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John Harbaugh: Trying to hold team together “worst mistake” you can make

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

The Ravens have said goodbye to a slew of players that helped them win the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t bother coach John Harbaugh much.

In an interview with the NFL Network on Monday, Harbaugh backed up the decisions being made by General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the front office when it came to how hard they’ve worked (or haven’t worked) to make sure key pieces from that team remain in place for the title defense. To Harbaugh, the real reason for criticism would be if the Ravens went out of their way to hold onto players because “if you try to stay the same you end up getting worse.”

“The worst mistake you can make is trying to hold a team together,” Harbaugh said, via CSNBaltimore.com. “It’s impossible.”

Selling that thought is a lot easier in Baltimore because of the way the team proved Harbaugh right with their attempts to hold onto as much of the core of the 2000 Super Bowl champs as possible. It left them with a team that got old and expensive quickly, hampering the chances to build a consistent contender and leaving the Ravens in several tough spots over the years right after winning it all.

The Ravens may well take a step back this season, but they’d be a lot likelier to regret overpaying for players like Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe than they are to regret the decisions they’ve made the last couple of weeks.

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79 Responses to “John Harbaugh: Trying to hold team together “worst mistake” you can make”
  1. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    is it a worst mistake than giving Joe Flacco 120.1 million?

  2. varavens410 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Ravens have done this for years… people outside of Baltimore, and even some crazies in Baltimore, don’t understand the philosophy.

    I’m not saying the Ravens will win the Super Bowl again, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet on them making the playoffs for a sixth straight year, especially with how weak the AFC has looked.

  3. skeebo80 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Happy rebuilding.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Now if only the Lions can figure this out and realize that not everybody they stuck themselves with foolishly in the past is destined to be a winner in this league. Any team that continuously invests in the weak value players is always going to struggle with understanding why they are failing. The Lions still probably have no idea what they have done wrong in any of the last 20 years. Yet it’s so obvious to somebody on the outside that steps back and zooms out to examine the big picture.

  5. The Prophet says: Mar 19, 2013 11:10 AM

    I think the Ravens are WAY overreacting to their inability to win the SB in 2001 after 2000 which for some reason they are blaming on re-signing players, yet the reason they lost was the one guy they didn’t re-sign was the QB, which changed the dynamic of the team entirely.

    And secondly the 2003/2004 Patriots, 1992/1993 Cowboys, and 1997/1998 Broncos were all teams “held together” and I wouldn’t call back to back SB’s the “worst mistake” they could’ve made.

    I can’t imagine a team winning back to back SB’s with a roster as different as what the 2013 Ravens will be.

    JOSH ALPER: Fair point on those teams, but they weren’t making anything close to the same decisions the Ravens are making this year. Think it’s pretty clear that Harbaugh’s not saying the Ravens would have blown things up if they weren’t facing these specific free agent/cap decisions which were similar to the ones they faced in 2000. Agreed on the QB, though.

  6. gochargersgo says: Mar 19, 2013 11:16 AM

    I can think of a few worse mistakes a person can make.

  7. gochargersgo says: Mar 19, 2013 11:19 AM

    Keeping a team together?…..Worst mistake you can make.

    Double homicide or beating the living piss out of your wife?……. Perfectly acceptable!

    Real classy organization theyre running in Baltimore!

  8. steelbydesign says: Mar 19, 2013 11:21 AM

    I wouldn’t say it’s always the worst thing you can do. It might be the right choice in this case, that’s debatable.

    I’m a Steelers fan, and I’m not using this to gloat, just to make a point. The Steelers went to 3 Superbowls in 6 years by restructuring contracts and holding their roster together for the most part.

    They’re paying the piper now and struggling to get under the cap, but I think it was worth it. What team wouldn’t want 2 rings and another SB appearance even if it meant some suffering afterwards?

    I wish now that it’s clear that we’re past that era, that we’d do what the Ravens are doing now and purge the roster to free up some space… But that’s another conversation.

  9. rockthered1286 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:22 AM

    There’a HUGE difference in holding a team together, and holding an OLD team together. If the team has a ton of youth and not a ton of UFA’s? It’s a no brainer to stay the course. But in this instance, you have a team with several UFA’s who got ridiculously overpaid last week (Ellerbe, Kruger and Cary Williams), and several vets who feel like they should be paid top dollar when they have 2 years of service left at best (Reed, Boldin, McKinnie). The concept is simple: if someone else is willing to overpay your UFA? Gone. If you vets can’t grasp their actual value? Gone. Keep your core players locked up, and build through the draft. You’ll always have young, cheap talent working it’s way into the starting lineup, which balances out the few big contracts. The Ravens have done this for YEARS. We’ve seen Mason, Heap, Grubbs, Jamaal Lewis, McGahee, Adalius Thomas, Bart Scott… a TON of players in their prime let go by the Ravens, only to see Ozzie draft a replacement immediately that fits perfectly and for a substantially lower cap hit.

