About Bo Smolka, CSNbaltimore.com

Bo Smolka, CSNbaltimore.com

Ravens correspondent for ComcastSportsNet, freelance author and writer, and full-time life coach with a client list of two (Matt and Katie). Bo was a Sports Copy Editor for the Baltimore Sun from 2005-08 and is a graduate of Bucknell University.

Thompson Making a Push

Deonte Thompson v Cowboys
Deonte Thompson is doing everything he can to make the Ravens roster. The third-year receiver, locked in a battle for a final wide receiver roster spot, scored his second touchdown in two weeks in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Washington at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday night. Two weeks ago, coach John Harbaugh had said of the receiver competition: “Nobody has really separated themselves. … The games are going to be a big thing now. If practice doesn’t separate guys, then maybe the games will.” Since Harbaugh said that, Thompson...

Trade of McClain Not Such a Steal After All

Rolando McClain Cowboys
When the Ravens traded retired linebacker Rolando McClain to Dallas earlier this week, it seemed Ozzie Newsome had pulled off a heist, gaining a sixth-round draft pick for a player who has retired twice in the past year, never played a down for the Ravens and has said he was “done” with football. But the trade is not as one-sided as originally thought. In fact, it’s clear that the Cowboys were aware of McClain’s history, and put plenty of conditions on the deal that turns it into a no-risk proposition...

Courtney Upshaw, a Weighty Situation

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
Last year, Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw drew the wrath of coach John Harbaugh for reporting to offseason activities overweight and in questionable shape. But this year, Harbaugh seems much more pleased with the third-year linebacker. “He looks like he’s in really good shape,” Harbaugh said after the Ravens OTA workout on Wednesday. “We’ll start monitoring the weight a little more closely, (but) he’s in the ballpark. It’s not like he’s out of shape, weight-wise. He’s close, no problem getting through practice. He looks good. We’re happy with him.” Upshaw is...

Heap to be Inducted Into Ravens Ring of Honor

Heap dives for TD v Chargers
Move over, Ray Lewis. There’s another player who will be joining Lewis and six other Ravens in the Ravens Ring of Honor this year: tight end Todd Heap. The Ravens announced on Tuesday that Heap would be honored this fall, joining the prestigious group that Lewis joined this past season in a ceremony at M&T Bank Stadium. In addition to the Ravens, the Ring of Honor also features late team owner Art Modell and eight members of the Baltimore Colts. “It’s pretty surreal,” Heap told the team website. “You look...

5 Local Prospects Who Could Shine on Draft Day

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 7.56.49 AM
The wait is almost over, and the phones are almost ready to start ringing with actual picks and trades. The 2014 NFL Draft is just two days away, leaving fans, team executives, and certainly soon-to-be rookie players on edge. Here are five players with local ties who will be staying near the phone over the next few days. For one, the phone call is likely to come Thursday night. Others might be sweating out all weekend to see if they are among the 256 players drafted. And for some, the...

Brady Quinn Nearly a Raven?

Brady Quinn
OK, Ravens fans, to think that seven years ago your quarterback of the future was almost … Brady Quinn? Four years after taking Kyle Boller in the first round of the draft, the Ravens apparently came extremely close to drafting Quinn in the first round. On NFL Network on Monday night, former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah and Quinn recounted how close Quinn came to being the Ravens’ first-round draft pick in 2007. The Ravens were set to pick at No. 29 that season, and they, and millions others watching on...

Analyzing The Schedules of AFC North Rivals

DeAngelo Tyson, Andy Dalton
Now that the schedule-makers have had their say, it’s time to break down the schedules of the Ravens’ AFC North rivals a little more closely. Among the most notable aspects of this year’s schedule is that the AFC North race could have a lot of clarity early, with the Ravens playing both games against Cincinnati and the Steelers and one against Cleveland before Week 9. Here are a few other key schedule highlights for each of the other AFC North teams: CINCINNATI BENGALS (Complete schedule): For the third time in...

Did The Mockers Get it Right For Ravens in 2013?

Matt Elam Draft Day
The mock draft speculation has nearly reached fever pitch, but because this year’s draft has been moved to May, it will only continue for another couple of weeks. Are the Ravens going to take Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin? Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan? Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix? Does anyone really know? Let’s face it: Not really. We went back and checked out how some of the top national pundits fared with their final 2013 mock first-round draft pick for the Ravens. Of course, the Ravens were drafting at...

Ravens Need a Healthy Pierce

Pierce v chargers
The Ravens questions at running back don’t end with Ray Rice and his legal problems. Bernard Pierce, entering his third season with the Ravens, is coming off offseason shoulder surgery and a subpar second season with the Ravens. The time is now for him to show that he can stay healthy and be a key component in the Ravens running game for the foreseeable future. In fact, for Pierce, there may be no better time to do so. Pierce told the Ravens team Web site recently that, coming off the...

Dickson Returning to The Nest?

Dickson v Browns
The Ravens have already signed starting tight end Dennis Pitta for the long term, and it appears they are interested in bringing back tight end Ed Dickson as well. Dickson, a free agent after his contract expired earlier this month, has been offered a deal from the Ravens, according to the Baltimore Sun. But Dickson, maligned by Ravens fans at times for inconsistent play, has also drawn other interest on the free agent market. He has been offered a deal by the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to the Sun, and has...

