Torrey's Brilliant Response To Flacco Elite Question
"Are we there yet?"
"Do you want fries with that?"
And … "Is Joe Flacco elite?"
As CSNBaltimore.com's Peter Hailey points out, the Flacco elite question is posed just about as often as some of the world's classics.
And with ESPN recently releasing its quarterback tier rankings based on surveys given to 35 anonymous NFL front office executives and coaches, the debate is alive and thriving right now.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith is no longer a member of the Ravens. He's no longer Flacco's teammate. So he doesn't have to toe the company line anymore if he doesn't want to. At the same time, he's the perfect person to ask because he's caught thousands of passes from Flacco during practices and games over a four-year span.
When the question was posed to him on Twitter, Smith made it abundantly clear which side of the Flacco elite debate he stands.
Best. Response. Ever.
I'd say it was perfect, but the *only *thing that could've made it better would be if he used the Ravens' new purple poop emoji. Unfortunately, the Ravens-themed emoji keyboard was released a couple of hours after Torrey's tweet.
See, Jaguars? The emoji poop is amazing! (Explanation below …)
Ravens/Jaguars Friendly #EmojiWar
The Jaguars and Ravens were the first two NFL teams to release their emoji keyboards, so of course they had to strike up an emoji conversation.
The Ravens kicked it off with a light-hearted Fu Manchu joke, and the Jaguars seemed to quickly take it to another level.
First off, I think the purple emoji poop is a *must. *Secondly, several Jaguars fans and bloggers declared their team to be the winner of the friendly emoji battle, but I noticed the Ravens refrained from going for the jugular.
At least this guy tweeted back to the Jaguars with the two emojis I know I was thinking about.
Anyway, if you want to see the Twitter battle of the day, check out the Cardinals absolutely smashing the Browns.
Torrey Has Hard Time Telling Kids Why He Left Baltimore
It's easy for Smith to explain to adults why he had to leave Baltimore and sign with the San Francisco 49ers. But it's those adorable kids that tug at his heart strings.
"The kids are like, 'Hey, why'd you leave us?'" Smith said at a Baltimore community event Thursday, per CSNBaltimore.com. "It's not like, 'Hey, you left the team.' It's like, 'Why'd you leave us?' It's deeper than that."
Smith was drafted by the Ravens in 2011, and he was already a hero to many local children because he played four years at the University of Maryland. The connection was made even stronger by all the community work Smith did in the Baltimore area.
He was one of the most active Ravens in the community, and despite being a 49er, Smith is still contributing. In this WJZ video, you can see Smith continued his tradition of reading to Baltimore children with his fourth-annual Torrey Smith Foundation Reading Oasis. He had his baby T.J. and wife Chanel by his side.
Because Baltimore children are so close to his heart, it pains him to hear they were sad to see him go.
"It hurts hearing it from kids," he said. "I can take it from adults, but you hear it from a kid, and it's like 'Dang.'
"A kid's like, 'You're my favorite player. Why'd you leave?' And I'm like, 'Uhh, I didn't want to man!' You know, it's tough, but it comes with the territory, so I tell them, 'Hey, I'm playing on a new team, it's all cool out there, I love it. But I'm still gonna be here for y'all.'"
Grantland: Yanda Best Offensive Lineman, Let Alone Best Guard
Marshal Yanda isn't just the best guard in football.
He's the best offensive lineman, period.
This is according to Robert Mays of Grantland.com, whose top-10 ranking of offensive linemen was dominated by tackles. But the unheralded Yanda beat them all, including Eagles left tackle Jason Peters (No. 2), Browns left tackle Joe Thomas (No. 3), Packers guard Josh Sitton (No.4) and Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth (No. 5).
"I'd be willing to argue that aside from J.J. Watt and Aaron Rodgers, no one in the league had a more comfortable margin as the best player at his position than Yanda," wrote Mays. "Last season was Yanda's fourth trip to the Pro Bowl, and in 2014 he was a wrecking crew.
"It's pretty simple. Right now, no offensive lineman is dominating the line of scrimmage like he is."
Mays continues: "This is probably my favorite play any offensive lineman made all season. It's also the one Justin Forsett cites in Yanda's section of the Top 100, where the guard ranks an embarrassing 79th. It's insane. I don't even know how to process it. Off the snap, Yanda gives a little shove to the defensive end that lined up outside teammate Ricky Wagner before the snap. After that, he bumps the nose tackle with his left hip, ensuring that center Jeremy Zuttah gets him turned and out of the play. He does all of that before finally getting up to the inside linebacker and springing Forsett for a 23-yard gain. The right guard makes the entire play happen."
Harvard Study Says Browns Playoff Hopes Better Than Ravens This study is making me re-think Harvard's reputation of academic excellence (unless this study proves me wrong come January).
According to the study, the Ravens only have a 10 percent chance of making the playoffs in 2015. The Browns' and Redskins' chances are both about double that.
Only four teams had longer odds: the Buccaneers and Jaguars (three percent), the Titans (two percent) and the Raiders (1 percent). The list of all 32 teams is here.
In explaining his methodology (in much more complicated detail here), Kurt Bullard of the student-run Harvard Sports Analysis Collective says he's looking for "a more quantitative method [to playoff predictions] than the likes of Trent Dilfer."
Tomlin's Extension Makes For Continued Heated Rivalry
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Thursday they extended the contract of Head Coach Mike Tomlin through the 2018 season.
"That means we can look forward to more competition between Tomlin and Ravens coach John Harbaugh," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown. "The Tomlin-Harbaugh rivalry is part of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry that might be the NFL's best. Both coaches have won Super Bowls. Both are known as 'player's coaches,' able to connect with different personalities. Both are intense competitors, who let their emotions show on the sideline during games."
And they both have a hard time beating the other.
In their 17 matchups, the wins and losses are almost even. Tomlin has the edge with a 9-8 record against the Ravens. But Harbaugh has gotten the leg up in recent history, winning six of the last nine.
"Harbaugh and Tomlin will never be best friends, but their history against each other has forged a mutual respect," wrote Brown. "Considering their track record of success, the Harbaugh-Tomlin rivalry could continue for quite some time."