About Mike Fast

Mike Fast

I was born and raised in Baltimore. But after a year at York College of Pennsylvania, I transferred to Towson University. At York and Towson, I hosted various radio shows, wrote for the school paper, spoke on a panel RE: college game day presentation at IBS conference in Manhattan and was a public address announcer for multiple sports. Since 2012, I've been able to cover the Ravens during their training camp as well as work for Johns Hopkins during their home men's lacrosse games. A life-long goal was realized when I got to attend Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans and witness the Ravens triumph over an excellent 49ers team. What an experience! If you choose to do so, follow me on twitter: @MikeFastJr.

EXPLORING UFA’s: WR’s That Could Lure The Ravens

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It’s no secret that the Ravens offense was bad last year, so they’ll seek to get better this year in every way possible. The draft is deep with wide receivers and offensive linemen, two positions from which the Ravens need improvement. There are also plenty of free agents the Ravens may have their eye on. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin, James Jones, Eric Decker and Julian Edelman could flourish in Baltimore’s offense. Those players have all played in a Super Bowl in the last four years, so they’ll be able to...

So Some Think Joe Flacco is a Slacker?

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Imagine life as a Ravens fan without Joe Flacco as their quarterback. Baltimore would have much more cap space ($14.8 million in 2014, to be exact). They could maybe sign two above average free agents to perhaps bolster their offensive line and/or receiving corps. Ravens fans get a quarterback that is serious about his craft, spending every waking moment getting to know his new offensive coordinator while leaving his wife and kids at home, never taking a vacation. Of course, I’m being facetious. It’s absurd to me that fans and...

Harbaugh Unfairly Criticized

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It’s good to be back. Since we last spoke, the Ravens disappointing season ended. It’s clear the final result didn’t equate to the goals players, coaches and fans had. We all wanted the Ravens to do better. We all thought they could do better. But they missed the playoffs. They earned what they got—an early offseason. Since then, John Harbaugh made the move to hire Gary Kubiak as his offensive coordinator, in addition to three other offensive coaches. I don’t know if the decision was Harbaugh’s alone, but I will...

TWO MINUTE DRILL: Playoff Edition

KC Seahawks
As another season comes to an end, I want to first thank the players and coaches for putting out such an entertaining product. They put their lives and time with their families in serious jeopardy to make the NFL what it is. Now that the playoffs are officially here, the ranking of teams seems moot. All teams are seeded and there are odds, but teams don’t have records anymore. Every team, whether it be Denver (who set the all-time record for most points scored in a season with 606) or...

FAST REACTION: Ugly End to an Ugly Year

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Stop apologizing and just admit it: The 2013 Ravens were not very good. You can make all the excuses and explanations you want, but the fact is all facets (offense, defense, special teams, coaching) made mistakes that cost the organization a shot at the playoffs. The game today against the Bengals was a microcosm of the Ravens’ season, in that Baltimore was presented with numerous opportunities to win and create distance. Instead, they stayed stagnant. The kicker is the Bengals didn’t play well today, either. They made multiple mistakes in...

NICKEL PACKAGE: Off to the Queen City

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You know by now the Ravens need a win on Sunday and then some help to get into their sixth consecutive postseason. Baltimore is 7-10 all-time when playing in Cincinnati. Six of the last seven games between these two teams have been decided by one score. Vegas’ current spread favors the Bengals by six points. All signs point to this one being a close game that’s decided in the final minutes. But if the Ravens don’t know how to win close games by now, they’ll never know. The frustrating thing...

TWO MINUTE DRILL: The NFL’s 5 Best Christmas “Packages”

Ravens Christmas
As I see it, here are the five best teams in the NFL right now. 1. Denver Broncos (12-3) Not only does Denver’s defense rank 22nd, but their best player (Von Miller) is out for the rest of the year. Yet, the Broncos are still favored to make it to the Super Bowl. That says a lot. Although Wes Welker hasn’t played since December 8th and Knowshon Moreno is averaging only 48 yards rushing over his last four games, the Broncos have scored an average of 36 points per game...

FAST REACTION: What Was That??

Marcus Cannon, Tom Brady, Elvis Dumervil
The Ravens did not show up for their game against the Patriots, and subsequently got their tails whipped at home on Sunday, losing 41-7. It was the worst Ravens loss since they were shut-out in Week 11 of the 1997 season at Pittsburgh (37-0). Baltimore did not fire off the ball and allowed New England to dictate tempo all game long. The Ravens were not sharp, and though the Patriots weren’t perfect, they were effective. New England didn’t run complicated schemes. They frequently ran between the tackles, to the tune...

NICKEL PACKAGE: The Ravens’ Second Best Rivalry

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Remember when the Ravens would play the Patriots and there was this feeling that no matter what Baltimore did, New England was going to win the game? I sure do. Do Ravens fans still feel the same way? I sure don’t. The Steelers will always be the Ravens’ biggest rival. But these days the Patriots are the team the Ravens have had to go through to get where they want to go. Over the last five years, Baltimore versus New England has been like Baltimore versus Pittsburgh, but with bigger...

