The 2018 season has barely lifted off and I’m already looking ahead to 2020. Listen, I get it, there’s a lot of rumbling about 2018 and how Flacco will play, and so on. But I’m here to tell you that this is Flacco’s last season in Baltimore. So listen up and hold your comments for Twitter.
Throughout the 2018 offseason, the Ravens underwent a quiet, yet dynamic, culture shift. The front office executed a shrewd, cunning, and brilliant, clandestine operation. So strap on that tin-foil hat and let’s break it down.
First, the front office decided to keep Marty Mornhinweg. The Ravens covered that move by flatly stating that some consistency at the coordinator position would be good for Flacco and the offense.
Secondly, the front office acquired the Bengals wide receiver coach, James Urban, under the guise of a random thought that Flacco plays better when he has a quarterback coach. You know what else is a random statistic? Flacco has one of the highest QBR’s in the super bowl era, ever.
Then, the front office went out and picked up Robert Griffin III, a head scratcher of a move since RGIII hadn’t really been 100 percent healthy since his sophomore season. But this was the beginning, similar to Germany’s slow build up to war in the 1930s. This move started the gears turning in my head. Was our front office playing 3-D chess?
Rumors and flags went up around the league when we met with Lamar Jackson. Quotes and reports came out of Owings Mills about the Ravens looking at Jackson as a quarterback.
The draft approached and the stage was set for the Ravens to take the Sudetenland dominate the draft. The 2018 draft was legendary, hall of fame inductee, Ozzie Newsome’s last draft. His swan song draft. The Ravens were picking at No. 16 overall, at least that’s what the fans thought. We were stunned when Ozzie traded back, then traded back again. We were almost expecting him to trade out of the first round entirely, and suddenly Ozzie unleashed his blitzkreig. Picking up area-of-need tight end, Hayden Hurst. Fans mumbled, analysts swooned and Ozzie sat back and grinned – he was far from done.
As the rest of the first round progressed, fans were beginning to chirp on Twitter about our lack of offense and wondering if this was the right move. And in a moment of cunning shrewdness, Ozzie traded back up and took his prize all along. Lamar Jackson was the final pick of the 2018 first round.
For a casual observer, the rest of the draft was focused on team needs and nice-to-haves. To a big-picture thinker, the rest of the draft went as well as the invasion of France. The Ravens only met light resistance taking players who fit their mold. An Alabama cornerback, a wide receiver with an attitude problem, a tall red zone threat, a hard-hitting in-the-box safety and a wide out trapped in a tight end’s build. All of these young pieces can add value to the Ravens and, more importantly, trim fat from sub-par positions.
Then it was time for rookie camp. This was the moment that I realized our transition. Baltimore Ravens beat reporter, Jeff Zrebiec, is quoted as saying that it was obvious that Urban is going to play a massive role with the quarterback position. Now, to an out-of-team fan this wouldn’t mean anything but here is where my theory comes together. Both Urban and Mornhinweg have coached players like RGIII and Jackson before. You might remember a certain Michael Vick. That’s F*cking RIGHT. In Philadelphia, with Harbaugh and from whom we took the 32nd pick, both Urban and Mornhinweg were offensive coaches (Thanks Andy Reid). There, Urban coached Vick and McNabb. That, coupled with our draft, and defensive stance, makes it obvious to me that the Ravens offense is going to be transitioning to a much more exciting brand of football.
I’m on board with the Make Baltimore Great Again train, MBGA. That’s a hashtag you’ll see throughout the year from me. Of course, in a moment of objectivity, it’s easy to see that these picks might not pan out and this entire dynamic restructure might fail, but it’s at least exciting to see. A change of pace from or front office and team is a welcomed sight. I’m excited about the upcoming season and I hope you are too. Now, back to your regular, scheduled posts.
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