North Notes: Ravens, Amos, Steelers

Rumors of the Ravens becoming the latest team to execute a tag-and-trade transaction have not surfaced in months, and Matt Judon is not expecting to be dealt. The franchise-tagged outside linebacker signed his tender Thursday night and expects to be with the Ravens this season, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Although the Ravens acquired All-Pro defensive lineman Calais Campbell, they did not make a big move at outside linebacker this offseason. They will need their top 2019 edge defender back to anchor their pass rush.

Here is the latest from the North divisions, continuing first with more news out of Baltimore:

  • John Harbaugh said (via Childs Walker of the Baltimore Sun) cornerback Jimmy Smith could see some time at safety. The veteran cornerback re-signed earlier this year and is set to play a 10th season in Baltimore. The Ravens have Earl Thomas and the recently extended Chuck Clark at safety, so it will be interesting to see how they deploy Smith this season.
  • The pectoral injury Adrian Amos battled in the playoffs did not require surgery, and the Packers safety said he is back to 100%, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, on Twitter. Amos played all but four of Green Bay’s defensive snaps during the regular season but was unable to finish the NFC championship game.
  • Two of the league’s most influential decision-makers were against the fourth-and-15 proposal, which the NFL tabled Thursday. Both Steelers owner Art Rooney II and HC Mike Tomlin, the latter a member of the competition committee, came out against the proposal — one that gained steam from last year to the point where ownership was split on it. “We’re open to thinking, ‘Is there something we can do with the kickoff in more of a traditional setting that might allow onside kicks a better chance of happening? But this one was too much of a gimmick,” Rooney said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “(Tomlin) and I didn’t like the idea.” Rooney said interest remains in finding an alternative to the current onside kick setup, which has hindered comeback efforts since a recent rule change prevented kicking-team players from running starts prior to the kick.
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5 comments on “North Notes: Ravens, Amos, Steelers

  1. wagner13

    With the depth Baltimore has at cornerback combined with the fact that Smith is beginning to age, a transition to safety makes perfect sense. Think Ronde Barber, DeAngelo Hall, and Charles Woodson

    • Ak185

      That’s not really his play style though. Smith is a press corner. He was at his best jamming receivers at the LOS. I’m not sure speed is on his side, but at least he can tackle better than a lot of corners. I like him as a player, but I’m not sure that safety works for him better than corner.

      • wagner13

        Well, a transition to safety should help mask his speed deficiency and his tackling ability will prove crucial in run support. I guess he’ll just have to adapt to the position. I’m sure Baltimore’s coaching staff is up to the task

        • Ak185

          I agree with everything except the speed. Baltimore is currently using a very range-y safety in Earl Thomas, and before him Eric Weddle. They have always liked, dating from Ed Reed, safeties who can cover a lot of ground. At least at FS, where I’m not he’d fit for the reasons we’re discussing. Of course, I’m just a guy on the Internet. :)

          Chuck Clark (I believe I remember his name correctly) had a strong enough showing that they cut Tony Jefferson for him, and projects to be the starter on the other side. This is probably where Smith would, sparingly, at SS. I’m not sure Smith should take snaps away from the younger Clark, but as you said, I do have confidence in the history of the Ravens’ staff. Perhaps we’ll see Smith slide in for certain plays in passing situations or “small ball” packages.

          • wagner13

            Yeah, I think he’ll likely operate as a third safety/depth corner in dime packages or obvious pass coverage situations

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