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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionWomen’s College Basketball: Virginia @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center), Boxing: Rico Ramos vs. Alejandro Valdez (Friday 11pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights-Antonin Decarie vs. Shamone Alvarez (Friday 9pm from Montreal live on ESPN2); NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), San Antonio Spurs @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 8pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet),Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers (Sunday 6pm from Cleveland live on Comcast SportsNet); Golf-PGA Tour AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Pebble Beach, CA), Champions Tour Allianz Championship (Friday 12:30pm, Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Boca Raton, FL live on Golf Channel); Tennis: ATP Tour SAP Open (Saturday 4pm & 10pm, Sunday 8pm from San Jose live on Tennis Channel); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Milford Mill (Wednesday 6:30pm), Patapsco @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm), Glen Burnie @ Arundel (Tuesday 5pm)

10. Linkin Park (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center); Lauryn Hill (Thursday 9:30pm Rams Head Live), Keller Williams (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), Buckcherry/Hellyeah/All That Remains (Saturday 5:30pm Rams Head Live); Blue Oyster Cult (Saturday 7:30pm Bourbon Street); WAR (Wednesday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head On Stage), Little River Band (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Jimmy Eat World (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); David Allan Coe (Thursday 8pm Cancun Cantina); Cameo & Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); 2011 Grammy Awards (Sunday 8pm from Los Angeles live on CBS); Billy Joel “The Last Play at Shea” available on DVD (Tuesday)

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen LP live. They’ve gotten much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q[/youtube]

I’ve said this before on Facebook…until she came back recently, I spent hours upon hours every week wondering what had happened to the amazing former Fugees singer/rapper. I’ve been a fan since Sister Act 2. Honestly…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7rSZFxuanc[/youtube]

Picking one Jimmy Eat World song to post here is impossible. I’ll cop out and post “My Best Theory.” Damn these guys are good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk47ecL1z5w[/youtube]

The video sucks, but here’s “Movin’ Out” from Shea Stadium. William Joel is the greatest. Ever.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGu73wvyhgc[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester go to “Second City Does Baltimore” (Tuesday 8pm Center Stage)

I saw the Second City show for the first time ever 4th of July weekend last year in Chicago. I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Charm City variation for some time since then.

If you’re not familiar with Second City, it’s the comedy troupe from the Windy City that has produced some of the biggest stars in the history of both Saturday Night Live and comedy in general.

My favorites? Well, Tina Fey is pretty awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgOeAofwq-w[/youtube]

Lots of Steve Carrell fans out there…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keIdgoJYiy8[/youtube]

But this is obvious. Chris Farley is better than everyone…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNBIyGxV7Ek[/youtube]

8. Motor Trend International Auto Show (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center)

I have a confession to make.

I’ve really never been all that much of a car person.

Everyone calm down for a second.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy cars…it’s just that…the only time I ever need to look at cars is when I check out the very nice, very affordable vehicles available to me at Koons Ford Security Boulevard. (Do I get a dollar for that?)

Now if THIS car were to be at the Motor Trend show, I’d not only attend-I’d move in…

bumblebee

7. College Lacrosse: VMI @ Navy (Saturday 12pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); College Lacrosse Scrimmage: Cornell @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 9am Homewood Field), Harvard @ Loyola (Saturday 12pm Ridley Athletic Complex), Drexel @ UMBC (Saturday 1pm UMBC Stadium)

Lacrosse is (sorta) back!!!!

In a related story, sales of lava lamps and patchouli oil are up significantly around the Old Line State.

Our friends at Stevenson don’t open their season for another week, but I figured Richie Ford’s goal from last season was a good way to welcome back lax…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIqDX-RBx0M[/youtube]

6. Michael Oher “I Beat The Odds” available in stores/online (Tuesday)

I feel like I’ve read this book before. Wasn’t it called “The Blind Side” and written by Michael Lewis?  And didn’t the ensuing movie somehow lead to this amazing moment where Sandra Bullock kissed Scarlett Johansen at the MTV Movie Awards???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evwm-PP6xVw[/youtube]

In all honesty, I’m happy Michael Oher is telling his side of the story. In fact, we’re going to have him on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST at 8:20am Wednesday to talk about it.

And since this is the first post after the end of the NFL season, I’ll wrap the year up by saying THIS Doritos spot was absolutely my favorite from the Super Bowl…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRMMBXx3kqk[/youtube]

5. Pro Wreslting: TNA “Against All Odds” (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

This is new TNA Knockout Miss Tessmacher. So…enjoy the PPV!!!

tessmacher

4. Auto Racing: NASCAR Budweiser Shootout (Saturday 8:10pm from Daytona, FL live on FOX)

Oh thank God NASCAR is back! Now my long weekends spent not missing NASCAR can finally come to an end!

I’d tell you who my pick was to win at Daytona, but I’m not sure who’s running in the race. Darrell Waltrip look good this year?

By the way, weather was so bad in Dallas last week that the Texas Motor Speedway looked like…

tms

…and if they had held a race in that mess I would have watched my first NASCAR race. Ever.

3. NHL: San Jose Sharks @ Washington Capitals (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Los Angeles Kings @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Phoenix Coyotes (Monday 8pm from Phoenix live on VERSUS)

Why would I ever make the Caps #3 on this list? Easy. On Valentine’s Day, they’re playing a REAL team this country can root for!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5arwHU5Cm68[/youtube]

Who’s coming with me to see them February 22nd against the Flyers in Philadelphia?!?!? Let’s go DESERT DOGS!!!

2. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce-Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (Saturday 10pm from East Rutherford, NJ live on Showtime)

Despite the fact that “MMA Report” host Thyrl Nelson crapped out on coming with me, I’m looking forward to heading up to the Meadowlands this weekend to see my first ever live Strikeforce event.

If you missed Allistair Overeem and Herschel Walker talking up Strikeforce with myself and Nestor Aparicio on “The Afternoon Drive” last Friday, it’s worth checking out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

It wasn’t the best radio we did at Radio Row last week though. That honor would either go to the great Frank Caliendo…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay150v4AN7M[/youtube]

Or…quite possibly…the great Vic “The Brick” Jacobs from Fox Sports Radio. FEELING YOU!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMPLCnDIBYk[/youtube]

1. College Basketball: Longwood @ Maryland (Wednesday 8pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ Boston College (Saturday 1pm from Chestnut Hill, MA live on ACC Network-WNUV54 in Charm City); Vermont @ UMBC (Wednesday 7pm RAC Arena), New Hampshire @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); UNC Wilmington @ Towson (Saturday 2pm Towson Center); Niagara @ Loyola (Friday 7pm Reitz Arena), Canisius @ Loyola (Sunday 12pm Reitz Arena)

Really hard to get a whole lot of anger built up towards Longwood. In fact, if my girlfriend didn’t have family in Farmville, Virginia-I’m not sure I (or ANYONE who might ever read this) could possibly know Longwood was really a college and not just a name that made hoops fans giggle.

The Eagles are a different animal. I despise EVERYTHING from Boston. Beantown sucks. But I have a special disdain for those freaking “Super Shirts.”

