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Griping About – & Understanding – the Ravens D

Ngata Suggs
I’ve read a lot of things lately about how the Ravens need to part ways with defensive veterans like Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Lardarius Webb, and others.  The theory is that younger players are more hungry, more athletic, and do not cost as much.  I can understand that sentiment, but parting with key defensive starters (regardless of age and experience) is a bad way to build a defense. When it comes to the Ravens (and most teams) during the pre-season, there are a couple of things that I think fans...

RAVENS LINKS: Ravens No. 24 All-Time Greatest Franchise

Ravens Mount Rushmore
All 32 NFL Franchises Statistically Ranked in Order of All-Time Greatness Fansided’s Daniel D. Zillmer comes up with a metric to rank all 32 franchises in order of greatness. For a franchise that is less than 20 years old, the Ravens come in impressively at #24. And despite what their fans would want you to believe (SIX!), the Steelers only come in at #3. LINK VIDEO: Harbaugh’s Post-Game Speech John Harbaugh gives a speech to his team after the 37-30 win against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday where he details what...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens @ Cowboys–Safety Patrol

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Ravens fans never want another season like 2007 where the Ravens’ secondary evoked memories of the “Street of Dying Men” scene from Gone with the Wind. After the first quarter, The Ravens’ top 3 corners, Jackson, Webb, and Smith were all out with injuries of which few outside the Castle can claim to have full understanding. The remainder of the game featured a number of 5-DB sets with 3 (big nickel) and even 4 (huge nickel?) safeties. Much was made of the big nickel in the last year or two for...

Observations From Preseason Game 2: Defense/Special Teams

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After a notable defensive preseason debut in which the Ravens allowed only three points, things didn’t come so easy on Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys, as the defense conceded 30 points. How many points the opposition allowed isn’t too big of a concern right now, since quite frankly the defense as a whole didn’t necessarily look any worse than in the first preseason game. The 37-30 win over the Cowboys offered plenty of things of note when it came to both defense and special teams. 1. Rookie Terrence Brooks didn’t...

Observations from Preseason Game 2 – Offense

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Saturday night’s win against the Dallas Cowboys was not nearly as impressive of an outing for the offense compared to the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, but it was still a positive performance nonetheless. After a preseason debut in which the starting offense marched down the field in dominating fashion for a touchdown in Week 1, both the starters and backups showed more inconsistencies during their trip to Dallas. There’s plenty to dissect, but also plenty to build upon as the Ravens have reached to midway point of...

RAVENS 37 COWBOYS 30: 5 Good, 5 Bad Takeways

Deonte Thompson
The Ravens offense did not take the field until the 3:25 mark of the first quarter and then proceeded to stay on the field for all of 53 seconds, their total time of possession for the quarter. Yet the first quarter ended with the Ravens on the lead end of a 14-7 game thanks to a fumble recovery for score by Courtney Upshaw and a 108-yard kick return by Deonte Thompson. It was a strange and uneven game/performance, even for a fake game.   PLUS 1. BIG MAC: Pernell McPhee...

Ravens Beat Cowboys in Uneven Effort: Knee-Jerk Reactions

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The Ravens were slightly schizophrenic against an awful Cowboys team. Good teams, even when they play poorly, will find a way to win. And by the way, my concerns about a lackluster pass rush and thin secondary continue to resonate. Will Matt Elam ever make an impactful play? – Tony Lombardi Offense can’t afford too many slow starts as we saw tonight. O-line struggled in pass protection, particularly left tackle Eugene Monroe. Running game certainly progressing. Secondary struggling as a unit and it could be a major concern if Lardarius...

The Ravens Cut Corners With Safeties

Terrence Brooks Camp
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: 5 Players Who Excelled in Training Camp

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The Ravens broke camp late Thursday afternoon after an eventful few weeks. Many players who spent the summer trying to earn a spot on the Ravens coveted roster will now look to the preseason games to “leave their mark,” as Ray Lewis would say. Some players exceeded expectations of both coaching and front office staff during the grueling so called “dog days of summer,” while others seemingly disappointed and failed to capitalize on their opportunity to seize the day. My fellow training camp colleague Dev Panchwagh and I put our...

