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50 Words or Less: Marcus Williams Looks Poised for Best Season

S Marcus Williams defending a pass.
S Marcus Williams defending a pass.

The first day of summer was this week, and players and coaches won't be together again until training camp begins. However, NFL news never really goes on vacation.

Here are my current thoughts on the Ravens, all in 50 words or less:

Marcus Williams' energy at mandatory minicamp was impressive. He was vocal, assertive, and completely locked in. Williams has 20 career interceptions and is still just 27 years old. If he stays healthy for a full season in Baltimore, I think he'll show people just how good he is.

Appearing on NFL Network, Williams described the commanding persona of new Defensive Coordinator Zach Orr. "As he did as a player, he's going to do as a coach," Williams said. "I have the utmost respect for him." Mike Macdonald was a superb coordinator. I think Orr will be, too.

For the second straight year, Isaiah Likely attended Tight End University hosted by Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Greg Olsen. Likely has obvious talent, but he's also putting in serious work. Likely and Mark Andrews playing together more often in 2024 should create major problems for opponents.

The decision to feature the AFC North on "Hard Knocks" in 2024 was another reminder of how crazy good the division is. If the starting quarterbacks stay healthy, the division should be even stronger than last season when all four teams finished above .500.

The Ravens will face AFC North opponents back-to-back just once – Week 10 vs. Cincinnati and Week 11 at Pittsburgh. Having their divisional games spread out could be a good thing for the Ravens. Every AFC North game is going to take a physical toll.

Shoutout to my colleagues Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing for their candid interview with Rashod Bateman on "The Lounge" podcast. Bateman sounded in a good place both physically and mentally. That's more reason to believe Bateman could have his best season.

061924 Lounge Final

627: Rashod Bateman Discusses New Contract, Motivation, Growing on and off the Field

Wide receiver Rashod Bateman joined The Lounge podcast to discuss his first three seasons in the NFL and what he's learned from that experience. He discussed his mindset going into this season and where he's grown as a player and person.

Kyle Van Noy had a career-high 9.0 sacks in his 10th NFL season, playing in just 14 games. With a year under his belt in the Ravens' system, is it crazy to think Van Noy could reach double digit sacks? I don't think so, and neither does he.

I'm not saying Malik Cunningham will make the 53-man roster, but I'm not saying he won't. He's fully embracing his switch from quarterback to wide receiver. That's the type of attitude you need to succeed, and he's looked very fluid making catches and running routes.

It was great to see many former Ravens at mandatory minicamp last week and being together brought back memories. I spoke with several who said they missed the camaraderie of being part of an NFL team. But almost none of them missed the grind of training camp.

Ravens rookies will report to training camp July 13, while the vets will report July 20. Check your calendars. To me, it seems like last season ended about two months ago, but it won't be long until we're starting another camp. If you love football, that's a good thing.

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