Ray Rice is the best player on offense, not Flacco. He's not consistent enough to build an offense around, IMO. He's good enough when the defense is Top 5 and Rice is averaging close to 2000 all purpose yards. Other than that we are not contenders for a championship.
Every unit on the team has been almost tailor made for Joe. The only one I'll point to in the last few years is the OL.
2008 - Gaither - Grubbs - Brown - Chester - Willie Anderson
2009 - Gaither - Grubbs - Birk - Chester - Oher
2010 - Oher - Grubbs - Birk - Chester - Yanda
2011 - McKinnie - Grubbs - Birk - Yanda - Oher
2012 - Oher - CF (Harewood/Williams/Reid) - Birk - Yanda - KO
So, let's just say that 2008 and 2009 were Joe's "golden" years. He was improving, he was progressing. In 2010, Oher is moved to LT, which was admittedly a mistake then. Yanda was a good OL, but RT was not his best position. 2011, Oher back to RT, McKinnie in at LT. McKinnie had some good games, but overall just a little better than Oher. Grubbs was injured for 6-7 games, leading to Gurode at LG. Birk has been getting worse....
2012 - Oher back to LT, which we all can probably agree isn't working. LG has been an absolute disaster. Grubbs was playing at PB alternate level. What remains is a total CF. Harewood had a shot and failed, Bobbie Williams had a shot and failed. Jah Reid is maybe okay? Birk continuing to regress. Rookie at RT has been good at times, bad at others.
I remember the OL play was rough in 2010, which was what led to Matsko's firing and Moeller's "promotion". Can anyone argue it's gotten better since then? I don't think it has. Moeller probably can't go midseason, but I don't think he should be back next year. Also, Oher needs to GTFO of LT! Let McKinnie ride out the year, then you HAVE to go back to the drawing board! He's not getting it done. LG, I don't even know. Maybe Oher? Maybe ride with Reid? Birk is likely gone after this year, but we'll have some rough times with Gradkowski too. Yanda should hopefully be back full go next year, and I hope KO continues to improve.
The OL play isn't all the answer, but I think that is the one spot where the moves they've made have been okay at best, and many have not panned out.
where this team started fucking up with building around flacco was letting jason brown walk, when you draft your franchise QB you build a foundation for him, you want him protected, sure brown wanted center money but his play HERE deserved it. We had that doundation in JG, GRUBBS,BROWN, YANDA AND OHER JG didn't work outr so they should have drafted true LT. This Oline has been a revolving door for so many years, just ask the colts of the early to mid 2000s what consistency on the Oline means, ask Denver too. You need to protect your franchise QB.
I agree they have been building around Joe at the outside positions, though Rice came in with Joe so that isn't an acquisition they got just for him. Adding Torrey Smith and Pitta/Dickson was great. But we let our OL suffer letting Grubbs walk, moving Oher back to LT, and continuing to have a 35+ year old center start with no real backup plan or player to groom for that spot. That to me isn't building around Joe.
And the bigger problem now is they have to go back to drafting the defense because that unit is suffering BADLY. So the OL is going to get passed over again this coming season.
You know honestly, I think our receiving corp is bit overrated by many. Boldin is slow and has issues separating. But at least he is polished in his route running and Joe trusts him, even if the window is really tight. Torrey has a lot of potential, but he is average at best right now with running routes (why a talent like that is a 2nd round pick). Joe and Torrey can't seem to get on the same page recently on the deep ball, b/c Torrey is developing a bad habit of jumping too early instead of just decelerating. Sure Joe should not underthrow him as much, but a QB needs a WR to be consistent with their running to develop chemistry. Torrey will improve, no doubt, but he is inconsistent right now. And Jones.. same thing... great straight line speed... but very little in the department of route running skill. Doss was rendered pretty much useless in Cam's offense b/c it was all go deep and Boldin being the already occasional short route option in the Cam offense. They still lack a true #1 like Megatron, Calvin, Wayne, Fitz, AJ.... Our boy Matty Ice has two in White & Jones. Can Torrey develop into that true #1??? I hope. Hey who knows how things really are? We were stuck in the dark ages with Cam, so maybe our receivers truly are better than their performance in Cam's system.
When you have Boldin running 9 routes, yes he looks overrated. His best work is in the middle of the field where he can punish DB's trying to tackle him.