Sunday, October 2, 2022

Twelve Ravens thoughts following 17-15 preseason win over Washington

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

With the Ravens concluding their 2022 preseason schedule with a 17-15 victory over Washington on Saturday night, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The most significant development was the preseason debut of Tyler Linderbaum, who played three series and was happy to get “those ‘first game jitters’ out of the way.” The rookie first-round center was flagged for holding once, but he moved well and provided good pass protection on Baltimore’s first touchdown.

2. Speaking of that first score, veteran newcomer Demarcus Robinson did exactly what he should against backups and roster long shots in the Washington secondary, but he showed off some impressive double moves. His addition hardly eliminates concerns at wide receiver, but he can help Lamar Jackson and the passing game.

3. Who would have predicted the 139th pick in the draft, Isaiah Likely, would be the only Ravens rookie to sit out the preseason finale because he had nothing left to prove and coaches simply wanted to keep him healthy? Resting Odafe Oweh was also wise after the Tyus Bowser news.

4. Other than Linderbaum, Justin Madubuike was the only projected starter on either side of the ball to play as he saw 12 snaps. You wonder if coaches were delivering a subtle message, but John Harbaugh joked about potentially needing a defibrillator for the back-end-of-the-roster defensive linemen by game’s end.

5. Anthony Brown put an exclamation point on a good summer of growth with 256 passing yards and two touchdowns. The question now becomes whether he’ll clear waivers and be re-signed to the practice squad, but he’s deserving of a job somewhere in the NFL.

6. Josh Ross and Kristian Welch played with urgency competing for the fourth inside linebacker spot as the former led the team in tackles and the latter registered 2 1/2 sacks. My nod goes to Ross, but both sticking wouldn’t be shocking, especially with Malik Harrison playing some outside linebacker too.

7. Though it’s fair to note the valuable practice time he lost early in training camp, Brandon Stephens has looked too much like a safety lining up at cornerback these last couple games. His game-day versatility is helpful, but it’s difficult to say where he can best contribute defensively right now.  

8. Harbaugh expressed hope that Kevon Seymour’s right ankle injury wasn’t serious, but it adds another question at cornerback as rookies Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis sat with injuries and Marcus Peters continues ramping up for a hopeful Week 1 return. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

9. Armour-Davis, Kyle Hamilton, Daelin Hayes, Ben Cleveland, Tylan Wallace, and Daniel Faalele were the group of banged-up young players you’d have liked to see receive more live-game reps. Armour-Davis missed all three preseason games while Hayes hasn’t inspired much confidence as an answer to the outside linebacker depth concerns.

10. I look forward to next August when I again won’t care to debate whether there’s any significance to the 23-game preseason winning streak, but Justin Tucker and Nick Boyle are the only current players to be part of that last preseason loss in 2015 and remain on the roster continuously.

11. Baltimore finished the game with rookie wide receiver Raleigh Webb playing safety, which should dismiss any notion that Harbaugh cares too much about the streak if one hadn’t already noticed most starters sitting the entire preseason. Tony Jefferson said, “I know it’s going to be on [Webb’s] highlight film forever.”

12. Can you imagine the headlines if team mascot Poe had gotten hurt in the midst of Baltimore’s historic injury-plagued season? Is it an omen for more injuries to come? It’s the latest example of why I hate the preseason. Anyone know what Edgar and Allan are up to these days?

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