    5 straight years in the playoffs with at least 1 win, and a SuperBowl victory. Tell me their model doesn’t work.

  10. dickjagger says: Mar 19, 2013 11:23 AM

    Funny, (actually sad) how the media spins things. “Oh this loser team (dolphins/browns) signed a couple guys so even though they sucked for years they will drastically improve while this other team that constantly makes good decisions and has the success to prove it will have a horrible year cause they lost some guys” That rational is ridiculous, yet they keep spinning the same yarn.

    JOSH ALPER: Where’s the part where I say the Ravens will have a horrible year? Or that the Browns and Dolphins will drastically improve, for that matter?

  11. tigerlilac says: Mar 19, 2013 11:24 AM

    Ozzie Newsome is the best GM in football. It is not surprising that he is a Belichick disciple.

    Does anyone doubt how Ozzie would have handled the Welker contract negotiations with Dunn if Welker were a Raven.

    There is a reason these guys win year in year out.

  12. 1oldpro says: Mar 19, 2013 11:25 AM

    I’m not saying that Harbaugh’s word is gospel, but the way he brought his team back to win a championship this past season, holds my attention enough to consider his words.

  13. dcsween says: Mar 19, 2013 11:27 AM

    So this means that John Mara’s salary cap retribution on the Skins is doubly wonderful (or bogus, depending on where your druthers lie) … because with no cap space, the only thing the Skins can do is restructure the guys for next year, and re-sign the RFAs to multi-year deals to lighten the cap load for next year. The “worst thing to do” in the greater DC area this year = the thing they have to do. Yay for collusion!

  14. ravenator says: Mar 19, 2013 11:27 AM

    Oh the irony of the haters who are so envious of the Ravens. I bet they’d trade whatever pathetic season their team displayed last year for a superbowl championship. Cheers!

  15. bengals3285 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:31 AM

    A. The ravens playoff run and superbowl win was a fluke at best. B. don’t try to justify the terrible offseason the ravens are having. You resign your young star athletes, not let them go. Ellerbe was supposed to be their “new Ray Lewis”

  16. bigbenownsthenfl says: Mar 19, 2013 11:34 AM

    Ya why would you ever want to keep a super bowl team together. That’s just stupid to do that. They don’t wanna win back to back super bowls! That would be awful. Let’s dismantle the team and start over. And we will pay some guy 120 million because he had a good playoff run. Sure we know he’s average Joe, but let’s pay him like he’s elite. My god this team and front office is,a joke. How they ever won a super bowl is beyond me. Oh wait no it isn’t. I know exactly why. Cause the Steelers weren’t in the playoffs to beat on them again. That’s why! Buenos Dias muchachos!

  17. jeffa43 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:37 AM

    Ya Raventator … Just pour bleach over the team and start over…

    Your team will remain all class…

  18. ajb3313 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:38 AM

    They’ll be fine. The Ravens are one of a select group of teams that understand how to draft, develop, and value players in equal order. They regularly integrate players they took in the middle to late rounds, get productive mileage out of them while their cost is manageable, and then let another team foot the bill when their contract expires.

    Look at a guy like Paul Kruger. A former second round pick, it took him three years from when he was drafted to become a contributor for the team that drafted him. But he wasn’t a starter and if you look closely at his numbers, he didn’t produce if he wasn’t flanked by Terrell Suggs. So the Ravens utilized him and then, when he wanted money, let him go, because they’re smart enough to realize that Suggs is the key to that particular part of the puzzle. They might not get nine sacks out of Courtney Upshaw, but they’ll get quality production similar to what Kruger would provide for a fraction of the cost. As long as Suggs is healthy, whoever plays opposite him will have a chance to succeed. Isn’t, say, five sacks from Upshaw at less than two million a year better than nine from Kruger at eight? It’s basically just applying Moneyball principles to football.

    And as much as I don’t personally buy into Flacco, his contract isn’t what’s causing them to lose players. His cap hit for this coming season is $6.5 million, which is negligible. Remember, they also have money tied up in Suggs, Ray Rice, and so on.

