Category Archives: Ravens

Late Reaction To Ravens Draft

Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens had an incredible draft and it’s hard not to be excited for the 2015 season. I’ve been so busy as of late, that I haven’t had time to give you my two cents on the Ravens draft. So now that I actually have time, let me tell you what I’m thinking. 

The Ravens may have drafted the fastest receiver in this year’s draft class in Breshad Perriman. From UCF, Perriman is a big bodied receiver who can burn past anybody. The Ravens got Joe Flacco a much needed deep threat. 

Perriman has a high ceiling and a low floor. He could be the next Randy Moss but a part of me worries that he could be another Travis Taylor. Perriman has inconsistent hands and is a bit raw for the NFL game. All we can do is wait and see with the Ravens first round pick. I am  cautiously optimistic, catching ability can be dramatically improved with coaching. 

Moving up to get Maxx Williams, the top tight end of this draft, out of Minnesota was huge. This gives the Ravens an insurance policy for my favorite fragile player, Dennis Pitta. Williams is a good player and Flacco should be pleased. 

Before the draft I compared Williams to Heath Miller. Coincidently the Steelers wanted Williams and their war room was reportedly less than pleased  that he went to the Ravens. Any time you can tick off a division rival, espescially the damn Steelers, you’re doing something right Mr. Newsome.

Williams is a big bodied security blanket that Flacco hasn’t had since the days of Todd Heap. He will be a to quick for linebackers and too big for defensive backs. Williams is not Rob Gronkowski but he is a match up conundrum for opposing defenses. 

Then in the 3rd round getting Carl Davis was Newsome’s way of reminding the NFL that he is the all powerful Oz of Baltimore. I had Davis pegged as a middle of round two player, the Ravens got him near the end of the third round. 

Davis is a big run stuffing defensive tackle who is as physically imposing as anybody on the football field. He’s not a great pass rusher but he will make you pay if you don’t double team him in the run game. This adds depth to an already impressive defensive front. 

The Ravens got argubally their third flat out steal of the draft when they took Kentucky pass rusher, Za’Darius Smith. Smith played Robin to Alvin Dupree’s Batman at Kentucky. Smith can do some damage though.

 The Ravens keep letting guys like Pernell McPhee go off to other teams in free agency. The Ravens though may keep Smith around more than four years. He has much potential and Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are not going to last forever. 

Javourious Allen was a really good pick; the running back from USC is like a young Justin Forsett. Allen wasn’t my top ranked remaining rusher but he fits the Ravens zone blocking scheme perfectly. 

After those great picks the Ravens could really do whatever they wanted. I mean they could have drafted me and it would still be a good draft. With their first five picks the Ravens accomplished more than some teams do in two drafts. 

Tray Walker is an interesting pick, because he is a big and physical cornerback. Nick Boyle was a head scratcher becuase the Ravens now have Williams, Pitta and an impressive Crockett Gillmore going into his second season. Darren Waller may be a diamond in the rough, as he is a big bodied wide reciever from a college that runs on almost every snap.
So there you have it, my late but thorough two cents on the Ravens 2015 draft class. 

Baltimore Ravens: Small Trade, Big Deal

Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens rule the world. I mean they must if they can get a 4th round pick for Gino Gradkowski. Thats right, the Denver Broncos gave the Ravens a 4th round pick for Gradkowski and a future 5th round pick.

The Ravens won the trade. They got rid of a center they had no interest in starting, and got some cap space as well. The Ravens will likely get that 2016 5th rounder back in the form of a compensatory pick.

The Broncos get a undersized center with little strength and one year of bad experience. The Ravens probably would have taken anything for Gradkowski, and they got a valuable 4th round pick.

You can get some good talent in the 4th round, though its a hit or miss kind of thing. Gradkowski was a 4th round pick. Other notable Ravens 4th round picks include: Lorenzo Taliaferro, Brent Urban, Kyle Juszczyk, Dennis Pitta and Jarrett Johnson.

