Harbaugh won’t hesitate to make roster changes to get better

first_img(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Entering the bye week with the Ravens sporting a losing record this late in the season for the first time in his six-year tenure, it was clear head coach John Harbaugh wasn’t in a jovial mood while meeting with reporters on Monday.Offering short answers with little elaboration on several occasions, Harbaugh made it clear that the Ravens need to improve in every phase of the game after a 3-4 start to the season. After the Ravens traded the recently-demoted left tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins earlier in the day, the Baltimore coach said his team will explore every channel — internally or externally — to turn around a season that now includes a two-game deficit with AFC North-leading Cincinnati.“We’re going to do whatever it takes,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll trade guys. We’ll cut guys. We’ll sign guys. We’ll coach guys. We’ll change schemes. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to find a way to get better. That’s the business we’re in.”The issues with the running game and offensive line are well-documented through the first seven weeks of the season, but Harbaugh was critical of a running game that surrendered 141 yards on the ground in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their AFC North foe entered Week 7 averaging just 61 rushing yards per game, but the Ravens gave up at least 140 yards on the ground for the third time in four games.Harbaugh was even more critical of Jerry Rosburg’s special-teams units after reserve safety Jeromy Miles was offside on Justin Tucker’s failed onside kick attempt with 13:04 remaining in the fourth quarter and the kickoff team lost outside containment on Steelers returner Emmanuel Sanders 44-yard kickoff return to set up Pittsburgh at its 37 to begin its final drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal. Realistically speaking, the Ravens could make a few changes to impact their special teams more easily than finding impact players on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.Disappointing free safety Michael Huff was one of several players who failed to hold outside contain on that final kick return and was limited to just five special-teams plays on Sunday after he was initially signed to a three-year, $6 million contract to serve as the team’s starting free safety. He was benched after the season opener and has made little impact on special teams while playing sparingly in the Ravens’ dime package.“We’ve got to play better on special teams; we’re going to go find some guys that want to play special teams,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not going to have guys out there letting the ball run outside of them; that’s unheard of. We’re not going to run a surprise onside kick and not know what we’re doing; we’ll go to work on that. If it means changing people out, then that’s what we’ll do.”Like last year, the Ravens will enjoy their bye during Week 8, but their 3-4 record has prompted plenty of frustration. Baltimore didn’t exactly enter last year’s bye on a high note after the Houston Texans dismantled them in a 43-13 final, but a 5-2 record was easier to swallow.Players will continue to put in work at the team’s Owings Mills facility through Wednesday afternoon before being dismissed for four straight days off as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.“The biggest difference between last year and this year right now is that we’ve lost the close games,” Harbaugh said. “Last year, we won the close games. We’ve got to get hot a little bit and win some close games. It’s going to be a long season, and we have an opportunity going forward. We’ve just got to become a good football team.”Osemele playing through back ailmentStruggling left guard Kelechi Osemele told Sports Illustrated after Sunday’s game that he is dealing with a disc problem in his back that will require surgery in the offseason, prompting questions about the second-year lineman’s health.Osemele missed most of the Ravens’ Week 5 win over Miami as he dealt with back spasms that surfaced during pre-game warmups, but the 2012 second-round pick appears to be pushing through the injury for now.“Most players in the league have something along those lines that way, so he fights through it,” said Harbaugh, who was initially dismissive of the report but didn’t firmly address whether surgery would be in order. “He had the same issue last year [and] he fought through it last year. All the guys have things like that. All those things get addressed in the offseason if it needed to be addressed. We looked at it last year — it wasn’t addressed that way. Maybe this year it will be, but I really don’t know.”An exchange between Osemele and another Twitter user last week prompted further suspicion, but trying to draw conclusions based solely on a social media site is difficult. Both Osemele and the Ravens declined comment in requests made by WNST.net and portions of the conversation have since been deleted on the player’s verified Twitter account.“I respect [that] K.O.’s tough. All those guys are,” Harbaugh said. “Anybody in this league that plays in this league with the physical demands that this game puts on you, you have to respect, especially those guys in the trenches. He’s no different than most of the guys that way.”Positive review for McClain’s returnHarbaugh praised linebacker Jameel McClain’s effort in making his return to game action for the first time since suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9 of last season.Filling in for the injured Josh Bynes, who underwent surgery on an infected finger late last week, McClain played 30 defensive snaps and collected five tackles while also serving on some special-teams units. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said last week that McClain would be the team’s weakside inside linebacker upon being activated, so it will be interesting to see how both McClain and Bynes fit into the defensive plans when they’re both healthy.“Given the circumstances, [he] probably played really well,” Harbaugh said. “[He] hadn’t played for a long time, hadn’t practiced much, was throw into a situation because of Josh’s situation where he had to play quite a few snaps. He did a solid job, and he’s only going to get better from here on out. He came out of it healthy, so that’s important. He’ll really benefit from the next couple days of work.”Suggs’ ‘state of emergency’Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs provided the greatest sense of alarm following the 19-16 loss to the Steelers, describing the Ravens as being in “a state of emergency” as they enter the bye week.Harbaugh didn’t express agreement with those words but echoed the sentiment he shared last week in which he thought some frustration to get better was a positive for his struggling team. Suggs said he was very concerned and that the Ravens could no longer kid themselves over the seriousness of their problems in every phase of the game.“All the guys have a right to say whatever they think,” Harbaugh said. “If that is how Terrell sees it, then that’s good. A sense of urgency is a good thing.”last_img read more

California school evacuated after parent barricades himself in classroom with teacher: Police

first_imgJustin Grayson, a Riverside Unified School District spokesman, said the parent had forced his way past an entrance-exit point and the injured staff member had gotten injured trying to intervene. Railsback said he believed the teacher inside the classroom was a woman but he did not have any other details.Worried parents rushed to the school today to reunite with their children.“I got there literally minutes after supposedly it (the incident) started to happen,” SandiKay Barber-Alvarez told ABC station KABC-TV. “Every unit known to man showed up. Praise God for our Riverside PD.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Jetta Productions/iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERSIDE, CAlif.) — Students and staff at an elementary school in California were safely evacuated Tuesday after a disturbance involving a parent who allegedly barricaded themselves inside a classroom with a teacher ended after the suspect was shot by police, officials said.The suspect was transported to a hospital and is unknown condition, according to the Riverside Police Department. The teacher was also transported to a hospital, but did not sustain any physical injuries.Negotiators had not heard from the victim while talk to the suspect, so the decision was made to go in, police said.The motive was unknown.Riverside Unified School District said that all students at Castle View Elementary had been accounted for, were safe and had been reunited with parents/guardians with proper photo identification. According to Riverside police, the incident started just before noon.“Our officers responded up to Castle View Elementary School … for some type of disturbance, possibly involving one of the parents. When they arrived, they learned that there was some type of altercation that occurred and now a parent was barricaded inside one of the classrooms with what we believe is a teacher,” Officer Ryan Railsback said during a news conference on Tuesday.Railsback said authorities were not sure why the parent was at the school or whether there had been previous issues with the parent at the school. He also said police did not know if the parent had a weapon in the classroom with him. The parent was described as an adult male.“As far as we know, nothing’s been reported that anyone saw actual weapons of any kind,” he said. “He’s not responding to our commands for him to come out, so far. … He’s barricaded himself in there and he’s got a teacher in there so it’d be a barricaded hostage situation.”Railsback said that officers and SWAT team members had isolated the classroom and had then helped to evacuate students and staff. He said a male staff member or teacher may have been struck by the parent before the parent entered the classroom with another teacher. Relatedlast_img read more

