Tag Archive | "Super Bowl XLVII"

Your Monday Reality Check: In Ozzie we trust, with Boldin we’ve won

Tags: , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check: In Ozzie we trust, with Boldin we’ve won

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

For the second time since the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, I spent the weekend away from Charm City.

I was in New York celebrating a friend’s birthday for a few days, rocking out with the Allman Brothers Band, staring at Manhattan while drinking beers on a Brooklyn rooftop and discovering what a “Yotel” was. (They seem nice.)

For the second time in as many trips away from Baltimore in recent weeks, I also spent a good chunk of my time away reminding as many folks as I could that I was “from the home of the World Champions” in as nonchalant a way as possible.

I will admit that at one point while sitting on the Brooklyn roof, I was telling a story about LB Brendon Ayanbadejo’s courageous fight for marriage equality. I started a sentence by dropping the term “I know a guy who plays for the Ravens” to which I received the response “you act like that’s not a big deal. They’re the Super Bowl champions.”

I can assure you the purpose of the story was not to illicit said response, but every time I hear those words I can’t help but smile.

No matter what your connection is to the team, there’s no question it matters a great deal to all of us to know that our hometown is held on a greater pedestal due to the incredible success of the organization with whom we share a home.

Over the course of the weekend a bevy of news flew around about the future of Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, First came a Saturday morning FoxSports.com story that said the two sides were prepared to part ways Friday after Boldin balked at the idea of cutting his $6 million base salary in 2013. It was followed by a USA Today report that stated the Boldin camp had flat out rejected an offer from the team and was readying for the postseason hero to be released and see unrestricted free agency Tuesday.

That particular report didn’t sit too well with those who remembered Anquan saying recently in a NBC Sports interview that if the team were to cut him he’d choose to retire instead of playing elsewhere. I never believed it, so it won’t bother me if he doesn’t follow up on his words. I understand why not everyone will feel how I feel.

Later Saturday news came from ESPN that Boldin was not prepared to be released but instead was planning on playing under his contract in 2013. The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday the team asked the receiver to slash his pay by $2 million.

(I was actually a bit afraid of writing about Boldin for this week’s column out of fear that when I woke up Monday morning the news would already be different.)

What the Sun report didn’t explain was how the team asked Boldin to cut his pay. If they asked him to cut his figure for 2013 but convert the money to bonus dollars in future years of a contract extension, it would seem fair. Boldin is in the last year of a four year, $28 million contract but has certainly shown a level of play that would make you think he has more than just one solid season ahead of him even at the age of 32.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Waiting no gamble at all in Flacco’s eyes as he finally cashes in

Tags: , , , , , ,

Waiting no gamble at all in Flacco’s eyes as he finally cashes in

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It’s been the narrative opening uttered over and over this month as Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and then signed a $120.6 million deal to become the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Ravens quarterback took a major gamble and won — or that’s what makes the story sound juicier.

Believed to be offered a contract in the neighborhood of $16 million per season last summer, Flacco didn’t think he was being reckless or risking much of anything after he had led the Ravens to a playoff win in each of his first four seasons and hadn’t missed a single game due to injury. His reason for walking away from general manager Ozzie Newsome’s best offer was quite simple.

And it had nothing to do with being a riverboat gambler.

“I thought I was worth more,” said Flacco, who viewed a serious injury as the only real risk in playing out his contract. “I didn’t really see any circumstances where I wouldn’t end up getting paid more than what they were willing to give me at that point. It wasn’t like I was going to make any different salary last year than I was making already [other than] I might have gotten some upfront money.

“I figured play one more year and see what we could do as a football team. Have confidence in myself, have confidence in the guys around me, and just let it play itself out from there.”

It played out perfectly for the 28-year-old as he took his $6.76 million salary in the final year of his rookie contract and completed one of the best postseason runs in NFL history by throwing for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, resulting in wins over two of the league’s all-time great quarterbacks along the way and leading the Ravens to their second NFL championship.

Flacco figured the original offer — claimed by owner Steve Bisciotti to be in the range of the top 5 quarterbacks in the league — would remain on the table at worst but said his opinion of his own value would have remained as high as what he ultimately received, regardless of how the postseason played out for Baltimore. In his eyes, becoming a Super Bowl MVP didn’t transcend what he had already meant to the franchise.

“If we didn’t win the Super Bowl this year, I still think I’m worth the same and I still think I’m the same person to this organization,” Flacco said. “It may not be seen that way, but that’s the bottom line. I still think I give the team the best chance to win moving forward, whether we won or lost this year. I think it makes it a little easier for Steve to reach into his pockets having said that we won the Super Bowl. People don’t have to look at him as crazy as they may have if he had given me this much last year.”

We’ll never know how the Ravens ultimately would have valued their franchise quarterback this offseason had they not made it to New Orleans or triumphed in Super Bowl XLVII, but it’s a hypothetical question general manager Ozzie Newsome is glad he doesn’t need to answer. Forking over the richest contract in NFL history is easier to swallow as you’re awaiting your second Super Bowl ring in the last 13 seasons.

And that’s not to mention any of the bad memories of searching many years for a franchise quarterback, sifting through first-round busts, declining veterans, and a number of projects and placeholders who didn’t pan out. The feeling of being stuck in the quarterback abyss was not a pleasant one for a franchise with a championship-caliber defense for nearly a decade before finally striking it rich with the University of Delaware product.

“We just returned from the [NFL scouting combine], and I remember the days of going there and studying and hoping that one of the quarterbacks could be our guy,” Newsome said in a team statement. “‘Could so-and-so be our third-round Joe Montana or our sixth-round Tom Brady?’ We’ve been out in that desert before. That all changed when we drafted Joe in 2008.”

Some critics have dismissed Flacco’s accomplishments over the four-game postseason run, citing the gaffe by Broncos safety Rahim Moore on Jacoby Jones’ 70-yard touchdown at the end of regulation in the divisional-round win in Denver.

Key changes such as the elevation of Jim Caldwell to offensive coordinator and the insertion of Bryant McKinnie at the left tackle position, the improved health of several key players, and even good fortune were all important factors creating the necessary momentum for Flacco and the Ravens to reach the top of the mountain.

It started with a dismantling of the New York Giants in Week 16, continued with the luxury of resting starters in the regular-season finale in Cincinnati, and snowballed after a wild-card playoff win against Indianapolis in the returning Ray Lewis’ final home game. Before they knew it, the Ravens were raising the Lombardi Trophy in the Superdome and Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP.

“There are a lot of things that happened late in the season that if they hadn’t happened, we probably wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl,” Flacco said. “But they did. I’ve always said that there’s definitely a little bit of luck involved in winning the thing. It’s about the team that gets hot at the right time.”

The record-setting contract awarded to Flacco resulted in a perfect storm of his strong play, the financial difficulties by way of the salary cap, and a little bit of luck.

That’s not a knock on the quarterback, who played his best football over the most important four-week span of his career. The six-year deal will inevitably be revised as it’s structured to essentially be a three-year contract before cap numbers spiral out of control.

But it’s put Flacco on track to finish his career with the Ravens.

“That’s the plan,” Flacco said. “I can’t see it happening any other way.”

It’d be tough to bet against him on that one.

As he taught us this season, it’s not really gambling if you know what you’re doing.

Comments (1)

Suggs: Ravens defense yet to “hand out stripes” in post-Lewis era

Tags: , , , , , ,

Suggs: Ravens defense yet to “hand out stripes” in post-Lewis era

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Luke Jones

Long before the Ravens marched to their second Super Bowl title, many wondered which player would ultimately accept the torch passed on from Ray Lewis after his 17 years as leader of the vaunted Baltimore defense.

And now that the last of the confetti has fallen and the Ravens look ahead to life without the future Hall of Famer, linebacker Terrell Suggs admits he’s still not giving too much thought to a defense sans Lewis. The uncertain future of free-agent safety Ed Reed has led many to anoint Suggs as the logical replacement as the spiritual leader of the unit.

According to the 30-year-old linebacker in an interview on AM 1570 WNST on Wednesday, there will be a time this offseason to delegate responsibilities within the defense.

Just not yet.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Suggs said. “I didn’t want to rob myself or my teammates of what we just accomplished together. There’s going to come a time where we’re going to hand out stripes and assignments and jobs and what have you, but right now, we’re just all still on this magic carpet ride just enjoying it. We don’t want to rob each other talking about who’s the defense’s next leader.”

Regardless of how the Ravens solve the gigantic dilemma of replacing Lewis’ leadership, they apparently will have a fully-healthy Suggs, who confirmed he will not undergo surgery to repair the torn right biceps suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers in early December. That injury coupled with the partially-torn Achilles tendon suffered last spring limited Suggs to eight games and a career-low two sacks in 2012.

The Ravens hope a full offseason for the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year will mean a more productive version of the rush linebacker, who is schedule to carry a $13.02 million salary cap number in the penultimate season of a six-year, $62.5 million contract signed in the summer of 2009. Suggs will be counted upon to regain his 2011 form to offset the anticipated departure of pass-rushing specialist Paul Kruger in free agency.

Suggs collected 25 sacks and nine fumbles combined in the two seasons prior to the Achilles tendon injury last offseason. Initially feared to be lost for the season, Suggs returned by mid-October to provide a much-needed presence for the defense despite lacking the same explosiveness he enjoyed before the injury. The torn biceps injury cost Suggs another game in December before the veteran decided to push through the injury.

The 2003 first-round pick says he will be 100 percent for training camp instead of spending his summer days rehabbing like he did last year.

“I feel great; I went to see the doctor about the whole biceps thing,” Suggs said. “He said it’s strong enough that I don’t need surgery. That was good news because I didn’t want to be down for three, four months again. I get to hit the offseason full-stride with a clear vision.

“Now that I have the Lombardi and I have all those awards, I can go into the offseason with no pressure whatsoever and kind of just enjoy it.”

