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All Hail, Queen 

Patrick Queen on the sidelines
Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
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Patrick Queen has listened to his critics. 

They say he struggles in pass coverage.

Some pundits point out that he missed 12 tackles in his rookie season, tied for second-most in the NFL.  

Queen also allowed three touchdowns with a 104.4 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Reference.

Those are some harsh assessments for a player that led his team in tackles and finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year honors behind Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young and Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn.

The criticism has fueled Queen this offseason and he is poised to quiet his detractors. 

“It feels good. … I’m a person that likes to read what the critics say,” Queen said. “I took what they said, and I just went to work on it. I tried to get better, and I feel like I have a lot. So, I feel really good, like I said. It’s a big season. There are a lot of expectations for me. So, I’m just trying to live up to them.” 

Queen is already off to a solid start.

In the first preseason game against the Saints, Queen tied with rookie safety Brandon Stephens with a team-high four tackles. 

In back-to-back plays in the first half, he showed how far he has come as a defender. 

On the first play, he ran across and dropped Devonta Freeman for a loss after the running back caught a pass in the flat. On the next play, Queen ran around former Ravens right tackle James Hurst and sacked quarterback Taysom Hill for a 12-yard loss, forcing the Saints to punt.

He’s definitely more at ease heading into season two.  

“[I felt] way more comfortable. I could just feel it. Just way more relaxed [and] way more anxious for the play to happen. It was a lot of hard work that I put into it, so I’m happy. I feel like I’m going two steps faster now. It’s just a lot of film work, a lot of dedication to the craft and to the sport. So, I feel way better.”

Last season Queen didn’t play in any preseason games because of COVID-19. His first live-action was in the regular-season opener against the Browns when he became the youngest Raven ever to start a game at 21 years, one month. 

“I’m way more comfortable now,” Queen said. “We had minicamp; I came in. [Defensive coordinator Don] ‘Wink’ [Martindale] asked me to come in a lot, so I came in, and we just got to work. Since then, I feel like I’m going up, so it’s only up from here. I feel like I’m way more confident, I’m way more into the defense, so it’s going to be a good season.”

The Ravens have a lot riding on their young linebackers this season. 

Fellow inside linebacker and second-year player Malik Harrison also played well against the Saints. Harrison forced a fumble at the 8-yard line that was recovered by safety DeShon Elliott.

“I was happy for him, but I was so tired, I couldn’t even move, ” Queen said. “So, I was happy for him. But it’s going to be a great season. Like I said, Malik [Harrison] is my guy. We’re always talking. We’re always communicating on the field. So, I know what type of player he is, [and] I know what type of player he can be. He expects the same out of me, so it’s going to be a nice season for us two.” 

The goal for Queen is to continue to silence his critics. He doesn’t have any animosity toward them, and he’s almost grateful for their assessment of his play. 

So far, all of the reviews he’s read this year have been positive. 

“I don’t have [any] hatred in my heart,” Queen said. “If a critic says something, obviously they see something that I don’t see, or they’re pointing out something that needs to be pointed out. 

“So, I like to read that stuff, [and] I like to take it as fuel. I remember at LSU when I was getting criticized, I put it as my screensaver for a little while. It’s just something I like.”

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