Can Trace McSorley be the Next Taysom Hill?
Taysom Hill was one of the more unique talents in the NFL last season.
An all-purpose backup quarterback, Hill posed a threat as a runner, thrower, and even on special teams for the New Orleans Saints.
Pro Football Focus’ Solomon Wilcots and Sam Monson broke down how the Ravens can utilize McSorley similar to Hill.
“[The Ravens are] not looking for a new starting quarterback option, they’re probably not even looking for a backup, but they might be looking for an x-factor to come in and do something different in that offense,” Monson said. “And that’s probably what McSorley can do for you.”
An accomplished three-year starter at Penn State, McSorley has already embraced a new role in his young NFL career, starting with a completely different warmup routine.
“Unlike almost every other quarterback in the NFL, McSorley doesn’t begin practice with the Baltimore Ravens by loosening his arm alongside other signal-callers,” PennLive’s Aaron Kasinitz wrote. “Instead, while Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III toss passes on a separate field, McSorley joins other teammates in special teams drills.”
Before Jackson became the starting quarterback last season, the Ravens used his skill set in various offensive packages. McSorley could see similar action under Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, who’s worked extensively with dual-threat quarterbacks.
Monson believes Roman is the right fit for this personnel.
“[Roman] is a guy who’s perfectly prepared to use the quarterback as part of that running offense,”Monson said. “When you have to worry about the quarterback carrying the ball as well, it opens everything up.”
McSorley could also help take some of the rushing pressure away from Jackson.
In a conference call, Owner Steve Bisciotti said Jackson won’t be running 20 times a game and Pardon the Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon agreed.
“[Jackson] isn’t Ezekiel Elliott, you don’t want him running all the time,” Kornheiser said. “But, that is his game. He’s a run and pass quarterback.”
Kornheiser said he’d like to see Jackson average between six and eight carries a game. Wilbon basically concurred, saying he’d like to see Jackson in the seven-to-nine carry range.
Both Jackson and McSorley could be on the field together in two-quarterback sets, which would create headaches for opposing defenses.
“With McSorley and Jackson, you can have two guys, either who is a threat to run the ball, either who is a threat to throw the ball on any given play,” Monson said. “That suddenly opens up a whole world of trick plays.”
Gerald McCoy’s Decision Looming With Ravens, Browns, and Panthers Still in Mix
Gerald McCoy is being fluid in his search for a new home this offseason and the free-agent defensive tackle is expected to make a decision following the weekend, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
McCoy recently visited the Carolina Panthers on Friday, while the Cleveland Browns and Ravens still remain in the mix. Rapoport said McCoy could join either team for mandatory minicamp within the coming weeks.
McCoy reportedly had a strong visit with the Ravens last week, meeting with players, team officials, while attending Haloti Ngata’s retirement press conference.
The Ravens don’t have the most cap space among the contending teams, but Ebony Bird’s Chris Schisler says the defense is something McCoy should want to be a part of.
“McCoy should want to be a part of what is brewing in Baltimore,” Schisler wrote. “The Ravens defense has a chance to be a top 10 unit in the NFL, which is something that he wasn’t a part of with the Buccaneers. McCoy could go from an elite player from average to bad defenses to an high impact player on one of the best defenses in the league.”
Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield is recruiting McCoy to Cleveland with a decision looming.
Humphrey Named to PFF’s ‘Clutch’ Team
Entering his third season, Marlon Humphrey has quickly emerged as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, and he has the stats to back it up.
Humphrey was named to Pro Football Focus’ “Clutch” team – which highlighted players who performed at the highest level in games within seven points during the fourth quarter.
“Humphrey is developing into one of the more promising young cornerbacks in the NFL, and he put it on display in high-pressure situations last season,” PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. “On those plays, Humphrey was targeted 18 times and allowed just eight receptions for 58 yards while picking off two passes and forcing five incompletions.”
Humphrey finished ahead of established veterans like Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty.
Humphrey didn’t earn a Pro Bowl nod in 2018 but provided plenty of noteworthy performances down the stretch. His fourth-quarter interception off Jameis Winston helped secure a crucial Week 15 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
One week later against the Los Angeles Chargers, Humphrey did it again.
“[T]he results have shown out as Humphrey has been a revelation so far, stepping up big time the last two years, especially when Jimmy Smith was unavailable,” Pro Football Network’s Andrew Kim wrote. “Now he is arguably the top corner for the Ravens with big expectations on his shoulders for this season.
“Humphrey, in two years, has four interceptions and 18 pass deflections as part of a rotation with Carr and Smith after he came back from suspension last year. Humphrey impressed many as he covered the best receivers of the opposing teams, showing why he was worth a first-round pick. His physical play and coverage ability, along with speed to recover at his size, are traits that a potential top corner have and he could get up there sooner rather than later.”
Humphrey ranks in the top-40 all-time with 26 pass breakups across his first two seasons. That’s come amongst one of the league’s deepest cornerback groups, and Humphrey’s been an underappreciated commodity in the eyes of some pundits, like The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak.
Solak ranked Humphrey as one of the AFC North’s top third-year talents.
“Humphrey's physicality and awareness make him an ideal catch-point player with the ability to erase WR1s with his competitive style of play,” Solak wrote.
Three Players Who Could Have Breakout Seasons in 2019
Every year in the NFL, players emerge to serve as key contributors to their team’s success.
Ebony Bird’s Richard Bradshaw highlighted three Ravens who could have breakout seasons in 2019. He chose Kenny Young, Cyrus Jones, and Bradley Bozeman.
Young flashed early during his rookie season and is expected to see an increased role following C.J. Mosley’s departure.
“With a big defensive line in front of him keeping him clean, and another year of seasoning with Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale, Young could have an outstanding sophomore season,” Bradshaw wrote.
Jones served primarily as the team’s punt returner – a dangerous one.
Bradshaw said Jones could potentially be an All-Pro special teamer.
“If Jones can channel this version of himself, he becomes one of the most dangerous players on the football field,” Bradshaw. “You saw for yourself how effortlessly he blazed down the sideline on that punt return! A full-season of that makes Jones not only an impact player for Baltimore, but an All-Pro candidate.”
Bozeman will compete among one of the most intriguing positional battles this offseason at left guard and Bradshaw believes the Ravens’ run-first offensive approach gives Bozeman an advantage up front.
“With all the running Baltimore will look to do, a strength in Bozeman’s game, we can safely assume they’ll be comfortable running up the gut behind Bozeman this season.”
Alvin Kamara ‘Thankful’ For Mark Ingram
Over the last two seasons, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were one of the NFL’s top running back duos.
Now, after Ingram joined the Ravens this offseason on a three-year deal, Kamara still has the utmost respect for his former teammate.
“Definitely miss him,” Kamara told WVUE-TV’s Garland Gillen. “I hope he does the same thing, different color, different team. If we play him, I don’t want him to do good. Because I know he’s a game-changer. That’s my boy, always love forever.
“He’s a big part of why I had the success that I had, these two years. I can say that without a pause or a stutter. He’s a big reason why I could do the things I’ve done. Thankful for him, and the short amount of time that we had him.”
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