We're in June but the offseason is already coming to a close. Say what?!
This is the mentality NFL players sew onto their jerseys, embroider onto their hearts, tattoo onto their biceps. You catch the drift. The earlier they digest and adapt to this lifestyle, the better their chances of achieving the ultimate goal: Don't get left behind.
In the cutthroat business that is professional sports, athletes must die to themselves, shed every ounce of self-entitlement (which is a gritty psychological challenge for some), and outwork the rest of his or her competition. The scouts will draw their conclusions and make their final cuts when the time comes ...
For now, we evaluate a handful of Ravens who are in need of making their #PushToStart.
Rashaan Melvin, Cornerback
Why he's on this list: The influx of cornerbacks ... the re-signing of Jimmy Smith and return of a healthy Lardarius Webb makes Melvin's climb that much more arduous.
Recently signed corner Kyle Arrington is a veteran that brings more wisdom than talent to a secondary that could use more of the insight than the latter. Last year for the Ravens, question marks ended these phrases, "What do we do with Corey Graham" and "What happens with James Ihedigbo."
As much as we'd hate to see Melvin's career wind up as a feel-good story, we'd also hope he doesn't slack off this summer and fall back into the obscurity he emerged from in 2014.
Christo Bilukidi, Defensive Tackle
Why he's on this list: The 25-year-old restricted free-agent defensive tackle was signed by the Ravens in March.
That, to me, says something about the guy. Scouts must really like his skillset, or feel that his talents could contribute to the most valuable aspect of the game. (I believe that games are won at the line of scrimmage). With Haloti Ngata in Detroit, the Ravens will hope to see immediate contribution from Bilukidi, who spent most of his first campaign with the Ravens on injured reserve (ankle).
Nick Boyle, Tight End
Why he's on the list: While nobody complains about having "too much competition," Baltimore's list of receivers and tight ends appears to be the most loaded this year.
Maxx Williams, Dennis Pitta, even Darren Waller's in the mix. Boyle is 20 pounds heavier than Williams (same height 6'4"), however he's a retro-style tight end. Think Heath Miller -- block first, run route second -- as opposed to Cowboys' Jason Witten. Baltimore's fifth-round selection will have to steadily rock climb to the top if he wants to make the final cut.