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arnie_uk

The Ravens philosophy

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This was a post on RSR in discussing the OC candidates and wether a change in philosophy is necessary and if harbs will sign off on it. It's a great post, well thought out and throws a spanner in the works in everything I have thought about harbaugh. What's your opinions.

Is it possible that the decision to play sound, running-based football is an organization-wide decision, ie it comes down from Ozzie? Because we're into about year 15 of having mediocre offense, while generally having good football teams, and I wonder if it's part of an organizational plan. The theory goes like this:

  • In the salary cap era, it is impossible to keep a good team together
  • Offensive players generally are paid more than defensive players
  • Therefore, there is a market inefficiency. It is cheaper to build an excellent defense than to build an excellent offense
  • But you can still compete for the division and advance to the conf title game if you guild a great defense
  • So, year over year we will strive to keep our defense strong, while only paying the dollars we must to sustain a mid-level offense
Honestly, this would explain SO MUCH about what we've seen from the organization over the years. It's plausible, in the sense that the theory emphasizes Ozzie's "value" oriented approach. Ozzie is like the Warren Buffet of NFL GM's, he's obsessed with value; and defensive players generally command less on the market than comparable offensive players. I mean, there are highly paid defenders – we have some on the roster right now – but around the league, the highest-paid offensive player makes more than the highest-paid defensive player, and the second-highest-paid offensive player makes more than the second-highest paid defensive player, etc. So if you're a "value" investor, it would make sense to choose to build a perennial defensive powerhouse, and try to scrape by on the more expensive side of the ball.

An organization that builds the best offense it can and tries to scrape by on the defensive side of ball, would field teams that look like the Manning-era Indy teams. The opposite kind of organization would look like the Ravens.

If any of that is true, than it would mean that fans on this board are right about offensive coordinators being sort of "shackled"; but wrong about who to blame for it. It would mean that Harbaugh bought into an organization-wide "profile" for how to consistently field winning teams, probably bought into it rather enthusiastically because (a) that's how he is anyway, and (B) it fits in with his deepest beliefs about football going back to his early years, and © he understands the implications of the salary cap.

The big contracts given to Ray Rice and to Flacco, and I guess an upcoming one to be given to Torrey Smith, would represent seismic shifts in the way the organization does business. And there should be some growing pains; we don't entirely know how to do it yet.

Am I blowing smoke here? Or is it possible there's something to it?

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If you're making this argument five years ago, maybe there's something to it.  In this new era of the NFL, it's impossible to compete without a QB.  This places greater emphasis on the offensive side of the ball to be successful since so much money on a competitive team is going to be automatically tied up over there.  Offenses are too explosive now, you need a team that can score points to win.  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

 

But I understand what you're saying and there probably is some truth to a lot of it.  I'd just like to believe we're in the middle of a philosophical shift towards the new NFL.

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Nah, I think it's a legit concern. Ozzie has consistently valued defense over offense, and he has failed to invest big money in the offense. 

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This was a post on RSR in discussing the OC candidates and wether a change in philosophy is necessary and if harbs will sign off on it. It's a great post, well thought out and throws a spanner in the works in everything I have thought about harbaugh. What's your opinions.

Is it possible that the decision to play sound, running-based football is an organization-wide decision, ie it comes down from Ozzie? Because we're into about year 15 of having mediocre offense, while generally having good football teams, and I wonder if it's part of an organizational plan. The theory goes like this:

  • In the salary cap era, it is impossible to keep a good team together
  • Offensive players generally are paid more than defensive players
  • Therefore, there is a market inefficiency. It is cheaper to build an excellent defense than to build an excellent offense
  • But you can still compete for the division and advance to the conf title game if you guild a great defense
  • So, year over year we will strive to keep our defense strong, while only paying the dollars we must to sustain a mid-level offense
Honestly, this would explain SO MUCH about what we've seen from the organization over the years. It's plausible, in the sense that the theory emphasizes Ozzie's "value" oriented approach. Ozzie is like the Warren Buffet of NFL GM's, he's obsessed with value; and defensive players generally command less on the market than comparable offensive players. I mean, there are highly paid defenders – we have some on the roster right now – but around the league, the highest-paid offensive player makes more than the highest-paid defensive player, and the second-highest-paid offensive player makes more than the second-highest paid defensive player, etc. So if you're a "value" investor, it would make sense to choose to build a perennial defensive powerhouse, and try to scrape by on the more expensive side of the ball.

An organization that builds the best offense it can and tries to scrape by on the defensive side of ball, would field teams that look like the Manning-era Indy teams. The opposite kind of organization would look like the Ravens.

If any of that is true, than it would mean that fans on this board are right about offensive coordinators being sort of "shackled"; but wrong about who to blame for it. It would mean that Harbaugh bought into an organization-wide "profile" for how to consistently field winning teams, probably bought into it rather enthusiastically because (a) that's how he is anyway, and ( B) it fits in with his deepest beliefs about football going back to his early years, and © he understands the implications of the salary cap.

The big contracts given to Ray Rice and to Flacco, and I guess an upcoming one to be given to Torrey Smith, would represent seismic shifts in the way the organization does business. And there should be some growing pains; we don't entirely know how to do it yet.

Am I blowing smoke here? Or is it possible there's something to it?

 

I disagree. Are 3 highest paid players this year are all on D, Ngata, Suggs, and Webb. Qb, and LT are  high priced positions, but other then that, The Defensive players tend to make more money IMO.

