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No Overhaul For Ravens After Losing Season


Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti can be a fiery guy, but he's got a steady hand on the controls.

After a 5-11 season – the first losing year under Head Coach John Harbaugh and team's worst record since 2007 – Bisciotti wasn't shooting scowls and pointing fingers at the Ravens' season-ending press conference.

He even joked that he's not giving reporters much to write about.

"Disappointed? Yeah. Mad? No," Bisciotti said about the final season result. "No, I don't think we're overhauling everything."

Bisciotti joined coaches and players in saying he thinks the down season can be quickly reversed this offseason without major changes.

The Ravens need better health, a better turnover differential and better late-game results.

The Ravens had a franchise record 20 plays on injured reserve, including stars such as quarterback Joe Flacco, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., and running back Justin Forsett.

The Ravens were tied with the second-worst turnover differential in the league (minus-14), only trailing Dallas (minus -22). Baltimore got a league-low six interceptions, and forced just eight fumbles. The Ravens were tied with the third-most interceptions thrown (21).

Baltimore had an NFL-record 14 games decided by eight points or fewer (tied with the 1994 New York Giants). Of those games, nine were losses.

If the Ravens can improve in those three areas, they believe they can reverse their fortunes in a hurry.

"I don't really think that a lot has to be done," Bisciotti said.

"I hope that we don't have as many injuries and I hope we have a whole lot more turnovers. I think those differences would get us back to where we want to be."

Bisciotti said he likes Head Coach John Harbaugh as much as he did eight years ago when the former Eagles assistant was hired.

Harbaugh announced that there won't be any changes at coordinator. As of now, just one assistant coach, Linebackers Coach Ted Monachino, has left.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome remains in charge of personnel decisions with his right-hand man and draft guru, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta, at his side. DeCosta has, once again, declined the chance to interview to be another team's general manager.

In terms of the roster, there will obviously be changes as there are every year. But Bisciotti added that, "there's only so much you can overhaul the roster" and the team will instead "augment" the roster.

Newsome talked about adding pieces at pass rusher and wide receiver. They need to figure out their left tackle situation, and there could be some additions in the secondary.

Newsome said they needed bring in more playmakers to come through when the game is on the line, which is something they'll look for with the sixth-overall pick in the NFL Draft.

But given another potential tight salary-cap situation this offseason, and because it's not in their standard operating procedure, fans shouldn't expect major moves.

"One thing that I'm proud of is that we all view continuity as a strength," Bisciotti said. "Continuity doesn't stem from laziness. It comes from confidence. And I believe in these guys. So I have a lot of faith that we'll get it straightened out."

The Ravens have finished in third place in the AFC North for three straight years since capturing the division crown and winning Super Bowl XLVII in the 2012 season.

This year, the division-winning Bengals and Steelers both pulled away in the standings. The Ravens swept the Steelers, providing some reassurance that their arch rival isn't getting too far out of reach. The Bengals, however, have now beaten the Ravens five straight times, which Bisciotti called a "stain."

Bisciotti was asked for his take on the Ravens falling behind in the division.

"Yeah, I'm concerned about it," he said. "But when I look at their rosters, I don't think there's a huge talent difference. I think Cincinnati is being touted as the class of our division. If we get all our players back, I think we'll close that gap. If we have a good draft, if we do well in free agency, we can compete with them."

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