5 Things The Ravens Need To Happen In 2014
The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a disappointing 8-8 season, in which they failed to make the postseason for the first time in the John Harbaugh era. There is some rebuilding that comes with fresh failure, though the purple and black could easily be contenders in the AFC in 2014. Here is what needs to happen to make the Ravens once again a playoff team:
1.) Sure Up the Offensive Line:
The Baltimore Ravens offensive line was abysmal this past season. It became quite clear that the Ravens will not win unless their line improves. The Ravens need to upgrade at the center position and address the right tackle position. The priority must be center. The Ravens can get by with Kelechi Osemele at right tackle if need be. If Gino Gradkowksi is the center the Ravens are doomed. Osemele at tackle may be part of their plan. Expect Baltimore to sign a stopgap type center. They may look for a right tackle but a guard would not be shocking. If they sign a left guard it is indicative of their intent with KO. What ever the combination the Ravens need a strong offensive line first and foremost.
2.) Surround Joe With Weapons
After protecting the franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco, Ozzie Newsome most find him some weapons. The Ravens need to sign a receiver. The best case scenario is convincing Steve Smith to come to Baltimore. You saw what Joe could do with an aging Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason; imagine what he could do with Steve Smith. Julian Eddleman would be the next best option in the wide receiver market. The Ravens should still look for a top tier receiver in the draft regardless of who they sign.
3.) Sign or draft a starting Free Safety
The last gaping whole on the Ravens roster is their free safety. The Ravens best bet at this position would be the draft. If the Ravens get other needs addressed before the draft they may look for a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or a Calvin Pryor to drop to them at 17. I think an Ed Reynolds (2nd or 3rd Rd) or a Tre Boston (3rd or 4th rd)is a more likely draft pick.
4.) Find A run stuffer.
The Ravens inside linebackers are fast and quick. They need to find someone with strength against the run to play next to Daryl Smith who is better against the pass. Maybe Arthur Brown develops into this role. I would not be shocked to see Courtney Upshaw convert to this role. Another option may be Rolando McClain if he makes a comeback to the Ravens.
5.) More Organized Chaos
The Ravens defense needs to be more aggressive. The Ravens have to very dependable corners in Ladarius Webb and Jimmy Smith which in theory should let Dean Pees have fun with his front 7. The problem is the pressuring of the quarterback was too bland in 2013. If Terrell Suggs did not sizzle off the edge, our pass rush fizzled. The defense needs to use more creative blitzes, more stunts and create pressure from every where. Organized Chaos as Rex Ryan used to call it gets the Ravens turnovers. Thats what the Ravens need in 2014.