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By Mike Preston and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF | September 10, 1999
Ravens coach Brian Billick has heard all the criticism of his offensive personnel. No great quarterback. No flashy running back. No prime-time receiver. No dominant offensive line. Billick just smiles. He has an ace. It's called the West Coast offense. Bill Walsh started creating the system in a similar situation in 1968 while he was an assistant under coach Paul Brown with the Cincinnati Bengals.The West Coast offense became fashionable with Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s, and at least 11 of the 31 NFL teams now run it, including six of the past 10 Super Bowl champions.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2014
If you asked Bernard Pierce, he'd tell you that absolutely nothing has changed. He's prepared himself like he always has. He says that he doesn't feel any extra pressure. He doesn't sense any unique or special opportunity at hand. However, those who have observed the Ravens' running back for the past several months see it differently. From the first day of training camp, his teammates and coaches have noticed his increased focus and intensity. Matt Rhule, one of Pierce's former coaches at Temple, saw how hard the running back attacked the offseason rehab on his surgically-repaired right shoulder.
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By Bill Ordine and Bill Ordine,SUN REPORTER | July 31, 2007
Calmly standing on the sideline exuding a seemingly unshakable confidence, silver-haired San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh - who died yesterday of leukemia at the age of 75 - became as much a superstar as any of the glittering names who played for him on three Super Bowl championship teams. Mention of the 49ers dynasty, with rosters that included Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark, is likely to come around to a discussion of Walsh as a football genius.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2014
Tight end Dennis Pitta's absence for the first 12 games of the 2013 season was a big reason why the Ravens offense struggled last year. Now, nearly 11 months after Pitta had surgery to repair a dislocated, fractured right hip, Pitta is armed with a new contract and said that his hip “feels great” and he is back to full health. “It's nothing I even think about when I'm at practice,” Pitta said Tuesday. “That's a good sign. I feel like I'm at 100 percent and able to run and do what I need to do.” Pitta also said his explosiveness has returned, which “was a process.” Pitta returned for the final four games of 2013, and caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.
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By Alan Goldstein and Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF | December 25, 1996
HONOLULU -- Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie will meet with Naval Academy officials soon to work out a long-term contract.On the eve of Navy's Aloha Bowl game against California, Weatherbie said yesterday that he wants to settle in Annapolis.Weatherbie, who is completing his second year at Navy, made a postseason trip to Baylor but withdrew his name from consideration for the coaching vacancy and also was mentioned for the post at Boston College."I'm looking at a long-term relationship at the Naval Academy," Weatherbie said.
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September 13, 2004
EXTRA POINTS GOING LONG Rich Gannon's pump fake helped spring Doug Gabriel (58 yards) and Alvis Whitted (38) for long TD passes in a losing cause. After playing in the short passing game of the West Coast offense, Gannon showed he has enough arm strength to go vertical. HELD IN CHECK The Seahawks' much-maligned defense held up in the Superdome, limiting Saints RB Deuce McAllister to 57 yards on 16 carries. TOOTHLESS Cincinnati's run defense is still atrocious. The Bengals were shredded for 196 yards by the Jets' 31-year-old Curtis Martin.
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February 10, 2012
Danny O'Brien hasn't made his decision final yet, but the Maryland quarterback is serious enough about exploring options beyond Maryland that he's already thinking about where else he's likely to end up. According to those familiar with his thinking, O'Brien would like to play at a school in a good conference that could use an established quarterback and runs a variation of the pro-style offense such as the West Coast offense. Maryland fits that bill, and O'Brien - who was one of the first team leaders to renew his allegiance to the Terps after coach Ralph Friedgen was dismissed - does not want to disparage Maryland or its coaches.
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By MIKE PRESTON | August 12, 2004
THERE IS AN excitement among Ravens players about the team's offense that hasn't been there for years. They have motion, shifts, orchestrated routes, play-action passes and clearing patterns. The Ravens are even trying to get mismatches with their receivers and Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap on the inside instead of throwing outside all the time. Wow! A real NFL offense. Ravens fans will see more of a true West Coast offense, rather than the hybrid the team has run for five years. Instead of being vanilla, the Ravens will have more variety.
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By Vito Stellino and Ken Murray and Vito Stellino and Ken Murray,SUN STAFF | January 28, 1999
Jack Burns is refusing to gloat this week.The quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons, Burns called the plays when the Falcons upset the Minnesota Vikings a week ago in the NFC title game to advance to Super Bowl XXXIII.It was especially satisfying for him because he was sacked as the Vikings' offensive coordinator three games into the 1993 season and replaced by Brian Billick, who parlayed that job into the Ravens' head-coaching post.Burns was offered another job in the Vikings' organization, but went back to the college ranks and then was hired by Atlanta last year.
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Mike Preston | January 20, 2011
Despite an impressive showing in 2010, the Ravens are back where they were a year ago. At the annual state of the Ravens dog and pony show Thursday in Owings Mills, the major players in the Ravens front office staff were basically asked the same questions as last season. Will the Ravens sign a big, vertical threat at wide receiver? Is Joe Flacco the quarterback of the future? What happened to the passing game? Can the Ravens beat Pittsburgh (last year, it was the Colts) in a big game in the postseason?
