Ravens training camp: From A to Zay

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Luke Jones and Nestor take a very temporary break from all of this pennant race baseball to get you ready for Ravens season. What is John Harbaugh really trying to accomplish over the next six weeks besides not getting anyone hurt?


play, dobbins, ravens, year, orioles, point, injury, training camp, lamar, practice, marlon humphrey, offense, week, game, owings mills, corner, running backs, players, position, football


Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W n s t, Towson, Baltimore. Baltimore positive, we’re positively into football season. I know it’s hard to take, especially with the Orioles winning and the trading deadline and all that stuff. But Luke is dusted off the old purple flag and he’s headed out to Owings Mills. They let him in. They don’t let me in. So he is the source for all of these things. We’ll be counting on him on a daily basis here, even though the Orioles play some nights and he has to do both because neither team likes me and because they fear me, but I’ll be getting into that and our 25th anniversary next week. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery I’ll be giving away I don’t know if it’s gonna be these or not because I only have a handful of these left. But August 3 is our 25th anniversary. I have books and tapes and pictures and shirts and hats and things and seat cushion and autograph Ray Lewis stuff and autograph Joe Flacco stuff and I just want to give away so we will be doing this on August the third including scratch offs in the mirror louder you get a chance to win $100 Our friends at window nation also putting on the Maryland crab cake tour and our 25th anniversary 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free 0% financing for two years and next week’s the one year anniversary of my windows and certainly going to need them. As it heats up. You know, humidity gets to 80% It’s 94 degrees, it must be time for training camp. Right. And here we are the most unusual of training camps and a lot of ways because the Orioles are so relevant, right. So on the tip of our tongue, so six days a week, if not seven days a week. At least I don’t play 14 innings anymore. But it’s a baseball heartbeat years we go into football, dare I say with high high expectations and Owings Mills. You’ve been out there, towel off for us here. And I guess the full preview would be it’s going to be a JK Dobbins Derby right like that. The drama isn’t Lamar anymore, the LA Marathon or any specific injury. The drama now is the running back, right. Yeah, I

Luke Jones  02:02

mean, I think that’s probably the biggest headline. I mean, I think Rashad Bateman, he’s also starting on P up and still dealing with some remnants from the foot injury from a year ago. So he’s going to be worth monitoring the since I’ve gotten his we might not see him the first week or two. But it doesn’t sound like it’s something that they’re overly concerned about at this point. But then again, it’s a foot injury and we know how important that is. But, but you just said it. I mean, when JK Dobbins he’s officially on the PU P list, I don’t get the sense that we’re going to hear, you know, we’re not going to get any clarity on the record about you know, from from what John Harbaugh is going to say, and that’s how these, quote hold ins not hold out, but hold in. That’s how it kind of it kind of plays out a player says that he’s not ready to practice, you know, whether it’s a hamstring issue or conditioning issue, whatever it might be. But we know that the real story behind it is a business rationale to it. Now, I have not gotten a sense. If this means JK Dobbins plans to hold in for an extended period of time. I’ve heard from some people in the building that they wonder if he might still be out there the first couple days of practice and play it out because I don’t think he’s like, I don’t think Dobbins is dumb. I don’t think these running backs that are trying to play their hand however they can, in what has become such an overly depressed market at that position. We’ve talked about this for years, but it only seems to be getting worse and that way. I don’t think they’re dumb. But I think there is a sense of what do we do about it? And in the case of JK Dobbins specifically you and I’ve talked about it, I’ve talked about it with Dennis, I’ve talked about it with other people in this local market fans and media. And the general sense is to have access to go out there and play. You know, he doesn’t have the track record of a say Quan Barkley, or have a Josh Jacobs or some other running backs who are, frankly collecting dust on the market.

