Every year in the NFL there is always some sort of feel good story, and thus far in the preseason and training camp, the Baltimore Ravens possibly have three of them. Three local products still have a chance to make the 53 man roster for Baltimore.
Any time a local player can play for the professional team in that area, it is a feel good story. Every kid always dreams of playing for his local team and TE Matt Furstenburg, LB Brandon Copeland and LB D.J. Bryant appear to still have that opportunity.
Although the Ravens still have to trim their roster by two more players before today’s 4:00 pm deadline to get to 75 players, it is a safe bet that the aforementioned three players have made the first cut.
Furstenburg, a product of the University of Maryland, has been very impressive thus far in training camp and has already seemingly beat out veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who was cut on Sunday. Matt will be competing with Billy Bajema and Alex Silvestro for the third tight end spot on the roster, and his blocking ability may be the ultimate deciding factory.
With Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson the obvious number one and number two tight ends, it appears the Ravens want a blocking tight end in the third spot. Furstenburg has done well in the blocking department, and his pass catching ability has really shined in game action.
Copeland, who played his high school football at nearby Gilman High School, has had a tougher road in that he has made a transition from defensive end to linebacker. The bright side? He has already beaten out veteran Bryan Hall, who was making the same transition and was cut on Sunday. Copeland has also recorded an interception this preseason in the opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bryant is the longest shot to make the team, but is still vying for a practice squad invitation. D.J. played his high school ball at Randallstown High School, but has seen little game action. Obviously, Thursday will give Bryant a golden opportunity to prove his value in game situations as he should see a substantial amount of playing time in comparison to the 28 total snaps he has played in the first three preseason games.
In the end, Furstenburg seems to have the best shot for a local product to make the active roster, but hopefully all three will at least be members of the practice squad and anxiously await their opportunity to be the next man up.
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