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Late For Work 5/15: Check Out Joe Flacco's Ninja Warrior Trainer


Check Out Flacco's Ninja Warrior Trainer

If you follow Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on Twitter (@TeamFlacco), you may have noticed he's been plugging his trainer quite a bit lately.

That's because he's trying to get Brian Kane, a New Jersey gym owner, on one of my favorite shows of the summer, "American Ninja Warrior."

NBC has taken notice of Flacco's efforts, retweeting his latest endorsement of Kane. Also, the casting and production company (@ADeignCo) invited Flacco to be on the show if Kane is selected … which he apparently later was.

If you watch the show, you already know the men and women who compete in the world's toughest obstacle course are straight-up amazing people. So, I started looking for video of Kane and I found his tryout video for the show on Facebook. Check it out below.

Best of luck to Kane, and we hope to see him (and Flacco) on the NBC program staring May 25.

2015 Ravens Projected Starters

General Manager Ozzie Newsome could always make some roster tweaks between now and the season opener on Sept. 13 in Denver, but we have a pretty good idea of what the starting lineup will look like.

Marc Sessler at put together his projected list of Ravens starters for the 2015 season, which can be seen below, along with some of his notes.

QB Joe Flacco
RB Justin Forsett
WR1 Steve Smith Sr.
WR2 Breshad Perriman
WR3 Marlon Brown
TE1 Maxx Williams
LT Eugene Monroe
LG Kelechi Osemele
C Jeremy Zuttah
RG Marshal Yanda
RT Rick Wagner
DT Chris Canty
NT Brandon Williams
DT Timmy Jernigan
OLB Terrell Suggs
ILB C.J. Mosley
ILB Daryl Smith
OLB Elvis Dumervil
CB1 Lardarius Webb
CB2 Jimmy Smith
S Will Hill
S Kendrick Lewis

New Pass Catchers"Assuming Dennis Pitta can't return in time, the Ravens are poised to start a pair of new playmakers in the opener. First-round wideout Breshad Perriman looked more natural hauling in passes at minicamp than Torrey Smith did as a rookie, per's Jamison Hensley. If he can overcome his college drops, Perriman's 4.25 speed and 6-foot-2, 212-pound frame make him my pick to make the biggest impact of all first-year wideouts. Drawing comparisons to Todd Heap, rookie tight end Maxx Williams was drafted to play right away, with second-year target Crockett Gillmore taking the field on two-man sets."

Don't Mess With Running Game"With all five offensive linemen set to return, why mess with a formula that unleashed Justin Forsett for 1,266 yards? Rookie Javorius Allen will compete with Lorenzo Taliaferro for backup carries."

Safety/ Inside Linebacker
"We're tapping Will Hill to start at safety after Ozzie Newsome acknowledged that 'we have not been satisfied' with third-year backstop Matt Elam. While the former first-rounder will make the team, we can't help but wonder if the Ravens might try to trade inside linebacker Arthur Brown, who is no threat to take snaps away from C.J. Mosley or Daryl Smith."

Za'Darius Smith Eventually Taking Upshaw's Role?"Fourth-round rookie Za'Darius Smith might be the long-term replacement for Pernell McPhee, but Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil remain as starters at outside linebacker. We can't help but wonder if Smith was also drafted to allow the team to eventually wave farewell to Courtney Upshaw, who excels against the run but boasts just three sacks over as many regular seasons. He's more of a situational player."

Everything Crumbles Without Flacco
"Joe Flacco remains embedded under center, but Tyrod Taylor has been swept out in favor of lackluster veteran Matt Schaub. Everything in Baltimore crumbles if the former Texans quarterback sees anything beyond garbage-time snaps."

Terrence Brooks Ahead Of Rehab Schedule

Ravens second-year safety Terrence Brooks suffered a season-ending ACL and MCL tear last December, and he's already eyeing a return at some point this season.

He told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson that he's made steady progress since surgery to repair the damage, and he hasn't ruled out a return this year after starting the season on the physically unable to perform list. At the same time, he wants to take precautions and is not rushing things to avoid a setback.

"It's going really good," Brooks told Wilson. "To be honest, we're probably a little bit ahead of schedule. I haven't had a break since I've been hurt. It's been straight rehab since Dr. Andrews did the surgery.

"I actually had the ACL and the MCL. The MCL was a little bit too damaged to let it heal on its own, so they went ahead and took care of that one, too. It's feeling pretty strong, though."

Inside Scoop On Arrington From Patriots Reporter

I've seen some bloggers worried that the signing of cornerback Kyle Arrington might be too good to be true. The main cause for concern is that there must be a hidden reason that Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick cut him after he already lost his two starting corners to free agency.

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss' words might give concerned Ravens fans comfort.

"My feeling is that the Patriots' decision to part ways with Arrington was more about his salary ($3 million) and cap charge ($4.625 million) than the player himself," Reiss wrote. "Arrington also adds value on special teams, which I don't think can be overlooked, and in the locker room. I see it as a solid signing for the Ravens."

That doesn't mean Arrington is a perfect player, but he just might have been the perfect fit given he's from Maryland and the Ravens' need for a No. 3 slot corner and experience.

He also came at a solid price, reportedly costing the Ravens just $7 million over three years ($1.466 cap hit this season). That's excellent value when you compare it to the going rate for corners these days. While Arrington is getting $2.3 million per season, there were 11 other free-agent cornerbacks who signed contracts earlier this offseason have averaged more than double that price at $5 million annually, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley.  

Below is Reiss' scouting report on Arrington:

"Excellent in run support, showing a willingness to take on receivers, tight ends and even offensive tackles at times. In coverage, has done some of his best work against the game's top players in the slot, such as receivers T.Y. Hilton (Colts), Wes Welker (Broncos) and Victor Cruz (Giants). Speaking in scouting jargon, I'd say he has a good combination of reactive athleticism and toughness that helps him excel in the slot, where there's more traffic to contend with on the field. His ball skills are reflected with a league-high seven interceptions in the 2011 season. He's smart, and he only missed two games because of injury in his time with the Patriots, so durability has been a plus. Will contribute on special teams as he played on the kickoff coverage team, was used as a gunner at times on the punt coverage team, and played the vice role against opposing gunners on the punt return unit. One of the classiest players to come through the Patriots' locker room in recent years, he's accountable to teammates and is a team-first type of guy."

Weakness:"When pressed into action as an outside cornerback, Arrington struggled at times. But when the Patriots solely dedicated him to the slot, as they did in 2014 when he had 40.9 percent playing time on defense, that's when Arrington seemed to be at his best; specifically when matched up against smaller, shiftier receivers. It's when he's asked to match up against bigger receivers that can lead to some trouble for him. Specifically, in the Super Bowl, we saw how Arrington's size (5-foot-10, 190) worked against him in a matchup against a taller, rangier receiver in Seattle's Matthews (6-foot-5, 218) that led to him being replaced by Malcolm Butler."

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