The Ravens brass will be right back to work next week trying to draw up the blueprint for effectively defending their heavyweight title belt. Here’s some things to ponder as the off-season gets underway for the champs.
1. First and foremost, the price tag for Joe Flacco. How much do you think he’s worth? He says he wants $100 million. He has the same amount of rings as Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Pay the man what he wants?
2. Bernard Pirece has come on strong in his limited opportunities. We saw him break off two big runs down the stretch, and extended a couple drives with hard runs in the Super Bowl. I’m not suggesting that there is controversy at who should start at RB, but should Pierce start getting more of Rice’s carries?
3. Could you look at Pierce as a trade chip to fill a hole on this team that will be left by a salary cap casualty ?
4. Rumor has it that Anquan Boldin is first up on the chopping the block to free up cap space. Do you feel he is way too important, too strong, too big a favorite of Flacco’s to let walk?
5. Bryant McKinnie is a free agent. We’ve seen how much better the O-line is with him in there, but last off-season he ended up in Coach Harbaugh’s dog house. Do you re-sign him?
6. The Ravens are entering the post Ray Lewis era. Unchartered territory. Do you possibly see a change back to the 4-3 defense? It is better at stopping the run, which the Ravens struggled with at times. Are Ellerbee or McClain good enough to make the lone MLB?
7. Who becomes the vocal leader of this team? Flacco and Reed like to lead by example. Who’s going to get this team ready for battle every Sunday?
8. Are you buying the Ravens intrest in Ed Reed? How much do you pay him? The amount you would pay the best safety in NFL history, the player he was, or the player he’s going to be?
9. Who starts opposite Lardarius Webb next year? Who is the nickel back? Jimmy Smith made two solid plays in the goal line stand to win the Super Bowl. Good enough to warrant a shot at one of those spots?
10. Cary Williams maybe the teams most improved player as the season went on, and into the postseason. He’s one of those guys who may be a cap casualty. Sign him, or let him walk?
11. What is the biggest need the Ravens have to address in the draft. O-Line depth, A MLB to replace Lewis, a WR is Boldin and Jones are both dealt? Or somewhere else?
12. The Ravens should get the Thursday night home opener next season in prime time. Our opponents include PIT, CIN, CLE, NE, MIA, NYJ, BUF, DEN, HOU, GB, MIN, CHI, DET. Who do you want to see Week 1?
13. Which NFC match up are you looking forward to most? How about AFC non-divison?
14. Given that schedule, and understanding there is an entire off-season of roster moves and what not, give a very early, rough, prediction of the Ravens record?
15. The power outage hurt the Ravens momentum….right? (Couldn’t help myself)