Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Please Vote for The Nest in the 2011 Mobbies!

November 3, 2011

Greetings, Nestgoers.

Once again, B’More Birds’ Nest has been nominated in “The Mobbies,” the Baltimore Sun’s awards for Outstanding Blogs in Maryland.

It’s our third time being nominated, and we’d really like to pick up our first award for “Best Ravens Blog” this year.

Please, go to the Mobbies page and vote for us in the Ravens category!

Unlike in the past, the nominees on the voting page will not be ordered by their current rank, instead being alphabetized. So, just because you see us at #1 under “Ravens,” doesn’t mean we don’t still need your vote!

You can vote once per day through 5 PM on November 10. It requires a login, but fret not! If you don’t have a Baltimore Sun account, you can log in through various other platforms, such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others. So you have no excuse to not vote!

We truly appreciate your help as we try to win our first Mobbie!


Wieters, Markakis Win Gold Gloves. O's Still a Joke.

November 2, 2011

We interrupt Steelers Hate Week to bring you some good news/bad news from the baseball team in town.

First, the good.

Last night, it was announced that two O’s – catcher Matt Wieters and right fielder Nick Markakis – won the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions. Wieters is the first Oriole catcher to ever win the honor, and Markakis finally gets his after being snubbed for several years (2011 was actually a down year for him defensively, but whatever).

Congratulations, boys.

And now for the bad news. Because when we’re talking Orioles, the bad ALWAYS overshadows the good.

Free agency starts in less than 24 hours. The Orioles still don’t have a General Manager (or a “President of Baseball Operations,” or whatever other title you want to put on it).

They offered Tony Lacava, current member of the Toronto Blue Jays front office, the job….and HE TURNED IT DOWN. Reportedly, he was ready to take the position and then…he met Mr. Angelos.

From Orioles Hangout:

Tony Lacava turned down the Orioles offer to become GM after he learned he would not be able to have control of who stayed in the organization and who he could bring into the organization according to a source.

According to that source, Angelos informed Lacava that certain people had to stay in the organization although those names were unknown. He was also not given the authority to be able to hire his own people.

Still Turdland.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Steelers hating.


Todd Heap Thanks Baltimore in Sun Ad

October 28, 2011

Again proving just what a classy individual he is, Todd Heap took out a full page ad in today’s Baltimore Sun thanking Art Modell, Steve Bisciotti, and Baltimore Ravens fans for what he calls “so many wonderful memories.”

While Heap “hopes” to take the field Sunday, the tight end has been slowed with a hamstring injury. He will undoubtedly receive a warm welcome from the M&T Bank Stadium crowd (unlike Derrick Mason did a few weeks ago…and then again a couple weeks later).

You’re welcome, Todd. But really, it’s us fans that should be thanking you.


For a decade, my wife Ashley, and I took great pride in calling Baltimore home. We greatly appreciated the way the city embraced our family and took us in as your own. We wanted to publicly and emphatically thank you for all of your incredible support over the years.

I would like to personally thank Art Modell for all that he has done, not only for me, but for the passionate people of Baltimore. Mr. Modell brought football back to the city and restored fans’ pride in cheering for their home team. Our thoughts are with Mr. Modell as he mourns the loss of his wonderful wife Pat. I would also like to thank not only Steve Bisciotti for his great leadership of the Ravens organization, but also all of those within the organization who have been like family to me. I have played with so many great Ravens teammates over the years, and am honored and proud to have stepped on the field with each of you. And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank you…the fans. I am blessed to do what I do for a living. And I know that this great game is what it is because we have you supporting us. Your support has touched my family, and I will never forget the cheers of the crowd each and every time you roared “Heeeeap.” Ravens fans, you are tremendous!

Although it was not my decision to leave Baltimore, I accept that change is sometimes necessary. Certain that I have a few good years of football left in me, I’m excited about my future with the Arizona Cardinals. But the city of Baltimore will always be special to me and my family. Thank you for so many wonderful memories.


Todd Heap

Number 52 Becomes Only Member of 40/30 Club

October 17, 2011

With his sack of Houston Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub in the first quarter on Sunday, Ray Lewis joined a very exclusive club.

Or, perhaps more accurately, he founded said club.

Lewis became the first player in NFL history to record both 40+ sacks and 30+ interceptions. He and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison are the only members of the “30/30 club,” but by going over 40 career sacks (he now has 40.5, along with 31 interceptions), Lewis now stands in a class of his own.

It’s just one more distinction for the two-time NFL defensive player of the year and Super Bowl XXXV MVP, who is unquestionably headed for Canton, Ohio when he finally decides to hang up his cleats. At his press conference on Monday afternoon, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh called Lewis “the greatest linebacker to ever play the game.”

While that sort of praise gets thrown around a lot, and makes for great sports bar and talk radio debate, in Lewis’ case it’s not just hyperbole. Ray’s resume speaks for itself.

Greatest. Ever.

Secondary Still Thin as Carr, J.Smith Miss Practice

October 12, 2011

It looks like at least two of the five guys we singled out as being most important for the Ravens to get back on the field moving forward aren’t going to see the field this week against Houston. Both Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr were absent from the portions of Wednesday’s practice open to the media today, according to several reporters.

On the one hand, it’s disappointing that the team will still be extremely thin in the secondary, especially against a high-powered offense like the Houston Texans. On the other hand, though, it’s most important to get Carr and Smith 100% healthy before they take the field again and risk re-aggravating their existing injuries. Not to mention that Houston will be without All-World wide receiver Andre Johnson this week, which takes considerable pressure off the B’More back line. The fact that the Ravens travel to Jacksonville – whose passing game scares nobody – next week before coming back home to face another potentially explosive air attack in the Arizona Cardinals also relieves a bit of the urgency to get those guys back right now. In addition, it wasn’t all bad news in the secondary, as Haruki Nakamura was able to practice.

The Ravens should be OK this week and next without Carr or Smith. It’s imperative, however, to get them back for the critical Week 9 contest in Pittsburgh.

The other two guys from our “gotta get ’em back” list, Ben Grubbs and Lee Evans, were on the field Wednesday, so let’s be hopeful that they are able to continue practicing pain-free throughout the week and that they can suit up on Sunday.

Welcome Back (again) Derrick Mason

October 11, 2011

Hopefully Derrick Mason kept his house in Baltimore, because he’s been spending a lot of time in Charm City as of late.

In a surprise move late Tuesday, the Houston Texans traded a conditional draft pick to the New York Jets for the 15-year veteran. It’s clear that Mason was not a fit in New York and had reportedly been benched after criticizing his role in the offense.

Since when is having a big mouth in New York an issue, Rex?

With Peyton Manning likely out for the season, the AFC South is clearly up for grabs and it looks to be a battle between the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans for the division crown.

Signing Mason is a great move for the Texans because he was not being utilized the best way in New York. Mason, who has posted 1,000 yard campaigns in eight of his last ten seasons, was lost in the mix of Santonio Holmes’ big new contract and Plaxico Burresses freedom campaign.

I fully expect Mason to produce in Houston much like he did in his six seasons with the Ravens. When healthy, the Texans have one of the league’s elite offenses with running back Arian Foster, tight end Owen Daniels, and wide receiver Andre Johnson. With Johnson out though, the Texans are a bit thin at the WR position. Jacoby Jones has been a disappointment in his four seasons in Houston.

Mason should expect to see many balls thrown his way from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, as these other high profile players command the attention of opposing defenses.

Some may surmise that Mason was just brought in for “intel” on the Ravens offensive game plan.

However, this seems highly unlikely. Hell, Cam Cameron could have been picked up by the Texans and he probably couldn’t even explain the inconsistency on that side of the ball for Baltimore.

No, this move is purely about the Texans hoping Mason can produce at near the level he did in Baltimore, and that he can be a viable compliment to Johnson.

So Derrick, welcome back to Baltimore! It’s probably best you keep your mouth shut and your head on a swivel with Chuck Pagano’s defense champing at the bit as they get ANOTHER chance to meet you head-on across the middle.

Ravens, Ngata Agree to 5-Year Deal

September 20, 2011

Perhaps (or perhaps not) thanks in part to Goob’s attempted viral twitter campaign to #SignHalotiNgata, the Ravens have agreed to terms with the beastly defensive tackle, according to his agent Mike McCartney.

Ngata, who was playing this season under the Franchise tag, will sign his new five-year deal this afternoon, just about an hour before the NFL deadline. It was looking less and less like the deal wasn’t going to get done this year, as had the 4 PM deadline passed today, the Ravens would have been forced to wait until the next “league year” to resume negotiations with Ngata and his agent.

The terms have not yet been disclosed, but Ngata’s deal is expected to eclipse the one signed by New England Patriots’ defensive tackle Vince Wilfork in 2010, a 5-year, $40 million contract.

Update: According to Aaron Wilson, Ngata’s deal pays him $20 million over the first two years, making him the highest paid non-quarterback in the NFL. Wow.

With Ngata locked up, the Ravens not only free some salary cap space for themselves, but they free up the franchise tag, should they need to use it next year on guard Ben Grubbs or running back Ray Rice, who will both become unrestricted free agents in 2012.

TMZ Report – Chris McAlister is Broke, Living in Mom's Basement (UPDATE – REPORT DISPUTED)

September 15, 2011

This came as more of a surprise here at the Nest than it probably should have, unfortunately.

TMZ is reporting today that former Ravens Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl winning cornerback Chris McAlister is out of money and is living in his parents’ basement.

