Hey, Ed. You don’t know me, and you probably never will. I’m just a lowly 22-year-old local sports blogger trying to find a way.
You see, we’re not terribly different, you and I; we’re both young guys approaching a fork in the road with our endeavors. For me, there is one more year of college until I take a leap of faith into the “real world.” I have no idea what that will entail, but I know that I’m going to just keep grinding away until then. For you, a contract year in the NFL is underway, and much of what you do over the next 12+ games will determine your value–and your livelihood–in this league.
It’s no secret that you’ve had your share of ups and downs throughout your time with the Ravens. You do a great job at one of the hardest things to do in the NFL: getting open. You’re a complete matchup nightmare–you’re too big for safeties, but you can smoke linebackers off the line of scrimmage and down the seams. However, you’ve struggled mightily doing one of the simpler things: catching the ball. I don’t mean that as a personal attack; it’s just a fact.
What am I getting at here? Well, as crazy as many hardcore Ravens fans may think I am, I want you to know that I believe in you. I’ve seen the unique skill set that you bring to the table, and I think it’s getting ready to come to fruition. As someone who played the game, I can feel your frustration, which has only been compounded by the pressure of taking over for Dennis Pitta after his injury.
As you prepare to face a tough Dolphins defense tomorrow, be confident. Play loose and free. You’ve seen plenty of Dannell Ellerbe, who you will likely be matched up with a lot. You know his tendencies, but more importantly, you know you can burn him down the field. And as you find yourself in the open field awaiting a pass from Flacco, just remember how much time in practice you have spent securing the ball. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself in the groove that you’ve been waiting for all this time.
Remember, Ed: no pressure, no diamond.