Will Bisciotti Address The Media, Fans?
Things didn’t go well for the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti this season. That’s quite the understatement. The extent and significance of injuries were unprecedented and never really gave the team a chance to make a serious push into the postseason. Yet that didn’t deter the collective will of the team and miraculously, they found themselves at (8-3) and for at least one week, atop the AFC as the conference’s top seed.
Of course we know how it all went down from there. The duct tape, W-40 and Gorilla Glue that Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh used to try and hold the team together eventually crumbled like Old Man Parker’s broken leg lamp in A Christmas Story.
NFL end of regular season, Top 5, most games missed by injured players.
— Man Games Lost NFL (@ManGamesLostNFL) January 13, 2022
NFL end of regular season, Top 5, impact on teams by players lost to injury (Lost-av metric, weighting by 2020 quality of injured players).
— Man Games Lost NFL (@ManGamesLostNFL) January 13, 2022
Yet that hasn’t stopped fans from holding the team accountable for the torturous season. It seems they need someone to blame and have taken to identifying scapegoats. At the top of the list are DeCosta and Harbaugh.
• Why did the Ravens trade Orlando Brown, Jr.?
• Why didn’t they draft C Creed Humphrey?
• How could they overpay Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey?
• They should have kept Matthew Judon!
• Alejandro Villanueva? Seriously?
• What’s up with this dyed-in-the-wool loyalty between Harbaugh and his struggling coordinators?
• Clock management was abysmal!
• Just kick the damn PAT already!
The frustration is understandable. The questions and criticisms are legit, each carrying their own set of circumstances and reasons for concern. But to call for the firing of two of the league’s best at their respective crafts is just ridiculous.
If you believe that the Ravens would have made the playoffs if not for the devastating injuries to key players, what more do you want from these men? The way they cobbled the roster together on the fly is more commendable than it is open for criticism. A healthy Ravens team has and can compete with the likes of the Bengals, Titans, Chiefs and Bills and as such, they had a fighter’s chance to advance in the postseason. Count me among those who want to see these men driven by 2021’s failures, making the necessary changes to ensure a successful 2022. Oh, and the restoration of a healthier team won’t hurt either.
Fans are also clamoring to hear from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and they’ve mistakenly drawn the conclusion that his silence is somehow an endorsement of how things have gone for the team in 2021 – that he doesn’t care as much as he once did and that his silence suggests that he’s comfortable collecting millions while his team teeters in mediocrity while recording just two playoff wins since Super Bowl 47.
I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time during past seasons with Bisciotti. The man is brilliant and he has an innate ability to assess situations and inspire change for the benefit of the organization. I also know that he is a fiery competitor and that losing tears at his core more than any fan’s. During games at The Bank, it’s well-known to leave Steve alone in his owner’s box given the extreme intensity with which he takes in a game involving his team.
Let’s keep in mind that Bisciotti is a self-made billionaire, earning his fortunes in an extremely competitive employment placement business. He built the business from the basement of his parents’ home where he wore a suit just to embrace a businessman’s mindset. In essence, it was his uniform worn on a different field of play. Competition is a dominant part of his DNA.
So if anyone thinks that he doesn’t care, that he is complacent, that he isn’t interested in making the necessary changes to return the Ravens to the playoffs and beyond, you are wildly mistaken. Just because he doesn’t voice his concerns PUBLICLY, does not mean he isn’t communicating regularly with both DeCosta and Harbaugh. Sure, it would be nice if he addressed the media in a presser or the fans via a conference call, and maybe that might still happen. But even if it doesn’t, let me remind you that he’s one of two owners to engage in postseason pressers and the other is a GM wannabe who resides in Dallas.
I’ll leave the topic with this – if YOU feel passion and the associated angst that stems from losing, Steve Bisciotti’s emotions on the subject are far more exaggerated. This team is part of his legacy and as a lifelong Marylander and Baltimore sports fan, that isn’t taken lightly. Far from it!
Back to Orlando Brown, Jr. for a moment, some have wondered aloud whether or not the Ravens should bring Brown back to Baltimore once he hits the free agent market. That way, the Ravens could plug Brown in back at right tackle and have him available to play left tackle in the event that Ronnie Stanley isn’t ready to go by the start of the 2022 season. If that sounds like you, it might be time to give up on that pipe dream.
Brown wanted out of Baltimore so that he could play left tackle, presumably because that position is the money spot across the offensive line. But what if he gets the money to play RT, you ask? Brown will command a salary that should eclipse that of Stanley’s and that’s where the discussions end. The Ravens can’t afford that enormous kind of investment in bookend tackles and really, to do so amounts to a violation of salary cap fiduciary responsibility.
That said, I can envision a scenario in which the Ravens over-invest in the position as it relates to draft capital. I’d rather see them do that than leave the position to the fate of Stanley’s health.
Yesterday I posted a piece that was inspired in part by Tom Brady’s Man in The Arena which is available on ESPN+. In it, I chronicle the things that went wrong, the mistakes made by the Ravens in 2021. One of the failures I mistakenly omitted was the issue of turnovers.
In 2021, the Ravens had a turnover differential of -11. Only the Panthers (-13), Jets (-13), Bears (-13) and the Jaguars (-20) were worse. The Ravens created 15 total turnovers, 9 by INT and 6 via fumbles. That ranked 30th in the league.
