In Ozzie You Should Trust!

| February 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

Every year it seems like the sky is falling in the NFL offseason.  Free agents, salary cap concerns, aging players, looming cuts and the uncertainty of the draft. On top of that everyone thinks they are apparently an expert on the draft.  The NFL is a a league of parity, and rosters turnover very quickly.  It happens for every team, not just the Ravens, and it’s why teams go from worst to first and best to last.

The Ravens have a lot of question marks this offseason, just like they did last season, and just like every other team in the NFL.  Joe Flacco needs to be locked up long term, Ray Rice is a free agent, as well as Jarrett Johnson, Ben  Grubbs, Haruki Nakamura and others.  Lardarius Webb, Carey Williams and Dannell Ellerbe are restricted free agents, which for novices basically means another team would have to sign them away from their current team and also give up a high draft pick.  So between giving up the pick, and a player potentially not wanting to leave, it doesn’t happen too often, especially with the Ravens.

So what will happen?  Who will we lose?  Who will we sign?  Who will we draft?  Here is my recommendation, don’t worry about it!  We have been to the divisional round of the playoffs  5 of the last 6 years, and were probably good enough to make the Super Bowl 4 of those seasons.  A dropped pass here, a missed FG there, a Darren Stone late hit, a phantom hold on Marcus Smith, an early snap, and a 1 yard line Steve McNair interception, and somehow we didn’t get there any of those years.  But they were good enough, why?  Because in Ozzie Newsome you should trust!

The Ravens are the only team in the NFL that has been to the playoffs the last four seasons, and it will be a shocker if they don’t get back next year.  Why are they able to maintain this consistency?  Because the Ravens do everything right from the top down.   Owner Steve Bisciotti built the Ravens the nicest training facility in the NFL, known as the castle, which goes a long way in gaining loyalty from your players and attracting top free agents.  This is their office, wouldn’t you like to work in the nicest office,with the best facilities and best cafeteria?

Steve Bisciotti is also not afraid to pay executives top money, and then stay out of their way, unlike many owners (Dan Snyder).  Every year director of player personal (assistant gm) Eric DeCosta is wooed by teams looking for their next gm, but DeCosta stays put because he is well paid, and treated well.  Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens brass and coaching staff are also competitively compensated and allowed to conduct their job without ownership meddling.

Most importantly, GM Ozzie Newsome may be the best in the business.  Ozzie always has a plan, not just for today, tomorrow, or next year, but for many years ahead.  Remember last year when he cut Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Willis MacGahee and Kelly Gregg.  Many thought the sky was falling and it would be a transition year for the Ravens…guess not!  Just one year later players like Dennis Pitta, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Torrey Smith, Terrence Cody, Pernell McPhee, Jimmy Smith and Paul Kruger where given a chance to play, and now look like a big reason why we’ll be set for the future.

Just because you don’t know someone’s name, or they haven’t been talked up by the draft gurus, or NFL analysts doesn’t mention them, doesn’t mean they aren’t about to be the next pieces that make the Ravens great.  There is a reason why Ozzie and DeCosta make millions and the analysts make much less.  Who was Dennis Pitta last year?  I’m sure we have the next Dennis Pitta or Cary Williams on our roster already and it may be Michael McAdoo, or Sergio Kindle, or Laquan Williams, or Tandon Doss, or Jah Reid, or Arthur Jones.  And there is probably a great chance players like Paul Kruger, Pernell McPhee, Haruki Nakamura or Ed Dickson go from solid backups to important starters.

We’ll probably lose players like Jarrett Johnson, Benn Grubbs, Corey Redding, Lee Evans and Matt Birk.  And guess what, that is okay!  You may know their names, but there is a good chance that the next guy in line makes us better now and in the future.  And with Benn Grubbs, you just can’t afford to keep everyone, there is a salary cap.  As far as Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Lardarius Webb… do you really think they won’t be here for a long time?  Don’t even waste your time worrying about it!  Name me the last player the Ravens really wanted to keep and weren’t able to do so?   If you want to say Bart Scott or Jason Brown… I’ll tell you they were nowhere near as important as those guys, and Ozzie knew it then and knows it now.

A lot is about to happen; players will leave, players will come, new draft pics will arrive, and young guys will get their chance.  If you waste your time following every blog, twitter or headline about rumors, you are just falling into the traps the player’s agents are setting up, and taking the advice from people who know much less than Ozzie.  There will be a lot of news, a lot of rumors, and a lot of changes.  So I recommend you enjoy your spring, enjoy your summer and leave the worries behind.  In Ozzie you should trust, especially now that he has a franchise quarterback!


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Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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