Nestor Aparicio  04:02

I mean, the Ravens just be that they can’t win without him. Right. And look, look man, I’ll give Mark Ingram and I know there were mixed reviews on him in and outside the organization and big trust and you know, all the things that but damage the same without him to a large degree and the GUS bus that was sort of his finishing bulldozer that would come in when it was 41 to seven la Memorial Coliseum on a Monday night and purple jerseys, right? So you know, you go back to that era of what they were. And listen, it’s different when I have NFL agent Chad weaseling out at spirits West a couple of weeks ago, by the way, the godfather is Wednesday. You want to go out there, get the sandwich. I still gotta get out there. Keep looking at that picture and drooling watching pike eat that thing. But we spent an hour hour and a half Chris and I were Chad weaseling talking about Josh Jacobs and the running back position. And that money I’ve seen all of this conjecture the last couple of weeks since it did that piece. Were like the running backs have a little text thread and maybe there’s a little Like downlow underground union forming amongst the running backs, but to some degree, it’s, Hey, dude, if you rip your knee up and the last preseason game, we’d live without you. Now, that being said, they tried to live without Jamal Lewis here one year and that didn’t go so well. Right. So and we’ve tried to live without this running back thing. And Lamar in harm’s way which he’s going to put himself in harm’s way anyway, I’m, I’m convinced that it’s just the way he plays the game. And when he’s effective in playing the game, that this, that it would cripple the Ravens. If JK Dobbins isn’t on the field, the first week of September, for whatever reason, injury pay up hurt feelings, hold down. All the running backs decide the first week of the year there. They’re not going to play. I don’t I don’t know what that does. But I I don’t I don’t think they’re sweating this out in Owings Mills, right. Like in a lot of ways I said to you about Lamar is contract a year ago, two years ago, you know, this is for fans to talk about. But like in the building, they’ll just put another running back in and hit a tackling dummy. And that’s the way it rolls right now. And if he’s ready to play, he’ll play and if he can play he will play and he doesn’t want to play. Now just go play without him. Although he’s banging pots and pans. I don’t think the organization is nearly as concerned about this as the running backs on the whole. And Chad and Josh Jacobs and all their agents are about the position. Yeah, I

Luke Jones  06:23

think that’s fair. For the most part. I mean, look, is Jk Dobbins the best running back on their roster right now? Yeah, and I don’t think it’s particularly close that said, How much is the position truly worth and I don’t mean that in the sense that running backs don’t matter. I know Aaron Schatz and other football analytics types over the years have kind of, they’ve been beating that drum. And but even some of those individuals, like Aaron Schatz, for example, have said, probably wasn’t as much running backs don’t matter as much as offensive line really, really, really matters to your running game. And in the case of the ravens, specifically, not just Lamar Jackson running the ball, but more specifically, the threat of Lamar Jackson running the ball has made JK Dobbins better made marking room better four years ago has helped Gus Edwards. So yeah. Do the Ravens want Dobbins on the field? Absolutely. Does he give them more upside at that position than anyone else they have on the roster, including having just signed Melvin Gordon, you know, a former two time Pro Bowl selection. Yeah. But is this going to is their season ruined if JK Dobbins decides to hold out and I don’t think I’d be surprised if it would leak into the regular season, I think you’re talking about skipping the first couple weeks of training camp, something along those lines. Well, that’s

Nestor Aparicio  07:45

what that define the in for my people, because I’m still trying to get my arms around the term hold, what the hell is hold in,

Luke Jones  07:53

in is they are in the building, they are taking part in meetings, because if you hold out, when you’re under contract, you’re subject to a daily fine, you know, and I trying to think what the number is off the top of my head, I should know this. But it’s, it’s at least a substantial five figure fine. For, especially for players on a rookie contract, it would add up, it would add up after a while. So we’ve seen more and more players do this in recent years, where they report so they’re not breaking any rules that way. They’re taking part in all team meetings. But when it comes to where the real risk is, which we know is being on the field and actually practicing and potentially being hit and potentially suffering a noncontact injury, whatever. That’s where the the action or inactivity takes place where they say, I’m not ready to practice and, you know, whether it’s a hamstring, whether they say it’s a conditioning thing, whether it’s some other lingering issue. You know, everyone kind of knows what’s going on. But what you say publicly, now it’s a little bit different. So that’s why you saw Dobbins, placed on the active puup list, and he can practice at any point. And again, maybe he’s out there, maybe he’s already out there. By the time someone’s listening to you and I talk about this. I don’t think it’s a fait accompli as far as how that how he’s going to proceed. But it’s clear that he’s been part of I don’t know if you mentioned almost like the running backs forming their own little union or a coalition, whatever it is, I mean, clearly, there’s concern and understandably so, you know, I talked about this a lot. It’s been written about a lot in recent years. But in the case of Dobbins individually, he has to have a great year, right? I mean, he wants to get paid by the Baltimore Ravens, or by one of the 31 other teams. That only happens if he goes out and has a healthy season where he’s playing at least 15 or 16 games, let’s say and has over 1000 yards, shows some chops as a receiver out of the backfield, which I think you’ll have an opportunity to do in Todd Monken his offense that was not really something that was part of it. like Romans offense for these running backs, so there’s plenty for him to gain and still a lot for him to lose by not playing. You know, that’s that’s the difference here. And frankly, I

Nestor Aparicio  10:09

think then you do whether practice is important or not right. You know, I don’t know that he’s good enough to not practice. I mean,

Luke Jones  10:15

literally. And I think that’s, you know, and that’s where we get into this gray area, right? If he skips the first week, if he skips the first two weeks of practice, do I think that has a tangible, significant impact on his season? No, I don’t. However, if you’re talking about him not practicing until August 28th, then I think we are getting into different territory there. So So I think, again, how this plays out is going to be very interesting. It’s certainly, and let’s be clear, we’re talking about this as a headline. This pales in comparison to what we could have been talking about over the last two weeks with franchise tag deadline for Lamar Jackson. And if he hadn’t reached a long term deal, when the heck was your franchise quarterback gonna show up now that would have been far more dramatic, far more consequential. So I’m with you, though. Do the Ravens want Dobbins out there? Of course they do. You know, especially John Harbaugh and the coaching staff, do they, you know, are they in a position where they’re losing sleep over this at the moment? I don’t think they’re at that point yet. Because I don’t think they’re, I don’t think there’s a sense that they’re worried about Dobbins sitting out the year, for example, or sitting out the first few games, because he doesn’t have the track record of some of these other backs. So he still has way too much to gain by playing now. That might mean he slow plays it for himself. And he’s not out there till August 8, or August 10. But as long as he’s out there, and you know, he’s every indication I’ve gotten gathered is he’s in great shape. You know, there’s not no question about that for him. It’s not as though he’s not putting in the work, but you still need to practice and get ready for football shape, right. So, so I think that’s where, you know, right now, there’s definitely some unknown, definitely some drama. Definitely some frustration, there’s

Nestor Aparicio  12:08

always drama, right? I mean, like, there’s always something organization has had months and months and months of drama with the quarterback, they finally settle that down, there’s going to be an injury at some point, something stupid is going to happen because it’s gonna happen in every camp, which is one of the reasons I got no vibe with, you know, JK Dobbins, hold, hold out, hold and do whatever you need to do, as long as you’re ready to play against Houston. Like, fair enough, you know what I mean? And I don’t know that John’s as new age about it as that and I’ll be writing a lot about John this season. And my thoughts about John now that I’m, I don’t have to look at him you do, but I don’t have to look at him to ask questions. And I’m not allowed to ask questions. There’s, there’ll be a lot of questions and I, I would just say this do so. So beyond Dobbins. Okay, forget that that’s there. Because I’m not all that concerned with it. For me. This is about mungkin the installation of the offense. Who’s gonna play guard? How healthy Ronnie Stanley is? Where are we with Odell Beckham and J flowers and, and in Listen, look, the amazing thing is when I go out now wherever I go, literally, I spent the entire evening on Sunday. And do we beach I didn’t get out of car other than gas up at ROFO, Queenstown and I pulled into Dewey Beach. And everywhere I went at Itami con law show Philadelphia guy, the Ravens people at Oriel people in the bar Joe from Bel Air bend to my ear and they they’re all talking Orioles. But when it moves to the ravens, it’s about like hey is Bateman health? It’s always about health and it’s always about there’s no questions about Roe Quan Smith right. There’s no questions even about Lamar has health at this point. There’s, you know, this is now about like, All right, we’re five six weeks out on playing. This is the first time you and I’ve had you know a breath that’s not pitching Mike Elias trading deadline. Gunner gunner gunner Adly Adly Adley show a you know, it’s been all baseball around here. When we revive into this these preseason games are awful. The only news they’re gonna make out there’s an injury at this point, because you’re going to tell me how a flower zigs and and Bateman Zags and Odell Beckham is going to take pretty pictures and he’s going to be drinking out of a hose and it’s going to be all you know, like it’s going to be all training camp and pictures and autographs and kids, I guess as it should be right? But the next five or six weeks they want it to be quiet out there and they expect it to be mainly quiet and the only thing that’s going to make noise for you is that dreaded wn S T text where something awful happens in a way that we don’t want it to like the way that with Dennis Pitta or like that this time of the year were quiet hot is good and less preseason games is certainly good man.

