The Ravens’ new mantra for 2009 merges football and business like never before. by BaltimoreRavens.com
Aug 3, 2009, 5:48PM
It started years ago with Ozzie Newsome, the team’s general manager and executive vice president, who stated that he looked for players who “Played Like a Raven.”
Head coach John Harbaugh picked up on the phrase last season. “We have players who play like Ravens,” he said often.
And what are some of the characteristics of players who “Play Like a Raven?” Passion, strength, good character, courage, intensity, humility, determination, intelligence and pride to compete at the highest level.
Now the team’s marketing department is extending “Play Like a Raven” to the fans.
This season, Ravens fans will have various points of exposure to the elements that make up the year-long mantra, including applications in game-day programs, schedule cards, in-game video, the media guide, yearbook and merchandise.
The first and most significant introductions to the campaign are the team’s season tickets (artwork attached), which fans have received. Each home ticket features an individual player with a corresponding characteristic that describes what it means to “Play Like a Raven.”
“We are pulling back the curtain and allowing fans access into the team philosophy,” Ravens vice president of marketing Gabrielle Dow stated. “Plus, tying each characteristic to a particular team member for home games marks the first time we’ve showcased individual players on tickets.”
The various publications, merchandise and game-day elements mirror what the Ravens will experience on a daily basis in 2009, including slogans on players’ playbooks and Coach Harbaugh’s weekly messages to the team.
Fans can obtain “Play Like a Raven” merchandise online at the Baltimore Ravens team store, in person at the Official Ravens Team Store at the Sports Legends Museum or on game day in Ravens Team Stores at M&T Bank Stadium.
“You can see that our fans get it. We see it every day at camp,” Harbaugh stated. “They show us they can ‘Play Like a Raven.’ We are impressed by that!”
Week 1 – Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-0)Sunday,
September 13, 2009 - 1:00 PM ET - M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)
TV: CBS-TV (Ch. 13/23), Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), 98 Rock (97.9 FM)
Ravens Jersey Color: WHITE
The Baltimore Ravens open the 2009 regular season this Sunday, Sept. 13,
against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium. Game time for the sold
out contest is 1 p.m. The Ravens, 11-5 and a Wild Card entrant to the
playoffs last season, are led by head coach John Harbaugh. The Chiefs, who
struggled to a 2-14 mark a year ago, are directed by new head coach Todd
Haley, who was the offensive coordinator of the NFC Champion Arizona
Cardinals in ’08.
For the 4th time in their history (2000, 1999 and 1998), the Ravens produced
a 4-0 preseason record. Previous to last Thursday’s 20-3 triumph at Atlanta,
Baltimore shut out the Redskins, 23-0, in the opener at M&T Bank Stadium,
stopped the visiting Jets, 24-23, and won at Carolina, 17-13. Kansas City
was 0-4 in the preseason. Following the Chiefs and Chargers games, the
Ravens complete September with a 9/27 home contest against the Browns.
I'm so watching the Countdown to Kickoff right now,
then checking out the Steelers in 20 mins. Looking forward to Redemption!! :happy:
"We've got our eye on something, and everyone sees that...
everybody has this taste of redemption in their mouth."
~Ray Lewis, 2009
Ravens at Chargers Game Recap
The Ravens surrender 474 yards of total offense but the defense steps up in the end.
by Mike Duffy article from baltimoreravens.com
The Ravens’ defense may have given up over 400 yards of total offense to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, but the unit was stingy when it came to giving up points.
In a 31-26 Baltimore victory, the Chargers reached the red zone on five different occasions but only came away with four field goals.
The last time - which came when San Diego was setting up a potential game-winning touchdown - was thwarted when linebacker Ray Lewis flattened running back Darren Sproles for a 5-yard loss on fourth down.
With less than a minute left, Lewis knifed into the backfield untouched, blowing up a play that the Chargers had previously run multiple times.
“They stayed to their form,” Lewis said. “As soon as Philip [Rivers, quarterback] dropped down, I shot it and [Sproles] was there. That was probably one of the greatest plays of my career because of my teammates and what we did as a team.
“I read it, and either they make [the play], or I make it.”
The fact that Lewis, a 10-time Pro Bowler, was the one to secure the Ravens’ perfect 2-0 record did not surprise any of his teammates.
“He’s been doing that for a long time,” safety Ed Reed noted. “He was gone before the ball was even snapped as soon as Rivers got down. It was a great play, but you expect that from him.”
“Ray does some special things out there,” tight end Todd Heap added. “I didn’t even know what the defensive call was, so I asked some guys, and they said he just read the play. That’s what you get when you have one of the best linebackers in the game. He stepped up and made plays.”
It was also representative of the Ravens’ day. The defense gave way to a Chargers offense that was clicking in the passing attack.
San Diego’s two touchdowns were the result of big plays that plagued the Ravens all day. Big plays ate up big chunks of yardage. Sproles took a short throw 81 yards down the right sideline for a score, and quarterback Philip Rivers hit receiver Vincent Jackson with a 35-yard touchdown strike.
They weren’t enough to overcome the Ravens’ offensive firepower and defensive gumption when it mattered most.
Baltimore got to the red zone four times, as well, but the biggest difference was that their trips resulted in touchdowns.
By advancing their near-perfect red-zone conversion rate for 2009 – with seven touchdowns in eight chances this year – the Ravens were able to withstand San Diego’s offensive onslaught.
The Chargers racked up 474 yards of offense, using a stable of big receivers to pick on 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth all game.
