Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Suggs voted for Pro Bowler Brady after all

Hopes Patriots’ QB gets to play in Honolulu

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs fessed up, acknowledging that he put aside his feud with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady long enough to give him his vote to the Pro Bowl.
Suggs has railed against Brady ever since losing to the Patriots earlier this season, suggesting that the NFL gives the former Most Valuable Player preferential treatment.

“Let’s go ahead and let the cat out of the bag: We did vote for him,” Suggs said. “We’ve got quarrels and our beefs but you got to respect play. It was kind of decided as a unit who we vote for. We did vote for him.”

Suggs did issue one zinger, saying he hopes Brady gets to play in the Pro Bowl, which is scheduled before the Super Bowl.

“One of us is not going to get to play in the game,” Suggs said. “I hope he has a good time in the Pro Bowl, and hopefully everything goes according to plan, I’ll be watching him from Dallas.”

Suggs was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time after turning in a resurgent season with 11 sacks.

"I said I wasn't going to have a season like I did last year, and I came back and made it to the Pro Bowl," Suggs said. "I'm still young. I just turned 28. I want to become one of the greatest. I'm just going to keep working at it and wherever I end up, I'll be satisfied."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kindle may not be cleared to play in 2011

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle might not be allowed to play football next year after fracturing his skull in late July.

Kindle disclosed that doctors have expressed concern that he won't be medically cleared for next season.

"Dr's up here make'n me nervous bout my chances of come'n back next yr!!" Kindle wrote on his Twitter account. "dey aint say'n i wont play but dey aint say'n i am eitha!! KING SERG ..

"yal know its a business so if i cant play next yr, dey aint gon keep me here!! But [expletive] IT i gota keep grind'n so i can ball out next yr!!"

Kindle has previously told 24x7 that he expects to take part in offseason minicamps, if there's no lockout.

Signed to a one-year minimum contract with no signign bonus, Kindle is on the reserve non-football injury list and isn't allowed to practice.

He attends meetings and practices, lifts weights and goes to therapy.

The Ravens can retain Kindle's rights for next season as an exclusive-rights free agent.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TEST SCORES ARE IN: Ravens avoid Texas-sized collapse


Quarterback: B-minus

Joe Flacco delivered a strong performance with accurate spirals and sound decisions. However, he was sacked five times and slowed down in the second half with only seven completions and no scores. He seemed more mindful of the pass rush and decisively picked out his targets. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 107.5 passer rating.

Running back: C

Ray Rice and the running game didn't have a big impact on the game other than keeping the Texans' defense honest. He rushed for 54 yards on 19 carries, catching eight passes for 66 yards. Le'Ron McClain blocked well in his return from a sprained left ankle that forced him to miss the Steelers game, but displayed some signs of rust. Willis McGahee scored a rare touchdown on a goal-line run.

Receiver: B-plus

Derrick Mason redeemed himself after an early drop, catching two touchdown passes in the first half. He caught one over the middle with his fingertips and got both feet down in bounds. Then, he dashed up the left sideline on a 26-yard score. Mason provided most of the offense downfield with Anquan Boldin facing bracket coverage from the Texans' suspect pass defense. Boldin was limited to three receptions for 41 yards. Starting in place of tight end Todd Heap, rookie Ed Dickson had only one catch for seven yards.

Offensive line: C

The pass protection was shoddy overall, allowing a season-high five sacks and nine quarterback hits. That's 13sacks in the past three games and 22 sacks in the past six contests. Michael Oher has a bad case of offsides, committing his seventh false start of the season.

Defensive line: C-plus

Cory Redding had one sack, five tackles and three quarterback hits. Haloti Ngata had three tackles. Kelly Gregg had an uncharacteristically quiet game with no tackles. Terrence Cody and Brandon McKinney were nonfactors.

Linebacker: C-plus

Terrell Suggs posted his 10th sack of the season. The Ravens struggled in pass coverage against Owen Daniels, but he dropped several passes to curtail his impact. He caught five passes for 91 yards by the fourth quarter, but was targeted nine times. Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had nine tackles. The Ravens mostly contained MVP candidate Arian Foster as he rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries, but gained 16 of them on the first run. They abandoned the run once they fell behind. Jarret Johnson had an average game and had trouble getting off blocks.

Secondary: C

Josh Wilson intercepted quarterback Matt Schaub and returned it 12 yards in overtime for the game-winning touchdown. This grade would have been lower if not for Wilson's clutch play. They allowed a long touchdown pass to Andre Johnson on a botched coverage by free safety Ed Reed, who tried in vain to leap for a pass thrown over his head. Johnson finished with nine receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns, heating up as the game went on. However, if the Texans could catch the football, this game could have been a different story altogether. They dropped a ton of Schaub's passes, derailing early attempts he made to get the offense going.

Special teams: B-plus

Rookie wide receiver David Reed set a franchise record with a 103-yard kickoff return for a score. Sam Koch averaged 45 yards per punt. Lardarius Webb averaged 12 yards per punt return. Billy Cundiff leads the NFL in touchbacks, booming his kickoffs deep into the end zone. The kick coverage was inconsistent.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


The Steelers have accused Ravens offensive guard Chris Chester of going after outside linebacker James Harrison on an extra point.

Chester was flagged for a false start, firing off the ball and hitting Harrison.
Harrison wasn't injured on the play. Usually, offensive linemen stay in on extra points.

"Of course it was deliberate," Harrison told reporters. "There's no way that happens on an extra point because [offensive linemen] don't shoot out. It's obvious it was blatant. It was on purpose.

"Yeah it's cheap, but when it comes down to it, it's only a 5-yard penalty, they move back to the 7 and re-kick. It's not going to hurt them."

Added inside linebacker James Farrior: "It was a dirty play."

Chester, playing his first game since suffering a lower leg infection weeks ago, doesn't have a reputation for being a dirty player.

"I think it was a designed play," said defensive end Brett Keisel, who is on the extra-point defense. "He just took off and kept driving him. I do think it was intentional.

"It ticked us all off," Keisel said. "First you get scored on, but, when you do something like that deliberately, we just kept fighting through and we won the game. We had the last laugh."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Harbaugh on Roethlisberger's injured foot: "I could care less"

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was in no mood to discuss Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's broken foot.

Roethlisberger reportedly has a broken fifth metatarsal. Listed as questionable on the injury report, he's expected to play Sunday night.

"I don't even think about it," Harbaugh said when asked about Roethlisberger. "I don't care."

When asked if he believes the foot is broken, Harbaugh had a terse reply.

"I could care less," he said. "He's going to line up and play quarterback."

Landry good to go on Sunday Night

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry said he expects to be able to play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers after suffering a mild concussion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Landry has passed an impact test, but still has to pass a baseline test later today to test his neurological responses.

"I feel regular," Landry said. "I'm ready to go."

Landry said he'll take the test this afternoon, but expressed confidence that he'll be able to pass the test.

The only symptoms he had was a slight headache following his hit on running back Cadillac Williams.

"I got to take it later today, in a little bit," Landry said. "I'm good, man. I feel good. Felt good all week."

Le'Ron McClain: "I'm in for Sunday"

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain returned to practice, and he demonstrated that his sprained ankle is getting better by running off the field Friday into the locker room.

He predicted he'll be ready for Sunday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I feel good today," McClain said. "No pain or anything. I went out there and had a good pradtice. Yeah, I'm in for Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure. I'm good, man. I'm going to be ready Sunday. It just depends on the coaches, if they want to use me Sunday or not."

McClain said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has contingency plans in case he can't go. The team signed veteran fullback Jason McKie earlier this week.

"Just like last week, I know Cam has got a plan if I play or if I don't," McClain said.

McClain said he never had any swelling in his ankle.

"I knew it wasn't that serious because I didn't have no swelling," he said. "I knew it was all pain. I'm working all the kinks out of my ankle. I went out today and had a good practice. I've got no pain.

"It was just a whole bunch of pain. I couldn't step on it Sunday. Now, I'm running around like nothing's wrong."

McClain said he worked with the first-team offense today.

"I took reps with the ones," he said. "I did some pass block plays. I had a running play today. I ran the ball today. I feel good."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boldin places team record before personal stats

Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught three passes for 27 yards against Tampa Bay, and he said he was dealing with bracket coverage at times.

