Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! I hope everyone is having a fabulous day at work, school, etc. Remember: it is almost half way through the week! This week, I was happier with the amount of people that asked questions, especially those who emailed me. We have 13 questions to answer, so let's go ahead and begin!
Q1: With the Dolphins adding so many new players, will they be able to defeat the Ravens in Week 5?
Of course, any team in the NFL is capable of beating the Ravens, but is it likely? My answer is no. I see where you're coming from with the additions, but the Dolphins off-season hasn't been all good.
The Dolphins signed Mike Wallace and Dannell Ellerbe, two solid franchise players, right? Sort of. Mike Wallace was a solid wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he wasn't a guy that was too reliable. He fumbled the ball twice, a somewhat high number for a receiver. Wallace looked good for the Steelers, but how will he look with Tannehill throwing the ball to him, instead of Big Ben? Moving on to the other side of the ball, Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe was very good with the Ravens during their Super Bowl winning season. Ellerbe made a key play in the Super Bowl, tackling Frank Gore at the 7-yard line to set up one of the most outstanding goal line stands in history. The only problem is he's only started 14 games in his career. His inexperience could really hurt him with a team lacking fantastic leadership, like the Ravens had.
With the additions also came losses. The Dolphins lost offensive lineman Jake Long and LB Karlos Dansby, two guys that will be greatly missed by Miami fans.
It seems to me like Dolphins fans have become cocky after picking up a few guys and drafting Dion Jordan, but in the end, the Ravens are the Super Bowl Champions, and it'll be hard to knock them off their throne in Miami.
Q2: How many former Ravens players have won a Super Bowl after leaving the Ravens?
This may be one of the most fantastic questions ever asked on this segment. This took many hours of research, but I feel like I have every former Ravens player that has won a Super Bowl after leaving the Ravens. Here is a list of them all:
- Corey Dowden [DB] (Won Super Bowl XXXI w/ Packers) - Played with Ravens in first half of 1996 season.
- Tony Jones [OT] (Won Super Bowl XXXII & XXXIII w/ Broncos) - Played with Ravens in 1996.
- Rick Lyle [DE] (Won Super Bowl XXXVIII w/ Patriots) - Played with Ravens in 1996.
- Anthony Pleasant [DE] (Won Super Bowl XXXVI & XXXVIII w/ Patriots) - Played with Ravens in 1996.
- Brandon Stokley [WR] (Won Super Bowl XLI w/ Colts) - Played with Ravens from 1999-2002.
- Howard Green [DT] (Won Super Bowl XLV w/ Packers) - Played with Ravens in 2002.
- Dedric Ward [WR] (Won Super Bowl XXXVIII w/ Patriots) - Played with Ravens in 2003.
- Anthony Wright [QB] (Won Super Bowl XLII w/ Giants) - Played with Ravens from 2002-2005.
- Darnell Dinkins [TE] (Won Super Bowl XLIV w/ Saints) - Played with Ravens from 2004-2005.
- Derrick Martin [S] (Won Super Bowl XLV w/ Packers & XLVI w/ Giants) - Played with Ravens from 2006-2008.
Those are all the guys I could find. Only 10 of them in history. If anybody else knows of anybody I missed, please tell me!
You obviously do not follow the Baltimore Ravens, nor do you follow football, but that's alright. Let me give you some details on the Super Bowls they have won.
- The Ravens first Super Bowl came on January 28th, 2001. (2000 season) They played the New York Giants, defeating them 34-7.
- The Ravens second Super Bowl victory came on February 3, 2013. (2012 season) They played the San Francisco 49ers, defeating them 34-31 in one of the most entertaining Super Bowl match-ups in history.
I hope this helped give you a sense of knowledge about the Baltimore Ravens two Super Bowl victories.
Q4: With Jim Caldwell having a full season to work the play calling, will he let Joe Flacco change the plays at the line of scrimmage?
I would imagine so. Caldwell has gotten used to being the OC, and he has gotten more familiar with Joe. Joe has 5 years under his belt, along with a Super Bowl MVP. I believe that Caldwell will allow Joe to do basically anything he pleases, as long as it doesn't completely go against him. Joe is a terrific quarterback, and with him being able to change the plays at the line of scrimmage, it would make him go one step forward into the "elite" category.
Q5: With the receiving corps we have, who do you think can step up and fill the void if we don't get a veteran wide receiver?
First off, let me just say that I do not think we will be grabbing a veteran WR. We seem to want to stay young, especially with all of our receivers being so young.
Now, I have been looking mostly at Tandon Doss to try and fill the #3 wide receiver spot. Doss didn't look too good when he would come out in games, as he would drop or not catch most passes, but I believe that can change. As long as Doss works hard this off-season and gets help from coaches and guys like Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, he could become a solid #3 wide out. Most people don't believe this, and would look mainly at LaQuan Williams and Aaron Mellette, but I have faith in young Tandon Doss.
Q6: With Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Lardarius Webb all coming back healthy, where would you rank our defense?
In 2012, the Ravens defense ranked 10th or lower in the four main categories, (Points, Yards, Passing Yards, and Rushing Yards) which isn't very good. Even though the defense struggled last year, I see them rising up from that this season.
In my mind, I can see the defense ranking in the Top 10 in every category, especially with the return of Ngata, Suggs, and Webb, along with the additions of Elam, Huff, Dumervil, Spears, Brown, and Canty.
The Ravens defense will be the most exciting part of the team to watch this year, mainly because of the transition from old to young with the departure of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. I believe the young Ravens on the defense have crazy good potential, and it will be fun to see what these guys can do when the season begins.
