As we endured last night’s preseason exposure of the problems facing the Ravens, I will not follow suit with virtually EVERYONE who has a public voice and format, in Baltimore.
While I concur with many assessments regarding the performances of specific players, I also recognize that many of the miscues, missteps and mistakes fall at the feet of men who share a common trait ….
They’re young and INEXPERIENCED.
Did you expect Torrey Smith to basically strut into Lincoln Financial Field and serve notice that he’s a force to be feared?
Did you really think Tyrod Taylor was going to exhibit the poise and split-second decision making demanded of a quarterback at the game’s highest level?
Did you anticipate seeing Jimmy Smith camouflaging his presence, while snagging an ill-timed pass and returning it for a quick six?
Nearly all of the things done correctly by a player in purple had a veteran attachment to it. And, that shouldn’t be an unexpected reality as we look back on this first preseason game.
I’m not drawing a distinct line between right and wrong, as it applies to veterans and younger players. There were isolated incidents of playmaking, as well as blunders with no real attachment to age and experience.
Michael Oher struggled and that’s a concern for me. He anchors the most important position on the offensive line and he must develop a finesse to accompany the size and strength demanded of a player in his role.
Oniel Cousins looked lost ….
Aside from the typical rust associated with the inactivity of an off-season, Oher and Cousins must play better. Will they? Repetition and renewed familiarity have proven to be key in the past and history does repeat itself. So, don’t panic ….
On the other hand, Sergio Kindle looked very stellar – albeit from a “rough around the edges” perspective. He over-pursued at times, and playmaking quarterbacks will teach him a lesson or three before he gets it.
But, as I suggested, it was the first game of the preseason. It was an opportunity for the Ravens coaching staff to see the depth of talent while being opposed by competition in a different colored jersey.
Torrey Smith has the raw ability; he’ll develop and get more comfortable. Jimmy Smith is in the same spot. They’re rookies, give ‘em some slack.
Tyrod Taylor is a project and he’s going to be surpassed by a veteran talent, prior to the season opener against the Steelers. Heck, he may never be a #2 quarterback in this league – he was a 6th round draft selection, after all.
Don’t buy into the sensationalism that many media sources are selling. Most of the players who dictate the direction and ultimate success of this Ravens team spent 90% of last night’s game on the sideline, sporting ballcaps.
Relax and exercise the patience that preseason football dictates. The reasons such games exist are varied, but an opportunity to recognize the shortcomings from last night’s contest is paramount among such reasons.
Ozzie Newsome and his staff needed to see this. Now, they’ll get to work behind the scenes and take the necessary steps to remedy a few situations. The coaching staff needed last night’s event, as well. They, too, will build on it.
Don’t fall for the fears being spread today. Don’t do it ….