In fact, this is the ugliest woman I have ever seen in my life…

bc

I’m not kidding.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ex-Packer Tony Moll, former Raven CB Derrick Martin have another reason to root against Steelers in Super Bowl

Posted on 27 January 2011 by Ryan Chell

Ravens offensive lineman Tony Moll saw his season end only a few short weeks ago to the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round, but he still has a rooting interest in next Sunday’s Super Bowl between Pittsburgh and the Green Bay Packers.

Moll joined Rex Snider Thursday on “The Afternoon Drive” to talk about who he is pulling for in Super Bowl XLV, and what do you expect he would say?

Green Bay obviously!  But not just because he hates the Steelers for being a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Moll-a former Packer from 2006-2008-still has many friends on the NFC Wild Card Packers and is wishing them all the best down in Dallas next week.

Moll was drafted by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Nevada, and during his three years in Green Bay he saw playing time at guard and tackle. He started 10 of 16 games his rookie year and despite battling injuries and inconsistency over the next two seasons, he still managed to start five games for the Packers.

His versatility caught the Ravens eye towards the end of training camp in September of 2009, and with numerous injuries to their offensive line, the Ravens shipped troubled cornerback Derrick Martin to Green Bay in exchange for Moll.

And yet again, Moll found playing time this season with injuries to key pieces of the offensive line, most notably Chris Chester’s skin infection this season.

Moll is scheduled to be a free agent, but even if he is not brought back in Baltimore next season, he still sees good things for the Ravens this season.

“We have the talent and the right people there to be a championship contender year in and year out,” Moll replied.

He sees these two championship contenders in Pittsburgh and Green Bay as being very evenly matched.

“It’s going to be a good one,” Moll said. “I think this is going to be one that a lot of people are going to be watching. They’re two really good teams, and it’s not really lopsided in any way.”

One of his former teammates on the team and a game-changing player in his opinion, cornerback Charles Woodson, already seems poised to make a play against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense.

“I think Charles Woodson is definitely going to show up. This is his moment to shine as well. He’s going to be making a lot of big plays on defense,” Moll told Snider.

Former Ravens corner back Derrick Martin-who was traded to the Packers for Moll-joined Thyrl Nelson as well on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”and also had some thoughts about Woodson, his current teammate and mentor.

Martin is currently on IR for Green Bay.

“He is a lot like Ed Reed,” Martin said, who played for the Ravens from 2006-2008 as well after getting drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round out of Wyoming. “He is a big studier, he knows what’s going to happen so he is able to get a good jump on the offense, and it’s always good to pick guys’ brains like that.”

Martin’s biggest contributions as a Raven came in 2007 when he registered 32 tackles and grabbed two interceptions.

He was also asked to size up Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward in preparation for the game given his past playing days against the Steelers wideout.

“He is a crafty receiver,” Martin said, “always playing a little past the whistle and that’s what you expect. I expect him to go hard this game, and that’s all I can tell my teammates.”

Martin would still get a Super Bowl ring given he was active for part of the season this year should the Packers come out on top. His 2010 campaign came to an end on October 10th against the Washington Redskins with a knee injury.

And even though he won’t be on the field for the Packers against his old AFC North foes, he is pumped to still have the championship atmosphere around his team.

“The guys are fired up,” Martin told Nelson. “They are ready to play. They get a little break and then gear back up, and I think they are going to be ready. It’s going to be a game. They are hyped, they are ready, and everybody is excited to be in this position. So, it’s a great honor for them.”

Tune into WNST as we stream live from Dallas for Super Bowl XLV! WNST-We Never Stop Talking!

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Live From Owings Mills: Pagano Says Defense Will “Be Aggressive”

Posted on 19 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens introduced Chuck Pagano to reporters Wednesday, less than 24 hours after promoting the former secondary coach to Defensive Coordinator. Pagano replaced Greg Mattison, who left for the same position at the University of Michigan.

Head Coach John Harbaugh described the selection of Pagano as an “easy choice” in a Wednesday press conference. “I think we’ve build just a tremendous defensive staff. Chuck has done a phenomenal job of coaching football here for the last three years.”

Pagano described the promotion as “bittersweet” due to the departure of his friend and mentor Mattison, but also said “I’ve spent 27 years preparing for this opportunity. I feel like I’m at the best organization in the National Football League (NFL), I work for the best owner in the NFL in Steve Bisciotti.”

Pagano and Harbaugh each made it a point to indicate that the team had no plans to drastically change their defensive philosophy during the transition to Pagano’s leadership.

“This hasn’t changed, and it ain’t going to change” said Pagano. “They’ve been playing great defense here long before any of us got here, and they’ll be playing great defense long after I’m gone. They’ve always been an attacking, swarming, tough, physical hard-nosed group of men.”

“It’s not a (former Defensive Coordinator/current New York Jets Head Coach) Rex (Ryan) defense, it’s not a Greg (Mattison) defense, it’s not a John (Harbaugh) defense, it’s not a Chuck (Pagano) defense, it’s not an anybody, it’s a Ravens defense. We believe in team around here.”

The Ravens tallied just 27 sacks this season, which tied them for the 5th fewest in the league. Pagano told reporters Wednesday he intends to lead an aggressive defense.

“I’ve always been around defenses that have been attacking defenses” said Pagano. “There’s a time and a place. I know (Harbaugh) is an aggressive guy and comes from an aggressive philosophy. I know (the defensive players) like to play that way. When it’s time to be aggressive, we’ll be aggressive.”

Pagano said he would orchestrate the defense from the sideline instead of the coaches’ box on gamedays.

“I’m pretty much a hands-on guy” said Pagano. “I understand that being in the box and getting away from the action, there’s a certain calmness to that. But I’m not really a calm type of guy.”

Ravens defensive players made their excitement about Pagano’s promotion apparent. DT Haloti Ngata, LB Jarret Johnson and S Haruki Nakamura were all in attendance Wednesday to show support. Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks, Linebackers Coach Dean Pees, Outside Linebackers Coach Ted Monachino and Defensive Assistant Roy Anderson were amongst a group of Ravens coaches in attendance as well.

LB Ray Lewis said in a statement Pagano “has an extreme knowledge of the game, and the way he communicates that with his players and fellow coaches is amazing.”

Lewis added “you have to respect how he studies opponents and how he prepares for the task at hand each week. He is truly a pure players’ coach. He is a man’s man, and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for him. I am excited to see what we can do as a defense and as a team leading into next season.”

Harbaugh did not indicate any candidates to replace Pagano as Secondary coach, saying only “we’re going to find a great one.” He pointed out that Anderson would continue to work with the secondary no matter who was hired to replace Pagano.

NOTES: Hear from Pagano and Harbaugh now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Pagano also joined Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” on AM1570 WNST, that chat is available in the Audio Vault as well……Harbaugh said the team gave their approval for Offensive Assistant Al Saunders to meet with the Oakland Raiders about their vacant Offensive Coordinator job. NFL Network reported Saunders was in Oakland Wednesday as was accepted to get the job……Harbaugh said he had no further information regarding rumors other NFL teams were interested in talking to Quarterbacks Coach Jim Zorn. Zorn had been rumored in conjunction to openings with the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks…..Multiple outlets reported Wednesday the team had fired Offensive Line Coach John Matsko and was expected to promote Assistant Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller to the post……Harbaugh, Bisciotti, Team President Dick Cass and General Manager Ozzie Newsome are scheduled to meet with reporters Thursday afternoon for the team’s annual season review press conference

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh Says Cameron Will Remain Offensive Coordinator

Posted on 17 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (13-5) returned to 1 Winning Drive Monday, less than 48 hours after their season ended with a 31-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4) at Heinz Field in an AFC Divisional Round playoff game.

Head Coach John Harbaugh put to rest any rumors he would consider firing Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron Monday.

“Cam Cameron is our offensive coordinator” said Harbaugh. “That’s how we’re going forward. I know Cam is a tremendous coach.”

Harbaugh indicated no other coaches would be at risk of losing their jobs based on the team’s performance.

“I really like our coaching staff” said Harbaugh. “I think we have a great, great coaching staff. Top to bottom-that includes all three coordinators, that includes every one of our position coaches, there’s not a guy that I’m disappointed in.”

The Ravens finished just 22nd in the NFL in total offense in 2010, despite the additions of WR’s Anquan Boldin, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth in the offseason, as well as the draft selections of TE’s Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta

Harbaugh said the statistics didn’t affect his decision process with Cameron.

“He’s the same guy that was the offensive coordinator three years ago when everybody said we (outperformed) our expectations, and even last year. We had a tough year statistically, but we did win a lot of football games with that offense. There are things we can do a lot better, and we’re going to go to work on those things.”

FOCUS ON FREE AGENTS: The Ravens enter an offseason which will be based in as much uncertainty as the league itself.

The team has 17 unrestricted free agents, eight additional restricted free agents and five exclusive rights free agents.

The team’s unrestricted free agents are Houshmandzadeh, Stallworth, DT Haloti Ngata, FB Le’Ron McClain, CB Josh Wilson, CB Chris Carr, OT Jared Gaither, OL Marshal Yanda, OL Chris Chester, OL Tony Moll, S Dawan Landry, CB Fabian Washington, K Billy Cundiff, P Sam Koch, QB Marc Bulger, LB Prescott Burgess and LS Kevin Houser.

The restricted free agents are S Tom Zbikowski, S Haruki Nakamura, LB Tavares Gooden, LB Jameel McClain, WR Marcus Smith, OT Oniel Cousins, DT Lamar Divens and RB Jalen Parmele. LB Sergio Kindle, DT Kelly Talavou, TE Davon Drew, CB Cary Williams and LB Dannell Ellerbe are exclusive rights free agents.

Harbaugh said Monday the team will focus offseason plans on retaining their own free agents.

“We’re going to try to get back as many of these guys as we possibly can” said the coach. “Because we like our players.”

Harbaugh said he had high hopes that many of the team’s free agents would return.

“Talking to the guys today, the vast majority of guys really want to be here.”

Coming off a second straight Pro Bowl selection and a season in which he was voted the team’s MVP, Ngata is the most important player to get back according to Harbaugh.

“I believe Haloti Ngata will be a Raven for life” said the coach. “That’s the goal. He’s told me he wants to be here. I believe the organization wants him here. It’s priority number one to have Haloti Ngata here.”

Houshmandzadeh said he’d like to return to Charm City, but admitted an expanded role would play a significant part in making his decision.

“I want to come back because I had fun here and I enjoyed myself” said the receiver. “I do want to be a starter. I do because that’s what I’ve been. It’s hard to adjust.”

Free agency cannot begin until owners and the NFLPA agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Houshmandzadeh, L. McClain, Houshmandzadeh, Stallworth, Cundiff, Koch, Washington, Wilson, Kindle, Bulger, QB Joe Flacco, LB Ray Lewis, LB Jarret Johnson, C Matt Birk and WR Derrick Mason now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……L. McClain joined Rex Snider Monday on “The Afternoon Drive” on AM1570 WNST, that chat is also available in the Audio Vault……The Ravens will select 26th in the 2011 NFL Draft……A team source told WNST’s Drew Forrester a contract extension for Harbaugh should be considered “imminent”……The Ravens signed all seven practice squad players to reserve/future contracts. WR Justin Harper, RB Curtis Steele, CB Danny Gorrer, QB Hunter Cantwell, OL Andre Ramsey, OL Brady Bond and LB Albert McClellan joined former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy in getting such contracts……Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome, Team President Dick Cass and owner Steve Bisciotti will hold their season review press conference Thursday afternoon in Owings Mills

-G

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Terps who used Ralph Friedgen’s guidance toward NFL career weigh in on former coach

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Terps who used Ralph Friedgen’s guidance toward NFL career weigh in on former coach

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Ryan Chell

Ralph Friedgen

Ralph Friedgen spent 10 years as coach of the Maryland Terrapins and saw numerous student-athletes, football players, and young men pass through his program and move on to become better, more driven individuals-and some who went on to make a career of playing football in the NFL.

He touched countless lives in College Park, returning to his alma mater in 2001 and starting his coaching career rebuilding a struggling program with an outright ACC Title, a 10-2 record, and an Orange Bowl appearance.

He earned ACC Coach of the Year his first year at Maryland.

His last season came this year in 2010 and despite an 8-4 record and his second ACC Coach of the Year award, Friedgen was shown the door by the new athletic department staff headed by AD Kevin Anderson, with his last game Wednesday in the Terps 51-20 victory over ECU in the Military Bowl.

Friedgen left Maryland on top in the fashion many of Terps nation wanted to see him leave, and several of his former players who used his teachings to move on to the NFL joined WNST Thursday and Friday as a send-off to Coach Friedgen and to wish him the best.

Nolan Carroll

“I am glad for the win,” Dolphins CB and KR Nolan Carroll said, who spent 2005-2009 in College Park. “What I heard was that ECU had a very good offense. You know, they had a very good team. For them to come out the way they did, and put up so many points, was phenomenal. It’s the best way for him to leave on such a good note.”

Moise Fokou

Another former Terp, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou-who joined Rex Thursday on “The Afternoon Drive”-said that the win against the Pirates definitely caps off a great resume by Coach Friedgen at Maryland.

“I feel like before he got there, they definitely had talent but I felt with Friedgen coming in there and turning that program around…he showcased the talent that he had at that school and he did a great job recruiting and showing us off.”

“We’re just glad to be Terps and represent him in that fashion.”

Fokou was definitely confused as to why the new administration would relieve not only a former alumni who went 75-50 during his time in College Park, but a guy that brought stability to a program that had only one winning season and no bowl appearances in the ten years before he took the sidelines.

“Honestly, I don’t know really know what’s going on with their program. Why they are forcing him out…I just hope that they know what they’re doing because I’m telling you right now that they’re losing a great head coach,” Fokou said.

Several other players echoed Fokou’s thoughts, including former Terp running back Lance Ball, who currently is a Denver Bronco after spending 2003-2007 in a Terps uniform.

Lance Ball

Ball was coached by the “Fridge”  before  finding his way into the NFL bouncing around with the St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts squads.

