Among other issues discussed was the return of Cam Cameron, which Ozzie explained by his desire for continuity on offense.
“I always look at a body of work, “Newsome said. “John and I, we have discussions consistently through the seasons about a multitude of things. I try to always take the big picture view of everything about how we’re going to get better in all three phases. It’s not about retaining Cam as much as it is about are we heading in the right direction with this offense? Are we satisfied with where we are right now? No. But we think the best way to get there is to maintain the continuity of having Cam.”
Bisciotti did his best to put to rest speculation of either Joe Flacco or Ray Rice in another uniform, at least in 2012.
“Ray Rice and Joe Flacco will be part of this football team next year, guaranteed,” Bisciotti said.
As far as the other notable free agent in Ben Grubbs, Ozzie stressed that a decision on Grubbs will not only center who the team would have to cut to keep him, but also what a potential re-signing of Grubbs would prevent the Ravens from executing this offseason.
For the most part, the State of the Ravens press conference took on a “business as usual” tone. When Steve Bisciotti fired Brian Billick in 2007, he talked about his desire to model the Ravens organization after franchises like the Steelers and Patriots that win consistently every season. He spoke to avoiding the valleys that often accompanied the peaks under Billick’s leadership.
The Ravens have clearly met Bisciotti’s goal under John Harbaugh, as they are the only NFL to make the playoffs, much less win a playoff game, each of the past four seasons. However, with consistent success comes more opportunities for disappointment, and Bisciotti has gotten his fair share of chances to experience the type of heartbreak that comes with tough playoff losses.
“If it wasn’t for the elation you get from winning, no one would subject themselves to this kind of pain and suffering,” Bisciotti said. “You come home from losses some nights and you’re wondering why you’re putting yourself through this. But then you experience the wins and remind yourself that the good comes with the bad.”
The Ravens will come back to work next season with much of the same core in place. And everyone in the organization can hold their heads high knowing that over the past four years, they have built this franchise into an unshakeable, elite force that is set up for consistent contention year in and year out.
The state of the Ravens is solid. Rock-solid, actually. Not even a devastating playoff loss with so much on the line can break the foundation that the four men who sat together at the podium Wednesday afternoon have worked together to build for Baltimore football fans.
That said, the loss to New England took a toll on this organization, and Bisciotti made no effort to hide his disappointment.
“I’m not over it,” Bisciotti said. “I don’t think any of us are over it, but we have to move on.”