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alfalcone


Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 1405
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Next Men Up Reply with quote

Some not all of our free agents or cuts have potential in house replacements lined up. My question is which of these next men up do you trust:

Jimmy Smith
Courtney Upshaw
Christian Thompson
Gino Gradkowski
Josh Bynes

Feel free to add any others
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alfalcone


Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 1405
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Next Men Up Reply with quote

Some not all of our free agents or cuts have potential in house replacements lined up. My question is which of these next men up do you trust:

Jimmy Smith Yes, I still think Jimmy can be a star.

Courtney Upshaw Yes, not sure if he's Lamarr Woodley or Jarrett Johnson, but either will do.

Christian Thompson No

Gino Gradkowski No

Josh Bynes Yes, I don't think he will be anything special, but I think he can be a very good two down linebacker.
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RavensDefense3


Joined: 21 Apr 2011
Posts: 1065
Location: Baltimore
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy-Yes
Upshaw-Yes
Grad-Yes, he's looked pretty good for the limited time he's played in

I don't trust Josh Bynes, and the last time I've heard about Christian Thompson was when he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct(?) during the texans game in special teams
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dcarey20


Joined: 15 Feb 2006
Posts: 7259
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Jimmy Smith is going to step up and hold down the #2 corner spot opposite Webb next year. He's been through alot as far as injuries and even possibly being in that infamous Harbaugh doghouse, but I still like him. He was a huge part of the biggest 4 downs of the Super Bowl, even with what the haters want to say about that no hold call (which was a good no call). I feel great about him replacing Cary Williams (with help from Graham and Chykie).

Same goes for Upshaw. I'm not sure he'll ever get to what Kruger was this year, but I do think he's a Jarret Johnson clone. Assuming Suggs gets back to Suggs star level when he's finally healthy, Upshaw will be perfect stepping into Kruger's old spot and doing the things he's capable of doing. I think his pass rush skills will continue to improve, even though he'll likely never be elite at getting after the QB.

Christian Thompson is a Haruki Nakamura type AT BEST at this point. Hopefully he can make a splash next season, but given that he made ZERO impact as a 4th round draft pick, I can't say a whole lot more. Hopefully he'll get some more looks and make the best of them.

Gradkowski is a bit of a wild card, as he didn't see much time this year, but I feel like that was the plan from the start for him. If Birk retires/is cut I have no doubts that he'll be given every shot at that starting center spot, so it's all on him. I think he's a talented enough player to man that job, even if he would be our 5th best lineman at that point. We'll see, but at the very least I think he's a good depth guy.

I don't really like Bynes as anything more than a 3rd inside linebacker. He had some games where he played well and he had some games where I thougth he really shouldn't be anything more than a special teams ace. He's worthy of a spot on the team but I don't feel comfortable counting on him to be a significant contributer on defense.
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spiritoftruth


Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 2264
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danelle Ellerbe's path to the starting spot gives me hope that Jimmy Smith can redeem himself as well.

Josh Bynes looked absolutely awful when he was first thrown into action, but I thought he played really well in the Giants and Bengals games to end the season.
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wackywabbit


Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 7317
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought more people would be down on Jimmy Smith, but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who hasn't given up on him. I think he'll be a solid number 2 to Webb at worst. CB will not be a need position when Cary leaves.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem for Jimmy was never in his short range coverage abilities, it was always with being able to play against the double moves.

I've never really been too down on Jimmy. He gives up big plays because he keeps his eyes in the backfield too often and too often tries to play hero ball by not getting beat at all... and he pays because when he guesses wrong a defender now can run behind him.

Lardarius Webb used to do the same thing, only he was much quicker to recognize the second move and it wouldn't allow the defender to really gain much ground before he recovered. I thought once Webb really started to understand the game you could see him "getting caught" less often and started moreso just understanding what situations to be most aggressive in and which situations he could afford to guess on which route. Once Jimmy gets the nuances down, it should help to cover up his natural habit to want to play hero ball. He just has to gain more experience and really become more of a film rat.
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BareYourTeeth


Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 1150
Location: I'm a machine Jerk!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RavensDefense3 wrote:
Jimmy-Yes
Upshaw-Yes
Grad-Yes, he's looked pretty good for the limited time he's played in

I don't trust Josh Bynes, and the last time I've heard about Christian Thompson was when he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct(?) during the texans game in special teams


This, I don't trust Bynes as a starter, but reserve/rotational guy? Absolutely

Also, db brought up a great point in the post above. Webb didn't really start to excel until is 3rd year as he didn't move into the starting lineup until the end of his rookie season where he started to show flashes of the player he could become, then tore his ACL and in his second year he clearly wasn't the same guy, still dealing with the injury. His breakout year didnt come until last season, his 3rd.

That gives me hope that Jimmy can still become the player we imagined when we drafted him. I think and certainly hope that next year, with another full offseason, could be the year Jimmy finally steps up, especially if we play him at right corner, where Cary played for us and Jimmy played in college. Why have we not played him there at all anyway? Do you guys that has any effect?
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Baltimore Pride


Joined: 31 Dec 2007
Posts: 2562
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Smith: Yes

Gino Gradkowski: Yes

Courtney Upshaw: Yes

Josh Bynes no, and Thompson no.

This just underscores my belief that losing Williams and Krugar to FA wont me much of a loss.

Keeping in mind that Williams really replaced Webb most of the season and in the playoffs. Webb coming back will be a major upgrade over Williams and the 2nd CB spot will likely remain as it has this season, only with the possibility of Jimmy Smith overtaking Graham.

Gradkowski has the potential to be a solid starter, like others have said hes more of the wildcard of the bunch. Regardless if Brik retires or is cut Gino is likely our best option at center.

I think Upshaw will arrive to starting potential faster than it took Krugar, which was seemingly years. He sure as hell has the talent, hopefully we can get Ellerbe back and field a better DL next season.
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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Smith - Yes. I never thought he was bad this season and I'm more confident in him than I am in Williams. Smith might get beat every once in a while for a big play but he wasn't constantly giving up short passes that extended drives like Williams was.

Courtney Upshaw - Maybe. It depends on how you view him "replacing" Kruger. Upshaw played just as much as Kruger did so I'm not worried about him getting an extended role, but if you're counting on him to provide the pass-rush that Kruger did then I think you'll be disappointed. Upshaw should bet better at that than he was this season if he gets into better shape for next season but that's still not his strength as a NFL player. The Ravens need to look for a pure pass-rusher to replace Kruger.

Christian Thompson - No. I thought he was very raw as a rookie and I doubt he's ready to start. Especially when he went on injured reserve this season. If Reed is back I think the Ravens stick with developing Thompson as his heir but if not I hope they look for a better alternative. If that happens Thompson will probably be kept around as Pollard's replacement.

Gino Gradkowski - Yes. I like what I've seen from him although it's been a very limited sample. Out of all the candidates for this "next man up" discussion Gradkowski is the one I'll be watching the closest.

Josh Bynes - Maybe. I wouldn't trust him in a starting role but as a rotational ILB sure.

Another position to take into consideration for this is wide receiver. If both Boldin and Jones are gone next season then I think Baltimore will definitely look for a prospect at this position fairly high in the draft but if only one of those two are gone then maybe they stick with what they have. Doss and Streeter are the two candidates I think would be most likely to take over as the 3rd WR (I don't see Williams or Thompson ever having big roles in the offense).
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alfalcone


Joined: 25 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
Another position to take into consideration for this is wide receiver. If both Boldin and Jones are gone next season then I think Baltimore will definitely look for a prospect at this position fairly high in the draft but if only one of those two are gone then maybe they stick with what they have. Doss and Streeter are the two candidates I think would be most likely to take over as the 3rd WR (I don't see Williams or Thompson ever having big roles in the offense).


