End of Season Press Conference
The Ravens had their end of season press conference today, where John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass, and Steve Bisciotti took questions from the media on the team’s 8-8 2016 campaign and plan moving forward. RSR staff react to what they heard here.
What Did We Learn Today at The State of the Ravens?
– Steve Bisciotti isn’t angry, he’s bewildered. That means perplexed or confused.
– Shareece Wright…he gone!
– The Ravens will add depth to the secondary and wide receiver but they won’t make splashes there in free agency.
– Not once today was the need for a new RB mentioned but Ozzie did say the Ravens plan on getting bigger and stronger across the offensive line. That’s code for, “Jeremy Zuttah…he gone!”
– When asked about why the NFL still has Thursday Night Football (the insinuation made was that it’s a bad product), Steve Bisciotti gave the Manziel money sign…then later said he doesn’t know a single owner that’s in it for the money.
Oh and on that note, ticket prices are going up…announcement coming in 2-4 weeks; and new escalators to the upper deck are being planned.
On to Jupiter, Florida for the Ravens brass, where they will begin to hammer out just how exactly to fix what went wrong with the team in 2016. The message was clear when it came to the performances of the players as owner Steve Bisciotti personally called out the poor play of Shareece Wright while Ozzie said the team needs a better secondary, another wide receiver and a stronger offensive line.
There were no earth-shattering announcements made and it was clear that Steve Bisciotti had no intention of firing anyone this offseason. I don’t think the staff will be so fortunate if 2017 plays out the same.
It’s always fun listening to Steve Bisciotti talk. Even when he’s not really announcing anything important, you get an idea how the mind of a self-made billionaire works. He can take something that we think is universally accepted (“Thursday Night Football is bad” for instance), and shine a whole new light on it, making us question our own assumptions.
He’s also very entertaining. You can tell that, although he chooses to stay in the background 99% of the time, these chances to address the fans and media are a bit cathartic for him. Ozzie & John give short, terse answers, while Steve will ramble for five minutes before coming back and tying his entire monologue together neatly at the end (unless Jerry Coleman asks the question, that is. Jerry gets one-word answers.)
All that said, not a lot of substance today. The main takeaway for me was that it sounded like Joe Flacco had a large influence on the decision to retain Marty Mornhinweg. If Joe again plays like he did in 2013 and 2016, then he might deserve even more criticism next time around. Hopefully he lobbied for Marty for all the right reasons, and the results reflect a coordinator and quarterback operating on the same page.
Well Steve Biscotti confirmed what we all speculated: John Harbaugh’s seat is hot. In a very frank and candid press conference, Biscotti outlined the team’s issues including the complexity thereof. He also publicly criticized Harbaugh’s coaching, Ozzie’s drafting and Joe Flacco’s play.
The writing is on the wall: Playoffs or bust in 2017 for Harbaugh.
In a lot of ways you have to respect Biscotti’s press conference. He avoided the “coach speak” style and was very specific with what he is thinking. Jupiter will be a very interesting set of meetings for the Ravens.
If people were tuning in in hopes of hearing a fired up owner issuing ultimatums, they were probably disappointed. Shareece Wright got the most public lashing but the Ravens were foolish for believing he was the answer opposite Jimmy Smith. Bisciotti basically admitted that they banked on the last six games of 2015 as evidence he should be rewarded with a three-year deal.
Joe Flacco was called out but was more or less excused because of his mental state coming off of a major knee injury.
Generally I was disappointed. It felt a lot like the press conferences during the season. A lot of the “we need to get better and we will get better” rhetoric we’ve gotten used to hearing recently. For me this is a team that’s lost the benefit of the doubt. I’ll start believing again when I see it.