On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Dec. 03, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Dec. 03, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST Ravens Report See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.
  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EST Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 12:30 PM EST Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Dolphins vs. Ravens on BaltimoreRavens.com.
  • Sun., Dec. 04, 2016 4:10 PM EST Live Post Game Presser John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following the game.
  • Mon., Dec. 05, 2016 4:00 PM EST Live John Harbaugh Presser Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will address the media.
  • Tue., Dec. 06, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST Purple Wine & Dine The night will include appetizers, a gourmet dinner served in front of each attendee by our stadium chefs, open bar and a custom Ravens giveaway. Ravens players will be in attendance to meet with all attendees, sign autographs, take photographs and mingle throughout the evening.
  • Wed., Dec. 07, 2016 12:30 PM EST Live Press Conference Head coach John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following practice.
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 3:00 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
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.

News

Print
RSS

Matt Elam's Coverage Skills Make Him Total Package

Posted May 1, 2013

Matt Elam played a lot of nickel cornerback at Florida, showing his coverage skills.


Matt Elam’s big hits jump off film.

His tackling prowess and eagerness to, as he put it, “make the receiver be scared,” drew the bulk of the attention immediately after the Ravens drafted him in the first round.

But what shouldn’t be forgotten is how good Elam is in coverage. 

“He makes really impact hits, that’s what everyone sees. But that’s not all he is,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “He’s pretty much the complete safety.”

Elam didn’t play as much safety as one might think at Florida. He was actually often lined up at nickel cornerback.

That would frequently match him up one-on-one over the middle. It’s generally the most difficult part of coverage, and not something many safeties can pull off. Many like to sit back and read, lacking the speed to run with offensive targets.

“They had such confidence in his ability to cover,” Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “He can work over a wide receiver in the slot and has the speed and athleticism to match up with those guys. [Florida] matched him up on tight ends.”

When he wasn’t in man coverage, Elam frequently played closer to the line of scrimmage but still in zone coverage. Hortiz said Elam showed good zone awareness, locating routes coming into his zone and anticipating coverage on the back end.

“He’s a really smart football player,” Hortiz said. “He understands zone concepts.”

Then comes the hands. Elam notched six interceptions in his three years in Gainesville, Fla. Those aren’t staggering numbers, but it doesn’t mean Elam isn’t a ball hawk.

It’s because Florida used fellow safety Josh Evans, who was drafted by the Jaguars in the sixth round, in more of a deep coverage role. Evans had three interceptions last year while Elam notched four.

“He’s certainly capable [of more interceptions],” Hortiz said. “When he does drop deep, he shows the range, he shows route awareness and instincts on the back end. He just wasn’t used as much in that role. He can finish with the ball in the air.”

Ed Reed, the player many will compare Elam to, came to the Ravens as a first-round rookie and made an immediate impact as a ball-hawking safety. He picked off five passes in his first year, seven the next and nine in his third season.

That would be a difficult task for Elam to pull off, particularly because free-agent safety Michael Huff may end up playing more of the deep coverage.

But former Ravens head coach and current FOX analyst Brian Billick sees Elam possessing the same skills.

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