Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ravens sign a "new defensive tackle"



Chuck Pagano related a story about how John Harbaugh communicated the news of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata's five-year, $61 million contract to the coaching staff.

"John walked in the room, he wasn't with him, he just walked in the room kind of somber," Pagano said. "We're in the middle of game-planning, so it's kind of nobody's mind was even on that at that time. Obviously, it's been on our mind, but not at that time.

He walked in and said, ‘We signed a new defensive tackle.' And we're all looking around like, ‘I wonder who we cut and who we...'

And then big Haloti walked in. Obviously, we all went crazy. He deserves everything that he got. Obviously, having him around might keep us all around for another five years."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ravens Hit Cover of SI



The Ravens placed outside linebacker Michael McAdoo on injured reserve for remainder of the season with a previously undisclosed knee injury.

Wide receiver and kick returner David Reed takes over the vacated roster spot as he returns from a one-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. Reed was officially reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday.

McAdoo went undrafted in the NFL supplemental draft and was signed to a three-year contract by the Ravens late in the preseason.

A 6-foot-7, 245-pound raw pass rusher, McAdoo was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for academic violations and accepting extra benefits from agents. …

Joe Flacco and Ray Rice share the regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

This edition of the magazine is available in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. ...

Harbaugh wasn’t the only winning coach in his family Sunday.

His brother, Jim Harbaugh, won his coaching debut with the San Francisco 49ers with a 33-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

“That was a great win for Jim,”Harbaugh said. “To be 2-0 as a family is pretty cool.”

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oher Handling Change




As a hulking Bryant McKinnie walked around the sidelines in workout clothes one day after passing his physical and signing his $7.5 million contract, there was already change on the Ravens’ offensive line.

With the arrival of the former Pro Bowl offensive tackle triggering a watershed change with Michael Oher about to move to right offensive tackle from the left side, the Ravens still had Oher start at left tackle against the Redskins Harbaugh indicated that Oher will be moving to the right side, though, as McKinnie takes over at left tackle.

“Our plan right now is to move Michael to right and to move Bryant to left.,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see how that goes. Everything is fluid. I’d love to say that’s set in stone, but that’s not set in stone. Bryant has played there, Michael has played the right side. Michael is about as good a person and as great a team guy as I’ve ever been around in my career.

“Ozzie [Newsome]and I brought him in, and we talked to him the night before last. He said it before we said it: ‘Whatever I need to do to help this be the best football team and the best offensive line it can be, all the career stuff can wait.’ We’re trying to be the best football team we can be, and that’s exactly what he said.”

Although this marks the second time he’s had to change positions, Oher seemed to take the pending change in stride.

“Whatever is the best situation for the team for us to win, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Oher said. “He’s a good guy. Obviously, he’s a pretty good player, a Pro Bowl player. He’s been blocking for great running backs, great quarterbacks. He’s going to be a big help to the offensive line.

"I think we’ll do great this year with him. You always want a good player. You want to play with the best guy. I’m a team guy. I’m trying to win and I want the best for the team. That’s what it’s all about.

Oher said he’s comfortable going back to right tackle where he played as a rookie after being drafted in the first round out of Ole Miss.

“You got to adjust, you got to play football,”Oher said. “You got to do what the team needs. As long as you’re out on the field making holes for the running back and protecting Joe Flacco, we’ll be all right.”

McKinnie didn’t look anywhere near the nearly 400-pound girth he reportedly showed up weighing when he showed up to the Minnesota Vikings’training camp prior to being released.

He looked to be in reasonable shape, albeit hefty, for an offensive lineman.

McKinnie went through a workout with the coaching staff before the game.

“He’s been working out and he’s been eating right,” Harbaugh said.“He’s been working on football. We just had a great meeting with him. I’m very impressed with him. He’s a very mature guy, very excited to be here, very intelligent guy. He picks up football like that, and I’m looking forward to getting him to fold.”

Tyrod Taylor's confidence is building



Rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor executed his first NFL comeback, leading the Ravens to a win with his nine-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.

“Well, Tyrod, I would say he’s made the team. Newsflash,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Tyrod played well. There are things that he needs to learn from. You have the ball third-and-two down there, you don’t take a sack.

“I think that’s something he’ll learn from. Yet and still, some of the throws he made in the teeth of pressure were just exceptional for us. He was using his feet to get out of trouble a couple of times.”

