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Titans Fan

Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse? posted by Titans Fan

NFL rookies have a difficult time adjusting the speed and caliber of talent that the game presents, but none fewer have a harder learning curve than quarterbacks. The sheer volume of the playbook, reading complex defenses and blitz schemes, understanding not only your job but the receivers, backs, and lineman.

No wonder most rookies start as a back up to watch a veteran work their magic as if it were second nature, OR get a season QB whose in the twilight of his career to mentor while the rookie is thrust into the starting role.

And after the Titans squared off the against the Ravens on Sunday, it’s hard to be optimistic about Zach Mettenberger as a franchise quarterback for this Tennesse team. He, like a lot of other pocket QBs out of college, got by with game managing and a big arm. But that doesn’t work in the NFL. You either need to be a mobile, dual threat QB like Vick or RGIII, or read defenses like the back of your hand (Peyton Manning).

Yet all season long, Mettenberger has shown the ability to do neither as he simply stands, concrete footed, in the pocket and take sacks as he fails to read coverage and underneath routes that are presenting themselves to him. Having been sacked 5 times this game simply killed what little momentum the Titans had on offense.

Zach Mettenberger not only requires a lot of time in the pocket, but he also has inconsistency within his reads and the flow of the offense. But when he is ‘on’, he’s on. But with the speed of today’s game. Can you really afford to wait for a QB to be on? While it’s too early to tell, Mettenberger looks like the same problem ridden QB that we saw back in college.

Continue reading "Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse?"

Baltimore Ravens News

Major Shake up in Baltimore’s Secondary posted by Baltimore Ravens News

It was pretty obvious heads would roll in the Ravens organization after the team, who prides itself on defense, surrendered six touchdowns to the Steelers at Pittsburgh.

Most of the purging came in the secondary as the Ravens organization released two cornerbacks, veteran Dominique Franks and Chykie Brown, and replaced them with practice squad defensive back Tramain Jacobs and claimed free agent corner Danny Gorrer off waivers.

The now, major face lift secondary of the Ravens looks as follows. Lardarius Webb as one starting corner back while Danny Gorrer, and Tramain Jacobs battle for the other starting position. Defensive back Asa Jackson is still on the injured reserve list with a toe injury but is scheduled to return sometime soon which will add some consistency to this now patch-worked defensive backfield.

Yet there is hope for Raven’s fans as Danny Gorrer is no stranger to the Raven’s organization. A former Raven, Gorrer was recently cut by the Lions as they needed the extra roster spot to fill out their defensive line. He was primarily used by the Lions in their nickel packages and over 6 games, he recorded 7 tackels and broke up 2 passes.

Gorrer last played for the Ravens in 2011, when he suited up in 11 games and made five tackles. He didn’t make the roster out of training camp the next year and hopped to Seattle, Tampa Bay and Detroit. He’s also spent time with the Rams, Saints and Colts.

The Texas A&M product (same as Jacobs) has 38 career tackles, nine pass deflections and one interception during his five-year career.

Continue reading "Major Shake up in Baltimore’s Secondary"

Baltimore Ravens News

Can the Baltimore Ravens win another Superbowl this year? posted by Baltimore Ravens News

The Baltimore Ravens finished with an even 8-8 record last year, and part of the struggles can be attributed to its offense. Last season, the team scored only 19 or fewer points in eight outings. They posted 22 points only four times.

Of course, one can’t talk about the Ravens without the controversial Ray Rice. The running back is suspended indefinitely for domestic violence. Last year, he was atrocious with his yards-per-carry average dropping to 3.1 from 4.4 the previous season.

With Rice out, expect Bernard Pierce to get more involved in offense. The 24-year old Pierce struggled last season with a nagging shoulder injury.  The offense should also get a boost with the addition of Jeremy Zuttah, an upgrade over Gino Gradkowski. He’ll be joined by Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele, two of the better guards in the league.

