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  1. #157

    Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach



    Quote Originally Posted by BPF2 View Post
    Pollard/Reed - Huff/Elam We're putting a lot of faith in Elam who has never played an NFL down. And hoping he can replace a HOF. Say what you want about Ed's physical ability last year, his mental ability and reputation made every QB think twice. He might not have been able to tackle, but he could still cover ground to break up a pass or pick it off. Not like the Ed Reed of old, but still better than many.

    Birk - Gino - There is no way you can legitimately say this is an upgrade. Sure Birk needed to be replaced, but it's a little early to be saying a full season of Gino is an upgrade.

    Leach - Juice This is the one I have a lot of concern over. Not to doubt Juice's ability, but everyone's penciling him in as the replacement to the best FB in the game based on production at Harvard. Again, never played a down in the NFL. I have high hopes for him, as I do for every new face, but his legend has grown very quickly.
    Reed- He hasn't been a great tackler for a few years now but last year we started to see the decline of his range too. While it's true that his mental acuity was matched by few, we started to see him out of position more often than years past due to his body not doing what his mind wanted. QB's simply didn't fear Ed as much last year and his gambling started to hurt more than help

    Gino-I agree that Gino isn't an upgrade at this point but imo there won't be an alarming drop-off from Birk to him based on 1.) His experience (albeit limited) against the Bengals 1st team D-line last year where he held up well 2.) Being bracketed by what could easily be the top Guard tandem in the league.

    Leach-Whatever drop-off there will be in blocking from Leach to Juice will, imo, be more than made up in Juice's pass-catching, versatility and playmaking ability that is much more suited to the presumed direction the offense is heading.




  2. #158

    Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by BPF2 View Post
    I like most of the moves made and understand why Ozzie had to do it for a variety of reasons. I think he did an incredible job of replacing what looked like huge losses with solid talent. My concerns are mainly chemistry and the fact that a lot of optimism is based on major assumptions. Chemistry - those guys on D were playing together for several years. That experience can help offset physical limitations (age/speed/strength/etc). And the pure football knowledge and preparation that Lewis and Reed would do benefits the whole defensive unit in a major way.

    As far as assumption based optimism:

    Pollard/Reed - Huff/Elam We're putting a lot of faith in Elam who has never played an NFL down. And hoping he can replace a HOF. Say what you want about Ed's physical ability last year, his mental ability and reputation made every QB think twice. He might not have been able to tackle, but he could still cover ground to break up a pass or pick it off. Not like the Ed Reed of old, but still better than many.

    Lewis/Ellerbe - Brown/Smith Again, a rookie who has never played a down and is coming off surgery, albeit minor. And assumption that Smith returns to form in a new lineup. I'm also worried about depth, especially McClain

    Krueger - Dumervil No doubt, major upgrade

    Williams - Webb On paper, no doubt. But lets not forget Webb is coming back from a severe injury that is difficult to recover from. When he hurt the other knee it took several games for him to really get back to "Webb".

    Kemo - Williams - Let's face it, just about anyone would have been an upgrade

    Birk - Gino - There is no way you can legitimately say this is an upgrade. Sure Birk needed to be replaced, but it's a little early to be saying a full season of Gino is an upgrade.

    Leach - Juice This is the one I have a lot of concern over. Not to doubt Juice's ability, but everyone's penciling him in as the replacement to the best FB in the game based on production at Harvard. Again, never played a down in the NFL. I have high hopes for him, as I do for every new face, but his legend has grown very quickly.

    Boldin - Undetermined? Committee? I agree with all the comments on separation, etc. I loved Boldin, and this is probably the one move I was most surprised by and upset for. Also, don't forget what a tough blocker he was in the run game.

    I have no concerns whatsoever with the losses of Boldin and Leach. Midway through last year I could not wait until they were off the roster. The offense under Cam with Leach and Boldin was doomed to failure. There would be no creativity as long as Cam and those two were on the roster. Boldin and Leach are one trick ponies. Boldin has basically become a hybrid wr/te. He is a less athletic Aaron Hernandez. Leach is a lead blocker for a power running game. Replacing those two with younger faster guys gives Caldwell a lot more options for the offense he deploys.

    The NFL is a young mans game. Rarely do older teams hold up for a deep playoff run. With the salary cap you can't have proven players at every position. The coaching staff has to trust their evaluations of the younger guys let them develop. This year the Ravens are going unproven at C, S and #2 WR. They are going to be starting 1 rookie. The other two guys have been on the roster for the last year. The Ravens have a pretty good idea what they have in those two. Veterans like Reed, Lewis, Kemo, Birk, Leach and Boldin are all trending down. Every year they get a little worse. You can't beat father time. The young guys are trending up. There are still leaders on the team. Webb is already working with the young guys in the secondary. McClain has been around for a long time and will provide leadership at ILB. There is a ton of experience and leadership at OLB and along the Dline. T smith seems like a great teammate and mentor for the young WRs.

