Lombardi’s Way

Ravens Secondary is a Primary Concern

temp073014_TrainingCamp_3903--nfl_mezz_1280_1024
Lardarius Webb plays like a heat-seeking missile. Pound for pound he is one of the league’s best tacklers and arguably the best of the Ravens’ defenders. Unfortunately the 180-pound corner’s kamikaze style can lead to injuries, particularly when he takes on opponents who weigh 25-plus % more than him. Yesterday we learned from John Harbaugh that Webb will not be practicing with the team and he will not suit up for the first two preseason games. “He’s not going to play. He probably won’t play the first two preseason games....

STREET TALK: Unitas Plaza is Wrong For Lewis Statue

Unitas Plaza Sports Steve
The backlash over the Ray Rice suspension just won’t go away and with each new visit that Rice makes in each new town since the altercation in Atlantic City, the possibility of new and/or sustained vitriol directed towards the Ravens running back exists. His first game back from the two-game suspension will be a road trip to Cleveland, a sports town with football fans who throw bottles on the field to force the end of a game and tackle 8-year-old boys wearing visiting colors. Imagine the warm reception that Rice...

Harry O Fought to The Final Whistle

IMG_2024
Harry O was a regular participant in “Letters 2 TL”. It’s that mailbag that brought us together. Harry made me feel relevant, like my opinion mattered and was somehow more important than his. It wasn’t… “Letters” connected us in the cyber world and eventually paved the way to a friendship in the real world. The first time I met Harry he was a custodian for Safe Management during Ravens training camp at McDaniel College. I was both flattered and humbled by his affinity for our work but that wasn’t the...

Final Word (I Think) on Ray Rice’s Suspension

rice-court
We received a lot of push back from Ravens and NFL Fans not happy about what they believe to be a light-handed suspension given to Ray Rice (2 games, $500,000+). Some followers were nasty after I posted the following Tweets: Ray Rice’s suspension announced…check; overreaction from everyone…check; time to move on…TBD. Time 2 focus upon the field #Ravens — Russell St. Report (@RussellStReport) July 25, 2014   Haters gonna hate. The overreaction is to Rice’s suspension. When has Goodell ever given anyone a break? Ever think that he has more...

Ray Rice’s Suspension Could be Lighter Than Expected

Rice presser suit
The first full-fledged practice of the Ravens 2014 training camp will get underway this morning at 8:30 and still there is no news about the expected suspension of Ray Rice from Roger Goodell’s office. The absence of any announcement begs the question, “What is taking so long?” Lately Goodell has opted to allow the judicial process to take the lead before issuing any fines and/or suspensions. Rice’s case may be particularly tricky. The NFL is keen on expanding its market, penetrating new demographics and they’ve done an outstanding job drawing...

Who’s Next in The Ravens Ring of Honor?

Heap Ticket
During one of our Ravens Rap shows down at The Blue Ox in Ocean City that featured team owner Steve Bisciotti, the topic of Todd Heap surfaced. Heap has always been a popular Raven and for good reason. He was a very good tight end who could have been better and perhaps played longer if not for years of ineptness at quarterback during the prime of his career. The 2001 first round draft pick’s popularity is no less in our State’s city by the sea. When Heap last visited M&T...

Fans Point Finger of Blame at Cops in Smith Arrest

Jimmy Smith Arrested
Whether it be on our Facebook page, message board or in the comments section of our blogs on the topic of Jimmy Smith, the most vocal fans have come to the defense of the Ravens’ promising cornerback after his arrest on Saturday night at The Greene Turtle in Towson. Relatively speaking the crime isn’t a big deal. No one was seriously injured and hopefully there were some lessons learned. Although it is at least slightly curious why Smith was allegedly with a coked up girl then flew out of town...

