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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss this week’s Ravens mandatory mini-camp and the chances for young offensive lineman to win jobs in an open and fluid summer competition to protect Lamar Jackson and open holes for Derrick Henry.

UMMARY KEYWORDS

year, week, cleveland, play, drafted, offensive line, ravens, starter, talked, guard, tackle, spot, ben, work, field, line, starting, backup, roster spot, seventh round pick

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive reminding everybody out there that loves football or baseball or hills, ravens wherever you are. Make sure you set a spot on your dial for and 1570 in your car. Still come in on the radio. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. What we’re gonna be doing on Wednesday at cocoas on Friday at Cooper’s downtown next Thursday at cost this the following Tuesday at Pappas, what we call the Maryland crab cake tour. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery, we give out scratch offs, we talked about our friends at Liberty pair solutions, keeping our water clean ended Jiffy Lube, multi care, always keeping the oil fresh for me, and we appreciate their annual sponsorship and their support for all that we do around here that allows double duty on a week like this where the oils are home taken on the Braves and Phillies. We’re gonna be out to a crab cake tours fleet weeks happening this week, lots of lots of spring ish stuff happening, including sort of the the end of and we’ll let the Players Association figure this out later, the end of the calendar for practice. And then what becomes real six, eight weeks from now when teams reconvened to start playing fake football in a real way. Luke Jones will be in Owings Mills this week for mandatory camp and, you know, last week OTAs. And we talked about OTAs and Lamar and him being slimmer and him being around and not around and around again. And what all of that means organized team activities. What makes this week different from a fan’s perspective, just you know, for folks that don’t know that this is this is the big one is Fred G. Sanford, once said,

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Luke Jones  01:44

Well, I mean, the big difference is it’s mandatory. So all the veterans who have been in and out over the spring, and we’ve talked about this, and you know, we went back to debate and in scrimmage, the whole Lamar Jackson absence thing and quarterbacks being held to a different standard. But we know, veteran players frequently are, they’re there for a week, and then they’re not there for a week, or they’re not there for the first couple of weeks. And they’re there for the last week or a lot of guys over the years. And we saw this even with the Ravens that, you know, over this three week OTA period, like for example, Kyle Hamilton and some other guys were there the first week, and then we didn’t see them after that. But everyone who’s under contract and healthy, presumably unless there’s an unexpected holdout, I don’t really know who that would be. For the Ravens at this point in time. They’re there for these three days, and you get your first look at okay, what’s this going to look like? in its totality? And sure, there might be a couple guys here and there. Like, for example, Marlin Humphrey has been a little limited this spring, you know, I don’t know, if it’s stemming from the foot or the calf issue. I mean, he had so many, you know, nagging injuries last year that really limited him. But you’re gonna see all these guys, and you’re gonna see what this looks like. And, and there’s a speed to this, right?

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:59

I mean, there’s a, there’s a real speed where wide receivers are running, maybe not 101% max effort. But this is a competitive in mind when I was there. But back when I was a media member, the first 27 years. This was a competitive sort of fiery, little bit of getting to know each other in some level of John wants to get something that feels full speed out of this. Yeah.

Luke Jones  03:24

I mean, you’re still no contact, right? I mean, that’s still part of the equation here. So you’re not only competing, but yeah, every time you add more veterans to the mix, inherently. And it’s typically from the rookies, and all the fringe guys on the roster that know that they’re not assured of a 53 man roster spot, inherently the competition level, bumps up a little bit, even if the Kyle van noise are kind of going through the motions, so to speak. And I just use him as an example of a guy, he’s in his 30s. You know, he’s not getting a whole lot out of the out of this other than just running around and showing the team that, hey, I’m in decent shape. And I’m here, you know, at

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:57

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the Thailand wireless types, you know, want to catch balls here. Yeah, sure. Well,

