009.

After telling The Los Angeles Times that training camp is “overrated” two weeks ago, Suggs told Jamison Hensley this in this morning’s fishwrap: “The fans want to see me in training camp on time, and I want to be there on time.”

A change of heart? Perhaps…but who can blame him about training camp? Not many are fond of the necessary evil.

But here’s the key fact for the day: there’s a contract for about $30 million in guaranteed money sitting on the table awaiting his wet signature. Of course by signing the current multi-year deal the Ravens are offering, it would indeed mean that he’d need to be in Westminster in 12 days.

Suggs told the world two weeks ago that the deal was “close” to a long-term agreement.

One thing is for sure: the deadline is now close and we’ll know more by the end of the day.

Either way, Suggs will be in uniform on Sept. 13 when the Chiefs come to town to start the Festivus season. So I’m not sweating it. Apparently, neither is Suggs.

If you want to be the first to know if Suggs inks a long-term deal, you can join our WNST Text Service here.

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Just Say No To Anqaun Boldin

Posted on 22 April 2009 by Neal Bortmes

The Ravens should not trade for Anquan Boldin. Yes he is a dynamic receiver who can score touchdowns, I know because he helped me win my fantasy league last year.  Boldin suffered a broken jaw and came back to play last season, so we know he is tough, and he accumulated 89 grabs for 1,038 yards and 11 TD’s despite missing time due to the gruesome injury.  He hasn’t proven to be a malcontent like other big name receivers, but he is very envious of his teammate Larry Fitzgerald’s contract and thinks he should be similarly compensated.  Boldin is a strong guy with a lot of YAC potential and I am sure that Cam Cameron could use him in very creative ways.

 

 

The crux of the situation is the Cardinal’s price tag for acquiring him.  Somehow they have decided that every general manager in the league is as foolhardy as Jerry Jones and they are seeking a 1st and 3rd round pick similar to what the Cowboys gave up last year in their trade for Roy Williams.  That move may pay dividends for the ‘Boys this year but the returns are not in as of yet, and I think that a similar move by the Ravens may be unpredictable as well.  The Ravens made it to the AFC Championship game last year with the core group of guys currently on the roster, and Ozzie Newsom has actually hit on more first round picks than he has missed during his tenure with the Ravens.  Which is something very few, if any executives can say during that same time.  Personally I would rather take the chance that Ozzie will find a gem, regardless of position, at 26 who will play for the team for ten years, than trade for Boldin who has about five high level years left.  Boldin is approaching 30 which is generally the start of decline in many players.

 

 

There are other potential hurdles in the Ravens’ quest for Boldin, including their current salary cap situation.  If the Ravens do trade for him they will have to cut some other players in order to sign him to the extension worth the type of money he desires.  This will reduce the depth that Ozzie has worked hard to build in the off-season through free agency.  If the Ravens could somehow sweet-talk the Cardinals into accepting a second round pick and either Willis McGahee or Todd Heap (or even better both and a lower pick) then they could clear enough cap space to sign Boldin.  Trading these players however also has potentially negative salary cap implications.

 

 

If the Ravens were to sign Boldin for the money he expects than it will surely create problems in the locker room.  Terrell Suggs has wanted a contract extension for what he perceives as his market value for two years now.  During that time he has never complained or whined openly to the media, asked to be traded, or become a distraction in any way to his team, the same cannot be said for Boldin.  In my estimation if the Ravens trade for Boldin and give him what he is asking for then Suggs will have a legitimate beef with the organization.  He has done everything asked of him but if he is slapped in the face like that I feel a divided contentious looker room may result.

 

 

Suggs will not be the only Raven veteran who will be dismayed by this course of events.  Derrick Mason will also assuredly be upset because he too would like a contract extension, and like Suggs he has been a consummate professional in his time here.  Mason also played through a significant injury last year having suffered a torn labrum and scapula in week 10; however he was sill able to total 80 receptions for 1037 yards and 5 TD’s.  Mason’s age (35) and his injury may soon catch up with him but he has seemed to improve each year of his career with the Ravens. 

 

 

The Ravens need to upgrade their receiving corps, preferably with a go-to-guy who can stretch the field, but Anquan Boldin is not the answer.  The problems I have enumerated weigh heavily in the favor of his acquisition as a negative prospect going forward and unless things change in the very near future it is simply a bad idea.  The Ravens should continue to build through the draft and see how things transpire before they go all willy-nilly and trade away their future for a bunch of potential problems.  Last but certainly not least remember that Haloti Ngata is going to also need a new contract soon and he will surely command top dollar.

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Sylvia

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So lemme guess: you skipped the Pro Bowl again?

