So as you all know, the first cut of the depth chart was released yesterday. In true MCM fashion, I'm going to make a big deal out of it. I guess that implies that I've got problems, but in actuality, it's not that bad outside of a few glaring issues. First off, I'm pretty stoked about the tight end position this year. There's the blockers with Graham and Stevens and then there's the play maker in training with Jared Cook, but the order that they've been placed on the depth chart really grinds my gears. After all the hype that Cook has garnered this offseason and the reputation that Graham has gained for being the best blocking tight end in football, I really question how Craig Stevens is now sitting in the starters role. Maybe he's made some massive amount of progress this year, that's the only thing I can think of at this point. I only pray this doesn't turn into a Fisher-esque irrational loyalty trend in Munchak.
Second, I'm still questioning Justin Gage's roster spot. Seriously, what does he bring to the table right now that can't be replaced with any old waiver wire pickup? Words kind of fail me on that one. Just give the roster spot to Lavelle Hawkins, I don't even really care if he's an improvement, I'm just sick of watching number twelve drop passes. I'd much rather watch number eighty-seven do it. I also saw something I liked; Damian Williams as the backup to Kenny Britt. Now I'm not shocked here, but to think that Damian might get a shot to get significant playing time this year makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Moving on to the defense: I don't like Frank Walker as the backup anything on this team. I've got nothing against him personally, but if you all thought Finnegan was a mess last year when it came to dumb fifteen yard penalties last year, just wait until Walker gets out there. His pass interference calls became the stuff of legend here in Baltimore while he was with the Ravens. I can tell you right now that we want none of that here in 2011. Also, a quick look at the DT position has me scratching my head. Shaun Smith as one starter is cool, I saw that coming as soon as he was signed, but Sen'Derrick Marks at the other spot? I'm glad he's getting his chance, but I don't really know what he's done to earn it over Jurrell Casey who's come flying out of the gates.
Jason Jones at defensive end should be fun this year. I really hope he Derrick Morgan cause all kinds of problems for offensive tackles this year.
At outside linebacker, Will Witherspoon makes sense right now to me. I think he'll do an adequate job, but I hope that McRath can beat him for the position at the end of camp. If he ends up panning out, the defense will have added a very good player. If he doesn't, it'll soon be time to start thinking about his replacement.
Strong safety is a really fun position to watch this year in terms of camp battles. I'm a little bit surprised that Jordan Babineaux is still behind Chris Hope at this point given that he's younger and has a potentially wider skill set, but he still hasn't had a whole lot of time to show his stuff yet. I get the feeling that he'll be the starter when week one rolls around.
Early on, there hasn't been that much to be melodramatic about I guess, but I really hope Craig Stevens shows me why he should be the starter, and fast, because I'll be about ready to freak out if Jared Cook is buried on the bench again this year.