Cavs Use Steelers Logo To Incite Boos
There's nothing like mutual loathing to bring two fan bases together.
The Cleveland Cavaliers posted the Pittsburgh Steelers logo and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's face on the jumbotron to entice boos from the home crowd while the Golden State Warriors were at the free throw line during Tuesday's Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
You think the maneuver worked?
Yup. About as well as it would at, say, an Orioles game in Baltimore.
Apparently, not only did the images bring out the boo birds, but it had a tangible effect on the game itself. As a team, the Warriors only shot 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from the line. By contrast, in Games 1 and 2, Golden State hit 90.9% and 76.0% of their free throws, respectively.
"That is totally worth any criticism that the organization might receive from it," wrote Ravens blogger Tyler Lombardi of Russell Street Report.
The news of Cleveland's tactics was a talking point on social media and among Pittsburgh and Baltimore bloggers. The folks at Steelers Depot used it as an opportunity to remind Cleveland about their professional sports championship drought since 1964, and how Pittsburgh regularly pummels them in football. The blog also said the Cavs might have an easier time getting boos by flashing the Browns former quarterbacks who were busts in the NFL.
"While that may be at least partially true, the arrogance of Steelers fans is on full display here," wrote Lombardi. "Just like Patriots fans, everything always has to be about jealousy and the superiority of their favorite team.
"Look, I know that they are showing their hatred for your team, but you have to find this at least a little bit funny. I think that if it was the Ravens' logo up there, I would still think it was hilarious."
Ravens Have Third-Best NFL Roster
Baltimore made a big jump in PFF/ESPN's second annual ranking of NFL rosters.
After PFF analysts looked at 2014 data and ESPN incorporated football evaluation, they ranked the Ravens as the third-best overall NFL roster and the best in the AFC. That's a big jump up from last year, when the Ravens were No. 16 on the list.
The only two rosters ranked ahead of Baltimore were the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The AFC teams trailing the Ravens were New England (4), Denver (5), Cincinnati (9), Pittsburgh (12), Indianapolis (13) and, yes, Cleveland (14).
PFF and ESPN determined how many "elite" or "high-quality" players each team can count among its starters, and the Ravens had nine, which was the fourth most among all 32 squads.
Quarterback Joe Flacco is not considered elite in the study, and PFF says the top 5 players on the team are: Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, Kelechi Osemele, Terrell Suggs and Brandon Williams. They also believe outside linebacker will be upgraded in 2015.
"There's a lot to like about the Baltimore roster," wrote PFF's Sam Monson. "No, Joe Flacco isn't elite, but the offensive line became one of the league's best a year ago and that paved the way for an excellent season from running back Justin Forsett, who returns for 2015. Rookies have the potential to make a big impact on this team: Wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams could become two of the Ravens' top three targets on offense by season's end.
"The defense is not quite what it once was, but it's still full of good players. Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb should be better if they can just stay healthy. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has departed, but Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan played very well last season and should fill that void."
Marc Trestman NOT On List Of Men In Line To Be Head Coaches
Could the Ravens actually have an offensive coordinator in back-to-back seasons?
Marc Trestman marks the fourth in the last 30 months, following Cam Cameron, Jim Caldwell and Gary Kubiak of the previous three seasons.
Cameron was let go by the team while Caldwell and Kubiak enjoyed enough success that they left to become head coaches elsewhere. With so much turnover, Ravens fans were already wondering whether Trestman would mark the latest one-and-done season once he arrived.
Ravens fans can at least rest easy knowing that neither Trestman nor Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees made The MMQB.com's list of 32 to coaches in line to become the boss of their own NFL team. Pees made the "missed the cut" list.
To compile the list, The MMQB's Robert Klemko sought out 24 "respected football minds"—agents, coaches, scouts, plugged-in reporters and front office executives—to give guidance on those men that might become NFL head coaches.
If Flacco and company can succeed amidst so much change, who knows what he can do with continuity. He might have a chance at that in 2016.
New Kicking Rule Will Result In A Big Play
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg spoke publicly for the first time about his reaction to the new extra-point rule, which moved attempts back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line. That equates to a 33-yard attempt.
Rosburg didn't seem like a huge fan of the rule change, but he isn't wasting any sleep on that. He's simply focused on preparing his players so they can succeed.
That said, he does have one prediction based on the new rule:
"I just think there is going to be a big play as a result," Rosburg told reporters Monday, as The Baltimore Sun pointed out.
"I hope we are on the positive end of it, if it's in our game."
Dumervil Ranked No. 46 In NFL Top 100
Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil was ranked by his peers as the No. 46 player in the NFL. He made the list after setting a franchise single-season record 17 sacks.
Dumervil is the highest-ranked Raven so far, including coming in higher than his partner in crime Terrell Suggs. Sizzle was listed at No. 84.
But in the video below, opponents talk about the combination the two create as a pass-rushing monster.