I’m on vacation and ended up watching the Rams feed of the game. It’s a different perspective, which really gives you an opportunity to focus on the Ravens’ negatives because the replays are primarily Rams’ highlights. To summarize:
· Ross Tucker, who is one of several morning drive analysts for Sirius does the Rams preseason games and is outstanding. He doesn’t tailor his commentary for the least common audience, and will frequently discuss key blocks at the point of attack and when the edge is lost.
· Marshall Faulk isn’t nearly as impressive doing games live as he is doing commentary on the NFL Network, but he had some good comments about learning to play on turf. That may have helped explain some of Jimmy Smith’s difficulties.
· Both re-watched the roughing the passer call and had time to say something like “Well that looks like good pressure by Hall…oooh, they called that on Kindle”. Tucker said it was the latest hit on the QB he’d seen in a long time.
· I don’t have anything special to say about Sergio Kindle. He’s been awful and despite the possible injury to Upshaw, I don’t see a reason to keep him. There should be a number of serviceable edge setters who will hit the market in the next few hours. I expect the Ravens will make a move to acquire one.
· Rams GM Les Snead made a visit to the booth during the game and described the post-cut scramble as another draft where they have a board of players targeted. The Rams were thin at DT before they lost their first-round draft pick Brockers when Harewood rolled his ankle. St Louis may be the leading candidate to raid the Ravens practice squad for a DT this season. Snead mentioned he had already exchanged several texts after the injury.
· Osemele came back to Earth with a difficult game at RT against Long. He did not see action at LT and it was interesting to see that Harewood spent time at LG with Cord Howard in at LT.
· None of the Ravens corners looked great. Smith twice slipped on the turf in coverage, but didn’t otherwise look bad and had a near PD (Q1, 12:04). Cary Williams got turned on an 11-yard out (Q1, 13:20). Danny Gorrer failed to look back for the ball and picked up a long PI (Q2, 3:03) prior to his interception.
· Tyson had a mixed game. He pressured Bradford on an incomplete pass to Pettis where Smith slipped in coverage (Q1, 5:19) and had a QH (Q2, 3:49) that caused Clemens to throw an awkward near lateral. However, he was pushed around consistently in the run game including 2 plays where he was cleared out for runs up the middle (Q2, 10:56 and Q2, 8:07). I presume he’ll make the team, but he doesn’t look like an ideal 2-down DT rotation player.
Bryan Hall had a decent game on the line including a nice penetration (Q2, 12:12) to take down Richardson for a loss of 1 and the aforementioned pressure on Kindle’s absurd penalty. However, the most interesting personnel move of the night came when Hall moved to middle linebacker late in the game. I noticed his takedown of Clemens on his scramble left (Q3, 6:19) and thought that was unusual for a defensive lineman to make that play and thought he must have been dropped to zone, but he had lined up in a 2-point stance several yards off the line of scrimmage on that play and did so for the remainder of the game. He was a little slow to the ball on several runs up the middle, but had a nice jam on the TE (Q3, 3:31) and turned in a workmanlike performance.
Nigel Carr was playing beside Hall for most of his time in the game, but the absence of Ricky Brown was disappointing. Brown outplayed Carr in the first 3 games but is listed as DNP in the Gamebook. Even if uninjured, Brown’s service time may force the Ravens to consider dumping him.