6 OTA Standouts

d2f2531a1c104351a8bf45e3086f091c.jpg


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.

RB Ray Rice
5-foot-8, 205 pounds
The Skinny: Rice could have rested on his laurels after his first Pro Bowl campaign, but that's just not his personality. He committed himself to getting bigger in the weight room and taking even more of a leadership role in the locker room. Rice was at every conditioning session and drew raves from his coaches for his dedication.  The former second-round draft pick looks sturdier than before.
Improvements:Once the pads come on, Rice's job will be to show that he can string two stellar seasons together as a playmaker in the open field and a bull between the tackles.  Given the opportunity last year, Rice was explosive.  A solid training camp would make the case to place a lot of offensive responsibility on Rice's shoulders once again.
Quotable:"You couldn't have a better offseason than what Ray Rice is having." – Head Coach John Harbaugh

DB K.J. Gerard
6-foot-1, 187 pounds
The Skinny:A pleasant surprise as a practice squadder who made it to the active roster as a special teams player last year, Gerard is moving to his college position of cornerback after mainly seeing time at safety in 2009.  With injuries at the position pushing him up the depth chart, Gerard acquitted himself well on the practice field.  His size and length are assets, and Gerard got his hands on a few passes during practices open to the media.
Improvements: Gerard is lanky so he will be tested in the physical part of coverage in training camp.  As a safety, one mainly has to lay out hits and rely on ball skills. Close to the line of scrimmage, Gerard needs to show he has the right technique and leverage to win the battle with a receiver.
Quotable: "Last year, learning safety was a whole new game for me. After learning safety, coming back to corner is a little bit easier… But my game isn't to a level where I want it to be at or where I expect it to be at." – Gerard

DT Terrence Cody
6-foot-4, 347 pounds
The Skinny:Sure, everyone knew Cody would impress with his sheer size, but after a few months with Ravens coaches, the second-round draft pick is beginning to show that he is more than just a run-stuffer.  Cody has shown up on passing downs using finesse, especially at a time when the non-contact drills don't allow him to truly take advantage with his strength.  And, Coach Harbaugh made a point to compliment Cody's aptitude when it comes to the playbook.
Improvements:By all accounts, Cody is maintaining his weight under 350 pounds, but that could be a concern with just over a month without real on-field action.  Cody's physical conditioning will be closely monitored in late July, when the swampy heat of Westminster, Md., tires out even the skill positions.  
Quotable:"All the things we hoped, all the things we thought we saw either on film or at our workout or heard by word of mouth from coaches we respect… all those things up to this point have been coming through." – Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

WR Donte' Stallworth
6-feet, 200 pounds
The Skinny: Even though he spent a year out of football, the word on Stallworth was that he still had his trademark speed.  It only took a few practices to see that the rumors were true.  Media didn't really get to see Stallworth sprint full-throttle, but he did have great acceleration off the line of scrimmage and shift into a higher gear if needed.  Stallworth's dedication to putting in hours with quarterback Joe Flacco early in the offseason was key in what seemed to be a comfort level with the offense.
Improvements:  Stallworth must continue to keep his head in the playbook as a potential key member of the offense.  He has said that there already is a comfort level for him, but it will be a different speed when live bullets are involved.
Quotable:"I feel good about where we're going as an offense, but I'm sure we'll get some more time together after OTAs to keep working and make sure we're on the same page.  I feel comfortable, and now I just have to build on that." – Stallworth

CB Domonique Foxworth
5-foot-11, 180 pounds
The Skinny:As the Ravens wait forLardarius Webb and Fabian Washington to recover from season-ending knee injuries, Foxworth remained the team's top corner in OTAs.  And, although he had a fellow veteran in Chris Carr opposite him, it was incumbent upon Foxworth to lead the young group of defensive backs.  Foxworth did just that, making several plays in the secondary and remaining a constant fixture around Ravens headquarters.  
Improvements: Without Webb and Washington, the main thing Foxworth has to monitor is the pressure of a more vaunted role.  Foxworth has said he wasn't happy with his play earlier in the 2009 campaign, but he really played well towards the end of the season.  Now, he needs to be a veteran leader, as well.
Quotable: "I don't think the pressure on me has increased since I first got here.  That's what you have with this defense.  If anything, I feel more comfortable in the system and part of the plan for the future." - Foxworth

OLB Antwan Barnes
6-foot-1, 245 pounds
The Skinny: Barnes could be poised to take the next step in his development.  During this spring's camps, Barnes' quickness off the edge was evident, but he always had that part of the game down.  What did stand out was his apparent comfort with the defense and the trust that came with that.  Barnes was on the field often in key situations and performed well.
Improvements:The Florida International product isn't generally asked to drop in coverage, but if he wants to be an every-down player, he would do well to get better in that aspect. As a speed rusher, Barnes will only benefit from the hiring of outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino.
Quotable: "I'm not thinking too much now.  I used to think a whole lot about where to line up and other stuff.  It's knowing the defense, knowing what to do when the ball is snapped and what to do before it's snapped." - Barnes

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising