Tag:Baltimore Ravens
Posted on: June 25, 2010 3:42 pm
 

Ed Reed's Status for 2010 in Question

Ed Reed’s status for 2010 is much iffier than many people realize. The future Hall of Fame safety is coming off April reconstructive hip surgery.

Per ProFootballTalk.com, here are some of Reed’s comments from an appearance earlier today on Sirius Mad Dog Radio:

On the recovery…
"It's still a long slow process, you know, and I try to do some strengthening stuff to strengthen it right now and I know it's just weak but I mean, yeah, I had to have reconstructive surgery," Reed said.  "They had to go in and reconstruct my whole hip.  They took about [six or seven] inches from my IT band, replaced my labrum that I tore.  They went in two spots, so I mean it's a slow process.  Plus I have other injuries that, you know, really probably had an effect on causing this that I have to pay attention to also.   So I'm just taking my time.

"I want to come back.  I want to be ready for the first game but I don't know how soon that would happen, how soon I would be back.  You know, we're gonna continue to do the things to try and get back and at least play this year for the fans, man, cause they've been hounding me, man.  They've been asking me, 'Are you gonna play?   Are you coming back?   I would love to see you play at least one more year.'  So hopefully we got at least one more in us."

On if he’ll play the full 2010 season…
"Well, it's a four to six month process to getting yourself back to 100 percent, to get yourself in shape to start working out for a season, it's a year-long process of getting back to 100 percent. I don't want to come back too early, man, and injure myself again."

On the business side of it….
"You know, there's some business stuff out there, you know, dealing with the (Ravens) and dealing with the organization for a long time and, you know, taking care of things the way I've taken care of things for my surgery and, you know, seeing doctors without really their consent or talking to them much. I told (the Ravens) about the surgery and made sure I made them aware.  But just dealing with those organizational business things, you know, some of those things have to be taken care of also.  So my percentage, I honestly couldn't tell you right now.  My doctors were excited with my progress.  I'm on my off week right now.   They didn't have me working out this week so it's been great but, you know, I don't know, man.  I could be at least a good 35 percent right now, man.  But I'm walking so that's a huge thing.   I'm walking and messing with my kids this week.   You know, I even had to do a little running but nothing major where I had any pain.

I mean, I played the last couple of games with a torn labrum and just messed my hip up worse, you know, going back out there and doing things the way I was able to do things. It was at a high level but, you know, [I] don't want to go back and play in pain, man, and don't want it to be weak at all.  So that's gonna play a big part in what I'm doing."

 



--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 24, 2010 12:20 pm
 

Ravens are paying Bulger HOW much!?

The Ravens should get two Marc Bulgers for the price they’re paying. The Baltimore Sun reports that the contract signed by the former Rams quarterback is worth $3.8 million. It could be worth as much as $5.3 million with incentives.

What’s noteworthy is that starter Joe Flacco will make $2.66 million in 2010. Flacco received a chunk of money up front when he signed his rookie contract, but still…

--Andy Benoit

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

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 23, 2010 11:01 pm
 

Willie Anderson thinking about a return

As ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli writes, former Bengals/Ravens OT Willie Anderson is thinking about making a return to the game. He’s interested in playing, but he’s also interested in mentoring.

As he told Pasquarelli, “There is no manual for playing in the NFL, no book that explains to a young guy everything you're going to go through, all the ups and downs you'll experience in a career … and how to prepare for life (after football). I think someone who has been through it all, has seen all the sides on and off the field, has a better chance to (impart) all of those things. And I think that's basically a part of what I have to offer either as a player or as a former player.

"There's no (camouflaging) that I would like to play again. But if not, I feel I owe it to the game and to players to help them prepare for things."

Aside from the fact that Anderson is a four-time Pro Bowler and, from 1997-2006, started all 158 games he played (he missed two contests in 1999), he’s an interesting guy. He owns a couple Fatburger hamburger joints in Cincinnati and Atlanta, and he’s a big believer in helping others.

A few years back I wrote a feature on him for the NFL Players Association web site (a feature I can no longer find online), but I wanted to give a small sampling of what Anderson is like.
He grew up in Mobile, Ala., attending the Boys & Girls Club, so he knows the value of other people caring about him and his education. Which is why he started a scholarship program out of his church in Cincinnati, and in the offseason, he’s made donations to an arts enrichment program for young people in Atlanta.

Anderson wants young people to learn about the aspect of life they couldn’t experience without a little bit of help.   

All of his charitable work is the result of a promise he made many years ago.

“It sounds kind of corny, but it’s a promise I made to God when I was a teenager,” Anderson said. “He put me in the position of success, and I promised I would go back and reach out and help as many people as I could in the right way. I want to be used as a tool to go back and help out wherever I can.”

He takes that promise seriously today.

“All my stuff deals with kids,” Anderson said. “Anything involving kids and helping their education and getting out of their neighborhoods and seeing a different view of the world. It’s helping change their mentality. A lot of guys do stuff around the league, and a lot of it is showing the kids that, ‘Hey, somebody who doesn’t know me, cares about me.’ That changes the mentality right there. So many kids have the mentality that the people that know me don’t care about me.”

Anderson doesn’t want anybody feeling that way. So, in between the time when he pounds on defensive linemen, he gives back to society.

“The charity stuff is something you do so you can give back to the community,” Anderson said. “We all are in a position to be able to take our resources that come to us from being professional athletes and give it to our community. It’s only right. We’re blessed in so many ways. To be a blessing for other people, I personally think it’s my duty.”


It’s doubtful that Anderson's creaky 34-year-old body could last long in the NFL if he somehow could find a starting job. But it sounds like he doesn’t need to start. He just wants to teach.

"I've seen and learned an awful lot," Anderson told ESPN. "If I could pass that knowledge on to people, on the field and off it, that would be great. I don't want to be a coach; that has never interested me. And I don't want to impose myself on people, because that isn't my nature. But I definitely feel I've got something to offer."

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Posted on: June 23, 2010 7:17 pm
 

Bulger to back up Flacco in Baltimore

With former St. Louis QB Marc Bulger heading to Baltimore, as reported by ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter , the backup to Joe Flacco is now set. The question is: who will be the Ravens third-string QB? Troy Smith or John Beck?

Smith obviously is the better athlete, and in his three years in the NFL – all with Baltimore – he’s thrown a grand total of 89 passes for three touchdowns and an interception. Beck, meanwhile, has the better arm, and in 2007, he started four games for the Dolphins (he lost all four) but hasn’t played a regular-season down since.

Smith has talked recently about wanting to be traded somewhere where he could start. Today, that scenario grew even unlikelier for him with the Ravens.

--Josh Katzowitz

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



Posted on: June 23, 2010 6:09 pm
 

Hamlin with something to prove

Newly-signed Ravens S Ken Hamlin told the Baltimore Sun last week that he has nothing to prove. I look at that statement, and I shake my head in wonder. Nothing to prove? Hell, Hamlin has everything to prove.

“I play at a high level,” Hamlin told the paper. “You’re never going to get the numbers that you want stat-wise. I know what I bring to a team. I know the type of player that I am.”

Sure, he used to play at a high level. That’s something on which we can agree. He was a Pro Bowler in 2007 after amassing five interceptions, 15 passes defended and 62 tackles. He was good the year before when he played for Seattle. But the past two seasons in Dallas, his interception totals dropped (one pick in 28 games), and the Cowboys cut him in April because he wasn’t worth the cost.

Hamlin has said that you can’t just look at the stats to show how he played.

So, Hamlin thinks he has nothing to prove, but I say Hamlin needs to prove he can still play at a high level. He needs to prove whether he can work his way into the starting lineup if FS Ed Reed decides to retire. He needs to prove whether he can help what continues to be a pretty good Ravens defense.

