8. John Simpson is winning the Baltimore Ravens starting left guard battle
The biggest position battle for the Baltimore Ravens has been left guard. We thought Ben Cleveland was going to be in the mix, but he did not take a single snap at left guard in week one. He played both right guard and right tackle instead.
So, the battle is between Sala Aumavae-Laulu, and John Simpson. This was shown as they were the only two to play left guard in the preseason opener. Simpson started and played 22 snaps, while Sala-Aumavae-Laulu wrapped things up with 33 snaps.
A few things are going in the favor of Simpson, the first being that he played first. He also is coming off of playing the first team more recently. So, the team got to see SAL set the bar, and now Simpson knows what he has to do to win the job.
Aumavae-Laulu played more snaps, but it was against worse competition. More than that, Simpson was the better overall player. This was probably expected in the preseason debut for SAL when it is year four for Simpson. Still, if the season was next week, it would be clear that Simpson is starting.
Sala now has two weeks to change the narrative, and it can be done, but it will take time.