Archive for August, 2010


Ravens Get Down To 75, Cody Has Surgery

By Jesse Jones

Today was the deadline for all 32 NFL teams to get down to the 75-man roster entering the final preseason game of the year.  After that, it’s down to 53 players.

Heading into Monday, the the team had an 80-man roster, and got it down to 77.  The team waived Doug Dutch who was acquired from the Redskins for John Beck.  They also placed center Daniel Sanders and defensive back Marcus Paschal on Injured Reserve.  Today, the team put linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and running back Matt Lawrence on the Reserve Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.  By placing the two on the Reserve PUP, this allows the Ravens to get down to 75 players, and allows Ayanbadejo and Lawrence to return after six weeks.

The deadline for the final 53-man roster is Saturday.

In other news, defensive lineman Terrence Cody underwent surgery today to repair a torn lateral meniscus.  He is expected to be out for two weeks, and is not ruled out for the season opener Monday September 13.


Standouts From Ravens Win Over Giants

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens looked very impressive in last night’s 24-10 win over the New York Giants.  Quite frankly, it was the best game they have played all season, despite winning their first two games.

The first series for the Ravens’ starting offense was one to forget, and that is exactly what they did for the rest of the half.  The offense put together three consecutive scoring drives (Cundiff FG, Boldin TD, Heap TD) and went into halftime leading 17-0 (the defense played very well for the most part).

In the second half, Joe Flacco only played one series and then it was the backups turn.  The only score from the backups came from a Troy Smith touchdown pass to Marcus Smith.  In the end, the Ravens won 24-10.

So what can we learn from this preseason game?  Well here you go:

  1. Joe Flacco looked very impressive, and the passing game was huge against an improved Giants’ secondary.
    • Flacco was 21-34 for 224 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 INT at the end of the first half. (89 QB rating)
    • Boldin caught his first TD as a Raven, and had 4 receptions for 52 yards total, with a long of 22 yards
    • Heap had his best preseason game ever (it’s something right?), catching 6 balls for 69 yards and a TD, with a long of 21 yards
  2. Donte’ Stallworth was the leading candidate for punt returns it seemed, as he returned every punt until he broke his foot.  He’s expected to be out for two months.
    • This does not mean that the passing attack will fall short of the hype.  Stallworth was likely to be the 4th receiver, as Mark Clayton has had his best training camp and preseason ever, and looks prime to be the slot receiver.
  3. Mark Clayton did suffer a mild concussion last night.
    • This injury is not reported to be serious at all, and Clayton should be ready for the opening game.
  4. The offense improved it’s third down conversions slightly from last week’s game.
    • The team was only 4-15 as a whole on third down, but with the starters, Baltimore was 3-3 on 4th down.
  5. Despite coming off a broken ankle suffered at the end of the season, safety Haruki Nakamura is having an incredible preseason.
    • He had a 51 yard fake punt run against the Skins last week, and had an incredible INT last night, accompanied by four pass deflections.
  6. Chris Carr filled in well on the outside for Lardarius Webb.
    • Carr has been the main nickleback for the team, but with Webb still getting into game-shape and not wanting to rush anything, Carr got the chance last night to prove to everyone he could help solidify the secondary.  He had 8 total tackles, 6 of them solo, and one sack on Eli Manning.
  7. The defense showed signs of poor tackling when trying to bring down Brandon Jacobs.
    • This was a problem at times last season, and everyone hopes it will not continue.

In the “dress rehearsal game” for the starters, the Baltimore Ravens looked very good.  Don’t expect any starters, or anybody with any injury concern, to play Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams.


Update From Westminster

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens offensive line has been mixed up and switched around this preseason due, in large part, to the injury of Jared Gaither.

Gaither has been suffering from frequent back spasms and has had to sit out much of this summer.  But when asked when Gaither would be ready to come back and play, coach John Harbaugh said that they hope Gaither will be able to play by week one and he should only be a few more weeks away.

Gaither’s replacement, Oniel Cousins, had to sit out Saturday against the Redskins due to a concussion.  Harbaugh said that they are aiming for Cousins to be able to play this Saturday against the New York Giants.

On the defensive line, Terrence Cody has been dealing with a swollen bursa sac in his left knee.  He’s missed several practices recently and it is unknown whether or not he will play this weekend.  However, this will not require surgery, but it will need to be monitored frequently.


Webb Off PUP

By Jesse Jones

Just as training camp ends, the Baltimore Ravens received good news when they learned that cornerback Lardarius Webb was taken off of the Physically Unable To Perform list.

Webb has been practicing with the team now, but mostly doing individual drills.  According to writer Mike Duffy, Webb does not seem hesitant to do any cuts or backpedaling.

Coach John Harbaugh has not said whether or not Webb will be back for any of the two remaining games this preseason, but the fact that he Webb is off the PUP is a good sign, and could mean that he’ll be ready to play in the season opener September 13.

Reed Happy With Progress Of Hip

In Saturday night’s win, Ray Lewis was asked about Ed Reed’s status.  He said that he was not exactly sure, but said that Reed is happy with his progress.

These are two more stepping stones to the Ravens’ secondary getting healthy, as corner Fabian Washington is already back in action, starting in the Ravens win over the Washington Redskins last Saturday.


Training Camp Update

By Jesse Jones

Here are some quick notes from the 2010 Baltimore Ravens training camp:

  • Lardarius Webb is not aiming to play in the preseason, but is preparing to be back for the season opener.
  • Oniel Cousins has won the starting right tackle job if Gaither is not healthy enough to play.
  • Defensive back Cary Williams made a big impression in Thursday night’s preseason win against the Panthers, grabbing an interception and returning it for 32 yards, deflecting a pass in the end zone, and laying the wood on Armanti Edwards to break up a completion.
  • Safety Tom Zbikowski has secured his spot as Ed Reed’s replacement with his performance Thursday night.  On the opening drive, he had a sack/forced fumble and then returned the punt for 28 yards.
  • Zbikowski, Donte’ Stallworth, and Chris Carr are the frontrunners for the return job, so far.

