Aaron Wilson joined Scott and Jeremy to talk Ravens
As the Ravens now have two preseason games under their belt, the strengths and weaknesses of John Harbaugh’s squad become more and more apparent.
“You’d like to see better tackling from the defense, particularly the safeties,” Wilson said. “The lack of cornerback depth has become pretty redundant at this point-it’s obvious-and it’s an issue.”
Wilson is of course speaking of the most recent injury to up-and-coming cornerback Jimmy Smith, who suffered a bruised chest injury against Dallas while covering Dez Bryant.
“He’s probably in the top four players you cannot afford to lose. It just shows how valuable he is, because you saw how Dominique franks faired when replacing him,” said Wilson.
“The thing about the preseason is you just sort of want to survive and advance to games that matter,” Wilson added.
Although depth and injury problems have been a factor in the preseason for Baltimore, there have been a number of bright spots in the first two games.
“I like [rookie running back] Lorenzo Taliaferro. I think if he just ran a little lower he’d be even better. I also like Jernigan and C.J. Mosely, defensively. They’ve played very well,” Wilson said.
Those rookies Wilson mentioned have reasonably low expectations, because they are just that—rookies. As for second and third year players, such as linebacker Courtney Upshaw, more is expected from their play in 2014.
“They’re pretty high expectations. His weight loss is a big factor. When he’s light, he’s at his best. When he’s heavy, he’s still a good player, but cannot move as well,” said Wilson regarding the third-year pass rusher.
Speaking of underachieving defensive play, Baltimore’s safeties have not been bad, but have not made the plays many on the Ravens’ staff are expecting them to make.
“Darian [Stewart] got close on a couple of blitzes the other night, but I haven’t really seen any big play ability. From your first round pick from last year, you’d like to see more of that,” said Wilson.
Although positions such as the aforementioned safety spot are a concern, many positions in Baltimore’s roster have quality depth behind them.
“They took a couple of hits but they are still deep at linebacker and defensive line position. [Defensive tackle] Tim Jernigan is second string, and he’d be a starter on a lot of other teams,” said Wilson.
What’s more, the same could be said for the Ravens’ middle linebacker position this season, as Ozzie and Co. drafted Arthur Brown from Kansas State last season, along with 2014 rookie C.J. Mosely from Alabama. Both of whom will be playing behind the solid veteran Daryl Smith, who surprised many last season.