In 2020 the Ravens ranked 10th in turnover differential, 6th in 2019, 8th in 2012. Are you sensing a pattern? Bottom line, the Ravens need more turnovers and the appropriate defensive playmakers to make them happen. There’s really no way around it.
Oh, and it might help if they weren’t dead last in plays allowed of 40+ yards, 20+ yards and in total yards (by a margin of 229 yards). Making these numbers even more embarrassing is the fact that $50.3M of the team’s $182.4M in cap space (27.6%) is assigned to five defenders (Campbell, Williams, Peters, Humphrey and Young) who are among the top 6 cap figures on the team.
This Week in Ravens History
On January 19, 2008, John Harbaugh completed his interview process with the team’s front office. Here’s a video of him exiting The Castle following the interview.
14 years ago today, John Harbaugh was hired as the third-ever head coach in Ravens history. Here’s a video of him in 2008 after his interview for the job
Harbaugh has accumulated a 137-88 record, 11 playoff wins, and 1 Super Bowl championship in Baltimore pic.twitter.com/sInX45qltp
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) January 19, 2022
On January 20, 2013 the Ravens took down the New England Patriots in the 2012 AFC Championship Game. The celebrations that ensued will echo in eternity.
It has been 55 years, 240 days since the AFL-NFL merger began the Super Bowl Era on June 8, 1966. Since then, the Cleveland Browns have:
– 7 playoff wins
– 15 playoff losses
– Zero conference championships
– Zero Super Bowl appearances https://t.co/0hbqC1SBXk
— Purple Pants 😈 (@wearpurplepants) January 20, 2022
Social Media in a Nutshell
Funny Money (Divisional Round)
Last week I had an up and down Wild Card Round, splitting my bets evenly but down $60 of juice. So my purse which started at $1000, now sits at $940. So this week, arguably the best week during the NFL season from a viewers perspective, is the Divisional Round! So let’s go…
Bengals (+ 3 ½) at Titans, over/under at 47
Derrick Henry’s return to the lineup will enable the Titans play-action game and open up the opportunity for some big strikes downfield. Plus, the crowd will be energized by No. 22 and the dead armadillo under his helmet. If the Titans start fast, it could get ugly. So, to start things in the Divisional Round, I’m dipping into the teaser bucket again but this time around I’m plunking down two Benjamins. I’ll tease the over/under down to 40 ½ and bet over and I’ll take the Bengals +10 (although I think their fairytale ends by 7:30PM on Saturday).
49ers (+6) at Packers, over/under at 47
The Niners have had the Packers’ number of late but too many things are going against the visitors in this game. San Francisco is traveling again on a short week and this is their 3rd consecutive road game, this time playing in single digit temps with a chance of snow. And then there’s Jimmy Garoppolo. He tried to blow it in Dallas, this time around he’ll succeed. Two separate plays here, each for a hunny:
• Give me The Pack and I’ll lay the points
• I’ll take the under in a 30-10 Green Bay win
Rams (+3) at Bucs, over/under at 48 ½
This line is one that makes me go hmmm and I have to think it is influenced by the uncertainties across Tampa’s offensive front. If Ryan Jensen and/or Tristan Wirfs are unable to go, the Rams could dominate the line of scrimmage when on defense. On the flip side, I’m not all that confident in Matthew Stafford against an aggressive Bucs defense. I’m going to dial back the aggression here and bet $100 on another teaser. I’m going to bump the total to 55 and go under and I’ll take the Rams + 9 ½.
Bills (+2) at Chiefs, over/under at 54 ½
I see the Bills representing the AFC in the Super Bowl so that should tell you where I’m going with this one. I’ll place two separate $100 bets:
• Give me the Bills and the deuce
• I’ll take the +115 money line and take the Bills to win straight up
My Single Friend
My Single Friend somehow got into a spirited conversation with a girl at the bar about dating.
MSF: Women always have the upper hand when dating.
Girl: Really? How so?
MSF: Well, when a man goes on a date, he wonders if he is going to get lucky… a woman already knows.
This Day in Music History
In 1971 Marvin Gaye released “What’s Goin’ On?”, a beautiful song and heartfelt statement about the chaos in society at the time. The song still resonates and in many ways it remains just as relevant as the day it hit the scene 51 years ago.
Chris Diller is literally a one-man-band who has been on the road since 2014 after the release his self-titled EP which includes the popular “Federal Hill.” He adeptly blends the sound of a new wave of rock-folk and alt-country music. Visit him at Chris Diller Music for his schedule and further details. Chris performs a few solid originals at the 4:13, 12:11 and 21:19 marks of this video.
We’ve practically exhausted the topic on Ravens injuries. But there is one more to report. Get well soon Mrs. EDC!
I don’t share too much personally but today I crashed pretty bad on my bike on trails by our house with our dogs. I’m sure I’ll be feeling it tomorrow. 🤦🏼♀️These two knuckleheads I love so much were by my side within seconds. Licking my face. Dogs are the best. Get a dog! 💜 pic.twitter.com/gv1OQGFpYb
— Lacie DeCosta (@DeCostaLacie) January 20, 2022