RAVENS LINKS: Steve Smith Takes Your Lunch Box

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Steve Smith and the Ravens are ready to take your lunch money CSN-Baltimore’s Brian Mitchell talks to Steve Smith and he discusses what it’s like to be a Raven. Will Torrey Smith Finally Have a Monster Year in 2014? Brandon Gdula of numberFire gives an analytic approach to determining Torrey Smith‘s potential for the upcoming season: “Every season has its share of hyped players, and one of those hyped players over the past two years has been Torrey Smith. Smith never really broke out, but he did finish 23rd and...

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...

RAVENS v. COWBOYS: What to Watch For

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The first dress rehearsal for the Baltimore Ravens offered some clarity regarding several of the team’s uncertainties but that’s not to say there isn’t a shortage of unanswered questions as the second preseason battle approaches. As John Harbaugh’s crew heads to Dallas to square off with the Cowboys on Saturday night, there are plenty of things to keep an eye on regarding key playing time distribution, roster battles and more. What and who should you be keeping your eye when the Ravens take the field at Jerry World on Saturday?...

CAMP NOTES: McPhee Revs up Motor on a Slow Day at Camp

McPhee Dalton
As the Ravens held their final practice before breaking camp, the defense seems primed and anxious to take the field on Saturday night in Dallas against the Cowboys. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee never seems to slow down. Whether it’s during individual positional drills or 11 on 11 drills, the four-year veteran is going full throttle. Even with the slow paced practice that took place on Thursday, McPhee could be seen flying around from drill to drill and busting through the third team offense’s line even in shells. The former fifth-round...

CAMP NOTES: Flacco Strong as Camp Winds Down

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In just shorts and shells today, the Baltimore Ravens wrapped up their last practice before breaking camp on Friday under cool conditions at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. Thursday’s practice had more a walk-through type feel as both the offense and defense were split for much of the afternoon. The first and second team offense took on the third team defense, while the third team offense spent their reps facing the first and second team defenses. With starters expected to play the first quarter and some new...

The Cowboys Defense is Offensive

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The Dallas Cowboys had a really bad defense in 2013. Really bad! Of the 32 teams in the league the Cowboys were ranked 32nd. Some other key defensive stats also paint a bleak picture of a season owner Jerry Jones would love to forget: • Opponents converted 43% of third down attempts (4th worst) • Opponents averaged 6.1 yards per play against the defense once known as “Doomsday” (2nd worst) • Opponents threw for 286.8 yards per game on average (3rd worst) • Opponents ran it for 128.5 yards per...

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: Jernigan Stands Out

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The Baltimore Ravens kicked off the third week of training camp under sunny conditions at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills on Wednesday morning. Dressed in shells and shorts, the Ravens defense saw a lot of action in seven on seven and 11 on 11 drills for much of the afternoon. The injury bug again took a bite out of the defensive front of the Ravens last week causing many to be concerned with depth issues at was once thought to be their deepest position. Dont panic! Rookie...

CAMP NOTES: Campanaro, Smith Put on Pass Catching Clinic

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The Ravens took the field in shorts and shells today, where receivers Steve Smith Sr. and rookie Michael Campanaro put on a show. It was perhaps their best performance of training camp thus far as the team prepares for their second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. Smith Sr. had a field day with the Ravens’ first string secondary, making catch after catch out of his ridiculously crisp routes all afternoon. The veteran wideout found the soft spots in the defense and made the secondary pay on multiple...

RAVENS LINKS: Ravens Nickname Goes Back to 93

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Baltimore Ravens Nickname Goes Back As Early As 1993 One of our message board members, CharmCityCrab, dug up this archived article from the Baltimore Sun discussing a potential expansion franchise in 1993. The name under consideration was the Baltimore Rhinos (yeah, I know, stupid). At the end of the article, one of the potential names under consideration was the Baltimore Ravens. LINK Revisiting Flacco-Smith Controversy Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com revisited the Flacco-Troy Smith controversy in 2008 when fans were asking for Troy Smith to replace then rookie QB, Flacco. LINK...

Tom Hammock Adds Spark to Ravens Running Game

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Valuable time and resources have been spent this offseason revamping the Ravens running game to ensure that the  same dismal rushing attack that brought the team’s offense to its knees in 2013 doesn’t happen again. They adjusted player personnel to fix the offensive line, hired the “running back whisperer” Gary Kubiak to fix the schemes and even took a flier on prominent college running back coach Thomas Hammock to replace Wilbert Montgomery, who mysteriously decided to seek other opportunities elsewhere after last season. As the Ravens enter their third week...
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