Tag Archive | "Tom Brady"

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Patriots should blame themselves for late meltdown in Baltimore

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

I’ll tell the Patriots and their fans the same thing I told the Ravens and their faithful followers who bellyached in the wake of last week’s loss at Philadelphia:  Please don’t cry about the officials.

New England lost Sunday night’s game in Baltimore because they had two chances to put away the game and they failed.

It’s that simple.

The Patriots had a 2-point lead when they got the ball back with four minutes remaining.  All Tom Brady and Company had to do was pick up a few first downs and the game was in the bag.  But they couldn’t do it.

Baltimore’s offense took the field with two minutes left on their own 21 yard line.  The Patriots defense merely needed a hold — anything to keep the Ravens from a field goal — and they were winners.  They couldn’t do that, either.

Two chances to win.  Two failures.

The same thing happened to the Ravens last week in Philly.

Afterwards, Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis took on the refs when, honestly, they should have been chastising themselves for failing to come through with the game on the line.

New England faces the same type of self-examination in the aftermath of a 4th quarter collapse at M&T Bank Stadium.  Their offense failed — and so did their defense — when the chips were down.

Now…were the officials horrendous on Sunday night in Baltimore?

Absolutely.  There were bad calls and missed calls throughout the sixty minutes.

But the officials weren’t covering Torrey Smith on Sunday night.  Someone from the Patriots was…or, perhaps I should say, someone from the Patriots was “supposed to be” covering him.

The national focus will no doubt center on the officials Monday and Tuesday.  As it should, frankly.  While New England did itself in with poor execution over the last four minutes of the game, that doesn’t take away from how bush-league the officials were on Sunday night.

I’ve been saying this since well BEFORE the season started, but it bears repeating with each passing weekend.  The league has disgraced itself with this collection of nitwits who are reffing the games.  It’s getting ridiculously close to resembling professional wrestling, minus the steel chairs.  I called the outcome of this one as soon as the Patriots got the ball back with four minutes to play.  “The Ravens will get a stop here…get the ball back…and then the refs will help move them down the field and Tucker will kick the game-winner at the buzzer.”  Neither Nestor or Luke – seated to my left and right – disagreed with my assessment, both knowing it was probably going to turn out that way.

Bill Belichick refused to engage the media afterwards when it came to the question of officiating.  He kept mumbling something about “you need to talk to them, not me” and deflected every question with a sour-puss expression that most coaches would have on their face if their team squandered a 9-point lead in the fourth quarter.

When asked “real” football questions, Belichick didn’t really answer those, either.

Someone asked him if the final field goal was, in fact, good.  He mumbled something about not seeing it.

Then he was asked if the kick should have been reviewed.  Again, he didn’t really give a legitimate reply.

After the game-ending kick, Belichick raced to midfield to confront the officials who were high-tailing it out of the place.  He appeared to make contact with one of the refs, but when asked afterwards what he was trying to discuss with them, the coach just sort of brushed aside the question and kept on staring straight ahead until another question was asked.

It was a strange scene in the Patriots press conference, because none of the Boston media had the gumption to ask the coach what he thought of his secondary, which allowed the Ravens to move freely down the field in the final two minutes to set up Justin Tucker’s game winning 27 yard field goal.

Instead, everyone waited for the coach to crack and berate the officials, but he wouldn’t do it.

Maybe that’s because he knew the truth.

The truth:  The referees were awful.  Again.  But they didn’t cost New England the game.  Just like the Ravens last week in Philly, the Patriots have no one to blame but themselves.  When pressed, their offense couldn’t put the game away.  And their defense folded like a cheap suit on the final drive.

The better team might not have won on Sunday night.

But the better team had chances to sew up the game and they didn’t.

In that case, the Patriots deserved to lose.

 

 

 

 

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Jones Brothers Take Center Stage as the Ravens Take on the Patriots

Posted on 22 September 2012 by jeffreygilley

When the Baltimore Ravens line up against the New England Patriots Sunday night, the Ravens will be looking for revenge.  The Patriots ended the Ravens season in the AFC Championship but the Ravens had many chances to win the game.  Joe Flacco outplayed Brady and the defense bailed him out of the rare mistakes and reads he did not make.

