Shooting Down A 'Pipe Dream'
When asked whether Jim Caldwell is "keeping the seat warm" for somebody like Andy Reid or Norv Turner to become the Ravens' next offensive coordinator, Jamison Hensley bluntly shot down the idea:
"Andy Reid and Norv Turner aren't coming to the Ravens to be an offensive coordinator," the ESPN blogger wrote.
Hensley didn't give a reason behind his opinion.
Meanwhile, other analysts have specifically named Turner, who is speculated to be fired as head coach of the Chargers after the season, as somebody the Ravens could target.
The difference between Turner and Caldwell at this point is that they appear to have different long-term goals.
When asked last week if he wanted to become a head coach again, Caldwell said: "I think if you are in this business that should always be your goal, right? I don't think I'll ever lose that particular desire until the point of time where they run me out of this business.
"Nevertheless, that's always something that I'm certainly interested in."
Turner appears to be headed in the opposite direction and doesn't seem to mind it.
Despite currently holding a coveted head-coaching job, Turner told New York reporters yesterday that he would be willing to be an offensive coordinator again and can't picture himself taking a year off from coaching.
The stipulation was that he wanted to be in "a place where you have an opportunity to win and be in a situation that there are coaches I've worked with and been around."
Even though Turner doesn't appear to be a very successful head coach – this offseason would mark the third time he's been fired – ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio says Turner is an "excellent" offensive coordinator, serving in that capacity for four different teams.
"In fact, he's so good at it that he keeps getting hired to be a head coach based on his skills and abilities as an offensive coordinator," Florio wrote.
"And then, after he inevitably is fired as a head coach, he becomes an excellent offensive coordinator. So excellent that he keeps getting hired to be a head coach."
Oh, and while we are speculating scenarios, let's go ahead and officially rule this one out …
A fan asked Hensley if the Ravens would bring back Cam Cameron. Hensley replied: "Yes, right after they name [Brian] Billick as head coach again."
Talk about a pipe dream. Teams don't make it a habit of dismissing a coach only to hire him back a month or two later.
Ravens Flirting With Fine?
The most surprising thing on the Ravens' injury report yesterday was that outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was not listed after returning from a biceps injury last Sunday.
The Ravens confirmed Suggs' omission was not an oversight.
CSNBaltimore.com's J. Michael believes the Ravens are flirting with a fine for not listing the outside linebacker.
Suggs injured his biceps Dec. 2 and sat out against the Redskins the following week. He played with a sleeve on his arm against the Broncos last week, notching a season-low 42 snaps. Even though Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated Suggs wasn't playing in pain, J. Michael insists he was in "obvious pain."
Suggs fully participated in practice Wednesday, but that may not make a difference as far as a fine could go.
The Ravens were fined $20,000 by the NFL in November for not listing Ed Reed on the injury report despite being a full practice participant as well.
McKinnie Thinks He Could Make A Difference
With the offensive line coming under criticism for its protection of quarterback Joe Flacco and opening up lanes for running back Ray Rice, many are wondering if left tackle Bryant McKinnie could make a difference.
McKinnie is wondering the same thing.
"At times, I think if I was out there that maybe things would be a little bit different, but there's not much I can do from where I'm at," McKinnie told reporters yesterday.
With two games remaining, Flacco has already been sacked three more times than he was last year and Harbaugh said he is disappointed the Ravens didn't run the ball better last week.
McKinnie told reporters that there is a "possibility" he could play Sunday, but didn't say he was given any sort of indication from coaches.
"McKinnie is lackadaisical as a run blocker, and has been a headache for the Ravens off the field, but is still regarded as arguably the team's top pass blocker," wrote Carroll County Times' Matt Zenitz.
Peyton Advised Eli On Ravens Defense
Eli Manning has already talked to his brother,* *Peyton, seeking advice about facing the Ravens defense Sunday.
Peyton threw for 204 yards (a season low) and a touchdown against Baltimore last week in a blowout out 34-17 win.
"I talked to him a little bit and watched the game," Eli said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "Our offenses are a little different. I tried to just watch the game and see what they were doing and see how the defense played certain looks. So I talked to him a little bit, but it's really going to be a matter of our own preparation and trying to understand what type of scheme we're going to run against them."
But the Manning brothers also chatted after Peyton's win over the Bengals, and that didn't seem to help Eli much.
Peyton threw for 291 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a win against Cincy while Eli notched 215 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions in the Giants' loss.
"Peyton and Eli are known for trading notes all the time, but I doubt that will matter much come Sunday," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
- "[I]t dawned on me Sunday just how many difficult decisions Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the Ravens' front office will have to make this offseason." There a quite a few … [The Baltimore Sun]
- Kevin Cowherd gave fans five reasons to feel good about the Ravens. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Courtney Upshaw owns a 10.3 run stop percentage, which is second-best among 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL. Wrote Matt Vensel: "Though he has only played about two-thirds of the defensive snaps this season, rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw has subtly been a pretty impactful run defender for a team that has struggled to tackle running backs." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Guess who leads the AFC North in drops? [ESPN]
- The Ravens need to ignore the Flacco flak and do the smart thing by re-signing him. Wrote Clark Judge: "I guess Baltimore fans are mesmerized by the success that rookies like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have had this season or that Newton and Andy Dalton had in 2011, but this just in: Flacco had it, too. And he still does, with Baltimore one win from clinching its second straight division championship with Flacco at quarterback. Trent Dilfer didn't do that. Elvis Grbac didn't, either. Or Steve McNair, Jeff Blake, Kyle Boller, Vinny Testaverde, Tony Banks or Jim Harbaugh. The Ravens ran a lot of guys through the door at quarterback, and only one stuck. You're looking at him, people, and you should be looking at him for a long, long time." [CBSSports.com]
- @jasonbuttcbs: Dannell Ellerbe was asked if he had a % on playing: "Nah, I don't have a percentage ... Maybe, in a high range. Maybe 80, 90. 100. (laughs)" [Twitter]
- Who Has The Edge: Giants or Ravens? The "NFL AM" crew breaks down who has the positional advantage at quarterback, running back, receiver, defense and coaching. [NFL Network]