Archive for February, 2010

Final Pre-Combine Mock Drafts

February 28, 2010

With the NFL scouting combine in full swing this weekend in Indianapolis (home of the Super Bowl LOSERS, of course), all of the NFL draft “gurus” are getting ready to straight up mangle their “big boards,” “Top 50s,” or whatever else they call their player rankings.

Before they get the chance to do that, I wanted to take one more opportunity to round up the mock drafts in their current forms, and give my thoughts on the Ravens predictions in those mocks.

FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager

Florida State CB Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson

Ravens fans may be clamoring for a wideout at No. 25 — LSU’s Brandon LaFell appears to already be a fan favorite on the blogs and message boards — but cornerback is as pressing, if not a far greater need. Robinson battled injuries this season, but always exhibited top flight corner talent when on the field.

With Ed Reed’s future status still unknown and Frank Walker and Domonique Foxworth serving as starting cornerbacks down the stretch of the ’09 season, Robinson fills an immediate need and could contribute right away. Whether or not ex-Canes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Tavares Gooden will tolerate having a Seminole in their defensive huddle is an entirely other issue. Look for Baltimore to snag Robinson at 25, then look to address receiver in the second round.

Well, this is easy enough. I’ve already covered Robinson, here.

In case you don’t feel like clicking:

During the first half of the 2009 season, most Ravens fans would be overjoyed if you told them Ozzie & Co. would end up taking Robinson in the first round. The Ravens’ secondary was dismal up until the bye week. However, they really turned things on after that, as Dominique Foxworth picked up his game, and they started getting significant contributions from guys like Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb, Dawan Landry, and even Frank Walker (to an extent). Pass defense doesn’t look to be as high a priority for Owings Mills as it would have seemed in early October. The health of guys like Webb and Fabian Washington will also have to play into this equation. Foxworth’s big free agent contract is another issue, as the Ravens may be hesitant to tie up more first round money in a CB.

On the other hand, a strong young cornerback duo of Webb and Robinson could have the Ravens set at the position for years to come. Not to mention, Robinson rocks the dreadlocks like Webb does, and nobody can say no to having TWO be-dreaded guys in the defensive backfield.’s Chris Steuber

Brandon Lafell, WR, LSU


The Ravens need a big WR who can be a game breaker on offense. Golden Tate is rated higher, but LaFell gives Joe Flacco a larger target.

My take:

Like last year, a lot of these mock drafts have the Ravens taking a WR in the first round. Obviously, it is still an area of need for the team. However, as Eric Decosta and Ozzie Newsome have continued to beat into our heads, they refuse to draft on need, instead sticking with their tried-and-true “best player available” strategy. Ravens fans were clamoring for a WR in last year’s first round, and the Owings Mills brain trust instead blessed us with the talent that is Michael Oher. Nobody seems to be complaining about that.

In his argument for the Ravens taking Lafell, Steuber has already broken the Ravens’ rule of taking the best player available, by noting that Golden Tate is, in effect, the better player. Not that his opinion on these two is by any means the same as the current one at 1 Winning Drive…but I just get the feeling that Ravens fans shouldn’t get themselves too excited about the prospects of Lafell wearing a different shade of purple as his transitions from his college to his professional career.’s Pete Fiutak

Biggest Needs: 1) WR, 2) CB, 3) S
3 Players To Consider At This Spot: Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame; Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma; Rob Gronkowski, TE Arizona
The Player That Will Likely Be Taken Here: WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame

Golden Tate

My take:

While its hard to argue with Fiutak’s list of needs for the Ravens, it goes back again to what I said before about drafting for need. The Ravens just don’t do it. Even assuming that the Ravens’ “big board” (the only one that matters) has Tate and Lafell back-to-back in some order, it seems unlikely that either of them will be the “best player available” when Roger Goodell comes calling on April 22. I’ll say it again – don’t just expect the Ravens to go WR in Round 1 because everyone pretty much agrees that they should.

That’s about enough of this mocking for now. To round up, this time we had 2 WRs and 1 CB projected to the Ravens. These draft gurus, of course, base their predictions on teams’ needs. I know I’m repeating myself here, but that IS NOT WHAT THE RAVENS DO. So, when you are surfing the net reading these things, just keep that in mind.


Terrell Suggs Could Learn From Brian Roberts' Offseason

February 26, 2010

Roberts Suggs

A lot of talk coming from Sarasota this week is about the health of some of the Orioles brightest stars, including Brian Roberts and Brad Bergesen. It appears that Brian Roberts is learning from another Charm City Superstar, T-Sizzle, about how awesome it is to sit out early-season practices. Like Terrell Suggs, Brian Roberts’ only real use for Spring Training/Training Camp is to knock a little rust off the wheels – both players have no doubt that they will be on the roster come the first game of the season.

