Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ravens News & Notes


The Ravens practiced in their indoor facility all week while preparing for a playoff game Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Normally, the Ravens practice outdoors. They couldn’t this week because the field is frozen. “We’ve had some of our sessions outside,” Harbaugh said. “The fields don’t allow us to go out there as much as we want from a footing standpoint. They’re frozen. Probably if they weren’t frozen, we would have been out there more, but we had it as cold as we could get it in here. And we’re playing on turf, so we just felt like that was a priority.” …

Following the Ravens’ win over the Oakland Raiders to clinch a playoff berth, Harbaugh wielded a shovel and a sword in the locker room to celebrate the win. Harbaugh explained how the sword and shovel made it to Oakland. “President Obama is asking the same question," Harbaugh said with a smile."For the record, we did not take it across country. We got it out there and it stayed out there." Harbaugh used the sword and shovel as symbols to relate a biblical story. “We told the team about the Nehemiah story, which is about a great man who went back to Jerusalem way back when and rebuilt a wall around the city, and what that took and all the obstacles he faced, the challenges that were in front of him," Harbaugh said. "Through the course of that, there were people trying to stop him from building the wall. They had a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other, so they had to defend themselves at the same time they were working. We felt like that was appropriate for us midway through the season, and the guys had fun with it." Harbaugh had plenty of room with offensive guard Chris Chester backing away when he pulled out the sword. …

Patriots coach Bill Belichick directed some heavy praise toward Reed, whom he has coached in the Pro Bowl. “Ed Reed, I don’t think there is a better safety in the NFL than Ed Reed," Belichick said. "You look at the play he made against Indianapolis, that interception, to me, that’s got to be the play of the year in the secondary. That’s as good a play as any player can make back there, the way he set it up, and then reacted and played the ball. I mean, it was just a tremendous play." … Birk met another fellow Harvard player last week, Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. “I told him, I didn’t even know you existed,” Birk said. “He’s a rookie, so it’s good to replenish that pipeline once in a while, I guess.” … Veteran linebacker Jarret Johnson praised undrafted rookie Dannell Ellerbe, who had two turnovers against the Raiders. “He’s a steal, a guy that was a sleeper in camp and coaches loved, but nobody really knew him,” Johnson said. “Very explosive, a young guy running around and he’s just gotten better every game. He made a big play last week, so he’s definitely a steal for us.” …

Along with linebacker Terrell Suggs, Ngata was flagged for roughing the passer in the first meeting with New England for a hit on Brady. “I think we’ve been adjusting through the season on rushing the passer,” Ngata said. “You have to make sure you stay away from his head and his knees. We’ve been working on the penalties and making sure it doesn’t happen. I think we’ve been doing a good job.” … With his brother, Jim Harbaugh, rumored to be a potential candidate for the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders’ jobs, John Harbaugh spoke generally about the potential prospects of both Harbaugh’s coaching in the NFL one day. “That’d be pretty cool,” he said. “I hope so, but he’s happy there obviously. I don’t think he’s in any hurry to leave. He’s got some things to do there, one of them would be winning the Pac-10 championship. That would be a great honor, a great thrill if that happens. He definitely could do it, there’s no doubt about it.”




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

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