Three things to watch for as the Ravens take on the Rams Thursday night

The Baltimore Ravens will take on the Los Angeles Rams Thursday evening at M&T Stadium in their week one preseason matchup.

The Ravens look to build off of their preseason-opening 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame game last week in Canton Ohio.

Here are three things watch for during Thursday night’s contest.

1) Who plays and for how long? 

According to ESPN‘s Jamison Hensley, Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco said that he expects to play in Thursday’s game. If Flacco does play, could this mean the debuts of the revamped starting receiving corps of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown?

If any of these guys see the field on Thursday night it is unknown how long they will play. Traditionally Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has had his starters play a series or two in the first preseason game. It would mark the first preseason action for Flacco since Aug. 27, 2016 versus Detroit as he missed all of last year’s games with a herniated disk in his back.

What impact will Flacco’s apperarance have on the playing time of the other Ravens quarterbacks? Robert Griffin III performed well in the preseason opener while Lamar Jackson struggled and looked like a quarterback who needs as many reps as he can get this preseason.

It will also be intriguing to see if veteran defensive stalwarts Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle see the field Thursday night. Suggs is entering his 16th season and has looked great in camp this summer. Weddle is entering his 12th season but you wouldn’t know it from this clip after joint practice with the Rams on Monday as he seems as charged up as ever.

2) Who keeps their momentum going and who bounces back?

The toast of the town late last week was Ravens third-year linebacker Kamalei Correa. Correa was a beast against the Bears, finishing with six tackles, three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. His effort earned him some praise from Harbaugh.

Going into the contest, I was anxious to see what impact new defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale would have on the defense and Correa’s big night was a product of returning to outside linebacker, his natural position. It will be interesting to see if Correa can provide another big night and continue to remove himself from the roster bubble.

Looking to bounce back for the Ravens would be wide receiver Breshad Perriman. The trials and tribulations of Perriman have been well documented and on the Ravens first possession last Thursday night, Perriman provided another moment to his list.

This interception led Gordon McGuiness of Pro Football Focus to take still frames of two plays from Perriman’s last two games against the Bears.

Perriman finished the night with two catches for 19 yards and has quite a mountain to climb to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

3) Offensive Line play

Ravens quarterbacks were sacked eight times last Thursday night. Six of the eight sacks were endured by mobile quarterbacks Griffin and Jackson.  This is an alarming trend considering both players move significantly better in getting away from pressure than Flacco does.

Orlando Brown Jr led the group in total snaps and performed satisfactorily in his first taste of NFL action.  It’s worth noting that the remaining leaders in offensive linemen snaps (Jermaine Eluemunor, Bradley Bozeman, Maurquice Shakir, and Randin Crecelius) are not anticipated to be starters for the Ravens but it leaves the offensive line’s depth in doubt.

Given Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda’s injury history, this is a definite area of improvement for the Ravens this Thursday night. Lewis returned to practice on July 28 after sitting out a few sessions with a nagging ankle injury. He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Yanda came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Monday and returned to practice on a limited basis. This is a great sign for the Ravens as he is working his way back from a fractured ankle he suffered in week two last season. He also suffered a partially-torn rotator cuff while lifting weights in December and underwent a procedure to fix it up. The shoulder injury is actually what’s held Yanda out to this point. He is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

The Details:

Image Credit: Baltimore Ravens

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Podcast Episode 9: Rebuild – To build something again after it has been damaged or destroyed

Welcome to Episode 9 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and author Ian Schultz.

As usual, the podcast opens with the weekly numbers segment (4:57), reminiscing the best Ravens and Orioles players to sport a #9 jersey.

Next, Jake and Ian mourn the loss of Manny Machado and break down the trade that sent the former O’s superstar to the Dodgers (14:13). As you can tell by the podcast’s title, the gang also addressed Dan Duquette’s recent public comments announcing that the Orioles are beginning a rebuild. Jake and Ian pondered whether or not Duquette is the right man to lead the rebuild, and broke down the latest trade rumors surrounding the ball-club.

Up next, Jake’s friend from high school, Conor Miller, calls in (30:56). Conor is the younger brother of 14 News Sports Director Bethany Miller, who was on the podcast in January. Conor, a lifelong Baltimore sports fan and current collegiate baseball player, gives us his reactions/hot takes to the Machado trade, the Orioles rebuild, and the start of Ravens training camp.

With the end of Conor’s call-in focusing on the Ravens, Jake and Ian’s next segment analyzes the first few days of Ravens training camp (54:28). We’ve already heard from both Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson, and the national media is having a field day with the current storylines surrounding the two quarterbacks. Will Jackson’s presence make Flacco more emotional than we’ve ever seen? What are the biggest takeaways from the first few practices? Football is back, and we’ll get you up-to-date on the latest Ravens nuggets.

Last but not least, we wrap up episode 9 with What an Idiot (1:04:53).This week, Jake and Ian call out Josh Hader and the Milwaukee Brewers fanbase for embarrassing themselves in front of America.

