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Ravens News 1/12: Playmakers Needed and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens OC Greg Roman Gets Vote of Confidence? - Todd Karpovich

“Coach Greg Roman has been great for us for these last couple of years since he stepped in,” Jackson said. “He’s a great coach, and we’re glad he’s here. I can’t get into that. I don’t really know what they’ve got going on upstairs. You’ve got to talk to ‘E.D.C.’ [executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta] and those guys about stuff like that. That’s not anything I … I don’t talk about stuff like that. He’s been good for us, though.”

Here’s a breakdown of the Ravens offense this season and where it ranked among the league’s 32 teams:

Points per game: 22.8 (17th)

Yards per game: 378.8, (6th)

Passing yards per game: 233 (13th)

Rushing yards per game: 145.8 (3rd)

“We have great running backs, we’ve got a great run game, but that passing game is going to help us even more, so we need to just keep doing that, keep getting better at that; keep getting better at everything – not just the passing game,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement with anything you do.”

Ravens Can’t Let 2021 Bleed Into 2022 - John Eisenberg

They’re counting on the return of running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, cornerbacks Marcus Peter and Marlon Humphrey, tackle Ronnie Stanley and several others who went down for all or part of the season. It’s exciting to think about seeing them all back on the field at full strength.

But nothing is assured. The Ravens were counting on Stanley and tight end Nick Boyle returning this year, and even though both rehabbed hard, they weren’t healthy enough to have the desired impact. Stanley played in one game. Boyle caught one pass.

As for what else went wrong in 2021, coming up one or two plays short in multiple games shouldn’t be dismissed as pure happenstance. Here’s what I think happened:

The Ravens finished with a minus-11 turnover ratio and a minus-7 touchdown ratio (scored to allowed), so for a variety of reasons, they absorbed far more haymaker punches than they delivered. They needed to make plays to catch up, and the demand exceeded what they could deliver.

The Ravens aren’t going anywhere until they reverse or at least level out that playmaking deficit, i.e., get more explosive and dynamic.

The roster will be tweaked accordingly, and as frustrating as the season was, it gives the Ravens a chance to add an immediate difference-maker with the No. 14 pick in the draft. My priority list: 1) offensive tackle, 2) defensive line, 3) cornerback.

Sizing up the Ravens’ 2022 class of free agents - Luke Jones

CB Anthony Averett The 2018 fourth-round pick went from a backup in training camp to finishing the season as Baltimore’s top cornerback due to multiple injuries, exposure that may ultimately price him right out of town.

C Bradley Bozeman PFF graded Bozeman 11th among qualified centers in his first year back at his old college position, but the sides have been slow to gain traction for an extension, making his exit more possible by the day.

S DeShon Elliott – The 2018 sixth-round pick out of Texas was a rock-solid starter in 2020, but he’s played more than six games in a season only once in four seasons, making it difficult to count on him filling a meaningful role.

OLB Justin Houston – Turning 33 later this month, Houston played better than 4 1/2 sacks would indicate in his first season with the Ravens and still has some juice left in a situational role at the right price.

FB Patrick Ricard – The three-time Pro Bowl selection is more valuable to Baltimore than virtually any other team, but it only takes one outside offer to change that outlook, especially as Ricard gets closer to hitting the open market.

DT Brandon Williams – The longtime nose tackle turns 33 next month and did play at a higher level upon returning from a midseason shoulder injury, but financial expectations and an expected youth movement could lead to his exit.

Weighing fifth-year options for 2019 NFL Draft’s first-round picks: To exercise or not to exercise? - Marc Ross

Pick 25

Marquise Brown

Baltimore Ravens · WR

Exercise the option? Yes.

Brown hasn’t been exactly what the Ravens hoped he’d be. Sure, he’s made enough big-time plays but there have also been some inconsistencies with drops (16 in three seasons) and injuries. It’s worth exercising his option but I would hold off on an extension.

2021 NFL All-Pro teams: Myles Garrett, Cooper Kupp, Micah Parsons and Joe Burrow make the cut - Sheil Kapadia

First-team TE: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Andrews was terrific this season, leading all tight ends with 1,361 yards. He produced 75 first downs, which were 12 more than any other tight end, and his nine touchdowns were tied for first. The Ravens’ offense suffered through inconsistencies all season long, but Andrews was the go-to target for whoever was playing quarterback, and he came through with a bunch of big plays that helped keep Baltimore competitive.

First-team kicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

This should come as no surprise. Tucker made a league-best 94.6% of his field goals and was 6-for-6 from 50 yards and beyond. He was also perfect (32-for-32) on extra points.