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Ravens Roost


June 18, 2009 3:33 AM

The Ravens need for another wide receiver may be overblown

The latest rumor mill has the Ravens being interested in Bronco wide out Brandon Marshall, he with the rap sheet to rival those seen on America's Most Wanted. Can Marshall turn over a new leaf? Would Ray Lewis have enough sway over him to change his behavior? That seems like too big a risk to take for my money, or in this case, Steve Bisciotti's money.

There's a good chance that Marshall may be suspended by the league after he goes to trial for a domestic battery charge, and that doesn't bode well for a team looking to improve their passing game. Marshall seems to be more of a punk than a team player and the Ravens don't need those kind of distractions.

The Ravens finished last season with the 28th rated passing attack in the league, and the clamor for more weapons for Joe Flacco have reverberated loud and clear throughout the media, at the local tavern, and the office water cooler. While I understand people's concern I think it may be unwarranted.

Consider the following; The comfort level for Joe Flacco has went from having Cam Cameron stand behind him in practice telling him the plays, to Flacco aligning his linemen and receivers with audibles seconds before a play is run. Ray Rice has shown immense improvement from last season in his blocking skills, his route running, and his overall speed. This could be a breakout season for him. Add to that an offensive line that has matured from the point of needing the tight ends to stay in for pass protection on nearly every play to being able to protect the quarterback on their own. This is the opinion of Cam Cameron as he recently stated that the offense will be able to utilize more three receiver, and two tight end sets this season.

While the team may not have a so called number 1 receiving threat that doesn't mean that they can't be a better passing team. Give any quarterback more time to scan the field, and a receiver more time to get open and you'll see definite improvement. While you may not see Raven receivers breaking off 80 yard touchdown runs the team knows how to move the ball down the field, after all they are a smash mouth run oriented offense first and foremost. Move the ball down to the Red Zone and throw out Todd Heap and L.J. Smith on a crossing pattern, add Rice streaking from the outside, and Mason zig zagging his way into the seam, as a defense who are you going to cover?

Newcomer Kelley Washington should also provide a viable option on short yardage and Red Zone situations. Add to that a healthy Demetrius Williams and a rejuvenated Mark Clayton and I believe the Ravens offense has plenty of solid weapons at their disposal. And if you think that Cameron hasn't spent the offseason thinking up new formations and new wrinkles then you're kidding yourself. This offense will improve from last years ranking, one by the way that was able to get them to the AFC Championship game along with a lights out defense and stellar Special Teams play.

Have no fear, this will be a better team this season, barring major injuries of course, then the one that thrilled us week in, and week out last year. I've got a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet! 

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