What The Ravens Meant to Say…

Steve Bisciotti

Last Wednesday’s State of the Ravens press conference revealed little about the team’s intentions for the 2014 season.

Yes we did receive the news that Juan Castillo would stay on as the offensive line coach, a revelation that was as welcomed as a Hines Ward comeback in a Ravens uniform. Even Steve Bisciotti seemed less than impressed when the presser ended with the team owner exclaiming, “Where’s Mike Preston…no questions from Mike Preston?”

Those questions from Preston would come in a private conversation with Bisciotti who seemed hell-bent on delivering this message which will hover over Ravens headquarters for the foreseeable future:

“I have to be patient to let people fail, but I don’t have to be patient enough to let people repeat failure,” Bisciotti said. “I’ll be more apt to get my way next year if their solutions don’t change the problems. That’s fair, that’s where I am as owner.

The message was Jack-Nicholson-in-A Few Good Men-clear and it sets up a very interesting 2014 for the Baltimore Ravens.

As for the messages actually delivered during the presser, here are a few of the better ones presented in a “What He Said” and “What (I think) He Meant” way:

WHAT HE SAID (Ozzie): “We’ve got to get bigger in the interior of our offensive line. That’s one of the areas that I think we need to improve on. I think we need to have a more athletic safety in the defense. We need to be able to get a receiver – whether it’s a tight end or a wide receiver – that can make a third-and-7, third-and-8 catch and run after the catch.”

WHAT HE MEANT: Gino Gradkowski isn’t the answer at center, at least not yet and the Ravens need a solid veteran there until the team can develop Gino or Ryan Jensen or some as-of-yet undrafted player. The athletic safety is code for, “we need more turnovers” and maybe that’s a message to Dean Pees (why is Steve Spagnuolo here again?) to amp up his unit’s aggressiveness.

As for the TE/WR, many interpreted Ozzie’s words to mean that the Ravens want a Wes Welker, Tavon Austin type of receiver. I’m not sure a player with a small pass catching radius is a good fit for Joe Flacco who isn’t the most accurate thrower to receivers on the run. Look for a big target who can break tackles.

WHAT HE SAID: (Ozzie): “No. 1, not having the ability to get off the field cost us maybe three or four ball games this year. I think we recognized that. To improve on that, I think, No. 1, you have to start with the guys you’ve got. We’ve got to get those guys better and put those guys in better position to make plays. On the other side of that, I talked about a free safety [and] maybe getting a free safety that can be a playmaker – when tipped balls are in the air, guys that can come away with that. I think all of those things. And, I think the other thing that we talked about doing this season [is] in order to be successful, you have to have confidence. I think we’ve got to build a confidence amongst our defensive players that, in those situations, they can make a play and win the game.

WHAT HE MEANT: It’s pretty clear that Ozzie wants the Ravens to get back to being an attacking defense. The inability to get off the field in key situations and the bend-but-don’t-break mentality is the same one that got Dean Pees a pink slip in New England. Bring back organized chaos and do it with better coaching. And then there’s that guy named Spagnuolo who’s been hanging around…

WHAT HE SAID (Ozzie): “I’ve had the opportunity to talk to [Terrell] Suggs every day. He kind of makes sure of that. That’s a decision that we’ll talk about when we get down to Jupiter. Terrell is a really good football player. He not only shows up in the pass game, but he shows up in the run game. That being said, we let a good football player go last year, so we’re not afraid. I’m not a virgin when it comes to letting guys walk out the door. What we’ll do is we’ll look at every aspect of it and see what’s best for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Ravens and then make that decision once we get to it.”

WHAT HE MEANT: Right player, right price and at the current cap number of $12.4 million, Terrell Suggs you are not that guy. Fit the formula or thanks for the memories, virginity be damned!

WHAT HE SAID (Steve Bisciotti): “My role really doesn’t change. It’s to support my coach and my GM and get this thing moving in the right direction. We had a lot of failures on the football field – offense and defense – and so I know they’ve got their work cut out for them. So, it’s to be a sounding board to them and encourage them to make the kind of decisions that they believe are the right ones for us. And I love that part of the job.”