Although the Ravens will be looking for revenge, this game does not hold any real significance come Monday morning.  Sure, both of these teams are considered Super Bowl contenders but the season is still young.  This game does however, have the potential to determine the playoff standings come the end of the regular season.

Throughout the first two weeks of the 2012 season, the Ravens and Patriots have not lived up to expectations.  Both had a disappointing week two loss and have not been particularly good in their areas of usual strength.  The Patriots added new weapons in the offseason such as Brandon Lloyd.  Although Brady has new pieces to work with, the offense has showcased the explosive potential they are capable of.  The Ravens on the other hand have struggled defensively.  The defense gave up 371 passing yards to Michael Vick and struggled defending the Bengals rushing attack in week one.

Many are picking the Ravens to win this game, and I hope they are right but I dont see the Ravens winning this game.  Tom Brady doesn’t lose back to back games and the Patriots have improved defensively.  The loss of Aaron Hernandez will prove to be significant though.  Hernandez can play every skill position on offense and with his absence, the Patriots and Tom Brady are going to have to be more creative.  I expect the Patriots to spread the Ravens out and force the Ravens to play in space.

If the Ravens want to win this game, they will have to stop Rob Gronkowski.  They have the cornerback depth to deal with the Patriots receivers but their linebacking core is a different story.  Many of the Ravens outside linebackers are young and inexperienced.  Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan will have to play well in run and pass defense.

Although the Ravens outside linebackers are young, I think Courtney UpShaw has a chance to have a breakout game.  He wont play as much seeing as Paul Kruger is healthy but he has a chance to make a big impact on this game.  The Patriots will be so focused on stopping Haloti Ngata that Upshaw, when playing on third downs, will not be facing many double teams.  Look for UpShaw to have a good game.

Last time the Patriots played in Baltimore, they were undefeated but the Ravens almost pulled off the upset of the century.  All of the recent games between the Patriots and Ravens have been very close and this game will be no different.  In my opinion, the Patriots will win this game by a field goal but I really hope I am wrong.  Having Arthur and Chandler Jones playing for opposing teams will make this game much more interesting.

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday night

Posted on 22 September 2012 by Luke Jones

Here’s what will happen when the Ravens welcome the New England Patriots to M&T Bank Stadium for their seventh ever meeting in the regular season and a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game …

1. Torrey Smith breaks out from his quiet start with 85 receiving yards and his first touchdown of the season. After being targeted only eight times in the first two games, Smith will play a major part in opening up space for short and intermediate routes against New England’s Cover 2 defense. Quarterback Joe Flacco will look to connect with the second-year wideout on a deep ball early as he did in Week 1, but this will lead to room for Smith to show off his more diverse route-running ability. If the Ravens are truly committed to becoming more of a passing team, Smith needs to be more involved and it starts against the Patriots secondary after a difficult week against Philadelphia’s defensive backfield.

2. The Ravens make a concerted effort to get Ray Rice involved early, but the Patriots hold him to under 100 total yards. With critics still questioning offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s play-calling in short-yardage situations, it’s difficult envisioning the Ravens not feeding the ball to Rice early and often — on the ground or through the air — and New England will be expecting it. The Patriots are strong up the middle with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and were able to contain Rice last January by holding him to 67 yards on 21 carries and just one catch for 11 yards. New England shut down Tennessee’s Chris Johnson in Week 1 and they won’t allow Rice to be the one to beat them Sunday night.

3. New England won’t have tight end Aaron Hernandez, but Rob Gronkowski picks up the slack with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Ravens were woeful last week in attempting to cover Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek as linebackers lost him in coverage and defensive backs were too late in reacting to passing plays in front of them. That doesn’t bode well with arguably the best tight end in the NFL coming to town, and Gronkowski caught five passes for 87 yards in the AFC Championship last year despite injuring his ankle late in the third quarter. Even with strong safety Bernard Pollard healthy enough to play, the Ravens won’t be able to slow the 6-foot-6, 265-pound monster.

