Week one of the preseason is here for the Ravens. With the starters seeing
little action and vanilla play calling by the coaches, very little will be
gleaned. I do not believe the wide receiver, tight end, middle linebacker, and
cornerback issues will be resolved after one game. Nor do I believe we are going
to see the coaching staff tip-off their ideas on strategy (blitz, route
combinations, etc.), sub-packages, or formation. These decisions will need more
However, as a football junkie, I am excited to watch the second, third, and fourth quarters, as there are players I am interested in seeing play in live action games. These players will either have a larger role on the team this year, or they are flat-out fighting to make the 53-man roster and/or practice squad.
Fringe Players Looking to Make Some Waves
Adrian Hamilton, OLB: The Ravens are scary deep in the outside rush department. This kid has a motor, but he is still raw. He has made steady progress in his development, but will it translate onto the field?
Jack Cornell, OL: Yes, I am writing about him again. The coaches have raved about him. He has caught the eye of Mike Preston. His footwork and bend have progressed, and he is versatile. I believe he makes the 53-man roster.
Aaron Mellette, WR: The 6th round pick has made recent strides in practice this past week. Can he keep it going? How will he perform on special teams? Can he make the decision makers contemplate keeping a sixth receiver?
Marlon Brown, WR: First things first, can he make it through the game uninjured? This is a 5-star high school recruit who struggled in college because of injuries. If he can remain healthy, I want to see if this long-shot-to-make-the-roster can produce.
Moe Lee and Marc Anthony, DBs: The Ravens are very deep in the secondary, but you can never have enough cornerback depth in today’s NFL. Lee has been a playmaker in OTAs and mini-camps. How will he fare in live game-speed action? Anthony, the last Raven pick in the 2013 draft, is starting to turn some heads at camp.
Nigel Carr, ILB: Another undrafted free agent who is athletic. In the past, he has been slow to pick up the defense and has not proved his value with his limited special team skills. Has he made enough progress to challenge an already deep inside linebacker corps?
Players Looking to Push Themselves Up the Depth Chart to Starters
Josh Bynes, ILB: Is Terrell Suggs correct? Can Bynes push rookie Arthur Brown for the starting position? I believe the two starting inside linebacker positions are between Darryl Smith, Brown, and Bynes. Have the Ravens unearthed another undrafted linebacker gem in Bynes?
Matt Furstenburg, TE: We have been hearing his name since the day the draft was over, and his undrafted free agent signing. In light of the recent injuries to the tight end corps, I would like to see how he performs in blocking assignments and if he able to find the seams and soft spots in zone coverage.
Omar Brown, S: “Baby Ed Reed” was a 2012 preseason ball-hawking machine. With Christian Thompson serving a suspension to open the season, can Brown leap over Thompson for a more permanent roster spot?
Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson, WRs: Okay, maybe one of these two can separate himself from the other for the slot position.
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An avid sports fan, and a passionate Ravens fan. However, I don't always wear the purple-shaded glasses.