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If you're making this argument five years ago, maybe there's something to it.  In this new era of the NFL, it's impossible to compete without a QB.  This places greater emphasis on the offensive side of the ball to be successful since so much money on a competitive team is going to be automatically tied up over there.  Offenses are too explosive now, you need a team that can score points to win.  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

 

But I understand what you're saying and there probably is some truth to a lot of it.  I'd just like to believe we're in the middle of a philosophical shift towards the new NFL.

I agree, unless your the 2000 Ravens or this years Hawks. Lol

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If you're making this argument five years ago, maybe there's something to it.  In this new era of the NFL, it's impossible to compete without a QB.  This places greater emphasis on the offensive side of the ball to be successful since so much money on a competitive team is going to be automatically tied up over there.  Offenses are too explosive now, you need a team that can score points to win.  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

 

But I understand what you're saying and there probably is some truth to a lot of it.  I'd just like to believe we're in the middle of a philosophical shift towards the new NFL.

 

I'm not sure about that. Two of the four teams that played this past weekend were in the bottom four in passing offense, but had top five defenses and top five run games. I think that a run game and a defense can still win as long as you limit turnovers and maximize TOP. Just look at the Seahawks and 49ers. 

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If you're making this argument five years ago, maybe there's something to it.  In this new era of the NFL, it's impossible to compete without a QB.  This places greater emphasis on the offensive side of the ball to be successful since so much money on a competitive team is going to be automatically tied up over there.  Offenses are too explosive now, you need a team that can score points to win.  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

 

But I understand what you're saying and there probably is some truth to a lot of it.  I'd just like to believe we're in the middle of a philosophical shift towards the new NFL.

i hope we are aswell, the post is trying to come to terms with why it's taking us so long to shift our philosophy and maybe it's not harbs being conservative play good d and control the clock, but it comes from above him. If your we too look more deeply in it you could look at the draft philosophy.

Just recently, the last offensive player we drafted in the first was oher in 2009. Is that a symbol of a philosophy in the board room?

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i hope we are aswell, the post is trying to come to terms with why it's taking us so long to shift our philosophy and maybe it's not harbs being conservative play good d and control the clock, but it comes from above him. If your we too look more deeply in it you could look at the draft philosophy.

Just recently, the last offensive player we drafted in the first was oher in 2009. Is that a symbol of a philosophy in the board room?

 

Well you came at this from an economic standpoint, you have to take that into account in the speed of the transition.  We have a TON of money still invested on defense.  The Ngata and Suggs contracts, relative to their production, are killers.  They have to get off the books first.  I understand the worry with the Manning-era Indy team defenses, but I think the problems then go deeper than that.  The Colts are a bad organization and I don't think they draft particularly well at most positions.  But that's another discussion entirely.

 

I think the defensive focus had to do with the money locked up on offense and the seemingly young 'stars' we had on this side of the ball.  Ozzie saw value and tried to get some help and get younger on the other side of the ball.  Every team, good organizations and bad, are trying to find their own particular way to balance a competitive team.  The most common way seems to be paying your pass rushers and your QB, and that's a sound strategy IMO.  But I think it's established that I like how the Pats do things as well, building an offensive line and a defensive line with the QB.

 

On a side note, I don't think Torrey is going to get paid as much as some think if he stays on this team.  He's not a top tier guy.

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Missing from the equation is our propensity to have a strong running game as well, but none of this should be of any surprise. It's the smart way to consistently make it to the tournament and there's not going to be any huge shift in the equation. This season's offensive failures can be attributed more to winning the SB than the Ravens' philosophy on building a team. The need to replace so many starters on D in one off season tilted the scales, but they will make room and the needed moves to get the O in shape.

 

Bottom line, we're never going to try to become a fantasy point factory.

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I'm not sure about that. Two of the four teams that played this past weekend were in the bottom four in passing offense, but had top five defenses and top five run games. I think that a run game and a defense can still win as long as you limit turnovers and maximize TOP. Just look at the Seahawks and 49ers. 

 

Talk to me in a few years about those teams.  When you have your QB on a cheap rookie deal, the economics are quite different, and that's the situation those teams are in.  They're exceptions to the rule, and in the case of the 49ers and Seahawks they are absolutely stacked at almost every position, especially the 49ers.  One paper, the 49ers are the most complete team in football.

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This was a post on RSR in discussing the OC candidates and wether a change in philosophy is necessary and if harbs will sign off on it. It's a great post, well thought out and throws a spanner in the works in everything I have thought about harbaugh. What's your opinions.

Is it possible that the decision to play sound, running-based football is an organization-wide decision, ie it comes down from Ozzie? Because we're into about year 15 of having mediocre offense, while generally having good football teams, and I wonder if it's part of an organizational plan. The theory goes like this:

  • In the salary cap era, it is impossible to keep a good team together
  • Offensive players generally are paid more than defensive players
  • Therefore, there is a market inefficiency. It is cheaper to build an excellent defense than to build an excellent offense
  • But you can still compete for the division and advance to the conf title game if you guild a great defense
  • So, year over year we will strive to keep our defense strong, while only paying the dollars we must to sustain a mid-level offense
Honestly, this would explain SO MUCH about what we've seen from the organization over the years. It's plausible, in the sense that the theory emphasizes Ozzie's "value" oriented approach. Ozzie is like the Warren Buffet of NFL GM's, he's obsessed with value; and defensive players generally command less on the market than comparable offensive players. I mean, there are highly paid defenders – we have some on the roster right now – but around the league, the highest-paid offensive player makes more than the highest-paid defensive player, and the second-highest-paid offensive player makes more than the second-highest paid defensive player, etc. So if you're a "value" investor, it would make sense to choose to build a perennial defensive powerhouse, and try to scrape by on the more expensive side of the ball.

