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Big Topics For Must-See 'State Of Ravens'

Posted Jan 7, 2014

Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass and John Harbaugh will address the media Wednesday morning.

The Ravens will hold their annual season review press conference with Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh and President Dick Cass on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The “State of the Ravens” is an annual must-see event, as the organization’s brass recaps the previous year and also provides a big picture view of the upcoming offseason. [Note: You can watch the press conference live on the Ravens mobile app or on the website].

Here’s a primer for some of the big topics that will likely be addressed:

Personnel Priorities 
For the past several years, Newsome has outlined some of the team’s key needs at the season review presser. Last year he said the Ravens would look to rebuild the middle of their defense, and the team ended up focusing their free-agent attention on strengthening the defensive front. The Ravens have several areas they could address this offseason, so what will Newsome reveal as his priorities? Will wide receivers and offensive linemen be at the top of the list?

Reaction To Offensive Struggles
The Ravens had a historically poor offense this season, as the group finished the year ranked 29th in yards per game (307.4) and 25th with 20 points per game. The unit fell short of expectations, especially after its remarkable postseason run last year. Quarterback Joe Flacco had a career high 23 interceptions, and running back Ray Rice had a career low 3.1 yards per carry. Harbaugh has already been asked about the offensive woes, but this will be the first time Bisciotti and Newsome speak on the topic.

Review Of Historic Offseason Transition
After winning the Super Bowl in February, the Ravens underwent the most significant roster overhaul of any previous Super Bowl winner. They had to replace future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and other team leaders like Anquan Boldin, Matt Birk and Bernard Pollard. The transition took a toll, and the Ravens made several moves in free agency to help make up for the losses. Some of the moves worked out, like the signing of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, middle linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive lineman Chris Canty. Other moves, like bringing in safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Marcus Spears, did not pan out as the Ravens hoped. Newsome will likely face questions about the moves the Ravens made coming into the season.

Use Of Franchise Tag
The Ravens avoided having to use the franchise tag last season on Flacco, but they have used it in recent years on star players like Rice, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. Tight end Dennis Pitta and left tackle Eugene Monroe could be candidates for the franchise tag this offseason if the Ravens opt to go that route. Newsome may provide some insight on how – or if – the Ravens intend to use the tag this year.

Any More Coaching Moves?
Harbaugh said during his press conference last week that the Ravens did not have any immediate coaching changes to make, but that some members of his staff could explore other opportunities.  The Ravens and Running Backs Coach Wilbert Montgomery have since decided to part ways, and Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell has interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Redskins and Lions and soon the Titans. Will there be any news from Harbaugh on the coaching front this week?

Thoughts From Bisciotti
Bisciotti speaks candidly when he talks with the media. He has delivered some memorable moments at the season review press conferences, including in 2011 when he said that he liked Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron “under fire.” What are his thoughts about this year?


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