Lorenzo Taliaferro Remains Patient, Highest and Lowest Graded Ravens
By Brett Foote
Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) runs as New Orleans Saints defensive end Glenn Foster (97) pursues during the first half of a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today, we discuss Lorenzo Taliaferro’s patience while he waits for his shot in the offense, the highest and lowest graded Ravens from Thursday night’s win, and how the offensive line paved the way for success this week.
Lorenzo Taliaferro waits for his opportunity
Third round rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro led the Ravens in rushing in the preseason, and it seemed like he might get at least a few carries once the regular season commenced. It looked even more likely that he would play a big role following the release of Ray Rice. Instead, Taliaferro has received zero carries through two games while Justin Forsett and Bernard Pierce eat up all the carries.
Aaron Wilson at the Baltimore Sun tells us that despite the lack of usage, Lorenzo Taliaferro is waiting patiently for his shot at cracking the running back rotation. “I don’t know what my role is going to be,” said Taliaferro who rushed for 243 yards and one touchdown on 65 carries during the preseason. “I just know I’m ready for whatever it is. I can’t control any of that. All I can control is what I do when my number is called in that moment.”
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Taliaferro was the bell cow in his college career at Coastal Carolina University, and is obviously chomping at the bit to get on the field for the Ravens. But he has a bit of depth chart climbing to do, and might even need an injury to get his chance. We feel like the rookie is more of a direct backup to Bernard Pierce, as both are bigger, more punishing backs that excel on early downs.
Highest, lowest graded Ravens by PFF
Jamison Hensley at ESPN took a look at Pro Football Focus‘ ratings for week two, and points out the Ravens who received the highest and lowest grades from this fantastic resource. The highest graded Ravens included two members of the offensive line, which is great news for a unit that had a lot of question marks headed into the season.
Eugene Monroe (3.2)
Marshal Yanda (2.9)
Brandon Williams (2.1)
Steve Smith (2.0)
Terrell Suggs (1.7)
Monroe allowed only one quarterback hurry in week two, while Yanda excelled in run blocking. Williams recorded two tackles and a quarterback hurry despite only taking nine snaps. Steve Smith led the team in receiving yet again, and was much more efficient than in week one. Suggs had three tackles and a quarterback hit.
Kyle Juszczyk (-2.0)
Asa Jackson (-1.5)
Chykie Brown (-1.2)
C.J. Mosley (-0.9)
Bernard Pierce (-0.9)
Juszcyzk has the pass catching prowess but is still struggling in run blocking. Jackson missed a tackle and gave up a pair of completions before departing with a concussion. Brown replaced Jackson and gave up a big catch and had a missed tackle as well. Mosley made a huge play with his forced fumble, but missed two tackles and committed a couple of mistakes in coverage. Pierce gained the majority of his yards thanks to the big holes opened by the o-line.
Some interesting and revealing stats here. We aren’t surprised that the rookies still struggle a bit with fundamentals, which is to be expected. There will always be growing pains that the team will continue to work on. The performance of the o-line is very encouraging, but the secondary is still a concern. Let’s hope that Lardarius Webb is truly ready to roll in week three.