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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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