"A little bit, a little bit," Boldin said.

Against the Carolina Panthers, Boldin caught three passes for 29 yards. He was limited to two catches for 28 yards against the Miami Dolphins, but did catch five passes for 50 yards in a recent loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

For the season, Boldin has been productive with 51 receptions for 652 yards and six touchdowns.

However, his numbers have gone down lately. He's not upset, though, about his involvement.

"No, I'm fine," Boldin said. "As long as we're 8-3, that's all that matters."

At this point, the Ravens don't anticipate any griping from Boldin who has maintained a team-first attitude.

"I think that goes without saying," Harbaugh said. "I just think the question gets asked so many times you just start kind of rolling your eyes at it. It's like, ‘How many times do the guys have to answer this question?'

"Guys want to win. Guys want to contribute. Guys want to be a big part of it. They want to catch passes. They want to block. They want to do all the things that help you win. It's very simple to me."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kick returns job is David Reed's to lose

Special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg gave his seal of approval to rookie wide receiver David Reed as the Ravens’ primary kickoff returner.

The fifth-round draft pick from Utah is averaging 21.6 yards per kickoff return with a long return of 31 yards, and Rosburg announced that Reed will continue to return kicks this Sunday.

"I think David Reed has grown every week we've put him back there," Rosburg said. "You see things in the return that you like to see. I like his spirit. He practices hard. He's an exciting guy. The guys like blocking for him. We're going to give him another shot this week."

Rosburg didn’t announce who’s going to return punts, but Lardarius Webb is listed atop the depth chart. The Ravens are also planning to work in Donte’ Stallworth and have Ed Reed and Chris Carr as options, too.

“We’ll find out Sunday,” Rosburg said. “I have no announcements on punt returns. Donte’ is one of the guys to be considered, yes.”

Panthers to start journeyman QB St. Pierre

OWINGS MILLS – Remember, Brian St. Pierre?

He’s the journeyman quarterback who spent a season with the Baltimore Ravens five years ago.

He’s the obscure guy who was spending his time as a stay-at-home dad until joining the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad on Friday last week and was promoted to the active roster Tuesday.

And St. Pierre, a former Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick who has only thrown five regular-season passes, is the surprise starter for the Panthers on Sunday against the Ravens.

Instead of going with unheralded rookie quarterback Tony Pike with starter Jimmy Clausen out with a concussion, Panthers coach John Fox chose to go with St. Pierre, 30, because of his slightly superior experience.

“Great guy, great quarterback,” tight end Todd Heap said. “We’ve seen him play over the years. He’s a guy that we kind of know what he’s capable of. We’ve seen what he can do, his arm strength.

“He’s a smart guy, we know that about him. Our defense hopefully will be ready for that, and a lot of guys on that side of the ball know Brian St. Pierre and know what type of quarterback he is.”

Nose guard Kelly Gregg also spoke highly of St. Pierre, who has completed 2 of 5 career passes for 12 yards, one touchdown and one interception during previous stints with the Arizona Cardinals and Steelers.

“He’s a good guy and a good quarterback,” Gregg said. “He’s a tough guy and he’ll be ready to go out there on Sunday.”

Strong safety Dawan Landry said he doesn’t remember much about St. Pierre.

St. Pierre will have just four practices to get ready for the Ravens.

“At least he’s been around the league,” Landry said. “You can’t take anybody lightly, not at all. He’s a veteran guy. We’ll prepare the same way we always prepare.

“He just got there this week, too? Wow. At least he’s a veteran guy. He just got there, so hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

St. Pierre didn’t go through a training camp this summer.

Now, he’s quarterbacking the 1-8 Panthers against the NFL’s 10th-ranked defense.

"I know what the situation looks like to everyone," St. Pierre told Charlotte reporters. "It is what it is. I'm not going to complain about it."

Three years ago, the Panthers started a 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde and managed to win a game.

"John Fox came in to me on Wednesday and said, 'Vinny Testaverde came in and did this three years ago," St. Pierre said. "And I said, 'Well, Vinny has a little better resume than I do.'

"I appreciate they have enough faith to throw me out there. I hope I can reward them by holding my own Sunday."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Derrick Mason says he broke his finger again

ATLANTA -- Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason acknowledged that he broke his surgically repaired right pinkie finger against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

Mason underwent X-rays immediately after the game and had his finger wrapped up.

"It looks like it's broken again, the same finger," Mason said after leaving the locker room following a 26-21 defeat where he finished the game despite the injury. "It doesn't look good."

Mason said he'll have the finger examined again when the team returns to Baltimore today.

Mason initially broke the finger during an Oct. 17 overtime loss to the New England Patriots.

Then, he played through the pain against the Buffalo Bills before having the damage repaired with a pin inserted in the finger to aid the healing process during the Ravens' bye week.

Now, Mason will likely have to play through the injury for the remainder of the season.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The other Reed

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg always plays his cards close to the vest, declining to reveal who's returning kicks. The Ravens are expected to utilize Carr as the primary punt returner with Zbikowski expected to be ruled out.The Ravens could also use Stallworth and Lardarius Webb.

"We have a number of guys back there who are practicing," Rosburg said. "You've probably heard this answer before, but we'll see who shows up on Sunday."

The Ravens could wind up using rookie wide receiver David Reed on kickoff returns as well as cornerback Josh Wilson. Reed was a productive returner in college at the University of Utah, and the fifth-round draft pick says he's ready to contribute.

"Definitely, I can't wait," Reed said. "I just want to get that ball in my hand and show the team I can make plays and be explosive with the ball.

"I'm a north-south runner. I don't do a lot of juking I'm going to hit it. You're going to see me hit it for sure. Just watch out."

Ravens impressed with Yanda at tackle

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron doled out some heavy praise for offensive tackle Marshal Yanda, a converted offensive guard.

Yanda hasn't started at tackle on a regular basis since his rookie season, but the former Iowa standout has improved each week this season.

"Marshal has been tremendous," Cameron said. "There aren't many guys that can bounce out to right tackle and the play at the level that he's playing. Obviously, a lot of football left, but he's just another one of the good football players we have here."

Yanda grew up on an Iowa pig farm and plays the game with a gritty, aggressive style.

"Marshal was really good in college," Cameron said. "I wasn't here his rookie year, but he played as a rookie. He's been a good football player for a long time. He's like a lot of these guys. They come in the league, they get a feel for the league, they get a little bigger, they get a little stronger.

"And they start to understand the personnel matchups they have each week. Marshal is just continuing to grow as a professional. He's about as dependable of guy as you'll ever come across."

Foxworth on the fast track back

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth is on the fast track, reporting steady progress in his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Foxworth said he's confident he'll be able to take part in offseason minicamps, saying he has set a goal of being physically able to practice by early February.

"I definitely think that's attainable," Foxworth said. "The goal that I've set is a more steep goal that that, but it doesn't really matter. Obviously I won't be able to play before the season, but I'd like to be able to.

"I'd like to be in condition to be ready by the Super Bowl. Obviously I won't be in the game, but I'd like to be able to feel good and cut and change directions. I think it's attainable given the progress I've made so far."

Foxworth injured his knee in late July during a non-contact walkthrough, one day before the Ravens' opening full-squad practice of training camp.

No longer on crutches after undergoing surgery Aug. 10 with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews repairing his knee, Foxworth is already able to run and lift weights.

"I've been running, changing directions," Foxworth said. "I squatted 315 [pounds] yesterday. I'm feeling pretty good right now."

Foxworth said he doesn't discuss his injury much with cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb, who tore their ACLs late last season and have returned this season.

"They have more important things to worry about," Foxworth said. "When we talk, we talk football most of the time. Only thing I talked to Fabian about was I was telling him how good I feel, and he was saying, 'Take it easy, because sometimes, it's an illusion.'"

Disappointed about being out for the season, Foxworth said keeps himself available to offer advice to younger players and his house is always open for film sessions as it was in the past.

"You're never really with the group unless you're on the field," Foxworth said. "No matter what, I don't really feel like I'm a part of it, but when guys, young guys especially, come over and want to watch film together, that's available whenever.

"We do it sometimes, and we haven't had a big group or anything, but I'm sure at some point, we'll start doing the group meetings at my house again."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mason has surgery

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason had surgery to repair his broken right pinkie finger, a procedure that should allow him to return in time for a Nov. 7 game against the Miami Dolphins following a bye.

