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Ravens-01


Joined: 11 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Ozzie's WR Comment Reply with quote

Most Ravens fans and media members viewed Ozzie's state of the union comments the wrong way. Ozzie said the Ravens are looking for a WR that can get the 7-8 yard first down and run after the catch. Immediately the mock draft was flooded with selections of WR Mike Evans Texas A & M or Benjamin of FSU.

The Ravens have Marlon Brown and Dennis Pitta as 6'5 receivers. Smith, Jones, Thompson and Mellette as deep threats. Ozzie is referring to a quick WR with a great short area burst. An Antonio Brown, Percy Harvin, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker type. Now I'm sure if Sammy Watkins fell they would draft him. But other than that expect a WR like: Marqise Lee USC, Brandin Cooks Oregon State, Odell Bekham LSU.

The Ravens can any of these guys except Lee in the 2nd or 3rd round. Taking a Marlon Brown clone like Evans or Benjamin that doesn't create immediate separation doesn't make sense. Aren't you tired of watching Flacco float passes hoping a WR out-jumps the DB?
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A chain-mover can come in any form. If I had to guess what Newsome was describing I'd say that they want someone that's a reliable target in the sense that he has good hands and can get enough separation on a consistent basis for Flacco to throw a ball that's not a prayer. Bigger receivers can fit that mold as well as a guy like Lee. They don't have to create quite as much separation from the defender because they should be able to make up for it with their length. But that's not the case for all of them.

Brown may be listed at 6'5 (well, he was a shade under 6'4 at the combine but I think the NFL measurements are with shoes) but he doesn't play like it. One of the guys in the press conference even mentioned that Brown has to work on his catch radius. He has hands and fairly good feet for a guy his size but physicality and battling for the ball are not his strengths. Evans and Benjamin are far from clones of Brown.
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Mancunian Raven


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thought was that they're less interested in speed than they are in physicality.

Everyone said the Ravens missed Boldin, and they did (the extent to which they missed him is up for debate). They missed a guy who will compete for tough catches and give DBs hell, a guy that you can toss the ball up to on 3rd down, and he'll make a play for you.

Boldin isn't a giant, he's only 6'1". He's not fast either. He's no mismatch for any DB in those departments. It's all in his strength and his mentality, and I think those are the key components Harbs and Ozzie are looking for.
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Ravens-01


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are probably right but when I hear Benjamin and Evans need to work on running routes and their strengths are out-jumping or "boxing out" a smaller corner that's not what I want to hear. How about a polished receiver that can get open. Rookies like Keenan Allen of the chargers or Robert Woods of the Bills were impact rookies immediately. Maybe a guy like Robinson from Penn State who seems like a mature receiver and not just an athlete
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ravens-01 wrote:
You are probably right but when I hear Benjamin and Evans need to work on running routes and their strengths are out-jumping or "boxing out" a smaller corner that's not what I want to hear. How about a polished receiver that can get open. Rookies like Keenan Allen of the chargers or Robert Woods of the Bills were impact rookies immediately. Maybe a guy like Robinson from Penn State who seems like a mature receiver and not just an athlete


Big receivers like Evans and Benjamin being able to box-out defenders is definitely a good trait. If it were a smaller receiver I'd be less enthused because I don't think it translates as well but for legitimately tall and strong receivers like the two mentioned above that's not the case in my opinion. Route-running is something most rookies need to learn quite about a bit these days so that's not a huge concern of mine unless a prospect is really raw. None of the top guys this year fit in that category.
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dcfields


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Newsome said, "I think we need to be able to get a receiver, whether it's a tight end or a wide receiver, that can make a third-and-7, third-and-8 catch and can run after the catch.


A 3rd-and-7 guy is going to have to possess the intestinal fortitude to go across the middle. Someone who's not afraid to take a hit and can hang on to the ball. That someone would have likely been Pitta had he not gotten injured. You'll notice that Ozzie said it could be a WR or a TE. I believe that Ozzie has been looking for a game changing TE since Heap's skills started to decline. In 2009, there was A LOT of speculation that the Ravens might take Brandon Pettigrew. A BIG TE with the skills to be an every down player. So TE could be a strong consideration for the Ravens as Pitta may not get a long term deal and Dickson won't get one from Baltimore period. Ebron's an average blocker. A little better than his size would suggest. However, I don't see the Ravens drafting a TE in the 1st round.

