Ricky Don’t Lose That Number ………….

Ricky Don’t Lose That Number ……….

Well week three of the NFL preseason is upon us and as of Wednesday night the Washington Redskins remained one of the unbeaten teams within league . No great surprise as not many of us tend not to place a great deal on these games to begin with . They’re merely there to test the consistency of the teams and their play making abilities .

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For Mike Shanahan and coaching staff this has to be something that he relishes in seeing this team play to the best of their abilities . With both John Beck and Rex Grossman seemingly in tune with the offense it’s hoped that the players can overcome their misfortunes of last season . In the offseason Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen saw fit to make the moves necessary to compliment their roster through the arrival of free agents and the NFL Draft .

The Washington Redskins may well find themselves in something of a dogfight within the NFC East should they be able to raise the level of their play and be highly competitive within the division against their foes the Dallas Cowboys , New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles . Clearly Mike Shanahan believes that after the drama of last season with the inconsistency of Donovan McNabb the coach saw fit to jettison the veteran quarterback and look to both Grossman and Beck to secure the starting quarterback position .

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Ricky Williams answers questions posed to him by the convened press at M&T Bank Stadium after the player was formally announced as the latest free agent signed by the Baltimore Ravens . The eleven year NFL veteran still seeks an elusive piece of silverware to adorn his finger a Superbowl ring. AP Photo / Brian Cross ………

For John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens who hosted the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore , Maryland . This was a chance for the coach and his staff to assess the team after their own off-season moves sought by GM Ozzie Newsome .

One of the more surprising moves of the Ravens was to acquire former Miami Dolphins’ running back Ricky Williams to complement the offense led by Ray Rice . Certainly with all of the changes made on this roster apart from that of the coaching staff in particular with Cam Cameron now the offensive coordinator with Chuck Pagano now the defensive coordinator , both the defensive and offensive players now have a whole new premise as to their play-making. For quarterback Joe Flacco with the weapons he now has around him this season will be a true test of his abilities in set situations .

For the veteran Ricky Williams in what has been an up and down career filled with a great deal of controversy both on and off the field . I can only surmise that the player feels that he still has something to offer to the Baltimore Ravens and the organization’s front office feel that he would be of benefit to the team. Now there may well be many who would question the mindset of Ozzie Newsome’s decision and they may well be justified in their thinking. Granted, with the Miami Dolphins feeling that both Ronnie Brown and Williams were superfluous to their needs some may well have felt that this was a major mistake by GM Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano .

From my own standpoint this may well be the last hurrah for Ricky Williams as a player in the NFL . He may well be productive enough to indeed offer this team whatever it is they seek but I do feel that the Ravens’ best chance will lie in the productivity of Joe Flacco and that of his offense . This season the Ravens start off running right out of the gates with two conference games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and then the Tennessee Titans . We will definitely get to see the character of this team in both events and a great deal more about the Baltimore Ravens , in terms of their overall aspirations.

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From left to right Baltimore Ravens’ president Dick Cass , GM Ozzie Newsome , team owner Steve Bisciotti and head coach John Harbaugh. The quartet took questions posed by the convened press concerning the NFL Draft , their own thoughts on the event as well as the NFL lockout and what effect it would pose to their decision making. AP Photo Rob Carr …….

Last season for the team was reflective of what they felt could be achieved , having made the postseason . Their wildcard defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs with the demonstratively easy 30-7 win was met with a somewhat less exhilarating display , with a subsequent loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers —- 31-24 in the divisional playoffs and the chance of making the AFC Championship game. That letdown may well explain the decision by Ozzie Newsome to implode the roster and start afresh with the influx of youth and speed , while at the same time still relying on the traits that has given the organization that it has been known for over the years. A hard hitting defense that’s miserly with points allowed per game and a running game that’s used as and when needed . I’ve no doubt that Cam Cameron will refine the attributes of the offense to get the best possible results and the same must be said of the defense that is now under the tutelage of Chuck Logano . This should be a very interesting season indeed for the Baltimore Ravens and their legions of loyal fans.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What if anything to your mind has been of real interest to you this preseason within the NFL ? And what thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming regular season for the Baltimore Ravens ? Are you of the opinion that this may well be the last hurrah for Ricky Willams as a player as he strives to obtain that elusive Superbowl ring ? Simply leave comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal ………….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal @ http://facebook.com/tophatal or

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) LaQuan Williams (15) of the Baltimore Ravens returns a punt against the Washington Redskins during the second half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Redskins 34-31 . Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(2) Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron (L),Jason Murphy (61) , and head coach John Harbaugh (R) celebrate scoring against the Washington Redskins during the second half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Redskins 34-31. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……

(3) Quarterback John Beck (12) of the Washington Redskins throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Redskins 34-31. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(4) BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 25: Quarterback Joe Flacco (5) of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with Anquan Boldin (81) after the pair connected for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Redskins 34-31. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……….

