Late For Work 6/4: Ravens Claim OT Madsen Off Waivers

Cruel fate for McAdoo. Flacco talks ranking. McBean’s good start. Attendance debate rages.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 9:04 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Ravens Claim OT Madsen Off Waivers

The Ravens claimed offensive tackle Paul Madsen off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills Saturday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.

The 6-foot-4, 309-pound rookie from Colorado State will likely compete for a spot on an offensive line that boasts four other tackles, including Bryant McKinnie, Michael Oher, Ramon Harewood and Kelechi Osemele.

Madsen, 26, is older than most rookies because he delayed his college enrollment to 2007, after signing a letter of intent in 2004, in order to serve a mission in Lubbock, Tex. for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church).

At Colorado State, Madsen became a second-team all-conference selection the last two seasons.

To make room for Madsen, the Ravens released undrafted rookie running back Brandon Pendergrass (Wake Forest), according to Wilson.

‘Cruel’ Couple Years For McAdoo

You can’t help but feel for Michael McAdoo.

Just a few days ago he told our own Ryan Mink he was off to a better start than anticipated this offseason, especially considering he’d been out of football for two years (NCAA suspension, knee injury).

“It was a slow start, but I got my feet back under me and found my second wind,” McAdoo said. “It’s been going good. It just feels good to be back out there on the field after so long.”

Then just like that, McAdoo was taken off the field … again. And he’ll probably miss an entire NFL season … again.

He tore his Achilles tendon during organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday and had successful surgery on Friday, according to Wilson.

McAdoo created plenty of buzz among fans as he showed solid upside in rushing the passer, an area the where Ravens needed help after Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles tendon earlier this offseason.

Football is being very cruel to Michael McAdoo right now,” wrote CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg. “In a way, none of the 88 players currently under contract with the Ravens were under more pressure at the team’s OTAs and minicamps than McAdoo. …

“At 21, McAdoo was the youngest player on the Ravens’ roster. As much as he has already been through, he was just now getting started. But now he’s apparently going to have to start all over again one more time.”

Does Flacco Care About Stats, Rankings?

Quarterback Joe Flacco insists he isn’t worried about a long-term contract extension.

I’m not worried about it at all,” he told The Baltimore Sun yesterday. “It’s either going to get done or it’s not. It’s not really up to me.”

If contract negotiations aren’t consuming his mind, what is? Does he think about statistics or league rankings?

Yes and no.

Flacco’s top concern is scoring points, but he does admit that statistics and rankings can be used as motivation because successful teams are usually ones with top offensive numbers.

“Hey, I’d like to be ranked at the top of the [list], but I think the biggest thing for us is getting points on the board and however we do it, we do it,” he said in the CSNBaltimore.com video below.

“But I think we’ve got to be aggressive. It is motivating to get up towards the top of the league in offensive numbers. I think that the teams that are up there are the teams that have been successful the last couple of years. We haven’t had statistically a lot of great numbers on offense, but we have won football games. I feel like if we create that sense of urgency and see where we can create those kinds of numbers on offense and put a lot of points on the board, then who knows where we’ll go.”

The top five scoring offenses in 2011 were the Packers, Saints, Patriots, Lions and Chargers. The Ravens were ranked No. 12, but advanced further than four of the top five in the postseason. Of course, the Pats knocked Baltimore out of the AFC championship.

As far as individual stats, Flacco said he studies those to determine where he can improve. 

This offseason, he is specifically focusing on becoming more explosive in and out of the pocket, creating more plays with his legs, becoming more accurate and making smarter decisions.

Gradkowski Taking Tips From Birk

Veteran Center Matt Birk returned for the first time to OTAs last week.

One person who is benefiting from his presence is rookie center/guard Gino Gradkowski.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder has learned some tips from Birk, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason Butt.

While he is also competing for the starting job at left guard, Gradkowski has been mostly practicing at center since the offseason workouts began, says Butt.

“If you know how to play center, you’ll know both that and guard,” Gradkowski said. “I enjoy playing center and I’m having fun.”

McBean Off To Good Start

Even though he’ll miss the first three games of the regular-season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, defensive tackle Ryan McBean could provide the Ravens’ front seven with a big boost, says Wilson.

“During an organized team activity, McBean displayed strength, athleticism and an ability to penetrate the backfield,” wrote Wilson. “He appears to be off to a good start with his new team.

McBean, 28, was signed by the Ravens to a one-year deal, reportedly worth $1.214 million, after he dropped a lawsuit against the NFL that claimed the league didn’t follow proper testing procedures. His suspension was reduced from six to three games after doing so.

He will look at the suspension as an opportunity to get better.

“It’s not so much tough,” McBean said. “I’ll get my chance. It gives me time to work on my craft. As long as we’re winning, that’s all that matters to me.”

OTA Attendance Debate Rages On

Kevin Cowherd said that it wasn’t a big deal for prominent names to be missing from the OTAs last week.

Eisenberg disagrees, especially for the younger players who are battling for jobs and/or playing time. The columnist believes that Head Coach John Harbaugh and his staff monitor attendance and take notice of who’s not there.

Three players in particular were singled out.

“Cornerback Jimmy Smith, offensive lineman Jah Reid and defensive lineman Pernell McPhee, all second-year players battling for starting jobs, may well have given the team valid reasons for why they skipped this week’s OTA sessions; the Ravens didn’t say why. But whatever their rationale, they aren’t helping their causes by missing.

“Conversely, the ones who do show up surely are stockpiling brownie points,” Eisenberg wrote, noting that injured cornerback Cary Williams is one player who could benefit from showing up even though he can’t fully practice while rehabbing his hip.

To be fair to Smith, Reid and McPhee, however, media are only allowed to attend one practice a week (for the last two weeks), and they don’t know the overall attendance for each player.

According to Mink, all three have been present for almost the entire voluntary program.

Quick Hits

  • Ravens: Don’t see this every day in The Castle lobby. Little bit of roof construction. [Twitter]
  • Newly signed undrafted kicker Justin Tucker is hoping to make “a good second first impression.” [CBSSports.com]
  • This could outside linebacker Paul Kruger’s moment. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • “I’ve got tremendous respect for new NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth,” wrote Peter King. “We had a couple of long conversations when the labor negotiations were rocky, and I thought he was a terrific voice of reason with management at the toughest point of the talks. And he’s a very recently retired player, so maybe he can sell the players that the Pro Bowl is on the precipice of death, and it’s up to their efforts to save it. But I doubt it.” [Sports Illustrated]
  • LWebb21: I had a great time today at my softball game! THANKS to my wonderful teammates and the fans of the Baltimore Ravens! #offensivevictory … Attendance at my charity softball game was over 5,000 people. #ravensnation [Twitter]
  • Thoroughbred954 (WR Dorian Graham): Cut my thumb eating crab at webbie softball event! #Painfull especially trying to use the I-Phone #sheeesh [Twitter]
  • TSTREETER8: Aftermath [Twitter]
  • TSTREETER8: I feel I know a lil bit of everything but I’ve grown unfamiliar with limitations [Twitter]
  • KOsevendeuce (Kelechi Osemele): Do I walk my sister down the aisle on June 30th and get fined (NFL Rookie Symposium) or do I miss the wedding…tough decision [Twitter]
  • CaryWilliams29: I appreciate all the family and friends that came n showed my baby some love @ her dance recital today…it was awesome, my baby showed out [Twitter]

Tags: , , , , , ,