Training Camp Q&A

Camp Notes Training Camp Q&A

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Do you think that the Ravens will go back to a more smash-mouth approach now that Dennis Pitta has been lost for the season and no one seems to be stepping up to fill Anquan Boldin’s shoes? Ken in White Hall

That seems to be the popular consensus, particularly after Vonta Leach agreed to re-join the team. But I’m not buying it, not yet. I expect the Ravens to be a 60-40 (pass-run) offense. I think Jim Caldwell plans to spread the defense in order to create space for both the passing game and the running game. I also expect the Ravens to maintain a quick tempo, something Caldwell is emphasizing during camp.

Based upon your Camp Notes it sounds as if the Ravens will have trouble at wide receiver. Will anyone emerge from what seems to be a rather pedestrian group of receivers? Malcolm in Owings Mills

I think it’s still early and I do believe something or someone will emerge in the passing game that will help to offset the losses. Pitta and Boldin combined for 126 receptions last season and that amounted to 40% of Joe Flacco’s 317 regular season completions. The Ravens might not replace those receptions with two players but instead through ball distribution amongst a few players.

If you look back to 2011, the Ravens lost 131 receptions from their roster when Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and TJ Houshmandzadeh all departed. That represented 43% of Flacco’s 306 completions. The following season Flacco connected 312 times.

From what you’ve seen so far how does Elvis Dumervil compare to Paul Kruger? Matt in Severna Park

They are completely different players. Kruger last year developed some power moves as a pass rusher with a combination of swim, bull and punch tactics. Dumervil reminds me of Dwight Freeney a bit in how he lowers his body, gets small and gets in under taller offensive tackles that aren’t as quick to keep up and lose their opportunity to use their arm length to maintain leverage and lengthen the path to the quarterback.

If camp is any indication, Dumervil and Terrell Suggs should be fun to watch together. Perhaps we’ll see the dawning of Sizzleville.

Don’t you think the Ravens could have used the $2M deal with incentives more productively than at fullback with Vonta Leach who is really a dying breed in the NFL? Walt from Canton

Those figures have been floated out there regarding Leach but something tells me the actuals will be south of that figure. We’re waiting on the NFLPA to release the numbers.

The Ravens want to be multiple and they want to be able to keep teams on their heals by going at them in different ways. If they want to play power ball in December against lighter teams, they can. If they want to go finesse and spread the field against slower teams, they’ll be able to do that as well.

Let’s also keep in mind that Jameel McClain has yet to take the practice field and has not yet been cleared for practice. He may never be and if that’s the case McClain and the Ravens could reach an injury settlement, which would provide more cap space.

I doubt that Ozzie Newsome has finished augmenting the team’s roster. He almost always finds that “right player, right price” sometime in mid to late August. I don’t expect 2013 to be any different.

With Jacoby Jones currently listed second on the depth chart at WR, do you think he’ll be limited in the return game? Carla in Federal Hill

It’s possible. Perhaps we see less of Jacoby with punt returns yielding to someone like Asa Jackson. He might also share time as a kick returner, particularly early on with someone like Deonte Thompson or even David Reed.

The one thing that could change all of this is if the Ravens do pick up another receiver who sees the field ahead of Jacoby. If that happens the Ravens will use the 2012 Pro Bowler in a role very similar to his role last season.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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