Currently promoting “The Coalition,” a film co-written and produced by the five-time Pro Bowl selection, Suggs quipped that he wouldn’t have bought into the unbelievable story of his championship team had someone tried to sell him the script prior to the season.

Instead, the linebacker enjoyed the first-person account.

“To finally get that done, just thinking of everything we’ve been through since I entered the league in 2003, it was just like, ‘Finally, you’re a champion,’” said Suggs, who joked that he’s now trying to buy the movie rights for the story of the Ravens’ run to Super Bowl XLVII. “I can’t describe it. I will never be able to. It was amazing to do it with my teammates.”

After tasting Super Bowl glory, Suggs will now adjust to playing without the man he affectionately called “The General” for the first time in his professional career. Whether he’s ready to assume Lewis’ gigantic shoes remains to be seen, but Suggs knows the defense won’t soon forget the expectations and vision largely cultivated by Lewis over the first 17 years of the franchise.

It’s a legacy that must be carried on as the veteran prepares for his 11th season in Baltimore.

“No matter what happens in the future, Ray Lewis’ presence will always be felt in that locker room [and] on that field,” Suggs said. “Our defense will still be held to a certain standard.”

Comments (0)

Ravens center Birk walks away after 15 NFL seasons, first Super Bowl triumph

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ravens center Birk walks away after 15 NFL seasons, first Super Bowl triumph

Posted on 22 February 2013 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — After a 15-year NFL career and finally winning a Super Bowl earlier this month, Ravens center Matt Birk figured it was the perfect time and setting to reveal he was walking away from the game.

In lieu of a fancier press conference at the team’s Owings Mills facility next week, the 36-year-old offensive lineman announced his retirement on Friday morning while dedicating a literacy center at Battle Grove Elementary School in Dundalk. Wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “Finish Everything,” Birk couldn’t specify a time when he made his final decision but spoke to head coach John Harbaugh for roughly an hour last weekend and said he hadn’t made up his mind at that point. He phoned the coach and general manager Ozzie Newsome on Thursday afternoon to reveal his decision.

Taking questions from the Battle Grove students before opening up to the gathered media, Birk was asked why he was retiring. The quick-witted center didn’t disappoint in laying out his answer.

“Why am I retiring? I’m old, I have six kids, and it’s just time. I really enjoyed football. I got to play for a long time. I’ve been very fortunate, but I just feel like it’s time to do something else.”

Birk spent the last four seasons with the Ravens after playing for his hometown Minnesota Vikings for the first 11 years of his career. Named to six Pro Bowls in his career, the Harvard University graduate was selected in the sixth round of the 1998 draft and earned his first championship in being part of the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.

It was the perfect ending for a career that began with Birk struggling to make the Vikings’ 53-man roster in 1998 and ended with the grizzled veteran celebrating with teammates and his family on the turf of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans after finally reaching the pinnacle of the NFL for the first time.

“You can’t ask for anything more,” said Birk, who went to work out at the Ravens’ practice facility a final time Friday morning. “It is a great way to end it, but like I said, no one’s entitled to a Super Bowl. Certainly not me. I was just so grateful and fortunate that I was able to be part of this team. It is a special team and the run that we made — the championship that we won — is something that I’ll never forget. I was telling [Harbaugh], you get a reason to come back and get together and relive those days. You’re forever linked, and that’s pretty cool.”

Despite playing well this past season, Birk was expected by many to retire to spend more time with his family as the father of six children. He said Friday that his wife Adrianna had offered her blessing for him to continue playing if he wanted to return next season. Birk signed a three-year, $8.525 million contract after contemplating retirement last offseason, but the deal was structured in a way that many expected the longtime lineman to either retire or be released after the first year of the deal.

Asked whether he thought he had anything left in the tank to continue playing if he desired, Birk quipped that no one would be able to find out the truth.

“It doesn’t matter what I think,” said Birk as he laughed. “Anyone who wants to challenge me, yeah, I’ll tell them [I can still play] because there’s no way you’re going to find out. It was great. Last year, I felt great and that was a blessing. It’s a physical game; it’s a violent game. I was able to feel good about what I put out there on the field. It was just a good way for me to end.”

The Ravens will save $2.05 million in salary cap space with Birk’s retirement, which will provide some relief as they deal with limited space and hope to work out a long-term contract with quarterback Joe Flacco. Baltimore drafted Delaware’s Gino Gradkowski in the fourth round of last year’s draft with the intention that he’d eventually take over for Birk.

The retiring center expressed confidence that Gradkowski would be ready to take over at center in his second professional season.

“Gino will be fine. The biggest thing about football is it’s a character game because it’s hard,” Birk said of his 2012 understudy. “It’s different from other sports. Gino’s got that. He’s a great guy. Gino will do whatever it takes to be successful.”

Birk was named the NFL’s 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work in the community, which includes his HIKE foundation to improve literacy. His foundation’s goal is to “impact the lives of at-risk children by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide a child through the key educational transitions between elementary, middle, high school and college.”

