The Ravens have made some pretty big splashes over the last few seasons, and now two of those splashes are recruiting another one. Pittsburgh’s owner doesn’t sound too concerned about his defense despite getting burned in the past two seasons during the playoffs. The Browns will be looking to get a win for the first time in over a season, but they will have a tough time according to their schedule.
Art Rooney II made some very dismissive comments about his defense.
“We have made some investments there that we feel still have upside ahead of them so we need to add people to it obviously,” said Rooney II last week. “But by the looks of things in the playoffs it’s not easy to play defense in this league anymore. So it’s something that we are trying to adjust to. (There are) A lot of great offenses out there that we have to be ready to match them. So it’s always a challenge now.”
I mean, using the excuse that there are good offenses in the playoffs isn’t great when you get out dueled by Blake Bortles. Letting Tom Brady roll over you is one thing, but I think the Jaguars steamrolling them should be a wake up call.
The Steelers did have one of the better defenses this season. They had a great pass rush, and they consistently held teams to 20 or fewer points. With their offense, they usually don’t need their defense to do much better than that to win a ball game.
However, it appears that during the playoff when teams have more of a focus on their opponents, the Steelers have struggled defensively. Of course, this past season, they gave up 45 to the Jaguars, and last season they held the Dolphins and Chiefs under 20 until the Patriots put up 36 against them.
It is clear the Steelers could use some help in the secondary, and they need to replace Ryan Shazier. If they don’t then they won’t be getting over that New England hill anytime soon.
The Browns have the fifth toughest schedule headed into next season.
That means the road to more than one win may be harder than it has ever been. Of course ,if Hue Jackson has any hope of keeping his job, the Browns need to see a major change in the win column. After only going 1-31 over the last two seasons, Jackson has to finally fulfill on the potential that the money ball regime was building up to before getting the can.
As far as having the fifth toughest schedule goes, a lot of that has to do with being in the AFC North and playing the Steelers twice, as well as the Ravens and Bengals who finished with modest records. They will play four other teams that made the playoffs including the Saints, Panthers, Falcons and Chiefs.
Cleveland’s opponents combined record in 2017 was 133-123 and in 2018 it will be 134-122. Not a lot of a difference there, but it is still hard to imagine a big turn around so quickly for the Browns.
The Ravens’ safeties are trying to help bolster their team’s offense.
The Ravens have been known to use up their cap space by trying to bring in free agents to put them over the top. They did it when they brought in Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson over the past few years, and now those players are looking to return the favor by recruiting Jarvis Landry to help out the Ravens struggling offense.
The two safeties took to twitter earlier this week replying to one of Landry’s tweets.
Ravens!— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) February 10, 2018
The Ravens have had a rough time finding a steady receiving threat for Joe Flacco since the team parted ways with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Mike Wallace has been solid, but he is set to hit free agency, and the team may look to upgrade from him by adding Landry.
Last year was a weird one for Landry. He lost his quarterback before the season when Ryan Tannehill went down for the season, but the Dolphins quickly went out and got Jay Cutler out of retirement.
I’m still not sure why any sane person would do that, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. Landry caught 112 passes, but he didn’t get over 1,000 receiving yards.
The Ravens need a reliable receiving threat for Flacco and this offense to consistently be able to pick up third downs. Letting Wallace walk in order to get this though will limit the Ravens big play ability considering how much of a bust Breshad Perriman has been.
The Ravens would have to couple the Landry move by adding a speedy receiver in the draft as well if they really want to turn a corner offensively next season.