Tag:Baltimore Ravens
Posted on: July 16, 2010 11:08 pm

More Owens news (sorta)

It seems like all we do these days are Terrell Owens updates. Well, here’s another one.

Eloquent, outspoken Panthers linebacker Jon Beason issued this Tweet after saying in an NFL.com chat the Owens would not work in Carolina because he’s too much of a locker room distraction:

"I have to apologize for my comments regarding T.O. I personally would want him on our team in Carolina.  He's been a great WR for a long time and will without a doubt be a hall of famer. . . .  He'd be a great addition opposite Steve Smith.”

Sounds like Beason’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, placed a call to the linebacker with a “come on, man, don’t trash my other clients!” type message.

Speaking of Rosenhaus, he said on ESPN’s NFL Live that interest in Owens “is really picking up”. Perhaps reading our thoughts, he added “and this isn't just agent rhetoric. I'm very encouraged as of late.”

Rosenhaus claims there are five teams interested in Owens. One of them is NOT the Baltimore Ravens, he says. And, if Mike Shanahan is to be believed, the Redskins are also NOT interested. We’ll assume neither are the Niners, Cowboys, Eagles, Bills or Chiefs. To be continued…

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 3:52 pm

Bulger happy to have a new home

M. Bulger takes a pounding from Washington (Getty) When QB Marc Bulger spoke Thursday about his last three years in St. Louis, a weariness crept into his voice. Like he couldn’t believe what he went through as he quarterbacked the Rams to a 5-30 record as the starter from 2007-09.

Of course, Bulger – who signed with the Ravens last month, passed his physical this week and spoke with reporters on a conference call today – is a two-time Pro Bowler who’s thrown for nearly 23,000 yards and 122 touchdowns in his eight-year career. The fact St. Louis was so terrible with him as the quarterback these past three years obviously weighs heavy on his soul.

“I’m interested in football again,” Bulger said. “The last three years, they’ve been difficult out here. It just seemed like it was a job. We won five games here in the last three years, and it affects the whole building. To get a new atmosphere where you’re talking about trying to win a Super Bowl is exciting.”

Bulger is under no illusions. He knows Joe Flacco is the entrenched starting QB in Baltimore. He’ll wait to see how much advice Flacco might want from his new backup, but Bulger doesn’t see a problem with his new role.

“I’ve been starting for seven-plus years,” Bulger said. “It will be different role. It was clear to me up front that it would be my role there. Throughout this whole process, I was talking to teams where there were chances to be a starter and others where I had a chance to compete and obviously here as a backup. I understand that I’m coming in here as that, and however capacity I can help, I’ll do it.”

As long as he can help the Ravens, he’ll be pleased.

“Part of me wants to be a starter obviously. But if we’re winning games and if we’re headed to the playoffs, I’ll be just as happy as if I was the starter. Going through the last three years, it’s something I’ve never experienced. I’m upset I was a part of it. I just want to win games.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 13, 2010 4:44 pm

Ravens limit autograph chances at training camp

R. Lewis signing autographs at Baltimore's training camp (Getty). The Baltimore Ravens have released a new autograph policy for training camp, and for those who collect the players’ signatures in order to turn a quick profit on eBay will not be pleased with the changes. Hell, the kids who treasure these signatures for the rest of their lives probably won’t be happy either.

In effect, the team will only sign autographs for children between the ages of 6 and 15 and only after all morning practices are completed. Autographs won’t be available following afternoon practices.

According to the team, safety is the reason for the adjustment.

“We have considered changing the way we do autograph signings for a few years,” team president Dick Cass said. “Our crowds for the morning practices have become so large that we’ve had safety situations with people pushing each other to try and get closer to the players. Often times, children would be put in difficult positions with the rush for autographs, especially from our most popular players.”

From the release:

Children must wear a Ravens-issued wristband to enter the autograph area. There will be a tent adjacent to the fields where wristbands will be issued. Children can bring one item to be autographed, and adults will not be allowed to enter the autograph area.
Please note that two-thirds of the team has a post-practice football activity after every morning session. One-third of the team is required to lift weights. Another third is required to attend “Back School,” which is a core workout usually done outside. The other third is available to sign autographs. Team schedules are subject to change, and not every child is guaranteed an autograph.

My first thought when I saw this release sitting in my in-box: Boy, that kind of sucks. But the Ravens probably anticipated that kind of reaction from their fan base.

“We want to keep the spontaneity and closeness we have with our fans who come to training camp,” Cass said. “The connectivity we have with our fans at camp is important to us and a Ravens’ tradition. We know that every person who comes to camp and wants an autograph cannot get one because of the players’ schedules. Under our new system, more children will have the opportunity, and that’s important to us.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 11, 2010 12:36 pm

Who will play next to Lewis?

In Baltimore’s 3-4 defensive scheme, one inside linebacker spot automatically goes to future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. There's no question about that, nor should there be. But the other ILB position will be one of the open spots when training camp gets under way. As detailed in this Baltimore Sun story, the two who most likely will battle to see who lines up next to Lewis will be Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden.

