Is it just me, or does Ravens/Chargers feel like a bit of a rarity to anybody else? It just seems that these AFC opponents don’t play each other as often as you’d expect, especially in Baltimore. To whit, the Ravens and San Diego Chargers have met just three times in the Joe Flacco/John Harbaugh era, and never at M&T Bank Stadium during those years – the last time the Bolts flew out to Charm City was back in 2006, and the ONLY other time was in 2000.
I don’t know…seems odd, no?
Although they don’t play often, these two have still managed to produce some very memorable games. From Todd Heap diving through “Light’s Out’s” arms, to Ray’s last-minute stop on Darren Sproles, to 4th-and-29, it’s rarely a dull affair.
Let’s take a look at the stats, notes, and quotes to get us ready for another chapter of Baltimore/San Diego, courtesy of Conrad’s Seafood. Call them at 410-529-3474 to reserve a seat for this Sunday’s Ravens party! $50/person (includes tax and gratuity) for all you can drink domestic draft beer, house wine and sangria, steamed crabs and an awesome buffet!
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak on where G Marshal Yanda ranks among the best linemen he’s ever seen:
“He’s as good as any I’ve ever been around, and I’ve been around some great ones. I’m so impressed with the technician that he is, how hard he plays, how tough he is – the things he plays through. He’s a consistent body of work. All those guys that I’ve been around that, to me, achieved that type of status as a player– which, in my opinion, his has got to be as good as it could be – they’re all kind of the same in how they work and how hard they play, and they’re all very smart. I knew he was a good player when I came here, but man, is he impressive – not only as a player, too, but as a person – how he goes about getting ready to play.”
RB Justin Forsett on surpassing expectations by having a career year in Baltimore:
“I’m sure there are still some people who are surprised. I’m OK with surprising people. … There’s always going to be doubters. There’s always going to be people that want to limit me and put me in boxes. It’s my job to go out and try to break them.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton on WR Steve Smith Sr.:
“He has energy. He has juice. He is a guy that obviously looks for the big-play opportunities. I love watching him play – his passion. He’s tough. There is an energy that he brings with him that is very evident just on watching the tape. When you see him in person, you feel that.”
NFL Media’s Gil Brandt on LB C.J. Mosley being among the leaders in Pro Bowl voting:
“It takes exceptional instincts to thrive at inside linebacker. This was true in the days of Lee Roy Jordan, it was true when Ray Lewis was ruling the field, and it’s true now. Mosley does indeed have exceptional instincts. He’s more of a narrow-bodied guy, but this actually makes it easier for him to drop into coverage. Mosley’s an excellent tackler who plays with tons of energy and had a very good first half of the season. … Mosley has exceeded my expectations for him.”
FB Kyle Juszczyk on the Ravens’ offense’s improvement and striving to be one of the NFL’s best:
“The term that we’ve been saying a lot is, ‘There’s still some meat left on the bone.’ We feel like we still have a lot of room to improve, because we feel like we’ve got a lot of potential here. We really feel like we can be a Top 5 offense.”
FORSETT NEEDS 97 TO JOIN THE LIST
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Sam Koch
Justin Tucker described you as a “salty competitor.” How would you describe your competitive nature?
“Salty competitor? That’s probably a good way to put it, because I’m always striving to just do the best I can each and every day. He’s probably pretty close to being right on.”
If you could play any other position, what would it be?
“It would either have to be quarterback, because I like throwing the ball – I like to spin it – or inside linebacker. I loved playing defense in high school, and I was recruited to Nebraska as a linebacker/punter-type.”
How much pride do you put into controlling the battle for field position?
“It’s been more so this year, and that has been a little more gratifying. Rather than trying to punt the ball as high as you can and trying to angle it properly, we’re doing other things this year trying to keep the ball away from the returners. We’re keeping the ball low, putting it up high. It just depends on what we’re trying to do for that particular game. It just makes it more enjoyable for me. I’m not just out there doing the routine thing every single punt. Even though it does make it a lot easier because you’re hitting the same ball every time, this year we’re mixing it up, and we’re having fun with it.”
What is the most underrated part of punting?
“Everybody nowadays, with the way stats are going and everything, everybody expects that 50-yard ball. Well, the underrated part is going out there in these cold-weather temperatures and hitting a ball that’s cold, or the wind could be blowing right to left, and hitting a moving target every time. It’s just being able to go out there and consistently do that every time. A lot of people, I think, feel like it’s just easy to punt a ball.”
To what or to whom do you credit your longevity and success in the NFL?
“I think a lot of it comes from family, wanting to do the right thing to support them. But also being backed by such a great organization as the Ravens and all the guys that we have up front with [president] Dick Cass and [owner] Steve Bisciotti, and then all the coaches. I look forward, and I’ve always looked forward to going out there and proving my worth every year and doing the things that I can to help our team out. Being able to be here has just been a blessing. This is just a first-class organization.”
What’s it like being an NFL dad?
“It’s great. There are a lot of things that my four kids get to do that most kids in the neighborhood don’t get to do, and it’s fun to give them that opportunity. But it’s also a way that we can show them a lot of life lessons through football. It’s definitely a blessing.”
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections
Ravens director of player development Harry Swayne spent six seasons playing as an offensive tackle for the Chargers (1991-96), contributing to San Diego’s 1994 AFC Championship. From 1991-95, Swayne appeared in 87 games, starting each one.
Chargers DE Jarret Johnson was originally selected by the Ravens in the fourth round (109th) of the 2003 NFL Draft. Johnson spent nine seasons in Baltimore, registering 20 sacks in 143 games played. Johnson’s streak of 129-consecutive games played ranks second in Ravens history.
Ravens DE Lawrence Guy joined the Chargers midseason in 2013 and was claimed off waivers by Baltimore after Week 3 in 2014.
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator from 2010-12, working alongside Ravens QBs coach Rick Dennison (1995-2009) and ILBs coach Don Martindale (2009-10). Dennison also coached with Chargers secondary coach Ron Milus
(2000-02, 2011-12) in Denver, and Martindale worked with assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman (2010) as well. Furthermore, Ravens OLB Elvis Dumervil (2006-12) and Chargers WR Eddie Royal (2008-11) played for the Broncos during this period.
Chargers assistant strength and conditioning coach Rick Lyle was originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent DE in 1994 and moved with the franchise to Baltimore in 1996, his only season with the Ravens. Lyle appeared in 11 games for Baltimore.
Chargers special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer began his NFL coaching career as a coaching assistant under Bill Belichick in Cleveland from 1991-94. During this time, Ravens general manager and executive VP Ozzie Newsome was a special assignment scout (1991-92), assistant to the head coach/offense/pro personnel (1993) and director of pro personnel (1994) with the Browns.
Chargers LBs coach Joe Barry held the same title in Jacksonville when he coached with Ravens LBs coach and former Jaguars DL coach Ted Monachino in 2009. Ravens ILB Daryl Smith and T Eugene Monroe played for Jacksonville that season as well.
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was the WRs coach (2001), offensive assistant (2002-03), QBs/offensive assistant coach (2004- 05), QBs coach (2006) and passing game coordinator/QBs coach (2007-08) in Carolina when Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. (2001-13) was with the Panthers. Chargers WRs coach Fred Graves coached Smith Sr. when he was Carolina’s WRs coach during the 2011-12 seasons.
Chargers K Nick Novak attended the University of Maryland (2001-04).
Chargers special teams coordinator Kevin Spencer was the head coach of The Gilman School, located in Baltimore, from 1980-81.
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT