When I first heard that the Ravens cut receiver Derrick Mason and tight end Todd Heap, my first reaction was probably a lot different than most: I was ecstatic. Was this because those two aren’t good players (and terrific people)? No. It’s because the NFL is a business and there are 53 players on a roster. Two don’t make the team, especially two on the wrong side of 30. But I was really ecstatic because it signaled a new era for Joe Flacco.
Don’t get me wrong; Heap and Mason will probably be missed in many facets of the game. However, having no-name receivers who are ego-less will be a big help for Flacco, who won’t have to think about who whined last for the ball and can just hit the open man. The no-name receivers will mesh better together and will help the offense become more of a team-oriented unit.
Let’s be clear about another thing, too. The 2010 Ravens didn’t lose because of their passing game. They lost because of their inability to run out the clock with the lead in 4th quarters. With the additions of Vontae Leach and Ricky Williams those days should be over. Remember 2008? The year they won all of those games in the 4th quarter by running the defense into submission in the 4th quarter? That’s back. And it’s a proven winner in this town. Play-action and guys running wide open down the field are back. I love Mason, but he couldn’t get open downfield anymore. The Ravens already have a better and younger Mason in Anquan Boldin.
The tight end spot will be one to watch, but Ed Dickson is just as capable as Heap. Is he a better blocker? No; but that’s why they got Leach, as well.
I can’t wait to watch the Ravens offense this year. They will let Flacco do his thing and let him rip the ball to open receivers whenever he wants. This all the while they will run the ball at will. Mark my words: they will be successful in 2011.