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Late For Work 10/8: Larry Bird Stole Joe Flacco's Mighty Wings

Posted Oct 8, 2013

McKinnie to Jags? Rice fumbling problem. Webb not his old self? Harbs left hanging on chest bump. Clay out.

Larry Bird Stole Flacco’s Mighty Wings

Well, there you have it.

Basketball legend Larry Bird brings the McDonald’s classic commercial full circle. He was the one who stole Joe Flacco’s Mighty Wings.

Flacco and fellow Super Bowl XLVII quarterback Colin Kaepernick were pitted against each other in a passing competition for a box of Mighty Wings that harkened back to Bird and Michael Jordan’s improbable shoot-off for a Big Mac. Except in the Flacco-Kaepernick version, somebody turned off the stadium lights and ran off with Flacco’s box of Mighty Wings.

McDonald’s released its “Big Reveal” commercial during Sunday Night Football, with a security guard investigating the crime scene with the two quarterbacks.

The commercial ends with the group pointing a flash light in a dark room deep within the stadium confines, where Bird is found devouring the wings.

“Bird?” the security guard yells.

“Did you bring the sauce?” Bird replies.

Good to know it wasn’t the NFL Commissioner, right T-Sizzle?

You can watch the “Big Reveal” with Bird below (mobile users tap “View in Browser” at the top of the page)

Trade McKinnie To Jacksonville?

This one is pure speculation – no reports or rumors.

But now that the Jacksonville Jaguars are down two starting left tackles after trading Eugene Monroe to the Ravens and first-round pick Luke Joeckel missing the rest of the season with a broken right ankle, Baltimore Beatdown’s Jason Butt proposes another trade between the two franchises.

The Jaguars could be in the market for another tackle, and there were rumors last week that the Ravens could be interested in dealing Bryant McKinnie after picking up Monroe.

“Here's where the Ravens could get a two-for-one and help the Jaguars in the process,” wrote Butt. “It would seem logical for the Ravens to work out a trade to send Bryant McKinnie to Jacksonville and perhaps get a late-round pick in return.”

McKinnie allowed six pressures in 37 pass-blocking snaps against Miami, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). And the 13 times the Ravens ran the ball in McKinnie’s gaps, they only churned out 23 yards. The statistical website gave McKinnie a -5.9 overall grade, and ranked him 59th out of 61 tackles.

“McKinnie did nothing to disprove his reputation for being lazy, as he barely even tried to put up a fight for his job,” wrote PFF’s Michael Renner. “The same play-to-the-whistle mentality of Marshal Yanda could not be found in the 12th-year left tackle, as he was regularly caught standing upright if he thought a run had passed him or a play had been made.”

With that kind of performance, Butt believes a trade would be beneficial and the Ravens would be “better served” with Rick Wagner as Monroe's primary backup.

But would the Jags be interested in McKinnie after such a poor outing with his job on the line?

“The Jaguars would appear to be desperate for a tackle with starting experience, even if the tackle in question is not performing at that high of a level,” Butt wrote.

Harbs Being Coy On LT Starter?

Harbaugh said yesterday that he’s not sure who will start at left tackle Sunday and he’s in “wait-and-see” mode right now.

“Gulp,” ESPN’s Jamison Henley replied. “I would like to see Joe Flacco's reaction when he hears that there is a chance that McKinnie will protect his blind side for another game. For the sake of Flacco's badly beaten up body, let's hope Harbaugh is just being coy about the most important spot on the offensive line because he doesn't want the Green Bay Packers to know Monday that there is going to be a new starting left tackle.”

Harbaugh would never give away that type of information for Green Bay to use for preparation – regardless of the decision he makes.

That said …

“There really shouldn't be a decision, and it's hard to believe Harbaugh when he suggests there is one,” Hensley wrote.

Clay Mathews Out vs. Ravens

Whoever plays on the offensive line won’t have to game plan for Packers four-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews.

