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Late For Work 8/13: Check Out This Shirt And The Story Behind It

Jaguars cut Evans. Dickson nervous about starting role? Injury hurting Doss in WR battle?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, August 13th, 2012 at 9:26 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Check Out This Shirt And The Story Behind It

If you have a story to tell in the locker room, you better make sure it’s a good one.

Otherwise teammate quarterback Joe Flacco will call you out, bro.

That’s the message his receiver and good friend Torrey Smith is conveying with a T-shirt he had made and posted on Twitter.

The shirt has a large illustration of Flacco sporting his iconic Fu Manchu on the front with the words, “Cool Story Bro” and “You should tell it at practice” printed to the side of his face.

Reporters asked Smith for the story behind the T-shirt after practice in Annapolis yesterday.

“O-hoooo. The T-shirt!” Smith responded.

“My man Joe, he says ‘bro’ more than anyone on the earth.”

Teammates have been known to tell a story or two that they think will elicit a positive reaction, but many have failed to meet the high standards of the team’s tough critic.

And Flacco will use sarcasm to get out of hearing more lame stories.

“‘Cool story bro’ has been a thing this summer so I just got them to make a shirt and put Joe’s face on the side and said, ‘you should tell it at practice,’ meaning he’s being very sarcastic. It’s a very lame joke and look at that face, it’s perfect.”

Jaguars Release WR Lee Evans

The Jacksonville Jaguars released former Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans on Sunday.

And guess who they signed to replace him?

Another former Ravens receiver: Demetrius Williams. The six-year veteran was selected by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2006 draft and was expected to become the badly needed deep threat at the time, but injuries derailed his career with the purple and black.

Evans signed with the Jags early in the offseason, hoping for a chance to redeem his legacy after unsuccessfully securing the game-winning touchdown catch in the AFC championship last season.

I hope Evans does get a chance to redeem himself (not in Baltimore), otherwise he will continue to be the butt of jokes, as showcased in the tweet below.

“Guess you can say they decided to ‘drop’ him from the roster,” tweeted ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Dickson Nervous About Starting Role?

Is Ed Dickson nervous he could lose his starting role to Dennis Pitta?

After reading that Dickson doesn’t necessarily agree that he will miss the remainder of the preseason with a sprained right shoulder and wants to return sooner to work on chemistry with Flacco, that’s the impression Hensley came away with.

“You get the sense that Dickson has this urgency to return because he doesn’t want to lose his hold on the starting job to Dennis Pitta, who is also expected to be ready for the regular season after breaking his hand,” the AFC North blogger wrote.

“Dickson was the preferred tight end target early last season, but Pitta was the more effective tight end later in the season.”

Injury Hurting Doss In WR Competition?

Receiver Tandon Doss’ return was brief.

He worked back to practice early last week, but didn’t finish the week out as he continues to battle a hamstring injury. He was held out of the preseason opener and hasn’t returned since.

The Baltimore Sun’s Matt Vensel thinks Doss’ continued absence could be hurting his chances in the tight battle at wide receiver. Especially since LaQuan Williams shined in front of a 20,000-person crowd in Annapolis.

“[It's] a situation that could cause him to fall behind other competitors for the fourth receiver spot,” Wilson wrote. “LaQuan Williams caught a few touchdowns Sunday.”

Proof Ravens Are Getting Healthier

The Ravens were bitten by the injury bug early in training camp, but as long as they continue on their current trajectory, they should be relatively healthy for the season.

Over the weekend, the number of players with varying injury concerns dropped to 11 – that’s 10 less than the 21 that existed just after the preseason opener in Atlanta Thursday night, according to Joe Platania of pressboxonline.com.

Among those that returned are center Matt Birk, rookie running back Bernard Pierce, cornerback Jimmy Smith, defensive tackle Arthur Jones, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and T. Smith.

