Why Patrick Onwuasor Is Better at Weakside Linebacker
While Smith and Marquise Brown’s return after the bye will make waves, Patrick Onwuasor’s comeback shouldn’t be overlooked.
Onwuasor switched back to weakside linebacker with the arrival of Josh Bynes before the Pittsburgh game, but suffered a high ankle sprain halfway through. Bynes gutted it out in that game because he was wearing the green dot communication helmet, but has missed the past two weeks.
L.J. Fort has played extremely well next to Bynes in the middle, but Onwuasor’s return will further strengthen that unit and add more playmaking potential. Don’t forget, Onwuasor had 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
“I think it’s just more natural [for him],” Linebackers Coach Mike Macdonald said. “When you’re over there, you’re a little bit more on the edge of the defense. There’s a little bit more blitzing involved and he’s a great blitzer. So you’re really asking him to do the things that he’s naturally really gifted at doing – using his length and that sort of thing.”
The Ravens will likely continue to use a three-man rotation at inside linebacker, especially considering they’ll need all three to contribute heavily on special teams as well. Macdonald said he wants Bynes to be more in the range of 30-40 reps per game.
Macdonald also said Chris Board, who seemed to be in line for a starting role over the summer, did get set back by a preseason concussion. Board has been practicing well, Macdonald said.