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Ozzie Newsome wasn’t reaching for tackles that weren’t there

John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome AP

The Ravens entered the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.

They also left the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.

But in a move that proves his principles outweigh his pragmatism (and why he’s good at his job), Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he wasn’t going to draft one if the value wasn’t right where he was picking.

“The way the board was stacked, you could see that three or four went right away at the top of the first round,” Newsome said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “So, it wasn’t stacked very well in that case. We were not going to just reach down and just take a player at the tackle position.”

Four tackles were drafted in front of their first pick, and a thinned-out crop at the position left the Ravens with no tackles chosen among their nine picks.

They gave up two of those picks for left tackle Eugene Monroe last year, but lost right tackle Michael Oher in free agency and didn’t choose an immediate replacement last weekend. They have some in-house kids, and could move guard Kelechi Osemele to right tackle. But a glaring need was unmet, because they weren’t willing to reach.

Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman employed a similar strategy, even though he doesn’t have a left tackle either. It’s a risky play, and takes a confident executive to be willing to slow-play a process when too many are going for immediate gratification.

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33 Responses to “Ozzie Newsome wasn’t reaching for tackles that weren’t there”
  1. 12strikes says: May 12, 2014 7:47 AM

    Guess he learned his lesson by reaching for a QB that is not really “there”.

  2. qdog112 says: May 12, 2014 7:51 AM

    All due respect Mr. Gantt, Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman, should not be compared to Ozzie Newsome.

    Newsome has built a franchise from scratch and won a Super Bowl, the other has taken a 12-4 team and blown it up, while alienating the fanbase. The jury is out on him.

    I’m a Panthers fan, but I’d take a trade of GMs any day.

  3. kowallazy says: May 12, 2014 8:10 AM

    So wait. The Browns enter the draft with a need at WR and leave with a need at WR because they found better value elsewhere, and it’s a boneheaded mistake-ridden draft. Ozzie Newsome enters a draft with a need at tackle and leaves with a need at tackle because he found value elsewhere, and he’s considered pragmatic? Can’t have it both ways.

  4. southpaw2k says: May 12, 2014 8:22 AM

    Ever since the Ravens brought in Gary Kubiak to run the offense, I’ve been screaming for them to bring in Eric Winston to play RT. Winston played for Kubiak in Houston, so he knows the system perfectly well. However, now that Winston is president of the NFLPA, is there any chance he’d still want to play in 2014? Or does he want to focus on his new position and responsibilities?

  5. southpaw2k says: May 12, 2014 8:24 AM

    Yeah, Flacco is definitely not really “there.” I mean, it’s not like the Ravens have ever made the playoffs with him under center, much less won a Super Bowl or anyth – oh, wait.

  6. crownofthehelmet says: May 12, 2014 8:38 AM

    Makes sense. Oz’s startegy on both sides of the ball is to avoid tackles.

  7. ravensfan313 says: May 12, 2014 8:39 AM

    The fact the (1) Eric Winston is still so widely available and (2) even his old coach, Gary Kubiak has not forced the Ravens’ hand to sign him should tell you enough… the league (and Ravens) think there are better options out there and/or Eric Winston would not be an upgrade over the current options.

  8. watchfullhose says: May 12, 2014 9:08 AM

    So, both teams have obvious needs. The browns are idiots for not drafting a receiver….and the ravens are “smart” for not drafting a tackle. OK

  9. southpaw2k says: May 12, 2014 9:27 AM

    The Browns don’t exactly have a history of finding adequate FAs or UDFAs compared to the players Ozzie has found for the Ravens. Are you honestly trying to argue that you have that much faith in the Browns’ front office to find at least one or two receivers out there to potentially replace Josh Gordon and give Johnny Manziel a reliable target down field?

  10. phinfanatic84 says: May 12, 2014 9:30 AM

    No need to reach for tackles… Miami reached enough for both of those teams.

