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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-27
The biggest offseason change for the Ravens so far was promoting Greg Mattison from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator. He replaces Rex Ryan, who became head coach for the New York Jets.

Now, the question is how much will the personnel change on defense. Two starting linebackers (Ray Lewis and Bart Scott) are scheduled to become free agents. The general consensus is the team will sign one to a long-term deal and let the other go elsewhere.


Even though four starters (linebackers Ray Lewis and Bart Scott, center Jason Brown and safety Jim Leonhard) could reach free agency Friday, the Ravens don't have any pressing needs in free agency.

The Ravens could use a deep threat at wide receiver. They could add another veteran cornerback into the mix of Fabian Washington, Samari Rolle and Frank Walker. They could provide some depth at tight end behind Todd Heap. And they could pursue a kicker if Matt Stover goes elsewhere.


1. Cornerback: With Chris McAlister being cut, the Ravens will rely on Fabian Washington and Samari Rolle to start. But both have had trouble staying healthy. The only proven backup is Frank Walker, who can be inconsistent. Sure, the Ravens led the NFL in interceptions but they need a young cornerback to be groomed into a spot starter this season and a full-time one in 2010.

2. Wide receiver: This is the thinnest group on the team. Other than Derrick Mason, there is no proven receiver. Plus, Mason isn't a playmaker at age 35. In fact, he hasn't averaged more than 13 yards a catch in his four seasons with the Ravens. The other receivers (Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Yamon Figurs) disappear too often. The team needs to find a big-play receiver who can complement Joe Flacco's big arm.

3. Tight end: Based on last season, the Ravens can't rely on Todd Heap. He was a top option in Brian Billick's offense but he never found success in Cam Cameron's system. The Ravens had to stick with Heap because there was no one left. Daniel Wilcox could get released after another injury-filled season. Quinn Sypniewski is coming back from knee surgery, but he is more of a blocking tight end. The Ravens need someone to be Heap's heir apparent.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Terrell Suggs: tendered at $10.17M.



--QB Kyle Boller never developed into consistent starter. Expected to become backup elsewhere.

--QB Todd Bouman went from No. 2 to No. 3 on depth chart when Troy Smith became healthy. But he has been a source of good advice for Joe Flacco. Might be re-signed.

--C Jason Brown flourished in his first season as a starting center. He might have priced himself out of what the Ravens are willing to pay him.

--WR Terrance Copper was injured during short stint with team. Not expected to return.

--CB Corey Ivy is a hard-nosed defender who lacks size and speed. Could follow Rex Ryan to the New York Jets.

--SS Jim Leonhard replaced injured Dawan Landry and became one of the best surprises on the team. But Ravens might not have the money to keep Leonhard, who could join Rex Ryan with the Jets.

--LB Ray Lewis became even more valuable when defensive coordinator Rex Ryan left to become head coach of the New York Jets.

--FB Lorenzo Neal became leader of the running backs. He should figure into the Ravens' plans next season.

--LB Bart Scott hasn't been the playmaker of a few years ago, but he is still strong against the run. Because Ravens are locked on keeping Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Scott seems to be the odd man out.

--OT Chad Slaughter.

--K Matt Stover bounced back after a poor start. He will probably test free-agent market but give the Ravens a chance to match the best offer.

--TE Daniel Wilcox has seen his productivity suffer over two injury-filled seasons. Not expected to return.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--RB P.J. Daniels (not tendered as RFA).

--TE Scott Kuhn (not tendered as ERFA).

--WR Marcus Maxwell (not tendered as RFA) was a non-factor as a receiver and average on special teams. Could return.

--LB Robert McCune (not tendered as RFA) is a dependable special teams player. Might return.

--CB Evan Oglesby (not tendered as RFA) is a solid special teams player and adequate defender. Could return.


--P Sam Koch (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) had best season last season and has become great at pinning teams inside the 10-yard line. Could receive long-term extension.

--S Dawan Landry (tendered at $1.01M with fifth-round pick as compensation) spent most of season on injured reserve.

--TE Quinn Sypniewski (tendered at $1.01M with fifth-round pick as compensation) is a dependable blocking tight end.

--WR Demetrius Williams (tendered at $1.01M with fourth-round pick as compensation) saw injuries slow his progress, but Ravens still like his potential.



--DT Brandon McKinney: Potential RFA; terms unknown.



--CB Chris McAlister (failed physical).

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 27, 2009

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Antwan Barnes Name: Antwan Barnes
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