With OTA’s and mini-camp wrapped up, we are now in another proverbial NFL offseason dead period. Only this time, it won’t cease until the start of training camp.
The Baltimore Ravens have done all they could over the last five months to turn an 8-8 team, into a post-season monster. The front office could be looking to add more as owner Steve Biscotti lamented in a conference call to season ticket holders that the teams focus was on the offensive line. This came on the same day Baltimore signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, which all of a sudden, creates a pretty good trio with Maclin, Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman to a receiving group that previously looked lost. It looks nice on paper, but one CBS Sports writer thinks this offense is still missing something. Something “elite”. Take a quick guess.
Below is a Tweet via Russell Street Report’s Tony Lombardi from an article written by CBS Sports Sean Wagner-McGough. The article is about the top nine landing destinations for Eric Decker. He placed the Ravens at the No.2 spot for the former New York Jet, and then there’s the last bit.
Playful shot or not, ouch, that’s a low blow. The whole “Is Joe Flacco Elite?” thing is right up there with “Don’t let this distract you from the fact (insert blown lead by Warriors or Falconshere)” in terms of annoyance. The whole quarterback elite argument that goes on every season is also dumb. We’ve reached the point in todays NFL quarterbacks where the perception is “Your either elite or you stink”, and that’s kind of sad. There’s only one Tom Brady and one Aaron Rodgers, but even they don’t win the Super Bowl every year. Although it feels like it with Brady.
In terms of the receivers, Perriman is trying to build chemistry with Flacco after missing two consecutive training camps with injuries (including missing all of 2015), and both displayed what they could do as a QB-WR duo during the second half of 2016. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt actually listed Flacco and Perriman as a rising combination to watch for this season in a recent article. Wallace is coming off his best season since his Pittsburgh Steeler days when some thought he was done after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings, and one of the reasons Maclin came to Baltimore was to play with a quarterback like Flacco. Torrey Smith has struggled immensely over the last two years since leaving Baltimore in free agency, and Kamar Aiken emerged from UDFA to a quality receiver as a Raven.
Whether you think Flacco is “elite” or not, guys like Maclin, Wallace, and Steve Smith in recent years all had no problem signing with the Ravens to catch the football from him. They had no problem signing with a quarterback who is solid overall and plays his best in big games. The Ravens hope the trio of Maclin, Perriman, and Wallace helps this offense with Flacco get back to the playoffs. In the end, that’s all that matters for them.