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  1. #61
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    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.



    Quote Originally Posted by RavensRule21215 View Post
    But they HAD the money to bring in at least one proven WR. And they chose to stay pat with Doss, Reed, etc. I think that's a mistake. RIW thinks it was a mistake to not re-sign Boldin; I don't, as I've already stated. What I think was the mistake was to not re-sign Boldin and think that the WRs already in camp were good enough to fill the void. And that was before Pitta went out for the year.
    To clarify, when is this time that you say they had the money, who would you suggest they should have signed and who after that signing would have been sacrificed? And since the roster is not set yet, do you believe that they are standing pat with what exists leading into the season; and hence not making a late signing after cuts or a late trade for a veteran (both of which has happened in the past)?

    One of my pet peeves about Joe before was that he waited too long for somebody to get open. Boldin convinced him that if he threw it, he would battle for it; and that was correct a lot of times. Of course, Talib stayed on him enough in the AFCCG that it did not work - until Talib went down. Joe has now progressed, and even had faith in Pitta. He now has to establish that rapport with someone else; who does not have to be a proven WR. And it has to be part of an offensive plan that involves adjustments, mismatches and in-motion plays - with a healthy OL that works together and gives Joe the time and space.

    One WR may give one piece to the offense. Eventually, a defense is going to shut it down. Being creative in the offense is more productive than signing a big-time WR, IMHO.
    Captain Offense




  2. #62

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    The offseason is torturous time, let's play ball! Much like the Chinese water torture, news from training camp is a slow drip. Streeter at 6'5" would be a nice guy to emerge, I am cautiously optimistic. We have some serious speed, our young guys will be dangerous in space.




  3. #63

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Offense View Post
    To clarify, when is this time that you say they had the money, who would you suggest they should have signed and who after that signing would have been sacrificed? And since the roster is not set yet, do you believe that they are standing pat with what exists leading into the season; and hence not making a late signing after cuts or a late trade for a veteran (both of which has happened in the past)?

    One of my pet peeves about Joe before was that he waited too long for somebody to get open. Boldin convinced him that if he threw it, he would battle for it; and that was correct a lot of times. Of course, Talib stayed on him enough in the AFCCG that it did not work - until Talib went down. Joe has now progressed, and even had faith in Pitta. He now has to establish that rapport with someone else; who does not have to be a proven WR. And it has to be part of an offensive plan that involves adjustments, mismatches and in-motion plays - with a healthy OL that works together and gives Joe the time and space.

    One WR may give one piece to the offense. Eventually, a defense is going to shut it down. Being creative in the offense is more productive than signing a big-time WR, IMHO.
    RIW has already dealt with the "when was the money available" issue. It was there from the outset, and it was there until the Ravens re-signed Leach. As far as which WRs could have been selected, take your pick: Doucett, Lloyd, Breaston; even Moss, for that matter. And as with other discussions, being creative and signing a legitimate FA WR are not mutually exclusive -- you need both. And you can't excel without both. Joe has done better than any other QB I know of with average WR talent, and there's no reason to believe he can't or won't do it again. Still, that doesn't mean that the FO doesn't have an obligation to bring in as much WR talent as it can afford. And to my eye they have not done that.
    Last edited by RavensRule21215; 07-31-2013 at 01:56 PM.




  4. #64

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavensRule21215 View Post
    Cool. And I've concluded that returning to a run to set up the pass approach might be the way to go. It would help if people would get off Joe's back about his "personal stats", but there are just some people who are going to do that, and I've resigned myself to that reality. It would also help if at least one more WR were proven, but right now that's not the way it is. I'd be thrilled to see someone emerge. Hell...I was a huge Tandon Doss fan, and I can't begin to express how disappointed I was in him when he finally got his shot. I hope that the Tandon Doss that Joe saw when he pushed for Doss is still in there somewhere. But I wouldn't bet the farm -- on the 2013 season -- on it. I also like Streeter and would love to see what he can do. Same with Thompson. So I'm ready for some football and to see our Ravens defend their championship. Please don't think otherwise.
    When did Tandon get his shot? I must have missed it. I saw him get some plays in the Colts game and a few plays early in the season. I would not call it a shot. A shot is playing consistently. If teams would write off players like fans do GB would have cut James Jones after he went through a case of the drops. Instead they made him a bigger part of the offense last year and he rewarded them. Anquan Boldin went through some issues with drops early in his Ravens career as did Tsmith.