Ball believes it was Friedgen’s vast knowledge of the offensive side of the ball that garnered him attention at the NFL level-as well as guys like former first-round picks in Darius Heyward-Bey and tight end Vernon Davis.

“I think Coach Friedgen coming from a pro-style offense…he was able to give us insight on what teams look for and if we’re ready or not to leave.”

Fokou was also certain that while Friedgen may have been rudely shown the door, his former coach will not be a guy to hold a grudge and will not hold it against his former players and friends at the university.

“I’m so happy he went out with a bang,” Fokou said. “but I guarantee he will be back especially with the alumni coming out of the school.”

“I was one of the guys who he scouted and he gave me a full scholarship the following year. He’s done a tremendous job up there as soon as he stepped foot on campus. He turned that program around and it’s hard to see a guy like that go, but he will be missed.”

Friedgen said after the Military Bowl victory at RFK Stadium Wednesday that he will always have “three daughters and 120 sons.”

And his family is definitely bigger than those 123 people he touched this year having been coaching the Terps  for a decade.

“Ralph is a good guy,” Ball told Thyrl Nelson. “I know when we were I was there, we won a lot of games. We were quite successful; it’s just unfortunate that they went in another direction and he’s not the coach no more.”

“I haven’t contacted him yet cause there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on now, but within the next couple days I’ll give him a shout and see how’s he doing.”

All the former Terps WNST talked to said that their biggest and most fond memories of Friedgen is when he spent one-on-one time with them recruiting them, and those moments and time spent together made all the difference in the world.

“For me, it’s when he came to my house when he recruited me,” Carroll told Snider. “He looked my parents dead in the eye and he told them, ‘Hey look, your son’s education is going to come first’. That’s the first thing he preached about. He really didn’t go into athletics that much. He was strictly academics, and that’s what my folks liked a lot about him.”

“And he held true to his word. I got my education last fall and I ended up graduating in the Spring. And everything he said that he was gonna do for me, he ended up doing.”

Friedgen’s final press conference-which lasted twenty minutes Wednesday night-had the overall mood of a funeral at times as opposed to a glorious send-off.

But make no mistake. Just like former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer told Friedgen recently, there is life after football and Ball in particular sees leaving the sport and the opportunity to mentor kids as too big an opportunity to pass up on.

“He may take a little break,” Ball said. “But I don’t see it. Ralph has grown up around football and been around football. So I’m sure at one point he will get back to it.”

Fokou agreed.

“I definitely think he has a couple more years of coaching left,” Fokou said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back in the NFL. He kind of has that coaching mentality…kind of get it done at any cost.”

‘But I do see him coaching again in the future whether it’s in the NFL or in the colleges leagues.”

Ball is sad to see his coach go the wayside, but he does hope the program finds a guy that can pick up right where Friedgen left off.

“I just hope the guy that comes in is very serious about Maryland and the tradition that it brings. I think being a head coach at Maryland, you have to take on a lot of responsibility cause it’s such a great school and it holds so much tradition.”

Ralph Friedgen

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to follow the Terps and Ralph Friedgen even though he leaves College Park behind!

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Rating the Ravens after Baltimore’s 20-10 victory over Browns

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Rating the Ravens after Baltimore’s 20-10 victory over Browns

Posted on 27 December 2010 by Ryan Chell

What a boring game on Sunday between the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. I know my boss, Glenn Clark, said that he forgot most of details of Sunday’s game an hour after the fourth quarter ended on the way back to Baltimore. But nevertheless, the Ravens won 20-10 and guaranteed themselves a playoff spot for the third straight year-the first time the team has achieved that feat in franchise history.

Rex and I sat down on “The Afternoon Drive” Monday on the “Purple Post-Game Show” to rate the Ravens, and in honor of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner announcing his engagement to 24-year old Playboy Playmate Crystal Harris, we decided to “Rate the Ravens” this week based on Playmates, with five being the highest and one being the lowest. Because more is better right?

Crystal Harris

Quarterbacks

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco only completed 12-of-19 passes for only 102 yards, and had two touchdown passes-one to Derrick Mason and the other to T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the back of the end zone. The passing yards may not be outstanding, but Flacco did enough to win and played relatively mistake-free. He did throw a floater that Browns cornerback Joe Haden picked off, but Haden has been playing at a very high level this year. Flacco also made several plays with his feet to make a play despite something not being open downfield.

Ryan’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rex’s Rating:3

Running backs

Ray Rice

It was hard for Ray Rice to one-up his performance from last week against the Saints where he topped 200 yards of total offense, but the Ravens showed Sunday that they were determined still to manage the clock by still having a good dose of Ray Rice on the ground. Rice finished with 92 yards on 25 carries, but he never broke the huge run that sparked a Ravens scoring drive. Fullback Le’Ron McClain also carried the ball twice for 19 yards and Willis McGahee also provided solid supplementary support. No touchdowns for any of them though, and I think the injury to tight end Dennis Pitta early on in Sunday’s game stopped the Ravens from running their favorite formation to run out of-the two tight-end set.

Ryan’s Ratings: 3.5

Rex’s Rating: 3

Wide Receivers

T.J. Houshmandzadeh

The stats weren’t mind-blowing here, much like Flacco, but Derrick Mason continued his track record of making plays against the Cleveland Browns by grabbing a touchdown in front of Cleveland’s Sheldon Brown. After the Browns failed to convert on an onside-kick to open the second half, the Ravens had the benefit of a short field and made the most of the opportunity, as Flacco found Mason for the final score of the game, 20-10. Mason finished with 4 catches for 40 yards, and Houshmadzadeh’s score was also just as impressive. Dissapointing still is the loss of TE Todd Heap and the play of his replacement, Ed Dickson, who had no catches for 0 yards and just one target on Sunday.

Ryan’s Rating: 3/5

Rex’s Rating:2.5

Offensive Line

Flacco was only sacked once by the Browns, and that came on a corner blitz by Joe Haden. On several occasions, Flacco had several seconds to make a throw and either did or escaped out of the pocket and made a play with his legs (3 rushes, 16 yards). The holes were there in the running lanes for the backs to make; it was just on the part of Ray Rice or Willis McGahee to make a cut and they could have made a bigger play. But there is a silver lining in all of this…no penalties for Michael Oher!

Ryan’s Rating:3/5

Rex’s Rating:3/5

Defensive Line:

Cory Redding

The Ravens didn’t sack Colt McCoy once but rushed him on several occasions from the likes of Cory Redding, Haloti Ngata, and Terrell Suggs. Those pressures led to the three McCoy interceptions, and the biggest stop of the day by this unit was holding running back Peyton Hillis to just 35 yards on 12 carries(2.9 YPC). Overall, as a team the Browns only averaged 3.9 yards per carry as a team, and the trio of Redding, Ngata, and Gregg combined for eight solo tackles.

