Connect with us


5 observations from the Chicago Cubs’ miniseries, including Willson Contreras’ trade market and David Robertson’s ‘rest’

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



5 Observations From The Chicago Cubs’ Miniseries, Including Willson Contreras’ Trade Market And David Robertson’s ‘Rest’

During the “Boys of Zimmer” summer in 1989, Don Zimmer told a story of his previous managing stint a few years earlier in Texas.

According to Zimmer, Rangers owner Eddie Chiles was constantly coming into his office and asking why the team was losing so many games.

“I said, when you get no talent, you try to win a certain amount of games,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer then got a small piece of cardboard and wrote “TALENT” on it. Whenever Chiles came into his office and asked the question, Zimmer would simply flash the sign.

“I don’t think he appreciated that,” Zimmer said.

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts doesn’t have to worry about manager David Ross complaining about the talent deficit in 2022, even though Ross did casually mention losing to a “first-place team with a $300 million payroll” after a doubleheader against the New York Mets.

The Cubs find themselves 17 games under .500 entering Thursday’s opener of a four-game series in San Francisco but have won six straight following a nine-game losing streak. Before a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, a reporter told Ross that reliever Chris Martin compared the clubhouse makeup and talent to the world champion Atlanta Braves, Martin’s former team.

“That’s a great assessment, and the outside perspective is always fun to hear,” Ross replied. “When you hear the guys who’ve been around other organizations come in here and see what I feel and what I think we know, is there are good people here with good talent.

“We’ve got winners. We’ve got guys that know how to win, guys learning how to be successful and win. We’re trying to move in that direction as fast as possible. We’re getting there.”

One of Ross’ duties is to sell hope to Cubs fans. Zimmer was under no such delusions when he managed bad teams such as the 1981 Rangers. It’s nice to think the Cubs can emulate the Braves, but it’s also far-fetched based on the direction of the two organizations.

Here are five observations from the minihomestand against the Pirates.

1. A reported interest in Willson Contreras from the Houston Astros could spark a bidding war.

The New York Mets reportedly have been in the mix for a while, but the Astros are desperate for a two-way catcher.

Contreras would be a nice fit with either team and obviously would have a good chance at earning his second World Series ring.

In Houston, he would join former Cubs teammate Martin Maldonado, who spent only two weeks on the North Side in 2019 before being dealt for Tony Kemp. Maldonado, a defensive specialist who is popular in the Astros clubhouse, is hitting .172 with a .582 OPS.

Contreras would be a significant upgrade for the Astros, who are fighting with the New York Yankees for the best record in the majors — and that would mean homefield advantage throughout the postseason.

2. Ross declined to use closer David Robertson in save situations Monday and Tuesday.

Ross opted instead for Scott Effross and Mychal Givens, respectively, and both converted their save opportunities. Ross insisted he didn’t use Robertson Tuesday because it was a day game after a night game, even though Roberston didn’t pitch Monday either.

“If it would’ve been a night game, he probably would’ve been available,” Ross said.

That made little sense, as a night game would’ve given Robertson only a few hours more rest.

Robertson is working on an affordable one-year deal that makes him an attractive acquisition for a contender on a tight budget. He’s not only been shopped by the Cubs but is one of their primary trade chips after Contreras and Ian Happ, who has drawn the most interest according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

3. Robertson, a former White Sox closer, could win the Joc Pederson Award as the first Cubs player to go.

Pederson led the way last summer, getting dealt to the Braves on July 15 for left-handed hitting first baseman Bryce Ball.

Pederson wound up winning a ring and gaining a cult following with the Braves, which he parlayed into a start in last week’s All-Star Game. Ball has nine home runs and 55 RBI in 87 games at Double-A Tennessee through Tuesday, with an .804 OPS. (Spoiler alert: there is no award for first Cub to be traded).

With the Cubs playing out the string, Robertson can rest his arm until he’s traded. There’s no real need for the Cubs to risk injuring one of their top trade chips at this point.