An organization that builds the best offense it can and tries to scrape by on the defensive side of ball, would field teams that look like the Manning-era Indy teams. The opposite kind of organization would look like the Ravens.

If any of that is true, than it would mean that fans on this board are right about offensive coordinators being sort of "shackled"; but wrong about who to blame for it. It would mean that Harbaugh bought into an organization-wide "profile" for how to consistently field winning teams, probably bought into it rather enthusiastically because (a) that's how he is anyway, and ( B) it fits in with his deepest beliefs about football going back to his early years, and © he understands the implications of the salary cap.

The big contracts given to Ray Rice and to Flacco, and I guess an upcoming one to be given to Torrey Smith, would represent seismic shifts in the way the organization does business. And there should be some growing pains; we don't entirely know how to do it yet.

Am I blowing smoke here? Or is it possible there's something to it?

 

thanks for sharing. I think your dead on it explains allot esp. the wide receivers we tend to draft and how we always seem to be flush with good defensive players . It also explains why the transition to being high octane offense is not going so well . Change is never easy especially one as drastic as this.

RSR does produce some thought provoking accurate articles even if the writers are fans .

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this is an incredible thought, and ozzie may have been thinking like that the past 18 years, but i think that ship has sailed considering you cant win big time in the nfl without a big time qb, which commands alot of money(unless theyre still under their rookie contracts, joe flacco, russell wilson)

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Great post. This is why I struggle with the whole, Harbs offense thing. The offense hasn't changed since we've had a team so how is it Harbs philosphy? Harbs just adopted it organizational model of the Ravens Way of doing things. I've said for a while that we need a newer appoarch to the Ravens Way on offense. It's nothing wrong with being a physical run team and great defense, but you finally have the QB you've always wanted and you have to allow the offense to grow with the times. Now I'm not saying become pass happy, but you gotta have a OC who is bold enough to be creative and that's why I think this decision is so important.

I actually think it's Mr B who wants this team to run through Flacco on offense the most, but he's not gonna meddle in what Ozzie and company do.

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This is the reason I have taken the Ravens D the last 7 years in fantasy!  I love the D, and run approach by Ozzie, which is why I strongly think signing Jimmy Smith this off-season before he blows up next year is huge for us, more important they signing Torrey.  Plus Richard Sherman is a free agent next year and is really going to inflate the "value" for CB's.  We have to deal with AJ, Josh, an Brown twice a year, we need Jimmy!

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I think it boils down to this:

 

In order to have a successful offense you have to have a successful quarterback. Because we struggled for many years to find that quarterback we relied on the run game to make up the slack. That's why the emphasis has been so run centric over the years. I think in todays NFL, Ozzie would take a top 5 passing offense over a top 5 rushing offense every time, because with the air attack comes points and that's all that matters at the end of the day. I don't see a correlation with spending money a particular way. I think Ozzie has proven he isn't opposed to paying one side of the ball over the other. He pays good players. Bottom line.

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Just to point out, this wasn't my thought, someone else posted this and I am only sharing it. I was of the blame harbs line of thinking

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The few fans who I've discussed this with agree that it isn't just the head coach either but our particular way of building and running the team. That's spearheaded by Ozzie and Bisciotti too. This is actually the first I'm hearing of people solely blaming Harbs. Even though we ran a different offense before he came, "The Ravens Way" was in place long before he got here. It isn't about a particular offensive scheme but a philosophy that comes down from the top. The head coach isn't at the top in our case, he just has a seat at the table. You get different offensive coordinators or head coaches and they will still have to deal/struggle with our philosophy. Its won us 2 Super bowls in 13 years so it has something to it. 

 

We had a discussion on this a while back but it was back when we just missed the playoffs so people were busy running around with their heads cut off.

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That's why the best teams happen to be the best at drafting. Having an explosive QB/RB/WR/TE that gets paid rookie salary, while putting more money on the defense is key to long term success. The better you are at drafting in the later rounds the less amount of money you have to pay, underpaid rookies, which helps even more.

Look at the Seahawks defense and what Russel Wilson gets paid. If Wilson commanded that big contract of course other parts of the team will suffer in place. Doesn't have to be drastic but it does affect who you can resign down the road for long term contracts. 1 year veteran deals are important in that logic also. Ozzie loves making those moves and it's important to hit on those, which he does. Also doesn't affect comp picks most the time which is another reason to not sign RFA's or first year FA's.

I hope I'm making sense I've been working 12 hours so excuse my wording. I agree with the philosophy.

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This was a post on RSR in discussing the OC candidates and wether a change in philosophy is necessary and if harbs will sign off on it. It's a great post, well thought out and throws a spanner in the works in everything I have thought about harbaugh. What's your opinions.

Is it possible that the decision to play sound, running-based football is an organization-wide decision, ie it comes down from Ozzie? Because we're into about year 15 of having mediocre offense, while generally having good football teams, and I wonder if it's part of an organizational plan. The theory goes like this:

  • In the salary cap era, it is impossible to keep a good team together
  • Offensive players generally are paid more than defensive players
  • Therefore, there is a market inefficiency. It is cheaper to build an excellent defense than to build an excellent offense
  • But you can still compete for the division and advance to the conf title game if you guild a great defense
  • So, year over year we will strive to keep our defense strong, while only paying the dollars we must to sustain a mid-level offense
Honestly, this would explain SO MUCH about what we've seen from the organization over the years. It's plausible, in the sense that the theory emphasizes Ozzie's "value" oriented approach. Ozzie is like the Warren Buffet of NFL GM's, he's obsessed with value; and defensive players generally command less on the market than comparable offensive players. I mean, there are highly paid defenders – we have some on the roster right now – but around the league, the highest-paid offensive player makes more than the highest-paid defensive player, and the second-highest-paid offensive player makes more than the second-highest paid defensive player, etc. So if you're a "value" investor, it would make sense to choose to build a perennial defensive powerhouse, and try to scrape by on the more expensive side of the ball.

