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  1. #1
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    Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades



    Looking over the roster from last year to this year I feel like we are already a much improved team Here is why.

    New Players

    Anquan Boldin
    No surprise here, the bigest news in Baltimore since Natty Boh started being make elsewhere... Boldin is an immediate upgrade to our passing game. Even with Derrick Mason floating in the wind right now. Boldin is an upgrade at the current points in their careers to Mason, now if the team can re-sign Mason that is a night an day improvement over Clayton.

    Donte Stallworth
    We don't know what we are going to get out of this guy, he hasn't been consistant or very successful lately. However I still think he is an improvement over Clayton. Now if the stars allign in our favor this could be huge. With his recent suspension, apparent new found taking responsibility for his life and mistakes, and knowing this is his last chance to prove he can be productive in this league he could be a very pleasant surprise. Here's hoping. Even if that doesn't happen I think that just having him in the #2 slot (assuming Mason doesn't come back) will not allow teams to focus so much on Boldin b/c of Stallworth's big play speed.

    Current Roster players that should improve

    Paul Kruger
    The team letting players like Bannan(I know Bannan is not an end) and Edwards shop the free agent market makes me wonder if the team has seen something good in Kruger. Has he put on muscle weight without sacrificing speed? He played relatively well in limited time ont he field last year near the end of the year. Yes he made some rookie mistakes but watching him you could see he wouldn't be outworked on the field. His physical tool set may be the weakness but I have seen hard working guys excel with the same issues. You only have to look at Kelley Gregg to see the same thing. Or McCrary if you want to compare more similar postions. I think Kruger contributes much more this year and makes some big plays

    Dwan Landry
    He has become enemy number 1 at the safety position for a lot of Baltimore fans. I disagree. Yes I will agree he played terribly the first part of last season. However he was great before he hurt his neck and I thought he played outstanding down the stretch last year. I only see him either continuing his strong play fromt he end of the year last year, or maybe even getting a little better with more time in Mattison's D and being a full year past the neck injury.

    Ladarius Webb
    Reports are that he is ahead of schedule on his rehab fromt he knee injury. If he is somehow ready for the start of the season this will be huge. He showed last year that he will be an outstanding corner in this league. Now a year past his rookie year and once he trusts his knee we will see big things from this kid. Now even if he is only available for the second half, this will be a big boost during the playoff push.

    Fabian Washington
    Just having him in linup is an improvement over Carr and Walker. Does anyone know how his knee is?

    Danell Ellerbe
    This guy started playing really well in a starting capacity at the end of the year. Another undrafted hit for Ozzie. He was very raw last year and may be still but he will improve with knowledge and experience starting this year.

    Terell Suggs
    Here's hoping Suggs will be motivated and show up to camp in shape this year after signing the big contract. I am not holding my breath. However he played much better at the end of the year and in the playoffs last year. I think just participating in camp this year will make him better than the beginning of last year.

    Foxworth
    Played much better at the end of last year. Forget about the first half with this guy last year. I think what we saw from him after the Minnesota game is what we will see from him going forward.

    Antwan Barnes
    Barnes showed some more pass rushing ability at the end of last year and I think the coaching staff was impressed. He got more and more playing time on passing downs at the end of last year. I think is out of the "Doghouse" and will be getting after the QB more this year.

    Michael Oher
    He was great last year and is only going to get better this year. That's all that needs to be said.

    Marshall Yanda
    What a force he was on the line at the end of last year and now he will be able to start the season without health concerns.

    Finally
    Joe Flacco
    More playmakers at receiver, another year of experience. I think he will figure out the more complex defenses teams were showing him in the second half that held his performance down. And his ankle and other injuries should be gone coming into this season.


    Possible Returning Players

    Derrick Mason
    How much of an improvement would Mason be over Clayton? Nice thought huh? Now forget about even that comparison and think about how much of an improvement Derrick Mason would be as a # 2 across from Boldin than a #1 Across from Clayton. Think Mason would no longer be double teamed, and would no longer be the sole focus of the opposing secondary. So if Mason comes back this improvement in the passing game will step up two levels.

    Mason NEEDS to be re-signed.

    Dwan Edwards
    Edwards played very well at the End position after replacing Pryce. I think that improvement will continue and he could be a force on the line. Maybe not as good as Pryce a few years ago but maybe good enough to give Suggs more one on one matchups.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Maybe add Zibby to the list, last year was hope that he could help, this year we know he can hold the position without being a liability.

    Still have very similar questions on JMcClain, Gooden, Cousins, not an encouraging sign.
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  3. #3

    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Cundiff was not on the roster at the beginning of last year, either.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).




  4. #4
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Not sure if Washington is a improvement over Carr or not. Carr is a better tackler and towards the end of the season he got burned about as much as washington would have.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Assuming Washington is healthy, he is an improvement over Carr. Carr came on well at the end, but Washington is still a better CB. I'd say the improvement would hopefully come with Carr playing nickel better than he did at the start last year, so less "playing catchup" in the first few games.

