Ravens QB’s Turn to a New Color

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Quarterbacks throughout the league almost always wear a third color during practices – a color that stands out and apart from those worn by the offense and the defense. The idea, mostly for the benefit of defenders (and of course the QB’s), is to promote safety. When you see “color” Mr. Defender, back off and avoid contact. That said, during the Brian Billick era the Ravens quarterbacks never wore a third color. Years ago I asked a member of the Ravens front office about that, wondering why Brian Billick chose...

Ravens Unveil Stadium Upgrades

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The Baltimore Ravens unveiled Tuesday the first installment of a two-year, $35 million investment that enhances the fan experience at M&T Bank Stadium with improvements to video boards, concession stands and all concourses. The first phase of improvements, which began in March, includes extensive upgrades to the stadium’s lower concourse and video boards. The second phase of work, which will target the upper concourse, is scheduled to begin next spring and will be completed in time for the 2014 NFL season. “We are striving to make the fan experience at...

Why NFL Players and Teams Consider Injury Settlements

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As the Ravens patiently wait to see if Jameel McClain will be medically cleared to return to the practice field, a potential injury settlement with the Ravens linebacker has to at least be in the back of Ozzie Newsome’s thoughts and perhaps the notion is working its way to the front of the GM’s cerebral cortex. To help explain why teams and players sometimes agree on such a settlement, I offer up this from our own Brian McFarland’s 24×7 NFL Glossary. ~ Tony Lombardi   Injury Settlement – In the...

THE GRAPEVINE: Random Thoughts As Training Camp Approaches

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Jonathan Ogden will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 3, 2013. Ogden as you know is the original Raven and we should all be proud that he will be the first inductee from our championship franchise. Perhaps like many of you, I was on the fence about the Ravens’ choice of Ogden prior to the 1996 NFL Draft hoping instead Ozzie Newsome would select RB Lawrence Phillips from Nebraska. But then as the draft approached the thought of having a premier bookend at left...

EMBRACE THE GRIND: The Ravens Prepare to Defend Their Title

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Winning a championship in any sport on any level isn’t easy. It’s the byproduct of hard work, preparation, determination, perseverance and talent. And in the NFL it’s also about being at the right place at the right time. In 2012 it could be argued that the Baltimore Ravens weren’t the league’s most talented team. Many have said that the 2011 squad was better than the most recent Super Bowl Champions. But last year’s team, like many champions before them, caught fire at just the right time and rode the wave...

Ravens First Round Pick Elam Agrees to Terms

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The Baltimore Ravens and 2013 first-round draft choice S Matt Elam have agreed in principle to a four-year deal (which includes a fifth-year option), general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Thursday morning. Elam is expected to sign the contract when he reports for training camp on July 21. Elam, who was selected 32nd overall by the Ravens, is a 5-10, 210-pounder from the University of Florida. He played in 39 career games for the Gators, starting his final 26 contests at strong safety. Elam recorded 176 tackles...

How Do Flacco’s First 5 Seasons Measure Up?

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Joe Flacco has certainly received his fair share of criticisms during his career both on a local and a national level. The Super Bowl XLVII MVP has been shredded by the likes of ESPN’s Skip Bayless and NFL Networks Heath Evans. Not that Flacco should be worried about these two clowns whose contributions to sports journalism are on par with Britney Spears’ advancements in music. The point is that Joe The Quarterback doesn’t get his proper due, although the more qualified Ron Jaworski does his best to stave of the...

Is the Game Day Experience Worth the Price?

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The official start of training camp with the full array of veterans, injured veterans, rookies and undrafted free agents commences on Thursday, July 25. Perhaps more so than at any time in Ravens history, there is a suddenness to the way this new season has crept upon us. Maybe as fans we just want to milk the offseason for awhile so that the swagger of defending champions can last a little longer. The sound of those words, “Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens” is music to our ears. But yesterday, Ravens...

For Some Training Camp Represents a Field of Dreams

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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, 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 again until dusk. The...

Ravens Prep for Year 2 of Training Camp Away from McDaniel

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Towards the end of 2011 we learned that the Ravens would not host their training camp at McDaniel College beginning in 2012. We wondered if the decision was a temporary move by the team or would training camp anywhere outside of the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills permanently be a thing of the past. Today it’s safe to say that those summer gatherings of 8-10,000 in Westminster are nothing more than sweet memories. The Friday night intra-squad game, a Westminster tradition – gone! When the club announced their intentions to...

