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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

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Ranking The 53: A Bye Week Look at Ravens Roster

Posted on 27 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

As you’ll remember, I spent most of Training Camp ranking the players on the Baltimore Ravens roster as we tried to determine the Top 53 that would make the final roster.

As we’ve reached the team’s Bye Week, I thought I’d use a similar format (as opposed to a Report Card format) to grade the way the 53 men currently on the team’s roster have played thus far this season. Here’s my list…

53. OL Scott Kooistra-He hasn’t seen the field and he hasn’t been around very long. I’m not sure where else he could be ranked.

52. DT Arthur Jones-The team isn’t dissatisfied with the rookie DT from Syracuse. The issue for Jones is that the Ravens are so deep on the interior of their D-Line that they haven’t been able to get Jones on the field yet. Until then, he won’t find himself any higher on the list.

51. WR Donte’ Stallworth-Stallworth’s broken foot has kept him entirely out of game action thus far, and he only returned to practice last week. The team expects him to be on the field Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Once he gets out there, we can see where he’d rank on this list.

50. QB Marc Bulger-If Marc Bulger never sees the field and stays somewhere near #50, GM Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh will be thrilled-as it means nothing will have gone wrong with the team’s quarterback. This is exactly where they want him.

49. DT Lamar Divens-It seems like Lamar Divens will always be the first name listed when the “who could you cut to make room for…” conversations happen. That being said, he hasn’t been cut yet this season, and has even seen the field at times. He’s a really good player-even if it hasn’t quite been evident yet this season.

48. TE Dennis Pitta-His offensive contributions (1 catch, 1 yard) have been next to nothing, but Pitta has been a solid special teams contributor and has only been inactive for one game. No one in Owings Mills is unhappy with their rookie TE from BYU thus far.

47. CB Cary Williams-He’s been more of a Special Teams contributor than he’s been a corner thus far this season-and he hasn’t been perfect. His block in the back penalty against the New England Patriots was certainly frustrating; and Harbaugh made it known. Williams’ size (6’1″) could make him helpful at CB at some point, but the team has to trust him there.

46. OT Oniel Cousins-The team didn’t really hide from the fact that they were disappointed by how long it took Oniel to get back on the field after a preseason concussion. At this point, I don’t think they can hide from the disappointment in his on-field performance; as he’s struggled to get playing time at all.

45. LB Prescott Burgess-He’s remained a steady player on Special Teams, and that’s what the team has wanted from him. It’s easy to be down a player who doesn’t contribute at his natural position, but Burgess has been solid.

44. LS Morgan Cox-Matt Katula’s struggles a season ago were at least somewhat to blame for early season misses from then kicker Steve Hauschka. I think that’s why it wasn’t terribly surprising when ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg and company decided to go with Cox this season. That being said, Cox has been low on a few FG snaps, and has gotten some help from holder Sam Koch. He needs to be a bit steadier.

43. WR Marcus Smith-Smith is another player whose contributions have been limited to Special Teams thus far, which means his mistakes are often much more memorable than anything he does well. He had a tough day in Foxborough, but he wasn’t the only one.

42. DT Terrence Cody-What a frustrating player Terrence Cody has been this season. There’s moments where it looks like things are clicking for him, but there have been many more moments (in the 4 games where he’s played) where he looked absolutely lost. He didn’t record his first NFL tackle until the Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills.

41. LB Jason Phillips-Phillips may have earned a couple of extra spots on the list simply thanks to the hit he and Edgar Jones delivered to Denver Broncos WR/KR Demaryius Thomas (see below) in Week 5. Phillips is in a tough spot, as the Ravens are deep at ILB. That being said, he’s made an impact in the opportunities he’s had-which is exactly what the team wanted.

ravensbroncos

40. DE Paul Kruger-I’m placing Paul Kruger in the top 40, but I’ll note that he’s played in only two games thus far this season-two he may have never played in had the team not released Trevor Pryce earlier in the year. His ability to play in the wedge has helped get him on the field, but the kick return hasn’t exactly been great with or without him.

39. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo-Ayanbadejo is another player who I’m squeezing into the Top 40 despite limited work. It looks like Ayanbadejo is going to be able to continue to be an effective player on Special Teams; but his ability to help is pass coverage will determine where he eventually ends up on this list.

38. RB/KR Jalen Parmele-It’s easy to look at the struggles Parmele has had over the last two weeks and be down on his season; but it cannot be dismissed that he’s averaged over 20 yards per return this season. The Ravens have to figure out what’s going wrong with their kick return. My guess is that they’ll find out that the returner isn’t the biggest problem. My second guess is that it won’t mean Parmele will be the returner moving forward anyway.

37. S Ken Hamlin-When the Ravens released Hamlin to make room for Cary Williams earlier in the season, it looked like a confirmation that Hamlin was simply holding Ed Reed’s roster spot. About a week later we found out that wasn’t exactly the case. Hamlin has been effective on Special Teams and has offered something to Greg Mattison’s defense as well-at least until he was left inactive for the first time Week 7. That could be bad news moving forward for Hamlin.

36. WR David Reed-After looking like he might not be able to play Special Teams at all, Reed developed into a very trustworthy gunner for the Ravens over the first few weeks of the season and has taken more snaps as a returner during practice as the season has gone on. That being said, it is interesting to note that Reed was held out of Sunday’s game against the Bills. It had at least SOMETHING to do with a thigh injury, but it will be interesting to see if it was the injury ONLY, or if the injury was just part of it.

35. TE Ed Dickson-Dickson is an interesting case. In the game against the Broncos, his 58 yard 1st quarter catch was eye-opening. His 6’4″ frame clearly makes him an attractive downfield and jump-ball target. But his holding penalty later in the game was an example of exactly why OC Cam Cameron may not fully trust him enough to keep him on the field. My guess is that Dickson is headed towards some level of a breakout performance.

34. LB Tavares Gooden-I get the feeling that I could be showing a little bit too much fairness to Gooden, who was adequate in the two games he played before injuring his shoulder. He probably hasn’t done enough to justify the position, but I’ll keep him here for now. How he bounces back from another setback (and whether or not he can return in Week 9) could have a lot to do with his future in Charm City.

