If you looked at the score of last night’s Ravens game you might think the Ravens demolished the Falcons. Unfortunately that’s far from the truth.
The Ravens starters looked shaky at best. It took the Ravens starters a full quarter to get a first down, and that may not even be the worst of it. The starting offense looked incoherent and out of sync. A major issue the Ravens are going to have to confront is their offensive line. I understand they’re young, but you can’t have your starting quarterback taking hits in the first week of the preseason.
On defense the starters weren’t as bad as the offense but that say much. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones played catch down the entire field while Cary Williams watched. Every other play it seemed Cary Williams was getting burnt somewhere. However, the Ravens front seven did play well, even without Suggs. The Ravens showed throughout the night they could get pressure using their defensive backs, which is something we haven’t seen them do in past seasons.
After the starters got out of the game some of the back ups really impressed. Deonte Thompson, a receiver out of Florida, showed great speed and ability to get open. Both Tyrod Taylor, and Curtis Painter played well. Taylor was able to use play action to make some amazing plays, while Curtis Painter showed exceptional poise staying in the pocket and locating the open receiver.
On the other side of the ball, safety, Omar Brown was making plays all night. Brown recorded two fumble recoveries and an interception. And if you were forced to listen to Stan White you know that in the NFL they’re looking for guys who make the big plays. Sorry, I can’t stand listening to Stan White. I had to take a shot at him at some point.
For the first time in a while I actually heard Sergio Kindle’s name called. He played for most of the game and recorded three tackles. He could be a huge part of the Ravens defense with Terrell Suggs out.
Holy cow, the replacement officials were horrible. The head official referred to the “Atlanta” Falcons as the “Arizona” Falcons twice! You could tell the officials were scared out of their minds. At one point Joe Flacco slid for a gain of a couple of yards, and a Falcons defender hit him while he’s already on the ground. How do you not call that?! With veteran officials you would’ve saw four yellow flags thrown for a hit on a defenseless player.
And finally my biggest pet peeve of the night: the challenge flag. You’re playing in a meaningless game. There’s no need to waste anymore time by throwing the challenge flag. It should be band from the preseason.
All in all I think the Ravens have a lot of work to do, but that’s why we have the preseason. By looking at John Harbaugh’s demeanor you can tell he’s going to make sure every little detail is corrected.
Anyone who has watched the Orioles of late knows how horrendous they appear. The O’s are on a three game skid and currently sit 5.0 games out of first. If you’ve been on Twitter you’ve seen how Orioles’ fans have reacted, and it’s not pretty. If you’re associated with the Orioles at all you’ve heard from the angry fans on Twitter. I admit I’m not innocent either. There have been plenty of occasions where I’ve taken shots at the Orioles horrible hitting; sudden lack of pitching; and horrendous defense.
What Orioles’ fans are failing to realize is that every team goes through losing streaks, no team is perfect. You could even say that the Orioles are lucky to be on this losing streak now. While the Orioles have been losing, everybody –except the Yankees– has been losing as well. The Orioles are on a three game losing streak and are still in second by a game and half. With the Orioles lack of pitching and hitting, they could be in a much worse situation than second.
I’m positive no one expected the Orioles to be where they are now. If you were to tell Orioles’ fans in April that they would be sitting in second place at the end of June, they’d be ecstatic. Every Orioles fan needs to take a step back and examine they’re expectations for this team. And when I look at the expectations I had, I see that the Orioles have already far exceeded my expectations.
The Baltimore Ravens are set to hold a press conference at 3:00 EST. for former wide-receiver, Derrick Mason.
Mason played fifteen seasons in NFL, eight with the Titans, and six with the Ravens. Although, Mason resides in Tennessee, he felt as if Baltimore was home. Mason is the Ravens’ all-time leader in receptions (471) and receiving yards (5,777). Mason finishes his career 19th in NFL history in receiving yards (12,061). He is also a two-time Pro Bowler (2000 and 2003).
Derrick Mason is without a doubt the best receiver to suit up for the Ravens, and will one day be a member in the Ravens’ ring of honor.
If you talk to most young adults that are passionate about sports journalism, they’ll tell you their ultimate goal is to work for ESPN. Well, recently I’ve had the privilege to conduct an interview with someone who’s reached that goal, SportsCenter‘s Ryan Burr. Burr can be found on College Football Live, College Basketball Final, and of course SportsCenter, but today you’ll find him on baltimoreblogspot.net.
