NFL Nation: Jah Reid

CB Webb out again for Ravens

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
BALTIMORE -- The Ravens will be without their top cornerback for the second consecutive game.

Lardarius Webb won’t play tonight against the Steelers because of a back injury. Chykie Brown will start at left cornerback in the 8:25 p.m. ET game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Webb is the only starter who won’t play in the first Steelers-Ravens game of the season.

The Steelers are without No. 3 wide receiver Lance Moore (groin) and rookie running back Dri Archer (ankle) because of injuries.

Joining them on the Steelers' inactives list are wide receiver Martavis Bryant, nose tackle Daniel McCullers, guard Chris Hubbard, offensive lineman Wesley Johnson and quarterback Landry Jones.

Joining Webb on the Ravens’ inactives list are linebacker Arthur Brown, guard Jah Reid, wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Michael Campanaro, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi and guard John Urschel.
The Baltimore Ravens looked like a healthier team when they took the field for Saturday's practice.

With eight days before the regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, running back Bernard Pierce (concussion), cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (ankle) and offensive tackle Jah Reid (concussion) all dressed for their non-contact workout.

It should be noted that Smith and Webb participated in some position drills but were limited in others during the media viewing portion. Jackson did the most among the injured cornerbacks.

Webb has missed the entire preseason, and Smith had sat out the past two games. Pierce, who was injured in the third preseason game, didn't practice last week and didn't make the trip to New Orleans for the preseason finale.

Ravens Camp Report: Day 1

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily look at what happened at Baltimore Ravens training camp:

  • Wide receiver Steve Smith put on a show in his first training camp practice with the Ravens. He started by faking out cornerback Lardarius Webb to get open for an out route and then beat Chykie Brown and Webb again on deep passes. The Ravens expected Smith to raise the intensity level of practice when they signed him as a free agent. He certainly didn't disappoint.
  • Quarterback Joe Flacco didn't have the smoothest of days. The Ravens are hoping he gets to the point where the ball is out of his hands on the fifth step of his dropback. He held on to the ball too long and he wasn't sharp on passes. Flacco even had a screen pass knocked down by Haloti Ngata. This shouldn't be a shock. It took Flacco some time to get his rhythm in this new offense in the offseason.
  • Coach John Harbaugh raved about how his players are in such good shape, and that's true for the most part. The biggest concern is outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw. This isn't a new concern because he has struggled with his weight in the past. Upshaw looked even bigger since he practiced at last month's minicamp. The challenge for Upshaw is eating healthy. There were times Thursday when he was taking a knee between reps to catch his breath.
  • Arthur Brown, a second-round pick from a year ago, was running with the starters at inside linebacker, alongside Daryl Smith. The favorite, though, remains first-round pick C.J. Mosley, who was working with the first team at the end of last month's minicamp. Mosley has been the most impressive rookie in this year's draft class.
  • In terms of the offensive line, the right tackle battle looks like it's between Rick Wagner and Jah Reid. Ryan Jensen worked at tackle during the offseason, but that experiment appears to be over. Reid, who missed most of the spring workouts with a calf injury, practiced with the second team at right tackle.
  • Schedule: The Ravens' practice on Friday begins at 10 a.m. Their first contact practice is Saturday. Coach John Harbaugh, secondary/assistant head coach Steve Spagnuolo and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb will speak to the media following practice.
video Jimmy Smith became the fifth Baltimore Ravens player arrested this offseason when he was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct late Saturday night.

The embarrassment for the Ravens isn't the individual arrests, per se. Three players were arrested for misdemeanors, and none may go to trial on any of the charges.

Five years from now, the lasting black eye from the Ravens' trouble-filled 2014 offseason will likely be running back Ray Rice's incident and the cumulative effect of the arrests.

The numbers are nearly unbelievable since this year's Super Bowl:
  • The Ravens have had five players arrested, and the other 31 teams combined have had 14 arrests. This means one out of every four NFL players arrested this offseason have been Ravens.
  • There are only three other teams with multiple arrests (San Francisco, Buffalo and Chicago), and none has more than two. The Cincinnati Bengals, who have been known for making headlines for arrests in the past, have had only one off-field incident.
  • The Ravens' five arrests have been in a five-month span this year and are one more than they had in coach John Harbaugh's previous six seasons.

Most of these legal issues have been resolved. Rice (felony aggravated assault) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (misdemeanor battery) have both been accepted into pretrial intervention programs, and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (felony possession of marijuana) had his case dismissed.

Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (misdemeanor destruction of property as well as drunk and disorderly) has a July 31 court date, and Smith will have a court date assigned.

While many want to point a finger at the Ravens for not having a tighter rein on their players, all five arrests occurred when the players were on a break from offseason workouts. In fact, all but Smith's arrest occurred outside Maryland. There is only so much a team can do to keep an eye on all 90 players on its roster.

The good news for the Ravens is that the offseason is almost over. There are only 10 days until the entire team reports for training camp. The Ravens can only hope they don't add to this police blotter of an offseason before then.

Two Baltimore Ravens players are scheduled to appear in court this month.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid has a June 4 court date in his pending misdemeanor battery case in Key West, Florida. Reid pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery in late April.

Reid's charges stem from an altercation at a strip club called the Red Garter Saloon. He allegedly head-butted, punched and kicked a man following an argument.

Rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was assigned a June 26 court date in Williamsburg, Va. The fourth-round pick was arrested and charged with destruction of property and being drunk in public over Memorial Day weekend.

Taliaferro allegedly broke the window of a taxi cab. According to a source, Taliaferro has since paid the cab company for the damage.

Reid and Taliaferro are among the four Ravens who've been arrested this offseason. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week that he's "very concerned" about the off-the-field incidents this year.

"I understand guys will make mistakes.," Harbaugh said. "We don’t want that first mistake, but you sure as heck better not be a repeat offender making mistakes, whether it’s on the field or off the field."

Another arrest, another black mark on the Baltimore Ravens' image.

The arrest of backup offensive lineman Jah Reid on two misdemeanor battery charges was the third involving a Ravens player in 22 days. That is nearly one per week since the middle of February.

Embarrassing? Without question. Have the Ravens become the NFL's bad boys again? You could make that argument.

All you have to do is bring up Ray Rice's TMZ video and the mug shots for Reid and wide receiver Deonte Thompson. Some will say it's unfair to put that label on the Ravens because two of the three players are backups and might not be on the team when the 2014 season kicks off. But the casual football fan will remember "three Ravens arrested in less than a month" and not the names of those players.

The Ravens have made significant strides to repair their image since the days of Ray Lewis pleading guilty to a obstruction of justice charge in a double murder and Jamal Lewis going to jail on a federal drug charge. I remember going to games in 2005 and seeing fans at opposing stadiums wearing orange jump suits with the name "Lewis" on back of them.

Coach John Harbaugh made it a focus to make over the Ravens' bad boy persona, even going as far as shelving the all-black uniforms to avoid "playing into everyone's stereotypical thinking." In Harbaugh's first six seasons, only four Ravens had been arrested. None were starters, and linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested before even putting on a Ravens uniform.

Even though there has been a spike in arrests, it's hard to blame Harbaugh, because he can't be following 53 players to Atlantic City or Florida. It's also difficult to blame the Ravens, because Rice, Thompson and Reid had never been arrested before in their NFL careers. It's not like you can accuse the Ravens of keeping repeat offenders.

But it's hard to alter the national perception when the headlines have been about another Ravens player arrested. Bad news is bad news. This was already going to be a challenging offseason for the Ravens, who were coming off their first non-winning season under Harbaugh. The Ravens have to rebuild their offense, part of their front seven on defense, and now their image.

The Ravens were atop the football world a year ago as Super Bowl champions. Now, it feels like their image is at the bottom of it.
NEW ORLEANS -- Safety Ed Reed and cornerback Cary Williams were the only Baltimore Ravens defenders to start every regular-season game for the AFC champions this season.

The NFC champion San Francisco 49ers had nine defenders start every game.

Overall, the 49ers had 17 players start 16 games during the regular season. Eight Ravens players started 16 games apiece.

Roster health won't grab headlines the way brotherly coaching rivalries will grab them at the Super Bowl this week, but we all know which subject matters more.

The Ravens have gotten healthier lately, welcoming back Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis to their defensive lineup. But in looking at injured reserve lists for each Super Bowl team, the 49ers come out OK.

Baltimore's IR list features top cornerback Lardarius Webb, inside linebacker Jameel McClain and guard Jah Reid, all starters. It features special-teams contributors LaQuan Williams and Bobby Rainey, plus lesser contributors such as Damien Berry, Emanuel Cook, Christian Thompson, Tommy Streeter and Anthony Levine.

The 49ers' IR list features starting receiver Mario Manningham, No. 2 running back Kendall Hunter, third/fourth receiver Kyle Williams, backup outside linebacker Parys Haralson and backup tight end Demarcus Dobbs.

