On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jul. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Live Training Camp Presser Ravens coordinators, Marc Trestman, Dean Pees and Jerry Rosburg will address the media at the conclusion of practice.
  • Mon., Aug. 01, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Training Camp Military Appreciation Day The first M&T Bank Stadium practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. This practice – free and open to all fans – coincides with the Ravens’ annual Military Appreciation Day. Approximately 3,500 special seats will be reserved for active service members and veterans who present valid military identification upon check-in at the stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 6:00 PM EDT Training Camp Fireworks Night On Saturday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m., the second M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the organization’s third-annual Fireworks Night, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show.
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Mon., Oct. 03, 2016 5:00 PM EDT A Purple Evening A Purple Evening is back! Join Purple on Monday, October 3rd for on-field drills, player appearances and autographs, giveaways, and much more! Tickets will go on sale soon. Check Purple-Just for Women on Facebook for the latest club and event information.
  • Sun., Oct. 23, 2016 7:30 AM EDT Purple Away Game Trip Up the Jersey Turnpike we go! Hit the road with the Purple Club on Sunday, October 23rd to watch our Baltimore Ravens take on the New York Jets for a 1:00 p.m. game at MetLife Stadium. Don't miss your chance to join the only NFL women's fan club to travel into unfamiliar territory!
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 2:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016

News

Print
RSS

Matt Elam: I Let Myself Down This Year

Posted Jan 2, 2014

The first-round pick had to make the transition from strong safety to free safety.


By all indications, rookie safety Matt Elam had a solid rookie campaign.

He earned a starting job by Week 3 and finished the season ranked fourth on the team with 77 tackles.

But in the eyes of the Ravens’ first-round pick, his first NFL season was a disappointment.

“I don’t think I played good at all,” Elam said after cleaning out his locker this week. “I have very high expectations for myself, and of the goals and expectations that I set for myself this year, I probably met three out of 10 of my goals. I feel like I let myself down this season.”

Elam has been a star throughout his football career. He was a prized recruit coming out of high school and was an All-American by his junior year at Florida. The Ravens then took him with the No. 32 overall pick this past April.

Elam came into this season with the difficult responsibility of following in the footsteps of legendary safety Ed Reed, a future Hall of Famer.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself because I’m a very hard critic,” Elam said. “I feel like I had to come here and I had a lot to prove because they chose me first and they were expecting big things from me. I put a lot of pressure on myself.

“You want to come in and do that job and do what they expect you to do.”

The biggest area where Elam has stressed he wants to improve is getting his hands on the football. He had just one interception this year, which came at the end of a Monday Night Football victory against the Detroit Lions.

Elam was known for his ball-hawking skills in college, but he wasn’t able make those game-changing plays his rookie year. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he is “on board” with hoping Elam comes up with some more turnovers next year, but stressed that Elam played well this year.

“The thing I pointed out to him is when you’re a safety, you better be solid first,” Harbaugh said. “For the most part, he was solid back there. He can build on that, and he will.”

Part of the change for Elam this season was that he transitioned to playing free safety, rather than the strong safety spot he played in college. At free safety, he did not have as many opportunities to come up in the box to make stops on short passes and the running game.

Starting strong safety James Ihedigbo is a free agent now, so Elam could play more in the box next season if Ihedigbo signs elsewhere. Harbaugh said that the Ravens like their safeties to be able to play either spot, which Elam has shown he can do.  

“Safeties are more interchangeable these days,” Harbaugh said. “Matt is pretty darn good when he is running to the ball and making tackles. I think that’s definitely a strength for him, and he showed that toward the end of the year.”

As Elam heads into the offseason, he plans to take some time away from the game to relax and allow his body to heal. 

“It was just a learning experience,” Elam said. “I’m going to make sure I improve and I’m very confident because I know how hard I work, and I know what I learned, and I know the small things that it takes to be a great player.”

Related Tags

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos