By now we all know by now that DeSean Jackson has signed with the Ravens for what we believe to be a rest-of-the-season contract. The 35-year-old veteran wideout is looking to revitalize his career with the Baltimore Ravens after recovering from injury.
Some people would say, “beyond his playing time.” Others, including myself, would like to believe that this team is the team to go to when you want to rebuild and/or restart your career. Others would not agree with that statement.
The Ravens had brought in proven vets in other positions, like just a few weeks ago, EDGE rusher Jason Pierre-Paul — or JPP — who is proving to be a huge asset. In previous years, WR Dez Bryant, for example, did alright but nothing major or flashy. Two different guys in different positions, but similar situations. DJax, the team, and the fan base are about to find out which side of the chart he will land.
Jackson has bounced around the NFL a bit with two stints in Philly with the Eagles, (2008-2013, 2019-2020), three years in Washington (2014-2016), two years in pre-Tom Brady Tampa (2017-2018), and most recently with both the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. The Rams were kind enough to include him as a part of their Super Bowl-winning team.
During his time with all of these teams, he made a difference early as a WR1 speedster, and later as a solid third/fourth option for the offensive schemes he was in. If you don’t believe me, we can take a look at all his stats, thanks to Pro Football Reference.
What can Desean Jackson do with the Ravens?
I think he’ll fill in somewhere between DeMarcus Robinson and James Proche. Most likely, he will rotate at WR3 with Robinson, if anything. We all know WR1, Rashod Bateman, is still out with a foot injury, and WR2, Devin Duvernay, has been taking in a good workload — both before and after the Bateman injury. Tight end Mark Andrews is Lamar Jackson’s security blanket, so there goes another read.
If DeSean Jackson can fit in and do well in a Greg Roman offense, then we know the Ravens got something good out of this bargain deal.
I do believe DeSean Jackson will put up numbers against opposing defenses either way. This gives Lamar a dedicated speedster, and another weapon in many different spots on this offense.
Training camp is in full swing now, and we’re starting to get pretty good impressions of all the position groups as we advance. In the last article, we discussed the wide receiver group heading into camp. As everyone has answered in the Ravens ATB poll, we’ll discuss the cornerbacks of 2022.
This unit has been plagued with injury the past few years, particularly during the 2021 season. These guys are looking to make a strong comeback in the upcoming season. It’s the talk of the fan base — and our divisional opponent’s fan bases — on how they’ll hold up to the rest of the division’s top-notch QB/WR duos. We have some answers for you.
The Baltimore Ravens cornerbacks of 2022 will make big splashes in the future
CB1, arguably the leader of this group so far, is the one and the only man who makes tons of questionable Twitter takes, Marlon Humphrey. This guy tore his right pectoral tendon in the Ravens vs. Steelers match-up at the now Acrisure Stadium (formerly known as Heinz Field), doing his best to make the tackle on Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson.
With determination, hard work, and trust in the rehab process, he has been a solid, known presence in training camp. We see instances of the famous “fruit punch” also returning. We’re all very excited for Humphrey to continue the progress forward to be one half of the best cornerback duo in the league in 2022.
Going to the guy on the other side
The man, the myth, the legend. The guy ready to take your chain or intercept your favorite quarterback. Marcus Peters is an absolute ball hawk. Unfortunately, during individual drills, his 2021 season was prematurely ended due to an ACL tear on Sept 9, 2021. During the 2019 & 2020 seasons, though, he was a pivotal contributor to the Ravens’ cornerback group, and led the team in interceptions both seasons.
The words of the coaching staff, his videos of rehab, and seeing him at training camp all seem to indicate that he’ll be ready to go some time by the early part of the season. That will be enormous for this defensive unit. If he is good to go by Week 1, we’ll be thrilled. However, I’m tempering expectations and hoping he’ll be back 110% by week 5. I’ll give you a hint on that opponent, a division rival who threw 525 yards on our 8th stringers last season, and the reigning AFC Champs. No bad blood there, right?
The Ravens Cornerbacks of 2022 are on a head-hunters revenge tour. Having Peters back clapping his hands across from the guy he’s covering, knowing an INT is about to happen, is what we’re all ready to see. Until he returns, we’ll have to look to the “next man up.”
