Ayanbadejo vs Stills and the other linebackers

March 13, 2008 |

If you have not gone and checked out Brendon Ayanbadejo’s website with his brother Femi, you need to do so. There are some pretty interesting and funny episodes on the website. To say Brendon leads an interesting life off the field would be an understatement. While on their website, you have to check out the Trick or Treat episode.
Brendon is a very intense football player and a pro bowl special team’s player. Everyone you talk to or read that covered Brendon when he was a member of the Bears say’s he is a guy that gives it 100% every single play and are happy he is being rewarded for his years of hard play with the Bears. One of the things other than money that helped sell Brendon on the Ravens was the interaction that he shared with Coach Harbaugh when he came to the Ravens for a visit. Brendon and Coach Harbaugh have that special team’s connection and appreciate each other for what that means.
What will be interested to watch as the Ravens begin to move forward towards the season will be what happens between Gary Stills and Brendon. I personally do not see both of them being on the team this year, and seeing how Brendon just got a nice contract and is less likely to be released. To me Stills and Brendon are one in the same player with both of them being special team’s aces and backups at the linebacker positions. Here are the linebackers that the Ravens have on the roster right now as of today:
Ray Lewis: I think his spot on the roster is safe
Bart Scott: again, safe to say his position is safe, battled injury last year, played bit part of second half of the season with broken hand. Just for the record, he had career highs in almost every category except sacks last year.
Jarrett Johnson: limited last year due to a hand injury for a good portion of the season. He is not AD and never will be, but Rex has found a role for him.
Terrell Suggs: Although he is fighting being called a LB, he is that.
Antwan Barnes: Showed some promise last year, and seems to excel at getting after the quarterback. Antwan will get better, but it will be interesting to see how much more involved he gets in the defense. The Ravens may slowly bring him along and add little bits and pieces along the way.
Mike Smith: Has to prove that he can come back from an injury and contribute. Mike has been at the facility a lot this off season working out and getting healthy. Training camp will be huge for him and will be a big competition for him to make the team.
Dan Cody: Everyone will tell you that he has all the potential in the world, the problem is injuries. Dan shows he can play when he is on the field, but you always seem to be waiting for that out of nowhere injury to hit him.
Edgar Jones, Gary Stills, Brendon Ayanbadejo,Prescott Burgess : I will put all these guys in the same category because they are more special teams guys more than what they play on the defensive side of the ball. Still’s is the older veteran guy with nine years in the league. Ayanbadejo has six years in the league and just got a nice contract from the Ravens. Jones found a place on the team last year with his play during the camp and preseason. Prescott showed promise last year before his season was cut short due to an injury; he was always around the ball on special teams.
If you are looking for an early battle to watch at training camp, look for the battle between Ayanbadejo and Stills. There are two guys that are going to give is every thing they have and will thrive off of competing against each other. It could be another interesting battle will be between Jones and Burgess. If I had to pick a leader in the clubhouse right now I would pick Brendon and Prescott.