I don't believe in Doss, he seems to be a practice hero to me. All the Sun ever talks about are his hands, and when he gets into games, he has hands of stone. I know Streeter is raw, but I've got a good feeling about him. He has every tool you can ask for. I wouldn't be surprised if he put up Stephen Hill type numbers next year.
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Mancunian Raven


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
Posts: 2293
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jimmy Smith - I've felt that what he really needs is a fully healthy training camp and pre-season, to iron out the inconsistencies in his game. Biting on double moves, losing his man because he's too busy watching the QB, that's the sort of stuff that can only be coached out through repetition, familiarity and practice. The guy hasn't had a whole lot of that, with all of the injuries and niggles he's had.

Courtney Upshaw - I'd be happy to see him starting every game, absolutely. He's a beast against the run, and has good instincts when he gets into the backfield. A stronger D-line and a healthy Suggs should probably help Upshaw increase his productivity as a pass rusher next year.

Christian Thompson - Who knows? I can't remember ever seeing him on the field, let alone making any plays. Harbs was high on Emanuel Cook before he got injured, and Omar Brown has impressed when he's been given opportunities. Thompson might have his hands full just making the roster next year.

Gino Gradkowski - I hope Birk retires, because I think the only way we'll know what we've got in Gradkowski is by seeing him play. Full games, not just the odd snap or series. I think he's got the potential, based on what we have seen.

Josh Bynes - Echoing what others have said, I think he makes a decent rotation option. Don't see him every being a starter in the NFL, though. He's earned himself a little piece of history by being the guy who tackled Ted Ginn to end the Super Bowl, though.

Regarding receivers, Doss has come into the rotation a little more this season, and shown flashes of being a good option. He's no Q, though. I still have high hopes for Tommy Streeter, and want to see what progress he's made in his year with the Ravens. I recall the consensus was that he needed another year in college before being draft ready anyway. I wouldn't be surprised to see LaQuan Williams and Deonte Thompson let go, and David Reed too.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alfalcone wrote:
coordinator0 wrote:
Another position to take into consideration for this is wide receiver. If both Boldin and Jones are gone next season then I think Baltimore will definitely look for a prospect at this position fairly high in the draft but if only one of those two are gone then maybe they stick with what they have. Doss and Streeter are the two candidates I think would be most likely to take over as the 3rd WR (I don't see Williams or Thompson ever having big roles in the offense).


I don't believe in Doss, he seems to be a practice hero to me. All the Sun ever talks about are his hands, and when he gets into games, he has hands of stone. I know Streeter is raw, but I've got a good feeling about him. He has every tool you can ask for. I wouldn't be surprised if he put up Stephen Hill type numbers next year.

I wouldn't say that. He lacks agility. He's a build up speed kind of receiver as well... which means, his speed is virtually useless to us. The thing about Stephen Hill is that he had insane burst off the LOS. That's the same story with Torrey. That initial burst is what allows for clean separation to get deep.

Streeter takes too long to get going and his agility isn't that great. Along with his vertical and it just shows that while he's big and tall, he lacks the explosiveness in his game that may make a difference in his performance.

I'm not saying this to say that I don't think he can be successful, only that he doesn't have as many physical edges to him as some believe. He's more like a skinny Plaxico Burress. If he can workout with Jacoby to improve his hands, we could be onto something, but if not...he's probably not going to help us much this season and potentially down the road.
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mddeckie


Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 401
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the ravens retain ellerbe and Reed my picks are


1) upshaw: I look for him to be a better version of jj. Hopefully he makes us forget who this Kruger guy was.

2) McPhee: didn't play to well this yr, started to play ok at end of playoffs. But if he can step up, with him Suggs and upshaw, it won't matter who our CB's are!
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ravens5520


Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 8600
Location: New York
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Upshaw really turned it on more & more as the season went on. It wasn't the most flashy of play, but someone mentioned a jarret Johnson clone. I think that can be him in a heart beat. Full off season to work out, I could see him stepping up without much of a loss at that position. My belief is Suggs will pick up Krugers lost sacks. Suggs will be back at 100% next year.


Jimmy Smith- I'm a huge fan and I hold high hopes. Although if it fails I'm not going to be surprised. He seemed to lack motivation and hard work early on especially in the rookie season. We draft kids out of college who knew partying, women and football. It takes a little while to get away from that life and I think year 3 should tell us everything about what Jimmy's future can hold.
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