In this crazy first week of Free Agency, the Ravens may have been the name that many have looked at the most. Not because of the marquee signings, but the amount of players that the team has let slip loose.
Players like Paul Kruger and Cary Williams were some expected losses, but someone like Bernard Pollard was puzzling and quite a surprise to most.
By the looks of those on message boards and social media, the sky is falling yet again and GM Ozzie Newsome has no clue what he’s doing.
NEWSFLASH: He is the best in the business at what he does. Remember the year when Ozzie dropped Willis McGahee, Derrick Mason and Todd Heap? We had thought our entire offense was doomed. What did The Wizard of Oz do? Oh, only lead us to another deep playoff run. That worked out pretty well…
As Tony Lombardi said best recently, the Ravens aren’t making a mistake, they are simply “opting to gut their below average defense”. Think about that for a second and let it sink in. Newsome isn’t letting guys go that are crucial to this team. They can be replaced! This example is illustrated best with the current situation the Ravens have at Safety.
As it stands at the moment, the only two safeties the Ravens have under contract and on the roster are James Ihedigbo and Christian Thompson. “Who?” you might ask, but those two names could very easily be the starters once the regular season kicks off.
With the departure of Ed Reed still a possibility, these two players will have to step it up. And that’s okay! One thing we have to remember is that Ozzie Newsome drafts players for a reason. He has guys like Christian Thompson tucked away on the roster because he wants them to play, not just take up roster space.
Should Thompson get the chance to see the field, it should be interesting to see what he brings to the table. His list of upsides keeps on giving!
The 4th round draft pick came from a smaller school in South Carolina State, but that didn’t stop him from being a shining star during his tenure. He is known as a hard-hitting, physical player, much like Bernard Pollard. In college, he wasn’t afraid to sacrifice his body and lay down the law, fitting the mold like many others of “Playing like a Raven”.
He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, which also fits what Ozzie Newsome wants to do—keep the defense fast and young.
The draft brings more opportunities to bring fresh blood into the organization. Many believe the Ravens could go safety with their first pick, but it’s clear that the team has to do something about the middle of the defense. Players like Shamarko Thomas and D.J Swearinger are potential picks if the Ravens decide to go the route of defensive back.
Just remember, this organization doesn’t draft players just to fill roster space. There is a purpose to every pick. There might not be the big names that casual fans are looking for, but in the end, this team will end up where they want to be with THEIR players.