After reporting the full list of non-participants for the Annapolis practice (David Reed, Tandon Doss, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, Jah Reid, Chykie Brown, Asa Jackson, Josh Bynes, Darryl Blackstock, Terrell Suggs, and Ryan McBean) in one tweet, Vensel noted the vast improvement.

“The fact that I’m finally able to get all non-participants easily into one Tweet is proof the Ravens are trending toward the healthy side,” he wrote.

Things Looking Up For McKinnie, As Weight Goes Down

With a controversial start to training camp for left tackle Bryant McKinnie, things look to be on the up-and-up.

Here’s the positive, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson:

  • After working hard and showing progress, McKinnie is “beginning to rebuild some equity with the coaching staff.”
  • His weight is “headed south” and he should know better how to approach his weight issues with results of his medical exam from a week ago to discover whether he has metabolism issues.
  • He’s performing well. Still playing with the second-team offense, the 11-year veteran hasn’t let a defender anywhere near quarterback Tyrod Taylor. “Bryant McKinnie stonewalled Sergio Kindle repeatedly,” Wilson wrote after practice yesterday. “Kindle isn’t big and strong enough to bull rush big tackles.”

McKinnie still anticipates regaining his left tackle position, but Wilson says there’s still room for improvement when creating movement in the running game and getting to the second level to block linebackers.

Part Of O-Line’s Problems = Communication

After going back and reviewing some of the breakdowns with the first-team offensive line during Thursday night’s preseason game, CBSSports.com’s Jason Butt noticed some missed assignments partly due to miscommunication between some of the newest offensive linemen.

With Matt Birk out nursing his back, rookie center Gino Gradkowski filled in at center, working with newly signed left guard Bobbie Williams.

“Gradkowski had a couple of miscues, none bigger than missing a block during a toss sweep play to Ray Rice on Baltimore’s second drive,” Butt wrote. “Gradkowski’s job was to take LB Stephen Nicholas, but he whiffed — bad. Nicholas burst through the line and tackled Rice for a loss of 1 yard.

“While Gradkowski is learning the ropes as a rookie, veteran LG Bobbie Williams is still soaking up Baltimore’s terminology. During the Ravens’ fourth drive, Atlanta brought a stunt with defensive tackles Travian Robertson and Peria Jerry. Gradkowski engaged Robertson first, but Williams appeared confused, thinking Robertson was his assignment too.”

Both Gradkowski and Williams acknowledged that they need to work on communication, which is correctable.

In addition to working with Gradkowski, Williams says he’s trying to talk more with McKinnie, who is a little more quiet.

I find myself talking to [McKinnie] more,” Williams said. “I definitely gotta make sure I know what I’m doing so I don’t steer him wrong. He knows that I’m a guy that likes to talk, so I find myself talking to him because he ain’t gonna talk to me too much. And it’s not that he doesn’t like me, he’s just quiet.”

Quick Hits

  • “Vonta Leach pulled his best impression of former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott when he pulled an official’s penalty flag out of his pocket and threw it after Sean Considine had practically tackled a receiver,” wrote Platania. “Scott famously threw an official’s flag into the M&T Bank Stadium stands during a 2007 loss to New England.” [PressBoxOnline.com]
  • @mattvensel: Jah Reid (calf) did blocking work with blocking pads off to the side. He acknowledged that he is getting closer to returning. No timeline. [Twitter]
  • @jtuck9: S/O to my roomie @balasavage89, or as we all know him: #Shredder [Twitter]
  • @mvpbig [Ramon Harewood]: How I feel right now? Like I could fall asleep to a massage… Good lawd bless my body ! Lol #sore #trainingcampwoes [Twitter]
  • “Someone who is flying under the radar is guard Justin Boren, an undrafted player from a year ago who has become a favorite with the coaching staff,” wrote Hensley. “Bobbie Williams remains the starter at left guard, but Boren is receiving some reps with the starters at that spot.” [ESPN]
  • “The Steelers, despite using their first two picks on a needy offensive line, still have major problems there,” wrote Peter King. [SI.com]

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