Defensive lineman Justin Smith's ability to return from a triceps injury suffered in Week 15 has been key for the 49ers. Smith, Suggs and Lewis all returned from arm injuries that threatened to end their seasons.
Click here for the complete list of Baltimore Ravens roster moves.

Significant move: The Ravens surprisingly kept linebacker Sergio Kindle, their top draft pick in 2010, purely on his potential as a pass-rusher. Kindle's lasting impression from the preseason was a roughing-the-passer penalty in the finale that allowed the Rams to convert a third-and-22. Never showing any burst, Kindle didn't record a sack in the preseason and finished with four tackles. With Terrell Suggs out indefinitely with an Achilles injury, the Ravens probably don't want to part with anyone who can help pressure the quarterback. Kindle hasn't been the same player since falling down two stairs and fracturing his skull before his first training camp. On his reaction in making the team, Kindle said, "Jump for joy and do a back flip if I could. Wouldn’t want to land on my head though." ... Baltimore also released Curtis Painter and chose to go with Tyrod Taylor as its backup quarterback. Painter, who threw six touchdowns this preseason, threw countless interceptions in training camp.

Onward and upward: Undrafted safety Omar Brown is a likely target to return as a member of Baltimore's practice squad. He lacks ideal size for the position (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) but he has a knack for being around the ball. Brown had arguably the best preseason on the team, finishing third with 10 tackles, recording three fumble recoveries, intercepting one pass and recovering an onside kick. The Ravens need depth at safety because of the uncertainty surrounding Sean Considine, who has sustained two concussions in two weeks.

What's next: Don't be surprised if the Ravens look for an upgrade on the offensive line. Their depth at tackle is questionable with backups Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood. Reid has been limited all summer with a calf injury, and Harewood surprisingly made the team after spending the past two years on injured reserve. The Ravens also may look to add a defensive lineman. The team could move rookie defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson, a seventh-round pick, to the practice squad.
Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens' top pick in the 2012 draft, has been placed on the non-football injury list, according to the Baltimore Sun.

This doesn't necessarily mean Upshaw is dealing with an injury. Players who fail the team's conditioning test, and coach John Harbaugh has a difficult one, are placed on the non-football injury list.

Upshaw, a second-round pick, is expected to take the place of Jarret Johnson in the starting lineup.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who injured his Achilles tendon this offseason, was also placed on the non-football injury list.

The Ravens placed four players on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start camp: guard/tackle Kalechi Osemele (leg), offensive tackle Jah Reid (calf), defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) and wide receiver/returner David Reed (knee). Players can be removed from the PUP at any point in camp. If a player remains on the list at the start of the regular season, he will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie was held out of this week’s mandatory minicamp “for conditioning purposes," coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday.

So, I asked Harbaugh on Thursday what McKinnie needs to show the Ravens to be on the field for the start of training camp in late July. His answer: You're not getting an answer.

“We will leave that between us," Harbaugh said. "That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now."

Let's recap the happenings with McKinnie:
  • About 10 months ago, the Ravens signed McKinnie after he was released by the Minnesota Vikings for reportedly weighing 400 pounds.
  • Three months ago, Baltimore gave him a $500,000 roster bonus after team officials met with him about getting in better shape.
  • Two months ago, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said "all things are positive" with McKinnie after he attended some of the voluntary workouts.
  • One month ago, McKinnie said he's down to 358 pounds with a target goal of getting down to 345 pounds.
  • This week, he was held out for all three days of the team's final minicamp this offseason.

"Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard," Harbaugh said Thursday. "It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”

The key words to remember are: "We want him here." There has been speculation that the Ravens could go to Plan B on the offensive line, which means moving Michael Oher from right to left tackle and starting Jah Reid (who had an injury scare Thursday) at right tackle.

Stay tuned.
The addition of former Bengals guard Bobbie Williams reveals how desperate the Baltimore Ravens are at that position.

This shows a lack of confidence in rookie second-round pick Kelechi Osemele and Jah Reid, who were expected to compete for that starting spot. While Williams adds much-needed experience, I'm not sure if Baltimore really improved itself. The Ravens are still going to go from a Pro Bowl guard (Ben Grubbs) to one who will turn 36 in September and is coming off ankle surgery (Williams).

The best-case scenario is that Williams holds up like another former Bengals lineman did in 2008, when Willie Anderson started at right tackle for a Ravens team that went to the AFC Championship Game. But you have to have doubts because the Bengals, who were in desperate need of a guard this offseason, didn't try to keep Williams. Cincinnati signed Jacob Bell, who has since retired, as a backup over bringing back Williams.