Experts predict that the Ravens offensive line would be pretty much the same as last year. Quarterback Joe Flacco would have to do better this time after he posted the worst season of his career with the lowest YPA ever. But with the pretty pedestrian offensive line of the Ravens, Flacco does not have a lot of options.

In terms of defense, the retirement of Ray Lewis and the free agency of Ed Reed should be felt by the Ravens. The front office did sign Daryl Smith to replace Lewis. While Smith is not exactly a star because he came from a small market team (Jacksonville), he is a creditable linebacker.

The departure of Arthur Jones should also be felt, but his absence should be an opportunity for rookie Timmy Jernigan to contribute right away.

Continue reading "Can the Baltimore Ravens win another ..."

Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later posted by Joe Anello

Okay everyone, it’s been long enough since my last check-in that a slew of impactful transactions have taken place in NFL free agency. So without further adieu, let’s go around the league!

(Here are my takes on the moves from day one and days two and three of free agency.)


WR Greg Jennings signs a 5-year $47.5 million deal ($18M gtd.) with the Minnesota Vikings

This move was almost a necessity for the Vikings AND Jennings. Minnesota was in dire straits at the receiver position after they traded away Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. Jennings wasn’t getting any more money than the Packers offered him, so he oddly walked away from that deal and signed with the division rival. He’ll be THE focal point in Minnesota at the receiver position. Maybe this eases Adrian Peterson’s rage over the trading of Harvin. Maybe.

LT Jake Long signs a 4-year, $36 million deal ($16M gtd.) with the St. Louis Rams

Shabam. And the real domino in the tackle game falls. Long’s extended physical delayed this deal from getting done sooner, but he’s now a Ram. If he’s legitimately healthy and returns to form, the Rams aren’t going to miss that money in the slightest. So what does this mean for incumbent LT and former second-round pick Roger Saffold? Uh… it means he’s on his way to the right side. Or to a trade. Once Long was signed, it set a real benchmark for other tackles on the market, as we’ll see later.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later"

Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap posted by Joe Anello

NFL Free Agency started with a flurry this afternoon, with deals being announced by the minute shortly after the clock struck 4PM ET. I’m here to take a look at some of the bigger deals of the day and offer a quick take. First though, I want to cover a few of the moves made on Monday, before free agency.

(Note: I’m only going to discuss ACTUAL roster movements. While a running back visiting a crappy team *cough*ReggieBush*cough* might be newsworthy, I ain’t got time to talk about every little flight here.)

(Second note: for those of you looking for my take on the Chicago Bears’ moves, check out my earlier post here.)


Minnesota Vikings trade WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings received first and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft and a third round pick in the 2014 draft.

The Seahawks received Harvin and signed him to a six-year, $67 million dollar deal. ($25.5 guaranteed.)

Minnesota obviously wanted to get Harvin out of their hair. Despite Harvin’s interviews to the contrary, he and head coach Leslie Frasier did NOT get along. But what player won’t love Pete Carroll? An A-HOLE, that’s who. Props to Minnesota for getting a decent bounty for Harvin, but that 25th overall pick might not be a game-breaker. Still, they’re better off. For Seattle, this deal signifies how close they think they are to a title. They’re putting all of their chips in the Harvin basket now, as they released return man Leon Washington as a result of this trade.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2013 NFL Free Agency Preview! posted by Joe Anello

Free agency in the NFL has a slightly different share this year, as we now have a short “legal tampering window” which starts tonight at midnight. Let me quickly summarize why this change was made. In previous years, free agency would officially start at midnight one night, and a slew of deals were usually done within the first hour or two, leaving every fan wondering “wait, doesn’t it take a bit longer than that to seal a deal?” Yes, yes it does. There were obviously back-channel negotiations between the teams and a player’s agent in order for a deal to be consummated that quickly. Now, the league has opted for a window of time for the teams to legally talk to a player’s representative before free agency actually starts. This should alleviate some of the illegal tampering that was going on before.

Now that you know the difference, it’s time to get to some of the biggest stories of the 2013 NFL free agent market.

A Fattening of Offensive Linemen

Is that even a phrase? WELL IT IS NOW BITCHES.

Top Free Agents: Andy Levitre, Andre Smith, Jake Long, Sebastian Vollmer, Jermon Bushrod, Gosder Cherilus, Sam Baker, Phil Loadholt, Bryant McKinnie.

Honestly, one of the biggest strengths of this offseason is on the offensive line, particularly at the tackle spot. There are great prospects in the draft and there is a glut of unrestricted free agents on the market that can immediately upgrade a team’s front five. If a team needs help on the line, they can find it this offseason. Some team is going to break the bank for Jermon Bushrod, especially if the Saints can’t get anything done with him. Who’s going to take a risk on Jake Long, and will they pay him the $10 million a year he’s looking for? Can McKinnie (AKA the laziest player I’ve EVER seen) turn a Super Bowl run with the Ravens into another payday that allows him to coast on talent for another season?

Continue reading "Joe's 2013 NFL Free Agency Preview!"

Harold Schelling

Ravens Reign Victorious in the “End of the World Game”—Super Bowl XLVII posted by Harold Schelling

Ravens Reign Victorious in the “End of the World Game”—Super Bowl XLVII     Harold Schelling
6:11a.m. EDT, February 20, 2013

Yes! No matter what anybody says—this game for the Baltimore Ravens cannot be overstated nor can the magnificence of their season be overemphasized! This game was what all of those football speeches were about—everything that was good and great about the game of football: fear, failure, drama, selflessness, struggle, character, the overcoming of obstacles, redemption, and oh yes—anxiety--Category 5 anxiety in hurricane terms was all witnessed in Super Bowl XLVII.

This was to be the last game that the Ravens middle linebacker, Ray Lewis—the “Original Raven” would play in the NFL. Ray was with the Ravens upon the teams’ creation and before the team had a name since 1996 when he was drafted in the first round. The Baltimore Ravens have never known a “Lewisless” team and this ugly thought might have possibly ignited a fanatical thought process among the players with Ray Lewis orchestrating deep religious overtones regarding their Super Bowl run “No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) was the theme the team rallied behind—A “Now or never” attitude towards the Super Bowl—“Ravens against the world…win the Lombardi Trophy or let the heavens fall!”
So here’s how it went!
The Super Bowl ceremony started off with the introduction of 5 former NFL players who were selected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. One of these former players was Baltimore Ravens “Ring of Honor” winner and 11 time pro bowl offensive tackle, Jonathon Ogden who was a member of the famed 2000 Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. He is the first Raven ever to be drafted. The timing and place of his Hall of Fame induction announcement was almost uncanny in the sense that it was coincidental that the Ravens just happened to be in the Super Bowl in New Orleans at the same time. It was almost as if it were an omen with Ogden almost appearing symbolically as a ghost from the past-- a phantom of the Ravens former self.
Continue reading "Ravens Reign Victorious in the “End ..."

Joe Anello

2013 Postseason Prediction Results Spectacular! posted by Joe Anello

So somewhere in crafting my 1,400 word Final Drive, I forgot to mention what was possibly the most important aspect of the game: Was I right?

So without further ado, I offer up my final record of picking against the spread in the 2013 NFL playoffs:

My 2013 Postseason Results: 5-5-1

Yes, that’s right. In an 11 game postseason, I managed to finish with a completely .500 record. Take THAT America!

What I got right:

Wild Card Round: Packers

Divisional Round: Seahawks, Patriots

Conference Championships: Ravens

Super Bowl: Ravens

What I got wrong:

Wild Card Round: Bengals, Colts, Redskins

Divisional Round: Broncos, Packers.

What I pushed on:

Conference Championships: Niners

And since I can’t possibly write a whole post bragging about my miraculous mediocrity, here are some post-Super Bowl notes and news items:

-Why hasn’t Joe Flacco been paid yet? How difficult is this negotiation?

