Tag Archive | "willie anderson"

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Live From Owings Mills: Willie Anderson Sets Baltimore A-Twitter

Posted on 04 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

1:45-A Ravens executive has told me that he is not aware of any conversations the team has had with Willie Anderson regarding a possible comeback. He did remind me that Willie is a “very good player”, but might not be in current playing shape.

1:40-A reminder to sign up for the WNST Text Service! We will get you the cut/roster info tomorrow as SOON as it is available. I will also be available throughout the day at WNST.net for instant analysis. It takes a lot to interrupt a day of college football viewing for me, and I will absolutely NOT be available after 10pm when Maryland/Cal kicks off. But with the deadline coming at 6pm, I should have plenty of time.

1:30-As I mentioned with Drew this morning and later with Bob; if I were to make any changes to the 53 man mock roster I put together Wednesday; I would probably replace Matt Lawrence with WR Jayson Foster. I think Jayson offers special teams help and can play as a 5th receiver if need be. This is all contingent on the team not adding a WR who may be cut.

1:15-A lot is being made of the comments made by Willie Anderson via Twitter last night. I’m not sure how much to make of them, but I can tell you that I have reached out to Willie via personal email and via Twitter message to try to get some clarification. Willie is on Twitter using the name WillAnderson79, and made these comments last night:

“Just had to inform Raven’s coaching staff and manangement that for now I’m staying retired.
They’ve been in talks with me since May about coming back. I wanted to come back too!”
Not saying that down the line if they need I won’t come back. I know I can play for 3 more years so who knows what may happen down the line”
Plus I feel God has something great planned for me after Football. I wanna help try and save these kids out here in the world”
But Who knows! We all say that till week 6 we feel like we wanna go back. I’m gon get a chance to celebrate my son’s bday for 1st time”
He was born in Sept. I’m never home! I finally got a chance to seee him attend 1st day of school. I’ve spent so much time this August wi”
I’ve been playing football in August since 1986. 11 years old playing for The Trinity Gardens little league midgets team
Then I went to JR High, High School 3 years of College, 13 years of Pro Football. 200 games to be exact!
Like I said who knows how I feel next week! I’m just trusting in God what I always believed that his plan will continue success for me!”
That’s 200 games in the Pros for those of you keeping score or count. Lol”

So much to take from all of that, which is why I’m hoping for a response from Willie today. This all appears to have come about from Willie hearing that Andre Smith was hurt, and Tweeting earlier in the week that he couldn’t return to the Bengals because the Ravens hold his rights. John Harbaugh mentioned earlier this year that Willie had an emotional conversation with Ozzie Newsome regarding what it meant to be a retired football player. I’m not sure how that conversation would have lead to the Ravens asking Willie to come back to the team; but they CERTAINLY need help at the Offensive Tackle position.

Behind rookie Michael Oher and Jared Gaither, the team has Oniel Cousins (battling an ankle injury) and a group of players who likely won’t make the team (Stefan Rodgers, Tre Stallings, Joe Reitz). They will almost HAVE to scan the cut lists this week to see if anyone might become available. Willie Anderson would be a logical choice as they maintain his rights.

On the Willie Anderson side of the picture, he has every right to not want to race back and play football. However, the Ravens may not want Willie Anderson as much as they just want a veteran tackle. Should they choose to add another player; there is no guarantee they’ll still have interest in Willie if and when he feels like he’s ready to return.

1:06-Very awkward vibe coming from the Ravens locker room today. This morning’s practice was in shorts; but ran a half hour longer than scheduled. Following the practice, the mood in the locker room appeared to be a bit more awkward, as many players were unaware of their own personal futures, and others were unaware of what the future had in store for their friends and teammates. The team is not scheduled to gather again until after tomorrow’s cut, and there will be 22 fewer men on the roster when they gather.

I posted some sound in the Audio Vault at WNST.net from Lardarius Webb, Yamon Figurs, and Ray Rice. I also spent a few moments talking privately with some of the guys whose future is up in the air (Jason Cook, Matt Lawrence, Steve Hauschka, Prescott Burgess, etc.); and some of the guys intimated that they were playing the waiting game. They will learn their fate via phone call tomorrow; as they are not scheduled to be here in Owings Mills.

11:09-The Ravens have gathered this morning for some minimal on-field work. I’m not sure what the nature of the work is (may be nothing more than keeping guys crisp as they won’t go again until Wednesday), but it is obviously rare to do anything onfield the day after a game.

The bigger story today will be watching the attitudes of the players who are awaiting word on their professional future tomorrow. Last night’s win over the Falcons provided minimal clarity (if none at all), and a lot of guys are sweating out the next 18 hours or so as they await word.

One of the things we haven’t talked much about is the idea that some players could be hidden on IR this season. UFA LB Dannell Ellerbe and LB Jason Phillips jump out at me on that list. Ellerbe has battled a knee injury throughout the last weeks, and Phillips came into Training Camp off a knee injury at the NFL Draft Combine. Both are guys this organization likes, but both would be question marks on the 53 man roster.

I mentioned this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show” with Drew Forrester that the one change I would make to my projected 53 man roster from Wednesday would be to take Matt Lawrence OFF the roster and replace him with Jayson Foster. I don’t know that Foster is ABSOLUTELY one of the 53 best football players on this team; but I do think the Ravens could line him up as a WR in an emergency situation and certainly use him on Special Teams.

All of this can change in an instant based on what players become available elsewhere in the NFL. I have warned before that the Ravens feel as though they have MORE than 53 good players (and John Harbaugh reiterated the sentiment post-game in Atlanta last night), but there are areas they will likely be willing to consider additions. A veteran receiver would be a possibilty, as would someone who could provide depth at OT. BUT, Ozzie Newsome is not thinking he HAS to add players like that. If the Eagles cut a Reggie Brown or Hank Baskett, that would be a natural fit. If a player like Willie Anderson (who the Ravens added last season) were available, that would ALSO be a natural fit. But they will NOT just go out and sign a receiver or Tackle for no reason.

The deadline to have the roster down to 53 is 6pm Saturday. I expect we will approach 6pm before we get the list.

-G

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Live from Owings Mills: Suggs will play in Atlanta, Lemon cut

Posted on 01 September 2009 by Glenn Clark

2:24-Harbaugh would not give us any idea on how long the starters might go Thursday night, but did mention that he has “thought about” not playing some guys.

I’m still guessing that we’ll see the first unit for 1 series on each side of the football, so long as that series is at least 5 plays or so.

2:09-Hear from John Harbaugh, Kelly Gregg, and Terrell Suggs in the WNST.net Audio Vault.

Couple of housekeeping notes regarding the Ravens. They are holding a walk through tomorrow morning in preparation for Thursday night’s game; but the session is not open to the media. Chris Pika will be live from the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta and will host our live blog at WNST.net. I will be joining him in the discussion, as well as on Twitter.

