Ozzie Still Has Some Work to Do

Ozzie close up 728

Despite the retirement of the face of the franchise, and not re-signing perhaps the best safety in NFL history, there were still high hopes going into 2013.

But if last season proved anything, it was that a Super Bowl victory can certainly set unrealistic expectations for a completely different team heading into the following year.

Fast forward to the sound of the bell on Tuesday at 4PM, signaling the official start of free agency. The Ravens entered the new league year with more question marks than in years past.

However in the last few days a lot of questions have been answered.

Inside linebacker should be set. With Daryl Smith back in the fold and high expectations for Arthur Brown, the Ravens should feel secure enough at that position. Josh Bynes provides depth.

Eugene Monroe was perhaps the biggest signing of the offseason so far. He provides the most stability the Ravens have had at left tackle since Jonathan Ogden and bringing him back was absolutely essential.

Jacoby Jones isn’t a number two receiver, but he is a game changer. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He has single-handedly won several games for the Ravens over the last two seasons. While some may scoff at this, there’s a good chance the Ravens don’t win a Super Bowl without him.

He should have been the MVP of that game, not Flacco.

Steve Smith isn’t what he was five years ago, but signing him is huge for the Ravens. He’s a five time Pro Bowler, and if you don’t think he’ll play with a chip on your shoulder you’re wrong. Carolina might be a great place to play, but it ain’t Baltimore.

Smith seems like a guy who will embrace the passion Ravens fans bring. Financially it makes sense, schematically it makes sense.

There’s a reason the Ravens wasted no time pursuing him.

He fits.

So with all this said, where do the Ravens stand? Are they finished?

Free safety and the line still seem like two glaring needs.

Michael Oher is a Titan, and while a lot of fans aren’t sad to see him go, he leaves a big void to fill. Despite his affection for false starts, he never missed a game in his five year career. That’s quite a feat for such a physical position.

The Ravens need to add some depth on the O-line. Chances are Kelechi Osemele is moved to right tackle. Upgrading the interior of the offensive line is considered a priority. But it has yet to be addressed.

Free safety is another need. While there were a lot of options on the market at the start of free agency, they were quickly scooped up. This may be a need best addressed in the draft, as several mocks have the Ravens taking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He’s a better option than anyone at this point and would be a great first round pick.

Ozzie has done a great job, and the Ravens seemed poised to bounce back and compete for the AFC North in 2014. However, they still have some holes to fill.

With some cap space and the draft they seem to be in good shape.

Missing the playoffs for the first time in six years doesn’t sit well in Baltimore.

Don’t expect it to happen again in 2014.

What need(s) must the Ravens address next in free agency? (Choose up to 2)
Total voters: 1594
Center (43%)
Right Tackle (20%)
Left Guard (8%)
Free Safety (25%)
Running Back (3%)
Backup QB (1%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones is a native of Belair MD and has been a Ravens fan since they came to Baltimore in 1996. He is a co-founder a Ravens Nation North, a group of displaced Ravens fans who get together every week to cheer for their home team. He is married to...more

18 Raves on “Ozzie Still Has Some Work to Do

  1. Thrall on said:

    No, Jacoby shouldn’t have been the MVP, Joe carried the offense in that game. Losing Oher doesn’t leave a ” big void “, we have guys on the roster that can step up ( Wagner, Osmele ), and there are cheaper options out there ( Winston ). Ha Ha isn’t that good, he’s not a ballhawk. Zack Martin will be the pick if he’s still there, unless at least 10 other teams suffer a concussion getting out of bed, and Watkins/Evans fall.

    • Ebuhuel on said:

      I agree with thrall. Jacoby was great in superbowl but flacco deserved mvp. The total game has to be accounted for and flacco had some great stats according to pff in the superbowl.

        • James on said:

          No, but did Jones throw three touchdowns and complete 66% of his passes?

          You ask a stupid answer your going to get a stupid response.

          Yes the kick return was big, but Flacco completely dictated how that first half went. He was the main reason Baltimore had the lead going into the second half.

