A year ago the Ravens had no group with more potential for change than the linebacker corps.
While injuries changed the players involved, the retirement of Ray Lewis combined with the 2012 changes will likely make 2013 a transitional year for the Ravens’ linebackers.
Emerging in 2012 were Paul Kruger, Josh Bynes, Dannell Ellerbe, Albert McClellan, and Courtney Upshaw.
Meanwhile, declines in value included the play of Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Brendon Ayanbadejo, JJ’s free agent departure, and team’s parting with Sergio Kindle.
Michael McAdoo spent another year on IR, but remains an intriguing option to replace pass rush provided by Kruger. Adrian Hamilton was also signed off the Dallas practice squad and played 10 snaps. McAdoo is listed as a DE in the Ravens media guide which may well be where he ends up. What do all of those players have in common? None will get a separate player evaluation.
I included Terrell Suggs with the defensive line, since he plays more snaps with a hand on the turf.
Each player has 3 grades:
- The Play grade is a representation of how well he played vs. his positional peers last season. It is not a representation of value relative to salary.
- The Value grade is a representation of the player’s contribution relative to 2012 cap expenditure. Great players, at mid career (after signing their first FA contract), will almost never be graded an A in this category since they are typically paid the market price for their services. It’s not a slap in the face to be graded a C here, but the best front offices will have many more As and Bs than Ds and Fs because they consistently uncover value in the draft and sign bargain free agents. A player who does not miss time due to injury, but otherwise performs exactly as might be expected by his contract would be graded a B-. In the case of linebackers and secondary, this grade includes consideration for their contributions on special teams.
- The Developmental grade is an indication of how much the player improved relative to expectation as well as a measure of future expectations. The primary reason to expect growth (or decline) is age, but injuries (particularly changes to prospective durability), leadership, position changes, etc. were all lumped in this category. Even a 35-year-old gets a developmental grade.
Snap totals and percentages include only non-penalty snaps which were played competitively (excludes kneels and spikes) for both regular and postseason games unless noted otherwise. The 2012 Ravens had 1,390 such defensive snaps as a unit in 20 games.
Individual Player Comments
So, who else had a Super-Bowl-ending tackle of the trailing team on the final play that might have resulted in a tying or winning score?
Close but no cigar:
SB V (Bal 16, Dal 13) ended on Logan’s interception of Morton.
SB VII (Mia 14, Wash 7) is an odd case where the last snap was Stanfill’s sack of Kilmer on 4th down to turn the ball over with more than 30 seconds on the clock. However, the officials started the clock (I believe improperly, but rules may have been different then) after the field had to be cleared, but before the Dolphins could snap the ball. In any case, this game didn’t end on the tackle.
SB X (Pit 21, Dal 17) ended on an interception thrown by Staubach.
SB XXIII (SF 20, Cin 16) ended on Esiason’s incomplete 4th down pass.
SB XLVI (NYG 21, NE 17) ended on Brady’s incomplete pass in the end zone as time ran out.
This leaves only:
SB XXXIV (STL 23, Ten 16) ended on Mike Jones’ tackle of Dyson at the 1.
In all of the other close Super Bowls, the winning team ran out the clock. So for the time being, Mike Jones and Josh Bynes are the only 2 players in the history of the NFL to record a Super-Bowl-ending tackle with the game still in doubt.
If you missed the secondary evaluations, please see: