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The view from the Chiefs' media


The view from the Chiefs' media

There is plenty of chatter in Kansas City this morning about Chiefs fans cheering an injured Matt Cassel, but the overall sense from Kansas City media this morning is that the Chiefs seasonis slowly slipping away, regardless of who plays quarterback.
Here is what someKansas City media are saying after the Ravens' sloppy, 9-6 win over the turnover-prone Chiefs onSunday:RANDY COVITZ,Kansas City Star"The Chiefsseason reached its breaking point on Sunday. Reverting to a conservativeoffense not seen since Marv Levys single-wing offense of the early 1980s stillcouldnt keep the Chiefs from turning the ball over. Quarterback Matt Casselhad a hand in four turnovers before leaving the game in the fourth quarter witha head injury...The loss KansasCitys third in three home games this season dropped the Chiefs to 1-4 forthe season and in dire straits of not making the playoffs."KEVIN HASKIN,Topeka Capital-JournalThe B isvirtually silent. The ooooh gets louder every time No. 7 is on the field.Welcome to Arrowhead Stadium and the life of Matt Cassel, who gets targeted byso many boos that it makes you feel like youre at the All-Star game.Oh, there werecheers Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. They came, senselessly,when he lay still on the turf, his head spinning after delivering a 16-yardcompletion.

The strength ofthe Ravens, as much as anything these days, is how their offense clicks behindJoe Flacco, Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin. Their defense still features Ray Lewisand Ed Reed, but gives up yardage. Did so against the Chiefs, in fact.Points, however,were scarce. That happens with turnovers. And the Chiefs commit them. Inbunches. Four giveaways against the Ravens bumped the KC season total to 19,the highest NFL mark through five games in 15 years. ... The mostinexplicable mistake by KC came within inches of the goal line on the firstpossession of the second half. Called on to sneak the ball in, Cassel lungedleft, but did so without firm grasp of the snap. Soon, the ball squirted intothe end zone and was recovered by Reed, the opportunistic veteran.B-oooooh."MATT LOEDE,chiefsgab.com
"Fans atArrowhead Stadium Sunday chanting Brady, Brady have gotten their wish. Butnot for the reason many felt they would. Chiefs QB MattCassel left Sundays game with the Ravens with a head injury, and the Chiefs fellto the Ravens 9-6 to fall to 1-4 on the season.The effort wasmuch better than last week when they were beaten badly at home by the Chargers,but the bottom line is once again the turnovers killed the team, and it appearsthat the 2012 season is quickly slipping away just five weeks in."SAM MELLINGER,Kansas City Star"The Chiefshave been pathetic already, so thats not the surprising part. And theyvelooked hopeless, so thats not new, either. ... What we see now is a disjointedmess of a football team that was supposed to compete for the division title butis instead sinking toward the bottom of the league, with a head coach unable tomake it stop and an offensive lineman making national headlines for destroyingfans who cheered their quarterbacks injury. If this isnt rock bottom, then wecould all save ourselves some trouble by guzzling Drano. ...
This time, itsRomeo Crennels turn to face charges of incompetence because, honestly, didTodd Haley ever mismanage a game this badly? ...The only thing Crennel appears willing to riskin his game plans is Jamaal Charles future coming off ACL surgery, theChiefs star running back is the only player in the league to go over 30touches twice this season and the result diminished the Ravens risk oflosing.A bizarredecision to punt instead of try for a first down or Hail Mary at the end of thefirst half, more will-breaking penalties and a team presumably coached to valuethe ball instead padding its league lead in turnovers sucked the possibilitiesfrom a game the Chiefs otherwise shouldve won."BILL WILLIAMSON,ESPN.com's AFC West blogger
"On a daywhen some fans paid for a plane to fly over the parking lot, urging the team tofire general manager Scott Pioli and bench Cassel, Cassel did nothing to helpeither his or Piolis cause. Cassel was 9-of-15 for 92 yards. He lost a fumbleat the goal line and threw two interceptions. The Chiefs looked afraid to letCassel pass, and when he did, rarely did anything good happen. Both the teamand Cassel seemed adversely affected by the anti-Cassel sentiment. The time isnow to let him sit and see what Quinn can do."

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.


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Youth movement leads Ravens’ list of MVPs of 2018 season

Youth movement leads Ravens’ list of MVPs of 2018 season

The Baltimore Ravens' 2018-19 season certainly wasn't boring.

A change at starting quarterback while displaying the NFL's No. 1 defense for just the second time in team history en route to a playoff run highlighted their campaign. 

With rookies on the rise and veterans still at the top of their game, who on the Ravens' roster had MVP performances in 2018?

Offensive MVP: QB Lamar Jackson

Coming in for an injured Joe Flacco in Week 11, Jackson pulled the Ravens out of a four-game losing streak and led the team to a 6-1 record down the stretch. His 695 rushing yards is the most by all NFL quarterbacks in 2018 and also ranks 11th most by a quarterback in NFL single-season-history. 

The Ravens' leader for the foreseeable future, Jackson landed the team in their first postseason appearance in three seasons and rekindled fandom in the city of Baltimore. 

Defensive MVP: CB Marlon Humphrey

Humphrey followed up his strong rookie season with an even stronger sophomore season. Nursing a groin injury for part of it, Humphrey led the team with 15 passes defended, 37 total tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. 

Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, the cornerback produced a career-high four passes defended and one interception in the 20-12 win. Through 14 games, Humphrey proved he can matchup with some of the best receivers in the league while slowly emerging as a leader of the defense.

Special Teams MVP: Justin Tucker

He's the most reliable guy in Baltimore, finishing the 2018 season with a franchise-record 141 points for the third-consecutive season.

Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September and November, Tucker was snubbed from a Pro Bowl appearance after making 36 of 39 field goal attempts. 

Unsung Hero: RB Gus Edwards

Beep, beep. Make way for Gus 'the bus'' Edwards. 

Alongside Jackson, the undrafted rookie out of Rutgers emerged in their Week 11 matchup against the Bengals rushing for 115 yards on 17 carries and his first-career touchdown. Through seven weeks, Edwards helped take the Ravens' 29th ranked run game to No. 2 in the league. An introvert in the locker room but an extrovert on the field, Edwards became the Ravens' second rookie in franchise history to post back-to-back 100-yard rushing games in Week 11 and Week 12.

With Greg Roman being promoted to offensive coordinator, expect to see Gus 'the bus' pounding the field in 2019.