Ravens News 1/23: Difficult Decisions and more5 min read
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By: Vasilis Lericos
As coordinators depart, Ravens need to take a hard look at coach John Harbaugh – Mike Preston
Harbaugh just finished Year 15 with the Ravens. He has a 158-104 record, including an 11-9 record in the postseason and a Super Bowl championship in 2012, but he’s gone just 2-5 in the playoffs since that title run. Combined with the recent exodus of coordinators, it’s time to put the head coach under the microscope.
This isn’t just about Jackson, but also Harbaugh’s aggressive approach to gamble on fourth downs or 2-point conversions, relying more on analytics than the situation and common sense. It’s also about his poor clock management near halftime or the end of close games.
Despite it all, Harbaugh remains a good coach. A major strength of his is building teams and establishing a strong team chemistry. Has he lost his voice on this team? I didn’t see that happening this year, but it’s something to keep an eye on. He’s loyal to this organization and a fierce competitor.
Regardless, he’ll be under scrutiny in 2023. The head coach is always next in line in the food chain after the coordinators.
Ranking the NFL offensive coordinator openings from best to worst – Mike Jones
This could be an extremely attractive job if Lamar Jackson remains the centerpiece or a gig with shaky prospects without him. Because of that degree of uncertainty and how dependent the Ravens are on Jackson, we place them fourth, though this could theoretically rank higher. Ravens GM Eric DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh both said Thursday that Jackson will have input in the hiring of the new offensive coordinator and draft and free agency plans. So, they’re at least operating as if he will remain in Baltimore. One concern: There are not a lot of top-flight, consistent weapons outside of Mark Andrews. Jackson does elevate everyone’s game and makes this squad a consistent contender. But he needs more around him.
Difficult roster decisions loom for GM Eric DeCosta; WR Rashod Bateman nearly ready to run – Jonas Shaffer
Cornerback Marcus Peters
In his first season back from a torn ACL, Peters played a career-low 13 games and struggled at times in defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s zone-heavy system. He allowed 48 completions on 68 targets for 559 yards and five touchdowns, according to PFF, with two passes broken up and one intercepted.
Peters, a beloved teammate whose insights on film study helped Marlon Humphrey’s development, is a pending free agent. The 30-year-old told The Ringer this past season that he wanted to stay in Baltimore, calling it “the best thing for me.” The Ravens are thin at the position, with little returning starting experience beyond Humphrey and Brandon Stephens, whose play was also erratic in 2022.
“I have crazy respect for Marcus, one of my favorite guys on the team,” said DeCosta, who hadn’t yet met with the three-time Pro Bowl selection. “Tremendous competitor. … Regarding the corner position, we’re a team that always feels like you can never have enough good corners. So I would expect that at some point in free agency and/or the draft, we’ll try to augment that position.”
Wide Receiver Room Set for Makeover – Ryan Mink
After a year in which Baltimore’s wide receivers scored just seven touchdowns in 17 games, there are likely to be major changes at the position. Season-ending injuries to Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay left Baltimore even thinner, but even with those two expected to return healthy, there is a clear need for more depth and talent at wideout.
“It’s certainly something we’re going to look at,” General Manager Eric DeCosta said. “Obviously, this season didn’t end up the way we wanted it to. We had some injuries, obviously, with ‘Bate’ and with Devin. We traded ‘Hollywood’ [Marquise Brown] last year, so we definitely took on some water this year at that position.
“We’ll continue to look at that via free agency and the draft. Our role is really to just find the best guys that fit our situation. We hear the fans; we hear you guys with the questions, certainly. We’ll do that this offseason, and that’ll be through the draft, through free agency, potential trades and things like that, but we will build the best team we can to compete every single week.”
It will be interesting to see how much the Ravens’ passing game changes once they decide on a new offensive coordinator to replace Greg Roman. The Ravens ranked 29th in the NFL in passing yards per game (178.8), even with a Pro Bowl tight end in Mark Andrews.
2023 NFL Draft: 10 most underrated players – Marcus Mosher
WR ZAY FLOWERS, BOSTON COLLEGE
The 2023 wide receiver class is one of the worst in recent memory, but there are some solid options on Day 2 for teams searching for complementary players. One of those receivers is Flowers, who totaled over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games this season for Boston College.
Flowers is a small receiver (listed at 5-foot-10, 172 pounds), but he plays much bigger than that, posting a 58.3% contested catch rate in 2022 while racking up over 500 yards after the catch.
He’ll probably need to play in the slot in the NFL, but he could be a dynamic weapon like Christian Kirk in the right scheme. Flowers looks like he’ll be a fantastic No. 2 receiver in the NFL and could have a big impact immediately.
2023 NFL mock draft 1.0: Texans, Ravens among four teams selecting quarterbacks – Daniel Jeremiah
Anthony Richardson, QB
Year: Sophomore (RS)
I’m throwing a dart with this selection. The Ravens have yet to ink Lamar Jackson to an extension, and Richardson would be a high-upside, developmental project for the organization. Baltimore’s brass was steadfast this week in its desire to build around Jackson for the future. But if contract talks don’t progress in a positive direction in the coming months, they could apply the franchise tag on the former MVP, buying time for Richardson to eventually be ready to play.
Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts