By Demario Phipps-Smith @DemarioPSmith on April 10, 2014
Somehow the Baltimore Ravens made the 2013 season into something somewhat successful. A year removed from a Super Bowl victory, the Ravens finished last season with an 8-8 record, despite possessing a 3-5 record midway through the season.
The defense carried the offense for most of the season, even though the team’s offensive capabilities were considered to be its strength. However, the Ravens will need help on both sides in 2014.
Who thought Ray Rice’s production would tail-off so quickly? Every year it seems that he is in the conversation for best rusher in the league. In 2013, he finished with 660 yards on the ground— almost half of his 2012 total. The Rice stock is plummeting fast.
Lardarius Webb scares no one. He isn’t a horrible corner, but he isn’t especially gifted either. On the other side, Jimmy Smith is coming along well. Smith isn’t quite ready to take over the lead corner role, but it is obvious that Webb won’t be the go-to-guy much longer.
It’s kind of hard to say that a team needs a QB after it pays someone handsomely to be such. Just because you give someone the title and the compensation, that doesn’t make him into a franchise player. Joe Flacco won a ring with Ravens, but maybe they could have done it without him.
Eugene Monroe was a big addition for this unit, but most of the year the line looked lost. The Ravens couldn’t open a hole for air to get through, let alone enough for Rice to get adequate yardage. Building depth on the line never hurt anyone.
Baltimore added veteran wideout Steve Smith from Carolina. I believe Smith will be a valued addition, but he is basically the same player as Torrey Smith—just not as fast anymore. Both players are slot-types who are primary receivers because of a lack of depth at the wide receiver position. It will be interesting to see who wins the No. 1 spot, but wideout is still a position of need.
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