As we round up the 2nd full week of offseason woes in Baltimore, one has to be looking forward to the 2018 edition of the “State of the Ravens” address by Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh & Dick Cass.
Worth noting right off the bat, is the lapsed time for this presser to be held: last year, the Ravens waited only 9 days following the end of the season, while the previous year they gave fans less than a week until they addressed the media & fans with retrospect on the past season, and a look ahead to the next season.
As of this writing, we have no idea when we’ll hear from the Ravens brass.
Perhaps the Ravens are actually putting some thought into this press conference, as opposed to the usual dose of plenty-of-words-while-saying-nothing. After all, there’s no denying the Ravens fan base is becoming restless, reckless, and in certain aspects, scarce. The Ravens need to come out with some true substance in this address in the coming weeks, as a means to help ease the discomfort of mediocrity and ‘continuity’ while keeping fans from mimicking that Robert Downey Jr. eye roll gif deal…
Yea, that one.
If I’m the Ravens quartet under the bright lights, getting ready for an onslaught of tough, poignant questions by the media (we hope)? I’m planning on focusing the entire press conference around two key concepts:
Accountability & Transparency
For years, we’ve been given non-answers chock full of half-truths, met with side-steps, and a bunch of lawyer-speak from the likes of Harbaugh, Newsome, and Bisciotti (Cass has been pretty clear and concise, given the only time he speaks is about price increases).
Fans see the offense struggling mightily… but we’re told “they did some good things and need to improve on things.”
Fans see the defense collapse late in games, far too often… but we’re told “their quarterback just made a great play.”
Fans see draft picks fail to pan out more often than not… but we’re told “trust the Best Play Available model.”
Fans see a QB going into his 11th year making rookie mistakes… but we’re told “he’ll get better.”
Fans see a coaching staff not utilizing the talent they have to their fullest… but we’re told “I trust these guys, and that’s all that matters.”
That major disconnect between the fans and the front office is quite possibly the biggest issue Ravens fans have, and the divide continues to grow deeper each and every year. It’s gone from a low grumble under the breath of a few fans, to droves of PSL owners opting to leave empty seats on Sundays, Purple Friday becoming an anomaly instead of the norm, and a true sense of disinterest among Baltimore fans.
We’re continually force fed “continuity” as a good thing… except that continuity sales pitch only works when it’s effective and the team is winning.
Right now? “Winning” and “Ravens” are hardly synonymous (at least not consistently), and missing the playoffs 4 of the past 5 seasons is a rally cry for “change” not “continuity.”
Unfortunately, the Ravens brass opted not to change anything in the coaching ranks, the GM role, or the quarterback this offseason – as expected by the fans (literally, ask any fan over the past 2 weeks and you’ll get a resounding “they won’t do anything different.”).
But providing fans with some transparency and accountability?
Admitting the coaches are all on the hot seat, or perhaps admitting that (gulp) they’re not? Telling fans that Ozzie needs to hit on draft picks, and that the BPA model isn’t acceptable any more as it’s been proven ineffective in recent years?
Giving Flacco reason to fear by drafting a QB as his heir apparent? Telling fans that they understand the certain stats can lead to an appearance of a ‘good offense,’ but understanding they have plenty of room to improve and will address those issues in the offseason, without hesitation, or without banking on a 30+ year-old free agent wideout being released and signing for cheap in Baltimore?
THAT will give the fans the hope and promise they crave, and knowing that a shake up is inevitable if the team does not produce will be a major factor in encouraging fans to once again join the Ravens Flock.
Shoot us straight this year, fellas.
No more platitudes.