Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) gets tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Nick Moody (54) in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard Pierce Ready To Carry The Load, Big Opportunity For Corners

Welcome to lunchtime links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption.  Today, we find out that Bernard Pierce is ready to shoulder the load of the run game as a starter, a big opportunity is on the horizon for the Raven’s backup corners, Marlon Brown is playing more special teams, and the latest stock report.

Bernard Pierce ready to lead the run game

Bernard Pierce is going to open the season as the starting running back for the Ravens, at least for the first two games while Ray Rice is suspended.  And he has embraced both the role and Gary Kubiak’s new offense, which is seemingly a perfect fit for Pierce’s playing style.  The proof is in the pudding as Pierce has 17 carries for 92 yards (5.4 average) and one touchdown in two preseason appearances.

Ravens stock report

Kyle Casey at Russell Street Report has published his latest Ravens stock report for the midway point of the preseason. Casey points out that Asa Jackson has seen his stock rise, which it true even in spite of his ankle injury that has caused Jackson to miss a solid week of action.  We think it’s safe to say he has locked up the third corner spot at this point.

Surprisingly, Matt Elam has had a poor preseason.  Now back to playing his natural position, everyone expected Elam to make a huge leap this year, but it hasn’t happened yet.  He hasn’t played terribly, but he also hasn’t shown any major improvement through two preseason games.  We still believe in him, however, and stick by Elam as our pick for the Raven’s sophomore most likely to have a major impact this season.

Marlon Brown embracing special teams role

Marlon Brown set some team records last season as an undrafted rookie wide receiver who played more than the team probably expected.  Injuries opened the door for Brown to get tons of snaps as a wide receiver, and he played just about as well as anyone could have hoped.  This year, with lots of depth at the position, he projects to play less snaps as a receiver.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t have a major role on the team.  Brown will have a bigger role on special teams, and Garrett Downing at the Raven’s official site tells us that Brown is happy to help out wherever he is needed.  The young receiver will still rotate in and out of the offense with Jacoby Jones as the third wide receiver, but his biggest impact this season may not show up in the stat line.

Big opportunity for corners Saturday night

With the Raven’s top three corners ruled out for Saturday night’s game against the Redskins, there is a huge opportunity for everyone else.  Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks project to start and get another chance to impress the coaches, but it also means a big opportunity for Tramain Jacobs, Sammy Seamster, and Deji Olatoye to try and earn a roster spot.

By all accounts, Brown and Franks have failed to impress or put any serious heat on Asa Jackson for the third cornerback spot.  Jacobs has been very impressive thus far, and may have already locked up a roster spot as an undrafted rookie. This may be at least one player’s last chance to make an impression, as teams make their initial cuts this week as rosters must be trimmed to 75 players.

 

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