Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mark Clayton, the Ravens' forgotten man


I can recall when the Ravens first drafted Mark Clayton, one of the things that was said about him by one Ravens' official is, "We don't have to worry about what Mark is doing when he's away from the football field."

Clayton gets "it" off the field. He's an upstanding, God-fearing man who gives back to the community as evidenced by his football camp which is now under way. It's hard not to root for the former Sooner. Most would love to see him reach the lofty expectations that the Ravens had for him when they made him the 22nd overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

Yet you have to wonder if that ship has sailed - at least here in Baltimore.

When the Ravens revamped passing game is discussed, whether on air, in pubs or amongst members of the organization, you seldom hear the name Mark Clayton mentioned.

During press conferences the Ravens' brass kicks around the same three names at wide receiver: Boldin, Mason and Stallworth.

Even his career-long teammate Derrick Mason sees Stallworth as the plug in at the No. 3 WR slot.

"With Quan, there's a reason for him going to three Pro Bowls. He's the tough guy who is willing to go over the middle, sacrifice his body to make the tough catch. Then you also have Donte' Stallworth, who brings the speed to make that 60- or 80-yard play out the slot."

Even the jewel of that receiving triple crown, overlooks Mark Clayton...

"As long as we are winning, there are enough footballs," [Anquan] Boldin said in a recent interview with ESPN. "Ray Rice is going to get his carries -- and his catches. Todd Heap will control the middle of the field from the tight end position. And Donte' and Mason, they are going to stretch the field and I am just going to do what I do -- catch the ball and break tackles."

And then there's Ravens' All World safety and GM-wannabe Ed Reed who thinks that posse might not be enough.

"Sounds to me there is a Vincent Jackson on the market. I know he got into some trouble, but he can play some football. You got a young quarterback in Joe Flacco, Troy Smith, but it will be interesting to see if we can get another receiver. We have Anquan (Boldin). Anquan is a proven guy, a very good receiver, a guy that I've known for many years and played against, and I actually asked to get Anquan a year ago, but there were some business moves."

It will be interesting to see how Clayton responds to being the forgotten receiver.

This will be one of several intense positional battles which will shape and deepen the team's 53 man roster.

Twenty three days until training camp.




Photo by Sabina Moran

4 comments :

Michael said...

Perhaps he has disappeared from everyone's minds the way he seems to disappear when he is on the field...

Scott said...

I view Clayton much in the same way that I did Boller in that every now and then you catch a glimpse of their potential and think, "Maybe they've turned the corner..."

... and then Boller would fall over his own two feet or Clayton will drop a pass my 90 year old grandmother could catch. Despite his respectable character, I feel that he has unfortunately worn out his welcome in Balmer. There are young men on the roster (Harper, Riley, Reed, etc.) itching to get their chance and I personally feel that they deserve it. Clayton may be a good guy, but this is a business and I want the Ravens to be in the business of winning. That hasn't happened with Clayton.

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 JULY 20th
I worked in the Ravens locker room for 2 years and got to know Mark a little bit. If the character that I saw, with his interaction with teamates and people in general could turn into ON field performance: I'd say keep mark. However...there are 3 younger receivers who deserve a chance...Mark has had his......

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 JULY 20th
I worked in the Ravens locker room for 2 years and got to know Mark a little bit. If the character that I saw, with his interaction with teamates and people in general could turn into ON field performance: I'd say keep mark. However...there are 3 younger receivers who deserve a chance...Mark has had his......