Taylor completed 11 of 18 passes for 125 yards, a touchdown and a 100.5 quarterback rating.

In three preseason games, Taylor has completed 35 of 57 passes for 392 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for a 73.1 passer rating.

The Ravens are still expected to sign a veteran to back up Flacco, but Taylor is doing his best to convince the team he can handle the job.

“I know I have to impress people and people are going to be watching me as far as the No. 2 job,” Taylor said. “At the same time, I’m just trying to be the best quarterback I can be and show the coaches that I can be that guy if they need me to.”

Torrey Smith plagued by dropped passes



OWINGS MILLS – Visibly frustrated at his locker after dropping two passes, Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith thinks he’s identified the problem.

It’s all in his head, believes the second-round draft pick from the University of Maryland.

“I had two of them I would like back,” Smith said. “I've been a playmaker forever. That hasn't changed. It's more trying to get in a groove and I've kind of been pressing. I've really been wanting to make a play. Everyone has been making plays around me, the whole receiving corps. I just got to be patient and let it come to me instead of pressing the issue.”

The worst drop was on a third-down route where he was all by himself.

“Obviously I can catch the ball,” Smith said. “I know I can catch the ball. It's just a concentration issue. I’ve been practicing, wanting to make a play, wanting to make an impact instead of letting it come to me. I was wide open on one of them. I've got to get back to the basics and starting feeling like myself.”

Smith caught just one pass for six yards during the Ravens’ 34-31 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

For the entire preseason, he has managed to haul in just two passes for eight yards.
Quarterback Joe Flacco thinks that Smith is simply thinking too much rather than letting his natural abilities show.

“Torrey just has to go out there and play, use his abilities,” Flacco said. “Got to make a move, run by guys, use his hands, go out there and play confidently and use his ability and make moves. I think he has a tendency to overthink things. He always wants to do the right thing. He always comes up to me and tells me he wants to do the right thing.

“Sometimes when you go out there on Sundays, you just have to let it go and play. If you go out there and make mistakes, you make mistakes. You just have to go out there and play. He's just going to have to learn that. He has all the ability to go out there and let it come to him.”

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nakamura honored for his Japanese relief efforts



OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura was honored by the American Red Cross and a Japan ambassador for his fundraising work to aid Japanese disaster relief.

Nakamura helped raise over $60,000 by organizing an autograph session at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen for himself and several teammates. That included quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice, cornerback Chris Carr, safety Ed Reed, defensive tackle Brandon McKinney and retired wide receiver Qadry Ismail.

Nakamura was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Red Cross Board as well as the Ambassador's Seal from Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.

And Nakamura presented the Ambassador with his jersey.

"If it wasn't for the generous hearts of the Baltimore Ravens fans, I wouldn't be here today," Nakamura said when asked how it felt to be recognized.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TJ Houshmandzadeh impressed by Jimmy Smith



OWINGS MILLS -- Veteran NFL wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been working out with Baltimore Ravens rookie Jimmy Smith in California, and he has come away impressed with the imposing cornerback.

The Ravens drafted the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder from Colorado in the first round in April.

"He's a big kid," said Houshmandzadeh, who played for the Ravens last season. "He's works hard. Yeah, I like him. He works hard. I talk to him a lot. He asks me about the Ravens and I told him he couldn't have got on his knees and prayed to wind up on a better team. He is very lucky to be drafted for the Ravens. It gets no better."

An unrestricted free agent, Houshmandzadeh wishes he could return. He acknowledged that he's unlikely to be back.

"It just sucks that I was only able to play one year there," Houshmandzadeh said. "Top to bottom, it's great there. Steve Bisciotti is unreal as an owner. It's almost like he's too cool to be an owner. Ozzie Newsome is really cool. I really thought highly of John Harbaugh. I just wish I could have made some more plays."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Derrick Mason calls Joe Flacco the Ravens' Michael Jordan



In what's getting to be a familiar exercise this offseason, veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason stuck up for quarterback Joe Flacco.

In the wake of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley predicting the Ravens will never get to the Super Bowl with Flacco under center, Mason defended Flacco with a touch of hyperbole.

"Flacco is our Jordan," Mason told ESPN. "He's our Michael Jordan."

A big basketball fan from Detroit, Mason compared the Ravens-Steelers rivalry to the battles between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls won six NBA titles after initially struggling to combat the Pistons' bullying brand of basketball.

