Assessing the Ravens’ 2014 draft now is akin to judging a gift based solely on its wrapping paper.Only time will tell how many of their nine selections will pay dividends in 2014 and beyond. Even assistant general manager Eric DeCosta acknowledged recently that the evaluation process is as much art as it is science — and luck — with a number of variables ranging from talent and intelligence to health and work ethic determining how successful a player will be.But the initial reaction to what the Ravens accomplished over the weekend and how it specifically relates to the 2014 season? Underwhelming and redundant.It has little to do with questioning the quality of players they selected as much as it felt like a repeat of the 2013 draft with an overwhelming emphasis on defense — at the same positions — for a second consecutive year. After selecting a safety (Matt Elam), an inside linebacker (Arthur Brown), and a defensive tackle (Brandon Williams) with their first three picks last year, general manager Ozzie Newsome grabbed an inside linebacker (C.J. Mosley), a defensive tackle (Timmy Jernigan), and another safety (Terrence Brooks) with his first three selections over the weekend.“You never know what kind of shape the draft is going to take,” DeCosta said Saturday evening. “We go into it blind, and this just ended up being really a draft about substance. We got guys that we think are going to be here for a long time and are going to help us win games. They’re guys in the fourth quarter that should be big-time players for us over time.”It would be unfair to strongly doubt the talents of Mosley or Jernigan — two players viewed as top 20 talents by more than a few draft pundits — or the potential of Brooks to become defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ starting free safety as early as this coming season. But it is reasonable to question what the selections of Mosley and Jernigan mean for Brown and Williams, two players many expected to step into starting roles this season.Of course, the Ravens would privately tell you they’ve found the eventual successors for veterans Daryl Smith, Haloti Ngata, and even Chris Canty after grabbing 5-technique defensive end Brent Urban with their first choice on Day 3 of the draft. But that doesn’t sound like dramatic improvement for this season as the Ravens try to bounce back from an 8-8 record and the first non-playoff season of the John Harbaugh era.While no one would confuse the league’s 12th-ranked defense with the 2000 Ravens a year ago, it was the offense that was the biggest culprit that needed major reconstructive surgery this offseason.It’s true that the Ravens have already worked to address the league’s 29th-ranked offense with the hiring of new coordinator Gary Kubiak, the free-agent additions of 35-year-old receiver Steve Smith and 31-year-old tight end Owen Daniels, and the trade for Tampa Bay center Jeremy Zuttah, but the need for a right tackle and the desire for another impact pass-catcher virtually went untouched this weekend. Yes, the Ravens will always take the best talent available, but the fact that they’ve taken only one offensive player in the first three rounds in the last two years — out of a total of seven choices — is concerning for that side of the football.Third-round tight end Crockett Gillmore has encouraging upside, but many consider him more of a developmental prospect than someone ready to contribute this year behind Dennis Pitta and Daniels. And while the organization thinks fourth-round running back Lorenzo Taliaferro could be one of the steals of the entire draft, the 230-pound back will need to prove his accomplishments at FCS school Coastal Carolina will translate to the next level.Are those additions enough to not just improve but dramatically improve what was an abysmal offense a year ago?“We’re all laughing because the whole board was stacked toward the offense,” said Newsome at the conclusion of the third round. “But Eric has made the comment several times that we’re being contrary — everybody else in this league is drafting offensive players and we’ve been drafting defensive players. But it was stacked more toward the offensive side, but the way it fell for us, it’s been the defensive players.”Truth be told, the Ravens are higher on second-year linemen Rick Wagner and Ryan Jensen than most assume as the former is currently projected to be the starting right tackle with the season just under four months away. But considering the albatross that was the offensive line for a franchise-worst running game a year ago, Penn State guard John Urschel being the lone lineman selected by Newsome — in the fifth round — understandably raises eyebrows.And even after their other defensive additions, the Ravens’ decision not to draft a cornerback after the free-agent departure of Corey Graham will also put more pressure on Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson as they compete for the No. 3 corner spot.That’s plenty of dependence on former late-round draft picks who’ve made little impact in their time with the Ravens.