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SI’s King: Stallworth Signing a Mystery

Ravens Gabber Gene Winner brought this to my attention today. It’s from the Ravens team website and it includes comments from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in regards to Donte Stallworth.

The Ravens thought they had a deep threat when they signed receiver Donte’ Stallworth, but he was not used to his full advantage.

Stallworth’s two receptions for 82 yards has SI.com’s Peter King scratching his head.

“I don’t know why the Ravens signed Donte’ Stallworth,” King told Baltimore Ravens.com during the NFL Scouting Combine. “They never took advantage of him all year long. Obviously, he was hurt at the beginning and then was inactive, but the second half of the season. There’s a deep speed threat.

“The Steelers don’t take Mike Wallace and only use him on end-arounds. I couldn’t believe it.”

King thinks that Stallworth could have expanded an offense that averaged only 208.4 yards per game through the air.

Known as a speedy weapon, Stallworth was instead utilized more as a running back. Stallworth had five rushes for 45 yards, all on end-arounds

Surely, Stallworth was hampered by a broken foot suffered in the preseason that limited him to only eight games, but he still had trouble working himself back into the offensive rotation.

“I just never saw them doing something in the passing game with Donte’ Stallworth, who’s your biggest speed threat when you need to open up your offense,” said King. “Next year, they’ve got to do more imaginative stuff.”

Whether or not Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron tries “imaginative stuff,” the Ravens may need to address the wideout spot via the draft and add a Stallworth clone – a receiver with the ability to take the top off a defense.

“Clearly, they’re going to try to bring in another receiver or two, but right now, I think if you have a 4.35 receiver who has rededicated his life to football, he’s a guy who ought to be more in your regular offense and running 20 plays a game in the spread formation and making people put a safety over top and opening up the middle of the field for the talented tight ends for the very least,” said King.

More potshots at Cam Cameron. He should do some more “imaginative stuff” right?

The one thing he fails to mention is the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Once Stallworth went down with the injury his season was basically over regardless of his health. Even when he returned he was relegated to Fourth on the depth chart. The Ravens rarely used a Four Wide set (Why- I don’t know?) So Stallworth’s inactivity wasn’t a huge surprise though I’m still trying to figure out why he wasn’t suited up against his former team the Saints.

I pointed to the bigger issue before of why T.J. was signed in the first place. The Ravens needed to replace the speed threat lost and not add another possession type receiver.

At any rate it would appear that the receiving corps will have some different faces to it in 2011.  I’d be shocked to see T.J. or Stallworth back and maybe David Reed will get involved in the offense as well. As my Mock choice in the last post would indicate I want the Ravens to add some – SPEED on offense.

It’s long overdue.


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