WRs - 6 are projected to go 1st round right now (Watkins, Evans, Lee, Matthews, Benjamin, Robinson). Will there be one at #16/#17 that fits Ozzie's description? Probably. Will one be a Raven? Something tells me no.

That said, I think the Ravens will be targeting an offensive lineman in the 1st round. My gut tells me that the Ravens will resign Monroe and select a right tackle in the first with Greg Robinson, Kouandjio, or Lewan as the leading candidates (maybe even Zack Martin (see below)).

If the Ravens DO take a WR or TE in the first, I think that is an indicator that Osemele will slide back over to RT and the Ravens may target someone like Wisconsin center Travis Swanson or a guard in the second.

To me, it looks like the WRs and TEs projected to be there when the Ravens select in the 2nd round are a little more enticing than the OTs that are projected to be there.
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dcfields


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something else I thought of. Back in 2000 when Ozzie drafted Jamal Lewis 5th overall, someone from ESPN questioned why the Ravens selected him so high. Ozzie stated that when evaluating underclassmen, you have to project where they would be drafted as a senior. The only reason I'm bringing this up is because two of the receivers projected to go in the 1st round, Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin, are redshirt sophomores. If Ozzie still applies this same principle, it's not out of the question for the Ravens to select Evans or Benjamin in the 1st round.

And, yes, I am completely biased and love Kelvin Benjamin. Go Noles!

In all honesty, Benjamin wasn't a "go over the middle" guy for the Noles. Perimeter receiver and a great red zone threat. In other words, similar to Marlon Brown. So the more I think about it, the more I think Ozzie wants a physical, presence over the middle. A tight end. Getting tough yards between the hash marks was a problem for the Ravens last year. No one threatened the seams.
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Flaccomania


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
A chain-mover can come in any form. If I had to guess what Newsome was describing I'd say that they want someone that's a reliable target in the sense that he has good hands and can get enough separation on a consistent basis for Flacco to throw a ball that's not a prayer. Bigger receivers can fit that mold as well as a guy like Lee. They don't have to create quite as much separation from the defender because they should be able to make up for it with their length. But that's not the case for all of them.

Brown may be listed at 6'5 (well, he was a shade under 6'4 at the combine but I think the NFL measurements are with shoes) but he doesn't play like it. One of the guys in the press conference even mentioned that Brown has to work on his catch radius. He has hands and fairly good feet for a guy his size but physicality and battling for the ball are not his strengths. Evans and Benjamin are far from clones of Brown.


Agreed here. I simply think they mean they want somebody who is a reliable target on the catches where the ball needs to come out quickly and defenders playing close. Whether that player is able to get a bit of separation via route running/quickness or whether they are able to out muscle their defender, it doesn't matter -- the Ravens just need a "trusted" guy on the outside like we had in Boldin. Pitta provides us that over the middle, but we saw this season that Joe struggled when we didn't have a "trusted" guy outside. He needs a Derrick Mason or Anquan Boldin, both of which are different styles (Mason being the route runner, Boldin being the fighter) but he needs that safety blanket.
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bmorecareful


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back and listening to the statement Ozzie made he actually said WR or TE. So in my mind I'm thinking we go after both, who other than Ebron is a TE prospect that could be an early target. I honestly believe TE is just as big a need as WR. Pitta is similar to Torrey when assessing his ranking at his position not to mention he isn't even under contract. Dickson is a bust and Clark is waaaaaay past his prime. So even if we do resign Pitta which I think we will, we need another guy. Preferably a big physical athlete who enjoys participating in the run game and can be productive in the passing game as a second pass catching TE and also has the potential to become even more.
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Flaccomania


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmorecareful wrote:
Going back and listening to the statement Ozzie made he actually said WR or TE. So in my mind I'm thinking we go after both, who other than Ebron is a TE prospect that could be an early target. I honestly believe TE is just as big a need as WR. Pitta is similar to Torrey when assessing his ranking at his position not to mention he isn't even under contract. Dickson is a bust and Clark is waaaaaay past his prime. So even if we do resign Pitta which I think we will, we need another guy. Preferably a big physical athlete who enjoys participating in the run game and can be productive in the passing game as a second pass catching TE and also has the potential to become even more.


