Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw has struggled with weight and shoulder problems, but he still should be more impressive than what he has shown in the preseason.
When former Pro Bowl players Peter Boulware and Terrell Suggs started as rookie outside linebackers for the Ravens, you could see the talent right away. Boulware had a great first step and could dip his shoulders to get inside most offensive tackles when rushing the passer.
I haven't seen any of that in Upshaw. In the final preseason game Thursday night, he only got pressure on the quarterback once.
I don't see explosion or power. He doesn't use his hands extremely well and right now he looks like an average outside linebacker taken too high in the second round of the draft.
There is still time for him to get better. He is only a rookie and has missed extensive time in training camp because of the shoulder injury. Last year, then rookie receiver Torrey Smith had his ups and downs in training camp, but had a break out game in Week 3 against St. Louis.
It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself.
Jimmy Smith needs to be more aggressive
Maybe it's just me, but it appears that second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith doesn't like to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
When the Ravens drafted him in the first round a year ago, he was supposed to be a shut down cornerback. Maybe he is a little timid from getting beat the past couple of weeks, but I'm surprised by the lack of physicality in his game despite Smith being 6-feet- 2 and 205 pounds. If a team wants to blitz as much as the Ravens, it's imperative for the corners to hold the receivers at the line of scrimmage for second or two.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, nickel cornerback Cary Williams is playing the same way.
Who should backup Flacco?
Since this is the year for debates, I assume that's why fans keep arguing over whether Tyrod Taylor or Curtis Painter should be the backup quarterback.
That's like asking do you prefer the chair or injection?
It's a no-win situation.
Blessing in disguise for Streeter
The best thing that may have happened to rookie receiver Tommy Streeter is that he sprained his left foot during the third preseason game against Jacksonville, and will get put on injured reserve, according to a team source.
It's highly unlikely that Streeter would have made the 53-man roster, but now he gets some time to stay with the club and build on his 6-feet-5, 220 pound frame.
If I didn't know better, I'd swear Bill Belichick was the Ravens head coach and creating a way to stash Streeter.