Tag Archive | "LaQuan Williams"

Ravens move Lewis from IR to 53-man roster

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Ravens move Lewis from IR to 53-man roster

Posted on 26 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have moved Ray Lewis to their active roster and placed wide receiver LaQuan Williams on injured reserve, meaning the inside linebacker is now eligible to play in the postseason.

Lewis began practicing on Dec. 5, which started a 21-day window in which he could participate in practices before the team was forced to either place him on the 53-man roster or leave the 37-year-old on IR for the remainder of the season. The veteran suffered a torn triceps against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 14 and was placed on IR with the designation to return on Oct. 17.

Coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the Ravens’ 33-14 win over the New York Giants this past Sunday that Lewis would not play against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. The 17th-year linebacker was eligible to return to game action in Week 15, but the Ravens have erred on the side of caution as he continues to rebuild strength in his right upper arm that atrophied after the surgical procedure.

“We will not look at him again for this week,” Harbaugh said after Sunday’s game and confirmed the notion again on Wednesday. “We’ll look at him at the playoffs. It’s an injury that is a 12- to 16-week injury. If you do the math going back, we thought there was a chance. He is progressing really well.”

Lewis underwent the surgical procedure 10 weeks ago and is still on track to make a remarkable recovery in comparison to the typical timetable for coming back from such an injury.

Despite playing in only six games this season, Lewis ranks sixth on the team with 57 tackles.

Williams was placed on IR with a hamstring injury. The second-year wide receiver was active in 11 games this season, playing extensively on special teams.

“He has a hamstring that’s been bothering him, and he tweaked it in the game,” Harbaugh said. “That’s where we are at right now.”

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Broncos

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Broncos

Posted on 18 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Bernard Pierce 15 yard run negated by Matt Birk holding penalty (2nd quarter)

4. Rahim Moore recovers Joe Flacco fumble on 3rd & 1 forced by Justin Bannan (1st quarter)

3. Eric Decker 51 yard TD catch from Peyton Manning (3rd quarter)

2. Joe Flacco pass intended for Torrey Smith incomplete on 3rd & 10 (3rd quarter)

1. Chris Harris 98 yard TD return of Joe Flacco interception (2nd quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Kindle’s shoulder stinger headlines mild list of new injuries for Ravens

Posted on 18 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Unlike the preseason opener in which they suffered a season-ending injury and another multi-week one, Friday’s preseason game left the Ravens without any apparent long-term health concerns.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle suffered a shoulder stinger in the second half of the 27-12 loss to the Detroit Lions and didn’t return to action. However, the 2010 second-round pick did not believe the injury to be serious following the game.

In addition to Kindle’s injury, coach John Harbaugh reported after the game that fullback Vonta Leach and wide receiver LaQuan Williams suffered mild ankle sprains while reserve linebacker Ricky Brown had a hip contusion. None of those injuries are believed to be legitimate concerns moving forward.

Players with preexisting injury concerns such as cornerback Jimmy Smith, linebacker Courtney Upshaw, and running back Bernard Pierce played without any concerns moving forward, according to the head coach.

“The guys that had the issues injury-wise [who played in the game] got through well,” Harbaugh said. “So, that’s good news, and we’ll just move on from there.”

Wide receiver Torrey Smith was listed as active but did not suit up to play as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle suffered in the preseason opener in Atlanta. The Maryland product practiced on very limited basis on Sunday and Monday before sitting out the final two practices of the week leading up to the game with the Lions.

Labeled as just a “nick” last weekend, Smith’s ankle was only the third-most serious injury sustained against Atlanta as defensive lineman Ryan McBean suffered a season-ending ankle fracture while tight end Ed Dickson sprained his shoulder, which will likely keep him sidelined for the rest of the preseason.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid was listed as inactive as the second-year tackle reportedly suffered another setback with the calf injury that’s hampered him since the final day of mandatory minicamp in June. He was removed from the physically unable to perform list this week after returning to the practice field.

