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Ravens have plenty on their plate during bye week

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Ravens have plenty on their plate during bye week

Posted on 02 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With John Harbaugh giving his players two days off following their 24-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals that secured an AFC North title and a first-round bye, the coach was surprised to see roughly half the team at the Ravens’ training facility on Monday morning.

Of course, many were receiving treatment in the training room as the Ravens deal with a laundry list of ailments and injuries after completing the regular season with a 12-4 record. Securing their first bye since the 2006 season, the Ravens enjoy the benefit of extra time to heal while feeling the accomplishment of advancing to the divisional round without having to endure another 60 minutes of football.

“[The bye] counts as a win,” Harbaugh said. “This win was kind of a one-for-two. We won one game, we got two wins. So, that’s big.”

All 12 playoff teams would reap the benefit of an extra week off after the rigors of a four-month season, but the Ravens’ large number of injuries made the accomplishment all the more important for their Super Bowl aspirations. Listening to Harbaugh run down the list of injuries made it clear.

The most serious of the injuries appears to be the MCL sprain suffered by linebacker Jameel McClain. The injury is not considered serious, according to Harbaugh, but the inside linebacker will likely be held out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Tom Zbikowski were feeling no lingering symptoms on Monday from the concussions they sustained against Cincinnati. They will need to be cleared this week, but Harbaugh remained optimistic about a quick recovery time for both. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is also improving despite being sidelined against the Bengals from the concussion he suffered against Cleveland on Christmas Eve.

Safety Bernard Pollard is dealing with a sprained wrist and an elbow contusion while defensive tackle Haloti Ngata suffered an elbow laceration. Despite suffering a left hip sprain during Sunday’s game, defensive tackle Terrence Cody was able to return.

After one of the guttiest performances in the history of the franchise, guard Marshal Yanda is dealing with soreness but made it through Sunday’s game without re-aggravating rib and thigh contusions.

Harbaugh also confirmed kicker Billy Cundiff felt good after resuming kicking duties against the Bengals. He will remain the Ravens’ kicker as long as he is healthy, leaving veteran Shayne Graham’s future in doubt as the Ravens move into the postseason.

“We’ll hold onto Shayne as long as we can now, but if we have to make a roster move, obviously, that’s the direction we would go,” Harbaugh said. “He did a great job. Why he’s not holding onto a job right now, I’m not sure, but we were very fortunate for him to be able to come in and fill that gap for us.”

The Ravens will also look forward to the return of wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who practiced on a limited basis last Friday and was upgraded from “out” to “doubtful” on the final injury report released ahead of the Bengals game. Harbaugh confirmed last week that all swelling had subsided from the surgical procedure Boldin underwent to repair a partially-torn meniscus.

With six more to go before the Ravens even learn who they will be playing in the divisional round of the playoffs, they will primarily use this week to improve their overall health. However, players will also work on their strength and conditioning as well as a rare opportunity for self-evaluation without an opponent for which to prepare this week. The coaching staff is preparing for three potential opponents in the second round, but they will also use this week’s practices to continue to develop younger players, especially considering how many veterans are banged up.

Players will be off on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but linebacker Jarret Johnson expressed the team’s mindset to Harbaugh on the flight home after one of the biggest wins in the regular-season history of the franchise.

“Their whole mindset right now is to be the best football team we can be a week from Sunday at 1:00,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what our team is thinking about right now. That’s kind of where we’re at.”

Even with a weekend off from playing a football game, it’s apparent the Ravens are maintaining a workmanlike approach with their eyes focused on taking the next step toward Indianapolis.

