The beginning of the final week of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) began today, and it was open to the media. Our very own Matthew Stevens was there to cover it all.
If there's one word to describe this year's OTAs, it'd be encouraging.
The players have all looked very solid, veterans and rookies alike. Everyone has played well, and shown off great fundamentals and understanding of the new schemes being put in place. There was a strong veteran presence, with names like Flacco, Smith, Smith again, and Forsett all showing up, despite these practices being voluntary. Even the rookies have shown great ability and potential on the field these past few weeks.
Most importantly, some of the players that definitely needed to step up have done so, notably ILB Arthur Brown and S Matt Elam. Both have received negative attention for different reasons, one for never seeing the field, and the other for being awful when he was on the field. These young players have faced adversity and negative comments from everyone to fans, and even the front office.
I think it’s readily known that we have not been satisfied with the way he’s (Matt Elam) played thus far,
However, both have also had fans and supporters, we here at the Beatdown still see potential in them, as Matthew and I have both penned pieces in favor of the two. It looks like these two players have found another fan in Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees, who had nothing but praise for these two. Beatdown Editor Matthew Stevens reported from Owings Mills that Pees said Elam was having the "best camp he's ever had" and "He's had his critics out there, but let me tell you, 26 is gonna be a good football player". Pees cited communication and hustling to the ball as the main factors that Elam had excelled in, but did point out that no one has seen any of the players tackling yet due to the rules for OTAs.
As for Brown, Pees said "he is having an outstanding camp. I've seen a tremendous improvement."
This is is certainly nothing but great news. Hopefully these positive comments will silence those who are pessimistic about these two, as their future is still very bright, especially after winning over their Defensive Coordinator.
We will continue to post updates as OTA news rolls in, we're committed to providing you with quality news as fast as we can.