Written by: Matthew Blunk
As his younger brother stole all the headlines and won Coach of the Year, John Harbaugh remained as consistent as ever, guiding his Ravens to their first AFC North title since 2006 and third in franchise history (no, smart guy, we're not counting the old Cleveland Browns). The Ravens ultimately got within one game of the Super Bowl, marking the second time Harbaugh has taken the team that deep into the postseason.
Division rival Pittsburgh Steelers could be entering a kind of transitional season in 2012, with some shake-up in their coaching staff and roster, so the AFC North could be ripe for the picking yet again. But Baltimore still has its share of needs to address. The essentials are in place, but sometimes the supporting cast makes all the difference in the end.
Joe Flacco had a great game in the AFC Championship Game, but he still needs help. Anquan Boldin is still ol' reliable and has great hands, but he struggles to separate from faster cornerbacks. He's still one of most physical receivers in the game, and he is not completely useless in the running game either. Torrey Smith brings pure straight-line speed, but he's entering only his second season as a pro and can't be relied on too much. Lee Evans will not be back (HANG ON TO THE BALL!). And so the Ravens have to address this position. Flacco showed that he can play at the highest level in that AFC title game. Now throw him a frickin' bone!
Last offseason, Baltimore broke the bank to retain the services of Marshal Yanda. This offseason, the Ravens may lose Ben Grubbs because of that. Grubbs is arguably a more important player than Yanda, but Newsome chose to pay Yanda. He had to foresee this happening, he's a better GM than that. Nevertheless, Grubbs is going to get paid elsewhere, leaving a sizable gap at left guard. Could the Ravens slide in Jah Reid? It's possible, but his future is out at tackle. Newsome and the Ravens would be wise to bring in help.
…or, in technical football terms, the guy playing next to Ray Lewis. Yes, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe have performed admirably alternating as Lewis' sidekick. But Lewis isn't the player he once was. And if you look at a similarly-structured defense like the San Francisco 49ers, two elite inside linebackers (Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman) can negate opposing offenses' rushing attacks.
This year’s National Football League draft gets underway on Thursday night (4/25) in New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall. The ceremony will begin at 8ET and be televised on ESPN. One can only wonder what the wild and crazy Jets fans will have to cheer (or jeer) about now that the N.Y. …
The 78th edition of the National Football League draft will begin on Thursday night, April 25th at 8pm ET. The official description of this event is The NFL Player Selection Meeting. This gathering will take place at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. …
By Melissa Harder
Next week will mark a big moment in the ongoing concussion class action lawsuit brought by over 4,000 former players against the National Football League (NFL). Lawyers for the former players will argue the matter belongs in federal court while the NFL will push for the claim to be heard in arbitration. …