33. CB Josh Wilson-This is really tricky as well. Wilson has by no means been a liability on the field; but he’s done little to prove himself thus far. He’s missed two games (a healthy inactive when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field; an ankle injury kept him out of the loss to the Pats at Gillette Stadium), and he hasn’t been perfect as a returner. But when Secondary coach Chuck Pagano need an answer late against the Bills, Wilson stepped up.

32. WR TJ Houshmandzadeh-Truth be told, I’m completely befuddled by TJ Houshmandzadeh’s short tenure in Baltimore. I don’t think he’s been misused, I don’t think Joe Flacco has failed to look for him or get him the ball, I don’t think he’s necessarily been awful in doing his own job (although I absolutely think he’s given half efforts to catch the ball-which was abundantly evident when the Ravens played the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium). I’m not sure what Houshmandzadeh’s role is moving forward as Stallworth returns. No matter what it is, his catch to beat the Steelers will never be forgotten.

31. OL Tony Moll-Moll has shown himself to be a particularly reliable reserve on the O-Line; he’s been the team’s top reserve this season. In fact, he was on the field at RT when the Ravens put together their final TD drive to get the first win of the Harbaugh era in the Steel City.

tonymoll

30. DT Brandon McKinney-McKinney has quickly become the team’s top reserve along the D-Line, and has played VERY well he’s seen the field this season. He’s probably better as a NT or as an interior tackle in a 4-3 defense, but he’s been outstanding filling multiple roles for DL coach Clarence Brooks.

29. S Haruki Nakamura-Nakamura’s playing time has decreased since the start of the season, but it’s not because he’s performed poorly. Nakamura was both the 3rd safety and the nickel corner in the Ravens’ season opening Monday Night Football win over the New York Jets, but the improved health of the team has limited his role. His play has been effective throughout the season no matter his role.

28. CB Lardarius Webb-After missing the season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium, Webb has been up and down in the six games he’s played. At times he’s been spectacular, including two big pass breakups in the win over the Steelers. At other times he’s been less than spectacular, including the loss to the Bills. Webb stepped in for Zbikowski at PR against the Bills as well, but is unlikely to remain a long term option there.

27. DL Cory Redding-This is somewhat of a tricky judgment as well. Redding has played well, but was supposed to be able to get off the field in obvious passing situations this season to allow for a better rush end option. Sadly, the Ravens don’t have a better rush end option. Redding has just one sack on the season, and that number is unlikely to get much bigger.

26. LB Dannell Ellerbe-If Dannell Ellerbe didn’t have to play in pass coverage, he probably would find himself in the Top 15. Of course, there are a number of LB’s in the NFL who could say the same thing. Ellerbe has been solid but not spectacular, and has not exactly shown himself to be an “answer” for the Ravens at JACK LB.

25. OL Chris Chester-The Ravens would certainly prefer to have Chester coming off the bench and taking snaps at multiple positions; but the back injury to Jared Gaither has forced him into a starting role at RG. Chester hasn’t been perfect, but at no point has he been any sort of liability.

24. LB Jameel McClain-McClain has thus far been the most consistent answer at JACK LB, but he probably hasn’t solidified the position the way the team may have hoped he would. McClain has been solid, but has not been able to make too many plays in the backfield. Opponents have also been surprisingly able to run the ball with effectiveness (none more than Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis), which has to fall on the entire group-including McClain.

23. OL Marshal Yanda-No one has forgotten about Jared Gaither in Baltimore, but Marshal Yanda has solidified the RT position after a few early season struggles. Yanda is still better served playing at the Guard position, but he’s shown his athleticism and ability to both pass block and run block at the RT position.

22. S Ed Reed-There’s little argument for me ranking a player who has seen the field for just one game this high; but the argument exists. Of course, it is a very short argument-based solely on the fact that despite playing in just one game, Reed leads the team in interceptions. He looked like the Ed Reed of old against the Bills, giving the organization every reason to believe he’ll continue to play at a high level.

21. RB Willis McGahee-We might never TRULY know why McGahee didn’t see the field against the Pats, but he’s been very good every other time he’s seen the field. McGahee has been a solid back in both short yardage and goal line situations, is an effective blocker, and can take consecutive handoffs. If for some reason Ray Rice were to get hurt, the Ravens would be fine at RB.

mcgahee

20. C Matt Birk-Birk might not play at a Pro Bowl level necessarily anymore, but he’s still very good. He had some struggles early on this season, but he’s played very well in recent weeks. The Ravens may not have a center of the future on the roster necessarily, but they’re still just fine right now.

19. DT Kelly Gregg-Gregg has been just as steady as always this season; tallying 30 tackles and taking on double teams the same way he’s done since his breakout year in 2002. The only potential knock on Gregg has been a lack of plays made in the backfield.

18. S/PR Tom Zbikowski-The Ravens have been very happy with the play they’ve received from Zbikowski this season-especially while Reed missed the first six weeks of the season. Fans haven’t been thrilled with Zbikowski as punt returner-but since inexplicably running the ball backwards in East Rutherford, he’s been solid in that role as well. Zbikowski missed Game 7 with a bruised heel, but isn’t expected to be out for an extended period of time.

17. S Dawan Landry-I feel like we keep getting back to the Buffalo game with Ravens defenders-but that tends to be what happens when a team gives up 34 points at home. Landry had been very solid until that game however, and has 52 tackles through seven games this season.

16. CB Chris Carr-The best thing to happen to the Ravens in the wake of the Domonique Foxworth injury has been the play of Carr. Carr has been particularly steady starting opposite Fabian Washington. The team would probably like to see him improve a bit on the one interception and five pass deflections he’s posted thus far this season.

15. LB Jarret Johnson-The only disappointment with Johnson this season has been his lack of involvement in the pass rush. He’s tallied just half a sack thus far to go with 28 tackles. He’s been good, he’s just not quite played to the level he played at a season ago when he compiled six sacks.

14. K Billy Cundiff-The name Shayne Graham has LONG been forgotten at 1 Winning Drive. Cundiff has been incredible on kickoffs, tallying 18 touchbacks this season. He had entered the season with just 11 touchbacks for his CAREER. Cundiff is also 10/12 on field goal attempts; with one of the two misses coming in the goofy open end of the stadium at Heinz Field. There really isn’t much more that can be said about Cundiff, he’s been tremendous this season.

