Baltimore Ravens: 4 Biggest Things to Take Away from Training Camp
Training camp doesn't mean quite as much to the Ravens as it does to other teams.
They're legitimate contenders and have been for years. They don't have many new players to install or new systems to integrate (assuming you're of the belief that Ray Lewis, not the defensive coordinator, runs Baltimore's defense), and overall we pretty much know what to expect from this team.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't training camp storylines. Every team has a few position battles and sleepers. The Ravens are no exception. Here four of the biggest things to take away from the Ravens' camp.
Tyrod Taylor Has a Place in This League...
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... But not as a traditional quarterback. His dynamic athleticism and playmaking ability best lends him to...
Wait for it...
No matter how taboo Tim Tebow has made that phrase, it's going to stick as long as it works. It's a great change of pace, especially for a team like Baltimore that traditionally doesn't stretch the field often (of course, Torrey Smith is changing that).
Taylor has been disappointing as a passer so far in the preseason, but he's been a fantastic runner, picking up 111 yards on 12 rushes.
The Ravens have not shied away from innovation. They have a weapon in Taylor, and using him in conjunction with Ray Rice could lead to some big plays.
Terrell Suggs Will Be Missed
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In fairness to the Ravens, any defense would suffer after losing a player like Terrell Suggs. He is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and one of the league's most feared pass-rushers. Unfortunately for Baltimore, none of his expected replacements has done much to make the Ravens forget about him.
Courtney Upshaw came to camp overweight and has battled injuries so far in a disappointing preseason. 2011 second-round pick Sergio Kindle hasn't exactly set the world on fire either. In two preseason games the entire Ravens defense has registered only two sacks.
The Ravens are going to have to replace Suggs by committee. Upshaw, Kindle and lesser-known guys like Albert Mclellan (owner of one of the two aforementioned sacks) are going to have to contribute as a group.
If they can do it, the Ravens will be that much better when Suggs returns. If not, well, it could be a long year.
Billy Cundiff's Miss Was a Fluke
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If Billy Cundiff is shaken over his miss in New England, it isn't showing.
Cundiff hasn't missed a kick in the preseason. In fact, neither has challenger Justin Tucker. Both kickers look like they're capable of playing at the Pro Bowl-level Cundiff did in 2010.
The competition between the two kickers has gotten more and more heated. Today, the Baltimore Sun reported that the two engaged in a kicking contest that ended with Cundiff hitting the mark from 61 yards while Tucker missed due only to a bad snap.
We can't be 100 percent certain who will be kicking for the Ravens this year, but if camp is any indication, the loser probably won't have much trouble finding a new job.
Omar Brown Is a Potential Star
photo courtesy of SB Nation
What can't you say about this guy? He has come out of nowhere to become one of the biggest stars of training camp.
Suffice it to say most undrafted free agents out of Marshall playing for Ed Reed's team don't get much playing time, but Brown is going to be an exception this year. He's simply been too good to ignore. He had two more interceptions in practice today to go along with his stellar preseason.
In only two games, Brown has three fumble recoveries, an interception and an onside kick recovery. Again I'd like to point out: Nobody took this guy!
Give Ozzie Newsome and the scouting department a pat on the back. They found another diamond in the rough here. If Brown is half as good in the regular season as he's been so far, the Ravens have their replacement for Reed.