Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome rarely gets credit for being a flat-out genius, and he is exactly that. There's a lot of brain power there, and the one thing about Newsome is that he always has a plan.
So the question is: What the hell is the plan now?
The plan is there. It is because this is what Newsome does. "I would say this," explained one NFC general manager, "In Ozzie, I trust. He knows what he's doing."
|NFL offseason news|
Agreed, but what is it he's doing?
The Ravens were hammered at the start of free agency, picked apart like a large pizza left in a college dorm. It wasn't a pretty picture. Some of what happened to the Ravens happens to every defending Super Bowl champion. The biggest loss was inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to Miami. That means the Ravens are without two starting linebackers from the Super Bowl, Ellerbe and Ray Lewis.
Another starter at inside linebacker for Baltimore, Jameel McClain, suffered a nasty spinal cord contusion that ended his season last year, so his status is unclear.
Is it too late to bring Lewis back?
The Ravens stopped the bleeding somewhat when late Tuesday they signed the generous waist of run-stuffing defensive lineman Chris Canty. It was a nice recovery, but Canty has had difficulty staying healthy.
This was a scary day for the Ravens because it's rare to see them attacked so successfully in free agency.
What some will do is blame Joe Flacco's huge contract, but it isn't just that. When I asked several people around football what the Ravens were doing, the prevailing belief was that Baltimore was starting over on defense, and would use the draft to add receivers and defensive depth. We'll see.
In Ozzie We Trust is the saying, and it's legit because Newsome has been so smart. Maybe the smartest in the sport.
But what is he doing now?
What's the plan?