Football is back! (Sort of.)
If you were struggling to get through a 29-0 pasting of the Jaguars during pre-season at least you have the picture above you to get you fired up for when the games will actually count.
Poor Gardner Minshew.
So what can we take away from this first pre-season game? I have some thoughts. If you’d like to hear them, read on.
- Improved Passer- The Lamar Jackson critics have been silenced, for at least a few hours, after an extremely positive performance last night completing 4 of 6 for 59 yards and a touchdown. LJ displayed poise and improved mechanics under center. A thirty-yard strike to Chris Moore on the sideline illustrated solid arm strength and decision making as the play developed. He didn’t run the ball once against the Jags (good move) and even though the Ravens were in a pistol formation at times most of the new wrinkles of the offense will be kept under wraps until September. For me, most importantly he made some throws that an NFL QB must make to be successful. He still needs to fine tune his deep ball since I believe that Greg Roman will take more shots than you might expect downfield as the season progresses. Overall though it was an encouraging start.
- I Can See for Miles– With Hollywood on the sidelines, rookie Miles Boykin got plenty of action in the passing game. He performed as you’d expect from most first year players – it was a mixed bag. Early drops had me eye rolling and saying aloud that he’ll fit right in with the Baltimore receiving corps. He redeemed himself late in the Second Quarter as young Trace McSorley targeted him three consecutive times that ended with a beautiful throw and catch in the end-zone that was unfortunately negated by a penalty. As Brian Billick said on the broadcast, “he looks like Calvin Johnson”, well at least in physical tools coach. Consistency will be the key. Speaking of McSorley, he got a ton of time due to RG3’s injury and acquitted himself fairly well. An underthrown ball where he stared down Boykin was a mistake but he bounced back on the next series and showed some determination and speed. The Kaare Vedvik hype train resumed right on schedule. He booted four field goals, one from 55 out and handled punting duties as well. Now if he can just stay in the right part of town the Ravens can complete a trade with some leg hungry team for the Norwegian.
- Two-Way Player– Patrick Ricard won’t see much time as a Fullback with the Ravens new scheme this season. So if he pans on locking up a roster spot he’s going to need to do it on Defense and Special Teams. He picked up a sack and batted a pass down and was active most of the evening. Former Greyhound, Cyrus Jones grabbed a pick-six and was solid in punt return duties. The Baltimore secondary should be very, very good so he’ll need to shine in the duties of the latter to stay in his hometown. Tyus Bowser showed some ability to get into the backfield. Bowser needs to continue having his name called because it’s make or break time for him.
One Ticket to Canton
2004 Defensive Player of the Year
2000s NFL All-Decade Team
He’s my favorite Ravens player. He’s probably most of yours as well. The Ballhawk. Pick-Sixes are his thing by any means necessary. One of a kind. The punter’s worst nightmare. The third Baltimore Ravens player enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He’s so cool. I could go on but it’s better just to show you.