Lombardi’s Way

Grading The Ravens 2011 NFL Draft

2011 draft
The NFL Draft, thanks in large part to Baltimore’s own Mel Kiper, Jr., has become a cottage industry for the league. We’ve all been mock drafted to death at this point Thursday night can’t get here soon enough. But when the draft concludes on Saturday, expect a tidal wave of draft grades to come rolling in beginning as early as Sunday. Those grades, much like the mock drafts that preceded them and $2 will get you a regular coffee at Starbucks. During the Ravens Draft Luncheon presser Ozzie Newsome was...

Might Ozzie be Stepping Down?

Ozzie SB XLVII
Takeaways From Today’s Draft Luncheon Presser DEEP DRAFT? Many are calling the 2014 NFL Draft the deepest in decades. Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and Joe Hortiz weren’t so quick to anoint it as such yet they unanimously agreed that at certain positions, the draft is very deep. Later on after the presser DeCosta said that wide receiver might be the deepest of all positions. RAVENS DO A 180! Typically the Ravens war room draft board consists of 140-150 players that they deem to be “draftable”, an interesting number since 255...

Ravens Prepare For The Unexpected

DeCosta Ozzie
Today the Ravens will host a Pre-Draft Luncheon for the media as they have for several years. The event is choc full of anecdotes, lies, half-truths, spin doctoring and tales of how great every single draft-eligible player is in next week’s collegiate shopping spree. Those three days beginning on May 8 represent the Super Bowl for the Ravens’ scouting department. National Scout Joe Douglas through the guidance of Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz will have steered 7 area scouts through the bowels of...

Give ‘Em Hell Harry!

Harry O
I’ve often said that if for some reason RSR fell apart and ceased to exist, I would still deem it as a wildly successful venture if for no other reason than it has enabled me to work with some great guys and gals. Plus it has afforded me the luxury of meeting so many wonderful people whose paths I would otherwise have never crossed. One of those people is a man named Harry O’Sullivan. I connected with Harry through what was then Ravens24x7.com. He would often write in to share...

Why is LaQuan Williams a Raven AGAIN?

LaQuan Williams
Some were left scratching their heads when the Ravens re-signed LaQuan Williams. The Ravens have rarely carried more than 6 wide receivers and virtual locks for the team already include Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown. The team will almost certainly use an early pick in the upcoming draft for a wide receiver plus they have receivers currently on the roster with greater upside than Williams in the forms of Aaron Mellette and Deonte Thompson. So why bring back Williams again? Been there, done that right? If...

PREMATURE PREDICTIONS: Ravens go 11-5 in 2014

Mike_Tomlin_Tripping_Jacoby_Jones_Ravens_Steelers
Well you’ve got mock drafts and draft grades before the rookies even take the field. And you’ve got Power Rankings during the preseason and even mock drafts for the 2015 NFL Draft prior to those college kids playing a single game in 2014. Ok, so I’m not going to be that over-the-top but what I will do is predict the Ravens season game-by-game in a cheeky kind of way. Week 1: Ravens v. Bengals (1-0) Andy Dalton takes to pressure the way vampires take to sunlight prior to those innovative...

It’s One O’Clock Somewhere

Daniela
There’s no denying that Baltimoreans have an inferiority complex. Maybe it’s a birthright. Perhaps it’s a curse. Whatever the case may be, just ask your neighbor. Baltimore is America’s Rodney Dangerfield of cities – WE GET NO RESPECT. Collectively we hate it during national weather forecasts on TWC when Baltimore isn’t shown. We cringe when our city is portrayed as a haven for STD’s, heroin and violence. And it chaps our hind parts when big musical acts skip over our town in favor of those coital cluster venues in DC...

Draft Day Surprises

Flacco Drafted
You’ve heard it many times before that the NFL Draft is an inexact science and the industry that it has spawned and all its mock drafts are equally inexact. Each NFL team attempts to learn from previous mistakes, fighting the urge to pass on the best players available while reaching for need. And while the science is inexact, teams continually attempt to refine the process and make it even more scientific, more measurable so that their investments pay dividends. Besides the hours of scouting, interviewing and researching thousands of prospects...

Schedule-Gate

Ravens Panthers 2014
One of my more embarrassing moments since starting Ravens24x7.com back in 2003 took place in April of 2005. But to fully comprehend the mess I created I must start with something that took place in April, 2004. Just before the NFL was set to release its 2004 schedule I received a call from a friend who had a friend with a friend who worked in the league offices in New York. The friend thrice removed was willing to share the Ravens schedule. “Do you want it?”, I was asked rhetorically...

Rolando McClain Makes The Right Choice

Rolando McClain with son
So Rolando McClain is unleashing upon the world his inner Brett Favre while singing along to the chorus of The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go. Simple answer Rolando – GO! That said, let’s not start chastising McClain or Ozzie Newsome for the twice-failed comeback attempt. It was a worthy one and for all of the know-it-alls in the cyber world or on sports talk radio, take a moment and a step back to look at the man in the mirror. See any flaws? Let’s give McClain credit...

