Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton wore the green dot during the recent rookie camp.
That’s usually a responsibility that falls to veteran Chuck Clark.
The emergence of Hamilton, a first-round pick from Notre Dame, has raised questions about Clark’s future with the team.
Coach John Harbaugh expects Clark to be with the team next season with Hamilton also making an impact in the secondary.
“Everybody’s role is what it is,” Harbaugh said. “That’s why, as a coach, you’re so excited about … The idea is to have as many good players as you can have and have them in the right spots and the right roles. I love the fact that we have very versatile players in the backend and at safety. So, to me, Chuck is a big part of this team, and I’m planning on Chuck being here. ”
There’s no question that Clark has been a valuable member of the Ravens and has risen from a special teams role player to one of the leaders on the defense. Last season, he started all 16 games in which he appeared, finishing with 77 tackles (46 solo), three tackles for a loss, one sack, and one quarterback hit while adding two interceptions.
Clark appears ready for the challenge to either hold off Hamilton as the starter or move onto to another team if things don’t work out in Baltimore.
This 🤫 can go one or two ways. It can go Up it can go Down. Either way I’m Prepared !!
— Chuck Clark (@ChuckC36) May 7, 2022
The Ravens might be behooved to keep Clark on the roster because of the number of injuries they seem to routinely endure in the secondary. The Ravens do have depth at safety and they might need all of those players on the field this season.
“We were deep at safety before, then you add a guy like Kyle and the depth just explodes in your face,” Harbaugh said. “Marcus, obviously, was a high-priced free agent that we were pleased to get. After that, Tony Jefferson can play football. Geno Stone is a really good young safety. Brandon Stephens, who started last year at safety for us, also got corner flexibility. With all those safeties, [Stephens is] probably going to be moving to the corner a little bit. I’m really happy about that group.”
The Ravens didn’t need a safety in the draft, but they pounced once Hamilton fell to the 14th overall pick. Some draft experts claimed he was the best overall player in this year’s draft. His stock fell because of his 40-time in the NFL Combine, but the film on him tells a different story. He’s able to close down on receivers.
However, it’s a big adjustment to the NFL and will likely take some time for Hamilton to get fully used to the speed of the game.
“It’s definitely challenging,” he said. “Even the stuff we’re doing right now, where I’m just learning both safety spots is challenging. It’s the NFL – that’s what guys get paid to do. So, I’m up for the task, but I’m just going to rely on coaches and vets to help me out, whether that be playbook stuff or mentally how to navigate the game and the play. Yes, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it.”
In the end, the Ravens will be a better team with Clark on the roster and that seems to be the plan. Harbaugh certainly doesn’t need another distraction as the team tries to bounce back from last year’s disappointing 8-9 finish.
“I’m not going to worry about all the other stuff,” Harbaugh said. “The other stuff is the other stuff. It’s part of pro football, I understand it. But I love Chuck Clark, I love the way he plays, and I’m very happy that he’s a Raven.”