From TMZ:

Former NFL bad ass Chris McAlister — who signed a $55 MILLION contract in 2004 — claims he’s BROKE AS A JOKE and living with his parents … this according to court docs obtained by TMZ.

The ex-Baltimore Ravens defensive superstar has just filed new documents in his child support war with his ex-wife Marlene in the hopes of  lowering his $11,000 per month obligation.

In the docs, Chris — a 1st round NFL draft pick in 1999 who played in the league for 10 years — states, “I have been unemployed since 2009. I have no income.”

He adds, “I live in my parent’s home. My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so.”

The whole “athlete goes from riches-to-rags” story is hardly an unfamiliar one, but that doesn’t make the individual instances of it any less tragic.

McAlister had the talent to be the best CB in the league during his playing years, but always seemed distracted by off-the-field pursuits – namely drinking and partying. His days as a Raven were numbered from the day “players’ coach” Brian Billick was replaced by disciplinarian John Harbaugh. Indeed, after McAlister caused some sort of scene at the hotel in Miami in Week 7 of the 2008 season, he never suited up in purple again. He appeared in three games for the New Orleans Saints during their Super Bowl year in 2009, but hasn’t played since.

Update: “Downtown Diane” took to twitter to dispute TMZ’s report:

The lesson here? As always, don’t trust TMZ.

Ed Reed Made History on his Birthday

September 15, 2011

On Sunday, Ed Reed’s 33rd birthday, Ben Roethlisberger was feeling quite generous. The big Pittsburgh quarterback, whom Reed had never before intercepted in their careers, lofted two gift picks right to #20.

With the second interception, Reed notched his 12th career game with multiple interceptions, more than any player in the NFL’s Super Bowl era. He had previously been tied with Ronnie Lott. What’s even more amazing is that it was the THIRD CONSECUTIVE regular season game in which Reed picked off two passes (he intercepted Colt McCoy twice in Week 16 and Carson Palmer twice in Week 17 in 2010).

Jason Cole of Yahoo! sports breaks down Reed’s amazing accomplishments further, in his piece titled “Reed is the greatest NFL thief of all-time.

Reed has 56 picks in his career and moved into a tie for 16th with Lem Barney and Pat Fischer on the all-time list. By the end of the season, Reed has a chance to move way up. There’s currently a five-way tie for the next spot at 57 and Emmitt Thomas is 10th with 58. After that, it jumps to Dick LeBeau and Dave Brown with 62 each and Lott and Darren Sharper at 63.

In contrast, Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, considered the best safety not-named Ed Reed of this era, is tied for 246th with 27 interceptions.

But the raw numbers only begin to tell the story. Understand that Reed has gotten there faster than just about anyone, getting those interceptions in only 129 regular-season games. That is the fewest of all but one (Bobby Boyd) of the 18 players with 56 or more. Barney played in 140 games, Johnny Robinson (57 interceptions) played in 164 and Tunnell played in 167.

Others took a lot longer to compile their impressive pick total. Krause, for instance, played in 226 games and Woodson played in 238. Eugene Robinson, who is among those just ahead of Reed with 57 picks, played in nearly twice as many games (250) as the Baltimore safety.

Furthermore, Reed is playing at a time when it’s harder than ever to get an interception. While the NFL is much more of a passing league, a big reason is that throwing is safer than ever.

In 1960, when Tunnell was playing his second-to-last season, the NFL averaged one interception every 15 throws (there were 274 interceptions on 4,114 attempts for the season). By 2010, that rate dropped to one interception every 33.8 throws (511 interceptions in 17,269 attempts). The reasons are ample, from the greater use of spread formations and short passing to the improvement in quarterback play. Bottom line, getting a pick takes much greater skill today than ever.

Wear those #20 jerseys proudly Ravens fans. Ed Reed is quickly and efficiently solidifying what was already a very impressive resume to send to Canton in a handful of years.

Which of course isn’t to suggest that Reed is slowing down any – his last three games pretty much summarily dismiss any suggestion to the contrary – just that we all need to be cognizant of the fact that we are witnessing history, and greatness, from the best ball hawk ever.

Suggs Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

September 14, 2011

photo c/o @WNST

It was bound to be one of the Ravens.

After sacking Ben Roethlisberger four times and causing seven turnovers in Week 1, either Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, or Haloti Ngata was going to be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

It ended up being Sizzle, the proud new owner of one slightly beaten and bruised Roethlisberger ass.

Suggs, who became the Ravens’ all-time leader in sacks on Sunday, brought down “Big Ben” three times and caused two fumbles, both of which were recovered by the Ravens.

He always shows up big for Ravens-Steelers, and Sunday was no exception. Sizzle has now brought down Roethlisberger 15.5 times in their careers, more than any other player in the league.