Most of the Ravens' offensive starters have yet to report to the Under Armour Performance Center, but they'll like what they find when they do. New Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's demeanor is entertaining and, I expect, will be very effective. He's an alpha, yet very likeable.
Monken draws a crowd in the Under Armour Performance Center cafeteria. That man can tell a story. On the field, I think longtime Sun columnist Mike Preston summed it up best, describing Monken as "like a downtown New York City traffic cop at rush hour." He's active and in control.
Monken's more spread, wide receiver friendly scheme will be a departure from Greg Roman's run-heavy, tight formations. It's also already clear that the pace will be faster. Fans won't be holding their breath so often, hoping the Ravens get the snap off. The Ravens will dictate the action more.
With OTAs starting this week, it's an important time for the offense to take the next step. Numerous defensive leaders and starters were at football school. Monken is probably eager to get his side up to speed. The next month will set the stage for a successful training camp.
The Nelson Agholor addition has been overshadowed by Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers, but if you're picking teams on the playground, Agholor would be a very early selection. He has shined whenever he's been an ancillary big-play threat, and that's just the role for him this year in Baltimore.
The Ravens wide receiver room was ranked 18th best in the NFL by ESPN's Mike Clay. I expect Baltimore will finish better than that by season's end so long as OBJ and Rashod Bateman's health checks out and holds up. Devin Duvernay is a helluva WR 4/5.
Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo are in similar situations, trying to put frustrating 2022 campaigns behind them to become the star pass rushers they're capable of. They're in a good mental space to do so. Ojabo is beaming and looks fearsome with 10 more pounds of muscle.
As it stands now, the Ravens will badly need Ojabo and Oweh to level up this season. I still expect Baltimore to add another veteran pass edge rusher this offseason, but even if so, the former high school teammates will have the leading roles in the Ravens' pass rush script.
Two more players eager to have monster 2023 seasons are defensive linemen Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington. They're both heading into contract years and both have a chance to score big deals. They each took significant steps forward last season and will have more chances now with Calais Campbell gone.
Mike Macdonald said the Ravens could use more of a "nickel body" in 2023. Pepe Williams is a player to keep an eye on. The Ravens have lots of outside corner options. Williams was feisty last season as a rookie and could earn a significant role in Year 2.
The Ravens were back on the field for Week 2 of Football School activities.
It's clear that Jim Brown meant a great deal to Ozzie Newsome, a former Cleveland Brown, and Head Coach John Harbaugh, an Ohio native. Brown is a massive part of the NFL's story, both on and off the field. RIP to one of the all-time greats.