Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I know, I know. One week and I am already running late. Well, my anniversary is tomorrow, and I have had to finagle my schedule a bit in order to get a couple days off from both jobs. But I am here now with my "Better Late Than Never" analysis of Week 1. And in a word, my analysis, is the following...
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
- Barring a fundamental collapse or someone being cut from another team that is head and shoulders above what we have, Steve Hauschka will be the Ravens kicker this year.
Hauschka has been better than Graham Gano this year, but that is kind of damning with faint praise when you look at it. Head Coach John Harbaugh spent almost a decade as a Special Teams coach in the NFL, and he has worked with the likes of Sean Landeta, Brian Mitchell, and David Akers, 3 of the better special teams players of the recent past. He can tell by listening if a kicker is getting good foot into a kick, and the fact that he has not anointed either kicker should tell you that it isn't settled. But Hauschka has been more consistent than Gano (except for his missing a **27** yard field goal last week - which is pretty much inexcusable), and Hauschka pretty much has the job to lose Thursday night at Atlanta.
Mattison is not going to have crazy, exotic blitzes like Ryan did. He is going to rely more on his front four (the Defensive Tackles and Ends) to get pressure on the Quarterbacks(along with some weak side attacks by the Outside Linebackers) and for the secondary to keep contain and coverage to allow the line to get to the QB. But he has the respect of the defense and the support of Ray Lewis (I really don't think he needs a wiki-link at this point) and Ed Reed to make sure that the team does what he wants them to do. The defense will be just fine.
- The receiving corps is going to be unconventional but it will get the job done.
The team has yet to pick up another receiver to complement Derrick Mason and the Injury Reports (Mark Clayton dealing with his hamstring problem, Demetrius Williams having another problem with his ankle - or whatever it is this time. I have lost count - Marcus Smith - who was having a good camp and was expected to be a big contributor on special teams - down for the year...). Kelly Washington is a journeyman receiver who might have found a home by default, and Justin Harper is probably going to make the team because no one else is there to take the roster spot from him (but I will bet you that Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is keeping an eye on the waiver wire and the cut lists to see if a kicker, wide receiver, or tight end pops up. And to a lesser degree some more wide bodies for the offensive line, especially tackle). But it is not all doom and gloom.
Mason still looks good, and when Harper holds on to the ball he makes some plays. Tight End Todd Heap has stayed pretty much injury free this preseason and has spent some extra time after practice working with Joe Flacco, getting comfortable with each other. Ray Rice has looked good both running the ball and as a receiver (he had 8 catches in the last preseason game, and he only played a little more than a half of the game). It goes back to what I said before, by allowing the running backs and the tight ends to be an option in the passing offense as opposed to a blocker for the passing game it opens the entire offense up for everybody, because more players have to be covered and accounted for in space.
To wrap up the preseason (and yes, there is another game in a couple of days as I have previously mentioned, but the starters will probably only play a series or two), it is more about seeing how they are going to cut the roster down to 53 players, which players are going to be kept for those final positions (most of the spots on the 53 man roster are pretty much set for this team, there are going to be a lot of big decisions to make for a few positions, and watch as a number of players cut by the team are on other team's rosters or at least their practice squads before they are finished cleaning out their lockers in Westminster).
So I put it to you...what about this team or this sport do you want to know about? Help me help you.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
- To everyone freaking out about ticket sales for the Preakness being 12% below last year, maybe it has more to do with the general state of the economy than the lack of being allowed to bring in outside beverages. But with that being said, do you really think this is the year to ban booze and charge people $4 for a bottle of water? You wonder why the company is going bankrupt...
- To the Baltimore Blast - congratulations on ANOTHER championship. It doesn't matter what league it is or who the competition is, you keep on Celebratin' those good times.
- To all my rabid fans...the NFL draft is tomorrow and Sunday, so you can count on me being here next week to cover what went down, who got drafted, who got traded, and what we can expect from that. And this year I am planning on looking at not just the Ravens' draft, but the AFC North competition, and possibly the entire league. Aim high, baby!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
- Players hate preseason
- Owners aren't THAT fond of it either
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
RB – Jalen Parmlee
TE – Scott Kuhn
DT – Kelly Talavou
LB – Edgar Jones
LB – Jameel McClain
LB – Robert McCune
S – Darren Stone
PK – Steven Hauschka
The only ones worth giving a thought to here are Edgar Jones, Jameel McClain, and Steve Hauschka. I think all three will be tendered. The other ones are special teams players and have not made any impact in any games. Except of course for Mr. Darren Stone. He is the schmuck that got the personal foul penalty on the Ravens possession late in the 4th quarter. The one after the Ravens had scored another touchdown to make it 16-14, then held the Steelers to a 3 and out. And THEN taken the punt back to the 40 yard line. With about 5 minutes left we were approximately 30-35 yards out of field goal range, with the wind at our backs. If any one play changed the game for the Ravens, it was moving from the 40 to the 12 (if memory serves, that is where the drive wound up starting from). A couple of plays later, trying to force it on 3rd down, Flacco threw the game icing interception. I have the feeling he might be looking for other employment in the near future.
So that is the ones who don't really have a say. Now for the ones who have about a half of a say, the Restricted Free Agents or RFA's)...
RB – P.J. Daniels
WR – Demetrius Williams
WR – Marcus Maxwell
TE – Quinn Sypniewski
DT – Brandon McKinney
CB – Derrick Martin
CB – Evan Oglesby
S – Dawan Landry
P – Sam Koch
These are players whose contracts have expired and who have less than 4 years of accrued service time. The team must tender the player with an RFA offer. Once done, another team can sign the RFA to an RFA offer sheet for any amount or with any terms that they choose, but the Ravens then have 7 days to match that offer sheet and retain the player under the terms of that offer sheet. There have been cases recently with RFA players being signed to contracts by other teams with poison pills in order to make the original team unable to sign the player. Look at Steve Hutchinson for an example of this. If the Ravens were to choose not to match the offer sheet, then they would receive compensation based on which level of RFA tender was made to the player. In other words, if the Ravens gave Sam Koch an RFA offer equivalent to a 2nd round choice, then another team signed him and the Ravens could / would not match that other team's offer, than the Ravens would get a compensatory draft pick in the 2nd round.
As far as signing these players, I look at Koch to be the most important signing. I know he is a punter, but he is one of the better punters in the league, and the way this team plays the field position battle is always important. Koch is excellent at placing the ball inside the opponent's 20 yard line. He has the ability to control his kicks a lot more precisely than the majority of punters out there, and punter's offer sheets are not cap killers. After that, Daniels and Maxwell are pretty much expendable except for special teams play. The rest contribute on offense and defense and I look for the team to make quality offers to all of them.
So there isn't much here to talk about. Most of this is cut and dry stuff. So next time we will get into the imagination game and look ahead at what the team needs and where they might get it. Also, who on the team that IS under contract that might not be here when training camp starts.
And coming soon, the BSR MLB PREVIEW POST!!!!!!! Get your peanuts and Crackerjack ready.