PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Flacco Ticked Off By Woodley Comments
Quarterback Joe Flacco has become a lightening rod for criticism this offseason.
He can’t explain how it happened, but the four-year veteran admits that he normally tries to stay away from the negative talk because it “aggravates” him.
As such, Flacco had to be tipped off by a friend about Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley’s comment that Flacco and the Ravens wouldn’t win a Super Bowl “in this lifetime.”
And if you think that “Joe Cool” can’t get fired up, think again.
“At some level I don’t care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit.”
The young signal-caller understands that the Steelers have ended the Ravens’ playoff runs in two of the last three years, but Flacco is also encouraged by the fact his team has advanced to the playoffs three seasons running.
Now, it’s just a matter of getting over the Pittsburgh hurdle, and Flacco is confident his team will do it.
“We just need to come up a little bigger than we have while playing those guys a couple of times,” said Flacco. “I mean, come on. What does he think? That they’re going to do it every year? … I think we are going to have a lot more years in Baltimore where we’re going to have a good chance [to win it all], but we realize we have a really good chance right now and we just want to go ahead and win it.”
Ever since they gave up a 21-7 halftime lead in the divisional round last season, the Ravens have been intently focused on beating Pittsburgh. Visions of holding the Lombardi Trophy was all the incentive they needed to get over the hump.
But now, Flacco admits Woodley’s comments give him even more motivation.
“Believe me, when I hear that kind of stuff, it definitely sparks a little something in me.”
Harbaugh Expects Kindle To Participate In Training Camp
Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed linebacker Sergio Kindle’s announcement last week that he has been cleared by doctors to resume football contact.
In fact, ever since the young pass rusher was cleared in March, Harbaugh said he’s had the understanding that Kindle will also be ready to participate in training camp.
The Ravens have consistently expressed optimism this offseason that Kindle would return to the field, but they never revealed their source of hope. Now that we know Kindle was cleared almost three months ago, that better explains the team’s positive outlook.
Turns out, there may have been a few logistics that needed to be finalized before the announcement could be made.
“The doctors had cleared him to play football, and that was back in March,” Harbaugh explained. “There is some paperwork that he has to sign off on to make that final. So I assume, since he said that, he signed off on that paperwork and he’ll be ready to go, but I don’t know for a fact because I haven’t talked to Sergio.”
Would Housh Consider Returning to Bengals?
With receiver Chad Ochocinco potentially on his way out of Cincinnati and a couple of young receivers on their way in, who will be there to mentor the young pups when the lockout finally ends?
T.J. Houshmandzadeh had some of his best years with the Bengals, which may be why one fan would be happy to have him return and asked ESPN’s James Walker if Bengals brass would consider the possibility.
“The Bengals are set on getting younger at the position and it would seem like an odd move to cut one 30-plus receiver (Chad Ochocinco) for another (Houshmandzadeh),” Walker wrote.
“In my conversations with Houshmandzadeh last season, I also sensed he’s set on competing for a title at this point in his career, and the Bengals are not title contenders.”
The last time Housh made headlines was back in early April when he said he wanted to return to Baltimore and could even be willing to accept a complementary role.
Unlike Cincinnati, Baltimore is considered a title contender. But does the team have mutual feelings?
“The answer is that I don’t really know,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said in March. “I like all those guys. As a coach, you want all the good players you can get. You like having veteran players too. It’s not always possible to keep all those guys.
“So I just don’t know. We’ll just have to see.”
King: Tiki Barber Could Be Headed To AFC North
Who would want a 36-year-old running back after a four-year break from the league?
“[Head Coach Mike] Tomlin wouldn’t be afraid of the sideshow Tiki Barber might create, nor would he be shy about pulling the plug if the 36-year-old back couldn’t beat out the likes of Mewelde Moore,” wrote King.
“The Steelers have a core of veteran stars; Tiki Barber would fit right in. The Steelers have a good back, Rashard Mendenhall, but no back-of-the-future type who Barber would be robbing playing time from. And one NFL source tells me Barber really wants a shot to play in Pittsburgh. I’m also told that wherever he goes, Barber won’t be content to be a mopup guy or insurance policy; he wants to play a lot. We’ll see where he ends up this summer, if and when football happens, but Pittsburgh’s my guess.”
It’s just another scenerio for Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano to chew on as he awaits the end of the lockout.
A Follow Up On T. Smith And Ochocinco’s Relationship
Appearing on 105.7 The Fan, Smith elaborated on his relationship with Ochocinco.
“I know people have been like, ‘you better stay away from him,’” Smith said. “But he’s really done nothing but help me.”
The two worked out together in Miami and they still communicate through texts now that Smith has returned to Maryland.
“He’s smart. He’s taught me the ins and outs of the game,” said Smith. “And people only see the social aspect of him. He likes bringing attention to himself – he’s kind of a marketing machine. And that’s really him.
“He’s kind of a fun guy, but when it comes down to the business of football, I can learn a lot from the guy and I feel like he’s done nothing but help me.”
Ravens Father’s Day Shout Outs
To all you fathers out there, here are some Father’s Day wishes from Ravens players via Twitter:
deemason85: I usually don’t tweet on weekends but here’s a great bit of advice for fathers including myself!! … Giving the world to ur children means nothing if u can’t be the world too them !!!!!!!! Think about it That was a free one for fathers day.
Teams have been instructed to be ready for an extra night in Chicago after Tuesday’s owners’ meetings. It was originally believed the group would use the extra time to vote on a new collective bargaining agreement, but now, ESPN reports the time will be used to address dissension among the owners. “A handful of NFL owners believes the parameters of the deal being discussed don’t adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement,” wrote Adam Schefter. [ESPN]
Derrick Mason attended a charity softball event in Tennessee that doubled as a going-away party for his former Head Coach Jeff Fisher. The veteran receiver played under Fisher’s tutelage for eight years. “I’ve always respected him so much. He’s been a fixture in my life the last 15 years,” Mason said. “Guys came back for this because they love him. I don’t think too many coaches, once they leave, have guys come back and show how much they appreciate him.” [The Tennessean]