"They've had our number for the last couple years," Mason said of the Steelers. "I equate it to the Chicago Bulls, they couldn't beat the Pistons, and then they finally beat the Pistons."

What's with all the trash talking in the offseason during a lockout?

"You can talk all you want during the offseason," Mason said. "No one plays the game, no one hits, during the offseason."

True, indeed.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ravens' Allen disappointed by ties to a porn event




OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Anthony Allen distanced himself from an upcoming pornography event that used his name on promotional materials without his permission.

The seventh-round draft pick from Georgia Tech issued the following statement through his agents:

"I wanted to clarify an event that took place on May 20th at Club Play in Florida. I lent my name in conjunction to a party which I believed to be hosted by other NFL players. I had no knowledge and never would have given any authority in any way for my name to be associated with
Exxxotica 2011. I am deeply disappointed that my name was manipulated by the promoters of this event. I am truly sorry that this has occurred."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mason thinks Ray Lewis' crime predictions are arrogant



OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis' prediction about an impending crime wave if the labor dispute cancels the NFL season has been met with a lot of skepticism.

That includes wide receiver Derrick Mason respectfully disagreeing with Lewis' opinion.

"I respect anybody's opinion," Mason said. "Ray's a passionate guy, and of anybody I respect him as a football player and a person. But I'm not naive or arrogant enough to think what I do is going to affect John Doe or Mary Sue when they are at home or out there walking the street. I'm not going to be that arrogant.

"My life and what I do doesn't necessarily affect someone else on an everyday basis. They might get disappointed because we're not playing on Sunday, but for them to go out and change their whole lifestyle based on what I do. That's pure arrogance, I think. I'm not going to think that. But you respect everybody's opinion. If he felt that way, he felt that way for a reason."

However, running back Ray Rice expressed support for Lewis' remarks.

"Any time Ray says something, it comes from his heart," he said. "He hit on something. People are really struggling. It doesn't have to be us because we might make a few more dollars. But what about the people who work at the concession stands? What about the people who work at the facilities? What about the people getting laid off?

"The one thing I know, it's a true stat when we win games, crime goes down. On my Twitter page ... people said, ‘I'm a Steeler fan, but what Ray Lewis said makes sense.' It's about the game. You're taking people's livelihood away. Their Sundays aren't the same without it. I was touched by what he said."

Here's what Lewis told ESPN:

"Do this research. If we don't have a season - watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game. There's nothing else to do. There's too many people that live through us, people live through us. Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I'm not talking about the people you see all the time."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Newsome: "I was taught by Bill Belichick"




OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens veteran general manager Ozzie Newsome has always been a fixture at every practice, attending each session and keeping a watchful eye.

He wants to know his football team better than any other.

The Hall of Fame tight end learned the value of self-scouting from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick when the Super Bowl winning coach was running the original Cleveland Browns.

Newsome rose in the organizational ranks after working for Belichick in coaching and scouting.

"I think everybody has to find their niche where they're very much at ease in their position," Newsome said during a conference call with season ticket holders. "I know Ted Thompson from Green Bay, he came up as a scout, so he likes to be on the road. And I know Phil Savage, when he went to Cleveland, he came through as a scout, so he liked to be on the road. But, I came through as a player. I spent time on the road, but for the most part, I've been in locker rooms and I've been at practice.

"I was taught, by Bill Belichick, at a very early age that scouting begins on Sunday. You need to know your football team. The only way you get to know your football team is you've got to be able to watch them at practice, I watch the practice tape, so that's why I do that. That's my niche. But the only way I can do it, I have to trust [director of player personnel] Eric [DeCosta] and [director of college scouting] Joe [Hortiz] and the scouts and their ability to go out and do their job."

Cameron will still work the sidelines as Ravens Offensive Coordinator



OWINGS MILLS - Unlike many NFL play-callers, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron prefers to do his work from the sidelines.

He believes the vantage point helps him get a better feel for the game and allows him to interact directly with the players.

According to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, Cameron has no plans to change his approach next season.

"No, I think Cam is going to continue to be down on the field," Newsome said during a conference call with season ticket holders. "He likes to be down there with the action. Some people like to call it from up in the box, but he likes to be down there. He gets a chance to look the players in the eyes when they come off the field."

Newsome expressed confidence that the offense will improve because of the increased involvement of coach John Harbaugh and the time the offensive staff has put in since the end of the season.