4. The no-huddle offense plays a major role for the Patriots as the Ravens can’t cycle personnel on and off the field and Tom Brady picks apart the pass defense. The New England offensive line has been suspect this season, so the Baltimore defense must take advantage in making Brady uncomfortable in the pocket. If the Patriots protect him, they’ll use more of their no-huddle attack, which prevents defensive coordinator Dean Pees from cycling in personnel to keep the front seven fresh — especially with Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger dealing with nagging injuries — in hopes of creating a consistent pass rush. The short and intermediate passes to Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker – mixed with a few longer balls to newcomer Brandon Lloyd – will wear down the Ravens in the second half. Even without Hernandez, there are just too many weapons for which to account without a consistent rush from the front four.

5. In a game that has more scoring than last January’s meeting in Foxborough, the more experienced New England offense is the difference in a 27-24 victory for the Patriots. Both offenses are going to score points in this one, but it’s still difficult to put faith in the Ravens winning a high-scoring game where they potentially have to match an opponent score for score. Flacco and the Baltimore offense gets back on track after their poor second half in Philadelphia, but the Patriots have an improved defense with the additions of pass-rusher Chandler Jones and strongside linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Making too much out of New England’s surprising loss to defensive-minded Arizona is unwise as the Patriots still possess a very dangerous offense that’s difficult to stop. The Ravens defense lacks the horses to slow them enough, and the improved offense won’t be able to keep up as the game is decided by a late touchdown. New England improves to 7-0 in the all-time regular-season series against Baltimore and the Ravens’ 11-game home winning streak in the regular season is snapped.

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“I don’t care what you say…the Ravens aren’t losing at home to the Patriots.” (Yes, they are)

Posted on 21 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

Talk about a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

The Ravens not only get an opportunity to atone for last week’s final five minutes of embarrassment in Philadelphia, but they can re-establish themselves as a legitimate contender in the AFC this Sunday night when the Patriots come strolling in for a national TV affair with John Harbaugh’s team.

The Ravens need a win.  I guess it would be better if the Browns were Sunday’s opponent, but that’s not the way the schedule makers saw week #3 playing out.  So here come the Patriots, armed with wonder-boy at quarterback, a beefed up pass-catching corps and, apparently, an improved defense.

The Ravens, as you know, are seeking to rebound from a horrible loss to the Eagles, where the defense caved in with under five minutes remaining and the offense couldn’t go fifty yards with two time-outs in their pocket in the game’s last 120 seconds.

It should be a helluva game.

And, as is always the case when the Ravens face a top opponent in Baltimore on national TV, Ray Lewis and the gang will be fired-freakin’-up.

I know you’re waiting – impatiently, by now – to see two things:  1) My pick for the game  2) Bill’s comment and attempted personal destruction of me and my character in the “comments section” below.

I’ll give you #1 right now.  I’m sure you’ll see #2 shortly.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Ravens aren’t winning Sunday night.

Everything sort-of points to Baltimore winning, actually.  They’re playing at home, where they haven’t lost since December of 2010, twelve games ago.  In other words, no matter who comes to town, the Ravens don’t lose at M&T Bank Stadium.  It would also make sense to assume the Ravens’ offense can’t sputter and spit like a ’73 Vega on Sunday night.  After all, they had a week to get a tune-up after last Sunday’s sub-par second half.  By now, Cam, Joe and the rest of the offense have it all figured out, right?

Yes, it makes sense to figure the Ravens are going to win.  As I noted above, they’ll be fired up beyond belief.  But “fired up” doesn’t really matter once the third quarter rolls around.  If Tiger Woods showed up to play me one-on-one at Mountain Branch, I’d be fired up for that.  I might make a birdie or two out of the gate.  But when the dust settled and we were shaking hands on the 18th green, he’d have a 63 on his scorecard and I’d have my tail between my legs.

Remember this before I tell you what’s going to happen on Sunday:  NO ONE, including you, knows what will transpire on Sunday night.  If you knew what was going to happen on Sunday night, you’d bet $100,000 on it and be a rich man.  So would I.

