Ravens Secondary Preview


bernard_pollard

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The Ravens defense have been their claim to fame for quite some time now.  However, outside of Ed Reed, the secondary hasn’t kept the pace the rest of the defense has.  They struggled to find depth at the cornerback position ever since Chris McAllister and Samari Rolle left the team.  However, Baltimore seems to have made a major turn at CB with some strong additions.  Here I’ll highlight the players that have made the 53 man roster that make up the secondary.

Safety:

  • Ed Reed
  • Bernand Pollard
  • Sean Considine
  • Christian Thompson
  • James Ihedigbo

Reed is the ball hawking future Hall of Famer that will once again roam wherever he pleases.  He may not possess the same speed he once had and has been through a ton of injuries that he sometimes shies away from the big hit, but Reed is still a very effective player.  He is probably the smartest defender on the field at all times, and that includes Ray Lewis.  Still, he will make some head scratching moves from time to time, but it all comes in the package.

Pollard was cut from Houston last offseason after being constantly torched in the 2010 season.  The problem was Pollard is not a great coverage safety and Houston needed him to be.  He fits Baltimore’s scheme much better with Reed being the one that can roam around in the outfield.  He is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league and can strike fear in anyone when going across the middle.  Pollard is entrenched as the starter once again, and should rarely come off the field.

Considine is a special teamer, while Thompson was the Ravens fourth round pick out of South Carolina.  Neither will likely see much time at safety, but Ravens could be molding Thompson into their next starting safety.  Ihedigbo was just signed today after being cut by New England.  He started 12 games for the Pats last year, but didn’t exactly perform very well.  He should be used in special teams and a backup.  Preseason star Omar Brown will be on the practice squad.

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Photo by: JECImage.com

Cornerback:

  • Lardarius Webb
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Cary Williams
  • Corey Graham
  • Danny Gorrer
  • Asa Jackson

Webb is the undisputed starter at corner and has become one of the better corners nobody knows about.  He doesn’t get the hype of some other stars, but frequently shadows the opponents top receiver and typically shuts them down.  Jimmy Smith was Baltimore’s 2011 top pick and likely will see an increase in play this year.  He is currently behind Cary Williams as the opposite starter across Webb, but that could change quickly if Williams struggles.  Speaking of Cary, he is a great physical corner that doesn’t possess the speed of top corners, but can out muscle most receivers and can be valuable, especially in the red zone.

The top 3 is a talented group and probably the best we have seen in years.  With offenses passing more these days, having depth at corner is extremely important.  We could frequently see these three on the field at the same time.  Corey Graham played five years with the Bears and made the pro bowl as a special teamer last year.  He said he expects to see more time on defense, but at best he is the fourth corner on this team.  Danny Gorrer is a big, physical corner that was signed off the practice squad last year.  He made the team out of camp this year and will likely see most of his time on special teams.  I’m a fan of his, but it will take a series of injuries to see any major playing time for him. Asa Jackson was a late round draft pick this year coming from Cal Poly.  He’s certainly a project, but with depth at this position they can afford to mold him for the future.

 

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