What is the Ravens' biggest offensive issue?
Dannell Ellerbe is the next familiar face the Ravens will be playing against.
The Ravens have already seen Paul Kruger (Browns) and Ed Reed (Texans). Now the Ravens are preparing for Ellerbe, the Dolphins’ linebacker who will face his ex-teammates during Sunday’s Ravens-Dolphins game.
“We know what kind of player he is,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco of Ellerbe. “He’s physical, he presents a lot of problems in the middle, he can come after the quarterback, he can run sideline to sideline. He does a lot of things well, and we saw that for a couple of years around here.”
Ellerbe said he thought he would re-sign with the Ravens after free agency began in March. However, he is happy to be with the Dolphins (3-1), an improving team where Ellerbe has been a valuable addition.
“This a better position for me to come down here and make a name for myself, being able to be a leader, one of the top leaders on the defense, a new defense that is up-and-coming,” Ellerbe said during a Wednesday conference call. “I would always be in the shadows there (Baltimore). I feel like this was the best place for me.”
The five-year, $35 million contract that the Dolphins gave Ellerbe was more than the Ravens offered, making the decision to leave easier. He has given the Dolphins even more than they expected so far, bringing instant credibility as a starter from a Super Bowl winning team.
“I think that he has exhibited excellent leadership qualities,” said Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. “He is very smart, he’s instinctive, very professional, takes care of himself on and off the field, and he has been a great addition to our ball club.”
Ellerbe’s former teammates are happy for him. But they can’t root for him this Sunday.
“They definitely got a steal, and I guarantee they’re happy to have him down there,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck – hopefully not this week.”