Luke Jones  04:02

I mean, you know, what, whether you’re talking about backup outside linebackers, you know, we’ve talked so much about the offensive line, which to me is front and center as far as what I’m looking at this week, not that whoever’s lining up as the starters this week are going to be the starters, week one because we know that that’s not remotely the case, necessarily, but who’s in the mix. I’ll give you a perfect example of what you can take away this time of year. And I’ve used this example a lot talking about the rookie sixth round pick last year, big salah, he was a left guard to start training camp. And what do we know he ended up not playing a single regular season snap. But even though you shouldn’t take put too much into that. What you can look at is some trends, some tendencies. Ben Cleveland, talked about him a lot the last few years right former third round pick when they drafted him a few years back that we’re really excited about him to this point, as he’s entering a contract year. It he’d say thumbs up for Thumbs down on that third round pick, you’d say thumbs down, right? He hasn’t played much. Yeah, it hasn’t hasn’t become a starter last year, and even the year before that, at this point, talking may in early June, if you had asked anyone who they thought the left guard would be, then Cleveland was the favorite. You know, I do. And I’ve talked about this before, and your old pal Howard balls was the editor for the Lundy’s, pro football preview. And I’ve had the opportunity to to do that the last few years. My my deadline for that is right after the draft, and I’m I do a projected starting lineup. Ben Cleveland has been the left guard that I picked each of the previous two years. He that never materialized. And I can tell you, in late May, and early June, then Cleveland wasn’t really running with the ones and he was actually playing more right guard than left guard. So that’s where I said projections in

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:57

April make a fool of you right like and to, by the way, love Howard love the Lindsay’s love the Athlon always loved the Sporting News, as before, I have worked there, you know, I use the spy, and I have a collection of them, as you well know, on the radio station on the wall, from the old days, and old draft guides and all of that stuff. Those seasoned previously bibles to me and baseball season, and even baseball lineups and pitching rotations that you’re thinking about in December, that go to publication in February, man, we’re in a different environment. Totally, you know, but you’re trying to encapsulate that as best you can in spring. And I don’t know that you could do that across anywhere in the NFL at this point, specifically in places like the offensive line. And defensively where, you know, even if you have a great front seven, you’re still using 18 starters. On the defense 16 starters in the NFL with sobs and subpackages, and all of those things, but the offensive line, every coach would love the April offensive line to be the December offensive line just never works out that way man ever. Right? And just to finish that point again. It’s not who’s the first team left guard who’s the second team left guard for me, it’s okay, who are the candidates who is lining up there.

