Who Makes the Cut? – Roster Projection 2.0

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Back at it again with another week of practice and preseason play, Dev Panchwagh and myself have delivered our roster projection 2.0. Cut downs are looming after this Saturday’s game against Washington when the Ravens will cut down from 90-75 players beginning on August 26th. Roster Projection 2.0:   OFFENSE Quarterbacks (2) In: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor Practice squad: Keith Wenning NOTES: With his recent play, Wenning certainly  looks as if he will be headed to the Ravens practice squad for sure with the new 10 player maximum rule recently approved...

Jackson, Webb, Smith Will Not Play vs. Redskins

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Say what you will but the injuries or setbacks involving the Ravens cornerbacks certainly do raise an eyebrow as the NFL regular season inches closer everyday. While two out of the three corners are veterans and have valuable experience one can only get from suiting up year after year, season after season, there is still something to be said about live reps against opposing receivers. On Thursday head coach John Harbaugh announced Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (ankle) will all miss Saturday’s contest against Washington in...

Juan Castillo: Ravens Villain to Hero?

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It’s no secret that last season was an awful one for the Ravens offense, particularly the offensive line. Joe Flacco was under duress far too often and the rushing attack ran on empty and ended up as the NFL’s worst. Coming off a Super Bowl XLVII victory fans demanded answers, sought solutions and wondered why the Ravens changed anything at all, championing the credo, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Yet changes were ushered in and the uncommon denominators were Juan Castillo and Gino Gradkowski. The Ravens had little...

Ravens Look to Put Red Zone Woes in Rearview in ’14

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No team ever wants to commit the sin of “leaving points on the field.” In the NFL, all too often games are won or lost because of execution – or failure – to do one thing: score touchdowns when inside the opponent’s red zone. For a team that played an NFL-high nine games that were decided by three points or less (5-4 in those games), red zone inefficiencies were glaring. The Ravens left far too many points on the field in 2013, far too often settling for field goals from...

THE GRAPEVINE: Ravens Rumors and Hard Knocks Snoozers

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The Ravens host the Redskins in game 3 of the preseason, usually the contest during which the starters get their biggest workload. Afterwards John Harbaugh and his staff will be forced to cut down from 90 to 75 players. Following preseason game 4 the team must cut down to 53 players. That cut down is eased slightly by the recent expansion of the practice squad from 7 to 10 players. Three rookie receivers may be competing for 1 spot among the 53: Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken and Jeremy Butler. Deonte...

RAVENS LINKS: Redskins and Ravens Fans United?

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Harbaugh’s Plea to Redskins Fans John Harbaugh mentions that he wishes Redskins fans’ AFC team would be the Ravens. I somehow doubt that will happen. Jerry Coleman of 105.7 The Fan explains what he thinks. LINK Ravens QB Joe Flacco thinks Manziel’s flip-off is overblown Jamison Hensley of ESPN details Flacco’s opinion of the Manziel flip-off that everyone is talking about. LINK Kyle Juszczyk Kicks Down Imaginary Door The Ravens fullback has come up with an entrance now that he’s in the starting lineup. Check it out here. Rick Wagner...

Flacco and Ravens Offense Still Need to Start Faster

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Last weeks preseason game against the Cowboys was a strange one for the Ravens starters. Despite a 27-10 halftime lead, fans were left with an uneasy feeling and major concerns regarding the defense. Matt Elam is still struggling to make the impact the Ravens envisioned when they drafted him in the first round last year. Elvis Dumervil was nowhere to be found, and CJ Mosley was active, but at times certainly provided us a reminder that he’s a rookie. While the struggles on defense are a legitimate reason for concern,...

BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Steelers’ Run Game Not So Scary

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Cincinnati Bengals Dalton puts on a show, looking season-ready If there was any doubt about Andy Dalton’s 2014 readiness, it was put to rest after what the “red-headed rifle” did a few nights ago against the New York Jets. While the Bengals dropped their second straight pre-season game 25-17, Dalton and his receivers put on a show. The starting offense scored on the first and only three drives Dalton was at the helm. His final line was 8/8, 144 yards and a TD. He was able to hit A.J Green...

FANTASY LINKS: Steve Smith’s Value

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What is Steve Smith’s Fantasy Value? “He was always made for this. Steve Smith’s hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners, “ice up, son” attitude always seemed custom-fit to the AFC North and its old school, kick-in-the-teeth atmosphere. However, Smith went to much warmer and more welcoming climates when selected in the third round of the NFL Draft 13 years ago. Since then, Smith has proven to be a reliable – and at times elite – talent for his Carolina Panthers, despite pre-draft concerns about his diminutive 5’9”, 185-pound frame. Yet, he never quite fit....

The Smith Who Could Have the Better Year

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Newly signed wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. has been the talk of the town both on the field and off since his arrival here in Baltimore during the offseason. While Smith Sr. may have stolen the headlines with his fiery and stellar play throughout training camp, it’s another Smith who is quietly going about his business as he has since the Ravens selected him in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. Torrey Smith maintained a low profile throughout the offseason, working on his craft while looking forward to...

