Ravens Points to Ponder in their final preseason tune-up

Was this Troy Smith’s Last game as a Raven?

I’m still not sure yet.

But what I did see last night was pretty indicative of what type of player Smith is at this stage of his career. He has very good arm strength but displays little touch or accuracy on most of his throws. But he can tease you with his passing ability. He threw a laser on the slant to Justin Harper that was placed perfectly and yet can’t connect on a fade to Marcus Smith. He can be dangerous when running with the ball and you’d have to think if the Ravens do keep him that they would want to develop some Wildcat type packages for him. But, there are still too many times when he looks to tuck and run too soon.

Of course to be fair, Smith was working with an Offensive Line that was mediocre at best and a receiving core that didn’t do him any favors on some throws too.

But in the end summation, and cue Dennis Green- Smith was what we thought he was – an average to below average quarterback who is a third stringer on this team. Weather that will be enough to keep a spot for him is still up for speculation. Is another Corner or Linebacker more valuable than Smith as this point? Does Smith have any trade value or was that just a fantasy to begin with? For what it’s worth I think he stays.

Who makes the cut and who’s bubble will burst?

David Reed (Good call Gene Winner!) showed well again under the bright lights even though he struggled during camp. He led the team in receiving yards yesterday and if he read on block just right could have had a long gain on a kick return. Edgar Jones really helped his case last night. He was very active off the edge and is still in the mix. Jason Phillips had nine tackles last night but was fooled badly on play-action a few times. Is he worth keeping as a Special Teamer? Marcus Smith is a force on Special Teams but looked bad last night. He struggled getting out of breaks and showed suspect hands. Ken Hamlin looked like a guy who would have rather been in a Dentist chair than competing for a job with rookies. He should be shown the door.

What was Dannell Ellerbee thinking?

I hate the fact the NFL has taken some of the passion and joy out of playing football but Ellerbee’s antics didn’t make much sense. Of course now the word is that this is why Ellerbee hasn’t won the starting job yet even though every time he’s on the field he makes positive plays.

I liked Harbaugh’s reaction as he was quick to find Ellerbee and was forceful in getting his point across about how “classless” he thought his actions were. Sometimes Harbaugh can be a bit more passive-aggressive when it comes to enforcing team policies but this time he showed some fire.

But I do tend to wonder if his reaction would have been the same if another player would have done it like Ed Reed or Derrick Mason. I realize that the vets get different treatment but I have a feeling it would not have been the same scene.


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