This year’s Ravens training camp has had not shortage of news. From injuries, to standout rookies, there has been constant activity in Owings Mills. So what should we be watching for this week?
Will Keenan Reynolds improve?
I really, really like this kid, and I’m pulling hard for him to make the roster, but he just hasn’t performed at a high level at training camp. Yes, he is changing positions from quarterback to receiver/returner, but he is making the transition at bit slowly. Reynolds has dropped a few passes and kicks, and at times had a difficult time creating separation from corners. His main competition, Michael Campanaro, has been excellent. In both receiving and returning drills, Campanaro has been more consistent and demonstrated more explosion than Reynolds has. Campanaro, according to Baltimore Beatdown’s Kyle P Barber, is out for his third straight practice. There is no info on whether he is injured, but three straight missed practices should raise concerns. If Reynolds wants to make the roster, he must take advantage of Campanaro’s absence.
Will standout rookies Tavon Young and Kamalei Correa keep impressing?
The Ravens rookies have really impressed in training camp so far this year, and the duo of Young and Correa seem to be generating the most buzz. Correa is in the middle of a position change from outside to inside linebacker. He has been a quick study at the position and has put himself in the thick of the competition for the starting ILB spot next to C.J. Mosley. Correa’s skills complement Mosley’s well in terms of Mosley being a run stopper, while Correa can cover receivers and tight ends, in addition to his ability to get to the quarterback. Correa has even converted several turnovers already in camp.
Tavon Young has also created many turnovers. He has multiple picks already, and has been absolutely locked in on shutting down receivers. Young has been pushing hard for a starting role, and if he keeps this level of play up, he very well may get that role. Young is a nickel corner, which is a role the Ravens need to fill desperately, greatly improving his chances of making the starting lineup in Week 1.
Will injured Ravens return this week?
The Ravens already have many more injuries than they had at this point last preseason. The Ravens have 14 injured players before even playing a preseason game. Yes, read that again, 14. And the 14 have been key pieces too, including Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore. The key Raven to watch, however, is Ronnie Stanley. Stanley suffered a soft tissue injury on Saturday. The injury is said to be minor, and he plans to return for the preseason opener on Thursday, but his return is a huge storyline to watch as he will be a key player in this o-line.
Yup, it's game week!
A real football game is almost here! The Ravens will take on the Panthers on Thursday night. The key story lines to watch in the game are: how long will Joe Flacco play, if at all, how will the back ups preform, who will step up and put themselves in the thick of the conversation for a starting spot, and how will the secondary fare against Cam Newton, for however long he is on the field?
Training camp has been exciting thus far, but trust me, it's only heating up.