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  1. #1

    The Observations of an Excellector.



    I have read the comments on this board, listened to fans in passing and taken time to truly evaluate what is going on with the Ravens.

    First and foremost, I want to say that this is still a playoff team and, even though they did not look good Sunday, they will still likely win the division with room to spare. Cincinnati caught the proverbial right hook, week 1, against the Ravens. They have not recovered since.

    Pittsburgh is scratching their way through, but are not clawing yet. They still do not have a handle on things with their injuries.

    With that in mind, I could certainly see the Ravens winning the division again and a sweep is not out of the question. To add to that, New England's vulnerability has brought them down with the rest. So, a first or second seed is not out of the question either, although Houston is the front runner for the top seed.

    Defensively, the coaching staff does not have confidence in the pass rush, nor do they seem to have the blitz solutions. As a result, they seem reluctant to press the CBs, even though both perform best in press coverage. Cary Williams strategy, in turn, has been to keep everything in front of him, before running up and trying to strip the ball. It reminds me of the way that Josh Wilson plays. Jimmy Smith is still trying to play off coverage with that aggressive press mentality and, clearly, still has much to learn. However, I think that he will be able to figure it out.

    The return of Terrell Suggs can help out several ways. First, he will do a much better job of setting the edge than Paul Kruger, which means that the interior offensive line won't be able to slice up the middle and get on the backers, as much as they have been doing. The TE was taking out Kruger. The T and G were doubling Ngata. The C was engaging Cody, while the other G was helping, before hitting the second level, where Ray was. McPhee was a non-factor. Now, the T has to engage Suggs.

    Once Suggs gets into better game shape, the coaching staff will likely feel more comfortable trying some different blitzes, albeit not of the style of a Rex Ryan we know and love (DC wise anyways). Then, they can keep the CBs in press.

    Otherwise, their main issue on defense, other than the pass rush, will be the lack of experience.

    Offensively, this team is fine when they are at home. On the road, the protection is worse and the lack of balance is more noticeable. I know that they want to run this up tempo offense and I am a very big Joe Flacco fan, but it's okay to use Rice to keep the offense stabilized on the road and they might have to do that. I expect them to against Cleveland, because it will be after a bye, but they consistently seem to push the panic button. Joe is good and I think that Joe can become the best QB in this league. However, he is not Aaron Rodgers. He doesn't use his legs enough. He doesn't have the moves in the pocket that a Rodgers has.

    Now, I will say this, Cam Cameron did and has tried a few more slants and WR screens. However, altogether, it just doesn't seem crisp.

    Now (again), some of the play-calling imbalance might have something to do with Flacco. Then again, it could be and is likely a choice of a handful of plays brought in from the sidelines.

    Now (yet again), what I won't blame Flacco for is the lack of separation from the WRs. Dan Deirdorf talked about this during the game. Matt Schaub was throwing high and low most of the game, but was able to connect as his WRs made plays in space. The Ravens WRs didn't have that space and their issues with press coverage continue. Jacoby Jones has had a better season than I expected so far, but has disappeared at moments as well. He does not play with the physicality that his size dictates. Boldin's issues with separation are a concern and his issues with consistency are becoming a concern. One game, he can catch everything coming his way. Another game, he is not getting open and is dropping passes when he does get a chance. Teams are essentially giving Torrey the underneath stuff. Joe and Torrey just aren't consistent enough in taking it.

    Joe got hit a good two or three times, and stopped stepping into his throws. That's why he missed a few. However, how many times did we watch him throw high or low, without much choice, because the coverage was so tight? Tommie Streeter cannot develop fast enough. Boldin is aging. Torrey is still learning how to control his speed and Jacoby Jones does not play up to his size. The need for that size WR with speed, in my opinion, is glaring. It's been this way for years. If Joe doesn't throw it darn near on the mark, it doesn't get caught.

    They are just really going to have to, again, work on their balance, on the road.

    This team can defeat Cleveland and they can defeat Oakland. They can split with Pittsburgh and they can defeat San Diego. They are still a playoff team. There is no need to call in the season.

    The reality is that they were due for a butt kicking. It had been a good while since they had one of this magnitude. Houston has been wanting a piece of them since that playoff game ended. They wanted Baltimore bad and were definitely ticked off after last week.

    Now, Baltimore can regroup.

    I think that John Harbaugh has done a good job. To have this team at 5-2 with all of the injuries and issues, is a credit to him. I think we all have to understand that he doesn't have the offensive play calling experience that Billick had. He can't just take over play calling from Cameron or fire Cameron and do it himself. Nor can he do that to Pees. His, strength is stability and team unity, which is why this team is better at finding ways to win, no matter which side of the ball is playing bad. However, he has to trust his coordinators and they just aren't the cream of the crop right now.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  2. #2

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    With that in mind, I could certainly see the Ravens winning the division again and a sweep is not out of the question. To add to that, New England's vulnerability has brought them down with the rest. So, a first or second seed is not out of the question either, although Houston is the front runner for the top seed.
    The Ravens do have a chance to take first place. Not a strong chance the way the Texans have been playing, but still there. We do have a good chance at a first round bye and one game at home. If that happens, then we have a good shot at the Superbowl.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    Defensively, the coaching staff does not have confidence in the pass rush, nor do they seem to have the blitz solutions. As a result, they seem reluctant to press the CBs, even though both perform best in press coverage. Cary Williams strategy, in turn, has been to keep everything in front of him, before running up and trying to strip the ball. It reminds me of the way that Josh Wilson plays. Jimmy Smith is still trying to play off coverage with that aggressive press mentality and, clearly, still has much to learn. However, I think that he will be able to figure it out.
    Ugh, no kidding. I was complaining, loudly, about the off coverage in the Bengals game. Jimmy and Cary are big corners who can run like the wind. Have them press the receiver and throw off the QB's rhythm. Pollard and Reed have the back half so let your young guns play to their strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    The return of Terrell Suggs can help out several ways. First, he will do a much better job of setting the edge than Paul Kruger, which means that the interior offensive line won't be able to slice up the middle and get on the backers, as much as they have been doing. The TE was taking out Kruger. The T and G were doubling Ngata. The C was engaging Cody, while the other G was helping, before hitting the second level, where Ray was. McPhee was a non-factor. Now, the T has to engage Suggs.
    And he gives the whole team a shot of attitude. The defense seemed to hit a lot harder Sunday, until they just got exhausted by the offense's inability to maintain possession.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    Offensively, this team is fine when they are at home. On the road, the protection is worse and the lack of balance is more noticeable. I know that they want to run this up tempo offense and I am a very big Joe Flacco fan, but it's okay to use Rice to keep the offense stabilized on the road and they might have to do that. I expect them to against Cleveland, because it will be after a bye, but they consistently seem to push the panic button. Joe is good and I think that Joe can become the best QB in this league. However, he is not Aaron Rodgers. He doesn't use his legs enough. He doesn't have the moves in the pocket that a Rodgers has.
    The thing I still don't get is why Ray Rice isn't more involved. Look at every great QB and he has one guy he can rely on, no matter how much they spread it around. Brady/Welker, Peyton/Harrison,Wayne, Eli/Cruz, Rodgers/... has pretty much an entire team to throw the ball to. Going back through the years you have Montana,Young/Rice, Elway/Sharpe, Farve/Sharpe, Unitas/Berry. Rice should be a focal point of the offense, even if we're trying to turn Flacco into the greatest ever. In fact, given history I'd say it is vital that Rice be a focal point of the offense for that to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    Now (yet again), what I won't blame Flacco for is the lack of separation from the WRs. Dan Deirdorf talked about this during the game. Matt Schaub was throwing high and low most of the game, but was able to connect as his WRs made plays in space. The Ravens WRs didn't have that space and their issues with press coverage continue. Jacoby Jones has had a better season than I expected so far, but has disappeared at moments as well. He does not play with the physicality that his size dictates. Boldin's issues with separation are a concern and his issues with consistency are becoming a concern. One game, he can catch everything coming his way. Another game, he is not getting open and is dropping passes when he does get a chance. Teams are essentially giving Torrey the underneath stuff. Joe and Torrey just aren't consistent enough in taking it.

    Joe got hit a good two or three times, and stopped stepping into his throws. That's why he missed a few. However, how many times did we watch him throw high or low, without much choice, because the coverage was so tight? Tommie Streeter cannot develop fast enough. Boldin is aging. Torrey is still learning how to control his speed and Jacoby Jones does not play up to his size. The need for that size WR with speed, in my opinion, is glaring. It's been this way for years. If Joe doesn't throw it darn near on the mark, it doesn't get caught.
    I really like crossing routes. Now Sunday the Texans just lined up and whipped our collective asses so just toss that game out the window. In other games though I can't really remember seeing Torrey coming underneath and getting to use his speed against linebackers. We lead the league in plays of 20+ yards but how many are made after the catch. Unless Rice gets it on a dump off, we never see any of our receivers get to create in the open field.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    The reality is that they were due for a butt kicking. It had been a good while since they had one of this magnitude. Houston has been wanting a piece of them since that playoff game ended. They wanted Baltimore bad and were definitely ticked off after last week.
    I said in the game thread that it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. After Sunday the Ravens own an 11-1 record against the state of Texas. Eventually we were gonna get beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    I think that John Harbaugh has done a good job. To have this team at 5-2 with all of the injuries and issues, is a credit to him. I think we all have to understand that he doesn't have the offensive play calling experience that Billick had. He can't just take over play calling from Cameron or fire Cameron and do it himself. Nor can he do that to Pees. His, strength is stability and team unity, which is why this team is better at finding ways to win, no matter which side of the ball is playing bad. However, he has to trust his coordinators and they just aren't the cream of the crop right now.
    I really just don't like our coordinators. I don't have a suggestion as to who needs to replace them, but it needs to happen.
    "A moron, a rapist, and a Pittsburgh Steeler walk into a bar. He sits down and says, Hi Im Ben may I have a drink please?
    ProFootballMock




  3. #3

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    Quote Originally Posted by darb72 View Post

    I really just don't like our coordinators. I don't have a suggestion as to who needs to replace them, but it needs to happen.
    I'll reserve harsh criticism on Pees because of the talent issues on the defensive line and the fact that Reed's injured and Smith's a rookie. But that game was pathetic.