Canada guy: Kepkay emerges as Ute starting guard

first_imgPlayer profileName: Tyler KepkayHeight: 6-0Weight: 185Class: JuniorHometown: Vancouver, B.C.Favorite player: Steve NashOf note: Led nation’s junior colleges in scoring at 27.9 ppg last year … Shot 46.4 percent from 3-point range and 88.1 percent from the free-throw line … Had 10 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in his Utah debut last week. Utes on the airUtah (1-0) vs. High Point (0-1)Today, 6 p.m.Bank of America ArenaTV: NoneRadio: 700AM E-mail: sor@desnews.comcenter_img Growing up in Canada, Tyler Kepkay never expected to be a Division I college basketball player.He boxed and played hockey and became a very good high school basketball player. However, he never played on one of those traveling AAU teams and never had college recruiters beating down his door.He figured he would find a small college in Canada to continue his basketball career.Two and a half years after graduating from high school, Kepkay is not only playing for the University of Utah basketball team, he’s already earned a starting spot. He had a strong debut last week against South Carolina Upstate, scoring 10 points, handing out six assists and grabbing five rebounds in the Ute victory.Although he has sat out of practice since spraining an ankle in the Friday opener, he is looking forward to playing a couple of games this week near his hometown of Vancouver, B.C. The Utes are playing in the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament in Seattle with a game tonight (6 p.m. MST) against High Point (N.C.) and another Wednesday night.”It’ll be fun to go up there and play in front of my dad and mom,” Kepkay said. “I’ll definitely have friends and family coming to the games.”It’s quite remarkable how Kepkay ended up in Utah in the first place. If you ask him he’ll tell you, “I honestly don’t know.”He knows how he got to the University of Utah, which had to get not one but two commitments from him earlier this year to beat out several other Division I schools.Before that, however, it was a phone call out of the blue from the College of Eastern Utah in Price that brought Kepkay to play basketball in the United States.”I never really did know how good I was because I never played against guys that were going to big D-1 schools,” he said. “I just stayed at home and played at the rec center. Out of nowhere I got a call.”Kepkay ended up at CEU because of some connections between the former Utah coaching staff and Canada Basketball, the governing body for Canadian basketball.”We all knew a guy in Canada, and he called us about a guard,” said Ute assistant coach Chris Jones, who was also a member of the former staff. “We watched some film of Tyler and said he’s not ready yet, but he has a chance. So we called Brock Erickson (an assistant at College of Eastern Utah) and told him about Tyler.”It turns out CEU was looking for a guard, and soon Kepkay was on his way to Price, Utah.The Utes kept their eye on him in 2005-06 and considered signing him after his first year. Then last year when Kepkay had his big season, leading the nation in scoring at nearly 28 points a game, the Utes corralled a commitment in January.”We followed his progress and felt he was a big missing ingredient of what our team needed — a pure point guard,” said Jones. “He had toughness, competitiveness and he wanted to be a player.”Although he had committed to Utah, Kepkay reconsidered his options after the firing of Ray Giacoletti and made visits to St. John’s, San Diego State and Duquesne and had almost dropped Utah from his list.Then last March, the day after coach Jim Boylen was hired at Utah, Jones told him about Kepkay and how much the Utes needed him.Boylen said, “Let’s go,” and five minutes later he and Jones were driving to Price.”He was disenchanted about the coaching change and not excited about going through the recruiting process again,” said Boylen. “But we hit it off right away. We made him a priority. It was a three-week process, but it seemed like a year.”Kepkay signed with Utah in April and hasn’t looked back.”It has worked out for me,” said Kepkay. “I feel right at home.The biggest difference (in Division I) is the focus and coming ready to play every day.”Although he is a point guard, Kepkay can score, as evidenced by his 27.9 average last year and his 46.4 3-point shooting percentage.However, the Utes want him to be run the Ute offense and be a leader and not necessarily a scorer.”He’s really been making strides and is getting a lot better feel for the system,” Boylen said. “I’m glad he’s here, and I think he’ll help us win a lot of games.” UTE NOTES: The Utes took off for Seattle Monday afternoon after practice … Games today and Wednesday will be played at the 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena … The Utes have a 3-0 record against High Point, including an 80-44 win in 2005 … High Point is led by senior forward Arizona Reid, who averaged 21.0 points and 9.5 rebounds last year and had 26 points and 11 rebounds against Charlotte on Friday … The Utes will face the winner or loser of the Washington-New Jersey Institute of Technology game Wednesday night … After this trip, the Utes’ next game will be Monday at home against Santa Clara. last_img read more