AFC North rookies who could impact in 2013

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The 2013 Ravens’ draft class will look to prove this year that Ozzie Newsome and his staff again struck gold. Defense was the theme early as the team took Matt Elam, Arthur Brown and Brandon Williams, establishing the fact that Newsome’s number one goal was getting the defense back to top-5 caliber. The Ravens weren’t the only team in the division that had great drafts and grabbed solid players that are going to contribute immediately. The AFC North’s could be relatively even this year with every squad undergoing some change....

Biggest Surprise Players in Ravens’ History

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While NFL.com is flirting around with the most Overrated and Underrated for each team and the ridiculous notion that Ray Lewis is among the former, I’ve opted for a slightly different approach – Biggest Surprises and Worst Disappointments in Ravens History. Let’s talk about the Surprises. 5. Lardarius Webb ~ After the Ravens bombed with cornerback David Pittman a third round selection (87th overall) out of a small school (Northwestern State ~ Louisiana) in 2006, many thought they might repeat the same mistake when they selected cornerback Lardarius Webb from...

Most Disappointing Players in Ravens’ History

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While NFL.com is flirting around with the most Overrated and Underrated for each team and the ridiculous notion that Ray Lewis is among the former, I’ve opted for a slightly different approach – Biggest Surprises and Worst Disappointments in Ravens History. Here are the disappointments. 5. Leon Searcy ~ Feeling that they had the ability to repeat as champions in the 2001 season the Ravens decided to invest in the best free agent tackle available and signed the 6-foot-4, 320 pound, 31-year-old veteran to a five-year, $31.5 million contract. From...

2 MINUTE WARNING: Ravens News and Notes

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Vonta Leach still hasn’t signed with another club and the longer this process goes on, the more likely the chances are that he’ll be dressed in purple again for the 2013 season. The fact that he remains unsigned is a clear signal that the offers being presented by allegedly interested teams aren’t measurably better than the offer he has on the table from the Ravens. This process looks and feels a lot like that of Bryant McKinnie when the Ravens offensive tackle visited with other teams. Training camps across the...

In The NFL Silence is Golden

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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. The stretch of 4-5 weeks between the last set of organized team activities and the first reporting day of training camp can leave head coaches and front office personnel a tad on the edgy side. Might they...

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS: Do What You Love!

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Eleven summers ago I was on my way to Ocean City on a late July morning. Convertible top was down. Along the way I stopped for a coffee and picked up a copy of The Sun, hoping to discover a few new things about Ravens training camp. Not a single word! I crumpled up the paper, threw it away and got back in the car and continued my eastward bound journey. As the summer breeze whipped around me with songs that I know by heart playing on a homegrown CD,...

(Video) Ray Rice, the punter?

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In most circumstances, the length of an NFL player’s career is strictly determined by their output on the gridiron. The major investments franchises commit to their players mean that they all do their homework before offering a contract. At the Scouting Combine, rookie hopefuls are tested in various categories that prove they’re amazing athletes. However, how high a guy can jump or how much he can bench rarely gives much insight into how he’ll play in the highest level professional football has to offer. It’s easy to see why some...

GINO GRADKOWSKI: Perfect Fit for The Ravens

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Over the last 17 years, the Baltimore Ravens have been known for certain organizational strengths. Drafting, defense, and trash talking; just to name a few. But, there is one thing the Ravens have been much better at than every other team in the entire NFL. Finding Centers, usually of the highest quality, at will. It all started with Wally Williams. Williams, a current Ravens analyst for the local CBS affiliate, came to the Browns organization in 1993 as an undrafted free agent. The mauling, physical Center eventually left the Ravens...

THE OPPOSITION: Cincinnati Bengals

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A Look Behind Enemy Lines: Cincinnati Bengals   A four hour drive from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio will land you in another mess of orange; Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals finished the 2012 regular season with a record of (10-7), which landed them in a Wild-Card Round playoff game against the Houston Texans. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they lost that game 19-13. This was the second straight season that the team made it to the playoffs, faced the Texans, and came away empty handed....

Ravens fans can relate to the Aaron Hernandez case

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In 2000, Baltimore Ravens fans were devastated and worried at the same time. Future Hall-of-Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis was accused of double murder outside an Atlanta nightclub. He was hanging around the wrong crowd. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ravens fans are more in touch than other NFL fans with what happened that night, as they watched around-the-clock coverage. The others just assumed the worst. In the end, Ray Lewis was cleared of murder, pleading to the much lesser charge, obstruction of justice. The court...