Matthews broke his thumb while trying to tackle Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, and will miss one month of action, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t announce anything about Matthew’s status Monday afternoon.

"I'm hopeful it's not season-ending," McCarthy said. "Have to get all the opinions. There are a lot of little bones in there. You just don't know. The first step is to figure out what needs to be done. Then, you go from there.”

Vensel: Rice Has A Fumbling Problem

Running back Ray Rice has lost five fumbles in his past eight games.

With that stat, The Baltimore Sun’s Matt Vensel believes it is time to call out the two-time Pro Bowler.

“Rice has a fumbling problem,” he wrote. “I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest he has a problem. The fumbles have usually occurred when he reached the second level and tried to make a play in the open field. But whatever the cause, it needs to be corrected before it finally costs the Ravens a game.”

Rice has mostly secured the ball during his previous five NFL seasons, as can be seen in the table below. But as Vensel points out, that trend started to change in the playoffs last season. He coughed up two balls in the wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts, and lost another in the Super Bowl. That trend continued into 2013 with a fumble in Week 2 against Cleveland, and another Sunday in Miami.

In all five of those games, the Ravens were able to overcome the turnovers and notch a victory.

After his two fumbles against Indy last January, Rice said, “I’ll take both of those on the chin, I don’t know if I want to say it – but I saved my worst game for today. That’ll be the last time I address me fumbling. It won’t happen again.”

Vensel may ask him to address it again Wednesday when players meet with the media.

Ray Rice Career Fumbles
  Regular Season Playoffs
  Fumbles Fumbles Lost Fumbles Fumbles Lost
2013 2 2 n/a n/a
2012 1 0 3 3
2011 2 2 1 0
2010 0 0 1 1
2009 3 3 1 1
2008 1 1 0 0

Webb Not His Old Self Yet?

After Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace finished with 105 yards Sunday, Vensel pointed the finger at cornerback Lardarius Webb, noting that after coming off a major knee injury and playing on a sore hamstring Webb had “trouble sticking” with Wallace.

“The season is still fairly young, but the Lardarius Webb of old isn’t quite back yet,” Vensel wrote.

While Wallace did have a big day, he was slowed down in the second half and only 33 yards were given up by Webb, according to PFF. With Webb in coverage, Wallace caught the ball four times on nine targets.

He may not be his old self, but PFF gave their game ball to Webb for being the “anchor for an overall shaky secondary on Sunday.”

Quick Hits

  • Notre Dame beat Arizona State Saturday …. @untouchablejay4: A bet is a bet! #DirtBags RT @KLM_89: Me and @jgray_ND25 had to tell @untouchablejay4 what's up!!!!#Irishallday [Twitter]
  • @Ravens: Harbs praised Joe Flacco's willingness to take hits in the pocket. "That's part of Joe's greatness." [Twitter]
  • @RavensInsider: John Harbaugh on pass blocking: 'Joe [Flacco] is still under too much duress.' [Twitter]
  • @mzenitz: BAL averaged just 3.3 yards per carry yesterday, but Harbs said he thought the offensive line "blocked exceptionally well in the run game" [Twitter]
  • @jamisonhensley: #Ravens have won 20 straight games when Ray Rice has at least 25 touches, according to @ESPNStatsInfo. [Twitter]
  • @RavensInsider: John Harbaugh said rookie John Simon earned his personal foul, said he hit someone after play, called it 'foolish.' Simon apologized for it [Twitter]
  • Rice tweeted this touching video of Ravens fan, Julie, who explains why she loves football. She entered the video in an NFL contest, from which five entries will become a short film produced by NFL films and five people will win a trip to the Super Bowl. Her story is worth one minute of your time. [Together We Make Football]
  • If you’re anything like me, you have been left hanging on a high five or fist bump on more than one occasion. Harbs isn’t immune to such a situation either. After James Ihedigbo pulled in what was thought to be an interception (turns out, his hand was out of bounds), he didn’t see the head coach coming in for a chest bump and left him hanging in mid-air. [WNST]

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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