The following is the full interview:
1. What’s it like working for ESPN?
“It is what you might expect. It’s the worldwide leader, 5 thousand people that all live sports, all passionate about what they do.”
2. How did you come to work for ESPN?
“I was about to except a job at NESN in Boston, got a call to come to ESPN for an interview, was offered the job and the rest is history.”
3. How much work goes into SportsCenter behind the scenes?
“A ton, the production assistants and Associate producers are really the unsung heroes for getting SC on the air each and every hour of every day.”
4. What’s the toughest part about working for ESPN?
“Having to do the high-lite of your favorite teams moments after they lost a big game.”
5. I’ve done my research, you’re from Pittsburgh. How would you grade the Steelers’ draft?
“Love the Steelers draft… the team will go as far as big Ben will take them. Gotta keep the franchise QB healthy and they addressed that.”
6. You started on NASCAR Now, and now anchor on SportsCenter. Are there any bigger plans in your future?
“I take it day to day hour to hour I am always up for challenges. For example I will be covering Wimbledon for 2 weeks in June.”
7. Will LeBron finally get his ring this season?
“Great player, polarizing player, but I think this is the Spurs year.”
8. Should Angels’ fans be worried about Albert Pujols’ slow start?
“Yes, I have serious concerns Albert will refind his true Mojo this year.”
9. Were the Saints punished to harshly for “Bounty Gate?”
“I thought it was about right…had to send a message and Goodell did just that.”
10. Do you have a World Series prediction?
“Give me the Pirates and the Rangers.”
You can follow Ryan on Twitter, @RyanBurrESPN.
It’s no secret that the Baltimore Orioles have been one of the worst franchises in the last decade, but this year feels different. The O’s have jumped out to a hot start, and hold the American League’s best record, 27-15. As Orioles’ fans we’re used to seeing the O’s give up as soon as anything negative occurs, well, this year we’ve seen the complete opposite. The Orioles lead the Majors in comeback wins, and are in the top ten in ERA. When’s the last time you heard that? It’s probably been a while.
With all this success comes recognition. So far this season, you can’t watch an episode of “Baseball Tonight” without them mentioning the Orioles at least once– and trust me if you’re a die-hard O’s fan,before, you know the O’s might have only been mentioned weekly, if that much. Tim Kurkjian has even gone as far as saying, “This team isn’t going away anytime soon.”, referring to the Orioles of course.
And with all this success and recognition the Orioles might be able to catch the eye something they’ve been missing for years, a big free agent acquisition. If you ask the sheltered Baltimore Orioles fan about this, he’ll tell you this, “Angelos will never spend any money to help the ball club.”, and that’s a predictable answer for the casual fan that doesn’t pay any attention to the statistics. In the past Peter Angelos has had no problem spending a lot of money on players, but he obviously isn’t very good at scouting, and spends his money on players like Mark Reynolds. If the Orioles were to pull off some miracle and make the playoffs it could attract some big time players, and we all know you have to be able to sign the big names if you want to compete in the AL East. Signing a big bat or a big arm would bring excitement back to the community, people might actually compete to get a hold of tickets to see a game. But, all of this is just a theory, and the Orioles aren’t actually there yet. So lets become prisoners of the moment, and enjoy it while it lasts. Hopefully it won’t end anytime soon. Go O’s!
This season the Baltimore Orioles have been a pleasant surprise, but if you’re an Orioles fan, like me you probably don’t know what to think. The O’s have gotten out to great start before. Remember in 2005 when at the beginning of July the Orioles were only 2.5 games out of first place before things fell apart? Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of excitement about the Orioles in Baltimore, but along with that excitement comes uncertainty.
The Orioles are playing with a ton of confidence coming off of a series victory over the Rays. Even in yesterday’s loss the O’s showed their mental toughness, and will to overcome a large deficit, almost coming back from six runs down to stun the Rays.
Everybody says pitching wins games, and here in Baltimore that couldn’t be closer to the truth. The O’s are tenth in the league when it comes to pitching, and without that they would probably be close to last in the standings, because the defense behind the pitching staff is just horrendous. The Orioles have registered thirty-four errors in thirty-five games. Yikes! Every time a ball is hit to third you have to hold your breath and hope for the best.
After all of this I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably best for Orioles’ fans to enjoy the success while it lasts, because if the starters stop pitching late into games, and the bullpen suffers from fatigue, things are going to go right back to where they were last year. If the Orioles can can keep this pace up to the all-star break than I would say it’s time to start buying into them, but until that time just enjoy the moment.