The offense faltered during a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers as turnovers, penalties and dropped passes were among the self-inflicted wounds.

"The reason why I say we're going to be better from an offensive standpoint is that I've seen all the work they've done this offseason refining the offense," Newsome said. "One of the things we have in our head coach is .. he grew up in the game, coaching special teams and coaching on the defensive side. And you can see over the course of the three years he's been here, the progress that both of those elements of our game has gotten better.

"Now that he has that the way he wants it, now he can come over to the offensive side. What happens when you give a guy that understands defense coming over as a head coach to the offensive coaches, he can sit there and he can talk with them and say, ‘No, no, no. If I'm the defensive coordinator, I can defeat this.' So now they get another set of eyes."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ozzie Newsome thinks Modell deserves HOF honor




OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is concerned that Art Modell won't be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until after the former Ravens and Cleveland Browns majority owner is dead.

"I don't know what we can do," Newsome said last night during a conference call with season ticket holders. "My biggest fear is once he passes away then he'll get the opportunity to go in. I don't think that's fair."

Modell has been a controversial Hall of Fame candidate since moving the original Browns to Baltimore in February of 1996, making him an extremely unpopular figure with Cleveland fans.

Modell suffered a mild stroke and a mild heart attack nine years ago. After moving the franchise to Maryland, he eventually sold majority interest of the Ravens to Maryland businessman Steve Bisciotti.

Modell retains a one-percent ownership and has an office at the Ravens' training complex. There's a large painting of Modell in the lobby of team headquarters located above the Ravens' lone Vince Lombardi trophy.

Modell hasn't been a finalist for the Hall of Fame in a decade. He didn't make the cut to the finalists again this year.

"He deserves to be in there," said Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end with the Browns who was inducted in 1999. "He deserves to go in before I did."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jimmy Smith gets his Ravens playbook




Plus Smith visits with the "Barfly"

OWINGS MILLS -- Due to the lockout rules that are now back in effect, the Baltimore Ravens weren't able to distribute playbooks to the majority of their draft picks.

However, first-round cornerback Jimmy Smith was able to get one. Smith flew in from California prior to the re-launch of the lockout Friday night.

"The rules are we're officially back into a lockout," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "We have an administrative stay. Once we're done with this press conference, then these young men have to return back to their homes or college campuses. The extent of what they can do is only marketing and media opportunities."

So, second-round wide receiver Torrey Smith wasn't able to get a playbook.

However, there's nothing stopping him from conferring with veterans like quarterback Joe Flacco and getting a copy.

"I think it'll have maybe a little effect," Torrey Smith said of the lockout. "But at the end of the day, you're going to have to prepare the best you can in order to make sure that when you do come, you get the call that you've got to report, you're ready.

"Luckily for me, I get the opportunity to connect with a bunch of these guys. Like I said, it's a 30- or 40-minute drive for me to get here, so I plan on getting in touch with those other guys, the vets, and see what's going on."


<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=61936a32-d371-4920-95a0-4f65a99ae3dd" target="_new" title="">Barfly: Week 10</a>

Michael Oher takes offense to ESPN McShay's comments



OWINGS MILLS -- When Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher was heading to the NFL out of Ole Miss, he was downgraded by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay for unspecified character issues.

Oher had no known issues with the law and had a good reputation with his teammates and coaches and was the subject of the best-selling Michael Lewis book, "The Blind Side" that was eventually adapted into a popular movie with Sandra Bullock starring as his adopted mother.

Oher was angry about the characterization from McShay at the time. And he remains fired up about McShay's remarks regarding him and other NFL draft prospects, especially since he said he never met the draft expert.

"What is Character issues?!?" Oher wrote on his Twitter account in a rare rant from him. "Somebody tell me? I never got in trouble with the Law . . . yes sir no sir guy . . . But this Todd Mcshay guy acts if he knows ppl on a personal level get real!" What if someone was to talk about your son . . . and he had character issues!!

"Thats how my family felt. You need to meet ppl first and then judge them not go off what you hear!! . . .@McShay13 tell me what are character issues because I dont know... you said I had them and you never met me?! And I respect Mel Kiper way more then I respect you...your a joke!!"

McShay hasn't responded to Oher's verbal assault.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ravens worked out Appalachian State safety Mark LeGree



OWINGS MILLS -- Appalachian State safety Mark LeGree has conducted a private workout with the Baltimore Ravens.

