I don’t get why the Ravens are bringing in Trent Richardson. The guy has been a bust and besides, the Ravens backfield is already crowded. What’s the point? Am I missing something? Does he really have a shot at making the team? Darren in Stoneleigh
Whether it comes from outside or within, competition always makes a team stronger. Richardson was a former No. 3 overall pick in 2012 and it’s quite possible that the Ravens regarded him highly coming out of Alabama. And then of course there are the obvious ties to the university via GM Ozzie Newsome. Add it up and with no clear-cut stud starting at RB, it’s not much of a stretch to give Richardson a tryout.
But a tryout is all it will amount to.
At this time the guess here is that the Ravens will keep Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Neither Terrance West nor Richardson offers much to special teams but Taliaferro is a potential stud teams player. Jerry Rosburg will lobby hard to keep the former Coastal Carolina Chanticleer, assuming he’s healthy. Richardson is a north/south runner who doesn’t drive the pile and he lacks the prerequisite vision needed for runners in a zone-blocking scheme.
By the way a Chanticleer is a name given to a rooster, especially in a fairy tail.
Maybe the fairy tail ending is in the cards for Richardson. But it’s doubtful.
I have some concerns about the Ravens secondary. While they seem to have some decent depth, if Jimmy Smith falls to injury again the depth is quickly depleted. And at safety the Ravens are counting on Lardarius Webb but if he misses time as he often does, they’ll be forced to turn to Kendrick Lewis or Matt Elam. Tell me I’m being paranoid. ~ Joe from Mount Washington
Joe I wish that I could put your mind at ease but your concerns are legit. Shareece Wright put together a nice season after a slow start and there’s reason to believe he’ll pick up where he left off. Newcomer Jerraud Powers will push Wright and with the returning Will Davis and Kyle Arrington, plus rookie Tavon Young, they’ll have some solid options at nickel corner.
But safety is a concern. Eric Weddle is a big addition and he’ll provide veteran leadership and savvy missing from the Ravens back end since Ed Reed’s departure. It’s possible that he and Webb will work very well together but if either misses time the Ravens will be forced to turn to a rag tag collection of safeties that can’t cover, can’t tackle or both.
The Ravens may have added bodies and talent, but until they mesh together and stay healthy, the jury is still out on whether or not the Ravens secondary has improved.
Terrell Suggs is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration and would probably like to have a big season in 2016 to strengthen his candidacy. What kind of season do you expect from Sizzle? Larry from Grasonville
Suggs will turn 34 one month into the season, his 14th as a Raven. Players don’t get faster or more explosive as they age and other than just blind faith, there’s very little reason to think that an aging player who has been known to show up out of shape – one recovering from a second Achilles tear, can be the player that he once was.
But that won’t diminish his quest for a bust in Canton. His numbers, his achievements suggest he’ll make it one day. And that speech is likely to be one for the ages.
As for what Suggs will accomplish this season, I expect a slow start with a limited snap count early on. He may not even play during the preseason. With the newly acquired talent to rush the passer Suggs will get an opportunity to preserve his body a bit with the hope that he’ll be stronger at season’s end. And really that’s an ideal scenario provided the youngsters step up. But the scenario will limit Suggs’ productivity. I look for a 5-7-sack swansong season from the 6-time Pro Bowler, as he closes out what will one day prove to be a Hall of Fame career.