Ravens Preseason Report: Areas Of Concern
The Baltimore Ravens are 2-0 in the season where the process but not the result matters. The Ravens have seen a lot of good things, but also have areas of concern. Let us begin with the bad news first. The next post will discuss the positives.
Areas of Concern:
1.) The Ravens injuries at the cornerback position have been troubling. First Ladarius Webb gets a back injury and is kept out of the first two games for precautionary reasons. Next Aaron Ross (originally the frontrunner at the nickel position) gets hurt and is out for the season. Then Asa Jackson suffers a minor ankle injury and Jimmy Smith leaves last nights game with a chest injury. The injuries have been troublesome to say the least. On one hand it has given valuable reps to unproven defensive backs,on the other hand its made it hard to evaluate what we have.
2.) The Ravens defense has been inconsistent. The starters have shown the ability to stuff the run, get after the QB and make stops. The problem is they don’t always do well. For example last night the first two plays the Ravens knocked the Cowboys backwards. But the Ravens defense could not get off the field. It is so infuriating when you know they can do it and they don’t. Some second string players like DeAngelo Tyson and Pernell McPhee have looked better than the starters, with much more consistent effort.
3.) I am sick of hearing that the scheme is vanilla in the preseason. I am frankly fed up with the bogus notion that this impacts run defense. It does not matter what scheme you run, the fundamentals of run defense are unchanged. You have to get strong push upfront, fill the gaps, set the edge and flow to the football. The Ravens are not doing these fundamental aspects of defense at all. This is a problem through all the depth chart and it needs to change.
4.) The Ravens offense looked dramatically different last night. The first two drives were inexcusably bad. The offense may have sat on the sideline for an hour but wow were they out of sync. The Ravens did heat up but it was still concerning. Rhythm is so important to the offense that when they cannot find it, it simply does not work. It should not be that easy to get it out of sync. Though it was an impressive turn around by the starting unit.
5.) The Ravens back up quarterback position is bleak; if Joe misses a snap the Ravens will be in trouble. Tyrod Taylor may have regressed this preseason and Keith Wenning was not sensational by any measure.