Luckily for Roberts, he gets a free vacation out of the deal, while Suggs has to sit in 150 degree weather in Westminster, counting down the days until training camp ends or he dies from heat stroke – whichever comes first.  There are notes Terrell should take from Brian Roberts to improve his life in many ways – both personally and professionally.

During this 2009 season, Mr. Suggs had a very costly run in with his Baby Momma, resulting in a final price tag of $35,000 per month in Child Support. It remains to be seen whether Sizzle’s lady friend was deserving of a little bleach bath over a fight about tickets to a Steelers/Ravens game (hopefully Sizzle reacted when she tried to give Hines Ward’s Side-Piece or some Harrah’s hotel waitress tickets to the game), but the bottom line is that he could have faced suspension and a fine from the league had the charges not been dropped.


Brian Roberts, on the other hand, is married to this hot trophy wife whom I’d happily pay $35,000 per month to hang out with:

All Mr. Roberts had to do this offseason was hang out with Mrs. Roberts. I’m sure they got pretty bored since her job is to look hot and he just has to go to the batting cages once in a while. I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of boning went on in the offseason and it just might happen that Brian threw out his back- Wouldn’t you!?!?!?!?!? The Orioles Obama of Baseball Operations, Andy McPhail has been quoted saying :

“As long as the symptoms keep improving, which they have with Brian, there really isn’t anything for us to be alarmed about. We have a lot of time. We have six weeks. The position players aren’t the same as pitchers in terms of getting ready, so there really isn’t any concern amongst our group.”

To me, this quote means, “if we keep Mrs. Brian Roberts away from camp at Sarasota, his back will heal properly.” I don’t know about you but six weeks seems like a lot of punishment for doing a good job in the boom boom room. B-Rob’s back may heal but what will happen with him mentally? He may go crazy enough that he’ll give the Mrs. a nice bleach bath if she rejects him for the “headache” excuse.

All we can do here in Bird Land is hope that B-Rob can enjoy some sunflower seeds and Gatorade  from the bench and just let his back heal naturally; a.k.a. no boning! Hopefully he is a nice feller to his lady (unlike Sizzle) and treats her with respect. It may lead to more back injuries but at least Mrs. Roberts will be a good egg to her husband and Brian won’t run the risk of suspension, fines and jail time. So if you’re reading Sizzle (which would be pretty freaking awesome) take a few notes from Brian Roberts on how to treat a lady nice and just reap the rewards my friend.

The Orioles Do What Most Birds Do…. Migrate South

February 18, 2010

O's Spring Training

Everyone knows Mother Nature has been giving Baltimore a pounding worse than the one the Sloviakan women’s hockey team took in the Olympics. Many orange and black realists are hoping the O’s can pull off a season that leaves them with at least as many wins as inches of snow that hit Charm City this winter.

Wednesday was the 1st day of baseball season, as pitchers and catchers reported to sunny Sarasota, Florida to begin preparations for their 2010 AL-East campaign.

Not only will the Orioles have some new faces in the locker room, they will have a whole new locker room. 2010 marks the first season the Orioles will be catching a spring suntan in Sarasota at Ed Smith Stadium rather than in Fort Lauderdale. After announcing last July that the team would be leaving their spring training facilities that they called home for the past 14 years, the Orioles have moved 214 miles to the other side of the state (which resembles America’s Turtle Head).

Speaking of new faces in the locker room, as part of the preparations for the start of the season on April 6th, B-More Birds Nest will provide you a rundown of the what’s what for your 2010 Baltimore Orioles.

Here is all the information you’ll need to know about the pitching and catching B’More-“virgins” of 2010.

Kevin Millwood RHP 6’4″  230 lbs.

Mr. Millwood was brought to Birdland via an offseason trade that sent once promising closer Chris Ray to the Rangers. Millwood, who reached the majors in 1997 with the Atlanta Braves, has a career record of 155-121 with an ERA of 4.02. Kevin also has spent time with the Phillies and Indians. Millwood will serve as anchor and old wise leader for the rest of the staff. Hopefully he learned something from his mentors at the start of his career…you may have heard of them—I believe their last names were Smoltz, Avery, and Glavine.

