Any player looking to make the John Harbaugh-led Baltimore Ravens team knows one thing: if a player is buried on the depth chart at their position, they had better bust their butt on special teams. That is exactly what happened tonight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
First, LaQuan Williams started off with a fumble recovery after a Ravens punt; granted, the weather outside was frightful, but nonetheless Williams help set the Ravens up for their first score. Later on in the second quarter, the special teams struck again with a punt block by Brynden Trawick, which was then recovered by the opportunistic Williams.
Another standout special teams player, Bobby Rainey, was the next Raven to shine. With roughly five minutes left in the first half, Rainey burst onto the scene with a 58-yard return. This play should have gone for six, but Rainey was illegally horse-collar tackled by Buccaneers kicker Derek Dimke.
Rainey will make the Ravens roster as a third-string running back because whenever he gets the ball, he does something awe-inspiring with it; whether it be on special teams or in the backfield, he will make the first man miss and try to make a small yardage play into something replay-worthy.
Williams will make the cut because even as a third-year veteran, his pride does not interfere with his dedication to the importance of field position on special teams. His work as a wide receiver is notable as well.
One other hard worker that will need to continue to shine via teams is the rookie Trawick. His blocked punt is just the beginning. He knows that there is a logjam at safety, and making the roster starts in the trenches. Look for him to keep working in order to make the cut.
Players put it all on the line on special teams to ensure that when the “turk” comes around after the third preseason game, that he walks past their locker. These three gentlemen will have no worries if they can keep up the production.