Kaepernick Feels Like Super Bowl Was Stolen
New bread 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick versus old-school linebacker Ray Lewis for Super Bowl XLVII.
With the clock stopped at one minute, 55 seconds, the second-year sensation sat back in the Pistol formation and started barking out signals to adjust the protection based on the Ravens' defensive look. He had to hurry; there were only five seconds on the play clock.
Seconds later, finally, the ball was snapped. Terrell Suggs was blocked. Bernard Pollard and Cary Williams were accounted for. Lewis was left unblocked, with guard Alex Boone honing in.
Kaepernick took two running steps toward the left flank thinking it was going to be "a walk into the end* *zone." With the Ravens up 34-29, it would have put the 49ers on top.
But wait. Unbeknownst to Kaepernick, the play had been called dead.
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh had run to the side judge and called timeout to avoid the play clock from hitting zero and a delay of game penalty.
Kaepernick's vision of completing what would have been a historic comeback with his own rushing touchdown would never be.
"That's the play I’d like to have back—the play we had to call timeout," Kaepernick told Peter King. "It was just a slow operation all the way through.
"I constantly think about it," the quarterback continued. "I replay it. I rehash it. What could I have done better? If I got everybody up and got them set quicker, we wouldn't have had to worry about the play clock. The way the play looked to me, I don't feel there was anybody that was going to stop us from getting in the end zone . . . It looked like it could have been a walk into the end zone."
"You saw it the way I saw it?" King asked. "That there's a good chance it could have been you against Ray Lewis for the Super Bowl?"
"Yeah, I mean … There was a linebacker coming over the top – Ray – but I just don't feel that was something that was going to matter."
Kaepernick and the 49ers will never know what could have happened. They came back from timeout wanting to run a different play, and threw two incompletions to receiver Michael Crabtree on third and fourth downs.
"How long did it take you to get over the game?" King asked.
"Still not really over it," he replied. "It feels like something was stolen."
Canty Is Division's Most Underrated Signing
Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty was the only player from the AFC North that made ESPN's Matt Williamson's list of the top five underrated signings of the offseason. Canty signed a three-year deal reportedly worth $8 million.
"A key to the Canty signing is his pass-rush skills from the interior," Williamson wrote. "On throwing downs, the Ravens could feature Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil as ends on a four-man line, with Canty and Haloti Ngata or Pernell McPhee, a very underrated pass-rusher in his own right, as the defensive tackles with five or six defensive backs on the field. Canty gives the Ravens all sorts of possibilities and should excel in his new home."
Canty does come with some risk, as he missed the first six games with a sprained MCL and was sidelined for the regular-season finale after re-injuring his knee.
"The Ravens will find out whether Canty can hold up when the pads come on this summer," ESPN's Jamison Hensley said. "But, based on what you saw in minicamp, he passes the eyeball test. At 6 feet 7, 315 pounds, Canty looks like an NBA power forward who can add another dimension to the Ravens' pass rush."
Governor Birk? U.S. Senator Birk?
How does the title Governor Matt Birk sound? Or how about U.S. Senator Matt Birk?
That's a step up from Ravens retired center Matt Birk.
Apparently the Republican Party in Minnesota has been consistently knocking on Birk's door since he returned to the state after retiring from the NFL, trying to nudge him into running for political office.
Which political office are the Republicans urging him to consider?
"Kind of the whole gamut," Birk told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Governor, [U.S.] senator….
"The term 'public servant' — that's appealing to me. There is something about the idea I still find romantic."
Birk, a known conservative, created a buzz last month when he declined to join his Super Bowl-winning teammates to the White House because he disagrees with President Barack Obama's support of Planned Parenthood stand on abortion.
But whether Birk actually enters the political arena is still unknown.
He told the Tribune that he "should have some clarity on my short-term future next week," and said it would not, for now, involve politics.
Feeling Bad For McClain
Linebacker Jameel McClain was put on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start training camp, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said his recovery is taking longer than hoped.