Posted on 09 February 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I spent the afternoon yesterday at Sylvia’s house in Parkville watching the Pro Bowl, eating chicken wings and pizza and drinking Miller Lite. Honestly, I’m glad we did make a date to watch the game with her many Ravens buddies and waiting for a random big play from a guy in a purple helmet or to get a look at the many Ravens staffers donning Don Ho-style red Hawaiian flowered print shirts. The entire coaching staff from John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron right on down looked like Peter Schmuck at Camden Yards on a summer night.

But the Pro Bowl sucks even when you’re with people you like in a really cool basement (Sylvia won our “Miller Lite Purple Palace” contest last month). We all know that. Vanilla defenses. Lots of “no shows,” including our own Ed Reed. Even the quarterbacks stunk yesterday, with everyone from Peyton Manning to Kerry Collins to Drew Brees to Kurt Warner throwing these wobbling dying duck passes all over the Honolulu turf. Brendon Ayanbejdo played more base defense in the Pro Bowl yesterday than he did during the entire NFL season. LeRon McClain missed at one shot at the endzone and got in on his second chance. Terrell Suggs and Ray Ray looked regal in their red jerseys making a few random tackles and missing others.

And there’s no doubt about it: NO ONE wants to get hurt. Everytime Ray Lewis went toward the ball we were all holding our breath and he STILL might wind up on the Steelers in six weeks for all we know? Or, this might’ve been the final time he strapped on a purple chinstrap. That thought definitely crossed my mind.

Next year, the Pro Bowl will move back to the mainland for the first time in more than a generation, and will be played the week before the Super Bowl in Miami, which will probably allow me to attend. But what’s to see when you actually watch the game?

Guys kinda going through the motions. The NFL marketing its various “Pro Bowl official game jerseys.” And all of the stars in one place at one time in a game that should probably be changed to a flag football game. Even the announcers kinda make fun of how the game is an “exhibition” that borders on a joke as far as a competition goes.

It was a great chance to honor our “Miller Lite Purple Palace” winner and talk football. All of Sylvia’s friends were buzzed up about all the same stuff all of the WNST listeners have on their minds.
Sylvia's Purple Crew

What’s going to happen with Ray Lewis?

Are the Terps going to make the tournament?

The Orioles are going to suck again.

But there’s something poignant and “final” about seeing the last snap of the football season and knowing we have to wait until August for the next round of crappy football that doesn’t matter and until after Labor Day for the first meaningful games again.

Today, the offseason begins in the NFL. The combine is next weekend in Indianapolis. The owners meetings happen in late March. The 2009 schedule will be released in early April. And then cometh the draft, which is one of my favorite weekends and events of the year.

Hang in there. We’ll try to make sense of the offseason and the Terps and Gary Williams and of course, we’ll be following the Orioles with the only objective coverage in the marketplace.

I’ll chat with you more at 2 p.m. today with a major announcement.
Nestor and Sylvia

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Midweek Musings

Posted on 04 February 2009 by Mark Suchy

Random thoughts from the local sports scene that are bouncing around the cranium this week…

*  I don’t know about you, but this current Maryland men’s basketball team is probably the most forgettable group ever assembled during Gary Williams’ tenure in College Park.  No inside presence, very little depth, a repeated inability to play cohesive team defense and a lack of a true “go-to” player all add up to the debacles like last night’s in Chapel Hill and the embarrassment in Durham two weekends ago.  For a guard-dominated team, there sure aren’t many good ones on this roster.  In my opinion, Adrian Bowie has to play 30 minutes a game at point guard and settle that position once and for all.  That would allow more freedom off the ball for Greivis Vasquez to come off of screens and play a little closer to the rim (because, Lord knows, he’s just not very good from way outside).  More Sean Mosely can’t hurt either.  But unless and until Braxton Dupree and Dino Gregory contribute much more significantly, this Terps team is doomed to finish with a maximum of 6 ACC wins.  Just look at the remaining schedule and tell me how they can finish the second half of conference play at 6-2 (which is what it will taje to go 9-7 and be a legitmate “bubble” team come NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday).  Wake, Duke, UNC, Clemson and Virginia Tech are all significantly better than Maryland and will assure the Terps another NIT trip.

As for the status of Gary Williams, it appears he will at least get another year to straighten out the current problems in the program.  At least as it regards recruiting, this is a positive development.  Any appearance of internal conflict could easily chase away potential Terps, no matter how highly or lowly regarded they may be.  And right now, this program needs all the talent it can possibly unearth.