13. P Sam Koch-While I’m at it, Koch has been outstanding this season as well. He’s pinned punts inside the 20 yard line 19 times already this season. Some of his yardage numbers are a bit off this season, as the Ravens have had better field position in general this season. Oakland Raiders P Shane Lechler is still probably having a better season; but Koch has to at least be in consideration for a trip to Hawaii.

12. OT Michael Oher-Oher won’t want to hear the name Jermaine Cunningham any time soon, but otherwise he’s avoided a sophomore slump. Oher has answered almost all questions about his ability to play the LT position, even if he isn’t quite Jonathan Ogden just yet. He LOOKS like he’s offsides more than he actually IS offsides, with the only exception being the Patriots game.

11. LB Terrell Suggs-There’s a misconception that T-Sizzle is having a bad season. That’s simply not true. Suggs has played very well at times, and has clearly developed into a very complete all-around LB. The problem is-the Ravens don’t necessarily need an improved all-around LB on the outside. They REALLY need a pass rushing monster, and Suggs (3.5 sacks) just isn’t that guy right now, nor may he ever be again.

suggs

10. G Ben Grubbs-Grubbs has been the team’s most consistent Offensive Lineman thus far this season, and is setting himself up nicely for a potential Pro Bowl trip. As the team’s longest tenured O-Lineman, Grubbs has been significantly important for the team in maintaining continuity in a season where they have been forced to move pieces around.

9. TE Todd Heap-The Ravens thought that drafting two tight ends would help keep Heap fresh by getting him off the field for a handful of snaps every game. They also thought that signing multiple receivers in the offseason would help free up space on the field for Joe Flacco to find Heap. They’ve been right about both things. Heap has still taken a beating this season (thanks in part to Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather), but he’s on pace to have at least his best offensive season since 2006.

8. CB Fabian Washington-Don’t start cursing at your computer screen just yet. I am well aware that Lee Evans treated Washington like Sidney Rice would Frank Walker in the Ravens’ loss to the Bills. However, in the six games before that-Washington was a significant part of why the Ravens had one of the top pass defenses in the NFL (now ranked 8th for the record). Washington’s future standing on this list will of course have everything to do with how he bounces back from what was a dreadful Week 7 performance.

7. WR Derrick Mason-Remember him? Mason might not be on pace for a 1,000 yard season; but when they’ve needed him-he’s been ready to make plays. He was the team’s leading receiver in two very tough road games (at Pittsburgh and at New England), and he caught the only touchdown of the game in the Ravens’ Week 2 loss in the Queen City. Mason is just as reliable as always, and still catches the football…with the exception of the handful of times the team has decided for some goofy reason to try to throw jump balls in the direction of his 5’10″ frame.

6. RB Ray Rice-Fantasy football owners may not be quite as happy with Ray Rice’s performance as I am; but he’s been very good this season. He’s on pace to finish the season with over 1,400 yards of total offense; and should be able to remain fresh the more the Ravens work McGahee into the offense. Rice was expected to be a Top 3 caliber player on this list, but the lack of a breakaway burst appears to be hurting him right now. If that re-appears, he might show himself to be the type of MVP candidate he was a season ago.

5. LB Ray Lewis-Let me get this out of the way. Ray Lewis has not played like the future Hall of Fame LB he is in every game this season. He looked downright human against the Browns. That being said, the season opener on MNF was a vintage performance from one of the greatest defenders in league history, and Lewis locked up the Steelers game with a late interception of Charlie Batch. He tallied 15 tackles in the win over the Bills as well. San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis may be the unquestionable greatest LB in the game today, but Ray Lewis has not fallen terribly far behind.

4. FB Le’Ron McClain-This one may catch a few folks off guard, as the personal foul penalty in Foxborough and the lack of carries probably stick out in the minds of most fans more than anything else, but Le’Ron McClain is playing as well at his position as almost anyone else on the Ravens roster this season. RB Coach Wilbert Montgomery graded McClain’s performance against the Browns as the best by a Ravens player this season, and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron told me that in terms of the total package-blocking, rushing and pass catching-McClain was absolutely the best fullback in not only the AFC-but the entire NFL.

3. QB Joe Flacco-If it weren’t for the dud in Cincy, Flacco may be #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the game in Cincy still counts. Flacco has been outstanding for the better part of the season-despite strange criticism from fans and a handful of analysts alike. He’s on pace for another season with 3,000+ yards and 20+ touchdowns and has limited his turnovers in games BESIDES Cincinnati. Flacco still needs to figure out that Ray Rice is just 5’7″; which has to be the most frustrating part of his game at this point.

2. WR Anquan Boldin-Anquan Boldin has been everything the Ravens had hoped he would be and more. He’s been a reliable target, he’s shown the type of toughness that originally made him a star with the Arizona Cardinals, and at times (the Browns game sticks out) he’s even added an explosive level to his game. He unfortunately doesn’t get to matchup against Eric Wright every week; but he’s on pace for 1,000+ yards and double digit TD’s no matter who he’s up against. Some fans in Baltimore who weren’t familiar with his game thought the Ravens were getting Larry Fitzgerald; but for those who knew what type of player Boldin was-he’s been ABSOLUTELY as good as advertised if not better.

1. DT Haloti Ngata-There is simply no better player on this football team right now than Haloti Ngata. There’s almost no argument any longer about who the best interior D-Lineman is in the NFL either. The only unfortunate part about the season for Ngata has been the fact that the lack of a rush end has forced the Ravens to send Ngata outside and hope he could get to the quarterback. He’s capable, but it’s by no means where he is best used. When he does get in the backfield, there’s no quarterback (or other player at any position) that’s happy to see him.

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

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Zbikowski OUT, Gooden Returns

Posted on 22 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (4-2) held their final open practice Friday at 1 Winning Drive before Sunday’s contest with the Buffalo Bills (0-5) at M&T Bank Stadium.

Safety Tom Zbikowski (foot) did not participate in practice for a 3rd straight day, he suffered a bruised heel in the team’s Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots in Foxborough; he will not play Sunday against the Bills. With Zbikowski out, the Ravens’ picture at safety is cloudy. Regular starter Ed Reed has not yet been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and may not be activated before the game. The team has until 4pm Saturday to clear a roster spot should they decide to activate Reed and/or LB Brendon Ayanbadejo, who each practiced for a third straight day Friday.

