Welcome to lunchtime links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we discuss the NFL’s preseason rushing leader Lorenzo Taliaferro, why Torrey Smith is excited about this year’s offense, the importance of week 3 in the preseason, and why Joe Flacco thinks Johnny Manziel’s actions in the Redskins game are overblown.
Lorenzo Taliaferro leading the NFL in rushing
He may be a rookie working pretty much exclusively with the third team offense, but Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is also leading the NFL in rushing so far this preseason. The team is giving Taliaferro plenty of work, presumably because he is going to play some sort of meaningful role in the offense this season. Working in his favor is Taliaferro’s strong showing in pass protection, but he is also a hard nosed runner who punishes opposing defenders.
Torrey Smith is excited about the new offense
Torrey Smith crested 1,000 yards receiving last season for the first time in his career, but he is a good bet to post even better stats this coming season. Smith has kept a low profile in what may be the quietest contract season ever, and it’s clear that he is focused on the most important thing – winning. Gary Kubiak’s offense will only help Smith shed his label as a deep threat and increase his value by focusing on short to intermediate routes instead of just sending him deep on every other play.
Third preseason game is a dress rehearsal
The third preseason game for every team is an important one, and the starters typically get more play than normal. Teams generally run a less generic game plan, and come pretty close to game day practice routines. It’s also the last chance a lot of players have to make an impression and seal up a roster spot before first cuts happen.
Joe Flacco thinks Johnny Manziel’s middle finger episode is overblown
Twitter exploded after Johnny Manziel extended his middle finger to the Redskin’s bench following what he said were endless taunts. Joe Flacco thinks that the whole episode is completely overblown, and he may have a point. It certainly is overblown, but that’s because the media is obsessed with Manziel. Had it been another player, we may not have even even heard about it. But, Manziel should also realize the position he is in. He could make the situation better by being the bigger person and not giving the media ammunition for criticism.