    The problem with Cam's offense is that there was really no snaps to give to young up an coming wrs. The offense spent so much time in 2 wr sets that Doss never really got a shot. This year Doss and Thompson are going to get their shot. If Caldwell continues the type of offense he ran at the end of the year there will be plenty of snaps for wrs to get their shot. #2 wr and slot are wide open.




  5. #65

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfish View Post
    The offseason is torturous time, let's play ball! Much like the Chinese water torture, news from training camp is a slow drip.
    Amen to that brother!




  6. #66

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    When did Tandon get his shot? I must have missed it. I saw him get some plays in the Colts game and a few plays early in the season. I would not call it a shot. A shot is playing consistently. If teams would write off players like fans do GB would have cut James Jones after he went through a case of the drops. Instead they made him a bigger part of the offense last year and he rewarded them. Anquan Boldin went through some issues with drops early in his Ravens career as did Tsmith.

    The problem with Cam's offense is that there was really no snaps to give to young up an coming wrs. The offense spent so much time in 2 wr sets that Doss never really got a shot. This year Doss and Thompson are going to get their shot. If Caldwell continues the type of offense he ran at the end of the year there will be plenty of snaps for wrs to get their shot. #2 wr and slot are wide open.
    We'll agree to disagree on what constitutes a "shot". Sometimes all WRs in waiting get is a few plays to show they belong on the field. And when they drop TD passes right in their hands, they might not get another shot for quite some time.

    We have no disagreement when it comes to Cam Cameron.
    Last edited by RavensRule21215; 07-31-2013 at 02:20 PM.




  7. #67

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfish View Post
    I agree. Probably everyone of us is uncomfortable with our stable of WRs, I just resigned myself that Ozzie makes these decisions and he must be seeing something good in what we have.
    Not me! I'm pleased that we are finally giving opportunities to some of our younger, promising receivers. Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss, even David Reed – all these guys have shown a little flash of something. But we've usually clogged up the roster ahead of them with veterans like Lee Evans, TJ Housh, Kelley Washington, even Jacoby Jones. Jones is the only one to really pan out; and most of that was his kick-return skills.

    I love Anquan Boldin. He's a great player. But he is exactly the kind of player that a good team must be able to replace: the aging, slowing, sub-Pro Bowl performer. He's Bart Scott. Actually Q is a little better than Bart on his career: Q's a 3-time Pro Bowler, twice with 100+ receptions, once led the league in yards-per-game. But it's the same principle; and anyway we didn't have Q during his Pro Bowl years.

    Ultimately it goes back to something Bisciotti said a couple postseason press conferences ago. He said that a change he would like to see is, finding out what they have in the young players earlier in their first contract. I think he called out Paul Kruger in that press conference, as an example of a player who had broken out a little, but at that point they only controlled him for one more season. Bisciotti said he wanted the Ravens to give some of their young, promising players more chances early, so they would know what they had and could plan better.

    That's smart. And looking back over the production of our #3 receiver the last 5 years:
    HTML Code:
    Year  Player             catches yards  TDs
    2008  Demetrius Williams   13     180    1
    2009  Kelley Washington    34     431    2
    2010  TJ Houshmazilly      30     398    3
    2011  Pitta? (Evans hurt)  40     405    3
    2012  Jacoby               30     406    1
    (I counted Pitta as WR3 for 2011, which is not 100% right. Lee Evans was technically our 3rd leading WR, but he was hurt & ineffective and only had 4 catches. Ed Dickson was our leading TE that year, 54 catches for 528 and 5 TDs. Good season! Pitta was after him that year, and had about what our #3 receiver usually gets.)

    If you ignore 2008 and average out the last 4 years, that comes to 34 catches for 410 yards and 2.25 TDs. Those are not earth-shattering numbers. Why can't Deonte Thompson or Tandon Doss, or David Reed, be expected to produce at that level? These are talented guys. Of course they can.

    And the other factor is that the WR #3 numbers above clock in at about 13 yards per reception. That's low for a WR. It's lower than the numbers for our #1&2 WRs since Derrick Mason left. That represents a WR3 that was not a threat. Thompson & Reed are speed merchants; even Doss is faster than what we've had at WR3 (before last year). I would expect them all to have higher yards-per-reception numbers, which means they could produce similar yardage on fewer catches (or more yardage on the same number of catches).

    The scary part is not that we are giving meaningful playing time to a young, unproven receiver. That's the exciting news. It's about time! The scary part is projecting Jacoby Jones as a productive #2 receiver. He's 29 this year, and has never had more than about 50 catches and 550 yards. His catch rates that last two seasons have been low (50 and 55%). The average catch rate of the top 45 most productive WRs last season was 62%. The top guys like Calvin & Andre Johnson, Peyton Manning's & Drew Brees's receivers, Crabtree, Dez Bryant, Roddy White, Malcom Floyd, they're around 66%. But all of our guys had low catch rates last season (Boldin 58%, Torrey 45%!), so maybe that was a byproduct of Cam's offense (play-action bombs). The old Indy offense was a little more efficient; maybe Caldwell's will be too.

    The guy who really has to take a step forward is Torrey Smith. His first two seasons were solid, but now the Ravens need him to move into WR1 territory. We need at minimum to see a stat line from him similar to Colston's or Julio Jones' last season (or Victor Cruz): solidly over 1100 yards with double-digit TDs, on a catch rate at least in the low 60s. At least that. Those numbers would have put Torrey just outside of the top 10 in receiving yards this past season. That would really make the passing offense go. Then if one of the young guys can put together a typical Ravens WR3 season, if Dickson can match his numbers from 2011 (54 catches, 528 yards, 5 TDs), and if Rice has his usual ~500 yds receiving, then we would be very close to where we were last year as a passing offense. We wouldn't need much from TE2 or WR4 to match last season's numbers. And last season we were 10th in scoring, which is quite respectable.

    Here's the stats for our top 6 pass-catchers last season, along with some projections for this season:
    HTML Code:
    2012    yards TDs     2013     yards  TDs
    Boldin   921   4      Torrey    1125  10
    Torrey   855   8      Jacoby     650   4
    Pitta    669   7      Dickson    528   5
    Rice     478   1      Rice       517   1
    Jacoby   406   1      WR3        410   2
    Dickson  225   0      TE2/WR4    225   0
    Total:	3554  21      Total:    3455  22
                          delta      -99  +1
    That puts us right where we were last year. And there are no outlandish assumptions there. Modestly it assumes:
    • We're only as efficient as last season's Cam Cameron offense, not like Joe was in the postseason.
    • Ray Rice does not have one of his odd-numbered-year blow up seasons, where he gets 700 receving yards on his way to 2k from scrimmage.
    • The young WRs are only as good as our typical WR3. None of them blows up like Torrey did in his rookie season, or like Victor Cruz.
    • Ed Dickson not improved at all since 2011.
    • Jacoby Jones is only as good as he's always been, he's just targetted more this year.

    The key is Torrey. He has to do more than he has, for all that to work out.

    But the other projections are very modest. Dickson's stat line is identical to his line from 2011, I just copied it in. Ray Rice's stat line is the average of 2010 and 2012 – his "off" years, not his league-leading years. For Jacoby's line, I added ~90 yards and 1 TD to his best season (Houston 2010), to represent him getting more targets. For "WR3", who I assume to be either Doss or Deonte, I wrote in the average production of our 3rd WR the last 4 seasons. For the last line, "TE2/WR4", I wrote in Ed Dickson's line from last season. Dickson was not very good last year, injured I think, but he had 21 receptions for 225 yards. That's about 75 more yards than our #6 receiver has gotten in prior seasons, so it probably looks like a stretch to say that Furstenburg or Billy Pajama or whoever will get that. But I think we'll do a bit more 4-wide this year than we have in the past, so our #6 pass-catcher might be the second-place finisher in the Doss/Deonte/David Reed competition. I think that guy will have no trouble averaging ~14 yards per game, to get 225 on the season.

    Things could easily be better than this.
    • If Ray Rice has one of his explosion years, then that takes some pressure of other players. Indy used Edgerrin James in the passing game, so maybe Caldwell will do that too.
    • I think Dickson will be more productive than he was in 2011, more like Pitta last year: say 700 yds or so and 7+ TDs. A little less consistent than Pitta but a bit more of a deep threat, and not really splitting time with anyone.
    • I think the young guys, Doss/Deonte/Reed, will be much much more productive than our typical WR3, more productive than anyone expects. Coaches have been touting these guys – there's a reason Ozzie has been willing to sit tight. Especially I think Deonte is a potential 1,000yd receiver, a la Victor Cruz. I think we'll see more like 6-700 yards from the position, rather than 400.
    • Most of all, if Joe this season looks anything like the last time we saw Joe under Caldwell, anything like Postseason Joe, then the Ravens offense could be much, much better across the board. If Cam was holding the offense back, then it should be globally better now, esp with so much speed.