  11. sbchampsagain says: May 12, 2014 9:36 AM

    Ravens will be ok, I think. They have added some depth wiht Zuttah and have a few developmental guys in the pipline like Wagner.
    Also, the UDFA T James Hurst from UNC they signed could be a real good pro. Many had him in the top 2 rounds before a broken leg in his last game of his Sr year. If he recovers, he could be a steal.

  12. mrpkg says: May 12, 2014 11:59 AM

    Ravens could not run the ball last year 3.1 yards per carry, and it will be worse this year. Flacco will run for his life. AFC North defenses will devour the Raven offense.

  13. jtbsteeler says: May 12, 2014 1:08 PM

    Meanwhile, the Steelers improved and the offense looks unstoppable.

    The division is ours. We’re back.

  14. jgedgar70 says: May 12, 2014 1:28 PM

    I would much rather have seen Gettleman reach. He and Rivera can’t really be serious about putting Byron Bell on Cam’s blind side, can they???????

  15. drs12522 says: May 12, 2014 1:56 PM

    Lots of cheap serviceable one year NFL free agent tackles out there. Beside Winston, BAL could plug in David Stewart for a year or any of over a half dozen solid if long in the tooth seasoned NFL OTs. The WR crop is a little thinner. CLE should think about signing a big play TE and playing 2 TE sets like NE did before Hernandez went kablooie. Kellen Winslow, Tony Scheffler, Dustin keller, Fred Davis and even a run at Jimmy Grahm might be better than signing one of the vet WRs left. Jamarcus Finley might be an interesting gamble.

  16. bunkmcnulty says: May 12, 2014 2:00 PM

    I think most of the “experts” have said Cleveland did pretty well in the draft. I don’t see the double standard on Ozzie. But Ozzie has results to back up much of the talk. But Ozzie has swung and missed a lot too (Kindle, Boller, Cody, Travis Taylor, Mark Clayton, to name a few).

    If the Ravens are going to make a move with Winston, or any team for that matter make a move with Winston, they were going to wait until after the draft. If you have talented young player fall to you at Tackle, you don’t want to have signed Winston already. Senseless to sign him before the draft.

    Until we see anyone play, I don’t know how any of these people can be assessed. I think drafts are best judged 3 or 4 years later. Nothing like bragging on future results because of untested rookies.

  17. ravensterps says: May 12, 2014 2:39 PM

    Cleveland is in a different situation than Baltimore. The Ravens have someone who can start at RT. The Browns have a rookie QB with NO ONE to throw to. Lack of WRs could kill Manziel’s career before it even gets started.

  18. ravensterpsarmystrong says: May 12, 2014 3:11 PM

    The cupboard isn’t all bare and you can’t select what isn’t there. Stocked with some youngsters at C/G/Ts, and just lift and shift players in the Next Man Up program. Go Ravens!

  19. pantherfangb says: May 12, 2014 7:07 PM

    qdog112- Don’t forget that Dave built that 12-4 team with a patchwork secondary and a receiver group that’s weaker than what we have now.

  20. ravensbob says: May 12, 2014 9:39 PM

    Steelers back—-in 5 years maybe….

  21. sandy102270 says: May 12, 2014 10:31 PM

    “The fact the (1) Eric Winston is still so widely available and (2) even his old coach, Gary Kubiak has not forced the Ravens’ hand to sign him should tell you enough… the league (and Ravens) think there are better options out there and/or Eric Winston would not be an upgrade over the current options.”
    ==================================

    Or (3) that they’re waiting until June 1, when signing him no longer factors into the compensatory pick formula for next year.

    They did the same thing with Daryl Smith last year. It’s what smart teams do.

  22. SAV says: May 13, 2014 2:58 AM

    When players are drafted, players get cut. There will be 3-5 teams with vets at tackle looking to get younger. They will cut them and Ravens will sign one a 1-2 year deal

  23. lagg1 says: May 13, 2014 12:57 PM

    For those fans who laugh at the Ravens and the way they draft consider this: Ozzie Newsome is one of the only NFL GM’s who has formulated two completely different teams (save Ray Lewis)-2000 and 2012 into SB champions. The other GM was Al Davis.

