cprenegade

Lack of identity and direction could force sweeping changes

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Neither the 1990s-inspired West Coast offensive scheme nor hammering defense that propelled Baltimore to their last title remains intact. In their stead, the team features a less-than-pedestrian offense with no strengths and numerous issues and a defense that, while capable, has already fallen off as injuries ravaged the roster. All the while, scrutiny has increasingly surrounded the organization’s principal partners, general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh.

As currently constructed, the Ravens’ roster looks like a mishmash of spare parts, like furniture assembled from multiple Ikea boxes. The defense has developed some legitimate star power in the form of edge rusher Terrell Suggs and linebacker C.J. Mosley, but it also relies on a secondary composed almost entirely of assets from other teams. Additionally, key cogs such as defensive tackle Brandon Williams have battled injuries and have hurt the effectiveness of the entire unit.

The Ravens have faltered since Newsome mismanaged Flacco’s contract situation, making the playoffs just once over the last four seasons while paying the polarizing quarterback over $100 million during that span. The resources tied up in Flacco have forced important players to depart, specifically in the trenches where Kelechi Osemele and Ricky Wagner left massive voids. The Ravens have won two Super Bowls in their brief existence, and Newsome deserves considerable credit for those achievements. However, his gamble on Flacco during the 2012 season and subsequent decisions with him have put the franchise in a bind that could require a full rebuild.

http://baltimoresportsandlife.com/ravens-lack-identity-direction-force-sweeping-changes/

 

A very interesting article that touches on a number of points that have been brought up here.  I think how the rest of the season goes will determine what happens over the off season.  If the Raven's reverse this recent slide, maybe make the playoffs and possibly win at least one game, Steve Biscotti will stay the course.  But if the next nine games show more of the same, Biscotti might decide to overhaul the entire front office and coaching staff.  One thing the article points out is true.  The QB is not going anywhere anytime soon thanks to the contract given him.  It would be near cap suicide to simply move on from Flacco as their QB.  

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5 hours ago, cprenegade said:

A very interesting article that touches on a number of points that have been brought up here.  I think how the rest of the season goes will determine what happens over the off season.  If the Raven's reverse this recent slide, maybe make the playoffs and possibly win at least one game, Steve Biscotti will stay the course.  But if the next nine games show more of the same, Biscotti might decide to overhaul the entire front office and coaching staff.  One thing the article points out is true.  The QB is not going anywhere anytime soon thanks to the contract given him.  It would be near cap suicide to simply move on from Flacco as their QB.  

I've said this many times- Flacco's contract is one of Oz's biggest gaffes of all. If you look at his performance compared to what we have paid- it's onerous. I do think that they will draft a QB this coming draft. It can take a bunch of misses on QBs to find the one that sticks, and if the F.O. must start the process ASAP which is the coming draft. That gives us one more year of Flacco while hopefully grooming his heir for 2019, or at least getting someone to come in and play equivalently, for a much cheaper price.

As far as the rest of the article and Biscotti moving on- he would really have no choice if the current dysfunction were to last all season.

 

 

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The Flacco contract was a perfect storm that benefitted Flacco and knowingly left the Ravens in a bind. I mean, you HAVE to pay a QB who pretty much singlehandedly won you a SB. To underpay him and potentially lose him after that would have been disastrous.

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47 minutes ago, Pickle20 said:

The Flacco contract was a perfect storm that benefitted Flacco and knowingly left the Ravens in a bind. I mean, you HAVE to pay a QB who pretty much singlehandedly won you a SB. To underpay him and potentially lose him after that would have been disastrous.

More apologist wording! Flacco didn't single-handedly win that SB,... not even pretty much! Flacco has never been a great QB,... he has always been an acceptable QB who has had his bright moments on the field. An acceptable QB who has had the fortune of playing along side a spectacular defense which kept him on the field more than the average QB. He's always been an acceptable QB that didn't have to shoulder the leadership role of the team,... someone else has always done that. The major problem we have this year is that we don't have a leader on the field or in the LR. Flacco ain't and never has been a great QB,... he was a lucky QB. Lucky to play with a core group of players who could compensate for him and lead for him. Those players are gone now, and we are imploding!

Maybe if we had worried more about who's available to help us win games and less about who's kneeling and when they're kneeling, we might not be in the mess we're in now. 

