I think you can be both - going to the playoffs 5 seasons in a row, you should be accustomed to and expect to win. However, I don't think that gives people the right to start talking about firing this coach and that coach and this coach is coaching for his job or whatnot after missing the playoffs by a game or two. Going 8-8 while being down 3 of 4 starting receivers from last year, and without the starting running back for a while is a major accomplishment. Was this season a failure, in terms of our expectations to go back to the playoffs, yes.
But at the same time we as fans should understand that we can't make the postseason every year, we play in a division that is historically very strong and has 4 Superbowl appearances with 3 victories since 2005. What we should expect from this fan base is that this team, from the front office down, will try to do its best to field a competitive team year in and year out, and when a mistake has been made e.g. getting rid of a major playmaker without having a really solid backup plan in mind, the front office will go out there and try to rectify it. And especially this fan base, I think, should not always focus it's attention on a handful of players and say they are the sole purpose for our failures.
This is a team game, and this year we did not field the kind of team that could compete when it counted the most. I expect that next year we will have a team that can do so much better. Now if it continues next year, and the efforts were not made in the offseason to correct mistakes, then there should be some concern. However, I think the appropriate steps have already begun - this team recognized a failure on the offensive side of the ball of significant proportions, so they went out and hired a new OC, new QB coach, parted ways with a guy who's been here almost 15 years and two other guys who've been here 6 years, and brought in some newer, perhaps more innovative, coaches who can offer a different perspective. If they'd stayed the course with the offensive pieces, then there would be a right to complain, I think, but at this point Ravens fans should be quite pleased, IMO, with the steps the front office has taken the last few weeks.
Edited by Ravenslifer, 07 February 2014 - 07:45 PM.