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Tag:Joe Flacco
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 10:40 pm
 

Joe Flacco finally responds to LaMarr Woodley

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Appearing on NFL Network's Total Access earlier this month, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley was asked if Joe Flacco could lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

A few days later, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, also appearing on NFL Network, responded to Woodley's comments. “We don’t need any bulletin board material to get ready for [the Steelers] or anybody else, but we’ll be ready for LaMarr Woodley and the rest of that football team and they know it.”

Last weekend, Flacco was finally asked about Woodley's "not gonna happen in this lifetime" observations.

“[Woodley] obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about," Flacco told WBAL's Keith Mills and Pete Gilbert. "At some level, I don’t care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit.” 

Since Flacco's rookie season in 2008, the Steelers are 4-2 against the Ravens. Of course, the two losses came with Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines, which means that Flacco has the distinction of beating Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. And In the playoffs Baltimore is 0-2 vs. Pittsburgh, losing the 2008 AFC Championship game and the 2010 AFC divisional game. Both times Flacco had critical second-half turnovers that helped shape the outcome. 

“We just need to come up a little bigger than we have while playing those guys," Flacco said. "I mean, come on. What does he think? That they’re going to do it every year? I think we are going to have a lot more years in Baltimore where we’re going to have a good chance [to win it all], but we realize we have a really good chance right now and we just want to go ahead and win it.”

Those chances get even better for the Ravens if the Steelers are forced to start Dixon or Batch.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 9:11 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 9:33 pm
 

If Vikings sign veteran QB it will be as a mentor

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The market for Donovan McNabb appears to be shrinking. Even after the Vikings selected quarterback Christian Ponder 12th overall in the April draft, conventional wisdom figured Minnesota would acquire a veteran quarterback to handle the starting duties for the upcoming season and serve as a bridge to the Ponder era.

Earlier this month we wrote that McNabb probably wasn't a good fit for the Vikings because Minnesota just got rid of one old-timer, and when you lose your job to Rex Grossman, that's shorthand for "he'll never be NFL-ready again … ever."

But there will be plenty of veteran QBs looking for new homes once the lockout ends. It's just that whoever lands the gig probably won't be the starter for the entire season. At least that's what Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com thinks. In response to a question about whether Ponder or QB Joe Webb would play more in 2011, Wobschall offered this:

"It’s far too early to formulate an opinion on which guy should be the starting QB for the Vikings in 2011, but I think the goal is for either Ponder or Webb to end up starting games this year, not a veteran. Any veteran the Vikings add will be brought in to help mentor the young QBs and literally teach them how to practice and how to play the position in the NFL."

If that's the job description, we're guessing Kerry Collins is out.

But this isn't the first time we've heard this. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said in May that "ideally, I'd like for [Ponder] to be ready to go when we play San Diego (on Sept. 11). … That would be the ideal situation -- we've got our Matt Ryan, we've got our (Joe) Flacco, we've got our (Mark) Sanchez right here. But because of the uncertainty of the offseason, it's just hard to determine exactly how you want to approach it. So, we need a little more clarity on what this offseason's going to be like."

And that's the biggest difference; we're in the middle of a lockout, which means no OTAs or minicamps.

Wobschall does say that "if the Vikings bring in a veteran QB yet this offseason, that veteran could end up starting games early in the season, but ultimately I think the Vikings are going to push hard for either Ponder or Webb to end up starting the most games."

For now we're just waiting for the owners and players to agree on a new CBA.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Woodley not worried about Ravens in Super Bowl

LaMarr Woodley Posted by Ryan Wilson

Even if we weren't in the middle of a lockout, June is typically the slowest month on the NFL calendar. The draft is over, training camp is still six weeks off, and it's the only time coaches can take extended vacations.

It's the NFL's version of golf's silly season, except there aren't any contrived made-for-television events … unless you count players guest-appearing on NFL Network's Total Access. On Thursday, it was LaMarr Woodley's turn. The wide smile, easy manner and sunny disposition made the Steelers linebacker a natural in front of the camera. (If nothing else, it broke up the monotony of just seeing the NFLN regulars on a nightly basis.)

