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.

It’s never easy, it’s never pretty, it’s John Harbaugh

NFL: Ravens v Bengals
So many organizations around the NFL seek continuity day in and day out. The word “change” sends shivers of fear through people each and every day while some welcome change and view it as a positive step in achieving a goal or a belief. Lately it seems as if Ravens fans are on the fence about head coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens front man has been accused of being power hungry, not qualified, stubborn, and too devoted to his friends. I have even heard one person refer to Harb’s loyalty...

Think Extra Points Are Easy?

Tucker v Denver
Talks have begun swirling around the NFL about the possibility of removing extra points from the game after teams score touchdowns. Commissioner Roger Goodell recently told Rich Eisen of the NFL Network in order to keep the game “lively” they may entertain the notion of getting rid of it altogether. “The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell said. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement.” Ahhh...

Linehan the Cure for What Ails Ravens Offense?

linehan
Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens have interviewed former Lions offensive coodinator Scott Linehan for their vacant offensive coordinator position. For the past five seasons, Linehan has been the offensive coordinator in Detroit. Under his guidance, the Lions finished in the top-ten in the NFL in three out of those five seasons. The former coordinator was let go in Detroit when Jim Caldwell was hired as their head coach earlier this month. While it is a common practice whenever a new head coach takes over to...

Ravens Offense Must Stop Collecting Referees’ Laundry

refthrowflag
It’s no secret that the Ravens offense often struggled to convert on third downs throughout the 2013 season. Some failed conversions were due to the ineffective offensive line not being able to get enough push on short yardage situations for either Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce to move the chains. Some chances were lost when receivers inexplicably ran their routes a yard short of the markers. Whatever the reason, Joe Flacco and company managed to convert just 36.4% of third downs in 2013, converting 92 times on 253 attempts. Hindsight...

Potential Free Agent Targets at Tackle for Ravens

albert
The Ravens have their work cut out for them in preparation for the 2014 NFL season. It all starts with coaching as the team searches for Jim Caldwell’s successor at offensive coordinator. Finding someone that can get the most out of each and every player on the roster, who will put players in the best possible positions to succeed is the ultimate goal for John Harbaugh and whoever ends up on his staff. The brass have their work cut out for them when it comes to filling the roster as...

Brigance Brigade to Hold 1st Annual 5.7K Family Fun Race

brigance
Ravens Senior Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance never stops. There is no offseason for Brigance, who along with his wife Chanda and his “Brigance Brigade”  are once again striving to improve the lives of those living with ALS. The Brigance Brigade, an organization that supports ALS patients and their families created by O.J. Brigance and his wife Chanda announced on Tuesday that the foundation will hold their first annual 5.7K family fun run event on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. Proceeds from the 5.7K event...

Caldwell’s Departure Places Ravens in Headhunting Mode

Norv-Turner-Ron-Schwane-USA-Today-Sports
The search is on, The Baltimore Ravens offseason just got even more interesting as Jim Caldwell will head to Detroit to become the Lions’ next head coach. The departure of Caldwell who was given a one-year deal by the Ravens after their Super Bowl victory in 2012 leaves a lot of questions as to who will run the offense in 2014. Several names have been thrown out their by fans and members of media but the team has remained tight-lipped about their plans. If the Ravens mantra of “Next Man...

Ravens Offense is The Land of Confusion

Jim Hostler
The Ravens top brass and team owner Steve Bisciotti are set to meet in Florida to discuss where exactly the team is heading and the best way to get there. In order to be successful every team in the National Football League must have an identity. Whether it is on offense or defense, having an identity is critical. And that’s hard to achieve when there are way to many hands in the cookie jar. Between Juan Castillo, Andy Moeller and Todd Washington working with the offensive line to Jim Caldwell and...

Offense Will Be Offseason Focus, But What About Defense?

Ben Roethlisberger, Brandon Williams
All eyes are on the Ravens offense heading into the offseason. That’s certainly no surprise, considering that they ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every category. The offensive product the 2013 Ravens put on the field was, in all honesty, quite offensive. The run game lacked, the protection of the franchise quarterback was putrid and the lack of production in the red zone was mind numbing. But what about on the defensive side of the football? The NFL has become an offense-driven league and it’s certainly...

Looks Like It’s Extension or Cut for Terrell Suggs

Suggs Intro
“There’s a difference between restructuring and offering guys extensions,” Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said at the team’s annual “State of the Ravens” address on Wednesday regarding the Ravens’ salary cap issues. “I think we’ll continue with our theme of not restructuring contracts,” Newsome said. “We have guys that are in the last year of their contract or heading into the last year of their contract, and we’ve had a history of being able to get good deals done with guys heading into that last year. I don’t think we...

