With training camp just around the corner we know that Ravens fans have plenty of questions about the upcoming season. Ravens Insider Clifton Brown answers them in this week’s Q&A presented by Wendy’s.
CB: I honestly thought we’d have a decision by now. Rice met with the commissioner June 16. The Ravens want to know. Rice wants to know. I think a decision comes within the next 7-10 days, so the Ravens know the deal before camp starts.
@CliftonBrownCSN Will the O- line be improved from last year, and by how much?— Dave Straume (@GuinnessDog) July 8, 2014
CB: I say the line will be much improved. Don’t forget that left guard Kelechi Osemele missed most of last season after back surgery. Osemele is healthy again, so in my mind, the Ravens have upgraded at both left guard and at center by trading for Jeremy Zuttah. I think the Ravens underestimated how much they would miss former center Matt Birk after he retired. Right tackle is still a question mark, but the core of Eugene Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah, and Marshal Yanda is solid.
CB: I think the additions of Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, plus an improved offensive line, will help Joe Flacco as much, if not more, than Gary Kubiak’s offense. The Ravens’ didn’t have enough weapons last season, and their running game was awful. Flacco should throw for a higher percentage, and throw fewer interceptions. That equals a better season.
CB: I think Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme fits the Ravens’ offensive personnel. I think we’ll see a running-back-by-committee system. Rice has lost weight. Justin Forsett looks quick in the few offseason practices we’ve been allowed to watch. Bernard Pierce is ahead of schedule recovering from shoulder surgery. And rookie back Lorenzo Taliaferro has size and good hands. The Ravens may not have a 1,000-yard back next season, but that’s OK if they average 4.0 per carry or more as a team, not 3.1 yards like last season.