A Look at 2014 Ravens: Offense
After a dazzling 2012 postseason run to a championship, the Ravens offense was putrid in 2013. Recognizing large areas of concern the organization made drastic changes for the 2014 season. The Ravens believe in their Super Bowl MVP quarterback and are building the offense around him. They resigned Eugene Monroe and traded for Jeremy Zuttah. Zuttah is a dramatic upgrade to Gino Gradkowski at center. Baltimore also grabbed veteran Steve Smith, who is still a productive receiver. Maybe more important than any player added is the entrance of Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator. Kubiak has a long track record of success and should be a positive influence on Joe Flacco. Lets go position by position and examine what the Ravens have for 2014.
QB: Joe Flacco is the unquestioned leader of this football team. The Ravens still have questions in regards to who will be the back up. The Ravens drafted Keith Wenning but he must earn the back up role. Tyrod Taylor is the incumbent number 2 QB? Will the Ravens keep 3 quarterbacks?
RB: With uncertainty with Ray Rice on the legal front and injury concern for Bernard Pierce, Baltimore has to question their backfield’s strength. The Ravens drafted Lerenzo Taliaferro from Coastal Carolina in the fourth round. Justin Forsett was signed as well. Kubiak has a reputation for making anyone work in the backfield. The Ravens have concerns here, but it should not be a looming problem.
TE: The Ravens have three good tight ends, with Dennis Pitta being the leader of the group. Rookie, Crockett Gilmore and veteran Owen Daniels will see playing time. Gilmore will be more of a blocking tight end, but will get an opportunity to shine as a receiver in a tight end heavy offense. Fullback Kyle Juszcyzk will work into the offense in creative ways but is mostly a lead blocker.
WR: Torrey Smith and Steve Smith are a dynamic combination and you cannot double cover both of them. Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown will see time, mostly in the slot. The Ravens have high expectations for Michael Campanaro, and and I expect him to make the team. The Ravens are hoping he can be their diamond in the rough and see a Wes Welker type role for him at some point.
OT: Eugene Monroe is a good left tackle, the question is who starts on the right side of the line. It is Ricky Wagner’s job to lose. James Hurst could be an option. The Ravens would not be afraid to bring in a guy like Eric Winston if needed.
G: Kelechi Osemele will be back healthy and strong at left guard. Marshall Yanda will have better play around him and is expected to return to pro-bowl caliber form. AQ Shipley is still here but hopefully is never needed.
C: Jeremey Zuttah will bring functional play back to the center position.