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Podcast Episode 7: As Joe Angel would say, time to wave Manny Machado ‘bye bye’

Welcome to Episode 7 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

After the Charm City Bird Watch crew goes over the top #7’s in Ravens & Orioles history (2:30), the guys dissect the latest trade rumors surrounding Manny Machado (12:15). There’s reportedly been some hesitation within Orioles’ ownership to trade Machado to a division rival like the Yankees, as well as letting him go before next week’s All-Star game in Washington, D.C. You’ll find out why the O’s should change their way of thinking when it comes to these scenarios.

With Ravens training camp kicking off next week, the next part of Episode 7 features a full breakdown of the Baltimore’s offense (25:16). Jake, Ian, and Nolan break down each position on the offensive side of the football, and end the segment by picking one player for Ravens offensive MVP.

The guys wrap up the show with their thoughts on the recent news surrounding Maryland basketball (47:07). Last week Maryland turned over documents to the FBI that included details on the recruitment process of Diamond Stone and Silvio De Sousa. Sources have reported that Stone was allegedly payed over $14,000 to come to Maryland while De Sousa was lured away from the Terps after being compensated by Adidas.

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

Podcast Episode 5: Is Terrell Suggs a future Hall-of-Famer? Ebony Bird’s Connor Brooks helps us find out

Welcome to Episode 5 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and editor Nolan McGraw.

The hot topic of this episode is trying to figure out if Terrell Suggs is already a future NFL Hall-Of-Famer. Along with an introduction to this subject from Nolan and Jake, Ebony Bird contributor Connor Brooks calls in to dissect Suggs’s career and whether or not his resume will be good enough to land him a gold jacket in a few years. Brooks, also a Braves fan, breaks down this weekend’s series in Atlanta, as well as Nick Markakis‘s soon-to-be first All-Star season.

In-case you missed it, Orioles play-by-play commentator Gary Thorne had Orioles fans cackling at their TV’s on Monday night with another word botch. With this transpiring, Nolan and Jake spent some time going over their favorite Gary Thorne botches/funny moments.

Also on the show: Jake rants about Colby Rasmus, Tim Beckham, & Chris Davis, breaking down the latest Orioles injuries, and famous #5’s in Baltimore sports history.

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

Podcast Episode 4: Pop the champagne, Chris Davis has been benched!

Welcome to Episode 4 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with Nolan McGraw and Jake McDonnell. Things sound a little different this week with Nolan hosting the show as Jake enjoys his vacation.

The podcast begins with a look at a few of the famous figures in Baltimore to wear the number four in their career. The guys follow that up by diving right into a few of the big Orioles stories from this past weekend, including Chris Davis being benched and the Orioles interviewing Ned Colletti.

After discussing the tough news surrounding Richard Bleier and his injury, the guys transition into some Ravens talk. Lamar Jackson got the opportunity to run the offense during practice this past Thursday which quickly caught the attention of the national media. Nolan and Jake give their opinions on Jackson’s progress thus far and comment on the media circus forming around the rookie QB and starter, Joe Flacco.

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode!

Podcast Episode 3: Nothing can JUSTIFY how bad the Orioles are

Welcome to Episode 3 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and editor Nolan McGraw.

The guys kick off the show today talking about two monumental events in the Baltimore/D.C. sports community – the Washington Capitals winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and Justify becoming the 13’th Triple Crown winner.

Ravens mandatory minicamp is underway this week, with the team holding three mandatory practices through Thursday. What did Nolan and Jake take away from the first day of camp?

Not much changes through the weeks when it comes to the Baltimore Orioles. The team now holds a 19-47 record, but no changes have been made as of now. The Charm City Bird Watch gang discusses Buck Showalter’s questionable managing decisions and the returns of both Zach Britton and Darren O’Day.

Last but not least, the return of one of our many new segments, Don’t Be A Jerk! Which sports figure will Jake call out this week for being a jerk? Listen and find out!

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode!

Podcast Episode 1: It’s time for a yard sale at the warehouse

Welcome to Episode 1 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and editor Nolan McGraw.

Last week, the NFL released a new set of rules for players to follow during the National Anthem. Without going into the political side of the discussion, Jake and Nolan ponder what impact the new rules will likely have on the NFL and potentially the country.

Also last week, organized team activities (OTA’s) began for the Ravens in Owings Mills. After hearing from Joe Flacco, the CCBW crew analyze Flacco’s response to the Lamar Jackson questions after the two were on the practice field together for the first time.

With the Orioles now 20 games below .500 and 20 games out of first place in the American League East, Nolan and Jake reinforce the importance of a rebuild that the franchise continues to put off. The two also discuss Jim Palmer’s comments about Chris Davis last week on MASN, and question what the Orioles should do with their slumping $160 man.

Last but not least, we end the episode by introducing a new segment called Don’t Be A Jerk! Who will Jake and Nolan call out this week? Listen and find out!

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode!