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Ravens training camp preview: Special teams

The Ravens' top decision makers are always preaching about the importance of roster competition. They want it at every position, not just for starting roles but for special teams units and back-end roster spots.

Heading into training camp which officially begins with the first full-squad practice on Thursday, the Ravens’ front office has assembled a 90-man roster that will need to be whittled down to 53 in the coming weeks. The roster has a mixture of youth and experience and is particularly deep at wide receiver where 12 guys are competing for five or six spots.

This is the last installment in a series predicting how many players the Ravens will keep at each position, which players are locks to make the team, which ones are on the bubble and which ones are going to need to defy long odds to stick.

SPECIAL TEAMS

How many they’ll keep: 3

Locks if healthy: Justin Tucker (kicker), Sam Koch (punter), Morgan Cox (long snapper)

Long shot: Richie Leone (punter)

Skinny: The only question here is whether Leone, an undrafted free agent out of Houston, is a serious competitor for Koch or whether he was just added to the roster to give the Ravens an extra camp leg. The Ravens are obviously going to say it’s the former. Head coach John Harbaugh did state earlier this offseason that Koch was the team’s punter but he made a similar comment about kicker Billy Cundiff in 2012. That changed when Cundiff was significantly out-performed by Tucker, who like Leone was brought in as an undrafted free agent, in training camp. Koch, 31, doesn’t have a big leg, but the Ravens trust him and also value his ability to hold for Tucker. It would be hard to imagine Leone beating him out, but Harbaugh always preaches keeping the best player at every position.    

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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