A lot is left on the cutting room floor after a football game. Every week I spend hours uncovering everything I can about the 106 players that make up the roster of the two teams I cover on Thursday night football. I read articles digging deeper into their backgrounds. watch film, and spend hours meeting with players and coaches. A few things of interest from this weeks Raven’s Browns game that I didn’t get to tell you on TV.
* Torrey Smith will lay his 19 year-old brother Tevin to rest on Saturday in Virginia. His family was there to support him Thursday night. His mom Monica and some of his 6 siblings in the stands at M&T Bank Stadium. They sat together underneath a huge white sign that said, “Tevin’s Corner”. The group wore white t-shirts with a picture of Tevin, who died Saturday in a motorcycle accident, on the front. As I sought to better understand the Raven’s wide receiver and the tragic loss of his brother I found this Washington Post article written in 2010 by Eric Prisbell. Now I understand why his agent Drew Rosenhaus described him to me as courageous. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/25/AR2010122501499.html
*Bending his knees will make Joe Flacco Better. This week I asked Joe Flacco during warm ups about knee flexion. As a 6’6 quarterback who stands up right in the pocket his coordinator Cam Cameron thinks it’s critical. Cameron told me, “The biggest thing for a tall guy is Knee Flexion”.
*Joe Flacco feels like he is the long-term quarterback for the Ravens, even though he’s in the final year of his rookie contract and has turned down the Ravens offer. He was very open in speaking about his contract situation this week with our NFL Network production group. While he says the Ravens have offered him respectable money, over a 6-year period he’d be leaving something on the table. “I feel like I deserve more. It’s not about the money,” said Flacco. “It’s about respect and being one of the top guys in the league.” His point is that the ravens can pay him Top 5 money now, but that the going rate is getting higher and higher. “I don’t want to be as high as Drew Brees, he says, “but I’m 27, I’ve done well and I’m going to do well. It seems like it’s the back end of the deal that the Ravens and Flacco will have to hash out. What happens if he gets injured or if by years end Flacco’s numbers don’t warrant Drew Brees type money? Not one to lack confidence, Joe Flacco is betting on himself.
*Rookie Brandon Weeden had the best game of his young NFL career Thursday night. By his own admission he’s not a very vocal guy. So it was 3rd year back up running back Chris Ogbonnaya who I watched rally the Browns sideline all night. At one point Chris grabbed Weeden, Wide Receiver Greg Little and Trent Richardson and took them over to the offensive line and gave everyone a pep talk. A quick look at my flip card and I realized the back up running back out of UT was more experienced than the starting Quarterback (rookie), running back (rookie) and Wide Receiver (2nd year.) Cleveland is a young team. After playing Green Bay in the preseason Weeden told his brother it’s like going from A ball in baseball to the big leagues. His welcome to the NFL moment came on a hit at Lambaeu, “it’s a little different from college, he said. “in that game I didn’t wear rib protection, you bet now i’m going to.”