Yesterday afternoon, the Ravens front office stepped to the podium to not only officially comment on this past season but to discuss the future of the franchise. In general, the comments were in accord with many of the same issues that fans complained about during the 2009 campaign, repeated penalties, the lack of a pass rush and the need to upgrade the receiver position.
It was interesting that at times the focus of owner Steve Bischotti’s message wasn’t just about the future of his team but of the entire NFL. This coming season will mark the first uncapped season but the bigger issue is the CBA that needs to be hammered out by 2011 or people may begin to mention the dreaded “Lockout” word.
Some of the highlights of the remarks were:
- The Ravens aren’t worried about the upcoming uncapped season. In fact Bischotti seemed very upbeat about the prospects of continuing to compete in such a marketplace. He quoted as saying;
“I don’t think the problems with the CBA are going to impact me in any way, shape or form more” than any other team, he said. “If anything I think it’ll be less because of the talent we have in this building. I’m looking forward to the constrictions. If there are any constraints, to me, it makes your decisions that much more important.”
Bischotti feels very confident about his management staff from Dick Cass to Head Coach John Harbaugh. I’m glad that he feels positive about his team’s situation but honestly a cap helps Baltimore and I’m sure he’s aware of that. The feeling throughout most circles is that this is just a temporary situation and that the cap will return in the future. So it may just be a case of viewing the future in a positive vein.
- The Ravens need to upgrade at Wide Reciever. Many people, Ozzie Newsome included felt that Demetrius Williams could be the player to help provide a deep threat presence on this offense. It didn’t happen for a variety or reasons. Coaches were displeased with Williams’ route running and ability to make adjustments. Kelley Washington over took the slot role fairly quickly and never relinquished it. They used very few four wide looks so that left Williams out of the equation.
Does that mean Brandon Marshall is back on the table as a possibility? Maybe so. John Harbaugh mentioned during the session that there was never a player that was ruled out due to character issues during his two seasons. Ozzie Newsome said that he would be willing to trade his number one pick for a player that would improve the team.
- Terrell Suggs was out of shape this season. Suggs production in the sack department dropped off dramatically and he made more headlines for an alleged domestic incident (which has since been dropped) than for on the field production. Sure he stops the run but he’s being paid for his role as a pass rusher. So he needs to improve. The staff has been assured that Suggs will stay in Baltimore to ready himself for next camp.
- The staff feels that both Derrick Mason and Ed Reed will return for the 2010 season. No doubt the receiving corps will look different for next season. How different is still up to speculation with the restrictions that the Ravens will have to deal with. Retaining Mason is a good idea but as usual it must be “right player, right price” and Mason has to want to come back. Reed of course is a different matter. He skipped the Pro Bowl, much like thirty others that were chosen but he needed to start his healing from another tough season. The Ravens are at least covered in case he does retire but if he does step down he’s hardly replaceable.