Players will be here in Owings Mills Friday with brief availability. I will talk to as many of them as I can during the time we have. Saturday is the next roster deadline, as the team has to be down to 53 players. The actual deadline is 6pm. The Ravens would like to have the decisions made well before then, but it is unlikely.

Come Monday, the team will be back on a regular schedule, with Coach Harbaugh’s first press conference of the season at 3pm.

I will be working on a mock roster tonight, which I will have for you during the day tomorrow.

1:55-Couple more odds and ends from John Harbaugh today.

-Harbs mentioned the team does have to consider the knee injury rookie LB Jason Phillips has been battling back from; but also likes what he sees from Phillips. He said he “can see the flashes” in the rookie LB from TCU.

-Harbaugh said the team has “a long way to go on all 3 phases”, and said that while the first team defense has been ALMOST perfect, “the ALMOST part is a real bugaboo.” Coach Harbaugh added that the defense “has a chance to be one of, if not the best defense in the league.”

1:48-Notes from practice: Chris Carr and Jared Gaither both returned to the practice field today after missing yesterday’s practice. When asked about missing Monday, Carr said it was “insignificant.”

Oniel Cousins and LJ Smith remained OUT, and TE Isaac Smolko was also not present.

Ed Reed did not participate in practice; but showed up late with a hoodie and shorts on; putting a jersey on over his hoodie. My first thought would be that the team may have already decided to hold Ed out of Thursday night’s game. Last week, the team used Thursday’s practice as a “Panthers practice”, and may have used today as a “Falcons practice.”

If there’s anything more, we will let you know.

1:15-Maybe the quote of the preseason thus far from John Harbaugh was his take on Dannell Ellerbe when I asked him if having not been out on the field has hurt his chances of making the roster (Editor’s note: I knew the answer already. You ask questions sometimes just looking for quotes). Harbs said the saying around the team was “you can’t make the club in the tub”, but then added that they were still looking at guys like Ellerbe.

On two other bubble guys: D-Linemen Brandon McKinney and Kelly Talavou, Harbaugh said “It’s really important to have a lot of big, physical guys on the D-Line.” Veteran DT Kelly Gregg added about those two guys “you can’t teach size.”

1:03-Cleo Lemon WAS cut by the Ravens earlier this morning, getting their roster down to the 75 player limit they needed to reach by today’s deadline. Lemon was certainly going to be cut before Saturday’s deadline to get down to 53; but the timing is a little bit of a surprise. Many of us thought Lemon might get a number of snaps in the 2nd half Thursday night; to take the pressure of the QB’s who WOULD be on the roster (Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, and John Beck).

This might be an indication that the team wants to see John Beck play a little bit more on Thursday night. He has been VERY limited in the last two games, and could use some game work to show the staff what he has been learning in the preseason.

Harbaugh on Lemon: “Cleo obviously is a proven QB in this league to some extent. We’re disappointed we didn’t have more a chance to get to know him.”

This move may allow Lemon to try to catch on with a team that is battling QB depth issues right now. The Chiefs come to mind right off the bat given Matt Cassell’s injury; and it also reminds me that the Ravens used Willie Anderson to help gameplan for the Bengals in Week 1 last year; it is not inconceivable that the Chiefs could try to do the same thing with Lemon in preparing for Sept. 13. Although I would assume Willie Anderson was probably more helpful to the Ravens than Cleo Lemon could dream of being with Kansas City. But work with me here, people.

12:58-Mark Clayton (hamstring) actually said he would try to give it a go in warmups Thursday night at the Georgia Dome; but it appears to be pretty safe to assume that he will be OUT. Mark reminded us that game experience wasn’t quite as important for him as it might be for some guys on other teams; as he feels as though practicing against the Ravens defense is about as good as playing in a game.

12:53-I starting writing a blog earlier and it somehow did not post. Probably my fault, but maybe the fault of the wireless system here at 1 Winning Drive. Onward and upward I say; and thanks to the WNST staff for picking it up without me.

Terrell Suggs (achilles, heel) DID say he was going to play Thursday night in Atlanta, however he is not sure how long he’ll go. He thinks it is important for him to get out there in game action before the regular season starts. Terrell was also sporting an Orioles hat today; he said he would trade in his Yankees cap after the organization invested in him the way they did.

John Harbaugh had said previously that he thought Suggs was “sort of a maybe” for the game.

Suggs also addressed rookie DE/LB Paul Kruger, who has been running with the starters during Suggs’ absence. Suggs says he’s going to heckle Kruger the way he heckled Joe Flacco last year, and mentioned that he’s been calling him “Goldielocks.”

12:05 p.m. — Terrell Suggs and Chris Carr will both play Thursday night in Atlanta. Mark Clayton will not play but says he will be ready for Chiefs on Sept. 13.

11:26 a.m. — The Ravens have cut quarterback Cleo Lemon to get the roster down to 75 players in time for Thursday’s game in Atlanta. Guess we’ll see more of John Beck vs. Falcons.

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Two weeks notice: The long offseason is almost over

Posted on 27 August 2009 by Luke Jones

After a long and eventful offseason, we’re exactly two weeks away from the start of the NFL season when the hated Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans for the Thursday night opener.

In Baltimore, an impressive 2-0 preseason start has only raised expectations for the Ravens entering the 2009 regular season.

With two preseason encounters remaining before the Ravens kick off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 13, much has gone well, but questions still remain before the real games begin.

Here are my purple thoughts as we approach the Ravens’ meeting with the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.

- Receiver Mark Clayton returned to practice yesterday after missing most of training camp with a hamstring injury.  Though he won’t play against Carolina, it’s definitely a positive sign for him to be practicing more than two weeks before the regular season opener.

Considering his history with hamstring issues, the Ravens will be extremely careful with Clayton.  If his hamstring responds well to practice, he’ll likely play against Atlanta to get some game reps next Thursday night, but don’t be surprised to see the Ravens limit his reps into the early stages of the season.

It helps that Clayton had an entire offseason to work with Joe Flacco, but the two will need to regain their timing.  As WNST’s Glenn Clark has mentioned, Clayton’s absence has opened the door for Kelley Washington to become a factor in the passing game, and the veteran has responded well.

Staying on the injury front, you have to be a little more concerned with Terrell Suggs’ injured Achilles tendon than a week ago when the team was still “roughing” it in the Westminster heat.  Throughout training camp, we received reassurances that the heel injury was not serious, so most assumed it was a convenient excuse for the Pro Bowl linebacker to cruise through training camp.

But with the Ravens back at their comfy facility in Owings Mills this week, Suggs remains sidelined and has been since Aug. 2.  If he doesn’t play against the Falcons next Thursday, one would have to question his status for the start of the regular season, not just in terms of the Achilles but also his overall conditioning.

- Is Samari Rolle’s career over?

Whenever you learn about a football player dealing with a neck injury, it’s never taken lightly, and Rolle’s long stay on the physically unable to perform list only adds to the concern.

