“Next Year!” is the cry once again

Street Talk “Next Year!” is the cry once again

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Hello Raven fans!

Yes, the Ravens lost a game they could have and some say should have won.  Holding Tom Brady to 23 points is a heroic effort by the defense.  Offensively the team had some issues, but one was not Joe Flacco.

There is an overwhelming desire for this city to see Ed Reed win a Super Bowl.  To see Ray Lewis ride off into the sunset with one more Super Bowl ring.  This was not our year. 

Next year is always the cry!  I am not going to sit here and congratulate the team for a great year.  Great years end with a championship ring.  The Ravens are no different then 30 other teams.  They are going home, going on vacation, and living there lives without football for a while.

Ravens fans should do the same.  Trust me, I even want to tell myself to screw off and that no amount of silver lining stories will brighten our skies.  Indeed, the fans need to be happy that we as people have this feeling of let down.  Life could be worse!

Trust me, I just told myself to go to hell.

Think in terms of Indianapolis, for how awesome Peyton Manning was for all those years, they have one Super Bowl championship.  The future for Joe Flacco is bright.  It is a quarterback driven league and we have a real deal quarterback.

I read the message boards; I see the venting, and the ideas of what players should leave or what coaches will go.  I have my own opinions; most of the problems seem to be on the offense and that aspect of the coaching.

I really thought about this blog for a few weeks, should I roast John Harbaugh?  I cannot really fault him.  I think he might have served the team better at the end by calling a time out on the field goal.  I also do not understand how the team did not pick on Julian Edleman while he was playing defensive back covering Anquan Boldin.  I promise, the Giants would exploit that all day if they try it in the Super Bowl. 

But, next season starts now for the coaches and Ozzie Newsome.  The team must improve the offense.  I personally think the Air Coryell offense is a terrible offense.  It is far too predictable and it forces the skill and athletic nature of the players to overcome its deficiencies. 

I’ve written before that it requires tremendous offensive line blocking.  Damn near 5 Pro Bowlers at every position.  The Ravens obviously do not have that when rotund Vince Wilfork can barrel in like a speed rusher and collapse the pocket as if Flacco had the last slice of pizza.

This was the 31st ranked defense in the NFL.  Inexcusable to only put 20 points on the board.  Drops plague Joe Flacco and this team like none I have ever seen.  I simply do not understand how a player can be paid all that money and routinely drop passes.  What makes Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rogers so much better than Joe Flacco?  Their collection of pass catchers seem to catch 90% of what is thrown at them.  Ravens receivers at times would be hard pressed to catch a cold in comparison.

Then there are the black pants!  I am sure if the Ravens had worn all white, they would have won the game!  What is that mean?  It means nothing, just like losing games to the Jaguars, Titans, Seahawks, and Chargers mean nothing.  Why?  I didn’t see the Giants fold up in San Francisco.  Sure this game could have been played at home and the defense might have held the Patriots to less.  But home field does not help players catch, kick’s go through the upright, or make the line slow Wilfork like blob he is.

No, there are 53 players who now must look at one another knowing this is the last time they will share the locker room.  The last time they will step out on to the field as one.  It goes back to being a business.  Business for them to get the most money for their talent and business decisions for the team to find players better than the ones that just lost this game.

This goes for the coaches as well.  Adapt or become extinct.  I am not going to destroy Cam Cameron.  If Lee Evans catches that ball, all is forgiven.  I look at Joe Flacco’s stats, the way the offense performed, and I think it is time for a change.  No hard feelings, but the team got rid of a quarterback coach in Jim Zorn and the franchise quarterback did not like it and his numbers suffered, though somewhat skewed considering he played against almost every top rated defense in the league. 

But sometimes you need a fresh perspective.

This was one of the reasons Billick was fired.

As I close this purple pondering, I do think about the future.  There is a great nucleus of young players here.  There is still some play in our aging playmakers on defense.  The thought that we might have two shutdown corners next year makes me ecstatic.  A little re-tooling and the team might actually be better next year. 


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Oliver Kruszka

About Oliver Kruszka

Oliver is a cartographer and GIS analyst for a global energy consulting firm.  When not mapping various aspects of the world, he can be found at the Maryland Renaissance Festival under the surname “Captain Silver” and as a poster here under said name, promoting his brand of humor. He is an accomplished artist in various mediums, published poet, as well as having a stint acting on stage; additionally brewing beer when not distracted by something shiny.  Lifelong fan of the NFL, who’s allegiances have changed as much as Baltimore’s ability to keep a team, makes him an avid Raven fan, but also a fan of the NFL in general (know thy enemy!).  More from Oliver Kruszka


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