Happy Tuesday, Ravens Nation! I hope everyone is having a terrific day at work, school, or wherever you may be at this point in the day. Personally, I am already home on my second-to-last day of school. I have gotten many questions this week, so I am very excited to answer each and every one of them. Let's get started, shall we?
Q1: Why should we expect a better Suggs this season than last?
As I'm sure you know, Terrell Suggs was slammed with an Achilles injury for the first six weeks of the season. He finally came back, but of course, he wasn't 100%.
Most likely, the Suggs we all know and love will be back to Suggs form, since he will be healthy and ready-to-go. Suggs didn't do much at all last season, but this season will be a full one, and he'll be able to rock out all sixteen weeks. Injuries can cause players performances to weaken, which is what happened to Suggs, but now Suggs is perfectly fine. Expect him to be back to his 2011 form in the coming season.
Q2: Who will have more sacks this season: Suggs or Dumervil?
In 2012, Elvis Dumervil had 11.0 sacks, compared to Suggs' total of 14.0 in 2011, his Defensive Player of-the Year season. Dumervil is a fast machine, whom is also a year younger than Suggs. Truthfully, I see Dumervil coming out and having a huge year, getting more sacks than T-Sizzle, but not by much.
It is still fun to think that the Ravens have both Suggs and Dumervil, two guys I like to call "sack-masters."
Q3: Who will lead the defense in interceptions? Tackles?
Interceptions are usually grabbed by safeties and cornerbacks. I feel like the guy that could definitely come away with the "Most Interceptions Award" is rookie Matt Elam. In 3 years at Florida, Elam picked off 6 passes, a number that really wouldn't catch your eye very much, especially after seeing both Reed and C. Williams picking off 4 passes each last season. Even though Elam hasn't been the greatest ball-hawk ever, many people are comparing him to Ed Reed, saying that he has a lot of potential to be very similar to the future Hall-of-Famer.
Last season, the top two tacklers were Bernard Pollard and Dannell Ellerbe, to departed members of this team. Now, it's up to guys like Arthur Brown, Jameel McClain, Matt Elam, and Terrell Suggs to get these tackles. Personally, I see Jameel McClain being the guy to win the "Most Total Tackles Award." McClain has been one of the top three tacklers on the team the past two seasons, and he didn't even finish the season last year. Look for McClain to be one of the hard-hitting tacklers in 2013, as long as his injury doesn't hold him back.
Q4: Which former Ravens players have left and had Pro-Bowl seasons with their new team?
Through my hours of research, I found seven guys that have done this. Here they are:
- Tony Jones: [OT] (Played for the Ravens in the 1996 season --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl in 1997 w/ Broncos)
- Vinny Testeverde: [QB] (Played 2 seasons with Ravens --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl in 1998 w/ Jets)
- Priest Holmes: [RB] (Played 4 seasons with Ravens --- Made 3 Pro-Bowls w/ Chiefs)
- Rod Woodson: [DB] (Played 4 seasons with Ravens --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl w/ Raiders in 2002)
- Sam Adams: [DT] (Played 2 seasons with Ravens --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl w/ Bills in 2004)
- Ovie Mughelli: [FB] (Played 4 seasons with Ravens --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl w/ Falcons in 2010)
- Willis McGahee: [RB] (Played 4 seasons with Ravens --- Made 1 Pro-Bowl w/ Broncos in 2011)
Those are all of them that I could find. If there are any others I missed, please tell me!
Q5: In your opinion, which defense was better: the '85 Bears or the '00 Ravens?
In my opinion, they were both dominant defenses, but since I have to choose one, I guess I will.
Let's start off with the stats:
- Super Bowl XX Champions
- Points Allowed: 258
- Yards Allowed: 4,135
- Sacks: 64.0
- Interceptions: 34
- Touchdowns: 4
- Super Bowl XXXV Champions
- Points Allowed: 165
- Yards Allowed: 3,967
- Sacks: 35.0
- Interceptions: 23
- Touchdowns: 1
Just looking at the bare minimum stats, it seems to show that the Ravens were much better at keeping teams from scoring, while the Bears were much better at forcing turnovers.