The All-American selection has visited the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints.

LeGree intercepted 22 career passes, ranking second in Southern Conference history.

As a senior, he intercepted five passes and broke up eight passes and recorded 49 tackles.

As a junior, he intercepted seven passes and posted 70 tackles.

As a sophomore, the 6-foot, 210-pounder led the nation with 10 interceptions as he registered 58 tackles and seven pass deflections.

LeGree is the first three-time consensus first-team All-American at Appalachian State since three-time Pro Bowl selection Dexter Coakley.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Versatile Randall Cobb works out for Ravens



OWINGS MILLS -- Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb conducted a private workout for the Baltimore Ravens late this week.

Cobb has also visited the New York Jets.

Cobb has confirmed he'll attend the NFL Players Association rookie debut during the NFL draft.

Cobb is a 5-10, 191-pounder who has played wide receiver, running back, returned kicks and can run the Wildcat offense.

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the NFL scouting combine.

Last season, Cobb caught 84 passes for 1,017 yards and seven touchdowns. He rushed for 424 yards and five touchdowns and combined for 955 yards returning punts and kickoffs.

He caught 13 passes for 116 yards against Tennessee, rushed and caught 226 yards total with two touchdowns against Vanderbilt and had 12 catches for 171 yards against Mississippi State.

He broke the Southeastern Conference record with 2,396 all-purpose yards last season. He threw three touchdwowns in the Wildcat.


Ravens put CB Brandon Harris through the paces



OWINGS MILLS -- University of Miami cornerback Brandon Harris has conducted a private workout for the Baltimore Ravens.

He has visited the Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers and the St. Louis Rams.

He has also worked out for the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Falcons, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles.

Harris is regarded as a late first-round, early second-round draft target.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at the NFL scouting combine where he bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times and posted a 35 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 9-5 broad jump and a 6.77 three-cone drill.

He struggled in the Hurricanes' bowl game against Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, but otherwise had a strong season.

He was named second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference as he recorded 44 tackles, 10 pass deflections and one interception.

As a sophomore, he ranked second in the nation and led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 15 pass deflections and was named first-team all-conference. He was a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist with 52 tackles, six tackles for losses and two interceptions.

As a freshman, Harris ran track as he competed in the 60 meters, 400 meters and 4x400-meter relay.

He finished with 132 career tackles, nine tackles for losses, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass deflections.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ravens looking close to home for WR talent



OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- University of Maryland wide receiver LaQuan Williams is visiting the Baltimore Ravens today, according to a league source.

Williams is a local prospect from Baltimore Poly High School.

He was a freshman all-conference selection.

He has played several positions for the Terrapins.

Last season, he blocked two punts and earned special teams captain honors while starting three games at wide receiver.

He also caught a touchdown against Florida International and Wake Forest.
He played in 10 games as a wide receiver as a freshman and finished with 217 receiving yards.

A former defensive back, Williams was also recruited by Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Georgia WR Kris Durham visited the Ravens



OWINGS MILLS -- University of Georgia wide receiver Kris Durham has visited the Baltimore Ravens.

The 6-foot-5, 217-pounder has also visited the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.

The New York Giants have also displayed significant interest in Durham, who's regarded as a rising draft prospect.

Durham ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at the Bulldogs' campus Pro Day workout.

The 6-foot-5, 217-pounder bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times and posted a 35-inch vertical leap and a 10-1 broad jump.

He turned in a 4.09 short shuttle.

Durham caught 32 passes for 659 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Bulldogs, playing opposite star wide receiver A.J. Green.

He caught four passes for 112 yards and a touchdown against Vanderbilt, five passes for 101 yards against Arkansas and three receptions for 90 yards against Georgia Tech, including a career-long 66-yard catch.

Durham missed the 2009 season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Judge Nelson Puts Foot Down


Orders NFL and players to mediation on Thursday


Federal court Judge Susan Richard Nelson has ordered the NFL and the players' representatives to go to mediation in Minneapolis with Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan assigned as the mediator, according to the Associated Press.


Boylan is set to meet with the players Tuesday followed by the NFL the next day. Mediation failed under the supervision of George S. Cohen in Washington D.C., prior to the players' union decertifying, filing a class-action lawsuit in federal court and the NFL locking out the players.