Should Reed not be available Sunday, Haruki Nakamura would be expected to start at free safety opposite Dawan Landry with Ken Hamlin backing up both positions.

Neither Reed nor Ayanbadejo would confirm whether or not they would play Sunday, and the same can be said of Harbaugh. Harbaugh told reporters Reed “had a really good week of practice”, but said he’d probably be “cautious” in making a decision regarding Reed.

Harbaugh said the team was “feeling pretty good” about both Reed and Ayanbadejo. “It’s just a matter of how much they can go, we don’t want to have any setbacks.” Ayanbadejo said he might not be 100 percent ready to get back on the field. “Ideally I’d like more time, but we have a bye coming up the next week so I’ll have plenty of time to recover.” Ayanbadejo added “I think it’s a great opportunity for me to get in the game. The goal would be to finish the game and be ready for a good week of practice after we beat the Bills.”

MORE FROM PRACTICE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) practiced for a second straight day, but he has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) returned to practice for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the team’s Week 2 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, but Gooden has also already been ruled out of Sunday’s game. OT Jared Gaither (back) has also been ruled out of Sunday’s game and has not returned to practice.

Harbaugh said it was “fair to say” that the team’s Week 9 game against the Miami Dolphins in Charm City could be a target date for both Stallworth and Gooden to return. Gooden wasn’t ready to confirm he could return for Week 9, saying only that “it would be fun” to return in time to play the Fins.

TE Todd Heap (neck) and WR David Reed (thigh) were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game on Friday’s injury report.

OL Tony Moll (eye) returned to practice after not participating Thursday, he’s probable to play Sunday. Also probable for Sunday’s game are LB Jarret Johnson (back), LB Edgar Jones (thigh), DE Paul Kruger (knee), WR Derrick Mason (ankle/finger), RB Ray Rice (ankle), WR Marcus Smith (back) and CB Josh Wilson (thigh).

For the Bills, OT Cornell Green (knee) and CB Terrence McGee (back) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game. LB Keith Ellison (knee) and NT Kyle Williams (ankle) are questionable to play. S Jon Corto (wrist), LB Arthur Moats (elbow), TE Shawn Nelson (groin) and S Bryan Scott (knee) have all been listed as probable to play.

HEAP BREAKS SILENCE ON MERIWEATHER HIT
: Heap spoke Friday about the helmet to helmet hit he was on the receiving side of from Pats safety Brandon Meriweather in the team’s Week 6 loss at Gillette Stadium. Heap had declined to comment about the hit following the game and was not available to the media Wednesday or Thursday.

“It is what it was” said Heap. “I think he’ll learn his lesson by that. It’s not my place to enforce anything, but at the same time, looking back on it and seeing the hit-it was something that I think could have been avoided.”

Meriweather was flagged for a 15 yard personal foul penalty and fined $50,000 for the hit by the NFL.

“I don’t think he meant anything by it, I think he was trying to play football-but he made a bad decision” Heap added. “It’s over and done with, we can put it behind us.”

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Ayanbadejo, Gooden and Heap NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Edgar Jones joined Drew Forrester Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, you can hear that chat in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Weather.com/The Weather Channel says Sunday’s weather is expected to be 73 degrees and mostly cloudy. There is no rain currently in the forecast……Pete Morelli’s crew will officiate Sunday’s game……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday morning prior to Sunday’s game. Saturday’s walkthrough is closed to the media……Former CB Chris McAlister will not attend Sunday’s 10 Year Anniversary celebration of the Super Bowl XXXV winning team. McAlister originally committed to attending the event, but later told the team he had a schedule conflict. McAlister left Baltimore on uneasy terms with Harbaugh

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Stallworth Returns to Practice

Posted on 21 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (4-2) returned to work Thursday at 1 Winning Drive, continuing preparations for Sunday’s battle with the Buffalo Bills (0-5) at M&T Bank Stadium.

WR Donte’ Stallworth returned to practice Thursday for the first time since breaking his foot in an Aug. 28 preseason game against the New York Giants. Stallworth has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Bills-but could return following the bye in time to face the Miami Dolphins Week 9. Stallworth is expected to be involved both at receiver and at punt returner.

TE Todd Heap (neck) also returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday, he was listed as a limited participant. Also listed as limited was WR Marcus Smith (back). S Tom Zbikowski (foot) missed a second straight day of practice. OL Tony Moll (eye) did not participate in practice Thursday either.

FB Le’Ron McClain did not appear as though he would face contact Thursday, he dealt with knee and shoulder injuries last week but was not listed on Thursday’s injury report. Listed as full participants Thursday were LB Jarret Johnson (back), LB Edgar Jones (thigh), DE Paul Kruger (knee), WR Derrick Mason (ankle/finger), S Haruki Nakamura (back), RB Ray Rice (ankle) and CB Josh Wilson (thigh).

OT Jared Gaither (back) and LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) have also been ruled out for Sunday’s game, neither player was on the field Thursday.

For the Bills, OT Cornell Green (knee), CB Terrence McGee (back) and NT Kyle Williams (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday. LB’s Keith Ellison (knee) and Arthur Moats (elbow) were limited participants while TE Shawn Nelson (groin) and S Bryan Scott (knee) were full participants.

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Live From Owings Mills: Zbikowski Questionable for Ravens, Moreno Out for Broncos

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Live From Owings Mills: Zbikowski Questionable for Ravens, Moreno Out for Broncos

Posted on 08 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) returned to the practice field Friday morning at 1 Winning Drive. Friday’s practice was the final session open to the media before Sunday’s tilt with the Denver Broncos (2-2) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens have already ruled OT Jared Gaither (back), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder), DE Paul Kruger (knee) and WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) out of Sunday’s game, none were on the practice field Friday.  LB Edgar Jones (thigh) was limited in practice for a third straight day Friday, he’s questionable for Sunday’s game. LB Jason Phillips (illness) did not participate in Friday’s practice; he’s also listed as questionable. Joining Jones and Phillips as questionable for Sunday is S Tom Zbiwkowski (thigh), who was limited in practice Friday.

