High Hopes For 'Baby Ed Reed'


Omar Brown has made a name for himself with his playmaking ability in the preseason the last two years.

The undrafted safety out of Marshall came up with five turnovers in the preseason his rookie year, and ultimately ended up earning a spot on the practice squad. He got called up to the active roster midway through last year and finished the season on the 53-man squad.

Brown had another strong training camp this year, earning the nickname "Baby Ed Reed" from his teammates for his ball-hawking ability.

But even with all the plays Brown seemed to make on defense, he realized that the area where he needed the most improvement was on special teams. He spent the offseason and first eight weeks on the practice squad this year honing his skills as a special teamer, and the work paid off as Brown was re-called to the active roster on Wednesday.

"I knew coming off last season that was something I had to work on," Brown said. "I wasn't so up to date with a lot of things [on special teams]. So* *now I [have] had a lot of practice time, reps and various looks, so I was ready for it."

The Ravens moved up Brown and fellow safety Brynden Trawick after cutting veterans Michael Huff and Marcus Spears. The two young safeties will most likely make their immediate contributions on special teams.  

"It will give us a chance to bolster that area a little bit," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We think they both have tremendous upside on defense and [can give] special teams immediate help."

Brown and Trawick will provide depth at safety behind veteran James Ihedigbo and first-round pick Matt Elam. On special teams, they could see time on punt and kickoff coverage, and also the return teams.

"They move me around so much, so it's really hard to tell right now," Brown said. "By the end of the week it will be more definite where I will be."

Brown was one of the final players cut before the season, and he made a strong push for a roster spot after coming up with an interception and forced fumble in the preseason finale. Since getting moved to the practice squad, Brown has focused on improving and held out hope that an opportunity would come his way.

"I gave up trying to figure out how things work as far as the business goes, because you never know," Brown said. "I was just kind of like, if it happens, I'm going to be ready and prepared for it."

Trawick made the active roster at the start of the season, and one was of the surprises of this year's training camp. The undrafted product out of Troy spent two games on the active roster before getting cut and re-signed to the practice squad.

Trawick's biggest gaffe during his time on the active roster came when he crashed into Jacoby Jones on a punt return, knocking Jones out for the next four games with a knee injury. The Ravens ended up moving him to the practice squad as a developmental player, and now he has another chance to make an impact. 

"It's a great feeling knowing that the coaches have faith in me to bring me back up, so now I just have to show them what I got,"  Trawick said.

Trawick and Brown could both suit up for Sunday's game against the Browns, and the Ravens expect them to help make a difference on special teams units that have struggled at times this year.

"These are two good, young safeties," Harbaugh said. "We have high hopes for both of these guys."

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