While the rest of the NFL is distracted by that silly pastime called the Super Bowl -- which becomes silly if the Ravens aren't in it, right? --the Baltimore brass gets to work on next year.
As they say, Ravens Football Never Ends.
The focus is the Senior Bowl, the focus is draft position, the focus is rebuilding, or more accurately, retooling. Shoring up. Reloading.
We at Baltimore Beatdown will do our part.
Why not have a running weekly poll on who the top 20 Ravens players are?
It will certainly change in weeks to come. Many things could affect a top 20 poll. Just look at the ESPN.com top 20 Ravens poll, arranged by author Jamison Hensley's surveying a number of relevant Baltimore writers:
Wow. 35% of this poll didn't even finish the season. 10% never played one down. 15% Didn't play an entire game. Need I go on?!
The good news is, players that now would be considered for this list had an opportunity to show their abilities in the 'next man up' circumstances: Kamar Aiken, Buck Allen, Za'darius Smith.
Pro Football Focus has their comprhensive player ratings, alebit nearly impossible to assemble in a top 20 format, I roughed it out and extracted their final gradings. The numbers are surprisingly low:
Clearly, this list is not filtered for number of snaps taken. Will Davis and Sheldon Price are included with minimal play. And yes, it does seem that some of the grades of well-regarded players are low. I'm sure you noticed that Joe Flacco is not on this list, with a 68.5 grade. Neither are either of the Ravens starting Inside Linebackers--or any linebackers except one. On the other hand, a lot of the "Average Starter" grades are young players who seem to be on the upswing. Will Hill has panned out exceptionally well and is above average. 4/5 of the starting Offensive Line graded out above average, the defensive line showed up well, also. So, with health, one or two great draft picks, and the return to form of team leaders Flacco, Forsett, Suggs and Jimmy Smith (who graded out pretty poorly at a 50.7, which PFF calls "Below Replacement" Level), the Ravens look to be right back in the thick of things.
My addition and hopefully, upgrade to these lists will be a Top 20 for which I will use a formula that I am conjuring up right now, under the bleachers, to produce and adjust as need be, each week. I can assure you that Sheldon Price will not make my list. I can assure you that Joe Flacco will.
I also want to invite you, True Believer, to submit your Top 20 below in the comments or by tweeting @BmoreBeatdown or @chrisbraven and I will include 1 to 2 of them each week, along with your attributed comments. Let's have fun with this.
Maybe, just maybe, the players will get ahold of these lists and start their own competition to try and make them, iron sharpening iron and them pushing each other down the 1 Winning Drive towards greatness.
Or, they might just enjoy an offseason vacation to Aruba and not know that this exists.
Either way, Raven football never stops.