    So – I think the sky-is-falling stuff is overblown. This is just like the 2010-11 offseason, when we let Derrick Mason and Todd Heap walk and went with unproven guys to replace them (Torrey/Dickson/Pitta). It worked out ok then. It will work out even better now. We have a lot of young speed, and we need to get it on the field and start using it. Moving Boldin was an essential part of that. Not a mistake at all. Even if we struggle to find a rhythm the first 3 or 4 games, it's still not a mistake: it was a necessary, logical step to keep growing the offense.

    The injury to Pitta hurts, though. I saw him as an essential cog, the chain-mover on 3rd down and the seam-finder in the red zone. But I still think the offense can be very powerful without him. There is so much speed. Imagine going 3-wide with Torrey, Jacoby and Deonte, with Dickson and Rice on the field, and Caldwell calling route combinations that help the receivers get open. What defense can match up with that?

    We're going to be highly explosive this year.
    Last edited by JimZipCode; 08-01-2013 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Corrected typo in table




  8. #68
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    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavensRule21215 View Post
    Baloney. First of all, Joe IS worthy of his contract. Second, NO QB has ever achieved elite status with crap WRs. NONE. Even going back to Johnny U. So this BS about putting it on Joe to turn garbage into stars is nonsense. And finally, Joe has ALREADY done more with mediocre WRs than any other QB in his grouping. Matty Meltdown has pro bowlers left and right and his stats are only marginally better than Joe's, and his post season success can't even compare. So the notion that Joe has something to prove when it comes to sub par WRs is absurd.
    It's Joe's fault he didn't run down and catch the ball for Lee Evans and hand it to him.




  9. #69

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonNMass View Post
    It's Joe's fault he didn't run down and catch the ball for Lee Evans and hand it to him.
    It's always Joe's fault, isn't it?



    He was a split second from Evans getting that second foot down to leading his team to back to back super bowls, and yet you have some "fans" here who keep making him out to be Kyle Boller 2.0.




  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    New Jersey
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    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    Not me! I'm pleased that we are finally giving opportunities to some of our younger, promising receivers. Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss, even David Reed – all these guys have shown a little flash of something. But we've usually clogged up the roster ahead of them with veterans like Lee Evans, TJ Housh, Kelley Washington, even Jacoby Jones. Jones is the only one to really pan out; and most of that was his kick-return skills.

    I love Anquan Boldin. He's a great player. But he is exactly the kind of player that a good team must be able to replace: the aging, slowing, sub-Pro Bowl performer. He's Bart Scott. Actually Q is a little better than Bart on his career: Q's a 3-time Pro Bowler, twice with 100+ receptions, once led the league in yards-per-game. But it's the same principle; and anyway we didn't have Q during his Pro Bowl years.

    Ultimately it goes back to something Bisciotti said a couple postseason press conferences ago. He said that a change he would like to see is, finding out what they have in the young players earlier in their first contract. I think he called out Paul Kruger in that press conference, as an example of a player who had broken out a little, but at that point they only controlled him for one more season. Bisciotti said he wanted the Ravens to give some of their young, promising players more chances early, so they would know what they had and could plan better.

    That's smart. And looking back over the production of our #3 receiver the last 5 years:
    HTML Code:
    Year  Player             catches yards  TDs
    2008  Demetrius Williams   13     180    1
    2009  Kelley Washington    34     431    2
    2010  TJ Houshmazilly      30     398    3
    2011  Pitta? (Evans hurt)  40     405    3
    2012  Jacoby               30     406    1
    (I counted Pitta as WR3 for 2011, which is not 100% right. Lee Evans was technically our 3rd leading WR, but he was hurt & ineffective and only had 4 catches. Ed Dickson was our leading TE that year, 54 catches for 528 and 5 TDs. Good season! Pitta was after him that year, and had about what our #3 receiver usually gets.)

    If you ignore 2008 and average out the last 4 years, that comes to 34 catches for 410 yards and 2.25 TDs. Those are not earth-shattering numbers. Why can't Deonte Thompson or Tandon Doss, or David Reed, be expected to produce at that level? These are talented guys. Of course they can.

