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  1. #1
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    Ravens Pre-camp outlook



    We want your take on the Ravens pre-camp outlook. How do YOU expect the season to go down. We'll post some of the best responses to the following questions. You don't have to answer all of them, just those that inspire you most to respond. You can post your answers here...

    It will be fun to revisit this in January....

    As Coach Billick might say, "Have at it!"

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.




  2. #2

    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Both OT spots. Gaither/Terry apears to be the tandem leading, but I wouldn't surprised to see Terry/Cousins or some other combo.
    2. Antwaan Barnes, double digit sacks.
    3. Gary Stills
    4. Maybe Yes, Maybe no, but I like Harbaugh.
    5. I'll miss his press conferences, I'm sarcastic myself. The team will miss his Veteran favoritism.
    6. After the bye week.
    7. TIGHT END, and Defensive End depth.
    8. 8-8 tied for 2nd.




  3. #3
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1) The O-line shuffle. Not necessarily one position but how different battles at the different spots will affect the other battles. If Chester shows a better work ethic and kicks things up a gear at centre, do we get Yanda shifting back out to tackle? If Gaither nails down the left side will Terry be able to hold down the right side again as he failed last year? There's a lot of young talent here so it's gonna be fun to see how well and in what combination this group falls in to place.

    2) Marshal Yanda - If he stays inside at guard I think he will continue to outshine Ben Grubbs. He was very good at RT last year but struggled as expected with elite speed off the edge. Now that he's inside (if he stays there) and won't get tested that way I think he could develop into the best player on that interior trio with Grubbs and Brown.

    3) Stills, agree with Jonboy here. Even with a special teams oriented coach is there really space for two LBs who won't contribute on defence?

    4) Yes - I'll be honest, I wanted him as our head coach from around mid-season, I had my eye on him from a long way out and when things got closer with him I was very excited. However, he showed he didn't want it, Harbaugh showed he did want it and has shown a passion for the job thus far. That's not to discredit Garrett, he's got a plum job lined up in Dallas for a year or two's time, I think it worked out best for all sides concerned.

    5) The team will miss his unhindering insistence on defending his players and never leaving them undefended in the media's firing line. Whatever he might've got wrong he never allowed the media to create an off-field distraction for his players if he could put himself in the firing line. It will help the team's accountability without that, but there were many occassions where this tactic really helped the team on the field.

    6) Yes, some time around thanksgiving.

    7) Cornerback, first and foremost. Our starters are slowing and fragile, our depth is adequate for nickel and dime sets, but woefully inadequate when pressed into a starting role with the way we don't adjust our schemes to account for inferior talent at corner. Fabian Washington doesn't fill me with confidence as our big move considering he couldn't keep a starting spot ahead of Stanford Routt and other such luminaries in Oakland last year. Hopefully a resurgent pass rush from our D-line helps him out.

    8) 6-10, third in the division and within three games of the division winner, just falling away with a tough three game stretch to end the season.




  4. #4
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    The WRs and O-line. It'll be interesting to see who prevails at the 4th receiver spot from what we've drafted because I want to know what else we can bring to the table on offense in terms of throwing the ball. The O-line - well the LT and RT are far from nailed on I would imagine. It'll be very interesting to see if Gaither can start to live up to some of the physical promise he brings and if Terry can finally adapt to the other side and beat out the lower round picks we drafted.

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    Demetrius Williams. Injury hampered him last year, but in the first season we saw some great acrobatic catches from him and something down the field. If he stays healthy it would be great to see him perform. On D I would hope a bit more weight on Barnes' frame means he can bring more to his pass-rushing, at times he just swept past people last year, at other times it was concerning watching him get blown out of the play.

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    I'll go with Stills as well.

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    I like what Harbaugh has brought and I'm glad he's in Baltimore. We need a guy to change attitudes and push these athletes. I'm not entirely sure Garrett would have done that, but I couldn't say for sure because he's not here doing his thing. Frankly, I'd completely forgotten about Garrett because Harbaugh's attitude has impressed me so much.

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    Agree with the previous poster, his paternal protection of players on his team was unfaltering. That said his players didn't always pay him back so maybe that needed changing.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    Depends on if we are in a losing season halfway through. I think if we are at the bottom of the AFCN two thirds in then Flacco will start to see time.

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    The Pass Rush & Coverage chicken/egg scenario concerns me. Injuries killed the pass rush and coverage last year. Without Pryce we didn't look like a serious threat so we need him healthy and Barnes to really come along. In coverage we need the top three CBs to stay healthy too.

