Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! I hope everyone is having a terrific day at work, school, etc. It is time for another segment of Tuesday's Mailbag! Once again, not too many questions were asked this week, which needs to change. If you want this segment to be a thousand times more entertaining, then ask me some questions about the Ravens! You can send them to me on Twitter @Frezeal33 OR email them to me at Victorgrayh10@gmail.com! We have a lot of work to do, so let's get started!
Q1: Who is your favorite player on the roster?
This is obviously a personal question, but that is something very hard for me to answer. I love Torrey Smith and Ray Rice, not for their play on the field, but also the way they act off the field. Torrey Smith is a very fun guy, who loves to joke around and play. Ray Rice is also very fun, while he also does tons of community work in the Baltimore area. Also, you have to look at guys like Jacoby Jones, Terrell Suggs, Lardarius Webb, and Joe Flacco. I love all of these guys because they are fun, outstanding athletes, and have a lot of personality.
Long story short, I do not truly have a favorite player on the team. The entire Ravens roster is full of talented guys that can be funny and playful when they want to, but they can also turn all that off and become serious during game time. The joking and happiness of this team is why I enjoy being a Ravens fan and why I will never be a fan of anyone else, ever.
Q2: How do you think Castillo will affect Moeller's job with the offensive line?
I've heard that Juan Castillo was hired to become the coach of the running game, not the offensive line. He was the Eagles
' offensive line coach for 17 years, meaning that he obviously did a fairly good job. Hopefully he can coach the offensive line a little, and teach some of the guys a few pointers and how to become better overall players. I am excited to see the offensive line this year, especially with the retirement of Matt Birk
and the addition of A.Q. Shipley
at the center position.
Q3: Does the trade for center A.Q. Shipley signify any dissatisfaction with Gino Gradkowski or was it made to add depth to the position?
In my honest opinion, no. It seems as if the Ravens just wanted to add depth to the position, especially after losing Matt Birk. Gino Gradkowski seems to be the starter for next season, unless an off-season competition says otherwise. Shipley has only been in the league two years longer than Gradkowski, and he has also spent most of his career on practice squads.
When I first heard of the trade, I thought that this was meant to be our new starting center, but after reading multiple articles, I have realized that he was brought in for more of a back-up role. Shipley only started 5 games last year for the Colts
, so there is not much of an experience difference between Gradkowski and Shipley.
Q4: How will the return of Lardarius Webb help the Ravens?
The return of "Webby" is something that many are excited about. Lardarius Webb is one of the most dynamic corner-backs in the league, and he definitely knows how to make big plays. When he went down in Week Six last season against the Cowboys
, it hurt the Ravens secondary in a major way. Webb was the #1 corner on the team, while the Ravens didn't have the greatest fill-ins in the world, but they made it work.
In the 2011-12 season, Webb had 5 interceptions, more than Cary Williams or Ed Reed had during this past season. When Webb went down, he had 25 combined tackles, 1 forced fumble, and an interception. Getting Webb back is exciting if you're a Ravens fan, and it is something to look forward to if you want to see the Ravens forcing turnovers in the upcoming season.
Once he makes his comeback from his ACL injury, many people will see how great of a corner he is, and how much potential he really has. Personally, Lardarius Webb is one of my favorite players on the defense, and I am very excited to see him comeback and hopefully see him do better than he did in the 2011 season.
Q5: Now that the offense is Caldwell's, how many differences will we see in the playbook?
I answered a question similar to this in my first ever Tuesday's Mailbag. I do not think that the playbook or offense will be much different. Jim Caldwell enjoyed the offense last season, and it helped win the Lombardi trophy for the Ravens. If there is any changes to the playbook, it might just be a few minor tweaks, but overall, the offense should remain just as it was.
One thing the Ravens may have to worry about is the short throws for Flacco to make. Currently, the Ravens do not have a wide receiver like Anquan Boldin, who can snatch balls right out of the air at a shorter distance. The tight-ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson are two guys to watch out for in those situations, but without a true wide receiver to make these catches, you could see a few more deep-balls to guys like Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones.
Q6: What kind of records did the "Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the Middle" play set?
The 4th & 29 play against the San Diego Chargers
was one of the most miraculous plays of the decade. I am not going to lie, when I saw Joe Flacco check down to Ray Rice on 4th & 29, I walked out of the room; upset that we lost the game. I wish I hadn't, so I could have seen it live. The Ravens went on to win that game in OT, 16-13. It happened on November 25, 2012.
The 4th & 29 play was the longest fourth-down conversion in 11 years, and this play also won 2012 Play of the Year at the NFL Awards. The play was dubbed the best play of the year, and one of the best of the decade. A lot of people do not believe that he got the first down, but there have been NFL personnel that have come out saying the play was called correctly, as I think it was.
Unfortunately, that is all for this week's mailbag! Join me next Tuesday when I answer all of the questions sent to me between now and then! Send me questions on Twitter @Frezeal33 OR email them to me at Victorgrayh10@gmail.com! Thank you, Ravens Nation! Have a terrific rest of your Tuesday!