    So far, the only loss that might sting is Ellerbe, because he was seemingly a priority and leaves their linebacking corps especially inexperienced. But guys like Kruger, Boldin, and even Reed were all on the outs anyway.

  19. malab377 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:45 AM

    “It left them with a team that got old and expensive quickly”

    I think it was fast enough only with Flacco.

  20. humbleminded85 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:46 AM

    GoChargersGo is still mad I broke the news to him about Phillip Rivers being better at shotput then at QB. Tell ya boy Phillip that tryouts for the summer Olympics are right around the corner, maybe that way he could actually achieve something.

  21. csszrr says: Mar 19, 2013 11:47 AM

    Said no dynasty ever.

  22. scoobies05 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:49 AM

    steelers arent good enough to make it…thats why they didnt win the sb…what a joke of a comment. as far as the team being “blown up”. if you really think that you truly are clueless. ravens know what theyare doing and will be back in the hunt

  23. ccjcsr says: Mar 19, 2013 11:51 AM

    They should trade suggs as well, start churning the roster!

  24. rayray5227 says: Mar 19, 2013 11:56 AM

    Great post and good answer by Harbaugh. A team that’s consistently made the playoffs for about ten years, they have a plan before making key decisions.

  25. tsuscrumhalf says: Mar 19, 2013 12:00 PM

    Looking at the media hysterics about how the offseason has been a nightmare for the Ravens makes me laugh. So easy to paint a doom & gloom picture. Like ajb3313 said, this is part of the plan & has been the modus operandi for this team for years. Of all the guys lost, Boldin & Ellerbee will be the only ones missed.
    Kruger – CLE overpaid for a part time player & there is a combo of McAdoo & Hamilton ready to replace that production
    Ellerbee – MIA overpaid. His loss will hurt, but if Dansby is signed, it might be an upgrade. Time will tell.
    C. Williams – With Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham & Chykie Brown there are 4 quality CBs on the roster.
    Lewis & Birk – retired, so free agency has nothing to do w/them.
    Ed Reed – for 3/4 of the season and most of last season, the fans have been ready to release him b/c he can’t tackle any more. Injuries have made the greatest ever at his position only average now, and “right player, right price” says you don’t overpay for average. He still comes up big, but those times are becoming increasingly rare. Love to have him back for off-field study habits that he can impart to the young guys, but on-field he’s not Ed Reed any more.
    Boldin-this is the move that I struggle with. He’s clutch! Wish they had extended him w/a big bonus & take the hit 2 years from now. But….I didn’t like getting rid of Mason & Heap at the same time & that worked out OK.

  26. reedhof20 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:02 PM

    They are rebuilding the defense…which NEEDED the rebuilding. It was atrocious this year and rode emotion and Flacco’s arm in the playoffs. All they’ve let go on Offense is Boldin via trade and so far McKinney, who last I checked is still unemployed. Call me foolish, but I just don’t see loosing Krueger, Ellerbe, Cary Williams, Kemo and Pollard as devastating. Go ahead and count up the number of pro bowls in that group? I will do it for the Steeler fans who can’t count i.e. all of them – 0. It’s actually more likely – with Ngata and Suggs healthy – that they’ll be better.

  27. pgh15212 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:03 PM

    The steelers did that after 2008 and it almost landed them another title. If only kemeoutu didn’t blow those blocks and antonio brown had the mental aptitude to learn the playbook !

  28. emperorzero says: Mar 19, 2013 12:15 PM

    Another thing teams are going to have to get used to is quarterbacks eating up a disporportionate amount of cap space.Teams like the Niners and Seahawks can load up now because they both have quarterbacks making pennies, where the Saints, Ravens, and soon the Packers, will have to let players walk because of quarterbacks making 20+ million a year.

  29. bleedgreen88 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:24 PM

    Woulda been so refreshing to see flacco take less so the ravens could of kept some of the guys who got him that money. He will get use to all that unnecessary extra money but now he’s just gonna have to get use to the fact that he’s the reason Ed Reed and others who made him that extra money are gone.

  30. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 19, 2013 12:26 PM

    It is all moot. The Bengals are going to run away with the division in 2013 and the Browns are going to surpise some people. And this is from a Steelers fan.

  31. yinzer7 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:26 PM

    The prior four Super Bowl winners kept their teams intact. Two did not reach the playoffs the following year and the other two were one-and-done, beaten badly in first playoff game.

  32. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 19, 2013 12:26 PM

    Who knew Josh Alper was so touchy about criticism. You sure you’re in the right business?