One thing you must look at with these defenses is the help it had from the offense, to see how much the team relied on the defense to win games. The 1985 Chicago Bears
were 2nd in the league in scoring, while the 2000 Baltimore Ravens
were 14th in the league in scoring. That's a pretty significant difference. Also, during the 2000 Ravens season, there was a five-game span where the offense didn't score a touchdown, but the team was still able to go 2-3, all because of the Ravens' defense.
Truthfully, these are two of the best defenses in NFL history, but I think I'm going to have to give the edge to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Sorry, Bears fans.
Q6: With Lardarius Webb coming back from injury, how much of a strength could our secondary be in the upcoming season?
As long as Webby comes back from his ACL tear and becomes 100% quick, then our secondary could very well be one of the best in the league. Look at guys like Elam, Webb, Huff, Graham, Ihedigbo, J. Smith, etc. It will be fun to see how these guys work together, but it's looking to me like Webb could rejuvenate our entire secondary, which is something that we need badly.
Q7: How much do you think the loss of Brendon Ayanbadejo will affect our special teams unit?
Zero to None.
Brendon was a pretty decent player, but he just wasn't playing a major role on defense or special teams. It should be pretty easy to replace him, and our special teams unit should be perfectly fine. John Harbaugh will make sure we have a strong special team, especially because he used to be a special teams coach.
I wouldn't worry about the departure of B.A; the special teams unit should be fine without him.
Q8: Who do you think is missing on the Ravens Ring-of-Honor?
At this point in time, there are only 15 members of the Ravens' Ring-of-Honor. They are:
- Jamal Lewis
- Jonathan Ogden
- Matt Stover
- Art Modell
- Peter Boulware
- Michael McCrary
- Earnest Byner
- Johnny Unitas
- Raymond Berry
- Lenny Moore
- Art Donovan
- Gino Marchetti
- John Mackey
- Jim Parker
- Ted Hendricks
Is there anyone really missing that I would add?
Of course, Ray Lewis will be on there, just give it time.
Second to Ray, I would have to say that I would love to see WR Derrick Mason be inducted into the Ravens' Ring-of-Honor. Mason holds many Ravens' receiving records, including most receiving yards. Mason not only played a huge role on the field, but his character off the field was magnificent.
Mason loved Baltimore and loved the fans. He loved the organization so much, that he wanted to sign a 1-day contract to retire a Raven, and that's exactly what he did. Mason loved everything about the Ravens, and I loved seeing him play and I am also appreciative of everything he did for this organization. I believe he will be added to the Ring-of-Honor, just give it time.
If there was one person you'd like to add to the Ring-of-Honor, who would it be? (Note: It cannot be Ray Lewis or any still active player that played for the Ravens)
Q9: Are the Ravens going to go to the White House as Super Bowl Champions?
Yes, they will.
Tomorrow, June 5th, the Baltimore Ravens will be meeting the President of the United States (Barack Obama) as a part of Super Bowl celebrations.
You can watch the event live on BaltimoreRavens.com starting at 12:00 PM EST.
NOTE: Players not attending from last year's team include:
- CB Cary Williams (Eagles)
- WR Anquan Boldin (49ers)
- S Bernard Pollard (Titans)
- LB Paul Kruger (Browns)
These players are the only confirmed non-attendees.
Q10: Will Ed Dickson have a larger receiving role this season?
Personally, I think it will happen. Jim Caldwell sees much potential in him, and I do, as well. Dickson and Pitta in a two tight-end offense could be dangerous and essential after losing Anquan Boldin in the off-season. Dickson is a tight-end that can be very athletic, and I would definitely keep an eye on him during this season.
Q11: Will Jimmy Smith step up this year?
It seems as if Jimmy Smith is attempting to become more lean and ready for football. In this article
, it talks about Jimmy Smith and how he may have the potential to start and play well for the Ravens, as it also talks about the other guys on the secondary.
Jimmy Smith reportedly lost 10 pounds from a boxing regimen, making him more lean and in football shape. Smith will look to be healthier and quicker in 2013, and expect that to be the truth. Hopefully, Smith will step up like he did in the goal-line stand vs. the San Francisco 49ers
in Super Bowl XLVII.
