Reporting Vinny Cerrato
For every NFL team, training camp and the Preseason is a chance to get questions answered. The coaching staffs, management, and fans in all 32 NFL cities have a plethora of questions at the onset of the season. The long awaited answers to these questions start coming Thursday night when the Ravens line up across from the NFL’s “Dream Team,” the Eagles.
The questions, in my mind, start at the Wide Receiver position. Do the Ravens need another veteran to step into the fold, or do they move forward with Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss? How about Right Tackle? Does Jah Reid give this team the best chance to win, or is Oniel Cousins the starter? What if Joe Flacco goes down? Can rookie Tyrod Taylor handle the back-up Quarterback duties, or do they need to bring in a more proven veteran? Todd Heap has been the Tight End in Charm City for a decade. Can Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta fill those big shoes?
Things are a little clearer on the defensive side of the ball, but there are still some big question marks. Right now, Bernard Pollard, Tom Zbikowski, and Haruki Nakamura are competing for the right to play alongside Ed Reed. Will one of these three men take charge and win the position? Perhaps the defensive staff will need to use a combination at Strong Safety to give this team the best chance to win? Another thing you will want to follow is Dominique Foxworth’s knee; can it hold up to the rigors of a sixteen game schedule? Kelly Gregg is now a Kansas City Chief and Terrence Cody will now be asked to fill a big role up front. Given his past conditioning issues, can he play hard every down?
The thought that all of these questions will be answered Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field is absurd. The Ravens will not have a solid plan until after the third preseason game. Things will take shape as we move along, but the situation will be fluid until then. Any GM that feels like he has all of his answers at this point in the game is foolish. The funny thing about this game is just when you think you’ve got a problem solved, another one is bound to present itself. We only have to look back to last year’s Super Bowl Champion for proof of that. The Green Bay Packers had sixteen guys on IR before things were all said and done! Twelve starters missed a collective 86 games, and they still won it all! The best advice I can give to all of you fans: Stay Tuned. This wild ride is just beginning. Ken and I will be following this team closely as they move forward, giving you all of the updates, answering these questions and keeping you abreast of any other developments as they happen.