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Late For Work 5/29: Cody’s Awesome Impression Of Upshaw

Oher to have Pro Bowl year? Ngata ranked top DT. Should HBO scrap ‘Hard Knocks?’

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at 9:17 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Cody’s Awesome Impression Of Upshaw

Terrence Cody wants to bring as many fellow Crimson Tide to Baltimore as possible.

Especially if they all play like outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens’ top draft pick last month.

Asked in the CSNBaltimore.com video below for his impressions of his new teammate from Alabama, Cody paused to think.

“Give an impression?” he asked.

Then looking into the camera, Cody said: “He’s a bad-a**.” (Can I write that? I don’t curse – ever – but his response was too awesome not to point out. Watch it below).

“He’s a mean dude,” Cody continued. “He likes to play football, likes to rush the passer and he likes to hit the quarterback.

“Sounds like a Raven.”

Indeed.

More importantly, sounds like a player who can help make up for the loss of the injured Terrell Suggs.

Leading up to the draft, critics knocked Upshaw because of his size (6-foot-1, 272 pounds) and because he didn’t look smooth in coverage. But another player that was knocked for his size coming out of college was Ray Lewis. His work ethic, passion and violent style overcame any supposed physical limitations.

Prior to the Ravens drafting Upshaw, Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz already saw in Upshaw what Cody is only beginning to see.

“You talk about a physically explosive man,” Hortiz said in March. “He beats tight ends up, he powers through offensive tackles. A lot of guys have to work around; he can work through. [He's] violent on contact, violent tackler, violent taking on blocks. What he’s done to SEC tight ends is a shame.”

Upshaw must have two different personalities – one for the football field and one for off of it – because “violent,” “mean” and “bad-a**” are not the words that I would use to describe him. I’d say he is a southern gentleman.

SI.com’s Peter King said he was “uber-polite,” always ending sentences with “sir.”

Upshaw has also shown his kind heart, particularly after the tornado that ravaged Alabama in April of 2011. Upshaw created the 41 Fund to help raise money and supplies for those afflicted, as reported by The Washington Times.

I personally hope to never meet the violent Upshaw, but opposing quarterbacks better not meet the southern gentleman either.

Oher To Have Pro Bowl Year?

Ravens right tackle Micahel Oher turned 26 yesterday, eliciting a number of Twitter birthday wishes, including this one from his adopted brother Sean Tuohy Jr.:

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST BIG BRO ON THE PLANET,” he tweeted. “LOVE THIS GUY. 26 years he’s been better than all you guys now!!”

Oher’s special day got WBAL’s Gerry Sandusky pondering the kind of year Oher will have heading into his fourth NFL season.

The “voice of the Ravens” envisions big things.

“I think he could have a Pro Bowl caliber season this year, and possibly at left tackle,” Sandusky tweeted.

Sandusky clarified to say that Oher is not definitely moving back to the left side, but that the Ravens will consider all options on the offensive line. If Oher were to move back to the blind side, Sandusky envisions him playing at a Pro Bowl level there too.

Oher himself said he believes he will stay on the right side as long as Bryant McKinnie is on the roster.

And that’s something he’s grateful for.

The 6-foot-4, 315 pounder has been flip-flopping positions his entire NFL career, and for the first time since he’s been drafted, it appears he will keep the same spot for consecutive seasons.

That continuity could add to his chances of getting a Pro Bowl bid.

It’s not easy to do at all. It takes time to get used to,” Oher said of switching positions in February. “So this offseason I can work at it a little bit more. If I can play one position, that would be great. It helps you out.”

(By the way, it looks like Oher might be a big NASCAR fan. He was a pre-race guest at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday.)

Ngata Ranked No. 1 Among DTs

Sporting News is pumping out its rankings series of the best players at each position.

Topping the defensive tackles list is the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata.

“With a rare combination of size at 6-4, 350 pounds, strength and agility, Ngata sets the bar at his position,” Clifton Brown wrote. “By covering things up front in the Ravens defense, he gives linebackers the license to freelance and make plays. Losing Terrell Suggs to an Achilles tendon injury will be a blow, but Ngata would be even more irreplaceable.”

Sporting News’ top-10 defensive tackles are:

1. Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens
2. Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals
3. Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots
4. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
5. Jay Ratliff, Dallas Cowboys
6. Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills
7. Jonathan Babineaux, Atlanta Falcons
8. Brodrick Bunkley, New Orleans Saints
9. Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders
10. B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers

Should HBO Scrap ‘Hard Knocks?’

Team after team has turned down the invitation to participate in HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

But it’s time to just figure out what they’re going to do as the time to start filming an NFL training camp is only months away.

So they’ve given themselves a June 1 deadline to pick one of the few teams that are willing to open their doors to HBO cameras, according to the New York Post.

Among the teams that have declined are the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the teams that reportedly would welcome the spotlight.

But National Football Post’s Joe Fortenbaugh says instead of documenting a less-popular, small-market team, HBO should scrap the “Hard Knocks” format altogether and adopt their “24/7″ approach.

Under the latter scenario, cameras would follow two teams that are scheduled to play each other in Week 1 up to and through the end of the game.

“Pick the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, who are scheduled to butt heads in the second half of a Monday night doubleheader on September 10,” Fortenbaugh wrote.

“By themselves, the Chargers and Raiders don’t exactly bring the most captivating storylines or big-ticket athletes to the table that teams like the Saints and Broncos are capable of providing. But together, these two franchises make up one of the league’s most intense rivalries.”

Quick Hits

  • GerrySandusky: There are 23 modern era QB’s in the Hall of Fame. More of them had their career best season in year 5 or 6 than any other year. I point this out because Joe Flacco is entering year 5. I’m not saying he’s Hall of Fame, but he is going into key 2 yrs of his career. [Twitter]
  • 334Upshaw41: Finally back in my bed in Baltimore being home was fun tho [Twitter]
  • TyrodTaylor: #tweegram (to the right) [Twitter]
  • Head Coach John Harbaugh visited with NFL Total Access about earning the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the Army. He also talked about whether he was concerned that Ray Rice wasn’t attending OTAs and how much stock he puts into Ed Reed’s retirement talk. [NFL Network]

 

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