Luke Jones  07:14

And that’s why I use Ben Cleveland as example 22 and 23. If you’d asked me in April, who’s the favorite to be the left guard I would say Ben Cleveland. But what we soon would see in OTAs and mini camp was not only was he not the starting left guard, he wasn’t the second team left guard either he was actually playing right guard and he was actually playing right tackle that tells you okay, I don’t think Ben Cleveland’s in the mix there. And yes, can things change come training camp? Of course they can. My point is, it’s the little subtleties so much that you’re looking at this time of year more so than Okay, who’s what the first team who’s with the second team. Now right now left guard. If you ask me who the favorites are and Ben Cleveland’s much more in the mix at right guard. But the two guys that I would say we’ve talked a lot about for Vorhees. Right. You know, Andrew Vorhees we talked about him the seventh round pick from last year torn ACL at the combine. It’s why he was a seventh round pick as opposed to probably maybe a fourth or fifth round pick. So him but I’d also say Don’t sleep on Josh Jones veteran guy they brought in was with the Houston Texans, you know, was with Arizona before that. He started some games in the league mixed results feels very John Simpson like and I don’t mean that that means he’s definitely going to be the starter. I’m saying that in terms of don’t dismiss his chances for that reason, because it feels similar. So this time of year, it’s not about sweeping conclusions. It’s not about strong opinions as far as what’s going to happen. It’s more the subtle things. What do you see and and maybe more interestingly enough, what aren’t you seeing and that’s why I use Ben Cleveland as the example because a couple a couple years ago, it was the Ben powers here, Ben powers ended up winning the left guard job and played it parlayed it into a nice contract with the Denver Broncos. But at this time, at that point in the offseason, two years ago, people were talking about Ben Cleveland. And meanwhile, Ben powers who was in a contract, you’re much like Ben Cleveland now, kind of he sees the brass ring, and he was able to turn it into a nice contract for himself. So you know, you try to project and this is what I don’t want to say is unsettling. But I think is, you know, something to remember. I talked about this all the time. And offensive line is obviously the big position group this year, but the amount of turnover they had there. You said it, you hit the nail on the head in April. You’re always thinking how you want things to go right now this guy is going to be ready to step into this spot. We sign this guy to compete at this spot. And those plans in April and May and June that feels so promising and you feel confident and you have conviction about it. There are quite often not all the time because sometimes it works perfectly, but quite often. It doesn’t work out that way. And that’s why I said right now they’re trying to evaluate as much as they Have but you got to sit here and try to guarantee me that they’re starting left guard is on someone else’s roster right now, I’m not gonna sit here and say that’s impossible. Or if you say they’re starting right tackle because Roger Rosengarten isn’t quite ready to step into the starting job, they might go acquire this year’s version of Oregon Moses, I’m not gonna say that’s impossible come late, late August. So right now you’re just trying to evaluate understanding that it’s not full blown contact. And yeah, you’re working on technique. And there’s a little bit of, you know, their competitive juices flowing. But it’s not even the second week of training camp level of competition, let alone talking about preseason games, where guys are duking it out for jobs, or obviously getting into the regular season where it counts. So you know, this this time of year, football fans, they love it, because you want that fix, you know, and we’re tracking who’s out on the field, for the most part other than Keaton Mitchell, this team is pretty healthy in a big picture sense. You know, some guys are banged up right now that have missed some OTAs. But Mitchell’s the one guy where you say, Hey, he’s not going to be back probably until best case scenario Thanksgiving. If he gives you a change of pace to Derrick Henry and December in January, great, or he may not play this year. I mean, that’s, that’s the nature of a mid December ACL tear like you had last year. So But beyond that, they’re pretty healthy. You want to get through these three days staying healthy. The last thing you want is some kind of season shifting injury. You know, not even talking about the most extreme cases, but you have just a starting caliber player, you lose and suddenly, you’ve got another spot, you have another hole that you need to try to address. So, you know, this week that it like I said, it’s much more on the margins. It’s much more subtle as far as to me having done this a number of years, the observations. And look, I’ll do my 12 ravens thoughts and I’ll tell you who looks good and who dropped a bunch of passes or who made a diving catch and 11 on 11 redzone period, but it really is trying to pick up on okay who’s really in the mix at left guard who’s really in the mix it right tackle, you know, this time of year, they tend to defer to the veteran player. So like I fully expect annual Fall Lele to be lining up at right tackle right now, even if I think Rosengarten has a better chance to be the starter come week one. So you kind of sift through all those filters that you know, this time of year, you know what’s real, and what, you know, what matters and what doesn’t matter which most of it doesn’t matter if I’m being fully honest. But you’re just trying to gauge where things are right now. And, you know, as I said to me, I mean, you can look at some other depth spots were outside linebacker, that number three safety replacing Geno stone. I mean, that’s a position that very much I could still see being someone who’s austere currently coming in and filling that role. But, you know, it’s the offensive line. We’ve talked about it, you know, Lamar Jackson, you know, his odds of being in the MVP mix again, and taking this team late deeper into January and Derrick Henry, whatever he’s gonna look like, so much of this comes back to what’s your line going to look like? And you feel great about Lindenbaum? You’re hopeful about Ronnie Stanley, right. And to his credit, he’s been out there all spring, and has taken every rep. And I think he’s really read the room in terms of where his career is at this point. But he’s still question mark. I mean, we’ve been talking about that for three or four years now and let alone talking about who’s playing left guard who’s playing right guard who’s playing right tackle. I mean, that’s a lot. So yeah, I’m gonna be looking at that. But am I going to come away from this week saying, you know, with any conviction, who I really truly think is going to be the starter at any of those spots? No. But I think we have a better idea of who’s really in the mix. And who are they really envision envisioning as the competitors at each spot because like I said, last couple years, I thought it was Ben Cleveland at left guard and 22 I thought it’d be Ben Cleveland at left guard last year. And after seeing him work on not even work at that position during mandatory minicamp it’s like, okay, I don’t think he’s gonna be in the mix there unless something changes pretty dramatically because he’s working at other positions entirely. That probably is an indicator that they think he’s better off somewhere else and hopefully for their sake, that that place is right guard for Ben Cleveland as he’s going into a contract year.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  14:26

Well Far be it for me to be mean to Cleveland. I’ve never been mean any Cleveland certainly not a bank Cleveland. You take the opportunity when you use a third round pick and you think you’re gonna get that guy on the field. And you can’t get them on the field for whatever reason and you’re up on contract and you and I are still June it’s not even April anymore drafts over with they are where they are. They have this complement of players. He’s a guy that knows the system knows the quarterback knows the cadence knows his way I had a class from where the kid that they drafted this year, they’re just starting right tackle is going to be or thinks he’s going to be a starting right tackle. They hope he’s going to be right. All of these are dark stars. They’re all starters until it starts and they’re off the depth chart and they move positions. What happened with Cleveland? Well give me give me the real rub on what happened from we love him. We think he’s the guy to kick, kick it on the field. And he’s certainly not the guy we thought he was, which was, you know, left guard and a start. Yeah.

