Will Ravens address secondary issues?

Will Ravens address secondary issues?
August 19, 2014, 9:15 am
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With training camp underway we know that Ravens fans have plenty of questions about the upcoming season. Ravens Insider Clifton Brown answer them in this week's Q&A presented by Wendy's.

A: Questions about the Ravens’ cornerback position were the most popular this week, and rightfully so. With Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back), and Asa Jackson (ankle) all injured, Newsome is undoubtedly exploring options.

There is a chance Newsome will make a move. But here’s the problem. There is a shortage of good cornerbacks available. Plenty of teams are looking for cornerback help, and there is not enough quality to go around. Teams with good corners are not looking to trade them, and the free agent pool is not impressive.

Veteran cornerback Asante Samuel has been available for months, but I don’t think the Ravens want to sign him. They considered signing Drayton Florence in June, and he might be brought back if the Lions cut him. Marquice Cole is another possibility if he doesn’t stick with the Raiders. The Saints might cut Champ Bailey, but he’s well past his prime.

The Ravens’ corner situation is a concern, but it should get better soon. Coach John Harbaugh said that both Smith and Jackson could play Saturday against the Redskins. Even if they don’t, they should be ready for Week 1. The bigger concern is Webb. He is not going to play this preseason, and back injuries can be tricky. Even if Webb is healthy Week 1, is his back going to hold up all season? Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks have given up plays during practice and games, and if they play a lot, they will be attacked. The Ravens must hope that Smith, Webb, and Jackson stay healthy during the regular season, or the nickel cornerback spot will likely be a weakness.

A: Yes. Harbaugh has already said that Webb would not play this preseason. Smith could play Saturday, but I don’t think he will. And he won’t play in the final preseason game against the Saints either. I don’t see the sense in playing Smith until Week 1. He has nothing to prove, and he is too valuable at a position where the Ravens are vulnerable.

A: The Ravens’ toughest decision will be at wide receiver. I think Michael Campanaro and Deonte Thompson will be the final two wide receivers kept after Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Marlon Brown. If Kamar Aiken is cut, I think another team will pick him up quickly.

At cornerback, Franks may not make the team. If he doesn’t, another team that needs corner help could scoop him up.

A: I think they will stick with Taylor as the backup. I seem to like Taylor better than most people. His preseason work has not been stellar. But his mobility is a weapon, and I think his accuracy has improved, even though it shows more in practice than in games. If you bring in somebody else, that quarterback would have to learn Gary Kubiak’s system quickly, and I’m not convinced that would be an upgrade. If Joe Flacco missed a game or two, could the Ravens win a game or two with Taylor? I think so. Would the Ravens be OK if something happens to Flacco long-term? No way.