About Brian Bower

Brian Bower

Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest on ESPN Radio in Honolulu, Hawaii.   Brian is very involved in the community and has spent the last twenty years as a volunteer firefighter.  Email him at bbower at russellstreetreport.com.

Don’t Look Now, But The Ravens Can Run The Ball

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Don’t look now but the Ravens can run the football. Much of the Ravens offseason was spent getting back to what Baltimore has usually done best on offense: running the football. The Lions hired Jim Caldwell to be their head coach, and that brought new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to town along with his run-friendly offense and through three weeks of the young season, the Ravens are back in the business of a successful run game. Entering week four, the Ravens, per NFL.com own the leagues eighth-best rushing mark. The...

Monroe Turns in Worst Performance of Young Season

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What in the world is going on with Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe? Monroe, who was re-signed to a new five-year contract this offseason was considered to be a strong point on the left side of the offensive line heading into 2014. Now it’s unclear which Monroe you’re going to get week in and week out. In Week 1 against the Bengals, Monroe received an overall grade of -2.4 (+2.1 pass blocking, -3.8 run blocking) from Pro Football Focus in 88 snaps against a stout Cincinnati defense. Appearing sluggish off the snap,...

Smith Sr. to Receive Stewart B. McKinney Award

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With the negative spotlight being on the Ravens over recent weeks (rightly so, unfortunately), it’s nice to finally see some positive news regarding one of Baltimore’s players. On Thursday, The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (“the Law Center”) will honor wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. with the Stewart B. McKinney Award for his commitment to advancing solutions that prevent and end homelessness. The Ravens’ newly-signed wideout, along with his wife, Angie, established the Steve Smith Family Foundation which champions the cause of the voiceless and fearful, envisioning an end to domestic...

Ravens Among Least Penalized Teams

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Far too often last season the Ravens drives were stalled or stymied on both sides of the football. Per NFL Penalty Stats Tracker, The Ravens were tied with the Houston Texans for the league’s sixth-most accepted infractions with 112 penalties in 2013. Heading into week three’s match-up with the Browns, the team will look to continue their upward trend of not “shooting themselves in the foot” when it comes to penalties. Through the first two games of 2014, the Ravens have committed just seven penalties enforced for 64 yards on the...

Ngata Ready for First Road Game of 2014

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The Baltimore Ravens hit the road for the first time this season when they play the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday in hopes of their second-straight victory over a division rival. The Ravens have always been successful when playing in Cleveland (10-5) but these aren’t necessarily the Browns of old and the Ravens should certainly expect a tightly contested matchup. Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata talked about the contest after practice on Wednesday. “Getting that confidence, for us, has been seeing how we do in a hostile environment,” Ngata...

Flacco and Offense Need a Spark

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Quarterback Joe Flacco certainly had Ravens fans cussing (and likely throwing things) at their televisions prior to halftime on Sunday. His clock management skills looked as if this was his first year in the NFL, ultimately costing his team valuable points and momentum. As Flacco and company set their sights on their first win of the young season, improvement is key. Losing two games at home certainly isn’t what they had in mind to start the 2014 season. So what is Flacco looking for on Thursday? “Improvement,” he explained after...

Suggs Revels in Steelers Rivalry

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Yes it’s Steelers week as the Baltimore Ravens enter week two of the young NFL season and trying to avoid starting out 0-2 in the AFC North division. Both the Ravens and Pittsburgh will take to the field on a short week and with all the happenings around the Castle in Owings Mills this week, they’re focus needs to be on Thursday night. The offense certainly can’t afford another slow start and the defense can’t succumb to the big plays late in the game as both sides on the football...

What Happens to the Running Game Without Rice?

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Time to turn the page and start a new chapter in the Ravens offensive backfield. Prior to the release of veteran running back Ray Rice yesterday, the team had prepared themselves to be without Rice for his two game suspension but certainly not beyond. With Rice now gone, the Ravens running back corp certainly has questions as they head into their second game of the season against Pittsburgh on Thursday. On Monday following practice, Harbaugh acknowledged that Pierce, Justin Forsett, and rookie draft pick Lorenzo Taliaferro would all see extended...

Player Reactions to Ray Rice’s Release

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Throngs of media gathered at the Ravens facility on Monday due to the release of Pro-Bowl running back Ray Rice, and rightly so. Head coach John Harbaugh addressed the media after practice on Monday alone. No front office brass was there alongside the Super Bowl winning coach. It was just him and the podium.   John Harbaugh “I have nothing but hope and goodwill for Ray and Janay and we’ll do whatever we can going forward to help them as they go forward and try to make the best of...

Osemele Picking Up Monroe’s Slack

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Believe it or not the Ravens still have a football game on Thursday night against their AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the rest of the media world is astir with the team parting ways with Rice on Monday afternoon, the Ravens are focused on avoiding a 0-2 start to their 2014 season, and more importantly 0-2 in the division. It’s too early for “must win” scenario, yet losing two-straight at home will only make the current hole much harder to crawl out of. All the offseason talk surrounding...

Dropped Passes Loom Large in Opener Loss

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The Ravens offense opened their 2014 campaign seemingly right where they left off in 2013. Much was made not only over the last week, but over the entire offseason about the Ravens not being allowed to start games out slow, yet they found themselves stuck in idle once again on Sunday. Boneheaded quarterback plays, turnovers and dropped passes all played a part in allowing Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to earn his first ever victory at M&T Bank Stadium. “Offensively, we just couldn’t get it done,” Steve Smith, Sr. stated after...

Local Product Campanaro Ready for NFL Debut

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NFL players have often told me that, between the nerves and the energy of the crowd and teammates, stepping on the field for the first time is an experience that cannot be put into words. While those same players have been playing football from a young age, nothing can ever really prepare them for their first NFL game. Ravens rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro confirmed that notion when I caught up with him at the Baltimore Summer Football Festival presented by LGC Marketing on Friday evening. I asked Campanaro if he...

Canty Not Concerned with Defensive Line Depth

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When the Ravens originally took to the field this offseason, there was little concern over the depth of the their defensive line. However, things have a way of changing quickly in the NFL. As we found out during training camp, they did exactly that, as the team lost both second-year defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and rookie defensive lineman Brent Urban for the year due to injuries in July. Entering Sunday’s game against the Bengals, the Ravens have only five defensive lineman on the roster, or six if the team opts...

New O.C. Jackson Presents Challenge for Pees

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It’s no secret  that when the Ravens battle the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the defense led by coordinator Dean Pees will have their work cut out for them. For a defense, the first game of the season is perhaps the hardest game of the year to prepare for, as opposing offenses show little insight into their playbooks throughout the preseason. “You can study the personnel, because the personnel doesn’t really change,” Pees said at the podium following practice on Thursday. “You can even watch a guy...

Kubiak Impressed With Progress From ‘Juice’

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In just three days the Ravens will finally get to show how their upgrades on the offensive side of the football will translate to the field when they host the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. There have been plenty of occasions throughout minicamp, training camp and the preseason where we have seen hints and clues as to what to expect from new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, but certainly nothing compares to a regular season atmosphere. During his tenure in Houston, Kubiak’s Texans earned their Top 6 all-time offensive outputs in scoring, total offense...

“This is Forever My City,” Lewis Says As Statue Unveiled

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Ray Lewis made his mark on Baltimore both on and off the field over the course of his 17-year NFL career. Each and every Sunday, Lewis provided a spark on the football not just with his Pro Bowl caliber of play but also with his ability to lead. Teammates and fans alike would gladly follow him to battle and they fed off of every word the two-time Super Bowl Champion uttered. While Lewis may no longer be suiting up for the Ravens on Sundays at M&T Bank Stadium, his legacy...

Flacco Ready to Roll, Pierce Happy & Healthy

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When the Ravens open their season on Sunday against the team that essentially knocked them out of the postseason last year for the first time under head coach John Harbaugh, all eyes will be on quarterback Joe Flacco and the new offense. Flacco, who is entering his seventh season under center for the Ravens understand the importance of getting the season started with a bang, considering that the team starts with three straight games against division foes. The former Super Bowl MVP is looking for his 28th win at home in...

Ravens sign CB Fleming, release Olatoye

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The Ravens opted for experience albeit minor over youth early Wednesday when the team announced the signing of cornerback Jamell Fleming to the practice squad. Fleming, a 2012 third-round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals is the latest addition to a Ravens squad that is apparently still searching for depth at the cornerback position. After failing to make an impact with Arizona, given their polar opposite problems of the Ravens at cornerback, Arizona released Fleming who found a home in Jacksonville for the 2013 season. In 2012, Fleming recorded 23...

PRACTICE NOTES: Bynes Released, Webb & J. Smith Return

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As the Ravens prepare this week to open the the 2014 NFL season against the Cincinnati Bengals, they do so with all 53 players on the practice field, a good sign everyone is healthy and ready to go. Perhaps most important of all the players that returned to practice were cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, who were suited up as the team held their first open practice of game week. With the considerable depth concerns in the Ravens’ secondary heading into Week 1, the organization made a move prior...

Elam Hosts Celebratory Kickoff Party at Modell’s

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With the Ravens kickoff to their 2014 season against the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium just days away, safety Matt Elam could not be more excited to get the season underway. In fact, on Sunday afternoon, the second-year safety hosted a celebratory kickoff party for fans at the Modell’s store in Parkville, Maryland. Elam was all smiles as he met with fans and signed autographs for over 100 people free of charge as he and Modell’s will partner up for multiple events throughout the season. Being able to give back...