An organization that builds the best offense it can and tries to scrape by on the defensive side of ball, would field teams that look like the Manning-era Indy teams. The opposite kind of organization would look like the Ravens.

If any of that is true, than it would mean that fans on this board are right about offensive coordinators being sort of "shackled"; but wrong about who to blame for it. It would mean that Harbaugh bought into an organization-wide "profile" for how to consistently field winning teams, probably bought into it rather enthusiastically because (a) that's how he is anyway, and (B) it fits in with his deepest beliefs about football going back to his early years, and © he understands the implications of the salary cap.

The big contracts given to Ray Rice and to Flacco, and I guess an upcoming one to be given to Torrey Smith, would represent seismic shifts in the way the organization does business. And there should be some growing pains; we don't entirely know how to do it yet.

Am I blowing smoke here? Or is it possible there's something to it?

seems like you're on to something thinking about it it has to be true The "Ravens way" this might be what there referring to ?
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Talk to me in a few years about those teams.  When you have your QB on a cheap rookie deal, the economics are quite different, and that's the situation those teams are in.  They're exceptions to the rule, and in the case of the 49ers and Seahawks they are absolutely stacked at almost every position, especially the 49ers.  One paper, the 49ers are the most complete team in football.

we were the same thing last year. joe was still on his rookie deal, and technically making less money than he is now, but up until a year ago we didnt have to worry much about his contract

 

The few fans who I've discussed this with agree that it isn't just the head coach either but our particular way of building and running the team. That's spearheaded by Ozzie and Bisciotti too. This is actually the first I'm hearing of people solely blaming Harbs. Even though we ran a different offense before he came, "The Ravens Way" was in place long before he got here. It isn't about a particular offensive scheme but a philosophy that comes down from the top. The head coach isn't at the top in our case, he just has a seat at the table. You get different offensive coordinators or head coaches and they will still have to deal/struggle with our philosophy. Its won us 2 Super bowls in 13 years so it has something to it. 

 

We had a discussion on this a while back but it was back when we just missed the playoffs so people were busy running around with their heads cut off.

you worded this perfect. and after a down year, its comforting as a fan to read this lol

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Assuming this is the Ravens' philosophy, it would explain why we have been able to build and maintain solid defensive teams notwithstanding the salary cap limitations. However, it does not correlate with our draft philosophy IMO. Unless I'm mistaken, Ozzie's philosophy re the draft has been to take the best athlete available regardless of position. Given the stated philosophy in the OP, it would follow logically that we would tend to draft more offensive players and use free agency to acquire more defensive players because of the value factor, i.e., draftees can be signed less expensively. Further, drafting more offensive players would fit into the plan to manage a game and win it on the defensive side. To the contrary, it seems to me we have drafted much more heavily on the defensive side of the ball. Stated differently, our defensive draft picks have been more successful overall, that is, the draft has benefited our defense much more than it has our offense.

 

If the philosophy has been to keep the defense strong while maintaining an average or mediocre offense, I submit the liberty bell is cracking and it may be time to rethink it. Had it not been for the offense last year, we would not have even gone to the SB. When the defense could no longer impose its will on other teams down the stretch, Flacco, Boldin, Jones, Smith, Rice, Pitta, Birk, Yanda et al carried the defense and repeatedly put the team in position to win games in the playoffs. Again, if this is indeed the Ravens' philosophy, it explains a lot about the "offense's failure" (not my words but Steve Bisciotti's) this year. It is obvious that Oz set out to re-build or re-load the defense but did absolutely nothing as in nada to re-build or re-load the offense.

 

So, if this is the team's philosophy as the OP suggests and the team does not want to abandon it, then they should proceed as follows. They can start by building the offense largely thru the draft and continuing to re-load the defense mainly thru free agency where we seem to get more bang for the buck. The recent success we have had by drafting Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Torrey Smith seems to be the bellwether to change the paradigm. If so, that's a good thing. I was surprised, if not shocked, to hear that our GM was really high on Teddy Bridgewater, the QB from Louisville. While I do not agree that drafting a QB from Louisville should be high on our list of draft picks for the offense, I was at least encouraged by his willingness to possibly deviate from his standard practice of selecting the best athlete available without regard to position. We have identified needs to improve the offense (besides the self-improvement program that Joe Flacco will hopefully implement on his own) and they are far more pressing than drafting a new QB. What we do need to do is to deviate from Oz's stated principle to draft the best athlete left on the board when its our pick. We need to draft the best athlete available with the skill set we need for a particular position. For offense, its the C, OT, WR and TE in no certain order. Go after them first, Oz! "When it comes to paradigms, shift happens."    