"I had surgery on it Monday," Mason told FOX Sports 1370 radio. "Put a pin in it, so it's good for me that we've got a week off, almost two weeks, so it allows my hand to heal and I'll be out there ready to play when we play Miami."

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Mason hasn't missed a game in eight years.

He has been dealing with the injury for the past two weeks after initially breaking it against the New England Patriots.

Mason ranks second on the team with 26 receptions for 357 yards.

"If the bye week hadn't come this week I would have just waited until the bye week to get it done," Mason said. "I played with it in the New England game and I played with it last week.

"Eventually I was going to have it done, so why not have it during the bye week? That gives me two weeks to heal and then be ready to play."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We got the Housh but he's not happy

Veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught the game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, hauling in an 18-yard strike.

However, he's not satisfied with his complementary role behind starting wide receivers. Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason and tight end Todd Heap.

The former Pro Bowl selection ranks sixth on the team with five receptions for 80 yards with one touchdown.

Houshmandzadeh said the Ravens assured him he would catch 50 to 60 passes prior to signing a one-year deal after being cut by the Seattle Seahawks.

"For me, I knew coming in what I was getting myself into," Houshmandzadeh said. "But I believe in myself. So the belief in myself said once they see me, things will change. We'll see if that holds to be true."

He has seen limited action in the past few games after struggling against the Cincinnati Bengals, his old team, when he failed to come down with big catches with two drops.

"I was shocked that I played as much as I did in the first and second game," Houshmandzadeh said. "I wouldn't say that got me greedy, but then I expected it, so to speak. But then I didn't play much against Cleveland."

Houshmandzadeh said he hasn't complained to quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron about not being more heavily involved.

He knows that people are probably aware of how he feels about not being utilized more.

"The bad part of my personality is I tend to not to say it but my body language says that," Houshmandzadeh said. "That's bad but that's who I am. Q [Boldin] is going to be happy. That's just the reality of it.

"Q and Heap, they're going to get their balls. They brought Q in, they gave up draft picks and gave him a nice contract. They're going to find ways to get him the ball. I can appreciate that. I wish it was me, but it's not."

Harbaugh is quacking up!

John Harbaugh said he still plans to honor his lost bet to rookie tight end Ed Dickson on the Stanford-Oregon game by wearing some Ducks gear. Harbaugh's brother, Jim Harbaugh, coaches Stanford. And Dickson is a former Oregon standout. "He says it's on order," Harbaugh said. "I can't imagine what this jersey's going to look like." Dickson said he's providing Harbaugh a special T-shirt that should arrive today. "It's a shirt that says 'I Love My Ducks' on the front," Dickson said. "That's actually a theme that's been running through Eugene, Oregon since last year, since the Rose Bowl time. I'll make sure he has it on Wednesday and you guys will be ready for it. He's a man of his word, and he's going to wear the shirt." Added Harbaugh: "I'm not wearing it during the game, I don't think." Harbaugh paid his cash bet to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, another Oregon alum.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Harbaugh sings praises for Webb, Ngata

John Harbaugh was complimentary of cornerback Lardarius Webb for how he contained swift Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Webb broke up a pass intended in the end zone for Wallace, who caught two passes for 24 yards.

Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament last December against the Chicago Bears, ending last season on injured reserve.

He displayed good recovery speed to catch up with Wallace.

"That's probably the first time you got a chance to see him in a one-on-one situation going up to make a play," Harbaugh said. "Since he didn't go through training camp, this time of year you don't get too many of those kind of battles in practice. Just playing the ball is something he does extremely well, and that showed up in those two plays.

"Mike Wallace can run, he can go up and get a ball, and Lardarius made up a little ground on him and then timed it perfectly and got the ball out twice. Those were huge plays in the game."

NGATA DOMINATES: Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata thoroughly trounced the Steelers' offensive line, recording a career-high 11 tackles with one sack.
Ngata lined up at defensive end for the majority of the game and was practically unblockable.

"Haloti Ngata, first of all, is playing as well as any defensive player in the league right now," Harbaugh said. "There's no denying it. I'm proud of him. He's a great guy. Nobody works harder, he's a good family man.

"He's just the kind of guy you root for, and he's dominant. We played him at defensive end most of the game, you know, out there over Flozell [Adams] and Max Starks, and he just held up really well against some of their inside and outside zone schemes.

IR a possibility for Gaither

OWINGS MILLS - Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither hasn't been medically cleared to resume playing football by California back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins.

Although Gaither's back injury is improving, he's still not considered ready to play.

His status is regarded as week to week.

Gaither flew to California Monday for another medical opinion from Watkins to examine a thoracic disc injury suffered during the first week of training camp.

Gaither was carted off the field Aug. 5 with an upper back injury that triggered back spasms.

Gaither returned to practice last Wednesday on a limited basis, but was unable to practice after saying his lower back was bothering him.

"We just don't know. That's a mystery right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week. "Jared is as frustrated as anybody. We'll know more on Monday when he gets a re-evaluation. We'll see how that goes."

Gaither was initially feeling better, but had trouble making it through a light practice.

"He said he was feeling better and he'd be able to go next week, he thought, so he went out there and went through a very light practice," Harbaugh said. "The next day, came in and his back was sore. So, we're sending him for a re-evaluation.

"Our doctors have looked at it, and they don't see it in there right now. So, we've got to find out from the best experts what exactly is causing that problem."

Harbaugh said that injured reserve is a possibility.

"Obviously, the clock is ticking on something like that," Harbaugh said.

Scott Kooistra was added to the roster after trying out Tuesday along with offensive linemen Jake Grove, Brett Romberg, Nick Leckey, Kynan Forney and Kirk Chambers.

The Ravens tried out offensive linemen Donald Thomas and Quinn Ojinnaka on Monday.
Kooistra is a 6-foot-6, 335-pound former Cincinnati Bengals seventh-round draft pick from North Carolina State.

Kooistra, 29, has played in 84 career NFL games with one start.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trevor Pryce a Jet per Terrell Suggs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs says that veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce has signed with the New York Jets.

The Ravens cut Pryce on Wednesday to re-sign safety Ken Hamlin, and coach John Harbaugh had indicated that the team planned to bring back Pryce.

"kinda sad 2day. my boy trevor pryce signed wit the JETS!!!!!" Suggs wrote on his Twitter account. "happy for him but would rather he be on my team!!!!! "

The move isn't surprising considering Pryce's ties to Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Football runs in the family for Ray Lewis

Lewis isn't the only member of his family that's off to a good start on the football field this year.

Ray Lewis III, a sophomore running back and linebacker at Lake Mary Prep (Fla.), gained 504 all-purpose yards in a win over Windermere Prep last week.

Ray Lewis' son rushed for 104 yards, gained 101 yards on kickoff returns and had 206 yards and two touchdowns on punt returns with 27 receiving yards and 66 yards passing on 6 of 6 accuracy. He also recorded six tackles and deflected a pass.

"It’s funny, man, because my kids are putting pressure on me now," Lewis said. "I’m telling them, ‘I’m getting ready to one day tailgate so I can chase y’all.’ You know? My oldest boy had his game Friday night, and then my 10-year-old had his game Saturday, and both of them scored three times, and the text I get and the phone call I get is, ‘It’s your turn.’ I’m like, ‘Well, how do I show up 500 yards?’ You can’t show up 500 yards.”

Lewis III led his team in rushing and tackles last season as a freshman.

The 5-foot-9, 186-pounder was 5-foot-5, 140 pounds two years ago as an eighth-grader.

“He’s bulked up and looks great out there,” Lake Mary coach Buck Gurley told the Orlando Sentinel. “He hits the weights hard over the summer. He’s far advanced for his grade level. He’s definitely going to be a Division I prospect.”

Lewis, whose Ravens beat the New York Jets 10-9 Monday night as he recorded a huge hit on tight end Dustin Keller, is extremely proud.

"He’s a great kid, a great kid, all of my boys," Lewis said. "I give them hard criticism even when I watch their films and watch the things they do on tape. Whether it’s the ball is in the wrong hand, whether you should have used a stiff-arm, whether you should have went outside, inside, whatever it is.

