Late For Work 5/5: Michael Vick Trains Tyrod Taylor

And Smith says comments taken out of context, Webb understands; Mason reaches out to Doss.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 11:05 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Michael Vick Trains Tyrod Taylor

Ravens sixth-round draft pick Tyrod Taylor often draws comparisons to Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick.

After watching Vick play at Warwick High in Newport News, Va., just miles from his home in Hampton, Taylor followed in Vick’s footsteps to become the starting signal caller for the Virginia Tech Hokies.

But the comparisons go beyond their local ties. Like Vick, Taylor is a talented athlete known for his exceptional mobility and ability to evade the pass rush while keeping his eyes downfield.

In an ESPN Facebook video Q&A (below), the Ravens rookie noted that while he doesn’t compare himself to Vick off the field, he does somewhat model his game after the NFL vet.

“I’ve grown up watching Vick,” said Taylor. “We’re from the same area, so of course I grew up watching the things he did and try to do the same things myself on the football field.”

Considering the similarities, it was only fitting for ESPN’s “Year of the Quarterback” to bring the two QBs together and allow Vick to give Taylor a few pointers. Check it out and the Facebook Q&A, too.


Smith Says Comments Taken Out Of Context, Webb Understands

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith felt his comments about paying Lardarius Webb $10,000 for his jersey number (21) were taken out of context.

The Ravens’ 2011 first-rounder explained that he knows he is wearing the jersey number the Ravens assigned him, No. 22, and he didn’t mean any disrespect to his new teammate.

Both Webb and Smith exchanged tweets about Smith’s interview, and Webb said he understands how conversations can be misconstrued.

“Please no one get my tweets confused! Me and Jimmy are goin to be a beast together along with Foxy and the others,” Webb tweeted to his followers yesterday. “He jus won’t be in 21!”

To which Smith replied directly to Webb, “dogg no disrespect u know it was one of those convos and it got blown out perspective u know how it go!”

we good lil homie!” wrote Webb. “I know how it is! Let’s get this ring!”

“that’s what I’m talking about I need some jewelry (rings ),” wrote Smith.

It was nice to see Webb express understanding about Smith’s situation. If you watch the conversation in its entirety – a casual interview held over dinner – Smith was asked what jersey number he would like. He answered honestly, but then he was prodded to “straighten” Webb out and offer a figure for how much he’d be willing to pay. Even after declining to name a price, Andrew Siciliano pressed again, saying he has to think about a number to offer.  Smith answered, but it appeared he hadn’t given it much thought.

It was too easy for outsiders to take the statements of the young man, who already has been labeled with character concerns, and make it seem like he was overconfident and overstepping his rookie status. Glad to see Webb didn’t see it that way.

Mason Reaches Out To Doss, Kiper’s Early-Impact Pick

Veteran receiver Derrick Mason reached out through Twitter to his new rookie teammate and Ravens’ fourth-round draft selection Tandon Doss.

Yo get at me when u can bro...,” tweeted Mason.

“watsup,” Doss replied. “I need a way to learn the offense as soon as possible”

With the players unable to meet with coaches, practice at team facilities or study playbooks due to the lockout, working out with veteran teammates is one of the few options rookies have to prepare for the 2011 season, if and whenever that begins.

However the situation plays out, ESPN’s Mel Kiper believes that when the season does begin, Doss is one of just a handful of players selected in Rounds 4-7 that will have an early impact on the field. 

“My colleague Todd McShay is a big fan of Doss and saw him going as high as Round 2,” wrote Kiper.  ”I question his explosiveness (Doss’, not Todd’s), but I’ll agree that Doss certainly has great hands. That matters because the Ravens really need a possession guy as they seek the next Derrick Mason, and Doss could fit that role. With Doss and Torrey Smith, Baltimore could have a nice combo in place.”

Waaaaay Early 2012 Mock Drafts

McShay said that sitting down one week after the draft and coming up with a first-round mock for the next year is one of his “toughest and most uncertain assignments.”

“The order isn’t set, college players will rise and fall during the ensuing season, and adding to the fun this year is the concern about the NFL labor situation,” explained McShay. “Needs will change when the lockout is resolved and teams are able to fill needs through trades and free agency, and the players at the top of the board will be shuffled.”

It really is a rather silly assignment, but enough people must be reading the waaaay early predictions, otherwise website wouldn’t post them.

Thus, here is McShay and’s Andrew Perloff’s predictions for the Ravens next April.

McShay: Robert Lester, S, Alabama

Notes: “The 6-2, 215-pound Lester made big strides as a sophomore and has good straight-line speed to go with natural playmaking instincts, all of which could put him into the early rounds in 2012.”

Perloff: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Notes: “Jeffery was very productive as a sophomore, but is a little too slow to be a top-10 pick. Still, the Ravens have been trying to find a young star at this position for some time.”

Quick Hits

  • Ravens rookie tackle Jah Reid: “Of course, I want to win that starting spot. I’m grateful that they drafted me and I want to prove my worth. I want to come in and show how valuable I am. I know I have to put my nose to the grindstone and get ready to work.” [National Football Post]
  • WilliamsonNFL: Very early prediction: Ravens’ Jimmy Smith will be Def Rook of Year. Great situation. Great ability.  [Twitter]
  • AdamSchefter: RT @kortej: Any chance the Rams end up with Nnamdi? … Short lists starts with Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Ravens – and there will be more. [Twitter]
  • Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall posted a letter online to  explain his controversial tweets concerning the death of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Mendenhall explained that he is not “in support of Bin Laden or against the USA” and apologizes to “anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name.” He added, "Nothing I said was meant to stir up controversy. It was my way to generate conversation…. I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm." [Blogger]
  • “Mendenhall is scheduled to begin his 2011 season on 9/11 at M&T Bank Stadium,” Jamison Hensley pointed out. “There’s no doubt that Mendenhall will have to address this matter again that week. And it’ll be interesting to hear the reception once his name is announced after his first couple of carries.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • AlbertBreerSources: NFLPA is bracing for the NFL to be granted a full stay of the injunction to lift NFL lockout until the appeal is heard. [Twitter]


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