    And the other factor is that the WR #3 numbers above clock in at about 13 yards per reception. That's low for a WR. It's lower than the numbers for our #1&2 WRs since Derrick Mason left. That represents a WR3 that was not a threat. Thompson & Reed are speed merchants; even Doss is faster than what we've had at WR3 (before last year). I would expect them all to have higher yards-per-reception numbers, which means they could produce similar yardage on fewer catches (or more yardage on the same number of catches).

    The scary part is not that we are giving meaningful playing time to a young, unproven receiver. That's the exciting news. It's about time! The scary part is projecting Jacoby Jones as a productive #2 receiver. He's 29 this year, and has never had more than about 50 catches and 550 yards. His catch rates that last two seasons have been low (50 and 55%). The average catch rate of the top 45 most productive WRs last season was 62%. The top guys like Calvin & Andre Johnson, Peyton Manning's & Drew Brees's receivers, Crabtree, Dez Bryant, Roddy White, Malcom Floyd, they're around 66%. But all of our guys had low catch rates last season (Boldin 58%, Torrey 45%!), so maybe that was a byproduct of Cam's offense (play-action bombs). The old Indy offense was a little more efficient; maybe Caldwell's will be too.

    The guy who really has to take a step forward is Torrey Smith. His first two seasons were solid, but now the Ravens need him to move into WR1 territory. We need at minimum to see a stat line from him similar to Colston's or Julio Jones' last season (or Victor Cruz): solidly over 1100 yards with double-digit TDs, on a catch rate at least in the low 60s. At least that. Those numbers would have put Torrey just outside of the top 10 in receiving yards this past season. That would really make the passing offense go. Then if one of the young guys can put together a typical Ravens WR3 season, if Dickson can match his numbers from 2011 (54 catches, 528 yards, 5 TDs), and if Rice has his usual ~500 yds receiving, then we would be very close to where we were last year as a passing offense. We wouldn't need much from TE2 or WR4 to match last season's numbers. And last season we were 10th in scoring, which is quite respectable.

    Here's the stats for our top 6 pass-catchers last season, along with some projections for this season:
    HTML Code:
    2012    yards TDs     2013     yards  TDs
    Boldin   921   4      Torrey    1125  10
    Torrey   855   8      Jacoby     650   4
    Pitta    669   7      Dickson    528   5
    Rice     478   1      Rice       517   1
    Jacoby   406   1      WR3        410   2
    Dickson  225   0      TE2/WR4    225   0
    Total:	3554  21      Total:    3455  22
                          delta      -99  +1
    That puts us right where we were last year. And there are no outlandish assumptions there. Modestly it assumes:
    • We're only as efficient as last season's Cam Cameron offense, not like Joe was in the postseason.
    • Ray Rice does not have one of his odd-numbered-year blow up seasons, where he gets 700 receving yards on his way to 2k from scrimmage.
    • The young WRs are only as good as our typical WR3. None of them blows up like Torrey did in his rookie season, or like Victor Cruz.
    • Ed Dickson not improved at all since 2011.
    • Jacoby Jones is only as good as he's always been, he's just targetted more this year.

    The key is Torrey. He has to do more than he has, for all that to work out.

    But the other projections are very modest. Dickson's stat line is identical to his line from 2011, I just copied it in. Ray Rice's stat line is the average of 2010 and 2012 – his "off" years, not his league-leading years. For Jacoby's line, I added ~90 yards and 1 TD to his best season (Houston 2010), to represent him getting more targets. For "WR3", who I assume to be either Doss or Deonte, I wrote in the average production of our 3rd WR the last 4 seasons. For the last line, "TE2/WR4", I wrote in Ed Dickson's line from last season. Dickson was not very good last year, injured I think, but he had 21 receptions for 225 yards. That's about 75 more yards than our #6 receiver has gotten in prior seasons, so it probably looks like a stretch to say that Furstenburg or Billy Pajama or whoever will get that. But I think we'll do a bit more 4-wide this year than we have in the past, so our #6 pass-catcher might be the second-place finisher in the Doss/Deonte/David Reed competition. I think that guy will have no trouble averaging ~14 yards per game, to get 225 on the season.

    Things could easily be better than this.
    • If Ray Rice has one of his explosion years, then that takes some pressure of other players. Indy used Edgerrin James in the passing game, so maybe Caldwell will do that too.
    • I think Dickson will be more productive than he was in 2011, more like Pitta last year: say 700 yds or so and 7+ TDs. A little less consistent than Pitta but a bit more of a deep threat, and not really splitting time with anyone.
    • I think the young guys, Doss/Deonte/Reed, will be much much more productive than our typical WR3, more productive than anyone expects. Coaches have been touting these guys – there's a reason Ozzie has been willing to sit tight. Especially I think Deonte is a potential 1,000yd receiver, a la Victor Cruz. I think we'll see more like 6-700 yards from the position, rather than 400.
    • Most of all, if Joe this season looks anything like the last time we saw Joe under Caldwell, anything like Postseason Joe, then the Ravens offense could be much, much better across the board. If Cam was holding the offense back, then it should be globally better now, esp with so much speed.

    So – I think the sky-is-falling stuff is overblown. This is just like the 2010-11 offseason, when we let Derrick Mason and Todd Heap walk and went with unproven guys to replace them (Torrey/Dickson/Pitta). It worked out ok then. It will work out even better now. We have a lot of young speed, and we need to get it on the field and start using it. Moving Boldin was an essential part of that. Not a mistake at all. Even if we struggle to find a rhythm the first 3 or 4 games, it's still not a mistake: it was a necessary, logical step to keep growing the offense.

    The injury to Pitta hurts, though. I saw him as an essential cog, the chain-mover on 3rd down and the seam-finder in the red zone. But I still think the offense can be very powerful without him. There is so much speed. Imagine going 3-wide with Torrey, Jacoby and Deonte, with Dickson and Rice on the field, and Caldwell calling route combinations that help the receivers get open. What defense can match up with that?

    We're going to be highly explosive this year.
    I think this is the most thoughtful, thorough, and overall best post I have ever seen on this forum. Bravo.




  11. #71

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by RavensRule21215 View Post
    It's always Joe's fault, isn't it?



    He was a split second from Evans getting that second foot down to leading his team to back to back super bowls, and yet you have some "fans" here who keep making him out to be Kyle Boller 2.0.
    No he wasn't. He was a splite split second away from getting his team to a Super Bowl. No way of knowing how the next year would have turned out.

    It's like this...the Ravens had the best team in football in 2011 and fell short. The Ravens were a bubble playoff team and won the Superbowl in 2013. Impossible to predict.




  12. #72
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    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    Not me! I'm pleased that we are finally giving opportunities to some of our younger, promising receivers. Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss, even David Reed all these guys have shown a little flash of something. But we've usually clogged up the roster ahead of them with veterans like Lee Evans, TJ Housh, Kelley Washington, even Jacoby Jones. Jones is the only one to really pan out; and most of that was his kick-return skills.

    I love Anquan Boldin. He's a great player. But he is exactly the kind of player that a good team must be able to replace: the aging, slowing, sub-Pro Bowl performer. He's Bart Scott. Actually Q is a little better than Bart on his career: Q's a 3-time Pro Bowler, twice with 100+ receptions, once led the league in yards-per-game. But it's the same principle; and anyway we didn't have Q during his Pro Bowl years.

    Ultimately it goes back to something Bisciotti said a couple postseason press conferences ago. He said that a change he would like to see is, finding out what they have in the young players earlier in their first contract. I think he called out Paul Kruger in that press conference, as an example of a player who had broken out a little, but at that point they only controlled him for one more season. Bisciotti said he wanted the Ravens to give some of their young, promising players more chances early, so they would know what they had and could plan better.

    That's smart. And looking back over the production of our #3 receiver the last 5 years:
    HTML Code:
    Year  Player             catches yards  TDs
    2008  Demetrius Williams   13     180    1
    2009  Kelley Washington    34     431    2
    2010  TJ Houshmazilly      30     398    3
    2011  Pitta? (Evans hurt)  40     405    3
    2012  Jacoby               30     406    1
    (I counted Pitta as WR3 for 2011, which is not 100% right. Lee Evans was technically our 3rd leading WR, but he was hurt & ineffective and only had 4 catches. Ed Dickson was our leading TE that year, 54 catches for 528 and 5 TDs. Good season! Pitta was after him that year, and had about what our #3 receiver usually gets.)

    If you ignore 2008 and average out the last 4 years, that comes to 34 catches for 410 yards and 2.25 TDs. Those are not earth-shattering numbers. Why can't Deonte Thompson or Tandon Doss, or David Reed, be expected to produce at that level? These are talented guys. Of course they can.

    And the other factor is that the WR #3 numbers above clock in at about 13 yards per reception. That's low for a WR. It's lower than the numbers for our #1&2 WRs since Derrick Mason left. That represents a WR3 that was not a threat. Thompson & Reed are speed merchants; even Doss is faster than what we've had at WR3 (before last year). I would expect them all to have higher yards-per-reception numbers, which means they could produce similar yardage on fewer catches (or more yardage on the same number of catches).

    The scary part is not that we are giving meaningful playing time to a young, unproven receiver. That's the exciting news. It's about time! The scary part is projecting Jacoby Jones as a productive #2 receiver. He's 29 this year, and has never had more than about 50 catches and 550 yards. His catch rates that last two seasons have been low (50 and 55%). The average catch rate of the top 45 most productive WRs last season was 62%. The top guys like Calvin & Andre Johnson, Peyton Manning's & Drew Brees's receivers, Crabtree, Dez Bryant, Roddy White, Malcom Floyd, they're around 66%. But all of our guys had low catch rates last season (Boldin 58%, Torrey 45%!), so maybe that was a byproduct of Cam's offense (play-action bombs). The old Indy offense was a little more efficient; maybe Caldwell's will be too.

    The guy who really has to take a step forward is Torrey Smith. His first two seasons were solid, but now the Ravens need him to move into WR1 territory. We need at minimum to see a stat line from him similar to Colston's or Julio Jones' last season (or Victor Cruz): solidly over 1100 yards with double-digit TDs, on a catch rate at least in the low 60s. At least that. Those numbers would have put Torrey just outside of the top 10 in receiving yards this past season. That would really make the passing offense go. Then if one of the young guys can put together a typical Ravens WR3 season, if Dickson can match his numbers from 2011 (54 catches, 528 yards, 5 TDs), and if Rice has his usual ~500 yds receiving, then we would be very close to where we were last year as a passing offense. We wouldn't need much from TE2 or WR4 to match last season's numbers. And last season we were 10th in scoring, which is quite respectable.

    Here's the stats for our top 6 pass-catchers last season, along with some projections for this season:
    HTML Code:
    2012    yards TDs     2013     yards  TDs
    Boldin   921   4      Torrey    1125  10
    Torrey   855   8      Jacoby     650   4
    Pitta    669   7      Dickson    528   5
    Rice     478   1      Rice       517   1
    Jacoby   406   1      WR3        410   2
    Dickson  225   0      TE2/WR4    225   0
    Total:	3554  21      Total:    3455  22
                          delta      -99  +1
    That puts us right where we were last year. And there are no outlandish assumptions there. Modestly it assumes:
    • We're only as efficient as last season's Cam Cameron offense, not like Joe was in the postseason.
    • Ray Rice does not have one of his odd-numbered-year blow up seasons, where he gets 700 receving yards on his way to 2k from scrimmage.
    • The young WRs are only as good as our typical WR3. None of them blows up like Torrey did in his rookie season, or like Victor Cruz.
    • Ed Dickson not improved at all since 2011.
    • Jacoby Jones is only as good as he's always been, he's just targetted more this year.

    The key is Torrey. He has to do more than he has, for all that to work out.

    But the other projections are very modest. Dickson's stat line is identical to his line from 2011, I just copied it in. Ray Rice's stat line is the average of 2010 and 2012 his "off" years, not his league-leading years. For Jacoby's line, I added ~90 yards and 1 TD to his best season (Houston 2010), to represent him getting more targets. For "WR3", who I assume to be either Doss or Deonte, I wrote in the average production of our 3rd WR the last 4 seasons. For the last line, "TE2/WR4", I wrote in Ed Dickson's line from last season. Dickson was not very good last year, injured I think, but he had 21 receptions for 225 yards. That's about 75 more yards than our #6 receiver has gotten in prior seasons, so it probably looks like a stretch to say that Furstenburg or Billy Pajama or whoever will get that. But I think we'll do a bit more 4-wide this year than we have in the past, so our #6 pass-catcher might be the second-place finisher in the Doss/Deonte/David Reed competition. I think that guy will have no trouble averaging ~14 yards per game, to get 225 on the season.