    The Ravens have a great coaching staff and they will develop the younger players. They have a QB with a ton of confidence. In the salary cap era you are always going to have unproven players and I am surprised at how well the Ravens filled some of the holes with veteran players. Dumervil, Huff, Smith, Canty and Spears are huge pickups. This defense should be much improved over last year. The offense should be more dynamic. Excited to see Pitta and Dickson have breakout years. I am more excited about this team this year than I was about the team last year.




  3. #159

    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by HotInHere View Post
    Bang-on. Overall we have more talent this year than last. Pure, physical, football-playing ability. But I remember the Eagles a couple years ago acquiring so much football talent that they were nearly awarded the Lombardi in August. We saw how that worked out.
    Good example. The circumstances, core team, and resultant coaching/scheme decisions were both different, but a good example nonetheless. We won't struggle to the same degree b/c we will be leveraging scheme-flexible players against...well, our flexible scheme.
    Back to the AFCCG we go. So get ready!

    Team MVP to-date: Rick Wagner and C.J. Mosley (tie)

    Having fun talking football on Twitter @BigPlayReceiver




  4. Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by Terpsfan82 View Post
    See post #148
    Fair. I understand your point and where you're coming from. Earlier posts looked like you were blowing it out of proportion, but if it's growing pains you're suggesting then absoloutely agree with you. We had growing pains last year (aka the entire regular season), but still won. It's hard to speculate too much about how the team will play out as we haven't seen much, if any, of them, so we are left to argue the "on paper" look. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, who knows.
    Formerly runrayrun27





  5. #161

    Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPlayReceiver View Post
    Look at IND, PIT, GB and NYG. None of those recent SB winners experienced an OS anything close to ours, yet each of them failed to win a PO game, or completely missed the POs for the following season. Was it b/c of their defenses? Not sure, but cohesion and familiarity matters.
    Complacency matters too, and the big roster turnover is something that will actually help with that. All of these new guys are going to want a ring, and they're going to help set the tone for the whole team.
    I've upped my standards. Up yours.




  6. #162

    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    A lot of good posts with different opinions. Other team's offenses are going to try and exploit weaknesses in our defense. If you are soft against the run, you will be tested. If you a DB that can't cover, they throw at that player.

    Last year was the worst running defense in my memory. Teams tried to isolate TEs on our ILB, Carey Williams was abused, etc.

    Defense against the run will most definitely be better. We added solid veterans. The biggest weakness in the DL last year to me was at NT. Kemo and Cody were abused last year.

    Brown/Smith are both capable of covering at ILB. Smith is a solid pro and although Brown is a Rookie, he's not a long shot. Ray had slowed down too much to cover anyone and Ellerbe wasn't that proficient either. I wasn't sold on Ellerbe since hasn't been able to stay healthy for a season. Not to mention that Ray at his age is more injury prone. No one is going to have Ray's knowledge, but with that came declining skills. I'm optimistic this duo will do well. If Ngata and Williams are the NTs, I'm sure they will make their jobs easier by occupying the OL. McClain will be ready for the season too.

    Webb is coming back from knee surgery but from all indications are he will be ready for the season. I assume his play will improve as the season progresses. Even considering his recovery from injury I doubt anyone would prefer to have Williams or Webb. Webb was also an excellent tackler. Webb is our best cover CB, but he is also a better overall defensive player.

    Elam should have expectations being a 1st round pick and I really think Huff is not getting enough buzz. His past with the Raiders should consider they were bad. The guy has a lot of talent. How many safeties can fill in proficiently as a CB? We will have much more speed at safety with those 2. Huff ran a 4.34-40. Reed was the greatest pass coverage safety and I'm sure he can still make plays, but he's not the Ed of old. Pollard was a poor cover guy. We have 2 safeties that are faster, younger, both can cover and tackle. As an added bonus, how many penalty flags won't be thrown?

    Suggs looks like he showed up ready to return to form. With Dumervil as his bookend we'll have a nasty pass rush this year. Pressuring the quarterback is the best goodwill you can provide the DBs.

    On paper I like the moves but there is no certainty in football. Ozzie did a great job of plugging holes. Overpaying for Krueger, Reed and Ellerbe would have been horrible outcome to the CAP space and we would have never had the ability to sign Dumervil and a few others. I have no problem predicting this defense will surpass what last year's unit accomplished.




  7. #163

    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfish View Post
    A lot of good posts with different opinions. Other team's offenses are going to try and exploit weaknesses in our defense. If you are soft against the run, you will be tested. If you a DB that can't cover, they throw at that player.

    Last year was the worst running defense in my memory. Teams tried to isolate TEs on our ILB, Carey Williams was abused, etc.

    Defense against the run will most definitely be better. We added solid veterans. The biggest weakness in the DL last year to me was at NT. Kemo and Cody were abused last year.

    Brown/Smith are both capable of covering at ILB. Smith is a solid pro and although Brown is a Rookie, he's not a long shot. Ray had slowed down too much to cover anyone and Ellerbe wasn't that proficient either. I wasn't sold on Ellerbe since hasn't been able to stay healthy for a season. Not to mention that Ray at his age is more injury prone. No one is going to have Ray's knowledge, but with that came declining skills. I'm optimistic this duo will do well. If Ngata and Williams are the NTs, I'm sure they will make their jobs easier by occupying the OL. McClain will be ready for the season too.

