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By Matt Vensel | June 14, 2013
Remember a couple of summers ago when Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said on national television that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would never win a Super Bowl “in this lifetime?” Even though Flacco was named the Super Bowl MVP in February after the Ravens won their second Lombardi Trophy, Woodley didn't back away from his comments in an interview with ESPN this week. "I don't take it back at all," Woodley told ESPN's Jamison Hensley, my former colleague here at The Sun . "As a player on any team, you're never going to say your rival is going to win the Super Bowl.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | November 26, 2013
Now that the NFL season is here, I'm putting a twist on my weekly Blogger on Blogger series. Each week, I will enlist a blogger who regularly writes about the Ravens' opponent to help me break down the game. This week, I exchanged emails with Dave Bryan, who blogs about the Steelers for Steelers Depot . MV: After dropping a pair of games following their Week 7 win over the Ravens, the Steelers have won three straight games to get back into the playoff picture. What has been the biggest difference for this Steelers team over the past few weeks?
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By Matt Vensel | June 10, 2011
As I mentioned Thursday, a few national analysts have recently voiced their opinions on Joe Flacco. CBS broadcaster Phil Simms believes Flacco can lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl . ESPN’s Matt Williamson said that Flacco is on track . And NFL Network’s Joe Theismann thinks Flacco will break out this season . But consider Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley unimpressed. Appearing on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” on Thursday, Woodley said the Ravens quarterback will never win a Super Bowl “in this lifetime.” “No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship,” Woodley said.
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By Matt Vensel | June 24, 2013
NFL Network has nearly finished unveiling its list of the top 100 players in the NFL for 2013, as voted by the players themselves. I try not to pay too much attention to it, because I have seen how seriously some players take the voting. I won't elaborate, but let's just say throwing darts at a dartboard might improve the process. Still, I was surprised last night when I read that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had jumped up to 19th on the list . This has nothing to do with how I feel about Flacco as a player.
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By Jamison Hensley | December 25, 2009
1 Santonio Holmes hurts the Ravens again. The wide receiver has scored a touchdown in six straight games against the Ravens, reaching the end zone a total of seven times. 2 The Ravens' pass protection struggles in Blitz-burgh. Tackles Michael Oher, Oniel Cousins and possibly Jared Gaither have to protect quarterback Joe Flacco from James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. 3 The Steelers go deep on the Ravens' secondary. In seven wins this season, Roethlisberger has completed 34 passes of 20 yards or more.
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By Matt Vensel | April 25, 2012
Each day this week leading up to Thursday's NFL draft, we will highlight one prospect whom the Ravens could draft with the 29th overall pick. Today's player is Alabama linebacker/defensive end Courtney Upshaw, who had 16.5 sacks for the Crimson Tide the past two seasons, including 9.5 as they won the 2011 NCAA title. Background: Upshaw was one of the top defensive end prospects of the country coming out of high school, and he lived up to the expectations in his home state.
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By Matt Vensel | June 16, 2011
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley ruffled the feathers of Ravens fans last week when he told NFL Network that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would never win a Super Bowl “in his lifetime.” But Woodley’s veteran teammate Hines Ward refused to provide more bulletin board fodder when talking about Woodley’s claim. Appearing on NFL Network on Wednesday , Ward said the Ravens have a “great team” and they “can win with Flacco.” Ward wasn’t “going to put any bulletin board material out there,” but he said he understood where Woodley was coming from because you have to go into this heated rivalry expecting to beat the Ravens.
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By Matt Vensel | September 9, 2011
The Ravens and Steelers won't be tiptoeing into the water at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They are taking the plunge into the season with one of the most critical games on the 2011 slate for each squad. That's not to say the season opener is a make-or-break game for either team, though there is more pressure on the Ravens to win and put the pressure back on the Steelers to defend their home turf later in the season. So what do the Ravens need to do to beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers on Sunday?
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December 27, 2009
No. Name Pos. 2 Dennis Dixon QB 3 Jeff Reed PK 7 Ben Roethlisberger QB 9 Daniel Sepulveda P 10 Santonio Holmes WR 11 Stefan Logan KR 16 Charlie Batch QB 17 Mike Wallace WR 19 Tyler Grisham WR ...
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By Ed Bouchette and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | September 7, 2011
The Steelers have been negotiating with the agent for safety Troy Polamalu over the past several days, an 11th-hour attempt to sign the NFL defensive player of the year before the season begins Sunday. Polamalu is entering the final season of his contract, and their previous discussions this summer with agent Marvin Demoff went nowhere and stalled. After the Steelers signed linebacker Lawrence Timmons to a six-year, $50 million contract two weeks ago, they decided they could do no more extensions until after the season.