Edited by ericpd

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32 minutes ago, ericpd said:

More apologist wording! Flacco didn't single-handedly win that SB,... not even pretty much! Flacco has never been a great QB,... he has always been an acceptable QB who has had his bright moments on the field. An acceptable QB who has had the fortune of playing along side a spectacular defense which kept him on the field more than the average QB. He's always been an acceptable QB that didn't have to shoulder the leadership role of the team,... someone else has always done that. The major problem we have this year is that we don't have a leader on the field or in the LR. Flacco ain't and never has been a great QB,... he was a lucky QB. Lucky to play with a core group of players who could compensate for him and lead for him. Those players are gone now, and we are imploding! 

 

The 2012 defense was 12th in points allowed and 17th in yards allowed. Hardly spectacular, and they almost lost us the SB.

Flacco won through the playoffs and SB. Didn't throw a pick. He won us that SB. Sure there was help but he made the throws. Criticize him now, but give him credit where he deserves it.

 

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35 minutes ago, ericpd said:

More apologist wording! Flacco didn't single-handedly win that SB,... not even pretty much! Flacco has never been a great QB,... he has always been an acceptable QB who has had his bright moments on the field. An acceptable QB who has had the fortune of playing along side a spectacular defense which kept him on the field more than the average QB. He's always been an acceptable QB that didn't have to shoulder the leadership role of the team,... someone else has always done that. The major problem we have this year is that we don't have a leader on the field or in the LR. Flacco ain't and never has been a great QB,... he was a lucky QB. Lucky to play with a core group of players who could compensate for him and lead for him. Those players are gone now, and we are imploding! 

The defense was not spectacular when the Ravens won their last Super Bowl. It still was ranked 12th overall but it wasn't nearly as good its reputation. It gave up an average of 21.5 points per game. While I agree Flacco didn't do it single-handedly (in football no one player can win the game - it's a team effort), he is the main reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl that year. In 4 playoff games he had 12 TD passes and no interceptions; Joe Montana was the only other QB to do that; he averaged 285 yards passing and had a rating of 117 for those 4 games.

What this really proves is that if he has decent players around him he can make things happen. He never had a great arsenal, but he had decent players in the Super Bowl year. And of course, he had a complimentary running attack.

Edited by ncbirdfan
typo, etc.

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3 hours ago, poefolks said:

 

I've said this many times- Flacco's contract is one of Oz's biggest gaffes of all. If you look at his performance compared to what we have paid- it's onerous. 

Here we go with the Flacco contract again.   What was the alternative?

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40 minutes ago, bmore_ken said:

Here we go with the Flacco contract again.   What was the alternative?

There wasn't an alternative to signing him but they could've signed him to a more team friendly deal. They blew that part, then restructured him when he has already under performing to screw it up even more. Hindsight is 20/20- they gambled on a player they thought could consistently be as good as he was during that magical run. They lost.

He won the SB with a possible 5 HOFers on his team- Lewis, Reed, Yanda, Suggs, Tucker and he hasn't been able to muster much of anything since then- which if you objectively look at it- the label around the league of being a 1 hit wonder is true until he can prove otherwise. And this isn't all on Flacco- he has limitations- and the team hasn't been able to build the superior talent he needs around him to be successful- partially due to being hamstrung with overpaid contract for an underperforming player at your most important position.

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1 minute ago, poefolks said:

There wasn't an alternative to signing him but they could've signed him to a more team friendly deal. They blew that part, then restructured him when he has already under performing to screw it up even more. Hindsight is 20/20- they gambled on a player they thought could consistently be as good as he was during that magical run. They lost.

He won the SB with a possible 5 HOFers on his team- Lewis, Reed, Yanda, Suggs, Tucker and he hasn't been able to muster much of anything since then- which if you objectively look at it- the label around the league of being a 1 hit wonder is true until he can prove otherwise. And this isn't all on Flacco- he has limitations- and the team hasn't been able to build the superior talent he needs around him to be successful- partially due to being hamstrung with overpaid contract for an underperforming player at your most important position.

Dude he wasn't signing a team friendly deal. This was a qb coming off of one of the greatest post season performances ever culminating in a SB win and MVP award. He was getting the deal he got either from us or someone else. So again since a team friendly deal wasn't happening. I ask again, What was the alternative?

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1 minute ago, poefolks said:

There wasn't an alternative to signing him but they could've signed him to a more team friendly deal. They blew that part, then restructured him when he has already under performing to screw it up even more. Hindsight is 20/20- they gambled on a player they thought could consistently be as good as he was during that magical run. They lost.

He won the SB with a possible 5 HOFers on his team- Lewis, Reed, Yanda, Suggs, Tucker and he hasn't been able to muster much of anything since then- which if you objectively look at it- the label around the league of being a 1 hit wonder is true until he can prove otherwise. And this isn't all on Flacco- he has limitations- and the team hasn't been able to build the superior talent he needs around him to be successful- partially due to being hamstrung with overpaid contract for an underperforming player at your most important position.

How was that going to work? To keep him the Ravens had to pay him what he was worth at the time.

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10 minutes ago, ncbirdfan said:

How was that going to work? To keep him the Ravens had to pay him what he was worth at the time.

It wasn't going to work. Flacco had the leverage for that negotiation. Not the team. There was no team friendly deal to be had. 

Edited by bmore_ken

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Its not just Flacco. The whole team is rotten from top to bottom. Harbs lets everyone go that ever made a statement he didn't like and labeled them disrupters. Now a whole team protests in London and looked like crap after and he is 100% behind the disruption. Time to clean house Steve before the only ones left in the stadium is the cleaning crew. 

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15 minutes ago, ncbirdfan said:

How was that going to work? To keep him the Ravens had to pay him what he was worth at the time.

Look I may be wrong- I can admit that it would be difficult position as a team to negotiate in this situation and maybe MDrunning can chime in here- but I do think there are innovative ways to structure these deals- IE Kaepernicks contract allowed the team to get out from under him earlier. There is a reason Flacco's contract is now used as a cautionary case study to other teams so they don't make the same mistakes. The Ravens could've made him the highest paid player but kept a shorter term than 6 years, to hedge against this exact scenario- where he is getting paid in the top 5 but performing like a bottom 5, and the team is bound to him through further mismanagement (Ie his extension)

I don't have all the answers and I do have 20/20 hindsight. If they hadn't signed Flacco to this deal- I think they would've easily found a QB who could've put the same- worse than average production up- for a fraction of the cost these last several years which would've allowed us to have more options/resources to put into other, better players. It may not have worked out even if we did do it this way- maybe Oz continues to botch drafts and we our coaching is still suspect, it's all still a gamble after all. 

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There will not be any cleaning house at the end of the season in my opinion. With all the injuries this season, what do you expect out of Harbaugh this season? That is a legitimate question. What do you think the Ravens record should be at the end of the season after you consider all the injuries we have had this season? 11-5? 10-6? 8-8? The next man up motto, in my opinion, is when one man goes down or two men go down or even three men go down. We are talking like 17, 18 or even 20 people going down. That is the next man up then the next man up and then the next man up after that. At that point, you are grabbing players that just aren't good enough to play in the NFL. 

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3 minutes ago, poefolks said:

I don't have all the answers and I do have 20/20 hindsight. If they hadn't signed Flacco to this deal- I think they would've easily found a QB who could've put the same- worse than average production up- for a fraction of the cost these last several years which would've allowed us to have more options/resources to put into other, better players. It may not have worked out even if we did do it this way- maybe Oz continues to botch drafts and we our coaching is still suspect, it's all still a gamble after all. 

Have you looked at the QBs before Joe arrived? What more do you need to know? And if you didn't get a good enough glimpse of Ryan Mallett this summer, then, really, there's nothing more to say.

(And the worst part of this whole discussion? That it's one of those rare occasions when I actually agree with Ken. I really hate when that happens. But at least I admit it.) ;)

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Flacco is an incredibly frustrating and inconsistent QB/ player.  But in his defense the front office has simply not given him the weapons and the protection which is necessary to be a successful QB in the NFL (Especially a guy like Joe who is no Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers etc) 

A QB like Flacco requires protection and receivers who can get open, and he's never really had that, and when he has he's been successful. It will be a real shame if the Flacco era comes and goes without the front office doing more to put him in a position to succeed, especially with all that money spent  

Flacco doesn't escape all the blame though he certainly has underperformed regardless of the state of the team overall, especially given the amount of money he's making. 