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Deonte Thompson is Making a Case for a Roster Spot

Posted on 15 August 2012 by jeffreygilley

From day one, Deonte Thompson has been making plays.  The un-drafted free agent from Florida has serious speed and good hands.  Thompson is fighting for a roster spot among group of receivers filled with youth and talent.  Most predict that the Ravens will keep six wide receivers on the final 53-man roster.  Anquan Boldin,  Torrey Smith, and Jacoby Jones are locks to make the roster.  After those three players, the picture is not so clear.

The players competing for the final three wide receiver spots are LaQuan Williams, Tandon Doss, Tommy Streeter, and Deonte Thompson.  Williams and Doss will most likely make the roster because of their production on special teams and their potential at wide receiver.  Although coaches have praised Doss, he has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries.  If Doss can’t stay healthy, the Ravens could surprise everyone and let him go.  While this is unlikely, it is still a possibility.

Every team in the league values players who can make an impact on special teams.  The Ravens are no different.  Therefore, the competition for the final three roster spots could come down to special teams.  Williams and Doss have been good on special teams and are somewhat established players in the Ravens organization.  Therefore, you can really narrow down the competition to be between Tommy Streeter and Deonte Thompson for the final roster spot at wide receiver.

While Tommy Streeter was a sixth round draft pick and Thompson was un-drafted, Thompson seems to be making more of an impact on offense and special teams.  Streeter is more of a project player and Thompson could produce for the Ravens right away.  Therefore, I think Thompson should make the team.

In addition to his potential role on special teams, I think Thompson could make an impact on the offense.  The Ravens are looking for a fourth receiver and neither LaQuan Williams or Dandon Doss have made significant strides to win that job.  Thompson’s presence in the offense would make the Ravens receiving core one of the fastest in the NFL.

If the Ravens do pick Thompson over Streeter, they can still keep Streeter seeing as they love his potential and raw ability.  Streeter could spend one year on the scout team and come back next year to make the team.  After all, Anquan Boldin will be a free agent and the Ravens might decide not to resign him.  Streeter could, one day, become the number two receiver for the Ravens.  He just needs time to develop.

 

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With LaQuan Williams

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Hometown Raven Gives Back To Community

Posted on 01 July 2012 by melissarubin

LaQuan Williams' Charity Basketball GameIt is always nice to see professional athletes giving back to the community, it is even nicer when they play for your team. Ravens’ wide receiver LaQuan Williams’ did just that this weekend by hosting the 1st Annual LaQuan Williams Celebrity Basketball Game at Stevenson University in Owings Mills. He also hosted a launch party Friday night at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk.

Williams’ charity, The LaQuan Williams Foundation (LWF) provides structural programming for adolescents and youth in Baltimore.

The launch party was an informal gathering of Williams’ friends and fans. Ravens teammate Torrey Smith was in attendance as well as fellow UMD graduate and former Sacramento Kings forward, Walt Williams. WNST’s own Nestor Aparicio also made a brief appearance at the party.

Attendees had the chance to bid on signed jerseys and photographs of Ravens including Williams, Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco. There were also games and complimentary appetizers. Fans had the opportunity to meet the players and interact with them in an intimate setting.

The celebrity basketball game, played on June 30, also raised funds for Williams’ Foundation. All proceeds from the game, concessions and silent auction went to LWF. The game featured professional athletes and entertainers.

Some of the professional football VIP guests included Ravens’ Torrey Smith, Lardarius Webb and Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texan Bryant Johnson and Philadelphia Eagle Jaiquwan Jerrett.

Some of the professional basketball VIP guests included Baltimore bred, Memphis Grizzlies Josh Selby, Sacramento Kings Donte Greene and Patterson High School superstar player Aquille Carr (AKA “Crime Stopper”).

