Ravens Secondary is a Primary Concern

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Jimmy Smith defends during training camp (Photo Credit: Baltimore Ravens)

Lardarius Webb plays like a heat-seeking missile. Pound for pound he is one of the league’s best tacklers and arguably the best of the Ravens’ defenders. Unfortunately the 180-pound corner’s kamikaze style can lead to injuries, particularly when he takes on opponents who weigh 25-plus % more than him.

Yesterday we learned from John Harbaugh that Webb will not be practicing with the team and he will not suit up for the first two preseason games.

“He’s not going to play. He probably won’t play the first two preseason games. Maybe he’ll play in the third one, maybe not. It’s [really] not that important to him. I want to get him right.”

So there’s that…

On the opposite side of Webb is Jimmy Smith who has had a very solid camp and is now showing the physicality and confidence that Ozzie Newsome and the scouting department expected when they selected him with the 27th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

That said Smith hasn’t exactly been a poster child for injury free players in the NFL. During his 3 seasons with the Ravens Smith has missed 9 of a possible 48 regular season games. The next most experienced corner on the Ravens is Dominique Franks who has 5 career starts and then Chykie Brown, who has 3 NFL starts to his credit and has had a bad training camp.

The player battling Brown for the nickel corner job is Asa Jackson who has played in a total of 5 games during his 2 seasons in Baltimore. After Jackson there’s a collection of players who have just a tad more starting experience in the NFL as you and me.

Shifting over to safety the leader of the pack is second-year player Matt Elam. Joining Elam in protecting the back end of the defense are Darian Stewart, Terrence Brooks, Jeromy Miles and Will Hill. Hill will not be available to play until the team’s 7th game against the Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium on October 19.

Stewart has played well in camp but history tells us he struggles to remain healthy. Brooks is a rookie and Miles has 1 start since he entered the league in 2010 and is generally regarded as a special teams guy.

To say the Ravens secondary is thin would be a major understatement and given all of the above, finding secondary reinforcements, and not the scrap heap variety, has to be a primary concern of Harbaugh and Newsome.

So if you think the Ravens are waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a right tackle investment it could still happen.

But first they need to address a defensive backfield that’s as thin as a see-thru dress.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

7 Raves on “Ravens Secondary is a Primary Concern

  1. Rob from Ellicott City on said:

    Tony:

    In a comment posted under another RSR article, Unibomber proposed the possibility of Terrence Brooks being moved to corner:

    Unibomber on August 3, 2014 at 8:32 am said:

    Two birds, one stone? Let’s see what Brooks has at corner. He played that during his first 2 years in college and he has the speed and the skills to do it. Maybe he could follow in the footsteps of Webb.

    This is an intriguing suggestion but does it have any merit. I know Brooks ran a fast 40 but is he a viable corner candidate? What do you hear? Thanks.

  2. Joshua on said:

    “It’s [really] not that important to him.” Exactly! Webb doesn’t need to play in these meaningless games. And, Harbs, while you’re at it, rest Torrey, Smith Sr., Pitta, Pierce, Flacco, Jimmy, Ngata, Suggs, etc. as much as possible this preseason.

    As for the topic at hand, my feeling is we’ll sign a veteran CB once these young guys are evaluated during the preseason games.

  3. Chip Riddle on said:

    I see CB Jabari Greer is a free agent. Worth a camp tryout and a cap friendly deal IF he is healthy /working out.

    I see he’s doing some tv so I’m not sure what his plans are.

  4. Hollywoodheiz on said:

    Astute observations. Pull the trigger on someone now. Why wait. The last time we waited LeGarrett Blount ended up in Pittsburgh.

  5. JerryB on said:

    Appears to be a problem for sure, but unless they can pressure the passer, they’ll have a rough time regardless of secondary personnel!

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