I know you want the Baltimore Ravens to kick off their season today. All I can do is kick off your morning with the Wake-up caw ...
Cornerback Lardarius Webb is expected to play in the season opener at Denver, just 11 months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. "Lardarius is ready to go. He looks good," coach John Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "I just think the guy is amazing in everything he's done. I love him to death. Nobody works harder. He's been great, and he's going to play really well." This is great news for a defense that is getting ready to play Peyton Manning. Webb is the team's best cover corner and he didn't look like he was coming off an injury when he played in the Week 3 preseason game. You still have to wonder if the Ravens are going to keep Webb on a snap count.
Running back Ray Rice is trying to convince retired linebacker Ray Lewis to come with the team to Denver for the season opener, according to the team's official website. “You might have to make the trip,” Rice told Lewis over text message. “I think the guys, if he’s not going to be working, would embrace seeing him on the sidelines. Not sure how he’ll take it. He’ll probably want to suit up a little bit.” Lewis will be remembered as the best player in Ravens history, but the emphasis here is on history. There will be time to reminisce when Lewis comes back to have his number retired in a couple of weeks. Right now, the Ravens have to keep focused on this game and this season.
If you thought the endless stories about those Joe Flacco banners hanging in Denver are crazy, you should hear how Flacco responded to a question about them. "Hey, it’s cool. Being hated is not a bad thing," Flacco said, via The Carroll County (Md.) Times, before adding this unexpected twist. “I don’t know if I’ll be too popular for this. I don’t know how I really felt about [Heisman Trophy winner] Johnny Manziel [until recently], but I feel like now everyone hates him. He’s quickly becoming my favorite player in college football.”
The Ravens have been awarded veteran linebacker Robert James off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons, according to The Sun. This move is about improving special teams. Last season, James was tied for the most tackles on the Falcons' coverage teams with 10.
According to The Sun, those not practicing for the Ravens on Sunday (which is actually like a Wednesday if there were a Sunday game): defensive tackle Arthur Jones (undisclosed), nose tackle Brandon Williams (undisclosed), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (sprained left foot), center Ryan Jensen (foot) and tight end Dennis Pitta (hip). Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) returned to practice.
Walt Coleman is the referee assigned for the Ravens-Broncos game, according to The Press Box. Coleman didn't officiate a Ravens game last year, but he was on the field when the Ravens came back to win at Pittsburgh on Torrey Smith's game-winning catch in 2011.