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Offseason Breakdown: Baltimore Ravens

 
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cutblock7


Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Offseason Breakdown: Baltimore Ravens Reply with quote

http://nfl.si.com/2012/06/04/offseason-breakdown-baltimore-ravens/?sct=nfl_wr_a1

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The Ravens have established themselves as one of the NFLís more reliable franchises in recent years, with four consecutive playoff appearances and back-to-back 12-win seasons.

But is this it?

Three Things to Watch:

1. How much do Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have left in the tank?
2. Is Torrey Smith ready to be a star?
3. Can the offensive line hold it together?
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dcarey20


Joined: 15 Feb 2006
Posts: 7250
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't question whether Ray Lewis and Ed Reed can play, people have been asking this for at least 3 years now and each year they come through and are play just like we need them to.

Will Torrey Smith be a star? Define what "star" means. If star means something like 1300-1500 yards and 13-15 TD's then no, I don't expect something like that. Will he further develop and continue to be a big contributor on offense for us? I think absolutely - maybe somewhere in the 75/1000/9 range, which I feel is a legitimate expectation after what we saw last season.

When it comes to the oline, Grubbs is certainly a loss, but yes, I believe they'll hold it together. While our line is usually an inconsitent part of our team, they usually find a way to get be halfway decent over the course of the season.

Those things don't bother me, at the end of the day I think we're going to see a similar Ravens team that we have since Harbaugh and Flacco got on board: 10-12 wins with a playoff appearance:

Arrow The only real question that I have? Will this team find a way to actually get it done when it really matters and go win a Super Bowl, or will yet another scrub role player (i.e. Cundiff, Evans, Houshmandzadeh among others) find a way to lose to rip out the hearts of all Baltimoreans? Time will tell, I sure hope not.
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BaltimoreTerp


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Joined: 13 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are really only two burning questions, as far as I'm concerned, and they will make the difference between us even making the playoffs and being in contention for a Lombardi.

What kind of quarterback will Joe Flacco prove himself to be in Year 5? Does he build off of that validating AFCCG performance or go back to being up and down?

And how will the Ravens deal with the loss of DPOY Terrell Suggs for much if not all the season? The spotlight will be on Upshaw for sure, but it's going to be guys like Ngata, McPhee, and Kindle as well who will in their own ways need to help make up the difference in both pass rush and rush defense situations.

Everything else will work itself out. These are the two areas that make or break us, and I don't even see anything else that comes close to mattering. We're as likely to finish around .500 and out of the playoffs as we are to make a big run, because the ingredients are there, and the pedigree is there, but things could also swing wildly in the wrong direction.
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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. I'm not particularly worried about how much Lewis and Reed have left because I don't think the team is dependent on what either of them brings to the field anymore. Last season was the first year where I think Lewis took a noticeable step back and the defense was still able to field a very impressive unit. Reed's influence is a bit harder to substantiate but I don't think his impact was nearly as much as it has been in the past. Keep in mind I'm only referring to their on-field production and not any of the intangibles they bring to the team. I don't think Lewis and Reed are much of a weakness on the field yet (well, Lewis' coverage and Reed's tackling isn't something I like to see), but they're getting there and I wouldn't be surprised to see them regress more this season.

2. Smith doesn't seem like a WR with "star" potential so I don't think he gets there. Nor does he really need to in my opinion. There's enough talent on the offense for them not to need to have a WR of that caliber (although it would be nice) as long as the protection holds up and the play-calling doesn't suck. We've all seen it before and what BaltimoreTerp brought up about Flacco plays a big part in this too.

3. This is my biggest worry. Even though I like the potential what Osemele brings at LG over what Grubbs did it's hard to expect to see that this season. This unit was the biggest weakness on the team last year in my opinion and it doesn't look like it's improved, only regressed (in the short-term). To be honest I'm hoping to see a lineup of Oher-Osemele-Birk-Yanda-Reid but that doesn't seem likely. Oher is best suited at RT but I really despise McKinnie. This would also help validate the Reid pick a bit. I'm all for having quality depth but when you spend quality assets on that depth and it doesn't get on the field (no the rare "jumbo" formations don't really count) it's hard to feel good about it.
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diamondbull424


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Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^

In reference to the point about the OL having been a weakness last season and not having been improved/possibly regressing, I tend to disagree. While I don't expect KO to be a world beater in his first season with the team, I think we have to keep in mind that he's essentially replacing Gurode/a recovering Ben Grubbs.. Then we can at least improve in the consistency of the unit.. And the talent... Assuming no injuries to the unit.. *knock on wood*

But I agree with the consensus here. Flacco, like most quarterbacks in the league will be the key in the success of the squad. I'm confident that our combined talent on the defense can replace Suggs.. FTMP....
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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:
^^^

In reference to the point about the OL having been a weakness last season and not having been improved/possibly regressing, I tend to disagree. While I don't expect KO to be a world beater in his first season with the team, I think we have to keep in mind that he's essentially replacing Gurode/a recovering Ben Grubbs.. Then we can at least improve in the consistency of the unit.. And the talent... Assuming no injuries to the unit.. *knock on wood*

But I agree with the consensus here. Flacco, like most quarterbacks in the league will be the key in the success of the squad. I'm confident that our combined talent on the defense can replace Suggs.. FTMP....


