Baltimore Ravens: Third-Year Players Who Need to Step Up

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Nov 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver

Eddie Royal

(11) makes a catch defended by Baltimore Ravens safety

Matt Elam

(26) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Matt Elam

I couldn’t make this list without Elam. He had an impressive rookie year, but struggled last season. He lost his role as a starter near the end of the season and ended the year with only 50 total tackles.

He often misread routes and allowed big plays. Elam was even moved away from his safety position to a place where his pure tackling ability would shine.

Elam has to come out of the gates without hesitation when training camp begin.

Even when placed there, he failed to do well which led to him no longer starting. However, his problems were last year. He has begun this offseason on the right track, and he has caught the attention of his teammates and coaches.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb and defensive coordinator Dean Pees both commented during press conferences about how well Elam is doing. The coach even said these practices are the best he’s ever had.

He wants to be better also. Right now, all he can do is talk about being better. When training camp rolls around, he better come right out of the gates with more energy and determination than any other player does on the field.

Next: Replacing Ngata?