"I don’t critique them to down them, but the effort is kind of what I always keep up with. And just to see what I saw on tape about what he did this last week, just his effort and his leadership on how he kept his team involved, there’s no greater reward for a father than to see that, than to see your son.”

Lewis said he's the type of parent who isn't shy about voicing his approval whenever he gets a chance to attend a game in person.

"Oh yeah, every bye week I usually see him," Lewis said. "I’m faithful to it. I’m not the parent that’s going to sit back and be quiet. I’m the one that runs all the way. If you run 100 yards, I’m running 110. So, good thing."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kindle says, "I'm Back!"

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens injured rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle traveled to Baltimore from Texas on Sunday to be examined by doctors after fracturing his skull in late July and being sidelined for the entire preseason.

The second-round draft pick from the University of Texas is scheduled to undergo a series of neurological exams.

Kindle will have to pass a physical before he can be signed to an NFL contract.

As an unsigned player, Kindle isn't currently on the roster and hasn't been given any designation as far as the reserve physically unable to perform list. He's expected to be placed on that list eventually and would have to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

Kindle is extremely upbeat about his prospects and hopes to be playing football as soon as October. However, he has to be medically cleared, sign a contract and get into football shape.

"Its official, i'll be wear'n number 94!!!" Kindle wrote on his official Twitter account. "ima sit out some games but look for ya boy on that field sometime next month!! King Serg. ..

"Whats good world! Ya boy is up get'n ready for my flight to B-More!! Yea buddy...IM BACK!!!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Webb is back and having fun

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens are taking a cautious approach with cornerback Lardarius Webb while holding out hope that he'll return in time for the first game against the New York Jets.

Webb was activated from the physically unable to perform list today after passing his physical.

He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 20 against the Chicago Bears.

"I really don’t know," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when asked if Webb would play in the team's remaining two preseason contests. "You would love to just because if he was out there doing it, you know he was ready, but we’re not going to push it. We’re not going to do anything earlier than, as much you can be, sure there won’t be a setback."

The Sept. 13 regular season opener isn't being viewed as a lock, but the Ravens are privately optimistic.

"I wish I could but I’m not a doctor, and the doctors don’t even tell us that," Harbaugh said. "It’s impossible to put a number on."

Webb took part in individual drills, running around and cutting without incident.
"It was fun," Webb said. "Glad to be out with my teammates. They welcomed me back fine and dandy. It was great."

Webb was reluctant to say when he'll return as far as playing in games, deferring comment to Harbaugh.

"My expectations are to get through this whole season healthy and to help my team win a championship," Webb said. "Play my role, if that's cheering them on from the sideline, if that's being a starting corner or starting nickel, hey, I could be a coach. It don't matter. Just want to be a part of this team this year, so I'm doing everything to get back with these guys."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Webb still on PUP but not for long

Lardarius Webb continues to work on the side while the Baltimore Ravens practice at McDaniel College, staying on the physically unable to perform list this morning.

That status could change soon, though.

"It felt good," said Webb, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament against the Chicago Bears last December. "It's coming along. We're working real hard every day and hoping I can be back as soon as possible. I hope so."

Webb has been accelerating his workout schedule, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh is optimistic that he could return soon.

The Ravens would like to have Webb activated as soon as the third preseason game against the New York Giants.

"It's up to the doctors, but he's right there," Harbaugh said. "He wants to play."
Webb has said, though, that he doesn't want to play in the preseason.

The Ravens and Webb have both said they'll err on the side of caution and won't rush him back onto the field.

Photo by Kevin Moore


Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb is making steady progress with his surgically-repaired torn anterior cruciate ligament, improving to the point where he could be on the verge of passing his physical and being activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Webb took a portion of the running test Wednesday at McDaniel College, and his interval times were even better than initially expected.

However, Webb has made it clear that he's not inclined to rush his rehabilitation schedule since he suffered the knee injury last December against the Chicago Bears.

Earlier his week, he said he doesn't believe he should play in any preseason games.

Webb is already well ahead of schedule and wants to err on the side of caution when it comes to when he'll begin practicing.

If Webb has concerns about it possibly being too soon to get back on the field, that could put the brakes on the Ravens' plans.

Regardless of when Webb gets activated, the consensus opinion is that the former third-round draft pick is making an impressive recovery.

"We might want to be cautious with him," Harbaugh said Tuesday "We’re going to be cautious with all these guys. The thing you don’t want to do is have a setback. He’s really doing well. I think he’s progressing ahead of schedule, that’s what I’ve been told.

"It won’t be long before you see him off the PUP and out here practicing with the guys, but I think we are going to be cautious with him. If he can play in the preseason and we feel very comfortable that it’s not going to be a setback, then we’ll do it. If we think there’s any possibility of a setback, then we probably won’t.”

The Ravens eased cornerback Fabian Washington., who tore his ACL last November, back into practice sessions. He's now slated to start Saturday night against the Washington Redskins and will likely play for a quarter.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cousins carted off field

L. McClain, Gooden sit out practice

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Oniel Cousins was carted off the field this morning at McDaniel College due to headaches, according to coach John Harbaugh.

“He developed a headache, so that’s where we’re at,”Harbaugh said. “I don’t know any more than that.”

Cousins will be examined for concussion symptoms.

Cousins may have also been dealing with fatigue issues.

He has been taking the first-team work at offensive tackle with Jared Gaither sidelined with a slight back tear and back spasms.

Tony Moll, who had his own concussion earlier in camp, stepped in with the first-team offense at right tackle.

Several offensive linemen are injured, including Hale (back), center Matt Birk (neck), Stefan Rodgers (shoulder) and center-guard Daniel Sanders (shoulder).

Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain sat out of practice due to a tight back.

He said he expects to return to practice as soon as Thursday and play Saturday night against the Washington Redskins.

"It's my back," he said. "It's a little tight today. Coach told me to chill out today.

"It's just all muscle. Come back get ready for practice tomorrow and then get ready for the Redskins."

Inside linebacker Tavares Gooden was sidelined from practice Wednesday morning due to a neck injury.

Gooden got injured against the Carolina Panthers and was able to practice Tuesday with no restrictions on contact after wearing a red jersey Monday that signified he was off-limits to hitting.

Now, Gooden's not practicing at all as the Ravens are hoping that rest will cure what's ailing him.

"Tavares has got the neck thing from the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said . "It just keeps tightening back up on him, so we just need to sit him down and settle him down. He’s tried to go the last two days. Every time he’s tried to go, it spasms back up, so we just need to settle him down for a couple days and try to get him out there on Saturday.”

Gooden was under consideration to start Saturday night against the Washington Redskins.

So, Baltimore might go with Dannell Ellerbe or Jameel McClain, who started against Carolina.

The Ravens want to evaluate all three candidates to start opposite All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

"Yeah, that’d probably be part of it," Harbaugh said. "We also want to get Jameel some work at Sam [strongside linebacker] because he’s a multiple guy, and in order to play the position, you’ve got to get some work there. So, we’ll move those guys around for the next two weeks and we’ll know where we’re at.”

Photo by Kevin Moore

Zorn set to revisit Redskins, Fedex Field

Jim Zorn isn't consumed by bitterness, grudges or hard feelings.

The Baltimore Ravens' quarterback coach hasn't spoken with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder since the night he was fired as head coach a few hours after returning from the Redskins' season finale in San Diego.

And it doesn't sound like Zorn has plans to seek out Snyder when the Baltimore Ravens face the Redskins Saturday night in a preseason game at FedEx Field.

It figures to be an emotional evening for Zorn as he'll be on the opposing sideline after coaching the Redskins for the past two seasons.

Known for his positive demeanor, Zorn didn't stray from the high road during an interview after practice Tuesday at McDaniel College.

"What is the right way [to deal with it]? You just get fired, thank you very much and you move on." Zorn said. "I really think that's how we have to handle it, or we could go sit in our rooms for a few weeks and mope and feel sorry for ourselves.
It's not the way life is, really. We're called to handle difficult situations as well as glorious situations."

It was an extremely rough year for Zorn last season.

One year removed from a somewhat promising 8-8 campaign as a rookie head coach, the Redskins went into a downward spiral.

They nosedived to 4-12.

