After the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New Orleans Saints 17-14 in Week 1 of the 2021 preseason, there was plenty to look at. On a night where Baltimore’s defense dominated with six turnovers, plenty of people looked to the players who forced those takeaways, and rightfully so. However, another standout who made a huge impact during his snaps on Saturday night was inside linebacker Patrick Queen.
The former LSU star had an up-and-down rookie season. While he led the team in tackles with 106, it felt like he was learning on the fly after not having a full offseason (including no preseason) to prepare for his first year as an NFL player. However, now with plenty of time to work with his teammates and coaches before the season, Queen showed in the preseason opener that he’s ready to take a huge leap this year.
Queen flew around the field during his snaps on Saturday, showing the sideline to sideline speed that many fell in love with during his time in college. He looked comfortable and confident, making multiple huge plays, including two in a row.
Back-to-back highlight plays for Patrick Queen. Diagnoses screen and uses speed to close and make tackle for loss. Then sacks Hill on third down. He’s had a solid training camp so far.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) August 14, 2021
Queen was asked about his confidence level after the game, saying that he’s more relaxed.
“[I felt] way more comfortable. I could just feel it. Just way more relaxed [and] way more anxious for the play to happen. It was a lot of hard work that I put into it, so I’m happy.”
He also said that his outlook has changed “a lot” in the past year
“A lot. … You could say I’m young, but I realized a lot of stuff. You can say I matured a lot faster than most, but it’s crazy, because when you’re young, you kind of rush things, and you kind of stress. Just going through last season, I felt like I was pressing too hard sometimes, and it was just making me make mistakes. Going through that whole year and just having time off and realizing all that stuff, it’s so much simpler now. It’s so much more relaxed [and] just focused one play at a time, one day at a time, whatever it may be. I feel like I’m getting better at that, too.”
If the second-year linebacker can continue to stack together performances like he had against the Saints in Week 1 of the preseason, he’ll make a name for himself very quickly at the NFL level. He’s an extremely talented defender, as he has a skill set that can cause problems for opposing offenses.
While there’s still room for Queen to grow, he showed that he’s serious about improving and being the best version of himself, something that he looks to take immense pride in. The Ravens will be relying on him to make a huge impact this season, and it seems like he’s up to the task, showing that he’s ready to be a high-level player.