4. Brailyn Marquez was a name most Cubs fans had heard of in 2019.

The lack of development of Cubs pitching prospects under the Theo Epstein regime was supposed to end with the rise of the talented, young left-hander. But injuries and COVID-19 kept him out of action after his one major league appearance in 2020.

Then Monday, vice president of player development Jared Banner told reporters that Marquez underwent a surgical debridement on his left shoulder on June 17 and would miss the rest of the season. The Cubs expect the pitcher to make a full recovery.

While it’s another difficult obstacle for Marquez to overcome, the news was another example of the glaring “transparency” issue that’s damaged the team’s image in the second year of Jed Hoyer’s ascension to president of baseball operations. The fact the Cubs waited nearly six weeks to provide information on the status of one of their top pitching prospects suggests Hoyer still has work to do to overcome criticism he’s received in his plan to build the “next great Cubs team.”

5. Is Marquee Sports Network gaslighting Cubs fans?

The Cubs declined to negotiate an extension with Contreras, who repeatedly has said he wants to stay. That’s their prerogative, but it also means he’s likely to be dealt on the upcoming seven-game road trip to San Francisco and St. Louis.

Yet Marquee Sports, the Cubs’ own TV network, treated Contreras’ expected final game at Wrigley Field Tuesday as if it was a solemn day for the organization. The same organization that didn’t extend him in the first place.

Is it too much to ask for an opposing view now and then?




Mike Preston: Rookie WR Shemar Bridges starred in the Ravens’ preseason win. He has bigger goals. | COMMENTARY

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Mike Preston: Rookie Wr Shemar Bridges Starred In The Ravens’ Preseason Win. He Has Bigger Goals. | Commentary

Undrafted wide receiver Shemar Bridges generated some buzz Thursday night with his outstanding performance against the Tennessee Titans in the preseason opener, but it’s just part of his long journey to the NFL.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound rookie out of Division II Fort Valley State finished with four catches for 62 yards, including a leaping 38-yard catch and a 14-yard touchdown grab.

Finally, the Ravens had a receiver who could make acrobatic catches and not fall down when he caught a pass over the middle, or bolt for the sidelines.

But Thursday night was only a glimpse of Bridges’ potential. He is basically still a raw talent.

“He’s a good young prospect that’s really flashing,” said Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “All of those young guys, they’re working every day on those different tools, and I think he is a very diligent worker. Everyone has room for improvement, but I’m really happy with where he is at and what he’s shown so far.

“But he’s right at the beginning of his journey, so there is a lot of work to be done yet, and a lot of experience to be had. But he’s doing a nice job.”

Those words might be disheartening for some young players, but not Bridges. Despite his speed, large frame, strong hands and leaping ability, he needs to improve on his route running and hand placement. He’s getting too extended and his hands are too far away from his body when catching the ball.

Bridges, though, likes the challenge. He attended The Potter’s House High School, a small Christian Academy in Jacksonville not known for turning out college football players. He eventually went to Tusculum University in Tennessee before transferring to Fort Valley State, a historically Black university in Georgia.

Bridges, 24, appeared in only 16 games at Fort Valley State because his seasons were cut short by coronavirus concerns and injuries, but he still had 98 career receptions for 1,358 yard and seven touchdowns.

That wasn’t enough to get him invited to the annual NFL Scouting Combine, but it was enough for the Ravens to offer him a tryout in training camp — some teams only offered him a brief look in minicamps.

“I came out of high school as a late bloomer and once I got to Fort Valley, we had the COVID issues, so I thought it would be better for me to wait and put in another year,” said Bridges. “It took me a little longer to get here but I’m just happy to be here. I appreciate everything I went through because it made me stronger.

“Some ups and downs, some bumpy roads, but God blessed me to be here. I give all the glory to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ that I’m here. I’m just thankful for the Ravens for giving me an opportunity. I’m just trying to make the most of it.”

Bridges’ successes in training camp have outweighed his setbacks. Like most young players, there is a constant battle between fatigue and focus, and he’s dropped a few passes. He also needs to be smoother going in and out of breaks.

