Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! It is finally the month of August! I have just gotten back from my vacation in beautiful Baltimore. Whoever lives there that reads this; I just want you to know that Baltimore has to be the best city in America! Federal Hill at night is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Anyway, we have a few envelopes to open, so let's get started!
Q1: Is there a good remaining wide receiver free agent that the Ravens can sign and do close to what Anquan did for us last season? Also, I still believe that adding an exceptional safety or cornerback would be a great thing, especially with the pass-happy league we are currently in. What are your thoughts? - Chris Chrystal
Truthfully, I believe that the Ravens should keep the receiving corps the same. They have talented guys already in Jacoby Jones, Torrey Smith, possibly Deonte Thompson and Tandon Doss, I do not see the need to dip into the free agent market and grab another wide receiver. Boldin obviously was a large help last postseason, but I believe that they can make it without him. If Dickson can step up at tight-end, and Thompson and Doss can step up at wide receiver, the receiving corps will be just fine; with or without Anquan Boldin.
As for cornerbacks and safeties, I believe that they don't have a bad group of those, either. At cornerback they have guys like Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Chykie Brown, and Corey Graham. As for safeties there's talent in guys like Matt Elam, Michael Huff, and James Ihedigbo. Although, it wouldn't hurt to grab someone that could help the Ravens out as a backup, if there is someone of high quality that is still available.
Q2: With all the season ending injuries around the league, how does that even the playing field around the league? - Ray Tchoulakian
Well, let's look at a few of the season-ending injuries that you are talking about.
- Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens
- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
- Dan Koppen, C, Broncos
- Chris Culliver, CB, 49ers
- Bryan Bulaga, LT, Packers
These are the five main season-ending injuries so far in training camp. Four of these injuries have occurred on playoff teams from last year, while one was on a rebuilding team. It seems once the defending champion Ravens lost their tight-end, Dennis Pitta, for the season, the injury bug began to take out important players on other teams, as well.
Yes, it does even the playing field. Since multiple teams are losing at least one important guy, instead of only one team losing an important guy, it helps even out the league; especially among the Super Bowl
contenders for the 2013 season.
Q3: Is Asa Jackson a lock to get cut and if he does, who will step up at cornerback? - @realWillThrill
Well, first off, let me just say that it doesn't matter too much with who takes his spot. Jackson doesn't get that much playing time, if any. He is not a main cornerback in the Ravens' system.
I wouldn't say that he is a lock to get cut, but it should happen. Jackson will be suspended for eight games after violating the NFL's PED rules. Jackson violated the same rules last season, which got him a suspension of four games.
It doesn't look like Asa Jackson will be very valuable to the Ravens this season, so they might as well just give him the good 'ole axe.
Q4: What happens if Dickson goes down? - @realWillThrill
If Ed Dickson
went down for a while, I believe this team would hurt tremendously. I think that with Pitta and Dickson out, this team would have the tight-end position virtually gone, which is nowhere near a good thing.
If Dickson got injured for the season, or even a few games, this offense would hurt more than anyone could ever imagine. Of course, Joe Flacco
would still have Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, and Visanthe Shiancoe
to throw to. It wouldn't be the worst possible thing for the Ravens, and they would still be contenders, but it would but a bruise on the back of the defending World Champs.
Q5: Do you have a problem with Kelechi Osemele being in three fights in one practice on Monday? - @realWillThrill
Like Daryl Smith
said, at this time in the offseason, everybody wants to hit someone. Of course, hitting your teammate isn't the right thing to do, but as long as you aren't hurting anyone, then everything is fine, and I am fine with it.
K.O. could have not messed with Ngata, McClellan, and Bynes, but he decided to. Since all four of them are OK, I don't see a problem with it at all. As long as all four of them will come together as a team on Sept. 5, when the Ravens have their season opener versus the Broncos, then I am completely all right with it.
Q6: With no apparent separation in the WR race, does this open the possibility of any new signings or giving younger WR's a chance? - @DoubleAwalk
I believe that the Ravens will not sign any free agents, and I think that all of the young guys have a chance.
Of course, the main favorites to play the most between all the young guys are Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson. Both are working their butts off in training camp so far, and each of them are showing off their talents quite well. Doss is showing that he is more capable of catching balls than last season, while Thompson is still showing that he is the fastest guy on the team.
Younger guys may get a chance for some playing time next season, but be looking for Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson to be on the field as the No. 3 receiver; splitting time with one another.
Q7: What are the strongest and weakest position groups? - @realWillThrill
Strongest -- Linebackers:
With guys like Terrell Suggs
, Elvis Dumervil
, Daryl Smith, Jameel McClain
, Arthur Brown
, Courtney Upshaw
, etc. it is very easy to say that this position is the most stacked on the team. These linebackers are the reason why many people believe that the Ravens can lead the league in sacks this year, as long as everyone is good and healthy.
Weakest -- Tight-end: Obviously the tight-end is a weak position on this team, and it is arguably the weakest. With the loss of Dennis Pitta, the possibility of a monster tight end duo between Dickson and Pitta drops down to zero percent. Now, it will mainly be Dickson that has to do all the work at tight end, and that will lower the value of this position a little.
Q8: Playing time projections for Thursday? - @realWillThrill
All I really have to say is that the obvious starters (Joe Flacco, Ray Rice
, Torrey Smith, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata
, etc.) will only play the first quarter. The rest of the game will be devoted to the guys that are trying to prove themselves and make the team, which includes most of the rookies.
Next, on August 15th versus the Falcons
, the starters will probably only play through the second quarter.
On August 22nd versus the Panthers
(ESPN), the starters will play through the third quarter.
Then finally, on August 29th versus the Rams
, the starters will probably not play a single snap, since this is the final game before the 53-man roster will be decided for the start of the season.
The Raven's preseason schedule can be found here.
Q9: Will a draft pick get cut this year, and what is the Ravens' history on cutting draft picks first year? -@realWillThrill
It is very rare for a draft pick to be cut at all. Usually a team wants to see what they are made of, at least for their first year, so they will not be cut.
I don't believe that any of the draft picks from this year will be cut, especially since all of the guys drafted by the Ravens this year have their own talents and could possibly be used throughout the entire season this year.
I am not sure about the history of cutting draft picks in their first year for the Ravens. I have done research but I cannot seem to come up with an answer for you. If anyone knows the answer to this, please feel free to let me know in the comments below, so I can get the answer to Will!
Q10: Is there any chance that Ed Dickson may not be ready for Week 1? Muscle tears can be tricky. - @DoubleAwalk
According to the Baltimore Sun,
coach John Harbaugh believes that Dickson will be out a few weeks. Harbaugh says that he will miss the preseason opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
, but he is expected to be ready by Week 1, when the Ravens go to Denver to take on the AFC-Favorite Broncos.
It is only a slight tear in his hamstring, nothing too serious. Dickson should be all right.
Well, I think that is the end of this week's edition of Tuesday's Mailbag! I hope you all enjoyed it, and I will be glad to take any of your other questions for next week's segment. To send in questions you can send them to me at Victorgrayh10@gmail.com, OR tweet them to me @Frezeal33, OR leave them in the comments below. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, and for those of you that work until 5 'o clock, there is only one hour left for you guys! Goodbye, until next time, Ravens Nation!