Lombardi’s Way

Ravens Offensive Line on The Mend

Oline
Last season the Ravens offense ranked 30th in rushing with 83.0 yards per game and they ranked dead last (32nd) in yards per carry (3.1). The results were the byproduct of a perfect storm. Bryant McKinnie was a failure – again! Kelechi Osemele fell to injury. Marshal Yanda hadn’t fully recovered from shoulder surgery and Michael Oher was Michael Oher. Eugene Monroe was brought in on the fly and paired up with an undersized left guard playing out of position (AQ Shipley) who in turn played beside an inexperienced center...

A Father and Son Reunited by the Ravens

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I’ve always said that if for some reason things changed for me and I was no longer blessed with the ability to guide this website, the journey has been so rewarding and I’d leave knowing that I’m better because Ravens24x7.com came along. You see along the way as this piece of real estate on the information highway has evolved, I have had the good fortune of meeting some very kind, giving and wonderful people. Some may have only entered my world for a few fleeting moments but when they left,...

It Could be One And Done For Kubiak in Baltimore

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The NFL coaching carousel is a ride that begins towards the end of each season and usually doesn’t stop until a few days after the Super Bowl.Head coaches come and go to the tune of about 5 to 7 per season and today they come in many shapes and sizes, often too wide ranging to predict. We need to look no further than the guy who controls the Ravens sideline for proof. Chances are that the name John Harbaugh was nowhere to be found when forecasting coaching changes. Harbaugh was...

Why Can’t Canty Show Up?

Canty practice
As fans of the Baltimore Ravens it’s only natural for you to want all of the players working hard during the offseason to improve upon a disappointing 2013 season and stick it to the naysayers who suggest that the best NFL odds for the Ravens point to a .500 season. And that includes the players participating in “voluntary” organized team activities. The attendance during these OTA’s has been very good, albeit short of perfect. Questions surface when players like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata fail to appear. Two players who...

Eric Winston Not Right For Right Tackle

Cardinals 49ers Football
One of the uncertainties facing the Baltimore Ravens as they work through OTA’s and prepare for training camp is the position of right tackle. Most observers would concur that the team’s offensive front is 80% complete and that the right side is the unanimous choice as the offense’s weakest link. Some have debated the merits of Kelechi Osemele moving out to right tackle and allow Ryan Jensen and John Urschel to battle it out for the left guard job. But based upon the enthusiasm amongst the coaching staff during OTA’s...

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Trent Dilfer Did Not ‘Win’ Super Bowl XXXV

Dilfer SB XXXV
The NFL Network’s recent presentation of America’s Game, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, brings back fond memories. During that broadcast, Brian Billick, Ray Lewis and Trent Dilfer told the story of that season. Dilfer is almost always a lightning rod triggering debate among Ravens fans. What may have happened if he stayed on as the Ravens quarterback in 2001 and the team didn’t sign Elvis Grbac? Would the team have successfully defended their crown? We’ll never know for sure but here’s an opinion first served up back on October 14, 2005...

Zinno Leaves 105.7 The Fan, Takes on New “Game”

Zinno
News trickled out over the weekend that 105.7 The Fan’s Mark Zinno is leaving the station after accepting a position with 92.9 The Game down in Atlanta. Both are owned by CBS Radio. Zinno has been with the Baltimore based sports talker since 2006, prior to the switch to an FM format. Because of my ties to the media many have asked over the years what I thought about Zinno’s style. With Mark, it’s all black or white, there’s no grey and he really isn’t an acquired taste. You either...

Ray Rice Shows Humility During Presser

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Like many of you I just watched the Ray Rice press conference broadcast live from the Under Armour Performance Center today. Rice’s silence has been part of a carefully crafted defense that included a graceful adherence to the due process afforded him or any citizen. The act that allegedly put Rice in his current position was anything but graceful. It’s understandable if you think that Rice should be dealt with in the most heavy-handed fashion allowable by law. But really, what should that punishment be? Jail time? Fines? Suspensions? All...

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: A Trip Down Memorial Lane

Memorial Stadium
Today on Flashback Friday we go back to a piece originally written on May 24, 2007. The piece was inspired by memories of old Memorial Stadium and the men of honor that it represented. ~ Tony Lombardi   Just the other day I veered off I-95 to pick up I-395 heading towards downtown. Emerging from the twilight just to my left standing boldly and proudly with flickering lights all around was the quiet purple temple that we know as The Vault – M&T Bank Stadium. As I glanced to my...

Ravens Will be Fine if Served Without Rice

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Since Ray Rice’s arrest back in February following a fight with then fiancée Janay Palmer that took place at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, the Baltimore Ravens star running back has fallen off the grid. We’ve heard about his reconciling with Palmer who he has since married and the counseling program in which the couple has participated. Earlier this week we learned that Rice has been accepted into a pretrial intervention program which allows Rice to avoid a trial, potential jail time and the negative publicity that comes with...

Did Ebron Top The Ravens Wish List at No. 17?

