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The NFL will release its regular-season schedule today beginning at 2 PM. We will post the Ravens games on the home page as they are announced so be sure to check back in this afternoon. I’ll be watching from The Gin Mill in Canton on 2300 Boston Street for those that want to join me. The program is expected to last two hours.
And speaking of the schedule, the NFL has implemented a flex schedule to ensure that NBC has competitive games for their new Sunday Night football package. Beginning Sunday, November 12 in Week 10 the plan affects games between Weeks 10-15 and then Week 17. Week 16 has been removed because it is a holiday weekend. Here are the remaining details of the flex plan:
• In effect Weeks 10-15 and Week 17. Plan not in effect Week 16 because of holiday weekend.
• Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved to Sunday night.
• During flex weeks, majority of Sunday games will be listed at 1 p.m. ET, except for games played in Pacific or Mountain Time Zones, which will be listed at 4:05 or 4:15 p.m. ET.
• Thursday, Saturday and Monday night games not affected.
• NFL will give 12 days notice if a game is being moved to the 8:15 p.m. ET time slot and also may announce games moving to 4:15 p.m. ET.
• CBS and Fox each can protect a total of five games in seven weeks of flexible scheduling, but not more than one game per week.
So, if the Ravens are playing well and are not scheduled for Sunday night games, don’t plan any vacations. If the season goes the way of 2005, bon voyage!
The Ravens have finally completed a new contract with a quarterback! Brian St. Pierre agreed to his one-year tender offer of $500,000. Great job while it lasts. Many believe that the Ravens will select a QB on Day 2 of the upcoming NFL Draft and chances are, St. Pierre’s current roster spot will be given to the rookie QB. It is doubtful that the Ravens will draft another quarterback on Day 2 and try to slide him on to the practice squad. That strategy has cost them two draft picks over the past two years losing QB’s Josh Harris and Derek Anderson.
George Mason’s Jai Lewis enjoyed a great run in the NCAA Tournament, a run witnessed by several pro scouts – pro football scouts. Among the teams represented at Patriots’ games were the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Basically, I have a great opportunity to make somebody’s roster in the NFL," said the 6’7”, 275 pound center with hands that would make Madge happy. "People are saying my better option is to go play football."
With their four compensatory picks, could the Ravens take a flyer on Lewis to see if he could be another Antonio Gates? No one asked me but if you are given a bone or four, you take some shots at developmental players with superior athleticism. Lewis is such an athlete and besides, Lewises seem to do ok here in B’more.
Deion Sanders might not be leaving professional football after all. Word is that he met with the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League yesterday to explore ownership possibilities. While Deion has retired from the NFL, could he play in the AFL as a player/owner?
“If I don’t like what I see, I may just have to go down there and play,” Sanders said with a laugh, according to a statement issued by the team. "You never know when I might put on a uniform.”
"If management wants to go in a different direction with another quarterback, that’s something we’ll have to deal with as a team. Right now, I’m going into the season with Kyle as our quarterback and hoping for great things.” That’s Ravens’ WR Derrick Mason who later added:
"Kyle proved over the last five or six games that he can be a very effective quarterback when given the opportunity and time to pass the ball. I’m happy with Kyle, but he has a lot hanging over his head with all the speculation about who’s going to be coming in. I think he’s going to use it as motivation to be our starting quarterback."
Way to be politically correct there D-Mase!
According to ESPN.com, here are a couple of risers on draft boards, both players that will undoubtedly command the Ravens’ attention:
Cromartie missed all of last season with a knee injury but elected to leave school early instead of returning for his final season of eligibility in 2007. There are still questions regarding his rustiness, durability and technique, but Cromartie’s physical tools are outstanding. After running two 40-yard dashes in the high 4.3-second range and notching 42 inches on the vertical jump, Cromartie could sneak into the late portion of the first round.
Justice (6-foot-6¼, 320 pounds) has some prior off-field issues that could affect his draft status, but most in attendance would agree that he looked like a top-10 pick at USC’s pro day. Justice had a strong all-around workout but the most astounding moment had to be when he notched a vertical leap of 39 inches.
More than likely, the Ravens would have preferred Cromartie in the second. It now appears unlikely that he’ll last that long.