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  1. #1

    Ravens starting rookies



    Claim from another thread about the Ravens not being willing to start rookies, and I thought that deserved its own thread...

    I totally don't understand where this claim comes from. It's flat out not true. Nevermind the "Smith wouldn't be starting if Evans didn't get hurt," which is at best an impossible to prove claim. It's easily arguable that with how poorly Evans played and how well Smith was playing, he'd have been starting after four or five games.

    But beyond that, the rest of it just isn't based on anything factual. In the Harbaugh era:

    - Flacco has started every game in his career. Again, he got in due to injury early in the year, but he still would have seen playing time as a rookie.
    - Rice got over 100 rushes and 30 catches as a rookie, despite having signed McGahee to a huge contract the year before.
    - Nakamura may not have started, but he played in every game as a rookie.
    - Same with Zibikowski.
    - Oher started every game as a rookie.
    - Webb played 14 games as a rookie and started four.
    - Dickson played 15 games as a rookie and started three.
    - McPhee didn't start any, but he had serious playing time in all 16 games last year.
    - Jimmy Smith played 12 games and started three, missing four due to injury.

    In every single case of players not playing their rookie season, you can point to a player or players in front of them who were either great players (say, Webb and Williams in front of Smith last year) or had just signed huge contracts when it comes to first or second round players not starting. But not getting playing time? Harbaugh having an aversion to playing rookies? I don't think this is even debatable that it's not true...

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  2. #2
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    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Yea..its a myth that started in 2009 when it took Webb until around december to crack the starting lineup after proving to be a playmaker much earlier that season. If the guy is ready, Harbs will put him in there.




  3. #3

    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    Claim from another thread about the Ravens not being willing to start rookies, and I thought that deserved its own thread...

    I totally don't understand where this claim comes from. It's flat out not true. Nevermind the "Smith wouldn't be starting if Evans didn't get hurt," which is at best an impossible to prove claim. It's easily arguable that with how poorly Evans played and how well Smith was playing, he'd have been starting after four or five games.

    But beyond that, the rest of it just isn't based on anything factual. In the Harbaugh era:

    - Flacco has started every game in his career. Again, he got in due to injury early in the year, but he still would have seen playing time as a rookie.
    - Rice got over 100 rushes and 30 catches as a rookie, despite having signed McGahee to a huge contract the year before.
    - Nakamura may not have started, but he played in every game as a rookie.
    - Same with Zibikowski.
    - Oher started every game as a rookie.
    - Webb played 14 games as a rookie and started four.
    - Dickson played 15 games as a rookie and started three.
    - McPhee didn't start any, but he had serious playing time in all 16 games last year.
    - Jimmy Smith played 12 games and started three, missing four due to injury.

    In every single case of players not playing their rookie season, you can point to a player or players in front of them who were either great players (say, Webb and Williams in front of Smith last year) or had just signed huge contracts when it comes to first or second round players not starting. But not getting playing time? Harbaugh having an aversion to playing rookies? I don't think this is even debatable that it's not true...

    - C -
    +1
    Forgetting our tradition with undrafted rookie linebackers.
    In 2008 rookie Jameel McClain.. heck just like Joe he has played 64 games, just not starting in his rookie season..

    And in 2009 rookie Dannell Ellerbe played 13 games started 3 + both PO games!

    Bart Scott, Edgar Jones, Albert McClelland.. This list goes on... Probably another a tribut to 52.

    Anyway we migth not have the records in starting rookies, winning teams seldom plays with a lot of rookies.

    I believe Harbaugh and our FO believe in their rookies more than most team. Do they use rookie like crazy.. No thats why we are a winning team.




  4. #4

    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Torrey Smith?

    EDIT: Sorry... lol. I see the attached thread. I just skipped down to you list. Hahaha.... Move along, nothing to see here.




  5. #5
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    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Just to play devil's advocate...

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    Claim from another thread
    - Flacco has started every game in his career. Again, he got in due to injury early in the year, but he still would have seen playing time as a rookie.
    They were fully willing to let Flacco ride the pine while they went with Troy Smith and/or Kyle Boller that year. Would Flacco have seen time? Probably, but we can't possibly know that because it didn't happen. Saying he still would have seen time as a rookie is about as unprovable of a theory as you can get.

    - Rice got over 100 rushes and 30 catches as a rookie, despite having signed McGahee to a huge contract the year before.
    He still wasn't the starter though. If that is what this thread is about - according to the title - then Rice wouldn't even count...he wasn't a starter and he didn't touch the ball more than McClain or McGahee that year.

    - Nakamura may not have started, but he played in every game as a rookie.
    Again, he wasn't a starter. However, I think it is important to note that Nakamura wasn't drafted to be a starting safety. It was a depth move and a ST's move because he was/is a very good ST's player. He displayed good skills, but never enough to warrant supplanting Dawan Landry or Bernard Pollard.