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This OC hire is so important because the Ravens Way isn't and should go anywhere. If anyone actually took the time to read any of my post doing the season on how to fix the offense I actually mentioned changing the Ravens Way. My posts tend to get long so I'm sure many just over looks them lol, but changing the Ravens Way is how I said i'd start to fix things. However now I don't agree with that position now. I agree with the stance of not changing things just making tweks and adjustments to the offense. Now let me say that I feel the offensive system should change, but we can continue to keep the same philosphy. We can continue to be a physical run team but also open things open and be explosive with Joe. We don't have to be pass happy and finesse to be a strong passing team. We don't have to be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust running team, run on every first down to be a strong run team. I strongly feel this organization follows the model of the NE Pats from ownership on down and I see this offense being a lot like the 2007 offseason for the Pats. The offense will change but core of what we do won't change. This is why I think Shanahan should be the new OC because the system he'll bring will allow us to continue our philiosphy. Physical rush game, creative, explosive pass game and balanced. I feel that once we get the right system, Ozzie will start to have much more success drafting and adding talent to the offense like he does with defense.

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This OC hire is so important because the Ravens Way isn't and should go anywhere. If anyone actually took the time to read any of my post doing the season on how to fix the offense I actually mentioned changing the Ravens Way. My posts tend to get long so I'm sure many just over looks them lol, but changing the Ravens Way is how I said i'd start to fix things. However now I don't agree with that position now. I agree with the stance of not changing things just making tweks and adjustments to the offense. Now let me say that I feel the offensive system should change, but we can continue to keep the same philosphy. We can continue to be a physical run team but also open things open and be explosive with Joe. We don't have to be pass happy and finesse to be a strong passing team. We don't have to be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust running team, run on every first down to be a strong run team. I strongly feel this organization follows the model of the NE Pats from ownership on down and I see this offense being a lot like the 2007 offseason for the Pats. The offense will change but core of what we do won't change. This is why I think Shanahan should be the new OC because the system he'll bring will allow us to continue our philiosphy. Physical rush game, creative, explosive pass game and balanced. I feel that once we get the right system, Ozzie will start to have much more success drafting and adding talent to the offense like he does with defense.

 

I don't think I could put it any better than that.

 

It's funny you mentioned the Pats, because they happen to be a team that can run the ball and pass the ball efficiently. 

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I don't think I could put it any better than that.

 

It's funny you mentioned the Pats, because they happen to be a team that can run the ball and pass the ball efficiently.

Yea truth be told they always have been that way, they just changed the system a bit to opens things up a bit more for Brady, but if he gets in trouble, much like the divisional game a copule weeks ago, they've also been able to turn to the run game to keep defenses honest. Even when they don't have great rushing numbers, they can still get just enough from a guy like woodhead against our defense to keep their offense rolling. They are also creative enough to use the short passing game as an extension of the run, if they aren't getting productiion from their backs. This is the biggest reason I want shanny, because if he can change his offense enough to make RG3 successful, then I know he's creative enough to maximize the production in a certain area, even if we aren't getting the best production from that position. I'm not sure Hos nor Linehan are creative enough in that fashion and I don't know enough about Wilson.

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The best formula is a great qb who can substitute for lack of offensive talent and then build the defense with what's left. You dont need to overlap costs with an expensive Qb and expensive blocking and receivers.

The problem is an offensive cast thats so bad that you cant get everything out of your expensive qb, and thats where we were.

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I don't think I could put it any better than that.

 

It's funny you mentioned the Pats, because they happen to be a team that can run the ball and pass the ball efficiently. 

 

Because Bill understands you have to evolve to improve in the NFL.  They've become the most innovative team in the league and everyone else is playing catch up.  Of course having the best coach in the league who is a master of week to week game planning helps a lot.

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This OC hire is so important because the Ravens Way isn't and should go anywhere. If anyone actually took the time to read any of my post doing the season on how to fix the offense I actually mentioned changing the Ravens Way. My posts tend to get long so I'm sure many just over looks them lol, but changing the Ravens Way is how I said i'd start to fix things. However now I don't agree with that position now. I agree with the stance of not changing things just making tweks and adjustments to the offense. Now let me say that I feel the offensive system should change, but we can continue to keep the same philosphy. We can continue to be a physical run team but also open things open and be explosive with Joe. We don't have to be pass happy and finesse to be a strong passing team. We don't have to be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust running team, run on every first down to be a strong run team. I strongly feel this organization follows the model of the NE Pats from ownership on down and I see this offense being a lot like the 2007 offseason for the Pats. The offense will change but core of what we do won't change. This is why I think Shanahan should be the new OC because the system he'll bring will allow us to continue our philiosphy. Physical rush game, creative, explosive pass game and balanced. I feel that once we get the right system, Ozzie will start to have much more success drafting and adding talent to the offense like he does with defense.

your post are long and well worth the read, it is also refreshing to see someone post that they were wrong about something ...kudos to you for that

The best way to improve this offense is to hire Shanahan . He's young creative and works well and game plans around the strengths of his players and he is successful . I agree 100 % with what you said. I think Ozzie is going to surprise allot of people this draft including me I have been one who has been negative about Ozzie's ability to draft  for the offense esp, receivers I'm looking forward to Ozzie making me look foolish . things become clearer if you look at the entire picture . and had it not been for injuries before the season started  I believe we would have finished better then we did . I for oneam looking forward to the changes

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If the philosophy has been to keep the defense strong while maintaining an average or mediocre offense, I submit the liberty bell is cracking and it may be time to rethink it. Had it not been for the offense last year, we would not have even gone to the SB. When the defense could no longer impose its will on other teams down the stretch, Flacco, Boldin, Jones, Smith, Rice, Pitta, Birk, Yanda et al carried the defense and repeatedly put the team in position to win games in the playoffs.

 

That wasn't really the case, though.  The defense held the Colts to 9 points in a game where the offense struggled in the first half.  The defense held the Broncos to 21 points over a span of nearly 6 quarters, and also chipped in a pick-six, and a second interception on the Broncos side of the field that resulted in the game winning field goal (admittedly the offense had to contribute a lot here because of the two special teams touchdowns).  Then the defense held NE to 13 points.  That's arguably the two best quarterbacks in the league that the defense held in check in back-to-back games.  Lastly, the 49ers, where things started out well but started to crack after the blackout and Ngata going down.  Still, that's what, basically 16 quarters of solid play out of 18?  The offense was amazing at times and were a huge contributor as well, but it seemed like a team effort rather than one side having to carry the other.

In terms of philosophy, here's an interesting link that shows money spent on offense and defense.  The Ravens have one of the higher amounts of cap space tied up on defense.  It also seems like they're better evaluators of talent on offense than defense.  How many dud quarterbacks and receivers have they drafted?  They always seem to find some diamonds in the rough on defense.

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Any smart GM will tell you that defense is more important than any other area of a football team. You could say the QB is the most  important area, but you can see that with guys like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith if you give them a great defense and a good running game you can supplement a more mediocre QB. If Russell Wilson did not have Marshawn Lynch and the NFLs #1 defense he would not be in the super bowl right now.

 

I think smart GMs understand that you can find a game managing QB in the mid rounds of the draft and focus on vamping up your defense and running game in order to compensate for lack of  an elite passing attack. And I think this is the same philosophy the Ravens follow and I think we will continue to be this type of team for years to come. This year is an exception because we are doing an offensive overhaul, an overhaul that we have needed for a very longtime now...but obviously we are an organization that likes to focus on acquiring defensive players in free agency and the draft. Since the new era of the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 we have never had a great offense, in fact we have always had a more mediocre offense excluding our rushing attack as Ray Rice put up 4 or 5 consecutive 1000 yard seasons before this year. This is what I think needs to change for us we need to become a more consistent offense, but I do not see our system changing all that much. Whoever we hire as OC will likely deploy a similar run oriented offense with focus on PA passes and opening up big pass plays. While I believe a west coast system similar to what the SanDiego Chargers ran under Ken Whisenhunt in 2013 would be more beneficial, I just do not think we will shy away from what lead us to alot of success in the past 5 seasons including a SuperBowl victory.

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If you're making this argument five years ago, maybe there's something to it.  In this new era of the NFL, it's impossible to compete without a QB.  This places greater emphasis on the offensive side of the ball to be successful since so much money on a competitive team is going to be automatically tied up over there.  Offenses are too explosive now, you need a team that can score points to win.  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

 

But I understand what you're saying and there probably is some truth to a lot of it.  I'd just like to believe we're in the middle of a philosophical shift towards the new NFL.

 

 

Dont agree with this at all, the 49ers have made it to 3 straight championships and 1 super bowl with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick under center.  You do not need an elite QB if you have an elite running game and elite defense all you need is a game manager who can make some plays. 

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That wasn't really the case, though.  The defense held the Colts to 9 points in a game where the offense struggled in the first half.  The defense held the Broncos to 21 points over a span of nearly 6 quarters, and also chipped in a pick-six, and a second interception on the Broncos side of the field that resulted in the game winning field goal (admittedly the offense had to contribute a lot here because of the two special teams touchdowns).  Then the defense held NE to 13 points.  That's arguably the two best quarterbacks in the league that the defense held in check in back-to-back games.  Lastly, the 49ers, where things started out well but started to crack after the blackout and Ngata going down.  Still, that's what, basically 16 quarters of solid play out of 18?  The offense was amazing at times and were a huge contributor as well, but it seemed like a team effort rather than one side having to carry the other.

In terms of philosophy, here's an interesting link that shows money spent on offense and defense.  The Ravens have one of the higher amounts of cap space tied up on defense.  It also seems like they're better evaluators of talent on offense than defense.  How many dud quarterbacks and receivers have they drafted?  They always seem to find some diamonds in the rough on defense.

It's not a fact of being better evaluators on defense imo, because it's far more easier to find quality defensive players simply because you have 18-22 players getting on the field each game. It's easier to use the talent of young players on defense because you can rotate them in each game. However most offensive positions like QB and Oline you don't rotate, so it's harder to develop guys on that side of the ball imo.

Then the biggest thing about development of WRs and Oline imo is the system, in fact the system has a lot to do with the defensive success as well. If we didn't use a hybrid defense that allowed tweener players to get action we probably wouldn't be as successful at developing players on that side of the ball. But while we adjusted to thee new NFL on defense, we never really seemed to come around on offense. We kept that same old school tough approach for many years, but the players available in the draft rarely fit our system especially considering we draft so low all the time. This is why I feel Shanahan would be the best fit because all our players seem to fit what he does already. We have a bunch of catch and run WRs, most of the olineman we've drafted since 2008 actually fits the ZBS and the QB we have hits his offense well imo.

The Ravens have more money tied up into defense right now because we simply have better performers on defense right now, but it's changing. Flacco, Rice, Yanda, Torrey, Pitta, Monroe will all have fairly big contracts on offense while, Jimmy and Webb will be the only big contracts on D, after Suggs and Ngata of course.

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The key to winning football games haven't changed as much as the media and others have led fans to believe. With exception, defense can still win championships. A defensive player performance can still change the outcome of a game as quickly as the best offensive player. But rule changes and officiating shifts toward protecting offensive players have caused a change in the philosophy of many organizations toward the path of least resistance. Not to overlook the success of elite QBs like Brady, Bree, Manning and Rogers who tend to make the game exciting and bring in the revenue. 

