Heading into the off-season, the Ravens have some work to do coming off an 8-8 season. Not a major overhaul by any stretch of the imagination but just a few pieces here and there to try and tidy up this roster. Here are five pieces of the puzzle that should be addressed.
1. Do not resign Michael Oher
There just needs to be change on that offensive line. It could start with not resigning Michael Oher. I don’t think he was terrible as most would like to think but I do think he made enough mistakes and mental errors that at the very least it is time for both the Ravens and Oher to experience something else. The whole “Blindside” thing was cute and heartwarming but reality is that Oher is not a top lineman and simply has his struggles that are frustrating.
2. Make sure Kelechi Osemele is completely healthy
When Osemele went down early in the season due to a back injury and ultimately surgery, A.Q. Shipley, a backup center, filled in as nicely as he could have but he struggled as well. The Ravens weren’t just being lazy by filling in Shipley when he was clearly overmatched to handle a full regular season workload, they just simply didn’t have another option when the injury came so sudden. I can guarantee if Kelechi Osemele cannot come back right away that Shipley will not be in that spot but the best option would be to get their guy back and get him back 100%
3. Get Dennis Pitta back
Ok. Enough offensive line bashing. Dennis Pitta needs to come back. The Ravens need him, Joe Flacco wants him and I’m pretty sure Pitta himself would like to stay in Baltimore. It was very apparent that with Dennis Pitta out quarterback Joe Flacco just didn’t have any middle of the field options. The offense has a whole struggled with it all season. I’m not saying that Pitta is the best tight end in the league but he is extremely important to what the Ravens do. Losing him a year after they lost Boldin would be a real blow.
4. Resign Daryl Smith
When Baltimore signed the longtime Jacksonville Jaguar last summer it wasn’t necessarily a pickup that sizzled, but looking back, it may have been the best move Ozzie Newsome made. The biggest loss last year was the retirement of middle linebacker Ray Lewis. The “one” who could not be replaced. While Smith didn’t replace Lewis he did provide leadership and a spark to that position. I thought he played great. Great in a role nobody expected. Arthur Brown was drafted out of Kansas State last year and ultimately may be the long-term solution at that spot but in the meantime why not get back a guy who plays hard and still has some solid years in him.
5. Try not to let Jacoby Jones go
This one will be tough. Just knowing how the Ravens operate I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t see it fit to pay a $4 million amount to Jones. They should try and make it work however. Jones provides way too much spark to be let go. While he isn’t the most consistent wide receiver he can make plays every now and then. His electric returns almost warrant the price tag. I like Marlon Brown to continue to grow into the teams number two but Jones can be used and he rarely disappoints. Again, I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t return but I really hope they try everything possible to make it work.