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Old 17.01.2011, 02:58 PM
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hairy_yan hairy_yan is offline
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There's a lot of this "that was the last chance" sort of talk over at the Ravens main site too at the moment. I can't help but feel it is a little bit misplaced. Let's say for arguments sake that a CBA does get agreed, there is no reason the Ravens won't be in with a better shot next year. Sure Ray Lewis probably doesn't have more than a couple of years left and Ngata is going to command silly money to stay around, but I think the whole problem with the team this year was the sense of entitlement that some players felt. Nobody is owed a superbowl ring before the end of their career and the team is still struggling from mistakes it began to make in the later years of the Billick regime (i.e. Boller was QB when most of the veterans were in their prime). I think the fact that so many players stayed on from the early noughties disguises how much of a re-build Harbaugh intended when he took over. The team is still addressing the basic problems that dog teams who are developing themselves - next year the last of these should be gone. I do feel bad for Mason, Suggs, Reed and Heap who have played astronomically well for about a decade and had a great year but nobody in the Falcons (even the vets) seem to be moaning as much as Ravens Central and they blew up just as badly if not worse.

If anything I am a little mad at the veteran defense - Ray Lewis especially - they played very badly at points this year (Buffalo, anyone?) and letting Roethlisberger burn them on a 3rd and 19 was just as problematic as Rice's fumble. Yet Lewis seems content to pin the loss to the Steelers on the offensive turnovers. The truth is, you just can't balance a team where almost everyone who isn't the QB or the RB are 30 or over and then blame them for not performing to a veteran standard in their third NFL year. How is Flacco supposed to cope when he is getting just as much pressure from his own defense as he is James Harrison and co.?
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