Baltimore Ravens: Is It a Mistake That James Ihedigbo Will Start Over Matt Elam at Strong Safety?

By Wola Odeniran
James Ihedigbo
Douglas Jones- USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have made a decision in their secondary as strong safety James Ihedigbo will start ahead of 2013 first-round draft pick Matt Elam as the Ravens head into the regular season.

“James has been running with the ‘number ones,’ and he’ll continue to do that,” Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh noted via “Matt [rotates] in and plays a lot. He’ll continue to do that whether it’s in the regular package or the other packages that we have. Both of those guys are going to play a lot of football.”

For some, there are questions around why Elam isn’t starting yet, and may lead to even more questions on whether or not the Ravens made the right decision of letting go of Ed Reed when Elam is actually replacing strong safety Bernard Pollard. But In terms of Reed, I personally wanted Reed to retire a Raven. If I had my way, he would have went out on top like Ray Lewis did.

However, sooner or later, the Ravens were going to need to prepare for the future and Elam is their future. Not everyone can be Reed, but by all accounts, Elam is a smart player, and he will be eased into the Ravens’ lineup on defense. This really speaks to the type of depth they have more anything else.

The Ravens’ secondary is looking to be a very athletic unit, especially when Elam earns more playing time as both he, and free safety Michael Huff, can play either strong or free safety. That is something the Ravens have not been able to do in the past with Reed and Pollard due to Pollard’s limited pass-coverage skills.

Wola Odeniran is a writer for Follow him on twitter at WolaOdeniran52, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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