TWO MINUTE DRILL: Path to Festivus Clears

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Although there are just two weeks to go in the regular season, I don’t know if I can take much more excitement. The Ravens once again proved how clutch they are. Stats matter, but their best collective asset can’t be quantified. Some teams might say they believe or they have faith, but the Ravens mean it. I’ve been around and have studied the team and their organization enough to know that’s not talk—it’s who they are. Three of the top contenders in the AFC (Denver, New England and Cincinnati) all...

FAST REACTION: Lions Get Tucked!

Tucker Winner
Behind Justin Tucker and a staunch defense, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Detroit Lions, 18-16, on Monday night in Detroit. It was Baltimore’s fourth consecutive win, which is now the top win streak in the AFC. Statistically, the game was pretty even. The Lions had 19 first downs to Baltimore’s 18, 63 offensive plays to Baltimore’s 60 and eight penalties to Baltimore’s seven. The one stat the Ravens dominated was the one stat that changes games instantly: turnovers. The Ravens forced three turnovers and committed none. It was a welcomed...

NICKEL PACKAGE: Defending a Lifeform From Cybertron

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Both the Ravens and the Lions need a win on Monday night in a bad way. Both teams are 7-6 and would currently be playoff teams, but will likely have to win out to maintain that position. Before we take a look at the current rosters, let’s go back to the last two games in this series. On October 9, 2005, the Ravens went to Detroit and were dominated, 35-17. Baltimore gave away four turnovers and committed 21 penalties for a total of 147 yards. By comparison, Detroit’s entire offense...

TWO MINUTE DRILL: Can Week 15 Top Week 14?

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Week 14 in the NFL was wild. It contained 104 touchdowns, snowstorms, last-minute lead changes, scary injuries to mega-stars and two NFC games that could end up deciding division titles. LeSean McCoy ran wild for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He extended his league-leading rushing total to 1,305 yards. Before the season I asked Emmitt Smith who he thought the best all-around running back in the league was. His response: McCoy. You can’t argue with that. Peyton Manning threw four touchdowns in what was, I think, four-degree weather in Denver....

FAST REACTION: “One we’ll all remember”

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“It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t perfect. But it was us.”—John Harbaugh, after Super Bowl XLVII   How did he know those words would apply to what was essentially a must-win game 10 months later? It wasn’t pretty. There were slips, drops, missed tackles and penalties. It sure wasn’t perfect. Baltimore turned the ball over three times and allowed two touchdowns in 42 seconds, late in the 4th quarter. But it was the Ravens. They made plenty of errors, but when it counted the most, they got the job done. The...

NICKEL PACKAGE: Ravens v. Vikings

Allen Flacco
No NFL game is easy to play, much less win. But when looking at personnel and pedigree, the Ravens should beat the Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings aren’t going to roll over, but as far as top-to-bottom talent in the NFL, they aren’t that good. They do have the reigning league MVP (Adrian Peterson) and an elite pass-rusher (Jared Allen), but their quarterback situation is a mess. In this league, that’s a major problem. Baltimore enters this game well rested, having played last on Thanksgiving Night. They’ve won two in...

TWO MINUTE DRILL: NFL Week 14

Flacco throws v Vikings
With four weeks remaining in the regular season, there’s still much to be decided. The games are getting bigger and the weather is getting worse, but separation of true contenders from the rest of the field won’t happen for another month. After the Seahawks dismantled the Saints on Monday night, they look like the favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVIII. But who’s to say the Saints won’t get a first-round bye and host the NFC Championship game after Seattle is upset in the divisional round? That’s not...

FAST REACTION: Ravens Edge Steelers

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As if the first 58 minutes didn’t have enough pushing, shoving, drama and huge hits, the final two minutes had plenty of its own and then some. Twice on their final drive, the Steelers thought they had a touchdown. But after review, both Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell were denied access to the end zone. Miller’s knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line. Okay, that’s happened before. But two plays later when Bell ran off left tackle, he was hit really hard by Jimmy Smith and his...

NICKEL PACKAGE: Ravens vs. Steelers

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Thanksgiving night marks the 36th game between the Ravens and the Steelers, by far Baltimore’s most common opponent. As you’re likely aware, most of these games result in extremely close scores no matter where the game is being played. The last four games in this series have all been decided by three points. The total combined score in those four games: Baltimore 72, Pittsburgh 72. This one is a de facto elimination game for the loser and a strong step toward the AFC North title for the winner. As usual,...

Week 13: Two-minute drill

Pete Carroll John Harbaugh
What a Week 12 it was in the NFL. The Packers and Vikings played to the first tie of the year, the Cowboys gained a much-needed divisional road win, and how wild was that Sunday night game? Despite the fact that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have never played one snap against each other, it was billed as such, but entertained (and tired) viewers nonetheless. For any Denver fan, player or coach to blame the loss on Wes Welker or Tony Carter would be wrong, lazy and inaccurate. I remind...

FAST REACTION: “It was a dominant defensive performance”

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After the Jets scored a field goal early in the 1st quarter, the Ravens scored 19 unanswered points and held New York scoreless for the final 53:08 of the game to get the crucial win in Baltimore. “What can you say about our defense? I mean, it was a dominant defensive performance,” said John Harbaugh during the post-game press conference. “All three levels played exceptionally well.” Harbaugh was right. The Ravens were dominant. They played a 60-minute game for the first time in a long time. In fact, it was...