Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Perriman's Perseverance

You spend your childhood, early adulthood and college years focused on one goal. Being good enough at your sport of choice to possibly be among the very few, the elite of the elite, who get chosen to play at the professional level. The day comes, you are picked in the first round of the draft and you find yourself in Training Camp ready to prove yourself. You get injured, nothing major, or so you think. But you never take the field. You miss the entire season.

You work your way back. You stay positive, knowing that missing a season can't derail your career. You're ready for the challenge and just want a chance to compete. Get back on the field. And then, you get injured. This time, it seems major right away.

Can you imagine?

But looking at Perriman's tweets and player quotes, you can see that he is not one to get down on himself or his situation. And perhaps that is why all football fans, not just Ravens Nation, had to smile when they saw the news yesterday.

Perriman's year is not over. In fact, he may be back for Training Camp. He should get a chance to play alongside Steve Smith and Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken this season. He should be able to live out his dream of playing in the NFL. He should be able to define himself.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Keenan & the Call

Not all 6th round picks are created equal.

For all the swings and misses inevitable in picking the 200th 'best' player in college football, the 6th round has featured plenty of future stars too, including former Ravens Adalius Thomas and Matt Birk; Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis; and Mr. 199 himself, Tom Brady.

But even before he steps foot on the practice field in Owings Mills this Spring, the Ravens 2016 6th round pick already feels different. I even tweeted a similar thought when I first heard the news:

And it wasn't just me who knew this pick was special. The Ravens draft room agreed. They put the call on speaker phone, a few tears were shed, and a young man who played his college football just 30 miles to the east of M&T Bank Stadium joined the Flock.

So what was so different? In the spirit of Passover, why was this pick different than all other picks? That's because Keenan Reynolds comes in as perhaps the most over qualified yet under appreciated man in the draft. Not just as a player, as a man. He holds the FBS career record for touchdowns (88). He holds the FBS career record for rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559). And his senior year course work included a class titled, National Security Decision Making in the Cyber Age. That's because Reynolds will graduate from Navy this Spring.

Yet, despite all of his on-field success, Reynolds was not invited to the Heisman Trophy Award Ceremony last December.

Despite being selected by an NFL franchise, he still awaits a decision on his commitment to the Naval Academy.

And despite his potential future on offense, he likely has a final coming up to test his aptitude for defense, as in defending the country against hackers.

 As I said, not your typical 6th round pick.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

R.O. is the new JO

With the 6th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select...a bodyguard for Joe Flacco. Also known as Ronnie Stanley, the Ravens Production staff was in the Draft Room when RO got the news.

Sr. Prom

Steve Smith Sr. can retire now. 

Not because he's slow to heal from injury or because Breshad Perriman is healthy or because the Ravens signed Mike Wallace this offseason.

No, Smith can retire because no matter how far he takes the Ravens this season, he won't be able to top his latest performance.

After being connected through his foundation, Smith made the dream of a young woman in Charlotte, NC come true as he was her date for her Senior Prom. Complete with corsages, limos and line dancing; Smith gave Aubrey Bridges a night she likely will never forget, but perhaps more important, a night that made her feel like just another teenage girl despite growing up with a form of Autism.  

Watch as the Ravens Production team captured it all here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dime Store

Jeremy Butler, Daniel Brown, Kaelin Clay & Darren Waller walk in to a bar...

No joke, those guys were all playing Wide Receiver for the Ravens at the end of last year. And despite the fact that they all showed enough promise to make it to the NFL, I don't think they made many fantasy football rosters. Of course they were led by Kamar Aiken in many of those late Fall games - but 12 months ago Aiken could have just as easily walked in to a bar in Baltimore and not been noticed.

Which brings us, as unlikely as it sounds, to today and the fact that the Ravens may have a WR group on par with the Anquan-Torrey-Jacoby trio that led us to victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

I present to you:

  • Steve Smith Sr.
  • Mike Wallace
  • Kamar Aiken
  • Breshad Perriman

John Harbaugh seems excited to welcome Mike Wallace to the flock

Of course a lot can go wrong - Perriman has yet to play a down in purple and black; Wallace has yet to catch a pass from Flacco, Aiken is still new at this star-receiver thing (see above) and Sr. Smith was supposed to be on the golf course already.

But here they are. A quartet of pass catchers that are likely helping Joe get through his rehab. I imagine a poster of them taped to the screen of a treadmill. 

Not to be out done, the Ravens all of a sudden boast a deep Tight End group as well. Ben Watson joins the fray along with Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore, let alone the return of Dennis Pitta to the Castle.

Get well soon Joe, you have some dimes to drop.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Ravens Schedule: Hot Takes

With less than 30 minutes to digest, my quick take on the Ravens schedule:

1. Home Opener vs. Rex/Reed/Tyrod will be great for the Ravens media

2. Back-to-back weeks in the Big Apple must be rare for a road team - the team is welcome to stay at my place in Hoboken

3. Did NFL put Ravens vs. Browns in prime time? Kick-sixes only happen once

4. Monday Night. In New England. In December. Yum.

5. (Not) home for the holidays? Christmas in Pittsburgh followed by New Years Eve in Cincinnati will make or break Baltimore sports fans holiday spirit

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Promise of Pitta

Photo by Al Bello

News reports indicate that Dennis Pitta may in fact be returning to the NFL. Not only that, he may still be a Raven. Wonderful news for any Baltimore fan, but fans of athletes in general.

I can not imagine the devastation of working your entire life for a specific goal; achieving that goal (#SBXLVII4EVER!); coming back to work and then having your dreams derailed, or rather dislocated Twice!

Dennis Pitta is making the decision after consulting with doctors and others close to him.

We shouldn't be surprised. After doctors told him he couldn't safely return last year, he responded by saying, "Certainly there's no plans to retire at this time."

Certainly there's plans to root for him this time.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Hot off the Presses

NFL GM's, they're just like us.

That's because the Ravens recently published their own 2016 Draft Guide and my first thought was, I wonder if Ozzie uses the magazine the same way I do at my Fantasy Football draft each year.

[EDITORS NOTE: This year's draft will be in Denver, CO thanks the Von Miller and my league's annual tradition of hosting our draft in the city of the Super Bowl winner]

Does he cross off those prospects who are already picked? Does he circle sleepers in advance? Does he keep it rolled up for reading on planes, trains and on vacation? I'd like to think so. See for yourself.

Bold(in) Choice

Former Ravens wide-out Anquan Boldin took part in MLB's Opening Day #CapsOn campaign earlier this week and took a very balanced approached to his hat choice. However, purple eyes will spot that Q is shown sporting at Orioles hat along with his new best friend at the time, Mr. Lombardi. #SBXLVII4EVER

Monday, April 04, 2016

Birds of a Feather

This is Birdland!

With #OpeningDay upon us for the Orioles, the Ravens used their social skills to wish their feathered friends good luck...

On Twitter...

On Facebook...

From our nest to yours,Good luck to the Orioles for a successful 2016 season!#FlockTogether
Posted by Baltimore Ravens on Monday, April 4, 2016

And on Instagram.

A photo posted by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on