5 Funniest Moments Of Pre-Draft Presser
In addition to enlightening us with draft and personnel information, Ravens executives were also very entertaining during the pre-draft press conference at the Under Armour Performance Center yesterday.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz showed a lighter side to their personalities, sending the auditorium into laughter on several occasions.
It's great to know that these guys not only know how to win, but they know how to have a good time.
Here are five funny moments from the presser:
Ozzie Has An iPhoneNobody knows Newsome better than DeCosta. The two have been working together for 18 years. DeCosta is generally known as the general-manager-in-waiting when Newsome decides to retire. When asked if he has seen any signs of Newsome slowing down at all, DeCosta replied: "Not really. He just got an iPhone," eliciting laughter from the journalists in the auditorium. "He's adapting, if anything."
DeCosta Pulls Prank On OzzieLong before Newsome learned how to work his shiny new iPhone, something fishy happened with his mobile device. "There are people in this building that like to pull pranks on people in this building," Newsome said as a devious grin began to form on DeCosta's face. He tried to hide it, but Harbaugh blew DeCosta's cover by leaning back in his chair and pointed to DeCosta while Newsome was speaking. "And sometimes even the general manager can get consumed by having a prank pulled on him," Newsome said. "And your phone ends up coming out with some language that you have no idea and you're not smart enough to change it back." It's still unclear what language the phone was in. Newsome said it was Portuguese … maybe. DeCosta blurted out that it was Swahili. "We have a lot of fun in this building," Newsome said. "We do a lot of work, but we do have some fun."
"She Didn't Have To Say A Lot"
John Harbaugh admits that, at first, he didn't want Jacoby Jones to participate on "Dancing With The Stars." But the person that was able to convince the head coach of the idea was Jones' professional dance partner Karina Smirnoff. Harbs said she "talked him into it." A curious reporter wondered what she said that was so convincing. "How'd she talk me into it?" Harbs asked. "She didn't have to say a lot," he said of the bombshell beauty.
"The Brand Matters!"Staying on the topic of Jones dancing this offseason, a reporter asked if having a player represent the Ravens on national television each week in primetime is good for business and the Ravens brand. At first, the always football-minded Harbs said, "The brand doesn't matter." Realizing that his boss may feel differently, Harbaugh quickly corrected his statement, "The brand matters!! Steve [Bisciotti], the brand matters!!!" The auditorium erupted in laughter followed by a moment of silence. "Was there a question there?" Harbaugh asked, prompting more laughter.* *
Ozzie Dares Media To Say Ravens Won't Make PlayoffsOK, this one is only funny if you weren't the one sitting in front of Newsome when he was glaring at you with those eyes of intimidation. For those who were just observers of the press conference online, it was fun to imagine a few journalists squirming in their seats when Newsome turned the table to have them answer a question. While explaining the team's decision to overhaul the Super Bowl-winning defense, Newsome said: "I think we like our football team this year. To say that where this team is going to end … I'd like for someone to be able to tell me that we aren't good enough to go to the playoffs right now." Silence. "Can anyone say that?" The proverbial cricket chirped. "OK then," Newsome said.
Who'll Regret Not Signing Harrison More: Pittsburgh or Baltimore?
Outside linebacker James Harrison appears to be nearing a deal with AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals (although they may have hit a bump).
Harrison was released by the Steelers after he refused to take a pay cut. His agent was talking to the Ravens about a possible deal when the Ravens suddenly signed Elvis Dumervil. The former Broncos pass rusher unexpectedly hit the open market because of the infamous fax debacle.
NFL Network analysts Steve Wyche and Mark Kriegel debated which team would regret not signing Harrison more since it looks as though each team may have to face the former Defensive Player of the Year twice this upcoming season.
Wyche said the Steelers would be more regretful, while Kriegel said it would be the Ravens because Harrison could have helped replace the loss of Paul Kruger.
Whyche rebutted, "Ravens have a couple of nice player. They have this guy, Elvis Dumervil."
"Who?" Kriegel asked.
Pierce Wants To Bulk Up
Bernard Pierce* *had a breakout rookie campaign, showing that his physical running style was a perfect complement to the shifty No. 1 back Ray Rice.
Pierce* *made the most of his 108 carries (compared to Rice's 257), averaging a whopping 5.2 yards per carry. But when the rookie's workload increased toward the end of the season, he dealt with a few injuries with both his ankle and knee. The injuries never knocked him out of a game, but he couldn't be on the field as much. He had just five carries in the divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos.
Pierce played at 225 pounds last year (he said he is currently at about 228), and while he'd generally like to be at the same weight he wants to bulk up.
"I'll probably still stay the same or get heavier because it's a long season so I got to keep the weight up," Pierce* *told WBAL's Brett Hollander.
Playing in four extra games in the postseason is already an increase for any NFL player, but for a rookie like Pierce, he also had to train for the NFL Scouting Combine, his pro day workout and then went straight into rookie camp and then training camp.
His body finally enjoyed a break after the Ravens' Super Bowl win.
"Now that I'm relaxed, my body feels great," Pierce said. "I tell you what, man, that season felt like three years. I think that was the hardest obstacle to overcome, just that many games in one year."
Ray Rice Reveals His Faith Hill Replacements
Am I the only one who's a little sad to see Faith Hill move on from the Sunday Night Football? I thought the girl was an amazing opening act for the game.
I have to say, Rice cheered me up in the video below when he floated out some names of people he thinks could replace Hill. Hopefully the league is listening …
- @Ravens: #Ravens #flags at half staff. #PrayForBoston #Support for #Boston @ Under Armour Performance Center [Twitter/Ravens Instagram]
- @AdamSchefter: Kraft Family hopes to assist recovery for victims of Boston Marathon tragedy by matching up to $100,000 in donations. [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: Ravens Torrey Smith and Broncos Von Miller in NFL Net studio for Thurs. schedule release. Might that be an indication of Sept 5 matchup? [Twitter]
- @TerrenceCody: Had a great day at therapy my rehabs comin along great[Twitter]
- Bernard Pollard is done talking about Baltimore. "As far as talking about any disappointments, I'm a Tennessee Titan now and I [couldn't] really care less about that," Pollard said, via John Glennon. "I've talked about it too much and I've answered that question so many times, talking about mutiny and this and that and the Baltimore Ravens. Well you know what? I'm no longer in Baltimore and I'm a Titan now. [Titans] fans have embraced me. They've been great. For me, I'm ready to move on. This is another chapter for me, and it's going to be fun." [Tennessean]
- Did Rice say 49ers Anthony Davis, a former Rutgers teammate, was off base with his comments about their college coach Greg Schiano? FoxSports.com]
- @MichaelOher: RIP Pat Summerall I enjoyed hearing him call games back in the mid to late 90s and what a great voice on the video games. [Twitter]
- @BriganceBrigade: Lace up your sneakers and join the @BriganceBrigade Foundation team to crush ALS at the annual #Fiesta5k on May 4th! [Twitter]
- @AdamSchefter: Keenan Allen, the No. 1-rated WR on some boards, was red-flagged for a drug test at scouting combine in Indy and retested this month. [Twitter]