There is potential for Bridges to be that “big-body” wideout. He uses his body like a power forward or former Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin. You get position and shield the ball away from defenders.

Then there is the vertical leap, which is harder than most people realize. It’s not just about positioning but timing the jump and having the finger strength to bring it down. It could be a luxury for the Ravens, whose starting receivers, on average, are about 6 feet tall.

Every quarterback loves a big receiver in the red zone. In college, Bridges had only one coach. In Baltimore, he has two positional coaches in wide receivers coach Tee Martin and the highly animated Keith Williams, the team’s pass game specialist. Both have hastened Bridges’ development.

“They treat you like regular guys. They can get on you in the room, but you can also sit with them, laugh and joke,” Bridges said. “They are very personal.

“I feel like I’m a big receiver who can play big. But also, I feel like I’m learning how to run routes and being able to be flexible and versatile with my size, to catch over people and to box people out.”

The key to Bridges making the final roster could come down to him playing on special teams. If he is a second- or third-team receiver, he has to be able to contribute in some other way like former Ravens receiver Miles Boykin, who was a gunner on the punt team. The Ravens are leaving Bridges an option.

“It’s like all the young guys; he has got to come out here, and he’s just got to compete,” said special teams coach Chris Horton. “Shemar, he has done a good job, and we’ve got to just find ways to put him in the right position and just let him go play. But he’ll get a chance to showcase his skills [as a gunner]. He’s just got to keep working.”

Oh, he will. Bridges doesn’t know any other way. His journey will be nearly complete if he makes the initial 53-man roster.

“I just have to keep grinding and keep working,” he said. “And, stay humble.”


Continue Reading


8 Brides From The Stoneberg Family Have Worn This Wedding Dress

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



8 Brides From The Stoneberg Family Have Worn This Wedding Dress
Placeholder while loading article actions

Adele Larson Stoneberg tried on a white satin wedding dress at the Marshall Field department store in downtown Chicago and decided the dress, which cost $100, was the one.

It was perfect for a bride in 1950, and it turned out pretty much every decade after that.

First, Stoneberg lent it to his two sisters for their weddings. Then, over the years, his daughter and three nieces asked if they could wear it while walking down the aisle.

And this month – 72 years after Stoneberg married at the Ebenezer Lutheran Church – his granddaughter Serena Stoneberg Lipari wore the same dress to the same Chicago church for her Aug. 5 wedding.

“There was no doubt that I would become the eighth bride to wear the dress,” Lipari, 27, said of the long-sleeved gown with a long train, high neck and tiny, sleek buttons down the back.

Lipari’s grandmother is now deceased, but relatives on the pews included an aunt, her great-aunts and several cousins ​​who had each taken turns wearing Adele’s classic dress.

“When I started walking down the aisle and thought of my grandmother also wearing the dress, the emotion hit me,” Lipari said. “I felt a special connection with her on my wedding day.”

The Stoneberg family’s wedding dress tradition began when Adele Larson, then 21, got engaged to Roy Stoneberg in 1950 and took a trip with her mother, Anna Larson, to the eighth bridal shop. floor of Marshall Field to try on dresses.

“The dress she chose was well-made and timeless,” said Adele’s sister, Eleanor “Elly” Larson Milton, 90, who was the bridesmaid at the wedding.

A dog had disappeared. The cavers found it two months later 500 feet underground.

“It’s a very classic dress, with a beautiful bodice, mandarin collar and lots of buttons,” she said. “When you touch this high quality satin, you realize it is way above average.”

When it came time for Milton to get married in Chicago in 1953, she knew exactly what she wanted to wear.

“My mother took great care of the dress and stored it in an airtight box,” she said. “It never occurred to me not to wear it. It was perfect in every way.”

After Milton’s wedding, the dress was professionally cleaned and stored again, this time for 16 years.

Milton’s sister, Sharon Larson Frank, decided to unbox it and continue the family tradition in 1969 when she married John Frank.

