Patience is a Virtue That Pays Dividends for Ravens

OzzieNewsome SB XLVII

Intoxicated by a Super Bowl Championship, the Ravens sobered up their fans with some unexpected personnel moves.

Their physical Super Bowl hero wide receiver traded away for what seems to be no more than a discount coupon at the grocery store – gone!

Two top young, promising defensive starters signed away by 2013 Ravens’ opponents – gone!

Eight starters in total missing from the Super Bowl XLVII winning team – gone!

Two local legends, sure-fire Hall of Famers – gone!

And Ozzie Newsome was the party pooper!

Fans thought Ozzie had lost it. Why let all of these players go who significantly impacted a championship?

NEWSFLASH!

Ozzie hasn’t lost it. In fact, he’s getting better at his job.

Those close to the Ravens GM will spout out the many fine attributes he possesses. But the one attribute that seems to be repeated most frequently, and it’s one that is so important in the salary cap era, is patience.

Ozzie will never set the market for free agents. His goal, his job really, is to distribute his resources (cap dollars) in a way that maximizes the quality of the roster.

So as the casual fan beats up Newsome for being asleep at the switch (I’ve even done that in years past) and not playing fantasy football, he’s hardly taking a snooze. Instead he’s seeking value.

Obtaining the likes of Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Michael Huff and a 2014 fourth round compensatory pick (could even be a No. 3) for the price of matching Cleveland’s offer for Paul Kruger is EXACTLY that – VALUE!

Sure, Ozzie has made some mistakes. Perhaps he paid Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs too much money. Time will tell. Maybe this offseason’s investment in the defensive line helps the investments in Nos. 92 and 55. Maybe they pay big dividends in 2013 and beyond.

But let’s remember that like players, the skill sets of the front office and coaches is anything but a stagnant situation. These men, Ozzie, Eric DeCosta, Joe Hortiz, John Harbaugh, all of the scouts and assistant coaches and even owner Steve Bisciotti are continually growing and improving in their roles.

If you had the luxury of spending some time with any of these men, you’d realize first and foremost just how intelligent they are; secondly how much they understand the game; and perhaps most importantly, they’ve forgotten more about football than most fans will ever know.

Does anyone think these guys want to lose?

Their jobs (save Bisciotti) hinge on winning just like your job is tied to the profitability of your employer.

The Ravens looked at last year’s defense and knew they needed to get younger and faster. Sure, they won the Super Bowl and had a great red zone stand to clinch it, but let’s not forget that the defense gave up a Super Bowl record 468 yards for a winning team. Changes had to be made. Remaining status quo was a recipe for failure in 2013.

And fortunately failure isn’t an option.

During the team’s press conference to close the 2012 season, the organization provided some hints as to how they would manage the team. They want to give their young talent a chance to perform. They want to get results from players who are looking to make their mark in the NFL when they team has them on the NFL’s minimum wage scale.

They were also reminded during the 2012 campaign of something very important.

You don’t have to be the best team early in the season.

You don’t have to have the best record during the regular season (hello Denver Broncos).

You just have to manage your team to get better and be in position to win your division.

Look around the AFC North. Does any team in the division scare you? Now imagine a more youthful Ravens squad, competing for the AFCN title – and they get it. They begin to gel late in the season and their place on the postseason dance card has been punched.

Like the Green Bay Packers 3 seasons ago; like the New York Giants 2 seasons ago; and like the Ravens last season, all you need is a chance and good things can happen.

Thankfully the Ravens have a patient GM, one who can step back and observe and then strike when the “right player, right price” surfaces.

Sit back and enjoy the ride Ravens fans.

The driver of this bus has skills!

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

10 Raves on “Patience is a Virtue That Pays Dividends for Ravens

  1. Curt on said:

    Completely agree. In addition to the common fan, most expert analysts don’t recognize value. I heard Bill Polian at ESPN talking about value but the vast majority simply don’t get it. In fact, I watched the NFL Network this morning and they still consider the Raven’s losers. The talk was about how much the Ravens lost by downgrading from Reed to Huff. It should should have been about age, cost, value and long term goals. Don’t forget about that cap expert the Ravens brought it in last year…..

  2. Racquel Smith on said:

    Ok. I was a little nervous when the mass exodus began, just like everyone else! But now I will just have faith in the front office to put things in place to do what we all want to do again and again, play well, win and go to the Super Bowl!,

  3. The Scarlet Raven on said:

    I need to read his (Ozzy) book, because he is a master at his craft. The current Ravens front office group is above most. They strive to better themselves each year. God Speed them all.

  4. g money on said:

    i feel like we are operating on a different level than all other franchises. i bet ozzie was laughing when the dolphins overpaid ellerbe, and when the browns overpaid kruger.

  5. DeputyDawg on said:

    Now that was a great article Tony, I for one ,saw it coming, but then I am an old guy and we tend to do that.
    We have no choice but to be patient and wait, lol.
    That D was embarrassing it was so bad, but fortunately it got on a roll in the playoffs, but almost lost to everyone except NE..
    Can you imagine how easy we would have won all those games if we had a top 5 D ?
    Easy would be a familiar term we would all be using today.
    Hey ,In God I trust, and thank him for a tremendous GM.

  6. ravcolt on said:

    As long as Ozzie does not neglect the most important part of the team I will be happy. I don’t want Joe five -game to be running for his life or getting pummeled back there.

  7. Rick S on said:

    Winning the Super Bowl creates a interesting dynamic that a team can either fight and ultimately lose, or they can ride the benefits of winning and accept the detriments graciously. The obvious detriment of winning the Super Bowl is that a bunch of other teams are willing to overpay for some of your players. If you are smart like Ozzie, you don’t overpay to keep players, but rather wish your departing players much success on the field in the future as they have already become financially successful with their new contracts. Now for the benefit of being the Super Bowl winner. There are a bunch of really good NFL players who want to be Ravens because it means to them a real opportunity at earning a Super Bowl ring. For these guys, the ring can be more important than the money, or at least as important. They want to be winners!! So far, Ozzie has played the game like the all pro he is. I really like the players the Ravens have signed so far. I am waiting until I see the guys in their public practice before the exhibition games to assess the Ravens prospects for another Super Bowl win. Right now, I have no reason to doubt an encore performance!!

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