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2014
He has a new offense to learn, different voices in his ear and a couple of additional targets at his disposal. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, however, seems intent on keeping his approach unchanged, even after the most disappointing season of his NFL career. In his first extensive comments to the local media since the end of last season, Flacco expressed excitement about new coordinator Gary Kubiak's West Coast offense, acknowledged the need to take better care of the football and bristled at the suggestion that he hasn't put enough time in to learn the offense and gain more chemistry with his wide receivers.
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By Matt Vensel | December 24, 2013
Bengals 42, Vikings 14 Strategy : In offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's take on the West Coast offense, the Bengals often ask quarterback Andy Dalton to make short drops and get the ball out of his hands in a hurry in a rhythm-based passing game, though Dalton will take shots downfield. The Bengals use a lot of single-back formations with either three wide receivers or two tight ends and try to remain balanced by running the ball with their two backs. Defensively, they continue to thrive with the scheme designed by head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
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February 10, 2012
Danny O'Brien hasn't made his decision final yet, but the Maryland quarterback is serious enough about exploring options beyond Maryland that he's already thinking about where else he's likely to end up. According to those familiar with his thinking, O'Brien would like to play at a school in a good conference that could use an established quarterback and runs a variation of the pro-style offense such as the West Coast offense. Maryland fits that bill, and O'Brien - who was one of the first team leaders to renew his allegiance to the Terps after coach Ralph Friedgen was dismissed - does not want to disparage Maryland or its coaches.
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By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2011
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is angry about last week's firing of Jim Zorn and is taking the release of the quarterbacks coach personally. During an interview Saturday, the usually mild-mannered Flacco vehemently defended Zorn's coaching and expressed disappointment that the organization didn't take his opinion into account. Flacco voiced his support of Zorn to owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh after the season and left those conversations believing Zorn's job was safe.
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Mike Preston | January 20, 2011
Despite an impressive showing in 2010, the Ravens are back where they were a year ago. At the annual state of the Ravens dog and pony show Thursday in Owings Mills, the major players in the Ravens front office staff were basically asked the same questions as last season. Will the Ravens sign a big, vertical threat at wide receiver? Is Joe Flacco the quarterback of the future? What happened to the passing game? Can the Ravens beat Pittsburgh (last year, it was the Colts) in a big game in the postseason?
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By MIKE PRESTON | April 19, 2008
As far as the Ravens are concerned, the emphasis has changed from the retirement of quarterback Steve McNair to the pace and installation of a new offense. Minicamps are about concepts and philosophy, and the Ravens were busy instilling them yesterday. Very busy. New coach John Harbaugh has heard all the stories about how the Ravens' defense worked at a faster pace than the offense, so the offensive guys were setting their own tone yesterday. The Ravens want the frenetic pace to carry over into the regular season.
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By John Mullin and John Mullin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 8, 2001
CHICAGO - There are unlikely success stories. And then there is Shane Matthews, who arguably defines the genre in the NFL. An undrafted free agent out of Florida, he was signed by the Bears in 1993. He also was waived by the Bears in 1993. And in 1995. And in 1996. All that changed in 1997. That year the Bears did not waive him. The Carolina Panthers did. Now, for the second time in three years, Matthews is the starting quarterback for the Bears. Yes, those same Bears whose record book now lists Matthews as No. 3 in career passing, No. 1 in completion percentage and No. 1 in lowest interception rating.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2014
Tight end Dennis Pitta's absence for the first 12 games of the 2013 season was a big reason why the Ravens offense struggled last year. Now, nearly 11 months after Pitta had surgery to repair a dislocated, fractured right hip, Pitta is armed with a new contract and said that his hip “feels great” and he is back to full health. “It's nothing I even think about when I'm at practice,” Pitta said Tuesday. “That's a good sign. I feel like I'm at 100 percent and able to run and do what I need to do.” Pitta also said his explosiveness has returned, which “was a process.” Pitta returned for the final four games of 2013, and caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.
SPORTS
By Bill Ordine and Bill Ordine,SUN REPORTER | July 31, 2007
Calmly standing on the sideline exuding a seemingly unshakable confidence, silver-haired San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh - who died yesterday of leukemia at the age of 75 - became as much a superstar as any of the glittering names who played for him on three Super Bowl championship teams. Mention of the 49ers dynasty, with rosters that included Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark, is likely to come around to a discussion of Walsh as a football genius.
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By MIKE PRESTON | January 16, 2007
To no one's surprise, the Ravens named quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel the offensive coordinator yesterday. No offense to Neuheisel, but after Saturday's poor offensive performance against Indianapolis, there was hope the team might move in another direction. What this team doesn't need is another "yes man" for head coach Brian Billick, but a coordinator who'll move this offense in a different direction, someone who is creative, daring and bold enough to move away from a system that is too bland and simplistic.
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