This afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens will hold their annual State of the Ravens press conference. Every year during this press conference, they recap the season that was and talk about what they need to improve on for next season. Other things pop up like certain positions that need to be addressed and on possible player movements and contracts. The usual crowd will be on hand, John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass and the man in charge Steve Bisciotti.
Bisciotti has been the full majority owner of the team since 2004, after being a minority owner from 2000-2003 behind Art Modell. Bisciotti has been recognized as one of the best owners in the NFL. He handles the business aspect of the team and lets his football people handle the rest. He's a mostly hands off owner who will only march into the room and light his cigar when there is a problem. The Ravens brass should be thankful they have an owner like Bisciotti who just handles his side of the team and doesn't interfere much.
While Bisciotti is great, he's the same guy who wanted to draft Lito Sheppard over Ed Reed and wanted to trade his entire 2008 draft selections to get Matt Ryan. While Sheppard had a good career, Ed Reed became the greatest safety to ever play the game and even though Matt Ryan has had a very good career so far, you never trade your entire draft selections for one player. Just ask the New Orleans Saints.
While Bisciotti's style has benefitted the Ravens, you have to wonder what is on his mind come this afternoon. What has he been thinking about and quite frankly, how angry must he be after the results of the last two seasons? Going 5-11 and 8-8 while missing the playoffs, including falling just one minute short of sweeping the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second year in a row is not going to make him a happy man.
How must he feel seeing this Ravens offense struggle with simple concepts and play calls, to go along with a complete refusal to run the football? The running game has been this teams bread and butter for years. Bisciotti knows that. How must he feel seeing the defense continue to struggle with holding leads year after year on a consistent basis? He can't be happy seeing a once dominant defense continue to be a shadow of their former selves and continue to live off a reputation. Yet, despite it all, no changes were made to the coaching staff by John Harbaugh. How does he feel about the inconsistent player development and player personnel?
Bisciotti is a guy that will stand back and let his employees go to work, all he asks in return is his employees give him 100% and the best results possible. Bisciotti is an owner who demands success and has worked hard to turn the Ravens from the team that was just happy to be there for a city that hadn't experienced pro football since 1983, to a perennial playoff contender and one of the model franchises in the NFL. He'll be darned if he sees all that effort go down the drain. That's why this years press conference is so interesting when it comes to the perspective of the Ravens owner.
The Ravens are on the brink of two possible directions. Either they adapt and evolve in an effort to make the playoffs or they remain a franchise that now all of a sudden just isn't good enough to even get in to the postseason. The one year where the AFC North and the AFC as a whole wasn't strong, the Ravens failed to make the playoffs. You know that has Steve Bisciotti steaming.
If there is one thing Bisciotti is besides an owner, its a fan. He will walk into this press conference frustrated that the team isn't preparing for a playoff game right now. Frustrated that they are, including playoffs, 32-34 since winning Super Bowl XLVII. Frustrated that the team was eliminated from playoff contention by its archrival. He's a fan, he wants to see the team succeed just as much as every hard working civilian in Baltimore because that is who Bisciotti was and still is.
At the press conference this afternoon, there will be no Raven more focused and determined to right the ship more than the teams owner. He will demand and trust that his now much maligned head coach and general manager can help him get the job done for 2017. Bisciotti will express his anger, but he will still trust his football decision makers such as Newsome when it comes to the draft, and Harbaugh when it comes to his coaching staff.
Trust and faith in his employees has gotten him this far, but another slip up and the boss might think he has to get more involved. Which might lead him to make drastic changes to the team’s brass. Steve Bisciotti doesn't want to do that, but as usual, he will step in if he has to.