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Late For Work 7/31: Chuck Pagano To Fan: Take Off Steelers Jersey Or Leave

Wish you could see this. Loving spread offense. McKinnie should feel lucky. Pitta loss.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 8:56 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Pagano To Fan: Take Off Steelers Jersey Or Leave

Chuck Pagano and Tom Zbikowski may not officially be Ravens anymore, but it appears purple and black still run through their veins.

The former Ravens defensive coordinator and safety have even taken a healthy disdain for the Steelers with them to their new Indianapolis Colts team.

Zbikowski spotted a fan in the front row at Colts training camp wearing a Pittsburgh jersey and quickly pointed it out to first-year coach Pagano.

Carrying an Andrew Luck jersey, Pagano approached the 24-year-old fan and gave him an ultimatum: change the shirt, or leave.

“He (Zbikowski) saw it and said, ‘Look Coach we got to do something about that,’” Pagano said, per The Washington Post. “I went over there. He’s a huge (Bruce) Arians fan, obviously, and Mewelde Moore. So with a little bit of coaching and a brand new Andrew Luck jersey, I said, ‘Look, you’ve got to put this jersey on.

“If you do it, you get to stay, if not we’ve got to escort you out of here.‘”

He abandoned the shirt and got to stay.

The fan told reporters he wasn’t trying to cause trouble; he was simply supporting the Colts’ new offensive coordinator (Arians) and running back (Moore), who are both former Steelers. He ended up meeting them after practice.

It just goes to show you the bitter Ravens-Steelers rivalry dies hard.

Wish You Could See This …

Lost between the big headlines of injuries, absences and contracts are some important subtleties taking place fans may want to know about.

One of the things The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec wants to illustrate for those of you at home, is a specific difference in fifth-year quarterback Joe Flacco.

I wish the people who have questioned whether Joe Flacco has the necessary fire and intensity to be a top quarterback and a team leader would have gotten the opportunity to watch him in practice last week,” The Sun reporter wrote.

“Not only was Flacco pretty sharp overall, but he’s into every play and he’s one of the more vocal guys on the field. He’s also not afraid to mix it up, chastising Ray Lewis at one point for missing a tackle and accusing him of pass interference on another play. And after throwing an interception Sunday, Flacco took off and chased [Corey] Graham nearly 70 yards before finally easing up. He never caught him, but the point was made.”

Here are a few more things you should know:

Loving that spread offense: “I doubt we’ll see much of it in preseason, but the Ravens have practiced a lot of spread formation, quick hitting passes. It fits Flacco,” Voice of the Ravens Gerry Sandusky wrote in a stream of tweets. “With his arm strength, Flacco in a spread can stretch a defense sideline to sideline. Do that a few times and it sets the D up for the long ball. The other upside of a quick, hitting spread attack is the offensive line, a question mark, doesn’t have to hold protection for long.”

Doss is getting separation (before tweaking his hamstring): “It’s not exactly a secret that Doss has good hands but the second-year receiver, who barely got on the field last year, impressed with his ability to gain separation and make circus-like catches,” wrote Zrebiec.

Osemele doesn’t play like a big man: “He’s 6-foot-5 and 335 pounds, but rookie Kelechi Osemele is not one of those big and sloppy offensive linemen,” added Zrebiec. “He’s a physical specimen who can really move and run, much like Michael Oher.”

Prediction about veteran guard pickup Bobbie Williams: “Assuming Bobbie Williams stays healthy, I think he’ll be considered one of the better under-the-radar pickups by season’s end,” wrote Zrebiec.

Why Harbaugh doesn’t look his age (turns 50 in September):There’s a reason Harbaugh doesn’t look 49,” wrote NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. “After a two-and-a-half hour practice Saturday, with the sun blazing down on the field and the temperature soaring well into the 90s, Harbaugh joined former Baltimore cop and current Ravens security official Craig Singleterry for sprints. Run the length of the football field, walk half the width, run the length again. He did a half dozen reps, and while there was definitely sweat, he didn’t appear to be breathing hard.”

Something good going on with Flacco and Caldwell: “The quarterback and the new quarterbacks coach are clearly clicking,” added Kinkhabwala. “Maybe it’s that they both share easygoing, steady demeanors. Maybe it’s Caldwell’s attention to minute details and his ‘knack’ – as offensive coordinator Cam Cameron called it – for teaching. Regardless, the two are really feeding off each other and Flacco has been enjoying some of the best practices of his career.”

Hensley: McKinnie Should Feel Lucky

Despite rumors that the Ravens might be moving on from Bryant McKinnie after missing four days of training camp, Head Coach John Harbaugh made it clear yesterday that the offensive tackle still has a place on his team.

McKinnie will have to battle Oher to get back his title of left tackle, but he is still in the Ravens’ plans. The 11-year veteran was reportedly reinstated from the reserve/did not report list and placed on the non football-injury list.

And for that, says ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, McKinnie should feel grateful.

McKinnie should feel very lucky that the Ravens didn’t have the salary-cap room to bring in an experienced tackle this offseason,” the AFC North blogger wrote. “If the Ravens had found a viable replacement (they reportedly brought in Eric Winston before he signed with the Chiefs), they would have released McKinnie before giving him his $500,000 roster bonus in March.

“The Ravens have little patience with players who aren’t reliable (ask Jared Gaither). So, are the Ravens thinking of releasing McKinnie now? Team officials have to be tempted to wash their hands clean of this mess. But they also understand the big picture (or really big picture in McKinnie’s case) and realize McKinnie is their best option at this point.”

Even if the Ravens wanted to look to free agency, which they have not indicated, says Zrebiec “there’s not a whole lot available.” By his calculations, some of the best available options are the Giants’ Kareem McKenzie, Packers’ Chad Clifton and Chargers’ Marcus McNeill.

“McNeill is just 28 and one of the league’s best left tackles when he’s healthy but he’s had neck issues that triggered his release from San Diego and I’d have to think he’s not ready to play for him to still be available,” Zrebiec wrote. “Clifton, 36, had back issues that accelerated his departure from Green Bay while McKenzie is 33 years old and would be a fit only at right tackle.”

Quick Hits

  • How does Dennis Pitta’s apparent broken hand affect the offense? Brian McIntyre says: “Though Pitta is the No. 2 tight end behind Ed Dickson, the Ravens frequently use two-tight end personnel groupings and do not have a great deal of depth behind Dickson and Pitta to lose either player for a significant stretch of action.” [NFL.com]
  • Sweet picture of Brendon Ayanbadejo pointing up at this Under Amour sign in the indoor practice fields, and tweeting, “We will!!!!” [Twitter]
  • A fun exchange heard by Matt Vensel at practice yesterday: “We would have scored if your fat [butt] didn’t get caught.” – fullback Vonta Leach to running back Ray Rice after Rice busted a long run up the middle but was touched down before he reached the end zone. Rice playfully replied, “I don’t appreciate that, Vonta.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Take a closer look at Joe Flacco’s accuracy in 2011. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Here’s a booooold statement that can’t go unnoticed. Panthers center Ryan Kalil took out a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer to tell fans that Carolina would be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2012 season. Not if the Ravens or any of the 31 other NFL teams have anything to say about it. [Charlotte Observer]
  • Is this the year that the offense surpasses the defense as the cornerstone of the Ravens? [CSNBaltimore.com]

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