The Ravens press conference today was quite different, no head coach or players taking to the microphone. Instead the lead coordinators in all three facets of the game were on camera, and helped to expand on their particular units. Marc Trestman, the offensive coordinator, politely answered questions and went in-depth when possible to inform reporters and anybody watching.
The most notable question pertained to Trestman’s focus this season. Whether it be a run-pass balance, or if the games themselves delegate the plan week to week.
“I think it always does,” Trestman said. “You’re looking to make sure that every defense respects your ability to be able to run the football, and every defense knows that you have a willingness to throw it, because you have confidence that you can protect the quarterback and get it done. You see how these games go week to week in the National Football League. Whatever offense you’re in, it all starts with a sound, physical running game. I think everybody wants to have that, and that’s no different with us. We want to make sure that ... We’re excited about what we’re going to be doing with our running game. We’re still an outside-zone team, and we’re working to complement that with other things as we move along.”
Wow, a lot to analyze in this answer alone.
First, the Baltimore Ravens just as they’ve done every season, expect teams to respect their ability to run the rock. That’s always a point of emphasis for the Charm City squad.
Up next, the stern tone Marc used when saying, “. . . and every defense knows that you have a willingness to throw it, because you have confidence that you can protect the quarterback and get it done,” speaks volumes. He’s confident the offensive line will be strong to support QB Joe Flacco. He’s confident in rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley to keep Joe upright. He believes his receiving group is capable of putting up points through the air, rather than the team pounding the rock relentlessly. He’s confident that they can adjust every Sunday to find holes in the oppositions defense and win games.
Finally, the Ravens are still an outside-zone squad. The past two seasons Baltimore has bred success by this running style. It’s my personal favorite, and I believe it is the most noteworthy scheme in run-game history. Mike Shanahan produced 1,000 yard backs like clockwork due to this style. Marshawn Lynch, though a power back, ran in a zone blocking scheme and made plays everywhere, rather than only between the tackles. Arian Foster is another successful tailback from zone blocking. If your lead back rushes 1,500 yards behind it, you keep the same running style. That’s exactly what the Ravens are doing this season.