When the national media opine on the Ravens, it may not necessarily be anything you havent already read or heard or thought of yourself, but its still a fresh perspective from someone who isnt focused on the team all the time.
With that in mind, heres some of what ESPNs John Clayton wrote about the Ravens after his visit to Owings Mills (which reminds us: ESPN.com needs to change that Baltimore dateline on his article):
One of the reasons Ozzie Newsome is one of the game's best general managers is his ability to solve problems. For years, it seemed the Ravens lacked speed at receiver. He found faster receivers. Two years ago, the Ravens were precariously thin at cornerback. Now they are deep.
This is clearly Joe Flaccos best training camp in terms of focus and execution. In camp, Flacco has taken even more of a leadership role on offense. He continues to suggest to coaches he wants the offense to be more aggressive in the latter stages of games.
The best young prospect at cornerback is Jimmy Smith, last year's first-round pick. Smith is a long, angular cornerback with shutdown potential. As a rookie, he was thrown into the fire after the lockout and played decently despite not having an off-season of coaching. Now, he knows the schemes and should have a great season.
This year's draft may have produced a starting right tackle, Kelechi Osemele, and a future starting center or guard, Gino Gradkowski. Because the Ravens are competing for a Super Bowl, though, they would like to go with experience.