It’s here…that magical time of year when summer enjoyment is interrupted by dreams of the gridiron. The Baltimore Ravens report to training camp…rookies reported last week, veterans arrive on Wednesday.
After a mediocre 8-8 season, the Ravens made major changes to their roster and coaches staff this off-season.
The Ravens agreed to terms with major players including wide receiver Jacoby Jones, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, linebackers Daryl Smith and Terrell Suggs and tight end Dennis Pitta.
They hired former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak to be their new offensive coordinator; Brian Pariani is the new tight ends coach. They acquired wide receiver Steve Smith, tight end Owen Daniels and running back Justin Forsett.
The Ravens lost fullback Vonta Leach, offensive tackle Michael Oher, linebacker Jameel McClain and defensive end Arthur Jones.
The 2014 draft class is full of prospects, most notable is first round pick, Alabama middle linebacker C.J. Mosley.
The Ravens made headlines after several players were involved in separate incidents resulting in arrests or citations. The most notable incident involved running Ray Rice who was indicted for aggravated assault. Rice met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the League has not determined if Rice will be fined and/or suspended.
On paper the Ravens seem much improved over last season, but how will the new players and coaches pan out on the field? Will the changes be enough to produce a winning season?
If Rice is suspended, how will the running game be affected? Can running backs Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett pick up the slack? When Rice returns to the field, will he perform better than last season? Rice had the worst season of his career; the Ravens depend on the running game; they need Rice to step up his performance.
Will the Kubiak offense put more points on the board? How will Steve Smith fit into the mix? Will the offensive line do a better job protecting quarterback Joe Flacco?
C.J. Mosley is likely to start this season. Will he live up to the hype and expectations the Ravens have for him?
These are the major questions I have at this time; I hope I like the answers. I wish the Ravens a safe and productive training camp. It will be interesting to see how the new pieces pan out.
What are your concerns for the upcoming season?