Last chance for Ravens to make an impression in final preseason game
Ravens' players have been evaluated closely by team executives and coaches for the past six weeks and the majority of the 53 roster spots are set. But reserve spots at a handful of positions, including wide receiver, tight end and safety, remain up for grabs and Thursday's game is one final opportunity for players to make their case.
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While Torrey Smith (Maryland), Jacoby Jones and Brandon Stokley head the group, third-year receivers Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams (Poly, Maryland) have been pushed hard by rookies Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown. A foot injury to Deonte Thompson, who entered camp with a chance to seize a key role on offense, has only complicated the decision-making process.
"Any time this time of year, there¿s always tough decisions," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "These are jobs. These are men that have dreams and hopes, aspirations of playing in this league at the top of their game and some of them obviously don¿t make it. There¿s a lot of competition all the way across the board. There¿s going to be some tough decisions, not only at the wide receiver position but when you look at our team as a whole. John and [general manager Ozzie Newsome] will take a look at what fits, look at how the makeup of the team will develop and we¿ll go from there."
It is the third straight year Williams has found himself on the roster bubble and he¿s learned how to deal with the anxiety.
"That's up to [the people] upstairs," Williams said, referring to the front office and the coaching staff. "I leave it all out on the field and leave it up to them. ... No day is bigger than another. Every day, I have to prove myself. I treat everything the same, do the same things and do them well."