So the Ravens trade may seem like a small scale thing, but it was a pretty good haul for a bad player. The Broncos may regret this trade. Gradkowski simply wasn’t worth it.

A Whole Lot Of Ngata

Chris Schisler

The Baltimore Ravens have a tough decision to make with Haloti Ngata, their star veteran defensive tackle. Ngata will cost the Ravens $16 million in cap space this season.

Haloti Ngata is one of the greatest Ravens of all time. He had a resurgent 2014 season. The problem is that you don’t pay players for sentimental reasons but rather what you can expect to get out of them on the field. Ngata is worth a lot, but his contract is a burden.

It is arguable that the Ngata contract could be one if the worst contracts ever drawn up by the Ravens. The Ravens and Ngata agreed to a 5 year $61 million dollar deal in 2012. In that time Ngata has been hampered by several injuries. The Ravens got a lot from Ngata, but it was not always to the level of his salary. Now the deal is the Ravens biggest roadblock to a productive offseason.

The Ravens are prepared to cut Ngata if an cap space relieving extension cannot be agreed to. It would be a sad day but the Ravens are equipped to move on. Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan are two young studs at the same position. The Ravens also expect big things from Brent Urban in 2015. The Ravens talent pool along the defensive line does not exactly give Ngata leverage.

The goal is to extend Ngata’s contract. This would insure that he will retire in purple and black. The situation is comparable to the Terrell Suggs extension. Though according to reports, the negotiations are not going swimmingly; Ngata turned down the Ravens first proposed pay cut.

The Ravens surely still intend to cut Ngata’s cap hit in half. It is understandable that Ngata wouldn’t want to take less, the 9 year starter is facing his career’s mortality. it is however in his best interests to restructure. There is no guarantee another team will offer a big contract to him; Ngata is valued most as a Raven.

The Ravens are left with no choice in this matter. The team came close to Super Bowl glory with the worst secondary in the NFL; a wisely spent offseason could get the Ravens back to the big game. Haloti Ngata and his cap space cannot get in the way of this.

The Ravens have a way of working things out at the last minute. But Baltimore fans should cross their fingers for a resolution between Ngata and the team. Otherwise the Ravens have to move on from the fan favorite defensive tackle.

Ravens Should Fix Secondary Via Free Agency

Chris Schisler

There is no denying that the Baltimore Ravens have big needs in the backend of the defense. These needs should be met via free agency.

The Ravens have never been the type of franchise that tries to win the day, as soon as free agency starts. Instead they are patient, they resign their own and get the free agent leftovers.

This year the Ravens absolutely need to fix the secondary, and they need to do it through free agency. It is highly questionable that a rookie cornerback or safety will come in and make a huge difference right away. They need a veteran to lead the way in the secondary.

There are some intriguing free agents at the cornerback position. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Flowers, Chris Culliver and Buster Skrine are just a few that come to mind.

Revis, the most expensive option would be a game changer. Paired with Jimmy Smith, the Ravens would arguably have the best duo in football. The truth is though that any of the above players would make a huge impact on this team.

Devin McCourty would also be a game changer, though at the free safety position. Before the injury to Smith, the free safety position was the Ravens biggest weakness.

The Ravens cannot risk drafting another defensive back that they expect to be a starter. Matt Elam has been awful. Darian Stewart has been worse. Terrence Brooks shows potential but is still an unpolished option. Will Hill is the Ravens best option on the roster, he can play either free or strong if he returns.

The Ravens mission must be to get a short term answer through free agency. The team is so close to another Super Bowl, patch up the secondary and the Ravens could win it all. The draft may provide a longterm solution, but right now the Ravens cannot wait.

Potential Kubiak Replacements

Chris Schisler

The writing is on the wall that Gary Kubiak is leaving to be the Denver Broncos next head coach. The Ravens hope the writing on the wall was done in pencil, that there is nothing to this and they can erase the possibility of losing Kubiak. Here is a list of potential replacements if Kubiak heads to Denver.

