Previewing the Ravens-Packers game
As the Ravens (3-2) prepare for the Green Bay Packers (2-2) on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, here's Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson's checklist of key areas and players to keep an eye on.
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3. What's going on at inside linebacker?( Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun / August 15, 2013 )
The Ravens got good news this week with inside linebacker Jameel McClain being medically cleared from a bruised spine. That could help the run defense down the road.
There's another development in play, though.
Rookie weak-side linebacker Arthur Brown was up to 23 snaps defensively against the Dolphins and had a nice open-field tackle after he quickly diagnosed a screen play.
The second-round draft pick is getting healthier since straining his left pectoral against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, and is starting to cut into starter Josh Bynes' playing time. The biggest thing Brown has to overcome is a lack of ideal size. He fluctuates between 227 and 230 pounds, and his injury has limited his ability to lift weights.
"He seems to be playing pretty well," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "He's coming along as a rookie. I think we've been trying to kind of slow things down at the beginning of the year, and then we had to slow things down when he got hurt. I think he's really starting to pick things up [and] starting to understand.
"The other thing that's really helping Arthur Brown, too, is the fact that Daryl Smith ... the more he understands, the more he can help the linebacker beside him. There are some times he's very helpful in telling [Brown] what to do, and they're on the same page. Really, we have two guys in there who don't really have a lot of experience in our defense. You've got an experienced player and a rookie, but not a lot of experience in our defense. And I think the more those guys play together, the better it is."