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By Matt Vensel | October 31, 2012
On occasion, Ray Rice likes to exchange sweaty jerseys with opposing players that he admires, and he already knows which Cleveland Browns player will be in his crosshairs after the final whistle blows Sunday afternoon. Rice plans to seek out rookie running back Trent Richardson, who looked up to Rice and other backs while weaving his way to the NFL. But the respect is mutual, as Rice has been a “huge fan” of Richardson, the third pick in April's NFL draft, since watching Richardson run over and around defenders while he was at Alabama.
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By Matt Vensel | October 31, 2013
When Dean Pees and the Ravens defense watched tape of their Week 2 win over the Cleveland Browns, they saw Brandon Weeden at quarterback and Trent Richardson carrying the load at running back. Wide receiver Josh Gordon was nowhere to be found as he was serving his two-game league suspension. There have been cha-cha-changes in Cleveland over the past several weeks, though. Weeden has been benched twice in favor of journeymen, first for Brian Hoyer and now for Jason Campbell. Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts and the Browns have replaced him with former Ravens running back Willis McGahee.
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By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2012
It's not often that a modest 1-yard gain in a season-opening loss holds so much significance. When Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson took his first handoff from quarterback Brandon Weeden three weeks ago, he carried the hopes of a championship-starved city still praying for its first Super Bowl title, while ushering in yet another new era for the floundering franchise. The Browns, who have had one winning season and five head coaches in the past decade, traded up to select Richardson third overall in April's draft and 19 spots later used another first-round draft pick on Weeden.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 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 Chris Pokorny, who blogs about the Browns for Dawgs By Nature . MV: The Browns are now on their third starting quarterback after benching Brandon Weeden, who was benched in favor of Brian Hoyer before he got hurt, for Jason Campbell.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2012
In his first three seasons with the Ravens, Dannell Ellerbe started just seven games. If he starts Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound inside linebacker will have matched those seven starts just in 2012. A torn right triceps to 13-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis thrust Ellerbe into his expanded role, and his significance has grown with fellow starter Jameel McClain lost for the season after suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9. Ellerbe, who was an undrafted rookie when he signed in 2009, has already set career-highs in tackles (83)
SPORTS
November 27, 2011
Good or bad, we could see an all-SEC BCS title game. LSU and Alabama have shown why they are the two best teams in the country. The Tigers dispatched Arkansas 41-17, while Alabama trounced Auburn 42-14 to set up what looks like one of the most talked-about rematches in BCS history. Trent Richardson is ready for his Heisman close-up. The Alabama running back has been a top candidate for college football's top award, and he used the Iron Bowl on Saturday as his final audition tape, burning Auburn for a career-best 203 yards and making a spectacular touchdown catch.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2012
Browns 7, Chargers 6 Strategy: The Cleveland Browns haven't significantly altered their philosophies since they traveled to M&T Bank Stadium in Week 4, but they are executing much more efficiently. On offense, they want to pound the ball with rookie running back Trent Richardson and attack defenses with quick throws, screen passes and deeper throws off play action. Defensively, they usually rushed four or five defenders on Sunday and mixed up their coverages behind their 4-3 front.
SPORTS
October 17, 2011
Ohio State can win despite itself. The Buckeyes are by no means a flashy team, but they do two things really well — run the ball and play defense. It's that formula that helped them hand Illinois its first loss. Texas still has a lot of work to do . With turnover trouble — eight in the two games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — and virtually no production at quarterback, the Longhorns are far from being back on the national radar. Baylor needs to quit believing the hype.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | February 14, 2012
The NFL scouting combine starts Feb. 22. In advance of the NFL's annual meat market in Indianapolis, staff writer Matt Vensel will examine each position and give Ravens fans the 4-1-1. Today he looks at running backs . The top prospects: Trent Richardson, a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011, is the consensus top back in this year's draft. He has good size and speed for such a powerful runner and he has great patience and vision. He was also an excellent third-down back at Alabama.
