Why is LaQuan Williams a Raven AGAIN?

LaQuan Williams

Some were left scratching their heads when the Ravens re-signed LaQuan Williams. The Ravens have rarely carried more than 6 wide receivers and virtual locks for the team already include Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown.

The team will almost certainly use an early pick in the upcoming draft for a wide receiver plus they have receivers currently on the roster with greater upside than Williams in the forms of Aaron Mellette and Deonte Thompson.

So why bring back Williams again?

Been there, done that right?

If he was all that wouldn’t another team have taken a chance on the former Terp?

All legit questions but here’s the deal with LaQuan. He doesn’t cost them anything…no guaranteed money and his signing does not affect the cap. He’s a good guy, a hard worker, is well-liked in the locker room and perhaps most importantly he is a good special teams player. If nothing else his sense of career desperation will ratchet up the level of competition and he’ll make the other guys compete even harder.

Many have predicted that Notre Dame offensive lineman Zach Martin will become a Raven on May 8. Don’t be so sure. The Ravens learned from Marshal Yanda that they can obtain a high quality interior lineman in the middle rounds. Martin doesn’t project as a tackle at the NFL level and therefore would have to be considered a reach at 17.

Through experience and maturity the Ravens defense should improve from their 12th overall ranking in 2013 (which by the way was just 4 yards per game away from the 8th-ranked overall defense). Rookies Matt Elam, Arthur Brown and John Simon are all expected to contribute more in 2014 and the play of corners Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb is expected to reach a new level.

So improving upon their 8-8 mark in 2014 really rests on the shoulders of Gary Kubiak’s offense. The John Lennon lyric in The Beatles’ “Getting Better” comes to mind:

“It can’t get any worse.”

Consider these 2013 Ravens rankings in offensive categories:

  • 24th: First downs
  • 25th: Points per game
  • 28th: Interception rate
  • 31st: Passing yards per play
  • 31st: Red zone percentage
  • 32nd: Yards per play
  • 32nd: Yards per rush

One would think that the Ravens will almost certainly improve upon 2013’s 8-8 mark.

But not Vegas!

According to VegasInsider.com the Ravens are listed as 35:1 odds to hoist The Lombardi in the desert come February while their win total over/under is set at 8 ½.

Anyone heading to Sin City anytime soon?

This in from the Bengals’ Andy Dalton (via Peter King’s MMQB)…

“Well, I’m very confident in what I’ve done. The people who are the critics, they look at all of the negatives. They don’t look at all of the stuff that I’ve accomplished. They don’t look at that I’m one of three quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to do certain things.

“They don’t look at that kind of stuff. They want to find ways to tear me down but I’m not worried about that. They can say whatever they want. All that matters is what everyone believes in this organization and what I believe in myself. That’s how I go about my business.’’

What they believe Andy is that you yack come playoff time.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 9.10.11 AM

 

The thinking here is that this season, Dalton will be playing for his future and that means more pressure.

And pressure for Dalton is like salt to an unsuspecting slug.

What do you think the Ravens record will be in the 2014 season?
13-3 or better
12-4
11-5
10-6
9-7
8-8 or worse
View Result

 

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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

10 Raves on “Why is LaQuan Williams a Raven AGAIN?

  1. Luke on said:

    I’d be very surprised if Zach Martin even makes it to pick 17. Martin doesn’t project as a NFL tackle? According to whom? You state it as fact, Tony. I would boldly state that there are well over a dozen NFL front offices that likely project him as a starting NFL right tackle from Snap #1 of the 2014 season.

    Also, to pick a player (regardless of position) who goes from a middle round draft pick to a successful All-Pro and use him as an example is a flawed logic in my opinion. There are always examples at every position of where that proves to be true. Marshal Yanda was a 3rd rounder in the 07 draft and has been an elite O-lineman. Oneil Cousins was a 3rd rounder in the 08 draft and couldn’t block anyone. Just because you hit in the mid rounds on one player doesn’t mean that you can count on that trend continuing.

    In the 2010 draft, Jimmy Graham went in the late 3rd round and Pitta went in the 4th round. Do teams pass on top ready-from-day-one tight ends in the 1st and 2nd rounds because they rationalize “Well, the Saints got Jimmy Graham at pick 95 in 2010, so we can probably do the same”????? Of course not.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Not my logic Luke. It was shared with me by two high ranking officials within The Castle on separate and unrelated occasions.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • D Rock on said:

      I believe Martin will be a stud RT in the NFL and I will sit here and eat it he’s not. The Ravens should not pass on Martin for either Safety. Haha is going to bust and Pryor is not worth it at 17. I’d take Pryor at 30 but that’s it. If the Ravens pass on Martin if he is there they WILL regret it later in my opinion.

  2. Cheri on said:

    Many have predicted that Notre Dame offensive lineman Zach Martin will become a Raven on May 8. Don’t be so sure. The Ravens learned from Marshal Yanda that they can obtain a high quality interior lineman in the middle rounds. Martin doesn’t project as a tackle at the NFL level and therefore would have to be considered a reach at 17.

    Tony you hit the nail on the head and that is why I really don’t want Martin. Just not sure if he can stick at RT.
    I think you are also right about LaQuan I believe he is here just for competition dept, I do not believe he makes the team. I also hope you are right that the Ravens will take a WR early as I have been banging this drum since the season ended and will come not off of that even with the signing of a 35 year old WR in Smith and a more of a special team guy in Jones.

    • Mike on said:

      I agree with everything that you said except that I think that LaQuan has a good chance of making the roster, based on special teams play only. Being away from the game has made him hungrier to be here and stick. His special teams play will make him stick over a player like Thompson.

    • D Rock on said:

      Yanda did well at RT when he played there. Martin should be better. I wouldn’t mind one of the stud WR’s, but thats it. Martin or a highly ranked WR.

  3. Joe on said:

    I think 10-6 is fairly reasonable. While many label the schedule a “cake-walk”, I see many games that will prove to be tough.

    None of the first five games will be easy. While they won’t lose them all, you could make a case for an ‘L’ for all of them. Playing a tough Atlanta team in Week 7 followed by a trip to Cincinnati? Those are two tough games right there.

    There are three games that the Ravens could lose from weeks 9-13. Don’t think @Miami or @Houston are sure things, either. Sleeping in easy games is something that fans are used to.

    Also, Cleveland for the last game of the season is a brutal one as well. It should be a win, but with a young QB trying to make a mark in his final game and a team wanting to knock off their division foes in Week 17, this game isn’t easy.

  4. jws on said:

    Tl, Good thoughts today. Anyone that does not spend 4 months reseraching the draft should not say stupid things as many of your replies do every day. Martin will be gone as you say no later than Miami and is a future guard in this league unless…. a team plays him out of position there at RT and then he struggles and becomes a below average one like Oher was and Osemele would be if moved to RT. Martin has short arms which is a big factor for tackles.

    As far as WR L.williams as you wisely said no big money lay out and at 570K a bargain on special teams.
    How is your float for the Raven weeK parade down here with us coming along?

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