With the NFL’s virtual offseason program rolling on, I’ve offered a dozen Ravens thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. Team president Dick Cass confirmed again this week that the organization aims to be able to conduct training camp and has no expectation of the 90-man roster being at the Owings Mills facility before then. Time remains on teams’ side with the usual start to camp still two months away.
2. Two-time Pro Bowl receiver Adam Thielen said he wouldn’t have made it in the NFL had the pandemic taken place when he went undrafted in 2013. With Baltimore already having a deep roster and 10 draft picks, rookie free agents are missing out on valuable opportunities to impress.
3. Opinions vary on playing football this fall, but Dr. David Chao, former team physician of the San Diego Chargers, discussed key considerations in this video ranging from what to do about team meetings and locker rooms to considering face shields on helmets and alternatives for huddling. Really interesting stuff.
4. With Rooney Rule changes making headlines, the lack of diversity in NFL hiring remains disappointing with Ozzie Newsome going from a Hall of Fame playing career to becoming one of the best general managers of all time serving as the best example one needs. The league must do better.
5. Some have mentioned the peculiarity of having two preseason games against regular-season opponents (Dallas and Washington), but teams just don’t show enough in these exhibition contests for this to really matter anymore. Conducting joint practices with a regular-season opponent would be a different story.
6. A superb secondary and Wink Martindale’s propensity to blitz should ease short-term concerns at edge rusher, but Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee, Jihad Ward, and Tyus Bowser are only under contract through 2020. Even if Jaylon Ferguson takes a step forward, something will have to give.
7. Calais Campbell has wasted no time making an impact locally as his foundation announced an initiative to provide 100 laptops to disadvantaged students. His superb play is a given, but adding a veteran like him during such unusual times will pay off even more on and off the field.
8. The recently retired Eric Weddle taking time to speak to Ravens players virtually was hardly surprising. He’ll relish more time with his family, but it’s difficult imagining him staying away from the game for very long.
9. Many have already dunked on the following tweet, but the 2012 defense did come up big in some critical spots despite its mediocre overall profile. Still, I would put at least 15 Ravens defenses ahead of that one without even needing to look up any stats. What an odd pairing.
2012 Ravens Defense vs. 2019 Chiefs Offense
Who has the edge? pic.twitter.com/JkiWleIO5I
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) May 20, 2020
10. Terrell Suggs had a forgettable Arizona homecoming, but he recently drew praise as a mentor from Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones, who led the NFL in sacks in 2017 and had 19 last year. It’s unclear whether he’ll return for an 18th season, but the ex-Raven became an underrated leader.
11. If you felt old hearing Ray Lewis turned 45 years old late last week, perhaps you’ll take consolation learning Cal Ripken will be 60 in August. You’re welcome.
12. I really could have gone without reading the latest example of what’s made Tom Brady so
insane great over the years. At least Ryan Mallett learned something from the six-time Super Bowl champion?
I remember Mallett made me do this during C/Q exchange during training camp. He said Tom made his centers do it as well. It felt like I was wearing a diaper & couldn’t move so I ripped it off. Also everyone was giving me crap for it… https://t.co/5PiUKyaMU5
— Matt Skura (@Matt_Skura62) May 20, 2020