Several teammates expressed congratulations to Birk via social media on Friday morning as the veteran was considered one of the leaders in the locker room in a different way from the demonstrative and vocal leadership of Ray Lewis, who was the first member of the championship team to announce his retirement back in January.

Birk was touched by messages posted on Twitter from several teammates including Vonta Leach, Jameel McClain, and Torrey Smith.

“That means a lot,” Birk said. “You play the game for a lot of reasons, but the respect of your opponent and more so the respect of your teammates is probably the biggest thing you’re shooting for.”

Cognizant of player safety concerns in the NFL, Birk has said he will donate his brain to Boston University’s School of Medicine for research into concussions.

His post-football intentions remain unclear, but the Minnesota native predicted Baltimore hasn’t seen the last of him by any shot.

“I’ll continue to advocate for player safety and retired players’ rights — now that I am a retired player,” Birk said. “We’ll see. I don’t have any plans for what’s next. I certainly didn’t plan on playing football for 15 years. Kind of not having a plan has worked out for me so far. I’m going to stay with it.”

Making the difficult decision to leave the hometown team he grew up rooting for following the 2008 season certainly wasn’t part of any plan, but he was immediately impressed with Harbaugh’s vision for the Ravens despite the coach having only finished his first season in Baltimore.

It’s safe to say the gamble paid off in choosing a new football home after 11 seasons in Minnesota.

“At the time, I just said, ‘[With] the limited information I have about the Ravens, I’m going to bet on this guy and I’m going to come here,’” said Birk, who labeled Harbaugh a friend first and foremost. “I’m sure glad I did. From the beginning, the organization and the city just welcomed us with open arms.

“I don’t need to tell anybody what this team means to this city. It’s definitely a special connection. To have the honor of playing here for four years and playing under coach Harbaugh and his staff, it was truly an honor.”

 

Comments (4)

Ravens won’t repeat 2001 plan of mortgaging future for repeat bid

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens won’t repeat 2001 plan of mortgaging future for repeat bid

Posted on 07 February 2013 by WNST Audio

Comments (0)

J. Jones savors celebration after memorable first year with Ravens

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

J. Jones savors celebration after memorable first year with Ravens

Posted on 06 February 2013 by Luke Jones

You’d forgive Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones for being skeptical of the celebration held in Baltimore on Tuesday to celebrate the Super Boxl XLVII Ravens.

Growing up in The Big Easy, the 28-year-old return specialist knows a thing or two about a citywide party. But even Jones couldn’t help but shake his head in disbelief as more than 200,000 Ravens fans flocked to the downtown area for a parade and rally at M&T Bank Stadium to celebrate the second championship in the 17-year history of the franchise.

As he did following his record-setting 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, Jones offered his rendition of Ray Lewis’ famous dance after the 37-year-old linebacker showed it off one more time in front of the hometown fans. It was just one of many memorable scenes on a day few will forget in the history of Baltimore sports.

“I’m from New Orleans and we have Mardi Gras,” Jones said. “We have parades and we have people out there and you’d be like, ‘Wow.’ But that right there, that was times 10. That was crazy. I don’t think nobody went to work. No kids in school, no nothing. Baltimore just shut down. I hope no doctors were out there. Somebody would have died!”

It was quite a change from a year earlier for Jones, who encountered death threats and heard stories of Houston Texans fans burning his jersey in outrage over a critical fumble on a punt in a divisional playoff loss to the Ravens last January. Released a couple months later, Jones found a home in Baltimore after signing a two-year, $7 million contract.

The sixth-year receiver and former third-round pick immediately felt right at home with the Ravens as the organization simply encouraged Jones to be himself as he had a reputation for being a bit of a free spirit in addition to doubts about his hands. He is among countless players to declare this year’s team as the closest they had ever been a part of.

His two-touchdown performance while playing in the Super Bowl was the icing on the cake for a season that included Jones’ first Pro Bowl selection as the return specialist in the AFC.

“Never in a million years you would think one year you come in and play with a group like that,” Jones said. “That’s crazy. I don’t think you can ever have another team like that again. I hope we can all stay together.”

Jones accumulated a Super Bowl-record 290 all-purpose yards and set three other records in the NFL’s championship game, including longest play, longest kickoff return, and longest kickoff return for a touchdown. His 56-yard touchdown catch on a moon-ball from quarterback Joe Flacco gave the Ravens a 21-3 lead late in the first half.

The performance wasn’t good enough to outdo Flacco as the game’s Most Valuable Player, but Jones received another honor instead. The Lane College product was surprised to learn he was chosen to be on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated magazine.

“What? Me? Nah,” said Jones in disbelief following Tuesday’s celebration. “They get my good side? I had the helmet on? Alright, I’ll take that one any day.”

Jones SI cover

Jones was just what the doctor ordered this season as the Ravens finally cured their problems at the return spot and at the No. 3 receiver position from a year ago when they received next to nothing from a number of returners and former wide receiver Lee Evans respectively. He averaged 30.7 yards per kickoff to lead the NFL and had three returns for scores during the regular season.

Though finishing with only 30 catches for 407 yards and a touchdown in the regular season, Jones’ 70-yard miracle touchdown against the Denver Broncos — nicknamed “The Prayer in Thin Air” — and acrobatic touchdown catch against the 49ers were as big as any plays in the Ravens’ improbable postseason run to a championship. His speed on the outside paired with second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith made the Baltimore passing attack one of the most dangerous in the league this season as Flacco had vertical options on each side of the field in three-receiver sets.

He may not have taken home the MVP award or the Corvette Stingray that accompanied it, but Jones’ unique skill set was on full display for the entire world to see on Sunday night.

“Jacoby has just been a blessing to this team and we are so grateful to have him,” said coach John Harbaugh following Super Bowl XLVII. “The kick return was well-blocked and Jacoby made it with his speed. The other play, to go up and make the catch, go down and outrun someone to the corner of the end zone — it should go down in Super Bowl history.”

For a time, it appeared Jones’ return score to open the second half would turn out the lights on San Francisco’s title hopes, but a power outage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome made that play on words less than amusing to the Ravens. The 34-minute delay was a catalyst for the 49ers to regroup and erase most of a 22-point deficit before Baltimore prevailed with a final stand at the goal line late in the fourth quarter.

However, the quirky Jones may have been the only Raven who was pleased when the lights went out in New Orleans just moments after his record-setting kick return. It was the latest example of how his sense of humor and candor were accepted with open arms in the Ravens locker room.

“I was happy, man,” Jones said. “I was tired after that 108. I was on the sideline throwing up. I was trying to catch my breath. I wasn’t even tripping. It came right on time. I got a chance to get a little water. Still caught some passes and slowed my heart rate down. We got back on track and still got the [win].”

Getting back on track — and much more — was exactly what Jones did this year in finding a perfect home with the Ravens.

 

Comments (0)

The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/49ers

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/49ers

Posted on 05 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Jacoby Jones 108 yard kickoff return TD (3rd quarter)

4. Jacoby Jones 56 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 10 (2nd quarter)

3. Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Randy Moss on two point conversion attempt incomplete (4th quarter)

2. Joe Flacco 15 yard pass to Anquan Boldin on 3rd and inches (4th quarter)

1. Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree on 4th and goal incomplete (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Harbaugh cannot wait for parade in downtown Baltimore

Posted on 04 February 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE RAVENS HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

Super Bowl XLVII News Conference

New Orleans, Louisiana – February 4, 2013

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Opening Statement:

“Some of you know I had the pleasure of hosting John Harbaugh’s parents last night in our box. It was fantastic, no incidents occurred, but they were terrific. John has done a great job since he became the head coach of the Ravens, making the playoffs all five seasons as head coach. It’s only been done by two other head coaches and then to win a Super Bowl on top of it, it says a lot about his ability to coach. I also admire what he does off the field. He’s really a guy that loves the game of football with a passion, and he’s demonstrated that. So, Coach, congratulations on your Super Bowl victory.”

 

Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh Opening Statement:

“We hadn’t seen this (Vince Lombardi Trophy) since last night. We thought we lost it. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming out. It was quite a night last night, and I’m just proud of our team, proud of our coaches and our players, happy for our families, and most of all, happy for the people in Baltimore. We saw some amazing pictures last night of in Baltimore of everybody partying. That’s what makes it all great. Probably the best moment of the night was not the end of the game – maybe the most emotional part of the night – was when the National Anthem was being sung and they got to the ‘Oh’ part. It was when the crowd yelled out ‘Oh,’ and it was the loudest ‘Oh’ I’ve heard outside of M&T Bank Stadium. I got a little choked up by that. It just meant so much the fans were able to enjoy that. Congratulations to Joe. Thank you to the NFL and all the amazing things they did to make this week great for us and for us to get a chance to compete. We just appreciate all of that.”

 

(on losing a few games at the end of the regular season)

“I think our situation is kind of unique. We’ve been galvanized throughout. We won a lot of tough games, close games all the way throughout. We lost a couple tough ones. Philadelphia comes to mind. Seeing these guys sitting there. I don’t think it was so much that, that we needed to be reminded of anything, but it was lot of difficult things. We had a lot of injuries. We played some teams that were playing really well. If you look at our schedule, we didn’t play anybody that had nothing in place. We didn’t play anybody that was on the downside of their season. We played everybody at their best with the most at stake. If you look at the games we lost, we lost to Pittsburgh and they had everything at stake in terms of making the playoffs in overtime on a field goal. We lost to Washington on the road. They were making their playoff run and were their hottest and their best with everything at stake. They went down and scored 8 points in the last minute and kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime. Those were tough losses, Denver coming in and just rolling and the game kind of got away from us. They made some plays on us. That was probably our worst performance of the year. We bounced right back against the New York Giants and played our best game of the year in the regular season. The Cincinnati game was more of a game where we really were not playing anybody. I thought our young guys played really well. I was happy at that game and said so at the time. Through all that adversity, I think that adversity does help. It makes you tougher. It does callus you up. Through all that, we were improving. Even when we were losing, I felt we were improving the young guys were playing which helped drive the playoffs.”

 

(on how Jimmy Smith played and his future)

“I’m sure it will be a springboard for Jimmy, but how does it get any bigger than the Super Bowl on the last drive? I think he made the two plays at the end of the game to win the game. He played great. Jimmy has been practicing very well. He finally got healthy at the end the year there. He was at his best the last couple weeks. Jimmy is going to be, like we said all along, a great player in this league. I love him. He is really special.”

 

(on the difficulty of coaching against Jim  Harbaugh)

“That’s a great question. As you stood there on the field before the game, I kind of came to the conclusion that the only thing that would have been worse is if one of us wasn’t there. The only thing that would have been worse than that is if neither one of us weren’t there. It feels pretty rough. It’s really tough. The toughest moment of all was walking across the field. If you can imagine, you feel an incredible amount of elation with an incredible amount of devastation. Those two feelings went hand in hand in that moment. I’m still feeling it. That’s just reality. I’m proud of it. He’s the best coach in the National Football League. His record proves it over the last two seasons. What he’s done is just incredible. It hasn’t been done before that I know of. I’m just really proud of him.”

 

(on drafting Joe Flacco and his development into the quarterback he is now)

“It was a dinner that we had at a place called Tark’s in Baltimore. We sat down, and for a couple hours, sat and talked. Joe impressed me as a guy that was really determined to be really good. It felt he had a lot to prove. Joe came up the hard way. Joe is not a guy that had everything laid out there perfectly before him in college. He dealt with the adversity. I just felt like he was a guy that would do whatever it took to overcome whatever to be the best that he was going to be. That’s proven to be true. He’s a guy that no matter what happens, no matter what criticism he felt in front of him, no matter what disappointments he might have, he steps up and he bounces back and he comes back and goes to work. I think he’ll be the same with this success. I think he’ll be right back there in OTA’s and mini camps. He’ll be going to work just like, maybe, we had lost this game. He’ll be just as motivated and just as determined. That’s one of the things that makes him great”

 

(on his level of rest)

“You’re into the sleep thing. You’re kind of concerned with how much rest everybody got. (Reporter: ‘I saw pictures of you at 4:30 in the morning’). With my daughter Alison? We were dancing the night away to Mary J (Blige). It was great. We had a lot of fun last night and that was a great moment. It was just a fun time. Steve (Bisciotti) puts on a good party.”

              

(on whether he would ever re-watch the game with Jim Harbaugh)

“No, I don’t ever think we will ever watch that game together.  Absolutely not.”

 

(on how they recovered from the Denver loss)

“It’s funny; it looked the bleakest to everybody on the outside. If you guys go back and look at our quotes, and I know you do, all of our guys were holding firm, all of them understood that we were improving and what we were up against. I remember a team break after the Denver game. I think it was Sizzle (Terrell Suggs) who said ‘All of our goals are in front of us; we can accomplish everything that we need to accomplish, let’s just go to work.’ That’s what they did. Our guys never flinched. They never blinked thought that adversity. If that’s not a great lesson, if that’s not something we can draw on in the future as a team and as an organization, I don’t know what is. I’m proud of the guys for that. You at least saw in real time, when it was happening, I think we all believed, like Joe (Flacco) said, we all believed that we could do things.”

 

(on whether his parents would rather the brothers not coach against each other)

“Thanks to Roger Goodell for what he did for my parents. He had them in the box, along with tom and Joanie Crean. I didn’t know until Roger just told me, they didn’t say a word through the whole game. I think the week was great. They were under orders from Jim and I both to enjoy the week and have a great time. That was our instructions, and they did. They made they most of it and had a great time. I think it was great for them right up until kickoff, then it wasn’t so great. I think they are just happy that we are beyond it now, and they’re proud as can be. They are happy for both of us. There is not loser in the Super Bowl. We are kind of a ‘one-or-nothing society’ but that is so not right. Those are two great teams that just fought a heated battle, played a great football game, a historic football game, a really exciting game. We will be watching that on NFL Films for years to come. That’s what counts. That’s what is deserving of respect.”

 

(on the postgame and his interactions with his family)

“You can never anticipate it. I have not talked to Jim at all. You know we will talk at some point in time, there is no hurry. My parents I saw in the locker room, along with their kids and Tom and Joanie, after the game. They were elated for us, for the Ravens. They know all of our players and coaches. They were elated on the one hand, and they were just devastated on the other hand. I could see behind their eyes. It was both things. Emotions are incredible.”

 

(on if his parents attended the party)

“I just saw them at the stadium, and then they went back to the hotel.”

 

(on Eddie Robinson being a good role model and now his role as a great coach and role model)

“Eddie Robinson is a great role model. Not just for kids but for coaches everywhere. He treated players with respect. He treated the game with respect. He was all about competing. For kids I would say is faith. Believe in one another. Always dream big, and never limit your dreams. Just always know that whatever path you lay our out for yourself, God’s plans could be so much greater and so beyond what you could even imagine or plan for yourself. Trust that. Trust your own abilities. Trust your imagination. Trust our parents. Go to work and see what you make of yourself.”