With LaQuan Williams

With LaQuan Williams

I was fortunate to attend both events and I met Williams’ and Smith. I thanked Williams’ for hosting his charity events and giving back to the community. I also asked him if he had any plans for the final weeks before training camp. He replied with a “no”, said that “Monday is back to work”, now it’s time to get back to business and get ready for the upcoming season.

I was a bit star struck when I met Smith. I told him that last season he made some of my favorite and most memorable plays. I specifically referenced the game-winning touchdown he made in Pittsburgh, he was all smiles at the mention of it.

My friend continued with the Pittsburgh discussion and asked Smith if game prep was different before playing the Steelers. She told him that as fans, we feel the rivalry and wondered if the players did too. Smith said that prepping for games against Pittsburgh is different from other games, there’s more trash talking and more intense hitting and they definitely feel the rivalry.

I had fun at the basketball game, though I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little nervous about potential injuries, thankfully no one got hurt! While Williams and Smith play hard on the field, it was cool seeing them shoot hoops with their friends and I could tell that everyone had fun playing the game.

It was awesome seeing Williams give back to his hometown. He is Baltimore born and bred, attended Poly and the University of Maryland. The Ravens signed him as an undrafted free agent last season and while he didn’t see much playing time in 2011, he will complete to be the No. 3 receiver this season.

Good luck Williams and congrats on your fundraising success.

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Thoughts and observations from second week of Ravens’ OTAs

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Thoughts and observations from second week of Ravens’ OTAs

Posted on 30 May 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated Thursday 12:15 p.m.)

With 18 players absent from Wednesday’s voluntary organized team activity, it was difficult to draw many conclusions from what we saw on the practice field in Owings Mills.

In regards to the decline in attendance from last week when only seven players were absent, head coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the staff would love to see all players present, but the union fought hard for a shorter off-season program and reform in the structure of OTAs. After several veterans blew the whistle on Harbaugh and the Ravens a couple years ago, the head coach was very careful to make sure the OTA schedule was in compliance with the new rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

It’s not surprising to see veterans such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed skipping the voluntary workouts — these activities are designed for learning more than anything — but I didn’t expect to see second-year players such as Jimmy Smith, Jah Reid, and Pernell McPhee missing from the field during Wednesday’s workout. Considering Reid and Smith are competing for starting jobs and McPhee is expecting to see an increased role along the defensive line, I have to question how wise it was for them to be absent while their strongest competitors were all present on Wednesday.

Of course, there are unique circumstances that might prevent a given player from being at OTAs — and the possibility exists that any of these players might have been dealing with some sort of injury — so it would be unfair to judge the aforementioned players too harshly without knowing the full story. The workouts are voluntary, but Harbaugh and the coaching staff will certainly remember who didn’t attend all workouts, especially if any of these players struggle during the mandatory minicamp next month or in training camp.

> Veteran center Matt Birk returned to the practice field after being absent last week, right guard Marshal Yanda and left tackle Bryant McKinnie were not present on Wednesday, leaving a patchwork offensive line to run with the rest of the starting offense.

As previously mentioned, Reid was also absent and rookie offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele missed most of Wednesday’s practice with an undisclosed injury. The result was an offensive line featuring Michael Oher at left tackle and third-year tackle Ramon Harewood on the right side, Justin Boren and Jack Cornell as the guards, and Birk at center — not exactly the line you envision when the Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular-season opener.

Harewood struggled mightily at times, jumping early on a couple occasions and being flagged for holding defensive end Arthur Jones at one point during full-team drills. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound tackle from Morehouse had limited football experiences prior to being taken in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, meaning the last two seasons spent on injured reserve have done little for his development. Harewood admits to needing time to knock off rust in getting back on the practice field, but he figures to face an uphill battle in making the 53-man roster this summer and his performance through two weeks of OTAs hasn’t impressed many.

> Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is excited about the addition of veteran return specialist Jacoby Jones as a major factor in returning both kickoffs and punts, but the sixth-year receiver has struggled at wide receiver, dropping a number of passes from quarterback Joe Flacco in two practices open to the media.

