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It's All in the Snaps: Week 4

Let's see if I can make a routine out of this. This time I'll try to cover offensive and defensive players.

Inactives: Sergio Kindle, Asa Jackson, Jah Reid, Laquan Williams, Bryan Hall, DeAngelo Tyson, Billy Bajema

Exactly the same seven guys every week. Even against a much more run-dependent offense the Ravens suited up only 5 defensive linemen. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the Ravens pass rush is good or not (my vote is that it isn't), but Kindle is clearly not a part of it in either case.

On Defense (71 snaps on defense total)

The Every-Down Players: Ed Reed (71), Bernard Pollard (71), Ray Lewis (71)

These three playing every snap should be pretty normal assuming no injuries.

The "Starters": Lardarius Webb (70), Cary Williams (69), Haloti Ngata (62), Courtney Upshaw (52), Pernell McPhee (51), Paul Kruger (45):

Webb and Williams are virtually every down players. Haloti Ngata continues to get a ton of snaps for a DL. The Ravens really need him right now and he's the only DL on the roster without a "buddy" as opposed to Kemo/Cody and McPhee/Jones. People were talking about Kruger getting reduced snaps, which is true, but he's still a starter, playing 63% of the teams defensive snaps. It's more true to say that McClellan is the situational run stopper rather than say Kruger is the situational pass rusher.

The Borderline Starters : Jameel McClain (36), Jimmy Smith (35), Dannell Ellerbe (34), Albert McClellan (34)

Rather than have 11 clear default players on the team, after the first nine players, 4 players played roughly half of the offensive snaps. My understanding is that the Ravens like McClain more in running situations and Ellerbe more in passing situations, so the reduced workload for Ellerbe makes sense here. I wonder if that will hold true against the very fast Jamaal Charles. Ellerbe's ability to work sideline to sideline could be invaluable. The Ravens played much less nickel leading Jimmy Smith to "only" receive 49% of the team's snaps. However, Cary Williams has temporarily stalled demands for Smith to start. People are saying very positive things about McClellan, but he is clearly the 3rd guy after Upshaw and Kruger.

The Role Players: Kemo (28), Arthur Jones (25), Terrence Cody (21), James Ihedigbo (5), Corey Graham (1)

Kemo and Cody were really one of the starters, combining for 49 snaps. I doubt they saw the field much at the same time. I'm pretty sure Jones usually spells McPhee. Ihedigbo and Graham played the first six dime snaps of the season for the Ravens, as Filmstudy documented.

All in all this was a much more varied defensive look for the Ravens, with more players getting involved and role players getting more time.

Offense (82 Snaps!):

Every Snap: Flacco, Oher, Harewood, Birk, Yanda, Osemele

Yawn. This is why I almost didn't write the offense. These 6 players will obviously see virtually every play.

Starters: Anquan Boldin (80), Ray Rice (71), Torrey Smith (67), Dennis Pitta (57), Ed Dickson (40)

I'll call Ed Dickson a starter because he actually started and received 6 more snaps than the next player, but he did not quite play half the snaps. Even though Smith is clearly the best WR, the Ravens keep Boldin on every play, not Smith. I guess because of his blocking? However, Smith is nursing an injury so maybe that has something to do with it. Ray Rice played all but 10 snaps... Wow. Clearly Pitta is now above Dickson on the depth chart, but Dickson is still a key player by snaps, even if he is used more to block.

Role Players: Jacoby Jones (34), Vonta Leach (32), Tandon Doss (10), Bryant McKinnie (2), Tyrod Taylor (1)

Jacoby Jones projects to be the most productive #3 WR the Ravens have had since 1999. He's been really good according to Football Outsiders. I absolutely love seeing him on the field. After Demetrius Williams, Kelly Washington, TJ Houshmanzadeh, and Lee Evans, Jones is a breath of fresh air. Leach gets a lot of play for a FB, but it does feel like the game is passing him by. Doss is getting more snaps, more looks, and more production, which is nice to see. He may be starting next year. The Ravens still rely on Bryant McKinnie for power packages. I really do wonder how McKinnie won that job. He's really big, but he's never been a good run blocker. Tyrod Taylor lined up at WR and ran a route on the Torrey Smith TD Catch.

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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