Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

Move Backfires on Ravens

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens cut Trevor Pryce yesterday to make room for Ken Hamlin this week, and it was widely believed by the organization that they would bring him back by Tuesday after talking to his agent.

Well, so much for that.  Pryce signed with who else but the New York Jets today, following his former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

The news was broken by Terrell Suggs on his Twitter account (@untouchablejay4) saying, “kinda sad 2day. my boy trevor pryce signed wit the JETS!!!!! happy for him but would rather he be on my team!!!!!”

Well Baltimore…how does this make you feel?

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29
Sep
10

New Look Gilbert

By Jesse Jones

Don’t expect the fun-loving, always playing around personality from Gilbert Arenas this year.  Expect a new look, new number, and new personality from Arenas.

On media day, the Arenas showed up with a beard, switched his jersey to number 9, and had the facial expression that lacked the comical personality most of us have become used to.  When asked why he had no smile throughout the session, Arenas said that he only wants to smile on the court.

Apparently not everybody believed this response, so when he was asked whether he was happy or not, Arenas responded, “I’m very happy.  In the past, I used to show happiness on the outside. There’s no need to do that anymore. Now I can just play the game the right way and play with my passion, and that’s really the focus.”

Head coach Flip Saunders said that Arenas is more focused and serious now, and that showed as he was the first one to pass Saunder’s conditioning test.

Arenas’ media session was cut short, so to find out what his beard was all about, reporters turned to Nick Young.  Young said the beard is a bet between the two, and his part of the bet is to grow an afro.

Yes, the Wizards are in a rebuilding mode, and with the new superstars on the Heat, and the Magic still being a championship contender, don’t expect anything great this season from the team.  But there is a lot of optimism surrounding the team this year, and the playoffs are a reachable goal.  Gilbert Arenas seems to know this, and is changing the way he approaches the game.

29
Sep
10

Ravens Release Pryce

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens have released veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce.  Pryce has been with the team since 2006, but has seen his role diminish this season after losing his starting spot during last season to Dwan Edwards.

This move meant that Baltimore could make room for another player, and they did just that by bringing back recently released safety Ken Hamlin.

Coach John Harbaugh said that Pryce will definitely be back, and he could even be back next week.  His locker was not cleaned out.

It’s hard to fathom why the team released a defensive end and signed a safety when they are heading to Pittsburgh this weekend, a team that is run first and has Charlie Batch playing quarterback.  Cory Redding is also out with a concussion, which adds another element as to why the move happened this week.  However, Terrence Cody believes this will finally be the weekend he makes his NFL debut, and Paul Kruger, the second-year defensive end/linebacker who had the game-winning interception in overtime last year against the Steelers, is looking for his first action of the season too.  Look for these two young players to perform at a high level this weekend.

28
Sep
10

Redskins Stumble in St. Louis

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins simply got themselves into a hole that they could not climb out of. After 15 minutes of football, the Redskins found themselves trailing the St. Louis Rams 14-0. The Edwards Jones Dome was rocking, and a young Rams team had all the momentum and motivation they needed to sustain the lead they had assembled. Not the ideal way you want to start a game against a team that lost 14 straight at home and 27 of 28 overall (The one win? Washington). The Redskins were able to come back and take the lead at 16-14 early in the third quarter, but never scored again and could not get a Steven Jackson-less Rams offense off the field as the Rams cruised in the second half to win 30-16. The Redskins continue to be the gift that keeps on giving to terrible teams, they have lost to the worst teams in the NFL for two consecutive seasons. Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from a disappointing Week 3:

Good

1. Although he had a critical fumble early in the game that put the Skins in a big hole, Santana Moss had a very productive day and is becoming Donovan McNabb’s favorite target. Moss caught six balls for 124 yards and a touchdown. If it counts for anything, Graham Gano was 3 for 3 on field goals.

Bad:

1. The Redskins were 1 for 10 on third down and 0 for 3 in the red zone (field goals instead of touchdowns). You have to be able to capitalize when you get down inside the opponent’s 20 and win the critical matchups on third down. Washington wasn’t able to do either on Sunday.

Ugly

1. I’m not sold on this 3-4 defensive scheme Washington has installed. They allowed an offense with 27 points total in their first two games against the Cardinals and Raiders to score 30 points and move the ball at will. The Rams had scoring drives of 17 plays for 77 yards, 12 plays for 74 yards, and 11 plays for 46 yards. The Redskins could simply not get a team without its best and only good player in Steven Jackson off the field.

