Your Tuesday Reality Check: Let’s bust Upshaw talk

September 04, 2012 | Glenn Clark

I’ll have to assume that you already know where I’m going with this, but since I’ve already written this much I won’t bother to stop now.

I will assume some of the responsibility for this conversation last week, although more of it falls on the shoulders of my colleague Thyrl Nelson. During “The Handoff” one day last week on AM1570, I brought up a topic that I should have known better than to introduce. I said that as the preseason was wrapping up and we were finally moving into a “game week” scenario, there was little that had changed regarding my feelings about the 2012 Baltimore Ravens. I said I knew QB Joe Flacco could throw, RB Ray Rice could run, WR Anquan Boldin could catch and LB Ray Lewis could tackle. It was correctly pointed out that I already knew all of those things before the preseason started.

I then pointed out that I wasn’t certain the Ravens had done enough to make up for key defensive losses, I was worried about the overall ability for the Offensive Line to get a push and I still had concerns related to the size of the team’s receivers. These were all also concerns that had existed before the start of the preseason. I added in that the most disappointing part of the Ravens’ offseason to me was that rookie LB Courtney Upshaw hadn’t established himself as a man who could be counted on to provide at least a level of production in the absence of LB Terrell Suggs.

It was a simple statement. While I believe Albert McClellan has done everything to earn the right to be the team’s starting RUSH LB, it’s hard to imagine him being particularly productive when it comes to getting after opposing quarterbacks. After Suggs suffered the torn achilles, we knew no one could necessarily “replace” the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. There was at least a hope however that Upshaw might be ready at a very early stage to do quite a bit of work in his stead.

No one thought Upshaw was ready to jump from Alabama to being Terrell Suggs, but it would have served a great purpose to see him go from Alabama to CAPABLE NFL rusher quickly. When the Baltimore Ravens play what could be a critical AFC North battle against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night, it would be hard to expect anything like that from him. Actually, as he deals with a shoulder injury it’s hard to know if anything can be expected from Upshaw at all.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Your right Glenn it’t too soon to put the Dan Cody tag on Upshaw. However,it’s put up or shut up for Kindle.I hope Albert McCellan is the second coming of Bart Scott only on the outside. The absense of first round picks and the inabilty of second rounders to become impact players over the last 3 drafts could become apparent this season. I hope I’m wrong.

  2. Timmy Says:

    why even hide from it – it’s obvious the guy has no work ethic and no desire to be an NFL player. He is a total bust. It’s obvious. Just like Bob in Parkville pushes a right wing agenda through sports talk radio.

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    Well, Glenn, I’m not ready to declare Upshaw a “bust”, but……he has yet to show any of the things one expects to see out of a first round draft choice! In fact, he hasn’t even appeared to look very athletic! The “bust” tag appears to more aptly apply to Kruger and Kindle, the latter notwithstanding his skull fracture. Kruger was drafted for his pass rushing ability and does not appear particularly adept at holding the “edge”. Frankly, I’d prefer to see him used with his hand in the dirt going after the passer! As for Kindle, no one really knows what he might have been, but, from where I sit, he definitely looks like a……”bust”!

  4. John in Westminster Says:

    “Bust” or “Boom”, the losses of Suggs and Jarrett Johnson are huge to the chemistry and talent of our 3-4 defense. Given these losses, a very inexperienced group of outside linebackers, and a depth at defensive line, I’m hoping we switch back to a 4-3 defense. Switch Kruger/Upshaw/Kindle to the rush DE while giving more reps at the other DE slot to McPhee and rotating Ngata, Kemoeato, and Code inside. This would also help to keep blockers off our linebackers, particularly Ray Lewis. Just a little armchair coaching…

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