Today, the Ravens announced that John Urschel had chosen to retire from the NFL. RSR Staff react to the news here:
No surprise. I’ve expressed my concerns that this may happen in the past:
Wow! It’s only the first week and the Ravens are losing guys left and right… suspensions, injuries, and now retirements! This is a bummer for Ravens fans, but it’s not shocking. Urschel is a genius, basically, and with the head-injury news and his smarts, he has a bright future in front of him outside of football. Looks like Ozzie better get moving on filling roster holes.
The news of Urschel’s retirement comes as no surprise. While talented, his lack of football desire has been evident. The hits keep on coming for the Ravens but this is one they will survive.
I can’t say that I’m totally surprised by this news but you have to wonder how prepared the Ravens were. Urschel was expected to compete with Ryan Jensen for the starting center job. It’s funny, looking back, we all thought getting rid of Jeremy Zuttah would be addition by subtraction. Now the center spot becomes an even bigger black hole, as the team lacks any semblance of depth. The Ravens may need to resort to some creative shuffling to see if they can figure out this issue. The positive is there is still enough time for them to make an adjustment.
Not surprising, but you have to wonder about the timing and how prepared the Ravens were for this? Not exactly the right time to be retiring on the eve of training camp. Hopefully, this was expected, although, you have to wonder given the Ravens lack of options at center.
I’m very curious as to whether Urschel had long been planning this – in which case, I hope he gave the team a heads up prior to now – or if he had been mildly contemplating it, and the study that came out earlier this week (in which the brains of 110 of 111 former NFL players were found to show signs of CTE) pushed him over the edge.
I’ve long wondered how long he was for the NFL so this news isn’t as shocking to me. He’s obviously a very bright and talented guy who I wish much success in his future endeavors.
The spotlight turns now to Ryan Jensen. He was my odds-on favorite to man the Center position coming in. He has the size and disposition I think the Ravens are coveting in that spot but with Urschel now gone he’s got even more pressure on him to step up to the plate.
I’ve always followed Urschel (and Brent Urban) closely given that they’re fellow Canadians, so this hits hard.
From a football perspective, it sucks. With the lack of a #1 center on the team the best way to get the right guy is through different skill sets and a stiff competition for the start spot. We lose that with this retirement. Urschel is a good fit for zone blocking, Jensen is a good for power blocking. So football wise, this is a big blow to the Ravens.
From a personal perspective, given the latest news of CTE, I’m happy for Urschel and the fact that he’s going to go back to his academic roots and focus on his mind. Being an MIT graduate is a huge accomplishment and he likely sees that as the best way to support his family.
He will be missed.
The never ending shuffle on the Ravens O-Line continues. Not to say Urschel was a sure shot starter by any means, but he was going to compete for that center spot, now leaving the Ravens with another hole to fill.
I gotta imagine that Urschel, being the guy he is, was keeping the Ravens informed of the wavering on his future with the team, and likely there’s a Plan B we don’t know about. Is it Nick Mangold? Is it a trade? Is it wait and see who gets cut and pray like hell?
Only time will tell…
Urschel made more headlines for what he did off the field than what he did on it. He never seemed fully committed to the game and he’s got a future elsewhere. You can’t blame him for hanging up his cleats early but this isn’t a major loss for the Ravens on the field.