Late For Work 5/9: Bulger Not Arizona’s Answer

Charlie Casserly doesn’t think Marc Bulger should go west, plus Bisciotti didn’t recruit for MD.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 10:16 am | Categories: Late For Work, Mike Duffy

Bulger Not Arizona’s Answer?

There have been several reports of a “wink-wink” agreement between Ravens quarterback Marc Bulger and the quarterback-starved Arizona Cardinals, but the NFL Network’s Charlie Casserly doesn’t think that’s their best bet.

In a recent interview with the Mark Viviano Show on Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, Casserly said the Cards should pursue Kevin Kolb of the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I think it’s going to be on the front-burner,” said Casserly.  “I think, if you just look at it, Kolb would be the logical move because he’s a young quarterback. You can build for the future with him, but he has some experience. This is a team that feels they can win the division right now.

“They did it with a veteran quarterback, but Kurt Warner was an exceptional veteran quarterback. I think that’s their mindset, and I expect them to pursue a quarterback.”

Of course, Bulger’s name could still be in play.

This is what longtime ESPN-er and current Sports Xchange scribe Len Pasquarelli wrote about the situation in late April:

“A lot of people in the league feel the Cardinals already have an understanding with pending free agent Marc Bulger. The Cardinals would have liked to sign Bulger last year, and coach Ken Whisenhunt lobbied for a deal, but Arizona had already agreed with Derek Anderson and management didn’t see a way to bring in two veterans.”

The Ravens sure would love to keep Bulger, a two-time Pro Bowler, to back up Joe Flacco, but it’s going to be tough.

Bulger reportedly made $3.8 million on a one-year contract with the Ravens and is slated to hit the bid-heavy open market once free agency begins.

What’s more, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said last week that the Ravens would make getting a veteran backup to join Flacco and sixth-round draft pick Tyrod Taylor via free agency a priority.

Could that be Bulger?

It’d be nice, but there are a lot of teams that have been linked to Bulger, including the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.

Bisciotti Didn’t Recruit in Arizona

There was a report by a local media outlet over the weekend that Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti flew out to Las Vegas on his private plane to help lure University of Arizona Head Basketball Coach Sean Miller to the Maryland job recently vacated by Gary Williams.

Didn’t happen.

Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Barker that he stayed in the Land of Pleasant Living and his jet was “firmly planted on the ground.”

Bisciotti is a huge Terrapins fan, and he can often be seen sitting courtside at the Comcast Center cheering Williams’ troops.

He won’t be doing that for Miller, as the Wildcats’ coach signed a contract extension on Saturday.

The search continues…

Ravens Will Help Honor Sept. 11

Assuming that the 2011 campaign begin as regularly scheduled, the Ravens will be included in a prestigious group of teams who were selected to honor the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

On that day, M&T Bank Stadium will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a classic AFC North battle at 1 p.m.

“We designed the schedule in a manner that would enable us to help appropriately commemorate, on a national level, September 11th and what it represents to Americans,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy relayed to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche via email.

Not only is the Ravens/Steelers rivalry highlighted, the Washington Redskins will play the New York Giants in our nation’s capital, the Cardinals will host the Carolina Panthers and the slate will end with “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys traveling to New York to face the Jets.

Arizona, by the way, lost safety Pat Tillman years ago after he voluntarily left the NFL to join the Army – a move spurred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks – and later lost his life in the line of duty.

Surely, there will be some special events planned for all of the games.

Casserly Rubber-Stamps Jimmy Smith Pick

One more thing from the Casserly interview.

He sounded pretty high on the Ravens’ first-round draft pick, cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Or at the very least, the former Houston Texans GM put his trust in Ozzie Newsome.

Smith’s past transgressions have been well-documented, but that’s a word that Casserly emphasized when he discussed the 27th-overall selection.

“When you get into a Jimmy Smith, where it’s not as clear-cut as maybe some other decisions you make, you’ve spent a lot of time in it with your coaches, your scouts, any support personnel you might have, and you’re interviewing the player, spending time with him,” Casserly said. “And then you kind of look at what his recent history is.  Jimmy Smith hasn’t had any issues recently.  I think Ozzie Newsome does probably the best job in the league in analyzing personalities and people. I think he has a great feel for that.

“Certainly, there’s always a risk, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in Ozzie’s decision-making abilities in these situations.”

The Ravens are confident that Smith will keep his nose clean in the NFL having done extensive homework on the Colorado product.

No one denies this guy’s got value. No one denies this guy is a starting corner in the league. That’s a good time frame [to draft Smith].  You’re hoping no one’s going to take him.

Quick Hits

  • ESPN’s James Walker answered a question about Sergio Kindle’s status from Bill Simering of Stafford, Va., noting, “There has been progress but no definitive word, Bill. The Ravens are optimistic with what they’ve seen. But it will remain cautious optimism until Kindle is officially cleared to play football again. Head injuries are very serious, and in football there are a lot of collisions in that area. So the Ravens are rightfully taking every precaution.”
  • John Eisenberg thinks that potential free agents Kerry Collins (Tennessee Titans), Bruce Gradkowski (Oakland Raiders) and Tavaris Jackson (Vikings) could be backup quarterback targets for the Ravens.
  • Sorry Michael Oher. Looks like Steve Wade from Brentwood High School broke your Tennessee state record in the discus throw. Wade hit 174 feet, 8 inches at the Brentwood Academy meet last week to beat Oher’s six-year mark by more than eight feet.

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