    Webb is coming back from knee surgery but from all indications are he will be ready for the season. I assume his play will improve as the season progresses. Even considering his recovery from injury I doubt anyone would prefer to have Williams or Webb. Webb was also an excellent tackler. Webb is our best cover CB, but he is also a better overall defensive player.

    Elam should have expectations being a 1st round pick and I really think Huff is not getting enough buzz. His past with the Raiders should consider they were bad. The guy has a lot of talent. How many safeties can fill in proficiently as a CB? We will have much more speed at safety with those 2. Huff ran a 4.34-40. Reed was the greatest pass coverage safety and I'm sure he can still make plays, but he's not the Ed of old. Pollard was a poor cover guy. We have 2 safeties that are faster, younger, both can cover and tackle. As an added bonus, how many penalty flags won't be thrown?

    Suggs looks like he showed up ready to return to form. With Dumervil as his bookend we'll have a nasty pass rush this year. Pressuring the quarterback is the best goodwill you can provide the DBs.

    On paper I like the moves but there is no certainty in football. Ozzie did a great job of plugging holes. Overpaying for Krueger, Reed and Ellerbe would have been horrible outcome to the CAP space and we would have never had the ability to sign Dumervil and a few others. I have no problem predicting this defense will surpass what last year's unit accomplished.
    Great post. When compared to last year the defense looks much much better. Pollard battled injuries all year. He was not nearly as effective as he was the previous year. Ellerbe was in and out of the lineup and never completely healthy. Reed was injured all year. Ngata and McPhee were not healthy all year either. Kemo and Cody were a disaster. Between Ngata, Williams and a contract year Cody play should be improved. Jimmy Smith battled injuries all last year. Ray Lewis missed a lot of time with the injury and was probably the biggest liability on defense. It is really amazing that the defense played as well as it did. There are more options at every position this year. Last year the defense was razor thin after the starters.




  8. #164
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Toluca Lake, CA
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    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    Who didn't see this coming? He was barely used with Caldwell, and FB's don't make 4 million dollars. Plus, Ravens need the cap space in the event of a camp injury or acquire a missing piece before the season or at the trade deadline... plus you can you use the money next year in a roll over. Wise move. I also think you will see a lot more of Pierce in games than the beginning of games and he doesn't need a FB. Peirce and Rices touches might be more a little even than last year. Heck, you can have both in the backfield at the same time and split Rice out in the slot when they go in motion.




  9. #165
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    409

    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    I look forward to Jimmy Smith stepping up, but I'm also pretty happy with Corey Graham. Ask Peyton Manning about Corey Graham.




  10. #166

    Re: Goodbye Vonta Leach

    The main question I have about this move is the timing of it.It seems as if it would have been done earlier it would have not only been more fair to Leach, but also put the team in a position where they could have better utilized that additional cap savings in terms of available FA's in positions of need.




  11. #167
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    11,867
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    Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by wickedsolo View Post
    But that perspective could easily change once the season rolls around. How many of us saw the Ravens actually signing Doom? We were all thinking they were going to HAVE to rely on guys like McAdoo, Hamilton, and a rookie to help Suggs get after the QB.

    I'm not saying anyone we currently have on the roster is going to be able to do what Boldin is able to do, but I think Pitta can effectively be that possess/slot red-zone receiver.
    I can't wait to see Pitta in the slot. Maybe that's why Ravens signed 2 TEs to replace
    him like Juice and the Terp, and hopefully they'll use this new cap space to exten him, plus they have Baja and of course Dickson who made a big catch in the SB.

    Gronk who? Kiss my ass! ILMAO

    Ozzie insists DT or Doss will step up but for now that's the only weak position on
    offense on paper, maybe the entire team.

    I can't wait to see this defense. Who do you double team?

    Ngata? ha

    Canty? Wow

    Suggs? Hu huh

    Elvis? Get out man

    Mc Phee - Ask Brady about him.

    Then there's ARt, Brown, Spears, Brandon to boot. So much depth.

    They can't double team all them dudes. Then we got Webb and Jimmy coming back
    plus Corey who iced the Denver game.

    Hell, we won the SB w/o Webb and Jimmy won it for us in the end. This front
    7 makes it much easier for the back 4 and we added HUff and Elam who is
    in the Pollard mold but younger and faster and better in coverage.

    We're looking at a repeat guys.
    Last edited by AirFlacco; 06-12-2013 at 12:02 PM.
    UBER RAVENS FAN AND HISTORIAN GURU.




  12. #168

    Re: Goodbye Vontae Leach

    Quote Originally Posted by moose10101 View Post
    Complacency matters too, and the big roster turnover is something that will actually help with that. All of these new guys are going to want a ring, and they're going to help set the tone for the whole team.
    Yes, indeed.
    Back to the AFCCG we go. So get ready!

    Team MVP to-date: Rick Wagner and C.J. Mosley (tie)

    Having fun talking football on Twitter @BigPlayReceiver




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