Hello once again. Let me start off by thanking all of you. Because of the format of this article, how good the mailbag is, is wholly dependent on your questions. So there is no me without you. Without further ado let’s dive in.
Wide receiver needs seem to be spoken about a lot lately around the Ravens. Any free agents or draft picks that you think could/would positive additions? –Tammy. Laurel, MD
Looking at the free agents I think that a big possession receiver would be what the doctor ordered. Some of the free agents that fit that description are Eric Decker in Denver, though with the year he’s having he might be demanding a larger sum for his services. There is also Anquan Boldin if the Ravens are interested in trying to get him back from San Francisco. And I think Golden Tate might also be a feasible choice. As far as the draft, I see both of them being mentioned as first round talents and ideally I’d like to see the Ravens go another way with their first choice. And we have yet to get into the nitty-gritty of draft preparation so a grain of salt. But I like Jordan Matthews if he falls out of the first. And another name that’s been mentioned is Mike Evans.
Jim Caldwell, is he that big of a loss if he does get another job? Offense seemed to regress this year.-John. Baltimore, MD
John, when there is a problem with a team, for instance if the rushing numbers are no good, or if your team’s sack numbers are no good. It’s usually a simple fix; it’s a matter of talent. However when your problem is that numbers were good but then dip, things complicate. Because then it could still be the talent, in the form of injuries, aging or distractions. It could go up the line and be the signal-caller; maybe he isn’t using the talent correctly. So now that I’ve digressed allow me to come back to you. Yes the numbers have taken a step back from last year. Given my outside perspective however I don’t believe that Caldwell was the reason for the dip. I don’t think it matters what plays he’s calling if the offensive line can’t keep defenders off Rice and Flacco. I pin the regression squarely on the offensive line. So is Caldwell that big of a loss? I’d say yes if only for the headache that changing offensive schemes can cause.
So much could change in the AFC North, but who is the one team that worries you in 2014? Still the Bengals? Steelers revived?- Henry. Washington DC
I agree Henry it does seem like the AFC went through a shuffle. The Bengals overtook the Ravens for the division, and the Steelers went into remission. The Browns even went on a little winning streak and garnered some respect. For 2014 the Browns gave Chudzinski one year, and in his absence it seems like getting someone to fill the void is as difficult as selling Malaria door to door. Even the franchise destroyer Josh McDaniels (think that harsh? Ask Denver fans what he did to them.) took his name out of the conversation. The Bengals seem to be regular season problems for the Ravens but not much beyond it. Come post season it seems they Mr. Hyde and kick themselves out of the postseason. So I think the real concern is as it seems it always is, Pittsburgh. After starting 2-6, it’s easy to write them off and forget they exist. But they flipped the script in the final eight going 6-2. And I fully expect them to carry that momentum into 2014 and make another run for the postseason and the AFC North.
Alrighty folks, that’ll do me for this week’s mailbag. Remember to keep the questions coming. And we’ll see you all again next week.