    I used to be a Cam apologist but I think after 5 seasons you can't make any more excuses. I know a lot of people toss out Norv Turner as an option, but given how SD performs I'm not sure I want him.




  4. #4

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenalytics View Post
    I used to be a Cam apologist but I think after 5 seasons you can't make any more excuses. I know a lot of people toss out Norv Turner as an option, but given how SD performs I'm not sure I want him.
    Norv is a mediocre head coach, but he is an excellent OC.

    He was the OC for the Cowboys in the 90s for 3 years when they won 2 of their 3 Super Bowls. And the Chargers offense has been good to great up until Rivers lost it.

    The one thing about Norv is he is more flexible than Cam, tailors his offense more to the strengths of his players, and he will not forget that the Air Coryell is predicated on establishing the run, so Rice won't become an afterthought 2 minutes into the game.




  5. #5

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    This is still a team that can win eleven or twelve games and, the way the AFC is looking now, that might be enough for a #1 or #2 seed.

    It will also be interesting to see if they put McKinnie into play during the bye week. If there were a time to move Osemele to LG, now would be the time to do it. As a fan, I don't really care much for Bryant McKinnie, but I think they need to try this new lineup and see the results.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  6. #6

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    One issue with the passing offense is that Jacoby Jones is not the only player who does not play with the physicality that his size dictates. The one guy who could probably do the best job of getting separation is Ed Dickson, but he plays too soft for what his size dictates as well.

    If Ed Dickson played with the consistent 'Tough, go up and get it' mentality that a Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski plays with, the Ravens passing offense would really be in good shape. Ed Dickson has not lived up to expectations either.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  7. #7
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    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    (1) PEES = Please Exclude Elderly Seniors.
    (2) CAM = Can't Amass More (points)
    (3) JOHN = Just Outside Highest Number (of wins)
    ... Bc




  8. #8
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    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    This team will be judged by how they do in the playoffs. If they fail to make the Super Bowl again it's going to be a failure. You can only get close for so long before you start to slide back and have to retool. We might already be at that point. I have a feeling that we're going to see a lot of personnel changes in 2013.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  9. #9

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    Personally, here are the changes I make and why:

    Fire Cam. I need not list the numerous reasons, but when something isn't working it seems he always loses the chess match to the other team. Square pegs do not fit into round holes no matter how you beat on it. Replacements, well there is a list, but the theory that a candidate isn't obvious as a reason not to fire Cam is unacceptable.

    Keep Pees and get him some more players. We let go of a few too many on defense and I believe we have kept a few too long.

    It pains me to say this as I am a huge Ray Lewis fan, it is time to let him go. 17 years as a linebacker playing at his level is unheard of. But he let his pride get in the way of logic and physics. Instead of gaining 20lbs of muscle to take the punishment a 37 year old man takes in an NFL game, he lost 20lbs to be lighter and play the pass more instead of coming out on third downs. Hence his injury. I don't care who you are, father time is undefeated for a reason.

    I hear Ray preach about team, desire, and ability. I think it is time Ray has a sit down with Marcellus Wallace and get the Butch speech. Sure, no one wants to come go out on an injury or comeback as a part time player, but it is what it is. He looked like a interstate rather than a roadblock as trucks are running over him.

    Ed Reed, is still a good player, but the shadows are falling on him as well. It is time to look to his replacement as well.

    Also, this isn't an indictment of the Texas game, big deal, we got our asses kicked. It happens, move on. I am still not a Harbaugh fan, but for what it is worth you get behind him and hope he puts a little more effort into the game plan and exerts a little more control over the game.




  10. #10
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    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    It looks more and more like last year they blew the best opportunity they were going to get to play in the Super Bowl. Everything broke their way from being mostly healthy to a down year for the Steelers to Suggs winning the defensive player of the year and they blew it.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  11. #11

    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    I've said it before, this defense's ability to stop the run and deter teams from even trying to run the ball, is what made it great. That thought was lost somewhere and the defense is suffering for it. Now, they are trying anything and everything to just stop the run, and still lack the pass rush.

    The only chance this defense has is if the intended combination of Suggs and Upshaw develops early and it would honestly be unfair to expect that. Upshaw is a rookie and Suggs is coming off of a major injury.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  12. #12
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    Re: The Observations of an Excellector.

    I have replacements for both and it's simple.

    Cam replaced by Caldwell (I could even see Montgomery with the sucess he has had at RB he is doing something right (i know Rice is a Beast, but he did it with McClain and Pierce is looking like he is going to pan out), with the Beast that Rice is he might go to a more Running scheme, but atleast the O will have identity again and with the young OL maulers we have it will work, Joe can still throw the ball, but we will get first downs and let the D rest more)

    Pees replaced by Clarence Brooks ( I would even say Monachino) but Brooks has been here for a while and his players love him and I think he would spark some fire.




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