Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
The Ravens' base starting secondary features three first-round picks in Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Earl Thomas. But outlier Chuck Clark (sixth round, 2017) signed the most recent contract extension and wears the green-dot helmet, sending an important message to all fringe players: Good things can happen to you, too.
Clark looms as especially important in Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale's 2020 blueprint as the unit could have at least four new starters and an influx of rookie contributors. As the signal-caller, Clark will be prominent in making sure everyone is lined up correctly and on the same page.
Interesting to hear Calais Campbell say on a Friday media Zoom call that you have to "earn the right to rush the passer." Meaning you have to stop the run first. Listening to Campbell, it sure seems he believes he was brought here to do that first: stop the run.
I was surprised defensive lineman Daylon Mack was waived just 15 months after being drafted, as the Ravens seldom part with draft picks so soon, preferring to give them more developmental time. But I guess the drafting of two more D-linemen in 2020 hinted that such a move was possible.
Mack's departure leaves Justin Ellis as the only veteran among the reserves projected to back up D-line starters Campbell, Derek Wolfe and Brandon Williams. As of now, the other reserves besides Ellis are rookies Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington. A veteran could always be added if one is deemed necessary.
Baseball's coronavirus issues don't mean the bubble concept being used by other leagues is the only way to stage a successful season. European soccer leagues re-started and completed their seasons with few issues and players not in bubbles. It can be done with sound protocols and players buying in.
Now that they're down to an 80-man roster for training camp, the Ravens won't have to make many more cuts. A 53-man roster and expanded 16-man practice squad (as negotiated by the owners and players' union) means they get to keep 69 of the 80 players.
I'm sure the front office quietly cheered when rookie tight end Jacob Breeland cleared waivers, enabling the Ravens to keep him and take charge of his recovery from the knee injury that hurt his draft status. Breeland looked like a great undrafted find until the pandemic set back his rehab.
Sixty-seven NFL players opted out of the 2020 season over health concerns, which is slightly over two per team. And two was the Ravens' total, so they're in line with the league average. Given that the Patriots had eight and the Browns had five, the Ravens will gladly take it.
These wise words from Willie Snead IV (in a media Zoom call this week) belong on a T-shirt: "You have to be a pro. You have to know what's on the line right now. The season is on the line. If guys test positive, that's going to be a problem."