Q12: Will Jameel McClain be the same as he was before his injury?
Jameel McClain was a dominant, underrated tackler before his injury in 2012. He was someone that you could count on, and he was one of the top three tacklers on the Ravens in the past two seasons.
During the 2012 season, McClain suffered a spinal cord contusion, something that sounds very painful. McClain has been working hard to get back to his normal form, but who knows whether he will be fully back or not. My prediction is that he won't be the dominant tackler he once was, but he will still be a beast nonetheless.
I think that McClain won't be the exact same, but he will be pretty darn close.
Q13: Who will the major leader of the defense be: Haloti Ngata or Terrell Suggs?
Terrell Suggs, in all honesty.
Suggs is known for having a loud, projected voice and he loves to talk. Along with Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs would always help motivate the team before, during, and after games. Suggs' motivational skills are also no match for his play on the field. Suggs rips through offensive lines with ease, and creates tackles when they need to be created. Suggs was the Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2011, and his role on the defense hasn't changed since then.
Truthfully, I think that Ngata is also too quiet. You never really hear him talk, although you do see him as a dominant force during games.
Q14: If Bernard Pierce steps up this season, do you think that we would trade Ray Rice?
Ngata Chance. (See what I did there?)
Seriously though, no. Rice is a Top 3 RB in the league, while he is still in his prime. The only way I see us trading Rice is if we need to because of salary cap. Cap Space is supposed to be an issue for us in 2014, but we'll wait to see what Ozzie does in 2014.
I just can't see us trading Rice in the next few years, unless he becomes awful and Pierce becomes a Top 3 RB.
Q15: Why was Deonte Thompson not drafted by anyone?
Why were Wes Welker, Antonio Gates, Vonta Leach, and Kurt Warner not drafted?
It just seems like Thompson wasn't catching the eye of any team in the draft. He is very quick, notably the fastest player on the Ravens, so I'm not sure why teams didn't draft him and give him a shot. It is a very interesting question, but I am not quite sure what the answer is. Especially since he played at such a well-known school like Florida, along with having great stats there. It really doesn't make any sense.
There are many players that go undrafted that have a lot of potential, like Deonte Thompson. Oh well, the important things is that now we have him, and he could possibly be one of our three starting receivers.
Q16: Deonte Thompson and Tandon Doss are the favorites to win the #2 receiving spot. Do you see both guys beating out Jacoby Jones for more offensive snaps?
No, I don't think that'll happen. Jones is still a terrific wide receiver, whom is a huge deep-ball threat. Doss and Thompson are both developing wide receivers, so I don't see BOTH of them beating out a talented veteran like Jones. Whoever the #2 and #3 wide receivers are, I think I will be happy with it. I see Jones being a starter throughout the whole season, and only injury will change that.
The big thing is, will it be Thompson or Doss? After all this talk about Thompson's speed and athleticism, I am leaning towards him to be the #2/#3 spot. We'll just have to wait and see how Coach Harbaugh wants to deal with the entire situation.
Q17: Fantasy Football Question: Which out of Doss, Jones, and Thompson get the most yards/TD's?
This is a very hard question to answer, especially since we don't know which of the three will not be a starter. I'll have to go with Jones for now, just because he is the veteran, and the deep-throws will get him more yardage and more touchdowns.
I believe that out of the three, I would rather have Jacoby Jones on my fantasy team. (Also have to look at KR/PR)
Q18: I have recently stopped caring about fantasy football, and I want to get back into it. How may I go about doing this?
I, personally, LOVE fantasy football. It is a very fun thing to do because it encourages you to pull for players/teams you'd never pull for. Something that I hate, though, is when you have a player on your team going up against your favorite team. I never go against my Ravens. Ravens > Fantasy Football, and that's how it's going to stay.
Anyway, to get back into fantasy football, you must go join a league. After you do that, do the draft, get a great team ready, and start playing. Maybe get in a few leagues, so it can be more interesting. Soon after you do that, I promise you, you will begin to love fantasy football again.
