How each AFC team can take the Chiefs’ place at Super Bowl LVI - Gregg Rosenthal
2nd AFC North · 11-5, 1-1 playoffs
The Ravens must: add dimensions to the passing attack.
Helping to further support quarterback Lamar Jackson is a two-part process. First, Baltimore needs to add multiple pass catchers who can take advantage of all the favorable coverage the Ravens’ running game dictates. Marquise Brown was the only wide receiver on the team who could play for most quality offenses. Baltimore missed the versatility tight end Hayden Hurst brought before being traded to Atlanta last offseason. General manager Eric DeCosta must add playmakers to the mix, but part of the change needs to come from offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s approach. The Ravens brag about the depth of their rushing playbook, but spending all that practice time on the ground attack leaves less room to work on a passing game that lacked the ability to adjust and became predictable. Baltimore took this extreme run-heavy offense as far as it could go, and it wasn’t quite far enough.
Report: Zach Orr to Join Jaguars Defensive Staff - Clifton Brown
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reported that Coaching Analyst/Defense Zachary Orr will join the Jacksonville Jaguars, likely as Linebackers Coach under new Head Coach Urban Meyer.
The 28-year-old Orr has been on the Ravens staff since 2017, working with former Ravens Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen who became Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator last month.
Orr would become the fourth departure from the Ravens’ staff this offseason. Former Linebackers Coach Mike Macdonald is now the Defensive Coordinator at Michigan and former Defensive Backs Coach Jesse Minter is the Defensive Coordinator at Vanderbilt.
PFF’s All-Old Man Team: Most impressive late-career, single-season performances at each position since 2006 - Ben Linsey
WR DERRICK MASON, BALTIMORE RAVENS (2008)
Age at start of season: 34
Mason was comfortably rookie quarterback Joe Flacco’s top target in 2008, earning 42 more targets than anyone else on the team during the regular season. The 34-year-old was efficient with those targets, as well. His 90.0 receiving grade ranked second in the league behind only then-Carolina Panther Steve Smith, and Mason’s 11 missed tackles forced after the catch were a top-10 mark at the position.
RG MARSHAL YANDA, BALTIMORE RAVENS (2019)
Age at start of season: 34
Few offensive linemen in the past 20 years were as consistently dominant as Yanda spanning a 13-year career from 2007 to 2019. His final season was no exception. The Ravens’ offensive line was one of the drivers of their success in 2019, and Yanda was at the center of it.
RT WILLIE ANDERSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS (2008)
Age at start of season: 33
Anderson’s 86.0 PFF grade ranked fifth among qualifying right tackles in 2008, and he was one of the more well-rounded players at the position
LB RAY LEWIS, BALTIMORE RAVENS (2011)
Age at start of season: 36
Lewis had lost a step in coverage, but he was still a solid coverage linebacker — especially considering his age — and remained elite against the run. His 90.7 run-defense grade during the regular season ranked first among qualifying linebackers, and his 44 run stops were a top-10 mark with few missed tackles to speak of.
J.J. Watt Landing Spots: What a trade in 2021 could look like - Andy Gallagher
The context of J.J. Watt’s career arc
Watt will turn 32 in March, so his best days could be behind him. There shouldn’t be any shortage of suitors for the future Hall of Famer, though.
His contract could make it unlikely that the Texans trade him, as he has a cap hit of $17.5 million in 2021. That could bring the asking price down, however, and there are plenty of teams with the draft capital and cap space to make a move.
While his future ultimately lies in the hands of the Texans, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo made it clear that Watt is looking for one thing in particular. “He certainly wants to play for a winner,” Garafolo reported. “He’s been to the playoffs in his career, but he wants to go deep into the playoffs, deeper than he’s ever been.”
The Ravens have traded effectively in recent years, bringing in productive veterans such as Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Marcus Peters without giving up high draft picks.
Matt Judon, who led the team in sacks, is a free agent this offseason, as is Ngakoue and Pernell McPhee. If the Ravens are looking to add a pass rusher, Watt’s versatility will appeal to defensive coordinator Don Martindale. No quarterback would want to see Watt and Campbell bringing interior pressure, and it would ease the Ravens’ reliance on blitzes.