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Ravens Mid-Season Awards 2012

Mid-Season Awards.

The Bye week was as good a time as any to reflect on the first half of the season. So our writers (Matt Jergensen, Gene Winner, Jonathan Scruggs, and Ben Zinman) got together to name the top players in each category. As always feel free to add your comments down below.

BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER: The panel had many different ideas on who they thought this award should go to. Ben Zinman went with the sure handed Tight End who is putting together a career year. Dennis Pitta is a dependable target. He can be counted on to get the necessary yards to move the chains.” Gene Winner went with an old vet who has recovered from playing hurt a season ago. Anquan Boldin has taken over some games in the fourth quarter this year on pure determination.” Jon Scruggs was torn a first but found some clarity. “It could be either Torrey Smith or Ray Rice. I give the nod to Ray only because he has one more touchdown than Torrey has. Additionally, Ray has proved countless times that he is the number one offensive weapon on this team. it’s too bad Cam Cameron fails to see it week in and week out.”

So with so many choices I helped break the tie. I also give the nod to Ray Rice. Rice is still the number one option on offense and when he doesn’t get the ball enough people notice.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Once again our panel was split. Winner went with massive Defensive Tackle Haloti Ngata. “Not only is Ngata playing well, he’s play through injuries to help his defense.” Zinman went with a linebacker. “Dannell Ellerbe is developing into a consistent member of the Raven’s corp of linebackers. He has 38 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks” Scruggs went with the shutdown corner. “Lardarius Webb. You didn’t hear Webb’s named called that often through the first 8 weeks. There’s a reason. That meant he was doing his job. Every other Ravens defensive player has underperformed this season, but not Webb. It’s why his loss was particularly damning“.

So once again I become a tiebreaker. I’ll cast my vote for Haloti Ngata. He continues to fight off double teams and extra attention that his Pro Bowl resume provides. If not for him the line would be in even worse shape than it is now.

BEST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER: This one was our first clean sweep. The rookie from Texas, Kicker Justin Tucker has been nearly flawless in the first half. Here are a few comments: Zinman, “Justin Tucker has missed exactly 1 attempt to pound it through the uprights. If he continues this type of consistency soon the rhetorical question will be heard, Matt Stover……Who’s he?” and Winner, “The kid can kick! 14 of 15 which includes 4-4 from 50 plus.”

It’s obvious that Tucker was a better selection than Billy Cundiff, who after a brief stint in Washington is unemployed.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Jacoby Jones has been a pleasant surprise not only in the return game but as a receiver as well. Zinman points out, “Jones is an incredible athlete. He is averaging almost 40 yards per kick return and with half the number of catches he has almost as many receiving yards as Ray Rice.”

However the rest of the group really enjoyed the performance of the rookie, Kelechi Osemele. Gene stated, “I thought KO would take more time to jump in and start, He’s been great this year.” Jon added, “It is a tall order to expect a rookie guard to step in and start at right tackle. It is quite possibly the hardest thing anyone could have asked. But all that being said, Kelechi has played admirably and kept the line well secured.”

I couldn’t agree more.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Even though the team sits at 5-2 atop the AFC North there have been several names that could have been selected for this award.

Ben Zinman responded, “When Paul Kruger was being inserted into the lineup on a part time basis he would almost always pick up a sack. The coaches determined that to mean 1 sack for a short time insertion means multiple sacks for more extended game time use as he was developing into a sack specialist. Not!! In 7 games in which he has played many minutes he has 16 tackles 1.5 sacks and 3 passes defended.” While Mr. Scruggs noted, Ray Lewis. I love Ray but it’s time for him to come off the field on every down. He’s great in run defense and always will be, but his time in the passing game is over.” And Gene Winner went with a coach. “Cam Cameron, offensive coordinator.  I don’t get it.  Cameron has the best running back and fullback in the NFL and you fail to make the run game a staple of the offense?   Flacco 252 pass attempts, Rice 106 attempts. I’m no coach or any type of expert, nor is Cam Cameron with this kind of nonsense.”

In keep with that tone I ‘ll make my own selection and go with Defensive Tackle Terrence Cody. Cody started in his second-season last year and had a decent campaign but began to fade towards the end. This season he was beaten out of his starting  job by a player who at one point weighed 400 pounds in nine year vet Maake Kemoeatu. Cody has been reinserted in the lineup due to injury but he hasn’t looked good. He’s one of the reasons why the Ravens are giving up massive amounts of yardage on the ground.


“I kind of just want everybody to be surprised.”  – Terrell Suggs

“We’re trying to do it. It’s not like you flip a switch. I don’t think that’s it. There are 53 guys that are trying to do their best out there, and we’re just not doing our best. Hopefully, we get to that point. That’s part of why we practice, why we meet and why we go to work every day. I wish it were that easy. And maybe there were times when it looked easy. But I think you appreciate it when it does work. And you realize the preparation that you do put into it – that it pays off. Maybe we’ve just spoiled some people in the meantime. Because it’s hard to win, man. It’s really hard to win.” ~ Tom Brady (Not a Raven but still a good quote)

“When you step in the shower you know your gonna get wet and it rained tonight.”



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