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.

Brigance Named 2014 George Halas Award winner

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In a sport that is surrounded by men who are strong both on and off the field, Baltimore Ravens senior advisor to player development O.J. Brigance is the strongest in the organization. On Tuesday, Brigance was named the 2014 George Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America. Each year the George Halas Award is given to a NFL player, coach, or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed, something Brigance does on a daily basis. “O.J. Brigance is the most influential person in our organization,” said Ravens...

NFL Rules & Regs for Minicamps

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The Ravens will head into their final week of offseason team activities (OTAs) this week before the team breaks for a month or so before training camp begins in late July. Beginning on Tuesday at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, MD, the team will conduct its mandatory three-day minicamp. Here is a look into some of the rules and regs they must follow under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011): All Offseason Organized Team Activities (OTAs) have been reduced from 14 days to 10. Per the NFLPA, minicamps must now...

Where Does Jacoby Fit Into the Offense This Year?

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When the Ravens re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Jacoby Jones back in March, the organization basically killed two birds with one stone – the return of Jones not only gave the kick return game some insurance but also provided quarterback Joe Flacco with an increased continuity with another one of his wide receivers. In 2013, Jones saw action in 12 games, including nine starts (he missed four games due to a knee injury), and finished fourth on the team with 37 receptions (the second-highest total of his career) for 455 yards and two touchdowns. The...

Will New Weapons Help Red Zone Offense?

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Not much drives NFL head coaches crazy like failing to score points inside an opponents’ red zone. In a game of inches where every play matters, failing to put points on the board once you’re down near the goalline – whether to take a lead, to tie or simply to put the finishing blow on an opponent – can be, and often is, the difference between winning and losing. In 2013, the Ravens offense struggled and struggled some more. Those struggles included failing to capitalize in an opponents’ red zone...

Torrey Smith: ‘I’m just a small piece of the puzzle’

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For Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith battling adversity is almost second nature to the former Maryland Terp. Learning a new offense is never easy regardless of the position played on the football field. Since being drafted by the Ravens in 2011, Smith will once again enter a season in which a new offensive coordinator has taken over the play calling reins. Under Cam Cameron (2011-2012), Smith shined in his first two years with the Ravens. In his rookie year, the speedy wide receiver recorded the most receptions (50), receiving yards (841)...

Sam Koch Works to Protect His Job

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Continuity- The unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period of time. The term Continuity certainly describes the self proclaimed “WolfPack” who make up the Ravens kicking battery that consists of long snapper Morgan Cox, punter/holder Sam Koch and of course kicker Justin Tucker. But just how important is it? “It’s desirable,” Ravens special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg remarked on Tuesday. “You know that in this league, change is a constant, so you’re trying to make things as stable as you can.” Stability is something...

OTA Observations: Flacco Sharper, Forsett Impressive

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As the Ravens concluded their last OTA session open to the media before next week’s mandatory minicamp begins, Tuesday’s practice was the best one yet. We’ll try not to get ahead of ourselves – as easy as it is to do this time of year – as the players are still in shorts and helmets and aren’t able to hit one another, but today’s practice was smooth. The offense and defense appeared to be firing on all cylinders as the players are seemingly more comfortable with both Gary Kubiak’s and...

The Time is Now for Terrell Suggs to Lead

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Has the absence of Terrell Suggs during the first two OTAs this offseason affected the Ravens in the grand scheme of things in preparing for 2014? Not likely, but it has certainly been noted. Much ado has been made over the last two seasons about the team’s lack of leadership since the departure of Ray Lewis. Although voluntary, OTAs are a good time to acclimate yourself with new teammates and get back into a football frame of mind. The Baltimore Ravens were well aware of the type of player Terrell...

Opportunity is Knocking – Will Ryan Jensen answer?

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Before the start of the 2014 offseason, the name Ryan Jensen was a relative unknown when talking about the Ravens roster. In fact, most casual fans had to look to Google to find out exactly who he was or what position he even played. That certainly isn’t the case any longer, now that the 2013 sixth-round draft pick is healthy and being given the opportunity to compete for a spot on the revamped offensive line. Until recently, Jensen appeared to be the center in waiting; however, the acquisition of Jeremy...

Monroe: “What Happened Last Year Doesn’t Matter”

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The Ravens dodged what could have been a lethal bullet in their quest to fix the offensive line this offseason when the team was able to re-sign veteran Eugene Monroe. Brought to Baltimore initially in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars in October of 2013 to shore up the offensive line issues, Monroe is excited to finally have a full offseason in Baltimore instead of learning a new offense in-season. “It’s definitely a good situation to be here the entire offseason, knowing who you’re going to play with and getting...

Brown vs. Jackson Promises to be a Battle this Summer

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Much has been made about the opportunity Ravens cornerbacks Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown will have this offseason. After Corey Graham left via free agency, the Ravens chose not to address the open nickel cornerback position in the draft, opening the door for what promises to be an exciting competition this summer between these two young players. As of Wednesday however, there isn’t any clear cut leader at this point as both players took reps with the first team defense during the second round of offseason team activities. Brown and Jackson...

Zuttah Provides Needed Spark to Offensive Line

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When the Baltimore Ravens traded a fifth round draft pick in 2015 to acquire center Jeremy Zuttah from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the writing was on the wall for Gino Gradkowski in 2014. It was clear that the team wasn’t impressed with Gradkowski’s play last season – and rightfully so – but just how much of an upgrade is Zuttah over Gradkowski and why exactly did they opt for Zuttah over a number of available free agent centers? As the Ravens hosted their second round of OTA’s open to the...

Terrence Brooks Ready To Compete for Starting Spot

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There is no substitute for competition when it comes to pushing players to perform at their best day in and day out. Roster space is limited and regardless of where a player was drafted, his spot on the team certainly has to be earned and there are no guarantees. Even once one earns a starting spot, his learning of how to play the game and his position is a career-long process, with hungry competitors always eager to take that spot for themselves. Rookie third-round pick free safety Terrence Brooks, perhaps...

Justin Forsett Has Experience in Kubiak’s System

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When the Ravens signed running back Justin Forsett during the offseason they knew what kind of player they were getting with the journeyman back. With last season’s debacle involving the Ravens running game in the rear view mirror, the organization has made it very clear it’s something they vow to fix in 2014. The uncertainty at the position with Ray Rice facing disciplinary action from the league and backup Bernard Pierce still recovering from shoulder surgery in the offseason still however raise some questions at the position. One thing for...

Lardarius Webb Hosts Annual Charity Softball Game

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Football season is still a few months away but that didn’t stop Ravens fanatics on Sunday as they gathered at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Thousands of fans were on hand as cornerback Lardarius Webb held his annual charity softball game in partnership with the United Way and The Lardarius Webb Foundation to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore. The defense led by Webb along with a slew of his defensive teammates took on the Ravens offense led by wide receiver Torrey Smith in a fun filled...

Cut Flacco Some Slack…He’s Earned It

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Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco stays out of the limelight during the offseason as much as possible. In fact his lifestyle seems almost downright boring compared to us regular people let alone other NFL players who make the headlines in your local newspapers for all the wrong reasons. You won’t find Joe in the bars causing a stir.  You won’t find Joe “making it rain” in your local adult establishment. Trust me, in this day and age we would find out about it one way or another. This offseason alone is...

SPIDERMAN RETURNS: Webb Looks to Regain Form

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Happy, healthy and excited to be back on the field with his teammates certainly described Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb after yesterday’s practice. For Webb, OTA’s are something minor in the grand scheme of things however as he enters into his sixth year in the Ravens defensive backfield he’s happy just to be a part of it. “Practice is good, I’m glad. It’s kind of fun to get back with the guys,” Webb stated following practice. “[I’m] happy to see some of the faces around here. One thing, the guys are...

Age be Damned, ‘Senior’ Welcomes Doubters

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Age is merely but a number when it comes to new Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. The veteran wide receiver who turned 35 in May has no doubts about his ability to still play the game of football at a high level. Those who do doubt the veteran playmaker’s skills only add fuel to his desire to prove his critics wrong. “Competition! I love competition,” Smith Sr. remarked when asked about his age and why he strives to continue to improve himself. “Also, you know I would say you...

Solid Turnout for Ravens OTA’s, 3 MIA’s

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The Ravens wrapped up day two of their three-day voluntary OTA hitting the rain soaked fields outside at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. “We’ve had five weeks of preparing for these practices,” head coach John Harbaugh remarked about how the first OTA of the offseason has progressed. “We’ve had phase one and then phase two and I think the league and the union have done a really good job setting up a structure where you build the guys into these types of practices and now we’re at...

“Arthur Brown is going to be a difference maker”

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As my fellow colleague Logan Quick pointed out in his latest post “Heavyweight Title Fight: Mosley vs. Brown”, the Ravens will certainly have their share of competition at the linebacker position this summer particularly between C.J. Mosley and Arthur Brown. During the recent Q&A session with Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta presented by Pressboxonline.com at Mothers Grille of Federal Hill, I had the opportunity to address this very topic with Eric. With his straight-to-the-point style, DeCosta admitted it probably sounds odd to some fans as the team opted to...
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