Ravens Roost

September 4, 2009 1:49 AM

Ravens backups prove to be too much for the Falcons

I must say I was surprised that John Harbaugh choose to put his backups in for the entire game, minus a first start for Terrell Suggs and some more work for Demetrius Williams. The Ravens backup defenders held Falcon quarterback sensation Matt Ryan to -3 yards, while the backup offense drove 91 yards for a touchdown against the Falcons starting D. Maybe it was just good Karma, or maybe the Ravens have the best depth on both sides of the ball that they've ever experienced. Maybe it was just John Harbaugh giving his backup players a final ho rah, as he knows he'll soon have to tell many of them that they just weren't quite good enough to be a Raven.   

Terrell Suggs got his football feet under him very quickly as he registered 3 tackles and a sack in the first 5 minutes of play. I'm one who thinks Suggs heel injury wasn't quite as bad as he made it sound, perhaps he was not too interested in going through all the rigors of training camp since he hadn't last season as well.

Justin Harper had multiple chances to make huge catches but couldn't seem to get a handle on the ball. His good player/bad player characterization may have swung to the bad side a bit too much after his performance. He may make the practice squad, but I don't see him on the 53 man roster. 

Presscott Burgess made his presence felt, and a good thing he did as he is definitely one of those players on the bubble. Burgess was all over the field making tackles and contributing on special teams. He may have just a bit too much veteran savvy, even after not playing at all last season, for players like 5th round pick Jason Phillips or rookies Tony Fein and Danell Ellerbe to overcome him.

Staring Raven quarterback  John Beck was sharp most of the time but seems to lack that 6th sense when the pocket starts collapsing. He was sacked 4 times which tells you he doesn't sense the oncoming rush, or doesn't know how to get rid of the ball in time to avoid it. To me those seem like things that are more attributes you're born with rather then things you can be coached to understand. For some you either have it or you don't, it's the rare person that learns it late in life, not that 23 years old is late in life all things considered, but you know what I mean.

Frank Walker didn't help himself with too many costly penalties and too many blown coverages. After the play where he was called for hands to the face, and being offside, the look on John Harbaugh's face was one of disgust when the camera panned to the sideline.  He did go on to make a few good plays after that but it may have been too little too late. If anyone on this team is on the bubble Walker would have to be high on the list. 

Another high on that list would be Evan Ogelsby, who had a very good showing making plays downfield and recording several big hits. I'd set his odds at 50/50 on making the team.

Demetrius Williams made a few plays to show that he's ready for the season to begin (4 receptions for 77 yards). He needs to build from game to game this season to prove he is worth the investment the Ravens have made in him. Cam Cameron will game plan with Williams in mind so let's hope he'll be up to the task for an entire season.

Running backs Jalen Parmele and Matt Lawrence saw a lot of action, and it seemed to me that Parmele had the better showing of the two. When your a backup runningback playing behind a backup offensive line your true ability comes to the forefront. Parmele seemed to have better acceleration hitting the line and better moves to wiggle through. He may have earned a spot as the 4th runningback. Cederick Peerman also made some tough yardage in the second half but looks to be the odd man out in the runningback competition.

 Antwan Barnes showed he is just too valuable to leave off the roster. He can make all the plays on defense and special teams and has a nose for the football, always seeming to be in on the play whenever he's on the field. I think you'll see him make the 53.

I always feel a bit sorry for the players that don't make the cut. Just imagine, you spend your entire childhood from Pop Warner football to High School, and then college playing the game you love and dreaming of making it to the NFL. When you finally reach that pinnacle and make it through training camp and past the first round od cuts to be told that you're not quite good enough must feel like your entire world has come crashing down. 

The dream is over, what can I say?


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