Luke Jones  14:57

Yeah, yeah. And we’ve seen certainly You know, starting with the, I mean it really It started last few years but especially post 2021. With what happened with Dobbins with some other players they lost in that preseason. We saw it last year. I mean, very few starters played at all, you know, and even some of them anywhere, right? I mean, even some of the lesser starters, you know, even those guys, we’re getting a series or two and, and all indications are pointing to that continuing. So, you know, preseason football continuing to be awful. And it makes

Nestor Aparicio  15:27

for screwy games when like the Bengals take it seriously or whatever, right. Like there’s some teams that will play. We’ll play some starters here and again, to get them ready. And it doesn’t always jibe with what John’s trying to do, or what Mike is trying to do. Right.

Luke Jones  15:42

Yeah, I mean, that’s always strange. And that tends to be tends to be newer coaches, newer coaching staffs and younger teams, quite frankly, I mean, there’s clearly some benefit for less experienced teams to do some of that, but I certainly have not gotten any indication just because Todd Monken, and a new offense and some new moving parts at wide receiver. Now we’re gonna have to wait for week one for most of you guys out on the practice field, like literally right? And again, even that, you know, how much can you really glean from that? I mean, I can tell you there were there were plenty of years where Greg Romans offense was working on the passing game a ton, and then the game starts and while they’re running the ball, so you always want to keep that in mind. But But you just said, and I think that’s what’s so interesting about this. And frankly, I think, I think John Harbaugh and Eric de caster and even Steve Ashanti are okay with this from the standpoint of let training camp, go under the radar, a little bit more than normal. I mean, it’s it’s wild, desperate, I’m sure you’re experiencing the same thing. People in my life, whether I’m talking about my own friends and family, whether I’m talking about people I follow on social media that I’ve just interacted with for years, you know, people that I would say our football, ravens people 90% of the time, 95% of the time, are they really without mentioning baseball to you? Yeah, right. And it’s, and it’s not even just the Orioles. But like, they don’t mention a whole lot of other sports in general. It’s ravens all the time. And yet, all I’m seeing the last couple months, is them posting about the Orioles or them asking me about the Orioles. And look, that’s great. You know, that’s a good thing. That’s that’s a positive. But so it’ll be interesting to see how that meshes with training camps starting to look. But it’s the NFL, right? It’s the ravens, there’s still so much enthusiasm. They’re gonna have 1000 posters

Nestor Aparicio  17:30

come September 7, when they kick off on that Thursday night King and we can’t find the game because it’s on Amazon Prime or whatever the hell it is right? Like, and once you could start betting on it, and once you can start playing fantasy and once Lamar zigzags or, you know, whatever happens with Lamar, it will. And it’s gonna be different this year. And he you know, he’ll definitely feel that with his salary and the expectation level, when he throws the pic against the giants that cost the gate. It magnifies, it just does. In the same way it magnifies when Kyle Bradish takes the ball now, because it’s just different. It’s just different when Dean Kramer has the ball in Philadelphia on Monday night, and every pitch matters. And we’re gonna be living with that, even though we’re not really living with that. But once you get the first place be a trading deadline this week. I mean, I the football, oxygen, and what’s going to be there for you going back and forth because again, they don’t let me in, which really sucks. I mean, especially on Monday, we’re you know, your work and training camp and the Phillies are playing and I’m 60 miles away from being at 68 miles away from the stadium. I get up there. i It is an interesting summer on a day by day basis, where sports has come flooding in. And it’s not really about the football team until September 7. We’re gonna talk about it every day and there’s gonna be a reason, whatever, but there’s not really any activity in Owings Mills, other than this guy took more reps or this guy didn’t know this guy’s got a hamstring pull and that guy doesn’t. Because even the games don’t ramp to anything. The games are so and I mean, they’re a joke when you and I joke. We were joking about it. 10 years ago, now they start on Twitter. And it’s like, you’re not even gonna stop what you’re doing in Ocean City on a Thursday night at seven o’clock to think about anything other than did JK Dobbins rip his knee up and I remember exactly where I was when that happened. And I guess I’m one of the 20% that were actually watching the game that night because it was a hazy lazy Friday night. It’s seven six o’clock it was early in the year it’s crazy. But look he’s here he is Baltimore Luke you can find him anywhere. Good sports are sold the Orioles ravens will be in both places. We’re specifically on to the Ravens right now. We’re doing plenty Oriole talk, plenty of trade talk plenty of showing Otani talk, but from the football perspective, give me the loop Jones questions and the things that you’re picking the mind of John Harbaugh picking the sort of pieces of part of what Monken is trying to do out there. They’re, they have tools in the toolbox here. I mean, and there’s a high level of expectation for what this offense can be. And that means like, they’re gonna go out, put a 40 points, some weeks, you know what I mean? This getting the 17 points, 20 points, kick in three, four field goals. I mean, as much as we love Justin talker, and he’s the goat and he’s going to Canton and all that. They need to score touchdowns and they need to possess the ball, and they need to be in good down. And this all those things we saw in 2019. Need to see more of that. What are you looking for?

