OWINGS MILLS – Saying he was “disappointed yeah, mad no,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti displayed continued faith Thursday in general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh , after the worst season in Harbaugh’s eight-year tenure.
Highlights of Thursday’s “State of the Ravens” press conference included:
- Bisciotti said he did not see the talent gap widening between the Ravens and the two AFC North teams that made the playoffs, the Bengals and the Steelers.
“It’s a fair question,” Bisciiotti said. “They were asking that in Pittsburgh when they went 8-8 two years ago. Their drafts weren’t top notch, they had too many old players.
“I’m concerned about it, but when I look at their rosters, I don’t think there’s a huge talent difference. I think Cincinnati is probably being touted as the class of our division. We get all our players back, I think we’ll close that gap. If we have a good draft, if we do well in free agency, I think we can compete with them. But yeah, that’s a stain, I think, Cincinnati beating us as frequently as they have recently.”
- Bisciotti preached continuity, pointing out that recent Super Bowl winners like the Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers, Ravens, Packers, and Saints all had head coaches in the midst of long tenures.
- Newsome said the Ravens needed to add at least one wide receiver, if not two, between free agency and the draft. That makes it clear the Ravens are not banking on how well Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman recover from last year’s injuries.
- Newsome said restructuring Joe Flacco’s contract was a priority, but not a necessity. Flacco has a cap number of $28.55 million for next season.
“Hopefully if we are strategic enough, we can possibly put together a football team, and not necessarily redo Joe’s contract.”
- Harbaugh said both offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Dean Pees would return.