There are a lot of great tidbits and sound bytes in Kevin Byrne’s sit down with Raven’s GM Ozzie Newsome. We know that this time of year everyone views their team as a Super Bowl winner, but Newsome is a pretty subdued guy by nature. Let’s just say it takes a lot to get him excited.
One thing that has definitely gotten Newsome excited is the potential of the new look offense. Ozzie knew that the roster just wasn’t good enough last year, particularly the offense. When asked what he though the biggest improvement on the team, he didn’t hesitate.
“We’ll be better on offense. I really like Gary’s schemes. It’s very precise. It’s physical. I think we’ll run the ball better, we’ll keep the ball more and we’ll have big plays. You can tell the players, especially guys like Joe like it – and they can see that we have a good chance to be a lot better.”
Sounds pretty giddy to us. Newsome acknowledges that the team needed more playmakers as well, admitting “it was tough for the offense, much more than we anticipated. The lack of weapons really hurt at times.” By adding players like Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, Newsome feels confident that they now have the weapons they need.
Ozzie also feels good about the offensive line. “Getting Eugene and signing him to a new contract gives us the left tackle you have to have. Trading for Zuttah is a bonus and we like everything we’ve seen from him. He’s a good player and leader, too. Having a healthy Yanda is big and, so far, Kelechi looks like he’s ready for big things,” Newsome said.
Ozzie definitely deserves credit for completing a quick rebuild of a roster that struggled at times last year but is still talented and has some great core players. He knew exactly what he needed to do to plug the holes and he executed pretty flawlessly. Now it’s up to the players and coaches to put it all together and produce more W’s this season.