Marshal Yanda Is Ravens' Best Player?
When you think of the Ravens' best player last year, does guard Marshal Yanda jump to mind?
According to Pro Football Focus, Yanda was far and away the Ravens' best during their Super Bowl season. And, personally, I am a believer that Pro Football Focus (PFF) does some good work.
PFF counted down its list of Top 101 players of 2012, starting with Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh and ending with Houston's J.J. Watt.
Yanda came in at No. 32, one spot behind Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
"For so often the top right guard in the league, nothing changed in 2012," PFF's Khaled Elsayed wrote of Yanda. "As reliable as it gets in pass protection and a powerhouse with his run blocking, there may not be a more reliable player in the league at any position than Yanda. Always gets the job done."
Yanda had a pass blocking efficiency rating of 98.4, the best of all right guards in the league.
It's times like these that make me thankful the Ravens locked him up with a five-year deal in 2011.
The Ravens' next closest player was wide receiver Anquan Boldin at No. 63. Running back Ray Rice (No. 92) was next and quarterback Joe Flacco (No. 100) barely made the list.
What do you all think of the rankings?
Which Undrafted Rookie Do Ravens Value Highest?
The Ravens usually aren't high rollers when it comes to spending on undrafted rookie free agents.
They instead prefer an extensive letter writing campaign, text messages and phone calls from high-ranking members of the organization, including Head Coach John Harbaugh.
But this year, the Ravens upped the ante. And looking at who they spent the biggest money on is an indicator of which undrafted rookies they value most.
The winner is Colorado defensive lineman Will Pericak, who received a $13,500 signing bonus, according to The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.
Pericak (6-foot-3, 296 pounds) logged 207 career tackles for Colorado, including 19 for loss, 7 ½ sacks and five forced fumbles. He did that all despite being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in high school.
Memphis tackle Jordan Devey and Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg each got $10,000 signing bonuses. Devey is a 6-foot-6 second-team All-Conference USA blocker, and Furstenburg ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash among tight ends at the combine.
"Is a signing bonus a predictor of how well a player will perform in the NFL? Definitely not," Wilson wrote. "But it is an indicator of how highly the Ravens regarded some of their undrafted players and the competition for their services."
Ravens Have NFL's Heaviest Defensive Line
A main goal this offseason in Baltimore was to beef up the Ravens' defensive front. They literally added some beef cakes.
According to Blogging the Beast, and passed along by Sports Illustrated, the weight of the Ravens' projected front seven totals a whopping 1,992 pounds – eight pounds short of a ton.
The linemen weigh an average of 284.6 pounds, led by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. The big boy tips the scales at 340 pounds.
The second-heaviest team is the New York Jets, who come in at 1,960 pounds for an average of 280 pounds.
The list is based on the Ravens' starting front seven next year being Chris Canty, Terrence Cody, Ngata, Suggs, Jameel McClain, Arthur Brown and Elvis Dumervil.
Brendon Ayanbadejo Keeping Busy
Former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo hasn't given up on the NFL.
But he's too busy to worry about whether he's going to get a job, he told The Baltimore Sun.
"I'm not going to sit around and wait for football," said Ayanbadejo, who has used his free time to continue advocating for gay marriage and other issues.
Ayanbadejo said he's been speaking to Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson and Proctor and Gamble. He announced the launch of a new website yesterday via Twitter.
"There's too much life to be lived and too many things to experience that I haven't been able to experience being a professional athlete the last 14 years," Ayanbadejo said.
"I'll be ready if a team calls but if they don't, I'll be a busy guy and I can go out saying that my last game that I've ever played in was the Super Bowl and I won a championship alongside Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and all these amazing guys that will go down forever in Baltimore history together."
Michael Oher Chides Bernard Pollard
Former Ravens safety Bernard Pollard made news Wednesday by saying he's not going to attend the team's Ring Ceremony or White House visit.
Tackle Michael Oher decided to chide Pollard a bit on Twitter. Here's the string of tweets from Oher:
@MichaelOher: lol you better chill.
@MichaelOher: settle... You about to get a few people out in their place! Don't do that bro
After that, Oher tweeted, "I'm only joking with BP!!"* *
- The Ravens' special teams unit ranks atop the AFC North, but only based on the assumption that Jacoby Jones will remain the primary returner. [ESPN]
- Rice will play a featured role in USA's 'NFL Characters Unite' campaign, the cable channel announced. Characters Unite is USA's award-winning public service program, which created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. This is part of an overall effort to expand the relationship between the network and the NFL. [The Baltimore Sun]
- The Ravens have $1.986 million remaining under the salary cap after Rolando McClain's retirement. [The Baltimore Sun]
- @Huffy247 [Michael Huff]: "I've been in Baltimore a couple months now and I still haven't eaten any crab, I think tomorrow is the day. … Might as well check out a Orioles game tomorrow night while I'm at it."
- Torrey Smith went to Calvin Rodwell Elementary School yesterday for the Safe Kids initiative, which aims to prevent childhood injuries resulting from outdoor activities. [WJZ]
- @TorreySmithWR: "bout to head to Disney World!! This is my nephew's first time going http://instagram.com/p/ZY1DYDE-bI/#"
- @Ravens: "Thanks @TorreySmithWR for talking to the rookies about social media! Words of wisdom!"