To the Ravens news...
The Ravens defense was really good for much of the season. While the offense played conservative as quarterback Joe Flacco’s back healed and his banged-up blockers gelled, the defense carried Baltimore to some early-season wins.
Baltimore’s defense finished short of its goal of being the best in the league, but it led the NFL in takeaways and gave up the sixth-fewest points.
The taste left in its mouth, however, will be the fourth-and-12 conversion from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, which kept the Ravens out of the playoffs for a third-straight year.
So, how much change can the defense expect this offseason? It will have a new coordinator as Wink Martindale replaces Dean Pees, but other than that, not much.
One way for the Ravens to get their offense to click is by targeting Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham when free agency begins on March 14. While a lot of the focus has been on wide receivers like Jarvis Landry and Sammy Watkins, the addition of Graham makes sense for the NFL’s No. 29 offense.
Flacco loves throwing to tight ends, whether it’s Todd Heap or Dennis Pitta or even 37-year-old Benjamin Watson (who led Baltimore in receptions this past season). Since entering the NFL in 2008, Flacco has targeted tight ends on 1,090 passes. Only Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady have thrown more to tight ends.
Hosts Phil Gentile and Logan Levy are joined by Purple Reign Show Senior Draft Analyst Matt Wise to discuss the upcoming NFL combine, Senior Bowl takeaways and to answer your NFL draft questions. In addition, the guys give out their ‘Arnie Palmies’ of the week and more!
Systems matter, but so does personnel. What the Eagles did was part of a strong system, but their depth was outstanding. They had players that could step up in a ‘next man up’ mentality and take care of the job. If the Ravens believe they have a winning system, they need to continue supplementing it with players capable of executing the system, no matter the situation. Not everybody is replaceable, but as the Eagles proved, the right coaching decisions and the right personnel can do anything. Nobody thought they’d be able to overcome the loss of a quarterback like Carson Wentz, but they did.
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