Ryan’s Rating: 4/5

Rex’s Rating:3.5/5

Linebackers

Peyton Hillis and Terrell Suggs

Ray Lewis said in the week leading up to Sunday’s game against the Browns that “even a blind cat finds a meal”. I always thought the quote was “even a blind squirrel finds a nut eventually”, but who’s going to tell Ray Lewis that? Certainly not me. Hillis of course had his breakthrough game against the Ravens in their previous matchup, gaining 144 yards on just 22 carries. Well, we thought Ray was opening his mouth a bit too early but Ray and the unit put their money where their mouth was and stopped Hillis, holding him to 35 yards and got physical with him.

They also did a good job of controlling the intermediate to short passing game that McCoy is great at. Jameel McClain led all Ravens with seven tackles, and Dannell Ellerbe and Jarret Johnson both were forces on the inside and outside of the Browns offensive line.

Ryan’s Rating:4/5

Rex’s Rating:3.5

Secondary:

Ed Reed

By far, the best Ravens unit of the day. The Ravens picked off Colt McCoy three times on Sunday-two coming from safety Ed Reed. McCoy appeared to be throwing the ball to a spot instead of leading the receiver, and Reed appeared to position himself in just the right spot. McCoy admitted afterwards that he being a rookie failed to realize that he should always know where a ball-hawking safety like Ed Reed should have been at all times. Lardarius Webb on his first quarter interception on the seventh-play of the game appeared to be the receiver instead of Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.

And despite the touchdown allowed by Chris Carr on the trick play from Massaquoi to Brian Robiskie, Carr bounced back with a play later in the second quarter when he forced Massaquoi to fumble on the ball after catching a ball on a curl route. The ball bounced to the turf and took a Raven roll inbounds into the arms of Jameel McClain.

Ryan’s Rating:4.5/5

Rex’s Rating:3.5/5

Special Teams:

Nothing special here. The coverage team did do a great job containing return man Josh Cribbs, and while Billy Cundiff did connect on field goals of 27 and 40 yards with the wind blowing; he only had one touchback out of five attempts. Sam Koch averaged 45.7 yards per punt on three attempts and had one downed inside the Cleveland 20. The loss of David Reed was evident on kick returns as Jalen Parmele did just enough to move the ball up the field.

Ryan’s Rating: 4/5

Rex’s Rating: 3/5

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Had it simply been based on accolades, Greivis Vasquez would have won WNST’s 2010 Local Sports Person of the Year award going away.

In 2010, the former Maryland Terrapins guard was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award winner — given to the nation’s top point guard. He also helped the Terps clinch a share of the ACC regular season title. When the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 28th pick of the NBA Draft in June, Vasquez became the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Chris Wilcox and Juan Dixon were picked in 2002.

In terms of on-field (on in this case on-court) accomplishments, no athlete in the state of Maryland reached the heights that the “Vivacious Venezuelan” did in 2010. As Jason Jubb (WNST.net contributor and former “Sunday Morning Blitz” co-host) said, Vasquez “took over this year.”

However, Vasquez’s selection was about more than just on-court ability. There was something about watching Vasquez play in 2010 that made fans in Baltimore and throughout the state heap adoration at a level not seen since Dixon’s graduation.

Sometimes a picture explains just about everything.

vasquez

It was the passion displayed by Vasquez when he stepped foot on a basketball court that made fans fall in love.

WNST’s Ryan Chell said Vasquez in 2010 was “hated by every other ACC fan and adored by the Terps nation. He put the team on his shoulders.”

Never was it more evident than in the game pictured above.

On March 3, Maryland defeated then No. 4 Duke, 79-72. It was Senior Night at Comcast Center, and Vasquez’s final game was one of the more passionate displays in recent college basketball history.

Vasquez led the way for Maryland with 20 points and 5 assists in the victory, but it was one particular shot that was a total display of “huevos” (a term first labeled by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt) in the final seconds.

With Maryland clinging to a 71-69 advantage over the Blue Devils in the final minute, there was no question Vasquez would take the shot. And despite the shot being an off-balanced, running 12-footer that looked more like a heave than an actual basketball shot, there was really no question whether or not the shot would go in…even if it had to find every piece of the rim before it would fall.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA_qoFMFITA[/youtube]

It wasn’t only the Duke game that stood out in 2010 for the young man from Caracas. In fact, Vasquez’s shining moment may well have occurred just one game earlier.

The Terrapins traveled to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech February 27. The game was delayed more than three hours due to a water main break outside Cassell Coliseum. Maybe the anticipation built during the delay made the nature of the performance even greater.

Vasquez posted 41 points, seven rebounds, and six assists en route to 104-100 win over the Hokies in two overtimes.

The two wins would ultimately be the difference for the Terps in sharing the ACC crown.

Watching Vasquez play in 2010 was special.

It’s unlikely that Vasquez could have won a 1-on-1 contest with some of the great all-around players in recent Maryland history. Vasquez’s game wasn’t nearly as polished as someone like Dixon, Steve Francis or even John Gilchrist.

Yet in terms of fortitude, only Dixon could match Vasquez. Vasquez cared deeply about representing the students, the University and the entire state.

“Every time I put on the jersey I did my best and cared about them,” said Vasquez after learning he had won the award. “Those four years at Maryland were a big part in my life, and I eventually want to raise my family around Maryland because it meant very much to me.”

It was the type of passion that rubbed off on everyone around him, including his teammates.

“He was a great teammate,” Maryland guard Adrian Bowie told WNST. “His passion was evident on and off the court. He loved us and we loved him.”

Perhaps that passion was no more evident than in his final act as a Terrapin, a devastating 85-83 defeat to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Trailing by 16 late in the second half and seemingly limping out on a disappointing note, Vasquez took his team on his back a final time, scoring nine of Maryland’s 11 points in the final two minutes. His final basket with six seconds left to give the Terps a one-point lead looked to be another brilliant moment before the Spartans’ Korie Lucious broke the hearts of Terrapin Nation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ending Vasquez’s collegiate career and leaving fans wishing for one more chance to watch him.

“It’s a memory all Maryland fans want to forget, but his final game left you wanting more and epitomized what he meant to this program,” said WNST’s Luke Jones. “We throw around words like courage and heart all the time in the sports world, but his passion, his determination was authentic. In those final minutes when he nearly willed the Terps to victory when it seemed all but impossible, it summed him up perfectly. As disappointing as it was for the team, knowing Vasquez would never wear that uniform again was sobering. You didn’t want it to end.”

Vasquez truly was loved by fans both on campus in College Park and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His talent as a basketball player was appreciated, but his incredible passion made watching him play a joyous experience for Terps fans.

For as much joy as Maryland fans (and WNST contributors) took from watching Vasquez on the court, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams told WNST he took equally as much joy from coaching him.

“If you pay a lot of money for a ticket, I think you want that guy that you paid the money to see to really work as hard as (in your mind) you would if you were a player,” said Williams after learning Vasquez had won the honor. “And that’s what Greivis gave all those people that bought the tickets. He gave them that player that played they way they would play if they got the chance.”

“I’ve always felt a big part of college basketball is the passion in the game,” added Williams. “I talk to pro players that have played here, played other places, and they really miss that passion that you get at college basketball in big games. Greivis was a part of that. He was nationally known as one of those guys.”

In a fitting twist, the brilliant performance of Vasquez in 2010 came after what would have to be considered the last “low” moment in what had previously been a roller-coaster career.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Vasquez pulled up but missed an important three point shot in transition in the second half of Maryland’s 83-77 loss to William & Mary at Comcast Center. Trailing by seven points, the miss turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Tribe as they would go on to upset the Terps.

The tone for Vasquez in 2010 was set that night. Not by the miss, but by the support shown by Williams despite the crucial miss (and poor decision). When asked about the shot after the game, Williams responded:

“Greivis has won a lot of games for us pulling up for threes. He didn’t make that one. Sure, he missed it, so I wish he would have driven the ball. But if he would have driven the ball and gotten his shot blocked, I’d wished he would have taken the three. It’s the way it works. I want Greivis to keep playing like he’s playing. He’s working hard, he’s trying to help us win. As long as he does that-I’ve had a lot of great players here that take shots once in a while that take shots that you might not like as a coach but that’s part of what makes them great. They have that aggressiveness, they have that no fear of being out there playing which you try to put into a lot of players, but not everybody has that.”

With that support, Vasquez never looked back in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about coach,” Vasquez told WNST. “I think he made a big impact not only in my game but in my life. He mean so much to me not only as my coach, but as a father and a friend, everything I needed. He’s more than a good friend, he’s a mentor. That’s why he’s successful and wins championships and went to the Final Four. I can’t say enough about coach Williams and he will be a special person to me for the rest of my life.”

Vasquez’s personality wasn’t left on the floor. He was as engaging on the campus in College Park and in the community as well.

“Greivis always had time for people,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d have to get on him because he was trying to do too many things to please too many people. The time he read books in elementary school to kids in Spanish-in a lot of Spanish areas around here-nobody even knew about that stuff. He was just always willing to show up. If they had a shoot-a-thon to raise money for charity on campus, Greivis would come in and try to make one from half court. That’s just the way he was. He was just always willing to be like the other students, which they really appreciated.”

“Greivis had a passion for both basketball and for life that was infectious,” Maryland associate Athletic Director Doug Dull told WNST as well. “He had a confidence and a personality that was magical and unforgettable.”

Watching Greivis Vasquez play basketball in 2010 was a special feeling for Terrapins fans and even those who support other schools but live in the area and found themselves glued to Maryland games.

There were two voting qualifications for the Local Sports Person of the Year honor.

The first was that the person had to play for a professional, college or high school team in the state of Maryland OR represent the state of Maryland in an individual sport.

The second was that the honor was year-specific. The honoree had to be someone for whom 2010 stood out not only in comparison to other sports figures, but also to things they had accomplished themselves in other years.

D1scourse.com writer (and regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST in 2010) Patrick Stevens offered a very well thought out explanation as to why Vasquez best met both qualifications.

“Vasquez came to Maryland with maybe his biggest obstacle being the language barrier. That’s almost a bigger impediment for someone who sort of knows a second language and tries to fit in while learning on the fly than someone who just relies on a translator and stays in his comfort zone. The thing was, Vasquez was always supremely at ease on the court, where it was immensely easier for him to express himself than through his many, many words.”

Stevens added, “For as much as people latched onto Vasquez’s rhetoric throughout his college career, he was always better measured through his deeds. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor (a 41-point night at Virginia Tech or helping topple Duke in his last home game) or off (posing for picture after picture well after games ended or simple gestures like handing a pair of shoes to a security guard at the ACC Tournament). Vasquez was the most impactful University of Maryland athlete since Juan Dixon, and never more so than in 2010.”

Vasquez’s often hard-nosed head coach was emotional in summing up his feelings about his former star player.

“The person that he is…is really tremendous. I really miss him. Obviously, you miss his playing ability, but you miss him being around.”

He’s not the only one.

-G

(Vasquez joined Rex Snider, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday to accept the honor. That interview is available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

Final Voting For WNST Local Sports Person of the Year-

1-Greivis Vasquez (20 points)
2-Buck Showalter (19 points)
3-Ray Lewis (10 points)
4-Joe Flacco (7 points)
4-Danny O’Brien (7 points)
6-Anquan Boldin (5 points)
7-John Rallo (4 points)
8-Gary Williams (3 points)
8-Jay Davidson (3 points)
8-John Harbaugh (3 points)
8-Forest Boyce (3 points)
8-Caitlyn McFadden (3 points)
8-Pam Shriver (3 points)
8-Cal Ripken (3 points)
15-Bill Ripken (2 points)
15-Ben’s Cat (horse) (2 points)
17-Pete Caringi (1 point)
17-Kevin Plank (1 point)
17-Reggie Holmes (1 point)

Panel of AM1570 & WNST.net contributors eligible to vote included: Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Ashley Bishoff, Pete Kerzel (CSNBaltimore.com writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jon Schmidt (WNST Sales), Paul Kopelke (WNST General Manager), Christine Cortezi (WNST sales), Jason Jubb, Mark Suchy, Patrick Stevens (D1scourse.com/regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction”), Sam Angell (WNST.net contributor), Allen McCallum (regular contributor to “The Afternoon Drive), Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Derek Arnold (BMoreBirdsNest.com/WNST.net contributor), BJ Appel (WNST.net contributor), Chris Pika, Lawson Lambert (WNST.net contributor), John Rallo (“Shogun Fights”/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jay Trucker (Examiner.com writer/WNST.net contributor), Todd Helmick (NationalChamps.net writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) and Brian Billick (WNST part-owner). Not all contributors eligible submitted ballots.

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Rating the Ravens against the New Orleans Saints

Posted on 21 December 2010 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens defeated the Super Bowl Champs in the New Orleans Saints 30-24 Sunday in impressive faction and with a team in the Ravens fighting for a playoff spot and still having an opportunity to win the AFC North, the Ravens may have put together one of their more complete games of the year when it comes to game-planning against a superior opponent.

Rex Snider and I sat down in studio Monday afternoon to “Rate the Ravens” in every position and facet of the game and based on their results Sunday versus the Saints. The scale was out of 5 stars, with five being a perfect score and 1 being the lowest star possible.

Disagree with us? Think we’re dead on? Give us a call at 410-481-1570 2-6PM!

Quaterback:

Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes Sunday, but other than that, Flacco wasn’t asked to do much else(10-20, 172 yards). I hate to say he was asked to manage the game, because to me that would insinuate that had the Ravens needed Flacco to win the game he would have coughed it up and cost Baltimore the victory. He continues his impressive numbers at home (13 TDs, 1 INT), and while Dickson made a play with yards-after-the-catch to get in the end zone for his first touchdown pass, Flacco couldn’t have put his second touchdown pass to Rice in a better spot.

Ryan’s Rating:3.5 out of 5

Rex’s Rating:3 out of 5

Running backs:

It was the Ray Rice show on Sunday, and for good reason. As well as having that touchdown grab for Rice, he went over 100 yards rushing for only the second time this season( the other being against Denver in the home blowout earlier in the year). He finished with 223 total yards of offense, two touchdowns, and his day was highlighted not only by a long run of 50 yards but for also rushing for over 1,000 yards on the season. The only reason why I didn’t give it a perfect grade is because of fullback Le’Ron McClain’s bone-headed drop near the goal line which cost the Ravens a touchdown.

Ryan’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Rex’s Rating:5 out of 5

Receivers:

Much like Flacco, the receivers took a seat Sunday. Besides Dickson and Rice, no other receiver had more than one catch. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was forced out of a touchdown in the back of the end zone, and it’s nice to see Baltimore winning this game-otherwise Anquan Boldin (1 catch, 2 yards) might be throwing a fit.

Ryan’s Rating: 3 out of 5

Rex’s Rating:2 out of 5

Offensive Line:

Why did I give the Ravens’ line four stars on Sunday? For one, they told Oniel Cousins that the game started at 4PM and put him no where near the starting lineup. They did give up three Flacco sacks, but other than that there were no costly sacks or fumbles, and whenever Rice carries the ball 31 times for a season-high 153 yards, you’re doing something right. Give the offensive line credit for sustaining drives and keeping Drew Brees where he belongs-on the bench.

Ryan’s Rating:4 out of 5

Rex’s Rating:3 stars out of 5

Defensive Line:

Haloti Ngata caused a ton of disruption up the middle, including batting the pass that Cory Redding intercepted for his first ever interception( he would have had one earlier in the year had it not been for Ray Lewis’ greedy nature). Terrell Suggs got his 11th sack of the season and stripped Drew Brees of the ball, causing a fumble.

Ryan’s Rating: 4 out of 5

Rex’s Rating: 3 out of 5

Linebackers:

Jarret Johnson had seven tackles, including two for a loss and like Suggs he also had a sack. Dannell Ellerbe proved something to John Harbaugh by registering a sack of his own and providing quality play out of the nickel package letting Ray Lewis take a breather. Tavares Gooden-while not showing up in the box score-hurried Brees multiple times and was key in allowing the Saints to only rush for 27 total yards.

Ryan’s Rating: 4/5

Rex’s Rating:3.5/5

Secondary:

I’ll give the unit credit here. They had a lot to chew on going up against one of the three elite quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees. The lineman intercepted him once, and they also fell into a bit of bad luck when Lance Moore came down with a fourth quarter, toe-dragging touchdown off a deflected pass. They did have no answer for the tight ends in Jimmy Graham or Jeremy Shockey, and Brees finished the day 29-49, 267 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT. The unit was also aided by several big drops by the Saints receivers. Could have been better but the Ravens did enough to win.

Ryan’s Rating:3.5

Rex’s Rating: 3.5

Special Teams:

This unit still continues to be the strength of the team. Billy Cundiff is on his way toward becoming the NFL record holder in touch backs, and he also knocked in three field goals. Sam Koch had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line and RB/KR Jalen Parmele had a nice return after David Reed left with a concussion.

Ryan’s Rating: 5 out of 5

Rex’s Rating: 5 out of 5

Coaching Staff:

The offense ran the ball when they realized the Saints weakness was stopping the run and the defense did enough to contain a potent passing attack with Drew Brees at the helm. Winning at home is important and they didn’t let the opportunity to win a game and later capitalize off a future Steelers loss to the Jets. Some more mis-management with timeouts was an issue in the second half, but ultimately it didn’t become too much of an issue.

Ryan’s Rating: 4 out of 5

Rex’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I left “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” playing on a loop on my DVD player the other night, which means I’ve seen THIS scene play out about twenty times now since Thanksgiving. It hasn’t gotten old.

(Edit from GMC: You know damn well there’s an “F word” in this clip. Act accordingly.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says John Harbaugh didn’t intend to direct Tuesday night comments to all Baltimore fans

But there’s no doubt how folks in Charm City TOOK the comments, and that’s what Harbaugh is going to have to keep in mind moving forward.

I’m a little spent on Harbaugh comments following my column yesterday comparing him and former Ohio State coach John Cooper (you should go here and read it). I’ve talked to a number of football fans in town over the last 24 hours and there’s no question the comments stuck with fans.

I understand where John Harbaugh’s emotion came from Tuesday night. I understand that he’s as frustrated (if not more) than anyone in town right now.

But he HAS to be more respectful to fans-even when they’re insane. (Edit from GMC: Says the guy who loses his mind on football fans on a regular basis.)

It’s part of the job, whether he wants it to be or not.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Jameel McClain will appeal $40k fine

There’s no doubt McClain’s fine was a bit excessive for a first time offender who had no intent to hit Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller in the head. But something tells me the NFL has decided they need to make a statement in this case because the game was seen by a HUGE audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Make no mistake. This will absolutely be a significant issue as the NFLPA enters labor discussions this offseason and we head towards a potential lockout in 2011. If the league wants any concessions from players regarding revenue, they are almost certainly going to have to concede this outrageous fines even if they are simply trying to protect their players.

It’s not going to be an easy fight.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ed Reed believes Steelers WR Hines Ward deserved fine as well

Speaking of fine, here’s a picture of Danielle Dwyer. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

danielled

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens lost CB Prince Miller to Detroit Lions, signed CB Danny Gorrer to practice squad

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and others are scheduled to address the media. We’ll have full coverage, so make sure you stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and keep checking back at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Ravens TE Ed Dickson with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Michael Bradley (Philadelphia Magazine)-who talked about his decision to not give his Heisman Trophy vote to Cam Newton with Drew Thursday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers”, as Drew took a shot at Cam Newton winning the Heisman, and Glenn Clark took a shot at fans who don’t “get” the Army/Navy Game
  • Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who went around the AFC North with Rex Wednesday
  • Jean Fugett Jr. (Former Washington Redskins & Dallas Cowboys TE)-who discussed the loss of Todd Heap with Rex Wednesday
  • Lee Hull (Terps WR Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Beck (Military Bowl Executive Director)-who discussed the Maryland-East Carolina matchup with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Mike Bauman (MLB.com)-who checked in with Thyrl Wednesday from the MLB winter meetings in Orlando
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including Dickson, Jameel McClain, Le’Ron McClain, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Kelly Gregg
  • Post-game audio from Maryland’s win over UNC Greensboro last night; including Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you take a few minutes today to check it out. You know you want to.

5. MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier says Orioles, Minnesota Twins could finalize deal for JJ Hardy today

Between this and Mitch Atkins, I’m not sure how the Birds CAN’T win the World Series next year!

If they’re still looking to make a splash before the end of the meetings, I have a suggestion for Andy MacPhail. Consider Alina Vacariu. (Thanks Guyism!)

vacariu

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-CBSSports.com now says the deal is done. Hooray!)

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says O’s agreed to terms with Koji Uehara on one year deal

I don’t know if this has ever happened before, but if I were the Orioles I might go ahead and consider a ticker tape parade BEFORE Spring Training.

The Orioles made other news Wednesday, as they distanced themselves from comments made by Luke Scott in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

I can’t imagine why…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker respond to adversity as Maryland crushed UNC Greensboro

The Spartans stink. That being said, even they could beat Penn State.

Gary Williams said after the game he considered making lineup changes following the Terps’ poor offensive output against Temple in the BB&T Classic.

