Is the Ravens Secondary Better Following Overhaul?


Nov 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) catches a pass for a fifty-four yard touchdown catch and run against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown (23) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 43-23. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Yes.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at why the Ravens secondary is better, at least on paper.  Those of you who follow us closely know my feelings on Chykie Brown by now.  He has been nothing more than a perennial disappointment despite getting what seems like endless chances from the Raven’s coaching staff.

Dominique Franks actually turned in respectable performances in weeks 6-8 after being plucked off the unemployment line and thrust into a major role.  He simply imploded against the Steelers, however, and the Ravens obviously reached their tipping point of frustration following that embarrassing loss.

The Ravens made a major statement with their roster moves, and that is “we will no longer accept mediocre play.”  And I like it.

The Ravens made a major statement with their roster moves, and that is “we will no longer accept mediocre play.”  And I like it.  Players should be held accountable for their actions, just like everybody else.  In football, the shelf life of your average player is quite short, and that’s part of the reason why the NFL is so competitive.

A lot of people have been pointing fingers at the Ravens front office for doing a poor job of retaining secondary talent over the last few years, and they are absolutely right.  This team has seen several good players walk that they should have paid, and that has cost them.  Not addressing the position in this year’s draft has proven to be a fatal mistake as well.

But the Ravens can’t just sit on their laurels and accept the fact that they have failed.  They took action, and I think it was the right thing to do.  Many have expressed fear that one of Tramain Jacobs or Danny Gorrer will have to start this week, and both will likely need to play major snaps.  I don’t think it’s as scary as it sounds.

More from Ebony Bird

I liked Jacobs this preseason and he did a pretty good job considering his background.  He outplayed both Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown but wound up getting cut simply because of draft status.  Danny Gorrer has played major snaps with the Lions this year as their nickel back and hasn’t been bad by any means.

Neither of these guys is going to turn into a lock down corner, but that’s OK.  It really can’t get any worse than what the Ravens have been trotting out every week, and if you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at the numbers.  According to Pro Football Focus, out of 109 qualifying cornerbacks in the NFL Lardarius Webb is number 101, Asa Jackson is 94, and Dominique Franks is 73.

Chykie Brown hasn’t played enough snaps to make the cut, but his overall rating of -4.6 places him around number 87.  Danny Gorrer is number 51, plus he knows the Raven’s system having spent time with them in 2010 and 2011.  Tramain Jacobs has been on the practice squad through the regular season, so we don’t have any data on him obviously.

So my point is, the moves the Ravens made yesterday can’t hurt.  If anything, they are giving a promising young guy a chance while bringing back a guy who is at least solid and won’t give up big plays like the two outgoing burn victims.  So relax, Ravens Nation, and let’s hope that these changes at least slow the bleeding in the secondary.