I guarantee at some point during the season we (myself included), will holler and shout at our television screens after rookie Terrence Brooks blows his assignment and drops his head in dismay.
And defensive coordinator Dean Pees will hear our cries. He'll arrive to his senses and plug in the playmaker that the Ravens signed to a one-year deal back in March. Ozzie Newsome said that he wanted someone athletic to play next to Matt Elam earlier in the offseason. His name is Darian Stewart.
Stewart took reps with the ones and has stood out during minicamp practices last month. When else did he shine? In his sophomore campaign (2011), the boss registered 84 tackles, three sacks and batted away 11 passes. His lone interception that year came against the great Drew Brees, resulting in a 27-yard pick-six.
I personally want to see Stewart start over Brooks. Besides missing the first three games in 2013 with a thigh injury, the safety geared up for the remainder of the season. His services still made for solid contribution; Stewart’s 36 tackles were four behind defensive end Chris Long’s, who, unlike Stewart, started all 16 games.
The timing of Stewart’s arrival to Baltimore couldn’t be more perfect: the Rams squared up against the AFC South and the NFC South in 2013, the conferences your Ravens have on their seasonal menu.
Stewart missed the game against Atlanta in Week 2, but produced the rest of the way: 27 tackles, five pass breakups, and one forced fumble when his Rams stood up to the likes of Drew Brees and Andrew Luck. The Rams were 5-3 in those eight matches, which is a good sign for Baltimore from any angle you look at it.
Alongside Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Matt Elam (who I believe is a more talented unit than the individuals in the Rams secondary), it’s a fair assessment and claiming that Stewart is in for a breakout season.
Which Ravens player do you think is #OnTheHop?