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


BALTIMORE RAVENS' REPORT CARD

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

STEELERS ACCUSE CHESTER OF CHEAP SHOT


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."