Wednesday, February 03, 2010

State of the Ravens: Press conference notes

Some notes and observation from today’s State of the Ravens press conference which included Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and Dick Cass.

* The team first introduced new coaches Jim Zorn & Dean Pees…

* Steve Bisciotti will be meeting on Saturday night in Ft. Lauderdale with owners to discuss the CBA...said he doesn't believe the "Final 8" status will hamper the team that much; they have a budget for what they are confident will be an uncapped season and they plan to spend up to it; Bisciotti believes his budget will be just as competitive as any team's.

* Ozzie thinks the uncapped season will result in some good players being cut on par with players like Derrick Mason & Samari Rolle (when they were acquired by the Ravens)...He added that the restricted free agent pool will be bigger than usual and that you may see more player movement there than in the past.

* What happened to Demetrius Williams? That was a question. Ozzie said Derrick, Mark and Kelley happened to D Will.

*Ozzie: "I'll never put this organization in a position where need becomes more important than best player." He was very emphatic about this.

* On whether the uncapped season will upset the balance of power in the league due to there not being a floor...Bisciotti: "We already have a structural problems." ... Net income for some teams was lower than their linebackers' salaries; teams are covering 10,000 seats with tarpaulin to prevent blackouts; the Rams have been for sale for 18 months, original asking price was $900 million but now that has been cut to $600 million because the cash flow doesn't justify the investment...owners need more income and want to take money away from the players' pool, the last deal was a bad deal for the owners; Bisciotti also hinted slightly at a rookie cap by saying that teams need to be able to sign the good players they drafted to the more expensive second contracts.

* Character issues were brought up and the names Plaxico Burress and Brandon Marshall were mentioned...Bisciotti said that he is more of a risk taker than the others (Ozzie, Harbaugh, Dick Cass) but emphasized that while he likes to give people who have made mistakes a second chance, you have to be careful when you give repeat offenders another chance. He added, "What do you have to lose if that person fails you?" I took this has a thinly veiled way of saying that they are not interested in Marshall.

* The subject of pass interference was brought up and the inconsistencies in the way it is called. Ozzie (a member of the competition committee) said that it's important for them to draw "bright lines." He said they did that with the force out rules for receivers who catch the ball but are pushed out before they get their feet in play. If the feet aren't down, it's incomplete, plain and simple. That is a "bright line" for the officials. He said they need to do the same for pass interference in order to establish consistency with the call.

* Ozzie made a comment about restricted free agents, particularly those that would have been unrestricted had 2010 remained a cap year. He said the uncapped year might be an opportunity to extend the contracts of such players who they would like to keep for more than one season. The assumption I believe is that these players will want more than just the typical one year RFA deals and may have some incentive to take accept more team friendly terms.

* When asked what thing bothered him most about the 2009 Ravens, Bisciotti said, “Penalties.” He added that there really doesn't seem to be any direct correlation between penalties and success since 10 of the most penalized teams were among the 12 playoff contenders. He did hint that the Ravens penalties were at crucial times during games and that players need to be more aware of the game situation and their techniques during such times.

These are the things that jumped out most for me...


Jerry B said...

What struck me was Bisciotti's placing the onus squarely on Flacco's shoulders (arm?) to take this team to the next level, which is fine if they, a.) give him the weapons and, b.) Cameron lets him play the position rather than "manage the game". With reference to penalties, it's easy to say, get rid of the "usual suspects", but the coaches bear most of the responsibility with this chronic problem, especially on special teams.......