 

 

(on his exchange with the officials after the blackout)

“The whole blackout thing, I way overreacted. It wasn’t anything to do with the blackout. The blackout had nothing to do with the game. The 49ers just outplayed us for a stretch. They played great. We did not, for a stretch of the game, but I was proud that our guys bounced back and finished. I was just concerned about some things that had to do with the headsets and coaches in the press box and if you have to bring guys down. It was really stuff that was never going to be an issue because they handled it so well. A total overreaction on my part and I feel bad about it. It was the one thing I look back on the game and I am disappointed in myself about, because I didn’t have very much poise in that moment.”

 

(on Ed Reed returning)

“We had that conversation yesterday on the bus ride away from the stadium actually. He and I both agreed that we want him back. I want him back, and Ed wants to come back. Like Joe says, you never know how these things are going to work out, but we are going to work like crazy to work it out because Ed’s a Baltimore Raven, and hopefully we can make that happen.”

 

(on the advantage the blackout created for the 49ers)

“It probably gave them an opportunity to get their balance. I’m not surprised. I don’t know that it would have taken that. I know the guy coaching them. I know how he competes. I know what he’s made of and therefore what their team is made of. There was really no doubt in my mind that they were going to do that at some point, and they were going to start throwing counter punches. They’ve got talent. They’ve got a great scheme and that’s what they did. It was really on us to stem the tide, which obviously we were eventually able to do, but man, they were throwing some haymakers at us, and they did a great job of that.”

 

(on what Jim is going through)

“Jim is a great competitor. Jim will do what he has always done. He will come out swinging. He will go back to work and work on the draft. Everybody in this room that has ever competed understands what we all go through when you lose a tough game or a big game. It’s tough because you put so much in to it, your heart and your soul. You feel for everybody. No one will handle it better than Jim Harbaugh. He is the best coach in football, and he will have that team roaring back again very soon.”

 

(on the fans that traveled and the parade waiting for them in Baltimore)

“Cannot wait. Cannot wait. I can’t imagine. With the sendoff we had when we went out there – I’ve never heard of a sendoff for the Super Bowl, maybe some other cities have had it, but we had thousands and thousands of people there for that. I can’t imagine what this parade is going to be like. The stadium, it really seemed like it was almost full after the game with the Purple Wall all around us when we were doing the trophy celebration. We have the best fans in football, we really do. I might be biased, but that’s OK. Our fans are incredible. We saw the pictures of everybody celebrating in the street. To Baltimore, congratulations, and to all of our fans everywhere, we are proud of you. Thanks for all you do.”

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ravens get 12/1 odds to repeat as Super Bowl champs

Posted on 04 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

“It is not a secret that we did not have an ideal result last night, the Ravens winning outright really cost us on the money line and futures and it made two years in a row the book did not have a winning Super Bowl.  One saving grace was the safety at the end of the game did not allow Baltimore to cover the alternate spread of them winning by 3.5 paying out at 5/2 odds, which was our heaviest bet prop, so at least that went in our favor.  The National Anthem as unpredictable as it was this year, our number was pretty dead on with it just going over the total of 2:15 while we were a bit low on the number of times they would say “Harbaugh” during the game, we had posted a total of 20.5 and I stopped counting once it hit 30, the power outage was no help on that one.”

 

-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

 

 

Super Bowl XLVIII Odds (2014)

Odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII  

Denver Broncos                                     7/1

New England Patriots                             15/2

San Francisco 49ers                              15/2

Green Bay Packers                                10/1

Baltimore Ravens                                   12/1

Seattle Seahawks                                  12/1

Houston Texans                                     14/1

Atlanta Falcons                                     18/1

New Orleans Saints                               18/1

Pittsburgh Steelers                                18/1

Chicago Bears                                       20/1

New York Giants                                    20/1

Dallas Cowboys                                     25/1

Washington Redskins                            30/1

Indianapolis Colts                                   33/1

Cincinnati Bengals                                 35/1

Detroit Lions                                          35/1

Minnesota Vikings                                 35/1

Philadelphia Eagles                                35/1

San Diego Chargers                               35/1

New York Jets                                       40/1

Carolina Panthers                                  50/1

Kansas City Chiefs                                50/1

Miami Dolphins                                      50/1

St. Louis Rams                                      50/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers                         50/1

Arizona Cardinals                                   66/1

Cleveland Browns                                   66/1

Tennessee Titans                                   66/1

Buffalo Bills                                           100/1

Oakland Raiders                                    100/1

Jacksonville Jaguars                               150/1

 

Exotics Results

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How long will it take Alicia Keys to sing the US National Anthem?

Over/Under                    2 minutes 15seconds

2:20

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will Alicia Keys be booed during or after her rendition of the US National Anthem?           

Yes                  5/1

No

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will Alicia Keys forget or omit at least 1 word of the official US National Anthem?           

