Happy Belated Independence Day, Ravens faithful. I have been on a 2 week hiatus it seems because of vacation and internet problems at the 20reed20 house, but I have returned with fresh ideas. All the trials I faced to just write this article will pale in comparison to all the adversity the Ravens will face to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of this season. Still, before the Ravens can win the Superbowl there needs to be a regular season, and before there can be a regular season there needs to be an off-season, and even before there can be an off-season the Lockout must end with a new CBA. In theoretical circumstances, lets say the lockout is over. I have the top 5 things that the Ravens will do this off-season and next off-season.
1. Le’Ron and Dawan stay Ravens
There have been thousands of opinions on whether or not both these stellar play-markers will stay Ravens for next year and I’ve got to put my two-cents out on the market. Both Dawan Landry and Le’Ron McClain have become cornerstones in both the Ravens offense and defense in the last couple years. Both get over looked sadly because of the Pro-Bowlers that they share the backfield with. Landry is constantly in the huge shadow that Ed Reed casts as a future Hall-of-Famer free safety. McClain has had to dwell in the shadows of two amazing running backs, Willis McGahee and Ray Rice. With all that being said, both are tops in at their position. You may not see the “Razzle-Dazzle” you see from Reed and Rice, but every snap Dawan Landry and Le’Ron McClain do their job. That’s why Harbaugh would be insane to not resign both of them. And with number 2, Le’Ron will see a lot more carries.
2. Willis McGahee Traded
Willis McGahee wants a big payday in 2011, too bad the Ravens don’t want to pick up the tab. Luckily the Ravens do have something on McGahee, his price tag to other teams. I’d say probably at least a 3rd round pick for him, but I could be wrong. McGahee had a great stint with the Ravens since coming over from Buffalo to replace Jamal Lewis, but after taking a back-seat to Ray Rice since Rice was drafted, I’d say he’s itching to be a starter once more.
3. Ink Sergio Kindle
Sergio Kindle has become a topic of debate ever since the Ravens selected him in the 2nd Round in the 2010 draft. From being the next Ray Lewis to being a bust with his season-ending head injury and DUI arrests. Some say let him go, others say keep him for the practice team, but I’m saying is “Put ‘em in, Coach”. Sergio as a Longhorn was an outstanding player. Playing both defensive end and linebacker, he racked up 13 sacks, 31 QB Hurries, and even 2.5 sacks in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. He’s a special talent and will be for the Ravens in 2011, but there’s one more thing the Ravens have to do to polish-up their pass-rush.
4. Bring Back Bannan
Justin Bannan is now a free-agent. After being a Raven from 2006 to 2009, we let him go, and he signed a deal with the Broncos last year. They released him and Jamal Williams, even though both started all 16 games for Denver last year. Justin has expressed much interest in returning to Baltimore for a final season and with the starved pass-rush the Ravens showed at times last year, why not bring back a guy who knows the system, has friends already in the locker-room, and can really show flashes of brilliance.Bannan kind of reminds me of another diamond in the rough the Ravens picked up last year, Corey Redding, who intercepted Drew Brees to seal a win in week 15, and returned a fumble by Ben Roethlisberger for 6 points in the divisonal playoff game. With veterans like Redding and Bannan taking turns bashing the other teams offensive line, we might see even more Ed Reed and Dawan Landry interceptions.
5. After Winning the Superbowl, Todd Heap will Retire
Todd Heap’s retirement pops up every off-season, just like Ray Lewis’s. The difference is Ray hasn’t faced as many nagging injuries and the Ravens haven’t drafted his predecessor. With Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta both young blood on a talented Tight End Depth Chart, I have a feeling this will be number 86′s last year in the National Football League. Notice in the title though, it’ll be after we get the longest tenured Raven without a Superbowl Ring the hardware he long deserves. Todd Heap has been a staple in the Ravens offense ever since Shannon Sharpe (Yeah, he was a Raven once. Seems like he forgets it though. Kinda like Trent Dilfer.) taught him the ropes after being freshly drafted in the first round in the 2001 draft.
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