  33. mountaingirl39 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:32 PM

    Ravens office was smart enough to let Mason, Heap, Gregg and McGahee even though we won a playoff games with them. Tweaked our team and went to the AFC Championship then won the SB w/o them. Only real loss to the team is Bouldin, but that’s only my opinion. Ozzie seems to be able to find the right talent for the team.

  34. cmonelisha says: Mar 19, 2013 12:33 PM

    depends on what part of the team he means…you ALWAYS need your core 2 stick together..thats hwo bellichek has gotten to 4-5 superbowls and how eli and company won 2..hes just tryin to massage his fan base bec he knows ravens will blow this year..they lost way to many pieces

  35. ronpipes2013 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:34 PM

    I am a Steeler fan, I actually was at the Imaculate Reception game. The Ravens will be fine. Ozzie knows what he is doing. They will find replacements for their lost players. How many years did Bolden have left, or Reed for that matter if they lose him. They have a solid core and will content again. It is hard to give credit when it is due because of Ravenator’s rants.

  36. edisbetterthantroy says: Mar 19, 2013 12:40 PM

    Did I seriously see a commentor claim the reason the Ravens didn’t repeat in 2001 was because they didn’t re-sign Trent Dilfer?

    Riiiiiiight. I have a special place in my heart for Dilfer, but really? I would say losing Jamal Lewis in training camp had a bigger impact. Or perhaps the fact that it’s not easy to repeat.

  37. salventuri says: Mar 19, 2013 12:43 PM

    Not a Ravens fan although John Harbaugh is an excellent coach.

  38. steelerben says: Mar 19, 2013 12:45 PM

    reedhof20 says:
    Mar 19, 2013 12:02 PM
    They are rebuilding the defense…which NEEDED the rebuilding. It was atrocious this year and rode emotion and Flacco’s arm in the playoffs. All they’ve let go on Offense is Boldin via trade and so far McKinney, who last I checked is still unemployed. Call me foolish, but I just don’t see loosing Krueger, Ellerbe, Cary Williams, Kemo and Pollard as devastating. Go ahead and count up the number of pro bowls in that group? I will do it for the Steeler fans who can’t count i.e. all of them – 0. It’s actually more likely – with Ngata and Suggs healthy – that they’ll be better.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I might just be a lowly Steelers fan but I can count all the way up to six, thank you very much.

  39. immafubared says: Mar 19, 2013 12:48 PM

    Could not agree more. You’ve got to except turnover in any org. It happens. You lose players and gain players.
    Take GB. They decided they watned to keep AJ Hawk, who never began to live up to his potential and had one decent year. Instead of letting him go and moving on, they decided that if he was willing to play for less money that would be a good thing.

    I mean if it takes two people to do his job, then where is the savings? If he was a second or third string backup ok but he is considered first string.

    Football is about moving on and moving up.

    Again, GB let two pro bowlers go because they did not want to pay the money. So in the end they keep cheap players who are marginal and let the good ones go, all over money.

  40. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 12:49 PM

    Where’s the proof that keeping teams together gets you a SB repeat? It’s probably better to bring in some new blood, that are hungrier and younger. Ravens still have enough talent to contend. Let’s play the games 1st before we bury them.

  41. billsfan1 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:50 PM

    bengals3285 says:
    Mar 19, 2013 11:31 AM
    A. The ravens playoff run and superbowl win was a fluke at best. B. don’t try to justify the terrible offseason the ravens are having. You resign your young star athletes, not let them go. Ellerbe was supposed to be their “new Ray Lewis”

    19 32
    Report comment
    Really? Are the Cincinnati Bengals EVER in a position to talk snack about any team?

  42. cobibones13 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:53 PM

    How did the Ravens hang on to too many players in 2001 when they let Dilfer go right after they won the SB?

    Did anyone really think they were going to repeat with Elvis Grbac leading them?

    Seems like they’re just trying to spin the current bad situation into some sort of a positive even though it doesn’t make sense. Having a lot of good defensive and offensive starters leave a team all in one offseason isn’t a good thing.

    Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are HOF guys you can’t just say “next man up” and magically get a top defense that the Ravens are used to.

    Just have fun with your SB win, most fans can’t. But don’t act like your team is still great or should be a SB favorite for the upcoming year(or that what’s happened this offseason is good).

  43. chargerdillon says: Mar 19, 2013 12:57 PM

    The reality is and I hate to break it to Ravens fans, outside of Baltimore I don’t think anybody ever really had faith in the Ravens to win it this last year or any year.