Zorn was embarrassed when he was relieved of offensive play-calling duties six games into the season having lost four games. The Redskins gave the responsibilities to assistant Sherman Lewis even though it had been years since Lewis had called plays or worked in the NFL.

Introspective by nature whether he's coaching or riding his trademark mountain bike, Zorn said he learned a lot from the experience even though it didn't turn out the way he wanted it to.

"It's an exciting position, it really is," Zorn said. "It's intense. There are so many details of the football game. You do feel like the intensity level is very high. You can't have an error, you can't have a mistake. That's what we coach to: perfection.

"I think that's been brought out in me extensively. It's kind of to the max. When you think about a position coach versus the head coach. ... There's just sort of a heightened awareness there."

The Ravens are acutely aware of Zorn's contribution.

As a former Seattle Seahawks quarterback who set several franchise records, Zorn has provided a lot of perspective to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

And the Ravens know this will be a big night for Zorn as he returns to square off against his former employers, who are still paying his salary out of the remaining years on his contract.

"Jim Zorn, obviously, we've had fun with it," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "And it's going to be very meaningful for him. I hope the Redskins fans are very respectful. This is a good man. He's a great coach.

"He's brought a lot to us as a Raven, and I know he gave his heart and soul for the Redskins for two years. That's kind of what it's all about. It's a tough business, but we're proud to have him here. He's meant so much to our quarterbacks and to our team, and he's made us a better football team."

Harbaugh and Zorn got to know each other over the past few years as both were hired as head coaches two years ago.

Both are active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and their wives got to know each other, too.

"We had become good friends just being up the road from them," Harbaugh said. "We had developed a little bit of a relationship with the families. So, we'd been talking pretty much all the way through."

Once quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson accepted the Oakland Raiders' offer to become their offensive coordinator, it wasn't long before Zorn interviewed for the vacancy. He met with Harbaugh and other team officials at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and a deal was quickly worked out.

"When Hue Jackson had the opportunity to go to Oakland as the offensive coordinator, then the dialogue changed," Harbaugh said. "We were just very fortunate that he chose to come here."

The most emotional aspect of the reunion for Zorn is likely to take place on the field before kickoff and after the game.

That's when players and coaches congregate and traditionally have a few conversations.

Zorn figures to be warmly received.

"I got close to some of those players that are on that team, so I wish them well, but we all move on," Zorn said. "My concentration is now to help this football team win. I'm really excited about being a part of the Ravens.

"That's where my concentration is. I don't spend a lot of time going, ‘Gosh, oh gee, whiz, I'm not this or that,' because we don't have time. We're all concentrating and focusing on this football season. That's it."

How's it going to feel for Zorn to run out on the field wearing purple and black instead of burgundy and gold?

What's it going to be like to gaze across the field and see Mike Shanahan running his old football team?

"It'll be different," Zorn said. "I don't know how weird it'll be because my responsibility is to get these quarterbacks ready and get this offense ready in any way I can. That's what I'm doing right now."

If Zorn ever gets another chance to become an NFL head coach again, he says he wouldn't shy away from giving it another shot.

Right now, though, that's not his focus.

He's enjoying what he's doing, working with Flacco, Marc Bulger and Troy Smith.

"I don't know, the circumstance is either going to be there or it's not," said Zorn, who has previously tutored Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Batch. "I'm not in any hurry. If the opportunity arises, I'd like to have the opportunity. I really enjoyed [it]. If I have the opportunity to be here for however long, 10 years in the capacity that I'm in right now, I'm willing."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gaither saga continues

The Jared Gaither saga took another repetitive turn Friday as he remained sidelined with upper back cramps that have rendered him unable to play football.

The Baltimore Ravens' towering offensive tackle is down to 311 pounds, admittedly more than he planned to lose after playing last season at 340 pounds.

The former University of Maryland lineman is struggling with the adjustment to playing at a lighter weight, a development that the Ravens hadn't anticipated when they opened training camp.

"Jared's got some muscle cramps, spasms I guess you'd call them, between his shoulder blades and his upper back," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "So, he just can't get into his stance and really play right now. So, we've got to work that out somehow."

This marks the second time that Gaither has cramped up. His blood work has come back negative.

He was carted off the field a week ago and had ice packs placed on his lower back.

He was able to practice for the majority of this week after returning Monday.

Now, he's sidelined again.

Gaither attended practice, and strength and conditioning coach Bob Rogucki helped him stretch out.

Earlier this week, Gaither acknowledged that he overdid the weight loss. Gaither worked out on his own away from the Ravens' supervision.

He has said he lost the weight to reduce stress on his foot and toe injuries. However, he's also now far much lighter than most right offensive tackles and resembles a tight end or a basketball player more than an NFL offensive lineman.

"I had a couple of cramps," Gaither said. "I dropped a couple pounds over the summer. I'm just preparing for a great season. I lost a little bit more than I was anticipating and cramped up a little bit my first time out there. I'm back now, and I'm fine."

Gaither's workload at right tackle was taken over by rookie Ramon Harewood and Oniel Cousins as they divided the snaps with the first-team offense.

Harewood is a relatively inexperienced football player having grown up in Barbados playing volleyball, soccer, cricket and rugby before emerging as an NFL prospect at Morehouse, which he attended on an academic scholarship.

Harewood was sidelined during minicamps because of a soft-tissue knee injury, but is 100 percent healthy now.

"Ramon, he comes out here and he's fighting through," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's playing both sides, he's taking every snap and he's the kind of guy that doesn't make the same mistakes twice.

"Really a smart player for a guy that has very little football experience. He has a long way to go, but he's moving pretty quickly."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ravens looking to cut down on penalties

WESTMINSTER --The Baltimore Ravens got tired of seeing yellow flags flying in their direction last season, a trend that never halted as they led the NFL penalty yardage.

Ranked fifth in total penalties assessed last year with 115 for a total of 1,094 penalty yards, the Ravens continue to have college officials working their training camp to make sure the players follow the rules.

“I would say it’s a big point of emphasis for us,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s always been a big emphasis, but probably more so than it has been ever before.”

NFL referee Ron Winter and his officiating crew visited the Ravens to go over new points of emphasis and rule changes earlier in camp.

The aspiring NFL officials are told to not hold back with the flags at camp.

Sometimes, the players argue and lobby for calls or have a bit of fun with defensive end Cory Redding tossing a flag into the air recently.

“We’ve told them to call it tight,” Harbaugh said. “And our coaches are instructed to coach the penalties, not argue about them. And we’ve always tried to do that, but I think more so this year than ever probably.”

So far, Harbaugh said that the Ravens have been cutting down on holding and pass interference penalties.

He’ll judge the real results when the penalties actually count.

“When the games start, we’ll find out,” Harbaugh said. “I think guys have been very conscious about technique. I’ve seen improvement with regard to those things.”

Thursday, August 5, 2010

There's a new CB kid in town

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a contract with undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Chris Hawkins.

The 6-foot, 187-pound former LSU starter worked out for the Ravens earlier today at training camp at McDaniel College.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” Hawkins' agent, Darin Morgan, told the Carroll County Times. “Hopefully, Chris can take advantage of the opportunity. He certainly has good size and good measurables. The Ravens like cornerbacks with some size, and he fits the bill for what they like.”

Hawkins was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars following the draft.

Jacksonville cut him in July before training camp.

The Ravens lost cornerback Domonique Foxworth for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

They traded quarterback John Beck to the Washington Redskins this week for cornerback Doug Dutch.

Hawkins was invited to the NFL scouting combine in February.

He recorded 119 career tackles, 19 pass deflections and five interceptions for the Tigers.

Ravens to try out cornerback Chris Hawkins

WESTMINSTER -- Still searching for depth at cornerback, the Baltimore Ravens are scheduled to audition former LSU cornerback Chris Hawkins on Thursday.

Hawkins is a 6-foot, 187-pound undrafted rookie free agent who was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars following the draft.

However, Jacksonville cut him in July.

The Ravens lost cornerback Domonique Foxworth for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. They traded quarterback John Beck to the Washington Redskins this week for cornerback Doug Dutch.

Hawkins was invited to the NFL scouting combine in February.

He recorded 119 career tackles, 19 pass deflections and five interceptions for the Tigers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

John Beck traded to Redskins

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Rumors have been swirling for days that the Baltimore Ravens were looking to trade one of their reserve quarterbacks, John Beck or Troy Smith.