“We need to give these young guys a chance,” Newsome said. “I think guys should fail on the field, so we’re going to give these guys the opportunity to fail on the field. That way we know whether they can [play] or not. But we feel real good about them. And the other aspect of that, bringing in a new set of coaches, and they’re getting a chance to put their eyes on them, and they feel good about the young guys that we drafted last year.”That message sounds contradictory to how some now view the 2013 selections of Brown and Williams after Mosley and Jernigan were picked in this year’s draft. There’s no shame in acknowledging Mosley and Jernigan as superior prospects on their board, but it’s only natural to wonder if the Ravens feel they whiffed on last year’s class more than they lead on.Make no mistake, the draft should always be about the long run, but that doesn’t prohibit a team from immediately improving its prospects for this season, which leaves this weekend with questions still unanswered.The truth is the Ravens won a Super Bowl based largely on offense two years ago but have been more committed to improving the defensive side of the ball ever since. And though the defensive-minded Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in February, the Ravens’ tireless dedication to defense doesn’t appear to mesh with what the league has become as DeCosta even pointed out over the weekend.“We’ve added a nice influx of young defensive talent,” DeCosta said. “We’ve always been known as a team that has prided itself on defense. This is a blue-collar community, and I think they’re going to enjoy watching these guys play.”Maybe so, but fans will also continue to hold their breath about the offense until the Ravens prove otherwise.
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There’s something about Mulvane.Wellington fell to Mulvane 23-7. Not to be a homer, but that score is a bit misleading. It should have been closer.In the end, Wellington had just 15 less offensive yards than Mulvane 182 to 167. Take away two long runs by running sensation Cole Diffenbaugh of 51 and 31, the Dukes outpaced Mulvane 167 to 100. It was a good defensive effort for the Crusaders, and Wellington won this game in the trenches.Wellington lost this game with undisciplined mistakes. The special teams, which have been so good all season, made two costly mistakes on long snaps that gift wrapped Mulvane two scores and 9 points.As a result, Wellington is now traveling to Buhler, a much formidable opponent than Winfield, a team the Crusaders beat last week. El Dorado leap frogged Wellington in the standings for the No. 13 seed with a 10-6 loss to Augusta.Wellington’s offense, which has battled inconsistency all season, saw a good dose of it Friday night. Any time Wellington had successfully moved the ball, something bad would happen like a turnover, a botched field goal attempt, or a miserable penalty.Wellington couldn’t get anything to click. For example, on this play in the second quarter, receiver Silas Popplewell was wide open without a defender 10 yards from him. He went unnoticed.“In order to win you have to be good in three phases of the game,” said Zane Aquilar, Wellington head coach. “We were good in only one of them tonight and you can guess which two we weren’t good at.”The penalties were just terrible for Wellington, which were assessed seven of them for 75 yards. Mulvane had 60 yards as well. Longtime football fans may have experienced a first when officials called a pass interference on both teams on the same play.Wellington and Mulvane played a slugfest and were scoreless in the first. The Crusaders recovered a fumble after Mulvane drove into enemy territory. Gage Cunningham had two of them. His second typified the kind of evening Wellington was having he had 70 yards of open space but couldn’t get a handle on the football. Wellington would recover but remained in its own territory.The next four plays defined the game. Wellington would recover its own fumble on a botched reverse play for a 12-yard loss. It then stalled on a 1-yard run. Quarterback Berkeley Wright was sacked. That resulted in a punt deep in its territory which was blocked. Mulvane led 7-0.On the next sequence, Diffenbaugh got open on the first of his two long runs and scored from the 31 to make it 14-0.Still, Wellington fought back and drove deep into enemy territory to the Mulvane 11 with a first down. But the drive stalled and a missed field goal ended with Wellington down 14-0.The Crusader offense found some groove in the third quarter with counter runs by Trace Rusk, who had 92 yards on 28 carries for the night. But a nice pass on third down and long from Wright to Travese Love ended in disaster after the receiver fumbled the ball after gaining 12 yards.Time was getting away from the Dukes. With 3:45 to play, Wellington was still down 14-0 and had to punt again deep in its territory. A high snap led to a disastrous safety. Mulvane was up 16-0, and had the ball.Diffenbaugh then would split around the corner and take off for a 54-yard touchdown.Wellington finally found success offensively, when Zander Vargas came in relief as quarterback after Wright was dinged. He engineered a drive that ended with 16-yard touchdown reception to Austin Soles.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.
Braden Bohman runs for 251 yards, three TDs in Tigers’ victoryBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — After two-straight losses, the Marshfield football team needed a win to gain some momentum.The Tigers turned to a punishing running game, a stingy defense, and a sophomore quarterback to get it.Braden Bohman ran 36 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns, and Ryan Krueger, making his first varsity start at quarterback, threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns as Marshfield rolled past Oshkosh West 34-13 in a Valley Football Association South Division matchup Friday night at Beell Stadium.Krueger replaced injured starter Jared Johnsrud this week and completed 9 of 19 passes, including two scores to Nathan McGrath.“We matched up well with them, and our sophomore quarterback came in there and did a heck of a job,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “He had to. He’s a sophomore. He’s going to be that kid. He’s the next one. We just have to teach, and he just has to believe what he can do.”Krueger’s 6-yard TD to McGrath on the Tigers’ first possession gave them an early lead.Oshkosh West (1-3, 1-2 VFA South) quickly responded as Ben Kohl hit Jacob Zentner for a 62-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to tie the game.Marshfield (2-2, 1-2 VFA South) put together a nine-play, 92-yard drive that bridged the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters for another score. A 21-yard pass from Krueger to Zackary Schmidt brought the ball down to the 1, and Bohman plowed in on the next play to put the Tigers up 14-7, a lead that held through halftime.“The line blocked effectively. We rolled Krueger out a little bit and kept our fullback in to block a little bit, so we had to adjust (as coaches),” Goettl said. “I told (Braden) he was going to get 30 carries a game, and we went a little over. When you’re getting yards, you can’t do much. We had to get a win.”The Tigers came out of the locker room ready to go and began to wear down the West defense.Marshfield had a nine-play, 59-yard drive that was capped off by Krueger’s second TD pass to McGrath, this time from 26 yards away.After Bohman intercepted Kohl on West’s next possession, Marshfield went 48 yards in seven plays with Bohman scoring from the 13 and putting the Tigers up 28-7.Marshfield’s only turnover of the game — a fumble early in the fourth quarter — led to West’s second score on a 2-yard run by Kohl, but the Tigers were able to put the game away on their next drive.Bohman ran nine-straight times before Krueger had a 6-yard scamper on fourth-and-3. Bohman ran in from the 22 on the next play to complete the scoring.Marshfield outgained West 414-199 and held the Wildcats to just four first downs.Marshfield will play at Wisconsin Rapids (3-1, 2-1 VFA South) next Friday at 7 p.m.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 34, Wildcats 13Oshkosh West 7 0 0 6 – 13Marshfield 7 7 14 6 – 34First QuarterM – Nathan McGrath 6 pass from Ryan Krueger (Mason Coffren kick), 8:20.OW – Jacob Zentner 62 pass from Ben Kohl (Reed Yoder kick), 6:24.Second QuarterM – Braden Bohman 1 run (Coffren kick), 9:39.Third QuarterM – McGrath 26 pass from Krueger (Coffren kick), 6:45.M – Braden Bohman 13 run (Coffren kick), 2:27.Fourth QuarterOW – Kohl 2 run (kick missed), 9:20.M – Braden Bohman 22 run (kick missed), 3:54.Team StatisticsFirst downs: Oshkosh West 4; Marshfield 21.Rushing (att-yards): OW 14-33; M 51-300.Passing (comp-att-yards-int): OW 11-22-134-1; M 10-20-114-0.Penalties (no.-yards): OW 3-13; M 7-53.Punting (no.-avg.): OW 8-37.1; M 4-33.5Fumbles (total-lost): OW 0-0; M 1-1.Individual StatisticsRushing: OW, Andrew Thiele 6-18, Ben Kohl 5-9, Carson Faust 3-6. M, Braden Bohman 36-251, Brant Bohman 7-37, Ryan Krueger 7-11, Caden Pearce 1-1.Passing: OW, Kohl 10-20-132-1, Jake Ketter 1-2-4-0. M, Krueger 9-19-107-0, Collin Fravert 1-1-7-0.Receiving: OW, Logan Henke 3-32, Thiele 3-19, Tyler Whiteley 2-12, Faust 2-11, Zentner 1-62. M, Zackary Schmidt 3-32, Andy Goettl 3-21, Nathan McGrath 2-32, Christian Welch 1-12, Hunter Hanson 1-7.Fumble recoveries (defense): OW, Tyler Summerville.Interceptions (defense): M, Braden Bohman.Punting: OW, No. 16 (no name provided) 7-37.1, Kohl 1-37.0. M, Mason Coffren 4-44.5.Records: Oshkosh West 1-3, 1-2 Valley Football Association South Division; Marshfield 2-2, 1-2 VFA South.
23 January 2008Just over 30 years ago, on 12 September 1977, Stephen Bantu Biko died in police detention at the age of 31, leaving behind him a fundamentally altered political landscape and a liberating mirror for the black men and women of South Africa.The pioneer of the Black Consciousness philosophy was arrested on the outskirts of the Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown on 18 August 1977, and taken to apartheid security police headquarters in Port Elizabeth where, according to South African History Online, he “was beaten so severely that damage to his brain was caused.“Realising to a certain extent the seriousness of his condition, the police decided to transfer him to a prison hospital in Pretoria, which was 1 133 kilometres away. He died shortly after his arrival there.”To commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg has put together an excellent exhibition on Biko. Through about 50 panels filled with text and graphics, the viewer can read the words of Biko, taken from his book I Write What I Like.But there are also many other things to read about the man, and how he died a lonely death at the hands of the brutal security police. There is unique footage of Biko from a 1977 BBC interview; and then minister of police Jimmy Kruger’s infamous comment after Biko’s death:“I am not glad and I am not sorry about Mr Biko. His death leaves me cold. I can say nothing to you. Any person who dies . I shall also be sorry if I die .” Kruger said, laughing at his own joke.There is also footage of Kruger. Initially, the security police said that the cause of death was a hunger strike. Several months later, when it was acknowledged that Biko had died of brain damage, Kruger said dispassionately: “A man can damage his brain many ways. I have also felt like banging my head against a brick wall many times, but realising now, with the Biko autopsy, that may be fatal, I haven’t done it.”Born in King William’s TownBantu Steve Biko was born in King William’s Town in 1948, a tall, handsome man with a charismatic personality. He was a founder member of the South African Students’ Organisation, from which the Black Consciousness Movement developed, with the slogan “Black is beautiful”.Biko said in his book: “When you say ‘Black is beautiful’ you are saying, ‘Man, you are okay as you are; begin to look upon yourself as a human being.’”A number of umbrella organisations were formed, one of which was the Black People’s Convention, which played a role in the Soweto riots of 1976.In 1973, Biko was banned and confined to Eastern Cape. After the riots he was arrested repeatedly; by his final arrest on 18 August 1977 he had been in and out of jail frequently, including spending 101 days in solitary confinement.He was held naked and manacled at the Walmer police station in Port Elizabeth, says human rights advocate George Bizos in No One to Blame. On the morning of 6 September he was taken to the security police offices in the Sanlam Building and interrogated until 6pm, when he was again handcuffed and shackled.Long journey to PretoriaBiko was examined and transferred to the prison hospital; he was given a lumbar puncture, which revealed blood in his spinal fluid. It was decided to transfer him to Pretoria, a 1 133 kilometre journey that took 11 hours, with Biko lying naked in the back of the Land Rover. He died on 12 September 1977 in the Pretoria prison hospital later that night. He was just 31 years old.His death caused a worldwide outcry which temporarily stopped the deaths in detention, but they resumed a year to two later. In all, 115 people died in prison between 1963 and 1990.Biko’s wife, Ntsiki, says of his death in detention: “I think Steve expected to die in the hands of the security police. I think all of us expected it. But Steve was prepared to sacrifice his life for the black cause. He felt his work was so important that even if he died it would be worth it.”And Biko himself said of dying: “You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you don’t care anyway. And your method of death can be a politicising thing.”Behind the iconThe exhibition traces Biko’s birth and education, his spells inside jail, his relationships, and his death in detention.There is a section, right at the top end of the exhibition, which, says