Ed Reed Returns to Ravens After Visiting Family, Search Called Off for Brother

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed returned to the Ravens’ practice facility after spending some time back home in Louisiana visiting with his family, which is dealing with the disappearance of Reed’s brother Brian. Brian Reed went missing on January 7th when he reportedly jumped into the Mississippi River while fleeing police. Investigators founds Brian Reed’s shoes and jacket, but have called off the search for Reed himself.

Ed Reed stayed with his team and played in the Ravens’ 30-7 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Wild Card game. Reed had a solid, if not spectacular game, recording four tackles including a devastating hit on Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster. After the game, the Ravens presented Reed with a game ball for him and his family. An emotional Reed accepted the ball saying, “I know my brother, he loved football, but he wanted to beat Pittsburgh and now I want a Bowl.”

Reed is an unbelievable talent, leading the NFL with eight interceptions during the regular season, despite missing the first sex games of the year. He returned to the team after just one day home with his family, indicating he’s a teammate any player would love to have. He’s obviously committed to his teammates and the Ravens organization and wants to play well and win for his missing brother, but I don’t think anyone would have held it against him if he spent a little more time with his grieving family.

Everyone handles grief differently. Many people look for things to distract them, and preparing for a playoff game against a bitter division rival would definitely fit that bill. I’m sure Reed’s family was very supportive of his decision to return to Baltimore. I just hope Reed’s preparation for a football game doesn’t come at the expense of his family.

Sergio Kindle’s Second DUI Proves He Just Doesn’t Get It

As you have probably heard, Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle was arrested for drunk driving on Sunday and had a blood-alcohol concentration of more than twice the legal limit of .08. This is Kindle’s second DUI since 2007, and he also crashed his car into a building in 2009 — an accident he attributed to texting while driving.

Kindle was the 43rd overall pick in this year’s draft out of the University of Texas. He suffered a fractured skull in July when he reportedly fell down two flights of stairs. The Ravens signed Kindle, despite the fact that he was unlikely to play at all this season (and he isn’t going to) to a one-year contract worth about $300,000. Now, it’s unclear if Kindle will ever play for the team that drafted him — or any other team — given his history of character and health concerns. Doctors recently told Kindle that he may not be ready to play next season, anyway.

The DUI also comes less than a week after Ravens receiver Donte’ Stallworth received an award for courage following his own drunk driving incident in 2009. It seems like Kindle should have learned something from the “courageous” Stallworth, but obviously he didn’t. It’s clear he didn’t learn anything from his previous DUI and obvious he’s an irresponsible person. There are plenty of typically responsible people who make a mistake and learn from it but two DUIs indicates a larger issue.

Kindle’s physical gifts are undeniable, but his judgment is lacking. He’s strong, fast, and agile on the field, but he can’t figure out how to turn the corner when it comes to his decision-making off it. If he’s lucky, the Ravens will consider keeping him around for one more year only because they spent such a high draft pick on him.  It seems more likely that his shot will come from somewhere outside of Baltimore, if he’s fortunate enough to be given another one.

The Most Unpredicatable Year in NFL History Continues

The earth must be off its axis or something.  I assume those of you who have been keeping track of the Sunday early games are as dumbfounded as I am.  As we already told you when we posted our NFL picks here at LBS, there’s just no easy way to pick against the spread so far this year.  Come to think of it, picking straight up is no picnic at the moment either.

If you took the Browns +13 against the Saints and the Bills +13 against the Ravens, good for you.  At the half of both games it looks like you made better picks than I did.  But if you try to tell me you expected New Orleans to be trailing Cleveland, 20-3, at the half and Baltimore to be behind Buffalo, 24-20 — both at home — then I know you’re just lying through your teeth.

Yet somehow that’s what’s going on at the moment.  I just spoke to a wise 89-year-old football expert (who I refer to as my grandfather during the work week), and even he said he can’t remember a year where there was less of a clear-cut favorite in both the AFC and NFC.  Yes, he’s still all there.  Who are the powerhouses?  Who are the Super Bowl favorites?  Right now the answer to those questions looks like a simple “nobody.”  If these games continue the way they’re going, wish us luck putting together the power rankings on Tuesday.

Prime Time Preview: Ravens vs. Patriots

Our Week 6 LBS Game of the Week takes us to Gillette stadium for a match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots that will help clear some of the dust in the AFC and determine who the powerhouses are.  One player who won’t be in attendance is Randy Moss.  The Patriots face a true test coming off the bye week and will get a chance to see how their new, Moss-less offense stacks up against one of the best defenses in the AFC.

Why Should I Watch?

Last year in the opening round of the NFL playoffs, the Ravens went into Foxboro and embarrassed the Patriots on their own turf.  Ray Rice exploded from the opening snap and Baltimore’s front seven harassed Tom Brady for 60 minutes.  New England is looking for revenge but Baltimore won’t be intimidated.  They’ve won much bigger games at Gillette than this one.

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Freddie Mitchell Working Out for Ravens?

You’ve probably come to expect me to be down with all athletes that are former Bruins. Au contraire. When a guy’s got a mouth as big as Jay Bruce’s hat, and not the skills to back it up, it becomes hard to root for him. It is in that light that I must laugh along with pretty much the rest of sports world in hearing that the Ravens actually worked Fred Ex out. MDS at Pro Football Talk says he first heard about his from a reader tip saying Freddie talked about it on his Myspace page and that a league source confirmed the story. MDS is quite the reliable fellow so I have pretty good reason to believe this is true, not to mention new coach John Harbaugh used to be with the Eagles, Freddie’s former team.

There is a dilemma however: do you laugh at Fred Ex just for being himself, or at the Ravens for actually working the guy out? It’s comical that Freddie’s still trying to get a job in the NFL. He’s a former 1st round pick, who not unlike many other highly drafted wide receivers, busted out of the NFL after a few unsuccessful seasons. He’s only known for his big mouth, having given himself the Fred Ex nickname, and notably thanking his hands “for being so great” when he made the incredible catch on 4th down. The Ravens though, my goodness. They got Mark Clayton who’s a former 1st round pick, Derrick Mason who needs to avoid the hirshey squirts, and now they’re even working out Fred Ex? That’s pretty low on the barrel. I’m sure he won’t sniff a roster spot, but still funny he’s trying to hang on.

Derrick Mason Probable With.. Diarrhea

Yeah man, no joke. I was thumbing through Rotoworld to find out the latest injury news from the NFL, only to come across this one for Derrick Mason. Let me just say that I’ve seen some strange ailments on the injury reports, and I’ve heard of Andy Roddick losing a match because he got sick eating fast food, but I don’t know if I’ve seen anything quite this personal:

Wide receiver Derrick Mason sat out with an unusual ailment, according to [Head Coach Brian] Billick.

“He’s got – as Tess [trainer Bill Tessendorf] says – gastroenteritis,” Billick said. “In my neighborhood, that’s [diarrhea]. So you put whatever label you want to.”

Apparently Taco Bell strikes in Baltimore as badly as it does in LA. I feel for you, Derrick Mason, I feel for you. And next time this happens, just have Coach Billick say you have the stomach flu, OK?