In just one season, Queen has blossomed into one of the most likable and promising members of the Ravens’ defense. Last year, Queen led the team with 106 tackles while also recording three sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 10 quarterback hits, two pass deflections, and one interception.
Queen has all the physical attributes and assets of a star linebacker: speed, strength, intelligence, tenacity. He’s just missing a kind of important one: consistency.
His numbers prove he can make splash plays. But they also show that he, er, errs quite often.
In 2020, Queen missed 21 tackles and allowed a roughly 75 percent pass completion rate. PFF showed no mercy giving him a sewage-low 29.7 overall grade, and while Queen may not deserve that level of disrespect, his inconsistencies marred an otherwise stellar rookie performance.
Patrick Queen needs to be a more dependable leader for the Ravens
So far in training camp, Queen has gotten better at finding seams and at pass coverage. As an inside linebacker, he can have a tough time covering athletic tight ends, as was evident in Baltimore’s losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots last season.
When he’s lined up against Mark Andrews this camp, though, Queen is winning more battles and gradually mastering Don Martindale’s defensive scheme. His teammates, coaches, the reporters – everyone can see the improvement. Even Queen himself.
At a training camp practice in early August, Queen reflected on some of the things he learned that day:
"You might have seen that one little play; they got right behind me, and then ‘MP’ [Marcus Peters], came and talked to me. Then the rest of the day, it was shutdown. So, I feel like it’s up and down. Sometimes you’re going to get beat; sometimes you’re not. It’s football. So, I feel like I’m going up on the elevator right now with the coverage."
Name a more humble, overall upstanding guy in the league right now. I’ll wait.
The Ravens ranked second in points allowed last year, which is difficult for any team to achieve, much less improve upon. Going into 2021, Baltimore’s defense looks sufficiently patched up thanks to the Justin Houston signing and Odafe Oweh’s ascending form, among other reasons.
Yet the looming question of whether Queen can be a consistent player remains unanswered.
Queen may be more confident than ever this season, but if he wants to achieve greater success on this Ravens team, he’ll have to lead by example. And that means making fewer mistakes.
For now, Queen just needs to focus on getting in good reps as he prepares for the Ravens’ first preseason game this weekend.