Ravens March to The Beat of Balance in 2014

Bisciotti Mini Camp 728
Photo Credit: Baltimore Ravens

It likely wasn’t luck that the Ravens were able to bring in some premier players after the first barrage of free agency. It took a bit more than that to fulfill Ozzie Newsome’s grand scheme.

Reeling in guys like Steve Smith, Jeremy Zuttah, and even Justin Forsett weren’t just “helpful additions” that look good big-picture. They were more than just tokens of the free agency process.

Each move was the result of hard work and planning. And when it all boils down, every addition the Ravens made was getting both sides of the ball back to one thing that wins Championships — balance.

While it’s a simple aspect of a depth chart that often goes overlooked, Newsome and his staff clearly put emphasis on getting the team back to the playoffs with a sturdy group across the board.

It’s evident with every move made.

For young Lorenzo Taliaferro, a player looking to prove himself after an arrest earlier in the offseason, there’s Justin Forsett, a proven veteran that will be looking to outwork the rookie every day in practice.

Fanatics SaleFor veteran Owen Daniels there’s Crockett Gilmore, a third-round addition that knows he has the ability to get reps in this offense. Gilmore isn’t going to take camp and preseason lightly, forcing Daniels to give it 110% even as his window in the NFL closes.

When the Ravens brought in Steve Smith, the groundwork was laid for a steady, balanced receiving corps. For the youth that the team has stacked on the depth chart, the former Panther-standout will be there guiding, and likely teaching them throughout his time in the purple and black.

On the defensive side, it’s hard not to see balance everywhere you turn. While there’s positional balance in individual positions like the offense, the overall framework of the unit is balanced. The front-7 has a mix of young (Williams, McPhee, Tyson, Jernigan) and old (Canty, Suggs, Ngata) – while the secondary has much of the same (Webb and Ross for guys like Brooks, Jackson and Elam).

It’s very evident when you look at the linebacking corps and dissect the rotation. Newsome was clearly felt comfortable adding C.J Mosley with Daryl Smith on the roster. Having a veteran presence like Smith has and will continue to benefit guys like Mosley and Arthur Brown.

The off-season didn’t have the mindset of “fix one thing and it all will work out”. That isn’t how the Ravens operate.

They don’t care if they already have several above-average tight end options. They wanted to get their guy in Gilmore. Now they can develop the unit’s potential plus create another mentoring opportunity.

Arthur Brown and Josh Bynes weren’t enough to satisfy in the middle of the defense, so Mosley became the best option for the long-term balance of Dean Pees’ squad.

On the other side of the ball, don’t expect 2014 to be a year that Joe Flacco puts the ball in the air 600+ times again. With the added depth that ensures an above-average running game, stability between run and pass will be a staple of Gary Kubiak’s attack.

Come to think of it, many fans, this site included, have wondered aloud as to what the Ravens’ slogan should be for 2014.

Maybe it’s as simple as BALANCE.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Joe Wedra. Bookmark the permalink.

About Joe Wedra

Joe Wedra
Joe is an NFL enthusiast that spends way too much time studying tape, but he wouldn't want it any other way. Joe can be found on Twitter @JoeWedra, where he'll tweet out everything from Ravens analysis to scouting reports on Division II offensive line prospects...all for the love of the...more

3 Raves on “Ravens March to The Beat of Balance in 2014

  1. JWS on said:

    yes Ozzie deserves the credit this year but writers also need to give himfailed grades last year when the over the hill gang was signed.Why each player was signed had more to do with Kubiak hiring then anything.al All free agents sign were a direct result of wanting to play for Gary! Zattah was alst minute trade that just fellin their handsput together byanother Newsome not Ozzie or his son the head of veteran player reserach. Ozzie has leranedand pay attention to when he makes mistakes and corrects them unlike Harbaugh. He knewafter 3 struggling years in free agency he needed expanded capmoney so along with the league adding millions to the pot hemade some great moves. re-signing Monroe was alucky break when the nFL market dried up and most teams would not pay him the top dollars he wanted. yes this has been Ozzie’s best off season ever and with Kubiak on boardlet’s hope Harbaugh improvessome of his limite skills he clock management!

  2. Vic on said:

    Thoughtful article. I think the slogan cannot be ‘balance’ because that is the make up of the team. The slogan should be ‘SB Every Other Year’!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

FANTASY LINKS: Will Baltimore Native Ever Break Out?

Is a Breakout Ever Going to Come for Tavon Austin? So far this season, Tavon Austin has 5 total points and was injured in the first quarter of St. Louis' game in Tampa Bay. numberFire writer, Joe R...read more

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: O-Line Getting it Done!

Reality:  The Ravens are 1-1. Perception: So far, so good. The Ravens were flat in the first half of game 1 against the Bengals, but came close to a come-from-behind win. The Bengals are better t...read more

TALE OF THE TAPE: Zuttah’s Noticeable Presence

Through two games for the Baltimore Ravens, other than red zone efficiency there's been little to complain about offensively. Quarterback Joe Flacco appears to be growing in Gary Kubiak's offense, ...read more

CONFESSIONS OF A SPORTS NUT: I Love Coaches

Coaches are my favorite people in sports. And it's not even close. Please understand this for simplicity sake: When I reference "coaches", I'm using the generic term for "the man or woman who ru...read more

Elam Doubles Down as Nickel Corner

The Ravens probably had a great set of plans for their secondary heading into the 2014 season. Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith would be locking down the corner spots with an improved Chykie Brown an...read more

View More