Castillo Announced as Ravens Offensive Line Coach for 2014

Juan Castillo
The shot heard round Raven Nation was announced by John Harbaugh during Wednesday’s annual “State of the Ravens” address: Juan Castillo will return to the Ravens as the offensive line coach in 2014. Thats right Ravens fans – instead of cutting bait with Castillo, Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens brass have doubled down on Juan, moving him from “run game coordinator” to offensive line coach. “Juan will be the offensive line coach next year,” Harbaugh said, eliciting groans from the purple faithful. “The rest of [the coaching staff] is...

Ravens Should Move on from Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell on Field
Is the writing on the wall for Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell regarding his potential return to Charm City in 2014? Have the Ravens told Caldwell somewhere behind closed doors at the Castle in Owings Mills that his services will no longer be needed and to pursue a coaching job somewhere else? Or has Caldwell made up his own mind that Baltimore is not the right place to be, just one season removed from the Super Bowl? All valid questions in my opinion and many fans are sure to be...

Matt Elam Taking the Next Step, On the Field and Off

Matt Elam Presser
Baltimore Raven Matt Elam got a taste of NFL life during his rookie campaign in 2013. The young man out of Florida had some highs and lows throughout the season which was expected as the Ravens chose Elam with the 32nd pick in the draft. Not only has Elam learned some very valuable lessons on the field, what he has learned off the field is even more valuable. Throughout the year many players are involved in community efforts either through the team or their own foundations. Tuesdays around the league...

Will Gino Gradkowski be the Ravens Center in 2014?

Ravens-football-Gino-Gradkowski
After last season’s miracle run to their second Lombardi Trophy in team history, the Ravens knew their team would have a different look in 2013. While some players opted for retirement and others tested their value in free agency, the argument can be made that no player was missed more than center Matt Birk. Birk, the Ravens’ offensive “General” opted for the later and retired, leaving the Gino Gradkowski as the 2013 starting center. As we all know, the OL struggled to protect quarterback Joe Flacco and their run blocking...

Harbaugh Content With Coaching Staff, for now…

Harbaugh headset 1
Offensive line looking at change… Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wrapped up the Ravens 2013 season on Tuesday afternoon with his last press conference of the season. While the team faces many crossroads as to what lies ahead with its players the same can be said for the coaching staff as well. In a season where the Ravens lacked an identity on offense and defense, Harbaugh seems content with his staff. “I don’t plan on doing anything,” Harbaugh said when asked if changes would be made to his staff. He...

“He Should Have Been Out There”

Rice sidelines
Looking back on the Ravens 2013 season one of the biggest disappointments for me and for many fans was the lack of production in the Ravens run game. When I look back on seasons past the one thing you could always count on was the Ravens ground and pound run game yet the run offense was anything but that this year. As I sit here and write this, many things come to mind about this season’s abysmal performances by running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. As we all know...

Could the writing be on the wall for Vonta Leach

Leach
The writing is pretty much on the wall for Ravens fullback Vonta Leach that the smash mouth blocker isn’t likely to return to the purple and black in 2014. In fact I am still trying to figure out why the Ravens even brought him back for 2013. His game reps had all but disappeared. Against bad run defenses the Ravens failed to utilize him and when they did they used him more for that awful swing pass that rarely worked. Granted the teams  horrid offensive line never really provided a...

Ravens’ Offensive Woes Pick Up Where They Left Off

joesackcin
What a long strange trip it has been for the 2013 Baltimore Ravens offense. For the first time under coach John Harbaugh the Ravens failed to make the postseason even though the Bengals gave them ample opportunities. “We’re not ever going to be content with not making the playoffs,” John Harbaugh told the media after the game.  ”That’s just not something that’s going to be OK with any of us.” As the season came to an end this afternoon in Cincinnati, the game was pretty much was a complete offensive...

“Dig” Named Unsung Hero by Ravens Roosts

Ihedigbo SB
As the Ravens wrapped up their final day of practice on Friday before heading to the Queen City to take on the Bengals, one black-winged bird received a special award from The Council of Ravens Roosts. Safety James Ihedigbo was named the Unsung Hero for his dedication both on the field and off. “I try to go out there and always put my best foot forward and do whatever I can for our team to be successful,” Ihedigbo said. “Accepting awards like this along the way means a lot. It’s...

Four Ravens Earn Pro Bowl Honors

Justin Tucker, Arthur Jones
The votes are in and four Baltimore Ravens will be representing the purple and black at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl in February in Hawaii. On Friday evening the league announced that kicker Justin Tucker, linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and right guard Marshal Yanda were selected. Tucker, who was voted the team MVP by members of the Baltimore media was honored about his selection to his first ever Pro Bowl. “What an incredible honor it is to be recognized like this by the players, coaches and fans...