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Ravens' OLB plan is clear

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Posted May 26, 2012 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

From all indications, the Ravens will go with Paul Kruger and rookie Courtney Upshaw at outside linebacker to begin the season as Terrell Suggs recovers from an Achilles tendon injury. Reserve OLBs Albert McClellan and Sergio Kindle are other options, but long shots at that, the way we hear it. Kruger is slated to play in Suggs’ spot as the “Rush” linebacker, with Upshaw to replace the departed Jarret Johnson on the strong side. “He understands the game, he works hard,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said of Upshaw this week. “He has been everything that we anticipated he’d be so far." Upshaw, PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki wrote in the 2012 Draft Preview, is a "very strong, power-based edge-setter,” a description that could well mean he’s up to the task of playing on the strong side on the pro level. However, his pass-coverage skills bear watching, and it will not be a surprise if opponents test the young linebacker in this area. The 6-2, 272-pound Upshaw reportedly has said he would like to lose some weight.

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