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

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 9

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 9

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Luke Jones

Below are our Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the thrilling last-second victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2011 season with the following point system:

No. 1 – 7 points
No. 2 – 6 points
No. 3 – 5 points
No. 4 – 4 points
No. 5 – 3 points
No. 6 – 2 points
No. 7 – 1 point

Luke Jones’ Top 7 …

7) Ben Grubbs
Grubbs

6) Terrence Cody
Cody

5) Billy Cundiff
Cundiff

4) Dennis Pitta
Pitta

3) Torrey Smith
Smith

2) Anquan Boldin
Boldin

1) Joe Flacco
Flacco

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 …

7) Cory Redding
Redding

6) Anquan Boldin
Boldin

5) Billy Cundiff
Cundiff

4) Torrey Smith
Smith

3) Dennis Pitta
Pitta

2) Cary Williams
Williams

1) Joe Flacco
Flacco

SEASON TO DATE:
Luke Jones:

1. Terrell Suggs (29 points)
2. Joe Flacco (27 points)
3. Ray Rice (26 points)
4. Haloti Ngata (24 points)
5. Anquan Boldin (20 points)
6. Torrey Smith (11 points)
7. Ed Reed (8 points)
7. Ray Lewis (8 points)
7. Terrence Cody (8 points)
7. Billy Cundiff (8 points)
11. Bernard Pollard (7 points)
11. Cary Williams (7 points)
13. David Reed (6 points)
14. Bryant McKinnie (5 points)
14. Lardarius Webb (5 points)
14. Dennis Pitta (5 points)
14. Jarret Johnson (5 points)
18. Sam Koch (4 points)
19. Cory Redding (3 points)
19. Jameel McClain (3 points)
19. Paul Kruger (3 points)
22. Matt Birk (1 point)
22. Ben Grubbs (1 point)

Drew Forrester:
1. Joe Flacco (27 points)
2. Ray Rice (22 points)
2. Terrell Suggs (22 points)
4. Haloti Ngata (18 points)
5. Anquan Boldin (17 points)
6. Ray Lewis (12 points)
7. Lardarius Webb (11 points)
7. Torrey Smith (11 points)
9. Ed Reed (10 points)
10. Bernard Pollard (9 points)
10. Billy Cundiff (9 points)
10. Dennis Pitta (9 points)
13. Cary Williams (8 points)
14. Bryant McKinnie (7 points)
14. Sam Koch (7 points)
16. Ed Dickson (6 points)
17. Jarret Johnson (5 points)
17. Paul Kruger (5 points)
19. Jameel McClain (4 points)
20. Marshal Yanda (2 points)
20. Andre Gurode (2 points)
22. Cory Redding (1 point)

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Live from Owings Mills: Reed, Cody practicing after Monday night collision

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Perhaps an even scarier scene than the Ravens’ horrific performance in a 12-7 loss on Monday was the fourth-quarter collision that left All-Pro safety Ed Reed and defensive tackle Terrence Cody lying on the ground in pain.

However, the two were back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon, confirming coach John Harbaugh’s comments suggesting little concern for either player’s shoulder injury. Reed returned to the game after the collision after suffering a “burner” in the opposite shoulder of the chronic nerve impingement the safety has dealt with since the end of the 2007 season.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith was also back on the practice field after Harbaugh said the rookie did not take part in any defensive snaps due to soreness in the left ankle that sidelined him for six weeks. The first-round pick had not played since sustaining a high ankle sprain covering a kickoff early in the season opener.

Safety Tom Zbikowski (concussion) and cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) were also taking part in the open portion of practice on Wednesday after both were inactive against the Jaguars. Zbikowski appeared to be more active after practicing on a limited basis last week, a possible indication that he’s been cleared for contact after being sidelined with a concussion sustained against the New York Jets on Oct. 2. Carr was fielding punts during the special teams portion of practice.

Wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle), guard Ben Grubbs (right toe), running back Anthony Allen (thigh), and Dannell Ellerbe (thigh) were not present during the portion of practice open to the media.

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Harbaugh making no excuses for Ravens’ offensive woes

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Harbaugh making no excuses for Ravens’ offensive woes

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Less than 24 hours after the Ravens turned in one of their worst offensive performances in franchise history, coach John Harbaugh would not sugarcoat the fallout from a 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Baltimore mustered only 146 total yards and failed to register a first down in the first forty minutes of the game. It was even worse in the first half as the Ravens produced just 16 yards of offense in 25 plays, conjuring nightmares from their darkest offensive days of the 16-year history of the team.

“No excuses,” Harbaugh said. “[It] has to be a lot better. Not even close to the way we’re capable of performing on offense. Everybody realizes that. We’ve all got to do a better job, starting with me. I’ve got to do a better job making some decisions, and we’ve all got to do a better job of coaching, playing, executing, all those different things.”

