The Ravens “Final” 53 clearly had some head scratchers to the less informed observers who don’t receive paychecks signed by Steve Bisciotti and Dick Cass.
Bobby Rainey, a fan favorite, had little value to the team unless there was an injury to Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce. The Ravens liked Rainey but they apparently were willing to take the risk that he would clear waivers and land on their practice squad, as evidenced by the initial announcement of a seven man PS. They are allowed eight and it is believed that the last placeholder was for Rainey.
Obviously the plan backfired. We’ll see Rainey again only this time in the Halloween colors of the Cleveland Browns on September 15 at M&T Bank Stadium.
As early as 4PM today the Ravens could place Dennis Pitta on Injured Reserve, Designated to Return. What the team does with the available roster spot will be interesting. Will they bring back Billy Bajema or does Ozzie Newsome have a surprise up his sleeve?
The team is dangerously thin at cornerback with two players that have had repeated injury issues (Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith) and another that has struggled with technique (Chykie Brown). Yes S Michael Huff can play corner in a pinch but that isn’t why the Ravens brought him to Baltimore.
Depth at offensive line is also very questionable. Ricky Wagner has been a pleasant surprise at tackle but Jah Reid is looking more and more like a bust. If not for his third round draft status he’d probably be a former Raven. And let’s not forget that AQ Shipley appeared overmatched at times during the preseason.
Ryan Jensen, who broke his foot during camp and was thought by many to be headed to IR, remains on the 53. Perhaps the feisty interior lineman from Colorado State-Pueblo showed enough during his limited time in camp to warrant the team’s patience.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Curtis Painter who was with the Ravens last summer has bumped the former No. 1 overall pick from 2002, David Carr from the New York Giants roster. Wonder if Rex Ryan is aware of this?
Speaking of highly drafted quarterbacks Charlie Casserly from NFL Network and CBS Sports recently said that when the Tennessee Titans selected Vince Young with the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft that they may have saved the National Champion from Texas the embarrassment of potentially falling out of the first round entirely.
Ozzie Newsome sitting there with the 13th pick (prior to the trade with Cleveland), worn out by 3 seasons with Kyle Boller behind center, would absolutely have taken Vince Young and Haloti Ngata may have ended up in Philadelphia with the 14th pick.
According to our capologist Brian McFarland, unless there has been some obscure rule change that hasn’t been made widely known, the Ravens and Broncos, by virtue of playing the league’s first game on Thursday, get first crack at post-week 1 signing of veteran free agents without guaranteeing their contracts for the entire season.
Ray Rice has let it be known that he’d like to see Ray Lewis join his former teammates along the sidelines in Denver. Some of argued that it’s time for the Ravens to move on and begin a new era. Others have said that it would be a great way to connect the face of the team to the many newcomers. I’m inclined to say it’s time to move on but that said, if the guy shows up in Denver I’m sure the corners of my mouth will curl in a northerly direction.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Ravens have won their last five season openers, producing the second-best current streak behind the Patriots’ nine in a row.
- Joe Flacco is 3-1 v. the Broncos during his career
- Dallas Clark often criticized for being “done”, was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003 NFL Draft with the 24th overall pick. The Arizona Cardinals with the 54th overall pick selected Anquan Boldin that same year.
- After the Ravens return home from Denver they will travel only 7,906 round trip miles during the balance of the season.