Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Wake-up caw: Ravens' dilemma at safety
By Jamison Hensley
Safety James Ihedigbo was one of the best players on the Baltimore Ravens' defense, and he may not be re-signed. The reason: he plays best when close to the line of scrimmage, which also can be said about first-round pick Matt Elam.
The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel believes a pressing need on defense is bringing in a free safety.
"Elam doesn’t have the ideal range to be that single-high safety on the majority of the snaps, but he could be a plus player in coverage if paired with the right free safety," Vensel wrote. "His nose for the football and aggressive tackling could be better utilized near the line, perhaps similarly to how the Pittsburgh Steelers use play-making strong safety Troy Polamalu. That’s why the Ravens should try to find a rangy free safety in either free agency or the draft -- the draft is more likely endeavor -- so they can move their 2013 top pick to strong safety, where he could potentially thrive.
Elam just never showed consistent ball skills, finishing with one interception and three passes defensed this season. The way he got beat deep by A.J. Green in the regular-season finale should leave a lasting impression on why they need someone who excels in coverage.
Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
Nose tackle Terrence Cody told the team's official website that he wants to re-sign with the Ravens in free agency. “If I am here, eventually I want to [come into my own] here,” Cody said. “Maybe start and get that role back as one of those guys, one of those starters on that team.” Cody never developed into the starter that they envisioned when they used a second-round pick on him. I wouldn't expect Cody to be brought back considering the emergence of DeAngelo Tyson and the fact the team drafted Brandon Williams in the third round last year.
Coach John Harbaugh doesn't envision being a play caller whether Jim Caldwell returns as the offensive coordinator or not. “I don’t think my style is ever going to be to take one side of the ball, or one particular phase, and take it over, and then ignore the other two phases," Harbaugh said, via Comcast SportsNet. "There are coaches that makes sense for, guys that were offensive coordinators their whole career and that’s what they know, or they were quarterback coaches their whole career, and they’re going to take the quarterback. But that’s just not my background."
In the spirit of "Where are they now," two former Ravens draft picks, wide receiver Tommy Streeter and cornerback Marc Anthony, signed reserve-future contracts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to the Carroll County (Md.) Times.