But I *think* the Ravens are losing on Sunday night for one simple reason — the Baltimore defense isn’t all that good and the great #12 and his merry cast of characters will expose that fact on Sunday.

Without the ability to chase the quarterback around, the Ravens can’t beat the Patriots.  In two games thus far, Baltimore’s pass rush has been relatively non-existent.  In pass coverage, the purple linebacking group can’t do squat.  And as long as Brady doesn’t do something dumb like try and pick on Lardarius Webb, he should have a field day exposing the dynamic duo of Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith on “the other side”.  I think New England will run the ball 24 times just to say they did it.  But they’ll throw it 40 times because they can.

I’m going to assume the Baltimore offense will bounce back on Sunday and have a decent night against the Patriots.  I know the final two minutes was ugly last week in Philly, but that was then, this is now.  At home, Joe Flacco and Company will bounce back.

But the Ravens defense won’t be able to handle New England’s offense for 60 minutes.

Sorry…

New England wins 24-20.

I sure hope I’m wrong.

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A Dirty Dozen for the Defense

Posted on 02 August 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

Earlier in the week I posed the question, “Are the Ravens set up for success on offense?” While the answer is absolutely subjective, I’d venture to say that the real answer is that they better be. In hindsight we can see that whatever shortcomings we perceived in the Ravens offense in 2011 have to be viewed through the filter of the gamut of high caliber pass defenses that they had to deal with along the way. This year it appears that the shoe may be on the other foot, or more aptly, on the other side of the ball as the Ravens look to have to deal with a lot of scary offensive propositions in 2012. If there ever were a good time to have to deal with the defection and absence of defensive talent that the Ravens have recently undergone, 2012 certainly doesn’t appear to be it.

Here’s a look at the 12 scariest players that the Ravens defense will have to contend with in 2012:

 

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

 

Quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Robert Griffin III, Andy Dalton

 

Running Backs: Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Lesean McCoy, Ryan Matthews, DeMarco Murray, Willis McGahee

 

Pass Catchers: Jermaine Gresham, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Aaron Hernandez, Dwayne Bowe, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd

 

 

#12 – Peyton Manning (DEN) – There are no offensive stats to base this on from last season and Manning’s health is still a huge question, but the reputed Ravens killer is a scary proposition until he proves that he isn’t. There are some serious questions about how easily he’ll find his way in a new offense and on a new team, but make no mistake, if Manning is healthy and surrounded by 10 warm bodies he’ll likely be tough to deal with for the Ravens as usual.

 

 

#11 – Darren McFadden (OAK) – It’ll be week 10 before the Ravens cross paths with McFadden, and history suggests that there’s a decent chance McFadden could be hurt and/or on the shelf by that time. That might be the Ravens best hope at containing him. When healthy McFadden is a scary combination of speed and muscle. He’s explosive inside the tackles and outside and at his best McFadden has a skill set that’s eerily similar to Maurice Jones-Drew who had a field day against the Ravens last season.

 

 

#10 – Philip Rivers (SD) – Whether you agree that Rivers is worthy of being regarded as a top 5 to 7 quarterback in the league or not, it’s hard to argue that last year was a disappointing one for both he and the Chargers. Still, in the midst of all that struggle, Rivers and crew had their way against the Ravens in San Diego last season. Traveling coast to coast is never easy in the NFL, and neither is facing Rivers and co. in the final weeks of the season. All of that could make for a scary storm of circumstances for the Ravens as they travel west to San Diego in week 12.

 

 

#9 – Trent Richardson (CLE) – The profile and value of the NFL running back in general has taken a substantial hit in recent seasons, evidenced perhaps no better than in the love (or lack thereof) that ball carriers have gotten on draft day. When it comes to Richardson however there was no hesitation from NFL execs in casting him near the tops of their draft boards. Of course as a rookie there’ll be no shortage of question marks and growing pains for the young, prospective bell cow, but in having to see him twice the Trent Richardson fear factor goes up exponentially.

