Posted on 26 April 2012 by WNST Audio
Posted on 18 April 2012 by Luke Jones
Yes, you read that headline correctly.
Former starting quarterback and 2003 first-round pick Kyle Boller will be back in town and working out for the Ravens on Thursday, according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, who said former Steelers backup Dennis Dixon will also be working out for Baltimore. Former Indianapolis quarterback Curtis Painter will join them, per Albert Breer.
Dixon had been linked to the Ravens as a potential target last weekend by a report from St. Louis.
Boller was the starting quarterback in Baltimore from 2003 to 2005 and was most recently the backup quarterback of the Oakland Raiders the last two seasons. Replacing the injured Jason Campbell last year, Boller started in Week 7 but threw three interceptions in the first half before being benched in favor of Carson Palmer, who had only been acquired earlier in the week leading up to the game.
Entering his ninth year, Boller suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire 2008 season, his last year with the Ravens.
The Ravens’ brass recently expressed their confidence in second-year backup Tyrod Taylor, so it is surprising for the team to have such interest in veteran options after carrying only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster during the 2011 season. However, Taylor’s athleticism could lead to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wanting to use him in more gimmick plays as he did with former backup Troy Smith a few years ago — a luxury you don’t really have with only one reserve quarterback available.
A potential return by Boller would undoubtedly spark controversy and discussion from a significant portion of the fan base that made no secret of its disdain for him, with some at M&T Bank Stadium even cheering when Boller was injured in the 2005 season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Boller has thrown for 8,931 yards in his career with 48 touchdowns and 54 interceptions.
Posted on 16 April 2012 by Luke Jones
One of the more interesting reports to surface over the weekend was Baltimore being a potential landing spot for free-agent quarterback Dennis Dixon.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Friday the Ravens are interested in the former Pittsburgh Steelers reserve, who worked out for the Rams last week. While it is unclear how serious the Ravens’ inquiries have been, it is surprising considering how emphatic the organization appeared in expressing confidence in backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the pre-draft press conference a couple weeks ago.
Dixon attempted all of 59 passes in his four years with the Steelers — throwing one touchdown and two interceptions — and wouldn’t provide much more playing experience than Taylor, who is entering his second year with the Ravens. Adding a veteran backup who is more of a proven commodity would make sense — like the Ravens did two years ago with Marc Bulger — but Dixon’s overall skill set is similar to that of Taylor.
In fairness, Dixon has likely benefited mentally under the tutelage of Ben Roethlisberger and veteran backup Charlie Batch, but he just doesn’t possess the pedigree that suggests him being an upgrade over Taylor as the backup.
Again, we’re speculating over one report from another media market, but any serious interest in Dixon from the Ravens would be puzzling at best and borderline pointless at worst.
Posted on 12 December 2011 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio had a late celebratory dinner with our fantastic attorney Sunday night at Fogo De Chao. As I walked in, I said to Drew “is Tebow going to do it again?” He responded “nah…it’s like 10-0 at the end of the game.”
I responded “um…actually it’s 10-7.”
Within moments we were all doing this…
So that I’ve covered myself here, a LOT of credit for the Denver Broncos’ win over the Chicago Bears has to be given to the fact that Marion Barber absolutely fell apart late and Matt Prater’s UNREAL game-tying boot. In fact, Prater’s boot was so incredible it deserves another look…
Just stop already. Just stop. Frank Reich might want to go ahead and make the congratulatory call to Tebow, because you KNOW “The Mile High Messiah” is going to eventually break his record for the greatest comeback in National Football League history.
As far as the Bears go, it’s over for them. You have to have a quarterback. It would be over in Charm City if Tyrod Taylor had to play.
That is…of course…ENOUGH about the Bears. Tim Tebow played Sunday. We’ll be talking about it until next Sunday.
Perhaps I was wrong. Maybe you DON’T have to have a quarterback. Maybe T.J. Yates is enough…
With Andre Johnson sidelined, Kevin Walter was the hero. I’m so confused by everything happening here. I know the other teams barely tried, but aren’t the Texans supposed to screw this up so that these t-shirts are never printed???
A large crowd welcomed the AFC South champs back to Reliant Stadium Saturday night. No word on whether or not they had all sent Peyton Manning Thank You cards or not.
Even if I had to make a trip to Landover and that AWFUL dump known as FedEx Field, it was worth it for Army/Navy.