(5) Ricky Williams answers questions posed to him by the convened press at M&T Bank Stadium after the player was formally announced as the latest free agent signed by the Baltimore Ravens . The eleven year NFL veteran still seeks an elusive piece of silverware to adorn his finger a Superbowl ring. AP Photo / Brian Cross ………

(6) Wide receiver Lee Evans (83) of the Baltimore Ravens catches a touchdown pass against defender DeAngelo Hall (23) of the Washington Redskins during the first half of a preason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …..

(7) Running back Ray Rice (27) of the Baltimore Ravens leaps into the end zone for a touchdown in front of Ryan Kerrigan (91) of the Washington Redskins during the first half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(8) Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman is sacked by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Baltimore, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ……..

(9) DeAngelo Hall (23) of the Washington Redskins returns an interception for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of a preaseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(10) From left to right Baltimore Ravens’ president Dick Cass , GM Ozzie Newsome , team owner Steve Bisciotti and head coach John Harbaugh. The quartet took questions posed by the convened press concerning the NFL Draft , their own thoughts on the event as well as the NFL lockout and what effect it would pose to their decision making. AP Photo Rob Carr …….

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Please Don’t Make Me Laugh The NBA And NFL Continue To Show Some Sense As In Nonsense !

Please Don’t Make Me Laugh The NBA And NFL Continue To Show Some Sense As In Nonsense !

If there’s something troubling to me at present it has been the NFL lockout and what we’re now seeing is the very same prescribed idiocy from the NBA hierarchy and owners , general managers and the NBPA . I’ve said all along that I felt that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wasn’t the wisest of individuals in terms of being the leading official of a governing professional sport’s body . Whereas , his NBA counterpart David Stern rules with a rod of iron and an autocratic rule that would make a third world despotic tyrant feel proud . It has been this asinine notion of that both hierarchies that they can simply plead poverty without showing any signs of clear transparency when it comes to conducting their business practices . If there’s one thing that I believe that the fans need to learn is that neither party in the case of the NFL owners and the NBA owners can’t be trusted to tell the truth !

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The NFL stoppage is now well into its third month and the two sides appear to be no closer in reaching an accord and that is in spite of the joint statement forthcoming from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith . The charade has simply become a complete pissing contest as each side looks to outdo each other rather than simply showing some common sense . And the same thing now appears to be happening as the NBA and union are on a path of actual self destruction . Billy Hunter the union executive director and Derek Fisher the NBPA president and the executive committee have stood steadfast in the belief that the league have been less than truthful as to the league’s financial problems . David Stern has stated that the league is on course to lose in excess of $450 million for the fiscal year 2010. And while I do not dispute that figure what I do dispute is the mere fact that the owners felt that they could simply get by on being gregarious in their spending as they chased after success. The league has a soft salary cap of $57 million but here lies the sheer stupidity of the teams’ actions and that of the general managers as they sought to simply go way beyond that limit (2010-11 team salaries ) . [( 2009-10 NBA team salaries ) ]

Now as the drama plays itself out for all to see I seriously doubt that the fans really can really align themselves with either party in the ongoing negotiations with the NBA , NFL and the respective unions that they are currently dealing with.

This upcoming NFL season should there be one , will prove to be very interesting with Jim Harbaugh and John Fox now taking over the helm of the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos . Both teams had their highs and lows in terms of last season and their respective records within the AFC West and NFC West left a great deal to be desired by their fans. So much so that if anything their schedules and play may well be met with some optimism as well as a sense pragmatism. Inconsistency and an overall lack of accountability and leadership led to both teams’ failings and misfires throughout much of their respective seasons .

Josh McDaniels as Fox’s predecessor simply couldn’t get the Broncos play with any passion and much of that had to do with the incompetency shown by the team over the coach’s tenure. And it should not come as a surprise that the McDaniels was abruptly fired by team owner Pat Bowlen , with the owner having to endure the coach’s lies and his complicity in an episode that simply dragged the Broncos’ season into further despair. Needless to say that the fans were happy with the coach’s firing and John Elway now coming on board as a consultant with the organization as the team’s de-facto general manager . The team with Tim Tebow now on board as its quarterback will certainly have a great deal to live up as they seek to make their presence felt within the league .

In light of the problems had by the Broncos over last season one now has to ask what John Fox can simply do to make this team better ? Certainly with the team’s draft choices from this NFL Draft and that of past seasons one can see that Fox has a stern task ahead of him . If nothing else if Tebow is now viewed as the starting quarterback then his leadership skills and play will most certainly have to come to the fore if the Denver Broncos are to have any chance of having a successful season at all this year.

