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Preseason Game Preview #2- New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens 8/24/09

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How long has it been since the last exhibition game?

Eleven days to be exact but it seems like an enternity. Even though it’s preseason football it does brings it’s own level of excitement, which basically means you get to watch guys in purple run around the field.

Plus Rex Ryan is coming back to town. He brings with him plenty of gregarious statements and bombast as well as a roster full of former Baltimore players such as Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas. So, if this would have been a regular season tilt you’d have plenty of storylines to explore.

Ryan has had plenty to say in the past few weeks from vowing not to kiss Belicheck’s ring to Ravens uniform choices. He always obliges with a soundbyte and that will play well with the New York media as long as he wins. Most of what he says is foolishness and his long time relationship with Baltimore’s players breeds such familairity. But I’m was confused at his choice of Paul Kruger for one of his jokes. Kruger has never played for Ryan or even knows him. If he was joking, you usually do it with people who get the joke, otherwise it comes off badly. Ryan has since aplogized.

But on a more serious note Ryan is still stinging from being passed over for the Baltimore job two years ago and hasn’t been shy about saying so. I’m sure he’d love to have his club make a strong showing at M & T tonight.

So What should we be watching tonight?

  1. Medical Report: The two biggest names of note that won’t suit up tonight are Terrell Suggs and Mark Clayton. Suggs’  strain has been described as “nagging” but it’s unclear when he will see any action. The team was sure to take a cautious approach to Mark Clayton’s hamstring and it looks right now that he won’t see any action until the last exhibition game against Atlanta. Others of note that are out for tonight; Danell Ellerbe who is sporting brace on his right knee, Samari Rolle who is still on the PUP and has yet to be cleared and OT Stefan Rodgers is out with a leg injury.
  2. John Beck: He hasn’t shown lingering effects as a result of his shoulder injury against Washington but the Ravens still have both Cleo Lemon and Drew Willy on the roster. So does that mean Beck is hurt worse than reported or is a trade deal in the works that may involve one of the current QB’s in the fold, namely Troy Smith. This gives you at least some reason to watch the fourth quarter when it’s Beck turn to lead the offense.
  3. Lardarius Webb: All eyes were on Michael Oher during the first game and he made quite a bold first impression. Now it’s Webb’s turn. Everywhere you look the buzz on this guy is strong so check him out with the defensive unit and on returns as well. He’s got some serious speed.
  4. Receiving Corps: The most talked about position on this team by far. With Clayton out it allows more reps for Demetrius Williams and Kelley Washington with the first team. Williams needs to continue his solid start to camp and Washington continues to remain a mystery if he’ll fit in as a contributing offensive player although he does a know how to celebrate a twelve yard slant pass pretty well. Justin Harper needs to show consistency and with Marcus Smith being sent to IR he needs to take advantage of being targeted so much. Don’t forget about the Tight Ends though, I’d like to see Todd Heap get a pass or two his way and I await Davon Drew getting involved as well.

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