Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti met the media as part of the team’s state of the franchise press conference on Tuesday and said that 2014 had been his worst year as an owner.
The handling of the Ray Rice case was at the top of the list of reasons why things were difficult in Baltimore, but there were other arrests as well and the sum total of the negatives left a black mark on the organization. Bisciotti said that he’d had 14 good years as an owner before the “absolute crappy year” that just ended.
“I think things come in waves, and we certainly took a crash here last year,” Bisciotti said. “There isn’t a lot you can do. I think that we are a team and an organization that cares, obviously, about our reputation, and when it takes a hit, then you examine what you do. But in order to take a hit to your reputation, you have to have a pretty good reputation to start with, and we did. So now it’s about proving that it was an aberration, and we believe that to be the case.”
Bisciotti said he didn’t regret initially supporting Rice and keeping him on the roster after he entered a pre-trial intervention program to avoid more serious penalties for punching his wife in the face. Bisciotti also said he didn’t regret reversing course in September when more evidence that Rice punched his wife in the face was made available for him to watch, although he conceded it left room for people to scrutinize the team’s decisions.
The experience isn’t leading the team to make a decision about security director Darren Sanders’ future. Sanders is on paid leave while facing sex offense and assault charges and Bisciotti said Sanders’ job is waiting for him.
“Wait until the investigation is complete,” Bisciotti said. “There’s virtually nothing we can do. The league is looking into it, the Baltimore police are looking into it, and that will be cleared up sometime in April or May. But we believe in Darren [Sanders], so we’re all very supportive of him, and [the nameplate] sign is still on his door. We’ll address that when we get some information, but right now we don’t have any.”
Bisciotti said the team’s success on the field helped bolster him after the rough year off of it and he surely hopes next year’s state of the franchise update can spend more time on the football side of things.