Jones does provide a veteran option at the No. 3 receiver spot behind starters Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, but there was a reason why the Houston Texans parted ways with him earlier this off-season. He caught 127 passes and 11 touchdowns in five seasons with Houston, but Jones was often criticized for not having reliable hands and never firmly established himself as a consistent target despite his 6-foot-2, 212-pound frame.

There’s no question Jones can be a nice addition to a Baltimore offense that essentially didn’t have a third receiver last season — unless you count tight end Dennis Pitta, who often lined up in the slot — but as I wrote the day he agreed to terms on a two-year, $7 million contract, fans should temper their expectations of what the 27-year-old can bring as a wide receiver. Regardless of how Jones fares as a receiver, his speed should be a welcome addition to a return game that was largely stagnant in 2011.

> Second-year receiver LaQuan Williams was impressive on Wednesday, catching nearly everything thrown his way over the course of the two-hour practice. Williams made a one-handed catch at one point and hauled in a pass on a fade route inside the red zone.

Continue >>>

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I answer your questions about Orioles rotation, Ravens receivers, more

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I answer your questions about Orioles rotation, Ravens receivers, more

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Ravens officially name DeCosta Assistant GM

Posted on 17 May 2012 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Ravens announced several promotions within their personnel department on Thursday: Eric DeCosta has been named Assistant General Manager, Joe Douglas has been elevated to National Scout, and David Blackburn has been tabbed an Area Scout.

DeCosta, 41, who has served as the Ravens’ Director of Player Personnel the past three years, joined the franchise in an entry-level position in 1996. He moved his way up through the personnel ranks, first as an Area Scout, then as Director of College Scouting, and was subsequently promoted to Director of Player Personnel in 2009.

DeCosta works closely with Executive Vice President/General Manager Ozzie Newsome to oversee both the college and pro scouting departments. During his tenure as the scouting director, the Ravens drafted Pro Bowlers OLB Terrell Suggs (’03), DT Haloti Ngata (’06), G Ben Grubbs (’07), G Marshal Yanda (’07), FB Le’Ron McClain (’07) and RB Ray Rice (’08).

“When we extended Eric’s contract earlier this year, we changed his title to Assistant GM,” Newsome said. “As Eric continues to grow in the personnel department, he is becoming a vital part of the decision-making process.”

Entering his 13th season with the Ravens, Douglas, 35, has served as the team’s Area Scout Southeast since 2009. From 2003-07, he evaluated players in the Northeast, and in 2008, scouted the entire East Coast. Douglas played a key role in scouting and evaluating first-round pick QB Joe Flacco – the Ravens’ all-time leading passer – and Rice, the two-time Pro Bowler.

Additionally, Douglas has organized and coordinated the team’s post-draft rookie free agent signing process, which over the past several seasons has produced standout players such as LB Jameel McClain, LB Dannell Ellerbe and WR LaQuan Williams.

“Joe is so deserving of his promotion to national scout,” DeCosta stated. “He’s a top evaluator and communicator, and he’s been loyal to the Ravens over the years. In his expanded role, he’ll be scouting players across the country, which only makes us better. We are very excited for Joe.”

Blackburn, 29, joined the Ravens as a Player Personnel Assistant in 2007 after serving one year as a graduate assistant at Butler University coaching cornerbacks. He has spent the past five seasons working with Baltimore’s scouting staff in a number of roles, including preparing advance scouting reports of upcoming opponents, analyzing free agent prospects for pro personnel, scouting draftable collegiate players at multiple schools and helping coordinate in-season free agent workouts/visits.

In his new position as an Area Scout, the 2004 graduate of DePauw University will scout prospects at schools in the Northwest, Southwest and Midwest regions.

