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How comfortable are you with the 2011 Roster?

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Crav started a thread "So, how comfortable are you" with the current O line for opening day. I want to expand on this to cover the whole roster for the upcomming season.

 

Harbaugh was short and to the point when asked about his final roster. "I expect this to be a very good football team,” he said.

 

I do too.

 

After reading the 585 publication predictions for this season I like that the Ravens are flying under the radar. The heat is on the Jets, Packers, Steelers, Falcons, Patriots. Let them wilt in it.

 

The Ravens have made a big roster turn over. They got younger and faster. I'm not thinking about this for season only, but for the next few seasons ahead. The playoff door will stay wide open. This team won't "go old all at once". A situation the Steelers face.

A lot of big names were replaced with hungry players who survived the stiff competition for each and every roster spot that Harbaugh insists players earn. Having a big name, big contract and being complacent won't get you a starting job on this team.

I like that.

 

While I am uncomfortable with the O line for opening day, that is one solid, strong group. McKinney, Grubbs, Birk, Yanda and Oher is way better than last years group. Everybody is in their proper position. They will get it together sooner rather than later. They will shake the rust off quickly. They can road grade like hell and protect Joe.

 

Leach is a huge addition to the running game. He will wear linebackers out. Ricky Williams will be good for short yardage and Ray Rice will benefit from all of this. The hard nosed, smashmouth running game is there. The tough physicality that the Ravens needs from an offensive line is there.

 

The receiving corps is 100% better. It's just what this team needs to compete with the big boys and do damage in the playoffs. Finally, defenses will have to play this offense honest or suffer the consequences. They will have to account for the whole field. Bouldin and Evans is a perfect combo. They compliment each other. They must be accounted for evey play. Dickson has the spped and size to go downfield and stretch defenses. Speaking of stretching the field, Tory Smith will come around too. He was a playmaking deep threat at Maryland and that guy will emerge in the NFL. He can seperate, catch and throw it into another gear.

Cam has strong choices at the #3 WR spot. They have to gain experience and develop in this offense but I love the choices of Smith, Doss, Williams and Reed. Talk about flexability.

:cop: And the wide receiver end around play is gone. No human on Earth could be dumb enough to use it again. Not even Cam.

 

The D line is deep and talented...as usual. Pagano has a ton of choices at LB. While Suggs, Lewis and Johnson will be the starters, Chuck has 587 packages he can use with Kruger, Kindle, Ellerbe, Ayambajejo, McCleen and McPhee to bring heat on the passer and use in coverage. Size and speed on the corners and Reed on the back end. With Pollard as the clock cleaner. :thumbup:

 

Special Teams is stacked and remains a big strength.

 

The Ravens are solid in all 3 phases.

 

Let me close with this. What I see today.

 

th_strangelove_sm2.jpg"The most dangerous team on the Ravens 16 game schedule is the Ravens."

 

Ravens_Eagles_Football_87509_team.jpg

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The steelers have youth behind every position other then nt and ss but there's no replacing troy anyways so that doesn't really count. We've got hood and heyward on the dline Sylvester behind farrior with timmons locked up for the next 6 years we got carter and worilds behind harrison with woodley locked up for the next 6 years. The youth is there but the vets are still going strong.

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I'm cautiously optimistic. I like that the Ravens are getting younger. With the entire rookie draft class + Quan Williams and Mcadoo making it, we have a lot of first & second year players on the roster. I'm hoping they avoid the pitfall of overconfidence.

 

Here's a quote from 7th(?) round pick Anthony Allen on the whole draft class making the team.

 

"I was talking about that with Jimmy," Allen said. "This rookie class, we brought a little personality to this team. Hopefully, we can contribute right away and help the team win."

 

The rookies need to bring more than personality to the team. Most are backups and will be able to ease their way into contributing (outside of special teams of course), but Jimmy Smith will be asked to step up from the jump and I think Tandon Doss will as well.

 

The 2010 draft class (Dickson, Pitta, Cody, Arthur Jones, and Kindle) is going be counted on heavily as well so i hope they're up to the challenge.

 

Basically 2011 is going to hinge on how the youth movement serves the Ravens. The organizations are a world apart in terms of front offices, but the O's bet their 2011 season on youngsters like Matusz and Tillman coming through and well..we see how that turned out.

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