*  So Ty Wigginton is a Baltimore Oriole?  I guess I’ll upgrade from that 13 game plan to a 29 game plan now.  I mean really.  How much more of this type of mediocrity are all lifelong Oriole fans supposed to swallow?  I understand that every major league team needs depth and versatility for the rigors of a six month season, but exactly how does having Wigginton fit in?  Is this a preliminary move that clears the way later this year to trade Melvin Mora (assuming he waives his no-trade clause, which I would imagine he’d be happy to do by mid-July when they’re 22 games out) or even, perhaps, Brian Roberts?  There simply appears to be an overabundance of utility players on this current roster.  Wigginton, Chris Gomez, Ryan Freel.  Awfully inspiring.

*  Speaking of the Orioles, I brought this up on-air the other day while filling in for Nestor.  Why wouldn’t the team have any interest in Manny Ramirez?  I know the answer already ($$$$), but why wouldn’t you at least explore something along the lines of two years?  He could be the everyday DH, hit a ton in Camden Yards, stick it to Boston and New York 38 times a year, and show some of the younger players how to be a complete major league hitter.  And don’t give me the argument about Manny taking away at-bats from Felix Pie or Luke Scott.  Really, who cares?  If you’re telling me that people wouldn’t be much more inclined to go see the Orioles on a Tuesday night in June against Seattle because Manny’s in the lineup, I’d tell you you’re lying.  The guy is the best right-handed hitter available, a certain Hall of Famer and a draw.  Oh, right, I forgot, who cares about selling tickets when MASN is lining the hallways of the Warehouse with cash.  Silly me.

*  Money, money, money.  We’ll be hearing plenty of talk about it over the next month as the Ravens map out their future with the pending free agents.  My guess is that Ray Lewis has played his final game as a Raven; he will simply take the highest offer, and the Ravens will choose not to match.  The two most critical pieces to retain are Terrell Suggs and Jason Brown.  After that, it will be “right player, right price” as the team rebuilds for ’09.  And every one of us that cares about the team should not go insane about any of the moves this front office makes until the season is played.  As I recall, there was an awful lot of yammering and Ozzie bashing last April, May, etc. about his draft manueverings and picks, free agents, trades, etc.  Be patient, everyone, and give this entire front office a little credit as the off-season plays out.  More often than not, the moves work.  Which is the most critical reason behind the franchise’s success over the past decade.

*  Early Final Four hunch: Duke, Marquette, UConn, Michigan State

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Harbaugh gives lock of week, Suggs and Reed win award, Flacco speaks out

Posted on 23 December 2008 by caseywillett

-Coach Harbaugh gave his lock of the week for this week,”New England is going to win a football game. We know that. Everybody knows that. So we’re going out there to win our football game. That’s what we need to take care of, and we don’t need anybody else to get us in the playoffs. That’s our job to take care of that.”

He was then asked if the Patriots were the lock of the week, “the lock of the week. Book it.”

 

The media that cover the team on a daily basis, submitted their votes for team MVP and media good guy awards. The media good guy award goes to the player who is always media friendly and provides good quotes. After a couple of years of campaigning for the award, Terrell Suggs walked away with that title this year. For winning Suggs received a roll of Bounty paper towels. The year that Bart Scott won, he received a bottle of hot sauce.

Ed Reed ran away with the MVP award as he received 12 of the 17 votes. Ray Lewis received two votes while Joe Flacco, LeRon McClain, and Derrick Mason, all got one vote.

– The Ravens will be doing some scoreboard watching leading into their game on Sunday while the Bills and Patriots play their game. The Ravens mindset here is that they have to focus on beating the Jaquars and not get worried about what the Patriots are doing. However, I think it is safe to assume that once they find out if the Patriots have lost, they will pull some guys out of the game.

-I asked Joe Flacco today if the Jaguars can use trying to upset the Ravens playoff chances as motivation for going into the game. Here is Joe’s response,”yea, for about the first quarter, but as long as we come out and play like we want to and let them know that we came here to play. Hopefully we can do that and let them know that they have no business coming to Baltimore and trying to ruin our chances.”

-Derrick Mason is dealing with issues in his shoulder involving the muscles now more than anything else. Derrick said he will see how the week goes, but is feeling a lot better than he was on Monday. He is hoping things will progress and he will be ready for Sunday. As far as sitting out a game, he said that if he is healthy he will play, if he can not play he will not be out there.

-Terrell Suggs pointed out that this week for the Jaguars is the first week of their new season. He said the Jags winning the game would be a great way for them to get their new season off to a good start.