On Aug. 5, John Harbaugh said he expected Rolle to return to the practice field in the “next day or two,” but since then, the veteran corner has seen a second specialist regarding his injured neck.  There is no timetable for his return, and the organization has been very quiet regarding any specifics of the injury.

At this point, it seems likely Rolle will begin the season on the reserve PUP list (and not counting against the 53-man roster), keeping him sidelined for the first six weeks before the team must decide to activate him within a three-week window or place him on injured reserve.

Considering the Ravens have good depth in the defensive backfield, they will be patient with Rolle, especially since he would not count against the active roster.

Rolle dealt with two previous neck and spine injuries in his career, so you have to wonder if the cornerback has reached the end of the line.  If the current condition is as serious as it seems, why put his long-term health at risk?  Despite the appeal of playing on a team with Super Bowl aspirations, no one would blame the veteran for walking away from a very impressive NFL career.

- Much has been made about the Ravens’ difficulty in stopping the run on Monday night in their 24-23 victory over the New York Jets, but I still have a difficult time getting worked up over a small sample size in a preseason performance.

While the defense had difficulty with Leon Washington and—to a lesser extent—Thomas Jones, most of the breakdowns appeared to be related to hitting the wrong gaps when blitzing.  Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison confirmed this on Thursday and did not seem to be overly concerned with the lapses.

It did not surprise me to see the Ravens struggle with a shifty back like Washington, especially when you remember NFL teams do not game-plan for preseason opponents like they do in the regular season.

Keep in mind that despite the Ravens’ impressive run defense last season (third in the NFL), the unit struggled against Dallas’ Tashard Choice in Week 16 (17 carries, 90 yards) and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson (11 carries, 72 yards) in the playoffs before the rookie left the game with an ankle injury late in the first half.

In other words, the defense is very good—but not invincible—in stopping the run.  Shifty backs can match up well against the Ravens’ scheme, but I’m not ready to raise any red flags until we see the same breakdowns happening in the regular season.

- While most continue to focus on the uncertainty at the wide receiver position, the Ravens would also be wise to acquire a veteran offensive tackle.  Jared Gaither and Michael Oher are clearly the starters, but an injury to either would throw second-year tackle Oniel Cousins into the starting lineup, a potential disaster in the making.

Cousins has improved from a season ago but still commits too many penalties and is too inconsistent.  Though the coaching staff could shift Marshal Yanda to right tackle if something would happen to either Oher or Gaither (Oher would then slide to left tackle), a veteran tackle would not only add depth but would be a positive influence on the very talented—but young—starting tackles.

Perhaps there will be another Willie Anderson floating around next week, and the Ravens will give their offensive line depth a boost.

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Looking ahead to training camp

Posted on 08 June 2009 by Luke Jones

With the Orioles in last place and owning the second-worst record in baseball, Baltimoreans are obviously looking ahead to the Ravens reporting for training camp on July 27—only seven weeks away.

The team holds another passing camp this week, as we continue to focus on several key positions.

As we look ahead to 2009, key departures include linebacker Bart Scott (New York Jets), center Jason Brown (St. Louis), safety Jim Leonhard (Jets), cornerback Chris McAlister (unsigned), offensive tackle Willie Anderson (retired), Lorenzo Neal (Raiders), tight end Dan Wilcox (unsigned) and defensive end Marques Douglas (Jets).

In addition to selecting six players in this year’s draft, the Ravens have added cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth (Atlanta) and Chris Carr (Tennessee), center Matt Birk (Minnesota), tight end L.J. Smith (Philadelphia), quarterback John Beck (Miami) and receiver Kelley Washington (New England).

With so many new veterans and rookies in the fold, training camp in Westminster, Md. figures to host several key positional battles as the Ravens prepare for their opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 13.

The following is a look at five key positional battles—in no particular order—to watch during training camp at McDaniel College.

1.  Inside Linebacker

The departure of Scott leaves a gaping hold next to Ray Lewis at the other inside linebacker position.  Scott did the dirty, physical work of taking on blockers, leaving the veteran Lewis free to pursue the ball carrier.  The younger Scott was also stronger in pass coverage than Lewis.

Second-year player Tavares Gooden looks like the safe bet for Scott’s replacement in the starting defense, but this may not be a foregone conclusion.

The 2008 third-round pick is a health risk after spending most of last season on injured reserve with a hip injury.  He also had a history of concussions and shoulder problems at the University of Miami.

At the team’s earlier minicamps, Gooden appeared bigger and faster, a good sign for coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense. He has reportedly been spending time at Lewis’ home, watching film and gaining wisdom from the 34-year-old linebacker.

If Gooden does not get the nod on the inside, another option could be second-year linebacker Jameel McClain.  The undrafted free agent from Syracuse emerged last year to grab a spot in training camp and worked his way up the depth chart, earning significant playing time as the season progressed.

McClain finished the season with 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks and was a strong contributor on special teams.  His biggest challenge will be adjusting to the inside after playing outside linebacker last season and defensive end in college.

Fifth-round draft pick Jason Phillips (TCU) is a gritty and physical linebacker, but he would be a long shot to grab the starting spot as a rookie.  The organization could also look to Brendon Ayanbadejo, but his value on special teams would be hard to sacrifice with other options at inside linebacker.

2.  Backup Quarterback

A quarterback controversy is brewing in the Charm City; only for once, it’s not over who will be starting under center—Joe Flacco has finally stabilized the position for the Ravens.  The real battle will take place between incumbent backup Troy Smith and newly-signed John Beck, a former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2007.

Smith found moderate success running the Ravens’ version of the Wildcat formation—the “Suggs” package—at times last season, but his size (6’0″) makes it difficult for him to spot receivers in the pocket, forcing him to move outside. The 6’2″ Beck is a more traditional drop back passer.

Beck has strong ties to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron (Miami’s head coach in 2007) and would figure to have a strong grasp on the playbook, improving his chances to overtake Smith for the backup spot.

The Ravens will once again try to use Smith’s athleticism, so he figures to be the No. 2 quarterback (the No. 3 can only enter the game if the starter and backup are injured).  However, a long-term injury to Flacco might cause the coaching staff to play the more traditional quarterback Beck.

Smith oozes with confidence, but he failed to grab hold of the starting job last preseason before suffering a tonsil infection, opening the door for Flacco to become the team’s starter in his rookie season.  This factor might weigh on coach John Harbaugh’s mind as he decides who will back up the talented Flacco.

3.  Kick/Punt Returner

With the departure of Leonhard to the Jets, the Ravens must find a new punt returner and try to stabilize the kick return position.

Newly-signed defensive back Chris Carr had a good season with the Titans and would likely be the top candidate for the job.  He averaged 28.1 yards per kick return (fourth in the NFL) and 10.1 yards on punt returns.

If injuries in the secondary would force Carr into the starting lineup, several in-house candidates are presently on the roster.