Luke Jones  15:34

I mean, I think, you know, some of it is, you know, I think sometimes you kind of look at where they are, where they’re evolving as an offensive line. And that’s where I’m still, you know, I still do have some skepticism because he’s more of the power. Really big guy that you know, you do question, okay, you’re gonna be able to pull and do the things you need to do as a guard. But I think for him, we’ve talked about this a lot, Nestor. And that’s where I still have some healthy skepticism, not pessimism with Roger Rosen garden. And look, I think he’s a really good prospect. I think they got good value, drafting him late in the second round the way they did. But we’ve talked about this, you know, that we talked about this going into the draft where, unless you’re picking in the top 15 spots in the first round, it is really difficult drafting offensive linemen, that are ready to come, play and start as rookies right away. I mean, that’s why Tyler Linder bomb was so impressive. And what he did as a rookie, you know, so I think with Cleveland, it was some of that. I think they’re absolutely and John Harbaugh has talked about this. So I’m not talking about a turn here. He had some nagging injuries. And I think there were some times where they wanted his conditioning to be a little bit better. And he missed some practice time, his first couple years, that time on task for any position, but especially offensive line, where repetition and cohesiveness and building chemistry on the offensive line. And moving is one right, I mean, you know, that that been synchronized and understanding, especially if you’re going to do zone blocking the way that they’ve, they’ve kind of shifted and pivoted to more of that under Todd Monken. Compared to Greg Roman, you’ve got to be on the same page. So when you are missing practice time, when you’re already trying to learn and you’re already trying to develop. And you’re missing out on that. I mean, it just puts you behind the eight ball. So I think that’s really probably the biggest thing that hurt Ben Cleveland, his first couple years. And then I think they identified that, okay, his skill set probably wasn’t quite as conducive on the left side as maybe playing right guard. And I think that kind of showed up. Now they had Kevin Zeiler, the last couple years, then Cleveland wasn’t going to unseat Kevin Zeiler, Kevin Zeitler played at a Pro Bowl level, you know, for his time with the the Ravens. But what you did see the last couple years were those rare occasions, and I think it was what three starts, I think it may have been and maybe some playing time and a couple other games, but then Cleveland played right guard and replace Kevin Zeitler, on those rare occasions when he was banged up. And he played pretty well there. So I think there’s hope that it finally clicks for him. But we’ve talked about this offensive line play, you know, with college, you know, so much of the lack of three point stance and pro style offense is and these teams, you know, having throwing the ball so much, and all these different styles and all these different variables that have impacted offensive line play, not to mention what a coach will tell you in terms of less time on the field in the spring and less time on the field during training camp with not having two days, and all of that and we can certainly debate that that’s a coach’s perspective. That doesn’t mean it’s the gospel truth. But it’s certainly another factor in the discussion in terms of why these offensive linemen don’t develop more rapidly. I mean, we we’ve seen this how many different times now, you know, Ben Powers was the example two years ago where he finally didn’t really figure it out until, you know, halfway through his third year and then really kind of took off in his contract here. We’ve seen that with how many different guys are on the offensive line where you kind of think bust bust bust, and then it’s like, oh, okay, well, he wasn’t that bad.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:14

And then Jensen’s got $100 million in a ring, and it’s just gonna say you

Luke Jones  19:18

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finally develop him, and then he gets paid elsewhere, and to be clear, in most cases, and we could debate Ryan Jensen, because he had a heck of a run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the unfortunate knee injury, you know, which ended his career last year, I guess, the year before that. But, you know, with these guys, you do all this time developing them, and then it’s a question of, okay, they’re finally ready. Who do you invest in long term and who do you say wow, he played really well this year, but he’s probably not a $10 million guard or whatever it was Ben powers got from, you know, the Broncos, I don’t have the contract numbers in front of me. But you know, those are the decisions you have to make but that’s what’s tough about this and that’s why we’re the ravens are with the row line right now is little unnerving because, look, they really liked Andrew Vorhees. As a prospect. There’s no doubt about that, you know, they, they drafted a kid, even with a seventh round pick, knowing that he was not going to play at all last year physically was not going to be on the field at all last year, and even in a practice capacity. But you know, you liked them. But at the same time, they liked Ben Cleveland. They liked Ben powers, they like Tyree Phillips, who never really developed into the player they thought he was going to be. So you know, how quickly do these guys get up to speed? How quickly are they ready to play? And that’s the big question right now facing the Ravens. That’s why I said don’t sleep on Josh Jones as their left guard. That’s why quite frankly, and I’m probably as guilty of this as anyone. As much as I love Patrick mCherry. In the six offensive lineman spot where he’s your backup at all five positions on game day, and can do that really well. We probably shouldn’t dismiss the possibility or probability is probably the better word of Patrick mCherry starting somewhere on this O line because you don’t know if all these young guys are going to be ready to play and we know that. Okay, Patrick mCherry. Is he going to give you as much upside is what you envision? Envision Roger Rosen garden? Give me giving you at right tackle? No, of course not.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:17

