Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bulger officially a Raven!

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens backup quarterback Marc Bulger has passed his physical.

Bulger has now officially joined the team after agreeing to terms last month on a one-year, $3.8 million deal that can be worth as much as $5.3 million if he triggers incentive clauses.

Bulger dealt with a broken leg, strained groin, a hamstring and concussion symptoms last season, ending the year on injured reserve with two games left.

Bulger was released this offseason as the Rams drafted University of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the first overall pick of the draft.

Bulger will back up Joe Flacco, a sturdy 6-foot-6, 240-pounder who has never missed a start in his NFL career.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harbaugh now a member of NFL Competition Committee

OWINGS MILLS -- Heading into his third season as the Baltimore Ravens' head coach, John Harbaugh has accepted an invitation to join a subcommittee of the NFL competition committee.

Harbaugh's responsibilities will include making recommendations on rule changes to the competition committee, the team announced. He'll also attend meetings for the general manager advisory committee.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is a longtime competition committee member.

Subcommittee chairman John Madden invited Harbaugh to join the subcommittee and he accepted back in May.

"It's an honor and responsibility to join the competition subcommittee chaired by coach Madden," Harbaugh said in a statement. "I have the utmost respect for coach Madden and for his commitment to the game of football, as well as for commissioner [Roger] Goodell and his vigorous efforts to seek out and implement ideas in every area of our sport.

"Coach Madden and commissioner Goodell share in that commitment to work in every way possible to improve and maintain the quality of football for everybody involved in the game; especially the fans. The opportunity to be a part of that work is appreciated greatly and I will take it very seriously."

Mason suggests it's Super Bowl or bust for Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason declared that anything short of a Super Bowl victory this season would render the entire season a failure.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection is certainly aiming high.

The Ravens have become a trendy Super Bowl contender in league circles after acquiring Anquan Boldin via a trade this offseason,"Anything less than a Super Bowl win, really, is a disappointment to us," Mason told 105.7 FM.

"I think we've done more than enough over the last three years to put ourselves in a position to win a championship. To do all we've done and not come out of this thing with a championship would be disheartening, especially for me because I'm looking at one, two years tops before I leave."

Mason signed a two-year contract this offseason. Now, he's looking to finish his career on top.

"I know a lot of the older guys on this team want to win a championship before they hang their cleats up," Mason said. "I just feel we are primed, and put together a great team. This is our opportunity to win a championship."

Of course, the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals will have something to say about that in the AFC. Not to mention the NFC competitors vying for a Super Bowl berth.