How the Baltimore Ravens are Ready To Begin 2010 without Ed Reed
Training camp is only two weeks away, and the Baltimore Ravens are ready to get back on the practice field.
Having OTAs cut short due to violations, Ravens camp has been quiet over the past month.
However, if there is a story to report on, it is the health and contract concerns regarding safety Ed Reed.
Reed reportedly said he was at "30 percent" in the month of July.
This does put Ravens staff in a tough situation, especially with Reed contemplating retirement and hoping for a new contract at the same time.
Ed is expected to play this season, but who knows when. It seems him being at full strength won't be a best bet, and the Baltimore Ravens will have to begin life without him.
In my opinion, the Ravens are better off beginning the year without Ed Reed starting.
Question my intelligence all you want, but at his age, Ed Reed only can make a huge impact when he isn't near his full strength.
The first six games is a difficult stretch for the Ravens, but it would make more sense if Reed is near 80 percent by Columbus Day Weekend when they face the Broncos.
So what available options are there for the Ravens if Reed isn't ready to go?
The competition would be between Tom Zbikowski, and free agent signee in Ken Hamlin.
Which is the way to go? The young player that earned starting time last year in Reed's absence, or a veteran safety who does have play-making ability?
Based on last season, Tom Zbikowski is the best option for the Ravens, especially with the potential of him being the full time safety in the next few years.
He may not have the ball hawking ability of Reed, but is a better cover safety.
The cornerbacks performed well when Zibby was in, as there was not as much open space down field that Reed tends to leave open.
We also don't know what Ken Hamlin will bring. He had a disappointing end in Dallas, and there isn't much excitement of the idea of Hamlin getting extra playing time in the event Ed Reed does not play.
The talk at the Baltimore Ravens training camp will be the situation of Ed Reed. Nobody knows if he will be ready for week one, or may have to wait until October to hit the field.
Yet, there are no excuses. The Ravens must prepare for the worst, and that is being ready to put in the next player that can play a solid role in this young secondary.
Matt Miselis is a national Featured Columnist for the Ravens and the NFL on BleacherReport.com.
Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/MattMiselis
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