“Our mother never told us we had to wear the dress – it just evolved,” Frank, 77, said.

Brides wear black. I did this years ago and I have no regrets.

“It’s a traditional dress, and we could all adapt it with a few minor adjustments,” she said. “When my mom offered to take me shopping for another dress, I immediately said, ‘No, I’d like to wear this one. ”

After the wedding, the dress was put away again until Adele Stoneberg’s daughter, Sue Stoneberg McCarthy, married Robert McCarthy in 1982.

McCarthy, now 66, said she added her own little touches to make the dress her own.

“We all had our own veils, bouquets and jewelry, and our individual personalities shone through as we walked down the aisle on our wedding day,” she said.

“Wearing this beautiful dress on my special day made me feel close to my mom and aunts,” McCarthy said.

In 1990, the dress was carefully removed from its storage box for the fifth time so that Eleanor Milton’s daughter, Carole Milton Zmuda, could wear it at her wedding to Lawrence Zmuda.

She said she had long admired the dress since she was a bridesmaid at her Aunt Sharon’s wedding.

She gave away her wedding dress on Facebook. Soon others did the same.

“I decided to unbutton the neckline, but it was otherwise perfect,” said Zmuda, 61, who now lives in Great Falls, Va.

“When I look back, I always had a feeling growing up that I was going to wear this dress,” she said.

His sister Jean Milton Ellis was the next to wear it, when she married in 1991 to Tom Ellis.

Ellis, 66, from Westford, Mass., said she has fond memories of meeting her grandmother, aunts and cousins for turkey sandwiches and Frango Mint Pie in Marshall Field’s Walnut Room before the store was acquired by Macy’s in 2006.

“I felt honored and privileged to wear [my aunt Adele’s] beautiful dress,” Ellis said, noting that her aunt died about three years before her wedding.

“I grew up seeing pictures of my loved ones in the dress, so I was proud to do the same,” she said. “It’s as classic today as it was in 1950.”

His cousin, Julie Frank Mackey, became the seventh bride to don the satin dress, in 2013, for her wedding to Tom Mackey.

“I am significantly taller than the other brides, so my mother [Sharon] added a wide ribbon at the hem and lengthened my veil to hide the bodice adjustments,” said Mackey, 42, who lives in Manchester, Vermont.

“We’ve all been lucky because it suits us pretty well,” she added. “The dress deeply connects all the women in our family.”

It was a touching moment this month to see her cousin Serena walking down the same aisle of the same church her mother and aunts were married in, she said.

“Everyone who got married in the dress had a lasting, healthy marriage, so we like to think it’s good luck,” Mackey said. “We hope to continue to preserve the dress – and the tradition – for many weddings to come.”

If the wedding dress is used for another 72 years, it may be partly due to the efforts of her mother, who took care of cleaning and maintaining the dress and storing it properly.

“I keep it in a sealed box and use a small [mannequin like] shape on top to help the bodice hold its shape,” said Sharon Larson Frank.

She said there were many young female family members who could marry in their future.

While walking her dogs, she found an Olympic gold medal on the ground

“Of course they won’t be required to wear the dress,” Larson Frank said with a laugh. “We don’t want them to feel any pressure.”

But if they’re wearing the family wedding dress, they’ll likely buy — or perhaps borrow — a dress for their reception.

“We now have an unwritten rule that no one wears the dress to their reception,” Larson Frank said. “To avoid stains.

Do you have a story for Inspired Life? Here’s how to submit.


Continue Reading


After a major renovation, the Windsor hotel that served the homeless during the pandemic reopens to the public

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



After A Major Renovation, The Windsor Hotel That Served The Homeless During The Pandemic Reopens To The Public

WINDSOR (KPIX) – After months of providing accommodation for the homeless during the pandemic, a hotel in Windsor has undergone a massive renovation. Now it has reopened but owners now face a different set of challenges.

The Windsor Holiday Inn opened in 2017. First it faced the threat of wildfires, then in 2020 business plummeted at the onset of the pandemic.