My highlight this year? The press box (which Dan Snyder and company placed in the WORST possible location otherwise) was directly behind the brigade of Midshipmen, allowing me to hear every word of “The Goat is Old and Gnarly.”
If you’re not an Annapolis regular, you might not be familiar. Here’s a 4 year old singing it…
The Mids were 27-21 winners thanks to 4th quarter heroics from kicker Jon Teague. The game (as always) was “more than football”. Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama attended, watching one half of the game on each side. At halftime, he was walked from side to side through a tunnel formed by members of each branch. The word “goosebumps” fits.
Down 23-7 at the half and watching their Wild Card hopes crumble, the Falcons became energized and clinched a win with this 75 yard TD to Julio Jones…
After finishing the win over the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons had quite the scare when coach Mike Smith felt chest pains and was taken off the team flight and instead to a Charlotte hospital. When reached for comment, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger described Smith as a “pansy.”
Crap. Crap crap crap.
The Bolts are pretty healthy and playing really well just in time for a date with the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. Phillip Rivers is playing well. Vincent Jackson is playing well. Ryan Matthews is playing well. Antonio Gates is playing well. They kept their slim playoff hopes alive while ruining any hopes the Buffalo Bills had Sunday.
WNST will be in San Diego next weekend, partnering with Los Angeles Ravens fan club The West Wing. That means Perry Hall High School alum Daniela Pane will be in the house…
It’s a shame she has to compete with me every year for the “most popular alum” award. Otherwise she’d probably have it nailed down.
(Also-I know flights aren’t cheap…but…you know…)
Before the season began-what, maybe 10% of college football fans could name the Baylor Bears quarterback? Just before Christmas, RG3 has not only won the sports’ highest honor, he’s also started a craze in footwear…
Superman socks. Actually quite awesome. Everyone else is so much cooler than me.
There were a handful of goofs who thought the Oakland Raiders could give the Packers a run for their money. Here are some highlights-or at least the best I could find on YouTube…
If Greg Jennings really does have a torn ACL, the Packers are hurting. But this is a team that has Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, ah you get the point. They’re going undefeated and they’re probably going to win the Super Bowl.
Have a Happy Monday!
Posted on 01 November 2011 by Peter Dilutis
While I was watching Philip Rivers and the Chargers screw up a kneel down in the fourth quarter of Monday Night Football, I made a comment to a friend that went something like this: “Imagine Baltimore sports talk radio if Flacco did something like that.”
I can only imagine.
Here’s another scenario to ponder. Imagine if the Ravens would have lost on Sunday. Just think about it for a minute.
Cam Cameron would literally be the most hated man in town. The Tyrod Taylor chants that some illogical, unintelligent fans started on Sunday would have escalated throughout the week. The “Harbaugh is nothing but a special teams coach” notion would have come back to the airwaves.
And that’s before we even start thinking about what the players, specifically the defensive guys, would have spouted off following another horrific offensive performance.
Seriously, if Terrell Suggs can’t keep his mouth shut after one bad game by the offense, think about how his post-game interview would have gone had the Ravens fell from 4-1 to 4-3 pretty much solely due to the play of the offense.
Imagine what Ray Lewis would have said after the game had he not had the foresight to duck out before the media arrived for the second week in a row.
A loss on Sunday would have been a complete disaster. In a city where sports fans don’t normally agree on much, I think we all can agree that it would have gotten very ugly around here had the Ravens fell to Arizona.
So it’s a good thing the Ravens won. After all, they’re 5-2. Their play in September and October has allowed them to play in perhaps the biggest game of the 2011 NFL season Sunday night at Pittsburgh.
Sure, John Harbaugh would be the first to say that he wishes the Ravens were 7-0. But if you got him alone and he was being totally honest, I have to believe he would have jumped at the chance to be 5-2 at this point in the season.
Posted on 27 September 2011 by Drew Forrester
I’ll start this by reiterating something I say a lot during the NFL season.
I like John Harbaugh. I think he’s a very good football coach. And I’m happy we have him in Baltimore.
That opening statement hopefully clears the path for the words you’re about to read. It’s become commonplace in our city for people to say “stop being a hater” anytime you criticize a player or a coach or an owner. A lot of that traces back to the baseball team, with their fan base bloodied and scarred after 14 years of losing and a growing trend of intolerance towards anyone who offers a harsh word or a “reality check” about the dismal state of the franchise.
And while the football team has piled up wins and playoff victories in John Harbaugh’s 3+ year-tenure, some folks continue to be skeptical of the team’s level of success.
