Postseason Pick

Badger Blog Alliance
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Jimmy Leonhard just picked off a Chad Pennington pass
That's Jim Leonhard, from Tony, Wisconsin (population: 105), walk-on at the University of Wisconsin and current starting strong safety for the Baltimore Ravens.

In my Wish List for 2009, I predicted that he would make an interception in the Superbowl this year, but I think this'll do.

Dolphins' Bess injures thumb against Ravens
Miami (AP)
Bess appeared to suffer the injury in the when he tackled safety Jim Leonhard, who was returning an interception by Chad Pennington.

5 takeaways help Ravens mow down Dolphins 27-9
Reed had two interceptions, and Jim Leonhard and Fabian Washington made one apiece. Terrell Suggs recovered a fumble by Patrick Cobbs early in the second half at the Miami 19, and four plays later Le'Ron McClain scored on an 8-yard run for a 20-3 lead.

Ravens' defense clamps down on Dolphins
PA SportsTicker
Published: Monday, January 05, 2009
Jim Leonhard and Fabian Washington also intercepted Pennington, who was picked off just seven times in the regular season and had not thrown more than one in a game this year.

Leonhard sets Flacco up in good shape
By Dan Kolko on January 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
All Jim Leonhard does is make plays.
The guy doesn't talk. He doesn't showboat. He just makes big plays in big spots.
Leonhard just picked off Chad Pennington and used his return skills to get the ball out to the Miami 45 yard line. Pennington got pressured up the middle and had to spin away from the traffic. He was looking for Ted Ginn Jr., but was on the move as he threw the ball and it floated over Ginn's head.
Leonhard was there for the pick -- just Pennington's 8th pick of the season. To make matters worse for the Miami QB, he took an absolute SHOT from Bart Scott just after he got rid of the ball.

Reed leads Ravens' dominating D
by Alex Marvez
"One thing (Reed) doesn't get enough credit for is how smart he is," Ravens strong safety Jim Leonhard said. "He prepares like nobody else I've been around. You put that with the athletic ability he has and you've got a special player."

Ravens Roll Over Miami
Defense Shuts Down ‘Phins forcing five turnovers
By Matt Sugam
Special to The Epoch Times
The first interception was by safety Jim Leonhard in the second quarter.

In AFC, defensive grit beats offensive glamor
By John Romano, Times Sports Columnist
In print: Monday, January 5, 2009
"We want to cause havoc, week in and week out," said Ravens safety Ed Reed, who had two interceptions Sunday. "Ain't nothing different today. This is what we do."
Specifically what the Ravens do is take the ball away from other teams, by any means necessary. The Dolphins tied an NFL record with just 13 turnovers in the regular season, yet the Ravens forced five in one afternoon.
"The word for it is opportunistic," safety Jim Leonhard said. "We take advantage of mistakes like no defense I've ever been around."

Ravens’ Reed wins staredown with Pennington
The Kansas City Star
Ravens veteran linebacker Ray Lewis made sure to credit cornerback Fabian Washington and safety Jim Leonhard, whose interceptions also made life miserable for Pennington. The four interceptions were a Dolphins’ postseason record.
“Everyone on our defense did an excellent job today,” Lewis said.

Report Card: Ravens 27, Dolphins 9
Dom Bonvissuto
Defensive Backs: The Ravens took advantage of a disastrous stretch by Pennington spanning the second and third quarter, picking off the Dolphins QB four times -- two by Ed Reed, who returned one for a TD, and one each by Jim Leonhard and Fabian Washington. Grade: A+

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 27, Dolphins 9 ~ January 5, 2009
Dolphins turn over game to more physical Ravens.
By Steve Hasler
Safeties: A
Shaking off a couple of missed tackles early, Jim Leonhard ended up being a big contributor on defense. Playing close to the line of scrimmage, Leonhard was in on a number of tackles on running plays (seven total tackles). He also grabbed an interception to give the Ravens possession at midfield. Never to be outdone, Defensive Player of The Year candidate Ed Reed picked off Chad Pennington twice, scoring once. Reed also made a hard tackle to alleviate concerns about his early-season neck injury. Jim Leonhard teamed with Haruki Nakamura for a sack of Pennington late in the game.