Nelson has been assigned the players' preliminary injunction request to end the lockout and has said she'll issue her decision in a few weeks.


This mediation isn't expected to lead to a new collective bargaining agreement.


And Nelson's pending decision is expected to be appealed to the Eighth Circuit.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ravens met with Denarius Moore


OWINGS MILLS -- Ever since the season ended, Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore has boosted his draft stock into third-round to fourth-round consideration.


The latest example was his 4.37 in the 40-yard dash at his campus Pro Day workout after running a 4.43 at the NFL scouting combine to go with a 36-inch vertical leap, a 9-10 broad jump, a 1.55 10-yard split and 13 repetitions in the bench press.


Now, Moore is reaping some of the benefits of his athleticism with some face time with NFL teams. He visited the Miami Dolphins over the past two days and visits the Pittsburgh Steelers later this week.


He has already visited the New York Giants and has conducted a private workout for the Atlanta Falcons.


He also had a meeting with the Baltimore Ravens in Knoxville, Tenn., the night before his Pro Day.


The nearly 6-foot, 194-pounder caught a touchdown pass in the Texas vs. the Nation all-star game. As a senior, he caught 43 passes for nine touchdowns and 981 yards and averaged nearly 21 yards per reception. As a junior, he caught 40 passes for 540 yards and seven touchdowns.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hines Ward feels hot flashes on Dancing with the Stars


Pittsburgh Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward is more known for his aggressive downfield blocking than any fancy footwork.

However, he's finding that his dancing shoes are a good fit as he's off to a solid start on Dancing with the Stars. Not that it's easy, though.

“It’s five hours a day, six days a week," Ward told 93.7 The Fan In Pittsburgh, per SportsRadioInterviews.com. "It’s kind of like being in a sweat box. We’re in there constantly moving around, and you’re doing it for five hours. So it’s like for me, it’s great rehab for my me because that’s what they wanted me to do, start getting some movement in my knee.

"So you know what, I actually enjoy it. I don’t know what I’m really doing to be honest with you, but when I pick up on it….You should have seen me day one with my dancing to the night of Dancing with the Stars, it’s like night and day. I was just so amazed that I came so far, and to go out there and do it on live television. It’s crazy. It’s almost surreal because I never thought I could dance like that.”

Ward acknowledged experiencing some nerves.

“When the cameras go on, it’s so loud in there I couldn’t even hear the two people that were talking on the microphone," he said. "To be honest, I didn’t even know where to look at, so I just tried to go through the routine in my head and go please don’t embarrass myself on national television. So to be honest, people said you look nervous, I was nervous because it’s different in football — you have butterflies when you run out on the field in football. Words can’t describe the feeling you feel when you run out on the field at Heinz Field anyway. But to do something that’s out of element, out of your environment, oh man I had a hot flash right before I went out. My whole body went hot when they said ‘Hines and Kim doing the cha-cha-cha. Literally I almost passed out because I was like I can’t run now, I got to go out there and do it. It was more anxiety because I had been working on that dance for awhile.

"I wanted to hurry up and get it over with, but at the same time the nervousness of going out there and not messing up, because I got so many texts from my teammates saying ‘don’t go out there and embarrass yourself. ‘ Then to go out there and do the routine, I got hundreds of texts like ‘way to represent, way to represent, you can do it all the way.’ So it was just great to have that support from the guys. Because the locker room, they’re your worst critics. If you come on the plane and you’re dressed wrong, you’re going to hear about it. If you do anything wrong you’re going to hear about it. I was more concerned with the outfit. I knew it was a little high on my butt and stuff like that. But all the guys were cool, they were like ‘you kept it cool.’ So I was happy about it.”

Ward said he's getting positive feedback from his teammates.

Which of his teammates were texting him immediately after his performance:

"I was just glad I didn’t mess up on national television, because everyone’s going to watch that first show," he said. "You may lose some fans afterwords, but everyone’s going to be like ‘I’m going to see how Hines is going to do on that first show.’ So all eyes was on me and I knew it was so crazy, but I was just happy man just to do it, do the best that I can. And I’ve got a great dance partner.

"She just told me…because I’m a perfectionist, I want to do something so perfect. So I was more worried about the technical things rather than just going out there and having fun. And right before we went out there she said, ‘don’t worry about the technical stuff, you’re not a ballroom dancer anyway, so don’t over-analyze the dance’. So that’s what I did.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WHILE THE CAT IS AWAY, WILL THE MICE PLAY?


