Quick Links

Can the Ravens run the ball better in 2016?


Can the Ravens run the ball better in 2016?

Can the Ravens improve their rushing attack in 2016?

They need to. The Ravens dropped from eighth in the NFL in rushing in 2014, to 26th in rushing in 2016. That was one reason the Ravens went from 10-6 in 2014, to 5-11 in 2015.

“Yes, I feel like we need to run the ball more, but we need to run the ball better,” coach John Harbaugh said at the “State of the Ravens” press conference. “So, those two things go hand-in-hand…To the extent we didn’t run the ball well, yes, we lost our identity a little bit and we have to be able to do that.”  

Here are three issues facing the Ravens this offseason as they look to improve their running game:

1. The Ravens must become more effective running in the red zone.

The Ravens had just eight rushing touchdowns all season, tied for 21st in the NFL.  Six players had more rushing touchdowns individually than the Ravens had total – DeVonta Freeman, Jeremy Hill, Adrian Peterson, and DeAngelo Williams with 11; and Cam Newton and Todd Gurley with 10.  Opponents didn’t fear the Ravens’ goal-line running game, which made it difficult for the Ravens to end drives with six points.

2. The left side of the offensive line is in flux.

Kelechi Osemele played effectively at both left guard and left tackle last season, but he may be lost in free agency. Meanwhile, left tackle Eugene Monroe is coming off two injury-plagued, subpar seasons. If the Ravens lose Osemele, it may be difficult for their offensive line to improve, regardless of what happens with Monroe, or in the draft.

3. Who’s the No. 1 running back?

Actually, this could be a pleasant situation. Buck Allen had 514 yards as a rookie, and Justin Forsett (614) was on his way to another 1,000-yard season before breaking his arm. The Ravens have plenty of depth at running back with Allen, Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Terrance West. A running back by committee system could be effective if the Ravens go that route. Their depth makes them less likely to pursue a free agent running back like Matt Forte, who played for Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman when he was the Bears’ head coach.

Trestman, Harbaugh, and the Ravens staff are taking a hard look at the Ravens’ running game, and what went wrong in 2015. As Harbaugh said, the Ravens need run more, but they also need to run better.

RELATED: Torrey Smith helps change lady's tire

Quick Links

Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

AP Images

Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


Quick Links

Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

USA Today Sports Images

Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.