    I agree with adding Zbi and Nakamura to that list. I think there's a good chance we see Ed getting spelled for some defensive snaps to rest him and I know Nakamura was primed to get some nice reps in the D when he had his injury. Both those guys are nice untapped talent which could really breakout this year, assuming they get good reps in.

    Another guy we all forget, Jalen Parmele. When Webb went down, he stepped up his game as a KR. I'd be interested to see if we maybe prime him to take over the return duties, since Webb has a bigger role in the secondary when he's healthy, and Carr is probably better as a PR.

    As a side note, it'll be interesting to see what happens with Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain this year. Both kind've gotten forgotten for their somewhat lackluster play last season (I know Gooden did have a couple nice plays with running down a WR or something, but certainly had less impact than Ellerbe at the end of the season)
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    “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.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    I agree an that is why I added Washington to the list. Even if he and Carr are even it adds better depth to the position which as we have seen in the last two years is really needed.

    I didn't add Parmele b/c I don't think he adds more to the return game than Webb did. They are about even on that except that Webb has more speed to take it to the house. Where I agree with this as an improvement is that we won't be putting a starter or even a 2nd teamer out to return kicks.

    Gooden to me is a mystery. He has all sorts of athletic skills but I think he is too small and fast to be a MLB. They should work on moving him outside to use his speed to rush the passer and keep up with TE's more.

    McClain shows promise, I think he was very raw when we brought him in and is still learning the position. Ellerbe seems be more athletic than McClain. I thought McClain did good 2 years ago when he was rushing the passer, they need to allow him to do that more. He could be a good situational rusher.

    I agree with the Zibby assessment. He played very well replacing Reed last year. I don't know about Nakamura b/c I haven't seen him play safety very much. Always nice to have quality depth.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    I know that Nakamura seemed to impress more in 2008's TC than Zbi, which is odd because he's a 6th rounder and you expected Zbi as a 3rd rounder to outplay him.

    I'd say I think Zbi has a bit of an edge on him now, but I think Nakamura was definitley impressing. I know in the game where he got injured, the commentators were all saying Harbaugh was mentioning Nakamura getting extra snaps on defense that week.
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    “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!




  8. #8
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    The reason I wrote this is because I am really excited about the way our roster looks already going into next year and it's only going to get better.

    Only 6 months and 1 day until the NFL Season opening game...
    • Section 133 for eternity!
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  9. #9

    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    WTF? No Jared Gaither in your list of guys destined to improve???

    Legitimately I think you're a little too hopeful with some of this. Some guys should be improved, but not a whole lot vs. last year. Ellerbe certainly has a lot of room to grow and looks to me like a young Bart Scott. Kruger hopefully will get better and earn more playing time. Landry has pretty much nowhere to go but up...I totally don't agree with any assessment that calls him "outstanding" at any point last year, though at least he wasn't playing terrible football toward the end of the season. Across the whole season though? He was almost inarguably one of the worst starting safeties in the NFL. It's certainly possible Zibby takes his starting spot this coming season. Oher is a no-brainer to likely improve.

    Webb and Washington are big question marks. While they both have room to improve - Webb because he was a rookie with great signs of promise, Washington cause he didn't play well last year - both should be regarded as big risks to contribute less in '10 than they did in '09. The injuries are a significant factor that could inhibit them, not just in playing time but also making them not as effective on the field. Landry last season is a good example of this.

    Suggs is unlikely to improve. He's been in the league something like six years now. Hopefully he'll be more productive. But honestly I think for him to do so, it would only happen if Kruger plays much better as an edge-rusher, or we get someone else that shows more than what we got out of the guy on the other side of Suggs in '09.

    And then you've gotta expect some steps down from some guys. Gregg, Birk, Heap, Pryce, Lewis and Reed are all on the down-sides of their careers and getting very close to the end. Is this the year they fall off the cliff in performance? Mason may not even be back. We also would likely be worse off next year if we wind up trading Gaither.

    Overall, depending how the draft shakes out, we should be a better team next year than we were this year. But we should probably expect the defense to take a step back while the offense takes a step forward.

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  10. #10

    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Suggs better be better. He only has to lose 15 pounds to do so.




  11. #11
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by pyite32 View Post
    I didn't add Parmele b/c I don't think he adds more to the return game than Webb did. They are about even on that except that Webb has more speed to take it to the house. Where I agree with this as an improvement is that we won't be putting a starter or even a 2nd teamer out to return kicks.
    Valid point, but I was looking at your post as comparing points in time, meaning what we were looking at going into last year vs where we are now.

    Last year at this time, we didn't have Webb yet, and even after we did, we didn't know he would move ahead of Carr on KO return. As far as we knew, Carr was our return guy.
    So a case can be made to add Parmele, we know that we have a solid option as KR which we didn't learn until late in the year. Now we know we have 3 that can do it (Carr, Webb, Parmele), an improvement over what we were seeing last year
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  12. #12
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    Re: Beginning of this year vs. last year - Roster upgrades

    That's a good point. I was comparing points in time (or trying to) I got a bit off track with that I guess.
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    • I know... The family resemblance is uncanny.
    • START WEARING PURPLE!!!!





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