Predictably, Cam Cameron has received a large amount of the criticism from fans on local talk radio and internet message boards after the Ravens were nearly shut out for the first time since 2002. The offensive coordinator has come under fire over the last two seasons in which the Ravens have failed to produce points with consistency — especially on the road.

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In three road games, the Ravens have scored 57 points, but 37 of those came in one game against the winless St. Louis Rams. In Baltimore’s three home games — against Pittsburgh, the New York Jets, and Houston — the Ravens have produced 98 points.

As many fans call for Cameron to be fired, Harbaugh thinks plenty of criticism needs to be spread around to everyone involved on the offensive side of the football.

“It’s warranted for all of us. I think we all deserve to have fingers pointed at us when the offense plays like that. That’s tough. It’s just a bad performance. Everybody knows it. Cam has broad shoulders. He’s a tough guy, and he’s been doing this for a long time. Everybody in this building respects him, and nobody’s going to fight harder to make this offense achieve what it’s capable of achieving. It’s still early in the season, but we can’t afford more performances like that. We all know that.”

One of the biggest criticisms was the lack of touches for star running back Ray Rice, who carried the football just eight times for 28 yards. Rice also found himself as the subject for potential controversy when the ESPN telecast suggested Rice had been removed from the game after a lost fumble in the second quarter and a second fumble that was overturned by a challenge replay.

However, Harbaugh flatly shot down the theory that Rice had been taken out due to ball security concerns. It was the first fumble for the fourth-year running back after 522 consecutive regular-season touches without a fumble.

“We had no conversation about [the fumble],” Harbaugh said. “He’s got to get more than eight carries. I also think when you’re a play-caller, you’re searching for things to get you going, to get you jump-started. It wasn’t like those eight carries were gashing them or anything like that either. I think we were looking for some things that we could do, searching a little bit for a way to get a first down.

“Eight carries is never going to be a winning formula for Ray Rice.”

The lack of touches by Rice didn’t go unnoticed in the Ravens locker room, where linebacker Terrell Suggs wondered aloud why Cameron didn’t call Rice’s number more often in comparison to Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew. Despite Baltimore having early success stopping the run, Jones-Drew carried the ball 30 times for 105 yards.

Suggs also went on to question why receiver Anquan Boldin wasn’t more involved in the offense despite the veteran being targeted 12 times and making four receptions.

Many have wondered how appropriate it was for Suggs to make his comments publicly to the media, but Harbaugh agreed with the sentiments brought forth by the Pro Bowl linebacker.

“The things he said are right, but that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Harbaugh, who expressed his respect for Suggs as both a player and leader in the locker room. “It’s not like we’re not trying to do the things he’s talking about doing. I think we’re all on the same page with that.”

Onside kick revisited

Harbaugh’s decision to try an onside kick with 2:02 remaining and two timeouts sparked plenty of discussion in the aftermath of the 12-7 loss. Many believed the Ravens should have elected to have Billy Cundiff boot one through the end zone, preserving the two-minute warning and allowing the Baltimore defense to get the ball back.

When pressed about the decision again on Tuesday, Harbaugh held firm on his decision to try to get the ball back as Cundiff’s kick came just short of the 10-yard requirement before Haruki Nakamura recovered it for the Ravens.

Apparently, the math supported his decision as well.

“Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I’m even more sure that it was the right [decision],” Harbaugh said. “I think you can go both ways on it, but we had a chance to do a probability study. The probabilities are for kicking the onside kick.”

Harbaugh acknowledged the rationale of kicking it deep, but pointed out that the Jaguars would have likely brought any kick out of the end zone if at all possible to burn the two-minute warning. Ultimately, even with the probability study, it came down to Harbaugh’s gut feeling on the onside play.

“I think it’s fair to say you can do it either way,” Harbaugh said. “I felt strongly about the onside kick, and the main reason was because I thought we were going to get it.”

But alas, the Ravens did not.

Injury updates

The news was positive on defensive tackle Terrence Cody and safety Ed Reed, who collided late in the second half of Monday night’s game. Neither injury is considered serious as the Ravens turn their attention to the Arizona Cardinals.

