Optimism Hard To Find For 2017 Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have given fans little to be confident in moving forward:

The Baltimore Ravens went 5-11, and 8-8 in the past two seasons. There were no major changes to the coaching staff after 2015. The Ravens are keeping all three coordinators and John Harbaugh in place for next season. Apparently, everything is peaches and cream and the same thing will produce a different result. Optimism is hard to find. The Ravens need play-makers, the roster will undergo turnover and this offseason will be very interesting.

At best this version of the Ravens is mediocre. Losing the games you should win handily is a good indicator of that. With Steve Smith Sr. an offense void of any spark loses a go to guy. The Ravens are financially committed to Joe Flacco for (at minimum) another two seasons, so he better step up his play. If they don’t add to his arsenal of weapons, a turn around season would be unlikely.

It’s not Just The Offense

Defensively, the Ravens look strong. Terrell Suggs is coming back and the front seven is loaded with talent. That being said, the defense will lose some key players. Elvis Dumervil and Lardarius Webb will likely get cut to clear cap space. Both players will need to be replaced. Brandon Williams could end up leaving in free agency. Don’t forget that the Ravens would like to get better at cornerback. Just from a personnel point, the Ravens have a ton of work to do.

Dean Pees has to adapt. When the Ravens get a lead he backs off, which makes giving up the lead too much of a possibility. Pees is predictably soft when the team needs him to have more backbone. The Ravens let the Steelers bleed the game clock as they easily marched down the field. The prevent defense practically handed Ben Roethlisberger the game winning touchdown. Flacco and the offense were left with just nine seconds.
John Harbaugh seems incapable of in game adjustments. Harbaugh must get tired of admitting mistakes after games. He fired Marc Trestman after he abandoned the running game against the Washington Redskins. Marty Mornhinweg just repeated Trestman’s mistakes. We kept hearing that the Ravens needed to run the ball more. Why did Harbaugh not demand to his play-caller, a commitment to the ground game? He’s the boss, he needs to tell his coordinators what to do, rather than apologizing for them.

The Bottom Line:

Having Greg Roman on staff is ominous. It looks like he is a plan B, just in case Mornhinweg is as incapable as his performance suggests. I don’t care how the Ravens label Roman’s job. He is the Ravens back up offensive coordinator, and that is extremely telling.

This Ravens team needs all the help they can get. There is so much work to be done. What the Ravens need is a rejuvenated roster and hard forced change. Because the Ravens are preaching continuity and seem to think they’re in good shape, optimism is hard to find. The Ravens have seven months to address and fix their problems. If Ravens brass is not honest with themselves, 2017 could be another train wreck.

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