We're still two weeks away from free agency, but BaltimoreRavens.com sat down with Ravens Director of Player Personnel **Eric DeCosta** for an update on Baltimore's progress in that area.
Are you going into the offseason with a specific goal of adding targets around Joe Flacco?
DeCosta: "We would like to get better on offense and score more points. There are a lot of different ways to do that. Obviously, getting some playmakers on that side of the ball is important, at receiver, possibly at the tight end position, to find some young guys that can stretch the field in the passing game. And, some of the other positions, as well. All of our positions have to play better, and if we do that across the board, I think you'll see us score more points next year."
Do you expect a lot of turnover with the Ravens' receiving corps?
DeCosta: "We like our roster, considering we've been to the playoffs two years in a row. We have a lot of confidence in our players. So, we're evaluating those guys across the board, not necessarily just at receiver. We're trying to find the best possible player to win games. If we can do that and improve the productivity of every position, we'll be in good shape."
How do Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington's knee injuries change your plans for cornerback?
DeCosta: "The corner position for us did get hit hard with injuries this year. With Fabian and Lardarius going down, that was a big blow for us. But we have a lot of confidence in our medical staff and our players to rehab and get themselves in a position to play. We're very optimistic that those guys will come back stronger than ever before.
"That being said, we're in a league now where the passing yardage has increased steadily over the past four or five years. Points have increased. So, being able to stop the passing game is important, and you do that with quality corners. We'll evaluate the prospect in the draft and in free agency, and if we find a guy that can help us, we'll bring that guy in."
Have you begun looking at some of the players out there that may become available once free agency opens officially on March 5?
DeCosta: "There are certainly a lot of players that are intriguing. We, as a staff led by Ozzie, have started that process of including the coaches, looking at players. If there's anybody at the wide receiver position, tight end position, running back… whatever position that may be, we'll evaluate him if they become available. That's still some ways off."
Do you expect there to be a lot of movement among restricted free agents, which would require teams to give up draft picks?
DeCosta: "We love draft picks, and we're an organization that believes in the draft. Our roster has been built through the draft. For us to give away picks, it's not something that we like to do as compared to other teams. That being said, we're going to look at every possible way to improve our roster, whether it's a trade, restricted free agency, unrestricted free agency or the draft. There are a lot of different ways to improve your team. We'll investigate all those different options and find a system that works best for us."