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Phelps makes way onto odd list

Posted on 27 June 2012 by WNST Staff

AshleyMadison.com asked women across America which athlete they would most likely cheat on their husband with. Over 13,500 women responded by picking their top three athletes which yielded the following results :

International Soccer Star and Sex Symbol David Beckham was the overwhelming winner with 43.1% of ALL women surveyed saying they would cheat on their husbands with him.

  • ·         Ultra-conservative New York Jet QB Tim Tebow was second with 19.6% of all women surveyed.
  • ·         New England Patriot and the most prolific QB in the NFL, Tom Brady was a close third with 17.9%. Brady is currently married to Supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
  • ·         Mark Sanchez may be the #1 QB on the Jets but only 8.1% of women said they would have an affair with him, well behind his back-up, Tim Tebow.
  • ·         MLB Future Hall-of-Famer and New York Yankee Derek Jeter led the way with 16.5% of women looking to hit a Home Run with him, edging out Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez, who garnered 13.2% of women respondents.
  • ·         In the battle of the Manning’s, Peyton edged out his younger brother Eli : 9.6% to 8.5%.
  • ·         NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James is the top NBA player amongst women looking to go to the hoop, with 5.8% of all women surveyed looking to cheat with the King. (Kobe Bryant came in second with 4.4%)
  • ·         Andy Roddick (5.6%) out volleyed both Rafael Nadal (4.6%) and Roger Federer (4.2%) to become the top tennis player chosen amongst women
  • ·         Michael Phelps was the leading Olympian with 10.5% of women ready to jump in the pool with him.
  • ·         Top 5 NFL players (are all QB’s): Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), and Eli Manning (8.5%). The top non-quarterback was Reggie Bush (6.9%).
  • ·         Top 5 NBA players: LeBron James (5.8%), Kobe Bryant (4.4%), Lamar Odom (3.7%), Dwyane Wade (3.6%), and Kris Humphries (3.3%)
  • ·         Top 3 MLB players: Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), and Matt Kemp (1.6%)
  • ·         Top 5 non- NFL, NBA, and MLB athletes: David Beckham (43.1%), Christiano Ronaldo (11.0%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%), Lance Armstrong (7.4%)
  • ·         Top 10 athletes overall: David Beckham (43.1%), Tim Tebow (19.6%), Tom Brady (17.9%), Derek Jeter (16.5%), Alex Rodriguez (13.2%), Christiano Ronaldo (11%), Michael Phelps (10.5%), Peyton Manning (9.6%), Aaron Rodgers (9.5%), Kelly Slater (9.2%).  Tiger Woods came in 15th (6.1%).

**Note:  The percentages are based on 300% since each women picked three athletes.  You could also divide every number by three to get an accurate percentage based on 100%.

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Foxworth says NFL had conspiracy against players

Posted on 23 May 2012 by WNST Staff

NFL PLAYERS FILE COLLUSION COMPLAINT AGAINST NFL, TEAM OWNERS

Washington, D.C. – The Class Counsel under the Reggie White settlement agreement and the NFL Players Association today filed a complaint, on behalf of the NFL players, charging the NFL, its clubs and their owners of collusion during the 2010 NFL season. The complaint details a conspiracy to violate the anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions in the White Settlement Agreement (SSA) by “imposing a secret $123 million per-Club salary cap for that uncapped 2010 season.”

The written claim is filed with the United States District Court of Minnesota, which oversees the SSA and alleges that the league and owners acted illegally and “solely by self-interest, unconstrained by their clear and unambiguous SSA obligations.”

“When the rules are broken in a way that hurts the game, we have an obligation to act. We cannot standby when we now know that the owners conspired to collude,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director.

“Our union recently learned that there was a secret salary cap agreement in an uncapped year. The complaint today is our effort to fulfill our duty to every NFL player. They deserve to know, above all, the facts and the truth about this conspiracy,” said Domonique Foxworth, NFLPA President.

The complaint cites John Mara, owner of the New York Giants, who also serves as the Chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, as publicly confirming that the NFL directed teams to restrict players’ salaries during the uncapped year. When asked about imposed penalties for the Redskins and Cowboys, he replied: “What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole … full well knowing there would be consequences.”

Such a scheme breaches express anti-collusion and anti-circumvention provisions of the SSA and the owners’ duty of good faith in implementing the SSA.

