4) Valuable Lessons for the Defensive Backs
This is a glass half full approach. You would’ve liked to see them learn their lessons in Training Camp, joint practices, or the preseason, but a lesson is a lesson; and for players like Marlon Humphrey, and Tavon Young, they learned a lot on Thursday Night.
With Jimmy Smith being suspended for the first 4 games of the year, the Ravens leaned on their young stars at cornerback to shut down A.J Green, and it didn’t go so well. Young got burnt a couple of times by Green while Humphrey got turned around for a third touchdown by the Georgia product.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Humphrey can match up with a talent like Green, but being a successful cornerback in the NFL is more a mental game than people think. There’s a lot about positioning, footwork, and hand placement that Humphrey still needs to learn. The Ravens don’t have an A.J Green on their roster for these young corners to go up against everyday in practice, so it’s a building block for them moving forward.
Young got turned around on a misdirection and was a step behind Green on his first Touchdown, and was strictly out-muscled as Green broke his tackle for the second one. You can bet that Young and Humphrey will both be logging heavy hours in the film room to breakdown exactly what happened and how they got beat on Thursday Night.
Nonetheless this was something that they can both grow from, and use as a stepping stone. They’re both valuable pieces to the puzzle in terms of the immediate future and long-term future of the Ravens secondary, and a game like this is all apart of their development. Also, once Jimmy Smith gets back it’ll make the Ravens backend that much deeper knowing that Humphrey and Young have both matched up with some of the NFL’s best, and stood their ground.