 

The play by Richard Sherman to end the 49er's run as well as the Raven's defensive stand inside the 10 yard line at the end of the SB last season reinforces the need of a defense that can seal the deal. 

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It's not a fact of being better evaluators on defense imo, because it's far more easier to find quality defensive players simply because you have 18-22 players getting on the field each game. It's easier to use the talent of young players on defense because you can rotate them in each game. However most offensive positions like QB and Oline you don't rotate, so it's harder to develop guys on that side of the ball imo.

Then the biggest thing about development of WRs and Oline imo is the system, in fact the system has a lot to do with the defensive success as well. If we didn't use a hybrid defense that allowed tweener players to get action we probably wouldn't be as successful at developing players on that side of the ball. But while we adjusted to thee new NFL on defense, we never really seemed to come around on offense. We kept that same old school tough approach for many years, but the players available in the draft rarely fit our system especially considering we draft so low all the time. This is why I feel Shanahan would be the best fit because all our players seem to fit what he does already. We have a bunch of catch and run WRs, most of the olineman we've drafted since 2008 actually fits the ZBS and the QB we have hits his offense well imo.

The Ravens have more money tied up into defense right now because we simply have better performers on defense right now, but it's changing. Flacco, Rice, Yanda, Torrey, Pitta, Monroe will all have fairly big contracts on offense while, Jimmy and Webb will be the only big contracts on D, after Suggs and Ngata of course.

Perhaps it's more likely to draft a first round bust on offense than on defense. Offense is more about timing and precision while defenses disrupt. We all know that it's easier to destroy (disrupt) than to build.  

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That wasn't really the case, though.  The defense held the Colts to 9 points in a game where the offense struggled in the first half.  The defense held the Broncos to 21 points over a span of nearly 6 quarters, and also chipped in a pick-six, and a second interception on the Broncos side of the field that resulted in the game winning field goal (admittedly the offense had to contribute a lot here because of the two special teams touchdowns).  Then the defense held NE to 13 points.  That's arguably the two best quarterbacks in the league that the defense held in check in back-to-back games.  Lastly, the 49ers, where things started out well but started to crack after the blackout and Ngata going down.  Still, that's what, basically 16 quarters of solid play out of 18?  The offense was amazing at times and were a huge contributor as well, but it seemed like a team effort rather than one side having to carry the other.

In terms of philosophy, here's an interesting link that shows money spent on offense and defense.  The Ravens have one of the higher amounts of cap space tied up on defense.  It also seems like they're better evaluators of talent on offense than defense.  How many dud quarterbacks and receivers have they drafted?  They always seem to find some diamonds in the rough on defense.

Interesting link. I assume you mean they have been more successful evaluating talent on the defensive side.  With the exception of Flacco, Rice, T. Smith and Ogden, I would agree that we've had better success drafting defensive players.

 

Joe Flacco and his offense bailed out the defense on more than one occasion last year and this year. Check out his stats on game winning drives in his career. Our run defense stunk up the field last year and this year. The entire team struggled down the stretch but Joe Flacco never flinched or lost faith and played lights out in the playoffs (no pun intended). That's an irrefutable fact! Three of the final four teams in the playoffs this year are led by QBs who were outplayed (when it counted) in last year's playoffs by our QB. That's another irrefutable fact!! Cut Joe some slack. Purely and simply, Joe Flacco is why we won the games with the Colts, Broncos, Patriots and the 49ers, not because of the stellar defense we played. AND he did all of that while playing without a new contract.

 

As a former coach of youth football and basketball, I used to instill in my players a winning philosophy by saying "there's only one reason to play the first half of a game and that's to get to the second half. Keep us close and we'll win it in the second half." That philosophy served us well and served the Ravens well in come from behind wins. I'm sure you've watched enough college football games to realize that the best team isn't always ahead at half-time. Great teams make adjustments in the locker room at half-time and finish strong by wearing down their opponents in the second half. That is something the Ravens were not good at this year in particular. Sometimes it is due to a lack of conditioning and other times its due to a lack of something else.

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Arnie UK brought up an interesting theory.

 

What's clear is that our Front Office is conflicted.

 

We have been a defensive team but recent changes in the game have given passing a bigger role and wa la...Flacco gets 120 million.

 

Contrary to that as of last weekend most of the playoff teams were featuring the run.

 

Once again, what is clear is that our Front Office is very much wrapped up in twine and trying to figure out how to untangle themselves. 

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This OC hire is so important because the Ravens Way isn't and should go anywhere. If anyone actually took the time to read any of my post doing the season on how to fix the offense I actually mentioned changing the Ravens Way. My posts tend to get long so I'm sure many just over looks them lol, but changing the Ravens Way is how I said i'd start to fix things. However now I don't agree with that position now. I agree with the stance of not changing things just making tweks and adjustments to the offense. Now let me say that I feel the offensive system should change, but we can continue to keep the same philosphy. We can continue to be a physical run team but also open things open and be explosive with Joe. We don't have to be pass happy and finesse to be a strong passing team. We don't have to be a 3 yards and a cloud of dust running team, run on every first down to be a strong run team. I strongly feel this organization follows the model of the NE Pats from ownership on down and I see this offense being a lot like the 2007 offseason for the Pats. The offense will change but core of what we do won't change. This is why I think Shanahan should be the new OC because the system he'll bring will allow us to continue our philiosphy. Physical rush game, creative, explosive pass game and balanced. I feel that once we get the right system, Ozzie will start to have much more success drafting and adding talent to the offense like he does with defense.

 

I've been constantly saying this as well.

 

#Mili

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Is there an organisation wide belief in running the ball and playing good Defense? I don't know. But I'll tell you what - I hope there is! That is exactly the kind of team we have always been and exactly the kind of team I hope we will continue to be. It's who we are. It's our calling card, our identity.

 

Teams can throw the ball like crazy during the regular season and put up pretty numbers doing it but look what happens when the cold weather comes in and it's play-off time - teams start running the football more. Unless you are a dome team, you will find it very difficult to succeed in the post season if you can't run the ball well and/or play good Defense. I really hope the Seahawks win the Superbowl this week as it would be so great to see a team built on running the ball and quality Defense winning it all. That really would be one in the eye for Roger Goodell and his cronies who seem hell bent on trying to turn the NFL into an outdoor Arenaball league with their pass friendly rules.

 

If there's one thing I hate about the modern day NFL it is the way so many people seem to be obsessed with the passing game and the way the media obsess over QB's(Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in particular). Give me some old fashioned, hand in the dirt, smack 'em in the mouth action. That's REAL football.

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T3hRaven, on 22 Jan 2014 - 4:45 PM, said:

...  That old defense wins championships adage might have worked before, but I don't believe it does anymore.  

We are about to find out on Sunday if that adage is true-- Manning and all his targets with a middling defense vs Seattle's great defense and so so offense. NFL brainiacks will be reviewing the pros and cons of each team for a long time to come I think.

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TDubbs, on 22 Jan 2014 - 5:02 PM, said:

...

So, to answer the question, yes it is an organization decision for this team to be based that way. Ozzie has always set the tone from the onset of the franchise. Ozzie is obsessed with 'Value' in a player. He feels, with his talent evaluation, why pay a WR, or CB etc. top dollar when he thinks he can find a guy somewhere in the draft who can produce close enough for cheap. Meanwhile, valuing the elite level talent enough to make sure they stay around, (Ray Lewis, J.O) for their entire career. This directly correlates to our last offensive guy drafted being Oher.....

Steve Bisciotti also has an 80-20 rule: if you can get 80% of someones production for 20% of the cost, go for it.

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Jokerraven, on 22 Jan 2014 - 5:31 PM, said:

....RSR does produce some thought provoking accurate articles even if the writers are fans .

I'd rather have fans that are writers than writers that are employed by the organization.

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I don't think I could put it any better than that.

It's funny you mentioned the Pats, because they happen to be a team that can run the ball and pass the ball efficiently.

With a usually crappy defense. We could have both if you think about it. Patriots do follow a value method as well. Who were the wrs this year? Amendola from the Rams?
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I believe the OC selection shows the Ravens intend to get back to a balance. Looking at the final four playoff teams I see all have good offenses and defenses. Naturally some are better offensively while others better defensively.

 

New rule changes have affected the way officials officiate the game and I see it as more the factor than I see differences in offenses or defenses in the way of ability.

 

The question of whether the league is shifting from run first to pass first I think depends on which teams you are discussing rather than the league as a whole. In the past few years teams have shifted somewhat to defend the pass therefore coaches have shifted to improve their run games.

 

I've read post on whether and run first or a pass first is best and whether a strong offense is more important that a strong defense. To judge it based on the team that wins the Superbowl is not the answer but having a balance between a good offensive, good defense; a good passing game and good run game is the correct answer, and do not over look the importance of special teams

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The Ravens Philosphy is to do things the Ravens Way. Like it or not the Ravens have a way of doing things and it won't change. We have a strong belief that a good run and and good defense wins more games late in the season then being pass happy and i'd agree. We believe that our offense should be as tough as the toughest defense we'll face all season and we believe that defense shows up in trianing camp every year. We believe that a bunch of hard working guys will give you more then the most talented guy, which is why I feel we don't trade up often in the draft. Hard work beats talent. We belive that things should be balanced and whatever stats come of it cool. Your backend should be as good as your front 7 on defense, your run game should be as good as your pass game and you should be able to lean on either to win a game. What organization puts as much effort into special teams as we do, but also gives guys like Corey Graham, B.A and Gary Stills a shot to make a name on defense?

The Ravens Way is special and rare. There's a reason why player want to play here and coaches want to coach here. There's a reason why Eric D turns down GM offers. Yea he's the GM in waiting and he's getting paid like a GM, but I think being here means a lot to him. There is a reason why guys like Cary Williams and Pollard compare their current team structure to that of the Ravens. There is a reason why Shannon Sharpe told Trevor Pryce if you ever get the change go play for Baltimore. There is a reason why a guy like Derrick Mason decided to retire a Raven despite spending so many years in Ten and playing his final year in Houston.

For the first time ever, I think we finally got the right OC that can bring things together and make this offense run like the defense. Yea Kubiak will leave sooner then later, but his impact will last a very long time much like the impact Marvin Lewis left. We are about to become an explosively balanced offense and it won't matter how many runs or pass we attempt. This scheme alone will leace DCs staying up at night thinking how to defend it and the talent will just make it worse. We are finallyy about to be able to consistently score points on offense and have a defense that can get after people. Not to forget a strong Special Teams Unit. I see the vision and I love the direction. But the Ravens Way hasn't and Isn't gonna change, we just finally got a coach who can get the most out of all our offensive guys and don't need great talent to do so. I think we'll finally be good on offense, defense and special teams, that'll just make the Ravens Way more recognizable because others will be forced to take notice.

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