“Cody seems OK,” Harbaugh said. “Ed, I think he’s OK. I think he had a burner. It was in the other side from where he’s had his issues, but we’ll see. Those things are a little unpredictable. I don’t want to speak for Ed on that. That’s his, he owns that, but we’ll see how he does. He’s a pretty tough guy.”

Cornerback Jimmy Smith returned to action for the first time since suffering an ankle injury against the Steelers in Week 1. However, the first-round pick was limited to special teams duty and did not play a defensive snap after he began feeling the effects of practicing all week and receiving his first game action in six weeks.

“His ankle started to get a little bit sore, and he was gimping around a little bit during the second half,” Harbaugh said. “Also, by the way I think the game went. Ankle’s a little sore, hasn’t had a lot of reps, hasn’t been on defense that much, tight football game — that probably limited his reps a little bit.”

Status quo for Evans, Grubbs

The weekly update on wide receiver Lee Evans and guard Ben Grubbs sounded just like the previous weeks, and Harbaugh’s frustration is apparent.

Grubbs has not played since Week 1 while Evans has sat out since an ineffective performance against Tennessee in Week 2. Harbaugh did not sound encouraged regarding either player.

“We’ll just have to see as the week goes on,” Harbaugh said. “I’m to the point now where I’m not even thinking about it until they come back. I think you give those guys a chance to heal fully where they’re not going to get re-injured again. That’s been a little bit of a mystery, and we’ve just got to let [them] heal.

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Our Ravens-Jaguars “Slaps on the Head”

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Our Ravens-Jaguars “Slaps on the Head”

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

To just about everyone’s surprise, there were no Pats to be given following the Ravens’ game Monday, as they fell 12-7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I instead offered “Slaps on the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a wild card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.”

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

Danny Gorrer

gorrer

Joe Flacco

flacco

Brendon Ayanbadejo

ba

Bryant McKinnie

mckinnie

Billy Cundiff (two slaps)

cundiff

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“Rating the Ravens” after Baltimore 29-14 victory over Houston

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“Rating the Ravens” after Baltimore 29-14 victory over Houston

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens may have had some difficulty Sunday versus the Houston Texans getting in the end zone, but with Baltimore getting their third straight win, there is little to be upset about with the AFC North-leaders.

The Ravens (4-1,) not only earned another win to stay atop the division; they earned a quality win over a Houston Texans squad that was seen as an elite team in the AFC despite coming in with a 3-2 record.

The Texans of course were without All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, DE Mario Williams, and had injuries to their entire backfield Sunday in quarterback Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster, and fullback James Casey.

With another quality win under their belt and seeing some offensive production out of running back Ray Rice, receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, and four sacks on defense, the Ravens should have a lot of confidence going forward as they take on the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars next Monday night.

Quarterback

Joe Flacco

After Joe Flacco’s poor performance two weeks ago against the New York Jets in which Flacco recorded 10-of-31 passes for just 136 yards (2 turnovers), it was on Flacco to have a rebound game.

Flacco finished Sunday 2o-of-33 for 305 yards and one interception versus the Texans. Give credit to Flacco for making plays on the run, being hit after letting go the ball, and not being able to fully step into his throws.

The Houston Texans built their team in the draft and in the off-season to off-set a dominant quarterback in their division in Peyton Manning, and it also affected Flacco Sunday.

Third-year man Tim Jamison stripped Flacco once and recorded two sacks of the Ravens quarterback, and rookies JJ Watt and Brooks Reed were breathing down Flacco’s neck all game long.

Flacco’s lone interception came on a tipped pass intended for tight end Ed Dickson that found its way into the hands of Texans CB Jonathan Joseph. Dickson could not have been more wide open, and Flacco sailed the ball.

Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith-on his highlight of the day, a 51-yard catch in the 3rd quarter that helped Baltimore go up 16-14with 5:06 in the third-had to go back to get Flacco’s pass.

But later on in the quarter, after Houston punted on downs, Flacco’s pass from his own 34 to Anquan Boldin-over the outstretched arms of Joseph-could not have been in a better spot for Boldin to get the ball.

