Cameron jazzes up play calls

camcameron
After the Ravens went deep for a 52-yard pass on their first play from scrimmage, they continued to sprinkle in some unpredictability with reverses.That came on the Ravens’ second series, and it almost led to a fumble as Anquan Boldin botched the handoff to Jacoby Jones. The result: A 10-yard loss. While all the talk surrounding the Ravens’ 44-13 win vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in the opener was about the hurry-up offense, overlooked was that they took a lot of chances. Later in that same drive, there was a fourth-and-1...

Harbaugh learns enough before roster cuts

harbs
 ST. LOUIS — The best news to come out of Thursday night’s game vs. the Rams is this: The preseason is over. The Ravens, sitting all but about four of their projected starters for the regular season, put on their worst showing in four exhibitions as they lost 31-17 at Edward Jones Dome. Tyrod Taylor started at quarterback to complete 8 of 12 passes for 58 yards as he failed to produce a touchdown. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford completed 11-for-16 for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor’s backup, Curtis Painter,...

Rookie Running Backs effective, similar

bernardpierce
The Ravens have a good problem. They have two running backs who appear worthy of being No. 2 in Bernard Pierce and Bobby Rainey. Pierce, who the team traded up to select in the third round of this year’s draft, is the favorite to win the job while the undrafted Rainey likely will fall into the No. 3 spot after Thursday’s preseason finale at the St. Louis Rams. Rainey, standing 5-8 and 212 pounds — the exact measurables of Ray Rice — has proven to be an excellent receiver out...

Ravens set for Rams in final warmup

bobby-rainey
For the players hoping to make the 53-man roster, Thursday’s preseason finale at the St. Louis Rams is about the best in show. After struggling in the first two exhibitions, the Ravens’ first unit showed progress on both sides of the ball in last week’s 31-point blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This game is about the reserves and rookies who are trying to play their way in as not many starters are expected to play or receive significant time. Final cuts will be announced Friday when coach John Harbaugh will trim 22...

Will hurry-up decrease Ray Rice’s touches?

Ray-Rice
Will the new emphasis on the hurry-up offense cut down on the number of touches for Ray Rice? Offensive Cam Cameron doesn’t think so, but acknowledges that it could mean more receptions for him out of the backfield. Cameron said Tuesday that the Ravens’ style of play will look a lot like the team that mauled the Jacksonville Jaguars 48-17 last week. That meant 36 passes for quarterback Joe Flacco in two-plus quarters and a hurry-up attack that took chances in the red zone which included passes on 1st-and-10. Click...

33rd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention

The_National
The Baltimore Convention Center (1 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201) will play host to the 33rd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention, returning after a very successful 2010 Baltimore show.  Open to the public, the quality and significance of the 2012 show exhibits and vintage memorabilia has already exceeded our expectations. In addition to the 800 exhibitors, 85 high profile athletes signing and numerous fan-related experiences, many great vintage sports memorabilia will be on display and for sale by many of the country’s prominent exhibitors and auction houses.   Recently, national...

Icy Harbaugh unlikely to thaw anytime soon

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Ask John Harbaugh a question about injuries to his players and the response is pretty predictable – assuming you get one. The Ravens ball coach has consistently given reporters the hand when it comes to trainer’s room details. Yet the reporters keep on asking because it’s their job and Harbaugh keeps dissing them because he thinks that’s his job. And given the focus on head injuries and concussions Harbaugh’s icy handling of such inquiries is going to grow even colder. The league is trying to balance the game’s integrity against...

Ravens to hold three open practices during camp

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OWINGS MILLS — When the Baltimore Ravens announced that they were shifting training camp to team headquarters going forward after years of holding practices at McDaniel College, the AFC North franchise said it would conduct three practices that would be open to the general public. The defending AFC North champions have now followed through on that promise, scheduling free practices for Aug. 4 at M&T Bank Stadium, Aug. 12 at the Naval Academy and Aug. 19 at Stevenson University The Ravens are also going to hold a lottery for a...

The problem with recent quarterbacks chosen #1 overall

andrew-luck-colts
Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, David Carr, Michael Vick, Tim Couch, Peyton Manning.  Only the Manning brothers have won Super Bowls of the people on that list.  Add in Cam Newton’s very good rookie season if you’d like, but only time will tell.  Vick has been a good quarterback, but I wouldn’t say the Falcons got quite what they had hoped out of that draft pick.  Now that we’ve removed those four guys, let’s revisit that list.  Bradford, Stafford, Russell, Smith,...

It’s time for the Ravens ‘teams’ to be special

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For a team featuring a roster as athletic as the Baltimore Ravens, their special teams were anything but special. The truth be told they were rather abysmal. And therein lays some irony. What was John Harbaugh known for coming from the Eagles? If you answered special teams you would be correct. The team’s lackluster performance on teams is reminiscent of offensive guru Brian Billick’s failures to produce even an above average offense in Baltimore. In 2011 the Ravens were one rung above the status of bottom feeders in average yards...

