Could Marlon Lose Snaps To Campanaro?
The Bengals corners are developing a trend.
Through the first two weeks, they have shut down the opposing team's No. 1 receiver.
They held Oakland's Amari Cooper to just five catches for 47 yards and San Diego's Keenan Allen to two catches for 16 yards. Both receivers amassed more than 100 receiving yards in the weeks they weren't facing the Bengals.
If that trend continues, somebody other than Steve Smith Sr. is going to have to step up Sunday. Smith put up 150 yards in Oakland, and you can bet corners Adam "Pacman" Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick will focus on him.
There's tight end Crockett Gillmore, but who in the receiving corps will help?
Smith has about double the production than the next wide receiver, Kamar Aiken, and the falloff is even greater when you look at Marlon Brown and Michael Campanaro.
Steve Smith Sr.: 12 receptions, 163 yards
Kamar Aiken: six receptions, 88 yards
Marlon Brown: four receptions, 37 yards
Michael Campanaro: one reception, 6 yards
The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec wonders if Brown will start losing snaps to some of the younger receivers like Campanaro and rookie Darren Waller.
"In fairness to Brown, he's had an opportunity to make a couple of plays over the first two weeks and Flacco hasn't put the ball in the best spots," Zrebiec said. "Still, you have to wonder whether Brown could see a reduction of snaps if he doesn't start making a few more plays soon."
Campanaro and Waller both have less production than Brown, but that's also a reflection of the opportunities they've received. Brown's played a total of 104 offensive snaps with six targets, Campanaro has seen just 28 snaps with two targets and Waller just two offensive snaps.* *Flacco threw in Waller's direction on both of his offensive snaps last week.
The Ravens still don't know exactly what Waller is capable of and the sixth-round pick will likely continue to get chances here and there as he continues to develop. Campanaro showed last year that he can be productive when healthy. With just nine targets last season, Campanaro notched 102 yards and a touchdown.
"I'd be surprised if offensive coordinator Marc Trestman doesn't try to get Campanaro and Waller more involved in the offense and that could possibly happen at the expense of Brown," wrote Zrebiec.
Even After Trade, Ravens Still Evaluating Free Agent CBs
The Ravens reportedly tried out free agent cornerback Tony Carter at the Under Armour Performance Center Tuesday. This is AFTER the team traded a 2016 draft pick to Miami for Will Davis.
Carter was not immediately signed, but it shows that General Manager Ozzie Newsome is hard at work to keep his vow that he would never allow the Ravens secondary to be in a dire situation like it was last year when injuries hit hard.
Still, the timing of the workout is interesting.
"In getting a look at Carter, the Ravens may have been just doing their due diligence in case they have injuries at the cornerback position," wrote Zrebiec. "All teams assemble lists of available players to call in case of injuries. … Or maybe some team officials want to put the team's current cornerbacks on notice after the horrid performance by the secondary in the 37-33 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday."
Zrebiec, who wrote this story before Wednesday's practice, also wondered if the workout was a sign that Rashaan Melvin wasn't healthy due to a thigh injury. But Melvin wasn't on the injury report, meaning he was a full participant at practice.
"It could be a little bit of everything. But what is clear is that team officials are still looking to upgrade at a position that has been a difficult one for them to fill," wrote Zrebiec.
With Melvin looking like he might be ready to suit up this weekend, plus the addition of Davis, The Sun's Jon Meoli says Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees now has options to turn to if the secondary starts to revert back to the poor play we saw in Oakland.
Baltimore Beatdown's Matthew Stevens went as far as to say that a healthy Melvin could save the secondary.
"Rashaan Melvin is the Ravens' knight in shining armor," he wrote. "He's the guy that will single-handedly turn the Ravens secondary into a force to be reckoned with this season instead of the sieve that it has been so far."
Melvin is a solid corner and it's good to have him back, but I don't know that I would go as far as saying he'll turn everything around.
Melvin was a part of the unit that allowed two 14-point comebacks in last year's playoff loss to New England. Stevens says this year, though, that starting alongside Jimmy Smith and getting the job for a majority of the season would make a difference.
Stevens believes Melvin could start outside, and push Lardarius Webb inside to the slot cover role. That would mean veteran Kyle Arrington would be the fourth corner on the depth chart.
"Now I'm not saying that having Melvin will mean that the defense suddenly becomes the best defense ever or even in the league," Stevens wrote. "It does however open up a lot of possibilities for the Ravens to expand and see mismatches that they can exploit. Those exploitations equal points on the board for the Ravens and some wins."
Suggs Ranks No. 6 On Top 10 Injuries List
We already know that Terrell Suggs' Achilles tear is the most devastating injury for the Ravens, but how does it stack up against other teams' injuries so far this season?
It's pretty high.
Suggs ranks as the sixth-biggest NFL injury by ESPN, but it's not the worst. That unfortunate distinction belongs to the Dallas Cowboys, who lost their franchise quarterback Tony Romo and top receiver Dez Bryant, says ESPN's Kevin Siefert.
Below are his top 10 NFL injuries:
1) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (fractured left collarbone)
2) Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady (torn left ACL)
3) New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (amputated right index finger, among others)
4) Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (torn groin muscle)
5) Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy (strained hip)
6) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (torn left Achilles tendon)
7) Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (fractured right foot)
8) Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan (lower back surgery)
9) Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson (torn right ACL)
10) Pittsburgh Steelers place-kicker Shaun Suisham (torn left ACL)
How Are Former Ravens Faring With New Teams?
The Sun's Alexander Pyles took a look at how former Ravens from the 2014 squad have started off with their new teams.
Some are dealing with injuries, some of have had quiet starts, and others have had at least one solid game. Pyles' summary of each former Raven is listed below.
"Let me know if this sounds familiar: Smith was invisible in one game (1 catch, 11 yards against the Minnesota Vikings) and explosive in another (6 catches and 120 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers). The Steelers must be tired of seeing Smith open down the field."
Haloti Ngata"Ngata, who missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury, is off to a slow start in Detroit. He was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury heading into this past Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Ngata played, but made just one tackle."
"McPhee was quiet in Week 1, but Pro Football Focus graded him the NFL's top edge rusher in Week 2."
"Taylor, named Buffalo's starting quarterback after training camp, struggled to keep up with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and threw three interceptions in Week 2. But he kept the Bills in the game (a 40-32 loss), completing 23 of 30 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown."
"Daniels hasn't really gotten involved in the Broncos offense yet, but then again, few did in Denver's lethargic offensive performance against the Ravens in Week 1. He caught 3 passes for 19 yards last Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs."
"Jones left the Chargers' Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions with an ankle injury and has not played since."
"All of Pierce's carries came in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Jacksonville running backs Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart are out in Week 3, though, so Pierce might have the opportunity for more playing time against the New England Patriots."