On Tuesday, the Ravens agreed to terms with ex-Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones. While the move can be attributed to the need to bolster the weapons around Joe Flacco, it’s really about the loss of Terrell Suggs.
Since moving to Baltimore in the mid-90’s, the Baltimore franchise has been known for one thing: Defense. Now, with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year down — possibly for the entire season — the Ravens must win a different way: Outscoring opposing gunslingers.
Peter DiLutis and I love to chat about Joe Flacco — for the record, we’re both fans of his ability and bright future — on our Saturday program. One of our biggest talking points, both before and after the draft, is the need to surround him with better weapons. Considering the lack of separation Anquan Boldin achieved against top corners and Torrey Smith’s neophyte route running skills, adding another option had to be an off-season priority.
For one reason or another, it didn’t become one for Ozzie Newsome. While Tommy Streeter is a very interesting mid-round draft pick, passing up on high round talents like Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle was puzzling.
Then — within the span of the end of the first round and Tuesday — three major changes took place on the Ravens roster. Courtney Upshaw wasn’t selected by former Raven defensive coordinator/new Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano atop the second round, allowing him to fall to the Ravens; Terrell Suggs severely injured his Achilles, putting his 2012 season in doubt; and Jacoby Jones was signed after being released by Houston.
It’s easy to look at all three moments in a vacuum. Upshaw was value, Suggs was an accident, and Jones helps a positional group that needed to be upgraded.
Or it can be looked at like this: Baltimore was worried about their defense before Suggs got hurt and Jacoby Jones is now a Raven to help Joe Flacco outscore the 13 Pro-Bowl caliber quarterbacks that he will face in 2012.
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