Roger Goodell: “Forever Football”

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To NFL Fans: Now that another remarkable NFL season has concluded, let me express my gratitude on behalf of all 32 NFL teams for your incredible support. Record numbers of you watched at home, made your way to the stadium, and connected with the NFL in numerous other ways during the 2011 season. Your love of football is what makes the NFL special. We are proud of the quality of the game today. From the individuals and team skills on display in every game to the record-breaking achievements of future...

Sometimes It Doesn’t Work Out

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There were problems with this year’s Patriots team.  There’s no doubting that.  They struggled on defense throughout the entire regular season.  New England’s running game never developed into the reliable balance to the pass that they must have hoped for.  Rob Gronkowski wasn’t able to play at full strength in the Super Bowl and it made a huge difference. Too bad none of that really matters.  Throw it all out.  What matters is that the Patriots, on Sunday night, were not a particularly lucky team.  What matters is that the...

Divisional Weekend Picks

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OK, I admit that I blew the wild card games last week.  The two teams I got right (Saints and Texans) won by wider than predicted margins, and I was simply smoked on the other two.  The Falcons were totally dominated by the Giants, and the Steelers were too banged up to compete against the Tebow Karma.  Good thing I don’t make a living at this prediction stuff. Before I get into this weekend’s games, I have to note two items:  First a word for Ravens fans who’ll be attending...

Night of the Kicker, Ten Years Later

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It was an AFC divisional playoff game in 2002—exactly ten football seasons ago now—and we know the game by a number of nicknames.  Raiders fans often call it “the Snow Job,” while Patriots fans will usually call it the “Snow Bowl.”  Just about everybody else knows the last game in Foxboro Stadium as “the Tuck Rule Game.”  To me, none of these nicknames really suit what happened on that Saturday night (yep, same time as this Saturday’s game just across the street at Gillette).  I think a more appropriate name...

Ravens relishing bye to recharge, get healthy, plan ahead

suggspony
OWINGS MILLS — Basking in the afterglow of a satisfying victory that earned the Baltimore Ravens a rare AFC North crown, a home playoff game and a coveted first-round bye, coach John Harbaugh allowed himself a few moments to enjoy the journey. “The plane ride home, I have to admit, was pretty cool,” Harbaugh said Monday one day after the Ravens’ 24-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in their regular-season finale. “The locker room was really cool. Those are the moments that you really just never are going to forget.”...

FILMSTUDY: Playing Small Ball

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The Ravens returned to a style that has served them well versus overmatched opponents in the Harbaugh era, small ball. Some examples: •             The Ravens took just 1 deep shot the entire game, a 35-yard pass intended for Smith (Q2, 1:12) where Lacey appeared to get away with pass interference. •             The Ravens have played very conservatively on 2nd and short (1 or 2 yards to go) of late.  In the last 3 games they have had 9 such plays with 8 runs (Leach 4/4 first downs, Williams 2/2, Rice...

Ravens’ young players make up for injured Lewis

Ellerbe1
OWINGS MILLS — Ray Lewis remains an indomitable presence on the Baltimore Ravens’ defense, even while he waits for the damage to his painful right turf toe to heal. Offering guidance, tips gleaned from film study and providing motivational fuel, Lewis has stayed involved while sidelined for the past three games. And life without Lewis on the field hasn’t been intolerable for the Ravens, perhaps offering a preview of what a future without the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year might be like. The Ravens are undefeated in three...

‘It’s always a dogfight’

dawg-pound
CLEVELAND – The natural tendencies of the Baltimore Ravens have become a well-known trait, a troubling flaw that has already manifested itself three times this season. The oft-recited facts about the Ravens: ·         Their three losses this season were all against teams with losing records at the time, and all were preceded by emotional victories. ·         As the Ravens (8-3) square off with the Cleveland Browns (4-7) in an AFC North division game today, they have vowed not to repeat the scenario. ·         The Ravens have defeated the Browns six...

Thoughts on the Thanksgiving games

thanksgiving_v_dolphins
To start, though it’s been said before I would like to echo how thankful football fans everywhere were that, if only just this once, the Detroit Lions played a meaningful game on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s hard to even say the Lions are back, because even during the Barry Sanders years the Lions weren’t always world-beaters. Of course, the real stars of the early game on Thursday were the Green Bay Packers.  While it’s still too soon to talk about what record they might finish with, the Packers just went through...

AFC North mailbag

If you have a question about the AFC North, send it to my mailbag. It’s Saturday morning, so let’s open up some mail … Hugh from Denver writes: What’s the tie breaker in the AFC North if Cincinnati sweeps Baltimore, Baltimore sweeps Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh sweeps Cincinnati? Jamison Hensley, from AFC North headquarters, responds: That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ Hugh. But if this scenario plays out and all three teams finish with the same record, the first tiebreaker is division record.
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