Ravens: Ozzie wants more from Elam
We like a man who calls a spade a spade. So naturally we like that Ozzie Newsome isn’t afraid to call out his own players when it’s clear they’ve been underperforming. The man in the crosshairs this week is Matt Elam, the disappointing former first-round pick out of Florida.
Elam is heading into a make-or-break third year in some respects, having put plenty of poor tape out there for all to see and earning every bit of the benching that came his way this year as he regressed from a spotty-but-intriguing rookie year to a disastrous second season that saw him earn a -16.6 grade. It got so bad that after missing five tackles against the Bengals in Week 8 the anything but safe safety was used sparingly as a slot cornerback as the team looked to limit his liability.
There is a feeling that he’ll be better suited to a role that sees him used in the box more (he spent 28.7% of his plays there in 2014) but it’s a big leap of faith for a player who will no doubt have to compete to get on the field in 2015. He may have the draft pedigree, but with Will Hill locked in at one spot and Darian Stewart playing well in the other, it’s far from a sure thing that he’ll win it back.