Ravens Offensive Coordinator candidates + Draft Needs

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Yesterday it was believed Kyle Shanahan or Jim Hostler were the top 2 candidates, which would be an absolute disaster for the Ravens. Our first priority is fixing the run game. We need an OC who has shown in the past they can establish the run. Jim Hostler is the Ravnes WR coach, so he will probably be left off this list. Shananhan has proven he can run the ball, but he had RG3 running the read option in 2012, and the running game in 2013 was not strong when they went with more pistol than read option. Shanahan has relied on his Pops big time for help, especially in the run game, so he should also be dropped off this list.

Gary Kubiak makes the most sense. He has never had a franchise QB in Houston. He has had a handful of good running backs and offensive linemen. The Ravens weakness in the beginning of the season was the offensive line. They played better toward the end of the year, but Gary Kubiack’s scheme should help improve the unit. With Flacco(franchise QB), Rice and Pierce(2 back system), and Dennis Pitta(blocking TE) entering next season healthy and ready to be back in the playoffs, the addition of Kubiack could take this Ravens team deep into the playoffs.

For the Draft, there are some pretty obvious needs.

Needs in order of importance:

1.) OT (Ravens need to take the best avaliable Offensive linemen with their first pick)

2.) WR ( No need to rush into a WR on day one, there is plenty of depth)

3.) OC (Ravens need to use 2 high picks on offensive line)

4.) TE (With Dickson gone, and Pitta hopefully returning, TE is an imporant spot. Kubiack likes to use multiple TE sets)

5.) DL (the DLine played well but depth is important. An OLB or DE would be a good look in the 3rd or 4th RD)

6.) S (Ihedjibo and Elam played well in the second half of the season but bringing in a Saftey in the 4th or 5th RD will create some solid preseason competition)

Mock Analysis:

The 2014 class is a good one and with atleast 3 QBs expected to go in RD 1, there should be some solid quality on the board at 16/17. I am big on taking the best player avaliable, but the Ravens have 6 core needs, so they should be able to get one of the best players on the board and address a need.

Players who could be avaliable: Taylor Lewin (OT, Michigan), Zach Martin (OT, ND), Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson) Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M), Eric Ebron (TE, UNC), and Anthony Barr(OLB, UCLA). There is a chance none of these players will be avaliable at this pick, but these guys are potential pro bowlers. I’d like to see Lewin or Martin go, but I would be okay with Ebron here, he could be the next Vernon Davis. Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins are a freaks, but the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be loaded with WR talent. Anthony Barr is a 2 way OLB who is a beast in the run game and is great in coverage. I don’t think he’ll make it to 16/17, but this guy is a must draft if avaliable here.

Players who should be avaliable: Kony Ealy (DE, Mizzu), Marqiese Lee (WR, USC), Louis Nix (DT, ND), Hasean Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama), Aaron Donald (DT, Pitt), Timmy Jernigan (DT, FSU), Kelvin Benjamin (WR, FSU), and Cyrus Kouandijo (OT, Alabama). There is a ton of talent avaliable late in the first round. Ealy, Clinton-Dix, Nix, Donlad, and Jernigan are all impact players on Defense. Lee and Benjamin can strech the field vertically and would be great to pair with Torrey Smith. Cyrus Kouandijo left Bama early and is rising up the board. He’s a very atheltic OL who could contribute right away.

If Lewin or Martin are avaliable, they are must picks. With these 2 gone, it might be a bit of a reach to take Kouandijo at 16/17. Ebron would probably be my next on the list, he has a rare combination of speed, size, and strength at TE that is hard to come by.

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Orioles and Tyler Colvin? Not so Fast.

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Does this come as a surprise to anyone? When I picture the Orioles training staff/ team doctor.. I think of Dr. Frankenstein in a mad laboratory just absolutely cackling as they poke and prod every player who comes through. Once they deem them ‘unfit’ to play or something, a red light goes off and the trap-door opens. Bye bye baseball.

But really, I’ve been an O’s fan for as long as I can remember. Through the good and the Sidney Ponson. But come on, get it together. Need to put people in the seats and on Eutaw. First Balfour, now this.

