The 2010 version of the Baltimore Ravens has been one of the most scrutinized in franchise history. One city’s fan base may never have been quite so harsh on a 12-4 team, but with the amount of talent on the roster some of the criticism may seem fair.
Some weeks fans have been clamoring for a better pass rush, other weeks a better secondary. There were weeks where the fans wanted a bigger emphasis on the run game, but still others who wanted to see a better vertical passing game. Now, these problems most certainly could not be fixed by any one of us as the Ravens head into the post season. But in a fantasy world, if you could add one former Raven in their youthful form to the roster to bolster the Ravens for the playoffs, who would you take?
If you don’t like the production the Ravens have gotten out of the run game, maybe you’d want Jamal Lewis. The Ravens have gotten away from the power running game with the emergence of the quick and agile Ray Rice, but Lewis could be brought in for short yardage situations. Or maybe your solution to a more power run game is to bring back Lorenzo Neal or Sam Gash and get Le’Ron McClain a few carries with a bruising fullback blocking for him.
Maybe you’d like to see another pass rusher opposite of Terrell Suggs? Michael McCrary could be a popular pick but he got after quarterbacks from the end spot in a 4-3 defense. The Ravens run a 3-4 now and he might be better suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but do you risk the position change late in the season? Baltimore Ravens’ all time sack leader Peter Boulware and the versatile Adalius Thomas would seem to make more sense.
What about the secondary? Would you like to see Chris McAlister brought back to be that physical shutdown corner opposite our smaller and speedier corners? Duane Starks or a healthy Samari Rolle are also options. Though Dawan Landry is second on the team in tackles, not all fans are enthused by his tackling abilities. It might be said that he’s a good hitter but not a good tackler. Jim Leonhard or Will Demps could fill in for him. Or maybe you’d like to see the free safety tandem of Ed Reed and Rod Woodson roam centerfield together.
There are many other ideas I can think of. Terry Jones Jr. or Quinn Sypniewski could be brought in to be that blocking tight end to allow Todd Heap more freedom. Jermaine Lewis could help solve the uncertainty in the return game. Orlando Brown or Harry Swayne could be brought in at RT and allow Marshal Yanda to move back to RG, or maybe Jonathan Ogden is brought in to move Michael Oher over to RT. Ed Hartwell, Jamie Sharper or Bart Scott could be brought back to help solidify the inside linebacker spot opposite of Ray Lewis. Or maybe Qadry Ismail would be the proper choice to help the vertical passing game.
Who’s my choice?
The 2006 version of Chris McAlister. I can’t imagine the Baltimore Ravens without a truly stifling defense, and the return of McAlister would certainly make this 2010 defense a force.
Now the question is…Who’s your choice?