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Late For Work 11/19: Nike Leaks Unofficial NFL Jersey Sketches?

Plus nobody believes in a Panthers upset, and are knee injuries affecting Webb, Fabian?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 9:14 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Nike Leaks Unofficial NFL Jersey Sketches?

UPDATE: An NFL spokesman confirmed that these mock-ups are in no way affiliated with Nike, the NFL or any of the league’s 32 teams. They are simply, as previously stated in this blog entry, rumored and unofficial.

When the NFL announced Nike Inc. will become the league’s official uniform provider starting in 2012, Nike’s Brand President Charlie Denson was clear that he wanted to make big changes.

“We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we’ve done with the college programs, using new thinking and the greatest technology available,” said Denson. “The NFL program hasn’t had the same type of advancement in recent years.”

If these unofficial and rumored concept sketches are any indication, Denson will have delivered on his dramatic changes promise.

The collection seen below is Nike’s “Pro Combat Uniform” designs – the same series was released for college teams in 2010 – that are rumored to be used for primetime games.

Remember, neither Nike nor the NFL has confirmed these sketches are official and they have not been approved. That said, let’s take a look at the Ravens and their AFC North rivals jerseys.

Ravens

Nike has the Ravens sporting a white helmet, which would eliminate any future “blackout” games if so desired by the team. What are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? I doubt there will be many middle-of-the-road opinions.

Steelers

A bright yellow helmet with matching pants doesn’t make for an intimidating uniform.

Bengals

I’ve seen several observers bash Cincinnati’s uniform, but for some reason I quite like the black and orange jungle-like pants.

Browns

Cleveland’s jersey has the least amount of change. I’m no designer, but really, how do you get creative with the color brown?

Here is a link to all 32 teams’ jersey designs. Below is my list of the five best and worst team sketches.

5 Best

5 Worst

Week 11 Picks: Ravens vs. Panthers

Well, it’s unanimous. I couldn’t find a single analyst willing to predict a Panthers upset on Sunday. Peter King summed the contest up best, “Brian St. Pierre vs. Ray Lewis. Not really a fair fight.

The Baltimore Sun: Six of six pick Ravens

WJZ’s Mark Viviano: Ravens 31, Panthers 13

ESPN:  Eight of eight pick the Ravens

SI.com’s Peter King: Ravens 33, Panthers 9

USA Today: Eight of eight pick the Ravens

Yahoo! Sports: Three of three pick the Ravens

Sporting News: Six of six pick the Ravens

Pro Football Talk: Two of two pick the Ravens

Total: 35 Ravens picks, 0 Panthers picks

Are Knee Injuries Still A Factor For Webb, Washington?

A fan known as “JimJim” asked The Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley if Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington’s knee injuries from last season are contributing to their “sub-par” play at corner thus far.

“Webb has brushed off the knee injury as a factor. But I don’t believe him,” wrote Hensley. “Typically, it takes a full year before players are fully recovered from blowing out their knee. Don’t get me wrong, Webb and Fabian Washington can still play now after recovering from their injuries. But they won’t be back to their top form until next season.”

Hensley went on to say that he thinks Josh Wilson and Chris Carr will continue to get the majority of snaps at the corner position, while Webb and Washington will rotate at nickel.

While we’re on the subject of pass defense…apparently, the Ravens aren’t the only team in the AFC North having trouble defending the pass.

While the Ravens are ranked No. 13 in pass defense, the Steelers are much worse at No. 26 and the Browns are No. 24. The Bengals are currently the best the division, edging out the Ravens at No. 12.

Flacco Primed For Another Franchise Milestone

Quarterback Joe Flacco has already set a couple franchise records and he could notch another by throwing two touchdowns against the Panthers this weekend.

If Flacco does throw two more, he would pass Vinny Testaverde for most TD passes in team history. The third-year quarterback has 50 touchdown strikes, while Testaverde posted 51 in his two seasons with the Ravens.

As the franchise quarterback, many have wondered if Flacco’s leadership style is growing like the statistics are.

After seeing receiver Anquan Boldin fire up teammates on the sidelines last Thursday, a reporter asked Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron if it’s OK that someone other than a quarterback takes charge.

“Leadership is leadership. And Joe does it in his own way, too,” Cameron told reporters. “We’re going to watch that evolve and grow. Just like any human being would grow into a leadership role. Just watch. He’s going to continue to grow.

“That’s what veteran players do. The Todd Heaps, the Derrick Masons, the T.J. Houshmandzadehs, the Anquan Boldins, the Matt Birks. We’ve got a lot of veteran leaders. This is a collective group of men looking to achieve a common goal. If you’re feeling it, let it come out. There’s no pecking order on leadership on our offense.

Flacco told Mike Duffy of BaltimoreRavens.com that he does motivate and fire up his teammates, but he’ll usually does it in a more private setting.

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