O’s Ink Balfour to 2 year, 14 mil deal

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The Orioles finally spent some money. Hopefully this move will mean a few more are coming in the next few days. Still need OF, DH, and a SP. Plenty on the market. I like Balfour a lot. Was an absolute stud last year posting a 2.59 ERA with 38 saves. Only 72 Ks, but he gets the job done, and is an absolute savage.  A’s fans loved this dude, would go wild when he entered the game. He’s the perfect closer to land in B-more.

A little surprised he went so cheap. I know he has injury issues, but dude was an All-Star and reliable all season.

CBS Fucks up big time; Plays ‘Africa’ over a Nelson Mandela memorial montage

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Huffingtonpost

“CBS This Morning” raised eyebrows on Tuesday when it played Toto’s “Africa” while previewing an upcoming segment about Nelson Mandela’s memorial services.

The show played the hit 80s rock song to footage of people paying tribute to Mandela in South Africa, before cutting to commercial break.

CBS is going to be looking for a new Producer and Editor after this one. CBS gets coverage of the memorial of one of the most important and influential politicians and philanthropists of our time and they play Africa- Toto to a montage of people crying and celebrating his life(including his wife). Look, I love this song, nothing better than doing the rain dance at the bar at 2am, but were talking about NELSON MANDELA here. Was waiting for them to play ‘Waka Waka(This Time For Africa)’- Shakria after. Complete amateur hour. It’s pretty obvious the only choice here is a traditional South African song to lead into the comercial break. I would love for CBS to play ‘Africa’ at my memorial and have the crowd simultaneously bust out the rain dance, but once again, we are talking about Nelson Mandela.

You think things couldn’t get any worse and then the sign language impersonator was just making shit up. Dude had no idea how to sign and was thrown out there to make a fool out of himself. It’s not like he only did one speech, dude was out there fake signing for a solid hour +. Must have ran out of ideas after the first 3 minutes.  If I was this dude, I’d be sweating like a whore in church, knowing there was no chance this could be successful. Could you imagine being a deaf person and watching this? Must have been the most confusing/funniest thing of all time. Dude just signing random words that are not sentences and have nothing to do with Nelson Mandela. They probably got a good chuckle when they realized the dude was bullshitting. Or the complete opposite.

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This is my favorite one. The NBA 3 pointer sign. Spot on.

Phillies put Papelbon, Lee, and Hamels on the block. O’s need to make a move.

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The O’s are in need of a closer and a starting the pitcher. The Phillies are willing to sell some of their top talent in the rotation and pen. The O’s need to take a serious look at some possibile moves. Papelbon, who is 33, is the first target. His 13 million a year contract is not what the Orioles are looking for, but his numbers as a closer are. His past two year in Philly have been pretty good, posting a 2.44 ERA in ’12  and 2.92 in ’13. He recorded 31 and 38 saves, also missing some time with injuries in both years. The Phillies want to move him so a deal could easily be made. We know the Phillies will be looking for pitching, and they are not going to sell him cheap, so expect one of the top O’s pitching prospects to be involved. Gausman, Rodriguez,  Bundy(probably not) are what the Phils are looking for. If the O’s want to spend, they could try and do a package deal and pick up Cole Hamels/Cliff Lee at the same time. Hamles is 29 while Lee is 35, and they are both dominate lefties. The Phillies would rather move Lee, so we’ll start with that. Cliff Lee and Papelbon are going to cost the O’s a lot. Moving JJ Hardy along with a Gausman/Rodriguez/Bundy and another top prospect would probably be the only way the Phillies move both these guys. I just don’t see the O’s moving all three prospects and likely another 1 or 2 like Schoop. The O’s will also take a huge hit on their salary, absorbing 13 mil from Papelbon and and  21.5 from Lee. JJ Hardy’s 7 million a year contract would help a little.

The O’s are set up to win this season. Both New York and Boston are missing key players from the team last year. The Rays should be without David Price. The O’s desperately need pitching, and a deal like this would give them a solid #1 pitcher, which is what they have been searching for, and a shut down closer. Looking at the division, now is the time to move prospect for proven veterans. Instead of Lee, the O’s could go for Hamels but would likely have to move Bundy, Hardy, and possibly Rodriguez.