Yamon Figurs began last season as the primary kick and punt returner, but it’s clear he is not a favorite of the current coaching staff.  Figurs appeared hesitant in returning kicks and struggles holding onto the ball at times.  He is currently recovering from foot surgery and will need to have a strong preseason to stay on the roster.

Rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb, a third-round pick, returned kicks at Nicholls St. and will compete for the job.

Tom Zbikowski returned kicks at the end of last season but did not provide much of an impact.

Sixth-round pick and rookie running back Cedric Peerman also returned kicks at the University of Virginia, but the team would figure to allow Peerman to focus his efforts competing at the running back position.

Carr would figure to have the upper hand, but strong training camp performances would certainly blur the competition a great deal.

4.  Kicker

For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Ravens are uncertain who will be their kicker on Opening Day.  Matt Stover was not re-signed but is on general manager Ozzie Newsome’s speed dial if the other options do not work out.  Harbaugh continues to speak with the veteran kicker regularly.

Steve Hauschka was the team’s kickoff specialist in 2008 and made one of two field goal attempts.  He has a big leg, but trying a long field goal before the half is quite different than kicking a game-winning 42-yarder when the pressure is on late in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens signed rookie free agent Graham Gano from Florida State to compete for the job. Gano won the Lou Groza Award in 2008, awarded to college football’s best kicker.  He made 24 of 26 attempts last season with the Seminoles, hitting five of seven from 50 or more yards.

While a battle at kicker isn’t going to capture the city’s attention, it is crucial to stabilize the position entering the season.  If neither Hauschka nor Gano can win the job in the preseason, look for Stover to return for his 14th season with the Ravens.

5.  Right Tackle

This position would have been the featured battle of training camp had veteran Willie Anderson not announced his retirement several weeks ago.

First-round pick (23rd overall) Michael Oher of Ole Miss is a tremendous talent at 6-5 and 309 pounds.  His story was well-chronicled prior to the draft, and the Ravens appeared to snatch up another highly-talented player in the later stages of the first round.

Oher has performed well in OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and has picked up the offense quickly, according to the coaching staff.

With veteran tackle Adam Terry continuing to battle an ankle injury, the job appears to be Oher’s to lose.  Terry would be the ideal backup for both Oher and left tackle Jared Gaither since he has experience playing both positions in the NFL.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 June 2009 by Glenn Clark

It’s June now, and I just noticed something. No one is really asking about which Orioles players should be on the trading block.

I mean, Drew has tossed around the idea of trading Aubrey Huff or Jeremy Guthrie if things went the right way; but we’re not hearing the annual “is there anyone on this team you consider off limits?” discussion we’re used to.

It’s actually quite pleasant.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Thyrl Nelson says Flacco, Wieters, etc. ‘future KOBS’

Nestor Aparicio says Hill looked like ‘McNally’ or ‘McGregor’ with performance in Seattle

Drew Forrester wouldn’t bring back Trembley next season

Bob Haynie remembers Chuck Thompson, Bill O’Donnell calling Orioles games

Nestor Aparicio wonders if ‘Messiah’ Wieters will make Orioles winners

Glenn Clark says Belmont highlight of non-baseball week

Allen McCallum says Birds will continue as far as starting pitching takes them

Matt Duggins says Zaun ‘embarrassment’ at plate

Ed Frankovic says Caps coach Boudreau reported Green suffered from mono

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Rich Hill dominant as Birds shut out Mariners

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says former Oriole Bedard takes hill for Mariners tonight against David Hernandez, O’s

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Uehara continues to progress in rehab

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Luke Scott named AL Player of the Week

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Aaron Crow, Grant Green could be options for Birds in MLB Draft

Mariners Official Site’s Jim Street says Washburn gets no support as M’s fall

MLB.com’s Hal Bodley says MacPhail’s rebuilding plan ‘slow, steady’

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Liz hit hard by Ottawa in loss

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Mariotti tough luck loser as Trenton shuts out Bowie

Frederick Keys Official Site says Rowell homered for Keys in loss to Lynchburg

Delmarva Shorebirds Official Site says Zagone battered early in loss to Kannapolis

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says nearly 17,000 at Safeco Field to see Birds beat Mariners

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Markakis happy to get out of rough month of May

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bedard having good season now after getting healthy

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman ‘catches up with’ former Oriole Gentile

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says former Mariner Jones scored winning run for Birds

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck believes Hill’s departure after 7 innings Trembley’s call

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Keys’ Matusz named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Dorta homered for Tides in blowout loss

The AP says Wieters call-up created ‘national buzz’ in Baltimore

The AP says Sherrill finished win for 11th save

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Caleb Joseph had 3 hits for Keys in loss

The AP/Frederick News-Post’s Adam Behsudi say Jones looking forward to facing ‘tough’ Bedard

Virginian-Pilot says Clippers pounded out 18 hits in win over Tides

Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Greg Johns says former Mariner Jones had rare double during pitchers’ duel

Seattle Times’ Larry Stone says Ichiro tied own club record 25 game hitting streak in loss

Everett Herald’s Kirby Arnold says Mariners stranded Ichiro on 3rd with no outs in first inning

Oregonian’s John Hunt says Roseburg, Oregon native Guthrie ‘still learning craft’

SI’s Joe Posnanski says Bill James thinks Wieters is ‘extremely good’

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ngata expected to return to practice Wednesday

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham cleans up after me

The Official Site says Birk, Team President Cass to speak at M&T Bank Stadium luncheon Thursday

The Official Site says Birk plans to continue working with H.I.K.E. Foundation in Baltimore

The Sun’s Mike Preston says with Heap, Smith, Sypniewski hurt; Ravens have just Edgar Jones, Davon Drew healthy at TE

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Edgar Jones benefitting from ‘reps’ with Flacco

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Tight End could be ‘area of strength’ for Ravens

ESPN.com’s James Walker says ‘fatigue’ not a factor for Flacco

Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez says former Raven Willie Anderson had ‘never been happier’ than experiencing playoff success this season

HORSE RACING:

Belmont Official Site’s Jenny Kellner says Borel predicts victory for Mine That Bird in 3rd leg of Triple Crown

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Kieran McLaughlin confident about Charitable Man as well

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Lukas looking to win 5th Belmont with longshots Flying Private and Luv Gov

Thoroughbred Times says Mine That Bird scheduled to arrive at Belmont Wednesday after Monday breeze at Churchill Downs

Thoroughbred Times’ Pete Denk says Hall of Famer Gary Stevens opening own stable

Thoroughbred Times’ Fred Pope says racing needs to create ‘major league’

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says trainer Woolley thinks Derby winner Mine That Bird ‘looks even better’ this week than he has during entire season

The AP’s Malcolm C. Knox says Borel feels ‘lucky and blessed’ by circumstances that have lead to Derby, Preakness wins

