The Baltimore Ravens 2007 NFL season could not have been any worse. The year started off somewhat promising. With a 4-2 start, they were at the top of the division. But clearly, wins against the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and San Francisco 49ers proved to be worth what those teams were, which was nothing.
The Ravens would then go on to take on the hard part of their schedule, and it wasn’t pretty. Losses to the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and San Diego Chargers sent this team into a downward spiral. And a Week 13 loss to the New England Patriots in what was probably one of the most emotional games of the season, would be the straw that broke the camels back. The Ravens ended up losing nine games in a row, including a Week 15 loss to the Miami Dolphins to give that team their lone win of the season.
So how do the Ravens fix this problem? Well, hopefully their new coach, John Harbaugh has the answers. But since I don’t think he does, I’ll give you my take on the Ravens off-season goals.
First of all, the Ravens need to figure out what they want to do at quarterback. Personally, Kyle Boller looks like he can play the position; it is just a matter of how consistent he is going to be. But before he was injured, he did not look to bad. And against the best team in the league, the New England Patriots, Boller had his best game of the season. However, perhaps what Boller needs is a little competition to keep that edge on him. The Ravens need to utilize a first day pick on a quarterback and make Boller earn his position as the starter.
The offensive line is the next issue. I don’t know how on Earth Willis McGahee managed to average 4.1 yards per carry on a team with no quarterback and an o-line that was clearly on the decline in 2007, but he did just that. However, going into 2008, the Ravens do need to get younger on the line, and this is where I would use their first pick of the 2008 NFL draft. It is unlikely that Michigan OT Jake Long will fall to the Ravens’ eighth pick, so if he doesn’t, the Ravens may want to trade down and draft either OT Ryan Clady from Boise State or Jeff Otah from Pittsburgh.
Defensively, the Ravens are going to be better next season as long as their cornerbacks come back healthy and if they manage to resign Terrell Suggs, which they really have no choice but to do. However, they could use another big playmaker at linebacker as clearly the loss of Adalius Thomas has affected the team’s versatility. A guy like Lance Briggs who is looking to join another team would be a great fit for Ravens team that could use his flexibility in their complex defensive system. If they can get a guy like Briggs to join the unit, the Ravens defensive superiority may make a comeback in 2008.