“Bobbie is a guy who has been in the league for a long time,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “We’ve played against him, and we like his style of play and his demeanor as a person and as a player. We’re excited to have him as a member of our team.”

In nine games for the Bengals last season, Williams took a step back as a powerful run blocker but he graded out positively as a pass protector. Williams, who played right guard for the Bengals, might not technically be replacing Grubbs, who played on the left side. If the Ravens go with Williams at right guard, they would move Marshal Yanda to the left.

The Ravens potentially have one of the oldest lines in the league now. They might have three starters in their 30s: Williams, left tackle Bryant McKinnie (32) and center Matt Birk (35).

Baltimore tried to fill the void at left guard in free agency. The Ravens fell a few million short of re-signing Grubbs and couldn't lure Evan Mathis away from the Philadelphia Eagles. Baltimore is also limited in what moves it could make because of limited salary-cap room.

I thought the Ravens would look at former Browns guard Eric Steinbach, who missed all of last season with a back injury. The signing of Williams rules out that move.

Ravens: One big question

May, 4, 2012
Are the Baltimore Ravens set on the offensive line?

That remains to be seen. The other teams in the division improved their offensive lines in the draft. The Steelers got the top-rated guard (David DeCastro) in the first round, the Bengals added the best run-blocking guard (Kevin Zeitler) and the Browns grabbed the best right tackle prospect (Mitchell Schwartz). The Ravens bring back four starters from a line that got better as the season progressed, but there's been a significant downgrade at one spot.

At left guard, the Ravens are going from a Pro Bowl player in Ben Grubbs to a lineman who played tackle in college (either Jah Reid or Kelechi Osemele). By looking at Baltimore's moves, it doesn't seem like the Ravens are sold on Reid, a third-round pick in 2011, starting there. After failing to keep Grubbs (who signed with New Orleans in free agency), Baltimore tried to lure free agent Evan Mathis away from the Eagles and then used a second-round pick on Osemele. The Ravens have had only one rookie start a full season on the offensive line in the previous four seasons (Michael Oher in 2009).

There are other issues on the line beyond left guard. The Ravens need left tackle Bryant McKinnie to lose weight and cut his sacks allowed (he led the team with 8.5). They need right tackle Oher to reduce his penalties (four for false starts and five for holding). And they need Matt Birk, 36, to continue his streak of 96 straight games played. While the offseason focus will remain on the contract status of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, the real storyline on offense entering the 2012 season is the state of Baltimore's line.
Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. broke down the top six needs remaining Insider for each of the AFC North teams. You'll need an Insider subscription to view the entire post, but here's a glimpse of the top three needs:


Horton's top three needs: Cornerback, guard and safety.

Horton on cornerback: The starters in 2011 were Leon Hall, who will be coming off an Achilles injury, and 32-year-old Nate Clements. When Hall went down, Adam Jones filled in, but none of these three make you comfortable in man coverage. Newly acquired free agent Jason Allen will help, but there is a lot of work to be done here.

Hensley's comment: I wouldn't put cornerback as the top need because the Bengals added Allen and re-signed Jones. Allen is an upgrade over Kelly Jennings. Guard is the bigger concern. If the season started today, the Bengals' starting right guard would either be Otis Hudson, Clint Boling or Anthony Collins (who would shift over from tackle).


Horton's top three needs: Quarterback, wide receiver and running back.

Horton on quarterback: Right now, their options at QB are starter Colt McCoy and veteran backup Seneca Wallace, but nobody expects it to stay that way. With two first-round draft picks, they will almost surely pick a QB with one of them.

Hensley's comment: You could make a strong argument that quarterback, wide receiver or running back should rank as the No. 1 need. My top need for Cleveland is right tackle. The Browns can at least start McCoy, Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi and Montario Hardesty at those other positions. Right tackle was a weak spot for the Browns last season with Tony Pashos and Artis Hicks, both of whom are now gone. The Browns' starting right tackle at this point is Oniel Cousins, a third-round bust from Baltimore.


Horton's three needs: Inside linebacker, left guard and safety.

Horton on inside linebacker: The Ray Lewis era will be ending soon, and the Ravens need to find his replacement. Jameel McClain was re-signed, and he can play inside or outside, but a three-down linebacker who can play solid pass defense is sorely needed.

