Inside The Enemy Camp: Chiefs @ Ravens

Every week we go “Inside The Enemy Camp” with the FanSided editor who covers the Chiefs’ next opponent. This week I fired five questions over to Riley Babcock of Ebony Bird, FanSided’s Baltimore Ravens blog. Riley took over EB over the offseason and the site is growing in popularity every day. It is definitely a great source for Ravens news and views.

Now, let’s go Inside The Enemy Camp with Ebony Bird.

 The Ravens made some big changes this offseason getting rid of longtime veterans like Kelly Gregg, Todd Heap and Derrick Mason. Do you think they have the men in line to replace guys like that or will there be some regression at those positions? 

When I first heard of the veteran cuts, I did not worry at all. Those guys are and always will be Ravens, but there comes a time where you have to move on. I think this was the perfect time to do so. Out of the three, Heap is the biggest lost.

The Ravens have two young, promising tight ends in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson who can help fill Heap’s void, but his blocking ability was an underrated one that will be missed. Gregg will be replaced by second year player Terrence Cody. He has slimmed down a lot from last year and looks great at the position. Mason is a great player, but he will be easily replaced. The Ravens recently acquired Lee Evans who will hop into the number two spot behind Boldin. Rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss are also in the mix and should see some action this season.

A lot of those jettisoned players, Gregg, McClain and Gaither, ended up in Kansas City. As a Ravens fan, do you think these are good or bad pickups for KC?
The best pickup out of the three is obviously Le’Ron McClain. The guy is a monster at 6 feet, 260 lbs and is one of the league’s premier fullbacks. With the group of runningbacks that Kansas City has right now, McClain will ensure that those 10 yard runs will become 50 yard runs. But blocking isn’t his only strong suit, McClain is a great ball carrier and even has the ability to catch out of the backfield. I hope that he gets the opportunity to run more in KC even though he’s more of a fullback type. Gregg is getting older but should help out some of the younger Chiefs. He doesn’t have many years left but his veteran presence shouldn’t be overlooked. As for Jared Gaither, he has the potential of being a huge sleeper if he can get his act together. He is supposedly back to 100% but still has a bad attitude. When healthy and willing to play, he’s a beast at left tackle. Chiefs fans can only hope that he has a rejuvenated spirit in Kansas City as he can be a great player.
Another Chiefs-Ravens connection is Jim Zorn. Do you think the Ravens made the right call in getting rid of him? I know Joe Flacco was pretty angry about it. 

I don’t really have a feeling one way or another. Though Flacco was upset about him leaving, he didn’t show any huge improvements once Zorn got to Baltimore. It’s always good to be mentored by a former player and experienced coach, but perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.

 Which Ravens rookies should Chiefs fans keep an eye on? 

The Ravens currently have a crisis at right tackle. Rookie Jah Reid is vying for the job and I want to see what he can do. Cornerback Jimmy Smith did not play much last week against the Eagles but is suppose to play a lot more against the Chiefs. I want to see if he really possesses the skills to be the league’s next shut down corner.

Your prediction for the meaningless outcome?

I try to stay away from predicting preseason games. As you said, they are meaningless and tell you nothing about how the team will do come regular season. If you remember back in ’06, the Oakland Raiders went 4-0 in preseason, only to finish the regular season with the leagues worst record at 2-14. The outcome of most preseason games comes down to the 2nd string quarterbacks so it will be most likely be decided by Tyrod Taylor and Tyler Palko.

Check out Ebony Bird to read up on what is going on with the Baltimore Ravens.

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