Best assessment? A better game for Flacco.

Rating-”C+”

Running Backs

Ray Rice

Ray Rice continues to show that he is the gas that makes the Ravens offensive car go. If anything were to happen to Rice, Ravens fans can make other plans the first couple of weeks of January. He had 161 yards of total offense against the Texans, and a lot of those yards were hard fought through an aggressive Texans defensive line and linebacking corps.

Giving the ball to Rice 23 times on the ground showed that Cam Cameron and the Ravens offensive coaching staff continue to realize that good things happen when you give him the ball, and his added five touches for 60 yards on passes down the field backed that statement up.

The only area of concern would be Rice’s inability to punch it in the goal line on back-to-back occasions at the end of the Ravens first drive that put them up 7-0 over Houston-one of which had a huge hole for him to run through.

Ricky Williams had a four-yard score in the four quarter to ice the game, 26-14. It was his first touchdown as a Raven, and given the team’s ineptness toward the goal line earlier in the contest and his ability to punch it in, he might be called on more in those opportunities.

Rating-”A”

Wide Receivers

Anquan Boldin

Glenn Clark said this on “The Nasty Purple Post-Game Show” following the game: this may have been the best/second best game Anquan Boldin has had in a Baltimore uniform. He did have 100-yard games twice against the Steelers and his 3-TD performance against Eric Wright and the Browns in 2010, but given the man going up against him in Jonathan Joseph, Boldin had a phenomenal game.

Boldin not only performed his role as a possession receiver (8 catches), he of course made plays down the field highlighted by his 56-yard grab in the third quarter, setting up the fourth quarter field goal by Billy Cundiff that put Baltimore up 19-14 with 14:44 left to go.

On the other side, Torrey Smith was frustrated after being bottled up by the New York Jets before the bye week. Smith had five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams three weeks ago, and his rookie flame faded against Darrelle Revis.

Torrey Smith

Flacco found Smith three times Sunday for 84 yards, highlighted by his 51-yarder that Smith made over Kareem Jackson. Smith did a great job coming back for Flacco’s ball to make the catch, and held it after the hit. Flacco barely missed Smith earlier in the game on a bomb in the back of the end zone, and they were toes away from a connection for a score.

No other receiver caught a pass, and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson combined for four passes for 29 yards.

Rating-”B”

Offensive Line

This unit dominated. This unit also struggled as well. All depends when you were looking.

Early, the Ravens offensive line had issues protecting Flacco from the likes of bull rushers like Antonio Smith, Tim Jamison, JJ Watt, and Brooks Reed. They also had difficulty clearing a lane for Ray Rice and Vonta Leach to punch it in the Texans’ 1-yard line.

Four times. And they were aided by Antonio Smith’s two personal foul penalties mixed into those opportunities.

But as the game went on, the offensive line appeared to wear down the Texans defensive line. You have to play for 60 minutes of football in the NFL, and the O-line did help Ray Rice get over the century mark for yet another game this year.

Rating-”B”

Defensive Line

Matt Schaub

The Ravens got four sacks Sunday of Matt Schaub, and the defensive line earned two of those sacks (Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee). However, you can credit Clarence Brooks‘ unit with absorbing blocks to allow Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson to earn the other two sacks of Schaub. Schaub was constantly on the move in the pocket, and the Texans were forced to leave tight ends Joel Dreessen and Owen Daniels in to block Ngata and Terrell Suggs-taking away other options for Schaub.

Ngata still found a way to earn eight tackles Sunday through the double and triple-teams.

Also key in stopping the Texans was containing running back Arian Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher from a year ago. Foster earned 100 yards against the Ravens in their 2010 contest, and it was clear the Ravens saw him as a threat. They did a great job containing the back, only allowing him 49 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

They were disciplined in their over-pursuit of Foster as well, not allowing him the cut-back lane to get his signature extra yards.

Local guy Ben Tate did have some success in relief of Foster (9 carries, 41 yards), but he also had a fumble that ultimately helped the Texans earn one of their two scores.

Terrence Cody did an impressive job stuffing Arian Foster in several short-yardage situations, earning three tackles.

