No More Dangerous Tackles For Valuable Tucker
The man is too valuable.
And he showed it again Thursday night in the Ravens' 22-13 win over the New Orleans Saints. Kicker Justin Tucker showed off his bionic leg, booting field goals from 24, 27, 32, 36 and 45 yards.
But does he have a bionic shoulder?
That's why, while Tucker was applauded for his effort and tackling ability, onlookers cringed when they saw their irreplaceable clutch kicker throw his shoulder into Saints returner Travaris Cadet in the first quarter to save a potential touchdown return.
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This is one thing you don't want to see your kicker doing in the fourth preseason game.
"No you don't," color analyst Stan White said during the WBAL game broadcast. "Justin Tucker is just a little crazy like most kickers. Even if you tell him to get out of the way, he won't. He put his shoulder in there just like a linebacker and I'm just glad that shoulder didn't go right down into the turf because that can happen badly on that. They should have extra kickers for this fourth preseason game. Do something not to expose them."
But Tucker was out there, so you can't blame him for making a play, right? Well, as far as ESPN's Jamison Hensley is concerned, Tucker should have let Cadet go the distance.
"Who cares if the Saints scored a touchdown in a preseason game?" asked Hensley. "The Ravens can't afford to lose Tucker to an injury."
Did Campanaro, Thompson Win WR Battle?
Can the Ravens just keep seven wide receivers? That would make things a lot easier.
Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken and Deonte Thompson were fighting for their NFL lives last night, and they played like it.
As soon as you thought one was pulling away, the other two would respond.
Aiken opened things up with back-to-back catches of 13 and 27 yards in the first quarter. Just when you thought he had the edge, Deonte Thompson came in to notch his third touchdown of the preseason. In the second half, Campanaro started to heat up and nabbed a 39-yard pass after readjusting to find the deep ball.
All three big plays can been seen below:
If it were up to CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown, it would be Campanaro and Thompson to get the presumable final two spots, leaving out Aiken, who is no longer eligible to make an NFL practice squad.
"Campanaro may have already been safe. But I don't see him getting released after tonight (three catches, 55 yards)," he wrote. "Not only did Campanaro make a nice adjustment on a 39-yard reception, but he also did well as a return man. Campanaro has a knack for getting open and seems too valuable to let go.
"I think Thompson (three catches, 25 yards) will get the last wide receiver roster spot on the 53-man roster over Aiken (four catches, 57 yards)."
There is another scenario where all three are playing in the 2014 season, just not for the Ravens.
Brown points out that the Ravens could get trade interest for either Thompson or Aiken. And the Ravens just cleared some cap space for just that potential scenario …
Ravens Created Cap Space For Emergencies, Trades
General Manager Ozzie Newsome made a curious move when he restructured cornerback Lardarius Webb's contract to create an extra $3 million in cap space.
Everyone is wondering what the Ravens will be doing with the extra cash, and The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reports they made the move with a few things in mind. It's just that one of them is NOT to sign current players to contract extensions.
"Now, the Ravens are $7.463 million under the NFL salary-cap limit," Wilson wrote. "That provides them with the ability to absorb a veteran contract via a potential trade. The extra cap space also allows them to have more room once the offseason rule of 51 ends when the regular season starts and they have 53 salaries counting against the salary cap in addition to the players on injured reserve and up to 10 upcoming practice-squad contracts.
"However, the adjustment to Webb's contract didn't mean that the Ravens are on the verge of contract extension for any of their current players, according to multiple sources."
Creepy Suggs Surprises Tyrod
Terrell Suggs is always having fun.
And this time he was a little creepy when he snuck up on backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor during a post-game interview with CSN's Brent Harris. Quarterbacks usually have a sixth sense for pass rushers, but Tyrod was caught off guard as you can see in the GIF below.
"Don't you usually feel it when a defensive player comes that close to you?" Harris asked.
"Yeah, but there's no equipment right now, so I know he can't hit me," Tyrod replied.
Standing Tall In Hard Core Under Amour Graphic
Well, this is hard core.
Check out the Under Armour-sponsored Ravens lineup at M&T Bank Stadium for this dope image, including a screaming Haloti Ngata, Matt Elam, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and a pumped-up Lardarius Webb.
"Standing tall on 95!" Webb wrote with the Instagram image below. "#UA #EatGreedy #RavensNation"
Two Bubble Guys That Didn't Help Themselves
Our own Ryan Mink already named five Ravens who helped their case as they battle for a roster spot. In case you missed it, here you go.
But who didn't help themselves?
Anthony Levine"Levine, a converted safety, is experimenting at cornerback, and there are some growing pains. He got badly twisted around on a 52-yard pass play to Robert Meachem, and had other coverage issues as well," Smolka wrote. "But he was playing out of position and is still considered a special teams player and backup safety."
"Backup guard Ryan Jensen, who is battling rookie John Urschel for a roster spot, was flagged twice for holding, although the last one was questionable," Hensley wrote. Still, Jensen needed to shine in this game after falling behind Urschel on the depth chart. Jensen was later hurt in the fourth quarter."
Great way to finish the preseason! Proud of our team. New Orleans we will be back. — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) August 29, 2014