Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam (26) looks on during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens: Expectations of the Secondary

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The Baltimore Ravens’ cornerbacks and safeties provide nice depth on the defensive side of the football. The one thing they do not have is a true veteran presence.

CBs Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith have nine years of experience between two of them.

The Ravens signed CBs Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks after tryouts during the last minicamp earlier in the week. These veteran players will create more depth to the position, while they should challenge Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown and compete for the third CB position.

Before training camp next month, the secondary players I want to single out are Jimmy Smith, Jeromy Miles, and Matt Elam.

Smith started all 16 games last season where he accumulated a combined tackle total of 58. Since he is a CB, his low number of nine assisted tackles is good, where the majority of his tackles are solos, which is expected at his position.

He forced two fumbles and intercepted two passes, which he has already said himself is a place he is aiming to improve. Heading into training camp, he needs to start working on his timing and his hands to create more turnovers.

The turnovers can only help the defense, but also the offense as well. As a good defensive player, he should be helping the offense as well.

Smith has steadily improved over the past several seasons when he has been given the opportunity to play. It is time for him to come through even more by creating more turnovers.

Miles has five seasons under his belt, one being with the Ravens. He only played in 12 games, while starting in none with the Ravens last season.

With the Ravens needing to return their safeties to true positions, and S James Ihedigbo signing with the Detroit Lions, Miles has a chance to make an impact on the defense.

But he has to obtain the job first, and through training camp he can do that. He should be the front-runner for that, but training camp will be the place to make sure he makes his mark.

”I am expecting Miles to step up to show he is a player the Ravens need in the secondary”

I am expecting Miles to step up to show he is a player the Ravens need in the secondary.

Elam has only the one season to his name, but after starting 15 of 16 games played in, he has proven he should be put into the starting role.

He is confident, sometimes overconfident, but nonetheless, he can back up his words when he needs to.

However, his confidence does cause him to give up big plays and does not create as many turnovers as a safety should.

As the defense needs to do as a whole, as a safety, Elam needs to step up to create more turnovers. Whether it is forcing a fumble after a catch, or intercepting the ball.

I want to see Elam start making alterations to his gameplay in training camp. Hopefully, as he gain more experience, Elam will also mature as a player, which should naturally improve his play with the talent already present.

Training camp is where the fine details will be addressed in the players’ gameplay before the season. I expect these players to take advantage of this time to make sure this defense returns to the top next season.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Jeromy Miles Jimmy Smith Matt Elam