NEW ORLEANS -- The league isn't enforcing its personal conduct policy during the lockout, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today during a press conference at the close of the annual league meetings.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello reiterated after the press conference that the NFL will monitor arrests or any other trouble with the law and then implement its usual code of conduct and punishments following the end of the work stoppage.

Goodell said he believes that it's important for the NFL and the fans that the personal conduct policy be respected.

And Goodell said if a player violated the personal conduct policy he doesn't know how it would apply during the lockout.

Goodell dishes out more fines, this time to teams


NEW ORLEANS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today that five NFL teams were fined for having illegal contact with players during a designated dead period.
"They were fined," Goodell said.

The punishment stems from a violation of a provision of the collective bargaining agreement.

The NFL didn't disclose the teams or fine amounts and league executive Jeff Pash said after the press conference that the five teams are either being fined or investigated.

The Miami Dolphins are regarded as one of them because of the contact between quarterback Chad Henne and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and other staffers.
"Five teams were contacted, whether they were inquiries or fines or some of each, I haven't read the letters so I don't know," Pash said. "The commissioner sort of rather strongly suggested that one team in South Florida might have crossed the line. Beyond that, I don't know."

The Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers are also considered likely violators of the rule, according to published reports regarding the contact that took place between new head coaches/coordinators and their players.

The NFL released the following portion of the collective bargaining agreement that governs the violations:

"There have been rules in place for years that govern what is permissible prior to the start of the offseason program. It is the interpretation of Article XXXV of the CBA. Before the offseason program begins, generally around March 15, players are permitted to use the Club's facilities on a voluntary basis subject to the following rules:

(i) such players may not receive per diem payments or workout bonuses of any kind and may not be paid or reimbursed expenses for travel, board or lodging during this period;

(ii) such players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practices or meetings of any kind;

(iii) the Club's strength and conditioning coaches may not direct such players' individual workouts, but may supervise use of the weight room to prevent injury, correct misuse of equipment, etc.;

(iv) such players may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period."

NO REPLACEMENTS SEQUEL FOR GOODELL


NEW ORLEANS -- One day after an NFL official said that the league has the right to use replacement players during the lockout, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made a strong statement that isn't the direction the league is heading.

"We have not had any discussions or consideration of using replacement players," Goodell said today as the NFL wrapped up its annual league meetings. "It's not in our plans."

So, apparently there won't be any need for a sequel of "The Replacements."

The NFL used replacement players during the 1987 NFL strike. They were referred to as "scabs" by striking players, and the nickname stuck.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peyton Hillis is thinking big


Expect Browns to win it all

The Cleveland Browns' bruising running back
envisions a winning season and perhaps even a playoff run in the ultra-competitive AFC North.

Perhaps Hillis was playing to the fans in attendance at a recent radio appearance, but he also feels strongly about his football team.

“We’re bringing winners to the table,” said Hilllis, per the Canton Repository. “We feel like we’re gonna win it all.”

Hillis was apparently prompted by radio host Tony Rizzo to give the Browns fans something to feel encouraged about.

“Well then I’ll say it,” Hillis said. “We’re gonna win. There’s no doubt about it.”

Hillis said he definitely isn't getting cocky after last year's breakthrough season as the Browns' featured running back.

“I don’t believe in getting a big head,” Hillis said. “I try to stay as humble as I can be. That’s what the good Lord wants.”

Amen.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ravens Zbikowski touts Ngata for heavyweight boxing


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens hard-hitting safety Tom Zbikowski is getting back into the boxing ring, and he's of the opinion that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata would be an outstanding heavyweight.

At 6-foot-4 and a relatively lean 350 pounds, Ngata is extremely athletic. He's a former rugby player.

“If you let me train Haloti Ngata he’d do some damage," said Zbikowski, who's set to fight March 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his second professional fight. "He’s seriously the most gifted athlete I’ve ever been around and he’s 330 pounds. There’s no one who would be able to compete with him physically. He’s just a bear.”

Zbikowski agreed with a suggestion that many of the great potential American heavyweight boxers are playing in the NFL instead of pursuing boxing.

“It might be true," Zbikowski said. "The Klitschkos are the best right now and they’ve been the best for a long time. Just because they’re in Europe doesn’t mean there are not great heavyweights. I think a lot of the American heavyweights right now are playing football. Boxing is honestly one of the most athletic things you can do and to be a good boxer you have to be very athletic.