CB Fabian Washington (illness) missed Thursday’s practice, but participated fully in practice Friday. Head Coach John Harbaugh described Washington as having “just a little tweak”, the CB is listed as probable for Sunday.  FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder) was not wearing the red “no contact” jersey in practice, he had worn it in practice Thursday. McClain said the no-contact jersey was “precautionary” and he was “100 percent” heading into the game against Denver; he’s listed as probable to play. Joining Washington and McClain in being probable to play Sunday are TE Todd Heap (shoulder) and RB Ray Rice (knee).

For the Broncos, RB’s Spencer Larsen (ankle) and Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game. CB Andre Goodman (quad) and LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) are both listed as questionable. No other Broncos are listed on the team’s final injury report.

RAVENS DONNING PINK SUNDAY: The Pittsburgh Steelers included a good amount of pink in their uniforms during the Ravens’ Week 4 win at Heinz Field to participate in the NFL’s recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Baltimore Ravens however did not include pink in their uniforms.

The Ravens will include pink in their uniforms Sunday against the Broncos, as Harbaugh explained that the entire team wanted to participate in the cause for one game, instead of having different players participate in different games. (The league gave teams a three week window to include pink in their uniforms.)

Here are the cleats the Ravens will wear Sunday…

leron

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh and McClain NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault. Former Ravens majority owner Art Modell was at practice today, he shared a funny story from his Cleveland years with the media, you can hear that in the Audio Vault now as well. ……OL Tony Moll joined Drew Forrester Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that chat can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday before Sunday’s game, Saturday’s walkthrough is closed to the media……According to Weather.com/The Weather Channel, it is expected to be sunny and about 70 degrees at kickoff Sunday

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Prince Miller Returns to Practice Squad

Posted on 07 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Thursday, preparing for a Sunday matchup with the Denver Broncos (2-2) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens made a minor roster move Thursday, signing CB Prince Miller back to their practice squad after releasing him from the active roster Tuesday. Miller originally made the Ravens’ roster out of Training Camp, but was released when the team signed CB Bryan McCann. Miller signed with the New England Patriots practice squad before Week 1 of the regular season, but the Ravens signed him back to their active roster before Week 2 after releasing McCann. The Ravens were able to cut Miller and sign him to their practice squad after keeping him on the active roster for the NFL minimum three weeks.

Miller maintained a positive attitude about what essentially turns out to be a demotion, saying Thursday “it’s a decision that had to be made. When you’re in the position I was in, anything can happen.” Miller added “I’m going to continue working how I’ve been working, and maybe my number gets called sooner or later.”

To make room for Miller on the practice squad, the team released CB Danny Gorrer.

CAMERON DOESN’T WANT AUDIBLES:
A popular frustration amongst Ravens fans this season has been the lack of audibles called by QB Joe Flacco at the line. It turns out there may be a very good reason for why it doesn’t happen very often.

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron told reporters Thursday “audible-ing is overrated. We’re better off calling a play and executing that play.”

Cameron said the Ravens used audibles much more during Flacco’s rookie season in 2008; but admitted he wouldn’t give away too much information about the team’s current offensive decision making.

Cameron also told reporters that he had a simple philosophy for keeping all of the team’s offensive playmakers (including WR’s Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh; as well as TE Todd Heap and RB Ray Rice) happy, saying “if you’re out there, we want to do everything we can to get you the ball.”

PRACTICE UPDATE: OT Jared Gaither (back), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder), DE Paul Kruger (knee) and WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) have all been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game against the Broncos, none were on the practice field Thursday.

Strangely missing from the practice field during the portion open to the media were CB Fabian Washington and RB/KR Jalen Parmele. Washington has since been confirmed as missing due to illness, while Parmele was not listed on the injury report and must have been a late arrival.

LB Edgar Jones (thigh) was listed as a limited participant for a second straight day. FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder) was on the practice field, but was wearing a red “no-contact” jersey. He was listed as a full participant, along with Heap (shoulder) and Rice (knee).

For the Broncos; RB Spencer Larsen (ankle), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and DL Jamal Williams (not injury related) missed practice. CB Andre Goodman (quad) and LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring) were listed as limited participants. All other Broncos were not listed.

NOTES: Hear from Cameron, Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, LB Terrell Suggs and Miller NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……DT Lamar Divens joined Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed the chat, make sure you check it out in the Audio Vault as well. OL Tony Moll is scheduled to join Forrester Friday morning at 6:50am……The Ravens will practice again Friday, with Head Coach John Harbaugh slated to address the media after practice. They will then hold a walkthrough Saturday before Sunday’s game. Saturday’s walkthrough is closed to the media.

-G

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Ravens cut Prince Miller again; sign former Browns and Bengals tackle Scott Kooistra

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Ravens cut Prince Miller again; sign former Browns and Bengals tackle Scott Kooistra

Posted on 05 October 2010 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens made a move Tuesday that last week probably would have brought on the return of defensive end Trevor Pryce, but with Pryce’s departure to the New York Jets Thursday, the Ravens were forced to go in another direction.

The Ravens instead released corner back Prince Miller, the rookie free agent out of Georgia, who is on his second stint with the Ravens in a few months, and signed offensive tackle/guard Scott Kooistra, a 6’6”, 335 tackle out of NC State.

Scott Kooistra

Kooistra was a two-year starter for the Wolfpack his junior and senior years in Raleigh.

Kooistra, 29, has played in 84 career games in his eight-year NFL career, and has started one. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, and made his debut against the Broncos on September 7th of that year.

From 2003-2008, he saw action in at least 10 games a year. In 2009, he was waived by the Bengals only to sign later with the Cleveland Browns when they decided to place quarterback Brady Quinn on injured reserve.

He was cut and resigned twice in the span of a week at the end of the 2009 regular season for the Browns last year, and after spending all of the off-season with Cleveland, he was finally cut for good by the Browns on September 4th.

He is expected to provide more depth at the tackle position especially given the injuries to starting right tackle Jared Gaither, who is still nursing a thoracic disk injury, and backups Tony Moll and Oniel Cousins-who also have been injured at some point this year.

Miller, who earlier in the preseason was brought in as a rookie free agent to not only contribute in the return game as well as providing depth at corner, was not seeing much action this year after being re-signed off the Patriots practice squad after the Ravens initially cut Miller when they finalizing the roster in the first week of September.

And because the Ravens signed him back off the Patriots practice squad on 9/15, he was required to spend three weeks on the Ravens active roster before a move could be made.

