Ravens-Chiefs Preseason Primer: What to watch tonight

August 18, 2011 | Luke Jones

2. RT Jah Reid – On the list for the second straight week, Reid will make his first start at right tackle after playing with the second team last week. Reid’s strength is his run blocking, typical for young tackles, but he needs to gain confidence as a pass blocker. Holding high standards for himself, Reid and his development have become even more critical after the Ravens’ decision to shift Cousins inside to guard.

3. RG Oniel Cousins – Last Thursday appeared to mark the end of the line for Cousins as the starting right tackle, but the Ravens hope his strength and size can be better utilized inside. With Yanda sidelined and the team lacking depth on the interior line, Cousins emerging as a solid backup at guard would help alleviate doubts up front.

4. CB Cary Williams – The third-year corner has been one of the biggest surprises of camp, working with the starting defense this week at practice. At 6-foot-1, Williams brings good size to the position, but he’s also shown good speed and great technique to earn praise from defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and Harbaugh. Whether Williams is starting Week 1 remains to be seen, but his strong play has transformed cornerback from a position of concern to one of great depth.

5. TE Ed Dickson – After missing the preseason opener with a hamstring injury, Dickson watched fellow second-year player Dennis Pitta lead the Ravens with four catches and 47 yards. Now fully healthy, Dickson has been sharing first-team duties with Pitta in practice, making Friday’s game important for the Oregon product to regain momentum in the starting battle. Blocking will also be a major factor in determining who becomes the starter.

6. DE Pernell McPhee – The fifth-round defensive end from Mississippi State was considered to be a solid player against the run, but McPhee’s ability to rush the passer has raised eyebrows throughout training camp. At 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, McPhee has good size as a rush end and created pressure in the second half against the Eagles. While Paul Kruger and Sergio Kindle have gained the most press among younger options to assist Terrell Suggs as a pass rusher, McPhee is a name worth keeping an eye on against the Chiefs.

7. G Justin Boren – An undrafted rookie free agent from Ohio State, Boren has seen time filling in at right guard with the first offense in the absence of Yanda. While Cousins is expected to start at right guard, Boren can play both guard and center and has held his own in practice. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in his junior and senior seasons with the Buckeyes.

Join us in the Purple Haze live chat beginning at 7:30 p.m. as WNST.net brings you live coverage from the second preseason game, this time live from M&T Bank Stadium. For the quickest updates and analysis, follow WNST on Twitter and be sure to subscribe to the WNST Text Service.

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