CB3 will most likely be a quality guy
Quality depth is critical in this league nowadays. We have that for sure in Kyle Fuller. A man who has spent most of his career as one of the Chicago Bears’ top corners, and a reliable leader for one year in Denver. We’re lucky to have him in Baltimore Ravens cornerbacks group for 2022.
With the departure of Tavon Young and Anthony Averett, the Ravens were a little thin at cornerback heading into 2022. Fuller fills the void of one of these two guys that left. I feel like he will be more of a AA shoe fill-in. He isn’t going to be a Marcus Peters, but rather a quality impact starter and rotation piece. Once I saw his signing, it was a big sigh of relief for the positional depth.
CB4 could go a few different directions
I think the CB4 spot will go to the freshly drafted 4th-round pick Jaylon Armour-Davis. Armour-Davis has a lot of potential to win this spot from other experienced guys in front of him. His time at Alabama has helped him develop into a reliable young player with a high ceiling, much like former Alabama teammate & my candidate for WR4 this year, Slade Bolden.
And throughout training camp, he is proving that he deserves that role within the first couple of weeks. As a former second-team ALL-SEC player & key piece in the National Championship & CFB Playoff, the Ravens, along with the fans, have a lot to look forward to in 2022
Honorable mentions/practice squad guys
I’ve heard a few people mention that Brandon Stephens could be a star candidate to be a rotational piece at the corner. If true, it will depend on the packages or potentially as a floater for the whole secondary. Stephens showed he deserved a spot on the Ravens’ active roster and is continuing to do so, but we have to count him as a defensive weapon or rotational floater more than a pure cornerback. I think he’ll keep that good progress going.
Two names we could also talk about for a CB5, if the team were to keep five on the roster, would be either rookie Damarion Williams out of Houston or third-year Robert Jackson out of UNLV. Williams shows some good skills on the field that would keep him in the coaches’ talks. Jackson did reasonably well last season, with field time against some big-name receivers. He held his own, but he needs a lot of work.
The rest of the list that we could see on the practice squad or enjoying a preseason tour with the Ravens would include:
Denzel Williams (R) – Villanova
David Vareen (R) – Newberry
Kayvon Seymour (5) – USC
Seymour is familiar with the Ravens, but has shown some hiccups throughout camp. We hope for the best for these young guys, but only time will tell. This group of Ravens cornerbacks heading into 2022 is one to look out for going forward.
Thank you for your time. Let us know what you think will happen going forward with this position. Until next time, have a great day!
It’s time to look at another Baltimore Ravens position battle! The Ravens have a tremendous opportunity to have a big bounce-back in the 2022 season with the help of new coaching techniques, returns from injury, critical free agents, and fresh rookies. With training camp inching our way, it’s time to start looking at some expectations we may have going into the season
With all that being said, the Ravens training camp is also an essential piece of position battles, where certain players will shine their brightest. In the most recent episode of Around The Flock, we talked about the center and left guard position battle. In this article, it’s time to talk about other positions.
The first one up for discussion? Wide receivers.
Rashod Bateman is going to be WR1. His skill set is not only being able to be the big body guy who fights for the ball but also a technician of a route runner, speedster ability, and just overall a guy we can trust to be the face of the position on the Ravens team. His rookie stats and film can show you the proof, too.
WR2 at this moment in time is a toss-up.
It could be Devin Duvernay, who is and can be the Ravens’ version of Deebo Samuel or Cordarrelle Patterson, utilizing not only key receiver routes but also as an RB/Jet sweep ball carrier. There is so much you can do with Duvernay at this point with the correct play calling. There’s also a reason he was voted as an All-Pro and Pro Bowler, even if it was as a returner.
The other contender for WR2 at this point would possibly be — and yes, I’m ready for the heat — James Proche II. Even though he didn’t have a stellar first two seasons, and the rest of the fans make it very clear to our faces and Twitter feeds of that fact, he still has a lot of potential to have a breakout season in his third year. He was trying to show us that he’s getting better with his hands and footwork during this off-season, but can it translate to camp and in-game?
