August 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson (83) celebrates an 11 yard touchdown with running back Ray Rice (27) during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Last week in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles it seemed that our receivers were having a hard time getting open. It could have been that the Eagles defense had done an excellent job studying our routes. It could have been that there was a bit too much holding and extra contact going on that the replacement referees were not aware of but whatever the case, the Eagles seemed to know exactly how to cover each of our receivers on a good portion of the plays we were running.
This brings me to think that maybe if this scenario were to happen again maybe the Ravens could bring in some fresh legs that the opponent doesn't already have a book on. The Ravens have several young receivers that they could use at any time to change things up a bit if who they have on the field aren't getting the job done. LaQuan Williams, Tandon Doss and rookie Deonte Thompson are all dying to get on the field in any way they can.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has some great speed to work with already with Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones and Anquan Boldin does a good job in the slot with his toughness and physicality but I'm sure the team could benefit from infusing some of their young talent into the game plan as well. after all it seemed to work out extremely well with Torrey Smith last season and you never really know what a guy is capable of until you see what he can do on game day. Imagine a trio of Smith, Jones and Thompson all on the field at the same time. I doubt any team in the league has enough speed in their secondary to contend with all three of these speedsters. not that I think Boldin is holding the team back, I know he has more experience than all of our other receivers combined but I feel maybe we are not using all of our talent.Last season the New York Giants started a little known receiver named Victor Cruz when they were short at the position and he turned into a big time play maker for them. Last night they were again short on receiver so they started another little known player in which I'm not sure they truly knew what they had in 6'6" Ramses Barden and he ended up with 9 receptions for over 130 yards. If Barden was to play every day for the Giant the league would adjust and learn how to guard him I'm sure but being that there is not much of a book on him he took the Panthers by surprise and had a huge night.
My point is that the Ravens are very predictable with their personnel and each week their opponents know exactly who they will be lining up against and what they are capable of. Maybe if the offense starts to lag a bit it could help to bring in a new threat that can put the defense back on it's heels again. Thompson may be the perfect player to do that with with his blazing speed and big play capability that he flashed in the preseason.
In game adjustment has never been a strong point for the Ravens offense but a simple mix up of personnel may do the trick some times. If a corner or safety has spent an entire game learning how to cover one of our receivers or even several of them, it could throw them for quite a spin if we lined up a few new targets in front of him mid game.