I am not about to suggest that the Broncos are capable of winning the AFC West but I do certainly feel that they are good enough perhaps make some noise within a division where consistency has always been a problem for the teams there. The Oakland Raiders with new coach Hu Jackson in tow will always be looking over his shoulder as the front office and team owner Al Davis will continue to scrutinize his every move and decision made . This team has become a conundrum and enigma all rolled into one as you never simply know what to expect from this team from one moment to the next . With the talent on show with the Raiders you simply have to believe that there has to be a turnaround sooner or later . The revolving door mentality that seems to have been in place for the Raiders hasn’t bared fruit for the organization . Since the departure of Jon Gruden you have only but to look at the problems that seem to have manifested themselves for the Oakland Raiders . One would have to be in complete denial to think otherwise , as the organization has simply struggled to make their presence felt . I am sure that the fans believe that with Hu Jackson having succeeded Tom Cable they can only make great strides this upcoming season . I am of the opinion that the team will finally begin to show the signs that we saw throughout much of last season as the team at times showed their offensive capabilities . From a defensive standpoint the struggles were there for all to see .

If there’s one team in the AFC that I continue to be beguiled by then it has to be the Baltimore Ravens ! When this team is at its very best I do believe that they’re capable of being and competing amongst the very best in the NFL . In Joe Flacco they have a quarterback who is amongst the very best amongst at the position in the league and a player whose confidence continues to grow each season . But to solely think it has been Flacco that has been the main reason for the turnaround and consistency shown by the Ravens then one ought to look at the coaching qualities of John Harbaugh , his coaching staff and in particular the play of ageless wonders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed .

The Ravens this past postseason wilted when it mattered most but that seemingly came down to the fact that they were complacent . The loss if anything indicated that while they appear to be on the right path the Ravens are still one or two players away from being a truly perennial contender for the Superbowl . The draft and the continued prowess shown in making the prudent choices that have been of benefit to the organization surely will make them quite possibly a presumptive favorite the upcoming Superbowl to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium , Indiana , Indianapolis . I know that amongst some circles teams such as the New England Patriots , New York Jets , Indianapolis Colts , San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers have to be considered the preeminent contenders within the AFC .

This upcoming season may well tell us a great deal about the direction that this team could very well be heading should there be a schedule to be played. One hundred and six days in and with neither side actually inching towards seeking a quick resolution to this ongoing debacle I for one have become completely resolved to the fact that the season could very well be a shortened one , with there being the usual postseason schedule remaining in tact. The fans are annoyed with the usual statements coming from the respective hierarchies with little evidence to be shown that either side is actually prepared to reach an accord . Simply put , whether or not there is any football to be had then in large part the fans will no longer care either way , as they’ve lost complete faith with the NFL hierarchy and the union.

In the runup to this season’s All Star Game I am beginning to think the teams in with their divisional titles are now focusing on positioning themselves that final onslaught over the ensuing months . Certainly once the events of the All Star Weekend are over and done with , we will see those division leaders simply look to separate themselves from their rivals and those to be in with a chance of attaining a wildcard berth .

I certainly don’t believe that speculating beyond the statements made thus far it’s worthwhile trying to disseminate the information that is now out there to be surveyed . We know the teams are giving it their all with players all seeking to place themselves in a position for the game’s individual awards . As to the postseason itself there’s still a great deal of baseball to be played and it will be interesting to see how things play out over the regular season we before we can begin to think about baseball’s showcase event.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What points raised within this piece have been of interest to you ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal ………… https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban walks out of the NBA owners meeting without commenting to waiting media, in Dallas on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(2) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter is seen here alongside Commissioner David Stern . AP Photo/ Rafael Montalvez ….

(3) In this undated photo released by the United States District Court , U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan poses for a photograph. Critical thinking and an ability to relate to others plays a big role in the courtroom for Boylan, who is no doubt having those skills tested as he tries to diffuse the tension in the NFL lockout, no more than 100 days long. AP Photo/United States District Court ……

(4) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speak to reporters outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sarasota, Fla., after speaking at the NFLPA’s rookie symposium, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …….

(5) ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 20: NFL player Tim Tebow speaks onstage at the 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards at The Fox Theatre on April 20, 2011 in Atlanta City. The show airs on GMC on Sunday April 24th 2011. Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for GMA ……

(6) Joe Flacco (5) of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens lead the Bengals 6-0 at the half. Larry French / Getty Images North America …..

(7) Ray Lewis (52) of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 13-6 . Getty Images North America / Larry French ….

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