Is Anthony Averett the Key to Victory Sunday?
Lamar Jackson vs. Pat Mahomes is all the media is screaming about. These are two players who will never take the field at the same time this weekend unless they are team captains for the coin toss. Baltimore (in my Ed Reed voice), we have bigger concerns. Our secondary came into the preseason as one of the most feared units in the league. Due to injuries in the last few weeks, does Pat have much to fear? Sure, Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas are exceptional players but can Anthony Averett show up Sunday to help secure the “W” for the Ravens?
Burn Baby Burn!
I went back to the Arizona tape to see how Kyler Murray racked up 349-yards in the air. He made his money targeting whoever was being covered by Averett. Kyler showed veteran intelligence by recognizing where the weak link the D was an exploiting it. Averett was responsible most to of the game for covering the “burners”. In this case, Christian Kirk and Damiere Byrd were those “burners”. The former Alabama player was placed on them respectfully because of his 4.36-40 speed. Unfortunately, he was picked on a great deal Sunday and gave up the lion’s share of the 15-catches for 159-yards between the two speedy players.
The reason I bring any of this up is that tomorrow, Bryant McKinnie’s nephew will be charged with covering the Chiefs’ fastest “burner” in Mecole Hardman. Hardman runs a 4.33 -40 time according to NFL.COM. Speed is not the issue I saw with Averett. His ability to shadow WRs and make tough tackles via Nick Saban’s training is acceptable. The former Roll Tide player reminds me of Cary Williams when he was here in Baltimore.
All about the Jam!
The New Jersey Native needs to focus more on his ability to jam when on the line of scrimmage. Last Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, the second-year player used more of an opening swing-gate approach to press coverage. I am a firm believer that if you are on the line of scrimmage, you are there to interrupt the flow of the receiver, not escort him there to the destination.
Of course, Earl Thomas will be there in support in case the speed is too much for Jimmy Smith‘s stand-in. According to BaltimoreRavens.com, He had this to say on the matter.
“Luckily the Ravens have me playing free safety, controlling the deep end,” Thomas said. “I plan on eliminating all the big plays.”
If Averett can jack up the flow of Hardman Sunday, one step to victory will be secured.