Are the Ravens a Super Bowl contender set up for an easy reload after injuries destroyed their 2021 season? Or are they a team in transition as they lick their wounds from last winter and navigate a tricky contract situation with franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson?

Their roster is stuffed with former All-Pros and lauded draft values; it’s also thin at several premium positions. There will be nervous moments during the preseason as star players test rehabilitated knees and ankles. Coaches will face questions about schematic changes designed to ward off the stagnation that set in over the second half of last season.

The Ravens encompass a wide range of possibilities as we look ahead to training camp and the season beyond, with plenty of fascinating individual stories adding up to an uncertain whole. With that in mind, here is our annual countdown of the 10 most intriguing people in the franchise heading into the season:

Steve Saunders/Adrian Dixon

When a team suffers through a year of historically awful health, it’s difficult — nearly impossible from the outside — to discern which troubles are due to bad luck and which are due to bad practice. But when John Harbaugh laid out his narrative for this offseason, one of the first things he said was that the Ravens would turn over every stone to avoid another year defined by catastrophic injuries.

To that end, the team hired a new head trainer in Dixon, who previously worked for the Tennessee Titans, while keeping former head trainer Ron Medlin on staff. Harbaugh opted to keep Saunders, the team’s strength and conditioning coach who was suspended in 2020 as the Ravens faced NFL discipline for failing to obey coronavirus protocols. But he said the team would review its offseason conditioning program and practice schedules from the foundation up.

We do not hear from the Ravens’ trainer or strength coach during the season, and Harbaugh surely will not blame either Dixon or Saunders if injuries mount again. But he has established health as a performance metric for 2022, and that means these behind-the-scenes figures could become part of the story if the Ravens are either notably healthier or again plagued by breakdowns.

J.K. Dobbins

Two years ago, Dobbins was well on his way to becoming the Ravens’ first homegrown star at running back since Ray Rice. His exceptional balance allowed him to squeeze positive yards out of well-defended …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


The 10 most intriguing people in the Ravens organization for 2022

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