    • Tim on said:

      Flacco had a great game, but Jacoby set several super bowl records. There’s definitely an argument to be made for Jacoby as super bowl MVP. I would’ve given it to Flacco, but it’s absolutely not an uninformed idea. Regardless, I don’t think the point was about the MVP, it’s that Ozzie has made some pretty good moves so far. I agree with the guy who commented above that Mack would be a great addition. I think he costs too much money, but I’m holding out hope.

  2. Greg on said:

    “he should have been MVP not Flacco”. Stopped reading right there. That’s just uninformed. Jacoby played huge in that game, but you’re just trying to be contrarian by saying that and you know it. When your QB plays flawlessly, with a 124 passer rating, and 3 TDs, and makes the biggest play of the game (3rd down to Boldin), and to cap off what everyone already knew was a great postseason run, the QB has to be MVP.

    This is the kind of ignorant crap I’ve come to expect from here and why I come here less and less. if its not copy paste material with no analysis, its unsubstantiated opinions like this. This is writing? Just curious do you guys just like bang this stuff out in 15 minutes at 2 am, or does any effort actually go into the articles? Or is click fishing the order of the day now?

    • Ryan Jones on said:

      Hey Greg,
      Sorry you disagree with that point. However, I do believe Jacoby deserved that MVP. He had 290 all purpose yards, which was a Super Bowl record. He had the longest play in Superbowl history with his 108 yard kickoff return. And he had a 56 yard touchdown reception which was on an underthrown ball by Flacco where he had the presence to get up and still score. I agree that Flacco played great all postseason and in that game, but the MVP award is for that individual game, not the entire post season.

      Even if you disagree I dont think it’s an unsubstatiated opinion.


  3. akacrow on said:

    Ozzie is going to go play golf for a few weeks, we don’t need to waste cap space on non-factors. Most of our needs are filled, and there is still the draft and the second wave of free agency.

  4. Sarcasticfury on said:

    To me Center and FS are the only glaring needs left. LT is shored up, LG isn’t a need until the Ravens evaluate K.O., RG is shored up with Yanda, and RT isn’t that important. As for a good FS I’d say the Ravens can sign one and draft a guy in the lower round to develop him.

  5. John on said:

    The author of this blog is WRONG about Jacoby should`ve won the MVP award. Flacco 11 td`s & 0 int`s in the playoffs including the SB.

  6. david on said:

    Champ Bailey at Free Safety…..he could easily be the next Rod Woodson! Keep Osemele at LG. Wagner should be able to fill at at RT, but you can never have too many good O-linemen……draft O-line. The receiving corps of Smith, Smith, Jones, Pitta and Brown should be good as long as they can protect Joe and run the ball. Another TE would be nice, but not at a high price. O-line and DB’s should always be a draft priority! DB’s of the Seattle mode….big and physical. Not the dwarfs that teams get just because they are quick!

  7. Jon Fazzone on said:

    Oz will sit out the rest of Free Agency unless RT EWinston will take 1 Year…Ozzie will most likely trade down at least once (Philly) and Possibly Again out of 1st Round to Texans …I can dream !!! Great Job by Ozzie so far…So much better offseason than last year…

  8. Jay on said:

    For the rest of free agency I like Cromartie for free safety and a veteran like Kyle Cook or David Baas at center. Then we can can go o line in the first round (Zack Martin would be perfect cuz both him and KO can play rt or LG) while goin tight end/wide receiver in the second/third rounds and running back in the fourth. Back to Antonio Cromartie for free safety though, call me crazy but he could be the perfect compliment at that spot in our secondary. We have the big physical corner, the smaller quick corner who can follow the slot guy around, the heat/hit seeking missile at ss in Matt Elam… all we need is an athletic playmaker at fs just like Ozzie said. If we’re talking about champ Bailey at free safety then tell me why not Cromartie? Six years younger, way bigger and faster than Champ and all the other options are just guys like huff was last year and you see how that worked out. If Ozzie can get him to get on board with it like only he can then I don’t think Cromartie would be able to say no. You need a versatile and great secondary to be a winner in today’s nfl (see Seattle, Denver, New England) and Cromartie rhymes with Lombardi. Make it happen Ozzie.

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