That’s when the landlords and Sonoma County reached an agreement to rent rooms to the homeless community.

“Very, very hesitant to want to go this direction, but it was just one of the possible ways to get through this time,” said Nick Desai Jr., General Manager/Owner of Holiday Inn Windsor Wine Country.

Desai saw occupancy rates fall below 10% after the pandemic began. Not only did he face the possibility of huge financial losses, but he knew he would have to lay off employees. The family then took an unconventional step to keep the business going.

“For us, we know we’ve done a good thing for the community. We know we’ve done a good thing for ourselves and our staff. We met this facility afloat and we were able to open it again to the public,” says Desai.

About half of the 100 rooms were rented out to those who were homeless during the pandemic. Once the contract was completed with the county, the next hurdle appeared.

“In 6 weeks, we transformed this whole place back into a hotel, restaurant and bar,” Desai said.

Everything in the hotel has been steam cleaned. Mattresses, bedding and carpets have been replaced. Many inspections were carried out before reopening to the public.

Was there some kind of fear about how people would perceive this property?

“There were and still are,” Desail said.

It was a risk Desai was willing to take knowing that it would take time to change some people’s perceptions. He says if given the opportunity again, he would make the same decision knowing he was able to help some of the most vulnerable people in the community during the pandemic.

“Yes, there are people who will take it for granted, but the majority of them were working people who just couldn’t afford housing in this neighborhood.”


Continue Reading


ASK IRA: Is Jimmy Butler at power forward a potential Heat solution?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Ask Ira: Is Jimmy Butler At Power Forward A Potential Heat Solution?

Q: I can see a lot of variations from Erik Spoelstra on both the guard spots, testing Jimmy Butler at power forward, testing Omer Yurtseven at starting center, with Bam Adebayo at the power forward – Moodi.

A: The idea of Jimmy Butler taking significant minutes at power forward has been floated since P.J. Tucker departed and no replacement was added And, yes, in many permutations, it certainly could work, particularly as teams downsize later in games. The question, though, comes down to Jimmy and how much he would be willing to play at the four, banging against bigger players. But it would be a means of unlocking more of the Heat’s perimeter potential in Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, and even Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson. Jimmy at the four can get three of those others on the court at the same time.

Q: Omer Yurtseven appears to be putting in quite a bit of work at AmericanAirlines Arena. – Lash.

A: Actually, the work has been at FTX Arena (same place, different name). But, yes, his effort has been noticeable, and he certainly has made it noticeable with his posts on social media. Both efforts (the work and the publicizing of the work) appear to come with intent on putting pressure on Erik Spoelstra for playing time. Omer Yurtseven’s role will be one of the more intriguing elements of training camp, including how he is utilized in various rotations.

Q: Retiring numbers is usually for people who spend the majority of their careers on said team. People who when you think of them, it’s in that team’s jersey. With the way people switch teams now, retiring every jersey for every star who won a title with them would be crazy. – D.S.

A: This was in response to the likelihood of the Heat retiring LeBron James’ No. 6 in addition to the Heat and the rest of the league retiring No. 6 for Bill Russell. The issue here is precedent. The Heat retired Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 after he spent 3 1/2 seasons with the Heat, went to the NBA Finals once, and won one title with the team. So if you do that, how do you not honor No. 6 after James spent four full seasons with the team, went to four NBA Finals and won title titles? As with various halls of fame, once precedent is set, it is difficult, if not impossible, to walk back the standards.


Continue Reading


Google is rolling out Android 13 to Pixel devices

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Google Is Rolling Out Android 13 To Pixel Devices

By August 16, 2022, 3:31 PM IST (Released)


Android 13 update is now available for Google Pixel devices with some interesting updates. Google said other Android phones will get the update later this year.

Android 13 is coming to Pixel devices starting today and the annual update is much earlier than expected considering Android 12 will be released in October 2021 and Android 11 will be released in September. 2020. Google confirmed that Android 13 is also available on Android Open Source Project.

