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NFL Baltimore Ravens

5 Irreplaceable Players for the Baltimore Ravens During the 2013 NFL Season

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5 Irreplaceable Players for the Baltimore Ravens During the 2013 NFL Season

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After an unforgettable 2013 offseason with the loss of eight starters, Ozzie Newsome managed to piece together a competitive roster for the upcoming 2013 season. With all of these changes and replacements for former stars like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed what newcomer or veteran is deemed irreplaceable? With injuries and off-field issues plaguing players throughout the year, someone has to step up when a player is for one reason or another, pulled from the action. The question is can the “next-man-up” fill their shoes?

The expectation is that any player on the 53-man roster should be ready to play when called upon. The reality is that not everyone is capable of performing at a noteworthy level when the starter goes down. Starters for the Baltimore Ravens are not just plug-in players; they have proven to coaches they are the best at their position. It does not matter who was brought in via the draft or free agency. If John Harbaugh sees potential in a player, they make the roster; however, if Harbaugh sees a blue-collar, hardworking mentality with work ethic above the rest then the starting position will be awarded.

Some would point to Terrell Suggs as an irreplaceable player. Newsome brought in a rebuttal to that exact point. Elvis Dumervil would fill in just fine if Suggs were to go down again and vice versa. If you are still guessing my list Raven Nation, don’t think of Lardarius Webb. He has been replaced twice already, and the Ravens even managed to find a standout star in his departure out of Corey Graham. Enjoy the list and be thankful that the Ravens still have noteworthy stars.

Jermaine Lockett is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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No. 5 Michael Huff

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This veteran safety was brought in to help ease the pain of Ed Reed’s departure. Michael Huff is the only defensive irreplaceable member on the list. Having the experience to know when to take chances as a center fielder is something the Ravens are in desperate need of. Sure, I believe that Omar Brown shows promise, however, he lacks the experience needed to replace a veteran like the former first round pick from Texas. Michael Huff, you sir, are irreplaceable.

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No. 4 Dennis Pitta

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Dennis Pitta is the security blanket for Joe Flacco. Without Pitta, Flacco would have to rely on the TE who has been par at best in Ed Dickson. Dickson was beat outright for the starting job by Pitta in 2012 after sharing the load with him in 2011.

Losing Pitta would hurt the Ace/Double tight formations that the Ravens will need, with all of the youth at receiver. Nobody wants to see Billy Bajema or Kyle Juszczyk lining up as full time starters. Dennis Pitta, you sir, are irreplaceable.

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No. 3 Jacoby Jones

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This dancing speed demon has a nose for every opponent’s end zone on returns. Jacoby Jones is someone that every team’s special-teams coordinator has nightmares game planning for; imagine if they didn’t have to. The Ravens would have to rely on David Reed’s shaky, unsure hands for field position. Baltimore already has issues with a young and limited receiving corps. Jones, you sir, are irreplaceable.

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No. 2 Joe Flacco

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The thought of leaving the $120.6 million man off of my list came to mind, but that was the “Tyrod” in me speaking. As much as I love Tyrod Taylor, this machine of an offense is designed around Joe Flacco to play only to his strengths. He is simply irreplaceable because with Taylor at the helm, the entire scheme would need to be redesigned. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain't nobody got time for that”.

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No. 1 Bryant McKinnie

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Bryant McKinnie is the reason Joe Flacco was able to throw 11 touchdowns in the postseason. If he goes down and Michael Oher has to start in his place, hit the panic button, invest in tissues and go ahead and start watching anything but Ravens football, because the season is officially over. He is 2013's most irreplaceable Raven.