“We are looking forward to working with David in his new role as an Area Scout,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “He has done a great job the past five years working in both our pro and college departments, and he has received a well-earned promotion. David has a strong understanding of the type of player and person we look for in a ‘Raven.’ We’re confident he’ll give us another good set of eyes and ears to continue identifying the prospects we value.”

The Ravens also announced that Mark Azevedo has assumed the title of Area Scout Southeast, formerly held by Douglas. Azevedo, 30, was named an Area Scout in 2010, focusing the majority of his attention on schools in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions. He originally joined the Ravens as a Player Personnel Assistant in 2005 and will now shift his primary responsibilities to the Southeast.

Additionally, Kenny Sanders, who spent the past two seasons interning in the team’s scouting department, has been hired as a Player Personnel Assistant. A 2004 graduate of Gettysburg College, he was a three-year letterman while playing defensive back. A Baltimore native, Sanders, 30, prepped at the McDonogh School.

Ravens “20/20 Club” Graduates: Current Personnel Staff
DeCosta, Hortiz, Douglas, Azevedo and Blackburn are all current graduates of the Ravens’ “20/20 Club,” which includes members of the team’s personnel staff who started with the organization as young personnel assistants and grew into evaluators with more input. The term “20/20” refers to hiring 20-year-olds for $20,000. According to Newsome, however, “The guys actually started when they were a little older than 20 and for more than $20,000, but that’s what we call them.”

Name                        Joined Ravens       Current Title
George Kokinis (Cle.)      1991                 Senior Personnel Assistant
Eric DeCosta                    1996                 Assistant General Manager
Joe Hortiz                        1998                 Director of College Scouting
Chad Alexander              1999                 Assistant Director of Pro Personnel
Joe Douglas                     2000                 National Scout
Mark Azevedo                2005                 Area Scout Southeast
David Blackburn             2007                 Area Scout

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

As first reported by the NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens hosted former Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones for a visit Sunday.

Jacoby Jones became an interesting name for Ravens fans after the NFL Draft, as the Texans’ selection of DeVier Posey made it appear as though the veteran receiver could become expendable for the team. He obviously was, as the team took only days to part ways with Jones.

Perhaps adding Jones to the mix would be a good idea for the Ravens. He’s been in the league for five years, but has only spent the last three seasons getting significant reps as a wide receiver. His numbers aren’t spectacular (31 catches, 512 yards and two touchdowns in 2011), but they’re certainly serviceable for a complementary receiver. The Ravens clearly need depth, as behind starters Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin they have just four combined career receptions (all belonging to LaQuan Willams) from a group that also includes Tandon Doss, David Reed, Phillip Livas, Rodney Bradley, Patrick Williams and 6th round pick Tommy Streeter.

As much as the Ravens may have needed a playmaker type, they clearly needed depth at the position in general. Jones could bring that, and could also bring experience in the return game. Despite his two fumbles against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, he has four TD returns (3 punt, 1 kickoff) in his career.

An even more intriguing name that has loosely been discussed amongst Ravens fans is the name Michael Crabtree. The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver has been a hot topic after the team drafted Illinois WR AJ Jenkins in the first round of the NFL Draft. In addition to Jenkins, the team has added veteran free agent receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss this offseason, leading to some speculation that the team could be prepared to move on from Crabtree after selecting him with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

I want to reiterate that the rumors surrounding Crabtree have been thinly veiled. While a National Football League source told me he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Ravens had interest in trading for Crabtree, no true source has been able to confirm that actual interest exists. However, in my chat with CBSSports.com NFL writer Clark Judge (who is honestly amongst the absolute best in his line of work) last Friday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, the Crabtree-Ravens conversation came up…

JUDGE: “Hey one other question for you, are you serious about taking that caller’s suggestion and trying to acquire Michael Crabtree?”

ME: “No, I don’t think that’s realistic at all. I was trying to play devil’s advocate.”

JUDGE: “The thing about Crabtree is that they would probably be willing to give him away because while he’s young, he’s an underachieving diva. A second rounder? I’d probably give him away for a fourth rounder.”

ME: “If they were willing to give him away for a fourth rounder, I’d be willing to have the conversation.”

JUDGE: “I wouldn’t want him on my team.”

It should be made clear that Judge didn’t report to me that the Niners were interested or willing to trade Crabtree away for a fourth round pick. He simply said that HE would be willing to do that if he were making the calls for San Fran. (The chat is available here in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.)

I’ll say again what I said to Clark Judge. If the San Francisco 49ers were willing to trade Michael Crabtree away for a fourth round pick, I’d have the conversation. I’m aware that Crabtree has yet to fully live up to his potential as a Top 10 pick and has certainly had “personality issues” that stem back to his lengthy rookie holdout. I’m also aware that the former Texas Tech standout has become more and more productive in each of his three years in the league and his best year (2011) coincided with the year his quarterback (Alex Smith) finally moved into the “credible” category of NFL signal callers.

Let me stress, I’d have the conversation. But it’s important to point out again that this is not a fantasy football league. This is the NFL.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens Draft Anti-Report Card

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Ravens Draft Anti-Report Card

Posted on 02 May 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

Just as quickly as we could get excited about it, the NFL draft is gone, and our football attentions are turned back to scandal, controversy and other typical off-season business. Thank goodness.

I, like most, have had more than my fill of “expert analysis” regarding the world’s biggest crap shoot, and will mostly reserve judgment until we see these guys on the field, and in some cases over the months and years to come.

 

Forget about knee-benders and waist-benders, shuttle drill and forty times, as now we can again to talk football. The undeniable (yet inconvenient) truth is that none of us can possibly know how any of these guys will transition into the NFL…but we’ll see.

 

That said, whether or not the Ravens actually found real and usable talent in this year’s draft is debatable. What’s not debatable though is that lines have been drawn in the sand, messages sent, and competitions created for a few key positions on this roster, and that has to bode well for the Ravens in general.

 

For example, the Ravens first pick (albeit in the second round) Courtney Upshaw may or may not be a productive player. I (probably unfairly) look at the Alabama defense as a system, and like the Ravens, the production in that system doesn’t necessarily translate into others. Again, that’s my own hang-up, and as it’s an Alabama defender that Upshaw will be looking to succeed, he seems as viable a candidate as any. More importantly though, he’s just a candidate. The Ravens already had decent candidates in Paul Kruger and (to a lesser degree) Sergio Kindle, so now they have a competition…may the best man win. It seems a safe bet that among those three, at least one good football player should emerge. If more than one emerges…all the better.

 

The Bernard Pierce pick sets the stage for a battle of sorts between he and Damien Berry and Anthony Allen. Given the status of Ray Rice negotiations they might need to find options urgently. If a peaceful accord with Rice is reached (ideally) there’s a battle to back him up and for a between the tackles presence.

 

Jah Reid, Ramon Harewood, Kelechi Osemele and Gino Gradkowski could all find themselves fighting for a single position on the offensive line. If more than one proves their worth this year, the Ravens may be empowered to make additional moves.

 

Asa Jackson’s picture should probably be on the nightstands and in the weight rooms of both David Reed and LaQuan Williams. And anyone who thought hey had claim to the special teals roles vacated by Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura and Chris Carr had better take notice of Christian Thompson.

 

June 1st, and then the early days of camp will provide the chance to find plenty of additional talent, jettisoned to make room for the draft day bounties of other teams too, and not only have the Ravens proven adept at playing that market, they also enjoy a reputation that makes them attractive to those types of players.

 

I won’t pretend to know what’s in the heart of any man, especially an unproven 20-22 year old; anyone who will is asking to be wrong. I will suggest however that the battles shaping up for the Ravens most key positions look to be deep and interesting, making the likelihood of finding a few good football players pretty high. That much I would take to the bank.

 

 

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