If that doesn't work, contact me and we'll get you immediate assistance.
Q19: Can Kyle Juszczyk revolutionize, or juice-up, the FB position?
It's very possible. I like Juice-Check and what he does. Truly, I think that he will just be a normal full-back. He may be able to become more of a receiving FB, along with a blocking and running FB, which could help change the position a little. Juice-Check was one of my favorite draft picks from this year, and it is pretty obvious why.
Vonta Leach and Kyle Juszczyk should be a great duo at full-back. Something I've thought about: Could the Ravens possibly have two of the greatest full-backs to ever play the game? (Leach & Juszczyk) Maybe. Only time will tell, I guess.
This may be one of the most exciting aspects of the new team, but we'll just have to wait and see what Caldwell and Harbaugh plan to do with a versatile FB and a powerhouse FB.
Q20: With our amazing new blitz package, over/under on 5 quarterbacks cry and try to fake an injury?
Well, it depends.. does crying and having an actual injury count? If so, then I'd say over.. about 12 quarterbacks. I promise you that these hard-hitters will make the following quarterbacks cry this season:
- Tom Brady
- Aaron Rodgers
- Andy Dalton
- Christian Ponder
- Brandon Weeden (or whatever scrub the Browns have at the QB position)
- Peyton Manning
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Matthew Stafford
- Matt Schaub
- E.J. Manuel
- Ryan Tannehill
- Mark Sanchez AND Geno Smith
- Jay Cutler
- Joe Flacco (Due to a bit of hazing, but it'll all be okay by Week 3)
I will have fun watching this, as I'm sure you all will, too.
Q21: Jameel McClain or Arthur Brown as our three-down LB?
I think it will be a little bit of both. More so Arthur.
Arthur Brown is a new guy; he's younger, and more athletic. As long as he looks the way he did in college, he should be just fine here on our team in the NFL.
As for McClain, he's a bit older and coming off of an injury, but I see him sharing the three-down LB spot with Brown.
Both guys are exceptionally good, and Ravens fans should have no worries about the Linebacker position this year.
Q22: Matt Elam for Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year?
It is very possible. Matt Elam, as I said earlier, will probably be leading the Ravens in interceptions. I like Elam, and I think he could develop to be the best safety in his draft class, and one of the best safeties in the NFL. If anyone has the potential to be Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year, it's Matt Elam.
Elam also is beginning to become a leader within the Ravens locker room, so he is becoming even more of a mature player, and he hasn't even played his first NFL game yet.
I know I'm not the only one who is excited about Elam. Many Ravens fans are, as they should be. He is already a Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year candidate.
Q23: Rice to get 1,600 yards from scrimmage again?
I say no.
I think that Pierce will be incorporated into the offense MUCH more than he was last year, giving Rice less time on the field and less carries. Rice will still get 1,100+ from scrimmage, but due to Pierce getting more field time, I doubt 1,600 will be able to happen again, like it did last season.
Q24: Entire team over/under 52 sacks?
This is one I really had to think about.
Our blitz package is so strong; it very well may be unstoppable. With Suggs, Dumervil, Ngata, Canty, McPhee, & McClain/Brown, why couldn't we get that many sacks?
Unfortunately, if the 2000 Ravens defense couldn't get 52 sacks, then I doubt we can. It is very possible. I say just under, around 45 sacks for us this year, with the sack leader ("sack-master") being Elvis Dumervil.
P.S. I like how you said 52! I'm guessing that's a small tribute to Ray-Ray!
There you have it! The end of Tuesday's Mailbag for this week! I am thrilled with the amount of questions asked, and I apologize for my short responses to some questions. If you want me to explain a question more or one of my opinions more, tell me and I'll do it next segment! If you have any disagreements with me, feel free to tell me! Also, we NEED more questions for next week's segment! Remember: Put your questions in the comments below, tweet them to me @Frezeal33, OR e-mail them to me at Victorgrayh10@gmail.com. Everyone have a safe and happy Tuesday! Don't forget about the White House Visitation tomorrow, along with the Ring Ceremony on Friday! Goodbye, until next time, Ravens Nation!