About Dev Panchwagh

Dev Panchwagh

Dev Panchwagh is a versatile analyst who breaks down the Xs and Os of the game and has been a columnist/analyst for Ravens24x7.com since the summer of 2004. In his regular season column Battle Plans, Dev highlights the Ravens' keys to success against each upcoming opponent. Dev started modestly as a sports journalist, but his contributions to sports talk radio were noticed, leading to duties as a regular columnist for the Scouts.com network before joining RSR.  It would be very difficult to find his rare combination of youthfulness, knowledge and insight in all facets of football anywhere else.  Fortunately, Dev brings it here each and every week. 

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Bengals

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Offense 1. Inside-out Attack In basketball, teams that have a strong presence in the paint at center or power forward will pound the ball inside. Think Shaq or Charles Barkley. Once the defense starts to converge to stop the inside game, the ball gets kicked around to the perimeter for open shooters to take advantage. Well, in football, the concept of this game plan is very similar. If the pass offense is deadly on intermediate routes, safeties start to creep inside to help out, and single coverage opens up outside....

THE FINAL WORD: Ravens Need to Lock up a Rising Star

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I’ll admit it, I thought Owen Daniels was finished. When I was out at Owings Mills covering training camp, Daniels looked sluggish pulling away from defenders on routes, and that was when he wasn’t in the cold tub. Remember when Daniels couldn’t play because “his legs were sore?” I thought that was translation for Daniels is going lose his job to Crockett Gilmore. Well, the former Texan has gotten better and better each week. And now, he looks every bit like his former Pro Bowl self. Daniels worked the Atlanta...

Battle Plans: Falcons vs. Ravens

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Offense 1. Bring the Ground Game to the Air Running back Matt Forte had a field day against the Falcons last week – but he did most of his damage through the air. The leading pass-catching back in the NFL caught 10 passes against Atlanta, and was a constant bailout option underneath for Jay Cutler. Back in Week 2, Giovani Bernard victimized the Falcons, snagging five catches for 79 yards, with a long of 45 yards. Pierre Thomas also had his way against the Falcons with six catches for 58...

The Final Word: Green Dogging

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Gary Kubiak reintroduced a route that was largely dormant against Indianapolis the week before — the slant. The Ravens went heavy with slant action to counter the single-high safety looks Tampa Bay employed, especially in the red zone when Torrey Smith scored two straight TDs to start the game. Steve Smith was also able to capitalize on the same pattern, catching passes against the one decent corner the Bucs have, Alterraun Verner. However, Smith has been consistently involved on slants in Kubiak’s offense. Hopefully with Smith’s success on the same...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Buccaneers

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Offense 1. Run to Set up the Pass Last Sunday against the Colts, the Ravens were aggressive with their play-action passing game, especially in first down situations. The Ravens attempted 14 first down throws, and a lot of the pass attempts came in the first half. The plan backfired, as the Colts were all over the Ravens’ boot action, causing Joe Flacco to run for his life off the play-fake. Tampa Bay isn’t going to be as aggressive as Indianapolis in attacking the line of scrimmage. They’ll stay static in...

THE FINAL WORD: Tactical Errors Kill Ravens on Sunday

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One week can make a world of difference in the NFL. Just ask James Hurst. The rookie LT went from one of the players of the game a week ago to goat after his head-turning performance against the Colts. And when I say head turning, I mean Hurst’s head was literally turned, as was his entire body in at least one pass-blocking breakdown. Hurst struggled with his footwork and balance all afternoon. Lack of consistency in his footwork and positioning out of his stance was also a big problem for...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Colts

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Offense 1. Attack the Safeties and Backers The strength of the Indianapolis defense is its cornerbacks. Led by Vontae Davis (who has turned into a shutdown corner), these corners are aggressive and generally lock up in man coverage. But while the cornerbacks are solid, the safeties and backers have been suspect. One of the chief offenders, Laron Landry, is mercifully out of the lineup for Indy due to a suspension. Fifth-year special teams standout Sergio Brown is taking his place, and he’s only had three starts in 59 games. Brown...

THE FINAL WORD: Staff Shares Blame for Elam’s Struggles

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Safety Matt Elam caught the slings from the fans after another subpar performance in coverage Sunday. Except this time, his struggles came in a return appearance at the slot cornerback position. The second-year player had to take up the role in light of Lardarius Webb being out of action. Elam was bombarded by veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who snagged 5 catches for 80 yards. Cotchery was Cam Newton’s go-to target on third downs. Unlike the Steelers, the Panthers actually threw the ball further downfield against Elam. If you remember, Elam held his own in the Pittsburgh game but he only had...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Panthers

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Offense 1. Patient Assassin The Panthers may not have a star-studded secondary like the Legion of Boom, but they keep the big plays to a minimum. Carolina’s formula is to play a zone shell to compress the passing game. They also rely heavily on their linebackers to help out as “buzz” defenders on patterns that extend past the intermediate area. Linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly are two of the fastest coverage backers in the game. With that setup, it’s difficult for an offense to make a living series-to-series. The...

