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Ravens Offseason Needs in 2011: Offense Edition

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TOP POSITION NEEDS ON OFFENSE

Offensive Line: Left Tackle

The loss of OT Jared Gaither hindered the Baltimore Ravens offensive line, forcing the team to shift Marshal Yanda to the right tackle position. Inconsistency in pass-protection plagued the offensive line. The unit also struggled in run blocking,  particularly in short yardage situations. Michael Oher filled in admirably at left tackle, but he may be better suited as a right tackle.

Keys:

  • Re-sign Marshal Yanda. He played well as a right tackle this year; however, Yanda’s real strength is at the interior of the line (right guard) as a run blocker.
  • Center Matt Birk is under contract, but his status remains in question if he will retire. Grooming a young center for the future will be another goal.

Bottom line:

The Ravens need to acquire a left tackle from the draft or free agency. Stabilizing the pass-protection and getting back to a more physical offensive line should be the focus heading into next season. Jared Gaither (free agent) might be considered a decent tackle, but his relationship with the team is unstable.

Receiver: Speedy Wide Out

As the Ravens offense moves forward, they will want to improve with the receiving corps by adding speed. The current group consists of great possession receivers, but a true “deep threat” was the missing link in Cam Cameron’s offense. Flacco has a strong arm, so the offensive attack should incorporate speed to utilize this potential gun-slinger.

Keys:

  • Derrick Mason has a contract for this upcoming season, but his retirement status is still unknown.
  • TJ Housmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth are now both free agents. And for some reason Donte’ Stallworth wasn’t incorporated in the offense— he still has speed to stretch the field.

Bottom line: Look for General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta to find a way and add speed to the Ravens receiving corps either through the draft or free agency. As reported by the BaltimoreRavens.com, the team “could look to the draft to address their needs at wideout and  help quarterback Joe Flacco.”