But behind those unnaturally white teeth, Woodley managed to take a few friendly shots at the AFC North competition, starting with whether quarterback Joe Flacco can lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

And so far, he's right. Since 2008, the Ravens have twice lost to the Steelers in the playoffs. Once in the AFC Championship game during Flacco's rookie season and then in the AFC Divisional get-together last January. Both times, Flacco looked out of sorts, and both times, critical second-half turnovers proved to be his undoing.

Woodley, like everybody else (including current Bengals players), seems unconcerned with whether Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati. "Well, honestly, when they play against us, it really doesn't matter whether he's there or not," Woodley said. And he thinks Colt McCoy is going to "be a great quarterback," although he didn't specify a time frame.

Woodley then unveiled his list of the NFL's top-10 linebackers, just in case there were any doubts about where his allegiances lie. For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the breakdown:

10. Larry Foote
9. Lawrence Timmons
8. David Harris
7. Brian Cushing
6. James Farrior
5. Clay Matthews
4. LaMarr Woodley
3. Ray Lewis
2. Patrick Willis
1. James Harrison

Because of the sheer absurdity of it, we wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading after seeing the words "Larry" and "Foote." That said, while the list is heavy on Steelers and Wolverines, Matthews and Willis clearly belong, as does Lewis, even if he's closer to No. 10 than No. 1. 

Somewhere Bart Scott is outraged at being snubbed -- even though, you know, he shouldn't be.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 2:49 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.10.11: Getting it (not) right



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The Eagle-Tribune, a small newspaper in Massachusetts, reported Thursday that the lockout was over (the linked story, BTW, has been amended). The Internet quickly poo-poo’d that report, though. Even NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted a Yogi Berra reference (It’s not over ‘til it’s over). I think it’d be great if the Eagle-Tribune actually was the media outlet which broke the lockout-is-over news. In fact, if it can’t be us here at CBSSports.com, I’m rooting for the E-T to be the ones leading this story. Go get ‘em, boys.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman explores how NFL players are talking trash about LeBron James on their Twitter accounts.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last week, NFL Network's Jamie Dukes spoke frankly about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

"He still may have to work a little harder than he's working right now," Dukes said on Wednesday's Total Access. "There's no question he's a talented quarterback. But from what I hear coming out of that locker room, he studies but some say he might need to put a little more time in. That's what I hear."

Dukes' comments came nearly two months after Flacco first lobbied for a contract extension. "I think I've established myself," Flacco told the Baltimore Sun's Jamison Hensley at the time.

Dukes' accusation that Flacco "might need to put a little more time in" was news to Sun's blogger Matt Vensel, who writes that "Flacco is notorious for roaming the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills on off days and he has probably been at the facility shaking on doors during the lockout.

"He even organized a hotel sleepover party with Ravens rookies Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss and Tyrod Taylor on Monday night and drove them to Tuesday’s workout at Towson University."

Clearly, there is more to this story than Flacco's study habits. Before recommitting himself to being an upstanding human, Ben Roethlisberger had never been mistaken for Peyton Manning in the film room. He was supposedly aloof and not much of a locker room guy. The difference: he won two Super Bowls in his first five years in the NFL. The old cliche "winning fixes everything" fits here, and it's reasonable to believe that if the Ravens had managed to win it all during Flacco's first three years in the league we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

Remember, until Aaron Rodgers put the Packers on his back against the Steelers in the Super Bowl four months ago, most media stories were about his inability to "win it all." Never mind that he not only exceeded everyone's expectations when he took over for Brett Favre in 2008, but was a top-10 quarterback in FootballOutsiders.com's total value metric in each of his three seasons as a starter (and in '10, he ranked fourth behind Tom Brady, Manning and Philip Rivers). Yet, it took a championship to legitimize him in the eyes of the media.