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By Matt Vensel | February 22, 2012
This year's NFL scouting combine begins Wednesday, unofficially marking the start of draft speculation season. Before the prospects are poked and prodded, though, staff writer Matt Vensel has taken his first crack at predicting the first round of April's NFL draft. (This mock draft does not account for potential trades.) And remember, these are called “mock” drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously. [Blogger's note: Here's the mock draft in photo gallery form if you're a fan of bright, shiny pictures.]
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | October 29, 2013
Chiefs 23, Browns 17 Strategy: While their offense has undergone changes since the Ravens hosted them in Week 2, the Browns continue to have one of the NFL's better defenses. They have a stout 3-4 base defense, and while they do a good job of getting after the quarterback with their four-man rushes, they like to mix in creative blitzes to generate pressure. Their pass rush, along with their mixed coverages, helps mask weak spots in the secondary. Their personnel at the skill positions have changed, but they have not made major tweaks to their offense.
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | September 21, 2013
The Cleveland Browns sent shock waves throughout the NFL landscape when they traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2014 first-round draft pick Wednesday. The blowback of the surprising swap even reached as far as Colts coach Chuck Pagano 's cellphone. Text messages piled up from former players, including from the division where the former Ravens defensive coordinator used to coach. "All I know is, I got a couple texts from some players I used to coach and it was, 'Wow, congrats and thank you,'" Pagano said during Richardson's introductory news conference Thursday.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | September 13, 2013
RAVENS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Joe Flacco was nowhere near the Ravens' biggest problem in last week's 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos but he had his moments, throwing two interceptions and making several questionable decisions. Going forward, he needs better blocking up front and his receivers to hang onto the ball. Tight ends Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark each had a couple of drops. The Ravens are extremely thin at wide receiver, putting even more focus on Torrey Smith who has touchdowns in his last two games against Cleveland.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2012
In his first three seasons with the Ravens, Dannell Ellerbe started just seven games. If he starts Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound inside linebacker will have matched those seven starts just in 2012. A torn right triceps to 13-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis thrust Ellerbe into his expanded role, and his significance has grown with fellow starter Jameel McClain lost for the season after suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9. Ellerbe, who was an undrafted rookie when he signed in 2009, has already set career-highs in tackles (83)
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | October 31, 2012
As Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden watched the game tape from his team's Week 4 matchup against the Ravens at his house on Tuesday night, he couldn't believe what he was seeing on his iPad screen. “I was doing some uncharacteristic things, missed some throws,” Weeden told Cleveland area reporters on Wednesday. “We had some drops. We're not making the same mistakes we were back then which is good. We've come a long way since then. That's encouraging. After watching it last night, it's very encouraging.” Weeden and the Browns will get another crack at the Ravens and their 24th-ranked pass defense on Sunday afternoon.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2012
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. 4.68 -- adjusted line yards for the Baltimore offensive line, which ranks 2nd in the NFL, per Football Outsiders. One of the finest of the unique statistics that the guys over at Football Outsiders crunch is adjusted line yards, which attempts to gauge the role that an offensive line plays in rushing output. You can find a more detailed description of the statistic here , but just know that it is a pretty good indication of how well the line is run blocking.
SPORTS
By Terry Pluto, The Plain Dealer | September 28, 2012
I know, the Browns lost 23-16 to the Ravens -- and pro football is all about the bottom line. Win or go home. And the Browns returned home at 0-4 this season. But let's be realistic about this game. The Browns were playing a legitimate Super Bowl contender on a field where Baltimore had won 20 of its last 21 games before Thursday night. Joe Flacco has matured from a good quarterback to one of the best in the NFL. The Ravens entered the night averaging 33 points a game, and doing it against New England, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | October 31, 2012
On occasion, Ray Rice likes to exchange sweaty jerseys with opposing players that he admires, and he already knows which Cleveland Browns player will be in his crosshairs after the final whistle blows Sunday afternoon. Rice plans to seek out rookie running back Trent Richardson, who looked up to Rice and other backs while weaving his way to the NFL. But the respect is mutual, as Rice has been a “huge fan” of Richardson, the third pick in April's NFL draft, since watching Richardson run over and around defenders while he was at Alabama.
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