I believe Devin Duvernay will win the WR2 slot by the time week one comes around.
The Baltimore Ravens WR3 position battle is going to be heated.
If Duvernay does indeed win the WR2 position, then we’ll see James Proche compete with a young second-year player out of Oklahoma State, Tylan Wallace. Wallace has only played a couple of snaps in the regular season on offense, but has started to become an excellent player on special teams.
Special teams are where many players get going, then, out of nowhere, bloom into something extraordinary. I’ve got a feeling Wallace will be just that. They are going from just two snaps to being a key WR3 making grabs in the open when Bateman and Duvernay are doubled up.
Honestly, I’m tied with these two as WR3 so we can move on to the fourth.
The one and only Alabama legend himself, Slade Bolden. An undrafted free agent, this guy has all the potential to be that diamond in the rough. His time at Alabama was a shadow behind Jameson Williams and John Metchie.
Still, with the coaching and schemes of the Ravens organization, there isn’t any reason this guy can’t show that he will be a key rotational player for this team.
I’m all in on Slade becoming the last or second-to-last wide receiver on the active roster. Some folks in the Ravens fan base believe that Mr. Bolden is the official WR2 of the team, and I’m not saying that he couldn’t be, but I’m comfortable with him being a WR4 or WR5 now. Eventually he could be in that second spot. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What about the position battles for the rest of the Baltimore Ravens?
The next set of guys will be basically of a 6th man or practice squad quality — if they make the team at all. It’s going to be fun to watch them through camp and the preseason, but outside of that have high hopes but low expectations. This list includes:
Out of all these guys, I’d like to see Jaylon Moore or Makai Polk be added to the practice squad, but only time will tell. Each of these young guys has an opportunity to show that they earn the position they deserve. Training camp is the perfect time to show off.
Some of you may be asking, “what about Binjimen Victor?” Well, I would include him as WR4 or 5, but he was recently placed on the non-football injury list. There isn’t much indication of how long he’ll be out. I had such high hopes for Mr. Victor, but this injury, unfortunately right now, has him on a pending list.
We’re all excited about these competitions, and we’re just days away from the beginning.
My pre-camp final answer to the Ravens WR position battle is as follows the order:
Tylan Wallace/James Proche
Binjimen Victor(Pending injury timeline)
Enjoy this prediction, tear it apart, whatever you fans need to do! This year is going to be exciting either way. Here’s to an enjoyable 2022-23 Ravens season!
Good day Ravens Flock, OT Morgan Moses is now a Raven!
Now that we have gotten all the initial excitement and reactions out of the way after last night’s signing of the veteran offensive tackle, let’s get into some of the details of this signing and the guy’s playing career.
The 6’6″, 335lb, 31-year-old, eight season veteran out of Virginia has been a consistent player throughout his career. Based on the PFF grading scale, he’s been an average 70’s green guy. Most recently, in his last year with Washington Moses reached a bluish-green 80’s grade. During his one year with the New York Jets, he graded 71.0 — even green.
The thing that’s catching everyone’s eye is:
Last year with the Jets, Morgan Moses had only allowed four sacks, ten QB hits, thirty-five hurries, forty-nine pressures, and only three penalties against him in 679 pass blocks. Overall, that puts him at a 95.9% efficiency in pass blocking.
Moses is also as efficient as a run blocker, and in this run-first offense as you would want him to be. There has only been a handful of times in his career that he’s had a better pass blocking grading than his run blocking.
Listed as follows (All while with Washington):
2019, 69.5 Green.
2018, 68.7 Green.
2016, 75.3 Dark Green.
2014(R), 63.2 Dark Yellow.
We’ll let the rookie year slide because he only got 130 snaps total that year.
Morgan Moses has signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Ravens. The big question most of us have is the layout and exact numbers of this contract. Is it evened out? Is it back-loaded, like most teams usually like to do? Or is it front-loaded? Courtesy of Sportrac, we have some numbers and it goes as follows:
$5.5M fully guaranteed
1 year, $5.5M practical
This seems to be very cap and team friendly, especially in year one!
What does this mean for the line-up?
It could mean multiple things. He could end up being our starting RT, or he could be a sure contingency plan in case Ju’Wan James doesn’t work out. Another option is to have him back up Ronnie Stanley if he goes down again.
I prefer Mr. Moses to be the starting RT after this motion, but the coaching staff will make that move accordingly. We still have many days of free agency, and the NFL draft is approaching us very quickly. Their plan is in motion, so the fans need to ride the waves.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Ravens’ Flock, we have our first “parting ways” of the season! I know I’m late to the party but this one is a huge shocker to us all. The Baltimore Ravens and coach Harbaugh have parted ways with now-former defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale in a surprising fashion. Even I’m still screaming “what the f**k” here at home, on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime of our processing of this news, let’s look at some things.
First off, some of the timeline of work within the Ravens staff.
He worked from positional inside linebackers coach (2012-2015) to linebackers coach (2016-2017) to the defensive coordinator( 2018-2022) with the Baltimore Ravens. Beforehand, he was the DC and linebackers coach with the Denver Broncos. And before that, the LB coach with the Raiders and various college-level positions.
Martindale brings swagger with him everywhere he goes His play calling was pretty consistent, and his putting together the defense has been an incredible feat for the past four years as defensive coordinator. As far as his stats go, we’ll get to that soon, but there’s a large set of reasons why much of the Baltimore Ravens fan base would want to keep Wink in house.
Many of us wanted to see his bling or chain come out throughout the season, but unfortunately, we didn’t get many chances to see this happen. Oh well, and it brings us to the next bit of knowledge on now-former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
The official stats of the defenses he built while in Baltimore
Courtesy of Pro Football Reference, we can see all the percentages and overall grades that gave him official stats. We can see an abundance of head coach boosters to add to his resume during his time.
For time’s sake and reading material, here is a screenshot of the PFR stats.
With all that, statistically, he is a coach who has done well during his time with the Ravens. Like I said before, he’s a coach with much swagger, full of trash talk that can back it up, and a guy defensive players want to be around. This year, the trash talk has been overdone because of all the injuries/illnesses hit by the team, but do we expect any less from the unofficial third Ryan brother?
The answer to that is no, and I loved every bit of it.
Now, where does the new Ravens’ Defensive Coordinator search go from here?
At Ravens ATB, we’re already pushing out defensive coordinator candidates’ names internally and externally. I’m not even going to lie here; some are pretty awesome, and some are a little questionable. Nonetheless, here are some of our guys so far.
Linebackers Coach: Rob Ryan
Pass Game Coordinator/Secondary: Chris Hewitt
Defensive Backs Coach: D’Aton Lynn
Defensive Line: Anthony Weaver
Former Vikings HC: Mike Zimmer
Former Jacksonville Jaguars DC: Joe Cullen
Current That Team Up North (Michigan) DC: Mike MacDonald
Former Broncos HC: Vic Fangio
My favorite — or top two guys — to take the job would be coaches D’Aton Lynn or Chris Hewitt out of the current internal staffing options. It isn’t to say that coach Rob Ryan or coach Weaver wouldn’t be good guys to fill the role, because they both have tons of defensive coordinator experience, but we have to look at some other factors.
Two(ish) factors in my pick for coach Lynn are that he was hand-chosen to be the head coach of the college East West Shrine Bowl and would be a “fresh face” in the roll. Those are notable resume boosters in themselves.
Now for external hires
I’m looking at either Mike Zimmer or Mike MacDonald if we’re being sincere. Keep Fangio away from the team cause he might have another feud with our franchise quarterbacks again. Anyways, Zimmer is an experienced guy who knows how to run and build quality defenses at the professional level. Offensively, we know how he handled the Vikings.
On the other hand, Mike MacDonald has been a crucial piece in That Team Up North’s success in this 2021 season. Seeing him do what he did up there was both sickening (coming from an Ohio State household) and incredible (coming from a football and NFL individual fan). If he returned to the professional level and Baltimore, I would be a happy man.
The search for a new Ravens defensive coordinator will be a fun guessing game for our fans, but a stressful period for the organization.