"Right now you’re seeing the top athletes go to college to get an education. I think if you have boxing back at the collegiate level you might have some more American heavyweights but right now they’re seeing that as the best path to go.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Steelers' Ward set to go Dancing with the Stars


Pittsburgh Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward isn't known for his end zone touchdown celebrations, but he's about to try out his dancing steps.

He was named to the Dancing with the Stars cast Monday night.

Several NFL players have appeared on the show in the past.

That includes Chad Ochocinco, Jason Taylor, Emmitt Smith, who won the competition, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp and Jerry Rice.

Here’s the full cast via an ABC press release:

Ralph Macchio, 49, the baby-faced star of three Karate Kid movies and My Cousin Vinny

Kirstie Alley, 60, starred in Fat Actress, Veronica’s Closet, and, of course, Cheers

Petra Nemcova (pictured), 31, a Czech model who’s been linked to James Blunt and Sean Penn

Wendy Williams, 46, a frank talk-show host

Sugar Ray Leonard, 54, the Olympic gold-medal-winning boxer who, as a pro, famously claimed world titles in five weight divisions

Psycho Mike, a.k.a. Michael Catherwood, 31, a popular deejay for KROQ in Los Angeles

Chelsea Kane, 22, best known for playing Stella on Disney Channel’s Jonas L.A.

Romeo, 21, once known as Lil Romeo, is a rapper, actor, and son of past DWTS participant Master P

Kendra Wilkinson, 25, the former star of E!’s The Girls Next Door and the current star of her own eponymous reality show

Chris Jericho, 40, a pro wrestler who won 23 championships in the WWE

Hines Ward (Editor's Note: Why waste a picture?), 34, an NFL Pro Bowler from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the third wide receiver to appear on DWTS

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Former Ravens' QB Lucas seeks help in rehab


Former New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Ray Lucas is seeking help for a painkiller addiction.

According to the New York Daily News, Lucas is at the Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, a West Palm Beach, Fla., drug rehab clinic.

And he has been writing about his experience on his Facebook page.

Lucas has been posting comments about his rehab experience, which is being supervised by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Randy Grimes, who dealt with his own addiction to pain killers.

"I arrived in Fla. Randy tells me not to be nervous but that is impossible. Nervous about everything, my palms are sweating. This weather will be good for my body. Got a text from my mom she & my family are relieved I am here. I am on my way to start my life over. Can't believe all the FB responses already its a good sign & the support is needed. ..

"The end of day 2 detox. The symptoms of detox are taking hold, I am in a lot of pain & everything hurts. This gets me scared. This place is amazing, having another player, Randy Grimes, who has been through it by my side is a difference maker. Today in a session for the first time in my life I was dealing with the emotional impact of my departure from the NFL. This is the start of the fight & I AM WILLING TO FIGHT!"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jersey Shore's Pauly D at Polar Bear Plunge


Flacco reminds that reality star isn't from New Jersey

SANDY POINT - The Jersey Shore flavor arrived in Maryland on Saturday with reality television star Pauly D spinning hip-hop tunes while a large crowd of girls pumped their fists in tune to the beat at the annual Polar Bear Plunge.

Pauly D is actually from Providence, R.I., a point that Baltimore Ravens quarterback and South Jersey native Joe Flacco was quick to point out when asked about the ultra-coiffed DJ.

"Pauly D is from Rhode Island," Flacco said with a smile after taking the plunge Saturday afternoon at Sandy Point State Park. "He's a transplant. It's awesome. I heard people weren't even dancing. I heard they were looking up at him in amazement. It's pretty cool for him to be out here."

Speaking of cool, a shivering Flacco was rushed to his trailer to change into warm clothes. Known as Joe Cool, Flacco was literally ice-cold Saturday in 32-degree temperatures.

The NFL quarterback got a big round of applause from fans when he dove head-first into the Chesapeake Bay, braving the icy waters.

"It was cold," Flacco said. "It took my breath away. I just tried to get in there as quickly as possible and get out as quickly as possible."

This was the 15th consecutive year the event has been held to benefit Special Olympics Maryland. There was a big crowd of roughly 25,000 attending with $3 million raised for the charity.

"Oh definitely, I think you can see how many people are out here supporting it," Flacco said, "and how many people really care about this."

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