Ever since the Baltimore Ravens started off the 2013 offseason going towards the youth movement with noticeable players leaving such as Anquan Boldin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Matt Birk it was a sign of a new era, and something that fans begrudgingly embraced as we celebrated the Ravens winning the Super Bowl again.
As the team goes forward, the poster children for the Ravens’ youth movement are the talents of inside linebacker Arthur Brown, and strong safety Matt Elam.
Both players are expected to be key contributors on defense as the season goes on, but from what we just saw on Thursday night with the Ravens’ defense allowing seven touchdowns to Peyton Manning, the Ravens don’t really have much to lose at this point with Elam, and Brown starting from here on out.
If the Ravens’ defense is going to allow 49 points in one game, then why not do it with rookies on the field. Why bother with veterans like inside linebacker Josh Bynes looking lost in his third year or veteran free safety in Michael Huff looking very rookie-like himself while being beaten down the field with relative ease and shoddy tackling to boot in his eighth season in the league.
If Elam, and Brown get more playing time it may not be pretty initially, but the experience is invaluable. That’s how defenses become great in the NFL. In the Ravens’ first season in 1996, Ray Lewis was a rookie as we all know, and the defense was pathetic allowing a league-leading 368 yards per game, and 27.6 points per-game, which ranked third worst in the league at the time.
Growing pains will occur on defense with young players. It even happened when Ed Reed was a rookie in 2002 as well as the defense ranked 22nd in the NFL in yards allowed at a clip of 334.6 yards per game, and 22.1 points per game.
Very rarely do you see young studs take over the league immediately.
So if the Ravens are going towards the youth movement, let’s take off the training wheels and get this new era started.
Could it be any worse than Thursday?