Mike Gonzalez LHP 6’2″ 215 lbs.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008 Mike Gonzalez had a successful 2009 campaign with 90 strikeouts and 10 saves in 74 1/3 innings. Gonzalez and his 2.42 ERA departed Atlanta to join the Birds. He will be used in the stopper role this year and people in Baltimore will definitely be talking about his strange delivery to the plate.

Part of the reason he might have a decent ERA is because he puts batters to sleep with his boring delivery. Known as “The Cobra” by his peers, his rocking back and forth looks like he is hypnotizing opposing hitters.

With the speed of the game always being criticized, Gonzalez does his best to keep the fans in the stadium as long as possible after the 7th inning stretch( a.k.a. “Beer Cut-off Time”). Mike Gonzalez might not be in the role to get many saves this year, but I’m sure he will save a few people a DUI.

Will Ohman LHP 6’2″ 210lbs

This guys last name is hopefully something we won’t be uttering as he jogs out of the bullpen this season. I’m sure blind Orioles fan’s at Camden Yards have thought “Oh, man” has been playing for our team for the past 14 years.

Willie comes to Baltimore after recently playing for the Dodgers in 09. After only appearing in 21 games in MannyWood, he spent the final four months of the season on the disabled list. A former Tommy John surgery patient himself, Ohman is a familiar face riding the pine.

Rather than bore you with more breakdowns of all the players reporting to spring training, I’ll just list some of the non-roster additions who get to come play with the big boys. They are:

LHP’s Chris George and Mike Hinckley, and RHP’s Jake Arrieta, Armando Gabino, Frank Mata, Josh Perrault, Dennis Sarfate, Alfredo Simon, and Ross Wolf.

The Orioles will also have catchers Adam Donachie, Louis Bernardo, Michael Hernandez, Caleb Miller, and Chad Moeller at camp. Here in Baltimore, we don’t really have to worry about catchers for the next few years until Matt Wieters’ contract expires and we bid him farewell!

Please stay close to the Nest for all of the latest Orioles information and comment. I promise none of my future posts will suck this bad but I hope you enjoyed witnessing me lose my blogging virginity.

Say Hello to "GOOB," our New O's Blogger!

February 17, 2010

The Ravens aren’t the only ones making moves today.

Here at the Nest, we’re committed to stepping up our game this Spring and Summer with respect to covering those other birds in town, the Orioles. I’ve tried over the past two summers to regularly post on the orange-and-black happenings, but it hasn’t happened to the degree that I would have liked. That’s why, for the 2010 baseball season, we are proud to announce that we have enlisted some help.

Say hello to “Goob,” your new B’More Birds’ Nest Orioles blogger!

Regular readers of this site are very familiar with Goob. As a good friend of mine, he has been a commenter since Day 1 (way back in the days), and has been featured prominently in several posts.

Goob lives in North Carolina, but thanks to the magic of DirecTV, can now watch every O’s game on MASN just like us Baltimorons.

Look for O’s blogs from Goob starting sometime later this month.

Ravens Add WR Stallworth

February 17, 2010

The Ravens have confirmed that they have signed free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth.

Stallworth, 29, was suspended for the entire 2009 season after pleading guilty to DUI and second degree manslaughter after a March 2009 incident where he struck and killed a pedestrian in Miami.

He has played for four teams in his seven-year career – the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and most recently the Cleveland Browns in 2008.

Stallworth’s best season was 2005, when he caught 70 passes and racked up 945 yards and seven touchdowns for the Saints.

Stallworth could be the deep threat that the Ravens have been looking for. He has averaged over 19 yards per reception twice in his career (2003, 2006). Of course, in his most recent season for the Browns, 19 yards was his LONGEST reception of the season, and he managed just 17 catches in 11 games. In his defense, it was Cleveland. Before that, he was basically the odd man out on the 2007 Patriots juggernaut that featured Randy Moss and Wes Welker.

Stallworth could prove to be a very productive acquisition for the Ravens. However, he is hardly a sure thing, and should be considered the #2 WR at BEST, going into 2010 training camp.

Bergesen Injured Shooting MASN Commercial

February 12, 2010

Brad Bergesen, one of the O’s bright spots from the dismal 2009 campaign and contender for a #3 or perhaps #2 spot in the 2010 rotation, will miss a few days of spring training after injuring his throwing shoulder.

While filming a commercial for MASN.

Here’s the commercial, for the hell of it:

Bergeson told Roch Kubatko of that he had properly warmed up for the shoot, but pretty much over-exerted himself.

From Roch’s blog:

“It’s just as much my fault as anybody else’s. I got caught up in the moment,” he said.