With Prince Miller still highly regarded by the Ravens, he likely will be placed on waivers with the hope that he will clear waivers and be able to be placed on the Ravens practice squad.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to track the Baltimore Ravens throughout the 2010 season! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Live From Owings Mills: Rice Practices Again, Appears Likely to Play Sunday

Posted on 01 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) took the field at 1 Winning Drive Friday morning, just two days away from an AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) at Heinz Field.

Four Ravens missed practice Friday. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) and LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) had already been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game. OT Jared Gaither (back) joined them after missing a second straight day. He had returned to practice Wednesday, but wasn’t able to work the rest of the week and won’t play Sunday.

Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed to the media that Gaither’s injury has “been a mystery” to the Ravens, and that they are sending him to see Los Angeles-based specialist Dr. Watkins Monday for re-evaluation. “Our doctors have looked at it, and they don’t see it in there right now” said Harbaugh. “We’ve got to find out from the best experts what exactly is causing that problem.”

DL Cory Redding (concussion) missed practice Friday after “working” on Thursday; he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Redding told reporters he had not been cleared to return to football after suffering a concussion in last Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns.

Redding described himself as a “gameday decision”, adding “if it’s right, then I’ll be on the field Sunday. If it’s not, then I’ve got to be smart and take it easy.” He also said that while he was listed as a limited participant in practice Thursday, he was really just “observing” and had not practiced yet since the concussion.

RB Ray Rice (knee) participated in practice for a second straight day, he now appears likely to start Sunday despite being listed as questionable. Harbaugh said of Rice “I’m feeling pretty good…there’s a good chance he’ll play” Sunday.

LB Edgar Jones (thigh) returned to practice after missing Thursday. CB Chris Carr (thigh), LB Jarret Johnson (back) and OT Tony Moll (hip) were all on the field; they were all limited in practice Thursday. Moll and Jones are questionable to play Sunday; Carr and Johnson join C Matt Birk (back), OL Chris Chester (back), and TE Todd Heap (shoulder) as probable.

The Steelers’ Injury Report is significantly lighter. QB Dennis Dixon (knee), G Trai Essex (ankle) and DT Chris Hoke are all out for Sunday’s game; none practiced at all this week.

HARBAUGH OKAY WITH HOUSHMANDZADEH COMMENTS: WR TJ Houshmandzadeh suggested disappointment in his offensive role during an interview with MASN Thursday, but Harbaugh is not concerned about the comments.

“I think he wants to play, he wants reps, he wants the ball” said the coach. “He’s a competitive guy. He’s out here in practice taking all of the look team reps that we’ll let him take. We’ve got to pull him out. He just loves to play, and those are the kind of guys you want on your team.”

Harbaugh went on to say “we don’t worry about that stuff. That stuff is just talk and chatter and guys wanting to be part of things. When they step between the lines, we watch that. It’s how hard guys play and how committed they are to doing all the little things. I think all of our receivers are doing that.”

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Redding, DE Paul Kruger and DT Terrence Cody NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Harbaugh said he wasn’t disappointed in the decision of former DE Trevor Pryce to sign with the New York Jets, noting he made “a business decision. Harbaugh described Pryce as “a guy I like so much” and said Pryce “was a big part of what we’re doing here.”……Ed Hochuli’s crew will officiate Sunday’s game……Both Kruger and Cody appeared to be working with the first team kick return unit during the portion of practice open to media Thursday. Neither has been active yet this season, but Kruger said “I expect to play Sunday.”……According to Weather.com/The Weather Channel; the high in Pittsburgh Sunday will be 54 degrees, there are scattered showers in the forecast. Harbaugh said the Ravens are prepared for the rain; “we’re built for all conditions.”

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: As Ravens Prepare for Steelers, Rex Ryan Grabs Another Raven

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Live From Owings Mills: As Ravens Prepare for Steelers, Rex Ryan Grabs Another Raven

Posted on 30 September 2010 by Ryan Chell

On a rainy, dreary day heading out to Owings Mills Thursday, a cloud seemed to hang over the heads of the Ravens as news broke out early this morning that Trevor Pryce, who was released by the team Wednesday, reportedly has signed a deal with the New York Jets.
Trevor Pryce

Linebacker Terrell Suggs wrote on his Twitter account early this morning that Pryce had moved on to join Rex Ryan, his former defensive coordinator here in Baltimore. It was believed that the Ravens had released Pryce with the intention of bringing him back next week after Sunday against Pittsburgh when he was healthy, but with Pryce a Jet, his time as a Raven will have come to an end.

Written in marker on the white board in the Ravens locker room, it said-“R.I.P Trevor…You’re a comeback good man”. Suggs in the locker room before the afternoon practice said that the move “shocked” him and that he wished him all the best and to “call him from the big city.”

I’m shocked. I’m stunned. I’m still waiting from a call from him. I called him a few [unpleasant] words…just joking. That’s my man…all the best,” Suggs said.

If Pryce’s time in Baltimore is over as it appears to be, he will have finished his career as a Raven with 26 sacks in five seasons, including a team-high 6.5 last season. He is fourth on the active career sacks list with 90 quarterback drops, and his 13 sacks in 2006 were third most in team history for a single season.

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison had not heard about the move when he spoke to the media this morning, but he did make sure to wish him all the best for his time under his guidance.

“We loved having here and he was a tremendous addition in our meeting room and we wish him the best of luck,” Mattison said.

Status of Ray Rice

Running back Ray Rice made himself available to the media Thursday after being barred from talking to reporters Wednesday.

He was also available to head coach Cam Cameron and the offense Thursday, as he practiced in pads Thursday afternoon with the offensive line, as he tested his bruised knee making as many cuts as possible.

He also wore a red , non-contact practice jersey that are usually designed for the quarterback and has been used by the likes of safety Ed Reed in the past.

Terrell Suggs, when entering the practice arena, saw Rice immediately and called out to Rice, saying “you look cute in that [expletive] jersey.”

His status is still uncertain for Sunday, and while Rice did say he was feeling better, he said it’s up to the coaching staff to decide and he said he wouldn’t risk it if it isn’t 100%.

“At the end of the day, Sunday is the ultimate test. And that decision will be up to coach. Let’s see how I look in practice, but right now, I feel great.”

Rice said the injury occurred due to a bad plant, and it will be interesting to see how things go on Sunday against an even more intimidating defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rice is confident he wont miss a snap of action.

