Welcome to lunchtime links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we learn an interesting statistic that Steve Smith holds, find out that Ray Rice’s workload may change, catch up with Ed Reed, and discuss the potential for this year’s rushing attack.
Jamison Hensley at ESPN pointed out an interesting statistic in his recent article. It turns out that Steve Smith is third in the NFL in drops over the last ten years behind only Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Bowe. In all fairness, the number is obviously tainted by the quarterbacks Smith has played with. When he has played with good quarterbacks, his percentage is much lower than with the, ahem, bad ones. Smith hasn’t had a problem with drops in Ravens camp so far, and we don’t think that trend will continue.
Hensley also reveals that the Ravens will make some changes to Ray Rice’s workload in preparation for his upcoming two game suspension. The team will need to make sure the other backs get plenty of reps to prepare them for the opener, which means that Rice will have to be dialed back a bit. We think the team would be foolish not to give promising youngster Lorenzo Taliaferro more reps anyway, preferably with the first team. It’s a good time to see what he can do.
Hensley also got some quotes from offensive line coach Juan Castillo, who is moving forward from last year’s disastrous o-line performance and focusing on the coming season. Castillo is confident that the new offensive scheme is going to jump start the run game. If the first preseason game was any indication, things are definitely looking up. A 4.8 yards per carry average is nothing to sneeze at in your first dress rehearsal.
Former Ravens safety and future hall of famer Ed Reed never really officially retired after spending last season split between the Texans and the Jets, but he has picked up a new job in the meantime. Reed is joining Brandon Marshall as an analyst on Showtime’s Inside the NFL broadcast. The show kicks off on September 2nd. Reed may have not officially hung up his cleats yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it happened soon. We also think that he will make an excellent analyst, following in the footsteps of former teammate Ray Lewis.