Ebron is definitely a possibility. I think CJ Fied is a big possibility as well.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flaccomania wrote:
coordinator0 wrote:
A chain-mover can come in any form. If I had to guess what Newsome was describing I'd say that they want someone that's a reliable target in the sense that he has good hands and can get enough separation on a consistent basis for Flacco to throw a ball that's not a prayer. Bigger receivers can fit that mold as well as a guy like Lee. They don't have to create quite as much separation from the defender because they should be able to make up for it with their length. But that's not the case for all of them.

Brown may be listed at 6'5 (well, he was a shade under 6'4 at the combine but I think the NFL measurements are with shoes) but he doesn't play like it. One of the guys in the press conference even mentioned that Brown has to work on his catch radius. He has hands and fairly good feet for a guy his size but physicality and battling for the ball are not his strengths. Evans and Benjamin are far from clones of Brown.


Agreed here. I simply think they mean they want somebody who is a reliable target on the catches where the ball needs to come out quickly and defenders playing close. Whether that player is able to get a bit of separation via route running/quickness or whether they are able to out muscle their defender, it doesn't matter -- the Ravens just need a "trusted" guy on the outside like we had in Boldin. Pitta provides us that over the middle, but we saw this season that Joe struggled when we didn't have a "trusted" guy outside. He needs a Derrick Mason or Anquan Boldin, both of which are different styles (Mason being the route runner, Boldin being the fighter) but he needs that safety blanket.

While I get what you're saying, I somewhat disagree. I think it DOES matter... with regards to the WR type.

I mean, everyone and their mother knew we were likely to be looking for a WR. And what you described above was the thought process behind where I was thinking prior to Ozzie's statements. The notion that we just needed another trusted receiver and didn't matter his playing style.

But what made Ozzie's comments so gamebreaking was that Ozzie and Harbaugh BOTH have this SPECIFIC TYPE of WR in mind. Think about it. That's like the Ravens forum running an FFMD and saying... "we need to get a Derrick Mason type WR, that's what we miss most." We're being specific about the type of player we're looking to target in FA or through the draft. We don't just want any kind of reliable receiver, we want a "Derrick Mason". If we just needed any kind of 3rd down receiver, I don't think Ozzie would have been nearly as detailed/specific.

====================

Now after thinking about Ozzie's comments more. He DID mention that receiver could be a TE or WR. He mentioned this is a guy that can convert 3rd and long situations and pick up YAC.

Initially I didn't pay much attention to the TE mention and thus I assumed we were looking for a Derrick Mason type reception magnet. The mention of getting YAC also makes me think it might be someone that can break some tackles.

Sounds like our target is someone that's going to be
a) Big- WR or TE, listing TE tends to increase the frame size we'd be looking for.
b) Explosive- In the NFL the QB only has ~3s to get rid of the football, this player has to consistently make themselves a target for these opportunities.
c) Strong hands- Like you said, what's the point of having a guy who can get open but not make the play? This person needs to be strong at the catch point and be able to make plays in traffic.
d) Break tackles- This person isn't just getting to the sticks. He's running slants and seem routes and then breaking tackles for bigger gains.
e) Wide catch radius- Hands are a part of this, but he needs to be able to make plays on balls over the middle, make quick adjustments, and help to limit turnovers when targeting plays in between the hash marks.
f) Vertical ability- I think it's safe to assume a 3rd down option needs to be able to operate in the middle of the field- at least on occasion. A great vertical means a greater catch radius and a receiver that can make plays on balls that most defenders in coverage can't make a play on.