“My initial thought I was scared,” Rice said. “But then it was new life…and I don’t expect to miss any time.”

“I’m an optimistic guy. If I’m able to cut and I’m able to run…if I’m able to do the things I can do and be the Ray Rice I can be, there’s no question whether I’ll play or not.”

In fact, he has all the confidence in the world that the Ravens coaching and training staff are not only going to make sure he is healthy, but that he will be as safe as can be if he suits up against the Steelers.

“I don’t think there is any risky point when you find out it’s a bruise. Any knee situation is scary. Any guy that has to deal with a small tweak, you do have to take precautionary measures. I think our team does a great job of that.”

Ravens Avoid the Flood by Going Indoors

Other Ravens practicing Thursday included tackle Tony Moll, who was limited in practice Wednesday with a hip injury. He suited up in full pads and was active in the pass blocking drills.

Donte Stallworth(foot) and Tavares Gooden(shoulder), and Edgar Jones(thigh) were the only regular Ravens to not practice, but a strange no-show was tackle Jared Gaither, who is battling a thoracic disk injury.

Gaither was limited in practice yesterday and it was the first time he had done so since the first week of training camp. With him missing practice Thursday, he could have had a setback in his recovery from his disk injury. WIth Moll and Oniel Cousins both back and healthy, Gaither may miss his fourth game of the year.

The Ravens have said throughout the week that he would only be active if he were to play every snap, and with Gaither appearing to not be at full strength, it is likely he will not play on Sunday or will be a game-time decision at the latest.

The Ravens are going to have their hands full dealing with two top-of-the-line pass rusher in Lamar Woodley and  former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, who are devastating pass rushers around the edge.

“We just have to block them up,”  Marshal Yanda said, who could be starting his fourth game of the season at right tackle. “That sounds pretty simple. It sounds overly simple. But it is. We just need to put a hat on a hat and block them when they come and use good technique.”

“If I get help, I get help. If I don’t, I don’t. You always plan on not getting help, cause most of the time you don’t.”

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said those two have been in the back of his mind as the week has gone on.

“They’re obviously two of the best in the league. You come up with what you think is a sound plan,”  Cameron said. “Sometimes you double them. Sometimes you single them. Sometimes you triple them.  And then you rely on the trust between the quarterback and the receivers to get the ball out quickly.”

Defensive end Paul Kruger(shoulder) practiced on special teams lining up in punt and kick block, and as he returns from a labrum injury he sustained in the preseason.  Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is happy to seeing him getting closer to being plugged in on defense.

“He’s a very important part of our defense. He’s improved a great deal in the switch, and if he is one of the guys in the active this week… he will be a big part of this game as he was last year,” Mattison noted.

And with Trevor Pryce in New York, Kruger is one step closer to seeing the field with his pass-rush abilities.

Another body-a big body-who could see playing time against a Steelers power running game is defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who is recovering from a knee injury.

Mattison has been impressed with Cody’s resolve in coming back from a knee injury such as his-something Mattison said he hasn’t seen too often.

“He’s another one that’s  in the mix.  But we’re not sure. Terrence Cody is back. He is working very hard and we worked really hard last week.  I’m really excited about him playing again,” Mattison said.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net as we continue to track the Ravens throughout the 2010 NFL Season! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh Says Pryce Will “Be Back With Us”

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) at Heinz Field.

The Ravens made what appeared to be an explosive announcement this morning, as they terminated the contract of DE Trevor Pryce and re-signed S Ken Hamlin. However, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t believe the news to be so significant.

“Trevor’s a big part of what we’re doing here. We anticipate getting back” said Harbaugh. “It’s just what we had to do for now.” Harbaugh appeared aggravated by further questions regarding Pryce, repeating that the termination of his contract was “just a roster move.” He put Pryce questions to bed by exclaiming “Trevor’s a valuable part of this team and he’ll be back with us.”

Fellow Defensive Lineman Kelly Gregg shed some more light on the situation, saying the team told players Pryce “would be back next week.”

Harbaugh appeared happy to have Hamlin back, saying “we said before we wanted him back. He’s part of our team, he was a big part of it the first few weeks. He figures into our plans the rest of the year.”

Without Pryce Sunday in the Steel City, the Ravens are expected to rotate Defensive Linemen. Should he be available, Cory Redding (concussion) would be expected to start, with Brandon McKinney likely to be the top reserve. Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens are all possibilities to play as well, all three were inactive for the Ravens’ Week 3 win over the Cleveland Browns.

WINLESS IN PITTSBURGH: Since taking over as head coach and starting quarterback respectively in 2008, Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have gone 0-3 in trips to Pittsburgh. The team has lost three very close games during the stretch; including the 23-20 overtime loss in September of ’08 on Monday Night Football, the 23-14 loss in the AFC Championship Game in 2009 (which was 16-14 before a 4th quarter Troy Polamalu INT return TD) and a 23-20 loss in December 2009.

Flacco appears unfazed by his inability to win in Pittsburgh. “We’ve played up there three times, and we’ve played pretty good up there. Besides the playoff game, we’ve played really good up there. We just haven’t come up with wins.”

Flacco began his college career with the Pitt Panthers in 2004, but he played in only three games and did not make a start.

Flacco knows exactly what the Ravens need to do for him to be victorious at Heinz Field for the first time in his career. “We’ve got to finish games – and this is going to be another good game – and we’ll have to finish it in the fourth quarter when it comes down to the time to do that.”

Future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis said he was unaware that Harbaugh and Flacco had never won in Pittsburgh as Baltimore Ravens. “I don’t know if they’re worried about it…I won’t even bring it up.”

PRACTICE REPORT: RB Ray Rice (knee) came out to the field at the tail end of media availability during Wednesday’s practice; did not participate. Rice was also made unavailable to the media during the day. Rice walked both in the locker room and on the field without any sort of noticeable limp.

Redding and OL Tony Moll (leg) did not participate in practice either. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) did not participate, they have been ruled OUT for Sunday.

Jared Gaither (back) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since August 5th at McDaniel College during Training Camp. Gaither’s status for Sunday remains unknown. Also listed as limited Wednesday was LB Jarret Johnson (back). C Matt Birk (back), OL Chris Chester (back) and TE Todd Heap (shoulder) were full participants.