“I think it was a combination of not building up my arm enough and being tight, and I just tweaked something. But if everything goes as planned, I’m not going to miss any time in the season.

Bergesen has been told that he should be on the same schedule as the other pitchers in camp by the middle of March.

“The stuff (athletic trainers) Richie Bancells and Brian Ebel have me doing is unbelievable, the progress I’ve made,” he said. “I’ve thrown six times now and it’s gone better and better every time.”

Ugh. Not even spring training yet and already some bad luck-type news coming from “Birdland.”

Drew Forrester of WNST (whom some would call an unabahsed O’s hater – I’m not one of them) asked this:

…who within the Orioles organization knew of this commercial being shot? Anyone?

For all we know, the folks at MASN might have sidestepped the O’s executive ladder and just obtained Bergesen’s number through a PR staffer. Why wasn’t someone from baseball operations on hand at the shooting to make sure Bergesen didn’t – ahem – injure his shoulder?

A fair question, no matter what you may think of Drew’s opinions on the O’s.

As for us, we can only shake our heads.

That, and wish Bergy a speedy recovery.


February 7, 2010

Manning Face

Eat sheet, Jimmy Irsay.

Eat sheet, Bill “doesn’t want a perfect season” Polian.

Eat sheet, Peyton Manning.

And, most importantly…eat sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit, Colts fans.

Super Bowl Shmoooper Bowl

February 6, 2010

While NestMinder went 2-0 against the spread in the conference championship edition of our picks. Nick-A-What!? successfully picked both winners straight up. (Editors note: Also, lost both spreads) So now on to the last game of the NFL Season.

Nick-a-What!? says:

Colts -4.5 v. Saints

The city of New Orleans has never seen a Super Bowl, let alone a Championship ring. So at least we’ve got one of those things out of the way, and as much as I’ll be rooting for them Sunday, and I definitely will be, I don’t think they can beat Colts.

Reason #1-10: Peyton Manning. Do you need any other reasons? As if the conversations about Manning being the greatest player in the history of the NFL these past 2 weeks haven’t found your ears enough. The Colts are so good they’ve got a chance to win the Super Bowl without the help of a running game. Manning controls EVERYTHING. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Nobody dominates his sport the way Manning does. He’s 33 years old and it wouldn’t surprise me if he played until he was 40. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he wound up with 5 or 6 Super Bowl Rings.

As long as he stays healthy and getting sacked 10 times a year is keeping him that way, he’ll be around for quite some time. The Saints have the hope of a city ravaged by a Hurricane just a few years back and the hearts of the nation behind them, but unfortunately I don’t believe they can pull through.

The Colts one weak link is their Defense, and its not a very weak link at all. So far in the two playoff games they’ve only given up 20 points and exactly 0 of those points have come in the second half. So what does that tell you… the Colts know how to play with the lead.

If Breesus can break through that D early the Saints might be able to hang around, but if they don’t put this one in the books.

Colts 34 Saints 21

Nestminder says:

Saints +4.5 vs. Colts

Nick-a-What!? makes some strong arguments for the Colts there. Hard to argue with the assertion that, yes, Peyton Manning is playing better than perhaps any QB we’ve ever witnessed. The Peyton that used to choke in the postseason seems to be nothing but a distant memory at this point, replaced by this new, unflappable robotic gun-slinging terminator.

All I can do is hope against hope that Pey-Pey has a bad game. Along with that, maybe, just maybe, the injuries to Dwight Freeney and now Reggie Wayne are legit enough that they actually end up making a significant difference on the way the game unfolds. The extra half-second that a 65% Freeney may afford Drew Brees could be enough.

There is no way the Saints hit Peyton like they were able to hit Favre. Favre is a guy who, even at this age, will stand in there and take the hit to deliver the ball-its just the way he plays, and always has. Peyton, on the other hand, NEVER takes big hits. Just look at the way he crumpled like a little girl when Haloti Ngata had a clear shot at him three weeks ago.

That’s how Peyton plays. He’ll never get confused with the McNairs or Roethlisbergers of the world, guys who are “tough” and who take hits and keep on ticking. That’s just not his game. And it works for him. Nick says Peyton might play until he’s 40. If he keeps going on like this, I say more like 45. Football fans don’t like to see players shying away from contact, or being called “smart” for doing so, but that is exactly what happens with Peyton Manning, and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

So, to recap: Uncharacteristic bad game from #18, and an ineffective Dwight Freeney = Saints may have a chance.

Saints 31 Colts 28