Lombardi’s Way

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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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...