But but the machine that because of their draft pick. That’s exactly vision part happens. Right. And

Luke Jones  21:22

that’s the part. I mean, whatever Roger Rosen garden is going to be as a player. And look, that could be a really solid, good, maybe even above average, right tackle. Is he going to be that week one of his rookie year though? Is he going to be that week five of his rookie year is even going to be that week 11 of his rookie year, you don’t know until you get out on the field and see what these guys look like. And that’s why I said, you know, if Patrick McHenry ends up being their starting right tackle that probably shouldn’t be shocking. Not saying that’s optimal. But, you know, he knows the system. He knows how to play all five spots and asleep even if he’s not going to be great at all five spots. Your job Alessandra and John Harbaugh. Their heads hit the pillow at night knowing that Patrick McHenry is going to at least know his assignment. He might get beaten physically from time to time, but he’s gonna know his assignment and he’s gonna post up and you trust them. That’s why he’s one of the best. You know, if you talk about six offensive linemen, you know, you think about like a utility infielder, he might be the best, most valuable in that role in the NFL, because he can play all those spots. So when you have an offensive line with three starting jobs that are wide open right now, how could you dismiss Patrick Macquarie’s chances to maybe be one of those starters? Not even because performance of him, but more. So what’s the performance of the other candidates? Are those young guys ready to step in? So I could see a scenario right now Nestor. If I’m looking into you’re looking into the purple crystal ball, City, Kansas

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:51

City Thursday night, let’s go bright line Macquarie

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Luke Jones  22:54

might be the right tackle then. But Roger Rosen garden might be ready in say Week Four to take over as the starter. Chris McAllister was a great example. This he he started most of his rookie year, he didn’t start week one, go back and look at it. You know, he I think he think McAllister want to say hit hit the starting lineup and week four or something like that I could be wrong. But point is we’ve seen those examples before where, you know, you’re rookies as much as you’re hoping as much as you’d like them. They’re not always ready right off the bat. And that’s why it’s so Mark

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:25

Andrews or an Orlando brown that come out of the third, fourth, fifth round and play. I mean, that can happen to

