“The Ravens need to sign [PLAYER],” is a tweet every reporter/journalist/media member sees on a daily basis. Right now, the Ravens fanbase has gone completely rabid after Tony Jefferson suffered a torn ACL against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday and will now miss the rest of the 2019 season. Instantly, the tweets arose, roaring for DB Eric Berry.
I love Berry. The man beat cancer. He gained weight during chemotherapy to stay ready for professional football. He’s a warrior in every sense of the word. That being said, I don’t believe he’s the answer for the Baltimore Ravens.
Depth Is No Longer An Option?
First, what happened to everyone’s belief in DeShon Elliott and Chuck Clark? Around training camp, everybody had Elliott pegged as the next great thumper. Clark was also found to be a solid backup to TJ. Now, you’d think they’re both 30-year old safeties who have been riddled with injury and not worth a teams’ roster spot. Oh wait, that’s Eric Berry. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes.
Why Eric Berry Isn’t On A Roster
Berry isn’t on a roster due to money, I’d wager. He’s not playing due to turning 31 in two months and still recovering from his Torn Achilles and the follow-up diagnosis, Haglund’s deformity.
“What are the symptons of Haglund’s deformity [healthline.com]
- a bony bump on the back of your heel
- severe pain in the area where your Achilles tendon attaches to your heel
- swelling in the bursa, which is the fluid-filled sac at the back of your heel”
Yeah, that sounds great. A football player experiencing severe pain where his Achilles and heel are attached. It’s not like Berry needs that to walk, run, sprint, cut or jump.
Instant Gratification Isn’t Real
This isn’t Madden. Signing free agent’s with high overall’s doesn’t work the same. You can’t just plug a player in and let them wheel. Say Berry is on the low-end of Haglund’s deformity and only experiencing minor discomfort. He still has to learn the Ravens defense. That’s not an easy read, it’s a complex scheme where Berry needs to learn the entire system.
As evidence shows, signing Eric Berry is a bad idea. He’s more-than-likely not ready for a return to the NFL. He may not be the player we’ve seen before and learning the system will take time. In that time, we’ll see the young safeties, Clark and Elliott, get their much-needed reps.