    Flacco has shown to be nothing more than mediocre with the exception of a really REALLY lucky long bomb play blown in Denver in which they were something like 12+ point underdogs.

    Even in winning the superbowl many peoples perception of the Ravens hasn’t changed, and now they are overpaying a QB which has shown virtually EVERYWHERE else, once you give the elite QB’s the big money contract, the rest of the team suffers from lack of compensation.

    I never would’ve picked the Ravens to win it all, and I still won’t. If they do, good for them, but I wouldn’t bet on it for anything

    That being said, you did win it, enjoy the spoils while you can :-)

  44. scoobies05 says: Mar 19, 2013 12:58 PM

    great posts ajb and edreedhof. you guys get it.

  45. jr4real says: Mar 19, 2013 12:59 PM

    ravenator says: Mar 19, 2013 11:27 AM

    Oh the irony of the haters who are so envious of the Ravens. I bet they’d trade whatever pathetic season their team displayed last year for a superbowl championship. Cheers!
    —————————————————-

    uh. no one is jealous of the ravens.

  46. getyourownname says: Mar 19, 2013 1:03 PM

    edisbetterthantroy says:Mar 19, 2013 12:40 PM

    Did I seriously see a commentor claim the reason the Ravens didn’t repeat in 2001 was because they didn’t re-sign Trent Dilfer? Riiiiiiight.
    ***********

    Wasn’t so much not keeping Dilfer, which was logical strategy at the time, as it was replacing him with Grbac.

    Exceution is everything. Replacing old and relatively overpaid vets is the right strategy, but if you don’t choose the right replacements it looks wrong.

  47. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 1:06 PM

    @chargerdillon. Who cares about other teams fans having “faith” in The Ravens? What is your point. You can doubt and hate all you want. It doesn’t change the facts. Ravens ARE SB CHAMPS!

  48. ravenator says: Mar 19, 2013 1:17 PM

    I cant hear what the haters are saying? The echoes from the Superbowl winning parade were deafening.

  49. swagger52 says: Mar 19, 2013 1:18 PM

    No..The Worst mistake you can make is to be a coach or GM and respond to the Media narratives – especially as it relates to the Ravens, which are always wrong.

    All year long..Bad anti Baltimore narratives
    Flacco can’t win away games….Ummm..How about winningest QB in the history of NFL with road playoff games.

    Flacco only shows up for the big games….Umm..how about best overall record in the NFL with most wins in the last 5 years in a division that consistently produces multiple play off teams.

    Ravens must rebuild because Flacco was overpaid…Umm…Wait until we sign Dumervil and bring a bunch of very capable players off the bench, and reload with a bunch of draft picks.

    So I disagree, the worst thing you can do is not “hold a team together”. Rather the worst thing you can do is trust the media to spin a positive tail about the Ravens.

  50. sbaltimore says: Mar 19, 2013 1:19 PM

    I’ve never been a fan of John Harbaugh (mainly because I felt he kept bad coaches on board out of a false sense of loyalty to the detriment of the team). But he definitely got my attention (and respect) this year by keeping the team together through some major injuries, mainly on D, and by making (or at least agreeing to) the firing of Cam Cameron, which, along with the revamping of the O-line pushed the right buttons at the right time for the successful SB run.

    2013 is going to be his defining year, IMO. He cut players that he didn’t particularly care for, and so this is going to be his team, and he’ll live and die by this team. And given his past track record, I wouldn’t bet against him.

  51. swirv78 says: Mar 19, 2013 1:26 PM

    Well Baltimore.. that’s what you get when you give a above average QB a contract like you did? And I see him never reworking his contract for the needs of your team! It’s sad he makes more than Rodgers,Brees, Brady and Manning! And now you guys have probably one of the worst Defenses in the NFL? Now it’s all on Flacco.. Good luck Ravens You guys should probably have Ray Lewis visit the locker room before game time and cry some more! It seems to help! The most overpaid QB in the league will be exposed this year! Quote the ravens ! We are screwed.. And this in Ozzie we trust crap! You know Billicheck had Ogden and Lewis targeted for the Browns in the 96 draft. So Ozzie his scout at the time was a thief! Welcome to the new NFL .. A QB doesn’t have on 1000 yard WR, Has one of the luckiest runs in NFL playoff history.. And gets Overpaid and destroys a franchise.. Congrats Baltimore!

  52. iamthefootballjerk says: Mar 19, 2013 1:39 PM

    The fans that make comments about the Flacco contract are the ones that only read the headlines. Look at his contract. It did not break up the team. Read the interview that was done with the team owner, and he is realistic about Flacco’s inconsistencies. This is about learning from past mistakes. Ellerbe is NOT worth $7 mil per. Kruger is def NOT worth $8 mil per.

