Willie Snead Baltimore Ravens Season Awards

Baltimore Ravens 2018 Season Award

Best Play

Mid-Season Winner: Michael Crabtree Toe Tapping Touchdown vs Bills

Nominees:

Winner: C.J. Mosley Division-Winning Interception vs Browns

There is no debate in what play classifies itself as the best play of the 2018 season. C.J. Mosley’s interception that gave Baltimore the division crown was not only the best play of the season but will go down as one of the best in franchise history. The play was monumental, as a loss to the Browns would keep the Ravens out of the playoffs for a fourth straight year, and put the future of the franchise in doubt. The question of the future was solved early with that play. In a contract year, Mosley made his impact on the defense known, He singlehandedly ensured that head coach John Harbaugh will get a long term contract extension, and convinced the Ravens Flock to trust the process with Lamar Jackson at quarterback.

Most Disappointing Player

Mid-Season Winner: Alex Collins, Running Back

Nominees:

  • Alex Collins, Running back
  • Hayden Hurst, Tight end
  • Patrick Ricard, Fullback
  • Tim Williams, Linebacker

Winner: Alex Collins, Running back

The absolute disaster of a season for running back Alex Collins concluded without him. After being named the most disappointing player at midseason, Collins’ production continued to spiral into the depths of darkness. In Week 11, Collins rushed seven times for just 18 yards and was benched for the rookie Gus Edwards. After having his title of starting running back usurped, Collins suffered a foot injury that kept his status in limbo. Despite signs that he would soon return, the Ravens decided it would be best for the team to end his involvement that season. Baltimore placed Alex Collins on the injured reserve.

Assistant Coach of the Year

Mid-Season Winner: Don “Wink” Martindale

Nominees:

  • Don “Wink” Martindale, Defensive coordinator
  • Greg Roman, Run game specialist
  • James Urban, Quarterbacks coach

Winner: Don “Wink” Martindale, Defensive coordinator

When Don Martindale took over as defensive coordinator this offseason, expectations were high. The linebacker coach was taking over for Dean Pees, a successful coach in his own right, on a team that prides itself on defensive strength. The product Martindale put on the field in 2018 was extremely successful. The group finished first overall in total yards allowed, fifth in passing yards allowed, and fourth in rushing yards allowed. The core tenet installed by Martindale was to always be aggressive. The defensive lived and died on the blitz, and ultimately made the playoffs by being as aggressive as possible in situations where previous units would go conservative and lose.

Rookie of the Year

Mid-Season Winner: Mark Andrews, Tight end – Oklahoma

Nominees:

  • Mark Andrews, Tight end, Oklahoma
  • Orlando Brown Jr, Right tackle, Oklahoma
  • Gus Edwards, Running back, Rutgers
  • Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

Winner: Mark Andrews, Tight end, Oklahoma

All the rookies on this list contributed greatly to the Ravens this season. While all of them have a case to win this award, Mark Andrews is the only player that consistently contributed to the team since day one. Andrews was a fixture of the offense since week one. Orlando Brown Jr. did not start at right tackle until James Hurst got hurt, Gus Edwards did not start at running back until he won the role in Week 11, and Lamar Jackson did not start at quarterback until Joe Flacco got hurt in Week 9. As a third-round pick, Andrews outplayed rookie first-round pick, Hayden Hurst. His rookie season also set a franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end. The former record holder, Maxx Williams, accumulated 268 yards on 32 receptions in 2015. Andrews caught 34 passes for 552 yards in 2018.

Best Free Agent Newcomer

Mid-Season Winner: John Brown, Wide receiver

Nominees:

  • John Brown, Wide receiver
  • Michael Crabtree, Wide receiver
  • Robert Griffin III, Quarterback
  • Cyrus Jones, Punt returner
  • Willie Snead, Wide receiver

Winner: Willie Snead

The transition that the offense was forced to go through ultimately left John Brown in the dust. The free agent newcomer was on pace to receive for well over 1,000 yards this year, but when the team changed quarterbacks, it was clear that goal would never be reached. The Ravens had to build a new system around rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson that focused on his strengths and did not try to squeeze him into a box he could not fit in. Willie Snead became Jackson’s best friend on the field. The slot receiver could take slant routes and fight for extra yardage. This complimented Jackson’s best passing abilities, which fall between the numbers on short passes. Snead finished the year with 62 catches for 651 yards and one touchdown.

