LFW 9/24: “Air Flacco” for 2009 MVP?

Plus Ochocinco’s “Dulce Venganca” list, the squirrel dance ends and Willis’ new outlook.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 9:20 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

MVP watch lists

“Joe Cool” was the nickname the media used to describe the Ravens’ rookie quarterback.  But I’m starting to see the media tag the sophomore quarterback “Air Flacco.” Along with the flattering label, Ravens quarterback Mike Sandos of ESPN, Dan Barr of Pro Football Weekly Joe Flacco has made it to several 2009 MVP Watch lists including  and Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

This is the second time “Air Flacco” made it onto King’s list, but he made his MVP Watch debut with ESPN yesterday. You know that Flacco must be turning heads when he is listed as No. 6 and ahead of other quarterbacks such as Philip Rivers, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.

Will Foxworth or Washington “Kiss the Baby” in Week 5?

ESPN’s AFC North Blogger James Walker took a picture of Chad Ochocinco’s “Dulce Venganca” checklist that hangs from the Bengals’ wide receiver’s locker. “Dulce Venganca” is Spanish for “sweet revenge.” The subtitle of the checklist reads, “Who kissed the baby in 09?” “Kiss the baby” is slang for it’s all over. After each game, Bengals No. 85 marks off all of the cornerbacks who fail to stop him.

If you look down the picture to row five, it’s fuzzy, but the names Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth are listed with unchecked boxes next to them. To date, Champ Bailey is the only unchecked name that Ochocinco has already competed against.  I would be interested to see if either Washington or Foxworth remains unchecked after the Ravens-Bengals matchup scheduled to take place October 11.

Ochocinco plants fans in front row

Bengals fans were conveniently sitting in the front row of Lambeau Field to welcome Chad Ochocinco into the stands when he scored a touchdown and did his Lambeau leap last Sunday. But according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ochocinco actually bought those tickets and planted those welcoming arms.

If nothing else, the wide receiver is entertaining. Although, I’m not sure I would be so amused if he planted fans at M&T Bank Stadium.

AFC North rivals lead the league in sacks

The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Bengals are leading the league in sacks with nine. A big reason for their success is a big man named Antwan Odom who leads the league in sacks with seven.

That is a gynormous number. To put that in perceptive, the Ravens’ sack leader Jarrett Johnson has two sacks to date. Last year’s team sack leader was Terrell Suggs who notched eight for the entire year.  If the Ravens’ improved offensive line can keep Joe Flacco standing upright when Odom comes to town, they will have passed a huge test.

McGahee’s new mindset

The AP ran an interesting story about Willis McGahee’s key to early success in the 2009 season. In the running backs own words, “Basically, don’t come in with a hard head. That’s about it. Don’t do that.”

A new mindset and a healthy body seem to be paying off as McGahee is tied for the NFL lead in TDs with Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore.

No more squirrel dance

The Sun’s Edward Lee reported that Kelly Washington will shelve his squirrel dance after showing it off for the first time in Sunday’s 31-26 win.

“It’s all over,” Washington said of the dance moves. “My teammates have been asking me to do it since I got here. I was just glad I was able to do it and execute it.”

Personally, I’d like it if Washingtron at least kept his first-down dance even though I know some fans have been irritated by it. But if the defense gets to celebrate after a tackle-for-loss, I say an offensive first down is worth a small celebration too.

No longer a defense-reliant Ravens

Jim Corbett of USA Today says that the Ravens are a balanced championship contender capable of overtaking the AFC North rival and reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Don’t panic…yet

Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun encourages fans not to hit the panic button on the Ravens defense just yet. This week the Ravens’ secondary will face the No. 28 pass offense in the Cleveland Browns, and Hensley believes that if the Ravens DBs have trouble this Sunday…then you have the license to panic.

Lights on

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron designed a play called “Lights On,” named after Shawn Merriman whose nickname is “Lights Out.” Tight end Edgar Jones was sent to hit the Chargers star outside linebacker with a big block that knocked an unsuspecting Merriman to the ground.

That play was replayed a few times Monday at the Ravens’ training complex, according to Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times.

WR Demetrius Williams still hopes to make impact

Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun reported, “While acknowledging that Williams had fallen to fourth on the depth chart, coach John Harbaugh said Williams is still a vital part of the offensive strategy.

“’One thing about Demetrius is he works really hard at it,’ Harbaugh said Monday. ‘You don’t put on 12 to 15 pounds of muscle mass in the last year that he’s done to get himself ready to play if you’re not a hard-working guy. I think without question he’ll be a big part of the plans the next few weeks.’”

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