The second preseason contest for the Baltimore Ravens features a bout against the Panthers of Carolina. These two squads have practiced against one another for the past week and though conflict has been minimal, any last frustrations can now be done in full contact through the parameters of the sport.
What to Watch
It’s unclear if quarterback Lamar Jackson will suit up and play this evening. He did not participate in the first preseason game and with multiple starting offensive lineman out once again, the Ravens may opt to keep him off the field once again.
Offensive and defensive line play. As stated in last week’s open thread, this is the opportunity for both sides of the line to play at 100%. During training camp practices, there is restraint. That is not the case now, and it’s not only legal, but encouraged to take down the quarterback. Watch for both sides to do their best to break through and create some pressure.
Names/Positions to Watch
Patrick Mekari — He’s been rotated across three positions. See if they narrow him down this week or if he’s still cycling through at tackle, guard and center.
Left guard — Nobody has won this position, according to the coaching staff. Therefore, see who is involved in the competition and how they perform this evening.
James Proche — Last week, he didn’t get much of an opportunity to make plays with the Ravens’ offensive line struggling. Watch for him to play better and be more involved this week.
Tight End — The third tight end spot is still undecided. Some like Josh Oliver, but Tony Poljan and Eric Tomlinson are right in there for competing
Patrick Queen — In few reps, Queen demonstrated his development entering his sophomore season. I’m curious if he can do the same again tonight.
Secondary — As a group, the secondary, without All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey, caused Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule to voice frustrations about his receiving group earlier this week. I covered this over at baltimoreravens.com in Friday’s Late for Work.
“Rhule voiced his displeasure by calling out the wide receiver unit and their effort levels, according to Associated Press’ Steve Reed.
“They’re good, and you’d like to have Robby out here,” Rhule said. “Some of these guys are tired, and I say that more as a jab. Little sun out here today, and all of a sudden we’re tired, feel sorry for ourselves. I told some of our young guys, you don’t get to like all the Instagram posts, and then come out here and not practice well. What you did last week doesn’t matter. It’s about what you did today.”
Anthony Averett — He played well in the first preseason game, though he gave up the only touchdown pass from the Saints. His coverage in camp has been some of the best and he was recently heralded as the No. 3 cornerback on the roster by Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
Chris Westry — Media and the coaching staff have gushed about this 6-foot-4 cornerback. He’s played rather well and it’s likely to continue tonight.
Safety — A common theme you may have noticed is the No. 3 spot in multiple positions has competition. The safety position is no different and it’s been entertaining to watch Geno Stone, Brandon Stephens and others play the position. Watch to see who is playing safety and what they’re doing in that role. Are they in the box or dropping back? Blitzing and causing pressure or playing man? Watch a series of defense on a single guy or position. You can learn a lot.
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