I like John Harbaugh. I think he’s a very good football coach. And I’m glad we have him in Baltimore.
But if Joe Flacco tears his ACL or separates his shoulder or breaks a bone in his foot because he’s playing the final three minutes of a 30-3 blowout of (insert team here) in week number (insert here), I won’t be so nice to the Coach.
Sunday in St. Louis, Harbaugh again rolled the dice with the ONE player on his team that the Ravens can least afford to lose…their quarterback. And it wasn’t a roll of the dice at the $5 table. It’s a $50-table-kind-of-gamble when you have your quarterback running around with three minutes left and the game already in hand and 13 weeks of the season plus playoffs still in the windshield ahead of you.
That kind of gamble isn’t worth taking.
To review the scenario from Sunday’s game, Flacco started THREE offensive series’ in the 4th quarter. He played the series that started with 11:22 remaining in the game and the Ravens ahead 30-7. He returned to the field with 8:16 left and the Ravens still ahead 30-7. And, finally, he was behind center with the score 37-7 and 3:10 left on the clock. There were runs and throws and sacks and plays where Flacco was under duress during all three of those series’. In other words, it was still “real football”. Except for one important thing: the game was over for all intents and purposes.
Harbaugh tried to wordsmith his way around it in Sunday’s post-game press conference in St. Louis and again on Monday in Baltimore during his weekly gathering with the media at Owings Mills.
He tried to explain his thinking.
None of it held up.
These are a few of the defense-remarks Harbaugh made on Sunday and Monday.
“Joe needs all the reps he can get with his wide receivers”, the Coach said. (You’re correct, Coach, he does. But that “need for reps” does not outweigh the importance of having your star quarterback upright and healthy for the last 4 months of the football season.)
“There was no sense in bringing Tyrod Taylor in there to just have him hand the ball off three times and take a knee.” (Huh? That’s not what you did with Flacco in those three series’. You made him play real football. You could have had Taylor do the same thing. No one would have offered a second thought had you employed the rookie QB for a series or two – or three – and said to him, “Now kid, go in there and show us what you can do…”)
“We weren’t trying to run up the score leaving Joe in there.” (I don’t disagree with that. The whole running up the score thing is a delicate issue to start with – although some would say challenging an apparent fumble with 4 minutes remaining and the score 37-7 could be “run up” worthy – so let’s not go there. It wasn’t about whether or not the Ravens were trying to run up the score, it was about leaving your star quarterback in the game to run around and risk injury when the game was in control.)
“I’d like to see the stats on how many quarterbacks get hurt playing in late game situations like that.” (I looked it up, Coach. In the history of the NFL, no quarterback standing on the sidelines with the score 37-7 has ever been injured. As for the stat surrounding quarterbacks who WERE playing? I’m not sure. But how many Presidents were shot while riding in a convertible in downtown Dallas? Oh, right…just one.)
“We can’t just sit all the starters in that situation.” (That’s correct, you can’t. No one is saying you SHOULD do that. What is being suggested, however, is that you have to quickly do some sort of internal ranking of the roster and say, “Well, let’s get some of the starters out of there and alleviate the injury risk and give them a bit of a breather…and I guess I should start with my most IMPORTANT player and go from there.” That, then, would mean Joe Flacco comes out of the game, for he is, without question, the team’s most important player. He might not be the BEST player, but he’s the most IMPORTANT, for sure. The step down from Flacco to Tyrod Taylor would be gigantic. Taylor’s not ready to lead an NFL team…not even close. And how do I know this? Simple…he wasn’t even ready-enough to mop up in a 37-7 game, according to the coaching staff.)
I completely understand you can’t “coach in fear” and I’m well aware of the fact that games are never over until their over and all that jazz. I saw the Lions come back from 20-0 down at halftime and I saw the Bills fall behind 21-0 in the first half before rebounding to win.
Being down 21-0 in the 2nd quarter and being behind 30-7 with 7 minutes left in the game are two completely different animals. They’re not even remotely similar in comparison.
And for anyone who says, “I want to see the Ravens develop a killer’s mentality. I want to see them step on team’s throats. Let’s pile on late in the game and put that thing away.” Have you seen the team’s two wins this year? They crushed the Steelers and they completely suffocated the Rams. Both of those games were over at the 35 minute mark. They didn’t need to do any throat-stepping in the 4th quarter…they did it in the first half.