    - Same with Zibikowski.
    As noted above with Rice and Nakamura...this doesn't fit into your disproving theory at all. Zibby wasn't a starter. Sure, he played as most expect rookies to play, but he wasn't a starter until year 2 when Reed was injured.

    - Oher started every game as a rookie.
    To date, Oher is the only one that they seemed to - willingly - want to start as a rookie. He had hardly any competition between Oneil Cousins and David Hale.

    - Webb played 14 games as a rookie and started four.
    - Dickson played 15 games as a rookie and started three.
    IIRC (and I could be wrong, I really don't remember), but weren't Webb and Dickson pushed into the starting lineup due to injuries to guys ahead of them on the depth chart?

    - McPhee didn't start any, but he had serious playing time in all 16 games last year.
    Again, he played a lot for a rookie DE, but he wasn't a starter even though he probably could have been.

    - Jimmy Smith played 12 games and started three, missing four due to injury.
    This one is interesting because it depends on your definition of what constitutes "starting". Cary Williams and Webb were the top two cornerbacks all year and really never came off the field regardless of defensive scheme/package. Jimmy was put in on nickel and dime situations where Webb would slide down and Jimmy would play outside. While that is a significant contribution, IMO, that's not starting. Starting means that you really are included on every defensive package and/or scheme.


    Regardless, I do think the whole "Harbaugh doesn't play rookies" thing is a bit overblown. Most head coaches don't play rookies unless they have to or are an overly special player. Just look at the uproar down in Miami regarding their QB situation. They took Ryan Tannehill in the top 10, which means they clearly think that he is capable of playing at a very high level for them and for a long time, yet there is a distinct possibility that Garrard may be the starter. Harbs is a risk-averse kind of coach, so if he thinks it is less risky to go with a vet over a rookie, then that's probably what he is going to do.
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  6. #6

    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    I understand the devil's advocate view and appreciate that, but I will say that it's worth noting that most teams which start rookies on a regular basis are bad teams. They start rookies for three reasons:
    1) The rookies are really high draft picks, because they're bad teams drafting high in the early rounds.
    2) The bad teams have lots of holes to fill and thus rookies can break into the starting rotation easily.
    3) The bad teams tend to draft for need, so they draft guys that can fill holes where they need starters.

    I would bet if we looked at the Colts, Eagles, Patriots and Steelers over the last decade, we'd see about a similar rate of rookie starters as the Ravens have had.

    - C -
    Last edited by psuasskicker; 08-21-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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  7. #7

    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Quote Originally Posted by elland View Post
    +1
    Forgetting our tradition with undrafted rookie linebackers.
    In 2008 rookie Jameel McClain.. heck just like Joe he has played 64 games, just not starting in his rookie season..

    And in 2009 rookie Dannell Ellerbe played 13 games started 3 + both PO games!

    Bart Scott, Edgar Jones, Albert McClelland.. This list goes on... Probably another a tribut to 52.

    Anyway we migth not have the records in starting rookies, winning teams seldom plays with a lot of rookies.

    I believe Harbaugh and our FO believe in their rookies more than most team. Do they use rookie like crazy.. No thats why we are a winning team.
    Ellerbe played, due to injuries.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  8. #8

    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    I dont think its a myth based on the same things wickeds saying. Yes they play, most of the time due to injury, and usually contribute but no they arent starters either. Like you said PSU it comes down to our draft style. You still want your 1 and 2 rounders to start right away in theory but in our case you just want them to contribute at the very least. Guys like webb certainly fueled the "they need to start rookies" since he was used sparingly until injuries made him start and he shined. I think it comes down to how its said. Unwillingness to play rookies is wrong, unwillingness to start rookies is debatable, unwillingness to throw them in before theyre ready and/or needed, id say is true.
    Last edited by JAB1985; 08-21-2012 at 06:14 AM.
    -JAB




  9. #9
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    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    The Ravens have been a SB contender ever since Harbs has been here. And like PSU alluded to, there isnt the same kind of pressure here to start rookies as there is with the perennial losers.




  10. #10
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    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Quote Originally Posted by ballhawk View Post
    The Ravens have been a SB contender ever since Harbs has been here. And like PSU alluded to, there isnt the same kind of pressure here to start rookies as there is with the perennial losers.
    There is a lot of truth to that.

    Teams like Cleveland, Buffalo and the Rams seem like they are constantly banking on a particular rookie (or rookies) to get them over the hump. The Browns are doing it again this year with Trent Richardson and Brandon Weedon.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Ravens starting rookies

    Quote Originally Posted by wickedsolo View Post
    There is a lot of truth to that.

    Teams like Cleveland, Buffalo and the Rams seem like they are constantly banking on a particular rookie (or rookies) to get them over the hump. The Browns are doing it again this year with Trent Richardson and Brandon Weedon.
    I think thats what it boils down to. We have a deep roster stacked with talent. Makes it a lot harder for a rookie to come in and grab a starting spot right off the bat. Same with a lot of the other premier franchises. Look at the steelers, they are the same way.




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