Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

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="" 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.