C.J. Mosley Riles Up Fans By Rooting For Duke
Oh C.J., to be so young and confused.
How could you? And why?
There's one sports team Ravens fans and Marylanders despise more than any other: the Pittsburgh Steelers. But there are a few challengers to that throne depending on the season. And in March and early April, Duke is right up there.
That's why when Ravens sensational rookie linebacker and Alabama alum/native C.J. Mosley took to Twitter with no shame to declare his love for the Pukies (I'm a Terp) during their national championship victory, it wasn't received too well.
The first response was, "no stop," then a "no C.J. No," and a "simmer down." One fan even said they aren't going to buy Mosley's jersey anymore. Well that's a strong stance. Let's not go too far here, people.
Mosley did get the last laugh when Duke took home the national championship with a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin.
Check out some of his tweets with fans, and even former Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes:
Deciphering Bisciotti's Draft Comments
Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti spoke at length on what he would like to see, and what he predicts may happen, in this year's NFL Draft during his conference call with PSL owners last week.
Here are three quick highlights (which we've written about at length):
- He hopes for a cornerback to drop to Baltimore in the first round
- The Ravens aren't “desperate” for a wide receiver and can wait until the middle or later rounds to find a speedster
- He wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens take a pass rusher at No. 26, and pass rusher is the team's "quietest need."
So how much of that is truth and how much is a smokescreen? The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec tried to help sort that out for fans.
Zrebiec noted that it will be General Manager Ozzie Newsome who makes the final call on draft day, and that "nothing that is said between now and the first round" will change the fact that Baltimore will take the highest player on the board regardless of position or need.
"I don't disagree at all with Bisciotti's assessment about pass rusher],” Zrebiec wrote. “We’ve written all this before - **Pernell McPhee** was a huge factor for the Ravens last year and he’s gone. **Terrell Suggs** and [Elvis Dumervil are 32 and 31 years old, respectively. Courtney Upshaw will be a free agent following the 2015 season and he has just three sacks in as many pro seasons.
"Throw in the fact that the Ravens haven't made any obvious upgrades to their secondary and you can see how much another dynamic pass rusher would help take pressure off the back end."
Zrebiec also points out that the top part of the draft is "loaded" with outside linebackers and defensive ends with pass-rushing skills. Some of the top talents that could be available are Nebraska's Randy Gregory, Missouri's Shane Ray, Kentucky's Alvin "Bud" Dupree, UCLA's Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Virginia's Eli Harold.
"It seems more likely that a top pass rusher falls to No. 26, rather than one of the top available corners (Trae Waynes or Marcus Peters)," Zrebiec wrote. "Again, I don't think a pass rusher is the Ravens' biggest need, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's their first pick."
So what about at wide receiver? Are the Ravens really not going to take a wideout early in this year's draft? The Ravens haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since Mark Clayton in 2005.
"Bisciotti's comments about how he's not 'desperate' for a wide receiver fall in line with the team's approach to the free agent market at that position. As a ton of pass catchers have found new homes over the past month either via trades or free agency, the Ravens have seemingly not been ultra aggressive in trying to land any of them," Zrebiec wrote.
Zrebiec says a big part of that is the team's limited salary cap space. But it's also "evident" that the Ravens have a lot of confidence in up-and-coming young receivers Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken and Jeremy Butler.
"The Ravens still will likely draft a wide receiver pretty early and they still are monitoring the markets of veteran free agents like Greg Jennings and Michael Crabtree," Zrebiec wrote. "But by now, it's pretty clear that they want to give every opportunity for their own young receivers to step into bigger roles."
Zrebiec isn't the only one who thinks the Ravens still may draft a wide receiver high, despite Bisciotti's comments.
"The Ravens benefit from a draft class of wideouts that might be even deeper than last year's," wrote NFL Media's Marc Sessler. "Still, we'd be surprised to see Baltimore ignore the position beyond the second day of the draft."
Ravens Offense Better Or Worse In 2015?
The Ravens set franchise offensive records last year in yards per game (364.9) and points per game (25.6). They leapt from 25th in the NFL in scoring to 14th.
But will that ascension continue? Or will it go backwards?
"In a league where offensive numbers continue to rise, it will be important for the Ravens to keep pace," wrote CSN Baltimore's Clifton Brown.
Brown points out that eight of the top 10 teams in scoring last season made the playoffs, including the eventual Super Bowl participants, New England and Seattle.
He says the Ravens have "obvious building blocks" with a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Joe Flacco, returning Pro Bowl running back Justin Forsett and a strong offensive line that remains intact.
"But can the Ravens compensate for the losses of their top deep threat, Torrey Smith, and their most productive tight end, Owen Daniels?" he asks. "Will new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman pick up where former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak left off, or will the change lead to growing pains that linger into the season?
"The Ravens took a major step forward offensively in 2014. One of their major offseason challenges is to make sure their offense doesn't take a step back."
- As we are less than a month away from the draft, here are the 10 Commandments for an incoming NFL rookie. [Fox Sports]
- Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw is expected to have a bigger role in 2015. [CSN Baltimore]
- Here's a few more players that are expected to attend the Ravens’ local prospect day. [The Baltimore Sun]
- And here's more Ravens player reaction from last night's NCAA championship…