The Ravens travel to Landover to face the Washington Redskins Saturday night.


Wizards Schedule Released

nba logo

By Jesse Jones

The National Basketball Association announced the league schedule the other night, so here is a quick glance at the Washington Wizards’ schedule.

  • The team opens the season in Orlando against the Magic Thursday, October 28 at 8 PM.  This will be John Wall’s debut.
  • The home opener is Tuesday, November 2 at 7 PM against the 76ers.  John Wall will face off against the second overall pick Evan Turner.
  • November 6 Cleveland visits, marking the first time Antawn Jamison comes back.
  • They first play Miami Monday, November 29 in Miami at 7:30 PM.
  • February 26 the Mavs come to town (Caron, Haywood, and Stevenson’s first time back).
  • The team plays 21 back-to-backs, and 11 of their last 17 games of the year are on the road.
  • The Wizards have 8 nationally televised games, 5 of them being on NBA TV, with the rest on TNT (Oct. 28 @ Orlando, Nov. 25 @ ATL) and one on ESPN (Jan. 21 vs Phoenix).
  • The holiday games include: Thanksgiving @ ATL, New Years Eve @ Indiana, New Years Day vs New Orleans, and MLK Day vs Utah.
  • The longest road trip is 5 games from March 22-28, as they play Portland, the Clippers, Denver, Golden State, and Utah.
  • Washington has two 4-game homestands.

Other interesting points on the schedule are Nov. 19 when Greivis Vasquez comes to town, and January 25 when Denver travels to DC (there has been rumored interest in Carmelo Anthony for this upcoming offseason).  The Lakers, Celtics, and Thunder only play in DC once each.

For the full schedule, just click here.


Does Pre-Season Matter?

By Ben Linton

As we begin the preseason of the 2010 NFL season, many fans anticipate in hopes that this is the year that their teams wins it all. Game one of preseason rolls and round and fans are ecstatic by the teaser for the upcoming year. By games three and four, they are sick and tired of watching third and fourth string players play the majority of the game.

Some people want to lessen the amount of preseason games and add more games on to the regular season. Some people say that the preseason record does not correlate to wins in the regular season. I did some investigating to see if this theory holds true.

Last season, the 12 teams that made the postseason had a 26-22 combined record in the preseason. Not much of a difference. Also, the past five Super Bowl winners have gone 11-9 in the preseason combined. Still not a big margin. So this leads me to conclude that preseason is not that important, but there are some exceptions.

For instance, the preseason is great for rookies to get a feel for the speed of the NFL, and for players just looking to make the team. Its also important for players and coaches that have joined new organizations and want to develop chemistry within the team. For example, Donovan McNabb and the Redskins recievers, Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin.

I still believe that if you are going to be a good team in the regular season, you should be successful in the preseason as well. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, you can’t just have a good first team and expect to get by without injuries. What happens if the Redskins have as many injuries on the offensive line as they did last year? What if the Ravens have even more injuries in the secondary? Preseason is the time and place for teams to sure up these holes and become a stronger and well-balanced team for the upcoming season.


Haynesworth Returns

By Ben Linton

Finally the whole Albert Haynesworth saga ended its first chapter when the big guy finally passed his conditioning test on the 10th day of Redskins training camp. This enables him to finally practice with his teammates and get back to business, hopefully concluding an off-season that consisted of player-coach and player-player feuds, absence from team activities, and trade requests.

In my opinion, this whole thing was over-hyped by ESPN. It really isn’t that big of a deal. Haynesworth is going to play this year, whether it be at nose or end, and have a very productive year. I think this kind of turmoil can fuel a player to play even harder to prove his critics wrong. Training camp is meaningless for players like Haynesworth and other veterans, however he does need to pick up the defensive scheme rather quickly. But honestly on the defensive line you’re either plugging up the holes to stop the run or rushing the quarterback on passes, pretty self-explanatory.

I just don’t see why Haynesworth gets all the attention while Brett Favre can skip almost all of training camp and still throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns like he did last year. Training camp really isn’t that important if you ask me. But I do like the fact that Coach Shanahan went about his business, let Albert have his temper tantrum, and welcome him in once he was ready to play. He never faltered or conceded, which shows that the Redskins have great leadership already. You think Jim Zorn would have handled this situation like Shanahan did? I don’t think so.

Sure Haynesworth may be a baby off the field. But once his steps on it, fans will forget all about this off-season drama and focus more on the important matter, like playing and winning football games.


Harris Cut, Hawkins Signed

By Jesse Jones

Walt Harris was brought in to help bring a veteran presence and depth to the Ravens’ secondary.  But after repeatedly failing the conditioning test and not being healthy enough after coming off an ACL injury, he has been cut.

To replace him, Baltimore brought in undrafted rookie Chris Hawkins from LSU.

Last week Domonique Foxworth tore his ACL, but Fabian Washington is now full contact after a speedy recovery from his ACL injury.


Mason Sprains Ankle

By Jesse Jones

Derrick Mason has been the favorite of quarterback Joe Flacco in his brief career.  And depsite the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth, Mason is still very comfortable with his role in the offense and is not worried about developing chemistry with the other receivers.

The development will have to be put on hold, atleast on the field, for a short time, as Mason sprained his ankle in practice.  He told reporters that he turned wrong on his ankle.  The injury is not serious at all, and a brace is not needed.  He was seen walking around the team hotel with only tape on, and today, no swelling was reported.

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August 2010