CRAB BAG: Ravens Hope to Continue Dominance Over NFC

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After a nail-biting win in Miami, the Ravens return home for their only game at M&T Bank Stadium in the month of October. It won’t be an easy one, as the Green Bay Packers come to town, looking to become the first NFC team to ever beat John Harbaugh’s Ravens in Baltimore.

With a tilt in Pittsburgh against the Steelers looming, the Ravens can’t afford to overlook the ever-dangerous Pack. Aaron Rodgers is one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, and boasts an impressive stable of weapons including James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and rookie running back Eddie Lacy.

The Ravens haven’t beaten the Packers since way back in 2005 (of course, they’ve only played once since then), when they handed them a 48-3 beat-down. A repeat of that night sure would be nice, but we’ll take a win any way the purple and black can attain it.

KNOW THY ENEMY

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“I think it’s one of those things again [where] he surrounds himself with good coaches, which is a big part of the success of any organization. He’s a good manager of people. He understands the game, and he respects the game. He’s a leader. I think he obviously inspires people around him.” – CBS-TV analyst Bill Cowher on Ravens head coach John Harbaugh

“He is playing as well as he’s played, ever. He’s playing at, obviously, a Pro Bowl-type level. But he can even play better. That’s the thing. He’s so determined right now. I see him walking around here – he’s just got a look on his face, a single-minded purpose-type look on his face. So, that’s the way he’s playing.” – Head Coach John Harbaugh on OLB Terrell Suggs

“This is the best I’ve ever seen him. He’s everywhere making plays. When you turn on the tape, his effort just jumps out on film. He came into training camp in tremendous shape with a tremendous attitude. It’s no surprise that he’s playing at a high level. It’s no surprise. He’s flying around the football. His commitment and dedication to the guys in this locker room is unquestioned.” – DE Chris Canty on OLB Terrell Suggs’ performance in 2013

“Can’t get much better than this guy. Tucker kicked field goals of 42, 50, 25 and 44 Sunday in Miami, and the last one won the game with 1:42 to play. In his 13-month career with Baltimore, Tucker is 45 of 50 on field goals, making all 25 attempts from inside 40.” – MMQB’s Peter King, naming K Justin Tucker his Special Teams Player of the Week following the Ravens’ win at Miami

“Joe doesn’t ever get fazed. Joe, it seems, never gets shaken. Joe is not the kind of guy that’s going to get rattled. That’s just who he is. That’s part of his greatness. And that’s why he is who he is as a player. He’s not going to get fazed by any of that stuff. So we know we have to work on some things protection-wise. And we’ll continue to do that. We’re going to be a good pass protection team. I guarantee you that. And Joe understands that. And that’s just the way he plays.” – John Harbaugh on QB Joe Flacco’s toughness and mettle and the Ravens’ pass protection

NFC? No Freakin’ Chance!

GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Torrey Smith

Who was your favorite athlete growing up?

“Mike Vick.  I always played quarterback before college. He went to Virginia Tech, and I’m from Virginia, so I was a fan. I just liked watching him, as well as Allen Iverson.”

What was your “Welcome to the NFL” moment?

“Just watching the atmosphere of the first game of my first year (2011) – Steelers versus Ravens – to open up the season. There’s nothing better. It was crazy, the atmosphere and to see how the rivalry works.”

What’s your favorite play from your career so far? 

“My favorite play – I was watching it – was when [Josh] Bynes tackled [Ted Ginn Jr.] at the end of the Super Bowl. That’s my favorite play.”

What was your first job?

“My first real job was at Walmart. I was a cashier, and everybody would come in my line. I used to hate it.”

What’s your favorite Olympic sport?  

“Track and field. It’s fun to watch. The swimming races are pretty cool, too. Anytime there is man versus man, and you are watching them go at it, it’s pretty cool.”

You were a standout high school basketball player. Did you play pickup games in college with the Maryland basketball players?

“We played in the intramural league; we won the championship twice. We won it my freshman year and my sophomore year, and then I stopped playing. They have open gyms [in the Comcast Center] as well. We’d go by there and play during the offseason. All kinds of guys from the [NBA] would come over and play in Comcast. Last time I was down there, John Wall, Michael Beasley, DeMarcus Cousins, Scottie Reynolds and Kevin Durant played. There are so many people from Washington, D.C., [that are NBA players].”

Most of your high school highlights were two-handed dunks. Did you not like to do any one-handed throw downs?

“I’ve dunked on so many people one-handed. I broke my leg dunking. If I have control, I’m dunking with two hands. It’s easier to come down.”

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the following names?

John Harbaugh:

“Leader.”

Joe Flacco:

“Winner.”

Steve Bisciotti: 

“The Man.”

Ozzie Newsome: 

“Genius.”

Jacoby Jones:

“Team clown.”

Marlon Brown:

“Beast.”

HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR ~ Key Connections

Ravens FB Vonta Leach (2004-06) was originally signed by the Packers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2004.

Ravens WRs coach Jim Hostler (2001-02) served as an assistant WRs/quality control/offensive assistant under Packers head coach Mike McCarthy (2000-04), who was then the New Orleans Saints’ offensive coordinator.

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers (2008) served as a special assistant/secondary coach under Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees (2006-09), who was the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator at the time.

Packers D-line coach Mike Trgovac (D-line, 1995-98) coached with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (special teams, 1998-2006) and run game coordinator Juan Castillo (offensive assistant, 1995-96; TEs, 1997; O-line, 1998-2000) on the Philadelphia Eagles’ staff.

Ravens OLB Courtney Upshaw (2008-11) and Packers RB Eddie Lacy (2009-12) were teammates at Alabama. The pair contributed to two (2009 & 2011) National Championship teams. Lacy’s locker was next to Upshaw’s, and the two are close friends.

Ravens T Rick Wagner  (2009-12) played his college ball at Wisconsin. Wagner was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2012.

Ravens CB Chykie Brown (2006-10) and S Michael Huff (2002-05) were teammates of Packers TE Jermichael Finley (2005-07) while at Texas. Huff and Finley were a part of Texas’ 2005 National Championship team.

Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (2006-10) was teammates with Packers T David Bakhtiari (2009-12) and LB Brad Jones (2005-08) at the University of Colorado.

Ravens OLB Pernell McPhee (2009-10) and Packers DE Josh Boyd (2009-12) were teammates at Mississippi State.

Ravens C A.Q. Shipley (2004-08) and Packers TE Andrew Quarless (2006-09) were teammates at Penn State.

Ravens QB Tyrod Taylor (2007-10) and Packers WR Jarett Boykin (2008-11) were teammates at Virginia Tech.

LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT THE EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT

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About Derek Arnold

Derek Arnold
RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek’s work has...more

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