This game was embarrassing to watch and reminds me a lot of the Lions game last season that broke the 19-game losing streak. There is something about a road game against a team full of NFL rejects and no-names led by a rookie quarterback that the Redskins just can’t handle. They are now 2-5 in the past three years against teams 0-2 or worse, a pathetic stat for a team that has a lot of talent. This loss truly hurts because the Redskins could have gained early ground on the Giants and Cowboys in the Division and kept pace with Philadelphia, who they travel face next weekend. With the way Philadelphia’s offense is playing and the way Washington is playing on defense, I find it hard to find a scenario where the Redskins can stop the Eagles. They will have to put up a heroic effort in order to avoid being 1-3 early in the 2010 season.

28
Sep
10

Ravens Beat Browns, Fix Offense

Boldin Owned Eric Wright For 3 Scores

By Jesse Jones

Seven turnovers, two straight games with 10 points, a four-interception performance by Joe Flacco.  These were perfect ways to describe the Baltimore Ravens offense after the first two games.  Yesterday against the Cleveland Browns in the home opener, this all changed.

Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin combined for three touchdowns, and eight overall completions for 142 yards.  Overall, Flacco completed passes to six different receivers and went 22-31 for 262 yards, had three touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 128.7.  Ray Rice carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards, and Willis McGahee carried 7 times for 29 yards.

Not all was well with the Ravens though.  The run defense, yes the run defense, was shaky.  Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards and had a touchdown.  This performance is definitely a surprise to many, as Hillis is the backup running back for the Browns and the Ravens have had one of the best run defenses this decade.  The tackling was very poor and Hillis was running through the holes like a tank.  Much respect should be given to Hillis for his performance and effort.

The Ravens also finally allowed a touchdown, two for that matter, after not allowing any against the Jets and Bengals.  It is strange to say that the offense out-shined the defense, but that was the case yesterday.  The offense scored 24 points, and the defense allowed 17.  In the end, Baltimore played well enough to win, and improved to 2-1 (1-1 in the division) to stay at pace with the Bengals (2-1) and the Steelers (3-0).

There were two injuries reported for the Baltimore Ravens, and both are starters.  Cory Redding suffered a concussion and the extent of the injury is unknown.  What is much worse is that Ray Rice has a contusion on his knee.  His status for this weekend is up in the air, but after hearing from him, signs are pointing to him playing.  It’d be surprising to see him miss this weekend’s matchup against the team’s biggest rival.

Look for Ray Rice to get the run defense back to where it should be against the Steelers Sunday, and look to see how the offense holds up against one of the league’s best defenses year-in and year-out.

28
Sep
10

Terps Use Big Plays to Defeat FIU

By Ben Linton

The Maryland Terrapins used a variety of big plays in order to avoid an upset bid from the Florida International Golden Panthers last Saturday at Byrd Stadium. Maryland was down once and tied three times with FIU, but broke away in the fourth quarter. It was the first start and possible beginning of the Danny O’Brien era at Maryland, the first redshirt freshman to start since 1999. O’Brien finished with 250 yards passing on 18/27 attempts for two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Maryland scored four touchdowns of over 50 yards in the game, the best being an electric 85-yard punt return by Toney Logan in the second quarter. Da’Rel Scott broke free for a 56 yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Terps up 21-14 before halftime, and Torey Smith scored on a 68-yard pass from O’Brien in the third. The clincher came with four minutes left in the 4th quarter when FIU broke within seven points, but Davin Meggett would go 76 yards on the next offensive play to seal the game at 42-28.

Maryland did exactly what they were supposed to, and avoided an early season upset that has plagued them in recent years. It wasn’t pretty at times but the Terps are 3-1 heading into the ACC season with confidence. Maryland will begin conference play with a home game against 1-3 Duke next week, who is reeling from a 14 point home loss to Army.

24
Sep
10

Injury Update In Baltimore

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens will look to rebound from a pathetic offensive performance in last week’s loss to Cincy, as they host the Cleveland Browns for the home-opener Sunday at 1.  As they do this, Baltimore will miss some key players, and get back some new ones.

Linebacker Tavares Gooden will miss Sunday’s game and at least next week’s game with a dislocated shoulder, linebackers Darnell Ellerbe and Jason Phillips will look to step their play up and help secure a very talented front seven.

It is unknown if Derrick Mason will play this weekend due to a knee injury.  Mason missed practice Wednesday and was limited in yesterday’s practice, but did practice today with the team.  He is listed as questionable right now.

Now for some good injury news.  Cornerback Lardarius Webb made his much-anticipated return last weekend, and played very solid.  There is a chance he can start this week, but he might be the nickle for the second straight week.  Also, the Ravens’ second draft pick, Terrence Cody, is expected to make his season debut this weekend.  Cody has been out for the first two games after having a knee scope performed during preseason.




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