In the filing, it is alleged that the NFL and owners furthered their concealment by “approving the very player contracts that enabled the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints to exceed the secret, collusive salary cap” and, prior to and on March 11, 2012, failed to disclose to the players or the NFLPA “that the true reason for the then-proposed reallocation was to penalize the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints for not fully abiding by the Collusive Agreement.”

Also as described in the complaint, these collusion and other claims are entirely new and were previously unknown to the players and the NFLPA. They therefore were not asserted, and could not have been asserted, in the previous actions that were filed in either Brady. v. NFL or under the SSA in the White litigation.

The players and the NFLPA will be represented in these proceedings by Jeffrey Kessler, David Feher and David Greenspan of Winston & Strawn, LLP; James Quinn of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; David Barrett, James Barrett, Daniel Schecter, Thomas Heiden and Michael Nelson of Latham & Watkins, LLP; Barbara Berens of Berens & Miller, P.A.; Mark Jacobson of Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA.

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Athletes From Other Sports

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Athletes From Other Sports

Posted on 15 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Our second edition of “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Wednesday centered around the subject “What starting nine would you put together if you could only use athletes from other sports?”

That’s the only set-up I’m giving you. But we want to give you the chance to vote on whose team would win single game. Let us know!

Glenn Clark’s Nine…

Catcher-Martin Brodeur

First Base-LeBron James

Second Base-Ray Rice

Shortstop-Jon “Bones” Jones

Third Base-Tim Howard

Outfield-Novak Djokovic

Outfield-Ed Reed

Outfield-Blake Griffin

Designated Hitter-Bubba Watson

Pitcher-Drew Brees


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tom brady

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Flacco bashing by vocal minority of Ravens fans comes into perspective

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Luke Jones

In the final days of the Ravens’ 2011 season, it was difficult to say which was more exhausting: the vocal minority of fans bashing quarterback Joe Flacco or the increased amount of complaining about those select few.

(And to be clear, this commentary doesn’t mean Flacco is infallible and exempt from criticism, either. We’re talking about those who have made irrational suggestions such as benching the Baltimore starter and inserting the rookie Tyrod Taylor.)

But it’s certainly come into perspective this week if you’ve paid any attention to the New England area and the fallout of the Patriots’ 21-17 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

It started with this scathing piece from Boston Globe writer Eric Wilbur in which all-world quarterback Tom Brady was labeled an “embarrassment” after the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. And the vocal simpletons (see the comments section) have followed suit, declaring Brady as washed up and even going as far as suggesting the Patriots trade him for whatever value they can get and begin the next era of New England football.

Yes, a small portion of New England fans are suggesting they run one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history out of town. The same man who led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in four years and threw for 39 touchdown passes and over 5,000 yards this season on his way to leading the Patriots to a 14-4 record and an AFC championship despite a woeful defense.

It certainly puts the extreme Flacco criticism into context, doesn’t it?

More than anything, the venomous thoughts toward a future Hall of Fame quarterback only prove this type of vocal minority of extreme detractors exist in every sports city in America. A certain segment of fans will never be satisfied no matter how successful their teams might be, as is evident in Boston where seven championships from the four major sports have been won over the last 11 years.

We all know someone (multiple people?) who refuses to be happy with his or her life no matter how many blessings they might have when they stop to think.

Why would the population of sports fans be any different?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to place my order for a Ryan Mallett Patriots jersey.

Retire, Ricky, retire

Though running back Ricky Williams’ retirement announcement was mildly surprising after proclaiming his enthusiasm for the 2012 season in the days following the AFC championship game, the Ravens shouldn’t — and won’t — be worked up by the veteran backup’s departure.

There are always at least five or six running backs of Williams’ ability at this stage of his career available in the free-agent market. Williams will be 35 years old by the start of the 2012 season, and there’s no guarantee he would have been able to duplicate his steady average of 4.1 yards per carry that he owned this past season. Anthony Allen will likely see an increased role, or at least an increased opportunity, to earn that role in training camp.