  24. jkaflagg says: May 13, 2014 6:15 PM

    Just about every year the Ravens play the Falcons in preseason, and when the reserves go into the game the difference is startling….it’s like men (Ravens) against boys (Falcons). Baltimore knows how to identify players, coach them up and put them in position to succeed…and it all starts with Newsome.

  25. dcapettini says: May 14, 2014 4:59 PM

    It’s pretty tough to get a wide receiver or a left tackle at the last minute, but right tackles are a whole different smoke. There will be a nice selection available at cut down time. It would have been better to have them during training camp but a veteran shouldn’t have much trouble fitting in. The Ravens have Yanda on that side which should make the transition easier.

  26. vaphinfan26 says: May 16, 2014 10:38 AM

    Miami reached but we good no complaints over here!

  27. 8to80texansblog says: May 16, 2014 4:49 PM

    For those saying Eric Winston would not be a fit…. look at the Texans running game in 2011 and then in 2012 after he left.

    Huge difference in effectiveness. Winston is an outstanding run blocker and a decent pass blocker. I think him and Kubiak had a beef of some sort because his departure in Houston was a huge surprise to everyone, and honestly, as cheap as he could probably be had right now, would explain why he’s not in black and purple already.

  28. deathonwings410 says: May 16, 2014 6:20 PM

    12strikes says:
    May 12, 2014 7:47 AM
    Guess he learned his lesson by reaching for a QB that is not really “there”.
    _______________________________

    I guess you’re talking about Kyle Boller, who was a Billick pick, as you surely aren’t talking about Flacco – a SB MVP.

  29. skinsfolife says: May 16, 2014 11:22 PM

    Kyle Boller a Billick pick? Ravens fans will do anything they can to make excuses. Horrible….. They didn’t earn that super bowl, and ravens fans are the worst fans in the NFL.

  30. laboni64 says: May 22, 2014 10:48 PM

    kudos to the ravens on that super bowl and I have nothing against that franchise but Joe Flacco was overpaid and overrated….Anquan Boldin won that super bowl….Flacco was lost without him last year….Ravens fans know he’s not worth that contract but it was either pay the quiet non leader or move on right after winning the super bowl….they really didn’t have a choice and Cool Joe squeezed them for every penny he could….had to gut almost half the roster…..am I wrong????

  31. chuckleberry1974 says: May 27, 2014 1:02 PM

    Yes, you are wrong. They didn’t gut half their roster, and Flacco’s contract is team friendly for the first 3 years, when it will be re-negotiated.

  32. laboni64 says: May 27, 2014 6:43 PM

    Your right just most the guys that mattered………….do you really think he is worth the contract he signed????? Is it gonna be the old super bowl letdown excuse for lack of success last year or does it fall on the amount of talent they had to let walk or trade away to afford that contract??

  33. rav52ens says: May 30, 2014 4:13 PM

    1.) Skinsfolife….Don’t be so hateful because you watch your Washington derogatory’s blow it year in and year out.
    2.) Sandy102270 is right. If they believe Eric Winston is a good fit they will pick him up after June 1st.
    3.) it’s crazy how anyone can hate on Flacco because last time I checked they idea is to win football games. Is he perfect NO. Is he the best NO. Is he the best looking NO. Lol Joe Flacco is a guy we can count on to be in the game and give us the best chance to win week in and week out. How easily we forget about the list of QBs over the years that weren’t near as good as Joe. Vinny Testaverde, Eric Zeier, Jim Harbaugh, Tony Banks, Stoney Case, Scott Mitchell, Trent Dilfer (thank you), Randell Cunningham, Elvis Grbac (on Ozzie), Jeff. Blake, Chris Redman, Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright, Steve McNair (Thank you RIP), Troy Smith. #TeamFlacco #2SuperbowlsIn18Years

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