Most Improved Player

Mid-Season Winner: Za’Darius Smith, Outside linebacker

Nominees:

  • Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback
  • Tony Jefferson, Safety
  • Matthew Judon, Outside linebacker
  • Patrick Onwuasor, Inside linebacker
  • Za’Darius Smith, Outside linebacker
  • Maxx Williams, Tight end

Winner: Za’Darius Smith, Outside linebacker

Za’Darius Smith played a very inconsistently in 2018. In some games, the outside linebacker would repeatedly pressure the quarterback, register hits, and force sacks. In others, he would never touch the quarterback. While there are many players that improved in 2018, Smith’s development was by far the greatest. Smith saw some production in his rookie season in 2015, when he sacked opposing quarterbacks 5.5 times. Since that year, however, Smith never reached that level of production again. In 2018, he finally saw more success. He recorded 8.5 sacks 45 tackles, ten tackles for a loss, and 25 quarterback hits, all career highs.

Comeback Player of the Year

Mid-Season Winner: Robert Griffin III, Quarterback

Nominees:

  • Kenneth Dixon, Running back
  • Robert Griffin III, Quarterback
  • Marshal Yanda, Right Guard
  • Tavon Young, Cornerback

Winner: Kenneth Dixon, Running back

Robert Griffin III deserves a tremendous amount of credit for what he was able to do this year. His return to the NFL after a year’s absence and repeated injuries is nothing short of amazing. The amount of time he spent on the field, however, was minimal. Kenneth Dixon sat out all of the 2017 season, and not only fought his way back onto the roster after another major injury but contributed at a very high level after his return. Dixon was an unstoppable force on the field, and accumulated 333 yards on 60 attempts this season, for an average of 5.6 yards per rushing attempt. By pairing him with Gus Edwards, the Ravens created a running back tandem that was by far the most successful in the league.

Offensive Player of the Year

Mid-Season Winner: John Brown

Nominees:

  • John Brown, Wide receiver
  • Orlando Brown Jr, Right tackle
  • Gus Edwards, Running back
  • Lamar Jackson, Quarterback
  • Willie Snead, Wide receiver
  • Marshal Yanda, Right guard

Winner: Willie Snead

The Baltimore Ravens brought Willie Snead in this offseason to be part of the complete overhaul at the wide receiver position. Snead was the designated slot receiver from day one, and all knew that he would be a major contributor to the offense. No one expected that Snead would become the king of the receivers corps by the end of the season. His toughness, grit, and stellar pairing with a quarterback that needed to use him all gave him the ability to be the most integral part of the Ravens offense in 2018. Not only did Snead have spectacular hands, but he also was able to fight for extra yards, and earn the Ravens crucial first downs in critical situations. He was, by far, the best player on offense in 2018.

Defensive Player of the Year

Mid-Season Winner: Terrell Suggs, Outside linebacker

Nominees:

  • Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback
  • Tony Jefferson, Safety
  • C.J. Mosley, Inside linebacker
  • Terrell Suggs, Outside linebacker
  • Eric Weddle, Safety

Winner: Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey is quickly developing into a top tier cornerback in the National Football League. As a second-year defensive back out of Alabama, Humphrey led the Ravens in pass deflections with 15, and also recorded 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 37 tackles. Even with all these impressive numbers, no statistic can accurately capture the essence of his abilities on the field. Humphrey is a lockdown cornerback, and went toe to toe with every receiver given the impossible task of beating him. Humphrey shined in 2018, and if his future is anywhere near as bright as his present, he will be a star.

Most Valuable Player

Mid-Season Winner: John Brown, Wide receiver

Nominees:

  • John Brown, Wide receiver
  • Marlon Humphrey, Cornerback
  • Lamar Jackson, Quarterback
  • C.J. Mosley, Inside linebacker
  • Willie Snead, Wide Receiver

Winner: Marlon Humphrey

What else is there to say about Marlon Humphrey? The best player on defense is also the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2018. One can go through all the games, all the important plays and moments on defense, and find Marlon Humphrey was out there defending at a very high level. His intelligence, athleticism, and drive all are key elements in his development as a player. That development took a turn in 2018, as he showed that he was not only the best player on the Ravens roster but one of the best in the league.

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