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                     -200     (1/2)

No

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will Alicia Keys add at least 1 word of the official US National Anthem?   

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                     -300     (1/3)

Yes

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will Beyonce be joined by Jay Z on Stage during the Super Bowl Half Time Show?           

Yes                  +110     (11/10)

No                     -150     (2/3)

No

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will Beyonce’s hair be Curly/Crimped OR Straight at the beginning of the Super Bowl Halftime show?           

Straight             -140      (5/7)

Curly/Crimped    EVEN   (1/1)

Curly/Crimped

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – What predominant color will Beyonce’s top be at the beginning of the Super Bowl Halftime show?           

Black                            9/4

Gold (Yellow)                 11/4

Silver (Grey)                  7/2

White                            5/1

Red                              13/2

Pink                              15/2

Orange                          12/1

Blue                              15/1

Green                           15/1

Black

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will either Jack or Jackie Harbaugh be shown on TV wearing any clothing that has either a SF or BAL logo on it during the game?         

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                     -300     (1/3)

No

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How many times will Jack Harbaugh be shown on TV during the game?  

Over                              1.5  (-140)          (5/7)

Under                            1.5 (EVEN)        (1/1)

1

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How many times will the game be referred to as the Harbaugh Bowl or Har Bowl or Super Baugh during the game?         

Over/Under                    2 ½

0

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Who will be shown first during the game? 

Jim Harbaugh                            1/1

John Harbaugh                           1/1

Split screen shot of both             4/1

Jim Harbaugh

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How long will the post game handshake/hug last between Jim & John Harbaugh?           

Over/Under                    7.5 seconds

4 seconds

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Who will be mentioned more by full name during the game?       

Jim Harbaugh                 -120

John Harbaugh               -120

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game?

20.5

Over 30 times

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will any Baltimore of San Francisco Player on active roster be arrested before Super Bowl XLVII?    

Yes                  5/1

No

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Who will Barack Obama pick to win the game?     

Baltimore Ravens                        -200     (1/2)

San Francisco 49ers                  +150     (3/2)

No Action, did not make pick

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – What Color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?  

Clear/Water                   7/4

Orange                          5/2

Yellow                           5/2

Green                           13/2

Red                              13/2

Blue                              13/2

No Action, no Gatorade dumped

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Who will the Super Bowl MVP of the Game thank first?     

Teammates                                          5/4       

God                                                      5/2       

Coach                                                   12/1     

Family                                                  12/1     

Owner                                                   15/1     

Does Not Thank Anyone                         9/4

Does Not Thank Anyone

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – If Ray Lewis is interviewed on TV after the game on the field or in the locker room how many times will he mention “God/Lord” 

Over/Under                    3

1

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – What will the TV Rating be for the Super Bowl?    

Over/Under                    46

No results yet

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – How many average viewers will the game have?  

Over/Under                    111 million viewers

No results yet

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Which region will have the higher local TV Rating?          

Baltimore                          -150     (2/3)

San Francisco               +110     (11/10)

No results yet

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – What will happen with the Dow Jones the day after the Super Bowl?       

Market Up                     -140      (5/7)

Market Down                 EVEN   (1/1)

No results yet

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – What will be the highest tweet per second during the Super Bowl?          

Over/Under                    15,000

No results yet

 

SUPER BOWL XLVII SPECIALS – Will any player get a penalty for excessive celebration in the game?       

Yes                  +225     (9/4)

No                     -350     (2/7)

No

Comments (0)

Rawlings-Blake announces Tuesday Ravens parade details

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Rawlings-Blake announces Tuesday Ravens parade details

Posted on 04 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Ravens Announce Details about Super Bowl Victory Parade
BALTIMORE, MD. (FEBRUARY 4, 2013)-A victory parade hosted by the City of Baltimore and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be held for the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, February 5.

Beginning with an introduction from Mayor Rawlings-Blake at City Hall, the Ravens’ parade will kick off at 10:45 a.m. From City Hall, the parade will proceed south on Commerce Street, continue to Pratt and Howard Streets, and end at M&T Bank Stadium.

Beginning at approximately at 12:30 p.m., fans are encouraged to attend a celebration featuring the team and live entertainment at M&T Bank Stadium. The event will be held rain or shine and is free for all fans. Concessions, merchandise and restrooms will be available at the stadium.

Parking for the stadium celebration is free in lots F, G, H & J and will open at 9:00 a.m. No tailgating will be permitted in these lots. Fans may enter M&T Bank Stadium through gates A, B, C & D beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Media will be permitted to park in Lot D at the stadium and must present an outlet identification card/badge for admittance.

Who:

Super Bowl XLVII Champion Ravens players, coaches and staff
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

What:

Ravens Super Bowl Victory Parade & Celebration

When:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
10:45 a.m. – Parade begins at City Hall
12:30 p.m. – Celebration festivities begin at M&T Bank Stadium

Where:
Baltimore City Hall (parade start)
M&T Bank Stadium (parade finish/celebration)

Comments (0)