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By Matt Vensel | January 29, 2013
Each day this week, Baltimore Sun reporter and blogger Matt Vensel will break down a key matchup from Sunday's Super Bowl. Today, he looks at the battle between the Ravens and 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith. The Ravens offensive line was dented by pass rushers and pinged by critiques from armchair quarterbacks during the regular season, but that all changed four weeks ago when the team inserted Bryant McKinnie back into the starting lineup. The lethargic left tackle made his first start of the season in the wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts, and the revamped line got the job done in wins in Denver and New England, too. Their performance in the victory over the Broncos stood out the most, as McKinnie and the Ravens steered sack specialist Von Miller and teammate Elvis Dumervil clear of quarterback Joe Flacco during regulation play.
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By Matt Vensel | May 6, 2013
Even if Bryant McKinnie does not prove to be an upgrade over Michael Oher, his return to the Ravens and the left tackle position should at least strengthen the Ravens at left guard and right tackle, where Oher will likely play. Make no mistake, though, Oher will still be in the crosshairs of formidable NFL pass rushers over at right tackle. In a story I wrote in December about Oher's future with the Ravens, I mentioned the theory that in today's NFL, the left tackle position, while still the most important position on the offensive line, might not be as valuable as it was a decade or so ago when Jonathan Ogden was steering pass rushers clear of Ravens quarterbacks.
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SPORTS
By Edward Lee | November 23, 2011
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie won't be seeing double when he lines up in his customary spot in the Ravens' home game against the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night. The 49ers' starting right defensive end is Justin Smith, and their backup right outside linebacker is Aldon Smith. Justin Smith is an 11-year veteran who ranks third on the defense with 4½ sacks this season. Aldon Smith is a first-round pick in April who leads the team 7½ sacks thus far. McKinnie will likely see a lot of both players Thursday night.
SPORTS
By Al Saracevic and San Francisco Chronicle | February 2, 2013
The San Francisco 49ers will win the Super Bowl, and here's why: They have better players. It's a game of speed and skill, and the 49ers feature both in abundance. The Ravens are riding a wave of emotion, courtesy of the Ray Lewis goodbye tour, but that won't be enough to stop a 49ers team that found an unbeatable late-season combination of sturdy defense and explosive offense. Throw in a simmering Jim Harbaugh, who's been dying to avenge a loss to big brother John last season, and you have the perfect recipe for San Francisco success.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. 137.7 -- Joe Flacco's passer rating during Baltimore's three straight touchdown drives in the AFC title game. At halftime in the Ravens' 28-13 win over the New England Patriots a week and a half ago, Ravens coach John Harbaugh told offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to open up the offense . And after another tentative drive to start the third quarter, the Ravens wisely asked quarterback Joe Flacco to let it rip. Working exclusively out of the shotgun with three wide receivers on the field, Flacco led the Ravens on three straight touchdown drives, in the process leading them to Sunday's Super Bowl.
SPORTS
April 14, 2011
Ken Zalis, owner of http://www.fansfantasyfootball.com Guest on The Rob Long Show, Fox 1370 and blogger at roblongshow.com Ranked for the last 3 year in the Top 75 for Mock Drafts at http://www.thehuddlereport.com 3 year average in top 25 Here is my Mock as of 4-13-11 DRAFT ORDER DRAFT NEEDS PICK COULD BE 1. Carolina (2-14) DL, OLB, TE, Q B Cam Newton - Auburn - QB Marcell Dareus - Alabama - DT 2. Denver (4-12)
SPORTS
April 14, 2011
Are you an NFL draft junkie just counting the days until the first round gets under way April 28? If so, email your complete mock draft to sports@baltimoresun.com and we'll publish it here. Ken Zalis, owner of fansfantasyfootball.com , guest on The Rob Long Show, Fox 1370 and blogger at roblongshow.com. Ranked for the last 3 years in the Top 75 for Mock Drafts at thehuddlereport.com . Three-year average in top 25. Here is my Mock as of 4-13-11: DRAFT ORDER DRAFT NEEDS PICK COULD BE 1. Carolina (2-14)
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2013
Every week, I hope to bring you a quick Q&A with someone who covers the Ravens' opponent that week. This week, I chatted with Jerry McDonald, who covers the 49ers and Raiders for The Bay Area Newspaper Group. MV: How was the midseason quarterback change received at first in the 49ers locker room, and now what are teammates saying about Colin Kaepernick now that he's running and throwing all over defenses? JM: Skepticism was limited because Alex Smith missed his first game with a concussion and it was immediately evident that Kaepernick added a spark that turned a plodding offense into an explosive one. Kaepernick's physicality, work ethic and reluctance to play the star impressed his teammates.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 8, 2011
Offensive tackles Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher have faced their fair share of lethal pass rushers this season, shutting out the likes of the San Francisco 49ers outside linebacking duo of Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons. On Sunday, McKinnie and Oher get another test in defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis when the Indianapolis Colts visit M&T Bank Stadium. Freeney and Mathis lead Indianapolis in sacks this season with 5½ each.
SPORTS
By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2011
— A group of 330 hopeful players will make its way to the annual NFL Scouting Combine where they will run, jump, lift and interview in an effort to improve their draft status this week. But NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock already has earmarked this draft class before the first drill has been conducted. "The first round will probably be dominated by defense," Mayock said. The Ravens could follow suit with the 26th overall pick in the draft, which is 10 weeks away. Their biggest needs are cornerback, pass rusher and wide receiver.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2013
Every week, I hope to bring you a quick Q&A with someone who covers the Ravens' opponent that week. This week, I chatted with Jerry McDonald, who covers the 49ers and Raiders for The Bay Area Newspaper Group. MV: How was the midseason quarterback change received at first in the 49ers locker room, and now what are teammates saying about Colin Kaepernick now that he's running and throwing all over defenses? JM: Skepticism was limited because Alex Smith missed his first game with a concussion and it was immediately evident that Kaepernick added a spark that turned a plodding offense into an explosive one. Kaepernick's physicality, work ethic and reluctance to play the star impressed his teammates.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. 137.7 -- Joe Flacco's passer rating during Baltimore's three straight touchdown drives in the AFC title game. At halftime in the Ravens' 28-13 win over the New England Patriots a week and a half ago, Ravens coach John Harbaugh told offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to open up the offense . And after another tentative drive to start the third quarter, the Ravens wisely asked quarterback Joe Flacco to let it rip. Working exclusively out of the shotgun with three wide receivers on the field, Flacco led the Ravens on three straight touchdown drives, in the process leading them to Sunday's Super Bowl.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | January 29, 2013
Each day this week, Baltimore Sun reporter and blogger Matt Vensel will break down a key matchup from Sunday's Super Bowl. Today, he looks at the battle between the Ravens and 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith. The Ravens offensive line was dented by pass rushers and pinged by critiques from armchair quarterbacks during the regular season, but that all changed four weeks ago when the team inserted Bryant McKinnie back into the starting lineup. The lethargic left tackle made his first start of the season in the wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts, and the revamped line got the job done in wins in Denver and New England, too. Their performance in the victory over the Broncos stood out the most, as McKinnie and the Ravens steered sack specialist Von Miller and teammate Elvis Dumervil clear of quarterback Joe Flacco during regulation play.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 8, 2011
Offensive tackles Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher have faced their fair share of lethal pass rushers this season, shutting out the likes of the San Francisco 49ers outside linebacking duo of Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons. On Sunday, McKinnie and Oher get another test in defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis when the Indianapolis Colts visit M&T Bank Stadium. Freeney and Mathis lead Indianapolis in sacks this season with 5½ each.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | November 23, 2011
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie won't be seeing double when he lines up in his customary spot in the Ravens' home game against the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving night. The 49ers' starting right defensive end is Justin Smith, and their backup right outside linebacker is Aldon Smith. Justin Smith is an 11-year veteran who ranks third on the defense with 4½ sacks this season. Aldon Smith is a first-round pick in April who leads the team 7½ sacks thus far. McKinnie will likely see a lot of both players Thursday night.
SPORTS
April 14, 2011
Ken Zalis, owner of http://www.fansfantasyfootball.com Guest on The Rob Long Show, Fox 1370 and blogger at roblongshow.com Ranked for the last 3 year in the Top 75 for Mock Drafts at http://www.thehuddlereport.com 3 year average in top 25 Here is my Mock as of 4-13-11 DRAFT ORDER DRAFT NEEDS PICK COULD BE 1. Carolina (2-14) DL, OLB, TE, Q B Cam Newton - Auburn - QB Marcell Dareus - Alabama - DT 2. Denver (4-12)
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | May 6, 2013
Even if Bryant McKinnie does not prove to be an upgrade over Michael Oher, his return to the Ravens and the left tackle position should at least strengthen the Ravens at left guard and right tackle, where Oher will likely play. Make no mistake, though, Oher will still be in the crosshairs of formidable NFL pass rushers over at right tackle. In a story I wrote in December about Oher's future with the Ravens, I mentioned the theory that in today's NFL, the left tackle position, while still the most important position on the offensive line, might not be as valuable as it was a decade or so ago when Jonathan Ogden was steering pass rushers clear of Ravens quarterbacks.
SPORTS
By Al Saracevic and San Francisco Chronicle | February 2, 2013
The San Francisco 49ers will win the Super Bowl, and here's why: They have better players. It's a game of speed and skill, and the 49ers feature both in abundance. The Ravens are riding a wave of emotion, courtesy of the Ray Lewis goodbye tour, but that won't be enough to stop a 49ers team that found an unbeatable late-season combination of sturdy defense and explosive offense. Throw in a simmering Jim Harbaugh, who's been dying to avenge a loss to big brother John last season, and you have the perfect recipe for San Francisco success.
SPORTS
April 14, 2011
Are you an NFL draft junkie just counting the days until the first round gets under way April 28? If so, email your complete mock draft to sports@baltimoresun.com and we'll publish it here. Ken Zalis, owner of fansfantasyfootball.com , guest on The Rob Long Show, Fox 1370 and blogger at roblongshow.com. Ranked for the last 3 years in the Top 75 for Mock Drafts at thehuddlereport.com . Three-year average in top 25. Here is my Mock as of 4-13-11: DRAFT ORDER DRAFT NEEDS PICK COULD BE 1. Carolina (2-14)
SPORTS
By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2011
— A group of 330 hopeful players will make its way to the annual NFL Scouting Combine where they will run, jump, lift and interview in an effort to improve their draft status this week. But NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock already has earmarked this draft class before the first drill has been conducted. "The first round will probably be dominated by defense," Mayock said. The Ravens could follow suit with the 26th overall pick in the draft, which is 10 weeks away. Their biggest needs are cornerback, pass rusher and wide receiver.
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