1.) Rick Dennison
The Ravens QB coach was a package deal with Kubiak. He has worked under Kubiak for the bulk of his career. Dennison would possibly not be allowed to leave with Kubiak. The Ravens would love to keep the offense on 2015’s stellar tuning. The concern here would be experience as a play caller. The positive would be keeping the same offense that fits the Ravens so well.

2.) Kyle Shanahan
Baltimore brass interviewed Shanahan last year and it is thought that he impressed the Ravens. Shanahan would keep a similar offense to Kubiak’s which would make the transition easier. If Mike Shanahan is still in consideration for a head coaching gig, then his son Kyle will follow. Availability would be the main concern.

3.) Jim Zorn
Joe Flacco did not seem happy to see Jim Zorn go, when he was relieved of his quarterback coach position in 2010. Zorn meshes with Flacco and thats the big thing here. Zorn is known as a failed head coach for Washington, but come on it was the Redskins after all. Zorn probably won’t get the consideration he needs and deserves but I’d like it if they went with Zorn.

Joe Perfect To The Ravens

Chris Schisler

John Harbaugh gave the talking heads exactly what they wanted by declaring Joe Flacco the best quarterback in football. This has gotten many riled up, but what do you want him to say about his Super Bowl MVP QB?

In terms of talent and statistics its hard to beat Aaron Rodgers. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s names are as prevalent in the record book than books are in a library. By normal standards Joe is not number one.

Beauty is often said to be in the eye of the beholder. To John Harbaugh and the Ravens, nothing is nicer than having Joe Flacco as their quarterback. Joe Flacco may not be perfect in your eyes but to the Ravens he is.

He is a big and durable quarterback that can survive the beating AFC North play provides. He can throw the football with zip in any weather. He steps up in the biggest moments of the biggest games. Joe Flacco is not perfect but the results are pretty damn wonderful.

It is amazing that this article needs to be written in the first place. I constantly have to keep the appreciate Joe Flacco drum. It is a job I’ll continue to do with pride as more people need to drown out the loud minority (The Down With Flacco crowd).

How can you blame John Harbaugh for showing pride in the quarterback he has won a lot of games with?

Flacco & Harbaugh Are The New Brady & Belichick

Ever since Tom Brady stepped in for Drew Bledsoe, Bill Belichick’s Patriots have thrived. Brady and Belichick are the all time winningest QB-Coach combination in NFL history. Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens are catching up.

Joe Flacco was not even supposed to be the starter for the Ravens in 2008, but with a hurt Troy Smith and an ill Kyle Boller, Flacco was given the reigns. John Harbaugh now had a rookie quarterback to work with in his own rookie year as a coach. Nobody would have guessed that Baltimore would be playing in the AFC Championship game that season.

The Ravens have now made the playoffs in 6 of the past 7 years. Its hard to believe that this is the 7th season of the Harbaugh/Flacco era, an era which has seen no losing seasons for Baltimore. The Ravens impressive QB-Coach duo is an impressive 71-37 record. They have played in 3 AFC Championship games and have won a Super Bowl.

The Ravens play the Patriots on Saturday, the winner advances to the AFC Championship game. The two best QB-Coach duos of this generation will collide for their 4th playoff meeting. The first was in 2009 when the Ravens hammered the Patriots in the wild card round. The other two meetings were for a trip to the Super Bowl. The Patriots won in 2011 and the Ravens redeemed themselves in 2012.

The Ravens have consistently been the thorn in the Patriots side. No matter the result, the game was always brutally physical. It was Bill Belichick himself who recommended that the Ravens interview John Harbaugh. Now it is John Harbaugh who is emulating Belichick’s success.

Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh are the new Brady and Belichick. They have the special something that results in win after win. Harbaugh is a players coach who runs an organized and impressive machine of a football team. Flacco is a clutch passer who steps up to the biggest moments. Together they are almost unstoppable. Saturday has such an historic context for these two duos and their teams.,

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