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and where they will finish in the AFC North.

    I think we'll get 6 or 7 wins and finish 3rd.




  5. #5
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    I think watching our OL develop will be interesting...we have a pretty good idea who it's going to be, but almost every spot is up for grabs. It'll be interesting to watch the "competition" between Nakamura and Zbikowski. I think both will make the team, but one will definitley be used more than the other, and both are exciting players to watch. The nickel back compeition will be interesting...Can Fabian Washington steal the job from Corey Ivy? Can Frank Walker? Also, as a side note, it'll be fun to watch Piotr Czech? pushing Stover at K. I can't see anyone displacing Matt, but if this Piotr guy is as good as I've heard, we might have the first legitimate Stover replacement candidate in a long time.

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    If I had to pick one with the best shot at breaking out, I'd say Jason Brown or Fabian Washington (if you think Jason Brown has already broken out)

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    There is going to be a few left out in the CB battle, with CMAC, Rolle, Ivy, Walker, Washington, Pittman, and Martin fighting for 5-6 CB spots. I can't see this team keeping all 3 of Ivy, Washington, and Walker. Dan Cody is walking a very thin line right now as well.

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    YES!

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    The Ravens players will miss his coddling. The Ravens fans will probably miss his experience when the game is on the line.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    Only when we're out of the playoff picture, and even then, we'll still be very careful about forcing him into a tight spot.

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    The Passing Game, from pass blocking, to WR play, to QB PLAY! Also, our pass defense and locker room mentality

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.

    I'll say 8-8, 3rd in AFC North (Pitt and Cleveland are just too strong to beat out this year).
    .
    .
    “When I think of a Baltimore Raven - we go in there, we take your lunch box, we take your sandwich, we take your juice box, we take your applesauce, and we take your spork and we break it. And we leave you with an empty lunch. That’s the Baltimore Raven way.” - Steve Smith Sr.


    Call me a Special Teams coach again. I dare you! I double dare you, MFer!




  6. #6
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    Quote Originally Posted by TL24x7 View Post

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    #3 Wide reciever between Clayton and Williams


    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    Troy Smith - I don't think anybody gets it ...Yet.

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    Cory Ross

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    Maybe. Garrett could be a great coach but the Harbaugh hire brought with it a brain trust with a sense of collaboration. Something sorely needed and missed here.

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    Early on, a sense of family. I hate to say it but Billick will be soon forgotten by all.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    No.

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    Jared Gaither and an offensive playbook deep enough to keep defenses off balance at least enough to get some first downs. Follwed very closely by a very thin corner situation. (but we're due a little luck there aren't we?)

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.
    10-6 2nd to the Browns (although I think we split with them)




  7. #7

    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.

    The Ravens will reclaim the divison in 2008. Not by 5 games like in 06, but by 2 or 3. 11-5.

    The Steelers have the same questions at O line, and less talent on defense than we do. I doubt they are nearly the same running team without Fanecca, and I expect our LBs to get reaquainted with Ben R as long as our CBs stay healthy. I still think they will be good, perhaps 9-7, but they have the toughest schedule I have ever seen.

    The Clowns are not nearly as good as the national media is making them out to be. They only had to beat the Bungles at home to make the playoffs, and DA threw 4 picks. They were terrible at DT, and now should be pretty good, but they had decent corners last year, this year they dont. They will still be terrible on defense, not like the Bungles, but still really bad in coverage. They also get 2 tougher teams on the schedule than we do. Right now I see 8-8 for them.

    The Bungles are back where they belong in the basement. Ocho Stinko and TJ are most likley going to have mysteriious lingering hamstring injuries, and they still have no one on the front 4 who is going to routinley beat 1 on 1 blocking. Palmer could have another great fantasy football season, but I expect him to take a beating if his top WR is not out there drawing double coverage. 6-10.

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?
    #2 RB. I think Cory Ross is a great 3rd down back, and I know Ray Rice is going to take over eventually, but I expect to see Ross hold down the job for a while at least. I expect to see all 3 top RBs getting carries in a close to 60/40 RP ratio.

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season? Willis McGahee. Cameron brings a much better running attack than Billick could ever scheme up. Ronnie Brown was leading the NFL in yardage before he got hurt, and the Phins had almost no talent around him and a really bad O line. LT also is awsome, but Cam's playcalling and blocking schemes ussually got him a nice crease to exploit. Willis may not get as much out those holes as LT did, but I expect to see close to 1600 yards and 14 TDs if he stays healthy.