Terrence Cody

Rating-”A+”

Linebackers

This unit was helped by the play of the guys in front of them.

Able to flow smoothly to the ball without fear of blocks, Ray Lewis led all tacklers with 12. Both he and Jarret Johnson (7 tackles) earned sacks blitzing from the right side of the Texans offensive line, and had clear lanes to the QB.

Brendon Ayanbadejo had four tackles-mostly in obvious passing situations, but he continues to prove that he is the best option the Ravens have at covering the opposing tight end or running back in the flat.

Much like the defensive line, give them credit for stopping Arian Foster and playing well in coverage a few yards off the line of scrimmage.

Arian Foster

Rating-”A”

Secondary

This unit probably received the greatest news in the world last week when they heard that Texans WR Andre Johnson would miss Sunday’s game with that prolonged hamstring injury.

That left quarterback Matt Schaub without his weapon, and it was obvious that he was “naked” without Johnson in the lineup.

Schaub made his plays in short yardage in front of the receivers-taking few shots down the field. Mostly because he didn’t have the time to throw either with the Ravens pass-rush keeping him on the move.

Corners Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, and safety Bernard Pollard combined for 17 tackles, and made sure that there weren’t any plays made after the catch and that no receiver got past them.

The longest play of the day for Houston came on Jacoby Jones‘ 32 yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Texans up 14-13, and it appeared like there was a blown coverage on the play.

Ed Reed

Safety Ed Reed-who often takes risks in his own right-was left on his own against Jones, and the speedy Jones made a play behind Reed in the back of the end zone.

Fortunately for the Ravens secondary, it was the only mistake on their part.

Rating-”B”

Special Teams

The key here was Billy Cundiff, who went five-for-five on field goals on a windy Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium. You could almost give him the game ball here.

Billy Cundiff

He continues to prove to the coaching staff that he is not a liability, and that his Pro-Bowl year from 2010 was not a fluke.

He had eight kickoffs-all of which reached the end zone-and seven of them were downed for touchbacks.

New CB Bryan McCann had two kickoff returns for 26 yards, and punter Sam Koch only had to line up twice.

Rating: “A”

Like my analysis? Disagree? Comment below, or tune in Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check” as Glenn Clark and I discuss Sunday’s win! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Our Ravens-Texans “Pats On The Ass”

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Our Ravens-Texans “Pats On The Ass”

Posted on 16 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.”

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 29-14 victory over the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Ray Lewis

raylewis

4. Terrence Cody

cody

3. Joe Flacco

flacco

2. Billy Cundiff

cundiff

1. Anquan Boldin (Pat on both cheeks)

boldin

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Redding, Cody return to practice on limited basis in Ravens’ Thursday injury report

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Despite Thursday’s injury report looking much improved after seven players missed practice a day earlier, two key offensive starters missed practice for the second straight day as the Ravens continue preparations for the St. Louis Rams.

Wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle) and guard Ben Grubbs (toe) were both absent from the field and remain question marks for Sunday as the Ravens hope to improve their underwhelming 13-point output from a week ago.

The Rams received good news on Thursday with the return of running back Steven Jackson (quad) to the practice field. Jackson was injured early in the Rams’ season-opening loss to the Phildelphia Eagles. The 240-pound back practiced on a limited basis.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR Lee Evans (ankle), WR David Reed, CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
LIMITED – CB Chris Carr (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (concussion), DE Cory Redding (toe)
FULL PARTICIPANT – C Matt Birk (knee)

ST. LOUIS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – WR Danny Amendola (elbow), RB Carnell Williams (hamstring)
LIMITED – RB Steven Jackson (quad), TE Michaeel Hoomanawanui (calf), DE CJ Ah You (wrist), LB Ben Leber (groin)
FULL PARTICIPANT – WR Greg Salas (ribs)

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Live from Owings Mills: Cody, Redding, Birk return to practice on Thursday

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Facing a plethora of injuries, some serious and others of the nagging variety, the Ravens saw three players return to the practice field on Thursday after being absent a day ago.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody, defensive end Cory Redding, and center Matt Birk (knee) were back on the field during the portion of practice open to the media. Cody sustained a concussion in the 26-13 loss to the Titans on Sunday but passed the battery of baseline tests required to return to action. However, Cody went through position drills without a helmet, indicating he was limited in his return to practice.