Jackson, 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, logged six receptions for 141 yards, while 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end Antonio Gates had five grabs for 78 yards. Along the way, Rivers completed 25 of 45 attempts for a career-high 436 yards and two touchdowns.
“They had basically been throwing jump balls all night,” said cornerback Frank Walker, who filled in for an injured Washington (concussion) on the final Chargers drive. “Our coaches tell us all the time to high point the ball and knock it down. If you can’t make a play on the ball, you have to knock it down.”
Walker actually had a game-saver even before Lewis. With 57 seconds remaining, Walker lined up across the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Legedu Naanee and followed him step-by-step to the end zone. Rivers lofted a high throw from 23 yards out, but Walker was able to break up the play.
While the defense stepped up in the end, it was quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense that sparked the Ravens early.
The Chargers drew first blood when Sproles went the distance on the second drive of the game, but Baltimore was quick to retaliate.
Sproles got free when linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs shook off a Sproles block and then pursued Rivers. The diminutive running back hauled in a short dump-off with an entirely open field ahead. Reed raced to intercept him, but Sproles cut back inside at the 25-yard line before crossing the goal line.
On the ensuing series, Flacco made quick work of the San Diego defense. He completed four consecutive passes to set up running back Willis McGahee’s 5-yard touchdown run up the middle.
With a depleted defensive line – starting defensive tackle Jamal Williams was placed on Injured Reserve on Saturday (triceps) – center Matt Birk and right guard Chris Chester simply won their battle at the point of attack.
“Our offensive line did a great job,” said Flacco. “We felt like we could do what we wanted to do to put some points on the board.”
The Chargers returned and again converted a field goal, this time from 29 yards on a drive that was aided by a 45-yard completion to Malcolm Floyd, to take a 10-3 lead.
And again, the Ravens offered a strong rebuttal by marching 78 yards in 11 plays for a 3-yard touchdown run by McGahee. Heap drew a pass interference penalty on linebacker Kevin Burnett that helped move the ball to the 3-yard line one snap before McGahee logged his fourth score of the season.
Flacco then topped another Kaeding field goal with a 27-yard touchdown strike to receiver Kelley Washington just before the first half ended.
“That was a big key to the game. That was what shifted the momentum in our favor,” Flacco said. “They got off to a quick start, but we came right back down and answered. It was back-and-forth all game long. We were able to play the field position game and had some good, long drives.
“Everybody was focusing on getting six points. That’s the mindset we had in camp. We started well, and we’re getting better at it.”
The momentum carried into the third quarter before fizzling. Flacco found Heap for a 9-yard scoring toss on one series, but the Ravens later settled for a field goal despite a Rivers interception by linebacker Antwan Barnes earned possession on San Diego’s 13-yard line.
Still, Flacco, who went 17-of-26 for 190 yards, was happy with the outcome
“We didn't have a ton of yards today," he said. "But, we put points on the board."
With a few key defensive stops, that was exactly what the Ravens needed.
Sep 27, 2009, 3:48PM
The Ravens talked all week about not looking past the lowly Cleveland Browns and avoiding a surprise defeat in a game where they were heavily favored.
But it was the Browns that remained true to their reputation.
Cleveland rarely challenged in the Ravens’ 34-3 victory Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. In front of a crowd of 70,950, the Browns were without starting running back Jamal Lewis (hamstring), pulled starting quarterback Brady Quinn in favor of Derek Anderson in the second half and barely even mustered a single field goal in the fourth quarter when Baltimore essentially called off their rush.
Several Ravens reached milestones, however.
Wideout Derrick Mason, who finished with five grabs for 118 yards and a touchdown, reached the 800-reception mark, becoming the 23rd player in NFL history to reach that mark.
Running back Ray Rice scored his first career touchdown with a 9-yard rush off the right edge.
And quarterback Joe Flacco set a personal record by throwing for 342 yards, completing 25 of 35 attempts. Flacco also posted a 111.8 passer rating and logged a 72-yard touchdown throw to Mason.
Flacco was given the football early in the first quarter after Baltimore cornerback Domonique Foxworth intercepted Quinn five plays into the game.
The second-year signal-caller took over at Cleveland’s 31-yard line and set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee.
McGahee crossed the goal line again following two Steve Hauschka field goals in the second quarter.
Taking over at the 2:31 mark, Flacco engineered an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 15-yard touchdown sprint by McGahee, his sixth touchdown of the year (fifth rushing).
Meanwhile, the Ravens harassed Quinn throughout the first half. With pressure generated from Baltimore’s front four, Quinn completed six of eight passes for only 34 yards and Foxworth’s interception.
Anderson did not fare much better. Following a rare Ravens punt on the opening series of the second half, Anderson tried for receiver Mike Furrey on the right sideline. Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was step-for-step with Furrey and simply jumped in front of the Browns wideout for the pick.
The Ravens answered with a 34-yard run by McGahee that led to Rice’s historic moment.
What is notable about Baltimore’s trio of rushing scores is that the running backs went untouched into the end zone all three times.
McGahee did not have one defender even tag him, and neither did Rice.
The Ravens officially sealed the victory by intercepting Anderson twice more – one from Dawan Landry and one by Ed Reed – and taking a long shot to Mason.
After Landry’s pick, which he simply ran under like a center fielder, Flacco calmly dropped back and unleashed a bomb to Mason that the veteran receiver had to come back to catch. When Mason, whose five grabs for 118 yards led all receivers, did haul it in, he side-stepped a Cleveland cornerback and outran the defense to the end zone.
The Ravens improved to a perfect 3-0 and took an early lead in the AFC North. And considering how convincingly they did it, the Ravens solidified their reputation as a serious contender in the league.