    Much of Willis's break out seaon will be because of the development of what I expect to be an awsome interior blocking core of Brown, Grubbs, Yanda with McClain leading the way. Flynn was a great guy, but he was not capable of getting a good push vs big DTs. Now we should be able to pull, trap and counter w/o stepping on the QB.




  8. #8
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?
    Lots of interesting areas, but I'll be most interested in following WR and CB.
    I liked what I saw of Willis last year, and we have a lot of iffy potential now at that position to see how it shakes out - hoping a "Marques Colston" will emerge in the new crop. CB will be watching to see how much of the burnt toast is salvageable from last year and how much is replaced.

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?
    Barnes, McClain, and Williams in some order.

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?
    I'm still out on a limb re Justin Greene... I'll be watching how good Nordin and Rice/Daniels are at picking up blitzes, if they start looking solid, JG's bubble is thinner. I see a jamb at RB even with Anderson and Musa gone, and see some tough decisions in the offing for "extra/luxury" slots, like Piotr and Stills.
    I can see us adding a TE late, so Nordin had better know blitz assignments if he wants a better shot at the roster as the FB part of FB/TE. I don't see Prude lasting over Ivy (or even one of the safties)

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?
    Yep. I don't think his public-speak would have resonated so well with us as BB did or Harbs appears to... an important but minor thing. And I feel special-teams is an area that can show a lot faster/more improvement than offense... so Cam/Garrett is maybe a wash and we are better off because of ST.

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?
    The sense of open candor and the lack of a knife for anothers back, that man stepped up and took hits he didn't have to.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?
    Only near the end of the season (barring injuries) if we are out of it, getting something similar to what Troy is coming into camp with this year.

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?
    Injury to Trevor with no one behind him with any thought of needing a double-team.

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.
    Hopefully min of 8 wins but I can see +/- 2 either way. I'll be shocked with less than 6 or more than 10.




  9. #9

    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    CB: Rolle vs Washington

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    Offensive: Demetrius Williams; Defensive: Barnes / Washington

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    Adam Terry / Samari Rolle. I like Rolle alot still, but if Fabian Washington steps up like I expect him to, Samari will slide to nickel and be better off for it.

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    Absolutely. Harbaugh will change "the culture around this team" with much needed success.

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    His hilarious press conferences. The man is a master with the mic in front of him.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    Hopefully not starting, but if so its because the season is down the drain and he is ready to go: Week 12 at home vs Philly

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    QB protection, overall team health

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.

    10-6 tied for 1st




  10. #10

    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    yea!
    Last edited by MegaMustache; 07-18-2008 at 06:22 PM.




  11. #11
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    Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    He I forgot about Dan Cody. He was my Boy but he's always on the bubble.




  12. Re: Ravens Pre-camp outlook

    1. Besides the obvious competition at quarterback, which camp battles do you expect to be the most intriguing?

    #2 Receiver: Williams vs. Clayton (c'mon Clayton)
    Both OT's (Gaithers vs. Terry vs. Yanda vs. Cousins vs. etc.)

    2. Which Raven is primed for a break out season?

    I'd say Ngata but I feel as if he's broken out. I think that it will be somebody on the offensive line.

    3. Which Ravens' veteran is closest to being on the bubble, i.e. losing his roster spot?

    Dan Cody. I don't think that I need to explain.

    4. Looking back does Jason Garrett's rejection of the Ravens' head coaching job appear to be a blessing in disguise?

    Blessing. I don't believe that big name coaches always produce winning teams. I feel that Harbough's attitude, emphasis on team, backed behind a great team of coordinators and coaches will yield positive change.

    5. What will the Ravens miss most about Brian Billick?

    His attitude and bluntness towards the press.

    6. Will Joe Flacco start as some point during the season and if so, at what point during the season will he get the call?

    Mid-season if at all. I'm hoping that Troy Smith earns the job and succeeds.

    7. What are the Ravens most pressing concerns in your opinion?

    Offensive line. No quarterback, huge playbook, great play-calling will prevail without protection.

    8. Predict the team's number of wins in '08 and their where they will finish in the AFC North.

    9-7. I know it's a safe, slightly-optimistic bet but I feel that the team will do much better than '07 but not as dominate (and lucky) as '06.




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