Tag:Baltimore Ravens
Posted on: August 31, 2010 7:19 pm

Analyzing the "Josh Wilson to Baltimore" trade

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Ravens added some much-needed depth to their secondary by sending a fifth-round pick to Seattle for cornerback Josh Wilson. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the pick could become a fourth-rounder depending on Wilson’s playing time.J. Wilson

Wilson was Seattle’s second-round pick in 2007. He started 12 games in both the ’08 and ’09 seasons. In ’09, coaches wanted him to play the slot, but Ken Lucas struggled too mightily to maintain the No. 2 cornerback job. Ironically, the Ravens had Lucas in for a tryout this past summer but decided to pass. That decision to pass, in part, indirectly led to the decision to trade for Wilson.

Wilson is a decent athlete, but he has a strong tendency to give up spacing late in routes. If Lardarius Webb is healthy, the Ravens will likely use Wilson in a No. 4 role. (Of course, given Wilson’s experience in covering the slot, his addition could be an indication that Webb is not as healthy as the Ravens would like). It’s also not entirely out of the question that Wilson could challenge Chris Carr for the No. 2 cornerback job; Carr is better suited as an inside zone defender.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 3:04 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 4:27 pm

Another blow to the Ravens D

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The injury-depleted Ravens defense just got a little more depleted.

Second-round pick NT Terrence Cody had surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee and will be out two weeks, coach John  Harbaugh told reporters, including Rapid Reporter Jon Gallo . Cody will be considered questionable to return in time for the season opener.

And while it seems unlikely Ed Reed (offseason hip surgery) could play this early in the season, the team will sit down with the perennial Pro Bowl safety to see if Baltimore should start him on the Physically Unable to Play list.
From t he Baltimore Sun:

Reed, who had offseason hip surgery, would miss the first six weeks of the regular season if he is put on the Reserve PUP list. It seem s like Reed is pushing to return soon after speaking with Harbaugh, general manager Ozzie Newsome, defensive coor dinator Greg Mattison and secondary coach Chuck Pagano on Monday.

"He wants to come back, but he understands the situation, too," Harbaugh said. "There’s a lot more that goes into it. We have until Saturday to make a decision and I’m sure we’ll take until Saturday to figure that out."

Harbaugh, though, didn't rule out the scenario of Reed playing in the Sept. 13 opener at the New York Jets after sitting out the entire preseason.

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 9:24 am

Does Cundiff plan on losing Ravens kick contest?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Have you ever heard the story about the samurai who lost a sword fight before it even started? The samurai, in a fit of rage, ripped out his sword, threw his holster away and charged his foe. The foe, calm and collected, easily defeated the rattled samurai. Afterwards, it was suggested that, subconsciously, the samurai planned on losing all along. After all, if he’d planned on winning, he would have needed a place to put his sword, and therefore, would not have discarded his holster before charging.

This in mind, does it seem a little odd that Billy Cundiff, who is neck and neck with Shayne Graham in the battle for the Ravens kicking job, has already booked a flight home to Phoenix for this Saturday? Saturday is when the Ravens make final cuts to form their 53-man roster.

Sure, Cundiff, the incumbent kicker, isn’t verbally ruling himself out of the competition. In fact, he might be leading it. "They'll let me know whether I'm coming back," Cundiff told the Baltimore Sun. But residents of Baltimore don’t generally take a weekend getaway to Phoenix. Why even test fate?

The Baltimore Sun says that Cundiff has been slightly better than Graham in preseason and training camp. And Cundiff seemingly has a stronger leg. But the Ravens would never have signed Graham to begin with if they were entirely confident in Cundiff.

