After Stadium Practice, Better Idea of What Ravens Will Look Like in Preseason Opener

August 06, 2011 | Glenn Clark

LINEBACKER:

While three of the starters at LB have always been guarantees (Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson on the outside, Ray Lewis on the inside), it appears as though Jameel McClain is going to get the first chance to nail down the other ILB position.

Expect the starters (outside of McClain) to not play much Thursday night, and expect McClain to again have a fluid rotation with ILB’s Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Brendon Ayanbadejo early on.

On the outside, Ravens fans will be most excited to see 2010 2nd round pick Sergio Kindle likely get his first work on Thursday night after missing all of last season with a fractured skull. Prescott Burgess will also get a good bit of work on the outside, Albert McClellan should see solid time in the second half as well.

Jason Phillips will see time behind the first four ILB’s as he tries to nail down a roster spot for a second consecutive season.

Other LB’s who will be on the field for their first NFL work are undrafted free agents Josh Byrnes (Auburn), Chavis Williams (Alabama) and Anthony Leon (Arkansas).

SAFETY:

When the Ravens signed free agent Safety Bernard Pollard away from the Houston Texans, there was a common thought that Pollard would slide in at Strong Safety and start alongside Ed Reed.

Thus far that hasn’t been the case, as veteran Tom Zbikowski has received the bulk of the work with the first team, including Saturday’s practice. It would be fair to call that battle the best competition in Training Camp right now.

Veteran Haruki Nakamura and Pollard will give the team depth behind Reed and Zbiowski, and both will see significant playing time.

Amongst undrafted free agents at the position, Mana Silva (Hawaii) has stood out thus far. Expect he, Nate Williams (Washington), Michael Ricks (Stillman) and Eugene Clifford (Tennessee State) to see time in the second half Thursday night.

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