Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You have to admit the old Patrick Division rivalry games, the ones with Philly and the New YorkNew Jersey teams, are played at an exciting pace.The Caps displayed a pretty complete game this evening. They received goals from their big stars and their grinders. They were good on special teams and they didn't flinch when the Rangers big gun fired away at them.The return of Alex Ovechkin was a successful one. He looked especially fresh in the third period. There was no rust on his skating legs. His power play bomb was vintage Ovie. The coaches adjusted Alex back to a point position on that second man advantage of the game and he rewarded them quickly.Marian Gaborik has always been a game breaker and he's acclimated himself nicely to Ranger red, white, and blue. His speed can be frightening and his shot explodes the way it does for the game's top scoring threats.The Caps penalty killers did an excellent job protecting Semyon Varlamov tonight. We always say special teams play can be very instrumental in winning the close games and it was the difference tonight. Aside from Varlamov losing his angle a couple times, he was nice and steady. Goalie fans have to love when you get a matchup that includes the Caps youngster and Rangers standout Henrik Lundqvist.Great job by Matt Bradley on the winning goal and all night long working with David Steckel and Jay Beagle. Those three guys busted their butts and won the little battles all over the ice. Bradley was bloodied in a first-period fight with Aaron Voros, a fight he had the upper hand in at the start. His finishing touch on the breakaway against Lundqvist was very well done.There were a lot of heroes for the Caps in this one. John Erskine deserves praise for the way he made it a tough night for Sean Avery. Every time the Rangers' pest would try to stir it up, Erskine put him back in his place. That's the kind of hard work that should not go unnoticed. Lastly, the news on Quintin Laing wasn't very promising. He's staying overnight in New York after suffering a significant injury to his jaw. Laing is a fearless shot blocker, but his timing was off and he was struck by a slap shot at close range. He's one tough athlete. The fact that he walked off after that exchange is all the proof you need.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Ever wonder how B-Mitch became a Redskin?

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Ever wonder how B-Mitch became a Redskin?

The SportsTalk Live crew of Rob Carlin and Brian Mitchell joined JP Finlay to talk Redskins football, the defensive coordinator search and the constract situation of Kirk Cousins on the latest edition of #RedskinsTalk the Podcast. The talk begins, however, with B-Mitch telling the story of how he ended up with the Redskins after not getting an invitation to the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game. It's a must listen. 

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Rare spinal conditon forced Zach Orr to retire

Rare spinal conditon forced Zach Orr to retire

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens inside linebacker Zach Orr had no choice but to retire, after a physical examination detected a spinal condition that made it extremely dangerous for him to continue his career.

“I have a condition that I was born with,” Orr said Friday, making his formal retirement announcement during a press conference. “I’m forced to walk away from the game of football.”

Orr said a CAT scan revealed a rare congenital abnormality, and that the top of his spinal column had never fully developed. Orr was never aware of his issue until he suffered a shoulder injury against the Steelers on Christmas that led to further testing.

While Orr never imagined he would retire at age 24, he felt blessed to be leaving the game before his condition led to a catastrophic injury. Orr has been playing football with his spinal condition since he was nine years old, and said doctors could not explain how he had played so long without his issue being detected.

“When I first found out the news, it was shocking,” Orr said. “Football is something I’ve done my whole life.”

Orr said retirement was his only option, because he would never pass an NFL physical. He also said that reports the Ravens tried to talk him out of retirement were inaccurate.

“They’ve supported me through this,” said Orr, who added that one of his high school teammates was paralyzed playing football.

Orr kept his composure during the press conference, but admitted he took the news hard at first. One of those emotional moments came after a telephone conversation with recently retired wide receiver Steve Smith Sr.

“I broke down a couple of times, as recent as a couple of days ago,” Orr said.

Three of Orr’s teammates attended Friday’s press conference – linebackers C. J. Mosley and Albert McClellan, and safety Eric Weddle. General manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and linebackers coach Don Martindale were also in attendance. Orr is one of the most popular and respected players in the locker room. An undrafted free agent in 2014, Orr made the team as a special teams standout and earned a starting job for the first time this season. He led the Ravens in tackles (130), finishing 10th in the NFL in that department.

Orr had a bright future as a player. Now, that future will head in another direction.

“Instead of asking – ‘Why me?, ask ‘What’s next?’” Orr said.

“I’m very proud that he’s been a Raven,” said Harbaugh. “I can’t wait to see what the next door holds.”

Related: Ravens name their new offensive line coach