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Nakamura Wants More Playing Time
Safety Haruki Nakamura says he’s trying not to stress out too much as he braces for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his four-year NFL career.
While he’s unsure of what the future may hold for him and his family, he has a clear set of prioritiesas heprepares to weigh the different options that may come his way.
Topping that list of priorities is the chance to make a bigger impact on a team, perhaps even find a starting role on another defense.
“If I could come back to Baltimore, yeah, I would love to come back to Baltimore, but at the same time, with personal goals, if I had the opportunity to go somewhere and get more playing time or even possibly start – just to compete to start – I’d be really interested,” Nakamura told the Norris and Davis show on 105.7 The Fan.
“It’s not just about money, but as far as my career goes, I would like to take the next step in my career.”
The Ravens selected Nakamura in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, and he has primarily contributed on special teams and served as a backup safety and cornerback. He saw action in 15 regular-season games last season, notching 12 tackles and nine on special teams.
He understands with Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed and hard-hitting Bernard Pollard playing in front of him, the opportunity for more playing time in Baltimore is limited.
“Here in Baltimore, we have obviously one of the best that’s ever played the game, and we have a guy who came in and played really well last year,” Nakamura said. “It’s going to be a tough decision to kind of figure out where things are going to land.”
The Cincinnati product said if he were to be offered the same amount of playing time at another team, he’d prefer to stick with the Ravens.
“But if it is an opportunity to make a name for myself and make an impact on a team – whether it’s as a starter or in some way just to make a team better – I’d probably be more than willing to make that step,” he said.
Nakamura’s agent has told him that other teams are interested in his services, but he knows nothing is guaranteed.
Until he signs a contract, he is trying to remain calm and manage the anxiety that comes during this temporary unemployment period.
“Interest doesn’t mean contracts. Interest is just talk,” Nakamura said. “We’ll see. The next couple of weeks will be interesting especially because it’s the first time I’ll go through it. I’m just trying not to stress over it too much.”
Pittsburgh TV Station Fooled By ‘Ward To Ravens’ Spoof
The 6 o’clock morning news at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh reported yesterday that Hines Ward signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
A BroCouncil.com spoof report that featured a photoshopped image of Ward in a purple Baltimore Ravens jersey and this awesome fake quote:
“Team president Art Rooney II didn’t have much to say after hearing the news, but he did say that he was sad to see him go to the Ravens and that ‘Pittsburgh Steeler football may not be the same without him, but his smile was pretty creepy anyway.’”
Never mind that the report came from a spoof website, the news station obviously doesn’t know General Manager Ozzie Newsome very well. It’s highly doubtful that he’d sign an aging veteran on the decline to a three-year, $9 million contract.
“We’re a little in shock,” morning anchor Todd McDermott said in the video below when they announced the “news.”
At 6:17 a.m., the TV station realized they had made an error.
“In a world of lightning-quick information, we erroneously used information from a spoof web site. We promise to be more vigilant and tighter measures have been put in place,” Mike Goldrick, WPXI news director, told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.
Eisenberg: At Least Give Moss A Look
With receiver Randy Moss, who is trying make a comeback from retirement, reportedly impressing in his workout with the New Orleans Saints, more teams may want to jump on the bandwagon and at least invite him to town to personally see what he can still offer.
John Eisenberg advocates the Ravens doing so, explaining there would be little to lose.
The aging receiver won’t command a high price, says Eisenberg, because he has been out of the game for a year and probably won’t be a No. 1 receiver. That formula works well in Baltimore because it is looking for a less expensive No. 3 option behind Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.
Moss could almost certainly reel in more than eight passes, the total caught by wideouts outside of their top two weapons. Plus, Eisenberg argues that the Ravens veteran locker room and a winning record would keep Moss’ diva attitude in check.
“If Moss’ price is right, the potential rewards are high for the risks involved,” Eisenberg wrote. “The Ravens want to upgrade their offense, but if they’re primarily going to consider second-tier free agent agents and rookies they might get in the second round of the draft, it wouldn’t hurt for them to at least explore the idea of adding Moss a little more seriously.”
If Moss doesn’t work out, Jamison Hensley points to another option to fill the No. 3 role … “A logical target is Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal, who can fill the void as the third target on offense and the top returner on special teams. His numbers have drastically plummeted since his 91-catch rookie season in 2008 (Jay Cutler’s final season in Denver) but the Broncos have struggled to find consistency at quarterback during that time, too. The Ravens would make a bigger splash with the Colts’ Reggie Wayne, a former roommate of safety Ed Reed while the two were at the University of Miami. But coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens don’t have the cap room to sign a high-priced wide receiver.” [ESPN]
Receiver Torrey Smith went to Washington yesterday to lobby congress in hopes of getting lawmakers to support a program that would give school districts and community groups resources to get kids interested in getting fit. Smith also advocated for the Personal Health Investment Today Act, which would offer tax incentives for people to get in shape. [The Baltimore Sun]
After Indianapolis released quarterback Peyton Manning from their team yesterday, a sportscaster declared that Manning is the “best player to ever play for the Colts.” But I’m sure there are a few Baltimore Colts fans that would disagree. Who was the best Colts quarterback ever: Johnny Unitas vs. Peyton Manning? Let the debate begin. [The Baltimore Sun]