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Late For Work 6/23: Ravens' Reaction To USA World Cup Heartbreaking Finish


Ravens' Reaction To USA World Cup Heartbreaking Finish

The 2-2 tie between USA and Portugal in last night's World Cup match sent the nation – and Ravens players – into a frenzy with a dramatic finish fit for a Hollywood movie.

The Twitter heat map below perfectly encapsulates the country's collective celebration when U.S captain Clint Dempsey scored the go-ahead goal (despite a broken nose) in the 81st minute, and then the collective heartbreak when World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo set up the inch-perfect stoppage-time cross for the equalizing goal for Portugal.

Had the U.S. held for just 30 seconds more, it's advancement to the second round of the tournament would have been secure.

See the purple parts of the heat map? That was the reaction from Ravens players. Well, not really, but they were very active on Twitter as they rode the roller coaster of emotions with the rest of America.

Below are their tweets of absolute jubilee after the Dempsey's score and gut-wrenching sickness after Portugal's equalizer.

GOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL — CJ Mosley (@TreyDeuce32RTR) June 22, 2014

Heyyyyyyyoooooooo USAAAAAAA! Goallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!! — AQ Shipley (@aqshipley) June 22, 2014

HELL YEAH!! 'MURICA!! — Justin Tucker (@jtuck9) June 22, 2014

LETS GO!!!!!! @ussoccer — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) June 22, 2014

Dempsey Is Real!!! — Michael Campanaro (@MikeCamp_3) June 22, 2014

Ronaldo's assist to Silvestre Varela ties it at 2-2 …

Ronaldo Is Also Real.. — Michael Campanaro (@MikeCamp_3) June 22, 2014

Damn man — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) June 22, 2014

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! #USMNT We got Renaldo'd Mother of Pearl — Qadry Ismail (@QadryIsmail) June 22, 2014

We serious right now — CJ Mosley (@TreyDeuce32RTR) June 22, 2014

My face after that last kick..... — Josh Bynes (@bynestime56) June 22, 2014

Sick cross from CR at the end but no way 5 min was appropriate amt of extra time. Crazy game, our guys put some quality stuff out there tho! — Justin Tucker (@jtuck9) June 22, 2014

Ravens Never Been More Healthy In Harbaugh Era

Knock on wood.

As the Ravens wrapped up the final day of mandatory minicamp heading into their offseason break, they were the healthiest they’ve ever been since John Harbaugh became the head coach six years ago, according to ESPN.

That means they'll be set to kick off the 2014 training camp at full strength in mid-July, an important factor as the team prepares to redeem its 8-8 finish last season.

"The Ravens had all of their projected starters practicing at the mandatory minicamp," wrote Jamison Hensley. "What's more important is that no starter is expected to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which would also be a first for Harbaugh." 

Only six players – all backups – missed practice last week.

As Hensley points out, that is a big difference from the last couple years.Marshal Yanda* *(shoulder) and Jameel McClain (back) started camp on PUP in 2013, and Terrell Suggs missed all of training camp after tearing his Achilles tendon in 2012.

Butler This Year's Marlon?

We know the story of wide receiver Marlon Brown coming to the Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent only to go on to tie the Ravens rookie franchise record for touchdown catches.

With the way that Jeremy Butler, another undrafted wide receiver, played throughout the offseason,'s Bo Smolka is wondering if he could follow in Brown’s footsteps.

"While many receivers – including Brown – had troubles with dropped passes during the Ravens OTA workouts over the past month, Butler consistently made plays," Smolka wrote. "He made athletic catches over the middle, in traffic, and down the sideline. While third-string quarterback Keith Wenning and other rookies worked on a far field in 11-on-11 drills, Butler remained with the No. 1 and No. 2 offense."

The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Butler set single-season records with 90 catches for 1,203 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 at Tennessee-Martin. The odds are against him in making the team because the receiving corps is deep and only one or two spots will be available for him or his competition, which includes Deonte Thompson, Michael Campanaro, LaQuan Williams and Mike Willie.

"But there's no doubt Butler has opened some eyes through the OTAs and the three-day mandatory minicamp that ended this past week," Smolka wrote. "Expect to hear Butler's name a lot in training camp and in the early preseason games."

Stewart, Mosley In Line To Start

Without a doubt, two of the best competitions to watch when training camp opens will be at inside linebacker (next to Daryl Smith) and free safety (next to Matt Elam).

Without pads or contact the last few months, it's tough to get a gage for who has the edge between first-round pick C.J. Mosley and last year's second-rounder Arthur Brown at linebacker. The same thing goes for veteran Darian Stewart and third-rounder Terrence Brooks at safety.

But Smolka believes that Mosley and Stewart will be the starters by the time the season rolls around.

"Mosley worked with the first team alongside Daryl Smith, and barring injury should be in line to be a rookie starter," Smolka wrote. "His athleticism stands out in individual as well as during team drills."

"Stewart seems to be the front-runner to start at safety alongside Matt Elam," he added. "They both ran with the first unit … [Brooks] was working with the third team, with Omar Brown and Jeromy Miles running as second-team safeties."

The Evolution Of Flacco Impressive

The thing that impressed Hensley the most during the 13 offseason practices that spanned four weeks was the "evolution of in Gary Kubiak's offense."

The seventh-year veteran is learning a new offensive system for the first time since he was a rookie, and by all accounts Flacco is transitioning seamlessly.

"Flacco has gone from struggling with the new scheme to gaining a comfort level with it," Hensley wrote. "A quarterback's effectiveness in practice can be judged by how many passes are hitting the ground. By the time the Ravens wrapped up mandatory minicamp Thursday, most of Flacco's incompletions came from receivers dropping passes. 

"Flacco has been asked to do things this year that he hasn't done on the Ravens practice field previously. There have been cone drills to help improve his footwork. There have been ball security drills where coaches have hit Flacco's hands with blocking pads. Fundamentals have been a major focus." 

Quick Hits

  • Brent Urban stood out to Jeff Zrebiec at mandatory camp … "At times, the defensive end drafted in the fourth round looks like a rookie feeling his way around a little bit," Zrebiec wrote. "But what a physical specimen he is. He opened a lot of eyes this week with his play and size." [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Newly signed cornerback Dominique Franks envisions a versatile role with the Ravens. "Versatility is what I bring," Franks told Aaron Wilson after signing with the team. "I'm a guy on the back end that has that versatility. With my size and speed, they can put me in various situations. Nickel, dime, corner, all of those things." [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Linebacker Jameel McClain may be with the New York Giants now, but he hasn’t forgotten about Baltimore. He continued his annual youth football camp at Reisterstown Regional Park Saturday, delivering a message of dealing with adversity and opportunity. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • @LWebb21: Out having dinner with the President of Nicholls St, his lovely wife and the AD. Thanks for the dinner. [Twitter]
  • @JasonLaCanfora: Sounds like much-sought-after CB Brandon Flowers will make a decision on his next team sometime midweek. Plenty of suitors [Twitter]
  • @bynestime56: Had a GREAT time @JameelMcClain camp!! It was amazing and couldnt have done it with a better guy! THANKS BRA!  [Twitter]
  • Ravens 247: Joe Flacco shooting a commercial at Loyola Blakefield... [Facebook]
  • Justin Tucker picked out an appropriate pair of shoes to watch the World Cup.
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