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Raven Notes

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Raven football is back and so much has happened in the 1st week.

 

We've talked a lot about cutting Heap, Mason, Gregg and Willis. Maybe they get some of them back...maybe not...notice the absence of Heaps and Masons photos on the new season tickets. This was planned long ago.

Chester, Landry and Wilson are gone. Current depth will cover that although I'd rather have Wilson than Carr.

MCClean??? Tough call! I want him back because of his fire and attitude that he brings to the offgense. He's smashmouth. He's a Raven. But...is he at his peak and not worth the money long term that the current market could bring him? Will he fit into the offensive scheme or will a pure FB be better?

 

They have signed a bunch of their own free agents: Yanda, Cary Williams, Morgan Cox, Ellerbe, McClain, Gooden, Nakamura, Zbikowski, Bryan Mattison and Cousins.

All the draft picks are signed.

To make the numbers game even crazier they signed 26 rookie Free Agents! How can a fan keep track of all these players when not being able to attend camp?

You can't!... and that is a damn shame. I'd love to get a good look at their skills.

 

So there are a ton of bodies to build the 2011 Ravens Team.

 

True to form, Ozzie is waiting for the market to settle to get the best value. He doesn't have a lot of CAP space to work with so the Ravens will not kill their CAP and future for early, high priced Free Agents. We know this and have seen this year after year. They did it trying to repeat for the Super Bowl in 2001 and all it brought them is the huge CAP purge of 2002. They did it once, learned, and won't do it again.

 

Reports are that during the 1st few days of camp they will try to sign Ngata to a new contract. That would lock up the best DT/NG in the NFL for years to come and create more CAP space. Let's hope it happens now and not in late August.

 

And some things don't change...it was so good to see and hear Ray Lewis the first day of practice. The same fired up Ray: excited, passionate and ready to go. He could have made some excuse to beat the heat but he didn't.

 

Cody is in great shape and Harbaugh tipped his plan and set the bar: "He is the starting nose guard, and we expect there to be no drop-off. We have had a tremendous amount of production from Kelly Gregg over the years, and Terrence Cody has to play at least as well as that. That’s the plan. That’s his responsibility, but I’m sure he can do it.”

 

Jah Reid has reported in great shape as well and already has all the heads turning. Harbaugh said, "He stayed on the field in that heat for the complete practice. He signed his contract, went down and ran the conditioning test and then he went out and practice. Just like that. He made it through practice. He is one of the few lineman to make it through practice, so I think that says a lot about him. He is an athlete. For a man his size, he can really bend and move his feet and he is picking up fast. We don’t want to overstate it. How many weeks are we behind with these guys? And it’s only one practice, but so far, so good.”

It will be Reid, Cousins and Ramone "Block out the Sun" Harewood battling for the RT spot. More importantly, it will be on the coaches to develop these guys because all of them have 'the goods' to be maulers and lock down that side of the line. With Yanda in the fold and Oher having a year under his belt the line could be set and stable.

 

They have to find a replacement for Birk. He may make it this year and he may not.

One of these guys has the opportunity of a lifetime to win a starting job in the NFL:

TIM BARNES

Center

Missouri

6-3, 300

Tim Barnes was a three-year starter on the Tigers’ offensive line, making his 40th career start in the 2010 Insight Bowl. His efforts as a senior earned him first-team All-Big 12 honors. In his final two seasons, Barnes served as the center for QB Blaine Gabbert, the 10th-overall selection (Jacksonville) in the 2011 NFL Draft.

 

 

RYAN BARTHOLOMEW

Center

Syracuse

6-1, 302

Ryan Bartholomew concluded his four-year career as a senior team captain at Syracuse in 2010. He started all 35 contests he appeared in over his final three seasons with the Orangemen. He also scored his first career touchdown off of a fumble recovery in 2010 against Cincinnati. For his efforts as a senior, he was selected to participate in the 2011 East-West Shrine Game.

 

JUSTIN BOREN

Guard/Center

Ohio State

6-2, 309

Justin Boren was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree following his senior season in 2010. He accumulated 26 career starts during his time as a Buckeye and won the Jim Parker Award, an honor given by OSU coaches to the team’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Prior to joining Ohio State, Boren played two seasons at Michigan, becoming just the third player in history to play for both teams in the storied Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.

 

Kindle is looking real good from press reports. Fast, fluid...he could be a wild card difference in the pass rush this year...take it to another level. So far it's a feel good story comming out of a stupid nightmare for Kindle. #52 on Kindle: "He’s a young kid that has a future, and now he can really go and pursue what he wants to pursue. And now, to see him out there running around and to see the smile on his face, just to be back on the football field, there’s just nothing more rewarding than being around that right now.”

Yea...the pads are not on for anyone...there's been no hitting and that will seperate a lot of the guys who look good now, from those who will be 2011 Ravens.

 

The Smith brothers are bringing it.

 

Harbaugh on Foxworth: “He didn’t seem to be hesitant at all. He seemed confident and looked strong, so that was a pleasant thing to see.”

 

Woow...I started out wanting to share a few thoughts and observations and it's become "War and Peace"... :)

 

Well...it's the beginning of a great time of year for Ravens football fans.

 

What do you think Ray?

243403.jpg"I couldn’t be more excited to kick the season off right now. Healthy, I cannot describe to you how healthy I am right now. I’m really excited for football.”

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As usual, a very good post Max. I am so 'up' for football especially after watching the Orioles tank yet again. Plus, I just like football better---its so much more entertaining than baseball. Even if we, heaven forbid, don't make the playoffs, I'll remain 100% invested in the Ravens football team.

 

The early reports from camp are all positive but there's so much more to go. We need the cap space a contract with Ngata would give us. This is priority number 1 and I was disappointed to hear that the front office is waiting a few more days before starting the negotiations. Now is the time to do this.

 

As for all the new rookies in camp, I'm excited but I temper that with the knowledge that we won't know the true value of these guys until they're in real action. Will Kindle be able to hold up? Can Cody take it to the next level? Can Hardy, T Smith, and Dickson be valuable targets for Joe? Can Dickson improve greatly his pass blocking? What about the guys we still need: FB, OT, C, all around depth? How do we match up against the Steelers at game 1? Who will get injured that we need somebody to step up for (its inevitable)?

 

Tons of questions to be answered in the next four weeks. Exciting, yes, but a little worrisome too. :gorave:

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