Gooden, drafted by the Ravens in the third round of 2008 Draft, started 12 games last season and recorded 52 tackles. But Ellerbe – who was undrafted coming out of the University of Georgia – took over for an injured Gooden in the final few games, including the playoffs, and he’s continued to work with the first team during offseason practices.

Ellerbe seems to be a bit better at stopping the run and he’s a hard tackler, while Gooden is better in pass coverage.

Of course, it might not be a bad idea for the coaching staff to use them as platoon players.

"We may use them situationally," linebackers coach Dean Pees told the Sun. "If somebody doesn't just clearly win the battle and say 'OK, I'm clearly better than the rest of them,' that's OK. Then [we'll] try to utilize your talents. [If] one guy's a little better coverage guy, maybe he'll be a third-down linebacker. Maybe another guy's a good run stopper, he might be a first-down linebacker."

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:37 am

Reed wants a new contract

It doesn’t matter if Ed Reed will turn 32 this season, and it doesn’t matter if his surgically-repaired hip is about 35 percent healthy (his estimation). He wants a new contract.

So he told 105.7 The Fan on Tuesday, as captured here by the Baltimore Sun .

“I’m not making it a big deal,” Reed said on The Norris and Davis Show. “[But] I think it needs to be taken care of.”

See, I don’t understand this, and I really won’t understand it if the Ravens relent and give him guaranteed money. Reed has three years left on his contract that will pay him $19.7 million. But we don’t even know for sure that Reed won’t retire after this season.

From the story:

“I’m not going to ask the Ravens about anything if I’m not going to play any much longer,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity that the Ravens have given me. I’m not about to ask them for anything if I’m not going to be playing. My focus is to get myself back. I’m coming back for at least for one more year.”

It was four years ago when Reed signed a six-year contract extension worth $40 million (a deal that officially took effect in 2007). According to his agent, Reed received a $15 million signing bonus in the largest deal ever given to a safety at that time.

In his interview on 105.7 FM, Reed seemed to base his pursuit of a new deal on the fact that he has maintained his level of play while other safeties have not. He pointed out that Ken Hamlin (who signed a $38 million deal with Dallas in July 2008) and Roy Williams (the eighth overall pick in the 2002 draft – the same draft where Reed was selected 24th) have since moved on to other teams. Hamlin recently signed with the Ravens because of Reed’s uncertain status.

At this point, Reed said it’s unclear whether he’ll be healed enough to begin the regular season in Baltimore.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 30, 2010 9:34 am

Cunningham's son found dead

This is a terrible way to begin the day, but the Las Vegas Journal-Review reports today that the 2-year-old son of former Eagles QB Randall Cunningham was found dead floating in the backyard hot tub at his home in Las Vegas. Though police were investigating for possible abuse, they said the drowning appeared to be accidental.

Cunningham – now a pastor at Remnant Ministries, the church he founded in 2004 – was not home at the time.

"We know healing is going to take time," one church member, who goes by the name Miss Happy, told the newspaper. "We ask that everyone pray for the family. It hurts. It hurts."

Cunningham, a four-time Pro-Bowler, played 16 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Eagles, Vikings, Ravens and Cowboys. He’s among the top-35 all-time in career passing completions, passing touchdowns, passing yards, pass attempts and sacks.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 29, 2010 2:43 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 2:45 pm

Boldin talks about former team and expectations

Anquan Boldin spoke candidly with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio about the Ravens’ Super Bowl aspirations and his moving on from the Cardinals organization. Of his time in Arizona, Boldin said, “I would say I was misled.” The Pro Bowl receiver spent years requesting a new contract. The Cardinals paid Larry Fitzgerald but never the receiver who was there first. When he joined the Ravens, Boldin signed a very reasonable four-year, $28 million deal.

The most interesting part of Paolantonio’s article comes at the end, where Boldin talks about the new challenge of being a No. 1 receiver:

Boldin knows what people are saying: "Let’s see how he does without Larry Fitzgerald demanding the double-team." What does he say when he hears that?

"I didn’t play with Larry my rookie year (2003), and all I did was catch 101 balls for over 1,300 yards," (Boldin) said. "But don’t get it wrong, Larry is a great guy, he is a great football player. He definitely made my job easier. But at the same time, I went out and did the same for him." 


--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 26, 2010 7:00 pm

What Now for Troy Smith?

With the Ravens signing Marc Bulger to a lucrative backup quarterback contract earlier this week, what’s going to happen to Troy Smith? The former Ohio State star has settled in as an NFL backup – his desire to be a starter was noble but unrealistic – but with Bulger around, Smith is unlikely to ever get on the field in Baltimore.

Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says that if the rumors that Smith could be dealt to Buffalo are true, that would be a win-win for the quarterback and the Ravens. Though his chance of playing in Buffalo would be far greater, Smith would still not be the front-runner in the Bills’ quarterback competition. Smith is a good athlete, but he simply doesn’t have an NFL caliber arm.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
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