These past 7 months have been crazy. A dropped/stripped, whatever you wanna call it, pass away from going to the super bowl. With barely enough cap space we brought in a few good players in free agency, but let a few good ones of ours go. The draft came and went, we picked up 8 solid players who can contribute right away. Terrell Suggs tore his ACL or MCL which made picking Courtney Upshaw with our first pick that more important. We signed Ray Rice to a 5 year, $40 million deal. And Ed Reed continued his streak of flirting with retirement every year.
Where are we now? Well, Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain both weigh about 240. People are saying that Flacco looks the best he’s ever looked. Dennis Pitta broke his hand. And Sergio Kindle is making the most out of his, to him at least, last chance to make the team. What I’ve read about and watched is a tremendous youth infusion in our team, and a shifting of the tides. For about as long as any Ravens fan can remember, it was always defense defense defense. Now, Joe Flacco and the offense look ready to take their talent to the next level. We seem to have new receivers stepping up, like Tandon Doss, Laquan Williams, maybe even Deonte Thompson. Although the offensive line might seem to be in pieces, at the end (like at the start of every season) it will all come together. With Bobbie Williams, Marshal Yanda, Michael Oher, Matt Birk and hopefully Bryant McKinnie, the line should be stable with young players and rookies ready to step up like Gino Gradkowski, K.O. (Kelechi Osemele), Ramon Harewood and even the undrafted RT from the University of Illinois Jack Cornell (get used to hearing his name). With the amount of youth we have on the offense, and the building of chemistry between Joe, the line and the receivers, this year could be when the Ravens’ offense finally takes flight.
I haven/t really said much about the defense, but that’s because nothing has really changed. Of course, the SAM linebacker spot is open and the loss of Terrell Suggs leaves a huge hole. But we thought similarly when Ray Lewis was lost for four games last season and we ended up going 4-0 during that stretch of games. Our defense is meant to survive these types of hardships, that’s why the widely accepted motto of the Ravens is “The Next Man Up”. We always have guys lined up and ready to go, guys like Jimmy Smith, Pernell McPhee, Paul Kruger, even Sergio Kindle. Courtney Upshaw is on his way and I’m sure we will see him on the field this season, no doubt. Even though our defense may look like damaged goods, there’s a whole ton of pain and hitting still left in our tank.
I don’t know if it’s because the preseason is a week away, but I cannot wait for football. It’s been a long time coming, but the moment for these unproven players and rookies is finally here. It’ll be fun watching.
*this was a post from my blog at www.baltimoreravensblogger.com, hope you enjoyed!
The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!