The Ravens begin the season with loads of unanswered questions. As is the case with most teams in the NFL, they’ll look to have those questions answered in training camp. Here are 3 burning questions as camp heads into its first week.
- How will the Ravens handle Ray Rice suspension?
There has been close to 4,000 articles written about the Rice suspension and very little has been mentioned about the Ravens approach to the situation from a football standpoint. For 2 games, the Ravens will be without their star running back and Baltimore will look to replace him with some pretty intriguing talent. Bernard Pierce remains the logical choice to replace Rice as he is currently second on the depth chart behind him. But one player fans should look out for is 4th round selection Lorenzo Taliaferro out of Coastal Carolina. He’s a big, physical back, with deceptive speed that can really challenge Pierce for carries during that 2 game suspension Ray Rice will have to deal with.
- Who’s replacing Michael Oher?
Michael Oher’s tenure in Baltimore was less than spectacular. And the Ravens will have roughly a month to locate a replacement. The consensus entering this year’s draft was that Baltimore would find a right tackle in the first 3 rounds. But the Ravens did no such thing. Instead it appears that they are banking on 2nd year RT Rick Wagner to take Oher’s place on the depth chart. But that doesn’t mean they are without options if Wagner doesn’t work out. Ryan Jensen could see additional playing time as camp rolls along. Baltimore could also make a quick phone call to veteran tackle Eric Winston who continues to wait for an opportunity to play. The offensive line was a huge area of concern for the Ravens last season and they’ll have to do whatever it takes to ensure the issue does not emerge again this year.
- Can QB Joe Flacco handle the West Coast offense?
Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl with a vertical offensive philosophy. If he plans on winning a second title, he’ll have to do it with an entirely new offensive scheme. The West Coast offense works very effectively if the quarterback can make quick decisions with the football on a consistent basis. That hasn’t been something that Flacco has been known for as he begins his 7th season as the Ravens starting quarterback. So far, all signs point to Flacco having a great feel for new OC Gary Kubiak’s offense. Whether this translates into strong offensive production from the QB remains to be seen.