Of course its preseason and few teams game plan, but the Ravens should have adjusted to the Panthers slanting into the gaps off the shoulders of guards Kelechi Osemele, Yanda and Reid.
They could have easily just told center Gino Gradkwoski to hold his ground a second longer or cut down on the splits between the center and guards. The Ravens didn't do anything and Flacco was getting tossed around quite a bit in the first half.
Cover the middle
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Overall, the defense played well but the Ravens still give up too many passes over the middle. Last year, there were fingers (a lot of them mine) pointed at the two ageless wonders, safety Ed Reed and linebacker Ray Lewis, but it is recurring in the preseason.
The Ravens have a lot of new faces, including two new safeties, so we'll give them some time to work things out, but they might have to look at the drops of the linebackers or the scheme.
Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs' pregame introduction dance was simple and fun, and it was cool the way the flames shot out when he motioned for them, just like a page out of the World Wrestling Entertainment.
I still kind of missed "The Squirrel," but got over it watching Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. That kid accelerated through gaps and holes like old No. 52. He was fun to watch.