Luke Jones  20:33

Yeah, yeah, I mean, well, I mean, a lot of what you just said. And I mean, that was they were doing that for the beginning of the Roman era. But it got to a point where it plateaued and got to a point where it was starting to backslide. So that’s why they made the move they made up during training camp specifically, and because of the nature of what we can and can’t report, you know, tactical information, all that compared to just observations. These are questions that will will be ongoing, right. And even week one, we’re not going to get the full answer to that, you know, week two, we won’t have the full answer to that. I think right now, some of these questions that we asked Todd Monken and John Harbaugh and T. Martin, their quarterbacks coach, they’re all asking the same thing. And it’s all going to be a matter of you know what exactly they can and can’t handle what Lamar Jackson can and cannot handle in terms of a new offense. And that’s, that’s not unique to Lamar, or unique to the Ravens offense. That’s how every team, you know, they they go through their install in the preseason, and they kind of figure out what do we do really well? What do we do pretty well? And what do we put on the backburner or scrap entirely because that’s just that doesn’t really fit our profile. Our personnel are specific players. So you know, I think, you know, clearly there’s going to be so much focus on the passing game. And that’s for, for obvious reasons. You have a quarterback that’s the highest paid player in the NFL. You have added Odell Beckham, you’ve added ze flowers who indications I get, they’re extremely high on ze flowers. And I don’t just mean oh, he’s our first round pick. We like him. I think they feel that he’s going to be a very significant part of what they do from day one. And I think they feel that he has the kind of potential even though he’s not the prototype, big wide receiver, I think they feel that He absolutely has the potential that he could be their number one wide receiver, maybe not week one, but at some point later this year, and certainly moving forward in the future. That’s what they think of ze flowers. That’s how high they are on him. So you know, but specifically for the offense issues you’re looking at. I already mentioned it in passing, how’s Rashad Bateman’s foot now he’s on key up to start the summer. There isn’t that what from what I’ve gathered, there’s not this dramatic concern that there’s some kind of chronic issue but you know, he had the cortisone shot back in June. You know, he had screws removed from his foot from going back to the Liz Frank injury. It’s a but it’s a list Frank, Jimmy Smith played with years and years after his. And he’d be the first to tell you that was the most frustrating, nagging, annoying injury that he had, because he’d feel it on it on a cold damp day. You know, he’d feel that so certainly that’s worth monitoring with Bateman. You mentioned left guard and passing. That’s the most obvious position battle they have on either side of the football right now. I think they would love big salah the sixth round pick, you know, who turned some heads in the spring, they would love to see him take that take, you know, take the brass ring there. And you know, take the baton and run with it at left guard, you’d love to have a rookie who has three more years of Team control after 2023 take that job, is it going to happen? We’ll have to see again, contact, the threat of contact, putting on the pads far different than talking about spring workouts. So you know, they have John Simpson at left guard as well as an option. I think he’s kind of the he’s the veteran where I think they feel they know what they can get out of him. He’s probably the proverbial high floor option. Whereas big solid is probably the seal the high ceiling option. And we’ll see how Ben Cleveland fits into that picture I made. I didn’t mince any words about the fact that he didn’t look like he was particularly in the mix. In the spring. In fact, he was moving around some other positions. So left guards the big question Question mark. But that’s not the you know, fans aren’t waiting with bated breath for updates on the left guard picture. It’s going to be all about the passing game all about how Lamar looks all about what practicing adjusting at the line of scrimmage, hurry up offense. They have talked at length about wanting to play with more tempo, which was such a point of contention with Greg Roman and delay of game penalties and all of that. So how much of that was Roman? How much of that was lore? How much of that was other players? I mean, these are the kinds of Thanks, we find out right? You can spend the entire offseason and I don’t mean the ravens, but everyone talking about it right. And it’s easy to point at Greg Roman because he’s not here anymore. And certainly, there were elements of what he did. That has had been part of his track record were passing game, whether you’re talking ravens, buffalo, San Francisco, it had kind of always reached the same endpoint where Greg Roman can’t take you any further in terms of your passing game and taking your offense to a new level. So enter Todd Monken. And we’ll see how that’s gonna play out. But yeah, Lamar Jackson needs to be better. There are wide receivers that are incumbents need to stay on the field and be better they need Odell Beckham to stay on the field. You know, what, what’s this going to look like for Mark Andrews, who, frankly, was allowed to do a lot of freelancing and a lot of option route type stuff under Greg Roman because frankly, they didn’t trust anyone else throw on the football, there’s gonna be more structure for him. And that doesn’t mean that his production is going to suffer or he won’t continue to be a great player. But it’ll be different compared to him and Lamar having that that playground report that they’ve had for for the last few years. So you know, that’ll be an adjustment. You mentioned it Stanley’s health, you know that that’s off, that’s an ongoing thing. You know, he’s, he’s healthy at the moment. He’s as healthy at this point in a calendar year, then he’s been in three years. So that’s great to see. But you want that to continue, and I’m sure they’ll manage his workload during practice. So now the offense is going to garner the lion’s share of the attention, you know, however much attention the ravens are getting during training camp. That’s not injury related, as you pointed out, because there’s so much focus on the Orioles. But, you know, on the defensive side of the ball, I think you feel good about the defense and I think in most areas you feel really good about the defense. But edge rusher. I don’t get the sense that a Justin Houston signing is imminent, and they’ve even brought in some

Nestor Aparicio  26:59

leaking last week that it was imminent. You don’t I mean, they had their employees writing that they thought this was gonna happen. Yeah, clearly, that was a little bit of I mean, I don’t know, maybe he’s having a hold in at this point. He doesn’t want to come in and practice, right. I mean, all these veteran guys, they’d rather sign August 15, and July 15, for most of them because they don’t get paid till September 10. So I would think somebody somebody gets hurt in a practice somewhere. It won’t be JK Dobbins, but somebody gets hurt somewhere, and you get an opportunity to come into play, or they just don’t like the players they have, like, you know, whatever, whatever it would be that you could squeeze another half a million or million out of a team. Why wouldn’t you? Hold in? What’s the hurry for Justin Houston, the ravens are still going to need him on August 25. I believe that right?

Luke Jones  27:48

I mean, whether it’s him or another player of that ilk, another veteran of that ilk, where you’re

Nestor Aparicio  27:55

talking about Peters talking about him. I’m talking more about Coleus Campbell, because due to a lot of snaps, loved it and played at a high high level for a lot of snaps and showed leadership skill that was off the charts, that they’re hoping they can you know, import some, you know, row Quan Smith into this thing here that Marlon Humphrey doesn’t have or somebody or Patrick Queen, who won’t be here next year and knows he won’t be here next year. Like all of that. This is quite a soup on the defensive side to where it’s not going to look like it look last year at all. And they do need more oomph out of Oh, and, and Patrick queen, and you know, I mean even a job Oh, yeah, yeah. And they need they need the safety to step up second year and be the pro bowler that he thinks he is and out on the field. And they use the back end of the secondary in a very hybrid, interesting way. And substitute in an interesting way that other than Humphrey, I don’t know that you have dominance back there, although they spent a lot of money and a lot of collateral last year on the safety position that you and I should not have any complaints about the back end of the secondary, right. Yeah,

