By: Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

Super Bowl champs to the toilet bowl champs.  This is the sentiment from a lot of Raven’s fans and NFL Fandom as a whole.  Well not so fast, trust in Ozzie!  Yes, TRUST IN OZZIE NEWSOME.  He is one of the best Football minds in the league, especially when it comes to building a team.  Remember the Ravens we an expansion team…  Well sorta.  Since 1996 he has typically put together a competitive team.  Everyone jumping off the cliff about the Ravens is forgetting some key things like, time, the New NFL, and the division.

            Now Ozzie Newsome has been the VP/Football Operations, and GM since 1996.  In that time frame he has 2 Super Bowl rings.  So every 8.5 years he delivers on a Super Bowl, which means the organization trust him and will give him nothing but TIME to build a contender.  If you are not making moves to save your job every year you can take a chance on players and take your time developing talent.  Most coaches, players, and GM’s don’t have that luxury, so every decision Ozzie makes is with a Sniper Rifle, not a hand gun, or should I say he has the bird eye view of his team and future.

            Secondly we are forgetting that we are in a “New NFL”, what does that mean?  Dominate defense out the window.  The league is about bend but don’t break mentality now.  Look at the Super Bowl, everyone knew the Niners were a better team, arguably better defense and offense.  Yet the Niners lost, why? The Ravens got touchdowns while the Niners had turnovers or field goals.  The most critical point of the game the Ravens Defense bent, but didn’t break.  Or rather held and didn’t fall (I’m with Jim that was a hold on Crabtree), so why have high paid defensive players?  Pollard, Kruger, Reed, Lewis, and etc, with those players the Ravens ranked 17th in total defense and lets not forget the Giants won a Super Bowl with a terrible defense and faced a Patriots team that was in the bottom two of defense that year.

            In this New NFL, its all about offense and more importantly the Quarterback.  Now you hav looked up your QB for the future, and I know everyone thought that Flacco deal was no good or he didn’t earn that money, but just think for a second, who out there is better that the Ravens could get?  NO-BODY!  So you look him up for your future and let’s be honest Flacco numbers are comparable to Eli Manning’s, and Ben Roethlisberger’s numbers and we hold them in higher status, why, because of Super Bowl rings.  Now Flacco has one so now he is worth the money.  Also with this new NFL, the CBA has made it that if you sign a 1st round pick, they can’t, repeat CAN’T renegotiate until the end of their third year.  This means you get younger players that you can develop on a rookie pay scale for 3 years.  Even worse for 2nd round picks where you have to wait 4 years before you can talk contract, sorry Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.  This all means that you have time to build a team for the future because everyone you drafted now can’t sniff new money until 2016.  Add that on top of Ozzie having time and now locking up his most important offensive weapon, we are starting to equal a smart move to dump the older junk this year.

            Lastly if I haven’t sold you on everything else, the most important thing is the AFC North.  There is no real contender, so this was the best time to rebuild.  You have the same old Browns that have an offensive core the Richardson, Gordon, but questions surrounding Weeden.  So the Browns may not be a contender, then you look at the Steelers that are basically doing the same thing the Ravens are doing.  The Steelers are trying to get young in a hurry to compete.  Just like Ozzie, Tomlin (Steelers have only had 3 Head Coaches in their franchise history) has time and an organization that stands behind their people.  So basically your greatest rival is occupying the same space you are, you went and grabbed a ring while they were rebuilding and now your rebuilding so when they are back you will be back.  Then you have the Bengals, who have a young core, have playoff experience and are looking to take the next step next year.  You may have to concede the division to them this year, because they are a young team that has taken bumps and now are ready to go, basically what you are looking to be 2 seasons from now.  So let them win the division for the next year or two, and then the Ravens can return to contend.

            So Raven fans and the NFL slow down on counting the Ravens out or not realizing the bigger picture; Ozzie Newsome is setting this team and franchise up with future success.  We also have no guarantee that the Ravens won’t be good, you still have a good Ray Rice, an amazing Torrey Smith, consistent Dennis Pitta, you added Elvis Dumervil to go along with Terrell Suggs.  The Ravens drafted a safety in Matt Elam that everyone was high on to replace Ed Reed, Arthur Brown that might be a 2nd round steal ala Navarro Bowmen for 49ers, Brandon Williams has a great motor just needs to refine his technique, and John Simon is a rare talent that needs to better work against the run.  Also if Ozzie let Anquan Bolden go he must have a lot of trust or saw a ton of potential in Tandon Doss who didn’t play a down last year because of a sports hernia.  So trust in Ozzie Newsome and doubt him “Nevermore!”

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

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