Eric Ebron
NFL front offices and their lead scouts spend up to 9 months creating their draft boards. Yet despite the massive amounts of hours preparing, sometimes the best-laid plans never unfold. As Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said prior to this year’s draft, “We try to make the draft a science but maybe it’s more of an art.” The Ravens have been among the NFL’s most accomplished artists when it comes to the NFL Draft. But even the best artists are guilty of clunkers. Just ask Paul McCartney. Sometimes teams...

Andre Johnson to Baltimore, Unlikely

AJ v Webb
Andre Johnson is a beast! And apparently he is a beast looking to be unleashed from Houston. Naturally the stud receiver starved fans of Baltimore want Ozzie Newsome to wave his magic wand and for Gary Kubiak to sprinkle some purple stardust into the eyes of the Texans front office and bring AJ to Charm City. After all, Johnson is coming off a spectacular season in 2013 when he hauled in 109 passes for 1,407 yards and 5 TD’s despite some suspect play at quarterback. No one understands the impact...

Ravens Ring of Honor Needs a Redo

Photo Credit: darkroom.baltimoresun.com
Every time a new inductee to the Ravens Ring of Honor is named it’s like nicking off an elbow scab – again! Why? Because inevitably the topic of Earnest Byner surfaces and his ridiculous inclusion in the ROH. Ask casual football fans to talk about former Raven Earnest Byner and they’ll sound like that GEICO owl. Who? Those who remember Byner remember him as a Redskin or as the guy who fumbled for the Browns. They easily forget his pedestrian two seasons, 947 yards, 4TD’s and 3.9 yards per carry...

RAVENS NEWS: The Buzz at One Winning Drive

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Following their Super Bowl XLVII victory the Ravens front office vowed to get younger and faster on defense. Being true to their word the Ravens selected S Matt Elam, LB Arthur Brown and DT Brandon Williams in the first, second and third rounds respectively, during the 2013 NFL Draft. This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday Ozzie Newsome and his very capable war room sidekicks entered the 2014 NFL Draft looking to improve the offensive line, free safety and adding weapons for Joe Flacco. Yet given the persuasiveness of their draft...

Sam the Ram and the Traveling Media Circus

Former Missouri Tigers Michael Sam says he is gay
Michael Sam was projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. It didn’t quite work out that way for Sam and we all know why. Teams didn’t want to take on a player who will without question become a major distraction given the exaggerated hoopla over his sexual preferences. The St. Louis Rams may want to contact Ringling Bros. because their OTA’s and training camp will become a three-ring circus. But let’s first talk about the football side of Sam. He was a productive...

Ravens Fans Label 2014 Draft “Worst Ever”

Ozzie Laughs
We love NFL fans, particularly those who don the colors of purple and black. We admire the passion and the devotion and how for 3 hours on Sundays in the fall, regardless of our differences, we are one within Ravens Nation. We second-guess the play calling, John Harbaugh’s clock management and Joe Flacco’s decision making — many times with good reason. But then there are times when some fans, Twitter know-it-alls and message board “superstars” lose all sensibility, driven by the competitive fire that burns within. And that lost sensibility...

NFL DRAFT: Day 1 Screw Ups!

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Why is everyone lauding the Cowboys just because they made a sensible pick in the form of Notre Dame’s Zack Martin? Manziel made no sense for the Cowboys although it could be argued that they should have given some love to a sieve of a defense that gives it away more than Kim Kardashian on the rebound. The Browns are getting a lot of love for their draft day prowess. But why? They certainly started well when head coach Mike Pettine helped to fleece his former employer, trading the draft’s...

Mosley Pick Makes Sense!

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Some Ravens fans were left scratching their heads over the team’s selection of CJ Mosley with the 17th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. They reasoned that the Ravens have other needs much more pressing than inside linebacker. After all, didn’t the Ravens re-sign Daryl Smith to a new 4-year deal and didn’t they burn their second round pick in 2013 on Arthur Brown? Fair enough. But let’s consider the big picture. CJ Mosley was the best player on the team’s draft board and from what we’ve heard it wasn’t...

Time to Laugh at The NFL Draft!

Nfl Draft cartoon
FINALLY! The day of the NFL Draft is upon us and soon there will be no more mocking and no more bludgeoning of fans with highlights of Johnny Manziel. By the time you lay your head on the cool side of your pillow tonight, “Johnny Football” will be some team not named the Ravens injury prone problem. ARROGANCE IS BLISS! Give the NFL credit for monetizing their product even if it comes at the expense of their customers. Prior to 2014 the offseason had a nice rhythm to it. The...

Remembering “Momma Roost”

Glen and Diane Nigrin
For those of you who are familiar with Ravens Roosts and Ravens Nests you know the sense of community and the feeling of extended family that characterizes these philanthropic organizations. The Baltimore Ravens inspired their common bonds but it’s their love of humanity and for each other that galvanizes the communal pledge of these wonderful brotherhoods. And when death robs the Roosts or Nests of one of their own, the pain tethers and is felt throughout Ravens Nation. Just recently a dear member of the Ravens Roost 50 family fell...