Hey guys, with football season about to hit full steam I thought I would highlight what I feel are some of the most important things unfolding during training camp so far. Despite recent losses and areas of concern for the Baltimore Ravens there is still plenty to be excited about. Most of the areas of concern involve the defensive side of the ball, which includes the losses of Suggs and Johnson at both outside linebacker positions. The best way to fix these problems? Well, drafting Alabama product Courtney Upshaw was a great start, but the best way to mask the loss of these players is for our offense to put more points on the board to ease the pressure off our defense. So far Cam and the offense have given us Ravens fans plenty to look forward to.
Media pundits and coaches have been raving about Flacco all training camp as he has said to have looked sharp all training camp and continues to become more of a vocal leader on this team. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun had this to say about what changes he has seen in the fifth-year quarterback, "I wish the people who have questioned whether Joe Flacco has the necessary fire and intensity to be a top quarterback and a team leader would have gotten the opportunity to watch him in practice last week.. Not only was Flacco pretty sharp overall, but he’s into every play and he’s one of the more vocal guys on the field. He’s also not afraid to mix it up, chastising Ray Lewis at one point for missing a tackle and accusing him of pass interference on another play." These should all be good signs for those who have scrutinized Flacco for not being passionate enough on the field. The fact that he has become more vocal and taken a bigger role in directing his players gives me reasons to believe he is ready to take this offense to the next level.. having the guts to yell out at Ray Lewis is just bonus points.
The offensive line has been considered as an area of concern but this should be nothing new to Ravens fans. Can any of you tell me the last time our o-line wasn't considered a question mark on our offense before the start of the season? I can't. Ravens brass excels in finding the right players at the right time and most importantly, for the right prices. Bobbie Williams has looked excellent in training camp and I predict him to become the starter by the start of the season. In reality he will be the only new face on the offensive line this year. Known to be one of the better guards before his injury, look for this seasoned vet to make an easy transition to left guard and become one of the better 'under the radar' players by the end of the season.
CAM FINALLY GETS IT! Or maybe he doesn't, it is a little too soon to make that assumption. What I do know is that he has taken steps in the right direction. Gerry 'with a G' Sandusky, took to his twitter account with one of his observations during practice to say this, "I doubt we’ll see much of it in preseason, but the Ravens have practiced a lot of spread formation, quick hitting passes. It fits Flacco." Music to my ears as many of us have desperately been asking for this type of play calling to better utilize our personnel. This should also help Flacco release the ball quicker and not have to wait for receivers to get down field on every pass play. Whether Cam actually implements this on the field during games is something we will just have to wait and see.
It's amazing what a little time can do to heal wounds. The offense has me so pumped that I have a hard time worrying about any issues we could have on defense. Take a big whiff, smell that? That's pigskin in the air.