Luke Jones  23:32

oh, it can in Orlando Brown is a good example. He didn’t start week one. But boy, he was ready halfway through his rookie year, and he took the job and ran with it from that point. So you know, you never really know. That’s why it’s so important for them to have options. And that’s why I said, Don’t dismiss the possibility that they go out. And, you know, could be a draft pick, swap, something like that, where you go acquire some other teams, left guard or right tackle because, hey, they have a young guy that they like, is cheaper, and they’re gonna trade their vet, to the ravens, they’re gonna get a draft pick out of it, and they’ll save some cap space in the process. So you never know how it’s gonna play out. But that’s why this week, yeah, I’m taking notice of who’s lining up where and, you know, not so much because I think that that’s going to be what it is week one, but you can at least see All right, who’s actually a candidate, and who is the guy that maybe isn’t a candidate. And like I said, Ben Cleveland the last couple years, we found out pretty quickly. He’s not really in the mix it left guard, it looks like he’s more of a right guard slash backup, right tackle, you know, which was kind of where he practiced all last year. So you know, this year, then Cleveland, I expect him to be either working out as a starting right guard or the backup right guard. If he’s lining up somewhere else, then I’m kind of scratching my head again. So um, and, you know, I’m not picking on Cleveland here. Let’s be clear. He’s the example I’m using to kind of illustrate. What are you really looking for right now? What’s true, you know, What’s, who are the real candidates who’s kind of lining up in a spot for one day, and then they move them back to his regular position? Like fall Lele is a great example of this. They’ve talked at different points about maybe putting him at guard. You know, they talked about this last spring, you know, that he might be one of the starting left guard candidates. If he practiced at all at left guard last year, it was at a time when media wasn’t out there. I mean, so, you know, they’re gonna say lots of things. And look, some of it is code speak, but some of it is they truly don’t know yet. I mean, they really don’t know how these guys are gonna respond. So yeah, you start to peel back the onion, so to speak, having the full assortment of players on the field this week. And then you kind of see where it ends up. And then we’ll see what week one a training camp looks like. And then we’ll see what the first preseason game looks like. And then we’ll see what week four and five of training camp looks like. And then we’ll see what final roster cuts look like. And if Eric Acosta makes any trades, and kind of what it looks like at that point, but it’s very fluid, stating the obvious when you have three spots where you don’t know who the starter is. So yeah, I’m interested to see where that what that looks like. And, you know, beyond that, I think it’s a lot of depth spots, which, as we pointed out throughout the offseason, the thing that the 2023 ravens had going for them. It’s beyond the MVP at quarterback and beyond their star players on either side of the ball. They had so much depth, they had so much quality depth. When you talk about a guy like chinos stone when Marcus Williams gets hurt in week one, and Gino stone. What led the AFC in interceptions, right. I mean, when you have depth players like that, they’ve lost a number of those guys, you know, Ronald Darby. And, you know, we’ve talked about, you know, to Davey on clowny, who wasn’t a depth guy as a starter, but the point is, they’ve lost a lot of that depth. So what are you looking at? You’re looking to see young guys step forward, you know, Hey, David a job though. It’s go time. You know, I understand you’ve been hurt the last couple of years. And that’s not his fault. But he’s a second round pick. They need him to play this year. You know, he doesn’t have to be a starter, but he better be in the rotation. Otherwise, then, yeah, I’ll have some more questions about about their outside linebacker room and their pass rush situation. So you know, you’re looking at that you’re looking at the young guys, you know, someone like Jalen armour Davis, for example, who is a fourth round pick a couple years ago outside corner, he played some as a rookie, you know, he was someone that they thought pretty highly of. It hasn’t come to fruition. And now, hey, they drafted Nate Wiggins, and they drafted TJ Tampa. Jalen armour Davis, it’s now or never, I mean, your roster spots, probably not guaranteed at this point. So you’re looking for all those different young guys on either side of the ball to really step forward. And you mentioned tylan Wallace. He’s a little bit of a different guy at wide receiver because he is such a good special teams player. But yeah, hey, you’re in the last year of your rookie contract, any guy that’s in his final year of his rookie deal, that’s kind of a Rindge backup, kind of his mind. He’s gonna catch 3035 balls in the offense. He’s home. So now do I think he’s going to know, but I think he is a valuable contributor on special teams that will keep his roster spot. But hey, they drafted to Vaughn Tez. Walker, and they’ve got some other young wide receivers in camp that you’re trying to see if any of them can stick. So you’re doing that at every position. I mean, it’s you know, it’s just the, it’s where they are right now. So just a little less depth this year than they had a year ago. So it’s where mandatory minicamp and obviously, the early weeks of training camp. You want to see some of those young guys flash and say, okay, they’re not gonna be a starter but can that guy beat the three number three safety connect guy be the number four outside linebacker, he’s gonna be in the rotation? Can that guy be the number four wide receiver to run a go route? And hopefully Lamar Jackson can hit them in stride? You know, who’s who are the backup running backs gonna be the Derrick Henry because, you know, Keaton, Mitchell’s not going to be there. You know, Justice Hill, who else? So you’re trying to slowly but surely get answers for that. And you’re not going to get definitive answers this week. But you can start to get some hints and some clues as far as what the team’s thinking with where these guys are lining up. You