Roger Greedell Caught in a Lie

R
Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock somewhere you know that the NFL moved its draft back to May 8-10. For years the draft was held in late April and for the past few it’s been scheduled for the last Thursday in April, concluding on the last Saturday. In 2013 Roger Goodell, who is about as sincere as Lindsay Lohan is to her NA sponsor, said the change was needed in 2014 because the league’s draft venue of choice, Radio City Music Hall, was hosting an Easter show during the...

New Deal Ngata Happening…Yet

Haloti Shawn Hubbard
Photo courtesy of ShawnHubbardPhoto.com   Perhaps one of the more understated needs of the Baltimore Ravens as they prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft is the position of defensive tackle. The team as expected, lost Arthur Jones to free agency and now they’ll need to distribute his reps to others currently on the roster and perhaps a few who aren’t among the potential 53 – yet! The obvious choices for more playing time are Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Tyson. Both are capable and as we’ve seen in the past, defensive...

Ravens Should Give McClain Another Shot

Rolando McClain,  Matt Shaughnessy
So Rolando McClain showed up late for a workout in front of Ravens’ officials yesterday and then promptly failed his conditioning test. Same old Rolando? Maybe, maybe not. It’s easy to assume that the guy is still a mess given his track record but should we, and more importantly the Ravens rush to judgment? Some may argue that the guy is fighting to save his career and that he should have been in great shape and passed his conditioning test with flying Crimson Tide colors. But let’s not forget that...

Ravens Backfield Running on Empty?

running backs camp
Gary Kubiak’s offense has long been a productive one, among the league’s best. It has also been one that heavily depends on an effective running game. In 2013 the Ravens’ running game was hardly effective. Some blame the running backs; some blame the offensive line; some blame the coaching of the offensive line; some blame the play calling. It was all of the above. The Ravens have improved the offensive line this offseason. They’ve re-signed Eugene Monroe who we hear has become quite the gym rat and they’ve added center...

Do What You Love!

I got game
Several years ago a friend who was an assistant principal asked me to make a presentation to his after-school groups at a local private school. The groups were separated by interests, one being sports and the other computers. He thought that given my chosen occupation that my story might be of interest to both groups. The kids ranged from 11-13 years of age so I initially thought that it could be a challenge maintaining their interest. To my surprise, they seemed to cling to every word and today, when I...

The Best NFL Rosters Start at The Bottom

Baltimore Ravens v Atlanta Falcons
Consistently successful NFL teams maintain quality depth. Depth provides insurance in the event of key injuries and it fuels competition within a team. The threat of losing a job ushered in by competent competition channels a player’s focus, his attention to detail, the willingness to persevere all of which motivates him to dig a little deeper for even an extra ounce of effort. Creating such a competitive environment forces athletes to show up on tape in any way they can. They become more willing participants on special teams. They do...

Birdland Suffers a Big Loss

Matt Hersl 728
One year ago Matt Hersl, a devout fan of the Baltimore Orioles and community activist was tragically taken from us following a senseless, careless and reckless accident. Today we once again take a moment to remember Matt. Here is his story. ~ Tony Lombardi   There’s purity to the game of baseball that no other sport can match. Its history and the indelible mark it has left upon our nation’s landscape has no peer. The legendary names, folklore, the metaphors and the history, they lure you in and take you...

RAVENS NEWS AND NOTES: Offense to Get Physical

John Harbaugh, Gary Kubiak
Today the Ravens hosted a chalk talk session with the media to expand the knowledge of NFL concepts. The focus this morning was offense and the presenters were offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and offensive line coach Juan Castillo. Also involved in the presentation were assistant coaches Tom Hammock, Brian Pariani and Rick Dennison. The session was really intended to boost the football IQ of the media – a tutorial of sorts to help improve the coverage and level of intelligence when reporting or opining on the Ravens and the NFL....

RAVENS RUMORMILL: London, Contract Clauses & New Unis

New Unis featured pic
It is no secret that one of the Ravens’ offseason objectives was and is to find a free safety to pair up with Matt Elam. Word is that Ozzie Newsome and his merry band of capable front office execs had their collective sights set on former Bill Jairus Byrd. The Ravens were said to be close to a 5-year deal with the 3-time All Pro until the Saints came marching in. Byrd was waiting to board a flight to Baltimore at Buffalo Niagara International Airport when his agent called to...

The Celebration of Opening Day

Opening Day Celebration
Opening Day has long been one of my favorite days of the year. It ushers in hope, a new season and serves as a reminder that the epic days of summer are just around the corner. The Boys are back in town! For years, along with several buddies, we made a complete day and night out of Opening Day. An early morning tee time was followed by a great lunch and a few beers down in the area of Camden Yards. Then of course there was the game. Weather was...
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