"At this point, you have to feel bad for McClain who has long been one of the most respected Ravens by his teammates," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "He worked his butt off this offseason to get in good shape.
"He feels good, and the Ravens, who are thin at inside linebacker, need him. But you can't be overly cautious with a spine injury so McClain is forced to sit and wait."
Ravens Pull Offer If Leach Waits Much Longer?
The Ravens noted that they have 89 players on their 90-player roster after cutting wide receiver Omarius Hines. Jason La Canfora tweeted yesterday that the "Vonta Leach free-agent saga will be wrapped up today."
"Coincidence?" tweeted Brian McFarland of Russell Street Report.
Maybe. Maybe not. But it was never wrapped up yesterday so it's taking longer than La Canfora expected.
If it takes much longer, Zrebiec wonders if the Ravens will eventually pull their standing offer, reportedly $2 million in salary and $1 million in incentives.
"As enticing as sitting out a couple of weeks of training camp could be for a veteran like Leach, the Ravens will probably pull their initial offer at some point," Zrebiec wrote. "And if rookie Kyle Juszczyk looks stout as a lead blocker early in training camp and the preseason, the Ravens could be more resolute about moving forward without Leach."
Harbaugh Sending Jones A Message?
Jacoby Jones took the Ravens' conditioning test Monday and failed. Consequently, he landed on the football non-injury list. Jones is expected to be back at training camp today with the rest of the veterans, and the Ravens expect him to take the test again and pass with flying colors.
So no big deal.
But ESPN's Sal Paolantonio has a question about the whole process.
"I don't understand this: Why did they think it was important to put him on the non-football injury list if he didn't really have to report until Wednesday with the rest of the veterans?" Paolantonio asked WNST's Glenn Clark. "Why even draw attention to something that clearly wasn't a major deal?"
It is possible that Jones was required to report Monday with the other injured players because he had an offseason procedure on his knee, which was documented during his time on "Dancing With The Stars."
"From what we know of John Harbaugh, I think he gets frustrated with these types of things," Clark replied to Paolantoni's question. "Maybe it's a possibility that [they're thinking] we're going to do this because we're going to let Jacoby know we're not happy with the fact he showed up and failed the test."
"Yup. That's probably it," Paolantonio said. "They were just sending him a message."
- "My guess is Marshal Yanda] [won’t play in the first one or two preseason games but that will be because he has nothing to prove and the Ravens will proceed with caution with him," wrote Zrebiec. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Where should you draft running back Bernard Pierce? "Pierce showed promise as a rookie and could one day be the starter here or elsewhere, but his fantasy value appears to be limited entering 2013," wrote Matt Vensel. "He will have some value if he ends up being that goal-line guy, but like I said, we don't really know about that right now. Go ahead and take a late-round flier on Pierce in case something should happen to Rice (especially if you draft Rice, too). He is worth rolling the dice on." [The Baltimore Sun]
- The Ravens were ranked No. 26 for their 25-and-under talent. [ESPN]
- Jay-Z isn’t a threat to the agent industry. Savvy guys like Ravens safety Matt Elam is. [ProFootballTalk.com]
- Overheard at practice yesterday … "You're not that good, Joe! You're not going to get it every time," said Ngata to Flacco. The Ravens quarterback wanted a pass interference call when Elam jostled for a pass with receiver Gerrard Sheppard the goal line. [The Baltimore Sun]
- @cliftonbrowncsn: #RavensTalk...Want confidence? This from Joe Flacco - "I'm going to get a lot of money, and we're going to win football games." [Twitter]
- @michaeloher: Happy bday to the best center of all time!! @BirkMatt [Twitter]
- @torreysmithwr: Btw that fitness test means nothing but you can pass a test...practice is completely different especially at our pace [Twitter]
- @mspear96: Morning Fam! Attack today get what you can get done and the let it go! progress is made 1 step at a time [Twitter]