B.A. Apologizes For 'Terrible' Performance
Ravens linebacker and special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo has never been considered a bubble player this preseason. But after struggling in his start against the St. Louis Rams Thursday night he seemed humbled enough to put himself in that category.
"Accountable for my terrible performance it's unacceptable," B.A. tweeted. "If given the opportunity I will make up for it guaranteed!!"
Ayanbadejo has been trying to prove that he is more than a special teams guru, which has earned him three Pro Bowl selections, and had a chance to prove he was a capable linebacker when lining up against the Rams' first-string offense.
But things didn't go his way from the get-go.
Quarterback Sam Bradford "victimized" Ayanbadejo in coverage on the Rams' first touchdown drive, hitting tight end Michael Hoomanawanui to cap it off with a 9-yard score. Hoomanawanui beat Ayanbadejo again later in the first half for Bradford's third touchdown pass. The 10-year veteran also struggled against the run, losing containment on a Rams' first-down run when he took a bad angle in pursuit.
To his credit, Ayanbadejo did blow up a St. Louis run in the back field, dropping Daryl Richardson for a four-yard loss.
Still it wasn't enough to escape John Harbaugh's ire. The head coach was seen by WBAL's Pete Gilbert having a lengthy, one-sided chat with his linebacker on the sidelines.
"They did not then hug it out," Gilbert tweeted.
When asked by a fan if he thinks he did enough to make the team – which almost seems silly since B.A. is an integral part of the special teams unit – Ayanbadejo was optimistic.
"Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity."
Taylor, Painter Playing It Cool
With a full half of play given to backup quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Curtis Painter, neither did anything to separate himself from the other Thursday night.
Taylor completed eight of 12 passes for just 58 yards and no touchdowns. Painter went 19-of-31 for 193 yards and two touchdowns, but added three interceptions.
So what will Harbaugh do? Will he keep two or three quarterbacks? Has either Taylor or Painter inspired enough confidence to be the next man up if Joe Flacco were to get injured?
"What I like the most about Tyrod Taylor, who started in place of Flacco, is his ability to make plays with his legs," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "Even though he focused more on being a pocket passer, Taylor wasn't hesitant to take off for a 22-yard scramble. …
"Looking at Curtis Painter's up-and-down performance, I'm not sure he convinced the Ravens to keep three quarterbacks."
With 53-man cuts scheduled to be announced by 9 p.m. today, both quarterbacks will be anxious to hear the final decision, but are playing it cool in these CSNBaltimore.com locker room videos:
Taylor On Looming Decisions
Painter Feeling Anxious?
Hensley: Kindle Biggest Bust In AFC North
As a former second-round pick, outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is the Ravens' highest profile bubble player.
Analysts believe he needed a big game Thursday night to convince coaches that they should give him a place on team after investing two years in his development following a head injury before his rookie campaign even got started.
But Kindle may have left the door open for somebody else to get that coveted spot, says The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec, after he committed a "foolish" roughing the passer penalty on Bradford that kept a second-quarter touchdown drive alive.
If Kindle doesn't make the team, Hensley says he could get the "bust" label.
"Sergio Kindle is looking like the biggest current bust in the division," the AFC North blogger wrote before the game. "There's a good chance that Kindle won't survive the final major cutdown Friday. He's battling Chavis Williams for the eighth linebacker spot. The Ravens were excited about his pass-rush potential when the first-round talent slid to them in the second round of the 2010 draft (43rd overall).
"Expectations for Kindle changed three months later when he fell down two flights of stairs and fractured his skull. The accident has caused permanent hearing loss in his right ear. It looked like he was headed for a comeback with a hot start to this year's training camp. But a shoulder injury has limited him in practice for most of the past two weeks."
New IR Rule Won't Affect Suggs
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to move back the trade deadline and change the rules for the injured reserve list.
In the past, once a player was place on IR, they would have to remain there for the entire season. Now, teams will be allowed to remove one player per season from the list, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
If that rule had been instituted last week, it would have been interesting to see if the Ravens would have put Terrell Suggs on IR. Instead, they put him on the physically unable to perform list, from which he be removed after Week 6 and then only has three weeks to be activated to the roster or permanently placed on IR.
"Players like Terrell Suggs, already placed on the physically unable to perform list, will not be eligible to be taken off the PUP and placed on the designated-to-return IR slot," wrote CBSSports.com's Will Brinson.
Meanwhile, the trade deadline will move from Week 6 of the NFL season to the Tuesday following Week 8. This could make trading a more appealing option because teams will have a better idea of where they stand in the playoff race.
QB Dalton Exits Game With Injury, Should Be OK
The Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens' season-opening opponent, got a big scare in their fourth preseason game last night.
Starting quarterback Andy Dalton left the contest, and never returned, after sustaining a bruise on his throwing arm. He was down near the Bengals sideline being tended to by trainers for a couple of minutes and then walked to the bench where trainers examined his elbow, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
"The fact that Dalton did not go immediately to the locker room and later was talking to teammates was an encouraging sign," wrote Joe Reedy. "Coach Marvin Lewis said at halftime that had this been a regular-season game, Dalton would have returned to the game."
It appears Dalton will be good to go for the AFC North showdown at M&T Bank on Sept. 10.
"I'm good, no problem at all. I just took a hit on the arm, and my hand got feeling a little numb, sort of like getting hit on your funny bone," Dalton said. "But it's fine now. There was just no point in taking any more snaps in this particular game."
- @334Upshaw41: Mind racing....Can't sit back and wait on things to happen I got to make happen I'm all in I'm trying to be great. … From here on out I'm approaching everything I do in a way where when I'm done I know no one out worked me on and off the field. [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: Marshal Yanda (knee sprain) also out doing sprints. Yanda won't play tonight, but it's a good sign that he's out running. [Twitter]
- @GerrySandusky: Ready to wrap it up from St. Louis. I thought Deonte Thompson helped his cause tonight. Not sure Sergio Kindle helped his. [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: I'd be surprised if Deonte Thompson didn't lock up a roster spot tonight. Few other bubble guys stood out in good way. [Twitter]
- @zenitz: Steelers rookie LB Sean Spence, a third round pick in April, was just carted off with a nasty looking leg injury [Twitter]
- @BryanHall68: Left it all on the field tonight. No regrets. God is truly good. #Blessed [Twitter]
- @Thoroughbred954 [Dorian Graham]: [Leave it to the lord](http://twitter.com/Thoroughbred954/statuses/241381263007694848 ') he has the master plan! #Blessed [Twitter]
- @Dgorrer36: All I can say is God is good.....And he will see us threw the decision that has to be made!!!!! #Ravensnations [Twitter]
- @TorreySmithWR: About to head back home...can't wait for the season to start!! I love my team, organization, and the city of Baltimore!! [Twitter]