Wed Aug 12 3:45pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
In this Friday, July 17, 2018, file photo, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale directs players during an NFL football training camp practice in Owings Mills, Md. Martindale was quite pleased with a virtual minicamp that enabled his unit to get a grasp on the playbook this spring without actually getting on the field. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
In this Oct. 13, 2019, file photo, then-Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell (93) sets up to block on a field goal attempt during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, in Jacksonville, Fla. By trading for Calais Campbell and signing free agent Derek Wolfe, the Baltimore Ravens shored up a line that was pierced for 217 yards rushing in a playoff loss to Tennessee. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
In this Jan. 14, 2020, file photo, LSU linebacker Patrick Queen speaks during a news conference after winning the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Clemson in New Orleans. Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta drafted LSU linebacker Patrick Queen at No. 28 overall (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
In this Aug. 11, 2018, file photo, then-Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe looks on during the second half in an NFL football preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings in Denver. By trading for Calais Campbell and signing free agent Derek Wolfe, the Ravens shored up a line that was pierced for 217 yards rushing in a playoff loss to Tennessee. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale was quite pleased with a virtual minicamp that enabled his unit to get a grasp on the playbook this spring without actually getting on the field.
After the final session was completed, Martindale quipped: ''When we get to training camp, we'll find out who is All-Zoom team and who can play football.''
Although the Ravens haven't started hitting yet, Martindale is confident a defense that excelled last year will be even better this season. That's because Baltimore added talent up front and at linebacker via trades, free agency and the draft.
By trading for five-time Pro Bowl tackle Calais Campbell and signing free agent Derek Wolfe, the Ravens shored up a line that was pierced for 217 yards rushing in a playoff loss to Tennessee. General manager Eric DeCosta also slapped the franchise tag on sack-specialist Matthew Judon and drafted LSU linebacker Patrick Queen at No. 28 overall before taking Ohio State inside linebacker Malik Harrison in the third round.
That, along with the return of injured defensive back Tavon Young, leaves Martindale with a defense that should give Ravens fans something to talk about beside quarterback Lamar Jackson and Baltimore's record-setting offense.
''With the changes that we've made up front and the additions that we've made, we're big where we're supposed to be big and fast where we're supposed to be fast,'' Martindale said Wednesday on a Zoom call with reporters. ''We're really excited to see the product in this next month getting ready for (the opener against) Cleveland.''
The Ravens finally got the opportunity to get together on the field Wednesday after spending the first couple of weeks of camp getting tested for coronavirus, working in small groups and going over the playbook. All of it was necessary, but served only to whet Martindale's hunger for seeing what his defense will look like when fully assembled.
''August 12th was a day I had circled on my calendar because we're all on the same schedule now,'' he said. ''You're seeing the energy build.''
Martindale can't wait to unleash a defense that has five 2019 Pro Bowlers - Judon, Campbell and defensive backs Marcus Peters, Earl Thomas and Marlon Humphrey - along with newcomers Wolfe and Queen.
''We'll have the best 11 out there,'' Matindale said. ''The NFL, like the NBA, is all about matchups. And right now, with the talent that we have, it's a lot of fun.''
Martindale spent the past few months devising blitzes and cover packages designed to keep opposing quarterbacks guessing. In Campbell's eyes, no one does it better than Martindale, the latest in a long line of accomplished Ravens defensive coordinators that includes Marvin Lewis, Rex Ryan and Dean Pees.
''Coach Martindale is a defensive genius,'' Campbell said. ''Of the 11 guys on the field, pretty much eight of them can (blitz) at any time, and you might still be only rushing four. To have all of these different blitzes is very, very complicated, but he made it very simple - which I think definitely shows his genius.''
Martindale batted away the compliment, noting, ''It's nice that Calais said that, but the game will always be about the players.''
The Ravens appear to have the personnel of a top-flight defense, beginning up front with Campbell, Wolfe and Brandon Williams offering a combined 900-plus pounds of resistance to anyone who seeks to cross their path.
