NICKEL PACKAGE: Five situations to focus upon during Ravens’ summer camp

Street Talk NICKEL PACKAGE: Five situations to focus upon during Ravens’ summer camp

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1. How dramatically different will new coach John Harbaugh’s training camp be in comparison to previous coach Brian Billick?
Harbaugh has outlined a much tougher regimen with a lot more two-a-day practices, increased hitting along with veterans required to remain in Westminster at night after being allowed to return home after a few days under Billick.

2. Who will win the quarterback competition between Troy Smith, Kyle Boller and rookie Joe Flacco?

Smith seems to have the initial edge over Boller, a former starter, and Flacco, the team’s first-round draft pick. It will be interesting to watch how quickly Flacco progresses as he adjusts to the NFL, and if Boller rebounds.

3. Is offensive tackle going to be a trouble spot following Jonathan Ogden’s retirement?

Former University of Maryland player Jared Gaither is slated to succeed Ogden at left tackle and has ideal size, but lacks seasoning. Former left tackle Adam Terry is now being penciled in on the right side.
4. Will veterans like tight end Todd Heap, defensive end Trevor Pryce and cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle be healthy?
All four players enter camp with a clean bill of health after finishing last season on injured reserve with various injuries. It’s nearly impossible to predict someone’s outlook medically, but none of them seemed to be having problems during offseason minicamps. The Ravens’ fingers are crossed.
5. What will new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron do to try to overhaul an offense that has finished in the bottom half of the NFL in total offense repeatedly over the past decade?
Cameron plans to speed up the tempo of the offense, before and after the snap. He wants to run more no-huddle schemes with plenty of motion and three-step drops while also relying on a strong running game. Expect Willis McGahee and Heap to be heavily involved, just as Cameron did in San Diego with Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and tight end Antonio Gates.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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