Remembering Training Camp at McDaniel College

McDaniel 600
Those early morning days of late July in Westminster, MD were special. The sunlight felt a little lazier just after dawn – the dew in the grass a bit heavier and the feeling of change surrounded us. This was training camp at McDaniel College. The morning included a round of golf followed by lunch at Baugher’s. From there it was off to Ravens training camp where thousands of fans convened with great anticipation for the coming season. It was Americana at its finest. Concession stands and games for children dominated...

Ways to Improve The Fan Experience at NFL Stadiums

Fans
The NFL may soon be forced to navigate unchartered waters – filling NFL stadiums. As costs for tickets continue to climb; concessions carry gaudy profits; parking fees spiral upward; traffic bottlenecks after games challenge one’s sanity; queuing into the stadium is borderline ridiculous; and bathroom lines force you to miss big chunks of the game, fans are beginning to question the value to live games. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Meanwhile watching games at home not only represents dramatic savings, the viewing experience is infinitely better with the advent...

Are Criticisms of Flacco’s Leadership Valid?

Flacco-back-practice-indoor
Joe Flacco has been the subject of debate and criticism amongst fans, on local sports talk radio and even on several national media platforms. Almost unanimously supporters and critics agree that the potential is there for Flacco to become one of the league’s best – even elite. Yet that hasn’t quite happened – at least not yet. Clearly Flacco was elite during the Ravens stretch run of the 2012 season that culminated in Baltimore’s second world championship and a Super Bowl MVP for the big-armed quarterback from the University of...

The 2013 Draft Class Will Make Its Mark in 2014

baltimore-ravens-2013-draft-731
As teams head into training camp plenty of attention is given to the current year’s rookie class. How will the shiny new toys perform? Will any of them start? How will they adjust to playing against the world’s best? The adjustment isn’t easy. Not only has the level of competition intensified dramatically in terms of speed, strength, knowledge and skill, there’s also a learning curve to travel. New playbooks, new terminology, pre-snap adjustments to be made with less time within which to make them, will challenge rookies cerebrally. The thinking...

Silence is Golden in The NFL

jail-bird
When the Ravens consider new players for their roster, whether they are free agents or they are players emerging from the college ranks via the NFL Draft, character, whether good or bad is always an issue. And during this time of year, character or lack thereof, always seems to rear its sometimes-ugly head. This stretch of 4-5 weeks between the last set of organized team activities and the first reporting day of training camp (unofficially labeled “The Dead Zone”) can leave head coaches and front office personnel a tad on...

Ravens Hopefuls Look to ‘Go The Distance’

Under Armour Performance Center
As children, many of us aspired to be professional athletes. Back in the days before Xbox and PlayStation and EA Sports, the days when Video Pong was cutting edge (yes I’m that old), we spent our summer on the ball field from mid morning to sundown. The fields were simple. Bases were made of castaway clothing or boxes — perhaps even a crushed soda can or milk carton. The fields were safe. Parents didn’t seem to mind that you hopped on your bike and took off, not to be seen...

Flacco, Kubiak Don’t Have to be Best Friends

Kubiak Flacco 728
Those infamous “sources” in and around the Baltimore Ravens are stirring it up a bit regarding the allegedly frosty relationship between quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Even if they aren’t drinking buddies – BIG DEAL! Some of the best collaborators have at times been adversarial. Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richards, Simon & Garfunkel, Martin & Lewis, Sting & Copeland, Unitas & Shula, Montana & Walsh, Shaq & Kobe…the list goes on. In many cases the adversarial nature of the aforementioned relationships and many more have their...

Ray Rice It’s Your Move!

ray-rice-chess
Many have criticized the Ravens handling of Ray Rice’s domestic incident involving Janay Palmer – particularly the press conference that they hosted enabling Rice to make a public statement on the matter. Rice was understandably uncomfortable. “Uncomfortable” would actually be an understatement. From a media perspective the press conference was a debacle. Rice’s behavior was interpreted by many to be insincere and poorly thought out. Instead of a prepared statement he read notes from his cell phone. Despite the charges and the infamous video of Rice attempting to drag his...

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

stadium seats 2
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

Kubiak OTAs 728
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...