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:07

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know, for folks that listen to us and sort of whatever wisdom, you know, my 30 years of being in the locker room brings and you’ve been 15 years now into this at this time of the year to measure expectations for stuff. Because for me, these backups that we that I was always paying attention to and have an out to the barn back in the day that became Mike Flynn or became Zach or became Bart Scott or became anything and that way. The Andrews injury and what we went through with likely and saying a guy can step up where we are right now for me with Ronnie Stanley, with Marlon Humphrey with guys that I’m questioning their physical ability to play 18 games or 20 games however they’re going to need to play this year. The real question is for the game, or series of games, or half the season or the Enter the season, or when you see Kansas City in January, who’s going to be playing, as opposed to when you see, you know, Kansas City and our Labor Day. It really does come from the depth of all of this to say, Who’s going to step up who’s going to play, and it’s in this sort of competitive environment where they’re perceived to be very good. They have the MVP, they have all this capability. There’s a lot of opportunity in this camp for a lot of things to watch for a team that won a lot of football games last year. And a lot of things to your point maybe can go wrong, not right, because it’s hard to be 13. And for, you know, in defected, you know, 101 wins for the ORS it’s hard to do that, again, is we’re going to find out as the pitching attrition starts with baseball, but for to all of our points in the difference makers, and all of this as you you can piss on Simpson, or, you know, any of the players here from last year, they were part of 13 and four, and they clowny you know, guys that came in here that we hadn’t heard of that made huge impacts, and you better hope Kyle van Noy makes as much impact this year as he made last year, because mostly you paid him to do it, but you’re kind of expecting him to do it. And that’s where last year doesn’t equal this year. And that’s where young guys man, young young guys have to step up. And guys like Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley who are is is better be they better be?

Luke Jones  31:22

Yeah, no doubt. And obviously Stanley compensation wise, you know, he’s where they kind of evaluate him as being right now, which is still a starting caliber player, but not much beyond that. I mean, and that’s, that’s why I took a pay cut and everything but the other tear. And you mentioned Kyle van Noy, and this would be my last thought on it. But yes, the young guys, yes, you need your superstars to play like stars. I mean, that’s obvious for any team, and you need them to stay on the field, as we saw with the Ravens with Lamar late in the season, and 21 and 22. As we saw with Joe burrow in Cincinnati last year, you don’t have your quarterback, you don’t have your superstars. Nothing else really matters. He might be, you might be okay. But you’re not going to be anything that’s going to do anything in January. But I think the other key here and this is where it’s TBD. Is, you mentioned Kyle van Noy. Vannoy, signed in late September clowny, signed in mid August, Ronald Darby signed in mid August, Arthur Mallette, signed in late July. Look at those veteran signings they hit on all those guys. Can Eric to Costa, I’m not saying they have to sign for those guys again. But if you need a guard, or if you need a tackle, or if you need another edge rusher, or if heaven forbid, someone you know, a corner goes down with a season ending injury on the third day of training camp, can you go out and get another veteran corner? Those guys it’s not just signing them or acquiring them via trade. Are they going to hit for you. And last year, all those four guys I just mentioned all made really meaningful contributions for them. That’s, that’s tough to do that every year too. I mean, Eric d’acosta made a lot of that signings, and yes, some a lot of them have worked out, but not all of them work out. And, and that’s the same, not just for the cost. But that’s any GM, you’re not going to bat 1000 with that. So they just were so good with all that last year, that duplicating that will also be another challenge. That’s why it’s so important. These young guys, this draft class, last year’s draft class, there’s going to be to your point, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity, not so much necessarily beyond starting jobs, oh line aside. But there are a lot of meaningful backup spots that are up for grabs right now where you say okay, you’re not going to start you’re not going to line up as one of the 11 on the first play of the game. But you got to look at the final game book, dirt there, there’s a spot 25 snaps as an outside linebacker to be had, there’s a spot as a dime back to be had or a number three safety or rotational defensive lineman, whatever I mean, throw whatever position you want to talk about. So there’s a lot of opportunity. So you’re hoping that these young guys on the roster are ready to step forward. In the meantime, Eric Decosta will continue to evaluate what veterans could be out there that they add to the mix at some point between now and I wouldn’t even say September 5 Because as I said, Kyle van Noy came in in late September and still had racked up nine sacks so you never know when it’s going to come but you’re certainly looking for a number of young guys to really step forward. If this team is going to truly be in a position where they don’t miss a beat from what they did last year in the regular season. All

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:25

these Kyle’s I’m worried about Bradish you’re trying to get Gibson back here we’re trying to get van Noy out on the field. China this week Hamilton Absolutely. Braves in Phillies in we are a Coco’s on Wednesday we are at Coopers and Fells Point on Friday. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery conjunction with our friends at Liberty pure solutions, making our water clean as well as Jiffy Lube. Multi care keep the car on the road. I am Mr. Hughes Luke we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore sports. And even like Thomas Dalby talking, she blinded me with science. We’re Baltimore positive doc come stay with us this week

Luke Jones and Nestor discuss Ravens mini camp and chances for young offensive lineman to win jobs

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