Can Brandon Stokley fill the WR void for Ravens?
After spending his first four NFL seasons with the Ravens (1999-2002), Brandon Stokley is thrilled to be back after signing a one-year contract.
He watched Sunday’s practice at M & T Stadium in street clothes, but plans to be on the field Monday when the Ravens return to their Owings Mills, Md. facility.
“Yeah, this is where I started,” Stokley said. “I was thinking when I flew in last night, about 14 years ago, I made the same trip as a rookie. So yeah, it definitely brings back a lot of memories.”
Stokley was signed to be a reliable third-down receiver, which appears to be a missing piece of the Ravens’ offense. Whether it’s still a missing piece could depend on how quickly Stokley adapts. At age 37, his experience should help him learn quickly. However, Stokley has already missed a significant part of training camp, and the regular-season opener in Denver (Sept. 5) is less than a month away.
“It’s very difficult,” said Stokley of learning on the fly. “You just got to study really hard, get yourself up to speed, and do the best that you can. But the guys are a lot further along than you. They had all the offseason and the training camp so far.”
Playing for the Broncos last season, Stokley has vivid memories of losing to the Ravens in the playoffs. He caught a touchdown pass for the Broncos in that game, but it was not enough. After snagging passes from Peyton Manning last season (44 catches, 544 yards, five touchdowns), Stokley is looking forward to catching them from Joe Flacco.
“He’s unbelievable, you saw what he did last year in the playoffs,” Stokley said. “That run that they went on was awesome. It takes a special quarterback to be able to do that.”
Stokley knows people question how much he has left. He doesn’t. “I feel like I can move the chains,” Stokley said. “I feel like I can help this club get in the end zone.”
The Ravens are about to find out if that’s true.