Quick Links

Ravens hope coaching staff continuity pays off


Ravens hope coaching staff continuity pays off

The Ravens hope that keeping their coaching staff almost entirely intact pays dividends next season.

Marc Trestman will be back for his second season as offensive coordinator, while Dean Pees returns for his fifth season as defensive coordinator. Other than linebackers coach Ted Monachino leaving to become the Colts’ defensive coordinator, the Ravens’ coaching staff should remain virtually untouched this offseason.

Some expected more change after a 5-11 season, but head coach John Harbaugh liked the way his staff handled adversity.

“We still have plenty of work to do, but I trust Dean,” Harbaugh said at the “State of the Ravens’ press conference. “I know he is a very good coach. All those guys – I know they are good coaches. (When) you work side by side with a bunch of guys through a season like this, you find out what they are made of. And I like our guys.”

Despite injuries, Pees’ defense played far better in the second half of the season than it did in September and October. Finding a way to start next season with a more consistent defense will be at the top of Pees’ to-do list.

As for Trestman, much of the focus will be on improving the Ravens’ running game. The Ravens’ had an all-time franchise low in rushing attempts in 2015, and lost their identity as a physical offense. The Ravens went through a period of changing offensive coordinators every year, from Cam Cameron to Jim Caldwell late in 2012, to Gary Kubiak in 2014, to Trestman in 2015. Bringing Trestman back gives him another season to tweak the Ravens' running attack, working with Harbaugh.

“Yes, I feel like we need to run the ball more, but we need to run the ball better,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to find our way back that way.”

Plenty of NFL offseason coaching turmoil is yet to be sorted out. The Browns, Eagles, 49ers, Giants, and Titans were all still looking for head coaches as of Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the Lions had not made a decision on whether Caldwell would stay as head coach.

However, the Ravens’ coaching staff will look almost the same. The challenge is to get better results.

RELATED: Burfict suspended for first three games of 2016 


Quick Links

Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

USA Today Sports Images

Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR 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 Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders 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 WR 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.

Quick Links

Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

USA TODAY Sports Images

Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?