Playing your quarterback in the final 10 minutes of a 28-point blowout of the Steelers and a 30-point romp in St. Louis has nothing at all to do with “stepping on their throat”. It has everything to do with not having a sense for the reality of the situation. The reality in those two instances? Having your star quarterback in the game at those points was a gamble not worth taking.
If Joe Flacco gets injured and can’t play for 4, 6 or 10 weeks, the Ravens season gets incredibly altered. If he gets injured in the first quarter this Sunday night, we shrug our shoulders and say, “that’s football.” If the Ravens are ahead 27-7 with 4 minutes to play on Sunday night and Flacco gets hurt and misses time, all hell will break loose.
I like John Harbaugh. I think he’s a very good coach. And I’m glad we have him in Baltimore.
But part of his job as the team’s Head Coach is thinking about NEXT week’s game once THIS week’s game is under control and essentially in the books.
It’s called “protecting your assets”.
Just ask the Indianapolis Colts what happens when your starting QB goes down with an injury.
Posted on 09 September 2011 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Conducting a final workout on Friday before welcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, the Ravens practiced in shells and shorts in typical Friday fashion.
With the Ravens working on the field farthest away from the media’s viewing area during the open portion of practice, it was difficult to account for every player on the 53-man roster, but receiver Lee Evans (foot), center Matt Birk (knee), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor were all practicing, as they have all week in preparation for the Steelers.
Linebacker Jason Phillips appeared to be dressed to practice from a long-distance vantage point after being listed as a non-participant with a concussion on Thursday’s injury report.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb was taking all repetitions returning punts during the special teams period of practice and is still listed as the No. 1 punt returner on the team’s official depth chart. Speculation has persisted that rookie LaQuan Williams will be involved in the return game, but it remains to be seen.
The Ravens will wear their white jerseys in the regular-season opener, forcing Pittsburgh to wear their black jerseys despite a forecast calling for a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms with temperatures in the low 80s for Sunday afternoon.
And, in a move that will surely disappoint many of the 71,000 in attendance for Sunday, the Ravens will introduce the offense prior to the start of the game. Even if they’re trying to provide a psychological boost to quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense, there’s no disputing the crowd’s response not being as electric as one witnessing Ray Lewis doing his dance.
Posted on 08 September 2011 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day closer to their season-opening meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens failed to have perfect attendance for a second straight day as linebacker Jason Phillips was missing from the open portion of practice.
However, all players were dressed in helmets, shells, and shorts and working. Center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Lee Evans (foot), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (left shoulder) were all practicing for the second straight day after none of them were listed on Wednesday’s official injury report.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe wore a wrap on his left hand but did not appear to be limited during special teams drills.
Lardarius Webb, Chris Carr, and Ed Reed all received work fielding punts during the special teams portion of practice, though speculation persists that rookie LaQuan Williams will factor in the punt return game on Sunday.
Prior to the start of practice, several players visited with Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, including running back Ray Rice and free safety Ed Reed.
Posted on 07 September 2011 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Center Matt Birk has been cautiously optimistic in discussing his status for the season opener on Sunday.
Wednesday’s official injury report supports that thinking, and then some, with the Ravens reporting no injuries.
Birk (knee), receiver Lee Evans (foot), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), and quarterback Tyrod Taylor practiced fully and appear to all be set to play against the Steelers.
Pittsburgh’s outlook wasn’t quite as favorable, but listed only three players on their official injury report.
NO INJURIES TO REPORT
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – LB Chris Carter (hamstring)
LIMITED – WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), T Marcus Gilbert (concussion)
Posted on 07 September 2011 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens move closer to taking on their hated rivals from Pittsburgh to begin the season on Sunday afternoon, they appear to be getting healthier just in time for the occasion.
All 53 players on the active roster were present and working during the open portion of Wednesday’s practice, including center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Lee Evans (foot), and cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring). All three were dressed in full pads and did not appear to be limited in the early stages of the workout.
With primary kick returner David Reed suspended in the regular-season opener for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, cornerback Lardarius Webb appeared to be the primary returner during the special teams portion of practice. Rookie receiver Torrey Smith also fielded kicks.
For anyone trying to find some clarity in what the Ravens plan to do at the center position, Birk was snapping to starter Joe Flacco while newcomer Andre Gurode snapped to rookie backup Tyrod Taylor during individual drills.
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Ray Rice, Terrell Suggs, Andre Gurode, Lee Evans, Jarret Johnson, and Bernard Pollard prior to Wednesday’s practice in Owings Mills.