Deonte Thompson Arrested on Marijuana Charge

Deonte Thompson
Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson has been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, according to the Gainesville (Fla.) police department. The arrest comes just a week after running back Ray Rice was arrested on a simple assault charge after a domestic dispute with his fiancee in a casino in New Jersey. According to the Gainesville police report, Thompson was one of three people in a car that was stopped for driving without headlights. When the car was stopped, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the...

Ravens Short-Yardage Offense Goes Nowhere

vontaleach 728
One of the sequences that defined the Ravens’ loss to New England last week — and indeed their season — was the Ravens failure to gain 1 yard on two plays inside the Patriots 5-yard line in the third quarter. On third-and-1, Joe Flacco took a shotgun snap out of an empty backfield and threw incomplete. Then on fourth-and-1, Ray Rice was stuffed for no gain. It’s been that way all season for the Ravens. The Ravens are 13-for-22 converting either third- or fourth-and-1, a percentage (.591) that ranks among...

Tomlin Denies Bush-League Move

Jacoby Tomlin
John Harbaugh wondered whether Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was credited with a tackle. Joe Flacco said Tomlin used Flacco’s Super Bowl move, the one in which Flacco suggested tackling a kick returner from the sideline. Tomlin insists he simply lost a sense of where he was. Indeed, after the Ravens’ stirring 22-20 win over the Steelers on Thanksgiving night, Tomlin’s role on Jacoby Jones’ 73-yard kick return was still a hot topic. Had the Steelers come back and won, the play would have been enormously controversial. Instead, the Ravens held...

Scouting the Jets: Defense is Front and Center

wilkerson
The Ravens enjoyed their best day of the season on the ground at Chicago, churning out 174 yards against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense. The yardage figures to be much tougher to come by on Sunday, however, when Rex Ryan brings the Jets defense to M&T Bank Stadium. Tough defense up front was a calling card of Ryan’s when he was with the Ravens,  and that hasn’t changed at all in his five seasons with the Jets. “We’re No. 1 in the league versus the run. That’s no surprise,” Ryan...

Ravens Offense Could Use a Little Juice

HOUSTON TEXANS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS
On the Ravens’ first series at Miami, quarterback Joe Flacco dropped back on third-and-7 and looked over the middle for rookie fullback Kyle Juszczyk. The pass fell incomplete, just past the outstretched arms of Juszczyk, but it seemed to suggest that Juszczyk, the rookie from Harvard, might get more involved in the passing game. The Ravens, after all, went into that game with just three wide receivers and tight ends whose play had been sporadic and inconsistent. In the end, Juszczyk did not get very involved; he was in on...

“We need to get Ray involved in every single way”

this-close
In the wake of the Ravens’ 23-20 loss at Buffalo last Sunday, much has been made of the way the Ravens’ running game was put on the shelf. The Ravens ran the ball just nine times — the lowest number in franchise history — and Ray Rice had just five carries for 17 yards. But perhaps just as notable was this: Rice was also a complete non-factor as a receiver. Rice finished with no catches, just the third time since his rookie season that has happened in the regular season....

A Night With “Sweet Pea” That Didn’t Happen

Sweet Pea 1
Jacoby Jones and Bryant McKinnie weren’t available to reporters at the Ravens facility on Wednesday, but each of them hosted a radio show Wednesday night and gave his own version — somewhat — of what went down on the infamous party bus in the wee hours Monday morning. Officially, there was a disturbance outside a nightclub in Washington, D.C., where McKinnie and Jones, among others, had gone via a party bus to celebrate McKinnie’s birthday after the Ravens’ win over Houston. According to the report from the Metropolitan Police Department,...

BEHIND THE NUMBERS: The Story of the Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning v Ravens Baltimore 2012
The Broncos went 13-3 last year and won the AFC West title, their second straight divisional title and their 12th overall. That is tied with the Oakland Raiders for the most AFC West crowns. Along the way, the Broncos ended the regular season with 11 straight wins, including a 34-17 win over the Ravens in Baltimore. Here are some other enlightening numbers about the Broncos: 1: The number of home openers the Broncos have lost in the last 13 years. Denver had won 11 straight home openers before losing to...

Ravens Fall to Rams in Preseason Finale

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 12.17.21 AM
Final score: St. Louis 24, Baltimore 21 Game recap: Backups took center stage, as the Ravens rested every projected starter for the preseason finale against the Rams at the one-quarter-full Edward Jones Dome. Several backups, including running back Bernard Pierce, defensive lineman Marcus Spears and cornerback Jimmy Smith did not play. Neither did backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, leaving the offense in the hands of Caleb Hanie. He finished 20-for-36 for 267 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. It was a predictably ragged affair, with five turnovers, including two on...

5 Things to Watch For vs. Rams

laquan2
EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Thursday, Aug. 29. Two-minute topic: What should we look for in the preseason finale tonight at St. Louis? The Ravens wrap up the preseason against the Rams in a game that figures to be little more than an extended audition for second- and third-teamers. Although starters are not likely to play much if at all, and the game will not count in the standings, there are definitely story lines in play. Here are five of them. 1. Will the wide receiver battle finally be...