Bud Light Kicks Off NFL Season With New Ravens Can

Baltimore Ravens Bud Light Can

Just in time for NFL Kick-Off, Bud Light – the Official Beer of the NFL – is bringing a new Ravens Bud Light can to Baltimore. The new packaging features Ravens colors, as well as a slogan every 49ers fan can relate to: The perfect beer for entering every door like it’s a stadium tunnel.

Bud Light worked closely with its NFL team partners to create new can designs for the 28 teams that it is partners with for the 2015-2016 season. Each design features a customized scroll message that speaks directly to each team’s passionate fan base. The cans are on shelves now.

What do you think of the Bud Light Ravens can?

WR Steve Smith Takes a Shot Discussing Practices With Eagles

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. made his thoughts on this week’s open practice clear to a group of largely Philadelphia reporters Wednesday, speaking candidly about spending four days practicing, then playing against the Eagles here, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“I’d rather be at home,” Smith said. “Today’s my wife’s birthday, so I’m not at home. I’m over here doing this bull [crap] and missing my wife’s birthday. That’s my honest opinion. I’d rather be at home singing happy birthday to my wife, but I’m out here getting questioned to assess a rookie corner.”

He later relented and said one can always learn from any practice session, but Smith grew tense after three Philadelphia reporters asked him about defensive back Eric Rowe, the Eagles’ second-round NFL draft pick from Smith’s alma mater, Utah.

He said it was hard to evaluate on a six-second route “if he’s going to be the next Deion Sanders.”

“I learned being 13 years in the NFC, you don’t hear much about the AFC,” Smith said. “Now being in the AFC, you don’t hear much about the NFC. I’m being honest. It’s amazing. Great example is last year I’m on the team with Pernell McPhee, I never knew about Pernell McPhee. I saw him and said, ‘what year is this dude?’ He’s in his fourth year. He was balling. When you’re indifferent, you just don’t hear as much about.”

He also said there’s “no chatter about how [Kelly’s] practices are.

“Have you heard about our practices?” Smith asked. “Exactly. We’re three hours. This 2:15, 2:45, man, this is like apple juice. It’s great.”

Ravens WR Steve Smith Announces He’s Retiring at the end of 2015

Divisional Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots

The Ravens are going to lose one of the best wide outs at the end of the season, as Steve Smith Sr. announced today that he’s going to walk away at the end of the year.

“I feel like this is the best place, if this is going to be the end, this will be the best place to end,” the Baltimore Ravens receiver said.

Drafted in the third round in 2001 by the Carolina Panthers, the 5-foot-9 receiver has been one of the most physical pass catchers throughout the course of his career.

“I think it’s always easier when you know you have a finish line,” Smith added. “You get to let things loose…it’s just, man, whatever happens, let the chips fall where they may.”

Smith has been one of the best WR’s in the NFL over the last decade, 13,262 career receiving yards, and 73 touchdowns on 915 catches through 14 seasons with the Panthers and Ravens.

Ravens State They Did Not Tip Off Colts About Footballs in ‘Deflategate’ Saga

635666048899705452-ref-deflategate

In a series of statements Wednesday, the Ravens continued to deny that they tipped off the Colts about the Patriots’ alleged use of deflated footballs, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“I’ve been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said in the statement. “I’ll say it again – we didn’t. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.”

The statements come a day after the NFL Players Association released more than 400 pages of documents related to the Deflategate controversy that arose following the Patriots’ victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game.

The documents included an email sent by Colts equipment manager Sean Sullivan to the team’s general manager, Ryan Grigson, in which Sullivan wrote that Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg called Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, a former Ravens assistant, before the AFC title game and warned him about the condition of the designated “kicking” footballs at Gillette Stadium.

Rosburg said in a statement that he did speak to Pagano in the days leading up to the game, but “there was no conversation regarding footballs.”

“On or about January 12, 2015, Chuck Pagano called me to ask about a punt-field goal substitution play that New England used against the Ravens in the divisional game (Jan. 10). At the 10:55 mark of the second quarter at the 34-yard line, New England sent its placekicker onto the field with the field goal unit. This caused us to defend the punt with our field goal block team. The play was blown dead by the officials because the Patriots were penalized for delay of game.

“Coach Pagano wanted to know about New England’s substitution, because the coaching video does not show the punt.”

Harbaugh also acknowledged that Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown texted Pagano on Jan. 16 and advised the Colts to pay attention to how the officials rotated the kicking balls in the game at Gillette Stadium.

“Coach Brown’s text did not mention the Patriots and did not complain about anything the Patriots did,” Harbaugh said in the statement. “The Colts never responded to Randy’s text, and he had no further communications with the Colts on this matter.”

Ravens one of the Few Teams Where the QB is Their Best Player

New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens, 2015 AFC Divisional Playoffs

Everyone knows that the quarterback is almost always the most important player on the team, and as far as the Ravens go, their quarterback is by far and away their most important, this determined by NFL.com – who talked about teams where the QB is the most important player on the team.

Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco

Second-best player: Elvis Dumervil, OLB

In the early part of his career, Flacco was overshadowed by a dominant defense that starred Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs and regularly rated as one of the best in the NFL. In Flacco’s rookie season (2008), the Ravens finished 11-5 while notching many more rushing attempts (592) than they did pass attempts (433). However, in every season since, that ratio has flipped, especially recently: Baltimore has recorded at least 100 more passes than it has rushing attempts in 2012 (116), 2013 (196) and 2014 (106). And of course, Flacco went nuts in the 2012 playoffs, posting 11 touchdown passes against zero picks in four games en route to capturing the Lombardi Trophy. At this point, Flacco — who just had one of his best seasons ever, reaching career highs in passing yards (3,986) and touchdown passes (27) and recording a career low in sacks (19) — is extremely underrated. People look at him and see a big, lumbering guy, but he’s sneakily nimble for someone who checks in at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, having posted a time in the three-cone drill of under 7 seconds (6.82) at the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine. I like Dumervil, and he’s obviously a guy who’s racked up a lot of sacks (90 in eight seasons) — but at the end of the day, this is an inherently subjective exercise, and in this instance, I just like Flacco more.

The “Biggest Gut-Punch Loss” in Ravens History? SI Has a Recent One

New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens, 2015 AFC Divisional Playoffs

Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Biggest gut-punch loss” for each and every franchise, the Ravens included.

The game that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked is a recent one – a game that stopped the Ravens from getting to the AFC Title game last season against the Colts.

Baltimore Ravens: Jan. 10, 2015, AFC divisional round—Patriots 35, Ravens 31

The Ravens had this one in hand—twice. They opened the game with a 14-point lead over the Patriots, who scratched back to tie the game before the half. Then, Baltimore extended its lead to 28–14 in the third quarter, and that’s when all hell broke loose. With 9:33 left in the third quarter, New England went with a weird formation: TE Michael Hoomanawanui at left tackle and RB Shane Vereen as an ineligible receiver in the right slot. At the snap, Hoomanawanui ran up the left seam, while Vereen backed off into the backfield. Baltimore’s defense was torn between wondering what Vereen was doing and covering Rob Gronkowski, who was on the right side of the formation, opposite Hoomanawanui. Tom Brady hit Hoomanawanui for a 16-yard gain, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh was not amused.

Harbaugh was even less amused five plays later, when Vereen was officially declared ineligible before the play, and Hoomanawanui was wide open for another big gain in a similar formation—14 yards this time. The Patriots got back in the game with a Tom Brady five-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, and then, receiver Julian Edelman tied it again with this 51-yard pass to Danny Amendola.

Harbaugh said after the game that the ineligible player strategies weren’t fair, because his defense should have the opportunity to ID the men they need to cover. But as Brady pointed out, this kind of trickery happens on special teams all the time. In any case, it set the Ravens on their heels, and with 5:13 left in the game, Brady hit Brandon LaFell with the winning touchdown pass.

Ravens with Interest in Former Colts WR Reggie Wayne?

New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts, 2015 AFC Championship

The Colts elected not to bring wide receiver Reggie Wayne but Wayne said he is not retiring.

Wayne told Mike Wells of ESPN.com that teams have been calling him and he plans to play this season.

Dave Furst of RTV6 in Indianapolis reports that the Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Packers are showing interest in Wayne. The Broncos have backed off.

Rookie WR Perriman Looks to Win Starting Job Out of Camp

NFL Draft

Ravens rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman is eyeing a starting job and is hoping to make an immediate impact as a deep threat and otherwise following an offseason where he flashed playmaking skills and explosiveness along with a tendency to lose his concentration and drop passes, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“It’s a goal of mine, but at the same time, it’s not really on my mind,” Perriman said as the Ravens concluded their June minicamp. “I’m just really trying to focus on getting better every day, just going out there, take it day by day and see how it plays out.

“I just take it day by day, try to not think about the starting job or anything like that, because I feel like I’d get thrown off track. For the most part, I just try to come out and compete and work on craft, the little things I need to work on to make me become a good receiver.”

“I’m doing a good job, but I’m striving for more,” Perriman said. “I expect more from myself. I feel like I’m doing a decent job, but, at the same time just want to keep working so I can improve my craft.”

What Perriman has done to deal with his dropped passes is take an introspective approach.

“I really just talk to myself,” Perriman said. “It’s really all mental. I talk to myself, tell myself the things that I need to do to complete those passes and just try to step it up a notch more.”

Between now and the start of training camp on July 22 when rookies report, Perriman said he’ll be training in Orlando, Fla. He’s looking to refine his route running.

“For the most part, just tightening up my routes, but really, everything,” Perriman said. “I feel like I really don’t overlook anything. I feel like even the things that I’m good at, I continue to work on.”

Although Perriman is expected to endure some growing pains, the Ravens are encouraged overall about the potential of the 26th overall pick of the draft.

“We’re pleased with where he is,” receivers coach Bobby Engram said. “He still has some work to do, as a lot of rookies do, but I’m excited about what he did. He came in here, he showed the speed we thought he had, and he caught the ball consistently.

“There are a few [catches] he knows he should have had. He worked his releases, he played fast, but there are just things we’ve got to continue to progress him on and that he’s got to continue to work on to improve.”