Early Bird: Elam could be closing in on starting job

Early Bird: Elam could be closing in on starting job
August 2, 2013, 7:00 am

Do questions remain in the Ravens secondary?

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Friday, Aug. 2, six days before the preseason opener in Tampa on Aug. 8.

Two-minute topic: Will first-round pick Matt Elam start at safety Week 1?

Owings Mills, MD – Clearly, the Ravens are making Elam earn a starting spot. Clearly, Elam might do it.

Elam and James Ihedigbo are in a spirited competition to start opposite Michael Huff, who was acquired in free agency from the Raiders. Ihedigbo is having a solid training camp. But so is Elam. In fact, Elam has been so good that it’s hard for coaches to say negative things about him. Remember, Elam is a rookie. Coaches love to ride rookies. Not this one.

“Nothing negative whatsoever, positive in every way,’’ coach John Harbaugh said of Elam several days ago. “Certainly, he’ll make a few mistakes here and there, but Matt will make them fast. He’s a very aggressive player, very smart, and he’s going to be a key contributor from us.”

More praise for Elam came Thursday from defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

“He’s fast and he’s tough,” Pees said. “That’s what you want in a strong safety. The guy will come hit you. Yesterday he had a play where he showed his closing speed on Tyrod (Taylor), who is very fast. He just needs to keep on learning the system and getting used to it.”

Elam has been impressive since minicamps. 

Really, the only knock against Elam is that he’s only 5-foot-10.

That has not stopped Elam from making it this far. After a week of training camp, it’s clear that nothing may keep him from starting either.

Ravens upcoming schedule:

Friday: 2:30 practice: 5 p.m., John Harbaugh at podium

Saturday: Off day

Sunday: 5 p.m. Ravens practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. Open to public.

Monday: 2:30 practice, 5 p.m., John Harbaugh at podium

Tuesday: 2:30 practice, 5 p.m., John Harbaugh at podum

Wednesday: no practice, Ravens fly to Tampa

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Ravens open preseason vs. Buccaneers in Tampa.

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