    And stop with the “Ellerbe was supposed to replace Ray”. Nobody is replacing Ray, and the team knows that better than us. They are replacing Ray’s leadership with Harbaugh’s leadership. That’s why they jettisoned Pollard.

  53. purpleattack says: Mar 19, 2013 1:43 PM

    @edelmanfanclub, exactly! The Ravens should have let Cleveland or someone else desperate for a QB pay Joe 120.6 million. Let them be the suckers! Roll with Tyrod Taylor or some of the fantastic free agents like Fizpatrick. Wait no, the talent at the end of round 1 in the draft is even better than those in terms of QBs. That is a surefire plan for a Superbowl run.

    Honestly no offense to anyone but if that guy got 300+ upvotes for his ridiculous comment it’s truly sad how few intelligent NFL fans there are. I don’t care if you absolutely hate the living ___ out of Joe, Ravens, or their fans; anyone with the least bit of intelligence and understanding of how the NFL works would understand why Joe got paid what he did.

  54. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 19, 2013 1:57 PM

    First off, I like the columnist chiming in on the posts. You guys take a lot of heat (much of which is off the mark). I like seeing you set straight those who obviously have comprehension issues.

    Good segue. Many of you still don’t understand Flacco’s salary cap hit this year is about $7 million. The big numbers hit in year 4 and beyond. His salary hit is about what it was in 2012.

    And Kruger and Ellerbe started 12 games combined last year. They played situational D until the end of the year. And just in case anyone else hasn’t said this, Ellerbe was never billed as “the next Ray Lewis.” I thought Patrick Willis was called that. Ellerbe is no Willis.

  55. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 19, 2013 2:03 PM

    For you fools who keep saying Flacco’s contract isn’t causing all this because this year’s hit is only $6.5M:

    Don’t you think the fact that they have a huge bill due in a few years is having an impact on their decisions today? Maybe they could have backloaded Boldin or Ellerbe’s contract, or who knows what else.

    Succesful organizations have short-term and long-term plans that are congruent (look it up ravenator). Which is why your poor organization is dumping players and then spewing the coachspeak about it being for the best in the long run.

  56. dickjagger says: Mar 19, 2013 2:09 PM

    @Josh Alper
    No, you didn’t use the word horrible, or suggest the browns and dolphins would be greatly improved, (although you’re PFT comrades have written many articles suggest as much from both of those points of view – as well as the other sports media outlets).

    You did however suggest the Ravens MAY WELL” take a step back this season which is an assumption much like the rest. We’ve lost some big names in each of the last few years and we didn’t take a step back? Another example is giving teams high marks for having a good draft even though those player have yet to perform.

  57. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 19, 2013 2:13 PM

    I mean Cowboys, Steelers, Pats dynasties kept their core together rotating slot wrs, and other positions that are more easily changable

  58. swirv78 says: Mar 19, 2013 2:17 PM

    Will somebody please tell me what Joe Flacco did leading up to this years playoffs? Anybody? That’s right nothing! I agree about the loss of your 2 linebackers! Wasn’t worth the money.. But Torry Smith is no number one.. And your 2nd string RB out played Rice the last month of the season and in the playoffs! And Upshaw is garbage! you guys should give him a huge contract! And for all you Ravens fans saying Ed Reed is getting old! Who needs em? Well You guys are worst than Patriot Fans! Only Difference? Is Tom Brady is worth the Money! Remember When Flacco was crying about his contract the year he lost 3 straight to the Steelers? I remember. He is a selfish man.. When he tells his number one WR to leave for the money who saved his life in the playoffs! And if Harbaugh isn’t worried? Was I the only one who saw his reaction on Taeo’s 40 yard time! So Just like Johnny boy,any fan who understands the game? Knows The ravens are screwed!

  59. melikefootball says: Mar 19, 2013 2:50 PM

    Not a fan of the Ravens or Hairbaugh I do say he is right on with his statement. To many teams mine included bring back old players and you have to say why. You may as well go for youth and desire than the ones who want to go to different teams for the money not the team.

  60. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 2:50 PM

    @swirv. I could bore you with the facts about Joe’s 5 year career stats, but you probably wouldn’t listen. I will invite you to listen to Steve B, the owner, Ozzie N. and John Harbaughs opinions about Joe. You know, these are the people that DEPEND on Joe and having him for their franchise QB.