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says former Terp Edwin Williams thinks first NFL experience with Redskins ‘really cool’

Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga says former Terp Heyer gets chance with Redskins due to release of Jon Jansen

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps report to practice August 9

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter profiles Paint Branch WR prospect Torian Henderson (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Terps may be interested in another DeMatha safety (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Terps used ‘points system’ to improve in offseason (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Terps still on Long Island PF prospect Tobias Harris’ list

Examiner Steve DeClue says Arizona reportedly out of Stephenson picture

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gary believes Vasquez will return

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse says Jays 7th in final media poll

UMBC LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich has Retrievers 9th in final Top 20

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Atwell expected to be ready for ‘10

TOWSON LACROSSE:

The Official Site says SID Rhew honored for lacrosse media guide

NAVY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says former Mid Jeff Long to be inducted into National Lacrosse Hall of Fame

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Wickham’s development key to Mids’ success in ‘10

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Niumatalolo to appear on Rivals.com radio

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says St. Michael’s (TX) QB Michael McNamara interested in Mids (must subscribe)

BALTIMORE BULLETS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman remembers Gus Johnson

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Tight End doesn’t concern me. I don’t expect the Ravens to be explosive at Tight End, but I think they will find a healthy mix of players to contribute at the position.

-Expect Qadry and I to roll to victory today over Drew at the Comcast Morning Show charity golf event. Qadry will handle the golfing; and I’ll handle the beer gathering. We make an excellent team.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 May 2009 by Glenn Clark

I will admit to being a bit heartbroken seeing the Nuggets lose to the Lakers last night. I will admit that I am openly rooting for Carmelo Anthony, as I enjoy seeing the success of a Baltimore kid….despite the fact that he went to Syracuse instead of Maryland.

I heard ‘Melo was seen on ESPN yesterday wearing a Red Sox hat; and I’ll admit that it bothered me. But this is the same guy who has MULTIPLE Ravens tattoos, which he showed off proudly when he was honored at M&T Bank Stadium for winning the gold medal at last Summer’s Beijing Olympics. The guy knows where he’s from, and he LOVES Baltimore.

And someone over at Camden Yards SHOULD think about shipping a hat out to Denver…

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…….

Best of Tuesday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio thought Yankee Stadium similar to US Cellular Field in Chicago

Keith Melchior says Trembley needs to go if Birds keep ‘bumbling and stumbling’

Thyrl Nelson says Birds should keep playing Pie

Glenn Clark says Adam Jones amongst best hitters in baseball

Drew Forrester says fans seemed more interested in Springsteen show than O’s game

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Bergesen effective into 6th; but Chris Ray beat up as Birds fall to Yankees

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Guthrie looks to break Orioles’ losing slide tonight vs. Eaton, Yanks

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Andino got start due to Izturis’ strained groin

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Adam Jones returned to lineup after hamstring strain

Yankees Official Site’s Jared Diamond says Sabathia shut down O’s in win

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Roberts scored only run, Huff tallied only RBI in Orioles’ loss

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Bergesen changes number from 64 to Mussina’s 35

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks David Hernandez, David Pauley could come to Baltimore in ‘next week or two’

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Huff booed at Yankee Stadium after showing up Joba Chamberlain

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says DL ‘not out of the question’ for Izturis

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Snyder homered, Patton threw shutout in Baysox win

Examiner Jay Trucker says Rich Hill MVP of week for Orioles

The AP says A-Rod, Teixeira homered for Bombers in win

Frederick News-Post says Bascom tough luck loser for Keys

New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand says Andino made crucial error in 7th to help Yankees put things away

New York Times’ Joe LaPointe says Yankees won 7th consecutive game

New York Post’s George A. King III says A-Rod/Teixeira did ‘Maris/Mantle imitation’

Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig says Jeter picked up bases loaded double, 3 RBI in win

Newsday’s Jim Baumbach says A-Rod hit 5th homer in 33 at bats in win

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Sabin says Justin Christian, Oscar Salazar homered for Tides in win

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Rice shoulders load at RB with McGahee hurt, McClain playing FB

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Mason not practicing during Passing Camp; Heap, Smith limited

The Official Site says Harbaugh ‘not surprised’ to see so many veterans at Passing Camp

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Flacco has no trouble with simulated blitzes

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Suggs, Ngata only veterans not in attendance at Passing Camp

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Oher getting bulk of reps at Right Tackle

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Heap sitting out Passing Camp drills with back injury

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens players were ‘surprised’ by Willie Anderson’s decision to retire

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Harbaugh has ‘high hopes’ for Kelley Washington

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says 52, McGahee amongst surprising veterans to attend Passing Camp

Examiner Tony Wisniewski says Gregg thinks he could beat UFC Champ Lesnar

Examiner Phil Macek says Ravens news adds to ‘excitement’ of new season

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Trevor Pryce thinks Oher ‘looks like Julius Peppers, has attitude of serial killer’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Clayton, Cousins, Terry, Barnes, Talavou, Phillips, Rolle, Carr, F. Washington, Walker also dealing with injury issues

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Suggs to get bigger contract than James Harrison

HORSE RACING:

Belmont Official Site says decision coming today on Charitable Man for third leg of Triple Crown

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Mine That Bird returned to work at Churchill Downs after van ride back from Pimlico

Thoroughbred Times says Da’Tara jockey Alan Garcia would ride Charitable Man in Belmont

Thoroughbred Times’ Frank Angst says interest in Rachel Alexandra helps raise Preakness ratings 24%

Thoroughbred Times says trainer Woolley thought Mine That Bird ‘looked good’ in workout

The Sun says 3 million more people watched NBC’s Preakness coverage this year than last year

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem profiles Atholton WR/S target Matt Robinson (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Goins may decide to stick with Terps

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Groot, Jeff Reynolds named to USILA North-South Game

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says commit Will Adams diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Poillon, Settembrino to participate in USILA North-South Game

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Koppens, Ricci selected to USILA North-South Game

STEVENSON LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Dailey, Kazimer named first team All-American

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Greg Furshman, Mike Simon, Nic Bevacqua named to USILA D3 North-South Game

MORGAN BASKETBALL:

The Sun says former St. Frances star Aric Brooks to transfer from Jacksonville to Morgan

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says FB Kevin Campbell looking forward to Ohio State game

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says ‘speed’ key to DC Buddy Green

SALISBURY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Kylor Berkman, Kevin Maynard to participate in USILA D3 North-South Game

BALTIMORE COLTS:

Sporting News’ Matt Crossman says Raymond Berry thinks NFL needs to take ‘fine line’ with issues like Vick

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-While the Ravens have downplayed the various injuries to players who aren’t fully participating in Passing Camp; I have to remind everyone that the Ravens do NOT have to be honest about everyone’s health in the offseason. It doesn’t appear as though anyone’s injuries are serious, but you really don’t know.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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Thoughts of Donna’s and more

Posted on 14 May 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

Last night at Donna’s Tavern was a blast. I would like to thank all of the judges, especially Phil Jackman and Bill Ripken, for taking time out of their schedules for us. It was fun watching all 12 interviews. The hardest part was trying not to ask the same question as the other contestants. Keeping it new and interesting was a bit of a challenge. I was the third contestant to interview Bill Ripken and he didn’t disappoint. I wanted to ask him about the F^#K Face bat story. I never figured out how to form the question without needing a radio edit, so I skipped it. After the show, Tom Clayton and I ask Mr. Ripken to give us the inside scoop behind the bat. He said he wrote the phrase on the bat himself. It was his heavy warm-up bat. He accidentally picked up and didn’t realize he had in the picture. So now you have the rest of the story. Finally, I feel fortunate to have been selected as one of the finalist. Congratulations to the other six finalists and I can’t wait to see everyone at Padonia Station.

