Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ravens secondary is not a primary concern

It’s interesting to hear just how many fans and folks in the media feel that improving the Ravens' secondary should be a primary concern. Don’t count me among them.

While I would admit that the team should bolster the corner position, they don’t need to spend a high end draft pick on one nor do they have to spend unnecessarily in free agency, assuming they can properly navigate The Final 8 rules.

Chris Carr, Frank Walker and Tom Zbikowski all stepped up when called upon and their experiences in meaningful game situations will bode well for the team and provide quality depth, particularly if Haruki Nakamura and Lardarius Webb return to form and the Ravens bring back Fabian Washington.

Despite the lack of a consistent pass rush, the team finished third overall in defense, fifth against the run and eighth against the pass. From Week 8 forward (the week following the Ravens’ bye), Baltimore was the second best team in the league defending the pass.

What might they do if Ozzie Newsome adds another speed rusher?

The fact is, this team has gone just about as deep into the playoffs over the past two seasons as they can. They don’t have the weapons in the passing game to go any farther and until they find them, one, possibly two playoff wins in a given season is about the most we can expect from the Ravens.

The secondary should be at best a secondary concern of the Ravens.


Jerry B said...

Almost agree, TL; however, the Ravens' secondary may be adequate, but to get to the next level, they need a "shutdown" corner. It would be nice to think that Ladarius Webb could be that guy because his play does resemble that of Bob Sanders, but he's coming off of a serious knee injury and appears to be a bit "small" by "shutdown" standards. Maybe, as you say, a "secondary" need, but a need nevertheless.....

Anonymous said...

I have to strongly disagree. After WR, CB will be the most important position to upgrade. No one has any idea if Samari Rolle can play again, and it's highly unlikely Webb can recover in time from a 12 month injury to be a starter until late in the season, if at all. Fabian has the same sort of injury and timeline , and I can't see the Ravens or any team signing him before the season starts. Reed might retire, and Nakumura's injury was so bad, he's still on crutches two months later. Carr and Walker played well at the end of the season, but Lord help us if they are the number 2 and 3 corners to start the season. The secondary is a critical position to address this offseason, both in quality and depth.

Tony Lombardi said...

So by definition you agree that the secondary is not a primary concern, right?

You are right about Webb's availability in 2010 but his injuries are not career threatening. Nakamura I'm told will be fine and Washington will be a depth player if he returns and could see time as the nickel...they will boltster the group, but it's not the first priority.

Anonymous said...

By "secondary" concern, if you mean it's not the single most important concern, then of course that's correct as WR is obviously the single most important concern. However, that was not the tenor of your post, and let's not play semantics. The Ravens desperately need to use a high draft choice OR sign a starting-quality CB to address this need in the offseason, just as they do at the WR position (probably both at WR).

Tony Lombardi said...

It's my opinion that corner isn't even as big a need as a pass rushing specialist. And both fall behind the need to improve at wide receiver.