From Comcast SportsNetBALTIMORE (AP) -- Thousands of family and friends turned out Tuesday for the funeral of former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell, including current and former players, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.An important figure in the development of the league, Modell also was one of the NFL's most polarizing owners. Cleveland fans never forgave him from moving his club to Baltimore for financial reasons after the 1995 season, but Ravens fans were fond of him and Modell also was remembered as a loving family man on Tuesday.Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata and Torrey Smith were among current Ravens players who attended the service at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Former Ravens players Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware and Rob Burnett also went to pay their respects."He contributed so much to the NFL," Goodell said. "He was obviously a close adviser to (former NFL commissioner) Pete Rozelle. He was a big part of NFL history. He played a big role in the NFL and the NFL is going to miss him."Lewis, Baltimore's second pick in the 1996 draft after Modell moved the franchise, gave a eulogy filled with emotion."Rest in peace Pop Art,'" he said.Goodell and Modell's sons, John Modell and David Modell, also spoke during the service. John Modell followed his speech by performing a song he wrote on the guitar for his father in 1998, when the Ravens built their facility, which is now known as M&T Bank Stadium."He loved the game," John Modell said. "He loved the men who played the game. He loved football."Toward the end of the 90-minute service, Modell's pallbearers, which included Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne, carried his casket to a hearse sitting in front of the synagogue.Modell's funeral came the morning after the Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 44-13 in Baltimore. The team paid tribute to Modell by wearing commemorative T-shirts during pre-game warmups and in the locker room after the game ended."If Mr. Modell (didn't) bring the team to Baltimore, it doesn't happen for us," Ravens safety Ed Reed said following the game. "This city here loves football, too, and Mr. Modell saw that in this city, and he made us all Ravens. We're all grateful just to be here."Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns in 1961 for 4 million, an unheard of amount at the time. He won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964 -- over the Baltimore Colts -- and those early Cleveland teams later appeared in the 1965, 1968 and 1969 title games. The Browns also reached the AFC championship in the 1986, 1987 and 1989 seasons but fell short to the Denver Broncos each time.Modell was a member of the NFL's television committee for 31 years and helped launch Monday Night Football. He served on the NFL-AFL merger committee and helped negotiate the NFL's first collective bargaining agreement as the chairman of the owners' labor committee.But it was Modell's decision in 1995 that made him a villain in the northeast Ohio. Facing a financial burden, Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore instead of selling the organization and keeping it in Cleveland.Fans in Cleveland still bear a grudge, though the Browns kept their history and received an expansion team three years later. In 2000, the Ravens won Modell his first Super Bowl title.Modell was never voted into the NFL Hall of Fame, which has been a debatable issue for many years.Though Goodell commended Modell's accomplishments as an NFL owner, he said he wouldn't judge whether he should be in or not."That's for others to make that decision," Goodell said. "I think his contributions are extraordinary. I don't want to take positions on that."
As we profile Ravens draft picks, here are three things to know about fourth-round pick (132) defensive tackle Willie Henry:
1. Henry becomes the fourth young defensive tackle the Ravens have drafted early since 2013
They took Brandon Williams in 2013 (Round 3). They drafted Timmy Jernigan in 2014 (Round 2). They drafted Carl Davis in 2015 (Round 3).
General manager Ozzie Newsome loves drafting defensive tackles. It keeps with the Ravens’ desire to build a deep defensive line that can rotate players in and out, and relentlessly dominate the line of scrimmage.
2. Henry is another player chosen to strengthen the Ravens’ pass rush
With 6 ½ sacks last season, Henry displayed excellent quickness for a player weighing 300-plus pounds. He can bring pressure up the middle. If Henry shows well during training camp, he and Jernigan could be the defensive tackles of choice in third-and-long situations.
3. The Harbaugh family obviously likes Henry
After playing for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, Henry will play for John Harbaugh with the Ravens. Obviously, the Ravens had inside info on this draft pick. We’ll see how much it pays off.
Watch the full exchange from SportsTalk Live in the video player above, which will begin momentarily.
Stephen Strasburg is off to a strong start with the Washington Nationals as he sets the foundation for how much his next contract will be worth.
That became a point of contention Wednesday night on SportsTalk Live when co-host Rob Carlin brought up the idea that, if Strasburg indeed finishes strong, the Nationals will need to discern whether this is the start of a sustainable uptick in production or the product of a contract year.
Brian Mitchell took exception to that entire notion, saying that it is illogical to think that players play better simply because they are in a contract year.
The argument evolved from there until Carlin couldn't take it anymore -- and walked off the set. Watch the exchange above.
PITTSBURGH – For the past eight months the Capitals have been telling anyone who would listen that this team is different than the ones that disappointed their fans in the past.
Now they have a chance to prove it.
After a crushing 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center, which gave Pittsburgh a commanding 3-1 series lead, the Capitals were saying all the right things.
“It’s a totally different year,” said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. “Last year we (were) winning 3-1 against the Rangers and we lost. We just have to have the mentality of shift to shift, period by period, and try to turn it around. Try to win the next game.
“We have to take this experience and turn it around our way. I think it sucks, you want to (win) the game and tie the series, but overall I think we have to play our game.”
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who stopped 30 of 33 shots on Wednesday and has allowed two more goals than rookie Matt Murray in this series, said the Capitals need to rely on what got them this far.
“We’re a good team,” he said. “We have the experience, the composure. It’s just a matter of bringing it to use now. We’ve got to keep pushing forward and hopefully the bounces will go our way sooner or later. Focus on the next game and all you can do it put your best effort out there.”
The Caps and Penguins played a pretty even game through two periods, with the Penguins taking a 2-1 lead on goals by Tevor Daley and Matt Cullen and the Capitals tying it on a second-period goal by John Carlson.
But with 2:34 gone in overtime, Penguins forward Conor Sheary threw a puck at the net that went off the heel of the stick of Capitals defenseman Mike Weber, who swiped at the puck and sent it directly to Patric Hornqvist. Hornqvist fired a shot between the pads of Holtby as he scrambled back to cover his left post.
“We were OK with (Weber) out there,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “It was more of an unlucky play than anything. We had the puck a little bit earlier and sort of lost it. It sort of just tied him up and he moved his stick and it went right to Hornqvist. That’s the way it goes.”
Holtby slammed his stick in frustration as he left the ice, realizing the opportunity the Caps had just squandered with Penguins defenseman Kris Letang out of the lineup due to a suspension.
“It was tough,” Trotz said. “That’s why it’s sudden death. That’s what it feels like. We’ll have to deal with it.
“This group has dealt with a lot of things. They’ve handled adversity well all year and they’ll do it again. We dug ourselves a hole and we’ll have to see if we can dig ourselves out of it.”
The Caps have not trailed 3-1 in a playoff series since 2009, when they stormed back to beat the Rangers in seven games. But this road looks a lot steeper.
The Penguins managed to dodge a bullet by winning Game 4 without their top defenseman. And they have not lost three games in a row since late December, let alone three in a row.
“We’ll have to come up with a Grade A effort on Saturday night,” Trotz said. “The Verizon Center has been a good place for us. I have a lot of trust in this group. It’s shown a lot of resiliency, just as Mike (Sullivan’s) group has shown a lot of resiliency all year. We’ll have to prove it.”
Yes, they will.
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