Graham, a 32-year-old ex-Bengal, is the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history (85.2 percent). Cundiff, 30, is on his ninth NFL team.
It’s possible Cundiff can pull off the upset. He is 3/3 in the preseason, making field goals from 26, 42 and 25 yards. Graham is 2/3, connecting from 32 and 24 yards, and missing from 50. But if Cundiff does win the job, deep down, it sounds like he might be more surprised than anyone.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 12:20 pm

Antrel Rolle to officials: 'Let us play ball'

Posted by Will Brinson

Antrel Rolle got flagged, got a personal foul and will probably end up getting a fine for a hit he laid on the Ravens' Mark Clayton Saturday night.

But that's not stopping him from getting really aggressive (or just silly if you want to look at it that way) on his stance towards officiating that involves stuff like "keeping people safe" and "not killing people. "

"I don't understand how they want us to tackle," Rolle said after the Giants' 24-10 loss to the Ravens. "It's pretty much out of control. You're running full speed. Just let us play ball. We're not intentionally out there to hurt somebody. Let us play ball."

Here's an idea: tackle without putting your head into someone else's head. It's pretty simple, actually.

"Honestly, I don't see any other way I could have done it," Rolle said. "He was bobbling the ball. He could've caught the ball had I not made the collision with him."

Really? We're supposed to believe that? From a guy who got fined $7,500 last year for a hit on now-teammate Kevin Boss?

Look, it stinks sometimes that the NFL takes the "big" out of "big hit" but we're talking about people's lives and long-term health here. It shouldn't be that difficult to learn how not to be over-aggressive.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: August 29, 2010 11:19 am

Hot Routes 8.29.10: Just a big ole hot mess

Posted by Will Brinson

In hindsight, yes, I'm beyond furious that I didn't use the Jay Cutler - Matt Leinart bro pic for this. Dagnabbit.

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com.
  • The headline of the day pretty much has to be this one from Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times on the Bears: 'Saturday night summary: Hot mess." Yes, that makes me giggle. Almost as much as Jay Cutler getting sacked four times, throwing two picks and finishing the night with a QB rating of THIRTY ONE. Bwah. Meanwhile, in Arizona, the quarterback competition is going to come down to "chemistry with the team ." Really.
  • The fellas at The Wayne Fontes Experience make a good point: Willie Young has sacked the quarterback two weeks in a row. I have no earthly idea how he lasted until the SEVENTH round, but he'll be good. Also, guys, I'm the one driving the Jahvid Best bandwagon. You can hitch your wagon by calling 555-BEST. Also, Steve Schroder is right : why aren't they locking Detroit/Cleveland in for Thanksgiving? It's consistently more awesome than whatever else beatdown we're watching.
  • The score of the Panthers - Titans game might lead you to believe that it's the, you know, preseason. It also might lead you to believe that the Panthers defense is pretty good. As Jaxon writes at Cat Scratch Reader , that's not too far off. Offense, Tom Sorensen says at the Charlotte Observer , is "at a premium," which means that the failure/success of this season might actually hinge on the quarterback position for Carolina (once again). NO PRESSURE, Matt Moore.
  • I actually landed C.J. Spiller in a fantasy draft (for the first time) last night. I'm not upset but this news -- he is, as right tackle Cornell Green put it, "something else. " The guys at Buffalo Rumblings think the offense was "efficient and the defense was "lacking" -- if that's the biggest issue facing the Bills heading into the season, I think they take it and run.
  • Mike Tomlin has yet to announce a starting quarterback, but Ryan Wilson of Steelers' Lounge makes an excellent note : the two-headed quarterback monster of Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich is probably the smartest move. Or the only move. Whatever.
  • Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys makes an astute point: this IS the preseason and all, but you still can't "wash away the stink that was the Cowboys on Saturday night." The good news is that Jerry Jones isn't that concerned ; pretty sure t that won't last if the shoddy play continues through into the regular season.
  • Not that anyone actually roots for failure, but it's kind of funny when a New York team stinks, it usually results in fun headline-writing. "Giants still 'a ways' away from being good " and "Nothing goes right for Giants " are two examples. Basically, the point that you should be getting from this is that the Giants are an "at-risk" team for 2010. On the bright side, Joe Flacco is definitely the starter in Baltimore. Which is, um, unsurprising?
Posted on: August 29, 2010 8:26 am
Edited on: August 29, 2010 8:28 am

McGahee is cool about not playing

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

RB Willis McGahee didn’t get a rep in Baltimore’s 14-point victory against the Jets on Saturday, but afterward, he wasn’t upset by not playing and the coaching staff said not to read anything into his absence.

