As we wait for the shoes to drop with the decisions on a final roster for the Ravens, lets check in with our former CSNbaltimore.com colleague John Eisenberg, now scribbling for baltimoreravens.com.
Among Eisenbergs observations from Thursdays final preseason game: Kelechi Osemele still has a ways to go. While at right tackle, Osemele lined up opposite the Rams Chris Long, a tough, high-motor defensive lineman. How did it go?
Long is an established veteran, and he gave Osemele fits, Eisenberg wrote, basically pushing him back into several developing plays to blow them up before they started. There has been talk that Osemele might start at guard over Bobbie Williams in the season opener, but his performance against a high-caliber opponent Thursday night didnt appear to lobby for that.
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw was another rookie who didnt make a final preseason statement.
He didnt make plays or showcase the ability to pressure a quarterback, and he keeps getting injured. The arc of his first season is not taking off as hoped.
Of the two, whom do the Ravens more urgently need to perform well this season? The knee-jerk answer might be Upshaw, because so much talk has been about getting a pass rusher to fill in for injured Terrell Suggs. But consider the age of the Ravens offensive line and the likelihood that someone will be hurt at some point in the season, necessitating them to rely on depth. That points at Osemele.