Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

082220-Eisenberg
DE Calais Campbell

Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:

Watching Calais Campbell anchor the D-line, dominate training camp practices and mentor rookies, it becomes harder and harder to believe the Ravens only had to give up a fifth-round draft pick to acquire him. I understand the move was part of a salary purge, but it's almost a criminal steal.

I'm assuming Jimmy Smith shed a dozen or so pounds during the offseason with the idea that he might have to cover more ground if he plays safety. But he is still a highly physical and effective presence when he lines up at cornerback, which is still his primary position.

I see it as commentary on the improvement of the Ravens' wide receivers that they reportedly worked out Dez Bryant and then didn't sign him. They've long relied on such veterans, but after prioritizing the position in the draft for several years, they don't have a glaring need.

Having said that, if a need does arise at wide receiver during the 2020 season, Bryant seemingly could be a good fit with his size, experience and sure hands. He can block, a must, and I don't worry about him becoming a diva-like distraction. Those days surely are over.

The Ravens haven't seen anything early in training camp to dissuade them from believing that they drafted a pair of starting inside linebackers in the first and third rounds in 2020. Malik Harrison just might need a tad more grooming than Patrick Queen, who looks like an immediate starter.

Loved the Marshal Yanda story Bradley Bozeman told the media in a Zoom call. In the final seconds of the home loss to the Browns last year, the offense was on the field and Bozeman and Yanda locked eyes in the disappointed huddle. "Block your (butt) off," Yanda growled.

Rosters always skew young during training camp, when rookies and second-year players crowd the locker room in search of career traction. But even given that, it's pretty startling to see that 47 of the 79 players on the Ravens' current roster are 25 or younger.

The NFL obviously is waiting to see whether the coronavirus pandemic disrupts its season a lot or even a little, but for now, without knowing how that goes, the idea of staging the playoffs in a bubble seems pretty sensible. The bubble concept certainly has worked for basketball and hockey.

Odd Pandemic Fallout: Interesting to hear Miles Boykin explain the benefit of competing against so many Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks in practice day after day at the Under Armour Performance Center. It's definitely helping the Ravens' young receivers, perhaps even more than the experience they'd get in preseason games.

It doesn't guarantee the Ravens anything that their 2020 opponents only had a .438 winning percentage in 2019 (a league low) or that they're only traveling 6,310 miles to their eight road games in 2020 (also a league low). But I'm sure they'll take it.

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