AFC North: Tab Perry

Bengals game personal for Washington

October, 8, 2009
10/08/09
1:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


The start to the 2009 season has a different feel for Baltimore Ravens receiver Kelley Washington.

 
 AP Photo/Elise Amendola
 Kelley Washington hopes to show the Cincinnati Bengals what they're missing out on.
First, the seven-year veteran is on pace for career highs in catches and receiving yards in Baltimore’s high-scoring offense. Second, after experiencing three non-winning seasons in four years in Cincinnati, Washington is facing his former team for first place in the AFC North Sunday when the Ravens (3-1) host the Bengals (3-1).

This game is personal for Washington.

From 2003 to 2006, Washington played behind receivers Chad Ochocinco, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and later Chris Henry in Cincinnati and felt he was lost in the mix. Now thriving in Baltimore, Washington wants to show his former team what its missing.

"I definitely want to show them what I’m about," Washington told ESPN.com Thursday. "I know they know it. But I definitely want to put a beating on the defensive backs and show the coaches there, the owners and all the personnel people what I’m about."

Washington has been one of the top success stories in the AFC North this season. He accepted an invitation from Baltimore on a tryout basis in the spring and beat out receivers such as Jerry Porter and Tab Perry.

A strong training camp and preseason helped Washington get early opportunities in the offense and he hasn’t slowed down since. He is second on the Ravens with 16 catches for 198 yards and has quickly developed the trust of second-year quarterback Joe Flacco.

Washington said former teammate Randy Moss taught him a lot while the two were with the New England Patriots. Washington watched how Moss operated when he first arrived in New England and quickly forged a dominant duo with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"[Moss] just constantly talked to [Brady] on what he likes and what he expects," Washington said. "That’s what I’m doing with Joe."

The results are showing on the field as Washington has become Flacco’s third-down specialist.

Washington also is known for his dancing. His moves have excited crowds in all three stops in Baltimore, Cincinnati and New England. (We recommend checking out "The Squirrel" from Washington on YouTube.)

Ochocinco also is known for his celebrations and says he has something special planned Sunday. So there could be an entertaining competition within the game between two former teammates.

But who’s the better dancer?

"I know he knows deep down who the better dancer is," Washington said of Ochocinco. "He might have a little bit more things up his sleeve. But as far as quality of a dancer, he knows who’s better."

Only one player will be dancing in first place after Sunday's game.

Washington becomes a Raven

May, 13, 2009
5/13/09
5:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

  Washington

The veteran tryout the Baltimore Ravens were most impressed by turned out to be receiver Kelley Washington. The former Cincinnati Bengal and New England Patriot agreed to a one-year deal with Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, according to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli.

Washington out-dueled receivers Jerry Porter and Tab Perry in Baltimore's search for receiver help. He made numerous plays in minicamp and showed good hands and size.

Washington could play a bigger role than expected in training camp. Top receiver Derrick Mason could be out until September following major shoulder surgery, which should provide Washington more opportunities for playing time in the preseason. Washington also is solid on special teams and could help Baltimore in that area.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North:

  • According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals rookie tackle and No. 6 overall pick Andre Smith could be having agent issues again.

Morning take: If there is one high-profile rookie who doesn't need any more bad publicity this offseason, it's Smith. This is baffling if reports turn out to be correct.

  • Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports the Baltimore Ravens have reached out to tryout receiver Kelley Washington.

Morning take: In last week's minicamp, Washington clearly outperformed Jerry Porter and Tab Perry in an effort to earn a contract. Porter had the big name, but Washington made most of the plays.

  • Zac Jackson of Clevelandbrowns.com provides an early preview of the Browns' Sept. 13 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

Morning take: Fill in the blank: Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson rushes for ____ yards in Week 1.

Morning take: Tomlin, who will not attend the ceremony, joins an interesting and star-studded class that includes Usher and Ashanti from the world of music.

Ravens Day 1 minicamp notes

May, 8, 2009
5/08/09
5:35
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens completed their first day of veteran minicamp Friday to kick off the 2009 season.