NFL Receivers that could've inspired Ozzie/Harbaugh's conversation...
1. Alshon Jeffery-
We played them this year and got a chance to see just how effective he could be... even with a backup QB throwing to him. The fact that we played him definitely makes for a more organic conversation.
2. Keenan Allen-
We didn't play them, but we were in contention for a wildcard spot with them. Likely we were paying attention to what was going on for that team... and Allen was a huge part of Rivers re-emergence this season.
3. Jordan Cameron-
Mismatch option on a divisional rival. He could make plays deep on seem routes to stretch the field and he could make plays over the middle. He received less impact targets as the season went on, but proved to be a big 3rd down threat throughout.
4. Vincent Jackson-
One of the most effective 3rd down options in the league. He has size and athleticism... and that makes him dangerous.
5. Anquan Boldin-
Seller's remorse? I'm sure the Ravens realized Boldin's utilization in SF and in their playoff wins and thought... why couldn't we use Boldin like this more when he was here? Getting a younger Boldin allows us to rewrite wrongs made in the past.

Draft Receivers who compare to the above?
1. Mike Evans-
For a guy who doesn't look particularly fast, he tends to separate enough on deep routes (though he does push off) that there appears to be some deceptive speed involved. Like Jeffery, he might be a little (okay, a lot) overly physical at the collegiate level and there will likely be some kind of adjustment period as a rookie where he's flagged for more than your usual amount of OPI calls. But like Jeffery he's very strong at the catch point, high points with the best of them, and he can be physical and break some tackles to get extra YAC before going down.
2. Jordan Matthews-
Both guys have been known to run some silky smooth routes. They're both tall receivers that aren't exceptionally 'big'. Can separate with suddenness and some physicality making them effective against big corners or small. And both guys possess great hands and the willingness to make plays in the middle of the field with toughness.
3. Eric Ebron-
Like Cameron, Ebron has the natural burst to really separate on seam routes that most TEs don't have. Combined with his hands and tackle breaking ability, it makes him a true mismatch option. Ebron is strong making plays in traffic too, he's not a finesse option.
4. Kelvin Benjamin-
Benjamin may not operate in the middle of the field on a consistent basis, but he's a big athletic receiver that can high point. Like Jackson, he's a mismatch in 1on1 situations and can just impose his will on smaller corners along the boundary. Also like Jackson, Benjamin is possessed of that same freakish athletic combination of incredible size and speed to be a legit deep threat. He has dangerous strides when he gets moving and in 3 seconds time can be good for a 40 yard bomb.
5. Allen Robinson-
He's been compared to Boldin before. Has the same physical playing style, the wiggle and athleticism of a younger Boldin. He makes plays on balls to help his QB.
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Flaccomania


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:

While I get what you're saying, I disagree. I think it DOES matter.

I mean, everyone and their mother knew we were likely to be looking for a WR. And what you described above was the thought process behind where I was thinking prior to Ozzie's statements. The notion that we just needed another trusted receiver and didn't matter his playing style.

But what made Ozzie's comments so gamebreaking was that Ozzie and Harbaugh BOTH have this SPECIFIC TYPE of WR in mind. Think about it. That's like the Ravens forum running an FFMD and saying... "we need to get a Derrick Mason type WR, that's what we miss most." We're being specific about the type of player we're looking to target in FA or through the draft. We don't just want any kind of reliable receiver, we want a "Derrick Mason". If we just needed any kind of 3rd down receiver, I don't think Ozzie would have been nearly as detailed/specific.


But I very much think by "specific type" of WR they can simply mean "a WR that Joe can trust quickly off the line". In my opinion, that's specific enough to match their statements -- whether that's a Boldin type or Mason type, I think could be irrelevant just simply preference. They seemed so certain that they would most certainly have their "type" of receiver on the roster week 1, so I have to think they aren't narrowing it down to a very, very specific skillset as that would be a lot more difficult to find. I believe it's simply a "trustable" type guy.

Edit: I do agree with your list above but I also think the potential of a Antonio Brown type WR is a definite possibility as well. A guy like Cooks perhaps. Could be inspired by watching guys like Brown, like Welker, Crabtree, Cobb, etc.