Q7: What makes you think Shipley will start or even be on the Ravens roster?
Truthfully, I don't see the guy starting. I think Gradkowski has this one in the bag, especially since he already has a year of experience with the Ravens. Shipley isn't a terrible center, but I don't think the guy carries enough talent to start at center for us. I see him staying on the roster, just to have a backup center, just in case.
Shipley hasn't played very many NFL games, neither has Gradkowski. This is why it could possibly be an interesting contest for the starting center position for the Ravens. One thing I think the Ravens will look at is age. Shipley is 26, while Gradkowski is 24. Not much of an age difference, but it could help the Ravens decide who they want to have on this team. Whether Gradkowski gets the starting spot or not, I think he'll stay on the roster. I feel the same way about Shipley.
Q8: With all of the additions to the defensive line, and the poor play of Terrence Cody, I have heard rumors that he might not make the team this year. Do you see any validity to these rumors?
Yes, I do. It is possible that after drafting Brandon Williams, Cody could not make the roster. There will most likely be a competition between these two, along with DeAngelo Tyson. All three guys will work hard to make the roster. I think Cody will be on the roster for this season, but I don't see him playing very often. He wasn't very active last season, and he just had hip surgery a month ago, making him sidelined for the off-season activities for the Ravens. Cody's return is questionable, and a lot of people think he is gone, while I think you all will see him on the roster during the 2013 NFL season.
Q9: The Ravens staff has many former head coaches and highly regarded position coaches on it. Do you see any of them butting heads trying to enforce their own styles, or have their roles and responsibilities been clearly defined?
I imagine that their roles have been clearly defined. I think this is a great group of coaches, all capable of handling their responsibilities, without bothering or going against another coach. John Harbaugh, the head coach, wouldn't allow anything like this to occur, which is why I think the coaches will get along fine. If any quarrel were to happen between staff members, they would most likely settle it behind closed doors, in a mannerly way.
Q10: Kyle Juszczyk: is he for real and will he be a factor in the offense this year?
Definitely. Kyle Juszczyk is a fullback, just like Pro Bowler Vonta Leach. Most think Leach is the best in the NFL, and I agree, but Juszczyk could bring something to the Ravens that Vonta doesn't. Juszczyk is not only a prolific blocker, but he is also a terrific receiver. As a fullback/halfback, Juszczyk lead Harvard in receptions during his senior year. Leach mainly blocks and runs the ball, which could mean that Juszczyk could be thrown in there on pass plays, if need be. With two fullbacks, one that can run and one that can catch, the Ravens offense could look to have the best fullback duo introduced in the NFL. This aspect of the Ravens offense will be interesting, and it will be exciting to see when and where Juszczyk is stuck into the offense on plays.
Q11: What do you think the chances of Rolando McClain getting his legal stuff cleared up and "unretiring" in the future with the Ravens are?
I think those chances are very slim. I can see McClain coming back to the NFL, but I don't see the Ravens wanting any part in taking back this guy. He was nothing but trouble when he was with the Ravens, and it was obvious that the Ravens weren't interested in him after the last legal incident that occurred. For the Ravens, he is just one guy that can play football, but isn't worth the time and heartache.
Q12: What in Jacoby's profession as a football player has given him the skills to be so agile as to be able to dance?
The answer to this still remains a mystery to me. Two things Jacoby is terrific at are staying on his feet, and going fast. As you see on Dancing with the Stars, Jacoby moves quickly, bounces around on his feet, and somehow knows how to dance. It seems like Jacoby loves to dance, especially with his celebratory touchdown dances that everyone loves.
Jacoby Jones is a very light, fast man, which helps him when it comes to dancing both on the field and in the ballroom.
Q13: What are some of Jacoby's tattoos?
Karina Smirnoff, Jacoby's partner on Dancing with the Stars, named a few of the tattoos he had.
She said that he had:
- Name of the street he lived on in New Orleans
- Super Bowl tattoo.
- Year of his Birth
- The Sun rising and setting
She said that most of his tattoos were post-Katrina, a hurricane that rocked his home city terribly back in 2005. New Orleans is a big part of Jacoby, making it understandable why a lot of his tattoos revolve around the city.
That seems to be the end of Tuesday's Mailbag for this week! Remember, if you want to see more questions and answers on this segment, then ask some! Ask questions in the comments below, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, OR tweet them to me @Frezeal33. I can't wait to answer everyone's questions next week! Have a great rest of the day!
ON A SIDE NOTE:
This is a side note to this article, which really has nothing to do with the article.
Nate Smythe, a good friend of mine, a die-hard Ravens fan, and a resident of Baltimore, is having trouble with his father. His father is a role model to him and one of the most special people in his life. His father has fought and beaten cancer multiple times, but it seems like it is back and here to stay. Nate isn't very optimistic about his dad, but he is very optimistic about finding a cure for this awful disease called cancer. Nate will be selling raffle tickets to raise money for Relay for Life. When you buy a raffle ticket, $5, you will be entered in a drawing for multiple autographed things of former Baltimore Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo, donated to the Smythes by Mr. Ayanbadejo himself. There will also be other things raffled off. All money given to him for raffle tickets will go straight to Relay for Life to help find a cure for cancer. Nate Smythe and his family are doing a terrific thing, while also trying to giveaway great merchandise to a few lucky Ravens fans out there.
If you have any requests for tickets or any questions, please email email@example.com, Nate's personal email address. He and I would love for you to email him and take part in this chase for the cure for cancer. Thank you, Ravens Nation!