On Now
Coming Up
  • 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 Wants To Get His Hands On The Ball

Posted Oct 24, 2013

The rookie has seen opponents test him early, but his study may pay off in the second half of the season.


Matt Elam is used to making big plays.

During his All-American days at the University of Florida, Elam had a reputation for delivering big hits and coming up with timely interceptions.

But through his first seven NFL games, the first-round pick has been relatively quiet. He quickly earned a starting job and has drawn praise from the coaching staff, but he has yet to notch an interception or come up with a game-changing play.

Elam expects that to change in the second half of the season.

“More plays will be made,” he said. “More hands will be on the ball.”

Elam won a starting job over veteran Michael Huff after the first game of the season, and he has 30 tackles, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery this year. 

“I feel like I’m playing alright, but I’m not playing to the level that I think I should be,” Elam said. “That’s just about me keeping on improving, studying and learning the game. I feel like the second half of the season it’s going to be that because of the way I’m learning the game and the way I’m studying.”

Elam admits that he is his own worst critic. He has been a star throughout his football career, and he came into the NFL with big expectations.

He impressed the Ravens from the time he arrived in Baltimore, and the coaches have praised him for his intensity, passion and approach to his craft.

“I love the way he plays,” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. “He plays hard. He’s a go-getter.”

One of the challenges of adjusting to the NFL is that Elam has seen opposing teams test him. After taking over the starting job in Week 2, Elam noticed that quarterbacks wanted to target him in coverage.

The 5-foot-10 safety has a reputation of being a big hitter in the run game, so teams have tried to exploit him with deep shots over the middle of the field.

“I’ve been seeing that every game,” Elam said. “They know how aggressive I am. They know I want to come down and hit a guy. The first couple games, they were really trying to go at me and get guys behind me, but I feel like I know it’s one of my weaknesses and I’ve been working on it. I did a lot better the last game.”

Elam got beat deep over the middle of the field by Browns tight end Jordan Cameron in his first game as a starter, but since then he has done a better job keeping plays in front of him.

“Sometimes, he’s got to learn to play a little better under control,” Pees said. “This isn’t Florida, where you can fly around there and wallop somebody. These guys can make you miss. Sometimes, you’ve just got to learn to play a little more under control.”

As Elam looks ahead to the second half of the season, the way he expects to separate himself is in his preparation. He has placed an emphasis on film study and reading offenses, which comes with experience in the league. 

“It all falls back on me studying and knowing what’s going on,” he said. “It’s all about how you prepare yourself. Everybody has the same athletic ability. Everybody runs fast. Everybody is big. Everybody is strong. You have to separate yourself with knowledge.”

The Ravens have high hopes for Elam heading into the second half of the season, and he could prove be a vital piece of the defense down the stretch.

“The more he plays, the better he’s going to be,” Pees said. “He loves playing football – that’s what I love about him. He enjoys the game. It means a lot to him. He studies hard and works hard in practice.”

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