If Grubb's play was underwhelming before or after he sat out with his injury I would tend to agree but that wasn't the case in my opinion. Keep in mind who the LG will be playing next to - McKinnie. I prefer more of a mauling type of OG but Grubbs' pass-protection skills were vital to the OL last season since McKinnie is pretty terrible.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
diamondbull424 wrote:
^^^

In reference to the point about the OL having been a weakness last season and not having been improved/possibly regressing, I tend to disagree. While I don't expect KO to be a world beater in his first season with the team, I think we have to keep in mind that he's essentially replacing Gurode/a recovering Ben Grubbs.. Then we can at least improve in the consistency of the unit.. And the talent... Assuming no injuries to the unit.. *knock on wood*

But I agree with the consensus here. Flacco, like most quarterbacks in the league will be the key in the success of the squad. I'm confident that our combined talent on the defense can replace Suggs.. FTMP....


If Grubb's play was underwhelming before or after he sat out with his injury I would tend to agree but that wasn't the case in my opinion. Keep in mind who the LG will be playing next to - McKinnie. I prefer more of a mauling type of OG but Grubbs' pass-protection skills were vital to the OL last season since McKinnie is pretty terrible.

His play certainly wasn't underwhelming, but he wasn't the best he's been in his career with the team... But the main comparison was the Gurode weeks... He was pretty bad out there in pass pro. My main point is that even if KO is on a rookie Grubbs level of play (who was also raw coming in) than he's a definite upgrade over Gurode and possibly on a similar level with where Grubbs was for most of the year.

Between KO and Reid one should be able to reach that "good" level. They both have the length and strength to cover a lot of distance in pass pro. If they can maintain good leverage than they're golden.
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Rayvens52


Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 910
Location: Vegas
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
1. I'm not particularly worried about how much Lewis and Reed have left because I don't think the team is dependent on what either of them brings to the field anymore. Last season was the first year where I think Lewis took a noticeable step back and the defense was still able to field a very impressive unit. Reed's influence is a bit harder to substantiate but I don't think his impact was nearly as much as it has been in the past. Keep in mind I'm only referring to their on-field production and not any of the intangibles they bring to the team. I don't think Lewis and Reed are much of a weakness on the field yet (well, Lewis' coverage and Reed's tackling isn't something I like to see), but they're getting there and I wouldn't be surprised to see them regress more this season.

2. Smith doesn't seem like a WR with "star" potential so I don't think he gets there. Nor does he really need to in my opinion. There's enough talent on the offense for them not to need to have a WR of that caliber (although it would be nice) as long as the protection holds up and the play-calling doesn't suck. We've all seen it before and what BaltimoreTerp brought up about Flacco plays a big part in this too.

3. This is my biggest worry. Even though I like the potential what Osemele brings at LG over what Grubbs did it's hard to expect to see that this season. This unit was the biggest weakness on the team last year in my opinion and it doesn't look like it's improved, only regressed (in the short-term). To be honest I'm hoping to see a lineup of Oher-Osemele-Birk-Yanda-Reid but that doesn't seem likely. Oher is best suited at RT but I really despise McKinnie. This would also help validate the Reid pick a bit. I'm all for having quality depth but when you spend quality assets on that depth and it doesn't get on the field (no the rare "jumbo" formations don't really count) it's hard to feel good about it.
I feel Smith can definitely be a star, if he continues to improve on route running and the hands become more soft. What makes you think after watching one strike shortened season that Smith has no "star" potential. I can't say for sure. I do feel he can be a game changing player, though. Speed definitely kills!
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raven5255


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not quite as concerned about the offensive line as some other fans are. I wish it was better but I dont think it will be any worse than last year. Birk is a year older and we're replacing a very quality player in Grubbs, but otherwise it should be at least on par. McKinnie is getting a lot of heat for his conditioning issues, but the fact is that he is better off now than he was at this point last year. Hopefully he can get into camp and allow Oher to focus at right tackle which would finally give him some continuity. Oher's inconsistency is infuriating, but he has shown the ability to be a very good player.

I dont expect Bobbie Williams to be a huge step down from Grubbs. He's limited athletically and wont be as reliable in pass protection, but he's a tough aggressive player, more in the mold of Yanda. Hopefully he can hold down the job until Osemele proves he is ready. The overall depth is improved from last year as well.
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