Which Ravens’ Backs Will Score in Race to Final 53?

Damien Berry Panthers

Perhaps the most positive storyline that came from the Ravens’ Thursday night loss was the emergence of all three running backs battling for the third spot on the depth chart.

Battling throughout training camp, Bobby Rainey, Anthony Allen, and Damien Berry have embraced the grind to earn their spot on the 53-man squad. All three competitors have given strong outings through the first two pre-season games, and if anything, the third made the race just that much closer.

Rainey, often dubbed a “poor man’s Ray Rice”, is thought to only have a chance because of his possible role in the return game. While he’s proven that he’s an above average option on the other side of kickoffs, his running ability can’t be overlooked. He’s a crafty back that offers more than just a backup presence on a roster. Rainey had just three carries against Carolina, but rushed for 31 yards including a 21-yard scamper.

The Western Kentucky alumnus made his reps in the return game count—one punt return going for about 60 yards.

Rainey has the opportunity to make this team with an ultimate chance to take the punt return job away from Jacoby Jones. It’s going to be the play of his challengers that will determine his fate.

One of those challengers is Anthony Allen, a guy who has made a living on the special team’s unit and is now trying to prove that he can be a quality backup on offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s unit.

While his ability as a back has suffered at times, he has shown flashes of talent throughout these fake games. Can special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg afford to lose another key member of his unit? Let’s not forget that the Ravens opted to part ways with special teams ace David Reed earlier this week.

Not mentioned quite as much, but someone who still should be given consideration is Damien Berry. Berry obviously has captured the eye of the offensive coaches receiving more carries than both Allen and Rainey. That said, the added workload could be a “impress us or bring us your playbook” type of deal, but even if true Berry has answered that bell in pre-season action.

He had a 10 yard touchdown rush last night, finding his way through the hole and giving the Ravens hope in what seemed like a hopeless game in the 4th quarter. Players on the bubble like Berry need to show up well on film. Mission accomplished for the former Miami Hurricane.

The question with Berry has to be special teams. With Allen and Rainey contributing, can Berry impress Rosburg enough to build his case for one of the final 53? Ironically, in a twisted way, his impressive block to spring Rainey’s 60 yard punt return may have contributed to his demise.

Complicating the competition even more is the team’s head scratching acquisition of Delone Carter from Indianapolis who provides next to nothing in the way of special teams contributions. Is it possible that the Ravens are considering four running backs for the final 53? Could a north-south runner like Carter have a shot even if he can’t help Rosburg’s crew?

Clearly the backfield is crowded, a problem made even worse by the team’s intent to carry two fullbacks in an era when some teams carry none.

The number 53 has never looked so small, particularly if your name is Rainey, Allen, Berry or Carter.

If the Ravens keep just 3 running backs which of the following is most likely to make the 53-man roster?
Anthony Allen (21%)
Damien Berry (7%)
Delone Carter (14%)
Bobby Rainey (58%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Joe Wedra. Bookmark the permalink.

About Joe Wedra

Joe Wedra
Joe has a passion for the Ravens and spends a great amount of time analyzing and often scrutinizing the various moves within the organization. He is an NFL Draft enthusiast and spends much of his free time studying tape of upcoming prospects. Although he’s young, he’s committed to absorbing as...more

5 Raves on “Which Ravens’ Backs Will Score in Race to Final 53?

  1. Mike on said:

    It will be Allen, but don’t be surprised if the only carry 2 backs. We typically go with 3 RBs and 1 FB, but with both Leach and Juszczyk we might not have room for a 3rd. If anyone does make it though it will be Allen because of his special teams ability. Rainey continues to look great but you have to play special teams as a 3rd RB, and aside from returning kicks, he doesn’t.

  2. #2 on said:

    They need Allen. What if Rice or Pierce (or both) get injured? Can’t be that thin, especially since this is a running team.

  3. paulie on said:

    Allen was only viable on ST and Kyle Juszczyk who can fill multiple roles makes him redundant. I think he’s gone. Between Berry and Rainey I think Rainey is ‘next man up’. When Allen goes, I think he needs to take Jacoby and Doss with him. Brown and Mellette may both be rookies but they are big, fast and have good hands. They will make more plays than mistakes – but that’s all another story . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
evden eve nakliyat şirketleri ofis taşımacılığı evden eve nakliye istanbul evden eve nakliyat Şehirlerarası Evden Eve Nakliyat İstanbul Nakliyat Firmaları

Hot off the street

Asa Jackson Stepping Up

After a strong practice Friday, Asa Jackson is making a case to win the job as the Ravens nickel cornerback. It is much too early to say the job belongs to Jackson, with Chykie Brown, Tramain Jacobs, ...read more

CAMP NOTES: Suggs Leads Injury-Depleted Defense

The defense took to the practice field on Friday with a different look than the past few days. The injury bug has bitten the defensive unit hard two weeks into training camp. The Ravens lost rooki...read more

CAMP NOTES: Deonte & Jacoby Put on a Show

On a dreary Friday morning, the Ravens took to the field under cloudy skies for another early practice at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. The battle for the one or possibly two...read more

RAVENS LINKS: Elam the New Vocal Leader

Matt Elam Is Secondary's New Vocal Leader Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com discusses how Matt Elam, with a year under his belt, has stepped up and become the vocal leader of the defense's back end....read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ravens Best/Worst Free Agent Signings

On March 11, 2012 we took a look at the best and worst free agent signings in Ravens history. Over two years later should the lists be modified? Might Elvis Dumervil be among the best? Michael Huff an...read more

View More