By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on May 25, 2014
The Baltimore Ravens will look to rebound from an 8-8 season in 2013, which saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era. 2013 was a constant struggle for the Ravens as they hovered around. 500 for much of the season. Though a lot of mainstays remain on the team, the Ravens added a few new pieces to the organization. Here are the top five rumors for the Ravens entering OTAs.
There is little doubt that Ray Rice is going to be suspended after his altercation with his wife was caught on videotape back in February. The question now is, how long will he be suspended? Rice will meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, and it wouldn't shock anyone if Rice receives a multi-game suspension.
Gary Kubiak was hired as Ravens offensive coordinator after Jim Caldwell took the head coaching job with the Detroit Lions. Kubiak has always been known as an offensive genius, as he was the Denver Broncos OC when they won their two Super Bowls in the late 1990s. In four of his last five years with the Houston Texans, his offensive units ranked in the top 10. The Ravens ranked 29th in offense in 2013, and Kubiak will make a huge difference.
The Ravens clearly missed Anquan Boldin's presence in the lineup last season, as the offense dropped from 10th to 25th in scoring from 2012 to 2013. Ravens free agent signee, Steve Smith, will be expected to fill the Boldin role in 2014. Though Smith is 35 years old, he still possesses the ability to move the chains. If Baltimore can get Smith to catch 65 passes for around 800-900 yards, they'll be content with that.
Baltimore's major voids entering the NFL Draft were mostly along the offensive side of the ball. What ended up happening, however, was the Ravens selected three defensive players with their first three picks. Considering the team had major deficiencies along the offensive line and at running back, it's perplexing that the Ravens focused on defense, rather than offense, in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Now that the Ravens are officially entering the 2014 season, there are no more excuses -- the Super Bowl hangover is over. The Ravens are now well over a year removed from their Super Bowl victory, and they are no longer the reigning Super Bowl Champions. The Ravens need to get back to basics, and they need their offensive unit to play at an above-average clip if Baltimore hopes to make it back to the postseason in 2014.
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