Since we are four weeks into the NFL season, I figured now would be a great time to take a look at the snap counts for the 53 men on the Ravens roster to see which trends are developing. To do this, I relied on stats from Pro Football Focus. It’s a tremendous website, but I have to point out that these stat totals aren’t official.
--- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has been juggling the playing time of 10 offensive skill players. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith have played the most snaps at 266 and 261 snaps, respectively. Jacoby Jones, usually the No. 3 wide receiver, has played 122 snaps. Dennis Pitta has played 200 snaps -- and he was a receiver on 131 of them -- while fellow tight end Ed Dickson has played 160, blocking on 93 of them.
--- One offensive player who has seen his role decrease is All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach. He has played just 105 snaps in their four games. Even more surprising is that he was used as a blocker on just 63 of those plays.
--- One was a surprise starter and one was not, but first-year starters in left guard Ramon Harewood and right tackle Kelechi Osemele have played all 293 offensive snaps. Veteran center Matt Birk, who turned 36 in July, is third with 288 snaps.
--- Defensively, the Ravens have not been allowed to use their traditional 3-4 defense -- I know, technically it is a hybrid -- as much as they did in years past as teams keep using three or more wide receivers against him. With the Ravens using a lot of their nickel package, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams are among their leaders on defense with 299 and 294 snaps, respectively. No. 3 cornerback Jimmy Smith has played 185.
--- One of the most anticipated position battles entering training camp was between defensive ends Pernell McPhee and Arthur Jones. But so far this season, McPhee has gotten the majority of his snaps. He has played 212 -- rushing the quarterback on 140 -- of them, while Jones has played just 99, usually as a run defender.
--- Inside linebacker Jameel McClain has only been a starter in name. He has started all four games over Dannell Ellerbe, but Ellerbe has played 45 more snaps than McClain. Meanwhile, Ray Lewis remains a staple at the other inside linebacker spot. He has played 298 snaps, including every one in the past three games.
--- The Ravens have been going with a pretty steady rotation at outside linebacker with three defenders -- Paul Kruger, Albert McClellan and 2012 second-round draft pick Courtney Upshaw -- getting significant playing time. Upshaw actually leads the way (200 snaps) followed by Kruger (173) and McClellan (151). McClellan played sparingly in the victory over the New England Patriots, which explains why his snaps were the lowest. Speaking of the outside linebackers, Sergio Kindle has just 12 snaps.