WHAT HE MEANT: The coaching staff needs to amp up their game and they’ve got the 2014 season to get it done. Bisciotti will do what he does best and that is to get his people outside of their comfort zone to see things from a different perspective with the hope that it will open their minds and provide new ideas on how to best utilize the available resources/talent.

WHAT HE SAID (John Harbaugh): “Juan will be the offensive line coach next year. The rest of it is a little bit in flux right now. We’re two weeks earlier to this probably – two, three, four weeks even – than we have been in the past. We’ve been coaching football games at this point in time. So, as all this NFL coaching drama goes on, some of our guys are involved in that, and we’ll just have to see how it shakes out. But, we’re going to build a great coaching staff again this year.”

WHAT HE MEANT: I hope that Jim Caldwell is hired as a head coach somewhere so I don’t have to fire him and so that we can clean up this mess that is the Baltimore Ravens offense.

A look in the mirror might be a good place to start…



Photo courtesy of Associated Press/Gail Burton

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

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

24 Raves on “What The Ravens Meant to Say…

    • BoldinRaver on said:

      Tony enjoys denying he is a Harbaugh hater. He then precedes to bash Harbaugh, blame him for all the team ills and discredit him for the successes. But it’s the denial that counts.

      • RJ on said:

        In TL’s defense (not that he needs it), he is simply stating his perception of the facts…I, for one, agree 99% of the time. And, he does extend credit when credit is due.

        • BoldinRaver on said:

          I think the world of Tony. I, too, agree with him most of the time. He does a classy job of running a first-rate blog site, that’s a tall order in this interweb thingy day and age. The important part is that he encourages varied opinions. He lets the reader decide and I appreciate that, sincerely. My case: teams that replace coaches easily during tough times, during emotional times, will suffer “grass is always greener syndrome.” It is too easy to state opinions about coaches flaws and then demand “accountability.” But that can lead teams on a vicious cycle (See “Browns” in the dictionary) of despair.

          • Nancy on said:

            I agree with your comments about Tony, it is tough what he does. He will censor however when it comes to his politics

      • John P on said:

        I think Tony stays pretty impartial. If not supportive of Harbaugh (maybe too supportive at some points). I’ve gone on the offensive against Harbaugh several times and Tony’s defended him quite a bit.

        Truth is, with Harbaugh we have a guy who inherited a team that was ready to win (despite what the pundits suggested). He was gifted extreme leadership, a franchise QB and a great runner from day one.

        This is the first year any of that was tested (i.e. leadership lost, runner injured, QB trying to make it up himself). And we found some flaws (particularly poor calls during games that many believe cost us a playoff spot and even the division).

        How Harbaugh reacts to this adversity is what will define his tenure in Baltimore. IMO – that’s pretty much what Bisciotti said here. Tony just said it a bit nicer than I just did.

    • raven on said:

      nah man harbaugh will hang himself we are the only coaching staff with 24 coaches, 7-8 offensive coaches, no QB coach and we produce a bad season, yes the first in many years, but still bad. when a coach puts his friendship ahead of the team he’s putting rope round his on neck remember Brian Billick and Boiler brian lost his job cause he wouldn’t change a bad QB, Juan and Caldwell aren’t good neither is pees both have vanilla playbooks you know whats coming. I’m a raven through and through but com on man

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      Though “not re-signing him” isn’t the same as firing, I think it will still create the perception that he was “fired,” which they’d like to avoid.

      That’s just the impression I get though – could be way off.

  1. John on said:

    As much as I don`t care for Preston, I`m quite happy he had a 1 on 1 with Bisciotti. Bisciotti wanted to vent, and he knew Preston was the right one to vent to. I`m sure Harbs wasn`t pleased about it, which I take pleasure in knowing or at least thinking it.

  2. RJ on said:

    Nice perspective and take on the situation! I, for one, want this team’s D to become MORE AGGRESSIVE; and, secondly, I want this team to return to a smash-mouth, physical Offense that embraces the run! I think Ozzie wants the same, and I just hope that desire has been communicated to his coaching staff.