Whether it’s signing a veteran in the open market or looking to April’s draft, the Ravens will improve their depth at the running back position behind Ray Rice. Owner Steve Bisciotti has already said Rice will not be going anywhere despite the Pro Bowl back being set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

It’s hard to imagine Williams’ retirement having any impact whatsoever on contract negotiations with Rice’s representation, and the Ravens will simply use the franchise tag on their feature back should they be unable to reach a long-term agreement by March 5.

However, Williams calling it a career does open the door for a farfetched but intriguing scenario to potentially play out with Rice. Let’s assume the two sides are unable to reach a long-term deal, Rice plays with the franchise tag in 2012, and the Ravens look to bolster their depth at running back in the middle rounds of the draft.

What would the Ravens do if they found a diamond in the rough with that draft pick, much in the same way they saw such potential in Rice after selecting him in the second round of the 2008 draft? Knowing the limited shelf life for running backs in the NFL, would they consider allowing Rice to walk the following season if this unnamed running back appeared capable of handling the starting job?

Again, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening, but Williams’ decision to walk away from the game forces the Ravens to explore other options at the position, and you never know what they might discover in the process.

Caldwell effect

Continue >>>

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Original Baltimore Colts Charter, Unitas Super Bowl V Ring Sold at Saturday Auction

Posted on 04 February 2012 by WNST Staff

EXTON, PA—February 4th, 2012— An anonymous bidder paid $46,000 for a 2011 game used Tom Brady jersey at The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction in Indianapolis Saturday tripling the presale estimated value. Hunt Auctions had estimated the jersey’s value at $10,000-$15,000 prior to the sale. The jersey was worn by New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady during the October 16th, 2011 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

“The record price for the Tom Brady jersey illustrates the appreciation for high quality game used items relating to the premier players in the game today. Hunt Auctions is honored to have once again partnered with NFL Auction to bring the very best of football memorabilia to fans and collectors across the country,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.

In addition to the Brady jersey other top bids in the auction included the certificate of membership to the NFL given to the Baltimore Colts in 1953 which sold for $34,500, a Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V championship ring which sold for $14,375 and a 2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship ring which realized $10,436. Also impressive in today’s auction was a 2011 Denver Broncos Tim Tebow game used jersey which also tripled the presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000 selling at $14,950.

In it’s 4th year, The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction is an annual event produced by Hunt Auctions, in partnership with NFL Auction and the NFL Players. A portion of the auction proceeds benefit NFL Charities.

The final selling prices of all the auction items is available online at www.huntauctions.com.

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: 

Tom Brady game worn New England Patriots jersey (Presale estimate $10,000-$15,000) SALE PRICE $46,000

Baltimore Colts Certificate of Membership to the NFL c. 1953 (Presale estimated $20,000-$40,000) SALE PRICE $34,500.00

October 23, 2011 Tim Tebow autographed game worn Denver Broncos jersey. (Estimated Price $2,000-$4,000) SALE PRICE $14,950

Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V Champions 10K gold ring (salesman’s sample). SALE PRICE $14,375

2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship 14K gold ring (Player’s ring). SALE PRICE $10,436

Ben Roethlisberger autographed game worn Pittsburgh Steelers jersey with 9/11 patch. SALE PRICE $10,102.75

ABOUT HUNT AUCTIONS: Exton, Pennsylvania based Hunt Auctions has been a leader in the sports memorabilia auction industry for close to two decades. Numerous former players and their families have trusted their collections with Hunt Auctions including Joe DiMaggio (HOF), Whitey Ford (HOF), Curt Flood, Leo Durocher (HOF), Robin Roberts (HOF), Earl Weaver (HOF), Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (HOF), Clem Labine, Mickey Vernon, Jake Pitler, Thurman Munson, Roy Campanella (HOF), Bucky Walters, Walter Johnson (HOF), Bill McKechnie (HOF), Willie Mosconi, and Norm Van Brocklin (HOF). Hunt Auctions is also the Official Auction Company of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Official Auctioneer of Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest. Hunt Auctions has worked with numerous institutions to include: The National Football League, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Chicago Bulls, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and Baseball Assistance Team.

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