Kamar Aiken has become a special teams ace


Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken (11) celebrates after catching the ball to score a touchdown in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Special teams aren’t glamorous. Quick, tell me who the Pro Bowl special teams players were last year. If you got it right, kudos to you, you’re one in a million. Brilliance in any form deserves to be noted, though, and Kamar Aiken has consistently been the Ravens’ best special teams player. So here are some props for one of the Ravens’ best under-the-radar pickups this past offseason.

Aiken plays the gunner position in punt formation, meaning he is tasked with getting down field as quickly as possible and making the play. He is especially good at downing punts near the goal line, as he caught a punt at the one-yard line against the Tennessee Titans in Week 10. For another instance, on Sam Koch’s 73-yard boomer of a punt, Aiken was right there to help down the ball inside the Saints’ 20-yard line.

In fact, on most punts, the Ravens can count on Aiken being right around the ball. He’s not a great tackler necessarily, only having one special teams tackle on the year, but his ability to down punts and use his excellent hands in multiple ways has definitely made a difference.

We saw that in a big way Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, when Aiken skied for an onside kick recovery to ice the game.

Plays like that don’t show up on the stat sheet, yet they can make the difference between a win and a loss. With the way the Saints’ offense was humming and with just a one score lead, the Ravens needed that recovery, and Aiken delivered. Big play by a developing big-time player.

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Aiken has flashed on offense, showing some physicality and ball skills with the ball in the air. His 13 catches this season are 13 more than anyone expected, so his contributions there are a bonus.

Regardless of his offensive contributions, as long as Aiken keeps making those big catches on special teams, he is assured of a role on the Ravens.

So keep an eye out for No. 11 next time the Ravens punt or kickoff, and watch as he uses his big frame, athleticism and hands to make a play. It’s a joy to watch.