    Things could easily be better than this.
    • If Ray Rice has one of his explosion years, then that takes some pressure of other players. Indy used Edgerrin James in the passing game, so maybe Caldwell will do that too.
    • I think Dickson will be more productive than he was in 2011, more like Pitta last year: say 700 yds or so and 7+ TDs. A little less consistent than Pitta but a bit more of a deep threat, and not really splitting time with anyone.
    • I think the young guys, Doss/Deonte/Reed, will be much much more productive than our typical WR3, more productive than anyone expects. Coaches have been touting these guys there's a reason Ozzie has been willing to sit tight. Especially I think Deonte is a potential 1,000yd receiver, a la Victor Cruz. I think we'll see more like 6-700 yards from the position, rather than 400.
    • Most of all, if Joe this season looks anything like the last time we saw Joe under Caldwell, anything like Postseason Joe, then the Ravens offense could be much, much better across the board. If Cam was holding the offense back, then it should be globally better now, esp with so much speed.

    So I think the sky-is-falling stuff is overblown. This is just like the 2010-11 offseason, when we let Derrick Mason and Todd Heap walk and went with unproven guys to replace them (Torrey/Dickson/Pitta). It worked out ok then. It will work out even better now. We have a lot of young speed, and we need to get it on the field and start using it. Moving Boldin was an essential part of that. Not a mistake at all. Even if we struggle to find a rhythm the first 3 or 4 games, it's still not a mistake: it was a necessary, logical step to keep growing the offense.

    The injury to Pitta hurts, though. I saw him as an essential cog, the chain-mover on 3rd down and the seam-finder in the red zone. But I still think the offense can be very powerful without him. There is so much speed. Imagine going 3-wide with Torrey, Jacoby and Deonte, with Dickson and Rice on the field, and Caldwell calling route combinations that help the receivers get open. What defense can match up with that?

    We're going to be highly explosive this year.
    Awesome job JimZipCode! Love your analysis of the situation
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  13. #73
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    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    So – I think the sky-is-falling stuff is overblown. This is just like the 2010-11 offseason, when we let Derrick Mason and Todd Heap walk and went with unproven guys to replace them (Torrey/Dickson/Pitta). It worked out ok then. It will work out even better now. We have a lot of young speed, and we need to get it on the field and start using it. Moving Boldin was an essential part of that. Not a mistake at all. Even if we struggle to find a rhythm the first 3 or 4 games, it's still not a mistake: it was a necessary, logical step to keep growing the offense.
    Here is my take on the situation the Ravens are in with their receiving and tight ends. I personally think the tight end position will be perfectly fine, so as long as Dickson stays healthy. Behind Dickson, I really don't have any confidence in any of the existing roster players to step into a #1 TE spot and be that reliable target Flacco looks for, such as he did with Pitta. But, given that Dickson stays healthy, I think the TE spot will be fine with Bajema, Furstenburg, etc to fill in where applicable.
    As far as the wide receivers and receiving options, I personally do not think it will be easy in the least to -make up- for the production that Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta accounted for last year. The numbers may not show it, but Anquan and Pitta were go-to guys on 3rd downs and were key in the playoffs and showed the ability to be clutch and make clutch catches. That's not to say that Ed and Torrey cannot be these guys as the #1 guy in each of their respective positions. With the current line up of T. Smith, J. Jones, and Doss/Streeter/Thompson/Reed, I don't see why productivity cannot be equal to that of the last few years, but I question the reliability of some of these receivers ability to be as sure handed as Anquan and Pitta were. Speaking historically of J. Jones, I think it's evident he has had problems holding onto the ball, and perhaps the same could be said about Doss in his limited number of snaps.
    With that said, the real concern I see is if something happens to Torrey, and he is out for an extended period of time. The Ravens essentially have no reliable/legitimate #1 receiver behind Torrey, and it could be argued that they don't have a #2. I don't have an answer on how to fix this other than hoping to pick someone up later in preseason, or if the front office decides some sort of trade is in order. Health, to me is the biggest concern, as if Torrey and/or Ed goes down, I think chalking up the situation to "next man up" won't cut it as far as production.
    Last edited by palukaraven; 08-01-2013 at 01:16 PM.




  14. #74

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    Awesome job JimZipCode! Love your analysis of the situation

    Way to go JimZipCode!!!
    (I'll refrain from copying the whole thing)




  15. #75

    Re: The Foundation of the Passing Offense is still Intact.

    Nice job JimZip. I've never seen such determination to sell opinions on the unchangeable past(Boldin departing) and the not yet determined future(this season). Naturally we think the smartest people are the ones we agree with. I happen to agree with just about everything you said and disagree with others. In the end it's just an opinion, no one wins this argument until the season is played.




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