For the Steelers, QB Dennis Dixon (knee), G Trai Essex (ankle) and DT Chris Hoke did not participate in practice Wednesday.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Lewis, Gregg, Johnson, WR Anquan Boldin, LB Terrell Suggs, FB Le’Ron McClain and RB Willis McGahee NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Boldin was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Sunday against the Browns (8 catches, 142 yards, 3 TD’s). Boldin was dismissive of the honor, saying it “doesn’t matter”……When asked if he thought he’d be active Sunday against the Steelers, Cody responded “(You’d) have to ask the coaches…I think I’m ready.” When asked if he thought he had played well enough in practice to warrant seeing the field Sunday, Cody responded “I wouldn’t say that”……McKinney is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST Thursday morning at 7:00am.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because Joaquin Phoenix is back on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight on CBS. Why is this a big deal? You may remember their last get together…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says NFL fined Ravens coach John Harbaugh $15,000 for striking official in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati Bengals

I know a lot of folks are fired up because New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs only got a $10,000 fine for throwing his helmet in the stands. I wouldn’t be so fired up. The league has to make a statement that it is not okay to make physical contact with an official. The way they do that is by levying heavy fines.

John Harbaugh knew he was wrong when he made physical contact with an official. It doesn’t mean his argument wasn’t valid, it doesn’t mean he was trying to harm the official he made contact with.

It just means he was wrong to do it. He’ll remember that the next time he approaches an official with frustration.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Jared Gaither not expected to play Sunday vs. Cleveland Browns

And if I was in the Baltimore Ravens’ front office, I would admittedly be getting frustrated with not having Jared Gaither on the field. If this was supposed to be a 6 week injury, it is hard to stomach him not being able to get back out on the field.

That being said, no one in the organization is debating whether or not Gaither is hurt. He’s clearly dealing with a fairly significant injury, or at least an injury to a significant part of his body.

At this point, the Ravens probably must consider getting Oniel Cousins and/or Tony Moll on the field more. Marshal Yanda is still expected to be the starter with Chris Chester at RG, but thus far the results of that experiment have been uneven at best.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens released OT Devin Tyler, CB David Pender from practice squad

We’ll always have the memories.

Looks like the Ravens will need some practice squad help this week. NFP said Tuesday the team tried out OL Xavier Fulton and Marc Dile; as well as CB’s John Bowie, Coye Francies and Ray Fisher.

But if the Ravens REALLY need practice squad help, I think Helen Lindes would make a fine option. (Thanks Guyism!)

lindes

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Tavares Gooden could miss 4-6 weeks with shoulder injury

And a few more things before we move on from the Ravens…

-There was no announcement regarding the roster move made by the Ravens to activate CB Cary Williams from suspension. There was a 4pm deadline yesterday. The team hasn’t said a thing. I’m sure we’ll find out by the time John Harbaugh speaks to the media today.

-The Ravens return to practice at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, with their focus shifted to their home opener Sunday against the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. We will have full coverage throughout the day on AM1570 WNST, at WNST.net and on Twitter (@WNST). We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and many more Ravens players; as well as conference calls with Eric Mangini and Joshua Cribbs. Make sure you stick with us!

5. The AP’s Howard Ulman says Ty Wigginton homered as Orioles crushed Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

They didn’t just win, they punished the Red Sox in every single way. So much so that even Glenn Clark managed to drag himself away from the season premiere of “Glee” to watch the game a bit.

I’m kidding. I didn’t watch any of Glee last night. It’s still waiting on my DVR.

What else can I say here? This late summer version of Spring Training has been a lot of fun. When they play another real game, I hope it’s just as exciting!

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of win

The Birds got help from some other folks besides Wigginton last night.

Brad Bergesen gave up just one run on five hits in six innings (plus four walks) to improve to 8-10.
Adam Jones was 3-4 and scored a pair of runs.
Nick Markakis was 2-5 and also scored a pair of runs.
Brian Roberts went 1-3 and walked twice, also scoring two runs.

So go look at the numbers. Then come right back here. Divya Lalitha will be waiting for you. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

divya

7. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Brian Roberts injured shoulder but didn’t exit Tuesday night win over Sox

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things…

-INF Julio Lugo rejoined the team last night in Beantown after dealing with a pinched nerve. According to MLB.com, Buck Showalter is in no rush to get him back on the field.

-The Birds will try to polish off a sweep of the Sox tonight at Fenway Park. First pitch between John Lackey and Kevin Millwood is at 7:10pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

8. Baltimore Business Journal’s Ryan Sharrow says M&T Bank Stadium awarded 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

Did you miss Drew Forrester’s chat with Maryland Office of Sports Marketing director Terry Hasseltine Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to hear Hasseltine’s thoughts on the Final Four, the World Cup, IndyCar racing, etc.

Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include:

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens and Orioles with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Mike Wilkening (Pro Football Weekly)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Rex Hoggard (Golf Channel)-who previewed the TOUR Championship and Ryder Cup with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Matt Mitrione (UFC Fighter) and Reed Harris (WEC General Manager)-who joined John Rallo and Thyrl Nelson on “The MMA Report” Tuesday
  • Johnny Rhodes (Former Terrapins Guard)-who discussed the upcoming Gary Williams event at Sports Legends at Camden Yards with Thyrl Tuesday
  • Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault. Once again, I’ve planned your day for you. Just send all checks to 1550 Hart Rd.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland OL Justin Gilbert out for season, RJ Dill and Pete DeSouza to start at OT

Clearly Ralph Friedgen’s Terps could use some help on the O-Line. I think they should seriously consider Christina De Kerpel. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

dekerpel

10. NavySports.com says Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland to host Midshipmen clash with Notre Dame in 2012

I’d REALLY like to go on this trip. Mostly for this reason…

beer

And finally, I leave you with this.

It’s time to think about “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” Here’s my new version of TGSOATTW; as John Legend and The Roots got together to record a new cover album called “Wake Up!” The song is called “Hard Times”, and it is QUITE good…

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

And the “retro” version of The Greatest Song of All Time This Week? In honor of Barry Aparicio’s 26th birthday today-he told me his favorite Michael Jackson song of all time is “Man in the Mirror.” It’s a good song, he’s a good man, so happy birthday Barry…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9lq8oaK5Mw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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