Hamlin isn’t sure what his role on this year’s squad will be, but he’d be a good bet to back up Reed, who will turn 32 in September, and play insurance man in case the oft-injured FS can’t recover from his ailments. The official Ravens web site, though, questions whether Hamlin could beat out Tom Zbikowski (who started the four games Reed was out last season) for the starting job in case Reed doesn’t play. So, yeah, Hamlin has something to prove.

“While Hamlin could affect Zbikowski’s playing time because both largely play free safety,” Mike Duffy writes, “Zbikowski is far ahead of Hamlin when it comes to knowledge of the Ravens’ defense.”

--Josh Katzowitz

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



Posted on: June 23, 2010 10:46 am
 

RT Willie Anderson Aiming to Return to NFL

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com has an interesting piece on former Bengal and Raven Willie Anderson today. The four-time Pro Bowler spent 13 years in the NFL before retiring last season. For many of those years, he was the best right tackle in the league. Now, Anderson wants to play again. But it’s not just about being on the field. The 34-year-old wants to mentor young players. An excerpt from Pasquarelli's piece:

"There is no manual for playing in the NFL, no book that explains to a young guy everything you're going to go through, all the ups and downs you'll experience in a career … and how to prepare for life,” Anderson said. "I think someone who has been through it all, has seen all the sides on and off the field, has a better chance to [impart] all of those things. And I think that's basically a part of what I have to offer either as a player or as a former player.

"There's no [camouflaging] that I would like to play again. But if not, I feel I owe it to the game and to players to help them prepare for things."


The article gets into Anderson’s relationship with Baltimore's young offensive linemen, and the respect and admiration he garners from former teammates. It’s worth reading if you have a few spare minutes.

--Andy Benoit

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

Posted on: June 21, 2010 9:47 pm
 

Playing with fire

I live right down the street from a fire station, and most of the time when I drive by, I look at the shiny red trucks and I ponder the possibilities of becoming a fireman.

The life of a fire fighter doesn’t seem glamorous, but it seems awfully gritty and gratifying. Like a real man’s work. Saving people’s lives, hanging out with the guys and playing cards between alarms, roughhousing with the station Dalmatian. Plus, have you seen how badass these guys look when they’re tearing through a building in their uniforms, facial hair and serious mugs?

It seems to me that becoming a firefighter would be pretty awesome. The only thing that stops me from filling out an application? Having to, you know, mess around with fires. Those things can be hot, from what I understand.

You know who isn’t afraid of a little orange flame? Former Ravens long-snapper Joe Maese. The Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston features Maese, who played in Baltimore from 2001-04 and finished his career in Detroit in 2005 and now fights fires for a living in Howard County, Maryland.

"I guess when you've been around this kind of work most of your life, it's easier to walk away from things that happen on the job," Maese told Preston. "I've never been the kind to take work home with me. Even when I played in the NFL, I eventually couldn't see myself doing anything different than I do now. I always knew I wanted to help somebody. It wasn't about money, but doing something constructive with my time."

Anyway, it’s an interesting feature, and if I learned anything from reading it, I learned this: Maese is a braver man than me.


--Josh Katzowitz

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


Posted on: June 21, 2010 4:07 pm
 

Analyzing the Ravens Offense

You might be surprised to know that the Baltimore Ravens offense ranked ninth in scoring last season (24.4 points per game). The Ravens! Ninth!

So when Derrick Mason tells Sporting News that this offense has “a good shot to score 25-35 points a game”, he’s not going all that far out on a limb. Many assume that the addition of Anquan Boldin will be what propels this offense into an elite class. Boldin certainly helps, but as a possession receiver, he won’t change the dynamics of Cam Cameron’s approach. A bigger difference-maker in ’10 will be the development of two young stars, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.

Flacco is big, athletic and has excellent tools to be a top-flight a pocket passer. His emergence hinges on whether he can break a few bad habits – mainly looking at the pass-rush when the pocket trembles, reading blitzes and staying patient with his progressions. These are all issues that abate with experience.

Rice is already a Top Five running back. He plays like a faster version of Emmitt Smith. His stout pass-blocking and dexterous receiving also give this offense an added dimension of explosiveness on third down.

--Andy Benoit

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

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