Most Offensive Weapons In Ravens History?
If things go the Ravens' way in the health department, we could be looking at the most loaded offense in franchise history.
Tight end Dennis Pitta and wide receiver Breshad Perriman are the lynchpins.
"If they remain healthy, the Ravens will start the season with more offensive weapons than they've probably ever had," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
Can you imagine the options quarterback Joe Flacco will have, assuming he's healthy himself?
Adding a strong Pitta to veteran Benjamin Watson, 2015 starter Crockett Gillmore and last year's second-round pick Maxx Williams would make the Ravens tight end group one of the best in the league.
There could be solid depth at receiver if an uninhibited Perriman is running deep routes with two other speedsters in Mike Wallace and Chris Moore, while a rehabbed and motivated Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken take care of business underneath.
And I'm not sure we've seen a running backs corps where there are so many players that legitimately have a shot at one of the top two spots, including Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Kenneth Dixon, Terrance West and Trent Richardson.
Will it compare to the 2012 Super Bowl unit that was led by Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and Pitta?
Well, let's see if the rehabbing players make it all the way through training camp without any setbacks before we let our dreams run wild. As Zrebiec says, there's huge potential.
"There remains a curiosity and concern about both players [Perriman and Pitta]," he wrote. "There are no two players who will be watched more closely this summer than them.
"Perriman was initially expected to miss a short amount of time with the knee injury, but he didn't respond well physically or mentally to the setback. He'll need to prove this summer that he can hold up and be the playmaker the Ravens envisioned getting. Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip the second time on a non-contact injury. He's done a lot of work strengthening the area, but the risk of re-injury will always be there."
Looking At 45 Ravens Roster Locks
There are dozens of young men in Baltimore hoping to realize their lifelong dream of making a 53-man NFL roster.
In reality, however, there are probably around nine or 10 spots that are actually up for grabs. You can follow the money trail and players' draft status to find who essentially already made the team, barring injury.
CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown named all the players he thinks are locks, which when tallied, accounted for 45 spots of the 53-man roster. Let's first take a look at the offensive side.
Quarterback: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett
Running back: Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon
Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk
Tight end: Crockett Gillmore, Benjamin Watson, Maxx Williams
Wide receiver: Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore
Offensive line: Marshal Yanda, Ronnie Stanley, Jeremy Zuttah, Rick Wagner, John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, Alex Lewis
That's 21 players dedicated to the offense so far, and it's going to be very interesting to see how many running backs and tight ends the team keeps. In recent history, the Ravens have kept three at each position, and if that holds true, you'd have to say goodbye to Pitta, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and Trent Richardson, if Browns' locks are correct. Would the Ravens keep four at each spot? If so, it means they have to trim down elsewhere.
You'll notice that starting left tackle Eugene Monroe didn't make the list, and whatever the Ravens ultimately decide will have a domino effect on the rest of the offensive line. At a crowded receiver position, Michael Campanaro, Kaelin Clay and rookie Keenan Reynolds would be fighting for their football lives in this scenario.
Defensive line: Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban, Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis, Willie Henry
Linebacker: C. J. Mosley, Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith, Kamalei Correa, Zach Orr, Albert McClellan
Defensive back: Jimmy Smith, Eric Weddle, Shareece Wright, Lardarius Webb, Tavon Young, Jerraud Powers
Neither fifth-round pass rusher Matt Judon nor 2015 starting safety Kendrick Lewis were considered locks, although Brown admits they're close and should make the team. The defensive backs battle is going to get heated with safeties Terrence Brooks and Matt Elam in danger, along with cornerback Kyle Arrington.
Special teams: Justin Tucker (K), Sam Koch (P), Morgan Cox (LS)
Not much debate here, but there could be next year if the Ravens don't lock up Tucker to a long-term deal. He's scheduled to play under the franchise tag in 2016.
Safe To Say Monroe Will Miss OTAs Wednesday
Several media members have tweeted that Monroe will not be at the Under Armour Performance Center tomorrow for the Ravens' OTA practice. Monroe announced he will be in Las Vegas to speak on a Medical Marijuana Research panel.
Even if Monroe was at the practice facility, he probably wouldn't be cleared to join his teammates on the field. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in December and is unlikely to be 100 percent. According to Zrebiec, Monroe didn't attend the voluntary sessions last year when he was healthy.
Questions continue to pour in about whether Monroe will make the team. Zrebiec stands by his prediction that Monroe will be released before the season, but says his injury may be preventing the team from doing so now.
"The primary reason could be that Monroe still isn't healthy after he had shoulder surgery in December," wrote Zrebiec. "Teams aren't permitted to release injured players. So theoretically, the Ravens would have to wait for Monroe to take a physical before making that move. They also could be trying to gauge any potential trade interest in the veteran who is a solid performer when healthy."
Credit Monroe for staying active in the Baltimore community while controversy and speculation swirl around him. The starting left tackle treated 45 homeless veterans battling drug and alcohol addiction to a fishing trip Friday. He chartered two boats for a group of veterans who attend a residential treatment program, The Baltimore Station.
NFL's Replay Proposal May Look A Bit Like Ravens'
We know the Ravens withdrew their proposal to significantly change the replay system shortly after it was reported that the competition committee had its own proposal.
There weren't any reports as to what the competition committee's new proposal would look like, only that it will would be more "moderate" than Baltimore's.
But, if USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell is correct, the proposal will have one important principle the Ravens wanted: make a shorter list of plays that can't be reviewed instead of a longer list of plays that can.
"Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL's rule-making competition committee, told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday that the proposal team owners will consider next week will be largely built on a rewriting of the instant replay rule in an inverse fashion," Bell wrote.
"In other words, the existing rule is written to cover what types of plays are reviewable. The new rule, if passed, will be written to legislate what plays cannot be reviewed. Although it probably won't squash arguments about whether you saw a catch, call it a first down toward the NFL's aim to simplify the rulebook – for fans, players and coaches."
Will C.J. Mosley Return To Pro Bowl In 2016?
There's no doubt as to who the leader of the inside linebackers will be this year now that Daryl Smith is gone. It will be the first ever Raven to be voted to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year: C.J. Mosley.
But as he assumes the leadership role, can Mosley also improve his play enough to return to the Pro Bowl after missing it in his sophomore campaign?
"Mosley's best seasons should be ahead," wrote Brown. "He doesn't turn 24 years old until June 19. He has never missed a game in two years.
" … The Pro Bowl is reportedly moving to Orlando next season. Mosley would rather be preparing for the Super Bowl that week, but it's important for Mosley to re-establish himself as one of the league's rising young stars, and to lead a defense that helps the Ravens return to the playoffs."