Caps: I didn’t get to see the entire Caps’ game during the competition. I was enjoying the interviews and glancing at the TV. The fun in the tavern saved me from the torture on the TV. It couldn’t have been pretty. From what I did see, the Caps didn’t show up. Every time I glanced up at the big screen, the Pens where always in the Caps end of the ice. The Pens continued to shoot it at the net and good things happened. The Caps where playing catch-up all game and just couldn’t recover from the slow start. For the series, they simply didn’t take enough shots on goal. You can’t win if you don’t take the shot. The Caps seemed to be the better skating team. The Pens seemed to be better puck handlers and more aggressive taking shots.

Orioles: Losing Adam Jones last night isn’t a good sign for the O’s. I hope his hamstring is better by tonight. If he isn’t 100% let him rest and get healthy. Unfortunately, if f he is out length of time, the offense and defense may struggle. He and Brian Roberts have been putting pressure on pitchers at the top of the lineup. His absence will affect Roberts on the base path and the type of pitches Nick Markikas sees. Jones was playing an above average center field and has been developing in to one of the best young outfielders in baseball. Jones & Scott’s injuries present an opportunity for some other young players.

 
We’ve been asking to see the talent on the farm recalled, so here is bat #2. Nolan Reimold has gotten the call up from Norfolk. He will get his chance to show he belongs in the lineup if the Orioles cooperate. Dave Trembley, please don’t waste this opportunity to see what he can do by sitting him on the bench! We know what Ty Wiggington can do already. Play the young guys and sprinkle Wiggington in occasionally. Call Pie, Montanez, and Reimold into your office. Tell them, here is your chance to show me what you’ve got. While Adam Jones is out, it’s your chance to shine. All of you will rotate between the outfield and DH. Let’s see if any of them belong in the majors. Whoever produces stays, the least productive player goes back to Norfolk. The competition will make them excel or crumble, but the organization needs to know.

Ravens: Before the show at Donna’s, I received my WNST text alert. The Ravens placed Willie Anderson on the reserve/retired list. I’m not surprised at the move. I figured he would be a June cap casualty. Maybe he saw the writing on the wall with the drafting of Michael Oher and decided it was time to go.

 
The team signed WR Kelly Washington to a 1 yr veteran minimum contract. I like the move; it is a low risk with a chance for a big reward. Coach Harbaugh is adding another ace on special teams who may help out the offense too. It was be nice to see him help out in a 3 or 4 receiver set. He is 6-3 and was a stud in college after playing minor league baseball for 4 years.

 
His freshman year he tore the SEC up with 70 catches for 1080 yds. He was hurt during his sophomore year at Tennessee, and came out early anyway I hoped the Ravens would take a flyer on him in the 4th or 5th round but Cincy grabbed him in the 3rd.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

Do the Ravens have a plan for the wide receiver position?

I don’t know.

I’m baffled by the Ravens’ decisions at their biggest position of need; and I’m the biggest Derrick Mason fan on the face of the planet. In fact, I thought he was the MVP of the team last season.

If the Ravens go into the season with the same group of Wide Receivers, I just cannot consider them a Super Bowl contender.

But there’s plenty of time.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio says O’s off to ‘strange’ start

Glenn Clark says Markakis 3rd best hitter in all of baseball right now

Glenn Clark says CAA Lacrosse Tournament amongst highlights of non-baseball week

Peter Dilutis thinks Ravens ‘must have plan’ at WR position

Glenn Clark says Gaither hires Rosenhaus, wants new deal

Glenn Clark says Western Kentucky OL Greg Ryan amongst undrafted signings

Drew Forrester thinks NHL did ‘right thing’ by suspending Brashear

Drew Forrester says Game 7 more ‘must win’ for Caps than Rangers

Ed Frankovic says Chris Clark likely to play tonight

Ed Frankovic says Caps don’t have great Game 7 history

Nestor Aparicio announcing KOBST Round 2 contestants today

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Guthrie labors early as Birds fall to Rangers

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Reimold hitting over .400 for Tides

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Rich Hill, Freel nearing return to big leagues

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Eaton, O’s open short set with Joe Saunders, Angels tonight

Rangers Official Site’s T.R. Sullivan says Matt Harrison gets first win of ’09 for Rangers

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Albers saddled with loss in tough relief outing

The Suns’ Dan Connolly says Baez thinks being ‘healthy’ has helped him become successful

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Sarfate gave solid relief innings in loss

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thought Birds would be better defensively

The Sun’s Childs Walker says few young players better than Markakis

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Wilfredo Perez collected 4th save of season

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Guthrie’s pitch count more about Rangers’ ability to foul off pitches than lack of control

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Trembley expecting Mora to be called up Friday

Examiner Steve DeClue says Birds waiting on Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, etc.

Examiner Jay Trucker says Eaton trying to ‘rekindle magic’ of last Thursday’s stellar performance

Examiner Jay Trucker says Jones MVP of week 3 of season

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Birds squandered 4-0 lead in loss to Rangers

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Cesar Izturis faces brother Maicer tonight

Frederick News-Post says Caleb Joseph had 2 doubles, 3 hits in Keys’ loss

Dallas Morning News’ Jeff Wilson says Harrison retired 16 straight hitters at one point in win

ESPN.com has Birds 25th in power rankings

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Birds 19th in power rankings

Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan has Birds 17th in power rankings

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says Newsome wouldn’t eliminate possibility of Ravens still trading for Boldin

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says VanDeSteeg, Gano reportedly sign as undrafted free agents

The Official Site’s Geoff Peckham says Ravens average ‘B’ grade for Draft

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens improved in ‘toughness’ with Draft

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens worst at WR, Tight End, Kicker

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says former Duke WR Eron Riley, former Maryland WR I. Williams also expected to be added by Ravens

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens ‘better’ now than at end of last season

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley tells Rick Maese Ravens got ‘lucky’ to have Oher fall

The Sun projects Oher as starting RT

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Newsome believes in Demetrius Williams

Examiner Tony Wisniewski says Oher could be ‘steal of Draft’