Beck is now expected to be traded to the Washington Redskins.

The former Miami Dolphins second-round draft pick was with the Ravens last season. He was competing with Troy Smith to be the third quarterback.

UPDATE: Ravens receive CB Doug Dutch in return. Dutch spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad in 2009 as a cornerback prospect. He played cornerback at the University of Michigan after converting from wide receiver. He was also a special teams standout in college.

Signed with the Redskins as an undrafted rookie free agent on April 28, 2009

2009 (Redskins)

Signed with the Redskins’ practice squad (11/16) for the remainder of the 2009 season.

Played in all 12 games as a fifth-year senior and played mostly on special teams
Saw action in all 13 games as a senior in 2007, tallying one tackle on defense but seeing the bulk of playing time on special teams

Played in seven games as a junior, seeing action at wide receiver

Played wide receiver in seven games as a sophomore and served on special teams
Caught four passes for 34 yards in sophomore season and returned two punts for 16 yards

Did not see any action as a freshman in 2004

Attended Gonzaga College High School and was a three-year starter and letterman at wide receiver and cornerback

Totaled 60 career receptions for 1,000 yards and scored 25 total touchdowns in his career

Made 207 career stops and 10 interceptions on defense

Held a kick return average of over 50 yards for his high school career

Caught 22 passes for 320 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior andtotaled 45 tackles, 11 pass break-ups and six interceptions returning one for a score
Had 16 receptions for 337 yards and three touchdown catches as a junior
Had 19 punt returns for 238 yards and one return for a touchdown along with five kick returns for 267 yards

Was a three-year letterman in basketball and four-year letterman in track where he holds a school record 10.5 second 100-meters

Holds the school record in the 200-meters (21.7) and 400-meters (46.84)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Domonique Foxworth's season over due to torn ACL

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a major blow for a defense already missing cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb.

"We had an orientation practice and it's a slow-pace, short practice and we lost Domonique Foxworth," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Domonique tore his ACL. He wasn't touched. There was no contact. He just planted the wrong way and the thing popped.

"We're disappointed about that. I'm most disappointed for Domonique. I can't wait to see who steps up to fill that spot. We're going to have a great defense."

Webb and Washington remain out due to their own surgically-repaired knee ligaments that were torn last season. Plus, cornerback Cary Williams is suspended for the first two games for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.

The Ravens have signed Walt Harris and Travis Fisher this offseason and also have Chris Carr. Carr and Fisher lined up as the starters today.

It's possible that general manager Ozzie Newsome will look to sign another cornerback, too.

"The one thing with the Ravens, as you all know, Ozzie's always going to get guys here," defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. "He's going to always give you enough bullets. We are very confident in that and we'll do whatever we have to do to get that defense ready."

Heap sidelined with illness, F. Washington good to go

Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap was placed on the non-football illness list.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection will be sidelined for the first full-team practice Friday.

The nature of his illness is unknown at this time, but it's not regarded as serious.
Practice was closed to reporters on Thursday at McDaniel College.

Meanwhile, cornerback Fabian Washington (knee) has passed his physical and has been activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Washington has made a rapid recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last season.

"It really felt good running around with the guys again," Washington wrote on his Twitter acount. "The knee feels great."

Undrafted rookie wide receiver Rodelin Anthony (knee) also passed his physical.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cody scales the conditioning mountain

Huffing and puffing his way across the finish line, massive rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody finally beat the clock and conquered the Baltimore Ravens' challenging conditioning test.

One day after twice flunking a timed running test at McDaniel College, the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder was activated from the physically unable to perform list and joined his teammates for training camp practice as an anchor in the middle of the defensive line.

Cody earned some respect for his perseverance by passing the test at 7 a.m., and he's gained a new nickname from veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata: "Cheeseburger."

While Cody took the joke in stride, he was embarrassed initially when he was unable to make the times.

"I didn't pass and I was kind of down on myself, telling myself I could have worked harder," Cody said. "I had a lot of people behind me, cheering me on after I failed it. It was just like, ‘Get it next time, or try again tomorrow.'

"I had my family call me and ask me what was going on. I had to tell them. I slept on it and got up this morning with a head full of steam and passed it. It was a relief."

And Ngata delivered some comic relief at the big rookie's expense.

"Ngata kind of nicknamed me, ‘Cheeseburger.'" Cody said with a smile. "He calls me that. He's a real nice guy."

Cody weighed 400 pounds a few years ago, so his fitness and nutrition remain a work in progress.

The running test is especially tough for a defensive lineman with Cody's girth.
It consists of running 25 yards, up and back, up and back, up and back, in 35 total seconds. Then, there's a 70-second rest period between intervals. It's repeated six times and the target time remains the same for each run.

With Cody passing the conditioning test, it represents the Ravens' first upset victory of the season.

"I will have to admit that I was surprised this morning when they told me he passed the conditioning test," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We have it on tape, and we will verify the results of that test. I think it's a credit to him.

"Obviously it shows you that he was in shape. He's a little heavy right now. He's got to lose a little weight, but that will happen in training camp. The fact that he's in shape is important. So, it shows you that he's done the work."

Cody was a sloppy 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl all-star game this winter, but got down to 350 pounds by the NFL scouting combine. He said he weighs about 350 pounds, which was his weight at minicamp.

"Around that range," Cody said.

The Ravens wouldn't specify what kind of target weight they have for the consensus All-American from Alabama. During the spring, a goal of 340 pounds was bandied about for Cody by team officials.

"I don't want to put a number on it," Harbaugh said. "We have that number and we'll get him to that number, but that's not something I want to share right now."
It's rare for a nose guard to run distances as long as 25 yards unless something disastrous has happened like a long run or reception.

Plus, the Ravens believe that Cody can be more than just a run-stuffer who operates on first and second down and is off the field in passing situations.

"We didn't label him as just this and just that. We basically think this guy can play football for us," Harbaugh said. "So whatever he grows into, if he can push the pocket on third down for us, that would be great. I see no reason why he can't do that for us. That's what training camp is all about. That's why you put the pads on."

Cody has already become a popular figure in the locker room.

Fellow Alabama football alum Jarret Johnson, the Ravens' starting outside linebacker was impressed with Cody passing the first test. There will be many more to come, though, in the form of taking on veteran blockers.

"We weren't too hard on him," Johnson said. "That's a tough task, especially for those big guys. Guys who are 350 or so, to run that test is pretty impressive."

Photo by Dave Munch, Carroll County Times

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheeseburger in Training Camp

WESTMINSTER -- Now that Baltimore Ravens massive rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody has passed the conditioning test and is practicing, the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder is the subject of some good-natured ribbing from teammmates.

Veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has dubbed the former Alabama standout, "Cheeseburger."

"He likes to kid around and stuff," Cody said. "He kind of nicknamed me Cheeseburger. He's a real nice guy and he does help me out, what I have to do, what I have to remember on this play."

Cody said he currently weighs 350 pounds. The Ravens would like him to get down lower than.

This spring, they were hoping he could get down to 350 pounds.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was surprised that Cody was able to pass the running test.

It consists of running 25 yards up and back, up and back, up and back followed by a 70-second rest period and repeated for six intervals. Cody had to make a time of 35 seconds for each 150-yard run.

"I’ll have to admit that I was surprised this morning when he passed the conditioning test," Harbaugh said. "But we have it on tape that will verify the results of the test. Obviously, it shows you that he was in shape. He’s a little heavy right now. He’s got to lose little weight, but that will happen in training camp. But the fact that he’s in shape is important. That shows you that he’s done the work."

Harbaugh didn't specify what weight the Ravens want Cody to get down to.

"I don’t want to put a number on it," Harbaugh said. "We have that number and we’ll get him to that number, but that’s not something I want to share right now."

Cody has weighed as much as 400 pounds in the past and was 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl this winter, but has gotten in better shape through increased workouts and a more nutritious diet. He says he has stopped eating late-night snacks and is now eating breakfast to speed up his metabolism.

Cody was upset to not pass the test right away.

"I didn't pass it," he said. "I was kind of down on myself, telling myself I could've worked harder. But I had a lot of people behind me, cheering me on. It was like, just get it next time, or try again tomorrow. I had D-Line, Jarret, Kelly, Haloti all cheering me on, keeping me going."