The Baltimore Sun writes that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and McGahee were spotted in the locker room after the game joking around with each other. McGahee also said he knew before the game that he wasn’t going to play. Cameron and McGahee were eventually joined by RBs Le’Ron McClain and Ray Rice.

Coach John Harbaugh explained to reporters why he didn’t feel the need to get McGahee in the game.

"We just don't need to play those guys every single week,” he said. “Willis has gotten reps. He may or may not get some reps next week. I don't think we need to see what Willis McGahee can do. He's touched the ball during the preseason. He does in practice. He's a veteran and we don't need a lot of reps from him.”

Before you say everything is cool in a Ravens running back corps that seems awfully deep at this point, remember what Andy wrote in the middle of this month. Namely, that there are teams interested in trading for McGahee.

So, perhaps Baltimore still is thinking about trading McGahee. Maybe they didn’t play him, because he’s gotten good reviews in training camp by reporting in good shape and the Ravens don’t want to diminish his trade value by sticking him in the game and him possibly stinking. Or maybe they don’t want to trade him, and they’re just saving him for the regular season.

Or maybe, like Harbaugh said, the Ravens know what they have in McGahee and are they don’t need to see him play in an exhibition game.

But if you look at Harbaugh’s quote, he doesn’t say anything about saving McGahee for the regular season. He just says McGahee didn’t need any reps. Which means that the trade rumors will continue.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 12:17 am

Stallworth breaks bone in foot, out half the year

Posted by Andy Benoit

Donte’ Stallworth’s comeback will have to wait until at least October. The Ravens new wide receiver, fresh off his year-long suspension for pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter, broke a bone in his foot against the Giants Saturday night. D. Stallworth

Stallworth will need surgery to have a screw inserted. Ravens coach John Harbaugh is hopeful the wideout can return by Week 8. The Ravens seem willing to keep a roster spot open for Stallworth – he was actually seeing significant action as the No. 3 receiver. Now, Mark Clayton will fill that role. (Baltimore’s starting receivers will be Anquan Boldin and Derek Mason.)

Because of Stallworth’s suspension, it’s easy to forget that he has always been injury prone. The 29-year-old veteran has played just three complete seasons in his NFL career.

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Posted on: August 26, 2010 1:35 pm

Offensive tackles getting healthy

Posted by Andy Benoit

Ryan Clady and Jared Gaither, arguably the NFL’s two most naturally talented offensive tackles, both could be on the field come Week 1 after battling injuries the past several months.

Clady returned to practice Wednesday, marking one of the quickest recoveries from a torn patella tendon that football has ever seen. Also on Wednesday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed optimism about Gaither returning from a back injury by September 13.

There has been some confusion regarding the nature of Gaither’s injury. Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com writes:
On Tuesday Gaither told reporters that a second opinion he got on his back revealed a thoracic disc injury, which causes pain and numbness in the upper back. He didn’t give a timetable for his return, but said he wouldn’t need surgery.

Harbaugh cleared up the diagnoses Wednesday. After being told Gaither had a small tear weeks ago, Harbaugh now understands there’s a lining on the thoracic disc that is either irritated or torn. One doctor said it’s torn and the other says there’s a slight tear. That is what caused Ravens’ trainers to tell Harbaugh that Gaither had back spasms.

Gaither has missed a lot of practice time while transitioning from left tackle to right tackle (he had foot problems earlier in the offseason and lost a significant amount of weight due to an illness early in training camp). However, he should be able to immediately snatch a starting job once fully healthy (especially given that backup Oniel Cousins has had concussion problems as of late).

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