It’s Only August, But No Concerns Addressed In Preseason Week 1 Loss

August 11, 2011 | Glenn Clark

Concerns about the offensive line following the departures of veteran OT Jared Gaither and G/C Chris Chester have rung throughout Charm City, with the preseason injury to C Matt Birk adding to the concerns.

On Thursday night, the Ravens’ top two running backs (Ray Rice and Jalen Parmele) combined to run for 42 yards (21 of which came on two plays in particular). Rice had just seven of those yards on the team’s first two possessions.

The Ravens’ offensive line also managed to allow four Philadelphia sacks.

It’s only August.

With the recent retirement of backup quarterback Marc Bulger, depth at the position has certainly become a concern.

Rookie QB Tyrod Taylor finished the game with a fairly respectable 179 yards on 19/28 passing, but also threw two interceptions and nearly threw a third before it was reversed by replay.

It’s only August.

After finishing 2010 with a franchise record low 27 sacks and failing to acquire a veteran rush end, the team’s ability to get to opposing quarterbacks was a very fair concern.

The Ravens managed just two sacks (Paul Kruger and a QB slide that was credited to Derek Simmons) Thursday night, but missed multiple chances to make plays in the backfield, especially on 3rd down. The Eagles managed to convert 10 of 16 such opportunities. (In comparison, the Ravens converted just 3/12.)

“We had the Eagles in a number of third-and-long situations, but the quarterback bought time and made plays” said Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano. “We were in position to make sacks and tackles, but we didn’t. We have to make those tackles, and we will. We will be a good tackling team.”

It’s only August.

Establishing outstanding secondary play was another concern for the Ravens, after finishing 2010 allowing a NFL 21st ranked 224.9 yards per game via the air in 2010. The selection of Colorado CB Jimmy Smith in the first round, the injury return of veteran CB Domonique Foxworth and the re-signing of veteran CB Chris Carr were believed to go a long way in establishing that.

Foxworth did not see the field Thursday night. Smith saw extremely limited action. Carr was badly beaten on a 42 yard pass from Vick to WR Riley Cooper to set up the Eagles’ first TD strike.

LB Jameel McClain is still hoping to make a play in coverage somewhere.

It’s only August.

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