Cody acknowledged that he needs to keep improving his conditioning.

"I feel like it's pretty good, but I can get better," Cody said. "There's always a lot of room for improvement and that's what I had a talk with with coach Harbaugh. I can get a lot better before the season starts."

"Big Cody passed..."

WESTMINSTER -- Baltimore Ravens rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody has passed the team's conditioning test, according to cornerback Fabian Washington.

The second-round draft pick from Alabama will now be eligible to practice.

"Big Cody passed his conditioning test," Washington wrote on his Twitter account. "Woooooooooooo"

The Ravens' conditioning test consists of running 25 yards, up back, up back, up back for a total of 150 yards. Then, there's a 70-second rest period. Six total intervals with a time requirement.

Cody's time requirement is believed to be 35 seconds.

Cody and cornerbacks Walt Harris and Prince Miller didn't pass the test on the first day of training camp and were place on the non-football injury list.

RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Amongst the walking wounded Ngata feeling "great"

Plus other news and notes from Training Camp

Ten players were sidelined for the Baltimore Ravens for the first day of training camp for various health and conditioning reasons.

The Ravens designated offensive tackle Oniel Cousins on the non-football illness list because of his offseason throat surgery to have a cyst removed from his esophagus.

And the team placed rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody and cornerbacks Walt Harris and Prince Miller on the non-football injury list.

The Ravens placed the following injured players on the physically unable to perform list: safety Ed Reed (hip), cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (knee) and Fabian Washington (knee), running back Matthew Lawrence (knee), center Matt Birk (neck) and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps).

Ayanbadejo has been sidelined since last October when he tore his quadriceps tendon against the New England Patriots, an injury that required surgery.

"I feel good, but I'm not 100 percent," Ayanbadejo said. "I'm pretty anxious to get out there and play football. I'm pretty eager."

It's unclear when Ayanbadejo will be able to return, but the former Pro Bowl special-teams ace hopes it will be soon.

"We don't know," he said. "It's up to when the quad heals. It's just not strong enough to do everything I need to do to play full-contact football. It's healed. It's a matter of getting the strength back. That's the hardest part is getting the muscle back to where it was before."

Cousins is working to regain his strength and some weight lost from the throat operation following a bad case of strep throat that developed into a pain in his chest that made it difficult to eat.

Luckily for him, it wasn't cancer.

"It was definitely scary," Cousins said. "I'm feeling better, I'm getting better every day. I think I'll be back next week.

"I'll continue to work every day and condition myself and get back. I've been able to tolerate a lot more food now. I'm feeling good. I'm improving every day."

NGATA FEELING GOOD: Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is regaining his range of motion and strength following offseason surgery to repair a pectoral muscle he tore during the Pro Bowl.

Ngata predicted he'll definitely play in the first preseason game.

"I'm feeling fantastic," Ngata said. "I have healed fast and started lifting weights about 2½ months ago. I feel good right now. I'm a little stiff and sore, but that's more about getting into football shape.

"I'm working on things like my range of muscle and definitely building that muscle. I'll definitely be ready for that first game."

Ngata said he's taking precautions with not getting his arm caught in an awkward position.

"I'm going to try to get in front of the runner," Ngata said. "None of those wide arm tackles."

CHOOSING A THIRD QUARTERBACK: With the acquisition of veteran quarterback Marc Bulger as Joe Flacco's new primary backup, the job security of Troy Smith and John Beck has taken a hit.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said it won't be difficult to determine which quarterbacks to choose.

"It's not as complicated as everybody thinks," he said. "We've got a lot of practice left, a lot of reps in practice. You just watch every drill, watch every practice, watch through the preseason games. It usually clarifies itself, and it's usually pretty obvious. It's really not as difficult as most people think."

QUICK HITS: Birk said he arrived early at camp mostly to help out the rookies. Plus, he wanted to get to work. "My family's back at home," he said. "Idle time is the devil's playground. I like to stay busy." ... Unlike Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, Webb said he would never have an issue with carrying a veteran's shoulder pads and helmet. "If somebody asked me to take a helmet. I'll take a helmet," Webb said. "Not a big deal. I don't feel disrespected. It's just some things they do. I don't care." When players reported to camp, coach John Harbaugh reiterated that he doesn't believe in hazing rookies. "We're not a hazing team," Harbaugh said. "It's not something that we believe in. We think all of our players are Ravens. That's why we brought them in here, and they're Ravens until they're not. We try to be very respectful of all the guys, and that includes rookies, but I also think there's a certain protocol for the young guys to have an opportunity to show some humility and some respect for the veterans and what they've done in this league. If that means stepping back in line at dinner, stepping back in the taping line, taking care of pads coming off the field, that stuff is being deferential to a veteran. We encourage that, and our guys have always been good about that."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten Ravens deemed physically unable to perform to begin camp

WESTMINSTER -- The Baltimore Ravens have opened training camp with 10 players on the physically unable to perform list.

That group includes safety Ed Reed (hip surgery), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), nose guard Terrence Cody (flunked conditioning test), cornerback Walt Harris (flunked conditioning test), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat surgery), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), cornerback Fabian Washington (knee), wide receiver Rodelin Anthony (knee) and cornerback Prince Miller (undisclosed).

The Ravens could also wind up placing offensive tackle Jared Gaither on PUP with a foot injury.

He hasn't reported to training camp yet.

Cody flunks Ravens conditioning test

WESTMINSTER-- Baltimore Ravens massive rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody flunked the team's mandatory conditioning test and was held out of the first practice of training camp.

"He didn't pass the conditioning test," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Part of our process is everybody has to pass the conditioning test to be sure that they're ready to compete. Our practices are fast. We've got to be sure guys are physically ready to practice. So when he passes the conditioning test, he'll practice."

Cody is listed at 6-foot-4, 349 pounds, but the second-round draft pick from Alabama is likely a bit heavier than that.

However, he's in much better condition than the sloppy 370 pounds he tipped the scales at during the Senior Bowl.

Harbaugh said he's not surprised that Cody, a big run-stuffing defensive lineman, didn't pass the test.

"I'm not surprised," Harbaugh said. "Every year, certain guys struggle with that. There's a certain level of expectation of conditioning that goes with being an NFL player, especially for this team. So, he's going to have to get himself into the kind of shape he needs to be in. We expect all our guys to be in world-class shape. So, he'll be in world-class shape soon enough."

PUP List could be crowded to kick off training camp

WESTMINSTER - The Baltimore Ravens' physically unable to perform list is getting a bit crowded with injured players as the team kicks off training camp today at McDaniel College.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated that cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington, who are recovering from torn anterior cruciate ligaments, as well as free safety Ed Reed, who underwent offseason hip surgery, will begin camp on the list.

The active designation means they'll be unable to practice initially, but can be activated from that list anytime during camp.

"I expect there to be a few guys that we'll be cautious with," Harbaugh said. "We'll just keep them on PUP until they're ready to practice in such a way that they can protect themselves and compete and be ready to go."

Meanwhile, former Pro Bowl special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo is also expected to begin camp on the list. He spent the majority of last season on injured reserve with a torn quadriceps tendon.

Sidelined during minicamps after offseason shoulder surgeries, nose guard Kelly Gregg and linebacker Jarret Johnson said they'll practice with no restrictions today.

Webb has made a lot of progress since hurting his knee last season against the Chicago Bears.

Still, it hasn't been very long since he suffered the injury.

"My hope is to do as much as I possibly can and work back as fast as possible, but patiently," Webb said. "So, I'm just waiting to see."

Webb is holding out hope that he'll be activated by the start of the regular season. Otherwise, he'll miss at least the first six games of the regular season.

"We're going to see how everything happens," Webb said. "We've got a whole month ahead of us, and I guess ya'll can see how everything goes."

Washington declared that his knee is ready for action.

"I feel like it's ready to play," Washington said. "I plan on being full-go, but of course we'll let the doctors and John Harbaugh make the final decision. I hope to be running around with the guys from Day 1."

Washington said he has been training at IMG in his hometown of Bradenton, Fla., with Mike Jenkins, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie and Dexter McCluster.

"Dexter McCluster is a really shifty guy," he said. "I got some good work in."
The Ravens signed Walt Harris and Travis Fisher this offseason to add depth to the cornerback position due to the injury situation.

"We're probably bringing more corners into this camp than we have any camp since we've been here because of that," Harbaugh said. "All indications are positive, but until you get them out there practicing, changing directions, competing, you're not really going to know for sure. That's why we've signed some extra corners."

CODY SIGNS: Rookie second-round draft pick Terrence "Mount" Cody reported to camp and signed his $3.385 million maximum value contract, which includes a $1.12 million signing bonus. He received $1.595 million in total guaranteed money, including his one-timer clause.

The 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive lineman received a 6.3 percent increase in his total guaranteed money at his slot.

"Very excited about Terrence Cody," Harbaugh said. "That means really all of our guys that can practice are signed."

RAVENS STILL HIGH ON WILLIAMS: Despite being disciplined by the NFL with a two-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, reserve cornerback Cary Williams' stock still remains high with team officials.

Williams was suspended for a personal family issue where he was not arrested.
"I haven't spoken with Cary since he left," Harbaugh said. "He knew this was going on. We weren't sure how the appeal was going to go. Obviously, all this stuff happened in Tennessee.

"Cary's still got to make our team and still has to prove that he can be a guy who can play corner in his league, but we have high hopes for Cary. We think he's very talented. He's come a long way since what happened in Tennessee happened. He's got to put that behind him now."

Williams said he's upbeat about his prospects and is looking forward to putting the incident behind him.

"The NFL has rules set in place, and it's our job as players to follow the rules," Williams said. "Unfortunately, I didn't do that. Now, I have to pay the consequences."

QUICK HITS: Offensive tackle Jared Gaither was moved to the right side this offseason, replaced by Michael Oher at left tackle. He was also sidelined for virtually the entire offseason with a bruised foot. Gaither was also linked to several trade rumors. "I have not had the chance to talk to Jared," Harbaugh said. "Looking forward to seeing him. I know he's done some things with his orthotics, and he's been rehabbing on his own. So, we'll see how he feels." ... Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who underwent surgery to repair a pectoral muscle torn during the Pro Bowl, is here early for camp. Ngata has said he expects to participate fully in drills. ... The Ravens are expected to contend for a Super Bowl berth, but Harbaugh couldn't hide his enthusiasm about the first practice of camp. "My expectations are really, really high for [today's] practice," Harbaugh said. "We expect it to be the best practice in the NFL. That's how you go about taking care of business. That's how you get yourself in position to talk about playing in the Super Bowl. We have a lot of work to do between now and then."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ravens respond to Reed

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens have reacted to star free safety Ed Reed's claim that he wasn't provided with game film when he requested it a few weeks back.

“If this happened, it had to be a misunderstanding of some sort,” team spokesman Kevin Byrne said. “We know Ed is a great student of the game and studies video all the time. We encourage our players to do this.”

Reed has said he has a text message that backs up what he's saying. He has not made the text message public, though.

“Don’t treat me like that after I gave my blood, sweat and tears for this guy, for this organization,” Reed said. “I train my tail off. I’m putting my life on the line. But I have to give you an excuse to study tape?

"When I do give you an excuse, and my excuse is I’m studying tape, that’s not a good enough excuse. But Ed is wrong for asking for a new contract. Come on, man.”

Reed has also hinted that he could retire if the conflict persists.

We've been told that Reed's game film claims do have some merit.

However, we're hearing that the primary aspect of Reed's issues is a financial one because he was rebuffed in a request for a new contract last year. The disconnect also centers on the team wanting to have Reed's surgically-repaired hip examined by team doctors and have the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year meet with coach John Harbaugh.

“I don’t have to be playing for them," Reed said. "I could retire. I don’t need the money."

And the drama continues.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kindle suffers head injury in accident, will not report to camp

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle is in stable condition with a head injury after falling down two flights of stairs in Austin, Texas.

The second-round draft pick is at University Medical Center Brackenridge.

The unsigned former Longhorns star won't be reporting this week for training camp as he recovers from his injury.

“Members of our medical staff, including Bill Tessendorf and Dr. Andy Tucker, have spoken with doctors in Texas. We understand Sergio is stable at this time and that he is being tested and observed,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Like a good neighbor, Bulger is there for Flacco

OWINGS MILLS - Marc Bulger didn't join the Baltimore Ravens to challenge Joe Flacco, or look over his shoulder.

A starter for the majority of his nine years with the St. Louis Rams, the former Pro Bowl quarterback has no intentions of crowding Flacco while adjusting to his new backup role. Bulger passed his physical and signed his one-year, $3.8 million contract earlier this week.

"It should be a different role, but it was made clear to me upfront that would be my role there," Bulger said during a Wednesday conference call. "I understand that I'm coming in and whatever capacity I can help Joe, I'll do it. It's just about helping us win football games."

Spoken like a true insurance policy.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Bulger has completed 62.1 percent of his career throws with 122 touchdowns and 93 interceptions.

The Ravens envision Bulger, 33, being a mentor to Flacco even though the former first-round draft pick is already an established NFL starter.

Heading into his third NFL season, Flacco has never missed a start since Baltimore drafted him in the first round.

Bulger, who has never met Flacco, emphasized that he doesn't want to overload him with too much advice.

"He's proven himself already in his short career," said Bulger, who can make up to $5.3 million if he triggers incentive clauses based on playing time. "I don't want to be the guy that comes in here and thinks I know it all and put too much on him. I'm going to let Joe let me know how much input he wants me to give.

"I just don't want to be the know-it-all backup. It's real easy to stand on the sideline and tell the guy who's actually doing it how easy it is because I've been in that situation before. I had a great mentor in Kurt Warner. I'll leave it up to Joe how much help he wants, but I'll be there for anything he needs."

Cut by the Rams this spring after management decided to draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the top overall pick, Bulger missed out on potential starting jobs because of the timing of his release.

There had been speculation about Bulger possibly going to the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears.

Ultimately, the Ravens provided the most lucrative option for him and allowed him to go to a playoff team with Super Bowl aspirations.

"It's obvious that the longer they held me, the more opportunities were getting taken by other players," Bulger said. "They had a responsibility to the Rams first. No hard feelings from it. It definitely took a couple opportunities away, but this opportunity here would have never been there, and I think it's the best situation for me."

Bulger started eight games last season for the 1-15 Rams, passing for 1,469 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions with a 70.7 passer rating.

His production took a serious dip during a catastrophic year where he took a beating, ending the season on injured reserve with a fractured shin bone.

Bulger said he wasn't concerned about passing his physical.

"I was healthy," Bulger said. "I had heard reports about all these different things I had and I really just had the cracked bone in my leg. I've broken some bones throughout my career, but I've really had no surgeries and I was pretty confident going into it."

As a starter for the Rams, Bulger went 41-54 as he passed for 22,814 yards with an 84.4 career passer rating.

Joining the Ravens gives Bulger a fresh start after a rough stretch in St. Louis in recent years.

"I'm just more interested in football again," Bulger said. "I'm interested just to put the fun back into it. The last three years have been pretty difficult. You only win five games in three years and the building's just down. You get a new atmosphere where you're talking about trying to win a Super Bowl."

Named to the Pro Bowl 2004 and 2006 when he passed for 4,301 and 3,964 yards, Bulger was signed to a six-year, $62.5 million contract that included $27 million in guaranteed money.

Since that deal, though, Bulger has thrown 34 interceptions with 27 touchdowns as the Rams disintegrated around him.

By signing Bulger, the Ravens have added their most accomplished backup since the days of Kordell Stewart or Randall Cunningham.

Bulger is arguably one of the best backups in the NFL. He's a lot more experienced than third-string and fourth-string quarterbacks Troy Smith and John Beck, who have combined for only six starts.

"I'd like to think that I'd be one of the top guys," Bulger said. "If I happen to get in, I wouldn't be a backup anymore. I'd be the starter."

Ideally, though, Bulger will never see the field except in the event of a blowout.

If he has to play, Bulger's confident that he'll run the offense adeptly.

"I've been in a lot of situations, played a lot of football in the NFL," he said. "They'd have a guy that's confident, wouldn't be a nervous young guy coming off the bench that's never played before.

"I think I could just keep the team rolling, and we wouldn't have to miss a beat. Let's hope that doesn't have to happen."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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