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.

Should Flacco Be Doing More This Offseason?

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What is expected of today’s franchise quarterback in the NFL? In the modern age of paying quarterbacks an arm and a leg coupled with the notion that the league converted to a passing one, the expectations of signal callers are at an all time high. Lately, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finds himself once again in the crosshairs of a hot topic in Baltimore with fans and at least one member of the media. The issue at hand that has stirred debate is whether Flacco should be setting up practice sessions...

Ed Block Courage Award Winners Honored in Baltimore

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Courage: The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Characteristics that certainly describe the Ed Block Courage Award recipients of 2013. On Monday, NFL players from around the league, along with football fans, gathered at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, Maryland for the 36th Annual Ed Block Courage Award Gala. Each season, one player from every NFL team is honored for displaying commitment to the principles of courage and sportsmanship, while serving as inspirations in their locker rooms and communities. Former Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain, along...

Smith Eager to Play in Gary Kubiak’s Offense

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One of newly signed wide receiver Steve Smith’s selling points on joining the Ravens was his admiration of first-year offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.  “Well, [offensive coordinator] coach [Gary] Kubiak, I know his system,” Smith said during his conference call with members of the media on Friday. “I’ve seen his system; I’ve seen the very creative ways they’ve gotten other guys the ball.” “I want to be a part of that. One of the things I’ve seen for myself – I don’t see myself in coach Kubiak’s system like [Texans wide...

Ravens Sign Veteran Steve Smith

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The Baltimore Ravens boosted their inventory of Smiths for the foreseeable future. The Ravens signed former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to  three-year, $11 million deal including a $3.5 million bonus per reports. Smith, who will turn 35 before the 2014 season begins has been a solid receiver in the Panthers organization since entering the league in 2001. Carolina released the veteran wide out on Thursday perhaps prompted by the $13 million this season Smith was set to make in 2014. Smith harbors no ill feelings towards his former team. “I...

Bobby Engram Excited to Get Started with Ravens WRs

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This week, the Baltimore media got a chance to visit with new Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram for the first time since the team hired him in February. Engram, a former wide receiver spent 14 years in the NFL playing for the Bears, Seahawks, Chiefs and Browns before retiring after the 2010 season. “I think it definitely helps,” Engram responded when asked about how much his career in the league will help as the Ravens wide receivers coach. “My thing is to just try to be a good communicator, try...

Smith, Ravens Agree on 4-Year, $16.1M Deal

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The Ravens checked another name off their free agent list this morning when the team announced the re-signing of linebacker Daryl Smith. Smith and the Ravens agreed to four-year deal worth a reported$16.1 million, keeping the veteran linebacker in Baltimore for 2014 and beyond. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had the news first. Smith, the former Jacksonville Jaguar who took over the reigns for Ray Lewis in 2013, produced a stellar year. Many questions arose about replacing Ray and who the team would find to anchor the defense, and Smith responded. Not only...

McClain: “You made me a better person”

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Former Baltimore Raven linebacker Jameel McClain won’t be returning to the Ravens in 2014 after all. McClain announced late Thursday night that he will be joining the New York Giants this upcoming season and thanked everyone in the Ravens organization and all the Ravens fans who have supported him over the years. “For the past 6 years I have been privileged to be a member of one of the great sports franchises in this country, and to make Baltimore my home…I am blessed because of the opportunity, and forever grateful...

Jacoby Will Keep Dancing in Baltimore for Foreseeable Future

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photo: @Ravens Jacoby Jones is back in Baltimore and will once again be dancing on Sundays. Jones made it official today by signing his new four-year deal worth a reported $14 million with $4.5 million guaranteed, opting to stay in Baltimore after turning down more money from the New York Giants. “I was in New York walking around I think I came to my senses,” Jones proclaimed at his press conference. “I think (Baltimore) is the only place that would let me be myself.” Jones enjoyed a quality 2013 appearing in...

Graham Heads to Buffalo; is it Asa Jackson’s Turn to Shine?

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Ravens cornerback Corey Graham won’t return to the team in 2014. Instead, the free agent has agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, as reported by several outlets on Wednesday. Since joining the Ravens in 2012, Graham quietly flew under the radar in a Ravens secondary that featured Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. He came to Baltimore eager to get the chance to play regularly as a defender, after being pigeonholed as a special teamer in Chicago. In 2013, Graham played in all 16 games including five...

Ravens Make it Official with Eugene Monroe

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photo: @Ravens The Baltimore Ravens made it official on Wednesday, holding a press conference to welcome back left tackle Eugene Monroe. Monroe and the Ravens agreed to a new five-year contract worth a reported $37.5 million and including $19 million in guaranteed money, thus securing the protection of Joe Flacco’s blind side for 2014 and beyond. “The trade for Monroe was probably the first trade I ever made in season,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged. “The fact that we gave up draft picks for Eugene is an indication of how...

