Could Juszczyk Force Allen Out?

allenbench

John Harbaugh and his staff will be forced to make plenty of difficult decisions as the 53-man roster deadline (August 31st at 6:00 p.m.) approaches. Within a matter of four days from initial cuts (August 27th) the Ravens will have to trim their roster by 37 players, likely cutting even more contributors from last season’s Super Bowl team.

One key contributor that could find himself out of a job is running back Anthony Allen, who seemingly had no value out of the Ravens backfield, but was a big reason Jacoby Jones was named to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner. In fact, Jones mentioned that, in addition to his mother, Allen would have joined him on his trip to Honolulu had the Ravens not appeared in the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately for Allen, the Ravens are still a team that relies on fullbacks, and he’s currently a part of a team that will carry two of them the entire season on the 53-man roster, barring injury.

Drafted out of Harvard in the fourth-round, fullback Kyle Juszczyk is a versatile player, not only blocking out of the backfield but displaying tremendous hands as well.

One area of Juszczyk’s game that has been solid is his special teams contributions; that’s the reason Allen could be given the dreaded pink slip.

“Kyle is playing on all four special teams (kickoff return/coverage and punt return/coverage) in the preseason,” special teams coach Jerry Rosburg said. “We use him very much like we use other running back/linebackers types, even though he’s a fullback by trade. He can run down the field and make a tackle in space. It’s not unique to fullbacks, but there aren’t that many fullbacks that can do that, and he’s off to a good start.”

Rosburg also indicated that there wasn’t much of a difference in what Juszczyk and Allen did on special teams.

“[Juszczyk] is working at the position opposite Anthony Allen,” he said. “So, those two guys are very much interchangeable.”

Last season, Allen only saw the field as a runner in mop-up duty, totaling 16 carries for 61 yards and touchdown during situations where the Ravens didn’t want to risk injury to running backs Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce.  If/when those situations present themselves this season, Juszczyk should be able to assume that workload if necessary.

Allen should survive the first round of cuts on August 27th as the starters will likely not play many, if any, snaps during the final preseason game next Thursday. Jacoby may not want to hear this, but after that, it doesn’t look good for the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.

 

For more Ravens news and information, follow me on Twitter @RavenManiac.

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About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

17 Raves on “Could Juszczyk Force Allen Out?

  1. Pat on said:

    I hope they are sure because we tried this with leach and we went back to leach luckily. Anthony was a big factor in the return game.

  2. Hype MAN on said:

    You Kick Azz GOOB always GREAT articles and ONE HELL OF A JOB last Nite on 105.7 the Fan w/Glenn, I enjoyed the Show even more then usual w/you & Glenn Talking everything RAVENS…..We Now NEED a 105,7 the Fan #GOOBnationRADIO station lol haha (Id Listen Faithfully & You Kno It lol)

  3. rayman52 on said:

    fixed 2 type-Os – no charge
    ———————————————————————–

    Last season, Allen only saw the field as a runner in mop-up duty, totaling 16 carries (instead of careers) for 61 yards and touchdown during situations where the Ravens didn’t want to risk injury to running backs Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce. If/when those situations present themselves this season, Juszczyk should be able to assume that workload if necessary.

    Allen should survive the first round of cuts on August 27th as the starters will likely not play many, if any, snaps during the final preseason game next Thursday. Anthony (instead of Jacoby) may not want to hear this, but after that, it doesn’t look good.

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      Thanks on the first. On the second, I’m pretty sure Kris meant Jacoby, referring back to the earlier line about JJ giving Allen credit for his returns.

  4. Scarlet Raven on said:

    I believe in OZ and will know he will do what is best for the team. If Allen is cut I’m afraid that the team who would pick him up will be on their schedule twice. And for me a jersey change will be in order. Go Ant-man you will succeed even if your not wearing purple any more. I hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does so be it. God Speed.

  5. Calcos on said:

    I torn on how this is going to turn out. I believe part of the reason they are giving Berry so many touches in the preseason is to see what he can do, if he can seperate himself from Allen. Berry has not really contributed to special teams but Allen has been great for it.

    If I had to choose right now I would say these are the RB/FBs kept on the roster: Rice, Pierce, Allen, Leach and Juszczyk. Berry gone and Rainey practice squad bound again. 5 RB/FBs seems like the right number.

    • Kris Jones on said:

      Calcos,

      From what I’ve seen, Berry has been there to take carries and not put as much wear on any of the other RB’s. Whereas Allen can only help on ST, Berry can only help at RB and he’s not much of a help at all.

      I see the Ravens keeping only four backfield members, even with Carter now on the team. I think that was mostly a financial move for the Ravens and maybe a little bit of a help to the Colts for giving us Shipley on the cheap during the offseason. He hasn’t amounted to much but the Colts gave him to us for practically nothing. Reed does have ST value.

    • Kris Jones on said:

      Jacoby isn’t going anywhere, and that’s just because of the his playmaking abilities. He is nowhere near worth $4.9 million as a WR but he earns his money for other things as well. If there was a true #2 receiver in play via trade, I could the Ravens making a move with Doss, but not Jacoby.

      No matter how much he’s struggled as a WR, Jacoby has shown that he can do enough on his own to win games. That’s something that the team can’t just pass up on. After this season, I think he’s done. This is a “what have you done for me lately” league, and it’ll be hard for Jacoby to have a better year than he did in 2012.

      • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

        I believe that if a WR becomes available that is a fit for the Ravens AND someone else steps up as a returner AND Jacoby’s cap $$$ are needed to secure the coveted WR, Jacoby is very much in jeopardy. A lot of “If’s” but certainly within the realm of possibility.

  6. Bruce_Almty on said:

    B/c of his versatility, Kyle Juszczyk may impact the TE situation. Juice was never a “real FB” but more of a pass catching H-back. Double slotting him as FB/TE/ST may make room for Furstenburg and Mellette on the 53.

  7. paulie on said:

    Thing is, Jacoby could end up right out there with Allen when and if he gets cut. It’s very much a performance driven situation. So far Allen has an equal who offers more options and Jones has not shown much in the receiving game at all.

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