Wake-up caw: Matt Elam is tough self-critic

January, 3, 2014
Jan 3
8:00
AM ET
Baltimore Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam gave a candid assessment of his rookie season.

“I don’t think I played good at all,” Elam told the team's official website. “I have very high expectations for myself, and of the goals and expectations that I set for myself this year, I probably met three out of 10 of my goals. I feel like I let myself down this season.”

I wouldn't say Elam had a bad rookie season. It was simply a low-key one for the safety. There were times when he was beaten deep, but a lot of rookies take those types of lumps. For the most part, Elam went unnoticed in most games.

Where Elam has to make a big improvement is his ball skills. No one expects him to be Ed Reed, but he has to make more of an impact. In 16 games, Elam had one interception and three passes defensed. When the Ravens use a first-round pick on a prospect, they expect him to be more of a playmaker.

Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
  • The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston believes Jim Caldwell deserves another shot at being a head coach, and if he doesn't get it, the Ravens should bring him back as the offensive coordinator. "[T]he Ravens did win a Super Bowl nearly a year ago with a strong offense and Caldwell as coordinator," Preston wrote. "So, in less than one year, did Caldwell become an inept offensive mind?"
  • As the Carroll County (Md.) Times points out, the Ravens' Gino Gradkowski was the lowest-graded starting center by Pro Football Focus. “[I saw] major progress in Gino as far as the communication part of it,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Early in the season, Gino would probably be the first to tell you that we had a lot of problems.”
  • The Ravens signed running back Cierre Wood to a reserve-future contract, according to The Baltimore Sun. He was on the New England Patriots' practice squad after being cut by the Houston Texans. Earlier this week, the Ravens signed eight members of their practice squad to reserve-future contracts: tight end Matt Furstenberg, wide receiver Kamar Aiken, defensive tackle Cody Larsen, offensive tackle David Mims, tight end Nathan Overbay, wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard, quarterback Nick Stephens and center Reggie Stephens.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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