When Pro Bowl rosters are released, it is natural to look at who didn’t make the list as thoroughly as who did make it. There are Pro Bowl “snubs”, or those left out of the game who deserved it, every year.
Let’s look at the AFC roster in regards to the Baltimore Ravens, being that the rosters were made available yesterday.
For those that did make it, it was absolutely deserving. Marshal Yanda and Kyle Juszczyk will represent the offense, C.J. Mosley will anchor the defense, and Justin Tucker undoubtedly kicked himself into the All Pro roster as well this season. Each of these players are having great seasons. Yanda is the best guard in the NFL, and Juszczyk is one of the last fullbacks in the league. C.J. Mosley could have been in contention for DPOY had he not missed three games with a hamstring injury. Justin Tucker is nearly perfect this season, going 33-34 on field goals and 25/25 on extra points.
As stated earlier, every Pro Bowl roster comes with a few snubs.
Eric Weddle, Brandon Williams, and Terrell Suggs were all named alternates, but a case could be made for each to deserve an original spot.
Weddle deserves it the most of the three, without a doubt. The All Pro safety spent nine years in San Diego before taking over Baltimore’s secondary. Many thought his best years were behind him, but he has shown that there’s plenty of gas left in the tank. Weddle’s stats (81 tackles, 11 pass deflections, 4 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble) rival any year he had previously as a Charger. He could also easily have 6 or 7 interceptions if he had better hands and a team that doesn’t consistently commit penalties.
Devin McCourty, Reggie Nelson, and Eric Berry were all selected over Weddle. It would be difficult to see Weddle making it over McCourty or Berry, but Nelson? Probably. Nelson’s stats (60 tackles, 4 interceptions, 10 pass deflections, and 2 fumble recoveries) are similar to Weddle’s, but less impressive overall. Weddle was a clear snub off the 2016 Pro Bowl roster.
Next, Brandon Williams has been the key cog of the league’s No. 2 ranked rush defense. But, he doesn’t flash the big numbers of sacks that usually get interior linemen on the roster. Williams isn’t asked to rush the passer that often, as evidenced by his 1 sack in 2016. Baltimore’s defense has been tough against opposing running backs all season, and was ranked No. 1 until Week Fifteen. Running the ball against the Ravens would be much easier sans Williams, who is one of the best run defenders in the game. With two games left he has potential to record the most tackles in his career (currently 46 tackles, 3rd among nose tackles).
As for Terrell Suggs, his numbers are solid (33 tackles, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 pass deflections), but not top-level like they’ve been before. If Suggs were to make the original roster, it would mostly be on reputation alone. His numbers aren’t bad, especially for a 34-year-old outside linebacker, but can’t compare to the likes of Von Miller, Lorenzo Alexander, and Brian Orakpo. Uncoincidentally, those three are the top three AFC linebackers in sacks, respectfully. Suggs consistently plays football at the top tier of outside linebackers, though, and even through injury. If Suggs can get 2+ sacks in the next two games, he would probably have deserved a spot on the original roster. Especially being that Baltimore’s last two games are the most important of the season.
But, that isn’t the way Pro Bowl rosters are formed.
I’m 100% certain these players would rather be playing the week after the Pro Bowl, anyways.
Ravens’ Alex Collins Arrested
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early on Friday morning following a car crash about a mile from the Ravens’ team facility, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
Per the report: Officers responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a tree on the 10000 block of Dolfield Road at about 6:48 a.m. Friday morning, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach said.
Collins, 24, was arrested, however charges were not made public at the time of this writing.
Ravens vice president of public relations Chad Steele told The Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with law enforcement and is aware of the situation involving Collins.
Collins is coming off a down year with Baltimore after a breakout campaign in 2017. Collins managed only 411 yards rushing in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve back in December, ending his season early.
Ray Rice Says He Is Done With Football
Former NFL running back Ray Rice, who had been working to try and get a second chance in the NFL over the past couple of years, is no longer pursuing a comeback.
“I’ll be the first one to say it; I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football” Rice said, during an interview on CBS This Morning.
“The pressure I was under of being a star, that was the person I hated the most.”
Rice was suspended indefinitely back in 2014 when a video surfaces showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Rice while the two were alone in an elevator.
Rice was never picked up by another team following the conclusion of his suspension, and his release from the Baltimore Ravens.
Rice said that he sees “similarities” between his situation and the one of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who was recently cut loose by the team when a video surfaced showing him pushing and kicking a woman in a hallway.
“Somewhere down the line everybody who’s sayin’, ‘Does he deserve a second chance for football?’ And this that and the other— I actually got my second chance” Rice said of Hunt, who cleared waivers and is now a free agent.
“During my darkest moments, and I used to ask myself, ‘How could she even be—want to support me?’ … That’s understandable. But I think what’s misunderstood about us is that the friends we were before the incident. That’s why, like I said, when I look at Kareem Hunt, I wanna know what his life was like. I want to know what happened in life. I know Kareem has apologized, and has expressed remorse for survivors of domestic violence.”
Ravens Trying To Entice Fans With Lower Concession Prices
The Baltimore Ravens are attempting to win back fans and their latest plan is making a big step toward doing just that as the team announced on Tuesday that they will reduce concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium in 2018.
The Ravens have been on a mission to bring back fans who were angered by some players’ national anthem protests coupled with their 3-year playoff drought.
A series of moves have demonstrated their efforts. The team invited fans to ask questions at a media pre-draft news conference held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility with owner Steve Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and also have had team president Dick Cass meet and talk to fan clubs.
While the team has sold out every game during their 20-year history at M&T Bank Stadium, empty seats grew in numbers as the 2017 season wore on, and the no-shows are very obvious.
The organization is taking this initiative very seriously.
“It’s something I would really like to take a hard look at, and at least, come up with select items that we can do,” Bisciotti said back in February of this year.
“If it means us … I can’t make Aramark do that with me, but I can make them go along as long as it’s my share of the profits that I’m waiving. Yeah, I’d like to take a look at that. I think we could probably do that.”
There is an official news conference scheduled for Thursday where the Ravens will officially announce price reductions on concessions.
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