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James Casey

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  • Looking at physical safeties in the NFL draft, Gary Kubiak, Ravens coaching staff and more

    Looking at physical safeties in the NFL draft, Gary Kubiak, Ravens coaching staff and more
    While the Ravens’ brass will undoubtedly reiterate its intention to draft the “best-player available” countless times before May’s draft, it is already widely assumed that the team will use its first pick to either augment the offensive line or add another pass-catching weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco. It would be hard to quibble with either choice but watching the Seattle Seahawks’ dismantling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII was further affirmation on the effect a rangy, physical and play-making safety can have on a game. The Seahawks have two of them in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor and I thought it was Chancellor who set the tone in the Super Bowl and would have gotten my game MVP vote. Thomas and Chancellor are probably the best pair of safeties in the game so it’s an unfair comparison. However, I couldn’t help but watch them and be reminded of how much the Ravens needed a similar presence this year. The disappearance of their pass rush played a role in the increase in big plays allowed and decrease in turnovers forced, but so did the absence of someone on the back end who would cause quarterbacks and wide receivers to think twice about using the middle of the field. I’d expect Matt Elam to make a much bigger impact with his expected move to his more natural strong safety position but the Ravens need to find another active and athletic safety with good balls skills. With two quality cornerbacks in Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, that’s the missing piece in the secondary.
  • Gary Kubiak's offense could be perfect fit for Dennis Pitta

    Gary Kubiak's offense could be perfect fit for Dennis Pitta
    The arrival of new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak could provide a boost to the production of tight end Dennis Pitta. Kubiak's offensive game plans over the years with the Houston Texans -- and previously with the Denver Broncos -- have been...

    13 Ravens opponents in 13 days: Houston Texans

    13 Ravens opponents in 13 days: Houston Texans
    In eager anticipation of the 2013 NFL season, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will take a daily look at one of the 13 opponents on the Ravens’ regular-season schedule. Today is the Houston Texans. The Week 3 matchup between the...

    Kyle Juszczyk gives the Ravens flexibility at fullback

    Kyle Juszczyk gives the Ravens flexibility at fullback
    The Ravens did us beat reporters a minor disservice on Saturday afternoon, drafting Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk, whose surname will leave behind many red squiggly lines as we learn to spell it, in the fourth round. It’s too soon to say that...

    Film Study: Looking back at the Texans loss vs. the Packers

    Film Study: Looking back at the Texans loss vs. the Packers
    Each week, Baltimore Sun reporters Aaron Wilson and Matt Vensel will look back at the Ravens’ previous game and that of their next opponent. Packers 42, Texans 24 Strategy: The Houston Texans are one of the most balanced offensive teams in the...