  61. swirv78 says: Mar 19, 2013 2:52 PM

    Last comment! You know why the Patriots haven’t won a Superbowl in years? No Defense.. That’s what kept Baltimore alive for years! look at Green Bay and the Saints.. No Defense! The Steelers had there runs cause they had a Defense! All the great teams That Indy had with Manning.. One title due to no Defense.. Look at Russel Wilson And Kapernick! What do they have? Defense..Ray Lewis and Ed Reed saved your franchise for many years! That was the only reason you guys were considered contenders for years. Well, now enjoy offensive stats and no more rings! I agree you guys will rebuild.. But by then your going to owe Joe 20 million a year! So, that’s how his contract kills you! Now be quiet Raven fans.. You got to enjoy your title for 2 weeks.. And now it’s over.. The skins will be the team to beat in the state of Maryland!

  62. mumfio says: Mar 19, 2013 2:55 PM

    bunkmcnulty,
    Ellerbe was billed as the “next Ray Lewis” on the Ravens, not the league. Ellerbe was the #1 priority to get signed after Flacco. If Ellerbe had signed you would be bragging about it. But because he didn’t, you now say he wasn’t that good anyway.

    The Ravens probably wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl without Ellerbe, Kruger and Bouldin. For Ravens fans to act like this purge is no big deal means they are either stupid or in denial.

  63. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 3:04 PM

    swirv- Since The Ravens SB 2000 team, Ravens had a top 5 D every year till this year. They won 1 playoff game with that great D. I’ll repeat, ONE. Since they got a franchise QB, they have won 10 in 5 years. Like I said, listen to the Experts. They are the ones making the decisions, not you.

  64. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 3:06 PM

    Skins in the state of MD? Oh yea, they are the Washington, DC Skins. They train in VA, and play in MD. Jeesh, make up your mind.

  65. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 3:12 PM

    @mumfi – As soon as you used the comment
    ” probably wouldn’t have “. I stopped reading. No wishing and guessing allowed.

  66. mumfio says: Mar 19, 2013 3:28 PM

    jacktheraven,
    According who’s rules?? How about the Ravens definitely wouldn’t have won anything without the players that are now gone. You only stopped reading because the truth hurts.

  67. swirv78 says: Mar 19, 2013 3:32 PM

    Joe Flacco never had more than 25 TD’s no 4,000 yard seasons.. And a lot of miserable playoff loss seasons! Bore me please? You guys suck!

  68. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 19, 2013 3:42 PM

    Coach makes a valid point that many NFL GMs need to learn. Having said that, I would have kept Boldin and not worry so much about signing Flacco.

  69. mumfio says: Mar 19, 2013 3:47 PM

    swirv78,
    I was never a Flacco fan either, but he did have a great playoff run this past season. However, his Super Bowl performance was the old Flacco I was used to: great 1st half and then leads team to 3 ponts in the 2nd half, almost losing after having a great lead. Reminds me of a playoff loss to the Steelers a few years ago.

    I don’t think Flacco really a “franchise qb”, just a decent one who is better than the horrible Kyle Boller. The Ravens may have won many more Super Bowls if they didn’t have Boller for all those years.

  70. swirv78 says: Mar 19, 2013 4:07 PM

    Mumfio I agree totally! Ravens should have more rings! But they couldn’t beat Pittsburgh! Flacco is an average QB! That always had a D to back him up! And Even in Flacco’s First 4 years the D was stellar! And he didn’t win it. And he always crumbles under pressure… But he had a D to save his Butt! His contract is ridiculous! And if the Raven fans kept Krueger And Elerby they would bragging so hard.. Now Krueger is coming after him twice a year! What his contract is going to do? When they start finding these gems in the draft.. And by there 3rd and 4rth year when they want the big bucks.. That’s when Flacco’s 20 million a year is going to kill them.. He is not a Qb that can put his team on his shoulders and get them a ring! He had a lucky postseason bar none! I’m going to love when all these losses start happening.. And that’s when the finger pointing will begin.. So now any average QB wins a superbowl? Deserves 120 million? NO! Now they think there getting Dummervil? I mean Pollard was stud for them last year! Elerby was a stud and was only going to get better! Kruger is a up and coming beast! I’m just excited to see how Flacco Plays with the team on his shoulders now! And see how hard raven fans support him with losing seasons..

  71. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 5:40 PM

    Mumfio & swirv- You’re both letting your hate cloud your brains. Your predictions for the Ravens are dismal. What were your predictions, for The Ravens, for the ’12 season? Be honest.