“Joe, we know you’re asking for $20 million a year in a long term deal, but we don’t think you’re quite at that ‘franchise’ level yet.”

“Okay. So use the franchise tag on me. That’s also $20 million dollars. And unlike a long term deal, it counts a full $20 million against your cap for next season. And it’s fully guaranteed.”

“…Let’s get your long-term deal done.”

Continue reading "2013 Postseason Prediction Results Spectacular!"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Super Bowl XLVII posted by Joe Anello

So you watched the game, right? I don’t need to talk about it at all, right?

Ugh. Fine. Here’s The Final Drive of Super Bowl 47. You owe me.

(14-6) Baltimore Ravens 34
(13-5-1) San Francisco 49ers 31

After an illegal formation penalty killed a 20 yard pass play on the Niners’ first drive, the Ravens came out and took advantage of a short field. A 20-yarder to Torrey Smith and an offsides penalty on Aldon Smith put the ball at the ‘Frisco 13, where Flacco threw a dart to Anquan Boldin, who made a leaping grab to come down with it in the endzone. All of a sudden the Niner defense was on their heels and Phil Simms was already calling the game over at 7-0.

Kaepernick had a few exciting scrambles on San Francisco’s ensuing drive. A 24 yard pass to Vernon Davis found Dannell Ellerbee way out of position and gave my prediction of Davis for MVP with an early surge. But a poor scramble on a misfire to Crabtree and a 10 yard loss on a sack by Paul Kruger led to a David Akers field goal. Hey, he MADE one! That’s a good sign, right?

San Francisco finally got the read option going on their next drive, feeding Frank Gore and LaMichael James. But then James went and coughed up the ball, draining any and all momentum garnered from the few plays they managed to run. Kaepernick never really got into a groove, seeing more pressure than he had in recent weeks. The Ravens were obviously sending a rusher his way if he handed it off to the running back or not. So many times Terrell Suggs would finish a play by contacting Kaepernick in an attempt to get physical with the QB. They were sending a message early and often.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Super Bowl XLVII"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII posted by Joe Anello

The time for talk is over. (Well, almost.) The time for football is now. (Well, a bit later.) The time for beet and food is now? (Yes. That is accurate.) After taking apart the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens earlier in the week, we are now ready for The Opening Drive of Super Bowl 47!


Super Bowl XLVII

(13-6) Baltimore Ravens at
(15-4-1) San Francisco 49ers
6:30 PM ET, CBS 

San Francisco’s Offense vs. Baltimore’s Defense

After seeing Colin Kaepernick tear apart a hapless Green Bay front seven for 181 rushing yards, the Atlanta Falcons overcompensated and kept the QB in the pocket the entire game. Unfortunately, that left Frank Gore in the clear on read-option plays, on which he scored two touchdowns. Kaepernick picked the Atlanta secondary apart in the second half of that contest, proving he has accuracy to go with the arm strength and mobility. The Raven defense excels at maintaining their edges, meaning they don’t let the ball-carrier get outside of them to the sidelines. They like funneling the ball back inside so Ray Lewis can get inflated tackle numbers. (Which he does.) But what do they do against the read-option? Crash the corners and use the safeties to cover? Assign a defensive end to lay out the QB while a linebacker fills in against the running back? The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare for this mobile QB, so I’d be surprised if he busted too many long runs against them. Instead, we’re probably going to see a lot of Frank Gore and LaMichael James used to test Lewis as the game wears on.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII"

Baltimore Ravens News

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Ravens QB Flacco eager to return for training camp (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Ravens release oft-injured tackle Eugene Monroe (Yahoo Sports)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Left offensive tackle Eugene Monroe has been released by the Baltimore Ravens, who lost patience with the oft-injured veteran. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Ravens WR Perriman expected to be back for training camp (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Safety Jones skips Dolphins minicamp in contract dispute (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Ali's passing takes Jim Brown, Abdul-Jabbar down memory lane (The Associated Press)

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From Yahoo Sports

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