Here are some notes and observations:

  • Similar to last year, the Ravens are still running high-energy, up-tempo practices. Everything is fast: the players, the drills, even the way Baltimore gets in and out of its drills. There is little wasted motion in what this team does on the practice field, which is impressive (and fun) to watch. It's a method head coach John Harbaugh learned with the Philadelphia Eagles and he has carried it over to the Ravens. The increased efficiency and tempo served the team well in 2008.
  • Second-year player Tavares Gooden played with the first-team defense, and it looks like he will get the first chance to replace Bart Scott at inside linebacker. Gooden is coming off an injury-riddled rookie campaign but showed fluid movement and good quickness on the first day.
  • Not to gauge too much on one day, but of the tryout receivers I thought Kelley Washington stood out the most Friday. In a group consisting of Washington, Tab Perry and Jerry Porter, none of them did anything spectacular. But Washington's made a couple of plays and his effort level was consistently where it needed to be.
  • Another receiver, Marcus Smith, flashed some ability Friday. He beat starting cornerback Domonique Foxworth twice on a pair of beautiful deep balls thrown by starting quarterback Joe Flacco. On one catch, he outran the coverage, and on the second he out-jumped Foxworth. Flacco also connected with Smith several times in the afternoon session and seems to be developing good chemistry early with the second-year receiver.
  • Pro Bowl linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs was not present because he has yet to sign his franchise tender. You can read more about that here. Another absentee was receiver D.J. Hackett, who was expected to be one of the veteran tryouts but decided not to participate at the last minute. Offensive linemen Willie Anderson (knee) and Ben Grubbs (ankle) did not participate because they were recovering from injuries. Anderson's injury opened the door for rookie first-round pick Michael Oher to work with the starters.
  • Defensive tackle Kelly Gregg made it through the first day of practices without any ill effects from microfracture knee surgery. He practiced some with the first team and said that he feels good about his recovery.
  • As far as the backup quarterback competition goes, Troy Smith is getting second-team reps while John Beck is playing with the third team. It's too early to tell who will take an early lead. Both players had good throws and bad throws Friday, but Beck looks like he is picking up Baltimore's offense very quickly. He ran a similar system with the Miami Dolphins when Cam Cameron was head coach.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens receiver Derrick Mason has been the center of a lot of conversation this offseason.

  Mason

Mason is recovering from a shoulder injury. He also publicly stated he wants more security with a contract extension, and the depth behind him has been the subject of debate.

Yet, Mason was his usual lively self during the first day of Baltimore's mandatory minicamp. He admits he is still not 100 percent but was out participating in some, not all, of the drills with his teammates.

"It's a good thing I don't have to play; it's May," Mason said candidly. "If it was the Super Bowl, of course I would play. But it's May and I'm just trying to do what I need to do to get better.

"Am I where I want to be? No, I'm not because I'm not fully healthy."

Mason was the team's leading receiver last year with 80 catches for 1,037 yards. He didn't have much help in the passing game as the next leading receiver was Mark Clayton, who had just 41 receptions.

To help fill the gaps, the Ravens added tight end L.J. Smith to pair with starter Todd Heap. The speedy Demetrius Williams also is returning from injury, and the team is trying out three veteran receivers this weekend in Jerry Porter, Kelley Washington and Tab Perry with the goal of being a more complete offense.

"It's only going to help us," Mason said. "Now you have to pay attention a lot more to those guys than the guys who are outside."

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:

  • The Baltimore Ravens are trying out four receivers this weekend: Jerry Porter, Kelly Washington, Tab Perry and D.J. Hackett.

Morning take: After passing over receivers completely in this year's draft, the team should be able to find some veteran help in this group. It will be interesting to see which receiver has the best minicamp.

Morning take: Williams reunites with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati. Once one of the league's better safeties, the Bengals are hoping he has more left in the tank.

Morning take: I thought it was a little strange that Cleveland would go this far into the offseason without a position coach. I guess it's a moot point now.

  • Here is a breakdown of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison's monster six-year contract.

Morning take: This looks more like a three- or four-year deal for Harrison. He gets most of his bonus money up front, which makes him happy. But the salaries are back loaded, which gives the team flexibility if he's no longer productive in the latter years.

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