Skip to main content

Ravens Q&A With John Eisenberg


Last evening, the Ravens solicited questions for me on Twitter, and so many came back that I can't get to all of them. Thanks for the interest, and here are my answers:

Q: Are the Ravens set with their OL or will they look to draft a tackle or guard in this year's draft? -- @mattasticgolden

A: They are not set with their offensive line, as the starting right tackle job is open. Right now, it belongs to Rick Wagner, a second-year guy who hasn't played much. I see the Ravens taking a candidate for that job with one of their first picks.

Q: Third cornerback? Chykie? Vet? Draft? - @OG_9252

A: Good question. Corey Graham's departure left the third cornerback job open. Chykie Brown has worked hard and made himself into a useful player, and he'll play, but I think the Ravens would like to add another viable candidate. It's hard to draft a plug-and-play cover corner below the first round, so my guess is a summertime salary cap casualty.

Q: What kind of offense can we expect to see this year? - @eliasBIHHH

A: Things will look quite a bit different. New Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has a clear philosophy. You start by establishing the run using a zone-stretch blocking scheme, then use play-action in the passing game. Joe Flacco will roll out a lot and throw to his tight ends. Many of the passing routes are quick, but Flacco will still take deep shots. But it all starts on the ground, which is one reason why Head Coach John Harbaugh thought Kubiak was such a great fit. Harbaugh wants the Ravens to be physical.

Q:  Who is going to be our safety this year? @Junior420

A: Right now I'm thinking the Ravens will fill that hole with their first-round pick. One or both of the top safeties in the draft should still be available: Louisville's Calvin Pryor and/or Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Ravens aren't going to disclose which one they like more, but either way, the pick would twin with Matt Elam to effectively set the back end of the defense for a long time. As for those who ask why you need a safety, I ask back: Did Reed make a difference?

Q: Do you think it would smart idea to look at a top running back in the second round? - @Bervin2496

A: Due to Ray Rice's uncertain status, the Ravens need a running back who can contribute in 2014. But this draft is so deep that plenty of productive backs will be available in the third round. That's where I expect the Ravens to take a shot at that position.

Q: Will the Ravens do anything, anything at all, to punish Ray Rice? How does my team feel about domestic violence? - @LilyBolourian

A: In situations like this, punishment almost always comes from the legal system and the league rather than the team. I would expect that. As for how the Ravens feel about domestic violence, obviously, they're opposed, as everyone is or should be. They're upset Rice is in this situation, but they also feel like they know him, and as Harbaugh recently said, you can support a person without condoning his behavior. Bottom line, they're going to reserve judgment until Rice's legal case unfolds.

Q: Will our defensive line dominate? Because last year we were mediocre. - @amaniskinner

A: The Ravens ranked 11th against the rush out of 32 teams in 2013, so they were decent. Right now, it's hard to say they've improved when they lost Art Jones, a key contributor. I would call the defensive interior an under-the-radar need. I don't think they're finished setting their personnel.

Q: Will Steve Smith really replace the "Anquan Factor" that the Ravens are missing? How will this affect Torrey Smith? - @VinceV31

A: Although Steve Smith shies away from comparisons to Boldin, he should fill a similar role, i.e., make the tough catches that move the chains. Both players are clutch and emotional, though Smith is more outwardly vocal. He can still play and should have a solid year. As for how it will impact Torrey Smith, the presence of another quality target on the other side can only help.

Q: Any chance of them trading for LaMichael James?  @CubanBeast52

A: A couple of questioners brought this up. James hasn't gotten a shot in San Francisco and reportedly wants out, and the Ravens need running back depth. I can envision a draft-night deal involving picks going the other way, but don't count on it.  James' 2014 cap hit is close to $1 million.

Q: How do the Ravens like C.J. Mosley right now? - @JLDonny

A: They like the Alabama inside linebacker a lot, but not enough to trade up to get him, and he probably will be gone by the time they pick.

Q: Will it be crazy if the Ravens traded up to get Khalil Mack? - @hawaiianale

A: It would surprise me a lot if that happened. Given their history, the Ravens are more likely to trade down in the first round rather than up, and outside linebacker is low on their priority list.

Q: How did we let Paul Kruger go like that? - @DjlmDatKidd22

A: The Ravens don't regret letting Kruger sign with the Browns. They like him, but Cleveland paid him difference-maker money and got 4.5 sacks from him in 2013.

Q: How many quarterbacks do you think we'll carry this season? - @antmanduece

A: Two, as always. You don't need three when your starter is as durable as Flacco. And Tyrod Taylor will have to compete for the backup job. It wouldn't surprise me if the Ravens use a third-day draft pick on a quarterback.

Q: Any chance of Ed Reed coming back? - @fkhan88

A: I understand where this is coming from. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has said he wants an athletic, playmaking free safety, which is code for "another Ed Reed." Meanwhile, Reed is a free agent, sitting there on the open market. But he will be 36 this year and isn't anywhere close to the player he was. In situations like this, you don't move forward by looking back.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content