Is it fair? Of course not. But it's not unexpected, either. It's part of the implicit pact you make: earn millions as an NFL quarterback with the understanding that you'll endure all that comes with it -- both on and off the field. For Rodgers, that meant stepping out of Favre's shadow and doing the impossible: replacing a legend and playing so well that fans forgot about No. 4.

Luckily, there isn't much of a quarterback track record in Baltimore. Former head coach Brian Billick made sure of that. But it doesn't mean expectations aren't high. Linebacker and de facto team leader Ray Lewis has been outspoken more than once in his 15-year career about the offense carrying its weight. And fans are even less forgiving, especially when two of the Ravens' playoff losses during Flacco's tenure have come at the hands of the hated division rival Steelers.

As is always the case, it's not enough to just implore the quarterback to play better and the offense will magically refashion itself into the 2007 Patriots. Flacco shares some of the blame, for sure, but the Ravens' offensive line struggled at times last season. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Flacco was blitzed on 50 percent of dropbacks (second in the NFL behind only Bruce Gradkowski of the Raiders), pressured on a third of those blitzes, sacked 24 percent of the time, and completed just 47 percent of his passes.

Not Pro Bowl numbers, but about average, which is what one-time Ravens QB of the future Kyle Boller aspired to. (Again citing FootballOutsiders.com, Flacco ranked 11th in total value among all NFL quarterbacks in 2010.)

Either way, defenses went after Flacco because they identified a weakness in the blocking scheme, felt that Flacco didn't respond well to pressure, or some combination of the two. The remedy requires more than Flacco improving his study habits, as Dukes suggest. The pass-blocking has to improve, the receivers have to run better routes, and ultimately, Flacco has to limit his mistakes. But one without the others is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. 

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.18.11: Reaching the summit



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • According to the Believe in Heroes web site, Titans coach Jeff Fisher and the rest of his traveling party have reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Which is pretty awesome.
  • Former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser and Colts owner Jim Irsay are in a bit of tiff.
  • Now, everybody in the Raiders organization becomes a salesman/saleswoman. And that means you, new defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. (“So, how many season tickets can I put you down for, lady?”)
  • If you buy Jaguars season tickets, the franchise is willing to reward you for your faith. By giving you “Teal Deals” books with more than $3,000 worth of gift certificates for local businesses.

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.8.11: Tell your mom you love her



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • … And speaking of places where Kolb might play next season, the Arizona Republic discusses how the Cardinals’ patience while waiting to sign a starting quarterback might just pay off. And maybe not taking a quarterback in the NFL draft was actually the smart plan all along.
  • From the Miami Herald, here’s the latest on the Dolphins QB situation: “the chances of (Chad) Henne being the regular-season starter for Miami in 2011 are greater than the chances he is replaced.”
  • The NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora talked to some league insiders who rated the best performances of last week’s draft. The Buccaneers got high marks for Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, and the Packers got positive press for a number of picks.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 4.4.11: Rams interested in Rice?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In this Pro Football Weekly report, sources tell the publication that the Rams could have some interest in Vikings WR Sidney Rice. Considering how lackluster the current crop of St. Louis receivers are, the move would make sense. But the Rams organization apparently also is leery of Rice’s hip injury that cost him much of last season.
  • The Boston Herald wonders how Tom Brady’s image will be affected by the upcoming Brady v NFL case. Apparently, he can expect a hit to his short-term marketability.
  • The creator of the Madden NFL video game is suing EA Sports for many, many millions of dollars. It could even reach into the b illions. And get this: Robin Antonick’s original game was released in 1988, and it was for Commodore 64, MS Dos and Apple II.
  • Further cementing the idea that Da’Quan Bowers could fall out of the top-10 is Peter King of Sports Illustrated reporting that only one head coach (Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt) and two GMs (Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff and Buffalo’s Buddy Nix) were in attendance at his Pro Day last week.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com