LET'S say the Ravens defensive unit was a musical band. We'd know them as The Elam. Yep. Matt Elam would be in the back, smashing the drums, keeping the beat and high-level pace that the 10 others need to always be playing at.
Why is Elam on the hop? For starters, the sophomore safety has 77 combined tackles under his belt. That's eight less than Ed Reed's tackle-total in 2002. A brief history lesson: in 2002, strong safety rookie Ed Reed registered 85 hits, 71 were self-made. Will Demps, who was also playing in his first season in 2002, lined up next to Reed and eerily mirrored Elam’s numbers, registering 47 solo tackles, four passes defensed and one interception for 18 yards.
Elam had three less PDs but had one interception that was returned for 18 yards, a sweet game book-closing pick that halted Stafford and the Lions from making a miraculous comeback.
Secondly, the soon-to-become-star will reunite with his natural position (strong safety) and therefore we should also naturally expect to see greater things from the confident one.
As the director of the back end, Elam knows both sides of the field exceptionally well. We know that he played free safety in the NFL as rookie and manned the strong safety position at Florida. That invaluable experience alone speaks volumes.
I envision No. 26 in the locker room addressing the band on how they should adjust and his powerful message having game-changing impact on their second-half performance.
Which Ravens player do you think is #OnTheHop?