The Baltimore Ravens had their usual state-of-the-team address to finish off the season, but very little of note was said by any of the four men present.
Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass and John Harbaugh were all present and asked questions by the Baltimore media.
Newsome attempted to blame some of the offensive struggles on adding players too late in the process, specifically T.J. Houshmandzadeh. That really doesn’t make any sense considering he was with the team since training camp, and it that was in fact the case, why did they waste money signing him?
Bisciotti and Newsome both agreed that, while Joe Flacco still has some growing to do, he is no longer a young quarterback and they believe he will be their signal caller for years to come.
Harbaugh mentioned the team’s need to run the ball better in 2011, citing its effect on the passing game as well. Bisciotti defended the decision to keep Cam Cameron, saying there wasn’t a better offensive coordinator out there to replace him with and that it wasn’t fair to make him a scapegoat for the team’s disappointing finish.
Newsome had little to say about how to make the team better other than to try and bring in more good players. He didn’t elaborate from there, but said the likely re-institution of a salary cap would change what they can do in free agency.
Perhaps the best moment of the news conference came at its conclusion when Bisciotti ran off a list of about 30 things he read from the media and fans about what the Ravens have to do to improve the team. The list was pretty amusing, and a nice way to put a finish on a terribly disappointing and frustrating season.
The biggest revelation for fans was the team’s decision not to raise ticket prices for next season. The Ravens have raised ticket prices every other year for a decade, meaning 2011 should have seen a small bump. With the uncertain labor situation and very few NFL teams electing to raise ticket prices, the Ravens decided to cut their fans a break.
I’m not here to bash the Orioles because I’m certainly a big supporter of the team, but in the irony of all ironies, the Orioles announced earlier in the day that they would be raising prices on almost all of their tickets by about $3. A team coming off three straight playoff seasons doesn’t raise ticket prices, but one that hasn’t been in a postseason race in 13 years is jacking them up. And you wonder why the Ravens are the Ravens and the Orioles are the Orioles?
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