The latest Android won’t have as many major visual updates as Android 12, but the listed features look promising enough to improve the Android experience. Google is also doing its best to provide a tight-knit ecosystem, like Apple’s, for seamless workflow across Android phones, tablets, and Chromebooks.

In a blog post on Monday, Google introduced Spatial Audio for supported headphones that enable head tracking. The tech giant also previously announced that it will be updating the Pixel Buds Pro to feature Spatial Audio support.

Along with this, Android 13″ adopts Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new Bluetooth audio standard which results in lower latency than conventional audio. This allows you to hear sound that is more in sync with the source of the sound, reducing delay”.

Android 13 will also allow users to copy and paste content across phones and tablets. You can copy something on one device and paste it on another for easy multitasking. Another cool feature is Chromebook messaging, which will allow you to send and receive messages from your laptop.

Google has also updated the security of the new Android. Now you won’t have to share your entire library with an app and can select only the specific photos and videos they need to access. Clipboard access has also been restricted and will clear after a specified period so that your personal information such as email address, phone number or login credentials are safe on your device.

The biggest visual upgrade on Android 13 is the customization of non-Google apps to match your phone’s wallpaper theme and colors. The media player has also received an update that adapts its look and feel. For example, when you’re listening to music, the media player highlights album art and has a playbar that dances as you progress through a song. It even works for media played through Chrome.

People who speak multiple languages ​​will now be able to assign specific languages ​​to individual apps so they can keep their phone system in one language and have individual apps in a different language.

Samsung Galaxy, Asus, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, Vivo, Xiaomi and others will get the update later this year.


Continue Reading


What’s next in the Ravens’ offensive evolution? Their pre-season opener might have offered some clues.

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



What'S Next In The Ravens' Offensive Evolution? Their Pre-Season Opener Might Have Offered Some Clues.

Greg Roman’s playbook, always a subject of intense scrutiny in Baltimore, is always evolving, always growing, a living document in a sport in constant upheaval.

The Ravens offensive coordinator said at the start of training camp there was “20 percent new” in his calling inventory. Then there’s the collection of run-pass-option concepts that coach John Harbaugh later said just wasn’t fully “exploited.” Who knows what else is hiding in there? Ravens players describe the breadth of Roman’s playbook as they would a Cheesecake Factory menu.

“You’d think it’s just run, run, run, until you get here and see how thick and big the playbook is,” running back Mike Davis said, at his freshman year in Baltimore last week. “I was just surprised at the size of the playbook.”

More interesting than what’s in the playbook, however, is what it’s actually called. Roman wants to use what he has in Baltimore. And even with most of the Ravens’ starters absent from Thursday’s preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans, the 23-10 victory could prove to be a preview of the next iteration of Roman’s offense. .

Most striking was the Ravens’ reliance on games under center. In six of the offense’s first seven games on Thursday, quarterback Tyler Huntley didn’t line up in the shotgun or pistol formation, as the Ravens did 96% of the time last season. according to Sharp Football Stats, but behind centers Patrick Mekari and Ben Powers.

Of Huntley’s 35 games on Thursday, including those canceled by penalties, he was under center for 14 (nine running games, five passing games). It wasn’t the dominant play structure for the Ravens’ offense in the first half; Huntley took 19 shotgun snaps, including seven in a row late in the second quarter as the Ravens moved quickly down. He also took two from the gun, according to a review of the game’s movie.

It can be tempting to extrapolate season trends from a pre-season opener. It can be equally tempting to dismiss games as completely meaningless. But even a modest attacking embrace under center would be a stark contrast to the Ravens’ 2021 offense.

According to Sports Info Solutions, quarterback Lamar Jackson had just 12 backs under center all last season, going 1 for 10 for 20 yards. Forty-six NFL quarterbacks had at least that many kickbacks under center last season. Dallas Cowboys backup Cooper Rush, who threw 47 total passes last season, 335 less than Jackson, tied Jackson with 10 of those passes. Case Keenum had 21 attempts under center in just seven games (two starts) with the Cleveland Browns.