But, I do think size is the bigger possibility given their talk of Marlon Brown's catch radius and the abundance of bigger WRs in this draft. Perhaps they like a good number of them so far and that's why they feel confident they will have one. I also agree with a TE as a strong possibility as well.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flaccomania wrote:
diamondbull424 wrote:

While I get what you're saying, I disagree. I think it DOES matter.

I mean, everyone and their mother knew we were likely to be looking for a WR. And what you described above was the thought process behind where I was thinking prior to Ozzie's statements. The notion that we just needed another trusted receiver and didn't matter his playing style.

But what made Ozzie's comments so gamebreaking was that Ozzie and Harbaugh BOTH have this SPECIFIC TYPE of WR in mind. Think about it. That's like the Ravens forum running an FFMD and saying... "we need to get a Derrick Mason type WR, that's what we miss most." We're being specific about the type of player we're looking to target in FA or through the draft. We don't just want any kind of reliable receiver, we want a "Derrick Mason". If we just needed any kind of 3rd down receiver, I don't think Ozzie would have been nearly as detailed/specific.


But I very much think by "specific type" of WR they can simply mean "a WR that Joe can trust quickly off the line". In my opinion, that's specific enough to match their statements -- whether that's a Boldin type or Mason type, I think could be irrelevant just simply preference. They seemed so certain that they would most certainly have their "type" of receiver on the roster week 1, so I have to think they aren't narrowing it down to a very, very specific skillset as that would be a lot more difficult to find. I believe it's simply a "trustable" type guy.

Well, I think their ability to be certain also has a good amount to do with the FA class and the draft class. More than any other year, this draft is pretty stacked with receivers with size and athleticism. So if the criteria is for an Alshon Jeffery type, there are enough receivers in this class that could fit in that comparison from 1st round to 3rd. I think their certainty is likely more a revelation that they will be aggressive in finding this player because it's the one piece they believe the offense is lacking to this point.
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Flaccomania


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diamondbull424 wrote:
Flaccomania wrote:
diamondbull424 wrote:

While I get what you're saying, I disagree. I think it DOES matter.

I mean, everyone and their mother knew we were likely to be looking for a WR. And what you described above was the thought process behind where I was thinking prior to Ozzie's statements. The notion that we just needed another trusted receiver and didn't matter his playing style.

But what made Ozzie's comments so gamebreaking was that Ozzie and Harbaugh BOTH have this SPECIFIC TYPE of WR in mind. Think about it. That's like the Ravens forum running an FFMD and saying... "we need to get a Derrick Mason type WR, that's what we miss most." We're being specific about the type of player we're looking to target in FA or through the draft. We don't just want any kind of reliable receiver, we want a "Derrick Mason". If we just needed any kind of 3rd down receiver, I don't think Ozzie would have been nearly as detailed/specific.


But I very much think by "specific type" of WR they can simply mean "a WR that Joe can trust quickly off the line". In my opinion, that's specific enough to match their statements -- whether that's a Boldin type or Mason type, I think could be irrelevant just simply preference. They seemed so certain that they would most certainly have their "type" of receiver on the roster week 1, so I have to think they aren't narrowing it down to a very, very specific skillset as that would be a lot more difficult to find. I believe it's simply a "trustable" type guy.

Well, I think their ability to be certain also has a good amount to do with the FA class and the draft class. More than any other year, this draft is pretty stacked with receivers with size and athleticism. So if the criteria is for an Alshon Jeffery type, there are enough receivers in this class that could fit in that comparison from 1st round to 3rd. I think their certainty is likely more a revelation that they will be aggressive in finding this player because it's the one piece they believe the offense is lacking to this point.


You caught my before my addition Very Happy Yep, I agree that size is most definitely the bigger potential.
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BareYourTeeth


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd put Davante Adams on that list of yours over Kelvin Benjamin, db. He reminds me of Michael Crabtree.

Edit: Nevermind, I didn't realize you were comparing them to those specific players. I thought you were just making a list of receivers from the draft who best ticked all those boxes.
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