Arthur Jones Says Goodbye to Baltimore, Heads to Indy

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Add another to the list of players Baltimore has developed who have gone on to get a big pay day elsewhere, as the Indianapolis Colts have given defensive tackle/end Arthur Jones a nice new five-year deal worth a reported $6 million annually. Jones, the Ravens’ 2010 fifth round draft pick and all-around good guy, played his way out of Baltimore in 2013. After an eye-opening health scare during the 2013 preseason involving his heart, Jones rebounded by recording a career-high 53 tackles (27 solo) five for losses and four sacks, the...

Corey Graham Understands The Business of Free Agency

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Everything remains quiet on the Ravens home front before the massive free agency storm that will take over the league on Tuesday. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh pointed out on Wednesday during Dennis Pitta’s presser that the team has extended offers to their own key free agents. “We’ve got offers out to all of those guys – aggressive offers – and I know that [general manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] and [senior vice president of football administration] Pat [Moriarty] are dealing with their agents”, Harbaugh stated. One such player that...

Ray Lewis Leads 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

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While former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will no doubt end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio upon his eligibility, he first has a stop to make. On Thursday the legendary Ray Lewis was one of 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision named by the National Football Foundation for the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. Lewis enjoyed a stellar college career playing at the University of Miami. Ray took the field in his freshman year (1993) and never looked backe...

March is Madness Across The NFL

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The month of March in the NFL creates a madness all of its own among franchises, players, media and fans. From the March 3 deadline to use a club’s franchise tag, to the start of the league’s new year that commences along with free agency on March 11,  right up to the annual NFL Owner’s Meetings March 23-26, the NFL is utter chaos. Perhaps the most important of these events is the powwow amongst the owners. For those who are unaware those meetings include team owners, head coaches and front...

Ray Rice and Fiancee to Attend Couples “Seminar”

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Things have been a relatively quiet for the past week regarding Ray Rice and the pending case against him, but on Wednesday Ravens head coach John Harbaugh shined some light on the incident, from the standpoint of the organization. The head coach told members of the media he has recently spoken to Rice. “I’ve talked to Ray a lot, and really nothing to add other than what’s been said already – the facts will determine the consequences, and we’ll see where it goes,” Harbaugh stated. “There’s nothing [Rice] has said...

Pitta excited to Get Started in 2014

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photo: Baltimore Ravens The ink has dried on tight end Dennis Pitta’s new five-year, $32 million contract, and it’s time to go to work. Pitta, one of last seasons missing cogs in an offense that struggled throughout the season, is back and excited to be a part of the new 2014 Ravens offense. “We’re all looking forward to getting back to work and being the offense that we know we’re capable of,” Pitta acknowledged at his press conference on Wednesday. It remains to be seen for now just what the...

Did The Ravens Prematurely Part Ways With Leach?

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Color me confused. The release of fullback Vonta Leach is understandable from a financial standpoint… I get it. This season Leach was set to earn a $1.75 million base salary with a cap hit of $2.33 million, hardly worthy of  it for sure based on his 2013 playing time as the Ravens moved to more of a single-back approach. Leach played just 19.5 percent of the snaps during the season averaging just under eight plays a game. It certainly was the easy choice. However that was 2013… Enter 2014. Since...

Saying Goodbye to a Class Act

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Just another hurdle in the life of Jameel McClain. Through periods of homelessness as a youngster to a career-threatening spinal cord injury in 2012, McClain has been battling adversity for much of his life. The undrafted linebacker received word yesterday that he would be released from the Baltimore Ravens, along with fullback Vonta Leach, in order to free up additional salary cap space. Not really much of a news-breaking event as McClain’s name has been linked to the scenario for much of the Ravens offseason. McClain had some ups and...

Ravens Sever Ties with Veterans Leach and McClain

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The Baltimore Ravens have officially parted ways with veterans Vonta Leach and Jameel McClain, the team announced on Thursday. The news isn’t particularly shocking, as the duo were obvious choices for salary cap relief headed into 2014. By releasing the two vested veterans, the Ravens will save approx $4.95 million in valuable cap space. “He’s the big, physical fullback you like to have when you pound the ball and are on special teams,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a press release. “And, who doesn’t like Vonta? He’s fun to be around,...

Media Loves the Negative, but Players Do Far More Positive

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Perception is everything in today’s world. I’m guilty of it and I would pretty much bet whoever is reading this is guilty of it as well. Each day it seems like we turn on the television, flip on sports radio or scroll through Twitter feeds and hear about another athlete arrested for whatever reason. Until recently, things have been quite quiet for many years on the Ravens home front; however, as you all know by now that has changed drastically over the last few weeks with the arrests of Ray...