I keep repeating the line “It’s only August” because it IS vitally important to remember that the Ravens have plenty of time to correct their problems and very little can truly be gauged by a preseason contest played just seven days after the team was able to hold it’s first full team practice in roughly seven months.
That being said, there are still concerns that the team needs to address, and there is no reason to feel better about those areas one quarter of the way into the preseason.
If the Ravens are going to compete with the Steelers to win the AFC North, they HAVE to get better production from their receivers. They HAVE to get improved O-Line play. They HAVE to get stability behind Flacco at the QB position. They HAVE to find a better way to pressure opposing quarterbacks. They HAVE to get better consistency from their secondary.
Some of these problems will be aided by players who will return from injury or who have arrived late in Training Camp. Birk, Foxworth and RB Ricky Williams are all players who can make a significant difference.
Some of these problems will be addressed as rookies continue to learn the playbook and get comfortable with more actual time on the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. Torrey Smith, Jimmy Smith, Doss, Taylor and OT Jah Reid should be able to show development before Week 1 of the regular season.
Some of these problems will still need to be addressed by adding outside players to the roster. The team will continue to look at veteran free agents, as well as players who are cut by other teams. They will also have to keep looking at players around the league who will be available in trades. Names like Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans and Chicago Bears WR Johnny Knox will not go away soon.
Whatever they do, they HAVE to address the problems or the words “Super Bowl” will only be uttered in Baltimore when discussing memories of January 2001.
The good news?
It’s only August.
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