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Getting a grip on the Festivus activities

Posted on 23 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

So, it looks like we’re getting into the playoffs. Well at least we can talk that way for a few more days and as a 10-point favorite against Jacksonville this weekend (and please note the gametime change to 4:15 p.m., which means the coldest possibilities for us) the Ravens should win. Heck, if they don’t win they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, really.

So, assuming that the Ravens are going to win this week and advance to the playoffs I started putting together playoff possibilities onto a cocktail napkin on Sunday and this is what I came up with…and I can’t imagine the NFL scheduling gods could have cooked this weekend up with a whole lot more drama than what they have – several cool matchups and playoff spots on the line in both conferences.

Indianapolis can now pack their bags for Denver or San Diego. But that Sunday night game is gonna be a good one. You gotta think that the Chargers have all of the momentum and the home field. What a story that would be, digging out from 4-8 to make the playoffs. Kinda unheard of…

Clearly, Nasvhille and Pittsburgh are just sitting tight, taking a “bye” week before their official byes. And as we saw two years ago, that extra slacker time isn’t always the best route. Two of the last three Super Bowl champs (Pittsburgh 2005 and N.Y. Giants 2007) have come from the No. 6 hole and not only won three in a row on the road but also overcame the extra game and the lack of a bye. You’d figure that being a higher seed would be a good thing but the recent history doesn’t support it.

And the Ravens (or the eventual No. 6 seed) will be headed to the AFC East winner. If Miami beats the Jets, we’re headed to South Florida. If the Jets beat the Dolphins, we go to New England provided they win in  Buffalo (hardly a given).

And such begins any legitimate Ravens fan’s aspirations of catching fire and making January 2009 one helluva memorable month. Here are my thoughts:

1.    Miami is the Ravens’ best first-round path. While the flights are jam-packed (good luck trying to get to South Florida next weekend if the Ravens make it there!), the weather and a matchup where the homefield won’t be so unkind is favorable for the Ravens. It certainly beats going to frosty New England, which is the worst scenario for the Ravens. If the Jets win and the Patriots flop this weekend and we wind up at the Meadowlands against Brett Favre, I still like our chances. Just FYI: if the Ravens go to New England or New York, we’ve already got “Miller Lite Roadtrips” ready to go! If the Ravens play in Miami, we will not be offering a trip.
2.    A Ravens win at the AFC East champion would take them to a path that’s well-traveled and familiar to Ray Lewis, Matt Stover and any real Ravens fan: Nashville. Clearly, the Titans would rather not see No. 52 coming back into the former Adelphia Coliseum in January. And assuming another Tennessee road miracle win…
3.    The AFC Championship Game could be in Pittsburgh (assuming they don’t choke the weekend of Jan. 10-11) or San Diego, Denver or even Indianapolis, if they could win two in a row on the road and take down the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Of course every fan of every team is plotting their own pathway through their respective conference playoff possibilities. This is the joy of having a Festivus celebration – the possibilities and hope that even being a “potential” No. 6 seed affords. And, we still have to win a game at home this weekend against a feisty Jacksonville team to do that.

As we’ve seen over and over again in the NFL: NO ONE LAYS DOWN late in the season. Well, no one but the Arizona Cardinals, any way…

The lowly Seahawks, Redskins and the Bills all pulled off upsets over playoff-inspired favorites last Sunday. The Jaguars played the Colts extremely tough last Thursday night and they’ll have two extra days of rest before coming here this Sunday. Maurice Jones Drew got dinged up very late in the game against Indy, so it’ll be interesting to see how effective he’ll be this week but he’s an explosive threat, like a human pinball or a poor man’s Barry Sanders. He’ll present speed issues for the Ravens defense in the middle of the field.

There’s no “counting chickens” as a Ravens fan. This Jaguars game is hardly a walkover in my mind. But a win this week opens all sorts of doors of possibilities for 2009 and dreams of an improbably Super Bowl run with a rookie coach, a rookie quarterback and a veteran Hall of Famer inspiring the troops in the September of his career.

The storylines for the Ravens are obvious:

Ray Lewis in a walk year trying to win another Super Bowl…

Trevor Pryce going for No. 3…

Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle, who both came up one-yard short almost a decade ago, getting another chance…

A first chance for Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Todd Heap and other Pro Bowlers to win a championship…

Will it start in Miami?

Or New England?

Or a trip to the Meadowlands for Favre and the Jets?

Can the Ravens avoid an upset at the hands of the Jaguars – who were truly Kyptonite to this franchise in the early years when they won the first eight matchups of the rivalry – to earn the No. 6 seed. For better or worse, the playoffs come to Baltimore at 4:15 this Sunday in what amounts to a “play in” game for the franchise and the city.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed…

Happy Festivus to all…

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