NFL Week One Ultimate Guide, Ravens Players Respond To Doubters
By Brett Foote
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs with the ball as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith (51) and linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) tackle at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won 19-3. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we have the ultimate guide to NFL week one, responses from Ravens players to the doubters, Ray Lewis addresses the team following practice, and Gary Kubiak is nervous about Sunday’s game.
NFL Week One Ultimate Guide
Our friends at Bleacher Report have the ultimate guide to NFL week one that presents some burning questions and other important info. The game of the day is Sunday night’s matchup between the Colts and the Broncos, unsurprisingly. In regards to the Ravens, B/R points out that any life from the offense will be a good thing Sunday, and how well the team protects Joe Flacco will be key for this game and the entire season.
Andy Dalton doesn’t have that problem as he plays behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. His biggest problem when it comes to facing the Ravens is his tendency to throw interceptions. If the Bengal’s offensive line continues its dominant play, Dalton really doesn’t have an excuse for throwing the ball to the opposing team. Especially after signing his name to a massive new contract this offseason.
Ray Lewis Speaks Following Friday’s Practice
All time Ravens great Ray Lewis was at M&T Bank Stadium for the unveiling of his statue, and stuck around for practice as well. And he delivered a message to the team following practice, one which he didn’t reveal to reporters afterwards. Thankfully, Clifton Brown at CSN got a couple of second hand accounts of what that message was from Torrey Smith and John Harbaugh.
“He talked about the importance of the season,” Smith said. “He realizes it now more than ever how many people helped him get to that point. Take advantage of the opportunity.”
“It was very profound,” Harbaugh said. “It was about team. About what you sacrifice to accomplish things and what happens when you look back at those things and what it means to you. I think (the speech) was built around how (Lewis) felt yesterday (at the statue unveiling).”
Ravens Players Respond To Doubters
The Ravens are getting no respect from media pundits heading into the regular season, and now Ryan Mink at BaltimoreRavens.com has captured the responses of some players to the doubters. While some, like Chris Canty, brushed off the remarks, others had a more poignant response.
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“It’s doesn’t matter whether they sleep or not,” outside linebacker Pernell McPhee said. “We’ll eventually wake them up one day. If they’re sleeping, they’re going to have a nightmare, because what we have planned to do this year, we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”
It’s true that pundits tend to focus too much on last season, even though the NFL is a constantly changing entity. The team went undefeated in the preseason with a dominant running game and improved quarterback play. They have made quite a few positive changes, and those are bound to show up on the field this weekend. So while everyone else sleeps on the Ravens, we will continue to stick by our predictions.
Gary Kubiak Nervous About Sunday
You would think that a guy who has been in the NFL in some capacity for over 30 years would be pretty calm in just about any situation. But new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak admits to Clifton Brown at CSN Baltimore that he is a bit nervous heading into his debut with the team.
“If you’re not nervous something’s wrong,” Kubiak said. “This will be Year 31 for me (in the NFL as a player or coach), and I’m just excited. I feel excited to be a part of this organization, and John (Harbaugh) has just been awesome. It’s been a great fresh start for me. You bet. It’s Opening Day in the NFL. It doesn’t matter what year it is, I’ll be a little nervous but excited to go.”
Kubiak has a point, so we don’t necessarily think of this as a problem. There will be some kinks to work out for sure, but we are excited to see the whole offensive playbook this Sunday. Kubiak has a great reputation for being an offensive guru and he has worked wonders for quite a few players over the years. And now he gets his chance with the likes of Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith.