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. 

Who’s On Third?

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Third Down Backfield Options For The Ravens It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Ray Rice manning the third down duties at tailback. We’ve been so accustomed to seeing him perched alongside Joe Flacco in the shotgun set, ready to take the handoff, wheel into a route, or KO an oncoming pass rusher. However, the reality is Rice will need to relinquish that role when the NFL comes down on him with a suspension to start the season. The only questions at that point will be for how many games...

Six Ravens Under the Purple Spotlight in 2014

KO
The story of any football team begins and ends with the players. The front office can put the pieces in place, the coaches can move the pieces to the right spots on the chess board, but it’s the players that must land the checkmate move. For the 2014 Ravens, everyone knows the key players going into the season– Flacco, Suggs, Ngata, Webb, Dumervill, Pitta, and the Smiths. But who else needs to emerge to put the team back in contention for another Super Bowl run? With OTAs in full swing and training camp right around the...

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Matt Ryan Was Almost a Raven

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You may recall that the Ravens, driven by owner Steve Bisciotti’s desire to land a franchise quarterback, nearly moved up in the 2008 NFL Draft to take quarterback Matt Ryan. The move would have been costly. The picks that Ozzie Newsome was reportedly willing to part with turned into Ray Rice, Tom Zbikowski and Lardarius Webb. Oh and then there was this guy from Delaware named Flacco. Here’s a look back at an article published on April 27,2008… ~ Tony Lombardi   When it came time to pull the trigger...

Did The Ravens Overpay Pitta?

Pitta dives v Vikings
As the Ravens have agreed to terms with Dennis Pitta on a 5-year, 32 million contract with $16 million guaranteed (reported by Aaron Wilson from the Baltimore Sun), the initial figures certainly jump off the page. After all, Pitta’s career let alone his long-term salary was in jeopardy roughly eight months ago after he suffered a fractured, dislocated right hip. The credit goes to Pitta for not only making a remarkable recovery but gutting out the final four games of the season. Though he wasn’t at 100%, the tough-as-nails TE...

Five Features of a Kubiak Offense

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Give credit where credit is due. John Harbaugh has taken an impressive first step to reconstructing his moribund offense in Baltimore. In hiring former Houston head coach Gary Kubiak to run the show, he has installed one of the best play-designers in the NFL. Kubiak understands how to attack every layer of a defense in the running game and the passing game. Kubiak’s roots are from the West Coast offense. However, he does not run a pure West Coast style the way of Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, and Steve Young....

If The Ravens Don’t Evolve They Will Fall

Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh
Maybe it was fitting that the two teams that ousted the Ravens from playoff contention were the Patriots and the Bengals. Think about what these two teams represent from a competitive standpoint. In New England, you have the team that the Ravens are constantly locking horns with. Through the years, the Ravens have undoubtedly closed the gap, and finally overcame their nemesis last year. But the Patriots are still ahead of the curve when it comes to coaching prowess and simply outworking the rest of the league. They’ll find the...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Bengals

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Offense   Think Quick to Declaw Cincinnati Pass Rush It’s a curious question that hasn’t found an answer for years now: Why don’t the Ravens run more screens? Even when quarterback Joe Flacco was a sitting duck against a resurgent New England pass rush, the team didn’t attempt to slow down their rush. When Baltimore ran a screen in a second-and-long situation, after an illegal use of hands penalty, Rice gained 13 yards behind some good open-field blocks. Then we didn’t see another screen the rest of the game. Against...

BATTLE PLANS: Time for Some Power Offense

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  Offense   Double Tight End Crunch Is it time for tight end Dennis Pitta to get more reps on first and second down? That’s the question facing the purple birds this coming Sunday against the Patriots. Thus far, Pitta’s snaps (30 out of 66 in the last game) have been confined to third down passing situations. Counterpart Ed Dickson has been the primary TE on early downs. Coming into this matchup, increasing Pitta’s snaps and using him along with Dickson would breathe new life into an ineffective early down...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Lions

Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Smith
Offense   Lion Taming Controlling the ferocious interior pass rush duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley is the monumental task that the Ravens have on deck. The duo is stout and violent. They aren’t just looking to generate sacks and pressures; they are looking to knock players out of the game. In order to keep these two dominant tackles from wreaking havoc, the offensive coaches need to employ quick-hitting plays to keep them off balance. Although their aggressiveness is their biggest strength, it can also be used against them...

BATTLE PLANS: Containing the Cyborg!

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  Offense   Keep the Play Fakes Coming In the last two games the Ravens have played, we have seen the return of play-action as an effective early down tool to spring big pass plays. Against the Steelers, the Ravens flashed a hard play fake to get receivers Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith involved on deep post patterns. The play to Jones was a miss but the play to Smith was the big hitter of the night. With the vertical passing game established, Flacco was able to hit a steady...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Steelers

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Offense Sugar is the Key Ingredient                 The last time these two foes met, the Ravens began to make long-term changes to their offensive attack. They went with more open shotgun sets, ran the ball from those formations, and even broke out their “sugar” huddle to quicken the pace in the second half. When the Ravens were in hurry-up mode, they had success moving the football and wearing out a Pittsburgh front that lacks the reliable front line rush they’ve had in years...

BATTLE PLANS: Everybody’s Going at Geno

Jets vs Steelers
  Offense Stay Out of Predictable Passing Situations For one of the few times this season, the Ravens were productive on first down in muddy Chicago. In staying balanced in those situations, the offense had more manageable third downs, and they were a bit more unpredictable overall. The Jets have a lethal pass rush and with Rex Ryan pulling the strings, it’s even more deadly in obvious passing situations. To keep Ryan from dialing up exotic looks on third down, the offense will need to stay on schedule. If they...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens at Bears

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
  Offense   Not your Father’s Bears For years, Chicago had backers that controlled the middle of the field. With the recent retirement of Brian Urlacher, and the loss of weakside backer Lance Briggs, the middle has less bite than ever before. Case in point, against the Lions, tight end Brandon Pettigrew consistently attacked the seams. In general, the Lions had no fear throwing the ball in at that area of the field against an ILB group that doesn’t get enough depth in their drops. For the Ravens to exploit...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Bengals

Suggs v Bengals
  Offense Three-Wide Attack The Ravens’ offensive display was hardly memorable against Cleveland last Sunday. However, one element that stood out was their changeup in personnel groupings. Instead of using heavy base packages on early downs, the team was in more three receiver sets, with Joe Flacco handling snaps from the gun. In fact, the pistol was also prominent, as the Ravens tried to adjust Ray Rice’s launch pad. Having more receivers on the field eventually paid off to wear out the Browns and spring some plays downfield, especially when...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens vs. Browns

Kruger v Ravens
  Offense Trick of Treat In order to counter Cleveland’s blitz, the Kansas City Chiefs relied on a well-coordinated passing attack that consisted of a variety of screens. In particular, the Chiefs were successful using misdirection screens in which they faked the play-side action to one side, only to get their backs out in space in the other direction. When the Browns were exposed on these plays, they gave up yards in chunks. Misdirection and screen plays have been few and far between in the Ravens’ playbook. However, with a...

Battle Plans: Ravens vs. Steelers

Torrey Smith Ike Taylor
  Offense Shorten the Passing Game on First Down It seems like the broken record we’ve been playing about passing the ball on first down is also getting air play in the Ravens’ locker room. Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco chimed in on the subject during their weekly press conferences, with Smith pointing out that short passes can act as an extension of the running game and enable the team to get ahead in the down-and-distance battle. Short passes on first down have seemingly been erased from the playbook, but...

Ravens Need to Take Handcuffs Off Flacco

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In staying up late to watch the San Diego Chargers the last two weekends, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for what head coach Mike McCoy has done to turn Philip Rivers around. He’s empowered his embattled quarterback and put the ball in his hands. Rivers has complete control of the passing game, and the Chargers rely on his arm to win or lose games. So far, Rivers has delivered his highest completion percentage of his career (72.6%), and he commands a passing game that runs fast or slow depending on...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens v. Packers

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Offense Pour Some Sugar on the Pack The Packers come into this game without their best pass rusher, Clay Matthews, who is sidelined with a broken thumb. Matthews is a jack-of-all-trades who rushes from the inside or outside, and had to be accounted for on every down. Green Bay will compensate for Matthews’ absence using a rotation of rushers that includes Mike Neal and Nick Perry. The duo may have combined for three sacks against Detroit, but their ability to sustain that productivity is a question mark. Despite struggling with...

BATTLE PLANS: Ravens @ Dolphins

Ellerbe Dolphins
OFFENSE Misdirection Plays As fast as Miami plays on the defensive side of the ball, they can be over aggressive in spots, and the Saints certainly exploited their lack of discipline on Monday night. For instance, New Orleans used a combination of play-fakes, pump-fakes, and ghost plays—when receivers or backs are used as decoys—to get the Miami defenders to take false steps all over the field. Baltimore has hardly shown that level of creativity with their play-calling this season, but they will need to take a couple of pages out...

Eating Buffalo Wings with the Enemy

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It was my first NFL road game. So what was the initial thought that crossed my mind when I entered the Ralph Wilson stadium area? This is a college scene. Between the sea of trailers in the parking lots, the single circular entrance, and the open, bowl-shaped seating arrangement, it screamed something different. However, as much as the energy and exuberance in the stadium was undeniable, there was also deep-rooted trepidation that permeated the stands. As jacked up as Bills fans were, they quickly burrowed into their seats as soon...