Ravens v. Redskins: 5 Things we Saw


Heading into Saturday’s game we suggested 5 Things to Look For  besides the ball.

What did that focus tell us?

1. Tackling: The tackling from the front seven was vastly improved. The open field variety from the secondary still leaves much to be desired and if the Ravens don’t clean that up, look for big plays from opposing offenses this season.

2. Matt Elam: Lost in Space comes to mind and if Elam’s play doesn’t start to ascend soon he’ll be in DANGER of being labeled a bust. Or is that already happening? Let’s keep in mind many said the same about Jimmy Smith. Whatever your opinion, shake up the 4 letters of Elam’s last name and you’ll get how his play has looked thus far.

3. Back-up O-Line: The starters are a given for the moment but on Saturday they took a step backward. Of concern is the play of Eugene Monroe who at this point in the preseason doesn’t appear any more effective in pass pro than recent memories of Bryant McKinnie.

The standout back-up was tackle James Hurst who started OTA’s and camp extremely slowly but has come on as of late almost to the point that he seems like a lock to make the team. John Urschel has also rallied while Ryan Jensen has regressed. It’s nearly shocking that the Ravens considered playing him at right tackle during the offseason. Graham “The Turnstile” Parker took snaps in front of Jensen at right tackle. Either that’s an indication that Jensen is good or that he’s been very bad. Taking only 8 snaps suggests the later given his limited NFL experience. As for Jah Reid, he’s about as dependable as a stripper in Key West although that third round investment in him might save the underachiever for one more season.

4. Corners: I thought the corners would be tested heavily by RG3 along with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon – and burned often. I was wrong thanks to workmanlike efforts from Dominique Franks, Chykie Brown and Anthony Levine. All three have to at least tip their caps to the pressure from the front seven and the continued decline in the play of the one-time phenom named Robert Griffin, III.

5. Battle for No. 6 WR: Kamar Aiken had the edge over Jeremy Butler and Deonte Thompson heading into the game. They left the game with Thompson usurping the lead followed by Aiken and Butler respectively. Thompson should be on the 53-man squad if he performs well on Thursday (unless there’s a trade). You can’t teach speed although inconsistencies have plagued Thompson’s career.

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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

16 Raves on “Ravens v. Redskins: 5 Things we Saw

  1. Mike on said:

    Thompson has always been a good preseason player against second stringers. Unfortunately like Mark Clayton, he is good for only about 4games a year. Trade him now while his stock is high, also like we did with Clayton.

  2. joe d on said:

    Tony, I agree with you 100% about Elam’s play since he arrived here. Any chance the Ravens’ kick the tirs on Adrian Wilson who was cut by the Bears a few days ago? I think he could bring veteran leadership the the safety group.

  3. Corey on said:

    I dont get why everyone is so down on Elam. He played fs as a rookie rarely got burnt which is the job of that position. This year he is ss but I have yet to see them line him up close to the line. Get off the guys back media and fans he is fine.

  4. Brian Tray on said:

    I’ve said this before on this site, James Hurst is a baller. Against So. Carolina last year he basically shut down Jadaveon Clowney. that should tell any one he has the talent to start in the NFL. I believe he will take over for Rick Wagner at right tackle before the season is over.

  5. Ben on said:

    Tony you do remember people booed Ed reed his rookie year right? Let’s see what the kid can do in his first real experience at Strong safety this season.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      I do remember that Ben. It didn’t last long, certainly not deep into his rookie season.

      The thing that I find puzzling is that I’m not seeing Elam used exclusively as a strong safety or that in-the-box safety. He’s there sometimes but more times than not he seems to be playing on the warning track in centerfield.

      I’m far from writing him off. I’m just disappointed thus far.

      • Nick B on said:

        The key is your comment about him not being used exclusively as SS. I think they’re still using him a ton as FS due to the lack of a clear starter there. I think in general our problem as fans is that we’re putting the Ed Reed expectation on a 2nd year guy who is a SS mostly playing out of position.

        In 46 preseason passing snaps he’s allowed 1 catch for 22 yards and missed 0 tackles overall, run or pass. For a rookie he did really well out of position last year. We’re mis-judging him based on lack of “big plays”.

        On a different, but related note, one advantage to having no clear cut FS is they really could have the safeties switch up playing FS/SS, Cover 1/2/3 and in some cases even have a 3rd on the field playing nickel and try to hide it well pre-snap.

  6. Paul on said:

    Tony – I get what you’re saying about Elam. I do.

    To me, I think he is still playing out of position. I see him lined up single high A LOT. Similar to last year because the other guy (Ihedigbo) wasn’t all that great in coverage and they played him down around the line of scrimmage quite a bit.

    I think we’re seeing the same thing with Darian Stewart. Stewart, similar to Elam, is more of an “in-the-box” player and not a deep guy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve noticed Stewart is often the guy down around the line of scrimmage and Elam is the guy screaming up from deep to make plays on the ball carrier (or try to). This is why I am hoping Terrance Brooks kind of gets with the program quickly because he is a true center-fielder type of safety.

    Elam’s best games last year came towards the end of the season when they let him play down around the line of scrimmage.

      • Paul on said:

        Tony, This is why I have to conclude that Elam’s “absence” on the field for a lot of the game is largely due to scheme and how he’s being used.

        Maybe they realize that Elam is the lesser of two evils compared to Stewart when it comes to playing deep? I don’t like it at all.

        I’d almost rather Brooks take his lumps out there like they did with Elam last year and allow Elam to do what he does best. As long as Webb and Jimmy stay healthy and the front-7 gets pressure on the QB, I think the Ravens could get away with Brooks as the deep guy. He’s already made a number of head’s up plays while on the field and he definitely has the speed to play deep.

  7. Nancy on said:

    Not that I care about Washington but I do care about talent on anyone’s team and RGIII has been ruined by Mike Shanahan. He put him in too early after his injury against us and now he will never see the future he could have been.

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