Redding sat out Wednesday’s workout with a toe injury, but the 30-year-old did not appear to be limited as he took part in drills with the rest of the defensive line.

Birk’s return was expected after Wednesday appeared to simply be a day off for the 35-year-old center. He did not take part in the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in early August, but Birk has practiced fully since the week prior to the start of the regular season.

Left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) missed his second straight practice of the week, further clouding his status for Sunday after he missed the first game of his career last week. With Grubbs hobbled, Mark LeVoir and former Pro Bowler Andre Gurode continue to work at the left guard spot.

Wide receiver Lee Evans was also absent from the open portion of practice as he continues to rest his left ankle. His status is in jeopardy after coach John Harbaugh suggested the Ravens could elect to rest Evans if he is unable to produce in the way they need him to.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith (high ankle sprain) and return specialist David Reed were not present and are not expected to return before the Ravens’ bye week that follows their Week 4 meeting with the New York Jets.

Chris Carr was practicing for the second straight day and was a limited participant in Wednesday’s workout. His limited number of reps was intentional, and the 5-10 cornerback expects to be able to play on Sunday against the Rams.

“It’s trying not to be prideful, because you really want to play, but trying to be smart,” said Carr, who revealed Sunday was the first game he’s missed because of an injury. “If I feel like I can’t perform like I’m usually accustomed to performing than I’m not going to play.”

Hear from Cam Cameron, Chuck Pagano, Jerry Rosburg, Terrence Cody, Chris Carr, and Bryant McKinnie in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

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Evans, Grubbs headline crowded injury report for Ravens

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Evans, Grubbs headline crowded injury report for Ravens

Posted on 21 September 2011 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 8:50 p.m.)

Turning the page from Week 2 and returning to the practice field to begin preparations for the St. Louis Rams, the Ravens were missing a number of players during practice on Wednesday afternoon.

Left guard Ben Grubbs is still dealing with a right toe injury that caused him to miss the first game of his five-year career on Sunday and did not practice on Wednesday. Swing lineman Mark LeVoir started in his place instead of veteran Andre Gurode against the Titans.

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Wide receiver Lee Evans was sidelined for the second straight Wednesday practice as he continues to struggle with a left ankle injury that’s had him in and out of a walking boot following the third preseason game in August. Coach John Harbaugh said again on Wednesday that the Ravens must weigh how productive Evans can be on the field with trying to rest him in the short term.

“You just have to work through it throughout the week and then on game day, if you’re well enough, you can play.”

With Evans not running at 100 percent, opponents are unlikely to respect his normal deep-threat capability, thus shrinking the coverage closer to the line of scrimmage to key on possession receiver Anquan Boldin and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. The lack of production from rookie third receiver Torrey Smith hasn’t helped the Ravens’ passing game through the first two games.

For now, the Ravens will hope intermittent rest during the week will allow Evans to feel healthy enough to contribute.

“It is up and down, but there has been some progress made,” said Evans, who has been told the injury cannot get worse by continuing to play. “How much that is or where it is relatively to everything is hard to say. Right now, it’s tough. It’s hard to get a lot of rest during the season. We try to take a smart approach to it.”

Center Matt Birk also sat out Wednesday’s practice in what was a presumed day off for the veteran. After missing the entire preseason, Birk has practiced consistently without any real limitations through the first two weeks of the regular season.

Cornerback Chris Carr returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after missing the Tennessee game and sitting out all practices last week.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – C Matt Birk (knee), DE Cory Redding (toe), DT Terrence Cody (concussion), G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR Lee Evans (ankle), WR David Reed, CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
LIMITED – CB Chris Carr (thigh)

ST. LOUIS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – DE CJ Ah You (wrist), WR Danny Amendola (elbow), RB Steven Jackson (quad), LB Ben Leber (groin), RB Carnell Williams (hamstring)
LIMITED – TE Michaeel Hoomanawanui (calf), WR Greg Salas (ribs)

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