Presented by

Late For Work 9/7: Clayton Admits Not Voting Modell Into HOF


Art Modell Collection

While reading various clips around the web, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of stories dedicated to pay tribute, respect and honor to Art Modell, who peacefully died yesterday morning at the age of 87.

I wish I could summarize it all for you, but instead I will provide links I stumbled upon and let you decide who you'd like to hear from.

Feel free to add any noteworthy stories you've read in the comments below.

Clayton Admits Not Voting Modell Into HOF

One story I will single out about Modell was written, respectfully, by ESPN's John Clayton. I highlight it because I was struck by his honesty as a Hall of Fame voter, who admits and explains why he hasn't voted Modell into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not many voters have revealed their vote, let alone explained it.

Ravens fans will likely disagree with Clayton's reasoning, but at least you will know it.

Despite acknowledging that the Modell name is as influential as the Rooneys, Maras and "others who helped to make this league so strong," Clayton said he couldn't give Modell his vote.

"As an owner, Modell did almost everything to merit induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Clayton wrote. "His strong presence at the bargaining table allowed the NFL to grow into the nation's top sport. In Cleveland, he ran a model franchise. One episode has prevented his selection to the Hall of Fame, however. After failing to get the city to help him build a new stadium, Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Although the move buoyed Baltimore fans, many of them still bitter about losing their Colts to Indianapolis, it betrayed the equally loyal fans in Cleveland.

"A majority of people in the HOF room – including me – never felt comfortable enough to vote him in. Canton is too close to Cleveland. It just didn't feel right."

Clayton went on to pay respect to Modell, saying he will miss his "wit and words" and his resume in Cleveland was "impeccable." The ESPN columnist believes Modell's death will create more conversation about the topic and his name will always be on the ballot.

"I can say with conviction that the NFL isn't the same without Art Modell," Clayton said. "He will be missed."

Power Rankings: Week 1

The first set of power rankings for the season is in, but you won't find consistency in the Baltimore Ravens' outlook for 2012.

The Ravens' rankings range from No. 3 all the way down to No. 13. Those who see a bright future in Baltimore believe that Joe Flacco and the offense will excel. Those who see the Ravens as a middle-of-the-pack team are concerned about the defense and don't know if the offense can overcome.

Expect these rankings to even out after one or two weeks of play (hat tip to the AP for compiling many AP Pro32 panel's lists).

**Bob Glauber, Newsday:**No. 3
Joe Flacco looks ready for breakout season. If that's case, team goes deep into January. Perhaps beyond.

**Rich Gannon, CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio**: No. 3
Flacco takes next step in his development as a franchise QB.

**Chris Berman, ESPN**: No. 4
After all, Ravens should have been in Super Bowl.

**Mike Florio,**: No. 4
The offense keeps improving and the defense keeps hanging on.  The best news for the Ravens would be a season from quarterback Joe Flacco that forces the franchise to pay him like the elite quarterback he believes he is.

**Vinnie Iyer,**: No. 4
Who's their MVP? QB Joe Flacco. It has been Ray Lewis' team, it has been Ray Rice's team. This is the year the Ravens finally let Flacco loose and take ownership with his leadership — matching that with the glossier stats, elusive Pro Bowl nod and more playoff wins.

**Brian Billick,**No. 5
Joe Flacco moved beyond the "is HE good enough" question in last year's AFC championship game for people to now have to say "are THEY good enough." Loss of Terrell Suggs could be huge, but they still have the best defensive personnel in the game, coupled with the game's best all-around running back in Ray Rice.

**Clifton Brown, Sporting News**: No. 5
Flacco looks terrific; using more no-huddle gives offense more pizzazz. Even if defense slips, they'll reach double figures in wins.

**Don Banks,**: No. 5
The Ravens haven't always made for great entertainment on offense, but this year's commitment to the no-huddle should make for fascinating theater. This could be the year Baltimore's offense carries the defense for significant stretches of the season, but a rough first-place schedule will take its toll at some point and make it difficult for the Ravens to repeat in the AFC North. 2012 bottom line: Another 10-win season, but the playoff berth that comes with it will be via an AFC wild card slot.

**Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/**: No. 6
Offense looked impressive to me on my camp tour. I really liked their no-huddle attack. Defense may not be driving force they once were but far from a liability.

**Cris Collinsworth, NBC Sports**: No. 7
Ray Lewis lost weight. Ray Rice got paid. Joe Flacco ready for breakout year.

****No. 7
They return 18 starters (not including Terrell Suggs) from team that came up short in AFC Championship Game.

**Alex Marvez:**: No. 8
I had Ravens ranked 17th in last poll because of pass-rush concerns. I'm now convinced Baltimore's three top young offensive players (quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith) can help compensate any defensive drop-off.

**Elliot Harrison,**: No. 8
The lack of a pass rush is disconcerting. That they collected just six sacks over the preseason is either just another misleading signpost among many in August football or an ominous sign for a team that sorely needs Terrell Suggs. Fourteen sacks is difficult to replace. Difficult to stomach: The fact the Ravens were outscored, 58-29, in the first half of preseason games. Can't say those were all backups in there ...

**Clark Judge,**: No. 10
Not sure why, but have a feeling Ravens might be sliding backward.

**Pete Prisco,**: No. 12
Who are they on offense? Do they know? Do you? It's just strange seeing them playing no-huddle, even if they can and should.

Rice Explains Pecking Order In Ravens Offense

You'd be hard-pressed to find an analyst who doesn't see running back Ray Rice as the main force in the Ravens offense.

As The Sun's Ed Lee reminds us, the outcry was deafening last season after losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. The running back only totaled 13 carries and 13 receptions in those two contests.

But Rice showed his humble side after yesterday's practice, when asked about the pass-heavy offense we've seen so far in the offense.

"In pecking order, this is Joe's offense, then everybody else," Rice said. "He's proven that this preseason with how he's played, his tempo, how vocal he is, and the quiet Joe phase I think is pretty much over."

Dixon Adjusting From Steelers To Ravens Life

Before joining Ravens nation last week, Dennis Dixon was living and breathing in Steelers country for three years.

So he understands the bitter rivalry just as well as anyone because he has fought in the battles first-hand, but for the other side. With Ben Roethlisberger down in 2009, Dixon started for the Steelers and scored both a passing and rushing touchdown in Baltimore. The game ended in a loss for Dixon after outside linebacker Paul Kruger picked him off in overtime.

Now Dixon walks into a locker room with Ray Lewis, the very person he has fought against. What is that feeling like?

"That's an honor," Dixon told The Baltimore Sun. "That's a future Hall of Famer. Those words go a long way. It gives me tremendous confidence to do the job in the role that I'm in now and give them the best look possible. I'm working on my craft to try to make this team better any way I can.

"There's a lot of bad blood around both sides and a lot of respect, too. It's always so cutthroat. It's always a grind. I still have a lot of close friends in Pittsburgh, but now I'm on the other side."

Quick Hits

  • Offensive tackle Ramon Harewood confirmed that he is appealing his $8,000 fine from the NFL because of an illegal block on Rams rookie defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Harewood was not penalized in the game. "I did nothing wrong," Harewood said. "I watched the play over and over. … I'm appealing it. It's a lot of money. They better take off the whole fine."
  • [

Cincy's top pass rusher is iffy]( for Monday night, says Jason Butt. Bengals starting left defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee) was one of three non-participants for Cincinnati Thursday. [] * @Ravens: Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed and Head Coach John Harbaugh visited Art Modell in the hospital [Wednesday] night. [Twitter] * @Ravens: The flags here are flying at half-staff today in honor of Art Modell.  [Twitter] * @GerrySandusky: The more I think about Art Modell's passing, the more I ponder reunions on the other side. I'll bet he's happy to be with Pat again. RIP. [Twitter] * @coffeeon3rd: Moment of silence for Art Modell at Orioles/Yankees game #baltimore [Twitter]

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content