Baltimore Ravens: No Panic Necessary


Keep Calm And Rave On…

The Baltimore Ravens were 5-11 in the 2015 season. The season took a surprising turn from the worst, as the Ravens were considered Super Bowl contenders when the Steelers lost to the Patriots on the NFL’s opening night. Obviously Baltimore football fans are upset and want to see a ton of change. Obvious the Ravens need to do better in their next season. Yet the fact of the matter is that the Ravens aren’t going to make a lot of changes or big sweeping moves and there is no fact more obvious than that this offseason.

Nov 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti smiles prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti smiles prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

In the annual state of the Ravens press conference, the Ravens brass tried to calm down all the talk of firings and organizational changes. One of the most successful franchises in the NFL isn’t going into the offseason, kicking and screaming. They aren’t panicked. Ravens Owner, Steve Bisciotti is practical and he won’t let emotions derail what his team has built.

One can argue that the Ravens should be more inclined to changing the coaching staff or making a big signing. You can argue that the Ravens need to make changes and that the roster should look nothing like it did in 2015. But if you do, this is a perfect example of barking up the wrong tree. The Ravens are led by some pretty confident people; from the top to the bottom of the organization there is no fear of another horrifying result in 2016.

The Ravens couldn’t make a bunch of moves (as far as the roster is concerned) even if they wanted to. The best way to describe the Ravens cap space is that they are between a rock and a hard place. There is no wiggle room. There will be some cap casualties but none of them are going to make a free agent like Von Miller or a Josh Norman a realistic option. The Ravens can make some moves but lets not count on a drastically improved team.

Instead the Ravens are going to attempt to draft well. They are going to make the best roster that they can and they will live with the results. The Joe Flacco cap hit of $28.5 million is hindering. Now the people complaining about his contract actually have some legitimate barking to do. The Ravens would be foolish not to keep the services of Justin Tucker, whose kicking accolades are historical.

The Ravens will try to keep Kelechi Osemele and maybe make some other moves but money is tight. When you consider that the Ravens have a high draft pick and even with the rookie wage scale, they are most likely paying for a top ten pick, it doesn’t help much.

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You could argue that the Ravens coaching staff should change. Yet there were so many injuries that impacted the offense. Marc Trestman didn’t really get a fair enough shot to let go of him. And if you fire Trestman you will give Flacco his fifth offensive coordinator since 2012. Dean Pees got the defense back on track. While I don’t agree with his brand of Ravens defense most the time, he is a highly respected coordinator. This highly touted coach didn’t have a talented secondary or a great pass rush to work with.

The Ravens want continuity. They want successful people to get back to being successful. The Ravens had depth issues at key positions. This is a fixable problem. The Ravens couldn’t account for 20 players to find their way to the injured reserve. They  account for their quarterback, left tackle, best receiver and best defensive player to all get hurt in the same season. The Ravens had a tough first half of the season lined up on their schedule. Things went wrong and things got out of hand.

It is hard to imagine that kind of season repeats itself. Ravens fans don’t let me stop you from knocking on wood and sitting in your lucky chair. By all means do so, it can’t hurt. That being said 2015 just wasn’t the Ravens year. The Ravens don’t need to make drastic changes (they do need to make improvements though). They don’t need to panic and make knee jerk decisions. They don’t need to go after the biggest fish in the free agent pond. They couldn’t even if they wanted to.

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You know how on the fine print of a sweepstakes it will say no purchase necessary at the top. Well for the Ravens to win big in 2016 no panic is necessary. The difference between the Ravens situation and a sweepstake is that the Ravens doing well in 2016 is actually a likely occurrence. The take away message is that the Ravens don’t need to panic and that while nobody in “The Castle” is happy about 2015, they aren’t breaking a sweat over 2016. Take that as you will.