Welcome to lunchtime links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we take a look at a dire Ravens cornerback situation following another injury, discuss how Deonte Thompson made a statement last night, present five lessons we learned about the Ravens in their win over the Cowboys, and tell you why Bernard Pierce is ready to be a starter.
Jimmy Smith suffered a chest contusion in last night’s win over the Cowboys, becoming the latest Raven corner to go down. It’s a problem that the Ravens are going to have to address, and Jamison Hensley at ESPN thinks that the team should rest both Smith and fellow injured starter Lardarius Webb for the remainder of the preseason. It not a preposterous idea, and one that the team should definitely explore. They desperately need these two guys at full health for the regular season.
While the team has said that neither injury is serious, Webb and Smith are starters at a position that has extremely shallow depth behind them. There is a huge talent drop off, especially behind Smith, who is emerging as a true shut down corner. As Luke Jones at WNST points out, watching Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks handle the cornerback spots last night brought back some awful memories. It’s a scary proposition for a team expected to contend this season.
Two players who really stepped up last night were wide receiver Deonte Thompson and Bernard Pierce. Thompson has been on the outside looking in for a roster spot as of late, but his two huge kickoff returns last night – 108 yards for a TD, 50 yards – will give the Ravens pause, at least for a bit. If he can keep it up, and continue to “make a statement,” the Ravens might just be forced to find room for him.
Bernard Pierce had a very productive night and greatly improved upon his game one performance, picking up 55 yards on only 7 carries. Pierce looked comfortable running in an offense that he is expected to be a perfect fit for. Pierce most likely got a few extra opportunities due to Ray Rice’s injury, but he definitely looks ready to take over the starting job, at least for the first two games.
Finally, Clifton Brown at CSN Baltimore has five lessons learned from last night’s win. While we’re not so sure that Joe Flacco looked all that great last night as Clifton says, he did settle in after a bit of a rocky start. It wasn’t totally his fault, of course, as his receivers didn’t do anything to help him out in the first couple of series. He just wasn’t as sharp as last week.
What were your takeaways from last night’s game?