Let’s get to the Ravens news...
While salaries don’t necessarily equal success and production, it’s a good indicator of the level of talent Baltimore will see. With names like Ben Roethlisberger, Carr, Stafford, Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers on their list of opponents, the Ravens will see some of the top quarterbacks the NFL has to offer. But it’s not just the established and well paid ones that could cause problems.
In order to justify a deal like that, though, Williams also knows that he needs to do more. He can't just be a two-down player and he can't just be a force against the run. He needs to push the pocket and get to the quarterback.
"I need to get my sacks up," Williams said, per ESPN.com. "I need to get my pass-rushing up. I am excited. I just had a meeting with our D-line coach, Coach [Joe] Cullen yesterday, about me kind of fine-tuning. I have the run-stop. I could still work on it, obviously, but I'm more just trying to work on my pass rush, trying to get out there and do the best I can."
It has been several years since the Ravens had a running back capable of producing a 1,000-yard season, and last season, they ranked 28th in average rushing yards. The Ravens' most promising option at this point looks like Terrance West, who rushed for 774 yards last season. Kenneth Dixon showed promise, but he'll miss the first four games because of suspension. West will be the main guy, at least for the first month. West is saying all the right things now, but the Ravens need to take a big step forward in this category. They've managed to get by with a so-so running game before, but they've missed the playoffs for two straight seasons while their average number of rushing attempts has dipped to franchise lows. If the Ravens have to put the season on Flacco's shoulders again (he was second in the NFL in passing attempts in 2016), they could struggle to find a way to make the postseason again this year. The offense must become more balanced if they want to improve on their 8-8 record.
The last thing I want to do is sound flip about these unfortunate developments. Pitta's injury cast a pall over the entire organization. Waller blew a wonderful opportunity to put his career on sound footing. There's nothing funny about any of that.
But in any case, the stable of six tight ends is down to four, and the potential for more drama is undeniable. Benjamin Watson, Nick Boyle, Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams all generate questions about their ability to contribute in 2017.
The Ravens put a large investment into Jefferson, and despite the fact that he hasn’t yet played a game wearing Ravens uniform, all signs are pointing in the right direction for a successful time in Baltimore. It isn’t common to see a young player draw this type of praise from not only the established stars at the same position, but also the head coach.
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