Luke Jones  29:04

I mean, I think the second and you just said it, I mean, you mentioned the word hybrid. I mean, they they really have tried to construct a secondary that is much more of what they call position LIS defense where basically you can line those guys up just about anywhere. I mean, Humphrey is a great example of this. I mean, we’ve seen Marlin play on the outside we’ve seen it seen him play the nickel at a very high level. You know, Kyle Hamilton say he’s going to play more of a conventional safety role this year because Chuck Clark’s no longer in the secondary but we saw him play nickel that’s what he played most of the second half of last season so so you have some of that for me you know I already mentioned edge rusher pass rusher you know do they add a Justin Houston or someone like that at some point in time here between now and week one. I still I still think you’re going to see that I’m not saying is gonna be Houston but I think you’ll see a veteran, whether it’s a free agent or maybe you Trade, you know, some kind of pick swap minor kind of trade where, hey, some guys in the last year of his deal, we think he can, you know, help us at the edge a little bit, give us a little pass rushing juice. So I would I still anticipate we’re going to see that at some point. It just might not be the first week of training camp. But you know, for me, most of the secondary I feel good about but the one area that I do have a little more concern is where’s there outside corner depth? I mean, you have Marlon Humphrey, you’ve added rakia seen who’s going to be there starting you know, he’s he’s replacing Marcus Peters, who now is officially a Las Vegas Raider. So you can close the door on that potential return, which never got the sense that that was likely, but I think the Ravens would have considered it under the right circumstance specifically with an injury or something like that. But who’s their depth behind those guys in terms of outside corners, they have a slew of slot slash nickel options, you know, they have those guys between safeties and some other young corners on the roster. But you know, you’re looking at guys like KU blue Kelly, their fifth round pick this year, as he ready to play, you know, if an injury occurs, you have Jalen armour Davis who we saw early last year and struggled and couldn’t stay on the field. They’ve added Trayvon Mullen who’s a former early draft pick and they look pretty good this spring but again, covering guys in May is not the same as covering in September so

Nestor Aparicio  31:26

well this is where the preseason games you know those guys are gonna play a lot yeah, these are where you’re going to make your bobby Rainey A’s and guys are going to play their way in or play their way on to the M hurt this year. We’re going to hide you list right yeah, yeah

Luke Jones  31:39

so so that for me I mean, the outside corner depth I mean, I just you know, and there’s some other guys you know, Brandon Stevens who’s probably going to play more safety this summer but he’s an outside corner options still you know, they have a Darrell war leaves a veteran outside corner option although he was playing a lot of safety in the spring. You notice a trend here they want their guys to their their secondary members are cross training at this point. They want these guys to be able to play multiple spots because they can use Mike McDonald can use that much more deception with coverage and that’s just such a big part of what they do. Rather than maybe the wink years where they’re playing a lot of man and just blitzing the heck out of the quarterback like McDonald’s a little more nuanced and how they do that so yeah, but that’s the thing if something happens, I mean, Marlon Humphrey, come on. All Pro Pro Bowl cornerback, but even rakia seen who’s going to be there starting outside corner opposite Humphrey? Yeah, he’s had some injury issues in his career. You know, I think he’s a solid player. I think they like him. I don’t think they’re expecting him to be Marcus Peters. But I think they like him. But he’s had some some problems staying on the field in the past. So generally, when you’re taught and you know how I’ve bang the table about depth at cornerback for years and years and years, you know that that’s something there are a few things that can torpedo a season more quickly than having a couple of injuries at corner and not having at least some okay depth behind them.

Nestor Aparicio  33:03

Oh, man, it cost Brian Billick his job. 15. I mean, you’re literally it just implodes the season, you can’t win. I mean, no matter how many points Lamar scores, if the defense is going to be a sieve in this division against against these, it’s not going to go well, it’s this conference

Luke Jones  33:19

at this point, this conference, I mean, the AFC in general, it’s that deep. So so so that’s my question right now, who is their number three outside corner, that doesn’t mean they have to play on a Down by Down basis, because, you know, they’ll, they’ll have they’ll have Nichols you know, they have guys that can that can handle that job. But who’s going to be there number three, and number four outside corner spots that if Marlin up returns his ankle, and Rocky has seen tweaks a hamstring midway through the third quarter, suddenly those guys are out there at least one of those guys have to be out there, then. Yeah, who’s gonna be that number three outside corner, who’s going to be that number four outside corner, you know, I mentioned, you know, you’ve got young inventory, young corners that you’ve drafted and you clearly you like to some degree, but there’s another position where I could see a veteran addition you know, whether it’s bringing back a Kyle Fuller, you know, who obviously had the ACL injury and week one last year, or again, is there a potential out of someone shake free because some team wants to, you know, they want to go cheap at the position and some veteran corner that’s good enough to be a nice depth piece, but isn’t really a starter anymore gets let go elsewhere. You know, I think Eric Acosta is still going to be looking for that. But in the meantime, evaluating these younger options, I mean, ideally, these young guys are ready to be you know, we’re not talking starters, we’re talking number three, number four outside corner depth for you, you know, you’d hope that they can do that but you’ve got to see evidence that they can do that and they can stay on the field and they look like they know what they’re doing. And you know, so if Marlon Humphrey earns his ankle and maybe isn’t even out for the game but misses a series, you know, misses a few plays, you don’t want to have to put someone in where you’re terrified that automatically the other team is gonna throw the ball over their head, and you’re gonna give up a touchdown, which, which is what happened in the dolphins game in week two last year. So So you know, those, those are the, you know, talking about edge rusher talking about corner, the depth discussion at those two positions is very much ongoing. And I think the Ravens in a perfect world, they would like to see their young guys step forward, you know, they, you know, they have high hopes for OA and David a job Oh, at edge, you know, they have high hopes for some of those mid round corners that they’ve selected, you know, that they’ve drafted in recent years. But it’s tough because for them to prove themselves what has to happen they have to play. So I think there is a sense of maybe holding off on a veteran edition, or to at least these first few weeks of training camp, see how they’re competing in practice, and you kind of go from there. So, you know, overall, the defense, I think, expectations are high, not as much attention as the offense for obvious reasons. But I think to a man, I think both coaches and players expect this to be what it was over the second half of last season, which was top five defense over the second half of last season, they played at a very high level wasn’t that they didn’t lose them the Bengals playoff game, let’s be clear about that. You know, I mean, it was fumbling at the goal line and touchdown going the other way. So I think they’re very confident in what they’re doing. But couple of those positions, very important positions, mind you, some depth concerns. Some depth questions have to be answered here over the next five, six weeks, and we’ll see how it plays out.

Nestor Aparicio  36:45

We’ll, we’ll get to the schedule later and talking about like, I started to look at the schedule and I’m like, many Texans, we I mean like they have like preseason games, it’s on they play the Colts in week three, like the quarterback. When I look at the quarterbacking situation, these places. And you know, when I see the Deshaun Watson’s meeting the meeting clips, I’ll tell you what I mean, I looked down it’s only get to that Detroit game and Detroit supposed to be better. And I’ll believe that when I read George Plimpton that you know that the lions are better because I’ve been watching that a long time. But I look at the first 678 weeks of the season. Cincinnati thought that Pittsburgh, whatever, but I gotta look at the schedule. And I mean, even going over to London and seeing Tennessee over there. I mean, I look up and say they should be six into seven three. I mean, they should be that kind of a team if they’re healthy no matter what we just talked about no matter who plays here or there again, and that’s probably me. You know, holding Lamar accountable because I look at the end the whole organization because they’re built to win if they’re not six and to seven and three, whatever at this schedule. I want to know who they lost to. Lucas there he is Baltimore, Luke, we’re gonna get more into football. We have plenty of time for football. Taking the oxygen on baseball is the Orioles travel to Philadelphia. It get back home. It’s gonna be hot as hell this weekend. People are all baseball up around here. It is summertime in a big city we’re gonna be celebrating 25 years at wn St. My hair’s not even great to me to just watching the Orioles alone. It’s amazing. Maybe that’s why maybe then banning me helped me in some way. I’m writing about that. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery, our 25th anniversary is next Thursday will be a Costas. And the reason I’m wearing the drug city shirt is we’re going to be there on the fourth, which is Friday, I’m bringing all of the stuff to cost this. So if you want to come down and get free books, free hats, free shirts, you stuff signs, autographs, I just have a bunch of stuff. I’m gonna bring it to cost us at 11 in the morning on Thursday, and it’s gonna sit there and hopefully by five o’clock, it’s all gone. We’ll be back at drug city on Friday, great guests in and out. If, if you’ve heard pieces that you’ve heard in the past that you want to hear again, drop me a note. Nasty wn St. dotnet or NASA, Baltimore positive.com. I have two aliases, but it’s sort of the same dude. We’re putting stuff together. It’s 25 years, memories. Pictures, barn shows our top 25 moments that we’re going to release weekly around here, beginning the end of August, leading up to the Superbowl. And all the radio rows, all the free the birds, all the road trips, all the charity stuff, all the fun stuff, all the nice guy awards. We’ve had a lot of fun around here. I’m worn out thinking about it. You’re gonna be worn out here in the next month or so as we get ready for the beginning of football season with a pennant race. We’re lucky. I’m Nestor. We are WNS da 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore. Positive. Stay with us.

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