Jim Leonhard
Bills fans had to cringe a bit watching Jim Leonhard look like a play-maker for the Baltimore Ravens' defense in the wild-card win at Miami Sunday.

Hard not to be happy for Bannan and Leonhard
Chris Brown
Posted January 5th, 2009
Leonhard of course had a big INT in Sunday’s game at Miami along with seven tackles to finish third on the team, a half sack and a quarterback hit from his strong safety position.
Most of you that watched the game probably heard Phil Simms and Jim Nantz mention that Leonhard upon signing with the Ravens, learned Rex Ryan’s defense in one day. Leonhard was always mentally sharp, which is what made him such a good anticipator.

NFL Playoffs: Ex-Wisconsin Badger Leonhard, Ravens pick off Dolphins
Wisconsin State Journal
By Steve Wine
associated Press
MIAMI — Jim Leonhard and the Baltimore Ravens had Chad Pennington spinning, ducking, on his heels and on his back. When he did manage to get a pass away, they were often there to snatch it.
The Ravens came up with four interceptions, including one by Leonhard -- the former Wisconsin Badger -- and another returned 64 yards for a touchdown by Ed Reed, and won 27-9 Sunday to spoil the Miami Dolphins' first playoff game in seven seasons.
Leonhard came up with one of them in the first half for the Ravens as part of a big game for the starting strong safety. The Tony, Wis., native also registered 6 solo tackles, assisted on another and was credited for half a sack. He also returned two punts for 21 yards.

King for a day
Bob Wolfey
Sports Illustrated's Peter King had high praise for former University of Wisconsin defensive back Jim Leonhard, who plays safety for the Baltimore Ravens.
In his Monday blog, King says Leonhard gets overlooked because safety Ed Reed gets all the attention.
"Reed sucks all the publicity out of the secondary, and rightfully so, but Leonhard, in the regular defense and a part-time returner, has been a terrific complementary player since coming from Buffalo in free-agency last winter," King writes. "Six tackles, an interception and a half-sack Sunday (against Miami)."

Ravens Overwhelm Dolphins
Br-ravens1_tiny by Rexx on Jan 5, 2009 11:29 AM EST
The Ravens corners were too fast and safety Jim Leonhard might have been the player of the game if not for Ed Reed. Leonhard was everywhere, making tackles, breaking up or intercepting passes and even returning punts. I’ve said all season that I liked him better than Dawan Landry and will hard pressed to be comfortable with him losing his starting job to him next season. Combined with the rookie safties, Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura, this team is set in the deep secondary, as all these guys could start for most teams in the league.

Why Ed Reed Missed Out on Defensive Player of the Year
With a revolving door of defensive backs playing beside him, Reed had to play more cautiously, often covering more ground and unable to take as many chances. Once Rolle and Washington returned to the lineup and safety Jim Leonhard became more comfortable in the backfield, Reed’s playmaking ability was reborn.

Baltimore Ravens show how to build a Super defense
Here's how a great defense was built (5 draft picks, 5 free agents and 1 via trade):
SS Jim Leonhard. Signed March 28, 2008. ... Buffalo contract expired Feb. 28, 2008. ... originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bills in 2005. Played in 37 games with Buffalo in three seasons (including six starts in 2008). The Bills liked him, but he's 5-foot-8, 186 pounds and they wanted a bigger player at the position.

Leonhard Shines in NFL Playoff Debut
Posted: 7:17 PM Jan 5, 2009
Last Updated: 7:26 PM Jan 5, 2009
Jim Leonhard, the Tony, Wisconsin native, former Flambeau high school, and Wisconsin Badgers standout had a memorable performance in his first NFL playoff game on Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens safety recorded seven tackles, a half-sack, and an interception during Baltimore's 27-9 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Posted by Josh Alper on January 6, 2009, 8:50 a.m. EST
While Bills S Ko Simpson deals with legal trouble, Ravens S Jim Leonhard, cut by the Bills, starts in the playoffs.

No comments: