11: Ravens HOF weekend recap & a look at the new NFL helmet rules

Welcome to Episode 11 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

This week the podcast is heavily focused on the Ravens as they come off of an eventful weekend. The guys don’t waste any time diving right into Ray Lewis and his Hall Of Fame speech (5:00). After that the conversation switches over the Ravens 17-16 win over the Bears in the HOF game (15:25). Jake, Nolan, and Ian all give their opinion on which players they think are trending up and trending down after the first preseason game.

Before turning their attention to this coming week’s matchup with the Rams, the guys spend some time dissecting the new NFL rules involving helmet hits (34:38). The issue has made headlines everywhere since Thursday and the Charm City Bird Watch crew is eager to give their takes as well.

The Ravens discussion concludes with a look ahead to the second preseason game. The Ravens and Rams will practice together this week in Owings Mills before meeting at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night (42:45)

The podcast concludes with some brief Orioles talk (50:23). The excitement of the trade deadline has passed and now we are left with an even more incomplete team. However, there are a handful of new Orioles that have made their debut in black and orange this past week. The weekly numbers segment is pushed back to the end of this weeks podcast, where you can hear some memories of former players like Robert Andino and Kamar Aiken (55:50).

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10: Orioles blow it up at the trade deadline & reminiscing on the career of Ray Lewis

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

It’s a loaded episode this week as the guys give their initial thoughts on the Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop trades (29:15), but as always things start with the weekly numbers segment (6:00). It’s fitting that this is episode ten because Adam Jones has been making headlines recently as he decided to stay in Baltimore with the O’s. The guys look back on Jones’ career so far and give their takes on his decision (16:30).

After wrapping up all the Orioles news for the week, the conversation switches to the Ravens (39:50) and their big weekend coming up. It all starts with their first preseason game of the year on Thursday (41:20) and then concludes with a celebration when Ray Lewis enters the Hall Of Fame on Saturday night (45:30).

To honor Lewis’ big achievement, the Charm City Bird Watch crew gives their favorite memories of Ray’s career and have some fun talking about his famous pregame introduction and dance (52:22). The podcast concludes with some prop bets for Ray’s speech (58:23).

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!

Ravens to play Bears in 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Game

On Tuesday morning, the NFL announced that the Baltimore Ravens will participate in the 2018 Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 2 from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium from Canton, Ohio.

The Ravens will play against the Chicago Bears, two days before legendary linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Every year, the Hall of Fame Game kicks off the NFL’s preseason slate. This marks the Ravens’ first appearance in the Hall of Fame Game. The Bears have made four appearances, the most recent being in 2005 against the Miami Dolphins.

Along with competing in the Hall of Fame Game, the Ravens and Bears will still play four normally-scheduled preseason season games along with the rest of the NFL. With that said, should we see any starters play in this game, it won’t be for long.

Ticket packages for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement week are already on sale at hofexperiences.com, or by calling 844-751-0532. Individual tickets for the Hall of Fame Game and Enshrinement Ceremony go on sale on Friday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. ET at profootballhof.com/tickets.

Image Credit: Dawgs by Nature

Podcast: Nolan and Jake react to Super Bowl 52, latest Ravens news, and latest Terps loss

Welcome to the latest episode of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast! On today’s show, Nolan McGraw and Jake McDonnell break down a number of topics, including:

  1. Superbowl 52: Well-deserved for Philadelphia, the empire crumbles, and discussion on the strange McDaniels / Colts saga
  2. Reaction to last Friday’s ‘State of the Ravens’ press conference with Mr. Bisciotti (including the Ozzie Newsome / Eric DeCosta transition), and Ray Lewis’s election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018
  3. The Terps’ tough 74-70 loss to Penn State on Wednesday night

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Ray Lewis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame’s star-studded class of 2018

Five years ago on February 3, 2013, Ray Lewis played his last game for the Baltimore Ravens. Unlike many legends that came before him, Lewis had the honor of raising the Lombardi Trophy above his head as he exited the game of football.

Despite an unforeseen blackout, the Ravens were able to hold on to their lead and defeat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 with a last-minute goal line stand. This would end up being one of many story book moments in Lewis’ illustrious career, but it is the one many fans will remember most as Lewis was announced as a NFL Hall of Fame inductee on the five-year anniversary of the game.

During his 17 year career Lewis suited up in 228 games for the Ravens. He accumulated 1,562 tackles, 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions. To this day, these numbers stand as some of the best for a middle linebacker. However, the stats are only part of his legacy. Lewis was also awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award twice (2000, 2003) and named to the All-Pro team in ten of his 17 seasons.

Known for his intense passion and motivational pre-game speeches, Lewis was all about leading his team. His two Super Bowl wins (2000, 2012) will stand the test of time as the true mark of his leadership. The 12 year gap between those victories stands as the longest for any player in NFL history and it’s hard to imagine the Ravens reaching either of those Super Bowl’s without Lewis. This was recognized in 2000 when Lewis was awarded the MVP award for the Ravens first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Joining Lewis in the class of 2018 will be Terrell Owens, Brian Urlacher, Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Bobby Beathard and Robert Brazille. There was no shortage of worthy players for this years Hall of Fame class. Some even thought that there could be some notable snubs due to the number of worthy first ballot candidates joining the list for consideration. In the end the committee seems to have made room for everyone and the result is one of the most star-studded classes in recent history.

It will be a special moment to see Lewis and Urlacher get inducted in the same year since they were compared to each other throughout their careers and finished with similar numbers. The same could be said about Moss and Owens who continue to spark debate among fans as to who was the better receiver.

Photo credit: ESPN