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By Matt Vensel | June 14, 2013
Remember a couple of summers ago when Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said on national television that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would never win a Super Bowl “in this lifetime?” Even though Flacco was named the Super Bowl MVP in February after the Ravens won their second Lombardi Trophy, Woodley didn't back away from his comments in an interview with ESPN this week. "I don't take it back at all," Woodley told ESPN's Jamison Hensley, my former colleague here at The Sun . "As a player on any team, you're never going to say your rival is going to win the Super Bowl.
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By Matt Vensel | November 21, 2012
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he'll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too. RUNNING IT BACK Ravens free safety Ed Reed won his appeal Tuesday and will be allowed to play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, though he was still slapped with a $50,000 fine.
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By Jeff Zrebiec | November 21, 2012
I think Ted Cottrell , who ruled on Ed Reed's appeal yesterday, got it right when he overturned the original one-game suspension and instead handed out a $50,000 fine to the Ravens' safety. I watched all three hits that the NFL cited in punishing Reed and the only one that I thought was really blatant was the one on the New England Patriots' Deion Branch earlier this season. I'm not saying that he shouldn't have been penalized on the other two - the hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders Sunday night and the one on New Orleans Saints quarter Drew Brees in 2010 - but I just didn't think they were egregious enough to warrant contributing to a suspension.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | November 16, 2012
Is this the year their aging defense finally kicks the bucket? How will they survive without the face of the defense in the huddle every Sunday? Can they get their once-feared pass rush back? Sound familiar? Since they reported for training camp in late July, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had to defend themselves against similar questions to the ones that have dogged the Ravens (7-2) over the past 3 1/2 months. But unlike their AFC North rivals from Baltimore, whom they will host at Heinz Field on Sunday night, the Steelers (6-3)
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November 15, 2012
Every week, I hope to bring you a quick Q&A with someone who covers the Ravens' opponent that week. In case you haven't heard, the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday. I chatted with longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette this week while I covered the Steelers in Pittsburgh. MV: What are your expectations for quarterback Byron Leftwich, who will fill in for Ben Roethlisberger? EB: He's played well in the preseason. And when he was getting ready to start in 2010 when Ben was suspended, he was having a real good preseason, I thought, then he got hurt and didn't play.
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By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2012
Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo wasn't the only athlete stunned by a letter from a Maryland politician urging the Ravens to silence the outspoken Ayanbadejo due to his support for same-sex marriage. In an open response to the letter written by Maryland Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Democrat from Baltimore County, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote that he was "ashamed and disgusted" by Burns' views and characterized the delegate as "mind-bogglingly stupid. " In an expletive-laden letter posted on sports blog Deadspin , Kluwe - who has been similarly vocal to Ayanbadejo as a proponent for gay marriage - took particular issue with Burns' assertion that political views have "no place in a sport.
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By Edward Lee | November 4, 2011
The Ravens listed defensive tackle Haloti Ngata as probable for Sunday night's showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was limited in practice Friday after sitting out sessions on Wednesday and Thursday with what the team described as a thigh injury. Center Matt Birk (neck) and cornerback Danny Gorrer (thigh) joined Ngata among the probables. Both were upgraded to full participation Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday. Left guard Ben Grubbs (strained ligaments in right toe)
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By Matt Vensel | April 25, 2012
Each day this week leading up to Thursday's NFL draft, we will highlight one prospect whom the Ravens could draft with the 29th overall pick. Today's player is Alabama linebacker/defensive end Courtney Upshaw, who had 16.5 sacks for the Crimson Tide the past two seasons, including 9.5 as they won the 2011 NCAA title. Background: Upshaw was one of the top defensive end prospects of the country coming out of high school, and he lived up to the expectations in his home state.
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By Matt Vensel | January 19, 2012
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been blitzed with criticism in the past year, starting with NFL linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Dhani Jones during the lockout and eventually, after a 12-4 season and another win in the playoffs, he was criticized by his teammate, safety Ed Reed, sparking a minor media firestorm this week. Things have gotten so ridiculous that even a neighbor has called out Flacco for hopping aboard a skateboard. While making an appearance on “NFL Total Access,” Flacco revealed that during the team's playoff bye week, he decided to see if he could stand upright on a skateboard without falling.
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