Hensley's comment: Left guard is the biggest need on the team, and it's not even close. The Ravens couldn't keep Ben Grubbs and failed to sign Evan Mathis. The fallback option is Jah Reid, a backup offensive tackle last season. Going from a Pro Bowl guard (Grubbs) to a converted tackle (Reid) is a major step down.


Horton's top three needs: Offensive tackle/guard, nose tackle and running back.

Horton on offensive tackle/guard: Center Maurkice Pouncey is the only stable starter on this unit. Veteran tackle Max Starks is coming off an ACL injury and T Willie Colon can't stay healthy, though the coaches hope he can get through a full season at RT with young Marcus Gilbert moving from RT to LT. There is also a big hole at left guard. The Steelers need to get at least one, and maybe two, starters up front.

Hensley's comment: You can't really disagree with this assessment. Left guard Doug Legursky is a backup who performed admirably when Chris Kemoeatu was benched. Gilbert has a good chance of succeeding on the left side, but it's hard to depend on Colon at right tackle with his injury history. The Steelers' options are limited because there is no depth. Jonathan Scott, who has struggled mightily, is the top backup at tackle, and there's no reserves at guard with Trai Essex (free agent) and Jamon Meredith (not tendered as a restricted free agent) off on the roster.
Pernell McPhee, Jah Reid, Paul KrugerGetty ImagesThe Ravens will look for Pernell McPhee, Jah Reid and Paul Kruger to fill holes in the starting lineup.

No team has taken more hits than the Ravens since free agency began two weeks ago.

Baltimore watched a Pro Bowl offensive lineman (guard Ben Grubbs), perhaps their grittiest player on defense (linebacker Jarret Johnson), and an underrated role player (defensive end Cory Redding) go elsewhere and has yet to sign anyone to replace them.

There's no question that the Ravens are among the biggest losers after the first wave of free agency. But it's debatable how much ground the AFC North champions have lost to the Steelers, Bengals and Browns.

At this point in the offseason, the Ravens remain the team to beat in the division. I'm not saying that. The Ravens' history is.

There should be serious concerns about Baltimore's holes at left guard, outside linebacker and defensive end. There should be doubts whether Baltimore can reach the playoffs for a fifth straight season. The Ravens' rebuttal is, look at last year.

It was eight months ago when the Ravens entered training camp without the two leading receivers in franchise history (Derrick Mason and Todd Heap were released) and an eight-year starter at nose tackle (Kelly Gregg). Baltimore also went through the preseason with its two projected starting cornerbacks (Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr) sidelined by injuries.

The situation in 2011 was far more dire than the one facing the Ravens right now. Team officials, though, didn't share the panic of their fan base.

The Ravens are more like a college team than an NFL one in how they handle personnel. When they lose someone in free agency, they act like the player graduated and they plug in another one of general manager Ozzie Newsome's recruits, eh, I mean draft picks.

Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith (second-round pick) replaced Mason. Second-year tight end Ed Dickson (third round) stepped in for Heap. Second-year nose tackle Terrence Cody (second round) moved into Gregg's spot. And Lardarius Webb (third round) and Cary Williams (signed off the Titans' practice squad) became the surprising starters at cornerback.

Before the 2010 season, you could have made a sound argument why the Ravens would miss the postseason. By the end of it, Baltimore was one pass away from advancing to the Super Bowl.

It certainly helped the Ravens in last year's playoffs that Peyton Manning didn't play and Ben Roethlisberger was banged up. Still, the Ravens swept the division and made it to the AFC Championship Game after making changes at eight starting spots.

There aren't as many questions as last year, but perhaps the question marks loom bigger.

They need Art Jones or Pernell McPhee to start at defensive end. Both exceeded expectations in backup roles, but can either one start?

"Those two guys are excited," coach John Harbaugh said. "They're disappointed to see Cory go. They learned so much from Cory. Cory was such a great mentor for those guys. I talked to Pernell on the phone and I've seen Art here twice in the last couple weeks. I could hear Pernell smile and I could see Art smile."

They need Paul Kruger to start at outside linebacker. Kruger made an impact in the pass rush, but is he strong enough to stop the run?

"When we lost Jarret, I went back and watched all of Paul’s tape," Harbaugh said. "I watched every one of his plays from last year, just to try and get a feel just for whether or not we’d be comfortable with him in there. He did a nice job in coverage, he set the edge well. Obviously, he’s a very good pass-rusher. I believe Paul can do it. I think he will do it."

[+] EnlargeBernard Pollard
David Butler II/US PresswireThe Ravens could still add veterans to the mix, like they did last season with Bernard Pollard.
They need Jah Reid to possibly start at left guard. Reid practiced at guard last year, but can the converted offensive tackle really make the switch?

