Posted in Ravens Thoughts

Baltimore Ravens who popped onto the scene against the Saints

By Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens’ first preseason game was a great first look at players that fans may not have been familiar with. The players we’re talking about today are either just popping onto the scene and being noticed, or they’re picking up some momentum for the first time. It’s players like this that make the preseason more meaningful. Let’s get into it.

Ty’Son Williams

Ty’Son Williams is a running back who came to the team as an undrafted free agent. Williams was one of two undrafted players at his position, Nate McCrary also got some playing time against the New Orleans Saints. On a night where Justice Hill barely got used and didn’t have success when his number was called, Williams turned some heads.

Williams was a multi-dimensional running back. He had 10 carries for 41 yards while picking up 23 yards on five receptions. Williams showed power and the ability to fight for extra yards. One first down he earned, he earned the very hard way.

Williams is a running back who could probably use more sudden burst, yet he’s fairly elusive. This was a good first impression at the very least. On a small sample size, I’m intrigued. The third running back spot seems open (Remember the Ravens showed interest in a mostly washed-up Todd Gurley) and I want to see more from Williams.

Jake Verity

Do you remember when the Ravens traded Kaare Vedvik to the Minnesota Vikings? The Baltimore Ravens are probably trying to build up Jake Verity as some trade bait. It’s so obvious that it’s just about all that Gerry Sandusky, Rod Woodson, and Mike Nolan could talk about on the WBAL broadcast, any time there was a kicking situation.

Verity looked sharp. He hit both of his field goals with what looked like confidence and ease. His longest made field goal was 53 yards. Verity made an impression. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Ravens got a pick for him at some point and he became a starting kicker. At this point, it’s almost an expectation. The Ravens have the greatest kicker of all time in Justin Tucker (Not a debate). It’s a win for everybody if Verity becomes a trade asset for the Ravens.

Jaylon Moore

Jaylon Moore is a wide receiver from UT Martin. He’s a bit too much of what the Ravens already have at the wide receiver position as he’s a 5-11 receiver with a smaller frame. Moore has some quickness though, and he ran some good routes against the Saints.

In this game, Moore probably should have had a touchdown, but Trace McSorley didn’t make the throw. Moore had two receptions for 32 yards. He did his part. When he got chances he took advantage of them.

Moore has an uphill battle to make the roster. In fact, it’s a very uphill battle. Moore’s biggest problem is that even if he impresses he’s not in front of Tylan Wallace or James Proche. Moore may have a shot to be there for week one if Miles Boykin starts the year on injured reserve. It’s still an uphill battle, though I really like what he brought to the table in the preseason opener.

Geno Stone

This is almost cheating. You already have gotten a little familiar with Geno Stone, but not the way he played against the Saints. Stone had three total tackles and more importantly two interceptions. Stone is making a very good case for himself. It’s only his second year in the league, though you could argue this is the only good pitch he’s made for the Ravens to keep him to date.

NEXT POST: Ravens vs. Saints: 3 subtle lessons from preseason outing number 1

Stone was a sixth-round pick out of Iowa. A lot of draft analysts (myself included) were high on Stone and declared the Ravens to get a steal. Stone always had the potential to be a play-maker. With his ball skills, Stone has a chance to make a name for himself. Stone needs to keep it up. Technically this may not be him popping onto the scene, yet this is the first time we’ve seen him make a mark.


Posted in Uncategorized

Ravens vs Saints: Observations from the first preseason game

By Chris Schisler

The first thing that stands out is that Tyler Huntley should be the number two quarterback. In a game without Lamar Jackson, the Ravens only had life on offense when Huntley was in the game. Trace McSorley played un-dynamic football. Huntley made mistakes but made exciting plays that won the game.

McSorley came on strong in the second quarter. He took a walloping hit and delivered a nice pass over the middle of the field that sparked a scoring drive. His accuracy was for the most part problematic. After hitting Jaylon Moore for a nice gain, he missed Moore for a potential touchdown. He had an awful interception not long after that. 

McSorley struggled to go through his progressions. On the first drive, he got sacked. He barely let the play develop, he had no room in front of him and he tried to take off. McSorley took his eyes off the receivers multiple times while bailing out of the pocket. His awareness of what was going on down the field was a weak spot for him. He played an entire half and he barely gave his receivers a chance to show off.

As much as this game was about the good things that Huntley did, it was about how ineffective McSorley played. The first quarter in particular was just an awful display of quarterback play. The play-calling started out in a bottled-up style for Huntley, just like it did for McSorley. As Huntley got going, it looked more like the offense that Lamar Jackson runs. I don’t know what offense McSorley was operating, but even in the preseason, it wasn’t looking like the Ravens’ offense. 

Huntley played far from perfect football. This was his first preseason game because last year there was no preseason. McSorley got to play the entire first half and doesn’t have much to show for it. The quarterback understudy is McSorley’s job to lose. Even with the red zone fumble, and a misplaced pass to Josh Oliver, Huntley has the momentum to jump ahead of McSorley. 

How about that Ravens defense? 

The Ravens’ talent at linebacker is awesome. Patrick Queen played very fast and loose. He showed up with four tackles and a sack. It may be the preseason, but Queen looked like a more confident linebacker. 

Malik Harrison forced a fumble with a textbook-perfect hit, Chris Board did well also.

The starting defense was for the most part dominant in this game. It wasn’t quite the full crew as notable Ravens players weren’t on the field. Still, the first-team defense won the day. There were a couple of easy completions for Taysom Hill at the beginning of the game, but the opening drive ended with a turnover. 

The defense stayed sharp for the whole evening. Baltimore forced six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions). Jaylon Ferguson, who needed to have a good night, forced one of the fumbles. Ferguson was in on three tackles and had a half-sack.

It would be hard to find an outside linebacker who didn’t play well in this group. Even in limited snaps, Tyus Bowser played well. At times the Ravens had problems setting the edge, but other than that there’s nothing but praise to go around.

It was a good day for the rookies. Odafe Oweh looked great against the run, and his quickness showed. Daelin Hayes got in on a sack and looked very powerful off the edge. Brandon Stephens did a lot of different things. The main takeaway for Stephens is that he’s a fluid athlete that can do about anything as a defensive back. Shaun Wade closed the game out with an awesome leaping interception. 

Young Ravens shining in the spotlight: 

The Ravens have quite the competition at safety. We know that Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott are the starters. Behind them, you have the blazing fast Ar’Darius Washington and Geno Stone, who had two picks in the contest.

Can both Stone and Washington make the roster? Washington provides the most range. My note for him during the game was that he was a little jitterbug. Stone has more prototypical size and if he keeps picking off passes, that’s a huge quality to have. Stone was overhyped as a sixth-round pick in 2020.U was guilty of it. Washington got talked about a lot this offseason as an undrafted free agent. Both are showing why the buzz and interest got there in the first place.  

The offensive line is a jumbled mess. Injuries and a lack of a cohesive unit were problematic leading up to this game. If J.K. Dobbins can’t get anything going, the line really is lost. Ronnie Stanley just returned to practice and he didn’t suit up for this game (which is a wise decision). We saw a short glimpse of Bradley Bozeman and Alejandro Villanueva. You have to take the offensive line woes with a grain of salt because of the situation. 

Speaking of running backs, Ty’Son Williams made a strong case for being running back number three. The undrafted running back out of BYU has a tough running style and was particularly impressive in short-yardage situations. Williams had 41 yards on 10 carries.

NEXT POST: Baltimore Ravens: Three Big Questions About the Defensive Line

Those are the notes I took from the first preseason game. Much more is on the way here at PBN! It’s good to get writing about a game again.