5 Starters To Keep An Eye On

Thursday’s game will likely be the final extensive action for starters before Pittsburgh.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Preseason 3 vs Redskins, Ryan Mink

It’s the starters’ turn in the spotlight.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said most of the team’s starters may play three full quarters in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

Here are five Ravens starters (or large contributors) looking to show something in their final tune-up before the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh:

QB Joe Flacco
Flacco is looking for his first touchdown pass of the preseason. While it’s way too early to fret about his accuracy – which has been pinpoint sharp during practices – Flacco did miss on a few throws last week versus Kansas City. He has a completion rate of 50 percent in the preseason. It would be good to see the Ravens’ starting quarterback get into a rhythm in the final dress rehearsal before the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town.

TE Ed Dickson
Dickson will have a much larger role this year stepping in for departed veteran Todd Heap. The fast, strong tight end has put together a solid camp, but had to sit out the first preseason game because of a hamstring injury and recorded just one reception for four yards in his debut last Thursday. Fellow tight end Dennis Pitta opened eyes against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dickson’s looking to do the same.

OT Michael Oher
According to Bryant McKinnie, the Ravens are planning for their newly-signed tackle to take over the blind side and move Oher to right tackle. If that’s indeed the case, it will be interesting to see if Baltimore gives Oher any time on the right against Washington. Oher was beat a couple times in Philadelphia and had a false start against the Chiefs. A strong performance would further ease offensive line concerns.

WR Torrey Smith
Smith isn’t slated to be a starter now with Lee Evans in the fold. But he does figure to be a major contributor this season. The rookie has been somewhat quiet in the preseason, however. He didn’t have a catch in Philly and recorded one for two yards before being crunched by Kansas City. He was targeted three times, showing the Ravens are looking to get the second rounder some catches.

S Tom Zbikowski/Bernard Pollard
With McKinnie now on board, this is perhaps the hottest position battle remaining. Harbaugh said it’s more a matter of who plays in what package, as Zbikowski and Pollard both have different styles. Zibby is more suited for coverage while Pollard is a wrecking ball. Watch for how the Ravens use them both and who stands out from the other.

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