CAMP NOTES: Harbs Acknowledges Poor Tackling

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Head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media on Monday afternoon in detail for the first time since Saturday’s 37-30 victory over the Cowboys in Dallas. Some points the Ravens troop leader commented on included:   Tackling Remains Issue The Ravens’ penchant to miss tackles and fail to wrap up after contact was on full display to all those that tuned in on Saturday evening. Fans also got a small sampling of the lack of depth at the safety and cornerback positions. On one play in particular, on 3rd-and-19, a...

So Far, So Good for Ravens’ Most Pressing Question

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Preseason is in full gear and teams around the league are trying to get questions about their teams answered. For the Ravens, the most paramount question centers on the run game. While many things will shape what becomes of the 2014 Ravens, how effectively they are able to run the football will overwhelmingly decide how much of a contender they are, and really…question #2 on the same list…isn’t close. While it’s no question the Ravens got better on the offensive side of the ball, they didn’t significantly improve separating from...

Griping About – & Understanding – the Ravens D

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I’ve read a lot of things lately about how the Ravens need to part ways with defensive veterans like Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Lardarius Webb, and others.  The theory is that younger players are more hungry, more athletic, and do not cost as much.  I can understand that sentiment, but parting with key defensive starters (regardless of age and experience) is a bad way to build a defense. When it comes to the Ravens (and most teams) during the pre-season, there are a couple of things that I think fans...

RAVENS LINKS: Ravens No. 24 All-Time Greatest Franchise

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All 32 NFL Franchises Statistically Ranked in Order of All-Time Greatness Fansided’s Daniel D. Zillmer comes up with a metric to rank all 32 franchises in order of greatness. For a franchise that is less than 20 years old, the Ravens come in impressively at #24. And despite what their fans would want you to believe (SIX!), the Steelers only come in at #3. LINK VIDEO: Harbaugh’s Post-Game Speech John Harbaugh gives a speech to his team after the 37-30 win against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday where he details what...

The Ride to Conquer Cancer

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By Heather Fitzpatrick   In September the first Ride to Conquer cancer event will be held. It’s a 150-mile bike ride through DC, Maryland and Virginia. This event is so important to honor those fighting now and those we’ve lost. I learned something staggering that I wanted to share. Today, 4,200 people across the US will hear from their doctors something like this- “I’m sorry, you have cancer.” I can tell you that those words are the most frightening to hear. I never imagined at age 41 I would be...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens @ Cowboys–Safety Patrol

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Ravens fans never want another season like 2007 where the Ravens’ secondary evoked memories of the “Street of Dying Men” scene from Gone with the Wind. After the first quarter, The Ravens’ top 3 corners, Jackson, Webb, and Smith were all out with injuries of which few outside the Castle can claim to have full understanding. The remainder of the game featured a number of 5-DB sets with 3 (big nickel) and even 4 (huge nickel?) safeties. Much was made of the big nickel in the last year or two for...

Observations From Preseason Game 2: Defense/Special Teams

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After a notable defensive preseason debut in which the Ravens allowed only three points, things didn’t come so easy on Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys, as the defense conceded 30 points. How many points the opposition allowed isn’t too big of a concern right now, since quite frankly the defense as a whole didn’t necessarily look any worse than in the first preseason game. The 37-30 win over the Cowboys offered plenty of things of note when it came to both defense and special teams. 1. Rookie Terrence Brooks didn’t...

Observations from Preseason Game 2 – Offense

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Saturday night’s win against the Dallas Cowboys was not nearly as impressive of an outing for the offense compared to the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, but it was still a positive performance nonetheless. After a preseason debut in which the starting offense marched down the field in dominating fashion for a touchdown in Week 1, both the starters and backups showed more inconsistencies during their trip to Dallas. There’s plenty to dissect, but also plenty to build upon as the Ravens have reached to midway point of...

RAVENS 37 COWBOYS 30: 5 Good, 5 Bad Takeways

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The Ravens offense did not take the field until the 3:25 mark of the first quarter and then proceeded to stay on the field for all of 53 seconds, their total time of possession for the quarter. Yet the first quarter ended with the Ravens on the lead end of a 14-7 game thanks to a fumble recovery for score by Courtney Upshaw and a 108-yard kick return by Deonte Thompson. It was a strange and uneven game/performance, even for a fake game.   PLUS 1. BIG MAC: Pernell McPhee...

Ravens Beat Cowboys in Uneven Effort: Knee-Jerk Reactions

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The Ravens were slightly schizophrenic against an awful Cowboys team. Good teams, even when they play poorly, will find a way to win. And by the way, my concerns about a lackluster pass rush and thin secondary continue to resonate. Will Matt Elam ever make an impactful play? – Tony Lombardi Offense can’t afford too many slow starts as we saw tonight. O-line struggled in pass protection, particularly left tackle Eugene Monroe. Running game certainly progressing. Secondary struggling as a unit and it could be a major concern if Lardarius...