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Old 05-09-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers
May 8, 8:29 AM
http://www.examiner.com/x-2962-Balti...s-and-Steelers

Tony Wisniewski
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Baltimore Ravens Examiner


For Ravens to win North, Clayton could be the key

The opinion at One Winning Drive, in Owings Mills, differs greatly from the majoirty of the Ravens' fan base. "We got to the AFC Championship with the guys we have," said Ozzie Newsome.

While the Ravens did, in fact, get to the AFC Championship with the current receivers, they didn't fare so well--at least offensively.

In three games last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers out-received the Ravens 692 yards to 448 yards.

So, the question is, what will make this season any different? The Ravens have done little to atttempt to upgrade an already mediocre group. The Steelers, well, they're making moves--not huge ones--but moves none the less.

While it would make sense to do an overview of the entire AFC North, it's hard to put Cleveland and Cinncinnati in the same category as Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The aforementioned Browns and Bengals don't have the same caliber of defense as the Ravens and Steelers, and have not drafted near as well in the last five years. Although, the Bengals did a heck of a job in this year's draft and could close between them and the big dogs rather quickly if they continue to build their once putrid defense.

But this debate is about Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Let's take a look at how the receiving corps of these two heavyweights of the AFC North stack up:



BALTIMORE RAVENS

Additions- Marcus Maxwell, Isaiah Williams, Eron Riley (possibility of these minicamp attendees)
Subtractions- Terrance Copper
WR drafted since 2004- (8) Devard Darling, Clarence Moore, Derek Abney, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Yamon Figurs, Marcus Smith, Justin Harper.

Derrick Mason- While he's still productive, he's going on 36 and faces too much double-coverage.
Mark Clayton- Lacks the ability to make plays against the better teams.
Demetrius Williams- Even when healthy, he has done little to prove he's anything special.
Marcus Smith- Has yet to catch an NFL pass.
Yamon Figurs- With his woes in the return game, it's likely he won't make the team.
Justin Harper- Drafted in 2008, spent the season on the practice squad.
Ernie Wheelwright- Practice squad player who lacks NFL-type receiving skills.
Edward Williams- Great size at 6-4. Little speed. Spent last season on Titans practice squad.
Marcus Maxwell- Castoff from the Bengals practice squad.
Isaiah Williams- Undrated free agent from Maryland, likely is an extra body in camp.
Eron Riley- Could be a sleeper out of Duke. Went undrated. Great size, speed is a question.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Additions- Mike Wallace, Shaun McDonald, Brandon Williams
Subtractions- Nate Washington
WR drafted since 2004- (6) Fred Gibson, Willie Reid, Santonio Holmes, Dallas Baker, Limas Sweed, Mike Wallace

Santonio Holmes- At 25, he has become a bona fide number-one in the NFL.
Hines Ward- Has lost a step, but faces single coverage because of the other weapons on offense.
Shaun McDonald- Free agent addtiion has proven he is a very solid slot receiver.
Limas Sweed- Last year's second round pick has the tools to be a starter by year's end.
Dallas Baker- A black and gold version of Marcus Smith, but with better size.
Mike Wallace- Drated in this year's third round, he could fill the homerun void left by Nate Washington.
Martin Nance- Will likely spend the year on the practice squad.
Brandon Williams- Proved to be a capable return man in St. Louis, adds some depth to the corps.
Marvin Allen- A project from England will have a shot to make practice squad.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

Derick Mason plays like he is 25 against the Steelers. I can't wait until he retires.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

Quote:
Marvin Allen- A project from England will have a shot to make practice squad.
I think this guy is history now that he doesn't get a free ride as the 9th euro practice guy.

Also missing

Goodman, Cedric
Foster, Jayson
Black, Steven
Grisham, Tyler
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

I wonder how much affect the departure of Ryan will have on the Ravens defense.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

On NFL Network, both Jamie Dukes and Rod Woodson have the Ravens missing the playoffs, which is very interesting.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

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On NFL Network, both Jamie Dukes and Rod Woodson have the Ravens missing the playoffs, which is very interesting.
That would not hurt my feelings any.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

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I wonder how much affect the departure of Ryan will have on the Ravens defense.
I don't think it is going to be a big impact. Marvin Lewis was the defensive mastermind and everyone was worried when he went to Cincy. Rex stepped up and everything was fine. Now Rex is gone and a new defensive mastermind will appear (hopefully!). Plus Ray is still there he is the glue of the defense. He might not be as fast and strong as he once was, but his determination and motivation to keep the other guys around him together as a defense makes a huge difference. If we had lost Rex AND Ray, I would be worried. I think we'll be just fine.

Of course I would like a wide reciever, but that's a whole other issue....
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

There really is a big difference. I see us handling baltimore this year in one of the games and a close one at their.

losing scott, lots in the secondary, an O-line that I'm barely more impressed with than our own, and adding Oher isn't going to make a difference this year. and as it obviously mentions, a hugeeeeee talent disparity at the WR position.

I really hope they don't get anquan boldin.

Sophomore slump for QB's ... ehh, i dunno, I just feel the ravens are going to be a 10-6 team at best, even with the schedule
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

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Originally Posted by theplatypus View Post
I wonder how much affect the departure of Ryan will have on the Ravens defense.
i would say a lot. plus ryan tried everything he could to pull a wiz with his ex players. i see them falling apart a bit on defense old/ missing pieces now.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wide gap between Ravens and Steelers

Yup, i agree. Very few things could make me worry about the Raven's receiving corp, unless they make a move like getting Boldin.
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