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5 minutes ago, RavingManiac said:

There will not be any cleaning house at the end of the season in my opinion. With all the injuries this season, what do you expect out of Harbaugh this season? That is a legitimate question. What do you think the Ravens record should be at the end of the season after you consider all the injuries we have had this season? 11-5? 10-6? 8-8? The next man up motto, in my opinion, is when one man goes down or two men go down or even three men go down. We are talking like 17, 18 or even 20 people going down. That is the next man up then the next man up and then the next man up after that. At that point, you are grabbing players that just aren't good enough to play in the NFL. 

Agree on the injuries. Honestly the injury situation is out of control. The last few years it has been bad but this year is a complete joke. With the full roster/ a few injuries I could see this team being 10-6 or maybe even 11-5, but now they'll be lucky to get to .500 IMO

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1 hour ago, finscreenname said:

Its not just Flacco. The whole team is rotten from top to bottom. Harbs lets everyone go that ever made a statement he didn't like and labeled them disrupters. Now a whole team protests in London and looked like crap after and he is 100% behind the disruption. Time to clean house Steve before the only ones left in the stadium is the cleaning crew. 

This is a huge part of the issue.

Since the SB win, Harbaugh has put his stamp on this team in terms of personnel. The one thing that was forced on him (Kubiak) turned out to be a positive. I cant remember the OC he wanted to hire after Caldwell but it was some generic coordinator like the others we've had. So you've got Harbaugh's players, Harbaugh's coordinators and Harbaugh's coaching style since 2012, free of a Ray Lewis or Ed Reed in the locker room doing whatever it was they did. What's that gotten you? Soon to be 4/5 losing seasons. The most injured team in the NFL.

If he can't handle a few HOF-level egos maybe he should coach high school.

Edited by Pickle20

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1 minute ago, Pickle20 said:

This is a huge part of the issue.

Since the SB win, Harbaugh has put his stamp on this team in terms of personnel. The one thing that was forced on him (Kubiak) turned out to be a positive. So you've got his players, his coordinators and his coaching style. What's that gotten you? Soon to be 4/5 losing seasons. The most injured team in the NFL.

If he can't handle a few HOF egos maybe he should coach high school.

College. He's best suited to coach college, like his brother, and Greg Mattison. His rah-rah style fits college. He has access to a never-ending stream of wide-eyed new recruits who will be more than willing to bend to his will. He doesn't have to worry about cap issues. College is where he can really shine. (And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I firmly believe his style is 100% suited to college and not suited at all for the NFL. They are two completely different entities.)

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10 minutes ago, OriginalColtsFan said:

College. He's best suited to coach college, like his brother, and Greg Mattison. His rah-rah style fits college. He has access to a never-ending stream of wide-eyed new recruits who will be more than willing to bend to his will. He doesn't have to worry about cap issues. College is where he can really shine. (And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I firmly believe his style is 100% suited to college and not suited at all for the NFL. They are two completely different entities.)

Yeah, I was going to type college but even then you're going to deal with advanced egos.

Edited by Pickle20

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11 minutes ago, Pickle20 said:

Yeah, I was going to type college but even then you're going to deal with advanced egos.

True. At the top of the top of the recruits. But even they still want to make it in the NFL, and Harbaugh holds a lot of the keys to their future. In the NFL, with free agency, the players hold the keys, for the most part. Plus, ego or not, they're younger and haven't been through the grueling life of an NFL player (unless you're a long snapper, of course). They're not as grizzled or as likely to tell a head coach what they really think, like Ray Lewis or Ed Reed or Pollard.

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I do agree, I think he would be a great college coach.

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7 minutes ago, Pickle20 said:

I do agree, I think he would be a great college coach.

Look at his brother. Vilified in SF, a hero at Michigan. Greg Mattison was basically run out of town, and he's still a coach in college, with Jim at Michigan. Cam Cameron...well...lol...he's a different story. He got run out of Miami. Run out of Baltimore. And run out of LSU. Maybe he's the exception that proves the rule. Or maybe he just shouldn't be coaching anywhere.

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14 minutes ago, OriginalColtsFan said:

Look at his brother. Vilified in SF, a hero at Michigan. Greg Mattison was basically run out of town, and he's still a coach in college, with Jim at Michigan. Cam Cameron...well...lol...he's a different story. He got run out of Miami. Run out of Baltimore. And run out of LSU. Maybe he's the exception that proves the rule. Or maybe he just shouldn't be coaching anywhere.

I yearn for Cam Cameron offenses.

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9 minutes ago, Pickle20 said:

I yearn for Cam Cameron offenses.

LOL. It really has gotten that bad.

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