The Baltimore Sun

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by Josh Barnes, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Josh Barnes

    Josh Barnes Walk On

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    Josh Barnes is new Baltimore Ravens owner after
    unanimous approval by QSF


    BALTIMORE – It is not every day that a professional sports team is sold, especially one coming off a championship season; however, that is exactly what happened today when billionaire real estate mogul Josh Barnes purchased the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

    Barnes’ purchase of the Ravens from Scott Bisciotti for $1.5 billion was unanimously approved by the 32 QSF teams, just a few hours before midnight tonight.

    "That was about the quickest vote we've ever had," said Rams owner Eric Barnes, who is also the older brother of the newly appointed Ravens owner. "Josh is going to be a great owner for the Baltimore Ravens."

    QSF Commissioner LtJustice is also confident Barnes will continue the rich tradition of the Ravens.
    "Josh has a lot of views of how he's going to take that franchise to new life and really take it to another level," said LtJustice. "It's a great franchise. It's a great tradition in the league and that's something that's really valuable to build with, but he wants to take it even to that next level, and that kind of energy is only good for the fans and only good for the QSF."

    Barnes vows to continue the rich history and winning tradition the city of Baltimore has come to know and love.

    "It's obviously a very exciting day for my family and one that I guess like a lot of families we've dreamed about this for a long, long time," said Barnes, wearing a purple-striped suit, a Ravens pin and, of course, his Ravens watch. "What I've come to understand since visiting the Baltimore area when we were introduced, is that it's made this experience even more special by the fact that it's the Baltimore Ravens.

    "I had always heard what a great football town and football area Baltimore is, but what I've experienced over the last several days has been nothing short of phenomenal. This is truly one of the great iconic QSF brands, and if you think about how much this organization has accomplished over such a short amount of time, it's a very special place."

    When asked what he has been most struck by, Barnes replied without hesitation, “The fans. Without a doubt the passion of the fans. It's been overwhelming. I was in Atlanta at a Real Estate Association meeting. Was getting on our plane and the guy fueling the plane and goes, 'Hey Josh how you doing?' I thought, who is that guy? I walked up and introduced myself. And he said, 'I know, I'm from Baltimore.' Just the passion that everybody has for this organization is phenomenal."

    The most frequently asked question Barnes received was about the status of General Manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh going forward.

    "Currently we will not be making any major personnel changes to the front office or coaching staff until the end of the season,” said Barnes. He immediately went on to clarify, “Now, I’m not at all saying we are going to make changes at the end of the season, I am simply stating we will do a full evaluation of the organization and make any changes at the appropriate time. Honestly, I’m not worried about the short-term headlines. You've got to think long-term."

    Barnes recognizes the type of experience and success both GM Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh bring to the organization.

    "If you think about the experience that the two of them have, it's probably over 40-50 years of experience in the NFL, and I don't think we could have two better people to help us in this time of transition," said Barnes. "So we're very excited about that."

    So how did he assure them that they're not a staff full of lame ducks?

    "I just looked them in the eye and told them that," said Barnes. "I had a great talk with both Ozzie and John, and told them no decisions have been made. I'm very comfortable saying that. They know what they have to do. They're big boys. They understand the profession they're in.”

    Barnes is encouraged by the Ravens' Super Bowl victory from last year, but also acknowledges the challenges facing the team going forward.

    "The team lost some key players that had been a part of this organization for many, many years," he said. "Any time you lose the quality of players the Ravens lost this offseason, All-Pro players, veteran leaders in the locker room, and are working tight against the cap, it’s tough. Now with that said, this team not only has a core nucleus of young talented players who are turning into leaders of their own, but they also brought in quality veteran free agents who will not only help the team win, but will also provide veteran leadership in the locker room. We are going to be just fine.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
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  2. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

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    Great start Josh, good stuff!
     
  3. Josh Barnes

    Josh Barnes Walk On

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    Ravens Outlast Browns in Tightly Knit Ballgame

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    BALTIMORE -- In what seems to be typical AFC North fashion, Sunday’s contest between the Cleveland Browns (0-2) and the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) came down to the fourth quarter.

    Trent Richardson got the game started with a bang, taking the first play from scrimmage 52 yards on the ground. “We were definitely looking to come out and make a statement early on. We wanted to let them know they were going to be in a dogfight all night,” said Richardson who finished the night with 10 carries for 88 yards and a score.

    From there the Browns seemed to move the ball with ease making their way down inside the Ravens 10 in only a few plays. Once inside the 10 it looked as though the drive would end in a disappointing field goal until quarterback Brandon Weeden connected with receiver Josh Gordon for a 6-yard TD on 3rd down.

    “One of our main focuses this season as an offense is on finishing drives, finishing in the red-zone, finishing with touchdowns, not settling for 3,” said Weeden. “That is something we did a poor job of last year, but did a great job of today going 2-2 in the red-zone with 2 TD’s.”

    The Ravens offense, from their opening possession, looked much better than they did in week 1 at Denver. Behind the strong running of All-Pro runningback Ray Rice, Baltimore drove 75 yards down the field on their opening possession before a costly sack on 1st and goal forced the team into settling for a a 32-yard field goal.

    “There is no excuse for the sack down there like that,” exclaimed Ravens QB Joe Flacco. “We did a great job of moving the ball down the field to start the game and that sack ruined any chance for us to put 7 on the board.” When asked what exactly lead to the sack, Flacco was quick to respond, “I was trying to do too much. Plain and simple. They (Cleveland) did a great job of locking everyone up and instead of getting rid of the ball, I tried making a play, held onto the ball and it hurt the team. As the quarterback of this team I have to be smarter than to take an inexcusable sack in that situation.”

    It did not take long however for Flacco (17-24 223 1-1) and the Raven offense to get a chance at redemption in the red-zone. On Cleveland’s second possession, Baltimore LB Arthur Brown picked Weeden off returning the interception down to Cleveland’s 18-yard line. Flacco did not waste any time as he hit TE Dennis Pitta on first down for an 18-yard TD strike.

    Both teams proceeded to exchange scores throughout the first half with Cleveland ultimately heading into halftime with a 21-17 lead.

    Baltimore took the opening kickoff of the second half, and you could see their game plan stayed much of the same – feed Ray Rice. The Ravens feed Rice so much that he was surprisingly the only Raven runningback that carried the ball this week. He finished the game with 104 yards and 2 TD’s on 23 carries as he was named player of the game.

    “Coming in to today’s game we really wanted to get several of our runningbacks involved in the running game. All week long we worked on getting our backups more touches in practice,” explained head coach John Harbaugh. Who then went on to say, “All of them looked good this week in practice and we wanted to get them all involved, but it just so happened that Ray was the only one to carry the ball today. If we want to have a great season and a healthy Ray Rice all year, that is something we need to fix. We are going to fix it.”

    The fourth quarter began with the stingy Ravens defense forcing the Browns into a 37-yard FG. Facing a 24-20 Baltimore quickly drove the field only to settle for a 45-yard FG to pull the game within 1.

    With Cleveland poised to march the field, run clock, and extend their lead the game would suddenly change. On 2rd and 7 from the Browns 35, QB Brandon dropped back looking to hit WR Josh Gordon on a skinny post only to be picked off by Ravens CB Lardarius Webb.

    “That was route they had had some success with earlier in the game. Once they came out in that formation, I knew exactly where they were wanting to go with the football and luckily I was able to make a play,” Webb explained after the game.

    Down four with just under five minutes left in the game, the Ravens scored a TD in only three plays. Needing a two-point conversion to extend the lead to seven, Joe Flacco hooked up with the TE Pitta for the successful two-point play.

    With the ball down seven and only four minutes left to play, Weeden would prove to make another costly mistake. Looking to work the ball deep over the middle on 3rd down, Weeden was picked off by MLB Daryl Smith to essentially seal the victory for the Ravens.

    When asked what he thought about the team’s performance thus far this season, Browns QB Brandon Weeden was quick to reply, “We have played well these first two games, now we just need to find a way to continue to put everything together throughout the course of a whole game and we will win games heading into the future.” The second year quarterback, who finished 10-22 for 158 yards with a TD and 3 picks, went on to acknowledge that starts with him taking better care of the football. “Anytime you turn the football over 3 times it is tough to win in the QSF. Overall the team played a great game today, but my mistakes cost us the victory.”

