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Late For Work 6/7: ‘Mean’ Courtney Upshaw Above Rookie Hazing?

Backup QB confidence rating; Jones’ superb practice; Webb in Nike gloves; fans deserve truth.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 9:15 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

‘Mean’ Courtney Upshaw Above Rookie Hazing?

Playful rookie hazing played out in front of the country in 2001, when HBO’s “Hard Knocks” filmed a legendary Ravens rookie talent show (posted for your enjoyment below) and veterans taping rookies to the goal post for a Gatorade shower and putting them in cold tubs.

During the John Harbaugh era, taping rookies up or putting them in the cold tubs has subsided. But the vets sometimes give their young teammates extra duties like carrying helmets and pads off the field.

Will any rookies be exempt from such duties when training camp starts up in late-July?

The Ravens’ top pick from the 2012 draft, Courtney Upshaw, would like to think he is.

I’m not really worried about the hazing,” Upshaw told CSNBaltimore.com’s Brent Harris with a smile.

“I kind of built up a reputation as a football player as one of those guys not to mess with. Hopefully they feel the same way, ‘We’re not going to mess with Courtney.’”

The 6-foot-1, 272-pound outside linebacker is humble and polite off the field, but he is known for his violent style on it.

Count teammate Terrence Cody as one who may not try any kind of hazing on Upshaw after telling Harris a few weeks ago that his new rookie teammate is a “bad-a**” and a “mean dude.”

Whether the other vets feel the same way will be revealed come training camp.

Confidence Rating Of Backup QB Taylor

Quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t missed a start his entire four-year career (73 starts, including playoffs). Knock on wood.

If a backup quarterback should be called upon this season, it would likely be 2011 sixth-rounder Tyrod Taylor. The Ravens also signed four-year veteran Curtis Painter this offseason; he started eight games last season under new Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis.  

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley gave a confidence rating to the Ravens’ backup quarterback should Flacco go down for an extended period of time.

Out of 100, Hensley gave Baltimore an 18, clearly showing he has little faith in the talent behind Flacco.

“The Ravens haven’t been consistent in the amount of importance they’ve placed on the backup quarterback position recently,” the blogger wrote. “Baltimore went from having one of the most experienced and expensive backups in Marc Bulger in 2010 to a rookie sixth-round pick in Tyrod Taylor last season. Taylor has completed one pass in three brief appearances.”

For comparison’s sake, below are the confidence ratings Hensley gave to the other backup quarterbacks in the division.

Steelers’ Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch: 71

Bengals’ Bruce Gradkowski: 63

Browns’ Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace: 46

Was Hensley too tough on Taylor? What would your confidence rating be? (By the way, Taylor had a strong practice yesterday and Ryan Mink will have an update on him later today.)

WR Jones Has ‘Superb’ Practice

Last week I mentioned that newly signed wide receiver Jacoby Jones stood out in the team’s organized team actives (OTAs) because of a “handful” of dropped passes.

So it would only be fair to point out that during this week’s session open to the media, Jones had a “superb” practice, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason Butt.

“Jones completed his best practice out of the three OTA sessions the media has been able to view,’ Butt wrote. “Jones struggled with some drops in previous outings but caught everything thrown his way Wednesday. Jones worked primarily on the outside during team drills.”

McPhee, Reid Have Minor Injuries?

Let me preface this by saying it’s June. Minor nicks and bruises won’t have much effect on the season.

That said, it appears defensive end Pernell McPhee and Jah Reid might be dealing with minor injuries as neither participated in practice yesterday, according to The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg.

“McPhee has been getting treatment in the building,” tweeted Zrebiec. “He and Jah Reid have not been participating though.”

Added Eisenberg: “Second-year offensive lineman Jah Reid, who is competing for a starting spot, was also not present for a second straight week, leading to speculation that he might be dealing with an injury. The Ravens haven’t addressed Reid’s status.”

Webb Showing Off Nike Gloves

Cornerback Lardarius Webb showed off Nike’s new Vapor Jet Gloves on Twitter yesterday, calling them “Superbads.”

In the pictures below, Webb features the birdie head logo by bringing his two hands together at the palms.

The gloves pass the eye test, but all that really matters is that they help Webby snag a few interceptions this year.

According to Nike, the gloves are designed with “an all-weather, tacky grip, built to help you keep a tight hold on the ball on game day.”

 

Fans Deserve To Know Truth About Suggs

Yesterday, I included a quote from 105.7 The Fan’s Rob Long, who said that it is important the Ravens know how Terrell Suggs injured his Achilles tendon – during a conditioning test or a basketball game – but that it falls under the category of something fans don’t “need” to know.

But The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says that fans deserve to know the truth.

“If NFL teams barred players from playing hoops in the off-season, they’d have a ton of fatsos on their hands once the mini-camps started,” the columnist wrote. “But that doesn’t mean the Ravens shouldn’t sit down with Suggs and find out exactly how he got hurt. And when they do, they should share it with the rest of us.

Ravens fans deserve to know the truth about how the incumbent NFL Defensive Player of the Year got hurt. Until then, it’ll remain the story that won’t die.”

Williams’ Recovery Ahead Of Schedule

Last Thursday, cornerback Cary Williams, who underwent offseason hip surgery, said he expected to return to individual drills at the team’s mandatory minicamp scheduled for next week.

But he was actually able to participate in those drills during yesterday’s practice.

“This is a positive sign considering Williams was hoping for a return to the field during next week’s mandatory minicamp,” wrote Butt.

Quick Hits

  • “Nigel Carr, who was signed as a rookie free agent out of Alabama State, keeps making us notice him,” wrote Matt Vensel. “At the end of the practice, he picked off a John Brantley pass over the middle. It’s too early to say which undrafted player will be the next Jameel McClain or LaQuan Williams, but I like Carr and wide receiver Deonte Thompson as my favorite longshots heading into the minicamp and training camp. Remember those names.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • jeffzrebiecsun: Guys not present at #Ravens OTAs: R.Lewis, Ngata, Suggs, R.Rice, E.Reed, Pollard, Leach, Ayabandejo, McClain, Yanda, Birk, Boldin, J.Reid [Twitter]
  • raylewis52com: This is the biggest weekend of the year for the Ray Lewis Family Foundation! Donate here to help RLFF raise money [Twitter]
  • MichaelOher: Wow that Ray Lewis Madden 13 Trailer is amazing!!!! I’m such a big fan I forgot he was my teammate!! Lol [Twitter]
  • GerrySandusky: John Harbaugh showed a future in politics today. Asked about the NFL’s dispute with officials the coach said, “I support them. Both sides.” [Twitter]

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