Cliff Tucker said he didn’t know he was starting until earlier in the day Wednesday.

Gary Williams WANTS to stick with Tucker and Bowie all season. Fans want to see Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard in the lineup.

What ends up happening will have everything to do with whether or not Tucker and Bowie can play with consistency over the next few weeks.

Maryland opens ACC play Sunday afternoon (4pm on Comcast SportsNet/Fox Sports Net) when they host Boston College at Comcast Center.

8. TowsonTigers.com says Josh Brown and Rashawn Polk scored 18 points each, but Towson couldn’t hold off George Washington in DC

A loss to the Colonials probably won’t impress anyone, but a six point game against GWU at the Smith Center is likely a sign of progress for Pat Kennedy’s team. One major problem from last night? They got just one point from Troy Franklin. I don’t think they’ll win many games that way.

Towson now heads to Catonsville next for a contest with UMBC at RAC Arena Saturday night. The Retrievers had a rough night last night, as they were pounded by Rider 81-39. I’d tell you something about that game, but what the hell is there to say?

9. The AP says Shane Walker & Robert Olson each scored 14, but Loyola lost to George Mason in Fairfax

Tough night for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds last night at the Patriot Center.

In honor of the holiday season, I’m going to try to make some spirits bright here. Here’s a picture of Tehmeena Afzal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

afzal

10. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins Offensive Coordinator James Franklin finalist for head coaching gig at Vanderbilt

This COULD end up being helpful for Kevin Anderson and the folks in College Park.

James Franklin did a HELL of a job with Danny O’Brien this season. Should he leave for the Commodores, his leadership would be missed.

But the Terps have a MESS on their hands with this transition. Either they’re going to have to force Ralph Friedgen out and give the job to Franklin (which didn’t seem so unlikely a season ago), or they’re going to have to dish out a million bucks they don’t have.

If Franklin heads to Nashville, Maryland avoids that problem. Either they can extend Friedgen should he have another good season or they can hire whatever available coach they want to hire.

But bear in mind-the leadership at the University of Maryland WANTED James Franklin to be the next head coach. The move wasn’t just made to keep him from going back to Kansas State. They ABSOLUTELY thought Franklin represented what they wanted in a head coach.

It’s just become a much stickier situation than they originally expected.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Time for a few new versions of “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

It’s a Christmas edition this time around.

The retro version of TGSOATTW is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds. WIN.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x33XlnWWfaI[/youtube]

The new version is the version of “Last Christmas” they did on GLEE. Please don’t judge me because I like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNvv7hq364[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Recently acquired 3B Mark Reynolds joins WNST first to discuss bouncing back along with new team

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Recently acquired 3B Mark Reynolds joins WNST first to discuss bouncing back along with new team

Posted on 07 December 2010 by Ryan Chell

Mark Reynolds

It took awhile for the Orioles to get started, but Monday finally brought news that Baltimore made a move with the Arizona Diamondbacks-bringing in third baseman Mark Reynolds in exchange for Orioles pitchers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.

Reynolds, 27, will likely supplant Josh Bell as the team’s Opening Day third baseman and brings a solid combination of power(121 HRs in 3+ seasons) and some speed on the base-paths( 24 SB in 2009).

The trade will likely be a work in progress for both sides, as both the Orioles and Reynolds are in the works of trying to rebound from disappointing seasons and personal slumps.

Reynolds joined Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” in a WNST exclusive to discuss the trade, and the being a Virginia Beach native discussed coming back home to the Chesapeake Bay area.

“I have a lot of family there,” Reynolds told Snider. “My parents are still there, along with my aunts and uncles, cousins…a lot of family there. I get back there-usually around the holidays-because I live in Arizona now.”

Ultimately playing in front of his family is going to be worth the move to the East Coast to suit up in the orange and black.

“It’s gonna be great playing close to home. I get to see some family and friends on an off-day. It’s a positive experience and I’m looking forward to it.”

Reynolds, a fifth-year veteran out of the University of Virginia, can play both first base and third base for his new ball club. In his career, he has a total of 121 career home runs, 346 RBIs, and a career batting average of .242.

Reynolds’ best season came in 2009 when he hit .260, had an OBP of .349 and a OPS of .892. He hit 44 HRs-good for 4th best in the NL-and 102 RBIs on top of stealing 24 bases.

The Orioles certainly would hope to have that version of Reynolds as opposed to his 2010, where he fought through numerous injuries and batted .198 while striking out a league-high 211 times.

His lack of production at the plate also affected his base-stealing skills, as his stolen base production dipped from 24 in 2009 to just seven last year.

Reynolds admitted that he hates making excuses for his slump, but the injuries a year ago were a lot to handle based on his abilities, and his injuries ranged from his quad, his thumb, and to cap it all off, he ended up being hit in the head by a 95-MPH fastball while at the plate facing Nationals pitcher Collin Balester back in August.

“I had never been hurt in my career,” Reynolds said. “Then, on the last day  of spring training, I hurt my quad and that hindered me from stealing bases, which is a major part of my game. I wasn’t really comfortable playing defense, or pushing off of my back leg.”

Reynolds said he never felt the same after that and felt out of his element. And the worst part about it all? He didn’t feel comfortable sitting out of games with the injury either.

“I’m stubborn,” Reynolds admitted. “I’ll play through anything. I hate missing games, so that season got off to a slow start.”

Ultimately the injuries continued to be a slippery slope for the fourth-year veteran.

“It was very frustrating,” Reynolds told Snider. “Obviously, I don’t picture myself as a sub-.200 by any means. And I don’t expect that to happen ever again. One thing after another this past year, and it resulted in a down year.”

He vows never to have that bad of a season again-especially now that he has a fresh start in Baltimore. He learned a lot through the adversity he suffered through the past year. And he still believes that he has the skills to contribute to the Orioles and that his overall baseball skills haven’t fallen off the table.

“But my power numbers were still there, still drove in some runs, and was still able to get on base pretty quick. This past year, I learned a lot about how to deal with injuries and how to take a day or two if I need it, instead of struggling to play through it.”

The Orioles will retain his services for at least two more seasons before a club option is available.

In a sense, this is a great trade for the Orioles. They got a power-hitting third baseman who had one off-year for cheap, and they did not have to give up any of the hot pitching prospects in the organization.

The Diamondbacks were high on starting pitcher Chris Tillman, but instead the Orioles were able to work out the deal for Reynolds instead with Hernandez-a pitcher who excelled after moving to the bullpen-and the other pitcher that came over in the Erik Bedard trade to the Seattle-Kam Mickolio.

Not giving up Tillman in that deal could mean that they could then package him in another move toward another corner infielder.

Reynolds said that now his job is getting to know his teammates, preparing himself for spring training, and learning to respect a manager in Buck Showalter, who used to manage his original ballclub before he became a member of the team, that he doesn’t know too much about just yet.

“I actually just got off the phone with him a little bit ago,” Reynolds said. “And he was welcoming me to the team. He sounded like a good guy to play for. I’m just going to go in it with a positive attitude…[and] hoping to get some wins and help turn this team around.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to follow the Orioles throughout their off-season! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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