    Although the Browns have not cracked the win column as of yet early this season, they certainly are a team that looks to be headed in the right direction. “That is one tough football team we played tonight,” stated Ravens coach John Harbaugh. He went on to say, “If not for a few timely plays by our defense late in the ballgame, we very easily would be sitting here 0-2 to start the season. I tell ya what, anyone expecting a cake walk when they play this team (Cleveland), they will certainly be in for a rude awakening.”

    The Browns (0-2) will look to continue their strong play as they travel to face the Minnesota Vikings (0-2) in week 3.

    As for the Ravens, this was their first game since new owner Josh Barnes purchased the team earlier in the week. When asked if he thought the team had a little extra motivation to come out and play well Barnes replied with a smile, “Absolutely – you always want to impress the new girlfriend.”

    The Ravens may not have overly impressed the new owner; however, they certainly had to of given him plenty to be excited about going forward.

    Baltimore (1-1) will play host to the Houston Texans (0-2) in week 3 as both teams continue to work through early season struggles after last year’s productive seasons.

    Game Notes: With the win Baltimore is undefeated (11-0) in their last 11 games against the Browns… CB Buster Skrine suffered broken ribs in the contest and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks… With three interceptions in the game Baltimore has now picked off at least two passes in each of their first two games this… Rookie Barkevious Mingo recorded his first sack in his young career… Ravens runningback Ray Rice topped the century mark for the 17th time in his career.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  4. Josh Barnes

    Josh Barnes Walk On

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    Veterans Out, Rookies In

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    BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens have officially announced the release of four players and signing of three others.

    Recently signed veteran free agent running back Peyton Hillis was the biggest name of the four players released, which also included: CB Chykie Brown, RB Anthony Allen , and QB Caleb Hanie.

    The release of Hillis, who was a questionable signing to begin with, shows that new owner Josh Barnes acknowledges the highly debated move made in the offseason by then owner Scott Bisciotti was a mistake.

    It came as a shock to many around the league when Bisciotti traded then backup running back Bernard Pierce to the Colts for a second round pick. Perhaps the only thing more shocking was when the teamed signed Hillis to be the premier backup behind Ray Rice.

    Hillis lacked the speed and quickness Pierce had, and it was evident from week one the Ravens missed that extra dynamic threat out in the back field.

    After not receiving any touches, let alone not seeing the field in week 2, it was evident Hillis’ spot on the team was in jeopardy. Fast forward a few days later and in steps rookie free agent RB Andre Ellington to replace Hillis.

    Ellington, who was drafted and released by the Cardinals this past offseason, was compared by many scouts to former Lions RB Jahvid Best leading up to the draft. The addition of Ellington should definitely help replace the speed dynamic the Ravens lost when Pierce was traded this summer.

    “Obviously having such a special player like Ray allows you the ability to do certain things you couldn’t otherwise,” said Barnes. “However, you still need quality pieces in place to help make the team better. I use this word very loosely, because I think Andre is certainly going to be more than a “complimentary” piece for us, but you need players who compliment what your starters are able to do.”

    Barnes went on to add, “Not only is that something Andre will be able to do for use, but heaven forbid something happens to Ray, Andre will still provide us with that speed aspect coming out of the backfield.”

    To help fill the roster spots created, rookie RB Mike Gillislee and rookie QB Tyler Wilson were also signed.

    Gillislee, who the team considers a complete back, will help provide solid depth to the backfield.

    “Mike is a guy we think can be an every down back in this league,” Coach John Harbaugh said when asked about Gillislee.

    “He reminds us a lot of a young Ray Rice. Body wise they are built similarly and he also has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, along with a good mix of speed and power. He and Andre both will benefit greatly learning from a guy like Ray.”

    Currently, Ellington and Gillislee are listed as the number two and three running backs on the depth chart respectively, which has a lot of people speculating about halfback Delone Carter’s future with the team. Carter has yet to see the field this season and it appears as though the writing is on the wall for the young running back.

    Even with a Super Bowl winning quarterback recently locked up to a hefty long term contract, the Ravens were looking to address the quarterback position.

    “You are always looking for ways to improve your ball club both now and into the future,” GM Ozzie Newsome said. “You can never have enough quality young players on your team, especially at the QB position.

    Whether the opportunity presents itself where they can have success on their current team or be traded to another organization, you can’t under estimate the value of a young quality quarterback.

