By Samuel Njoku

The Ravens are currently enjoying a bye-week and will thus have two weeks to prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. While players will get much needed time off to heal from a rough first half, the Ravens coaching staff and front office are still hard at work trying to piece together a formidable unit for the second half.

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Ravens sign Former Saints Wide Receiver Joe Morgan

Baltimore Ravens wideout Steve Smith suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is out for the remainder of the season. And while questions have emerged about whether the future Hall of Famer will return, Baltimore can’t afford to worry about that right now. The loss of Smith has opened up a major hole in the unit and the Ravens need to fill it up. They worked out a few veteran wide receivers before offering a contract to Joe Morgan.

Morgan is a veteran wide receiver with some play-making ability, but has been inconsistent during his tenure in the NFL. Of course at this point of the season, any free agent you pick up off the street is going to come with some issues. John Harbaugh told reporters that the team had discussions about Morgan prior to the Smith injury. He’ll add much needed depth to the position, but it appears Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown will be the starting wideouts moving forward.

Wide Receivers Need To Step Up, Not Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco has been the center of conversation since the injury to Steve Smith. Without viable playmakers, many are placing the responsibility of a comeback on the shoulders of the Ravens starting quarterback. While it may sound good in theory to place that pressure on Flacco, it would be wise for the Ravens front office not to heed the advice of the media. Flacco shouldn’t go above his means in order to make something happen for the Ravens offense. That’s an easy way to lose a football game. We’ve seen in the past what happens when quarterbacks try to make something happen. Forcing the ball in tight or double coverage is an easy way to turn the football over. It’s not Joe Flacco that needs to step up his game — it’s the wide receivers.

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Marlon Brown and the rest of the receivers on the roster have got to find a way to get open and make plays in the absence of Steve Smith. They have a quarterback with the ability to place the ball anywhere on the field when necessary. Wide Receivers coach Bobby Ingram needs to make shirts for his players to wear with the words “Get Open” on the front and “Catch the Ball” on the back. With his job on the line as well, any method is a good one at this point.

Terrell Suggs Disappearing Act A Non-Issue

Much has been made about Terrell Suggs being a no-show in the facility since he tore his Achilles back in Week 1. Many have wondered why he hasn’t been seen on the sideline with his teammates with crutches under his arms cheering his team on. And the response to those inquiries is simple. Why would he be? He’s a veteran linebacker rehabbing an Achilles tendon for the second time in his career. Fans don’t want to see him on the sidelines. They want to see him on the field. And the best way for that to happen is if he’s somewhere recovering while also spending time with his family. Nobody wants to be out there on Sunday’s more than Terrell Suggs. Ravens LB Coach Ted Monachino shared those sentiments.

“I don’t talk with him every day, every other day, three times a week, but I do stay up to date with where he is and what he’s doing in his process of recovery,” stated LB coach Ted Monachino. “Every time I talk to him, I can’t get him off the phone. He misses being around his teammates. He wants to be here with us, but he’s in a phase right now with that lower leg that he can’t be.”

When Terrell Suggs is healthy, you’ll see him. Hopefully for Ravens fans, he has a few more years in him to terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Until then, let the man get some rest.

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

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