Examiner Steve DeClue ‘not wild about’ Oher

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens wanted to Draft players with ‘size, athleticism, and versatility’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says ‘highly regarded’ Georgia LB Dannell Ellerbe signed by Ravens

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Oher’s story to become movie

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper says Oher gives Ravens ‘great flexibilty’

ESPN.com says Ravens got 3.04 ‘GPA’ for Draft

ESPN.com’s James Walker says WR still ‘need’ for Ravens

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Willie Anderson wants to remain starter

Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez thinks Ravens should still consider Boldin trade

SI’s Ross Tucker ‘loved’ Ravens’ Draft

HOPKINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Kyle Wharton scores 4 goals as Jays top Mountaineers

MT. ST. MARY’S LACROSSE:

The Official Site says DiBartolo’s 15 saves not enough as Eers fall to Blue Jays

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Finnerty, Hagelin honored by ECAC

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Toomey thinks Hopkins game like ‘Championship’

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Ryan Smith honored by America East

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers 11th in USILA Coaches’ poll

MORGAN FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Ken Murray says former NT Lonnie Harvey signed with Panthers

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse says Terps fall to 14th in media poll

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich says Terps fans should root for Hofstra, UMBC, Notre Dame to help Maryland earn NCAA Tournament bid

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Carcaterra has Terps as last team IN

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says ‘X’ man Bryn Holmes ‘tough’

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps ‘in for now’

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says former Terps Bullock, Burley, Navarre, Philistin, E. Williams, I. Williams all sign as undrafted free agents

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Chase Bullock signed with Cardinals

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Navarre signs with Jaguars

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Muhtadi, Randolph getting shot to make Packers’ roster

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terps have ‘plethora’ of young receivers

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says QB prospect Meiko Locksley visited College Park again (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem catches up with CB prospect Cullen Christian (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Claire Knudsen profiles pro hopes of RB Rashad Henry (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Painter also considering Virginia Tech

NAVY LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Jon Brand says Mids’ first round game will be based on ‘geographic’, ‘financial’ concerns

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Meade knows Mids must still get ‘better’ for Tournament success

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Kettani, Tyree Barnes have NOT signed with Pats yet

SALISBURY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Gulls remain in Top 5 in country

The Official Site says Berkman named CAC Player of the Week

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s David Grening says Quality Road out of Derby, may return for Preakness

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Square Eddie will miss Derby

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says quarter crack keeping Quality Road from first Triple Crown race

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says Todd Pletcher has 3 Derby shots with Dunkirk, Advice, Join in the Dance

Thoroughbred Times’ Jeff Lowe says Pioneerof the Nile looks solid in Churchill Downs workout

Thoroughbred Times’ Ron Parker says TT analysts now picking Pioneerof the Nile to win Derby

The Sun says Quality Road out of Derby due to blood on ‘newly patched’ quarter crack

Washington Post’s Andrew Beyer says with Magna’s downfall, Churchill Downs now ‘major force’ in horse racing

ESPN.com’s Jeremy Plonk says Quality Road’s scratch probably ‘best’ for horse racing

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Do any Maryland lacrosse fans really care whether or not this Maryland team makes the NCAA Tournament? I still want them to, but I find it hard to imagine anyone will care if they don’t.

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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How the draft shapes the current roster

Posted on 27 April 2009 by Luke Jones

We’re exactly three months away from rookies and quarterbacks reporting to McDaniel College in Westminster for the start of training camp.  With the 2009 NFL Draft complete and the names of undrafted free agent signings beginning to leak, we will start to get a better idea of how the training camp roster will look.

Much can change between now and July 27, but here is a look at the Ravens’ selections and how they affect the competition at their respective positions.  Listed in parentheses is the projected number of players kept at the position.  Since undrafted free-agent signings are not officially announced until minicamp, I have excluded them from the current breakdown.

Round 1 (23rd overall):  Michael Oher (Mississippi), OT

OFFENSIVE TACKLE (4)

Locks:  Jared Gaither, Michael Oher

Bubble:  Willie Anderson, Adam Terry, Oniel Cousins

Longshot:  Joe Reitz, Tre Stallings

Analysis:  The selection of Michael Oher immediately transforms offensive tackle from a position of weakness to one of depth.  Gaither is firmly entrenched on the left side, so the real battle will take place on the right side between Anderson and Oher.

While Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta currently envision Anderson as a mentor for the rookie, he could be released to clear cap room if the Ravens pursue other veteran free agents that could be released before training camp.  Cutting Anderson would reportedly clear close to $3 million from the cap.

If Anderson remains on the team, Terry and Cousins would figure to battle for the last tackle spot.  Terry has the edge in experience, but Cousins can play both guard and tackle and was the team’s third round pick last year.  He is raw but promising.

*****

Round 2 (57th overall):  Paul Kruger (Utah), OLB/DE

Round 5 (137th overall):  Jason Phillips (TCU), ILB

LINEBACKER (8 or 9)

Locks:  Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Tavares Gooden, Paul Kruger, Jason Phillips, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Jameel McClain

Bubble:  Antwan Barnes, Edgar Jones

Longshot:  Prescott Burgess

Analysis:  Though the Ravens hope Kruger can put on the necessary weight to eventually move to defensive end when Trevor Pryce retires, he will likely be a hybrid-rush end in his rookie season.

Phillips will provide depth at inside linebacker after the departure of Bart Scott.  The Ravens envision him eventually becoming the replacement for Lewis in the starting lineup in a few years.  In the mean time, he will push Gooden for playing time at the other inside spot.

Despite showing much promise in his first two seasons, Barnes will need to show more versatility to make the 53-man roster.  He has great speed off the edge but fell behind McClain in the rotation last season.  Jones will be moved back to linebacker with the signing of L.J. Smith and selection of Davon Drew at tight end.  He must continue to contribute heavily on special teams to stay on the roster.

Burgess appears to be a longshot with the drafting of Phillips.  As always, special teams play will figure heavily in deciding the final spot or two.

*****

Round 3 (88th overall):  Lardarius Webb (Nicholls State), CB

CORNERBACK (6)

Lock:  Domonique Foxworth, Fabian Washington, Samari Rolle, Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb

Bubble:  Frank Walker, Derrick Martin

Longshot:  Anwar Phillips, Evan Oglesby

Analysis:  The selection of Lardarius Webb further increases the likelihood of Walker being cut to clear cap room in case a veteran free agent shakes loose at another position.  Releasing Walker would reportedly save $1.6 million against the cap.

Martin missed most of last season with a shoulder injury but showed promise in 2007, making three starts and grabbing two interceptions.  He would be a cheaper alternative to Walker.

Phillips and Oglesby do not figure to seriously challenge for a roster spot after the signings of Foxworth and Carr pushed them further down the depth chart.

The team could elect to keep an extra corner if they view Carr or Webb as a primary returner over Yamon Figurs.

*****

Round 5 (149th overall):  Davon Drew (East Carolina), TE

TIGHT END (3)

Lock:  Todd Heap, L.J. Smith

Bubble:  Davon Drew, Quinn Sypniewski

Longshot:  Isaac Smolko, Edgar Jones

Analysis:  Heap and Smith are obviously safe, so the real battle will be between Drew and Sypniewski.  The Ravens like Drew’s potential, as he’s only spent a few seasons as a tight end.  He could eventually develop into an H-back in the offense.  Sypniewski showed promise in his first two seasons but missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Jones will have to make the team as a linebacker and special teams contributor.  Smolko will be little more than training camp depth.

*****

Round 6 (185th overall):  Cedric Peerman (Virginia), RB

RUNNING BACK (4 or 5)

Lock:  Le’Ron McClain, Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, Cedric Peerman

Bubble:  None

Longshot:  Matt Lawrence, Jalen Parmele

Analysis:  McClain figures to play more regularly at fullback in 2009, but he will still get carries in short-yardage situations and the fourth-quarter jumbo formation.  Peerman provides more depth at running back, allowing Cam Cameron to move McClain back to the more traditional fullback spot.

The team has reportedly signed undrafted free agent Jason Cook, Oher’s teammate at Ole Miss and described as a traditional power fullback.  Veteran Lorenzo Neal does not fit in the team’s current plans, but that could change in August.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 April 2009 by Glenn Clark

The “Baltimore” jerseys looked just as good as I hoped they would. Koji Uehara made Andruw Jones look like a future Hall of Famer again (maybe the whole L.A. think WAS a fluke after all), but everything is okay if the game ends in the win column like it did last night.

I’ll also add this. I’ve never been overly sold on George Sherrill as a closer. Frankly, I think finding a great closer is a 1-in-a-thousand type proposition. But I really don’t think George Sherrill is a great closer. I guess time will tell in the end.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Monday’s WNST Blogs:

Nestor Aparicio says “Orioles Magic” lifts Birds to 5-2

Thyrl Nelson says Tillman threw 4 hitless innings for Tides last night

Keith Melchior thinks Orioles should fire Trembley now

Rex Snider says Jim Palmer thought Fidrych ‘great guy’

Chris Pika says ESPN cutting coverage of Preakness

Glenn Clark says Navy-Hopkins lacrosse amongst highlights of non-baseball week

Ed Frankovic picks Caps to beat Rangers in 7 games

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Uehara gives up 7 runs, but Orioles provide offense to help him beat Rangers

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of shootout win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Simon, Birds shoot for another series win tonight against McCarthy, Rangers

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Mora sitting with hamstring tightness

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Rich Hill to throw side session today

Rangers Official Site’s Todd Wills says Padilla rocked early as Rangers fall to O’s

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Sherrill survived ‘tense’ 9th inning to collect 3rd save as Birds beat Rangers

The Sun’s Childs Walker says return of “Baltimore” to road jerseys has caused demand to ‘nearly double’

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Wigginton played in place of hobbled Mora

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Pie launched 4th career home run in win

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says players don’t care much about “Baltimore” on road jerseys

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Waring off to hot start with Frederick

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Wieters had first multi-hit game of season on farm

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Montanez, Reimold continue to ‘scorch’ ball for Norfolk

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Markakis made ‘gold glove’ caliber catch to save win for Birds

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says playing Rays helped Huff break out of funk

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Zaun to be judge for Kangaroo Court

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says solid season from Bedard could price him out of Orioles’ free agent plans

Examiner Jay Trucker says Huff got 4 hits; Roberts, Pie 3 apiece in win (he also takes some fun stabs at Aubrey in the process)

The AP says Sherrill got Marlon Byrd to strike out to end win in Arlington

Dallas Morning News’ Jeff Wilson says 12,184 saw Rangers’ rally fall short against Orioles (smallest crowd for scheduled game in history of Ballpark in Arlington)

Fox Sports’ Aram Tolegian has Birds 10th in power rankings

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Anderson ‘not fazed’ by Ravens’ discussions with Pace

The Official Site says Hue Jackson to speak at USA Football event

The Sun’s Mike Preston says 52, Ogden best picks in Ravens history; Travis Taylor, Boller worst; Zastudil strangest

Examiner Phil Macek says Sypniewski, Demetrius Williams will ‘battle’ for roster spots

ESPN.com’s James Walker doesn’t think Ravens will be interested in first round TE like Pettigrew

ESPN.com’s James Walker thinks Steelers should visit M&T Bank Stadium in prime time this season

ESPN.com’s James Walker doesn’t think re-acquisition of Stover likely because Ravens don’t want to carry two kickers

Sporting News’ Mike Florio praises Ravens’ pick of Ngata in recap of ’06 Draft

CBS Sports’ Rob Rang mocks DHB to Ravens

NFL.com says Ravens will have 28th toughest schedule of season

TERRAPINS LACROSSE:

The Official Site previews free contest with Binghamton this afternoon

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Terps must ‘recover’ from recent skid starting today vs. Bearcats

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens has Terps facing Hopkins in projected bracket

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Ken Murray says DHB has been ‘preparing for (Draft) all his life’

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says DHB has mom’s guidance in preparations for NFL career

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Ralph ‘impressed’ by Don Brown’s defense

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh checks in on relationship between Terrapin teammates (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says prospect Josh Furman attended scrimmage (must subscribe)

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Tucker has had similar start to career as Nicholas, Jasikevicius

Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter says Terps getting ‘involved’ with former Xavier commit J.D. Weatherspoon (must subscribe)

UMBC LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Poillon, Justin Radebaugh honored by America East

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers 8th in new media poll

Inside Lacrosse’s Quint Kessenich has Retrievers 8th in poll due to 6 game winning streak

Inside Lacrosse says Retrievers 6th in USILA Coaches’ Poll

LOYOLA LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Cooper MacDonnell honored by ECAC

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken says Etherly thought Patsos ‘excited’ about transfer

SALISBURY LACROSSE:

The Official Site says Gulls snap 2 game skid with win over Mary Washington in CAC Tournament

The Sun’s Edward Lee says St. Mary’s win over Salisbury historic

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says new Coach Ambrose spending week getting to know Towson students

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says Dobbs threw 2 TD passes late in Mids’ 2nd Spring scrimmage

The Official Site introduces starting QB Dobbs

Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Alexander Teich has ‘solidified’ FB job

HORSE RACING:

Thoroughbred Times says eminent domain bill passes, giving O’Malley authority to purchase tracks

REAL MARYLAND:

Washington Post’s Steven Goff says two Cuban refugees to sign with Real Maryland

BALTIMORE COLTS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman
says Raymond Berry’s house spared by tornado

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Maryland 10, Binghamton 4. There’s no way the Terps can lose a 4th straight in College Park today. Is there?

Talk to you tomorrow.

-G

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