The O’s have all the pieces to make this trade. There are not many teams with talented prospects like the O’s, and I’m sure Philly called the Orioles immediately when they decided to put this talent on the block. I like Bundy, Gausman, and Rodriguez  as the possible 1,2,3 of the future, but with the way the division looks now, this could be one of the only years the O’s have a chance to make a run for the Series. It’s do or die right now for Buck and the boys. The AL East is at its weakest its been in years(still very strong), and the O’s need to strike. Pull the trigger and bring in some veteran pitching. The Phillies are more than willing to move these players if the right deal is put on the table.

Possible Trades:

Philies have a strong minor league system and can provide a solid prospect for the O’s.

1.) Papelbon + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy + a top prospect (Rodriguez/Gausman)

2.) Papelbon + Lee/Hamels + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy 3 top prospects and 1-2 good prospects

Phillies could also be looking at Matusz, Tommy Hunter, and O’Day as possible players to land. They will need someone to close for them if they move Papelbon.

Ravens vs Vikings Reaction

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Final Score: Baltimore 29 Minnesota 26

I had the opportunity to actually be at this game yesterday, and I have to say– I challenge you to find a better environment for football than an absolute snow day in Baltimore. It was electric. The beers were flowing, the Fireball was smuggled in, and everyone was like a giddy kid on Christmas throughout the entire game. 

Dennis Pitta being back on the field was huge. Most Ravens fans know the chemistry he and Flacco have on the field, and it couldn’t have come at a better time than the 1-yard TD catch on 4th and goal. Huge. This sparked what has been called the most insane final 2 minutes in NFL history. SIX lead changes. Jacoby taking a Kickoff back for a score. Vikings answering. Twice. 

Then, Joe cool came through to Downtown Marlon Brown for the final score of the game. This was Baltimore football. It’s never easy, but we get it done. Blue collar, bare knuckle. We’re still alive in hunt for the playoffs. 

 

PS: Adrian Peterson, yeah snowballs were being thrown. You’re playing in a football game with snow everywhere. Lighten up a little bit and build a snowman or something. 

World Cup 14 Bracket Announced Today

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So Brazil decided to make a spectacle of the World Cup selections and broadcast it live on ESPN2. It included legendary soccer players like Zinedine Zidane and smoke show host Fernanda Lima show it all off.

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Looking at the Bracket, The US of A is going to have a tough time getting through Group G. Groups B, D, and G are all very tough while the rest should be pretty straight forward. Key match up for the USA is when they take on CR7 and Portugal. I expect Germany to sweep through this group, and Portugal, Ghana, and the US to battle it out for the 2nd spot. Ghana is no laughing stock either, playing pretty well in the past 2 cups. Portugal is getting older and Ronaldo is pretty much their only effective offensive player. US needs to play slow and counter the Portugal attack. I think there is a possibility for the US to advance and play France or Switzerland, both very winnable games.

Group A: Brazil should steam role and I think Croatia could come out of that group. Mexico will  battle for the 2nd spot though. Futbol is godly over there.

Group C: One of the weaker groups, Colombia should easily make it through with striker extraordinaire Radamel Falcao leading the way. Ivory Coast and Japan should be in line for the second spot. Those Japanese are tough.

Group E: Not a good bracket at all. France and Switzerland through.

Group B: Don’t sleep on the Chileans. Spain should advance, and Holland, but Chile is a solid squad. Might be able to squeak out an upset vs the Dutch.

Group D: This is a brutal group. Solid top to bottom. Italy should make it out. Uruguay would be my pick but England seems poised to make a run. Costa Rica is a solid team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 0-3.

Group F: Argentina B team will roll through this group. I guess Nigeria makes it through. Pretty weak bracket.

Group H: Belgium and Russia are pretty solid. Belgium has some of the best in the Prem league, including a ridiculous 2 deep set of  midfielders and wingers that could start almost anywhere in the world. Problem is they don’t have a reliable striker.  South Korea is not a team to sleep on though. I could see them sneaking in with a solid line up of Prem and Bundesliga players.

US will need to get team chemistry at an all time high to come out of this group. Hopefully we can get Donovan, Altidore, and Dempsy on the same page and make a little run into the 2nd round and then face a France/Switzerland team which we are capable of beating. We’ll likely face Germany next and even after that Brazil, so things are not looking up for the boys. Let’s bring them hell though, US of A style!

America F