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John Harbaugh Details Offseason Needs, Goals


The next few months are critical for the Ravens as they try to quickly shake off the remnants of the disappointing 2015 season.

The front office is looking to add players at key positions on both sides of the ball, and Head Coach John Harbaugh provided some insight into the team's offseason goals when speaking at a community event Wednesday in Towson.

"It's not really hard to figure out where we need to get better," Harbaugh said at the Pathfinders for Autism leadership conference.

"We need wide receivers. We're looking at corners. I wouldn't mind having a safety. We need pass rushers, more than one."

Harbaugh's statements echoed what Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manger Ozzie Newsome said last week as at the season-review press conference, and the head coach also stressed the importance of finding players with game-changing ability.

"We have a really strong foundation of players," Harbaugh said. "We have playmakers. But we need more playmakers. We need a few more guys on both sides of the ball."

Offensively, Harbaugh suggested that the Ravens are still looking to add to skills position groups already crowded with young talent. Tight end and running back may appear set with quality players, but the Ravens will have their eye on prospects at those positions.

"I love our young tight ends. But I wouldn't mind having another guy though, a guy that stretches the field and can go make plays up the seams," he said. "I love our running backs, but I'm all for another running back. I'm for a game breaker, if we can find a guy like that. Those guys know that, and one of those guys could become that."

Harbaugh also confirmed the Ravens would like to re-sign pending free agent offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, who could play left tackle or left guard. Osemele is likely to command the biggest deal of any of the Ravens' looming free agents.

"That's a guy we want to bring back," Harbaugh said.

Unlike recent offseasons, the Ravens don't have a large contingency of key players set to hit the free-agency market.  Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and kicker Justin Tucker are the other most notable free agents, but the Ravens might be able to retain both of them on somewhat team-friendly deals.

"We don't have a lot of free agents this year," Harbaugh said. "That's a good sign."

The other point Harbaugh made is that the Ravens are going into next year with high expectations for their young players. The threshold to make the roster will be high, and the Ravens don't plan on keeping many developmental players who will take a year or two before they can contribute.

"You're going to have to take somebody's job, or you're going to have to fight somebody off trying to take your job," he said. "It's not going to be a situation where we're going to be waiting around for any player to come into their own. We're not going to be looking at too much potential in any young players right now.

"We've done that the last couple of years. We've waited for some guys. And I've talked to those guys and told them, 'The future is now. You better be making plays day in and day out, every single day on a consistent basis, or someone else is going to.' That's what you love about it as a coach. I want to see a bunch of guys battling their tails off, every single day, to make this team." 

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