Harbaugh Buys Coaching Staff Lombardi Trophies
Summer vacation got off to pleasant start for the Ravens' coaching staff.
On the last day of work before the break on June 18, Head Coach John Harbaugh presented to each of his assistant coaches a replica of the 2013 Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy, reported Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post.
And while the replica didn't cost as much as the seven-pound sterling silver original, which is handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. and valued between $25,000 to $50,000, Harbaugh still dug deep into his pockets to honor his staff.
Per the report, each replica cost between $10,000 and $20,000. With 22 assistant coaches, the total cost would have been more than $200,000.
That's quite the gift.
"He's raised the bar for the next Super Bowl-winning coach," wrote NFL.com's Chris Wesseling.
"The name 'Harbaugh' quickly has become iconic in football circles," added ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio. "That kind of generosity will only bolster the impression."
I have a feeling that's not the reason Harbaugh made the gesture. More than anything, I'm sure he wanted to show his genuine gratitude for his assistants' part in a historic run. Those trophies are the one unique prize each coach will have that nobody else in the world can get, and now they can be reminded of that forever.
Also, it wouldn't hurt if the trophies provided a little inspiration moving forward.
"Tossing that much more into the kitty to let the members of the staff remember an unbelievable season should only go further toward motivating them in 2013," wrote CBSSports.com's Will Brinson.
Ravens Mourn Cheerleader Death In Motorcycle Crash
The Ravens are mourning the loss of Dyon Bagby, a member of the team's cheerleading squad, who was killed in a motorcycle accident Friday.
According to multiple reports, Bagby, 27, was riding a Suzuki motorcycle on Route 15 near Frederick when a Volkswagen Jetta crossed into his lane. Bagby's motorcycle collided with the passenger side of the Jetta, and he* *was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Jetta was not seriously injured.
"This is such sad news, and the entire Ravens family is in mourning over Dyon's passing," Ravens team spokesman Patrick Gleason said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Dyon's family and friends."
Bagby was a coach at Infinity All-Stars gym in Fairfax, Va., which is where hundreds of coaches, athletes and their families gathered Saturday and Sunday to honor his memory. For three years, he was a full-time coach at the gym, working with the junior and senior teams.
Prior to being selected as a member of the Ravens' co-ed stunt team in March, Bagby was a cheerleader at the University of Louisville. He was on his way to central Pennsylvania's Camp Woodward at the time of the accident, according to Susan Reimer of The Baltimore Sun.
"Infectious. That's the word that keeps coming up," Brad Palmer, owner of the gym, said of Bagby. "His spirit, his joy, his passion. It was infectious."
Why Rice Should Worry About Touches
Ravens running back Ray Rice said he doesn't mind sharing carries with backup Bernard Pierce, in part because it will extend the six-year veteran's career.
But Rice should be concerned with the number of touches he gets if he wants more money, says National Football Post's Joel Corry.
Per Corry, Rice's contract contains $5 million in base salary escalators and incentives. That money is earned by notching 1,200 rushing yards and 550 receiving yards in the same season the Ravens rank in the top 10 in total offense.
The incentive can be earned one time during his current five-year contract, but he gets that chance each year of the deal until it is earned. He didn't trigger the escalator last season, the first year of his contract. He was 57 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards short, plus the offense ranked 16th.
"The individual component of Rice's escalator/incentive is a difficult standard to meet," Corry wrote. "Rice may never earn the escalator/incentive because of Pierce and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell's utilization of the running backs.
"Despite Rice leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage (7,506 yards) and ranking third in rushing (5,066 yards) since 2009, Pierce is expected to become more of a factor in Baltimore's offense. Pierce adds a different dimension to the offense than Rice as a powerful downhill runner."
AFC North All-Bargain Team And All-Expensive Team
The Ravens have the fewest number of players on both the AFC North's all-bargain and all-expensive teams.
ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley put together both teams, looking at the highest salary cap numbers for each position, and then looking that the lowest-paid projected starters.
Below are the Ravens that made each list:
Center Gino Gradkowski ($601,106)
Defensive end Chris Canty ($1.5 million)
Cornerback Corey Graham ($2.6 million)
Kicker Justin Tucker ($480,000)
Running back Ray Rice ($5.75 million)
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones ($4.9 million)
Right guard Marshal Yanda ($7.4 million)
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs ($13 million)
Ray Lewis' TackleKili team made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (technical difficulties prevent them from sharing images). And even though the Ravens' retired linebacker wasn't able to make the climb due to an injured foot and fever, he continued working for the team's cause. In the image to the right, Lewis met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete as part of his efforts to bring more WorldServe International clean water projects to East Africa. [tacklekili.lockerdome.com] * Linebacker Jameel McClain hosted his annual football and fitness clinic Saturday at Reisterstown Regional Park. "We can't change the world overnight, but we can at least plant the seed in some kid and he may change his perspective or be able to reflect when a difficult situation comes up," McClain said. "It's amazing. We always have a great time. It's good to see these kids out here working instead of being in the house." [The Baltimore Sun] * McClain feels "positive" about his medical outlook after suffering a spinal cord contusion last season. He remains optimistic that he'll ultimately gain doctors' approval to resume contact work. "All I can do is prepare myself the best that I can and be in the best of shape like I am. I've done everything I can. It's in the Lord's hands now." [The Baltimore Sun] * And Ravens first-rounder Matt Elam is not one of them … @RavensInsider: With 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid announcing that he's agreed to terms, 10 of 32 first-round draft picks are now signed [Twitter] * @RavensInsider: No arrests yet in ongoing investigation of carjacking, armed robbery of Ravens' Bernard Pierce, according to Philadelphia police department [Twitter] * @MoveTheSticks [Former Ravens scout, NFL Network analyst]: My favorite scouting report from the Ravens college system was this gem on Alan Faneca: Butt-kicker. (that was the entire report) [Twitter] * @MoveTheSticks: The Ravens OL was underrated last year. They created some HUGE running lanes. Some massive people movers in that group. [Twitter] * @justcallzmekiri [Fan]: My sister laughed at me when she asked me what I think the Ravens biggest [loss] was this off season and I said @TorreySmithWR's dreads.Lol! [Twitter]