It's hard to place a value on Brandon Carr's versatility, but the Ravens love having it.
Carr was primarily used as a slot cornerback during Baltimore's 23-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, matching up inside against the multiple formations that Arizona showed the Ravens.
Carr's ability to play both inside and outside has become critical since nickel cornerback Tavon Young was lost for the season (neck), and Jimmy Smith suffered a knee injury Week 1.
Many secondaries don't have someone with Carr's experience and versatility. He has made 178 consecutive starts, the NFL's longest current defensive streak, and is still playing at a high level at age 33. Using Carr's matchup ability will be part of the Ravens' defensive game plan this weekend, when they face the potent offense of the Kansas City Chiefs.
"Brandon Carr is really a versatile player, he can play any position back there," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He played in the slot pretty much the whole game and just did a heck of a job. I'm sure there's two or three plays he'd like to have back but they threw it 100 times. He made a number of plays, especially in the red zone and in some critical situations."
Carr led the Ravens with seven tackles Sunday, and he was still in the community the day after. He has been lauded for numerous community service efforts since joining the Ravens in 2017, and was the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee in 2018. Harbaugh also mentioned that Carr was recently blessed with a baby daughter.
"Who's got it better than Brandon Carr right now?" Harbaugh said.
Lamar Jackson's Improvement Highlighted by Perfect Toss to Marquise Brown
When the Ravens were looking to ice their victory Sunday, Lamar Jackson did it with a cold-blooded throw to Marquise Brown.
It came on Baltimore's final possession, when on third-and-11, Brown ran a deep sideline route and Jackson dropped a perfect throw into Brown's arms, good for a 41-yard gain.
The coverage on Brown by Cardinals cornerback Tramaine Brock was air tight, but Jackson's throw was perfect and Brown never broke stride making the catch. Consider that Jackson is just 22 years old, and Brown was playing in his second NFL game.
Jackson's improvement as a passer, coupled with Brown's speed and big-play ability, could make them a lethal combination for years.
"That's two guys who executed to perfection in that situation," Harbaugh said. "To make that throw, you can talk about any quarterback you want in the history of the game. There's no quarterback that's making any better throw than that. Ever. To see him do that in a critical situation like that when it means the most, and then for Marquise to track that ball the way he did, track the ball with the corner draped all over him? It tells you a lot about those two guys."
Despite the early-season success, Harbaugh never worries about it going to Jackson's head. He is a perfectionist who thinks more about the plays he didn't make. That approach has helped accelerate Jackson's development.
"He's better at everything," Harbaugh said. "I think Lamar improves very rapidly and very quickly. He has a really narrow focus on the things he can do better. That's what I like about Lamar. He doesn't really dwell on the positives. He dwells on the areas of improvement. We appreciate that."
Brynden Trawick Sidelined By Arm Injury
Ravens defensive back and special teams ace Brynden Trawick suffered an arm injury Sunday that makes his available for Week 3 uncertain.
"We'll see. It's a matter of whether he can deal with it," Harbaugh said. "You can tape it up, brace it up, stuff like that and be OK. It's not going to be a long-term deal. But whether he can go this week or not will be based on how he can deal with it, how he can operate with it."
Season-Ending Injury to Roethlisberger Doesn't Change Ravens' Focus
The Steelers announced Monday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss the rest of the season after an elbow injury that will require surgery. It's a major development that could have long-term ramifications for the 36-year-old Roethlisberger's career, and it will obviously impact Pittsburgh's season.
The Ravens will not face Roethlisberger in their two games against Pittsburgh this season, as second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph takes over as the starter. However, Harbaugh's focus remains squarely on the Ravens, although he alluded to his kinship with Roethlisberger, who played college football at Miami (Ohio) like Harbaugh.
"We couldn't have more respect for a player than we have for Ben Roethlisberger," Harbaugh said. "Hey, he's a Miami guy. We have that in common. Plus we have in common a heck of a lot of great football games played against him and his team. We respect the organization and the coaching staff and everyone up there. But our focus is on Kansas City. Our focus is on our season. And that's all we're thinking about."
Chiefs Claim Former Raven Greg Senat Off Waivers
In advance of Sunday's game against the Ravens, the Chiefs claimed former Baltimore offensive lineman Greg Senat off waivers. Senat was released by Baltimore on Saturday when cornerback Maurice Canady was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
Think the Chiefs may ask Senat what he remembers about the Ravens' offense?
The Ravens also made a roster move Monday, signing guard Parker Ehinger to their practice squad. Ehinger was a Chiefs fourth-round draft pick in 2016 who was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 2018. He has also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cardinals.