  72. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 5:52 PM

    Mumfio, You did it again. ” How bout The Ravens definitly woudn’t have won”. That’s an afterthought and nobody cares. Let’s just stick to the facts. The Ravens definitly DID win the SB.

  73. mumfio says: Mar 19, 2013 5:52 PM

    jacktheraven
    No hate whatsoever. I was rooting for the Ravens over the Pats. The Ravens were due. Just Raven fans who are watching a team purge and acting like its all good. It isn’t. You’re expecting people to just step up and be starters and not miss a beat, when it doesn’t normally happen like that.

  74. edisbetterthantroy says: Mar 19, 2013 6:29 PM

    @mumfio says: “You’re expecting people to just step up and be starters and not miss a beat, when it doesn’t normally happen like that.”

    ….Unless you’re the Ravens and you do it just about every offseason. Next man up. It’s how they do business. I’m satisfied with the results over the last 12 or so years.

  75. scoobies05 says: Mar 19, 2013 7:10 PM

    and this year swirv when the ravens d was avg who stepped up and led the team? flacco. go look at the points the ravens put up in the post season. joe’s stats….close to 900 yds 11 tds and 0 ints. ravens are looking to bring in new players on d to improve while still keeping the better vets. offense under caldwell vastly improved. ravens will be fine

  76. mumfio says: Mar 19, 2013 8:38 PM

    edisbetterthantroy,
    So you’re saying that the Ravens lose players like their top receiver from a year ago, their top pass-rusher in 2012, the player who was expected to lead the team in tackles and potentially three-fourths of their starting secondary every year. Sure they do.

    To say that the Ravens lose players like R.Lewis, Boldin, Kruger, Ellerbe, C.Williams, Pollard & possibly Ed Reed all in the same year,every year is flat out ridiculous and untruthful.

  77. jacktheraven says: Mar 19, 2013 9:29 PM

    mumfio, like I said, let’s just deal with the facts. Let’s play the games, then decide. Predictions can look foolish.

  78. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 20, 2013 10:35 AM

    @mumfio

    Not to argue, but as a Ravens fan, Ellerbe was never billed as the “the next Ray Lewis.” Not by the organization, not by the players, not by anyone.

    Following Ellerbe’s career I know that he has been in the doghouse a few times for lack of work ethic which with Harbaugh will never cut it. He always showed the physical talents, but was plagued by missed assignments and lack of discipline through his first few years. I was very proud to see him develop this year. But his strong play has been evidenced in less than a full season not throughout the last 4 years as his new contract price suggests. I would have liked/preferred to see him stay, but you can’t compete against stupid, when it comes to signing UFA’s.

    I see Ellerbe in the long line of LB to play with RL that were the better for it. I like Ellerbe and hope he does well. But he could be another Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas, and Bart Scott who were never as relevant again after they left the Ravens. That may not be fair to Bart Scott. I still like him but I don’t think he’s been the played he was next to RL.

    I agree losing some of the guys hurts. For me, I hate seeing Pollard and Boldin go. They played with heart and brains. You can’t coach those things into players.

    You can disagree with the Ravens front office tactics if you like. God knows enough Ravens fans do. They are trying to get younger and sure up a Defense that had issues last year. But please, let’s not invent things that weren’t said. Ellerbe was never the next Ray Lewis. Continuing to say so is simply…not that smart.

  79. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 20, 2013 11:24 AM

    @crownofthehelmet

    As one of the fools posting about Salary cap hits and Joe Flacco’s new deal, I find your comment about the back end of the contract a bit uninformed also.

    I’m sure the Ravens FO is well aware of the impact of that deal in the last 3 years. That should also coincide with the new TV revenues that should lift the cap and also with the run off of a few other big cap hits like Ngata, and Suggs.

    But overall, I find that people will latch on to anything they can find to complain. People don’t like Flacco so they say the cap hit is terrible. When it’s explained that the initial hit is reasonable, now you invent that the FO must not be able to match sort term and long term goals. Yep, that’s a comment the experts make all the time… “the Ravens front office is a poor organization.”

    As much as I hate the Pats and the Steelers, it doesn’t keep me from recognizing their success and the fact they also manage their organization’s very well. Just spewing stupid remarks doesn’t make them true. That’s why if you have a brain, you commend those that do well, even if you don’t like them.

    I think I could cut down on 75% of the comments if we had a new rule. Don’t comment if your not a fan of the team or player in the article or if you don’t have a brain. Come to think of it, just the people without a brain gets rid of the 75% of the comments here. Maybe 80%.

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