curator Emilia Potenza, attempts to record details of others who died in detention. A video broadcasts images of them and their families, and any other details that researchers have managed to accumulate.Says Potenza: “It is an extraordinary story which moves beyond the icon on a T-shirt to what’s behind that icon.”Besides the repeated recordings of Biko and Kruger, the constant refrain of Peter Gabriel’s song, simply entitled Biko, first released in 1980, echoes hauntingly around the museum.The exhibition was put together at the request of the Department of Education, with assistance from the Steve Biko Foundation. It makes use of many original photographs, documents and audio-visual clips, and draws on interviews with a range of his contemporaries.It will travel around the country and go overseas, says Christopher Till, the museum’s director. “The Biko story is one that needs to be told. His philosophy has won over the minds of many. Many of the BC [Black Consciousness] ideas have triumphed.”The apartheid state, says Bizos, considered Biko dangerous “not because he had ever taken part in violent activities, but because of his formidable intellect.”The exhibition will run until the end of June 2008. The Apartheid Museum is on the corner of Northway and Gold Reef roads, Ormonde. It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm.Source: City of Johannesburg
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th of each year, commemorating the date of the original adoption of the American flag.For more than 200 years, the flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It’s been a source of pride and inspiration, and a prominent icon in our national history.In the infancy of our country, a resolution was made following a report by a special committee which had been assigned to suggest the flag’s design. The mission was to reflect the Founding Fathers’ beliefs and values, and the sovereignty of the new nation. In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she had sewn the first American flag. The U.S. flag was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The newly designed flag was first carried into battle on September 11, 1777.- Sponsor – The United States flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes alternating red with white. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen colonies that originally declared independence from Great Britain; becoming our first states. The white stripes on the flag represent purity and innocence. The red signifies hardiness and courage (although some say the red also represents the blood spilled to protect our country and our freedom). The “canton,” which is the blue rectangle in the upper left, is specifically referred to as the “union.” The blue represents vigilance, justice, and perseverance. The stars on the flag represent the individual states, which has changed the pattern on the flag as new states have been added. The star is a “symbol of the heavens, and the divine goal to which man has aspired.” The original flag had 13 stars appearing in a circular pattern, and the current flag holds fifty stars.Flag Day was initially established by a proclamation issued by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. This was followed by an Act of Congress commemorating Flag Day in 1949. Flag Day is not currently recognized as an official federal holiday, although it is at the President’s discretion to officially proclaim the observance.This week is also recognized as National Flag Week. U.S. citizens are urged to fly the flag for the duration of the week, with some communities holding parades and other events in celebration of our national flag and everything it represents.This week LP Magazine and leaders from across the loss prevention/asset protection community are in Philadelphia, which is the city where so many of the events that helped spark a nation took place, including the founding of our American flag. Please join us in celebrating our nation’s Flag Day. Especially in light of the tragic events of this past week, it’s important to reflect on the values and beliefs that this country has been built upon, stand strong in the face of adversity, and move forward with the same resilience that has made our nation what it is today. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now