With only two weeks left in the season, I thought it might be a fair time to give our replacements grades. Only a few months ago many Raven's fans were worried about how many players we lost. Here is who we lost since the Superbowl.
Ray Lewis (Retired) Replaced by Daryl Smith. I think Smith has done an excellent job stepping into big shoes. Ray Lewis has commanded the defense for 17 seasons. He does an excellent job in pass coverage. he is currently leads the team wit 107 tackles.
Ed Reed (FA Houston/NY) Replaced by Matt Elam. Elam was our first round draft pick. He was expected to immediately step in at FS. Although he has not quite lived up to high expectations, Elam is progressing. I would currently take him over the 35 year old Ed Reed.
Paul Kruger (FA Cleveland) Replaced by Elvis Dumervil. When Kruger left, many wondered who would fill the pass rushing role opposite of Suggs. Dumervil popped onto the market and we were lucky enough to get him at a discount over Kruger. Kruger has 4.5 sacks and 36 tackles compared to Dumervil's 9.5 sacks and 30 tackles. Dumervil isn't an every down player, but he puts great pressure on the QB in passing plays.
Danelle Ellerbee (FA Dolphins) Replaced by Bynes/McClain/Brown. This one is a bit tricky. I wish we could have kept Ellerbee but his price was too high. Our LBs have done a good job at filling in for the departed Ellerbee. I believe Arthur Brown is a project right now and we will see more of him in the future.
Bernard Pollard (Cut) It was a bit of a shock to learn Pollard had been cut. However, we are now better off without him. He use to hit with such intensity. However, Pollard cost us many penalties. I think Digz has done a good job at SS. He hits hard like pollard and he his hits don't cost us 15 yards.
Cary Williams (FA Philadelphia) Replaced by Jimmy Smith. Jimmy Smith has seen a lot more playing time. I always felt Cary played too far off receivers allowing WRs to beat him. Jimmy Seems to be playing tighter coverage.
Anquan Boldin (Traded to 49ers) Replaced by Marlon Brown. This move was not popular with fans. Torrey Smith has moved up to #1 receiver and Marlon Brown was an UDFA put immediately into the #3 receiver role. I believe this move is good for the future. Boldin is 33 years old right now while Marlon is a rookie and seems to be learning quick.
Matt Birk (retired) Replaced by Gino Gradkowski. I had high hopes for Gino. He has had a rough start to the year. He still seems to be struggling to a degree.
We have also gained Chris Canty who has been having a solid year.
Overall, I believe that the Ravens FO made some great moves. While many panicked and the media said we could loose every game, OZ stayed calm and played his cards wisely. So, here we are with two weeks to go and a chance to make the playoffs. What does everyone think of how well our roster replacements have done?