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Late For Work 6/15: Today Show Runs Stairs With Jacoby Jones, Justin Tucker


Today Show Runs Stairs With Jacoby, Tucker

Kyle Juszczyk flexes his muscles for the camera, then reps "Today" show correspondent Jenna Wolfe above his head.

Super Bowl XLVII star Jacoby Jones does a funky about-face pivot – cheerleader style.

Justin Tucker leads hundreds of fans in a run up and down 10,000 stairs at M&T Bank Stadium.

All of it was done with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joining in the fun, and a national television audience watching from home.

What was all the fuss about?

The event was part the NBC show's yearlong "Shine a Light" series, in which on-air personalities of "Today" champion worthy causes. The show asked viewers across the nation months ago to write in about why it should help their cities, and "Today" selected Baltimore in part because of the city's high rates of diabetes and obesity.

Now, they're hoping to help "shine a light" on health and fitness in Charm City.

"We're on a mission to make Baltimore a little more healthy," anchor Jenna Wolfe said in the video below. "Where are the coolest steps in Baltimore? Right here at M&T Bank Stadium."

Jones, Tucker and Juszczyk led the workout up the stadium stairs, alongside Rawlings-Blake and Wolfe.

"We're trying to get rid of the health disparities," Rawlings-Blake said. "'Shine a Light' is helping us a lot."

Check out the stair challenge below (mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page.)

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Ravens 'Dark Horse' Candidate For CB Flowers?

Cornerback Brandon Flowers was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs Friday, fresh off his first Pro Bowl in 2013.

The move has less to do with Flowers' ability to continue to play at a high level, and more to do with him not fitting the Chiefs' defensive system and freeing up salary cap space. The Chiefs reportedly tried to trade Flowers, but ultimately released him and saved $7.5 million in the process.

"That [Pro Bowl] honor was mostly a lifetime achievement award, but there's no doubt he's been among the NFL's top 20 cornerbacks over the last five years," wrote's Gregg Rosenthal. "He doesn't fit the normal profile of a player released in June. … Flowers immediately should become the most sought after free agent in an otherwise underwhelming market."

The believed favorites to sign Flowers are the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, buuuuut …

"[D]on't count out the Baltimore Ravens," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

"The third cornerback spot is the most vulnerable spot on the Ravens, even more than right tackle and safety."

The Ravens are short a veteran after Corey Graham left via free agency, and the front office chose not to draft or sign a corner. Youngsters Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are competing for that nickel role, but the Ravens never rule out signings that could help make the team better, especially in June when it doesn't hurt the compensatory pick formula.

Despite coming off a down year,* *Flowers fits the profile of a free agent that General Manager Ozzie Newsome usually targets.

"It's legitimate to say Flowers is coming off his worst season," wrote Hensley. "It's also valid to point out that Flowers wasn't a good fit for the Chiefs' system. He didn't enjoy playing the slot last season and wasn't suited to be a press corner at 5 feet 9. Flowers is 28 years old and would've ranked among the top 20 free agents if he was on the market in March." 

In addition to Flowers joining the free-agent market, cornerback Chris Houston was also released Friday by the Detroit Lions. But Hensley doesn't think the Ravens will target Houston because he received an injury settlement after having toe surgery this offseason.

If the Ravens do pursue Flowers, they will do it with less cap space than other potential suitors. The Falcons ($9.1 million under cap) and Texans ($8.9 million) reportedly have more financial flexibility than the Ravens ($4.6 million).

"There would be a lot less concern if they put a veteran like Flowers in the starting lineup instead of Brown or Jackson, who combined to play 3 percent of the defensive snaps in 2013," Hensley wrote.

"It's difficult to put a percentage on the chances of Flowers landing with the Ravens. But there are plenty of reasons why the Ravens should show interest in him."

Reid Accepted Into Diversion Program, Avoids Trial

Offensive tackle Jah Reid was accepted into a diversion program Friday, and thus avoided trial on a pair of misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an alleged altercation, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

Reid was initially charged on March 9 stemming from an incident in which he allegedly head-butted and kicked a man following an argument. If Reid completes the 12-month diversion program, he won't have a conviction on his record, per the report.

"With the case resolved and Reid being a first-time offender, he's not expected to face discipline under the NFL personal-conduct policy," Wilson wrote.

The 2011 third-round pick is fighting to make the team at tackle or guard, and is considered to be on the bubble for the 53-man roster. He has been sidelined during organized team activities, however, due to a calf injury.

Wagner Gets Another Vote Of Confidence

All indications show the Ravens are giving Rick Wagner every opportunity to take over the starting right offensive tackle spot.

The team gave Wagner a vote of confidence by not drafting anyone at the position in May, and Hensley says the team gave a second vote of confidence by standing pat in free agency two weeks into June.

"Heading into next week's mandatory minicamp, Wagner remains the Ravens' most unexpected starter, working with the first team at right tackle," Hensley wrote. "Wagner struggled when he had to replace an injured Oher in last year's season opener. He got better throughout his rookie year as the team's No. 6 offensive lineman, playing 12 percent of the offensive snaps when the team wanted an extra blocker on the field. The Ravens realized that Wagner needed a lot of snaps to gain confidence in his technique, and they've been giving him plenty of reps during the offseason practices." 

Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has been impressed with Wagner thus far, and indicated the second-year youngster may even be exceeding expectations.

"To me, Ricky has been – I don't want to say he's a surprise, because I expected him to play well – but I think we put a lot on his plate early walking in here as a starter, new scheme and those types of things," Kubiak said. "He has responded and hasn't missed a rep. He plays very hard in what we're doing, so we just have to keep going. But I've been very pleased with Ricky." 

Quick Hits

  • Steve Smith is killing me with his challenges of grocery shopping in Baltimore. Somebody get this guy some milk and butter! []
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