  3. JerryB on said:

    Anytime we can agree, Tony, it’s a good day and I couldn’t agree more! Bisciotti’s already had a bite out of that apple with Billick and, if Harbaugh has another lackluster year, he could meet the same fate despite the big premature contract extension! At this point, both Caldwell and Pees appear to be liabilities. Then there’s Juan Castillo, who certainly made his presence known this year. And, for that performance, he gets a……mulligan! Oh, brother……..

  4. Mark on said:

    Tony, Any thoughts about what the Castle is thinking for OC if Caldwell leaves (either voluntarily or not)? They really can’t think Hostler is the answer, can they? It also seems that any West Coast candidate would involve too much scheme change and really not fit Flacco’s skill set.

    Norv Turner and Chudzinski are both vertical scheme guys but I haven’t heard Chudzinski’s name mentioned yet as an option. As essentially a younger version of Turner with experience as an OC, he might be better for Joe. Sounds like his players in Cleveland liked him a lot. Your thoughts?

    Also,What do you think about Joe Lombardi as a candidate ?

  5. J.O. on said:

    If Caldwell gets hired elsewhere he’s most likely taking Teryl Austin as his defensive coordinator…if that happens I know it’s probably a long shot but do u think Ed Reed would take a secondary coach position and do u think it would be a good idea?

      • J.O. on said:

        So many people make the mistake of taking away from ed’s hard work and smarts by citing his ability and instinct as the reason for his hall of fame career. Ed payed incredible attention to detail and put in many hours of film study as well which is why he always seemed to know where the ball was going, he knew every qb’s tendencies. Of course u can’t teach natural talent but you can teach film study and technique.

      • J.O. on said:

        You can’t teach ability and instinct but u can teach film study and technique and ed was always one of the smartest players on the field. He wasn’t always around the ball simply by God given talent, he is a student of the game and he knew where the ball was going based on tendencies seen on film. Our db’s could learn greatly from him.

  6. Fran the Fan on said:

    By now everyone knows that Caldwell is headed to Detroit so all the “does he stay or does go (pushed out the door)” are now moot. I am very interested to see who is our new O.C. Does Harbs get a new look for the offense or does he hire one of his homies…..Inquiring minds want to know……

  7. Jrock on said:

    If Caldwell didn’t get the lions job he would have been fired. That 2 offensive coordinators in two yrs. and a qb coach who was let go a few yrs a ago ( Jim zorn). I think Flacco is a OC killer lol.

  8. purpleneonexpress on said:

    I’ve been saying all along that The Boss ain’t too thrilled with his head coach. His one on one with Preston verified this. Seems Harbie’s got one year to get it right or the owners getting involved.

    Which is code for “I’ll be looking for another head coach”.

    Working for Biscotti’s awesome, unless he’s giving you everything you ask for and your still under performing, then its not so pleasant.

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

Long Snappers Seem Boring…Until You Need One

It may not be the sexiest position on an NFL roster, but the long snapper is certainly one of great importance in an all too often forgotten part of the game. A good long snapper is the kind of pla...read more

PREDICTIONS RECAP: Drew Nails the Point Differential

1. Remember that courtroom scene in A Few Good Men? “You see, sir, there was a blow out…” Ravens do what they always do to NFC teams at home…Flacco throws 3 TD’s, Steve Smith catches 2 of t...read more

SPEED BAG: Trade Winds Blowing?

Arthur Brown is a perfect 7 for 7 this season in healthy scratches. The highly touted linebacker is the only member of the team’s 53-man squad not to dress on game day in 2014. Meanwhile undrafte...read more

RAVENS LINKS: Ravens NFL’s Stingiest Defense?

Ravens are stingiest defense in the NFL ESPN writer, Jamison Hensley discusses the re-emergence of the Ravens' defense and how it may be the best in the NFL despite the yardage total being in the m...read more

THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY: Ravens 29, Falcons 7

Last week I opined about the Ravens and their developing identity along with the progressions made on both sides of the football. They aren’t quite where they are capable of being yet as a team but ...read more

View More