...from the new coach, regardless of who ends up being hired:
- Steve McNair is done. Take the cap hit and let him go find another team to play for. He needs to prove he still has it and wants to retire on his terms and go out with his head up high.
- Kyle Boller has proven over the past years that he is not the future of this franchise. Either keep him as the backup for one more year (he signed a one year extension earlier this season) or let him go as well.
- Make Troy Smith the starting QB for 2008. He proved he at least deserves a chance to compete based on the final two games of the 2007 season. A full season of starting will let us know if he has a chance to be the future. If he doesn't show that he is making the progress necessary to place our faith in him, then we can draft a future QB in the 2008 draft. If he plays poorly, we will have a bad record and therefore a high draft choice to pick a QB (Tim Tebow?).
- If Boller stays, then he can back up Smith. If he goes, then find a decent backup through free agency, where there should be a plethora of options.
- Sign a shutdown cornerback in free agency (Assante Samuel). Give him the big bucks to pair him alongside of a healthy Chris McAlister, which will make a huge difference and vault this defense back to the feared group it's used to being.
- Sign Pittsburgh's guard Alan Fanaca in free agency. Convince Ogden to give us one more year (what a great left side of an offensive line!) and move Jason Brown to center. Release Mike Flynn (saves us cap space) and the right side of the o-line (Ben Grubbs, Marshall Yanda) should improve in 2008.
- Draft a big, fast wide receiver, a big cornerback and a bruising running back (to spell McGahee), although not necessarily in that order. If Trevor Pryce does not return or is not healthy, then add a pass rushing defensive end to the top of that list.
- Get everybody healthy. Have the new coach get eveyone together and let them know in no uncertain terms that they are expected to act like professionals once they step between the while lines and if they act independently and throw temper tandrums on the field (Bart Scott), they will be sat down, singled out and publicly humiliated (Bart Scott).
- Hire an offensive coordinator who is not afraid to take chances. Design a game plan to fit the players, not a stubborn philosophical system that the players must fit into.
Note: Detroit's O-coordinator is supposed to be fired and would be a great offensive mind to jump start the Ravens offense under a new young coach (please, please not Bill Cowher. I just couldn't bring myself to cheer for him.)
- Put all these pieces in place and I promise you, this Ravens team will definitely be competitive in 2008, and the "rebuilding" status will become a "reloading" status!