Perriman Expected Back In October, Clayton Has Some Advice
It's time to stop driving yourself crazy over the next couple of weeks, hoping to see rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman return to practice.
Settle in for now, and check back in October. At least that's what Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle, and formerly of The Baltimore Sun, says.
"I hope he's right. Our collective heads might explode if he misses any time in October. I would love to hear of him running soon," wrote Russell Street Report's Tyler Lombardi.
Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense could use Perriman's speed and ability to stretch the field right about now. The Broncos defense sat on Baltimore's underneath routes for much of Sunday afternoon, and the presence of Perriman would force opponents to respect his ability to get downfield (although the offensive line would need to protect long enough for him to get down there).
When Perriman does return, another former Ravens first-round receiver, Mark Clayton, has some advice for him:
Ask. For. The. Ball.
Clayton was selected with the 22nd-overall pick in 2005, but even he wasn't satisfied with his Ravens career. He had some solid seasons – his best in 2006 when he amassed 939 receiving yards – but the Ravens didn't re-sign him when his rookie contract expired. His NFL career ended after seven years, the final two with the St. Louis Rams.
Clayton is one of 21 receivers Baltimore drafted prior to 2015 and none of them made the Pro Bowl as a receiver.
"For all their draft success, the Baltimore Ravens' track record at wide receiver doesn't quite match their history at other positions," wrote Press Box's Justin Silberman.
Glenn Clark Radio asked Clayton whether the Ravens' physical, run-first offensive philosophy hurts receivers.
"I honestly believe that it [does]," Clayton told Clark earlier this month. "The system, the way, the approach, the philosophy to the game and how to win the game for a particular franchise is different. And in Baltimore it is not necessarily about getting numbers or being pass-happy or having two receivers with 1,100 and 1,400 yards and the third with 800. That's just not Baltimore football.
"In [the Ravens] organization, you're going to get what you're going to get year in and year out. You're going to get good football. ... [The Ravens] are going to do what they have to do to put points on the board. It may not be an aerial assault, but it's going to be a good game, and [they're] going to have a good chance to win them all."
So if Perriman wants to put up more numbers than Clayton or have more success than past drafted receivers, he's going to need to be vocal about getting passes thrown his way and show that he can be trusted to reel them in.
Cutting down on his 14 percent drop rate from college will help.
"Ask for the ball," Clayton said. "[Make them] throw you the ball.
"... You want [the Ravens] to know that they can trust you. … So when you look at the end of the game and you see you're getting 10 to 12 balls a game, that's a reflection of, 'Hey, we trust you.'"
Babin Did This To Ben Roethlisberger
Maybe Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can't breathe a sigh of relief after all now that Terrell Suggs won't be terrorizing him this year.
Jason Babin has a motor that doesn't turn off, even when the whistle is blown. It's a good example of his relentlessness, but will draw a penalty if not under control.
Not only is Babin happy to get more opportunities to get after quarterbacks, but he is happy to do it with the Ravens who have a rich defensive history – not to mention the playoff history. Babin has never been to the playoffs in his previous 11 seasons in the NFL.
"I don't think I could have drawn it up any better," said Babin after his first Ravens practice yesterday. "I've admired how they play, the style they play, just everything about them. To be a part of this defense, it's really special to me.
"I was blown away by every aspect of how this organization goes about preparing for winning on Sunday."
Ravens Hope $1 Million In Extended Stays Results In Wins
Head Coach John Harbaugh is trying a different approach this year, investing in extended stays in Philadelphia (joint training camp practices), San Jose (between Broncos and Raiders games) and Phoenix (between 49ers and Cardinals games).
According to ESPN's Jamison Hensley, the Ravens will have spent over $1 million on these extended stays, hoping to avoid exhaustion that comes with multiple West Coast trips.
"That commitment to get back to the Super Bowl is evident based on a hefty investment that's designed to give them an advantage," wrote Hensley. "This money allows the Ravens to avoid taking a cross-country flight to Baltimore and then turn around four days later to board another six-hour flight back. It also provides more time for team bonding, because this becomes another training camp where players room together and eat together at the hotel."
It took more than two months for the Ravens to find facilities that could house 150 members of the Ravens football team and staff. The team rented hot and cold tubs, airlifted football equipment, and turned a hotel into a locker room and meeting rooms.
The Ravens open the season with a brutal five of seven games on the road, but the more Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun thinks about it, the more he likes the timing.
"I think the timing of this whole staying on the West Coast thing was perfect for the Ravens," Zrebiec wrote. "They didn't have to come home and hear for days about the loss of Suggs and a game that they should have won. They are insulated a little bit out here on the West Coast, able to go about their business with few distractions.
"That's just the way Harbaugh likes it. They can spend plenty of time together bonding and fostering an 'us against the world' mentality."
Monroe Not Practicing A 'Big Concern'
Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe did not practice Wednesday after he sustained a concussion against the Broncos Sunday.
Considering how backup James Hurst played and how often Flacco was pressured (64 percent of his drop backs), WBAL's Gerry Sandusky sees Monroe's absence as a problem.
The Ravens' roster moves from Wednesday may be an indication that Monroe may not be ready, says Zrebiec. Baltimore cut third-string quarterback Bryn Renner from the practice squad, and replaced him with 6-foot-5, 304-pound offensive tackle Tony Hills.
That means the Ravens now have two tackles on the practice squad with Hills and De'Ondre Wesley.
"Fair to wonder if adding another OT to practice squad … speaks of Monroe (concussion) not being ready," tweeted Zrebiec.
Raiders QB Derek Carr To Play, Secondary In Shambles
It looks like Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr is pretty much set to play against the Ravens Sunday, after being knocked out of his season opener with a hand injury.
"I'm not 100 percent, but I'm close," Carr said of his throwing hand that he injured while stiff-arming Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones.
The Raiders are still expected to be without their starting safeties, however, as Charles Woodson reportedly has a dislocated shoulder and Nate Allen a torn MCL. Oakland hasn't ruled Woodson out, but he's a long shot.
Zrebeic says the Oakland secondary is "in shambles."
"They have gotten so thin at the position that Taylor Mays, a player that Oakland cut about 10 days ago, was re-signed and might end up starting against the Ravens," he wrote.
"The Raiders have cornerback issues, as well. If the Ravens can slow the Raiders' pass rush, there's no reason Joe Flacco and company shouldn't be able to make plays down the field."
Rookie Davis More Than Holds His Own As Starter
Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan looks primed to make his 2015 debut as he returned to practice yesterday as a full participant after a knee injury. But if he didn't, the Ravens would be in good hands with rookie Carl Davis.
Davis got the start in place of Jernigan in Denver and "more than held his own," says Zrebiec.
With Davis next to Brandon Williams in the trenches, the Ravens extended their NFL-best active streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher to 27 games. Davis finished with three tackles, batted down a pass and was the highest-graded Ravens defender by Pro Football Focus.
"Even if Jernigan returns Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, Davis has carved out a spot in the Ravens' defensive line rotation," wrote Zrebiec.
- Which team has best home-field advantage? The Ravens, says Time Magazine. It ranked teams based on the difference between their home and away winning percentages over 10 years. The top-ranked Ravens won 78% of home games and 43% of road games for a difference of 35 points. [Time]