When the Baltimore Ravens drafted safety Matt Elam out of the University of Florida with the 32nd pick in 2013 they envisioned him making an impact right out of the gate.
Throughout training camp and the preseason Elam found himself looking up at others on the depth chart. Veteran James Ihedigbo secured the number one spot and the free agent signing of free safety Michael Huff left Elam without a starting role.
“Matt [rotates] in and plays a lot. He’ll continue to do that whether it’s in the regular package or the other packages that we have. [He’s] going to play a lot of football,” head coach John Harbaugh stated at the beginning of the 2013 season.
On Sunday it was apparent to the Ravens that Elam was ready to start against the Cleveland Browns after Huff was victimized the previous week by Peyton Manning and tight end Julius Thomas in a loss to the Denver Broncos.
While all the blame certainly does not fall on Huff, and it was just one game, one has to wonder if the Ravens saw enough.
“‘As long as we win, I’m good. I struggled last week. It’s not on the coaches, it’s on me,” Huff was quoted as saying after being replaced by Elam as the starter.
Elam finished with a solid day after allowing a 53-yard pass to the Browns’ Jordan Cameron in their opening series. Elam was on the field for the Ravens’ 63 defensive snaps and finished with five tackles on the day while Huff played just four defensive snaps.
Next up for the Ravens will be another tough test in the Houston Texans. Elam and the rest of the secondary will be challenged once again.
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