Baltimore Ravens 2010 Preview: Biggest Strength and Weakness
Today, the subject is the Baltimore Ravens.
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
This line is by far the best in football.
Protecting the blind side is fittingly now Michael Oher. He was under a lot of pressure perform last season, and exceeded at right tackle. This kid is uber-athletic and has prototypical size.
Oher really finishes his run blocks well for a young player.
Manning the right tackle spot (assuming he won't be traded) is Rex, whoops, I mean Jared Gaither. Gaither is a massive tackle (6'9", 340 pounds) who can be dominating at times, but is inconsistent.
He doesn't finish his blocks as well as Oher, and he has been criticized in the past for not being in the workout room enough.
The interior part of the line gets even better.
Ben Grubbs is a phenomenal left guard. He plays extremely well in space. His upper body strength really helps him manhandle those three-technique defensive tackles he constantly faces.
Matt Birk is a future HOF'er at center. Birk isn't as quick as he once was, but he's still able to manhandle nose tackles. Flacco and Birk have a solid relationship, which is always vital because the center needs communication to make the line calls.
The weakest part of the line is certainly right guard Marshal Yanda. He's somewhat small (313 lbs.) for a left guard, and certainly needs work on his strength.
The Ravens also drafted an intriguing seventh round pick named Ramone Harwood. With some coaching, the physical specimen maybe will compete for a starting job in 2011.
Other Strengths: QB, RB, DE, NT, ILB, FS
Biggest Weakness: Cornerback
Cornerback was a weak point in 2009. This is the position Ozzie Newsome really didn't address this offseason.
Dominique Foxworth is a good player who isn't spectacular at anything. He is the prototypical corner. Foxworth has great athleticism, but isn't a playmaker.
Fabian Washington is a former first round bust with the Raiders. Perhaps the biggest concern for him is whether he'll be at full strength after the ACL injury. As for his play, Washington is mediocre at best.
Washington is speedy, and has good hands. but he's had only six interceptions in five seasons. That's not getting it done.
Backup Chris Carr inspires little confidence. Carr is a solid return man, but as a corner back; he is as mediocre as mediocre gets. The guy is speedy, but he just doesn't catch up with his receiver if he gets blown by.
Ladarrius Webb showed at least a little bit of potential. He's somewhat undersized, but is a solid instinctive corner that will get better.
Other weaknesses: OLB, K, TE
This is the third edition of a 32-part series where I examine the biggest strength and weakness of every NFL Team. Here are the first two parts:
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