''Oh, we're going to be great together,'' Campbell said.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 3
Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard posted a total of 11 stops with a tackle for loss and a pass defensed in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts CB T.J. Carrie finished with four tackles, a pass defensed and a 47-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts CB Xavier Rhodes finished with a solo tackle, two passes defensed and a 44-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts DE Justin Houston finished with a solo tackle, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a safety in Week 3 against the New York Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) caught five of his six targets for 64 yards and a touchdown before exiting with a hamstring injury in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: A week after being sidelined with a concussion, Godwin now has another injury to deal with. If he misses more time going forward, Scott Miller could vault into flex territory.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans caught a pair of one-yard touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: It has been a strange season for Evans, who has sandwiched a pair of two-yard performances between a 100-yard game. He has scored in all three games, but Evans will need to see an increase in volume if he is going to finish as a WR1.
New York Jets WR Braxton Berrios registered four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown on his six targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Fantasy Spin: Berrios helped pick up some of the slack with Jamison Crowder inactive due to an injury. That's two games and two scores for Berrios, who is likely to be a hot add off the waiver wire this season. He is worth grabbing as a WR5 in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams.
New York Jets TE Chris Herndon posted three catches for 21 yards on five targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Fantasy Spin: Herndon opened with six grabs in Week 1, but he has managed just four catches for 26 yards on nine targets in his past two outings. That type of production isn't good for anyone in fantasy.
New York Jets S Bradley McDougald registered 10 total stops with five solo tackles in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 17-of-29 passes for 168 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He also ran five times for 20 yards.
Fantasy Spin: Darnold was without Jamison Crowder, and he was also without Le'Veon Bell for the second straight game. It didn't help not having two of his best offensive weapons, but he simply made too many mistakes. The Jets have a quick turnaround, facing the Denver Broncos on Thursday in Week 4. Darnold cannot be trusted for fantasy purposes.
New York Jets RB Frank Gore ran 15 times for 57 yards in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts and he added one reception for five yards on his only target.
Fantasy Spin: Gore has been picking up the slack with Le'Veon Bell inactive for a second straight game due to a hamstring injury. While Gore is getting a majority of the backfield touches ahead of La'Mical Perine and Kalen Ballage, it might only be a matter of time before Adam Gase elects to try the younger players. Fantasy buyer beware.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones rushed 13 times for 53 yards and caught two of his four targets for 20 yards in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: While it wasn't an overwhelming stat line, but after Leonard Fournette had a big Week 2, Jones resumed the lead role, leading all backs in carries and touches. The chances of Jones breaking into the RB2 ranks this year seem slim, but he should have value as a flex option.
Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) is expected to miss some time after leaving the Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to an ankle injury. He will have an MRI Monday, Sept. 28.
Fantasy Spin: With Goedert likely to miss time, Zach Ertz will once again suck up all of the tight end targets, and might re-emerge as a bona fide TE1 in fantasy after having to share the wealth in the first three games this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady completed 25 of his 38 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: Brady had his best performance as a Buccaneer, but until he strings together a few strong outings, the veteran should still be treated as a matchup-based streaming option.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers and he was unable to return.
Fantasy Spin: That explains his lack of usage in the home loss to the Panthers. He managed just one catch for 17 yards on one target We'll know more about his status for Week 4 once practice resumes on Wednesday.
Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson (toe) left the Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a toe injury.
New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers. He headed for the medical tent initially, then was taken to the locker room.
Fantasy Spin: If Cook is unable to return, it will be Josh Hill likely handling Cook's workload. We'll update his injury status as soon as possible.
The Carolina Panthers Defense capitalized in Week 3 against a team starting a rookie quarterback on the Chargers. Carolina notched two sacks, eight quarterback hits, one pick, and three fumble recoveries. While this was an encouraging performance for a team that gave up over 30 points in the first two games, this type of performance should not be expected each week. The Panthers' defense is still a very young and inexperienced unit, and they face a tough test in a rising Cardinals team next week.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen caught three of his five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: The touchdown salvaged an otherwise quiet afternoon, and since a monster performance in Week 1, Thielen has just six catches for 60 yards in the last two games. He still has WR2 upside, but with Kirk Cousins struggling, boom-or-bust production could become the norm.
Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught two of his three targets for 11 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.
Fantasy Spin: It has been a quiet season for Rudolph, and he is sitting on four catches for 39 yards and a score after three games. He is a touchdown-dependent TE2.