Organized team activities and mandatory minicamp have come and gone, and the Ravens are off enjoying a little down time before the start of training camp. But my peers in the media never rest, which is why I have rounded up what several national media outlets have been saying about the Ravens the past several days.
--- Clark Judge of CBS Sports says Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs would be wise to follow the cautionary tale of Jason Peters, the Philadelphia Eagles left tackle who has torn his Achilles tendon twice this offseason.
“While I'm not suggesting Peters did anything improper, I am suggesting that Suggs pay attention and proceed carefully, patiently and wisely -- listening to physicians as much as he listens to his body,” wrote Judge, who attended last week’s mandatory minicamp. “I know, I know, he's the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Baltimore's career sack leader and one of the premier members on a premier defense. So it would be helpful to have him back as quickly as possible. But I don't want what happened to Jason Peters happening to him, and while the Peters' injury sounds like a freak accident it's a reminder that you can never be too certain.”
----- Peter Schrager of FOX Sports chatted with Paul Kruger about being counted on to replace Suggs.
“‘Next Man Up’ was the title of a John Feinstein book about the 2004 Baltimore Ravens. Though only a handful of the current members of the team were around for that season -- Ray Lewis, Ed Reed -- the book’s title has maintained a permanent presence within the organization’s walls. And when news leaked out of Arizona that the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year had torn his Achilles' tendon while training, there was no moment of silence or memorial service held. There were no big-time free agents brought in to serve as temporary Band-Aids, either,” wrote Schrager, who spoke with Kruger during last week’s minicamp.
--- Gary Horton of ESPN's Scouts Inc. listed Haloti Ngata as one of the most versatile players in the AFC.
“For a big man, he has surprising athletic ability and movement skills. He plays defensive end in their base 3-4 defense, although he can occasionally line up at nose tackle, and he slides to [defensive tackle] in their 4-3 nickel package on passing downs,” Horton wrote. “What is really surprising is that he can occasionally line up wide to get a better matchup in space, and he can even drop into coverage on those zone blitzes that the Ravens like to run. He also has the ability to line up as a blocking FB in a goal-line situation on rare occasions.”
--- Legendary NFL talent evaluator Gil Brandt put the Ravens eighth in NFL.com’s offseason power rankings.
“The Ravens came just one play away from Super Bowl XLVI, but the loss of outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to an Achilles' tendon tear really hurts. Is this the season Ray Lewis and/or Ed Reed finally hit the wall? With all these questions on defense, the Ravens' offensive backfield of Joe Flacco and Ray Rice will be the key to this team's success in 2012,” wrote Brandt, who ranked the Ravens one spot ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
--- Pete Prisco of CBS Sports believes fourth-year cornerback Lardarius Webb is the team’s most underrated player (he also said that wide receiver Anquan Boldin is the most overrated player on the Ravens roster).
“He emerged as a real shutdown corner in 2011. He didn't give up a touchdown pass, which is impressive in a division with [wide receivers] A.J. Green, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown,” Prisco said about Webb.
--- ESPN’s Jamison Hensley didn’t buy Bryant McKinnie’s explanation for why he was held out of minicamp.
“I'm still skeptical that the Ravens kept McKinnie off the field for all three days for conditioning reasons, especially if he is less than 10 pounds away from his goal. Either there's another reason or McKinnie is further away from the targeted weight. It's becoming clear that the Ravens are trying to squeeze one more season out of the McKinnie. He turns 33 in September and is in the final year of his contract,” Hensley wrote.