"I would say right now, today, he’s the left guard," Harbaugh said. "He’s got to earn that spot but we’ll be continuing to look for players. Our goal would be to put the five best offensive linemen on the field. Jah, certainly, I’d like to see him be one of those guys, but it’s up to him to earn that spot.”

Honestly, I could see a couple of these situations not working out. The Ravens might end up really missing Grubbs and Johnson. But I also had my doubts that Torrey Smith and Cary Williams would work out as starters last season, too.

Like the Steelers, Packers and Giants, the Ravens are known for making more shrewd free-agent moves than splashy ones. Baltimore can still improve its team with late additions like they did with Bernard Pollard and Bryant McKinnie last season. The Ravens can also address some of these holes in the draft.

It's been a rough start to free agency for the Ravens. But they're used to it by now. They lose in March and win in January. Until that track record changes, it's tough to bet against them.

“Obviously, we’ve been very patient and we’ve been working, trying to do things that will put us in position to make our team better,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’re kind of methodical in our approach. We want to make smart decisions, we want to make wise decisions."
The AFC coaches met with the media today at the NFL owners meetings. Here are the top five issues addressed by Ravens coach John Harbaugh (via the Baltimore Sun) and my reaction:

On bringing in competition for kicker Billy Cundiff: “If we can get a kicker that is capable of competing with Billy, we’ll do it. Do you have to draft a guy? Is there a free agent? Is there a guy that will be on the street. That’s kind of hard to determine. We want competition for pretty much every position. I say that so I’m not ruling anything out, but Billy is our kicker." Hensley's reaction: The Ravens simply can't give the job back to Cundiff after he missed the game-tying field goal in the AFC Championship Game -- and missed it badly. His struggles go beyond hooking one critical kick. After a Pro Bowl season in 2010, Cundiff missed 10 field goal attempts in 2011, all of which came on the road. Harbaugh needs to bring in competition even if it's Shayne Graham again.

On the importance of upgrading the offensive line: “I think we have to upgrade the offensive line. I don’t even know if we have a full complement of linemen to be on our 53-man roster right now. We don’t have our five starters set. We have guys where [you say], ‘Can they play a position or not?’ We’re talking about Jah [Reid]. Can he play left guard? The thing I’ve learned over the years in Philadelphia and everywhere else, it starts with the offensive line on offense." Hensley's reaction: The left guard position is the biggest hole on the team. I still think they look to the draft to fill this spot and use Reid as a fallback option.

On whether Ray Rice will hold out to protest the franchise tag: "I don’t know what their strategy will be, if they feel like they even need a strategy. That kind of goes back to the agent more than the player. But Ray Rice is a man. He loves football. He wants to be in there with his teammates. I’m hoping he’ll be there from Day 1. I would expect him to be there from Day 1. But if he’s not, I’m not going to hold it against him as a coach. We just need the best Ray Rice that’s possible for the first game.” Hensley's reaction: Even if Rice holds out, there shouldn't be any concern about his conditioning. He's as dedicated to the weight room during the offseason as he is during the season. Rice will be ready for the season opener.

On linebacker Paul Kruger: “I think Paul is probably the leading candidate for the SAM linebacker job. I could very definitely see him doing that. When we lost Jarret [Johnson], I went back and watched all of Paul’s tape. I watched every one of his plays from last year, just to try and get a feel just for whether or not we’d be comfortable with him in there. He did a nice job in coverage, he set the edge well. Obviously, he’s a very good pass-rusher. I believe Paul can do it. I think he will do it. I talked to him on the phone. He’s committed to doing it. It means everything to him." Hensley's reaction: It's been a struggle for the Ravens to find a position for Kruger, who has bounced every year from linebacker to defensive end to linebacker again. I think he can handle the linebacker position on passing downs, whether it's rushing the passer or playing in coverage. His biggest challenge will be stopping the run.

On adding a kick returner: “We definitely think we could add a returner. Not to say that we don’t have guys in-house that could do it because we do. But we want to put some competition in there. We tried to do it in the offseason and it hasn’t worked out so far. We’ll keep trying and the draft is certainly a big part of that.” Hensley's reaction: The Ravens missed their opportunity when they let Ted Ginn Jr. leave without a contract, but they weren't the only ones (the Lions and Vikings did also). It seems like the Ravens aren't comfortable going with Lardarius Webb on punt returns and turnover-prone David Reed on kickoffs.



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