With more passes under center Thursday, the Ravens’ offense coincidentally looked more like the Titans. Huntley’s first passing play was a contraband action play on a tight two end formation. After faking a transfer to the left, he turned right and found wide receiver Tylan Wallace, who had been beckoning inside as if he were a blocker, cutting through the grain and into the flat for a 3-yard completion.

The depth of Ravens talent at short end and fullback — Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely have provided near-daily highlights in camp, and Nick Boyle and Patrick Ricard can be punishing blockers — should force defenses to use larger and slower groups of staff. The speed of stretching the field from wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay should stress defenses after the snap. With game action looks growing longer below center, Jackson might have bigger windows to throw away.

“The stuff under center, definitely, I think we’ll probably be able to do some of that stuff more effectively this year, just with the way we’re built,” Roman said Sunday. “I think you might see a little more.”

At the start of pre-season, returns under the center also have practical advantages. Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban said Saturday that he learned from former Philadelphia Eagles coach and current Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid that “you teach the quarterbacks not to fall under center”.

“So we do a lot of that in training camp,” Urban added. “I think it’s very, very important to learn how to drop. We did in the game the other night. And then as you evolve, or in terms of protection, it’s certainly sometimes easier to be in [shotgun]. But it’s easy to feel what that throw feels like when you have to separate from the line of scrimmage and do it – catch and drop. Now transition into that same feeling, that same timing. This is what we do.

Thursday’s game also hinted at changes to the Ravens’ running game. In 2019, during Jackson’s one-season supernova, the Ravens used the gun formation — in which a running back lines up behind the quarterback in a modified shotgun set — on more than half of their games, according to Football Outsiders. In 2020, with their early success declining, the rate fell to 44%. Last year, amid injuries to their offensive line, running backs, and Jackson, their gun usage dropped again, to 28 percent.

Against Tennessee, Huntley only had the two gunshots. When Anthony Brown came on to start the second half, the Ravens’ attack under center was all but gone (three snaps). Still, they relied more on shotgun looks (17 shots) than gun looks (eight shots).

Roman called his offensive philosophy “medieval,” a description that’s best reflected in the Ravens’ power play — double teams, hauling linemen, big manning packages. But with the arrival of first-round pick Tyler Linderbaum, the Ravens added an immediate-impact center that thrived in Iowa with zone concepts, where linemen are responsible for blocking an area, not a space. .

With more shotgun hits, the Ravens could change the “starting point” of their zone runs, an area of ​​weakness last season. Their top two running backs in 2021, Devonta Freeman and Latavius ​​Murray, had 335 yards on 89 carries in and out of the zone last season, or just 3.8 yards per carry, according to the SIS. On all other carries, they average 4.6 yards per carry.

More and more teams are turning to out-of-bounds play, and for good reason — because “it worked,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said Tuesday. Two of the NFL’s most influential offensive innovators, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, built their running game structure around this concept.

“I think just doing defensive linemen, linebackers moving from sideline to sideline, it gives you a crease,” Campbell said. “For one guy to get it wrong, you can get more out of it. And so you absolutely have to move in unison to build that wall and be able to travel together, and if a guy gets out of position, it’s like special teams: you kind of have to replace him. So it’s hard. …

“I think the greatest thing you can do [as an offense] it’s shuffling, keeping the teams guessing. If you know exactly what a team is going to do, you’re more likely to stop them. But if you can mix things up and complicate things, you’ll just give yourself a little edge, which you need in this game.”

How much change is happening in Baltimore? The answer could be clear in about a month. Or maybe not. Asked about his attacking tendencies in Thursday’s game, Roman said: “I really don’t think there’s much to read about it.”

But he added: “We’re going to mix it all up.”

Pre-season, week 2

[email protected]

Sunday, 8 p.m.

TV: Ch.45

Radio: 97.9FM, 101.5FM, 1090AM


denverpost sports

Continue Reading