The Buffalo Bills will kick-off the 2018 NFL season against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. We got to chat with Baltimore Beatdown to talk about their expectations for the team up to this point and how they will look moving forward with their own rookie quarterback.
Jimmy Smith is one of the better corners in the NFL. How will his absence impact the overall performance of the defense?
I’d argue Jimmy Smith is a top-three cornerback when healthy. He is capable of facing every receiver in the game, from the big men like Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins to the crisp route-runners with glue for hands such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown. The issue is, he’s only completed two seasons healthy. When Jimmy is on the field, he’s a nightmare.
In years past, the loss of Smith meant a loss in the record. Fortunately, though, the Ravens have spent years building their cornerback department and now possess a surplus of talent in the area. Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr are capable starters with Tavon Young, Anthony Averett and other depth role players can fill in when necessary.
Is Alex Collins your RB for the future? Of course he is the number one RB on the team but do you think the Ravens will look to upgrade at some point?
We like to think so. This is essentially his ‘prove-it’ year. Watching his film shows he’s not just a product of a system. He’s an NFL starter.
Since drafting Lamar Jackson in the first-round, is Joe Flacco on the hot seat right away or is he the guy to grind out the season with?
The Ravens are not expected to play Lamar Jackson in 2018. Joe Flacco is far and away the better quarterback right now. They knew Lamar was going to need development and that’s what they’re doing now. Joe will play the entire season unless he loses all his talent from an alien absorbing his skill, i.e. Space Jam.
I loved Marlon Humphrey coming out of college, what are your expectations for him going into his second year and having to take that CB1 spot for a few games?
Marlon’s ready for the job. I’m confident in his ability and the team is also ready for him to take the next leap. This pressure is exactly what could launch Humphrey from good to great.
What are your overall expectations for the Ravens this year. Is this a year they can make a playoff push or is it a building year while they wait on Lamar Jackson to grow?
The Ravens are contending for the AFC North this season. The team hasn’t seen the postseason in years and they’re frustrated with it. Many players during post-practice pressers expressed their frustrations on not participating in the playoffs. This is the last push, I believe, before the team does hit the reset button. They have a slew of veteran talent and are hungry for another trophy. This feels like the last-ditch effort with Joe, Eric Weddle, Suggs, Marshal Yanda and a few others.