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Stiff Competition Within the Ravens' Offense

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After 2 days of minicamp, we’ve gotten a little taste of the new and improved Ravens’ offense.

Veteran Rookies
2 veterans receivers, Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth, practiced at their first Baltimore Ravens’ minicamp.

Anquan Boldin looked great in purple, and he knew it. “I look good in it” were his exact words.

Here’s what Head Coach John Harbaugh had to say about Boldin:

“I thought Anquan looked good today. He made a couple plays, taught the young guys a little bit. With man coverage underneath, you saw he got himself open pretty clearly against some of the rookie corners. He looks like he’s in kind of midseason form right now.”

The Pro Bowl veteran was spotted making multiple catches in the middle of the field. Although this was Boldin’s first official minicamp with the Ravens, he has been catching Flacco’s throws for quite some time now. Boldin has been building chemistry with Flacco ever since his arrival. As long as the two get comfortable with each other, it shouldn’t be hard for Boldin to have another 1,000 yard season.

Donte’ Stallworth has also been fitting in well.

Harbaugh was well-pleased with Stallworth:

“He’s got good hands and he looked quick; I thought he looked explosive. What you do when you see a guy like that jump out on a day like this, you see the work he’s put in through the last couple of months.”

Stallworth has obviously worked hard to stand out amongst the other receivers. He is probably the 3rd wideout in the lineup right now, so where does that leave the rest?

Fighting To Be a Receiver
Well Derrek Mason is a no-brainer. That leaves veteran Mark Clayton, rookie David Reed, and backups Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith, and Justin Harper fighting for the 4th and 5th spot.

Unfortunately for Clayton, he has only been able to watch as the competition grows. A recent procedure on Clayton’s shoulder will keep him sidelined for another 3 weeks.

Bad news for Clayton, but this does open doors for others to step up their game and prove themselves. By the end of training camp, the Ravens should have a solid group of receivers.

Questions With the Offensive Line
Well some good and bad news here.

The good news is that Michael Oher has been shifted to the “blind side,” swapping positions with Jared Gaither. Harbaugh said this swap “makes the offense the best it can be.”

I agree. Oher showed he can perform well at the left tackle position when subbed in for the injured Gaither last season. But I think the real reason behind this swap deals with the rumors about trading Gaither. It seems the Ravens are preparing for the possibility of trading him away, most likely to the Buffalo Bills. As much as I would like to see Gaither stay in purple, we all know the Ravens can’t financially afford both Gaither and Oher.

The bad news isn’t whether Gaither will be traded or not, but his injury issues. Gaither sat out minicamp practice for “health reasons.” I’m starting to question Gaither’s toughness and whether he’s prone to injuries.

More bad news for the Ravens as rookie Ramon Harewood suffered an injury during practice. Reports suggest he damaged some tissue in his knee and could miss 3-4 weeks. Hopefully he can make a quick recovery and be able to participate in minicamp.