FINAL WORD: Dealing With The Loss of Pitta

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The obvious next man up to cover the loss of Dennis Pitta would be Owen Daniels. But, not so fast, as Lee Corso likes to say. Daniels himself has had durability issues going back to last season, when his season ended on a broken leg. The team still needs to monitor his snap count to keep him fresh throughout the year. He can’t necessarily jump back into a situation in which he’s logging 50+ snaps. That means we should see plenty of rookie Crockett Gilmore to either sub Daniels in...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Browns (Round 1)

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Offense 1. Control the Edges The rush end rotation of Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo, and Jabaal Sheard were dominant against the New Orleans offensive tackles last week. Kruger in particular had his way with right tackle Zach Strief, notching one sack and two QB hits. This group was even more dangerous because the Saints didn’t make much of an attempt to slow them down. They were able to pin their ears back on the rush, as New Orleans opened up their formations and gave little blocking help to the line....

THE FINAL WORD: A Blueprint to Defeat the Champs

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Here are the thoughts weighing on my mind from Week 2.  Led by Phillip Rivers, the San Diego offense was in full control over the defending champions. They controlled the ball for over 42 minutes, frustrated the Seattle secondary with 10 third-down conversions, and made a statement to the league in the sweltering 110-degree heat. The statement is this: Put together a well-devised game plan and stay patient on offense against the Seahawks and you’ve got a chance. Yes, not everyone has Rivers and Antonio Gates (7 catches, 96 yards,...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Steelers (Round 1)

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Offense 1. Too Fast, Too Furious The Ravens offense came to life when they went into their two-minute offense to catch up with the Bengals. Joe Flacco & Co. all but abandoned their base offense and went to a no-huddle spread attack, lining up often in empty formations in which tight ends Owen Daniels and Dennis Pitta were on the field with three different receivers. They also mixed it up with one-back looks with Justin Forsett on the field. This was when the offense was balanced and at its best....

THE FINAL WORD: Ravens Defense No Longer Feared

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The opening day of the 2014 NFL season got underway with a nice mix of surprises and eye-opening performances alike. Here are my quickest and biggest thoughts from Week 1.  The Ravens defense has gone from an attacking, take-no-prisoners attitude to just being prisoners, period. They have become arrested and confined to playing under the “bend but don’t break” mentality for so long under defensive coordinator Dean Pees that it’s hard to see them breaking out. This is a unit that once ended opponents’ lives like a Mortal Kombat finishing move. Now...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Bengals, Football Is Back!

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As the fans and players both get ready for the first game of the season and the return of their favorite sport, let’s take a look at what the Ravens can do on both sides of the ball in order to secure a victory against Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals on Opening Day.   Offense 1. Scoring A’s in Pass Pro Last season, the Baltimore offensive line was plagued by the cross blitz attack. Linebackers were able to create havoc through the A gaps and take advantage of then...

Which Raven Is Ranked 3rd Best 3-4 OLB in the NFL?

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Does anyone want to take a guess as to who Pro Football Focus (PFF) has ranked as their third best 3-4 outside linebacker through three preseason games? Anyone? Here’s a hint: The last time he had more than five sacks, he was in his rookie season, and the Ravens went all the way to the AFC Championship. Yup, you guessed it , it’s Pernell McPhee (and he had six sacks that season if you’re keeping score at home). PFF gave McPhee a rating of +5.1. Coincidently, Elvis Dumervil is also...

The Ravens Cut Corners With Safeties

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A lot has been made about the Ravens’ very thin secondary, especially at the cornerback position. With veteran Lardarius Webb dealing with a somewhat mysterious back injury, and cornerback Asa Jackson out with a high ankle sprain, the team is running out of bodies to throw out there. To offset the corner pocket hole, the team is playing around with different combinations in their sub packages to feature their safeties. Instead of using a cornerback to play the traditional slot nickel corner role, the team has been giving rookie safety...

CAMP NOTES: The Final Countdown

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As training camp officially concluded on a largely tepid practice day, several answers emerged that weren’t present at the start of training camp. We now know who is unequivocally manning the starting right tackle position going forward (Ricky Wagner). We know how the new-look, Gary Kubiak offense fits the present offensive personnel. And we have a good idea of which rookies are leaving their mark and what their roles should be going forward. Here is a breakdown of four noteworthy items that consistently stuck out throughout three weeks of training...

CAMP NOTES: Just Give Me The Damn Ball

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The battle for the fifth and sixth receiver spots is still not a done deal. Not by a long shot. Despite all of the momentum that Kamar Aiken has gained (especially following a strong preseason debut), he is still getting a stiff challenge from receivers Jeremy Butler and Deonte Thompson. And then there is rookie Michael Campanaro, who is definitely making the team – but where he stacks up in the pecking order is still a question. Here’s a deeper look at how these four receivers performed: Kamar Aiken: Let’s...

CAMP NOTES: 49ers Offense vs. Ravens Defense

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The last day of practice between the Ravens and the 49ers was a lightly contested affair, as the teams worked out in shells and shorts. In the case of Steve Smith, he opted for sweatpants. Still, there was enough action to gauge the individual matchups between the two teams. Here are some of the biggest impressions from the battles that took place between the Baltimore defense and the San Francisco offense: • Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has a cannon for an arm and can fit throws into spots where the defense...