    “Look at what teams like the Patriots and Eagles have been able to do in years past. Even though they had franchise quarterbacks at the time, they were able to take a young QB with upside, develop him and then trade him to add key pieces at other positions,” said Newsome.

    Newsome went on to admit the team had their eye on Wilson earlier in the offseason, “We were very high on Tyler going into the draft.
    Unfortunately, the way things fell at the time we were unable to bring him in; however, fortunate for us he became available, so we definitely jumped at the opportunity to bring him in.”

    The newly signed Wilson, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Raiders, is currently listed third on the depth chart behind starter Joe Flacco and third year pro Tyrod Taylor; however, that could change sooner rather than later.

    It has been rumored that Baltimore is interested in trading Taylor before next week’s trade deadline. If Taylor is in fact dealt, the team would likely only keep two quarterbacks on the roster for the remainder of the season.

    With an empty roster spot available, the Ravens are rumored to be in the market for help at WR, DL, or LB. Although names are not available at this time, the team did say they brought in nine players yesterday for a workout, so it is possible a signing could happen in the immediate future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
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  5. Josh Barnes

    Josh Barnes Walk On

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    Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones Injured in Melee with Stripper

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    Baltimore, MD -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed a TMZ report that wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who is currently in the last year of his contract, was involved in an altercation on a party bus early Monday morning with teammate Bryant McKinnie and a stripper named Sweet Pea. Apparently, Sweet Pea and Jones didn’t get along.

    According to TMZ.com, Sweet Pea hit Jones over the head with a 'gigantic Ace of Spades bottle.' After Jones was hit with the bottle, an ambulance was reportedly called for 'a bleeding male.' According to TMZ, not only did the blow to the head hurt Jones, but he was bleeding everywhere after it happened.

    A Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson said that police responded to the incident shortly after 3 a.m. ET and that Jones refused medical treatment and opted not to go to the hospital.

    One of Jones' friends reportedly tried to retaliate against Sweet Pea, but McKinnie stopped the friend and then a fight broke out between McKinnie and Jones' friend.

    McKinnie, Jones and several other unidentified Ravens teammates were out celebrating McKinnie's 34th birthday. The Ravens were coming off of a 28-13 win over Green Bay on Sunday.

    Harbaugh characterized Jones as "fine" and indicated that the Pro Bowl kick returner attended meetings on Monday.

    "I'm not very impressed personally with the report," Harbaugh said. "It's not something we want to be known for. We'd like to think it's not something those guys would want to be known for. It's nothing to be proud of, so I'm kind of disappointed in that sense."

    Jones has had somewhat of a slow season, but has come on strong as of late catching a touchdown pass in each of the Ravens last two games. He was one of the heroes in last season's playoffs for the Ravens, catching a last-minute touchdown in the AFC divisional playoff game in Denver and returning a kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

    Harbaugh spoke to Jones and the players involved in the situation.

    "'What do you want to be known for?'" Harbaugh said he told the players. "'Do you want to be known as a football player or do you want to be known for that?' I don't think it's anything to be proud of."

    Harbaugh also indicated that he wasn't happy with his players partying into the early-morning hours.

    "That was enforced in our household that nothing good happens after midnight," Harbaugh said. "I did reiterate that with the guys today."

    When asked about the incident, owner Josh Barnes said, “The team will be conducting a thorough investigation into the incident. We will certainly take a step back and look at how we handle in house security for our players. We are constantly looking for ways to prevent such incidents from occurring, and that’s what we will continue to do going forward.”

    A reporter asked Harbaugh, who turns 51 on Monday, whether he was going to celebrate his birthday on a party bus in Washington.

    After laughing, Harbaugh said, "I'll pretend that question was never asked."
     
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  6. Josh Barnes

    Josh Barnes Walk On

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    Ravens Grind Out Victory in Sloppy AFC North Battle

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    Pittsburgh - - Coaches and players alike always talk about setting the tone of the game from the opening kickoff. Unfortunately, for the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and everyone watching, the tone of the game was indeed set on the opening kickoff.

    Matt Elam made Baltimore’s mission very clear Sunday afternoon when he popped Steelers return man Larod Stephens-Howling at the 20 yard line jarring the ball loose; however, the fumble would be a sign of more sloppy play to come from both teams.

    Brian Pollard recovered the fumble for the Ravens, who scored two plays later on a one yard touchdown run by Ray Rice (16-50-1).

    The early sloppy play would continue for Pittsburgh as a holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff would cause their drive to start at their own 9 yard line.

    Big Ben would lead the Steelers’ offense down the field where Shaun Suisham would miss a 53 yard field goal.

    The Ravens would proceed to capitalize on the missed field goal opportunity as Joe Flacco led the Baltimore offense down the field before hitting WR Torrey Smith for a 12 yard TD.

    “We really wanted to come out and make a statement this week,” said Flacco after the game. “Our goal coming out of the bye week was to jump on them early. We felt like if we could come out and put 14 points on the board early, they would get frustrated and try to force the issue.”

    The Ravens would continue their stellar play as MLB Daryl Smith would intercept a Roethlisberger pass on the Steelers next possession.

    Up 14-0 in the first with possession of the ball, it looked as those the Ravens would cruise to victory. However, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.”

    After being sacked on first down, Flacco looked to hit Torrey Smith on a route across the middle, but the intended receiver would slip on the play leading to an interception. This would be the first of several mistakes by the Ravens.

    With the ball and in good field possession, the Steelers would look to take advantage of the Baltimore turnover.
    On a key 3rd and 5 Roethlisberger threw to a wide open Antonio Brown, who found a seam in the Ravens zone coverage, but Brown dropped the would be touchdown pass.

    Instead of punting to pin the Ravens offense deep in their own territory, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin would send the field goal team out to attempt a 56 yard FG.

    Knowing Suisham’s previous 53 yard attempt fell short, the Ravens would send electrifying return man Jacoby Jones deep to return any potential missed FG. The decision to line up for a return would prove to be a wise one for the Ravens.

    “That is something that we have seen other teams across the league do in years past with great success. Unlike a punt team or kickoff team, the field goal unit is not used to tackling a return man. There are more offensive lineman on the field, which makes it easier to take advantage of,” Harbaugh mentioned after the game.

    Jones caught the ball 7 yards deep in the end zone, and brought the ball out looking for six. He started right toward the sideline before cutting back across the field using the wall of Raven blockers to lead the way.

    With only Pittsburgh offensive lineman David DeCastro to beat, it looked as those Jones would take the missed FG to the house; however, Decastro made a great play staying in position and tackling Jones at the Ravens 40 yard line.

    This would prove to be a big play at the time as the Steelers defense would intercept a dropped pass two plays later setting up a Roethlisberger TD pass to Wheaton making the game 14-7 Ravens.

    On their next possession Baltimore was forced to punt with 1:13 left in the first half, which looked to prove costly.

    A few plays later, Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger hit an open Emmanuel Sanders over the middle who to take it 30 yards to the house. Unfortunately, for the home team a clipping penalty brought the play back forcing Pittsburgh to settle for a FG just before half.

    Both offenses would struggle in the third quarter dropping several passes and missing key blocks. There would not be any excitement in the 3rd until there was 1:08 left in the quarter when on a crucial 3rd and goal from the 5 yard line, QB Joe Flacco hit TE Dennis Pitta for a TD.

    Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged the team’s inability to run the football after the game. “We struggled to run the ball today, especially in the red zone. They definitely keyed in on stopping Ray and forcing us to be them with the pass. I give a lot of credit to that Steelers defense, they were tough.”

    The Ravens defense was able to take advantage of the third quarter TD by ramping up the pressure on Big Ben forcing three interceptions in the fourth.

    Ravens MLB Daryl Smith got the fourth started with a bang by notching his second pick of the game, which lead to a 48 yard FG by Justin Tucker making the game 24-10.

    The Ravens would tack on another FG with 1:12 left in the game after All Pro CB Lardarius Webb snagged his third interception of the season.

    Strong Safety Brian Pollard would end the game much like he started it; with a turnover. Pollard intercepted Roethlisberger with 50 seconds left to seal the game for the Ravens.

    “Did we play our best football today? Absolutely not,” said Harbaugh after the game. “I give a lot of credit to owner AveryB and Head Coach Mike Tomlin over there. Things quite haven’t gone their way this season, but they aren’t giving up. They continue to bring it week in and week out. If not for a couple unfortunate plays early in the game they would have really had us on our heels. It won’t be too much longer and they will crack the win column. I can tell ya that much for sure.”
     
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